Bob Hope with linked .50 and M2 MG from WWII


Just for fun, attached are a couple of WWII-era pictures of Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna, probably as part of a USO tour. Backs of pictures are stamped “Base Photo Lab A.A.F.F.G.S.” (Army Air Forces Field Gunnery School). Does anyone know what the gun is in the bottom picture? Looks like it might be a pneumatic BB gun. I’d like to have one of those.


Dennis, you are correct about the gun in the second photo. It is a full-auto BB gun that operates off of compressed air. I have an old book on airguns written by Dr. Robert Beeman and it has a whole article dedicated to BB guns used to teach shooting skills to U.S. Service men, and the gun shown is one of them.

I’ll have to get back to you later with more info on the gun as I don’t have access to my library at this time.

Thanks for posting those great pictures.


I’m sure I have seen one of those BB MGs on a fairground.


The machine BB gun that Hope and Colonna are pictured shooting was made by MacGlashan Air Machine Gun Corp., Long Beach, Calif.

Visable on the side recever of Hope’s gun is the Gov’t ID tag/plate. On that tag it has the gun’s model (Trainer-Aerial Gunnery), Type (E-3), Serial Number, Mfrs. Assy. Drawing No., Order No. and the manufacturers name, City and State.

Only several hundred of these guns were made. Capacity of the gun is two-thousand .177" BBs. Velocity and rate of fire depended upon the Psi pressure of the compressed air or Co2 being fed into the gun.


Thanks for the great air gun information. Looks like the one shown could be more rare than a Colt Walker model, so I probably won’t be finding one to play with. I used to see air-operated BB machine guns at carnivals (many years ago), but as I remember, they more resembled a Thompson SMG. You were supposed to shoot a printed star completely off a paper target in order to win a prize. Of course, that was nearly impossible to do, as there was always a little trace of a star point left on the target after the BB supply ran out.


That game with the Thompson style MGs and the star is still around at carnivals (fun fairs as we call them) here in the UK.


I still see them at our annual state fair as well. The gimmick is that the “BB’s” are much smaller in diameter than the barrel, so accuracy is very poor. I’ve played this game more than a few times and you can not shoot a group with enough precision to cut out the red star… It’s just luck if you win.