Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, February 20, 2006

Daisy 717: the perfect informal target pistol

by Tex Force

Do you like to just shoot and shoot with no particular goal in mind? That's called plinking, and there's a Daisy pistol perfect for it - the Daisy 717 (bottom of the page). It's the easiest of easy-going air pistols, yet it has all the accuracy you need to make those really difficult shots.

Single-stroke pneumatic
This pistol is charged by a lever on the left side of the gun. The bolt is first withdrawn to cock the action, then the lever is cycled open and closed one time. One side of the compression chamber is the pump seal. If the lever is withdrawn a second time, the compressed air from the first stroke will be lost. You can't defeat the system. One pump is all you get.

Light pumping!
That one pump rewards you with a single shot in the mid-300 f.p.s. range when using light target pellets. It's also the easiest single-stroke pistol to pump. Even easier than the IZH-46 (second item down). Daisy deserves credit for that, because single-stroke pistols are usually more difficult to cock. Not only did they make it easy, they also made it possible to adjust the pump stroke from outside the gun. You can always keep your pistol shooting at peak performance! Included in that is the oiling of the pliable pump head seal, for which Daisy recommends 20-weight automotive oil, but I've used Crosman Pellgunoil on the piston seals of all my Daisy single-strokes.

The sights are fully adjustable, if a little low in front. Sharp eyes will reward you with a perfect sight picture that will result in very small groups if you do your part.

The Daisy 717 was Daisy's first single-stroke target pistol - introduced in 1981. There was also a .22 caliber model, called the 722, introduced at the same time. Daisy dropped it in 1996. In target airguns, .177 caliber is really the only one that matters. In 1986, they added the 747 pistol, an upgrade of the 717. It had a Lothar Walther barrel and better adjustable sights. In 1990 the top-of-the-line 777 was added. It had a non-adjustable wood grip that never quite justified the higher price charged by Daisy. Today, the 717 and 747 are all that remain. Although the 717 doesn't have the Walther barrel, it's still very accurate.

Both the 717 and 747 are muzzle-heavy pistols. While that does help steady the guns for better control, it also makes them feel too heavy to many shooters. They really aren't that heavy at just 36 oz., but they do have a lot of that weight out in front of the triggerguard. If you don't like that feel, the lighter Gamo Compact (third item down) is probably the better airgun for you. The two-stage trigger is somewhat creepy but not too heavy. It is not adjustable, but you do get used to it pretty quick.

Pellet choices
Since this is a Daisy, I think you have to try Daisy's Quick Silver pellets. I would also recommend the Gamo Match pellet (third item down), because it often performs as well as more expensive target pellets. Finally, don't forget to try the light Tech Force Match pellet. It usually performs best in my target airguns - even better than other brands sold at higher prices.

The Daisy 717 is a fun gun that's also a wonderful informal target pistol. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better all-round plinking air pistol.


  • It should probably be mentioned that the 717 comes with right hand grips and lefties are forced to pay a bit extra (about $15.00) for left hand grips.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 PM, February 23, 2006  

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