How the Red Ryder BB gun became part of 'A Christmas Story'

ROGERS, Arkansas — In the beloved film "A Christmas Story," Ralphie has a big wish for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB gun with a compass and sundial.

FOX23 learned that Red Ryder BB guns are still being made just beyond the Oklahoma state line in Rogers, Arkansas. FOX23's Paris Holmes traveled to the Daisy Airgun this weekend to learn more about the classic item.

The Daisy company has been making BB guns since the 1880s. They started making the Red Ryder in the 1940s, but they weren't made with the compass and sundial until 1983 when the movie was released.

Representatives with the company said Gene Shepard, who wrote the book the movie is based on, specifically requested the Red Ryder gun. They said Shepard remembered having a similar gun as a child, but it was actually a different model called the Buck Jones.

However, the author insisted at the time that it was the Red Ryder BB gun, so the company made six prop guns for the movie.

"Hundreds of thousands of BB guns are sold over Christmas. I think that would be true whether or not the movie ran, but it certainly didn't hurt anything," said Joe Murfin, chairman of the Daisy Gun Museum.

FOX is airing "A Christmas Story LIVE" on Sunday, Dec. 17.

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