Jeff Boen snapped together his first LEGO pistol in under two hours. The Texas-based web developer designed it solely from his memories of movies and video games, then decided to improve its design by borrowing a friend’s 9mm Beretta for reference.
Soon he had a functional model complete with a working trigger, hammer, and slide. Confident he’d created the most realistic all-brick handgun to date, he posted pictures of it to the LEGO Users Group Network (LUGNET). A few weeks later, he was shocked to see that his web page — which typically got about 20 visitors a week — was receiving 8,000 hits a day. Boen’s brick Beretta had gone viral.
Requests for the design poured in from all over the world. Beretta itself sent Boen an email describing his LEGO 92 Series as “beautiful,” and he learned that it was being featured on several of the gun manufacturer’s fan sites. After years of innumerable requests for more replicas, Boen went pro, combining his lifelong passion for LEGO and his tremendous admiration for well-made firearms into the BrickGun.
The web-based company now produces kits and instructions for building nearly a dozen classic handgun models, all made out of standard LEGO parts. His brand has become known for both the ultra-realism of its replicas as well as their simplicity.
The IT-guy-turned-model-gun-designer decided to package his five most popular models into a comprehensive builder’s guide for hobbyists: “The BrickGun Book”(No Starch Press, May 2013, 232 pp., $29.95, ISBN 9781593274900). The model that started the madness, his Beretta 92FS, is included, as are other popular models with working mechanisms, such as the BG22 with loadable magazine and the rubber-band-shooting MAC-11.
The book shows you how to build five remarkably sleek LEGO handgun replicas, like the classic Berreta 92FS and a formidable rubber-band-firing MAC-11. Each chapter includes step-by-step building instructions and a complete parts list using only readily available LEGO pieces. For more info go to http://tinyurl.com/c736x9q .