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Long before Airsoft arrived, rubber band guns provided quiet, indoor shooting fun for American shooters. Originally the invention of a Union Pacific Railroad machinist, the original Bull's Eye pistol was patented in 1924 in Rawlings, Wyo. An improved Sharpshooter model was patented in 1937, and both versions were advertised as being "accurate enough to dispatch house flies at ten paces."

Packaged with a tube of No. 6 shot, extra rubber bands and targets, some guns also came with a rubber target stamp for those interested in crafting their own cardboard targets - all for the sum of $2.50. A deluxe nickel finish gun could be purchased for $2.75 from manufacturers across the country, from La Jolla, Calif., to Lexington, Pa. In the widespread legions of canvas tents that comprised Camp Perry's competitive lodging in 1925, the new Bull's Eye pistols offered inexpensive recreational practice against the insect targets available there in profusion, then as now.

Reprinted from America's 1st Freedom, November 2006.