The British Cub pop-out air pistol was manufactured by Modern Arms Co. (Marco) and was available in two or perhaps three variants. The first variant was produced from the late 1920s to the early 1930s. It was manufactured from cast iron and had a nickel-plated finish. On both sides of the grip is a relief of a lion’s head and the words “British Cub”.
The second variant was manufactured from cast aluminium or an aluminium alloy. The lion’s head relief was no longer on the pistol but the words “British Cub” remained. This variant is thought to have been produced in the late 1930s and possibly into the 1940s following the cast iron model. The aluminium alloy variants are normally unfinished bare metal or clear lacquered.
In his Encylopedia of Spring Air Pistols, John Griffiths mentioned a variant of the aluminium alloy variant that was perhaps black anodised. He isn’t entirely certain that it is anodised or finished in some other manner.
Typically for pop-out air pistols, all variants of the British Cub were smoothbore .177 calibre and would fire either darts or pellets.
Jimmie Dee’s Airguns example may be anodised or it may be painted. It is very difficult to tell. Perhaps a previous owner painted it. If they have, they have done a thorough job as it is also black on the inside of the grips, the pivot holes, the threads and maybe inside the compression chamber too.
Either way, these are quite rare and not seen very often. I think this is the first that I have seen for a couple of years!
Until next time, happy shooting!
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