Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The piston seal
  • Tractors
  • Hierarchy of removing a stuck piston seal screw
  • Time to move on
  • Remove rust
  • What’s next?
  • Have to make a breech seal
  • How to make the seal
  • Summary

This is a continuation of the report on overhauling reader Michael’s Winchester 427 that is a Diana 27. Today I’m showing you the details of working on a spring gun.

The piston seal

When Diana chose a threaded screw to attach the piston seal to the piston body, they couldn’t have selected a worse method of fastening. A screw was a common way to attach spring-gun piston seals in the 1950s and ’60s, but it wasn’t a good way, because over time the screw threads corrode and cement the screw in place. In the case of Michael’s rifle, the corrosion is particularly bad, so that screw wants to stay put. read more


Tuning Michael’s Winchester 427: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Diana 27
Michael’s Winchester 427 is a Diana model 27 by another name. The rifle pictured is my Hy Score 807/Diana 27

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Michael’s Diana 27
  • Out of the box
  • Flat breech seal
  • No baseline test
  • Onward Through The Fog
  • Remove the action from the stock
  • Action into the compressor
  • Remove the piston
  • Disassembly complete
  • List of jobs
  • Summary

Michael’s Diana 27

Some time back, reader Michael mentioned some problems he was having with his new/old Winchester 427, which is a Diana 27 by another name. I offered to tune it for him because it’s been some time since I have been inside a 27. There are many new readers who are not aware of this wonderful air rifle, and I thought it was time they learned about it.

Diana made the model 27 for a great many years after WW II, and they made them for a number of other companies, as well. The guns were made in both .177 and .22, but Winchester and Hy Score only ordered them in .22 caliber, so a 427 and an 807 are always .22. read more


Tin can chronograph

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • How powerful is it?
  • Tin cans are not tin!
  • SAFETY!
  • Aluminum cans
  • Hickory tree chronograph
  • Back-door-to-hickory-tree chronograph
  • Leaf chronograph
  • The house silencer
  • Out of BBs
  • We were soldiers once, and young
  • Out of matches

No, this isn’t a “how to” piece about making a chronograph from a can. It’s a story about the past. For some of you it’s a story about “the old days” when we were kids and life was still fun. For others it goes back before you were born. But for all of you it should be interesting. So grab your coffee and let’s reminisce!

How powerful is it?

When I was a kid in the 1950s we all coveted the BB gun. As with all things in life, there were the “haves” and the “have-nots.” I was a have not, but I lived next door to a kid who was a have. Duane had a Daisy BB gun. It was some sort of El Cheapo model that didn’t come with a forearm, and it also shot to the left, but he knew exactly how much to hold off and was pretty good with it. The ownership of that small gun made him the Alpha in the neighborhood. read more


Ten-meter accuracy test — Daisy 499 versus Haenel 310

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Another failure!
  • The test
  • 499
  • Discussion 1
  • Haenel 310
  • Discussion 2
  • CZ75 P-07 Duty accuracy at 10 meters
  • Summary

I put today’s report in the historical section because it relates to both the Haenel 310 and the Diana model 30 that we tested recently. In the comments to the Diana 30 test the question was raised about which would be more accurate at 10 meters — the Daisy 499 Challenger or the Haenel model 310. I said I thought the 310 would beat the 499 because it is rifled, but several readers wanted to see. So, today we see.

Another failure!

Before I get to the results of today’s test, let me fill you in on another irony. I was going to test the accuracy of the Benjamin 700 today and the gun jammed as I started to shoot. This one has a happy ending, because I got it unjammed and working again, but that was after today’s test. There is more sweet irony in the story that unfolded there, but I will hold off on that until we get to the report. read more


Daisy Model 99 Target Special: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2

Daisy 99
Daisy Model 99 Target Special.

This report covers:

  • The test
  • What is accuracy in a BB gun?
  • Air Venturi Steel BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Dust Devils
  • Daisy BBs
  • Daisy Avanti Precision Ground Shot
  • Discussion
  • 499
  • Summary

Today is accuracy day for the Daisy 99 Target Special BB gun. Up to this point I have told you the history of the gun and we have looked at its velocity. Daisy purposely made this BB gun as a target gun. That means target sights and a sling. It also means a good trigger. But what about the barrel? Unless they did something with that you aren’t going to see any more accuracy from this gun than you would from a Red Ryder. I owned a 99 many years ago but it’s been so long that I can’t remember what it was like. I’m learning about this gun right alongside you. read more


Daisy Model 99 Target Special: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Part 1

Daisy 99
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.

Leather seals

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! read more


Daisy Model 99 Target Special: Part 1

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

A history of airguns

Daisy 99
Daisy Model 99 Target Special.

This report covers:

  • Not what I expected
  • Peep sight
  • Front sight
  • Sling
  • Action
  • Stock and forearm
  • Gravity-feed magazine
  • Forced-feed magazine
  • Three variations of the Model 99
  • 99 accuracy
  • Daisy 299
  • Comparison to the 499
  • Summary

Welcome to July! Today I thought I would start looking at the Daisy Model 99 Target Special that I acquired at the recent Texas airgun show. I know reader RidgeRunner is anticipating this report and perhaps others are, as well.

For the readers who are awaiting the next Diana model 23 rifle report, know that I am working on it in the background and hope to have something for you very soon.

And I learned something very important this weekend. Daisy also sold lead shot for the Targeteer. It was obviously number 6 birdshot, and it makes perfect sense, because it would have been far cheaper than heading steel wire to make steel shot. Just buy the shot and repackage it. We know it works, and it probably works better than the steel shot. The tubes of shot I bought from Ebay were all lead shot. I felt cheated until I did the research and discovered lead was also correct. The learning never ends. Now let’s look at the Daisy 99 Target Special. read more