Red Ryder BB Gun
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The Red Ryder BB Gun is a BB gun made by Daisy Outdoor Products and introduced in 1938 that resembles the Winchester rifle of Western movies. Named for the comic strip cowboy character Red Ryder (who also appeared in numerous films between 1940 and 1950, and on television in 1956), the BB gun is still in production despite the fact that the comic strip was cancelled in 1963.
Design and specifications
The Red Ryder BB Gun is a lever-action, spring piston air gun with a smooth bore barrel, adjustable iron sights, and a gravity feed magazine with a 650 BB capacity. It differs from the standard Daisy lever action BB guns by the addition of an engraved stock, and a saddle ring with leather thong on the receiver. A youth model airgun, the BB gun produces velocities of about 240 feet per second (73 m/s), though on newer models it says it is capable of shooting at 350 feet per second (110 m/s) with standard steel BBs. This has been proven true, and newer models usually retain 375 ft/s (114 m/s) velocity. The effective range is fairly short, about 10 yards (9 m), after which the low velocity and inaccuracy of the smoothbore barrel makes hitting the target difficult. BB guns are shot competitively at distances of 5 yards (4.5 m), but the rudimentary open sights on the Red Ryder make it impractical for competition, and it is primarily a plinking airgun.
- The Red Ryder BB gun was prominently featured in A Christmas Story, in which Ralphie Parker requests one for Christmas, but is repeatedly rebuffed with the warning "You'll shoot your eye out". The movie's fictional BB gun, described as the "Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time", does not correspond to any model in existence nor even a prototype; the Red Ryder featured in the movie was specially made to match author Jean Shepherd's story (which may be artistic license, but was the configuration Shepherd claimed to remember). However, the "Buck Jones" Daisy air rifle, immediately above the Red Ryder in the Daisy line, did have a compass and sundial in the stock, but no other features of the "Red Ryder" model. The guns and a stand-up advertisement featuring the Red Ryder character appeared in a Higbee's store window in the film, along with dolls, a train, and Radio Flyer wagons.
- Crazy Earl, a character in the book The Short-Timers and the film based on the book Full Metal Jacket, carries a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun in addition to his M16 rifle.
- Hogarth Hughes owns and uses a Red Ryder BB Gun in Brad Bird's 1999 film The Iron Giant.
- A "Red Rider Air Rifle" was the exclusive in-game Christmas gift for World of Warcraft's 2009 Winter Veil world event, with a similar description to the one appearing in A Christmas Story, featuring 200 charges (shots).
- In the movie Tactical Force about a SWAT team using non conventional methods, SWAT Sgt. Hunt (played by the actor Michael Jai White) uses a Red Ryder BB gun which he named 'Daisy' to shoot a kidnapper/robber in the forehead. He explains that it is a Vintage 1965 Red Ryder model he received for Christmas. Sergeant Hunt is later confronted by the Chief of Police that he shot a robber with a BB Gun and he asks Sergeant Hunt when the Los Angeles Police department started issuing the Daisy Red Ryder BB Guns to LAPD SWAT Teams. The rifle is shown and talked about several times in the movie. The movie even ends with the rifle having a prominent role. When they receive new orders, Sergeant Hunt asks if 'Daisy' can come. Captain Tate (played by Steven Austin) tells him that he wouldn't have it any other way. Then Sgt. Hunt arms the rifle and the whole team smiles.
- On the television series House M.D., the main character played by Hugh Laurie jokes about saving money to buy one in the episode "It's a Wonderful Lie".
- In the Fallout series, the protagonist can get a Red Ryder LE BB gun.
- Daisy Red Ryder: A History (DVD extra). Warner Home Video. 2003.
- Model 1938 Red Ryder, Daisy Outdoor Products