Daisy V/L Caseless Ammunition

I have the three different models (plastic stock, wood stock, and presentation) of the Daisy V/L rifles, and a large amount of the ammunition. However, I have never done any research into the ammunition. I had understood that it was manufactured for Daisy by CIL in Canada, but there is no indication of that anywhere on the packaging that I have. I also have been told that there were several different types of ammunition made having different muzzle velocities, yet I have not seen any ammunition other than what I have, which has a stated MV of 1150 fps (I have chronographed my Daisy V/Ls and that is exactly the velocity I have measured). Would anyone who has detailed knowledge of the Daisy V/L caseless ammunition (and rifle) story care to share it?

I had an opportunity over 15 years ago to speak with some members of Daisy management at the NRA national convention, but they seemed not much more knowledgeable than I about the V/L or its ammunition. The only thing of interest I remember being told was that there is an automobile starter gear molded inside the plastic buttstock to provide a better weight distribution and balance.

This subject was discussed befor on the Forum, but I never have much luck searching anything out. Maybe one of the Forum users that is good at searching can let you know how to read the last thread on the Daisy caseless rounds. I think it was a pretty good one, if my memory is serving me right.

I did that Forum search before I started this thread. There was a prior Forum posting but relatively little detailed information was provided in it. It was stated there that there was an article in the IAA Journal back the high 200 numbers, but I do not have that (or the IAA DVD) available. There was also a writeup about the V/L in Gun Digest back in the early 1970’s, but similarly, there was not much more than very general information provided.

I am principally interested in who made the ammunition, how much was made, and variations in the round and its packaging. I had understood that there were some prototype rifles made up by Daisy that were not of the single-shot variety, but I know no more than that. Back in the early 1980’s there were case lots of V/L ammunition available at cheap prices (probably as a result of Daisy cleaning out its warehouse) but I have seen no V/L ammunition (other than an occasional single 100 round box) at gun shows, etc., for many years. There has to be an interesting story here, and was hoping someone knew it. After all, the V/L was only the second commercially-offered caseless cartridge (after the Volcanic), if you don’t count paper cartridges, skin cartridges, etc. used in black powder long guns and C&B revolvers.

After shooting various V/L rifles (I have a total of 6 of them), I can see why they were not commercially successful, as it is generous to state that accuracy is poor, beyond a few shots right after the bore is cleaned. I have also understood that BATF had something to do with its demise, but have seen no sources to substantiate that.

Daisy was not licensed to manufacture firearms.
Air guns are not firearms under Federal Laws.
The BATF decided the Daisy V/L to be a firearm, thus Daisy had two choices, get licensed and sell them via licensed gunstores, or quit making them.
Daisy chose to stop making them.

I have seen that BATF story in numerous places, but I am not sure it amounts to more than an urban legend. I find it very difficult to understand that Daisy’s attorneys would not have checked out regulatory requirements thoroughly with BATF before they began manufacturing the V/L. On the other hand, if the BATF story is true, why wouldn’t Daisy have simply complied and resumed production, also, why didn’t BATF take punitive action against Daisy for illegal manufacturing? Either way, there has to be some interesting factual information somewhere.

Here is my old post, maybe helpful

While this subject is too long to cover adequately on this Forum, here are some things from my files. Firstly, you will need to procure a copy of the article published in Issue 295-296m July-August 1980, of the “International Cartridge Collector,” the name then of the Journal of the ICCA, now known as International Ammunition Association (IAA). Not to have it is to be missing the most comprehensive article written on this subject, to my knowledge. Ahhh, the power of Government! In the instance of the Daisy VL, like with most guns effected by new Federal decisions, if this decision was actually made by BATF, the VLs already produced were obviously grandfathered in, which is the norm.

If you send me a private email with your mailing address, I will supply you with a copy of this article.

As to the ammunition maker, Daisy made all of the prototype ammunition, although Omark Industries played an important part in the testing and development of propellants for it. That story is told in the above article. All of the production ammunition of made by Canadian Industries Ltd. (C-I-L). They produced approximately 47 Million Rounds by the end of the project.

Although I don’t have a high regard for the popular Gun Press, “Guns & Ammo,” February 1993 issue, pages 84-86, has what seems to be a fair article. They report that of the guns, 19,000 standard rifles were produced in 1968 and 1969, they also sold about 4,000 of the presentation model guns with walnut stocks. A further 1,000 rifles were part of collector’ packages.

The only mention I have of the “BATF Decision” issue that I can find is a statement in the same article from “Guns & Ammo” magazine, which I will quote:

 "Production was stopped when the federal Bureao of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ruled that the caseless rifle was indeed a firearm, and that Daisy was, at the time, licensed to produce air weapons only.  Considering the fact that the caseless bullet leaves the gun with about the same muzzle energy as a .22 Short high-velocity round, the ruling is hardly surprising."

Actually, the last statement about the velocity and energy of the round is rather silly. There are dozens of high-grade air rifles that have velocityies equal or superior to the .22 Short HV cartridge. Most are European, Korean, Chinese or Japanese. They are made specifically for small game hunting, and certaining are beyond the “BB Gun” stage of capabilities. These have not been ruled to be “firearms.”

This information should be easy to check. I believe that BATF rullings are public record under the Freedom of Information Act, and you should be able to even get a copy of that ruling from them. I have received copies of two rulings in the past, one concerning pistols with barrels longer than 16" and one concerning the overall length of the M1A1 carbine.

By the way, regarding Daisy manufacturing this, the statement above would indicate BATF made the rulling after the rifle was in production awhile. This would have precluded prosecution, but certainly forced Daisy to obtain the required licenses, or to stop production. Speaking as an ex-dealer, the gun never sold terribly well in the overall scheme of firearms sales at the time, and it could be that it had just about run its course anyway. Also, decisions making an item illegal after its serial production are not unusual, either by the Federal Government or State Governments. They do it in the firearms field all the time in California - assault rifle laws, rulings on certain weapons’ OAL which conflict with the Federal ruling, banning threaded muzzles on handguns even if it is a feature of assembly and not made for the attachment of flash hiders or silencers, etc. Also, Federally, there was a thing called the Volstead Act that outlawed nationally a product made for thousands of years - Liquor.

None of may material shows any cartridge or packaging other than the one we all know and has already been discussed. There were Daisy/Omark prototypes, some covered in the IAA article.
However, Daisy may have planned for a variety of loadings. I quote from a very early Broadsheet advertisement for the VL, unfortunately not date but the language of it indicates it was introductory, ie: “The first new shooting system in 100 years,” “New Rifle, New Ammo,” etc.

 "And the first step into the future is here today. . . the shleek, single-shot .22 caliber VL 5ifle . . . using VL ammo which fires a 29-grain missile at 1150 feet per second.  (VL Test ammo has been manuractured to fire at lower and much higher controlled velocities, so potential variations are virtually unlimited)."

Well, enough here. If you want copies of any of this let me know. I do not have time to scan them, but I will do them on my Canon copier, and mail them to you if provided with an address.
At this time I will ONLY be able to provide DennisKyou with these copies, since he is the originator of this thread and seems to be doing serious research on this issue. I am very busy with other matters, so please gang, don’t flood me with requests for them. I normally would be glad to do it for anyone, but I am up to my ears in hectic things that have to take precedence right now.

I’m sorry to resurrect this thread. I know it has been a loooong time since anyone has posted here, but I am doing some research on the Daisy V/L and was wondering if anyone could provide a copy of the Guns & Ammo article? This is the only reference I’ve found to address the idea that the ATF ruled this as a firearm and shut down production in the US. I do see that ATF has classified this as a firearm in their Curio & Relic list, but I am looking for more information.

Thanks everyone!

I did have it and still may, but the problem will be in finding it. I’ll look. There was also a feature article about the V/L in one of the Gun Digests back in the late 1960s-early 70s, but I don’t remember a mention about ATF in it.

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I did find it. It is an article entitled Classic Test Report Daisy VL Standard Caseless .22 Rifle by Bob Forker in the Feb 1993 issue of G&A, pp. 84-86. All it says regarding BATFE is: “Production was stopped when the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ruled that the rifle was indeed a firearm, and that Daisy was, at the time, licensed to produce air weapons only.” No further details are provided. I can provide the entire article if needed.

Thank you so much for your help! If that’s the only thing mentioned in the article then you don’t have to go through the trouble of getting me a copy. I appreciate the offer though! You helped me with exactly what I needed. Thank you again! :-)