My Favorite Daisy BB Guns

Best Daisy BB Guns!The word “Daisy” is now synonymous with BB guns, which is not surprising given that Daisy has been manufacturing them for over 120  years!

Yet, rather than simply relying on its instantly-recognizable name, this classic American company still works hard to keep ahead of the competition, and is particularly well known for producing some of the best and most inexpensive BB guns and air rifles for kids/younger shooters available.

Indeed, the safety skills and respect that kids can learn with a quality BB gun can go far toward instilling responsible behavior around more adult “firearms” for the rest of their lives.

This is not to say that we like all of Daisy’s models equally, however. We do have our favorites, and thought we’d share them with you here.

Without further ado, these are the Top (5) Best-Value Daisy BB Guns You Can Buy.

1) Daisy Red Ryder

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun


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The model 1938 Red Ryder is unquestionably the most popular BB gun that Daisy has ever made, and is the one that has hooked generations of kids. This popularity of course is also in part due to the Red Ryder’s starring role in the movie classic, A Christmas Story.

But is this popularity deserved? Let’s see exactly what the Red Ryder delivers.

The 1938 is a lever-action .177 caliber spring-piston air rifle that fires steel BBs up to velocities of approximately 350 feet per second. This is enough power to provide a relatively flat trajectory at close ranges (under 10 yards generally), which makes the Red Ryder ideal for target shooting, plinking or simply goofing around in the back yard. This air rifle is recommended for young users (with supervision) from age 10 to adult.

In addition to providing decent velocity, the 1938 open sights (with rear elevation adjustment) delivers very good accuracy, much better than you’d expect from such an affordable BB gun. As such, younger shooters can really experience the thrill of sharpshooting and appreciate how a steady rifle hold can deliver laser-like accuracy.

As far as operation, this is a very straightforward gun to use, even for young shooters. It’s only 2.2 pounds in weight and with just a bit of effort, the underlever mechanism cocks the rifle easily (a very young shooter may need some help here) and the ammo compartment can hold 650 BBs, so one fill can have you entertained for a full day of shooting.

So what are the downsides? Among the relatively few complaints of the Red Ryder, the most prevalent have to do with the overall construction. Specifically, some people that this rifle must come with all metal parts and heavy duty this and that – all for a BB gun that cost less than a full tank of gas these days! In our view, this is a relatively well made BB gun, especially for the price. Will you find some plastic parts here and there? Yes, however, for the most part this rifle performs well, is durable, and looks like the good old Red Ryder of old!

If you are going to buy the Red Ryder for a young adult or child, we think it makes sense to buy the kit [pictured above], which is just about $10 more and includes a tin of 750 premium BBs, some paper targets and a pair of safety goggles.


2) Daisy 25 Pump BB Gun

Daisy 25 Pump BB Gun


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Another very old but still great design, the .177 caliber Daisy Model 25 pump BB rifle is consistently among the most-loved Daisy BB guns. In fact, this is the re-make of the original Model 25 that was created roughly 100 years ago!

While the Model 25 Pump produces velocities similar to the Red Ryder, the 25 Pump uses a multi-pump pneumatic design. In essence, you are using compressed air, rather than a cocked spring, to project the BB.

So what’s the difference? Performance is similar; however, the pneumatic design requires a bit less effort to cock. In addition, the absence of a large spring mass in the rifle may provides a slightly smoother, more recoil-less shot as well. But again, this is not a huge difference, and may not be  noticeable unless you are comparing these two rifles carefully, side by side.  One more substantial difference is ammo capacity – you can hold only 50 shots with the 25 pump, which is still plenty for most purposes!

If you ask us, the Model 25 Pump has a nice, masculine look, and we like the flip-up rear sights. More importantly, this rifle has a more robust feel, with more steel throughout and a slightly better quality wood stock. Of course, all of this is reflected by a slightly higher price too – which, at roughly $40, is still darn cheap for a rifle of this caliber. Other nice features include a removable shot tube and some classy engraving on the metal work.

Like the Red Ryder, the Model 25 Pump is made for target, plinking and soda-can abuse with fairly close ranges, generally around 10 yards. Sure, it can shoot more distant targets, but with a BB velocity of 350 feet per second, the trajectory will arc quickly much past 10 yards, so accurate shooting will get much more challenging (and potentially dangerous!).

Overall, a great looking and performing BB gun for young and old “kids” alike


3) Mossy Oak Grizzly Air Rifle

Mossy Oak Grizzly Air Rifle - Daisy's single-stroke pneumatic.


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If you are looking for something along the lines of the 25 Pump, but that is a bit more modern/eye-catching for the more contemporary young shooter, then the Model 840 Daisy Mossy Oak Grizzly Air Rifle may be just the ticket.

Again, this is a .177 caliber single-pump pneumatic BB gun, that is quite easy to cock for even younger shooters. Likewise, it produces the same 350 fps BB velocity as well.

The Mossy Oak Grizzly, however, is a very sharp-looking rifle with its rich “Mossy Oak Break-Up camo” that will definitely turn young and old heads alike. Yet this rifle is not just for show, it is surprisingly accurate too, with TRUGLO fiber optic front and adjustable open rear sights that perform well above this rifle’s unusually modest price.

If using BBs, the Grizzly can hold up to 350 shots. You can also use pellets, which must be loaded one by one, manually.

If you aren’t into the old-school look and want a BB gun for someone just getting into air rifles, this is very good choice.


4) Daisy Powerline Model 35

A Good Blend of power, accuracy and affordability - Daisy Powerline Model 35


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If you’re a bigger “kid” or simply want a bit more power, take a look at the Daisy Powerline Model 35. This BB gun / pellet rifle is just as affordable as the models above, but brings nearly twice the velocity – up to 625 feet per second to be exact.

As with most higher-powered BB guns, this is a multi-pump pneumatic, which means you will have to pump it between 3 and 10 times. This power plant provides smooth, virtually recoil-less shooting and the ability to vary power (by variable pumping), depending on your need. Yet, even with this greater velocity, this is still mainly a plinking, target shooting model. It can hold 50 BBs at a time, but you will have to load pellets one by one.

In addition to more grown up power, this rifle can be scoped – it comes with a 11 mm dovetail mount that will accept most popular air rifle scopes. Nevertheless, even if you don’t get a scope, you will likely be impressed with the solid accuracy delivered by the fixed front and adjustable rear sights.

Finally, this is a fairly solid and tough air rifle, with an attractive and durable ambidextrous synthetic stock. And despite this good build, it still remains very light, clocking in at a mere 2.3 pounds overall.

While it may not have any wood accents or flashy camo finish, the Daisy Powerline Model 35 is a very capable, powerful starter BB gun that has a bit more power for greater accuracy at slightly longer ranges (up to 20 yards). Still, we should warn you that the total muzzle energy produced by the Model 35 is still quite low relative to other air rifles; consequently, you should never use the Model 35 for hunting or use on any living animal.


5) Daisy 901 Duck Commander

One of the most powerful Daisy BB Guns - 901 Duck Commander


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The 901 Duck Commander is another multi-pump pnematic in Daisy’s Powerline series. However, this rifle is clearly suitable for adult shooters as well.

First, this rifle has more power than any of the previous models discussed. Specifically, it has reported maximum velocities (depending on who you ask) of between 750 and 800 feet per second when using BBs.

And second, and more importantly, the 901 Duck Commander comes with a rifled barrel. Why does this matter?

Unlike the guns above, which are smooth bore models, the rifling in the 901’s barrel is designed to impart a spin to projectiles that keeps their trajectory more stable compared to those shot from smooth-bore BB guns. Rifling, in case you don’t know, is standard in all higher-quality pellet rifles and most conventional firearms. Keep in mind that pellets are heavier/larger than BBs, which will slow down maximum velocities to about 715 fps.

With a rifled-bore, the Powerline 901 (especially when used with pellets) really takes accuracy to another level, especially if shooting at greater distances. As a result, if you are looking for an air rifle that can function as a starter BB gun for a youngster, but has the performance and capability to satisfy a grown-up, the 901 Duck Commander is a good choice.

Yet another perk of the Powerline 901 is the included air rifle scope. OK, so the scope is a very basic 4 x 15 model, but if zeroed-in and used correctly, can give quite good results.

I’d like to mention here once more that this is not an BB gun suitable for air rifle hunting. Is it capable of taking small birds at close ranges? Absolutely. However, with an estimated 9 ft-lbs of total muzzle energy (even assuming a pellet is used), this still falls well short of the minimum 12 ft-lb requirement widely considered to be necessary to hunt small game humanely.

Ammo Considerations – Choosing BBs/Pellets

BBs are great in part because they are very cheap. For general plinking and target shooting, it’s hard to beat the value and performance of Daisy’s 2400 count Premium Silver BBs. I generally don’t like using copper BBs, as I find them to often contain imperfections that negatively impact accuracy.

If the rifle has the ability to fire both BBs and pellets, then I would generally use pellets for times when accuracy is paramount. This is because pellets (especially if fired from a model with a rifled barrel) have a much more stable and consistent trajectory compared to a BB. The only downside is that they are considerably more expensive than the dirt-cheap BB. To learn more about air rifle pellets, click here.

A Word About Safety

In addition to complying with all applicable laws, use common sense.  For example, never shoot hard objects with BBs, as they can ricochet wildly.  In addition, always make sure that children are accompanied by an adult when shooting any type of air gun – and always ensure that they are wearing proper eye-protection as well. Never forget that this BB guns may resemble toys, but they have the power and potential to do significant harm.

More than anything, using a BB gun with your child or another young loved one is not just a chance to have some fun, but a perfect opportunity to educate them about how to operate weapons safely and responsibly. It is time very well spent.

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One Comment

  1. BeeBee shooter says:

    Model 25 is not a pump up. It is a spring powered action. In original form it was among the most powerful spring BB guns. I shot many a 25 round load of bb through mine as a lad. Never saw anyone else with one either.

    Thanks for the review and info!

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