air rifles, antiques, bb guns, Carbines, Daisy, Lever Action, model 40, no.111, Red Ryder, Rifles, Vintage

1950’s Iconic Red Ryder no.111

There is something appealing about the 1950’s Red Ryder. In 1952 they began to replace the wood front stock with a “fancy” plastic design. The early plastics had a tendency to warp from the heat of the sun and few models escaped this anomaly.

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I was excited to get another one of these in the collection. They still have the wood rear stock with the Fred Harman Red Ryder engraving and the saddle ring. The models from the 50’s tend to hit pretty hard. This seems to be the consensus from fellow owners.

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These guns were made in the Plymouth Michigan factory where all Daisy’s were made up until 1958. Before the Rogers Arkansas factory took over production the Plymouth factory was putting out rifles with both plastic stocks and forearms.

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The 1952 Red Ryder would be the last to see a wood stock until the reissues came out in the 70’s with the Model 1938 Red Ryder. The no.111 Model 40 has come full circle from 1940 all wood, to 1950’s partial wood, to late 50’s/60’s all plastic and back now to all wood.

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This particular rifle has some replacement nuts but is otherwise original and complete.

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The classic tiny ding on the side of the barrel. It makes you wonder how many kids shot their own bb gun and why? The barrels are still “blued” and the brownish patina is testament to this. The painted barrels had the advantage of not rusting as easily and eventually all Red Ryder’s and most Daisy’s will be painted.

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Definitely not the original nuts. I don’t mind the brass one but I’ll look for proper replacements for them. By 1947 the cast iron lever was forever replaced by a cast aluminum lever that was painted black. The paint easily came off and that issue would be solved in the 80’s with a special plastic lever.

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As with many vintage models this one is a little on the loud side. Still tenable for backyard plinking but not the quietest plinker. It’s possible a synthetic seals would make it more quiet. My 102 Cub from 1960’s is super quiet – but I’m not sure if the gun was worked on or functioned that way out of the box. I’m assuming it has synthetic seals none the less. And I will further assume the 1952 model shown here has leather seals and contributes to it’s loud report.

The Red Ryder is the greatest selling bb gun of all time. The bulk of them would have been the plastic stock models. Although production began in 1940 it was halted due to WWII. Regular production didn’t resume until 1946 and by 1952 the plastic made it’s entry into the design. The plastic stock and forearm Red Ryder’s would have a good 20+ year production run before the return of the wood reintroduced on the Model 1938 Red Ryder in 1977.

It’s hard not to pick up more Red Ryder’s. They are great guns and like this 1952 Red Ryder are loads of fun to shoot.

Check out all of the Lever Action Carbines here.