How to Restore Red Ryder BB Guns

by Keith Dooley

Perhaps one of the most famous airguns ever produced, the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun is part of Americana. The Red Ryder was first introduced in 1938 and designed to imitate the Winchester lever action. Although still in production, older models are treasured and collected. The older rifles often may require an amount of restoration to return them to their glory days. It is possible for most people to successfully restore a Red Ryder with a few common items.

1.

Visually inspect the Red Ryder BB gun to evaluate the overall condition. Look for rust and corrosion on metal parts including the inside of the barrel. Determine the condition of the wood stock in regard to the remaining original finish. Operate the lever and trigger to ensure they are still in working condition. Do not fire the gun until it has been lubricated.

2.

Attach a brass bore brush tip to the cleaning rod. Run the brush in and out of the barrel several times to loosen and remove any rust or debris. Turn the gun barrel down to allow as much of the loosened debris as possible to fall from the barrel.

3.

Remove the bristle brush and attach a patch tip to the rod. Insert a cleaning patch into the tip and coat with gun oil. Run the patch in and out of the barrel two to three times. Remove the patch, attach a clean one and apply oil to the patch. Insert the patch and continue the process until the patch runs through the barrel clean.

4.

Use 0000 steel wool to remove rust and corrosion from the barrel. Apply a small amount of gun oil to the steel wool and lightly wipe the rust covered area. Only use light pressure and make long straight strokes to the metal. Do not swirl the steel wool. Wipe the area clean with a rag or cloth with a small amount of gun oil.

5.

Wipe down the wood on the Red Ryder with wood cleaner or oil soap. Use a clean cloth and apply the cleaner sparingly. Remove as much dirt and debris as possible with this method. Apply a quality wood furniture spray designed to repel dust with no wax for a layer of protection.

6.

Lubricate the lever action, trigger and visible internal parts with gun oil. Wipe down the exterior of the gun with oil to remove any remaining debris or fingerprints.

Items you will need

  • Cleaning rod with patch and brush tip
  • Cleaning patch
  • Gun oil
  • Steel wool
  • Cloth
  • Wood cleaner or oil soap

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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