MythBuster: Dirty Harry Did NOT Carry .44 Magnum!


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StrikeEagle
July 8, 2005, 01:13 AM
Yes... yes, it's true. The legendary Harry Callahan carried a Model 29, but didn't load it with Magnum Rounds!

In the followup movie, Magnum Force, he's at the range with some young cops. When asked what load he uses Harry said "I use a light special. With a gun this size and weight it has no more recoil than .38 out of a .357."

A 'light special'... sigh. :p

I guess this is another reason that John Wayne is cooler than Clint Eastwood...

shaking my head in disgust, I remain,
StikeEagle

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Malamute
July 8, 2005, 01:23 AM
It's been a long time since I saw that film, but I recall him qualifying that statement with "for fast shooting....." implying it was a special purpose load.

Gillster
July 8, 2005, 03:13 AM
Yeah, I thought that answer was in relation to the shooting competition they were having not for regular carry load.

Cosmoline
July 8, 2005, 06:23 AM
Gillster has it. In the scene they're at the target range, and the shooting competition is coming up soon.

Marko Kloos
July 8, 2005, 06:40 AM
Well, in the first Dirty Harry movie, Callahan's .44 Magnum Model 29 was actually a .41 Magnum Model 57.

Double Naught Spy
July 8, 2005, 09:52 AM
Well, if we want to be technical, Dirty Harry didn't carry .44 magnum ammo. Hell, he didn't even hardly ever actually carry real ammol, but blanks for the majority of the shooting. All StrikeEagle is saying is that Dirty Harry didn't claim to be shooting .44 mag in the second movie. That statement, of course, has zilch bearing and relevance on the first movie.

Somehow, taking the dialog from characters in a fictional movie to make a statement about what was factually being done is pretty naive.

If we are going to split hairs, might as well split as many as we can.

The History Channel had a segment on Dirty Harry and the .44 Magnum. The gun used in the movie was a .44 magnum as indicated by the specimen housed in some museum that is said to be the gun used in the movie.

Sure, John Wayne is cooler, but not because he never statement he was using powered down ammo. I don't recall John Wayne ever saying that much about ammo power at all.

Boats
July 8, 2005, 10:14 AM
In any event, a .44 Special sure ain't gonna hurt no one. :rolleyes:

HighVelocity
July 8, 2005, 10:31 AM
The words "light special" in reference to 44cal is like saying "small sledge hammer". :neener:

DillHarris
July 8, 2005, 11:11 AM
The words "light special" in reference to 44cal is like saying "small sledge hammer".

And speaking of Sledge Hammer, see my tag line. He always had magnums, no doubt.

From what I remember of the movies, the recoil looked like it would have been from magnums, I know that's subjective and not at all scientific (but it is a movie after all). I'll have to check the competition/range scenes to see if they thought to make it look like it recoils any less than when he's shooting 'punks'.

I'll take Paladin over John Wayne if you want 'cool'.

BigG
July 8, 2005, 11:18 AM
I have been a movie buff for quite a while and had read somewhere that the Model 29 was not available during "Dirty Harry" so they substituted a Model 57 and called it a 44 Magnum.

BTW, did someone mention SLEDGE HAMMER ? (http://www.epinions.com/content_184651255428) One of my favorite TV shows.

HighVelocity
July 8, 2005, 11:36 AM
Sledge Hammer is one of my fav tv series of all time. check out www.sledgehammeronline.com
My handle on that forum is TMIKWID (trust me, I know what I'm doing).

Happiness is a warm gun - Sledge

thatguy
July 8, 2005, 12:36 PM
Marko Kloos, No, it was always a 29. The 57 substitution is a MYTH that's been going around for years. All filming was with a 29. ALL OF IT. It was a 6.5" M29-2 in most scenes and for the distant shots they used an 8 & 3/8" gun so it would still look big at a distance. No 57 was ever used in any part of the movie. Myth that won't die.

Cosmoline
July 8, 2005, 02:17 PM
If anyone has the DVD handy, just stop motion on the revolver closeup and take a screenshot so we can settle this one and for all.

Gunnutz13
July 8, 2005, 03:06 PM
Dirty Harry didn't actually use a Model 29 in the movie(s), but for the sake of argument, that was the gun he was suppose to be carrying...what he alludes to in the 2nd movie, Magnum Force, at the range with the rookies / vigilantes, is that he was using a .44special load, which he compares it to firing a .38special out of a .357magnum handgun...which is quite acurate.
:evil:

TMM
July 8, 2005, 06:17 PM
Dirty Harry did not know about the BFR chambered in .45-70.

StrikeEagle
July 8, 2005, 07:13 PM
I'll take Paladin over John Wayne if you want 'cool'.

hehe

Ok, Paladin rules I admit. :)

Go here for some music and some memories!

http://www.hgwt.com/hgwt10old.htm

Have fun and shoot straight! :D

StrikeEagle

17RemFan
July 8, 2005, 07:51 PM
Do ya feel lucky? Well.... do ya ? :neener PUNK :neener:

Standing Wolf
July 8, 2005, 09:24 PM
I don't care about Dirty Harry. When I carry a .44, it's loaded with .44 magnums.

gbelleh
July 8, 2005, 09:52 PM
I used to love the show Sledge Hammer too! (even though I was only 9 years old when it was on TV). I liked anything with a huge revolver in it! :D

I see it's coming out on DVD! :D

45crittergitter
July 8, 2005, 11:01 PM
Here's a lil fuel for the fire:

http://www.notpurfect.com/main/m57.htm

http://www.notpurfect.com/main/m29.html

thatguy
July 8, 2005, 11:02 PM
It was not only supposed to be a 29, it was, in fact, a 29. John Milius, who was the screenwriter for the 1st Dirty Harry film, has stated in at least two pulished stories that it was a 29 and not ever a 57. In fact, he has one of the guns used for filming, presented to him by the studio, and it is a Model 29-2. It was pictured in at least one of the magazine stories. Somehow the 57 myth got started and it simply won't go away.

Sunray
July 8, 2005, 11:03 PM
"...MythBuster..." It's not a myth. It's a movie. Nothing in movies is real. The only real part about the Dirty Harry movies is the noticable jump in S&W M29 sales the day or so after any of them are broadcast.
"...Paladin over John Wayne..." Randolph Scott was cooler than either of them.

jeff-10
July 9, 2005, 12:53 AM
Well, in the first Dirty Harry movie, Callahan's .44 Magnum Model 29 was actually a .41 Magnum Model 57.

Isn't that Internet rumor? How could a movie studio making a movie with Clint Eastwood, with the revolver playing a major part in the movie, not be able to come up with the right gun? Does't make sense to me.

Malamute
July 9, 2005, 02:48 AM
I read in a magazine, (many years before the internet) they they simply couldn't find a 6 1/2" 29 when they started filming, so used the 57 in the begining. The person making the statement was involved with the filming, and was a gun person. I don't recall where I read it. I believe it was around 20 years ago that I read it.

BluesBear
July 9, 2005, 04:05 AM
Will this damn misconception ever go away? :banghead:


It was NOT a .41! You can tell by looking at the muzzle when he has the bank robber on the ground and for the first time utters the infamous "do you feel lucky?" speech.

There was NOT a shortage of Model 29 revolvers at that time. There were shortages after the movie was released though. Each time the did a sequel there was another temporary sales increase.

In the 1st Dirty Harry sequel, Magnum Force, Callahan did not say he used .44 Special ammo. In the scene where Harry meets the rookie officers (for the first time) in the underground police practice range he is asked,"What kind of a load do you use in that .44?"
His answer is,"It's a light special. In this size gun it gives me better control and less recoil than a .357 magnum loaded with wadcutters."
Now all this really illustrates it that neither the script writer nor Clint Eastwood knew sPit from Shinola™ about real handgun ammunition. :rolleyes:

Nowhere in any of the five Dirty Harry movies do we see a clear image of the ammunition he carried. And it's never discussed again. Of course the real definition of "special load" is open for speculation.

It has been documented, several times, (just do a THR search) that is was definitely a real S&W Model 29 (there were actually three of them) used in the movies.
One of the original guns was presented to screenwriter John Milius, who is now on the NRA board of directors. That particular Model 29 now resides in the National Rifle Association's National Firearms Museum in Fairfax.

Perhaps one of you should call the NRA and tell them they've made a horrible mistake because you read it on the internet. :scrutiny:

As for me. I DO know spit from Shinola. ;)
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=26229




.

StrikeEagle
July 9, 2005, 07:41 AM
Of course the real definition of "special load" is open for speculation.

Not sure why the term "special load" is in quotes... what he SAID was "light special."

If I'm at the range with a 29 and tell you I'm shooting a "light special" for reasons of "recoil" and "control" and I compare it to "a .357 magnum loaded with wadcutters" what could I mean other than .44 Special?

Anyway, this was something I've wanted to get off my chest since the movie came out. :)

bestest,
StrikeEagle

ps The original question was posted in a general spirit of fun of course, and I thank you all for your responses. :D

c_yeager
July 9, 2005, 07:50 AM
I read in a magazine, (many years before the internet) they they simply couldn't find a 6 1/2" 29 when they started filming, so used the 57 in the begining. The person making the statement was involved with the filming, and was a gun person. I don't recall where I read it. I believe it was around 20 years ago that I read it.

Can you honestly say that this makes any sense at all to you? We are talking about a big-studio holywood movie that HEAVILY features a very specific firearm that is named in the film. Can you possibly imagine that Smith & Wesson would NOT have multiple perfect examples of that very firearm delivered right to the studio door? Even if they were hard to locate for the gun community, there is no such thing as a firearm that is unobtainable by hollywood.

29s were hard to find after the movie was released simply because the movie itself spurred their popularity so much. As has ben mentioned before, they werent all that hard to find prior to being popularized.

17RemFan
July 9, 2005, 03:46 PM
Wouldnt it be neat if Clint Eastwood would stop in here to field a few questions about all this?

Checkman
July 9, 2005, 05:34 PM
According to Roy Jinks, Smith and Wesson's historian, Warner Brothers was having trouble locating any specimens of the M29. So the factory assembled the M29's from spare parts in the factory shop. That shop is now called the Custom Shop. John Milius had originally written the M29 as having a 4" barrel, but all that was on hand at the time was barrels with the 6.5" length. And that is the story behind the Dirty Harry Model 29. Now Mr. Jinks has worked for S&W for many years and I trust his information. Everyone else will have to decide for themselves.

Onmilo
July 9, 2005, 09:52 PM
I too have heard that two Model 29 revolvers were custom built for the movie and Clint Eastwood actually fired nothing heavier than 5 in 1 blanks in the guns,,,,,The recoil, gunshot sound, and impact force were all special effects and implied.

Boss Spearman
July 9, 2005, 10:05 PM
Not to nitpick, but in real life John Wayne got out of going to the military, so he never really got shot at. This from Richard Boone's biography:

Boone was a college student, boxer, painter and oil-field labourer before ending up in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he used the G.I. Bill to study acting with the Actor's Studio in New York.

Yes, Paladin is cooler than John Wayne in my book too.

As is any other tough guy actor who actually served.

Nathanael_Greene
July 9, 2005, 10:17 PM
Not to hijack the thread, but did Clint Eastwood ever serve in the military?

I know he *played* a sailor in one of the "Francis the Talking Mule" movies...

Bacon
July 9, 2005, 10:44 PM
Clint Eastwood was in the ARMY.

BluesBear
July 10, 2005, 02:11 AM
Yeah, yeah, I should have typed "Light Special" instead of "Special Load". So sue me for posting so late at night.
At least I dug out the DVD and quoted the dialogue verbatum. :neener:

My point was that who ever talks about wadcutters in a .357 magnum unless they're talking about light paper punching loads?
And anyone using duty ammo that light is either a fool or just doesn't know spit from Shinola about guns and ammunition.

So did Harry mean he was shooting light .44 Special ammo or did he mean he was shooting light, special, .44 magnum ammo?

In reality a light, special, .44 magnum load could be something as simple as the Winchester Super-X 200gr Silvertip. Or it could have been a lighter than normal, special handload? Back in the day I knew many cops (who had to provide their own ammo) who loaded .357s, .41s and .44s down to a more controlable level.

One could even argue that my old issue duty ammo, which was the Remington 210 Lead SWC .41 magnum, was a lighter, special loading for the .41 Magnum. It sure was easier to shoot rapidly than the heavier, standard 210gr JSP stuff. (And a 210gr chuck of lead moving at 900-1000fps ain't exactly a gnat sneeze.)


Clint Eastwood actually fired nothing heavier than 5 in 1 blanks in the guns Well a 5-in-1™ won't fit in a .44 magnum. It was designed to fit in the hodge podge of Cowboy guns used in western movies. That way the props department only had to worry about one type of catridge. They will only work in .38-40, .44-40 and .45 Colt revolvers and rifles. But it's no problem to produce blanks for any revolver.
And the 5-in-1™ was also designed so they would NOT have to dub in the gunshots. They were loud enough for most thratrical uses.


Now I was told, that in some of the TV westerns, which had smaller budgets, .22 blanks were often used. They made special cylinders for the revolvers that had an offset .22 chamber in the rear of the cylinder but still had a full sized bore in the front half. These was also made of aluminium to cut down on the weight. It seems some TV actors were real wusses when it came to lugging those big heavy guns on their hip 14 hours a day.
I know, for a fact, that's what they used in "The Virginian". I don't exactly know what other shows did that since I didn't have a relative starring in any of them.

Boss Spearman
July 10, 2005, 02:46 AM
Richard Boone hated horses and used a double as often as he could for long shots of him on the horse.

Cosmoline
July 10, 2005, 04:13 AM
I say again, someone with the DVD simply needs to post a few screen captures (HINT HINT HINT) and we can resolve this debate once and for all. Unless you don't think the learned eyes here can tell the difference between a Model 29 and a Model 57

BluesBear
July 10, 2005, 04:53 AM
Unless you don't think the learned eyes here can tell the difference between a Model 29 and a Model 57 I have the Dirty Harry boxed set but they're already packed and sealed away for the movers on Monday.
After I get settled I'll attempt some screen shots.

Of course the learned eyes will confirm that it's a Model 29 but the rest will still argue the point.

45crittergitter
July 10, 2005, 12:54 PM
Uh huh, you're gonna try to find that 0.02" on your TV screen with a caliper I guess...... :neener: :)

Cosmoline
July 10, 2005, 05:33 PM
There are other ways to tell them apart. For one thing the writing on the side of the barrel. Plus, the 29 has a higher grade of finish.

BluesBear
July 10, 2005, 10:48 PM
Well the finish on the 57 was exactly the same as the 29. But the 29 had a ˝" longer barrel at that time.

Plus you really can tell the difference by looking at the front of the cylinder. There is noticably more steel around the charge holes of a Model 57 cylinder than there is on a Model 29.

Same with the muzzle. Both models are the same diameter at the muzzle.
If you're like me and own both guns you really do develop an eye for the difference.

However all I intend to do is capture some frames and post them. Then I'm going to sit back and let everyone else bicker about it because I already know what guns were and were not used in the movies.



Also Harry used Dade speedloaders. In fact all of the speedloaders in Magnum Force were made by Dade. As far as I know Dade didn't make a .41 magnum loader.
However I am not 100% sure of this.

I have owned several Dade loaders in my lifetime in both .357 and .44. But I have never seen a Dade loader in .41 Magnum. They were never listed in my dealer lists and I have never known of anyone having any.
In 1978 I became a Dade dealer. (I really like the Dade pouches and wish I could find a few) Although that was toward the end of the Dade company. Perhaps they did make them in the early or mid 70s.

If anyone out there happens to have any .41 magnum Dade loaders then I shall stand corrected and I'd love to buy them for my collection.
I do own two of the elusive Safariland .41 magnum loaders.
A couple of Dades, if they exist, would look mightly good sitting next to them.

MillCreek
July 11, 2005, 02:19 AM
And for all this time, I thought the old saying 'doesn't know s*it from Shinola' was a good old Southern saying without any real factual basis. I now know better. Shinola shoe polish. Who'd a thunk it?

I learn something new everyday on THR, and this is today's tidbit.

BluesBear
July 11, 2005, 04:25 AM
In our house we used Shinola and Kiwi.

Shinola smelled better. It had a sweet fruit smell as opposed to the Kiwi burnt nut smell.

I think Shinola went out of business in the late 50s or early 60s.

Joejojoba111
July 11, 2005, 09:29 AM
#1 "What type of load do you use in that .44?" he says "It's a light special. This size of gun it gives me better control and less recoil than a .357 with wadcutters."


#2 c yeager "Can you honestly say that this makes any sense at all to you? We are talking about a big-studio holywood movie that HEAVILY features a very specific firearm that is named in the film. Can you possibly imagine that Smith & Wesson would NOT have multiple perfect examples of that very firearm delivered right to the studio door?"

In the 1970's Hollywood was turned on it's head. Something to do with the demise of the studio system and also losing control of theaters (distribution oligopoly) and rise of television meant that there was a good deal of freedom to experiment in movies, and very little money. In the studio system trusted directors were given a fair bit of leeway, but nowhere near the 1970's the 'end was nigh', desperate times called for desperate measures. So it's completely possible that they couldn't get the right revolver, at first. Hell, know Easy Rider? Big famous movie ... they did it on shoestring budget and the bikes were stolen at the end of the movie! Lol.

Malamute "I read in a magazine, (many years before the internet) they they simply couldn't find a 6 1/2" 29 when they started filming, so used the 57 in the begining. The person making the statement was involved with the filming, and was a gun person. I don't recall where I read it. I believe it was around 20 years ago that I read it."

This could be real, I don't see why not. The beginning of a movie, one can almost guarantee, is not shot on the first day of filming! Who the hell knows where they starting filming, I don't.


#3- All the guys shoot lead semi-wadcutters, and not just for target practice. Davis uses them in his revolver at the competition, and Harry has them in speed loaders when the Lieutenand disarms him.

Igloodude
July 11, 2005, 09:48 AM
"It's a light special. In this size gun it gives me better control and less recoil than a .357 magnum loaded with wadcutters."

Now all this really illustrates it that neither the script writer nor Clint Eastwood knew sPit from Shinola™ about real handgun ammunition. :rolleyes:

and then...

One of the original guns was presented to screenwriter John Milius, who is now on the NRA board of directors.

So do we have someone on the NRA BoD that doesn't know sPit from Shinola™ about real handgun ammunition?

;)

Joejojoba111
July 11, 2005, 10:15 AM
"One of the original guns was presented to screenwriter John Milius, who is now on the NRA board of directors."

To be picky, he wasn't presented it, he was PAID with it, as part of his salary.

RAD
July 11, 2005, 12:05 PM
My cat's breath smells like cat food.
http://simpsonovi.comics.cz/media/Obrazky/char/ralph.jpg

c_yeager
July 13, 2005, 08:59 AM
Hell, know Easy Rider? Big famous movie ... they did it on shoestring budget and the bikes were stolen at the end of the movie! Lol.

True, but they sure as heck werent Hondas now were they? :neener:

Onmilo
July 13, 2005, 10:12 AM
I did say five in one blanks didn't I?!

Oh well, you did understand what I was implying,,,didn't you??

Brian Williams
July 13, 2005, 12:15 PM
I thought I remember that Clint "Dirty Harry" Eastwood stated in an interview that he practiced with a 29 and real 44 mags to make sure he had the recoil right whenever he shot it on screen.

Didn't they wreck the bikes at the end of Easy Rider????

Skunkabilly
July 13, 2005, 12:19 PM
My Beretta 92G (with carbon fiber grips) can blow your head...cleaaan off....

Johnny Guest
July 13, 2005, 12:51 PM
Burning issues of our time . . . .

Clint Eastwood vs. Richard Boone vs. John Wayne vs. . . .

Special Loads vs. light special loads vs. .44 special loads vs. 5-1n-1 BLANK loads . . . .

.41 vs. .44 vs. .45 target vs. .45 Colt . . . See thread last April - -
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1657838#post1657838

And everyone using either lines from a movie or internet rumor to substantiate their own viewpoint. Guys, I am DISGUSTED!

You're all missing the big point. No one's mentioned the true movie controversy: Vern: You think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?
Teddy: What are you, cracked?
Vern: No, I saw him on TV the other day, he was holding five elephants in one hand.
Teddy: Boy, you don't know nothing. Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Superman's a real guy. There's no way a cartoon could beat up a real guy.
Vern: I guess you're right. It'd be a good fight though. Dialogue from Stand By Me, dir. by Rob Reiner, 1986, per IMDb.com

(Mandatory movie firearms content: Remember the shocking result of poor gunhandling in the movie? But there was at least one good line used to discourage attackers . . . .)
:D

Best,
Johnny

Checkman
July 13, 2005, 04:16 PM
Regarding Easy Rider.

Yep a redneck in a pickup truck and wielding a shotgun blew Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda away. Those damm rednecks and their guns. Actually you aren't 100% certain that they're both dead, but Fonda's bike is blown clean apart. Which is significant because all of their drug money is in the gas tank of his bike. The movie is interesting as a time capsule, but my overall impression of the time period is :barf: :barf:

Joejojoba111
July 13, 2005, 07:51 PM
Yea, don't want to go off-topic, but I only rented the movie a few months ago, and I did notice there was a bit of hostility. Not just in the plot, but generally in the movie.

lbmii
July 15, 2005, 03:08 PM
I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

There, end of argument.

I love the organ/harmon music in that movie. Must buy the DVD. Must buy the DVD. Must buy the DVD.

nsmike
July 15, 2005, 08:37 PM
The gun used by Clint Eastwood in the movie was put together out of spare parts. The only thing about it that is not Mod 29 specification is the serial number. The serial number will come back as a model 57 because thats what they had at the time. They took an, in the white frame, from the model 57 line and made it into a Model 29 with all markings appropriate for a 29. I hope this clears things up.
Mike

BluesBear
July 16, 2005, 05:54 AM
Clears things up? Hell's Bells™, it's looking more and more like Brown-25™ to me.

The serial number will come back as a model 57 because thats what they had at the time. WFT? :scrutiny:

S&W doesn't assign serial numbers to a specific model number. Only to a particular frame size. Pay the money for a letter form Mr Jinks and you'll find the serial number will "come back" to whatever model it was made as.
Are you seriously saying that the Dirty Harry movie guns have frames stamped Model 57 instead of 29-2?
A mismarked factory production S&W revolver is a collector's dream. But these guns (if they existed) would, by now, be infamous amongst S&W collectors.

S&W revolvers are NOT produced in sequential order with regard to serial numbers. It's quite common to find a S&W with a certain serial number that was made months or even years before another S&W with a LOWER serial number. For example the first Model 57 produced had a serial number of S236941. But there are other Model 57s with lower serial numbers.

They took an, in the white frame, from the model 57 line and made it into a Model 29 with all markings appropriate for a 29.So which is it? A 57 or a 29?
If all markings were "appropriate for a 29" then the frame will be stamped 29-2 and it will "come back" as a Model 29.
There's no such thing as an "in the white" Model 57 frame. Such a creature would have been an "in the white" N-frame. In regard to the Target N-frame only the model 27 frame would have been different while "in the white" because prior to blueing the top strap was checkered.


Don't you think these "facts" that you have stated would show up somewhere else instead of only as Internet misconceptions?
Don't you think some mention might have been made of these anomalies in The History of Smith & Wesson by Roy Jinks or The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson by Jim Supica & Richard Nahas?


If I could confirm the serial numbers of the real Harry Callahan revolvers I'd pay the fees for the bloody factory letters myself.

nsmike
July 16, 2005, 03:14 PM
The gun is a Model 29 its serial number is whithin the range of serial numbers assigned to Model 57s. If you add or subtract 1 it will come back as a Model 57 because Smith & Wesson was making 57s at the time. The only relationship that Harry's gun has to a Model 57 is that the in the in the white frame came out of a batch that was used to make model 57s. All rumors that it was a Model 57 can be traced back to the frame coming from the model 57 assembly line.
Mike

thatguy
July 16, 2005, 04:05 PM
It is my understanding that S&W did not assign serial numbers to specific models. I have seen two S&Ws of different models with consecutive numbers. I have also seen maybe 25 S&Ws with the wrong model number stamped on the frame. This happens when frames are not assigned to a specific model and the worker accidentally uses the wrong model stamp.

Note in The Stadard Catalog of S&W the author lists the serial number range for the "Registered Magnum" as 45768-62489 with 5,500 made. That's almost 17,000 numbers and only a third were assigned to the RMs. The book clearly states that these guns were numbered "within the .44 Hand Ejector Series." So all the N frame made at that time used serial numbers from that range. No numbers were assigned to any one model except in very rare cases.

The gun in Dirty Harry was a regular production M29-2. Everyone involved with the movie says so and I don't understand why it's still being debated. Any mention, ANY, of a Model 57 in Dirty Harry is a myth.

BluesBear
July 16, 2005, 04:24 PM
All rumors that it was a Model 57 can be traced back to the frame coming from the model 57 assembly line. See, even you admit it's a rumor. Disregarding that, it's painfully obvious you are ignorant as to how Smith & Wesson production was done in that era.

Forget that "add one - subtract one" horsehocky. S&W drew from the same frame lot for Models 25/27/28/29/57. S&W made NO attempt to sort them by model or to use them in numerical order.

Imagine if you will, we all know you have a vivid imagination, a huge box of frames, with several people just reaching in a grabbing one whenever they needed one.

It's extremely rare to find two S&W revolvers of the same model with consecutive serial numbers. Ask Roy Jinks, the S&W historian, if you don't believe me (or anyone else on this forum).





*Brown-25™ ©1974 The Groove Tube
http://ia.imdb.com/media/imdb/01/I/17/60/80m.jpg

RecoilRob
July 16, 2005, 06:35 PM
I remember seeing Dirty Harry for the first time in the base theater at Camp LeJeune back in '76. It was totally cool to me until he stakes out the bad-guy on the roof with a .458 Winchester! What a DORK! Obviously, the people writing the movie went to the Biggest and Baddest when they spec'd out things, not what would actually work the best.

And, that was the moment I placed Dirty Harry in the 'Entertainment' catagory and out of the 'To be taken seriously' one.

lbmii
July 16, 2005, 06:43 PM
The 458 fit the personality of Dirty Harry though. Today Dirty Harry would use a Barret 50.

Wil Terry
July 16, 2005, 06:51 PM
I own a M29-2 6" S&W sixgun in 41MAGNUM. It came right outta the box that way. S&W Wanted it back to make a " real M29 out of it " but I turned 'em down as it shoot too well as is to go messing with it.

Justang
July 16, 2005, 10:31 PM
Ok, I did the FREEZE FRAME on the DVD. The gun is in fact an HK USP. Yeah, it suprised me too. All this time he was using the prototype HK wheelgun. Now we all know we were wrong.

Jeebus guys, it's just a movie.

4v50 Gary
July 17, 2005, 01:25 AM
Off topic, but why was Dirty Harry's star #2211? Anybody know?

thatguy
July 17, 2005, 01:37 AM
Will Terry, please read my previous post. I have seen about 25 S&Ws (all N frames) with the wrong model number stamped on them. It's not that rare. You don't have a Model 29 in .41 Mag, you have a Model 57 mismarked as a Model 29.

BluesBear
July 17, 2005, 04:25 AM
It was so simple, now it all makes sense.

S&W got the orders mixed up and installed the parts bass-ackwards on Will's and Harry's guns.

It's so easy to see how they got the two gentlemen confused. ;)

StrikeEagle
July 17, 2005, 12:01 PM
It was totally cool to me until he stakes out the bad-guy on the roof with a .458 Winchester! What a DORK!

LOL, that drove me nuts to see him do that! Cause he wanted 'an edge'... sigh :)

Did you see the enormous recoil on that thing? Of couse it didn't work... not even for our hero. :P

I remember thinking at the time that he'd have been better off with an M1 Carbine or even a Nylon 66. Oh, well... great movies and a lot of fun for gun guys. :)

StrikeEagle

mec
July 17, 2005, 01:52 PM
"I own a M29-2 6" S&W sixgun in 41MAGNUM. It came right outta the box that way. S&W Wanted it back to make a " real M29 out of it " but I turned 'em down as it shoot too well as is to go messing with it."

I've seen one of these in a local store. I was waiting for somebody to mention it.
Whatever they used in the movie, Smith and Wesson is planning some sort of museum and is claiming they will have the original Dirty Harry N Frame as one of the exhibits. Whether or not they are telling the truth is another question.

But anyway, here's the link:
http://ir.smith-wesson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=721269&highlight=

BluesBear
July 17, 2005, 10:33 PM
Wow. Lives needed here. I bet you read all 69 posts didn't you? :neener:

Magnum PI
July 18, 2005, 10:54 PM
I just called Clint and he confirmed it.

MPI

(I am going to use that ???? from Shinola line all the time now! That was a real KNEE SLAPPER!)

Checkman
July 19, 2005, 11:29 AM
rdnzl-Lives needed here

I love it when folks post their comments about these threads. These threads are fun guys. So what if we want to waste time arguing about what model Clint used in Dirty Harry? For that matter if you feel that way why are you even posting on this thread? Actaully why are you even reading it? That's like me complaining about this country's cult of celebrity while I'm watching all those idiotic shows about celebrities on E!. Which I do occassionally. Lighten up. Life is too short to be so darn serious. :neener:

mec
July 19, 2005, 02:46 PM
Or:

It -Didn't-Cost-Me-One-Single-Penny.andInowhavemyhoverround, or;
" My name is Wilfred Brimley and I have DIABETES, or;
"You have to get the Doooogh, DRIIIIVE to the VET and then SIT and WAIT!, or;
"Living with Genital Herpes can Be Uh Hassle."

Not many celebrities there but they make me want to dip a snuff.

el44vaquero
July 19, 2005, 09:20 PM
I wonder how many times there is going to be a post debating this very question? Harry Callahan says it's a .44 mag that's good enough for me. ;)

jtkeroac
July 8, 2008, 11:18 PM
"Magnum Force" screenwriter John Milius displays one of the original M29s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltBhm64WrQQ) used in the filming of Dirty Harry in extra feature of new collector's edition DVD.

Milius also supplies the final word (although not exactly a mea culpa given the script is supposedly his) on his commentary track (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jicw94_aXiQ)that accompanies the indoor range scene when Harry states his preference for "light specials" when asked what kind of load he uses.

boalex207
July 8, 2008, 11:41 PM
3 years later.....this thread makes a triumphant return.

But I always thought San Francisco Police Inspectors all carried GLOCKs.:rolleyes:

Orange_Magnum
July 8, 2008, 11:41 PM
That Mr Dirty would tour the town with .44 Specials doesn't make sense. In the mentioned movie clip, doesn't he say he uses a down-loaded .44? He IS a gun freak and surely that means he is brewing at home. A down-loaded .44 implies a soft magnum, not a .44 Special, because that would not be down-loaded, that would be butchered. If he did use .44 Specials, why would the scumbag in the first movie fly off the paltform into the lake upon being hit? Plus, if he used .44 Specials, why would he say "This is the most powerful..." etc, etc, when any .357 magnum of equal barrel length would outperform what he had? Now, if he DID tour the town with .44 Specials, holy smoke, that would be so schizo and gay, magnum force my ass. I mean, he is blabbering about "magnum" in every other sentence throughout the movies.

zxcvbob
July 8, 2008, 11:43 PM
Didn't he use a .44 Automag instead of a revolver in at least one movie?

(I think a "stretch" version of the .44AMP -- cut a .30-06 case off at 2.00" instead of 1.3" and straighten out the little shoulder -- would make a great rifle cartridge for a Mauser action. Like a .444 Marlin, but more-so)

Logan5
July 9, 2008, 12:36 AM
I remember this thread from three years ago! The Millius clip on youtube is great though, worth resurrecting to see. What's he working on now, anyway?

The Auto Mag was in Sudden Impact, and at that point in handgun history it was apparently the cat's pajamas, pretty much your .50 Desert Eagle if that one had failed, or more like the .480 Ruger Super Redhawk.

Stainz
July 9, 2008, 07:54 AM
This post brings up bad memories. Harry Callahan wasn't real? Next thing, someone is going to try to tell me Murphy Brown isn't a real person... even if she moved to Boston and started practicing law.

Ah, the AutoMag - AMT's big thingie - that only worked in the movies. Once a give-away kluge, today they are collectible. Go figure! It's still a bottom-feeder - sometimes!

Stainz

22-rimfire
July 9, 2008, 08:40 AM
I think he used a Model 17 and they added a deep throated sound effect afterr the fact. :)

Had they wanted to use a Model 29, there were no shortages of guns available. The most powerful handgun in the world frightened a lot of people from buying one... it will blow your head clean off! or ... it will shoot your eye out! After the movie, potential buyers would say "that recoil doesn't look like much". That is where all the guns came from that had a half a box of shells shot through them. :)

Deanimator
July 9, 2008, 10:07 AM
I used Federal 200gr. LSWC-HP or Speer 200gr. Gold Dot JHP .44 Specials in my 4" Model 29-2. It's my primary home defense gun. If I asked for volunteers to be shot COM with it, I doubt I'd get many takers.

Deanimator
July 9, 2008, 10:10 AM
If he did use .44 Specials, why would the scumbag in the first movie fly off the paltform into the lake upon being hit?
Because it's in the script.

Of course he could really have been killed in the scene too... which makes his appearance as Kirstie's dad in "Hellraiser" even more ironic...

unspellable
July 9, 2008, 10:24 AM
I will offer no opinions on whatt he revolver in the movie actually was, but I depart from orthodoxy on the matter of how available the M-29 was before the movie.

I first saw an M-29 in the flesh when the local game warden had one. he said they were hard to come by. At that point I decided I had to have one. It took a lot of beating the bushes to come up with a used one. The one I found was the classic case of part of a box through it. All this before Dirty Harry.

Onmilo
July 9, 2008, 10:26 AM
Man, somebody had to be seriously bored to bring up a thread from so long back in the distant past!

I searched high and low for a .44 AutoMag for my uncles retirement gift from the police force.
Cost a small fortune and he doesn't even shoot the gun, 'it's just for lookin' at' to paraphrase Chief Dan George from another Clint Eastwood movie, "The Outlaw Josey Wales".
Great movie, still enjoy watching this one, the book was very good too.

Gawd I hate AutoMag pistols!

Hawk
July 9, 2008, 10:31 AM
Resurrection via Youtube via boxed set.

The "Model 57 myth" is certianly understandable - it's reported as fact (presently) on IMDB and attributed to a prop department worker on Wikipedia.

Onmilo
July 9, 2008, 10:53 AM
Yeah, even if Mr. Callahan did use a Model 57 the speech just wouldn't have sounded as cool,,,,,,,

'This is a .41 Magnum, a caliber most people have never heard of,,,,,at this range it will make a really loud noise and turn your brains into Jello',,,,,,,,,

qwert65
July 9, 2008, 11:01 AM
Sure, John Wayne is cooler, but not because he never statement he was using powered down ammo. I don't recall John Wayne ever saying that much about ammo power at all.
Thats cause, he knew shot placement was important:)

Evyl Robot
July 9, 2008, 12:53 PM
...all the guns would be blue plastic, all action would be shot in front of green-screens with plastic balls all over the actors (never on set together), and when they "fired" their weapons, the actors would make "pew, pew!" sounds that would be edited out later.

Then, the Wachowski brothers or Frank Miller would piece the whole thing back together in some kind of a virtual-CG world. Most of the wardrobe, and all of the props and sets would be completely fictional, and Harry Callahan would be played by somebody like Timothy Oliphant.

This entire thread would be completely irrelevant as there would be no "actual" gun in the movie, as its existence would amount to no more than bits and pixels.



My father-in-law had an elderly neighbor who offered to give him a 29-2, claiming that it belonged to Clint Eastwood. It may or may not have been Clint's actual property as far as I know or care, but this gentleman was about 3/4-senile, and I really doubt it. My father-in-law declined the gift, as his wife is an anti. I can't help but poke fun at him for that one. I won't soon let him forget.

Footcheese
July 9, 2008, 02:19 PM
I read somewhere that the sounds used in the original movie, Dirty Harry, were recorded using a rifle (.30 Carbine or .30-30, not sure which).

I saw Magnum Force recently and that specific line invoked an immediate slew of emails to friends and family. I didn't really like MF as much as DH. MF had one scene in which he's on an airplane and a terrorist runs behind the wall where the stewardists work, then Callahan shoots him through the wall. I understand he's supposed to be a free swinging loose canon type but it didn't really seem like a shot ANY cop would take.

novaDAK
July 9, 2008, 05:47 PM
are you all going to make me go down to the NRA Museum and get a picture of one of the guns? It's about 15min away...but I was just there last week (I've been there so many times :) )

Checkman
July 11, 2008, 12:12 AM
Well according to Roy Jinks the studio was unable to locate any Model 29's. So they went to the factory and the factory assembled a couple 29's for the production.

Mr. Jinks also states that originally Callahan was going to carry a 4" Model 29, but all they had in stock was the 6.5" barrel.

But it was a Model 29 in the first movie.

No I don't remember where I read the interview with Mr. Jinks. Anybody else?

Love these Zombie threads.

BlackBearME
July 11, 2008, 01:59 AM
Not to nitpick, but in real life John Wayne got out of going to the military, so he never really got shot at. This from Richard Boone's biography:


Boone was a college student, boxer, painter and oil-field labourer before ending up in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he used the G.I. Bill to study acting with the Actor's Studio in New York.
Yes, Paladin is cooler than John Wayne in my book too.

I see your Richard Boone and raise you Audie Murphy.

Stainz
July 11, 2008, 07:08 AM
Footcheese,

Hmmm, about 'cops shooting through barricades... remember NYPD detectives blasting through, I believe his name was Amidou Diallo's, or something like that, front door? I think they fired 57 rounds, hitting him less than 20 times. He was an innocent immigrant worker - they had the wrong guy. It happens.

Audie Murphy was the real deal. Richard Boone was a great actor, doing most of his stunts in 'Have Gun; Will Travel' - including riding a camel in a desert race! I really liked him in that 'Suspense' show, 'Heck Ramsey', that shared the time slot with 'McCloud', 'MacMillan and Wife', and 'Columbo'. Yeah, no one else liked it. Boone was a supurb actor. His man-servant in 'HG;WT', a Chineese fellow, had a non-pc name - certainly inappropriate today; 'Hey-boy!' is all he ever called him. Loved that SAA.

Speaking of guns... Steve McQueen always carried a cutdown Win 1892 - only made in pistol calibers - yet his belt's ammo loops always held either .38-55s or .45-70s. He never had to reload from his belt, either. Often thought 'aloof' or arrogant, because he ignored folks, he really couldn't hear very well. I liked his movies - he was a great actor. John Wayne always played the same guy, whether he was in 'The Alamo' or 'The Green Berets'.

Stainz

Checkman
July 11, 2008, 09:58 AM
Yes but Wayne played the same guy very very well.

I am also a fan of Mcqueen. I also like Gregory Peck. When he was alive I didn't agree with his politics, but still liked most of his movies.

Oh and honorable mention for Robert Mitchum.

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