Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

Daisy Red Ryder
Daisy Red Ryder.

This report covers:

  • Why velocity today?
  • Oil the gun
  • Daisy Premium Grade BBs
  • Hornady Black Diamond BBs
  • Umarex Precision Steel BBs
  • No Smart Shot BBs
  • Cocking is different
  • Summary

This is our last look at Daisy’s Red Ryder, and how fitting that it comes just in time for Christmas. Every year tens of thousands of Red Ryders are sold in this nation. It’s almost an established part of the holiday season and is certainly a rite of passage for a young shooter. The Daisy company certainly thinks so, as the Red Ryder is the mainstay of their business and has been for a great many decades. No doubt there will be some changes made by the new owners at Gamo, but let’s hope they have the good sense to leave the Red Ryder alone.

For starters, I’m hoping that Gamo ownership means that Daisy will be represented at the SHOT Show again. Daisy quit attending several years ago because attendance is expensive, and they felt their part of the market was developed well enough that it wasn’t necessary to reach out any longer. Since they weren’t bringing out many new models, that was probably correct. But I for one don’t think BB gun technology has reached its end. BB guns are not like buggy whips, whose time ended when the purpose for which they were built went away. BB guns are still selling and people are still shooting them. Yes, things are quite different from they way they were a half-century ago, but you have to adapt and change with the times.

I would like to see a pistol equivalent of the 499 rifle — one that could be used in BB pistol competition. It would also make a heck of a good trainer for handgun training. I will watch what the new owners do with America’s oldest and most iconic airgun maker.

Why velocity today?

This report is presented out of order because of what it’s about. It was initially started as a test of the Brice scope base, made and sold by Bill Brice. That base slants down at the front, giving you the elevation correction that’s needed to shoot a scoped Red Ryder. I tested one in Parts 4 and 5, and, because Bill Brice graciously provided a new Daisy Red Ryder for the test, I decided to look at the velocity, too. That’s what we will do today.

Oil the gun

The Red Ryder of today has a synthetic piston seal that doesn’t require constant oiling the way the older models do. It will hold its velocity for months with a single oiling. Just remember to oil it when it is new and you’ll be good to go. I put several drops of Crosman Pellgunoil into the “Oil Here” hole on top of the gun.

Daisy Premium Grade BBs

The test began with Daisy Premium Grade BBs. Ten of them averaged 281 f.p.s. through the chronograph. The low was 276 f.p.s. and the high was 284 f.p.s. That’s a spread of 8 f.p.s. for this BB.

Just for comparison, my vintage Red Ryder model 111-40 shot this same BB at 280 f.p.s. with a 16 f.p.s. spread. So the new one is pretty much in the same ballpark as the old.

Hornady Black Diamond BBs

Next I tried some Hornady Black Diamond BBs. They averaged 282 f.p.s. over 10 shots, and the spread was even tighter — at just 5 f.p.s. The low was 279 f.p.s. and the high was 284.

In the vintage Red Ryder these BBs averaged an identical 284 f.p.s with the same 5 f.p.s. spread. How close these two BB guns are, despite one being 60 years older than the other!

Umarex Precision Steel BBs

The final BBs I tried were Umarex Precision Steel BBs. They averaged 279 f.p.s. with a 5 f.p.s. spread from 277 to 282 f.p.s. I didn’t try these BBs in my vintage Red Ryder, so there is no comparison to be made.

No Smart Shot BBs

I didn’t try H&N Smart Shot lead BBs because the modern Red Ryder uses a magnet in the shot tube to hold the BB for firing. It would have been fun to try, but BBs would probably roll out the barrel, too. The vintage Red Ryder can handle them fine and they averaged 227 f.p.s, so that’s what this new gun might do if it could feed them.

Cocking is different

I don’t think I mentioned this before, but there is a ratchet in the cocking mechanism of the new Red Ryder. If your hand slips off the cocking lever, it is caught and stays in place, rather than slapping back down and smashing fingers the way the old one does. Have any of you ever been caught? I have.

Summary

The test is over. I was surprised to see how accurate the modern Red Ryder can be with a good scope. And the Brice scope base makes scoping this BB gun possible.

I was also suprised that the new Red Ryder can keep up with the old one in velocity. We so often think the older guns were more powerful than what we have today, but this test proves that isn’t the case. Well done, Daisy!

54 thoughts on “Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 6

  1. B,B,.

    A Saturday blog,…. what a treat!

    On the way to getting here this AM,.. the first thing that popped up on the P.A. page was a Red Ryder with a “Lasso” scope mount and a 4X power scope for 69$! (pre-order at this time). Hopefully Mr. Brice is involved and made some money.

    The other thing I noticed was that the Red Ryder is spec’d at 350 fps. I have never Chronied my 50th. Anniversary model,… but what this one got was a bit below that. 60 of 350 is a pretty good difference. Any idea why?

    Chris


    • Chris,

      At the factory some engineer probably lubricated one with pure alcohol and when he fired it across the chrony it detonated and registered that velocity. Either that or he drank the pure alcohol and when the chrony said 250, his blurred eyesight said 350. Another possibility is Daisy has developed a hollow steel BB, but because it is so expensive to produce, they are not going to bring it to market and only use it for their velocity tests.

      Who knows where they come up with their numbers.


    • Chris

      What is happening is that the Daisy engineers are grabbing the Red Ryder and hopping into their cars. Then they shoot over the chronograph while driving past it at 48 miles per hour. It is an unconventional method for measuring velocity yes, but it is a lot of fun to do.


    • RR & BB,
      Clearly ’twas chroniezed using the legendary dry-ice bb. Frozen CO2 being lighter than either steel or lead, plus having the benefit that once evaporated, there can be no proof to say it didn’t go through the Chrony at any fraction of light speed you say. ;):):)


    • Chris

      I posted the link below. Pyramyd also claims the mount is patented “The unique LASSO mount (Lever Action Simple Securing Optics mount) is a patent pending invention ……” so maybe Mr. Bruce is going to make some money.

      David







      • Sorry, too many meds and too old. Crosman 707 in-line Co2 pellet rifle. I got it to convert to a “cane” gun, but haven’t milled the rotary sleeve to cock or the second sleeve to load the pellets.


    • B.B.
      Hey T, How do you think the Red Ryder compares to the Benjamin 710 with the internal pump up flask and the 20 round magazine. I have repaired many a “stinger” on the Daisy’s. I like the long sight radius of the Model 20 and the pump action cock. The Red Ryder was a great introduction BB gun! A little short for me now. It would be nice if the Model 20 was re-introduced with the side plate mounted scope. Love the reviews. I looked for something on the Crosman in-line Model 710, but I guess that is just too odd between the rotary breech and in-line Co2 powerlet and valve system.



  2. They list the velocity so high because Gamo bought them, and they are following Gamo’s tradition of outlandish velocities.

    On a side note Tom.

    The post I made about what can we do to get Crosman to listen to us.

    I posted it on one of the forums also, Chip Hunnicut responded, with what was probably be his last posting as a Crosman representative.

    We had a nice talk on the phone, to everyone out there, I can confirm, they do hear us, the things they have on the board for the future of products from Crosman is going in a positive direction..

    To steal the line from an 80’s song by Timbuktu 3:
    The future’s so bright i gotta wear shades!



    • 45Bravo,

      I really would like to see Crosman come out with a sproinger that made me just have to have it like the air rifle I bought the other day. I have looked at quite literally thousands of air rifles and pistols over the years and I have handled and / or shot hundreds including Discoverys and Marauders, but it is not often that I buy one.

      I bought one the other day, a RAW HM1000X. I was actually looking to buy a different air rifle altogether, but the moment I saw it, I knew I had to buy it.

      The same thing happened when I saw what is now my 1906 BSA, I had to have it. When I saw the AirForce Edge, I had to have one.

      Crosman has the ability to build what I want, but they don’t. There is an open slot in my collection for a top shelf sproinger. I hope to fill that slot next year. The competition is heavy. I have a Diana 46E and it does not quite fill it. We’ll see who fills it.


      • Ridge runner, the guns from RAW are great guns, a friend had one he used for silhouette.

        I love my airforce edge also, I don’t shoot much 10 meter stuff anymore, but for general precision plinking and shot count, it can’t be beat…

        I am not a springer guy anymore, I haven’t owned one in years, I can shoot them, just don’t own one.

        Lately I have been looking at them, and thinking about getting another one.

        I too am looking for one that isn’t based on a Chinese design, I will wait to see what comes out at this years Shotshow..


        • 45Bravo,

          Two sproingers that are on my short list is the Impact RM 100 break barrel and it’s under lever brother, the RM 200.

          Impact is one of the companies to rise from the ashes of Theoben. Rapid Air Weapons is another.


          • A long time ago, a friend had a Theoben, it was his unicorn airgun.

            Mine was a FWB, but I could only afford a Tao Bruno at the time.

            The Theoben quality was top notch.

            I like the lines of the 100 & 200.

            Lately I have been looking at springers again.
            I like to handle and shoot something before I drop a large chunk of change on something..

            The 200 needs to me on my list of ones to look at.

            Thanks..


      • Hello RidgeRunner
        I have seen the Raw HM1000X advert on my favourite Canuck on-line airgun retailer. They truly are the epitome of PCP technology. I notice they can be ordered in any of the four popular calibers. What caliber did you prefer, if I may be so bold to ask. I believe there is a vlog or two on YouTube about the HM1000X concerning the remarkable accuracy at 50 meters and further in .177cal. I also admire their large caliber bottle guns with a very high regulated shot count in .25cal. I suppose if I had your patience, and not bought so many Weihrach springers, I could have afforded a RAW model for myself.
        One question I would like to ask? I’ve heard there is a likeness of the RAW and the now defunct Theoben PCP airgun. Are you able to confirm or deny this rumour? I hope you enjoy many hours of one hole accuracy with your new RAW.
        Thanks for inquiring as to my health BB. The doctors have my heart failure under control with drugs. It’s just not something that can be fixed with surgery. It’s back down to a manegable 70 beats from the irregular 130 beats per minute that left me unable to exercise, or wheel with the dog more then a couple of blocks before stopping for a rest. I would advise men over 40 years old to have a yearly checkup and possibly forgo the hassles I’ve had to go through this past year. Thanks to all for your prayers and good wishes.
        Ciao
        Titus.


        • Titus,

          The RAW air rifles are direct descendants of the Theobens. The people who started RAW were with Theoben. They also make parts for Theobens.

          As to which one I have, it is the .357. It is AWESOME! The first day I shot it, I shot a 7 shot group at 50 yards and pulled 2 of them and still shot a group you could cover with a quarter (roughly 1 inch in diameter coin). After I get a more powerful scope than the dinky 2-7×32 I have on it now, I will start really stretching out there.



      • I have you know my kids and I have killed many Barnum beast over the years with a Daisy BB gun.
        Giraffe, rhino, elephants, and others..

        Barnum beast are Animal crackers…



    • 45Bravo

      Is Mr. Hunnicut retiring? I hope to see something positive from crosman. I enjoy their pcp rifles (i own a maximus) but I don’t care for 99% of their other current products. I’d like to see some quality like a lot of the other members remember from their youth…



        • As Tom said, after 6.5 years with Crosman, Chip has left to another company, but still in the outdoor industry.

          I too like their products, I own a marauder, and many of the 2300 series of guns that I use for a basis of custom carbines and pistols.

          Other than 2 Airforce guns, everything else I have is Crosman/Benjamin.

          I really love the vintage Crosman Mark 1 and Mark 2 pistols.


  3. . Now I’m confused! It’s Monday and there’s no blog. BB, you work hard enough. Please don’t think that you have to do a Saturday blog to keep us satisfied. Enjoy your days off but please don’t mess with my schedule. I want my Monday blog 🙂


  4. A pistol equivalent to the 499b? I’d buy two. Love, love, love the 499b- so much that I have three of them. A 5 meter bb pistol competition and bb pistol to shoot it would be amazing. Not everyone can have access to a 10 meter range in their home, but nearly everyone can have a 5 meter in home range.


  5. B.B.,

    After your previous two reports on the Red Ryder, I went out back and repeatedly killed (they come back to life, y’know) three aluminum pop cans. My wife asked on of the times why I was lately shooting my inexpensive BB gun more than my other air guns.

    My answer: It’s a classic.

    Michael



  6. B.B.,

    Thank you for another enjoyable report! Since the Gamo name came up here, I have a question that may only highlight my ignorance of your work. Here it is: I can’t seem to find reviews of Gamo air rifles in your archives. Have I missed them?

    Thanks!

    Walt


  7. Have enjoyed this test immensely.
    It will be 10 years this Christmas that I first watched A Christmas Story with my boys (5 & 7 at the time) and under the tree that year were their Red Ryders, which started us on a wonderful 10 year firearms journey.
    It’s been a couple of years since our last gun purchase.
    For the 10th anniversary this year there is going to be a Henry .22LR under the tree.



    • Rambler,

      Welcome to the blog.

      We don’t lubricate the 499. It doesn’t require it. Mine is over 15 years old and has never been oiled.The manual says that very clearly.

      OILING: Oil the trigger, cocking mechanism and other moving parts regularly. Only use a single drop of 20-weight non-detergent oil. The plunger head is factory lubricated and requires no oiling.

      Just shoot it.

      B.B.


  8. Pingback: Daisy’s Red Ryder: Part 6 | Airguns: Air Rifles and Pistols

  9. BB
    Glad to hear BB gun technology is not dead …. really looking forward a super-sonic, select fire, battery powered, magnetic rail gun that shoots bb’s suspended in an air tube. No barrel , no friction, no maintenance or oil !!
    Only moving part is a micro switch. 😉


  10. I also would like to see a pistol equivalent of the 499 . I wish I could figure out how to mount a small magnet to hold a bb in my Buck Mark pellet pistol. To me, that would be a excellent bb pistol. Easy to cock, adjustable rear sight and a very reasonable price. Perhaps Daisy could borrow some ideas from it and come up with a good little bb pistol springer .
    Harvey


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