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Accuracy of Daisy 1894's

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BB1Shooter View Drop Down
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    Posted: October-28-2019 at 5:08pm
I have eleven different models of the Daisy (Sears) 1894. Most are the earlier version 40 shot BB loading in the receiver model. Two are the 1990's version, with plastic receiver & lever, and one is the 2000's Winchester/Daisy wood stock version that loads 15 shots in the underbarrel. Most of the older versions have plastic stocks, except the Buffalo Bill/Cody Wy. 150/100 year Centennial edition and one of my Sears (crafted by Daisy) Golden (Yellow) Boys, that I had a wood stock & foregrip installed (bought set from JG, when they still had them).
 
My question is regarding the accuracy. On a 22 ft. basement range. I find a great variance in the accuracy of them, from a rested position. Although you can adjust the elevation a bit, but not fully, the windage can be an issue on some of them.
 
The most accurate one is my 1894-1994 100 year commemorative edition with octagon barrel. This one is close to dead centre. A couple of the others are also close, but some have larger windage issues, and elevation issues that can't be resolved with the adjustable wedge. I sometime need to remove the wedge completely, to get the elevation close.  I have learned to adjust the POA on some to compensate. But with so many airguns, need to keep notes.
 
I know BB guns are by their nature not that accurate, but why such variation among the same model of a BB gun? I have check them the best I can, and do not see any bent barrels. Most shoot in the 250-290 fps range, and all work properly.
 
I have a new Umarex Legends Cowboy Lever Action, shell loading BB/pellet CO2 airgun, copy of the Winchester 1894. It comes with a smooth bore barrel, and shoots about twice as fast at 600 fps. It is dead on accurate. As well, a number of my other BB rifles & pistols have better accuracy than most of the Daisy 1894's.
 
Anyone with experience with these older Daisy's want to comment? Is there a solution, other than just adjust your POA?
 
Would I get better accuracy from the new adult version Red Ryder? I see it is rated at 350 fps.
 
Thanks for listening.
 
 
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cobalt327 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-28-2019 at 10:11pm
TL-DR:
  • Clean barrel free of oil.
  • Try Daisy Avanti Match Grade precision ground steel shot.
  • Try Marksman Premium Grade Steel BBs.
  • The adult Red Ryder is the same gun as the Red Ryder sold in Walmart except for the buttstock. Neither will shoot 350 fps, maybe 280 fps on a good day.

Number one is to clean the barrel until it's free of oil. I use denatured alcohol and a .177 cotton mop on a cleaning rod but 91% isopropyl can be substituted. Patches work fine too. Over oiling the gun is not helpful. It causes the barrel to get oil fouled very quickly, and there goes the accuracy.

The barrel ID has a whole lot to do with accuracy. A tighter barrel-to-BB fit has always meant better accuracy, all else being equal. These things aren't just my opinion- it has been independently tested and shown to be true by others, some of them have posted about it here- https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/putting-a-little-more-power-in-a-15-00-daisy.807316/  

Some barrel (or shot tube, according to Daisy) ID's are smaller, the smallest of any production Daisy is the model 499B- and it's no coincidence it's also the most accurate BB gun there is. 

The only way within reason to improve the barrel to BB fit is to shoot a larger OD BB. The Daisy Avanti BBs are the "go-to" BB for that, but recently the Marksman Premium Grade Steel BB from Pyramyd Air has shown to be even larger than the Avanti BB. This is good, to a point. In guns that they can safely be used in, the MV always increases and the potential is there for improved accuracy, too. But care has to be used to not jam a gun with Marksman BBs- they're that big. Before shooting them, I see if a BB will roll unassisted down the barrel and back out. I never try to force it- that's how a jam gets serious, sometimes even requiring the gun to be disassembled.

There's another way to improve accuracy but it's beyond the ability of most hobby airgunners and that's to choke the barrel. Highly impractical for this discussion.

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BurghDude View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BurghDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-28-2019 at 11:08pm
I'd add that being spring guns, a lot of movement and vibration happens when you take a shot. I've not heard of too many spring guns shooting well directly rested.

Personally I've had my best luck with accuracy by holding the gun, shooting offhand, with my left hand all the way back under the trigger guard. When I hold the gun with my left hand in the traditional spot, the groups open up.

And I 100% agree that clean barrels matter. I've read time and time again that you don't need to clean bb gun barrels, but I noticed that many times after I oiled a gun, its accuracy suffered. Cleaning cures the issue far more often than not.
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cobalt327 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2019 at 4:44am
The root of the problem, at least the way I see it, is there's too much tolerance leeway with many Daisy BB guns. Some guns are going to have a tolerance stacking that makes them above average, others will be below average and the bulk of them will fall somewhere in between.
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Airitis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Airitis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2019 at 8:28am
Agreeing with what Burgh and Cobalt said, a clean bore is essential. My neighbor likes to shoot BBs in her dual ammo pneumatic. I was able to tighten the groups considerably by running the shot tube using the snake and patch method.

I believe Daisy suggests the Red Ryders' accuracy to be limited to 5 yards. That being said, I don't know what type of groups an 1894 would expect across the board. But the jolt you get from a typical springer is bound to distort the flight somewhat.

Since not all guns are of equal quality, your best bet may be to find the most accurate one(s). Clean well and enjoy them as you can.
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cobalt327 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cobalt327 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-29-2019 at 2:58pm
I don't know how I missed BurghDude's post but I agree with it, too. Case in point is a highly modified Daisy 105B Buck I own. It hits hard- almost 500 fps- and before adding weight to it, it was less accurate than all of my other modified guns because of the light weight and powerful spring. It's an extreme case, but the same MV from a pumper could shoot good groups even if it weighed just 1 pound!
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