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Daisy History

The 2000's



Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe welcoming
Daisy back to Rogers.



Since the company had sold the old plant on 8th Street in July of 1999 and relocated their office to an industrial park in the north part of Rogers in November, 1999, the Daisy Museum needed a new home.  We found it in a 1906 bank building at 114 South First Street.  The building had a lot of architectural character with archways and mosaic tile floor.  It was easy to make our antique airguns and displays look right at home.  The City of Rogers Parks & Recreation Department had agreed to run the Daisy Museum on a day to day basis with Daisy’s support.  Several Daisy retirees, devoted to the Museum’s preservation, founded a non-profit organization called “Friends of the Museum” which provided much needed support.  In March, 2000, Arkansas First Lady Janet Huckabee shot a balloon tied in the middle of a ribbon to officially mark the opening of the Daisy Airgun Museum. 

Daisy’s new product introductions for 2000 included PowerLine pistols models 400 GX, 45 and 645.  TruGlo® fiber optic front sights were made standard on most PowerLine rifles and the PowerLline brand of slingshots were introduced.

Daisy licensed the Winchester brand in 2000 and introduced a line of Winchester(R) Air Rifles at the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in early 2001.  The initial lineup included walnut-stocked, .177 cal. pellet breakbarrel rifles with maximum velocities of 600, 800 and 1000 fps.  There was also a model 722, a .22 caliber version which had a maximum velocity of 700 feet per second.  New introductions at the SHOT Show in 2001 also included the AirStrike model 240 soft air pistol kit and the PowerLine 622 pellet pistol which featured a 6-shot rotary clip for .22 cal. pellets. 

Ray Hobbs was named President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Daisy Outdoor Products in 2001.  Ray has brought to Daisy a wealth of related industry and retail experience as well as leadership expertise to our management team.  His vision for Daisy continues to contribute to the company’s consistent growth.

Daisy secured a contract with the U.S. Navy in 2001 to produce nearly indestructible drill rifles which are being utilized by the U.S. Navy, honor guards, color guard and drill teams nationwide.  At first glance, the Daisy drill rifle looks like a fully functional 1903-A3 Springfield rifle with a black synthetic stock.  The design and durable steel components and synthetic stock make this drill rifle capable of withstanding the abuse that is inherent in drill team use.

In 2002, the company introduced the 15XT BB repeater pistol and ShatterBlast targets, the only breakable airgun target on the market.   In June, 2002, the company took delivery of a custom-designed Mobile Airgun Range.  The 18 foot steel trailer houses a 5-meter, two shooting point range, complete with electric target runners. 

At the SHOT Show in 2003, the company introduced several kits, the PowerLine 617X pistol (a six-shot .177 cal. semi-auto) and The Natural line of slingshots – the only ergonomically designed slingshot that allows the wrist to be in the most natural position when the forks for the slingshot are perfectly vertical.  The Model 1894 was reintroduced under the Winchester® Air Rifle brand as a lever action 15-shot BB repeater.   

Daisy had relocated the corporate offices from the old plant on South 8th Street to 400 West Stribling Drive in Rogers in 1999 but the BB manufacturing division remained operational in that building until 2003.  A tremendous undertaking, the company moved the BB production equipment to a new location in Salem, Missouri in March, 2003. 

In 2004 the Winchester breakbarrel line was expanded to include black and synthetic stocks and scoped models.

January 1, 2004 a non-profit corporation was founded, The Daisy Airgun Museum.  The Daisy Museum collection was donated to this non-profit and it was charged with the task of operating the Daisy Museum with revenues coming from admissions, gift shop and internet sales and donations from members, the Friends of the Daisy Museum organization and support from Daisy Outdoor Products. 

On October 25, 2004 the Daisy Museum relocated to the southwest corner of Second and Walnut streets, the highest traffic intersection in Historic Downtown Rogers.  The new location is an historic building, dating to 1896 and known to many residents as the former Rexall Drug building.  The new location offered the Museum an opportunity to build a maze of interior walls, further defining periods in Daisy’s history.  The new chronological arrangement of antique airguns, advertising and memorabilia offers a more cohesive presentation. 

In conjunction with the Museum relocation, the staff hosted a relocation celebration and open house on Sunday, November 14th with a ribbon cutting and silent auction.  This date also marked the launch of a fundraiser to refurbish and relocation of the old Daisy sign.   

On January 31st, 2005, the Daisy Museum, Daisy Outdoor Products and many of you suffered the loss of a wonderful friend.  David Gates had been a high school coach in Plymouth, Michigan when the president of Daisy asked him to write a shooting education curriculum during the summer school break in 1955.  David did so, and never went back to coaching at the school.  He moved his family from Michigan to Arkansas in 1958 and held many positions with Daisy until his retirement.  But he was always involved in education – Daisy’s shooting education programs and as a member of our community’s school board.  David was instrumental in the efforts to establish the Daisy Museum in 1999.  He was one of the curators when it opened on First Street in March, 2000.  He truly loved Daisy and the Daisy Museum and worked hard up until the day that his health no longer permitted.  David was a mentor to many of us.  He was a valuable counsel.  It’s not enough to say that he was a great and true friend.  David was a coach. 

In 2006, Daisy celebrated its 120th anniversary. We are humbled by the fact that we are one of only a handful of companies that have excelled at making the same product continuously for 120 years. Our staff is grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve in this exciting gratifying and fun industry. We’re proud to have grown this business, preserved this great old Daisy brand and defended our position as the market leader in airguns. Along the way, we’ve had the pleasure of developing products, traditions and memories for several generations.

Most Rogers residents and many Rogers visitors remember the old 1960 neon Daisy sign with lights which imitated the movement of BBs hitting a target. In July, 1999, four months before the company moved its corporate offices from 8th Street in Rogers to 400 Stribling Drive, the old sign had been dismantled and put in storage by the Rogers Parks Department. In 2001 the Daisy Museum began a fund-raising campaign to restore the sign. The sign was re-erected in front of Daisy headquarters on May 9, 2007 and a dedication ceremony was held on May 14th.

June 20, 2007, Daisy President & C.E.O. Ray Hobbs and Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, made an announcement at a press conference held under a tent in the field in front of Daisy’s offices: Daisy is coming home to Rogers. After ten excellent years of assembly operations in Neosho, Missouri, Daisy would relocate the entire operations under one roof, in the same facility in which the company had housed their offices since November, 1999. The move was made in record time and on July 25, 2007, the first Red Ryder came off the production line.

In 2008, Daisy celebrated 50 years in Rogers, Arkansas. The City of Rogers and Daisy hosted a four-day weekend celebration which was called a Homecoming. In addition to Daisy staff, Daisy Museum personnel, retirees and community friends, 189 Daisy collectors from every corner of the U.S. and Canada, registered for the event. An extremely limited-edition engraved Red Ryder BB gun commemorated the event and was numbered 1 of 189 in honor of the 189 people who registered for and reserved one of the guns.

The ticketed event began with a Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours reception under a tent in front of the Daisy offices on Thursday, June 19th. Tours of the Daisy Museum and the Daisy assembly operation were offered throughout the weekend. On Friday afternoon, a picnic was hosted by Daisy and it was Daisy Night at the Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball game. Saturday, exhibitors displayed and enjoyed a swap meet at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center, adjacent to the Embassy Suites host hotel. On-site appraisals were offered. An activity called “Speed Daisy” allowed registrants to visit with current Daisy staff and retirees to hear their personal Daisy stories. Saturday evening began with a reception and silent auction, filled with unique one of a kind prototype Daisy items and other amazing collectibles donated by those who registered. The group was entertained by “Melody Lane”, a barbershop quartet who sang custom lyrics to the tune of “A Bicycle Built for Two” (a.k.a. “Daisy, Daisy…”). During the banquet, the program, emceed by Joe Murfin, included a welcome from Daisy President and C.E.O. Ray Hobbs and Rogers Mayor Steve Womack.

1880  ║  1890  ║ 1900  ║  1910  ║  1920  ║  1930  ║  1940  ║  The War Years
 1950  ║  1960  ║  1970  ║  1980  ║  1990  ║  2000  ║  The Museum

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The Daisy Airgun Museum
202 W. Walnut - Rogers, Arkansas  72756
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Central Time
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