Things I liked:Good beginner BB rifle for learning to shoot BBs and grow up with. Classic look. Feels quite solid. Very accurate for only iron sights. Plenty of "safe" power within 20-ft range. 650 BB capacity is nice and allows for non-stop shooting for quite a long time amongst several people. The cocking lever is a bit tough but does get lighter after a couple hundred shots. Copperhead BBs seem to do just fine in this gun. Lots of fun! Things I would have changed:Paint the tip of the barrel orange just like air soft guns. Introduce a version with a smaller stock/overall length for the under-10 crowd. Just perfect otherwise. What others should know:This was my first BB gun purchase, along with the Daisy 880 Powerline. The Red Ryder was for the smaller children, while the 880 was for the teens and older folk.
The Red Ryder proved a bit difficult to handle for the kids under ten due to the length and weight of the gun, as well as the cocking lever. But once the lever broke in and each person found his or her own handle of the gun, everyone's had a blast shooting it. Most of the family still does prefer the Powerline because the pump action is still much easier than the cocking lever and they like being able to aim with the scope. But every so often, the do come back to the Red Ryder to see how well they can do.
So that usually leaves me with the Red Ryder and I gotta say, once you find your shot, its way too much fun and I can do follow up shots more quickly than I can with the Powerline because I am not spending time pumping it and then aiming with the fixed scope.
As for the gun being too big for some of the kids, I will be trying out the Daisy 105 Buck as it is a little shorter (35.4" vs 29.8") and has a little less power (350 fps vs 275 fps).
Things I liked:Can use both pellets and BBs. Light weight. One of the easiest guns to pump. Good sights. Fairly accurate. The trigger and loading setup is exactly the same as the Powerline 880, so as the user grows older, moving up to the 880 should feel natural. Good size for 10 and up. Things I would have changed:Offer something with a slightly shorter stock for the under 10 users. An easier way to load pellets would be great. What others should know:This rifle was purchased along with a Crosman Pumpmaster 760 for an 11 and a 7 year old, respectively. I tried them both out and here are my observations.
The Daisy 35 is slightly longer then than the Crosman (34.50" vs 33.50"), and tad heavier (3.1 lb vs 2.75 lb), but they both handle about the same. They have the same power. The Daisy holds more BBs than the Crosman (50 vs 18). BBs are much easier to load in the Daisy than in the Crosman, which requires one to hold the gun facing down, shake it by twisting the wrist to let the BBs fall in, and then lock them in place before loading the next shot. Loading a pellet can be a bit tricky in the Daisy, requiring one to pull the bolt back just enough to load the pellet, but not too far or a BB will be in there first. The Crosman requires the use of a magazine (provided) that holds five pellets and isn't too hard to use once you get the hang of it. Still, it feels like you are doing double the work with loading the magazine first and having to move it after each shot to load the next pellet. The biggest difference between the two is the pumping of the gun. The Daisy is so easy to pump its impossible to put down. The Crosman, by comparison, is the hardest one I've used. So it should come as no surprise that someone has to pump the Crosman for the 7 year old, while the 11 year old can handle the Daisy just fine.
By the way, if size does become an issue, do invest in a set of rifle rest bags or consider the Daisy Buck 105.