A gun bought by an undercover Daily Mail reporter, and described as a "toy" by one gun expert, has been described by a former editor of Jane's Weapons Guides as "a quite horrible gun".
Press Gazette reported last week that the gun, described as deadly in the Mail, was described by firearms lawyer David Dyson as "a fake" and "harmless".
But this week Press Gazette was told by former Jane's editor Terry Gander: "This is a quite horrible gun, because it is so badly put together.
"I would not call it a toy because it may well be capable of firing live rounds and may have done so in the past. But it is clearly not made to last."
Daily Mail executive editor Charles Garside said: "If our team had been normal punters they would have been able to lift and hold the gun and check the firing mechanism.
"The people offering the gun would have had no problems with them doing that, so were totally confident with what was on offer.
"They did not know our staff were under strict instructions not to touch it for legal reasons.
"The reporter placed himself in a very dangerous situation to expose what everyone knows has become a significant and menacing aspect of modern society.
"The full facts totally vindicate his story.
"There would be no comfort to a dying man if his last words were ‘I thought it was a toy'."