Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shooting Buttons

I had a Daisy pump-action BB gun when I was a kid. It had a slight defect that would make today's corporate lawyers at the Daisy Corporation all have massive stress-related strokes and twitch uncontrollable in their offices.
The air rifle had a weak trigger spring. Normally in lever-action BB guns this defect would actually keep the gun from cocking and firing. But with the pump-action you could cock the gun and when you pushed the pump back to the starting position, the gun would fire without your finger being anywhere near the trigger.
I discovered this defect accidentally when I was trying to diagnose the reason it wasn't cocking properly and almost shot off an earlobe.
Hmmm, I thought. That's interesting. When I turned the gun away from my head and repeated the pump action, it fired again. In fact, this was as close to an automatic BB gun that had been seen until then. I could sling copper as fast as I could pump the rifle, and at that time it was pretty darn fast.
If you wanted the gun to shoot properly, you'd have to put your index finger behind the trigger, pushing it forward as you pumped the action. The finger took the place of the defective trigger spring.
The story gets a little convoluted here, so stay with me:
My mom had a Maytag Wringer washing machine that sat on our back porch where she did the laundry
every few days.
With two hair-brained boys, and a girl that was as mean as a snake (at times) she washed a LOT of clothes.
She filled the machine up with a hosepipe that she left out there for that purpose. The drain on the antique washing machine was a hose that looked like a crooked-necked black snake. It clamped to the side during the washing process and when it came time to drain it, Mama would drop the hose down by the edge of the porch where the water drained down toward the garden.
The wringer was hard on buttons and on wash day, the little muddy spot where the washer drained would be dotted with buttons.
Those buttons provided hours of target practice for me and my trusty automatic BB gun.
When I went into the Army, I aced the firing range and I think that was due to my defective Daisy and my mom's Maytag washer.


  1. Very original way to train a soldier how to shoot lol
    Sounds like something you could blow your eye out with.
    Remember that movie?

    1. A Christmas Story. Yes we watch that movie every year:)

  2. oh my... the things we played with when were younger...

    No BB gun for me... but I had many contraptions that our children cannot experience today that I had so much with when I was growing up... lol

    Oh well, at least we had fun :)

  3. I have memories of both - my brother with the BB gun and the mom with the wringer washer. Life was good in those days.

  4. Our toys that actually did stuff were cooler than the toys kids have now. Remember Mr. Potato Head pieces stuck in actual potatoes?


  5. I accidentally shot myself in the leg with a BB gun as a little boy when I was trying to use the air pump action thingy. Taught me a lesson lol.

  6. My mom had a washer like that. :) Fun memories.

  7. My brother had a Daisy BB gun, too. I still have the lump on my leg to prove it! Fun story- xo Diana


  8. Great story Rick. I was expecting a wringer washer filled with little bullet holes, he,he...I guess I don't know much about guns. The only guns my brothers were allowed to play with when I was young were cap guns. Oh, those annoying little Christmas toy cap guns. I couldn't wait till the caps ran out and it was peace till next Christmas. Us girls played with sensible things like dolls, lol...


  9. That washer reminded me of the story my Mom told about my older brother getting his arm caught in the wringer part...BB's were very popular in my neighborhood..I think every boy had atleast one BB implanted some place on their body!


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