Discussion in 'Airguns' started by cobalt327, Jul 17, 2016.
Model 104 with Red Ryder furniture top, Red Ryder with full size buttstock bottom
RED RYDER #3 — THE QUEST FOR 350 FPS
NOTE- This is kinda long, the “TL/DR” version is simply to see the photo below.
Last post I said I was going to use the Model 105 Buck for this, but I grabbed the wrong gun and it wasn’t until I had it mostly apart that I realized it. So I called an audible and used the Red Ryder instead. The only internal difference between them is the length of the shot tube- the RR is 2” longer than the Buck- so there is very little actual difference using either of them.
The following is a breakdown of what was done to RR #3:
Obviously this is central to any real power increase with Daisy BB guns like these. I replaced the stock Daisy Red Ryder spring and plunger tube w/the same parts from the Sheridan Cowboy. I used a 7/16” preload spacer- that’s all it would take. I tried using the Daisy plunger tube but it deformed from the stress of the stronger spring and spacer (it might have worked w/o the spacer but I didn’t try it that way). I used the original black rubber Daisy piston because it was mated to the compression chamber already. I also used a 7/64” ID air tube (3/32” ID will work and is what was used in the two other modified Red Ryders tested earlier, 7/64” ID is the most I would recommend).
The plastic lever does not seem like it’s over-stressed by any of this, and I think much of that is because the Daisy cocking lever has a lower ratio that results in an easier effort but a longer throw. But I still prefer the curved metal RR lever over any other lever. The cocking effort is higher than before but it’s still not quite as high as the Cowboy. The high cocking effort of the Cowboy is compounded by its uncomfortable-to-use metal lever.
The trigger catches when the gun is cocked but it doesn’t feel as positive as it did before. I even replaced the modified plunger assembly w/a stock assembly to check the trigger function and the trigger went back to feeling normal- so the difference may be caused by the stronger spring rate and/or the Cowboy plunger tube, or something else I've yet to find. Anyway, I don’t like the feel of it and unless it improves with use, I’d just as soon lose some velocity and change it back to a preloaded Daisy spring and plunger tube.
Note that I removed the rearmost trigger return spring on RR #3- like has been done on all the guns here, including the Cowboy. I don't yet know if replacing it will have any bearing on what the trigger feels like when the gun is cocked, but I will try it w/the return spring replaced. If anything changes I'll post it. The trigger assembly also has the anti beartrap rack removed.
POA versus POI
At 20 yards the POI is higher than when the gun was stock. I have seen this on all of the modified guns. Even w/the elevator slider removed completely, the gun still shoots high. Fortunately what didn't change is the windage- this particular Red Ryder was the only gun out of three that shot to POA, windage-wise. So if the front sight were taller I'd be back in business, but for now I'm using "Kentucky elevation".
Considering Daisy says a stock Red Ryder will do “up to” 350 fps
, increasing the MV from 270 fps to 350 fps (~30% increase) is definitely no piece of cake and in my opinion that last 20-25 fps passes the point of diminishing returns. I like the gun better at ~330 fps max using a preloaded factory Daisy spring/plunger assembly and an air tube ID of at least 3/32” (max I can recommend is 7/64”). The trigger feels much more positive, cocking effort is less, the gun shoots closer to POA and it’s just smoother overall than when using the heavier Cowboy spring/plunger tube.
Now, you folks don’t know me personally but as hard as it may seem to believe, trust me when I say the photo above was the actual first shot through the chronograph! The second shot was the exact same. Highest MV seen was 358 fps, 350 fps was lowest. Testing was done using the standard Daisy Precision Max zinc BBs from WM. I suspect using Daisy Match Grade Avanti BBs might increase the MV by a few fps.
in theory I believe it is. I estimate 1.15" is the max preload I can use before running into spring coil bind, so I'd like to try 1". I'm not sure a factory Daisy plunger tube will take it w/o distorting too much but I'll try it to see what happens. This is where I’d give a pretty for a billet aluminum plunger tube! But the cost of such an endeavor would surely be prohibitively high.
I’m warming up to Red Ryder #3 a little more. The trigger reset is getting better the more I shoot it, but it’s still not as positive as the others. So for now, I'll continue to shoot it in rotation w/the others to see if the trigger continues to improve and to see what the durability will be like. The biggest problem w/it is the high POI. I’ll add some height to the front sight blade to address that.
I had the opportunity to inspect and measure the Cowboy air tube. I found it to have a larger ID than the Daisy air tube- turns out the Cowboy air tube ID is the same size as what I’ve been drilling most of the Daisy air tubes (3/32”). The Cowboy air tube is a little longer than the Daisy part but it could be easily modified by shortening it 0.070”, BUT the Cowboy air tube also has a 0.006” smaller OD. That means the seal between the OD of the Cowboy air tube and the ID of a Daisy shot tube would not be ideal. This is mostly a moot point because of the lack of replacement parts for the Cowboy.
AIR TUBE DIMENSIONS
Cowboy air tube
3/32” ID (same as most of my modified air tubes)
Red Ryder air tube
AIR TUBE AREA DIFFERENCE
Stock Daisy 5/64" = area 0.00479369 sq in
Bored Daisy & stock Cowboy 3/32" = area 0.00690291 sq in (+~31%)
Bored Daisy RR #3 7/64" = area 0.00939563 sq in (+~49%)
In any event, I still believe an older style Daisy lever BB gun with the removable shot tube would be a better candidate to be modified for a reliable 350 fps, because judging by my '70's era Model 104, they have a beefier plunger tube and the simple steel trigger is also stronger.
BUT they do not have a stronger plunger tube. I’m not sure when the change to the plunger tubes came on the Model 25 but if I had to guess, I’d say it was when they went from a metal shot tube end cap and metal trigger to a plastic end cap and plastic trigger assembly.
Overall I’m very pleased w/how this gun has turned out. Using the same WM/Daisy zinc BBs, the spring change resulted in a MV increase of an average of 43 fps (up from 280’s fps up to 324 fps average w/a high of 328 fps and a 3 fps ES. The original configuration Cowboy averaged 329 fps). This is w/o any added preload other than the one thin washer added to help assembly. The cocking action is nice and smooth and only a small amount harder, the trigger reset is same as with the original Daisy spring- which is to say very positive. I’m very tempted to add some preload to this combination but a little hesitant because of how sweet it shoots, as-is.
I have replaced the plastic stock and forearm and added a Red Ryder buttstock w/matching curved lever and a RR wooden forearm. It still has the rudimentary rear sight borrowed from a Model 105 Buck- this is the type that doubles as the spring anchor and is non adjustable for windage or elevation- and this is the one thing keeping this BB gun from being my favorite of the lot. I kicked around the idea of using the Model 499B peep sight, but I prefer a "V-notch" type rear sight. Besides being easier to acquire a target, I just seem to shoot better w/one. Because there's an extra piece of steel covering the receiver of this gun (it used to have the mount for the fake scope/aperture rear sight), there's enough thickness to drill and tap for a machine screw to mount an adjustable rear sight. I just need to figure out what sight will work, then find one for sale...
Note on take-down
In addition to the familiar take-down screw (now equipped w/a nut), the 25 has a small screw on the left side of the receiver that has to be removed before the gun can be separated into two parts. The screw limits the travel of the anti-bear trap bar (similar to the setup used on the plastic trigger lever action Daisys), keeping the front section from being removed from the rear section. Once the screw is removed, and with the gun uncocked and with the safety off, simply pull the trigger and the two halves can be slid apart like the old guns.
I was disappointed with what I found once the gun was apart. The Model 25 plunger tube is woefully weak. The stock Model 25 spring is about all the tube can handle, judging by how easily the tube was deformed when I installed a spring from a Red Ryder. The RR spring is only ~15% stronger but it's also ~16% longer (free length of the 25 spring is 5.85”, RR is 7”). Combined, these two things means the RR spring overpowers the 25’s plunger tube. Even before cocking the gun the tube was bending, and when I attempted to compress the spring it was very easy to see this wasn't going to work. I probably could have shimmed the factory spring to get a little more velocity, but I decided this just wasn’t going to be worth the effort.
I’m looking for a wide-body Daisy like the 95/96/99/140/141 types. I’m told they’re built strong and I’m hoping to use one of them to build my idea of the ‘ideal’ Daisy lever gun.
[email protected] . Thank you.
If the spring itself is weak, the cocking effort should be easy- a "normal" Model 25 takes a little effort to cock, I'd imaging a gun that had a spring weakened enough that the BB barely went out the barrel would be uber easy to cock, or if the spring was broken it might feel very easy for the first part then get harder as you fully compressed the spring. So if your gun feels more or less normal when you cock it, the culprit is likely the seal at the end of the compression chamber (aka barrel seal), or the piston is bad (aka plunger head). Click HERE for a post w/the parts list and order form from Daisy.
The piston and barrel seal can be bought from Daisy, as well as the air tube. Replacing those three things will in most cases put a weak shooting gun back to shooting normally. If the spring can be bought from Ken (details below), the best bet would probably be to get everything from him to save on shipping.
The Model 25 spring is unavailable from Daisy. You might try Ken at Daisy Gun Works, he had the piston and barrel seal for my old (ca. 1972) Daisy Model 104. I'd call or email him (Phone: 520-305-3114; Email: [email protected]) to see if he has the spring for your 25. I wouldn't recommend using a stronger spring because the spring tube will bend too easily. Details on this in my post above your first post.
Another option might be to shorten a Red Ryder or Model 499B spring (these are still available from Daisy. I'll check to see what the spring rates will be if these springs are shortened to the same length as the Model 25 spring, then we'll know if this is a viable option. I'll post back w/the results.
I do that all the time with other springs.
Give them a try.
Sorry about that- don't know why I got it in my head you had a Model 25.
Vortek but it's still too strong for the factory plunger tube. The spring from a Sheridan Cowboy would work in your older gun, but they don't sell the spring separately. Barring a better spring being available from somewhere, about the best you can do- at least as far as I know- is to use a Daisy spring from the new RR and shim it ~ 1/2" to 9/16". I'd go ahead and reseal it while you are at it.
Or better yet.
Just thinking out side of the box.
combined) spring length of 7.5", an OD of 0.720" and a wire diameter of 0.095" should put a well-sealed Red Ryder somewhere north of 300fps. Opening up the air tube to 3/32" will increase the velocity a bit more.
The material is music wire, no idea of how well this will hold up to how we plan to use them. Too bad there's no option for oil quenched silicone wire for this size spring- that would be better for an air gun. I'll call them tomorrow to see if silicone wire is available by special order. Hopefully it will be, and also hope the cost isn't too high.
From Lee, a 3.5" spring (Part Number LC 095J 11 M) plus a 4" spring (Part Number LC 095J 12 M) will cost 17.93 plus shipping. I got a drop-down box that said free shipping for orders over $40.00, orders totaling less than that gets a $20.00 handling charge added to shipping. Shipping amount isn't shown before checking out, so no idea what to expect there. Something else to ask them tomorrow...
ArtisticGuy, let me try this again...
There's a stock Daisy spring, used, on Gun Broker for $11.00 delivered. I can't say for sure if it's the same as what you have now, but I can say it's the same spring as my older ca. '72 Daisy Model 104 had from the factory. The seller also has a heavier spring, no idea what model Daisy it was supposed to be in originally. He wants $25.00 delivered for it.
You could buy a new Daisy Model 10 plunger assembly- it's the exact same thing as used on the new Red Ryder. That will give you the spring, piston, air tube, AND the 'oval' pin needed when using the new style air tube (your original round pin won't work w/the new air tube).
Adding a 1/2" to 5/8" spacer made from a piece of 1/2" copper tubing will up the MV to around 300fps. I use a 13/16" OD x 1/2" ID washer to help the spring compressor get a grip on the spring, using the spacer and washer is detailed a bit better elsewhere in this thread.
You may need the barrel seal, Daisy doesn't sell them anymore.
You could get both seals from Ken (or where ever else you can find them) or just the barrel seal if you get the new Model 10 plunger assembly from Daisy.
You could ask Ken if he has all the parts you need, including the spring.
If you have any questions, just ask- I'm sure someone will be able to offer some help.
Today I received a Daisy Model 95 that I found on GunBroker for $24.00. Going by the Reg. No. I believe it to be from 1967 or thereabouts. I got it in the hopes the “weak link” plunger tube would be beefier than what was in my little Model 104- which has the strongest plunger tube of any of the Daisy BB guns I have seen so far (and so would be better to modify).
A bonus would be a stronger spring like the one I recently saw advertised on Gun Broker as being from an unknown model 1940s Daisy (and I would give anything to know which model it was from!!!!!) It spec’d out at about 20 lb/in which is a bit more than the Cowboy spring, but the $25.00 price was a deal killer. Even a large ID air tube like I’ve heard tell of would be a plus.
So after a quick inspection and with high hopes I loaded the old gal up with some zinc Daisy Precision Max BBs and headed outside to see what it would do... there's just no way to say it other than it sucked. Badly. Drop was so bad at 15 yards that the sights were useless. The chrono spelled it out: 148 fps. Dismal to say the least and high time to dig into it to see what’s up.
ETA I gave it a few drops of oil as soon as I unboxed it so it wasn't dry.
The Model 95 comes apart similar to the other lever Daisy guns. Judging by the unmarred slotted screw heads and how danged tight everything was, I'd wager this gun had never been apart. One small difference is that the spring anchor rests against a portion of the sheet metal receiver instead of a cross-pin, but otherwise no real difference. The outer receiver is made of a sheet metal cover over the rear part of the “barrel” that contains the compression chamber and BB reservoir. Sort of like a Model 25, except the cover of the 25 is removable whereas the 95 cover is spot welded to the tube. It’s this cover that gives the distinctive look to these so-called ‘wide frame’ Daisys.
What I found
The good news was nothing was broken or missing. The walls of the compression chamber were smooth, without any signs of rust, pitting, scratches, et cetera. No rust inside the BB reservoir like can often be found from kids loading BBs by blowing them in from their mouth. The shot tube is actually pretty nice. It has the BB retaining wire in place and no rust at all, although the usual paint wear can be seen where the BBs enter the shot tube funnel. The abutment is secure, no looseness at all, threads clean and sharp. The plastic forearm isn't cracked, chipped or warped, the wooden buttstock likewise, although the wood finish is now mostly patina with a few scratches. The paint is scratched up pretty good but no rust pitting. The steel trigger and spring anchor retains almost all of their original bluing.
But did it have a stronger plunger tube? No dice. Dimensionally it’s a copy of the 1970s Model 104. A little stiffer than a new Red Ryder but it sure isn’t the holy grail I was hoping for.
Stronger spring? Nope. It was almost a given the rubber parts and/or the spring was shot due to the weak effort needed to cock it along with the poor performance, and sure enough- the spring is junk. It was so distorted that it dragged heavily on the plunger tube, killing any hope of decent velocity. It was kinked so badly that it took quite a bit of effort to pull the spring off the tube. I’m thinking the gun may have been stored cocked. Anyway after measuring it, I found it to be virtually identical to the Model 104 spring. Bummer. But a new Red Ryder spring should put things right in that regard, and I have a couple on hand.
Larger ID air tube? No way. The Model 95 air tube is almost the same as used on the Model 25, Red Ryder, 105 Buck, Model 10 and Model 104 (same OD, ID and length), BUT an ‘oval’ pin has to be used when replacing the original 95 air tube with a new production air tube unless the new tube is drilled to accept the old round pin. And even if the Model 95 air tube had a bigger ID, on my gun the end of the air tube was peened over so badly that even if the spring and everything else had been 100%, the restricted airflow through the air tube would have killed any hopes of good velocity.
The seals were worn but really not that bad overall. Not totally shot like the broken piston I found in my Model 104. But since it's coming apart anyway, it'll get new seals. After all, I already had a new Model 25 barrel seal, piston, and drilled out air tube ready to be installed.
A note here about the piston and barrel seal: The piston and barrel seal on the Model 95 are the same as the current production Model 25 (just as I was told over at Daisy Talk- thanks 39hunter!) Remember that the Model 25 barrel seal and piston is a smidgen smaller than what’s used on a new Red Ryder, Model 105 Buck, Model 10 or the earlier Model 104.
One detail of the Model 95 that makes no sense to me is the screw elevation adjuster for the rear sight. Why they didn’t just use a sliding elevation adjuster on them all (newer guns than mine, did) is beyond me. Besides the rear sight requiring a screwdriver to adjust windage, the elevation adjustment screw is captive in the tube and cannot be removed. This means the piston has to be ‘shoe horned’ past the exposed end of this captured screw to keep from damaging the piston. I made a simple assembly tool from some fairly stiff, thin flexible plastic to go between the screw and piston so the piston wasn’t damaged when it was inserted into the compression chamber. But such an unnecessary hassle.
Nothing else about the reseal/reassembly was noteworthy and all went smoothly.
Basically I did the same mods as was done to several of the other guns: I used a new Red Ryder spring on the Model 95 plunger tube. I shimmed the spring 1/2”. I used a drilled out (3/32”) new production air tube with a Model 25 piston and barrel seal and an oval retainer pin. After baselining it for velocity and getting a feel for the accuracy using the stock gravity feed shot tube, I switched to a new production Model 25 spring-follower shot tube like I did with the Model 104 I modified earlier. And again the Model 25 shot tube will be used because of it’s obviously superior performance.
When all was said and done, the resealed Model 95 velocity using the shimmed RR spring, drilled air tube and stock shot tube was respectable at 285 fps average. Using the Model 25 shot tube the Model 95 is almost on par with the other modified guns as far as velocity goes, having an average MV of 315 fps.
The 95 trigger needs work to be as nice as the steel trigger on my 104, and it still needs tweaking to get the windage correct. (Nothing new there- almost every Daisy I’ve had so far has been off, windage-wise. That includes the Sheridan Cowboy.)
Overall I think I could grow to like this BB gun, even though it fell short of my hopes for having stronger components. The LOP is a bit short, about the same as a Red Ryder (~35" OAL) but it's far better than the uber short Model 104 or 105. The upside is the gun feels pretty good when shooting it. The thicker stock gives it a solid “real gun” feel compared to the others that feel like you’re holding a 1 x 4 to your shoulder. And unless I’m mistaken the wood looks like walnut- but I’m no expert. I am going to refinish it (there’s no collectors value to this BB gun anyway), then maybe someone will be able to tell me what it is.
Now if I could just learn what model(s) had that strong spring, I'd have something else to look for... and I'd be very appreciative of anyone who can point me in the right direction!
Separate names with a comma.