Daisy’s model 26/572 Field Master – a fun BB gun in the Spittin’ Image line

by B.B. Pelletier


Looking exactly like a .22 rimfire pump, the Daisy 26 is a Spittin’ Image BB gun!

Today, I’m reminiscing a little with a look at Daisy’s second Spittin’ Image long gun and the third gun in the series – the little-known Daisy model 26 that became the model 572 halfway through its life. The Blue Book of Airguns, Fifth Edition doesn’t say much about this gun – just that it was manufactured from 1964 to 1967 as the model 26. What they overlook is the fact that the gun remained in production as the model 572 from 1968 to 1972. Let’s take a look at this decidedly un-Daisy-like BB gun!

Patterned after the Remington 572 Fieldmaster
The first Spittin’ Image BB gun was the 1960 model 179 pistol. Made to resemble Colt’s Single-Action Army revolver, this was Daisy’s only catapult-powered BB gun. Next to come in 1961 was the famous 1894 lever-action rifle that is still in production today, though in a changed configuration. The model 26 Field Master was third in line and, to my thinking, a radical departure from the rest of the Spittin’ Image line. The idea of the Spittin’ Image guns is to replicate American icon guns – like the SAA and 1894. Whoever heard of the Remington 572 Fieldmaster? If Daisy truly wanted to copy a famous .22 pump gun, they could have used the model 61 Winchester. But, the Remington 572 Fieldmaster was never an icon. I’m sure most owners and Remington will disagree with me on that point!

Fantastic detail!
All the Spittin’ Image guns were made to look as real as possible, and the model 26 is probably the best of all in that respect. It really looks like a .22 pump gun – enough to fool people at gun shows. It’s a big gun (42″ overall), although the plastic stock and receiver keep the weight very low. The BB magazine is in the same place as the cartridge magazine tube on a Remington, and it generally works the same way – spring-loaded inline tube. The tube is loaded through a concealed hole on the right-hand side. It opens only for loading when the spring-loaded captive follower rod is withdrawn as far as it will go. Forty-five shots can then be loaded. Even the sights are incredibly realistic, with a post and bead in the front and an adjustable buckhorn in the rear.


The exact image of a .22 rimfire front sight!

Realistic stock, not-so realistic action
The catch phrase during the 1950s, as far as American rimfire stocks were concerned, was a “full beavertail” forearm. The Remington 572 has one and so does the Daisy copy. In fact, I believe that might have been one of the deciding factors for Daisy engineers when choosing a gun to copy. The bulk of that forearm – a sliding one at that – allows for more room inside the gun’s envelope for BB gun parts. The Winchester 61 is markedly slimmer in that respect. This gun feels exactly like a rimfire, except for the lighter weight. However, when it is cocked, the resemblance fades. The forearm is first pushed forward – the reverse of how a .22 pump works. When the limit is reached, the pump handle is drawn back to where it started. Both directions require effort against the mainspring, which is cocked by both motions. When you examine an 1894, you learn it works that same way, though with a lever instead of a pump. When the pump handle is forward, you can see the gear teeth that enable the gun to cock. This is a very complex system and not too repairable when it gets out of order, so these guns are best admired on the wall, rather than in the field.


Pump handle slides forward to reveal a toothed gear track and the mainsprings (underneath).

How powerful?
To my knowledge, the velocity for one of these guns has never before been published, so you will be the first to see it in print. I oiled the gun and shot it several times before chronographing it to give the powerplant every chance to wake up. Because I don’t shoot this gun very often, I have to allow more time for the oil to do its work. Eventually, I got a very consistent string of shots between a low of 256 and a high of 269. That’s for 10 good shots with modern zinc-plated Daisy Premium-Grade BBs.

Not hard to find
If you want one of these curious BB guns, you should be able to pick one up pretty quick. I’ve seen excellent ones sell for $30 and new-in-the-box guns go for around for $75. Watch out on the auctions, however. I saw one seller recently who thought he had a goldmine and started the bidding at $125. That’s way out of profile for one of these. Be sure the action is still working when you find one in a store. Unfortunately, this gun must be fired, if cocked. There is no way to decock it, so don’t do anything you’ll regret! Mine is in like-new condition, and I paid $60 for it at the Roanoke Airgun Expo. You can’t shoot guns at that show, so I had to take the seller’s word that the gun worked. I knew him to be a reputable dealer, so there wasn’t much at risk.

As I learn more about airguns, I am fascinated by the lengths some companies will go to make a realistic product. Daisy’s model 26/572 BB gun sold for around $15 brand new (1964), yet it was filled with an abundance of engineering and pride. That stuff is timeless and priceless, as far as I’m concerned.

40 thoughts on “Daisy’s model 26/572 Field Master – a fun BB gun in the Spittin’ Image line


  1. As a kid I had one of these Model 572 Daisy’s…Despite its large amount of plastic parts, the gun held up remarkably well for years of hard use….I shot it constantly and I must had fired literally hundreds of tubes of Dasiy “Golden BB’s” through it before it finally would no longer stay “cocked”….As a lad, I shot hundreds of tweety birds and chipmunks with it..Not to mention a dumptruck load of bottles and cans! It wasn’t powerful enough to kill a squirrel (I tried), but good enough to go through a coke can !…Accurate as well and the sights were “dead on”…I could hit soda cans and bottles at 40 yards with it (aiming a little high of course).. Anything inside that range was DEAD!….I am going to search the net and try to find another one!…Time to relive my childhood!


  2. I’ve got a model 26, but unfortunatly it broke. The plastic gear track broke, and powerglue isn’t working. Does anyone know a site where I can find parts fot this gun? I dont want to buy a new one, because this one has some personal value to it. It belonged to my dad, and to his dad, and so on.


  3. Try this place. You’ll probably have to buy a parts gun and that gear sounds like it’s very prone to break.

    http://www.bbairguns.com/cgi-bin/main.pl

    Aslo try:

    Jim Dry Claremore, Oklahoma (918)341-9104
    and
    Jim Coplen, PO Box 7297, Rochester, MN. 55903 (507)281-2314

    They are the two top BB gun fixers in the U.S.

    B.B.


  4. WOW! It had to be about 1972, maybe 73 – My dad did the EXACT thing as in A Christmas Story – one of many reasons that movie is so special to me. My dad worked hard to give the family a decent Christmas. I wanted “a BB gun” but didn’t get one – or so I thought. After the gifts and candy and all – just as in the movie (!) – my Dad leaned forward and said “What’s that behind the curtains?” Sure enough – a long, plain box with my name on it in my Dad’s very rough penmanship. I had to hold the stock w. my knees and work the slide with both hands. As I grew, I got to where I could shoot it like my Dad – POPPOPPOP! One day it finally broke and was used in our playing of “guns”. It eventually disappeared as does most of our boyhood toys. We never knew what treasure we were losing! Thanks for the posting. I have to find another one of these – even broken! – Russ Dillard



  5. I found a model 26 at my father-in-law’s
    and when I bought a pack of .177 bb’s
    they were too big for the loading tube. Is this a problem or was there a smaller bb when this model was issued?



  6. I had one fo these as a kid, wore it out and loved it. I would also like to find one in good to new working condition…I would not bat an eye at paying 50 to 75 bucks for a pristine one. If anyone knows of one post it at

    http://www.rimfireshooting.com

    many thanks
    Dwight


  7. Thanks for this post. I had a model 26, that was my first real airgun, having had a red ryder when I was seven. This gun’s sites were extremely accurate and I used the gun for many years and became and excellent shot. There are many .22 rifles that I have shot that were not nearly as accurate. Mine wore out, much to my dismay, and until reading your post I did not know how to get any information on it, and is has been over 35 years since I have missed shooting that gun.



  8. This was the rifle I had, used it so much it died. I wish there was a place I could have taken my dad so he could , I just wore it out. It sat in the box till 10 years ago then got chucked. It awasn’t very powerful but with no wind quite accurate. at 30 feet I shot at a popcycle stick tree, shooting off the limbs, got bored then I shot at a hard target straight at the thing. It bounced the bb right back into my right eye. Then the voice aof a future Obie wan Kanobie said,
    USE the trap sparks,

    Use the trap sparks,

    Use the TRAP YOU IDIOT KID

    USE THE DARN TRAP.

    I always used the trap after that. Soon I was to need glasses anyway (not due to bb gun), and they are safety glasses.

    That would have been 1972. It died after I shot a few tons through it. My dad assumed I screwed it up and it was never fixed.

    ah well, maybe I’ll buy one for my kid, no really he’s ascout it’ll be for my kid really!!

    sparkie


  9. I keep searching for a model 26 for my friend for Christmas and I’m having little luck. Is there anywhere besides airguninfo.com that I can find this gun for him (and hopefully get it shipped quickly)? And are there similar models that maybe he would be interested in (he did mention the model 572 but I’m not having luck finding that either)?

    Thank you for your time!!

    Claire



  10. R.T. Morse again,(see June 13th ’07)
    I realized I was trying to load the wrong hole at the end of the magazine but finaly found the right one. My question now is what might be the problem that causes the velocity to drop off? At 30′ the BB drops at least
    6 to 8″. Is this normal? Is there a “leather” that needs to be oiled? I await any responce R.T. Morse Gainesville FL


  11. Thatch,

    I’m glad you solved the loading problem. Yes, the gun does need to be oiled. On the right side of the barrel, beneath the rear sight is a small hole for the oil. Put a few drops in there and shoot the gun with BBs. You should be able to see a velocity increase.

    B.B.


  12. Hi everyone. My son just turned 8 so I dug out the old 572. It has virtually no power. Like a bad cartoon, when I pull the trigger, the BB just sort of droops out the barrel, maybe 10 feet at most til it hits the ground. I'm hoping it just needs oil? What is he best kind to use? Thanks for any comments.
    Bill






  13. I collect real Remington 572's and added one of these little gems to my collection for $115, new in its original box. I thought that was quite a bit until I saw one sell on Gunbroker last month for $307, also new in its original box. I would like to buy another to shoot but as yet have not seen one for sale. As an aside, my father had a gun store when I was growing up, and my brothers and I weren't allowed to have a BB gun because they were too dangerous! We shot real guns all the time, though!


  14. fineartz,

    We call them firearms, because these airguns are just as real.

    Yes, the prices have risen, though that one you saw was way too high. But $200 isn't too much for one LNIB. You can find them like new without the box for $100 at the shows.

    You mostly find them in that condition at the airgun shows.

    As for your childhood story, I, too, was denied access to airguns. Now they are my profession.

    B.B.


  15. I just read one of your articles where you state that you don't like the term "real guns". I apologize and agree that a BB gun is a real gun. I have a Remington 77 that is rated at 755 fps.


  16. In researching parts and/or repairs for my Model 26, I came upon your site article and all of its positings. My model 26 quit cocking somewhere around 20 years back, but never let go of it. Jim of Clairmore is only less than three hours from me, so I proabably will try to contact him and thus appreciate your blog. I was wondering if it was worth bothering, but after reading all of these positings, I think I know the answer. Also have tried to email Daisy about possibility of parts and/or repair but had not received a response. Thanks for all of your efforts. David in KS.



  17. I sold a model 26 and 2 1/2 tubes of BB's (blue and yellow tubes)about 10 years ago through an online auction for $ 527 plus shipping. The gun had only had about half a tube of BB's through it. Had been given to a young man who was not really into guns of any form by his sister for Christmas. I believe that it was only shot Christmas afternoon by the men in the family and then stored away. It still had the oval gold color inspection sticker and was in the original "Western Auto Stores" (a chain auto parts store of the 60's) shipping box.


  18. I hope you appreciate how extremely well you did in that auction. The normal going price for the gun you describe is about $100. With the box it might bring $150. And there are usually many of them at every larger airguns show.

    Congratulations on winning the lottery!

    B.B.



  19. I had a Model 26 around 1964. I fondly remember sitting on the front porch for an entire afternoon shooting yellow jackets as they returned to their nest under the porch. They would slow down as they reached the opening and, Bap!, I'd get them right out of the air from 20 feet away. One after another. I guess that is one environmentally friendly way to eliminate the pests.


  20. It's tuesday morning (2:33 am) a model 26 is due in the mail today. It should arrive at around 10 am. I have wanted one for years. This is more like Christmas morning than Christmas morning. I should try to get some sleep, the time will go by faster.



  21. Thanks for the article. I have my 26 from when I was about 12. Had great fun with it. The track droke, so you have to hold the forarm in to fire. I am looking to see if I can get it repaired and rebuilt. When I was old enough, I purchased the Remington 572. Now still have them both. Thanks for the info. jim


  22. I purcased a daisy model 26 – 18 months ago bb just drop after 10 feet of firing,
    i found a address on the internet in america and purchased a plundger assemble complete,
    ie. new spring, plundger, plundger head, seals ect complete,
    it was not to bad to put in but made no difference at all, – a bit of a waste of £23.95 prob not new.
    When a was a kid these little guns would smash bottles and bounce back at u a hunder mile an hour.


    • Robert,

      Welcome to the blog.

      I know nothing about this BB gun. I own one, but that is as far as it goes.

      You sound very knowledgeable about this gun, so I assume you have oiled it. I once had the same problem with a Daisy Number 25 that was fixed with oil, alone.

      B.B.


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