by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier
Daisy Model 99 Target Special.
This report covers:
- Leather seals
- Back to the 99
- Velocity Daisy BBs
- Velocity Air Venturi Steel BBs
- Velocity Air Venturi Dust Devils
- More on the Dust Devil
- Other BBs
- Cocking effort
- Trigger pull
- Evaluation so far
- Coming up
Today is velocity day for the Daisy Model 99 Target Special and I have prepared for it. When I started Part 1, I oiled the gun with a healthy dose of Crosman Pellgunoil. The synthetic piston seal on the plunger (in a BB gun the piston is called a plunger) needs the oil to seal the compression chamber. Lack of oil in a BB gun will cause temporary low power until the seal is oiled. Then the gun will return to life and act like new. It happens so fast and dramatically that it will surprise you the first time you encounter it.
Older BB guns had leather plunger seals that take longer to renew — maybe 15-20 shots. But they do come back in the same way after oiling. The oil needs time to soak into the seal. The most dramatic example of this I ever saw was an 1880s BB pistol that my wife Edith bought at a flea market in the late 1990s. After a breech plug was fashioned for it the gun shot like it did when new, only the spring and leather seal were at least 110 years old. If that isn’t surprising I don’t know what is!
The Haviland and Gunn BB pistol was patented in 1872. It was a flea market find that still worked after oiling the piston seal.
Back to the 99
So today we will see how fast this nice old BB gun shoots. Before the test I wondered if it might be in the neighborhood of the 499, which averages 240 f.p.s. There is no reason to shoot faster than that, and the lighter the mainspring, the easier cocking has to be. So, let’s see.
Velocity Daisy BBs
First to be tested were Daisy Premium Grade BBs. Why not? Daisy gun, Daisy BBs. Ten Daisys averaged 237 f.p.s. in the model 99. The range went from 232 to 241 — a 9 f.p.s, spread. That’s almost exactly what the 499 will get. A good start.
Velocity Air Venturi Steel BBs
Next to be tested were 10 Air Venturi Steel BBs. Ten of them averaged 237 f.p.s. with a spread from 234 to 240. That’s just 6 f.p.s.! I can already see that this 99 is right on for power and very stable.
Velocity Air Venturi Dust Devils
The last BB I tested for velocity was the Air Venturi Dust Devil. I know these frangible BBs are a little lighter, so they should also be a little faster, and they were. Dust Devils averaged 243 f.p.s. with a spread from 235 to 252 f.p.s. That 18 f.p.s.
More on the Dust Devil
If you are frustrated because Dust Devils are backordered, let me tell you what’s happening. When they started shipping, Dust Devils were in such high demand that the first production quantity ran out immediately. They were still making them but then Europe kicked in with their orders and exhausted the daily run. They are actually making them very fast, but when 1,500 BBs are in one box a production of one million BBs gets eaten up by just 666 and two-thirds boxes. Importers, distributors and large dealers are ordering that many boxes each!
What you are looking at is success. Sometimes when something is very successful it presents a challenge to those managing it! Don’t fret. They will get a handle on it and Dust Devils will be in stock again, but it will be a challenge this first year, as the producer learns to cope with their good fortune. Best place an advance order, then you will be the one who is satisfied.
Before you ask, I intentionally did not test several other BBs of interest — BBs like the Hornady Black Diamond that often saves the day, or the Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot that’s made for the 499. The reason I didn’t test them today is because we know from the numbers that we did get about where these others will be. We aren’t interested in their velocity, but we are interested in their accuracy, and I will certainly test that!
The test 99 cocks smoothly at 13 lbs. The effort is at 9 pounds until halfway through the stroke when it rises to 12-13 lbs. A young person should have no problem cocking this gun, once they learn how to do it.
As I said in part 1, the trigger on this gun is the major delight so far. It releases at anywhere from 2 pounds when pulled fast to 3 pounds 5 ounces when squeezed deliberately. It’s the best BB gun trigger I have ever seen. There is some creep that can be felt in the single stage pull, but it’s minor and soft instead of jerky.
Evaluation so far
I am very pleased with the model 99 thus far. I got it primarily because of all that reader RidgeRunner has said about his over the years, but also because it is the scarce first year of production. Like I told you, I have owned a 99 in the past that I wasn’t that pleased with. It had a nice trigger but the accuracy was no better than any other good BB gun. Sometimes you find a good one but mostly you don’t. In the years that have passed since I owned that gun new BBs have come to market and I felt it was time to try one again. Maybe I got lucky this time.
I had an epic day at the range last Friday. I was able to finish three blog reports that have been languishing and the day was absolutely perfect! I also got parts of three more blogs — one of which is probably a fourth blog. So, things are looking up in BB’s world. This week should be a good one!
25 thoughts on “Daisy Model 99 Target Special: Part 2”
That’s way cool about Miss Edith being able to latch onto that 1880s air pistol. =)
That reminds me that I need to thank you for all your posts about the importance of oiling pneumatic and CO2 guns.
My 43-year-old Sheridan C-model stopped holding air while I was shooting it this weekend; and it occurred to me that I couldn’t recall the last time I had oiled it (but it surely hasn’t been 43 years, hahaha!).
A few drops of Crosman Pellgun oil (courtesy of PyramydAir =>) later, she was back to shooting just as well as she ever has been. Thanks again for the reminder! =D
take care & God bless,
Glad you got some good range time. I like when that happens.
I may have asked before,.. but how do you measure the cocking effort on a lever action? I know that you use a bath scale for break barrels.
When I did the Red Ryder spring tune on my 499, I used a fish weighing scale (dial type) with a large hook which I placed in the lever loop.
Good to hear that you had a good range day and got yourself caught up a bit. Always a good thing.
Good Day to you and to all,… Chris
Maybe I should consider that for my 99 when I get around to overhauling it. Who knows, if it keeps it’s accuracy that would be awesome.
Personally, I would not do it to an older gun. I mainly did it because Cobalt had done it with a 499 and had success. It did add 150 fps and has a TX200 seal. I used one from a Vortek tune kit.
Gotta’ go,… Chris
You open the lever and then press down on the end of it (on the scale) until it cocks. The scale has to be on a table to do this.
I may have to shoot mine this evening to compare my accuracy to yours. That sounds like a good excuse. Like I need one to enjoy this gun. Right now it is sitting in the corner by the kitchen door, ready to take on any feral soda can that should come out of the woods.
When I was a kid, 56 years ago, I had a Daisy very similar to the 99, but instead of bulk fill, it had a screw-out barrel and spring fed magazine. I believe it held 50 bbs and the rear peep and front globe made that gun a great shooter. Also, the barrel and magazine end was a fine machine knurling and the bluing was very nice.
I remember that all other bb guns I would shoot after that were a true disappointment.
My question is was my gun a variation on the 99 or a totally different model?
Thanks for bringing back such fond memories of my youth on the farm.
You had the most common version of the 99. Re-read Part 1 to find out.
Thank you so much… Thought I read in entirety and was obviously mistaken. I must have had a really good 99 because it shot really well. So many great memories.
Wish I still had that gun…
The part where the different variations were mentioned is here: https://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2018/07/daisy-model-99-target-special-part-1/
Section: Three variations of the Model 99
I did just read it.
I just noticed in a picture of your front sight hood in part 1 that you have a ding in the end of it. 🙁
Yes, there is a small ding. I noticed it when I bought the gun. I don’t think it affects anything.
Probably from standing in the corner and the butt slid out and the sight banged the floor.
that is a sweet looking Haviland and Gunn BB pistol! If it’s not too valuable, maybe sometime you could review it for us. It looks so compact. That seems kind of rare in bb pistols these days.
We had to sell it when we folded The Airgun Letter. We got $450. They are selling for around $800-$1,000 now.
Glad you are reviewing the 99. I found one in a consignment shop a few years ago. Overall in good shape. The Champion 99 is faded, but wood, and paint very good. I oiled it up and it shoots very nicely. I too was surprised how nice the trigger is. Paid about $45.00 for it.
It has the magazine with the spring retainer. Two questions, how old and how best to load it. I drop more BBS than I load. I am now following one members advice and loading one BB down the barrel and shooting it.
The Blue Book says the Champion was made in 1968. I am seeing so many of them that I believe they meant it started production then.
How best to load a forced feed mag? Good luck, pal. That’s like asking for lessons on using chopsticks. Everybody has to find their own way. I still drop a lot of BBs when I load.
This is about as off topic as you can get when discussing BB guns, but I wanted to report that I went to my brother’s “7th of July” barbecue party Saturday and I got to shoot his buddy’s .45 Texan. I just fired it, standing, into a hillside a few times, but from that I can report that it is, A) most definitely not backyard friendly B) not nearly as heavy or unwieldy as I thought it would be, although it is loonnnng. C) feels about like a single shot .410 shotgun. I was firing 400+grain semi wadcutters on a charge of 2800psi. A definite “kick”. D) the coolest gun I have ever fired. It is a little breathtaking to think that it is “just an airgun”. I was aware of the gun beforehand and got surprised( and impressed) by it. I think you can imagine the jaw dropping and eye popping the went forth from the uninitiated that were there! 🙂
PS The guy has taken two big ol’,corn and soy bean feed, Indiana raised, whitetail bucks with it.
I’ve been reading your blog posts, and I’d like to first say thank you for making a very comprehensive collection of information about air guns!
I had a few questions I wanted to ask, and this seems like the right place. Unfortunately this blog post isn’t exactly relevant, but I’ve seen comments about posting questions on the most recent blog for visibility.
So my first and most important question is involving squibs: In the event of an air gun squib, is it safe to try re-firing (WITHOUT another pellet) to try to dislodge it? I would think so, given that it’s far less pressure and everything than a real firearm, and it works similarly then to the method of clearing squibs from a firearm using a blank with a low powder charge. Obviously it may not work, but there should be no damage whether successful or not, right?
Then my other two questions I think I got answers for, but want to confirm:
1: It is generally always safe to dry fire a single-stroke pneumatic, right? There is no spring requiring a cushion of air, and there is pressure to avoid valve bottoming due to the hammer. So it should be safe, right?
2: Is 3 in 1 oil safe for all parts of an air gun? I know it’s many people’s “go to” oil for them, but I’m wondering if in certain locations on certain guns if there is risk of detonation.
Thank you very much for any answers you provide!
Welcome to the blog.
You may ask anything at any place. That’s on of the best features of this blog.
Don’t try to shoot a jammed pellet out of an airgun. A spring piston gun would be a bad one to try, because that piston may be doing damage to the gun as you try to shoot out the pellet. Use a rod for this.In fact in most firearms the rod is the better answer.
Dry-firing a single stroke pneumatic is a question best answered by the maker. Some, like FWB, will allow it. Others like Gamo may not. Find out what the maker says and follow their rules.
3 in One oil is safe where general purpose oil is recommended. Like BB gun plungers, for example. It is not safe for most other applications, with the worst being the lubrication of precharged airguns. In powerful springers there is the definite risk of detonation, and you seem to know that. Follow your gut.
I think you are going to like this blog!
Thank you again very much for your responses!
I look forward to reading more of your posts!
I like the looks of the 99 better than the Red Rider. I hope this one is accurate!
I was at my cabin off grid when you posted the report on the Dragonfly Part 4 I had a few comments to add. Here is a link:
Overall I am happy with the Dragonfly, it is not exactly what I hoped for accuracy wise but is ok. I think with a fully floated barrel it will do better. At some point I may float the barrel and then if that is not as accurate as I desire I will replace the barrel with a Lothar/Walther.
One thing I did at the cabin that was fun was to hang a string between trees like a clothes line and hang clay pigeons from the string with clothes pins. I will need to do some brush and limb trimming to get past 60 yards. In a 20 mph wind that is typical at the cabin 60 yards is a challenge. I have many boxes of clay pigeons from when I shot them a lot so this makes fun use of them. They don’t always break though if you hit them in the center circle.
Time for me to catch up on the reports and comments, it is too hot to do much outside after noon.
It sounded like you liked your gun. I’m glad. I think it is a good one.