A Gun Collector's Intro to Replica Guns
Sometimes it can be very difficult, expensive, or even illegal to get your hands on a particular gun to complement your collection. In many cases, replica guns are available for a very good price, which are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. If you're not planning on ever firing the gun, it might be worthwhile to look into replica guns to fill that void in your cabinet.
The price of the gun may depend on how it's made. Most replica guns that you'll find will probably be built with lightweight and inexpensive materials, with the purpose of simply recreating the outward style and appearance of the real thing. Sometimes, they are made from real firearms which have had parts modified or removed to make them unusable.
1869 .45 Caliber Schofield Replica Gun
Another type of gun you may find, though more likely in Asia or Europe than the United States, is an Airsoft. These are frequently called replica guns because they are built to resemble real firearms in high detail. This is misleading, however, because they actually do shoot projectiles (usually small, plastic BBs or miniature paintballs), and as such, they're also regulated differently.
It's critical to know what laws are in place in your area regarding the gun you are looking to acquire. In some countries, it's necessary to register replica guns, even if they are completely incapable of being modified to fire a round.
Recently in Malaysia, six people were killed by the police and a large 'gun' cache was confiscated. It turned out that most of the weapons were actually AirSoft replica guns! I can't emphasize enough how important it is to cooperate with authorities, even if the laws are ridiculous.