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Education / Training Daisy wire-stock first BB gun – Part 1

Daisy wire-stock first BB gun – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

From time to time, I tell you about great buys. Sometimes, these are one-time opportunities, only. Today’s gun is one of those, but apparently the opportunity is still available for awhile.

Daisy made their first BB gun when they were still the Iron Windmill Company of Plymouth, Michigan. The actual date of first production was 1888, but when Daisy bought the Markham company, another BB gun manufacturer that was both their neighbor in Plymouth and their competitor, they backed the date of their BB-gun manufacturing to 1886, the year when Markham first made their wooden BB gun. And 1886 has been the date Daisy has claimed as their beginning for well over half a century.

The first gun they made was a wire-stocked, single-shot that was loaded at the muzzle. It took BB-sized birdshot, which is nominally 0.180″ in diameter. That was the same lead shot used by the Markham gun, so they had commonality, which was necessary in those early years. Customers could buy a large bag of birdshot for their guns at any gun store or hardware store; before long, Daisy began selling shot in smaller quantities, as well. It wasn’t until after the beginning of the 20th century that Daisy reduced the size of the shot to 0.175″ to save on lead and to increase the velocity. The name “Air Rifle Shot” was coined for that smaller shot.

Later still, they further reduced the size of their shot to 0.171″-0.173″ and began making it out of steel, which was both faster and cheaper to produce. Of course, that move would have increased the velocity again, but Daisy reduced the thickness of their mainspring wire and held velocity at the same level. The name air rifle shot stuck to the new steel BBs, which is how it comes down to us today. Steel BBs also rebounded with force, unlike lead, which was how “You’ll shoot your eye out” began.

The very first gun Daisy produced was marked Manufactured by the Iron Windmill Company and is called an Iron Windmill gun by collectors today. It has a cast-iron frame that was very fragile. It is an extremely rare BB gun with, perhaps, fewer than 20 known to exist. I’m waffling on the number because there are several major collectors who do not publicize the fact that they own an Iron Windmill gun. There’s no solid price information, but a complete example would probably sell for something more than $10,000 today, if one were to become available. Since the Iron Windmill gun looks the same as the more-common (but still scarce) Daisy wire-stocked first model, it’s all but unknown to the general public. A Daisy wire-stock first model brings about $3,500 and sometimes less today. I could have bought a nice one for $2,800-$3,000 at last year’s Roanoke airgun expo. Ten years ago, you could buy one for $1,500, so prices are going up.

I won’t go into all the variations of the first model gun, but the Blue Book of Airguns lists five. Only the very first one has a cast-iron frame. After that, the frames were made from cast bronze, which proved more durable.

Several years ago, Daisy decided to make a commemorative issue of the wire-stocked first model BB gun. They call it a replica, so I guess it is, but like the second-generation Colt blackpowder revolvers, I always thought when a company re-issued a model it once sold, it was still considered a legitimate model.

They decided to limit production to 1,000 guns and all were serial-numbered. To buy one, you had to be a member of the “Friends of the Daisy Museum.” Many people, including me, joined just to get in line for a gun.

The sale price of this commemorative is $300, plus $12 shipping to any U.S. address. We waited for over two years for the project to bear fruit, and the day before yesterday my gun arrived. I am the 517th member of the Friends of the Daisy Museum, so my gun is number 517 of 1,000.

The gun comes in a period-correct pasteboard (not cardboard) box. Daisy went out of their way to make everything in the package look correct for the period. Best of all, the frame is cast bronze and the wire stock lacks the crossbar that was added to the stock to make it more rigid. It is marked Daisy, Mfd. by Iron Windmill Company, Plymouth Mich, Pat. Apd. For, which makes it a copy of the early wire-stocked first model, but not the one with the cast-iron frame.

This is the pasteboard box the gun comes in. Everything is period.

Open the box and this is what you see. The packing material is real excelsior. There’s no owner’s manual. The hang tag reminds you of the dangers of a gun with no safety provisions.

Some modern touches
This gun has only a couple differences from the original gun, the most important of which is that it is made to use today’s steel BBs instead of the lead 0.180″ BB shot of the original gun. That makes it more user-friendly for those who want to take the occasional shot. And I do mean occasional, because with a cast-bronze frame, this is not a gun to shoot often. Besides, cocking wears the nickel finish, and you don’t want that.

Aside from that, the only other significant difference is the presence of a small magnet at the base of the barrel to hold the BB in place. In the original gun, a tapered breech accomplished the same thing. And the breech plug that was cast lead in the original is a machined brass part in the new gun.

They assemble the parts with silver-solder, where lead solder was used on the originals. Silver solder is stronger, so this gun has a better chance of surviving the coming decades.

I bet you all wonder what it’s like to hold and shoot one of these oldies, so I’m going to walk you through it. For starters, the all-metal gun weighs 2 lbs., 2.6 oz., so it feels very light. The overall length is 30.5 inches, so it’s positively tiny. The length of pull is 12.5 inches–a comfortable length for both youth and adults, alike. The barrel and spring tube are brass. The four separate frame parts are cast bronze and the wire stock, sear, trigger mainspring and piston are all steel.

Here’s the gun by itself. I needed the carpet background to contrast with a 100 percent nickelplated gun.

New meets old. The new Daisy gun above an original from the Daisy museum. Daisy photo.

This closeup shows two things. First, there’s no reinforcing bar to stiffen the frame where the wire stock attaches. And second, the cocking overlever stands proud of the receiver tube. After this photo was taken, I gently squeezed the lever down several times until it now stands just a quarter-inch above the spring tube at the front, which is the Daisy spec.

The serial number is stamped under the barrel. The box is similarly marked.

The entire gun is plated with nickel. Even the cast-bronze frame parts are nickel-plated with no attempt at polishing the rough sand-casting marks. The receiver tube/barrel and wire stock are polished to a high shine, with evidence of hand work everywhere. For only $300, you can hold something like your great-great grandfather may have held as a child.

It’s hard to read because the letters are formed on a rough sand casting.

Made in America
Randy Brown of Daisy told me this gun is 100 percent made in the U.S.A. That’s surprising in this day and age, when labor costs so much. Even the bronze castings were done in this country and the guns are assembled in Rogers, Arkansas.

Rear sight is cast into the overlever.

Fronts sight is a simple post.

The factory cutaway shows sear engagement. Daisy photo

I will combine Parts 2 and 3 (velocity and accuracy), because I’m not going to shoot this gun that much.

Now for some good news. These guns will still be available for a very short time! Daisy has made them available to the public on their website. A few hundred guns are up for grabs.

My thanks to the Daisy Manufacturing Company, and especially to Randy Brown, for his help with this report.
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.

60 thoughts on “Daisy wire-stock first BB gun – Part 1”

  1. Continuing my conversation from the previous post: I decided on the UTG Warhawk because it has great reviews and most of them say there are more metal parts than the usual spring rifle (Under $50).


  2. Congratulations on your new gun BB. I really like how the rear sight is casted into the overlever. Its a very cool piece. You didn't scratch the plating on the receiver tube I hope when you squashed out the lever. Did this procedure make the sights line up better, or worse? Also, do you have any idea what one of these cost originally?

    I saw one of these on gunbroker a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't look as good as this one.

  3. Slinging Lead ,

    I think they sold for $2.00. No scratches yet. Yes, the rear sight moves up and down as I squash it down.

    There will be a few of these new ones for sale over the next five years, but a new one from Daisy will be cheapest.


  4. BB,call me EASY…Dang,you got me again!When I saw this post early this morning….I speedread to get the ordering info out of the blog.Went straight to their sight,freaked out a little when I couldn't find it right away,found and ordered one!I may wake at 5;15 am from now on,just to see if you are going to tell me where to get a replica Girandoni next.Thanks for the tip,big guy…I owe you again!! Frank B

  5. PS,Did I order a numbered one like yours?Just curious really.I want one reguardless…it's worth it to me to have and contemplate history!How many WW1 vets shot one of these first!? Frank B

  6. Thanks to Mr. B.B. and the others who offered advice last week on buying a sling and sling bracket for a Daisy 953.

    After the usual automated e-mails and waiting for "the next representative," I was able to place an order with Daisy without a problem.

    It turns out they want you to call and don't do much on the Internet.

  7. BB,
    I know the wire-frame Daisy is a classic, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. It seems like they originally made it according to the lowest cost of production (for the time), which is in keeping with the item's origins as a promotional giveaway. I also know my grandfather never had a BB gun, since as the youngest son of a large family he was hunting (a non-essential task) at five or six so the family didn't have to constantly eat beef and pork:). Old school daycare, I suppose.

    Well, yet another post from me with no point. If I had one I guess it would be that this is an important piece for collectors but definitely an oddity in my mind, because I don't have any way to connect personally with it.

  8. It was good to see comments last night from two Edge owners. They had pretty impressive results. The first one had the rifle clamped on a bench rest, front and back. The second didn't say how the rifle was mounted. Regardless, the results were more of what I wanted to see from the gun. I hope to hear from more.


  9. BB,if it turns out,as I suspect that mine won't be a numbered example….I would be happy to send it to you to do the velocity and accuracy reports.that way you won't risk the wear on your low numbered gun. Frank B

  10. Chuck and everyone else,

    You will see another accuracy test on the Edge. Apparently I did not check the gun as thoroughly as I should have, because people everywhere are out-shooting my results. So I will buckle down and take a very thorough second look at Edge accuracy!

    I'm pulling out all the stops this time.


  11. The way I see it, this gun is called a replica because it says manufactured by Iron Wind Mill Co. on it. Daisy does not normally sell rifles under this name. If Daisy had maintained the brand name, then they could call it a reissue or rerelease.
    No one has seen this brand name for a hundred years, so as I see it, it's a replica.

  12. B.B.

    Odd-looking gun.

    Thanks so much for the Edge reports. I'll look them over more carefully, but my first read suggested that the accuracy was a little less than the Crosman 2009. Did I miss an explicit comparison? Nice to hear that another accuracy test is coming up.

    Happy New Year to all and hope you had a good holiday. I made some interesting discoveries. My USGI clips for the M1 Garand are much stiffer and more solid than the ones that come with the Greek surplus ammo. So therein is part of the problem with loading and feeding. Beware of Greeks bearing clips.

    He he
    He he he.

    But get all of the Greek ammo that you can.

    I also went to a gun store to get some .223 ammo and didn't notice until after I left that the guy had given me 5.56X45mm. A look on the internet told me that this stuff is unsafe to shoot in .223 sporting rifles. After my shopping training on PA, getting taken like this is a disgrace. It also had me wondering why in the world Remington takes a cartridge that, as far as I know, was designed for the military and then makes a civilian version that is different enough so as not to be interchangeable?!

    I believe I maligned the Truglo red dot sight I got in claiming that its red dot was sparkly and spread out. I finally realized that I was looking through the transparent lens covers. Once I raised those, the dot was clear and tight as could be. Who needs your EOTech scope at $500–unless you want the range estimating feature.

    You'll be hard put to find a better Christmas tree ornament than your own radio controlled helicopter buzzing around it.


  13. BG_Farmer,

    I had some time to shoot my 490, and here's what I got. I shot 3 tin cans, 1 at maybe 8 feet and one at 20 to 25. At 5 feet, with a 7.7 grain pellet, it made a large dent, but did not penetrate it. At the longer distance it made a dent sticking maybe half a centimeter inwards, and on a taller one, which I hit near the hem (top), it made a slightly smaller dent.


  14. b.b., CowBoyStar Dad here with a question on the Crosman Shiloh.
    In truth I haven't gotten around to submitting a blog on it because it has one annoying problem, and has been sitting on the shelf most of the time since it came back from its rebuild.
    If you've ever shot one you will recall that to load the pellets you set the pellet in a little groove ahead of the cylinder, then push them in with a little spring loaded plunger.
    Well, everything seems to be working as it should…except that about every 3rd pellet will get a little canted, and when you try and push it home it hangs up, deforms the pellet skirt and then is useless…you just have to discard that pellet and try again.
    I can see why it didn't last long.
    But I was re-reading the instructions and it says it can be used with either pellets or bb's. Last night I loaded up some Copperheads…they loaded real easy…and my nice tight groupings (with Miesterklugens it was keeping all 6 shots within 1" at 10m) opened up to about 6 inches.
    Which got me to thinking. Do you think lead rounds would fit…and wouldn't they fall somewhere between the pellets and bb's for accuracy?
    CowBoyStar Dad

  15. Matt61: welcome back!

    My uncle recently showed me his new black rifle, complete with EOTech "dot" sight. I could hardly believe the price tag for the thing. I was tempted to offer him my old $10 Daisy dot. And note that it's not easy getting sticker shock from gun gear when you're a regular lurker on this blog! What does make that thing a $500-odd gadget, anyway?

    My uncle is a funny gun-enthusast story in the making. He's a Dutch native who is now a VERY proud U.S. citizen after 30-odd years in the States. He was always a bit squeamish about guns as I recall. Then, a few years back, he volunteered into the Federal Flight Deck Officers program so he could carry a weapon while piloting big commercial cargo planes. Ever since his TSA/Air Marshal training, he's a certifiable gun enthusiast with a growing collection.

    No air rifles yet, but I'll try to get him into Field Target or something…


  16. Matt,

    Welcome back!

    As for shooting 5.56, I do it all the time in a NEF single shot and two Mini 14s. That's one tight-chambered gun and two extreme loosey-gooseys.

    The difference seems to be that 5.56m is loaded to higher pressure than .223 Remington. And military chambers have a longer leade than civilian chambers. So, maybe in an AR, where things are much closer to the edge of safety it is unsafe. SAAMI recommends against the practice, so I would follow their advice.


  17. CSD,

    I absolutely cannot believe it!!!!!

    You are playing into tomorrow's blog in a really freaky way!

    As for the lead balls working, the only way to know is to try them. Don't forget there is a 4.4mm ball that is smaller than the .177/4.5mm ball.


  18. Kevin,

    I hope you're planning to come to Roanoke this fall – I believe I owe you a Scotch! I was ready to call the finish done yesterday, but after your note, I went back with a few drops of RLO applied with a gauze pad (no lens cloths around). What a difference! After 3 additional coats, 17 more doesn't sound so unreasonable!


  19. Now that's a tricky way to make sure I come back tomorrow…can't wait.
    I figure that I can't really go wrong trying the lead rounds. On the Crosman website they give detailed instructions on how to remove the Shiloh's barrel in case of a pellet jam.
    Pretty easy, so I'll order some and see what happens.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  20. B.B.

    In the last report, you said that cheap airsoft rifles (or guns, I don't remember which) don't usually last all that long. Why is this usually the case?

    Thanks, Ryan

  21. Ryan, I bought a couple of Crosman Stinger (airsoft M4 lookalikes) for my sons last year. $40 each.
    Everything…and I mean everything, trigger assembly, safety mech…everything except the spring and the barrel were made of plastic.
    And I'm not talking good quality plastic.
    Even though my sons are both very careful the guns started to fall apart after a couple of hundred shots.
    By doubling the price of the gun (a no-name Cyber-Gun) we got an electric repeater, instead of a spring gun with metal gears and trigger assembly.
    Shoulda just sprung the extra cash up front.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  22. Ryan,

    It's the same for anything that's cheaply made. And I'm not talking about inexpensive here, I really do mean cheap.

    Here is how it works. The airsoft gun that you pay $25 for was sold by the Asian manufacturer for $1. That's right, just one single dollar.

    By the time it got to the retailer, it was costing maybe $10. Yep, you heard me, just $10.

    So the retailer sells it for $25. He paid just $10 to buy it, and if you bought it online he spent another dollar to sell it to you, but if you called in to buy it, it cost him about $4.50 to make the same sale. So he stands to make something between $10.50 and $14.

    Or does he?

    Well, a significant number of the guns in this price range will be returned because they break right away, so that eats into the dealer's profit. When the breakage situation gets real bad, he will send someone out into the warehouse to test all of a certain type of gun and find broken ones that go into a big pile–another loss.

    When all is said and done, Ryan, that cheap little dollar airsoft gun wound up costing everybody who handled it more time and effort than they wanted to put into it.

    Some of the guns will work just fine for a reasonable period of time, and that is what keeps people in business selling them.

    You might ask, "Why don't they (the manufacturers) just make the guns better and avoid a lot of these problems?" Good question!

    They don't because at the next trade show (the SHOT Show is coming up in Las Vegas in two weeks) a salesman from another company will be selling for a dollar guns that look just like theirs. If they make better guns that sell for two dollars, nobody will buy them.

    Now, when you get up into the $50-75 price range, things change. Competition is stiffer, because the guns don't just compete on price.

    By reading the customer reviews you did the best thing a person can do in a situation like this. And I'd bet a cookie the gun you selected on that basis works out well for you.

    But don't forget how things work down in the cut-price snakepit.


  23. Jay,

    Your experience should empower others to refinish their stocks.

    A little patience, very little knowledge and a willingness to spend time learning a new craft instead of sitting in front of the TV is rewarding.

    Since I assume your subsequent coats of RLO are at 100% strength I'm glad to hear you're not using much RLO for each coat. One third a sewing thimble full of RLO is more than enough for each coat on the entire stock. Very thin coats. Let this very thin coat of oil dry for at least 8 hours before applying another. Rub the oil out (smooth out the uneveness) with the stock mud every 4-6 coats after it has dried completely. Rub it out lightly. Don't get too agressive and move across the stock, don't stay in one place. I'm not very patient in the initial rub outs so I add a small amount of abrasive to the stock mud (or triple f or five f..I think you said you were using macarri's stock mud?). I've always added mothers mag because I always have it around. Maybe 20% mothers mag and 80% stock mud.

    Can't wait to see updated pictures when you have 15 or so coats of oil dried in.


  24. b.b., just a further recent experience that hi-lights your last posting.
    Over the weekend our DVD player crapped out. A Toshiba that was $400 eight years ago.
    I'm not much into electronics so I haven't kept up with the pricing so I figure 'what the hell, a good one probably goes for under $200 now'.
    Well, turns out (as many probably already know) that the top of the line Sony goes for $55 including the 3 year replacement warranty. Which the clerk says is a good deal because they find the things usually crap out after a couple of years.
    So this is what I don't get. Two days earlier I purchased 3 topographical maps of an area we are going to do some shooting in this spring. Three pieces of paper about 18"x24" (admittedly I did have them laminated) that cost $64.
    I've spent enough years in retail to understand you tale of the airsoft gun to realize this glitzy Sony DVD probably cost about $5 to make.
    I appreciate those maps a hell of a lot more after buying the DVD player.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  25. CSD,

    In 1994 I had a wonderful idea how to get rich. I'd write a book. I would self-publish it, so the 189 publishers who had rejected my first and second books wouldn't have a chance to say no.

    So I self-published The Beeman R1 Book.

    And I waited from 1995 until about 2001 to break even on my investment. Then I made my fortune by selling the remaining 400 or so books.

    Those topo maps reflect the cost to print as well as the much larger cost to hold for a very long time. They're not great reading, as you know, yet the government has to have many complete sets for guys like you who want three.


  26. I'm posting this for someone who sent it to the wrong address:

    Hi! I’m getting ready to purchase a .22 cal air gun. I can’t decide on the RWS 48 or the RWS 350. I think the side cooking lever of the RWS 48 would be more accurate because you don’t keep opening the barrel like the RWS 350. I like the extra power of the RWS 350. I am going to be hunting chipmunks rabbits and rodents. I’m trying to stay around $400.00 in price. Which air gun do you recommend in this price range? Do you have any better suggestions? What scope do you recommend? I had a cheap .177 cal Bee Man from Kmart and it seemed to work ok but it got stolen. Looking to upgrade to a quality air gun. Thanks!

  27. Well, I chose it because it has 9 5 star reviews and 1 4 star one. Also, it has a metal barrel, bolt carrier, trigger, receiver cover, selector switch, and sights. Plus, I won't be using this for skirmishing or anything heavy duty like that.


  28. Yes, yes, get an RWS 48 if you possibly can.

    B.B., so maybe it's the military and not Remington that's to blame for doctoring the original caliber. I believe that it was this kind of screwing around with the original M-16 specs that caused a lot of the problems in Vietnam.

    GenghisJan, I'm jiggered as to why the EOTech scopes cost so much. Maybe it's because the Schmidt and Bender scopes used on the designated marksman rifles cost $3000 a piece. That makes the EOTech scopes a bargain by comparison.

    If your uncle is an air marshal, you should warn him of the following ploy that I saw in a movie. A very concerned looking woman walks up to a beefy, confident fellow on an airliner and says, "Are you an air marshal?" He says, "Yes," oozing confidence, and she pulls out a gun and fires.

    On the subject of field target, I got my Savage 10 FP set up with my Leapers 6-24X50 scope and took aim at silhouette targets at 270 yards. The targets were hanging plates about a foot on a side. I thought it would take a few shots to get the holdover and then I could practice my wind reading techniques. Half a box of the precious Black Hills ammo later, I had not even hit the thing. I was hitting every where in the dirt pit but on target. This long-distance shooting is clearly no pushover.

    On the bright side, my Mom made great progress in shooting. At first, she took to cleaning up the spent brass at the range which seemed to fascinate her. Then she started sketching the scenery at the range–a hobby of hers–attracting the attention of the shooters. Then, it finally happened while we were watching an Edward G. Robinson movie. Robinson is a detective chasing a Nazi war criminal who has emigrated to the U.S., married, and disappeared into the population. His wife doesn't believe his past initially, but she comes around, and at the end of the film, she is blazing away at him with a revolver at the top of the church belfry and succeeds in landing a telling shot. From my Mom's direction I heard, "Hm, maybe I should learn how to shoot."


  29. Kevin,

    I used about 4 times as much RLO on the first few coats while I was applying it with wet/dry and 000 pads. This morning, I switched to the gauze and I've only used a few drops per coat.

    How long do you let the RLO cure before polishing it with stock mud (I do have JM)? I'm starting to think I won't want to shoot this outside when I'm done!

    Speaking of shooting, I too assumed a fixed barrel HAD to be more accurate than a break barrel, so I started with a 48. I quickly learned they're not – I get far better groups with either of my break barrels. While I've seen and heard of great groups from the 48, I haven't learned how to get them with mine yet, and you can't kill what you can't hit.

    While I agree with B.B. that the 48 is easy to cock, I find reloading my break barrels less awkward and quicker. For scopes, you'll need one that stands up to heavy recoil ($$$) and clears the loading port. I'm currently using the RWS350 that's frequently bundled with the 48, but the bundled RWS C mount couldn't handle the recoil.


    I just got a Williams sight for my R10. Once upon a time, I was pretty good with aperture sights out to 500m, thanks to a bit of training in the hills north of San Diego. I'm having trouble finding a Beeman globe sight, and was wondering if you know whether the older Beeman/FWB globe sight (sport sight) will fit a HW Beeman.



  30. Kevin, I’m with B.B. – give us more stories. While your escapades may seem ho hum to you, trust me in knowing their entertainment value.

    Frank B, you have mail.


  31. Jay,
    If you are talking about the front sight for your R-10, I would ask on the yellow forum. Many users take them off to install a muzzle break so they are often easy to come by. I just got rid of all of mine, but I am sure many exist. Paul Watts once told me he had a bucket of factory sights he had removed…

  32. Speaking of cheap airsoft guns, I bought a UTG M87SOS a wile back. It has worked until the last time I skermished with it. Then it started randomly automaticaly slam-firing. It will fix itself after a few shots but it will go back to slam-fireing. Uh. BUT, i will admit that i slam-fired this gun sometimes and I think that is the problem with it. It started doing that after about 2000 shots or so.
    I also noticed that the reviews of this thing sudenly droped on the PA website. Mine, fortunataly, came before the bad batch of guns.


  33. Oh, on the subject of daisy airguns, and old ones at that, has anybody noticed that they are now making a model 25 pump? You can by it on their website, too. It`s even metal and wood and only like


  34. Jay,

    Depends on how warm and dry the area is where you're hanging the stock to dry.

    I live in Colorado and our climate is very dry. I hang my stocks indoors in 70 degrees and will let them dry for 2 days before rubbing out the finish. I wait at least 8 hours between very thin coats of RLO.

    The whole point of these additional coats of oil is a stronger, thicker surface so you don't have to worry about taking it outside. Weather won't hurt it. After this finish gets dinged up and scuffed up you just get out your RLO and bring it back. Try that with poly.


  35. Volvo & Frank B,

    Long day. Need a scotch. This sounds suspiciously like sycophantic flattery to me.

    I already know that trading stories with you guys would be most enjoyable.

    On that same trip I did get to meet Mel Fisher. Still have the letter he sent after we met inviting me to join him (without pay) looking for treasure. This was only a year or two before the Atoche sp? discovery. Even though that was tied up for years in court it was one of my bigger blunders not taking him up on his offer. Some "friends" suggested I frame the letter. I tell them I can't bear to even get the letter out and look at it let alone frame it and be reminded of it everyday! LOL!!


  36. Kevin,I'm speachless{no small feat!}Clearly you drink for a reason.Anytime a program about wreck diving comes on,you can count me as one of the viewers!What is your favorite scotch? Frank B

  37. B.B.,

    You "used to be a treasure hunter"? If you're not a treasure hunter anymore, then let's sell all the metal detectors. (I can hear you muttering in the other room 🙂 What you meant to say was that you used to go treasure hunting a lot with your wife, but you don't have the time to do it anymore…but you hope to do it again. After all, your wife really likes to do it, too.


  38. B.B. & Mrs Gaylord,

    I'm not a good enough writer to make a connection between Mel Fisher and airguns. You're being very kind to tolerate my off topic ramblings.

    Howard Jennings was my treasure hunting inspiration and primary reason for having South America (Ecuador actually) as my final destination on that year long hiatus. I had an opportunity to speak over the phone with Howard Jennings about a year before he was killed in a plane crash.

    A good friend of Howard Jennings, and occasional traveling companion, was Robin Moore. Robin Moore was a fairly successful author and wrote a book about their adventures together called The Treasure Hunter. Never sold but one of my favorite books. Robin Moore did write several books that were successful. Among them was The Green Berets and The French Connection both of which were made into movies.

    It took several months but prior to leaving on that trip I was able to have a phone conversation with Robin Moore, arranged through his publisher, and he was kind enough to share some details about the trips he and Howard Jennings made into the interior that were critical for a subsequent trip I made to Ecuador.

    I upgraded my metal detector to a Whites MXT several years ago. We keep it at our home in the mountains. We have over 80 old, abandoned gold/silver mines within a 20 minute ATV ride from our cabin door. During the summer it's great fun to take the metal detector to these old sites and see what those miners from over 100 years ago left behind. I wouldn't call it treasure hunting but it's fun nonetheless.


  39. Kevin,

    I use a Minelab Explorer II and a Whites DB6 (an older analog model that I can REALLY relate to! Edith and I found a gold high-school class ring with that one and I though Edie was going to have apoplexy! Apparently you never want to show an immigrant how to find free money in the ground, or she will become obsessed.

    Hasn't stopped asking me to take her treasure hunting since then.

    It was my fourth gold ring, but it never gets old.


  40. Kevin,

    I fondly remember our treasure-hunting forays. In fact, just about a week ago, I was telling someone about all the stuff we found. Gosh, it was a lot of fun!


  41. Dear B.B. Pelletier

    Maybe this may seem an odd question to you, but I don't really get it maybe you can explain it to me.

    Why is it that these kind of guns become so valuable (Daisy and Crosman.
    They aren't exactly well made (well on the look of it, never held one), schure I can understand if something gets older and is quite rare the prices go up, but what was once crap will always be crap, am I not wright?

    With kind regards,


  42. Bart,

    No, you are not wright. You're not right, either.

    These guns are not crap. They never were. They were made as toys in the late 1800s. Toys that are now very valuable because they are so rare.

    Have you ever seen Antiques Roadshow? Well, these are some of the valuable antiques that they appraise.

    There are many wealthy people who enjoy connecting to this timeframe through a collection of something. Some collect stamps, others money and some collect airguns. These first model Daisys are some of the earliest BB guns ever made.

    You say you understand that when something becomes quite rare the price goes up, but I'm not sure (the only word in the English language other than sugar in which the letters su form the sound sh–hence there is no need for the h, or the c for that matter) that you do. There are probably only a few thousand first model Daisys left in the world. There are many more Colt single actions (over fifty thousand first models, alone) and they command a lot more than one of these ephemeral BB guns.

    As far as Crosman guns go, I never mentioned them in this article. A first model Crosman might bring $1,500, but that's beside the point since it was never mentioned.

    Now why do they bring so much? What makes them "worth it?" Well, when two people want the same thing, the price goes up. In this case there are more collectors out there for first model Daisys than there are guns. So the price keeps going up.

    But why should that bother you? Are you someone who wants one and can't afford it? Join the very big club.

    Maybe the value of a first model Daisy BB gun is just something that you can never fully appreciate. I feel the same about a lot of things. So join me as we move on to other things.


  43. Hi, i just bought a vintage Daisy bb gun rifle marked Pat May 6-90 Daisy July 14.91 and other side mfd by the Daisy mfg co Plymouth Mich. It's not a replica and it's complete, the trigger is loose when i crank the gun (i guess could be fix) and it has few chrome missing on it, no breaks. I cant sell it on Ebay. I leave in Canada,i dont know the value and where to sell it??? thanks, J-F

  44. I have a daisy wire windmill that looks like it is very old it does not have the bracket that the firist ones made but it does not have any numbers on it anywhere so I don't think it is a remake i would like to send a picture .

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