Remington’s model 26 BB gun

by B.B. Pelletier


Daisy’s No. 25 pump (bottom gun) is a familiar icon of the American BB gun. Most boys would love to own one with the wooden stock and blued steel receiver. But, Remington briefly made an even more robust BB gun of their own – the remarkable model 26 (top)!

Usually, when a gun company makes an airgun, they outsource the job to a real airgun manufacturer. Today’s Remington AirMaster 77 is such a gun. Made and marketed by Crosman, it carries the Remington name along with two other Crosman-built airguns. But, that wasn’t the case back in 1928, when Remington brought out their own model 26 BB gun.

Solidly built but fragile!
The model 26 is about the same overall size as Daisy’s No. 25 but built much more solidly. The pump handle is larger and more reminiscent of a pump shotgun handle. The gun weighs almost a full pound more than the Daisy, so you know you’ve really got something in your hands when you hold one. Lucky was the little boy (or girl!) who received one. The cost was $7.50 – about double what the Daisy sold for. The pump mechanism works smoother than that of a Daisy, but it is also the Achilles heel of the gun. The picture shows slots cut into the pump tube. These are really the sprocket tracks for a toothed sprocket gear that rotates inside the pump handle as it is drawn to the rear. That sprocket drives a sliding bar gear that compresses the mainspring for firing. When it works, this system is smooth and light – much easier to cock than Daisy’s articulated pump lever. However, this system depends on the integrity of a sheetmetal gear track and, thus, has a limited operational life.


The slotted gear track cut into the pump tube can be easily seen. This was not a good piece of engineering for longevity!

Performance like Daisy
The Remington 26 was about as powerful as a Daisy 25, which made it one of the most powerful BB guns of its day. Because it was easier to pump, it was probably very desirable as far as kids were concerned, though I doubt whether many of them knew about it. Daisy has always been the 500-lb. gorilla when it came to BB guns, while gun manufacturers have relied more on their firearms distribution network to get the word out. Remington did advertise, but they were up against a company that’s one of advertising’s all-time legends.

A complete package
Besides the gun, Remington also sold lead air rifle shot under their own name. They may have made it, too, because they were associated with UMC, an ammunition manufacturer, plus Remington consumed thousands of tons of lead shot for their shotshells.

Several variations!
For a gun that was only produced for two or three years, the model 26 went through a surprising number of variations. The first versions were apparently blued guns, and they had shot tubes that accepted 0.175″ lead air rifle shot. Later guns were painted black (an economizing measure?) and had shot tubes made for the new smaller steel shot. These probably represented a progression of manufacturing changes designed to lower the gun’s cost. That’s the normal progression of things when a new product is launched, plus Remington did drop the retail price of the gun to $5.00 in 1930.

The timing couldn’t have been worse!
One year after they launched the world’s most expensive BB gun, the New York Stock Market crashed, starting the Great Depression. Though the effects of the Depression took several years to reach full force, people stopped buying luxury items right away. Remington made just under 20,000 model 26 guns before they shut down production forever. The last company sales records are from 1934, but production was probably over many years before.

Very hot collectible today!
A model 26 will fetch $800 to $1,500 today, depending on condition. I suppose a really good one will bring even more than that. Are they worth it? Probably not, because there are quite a few of them still around. When you consider that around 2,800 of the the 1954 Hakims were made by Ansch├╝tz, but you can still buy one for $300, the Remington seems out of profile. But, there’s no denying it’s a very hot ticket!

12 Responses to “Remington’s model 26 BB gun”

  • Joe B Says:

    BB,

    When are you coming back?
    And why is someone signing like me?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Joe B

  • JDB Says:

    BB and Joe B and JB,

    Sorry Guys, guess this blog is getting very popular!! lots of readers with J and B!!

    I started signing as anon, thought that wasn’t very personal, then used JB until someone else started to use JB. Couldn’t remember ever seeing a “Joe B” so I switched!! Ouch, stepped on someone— sorry.

    Any one else use “JDB” ??? I can’t remember ever seeing it.

    With apologies……

    JDB

  • wmlesage Says:

    I have a Remington Pump Action Air Rifle Model 26 that you were writing about back in 2006. I would like more information about this gun if you can help me find it. I have pictures of it if there is somewhere I can e-mail you them. I am also intrested in what it would be worth at todays prices. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thanks for your time, BILL

  • kevin Says:

    Bill (wmlesage),

    The Remington Pump Action Air Rifle Model 26 was made in .177 caliber for lead shot (early version) or steel, SS pump action, spring air rifle with unique geared system, 21. 1/8 inch barrel, adjustable rear sight, blued (early version) or black painted finish, plain varnished walnut pistol grip buttstock, ten-groove forearm, 4 lbs., Approximately 19,646 total mfg. by Remington circa 1928-1930. The seventh edition of blue book for airguns says it's worth $995.00 in 90% condition and $550.00 in 40% condition. You can add 15% to these numbers if you have a first model with blued finish.

    kevin

  • FRED Says:

    Wmlesage,

    what info would you like? Seems BB gave you quite a bit in this article. In my 2006 Blue Book of Air Guns, pricing ranges from $450 for a rifle in 20% condition to $1,000 in 60%. No pricing is given for rifles above that condition. Another think, this blog is some 4 years old and no one really monitors it anymore. Why don't you post your question – a bit more specific in what exactly you are looking for – on the current Blog. You'll get much greater exposure by a great many knowledgeable collectors. The current blog can always be found at: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog

    Cordially,

    Fred PRoNJ

  • FRED Says:

    Wmlesage,

    Kevin's info is correct. My figures on what the rifle is worth were transposed in reading from the top of my book to the dollar figures at the bottom of the page.

    Fred PRoNJ

  • William Says:

    Thanks for the info. I don't know how to tell if it is a blued barrel or a painted barrel. The barrel is brown bit there is no flaking of paint that I can see. If you would like to e-mail me I will send you some pictures of the gun. My email is wmlesage@charter.net I am trying to figure out how to write on the blog but I am new to this blog thing and am having trouble figuring it out. Thanks again for the info, BILL

  • wmlesage Says:

    I posted a blog about this on the blogger site titled 1928-1930 Remington Pump Action Air Rifle BB Gun

  • kevin Says:

    Bill,

    Assume that the blogger site you're referring to is gunbroker where you posted your question asking about more information on your gun?

    In your question on that site you said, "I have had it stored in a plastic gun case that is lined with foam and sealed with 4 snap latches." Would strongly encourage you to get your gun out of that foam case since a foam case is not designed for long term gun storage. A foam case promotes rust on a gun. Wipe your gun down with a silicone cloth and store it outside of the case.

    Use the foam case for transportation of the gun and only put it in the case for short periods of time. For extended travel times I would suggest that you put the gun in a SILICONE IMPREGNATED GUN SOCK prior to putting it in the gun case.

    Seems that you're trying to narrow the range of value for your Remington Pump Action Air Rifle. If you will send me clear, well lit, pictures of your gun including a pictures of all stampings (name, serial number, etc.) I'll try to help you narrow the value range. My email is klentz4 "at" comcast.net

    kevin

  • JLD Says:

    I have one also…(well my dad does) and he is looking to sell it. I can also post a picture, but do you know where the best place to list something like this for sale would be?

  • Matt Yates Says:

    i have a super nice remington model 26 that i want to sell. myates459@gmail.com

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