The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun has been around for a very long time and it’s still available and selling strong. I remember shooting frogs at a pond in New Jersey when I was a teenager. It sure was a lot of fun.
Turn the clock ahead 40 years and here I am 57 years old and just bought a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. It’s a classic that will never go out of style. I feel like a kid again!
Stock and Forend – still real wood
Lever Action Fit and Finish
Daisy Red Ryder Specifications
Weight: 2.20 lbs
Action: Lever cocking spring-air
Sights: Blade and Ramp front, adjustable open rear
Safety: cross-bolt trigger block
Muzzle Velocity: 350 fps with BBs
Overall Length: 34.5 inches
Caliber: .177 BBs or 4.5 mm
Stock/Forend: Stained solid wood with lariat logo and burnished forend band
Barrel: steel smooth bore shrouded with polymer/plastic
Maximum Shooting Distance: 195 yards
Capacity: 650 BBs
Receiver: Stamped steel, saddle ring and leather thong
Retail Price $49.99
Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun Unboxing
Here it is in the same box as it was in the 70’s. It still has a wooden stock and leather lanyard tie too. It’s a really cool BB gun!
Here’s the Red Ryder logo engraved in the wooden butt stock.
Lever action BB guns are a lot of fun. Just fill the reservoir with BBs and cock and shoot all day.
…350 fps with steel BBs…not bad for frogs, birds, cans and targets.
I love this stock. It’s a youth type stock meaning it’s about a 12-13″ length of pull but it still works for a full size adult. It shoulders nicely and the sights align up easily. The wood stock will take some serious abuse where plastic may not.
Daisy Red Ryder Fit and Finish
Here’s a closeup of the action. The sides are metal along with the bolts/screws. The lever and trigger are polymer/plastic. Operating the lever is unique in that it ratchets 7 times before hitting full cock. Then it swings smoothly back in place. The lever is very easy to cock and any 10 + year should be able to cock it just fine. Now it’s ready to fire. The trigger is also polymer/plastic and feels nice on the index finger. The trigger pull is about 5 lbs. This is a good trigger pull for a BB gun.
The stock fits the receiver very well. There’s no slop in the fit. Everything was smooth and tight. Again…I like it!!
The lanyard ring and leather thong look cool even though they are not very functional. It’s the “Old West” look.
Here’s a closeup of the lever and trigger and safety. The safety is a cross-bolt type and works perfectly. The plastic/polymer lever snaps in place via the metal clip. The trigger is wide and very comfortable and not too heavy.
The forend is wood and fills your hand. It’s smooth and fits the barrel nicely. The bottom of the wood forend is smooth and fits in your hand nicely. a single metal screw secures it in place. The forend was tight with zero slop.
Red Ryder Sights
Top view of the rear sight. You can see the elevation adjustment ladder and the push button release.
The rear sight and barrel look like they’re from a real gun. The glossy finish looks fantastic!
The open sights are basic but very functional and easy to align. They are adjustable for elevation. These sights work great for backyard shooting where the distance is only 15-20 yards
Red Ryder Bull Barrel
The barrel on the Daisy Red Ryder is a bull barrel. It’s not solid metal though. It appears to be a polymer/plastic shroud around a steel smooth bore tube. It looks great. I don’t care for those skinny barreled BB or pellet guns. They look like toys. This looks like a real gun. The front sight is a good one and works just fine. The tube below the barrel is the BB reservoir.
Here’s the loading port in the open position. It operates smoothly and closes positively. The barrel sure shines nicely.
The BB loading port is located on the left side of the barrel muzzle (don’t mind the dust on the muzzle). You push the button in and then slide the door downward. Then pour in the BBs. It’s simple and works great. I love BB repeaters…just cock and shoot. A funnel wood be ideal when pouring BBs in the loading port otherwise the BBs will go all over the place unless you’re really careful.
Red Ryder Power
The Red Ryder is a spring air type BB gun and cocks/charges the system with the lever. BB velocity is 350 fps and adequate for target shooting and small game hunting. I remember shooting many Leopard frogs at a pond in New Jersey every summer. It sure was a lot of fun, You never have to reload…just cock the lever and shoot.
Plastic models or toys
Fruit – apples, oranges, squash, etc
Glow Shot reactive targets
Red Ryder BB Gun Uses
The Red Ryder is well suited for target shooting. The velocity of 350 fps is perfect for beginners and novices alike. It’s not too powerful or loud for backyard use. The lever action makes it more fun because you don’t have to spend a lot of time loading.
Hunting: Small animals like frogs, toads, birds, mice and rats are good game for the Red Ryder. Use the Smart Shot BB’s [copper coated lead] so you don’t have to worry about ricochets.
Targets: The best target shooting is done with coke cans and clay pigeons. It will bust the clays every time and put lots of holes in tin cans. Be sure to setup a backstop that will stop the BB’s dead like sand or dirt. The Red Ryder is pretty accurate out to 50 – 75 feet.
Red Ryder Ammunition
Talk about cheap…350 count of Daisy BBs for $1.50. You can’t beat that!!
Remember steel BB’s will ricochet off of hard objects like wood, bricks, metal, hard plastics and stucco. Only shoot steel BB’s at soft targets like cans, watermelons, apples, clay pigeons, thin plastic objects and BB traps.
There are BB’s that are low ricochet. They are made by H&N and called Smart Shot.
Smart Shot BB’s are copper plated lead BB’s and will expand upon impact instead of bouncing off. Each BB weighs 7.4 grains compared to 5.1 grains for steel. Smart Shot BB’s will have a lower velocity but will hit harder which is great for hunting small game.
The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun is a great value at about $49. It’s a great BB gun for youths just starting to shoot or adults who just want to have a blast with an inexpensive BB gun. Lever actions are fun and fast.
The 350 fps velocity is deal for backyard pinking or frog pond hunting. The spring air action is SUPER QUIET. There is no need to worry about neighbors getting upset from a loud BB gun. This gun won’t disturb anyone. My neighbors are very close, about 15 feet from my exterior walls. I shoot from my patio in my backyard all day. It doesn’t even disturb the neighborhood dogs or birds for that matter.
The Daisy Red Ryder reservoir holds 650 BBs. You can shoot all day or even 2 days (maybe a week) without reloading. Now that’s fun!
The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun weighs about 2.2 lbs which is a good weight for any BB or pellet gun. My Daisy Powerline 880 weighs about 3 lbs. The light weight makes it easy to shoot it all day and pack around.
There are many air rifles and pellet rifles that weigh 8 lbs. I think that’s too heavy. My Gamo Hornet Maxxim with scope weighs about 7 lbs. That’s my weight limit with pellet guns. Anything heavier and I’m not shooting it too often.
Popular Red Ryder BB Gun Questions
Can a Red Ryder BB gun kill a bird? – Yes, a BB at a muzzle velocity of 350 fps will kill just about any bird at close range.
How dangerous is a Red Ryder BB gun? It is not a toy and can inflict serious damage if one is struck by a BB at 350 fps.
Will a Red Ryder BB gun kill a cat? Yes, if a cat is shot in the head with a BB from the Red Ryder it will die. If shot in the chest area, it will be seriously injured and may die in time.
Does the Red Ryder shoot pellets? No, it can not shoot pellets…only BB’s
Can a Red Ryder break the skin? Yes, a BB at 350 fps will break the skin on any animal including people.
The BB Gun Bible – news, technical specs, ballistics, ratings and recommendations
BB Gun News Bulletin
Ruger 10/22 BB Gun replica – is an officially licensed replica. The 10/22 is a CO2 powered rifle in .177 cal. The authentic detail is uncanny. It looks and feels like the real 10/22.
Legends Cowboy Rifle – released by Umarex. It’s an authentic 1892 lever action replica and extremely detailed right down to the ejection of spend cartridges. It holds 10 metal cartidges in the tubular magazine just like a real 1892.
Crosman Full Auto R1 – 1,400 rpm rate of fire with BB’s.
BB Gun Definitions
Pump Action – a lever is used to compress air into a cylinder to propel the BB down the barrel at medium to high velocities. Most pump action guns are bolt action. Bolt actions must be manually cycled in order to load a BB into the barrel. Pump actions are pretty reliable and generally last a long time. If the action and seals are kept lubricated and clean, they will last 5-10 years. Most pump actions have a pump range of 3-10. Velocities can approach 800 fps.
A few classic examples are the Crosman 760 PumpMaster and the Daisy Powerline 880.
CO2 Cartridge – a small metallic cylinder or cartridge holds compressed CO2 or Carbon Dioxide and is used to propel BB’s through the barrel at moderate velocities. The cartridges are inserted into the gun with a thumb screw to hold it against a seal. CO2 gun velocities range from 300 – 600 fps with BB’s. The action can be semi auto or bolt action. CO2 air guns are popular because you can shoot in rapid succession without having to cock the action or load each BB. They are great for target practice or small game hunting.
Some classic examples are Daisy Powerline 415 BB pistol and the Crosman 2240 pistol.
Spring Air – usually the cocking mechanism like a lever or action bolt compresses the spring/air cylinder which then powers the BB’s. Spring Air guns are lower powered but a lot of fun to shoot. The velocity range is 300 – 400 fps with steel BB’s. These guns are great for beginners or kids. They are very reliable and will last a long time without much maintenance. They are the cheapest of the BB guns.
Pistols and rifles are available and the all time favorite in this category is the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. It’s a lever action and has been around for 100+ years. It’s a great gun to shoot tin cans with.
Bolt Action – BB and pellet ammunition are loaded with the bolt. Some guns have the bolt also cock the firing mechanism. Bolt actions are very reliable and easy to use. Most PCP, CO2 and pump BB guns are bolt action.
Semi Automatic – loads ammunition and cocks the firing mechanism automatically after a shot is fired. You just keep pulling the trigger until the magazine or clip is empty. They are FUN. Semi automatic guns are mostly CO2 powered and very reliable. Only one shot is fired when you pull the trigger unlike fully automatic.
Full Automatic – these are the machine guns of the BB world and they are totally legal without any license or background check in most states. The rate of fire ranges from 200 rpm to 1,500 rpm. They are a BLAST to shoot. All full auto BB guns are CO2 powered. They are great for shooting tin cans and bottles. They aren’t as expensive as you might think. The price ranges from $65 – $600.
Most BB’s are steel but you can buy lead BB’s too. The reason you might want lead BB’s is to stop them from ricocheting and damaging something you didn’t intend on shooting. Lead BB’s will flatten upon impact because they are soft. Lead BB’s are also heavier and might be a choice for hunting. The heavier lead BB will penetrate deeper. BB’s are only available in .177 caliber.
There are special steel BB that have a black anodized finish to reduce surface variation [smoother surface] and increase velocity. They are called Black Diamond BB’s from Hornady. Crosman also makes some called Black Window BB’s.
There are tons of pullets to choose from. The selection is absolutely huge. and that’s just lead…there’s also PBA and non-lead. There are match grade pellets, hollowpoint hunting pellets, heavy hunting pellets, round nose, flat nose, domed and pointed. It’s endless.
PBA Pellets – are non-lead and can be many different metal alloys from copper to platinum or anything in between. PBA or non-lead pellets are lighter in weight than lead and so will provide higher velocities [30%+] compared to lead. Some are very soft while others are hard penetrators.
Tactical BB Gun
Tactical BB guns have become more and more popular. The most popular ones resemble the M4/M16, AK-47, Sig Sauer M17, Glock 17, Sig Sauer MPX, etc. There are semi automatic and fully automatic guns and are powered by CO2 cartridges. They do look and feel realistic. From a distance you could not tell them apart. They function like the real firearm with detachable magazines, blow-back actions, barrel shrouds, suppressors and Red Dot optical sights. They also have rails for accessory attachments.
Sniper BB Gun
There are a few sniper versions of bb guns available. They feature a break barrel action for high power and accuracy, a bipod for stability, scope and sometimes a suppressor. These are designer for long range, high accuracy shooting. They are great for target shooting, hunting and of course “Special Ops”.
Here are some of the more popular models
Black Ops Tactical Sniper Air Rifle
Hatsan Model 125SN Spring Sniper Air Rifle
Evanix Sniper X2 Air Rifle .30 cal
Benjamin Armada Tactical Air Rifle
Evike Swiss Arms TAC-1 Air Rifle
Lever Action BB Guns
Lever action BB guns are very popular and in fact the most sought after BB gun is the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. It’s a classic from the 30’s  and is still around today with the wooden butt stock and engraved Red Ryder Logo. The Red Ryder is a spring air lever cocking gun with a tubular magazine that holds 650 BB’s. The muzzle velocity with steel BB’s is 350 fps. This is great for target practice and hunting small game like mice, birds, frogs, etc. The Red Ryder is an ideal bb gun for kids around 10+ years of age. A great beginner gun.
Umarex USA also has a really nice lever action gun, the Legends Cowboy CO2 gun. It’s authentically designed and looks and feels like a real firearm. It so realistic that it loads with cartridges and ejects them by operating the lever. Nice touch Umarex!
Most Powerful BB Guns/Rifles
I just want make this clear, these are BB guns and NOT pellet guns. I’m going to discuss the most powerful BB guns. These are all pump action BB guns. The most powerful ones shoot steel BB’s at 800 fps.
Here’s the list.
Remington AirMaster – 800 fps
Crosman Legacy 1000 – 800 fps
Daisy Powerline 880 – 800 fps
Umarex NXG APX – 800 fps
Crosman 2100 Classic – 755 fps
Crosman Remington R1100 – 645 fps
Crosman 760 PumpMaster – 645 fps
Crosman 1077 CO2 – 625 fps
Daisy Powerline Model 35 – 625 fps
Most Powerful Pellet Guns
Just to answer any questions, here are the most powerful pellet rifles in .177 and .22 calibers.
.177 cal Pellet Rifles [alloy pellet velocity]
Gamo Swarm Magnum 10X GEN2 – 1650 fps
Benjamin Trail XL Magnum – 1500 fps
Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 – 1420 fps
Crosman Valiant – 1400 fps
Benjamin Vaporizer – 1400 fps
Benjamin Summit NP2 – 1400 fps
Gamo Swarm Fusion 10X GEN2 – 1300 fps
Gamo Swarm Maxxim – 1300 fps
Gamo Swarm Whisper – 1300 fps
Gamo Wildcat Whisper – 1300 fps
..22 cal Pellet Rifles
Gamo Swarm Magnum – 1300 fps
Benjamin Trail XL Magnum – 1100 fps
Gamo Whisper Fusion Mach 1 – 1020 fps
Most Powerful BB Pistols
The most powerful BB pistols are also pump action with a muzzle velocity of around 600+ fps.with steel BB’s. These 2 guns are great for target practice and hunting. The will accept BB’s and pellets as ammunition.