Hook and bullet club - BB guns

by Nick Wognum

We had looked for a BB gun at Christmas time but the model I wanted was sold out wherever we looked. So last week when I saw that familiar logo on a box, I decided to pick one up.<BR><BR>For anyone who has ever owned one, the Daisy Red Ryder lever action BB gun is a one-of-a-kind. With the lariat logo burned into the wooden stock, the Red Ryder ranks right up there with Radio Flyer wagons. <BR><BR>I had passed my Red Ryder onto my oldest some years ago. It had lasted through my childhood but only made it through part of his. For some reason or another, a BB got stuck in the barrel and wouldn’t come out. <BR><BR>It was replaced with a non-Daisy BB gun that worked fine, but just wasn’t the same. For me the Red Ryder was the only way to go.<BR><BR>Believe it or not, Daisy Outdoor Products started out selling windmills and in 1886 threw in an air-powered gun as a premium item for farmers who bought a windmill.<BR><BR>By 1895, the Plymouth Iron Windmill company changed its name to the Daisy Manufacturing Company as the BB gun replaced the windmill. <BR><BR>The Red Ryder model went on sale in 1939 and with over nine million sold is easily the best-selling and most recognizable BB gun in the world. <BR><BR>The one we picked up the other day is very similar to the one I had 30 years ago. The barrel is a bit different and the opening for putting the BBs is now a small plastic door, but overall the look and feel is the same.<BR><BR>The Red Ryder now features a crossbolt safety, a very nice addition from the old models that weren’t as safety-conscious. <BR><BR>You can load 650 BBs into the Red Ryder and even a five year-old can plant the butt of the gun on his knee and while holding onto the barrel with one hand, work the lever action with the other.<BR><BR>The gun shoots BBs out at 280 feet per second and is pretty accurate once you get the adjustable rear site set. <BR><BR>Weighing in at just over two pounds, youngsters can easily hold the barrel up long enough to aim at that pesky pop can. <BR><BR>There are still safety concerns that go with BB guns and any child that is allowed to handle a gun should be instructed on the primary rule, treat every gun as if it were loaded. <BR><BR>But in this day and age of lawyers who sue for almost any reason, it’s still good to see that the Red Ryder BB gun is still out there. <BR><BR>You can find fancier air guns, ones that shoot at a higher velocity and even ones with scopes on them, but I don’t think you’ll find a BB gun that can reach across generations like the Red Ryder level action BB gun. <BR><BR>I’m looking forward to shooting it a bit myself.