Big Boy Red Ryder
This report covers:
- Due diligence
- Daisy Adult Red Ryder BB gun
- What I have
- Changing the forearm
- The new forearm
- The buttstock
- An aside
- How it feels
- Where does that leave us?
Today we look at a solution for those wanting an adult-sized Red Ryder but not wanting to purchase a second gun. It’s the Big Boy Red Ryder stock from TGWMS.
I normally do not review prototypes. I have learned over the years that a great many of them, yes, most of them, never make it to the market. If they do they make it in a way so highly modified that the prototype bears little resemblance to what actually gets produced.
You can learn about prototypes on other websites. I like to write about real stuff that can be bought. In fact, I am so against prototypes that I railed against “Gen II” guns, because the producers were using the public as their testers. The Gen II guns fixed most of the faults brought out in the first iteration.
So, anyone with a bright new idea is risking a lot when I agree to review it in the blog. I will review it exactly as I would if I were paid to look at it without publishing anything. The difference being, I will publish my findings, because I need to publish five reports a week. I don’t have any “extra” time to look at things offline. Such is the case before us today. The Big Boy prototype Red Ryder forearm and buttstock from TGWMS is being sold on the TGWMS website at a price of $50. I will have more to say about that price in a bit.
Daisy Adult Red Ryder BB gun
Okay, Daisy already makes an adult-sized Red Ryder. We all know that the gun is a Red Ryder in every way; only the wooden buttstock was lengthened to change the length of pull from 13-1/2-inches to 15-inches. Now, 15 inches is too long for 90 percent of grown men, however in the case of a light gun like the Red Ryder it poses not much of a problem because shooters can adjust without the weight of the gun bothering them. No doubt Daisy got a room full of adults to try out buttstocks of various lengths before they settled on this one.
This BB gun (the adult Red Ryder) retails at Pyramyd Air for $53.99, as this report is written. The standard kid-sized Red Ryder is sold on the Pyramyd website at $39.99. That’s a difference of $14. Does that mean that the adult buttstock has to sell for $14? Of course not! You can’t buy all the parts for something for the same price as the thing itself.
So, if you want to sell an adult-sized buttstock for a Red Ryder, it can retail for $19.99, if you like. That would be the ballpark price where buyers would reckon that the additional buttstock was worth it. Fifty dollars, though, is way out of the market! The whole adult BB gun is only four dollars more.
But what if the aftermarket stock had features the Daisy one didn’t? Would they add some value? Maybe. If the aftermarket stock were unbreakable, that could add a couple dollars to the price. Maybe you could command $25. But $50? I doubt it. Unless it glowed in the dark, made coffee and filled out your income tax forms, I doubt anyone will jump on it for $50.
Now the price of the prototype is $50. That isn’t proposed to be the retail price. But since I don’t know what that is, I am commenting on all I have to go on.
If a lot of people did seem to buy it at that price, Daisy could always undercut by selling just the buttstock for their adult model. No doubt they don’t pay so much for one that they couldn’t afford to sell just that part for cheap to get you off their back. If the difference between the two guns is $14, I imagine the longer buttstock costs Daisy $2-3 to make. They could even sell them at a loss, like Honda and Yamaha did back in the 1970s, just to thin the market. Once you were out of their way they could go back to business as usual.
What I have
So I have this Big Boy Red Ryder stock. We already know that the velocity of the gun doesn’t change, and my Red Ryder averages 281 f.p.s. with Daisy Premium Grade BBs. The low was 276 and the high was 284 f.p.s., so a difference of 8 f.p.s. over 10 shots.
The accuracy ranges from 1.3-inches for 10 shots at 5 meters to just over 2-inches. It all depends on the BB being fired.
None of that will change with the installation of the Big Boy stock. The BB gun underneath remains the same.
Now this prototype is not what the production stock will look like, says the developer. This one is is molded in urethane, not 3d printed. The process makes nice parts, but it is too slow to support mass production. The production one will be molded in a plastic similar to products from Magpul or ATI but designed with a thinner wall to keep weight and cost appropriate to a Red Ryder. It will still be more durable than the standard wood. Okay, time to install it.
Changing the forearm
The instructions say to remove the screws and then both the forearm and buttstock will come off. No, they won’t. The wooden forearm on the Red Ryder has a metal band that has to be removed first. It comes off easily with forward taps from a screwdriver and plastic hammer but until it is off that forearm isn’t coming off.
The new forearm fit on exactly where the other one was. The schnable prevents the use of the metal band — nor is it appropriate.
The new forearm
The new forearm has a pronounced schnable. This is a feature that many like and few dislike. It was a good thing to include. Forearms with schnables don’t have barrel bands. I will say usually, because there is always an exception. But it looks better without, allowing the schnable and the curved shape to be the main features.
The Big Boy butt is held on by a screw and nut through the side of the sheetmetal receiver and a long wood screw down from the top. Remove both and the butt comes off.
The Big Boy buttstrock has a feature that seems nice. Both sides of the part that slides into the sheetmetal receiver are swollen up to provide a firm fit. Great idea — except …
It’s difficult to photograph, but in this picture you can see how the screw hole seems to be in a depression. That’s not really a depression. It’s flush with the sheetmetal receiver of the gun. There is a swelling on both sides of the place that slides into the receiver. The top of it is where the scratch is.
I tapped the cross screw head flat with a plastic hammer. And yes, I do see there is a small bit of room on the right side of the receiver.
Ooopsie! Where are the threads for the nut that fastens this screw?
I have assembled a removable windshield for a motorcycle. That’s lots of nuts and bolts and a number of stiff metal pieces, all fighting a huge piece of plastic that doesn’t want to align! I do know how to make this stock fit so the nut can be threaded on. But it involves bending some metal on my Red Ryder receiver, and I’m not about to do that. Not for a prototype!
So I left the nut off and, because of the tension on the screw from the new plastic hole, the cross screw remains in place. The Big Boy stock is on and it’s tight. How does it feel?
How it feels
Well, it feels long. The pull went from 13-1/2-inches to 14-inches with the Big Boy butt. It’s as long as I could want it to be. That 15-inch pull on the Daisy Adult Red Ryder BB gun would be too long for me.
The gray plastic of the prototype is smooth to the touch but not particularly slippery. I will say this Big Boy forearm fits my off hand better than the wooden forearm on the Red Ryder. The shape is great!
Where does that leave us?
I’m sure when this Big Boy stock was conceived the thought was that someone would probably rather buy just a separate stock than to buy an entire second BB gun. That makes sense. And, there is interest in the adult-sized gun. Even some of you readers have asked me to test the Daisy Adult Red Ryder.
But — when the difference in price between the stock and the adult gun is just four dollars, it’s a no-brainer. Ain’t nobody gonna do it. Once again, fifty dollars is just the price of the prototype. We don’t know how much the production item will sell for.
Next, how much room for levels of discounts have been left in the Big Boy pricing structure? If Pyramyd Air or another large wholesaler were to buy it for sales to their dealers they want room to make a profit at all levels — large dealers, small dealers and thenselves. Right now Crosman is competing with their dealer network by selling direct to the public. Can’t keep your dealers happy when you do that.
The retail for the Big Boy needs to be around $20, so it needs to be produced for $3 or $4 at the max. The wholesale price (those buying 50 or more at one time) will be $7, the volume dealers (those buying 20 at one time) will get them for $10 and the little-guy dealers who only buy five at a time will pay $13. Any direct sales the manufacturer makes will make a profit over his cost, but at the risk of alienating your wholesale and volume dealers. That’s how this game works.
At $50 retail the sales for the Big Boy stock just aren’t there. They can’t be. People who pay $40 for a BB gun (or less) aren’t going to pop for another $50 for add-ons. Fifty-dollar add-ons go with $300 and up airguns.
Today has been an in-depth lesson in business for new guys. This is how the world works. Like it or not, these kinds of margins are necessary to remain active. The guys who jump in and try to be the lowest price in town are quickly gone. Sam Walton did know a thing or two about retail.
When you conceive of a new product, this is the sort of war-gaming that has to happen before any metal is bent or code written. Ninety percent of all new ideas should die during this process, and another five percent as you proceed. You don’t know what you don’t know, and finding out always comes at a cost.