The Bakersfield Police Department is reporting that they arrested a felony parolee who was “in possession of an airsoft gun that had been converted to fire .357-caliber ammunition and had six live rounds of live ammunition”
One more time…an airsoft handgun…converted to fire .357 ammo.
From the police image above, that appears to be this 937 UHC toy; a plastic, 6mm revolver, with the orange tip removed.
I am…a little dubious. I think I could convert that toy into a single-shot handgun easily enough; though I would limit it to .38 Special, not .357 Magnum as implied by “.357-caliber ammunition.” With a lot more effort, maybe a repeating revolver. But doing either while preserving the original appearance would result in something which I would not fire even with your hand.
Perhaps I am underestimating the ease of converting cheap, plastic, 6mm airsoft knock-offs to fire live ammunition. Highly trained, professional ATF agent, Kelven Crenshaw, believes it can be done, even if he is a bit vague on how to insert a magazine.
Should this report be accurate, it raises questions about the future market for 3D printed “ghost guns,” and 80% frames and receivers. Why go to all that effort and expense when all you need is a toy, some basic tools, and time?
“I guess we’ll close up shop, and become an airsoft conversion company.”
They apparently prefer marketing to intelligent people who want to build quality gear, rather than those willing to blow their hands off with what amount to improvised plastic grenades.
The Bakersfield Police Department didn’t respond to an inquiry as to how they determined the airsoft gun had been converted for live ammunition. We’ll let you know if we hear from them.