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What has happen to western airguns at Daisy Corp.?

Printed From: Daisy Museum
Category: Daisy Airguns
Forum Name: Questions
Forum Description: To help users communicate about Daisy Aiguns
Printed Date: April-05-2020 at 8:28am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.03 -

Topic: What has happen to western airguns at Daisy Corp.?
Posted By: BB1Shooter
Subject: What has happen to western airguns at Daisy Corp.?
Date Posted: May-07-2019 at 3:54pm
It is a shame that Daisy abandoned the line of western airguns (1894 & 179) and never reintroduced them. Esp. in light of the recent resurgence of replica western airguns that use replica shells, like the Umarex Colt Peacemakers, Crosman Remington 1875, Bear River S&W Schofield No. 3, and Umarex Cowboy Lever Action Rifle.    
Sad to see a legendary company like Daisy Airguns seem to just sit on the sidelines while others are introducing exciting new products. And reduced to selling Red Ryders for $22.99 at Walmart.
While other airgun companies have large displays at all the major gun shows, Daisy Corp. seems to be almost invisible. Other than the occasional Red Ryder poster.
Spoke with my local Gamo/Daisy sales rep. recently, when I had an issue with a Gamo airgun. He sort of agreed with me, (off the record of course) about Daisy.  Maybe after too many corp. takeovers, Daisy has lost it's identity?

Posted By: 31boss
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 2:07pm

Posted By: BSAGuy
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 3:41pm

If you have ever disassembled an 1894 or a 179, you will see that the design, operation, number of parts, and difficulty of original assembly are far more complex than the more basic Daisys like the regular lever guns. 

In the 1960’s when the 179 and 1894 were introduced, American boys were enthralled with scores of western movies and weekly network TV shows.  Here is a list of the shows taken just from my feeble memory.  Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

The Big Valley, Bonanza, Branded, Death Valley Days, F Troop, Gunsmoke, Have Gun will Travel, Laramie, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, Rawhide, The Rebel, The Rifleman, Trackdown, The Virginian, Wagon Train, Wanted Dead or Alive, The Wild, Wild West, Wagon Train.

Children tend to play with the things that the see their parents or other adults using or doing or  that they see in media.

Today, they see their parents taking a lot of screen time, there are almost no Western movies and zero western TV shows an a zillion TV channels instead of three.

The cost of manufacture is not worth it when the potential market has no real familiarity with the toy gun in question.

The same thing has happened to toy electric trains.  In the heyday of these toys from the late 19-teens through late 1950’s, kids saw trains, especially steam trains everywhere.  They were the mode of transport seen in movies instead of airliners), certain locomotives or train consists had actual names (Flying Yankee, Big Boy, Challenger, Southern Crescent), and the engineers who drove the biggest were celebrities.

Now, there is very little passenger service on trains.  Average boys never see a train in action and everybody who travels long distance flies.

The lack of current 1894 and 179 production represents the end of an era that passed us all about 30 years ago.

Be Prepared

Posted By: BurghDude
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 4:56pm
I have to agree with you, BSAGuy!  

I'd add that I think "collecting" also contributed to the situation both with airguns and trains.  Thinking about Lionel and the D 1894, as production tailed off, the cost of the toys in question rose.  The nicer the item, the more it became worth.  And the more it was worth, the less it was actually played with.  "Playing with" risked the value!  So instead of kids seeing their parents "playing" with their 1894s or Lionel sets, they got to see these potentially cool toys sitting in boxes, or just on display, occasionally being taken down and talked about, wiped with diapers, and put away again.  That's hardly something that fosters interest to a kid!

To try and fight that, I made sure my kid (now 11) *has* a 179, a nice 1894 (Wells Fargo, his favorite of the 1894s.. talk about an expensive "kid's toy"), and a couple of other airguns that we actually take out and shoot!  He was graciously gifted an American Youth, that continues to be his favorite airgun.  I'm hoping that because he actually gets to use them, and sees me using them with him (for instance my own 1894.. a Buffalo Bill), he will continue to care about them and shooting as he grows up.  Sure, I'm risking, or might have actually already diminished the "collector" values of those guns.  But what's the point if the next generation doesn't give a hoot?  

Just my 2 cents.

Posted By: oldwizzer
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 5:43pm
Times are always changing, nothing is static. I believe that from the 1930's to the 1960's were the Golden Days  of trains and bb guns. 



Posted By: BB1Shooter
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 7:06pm
Although times have changed, I think there has been a recent resurgence of western styled airguns. Umarex has introduced more than ten different styles of the shell loading Colt Peacemaker (most are licenced by Colt), as well as a Winchester 1894 clone in the Legends Cowboy Lever Action CO2 BB Rifle (actually a long gun). They must be good sellers as they introduced a number of different varieties of the Colt, and Pyramyd Air continually list the Colt as one of it's top sellers each year.
Maybe they are being bought by baby boomers, not kids, but still there seems to be a market for them.
Crosman & Bear River also got on the band wagon, and introduced the Remington 1875, and the Smith & Wesson Schofield No. 3.  (FYI the Schofield was the last gun used by Clint Eastwood in his last gun fight of his last western - Unforgiven)
Maybe the Daisy 1894 & 179 are a bit more complicated than other Daisy lever action rifles, but ask any airgun repairer, and he will tell you they are simple, in comparison to the more modern airguns. The new Cowboy Lever Action is suppose to have a very complicated air system.
Still does not answer the question about what happen to Daisy? One would think that an adult styled western rifle like a new Winchester 1894 would be a good fit to sell with the Red Rider, for a parent to shoot with a child or for a child to advance into. Also, since Daisy still may have the rights to use the "Winchester" name for airguns, who better to reintroduce a new 1894 or 1873 lever action.
I see it as an opportunity lost. As an avid collector of Daisy 1894's (I have 8 different version) I find it disappointing.

Posted By: BSAGuy
Date Posted: May-08-2019 at 8:42pm
One difference in the old Daisy Spittin' Image guns and the modern CO2 Umarex is consumer cost.

The Umarex Legends rifle lists for $249 and sells on Pyramid for $199.  The 1894 was $12.95 in 1962.  That translates to $110 in today's money. 

Even manufacturing in China, I doubt that Daisy could produce a new 1894 that could be made, shipped, delivered, and marked up by the retailer to sell for $110.

Be Prepared

Posted By: geeklife
Date Posted: June-01-2019 at 1:23pm
I never even knew the 1894 Daisy existed. Now I want one since I'm a lever gun fanatic.

Posted By: MarvMar
Date Posted: June-01-2019 at 3:07pm
Send me your e-mail...I can help.

Marv, NW OH

Posted By: stevec
Date Posted: June-01-2019 at 5:29pm
Hey Geeklife
You have opened a pandoras box for yourself LOL. There are a lot of 1894 rifles and they are all cool

Posted By: geeklife
Date Posted: June-01-2019 at 6:17pm
Yep. Tongue I got a Daisy 660 toy gun from my in-laws yesterday and while looking for info on it I found this forum. My childhood rushed back to me and I still have my 60th Anniversary Red Ryder in my gun safe that I got for my 8th birthday. I spent many good years hunting Quail and learning to shoot with that BB gun.

Posted By: Airitis
Date Posted: June-02-2019 at 11:30am
Be careful Geek. You may be on a slippery slope. I consider it an uphill slope, meaning things keep getting better! I don'y have memories of owning a BB gun as a child but my older brother did. A few years ago I got into Daisy's and have "overcompensated". Do I need another Red Ryder, model 102, 105, 880 or wide frame? Not literally but when a good deal presents itself......(I'm such a weak spirit).   

The point is, you have memories and are now reinforcing them. Good for you friend. Good for you!


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