Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ode to the Toy Tec-9, and a Humiliating Defeat at the Assassination Game

In my crazy gangbanger poseur entry, I used a toy gun that I've had for at least 20 years: It was made by Larami sometime in the mid-to-late 80s, and was very clearly modeled after the infamous gangsta favorite Tec-9 (Kurt Russell also sports one in the poster for Big Trouble in Little China):


You can tell it's an artifact from another era, because it doesn't have a "Don't Shoot Me" blaze orange muzzle.

In fact, other than adding a Larami logo, you can tell that they just looked at the real Tec-9 design and toy-ified it, all the way down to the barrel shroud, magazine release, and cocking lever.

Here's proof: The toy shoots little yellow rubber "bullets" -- which just happen to be same size as a real 9mm cartridge (shown next to a spent shell casing for comparison):

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Confusing the two would be bad.

The gun is a bolt-action; you have to cock the handle with every shot. (Though you have to be careful -- the handle is pretty fragile. I gave one of these to a friend as a birthday gift, and he broke it off the first time he tried it. That sucked.)

The "bullets" were hollow rubber and the gun was air-powered, so they'd just sting a little if you were close. Also, you could use them as suction cups and stick them to your face. Though they'd leave a little hickey mark after you pulled them off. So you probably wouldn't want to do that, say, the night before you had to give a speech in front of the whole junior class because you were running for student council Vice President. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

Closeup of the ammo.

Yes, in the 80s, we still played with cheap, realistic-looking toy guns, and relatively few of us got shot by police officers. In fact, I'm pretty sure I bought this in middle school or high school to use in The Assassination Game (Wikipedia calls it a LARP game -- ugh), though I don't think I ever brought it to school -- it was a little too unwieldy for that, and the fad died out for us shortly after.

The Beretta Dart Gun and The Assassination Game

No, while we were locked in the throes of The Assassination Game/Killer fad, I preferred carrying something a bit more pocketable. Like this dart gun version of a Beretta .380:

It's pretty small, even for my hands.

Of course, the concealability came at the expense of increased reload time. Which ended up costing me in a not-insignificant way.

I had two of these, and I had them on me at what could have been my greatest assassination game triumph, but what ended up being my most humiliating defeat.

My targets were twin brothers, Mark & Chris, so I rode my bike over to their house. As luck would have it, they were outside in the driveway, cleaning the trunk of their family's car (a classic diesel Mercedes Benz sedan).

In fact, as I walked up to them, they were both bent over deep into the trunk. I was maybe four feet behind them, and they had absolutely no idea I was there.

I calmly pulled out my two guns, one in each hand, John Woo-style (this was years before I had any inkling who John Woo was), aimed, and fired.

And missed completely.

This is one of the problems with the two-handed John Woo gun-fu -- it's hard to aim, especially if you're kind of mixed dominant like I am. I ended up criss-crossing the darts.

In retrospect, I should have gone for the contact shot: pressed the guns into their backs and fired. I still kick myself when I think about it.

I'm not sure exactly what happened next. I probably tried to reload and fight, instead of doing the tactically sound thing and fleeing (they may have blocked me from my bike). The twins were able to get to their guns, and they got me. I had the perfect opportunity, and I blew it.

I still live with the shame.

Anyway, you can see the rest of the set here: Toy Guns: Larami Tec-9 and a Beretta Dart Gun.

(Incidentally, the rubber suction cups come off pretty easily, revealing the hard plastic tips beneath. I almost shot my dad in the eye this way. It would have been bad.)

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