by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Haenel 100: Part 1
Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 1
Daisy number 12 model 29: Part 2

Haenel BB pistol
The Haenel 100 BB pistol is a pre-war 50-shot repeater.

Daisy model 29
Daisy Number 12 Model 20 is a vintage BB gun.

This report covers:

  • Haenel 100 first
  • Precision Ground Shot
  • The test
  • Haenel accuracy
  • Daisy model 29 accuracy
  • First target
  • The turning point!
  • Target two
  • Conclusions

I am combining two reports today — the Haenel model 100 BB pistol and the Daisy number 12 model 29 BB gun. Please don’t get confused. If you have been following the series on the Daisy 29, you know that something good must have happened for me to do this special report. Indeed it did! Let’s get started.

Haenel 100 first

The first task was to chronograph the Haenel pistol. You may recall that the Blue Book of Airguns informs us that the Haenel 100 uses 4.4 mm lead balls, so I started with them.

Lead balls shot very slowly from the pistol. The slowest was 90 f.p.s. and the fastest was only 123 f.p.s. So I didn’t stay with them. I knew that Avanti Precision Ground Shot also measures 4.4 mm, nominally, so I decided to try some of them.

Precision Ground Shot

These averaged 139 f.p.s. in the Haenel. While that’s not that fast, it’s certainly better than the heavier lead balls, and the consistency was very good. The velocity spread went from a low of 136 to a high of 142f.p.s. That’s just a 6 f.p.s. spread! If the pistol will shoot, this ammo should be good in it. However, I have to mention there were 2 double-feeds in this 10-shot string whose velocity I did not include in the average. The numbers for them were 118 and 114 f.p.s.

The test

I shot seated from 10 feet (remember the submarine captain?). I rested my shooting arm on the UTG monopod in my special way that’s as steady as shooting off a sandbag. And now you want to know how I did?

Haenel accuracy

I put 7 shots into 1.566-inches at 10 feet. The shots were all high, but fairly well centered on the bull. Again, you must remember how much room that sub captain had.

Within these shots there were also 2 double feeds that didn’t hit the target paper and probably added at least one inch to what’s on the paper, if not more. So the Haenel model 100 BB pistol isn’t that accurate. It’s more of an oddity to look at and think about. At least now you know!

Haenel 100 target
The shots are fairly centered but high. There are 4 shots in that group on the right. But at least 4 BBs didn’t even hit the paper! Those were double-feeds and you can see a trace of one of them that nicked the top right edge of the paper.

Daisy model 29 accuracy

Now I shifted my attention to the Daisy number 12 model 29 BB gun. We have already done two reports on this one, and we know the velocity and the accuracy — or lack of it. But reader Fido3030 had coaxed me into cleaning the barrel, which was indeed rusty as he predicted. I didn’t get it completely smooth, but it is a lot better than it was. That Ballistol really attacks rust!

I shot this one using the same monopod rest as before. And the shooting was at 10 feet. I didn’t want to hit the walls with BBs and you will remember from Part 2 that this BB gun is not very accurate. But how is it with a clean barrel?

First target

Knowing the gun shoots high and to the left, I drew a fine bead at the 6-o’clock position on the bull. If you don’t know what that means, please read this. With this hold and sight picture I was able to put 10 shots into 2.929-inches at 10 feet. That sounds horrible, which of course it is, but compared to what the gun was doing before I cleaned the barrel, it’s actually an improvement!

Daisy 20 target 1
The Daisy model 29 still hits high and left, despite cleaning the barrel. This is a better group than before cleaning. The last 2 shots were loaded before cocking and made the hole in the bull and the one above and closest to the left from it.

The turning point!

I told you at the start of today’s report that there was something special. Here it comes. The last 2 shots in my 10-shot string were shot using a different loading procedure than before. Reader Fido3030 (again!) asked me in Part 1 whether I loaded the BB before or after cocking the gun. I told him I didn’t think it mattered, but that I cocked the gun first, then dropped the BB down the muzzle. Now I wondered what would happen if I did it the other way?

So I did it the other way for the last 2 shots in the first group, and the first one actually hit the bull! The next shot that was also the last in the group landed higher and not even an inch to the left. That made me wonder whether there actually is a correct loading procedure for loading this BB gun. I vowed to find out.

Target two

For this next target I loaded the BB first (still shooting the Precision Ground Shot) and then cocked the gun. The first 4 shots went into a group that measures 0.376-inches between centers. Then shot number 5 landed to the left, opening the group to 1.632-inches. Until that shot I felt like I was shooting a Daisy 499 Champion, until I remembered that I was shooting at 10 feet — not 16. But the difference between this target and the first one is so dramatic that I think this has to be the correct loading procedure for a single shot like this one. And learning that made my day.

Daisy 20 target 2
There are 4 shots in the group above the dime. But shot 5 went left. I think this is the correct way to load this BB gun.

Conclusions

At the end of the day, neither of the subject BB guns is very accurate. Shooting them requires learning to live with their quirks and adapt, but that’s part of the mystique. Both are funky enough to be highly intriguing. Guns may come and go in my collection, but I believe I’ll keep both of these around, simply because I like looking at them and holding them.