Daisy 20th Century Cast Iron gun
Daisy 20th Century Cast Iron Frame BB gun.

Part 1

History of airguns

This report covers:

  • The tests
  • Velocity test
  • Marksman BBs
  • Beeman Perfect Rounds
  • Accuracy
  • Sighting
  • Marksman accuracy
  • Beeman Perfect Round accuracy
  • Back up to 5 meters
  • Summary

Today we finish our look at the Daisy 20th Century Cast Iron BB gun, and, believe me when I tell you — there are some surprises coming!

The tests

I tested the gun for both velocity and accuracy today because I didn’t intend shooting it that much. It’s old and probably a bit brittle, so I want to baby it as much as possible. I will give you the specifics of each test as we go.

Velocity test

First I had to find some ammunition that fit the bore of this true 0.180-inch BB gun. I had the Marksman oversized BBs that measure 0.1765-inches in diameter. They do work. Then I tried some Beeman Perfect Rounds that measure 0.1775-inches. That’s the same diameter as the RWS Number 12 Zimmerstutzen balls I have, so I used the Beemans and not the Zimmers. Both of them weigh 8.5 to 8.7 grains. The Perfect Round is made by H&N, so they are equivalent to the round balls that they make.

I only shot 5 shots for velocity. Again that was to keep the usage down.

Marksman BBs

Five Marksman BBs averaged 206 f.p.s. which surprised me.  I expected less. What surprised me even more was the fact that they penetrated the stiff backer cardboard of my bullet trap.

The low was 187 and the high was 215 f.p.s. The spread was therefore 28 f.p.s. That 187 was the only velocity in five shots that dipped below 203 f.p.s.

Beeman Perfect Rounds

Five Beeman Perfect Rounds averaged 184 f.p.s. But the spread was just 6 f.p.s. — from 181 to 187 f.p.s. So they might be the more accurate BB.

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Accuracy

With accuracy testing I stayed with 5-shot groups, but as I had no clue where the gun might shoot, I started at 10 feet from the target for both BBs. I also had a large backstop board behind the trap to keep stray BBs out of the wall.

I shot using the UTG Monopod as my rest. Sadly Pyramyd Air no longer carries this item, but they do have one from Allen Company called an Axial Shooting Stick. It doesn’t have the rubber sling for the gun that works so well, but it looks like it probably works the same in all other ways.

Sighting

I used a 6 o’clock hold and that fat front sight blade looked big against the bullseye. It’s probably made for a dead-center aim. I was surprised I could see through the rear peep hole, but there is no problem. It actually looks big!

Marksman accuracy

From 10 feet the Daisy 20th Century gun put five Marksman BBs into a group that measures 2.213-inches between centers. I was surprised the BBs even hit the target paper. I didn’t know what to expect.

Marksman target
From 10 feet the Daisy 20th Century put five Marksman BBs into a 2.213-inch group that’s well-centered on target.

Not only did the BBs hit that target paper, they are centered on the bullseye! That was completely unexpected from a century-old BB gun! However, the accuracy was not good enough for shooting from 5 meters, in my opinion.

Beeman Perfect Round accuracy

Next I tried five Beeman Perfect Rounds and, once again, I was surprised! Five BBs went into 1.487-inches at 10 feet. They are all below the bull and well-centered, left to right. Yep, a dead-center hold is probably the best, though you lose some aiming precision that way, and I ain’t a’gonna do it.

Beeman target 10 feet
From 10 feet the Daisy 20th Century put 5 Beeman Perfect Rounds into a 1.487-inch group.

Back up to 5 meters

Okay, the Perfect Rounds earned a test from 5 meters which, at 16 feet and a couple inches, is more than 1.5 times farther back. The first shot landed below the bull as I expected. Then I shot the second round and there was no hole. Wait a minute, did the first hole grow in size just a little? Yes it did. That’s two BBs in the same hole from 5 meters. Wow!

Then life kicked in and I ended up with a 2.995-inch group. Still, it’s nicely centered and way better than I expected from a century-old BB gun.

Beeman target 5 meters
From 5 meters, five Beeman Perfect Rounds went into 2.995-inches. It’s still well-centered, left to right.

Summary

This has been a short little report on a BB gun that most of you will never see. I think it’s remarkable that it still works, let alone as good as this! I’m taking this one to the Malvern show, though when you read about this that show will be over. Did anyone buy it? We shall see (I’m writing this last Wednesday).