The BrickGun book

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I received a review copy of this new book published by No Starch Press today. The BrickGun Book "shows how to make the world's least dangerous guns". It's a 222-page paperback authored by Jeff Boen who, by all accounts, is a celebrity in brick gun circles, and who runs Brickgun.com.

After a short introduction that provides building tips and explains the development of Jeff's designs, the bulk of the book is filled with detailed instructions for five of his most popular ones: BG22, 92FS, Desert Eagle, 1911 and MAC-11 (the names of which mean little to me).

The instructions themselves, which are accompanied by tabular and graphical parts lists, have been created with the LDraw toolset. They are very high quality and look to be easy to follow, despite the fact that most of the parts are black. I'd go so far as saying that they are better printed than some of the LEGO official instruction books in that regard. There are example spreads of the instructions on the No Starch website.

The completed models look very realistic and in fact the back of the book states to 'exercise caution when handling these replicas and be extremely careful when displaying these models in public'. It might be better to build them in red then, rather than black :-)

The subject matter will not be to everyone's taste but there seems to be a demand for it as this is No Starch's fourth book on LEGO guns, after Forbidden LEGO, LEGO Heavy Weapons and Badass LEGO guns. They obviously wouldn't have published it if there wasn't.

If LEGO guns interest you, you won't be disappointed with this book. It's very well produced.

It (and some of the the other books I mention above) is available from Amazon.co.uk (£20.49), Amazon.com ($20.25), Amazon.de (€18.50) and Amazon.ca ($16.35).

55 comments on this article

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By in Canada,

Another book to pick up :)

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By in United States,

I'm not a against guns, but I can see the future here where some cop shoots a kid who is holding a LEGO gun and the same media uproar people that started the Jabba's Palace stuff will start some campaign to push LEGO into not making parts that can so easily recreate guns.

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By in Puerto Rico,

^Agree, but in that case the media should first do their research.

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By in United Kingdom,

The cops could already shoot kids playing with regular toy guns, but they don't.

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By in Switzerland,

Once again, I must regret the fact that these extaordinary bricks are used to promote weapons, if not violence. There are already far too many original Lego sets containing weapons, including the intricate and well-built Star Wars one. I'd rather have Lego providing sweeter topics and spend money on new moulds for more food items, animals or printed bricks instead of stickers, to mention only a few more kid-suitable things. I may be too romantic, but I don't like toys that reproduce violence-related topics.

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By in United States,

@CCC- That actually does happen....

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By in Belgium,

... then again, in the UK cops don't carry guns, so it might be true for the UK
(reminds me of a brilliant comedy piece of one of Robin William's shows:
English cop to fleeing robber: "Stop, or I'll yell "stop!" again!" :D

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By in United Kingdom,

This book does look good but the price in the UK is pretty hefty :-(
^ (On a related note, today in the UK two men got shot by an armed officer in London but I won't go into detail as to why)

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By in United Kingdom,

"The subject matter will not be to everyone's taste" . Re-he-heeeeally?! You think?

You could've written that in letters ten foot high, and it would still be understatement of the century. If i could thumb DOWN a news piece, this would get it big time. This is one seriously UGLY subject for lego bricks. I mean, wow. This is sooooo not what i come to brickset for.

I'm not a hypocrite, and I'm certainly no prude. There is a world of difference between action-based adventures featuring fictional comic-book cartoon combat, and... this... window into a very real world of humankind's latest inventions for the killing of others. I don't care how amazingly accurate they are, what fantastic techniques are employed, or replica or not, it's still one very ugly subject. Blaaaagh.

I'm sorry if you disagree, but this comment thread is for opinions (both for and against), and this was mine. One of immense disappointment at the editorial decision to highlight such an ugly subject for a children's building toy.

Boo.

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By in United States,

As others mentioned, there have been many instances where children playing with toy guns were shot by police. Sometimes this happens because the toys look too realistic. This is why all toy guns now have to be made in bright colors, or at least have a bright orange barrel to indicate it is a toy. This book should emphasize that point, but the statement on the back just seems to be a disclaimer to protect the publisher.

I understand there is demand for this sort of book, but I don't feel they need (or deserve) publicity here.

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By in United States,

^^That's just because people are so frazzled out. I mean, I would never wan to get shot, neither do I want anyone else to get shot.

However.

I remember reading before:

"5-year-old boy arrested for pointing pencil in gunlike position."
"Girl expelled for shooting pink plastic bubble gun"
"Child suspended for pointing fingers in gun shape, saying 'Pow pow'"

Read those, they are all true. And look me in the eyes and tell me that people are not overreacting.

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By in United States,

Sorry Huw, I think it might have been in your best interests not to post this, if I may be informed by the comments above me. :-( People. :-(

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By in United Kingdom,

Personally I don't think this should be on here for a whole variety of reasons.

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By in United Kingdom,

The subject matter certainly isn't to my taste but I felt it was reasonable to mention the book here because it clearly is to many.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is a can of worms for a whole host of reasons. I've always liked action men, and their tools and weapons etc. Growing up I loved GI JOE even though my parents hated me playing with the weapons. One of the reasons I loved LEGO was the versatility of the mini figures and the worlds you could create with just a few pieces. Fast forward to computer games like Call of Duty which make fantasy play with weapons so much more real but yet still not real, it's always easy to forget that ultimately that these weapons kill. Whether you're playing with a small mini figure and laser gun, playing a computer game or even building highly detailed replica guns. When I think about it, at whatever level, it is somehow morally wrong. But these replica LEGO guns just don't sit well with me. I can't rationalise it properly, but it just feels like poor taste.

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By in Canada,

Come on people, these books are directed at teen/adult fans of Lego. The only people interested in this subject are Lego collectors who like to build new things with Lego. In the hands of a child, yes they could simulate violence, but the same could be said with any other toy gun. If anybody here is dumb enough to take their chances handling one of these Lego made guns on the street, in this day and age, they're asking for trouble. The guns are built to be a realistic replica, therefore should not be handled in areas outside the home or outside the company of people who are aware the guns are built of Lego.

I'll happily pick up the book if I ever see it in my book store. In Canada we're not a bunch of fussy old grannies scared to death that our children might become serial killers if they play with toy guns. The guns are meant to be displayed just like every other set in our collections.

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By in United Kingdom,

I love LEGO and I love shooting stuff on my PlayStation...but Sony make their light guns in bright plastic colours for a very good reason...they look nothing like the real thing even if the intent is to pretend it's real and 'kill' something on the screen. A replica hand gun made from LEGO is wrong on so many levels and right on so few...terrible idea.

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By in United States,

Thank you for not shying away from apparently controversial subjects. Please don't stop. Don't really care one way or the other about the book.

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By in United Kingdom,

This book is obviously intended for collectors, and as such clearly the guns are designed for display only, and I personally would love to own a copy of it and to build and display the guns as they were made to be

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By in Australia,

Well said, Ypres. I may not personally buy the book but I'm glad to see that more controversial Lego related unofficial products aren't avoided here. Plus if I had the parts, I wouldn't mind making a Lego gun, but I wouldn't be foolish enough to run around the streets with it.

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By in United States,

It would be interesting to see the difference in responses if this had been a book about how to build LEGO lightsabers.

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By in United States,

My kids love shooting their Nerf guns and water pistols, but they are bright orange and white. Interesting for gun and Lego enthusiast, but not something that I am into.

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By in United States,

I am not too big on guns but guns are for hunting not killing people hunting. However we assume its for killing because of the wackos out there but it isn't. I agree if you take these out sides than your not thinking. But lego isn't supporting by making star wars guns those are blaster rifles. And The main creator never wanted to make war seem like its child play. The only theme for war is star wars but even then they make it seem like playful not kill each other and when a character does die a skeleton appears or bricks. And lastly these are fan made don't point fingers at lego. >:[

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By in United States,

@Binary

Lightsabers are imaginary weapons.
Guns are real weapons whose use has very real consequences.

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By in United States,

"Next on FOX News:Should we BAN Lego sets from being sold if people can create weapons using them? Which could possibly mean Lego supports HOMEGROWN TERRORISM!?!?!" Let's hope that never becomes a real head-line...

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By in United States,

Now for my opinion on the subject. I don't mind this (the book) at all,even though I do not support violence,but there are people who are into this kind of stuff and I do not hate them for that. However,I do HATE the kind of people who want to wipe whatever offends them off the face of the earth,and I'm getting that vibe from a lot of people here,which is really annoying. Just ignore this subject matter if it offends you! There are still sexist and racists around,I just ignore them! And just like Sitawitka said up there:these are fan made,so don't get mad at Lego! What fans do with their Lego bricks is completely out of Lego's control!

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By in United States,

@legomaniac:
Why would that appear on Fox? Fox is a right-wing network, and is pro-gun (anti-gun control).

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By in United States,

@Bobafett2
I don't pay much attention to the media,actually. So I wouldn't know who is loyal to what side of politics,sorry. :/

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By in Australia,

Definitely NOT appropriate on this site, Huw. Wrong decision to post.

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By in United States,

Making Lego guns won't be a problem. It's irresponsible people who take violence too far that are the problem. Violence is a part of life - defeating enemies that seek to destroy that which is good is violent, but needed. The problem is overindulging in the violence itself, not all forms of violence.

Funny thing is that I live in Idaho and we've never had any mass shootings. I guess that's because 99% of the people who own a gun know how to properly and safely use it as well as when to use it.

Needless to say, this looks like an interesting book. I didn't know there was enough of a fan base that like Lego firearms. I may actually pick up a copy after I finish cleaning my .357 - Just kidding. :D

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By in United States,

Nifty!

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By in United States,

Yes a very contested subject. I am not sure if Huw was aware of the furor surrounding gun control and violence in the US right now. I think people in the states should give him the benefit of the doubt.

I think issues like this come down to the personal choice of the FOL. For example, I understand why Lego does not give weapons to their police officers in the CITY line, however I have given all of my minifigure police officers weapons because I feel it is more realistic. Yet I also understand why people would prefer weaponless Lego police, it helps make Lego a more innocent product, and I think Lego's innocence is part of it's appeal.

Yet there is demand for high quality Lego weapons, just look at Brick Arms. Some of the best MOC builders are known for their gun replica skills. There is a market for this stuff. Huw was right in his knowledge that gun builds are popular among a certain segment of Lego fans.

Finally I think Huw has the right to touch contested issues on his own website, all Lego fan sites have that right. Some of us might the uproar a few months ago when The Brothers Brick blogged about the social media "Equality" campaign. Although my opinions on the issue are the opposite of The Brothers Brick, I respected their right to publish their opinion on the subject and I thought the trolling the post attracted was uncalled for. Huw has the right to show his opinions on Brickset, even if it opposes the views of some of the readers. The day we stop allowing people to express their opinion is the day we begin to lose our freedoms.

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By in Spain,

fully agree with all critical voices (coming in lately). It should not be advertized in this forum. not appropriate. Should take the opportunity to comment that there is growing indication of martial subjects and violent topics in the LEGO product lines. Even chima has mostly grim characters rather than transpiring positive and sympathetic sprits.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ I was careful not to post my opinion on guns in the article, only on the book itself.

As I have said above though, I don't agree with making realistic guns from LEGO but that doesn't mean that I want to deprive those that do of the ability to do so or to find out how. It's a (mostly) free world, and it's not illegal to do so.

Lighten up, everyone!

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By in United Kingdom,

There's a difference between censorship and not promoting something. Sadly, this has promoted it - right splat on the front page. Include it in a list of lego books but a front page news article? I'm with those that think this was a very poor decision.

And I have to say, I see this appealing much more to 10-16 year old boys than 'collectors' of guns or lego. The name 'Badass LEGO guns' for the previous verrsion would suggest so too.

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By in United Kingdom,

Whether pro or anti gun, I still don't see the point in making realistic hand gun replicas out of Lego - Which is why I've been collecting Star Wars sets, all those grey parts will come in handy for a 1:1 scale replica of a Trident nuclear missile ;-)

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for showing this, ever since I was young I've had a fascination with firearms, their design and technology.

I had no idea such a fanbase existed for a topic like this, bit pricey though.

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By in United States,

@Huw - This is a site about Lego collecting, and outlets to do that. You are not wrong in the least. Keep Calm and Carry Lego everywhere.

Next thing you know, people will be up in arms about a realistic camera book because of those DANG PAPARAZZI!!! Or realistic food, because OH THE CHILDREN MIGHT EAT IT!!

People have different interests, and this site tackles them all. I quite like that. I dont even really LIKE guns in general, and have less interest in this book....but it belongs here as a possible Lego outlet just like anything else. Children arent going to be buying these, and if they obtain this book, it'll be due to their parent's perogative....a totally different subject.

Good grief.

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By in United States,

HUW, I am not offended in the least! It is simply a book of Lego models. I won't be buying this book, but to be offended by it or believe this post is in poor taste is laughable.

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By in Australia,

I find this troubling, and think the book is in rather poor taste.

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By in United States,

LEGO guns don't kill people. ;)

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By in United Kingdom,

This disturbs me that little kids could be building and playing with Lego Guns.

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By in United States,

Wow look at all of these overly sensitive loons. @Huw Please ignore the naysayers, there is nothing wrong with what you posted.

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By in United Kingdom,

^I know, why don't we publish a book on how to make pornographic LEGO models. Yes, that's right, make love, not war. It's funny how some people who would be quite ok with the above book, couldn't stomach a book about love. I suggest you think very carefully about calling people loons 501.

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By in United States,

I have held and fired a real BG22, 92FS, and 1911. Those lego ones look scary real and is something children should not have. If someone pointed one at me, I would think it was real. Not good, Lego gun replicas a TERRIBLE idea. Nothing against Lego, these weapons are fan-based. Huw, I have no problem with you publishing this article.

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By in United States,

Yes finally no one commented something rude about my opinion! I would like to state that who's gonna buy there kid this? and how is a kid gonna build these HARD to build lego guns?

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By in United States,

@ baron von brick LOL

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By in Australia,

Lego is a kids' toy, but adults find it a lot of fun too. Most Lego is used to build houses and cars, but some weird and wonderful things come out too: huge complex sculptures, and tiny bits street art. Lego is used by scientists and hobbyists to make holders for experiments or cameras, and frames for resin moulds.
Baron von Brick raises a very good point: some people are making Lego into things that are violent: guns, military vehicles, science fiction dioramas. People are also making Lego into other adult things: sex, drugs, characters from R-rated films. There was a bondage dungeon diorama a couple of years ago. That was funny, but not for kids. I made a little Terminator with a minigun. Cute but violent.
What are you going to do? Write laws saying Lego must only be built into nice things?
You can give Lego to kids because it's the greatest toy ever invented, but this just shows that we should be aware of how our children play, and talk to them about what they are thinking and feeling.

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By in United States,

This is a quote from the article posted by dover in reference to the man wielding the gun: “Obviously it could have been a lot worse … but fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.” Really!!!!! thankfully HE wasn't hurt. Thankfully no-one innocent wasn't hurt if you ask me. I think they need to take away this mans LEGO's and just leave him with a few of the friends minifigs to play with.

@Baron von brick: why not LEGO kama sutra. Ha Ha.

The only thing that really needs to be said is......different strokes for different folks.

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By in United Kingdom,

Lego has one golden rule not to produce anything to do with war. Now understood there is a fan base u to criticise the site is different there is nothing wrong with this site. We are all Lego collectors and modellers who design and build different things.

Personally I would not touch anything military unless it was related to transformers because that is fantasy and that is what Lego produce fantasy violence e.g. Star Wars or Super Heroes. But my point is if you going to build a Lego replica gun the way I would have gone about doing it is by simply building it in a different colour other than black.

Baron Von Brick your point about Call of Duty is invalid because the first lot of COD except Blacks Ops 2 are using guns that military use and saying that it is fantasy is a massive understatement because there is blood there is violence look at the differences between sci fi games and combat games in transformers games they explode and then they vanish nothing left behind but in games like COD there body does not disappear and saying that COD is fantasy is not true especially if the game is age rated 18 and transformers age rated 3.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Jacob 17101 - I think you should reread my comment. All toys / games with guns promote violence and therefore if one was to take a moral approach based on being anti violent, none of it would stack up - whether its a small mini fig with a laser gun or computer game or replica guns. In essence I do not like violence, however rather than being totally purient, I tolerate levels of it, whether it is tv, games or toys. Nevertheless, for some reason, that cannot be properly rationalised in a fair manner, these replica LEGO gun models do not sit well with me and I would not support the book or even appreciate the building skills. I don't like it.

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By in United States,

The only reason I would buy a book like this would be to make a toy gun out of purple, lime, and azure friends bricks, possibly with the little butterfly stickers from the Summer Riding Camp on the sides. But I don't like toy guns meant to resemble real guns, since violence is never just a game. I think guns belong in shooting ranges, hunting grounds, and locked safes, and that's it.

But there are many types of guns. Water guns, paintball guns, and dart guns are all kid-appropriate examples of guns. I'd love to see a book about building these types of guns out of bricks. Even a laser cannon or ray gun or something would be fun, but something that looks like an actual, life-threatening weapon is not appropriate for LEGO bricks.

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