I'm not really sure when this "movement" began, or even what it meant so I checked Wikipedia.
"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, escpecially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or the American "Wild West".
So why am I blogging about a "subgenre" of science fiction???...They are making guns....
These creations remind me of the wild and innovative (if not deadly) Medical devices that were made during the last part of the 19th century and into the 1st part of the 20th.
At first the Steampunk movement made their fantasy props from squirt guns or Nerf guns like the one below:
They have a tuitorial on how to paint one of these Nerf guns at the Steamingenious blog.
There are several versions of this same gun, here is another:
Some of the followers went their own path and created some custom pieces, adding bits of copper pipe and parts from things like radiators, fuel filters, test tubes and of all things a baby bottle:
The celebrated Dr. Grordbort is selling his Infallible Aether Oscillators at his website here
Some of the above pieces use parts or frames of replica guns as their base, some use a few parts from real guns.
As the movement as gained steam (pun intended) the use of real guns has started:
I'm not sure the one above is an actual firearm, but those cheap-ass West German Single Actions look like toys, so it is sometimes hard to tell
This guy used old modified 1911 parts to make some Steampunk pistols, see the YouTube video here
This is a home built gun that is supposed to resemble some sort of steam powered Gatling Gun. The heart of this beast is a 10-22 semi-auto .22LR rifle. Looking at the design you can tell the "rotating barrels" are really just a ruse, as it appears the real 10-22 barrel is in the middle of them acting as the hub. Besides, he would most assuredly have to have filled out the proper forms to make the 10-22 an SBR. Then there is the engineering to make them line up and make the gun fire at just the right time. Not that it could not be done, The mechanism is/would probably be similar to the Fokker device that timed the firing of the machine guns in WWI aircraft in order to prevent the gun from shooting the propeller off.
Either way it is, at the very least, interesting
Here is a link to the video on YouTube
I sort of understand the nostalgia for a time when the future held so much promise, as if anything was possible with the help of science and ingenuity.
Anyway I am not sure what to make of the new trend in using real guns to make into toy props. On one hand it may bring new people into the hobby. Putting the safety issues aside, (don't get me wrong, having people carry and "play" with real guns is a big concern) we may have inexperienced people destroying perfectly good guns (and possibly collector pieces) in the name of "cosplay".
Normally I am all for new people getting into the hobby and becoming gun owners, but I'll let you be the judge on this one.