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1894 date?

Printed From: Daisy Museum
Category: Other Daisy Products
Forum Name: Questions
Forum Description: To help users communicate about other Daisy products
Printed Date: January-16-2021 at 1:22pm
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Topic: 1894 date?
Posted By: Bob1774
Subject: 1894 date?
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 11:56am
I've read various threads that suggested how to interpret the date code on some of the Daisy guns.

So I have a 1894, plastic stock/forearm, rest all metal, no saddle bag ring, with reg. no. Q956762 and just one patent no.

July? '69 or '79?  other?


Posted By: BB1Shooter
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 1:37pm
I would say 1969, as my 1st 1894, that I bought myself, new at Woolco in 1978 has the s/n H810647, which I think means it was made Aug/78, and has a saddle ring. 

But I will defer to the experts on the forum. 

Posted By: Bob1774
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 2:16pm
Originally posted by BB1Shooter BB1Shooter wrote:

I would say 1969, as my 1st 1894, that I bought myself, new at Woolco in 1978 has the s/n H810647, which I think means it was made Aug/78, and has a saddle ring. 

But I will defer to the experts on the forum. 

Thanks for the info.  I'm guessing it is a '69, but thought the "experts," here will be able to pin it down.  I received a 1894 for Christmas in 1960 or 1961.  I turned 10 years old in 1960, so I thought it was '60, but I know the literature says they were made starting in 1961.  Maybe they came out for Christmas in '60?

My older brother had the 1st year Model 99, with leather strap, bottle cap multi-feed, and all wood stocks.  However, the looks and feel of the '94 made me proud.

The '94 rifle lever broke in the mid 60's, and I moved up to a Crosman 140.  Still have and love that rifle, however always wanted my "first BB gun," sitting in the rack.  So, I was happy to find this one, in near mint condition.  It was only used as a prop for a fellow who drove a stagecoach in local parades, and I'm not sure it was actually shot much, if at all.  It hung on the stagecoach in a saddle bag sleeve, so it has about 99% of the paint or better.  

Posted By: twocompassheads
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 5:47pm
    Your 1894 sounds like a mid 60's gun with the one patent number, metal forearm band and maybe a slip on front sight (no hole under the barrel for a screw) and no saddle ring.  The one thing I'm wondering about is the Reg. number, Q956762, the letter Q was never used.  The first letters were always A - L being the first 12 letters of the alphabet and the twelve months of the year, like A January and B February and so on.  L was usually December until they dropped the letter I and then M was used for December.  Then in 1972 Daisy dropped the letter I because it looked like the number 1 and at that time the first number after the letter would be the year of production but before that you couldn't count on the number being the year of the gun.  This worked good until the 80's and then you started over from 1 again and you didn't know if it was a 70's or 80's production year gun so they change again in 1982 to 3KXXXXX meaning 1983 October.  The numbers after the the month and year are the number of 1894 barrels stamped that month.
    One way to tell if your barrel gun is early is to remove a receiver cover and see what the side of the barrel has for a stiffener or tab for the small receiver screws on the top front of the receiver.  The early guns 1961 to 62 didn't have anything and the screw was fine thread and fell out a lot or stripped out the hole.  Daisy added a tab that covered both holes, (the front hole was never used on the 1894) and changed the screw to a course self tapping type screw that also worked on the front sight to screw it on because they fell off a lot when bumped or if the barrel band came loose.  The long tab was used for a while up until the second patent number was put on the gun sometime after 1966.  For a short time the short tab on just the screw hole was used and then they went to a strap that wrapped around the barrel to stiffen it because at times the barrel would spit open if the cocking lever broke or the plunger got jammed and caused excessive pressure on the seam of the barrel, I've seen a few of these and it destroys the barrel.
    The second variants on the 1894 was the changing of the metal forearm band to the black plastic one and the screw on front sight which is easy to tell if you have a hole in the bottom of the barrel right under the middle of the sight.  I don't know if they both happened at the same time or the screw on sight came first then the plastic band.  The next variant would be the saddle ring being installed on the left receiver and that happened around the end of the 60's.  The next big change was the color of the plastic stock and forearm to a tannish or a buck skin color from the original reddish colored brown plastic.  


Ride and Have Fun

Posted By: twocompassheads
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 5:54pm
This might help on identifying the years of some guns.  I believe I got this from cobalt327 a while back.

Dave Albert and Gary Garber

The numbering of Daisy BB guns began with a memo dated November 28, 1952, from Daisys Robert Shafer. In the memo, Shafer specified that register stamping would begin on December 1, 1952 (guns were then being produced in Plymouth, Michigan). The first number to be stamped on the small frame barrels was to be 000001. The first number to be stamped on the No. 25 jackets (receiver) was to be K000001. In this same memo Shafer specified that, Prior to assembling registered guns, all non-registered barrels and jackets must be used, including those to be reblued, brushed, etc.

These first registered small frame guns included the Nos. 111, 102, and 155. The barrels and receivers of these guns were stamped and formed from a single piece of sheet metal. The large frame guns were made in two parts - a receiver and a barrel - and welded together, like the No. 142 (or in the case of the No. 25, held together with a thumb screw).

The first registered large frame guns included the Nos. 25 and 142 and these were stamped with the K prefix. History does not tell us the reason for starting the large frame gun sequence with the letter K, but we do note that the number of the pierce and stamp machine used to stamp the large frame guns contained the letter K. The machines used to stamp the small frames did not.

Daisy production records show that the No. 111, Model 40 Red Ryders made on December 2, 1952 were stamped with register numbers starting with 000001 and ending with 002405. Daisy records show that on December 8, 1952, No. 25 guns K004350 thru K005258 were produced. There is no indication in the production records of any pump guns being produced with numbers lower than K004350, but we have personally seen a lower register number, so they do exist..

The record keeping system was totally manual and hand written. There are obvious errors indicated in the log, but we do not know whether these are machine or transcription errors. For example, the No. 142 was another large frame gun in production when the register number system was first installed. Production on February 10, 1953 was noted to start with K049557 and end with K043350 which indicated a negative production for the day. There is a note for that day that simply says, Defective Register No.

Register numbers started with 000001 and ran to 999999 and the next letter in the alphabet would begin the next register number A000001 (for small frame guns). There was never a 1,000,000 register number.

This register number system continued until an October 26, 1972 memo from Thomas Cisar to All Supervisors defined a new date coded register number system. Effective November 1, 1972, we will begin date coding the Register Number so that the month and year of manufacture will be readily recognizable to anyone knowing the code. The code to be followed is as follows: The first position will be a letter and will indicate the month. The second position will be a number and will indicate the year. The remaining five positions will simply be a consecutive numbering system that starts over again at -00001 on the first of each month and whenever a different model is run in that particular press during any one month. For instance, A300001 would indicate the first gun produced in January, 1973, of that particular model. B300001 would be the first gun of that model produced in February of 1973. The following month code will be applicable:

A January

B February

C March

D April

E May

F June

G July

H August

I Not to be used

J September

K October

L November

M December

Hence, starting in November, 1972, all guns produced in November will be coded L2.

Whenever the same barrel is made on two runs within any one month, it will be necessary to reset the register at the next higher number where the previous run left off. That is, if 30,000 #102 barrels were made during the first week of a month, and subsequently, in the third or fourth week, we needed to run some more #102 barrels, we would reset the register at 30001 and continue.

The gun numbering system was revised circa January 1982 after the previous system had been in use for about 10 years, but no official memo could be found indicating exactly when the change was made. The number indicating the year was put in the first position in the Register number and the Month code in the second position. The nomenclature was also changed from Register Number to Lot Number at some point. The register number or lot number 3KXXXXX would have been made in October 1983.

Lot numbers began on some guns as early as April 1973, but the old Register Nos. continued on the 1938 Red Ryder into at least 1979.

It important that some degree of expertise be applied when decoding register numbers of guns that were made during approximately the 1960s to 1980s timeframe. For example, if you have a No. 25 that has a Register No. A3XXXXX, is that a January 1973 gun or is it one made in the mid-1960s? You can see that some knowledge about other variations of different guns through the years might be necessary to properly date a gun.

In 1988, Daisy used a special numbering system for their 50th Anniversary Red Ryders. These are simply stamped LOT NO. 88XXXXXX The date 88 is followed by a six-digit production code.

Another major change occurred in the 1990s. In a memo dated January 19,1994 from Joe Carr to Distribution a new system was defined for Date Codes on Products.

Beginning today, guns produced with sheet metal outer barrels will be date-coded with the following format:


The first four digits indicate that this product was produced in January 1994. The last five digits are stamped sequentially.

There are still some products, pistols for example, which are still stamped with the old format and as soon as we can work out the details, we will change them over also.

The new date code will be in the same location as the old lot number. (Note the mention of lot number).

Ride and Have Fun

Posted By: Bob1774
Date Posted: November-08-2020 at 9:34pm
Thanks again for the VERY helpful information.  My apologies as I read the posts, I realized I mistyped the first letter as a Q and it is a "G"!  Sorry if I gave someone hopes of a rogue oddball!

So, with all the info given, and my correction, I'm going with July 1969.  It has the dark red stock, and metal strap for the forearm, slip on front sight.
I'm hesitant to tear in to it, but when I do, I'll certainly check out the other tell tail signs like the barrel modifications for the screws.

update:  I just took out the forward receiver screws, and they are very short, fine thread screws, so earlier rather than later.

Regardless, this rifle is in near mint condition, and exactly as I remember as a kid in the 60's, so I'm good no matter what the actual production date is!  I've already enjoyed a couple of hundred shots and had lots of memories come back!

Posted By: twocompassheads
Date Posted: November-09-2020 at 8:37pm
   Here are the two different screws for the first 1894 (about 1961 to 1962 and maybe into 1963 but not sure) and the replacement screws for all other 1894's after the barrel change from the thickness of just the barrel to an added tab that was spot welded to the surface of the barrel to add some material thickness for the new coarse thread screws.  The old original screws were always slotted and were fine thread.  The newer replacement screws were Philips head.  The old original fine thread screws are hard to find and sometimes people have replaced them with the newer screws which required the hole to be enlarged slightly to accept the larger screw. 

Ride and Have Fun

Posted By: cobalt327
Date Posted: November-09-2020 at 8:41pm
I've reached out to Joe Murfin to see if he can tell us the month and year it was stamped with its REG NO. 

Joe says: "That 1894 was made on 11/14/1961."

Posted By: Bob1774
Date Posted: November-13-2020 at 4:26pm
Thanks, Cobalt327!  Well, what do you know!  That date was probably the exact date I got my 1894, on my birthday!  November 14, 1961.  I was turning eleven, which my brother and I decided we got our first BB guns on our birthdays, and not for Christmas.  How neat is that to have a gun made on your birthday, and the same model as the one gifted!
I've been migrating to Florida for the winter, and will try to post a photo soon, although the rifle is still up north.

update:  I've given up on the photo sharing.  Sorry.  The photo sharing link just keeps saying there is a problem, whether a google photo link, imgur link, apple link, so just imagine it!  I do appreciate the others who have figured out how to post images here, so maybe someday I'll figure it out.

Posted By: cobalt327
Date Posted: November-13-2020 at 8:42pm
If you've been to ingur, follow the clicks:

Posted By: Bob1774
Date Posted: November-13-2020 at 10:15pm
Thanks for the visual tips hope this works! Here is the rifle, next to a co2 Crosman 454 that was included in the deal.

Posted By: cobalt327
Date Posted: November-14-2020 at 8:51pm
Very nice shape!

Posted By: Bob1774
Date Posted: November-15-2020 at 3:37pm
Since this gun is assumed to be one of the earliest 1961 models, with the barrel issues,  I'll only use it occasionally and mostly as a visual reminder of the great times I had with one exactly like it!

For others who may stumble on this thread looking for info on the 1894, the first 1894 barrel was stamped on August 25, 1961, according to the folks at the Daisy Museum.  Assuming they are correct with the right date on this one I acquired, it was made in the third month of production, which was just the beginning of a very long run of 1894 variations!

Thanks again for everyone who provided some very helpful information.

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