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History Daisy model 177 Targeteer BB pistol: Parts 2 & 3

Daisy model 177 Targeteer BB pistol: Parts 2 & 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Daisy Targeteer
Daisy’s Targeteer 177 shot BBs.

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Velocity
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • H&N Smart Shot BBs
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Summary of velocity
  • Accuracy
  • Air Venturi
  • No real rear notch
  • Hornady Black Diamond
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Plinking
  • Overall evaluation

Thursday, December 24, is Christmas Eve. On that day I’m running a special blog that allows you readers to do most of the writing. We will all tell which airgun we would like to receive for Christmas, and I will start it in the text. Be thinking about the one airgun you want the most this year.

I realize that not all readers celebrate the Christmas holiday. But don’t let that deter you. Whether you celebrate or not, this exercise is open to all readers.

Starting tomorrow I’m running some Best of B.B. reports to give myself some time at Christmas. I have family and guests coming this week, and I can’t get to the computer as often as I would like. Today’s report is new.

Today we look at both the velocity and the accuracy of the Daisy Targeteer 177 pistol we started examining a week ago. Remember this is a BB pistol that I have been bad-mouthing for many years. This is actually the first time I have tested it in the conventional way, so I’m finding out just as much as the rest of you.


We will start with velocity. I will test the gun with each of the BBs I intend shooting for accuracy, so this test should be thorough.

Air Venturi Steel BBs

I started with Air Venturi Steel BBs. They averaged 116 f.p.s. in the Targeteer, which answered my questions from nearly 60 years ago. The Targteeer is weak — very weak. In fact, weaker than I expected. The slowest shot went 113 f..s. while the fastest went 117 f.p.s., so the pistol is stable, if not powerful.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Next up were Hornady Black Diamond BBs. After seeing the first results I didn’t expect them to be much different. And they weren’t. They averaged 115 f.p.s., with a spread from 114 to 116 f.p.s. Again, this pistol is very stable.

H&N Smart Shot BBs

H&N Smart Shot BBs are made of lead and are much heavier than regular steel BBs. We expect them to shoot slower in a spring-piston gun, and they do. They travel at an average 100 f.p.s. with a low of 99 and a high of 101 f.p.s. While slower, they had the most stable velocity of all BBs tested. The spread was just 2 f.p.s.!

Avanti Precision Ground Shot

The final BB I tested was the Avanti Precision Ground Shot from Daisy. While hope springs eternal within the human breast, experience has shown that these BBs will not be any more accurate than the others. But we test to discover, so I shot them anyway.

Precision Ground Shot averaged 114 f.p.s. in the Targeteer. The low was 113 f.p.s and the high was 117 f.p.s.

Summary of velocity

If we look at just the 3 steel BBs I tested, the slowest shot went 113 f.p.s. and the fastest went 117 f.p.s. That’s a range of just 4 f.p.s. velocity in 3 different BBs. I think that is remarkable, by itself. Could the Targeteer be the 499 of BB pistols after all? Let’s see.


I tested the gun at 10 feet, shooting off the UTG Monopod while I was seated. This is a very stable platform and most of you readers know I can shoot a handgun when I have to. So the Targeteer got a good chance to do well.
I shot 10 of each type of BB at each target. Before we get to that, though, a word about my backstop.


This pistol is so weak that a normal backstop won’t work. I got ricochets off the stiff cardboard target backer I normally use on my silent pellet trap in the office for chronographing! I even tried using Styrofoam for a backstop, and still the BBs bounced back. Then I tried shooting into a mailing envelope with bubble wrap on the inside. Shooting from 3 feet, it worked about half the time.

When it came time to shoot at targets I hung them on a BB trap without a backer and used the thinnest paper targets I had to let the BBs try to penetrate. A couple of them did, but the majority bounced off the paper at 10 feet! These are some of the things you must think about when testing a weak BB gun like this. Fortunately the gun was well-oiled and the BBs left their marks on the paper.

Air Venturi

First up were the Air Venturi BBs. I used a 6 o’clock hold with a fine front sight (tip of the front sight is held low in the rear notch) for all shots. Ten BBs went into 1.882-inches at 10 feet. All the shots landed to the left of center, so I adjusted the sights after shooting this group. That wasn’t easy because there is very little room to get a screwdriver into those screw slots.

Daisy Targeteer Air Venturi Steel BBs target
Ten Air Venturi Steel BBs went into 1.882-inches at 10 feet. Shots landed left of the aim point.

No real rear notch

Until shooting the pistol for accuracy I hadn’t noticed that the rear sight is sitting so low on the pistol that the top of the gun obscures the sight’s notch. When sighting, it appears as a shallow Vee that resembles the rear sight on an early 18th century Kentucky rifle. Fortunately I have experience with such a sight. If I were to adjust the sight any higher to make the notch appear, the shots would hit hopelessly high at 10 feet.

Hornady Black Diamond

Next, I tried 10 Hornady Black Diamond BBs. They made a group that measures 1.825 inches between centers. This group was the best of the session but it was still hitting to the left of center. I decided to just leave the sights the way they were after this.

Daisy Targeteer Hornady Black Diamond BBs target
Ten Hornady Black Diamond BBs went into 1.825-inches at 10 feet. This is the smallest group of the test. They are still hitting left of center, but I’m going to leave the sights where they are.

H&N Smart Shot

Now I tried the lead Smart Shot BBs. I had no idea what they might do, or even if they would hit the target in the same place. But they did. Ten BBs made a group measuring 2.068-inches at 10 feet. This was the largest group of the test.

Daisy Targeteer Smart ShotBBs target
Ten H&N Smart Shot BBs went into 2.068-inches at 10 feet.

Avanti Precision Ground Shot

And finally I shot 10 Avanti Precision Ground Shot at a target. They made a 1.911-inch group.

Daisy Targeteer Avanti BBs target
Ten Avanti Precision Ground Shot went into 1.911-inches at 10 feet.

So, all the BBs did about the same on targets — roughly 2 inches at 10 feet. That means the Targeteer is not the pistol version of the 499.


Because someone asked me to, I went outdoors and shot at an aluminum soda can. At 10 feet the BBs did not penetrate even one side of the can, but they did pick it up and topple it over each time it was hit. The impact made a resounding thunk. However, this was as far as it gets from real plinking with a handgun, and I found it as boring as watching paint dry. So I didn’t do it very long.

Daisy Targeteer can
The BBs dented the aluminum can but did not penetrate the metal. They did move the can, though.

The Targeteer has to be cocked manually for every shot, so it isn’t what you would call an action pistol. That takes away from the spontaneity.

Overall evaluation

I have had a low opinion of the Daisy Targeteer 177 BB pistol since first seeing one in the 1950s, and nothing in this test has changed that. This test has simply given me numbers for the pistol.

I am glad I finally tested it so there’s no longer any doubt. The Targeteer is a vintage BB gun that is best left in the box. That’s what I plan on doing.

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.

79 thoughts on “Daisy model 177 Targeteer BB pistol: Parts 2 & 3”

  1. I was asked to buy a handy rifle for a new shooter. It was a dad and his 8 yo sun. So I decided to buy a hw30s/ beeman r7. I took it home and sighted in the rifle. Boy…… what a disappointing experience. It had harsh firing cycle, was quite noisy and the cockingleaver rubbed along the action. Ill let them shoot the rifle for 6 months, and if they want to, Ill tune it for them.
    I myself was in the market too for this rifle. But after this experience……no way. I had a walther lg55 for sale…..yes HAD, I decided to keep this rifle now. It is a 10 times more pleasant rifle than the r7/hw30s.
    So my tip, if your are in the market for a hw30s, then get yourself a used lg55.

    • I have heard others in the recent past comment on how Weihrauch should spend a bit more time and money on tuning their air rifles. Perhaps it is due to the expansion of the American market and their efforts to meet the demand forcing them to spend less time with each air rifle.

      • I found commends regarding scraping cockingleaver on very old different forums today
        So that means this problem is an old problem
        What is weihrauch thinking? Why not fix this KNOWN problem
        There are cockingshoes avaliable that avoid the scraping
        THE firingcycle is also too Harsh. My r1/hw80 shoots much more relaxed and smooth.
        What are they thinking???
        (Sorry for THE capitals…. Switched from Samsung to apple….)

        • Dutch

          Both of my R7s are very smooth and solid shooters, but…..
          That freaking cocking link needed work . Rubbing and galling the underside of the compression tube .
          The link on one was not straight enough and was binding on the cocking stroke .
          Some grinding and smoothing to get a better fit on contact surfaces along with some moly cleaned things up pretty well .


  2. Too bad it did not perform better, but it sure is a nice looking pistol. So looks can be deceiving. Hope you can get a little R & R with your family BB. I sure have enjoyed the blog.
    Best wishes

  3. B.B.,

    Good point on selecting a backer/stop/target. GF1 asked me to do the 499 at 41′. I knew at 24′ it would punch a cardboard backer 90% of the time. At 41′ I knew no way. I cut out the backer like a picture frame and just did paper over it. Worked nice but the bb’s bounced off the steel backer and “dented” the back of the paper without coming back through. “A man has to know his limits”, to quote Clint.

    Any thoughts on the 499 tear down from yesterday? Ever been in one? Very interesting. Lot’s of stamped steel and spot welds in the construction. The welded tube was interesting as well, something you brought up about bb gun construction in one of your recent articles. Would love to hear any thoughts you might have. ( I’m sure the first one was to roll your eyes and ask yourself,….”what did he just do?” ). 😉

    Merry Christmas and enjoy the more relaxed time. Chris

    • I downloaded a Daisy 499 takedown file just to get an idea of what you have in front of you.
      Wish I could share a link on this phone but not yet.
      It’s from some 4h club.
      Hope this helps you get it back together.
      It also has specs for building the tool.

  4. I think, from my point of view, the most important question is how hard is this pistol to cock? Is there room to add more spring, or is it really topped out. At 115 fps, I would think it could be given a a little more spring and maybe go through a sheet of paper. First thing I’d be doing…

  5. B.B.,

    Or course I am not impressed by the 177 Targeteer, but I am impressed with how visible you made the dents in your photos. Did you light them from one side for the photography? You captured them quite well.

    Thanks for testing this one. It has made the most pointable of all my Daisys, my 179, look like an AirForce Condor by comparison. My particular 179 (I’ve heard they vary a LOT in this regard) shoots straight as an arrow. It simply has such a rainbow trajectory I’ve never tried to shoot targets with it indoors. But if I shoot from just 10 feet and learn its trajectory, I’ll bet it would be a very good paper (albeit one sheet of paper) puncher for those rainy days.

    Have a Merry Christmas,


  6. I read all of the blogs on the Targeteer and can only shake my head in wonder as to why a company would waste the money tooling up, manufacturing and marketing such an inferior product.

    The BBs bounce off of paper! Sounds like a bad joke. But then, from personal experience in trying a number of the Daisy products I have never been impressed with their quality or performance.

    Slingshots made from a tree branch and a bunch of elastic bands looped together had better velocity and accuracy with less “cocking force”. Two inch groups at 10 feet would be an embarrassment that nobody would admit to – half that at twice the distance was considered “average” accuracy. Our targets were usually bottle-caps suspended from a string and 25 feet was considered to be “good range”.

    As kids, in the winter we practiced indoors with our slingshots using BBs. The best backstop was a flannelette blanket hung over a cloths line so that it did not touch the floor. A piece of eves trough placed under the blanket collected the BBs.


  7. B.B.
    Do you think the bbs would stick in a bar of soap at that low velocity?

    Have a merry Christmas and a well deserved holiday.
    Merry Christmas everyone.


  8. BB,
    I look forward to the 24th blog. Is the gun we would like to receive for Christmas supposed to be a current production model?

    I hope you enjoy your Christmas with family and friends.

    Merry Christmas,

    David Enoch

  9. B.B.,
    I almost bought one of these things once, and now I’m glad I didn’t. It would have been nice for an in-house plinker…if it had any accuracy, which it doesn’t. Too bad it doesn’t live up to its looks, but thanks for the report.
    Have a blessed Christmas,

  10. Surprised that a couple of readers had issues with Weihrauch HW30S quality. I own a beauty! It also is extremely accurate. A friend owns one of equal quality and is more accurate than his TX200 at 10 meters. Both were bought new and were not customized.

    • I kid you not. the one I bought for someone else is a harsh rifle.
      It is a new rifle i bought at the dealer.
      the hw30s/beeman r7 was supposed to be smooth and with mild recoil
      well…. none of that is the case.
      The scraping cocking arm is an OLD problem. I just dont get it.
      yes I can fix it myself, but come on………. its a weihrauch.

      • Dutchjozef
        My HW30s in .177 caliber has about the same recoil as a Red Ryder BB gun. I’m wondering what you have masquerading as a HW30s. Thanks for responding.

  11. This reminds me of another ‘classic’ that I owned briefly.
    The Marksman 1010.
    Everyone told us it was a piece of crap, but the boys wanted a B.B. pistol to go with their Red Ryders a few years ago and I figured…it can’t be that bad, and at about $30 new had nothing really to lose.
    Well…it was that bad.
    After trying the ‘chase the tin can’ game a number of times…at a distance of no more than 10-15′ and being able to hit the can about 1 in 10 I disable the gun and tossed it in the trash. I didn’t even feel it was worth giving away.
    Replaced it with the Umarex PPK…much happier.

  12. B.B., I’m so let down by this test, but so glad you did it. I used to want one of these before finding your blogs on PA’s site. Back then if I had have gotten one, I would have probably thought I got a bad one and tried another. I assume the old Daisy 179 is just as powerful (if not more so) and more accurate than this gun. Thanks again and Merry Christmas to You and Yours!

  13. B.B.

    I have one of these somewhere .
    Last time I tried to shoot it, it cocked hard as if the piston seal had badly swollen from something I had oiled it with many years ago .
    If I shot it straight up, the BB would not make it to the ceiling .
    Was much better new back in the 70s .


  14. BB
    At least you was able to hit the can. And even though it didn’t penatrate at least it knocked it around. It’s a shame its so hard to cock. Maybe it could be a more enjoyable gun to shoot if it wasnt.. But it is what it is.

    And glad your doing some of the best of BB reports. I enjoy reading those too.

    But have a Merry Christmas.

    • GF1,

      Out of room from yesterday. Yes, the piston seal would be the first choice to measure, actually the second.
      With the formed tube and seam welded, you know that puppy is out of round. That’s why something soft would be good. I’ll go with the TX spring chop. Just need to check out all the trigger parts to be sure they will hold up and nothing is plastic. That, and a different home made piston. Not me, some one else.

      • Chris USA
        See if you can have a groove machine Ned in the piston behind the seal.

        Then use a o-ring like I did get in the 300.

        If it don’t work out just take the o-ring off. Your piston should still work fine.

              • Well,that was the best power mod I could come up with: to back the seal with something rigid to keep the seal from bending under pressure. But if they’ve already done that I’d probably just bump up the wire diameter of the spring.

                • Reb,

                  Thanks for the advice. The head/seal is backed with a washer, but the seal is so stiff,…it may push air,…but it is not the best design or application of material. It is much too hard given the welded tube that is most assuredly out of round. Like the 92FS, I think this will be an “interesting” journey and learning lesson….which by the way is on it’s 7th. Co2 and 450 plus shots flawlessly. Let’s just hope the 499 turns out as well.

        • GF1,

          You would have to see it. Pics this weekend if I do not forget and if I remember how. The piston/seal is pretty sad really. Not even 1/8″ to cut into. Inner tube a no go. The outer should be ok with a flange cut on the OD. They cut every corner they could. But, there is no argument that it is the World’s most accurate bb rifle. That,….I will give it.

          • Instead of opening up the existing port a more structurally sound approach would be to drill it through to the other side.
            It should effectively almost double the amount of air getting to the BB or at least speed up the process

          • Chris USA
            Pretty thin huh. Well I’m thinking that is what will need figured out to get the air pressure up. You can up the spring pressure all you want. But its got to seal.

            We have hole cutters at work. I made some .100″ thick rubber discs with a small hole in the center. When me and Buldawg was throwing ideas around to try to get the 300 to seal up better that was one of the ideas.

            Maybe you can attach something like that to the front of the 499 piston. You just need to figure out what to make the outside diameter of the rubber disc.

            • GF1,

              Short of a new piston,…that’s the route I am thinking. Just not sure where the “bottomed out” point is. Something on the front could end up in a nasty “bump”. Got that right?

  15. Thanks, BB,
    As always, you have put up some little tidbits of knowledge that help me understand airguns and the the principles that they operate under! I turned 66yrs. old yesterday but I feel like a kid with new toys to play with.
    I have an RWS Diana Model 5 but don’t know much about it. It has a ” G” stamped below “Model 5”. It’s open sight with no rail for scope mt. I can’t see well enough to use the open sights so I don’t shoot it much. If anyone knows anything about it I would like to hear.
    Wishing all a very Merry Christmas!

    • BBB,

      Blue Book shows it came in .177 and .22. Production started in 1978. Discontinued. Last MSR was 260$. 100% is 175$ with 60% being at 75$. Fps are 450/300. Nice looking pistol.

      Try that chrony yet? Chris

      • Chris USA
        I have used the chrony 2 times and not had any trouble as long as I make sure of my alignment. I have checked every gun I have! I am lovin my Discovery! That pistol was given to me about 12or 14 yrs ago. It’s 80+ shape but with tri- focals I just can’t do the open sites anymore. It does shoot 7.9 gr. at about 435fps. For me, a wallhanger. It is nice to look at though!

        • BBB,

          That is great! It sounds like you are off to a real good start. Good luck with your continuing journey. Chris……By the way,…we got the same B-day,….though you got a few years on me…. 😉

  16. The .118 Targeteer is the powerhouse. It WILL punch through a piece of paper! They’re toys; one step up (?) from the model 8 water pistol. One of the .118’s was my first air gun with the plastic spinner target. I still have the pistol, the target disappeared in a fit of “who wants that!” Lesson: Keep everything!!!

  17. I am actually quite satisfied with my current stable of airguns. However, after some thought, I have come up with an additional airgun that I would like to own. Wait, make that two guns. Nope, 3. Is there a limit, BB?”

    Fred DPRoNJ

  18. I have two Benjamin 600 air rifles. They are two different variants and I was wondering at what velocity these rifles should shoot. I got the chronograph out and measured the velocity of each shot. The first gun with 20 pumps:

    1 334
    2 293
    3 300
    4 299
    5 280
    6 240
    7 244
    8 238
    9 243
    10 220

    I stopped after ten shots but the gun would continue to shot the entire 25 bb magazine a lesser velocities.

    The second Benjamin 600:

    1 224
    2 249
    3 293
    4 301
    5 287
    6 266
    7 277
    8 226

    Only 8 shots as the chamber was exhausted.

    The triggers are completely different on these two guns. One has a soft trigger and the other has a trigger that is harder and clicks when it cycles the bb.
    What velocities did the rifles achieve and how common are the rifles?

    • M,

      The Blue Book does not state fps which I found odd, but those #’s are on par for bb guns. Interesting mult-pump. 100% is 250$ with 60% at 125$. Add 15% for “Automatic” marking on side. It does state that they were intended for lead air rifle shot. That is all I can offer,….Chris

    • Mrcommem,

      Welcome to the blog.

      You do realize that you are shooting two highly collectible air rifles?

      Both sound weak, but pneumatics get that way in time. I would have expected the first couple shots to be in the high 400s. And they should get more than 8 shots. The magazine holds 25 balls and although they won’t get that many shots, I would expect 10-12 per fill.

      The pump heads should have Vaseline on them to keep from drying out. And the leather seals do need oil, but the valve parts aren’t that available and I would not want to tear into one just to get a few more f.p.s. Enjoy what you have and get other airguns for velocity.


  19. Thanks BB

    Both of the 600’s have nearly all of there black nickel. I bought the second 600 to fix up. Some idiot had jammed 4 pellets in the bb magazine all the way into the barrel. I had a most difficult time getting those out. I do shoot the 600 about twice a year, otherwise they stay in the gun cabinet. I have been collecting airguns for about 7 years now, mostly old Benjamins. I have two 600’s, two 700’s, three 710’s, two 720’s, one 322, two 3100’s, two 3120’s, one 3600, one 310, one 342, and one LE. For the pistols, one 122 front pumper, one 130, 132, and 137, two 2600’s, one 2620, one 100 front pump, and my favorites the two 160 pistols. The 3120 rifles are also neat. I don’t know if they will ever be worth much but they are fun to collect and shoot every once in while.

  20. Chris,

    I thank you for your information. The Blue Book is wrong about using lead shot in the 600’s. The 600 was designed for steel shot Lead shot would get stuck in the feed mechanism.

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