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History Of Laser Taggers

History of Laser Taggers

Battlefield Sports Has A Rich History of Gaming Gun Design  

Why is there a variety of gaming gun models in the Battlefield Sports arsenal? Nicole Lander and Peter Lander started with a few thousand dollars and an idea -- to take a video game and experience it LIVE. And just like in a video game, players need to be able to select a model that suits their gaming style. Do you prefer to sit back and snipe your opposition from afar? 

Do you prefer to run in and attack, kamikaze-style? 

Or do you prefer to play with a bit of both close-quarters battles and range engagements?

The History of Outdoor Gaming Gun Production

Inspired by the famous Colt Revolver from the wild-west, Nicole Lander co-Founder of Battlefield Sports was adamant that each and every gaming gun produced needed to have its own serial number.

Ironically the “Colt 45” was actually a copy of the patented Smith & Wesson Volcanic pistol, according to Wikipedia. To add to the intrigue many copies or near copies were made of the original “Peacemaker”. 

Serial numbers were important, collectors value the lower serial number.

All Battlefield Sports gaming guns to this day still have individual serial numbers. These serial numbers are a kind of timeline, giving one a glimpse into the history of the gaming gun and its owner. 

The History of the Spitfire: The Stalwart

The Spitfire gaming gun got its nom de guerre in honor of the WW2 single-seater aircraft. This airplane was famous for dogfights defending the Allied Forces. It was said that "flying the Spitfire was like driving a sports car".

The WW2 Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance aircraft, likewise, the Battlefield Sports gaming gun was designed as a machine pistol. 

Seen right is one of the older Spitfire Machine Pistols (bottom left) and the current more compact Spitfire design (top left). 


spitfire - the stalwart

But it had a nasty bite – its range was around 50 yards in daylight. Just like a sports-car the very first Spitfire, designed by Jerry Keagan, a friend of Peter Lander. And it was light and lean. It was made of tin/antimony alloy (top right in the image). In the end, it was decided that this alloy, though allowing intricate detailing, was too soft for commercial use and the material was switch to aluminum. 

Some refer to it as the “Spitfire Uzi” because of its quintessential Uzi-like fins - forward and aft. In 2014 Adam Natakuapa and the Battlefield Sports team redesigned the iconic Spitfire and produced a new, more compact, design. 

That same year Battlefield Sports donated the “number 21” of the Spitfire model to the Laser Tag Museum. The Spitfire model is still a stalwart of the Battlefield Sports arsenal. And the Spitfire is still in the current product line-up. 

The History of the Cobra: The Workhorse 

More units of the Cobra laser taggers have been sold than any other model. This model as first introduced into the Battlefield Sports armory back in 2010. 

The first batch was gray polycarbonate, and we made 2,050 units. They quickly sold out. Since then we have made the cases even tougher with fiber-reinforced polycarbonate and black in color. 

Every year for a decade the Cobra has been the best-selling laser tag gun model. It is a real workhorse. It is popular with adults and children alike. It works well in the rain, overcast, or in the sunshine. 

the cobra - the workhorse

The History of the Morita: The Powerhouse

The Morita rifle comes in two formats; as a sniper rifle and as a Square Automatic Weapon (SAW).

The Morita is a powerhouse gaming gun.

It has been steadfastly part of the Battlefield Sports arsenal since last century.

Its design was inspired by the sci-fi cult movie "Starship Troopers". In the movie, the Morita assault rifles were carried by the Mobile Infantry throughout their campaign against the alien Arachnids, from their initial assault on Klendathu to the capture of the Brain Bug on Planet P.

The Battlefield Sports; Morita-Sniper gaming gun is a Designated Marksman (DM) class of weapon.It is a generic weapon of its class it has a 46mm glass lens (165mm focal length).

This bigger lens enables its extra long range.

the Morita Rifle -- the powerhouse

The History of the Berserker: The Classic 

The gaming gun "berserker" was named after the Norse warriors who are depicted in Old Norse literature to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. 

The gaming guns "Berserkers" were actually designed and made by Peter Lander's father, John Lander. John is a master craftsman specializing in woodwork. John designed and built dozens of bespoke homes, several of which have been featured in VOGUE magazine. 

Peter went to his Dad and asked for design and material recommendations. Peter wanted a weather-resistant, lightweight but super-tough case that was highly shock-resistant but easy to maintain. The Berserker was born. 

the berserker - the classic

The Berserker, uniquely, is made of marine-ply which means – theoretically – it can float (although submersion voids the warranty!!) John built hundreds, sold all over the world. They were shipped with the Battlefield Sports “Classic” (pre-2009) technology. The Berserker was one of the first commercial outdoor laser tag gaming guns ever built. The Berserker is an example of a discontinued laser tagger. As this model is no longer in production. 


[PODCAST] Listen to how Commerical Laser Tag got started in the "Right on Target" podcast