This week on the podcast I want to introduce a gun that is not a firearm. Introducing the AirForceAirGuns.com Condor SS that I will be reviewing and the history of airguns. Remember the Daisy Red Ryder? This is the beginning of a project I am working on for folks in the urban environment to get one of these pro airguns. Andrew Branca’s feature on the Law of Self Defense is from a 2014 case talking use of force and our martial arts. Michael talks about how important fitness is to one that uses firearms. Barbara Baird shares some inside info on the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 pistol. And I share some news and commentary.
When is a gun not a firearm?
From a legal definition (in 46 of 50 US states) All firearms are guns but not all guns are firearms.
A firearm is a mechanical device that uses pressure from a burning powder or an explosive charge to force a projectile through and out of a metal tube; a weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.
But there are also air rifles and pistols, which are commonly called BB guns or pellet guns, but which are not commonly called “firearms,” since they use compressed air or CO2, not gunpowder to propel the projectile. There are also toy guns, such as airsoft or paintball, so gun is a more general or broad term that could be applied even to toys, which look like firearms, but are not.
What Is an Air gun
A airgun (rifle or handgun) that launches projectiles by means of compressed air or other gas such as carbon dioxide.
The Red Ryder BB Gun is a BB gun made by Daisy Outdoor Products and introduced in the spring of 1940 that resembles the Winchester rifle of Western movies. Named for the comic strip cowboy character Red Ryder (created in 1938, and who appeared in numerous films between 1940 and 1950, and on television in 1956), the BB gun is still in production, though the comic strip was cancelled in 1963.
The year was 1886. France had just given the bright copper Statue of Liberty to the United States. Coca-Cola had just been invented and was only available as a syrup mixed with soda water. The Plymouth Iron Windmill Company in Plymouth, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, had for four years been making iron windmills for farmers. However a premium item, given free to farmers who purchased these windmills, was about to change that company’s destiny.
Windmill sales did not take off as expected and the company came close in 1888 to liquidating. The vote failed by one vote – that of General Manager Lewis Cass Hough. While the “Chicago” air rifle–made almost entirely of wood – had been made since 1885 by the Markham Air Rifle Company of Plymouth, Hamilton was the first to develop a metal air rifle. After firing the gun (first at a basket of red-ink covered paper and then an old shingle), Hough exclaimed in the slang of the time, “Boy, that’s a Daisy!” and later convinced the Board of Directors to use the metal air rifle as a premium item.
The popularity of the premium item was huge. Farmers were more interested in the “Daisy” than the windmill– so much so that the focus of the company shifted from windmills to airguns. By 1890, the twenty-five employees of Plymouth Iron Windmill Company were producing 50,000 guns, most of which were distributed within a radius of one hundred miles of the factory.
From a technical point of view, any gun that launches projectiles utilizing compressed gas rather than producing gases burning a propellant (powder) is considered to be an “air” gun. In some cases, the propelling gas may be carbon dioxide in which case the gun is actually a “gas” gun, but the term airgun is still generally applied to them. One of the great American airgun designs is the multi-pump (sometimes called a “pump up” gun) in which air is compressed by a series of pump strokes. When the gun is fired, the compressed air enters the breech behind the projectile driving it forward. This type of rifle has been produced for well over a century, and with a maximum number of pump strokes, some of these rifles are powerful enough to be useful tools in hunting.
Compact and sleek, the M&P BODYGUARD 380 delivers personal protection in an easy-to-carry, comfortable platform. Chambered for .380 ACP, the lightweight pistol features a high-strength polymer frame with a black, matte-coated stainless-steel slide and barrel. The new M&P BODYGUARD 380 retains original design features including a 2 ¾-inch barrel, which contributes to an overall length of 5 ¼ inches and an unloaded weight of only 12.3 ounces making it perfectly suited for concealed carry. Lightweight, and simple to use – nothing protects like a BODYGUARD.