Here’s a fun little trick that was made famous by Annie Oakley the trick shooter. She used to use a mirror and she might have also done it on horseback. I’m using the Daisy Buck 105B for this stunt.
[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.
The Markham King No.17 was produced between 1917 to 1932. It is a carry over from his original wooden Chicago Model from 1887 and continued production even after Daisy fully acquired King from Markham in the 1920’s.
Markham had some unique designs. The 1900 Queen Take Down (1900-1907) was capable of breaking down into 3 pieces. The No. 17 had the handy feature of shooting 3 different types of projectiles: bb’s, pellets, and darts! The older guns such as this require lead bb’s and not the modern steal bb’s we use today.
This gun was acquires through Dennis Baker of “Daisy King”. I paid a premium for it due to first time buyer naiveté. The gun had been restored and is in fine shooting condition and the stock and receiver are nice and tight with no wobble.
I’m not certain that Dennis Baker actually did the work on this lil rifle or how much work he did on it. The esthetic of the gun remains intact regardless.
The leather seals are still holding out on this 100 year old plus youth carbine. It requires the .180 cal ammo but does ok with the standard .177 – just stay away from the steel bb’s and pellets.
This gun is my all time favorite close range multi ammo shooter. Well, it’s the ONLY multi ammo vintage carbine in the collection. Even though I paid a bit too much for this gun I was not disappointed and remain happy with my purchase. The No. 17 and the Daisy No. 25 from 1917 were sold to me as a pair. We also paid a premium for a No. 103 Model 33 Super Buzz Barton Special. These three guns will be in the collection for a long time.
I’m still on the lookout for: King Chicago, Daisy No. 25 1st var, and a Daisy No. 95 Model 32 Buzz Barton Special (modeled after the King no. 55).
So far this Daisy Model C from 1910 is the oldest gun in the CaliAir collection. The Model C was produced between 1910 to 1914. It represents the pinnacle of the break barrels that Daisy first began producing with Markham King in 1886. By this time the lever action guns were gaining popularity and the new pump action No. 25 was soon to make its appearance in 1914 thanks to Fred Lefevere’s new design.
This Model C is in pretty good condition. After 100 years or so the wood is bound to shrink and this creates a wobbely stock to reciever connection. Since they are put together via rivets instead of screws it is not a simple matter to tighten.
The groupings from 15-20 feet away weren’t too bad. The pre 1933 guns are supposed to take a slightly larger .180 caliber however this gun is listed as taking the standard .175 caliber. In this demo we used vintage lead no.2 air rifle shot from Winchester.
The shot tube appears to have been remodeled using solder but the workmanship is good. It functions as it was intended. The black sleeve on the table is silicone impregnated and keeps the gun safe from moisture.
The old Daisy design stamped on both sides of the receiver. There is little rust and the nickeling is about 70-80% intact. Check out the cast iron trigger!
The etching on the receiver is hard to make out but is still readable. This gun is kept well oiled to keep it preserved and only shot on special occasions about once a year.
The basic design from the early wooden Markham rifles seems to be carried over to the Model C. In fact Markham had released his Model C, Model D, and Model E – all before 1910. The Daisy Model C could very well be a rebranded King as many of Daisy’s guns were.
William F. Markham is arguably considered the maker of the modern bb gun. Daisy commissioned and then quickly bought out Markham in 1916. By 1928 they renamed the Markham Air Rifle Company to “King”.
Daisy continued producing their King models til 1935 and ceased production entirely by 1940. You can see how the Daisy and King guns were so alike. I’ve not been able to tell any difference in quality or craftsmanship.
The Kings were known as the “B Grade” to the Daisy brand but this may have been more hype than reality. It also helped Daisy leverage deals with major outlets such as Sears, Roebuck and Co..
Obviously the nuts on this 22-33 are replacements – but they are old square replacements. I will try to find appropriate replacement nuts for this rifle. Finding pictures of the gun in the original shape helps me alot in restoring these amazing relics.
This acquisition is from 1933 to 1935. It was replaced by the “Daisy influenced” 22-36. I don’t know how many of these were produced but we do know that they were only produced for 3 years. This may have an effect on it’s collectability and rarity.
I will be doing a video of this King 22-33 as soon as it is received. There may be issues with the ammo since pre 1934 guns used slightly different diameter bb’s to the now standard .177 diameter.
This King just sort of came up and I had to jump on it even though I’m swearing off of buying any more until I can trade off some of my duplicates. That and maybe sell some cool stickers which are coming real soon. The King of Air Rifles!
This was my first vintage Red Ryder. It’s from 1947 and I was immediately impressed with how it shot and felt in the hands. I started out collecting no.25’s and even tried to stay away from the Red Ryder knowing the rabbit hole that would ensue.
Curiosity and a good deal got the best of me and I acquired this treasure. This was the Red Ryder that was produced after WWII now using the aluminum lever in place of the war depleted cast iron.
This Model 40 arrived with a missing barrel band. Luckily I was able to find an aftermarket band that works just fine. Ideally I’d like to find a period appropriate band to replace it but this will do for now. I oiled up the wood on this gun because it was very dry.
The front sight was bent a little to the left. I was going to bend it back and found that the bend actually compensated for the slight drift. My guess is it was bent on purpose so I left it alone.
I’ve talked about how the older Red Ryder’s are loud and this one is no exception. It’s still backyard friendly but it is especially loud if it’s shot without a bb in the chamber. This could easily be considered the most common of the wood stock and forearm vintage No.111’s. After this variant they started using plastics at first in the forearm and then the stock.