They just don't make them like they used to!


June 24, 2012, 04:56 PM
In 2011 I bought a Daisy Red Rider 70th Anniversary (2010) BB gun at a Wal-Mart close out sale for $25. I shot it a couple of times and just stuck it in the closet.

I know.... why did I buy a BB gun? Well the Red Ryder was my first gun, given to me by my dad when I was about 7 years old. I don't even know what happened to it... but I do have two younger brothers ... you can do the math!

Man, I loved that BB gun and I carried it everywhere, and probably shot a million BBs through it. While spending the summers on my grandparents farm, I was never separated from it. Many a bird knew it's wrath. (I know, I was a bad boy!) It was so accurate and shot with quite a whollup for a BB gun.

Well, since I've retired and moved to Colorado, I now have a 6.5 acre back yard to play in, and I've been plinking with the NEW Red Ryder. I set up targets at 45 feet, and I was completely bummed out with the inaccuracy and low power of this commemorative BB gun. What a let down! It never shoots twice in the same spot, or even near it. It's a nice looking gun, with a few minor (safety) changes from the original, but it's just not like th old 1953 model. Aaaah, the good old days!

Factoid: In the 1880's the Daisey BB gun was manufactured by the Plymouth Iron Windmill Plant, and the company used to give away a free BB gun with each windmill.
The BB gun became so popular that they finally dropped the windmill line by the end of the century to manufacture and sell BB guns.

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June 24, 2012, 05:26 PM
Boy, ain't that the truth about power!

A friend dropped off a 1950's Daisy Model 25 pump he bought at a garage sale to have me go over it & clean it up.

After some air gun oil on the piston seal, that sucker would bury a BB clear out of sight in a 2"x4" block at 10 yards.

I was used to getting pelted by bounch-back BB's from a modern one.


June 24, 2012, 05:33 PM
Yeah it's been like that ever since I was a kid (90's). We used to laugh at kids with Red Ryders. Other than looking good, they don't shoot worth a darn and you can hardly kill a bird with one. I remember at 10-15 yards, a neighbor's Red Ryder would not penetrate a pop can. My Daisy or Crossman pump gun would put a hole thru the ends of the can at 20 yards. I killed a few rabbits with the pump guns too.

Float Pilot
June 24, 2012, 05:52 PM
Yeap, when I was a kid my buddy had a .22 cal Benjamin pump and I had a high-dollar 177 caliber Crossman pump with real walnut stocks. (Direct from the sears and Roebuck catalog) It weighed more than my first 22.
I bought home many a Spruce Hen (Grouse to you lower 48 folks) Ptarmagin, Snowshoe Hare and a few Martin.
My buddy's Benjamin would shoot a pellet through a wet phone book.

20 Years ago I bought my son a Crossman pump from a catalog. That thing has as much pressure as a pop-corn fart. And it groups horribly. I had to spend over $400 to buy a RWS pellet gun that has the same power as my old $18 (1965 dollars) Crossman

June 24, 2012, 08:45 PM
For the same reasons, I was moved to buy a Red Ryder and could only think my memory of epic shots on bids on the wing and squirrels running serpentine patterns was an issue of a child's perception playin' hell with a 50 year old's romanticized memories - such was my disappointment with accuracy and power.

Then I shot a friend's vintage model 95 shown below. I commenced to pestering him for some time after noting the amazing backyard accuracy with the factory scope and mount. After some horse tradin', whiskey and a promise to remount some motorcycle tires for him, he got mine and I got his. It's now my feral cat/pigeon dissuader.

Now, the one I'd really like to get my hands on is another like my '94 Spittin' Image. Many's the hour I spent watching shows like High Chaparral, Rawhide, Laredo, Branded, Hondo and many others while glommed onto that '94. It was heavy as all get-out but damn sure pretty and accurate to boot!

June 24, 2012, 08:53 PM
If you want a real Daisy BB gun, find an old Model 25 pump made back in the 50's in Plymouth Mi.

They out shot any of the lever cocker's in power & accuracy.
Plus they were force feed from a spring loaded tube inside the barrel shroud.


June 24, 2012, 09:07 PM
In the late 80's when me and my brother were kids, my parents got me and my brother matching Red Ryders.

My dad has one from the 60's.

All 3 of us used to stand on his front porch plinking pop cans at 20 paces. But one day, about a year later, mine jammed and refused to feed BB's. Still expelled air, but no projectile. My dad tried to get it working again, but couldn't get into the action without destroying it. My brother's soldiered on another year and a half, then gave up the ghost too.

Last i heard, my dad's Red Ryder still works fine...

June 24, 2012, 09:27 PM
I sure hope someone from Daisy reads this. I fell for the same thing, although a later model. I had a Daisy 880 when I was a kid. We would sit in a tree at the creek and shoot dragonfly's all day. I'm 35 now, and bought myself a "new" 880 Powerline. It is the most inaccurate POS I have ever had the displeasure of owning. You may be able to get repeat hits on a pop can aat 10 yards, if your lucky. Not to mention that every part that can be made from plastic, is. My old one was at least 90% metal. Junk, Junk, Junk. I will never buy another new Daisy product as long as I live.

June 24, 2012, 09:42 PM
I hear you.

Bought one of those also to retire the old Red Ryder my grandfather left me that he bought used in'49. I was so let down i gave it to the neighbor kid. Currently looking into one of those M4 bb guns.

Welding Rod
June 24, 2012, 09:47 PM
They were crap in the 70s too.

June 24, 2012, 09:51 PM
I had a Red Ryder when I was about 6 (1988), probably put 20,000 BB's out of that thing. I have fond memories of it. It went missing after my dad died, but I ended up with his RWS M34 and Sheridan Blue Streak .20 caliber. That Sheridan was from the 70's, and I probably put several thousand pellets out of it before it finally quit. I recently picked up one of similar vintage for $30 (came with 2,500 pelllets, too!). It has a nice peep site, and, just like my dad's was, is nearly as powerful as .22 CB caps.

I also have a Daisy Buck (recent manufacture) that I grabbed for $23 at wally world to drill soda cans around the camp site. It's actually pretty darn accurate to ~40 feet, and has the same advertised 350 FPS as the Red Ryder. Us adults shoot it like a long pistol, though. Been seriously thinking about making it steampunk or tacticool just for shiggles and gits.

I bought home many a Spruce Hen (Grouse to you lower 48 folks)

We call 'em praire chickens in these parts.

June 24, 2012, 11:17 PM
Not many fans of the Daisy 880 Powerline here...
I was given mine on my 7th birthday, in 1986.
Lots of squirrel, even started using a duck call to make those crow noises in order to lure them in... Lots of fun times!

It was stolen from me and recovered by diplomacy once, and recovered by force another time. Functions but the bolt is a little clunky, worn I suppose. I have two parts guns available, one newer and one of similar age. It will be restored eventually.

June 24, 2012, 11:45 PM
I had one in the early 90s. It worked fine, was deadly accurate, but very underpowered. I nailed a mockingbird's head from probably 30 feet away (you have NO idea how annoying a squawking mockingbird on a chimney is, especially when he shows up every morning and won't shut up). All I could see was his head, and I had to arc the shot in, but I blew him off the chimney. Darn bird survived and flew off, but never came back.

My 880 Powerline that I got about 10 years ago leaks. A pity, too. came with a good 4x scope. I bought it for pigeons and rattlesnakes, since my father's Sheridan Blue Streak has crap sights and is a pain to pump. Unfortunately, I never got to use it for either. I might be able to bring it back from the dead if I put some oil in it and pump it up to lubricate the seals.

June 24, 2012, 11:54 PM
Not many fans of the Daisy 880 Powerline here...
I was given mine on my 7th birthday, in 1986.

That was also my 7th B-day present, in 1989. Back then, they were made in the USA with metal receivers and lasted. I had mine for about 10 years, but it vanished in one of my myriad moves from age 17-21.

The current crop are China made, have plastic receivers and I don't think are anywhere near the quality of those made 20+ years ago

June 24, 2012, 11:55 PM
Both of my Brothers and I had Daisy Red Riders back in the early '60's, they were still a fairly powerful and accurate (for what they were) BB gun.

I don't know at what point they became 'junk', but they are these days...for certain.

We graduated to Benjamin Pellet Rifles and then .22 rifles.

I can remember walking down to the Gas Station and buying a box of .22 long rifle shells for .25 cents, then going down to the river for an afternoon of plinking.

Nobody looked twice at 3 pre-teenagers walking around with our rifles. No need to, I guess that's the difference today.

June 25, 2012, 12:34 PM
Are you guys sure it isn't just the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia? I was never a Daisy guy, so I have no basis for comparison.

June 25, 2012, 12:53 PM
What are you expecting out of a BB gun? There's no rifling and it's shooting a round projectile like the first flint locks. Those guns were never accurate. If in your memory you think these were accurate you need to stop and have a reality check.

What was accurate were Crosman and Sheridan, but Daisy never was. I had a model 25 as a kid in the 1960's and I'll be the first to tell you it wasn't all that accurate.

June 25, 2012, 08:11 PM
Then explain my rifled 880 being just as likely to shoot the guy next to you as what your aiming at? Doesn't matter what your shooting out of it.

June 25, 2012, 08:55 PM
If you want a good modern air gun find a Remington Airmaster 77 (made by daisy or crossman or whatever) Very accurate and powerful. When sighting in with a 2.5X scope I was hitting empty shotgun shell casings at 15 steps. I use JSB exacts.

If you want a nice older bb gun there might be one online auction somewhere.

June 25, 2012, 10:00 PM
Are you guys sure it isn't just the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia?

There may be a bit of that, but there's also no question that the quality has gone to pot.

June 25, 2012, 10:02 PM
Have a friend who has a Gamo, i think it's a "Big Cat" or something. Break-barrel, single shot. Lended it to me for a sage-rat shoot a few months ago, along with some RWS Superdomes.

First shot i took with it was at 50-60 yards, at a rat who was just poking his head out of a hole. As i pulled the trigger, the head disappeared. I walked over to the hole, and didn't find a body, but i DID find a bloodstain. 2" headshot at 50+ yards, is an accurate air rifle, IMO.

June 25, 2012, 10:54 PM
I'm glad I didn't pay this price, I would be thoroughly pi$$ed!

This has to be a JOKE! : "MAX. SHOOTING DISTANCE: 195 yds."

Joed, sorry your old BB gun was a lemon. My 1953 model wasn't!

June 25, 2012, 11:13 PM
I am well aware of modern air rifles, and their capabilities. Daisy's quality, ans integrity, have gone straight to h*ll.

June 25, 2012, 11:38 PM
I had/still have an 860 Powerline, the rifled heavy barrel pump similar to the 856. They were recalled because their chamber could appear empty but have a bb just out of sight so when dumb kids checked then shot each other behind the ear there were surprise injuries and a couple deaths. Mine was pretty powerful & accurate, but at one point I fired it and the barrel flew out the decorative outer shroud. My dad put a hose clamp on the end and it remains there to this very day.

June 26, 2012, 11:33 AM
For the couple of posters questioning the accuracy of remembrances... For my part it's current comparison. I love the well kept originals and keep some and sell others on. Rifle to rifle, the new entry level rifles don't hold a candle to the old ones when in good condition.

June 26, 2012, 02:12 PM

June 26, 2012, 05:38 PM
I have an older Daisy lever action (30-40yrs old) which I have many fond memories of. Couldn't tell you what model but it took many a bird, ground squirrel, and big 'ol crows back in its day. It still shoots good to this day. I'll set up army men in the basement and have fun when I'm really hurting for something to do :)

June 26, 2012, 07:33 PM
Are you guys sure it isn't just the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia?

I think it's a little bit of both, the current entry level, department store guns are made like junk compared to "back in the day" and the power levels of BB guns are pretty anemic. However, I think often the old time BB and pellet guns weren't really quite as powerful as we remember them being as kids. As a kid I had numerous Crosmans, a Sheridan and several Daiseys. Some I still have, others I have since bought over again and still others I bought used and/or resealed. When I run those guns through a chronograph, many that are in good working order aren't quite as impressive as I thought they were when I was a kid, (but they are still fun and useful). Where we have the past beat today is the number of quality, inexpensive, high power springer guns commonly available.

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