Daisy Outdoor Products
Powerline Model 693
The Daisy Outdoor Products Powerline Model 693 is the first Air Pistol / BB gun that I have ever owned or shot, the only other handguns having been a .22 caliber, a .38 special and a 9mm, so this review is a bit devoid of comparisons to other air pistols.
I was really stressed out at work today due to dealing with the Code Red Virus and after I left, I needed something to get rid of my tension. I remembered that one of my co-workers said he got out is stress by plinking cans with his .45 and thought "Why not". However, I'm not responsible to enough to feed the cat, let alone to own a high-powered killing device, so I decided to go with something I was mature enough of handle - a BB Gun. Bear in mind that I do have my Hunters Safety Certification and Weapons Handling Certification.
I will admit that what sold me on the Model 693 was the price. The 693, by itself, is $49.95; but if you buy it in a kit with CO2 cylinders, BB's and safety glasses was, amazingly, $49.95, so it was no contest.
The Daisy Model 693 is exactly like the Daisy Model 93 with the exception that the metal chassis is nickel-plated (versus black on the Model 93) and the plastic handgrips are black versus brown as they are with the Model 93. The chrome finish gives it a very stunning look, though I doubt many real handguns are done in that style; it has a very Cyberpunk/Shadowrun feel to it. It has very formidable feeling and the balance is really quite nice. If is definitely an adult weapon: all joints are flush and any flash has been polished off.
The 693 is loaded using a 15-shot cartridge that is then loaded into the top of the barrel; if you had several of these cartridges (Daisy sells additional cartridges at $14.95 for 3) you could squeeze off hundreds of round rather quickly, but as it is, with the one included clip, after your 15 shots are up reloaded is an annoyance. The CO2 canister is placed in a vice in the handle as with most other air pistols.
It has several safety features, which I happen to like as well. It as the ubiquitous safety lever near the breach as one would expect, but it also has an interesting button on the rear of the grip - it must be pushed in by the palm of the hand in order for the gun to fire, preventing accidental firings. Very slick.
As with all CO2 canister based pistols, power slowly decreases as pressure is lost, though I've found that the gun maintains glass shattering power for about 45 shots before it starts to dwindle. However, after that, power drops of dramatically to the point where the BB travels about twice as fast you throwing it.
The sighting system is a Blade and ramp front, fixed open rear system and leaves much to be desired, though it is adequate for the kind of quarry you're going to be taking down. It is not adjustable so you're pretty much stuck with it, though you can get 3rd party laser sights for it.
All in all, I have to give the Model 963 favorable marks, although be warned: it is definitely a beginners weapon. Anyone who is any more skilled will want something more, most likely a pump-action pistol with a rifled barrel.
As an interesting bit of trivia, the Model 693 is used in Mission Impossible 2 by the leader of the terrorists durring the scenes in the military bunker scenes near the climax of the film.
Specifications can be found at http://daisy.ifware.com/cgi-bin/daisy2/products_powerline_pistols.html