Watching television during the Christmas season and eventually the “Christmas Story” will pop up. This is a young man’s quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas via Santa. The young man is constantly told, “You’ll shoot your eye out kid,” and he almost does.
Turn back the time to 1963 at a farm close to Easton, Missouri, on Christmas morning when my Daisy BB gun was waiting under the tree. I quickly dressed in warm clothing, waded out in the snow with my new prize that rattled with about 50 BBs and shot at a shiny disk blade used for cultivating row crops.
The BB made a satisfying “TINK” on the steel blade, then ricocheted back and hit me in the forehead – just like in the movie. My folks never knew, I kept both of my eyes and learned that day to shoot at targets that didn’t shoot back
Back in the day westerns and war movies were a big deal and everyone wanted to become a dead shot. My cousins and I were no exception. We practiced many hours with our BB guns and were good shots when it was time to graduate and shoot .22 rifles and shotguns. BB guns have been under Christmas trees for about 130 years.
“Daisy Outdoor Products began in Plymouth, Mich., way back in 1882, but it wasn’t a “Daisy” yet,” said Lawrence Taylor, marketing director for Gamo/Daisy Products. “It was Plymouth Iron Windmill Company, which, even though it had a great product, wasn’t doing well. It was, in fact, going bankrupt and by 1888 the board met to consider closing the company. The motion to liquidate failed by one vote.”
Later that year Charles Hamilton, a gentleman brought in an all-metal BB gun of his own design. The General Manager shot it and proclaimed: “That’s a Daisy!” which is the equivalent of today’s clichés “That’s cool.” So, that’s what they decided to name the gun, a Daisy. Plymouth Iron Windmill Company decided to manufacture the gun and offer it as a premium item to every farmer who bought a windmill.
The public immediately liked the BB gun better than their windmills. Manufacturing switched to only making the guns and the company name switched to Daisy Manufacturing Company.
“Fast forward to 1940,” Taylor said. “The Model 1938 Red Ryder, the gun most of us took our very first shots with, was first manufactured became the world’s most popular BB gun and still is. It’s been described as the No. 1 Christmas gift, and this year, a new version lets Mom and Dad shoot, too, with a bigger size Red Ryder. The extended stock fits adults just like a rifle or shotgun.”
Most of you reading this column probably owned a Daisy during your youth. Today the company produces the most extensive product line of youth air guns, appropriate for ages 10 and older under adult supervision.
Daisy Outdoor Products, the most-recognized name in airguns worldwide and maker of the famous Red Ryder BB gun, has finally answered the calls of consumers for an adult-sized Red Ryder (Model 1938ARR). The bigger Red Ryder comes in two kits available only through www.daisy.com.
“Fans of the classic Red Ryder, which nearly everyone marks as their first gun, have been calling for a full-sized version for years,” Taylor said. “It makes a perfect companion to the youth version so mentor and youth can shoot the same gun.”
The new adult-sized Red Ryder is available in two kits. The first kit is for shooters who already have a regular sized Red Ryder. It includes the new Model 1938ARR, a Rocket Shot Target Launcher so you and your youth can shoot together, shooting glasses so no one shoots their eye out and a tube containing 350 BBs.
The second kit is perfect for new shooters or as the perfect Christmas gift for two. It includes the new Model 1938ARR, a regular-sized Red Ryder Model 1938, the Rocket Shot Target Launcher, shooting glasses and a tube of 350 BBs. The Model 1938ARR is available in a very limited number so shop while supplies last.
Daisy's shooting education curriculum is widely used by organizations that promote and teach gun safety and marksmanship. The company's prestigious Daisy National BB Gun Championship Match, held each summer in the company home town of Rogers, Arkansas, is the largest 5-meter BB gun match in the country, attracting thousands of youth shooters from nearly every state. For more information go to www.daisy.com, and hashtag #itallstartswithadaisy on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, air rifles have become versatile hunting rifles. The new Gamo TC35 (.35 caliber) and TC45 (.45 caliber) air rifles have the velocities and accuracy to hunt predators and deer.
Both of these black PCP guns share the same features: a 480CC Carbon fiber air cylinder fillable to 250 bar, an adjustable 2-stage trigger, in-line valve system, integrated suppressor and a Weaver Rail System for mounting optics.
The new TC35 and TC45 are single shot guns capable of producing approximately 1-inch groups at 50 meters, and producing acceptable hunting power out to 100 meters. Muzzle energy is capable of exceeding 150-foot pounds (2034 Joules), and barrel velocities range from 600 to 900-plus feet per second, depending on projectile. The TC35 is intended for predators such as coyotes and smaller hogs, and the TC45 has applications that include deer, hogs, antelope and other medium-sized game animals where legal according to your state’s game hunting laws.
GAMO is Europe’s largest airgun manufacturer. Based in Barcelona, Spain, the company began manufacturing high quality airguns in the 1960s, and shooters in more than 50 countries shoot GAMO air rifles. For more information, visit www.gamousa.com.
– Kenneth Kieser, a veteran outdoors writer and member of the Waterfowlers Hall of Fame and National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, writes a weekly outdoors column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.