New Ray Gun Discoveries

One of the exciting things about collecting and studying toy ray guns is that it is often possible to run across examples that one has never seen before. Although some ray guns, like the famous Daisy Buck Rogers guns, were manufactured in quantity and widely advertised by nationally known companies, others are unknown today because they were made in limited numbers for local markets by small, and now defunct, firms. Many of these forgotten guns are as historically interesting and visually powerful as the best known examples. Nevertheless, because they are not well known or pictured in the few books which illustrate toy ray guns, these guns are often overlooked and undervalued. This page showcases one such gun.

If you have (or find) any other toy ray guns that might be featured here, please let me know.

The Austin Magic Pistol

Generally unknown to collectors of toy ray guns, the Austin Magic Pistol is one of the most unique toy ray guns ever made. Made in the 1950s by the Austin Manufacturing Company of Port Austin, Michigan, the Magic Pistol shoots pink and white hard plastic balls which are propelled by an explosion of gas. The gas is produced in the chamber at the back of the barrel by mixing water and a white powder supplied with the gun . This mixture is then ignited by a spark when the trigger is pulled. Yet this toy boasts more than a unique propulsion system. Sporting three flamboyant Buck Rogers-like fins toward the front of its chunky barrel and painted bright red and yellow, the gun has a strong visual presence. Anything but sleek, the Austin Magic Pistol is a reminder that beautiful design need not be sophisticated.

Despite its powerful visual impact and wonderfully unique system of propulsion, this toy ray gun recently sold on ebay for less than $60. It is now in the collection Michael Schneider. What a steal! You don't have to pay a Hiller Atom Ray price to get a masterpiece!


The Austin Magic Pistol Box