Posts Tagged ‘Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets’

Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle
Daisy’s new Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle is designed for youth. It’s a smoothbore with several interesting features.

I’m retesting an airgun that I tested over a year ago. One of our readers called Daisy and said he was getting much better accuracy from his Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle than I had gotten in my test, and he asked Daisy if they would look into it. Well, they read the accuracy report (Part 3) and agreed with him that I should have gotten better accuracy than I did. So Joe Murfin, Daisy’s vice president of marketing, called and asked if I would be open to a retest.

Joe told me that Daisy engineers were getting groups of about 1.25 inches to 1.5 inches at 10 meters. I’m sure he meant 5-shot groups, and of course I shoot 10-shot groups; still, his groups were significantly smaller than what I’d gotten from the last gun. My 10-shot groups were in the 2.5-inch to 3-inch range.

I don’t like to retest
Normally, retesting airguns leaves me cold. My philosophy is that I test what users get, and it’s whatever it is. I look at the gun the same way a user would, except that I may know a few more things than the average user and am able to do things most people wouldn’t think to do. That gives the gun a fair test and also educates people who may learn a new trick or two by reading what I’ve done.

I have to admit that over the past year I’ve learned a lot about accuracy with diabolo pellets and the things to look for. More recently, I have become aware of the tremendous accuracy potential of some smoothbore airguns. From that standpoint, a retest of this smoothbore airgun is warranted.

This is not life-saving equipment, and the outcome isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things; but wouldn’t it be nice to know if this $35 airgun is really better than we initially thought? I agreed to retest the gun, and Joe sent one directly from Daisy. Instead of the black stock I had last time, this new gun is finished in camo. Other than that, though, it’s identical to the gun I tested before.

Upon reviewing the last accuracy test, I see I used the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier pellet, RWS Hobby pellet and some vintage Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets I had laying around. At the time, that sounded like a good idea; but after spending more time with the Diana 25 smoothbore in recent months, I think there are some other pellets I ought to try — namely the JSB Exact RS pellet and the RWS Superdome.

In the last report on the model 35, I wasn’t specific about what number of pumps to use for each shot. There was nothing to go on for this test except my experience with other multi-pumps. I would only be shooting at 10 meters, and high velocity wasn’t necessary. Six pumps sounded good to me, and that’s what I used for every target. If this was a larger, more powerful multi-pump, I might have opted for 5 or even 4 pumps, but the Daisy 35 is pretty small, and 6 sounded about right.

First target revealed loading problems
I shot the first target with JSB Exact RS pellets. They did well for the most part, but 3 shots landed apart from the main group. I was having difficulty loading the gun, and I think I may have loaded several pellets backwards because of how easily they flipped around on their own in the loading trough. I was shooting in a dark place to overcome the fiberoptic open sights and was unable to see the breech when the pellet was loaded. Those 3 stray shots might be explained as loading errors. Before I move on, I should note that the size of this first 10-shot group is close to what Daisy told me to expect from 5 shots at 10 meters.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group1 10 meters
A well-centered group is ruined by three wild shots. They may have been pellets loaded backwards. Group measures 1.52 inches between centers.

Nothing to do but shoot another group with the RS pellets — making sure each pellet went into the breech the right way this time. I used a portable spotlight to shine on the breech during loading to see which way the pellets were oriented. I think Daisy could spend a little time fixing this problem because that loading trough is almost too small to work with.

The second group was much better. Ten more JSB Exact RS pellets went into 1.108 inches. This is better than what Daisy told me to expect, and my interest was piqued. How good would this gun get?

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group2 10 meters
The second group of 10 JSB RS pellets went into 1.108 inches at 10 meters.

RWS Superdomes
The second pellet I tried was the RWS Superdome that so many people love. The first 10 pellets made a 1.119-inch group. It’s actually too close to the second group of RS pellets to see the difference, but that’s what the caliper read when I measured it. And these pellets hit the target in approximately the same place as the JSBs even though they’re heavier.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RWS Superdome group1 10 meters
The first group of 10 RWS Superdome pellets went into 1.119 inches at 10 meters.

The second group of Superdomes wasn’t quite as tight as the first. One stray pellet that I hesitate to call a flier landed below the main group, opening it up to 1.243 inches. But that’s still the best that Daisy said to expect from this gun!

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RWS superdome2 10 meters
The second group of 10 RWS Superdome pellets went into 1.1243 inches at 10 meters.

But wait –
Well — there you have 4 groups that are all significantly better than any of the groups I got in the last test. The Daisy model 35 can shoot after all — just like our reader said. I wondered if there was any more accuracy beyond what the gun had already delivered. So, I fired a fifth group, this time with JSB RS pellets. Instead of 6 pumps per shot, I gave it the full 10 pumps for each shot. This time, they all landed in 0.76 inches, or as close to three-quarters of an inch as it’s possible to get.

Daisy model 35 multi-pump air rifle RS group3 10 meters
Ten pumps tightened each shot to deliver almost a three-quarter-inch group. JSB RS pellets, again.

Obviously, using the right pellets made all the difference in the world. That’s a lesson I’ll try not to forget. Even an inexpensive airgun like the Daisy 35 deserves a fair chance to perform its best.

What’s next?
I would love to press the 35 into service as a dart gun, but the tiny breech prevents the loading of darts. I may be able to load them through the muzzle, but you’ll have to wait to find out because I seem to have misplaced my .177-caliber darts. But there’s still 25 yards to test, so you haven’t seen the last of this airgun.

Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle: Part 3

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2


Daisy’s new Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle is designed for youth. It’s a smoothbore with several interesting features.

Today is accuracy day, and I know a lot of you have been waiting to see what this smoothbore Daisy Powerline model 35 multi-pump air rifle can do. Because it’s a multi-pump, I experimented a little with the number of pumps, but all groups were 10 shots at the stated distance.

Not a rifle
Before I start the report, here’s a little nomenclature lesson. Our UK readers should know this far better than our U.S. readers since they’re quite particular about calling guns exactly what they are. Americans, on the other hand, often refer to a long gun as a rifle, regardless of whether it is rifled or not. In this day, when there are no more buck-and-ball smoothbores or muskets to contend with, I suppose it’s understandable — but it isn’t correct. And, when we encounter a real smoothbore like this model 35 Daisy, we make the mistake of calling it a rifle. Heck, even Daisy calls it a rifle, but it isn’t. It’s a gun, by the strictest definition of the term. So, I’m calling it a gun — not a rifle.

Let’s begin the report.

Loading
I said last time that the pellets were prone to falling into the BB hole at the rear of the loading trough. Reader GenghisJan said he pushes the bolt forward to block the hole after cocking but not far enough to interfere with the skirts of the pellets being loaded. I tried his method and found that it works, but the loading area is still too small for me to roll the pellet in the way some other folks advised. So, I continued to let it drop over the receiver with the muzzle pointed straight down. That works for me nearly all the time.

Accuracy
I thought I would first test the gun rested at 10 meters. If it turned out to be accurate, I would then back up to 25 yards in a separate test. But if it wasn’t accurate at 10 meters (11 yards), there was no hope for it at the longer distance.

I used a 6 o’clock hold; and although the front sight has a white dot, I was able to mask it entirely by lighting the target brightly and shooting in a dark room. So, the maximum sighting precision was used on every shot.

Pellets were first, and the first pellet tested was the 7.9-grain Crosman Premier. I pumped the gun 6 times per shot because that seemed like a good place to begin.

The performance on target, however, is not very good. I’m not showing the customary dime next to the group because I had to photograph the first group while the target was still taped to the backer board. Not all 10 pellets remained on the target, and this was the only way to show the actual size of the group.


One of the 10 Crosman Premier pellets missed the target paper entirely (to the right). The black bull is approximately 1-3/16″ diameter (30mm), and this group is about three inches in width.

After that group, I thought perhaps my technique was bad or maybe the pellet was wrong, so next I tried the RWS Hobby pellet.


RWS Hobbys were no better at 10 meters! Another pellet missed the target to the right and this “group” undoubtedly measures in excess of 3″ across.

At this point, I examined the pellet holes and thought perhaps the pellets weren’t stable in flight. Each hole seems to have a tear to one side, as if the pellet passed through slightly off-axis. Next, I tried a different pellet and a different number of pump strokes.

Daisy Superior Match Grade pellets
Don’t search for these pellets online. The ones I have date back to the 1980s and have not been retained in the Daisy line. They’re starting to show signs of corrosion but haven’t turned white yet. I shot them on 5 pumps and, surprisingly, they turned in the best group to this point. They were grouped about 2-1/2″ above the aim point, however.


Ten obsolete Daisy target pellets made this group, which is the best one made to this point in the test. It measures 2.201″ between centers and stayed on the target paper.

The “accuracy” improvement is so minimal, though, that I don’t think anyone needs to mourn the loss of this pellet. It’s a lightweight wadcutter, if you want to experiment.

Like the first two pellets, most of the holes with this one also seemed to have the telltale tear on one side, so I thought 10 pumps might solve the problem. Would going faster make the pellet any more stable? Ten pumps did bring the pellets back to the aim point — sort of.


Ten pumps did nothing to improve the group of Daisy target pellets. In fact, one of the three pellets to the right (probably the one closest to the target) missed the target paper entirely.

Summary of pellet accuracy
Obviously, I’m not going to shoot this gun at 25 yards and risk putting pellets into the wall. We wondered how accurate a smoothbore might be, and I must say that I’m a little disappointed by the lack of accuracy seen here. I could spend a lot of time chasing after a better pellet, but that’s not time well spent.

On to BBs
BBs were next, and I moved in to 25 feet from the target. Eight feet less might not seem like a lot; but when you’re dealing with something as potentially inaccurate as a BB, it can be. Normally, I would have started with a shot from 12 feet just to make certain the gun was on target, but something told me it was. The first shot was from 25 feet. I shot in the offhand supported position, which means I braced myself against a door jamb.

I used Daisy zinc-plated steel BBs as the ammo, because I’m testing a Daisy gun and because I’ve found them to usually be one of the best BBs on the market. RWS BBs are just as good; but like I said, this is a Daisy gun.

This time, I used a BB-gun target, whose black bull is about the size of a U.S. dime. The normal distance for shooting at this target is 15 feet (offhand); so at 25 feet, I was under a slight disadvantage. The lighting was the same as for the 10-meter targets and the sights were just as sharp as before.


Ten BBs from 25 feet offhand supported produced the second-tightest group of the entire test. It measures 2.277″ between centers.

Don’t go making any assumptions about the four BBs that landed together just above the bull. They were shot and sighted exactly the same as the other 6 shots and are just a coincidence. This is where 5-shot groups tell you much less, because notice there’s a fifth shot in the black just below the group. I have no idea when that was shot in the series of shots, but some writers will make that the reality and explain away the other holes — or just not show them!


Wow! A little Photoshop fakery and this “5-shot” group looks like a winner!

Bottom line
I liked the Daisy Powerline model 35 until it came to accuracy. Then, it seemed to be an adequate BB gun, but not up to par with pellets. I guess those little spiral scratches in the barrel mean something after all!

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