Red Ryder BB Gun

Red Ryder BB Gun
Two Red Ryder BB Guns in box. These are a relatively recent reissue. The boxes promote the gun as being "just like the one your Dad had!"

The Red Ryder BB Gun is a BB gun made by Daisy Outdoor Products and introduced in 1938 that resembles the Winchester rifle of Western movies. Named for the comic strip cowboy character Red Ryder (who also appeared in numerous films between 1940 and 1950, and on television in 1956), the BB gun is still in production despite the fact that the comic strip was cancelled in 1963.


Design and specifications

The Red Ryder BB Gun is a lever-action, spring piston air gun with a smoothbore barrel, adjustable iron sights, and a gravity feed magazine with a 650 BB capacity. It differs from the standard Daisy lever action BB guns by the addition of an engraved stock, and a saddle ring with leather thong on the receiver. A youth model airgun, the BB gun produces velocities of about 280 feet per second (85 m/s), though on some newer models it says it is capable of shooting at 350 feet per second (110 m/s) with standard steel BBs. This has been proven true, and newer models usually retain 375 ft/s (114 m/s) velocity. The effective range is fairly short, about 10 yards (9 m), after which the low velocity and inaccuracy of the smoothbore barrel makes hitting the target difficult. BB guns are shot competitively at distances of 5 yards (4.5 m), but the rudimentary open sights on the Red Ryder make it impractical for competition, and it is primarily a plinking airgun. It has been considered a good and reliable BB gun for its low price.

Popular culture

  • The Red Ryder BB gun was prominently featured in A Christmas Story, in which the main character requests one for Christmas, but is repeatedly rebuffed with the warning "You'll shoot your eye out". The movie's fictional BB gun, described as the "Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time", does not correspond to any model in existence nor even a prototype; the Red Ryder featured in the movie was specially made to match author Jean Shepherd's story (which may be artistic license, but was the configuration Shepherd claimed to remember).[1] However, the "Buck Jones" Daisy air rifle, immediately above the Red Ryder in the Daisy line, did have a compass and sundial in the stock,[2] but no other features of the "Red Ryder" model. The guns and a stand-up advertisement featuring the Red Ryder character appeared in a Higbee's store window in the film, along with dolls, a train, and Radio Flyer wagons.
  • Red Ryder gun makes an appearance in the Fallout video game series, as well as its spiritual predecessor, Wasteland. In Fallout and Fallout 2 there is also a unique Red Ryder Limited Edition BB Gun. In Fallout 3 the player receives a Red Ryder BB Gun at his 10th birthday as a gift from his/her Dad.[3] Variants are also included in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • Crazy Earl, a character in the book The Short-Timers and the film based on the book Full Metal Jacket, carries a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun in addition to his M16 rifle.[4]
  • A "Red Rider Air Rifle" was the exclusive in-game Christmas gift for World of Warcraft's 2009 Winter Veil world event, with a similar description to the one appearing in A Christmas Story, featuring 200 charges (shots).
  • The Rider no scoped sniper rifle was in the Borderlands video game as an easter egg in one mission
  • In the movie Tactical Force about a SWAT team using non conventional methods, SWAT Sgt. Hunt (played by the actor Michael Jai White) uses a Red Ryder BB gun which he named 'Daisy' to shoot a kidnapper/robber in the forehead. He explains that it is a Vintage 1965 Red Ryder model he received for Christmas. Sgt. Hunt is later confronted by the Chief of police that he shot a robber with a BB Gun and he aks Sgt. Hunt since when the Los Angeles Police department started issuing the Daisy Red Ryder BB Guns to LAPD SWAT Teams. The rifle is shown and talked about several times in the movie. The movie even ends with the rifle having a prominent role. When they receive new orders, Sgt. Hunt asks if 'Daisy' can come. Captain Tate (played by Steven Austin) tells him that he wouldn't have it any other way. Then Sgt. Hunt arms the rifle and the whole team smiles.


External links

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