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Old May 15, 2001, 02:54 PM   #1
Andrewh
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I mean, like the old movies. I know there are gun prop masters and such. And there are companies that specalize in supplying movies with prop guns, but what about before all that?
You hear about it all the time, stuff from movies for sale, and the finds from movies in the 20-60's. So what about the guns from those movies? Are the six shooters John Wayne used in movies still in some prop vault, or were they sold off due to abuse and the need for new ones?
I see them thrown down stairs, kicked away from the peoples hands, and even shot away. They can't look good for the next movie, so what happened to them.
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Old May 15, 2001, 03:02 PM   #2
CITADELGRAD87
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I heard a horror story about the PSG1 used in Lethal Weapon that would make a grown man cry.

Something about assuming it was OK to tap the barrel for a blank attachment, the trigger shoe ending up as a necklace for some bimbo, and assorted abuse from dropping it/not taking care of it.

I also read that, when filming Rambo in Canada, all FA weapons were merely locked in a truck at night, at least until somebody figured that out. Several -16s and a -60 never seen again.
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Old May 15, 2001, 03:23 PM   #3
Joe Demko
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A good many of the guns from the old movies went home with the stars of those movies and became part of their estates. Actors have notoriously sticky fingers when there are items they like used in filming. Others were scarfed up by people in other parts of the entertainment industry, Mel Torme added extensively to his large collection of SAA's by virtue of his access to movie and TV studio prop departments. During the fast-draw craze of the 1950's, lots of Hollywood types did the same thing. The other factor you have to remember is not everything in a movie that looks like a gun is a real, firing piece. Especially where the scene involves armed extras, prop guns can be pretty crude. Likewise, the guns you see getting thrown, kicked, etc. are not likely to be real guns. To get a better handle on what I am talking about, visit some of the many websites that have vintage props for sale. Star Trek junk is a good place to start. You'll be appalled at the crudeness of the phasers and other weapons used by extras.
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Old May 15, 2001, 04:04 PM   #4
Andrewh
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Golgo-13- Good point. I had forgotten about that. Just blocks of stuff that was shaped like a gun.

I was just thinking watching an old western, that there must be hundreds of saa's laying around somewhere.
And just then one of the guys pulls a da 38 while everyone else has a saa
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Old May 15, 2001, 04:29 PM   #5
Lightsped
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Check out this link to answers to most questions here....

http://www.maxsell.com/Guns/index.html

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Old May 15, 2001, 09:55 PM   #6
Andrewh
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Lightsped- Cool link, but not quite what I meant. These are all new stuff. I meant before people bothered/needed "legal" prop guns like this.
In the "old" days when you could really order a Thompson through the mail for 20 bucks, would a movie company bother to make one that didn't really fire?
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Old May 15, 2001, 09:57 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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There are, IIRC, two big firms that supply firearms to Hollywood, Stembridge Gun Rentals and one other, the name of which escapes me right now.
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Old May 15, 2001, 11:56 PM   #8
Doc Hudson
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Lotsof the big name actors used their personal guns.

For example, in most of John Wayne's Westerns, he carried one of two personally owned Colt SAA's, an ivory stocked .38-40 and a stag .45 LC. That big ring M-92 Winchester that so often appeared in his movies was a personally owned rifle. One of the pistols and the rifle is in a small Movie Costume museum near my home, along with much other movie memorabilia and props & costumes.

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Old May 16, 2001, 12:47 AM   #9
Cosmoline
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Doc, if you happen to know--what caliber was the Duke's '92?
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Old May 16, 2001, 12:53 AM   #10
Cosmoline
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Re fake guns--here's a light-weight resin Ithaca 37 Michael Biehn's Corporal Hicks used for some scenes in "Aliens":

http://www.encom.demon.co.uk/hicksgun.htm

I'd love to know what became of the real one he used for close-ups. The pulse rifles were cool, but the last time I checked the gun store doesn't sell 10mm caseless explosive-tipped ammo.

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Old May 16, 2001, 03:27 AM   #11
Big Bear
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Stembridge Gun Rentals...

Stembridge Gun Rentals went out of business and liquidated their inventory a few years ago. I know because one of my gun club buddies used to work there. It was a real shame because they were the oldest and largest supplier of guns to the TV and movie industry. Alot of their class 3 stuff was sold on Bowers' board, and the other guns were sold to private collectors. They had guns that were used by Charlie Chaplin, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Bruce Willis, and the list goes on and on and on. They owned the .44 magnum that killed Brandon Lee, the M16s in Apocalypse Now, and the highly modified Vulcan cannon used by Bruce Willis in Armageddon.

Stembridge's demise had little to do with profitability and alot to do with a California edict that prohibited the sale of machine guns out of state. California already prohibits machine guns to civilians and for many years an exception was made for the movie industry. This edict turned that exception on its face and not only prohibited the resale of these guns in state, but OUT OF STATE as well. Little wonder Hollywood has all but moved to Canada. Stembridge had ALOT of machine guns in their inventory so this would have made them worthless if they could never sell them, inside or outside California. Soooo... Stembridge threw in the towel and sold his stuff. Good for him. Hope he enjoys his retirement.

Another gun supplier to Hollywood, ISS, stuck it out, and as far as I know, they're now the biggest but nowhere near what Stembridge was.
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Old May 16, 2001, 07:13 AM   #12
4V50 Gary
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In selling violence...

Hollywood was too successful in driving its own source out of business and ultimately, a portion of the movie industry. They do eat their own.
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Old May 16, 2001, 10:12 AM   #13
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I've always thought that a strike by all sources for guns in Hollywood would probably put a damper on some careers and necessitate some attitude changes in the anti's out there that make their living shooting flashy guns onscreen. Probably not possible, but a fantasy nonetheless.
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Old May 16, 2001, 10:31 AM   #14
RON in PA
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Robert Blake has them.
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Old May 16, 2001, 10:57 AM   #15
Doc Hudson
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GRH,

I think the rifle is a .44-40, but I am not certain. I have not visited the museum for something like nine or ten years.

The museum is run by Luster Bayless, a local who went to hollywood and did pretty good as a costume designer. He did costumes for lots of John Wayne's movies, several Marilyn Monroe movies and a bunch more besides. You can sometimes see his name in the credits for the older movies (late '50's through early 70's).

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Old May 16, 2001, 07:04 PM   #16
Andrewh
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Thanks guys. Informative as always. Too bad though. Would have been nice if there was a huge source of saa's out there no one thought of.
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Old May 16, 2001, 08:12 PM   #17
dick w. holliday
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movie guns

i bought a couple of cowboy pistols--a 45 LC Hartford and a 45 LC Dakota from guy here in Wilmington NC that supposedly were movie guns...he also told me he rented them a S&W 44mag for a filming and they destroyed it and he had to get them another...you would think that when they throw a 44 mag on the ground that they would throw it on a quilt or something but i've heard all sorts of stories about the movie folks destroying stuff..The best one was a story about a foreign car mechanic that they brought him a $75000+ Mercedes that was full of (Real) bullet holes and had the fender torn off--they told him he had to have it ready by 5:30 no matter what the cost....when he called and told them it was ready he said they got there quicker than they could if they have jumped out of a plane or something..when he inquired about what the rush was he was informed that they had to have the car in a scene at 7:00 where it was hit by a train --i don';t know what the movie was but i think it had Sissy Spacek in it...Do you Remember the scene???Dick
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Old May 16, 2001, 10:09 PM   #18
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I recall reading in a 1997 or 1998 Guns magazine article on Stembridge Rentals that the Thompsons used in the film 'Dick Tracy' were the same ones used in the 30s or 40s in gangster/police movies. I wish that I pick up that copy, because it is a sight to see literally piles of M16s (not dummy guns) in the vaults or the most exotic concoction of gun parts put together to make the weapon of the future movies.
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