On the right, we have a Nintendo Zapper, a peripheral for the Nintendo Entertainment System. On the left, a real gun painted to look like a Zapper. This isn’t even the gun that everyone’s been crowing about. Two Glocks modded to look like NES Zappers are making the rounds on social media, both created by companies based in Texas. One is a model from Precision Syndicate, a custom gun manufacturer, and it was picked up by other major online outlets. Shown above is the other by Black Sheep Arms, a custom painter, and an arguably more accurate reproduction that languishes in comparative obscurity. Take a look at the Precision Syndicate’s work below for comparison.
These images started circulating on outdoor and gun lovers‘ websites three weeks ago, when they were first posted to the companies’ respective social media accounts. Black Sheep Arms’ Instagram and Facebook posts featured the company’s work with cerakote, a specialized ceramic coating for metals, and only had a few comments. One or two were from citizens expressing the obvious concern: “Real genius idea making real guns look like toys. What could possibly go wrong?”
A company rep responded, “It’s a theme gun for a collector.” As the company explained in response an earlier comment, this is a custom job for a client and it doesn’t actually sell the gun itself. For reference, the company also provides custom paint jobs for motorcycles and coffee mugs. Still, the commenter was insistent: “I love my guns, but they look like guns.”
Most other commenters on Black Sheep Arms’ Nintendo gun post were simply in awe, and some put in requests for price quotes: “How much would it cost to do this on a Glock 23?” wrote one. Black Sheep Arms even made a video of its gun, but gun guy Jerry Miculek has a better sense of humor about it in his video.
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In spite of the fact that today’s kids have likely never seen an original Nintendo Zapper, the faux-plastic sheen does make it look very toy-like (which is the idea here), and kids like toys. Every few comments, another person raised the clear concern of confusing a real gun for a fake one and the possible tragic consequences. Some of these assertions are coming from within the gun-owning community; there is a chance that an irresponsible parent might leave a gun where a child could grab it. As one Facebooker put it, “I’m pro Second Amendment, but never doubt the stupidity of the human race.”
According to gun control advocacy group Everytown For Gun Safety, there were at least 278 accidental shootings involving children in 2015 and at least 63 so far this year.