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Monday, 12 March 2007

How to buy a gun in Seoul, South Korea

Do you love GUNS?! Come on, who doesn't love guns! Want to know how to acquire one in Korea? All you have to do is visit your local toy store, or in this case, Homever! The guns we will be talking about today are not real (although many are made to 1:1 scale) but of the BB kind. These toy guns shoot small plastic white 6mm BBs, which are pretty harmless unless you take one in the eye. My first experience with them was back in elementary school when I had a friend bring back some similar BB guns from Japan. The BBs can shoot through the lid of a cardboard pizza box--so it stings a bit if you get hit by one.

You will see kids out on the weekends shooting each other with these guns (I have seen some with protective eye wear and some without) and even my students BRING these to class! I have 11 year olds who come up to me and say "teacher, look at my gun!"...I take a little peek into the bag and I think, "hmm...that's pretty cool...err...can you put that away now please?"

Where do these kids get their addiction with guns and shooting people? Kids in Korea are addicted to online computer games, whether it's Warcraft, Starcraft, Counter-Strike (I was hooked at one point; [dIRTy] pwnz j00), and the Korean-made Sudden Attack. Some of the favorite phrases my students like to shout include "head shot", "kill", "I am a killer", "knife shot" and a plethora of others. Lots of female students play computer games too, so it's not just the boys. Whenever I ask the same kids what they did on the weekend, an extremely popular answer is "I played computer game"...errr...you mean computer gameSSSSS!

Check out the selection of toy BB guns on display at Homever. We have the infamous AK-47 and some other rifles below:

These BB guns look extremely real. Most of them do not have a bright orange tip like most toy guns from back home so it would be hard to tell if it's a fake gun or not from a distance. If a kid was to pull out one of these suckers in Canada, someone would be calling the cops and weapons would be drawn, that's for sure!

Above: the Desert Eagle, Glock, and S&W 6906...for only 10,000w a piece, about $10USD.

A Beretta M92F...

Here's a comparison between an actual S&W 6906 vs the 1:1 scale BB model that is made in Korea (excuse the poor quality of the first picture, it's a crop):

Although there are a few missing details, how would a police officer tell the difference from 10 meters away?

So there you have it...if you ever spot some kids running around with real looking guns, they are most likely toy models--or they could be the real thing! Be safe and watch your back...or better yet, buy your own gun! Muhahahaha!


Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

From the looks of it, most of those are low-quality replicas. As the owner of a Tokyo Marui M4A1 RIS and a 92FS, I can tell you that the good ones are especially hard to tell from real guns. I've held my M4 along with a real M4 and could barely tell. Even the logos are on it.

However, good, brand name weapons are more expensive. My pistol was almost $300.

Jeff Kee said...

It's interesting how that works - I used to play with those ALL the time when I was young. I did get hit in the eye once though by my brother and I had to go to the hospital to get it checked out.

Gary said...

Yeah, these replicas are more of the toy-based variety and not meant to be hardcore guns for collectors. These kids just eat up these things like no tomorrow. GUNS GUNS GUNS!!!

Jeff: that's an interesting story about your "eye shot". Next to the guns they were selling safety glasses--go figure!

Jeff Kee said...

It was an M16 replica that shot me actually.

I was a kid, this was in the mid-90s.. over 10 years ago. At the time, safety standards and such were even lower, so that figures.

Anonymous said...

James had brought 2 shotties and jason had a pretty solid m4 coming back from HK, but half of jas' M16 got confiscated (go figure). We still got a whole bunch of pistols too, and shoot them at each other/friends from time to time. Gary you sound like a trouble maker. I'm guessing you have one of those just in case a pesty kid gets pesty enough.... hehehe

Anonymous said...

how strangely ironic that this post comes up a month before the shootings in Virginia. Sad sad sad.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the irony.

Korean men are required to serve a mandatory two years of conscription service so no harm getting them exposed to guns early.

But they are just toys, and the fact is, the lax gun laws were, is and still will continue to be the major issue.

Gdog: Great blog. I visited Korea last year in July and I loved every minutes of it. Will definitely be on my bookmarks for sometime.

Anonymous said...

I expect that it’s far easier to get an air rile or even bb pistols over here in the states than it is anywhere else, even with that freedom slowly being eroded. Even though I support the right to own a gun I do agree that it should be incredibly difficult for anyone to obtain one. I’m not talking about a legitimate purchase either. The trick is finding ways to keep these things off the black market and away from the people who have plans to utilize them in some sort of criminal activity. We can take away the guns and criminals will find something else to hurt us with. At what point do we start blaming people?

ezekiel20 said...

I remember when I was growing up in Korea in the early 90s, and me and my buddies used to play 'survival' with BB guns. Mine was a Smith & Wesson Colt, and I modified it to have more firepower by rolling up some toilet paper and putting it inside the piston behind the metal spring.. the BB pellets actually started breaking when I test fired it against the ground..! Lucky nobody got hurt. :D

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