Ralphie Parker wanted one point for Christmas. “I desire an main Red Ryder, carbine-action; two hundred shot range model waiting rifle, v a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time!” also if her Mom, teacher, and Santa Claus insist that “you’ll shoot her eye out,” we’re ideal there with you Ralphie – a Red Ryder BB Gun would certainly be quite sweet.

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Although the BB gun was the centerpiece the the key plot in the iconic movie, A Christmas Story, the gun is pure fiction – external of the 6 rifles Daisy developed for the movie, it never existed. I know; I’m simply as disappointed as you are. My 6-year-old me is crushed.

Created native the creative thinking of the story’s author, Jean Shepherd, contact it an innovative license. The BB gun that Ralphie i heard over was a mix of features found on the “Buck Jones” Daisy waiting rifle and also the subsequent “Red Ryder” model. For example, the “Buck Jones” model had actually a compass and sundial in the stock, but the “Red Ryder” did not.


(Top) Pre-war “Buck Jones” pump-action BB pistol (Bottom) Daisy Red Ryder version 1938 lever action BB gun

As with many subjects you’ll discover on our blog, our curiosity acquired the ideal of us and also we had actually to learn more about the iconic Red Ryder BB Gun. Just in time for Christmas, here’s what you should know…

Boy, it is a Daisy

Daisy Outdoor commodities (commonly referred to as “Daisy”) was developed in 1882 as Plymouth iron Windmill Company, based in Plymouth, Michigan. While the vane-less windmill had actually the makings the a good product, the business arrangement failed to identify the challenges connected with the transport of heavy steel windmills through wagon. With sales suffering, the firm needed a break. On march 6, 1888 they got one.

On the day in 1888, the creator that the vane-less windmill walked into the shop v his latest invention, an all-metal wait gun. He to be looking come the to produce the gun at the windmill shop due to its metal-manufacturing setup. Follow to company folklore, when basic Manager, Lewis Cass Hough, check fired the gun, the exclaimed, “Boy, that’s a Daisy” – the name stuck.


(Left) Newspaper picture of the original Plymouth steel Windmill firm (Right) Daisy manufacturing Company, early 1900s

The windmill firm decided to manufacture the gun and use it for sales promotions, supplying it for cost-free to every farmer that purchased a windmill. Much less than 10-years later, the popularity of the BB pistol outgrew that of the windmill, prompting the agency to exclusively develop air weapons and change its name to Daisy production Company.

Daisy meets Red Ryder

Fast forward to 1940 and the climb of the uniquely all-American staple, Westerns. Featured in just about every western produced, the Winchester rifle to be the rifle of selection for every rough-and-tumble, pistol slinging hero. Just two year prior, in 1938, one such hero, Red Ryder, was introduced in the type a comic piece that to be nationally syndicated through Newspaper enterprise Association.


Fred Harman’s Red Ryder, December 12, 1939.

In a excellent stroke of licensing genius, Daisy jumped on the west bandwagon and also hitched that future top top the back of Red Ryder. In the spring of 1940, Daisy presented the Winchester-like Red Ryder BB Gun and continued to develop the popular model till mid-1942 when Daisy converted their facility to support the battle effort. At the conclusion of human being War 2, Daisy jumped earlier into the waiting gun business and reintroduced the Red Ryder in November 1945.


Red Ryder problem 1, September 1940

While Daisy was structure air guns and also supporting the battle effort, Red Ryder the cowboy was carving out fairly a surname for himself. The success that the Red Ryder comic strip led its creators come publish the an initial Red Ryder comic book in September, 1940. The comic publication title ran because that 151 issues, finishing in 1957. The cowboy also graced the big screen in countless films in between 1940 and also 1950, and also a television stint in 1956. Red Ryder BB gun sales soared right together with the popularity of the comic publication cowboy.

Model 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun

The version 1938 Red Ryder BB gun is a lever-cocking, spring air gun v a smooth bore stole barrel. It has an adjustable open rear vision for elevation and also a short article front sight. BBs room loaded with a gravity feed magazine the holds 650 shots. The share is do of stained heavy wood and engraved with the above cowboy lassoing the native Red Ryder. The gun likewise comes equipped through a saddle ring with a leather thong that’s attached come the stamped metal receiver.


Model 1938 Red Ryder BB Gun

With a muzzle velocity the 350 fps, the Red Ryder has actually a maximum shooting street of 195 yards. However, don’t suppose to fight too many targets at the distance. Due to the short velocity and smooth bore, you looking at an effective variety of only 10 yards, give-or-take. However hey, we’re just shooting can be ~ right?

Own your own Red Ryder

If you want to see among the 6 official Red Ryder, carbine-action; two hundred shot variety model air rifle, through a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time, you’ll have to make a trip to the “A Christmas Story House” in Cleveland, Ohio. Yes – there is together a thing!

The original home that was supplied in A Christmas Story, has been restored to its initial movie glory, and also is open up to the public year round. Directly across the street indigenous the house, in ~ the A Christmas home Museum, is wherein you can uncover the rifle in addition to other movie props, costumes, and memorabilia native the film.

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The “Parkers’ home where A Christmas Story was filmed, in the Tremont community of Cleveland’s west side.

If you could locate one, I mean you can fork over the hefty amount it would take to get one the the continuing to be guns. The remaining 5 “movie guns” have actually seemingly disappeared. In the previous (typically on the anniversary the the movie), Daisy has developed a tribute gun, called the Daisy 1983 model “A Christmas Dream” Red Ryder BB Gun, complete with a compass and sundial in the stock. Because that the diehard movie fan, these have the right to be uncovered on the market for purchase.

That said, Daisy is still production the iconic version 1938 Red Ryder. And it won’t cost you an arm and also a foot to acquisition one… maybe simply an eye!