Selling zip guns to cops for $300 apiece

From Wikipedia, Tom Sachs entry:

Many works from the show conflated fashion and violence, as with HG (Hermés Hand Grenade) (1995) and Tiffany Glock (Model 19) (1995), both of which were models made with Hermes or Tiffany packaging.

Although these sculptures were non-functional, another piece - Hecho in Switzerland (1995) - was an actual working homemade gun. Sachs and his assistants would make similar guns and sell them back to the city as part of New York's gun buyback program (for up to $300 each).

Via Coco's Variety


  1. I know of a youth shooting program that would buy cheap guns by bulk (like 10), and sell them back to a gun buy back program. They walked away with a tidy profit for things like ammo and targets.

  2. All of my kid made zip guns were for .22s and cost about $5 each for two sections of 1/4″ pipe and a connector.  Nails and rubber bands were free.

  3. That ‘gun’ looks like a great way to send a large tube of metal right through your face.

    1. It’s not like a little .22 has that much kick, and you’re not going to heat the tube up enough to soften the tape with just a single shot.  I’m thinking that at worst it might twist the tape a bit and get shoved back a quarter inch or so. 

  4. I’m told that in post-WWII Ireland you could mail-order a wholesale surplus still for ten pounds, plant it somewhere in the countryside, and collect a thirty-pound reward for reporting the location of an illegal still.

    Even more fun: William Tyndale financed the printing of the corrected second edition of his New Testament by having an intermediary, Augustine Packington, sell leftover copies of the first edition to the Bishop of London, who was buying them up to suppress the book.

  5. Brilliant!  I have a bucket of broken guns I’ve bought at various auctions waiting for a gun “buy back” 
     (how can you buy back something you never owned to begin with?) to sell them to.  Never thought about building zip guns and selling them, but that’s a great idea!  I have heard of people that sold BB guns and toy guns to gun buy backs successfully.  I have a bunch of left over dollar store Uzis from a movie we did, might try selling them, too :)  Sadly Dallas seems to have stopped it’s buy back programs just before I moved here.  :(  

  6. Gun buybacks waste money on stupid stuff, sure.  Everybody knows that and some folks are smart enough to profit from it.  What sends an arrow through the heart of gun lovers, though, is when grandma brings in a valuable old antique left over after grandpa died and just “wants it out of the house.”  *Sometimes* there are exceptions made and historic artifacts are saved.  Usually, they’re just destroyed along with everything else.

    When Britain went ape-shit stupid and outlawed pretty much all handguns (“We don’t care if our Olympic shooting team has to train in France!  Guns are evil!”), there was a huge but mostly too-late push to get the most valuable and historic examples exported to the U.S.  Too bad it mostly failed.  Preserving the past usually turns out to be a worthwhile endeavour but most people don’t figure that out until long after it’s too late.

  7. These schmucks do enough damage (and make us pay for it) that I have to applaud the ingenuity of anyone who games them for profit.  Great aunt of an XGF had a cache of firearms she would have given me had she not already turned them in to the local gestapo for destruction.  I try not to speculate what it included; I would probably cry if I knew.

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