Prop Weapons, A to Z from fake shooty to fake stabby and everything between

I’m going to share my resources for finding accessories for the wonderful G.I. Joe costume you’re building!

DISCLAIMER: Weapons are never required for approval as a member of the FInest. Be sure that you follow the legal requirements of the area you reside in or are traveling through.

Per the Finest Charter, "Under no circumstances are Finest members allowed to carry real firearms loaded or unloaded while in costume or while representing the Finest at any event. Violation of this policy will result in immediate dismissal from the Finest"

The weapons policy in its entirely can be found on page 13 of the charter. I encourage everyone to read through it!

Where applicable, I’ve noted vendors that I’ve actually ordered from.

Melee props:

These largely come in three categories. LARP (Foam props), Training weapons (oversized hard plastic), & Replicas (Resin/Wood/Rubber/3D printed)

LARP Weapons (these tend to be oversized and are not well suited for sheathes)

  • SPIRIT Halloween has a decent selection of foam weapons that are both con-safe and lightweight, plus you can typically get a discount if you stop instore immediately following Halloween

  • Sparkfoam Swords, realistic foam katanas with a saya, they also have some other swords. I’ve purchased several items and have generally been pleased with them.

  • A large number of shops on Etsy also carry LARP weapons in some cases; these folks are just reselling props purchased from other marketplaces, so some careful and thorough searching can save you $$$.

Training Weapons: (oversized, make your own sheath)

Replica Weapons

There are three commonly seen knives used by G.I. Joe costumers available on Amazon, eBay, Evike, and other airsoft stores. All three come with sheaths and are generally made out of rubber and plastic.

I own all of these, and they’re fine if a bit basic looking. The knives generally don’t fit well in the sheath, and some additional lining helps keep them in place.

  1. M9 Bayonet
  2. SOG Seal pup
  3. Matrix Aggressor. Generic kinfe not really based on anything.

However, there is a whole realm of other resin/rubber replicas available with a little more searching. Generally, while these don’t come with sheaths, you can use sheaths designed for either the actual real knife or generic knife sheaths purchased off or Amazon or eBay.

One eBay seller than I’ve purchased several props from. He has quite the selection of different con-safe props though the blades due tend to be thin. Reproduction sheaths for these can be found in various places.

They also have a direct site

Looking for more? A ton of 3d printed and cast items are available by searching prop knife on Etsy!

Some vendors I’ve purchased from.
[Halo Combat Knife | Etsy]

Throwing Stars

Kunai Throwing Knives

Up next! Grenades and other assorted throwables


I like the M9 Bayonet kit cause it’s so cheap on sites like ebay/amazon, plastic sheath easy to spray paint to match whatever character you are doing since so many had special colored sheaths, and also it comes ready to attach to your belt. The loops for adding to your leg/thigh is also a nice touch. I’ve bought so many of those for costumes.


The M9 Bayonets do work quite well and are cheap. The nice thing about some of the other replicas is that you can easily find actual leather sheaths for cheap. It’s nice to have some variety on the other characters where an M9 might look out of place.

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Part 2: Grenades, Dummy munitions



Cast metal grenades are commonly found in military surplus stores and around the web. However, these are heavy, though they paint well.


Several Finest approved vendors produce resin cast or 3d printed options that are much lighter.

  • Mk2 Pineapple
  • M26 Lemon
  • M67 Baseball

  • M26 Lemon, for Viper (3D printed)

Other grenade options:
Spirit Halloween and Amazon sometimes sell toy Mk2 toy grenades; they make great filler props. Also, you can find them at the Dollar Store on occasion.

Evike sells some plastic dummy munitions. The MK2 and M26 grenades do not paint well at all. But are great for filling out a loadout.

Evike also sells some excellent replicas of M67, M18 Smoke Grenade, and M84 Flashbang. However, they’re quite expensive! If you are not in a rush and willing to gamble a bit, eBay and aliexpress also sell them though shipping times can be quite long.

image image

Beyond that, eBay is a good source for non-USA replicas. has a few replica grenades especially some non-USA designs.

Etsy can be an excellent source for finding 3D printed options.

Dummy Rounds

Useful for certain costumes, but typically heavy and often not con safe. My preferred vendor for this is:

WARNING: They also sell live ammo so make sure you’re ordering dummy rounds
Combat Disabled Veteran’s Surplus

Dummy Rounds on Ebay

Replica shotgun shells for Flint tend to be hard to find, but eBay and Etsy have a few options. You can also find empty shotgun hulls on most sporting goods sites.

If you’re doing a character like Rock & Roll you can also find plastic bullet belts on Amazon, and at Spirit Halloween stores. These are much lighter than actual dummy rounds but don’t look near as good without some detailing. Also quite flimsy so you may want to glue rounds together.

If you’re thrifty you can also make your own dummy rounds using unprimed or fired brass. Be cautious of lead, and other harmful elements.

PROP C4, Pipe Bombs, IEDs

Be sure of the local laws regarding these items, use common sense, and generally don’t be an idiot.

There are a bunch of tutorials on how to construct fake prop versions of these items, do so at your own risk.


If I could figure out what sizes nut this would be, this might be a fun build project


Also if you have access to a 3D Printer, almost every type of grenade type you can think of is available as a free download to print on thingiverse. Usually just need to add a keychain ring or similar to give it a little realism.

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I’ve got one coming! I’ll measure it for you when it comes in!

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True that! That was going to be part 4!

Part 3: Prop Guns!


DISCLAIMER: Follow your local laws on fake/prop/toy guns! Don’t fly with these either!

I’d recommend some orange markings on the muzzle of your prop gun. I like orange electrical tape as it’s easy to remove for photos and replace as needed.

As a rule, I’d suggest avoiding non-firing replicas (like Denix) as they’re heavy and too close to the real thing.

When it comes to prop guns, there are a couple of options. Stunt guns (foam/rubber/resin/wood), Airsoft guns, toy guns. Most of my stuff is broken airsoft, so that’s where I’ll spend most of this post.

Stunt Guns (these are a great option as they’re typically con safe and can be realistic looking)

I don’t have a lot of these but have purchased a few for harder-to-find prop guns.

  • Alchemy Arms, limited selection but good quality. I’ve purchased both finished and unfinished props from them.
  • Armored Slug, I haven’t purchased anything from them yet, but they have a lot of different resin pistols
  • Cold Steel and other manufactures make a variety of solid training guns.
  • Etsy is a great source for these; trying searching for “prop gun”, you’ll find some toys and 3D printed stuff but also rubber and resin casts.

Toy Guns (Nerf, Cap, Play guns) Typically not suited for holsters

  • Nerf makes some nice-looking prop guns that are typically con safe, and you can find a variety of attachments to customize them to your liking. Check the secondary market for good deals (like eBay), shop outlet stores…etc. There is a big community around customizing these as well.
  • Cap guns, generally on the small side, and not well suited for costume purposes. Your mileage may vary
  • Play guns. Some excellent options here, Walmart carries the Adventure Force line, and they’re generally sized pretty close to 1:1. Options I’ve seen include an M4, M92, MP5, Glock. Dollar Stores also sometimes have good options always worth checking if you’re looking for one of these. Just need some paint, and you’re good to go.

Airsoft Guns (these are the most realistic and tend to be pricey but generally don’t require paint and accept/work with most real accessories) Often not accepted at most cons, but it largely depends. Great for photoshoots!

Generally, I avoid anything UK ARMS/ Double Eagle, HFC …etc., as they’ve not always 1:1 scale and it can be hard to tell until you physically have it in hand. Anything not 1:1 looks silly in my book. Pic is 1:1 M92 vs tiny M93 (unknown) and full size Grease Gun vs Grease Gun (DE).

Secondary market is the best place to acquire these! If you’re patient and you look for the right thing, you can find excellent props for cheap!

I generally mod my prop guns by blocking off the barrel with a dowel rod and some hot glue; you can also remove triggers. You should absolutely remove batteries and empty any airsoft pellets from the mags before using them as a prop gun.

Common Prop Gun suggestions:

Pistols (for anything that’s just staying in a holster airsoft springers are a great option but watch scale!)


  • UZIs, decent airsoft spring versions available hit up eBay
  • TMP/ B&T MP9 again good springer versions
  • MP5s then to be harder to find, but normally you can find parts and piece these together pretty easy, no real good spring version available
  • Grease Gun, super rare in 1:1. Both springer and metal versions exist. The commonly seen Double Eagle version is tiny!


  • Generally hard to find good versions of these.
  • Rem 870 G&P makes an accurate version that used to be cheap, also check out S&T and CYMA versions
  • Mossberg, some spring versions are 1:1
  • SPAS-12, look at ASG version


  • AR-15/M4, Adventure Force toy guns aren’t terrible. There are hundreds of airsoft M4s available, and these are super easy to assemble from parts.
  • AK47/74 not as plentiful as M4 varieties but easy enough to find. I don’t care for the plastic versions, but there are many options for these. Folding stock versions are not the most durable.
  • SVD, fixed, and folding stocked versions are easy enough to find. Often Airsoft Marketplace linked above will have boneyard versions of these available.
  • Sniper Rifles, both Rem 700 and L96 rifles, are easy to find, particularly in a broken form. Check eBay.

LMGs and Heavy Weapons

  • M249s are readily available and often come up in the secondary market.
  • M60s can be found in both para/and full-size versions, tend to be expensive
  • Barrett M82 check out Lancer Tactical for a decent version
  • 40MM Launchers, M203s are the most readily available option, some 6-shot models available. Russian GP 40mm launchers are rare, as are used M79 grenade launchers.
  • Miniguns, if you can afford one of these, why are you reading this!

Part 4 is other options, 3D printing, building, etc.


@VFS I was reading this and you said to avoid Double Eagle airsoft because they aren’t 1:1 scale. I know UK Arms is crap. I have the M82 (typical Viper rifle) and a few M1911’s and they are to scale…aren’t they? Just checking.

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Some of their stuff is ok and 1:1. They have a G36, M4, 1911, and SIG 552 (DE M82) that are either 1:1 or close enough that you wouldn’t notice. But they also make that tiny grease gun and some others that aren’t anywhere near scale so it’s worth double checking before you order. I’ll add a note to my post above. :slight_smile:

Great lists, I’m enjoying checking out the links.

Question on the doll rod concept, are you just making a quick plug for the sake of inspection insurance or are you also trying to give some additional stability to something that otherwise may get flimsy once you start stripping parts?

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UK arms and Double Eagle got ok cheap props, just gotta always look for online reviews, many are available in video format so you can see if they are proper scale or not. I got a bunch of their stuff and it’s good and super cheap on ebay… just avoid their hillarious mini AK-47. Their MAC-10’s are also really MAC-11’s. I always check online reviews now to make sure the springer cheap guns are the right size.

Broken airsoft is great but it feels like more folks have caught on, it’s harder to find great deals anymore. Used to get super cheap high end airsofts for props no problem but now it seems it’s getting lot harder, with the prices being only a little off the normal price. I remember getting a full metal Dragunov for $40.

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Depends on the prop/project. I’ve rebuilt/reinforced barrels on cheapy springers with dowel rods. But the main idea behind it was to provide a clear this is a non-functioning prop for safety inspections.

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Yep, the cheapie brands’ DE/UK Arms can be fine if you watch scale closely. I normally look at youtube for reviews/videos of them being handled before ordering one.

Broken airsoft has certainly gotten a bit more expensive on eBay, but I’ve still had some pretty good luck finding deals. I think it largely depends on releases and the age of prop gun you’re looking for. A few years ago used HK MP7s were super rare on the secondary market but in the last few months they’ve been popping up quite a bit.

@Panzer Does anyone make an actual MAC-10 prop sized correctly? All the airsoft ones seem to be too small even the nicer brands like KWA.

Don’t think anyones made a MAC-10 even as a GBB. Only MAC 11’s

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Apparently TM and JG make actual MAC-10s