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.

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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.

air rifles, antiques, bb guns, Buck, CaliAir, Carbines, Cleaning Kit, Collector, Daisy, Lever Action, No. 10, no.105B, Picking A Daisy Show, Plinking, Rifles, Video, Vintage

Picking A Daisy Show

In today’s vlog episode of “Picking A Daisy Show” your host CaliAir shares the latest Daisy finds. A very cool and good condition Daisy Gun Cleaning Kit from the 1950’s, shooting the new Model 10 and Buck… again.

Come join me on the next Live Broadcast of the “Picking A Daisy Show”. Subscribe and turn on notifications to be alerted of the next upcoming episode on YouTube.

I just started an Instagram account for Picking A Daisy! Go follow the channel and I’ll be sure to follow you back! www.instagram.com/pickingadaisy

View the Daisy Gun Cleaning Kit here.

Check out the entire CaliAir Collection 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.

antiques, bb guns, Carbines, Collector, Daisy, JC Higgins, King, Lever Action, Rifles, Vintage, Westerner, Youth Guns

JC Higgins Westerner

Sears, Roebuck and Co. stocked Daisy bb guns and rebranded them. These guns were often King rifles with a new name and model. For a long time they were not as valuable as the actual Daisy guns. Recently I’ve seen the Sears, Roebuck and Co guns raise in value and vintage collectability.

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I have to say this little youth sized carbine is one of my favorites. It’s an all black, molded plastic stock and foregrip. The lever is painted black aluminum. The stock is engraved and has diamond stippling as does the foregrip.

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The flip sights may clue us into the exact date of this carbine. The nuts have been replaced on this otherwise complete gun.

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Officially this is called the JC Higgins Westerner Model 799-2990. Dating this is tricky. The receiver has Plymouth stamped upon it. This makes it a pre 1958… but the model # sequence is similar to the 1969-73 productions. We do know that Daisy was no longer selling through Sears, Roebucks and Co when they changed their name to Sears.

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Daisy BB Gun Cleaning Kit

In the 1950’s Daisy offered a BB Gun Cleaning Kit. It fit nicely on a stand that was also made available at this time. Unlike firearms air rifles tend not to need the same amount of cleaning. Some even say they require no cleaning at all relatively speaking. Mostly this is due to the power source. Air is cleaner than gunpowder. But it was an excellent excuse to not have to put your gun away and tinker with it maybe aside dad while he cleaned his rifle.

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air rifles, antiques, Buck Rogers, Carbines, Collector, Cork Gun, Daisy, Double Barrel, history, King, Long Rifle, memorabilia, Model 80, No. 10, No. 25, no. 5, no.102, no.105B, Pistols, Pop Gun, Pump Action, ray guns, Red Ryder, Rifles, Targeteer, Toy Guns, Vintage, Youth Guns

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.