Saturday, June 5, 2010

Daisy \ Avanti 747

Stock grips are plastic

Rifles have always out number pistols in my collection by about 10 to 1. Why? I find even the most humble of long guns will out shoot the best pistol in my hands.

This has nothing to do with the accuracy the pistol may be capable of when locked in a vise, what I am referring to are real world situations. I doubt I am alone in this, my smooth bore Daisy 499 will put the rifled Daisy 747 to shame which is the reason pistol targets are enormous in size when compared to rifle cousins.

Side lever is easy to use

So why buy pistols? First it does allow economical practice in the home and can be challenging in a much smaller space. Shooting a scoped rifle at 15 to 21 feet for an extended time would be about as exciting as watching a peeled apple turned brown, whereas you can entertain yourself with a pistol nicely.

In comes the Avanti 747. It is a single stroke pneumatic, and as such its power is derived from a single stroke of a side lever, which I find one of the best power plants for a pistol. This gives it a calm firing cycle without the need for CO2. However as with most benefits, it does have a down side. The power plant needs a good bit of real estate and makes for a fairly large size. If you want to simulate shooting your little .380 this is not the ticket. If I had to compare it with a firearm counterpart I would say the target style .22 rimfires that Browning, Ruger, and others make are closest.

Sized like a .22 rimfire target pistol

It has a solid feel other than the plastic factory grips which I replace with a nice after-market set from RB. I think this also helps the balance, which is a little front heavy in  stock form. As I touched on it is a pleasure to cock, load and shoot. The barrel has a Lothar Walther pedigree, so you can only blame yourself when you miss. With energy at about 2 ft lbs, you should not consider hunting at all and any pest larger than a mouse at 7 feet should be given a pass.

Multi Pump pneumatics will offer more power, but are slow to reload and want to bite fingers, spring power pistols can be hunters but will be more difficult to shoot and louder, CO2 can provide faster action, smaller size and often greater power, but more noise, expense, and the hassle of being at the correct temperature come into play.

So where does the 747 fit in? It can occupy an evening nicely dispatching makeshift targets indoors or out that would be like shooting fish in a barrel with a rifle. Its quiet low power operation also means you will mostly go undetected and the inevitable misses are contained with ease.

Summary: Relaxing target shooting and plinking with the confidence that when you miss it is your fault and not the pistol are its hallmark.


  1. Volvo,

    I spent a great deal of time on the Lothar Walther website, thanks to your link. I don't know why it never occurred to me to look for that before.

    Note to self: Try to convince wife that it's perfectly normal to shoot airguns in the house.

    I'd also like to mention that my 6-24x56 Nikko Stirling Nighteater came in a couple of days ago. If anyone wants to read a short review, I can post some comments on how it stacks up against the 6-24x56 Leapers SWAT.


    I wanted to follow your advice and resist the temptation to mount this scope on a springer. So instead of putting it on the TX200 for a test run, it's sitting proudly on my 1077. Somehow, the whole package really came together after I attached the 4" sun shade. One thing that baffles me, though, is that my accuracy hasn't spontaneously improved with this rig. At 15 yards and full magnification, the 10m target takes up my entire field of view. You'd think I wouldn't still be missing. I probably just need a bigger scope.

    - Orin

  2. Orin,
    no, you need a much longer barrel.

    Of course it's normal to shoot airguns in the house. A ballistic putty trap is perfect.

  3. Orin

    Whenever my wife gives me a look like I have lost my marbles for doing something stupid inside the house, I just look at her like SHE'S the one that is crazy. It's called transference. Works like a charm. Now, when she says "Stop shooting, I'm walking upstairs" there is not even a hint of irritation in her voice.

    I would very much like to read your impressions of the Nighteater.

    Still missing your target huh? You are right, you need a much bigger scope. Try this one.

    Just kidding. The high magnification can be to your detriment. When the bullseye looks as big as a half dollar you tend to wobble around trying too hard and overcompensate. Dial that baby down to a lower level, and you will notice you can hold more steady. It is counter intuitive but it works.

  4. Orin,
    I would be glad to let you do a guest blog on the scopes. I would just need your e-mail address, if you put it in a comment I can grab it and then delete it. Otherwise I fear Slinging Lead will sign you up for all sorts of naughty things.
    While I lack pool weather in my area, on the plus side being about 1100 feet above sea level means basements are the norm. These are prefect indoor shooting areas. Besides a quiet trap I use a Gamo trap filled with duct seal.

  5. Volvo,

    Ahhh.... thanks for my fix! I have passed the test of patience- haven't ordered from DAK yet! Am sooo tempted. Just don't know what. If I didn't already have an HW30-Something, I'd go for that. But I'm still trying to figure out what's better, an HW77 or 97.


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  7. Volvo

    The "Lovin' Llamas" magazine subscription I signed you up for was only a joke, and I already apologized for that.

  8. I think I need to keep adding smiley faces to my sarcastic comments so people know I'm joking. Come on guys... FT scope on a plastic, CO2-powered 1077? I wasn't even able to get a rise out of anyone? S.L. – I might need you to pass me some tips.

    The huge scope looks absolutely ridiculous on the 1077, of course. For some reason, I never took the time to find the best pellet for this gun. I went through about 20 different types last night and discovered that it prefers Beeman FTS Double Golds and Kodiaks/Baracudas. Talk about expensive tastes for a $50 gun! Anyway, I was shooting from 20 yards at standard 10m rifle targets. Normally, the black centers make it really hard for me to see hits, even at 3-6x but at 24x, I had no problem making out my groups. As silly as it looks, it was certainly functional for pellet preference testing. As soon as my 30mm Weaver mounts come in, it'll go on the Benji Trail XL for a while so I can do some 100-yard accuracy tests. Then who knows… maybe on a tripod for a spotting scope.


    I wasn't really attempting to volunteer a guest blog, but if you want me to, I can. Otherwise, I'm perfectly happy typing away in this little comments box. Let me know what you prefer.


    Transference, huh? I always thought that was when I begged, "Please, honey?" and was shot down with a resounding "NO!" I guess I need to work on my technique.

    - Orin

  9. I am a big fan of the Daisy 7 pistols. Its been years since I have bought anew 717, but at one time it was possible to order the 747 parts from Daisy.

    The good barrel of the 747 sold for 26 bucks and a person needed only a Phillips screwdriver and a 9/16" wrench to do the switch out. It was a little more accurate and probably worthwhile to do.

  10. Sorry, that one got away from me. It was also possible to increase power by looking at the path that the air takes into the barrel.

    There is a hole in the barrel that should match the cast piece from the valve. These are always off by a small amount. Sometimes the hole is restricted 50% from not being aligned correctly. My old 717 went from 330 fps to 375 by matching this hole and smoothings things out.