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Education / Training Shooting the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 at 10 meters

Shooting the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 at 10 meters

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

Daisy Avanti Champion 499
Daisy Avanti Champion 499 is the world’s most accurate BB gun.

This test of the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 at 10 meters was requested a couple weeks back by a blog reader, and several of you seconded the request. It was in response to a discussion of the spin rate of projectiles and what benefits it conveys.

After I agreed to write the report, another reader asked me to test not only the Avanti Precision Ground Shot that’s made specifically for the 499, but also some more common BBs. So, today, we’ll see how the 499 performs at the 5-meter distance for which it was designed, as well as at 10 meters. I think we’re in for some interesting ballistics.

The 499
For those who don’t know, the Avanti Champion 499 is the world’s most accurate BB gun. It’s the only BB gun to compete each year in the International BB gun Championships at Bowling Green, Kentucky. Like the wheels and axels on Soap Box Derby racers (the All-American Soap Box Derby is an annual race where children race home-built cars powered by gravity, alone), the 499 is so specialized and ahead of the competition that there’s nothing that can touch it. Unlike derby wheels, though, anyone can own a 499 because they’re sold through specialized airgun dealers like Pyramyd AIR (along with their special ammunition).

Although it may look like a Red Ryder to the casual observer, the 499 is as special among BB guns as a Formula One racer is among automobiles.

The 499 is a single-shot BB gun that has a precision smoothbore barrel. It’s loaded through the muzzle by dropping a BB down a funnel-shaped spout, where it enters the true barrel and rolls to the rear to be captured by a magnet. Regular BBs take 0.50 to 1.00- seconds to roll down the barrel, while the Precision Ground Shot can take up to 5 seconds.

The gun was developed by Daisy for their National BB Gun Championship Match. They noticed that coaches were ordering many shot tubes for their teams’ model 99 and 299 target BB repeaters that were used in competition at the time. The coaches were looking for the most uniform barrels that would shoot the best. When Daisy recognized that, they simply designed a gun to be accurate from the start. Once the 499 became a reality, all other BB guns were obsolete because nothing else could keep up.

For over a decade, the gun and ammunition was available only directly from Daisy, until I discovered it while writing The Airgun Letter. The guns were hand-built and Daisy didn’t really think they could sell them to non-target shooters because of the extra cost; but once the word was out about how accurate they are, everything changed. They’re probably still made by hand today, and I’m sure they’re not one of Daisy’s most popular products; but if you like accuracy, you really should look into getting one of these.

Baselining the gun
Before I shoot at 10 meters, I thought it would be nice to see what the gun can do at the regulation distance of 5 meters. I could have found old images for this because I’ve done this test many times before, but I always welcome the opportunity to shoot this marvelous little gun. I shot it on NRA 15-foot targets because I don’t have any of the slightly larger official 5-meter BB-gun targets on hand. The NRA is out of touch with BB gun competition and is stiill using the 15-foot target, where the rest of the world has backed up another 1.4 feet to 5 meters.

For this test, I selected three types of ammunition — Crosman Copperhead BBs, Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs and Avanti Precision Ground Shot. When I load the gun, I listen to the BB roll down the barrel and strike the magnet at the bottom. Copperheads roll the fastest — taking about a half-second to make the trip.

Crosman Copperhead BBs
I shot 10 shots with each BB at 5 meters. I used the back of a chair as a rest because this was a test of the gun — not me. There were no called fliers, and the 10 Copperheads grouped in 0.574 inches. That measurement is approximate, as BBs do not tear clean holes in target paper.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 Copperhead BBs 5 meters

At 5 meters, 10 Crosman Copperhead BBs tore this hole, which measures 0.574 inches between centers.

Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs
Next up were Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs at 5 meters. These are ever-so-slightly larger than Copperheads and take 0.50 to 1.50 seconds to roll down the barrel. They made a 10-shot group that measures 0.361 inches between centers — and keep in mind this is approximate, at best. But you can see in the photo that this group is tighter than the first one.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 Daisy Zinc BBs 5 meters

Ten Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs made this 0.361-inch group.

The final group was shot with Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot that is specially made for the 499. If anything is going to group well in the gun, this is. Ten shots made a group measuring 0.224 inches between centers. The hole on the target tells all, as it is either a score of 99 or 98 — it’s too close to tell.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 Avanti Precision BBs 5 meters

Avanti Precision Ground Shot shows what the 499 can really do. Ten went into this 0.224-inch group at 5 meters. This is almost a perfect score.

On to 10 meters
Now that we know how well the gun can shoot, it’s time to back up to 10 meters and test what we all came to see — namely, how well the 499 does at 10 meters. This is the first time I’ve done this, so I am just as interested in the results as all of you.

Crosman Copperhead BBs
First up were the Copperheads. I didn’t change the sight setting, so we’ll forgive the placement of the shots in this test. Ten shots landed in a group that measures 1.118 inches between centers. That’s actually slighly smaller than double the 5-meter group size (which would be 1.148″); so, allowing for the measurement error, it seems to be right-on.

Notice the two shots that landed below the main group. There were no called fliers, so those BBs are probably not the same size as the others.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun

At 10 meters, 1o Crosman Copperhead BBs made a 1.118-inch group. Those two at the bottom were not called as fliers.

Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs
Next up were the Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs that do so well in this gun for normal BBs. Ten of them made a group measuring 0.828 inches. That’s larger than double the 5-meter group size, which is what I expected at 10 meters. Again, there were no called fliers, and one stray BB hit below the main group.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun
Daisy Zinc-Plated BBs did well at 10 meters. This is a 0.828-inch group. The lone shot at the bottom was not a called flier.

Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot
Finally, I shot the Avanti Preciaion Ground Shot at 10 meters. The picture tells the story. Ten shots landed in a group that measures 0.755 inches across. This group is larger than double the 5-meter group with the same BB, which is what we would expect. Let’s talk about that next.

Daisy Avanti Champion 499 BB gun
This is where the pedigree of the Avanti Precision Ground Shot shows up. Ten made this 0.755-inch group with no real stragglers.

Why aren’t the groups just double the size at 10 meters?
This is a common misconception that I’d like to address. Groups don’t open up on a linear scale as distance increases. A 10-meter group should not be twice as large as a 5-meter group. And here we must differentiate between a spin-stabilized conical bullet and a round ball fired from a smoothbore.

A ball that’s not spin-stabilized will deviate much faster than a ball that’s stabilized by the spin introduced by rifling. A rough comparison can be made to a baseball that is intentionally thrown without spin — the famous knuckleball. It will go straight for a short distance, then suddenly deviate wildly and unpredictably from its ballistic path. The comparison is not perfect because a baseball has seams that affect its movement through the air, but the principle is similar.

Don’t run out and buy Avanti Precision Ground Shot for your Red Ryder. That would be like putting premium gasoline into a lawnmower! On the other hand, don’t buy a 499 and then try to shoot it with standard BBs. That’s false economy going the other way. Back up a few feet and look at what you are paying for ammunition, and then buy what makes the most sense.

The 499 is a special gun that’s purpose-built to do one thing — shoot BBs as close to where you aim as possible. I rested the gun for this test, but every year there are children who shoot similar targets offhand in competition.

Thank you!
I would like to thank everyone who requested today’s test because it was something I’ve never done before. Now, we all know what an accurate smoothbore shooting a steel BB can do at 10 meters.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

65 thoughts on “Shooting the Daisy Avanti Champion 499 at 10 meters”

  1. The blog is now posting on time. Thanks to Edith for the adjustment.

    I don’t have any history with bb guns.

    When I was a kid we shot rimfires. Everytime I shoot a .22 it propels me back in time. So many good memories flow back into this experience. The smell. The sound.

    I understand shooting bb guns since they probably trigger similar memories.

    The older I get the more I believe in second and third childhoods since my first was good. I just didn’t think so at the time.


    • When I was a kid, I hunted rabbits with my father on his farm each Fall. My favorite memory of this was breaking open my SxS .410 and smelling the smoke from the 3″ shells that back then were made with high brass and wax-impregnated cardboard tubes.

  2. Eventually the shots spread out like a trumpet bell. So I’ve thought the expression should be “trumpet of fire” not “cone of fire.” It really isn’t a matter of “if.” It is a question of at what range?

    • LOL – I was one of the Ben type acolytes who BB has no tamed.

      From reading other of BB’s blog the Avanti load by dropping a shot down the barrel, hence shot are loaded one at a time. You’d have to engineer a whole loading system for multiple shots. The shot tube & BB match is probably the critical part.

      With Boy Scouts you’re trying to think aim, shoot while trying to make each shot could. A boy scout troop wouldn’t be using suppressive fire against the target line.

        • To load the the Avanti you must drop one shot at the time down the barrel from the muzzle until it falls to the breach end of the barrel. So if you use the barrel & shot you’d have to design a different gun around those to get a multi-shot.

              • It is not likely going to be as accurate as the 499 because you are removing the barrel each time you reload, but it will be pretty good. Get a Red Ryder and do the same thing. You will definitely need some better sights though.

                  • Three of my grand children use the 499 in their 4H shooting classes. They also have Red Ryders to shoot at home.

                    There is no difference in the cocking effort between a Red Ryder and a 499. I am not familiar with the 99 model. But I suspect the key to the increased accuracy of the 499 over the Red Ryder rests in the 499’s shot tube.

                    The 499 is obviously based on the Red Ryder. I suspect 90% of the mechanical parts are the same. Main differences are the feed system and the location of the safety. Other differences are the target sights and a heavier stock.

                    The single shot feature is a good safety feature when these guns are being used by 25 youngsters who are being introduced to shooting. The guns are not loaded until the instructor tells the kids to do so. And once it is shot, you know it is empty.

                    For the shooting school, most of the 499’s have their stocks shortened to varying degrees so really small kids can hold them correctly. The sessions start with everyone finding a gun that fits them.

                    Some of the kids own their own 499’s, and can bring them to shoot with. The rest belong to the school (a 4H unit) and were obtained on a grant from the NRA.

                    It is true that the 499 is the gun used in championship bb gun shooting. I think the real reason for this is to eliminate the gun as a factor in the competition. If all the guns are the same, then it becomes a contest of skill between shooters rather than a contest of accuracy between guns.


                    • I know that this is an out of the box competition gun. But it costs $126 and I want to use for something other than 5m Matches. Also you are wrong about the plunger springs. The red ryder uses a more powerful plunger spring. While the 499 uses a weaker one for consistency. But I am not sure about the dimensions of the plunger springs.

              • You can do that?!?
                I bought a 99 thinking it would be like a 499 repeater but it was not 🙁 it just had a mod25 tube screwed in and my mod 25 isn’t very accurate (less than the RR and Marlin Cowboy which are about on par with each other).

                Ordering a 499 barrel seem like a lovely idea and shouldn’t be too expensive… maybe I could order a few and put one in the 25, the RR and the Marlin too…


                • B.B.,

                  First, thank you for this enlightening and entertaining report!

                  Second, your contrasting the spinning bullet to the non-spinning round ball reminded me of the mini-sniping report in which pellets Mac fired at increasing distances simply landed below the target, but they landed DIRECTLY below. As others have mentioned, this is more of a circularly increasing spread.

                  Finally, this is going back some time, but I recall you writing that one of the factors in Daisy’s decision to make the 499 a single-shot muzzle-loader was that the combination of the tighter bore and slightly larger Avanti shot would make a repeating mechanism difficult to perfect. One would likely end up with a gun that would jam as much as it would feed correctly. So even if it were possible to fit a 499 barrel in a Red Ryder or 99 or 25 and then load the reservoir with Avanti Precision Shot, the result would be a gun that would jam more than Dizzy Gillespie.

                  Les, I have a new Red Ryder and an older 499, so that might be why my results vary, but my Red Ryder cocks easily, but not so easily that I would try to cock it like a Winchester. I do not cock the 499 like a Winchester either — because it is not a repeater. But I COULD cock the 499 like a Winchester if I wanted to. The cocking effort is noticeably easier than the already easy Red Ryder.

                  Also, the Red Ryder’s trigger is noticeably heavier than the very light trigger on my 499. This suggests to me that the mainspring in the Ryder is stronger than the one in the 499. And after reading this report today I chronied both B.B. guns, and my 499 shot Copperheads at 220 fps and the Red Ryder shot them at 330 fps. I am out of Avanti BBs for the time being, so I’ll have to wait to chrony those.

                  They are very different guns in power, handling, and accuracy, at least in my experience.


                  • BTW, I only shot each BB gun once because it’s pretty cold outside. A quick run out with the chrony and the 499, run back in with the 499, run out with the Red Ryder, run back in with the Ryder and the Chrony. Whew!


                    • I can only go by my own experience. Counting my grandchildren’s Red Ryders, I have 4 of them in the house. My youngest is eight, so I do the cocking for her with the 499 at the shooting school. To me, at least, the Red Ryders and the 499’s feel like they take the same effort to cock.

                      The Marlin Cowboy, on the other hand, takes noticeably more effort to cock. The Cowboy uses a ratchet in the cocking mechanism that is supposed to prevent the lever slamming shut if the trigger is released before the lever is closed.

                      I can’t tell a difference in power between any of them. But, I don’t have a chrony to prove it.


      • A most interesting piece on the Daisy 499, and I’d like to pursue this point of accuracy with smoothbores. So (since this blog contains so much information on so many topics) let me simply pose the question: what’s the most accurate smoothbore you’ve tested which gives a muzzle velocity of, say, 600 FPS or more? Obviously the 499’s low velocity (of 250 FPS?) has no negative effect on accuracy at 5 or 10 meters, but it undoubtedly would at distances of 25 meters or more—hence my question. Second, has your experience shown that BBs shot continually in a rifled bore eventually result in a decrease in accuracy?

        Many thanks.

        • Lou,

          Welcome to the blog.

          You must be a new reader, because we have actually explored these questions already.

          Look here for the most accurate smoothbore I have tested:


          That article also addresses the question of accuracy at 10 meters and again at 25 yards.

          The reason BBs are so inaccurate in rifled barrels is because rifled barrels are sized for .177 caliber pellets, while BBs are .173 caliber. The overbore size makes them inaccurate — not the rifling.


          • B.B.:
            Thanks—I am indeed a new reader, and it’s nice to make your acquaintance. Before I contacted you, I did read your report on the Diana 25 (as well as your reports on a number of other smoothbores). However, my original question wasn’t specific enough—what I should have asked is: what’s the most accurate smoothbore you’ve tested with steel shot? If the answer is still the Daisy 499, then (in theory, at least) it should be possible to mate the 499’s barrel with the mechanics of the Powerline 35 or 880 to get the desired accuracy AND a 600+ FPS muzzle velocity.

            Since such a gun apparently doesn’t exist, the only two readily-available smoothbores I’m aware of are Daisy’s Powerline 35 and the Crosman Model 760. I contacted both companies to pose the accuracy question; Daisy replied but Crosman didn’t. So, between the two, do you have any data as to which is the more accurate with steel shot?

            Many thanks.

    • Yes, it’s what Jeff Cooper called “range probable error” which is the factor that increases the dispersion of the bullet beyond what it would geometrically over distance.

      This returns us to one of the blog’s unanswered questions about the so-called internal compensators–rifles which supposedly get more accurate over distance. This has been said about the Mannlicher SSG sniper rifle and, more often, about the Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I, and maybe even the M1A. Of course this is at much greater distances than here–like hundreds of yards. This claim would seem to be physically impossible. On the other hand, real authorities swear by it. What is the answer to this? The beginning of answer could be that this claim is made about vertical dispersion not horizontal dispersion which does follow the laws of physics. The only other explanation I’ve heard of this that goes into any detail says something like the Lee-Enfield tends to shoot more powerful charges slower and lighter charges faster. Waiving the question of why it would do this, the next question is what effect this would have. Supposedly this tendency causes a damping in variation which is the enemy of consistent shooting. I would think that I would still prefer a gun that responded predictably to different powder charges, but there is the weight of experience here. So, maybe there really is a phenomenon here with a rational explanation.


      • Matt,

        It would seem that there is some truth to this. Let’s say that you measure group size at 50, 100, and 200 yards. At 50 yards the group size is 1 inch. So geometrically at 100 yards it ought to be 2 inches, and at 200 yards it ought to be 4 inches. However at 100 yards 1.5 inches is the result and at 200 yards 3.25 inches is the result.

        This sort of thing has been seen. The group size does get bigger with distance, just not at the geometric rate.

        The answer evidently lies with the projectile “going to sleep.” So, out of the muzzle, there is some disturbance which causes a yaw. But going down range this initial yaw diminishes due to spin stabilization. The projectile’s flight then becomes more stable until velocity (and hence aerodynamic drag …) drops below some critical point. Then the flight becomes more unstable again.

  3. BB,

    I think there is a typo in your article? Where you mention a score of 48 or 49 when you shoot the precision ground BB’s at 5M, do you mean 98 or 99 (right above the 5M photo)? Hey, glad you had fun shooting the little target rifle. Tonight I am going to a course to get a non-resident CCW permit from Florida. Should be fun and educational (can’t carry any way here in the people’s republic of New Jersey).

    Fred DPRoNJ

      • I actually have reused Daisy BBs in my Crosman C11 CO2 pistol, and they shot easily as well as the unfired ones. I usually just use a cardboard box filled with maybe magazines, paper, or old towels as a BB trap. For just plinking and shooting at home I see no reason not to.

    • I think it would be OK to reuse them. It’s pretty difficult to dent a steel bb.

      BB’s need to be shot against a soft surface anyway, to avoid bounce-backs. If you shoot a bb against something hard enough to deform it, you probably are not going to be able to find it anyway.


      • But if you do find those BB’s, you will probably find a bunch of springs and small parts that the rest of us have lost. Let us know and we’ll tell you what we need back 🙂

        Fred DPRoNJ

        • When I was a kid, we didn’t really have round bb’s. Almost all of them had little flat spots owning to the way they were made, from little hunks of chopped wire.

          BB’s were one of the few things I could afford to buy new. But I recycled all the old bb’s I could find. After all, they already had flat spots. I would wash and dry them if they had mud caked on them (pretty fastidious, huh?).


          • Crosmans didn’t have flat spots if I remember correctly (in the 1970’s). That’s why we thought they were sumthin’ special…

            Reuse BB’s? The BIG danger was the rust if the platting got chipped upon impact. But other than that…

            • The bb’s we used when we were kids were mostly made by Federal. They were copper plated and came in red cardboard tubes that resembled shotgun shells. They came in two sizes of packages, the smaller ones being more affordable.

              Crosman bb’s were not as readily available. To us, a bb was a bb. It didn’t occur to us that different brands would be physically different.

              This was in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. All the bb guns the kids in my neighborhood had were Daisy’s. Most common was the Red Ryder or its plainer successor, the Model 95. These were carbines. Mine was a Model 95, I think from 1958. I got it new for my birthday.
              There was also a longer lever action Daisy, but I don’t recall what it was named. And of course the Model 25 pump.


  4. Very nice accuracy for a bb gun. Looks like it was designed for no more than 5 meters though. I need far more range than that so this one won’t be seeing my armory even though it is a fine gun for what it is. Considering I’ve always had a fairly low opinion of daisy products, this one looks like in excels in it’s class.

  5. B.B., From what I’ve read here, it would seem the 499 has the same cocking effort as a Red Ryder and other Daisy bb guns. If this is the case, could you tell me why the FPS would be less than the other bb guns? I know Daisy now list all the guns as the same fps (350 fps). I take it because they all use the same spring, from China. I would think the bore being a little “tighter” would shoot at least as fast due to less blow by. Think there is a chance you could check the fps of each type of bb you fired with it? Thanks Again, Bradly

    • Bradly,

      I don’t know why the 499 is slower than the other guns, except that it’s powerplant is entirely different than any of them.

      Yes, I can check the velocity of the other two BBs. Why is it of interest to you?


      • Was just wondering…..When Daisy changed all the BB guns to China and rated them all at 350 fps, I just didn’t believe it. I have no way of testing them. But between my 2 sons, they have 5 Red Ryders, one newer 25 and two Pals (I think 105-one is an old 295 fps and a new one 350 fps). I still have my first Red Ryder (1976). It is listed at 295 fps also. Yet our two old BB guns seem to shoot just as hard if not harder than some of the new ones. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel out USA made older guns are better than the new China guns.

          • Thanks a lot!! I’ve never had or seen a 499. Can you tell me where it is made? As far as I can tell, excluding the 499, even the Red Ryders are made in China now. Sad as I’m close to North West Ark., home of Daisy Products. I still remember the day they cranked them out there. My two Boys and myself still visit the Daisy Museum in Rogers AR. every year. If you haven’t been, you ought to go if you are ever back in the area. Bradly

            • The Avanti PCP guns the advanced students use are made by a different company than Daisy, but to the design of the former Avanti PCP. I see cartons that multiples of guns were shipped in labelled “DAMARCO, Rogers, AR”. I do not now what the letters stand for. These PCP guns use fully adjustable stocks and target sights. These are single-shot pellet guns. Like the 499’s, they came from an NRA grant. Some of the students own their own, but, like the 499’s, they are identical to the school-owned guns. They have removable reservoirs and are charged from a SCUBA tank. Students supply their own pellets. RWS wadcutters seem the most popular.

              A couple of the mothers of the bb gun kids told me how they sort the bb’s used in the competitions. They take a flat sheet of glass and put a single sheet of typing paper under one side. Then they roll the bb’s off this glass. The ones that do not roll straight off are rejected.


        • Aw yes………made in the Democratic Peoples Republic of China. I try to avoid as much of that stuff as possible. It’s difficult, made in China is ubiquitous.


    • B.B.,

      I have visited the Rogers plant a few times while shooting the airgun nationals there. Back then it was almost a one industry town. Probably the biggest rival was the University of Arkansas.


  6. Wow, here’s a rifle for my distance of 5 yards offhand. Maybe this is the rifle I should have gotten although I don’t think I could handle dropping one shot at a time down the barrel. I’m a fan of repeaters. The performance at 10 meters is not impressive, so this really is a niche gun built for 5 yards.

    Tin Can Man, I’ve heard the term glass-filled synthetic stocks. I would think glass would still be lighter than wood, but obviously they have ways to correct that. I actually prefer a certain amount of weight for accuracy. The heaviness dampens the little trembles in the hold, so there are limits to how much I would want to lighten the gun.

    shaky, thanks for your concern about my Dad. You have powerful deductive abilities. My Dad is 74, very close to your guess. An interesting medical story has unraveled. He fell and broke his femur. But he didn’t break the leg because of his fall but the opposite. He fell because he broke his leg!? He takes a steroid called Prednisone for a complicated condition, and over time this softens the bones. There is a drug called Fossamax to counter this effect, but apparently it makes the bones brittle. So, the bone just gave way on its own. The concern is not so much the break, but the fact that he is on blood thinner which put him in danger of hemorrhaging and made the surgery trickier. He was also in a great deal of pain for almost 24 hours because doctors no longer prescribe the most powerful painkillers for liability reasons. But I just spoke to him this morning, and he is doing great, walking around doing physical therapy and pain-free. They inserted a titanium rod into the bone to reinforce it. Orthopedic surgeons are often disparaged as the lowest end of the specialists, but they certainly came through here.

    Mike, thanks for the tip about double-action shooting. So, I’m on the right track and the HN pellets seem to be the answer.


    • Matt61,

      Regarding my friend who pretty much broke down during any major tournament. He was one of the nicest guys you can ever know, and he really could shoot. I might have mentioned that his practice scores were typically at, or above, world record level. These were supervised practice matches, not something that he just claimed. However, at the US Internationals, he would just break out in a massive sweat, and shake like crazy. I saw him do this for the US Team Tryouts for the Pan American Games, the World Champions, and the Olympics. It definitely was some kind of a breakdown, and I don’t think he ever solved this problem. Sadly, he passed away last year. I really enjoyed appreciated and enjoyed knowing him. He had a really nice collection of high-end target pistols that he let me try out when I was a junior.

      By the way, lots of shooters breakdown at times, it’s just a matter of degree. The most famous case was Lanny Bassham, who was on the cusps of winning Olympic Gold in 1972, when he had what he called a “mental breakdown”, and lost by a couple points. Mr. Bassham knew that, ability wise, he was the best, but there was something happening in his mind that prevented him from realizing his potential. After 1972, he set out to solve his mental issues, and came back to win Olympic Gold in 1976. I had the pleasure of watching him destroy the competition during the 1976 Olympic Team Tryouts. This man is cool as a cucumber. He would later go on to create a series of books and CD’s on “Mental Management”, which he also holds seminars on. I don’t know if he still trains juniors on his ranch, but he use to. Back in the 70’s, and by the old rules, he was shooting scores that would beat today’s best. He was setting world records in 3-P, shooting in the 1170’s. That was unbelievable, since back then (again, under the much stricter rules) you could win major world class tournaments by shooting 1150’s. He truly was in a class all of his own, no kidding. In any case, he solved the mental issues, and lots of champions subscribe to his teachings, and not just competitive marksmen.


  7. B.B.,

    My primary experience with smooth-bores is with my Crosman 760. With pellets it is so accurate that I had no idea that it was a smooth-bore. I think I learned this little detail on this blog. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not actually looked down the barrel myself, because that rifle is pretty darn accurate. However, it’s horribly inaccurate with BB’s. I think it groups over a foot at 10 meters. It’s a wonder that Daisy was able to get this little beauty to shoot BB’s so well. But then again, I’ve never tried to shoot my Crosman 760 anywhere near 240 fps.

    This is a great article! Something to point people towards, should they insist on getting a BB gun.


  8. What BBs are you shooting? No offense to Crosman in any way, but I have read numerous places that, for BBs, use Daisy, and for Crosman use pellets. I have a smooth bore BB/pellet gun, and I mostly have shot pellets so far, but of the few BB targets I’ve shot, at just under 10 yards from a rest with open sights, I have about a 5/8″ group center to center. I just scoped it and haven’t fired BBs with the scope yet.

    • Jon,

      I very rarely shoot BB’s, but when i did, just out of curiosity, I used Daisy BB’s on my Crosman smooth-bore 760. Maybe that explains the horrible inaccuracy. It really doesn’t matter much to me because I almost never shoot BB’s. But should I ever get curious again, I’ll buy some Crosman BB’s.


  9. That would be like putting premium gasoline into a lawnmower!

    If said lawnmower has enough carbon crud in the chamber to be suffering pre-ignition (“knock”), premium may be just the cure… (If it is really bad, try some JP-4… or whatever they use in the SR-71, which will extinguish matches tossed into it, and is used as a coolant before entering the engine)

  10. Interesting test. I bought my 499B from Pyramyd over a year ago. Most accurate bb gun I own. Shooting in the garage at between 15 and 16 feet, it really groups tight. The Avanti Precision Ground Shot and some Daisy Max Speed Premium Grade BBs I have seem to shoot the best.

  11. I just bought one from PA two months ago – it shoots very accurate and I love the cocking effort 6lbs and trigger 2lbs on the Avanti 499. Whoever said the Red Ryder and the Avanti 499 are similar is totally wrong. The trigger and cocking effort on the Avanti is so refined when compared to the Red Ryder – I know I own both. Once I got comfortable with the Avanti 499 I couldn’t hit anything at all with the Red Ryder….
    My target here.

    I would recommend the Avanti 499 to anyone – don’t even buy the Red Ryder….

    • That sums things up pretty good. I can squeeze a bit more accuracy out of my RedRyder and Marlin Cowboy and I’m getting similar results to these with the Mod. 25 but that 499 seems to be just amasing, running circles around other BB guns.


  12. The only thing I don’t like in my 499 is the twang. You know, that vibration when you shoot. And you can replace the plastic cocking handle with a metal one available from Daisy. It is the same as the Red Ryder.

  13. BB, have you (or anyone on here) ever tested/shot a Daisy Avanti 853 single shot? I never have but from what I’m told, they shoot very well. Same for the single shot Avanti pistol too….Bradly

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