Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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 It opens only for loading when the spring-loaded captive follower rod is withdrawn as far as it will go.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.

26 Comments:

At February 01, 2006 9:13 PM, Anonymous cold shooter said...

B.B.
Sorry for my unintentional error. the book "the airgun from target to trigger" as well as other books and dvd's for sale, please go to www.airgunexpress.com and then go to the literature/dvd section. or, hopefully, cut and paste the following into your browser:
http://www.airgunexpress.com/literature.htm
if this doesnt work, please let me know.

 
At February 11, 2006 9:16 AM, Blogger linemountain said...

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!

 
At August 05, 2006 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

 
At August 05, 2006 3:46 PM, Anonymous B.B. Pelletier said...

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.

 
At June 11, 2007 8:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

 
At June 12, 2007 6:36 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Russ,

I write posts like this for just this reason. My best payment is when someone like you takes the time to tell me their story.

Thanks,

B.B.

 
At June 13, 2007 7:58 PM, Anonymous R.T. Morse said...

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?

 
At June 14, 2007 4:27 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

R.T.,

The model 26 uses regular Daisy BBs (or Crosman) that are sold at Wal-Mart today. There is nothing special about them.

Maybe the loading tube of the gun is dirty?

B.B.

 
At March 08, 2008 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

www.rimfireshooting.com

many thanks
Dwight

 
At September 27, 2008 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

 
At September 28, 2008 9:34 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

I don't know how nostalgic you are about this airgun, but they are readily available at reasonable prices. I usually see several at every airgun show. Also, the classified ads sometimes have them :

www.airguninfo.com

B.B.

 
At December 15, 2008 9:39 PM, Anonymous sparkie said...

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

 
At December 16, 2008 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

 
At December 16, 2008 2:50 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Claire,

This is short notice for a collectible airgun, but try these two men:

Jim Coplen, PO Box 7297, Rochester, MN. 55903 (507)281-2314.
5522 Clearwater Rd. Rochester, MN 55901

John Groenewold, PO Box 830, Mundelein, IL 60060-0830, (847) 566-2365
http://www.jgairguns.biz

B.B.

 
At March 06, 2009 1:33 AM, Blogger thatch said...

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

 
At March 06, 2009 6:15 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

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.

 
At December 02, 2009 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

 
At December 02, 2009 7:27 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Bill,

Regular 3-in-1 oil works in BB guns of this low power level. Good luck!

B.B.

 
At December 02, 2009 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks B.B.
Check out http://airgunwriter.com/lookalike-airguns.html
They call the 572 "one of the most powerful ever made". I take it that doesn't ring true with you?
Bill

 
At December 02, 2009 9:45 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Bill,

It better ring true with me, because I wrote it! I'm Tom Gaylord.

B.B.

 
At December 02, 2009 1:08 PM, Anonymous Mr B. said...

B.B.,

I was wondering how you were going to answer Bill's post. Thank you very much for my smile.

Mr B.

 
At February 25, 2010 1:37 PM, Anonymous fineartz said...

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!

 
At February 25, 2010 1:47 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

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.

 
At February 25, 2010 1:49 PM, Anonymous fineartz said...

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.

 
At March 19, 2010 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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.

 
At March 20, 2010 6:32 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

David,

Good luck getting your gun repaired. They are indeed a curiosity.

B.B.

 

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