Straight-Stock No. 25s
Straight Stock Variation 1
The earliest production gun is distinguished solely by a frame screw, which kept the gun from firing unless the slide was fully forward. All later guns have a rivet instead of the screw. This can easily be seen in the photos below.
Earliest production No. 25
Black nickel finish with screw shown in photo below.
Note straight stock without pistol grip used on all variations 1914-1929.
First variation with screw (top)
compared to later variation with rivet (bottom).
The early No. 25s had large rear sights. The rear sight had a step-elevator to adjust the height of the sight. Later, Daisy sometimes used a smaller sized sight that was positioned slightly further aft on the top of the frame.
Early large rear sight (bottom) compared to smaller
rear sight (above).
Originally, the front sight had a side-to-side adjustment.
Bottom sight is the early adjustable sight.
Top fixed sight was introduced circa 1917.
The early trigger was straighter than the later curved triggers and it also was slanted backward at the bottom toward the stock. The trigger guard was a squared-off affair with a thick rear vertical, folded-metal piece.
Original frame with straight trigger and squared-off trigger guard
There are five characteristics of the cocking mechanism that the reader needs to understand that may help date the different variations. The first is the wooden pump handle. Despite what early ad pictures show, until 1930, the pump handle had only five grooves. From 1930 on, all wood pump handles have six grooves.
Five-groove 1914 –1930 compared to six-groove (1930 – 1952)
There are two different types of claw anchors that hold the cocking mechanism of early guns securely to the barrel. The early type has a bend in the metal so that the claw can accommodate the barrel’s patch. On later guns that have no barrel patch, the claw is round.
Patch claw Round claw
A third characteristic of the first Pump Guns is that there is no reinforcement rib on the longer of the two cocking arms like is present on later guns.
Bottom gun has reinforcement rib on lever. Top has none.
A fourth difference between cocking mechanisms is the length of the mechanism itself. The early guns have what is known as the “short throw” lever, which begins about 5 ½ inches back from the muzzle. The later type is the “long throw” which begins about 3 1/4 inches from the muzzle.
Short Throw (top) compared to Long Throw (bottom).
Case-colors (top) vs. No Case-colors (bottom)
The last cocking mechanism feature, which was unique to the No. 25 Pump Gun, is a very attractive finish which is sometimes called “case hardening”. We believe Daisy used a process that gave the cocking levers this appearance but which was not really case-hardening. The levers do not actually seem to be hardened in any real sense of the word. The pump levers had this finish on some No. 25 variations, including this first one. Certain blued guns did not have this feature, but others did. In 1936, after Daisy started engraving the receivers, they stopped “case-hardening” the cocking lever. The only subsequent gun to have the case-hardened appearance was Daisy’s last pump BB gun, the Model 25 Centennial Collectors Edition in 1986. Because these levers were not really case-hardened, we choose to refer to this nonetheless attractive finish as “case colors.”
The No. 25 weighed a little over three pounds. It was originally advertised to be 38 inches long, although we have never seen one over 37 inches. It originally sold for $3.00.
The first variation No. 25 has the squared-off trigger guard, straight trigger, penny-sized screw, large rear sight, adjustable front sight, short-throw, case-colored lever with no reinforcement rib, a barrel patch with patch-claw, a five-groove pump handle, and a straight stock.
This marking remained unchanged from 1914 to 1930.
These markings are stamped into the barrel.
White powder was added to make the letters readable.
Straight Stock Variation 2
Rivet Replaced Frame Screw
(1914 – 1915 approx.)
Identical to Variation 1 except that a rivet replaces the screw in the frame.
Straight Stock Variation 3
First Small Rear Sight
(mid - late 1915)
We believe this variation to be the last nickel variation before the gun’s finish changed to blue. It is the same as Variation 2, except that it had a smaller rear sight, when measured from top to bottom. The picture below shows the relative difference in size between the rear sights of Variations 1 and 2 as compared with Variation 3. Notice that the spring is visible at the end of the smaller sight. On the larger sight, the spring is up under the sight, between the rivet and the front (viewers left) of the sight.
Small sight (bottom) and large sight (top which is upside down)
This variation has the following features: Same frame as previous variations; smaller rear sight. It has the squared-off trigger guard, straight trigger, penny-sized screw, adjustable front sight; short-throw, case-colored lever with no reinforcement rib, a barrel patch with patch-claw, a five-groove pump handle, and a straight stock. Markings remain the same.
Straight Stock Variation 4
First Blued Pump Gun
(late 1915 - early 1916).
Variation 4 gun with refurbished carton
Photo courtesy of Bill Johnson
This is the first blued No. 25 Pump Gun. By at least late 1915, Daisy had devised a way of securing the barrel so that it did not need an under-barrel patch. The patch’s solder had been the only impediment for bluing its air rifles, because the solder would not accept the bluing.
We are fairly certain of this dating because the No. 40 Military Daisy was first introduced in January 1916. All No. 40 guns were blued. It is reasonable then to conclude that Daisy blued the No. 25 at approximately the same time.
When Daisy stopped making guns with under-barrel patches, it still must have had a supply of the patch-claws remaining. Rather than wasting these claws, they attached a small piece of metal to the barrel to fill in the gap where the patch originally fit. We have even seen blued barrels, which don’t have the patch, and with the old patch-claw with nothing at all filling in that space. Eventually, the supply of old style claws ran out and the new round-claws came into use.
Patch claw Round claw
Features: Original style frame; smaller rear sight, adjustable front sight; straight trigger; squared-off rear trigger guard; no barrel patch, but does have added piece of metal under claw to accommodate the patch claw; large penny-sized take-down screw; case-colored levers with no reinforcement rib; and a straight stock. Markings remain the same.
Straight Stock Variation 5
Reinforcement Rib Added
Same as Variation 4 except that gun now has the reinforcement rib on the forward cocking lever. There were some variances in rib sizes but we have chosen against a detailed discussion because the differences are slight and the value in dating guns is questionable since levers can be switched between variations.
This is the last of the guns with an adjustable front sight and a difficult one to find. Note that the gun below still retains the patch claw. The guns we have seen of this variation do not have case-coloring.
Straight Stock Variation 6
Fixed Front Sight
About 1917, Daisy changed the adjustable front sight to a fixed one. It seems the adjustable sight was too fragile for most boys and Daisy was receiving a lot of returned guns.
Features: Original style, frame; smaller rear sight, fixed front sight; straight trigger; squared-off rear trigger guard; no barrel patch; large penny-sized take-down screw; some levers are case-colored and some are not; reinforcement rib; and a straight stock.
Straight Stock Variation 7
To make the pump gun less difficult for boys to cock, Daisy moved the handle about two inches closer to the muzzle to give it a better mechanical advantage. Most pump gun enthusiasts can tell at a glance whether a No. 25 is the original “short-throw” gun or the long-throw. We believe the medium-sized take-down screw replaced the penny-sized screw sometime during the mid-1920 time frame, but the exact year is unknown.
Short Throw (top) vs. Long Throw (bottom)
Features: Original style frame; large rear sight, fixed front sight; smaller curved trigger; squared-off rear trigger guard; no barrel patch; large penny-sized or medium-sized take-down screw; long throw, case-colored levers; reinforcement rib; and a straight stock.
Variation #2 trigger vs. Variation #7 trigger
Ad showing the long-throw gun.
American Boy Magazine – March 1928
Straight Stock Variation 8
Stock Bolt Replaces Screws
Until about 1928, all No. 25 stocks had been secured by two screws, one on either side of the stock. With this variation, the screws were replaced by a bolt that went through both the frame and stock from the left side and then screwed into threads on the right side of the frame.