The Avanti/Daisy 853 Powerline
is this really a "youth" air gun?
i got this .177, single pump pneumatic, single shot air rifle a while back. i had some reservations about it. just the sound of it's discharge is certainly not one that is associated with a "normal" .177 air rifle. i expected to be able to watch the pellet slowly arc to the target with a notable lack of speed; i was wrong...partially, any way. operation is straight forward and simple with this rifle and requires little to no physical effort that one might expect while cocking a springer. it does emit a rather, alien, noise when re-seating the cocking lever, though; a rather noisy, and irritating, "clack" sound as the latch secures itself. if one were to engage in any sort of actual stalking of game with this rifle, it would surely be a disadvantage...the noise is different, it would sound an alarm for many yards around a hunter. but in all fairness, this air rifle is intended to be a competitive target rifle, NOT a hunting rifle.
that being said...let's move on.
the standard sights are of ho-hum quality with the front sight being reliant upon being accurately and securely tightened onto the muzzle by way of two set screws. i, personally, removed them and installed a 2x scope on the conventional 11mm dovetail that has proven to be very accurate for this low powered rifle. i also manufactured a muzzle weight to replace the standard one in order to get the standard sights "out of the way" as they interfered with the scopes sighting picture. the rifle felt awkward with out a muzzle weight as the barrel is a scant 7/16" in OD (the barrel is a Lothar Walther rifled barrel, by the way) and the overall weight of the rifle is very light in hand.
the trigger leaves one wondering. but...there's a modification one may do that will reduce the pull and the travel that is to be a future project for me. again, this is NOT a high dollar air rifle and one should not expect it to be. it is, however, acceptable, otherwise, it would not be as accurate as it is. it's not exactly a Rekord or a comparable competition trigger one has come to expect on the likes of the finer competition rifles that are around now.
the pull is adjustable by way of plastic shims that may be installed/removed to adjust pull. i find it to be right on the verge of being too short, but, again, in all fairness, it is intended as a "youth" rifle.
the use of a bi-pod is out of the question for those who choose to use shooting supports or rests. the cocking lever is nearly the full length of the forward part of the rifle; from the front of the trigger guard to the end of the stock at the muzzle end. it has a split stock in order to accommodate the under-lever cocking feature. i do, however, successfully, utilize a sandbag type rest.
if one will look upon this rifle, in regards to power delivered on target, as that of a medium/high powered air pistol, he will fare better in his pursuit of this air gun.
accuracy is indeed surprising...i am able to put the pellets thru the same hole shot after shot from 15 yards. i have to do my part, though.
recoil, as with pneumatics and PCP's is non-existent...just the report and the pellet striking the target.
i was pleasantly surprised with testing the rifle when i decided to do the old "Campbell soup can" test. i set up an empty Campbell soup can at fifteen (15) yards, stoked the 853 with a Crosman premier, pointed, hunting pellet, pushed the safety to the "fire" position, carefully aligned the cross hairs of the scope on the can, squeezed the trigger, heard the audible "POP" of the report, heard the audible "clank" of the pellet hitting the can and seeing the can bounce off the 4x4 I'd set it on...hmmmmmm...not bad...on inspection of the can i was astonished to see the pellet had passed completely thru both sides of the can cleanly! maybe there's hope after all. dang...i did another test! an empty half-gallon, waxed paper, eggnog carton filled with water...again...the pellet completely penetrated both sides...it did not "blow" holes, but it did pass thru cleanly and easily. this proves to me that for small vermin at close ranges, it will suffice to help on culling down rodent populations if called upon to do so.
shooting the rifle does require one to acclimate, though. i am accustomed to the recoil of a magnum springer and the LACK of recoil from my AF Talon PCP and the 853, at first, left me feeling "is that all it has?". but the accuracy and dependability it offers makes it well worth getting to know the rifle.
maintenance and care is minimal and the rebuild is astonishingly simple when necessary. if i recall correctly, a rebuild kit from the factory costs only $4.50 and takes less than an hour to complete.
don't let the sound of this 'sleeper' fool you, it's a very good rifle, within narrow boundaries, that must be explored to appreciate. on a scale of one thru ten (1-10), with ten (10) being the best, I'd give it a good solid seven (7).