Review: Daisy's Model 25 Pump Gun
Daisy Outdoor Products was kind enough to send me, on pure speculation, a sample of the most recent version of their Model 25 Pump Gun. I had intended to write an article about gun-skill practice in backyards and indoors, including instinctive “wing shooting” outdoors at tossed pennies and even aspirin tablets, but that got short-circuited somehow. Nevertheless, I feel that I owe Daisy some kind of review in exchange for the air-gun, so here it is.
The Daisy Model 25 hasn’t changed much in the 62 years since I was a 10-year-old. It still takes down into two separate pieces, each about 19 inches long. Its buttstock is still a profiled, flat slab of wood, and the pump mechanism’s fore-grip is a non-slip, grooved wooden cylinder. It’s still going to be difficult for a 10-year-old to work the pump, and the gun’s 50-BB magazine is the same fumble-fingered royal pain to load that it was when I was young.
There are changes, though. The really big one is that now it’s made in China! And wait—there’s more. It has a trigger-guard-mounted, pushbutton safety. There’s a rear sight that changes with a flip from an open notch to a peep, and which allows both elevation and windage adjustment. The new BB magazine feeds through a slick, pot-metal casting that’s assembled with machine screws, rather than through a pressed-together compilation of bent sheet steel, and, for loading, it screws out of, and back into, the gun’s barrel much more easily than the original one did.
The Model 25’s specifications state that it fires BBs at 350fps, which, if I remember correctly, makes it the most powerful old-fashion BB gun in the Daisy lineup. Live with it, Red Ryder! Daisy says that BBs from the Model 25 will carry out to 195 yards, but I think that to get them that far you’d have to be shooting upwards at a 45-degree angle on a clear, windless day. Still, using this gun requires the same safety considerations you’d apply to shooting a .22 rimfire. Your mom was right: You can put an eye out with this gun, especially if you have to rest its butt on the ground in order to pump it.
Shooting prone from our library through our hallway, I found the unrifled barrel of the new Model 25 to be accurate enough for general indoor target practice at 10 yards. My best try gave me a group of five shots that was about one inch across and a half-inch high. Outdoors, it gave me consistent satisfactory dinging hits, shooting from our kitchen door to the steel squirrel guard that keeps furry thieves out of a birdseed dispenser that’s about 14 yards away. When I looked at the newly-chipped paint on the guard, I found that my hits were now dispersing vertically, in a group that was four inches high by less than an inch in width.
My target practice was complicated by the Model 25’s terrible trigger action, a fault not entirely caused by the gun’s stiff sear. Instead, it’s mostly due to the new and poorly designed cross-bolt safety. Press it to “off” as I might, it still interferes destructively with trigger movement. The newly designed rear sight shares the blame. Its peep-hole originally was much too small to be effective because it’s too far from my eye, but at the same time its open notch is much too close. Worse, although the sight’s elevation adjustment is within range, at first the gun shot much too far to the right to allow windage correction. So I drilled-out the peep’s hole, and then tried to carefully bend the front sight to the right. That’s when its left-side spot weld broke. I bent the sight the proper amount, and then super-glued the broken weld back together. It hasn’t let loose yet, and the gun now shoots to point-of-aim.
The Model 25’s take-down feature may be handy, but it does not appeal to me. Its rear sight is attached to its receiver, as it has always been, while its front sight is on its barrel casing. Thus the gun will almost certainly lose its zero every time the two parts are separated. It’s also an annoyance that, although the old Model 25’s takedown screw had a coin slot, the new version requires a large Phillips screwdriver. Of course, zero may be lost every time you reload anyway, since the process involves unscrewing the actual barrel from the casing that bears the front sight. Yes, I know that I’m being much too finicky. This is a pretty crude air gun, and at 10 yards, how tight a zero does one need?
My complaints aside, I have to admit that I am really enjoying playing with this Daisy Model 25. When the local pigeons gather to eat up the seed we put out for smaller birds, my Model 25 and I send them flying with a quick ding or two on the squirrel guard. I won’t try to shoot any animal with it, though, because I don’t believe that it’s capable of a humane, clean kill.
Don’t tell Daisy, but someday soon I’m going to remove that horrid safety, and the gun’s sights too. Then I’ll try going for tossed pennies, and maybe even for aspirin tablets. If I ever succeed, I’ll let you know.
Thanks for the review! I didn't know you were in the biz. Now only if you can get them to start sending you 1911's...
Pic and a link:
Daisy Shopping Cart - Model 25 Pump Gun
I learned to shoot with a Model 25, in the late '50's, early '60's, so mine already had a plastic stock. The trigger sucked, even then, but I attribute my thousands of rounds with that BB gun to my being quick to adapt to almost any firearm I pick up. I loved the peep sight for 'long range,' and used the regular sights for shooting the little green plastic army men that you could buy a gallon bag of for 29 cents...seems like nearly all the good stuff I bought in those days cost 29 cents.
I remember that mine cost $8, because I mowed lawns to earn the money, and it took a long time, at 50 cents a lawn (front and back). The lever models were just $5, but the pump was so much better...in my mind. Thinking back, it really was a piece of crap, but it worked for years, and without it, I would probably not have become a gun nut. I'm glad to see that it's still a piece of crap that hopefully, anyone who has a few lawns to mow can still buy.
Thanks for sparking the nostalgic look back into the 'good old days.'
The Model 25 costs $75.00, now.
They'd need to pay you $5.00 per mowing job, for it to work out the same.
Steve 1911A1: Purchased a new Model 25 from Bass Pro in Katy, TX.---Paid $50.00
My first Model 25 was bought in 1959 & I shot the snot out of it for almost 50 years. Glad to know there are still 60 year old kids, who still like to shoot air-rifles besides me.
I had a Daisy pump back in the 60s. Many a sparrow was sent to the big aviary in the sky using that peep sight. My Uncle raised turkeys and chickens, so my brother and I were allowed to pop the little birds all day long to keep them from grabbing the feed, and we got a good home cooked meal to boot. Great memories of that gun, thanks.
Good Review but one feature detail request
Interesting and honest review, but one big question.....did you actually succeed in taking apart (take down) the Model 25?
If you were able to easily get it to come apart then that's good to know. Your review was not clear in stating you had actually done this, just that the gun had the classic take down feature. If you got it apart, once back together did you shoot it at least a dozen times?
I would love to know your experience, but so far in at least 10 tested Made in China 25s, they will not break down when the nut and take down screw are removed, at least with any normal kind of force. For fear of breaking or bending an internal part no excessive force has been tried.
An old Made in USA Model 25 that is in good condition will slide apart quite easily.
Wow! I never thought of the physical difficulty that might attend takedown.
Certainly I should have.
My old Model 25 comes apart very easily, just like yours.
I didn't essay to take the review sample apart because its (foolishly-designed) rear sight is welded to its receiver. Separating the barrel and receiver would then guarantee a total loss of whatever zero I was going to achieve, so I gave it a pass.
BTW, reloading the magazine does not seem to adversely affect accuracy, relative to the sights. The magazine has a simple thread, so it must screw in the same way, every time.
Golly, you characters know how to bring back fond memories. I received my first Daisy Pump 25 for Christmas
back in 1948 at the ripe old age of 10. Back in those days, a Dad gave his son the safety school and if I broke the rules, I had to live a couple of days without the 25. Never had a single accident with it. I lived, ate, and slept with that rifle. Many a sparrow and blackbird met their doom with the 25. Tin cans didn't have a chance. Of course, age makes memories grow fonder but I remember it as a very accurate rifle. Of course I had nothing to compare it with but a home made sling shot made from automobile intertube. If my memory serves me well, Bass Pro has them for around $45. And this OleCodger is going to make a purchase. It will share a safe full of everything from .22's to .45's and it will be an honor to place it there. I'm very happy that Daisy has brought it back into production. If I remember correctly, the engraving on the receiver had a "gold" inlay but there again, many a year has passed. Thanks for the memories!!
How can you be an "OleCodger," when you're exactly the same age as I am, and I'm a relatively young man (except for the joint and back aches and pains, anyway)?
I wasn't allowed a BB gun, neither when I was 10, nor ever.
I had to wait until I was 13, when I was given a .22 repeater and proper instruction.
I bought my own Model 25, well used, when I was in my 30s.
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