(Notice: this pistol does not appear to work – I can’t find anything that is obviously broken but as it stands it does not vanish the silk as it is meant to do. If you bid on this please understand it is for display purposes only unless you are handy and fancy a project. It does come with a bonus Gorden’s Silk in Balloon (I) should you get things to work.)
Magic Hands have a very good track record with their Silk Pistols. They released their first one c. 1974, this amazing beauty c. 1979, and their final one c. 1984. So when I finally sat down to understand how this worked I was quite excited to see what they had achieved.
Well although the pistol looks amazing and is very collectible as it is, I don’t think this blunderbuss style is even close to the functionality of their other two pistols. It is designed to work with another product released by Magic Hands called: Gorden’s Silk in Balloon II where you can supposedly shoot not one but two silks from the pistol into a balloon. That sounds great but as a Silk Pistol this actually only vanishes one silk and the second one is done by subterfuge. Worse the first silk is not actually vanished either a switch is made so that instead of vanishing a full silk just a small corner is vanished. So rather than actually vanishing two silks this pistol actually vanishes a small corner.
To add insult to injury I am unable to set this up so that it even vanishes the corner 🙁
As it stands this pistol vanishes nothing let alone two silks!
The way it is supposed to work is:
- You show the pistol. Load the first silk down into the barrel of the gun and supposedly let a small part of the corner of the silk hang out (this is in fact the switched corner). The switch is easy enough to do (you simply push in the first silk and let fall out the fake corner in its place), but the vanish is a far cry from a full silk vanish as with other silk pistols.
- This corner is attached to a thread inside the barrel and when you fire the gun the first time the thread is meant to be pulled up and vanish the silk corner and of course then the silk appears in the balloon.
- Then you load the second silk – there is not even a pretense at hanging out from the barrel this time just load it in the barrel and fire.
- And the second silk appears in the balloon.
So even if this works perfectly as designed at best it would only vanish a single silk corner. Could it give the impression of vanishing two silks – yes I think so as long as the appearance into the balloon looks effective it could. However, there is no doubt to the spectator where the silks are as the audience saw you push them inside the barrel and of course you cannot look inside the barrel.
But if you purchased thinking you’d be vanishing two or even a single silk as you would with other silk pistols (as I did), you are going to be disappointed.
Bottom line this is deceptive magic advertising at its best 🙁
This pistol does not appear to have anything damaged about it – everything looks fine, but it has two issues (over and above the deceptive advertising):
- It is meant to fire two blanks, but only the first blank fires – the second does not fire.
- The silk attached to the thread is meant to be pulled inside when the first blank fires, but it does not. I cannot see why.
As it stands this just prop looks amazing as long as you never try to use it. It does look very close to a genuine Pistol from the 18th century as you can see with the final photo (which IS NOT included). I’d like to think that if someone wanted to play with this more, maybe even strip it down, they would be able to get the first vanish to work perfectly and maybe get the second blank to fire too. But even if everything worked precisely as the instructions say this silk pistol would still leave something to be desired.
I did manage to also find the first version of Gorden’s Silk in Balloon (but not the two silk one, just the one silk one) but I included this for completeness, even if the pistol doesn’t work properly now, maybe it will when you play with it.
Either way it will look amazing on the shelf in your collection 🙂
Effect: With our new Super-Silk-Pistol, we present to you a precious device. With our Pistol, you can shoot for the first time, two silks into a balloon!
As you can see in the illustration, this is a reproduction of a Flintlock Tromplon Frontloader Pistol from late 18th/early 19th century. Excellent craftsmanship, pistol grip, solid wood, barrel crafted metal workmanship.
Overall length approx. 17 3/4″, you shoot with 6 mm blank cartridges. Nowhere will you find a better looking Silk-Pistol for stage and parlor.
We do not promise too much by emphasizing that our Super-Silk-Pistol will soon become a collectors item. Limited stock. We supply the pistol in an elegant case, together with ample shots of ammunition and two silks approx. 12″ x 12″. Please state age when ordering the pistol, it can not be supplied to persons under the age of eighteen years.
(Notice: Includes: Printed Instructions.)( Post Source: martinsmagic.com - click for details )