Home | 

Daisy Powerline 953 Targetpro – Part 4

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

In Part 3 of the Daisy 953 report, I substituted a scope for the fiberoptic sights so I could get the best groups this rifle is capable of producing. I also shot 20-shot groups in an attempt to show the real accuracy and not just some tight groups that might have occurred randomly. I promised in that report to return and test the rifle with target sights in the future. Today is that day.

The reason this test took so long is because the 953 doesn’t accommodate target sights that readily. I spent more than an hour trying different front sights and could find none in my collection that worked. The Daisy globe front sight is no doubt the one to get if you’re buying, but I don’t happen to own one and didn’t want to bug Pyramyd Air for it. I had a different idea. If I couldn’t locate what I needed in my collection of sights, I would just ask AirForce if I could borrow one of their new target sight sets. Daisy doesn’t offer a set, but you can combine that front globe with either the Avanti precision rear diopter sight or the much cheaper Daisy 5899 receiver sight.

I was just looking for a good excuse to try the AirForce set once more, and after I relate my experience, you may be glad I did. This set was a production set that included a 4.2mm front aperture sight. AirForce makes the ghost ring inserts that put a ring around the bull without any connecting lines. The diameter of the insert is proprietary, but they told me they’re working on an adapter for the front globe that would allow you to use standard inserts. Their inserts are wider, so they give a larger image of the target, which helps when things become confusing in a match.

I’d already mounted a Beeman Sport Aperture rear sight on the gun in hopes of locating a front sight that would work, so I proved that the Beeman can do the job. Of course, I have no idea if it goes high enough or low enough to work with other front sights, which is a pretty important question. That was why the AirForce set was so good.

I installed the front globe after running the globe as low as it could go. Installation was quick and easy. And the rear sight just slid into place and locked down. Total installation time was under 15 minutes, and after the time I wasted hunting for sights that even fit, it seemed like an answer to prayer. But that wasn’t the best part.

You know my 10-minute sight-in procedure for scopes? Well, it works for iron sights, too. And it took me all of three minutes to sight-in the rifle with the AirForce set. Leaving the front globe as low as it would go, I shot at 10 feet and adjusted the rear aperture up on its standard until I was in the black. Job finished! The results were so dramatic that I’m taking the time to show you the sight-in target. If you don’t appreciate why I was so happy with this result, you have never shot a gun in your life.


Sight-in took three shots and three minutes at 10 feet. Easy!

After sight-in, I knew I was close to being on target; and as I had lots of things to do in the test, I didn’t refine my sight picture any more. I went to work at 10 yards.

I knew from the work done in Part 3 of this report that RWS R10 pellets were going to be good, so I went right to them. Instead of 20 shots, I fired only 10. The group isn’t as large as it would be with 20, but it’s still pretty valid.


Ten RWS R10 pellets at 10 meters from a rested gun. This is pretty tight! It measures 0.463″. The target is shown exactly as it was held in the backstop, so the pellets were landing high and slightly to the left.

Chinese match pellets
You can’t buy these Chinese match pellets anymore, but I laid in a big supply when I was competing. They continue to be as good or better than the R10, depending on which gun is used.


Ten Chinese target pellets at 10 meters. This group is a little smaller than the R10 group, at 0.429″.

H&N Match pellets
Sometimes H&N Match will challenge the R10/Chinese pellets, but clearly the 953 is not the gun for them.


Ten H&N Match pellets at 10 meters. This group is larger than the other two, at 0.663″.

And now it’s time to tell you about a curious phenomenon. Every time the rifle fired, it moved slightly sideways to the left. I could find no reason for this, as the gun was laid directly on the sandbag. All I know is that it happened. And the groups of R10s and H&N Match seem to spread sideways.

And now at 20 yards
Well, that was interesting, but I wasn’t finished. One reader had asked me to test the rifle with JSB Exact heavies at 20 yards. I had only 8 pellets of that type on hand, so I shot them, and then followed up with a 10-shot group of Beeman Kodiaks. The results were very telling.


Eight JSB Exact 10.3-grain domes at 20 yards. This is quite a remarkable group from a gun in this price and power range. It measures 0.903″. Just what the reader told me to expect.


Ten Beeman Kodiaks at 20 yards. Oh, my gosh! What a difference from the JSBs. It measures 1.474″ between the centers of the two widest shots.

Now, while I was stalling for time, DB did a power modification to his 953 and boosted the power significantly. He added 70 f.p.s., which to a gun in this power range is remarkable. So, the 953 is turning out to be a real gem. As long as you understand that it isn’t a powerhouse or a hunting rifle, I can’t think of too many plinkers that are better. And when the price comes into the equation, I think we’re looking at the leader.

I plan on beating the drum hard for the 953 this holiday season, and now you guys know why. And The Trout Underground is perhaps the reader who influenced this second look the most. So, thanks!

58 thoughts on “Daisy Powerline 953 Targetpro – Part 4”

  1. B.B.
    My 853 does something that may have something to do with your sideways movement.
    When my rifle fires and the pressure is relieved from the pump arm, the pump arm drops slightly.
    Could this be causing your rifle to move on the bag?


  2. B.B. –

    I went to part 3 to see the results with the scope, and it looks like part 3 and today's part 4 are identical, except part 3 has pictures you would expect to find in today's part 4 blog.

  3. B.B. and all…
    OT tip for those shooting at different distances….
    To help keep from getting fooled by bogus POI you need to make sure that the target is in fact level.
    Get a cheap torpedo level from Wallyworld and check your target for level every time before you start shooting.

    The target can LOOK straight and level because your eyes fool you, but may be extremely crooked.

    You could also inprovise a self leveling target holder.


  4. Hi B.B., Can you tell us a little more about the PCP pistol Crossman is coming out with in the late fall. Is it a single shot or a repeater? Will it have fixed sights? What is the range of footpounds it will produce in .22 caliber. Will there be any sound supression like in the Marauder.
    (First 100 Marauder owner)

  5. Movement – I was going to say pump arm too, but twotalon beat me too it. When I use a rest, I lay my hand on the rest and the airgun on my hand. I wonder if a bipod would help for non competitors. Perhaps more attention to a consistent hold like springers is needed. I think the design should allow for the pump arm to recede into the stock more.

    .400 seems right for the 953 at 10m with open sights and .200 with scope. I sometimes average 5 groups of 5. I still get flyer sometimes with JSB, but I'm not good at checking out pellets sometimes. I'll have to check some more tips out about the pellet seams, weights, pre=diameter checks and loading.

  6. I mounted a Beeman Sport Aperture rear sight on mine and called Daisy and ordered the front globe sight from them for $5. You don't need the muzzle brake part, just the globe which fits on the dovetail already on the muzzle brake of the rifle.

    Buy extra clamps though. They are plastic and break easily if you accidentally drop the gun on the front sight. Clamps are 50 cents each so they won't break the bank.

    I also bought all the inserts at 50 cents each and there were about 6 of them.

    The gun shoots one hole groups with almost every pellet I have tried at 10 meter but likes RWS hobbies least and H & N match kugeln and finale match best.

    And compasseco makes a chinese "match" pellet which rivals the H & N's for accuracy. Those pellets are only a very very small difference in accuracy and work very well in most of my other .177's also! For every day work at about 1/3 the price of the H & N's they are the way to go.

    Of course R10 pellets are as accurate as any of the pellets.

  7. ajvenom, I think it depends what you are shooting them in.
    In my 853c at 10m I've used them both and have not noticed a difference.
    However, in my Gamo Compact (which has a velocity of only 400fps) there is a real difference. In this gun, at 10m I was getting tearing, oblong holes in the target, and rested had a pellet spread (10 shots) of perhaps an inch. When I switched to the lighter pistol pellet I was getting nice crisp holes and rested could hold 1/2" without too much trouble.
    But as I said, in the 500fps Avante, pretty much a wash.

  8. B.B.

    Its me again. In the article you mentioned that DB was able to increase the power of his 953. I am impressed with mine, but more power would be handy. do you know how he managed that?


  9. OT…don't ya just love guns shops?
    I just had to run down to my local dealer to pick up some pellets for this weekend…man that Nightstalker goes through them faster than you know what through a goose!
    Anyhoo, they had just gotten in a Weihrauch HW97 (.22, blue laminated stock) that was absolutely gorgeous. Had a look at the REAL Walther P99 plus a real Beretta CX-4 storm.
    Yup…a nice capuccino and a $5000 spending spree in the place and I'd be a happy man!!
    CowBoyStar Dad

  10. BB,
    I think this one is a no-brainer for anyone that wants to test the waters for 10M on a budget. It really doesn't seem like the Daisy barrel looses too much over the L/W on the 853 — at least not enough to matter on the cellar and barn circuit that most of us compete in:). The only reason I didn't get one when I got my 490 was the amount of plastic, but it appears that the stock is well executed and the rest is forgivable given the price/performance. Also, I've modified my wood stock or nothing stance, having been impressed with a couple of new-fangle laminates and synthetic stocked rifles:).

    Matt (or anyone else that's curious),
    My long rifle kit is pretty much done, minus a patchbox if I do one.
    Have a look at:
    The cherry color came out pretty nice in the end and I added some brass plates to save stock damage from inserting/removing the barrel pins.

  11. I always thought synthetic or perhaps it was laminated stocks were preferred for target shooting. I heard of people using jb weld or 2 part epoxy to fill the pump cup divit for extra fps.

    To be honest, I nearly gave away my 953 after I first got it, but with a trigger mod, AO scope and the right pellet, it fills the addiction to accuracy for those on a tight budget. I do like wood stocks better, but not a fan of daisy's.

  12. Jeff,

    Imagine a Crosman 2300T as a pneumatic. Single-shot and .177 caliber. That will be the first offering. After that, I believe Crosman will improvise, which is where the .22 comes in. If the .177 pulls 12 FP, expect the .22 to get 14-15 with the same length barrel.

    Sound suppression is unknown, but they certainly know how, don't they?


  13. B.B.

    Ah, I've been waiting for this for a long time as a match-up to the IZH 61. The numbers seems clear: 10 shot groups with the 953 equal the best five shot group you got with the IZH 61. With the .7 reduction to 5 shot groups–not to mention the consistency, the 953 comes out the winner in accuracy. In its favor, the IZH 61 still has great durability, a fine trigger and more rapid follow-up shots, and I have a private suspicion that even the final IZH 61 in your test might not have shown the real potential of this rifle. I finish every shooting session with a smile on my face. Nevertheless, the numbers are pretty clear. Thanks for getting this settled.

    Wayne, I think the wisdom is that the classic Weaver hold allows more rapid lateral movement than any other, so it's very much the contender in tactical applications.

    Mike, that's outstanding pistol shooting that gets into the realm of Keith himself. He claimed to be able to shoot birds on the wing at over 100 yards.

    Dave, when did the London police start carrying sidearms? I believe I have heard of the close-contact position you describe, but it's not the common one. The more orthodox one is a bladed stance with the lead elbow up and the gun held in the rear hand, next to the torso and slightly canted so that the slide does not get caught in clothing. This is supposed to be a better fighting position although it does not transition as easily to a shooting position.

    BG_Farmer, that's a great-looking rifle. Did you start with a stock to refine or did you cut that out of wood yourself? What are the pros and cons of cherry wood for the stock? I think you're wise to start with percussion with the flintlock as a later option. I'm interested in the history of these guns myself. The technology is interesting enough but the use to which it was put–going out in the bush with the inherent unreliability of the flintlock–still has me shaking my head.


  14. BB,
    Thanks. I'm happy at this point, although there are about a dozen things that I would have liked to come out better:).

    This is the (two-piece) stock that came with the kit. The stock is shaped and inlet near to requirements, but a bit of work is necessary to make components fit and add personal touches.
    I don't know what wood it is exactly: "select hardwood" from somewhere, possibly in Spain where the kits and rifles are made. It may actually be some form of maple, since it has some curl, but the grain and figure are fairly subdued, so I figured I would go for a cherry tone as a sort of test run for real cherry when I get around to it.
    Real Cherry is a fine stock material, apparently only second to curly maple at the long rifle's peak; its only real drawback is that the grain and figure are not as stunning as prime pieces of maple, with the advantage that it is easier to work in fine carvings. Walnut, it seems, was not the predominant favorite it is today until somewhat later.
    Incidentally, when Traditions sells the assembled rifle, they stain it a very dark walnut, which doesn't seem right to me — one of the few cases where the "model" I built came out nicer than the picture on the box:).
    Percussion was an easy choice, especially since I am crazy enough to go hunting with it. Many flintlocks were converted to caps at some point — I don't think the actual users held nostalgia and historical integrity in high esteem and suspect they had the same opinion of flintlocks as you:).

  15. "And The Trout Underground is perhaps the reader who influenced this second look the most.

    This is akin to those moments in school where you were dozing in the back, the teacher said something you didn't hear, and everyone turned to look at you (if you're having a nightmare, you're also naked).

    Am I in trouble, or what?

    Seriously, I experienced the same jump to the left when I was trying to determine which pellet was best in my 953.

    Finally, I've been shooting the heck out of my Marauder (I'll get back to the 100 yard range soon), and accuracy had diminished to the point that I wondered what kind of crack I'd been smoking.

    Instead of getting myself drug tested, I decided to clean the thing… and discovered the barrel had leaded up something awful – and I was shooting JSB Exact Heavies.

    Suddenly, pellet lube wasn't just something to test…

  16. Great report B.B. I've really enjoyed my 953. I've got to ask, however, why you didn't use the five-shot clips to load. They work swell for me. I agree the single shot option is difficult.

    Unlike others, my gun likes RWS Hobby pellets best, by far.


  17. Anyone out there ever use a Walther PS22 red dot sight?

    Any pros, cons, better suggestions? Going to be used on a CO2 rifle or pistol. Clearance is not an issue (like NightStalker or CX4)…


  18. Trout Underground,

    I used to go to class naked. It was always that college course I had signed up for and then forgot to drop. They were having their final on the day I remembered and showed up.

    Nowadays I just step out the front door and it locks behind me with nobody home and I'm naked. I would think my neighbors would make a formal complaint by now but apparently they have a high tolerance for pain.


  19. Woohoo… I got a shout out from BB.

    Yes did the mod found on the yellow. Very easy. And it really tightened the power spread. While testing I had to keep a close watch on the Chrony to make sure new readings were recorded. Otherwise I'd think it missed it because the numbers kept repeating.

    Still not happy with the trigger though. Need to go back in and try again.

    Have not shot it enough to comment much on accuracy. At 10-yards. Bang one one hole groups with almost any pellet. At 20-yards it opens up and more important the POI shifts. So correction is a pain.

    Despite that concern; I'm thinking my nephew is going to love this 953 for a very long time.

    Oh… I diid not touch the crown. I think Daisy intended it to be flat. Think I'll send them an email and ask.


  20. pbandj & BB,
    Doing a guest blog here on the 953 power mod would feel like stealing someone else's work. It is fairly well documented over on the yellow. I just used that work and followed the instructions.

    I did turn it into a nice MS Word doc though if anyone wants a copy I'd be happy to email it. But the work is not mine other than cut and past to making print nice. I left the owners name in the doc to remind everyone who produced the original work.

    It is really easy. In the end I did go with two part epoxy called plastic weld. I've used that epoxy for many projects and it seems to hold up very well over time.

    The key is to get the plastic part very clean before adding the epoxy. Alcohol works well.

    I like to score or ruff up the plastic a bit before adding the epoxy. You can use a knife or sandpaper to rough it up.


  21. BB
    Am I the only one that's figured out the
    secret to easy loading the 953 with a
    scope and the 1 shot tray ?
    The tray slides easily in and out,so you
    just slide it part way out with the tip
    of your finger so that the (trough) for
    the pellet is just past the edge of the
    stock:) the tray still has plenty of room in the track to hang there while you lay a pellet on it.I just hold the pellet on the ends with thumb and forefinger,lay it on the (trough) and
    push it back in.It's really instinctive
    for me and I can go through more pellets
    faster than loading the clips.And I have 5 clips.
    Hope this works for others as well as
    it does for me:)

    That is a really nice lookin rifle:)
    You did a much better job than I did on
    a.50 cal pistol.But so did the guy who got it from me!I hope you have as much fun shootin it as I did.The Great thing
    is the variable power to meet your needs
    kinda like a multi-pump:)

  22. Volvo,
    One of the few places I wouldn't consider bedliner, aside from a truck bed (of course they get scuffed, they're truck beds):). That is a really neat repair, although I'm betting that's not your new 55!

    That's great — was it the CVA kit? It may be the same one. I imagine it would still be in the box or irreparably messed up if I had tried one at 16:). Going to see if it blows up in my face tomorrow!

  23. BG_Farmer,
    You're going to like your Kentucky' you're like it a lot. Mine shot like CowboyStarDad's magnetic pellets. Hit exactly where aimed.

    Well mine actually looks like it was done by a 16-year old. Not too bad; but not perfect either.

    Mine is browned. Traded a gun smith. He browned my gun and I shot new paint on his 67 T-Bird. The gun finish turned on beautiful.


  24. I have a question for you guys. I have a 953 which I bought a couple of weeks ago from Pyramyd and have already shot approx 500 rounds. Should I clean the barrel to maintain accuracy?



  25. DB

    When you say 'on the yellow', you're referring to yellowforum.com, right? I've checked there multiple times looking for a post on how to increase the power from the 953, but all i've been able to find said to just fill i the piston face. Is that all you did?
    If possible, could you please give me the name of the post/thread you followed to do your modifications?


  26. anonymous – nice job on the single pellet tray trick, a little pellgun oil let it slide a little easier too. I shoot single try becasue it seems more accurate and less chance of damaging the pellet sometimes.

    GMCI – intially it's good to clean the barrel on a new air rifle. You can search the blog for some good tips. At low fps you shouldn't need to clean very often.

    When I recieved my new 953 I used the JB and a brass brush and then an oil patch followed by a dry patch.

    Now, only when the groups go bad about once a year), I use a lightly oiled patch. A cleaning pellet would probably work well too and having a better chance of not messing up the crown on the barrel.

    I don't think it wll do any harm to clean after shooting a tin of pellets, but if it's shooting good, it's probably best not to take any chances.

  27. I love the trick of sliding the single shot tray in and out to load. That's one of those ideas that seem simple and obvious once a really sharp thinker explains it.

    Just for the record, I've gotten .937" twenty-shot groups at 50 ft. with my 953, using RWS Hobby 7.0 gr. pellets. I'm not as good a shot as B.B., but that's not too far from his 20 yard groups. It's a testament to the gun.


  28. PurcHawk,
    You can also use the 5-shot clip as a single shot loader.

    Just push it out to reveal the first hole. Pop in a pellet and then push it back flush. Works very well and is easy.


  29. B.B.

    How do Crosman Premiers perform in this gun, and does it work better with heavy or light pellets? Also, what are some scopes or type of scope you would recommend for it?

  30. Ryan,
    I wish I could wait for BB to answer this before I do but I ain't. I have a 953 and I like it very well. It is pretty darn accurate and only about $70.

    I can answer your pellet question from my personal experience. Keep in mind that my conclusions are influenced by my shooting style and my particular 953, which is stock. Both of these could perform differently in your case. That's the beauty of air guns and the fun of experimenting on your own.

    Here's my 953 findings:

    Crosman Premiers 10.5gr in the cardboard box do not do well at all in my 953. However, I will not shoot anything else in my Talon SS.

    RWS Supermag 9.3gr do not do well.

    RWS R-10 match 8.2gr work pretty good.

    JSB Exact Diabolo 8.4 work the best.

    I have other brands but no info on them regarding the 953. Either they were just ok and not bad enough to flag or I quit testing when I discovered the JSB Exacts.

    I hope this helps and I hope it doesn't run counter to what BB has experienced. But, even if it does you've gained some insight into the fun had by both of us to form our opinions.

    Oh, yeah, if you could pose this question again on the most current blog article, go here:


    Don't be afraid to post off topic questions on any current blog article regardless of it's theme.

    You'll get more interesting answers.


  31. Chuck and Ryan,

    Ryan, listen to Chuck. He shoots a 953 all the time. I only tested one a few times.

    But at the low power/velocity level of the gun I wouldn't expect it to do well with heavy pellets. They just don't stabilize as well.

    Chuck, thank you!


  32. Ryan,

    I forgot the question about the sights. My advice is to get a rear aperture sight and a front globe if you need to for the height. Will someone please tell him which ones to get?

    The reason? You are a 14 year old boy and you need to learn the fundamentals of aiming before graduating to a scope. Learn open sights and you will always understand all sighting devices.

    That's my advice.


  33. Thank you for all of your answers. What I am planning on doing is using open sights first, then graduating to a scope. I have already shot .22s a lot, and I will admit aperture sights are very accurate. It's just that, as you should remember considering you did about me being 14 :P, that I'll be using it mostly for plinking. However, I'll take your recommendations into account; now I just need to know which sight is the best…

  34. This is a pretty typical day for my 953 (single shot clip) with a 4xAO scope at 10M. I generally use RWS R10 rifle match pellets in the tin. After about 5 to 10 warm up shots I usually get groupings (ctc) of:

    .118" with 3 shots
    .157" with 5 shots
    .197" with 10 shots
    .276" with 20 shots

    after about 20 shots I tend to get a flyer, usually from fatigue, rushing a shot, missing a bad pellet when loading the rifle or something uncontrollable.

  35. B.B.,

    I love my Daisy 953. Purchased it about 6-7 months ago, thanks to your previous recommendations and review/testing in parts 1-3.

    I'm just getting back into the sport and having a great time while introducing my son to it – he's hooked too! Great bonding time for this 40 something dad and his 13 year old son.

    The 953 sights seemed to be set OK out of the box at a 10m distance. Somewhere around the first tin of 500 pellets, it (or I) started shooting low. I'm not sure if it is just ME getting used to the fiber optic sights or if the barrel could need cleaning, but I raised the rear sight and it still is shooting low… I am primarily using Daisy Precision Max pellets (not sure if these cause more lead debris than other pellets…) I have used the pelgun oil a few times (1-2 drops each time)just wanting to make sure I have a good seal. Could I have oiled it too much? If the barrel does needs cleaning, what is the best way to clean it without damaging the rifling?

    By the way – I loved the Bronco review. That may have to be my first springer (or maybe I should wait until the "father" gun is available??)

    Thanks for all you do.


  36. Jeff,
    Go here:


    This is the current blog post where more readers will see your question. I have already copied your question there so you should go there for your answer.

    Always use the above web address and you will always go to the current day's postings. Don't be afraid of being off topic. All topics are welcome on the current day postings.


  37. Hi B.B.,
    I left this on one of your earler blogs from 2008,But thought it would be better here.I own a Hakim and would like ti dissasemble it because I have two and would like to swap some parts.I am wodering if there is any tension on the spring,I dont want it to fly all over the place lol.I read your blog on the Hakin,and see you are very familer with it.Any info.you could share will be greatly appreccated. Michael Guzzetti

  38. It is easy to upgrade the sights on the 953 to target sights. The easiest (and best quality) is to buy a sight set (front and rear)
    – Crosman (made by Gamo)
    – AirForce

    The cheaper/budget option is to get the Air Venturi front sight
    Or call Daisy and buy the same front sight from them.
    And get either the rear sight from either
    – Air Venturi or
    – Daisy rear sight.
    These 2 rear sights are Chinese made clones of the Gamo sight.

    Do NOT get the Daisy 5899 Peep Sight. The sight line is lower than the above sights, and you will have to use the front sight from the Avanti 853.


Leave a Comment