ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — The movie ‘A Christmas Story’ is a household favorite, but did you know it has ties to Northwest Arkansas?
That’s right, Daisy Manufacturing in Rogers is the maker of the iconic Red Ryder BB Gun.
‘A Christmas Story’ is the tale of a young boy named Ralphie trying to convince his parents, his teacher, and parents that a Red Ryder BB Gun is the perfect Christmas gift.
To me I think we all identify with Ralphie a little bit, when we want something so bad we have to go through this process of convincing our parents that we’re ready for it.Joe Murfin, Daisy Airgun Museum Chairman
According to Daisy Airgun Museum Chairman Joe Murfin, we connect to Ralphie in more ways than one.
“That’s what makes this place exciting and that’s what makes that gun exciting,” Murfin said.
The Red Ryder BB Gun, made famous through Red Ryder Comics by Jean Shepherd, came to life here in Northwest Arkansas — through a musical at the Walton Arts Center and is the birthplace of the iconic BB gun itself.
“The Daisy Red Ryder BB gun was first made in 1940,” Murfin said. “In our Daisy Museum, we have a case set up in chronological order that shows all the significant changes in the gun over the years.”
Murfin said Shepherd told Daisy executives in 1982, he wanted six Red Ryder BB Guns made the way they were in 1940 — with a sundial and compass.
“Unfortunately he was wrong,” Murfin said. “That model that had the compass and sundial was the Buck Jones model, it never was the Red Ryder.”
Although the Red Ryder never had a sundial and compass, nonetheless Shepherd was adamant about having that kind of BB gun for the movie — A Christmas Story.
“They made the guns for the movie of course,” Murfin said. “Then about the time it came out the Daisy sales staff meet and said, ‘ya’ know this movie comes out and Ralphie wants a Red Ryder with a compass and sundial in the stock, we better make the Daisy Red Ryder that way.’“
And that’s how the iconic gun came to be in Rogers.
Murfin said he encourages everyone who loves the movie or just loves Red Ryder BB Guns to come check out the gun’s chronological changes throughout the years.
The Daisy Airgun Museum in Rogers is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for Sunday.