I noticed this summer that the School Sports Day start pistol is no longer a cap gun but more or less an electronic plastic toy.
I didn't get chance to hold it as that's the gift of the Head of PE but from what I could see it was a light-based device rather than a sound one.
When 'fired' the red light at the firing end lit up.
There where several buttons so it may indeed have had a sound element too. It was a Jex 700.
Its basic shape and black colouring reminded me of an early Hubley Dick Tracy toy gun or a Marx G Man pistol.
Is this the case all over the world - that sports starting pistols are electronic?