So, you want to teach your little ones to shoot, but don’t want to necessarily start out with a Barrett .50 BMG? Then it’s time to go shopping in “A Christmas Story” kind of way. That’s right, get little Ralphie a Red Rider BB gun! My 8 year girl saw one at the local GanderMountainthis summer and begged pops for one. Even her 5 year old sister wanted one if it came in pink. Well, who am I to refuse to share their sport with a loved one? After the obligatory Chuck E. Cheese birthday party, big sis got the Pink Red Rider Little Carbine a few weeks later for her 9th Birthday. It’s the best $39 I’ve spent in a long time.
The Little Carbine BB gun, Daisy Model 1998, is chambered in .177 cal, and is styled like a small Winchester 1894 lever action. It’s got a sheet metal receiver and steel smoothbore barrel, with bright pink or black painted stock and forend. There’s even a saddle ring mounted to the receiver, in case you need to secure the weapon while riding a rocking horse. The blade front sight is molded into the plastic barrel shroud, but the rear sight is adjustable for elevation. Power is provided by cocking the lever, setting the spring to power the pneumatic piston. This does require some physical effort, maybe in excess of 20 lbs of force. After some practice, my 9 year old can accomplish cocking the gun on her own. The trigger pull is much better than expected for a mass market plastic BB gun, maybe 8 lbs single stage. Published specs on the gun indicate a Muzzle Velocity of 350fps, length of 36.2 in, weight at 2.2lbs. Daisy recommends children be 10 years or older, with adult supervision.
Accuracy is outstanding on this little gun! I’m not saying it’s good for a 100 year old design BB gun; I’m saying outstanding for any BB gun. I wasn’t expecting much better than “minute of pie plate” at 5 yards. But I can regularly pick off a soda can at 15 yards, 9 shots out of 10. My girl can hit the same can at 5 yards at least half of the time after only one “range” session. I say “range” session, because the best part about a BB gun is that we can set up on the back porch and plink cans without range fees or a car ride. We did make sure to use eye protection at all times, even for little sister spectators. And we did use a 4 step back stop, with all targets placed in front of our homemade pellet trap; with a 6 foot high wooden privacy fence behind that. We will in the future add a tarp to the privacy fence to reduce reflected ricochets.
After the little one left the “range” to play with the neighbor kid, ol’ pops had a blast plinking away at 15 and 20 yards on the back porch. All the while Mrs. HGG was laughing at the full grown man playing with the pink Red Rider while she was doing the dishes in the house a few feet away through the rear kitchen window. Did I mention the Little Carbine has a 650 round capacity of BB’s onboard? That right, all the shooting you can stand with no recoil, no reloading, and costs only $0.0035 a shot.
Just don’t shoot your eye out!
* Homemade Pellet trap =small rubbermaid storage tote lined with a shag carpet square and a small phone directory placed in the center.
Hoosier Gun Guy (HGG) is an avid target shooter and hunter who pays the bills as a practicing attorney inIndiana(focusing on criminal and health law). He enjoys staying sharp with IDPA and swapping lies at deer camp, and can be found wandering the isles of the Indy 1500 gun show every quarter. As a former prosecutor and military channel buff (and all around cheapskate), he enjoys collecting police service pistols and WWII battle rifles. You will find a 6.8 SPC homebuilt AR pistol lounging in the HGG safe right next to a 1917 BSA SMLE Mark III* .303Enfield.
Peritus Holdings, Inc., the owner of the Firearms Network, encourages a free and open exchange of ideas by guest blog posts to provided various educational perspectives on the topics within the firearms’ community. However, placement of any such blog post on any of our sites, including this blog post, is not an official endorsement of the good and service and any and all use and reliance by readers is at their sole discretion and should be independently evaluated.