Every American boy and girl should be issued a Red Ryder BB Gun upon birth, though the weapon may be kept in parental custody until the child is mature enough to handle it — or age four, whichever comes first. The Red Ryder will perform many, many years of reliable service, warding off bad guys, Nazi zombies, lurking grizzlies, and serving as a deterrent to under-bed monsters well into college.
The gun has been in production since 1938, and, though it’s seen numerous change over the years, it remains the go-to peacekeeper for kids from east to west and north to south. The lever action is dependable, it rarely misloads, the iron sights are adjustable, and, hey, there’s a leather thong, which might be the coolest feature of all.
My Red Ryder was a trusted companion until I was given a Crossman 760 pump action with a crosshair scope, when it was placed in the corner of the closer to gather dust like a loyal but tired mount. The Crossman was an amazing weapon, capable of accurately plinking cans at over 100 feet, but it was easily overpumped and the seal too easy to rupture. It wasn’t long before the broken Crossman went into the corner of closet. Out came the Red Ryder, still working, still lethal at 20 feet, and still…proven.
Just be careful. You can put you eye out with it.
Proven is stuff that stands the test of time.