by B.B. Pelletier

Update on Tom/B.B.: I spent most of Easter Sunday at the hospital. Tom is off the ventilator and breathing on his own. I hope that he can stay that way and not be placed back on the ventilator through the night. He’s hoarse right now, but is able to vocalize a bit. All his tests and vital signs are normal, so things are looking quite good as I write this late Sunday night.

Now, on to today’s blog, which originally appeared in The Airgun Letter in March 2000.

The 693 is an exciting and attractive action BB pistol.

The 693 is a half-nickel/half-black variation of Daisy’s model 93. It’s a 15-shot BB repeater fed from a hidden in-line quick-change clip that resides inside the top “slide.” To load the clip outside the gun, one hand holds down the spring-loaded follower while the other dumps BBs one at a time through the feed hole. It’s just a bit fiddly until you get the knack of it. Once the BBs are all in, release the follower and make sure it’s bearing against the BBs, then drop the clip into its slot and close the top, making the gun ready to fire. For those who shoot their guns a lot, Daisy sells a 3-pack of spare clips.

The spring-loaded BB clip slips into the top of the pistol, where it’s hidden from view.

The 693 is a double-action-only pistol, meaning that each pull of the trigger also cocks the hammer. That’s not the piece sticking up at the rear of the slide, but the actual hammer hidden inside the gun. What appears to be an external hammer on the rear of the slide is just a casting and completely nonfunctional, as is the slide release.

The trigger-pull is light, long and only hindered by a small amount of creep, so it’s easy to stay on target when shooting. As Elmer Keith used to tell his students, use the resistance of the double-action trigger-pull to stabilize the gun in your hand. This is helped, no doubt, by the extra-wide trigger blade, which I happen to like.

The gun has a cast metal frame (that’s the silver part) with mostly plastic parts. Although it’s very light, at 20 oz., it’s full-sized and feels good to an adult hand.

Notice the extended rectangular block coming out from the back of the grip. That’s the grip safety, and it’s functional. Unless it’s depressed, you can pull the trigger all you want but nothing will happen–just like the ones on firearms.

With the left grip removed, access is gained to the CO2 cartridge compartment. The large thumbscrew under the grip forces the CO2 cartridge into the piercing pin.

The pistol is powered by one CO2 cartridge inside the grip. The left grip panel pops away from the gun, revealing the CO2 cartridge compartment and mechanism. Remember to put a drop of Crosman Pellgunoil on the tip of each CO2 cartridge and drop it in the well neck-up. Then, simply screw the thumbscrew at the bottom of the grip until the cartridge is pierced.

Daisy reports a muzzle velocity of 400 f.p.s. for all their similar gas BB guns. When I chronoed the 693, it was on a cool day and we used the unmarked BBs Daisy sent with the gun. I’m not sure, but they look like Precision Ground Shot under a 10X jeweler’s loupe.

Daisy 693 pistol
66 deg. F – Muzzle at start screen
10 shots – 5.3-gr Daisy BBs

High……..389 fps
Low……..379 fps
Average……..385 fps
Extreme spread……..10 fps
Standard deviation……..4 fps
Muzzle energy……..1.75 ft-lbs

Ten shots were fired from a distance of 15 feet. Two of them are in the white–one cutting the black at 2 o’clock, and the other is in the 5-ring at 7:30. The sights are pretty much where they should be for this distance. The long, smooth trigger-pull helps you center the shots, which is nice because the pistol is double-action-only.

Shots were taken at approximately 15-second intervals to allow the gun to warm up. This is a normal procedure I use because CO2 is a coolant gas. By rapidly firing any CO2 gun, the internal mechanism is chilled by the rapidly expanding gas, and the cool parts chill the gas from the next shot, resulting in lower velocity. This doesn’t mean you can’t fire the pistol as fast as you can pull the trigger; it will work fine that way. It’s just a consideration I use for reporting the velocities so the gun doesn’t take an unnecessary hit in the consistency department. If the 693 were a target pistol, the lowering of velocities through rapid fire might be a concern; but with a fun gun, it doesn’t matter that much.

Throughout the test, I seemed to get about 60 good shots from a CO2 cartridge. It’s fairly easy to track because the magazine holds 15. All you have to do is count the number of magazines, and you have the total.

Accuracy is more or less minute-of-cardboard-box, as befits a smoothbore pistol. Part of that is due to the double-action trigger. Through training, you can expect your scores to climb.

One benefit of the lower velocity and nearness to the target is that you get immediate feedback of where your BBs are going. After a few shots, instinct takes over and you can plaster the target without reference to the sight–which is what this little gun is all about, I suppose.

It’s a fun gun, meant for a good time of informal target shooting and nothing too serious–a lineup of plastic soldiers in a sandbox, balloons, Necco wafers, etc. It’s certainly not meant for hunting or serious competition.

As always when shooting steel BBs, you must wear safety glasses at all times. That also goes for any observers who happen to be around. Steel BBs can rebound from hard targets with nearly the same force they went downrange, so play it safe.