You are proceeding to a page containing mature content. Is this OK?

check Yes, show me everything
close No, hide anything sensitive

Government Bans Tanaka Airsoft Guns as Real Firearms


In an unprecedented case, several Tanaka Works manufactured airsoft guns have been ruled real firearms, and so their possession and sale are subject to immediate ban. Tanaka Works themselves, now apparently an illegal arsenal, have been raided by police with a view to prosecuting.

The ruling, based on tests carried out by police, means that the guns now fall fully under the remit of the stringent Japanese Sword and Firearms Control Law, which essentially restricts weapon possession to all but criminals and police, and as a result owners are being ordered to immediately turn in their now illegal firearms.

Some one thousand of the models have already been sold, all as toys and so unregistered, so recovering them all may prove difficult. 800 of the now weapons were seized from the premises of Tanaka in addition.

Police investigations established that two of the models made by Tanaka Works, their S&W M500 CASYOPEA and Colt SAA .45 CASYOPEA, each available in long and short barrel versions, possess the capability of firing a 0.2 gram ball bearing using explosive propellant, without any modifications whatsoever.

This is deemed to have the potential to wound, and thus police hold it can no longer be considered a toy.



Via Sanspo. You can also see a review and videos of the Tanaka M500 in action.

It seems difficult to ascertain whether this is a case of the manufacturer being fools for creating low power handguns, or of the police suddenly altering their criteria for evaluating these toys as handguns or not.

Odd that an airsoft manufacturer would knowingly manufacture and sell firearms, and by the looks of things their models are not too dissimilar from other models?

Airsoft manufacturers will doubtless be having a very nervous look at their designs…


Leave a Comment


  • to be honest you can use anything and eerything as a weapon nowdays, you just need to have a creative mind to figure it out. like a piece of paper could be deadly, a paper clip, a pillow, the mouse pad, some lube even lol. now im a professional airsoft player in the USA and i play with guns that shoot 400-750+fps (feet per second)with .20g-.30g and the most they do is just leave nice bruises and some times on a rare occasion if you are retarded and shoot close range, pierce skin. airsoft is not lethal in any way hence the name airsoft or “soft air” guns. and since im mentaly disabled i have plenty of time to just sit around and build custom guns and looks at pronz all day lol. and last i checked TANAKA has some really bad guns that sucked and only shoot if your lucky maybe up too 400fps.

  • Ah PC logic at work it looks real it might can take an eye out on a good day so lets ban it….uhg….

    Guns are not the problem, societies incompetence in handling their own is…

    I have had BB guns that get 300-1200FPS(well fi I ever get that gamo BB gun that dose 1200FPS lulz) they will only kill you if you are unlucky. Normally they just bruise and price the skin some at 5+ feet. Ypu would have to sue it as a knif to do real damage, I know lets bad knifes,bats, poles,pipes,the internet, cars anything people can use to hurt themselves with…or “harm” authority with……. (mind you JP is not the first or last country to try it, the US will try and ban it all in time with the march to “protect” the public from everything modern society is going to get bland quick…)

    • Exactly right. That is why I am totally against banning ANYONE from having weapons unless they are currently in psychological care and deemed a danger OR they have a violent criminal record with a weapon included in one of their crimes.

      The only thing that laws like this do is keep people from protecting themselves when someone comes after them with intent to kill them.

  • “0.2 gram ball”

    Which is basically nothing compared to the 500 S&W Magnum cartridge, where the bullets range between 17 and 45 grams depending on the round, the real S&W M500 fires. Heck even a lowly .22 LR bullet ranges between 1.9 to 3.9 grams, and with those you have to be either very precise or lucky to inflict harm on someone.

    Sounds like a slow year for the Japanese legal system for them to be making a big deal out of something that has next to no practical application as an actual firearm. The Tanaka version has next to no penetration or stopping power, and definitely not concealable. Even the real version is not practical, long barrel and way too powerful cartridge, and has limited use. You either use it for hunting or for open carry, self-defense when in bear country.

    • i think it has more to do with the action of the CASYOPEA system.
      of all airsoft guns this would be the closest to easiest to make real since it has a hammer hitting a removable cartridge in a cylinder.
      other guns you could make real, but time and effort wise this revolver is the easiest.
      gas guns use a hammer but hits the gas valve on the magazine.
      i think tanaka knew that they were bordering on too close to operational.
      i don’t think it will affect other guns, just this system, which i doubt would be a big deal. i doubt these were hot sellers and more for collectors.
      maybe da or sa cowboy action shooters but i’ve never seen airsoft like that

      • “Other guns you could make real, but this revolver is the easiest” my ass. The actual M500 cartridge has a chamber pressure of 60,000 PSI. The lowly .22 has up to 30,000 PSI. Airsoft guns vary, but ~100 PSI is reasonable.

        In other words, the wimpiest commonly-available cartridge would blow one of these to pieces. You cannot convert these toys to real guns and have them survive more than one firing.

        Especially when the gun only weighs two pounds.

  • It might have to do with the size and velocity of the BB. From what I know, some of Tanaka’s airsoft guns use 8mm and not the standard 6mm BB, and BB’s break the skin when they reach speeds of 300-450 fps, some enthusiasts blatantly modify the guns to fire 500-700 fps to get additional range, which could prove lethal in short distances. And add to that metal and metal coated BB’s that are available on the market.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am more than 5 years in airsoft.Even 700 fps is dangerous for eyes and teeth only.It can damage the skin,and this is painful,but can’t cause death.Most common trauma on airsoft games is fractures from falling.And we use pyro grenade launchers and mortars as well – no wounded either.

  • It’s called CASYOPEA (CArtridge SYstem Of PEgasus Action, Pegasus being the name for the gas system Tanaka patented). The reason is that they use individual cartridges for the bb’s (each one is gas-filled separately), which goes against the rules imposed by the US after WWII. This has happened before, actually, with Asahi’s M40 which used cartridges that you pumped air into.

    Of course, it would be easier to modify a piece of pipe into an improvized firearm.

      • Yeah, pipe guns, or potato guns (or even spud guns) is what we like to call them where I’m from, are self built pressure tubes used to launch a projectile (typical a potato).

        A good vacuum sealed/powered one can reach powers up to 6 joules. Air soft guns in the states are limited to not more than 1 joule. This power difference is demonstrated by the penetration power. Using a small potato, a potato gun can blow through a 1cm thick sheet of aluminum. An air soft gun cannot.

        Other than the power difference, a potato gun can also be built from stuff around the home, where as air soft guns general require specific fit parts such as 6mm polished tubes and gaskets.

        here is a demo video of a potato gun.

        • Put a rounded rock in the place of the potato (much harder) and you can have a weapon that can do serious damage. Hell, just put metal ball bearings in the place of the potato, and it can become a lethal weapon.

  • if it has the potential to puncture the body then its obviously gonna get banned and besides the extreme forms of the guns fire ball bearings using an explosive component which is pretty much wat a real guns does…

    • Then let’s ban crossbows and regular composite bows because they have the ability to penetrate skin and the human body!

      The fact is that these anti-gun laws in Japan are NOT about protecting the populace… they are about Japan having a ‘elite class’ who don’t like the thought of the Japanese people having weapons because if they piss them off? Head on pike time!

  • Hold up a second that gun blowing up the watermelons is a real version of that airsoft gun right? Theres no way a BB is gonna blow up a watermelon, much less require you to wear ear protection lol.

    • How so?

      Japan has had rigorous weapon control laws ever since the great sword hunts to disarm the populace after the Sengoku Jidai finally ended, four hundred years ago.

      If anything, the (pseudo) gun collection hobby is an American import.

    • That’s a funny thing to say, considering that firearm possession is legal in many countries in the West and NOT at all in Japan.

      I guess the fear that America’s going to be more stringent on guns means the West is being Japanified.

    • A .2 gram projectile (even of metal construction) driven down an unrifled barrel propelled by what is most likely ground up match heads. .2 grams is approximately 3 grains, the weight measurement normally associated with bullets. A .22 long rifle caliber bullet is normally 40 grains, and is recognized as one of the weakest modern manufactured calibers that is considered lethal to humans. Airguns that use compressed air to fire ~20 grain lead pellets/balls can be lethal in extraordinary circumstances concerning entry into the skull, but are otherwise deemed as being capable of causing only minor injury, and anyone at least 18 can buy one of those in the USA.

      To give scope to how ridiculous this classification of airsoft guns as firearms is, .2 grams is the normal weight for PLASTIC 5mm bb’s fired out of the cheapest airsoft guns. Considering that some compressed air airsoft guns fire these projectiles at even GREATER velocities than burning match (the kind you use to light cigarettes) powder can obtain, this classification is downright RECOCKULOUS.

      I’m sure the Japanese government would be absolutely horrified if they found out what uneducated Filipinos, hobbyist Americans, and disabled Pakistanis can fabricate using the simplest of hand tools, as well as basic machinery found in many car maintenance shops and machine workshops (it’s actually 100% legal in the USA, following certain restrictions against full-auto and size minimums).