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The Daisy 717, 747 and 777

The Daisy 717 first appeared back in the 1970s, and serious target shooters looked down it it from the beginning. I mean, it’s a Daisy, for goodness sake- they make BB guns! and it looked pretty crude, too, with a cast white metal frame, brass barrel, and cheap plastic grips. And then something strange happened- 717s started showing up at matches, and winning them. These were guns pretty much right out of the box, too, with stock poweplant and grips, and occasionally modified sights. A $50 gun from Arkansas was beating some very fancy $250+ European guns, particularly when given a trigger job developed by shooting legend Don Nygord, who published it in the April 1980 American Marksman. 717

Daisy took notice of this, and started making two improved versions- the 747, which is identical, save for a Lothar Walther steel barrel in place of the stock barrel, and the 777 (now discontinued), which added better metal sights, an adjustible trigger, and wood grips. Being a poor grad student in the 1980s, I bought a 717, and with it learned the basics of good pistol shooting. I made my own custom hand-fitting grips out of epoxy, but otherwise left it alone.

What made this gun so good right out of the box? For one thing, it had a single-stroke pneumatic poweplant, a fairly new concept in those days. The result was exceptional shot to shot consistency- far better than most spring guns, and a lot better than many of the new CO2 powered match guns. A few drops of Daisy oil on the compression chamber O-ring and an occasional swab of the barrel were all that were needed to keep it shooting in the X-ring. The excellent balance and long sight radius helped, too.
The 717 and 747 are still an excellent choice for the new- and maybe intermediate- target and silhouette shooter. With retail prices as low as $138 for the 747 and $110 for the 717, it’s hard to find a better value in a target pistol today.


Here’s a good site with info on stripping and tuning the Daisy target pistols:


  1. Paul wrote:

    I just purchased a 747–where can i get information on the Nygaard modification you mentioned?

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  2. mje wrote:

    First, my apologies- I miswrote Don Nygord’s name as “Nygaard”- must have been thinking of someone else. Don’s article on 717 mods can be found here:

    Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Emilio wrote:

    I have a daisy stock no.777 still in its box. Anyone have an idea what this is worth

    Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  4. mje wrote:

    Arizona Airguns recently sold one without the box for $150. Figure having it new in the box adds anywhere from $50 to as much as $100.

    Monday, June 23, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  5. Mark wrote:

    Got 2 daisy 777 one box has Walther barrel sticker – the other Same box everything but no sticker

    Question: we’re there 777 made without Walther barrels ?

    Friday, October 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink
  6. mje wrote:

    As far as I know, every 747 and 777 has the Lothar Walther barrel. That alone accounts for a significant part of the increased cost of the 777 and 747 over the 717.

    Friday, October 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

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