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Education / Training Daisy No. 40 Military Model

Daisy No. 40 Military Model

by B.B. Pelletier


Daisy’s No. 40 Military Model was quite the BB gun! With both the sling and the bayonet, it looked ready for war.

This one is for Matt61, and it’s also a preamble for another report about BB gun disassembly I will do in the future for Bob in Oz.

World War I focused the attention of America on war. Our last few conflicts had been regional ones in Cuba, the Philippines and elsewhere, but this war involved most of the world.

Daisy was busy making BB guns as always, so when the youth in this country started looking at things military, they thought about bringing out a BB gun that looked like a military rifle. Work on the project took from 1914 until the gun came out in 1916.

The gun had a full wooden stock, much like the Springfield 1903 rifle. It also had a khaki-colored sling that attached to eyes on the butt and forearm. But it had one other feature that made it the most infamous BB gun of its day–a bayonet!

Yes, the No. 40 came with a genuine steel bayonet that attached to the muzzle of the gun. The bayonet was blunt-tipped and covered with a tiny rubber tip. Because it was removable, boys either lost it or parents removed it for safekeeping and today the bayonet is far scarcer than the gun. At the last Roanoke show, I could buy a decent No. 40 (not a nice one, but all the parts there and working) for $300 or so. One with a bayonet was above $700. So you figure out what that appendage is worth. It’s such a coveted item that there are aftermarket bayonets people have made to use as placeholders.

I once bought a rusty No. 40 for $75 at a flea market. Of course, it had neither the sling nor bayonet at that price, but it was a complete gun. It worked fine and shot pretty hard–in the 325 f.p.s. range as I recall–so that was good. So, for a short while, I owned this gun. When I bought it, I did so because I knew I could make some money selling it. But I was also captivated by the look of the gun. It LOOKS like a million dollars–just the way a BB gun OUGHT to look.

Wayne will understand what I am about to say and I know others like Kevin, Vince and BG_Farmer will, as well. Some guns just beg to be held! The 1903 Springfield is such a rifle. The 1917 Enfield doesn’t look as inviting, but when held it feels even better than a Springfield. A Weatherby Mark V is another rifle that invites holding. Well, the No. 40 Daisy BB gun is like that. It just looks right!

However, the first time you cock the gun, it doesn’t FEEL right at all! The rough cast-iron lever pulls away from the stock very hard, and you find yourself wondering how some small boy could ever have cocked this thing. I used to be a small boy and I can tell you we had numerous ways of doing things adults didn’t think we could. Although I never saw a No. 40 in my youth, I’m quite sure I could have dealt with it had one come my way.

The cocking lever also only came out away from the gun in an arc of about 90 degrees, so Daisy didn’t use all the leverage they could have. That, coupled with a stiff mainspring, was the reason for the hard cocking.

The No. 40 used the new 50-shot, forced-feed shot tube Daisy had recently developed for use in the No. 25 pump gun. As a result, the No. 40 never rattled the way gravity-feed BB guns do. It always sounded as solid as it looked.

Lead shooter
In 1916, the BB gun world was still one governed by lead shot. It would be more than a decade before the steel shot that we know today would come about. Lead air rifle shot, as it was known, was 0.175″ in diameter, nominally. That’s larger than today’s steel shot that runs around 0.172″. More importantly, the lead shot tubes used a swaged (bumped to cause a constriction) shot seat to hold the next BB in position, so it didn’t just roll out the barrel. The air transfer port in a BB gun like this is an actual tube that mechanically pushes the BB through the constriction and starts it on its way down the bore. Then, a blast of air through the tube accelerates the BB up to the final velocity.


Steel shot tube on the left has a wire spring to hold the shot in place. Lead shot tube on the right has nothing obvious from the outside. Inside, the tube is pinched at the right spot to hold a lead shot in position.

So, the No. 40 started out shooting only lead shot. Production continued until the early 1930s, when Daisy was switching over to steel shot tubes. But with any Daisy, you cannot just say something was one way and leave it at that. Daisy used any parts they had on hand to build airguns, so if there were steel shot tubes before 1936, they might have put them into the final batches of No. 40s. And after the gun was sold, anyone could change shot tubes between lead and steel. I can convert a 1913 first model No. 25 to shoot steel BBs in under a minute, just by swapping tubes. So, it’s incumbent on the gun’s owner to figure out which type of shot tube he has and what kind of ammo should be used in the gun.

When it first came out, the No. 40 incorporated Daisy’s adjustable front sight. A vertical post was folded at its bottom to clamp onto a front sight base. The shooter could then push the front blade from side to side to change where the BB would go. After several years, this sight was changed to a fixed sight that remained on the gun to the end of production in about 1934.


Early guns had this front sight, which is adjustable for windage. After about a year, Daisy changed it to a fixed sight.

Not rare but hard to find
In all, about 237,000 No. 40 BB guns of all variations were made. The gun isn’t exactly rare today. It’s more of a seldom-seen gun because owners tend to hang onto it for longer periods. Of course, when compared to the No. 25 pump gun that exceeded 20 million, this number seems low. When you consider that there are only a few thousand serious BB gun collectors worldwide, there are more than enough guns to fill the demand. And the No. 40 is not the kind of BB gun people throw away with little thought. The value is recognizable to everyone, whether they know much about BB guns or not.

High price!
When it was new, Daisy’s initial price was $3.50, and they wrung their hands about it–believing that no BB gun could be worth that kind of money. Of course, it helps to bear in mind that surplus .45/70 Trapdoor Springfield rifles were selling for the same price at the time. But the No. 40 looked like it was worth it.

In his book, It’s a Daisy, Cass S. Hough remembered that the initial price of the gun was $5, but a 1916 Saturday Evening Post ad clearly shows the $3.50 price. Even in 1919, the No. 40 was selling for just $4. So, Hough might be remembering some time later when the company raised the price to $5. That much of an increase would have obviously stuck in everyone’s mind, because the other models were selling for $1.00 to $3.95 as late as 1933.

Accuracy is whatever it is and will vary by shot tube. Usually a good forced-feed tube will give me about one inch at 20 feet. And lead shot tubes have always been more accurate than steel, in my experience. Swapping shot tubes changes everything.


Most No. 40s are found without the sling or bayonet. They’re a lot cheaper this way.

Want one?
This is not a gun you are likely to just run into. If you want one, you need to watch the auction websites and go to the airgun shows. I’ve seen as many as nine guns at one airgun show, so they’re out there. Prepare to spend at least $300 for a good shooter and upwards of $700 if there’s a bayonet. The sling adds something, too, but not more than $50-75.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

71 thoughts on “Daisy No. 40 Military Model”

  1. BB, when exactly did the lead shot shrink to .175″? I recently did a Markham King 500-shot repeater for Wayne (latest pat. date of 1913), and while velocity was lowish (230fps) accuracy was pretty good (under an inch at 15′). This was with steel ammo, which functioned perfectly through its gravity-fed magazine.

  2. Vince,

    I have never been able to determine exactly when shot shrunk from 0.180 to 0.175, but I think it was after 1900. It was mentioned by Cass Hough in his book that the shrink saved money and increased velocity.


  3. Was it the Daisy 499 that is considered the most accurate BB gun? I think I had one once, and it would hit everything I put the sights on. Although I shoot higher power pellet rifles now, I still wish I had that old Daisy. Maybe I’ll get one, but I’m curious: didn’t you once cover how a BB gun could be accurate? Link me to it if you did. JP

  4. This is the greatest airgun site in the world.

    Just had the opportunity to read the last 3 articles by B.B. and everyone’s comments.

    Beginning with the Gasser-Kanardly vacuum gun written on April 1st. What a well conceived, cleverly evolved piece of writing that was subtle enough to fool a few in good spirit.

    Like many, I have eagerly awaited the beginning of the series on the new Maurader that appeared yesterday. The first part of this story and the buzz it has created certainly indicate that the Maurader could be another home run for Crosman and airgunners. It reminds me of the Discovery’s introduction. I can’t help but comment on what a “potentially” brilliant development the Maurader is when you consider the enormous number of airgunners that have been introduced to pcp’s just because of the Discovery. Now Crosman (with B.B.’s help/insight) introduces the perfect gun for the next step for those Disco owners that have been “bitten” and the airgunners that have waited for a more refined pcp at an entry level price point. What a terrific time to be into airgunning. It wasn’t that long ago if you wanted all the features that the Maurader appears to be offering that you would pay $1,000.00 or much more.

    Today’s topic is among my favorites. Vintage. These well written reports always seem to strike a chord in me that helps me understand the roots of my fascination with guns of all types.

    Great fun. Especially in heavy doses like 3 days of articles and comments all at once. Thanks everyone.


  5. BB
    Regarding the Marauder, last night I was shooting my S410 and dropping pens on the carpet…are you sure this isn’t a carry over from 4/1? I would guess that either you are exaggerating a bit, that gun has an amazing baffle system, or your “pen” is 3′ long. How about if I buy Wayne’s HW77 and he use the money to buy a Marauder to do a direct comparison to his various S410s?

  6. B.B.

    For me as a collector of sorts.. How a gun shoulders and feels IS the most important thing..
    There are lots of very accurate and quality guns, but if they don't come to shoulder well.. … why own it?


    Welcome back! Missed you..

    you come back, I go out..

    I too love the connection between the old guns and the new ones.. I totally agree that Edith & Tom do it right!! This is the place for air gun & all gun info!!

    And fun too!!

    Aren't we lucky to have them doing this for us.. but maybe we could allow just one weekend for those two love birds to get away.. (no doubt they will bring guns on their get away!).. They sure deserve it!!

    Thank you both very much!! … And start planning your getaway..

    It sure feels good to have one planned!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  7. Wayne,

    Happy Anniversary my friend! All my best to you and your lovely wife. After this many years of being married to you she’s a shoe in for sainthood. 😉

    Great to be back.


  8. Kevin,

    Ain’t that the truth.. I think I see wings growing already….

    and horns on me… oh no!!


    I’ve had a Marauder on order for 2 months now.. You can be sure I’ll be calling B.B. on his Wild Claims!!

    And.. sorry my HW77 was traded off long ago.. as nice a springer as it is.. it’s still a springer over 750fps.. and there ain’t one left in my inventory of lots and lots of air guns.. (haven’t counted lately, and couldn’t count very easy, since so many are at Vince’s.. or on the way there, or on their way back).. I’d bet it’s close to 100 now!! And more than half are low power vintage sweeties.. especially since Vince has worked on them!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  9. Kevin,

    Welcome back! I enjoy your comments. Also I’ll bet there arn’t many here that know the number of people you’ve helped who have posted to past blogs. I like your polite suggestion to join us at our current blog.

    Wayne, we’d all be interested in a side by side comparison of your S410 and a Marauder.

    B.B., Drop a pen on a carpet and LISTEN–what a great description. However, my Talon SS with a LDC allows me to hear a CP hit a grackle at 15-20 yards.

    Mr B.

  10. Mr B.,

    Thanks for those kind words.

    I think everyone should realize how much help you have been on the blog as well. It’s volunteers like you that free up B.B.’s time and allow him to do the more important testing and reporting that we have all come to appreciate.

    Hope more people will volunteer some of their time to help support B.B.’s wonderful site.


  11. B.B.,

    You’re absolutely correct. I’m not a 100% yet, but I’ve never been 100% so we move on.

    I sincerely appreciate and thank you and Mrs. Gaylord for your aid.

    I’ve learned alot in the past week. New experiences. I never want to go back. :^)


  12. BB,
    You put me in pretty lofty company — Wayne alone bought more guns last week than I’ve ever looked at:) — but I do like that Springfield look and have always wondered “why not” when it comes to bayonets:). One thing that I’m wondering about is if this one is derived from the King designs? I found a reference to their acquisition while researching the Buzz Barton, and the lever on this one brought them to mind.

    I see you are back, and I’m happy about it; I hope everything is going well or at least much better. I’ve been in and out quickly and randomly for the last couple of weeks due to miserably good weather, but its cool and rainy today (yay) and I’m catching up.

    Quigley buckets (aka tomato paste cans) at 80 yards — although I wonder if its fair if you use a monster youth gun supertuned by Vince:).

  13. B.B.

    Thanks. Military look-a-likes are how I got into shooting, all through airsoft. I got a sniper rifle, a 1911 (both spring piston) and an electric powered AR-15. None had the heft and solidity of this rifle, though.

    The bayonet idea is crazy, even with a rubber tip. I managed to get a serious eye accident with a toy rifle as a kid even without a bayonet.

    I never knew the 1917 Enfield had such good handling qualities. It’s always relegated to second class in comparison with the Springfield.


  14. Dr G.,

    The shroud came from AirHog. Real quality people to deal with. I have the shroud for both the 12″ and 24″ .22 cal barrel. They both are SILENT.

    Mr B.

  15. BG farmer,
    I believe we share similar weather patterns. I did a bunch of outdoor clean up and roto tiling this week, but today is 55 degrees and rainy.

    My newest toy is a 1967 Daisy 99 that I am enjoying very much.

    The Marauder,
    As much as BB dislikes them, I had to pull out the digital sound meter. Average on a pen hitting the floor is 57db. . (Back ground noise, ie blower motor on the furnace runs in the mid to upper forties) My shrouded and baffled FX whisper went 66-69 db and was the quietest rifle I have tested to date. But I’m guessing what the meter picks up more than the discharge is the “ping” when the rifle fires.

    Anyway, sounds like a winner so far. I know it lacks a side lever as Wayne noted, but it also runs about half the cost of the rifles so endowed. While the cost may be prohibitive, I think a combo with the pump would be nice, even if it is a two box affair. I have an opening in the .177 category, so I am interested in how the review turns out, like everyone else.


  16. Disco should arrive wednesday!
    In order to reach the full potential of this rifle (excluding the large amount that me at the trigger takes away), will i need a scope with greater than 9x zoom?
    John from jersey

  17. BB,

    I am sorry this is OT, but I am confused.

    A FWB124 and a FWB300S are both operated by a spring.

    Which one is the springer and which one is a single stroke pneumatic and why?



  18. Thanks bb. One last question. On the centerpoint scopes with the zero locking turrets, must you use them. Can you adjust the screws so the turrets click, and leave them loose?

  19. You don’t understand what the locking turrets do. They don’t lock the adjustment knobs in one place. The SETTINGS on the turret ring lock, so you can always return to a number and it will be the same SETTING (i.e. point of impact) that it was before. If you UNLOCK the SCALE (not the knob, or what you are calling the turret), you can reposition the SCALE so it accommodates a different range of zero points.

    When the SCALES are locked down, the knobs still click like normal, and the scope can be adjusted like normal.


  20. Please keep right on asking those questions. That is the reason for this blog.

    Never feel intimidated because you don’t understand something. Asking questions is how each one of us has learned what we now know.

    And I make mistakes too, so you are doubly lucky that I have a huge audience of readers who watch what I say and correct me when I make a mistake–which isn’t that uncommon.


  21. RE: Correcting BB

    Well BB the only reason that we correct you is because you care. You set a high standard for truthful infomation on your blog, not just marketing hype.

    With goodness knows how many readers, who have educations from medical doctors to rocket scientists, and experience from air gun beginners to old timers, we’re bound to catch some mistakes.

    You can out think some of us all of the time, and all of us some of the time, but you can’t out think all of us all the time. 😉

    From all of your faithful readers…

  22. BB, VERY sorry to correct you,but when you said”…when I make a mistake,which isn’t all that uncommon” I have to say you are being careless with the truth!A mistake from you is a pretty rare bird indeed…FrankB

  23. FrankB, let’s not let BB get a swelled head! Yes, he does make an occasional boo-boo, and it’s a bit of a kick to catch him when he does. Kinda like being in high school catching a mistake that the math teacher makes! Seems to happen a few times a year.

    Of course, he might ‘plant’ those errors just to keep us howling jackals happy. Maybe that’s it – his occassional (and almost always monor) boo-boo’s are merely acts of Christian charity!

  24. Here’s a question for all – what do I do???

    I bought a beat-up but perfectly functional Daisy 717 at a gun shop for $10 a few months ago. Problem is, it isn’t very accurate. Granted, I’m not particularly good at pistol (in fact I’m pretty bad), but my 2004 shoots rings around it with any pellet I have.

    So I got parts diagrams from Daisy, and lo and behold – yes, the 747 parts are the same, except for the barrel. Which means I oughta be able to buy the 747’s Lothar Walther barrel for $50 and pop it right in.

    Whaddya all think?

  25. Vince,

    I say gopherit! That would give you a 747 for $60 – great deal!

    Now here is a question for you.

    I bought a Crosman 622 last fall at an estate sale for $5. The stock is broken (repaired, but badly), it doesn't have a clip, the two receiver sides no longer fit together tightly and I'm wondering what to do with it. I was going to buy a Discovery tube (with valve, pressure gauge & fill adapter) and make a custom breech and mount for the tube to replace the old tube and valve. I thought that might make an interesting PCP repeater.

    However, I've heard that Discovery parts aren't being sold seperately by Crosman any more. So, should I go ahead with the PCP idea and find different PCP tube (I have an extra Discovery valve), or send it to you and have you restore it to mostly original condition? You could also blog it here (if BB agrees). 🙂

    If I do the PCP project, I probably won't get to it for a year or more.

    .22 multi-shot

  26. Folks, here’s one I’d like an opinion on. When my son tried to get his 38 spl. here in Jersey, he was turned down – seems NJ has a law that you must be 21 to own a pistol, even though the local PD gave him a permit to purchase. He’s 3 months shy of 21.

    Anyway, while wandering around the gun shop, I started up a conversation on air rifles with one of the salesmen and it turns out that someone’s widow turned in her husband’s guns to sell on consignment, including some air rifles. One was a Daisy Powerline 880 with Bushnell 3×9 (if I recall power correctly) scope – very tiny scope – small objective. It looked to be in superb condition other than the rear sight was gone. Probably removed to mount the scope. Asking price is $40 which is what the Bluebook price suggests for a rifle at 95%. I don’t know if the receiver and cocking handle are metal or not so have to go back.

    Opinions if this is a worthwhile purchase?

  27. Fred,

    I’ve heard that NJ treats airguns like firearms, but here is what I know about the 880.

    The Powerline 880 is at Wal-Mart for $40 (without a scope I think). It has a plastic lever (and probably receiver too). A friend of mine bought the 880 and returned it in favor of the Daisy 22SG. He said the 22SG felt more solid that the 880. Here is BB’s review on the 22SG.

    My personal opinion is that $40 is too much for a used 880. If you want to buy one, I would get a new one (WalMart and KMart both carry it if there is a problem with Pyramyd air shipping to New Jersey).

    .22 multi-shot

  28. Hi folks
    waaay off topic again,questions:
    what happened to the blog this weekend?were we hi-jacked?
    will someone tell me if the grt-iii
    trigger will fit a hammerli 490?
    I’ve tried asking on about 3 different posts and the CDT site but the links aren’t working for me.

    Thanx again


  29. JtinAL,

    Can’t answer your question definitively but would encourage you to talk to steve in nc on the yellow. The new GTX Gen-II trigger seems to fit all the guns that the GRT trigger did and more. They seem to be adding guns to the list that the GTX Gen-II fits.


  30. JtinAL, absolutely not. The mechanisms are completely and utterly different. To give you an idea of how different it is, it’s sorta like asking if an Edelbrock aluminum head for a Ford 5.0 V8 will work on an electric motor.

    The 490 trigger is a ‘direct sear’, and I’d strongly advise against messing with it too much – all you can really do is play with the angles, and they can easily get dangerous that way.

  31. RE: Correcting BB

    There is a saying that a bricklayer can lay thousands of perfect bricks, but the only one that will draw comment is the lone brick that is not straight or level.

    Unfortunately, that is the way most things in life are. When was the last time you picked up a correct order with hot fries at McDonalds and drove back to congratulate them?


  32. Kevin and Vince
    thanks guys for the quick answers
    Vince I haven’t messed with the trigger Cause I wasn’t sure,now I am and will leave it alone thanks to you.


  33. Thank you, 22 Multishot. I did a bit more research after my post and discovered that PA sells the 880S – S standing for scope, for $48. The picture on their website is exactly what the scope and rifle look like in the store, except for the rear site. I’m going to pass as your opinion now coincides with mine.

  34. hello,

    I got my hands on one of these guns with out knowing what it was. After a bit of research I found this site with the article about the daisy no.40. I was wondering if you had any more info on the gun. As far is i could tell the gun works tho i have not shot it and the big part is that the gun still has the bayonet and the sling. As i said any more info would be greatly appreciated.

    Here are a few pics of the gun






  35. Michael,

    Well, you have a very collectable BB gun. I can't see the front sight well enough to tell whether it is adjustable. If it is, your gun is very early and worth at least $900, but probably over $1,000. I would need to see the condition. If the sight is fixed, the gun is still a $700 gun any day.


  36. The front sight look like the one in the picture above i will also include a picture but i it dose not move it might be jammed it wiggles a tiny bit. is their any way to tell what year it was made? i also believe that it is the lead shot version their is a picture below





    sorry i for got to make them links last time


  37. Michael,

    It's worth $700-1,000. depending on condition. That's assuming it works. It does shoot lead shot, so don't mess with steel.

    You need an airgun expert to appraise the gun. Unfortunately, most of them will want to buy it, rendering their appraisals useless.


  38. Michael,

    B.B. is on the road again and has very limited time to comment. I'm sure he will have the best suggestions for you.

    There are several suggestions I have. Gunbroker.com has an airgun rifle section that frequently sells vintage airguns. I've never seen a gun like yours on the site but it's a true auction site that you can state a reserve (like ebay). The most active sites for selling used airguns is:




    You need to state an asking price on the first site and it is preferable that you state an asking price on the second site.

    I know you're still struggling with a value. Have you had it appraised? Have you considered begging B.B. to appraise the gun? You would need to ship the gun to him but he's the most knowledgable and honest guy that I know of that could be accurate.


  39. Thanks for the info. No it has not been appraise yet i was hopping to get it done local im a little hesitant about shipping it off. Do you know of any collectors in south west Missouri that could appraise it?


  40. Michael,

    If you can bring your Daisy to the LASSO shoot in November (near Dallas) I will appraise it for you. Let me add that my appraisal means almost nothing. A collector will pay the kind of prices I already told you and my appraisal will not affect them in the slightest.

    And a non-collector probably won't pay as much, ands they don't know who I am.

    B.B. (AKA Tom Gaylord)

  41. Well this seems like its gana be more of a hassle than it thought it would be. Dallas is a little far for me specially in Nov im still in school but i will think about it.

  42. Michael P.,

    You must realize the narrow market for an airgun like you have.

    It has a collector value but the collectors that know and can see the condition are slim.

    There are many firearms that fall into this same catagory. If the hassle is too much for you to bear it will translate into a lesser dollar realized. This may be acceptable since the travel expense and time can offset these lost dollars. But understand your gun has value directly correlated to condition and unless a gun can be handled the condition will always be questioned.

    The best opportunity for your gun to fetch the highest value is at a gun show that emphasizes airguns. B.B. attends these shows and as a result knows what these guns are capable of bringing at these optimum opportunities and may offer suggestions of the most opportune shows that you could place your gun for sale. If you can't be present maybe B.B. can suggest a vendor that would be willing to consign your gun for sale at his table.


  43. Hi
    I have bought an Daisy Mod 40 but i miss the Shot Tube. Can i then buy one for the Mod 25?
    I live in Norway so it is not easy to get parts for it here. But maybe it`s possible to get on at ebay.


  44. Any idea on sources for how to disassemble and clean one of these? My Dad just gifted one to me that was in the family and we think was purchased in 1922. It’s been sitting for 60 years and I’m afraid to attempt to fire it without cleaning/oiling it.


    • Brian,

      Unless it is completely rusted shut it is safe to shoot, but the gun does need to be oiled. Unscrew the shot tube and drop 20 drops of household oil into the muzzle, then let the gun stand on its butt for half a day. put something under the butt to catch any oil that drips past the piston seal.

      After that load the shot tube and shoot. I recommend trying 4.4mm lead BBs first, as they are very close in size to the 0.175-mm lead shot the gun was made to shoot. Get a pound of shot here:

      Do not try to disassemble this gun. For that you need a special jig and a lot of knowledge about these BB guns.

      Tell us how it goes!


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    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

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Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

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