air rifles, antiques, bb guns, Break Action Barrel, CaliAir, Carbines, Collector, Daisy, history, Model C, Picking A Daisy, Picking A Daisy Show, Plinking, Rifles, Video, Vintage

Daisy Model C 1910-1914

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.

View more Break Barrel guns here.

View the entire CaliAir Collection here.

air rifles, antiques, bb guns, CaliAir, Carbines, Collector, Daisy, history, King, Lever Action, Model no 155, no.102, no.105B, Picking A Daisy, Picking A Daisy Show, Plinking, Rifles, Video, Vintage

Model 155 the Post War Daisy

World War II was over and Daisy had a few new tricks up their sleeve. With the interupted release of the Red Ryder in 1940 Daisy was ready to go back into production with several models. The 102, 105B, 111, and the “new” Model 155 1000 Shot all are very similar to one another in design. The main difference was shot capacity and barrel finish.
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The Model 155 intitialy came out of the gate in 1946 with an iron lever. In the video review there was question if the specimen we acquired had a cast iron lever. Test result are in. It’s not cast iron. The black paint is a dead give away that it was aluminum. A magnet confirmed all suspicions.
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The cast iron lever was only used in the 1946 run and replaced in 1947-1949 with the more common aluminum lever painted black (and typically worn off the lever).
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The Model 155 was reintroduced in 1952 and by 1953 came with the now standard painted barrel.
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For perspective consider this. The similar Model 102 first came out in 1933. It has a 500 shot capacity with a blued barrel and was produced until the no 102 Model 36 took its place in 1936 up until 1940. The War broke out and interrupted manufacturing of all BB guns including the Model 102. The Model 102 was officially out of production from 1947 to 1949. The Model 155 with its 1000 Shot capacity took its place on the shelves.
Of course this may have been in due part to the availability of the Markham King Number 55. The Number 55 Repeater 1000 Shot was first manufactured in 1923 til 1931. The King 55 was actually the last of the Daisy manufactured Kings which saw a few iterations (55-32, 55-33, 55-36) until all Kings were discontuntued in 1941.
This was not Daisy’s first 1000 Shot repeater. There was the Bennet from 1903 and the Model 3 in 1904 and the Model B from 1910. Since Daisy “acquired” many of the early BB gun manufacturers it makes a fascinating study discerning what design truly belong to whom.
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“Stand & Deliver” Stickers are Here!

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First come first serve only 50 made! $4 free shipping. Be sure to include your mailing address! I’ll ship them priority 48 business hours upon receiving your order.

I can currently accept Paypal ! Simply send $4 bucks to pickingadaisy at the gmail and include 1) a US address you’d like me to ship to and 2) the product code (#E000111618).  Also contact me here and let me know you have ordered so I can personally make  sure the sticker gets out to you ASAP!

Or send 4 bucks to:

Picking A Daisy

P.O. Box 1681

Fair Oaks CA 95628


Check out the entire CaliAir Collection here.

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

No. 111 Model 40 Variant 5

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Check out all the Lever Action Carbines here.

air rifles, antiques, bb guns, Carbines, Daisy, history, Lever Action, Lightning Loader, Model 39, No. 108, Red Ryder, Rifles, Vintage

Lightning Loader No.108 model 39

IMG_0609The No.108 has a special place in my world of collecting Daisy’s. The Lighting Loader from 1939 is very interesting. It sort of came before the wildly  famous Model 40 also known as the No.111 Red Ryder. Except the story is the Red Ryder was actually developed in 1938 and not released until 1940. The 1972 Red Ryder was renamed the Model 1938 in recognition of this. Personally I think the Model 39 Lightning Loader has a great feel to it. It doesn’t have the saddle ring or the etching on the stock and the foregrip is smaller than that of the Red Ryder. But this is what I actually like about the Model 39.IMG_4432

Without the frills and sporting the pre war cast iron lever gives this carbine a serious look. The barrel is considerably shorter than the Red Ryder making this an SBR… just kidding.

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From what I gather they must have sold this model as they were getting ready to license and market the Red Ryder. The No. 108 is getting more difficult to find in good condition. A lot was going on in the world when the Lightning Loader came out in 1939. By 1942 all production was halted until 1945 after WWII. The Model 39 and the Model 40 variants 1 to 4 are the last guns to get the cast iron levers. The post war iron shortage caused the company to go with cast aluminum from 1947 onwards.

Check out all the lever action carbines here.

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Daisy History

There are a couple of sources online and in print that gloss over the history of Daisy. Details are hard to come by and there are more questions than clear answers. The company began advertising in the late 1800’s if not certainly by the early 1900’s. A good portion of the puzzle can be answered by observing the various ads over the years.

This is not meant to be a concise article on Daisy history. The images included are a look into the rich history of the Daisy bb gun and the bb gun industry as a whole. I will update this page as I get more information ie dates, places, locations.