Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod



Author Topic: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod  (Read 3698 times)

Offline ac12

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Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« on: December 09, 2012, 06:29:24 PM »
With several people looking at or having the Daisy/Avanti x53 series rifles (953, 853, 753), I thought I would put together in one place the trigger modifications for this rifle.  This is a compilation of various sources of info, taking the best from each.  The trigger mods are variously known as Tom Johnson's trigger mods or Pilkington trigger mod.  I don't know where the original source of the mods was, but I think it was Tom Johnson.


When I shot my stock 953 for the first time, I spent more effort fighting the trigger than aiming the rifle.  The stock trigger was LOUSEY.  It felt like I was dragging a 2x4 over a very ROUGH road.  This then caused me to fight the trigger, distracting me from aiming the rifle.  Needless to say, my score STUNK. 

I first read of the solution to the trigger problem in an article that I found "Tom Johnson's Tips on Tuning and Caring for the Daisy 853."  In this article, he mentions making 3 modifications to the trigger.  This is written up better in the CMP booklet "Tom Johnson's Sportster Tips" http://www.odcmp.com/forms/Publications.pdf  (which I recommend you buy from the CMP, for only $2)
1 - smoothen the trigger pull
2 - lighten the trigger weight
3 - reduce the length of the trigger pull


1 - Smoothen the trigger pull.

Background
When Daisy manufactures these rifles, the trigger sear is stamped out of a piece of thick metal.  The burrs left as a result of the stamping process is not removed.  This result in a sear surface that could be as rough as a piece of sandpaper.  And to compound the problem the mating surface on the hammer may have a small ridge.  When you pull the trigger, whenever the ridge on the hammer runs into a high or low spot on the sear, the sear could get "stuck."  Now you have to pull hard enough to unstick the sear and get past that rough spot.  Think of it like dragging a 2x4 over a really ROUGH road.

To fix this, you need to deburr and polish the mating surfaces on both the sear and hammer.  A #1000 or #1500 (the finer the better) wet/dry sandpaper supported by a popsicle stick will do to remove the burrs and smoothen the engagement surface of the sear and hammer.  Be VERY careful to NOT change the angle of the sear.  I run my finger nail on the sear, feeling for places where it hangs up, then polish until my finger nail moves smoothly and does not hang up.  I also deburr the sides of the sear, so there are no burrs sticking out that could hang up on the inside of the trigger housing.

WARNING.  Do NOT use a Dremel tool with a polishing wheel, or anything similar.  I have seen 1 or 2 posts on this, and I do NOT recommend it.  The reasons are:
#1 - With a polishing wheel, you have little or no control over maintaining the FLATNESS and original angle of the surface of the sear.  You could end up with a wavy surface that would not have an even trigger pull.  You want the bearing surfaces FLAT and SMOOTH.
#2 - You could easily round off the sharp point of the sear, where the sear holds the hammer.  The hammer could slip off the sear early.  This is especially of concern if you reduced the length of the trigger pull (modification item #3 below).

If you do only one modification, this is the mod to do.  It will give you 80% of improvement of the 3 trigger mods.  And best of all, it is the easiest to do.


2 - Lighten the trigger weight.
You MUST do this AFTER smoothening the trigger pull.  The process of smoothening the trigger pull will decrecrease the trigger weight also.
To lighten the trigger you clip off loops (or partial loops) off the trigger spring.  This is a trial and error process until you shorten the spring enough to reach the desired trigger weight.  Because of the trial and error process, I recommend ordering spare springs from Daisy, just in case you clip off too much of the spring.
CAUTION: Sportster rules limit the min trigger weight to 1-1/2 pounds.  There are coaches that feel that going below 2 pounds in these rifles is not safe.  Remember this is not a precision rifle trigger mechanism.
However if you do the adjustable #3 below, do not lighten the trigger until you do that mod.

You can choose to stop here, you do not have to do #3.


3 - Reduce the length of the trigger pull.
This is called by various terms; removing slack, removing creep, etc.
What you are doing is shortening the distance you pull the trigger before the sear releases the hammer.
There are 2 ways of doing this.
1 - File down the height of the sear.  You need to have spare sears, in case you file it down too much.  Since this is probably the easiest to do but tricky to do right.  Again a lot of trial and error to get to the correct amount of material filed off.  Thus I recommend #2 below.
2 - Install an adjustment screw to make the engagement adjustable. 
The easiest way to do this is to get the appropriate replacement parts from Daisy. 

#3 and to some degree #2 can be done at the same time by replacing parts of the trigger mechanism of the x53 rifle with parts from the 888 which has the trigger travel adjustment screw.  This adjustment screw also affects trigger weight, so do not do #2 until you do this mod.
CAUTION.  The adjustment screw also removes the slack from the trigger, so there is no take up of trigger slack.  This means that when you pull the trigger, you are IMMEDIATELY moving the trigger sear.  Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.


First download these instructions
http://www.odcmp.com/Training/CR/853Repair.ppt
https://umdrive.memphis.edu/ksingltn/public/Daisy%20M853%20M753%20M888%20M887%20Trigger%20Modification%20Instructions%20PDF.pdf
These 2 documents have the disassembly and reassembly instructions better than I can give you, and the pictures are great.

However, the second instruction does some of the mods the hard way.

For mod #3, call Daisy Customer Support and order the following parts
888-3   Trigger Housing, already has the hole drilled for the adjustment screw
888-5   Trigger Assembly, already has the trigger parts shaped for you
888-18  Screw assortment, the trigger adjustment screw is in this kit (not needed if you use a 8-32 screw as mentioned below)

With these parts you do not have to cut/file/drill the parts as shown in the slides.  You just replace the part with the appropriate part from Daisy, already setup ready to go.  But you still have to do #1 (deburr/polish the sear and hammer).

I recommend that you replace the Daisy trigger adjustment screw with a 8-32 screw as done in the slides.  However, I used a stainless steel headless hex allen screw (from Home Depot) instead of the socket cap screw in the slides.  The 8-32 screw provides a finer adjustment than the course screw of the stock Daisy setup, and the headless screw was easier to install than the cap screw in the slides.  And don't forget to get a matching allen key for the screw or you won't be able to install and adjust the screw.

As for the trigger adjustment.  Sportster rules specify a minimum trigger weight of 1-1/2 pounds.  Several coaches recommend a min of 2 pounds, as they feel the trigger is not reliable below 2 pounds.  Remember, this is NOT a precision trigger.
Do the BUMP test.  Cock the hammer then bump the butt of the stock on the floor, if it fires, you have the adjustment too fine, you need to increase the sear engagement/trigger weight.

If you replace the trigger housing, the replacement trigger housing from Daisy may or may not have the safety pin installed.  If it is not installed, you need to move the safety pin from your trigger housing to the replacement trigger housing.  You need to be very careful here.  There is a spring loaded ball bearing in the safety pin.  When you remove the safety pin, keep your hand or a towel over the trigger housing to catch the ball bearing.  When you put the safety pin into the replacement trigger housing, you need to hold the ball bearing on top of the spring while pushing the safety pin in.  This was very difficult for me, the ball bearing kept slipping out from my finger and went flying off, then I had to go find it. 
TIP:  work on the safety pin (disassemble and assemble) on a large white towel, and put another towel supported over the receiver to catch the ball bearing if it slips out from under your finger.  And wear safety glasses to protect your eye, if the ball bearing heads in the wrong direction.

Finally, the trigger sear is not hardened steel, it will wear over time.  If you remember how easy it was to deburr the sear in #1 above.  If you shoot a LOT, expect to have to replace the sear when the tip of the sear wears round.  This is especially so if you adjust the trigger for a minimal sear engagement.  If you bought the trigger assembly kit above, you already have your spare sear.

Not having the Daisy grease, I used white lithium grease from Ace Hardware, and that seems to work just fine.

GUD LUK


ps  For those of you who bought a CMP refurbished 853, the trigger mod may or may not have been done to the rifle that you received.  Some may have been modified, and others left stock.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 11:14:28 PM by ac12 »
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Offline SleazyRider

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 08:19:02 PM »
Thanks for a great write-up on this modification.  I followed your instructions and links to the letter, and my CMP Daisy Avanti now has a first-rate trigger!  Many thanks!
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Offline Bob H.

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 07:54:04 AM »
ac12,

Thank you very much for tying the information together.  I've been sniffing around for an indoor target rifle.  I won't spend big money for one, and I hearing the daisies calling out to me.

BobH.
  • central Illinois

Offline SleazyRider

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 09:01:06 AM »
I recommend you answer the call, Bob, because the Daisy Avanti---all tuned up and sighted in---cured me of my New York winter blues! Being new to air guns, at first I though some of my shots were missing the target, but they were going through the same ragged hole. The accuracy is astonishing. Best 100 bucks I ever spent!
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Offline Bob H.

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 11:24:42 AM »
I need to search and  find one to pet.  I know that they are available used from the CMP, but I have no club affiliation and fibbing doesn't appeal to me.  I really would like to shoulder one.  Have lengthed the pull and added some weight?  Are you using the stock peeps?

BobH.

I recommend you answer the call, Bob, because the Daisy Avanti---all tuned up and sighted in---cured me of my New York winter blues! Being new to air guns, at first I though some of my shots were missing the target, but they were going through the same ragged hole. The accuracy is astonishing. Best 100 bucks I ever spent!
  • central Illinois

Offline SleazyRider

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 01:29:42 PM »
I believe if you join the Revolutionary War Veterans Association for twenty bucks, it qualifies you to buy from the CMP. They sponsor Project Appleseed, which is a worthy program in its own right.

Yes, I'm using the stock peeps, which I had to bend upward ever so slightly because I ran out of vertical adjustment. My aging eyes are crying for a scope, but that would take the challenge out of it for me. And, yes, I installed all the spacers in the stock to accomodate my lengthy, knuckle-dragging arms.

Where does one add weight and why?
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Offline Bob H.

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 03:27:52 PM »
Thanks for the info, I was wondering, with the spacers added does it feel muzzle light?

BobH.
  • central Illinois

Offline JMJ in NC

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 04:58:45 PM »
I recently did the trigger mod on my 853 (from OP info above), and went back in last night to shorten the trigger springs and swap the #8-32 SHCS with a set screw. Not a 2lb trigger, but better, and smoother.

Mine is not from CMP, but it is a refurb (private sale) with a Monte Carlo stock. I upgraded the sights to 753 level, fabbed a vertically adjustable butt-pad (lenngthens LOP as well), and added BKL risers to get a more comfortable hold. I also lightly sanded the stock and put on a few coats of Danish oil. The left eye blinder is secured to the rear sight.

It loves RWS Meisterkugeln (rifle) 8.2, RWS Hobby 6.9, and RWS Diabolo Basic 7.0 pellets.

A real joy to shoot now...





JMJ
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 09:48:30 AM by JMJ in NC »
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Offline bnolsen

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 08:15:22 PM »
I just told the CMP I wanted a rifle for my girls to learn on and they sent it.  I didn't mention any club affiliation, etc.

The danish oil idea is great.  I have some "sharpie" markings on the stock I have and those are soaked in.  Probably just adds character to the thing!

Where did you find sights like that?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 08:17:25 PM by bnolsen »
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Offline JMJ in NC

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 08:25:27 PM »
Thanks. I got the Avanti sights direct from Daisy. You have to track down the part numbers and order by phone or mail order. Like Crosman, parts are crazy cheap direct from Daisy.

Daisy Customer Service   (800) 713-2479
Avanti (753) Front sight with barrel weight - 5901         $10
Avanti (753)  rear sight                               - 5996         $35

JMJ
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 09:42:26 AM by JMJ in NC »
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Offline dukemeister

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 08:35:14 PM »
I just did the trigger job on my 953, but was surprised to find this right out of the box. Are the new ones shipping like this or did I get someones return?
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Offline SleazyRider

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 10:26:19 PM »
It looks like the spring stud on that trigger was cut down a bit as well, Dukemeister. The original height, at least on mine, was about 1/4 inch.

At any rate, I parted company with the directions on one or two minor points.  The thought of going to town on the trigger guard with a Dremel tool as the instructions suggested, to counterbore for the sear adjustment screw, made me bristle; so I found this nifty little 1/4-inch cutter having a 3/32 inch diameter pilot drill. Using a drill press, I drilled the hole for the screw and counterbored at the same time. Using soapy water as a lubricant, I tapped the hole for a 4-40 black nylon screw, simply because I had a few of them laying around:

newbielink:http://s459.photobucket.com/user/Magnageek/media/DSCN2678_zps2c1f946e.jpg.html [nonactive]

newbielink:http://s459.photobucket.com/user/Magnageek/media/DSCN2681_zps35de4d9d.jpg.html [nonactive]

I was very pleased with the results, as well as the "new" trigger.

With regard to the spacers, Bob, they are not exactly a handsome affair (I installed two), but they perform well enough.  The point of balance is right where the barrel meets the receiver, about half the overall length of the rifle. I find it very comfortable for offhand shooting.

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Offline JMJ in NC

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 09:30:02 AM »
I just did the trigger job on my 953, but was surprised to find this right out of the box. Are the new ones shipping like this or did I get someones return?

Dukemeister - Does the notch look smooth (like it was molded that way) or is it machined or filed down? If machined, the surface texture will be different, more dull.

If machined/filed down, I'd say you got a return or refurb.

If it was molded that way, I'd expect the box to state "new improved trigger" to capitalize on the change and justify the cost of modifying the mold.

Sleazyrider - nicely done!

JMJ
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Offline Ol'DeadEye

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 09:30:17 AM »
I need to search and  find one to pet.  I know that they are available used from the CMP, but I have no club affiliation and fibbing doesn't appeal to me.  I really would like to shoulder one.  Have lengthed the pull and added some weight?  Are you using the stock peeps?

BobH.

I recommend you answer the call, Bob, because the Daisy Avanti---all tuned up and sighted in---cured me of my New York winter blues! Being new to air guns, at first I though some of my shots were missing the target, but they were going through the same ragged hole. The accuracy is astonishing. Best 100 bucks I ever spent!

Club affiliation is NOT necessary for the 853, only for powder burners.
Read the rules REAL close.
I received mine a few weeks ago.  No questions asked.
Got a very nice looking and shooting rifle - no visible flaws.
They did not acknowledge receipt of the order, nor the shipping.
It just showed up at the door with the fedex man.
Credit card was billed the same day the package arrived.

First time I ever used target sights.
Very usable, even with my old eyes.
I have a fuzzy blob appearing right in the center of the aperture, due I think, to a developing cataract.
I just hold atop the blob and adjusted the sight accordingly.
Added a frosted white occluder made from a milk jug and fastened it behind the screw-in aperture.
So now I shoot with both eyes open.
The rear sight clicks are very vague, but they do hold.
Maybe some day I'll upgrade it to an all metal version.
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Offline dukemeister

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 09:49:33 AM »
I just did the trigger job on my 953, but was surprised to find this right out of the box. Are the new ones shipping like this or did I get someones return?

Dukemeister - Does the notch look smooth (like it was molded that way) or is it machined or filed down? If machined, the surface texture will be different, more dull.

If machined/filed down, I'd say you got a return or refurb.

If it was molded that way, I'd expect the box to state "new improved trigger" to capitalize on the change and justify the cost of modifying the mold.

JMJ
It had been cut/filed (nicely done), but definitely not molded. These rifles were being sold deeply discounted so possibly (likely) they are factory refurbs. The box was pristine and internal packaging was as well - with no indication that contents had been previously exposed to air. No springs were clipped, and no other polishing/cutting, etc were evident. Anyhow, the 953 after mods is a single holer at 10m, so I'm happy. Below 5 shot groups, 10m rested indoor, 7x scope; middle pre-tune, left and right post tune.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 09:51:05 AM by dukemeister »
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Offline JMJ in NC

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 10:08:09 AM »
Nice shooting Dukemeister. And where did you buy it "deeply discounted"? Might have to get me a 953 for my girls.

JMJ
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Offline ac12

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 04:00:35 PM »
BTW, for casual target shooting, I prefer the 953 over the 853.
This is because the plastic stock of the 953 is heavier than the wood stock of the 853.
In fact I replaced the wood stock on my 853 with a replacement 953 stock that I ordered from Daisy, this makes the 853 heavier and easier to shoot.

For plinking and training new shooters, I use a red-dot sight.  It is much easier to teach others to use a red dot than lining up diopter sights.  And it is easier for plinking to put a red dot on a soda can can or cookie than the diopter.  Of course the target can't be too small or the dot will completely cover the target.
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Offline dukemeister

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2014, 09:27:05 PM »
BTW, for casual target shooting, I prefer the 953 over the 853.
This is because the plastic stock of the 953 is heavier than the wood stock of the 853.
In fact I replaced the wood stock on my 853 with a replacement 953 stock that I ordered from Daisy, this makes the 853 heavier and easier to shoot.
BTW, I stuffed the hollow 953 stock with some old cotton rags... it sounds nicer and has a few more oz weight as well.
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Offline JW Walker

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2014, 10:47:00 AM »
Nice shooting Dukemeister. And where did you buy it "deeply discounted"? Might have to get me a 953 for my girls.

JMJ
You might keep an eye on these guys supposed to be in stock on 2/14/14http://www.airgunmegastore.com/Daisy-Powerline-953-TargetPro-Target-Sights-p/py-2610.htm
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Offline ac12

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Re: Daisy/Avanti x53 trigger mod
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2014, 03:47:38 PM »
Nice shooting Dukemeister. And where did you buy it "deeply discounted"? Might have to get me a 953 for my girls.

JMJ
You might keep an eye on these guys supposed to be in stock on 2/14/14http://www.airgunmegastore.com/Daisy-Powerline-953-TargetPro-Target-Sights-p/py-2610.htm

Same price at Pyramyd, but they are out of stock also, with the same in-stock date.
http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Daisy_Powerline_953_TargetPro_Target_Sights/2610
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