Real guns in Waterguns?

This picture has been making the rounds since at least 2012, when it first came out in a news report from New York. Since then the original description has been convoluted throughout different posts and articles, all either half true or completely incorrect. The original memo apparently came out from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department and included a picture from a confiscated source, while the news story in New York included an actual example. Either way, Snopes has the full story on it.

It looks as if the water gun has been hollowed out, to fit an actual Mossberg inside of it. Thus instead of being able to operate the firearm from inside the fake gun, the intent would be for a criminal to transport it in this form without raising any suspicions from the public or Law Enforcement officers while enroute. It looks like they painted or taped up the grip to make it better fit with the colors of the water gun as well, it taking the place of the actual water gun grip. But then again, the Mossberg pump isn’t present, and it almost seems as if the water gun pump is being used in place of the Mossberg one. How that all works on the inside, I’m not entirely sure.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

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  • John

    Could just modify it to be a flamethrower.

    • Tom

      Would be better to modify it to shoot acid, more amour penetration!

      • cs

        Borderlands 2 Conference Call

  • Alex D.

    This is the new concealed carry

  • The concept would not be that terribly different than the Muzzelite bullpup kits or the various vismod tricks used by Hollywood propmasters and armorers.

  • Swarf

    It’s more likely than you think.™

  • Chadd

    There was actually someone that dI’d this a few years ago in Los Angeles County. He was walking around with it and telling people what it was.
    I’ve seen quite a few pictures of people doing it on a NERF gun website back in the day too. It’s really not as much as you would think.

  • Bill

    Like walking down the street with a water gun after DeathStormBlizzard16 wont attract attention.

  • Nicks87

    Wasn’t this topic already posted on TFB like a year or two ago? Kinda hard to believe you guys are running out of stuff to write about a week after shot show.

    • Chadd

      That was a different gun I believe. I’m pretty sure the one TFB posted was a lot cruder; no barrel type crude.

  • FightFireJay

    This was made to be fired and cycled INSIDE the watergun shell. You can tell because there is a gaping hole in the side for the ejection of spent shells.

  • Avery

    It looks like that there was a screw or bolt that connected the toy’s pump handgrip to the shotgun’s slide. There’s a lengthy cut along the outside of the toy gun so that connected grip could be actuated.

    Also, it’s clearly not a sawed-off shotgun like the guy in the video says. At least, not by the legal definition.

    I recall watching some sort of COPS video show back in the ’90s where there was an arrest of a guy with a shotgun disguised as a water gun. They were wondering why this grown man was roaming about with a bright blue and orange toy gun in a back alley and, when they arrested the guy, you could clearly see the black shotgun barrel sticking out of the front of it.

  • disqus_PDmXLtTxJj

    How many “gangstas” were killed by that “gat” I wonder?

  • Nobody Inparticular

    Police officer in the video called that ~20in bbl a “sawed off shotgun”.

    • JK

      If it was 28″ before, then yeah, they probably sawed it off. As long as he didn’t say NFA Short Barrel Shotgun, he wasn’t technically incorrect.