It was called a “Tracer Gun”

Tracer Gun from

Tracer Gun from

Despite my best efforts I could not locate an image on the interwebs for the kind of disc shooter I remember playing with as a kid.   Finally after much googling, I found a picture and the actual name of the type of toy.   Apparently they were known as “Tracer Guns” and were produced circa the 1960’s through 1990’s.  (Image of a Tracer Gun at right from  Whenever I searched for these online I only found references to larger disc guns that shot larger foam discs from cylinder mounted on top.

A variation I had not seen as a kid, but desperately wanted, was disc shooter that had a removable and re-loadable clip.  In the pictures to the right you’ll see a grove about halfway down the barrel, just above a protuberance.  That protuberance would house about 20-25 discs depending upon the gun you had.  In order to load/reload the gun you would have to slip each disc under the firing pin one at a time.

Once I discovered the name of this type of toy, Wikipedia filled in the rest.  They had some pictures of a tracer gun which had been taken apart to expose the insides.  The best part is the gun depicted has a clip loading mechanism!

Having taken apart the non-clip version as a kid, I recall it having a similar metal spring as a source of power. 1  I believe the rubber band on the trigger is merely to keep it in place.  The protuberance on the non-clip version and the clip on the clip version of the toys both contain springs for advancing the next disc into place.

To be clear, I am not looking to duplicate, copy, or replicate this toy.  I don’t want that toy.  Rather, I would love to print a toy of my own, or a collaborative, design that will shoot harmless plastic discs.

Tracer Gun, clip removed - from Wikipedia

Tracer Gun, clip removed – from Wikipedia

Tracer Gun, exposed - from Wikipedia

Tracer Gun, exposed – from Wikipedia

  1. They were quite breakable, unfortunately. []

7 Responses to “It was called a “Tracer Gun””

  1. Dave says:

    I don’t know that I can help contribute to this (aside from being annoying and correcting the word ‘clip’ to being ‘magazine’) but I’m sure printing one once it’s all designed!

    Ultimately, I’d like a version of this similar to the arduino Nerf sentry gun. I want a button on my desk (or PC desktop) that I can push and encourage people visiting my office to stop bugging me and go away. Right now, I just have a Nerf machine gun which takes too long to pump up. Far too much effort there. I want a button. Just click and pew pew pew!

  2. Luis E Rodriguez says:

    I think it should shoot makerbot coins!

  3. MakerBlock says:

    @Luis: I think we can make that happen. Wanna help?

  4. MakerBlock says:

    @Dave: First, I’m not correcting ANYTHING. Second, I think a desk mounted disc gun is totally doable. If designed properly, it would only need one motor to activate the gun. I figure it could pull the trigger most of the way back and hold it there. Then, when you’re ready to fire it could pull the rest of the way quickly, release, then pull the trigger back most of the way again.

  5. […] magazine1 that you clip in the front of the shooter.  When you clip it in it should depress a spring, or […]

  6. Joe says:

    I played with this and friends soo much. I can’t find where to buy this anymore. They had it at the corner store down the street. Lost alot of discs, but was alot of fun, get hit, didn’t hurt, but u would somewhat know it. Best guns ever! I want to get them for the kids in my family to play with. Anyone know if they still sell anywhere? (reloadible clipped ones preferebly?)

  7. MakerBlock says:

    @Joe: Sorry, man. I have no idea where you can find a Tracer Gun these days. :/