Daisy Launches Special 80th Commemorative Edition Red Ryder BB Gun

Courtesy Daisy

What is likely the most-famous BB gun ever made — the Daisy Red Ryder — will be reissued in 2020 as a special-edition commemorative to celebrate its 80th anniversary. 

According to a Daisy release, the special edition will feature “engraving on the forearm and a commemorative medallion in the stock, in addition to all of the features that made this gun the all-time No. 1 American Christmas present.”

Daisy introduced the Red Ryder air rifle in 1940 with a wood stock and forearm, sturdy lever action, a saddle ring and a real leather thong.

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun 80th anniversary

Courtesy Daisy

The Daisy Model 1938 Red Ryder has remained mostly unchanged for 80 years — there have been a few cosmetic changes, a couple internal improvements, and a tiny bit of tinkering for performance, but I would be hard put to point out the changes.

Many shooters learned some sophisticated lifetime lessons with Red Ryders:

  • Because the copper-coated BBs were visible in daylight, it was possible to see the curved trajectory of the projectile and understand how much holdover was necessary to hit a floating battleship in a pond.
  • It was easy to see the relationship (or lack of) between point of aim with the open sights and point of impact on the target.
  • Because the Red Ryder was easy to cock, the young shooter could keep the rifle up and on target as he or she cycled the action.

What’s your best Red Ryder memory? Please share it in the comments section below.

comments

  1. avatar The 2nd protects the rest says:

    When I was a kid we had a pool. So I put my toy battleships out on the waterl and sank them with my red rider. Of course being a kid I thought the BB’s were copper, not steel I found out when there where rust spots on the bottom of the pool. My mother had me down there with a brush scrubbing the rust spots on the bottom of the pool.

    1. avatar Red Ryder says:

      But my 50 year old Red Ryder still works great.

  2. avatar MtnDewey says:

    already at Walmart for 26 bucks….

  3. avatar Country Boy says:

    Well I’ve been wanting to replace the one I had as a young boy…looks like now is a good time.
    Ought to look good over the fireplace mantle.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      I have no idea where my childhood Red Rider ended up, but I can go for a new one. I wish there was a “Ralphie” version available.

    2. avatar 2020Sight says:

      Yeah, and that’s just it. If I got it, it most likely would be for display purposes only. But still might be worth owning.

  4. avatar D says:

    Me and a neighborhood friend used to spend hours shooting tin cans, or those little army men (we would make battle scenes and then shoot them). Of course we would make battle ships out of wooden boards and nails. It was always a lot of fun!

  5. avatar jwm says:

    Gateway drug. Look for kapo bloomberg to be for banning it.

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      They’re already illegal in NJ.
      Normal humans aren’t allowed a pellet rifle.

  6. avatar Tea Remorse says:

    What does James Campbell think about this issue?

  7. avatar KenW says:

    Mine was a model 25.
    Learned an important lesson because of it. I was out in the back and shot a small black bird.
    I did not know dad was nearby and he did not say a word just said go pick it up.
    Then he showed me how to clean it and took it inside. Come suppertime there was the bird on my plate.
    The lesson was only shoot what you intend to eat. I remember the bird was bony and not very good.

    1. avatar Phil LA says:

      Wow. Sounds like a good man and an excellent father.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Only shoot:

      1) What you will eat, or

      2) Whatever’s destroying your yard at night.

    3. avatar Art out West says:

      What a good father you had. God bless him.

    4. avatar Tom says:

      Mine was a sparrow, even with mashed potatoes it tasted bad.

      Last wild animal I ever shot that I did not plan on eating, very good lesson.

    5. avatar Coolbreeze says:

      Your Old Man is alright. We could use more like him. I suspect you are just like that too.

  8. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Well great, Ralphie Parker just wet his pants…

    Way to go Daisy.

  9. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Never had a Red Ryder, ours was a pump gun.

  10. avatar Bill Neighbor says:

    I just turned 80 in Sept and still have my original Red Ryder which was promised if I was a Big Boy for my first trip to the dentist. Getting out of the chair my Dad took me straight to the hardware store and made the big purchase. From then on nothing but fun – most of all since we lived on a farm. Right now my Red Ryder (still fully functional) stands in the corner by the garage door in case it is needed. And yes I do pick it up once and awhile and shoot grass hoppers, beer cans or what ever. It is now missing the for-stock, which I do have, and is sporting a rag in the end of the magazine to keep the bbs in, but has never worked better. I have purchased a good number more of these over the year. When those children, grand children and great grandchildren reached the right age they were given some instructions, stern guidance, and upon proving they could be responsible were sent home with their own Daisy Red Ryder. And, those were the biggest smiles I have ever seen – boy or girl.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      Wow. An original? Hope you’ll be able to restore that and keep it in your family as an heirloom.

  11. avatar Madcapp says:

    The Model 25 “pump gun” was always better than the Red Ryder. The only reason the Red Ryder is so deeply ingrained in the American consciousness is because of its central focus in the movie “A Christmas Story”. Its a shame that the movie wasn’t based around the Model 25 instead, but you have to remember that the 25 was out of production from 1979 to 2006, and the movie was made in 1983 so unfortunately, fate favored the “in production” Red Ryder. Keep in mind that the time the movie was set in (early 1940s) the reality was that the 25 was more expensive and more desirable than the RR (despite the movie portraying a different reality). If I had a kid, they’d certainly have a 25 instead of a Red Ryder. The Model 25 was more powerful, and used a spring fed magazine (shot tube) instead of less reliable gravity feed of the Red Ryder. And that’s the truth about entry level Daisy BB guns.

    1. avatar Jean says:

      The red ryder is more kid friendly. As a wee-one, I always had trouble being able to pump the small forward grip, which was not-so grippy & far forward for my kid arms. But I agree the model 25 was more powerful & accurate.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    I have a modern “1938” and the plastic stock is a pretty big difference. Also I can’t help but notice that the BB gun that touts its American heritage is now “Made in China.”

  13. avatar Scott C. says:

    No one with the obligatory “No, you’ll shoot your eye out” comment?

    1. avatar Madcapp says:

      No, we’re actually looking for meaningful conversation.

  14. avatar "keep yur beaks outta my road kill", possum says:

    Used to shoot rats that got in the feed barrel. Wasnt powerfull enuff to kill them withoutva behind the ear hit, taught me shot placement and steady aim. Also bagged a few morning doves and rabbits. As muchvas I liked it when I got a Crossman 760 itvwas likeva magnum.. I even killed a possum with it, thyre pretty tough. One BB in the head, blood started running out, then it fell out of the tree. We ate it, greasy like lamb. Im buying me one of Red Ryders. Thsnx Daisy

      1. avatar Geoff "Run, Bloomie, run!" PR says:

        *Snicker* 😉

  15. avatar Wayne says:

    I am no spring chicken (55) but my mother ask me five years ago what I wanted for Christmas. I told her a Red Ryder BB gun. Had one when I was a kid but didn’t know what happened to it. She said OK, anything else? I said not really, maybe some ammo and cologne the wife liked. On Christmas morning, I opened a few boxes with some 22LR and 12 gauge. Dad said it was his turn to open one. Mom said she need to go to the bathroom. Wife opened one. I heard mom tell my dad to have me stand up and close my eyes and hold out my hands. She came in the room.They laid my lost Red Ryder BB gun in my hands. OK, I lost it like a baby crying. My past came back. Dad found it during the remodel of his work shop. Safe with me once again

    1. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

      Geez…now you have me misting up. Glad for you. Keep it for your own grandkids one day.

    2. avatar Jusgart says:

      Great story,
      BEST PRESENT EVER!

  16. avatar Phil LA says:

    I got my Red Ryder for my birthday around age 8. Within a few years there came a rare snowy winter in North Alabama and my friend and I took off to the woods for an adventure. The snow was thigh deep in places and we took turns pulling a sled behind us. We were loaded for an Antarctic expedition with everything one could possibly need, including my trusty Red Ryder BB gun.

    We spent the day going up and down the steep ravine leading to our creek, made all the more difficult by the snow and ice. As sunset approached we decided to turn back home. I spotted some ice cycles growing along a branch and reached for my Red Ryder. It was nowhere to be found. It must have come loose on the miles of snowy hiking or tumbled down the ravine. I was devastated. We looked until sunset, came home and retraced our steps the next day with no luck. I spent the rest of my youth going up and down those hills, always wondering if an olde Red Ryder would turn up. It never did.

    On my 34th birthday my parents showed up with a curiously large present and an even bigger smile. There was a brand new Red Ryder, a second chance some 20 yrs later. We laughed and smiled and retold the story of my lost Red Ryder as me, my parents, and wife and three kids all took turns shooting coke cans from across the yard!

  17. avatar BlakeW5 says:

    Loved my Red Rider as a kid. Used to use it to “hunt” grasshoppers that would show up in force each summer. Got scary accurate at lobbing in shots too.

    Funny this article popped up as I bought one a few weeks ago to plink coke cans in the backyard. Funny how quickly the BBs swerve off course, and true to Red Ryder fashion not enough power to knock walnuts off the tree.

    1. avatar KenW says:

      We used to shoot landcrabs. Or rather at, those things are tough and the bb’s just bounced off causing them to skitter away.I was able to see the bb’s in flight so adjustments to aim were easy, old bottles, tin cans and such were not safe around me.

      Then there were BB gun wars. I’m sure I’m not the only one here who participated in them. There is still a spot in my right arm that a lump can be felt in from over 55 years ago. One kid had a crossman and had pumped it more than the agreed on 1 time and when he shot me the bb went in. We tried squeezing it out which just made it hurt more and of course knowing what would happen if parents found out we never said a thing about it. Yes that was stupid but who ever said kids made smart decisions.

  18. avatar Prndll says:

    A friend of mine in 7th or 8th grade had one of these. We put it through the ringer till it wouldn’t fire anymore. Loved that thing. We shot everything with it from cans and bottles to snakes.

    Maybe there have always been paranoid people that get overly touchy about any kind of gun but that was at a time when it seemed perfectly natural to have BB guns at that age. We had so much fun with it and NO ONE ever even thought about or considered hurting anyone with it. Just the sight of something like this now could drive people nuts. The world has changed.

  19. avatar RayfromBama says:

    What, no compass?

  20. avatar Juice says:

    I spent hours walking around the outside of my grandparents’ house shooting grasshoppers, leaves, and anything else unimportant I could think of. I distinctly remember being able to track the relatively slow copper-colored BBs in flight. I graduated next to a pump pellet gun when I wanted to get more serious about how far and what I was shooting at, but there’s something to be said about a less destructive, easier to use BB gun.

  21. avatar Ralph says:

    My mom wouldn’t let me have one. She said I’d shoot my eye out.

  22. avatar Johnboy says:

    I still have mine as well. My dad bought it for me in 1949 after I successfully shot a cigarette out of his hand with a cork rifle. My favorite targets were those snail-like creatures that climbed reeds in a pond. I’m convinced over time, Daisy weakened the springs in the Red Ryder to lesson the chances of putting our eyes out.

  23. avatar Chuck says:

    Shooting fuzzy worms off of Cattails plants in our back yard. Even when they were on the back side of the leaves. Very good target practice.

  24. avatar Where did part of my tooth go? says:

    My grand dad bought me a Red ryder when i was about 8 against my mom’s wishes. tried it out in the back yard and main target was a large old blanket hung from the garage door so it would be safe. When it was time to come in noticed a maxwell coffee can in the driveway and as kids did in those days stomped it with the heel of my foot and it ended up in a very nice “V”: shape.So, of course I stood straight over it and fired my trusty new Red Ryder into it and the old story about catching a bullet in your mouth suddenly because too real for me as I felt something go into my mouth missing my lip but breaking off a part of my right middle tooth. Spit out the BB and piece of tooth. didn’t dare tell anyone especially mom. So, suffered for a couple of weeks and every time I drank some cold milk or water it hurt like hell. Finally needed to see a dentist so told mom that a neighbor kid hit me with a rock and she was about to rush over and tell his mom what he did but luckily tlaked her out of it. the only thing the dentist did was to grind the tooth down till it was sort of smooth and i’ve had this as a reminder for the last 79 years!

    1. avatar Coolbreeze says:

      Great “life” story. Thanks for sharing that.

  25. avatar Coolbreeze says:

    This is a Daisy Pop gun story. Pop guns don’t fire a projectile, only make a “pop” sound. One Christmas day my brother and I each got a pop gun. The lever action operated a piston in the barrel I believe which pushed air out of the end…POP! BUT my brother learned that if you poked the barrel into the wet ground you had a nice dirt “slug” to shoot. Dad tought us the gun safety rules, of course. Plus he said. DON’T SHOOT ANYBODY! Well, about an hour later the neighbor lady is knocking on our door with her little girl in tears. Seems my bro nailed her with a mud facial sabot. Dad tells brother to hand him the gun. Walks out in the front yard and takes a full Babe Ruth- size swing into a large tree. CRACK! Broke it clean in half. The gun only lasted about three hours. Lesson learned.

  26. avatar adverse6 says:

    All those toy soldiers………

  27. avatar henry says:

    Awesome! Had one similar as a kid. They need to make .22 caliber versions!

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