The Daisy 35: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Daisy 35
Daisy 35 multi-pump pneumatic.

This report covers:

  • What’s different?
  • Smoothbore
  • Lightweight and easy to pump
  • Third time with the 35
  • The gun
  • Sights
  • Synthetics
  • Solid
  • Summary

Today I have a different airgun to look at — the Daisy 35. It’s a .177-caliber smoothbore multi-pump pneumatic that sells at a very competitive price. It shoots both BBs and pellets and we are going to give it a thorough examination!

What’s different?

The model 35 came out in 2011. It coexists with Daisy’s iconic model 880. Yes, it is a few dollars cheaper, but that’s not what it has going for it. Today as we look at the airgun we will examine some of the reasons the 35 exists.

Smoothbore

For starters the 35 is not rifled. This is a real BB gun — not an air rifle. Now — does the lack of rifling also mean that it’s inaccurate? Not necessarily, at least not at close range. We have seen smoothbore airguns put ten pellets into very tight groups at 10 meters, and that’s the distance at which this little airgun thrives. Call it 25-35 feet. The box says it’s for older kids, 16 and up, but that is because of the power. The velocity puts the 35 in Daisy’s Powerline range, which is a range slated for older youth. The Pyramyd Air website says the Daisy 35 can push a 5.1-grain steel BB out at up to 625 f.p.s. but Daisy says 690 f.p.s. on the box.  Naturally I will test this for you.

Lightweight and easy to pump

The reviews say it’s good for younger kids, and I concur with that. The 35 weighs 2.25 lbs., according to the Pyramyd Air description.  I put the test gun on my kitchen scale and recorded 2 lbs. 7.8 oz, which is closer to 2.5 lbs. That’s still light, no matter how you look at it.

The pump handle and the pump rod are the short stroke kind, unlike those same parts on the Daisy 880. Yet as short as the pump linkage is, it’s also quite easy to pump. In fact that is one of the things most reviewers comment on.

Daisy 35 pump handle
The pump handle is short, but the gun pumps easily.

The 35 has a pump range of 3 to 10 strokes. Do not exceed 10 pumps as nothing is gained and parts of the pump linkage are strained by too much stress.

Naturally younger kids need adult supervision when shooting an airgun of any kind, but the Daisy 35 is one that’s made for them. Yet, with a pull of 13-inches, it’s not uncomfortable for an adult.

Third time with the 35

I tested the Daisy 35 back in 2011-2012, right after it first came out. I got lousy groups in that first 3-part test, but Daisy contacted me after one of our readers told them he was getting far better accuracy than I did in my test. In those days Daisy was quite proactive and I was contacted by their Vice President of marketing, Joe Murfin, who asked me to try the accuracy test again. I did test the 35 for accuracy again, in March of 2013, and I did get markedly better groups this time. I also learned what works best with the 35, and I will pass that along to you in this report.

Additionally in that second test, I learned that the 35’s ultra-small loading trough often causes pellets to flip around backwards as they are rolled in. That can be a source of accuracy problems. Fortunately one of our readers recently told me about cross-locking reverse tweezers that will hold pellets in tight places, so I am set up well for testing this 35.

Daisy 35 loading trough
The loading trough is very small. BBs load from the magazine via a magnet on the bolt, but pellets must be loaded singly, one at a time. I will use cross-locking tweezers for this.

And finally I discovered that a Daisy 35 does best with premium pellets, just like any other airgun. I had originally tested the first 35 with cheap pellets, but in the second test I selected premium pellets that reduced the group size by more than half. Based on all of this I would say that I am fully prepared to give this Daisy 35 a fair and honest test.

The gun

The Daisy 35 is a lightweight multi-pump pneumatic  that shoots either BBs or pellets. When shooting steel BBs the 35 is a 50-shot repeater. I emphasize steel BBs because there is a magnet on the bolt tip that pulls the next BB out of the magazine and holds it on the bolt tip for loading and firing. Obviously the BB has to be ferrous for this to work. I plan to test the gun with Smart Shot, but they will have to be loaded singly like lead pellets.

Sights

There are no fiberoptics on the sights! I believe this is a cost consideration but it does make for a nicer set of open sights.

And the sights are fully adjustable within a small range. Elevation is by a stepped ramp and windage is by a sliding rear notch.

Daisy 35 rear sight
The Daisy 35 rear sight adjusts in both directions. See what a little thought can do for very little money?

Synthetics

The airgun is largely synthetic on the outside. The barrel has a tapered outer steel shell wrapped around a synthetic interior, inside of which a thin soda-straw steel barrel rests.

Solid

I was surprised to see how many reviews of the gun said it is surprisingly solid and well-made. I have to agree with that assessment. As lightweight as it is you would think that it feels like a toy, but when it fires it seems quite substantial. I know this is just Part One and there’s still a lot of testing to go, but I have already pumped the gun and shot it several times.

Summary

What we have in the Daisy 35 is a solid little youth airgun that’s affordable and substantial. I plan to see just how great a value this little airgun is. Stay tuned!

76 thoughts on “The Daisy 35: Part 1


  1. BB
    I know you like to make it clear that smoothbore airguns should not be called rifles. I have been calling all airguns, bb and pellet, that shoot from the shoulder rifles simply to differentiate them from pistols.
    What do you call a smoothbore airgun that shoots from the shoulder, like this one, to describe it to someone who knows nothing about airguns. Calling something an airgun pistol is clear enough but is it rifled or not? Should a pistol that is not rifled be called a pistol or a short barreled hand held airgun as opposed to ? … a long barrel shouldered airgun?
    Simply calling something a BB gun falls short in identifying it as a pistol or a … “Rifle”
    Are we to understand that all ‘BB airguns’ are considered shoulder fired unless specifically identified as a pistol ?
    Come to think about it I guess we really should not be using the word fired with airguns….


    • Bob M,

      LOL! This is awesome! You are diving in deep with this one. You have some really great questions that will be difficult to answer, at least satisfactorily.

      An air musket?

      In some of the truly savvy naval movies, they would yell out “shoot” or “launch”, not “fire”. The term “fire” is reserved for one of the most terrifying events on a ship. With airguns, it has been carried over from the powder burner world. “Shoot” would likely be the more correct term, but “fire” is not likely going away.


      • RR
        Just stirring the pot 🙂
        I guess technically a smoothbore BB long gun and a rifled pellet long gun. Now if you assume someone already knows only pellet guns are rifled you could shorten it to BB long gun or what ever it is a copy of.
        It’s just that the term “Long gun” is not used much these days unless it is referring to a really long musket type rifle.
        I think BB is fighting a loosing battle, anything fired (shot) from the shoulder is a rifle now. It’s just further described as a BB (Smoothbore) or pellet (Rifled barrel) … Then we have the modified rifled BB / pellet gun 🙁
        Long guns are just shoulder fired small arms.


        • Bob M,

          Aah! But stirring the pot can make others think.

          Now with BB, it is not so much the battle but “Here are the facts. What you do with them is your business.”

          I have also found that if you keep at it, sometimes it catches on. Such things as “sproingers”, “glowy thingy sights” and “feral soda cans” have become everyday terms here and understood by almost everyone.

          Perseverance is the name of the game.


          • I once used your “feral soda cans” term when talking to a colleague at work about my airgun shooting activities. She thought it was a strange description, but it was good for a laugh.


            • Cstoehr,

              Great! That will get put away somewhere in the back of her mind and one day when the time is right it will pop out and someone else will get to hear it. As I said, perseverance.




          • Vana2
            A Multi-Shot PCP Pellet Pistol with a collapsible stock as found on a PDW (Personal Defense Weapon)
            Not sure where the line is drawn between a Carbine and a long pistol That’s another can of worms.
            Especially since they have Carbines that use Pistol ammunition and vise versa. Look at an AR-15 pistol.
            Now if that stock was fixed in place, you would obviously have a short barreled rifle as defined by the BATF. And if it were a firearm it would also be one as is. Fortunately airguns seem to be exempt from a lot of BATF classifications.
            Otherwise I would simply call it a really nice airgun !




                • Deck,

                  The P16 is out of my league. I am not a pistol guy in any sense of the word. 🙂

                  The PP750 was $349 (Canadian) and for that price I had been thinking that it might be something to plink with and maybe for some pesting while working in the garden. Just checked and the pistol is now $377 (plus tax and shipping) so it is more than I can justify for how much I would use it. I usually drag the Maximus around with me when I’m working outside so I’m good as is.

                  Thanks for the recommendation though!

                  Hank


              • Vana2
                I have an Evanix PCP AR6 Renegade 22cal Revolver, as well as the Carbine and Rifles. To be honest I have never shot it. BB reviewed it a while back so I have a good Idea how it performs.
                I buy a lot of airguns as a collector and I get some simply because I get the feeling it will not be around long. So far that has worked out well for me. I have a lot of discontinued airguns. I did not have to think long about purchasing a replica Wire Stock Daisy.

                Anyway, think about what you really want a 22 PCP for. You will have to refill it a lot and if it’s not regulated you will have shot air management to deal with. I consider it a powerful fun plinker / target shooter. Even if it is powerful enough hunt to small game, I would prefer a rifle for that.
                So when will I shoot it? Well I retired from working in 2009 and when I get older and more or less retire from life and chores I will set up a shooting bench and enjoy them all. For now I just shoot a select few on a regular basis and may pull one of the collection out once in a while.
                Bob M


                • Interesting that you’re a collector Bob.

                  Guess that technically I’m a collector as well but not in the same way as you. I tend to buy equipment/tools for a specific application and everything sees regular use.

                  I’m retired as well. Been a couple of years now and I am still not caught up with all my projects. Don’t think that will ever happen.

                  Cheers,
                  Hank


                  • Hank
                    Your not alone there. I have toolboxes with aircraft tools, car tools, plumbing tools, electrical tools, home tools not to mention the small ones with common and metric tools and a 10′ x10′ shed for yard tools.
                    Yes life’s chores in the country can be overwhelming and never ending. It doesn’t take long to find out that you have no time for anything even after you retire and going at it alone, for the most part for me, doesn’t help. I also care for my disabled ex who was recently denied a drivers license for her eye sight. I drive a lot these days!
                    I may have to rethink my future plans for airguns and enjoy them all sooner than later. Especially with Covid these days. I get my first shot tomorrow.
                    Bob M




      • BB-

        In the large world of shoulder ‘fired’ small arms, perhaps we should resurrect the term ‘smooth rifle’ from the muzzleloading firearm era. These wonderful guns had many or all of the attributes of their rifled cousins. Being smooth bore, meant easier cleaning, obviated the need for periodic reboring and refreshing the rifling and could be used with shot charges.

        Be a trendsetter- what is old is new again!



      • BB,

        I think your role of educator holds you to a certain standard of accuracy in your terminology, as I feel it should. For the rest of us, I think it’s prudent to consider our audience and adjust accordingly. The goal is to communicate, is it not, rather than demonstrate how versed we are in the jargon of our hobby. I use “long gun” when among folks that I think know the difference and “rifle” when talking to most folks. If I get it wrong, big deal, I just take a second to clarify if I’m misunderstood. And for my part, I ALWAYS want to be made AWARE of the most correct of “whatever”, later I’ll decide how I’ll use the info.

        Half




  2. I have a hard time understanding the reason to shoot a pellet out of a smooth bore. I would just call it a bb gun and only shoot bbs out of it. I know about and use foster slugs for deer hunting out of a smooth bore shotgun. But I dont think this gun is for hunting. I would think the best use for it would be as a plinker using bbs, and not waste the more expensive pellets in a smooth bore.


  3. BB,

    Q: How is it that you know that there is a synthetic sleeve/material between the barrel and outer barrel shell?

    On GTA, several people picked up 880’s and it sparked a whole mod. conversation. Wrapping the barrel with tape or something was one mod (to fill the space between it and the shroud). Filling the piston head was another (more compression) and trigger mods were some more. The trigger pull can reduced by more than 1/2 per comments.

    Looking forwards to see how it does.

    Chris



      • BB,

        I don’t want to speak for Chris, but I don’t think that he was questioning the material that it was made of, but rather, whether it encapsulates the length of the straw barrel. That inner sleeve that you are referencing in only a little longer than the length of the front sight. I doesn’t enclose the straw barrel along its entire length. The sight is part of the sleeve and it is slid into a notch cut in the outer shroud. It serves the dual purpose of being the front sight and acting as a bushing to center the front of the straw barrel in the outer tubular shroud. I’m making some assumptions here, based on other guns that are constructed as I described. I have only looked at the close ups in the PA listing for this gun. The mods that Chris mentions are about adding a layer of tape to the end of the straw so it fits tighter in the bushing and/or stuffing the longer gap from the receiver to the bushing with the polyester batting that one would stuff a throw pillow with, in order to maintain a constant position of the straw withing the shroud. If I’ve misunderstood Chris, I invite him to correct me.

        Half


        • Half,

          I am not familiar with all the mods. Yes,.. keeping the end of the barrel stable is ideal. As mentioned, this does not seem to be an issue with the newer models. On the other hand,… having the barrel unsupported the entire other length,.. may not be good either. I have heard of injecting epoxy and so on. Me? I would do a series of tape wraps (every 2″ or so) along the length.

          On the 499,… I split some PVC hose and taped it on. I figured that it would at least reduce barrel vibrations. Maybe not,… but I did it. It is not tight to shroud.

          Chris


    • The combination front sight and barrel sleeve is all one piece that slides into the barrel shroud. Does a good job of centering the barrel in the shroud. It is interchangeable with an 880, etc., fiber optic sight if you wish. Available for a dollar from Daisy.


      • Paco,

        I need to get one and play with it. I want to do some real digging on what is possible. Filling the hollow butt is one common mod. (Actual) performance mods seem limited. Solid barrel swaps?,… not heard of that. On the front sight,…. that seems to be a common mod.,.. as what is there (as best I recall) does not do the stabilization well enough as most people do more.

        Thanks for the insight. Daisy is great for parts and I hope that never goes away. Pump cups for the 880 seem to be an issue now (maybe older ones only?) as I recall reading that often. Foam oil wipers too.

        With the gun/ammo/covid shortages,… I think the 880 saw a bit of a resurgence for those that could find them at Wally world and other outlets. Thus the renewed interest.

        Chris


        • Chris-

          The ‘tape mod’ ie, several wraps of electrical tape around the straw barrel to tighten the barrel to front sight and shroud fit helps on the older older guns. New ones don’t need it.

          I just picked up one of these model 35s at the local TSC store today. There isn’t a removable buttplate, so not sure whether it’s possible to add the tube of caulk.


          • Paco,

            Good for you. The filling the butt thing gets “interesting” with all of the various things people will use, (used pellets, silicone, walnut shells, plastic beads,… you name it).

            Forearm filling has also been discussed. (fiberglass, epoxy, etc.)

            Both are more of a feel/weight/balance/solidifing mod obviously.

            A length of pull (LOP) add on (very well matched) would be a nice mod item for these mid size shooters.

            Chris


  4. B.B.,
    What a neat little non rifled rifle 😉 Strange the box says 690 fps. I went to Daisy’s web site to check. The web site says 625 fps (Like PA did) but unlike PA, said 625 fps with bbs or pellets (“The Daisy Powerline Model 35 Multi-Pump Pneumatic shoots both BBs and .177 caliber pellets at 625 feet per second.”) I’m looking forward the velocity and accuracy tests. The late James House also liked this gun (I think the book says his Wife really liked it if I recall).

    Doc


    • Doc,
      James House the writer passed? I didnt know that. Thanks for letting me know, I liked his books. Especially American Airguns, about the multi pumpers. Great book.
      Jim.


      • Jim,
        Yes I believe so. I can’t remember how long ago. Yes I have that Pump book of his and his C02 book. They are dated now, but still very good read with a lot of info/data in them. I still read them from time to time.

        Doc




  5. B.B.,

    Dependent on your final findings, I think I might buy one of these. It’s inexpensive, portable, light, easy to pump and looks like a lot of fun. I haven’t bought very many new air guns over the past couple years, but this one might find a place stood up in the corner in my kitchen next to my Red Ryder, 499, and Winchester 427, the go-to plinker corner.

    Michael


    • Michael,

      Do you already have a 880? If not, you may want to consider it if you think you will be shooting mostly pellets. It will shoot bbs from a bulk storage bin in the gun also, but it has a rifled barrel. If you plan to shoot bbs I don’t know if the rifling will make it less accurate than it would otherwise be were it not rifled. I’ve seen 880s for as little as $35 WITH a 4X20 scope included. I know it ain’t much of a scope, but I shoot better with it than I do with open sights, that’s how bad MY aging eyes are. You just trying to stay strictly smoothbore?

      Half


      • Half,

        The last one I had,.. I turned out the objective lens and made it usable for closer range. Not ideal, but it worked. If I had an 880 tweaked out,… I would put something slightly better on it. UTG most likely.

        Chris


        • Chris,

          There’s a 4X32 scope out there for $29 that seems to be focused and parallax free at about 25ish yards. Just put one on my 392 and am going to be putting it through the paces. Came with Weaver rings. Cheap but I think it’s going to be great on cheap guns shooting in under 25 yards. I bought a couple of them. I find I need a scope to enjoy shooting anymore. Old inflexible lenses in my peepers and too many floaters make open sights a chore and I don’t want to have to move a scope from one gun to another so I gotta go cheap. And I sort of embrace the Soviet view that perfection is the enemy of good enough.

          On a different subject, did you by any chance read my probably overlong comment at the end of Part 2 on the FX Radar? You’re kind of analytical and I would appreciate if you can think of any other variables that I might test to explain why BB’s having so much trouble setting up his unit to get a good result. I’m thinking it’s a bad unit because mine doesn’t seem very finicky at all in the set up.

          Half


          • Half,

            I need a scope too. Cheap or top-ish end.

            I can’t help on the FX chrono. I like it,… but I am not one to deal with tech. issues. I have a smart phone that is (probably?) good enough to replace my laptop,.. but I use it for just calling. My remote read shooting chrony does well enough. Have not used in 1 year +.

            I tend to go top end if I can. I would go the Shootski route if getting serious on chrony work,.. I think.

            Chris



  6. B.B. and Readership,

    What???

    Firearm, Airgun, Catapult gun (rubber band pure spring, etc.)

    Handgun

    Revolver
    Pistol

    Long gun

    Musket
    Shot/Scattergun
    Rifle
    Railgun

    Thinking caps on please!
    Add any that I missed that are NOT simply types of ammo e.g., sluggun when it is already covered by a shotgun with rifled barrel; therefore a rifle.
    Also, Muzzleloader is an action type not a basic arm type since it could be a pistol, rifle, musket, canon or mortar!

    Hope the 35 is a “Daisy!”

    shootski


    • Shootski,

      There’s blunderbuss. Rifled musket was a separate type at one time. There is also the distention of muzzle-loading and breech-loading, although I don’t know if there were breech-loading muskets or if all breech-loaders were rifled by the time that technology came to be, or, for that matter, whether musket had come to mean just smoothbored shoulder guns by then and ….. we have opened quite a heretofore sealed, cylindrical, metallic vessel of Lumbricus terrestris, have we not?

      Half

      Half


      • Half,

        Oh Goodie, Goodie! Bathroom Humor…
        Ah… a favorite of mine. LOL!

        All because some folks have come to believe Smoothbore typically, if not always, equals inaccurate!

        I think poorly executed rifled barrels, improperly matched ammunition, are far more imprecise than a well made smoothbore! If the projectile is made to spin by some means beside grooves inside a tube all the better. At least the projectile doesn’t get all cut up and deformed before it hits the Vannus!

        shootski



  7. BB
    Well, I have slept on the use of the word Rifle when it comes to Airguns.
    Pyramyd Air calls just about every shoulder mounted airgun a rifle. It is either a BB Rifle or a Pellet Rifle regardless of the bore. The term BB or Pellet identifies the Airgun bore used these days as opposed to smoothbore and riffled firearms.
    I’m not an Historian so I’m going to ‘assume’ the term Rifle evolved as a way to identify a firearm with rifling as opposed to a smoothbore musket. And since both were long guns and the musket eventually faded away what you had left was a rifle.
    I would even step out and say the term Rifle was a sort of slang or abbreviated term used to describe a rifled barrel long gun. The term long gun simply faded away with the Musket and the term Rifle replaced it. So it is not unusual for all shoulder mounted guns to be called Rifles even though some time in the past it was used to describe a long gun with a rifled barrel and not a smoothbore.
    So today we have Rifles and Pistols and handful of adjectives to further identify them. “A CO2 powered BB Rifle Airgun – AK1”
    Bob M


    • Bob,

      I am with you. Rifle and pistol. Take it further from there,.. if one so wishes to. That said,…any shooter worth their muster should know the differences and applications.

      Chris


      • Chris USA
        And as I mentioned in my reply to Vana2 above we now have a sort of third type of identification. The PDW. The Personal Defense Weapon. A pistol with a folding or collapsible stock for airguns … OR …a short barreled rifle for firearms.
        Bob M



          • Chris USA
            Then again … if it’s a select fire PDW it may also fall into the classification of a sub-machine gun !!!
            Look at all the types of UZI’s out there. Carbines and pistols. I’m not going any further with this 🙂


          • Chris USA
            “Done well” The big problem I see is trying to use pistol sights when using it as a rifle. But as a PDW you would be more concerned with close up danger and body size targets and more than likely shooting full auto with not too much time for aiming precisely. A compromise at best.


  8. As far as I’m concerned, the best thing you can do with this is return it and get a Daisy 880 instead. At least you will have some semblance of accuracy at a distance.

    If you decide to keep it, cut the barrel off, leaving leaving about 2 inches and use some shrink wrap to attach a brass barrel and make an air shotgun. They are fun to play with.

    Brent


  9. I’m pumped about this report and looking forward to the upshot of it! I have a Daisy 35. The reverse grip tweezers are a good idea. I don’t have any yet, so I tend to use BBs more than pellets because the repeater feeding works smoothly and makes shooting relaxing. The light weight of the gun is nice too.

    The logical conclusion of adding more and more sides to a polygon is a circle, a polygon with infinitely many sides, so I think that the “smoothbore” barrel of the Daisy 35 could be accurately referred to as an example of infinitely polygonal rifling.


  10. On both the Daisy 880 and 35, I always, when loafing pellets, first push the bolt slighty forwards to cover hole whete the bb resoirvoir is. You can get a pellet stuck in there if you don’t do this step. I now this the hard way.
    I don’t have a 35 anymore. I bought one years ago hoping it would be a decent grouper with bbs. It wasn’t, so I just shot pellets in mine, which worked out much better.


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