Skip to main content

How to Clean a Red Ryder BB Gun

A modified Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

A modified Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

Daisy Outdoor Products started making the Red Ryder BB gun in 1938. Red Ryder was a comic book character who also appeared in many films in the 1940s and 1950s. The Red Ryder was designed to look like a Winchester lever-action rifle which was popular during this time.

This is a BB gun that is great for plinking, but not for accuracy shooting. The Red Ryder has a 400 BB capacity. This gun also has a saddle ring. A very basic BB gun, but a great basic gun to teach children the rules of gun ownership and respecting the dangers of a firearm.

Red Ryder Assembly and Parts

The Red Ryder BB Gun has a smooth-bore blued steel barrel and solid wood furniture. Unless there is a problem with the functionality of these guns, I would not recommend disassembling them unless you know what you are doing or do not mind making this gun not work correctly.

Shooting the gun several times will remove excess oil from the barrel and help the nominal accuracy of the Red Ryder BB gun slightly. Adhere to gun safety rules and have some fun learning to shoot or teaching someone to shoot. Most all Daisy BB guns I have purchased have targets in the packaging or inform a person how to make targets. Generally, there are also targets in the store, in the same area as the BB guns.

For the purpose of cleaning a Red Ryder BB gun, it is important that the owner knows where the "oil hole" is. For this look just forward of the receiver on the left side of the barrel base. A picture is below.

Left side, base of the barrel just before the receiver.

Left side, base of the barrel just before the receiver.

Cleaning and Maintaining your Red Ryder

Unless shooting your BB gun it should always be on safety. When cleaning the gun it should be unloaded as well. It is always better to be over-cautious when using firearms.

For the blued areas of my Red Ryder BB Gun, it is recommended to use a cloth with gun oil. Personally, I use Outers Gun Wipes. These gun wipes are useful for a quick wipe down on any gun and I appreciate the fact that they are made in the United States.

For the furniture of the gun, I use a cloth and some Murphy's oil soap. With a damp cloth, I wipe the solid wood surfaces down. The furniture on a gun is the stock and butt-stock. This is as simple as it sounds.

And the complicated part is oiling the innards of the gun. Every 500 to 1,000 BBs fired, the gun should be oiled.

There are two options for oils to use for oiling the Red Ryder. Any motor oil that has a weight of 20 works. For the simple reason of keeping oils separated, I use Crosman Pellgun Oil. With any oil, it only takes two drops to lubricate your BB gun.

It is always important to remember gun safety. If you do not know the 10 safety rules for firearms, they are posted below. If you are purchasing or have purchased a Red Ryder or any other firearm for someone or yourself—please review the rules and let them guide you when handling firearms.

10 Rules for Firearms

  1. Always Keep The Muzzle Pointed In A Safe Direction
  2. Firearms Should Be Unloaded When Not Actually In Use
  3. Don't Rely On Your Gun's "Safety"
  4. Be Sure Of Your Target And What's Beyond It
  5. Use Correct Ammunition
  6. If Your Gun Fails To Fire When The Trigger Is Pulled, Handle It With Care!
  7. Always Wear Eye And Ear Protection When Shooting
  8. Be Sure The Barrel Is Clear Of Obstructions Before Shooting
  9. Don't Alter Or Modify Your Gun, And Have Guns Serviced Regularly
  10. Learn The Mechanical And Handling Characteristics Of The Firearm You Are Using

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will Rem Oil work on a Red Ryder BB gun?

Answer: I can not say there would by any issues, but it would be overkill in my opinion. There would be powder residue to clean etc. But if you want to - go for it.


Chris Andrews (author) from Norwalk, Ohio on September 23, 2020:

I do not know the criteria for approved lubricants. This would be a decision that you would need to make on your own.

Natedog on September 19, 2020:

I have treadmill belt lubricant will that work

Chris Andrews (author) from Norwalk, Ohio on June 16, 2020:

The ones that were made in the '60's had an oil hole in the breech. Some of the older ones would need a drop down the barrel.

Dave on June 14, 2020:

I have a no.111, model 40 red ryder bb gun with no oil hole on the barrel. Where do I i oil it ?

Chris Andrews (author) from Norwalk, Ohio on December 10, 2019:

Generally the problem is that people don't open it all the way, should hear 7 clicks (6 or 7 and I think it is 7) where the ratchets are winding. If you don't cock it all the way then it won't always load/shoot.

Chris Andrews (author) from Norwalk, Ohio on December 10, 2019:

You can use vegetable oil, may break down any plastic parts within bb gun, won't hold up for a duration, and will allow much more wear on bb gun, shorten life of it, etc.

Zander on December 10, 2019:

Can I use Vegetable oil

Fran shaw on November 07, 2019:

My red ryder wont load 2 out of 3 times when i cock it. What can i do to correct this?