The Daisy Model 25 wasn’t the first of the Daisy BB guns, but to me, it was always the classic. A friend of mine who live a few blocks when I was young had one, and I long coveted it- but my father wouldn’t buy me a Daisy. It wasn’t the safety issue- I was allowed to carry a .22 in the woods when I was 9- but a union issue. Daisy had reacted to an aggressive unionizing campaign by closing shop and moving from Plymouth, Michigan- not that far from where I grew up- to Rogers, Arkansas, in 1958. Daisy was actually a very progressive employer- they paid to move 100 families to Rogers- but to my father, it was still inexcusable.
So it wasn’t until some time after my father passed away that I bought my first Daisy Model 25. One led to another, and eventually I had four Model 25s, covering all the major variations- Plymouth and Rogers models, plastic and wooden stocks, engraved (really, stamped) and painted models.
There’s another big difference between the oldest and newest models- power level. Modern BB guns spit out BBs at well under 300fps, a level designed to not break skin. But the earlier 25s were hard hitters, pushing 400fps. Some of my guns have been rebuilt with newer springs, dropping the level.
The Model 25 was produced from 1915 until 1979, with Daisy producing over 8 million examples during that time. But it was brought back twice, in commemorative editions. First was the Daisy Model 25 Centennial (1886-1986) Edition, produced to celebrate the 100th anniverary of the company. Then in 1994, they produced a special run of the Model 225 American Legend- basically the good old classic Model 25- as a way of commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Model 25 itself. I thought about buying one both times, but the price- I think it was over $100- seemed a bit much then; now, a good example will cost you around $150, and I expect the price will go up over time.
If you come accross a clean, working 25 at a good price, grab it- even if you’re not a collector, or don’t have a particular interest in BB guns. The 25 is a fun, hard shooting airgun, as well as a unique design.