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The Daisy 777 Target Pistol



Daisy777

I’ve written a bit about the 777 and its cheaper cousins, the 747 and 717, but until this one arrived via UPS yesterday I had never actually handled a 777. I found this one at a very good price on Gunbroker.com.  It arrived, along with a Plano case, a set of airgun-sized silhouettes, and three tins of pellets, showing wear from use but in otherwise near-perfect condition. No nicks, scrapes, scratches or other signs of abuse. Not bad for a gun that’s between 18 and 25 years old. Superficially, it looks just like the cheaper 717 and 747 except for the wooden grips and the better rear sight:

twoDaisies

 

But the differences go a lot deeper than that. The first clue is that the 777 is substantially heavier than the 747 pictured with it- almost 10 ounces heavier, in fact. The 747 weighs about 2 lbs, 8.5 oz. The 747 comes in at 3 lbs, 3.75 oz. Close examination shows some significant construction differences. Take a look at the cocking lever and compression tube of the 747:

 

747lever

 

The arm is a stamping, and while you can’t this clearly see from the photo, the compression tube is made of thin steel. Compare that to the 777:

 

777lever

 

Here the arm is a milled piece, made from steel stock with a ground surface. More importantly, you can see that the tube is made of brass. That alone probably contributes to most of the weight difference. I’ve read that the 717 was originally made with a brass compression tube, too, and that this was changed after the 777 was dropped from the line, but I don’t have the definitive word on this, and I don’t remember how my 1980s 717 was made. The finish is better on the 777, too, and you don’t see flashing or seams between castings or other artifacts that were probably polished or ground off back in the era when this 777 was made.

At first I didn’t shoot the 777 nearly as well as I did the 747, owing to the greater weight and the fact that the grip was sized for much smaller hands than my XL mitts. I took a rasp and sandpaper to the grip, and removed about half an inch of material off the palm rest, which made it a lot more comfortable to shoot, but I still have another 3/8″ or more to remove if I want a really good fit. Removing that wood did make a difference, though, and my shots, which had been scattering out to the 5 and 6 rings, started grouping in the 7 and 8. it’s a start.

The rear sight is the real prize in this gun, particularly when compared to the plastic unit that’s standard on the 717 and 747. The solidity and adjustability is impressive; along with height and lateral adjustments, the blaze gap is adjustable over a wide range. That’s a real help for those of us with long arms. As with the 747, I found I have the best results with a sub-six hold. I could probably shoot better with a dot sight, but the main reason I’m attracted to shooting bullseye with iron sights precisely because it is a lot more difficult.