A Christmas Story: The Red Ryder BB Gun

Although the classic holiday movie A Christmas Story is filled with remarkable and quotable nuggets, at its center is young Ralphie's burning desire for the Red Rider BB Gun, the most iconic toy for young boys in 1940s Indiana. Is. There was a reason why young Ralphie wanted this particular BB gun. It was the best—and still is.

The Company Started Making Windmills

The Red Rider BB gun is made by Daisy Outdoor Products, founded in 1886 as the Plymouth Iron Windmill Company, a manufacturer of iron windmills for agricultural use. The company differentiated itself from the competition by offering free items to farm families who bought their windmills, and one of them was the new metal air rifle. (As an added bonus, it can be used by salesmen to demonstrate the durability of newly installed windmill blades.) By 1888, the air rifle had become more popular than the windmill, so Plymouth had been used by a customer. Rebranded Inspire with a new name. Using the hip slang of the day, saying, "Boy, is that a daisy!" After trying out the air rifle.

BBs Are A Unit Of Measurement

Pop Quiz: What does BB stand for? It's not a "ball bearing" or a "ball bullet". A BB is actually a unit of measurement assigned to a 0.180-inch lead shot. Smaller than the buckshot, the BB shot was better suited for shooting pheasants, ducks and other game birds. When Daisy got into the air rifle business, they developed their own special-sized lead shot that was 0.175 inches shorter than the standard BB and tried to stick to the term "air rifle shot", but people stubbornly called the ammo a BB.

Red Rider BB Came Before Gun

Daisy's iconic BB Gun took its name from a popular comic strip featuring a rugged cowboy named Red Rider and his adventures in the Old West. From its debut in November 1938, it was a huge hit with young boys, so the marketing geniuses at Daisy struck a promo deal with the creators of the strip. Daisy introduced her now famous Red Rider BB gun in the early 1940s, and both the comic strip and the air rifle grew in popularity. By the end of the decade, Daisy was selling over a million Red Rider BB guns each year.

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