[Correction: I mistakenly refer to this gun as a 1917. It’s actually a 1919.]
Today I have for you the gun that started my obsession with Daisy BB guns. Last year for the first time ever I bought a new Daisy no. 25. The new models are made in China – but the build, fit and finish on the gun is pretty good and regardless of the plastic trigger and lever – the new 25 is an excellent backyard plinker.
I couldn’t believe how quiet and accurate the gun was for a dang BB gun. Previously I’ve always scoffed at BB guns and thought of them more as children’s toys. I bought the gun on a whim only to discover that the thing was an excellent shooter. Over the years I had invested in many types of firearms, break barrel gas pistons, pcp’s, spring piston, airsoft and multi-pump pneumatics. Don’t get me wrong, I have fun using all of those various shooting platforms.
But the Daisy BB gun offered so many things that NONE of the others did. Most importantly – capacity. No other shooting platform gives you 50 to 1000 shots one after another. If you are a shooter you know that most of your time is spent loading the gun. The less time you spend loading the more time you have for a thing called trigger time!
I couldn’t believe this gun existed since 1914 and I was only now getting hip to it. I started wondering if it was possible to find an early original version of the gun and sure enough they were available on the internet. I purchased a 1936 variant for this was what was considered the most desirable of the No. 25’s. I am also a big WWI buff and it turns out that the history of Daisy and The Great War are profoundly intertwined.
WWI broke out in 1914 which is the very year that Daisy began manufacturing the Fred Lefevere designed No. 25. This is what led me to seeking a 1st variant no. 25. Currently I still have not been able to get my hands on a 1st variant. Between 1914 and 1979 there have been about 54 variants of the gun produced. What we have here is what some call a 3rd variant . Other sources place this as a 6th variant.
This gun was bought at a premium from Dennis Baker over at Daisy King as a 1919. This variant has the short throw and non adjustable front sight. The variant we are looking at was produced between 1917 to 1926. By 1927 the easier to cock long throw lever was introduced. For the exception of the non adjustable front sight and the finish on the barrel – this is what a 1914 1st variant would look like. It has the barrel claw, the 5 groove pump handle, smaller rear sight, straight trigger, squared off rear trigger guard, large take down screw, a reinforcement rib and a straight stock.
What distinguishes the first variant from all the others is its “black nickel” finish. The first variant was never sold in bright nickel. Of course the flagship no. 25 was the 6th (sometimes referred to as the 7th) variant that included fancy etching on the receiver. I’ll be showing you those variants in a future episode. This particular gun came to me in weak shooting condition and could definitely benefit from a good seal job. The finish on this rifle is very good with little rust. It does shoot fine at close range and it is very quiet. The shot tube is functional but challanging to lock back the spring while loading the bb’s. This was a common issue with he earlier shot tubes.
I’m looking forward to reviving the seals on this gun to see how well it can shoot. For a gun over a 100 years old its still in great condition.