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Fake gun(s) courtesy
Which of the three guns above is real? Can you tell without cheating? Police are finding it harder and harder to differentiate between real guns and replica or pellet guns, a determination that often must be made in just seconds. Last week in South Bend, Indiana, a 12-year-old boy pointed a pellet gun at a South Bend Police officer. Fortunately, the kid obeyed the cop’s instructions to put the gun down, but if he hadn’t, we might have another dead kid like the one in California a few weeks back. I’m not really sure what the solution is, other than good parenting. I was recently at Walt Disney World and overheard a dad tell his son, regarding the orange tip on the Pirates of the Caribbean cap pistol they’d just purchased, that “I’ll paint that black for you when we get home.” While I’m not against that practice specifically, I hope it’s accompanied by a healthy warning about the world we live in today. Kids don’t know if you don’t tell them. Answer to the Sesame Street game (Which one of these is not like the other?) when you click through . . .

[The one on the right is fake; the other two are real.]

A planned Eddie Eagle gun-safety instruction in Westford, MA has been postponed until the fall, due to what Superintendent of Schools Everett “Bill” Olsen called an “extraordinarily busy year” for teachers and administrators. The training was originally supposed to run in all six elementary schools across all grades in April or May, with an “opt-out” option for parents who would prefer their children not participate. Olsen said that the delay would also allow more time to “integrate gun safety lessons into our health and safety curriculum.” The program previously ran in the Westford schools until 2001, when it was discontinued by a former superintendent. A former teacher went to the School Committee last year about reinstating it, and in December they voted unanimously to do so. There is no mention of the NRA in the Eddie Eagle program, nor any expression of support for the organization in the educational plans.

The Michigan chapter of Moms Demanding Action for Gun Sense in America held a march on the Capitol on Wednesday [Darn, I missed it] in an attempt to get the House to vote on legislation requiring background checks on all firearm purchases. I’m sure it was the usual pathetic affair, with representatives of MDAGSA-WTFROFLBBQ outnumbered by the press that showed up to film them, but what I found interesting about the article on was how they helpfully ended their story with the information that, “You do not have to be apart [sic] of this group to march. All you have to do is meet at the Anderson Building today at 11:30 to help initiate the gun sense voter campaign.” Somehow I feel that if it was a gun rights rally, they wouldn’t have been so helpful and accommodating. Maybe I’m just paranoid.

Ohio State Sen. Joe Uecker has introduced a bill, SB 338, that would allow non-residents of Ohio to get a concealed carry permit if they work in the state. Currently there is a 45-day waiting period during which a person must establish Ohio residency before being eligible for a concealed handgun license. This bill would eliminate that waiting period, and would reduce the number of training hours necessary to get the license from twelve to eight. Furthermore, the bill would eliminate the section of state statute that prohibits firearms in government-owned public facilities, such as parks and stadiums.

Carnik Con brings us a recently discovered War Dept. training film that teaches the fundamentals of modern day sniping.

Yeah, that’s about how I feel about figuring out my Mil-Dot scope, too. This may be one of the best videos that Dugan’s ever done.

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    • The Disney World parent should have explained why the orange tip was needed and that his child’s gun was merely a toy …….. then, at some point, actually take the kid to a range and teach him the REAL rules of gun handling so he can practice them on the toy gun gun at home (it’ll give the kid something to do).

      As far as that brain-trust father, give that man a Darwin Award.

    • It would be nice to have one unless you think good parenting is ubiquitous.

      But I can’t think of one.

    • More and more we are seeing robberies committed using realistic toy guns. The instance given in the article is but one scenario and has not a thing to do with parenting.

      Unless the industry voluntarily takes steps to permit telling them apart, color would be the easiest way, and standardize this the government will step in and regulate them and I will be all for it!

      • To me this doesn’t make logical sense. Why does it matter if the robbery is committed with a toy gun?
        A crime can be committed with a real gun painted any color you want. In fact if you have a threaded barrel on a real gun you could paint the thread cap orange.
        VoilĂ ! Airsoft……

        If an adult points a gun at someone, the “pointer” should expect to be killed. AND it has almost everything to do with parenting.

        • There was a report a while back about gang members painting the ends of their barrels orange to give the intended victim – whether rival or cop – a moment’s pause. Don’t know if it’s true.

        • Define the term ‘adult.’ You will be dead no matter the shooter if it is a real gun and you happen to be in the way of the bullet.

          There are lot’s of instances where someone has had great parents and their ‘child’ has killed someone.

          I know more than a few ‘preachers kids’ that were hell on wheels when no one was watching them.

  1. That WLNS piece wasn’t a news article, it was a thinly (not to say diaphanously) disguised press release for the demanding “moms”. A real journalist would be ashamed.

    • There are no such things as “real journalists” anymore. There is just the drive by media, who are talking heads of the democrat party.
      By the way I am a constitutionalists not a republican or tea party member.

  2. Ohio has seen a huge boon in migrant workers since they passed laws allowing fracking. Oil and gas has been in a huge boom. Many small towns are building multiple hotels to host the industry.

    • I did some work in the tiny town of Cisco, TX. Wilkes Brothers Headquarters, stone and wrought iron fence, auto gate, marble floored reception area, hot receptionist, glass enclosed conference room behind her, overlooking a white floored hanger-like space with classic cars, a Ferrari, and a helicopter( a 407 I think)

      Down the road into town was a 70’s era vacant brick building with Wilkes on the front and a yard full of rusty old pump jacks.

    • Yeah, the Sig looks like the real gun. The 92-thing on the right has way too much writing on the side to be real (not to mention the weird slide) and the middle gun has what looks like a CO2 twist cap on the botom.

      • Pretty sure that “twist cap” is a heel-mounted mag release (like on the SIG P210 and P232, Walther P38, and a bunch of other European pistols).

    • The one on the left is the only one with a realistic-looking ejection port. The other two don’t have one.

      • The one in the middle looks like it has an open-slide like the Beretta 92 – the entire slide is an ejection port.

  3. The real question regarding the pellet/replica/real guns is this: Would you be willing to bet your life on a guess?

    • You were probably too smart. it would surprise me not at all that the point of the interview was to find someone dumb enough to make a lousy defense of smart gun tech. She is English after all.

    • When she heard that I had an electronics degree and that I make ammunition for a living, she didn’t want my input anymore either.

  4. Children do not have a right to keep and bear realistic looking toy guns, and I am very against realistic looking toy guns. Its just asking for trouble. In so many ways. Toy guns should look like nerf and squirt guns.

    • Hey, you need to be more precise! SQUIRT guns look like that now, too! Need to say “brightly colored see-through squirt guns”.

  5. Yep, parenting is really the only thing that CAN be reasonably done about part 1. I play a lot of airsoft (serious mil-sim with state of the art guns, not backyard battles with clearsoft rifles), and I can personally speak to the insane level of realism present in modern replicas, especially after the orange tip has been removed.

    It always surprises me that the same parents who wouldn’t dream of letting their kids anywhere NEAR a firearm will happily buy a cheap Airsoft gun for them, and then allow them to get rid of the orange tip and play at the public park or whatever. No education. Sad, and makes the whole airsoft community look bad.

  6. Pretty hard to tell what’s real in the dead of night. I took it more as a cautionary tale. Mainly don’t be an idiot. “You could DIE Joey”.

  7. I figured the Beretta on the right was real… it appeared to have the correct quanitity of warnings on it.

    • I figured the 92 was the fake BECAUSE it has that wall of text, just like a .177 BB gun I have, and you can kinda see the sub-9mm barrel inside. No one makes a Jetfire airsoft or pellet gun that I know of, and the SIG has a flush barrel, unlike the majority of American-legal airsoft guns.

  8. They should not have an “opt out” option from a firearms safety lecture. Children should be taught about gun safety regardless of whether their hippie parents want them to or not. As a serious LIFE OR DEATH issue…perhaps more dangerous than “safe sex,” and certainly more pressing than evolutionary theory, THEY NEED TO HEAR ABOUT GUN SAFETY because it’s their butts on the line in the real world.

    • I don’t know, with free healthcare getting shot is preferable to an unwanted pregnancy, at least here in Norway.

    • Disagree. People should have the right to choose what is and isn’t taught to their children. Slippery slope, etc.

  9. I have just one caveat with the mathematics done to compensate for humidity.

    Water vapor is less dense than air. With that being said, the more humidity there is, the lower the air density becomes and the less resistance it offers.

  10. Saw a plastic pellet gun at a flea market few weeks ago. Imported from Europe, no orange tip fit perfectly in the blackhawkholster on my hip. Side by side took 4 officers 20 years or better on job trying to decide which was the real glock 27. 3 were armorers took more than a minute to tell @ 3 feet, 7 feet 5 minutes. Further than that could not tell. Apparently it’s legal to sell & import the European versions w/o orange tips. They are sold as training aids.

    • I have an all metal Sig P226 that comes with real Sig sights and working decocker and you take off the slide in the same way as a real Sig. Even the magazine looks like a Mec-Gar magazine. The pistol has Sig markings and only subtle manufacturing marks from the company that made them (KWA). It is made in Japan. In typical Japanese style it is as realistic as realistic can be and has removable orange tip that screws off and reveal the same (although fake) target rifling as in my real Sig. And it is an airsoft that chrono;s at about 350 fps depending on the pellets used.

      My understanding is it was made for training and as a realistic movie prop.

  11. BTW cost.$6.50. My 16 year old is a master shot, been shooting competition since he was 12. Shooting & Gun SAFETY started @ 4, 6 he was up to .38 from his red ryder. He does live in a rarity, 2 parent home.

  12. The easy solution seems to always be “ban ban ban ban ban” everything.

    In regards to Airsoft or anything gun related, how about educating people on gun safety. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on STUPID “See something, say something” PSA that have yielding nothing but false alarms after false alarms. The only thing they have caught are people with long black umbrellas.

    instead of the stupid, how about this:

    1) PSA on gun safety and safe storage. Those make believe players from Hollywood could say something useful like “Hi, I carry a gun in the movies, but in real life……..” Whatever, at least those PSA would be worth the money even though they mostly do not work

    2) Free gun safety and safe storage classes at local libraries

    3) More Eddie the Eagle — even in gun hell MA someone got a clue. Have the local PD simply explain why removing the orange tip on the airsoft is a bad idea.

    4) Make gun safes tax exempt and how about for two years we have a program where buy you purchase a 100% made in America safe, you get up to $1000 tax credit or refund (depending on you finances). Hopefully this make some people who keep gun behind cereal boxes over the fridge get a safe alternative.

    There are many possible ideas, unfortunately there are many closed minds not open to any ideas

    • Pascal, you have some really solid ideas! There are better things we can do and your list is a great start. RF et al, let’s have some posts to discuss this further. The TTAG Community can no doubt put together a list to send to the pro-gun groups, Congressmen and anyone else we can think of to advocate for.

  13. Real versus fake is kind of an old hat. The orange tip is a Band-Aid for being stupid. I knew before the age of 10 that you did not point a gun at anyone no real gun safety course back then we were all taught this at home. I’m also sorry but if you point a pistol at a police officer and get shot sorry but you have not been properly trained, perhaps the parents should be arrested. In addition little is made of the issues a police officer suffers after finding out the child was holding something like an airsoft. The outpouring of hate and finger pointing after the issue is simply to cover the lack of proper parenting or education.
    As a kid I had a copy of a S&W .38 and a 1911 you could not distinguish from a real item my CO2 pellet gun was an exact copy of a luger P08 and I managed to survive.

  14. I was born in 1950. As a kid my brother and I and our friends enjoyed a “golden age” of toy guns. American made and durable, realistic and fun as hell to play with. Gosh, I wish I had kept a few of the ones I had!
    What puzzles me now is that we played “Cops and Robbers”, “Cowboys and Indians”.and “Army” all over the neighborhood with all kinds of toy pistols, rifles, machine guns, BB guns (no BB’s when playing each other, only when plinking tin cans and such), and even some old 22 rifles that had no bolt (and I REALLY wish I had a couple of those still..they were Winchesters from the 1930’s)..anyway…local PD cruised the neighborhood, Mom’s did yard work and hung laundry, old folks set out in their yards, and we played all over and around them, but no LEO ever stopped us and checked our “guns”, no one ever called the Police on us, no one ever challenged us at all (except the old codger a few doors up that had a dichondra lawn that he absolutely forbade us to set foot upon), SO HOW is it that all of a sudden Cops “have a problem” guessing that a kid has a “toy gun”?
    I know…I know…times have changed, people are different, terrible things have happened…blah…blah…blah, so my question is rhetorical and reminisces about the “good old days” when kids could be kids, boys could be boys, girls could be girls (but in our neighborhood several of the girls had toy guns and played in the imaginary gunfights right along with the boys). It’s sad.
    If you want a great cap pistol for your kids, a bit pricey, but U.S. Made and well made, check out

    MATTEL, Hubley, PARRIS Mfg, and a few others I can’t recall, made the best in those days. PARRIS is still around, but people on AMAZON say the quality is not as good as it used to be though they are still making the same ones we had in the 1950’s. Ah well, so much for nostalgia…

    Given the way things have changed, it may be a good thing they put those orange tips on the toys and make the realistic, cheap airsoft guns transparent, but it’s probably not the best answer, since it’s too easy to work around, or take advantage of, as some people have commented above. The young man in CA that got killed by the local PD for not having the orange tip on his airsoft “AK-47” was a genuine tragedy.

  15. Why is it so many gun owners react like the anti gun brigade when airsoft appears.

    OMG you have no right to a realistic airsoft gun. It should be a law they don’t look real ban them etc etc etc.

    Access to these things pushes people into the pro gun crowd. The answer is parenting and trusting and training people. Not bans. The same as real guns.

    • Yep, played “cowboys and Indians” often with real Indians, “Army” “cops and robbers” as well. When living in town we had the same conditions pretty much ran all over the neighborhood with only a couple of old curmudgeon’s who protested so we just stayed out of their yards. The parent sometimes got involved not to mention getting squirted with a water hose. I think we would now be considered guilty of hate crimes and child abuse by todays standards.
      In addition I should sue the curmudgeon’s for not allowing me too “express myself”

  16. Not cheating I swear. Only read the first two sentences and no comments.

    Right Gun: Fake. It is an air soft pistol. You can tell by the safety warning paragraph printed on the side.

    Center Gun: Real. The barrel appears to have a caliber accurate diameter and the slide is also definitively metal.

    Left Gun: The slide appears to be plastic, though it may not be it is hard to tell. Based on the wording of the first 2 sentences in the article and my previous conclusions, I would guess fake. Ignoring aforementioned wording, there doesn’t appear to be anything conclusive.

    However, at a glance, there is no way to tell.

    • Well that is 1 & 1/2 points out of 3 for me.

      While I don’t agree with painting the tip of air soft pistols black, what is to say that I didn’t paint the tip of my real pistol orange. The real lesson is to not point any form of pistol at police, random strangers, ect…

      The reality is you can’t determine the authenticity of some air soft pistols. If it looks real, treat it real. Every person shares the responsibility of respect. Actions have consequences. Live wisely.


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