My Aliens Pulse Rifle project continues. In the process of gathering the parts I wanted, I’ve ended up with enough spares to make a second, much cheaper one using Airsoft parts. Airsoft makes toy guns that shoot the little plastic yellow balls and have replicas of just about ever gun ever made. Not only that, they usually have cheap, medium, and realistic versions of each – with the realistic ones being made of actual metal and often costing almost as much as the real thing. However, the airsoft versions used by folks that build the Airsoft-based pulse rifles are very hard to find. Especially the Maruzen M870 which hasn’t been made in years and is impossible to find in the US anymore. Harder to find than the SPAS cages – which are real gun parts – if you can believe it. In the end, the Maruzen toy version actually cost just a little more than a real 870 express – if you can find it. Crazy.
Anyway – enter Japan. In Japan, the gun laws are so strict that there is just about no way for the average person to own a gun. Consequently, the toy gun market is huge over there. Just a little digging around on Yahoo Japan’s auction site turned one up – and I bought it through a marshalling service that I often bought cels through. In Japan, Yahoo’s auction site is king – not eBay. And you can find all kinds of stuff that you can’t in the US. The prices turn out to be about the same – plus about 10% for the marshalling services and mailing. So all-in-all not bad. Tricky part is that everything is in Japanese – so one has to wade through a bit of confusion. Still – something you might want to keep in mind.