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Old February 13, 2013, 09:34 PM   #1
Bob Wright
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Old Movie prop guns......

On another thread I commented that some guns in question might be movie prop guns. Over the years I've seen numerous guns made up in disguise for the movies.

I remember seeing several Colt New Service and S&W Hand Ejector revolvers, fitted with plastic fake stag grips and having rod ejector assemblies added to look like single action Colts. Also saw a Colt Army Special so fitted.

Also several Colt Single Actions that had their ejector assemblies removed and a built up web added under the barrel to simulate a Remington cap-and-ball revolver.

Fitting a Colt 1877 DA (Lightning or Thunderer) with new grip straps to look like a Single Action. This was done, I was told, because the actor could not handle a SA to be fanned. He fired DA but simulated fanning.

And Winchester M92 to represent Henrys by brass plating the receiver and removing the forearm. Close ups clearly show the loading port, however.

Also have seen actors loading a muzzle loader that is actually a Springfield M1873.

Such guns would make up a pretty interesting collection itself.

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Old February 13, 2013, 09:47 PM   #2
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In the movie "Shane", Alan Ladd carries an SAA but in the shootout in the bar the SAA mysteriously vanishes and a DA revolver (Colt New Service?) appears. Ladd was a small man with small hands, and he just could not fire a SAA as fast as the scene required.

Today, of course, they would probably not use a real gun at all; the "back room boys" would add the flash and noise to the digital master. In fact, after a couple of movie set tragedies, the insurance companies have pretty well stopped use of real guns and blanks on movie sets.

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Old February 13, 2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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I had an old Gun Digest with an article showing that sort of thing.
Including a correct replica Walker shop made at a cost of $300 in the early 1950s.

Add a dummy cock and frizzen to that Trapdoor to simulate a flintlock.

Early tv Annie Oakley carried a Police Positive Special with dummy side rod ejector, plastic stag, and nickel plate.

Rock Hudson carried a Colt cartridge conversion in Seminole. Still out of period so why did they bother? And where did they get them?

Big Jake's son carried a prop Bergmann, faked up from a P38.
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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I can also remember . . . and I think it was in the original "Alamo" done back in the early 60s . . . . where some 45/70s were altered to appear to look like flintlocks. I guess you'd have to say that some of the more recently done movies have at least been an effort to keep authenticity.

I always found it a little disappointing to see some historical movies . . . which could/should have been excellent . . spoiled by the use of incorrect weapons and accouterments. I guess a lot of folks wouldn't know the difference but for someone who is a history buff, it can sure spoil the effect in a hurry. Things like a Civil War movie where the actors are dressed in 5 button sack coats with McKeever cartridge boxes - 45/70 rifles, etc.

Or, a good western that takes place in the 1870s and the actors are armed with Winchester 94s.
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Old February 13, 2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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During WW2 motion picture companies turned over rifles and machineguns to the army and national guard, mainly for use in training.
Most bolt action rifles that had been used in WW1 movies had not been altered and could still fire live cartridges, though barrels were often corroded past safe firing.
Machineguns had to be altered in order to fire full auto with blank ammunition, but could be put back in service by replacing the barrel, which for Browning and Vickers/Maxims was the easy part.

In an article I read long ago a veteran wrote of the setting up of a roadblock at a strategic industry.
They received an MG still in the crate, and on opening it they found a blank firing movie prop complete with belted blanks.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:39 PM   #6
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I believe that for "the last samarai" gibbs guns acquired a number of old, mauser 1884s and refurbed, and reverse engineered them to 1871s... horribly mangled peices of history but an interesting piece to add to a collection to say the least.
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Old February 13, 2013, 11:58 PM   #7
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On Google Images you will find pictures of Gail Davis-"Annie Oakley" on 1950's TV-with what look like S&W M&Ps dressed up with ejector rod housings.
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Old February 14, 2013, 10:27 AM   #8
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I Have always had a passion for the props that used real fire arms underneath but they add furniture to the guns to sexy them up or change the look of the original gun..

A few that come to mind is the Robocop gun that was a Berretta underneath

strarship troopers Marita rifle that was a full auto mini 14 underneath

The rifle in starship troopers 3 was an AK-47

Aliens had the Pulse rifle and Smart gun... Thompson and mg-42

And my personal favorite The ape rifle in the Planet of the Apes that used the M1 Carbine. (damn dirty apes).

It would prove fun to get actual shooters out of thes props, but for many the extra furniture would stand up to the force of a real round.

I do know that the force of the blanks shattered the wood bodies of the rifles made for the 1st planet of the apes movie. And it messed up the schedule so bad repairing them that when they made the props for the 2nd movie The bodies were made of cast metal...
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Old February 14, 2013, 10:58 PM   #9
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IIRC, in the TV series, Davy Crockett carried a flntlock rifle. But his second banana had to make do with a 7mm rolling block. I wonder what those "injuns" thought when steel jacket bullets zipped around their heads at 2200 yards.

And they were making one of the many Custer movies when Golden State had a bunch of Mexican Mausers to lend, so the front ranks of the 7th Cav got trapdoor carbines; the guys in the back were a lot better armed. Now, had Custer's troopers really had...

Jim
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Old February 15, 2013, 05:23 AM   #10
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The Trank guns used in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" TV series were chrome plated No.5 Enfield Carbines with front wood replaced with a SMG pistol grip fore end and a bulky compressed aircyclinder attached to an aluminum insert in the magazine well. The flash hiders were painted red, which was odd since years later red muzzles would be mandated for realistic toy pistols and airsoft airguns.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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i think griffets film birth of a nation used real civil war firearms and equipment, i think it was made in 1903. eastbank.
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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I would like to have one of those six-guns that will actually fire fifty rounds without reloading.
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Old February 15, 2013, 11:02 AM   #13
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Yul Brenner, in an old Western movie, has a repeating rifle with a magazine that moved through the receiver, from left to right.
Wonder if it was ever a real gun or not.
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Old February 15, 2013, 12:09 PM   #14
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Hey G. Wilikers That gun is called a Harmonica Gun

Do not know if the actual gun that Yul used was real or a prop mock up, But it was based off the designs of the Harmonica Guns.. And just so you know they had to be somewhat good... John Brownings Father started off making those guns...

Last edited by indy1919; February 16, 2013 at 12:30 AM.
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Old February 23, 2013, 07:19 PM   #15
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Here's one i had a few years back, brought at an Auction here in New Zealand.




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Old February 24, 2013, 10:58 AM   #16
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indy1919 check out Firefly the series and movie, a bunch of guns sexed up like that, the main guy has a le mat I think but it is a laser gun
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:00 AM   #17
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Hello,

You know that movie Young Guns II?

They have an early bolt action with a long tube telescopic sight in that movie.



I'm still trying to figure it what it was, or if it was just a prop made up for the movie.

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Old February 24, 2013, 11:21 AM   #18
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Josh check out imfdb.com

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Young_Guns...Keene_Frontier

edit: sorry didn't see all of your post
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Old February 24, 2013, 11:25 AM   #19
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Thanks!

I asked this a few years back and nobody knew.

Finally, an answer!

Josh
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Old February 25, 2013, 04:56 PM   #20
indy1919
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Need information on the Trapdoor Carbine from Fox Studios

Hey 5THBATT.. Need to know more about the trapdoor,

What was the Auction, ???
Is this a real firing Rifle Or just Prop???
Is there a movie this was associated with???

How old is the rifle????
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Old February 25, 2013, 05:06 PM   #21
indy1919
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Husqvarna you are so right on FIREFLY

I did enjoy the guns on FIREFLY they put a little thought in those. But they just has so many Hero & shooter guns they the ran out of money to fix them all up to look Futuristic.. But they had so many shooting parts it would have been very expensive...
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Old February 26, 2013, 02:11 AM   #22
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The Webley Fosberry automatic self cocking revolver was featured in "the Maltese Falcon" and in the sci fi film "Zardoz".
I don't remember if they ever showed the pistol fired in Zardoz.
I wonder just how they could make a Webley Fosberry operate if using blanks?

In Hatcher's notebook he wrote of several attempts to convert 1911 pistols to use blanks, and these attempts ended badly with blown up barrels and/or damaged slides.
I suspect this was due to trying to produce enough recoil by jet effect of muzzle blast alone to operate a locked breech action. Blowback actions are more easily converted.

Most blank firing prop guns these days are purpose made devices rather than conversions of real firearms.

Two reasons why blank firing guns have been replaced by non firing dummy guns and CGI muzzle blasts is that when filming on location a film company must get clearance from a local fire marshall before using any pyrotechnic device, and must obtain a special insurance policy.
Materials coming in contact with the smoldering particles or wadding from a blank load can catch fire hours afterwards.
Another reason is possibility of hearing damage to actors when blanks are fired indoors.
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Old February 26, 2013, 10:36 AM   #23
indy1919
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Hey Rainbow Demon, In both movies you see the gun shoot but the blanks do not operate the slide action, In Falcon, When you get the killers view of holding the gun firing at Mr Archer, if you frame walk after the shot, There is no movement or trigger cocking..

In Zardoz. Zed will cock the gun by pulling the barrel back with his other hand. You will see him shoot it several times in other parts, and the blanks do not re-cock the trigger.

I always fault the actors for these prop failures because of their unwillingness to really 100% commit to the part and Use real bullets..
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Old February 26, 2013, 03:55 PM   #24
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Back in the 1980s there was a mini series about Peter the Great.

The "muskets" were some form of bolt-action magazine rifle with a fake lockwork added.
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Old February 26, 2013, 04:36 PM   #25
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The old TV show Bonanza was supposedly set in the 1860's. Watch a rerun.
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