Skip to main content

Daisy Red Ryder Still Introducing Youngsters to Shooting

Red-RyderShooters, hunters and gun owners in general are always searching for ways to attract youngsters to the shooting sports. It's definitely a focal point for organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Rifle Association and Youth Shooting Sports Alliance. And while the editorial staff at Guns & Ammo tries to cover all aspects of shooting and firearms, it's sometimes difficult to stress how important it is to convince parents to introduce their kids to the shooting sports.

Many companies have youth programs, but one company has taken that extra step. That extra step is one that many gun owners are very familiar with. Does the name "Red Ryder" ring a bell? Daisy, located in Rogers, Ark., still makes the iconic Red Ryder BB gun. Millions of people can relate to it as the very first "firearm" they owned and used.

"We did a survey several years ago, and Daisy had an 83 percent brand awareness — that's up there with Coca-Cola," says Daisy President Ray Hobbs. "It really seems like everyone learns to shoot with a Daisy."

How many Red Ryders do you think end up under the Christmas tree every year? I gave my granddaughter, Cali, a Red Ryder for Christmas when she was barely 4 months old (it's never too early).

"The Red Ryder is the icon of Daisy," Hobbs adds. "The Red Ryder is passed down from grandfather to father to son or daughter. We had a letter from a couple a [few] years ago stating that every Christmas they give their new grandchild a Red Ryder. They'd already bought a dozen of them and hoped they may have to get a dozen more."

The multi-tiered youth shooting educational curriculum Daisy has developed is part of its "Taking Shooting Education on the Road" program. It's already up and running in major outlets such as Cabela's, Bass Pro, Walmart, Tractor Supply and in "'mom and pop' dealer stores" (to use Hobbs' description).

"We've developed an entirely new program to teach kids how to shoot," says Hobbs. "We've partnered with programs like the 'Take Aim' Jakes program [instituted by the National Wild Turkey Federation] to expand our reach."

A brief overview of the program starts with what Hobbs calls "an inflatable shooting range." Thanks to the Potterfield Foundation (started by Midway owners Larry and Brenda Potterfield), which supplied trailers to haul equipment around the country, the mobile airgun range program now has hundreds of inflatable ranges being circulated to every type of shooting venue imaginable.

How successful has the program been? A conservative figure Hobbs offers up is that 100,000-plus kids a year are exposed to shooting via the inflatable range program. And ultimately, Hobbs notes, it can lead them to competing in the Annual BB Gun Championship for 8- to 15-year-olds. Last year, 53 teams from 28 states competed in the event.

"We've also initiated a pilot program or project with state game and fish organizations where we've developed a template in which shooting ranges are in place in, for example, nature centers," Hobbs says. "We're hoping to create enough interest to expand the program to as many states as possible."

Daisy's motto, "Teaching America to Shoot One Shot at a Time," has never seemed more appropriate. "We're set on teaching the enjoyment of the shooting sports," Hobbs says. "There's a business side to it, of course, but it's a lot bigger than that. It's about making certain the shooting sports are preserved for future generations."

A tip of the G&A cap to Daisy and Ray Hobbs for having the vision to establish such a wonderful program.

Current Magazine Cover

Enjoy articles like this?

Subscribe to the magazine.

Get access to everything Guns & Ammo has to offer.
Subscribe to the Magazine

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Rise Armament's meticulousness turns out some mighty fine rifles, including the 1121XR precision rifle.Rise Armament 1121XR Precision Rifle Review

Rise Armament 1121XR Precision Rifle Review

Rise Armament's meticulousness turns out some mighty fine rifles, including the 1121XR...

Tom Beckstrand

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic for squad designated marksmen.SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review

SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm Review

The United States Army has adopted the SIG Sauer Tango6T 1-6x24mm as its new dedicated optic...

Tom Beckstrand

Popular Videos

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Which Sight Is Faster - XS Sight Test

Jeremy Stafford traveled to Gunsite Academy to compare the speed of stock sights against express, three-dot, suppressor-height and red dot sights.

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

Trijicon RMRcc Reflex Sight – Perfect for Optics-Ready Concealed-Carry Pistols

The people asked and Trijicon answered. Introducing the RMRcc miniature red-dot sight for compact, concealed-carry pistols. Trijicon's new RMRcc features the durability and reliable controls that have made the RMR so successful, but its reduced dimensions make the “Concealed Carry” model better suited for the popular small-frame pistols designed for discreet carry and personal defense.

Cameras Don

Cameras Don't Lie: Subsonic 9mm vs. .300 Blackout

In this segment of "Cameras Don't Lie," a subsonic-ammo showdown, 9mm vs. .300 Blackout fired from AR rifles.

See All Videos

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Guns & Ammo App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now