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Prop Guns In THe Movies

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by RVTECH, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    When did the movie industry start using 'prop' guns? Reason is it really burns my butt when I see what appear to be real Colts, Winchesters and others being abused in the older westerns.
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Some of the guns used in movies have to be NON guns do to the number of actors and actresses with felonys. But they have used modified real guns for decades.
     
  3. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    RIP. Brandon Lee.
     
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    The editor of Car Craft once said "good cars should not be wrecked for lame movies!" As far as I am concerned, the same it true for firearms as well.
     
  5. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Mark, I don't know where you got that idea, but I don't think it's true.

    There's a lot of things preventing felons from owning weapons, but there's nothing preventing a felon from handling them or using them.

    It's perfectly legal to take a felon to a range, hand him a weapon, and let him shoot. It would be perfectly legal for a felon to use a weapon on a movie set.

    Where did you get the idea that felons can't touch weapons? Do you have a citation for it?
     
  6. Simonpie

    Simonpie Portland Active Member

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    I think you need to look at the time scale involved. The heyday of the old west was 1880's and 1890's. The heyday of the B western was the 1950's. A 50 year old revolver isn't an antique. It is just worn and cheap. Nobody would freak out if they made a 60s action film and beat up an old cop issued revolver of the era. In 100 years, they might look back and cringe.

    My favorite is how hollywood would take trapdoor springfields and swap out the lock with fake flintlocks or percussion caps depending on the desired era. Most viewers couldn't tell the difference and the actors could reload with cartridge blanks. Simple and cheap.
     
  7. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sorry I was going off what was said on a TV show I watched the other day that was on this subject. And they stated a number of times that one of the reasons they now have electric firing non guns is to deal with the number of actors that have felonys and can not handle guns.

    As to your other comments.

    ORS 166.270 - Possession of weapons by certain felons - 2009 Oregon Revised Statutes

    SO I think you best do some reading. Unless the Felon has had their gun rights returned by a court of law A Class C felony is no joke.

    I would assume The STATE OF CALIFORNIA is even stricter

    Now of course the issue with all of this is that although Oregon says a convicted felon can own a firearm under certain conditions the US government says a convicted felon can never own a firearm, ever. Very confusing.
     
  8. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    166.270¹

    Possession of weapons by certain felons

    (1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the law of this state or any other state, or who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the Government of the United States, who owns or has in the person’s possession or under the person’s custody or control any firearm commits the crime of felon in possession of a firearm.

    (2) Any person who has been convicted of a felony under the law of this state or any other state, or who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the Government of the United States, who owns or has in the person’s possession or under the person’s custody or control any instrument or weapon having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force or any blackjack, slungshot, sandclub, sandbag, sap glove, metal knuckles or an Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology device as defined in ORS 165.540 (Obtaining contents of communications), or who carries a dirk, dagger or stiletto, commits the crime of felon in possession of a restricted weapon.

    (3) For the purposes of this section, a person "has been convicted of a felony" if, at the time of conviction for an offense, that offense was a felony under the law of the jurisdiction in which it was committed. Such conviction shall not be deemed a conviction of a felony if:

    (a) The court declared the conviction to be a misdemeanor at the time of judgment; or

    (b) The offense was possession of marijuana and the conviction was prior to January 1, 1972.

    (4) Subsection (1) of this section does not apply to any person who has been:

    (a) Convicted of only one felony under the law of this state or any other state, or who has been convicted of only one felony under the laws of the United States, which felony did not involve criminal homicide, as defined in ORS 163.005 (Criminal homicide), or the possession or use of a firearm or a weapon having a blade that projects or swings into position by force of a spring or by centrifugal force, and who has been discharged from imprisonment, parole or probation for said offense for a period of 15 years prior to the date of alleged violation of subsection (1) of this section; or

    (b) Granted relief from the disability under 18 U.S.C. 925(c) or ORS 166.274 (Relief from prohibition against possessing or purchasing firearm) or has had the person’s record expunged under the laws of this state or equivalent laws of another jurisdiction.

    (5) Felon in possession of a firearm is a Class C felony. Felon in possession of a restricted weapon is a Class A misdemeanor. [Amended by 1975 c.702 §1; 1985 c.543 §4; 1985 c.709 §2; 1987 c.853 §1; 1989 c.839 §4; 1993 c.735 §2; 1995 c.518 §1; 1999 c.1040 §16; 2003 c.14 §64; 2009 c.189 §1; 2009 c.499 §3]
     
  9. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    While in some states this may be the case it certainly is not the case in many. I worked in the Warrant office at the Department of Corrections for several years and sent out many warrants and holds for felon in possession or with access to a firearm or ammunition. I recall one incident in particular where 6 felons were charged with access to ammunition (felony) for one bullet found in a vehicle they were riding in. This was not an unusual occurrence either. Granted it doesn't help them when most of them were on parole and associating with known gang members - both the access to firearms/ammunition and associating with known gang members / felons are not permitted as a condition of parole (exceptions for family are generally given in the case of known felons/gang members).
    On the flip side, it is my understanding that the TX supreme court has upheld that, while it is illegal for felons to buy/possess firearms, under their "castle doctrine" if they have a firearm on their property that is not illegal/stolen it can not be taken from them.
     
  10. pietro beretta

    pietro beretta Spokane, WA Active Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I was going to post the California code: 12021 on here but its soo long I get a server error, so I just get to link to it.

    12020 thru 12040 Unlawful Carrying and Possession - Dangerous Weapons Control Laws - Dangerous Weapons Control Laws - Bureau of Firearms - California Dept. of Justice - Office of the Attorney General


    I wouldn't be surprised if its mainly for insurance purposes, meaning insurance for an actor involving a firearm is probably a lot higher or unobtainable compared to "replicas."
     
  11. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    If I were an actor, they'd have to use inert training aids, which is what the stage uses.

    It looks to me like a felon convicted of a single felony in Oregon can even own a gun. I didn't know that, thanks!
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You leave out the conditions which makes the statement above very misleading.
     
  13. rolandson

    rolandson Oregon Active Member

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    Every production I've worked (and there have been a few) has used the real deal, though I think they are modified...very weak recoil springs so the talent doesn't strain themselves...they even have armorers who supervise everything...except of course realistic handling; that's left up to the writers and director.
     
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  14. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My father (amongst all his other occupations) was a "gun wrangler" on numerous productions, including The Missouri Breaks (Marlon Brando), Stacking (Frederic Forrest), Far and Away (Tom Cruise), and Dancing With Wolves (Kevin Costner). As an avid gun collector, it was an extremely aggravating job. Producers, Directors, and Prop Managers didn't really give a rip about authenticity (except in the more recent productions, or when someone with money--Costner, Eastwood, etc.-- were also interested in firearms, and even Eastwood played fast and loose on some earlier efforts). John Wayne put up with numerous and frequent incorrect-for-the-period guns in his movies even when he knew better. Even when the money-people wanted correct firearms, they almost always insisted they be bright and shiny (Model 66 Winchesters and Henry rifles always sport a Brasso-enhanced glimmer).

    During the '50's thru '80's movies it is very common to see a prop gun that is a Model 94 Winchester (steel) receiver, with the Henry no-forearm barrel and magazine arrangement: a gun that never existed, but as I understand it, a large number of these were fabricated back in the '50's for the movie industry, and so when property managers wanted lever guns, they drew from this stock for about 40 years. Iron-frame Henrys did exist, but very unusual, and the dead giveaway is the loading gate on the receiver: Henrys loaded at the magazine tube, much like the tube-fed .22's of today: no loading gate on the receiver.

    In numerous episodes of The Big Valley, one can actually see a Marlin 336 being passed off as a cowboy lever-gun. Different guys in different episodes keep showing up with it (probably the same singular gun).

    According to movie producers, Model 1894 Winchesters (and Colt's Single-action Armys) are appropriate quite often for movies depicting a time period up to 30 and 40 years before the gun was even conceived. (Gun fights are pretty boring when the correct gun would be a single-shot or a muzzleloader.) According to the same people, Germans in WWII always carried Lugers: when in fact the correct gun is a P-38 (many officers retained their Lugers to WWII from the Great War since it was a much better gun, and so a seasoned German Officer with a Luger in WWII would be correct). A Luger looks so much more sinister, and so it gets more press. Watch "The Patriot" with a critical eye, and you will see how the producers struggled with creating action-packed multiple-shot gunfights when in reality everybody needed nearly a full minute to shoot again (and this is a short-time estimate: achieved by only very experienced muzzleloader shooters).

    For "Quigley Down Under", five different guns were used in production to represent Quigley's Sharps Rifle; one of them was a non-functional aluminum-barreled "Prop Sharps" to allow Tom Selleck to do various acrobatics such as hoisting it overhead into the beams of a building to use as a pull-up bar to get in the attic, and other "parade-baton" maneuvers throughout the movie that simply could not be done gracefully with the gun at its true weight. Credit to Selleck, as he insisted in being trained in all aspects of the Sharps by the Shiloh factory people and associates.

    Another "faux-pas" to look for are M16's in Vietnam movies that sport the "rimmed basket" flash hider. This improvement was not available until VERY late in the war. The correct gun has the "brush grabber" open-pronged flash hider (so called because of the propensity for the prongs to grab vegetation limbs while maneuvering in dense cover). Forward assists are another improvement of the gun that came late in that expedition.

    Aside from the firearms themselves, gunfight depictions are almost always start-to-end fantasy. Two movies stand apart from this (where westerns are concerned). If you have the time and pleasure, find a copy of "Bad Company" with Jeff Bridges as a very young actor depicting a very young and very desperate young man. The gunfight in that movie which transpires in a wooded swamp is perhaps the most authentic depiction of a western gunfight ever filmed. More recently, Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall in "Open Range" comes very close to what would have been reality: very close range, more time spent reloading than shooting, misses are the order of the day (even at point-blank range), and the group of townspeople on foot chasing the last remaining bad guy across the flats just out of town, whittling him down with their "hardware-store" guns is priceless and brutally authentic.
     
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  15. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Spitpatch very interesting and informative post.

    The first thing I said to my wife when we exited the theator after watching "OPEN RANGE" was that was the most realistic gun fight I have ever seen in a Western. My favorite scene is the shotgun through the wall to take out the guy in the alley scene.
     
  16. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh - I meant to post this earlier but had to locate a few pics first.... A friend currently works for a company that provides guns for movies - he is mostly building guns for particular movie sets and isn't often out on set. Here is an example of his work - he built these for sue as the bad guy gun in Fast and Furious 5 - as lost time on a set is expensive they have to have a minimum of 2 examples of each gun in use on the set. 5683229258_624920ed8b_m.jpg

    Before getting questions about the guns they are both post dealer sample full autos and it takes some "special" work to get them to run correctly when they get this short.

    5683229258_624920ed8b_m.jpg