Can You Buy a Red Ryder BB Gun? Where to Get the Toy from ‘A Christmas Story’
“You’ll shoot your eye out!” All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a genuine Red Ryder BB gun, but his mom, teacher, and even the department store Santa all say it’s far too dangerous of a toy. Of course, A Christmas Story has a happy ending, with Ralphie eventually finding the coveted item under the tree.
The 1983 movie is based on a semi-autobiographical story by Jean Shepherd about growing up in northwest Indiana in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The gun that Ralphie so desperately wants is real too. Red Ryder BB Guns quickly became popular with kids after they were first introduced by Daisy in 1940. And you can still buy them today.
Red Ryder BB guns are still for sale
Whether you want to relive your childhood or buy one for your own kids, Red Ryder BB are still for sale. The Daisy Red Ryder Model 1938 is $39.99 and can be purchased on the company’s website. It’s also for sale at Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and other stores. However, you may not be able to purchase the gun online due to restrictions in certain jurisdictions. (You can see state laws regarding BB guns on the Giffords Law Center website.)
The gun has a solid wood stock and forearm and a lariat ring with a leather saddle thong. While it will look familiar to the one you might have had as a kid, it’s not identical to the one featured in the film.
In the movie, Ralphie wants an “official Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” That version of the gun was made specifically for A Christmas Story and was never sold in stores. The real Red Ryder BB guns lack the sundial and the compass.
What happened to the gun from the movie?
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Daisy made six versions of the special Red Ryder BB gun for A Christmas Story. One is now on display at the A Christmas Story House and Museum in Cleveland. The museum, which is housed in the home where the movie was filmed, paid $10,000 for the gun. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie, got one of the other prop guns as a souvenir, while the others are in the film archives or owned by others associated with the production.
The history of the Red Ryder BB gun
Daisy introduced the Red Ryder BB gun in 1940, but it wasn’t the first BB gun the company sold. It had been making air rifles since the 1880s, according to True West. The gun was named after the comic strip cowboy Red Ryder.
The first Red Ryder BB gun sold for $2.95. Wen World War II began, Daisy stopped making the air guns for several years. Production resumed in 1946 and a few years later the company was selling more than 1 million Red Ryder BB guns annually. Though Red Ryder guns weren’t made for a period stretching from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, they returned in 1972. Today, True West calls it “Arguably the most popular BB gun in the world.”
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