Things I liked:The scope that came with my Crosman 1000X would not hold zero and the Williams diopter was an excellent quick fix, and well worth the money. Accuracy from the bench at 33 feet is equal to that of the scope's during the few brief instances when it held zero. Things I would have changed:Wider slots on the elevation and windage locking screws. A smaller apperture and a reference mark on the sliding apperture ramp to facilitate windage adustments. An additional locking screw for the dove tail groove. What others should know:Most shooters, myself included, have a tendancy, when shooting off-hand, to chase the crosshairs; a little wobble leading to a cycle of increased wobbling, finally ending in a jerked trigger. Wobble is less evident with a diopter and they are a joy to use when shooting off-hand.
Rear apperture sights are vastly under-rated. Diopters with a relatively small apperture are a boon to older shooters. They will really sharpen a sight picture. I am 76 and near-sighted. I use a Meritt adjustable apperture and a Lyman 48 sight on my 03A3 Springfield, and have shot many sub-MOA, five-shot, 100 yard groups from the bench. I now switch the Meritt to the Crosman when I'm not shooting the 03A3.
It's too bad Williams doesn't make a FP sight for air rifles.
Things I liked:The price is right and getting four boxes for the price of three, even with shipping costs, makes the Webley pellets a real bargain. The pellets are capable of excellent accuracy equaling that of the best of any I've fired in my vintage Sheridan. Things I would have changed:Nothing. What others should know:The Webley domed pellets because of their length need to spin faster to stabilize them, hence they shoot best at higher velocities. Where shorter pellets shoot well with four pumps, the Webleys needed six.
Between price and accuracy you can't go wrong.
Things I liked:I've been shooting the Daisy 953 for over a year and I'm still impressed by its accuracy. The 953 shoots any pellet of reasonable quality well. I had originally intended to use the front and rear aperture sights I had purchased for the rifle, but since my off-hand shooting with a scope needed vast improvement I decided to mount the scope that came with my Crosman 1000X. I had fitted the Crosman with a Williams aperture because the scope would not hold zero on that rifle, but mounted on the 953, a pneumatic, the scope works perfectly. The 953 is not sensitive to hold and if you follow through you will see the pellet go down range. I find no difference in accuracy firing the air gun as a single shot or a repeater.
Things I would have changed:The rifle is not without faults. It is a tad too light for good off-hand shooting, its length of pull, about 12.25”, is too short for an average size adult, the trigger pull is long and spongy, and it needs something better than fiber optic sights to take full advantage of its inherent accuracy. What others should know:Fortunately the 953's faults are easily corrected. The mounting holes for the butt plate are spaced the same as the holes used on recoil pads for shotguns and center rifles. Rather than buy a recoil pad I lengthened the stock using a scrap piece of black walnut, matching the stock's contours, to bring the length of pull to 13.25”. I improved the trigger using a modification documented on a number of web sites; bear in mind this will void the rifle's warranty. Be aware that you can set the trigger so light that it will release the sear when the bolt is closed. Be safe, a little bit of trigger slack won't hurt your shooting.
Wanting a heavier rifle I purchased two additional barrel weights (the sleeve on which the front sight is mounted) from Daisy. I removed the tapered section from them and shortened the original for a total weighted section, eight inches long, that butts snugly against the fore-end of the stock. I sprayed the weights with flat black Krylon and mounted them with the dove-tails on the top of the barrel so I can switch from scope to apertures with minimal effort.
I can find no difference in accuracy firing the air gun as a single shot or a repeater. The Daisy 953 is a fun gun and, with the barrel weights, scope and the walnut stock extension, it's very attractive air rifle. Don't discount it because it's inexpensive and slow. Its accuracy is not quite at a par with my vintage Walther LVG Special, but it's a close second.
Things I liked:The Daisy 5899 Peep Sight is well worth the price. Sight adjustments are positive and precise and, because of its light weight, the sight is not affected by recoil, staying in position rather than slipping to the rear in the mounting grooves. Things I would have changed:I would prefer a smaller aperture. What others should know:The Daisy 5899 Peep sight can be used on a Crosman 1377 pistol equipped with a steel breech kit and a longer .177 barrel. A standard barrel weight and front sight from a Daisy 953 air rifle are required, but like the 5899 sight they are relatively inexpensive and easy to mount. While the height of the standard barrel weight and sight are ideal, I found the Daisy hooded front sight too high to be of use.
Things I liked:Price and accuracy. Buying eight tins and getting four for the price of three negates the shipping cost. The overall rating of four is the result of poor performance in a low velocity air rifle. Things I would have changed:Nothing What others should know:I benchrest tested the H&N Exceed Econ pellets at ten meters, firing three five-shot groups in six different air rifles. They shot well in five. Groups with the Daisy 953, rated at 500 fps, were abysmal despite the fact that it is one of my more accurate rifles. The pellets proved most accurate in my vintage Walther LVG Special (650 fps, chronographed with RWS Basics) and, surprisingly, my pneumatic Crosman 1377 which is equipped a scope, stock and a 24 inch barrel. The results with the choked barreled LVG were as expected since it shoots even substandard pellets well. The pellets were not accurate in the 1377 using the usual six pumps; however nine pumps produced quarter inch groups. My Slavia 634, rated around 750 fps, shot three groups measuring 3/8 inch. Since the test, I have been shooting the Econs exclusively in the Slavia for off-hand practice with consistently good results. My Crosman Vantage and Quest 1000, both equipped with Williams 5D sights, averaged around a 1/2 inch. The groups, with three or four shots cutting each other, were all enlarged by flyers. Since both Crosmans are hold sensitive and I dislike the artillery hold I will attribute the flyers to shooter error since I've had similar results with match grade pellets in these rifles. The only negative comment I can make about the Econs is they may require velocities 600 fps and above to be shot accurately. Whether velocities above 800 fps have an adverse effect on accuracy has yet to be determined.