Where Does Hollywood Get The Guns?


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Treo
August 28, 2008, 02:27 AM
I was watching Rio Lobo or Rio Bravo , one of John Wayne's Cavalry movies. I don't remember which one but I got to thinking they used a grip of guns in that movie. My question is where do they get them? I assume in the more modern movies they get cooperation from the Army and use their M-16s ( how'd you like to be on the cleaning detail?) but in the westerns where they're all carrying Sharp's Rifles, the WWII movies where they all have Garands, not to mention all the AKs and various German and Japanese weapons.

Is there some warehouse full of (working?) guns on a studio back lot in Hollywood? where do they get them from?

P.S. It was Rio Grande. Am I the only one that noticed they started out W/ Sharp's Carbines and about half way through every one had a Winchester?

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JohnKSa
August 28, 2008, 02:29 AM
There are companies that rent guns and experts to movie makers.

glockman19
August 28, 2008, 02:31 AM
Prop houses in LA have complete arsenals. most are non functional, (no firinf pin), many in larger scanes shoot blanks.

After Brandon Lee died the rules for firearms on sets have become more stringent.

mnrivrat
August 28, 2008, 02:39 AM
JohnKSa has it correct as there are a number of movie prop companies that provide firearms for the movie industry. In the early days of movie making the studios themselves had extensive prop departments and they provided firearms . Today, most of that is farmed out to various seperate businesses.

Josh Aston
August 28, 2008, 02:44 AM
The military doesn't lend them weapons. If they did you'd have more war movies with actual issue firearms, instead of cheesy stuff.

TAB
August 28, 2008, 02:54 AM
CA infact has a whole section of firearms law just for said rental biz.

Henry Bowman
August 28, 2008, 09:11 AM
Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns: http://www.fbmginc.com

Tommygunn
August 28, 2008, 11:07 AM
There is (or was) a company called Stenbridge that had an amazing collection of guns of all sorts, Winchesters, Colt SAAs, Thompsons, flintlocks, all the way up to military electric power Gatlings. If they didn't have it they would make it.
I think they may have closed or moved -- I don't have a clear memory but I am not sure they're still around.

Treo
August 28, 2008, 12:04 PM
Even if they're not around those guns must be somewhere

hnk45acp
August 28, 2008, 02:02 PM
Also many guns in movies (when they aren't being shot) are rubber so that the actors can carry them easily. I just saw Tropic Thunder and aside from a lot of cringe worthy gun moments it was a hilarious movie and in many scenes the actors are flinging guns around like they're toys.

Justin
August 28, 2008, 02:11 PM
The Stenbridge collection was auctioned off a few years ago.

Most high-budget Hollywood movies use real guns that have been converted to fire blanks.

Weapons that don't need to be seen functioning or firing are usually dummy guns made of molded rubber or plastic. You can sometimes find them on eBay.

Low budget and indy films will use prop guns that work off of propane, or in some cases airsoft. You can simulate muzzle flash with some post-production programs such as Adobe AfterEffects and in some cases this is cheaper.

theotherwaldo
August 28, 2008, 02:12 PM
I've got a fair collection of stunt guns. They range from a foamed rubber Chief's Special and a P-38 that you could bend in half to a chrome-finish 1911a1 that would bounce and slide almost like the real thing if you dropped it.

hardwarehacker
August 28, 2008, 02:57 PM
When I lived in Lost Angeles a couple of decades ago, I thought it would be interesting to own something class-III. Did some research and found that even then the state laws made it virtually impossible. Only a few exceptions, such as armored car companies and..... people who rent them to studios. That was virtually the only way an individual could own anything full auto.

In order to qualify, one was required to have approved vaults both at home and welded into the vehicle used to transport said weapons to where they would be used for filming. Plus proof that studios were actually interested in renting them once you had them. And tons of paperwork.

Things may well have changed since then, but that was verbatim what I heard from the State Attorney General's office at the time. FWIW.

TexasRifleman
August 28, 2008, 03:36 PM
I've got a friend here in the DFW area that rents many NFA items to the movie and television business.

Halftracks and scout cars too.

He did say that he could not do business in California, never asked why.

VegasOPM
August 28, 2008, 03:45 PM
Stembridge Gun Rentals is one of the foremost gun rental houses in the world. www.stembridge.us. If it already exists- they have it. If you want it to exist (and have the money) they will make it. I'm pretty sure that they are a Type 10 FFL- Type 10 FFL is a manufacturer of Title 1 firearms, ammunition and ammunition components, including NFA Destructive Devices but no other NFA, and not including Armor Piercing ammunition.

searcher451
August 28, 2008, 06:18 PM
Here's a link that may be of some interest:

http://www.imfdb.org/index.php?title=Main_Page

skinewmexico
August 28, 2008, 06:31 PM
They had a show about one of the companies that did that on.....I think Shooting Gallery........a few weeks ago. Showed all the work you had to do to make them fire blanks. I was surprised.

SG Merc
August 28, 2008, 06:43 PM
The above posts are spot on.

Blank firing guns are the order of the day when there is an armorer on the film set. Otherwise replica firearms are used. These replicas can be de-miled weapons, airsoft guns, cast resin, or even a combination (like these Stargate SG-1 P90 replicas (http://www.sg1props.com/tutorials/p90/p90history.php)).

The military will provide access to their larger equipment (i.e. ships and aircraft) for productions, but I've never heard of them providing small arms.

Yankee
August 28, 2008, 07:51 PM
Here in Australia there is a company called Global Gear. One of their main activities is producing replica weapons for films and they were recently used by Steven Spielberg when he was down here to film the sequel to Band of Brothers. They sell some beautiful non functional examples of WW2 and modern military weapons - here's an example of a Garand
http://www.globalgear.com.au/prod1596.htm

GingerGuy
August 28, 2008, 07:58 PM
This guy does a lot of movies as the Weapons Coordinator, Robert "Rock" Galotti. He has provided guns for many, many movies through the years. He has 3 auto-Glocks, the only 3 in the country, among many other in his collection. His personally favorite handgun is a 1911...

JTW Jr.
August 28, 2008, 09:41 PM
One of the gun shops here in Vegas owns a large warehouse full of movie rental guns.

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 12:42 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: 12-24-02
Location: MN
Posts: 2,387 JohnKSa has it correct as there are a number of movie prop companies that provide firearms for the movie industry.

True, years ago I had a company that rented antique, vintage and classic cars for movie shoots.

Treo
August 29, 2008, 03:10 AM
True, years ago I had a company that rented antique, vintage and classic cars for movie shoots

There's a scene in Fort Apache where John Wayne smashes the stock off one of Meechum's Winchesters. Is that figured in the price of rental?

WhisperFan
August 29, 2008, 05:56 AM
I watched (and loved) We Were Soldiers, with Mel Gibson.

They had a whole documentary about how they wanted to 'get it right' and they did a great job.

My only problem with the whole move was that it was set in 1965, and all the M-16's should have been SP1's. Yet every one of them had a forward assist and that wasn't introduced until later in the war (1967 I think)

Anyway - not may people would notice that, and it was a great movie.

tpaw
August 29, 2008, 06:28 PM
True, years ago I had a company that rented antique, vintage and classic cars for movie shoots

There's a scene in Fort Apache where John Wayne smashes the stock off one of Meechum's Winchesters. Is that figured in the price of rental?

Can't say, I rented cars not firearms.

Mot45acp
August 30, 2008, 03:32 AM
Crawls out from rock.


They are making a sequel to Band Of Brothers?

ctdonath
August 30, 2008, 04:16 AM
The increasing difficulty in Hollywood getting modern machineguns led to a recent bill that proposed exempting major movie studios from the 922(o) post-'94 machinegun ban.

contenderman
August 30, 2008, 04:15 PM
At one time studios (major ones) had their own armory, but today most guns are obtained from rental sources. Same for big stuff ... GI vehicles, tanks, artillery ...

Also in movies where there are a lot of arms ... most are non-working replicas. There are only a few working guns and the rest is just "artful" film making.

Zedo
August 30, 2008, 04:59 PM
I've seen Winchester saddle rifles (1894 Western) with provenance, photos for sale at gun shows. They're fully working models used in John Wayne movies.

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