Red Ryder BB Gun Review [2020 update]
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!
- Specifications List
- Stock and Forend – still real wood
- Lever Action Fit and Finish
- Bull Barrel
- Popular Questions
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
- Model: 1938
- 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.
- Coke cans
- Clay Pigeons
- Plastic models or toys
- Fruit – apples, oranges, squash, etc
- Glow Shot reactive targets
- Water balloons
- Cardboard boxes
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.