A different pump BB gun! by Tom Gaylord from Pyramyd Air” /> A different pump BB gun!, airguns report post” />

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Daisy 325 2-Way Target Outfit - Part 1
A different pump BB gun!

by B.B. Pelletier

Just a reminder for all of you within striking distance of Fredrick, Maryland, don't forget the combined firearm/arign show to be held on September 14th and 15th. Here is the info.

Going to kick back and enjoy myself today after all the testing I've done over the past several weeks. Today, I'm going to share with you a very special version of Daisy's popular No. 25 pump gun.

What do you mean "pump" gun?
Let me first clear up any confusion about that label "pump" gun. The No. 25 is not a pneumatic airgun. It's powered by a BB gun mechanism that's a combination of a catapult and a spring-piston. The air tube on the end of the piston actually pushes the BB off its seat and accelerates it to 50-80 f.p.s., then a blast of compressed air from the piston exits the tube, pushing it up to the final velocity - which in a No. 25 can be as much as 375 f.p.s.! It's generally accepted as the most powerful of the common BB guns.

Pump-action
In this case, the term "pump" refers to the gun's action. You pull a pump handle straight back, then push it forward to cock the gun. I already reported on the No. 25 pump in November 2005, and you can read that report for more historical information. But know this - the No. 25 is probably one of the two most popular BB guns of all time, with 20 million being made from 1914 to 1993 (the 25 production ended with the commemorative model in 1986, but the model 225, a variant, continued until 1993).

1936 - the most beautiful model
The most popular No. 25 is the 1936 model that continued until 1952. It's blued steel and stocked with a gumwood butt and pump handle. The reason for the popularity is the engraving on both sides of the receiver. Unlike later guns, this engraving is real - not just painted on. There are several variations of the actual engraving style, but most guys just notice that it's there. And the 1936 gun always uses steel BBs, unless the shot tube was swapped for a lead BB tube at some point. So, there's never a fear of ruining the gun by shooting steel BBs.

The Daisy No. 300 scope
A more special version of the 1936 varaition comes with the Daisy No. 300 telescopic sight - a huge scope in the style of the buffalo guns of the 1870s. Just the 2x scope, by itself, will command about $150 at an airgun show. However, there's one more version of the 1936 No. 25 that collectors really search for: the No. 325 2-Way Target Outfit that's the subject of today's blog. It comes in a box with the No. 300 scope, a Daisy steel (!) BB trap and a second shot tube for elastic (cork) balls. In other words, an indoor/outdoor gun.


Outfit includes a special shot tube made just for large cork balls. They are muzzle-loaded one at a time and the tiny puff of air blasts them out.



The 325 outfit came in a blue cardboard box. Inside was a Daisy 1936 version of the No. 25 pump gun, a separate cork-ball shot tube, Daisy No. 300 telescopic sight, a Daisy steel BB trap, ammo for both shot tubes, Daisy "Scope Dope" manual and an instruction manual for the BB gun.


Daisy's No. 325 2-Way Target Outfit
I searched for several years before locating my 325, and the only reason I got it is because the owner had just purchased a slightly better one. I'd seen a partial outfit (gun with target trap and nothing else) in a ratty box for $350 at the big flea market in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in the mid-1990s; but, by then, I'd attended enough airgun shows to know that was too much. Even today, I think it would be too much because you can buy a nice working 1936 No. 25 for about $100 at any good show.

A nice 325 outfit like mine is worth $400 or more. The box, alone, is worth a lot because they're flimsy and don't last. The Daisy target trap will sell for $75, alone, and I've never seen a shot tube for the big cork balls even offered. If it was, they would want at least $75.

Removing rust
My gun has good bluing coverage, but it also has the freckling of rust that's so common to blued BB guns of this era. So, in this report, I'm going to try to remove some of that rust with a cotton cloth and Ballistol. I had good success using Ballistol on a nickel-plated Daisy Buzz Barton some time back, so I'm going to try it again on this gun, and this time you'll get to watch.


The receiver is freckled with rust. A long exposure faded the blue to gray, but this receiver actually has a lot of deep blue.



Look what 10 minutes of Ballistol on a soft cotton cloth has done! Some of the freckles still show as a dull patch, but the rust is gone!



Using just a single finger to rub the Ballistol around the receiver produced this rust stain in 10 minutes.


More on the scope
The No. 300 scope was made for both the No. 25 pump gun and the Red Ryder. There are, however, two different rear scope mounts - one for each type of gun. The correct rear mount for the No. 25 has a strap to fit over the gun's backstrap--a la shotgun-style. The scope has a unique elevation adjustment via a cam at the rear. Since the front mount is on a swivel, no stress is passed to the scope tube. And, the 2x magnification really does work!


The scope adjustment cam is down for a close shot.



Cam is up for a distant shot. Isn't that cool?



The scope is free to tilt up and down because the front mount is a swivel.


Airgun makers often ask me what kind of new guns they should think about making. As I try to explain the neat things from the past, like this scope, they usually default to other considerations like maximum velocity and camouflage stocks. Did no one besides me actually PLAY with these things when they were kids?

Uh-oh!
As I examined the gun in the kit I discovered a couple of faults. The trigger return spring is broken and so is the air tube--common faults among vintage No. 25s. Fortunately, I have a second No. 25 with a 300 scope mounted, and that one works perfectly. It has even more deep blue finish than the one from the box, so I simply swapped them. The broken gun will go off to Jim Coplen in Minnesota for some work. Jim is also a collector, so I can trust that he won't do anything stupid like refinish my fine BB gun. For those who have need of his services, Jim can be reached at 507-281-2314.

Next time, we'll shoot the gun and see what a 25 can do.

36 Comments:

At September 03, 2008 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I played with that stuff as a kid. When my dad came home from WW2, the first thing he bought me was a Red Ryder BB gun. I wore out several. Always had it either in my hand or on my bike. In those days a kid walking down the street with a BB gun didn't bring out the swat teams. The last one I owned had a scope on it.
Always wanted a 25 but always got Red Ryders. Great days, those.

 
At September 03, 2008 7:12 AM, Blogger Il Bruce said...

That scope is fantastic. So simple and elegant.

New RI School of Design president, John Maeda, was interviewed on the BBC last night. He had some intersting views on design, marketing and simplicity.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/interview/index.shtml

 
At September 03, 2008 7:29 AM, Anonymous twotalon said...

B.B.
A 25 was my first bb gun. Must have shot a truck load of bbs through it. Federal copper plated was always the best...very smooth ammo. Came in a red cardboard tube crimped on both ends like a shotgun shell.
Spring finally got weak, and there was enough wear that 2 bbs would bridge up on cocking and jam it.
That gun took out a lot of sparrows.

twotalon

 
At September 03, 2008 10:13 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.

Great blog, I had no idea they made them until 1986. How many of the 20 million are still out there and shooting still.. your best guess of course..

I missed out, on the Daisy 25 and other B.B. guns, my dad started me out when I was 8 years old with a Hy Score pellet gun to hunt rabbits with him and his Rem semi-auto .22 long rifle.. I have the .22 now that he has passed on..

Sounds like the cork balls were fun, did you guys use those to have wars with, or what was the purpose of the cork balls? We played in the orange groves and threw rotten oranges at each other..

"I know we've come a long way, but tell me, where do the children play?"

Get them out in Nature!! And save a little patch at least for the future kids to play in.. close to their homes, so they can choose to play outdoors instead of on the computer or TV..

Wayne,
Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At September 03, 2008 10:17 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Wayne,

From what I've seen, at least half of the Daisy 25s still survive, though some of those are still hiding in attics, basements and garages.

The cork balls were for indoor use. They couldn't break a window. Sort of an early airsoft.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Wayne!
In the summer, at least every other weekend I and my too boys (5 & 7) are either at our favorite shooting spot or fishing hole.
When the weather is inclement we are in the dining room building scenery for their HO train layout (another hobby of mine).
Our next door neighbours also have two boys who are the same age...even in the same class.
You never see them because they are always in the basement with the PlayStation.
I swear to god, even at this early age they are sullen and withdrawn.

 
At September 03, 2008 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you can call me either traindad or cowboy dad!!

 
At September 03, 2008 10:54 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

Cowboy and train dad,

Good job!!!

I think people should have to get a license to have children, it takes more training to raise a child right, than to drive a car.. and if people don't do it right it costs us in higher taxes for prisons and the like... let alone what it does to the child..

Wayne

 
At September 03, 2008 10:54 AM, Anonymous BG_Farmer said...

BB,

Now that's a nice gun! I love the scope, too. I didn't know there was one available for the Red Ryder -- will have to look into that.

The cork ball attachment seems like a nice way to spend a rain day as a kid, hunting living room furniture and family members.

 
At September 03, 2008 12:20 PM, Anonymous .22 multi-shot said...

Wayne and Cowboy dad,

That is why we moved out of the city onto 5 acres. It is much more fun to do something REAL than something VIRTUAL!

.22 multi-shot

 
At September 03, 2008 12:28 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

BG_Farmer,

The scope for the Red Ryders were also sold as part of a special shooting set.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb,

hey, i've been really busy, and haven't had a chance to stop by for a while...i was just wondering if you knew anything about the new batch of patriots coming in november...i know the first batch of patriots from hatsan had a lot of british parts, and they were good, but once the parts ran out, they were 100% hatsan, and thats when they had the problems...do you know what they are doing to correct this?...i have a british .25 patriot that i'm going to put an aftermarket spring into, and i was going to get a new patriot in either .25 or .22 for a gas ram...i love the gun so much, that one isn't enough, lol.

DED

 
At September 03, 2008 1:22 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

DEDS,

I haven't heard anything.

By the way, it wasn't the parts that was the problem - Hatsan switched to an entirely different design that was nothing like the Patriot.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.

Rust is a good subject. My Dad's Winchester 94 hung on the wall for 30 years after our one clueless outing to shoot 20 rounds. When I took it down, there was rust all over the metal exterior. I sent it to Midwest Gunworks on the recommendation of Winchester to get the gun restored. But lo and behold, they said that they could not refinish the gun. They claimed that 94s of this vintage used different bluing salts and when they used modern chemicals they would "get funny colors." And they didn't know anyone who could fix the problem. I wiped the gun down with Ballistol which removed most of the problems, and after reading the blog, I will try a more vigorous application. That should do it for my purposes, but I'm surprised that there isn't a better fix out there somewhere. In theory, shouldn't you be able to strip all of the bluing off the metal by some process, then reblue and finish the rifle with modern chemicals?

I tried out your method of resting the thumb on the beavertail safety of my 1911 last night. The safety supports the thumb nicely like you said, but I'm finding that when I apply grip pressure which comes with lining the thumb up more or less with my forearm, then I have trouble engaging the grip safety. The only way around this is to forcefully push the base of the thumb against the grip safety, but this forces my thumb to bend to get on top of the beavertail safety and feels very awkward. Have you heard of any problem like this? Yet another motive to get some pictures up on photobucket. I just relearned how to extract photos from my video camera and put them online.

The long-range shooting chapter of the Elmer Keith book is incredible. That guy is an "ubermensche" as the German TV commentators were calling Michael Phelps. For those who aren't familiar with him, he was putting out anti-aircraft fire in a manner of speaking with his revolver by shooting birds on the wing at 150 yards away. He also shot some animal on the ground from 700 yards. For my purposes, though, I'm going to try out some of his shooting positions. One of his best seems to involve sitting with his back against something and supporting the gun on his knees. The question is are the knees together or apart? And what exactly is he resting on his knees? Is it the bottoms of his forearms? Or is he not resting on his knees but on his thighs? What I've come up with is not as rock solid as he is describing.

Matt61

 
At September 03, 2008 1:35 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Matt,

Try Doug Turnbull Restorations. They are tops.

If you don't have a speed bump at the bottom of the grip safety you cannot hold the gun this way. I assumed you had one.

Keith held the forearms against the inside of his knees - not unlike the field target position.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B.B.

Good info. Thanks. The crossbow book just came in, and I'm eager to have a look. Given what Keith and Ed McGivern could do with revolvers, the mind boggles at what medieval fighting men could do with bows and arrows.

I have actually been wondering if the quality of shooting has gotten better or worse over time. For example, I heard that now you have 13 and 14 year old kids getting distinguished ratings from the NRA which didn't used to be possible. The technology is undoubtedly better but I wonder if it's possible to consider shooting skill separately. Using an environmental approach, I would guess that skill is tied to what people do the most. So, they're probably better at shooting 10 meter air rifle than ever before and Palma target matches but not as good at rapid-fire and long-range revolver shooting. Does history tell us anything about this?

Matt61

 
At September 03, 2008 2:47 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

BB,

Based on my limited observations, it seems like the highest velocity attainable with a CO2-driven airgun is roughly 600fps in .177 and 500fps in .22.

I don't care about hyper-velocities unattainable with a CO2 gun, but in your experience, which rifles and pistols out there offer the highest velocities in CO2?

Thanks,

Brian

 
At September 03, 2008 3:03 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Brian,

I tested a Philippine survival rifle several years ago that shot .22 Kodiaks in the mid-800s on a hot summer day.

The fastest CO2 pistols are either the 10-meter pistols from Steyr or the Crosman 2300T. Both shoot as fast as 529 on a warm day.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 3:12 PM, Anonymous Brian said...

BB,

Thanks for that information. What would be the one or two highest velocity CO2 rifles currently available in the US?

Brian

 
At September 03, 2008 3:47 PM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Brian,

You know that highest velocity doesn't mean greatest power - right?

The AirForce Condor on CO2 gets over 700 f.p.s. in .22 caliber. I suppose it might go faster in .177, but I've misplaced my test data.

Nothing I know of comes close to this speed currently.

B.B.

 
At September 03, 2008 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2nd BB gun was the 25. Interesting to hear that the trigger return spring broke or came off, as did mine. I just pushed the trigger forward with my finger as I cocked it. This limited my shooting to some degree...the trigger was a simple bent piece of metal whose two rear sides began to cut into my finger after a while. The trigger had a lot of creep, which I circumvented by placing it in the crook of my finger and squeezing until right before let-off. This was my 'go-to' gun when I was a kid, and I must have put a zillion BBs through it. I got so good at sighting down the left side of the barrel, where I could watch the BB's trajectory, that I cut off the sights altogether. I could hit a large East Tennessee red wasp as it hovered in the air. After I grew up and left, my dad kept this gun in a corner of his garage. He used it to sting cats who had the audacity to cross his yard (he was allergic to them but I believe the real reason was that this was how he took out his frustrations from work).

My first BB gun was the Red Ryder, which I received sometime around 3rd or 4th grade. My Irish father was a firm believer in getting the lowest price possible, so one Saturday he dragged me and my mother all around Houston (it never occurred to him that his time was worth money). Comes 5 o' clock and we're in the last possible store and the price still isn't to his liking. Dad says to me, "I'm sorry, Joseph. Maybe we can go looking again next Saturday." Now you have to understand that I was a very docile kid back then. But suddenly something snapped. I threw a very loud temper tantrum, the upshot of which was that I walked out of that store happily clutching the Red Ryder in its lovely cardboard box. My dad looked at me like he didn't know who I was, but I truly didn't care. I was -- finally! -- the proud owner of my own, REAL BB gun.

Joe B.

 
At September 03, 2008 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe,

I enjoyed your B.B. gun story. What I wouldn’t give for just one day again at 7 years old.
The bike rides, the BB gun, the friends and Mom and Dad. It would be quite a day.

I would not mind the lack of a PC, cell phone, or the fact the TV only had 3 channels with no remote.

I’d also tell Dad to stop smoking those no filter camels…………….


Volvo

 
At September 03, 2008 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of toys, the snap caps that I've discovered have added a whole new dimension to my firearms. Now, I'm practicing my prone shooting holster draws, tactical shooting, room clearing--hysterical. I'll probably use the guns more this way than with regular ammo.

Matt61

 
At September 03, 2008 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Volvo,

In the past few months I have developed this fantasy where I go back in time to my high school days. I'm that age again (I think this started when I injured my knees dancing...I wanted a fantasy where I was young and healthy and not damaged by Agent Orange during my Vietnam service) but I have the wisdom of my present 61 years. I also get to take back with me a MacBook Pro (hey, it's /my/ fantasy after all), which allows me access to the web of present day. I can get info on which were the winners, so I can make a lot of money at the horse races and help take the burden of payments off of my dad's shoulders. I can also order modern stuff online and have them delivered back then. Obviously this fantasy doesn't bear too close a scrutiny, but it IS fun daydreaming about being my parents' hero.

-Joe B.

 
At September 03, 2008 7:56 PM, Anonymous wayne said...

B.B.

What great memories of bb gun days past... I see why these are great collectors.. and how important it is to pass on the stories to our young, before the connection to the outdoors is lost all together..

The thing I like about air rifles is that you can practice indoors at night instead of the TV and you are then drawn to the outdoors to test your skills further..

That's what is nice about a gun like the Air Airs S410, quite, power adjuster and accurate... the perfect indoor/outdoor air gun..

Wayne

Ashland Air Rifle Range

 
At September 03, 2008 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

I am trying to sort my pellets. Does a difference of 2 grains make a noticeable shift in POI at 50 yards? The scale I have reads only in 2 grain resolution and 0.1 grams.

Thanks.

David

 
At September 04, 2008 12:57 AM, Blogger Henry said...

I watched as much of the olympics as i could... Did not see a single airgun, or "real" gun for that matter! Yet the there was BMX-ing (oh $%*^). Looking forward to the Evanix Renegade accuracy results.

 
At September 04, 2008 7:48 AM, Anonymous twotalon said...

David
2 grains is a lot...quite a lot! You should never find a tin of pellets with that much variation.
That much would cause a lot of poi difference at 25 yards.

Now, .2 grains is not too bad. Many who weigh pellets will keep them sorted in .1 grain increments. The difference will not be much either way. What kills you is when you alternate between the heaviest and lightest pellets. You need to avoid that.

A scale that gives you .1 grain resolution will do O.K. for you.

twotalon

 
At September 04, 2008 9:19 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

David,

As Twotalon said, a tenth of a grain is the sorting criteria. Two grains is too gross to be of value.

B.B.

 
At September 04, 2008 11:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB and Twotalon,

Thanks for the replies. A scale with 0.1 grain display is not so affordable even at ebay.

I wonder if marksmen during the early days of the shooting sports weigh their bullets and how did they do it? Is it possible for a homemade precision balance? Sorry, the tinkerer and history buff in me just thinking out loud.

David

 
At September 05, 2008 12:37 AM, Anonymous wayne said...

David,

If there is Harbor Freight new you, they have low cost digital scales, that might work for you..

Wayne

 
At September 05, 2008 6:05 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

David,

Ahh, youth. I used to think like you.

Yes, there are balance beam powder scales for very cheap that will do the same weighing job as an electronic scale. But after you have spent a half hour weighing 40 pellets you will understand why this is false economy.

Either get the electronic scale or don't bother, because the balance beam scale takes too long.

B.B.

 
At September 05, 2008 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne,

I have only ACE hardware and Truvalue. But the ones I have here dont carry powder scales. At Ebay, I have seen one (0.1 grain) at around 30 bucks (with shipping) but I am not comfy with ebay. Guess I am just too old fashioned, prefer to buy from a real store.

BB,

Yes sir, after a night of thinking it over, I agree about the long term false economy perspective.

Youth is where most of our memory takes us for a great sentimental trip sometimes. (I used to watch and loved McGayver series in my youth).

Thanks.

David

 
At September 06, 2008 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David,


I use a digital reloading scale I picked up from Cabela’s many years ago. It was their least expensive store brand, but has worked fine. I believe it was on sale for about $50. They are a large outfit you can be comfortable ordering from.

I don’t weigh all my pellets, but use it when I want to figure ft lbs (with a Chrony too), and get a base line for my airguns. That way I know when they are sick, or the exact effect of a big squirt of chamber oil. (Very bad, by the way. Also, I accidentally left an R-7 cocked for about a year in the gun safe – lost about 90 fps.)

Another use of the scale is to simply see which pellets do not have a huge variance in weight, and stick to those types. Some are amazingly consistent, others not even close.


Volvo

 
At September 10, 2008 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

As a collector, what do you think the future market will think of today's packaging?

I understand having a nice cardboard box increases the value of the kit as a whole, but what will people think 75 years from now when they're buying a "vintage" 2008 Red Ryder with the dreaded clamshell blister pack, scratched, cut-up, and sharp edged?

Should we take care opening blister packs on items that might be collectable years from now? Cut nicely along the welded edges? Polish and buff the plastic? I'm (half)joking of course.

Curt

 
At September 10, 2008 11:10 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...

Curt,

Crap is still crap, no matter how much time has passed. Guns in unopened clams will command a premium, but an opened clam isn't worth keeping. Have you ever seen the flimsy 1950s toys that were wrapped with thin plastic wrap? Only if they are unopened do they command any premium.

B.B.

 

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