|The Japanese started their "modelgun" industry some time in the mid 50's the "modelguns"
at first where lacking in detail/appearance, but they started to improve
by the mid to late 60's.
At first, the "modelguns" where made almost completely
from sheet metal, brass and zinc alloy.
Sometime between the1960's-70's some
(very few!) enterprising Japanese citizens attempted to make real guns out of
"modelguns" (an extremely illegal thing to do
in "gun-free" Japan!) so the Japanese government
started take steps ("the firearms/swords law") to control the replica-"modelgun" industry.
So, the manufactures at the
time apparently got together in 1977 (and fearing an government
crack down on their industry) and decided to make their own changes to
the "modelguns" (self regulation) i.e. the all- metal handguns would be gold,
silver or chrome plated
for identification purposes, a hardened piece of steel was introduced
into the barrel mold and the barrel plugged with solid zinc.
modelguns that where made of sheet metal like the MGC
mp40,sten,sterling and others that used sheet metal/steel for
construction this method of construction was prohibited for
Also, the original owner cannot sell (or give away )the
prohibited modelgun, unless perhaps he turns it into the authorities.
Of course, all of this new
regulations this did not go over well with the "modelgun" collectors who
where required by law to block their modelguns barrel and paint/plate
their model gold/silver! and they of course liked to buy and trade their
Also, some collectors where
and are put off by all gold/chrome plated collections!
citizen is fascinated by firearms but are often prevented from owning the real thing, and
realism is extremely high on the list.
So, the manufactures decided that
if they where to manufacture the "modelguns" out of abs
plastic/zinc, they could still have the expected realism, stay
legal and be less
expensive to manufacture! so, the vast majority of the "modelguns" would then be made out of abs plastic with zinc alloy parts.
Of course, the manufactures like Marushin, Hudson, Tanaka and others still offer
all zinc modelgun handguns.