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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys were talking in the BHP forum about the picture SAHARA, and there was some lively discussion about the guns in MUNICH, and since I suggested this, I'll post it here.

There are movies (and movie-makers) who treat guns seriously. Off the top of my head, RONIN, and another Mamet picture, SPARTAN---and his TV show, THE UNIT. THE WILD BUNCH, obviously, and a couple of Walter Hill movies, THE LONG RIDERS and whatever that picture is with Powers Boothe and Nick Nolte. Two or three John Milius pictures, DILLINGER, THE WIND AND THE LION, and RED DAWN (admittedly one of my guilty pleasures).

How about egregious mistakes about guns? This is just for kicks, and meant to be taken with a grain of salt. For instance, there's a movie from the 50's called GUNMAN'S WALK, Van Heflin and Tab Hunter. Anybody remember it? It's a Western, so supposedly it takes place in the 1880's, but nobody carries a Colt single-action; they're all using what look like Colt .38 DA's, a gun that didn't come into production until the Spanish-American War, if memory serves. Conversely, when BONANZA first went on the air (I'm showing my age, here), the Cartwrights carried identifiably percussion or cartridge-conversion Remingtons and Colts, but by the second or third season, they were carrying SAA's---this in a show set in the early to late 1860's, yes? I'm nitpicking, of course, but that's the whole point of the post. Josh Randall's hogleg in WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE, or Chuck Connors' gun in THE RIFLEMAN, they don't offend me. (Other way around, the LeMat Special in JOHNNY RINGO, an attempt at an accurate period gun.) I'm talking about anachronisms, where the gun hasn't even been invented yet, given the period the TV series or movie is set in. Or the ridiculous (leaving the impossible aside), with contemporary guns. Shooting fish in a barrel, so to speak, but I'm guessing you guys might have personal favorites.

Again, just for grins. I'm curious to see stuff I've missed, or let slide because it just wasn't that important to the story. Anything and everything allowed, but let's keep it funny, or stupid.

Respectfully,
DE Gates
 

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I am not so good with movies (and older guns) -- mostly what I notice is bad trigger finger position, and generally bad gun handling. Can I add books? I guess I just did.

I noticed a blooper while reading John Grisham's The Last Juror. The start of the book is set in 1970. The new and young editor of small-town newspaper is taken out by one of the locals to do some shooting -- and is handed a Glock
. As I recall, Gaston Glock did not invent the Glock 17 until the early 1980s.

elb
 

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Hello. In my second favorite movie of all time, "Thief", when Caan's character breaks into Leo's house he has a Hoag 6" Long Slide .45, but immediately after wacking the guy at the refrigerator in the head and then bringing up the pistol, it is a 5" gun with GI sights. (Probably made of rubber) Immediately thereafter, he has the Hoag again.

Best.
 
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I think the worst issue like this I ever saw was about a D-budget western in 1966. They were using break-open single-shot Harrington & Richardson rifles to fight Indians.

(Hey. I said it was a budget movie.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just thought of another obvious one: silencers on revolvers.

ELB: in one of George Higgins' books (the guy who wrote THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE), a couple of guys go out to put the hurt to somebody, and the guy sitting shotgun tips out the cylinder on his weapon to check that it's loaded, but the gun in question is described as a Ruger Blackhawk. The problem being that you, the reader, begin to wonder what else he might have gotten wrong---I mean the stuff you don't know about, and take on faith the author does.
 

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Dare I say it? Even The Duke had some timeline miscues with firearms in his movies. For example The Comancheros features both rifles and handguns that hadn't been invented yet. More subtle is at the end, when they reversed the image of John Wayne, so it looked like he'd switched to firing his lever gun left handed. (Loading gate was on the wrong side in the shot!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sure, even Wayne and John Ford don't go for accuracy. In THE SEARCHERS, which according to the undertitle card at the start of the picture, takes place in 1868, Wayne's character is carrying a SAA and an 1873 saddle gun. Okay, most Westerns happen in an indeterminate time somewhere between the Civil War and the turn of the century---1880? So THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES is accurate, and most spaghetti Westerns aren't. There it is. Come up with more examples, not necessarily period stuff.

Brian: I've got a soft spot for THE COMANCHEROS, mostly because of Lee Marvin. This isn't movie criticism, per se. The armorers provide movie guns, for one thing, and Wayne obviously carried a favorite SAA. (Check out the well-worn ivory grips.)

ELB: Instances of bad gunhandling, general incompetence, or incorrect hardware? This is the place to vent. I'm the movie nut, you don't have to be. (How come the gunwork in HEAT, for example, or THE UNTOUCHABLES, is authentic, and so may others aren't? That's my question.) Please, give goofs you've noticed.

David
 

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Silencers on revolvers? That's a good one.

I have read in a couple different novels (I read a lot more books than watch movies) of someone clicking the safety - on his revolver. Don't recall the books right now, but I've seen it more than once. (There probably is an old revolver design out there some place with a safety on it, but I don't think these authors were thinking of that... :))

When I do watch a movie and notice some gun related issue, it's to remark on some accurate gun handling: "Hey! He actually reloaded! Wonder why the movie armorer didn't give him the unlimited mega-shooter!" :)

elb
 
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How come the gunwork in HEAT, for example, or THE UNTOUCHABLES, is authentic, and so may others aren't? That's my question.
More recently, say in the last 20-odd years, some movie/TV directors have striven to have their characters display skilled gunhandling and proper street tactics, to the extent that they will hire an expert on such to be on the set to coach and train the characters. Miami Vice was once such of these and had one of the country's most prominent LE trainers on the sets as a consultant (his name escapes me now.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello, gents---

ELB: The culprit in the revolver/safety issue is Dashiell Hammett.
He was a Pinkerton for, I think, ten years, before he started writing mysteries. Anyway, in THE THIN MAN, the murder weapon is an autoloading revolver. I don't recall what it was, I believe British, and one of you guys can probably help me out, but I actually handled one, once, because my friend Napi Van Dereck had one in his collection. When fired, the frame and cylinder assembly moves back, cocking the hammer and turning the cylinder, so subsequent shots are SA. I think this is the only revolver ever designed like this, and they're probably scarce as hen's teeth. Point being that later writers who weren't as familiar with guns as Hammett simply copied him and put safeties on revolvers. It probably gave him a good laugh in after years.

NevadaAlan: I can't track the guy's credit down, either, on MIAMI VICE, but I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with Michael Mann, who was the series exec producer, and whose movies are more than accurate about guns, from THIEF to RED DRAGON to THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS to HEAT. (The story I heard is that he really got Daniel Day-Lewis to learn how to reload a muzzle gun while charging full-steam through the woods.) As an aside, a friend of mine, San Francisco PD detective sergeant Steve Bosshard, was the LEO advisor on Don Johnson's next TV show, NASH BRIDGES. Generally speaking, it seems as if the armorer and/or gun coach is somebody like, say, Thell Reed, then the gun stuff is right. Does anybody out there remember the late, great Arvo Ojala? He designed the buscadero holster every TV cowboy wore in the 50's and 60, including Paladin and Matt Dillon, and he was the gun coach on SILVERADO.
 

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Young Guns: In the very beginning where it shows the gang firing their weapons, somebody is firing an S&W DA which won't be invented for at least another 20 years, probably longer - the silouhette looks like an M10.

As well, it shows, several times, Emilio Estevez (Billy the Kid) with a couple Colt DA Lightening .38 models. This is correct; it's been established that The Kid carried a couple of those. However, when he actually shoots, the guns must be cocked manually. Upon examination I thought they looked a bit big for the Lightening model, so I hit "pause" and "zoom." Sure 'nough, whenever Estevez shot, he was using a Model P. I don't blame the producers for not wanting to fire rare guns, but The Kid was also known to use Model P's along with other revolvers, so a substitution wouldn't be wrong, it just wouldn't be as thrilling. As well, Billy the Kid preferred a rifle to a revolver. He preferred the capacity, accuracy, and speed of handling.

Lethal Weapon: Mel Gibson flinched whenever he fired the Beretta. Someone really needed to give him some shooting lessons.

Lethal Weapon 4: You cannot pull a Beretta's slide off like that with a magazine inserted! It just doesn't work that way! No wonder Gibson was confused as to how Jet Li pulled that off!


The Outlaw Josey Wales: After his family were killed, Eastwood shot a post many, many times with a Starr DA cap'n'ball revolver. The Starr was correct, but it never showed him reload. I suppose the times when they obviously stopped then resumed filming could be taken to mean he reloaded, but if you admit that, then that fourth wall is shattered and your suspension of belief is shattered for that time as well.

Wild Bill Hickok: I had no idea one could get off that number of shots with a brace of Colt 1851 Navys without reloading.

I'll think of more later.

Josh <><
 
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A Webley-Fosberry, I believe. Fosberry was the inventor and Webley the manufacturer was the way I believe it was. A rare and expensive handgun.
 
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In "The Big Hit" Marky Mark inserted a magazine into an empty weapon with the slide locked back, dropped the slide chambering a round, then racked the slide. I guess he wanted to make sure that it was extra loaded. Tom Jane did almost the exact same thing in "The Punisher," only it was on a tactical reload. You could even see the bullet that was chambered fly out of the gun.

As for Josh's Leathal Weapon 4 thing, I once watched, frozen in horror, as my girlfriend ripped the slide off of my Beretta 96 with an empty magazine inserted. And she was a petite little thing, not a kung-fu machine. Edit: The reason Beretta switched to the lever take-down switch from a simple push-button on the 92 series was that criminals were doing just what Jet Li did, only it was to real police officers in real life.

And as for Gibson's flinching in the first Leathal Weapon, it looked like someone was kicking him in the jewels everytime he fired. Fantastic groups, though... ~Pistolero
 

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Pistolero,


As for Josh's Leathal Weapon 4 thing, I once watched, frozen in horror, as my girlfriend ripped the slide off of my Beretta 96 with an empty magazine inserted. And she was a petite little thing, not a kung-fu machine. Edit: The reason Beretta switched to the lever take-down switch from a simple push-button on the 92 series was that criminals were doing just what Jet Li did, only it was to real police officers in real life.
When was your Beretta made? Was it a 92 or 92FS or what? I've tried that on countless Berettas and Taurus 92's and have yet to be able to duplicate the problem. They've all had levers; I've not seen one that didn't have a push button/lever takedown.

Josh <><
 

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Regarding revolvers with a safety catch, as already mentioned, it's usually a mistake on the author's part (with the exception of Hammet and the Webley-Fosbery), but I have handled a more conventional revolver that had a safety catch. It belongs to my friend. I don't know what it was, but it was a DA/SA revolver and looked similar to a Webley Bulldog, although from the markings I saw, I believe it may have been Belgian. The safety was on the right side and simply blocked the hammer, if I remember right. But that's the only gun I've ever seen like that, so I'd imagine that they're not very common, and certainly not what most authors are referring to.
 
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Josh,

My Beretta was the 96 FS. It had the push-button/ lever setup. The original 92's just had a small round button where the lever is and all you had to do was press it, move the slide back a hair, then you could slide it right off, magazine or not. The newer 92's might not do that, but the old ones and my new 96 did.
 

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That is most strange, Pistolero. Maybe it's a problem they recognized, then fixed? I have to admit I've not seen the old ones you refer to.

Josh <><
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thought of another one: at the end of GET SHORTY, when they segue from the real-life airport scenario to the movie being shot, Danny DeVito throws down on Harvey Keitel with what looks like a laser-guided RPG (any help on this, guys?), and when he brings the gun to battery, the magazine falls out. This is an intentional gag, of course, but does anybody have any idea what he's got in his hand?

Josh---Billy Bonney, yes, carried the Colt Lightning, according to most reports. If he preferred a saddle gun, it's probably because he was a back-shooter. (I've been to his grave, down in Old Ft. Sumner, but there's some question as to whether he's actually in it, just as there's some question as to whether Garrett actually shot him, or let him sneak out the back way. Different can of worms to open.) On YOUNG GUNS, they could have used the SA with a Lightning grip, which Cimarron makes, but they took the easy way out. A little before your time, maybe, but another Billy the Kid movie, Marlon Brando's ONE-EYED JACKS, where Brando carries a SAA, in a waist sash, a la Hickok, in the scene where he guns the guy down in the saloon, he's obviously shooting a DA gun, maybe because he couldn't master slip-hammering a SA. (All right, it's not a cure for cancer, but we notice this stuff.)
PS---Congratulations on getting out of the convenience store.

ELB---In CAT CHASER (a movie based on a Dutch Leonard book), Charles Durning uses a silenced mil-spec .45, and the silencer actually works. Hello? Otherwise, a good picture. I can't think of all the movies I've seen where they use a silenced revolver. DR. NO, the first James Bond movie: bad guy comes in, unloads his weapon into the bed Bond is supposedly sleeping in, but Bond is calmly sitting off to one side. When the bad guy recovers his weapon and tries to shoot Bond, and the weapon clicks on an empty chamber, Bond says, "That's a Smith & Wesson, and you've had your six." At which point he shoots the unarmed guy, which was pretty shocking, for the time. But was it in fact an auto, or a wheelgun? I haven't seen the picture in twenty years.

More on the Beretta 92. Sounds like not a movie screw-up, for a change, but an actual design malfunction. Any comments?
 
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