Daisy 499: World's Most Accurate BB-Gun -- Ideal for Kids
February 21, 2008
Here's a bb-gun that was designed for the Jaycee's youth bb-gun program as well as for 4H and the Boy Scouts. It's low-power, to satisfy modern paranoia. And it's very, very accurate. Costs about $100 these days---it looks like they're being cleared-out.
Now, I don't mean pellet guns here. This is a BB gun. Standard lever model. BUT! This one is unlike any other BB gun in that it is AS ACCURATE as a better pellet gun---at close range. Sweet!
It's made for kids from 7-14. It's full-sized. (I, gulp, cut down the stock of ours to fit Henry better when he was maybe 8---it's really for 10 and up.)
Even if a kid won't be around guns much, if you live in a rural area or your kids might encounter guns, they should know the rules for safety. These can be taught without shooting, of course. Or you can use the shooting sports as a way to show how a dangerous tool can be used safely, an important lesson. Other great ops for this kind of lesson are the first jack-knife (and ax) then sports'n'martial-arts then power tools and then driver's ed. Then dating... : ) Then there's the caring for and training of pets, and even large animals, including dogs---another opportunity to manage danger safely---or gardens---and even bees---but I digress. Never a dull moment!)
The key to the accuracy is that Daisy also commissioned special BB's to be made for it.
It's a single-shot, also. You drop one BB at a time down the barrel for each shot. It encourages safe deliberation. Kids don't mind this---because the pay-off is so satisfying. It actually hits what they aim at!
When Henry was 7 I bought him the cheapest Daisy. Bad idea. It had a lever that I hardly could cock. It had a trigger that I hardly could pull. Then it sent a BB most anywhere. BAD! It was also somewhat loud and had a harsh recoil even. Very unpleasant in every way.
By contrast this $100 Daisy is perfect in every way. It's wood. It has peep-sights.
People don't always realize that peeps give scope-like accuracy while notch-type open sights give very little control at all. One actually shouldn't have to think about lining up sights or a rear sight at all in any kind of shooting. (From what I can tell at this point.) With a peep you don't align you just look thru and set your bullseye on the front post. This works with the M1 Garand highpower .30-06 out at 1000 yards. To get continuous bullseyes. Without a scope. In the right hands. OK, in the end a scope is best, but for human-scale skill, a peep is all you need. By contrast a notch sight is---I would contend---very hard to shoot straight! It takes WAY more skill than is needed for an aspect of shooting that you really shouldn't have to consider. Rant off. (Go peep!)
It has a gentle trigger pull.
Buy the fancy steel BBs that are available with it. They work great.
The upshot is that you can get one-ragged-hole groupings with this BB gun at 20 feet or so. What fun! (The standard Jaycee, 4H, BS event is 15 feet, actually.) All you need is a heavy cardboard box to stop the BBs. They will bounce vigorously back at you off of trees---so wear goggles! (If you shoot at wood, say.)
I have some fun history with this BB gun. When I was 14 I entered a Jaycee BB gun contest at the local big suburban mall. (Seen any of those lately?) And I won! The prize was a BB gun! I was out of my gourd with joy. This was the older, original Model 99 version of this same airgun. I bet I won because I had never used a good BB gun before and was used to finessing/praying every shot with the utmost care---this one actually sent each BB where I aimed---into the bullseye! Anyway, back in the day this gun came with a SLING---a great aid to accuracy. But here's the punchline: it was POWERFUL! It was the most accurate AND THE STRONGEST Daisy BB gun. So it would shoot straight AND knock em down. Many sparrows and starlings and frogs fell to this new tool on the block, I have to say. (We actually ate quite a few of the frog-legs---we'd stalk the big ones.) But in recent years all Daisy BB guns are hugely de-powered. (Jillions of kids and their parents had to be wrong before then, I guess.) Oh well! With the 499 you still get the thrill of hitting where you aim. At close range. Beyond 40 feet, say, these BBs start dropping like a softball.
I wonder if you could modify the 499, put a stronger spring in it...
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