Day of the Jackal


November 19, 2003, 04:00 PM

I just saw a movie called "day of the Jackal" and I just loved his little rifle!!

I loved it so much that I have started thinking about getting you guys know if the rifle was based on any comercial model??(in real life, of course, because in the movie it was custom made)!


edited to add: I was just surfing on and saw a very clever design for a sniper rifle...SPEAKING HIPOTETICALLY AND FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY , could it be possible to make a .22lr rifle using that system provided that I could get a barrel??

The breech loading device can be found here:

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Andrew Wyatt
November 19, 2003, 04:36 PM
that's a negatory. Building your own firearms is a good way to get yourself darwinated. do not do it.

November 19, 2003, 04:42 PM
I have absolutely no intentions to build it, I just wanted to knpow if it was POSSIBLE! Now I know that is is but that it is NOT a good idea (hmm..that I already knew!

November 19, 2003, 05:04 PM
I've always been fascinated with that rifle as well, though as a packable survival or back-country-type rifle. Hard to tell what the chambering is, but the best I can figure is that it's in .22 WMR from the brief view one gets of the cartridges: straight-walled, rimmed, and small. Any other guesses?

AJ Dual
November 19, 2003, 06:12 PM
In that particular design for a big PVC airgun that's close kin to potato cannon or "spud guns" the entire chamber and barrel is the bolt.

I suppose it would work, for a low pressure air cannon operating at anywhere from 100-500 PSI, with large slow projectiles and not much need for repeatable accuracy it's ingenious.

For smokless powder ammunition like .22 LR which operates at thousands of pounds per square inch kpsi, it's not such a great idea.

If it was well machined it would probably be safe, but the accuracy of a movable barrel like that would be poor at best. Tolerances tight enough to keep the barrel aligned with the reciever would make it difficult to open or turn.

Stinger Pen guns sells a long "sniper" :rolleyes: barrel for their legal pen-gun. When I saw that I was immediately reminded of Day of the Jackal myself.

go to and look under the accessories section.

BTW what Andrew wyatt said is true if you try to cobble a firearm together out of pipes and junk, but building your own firearms is not allways an instant darwin. If you study up, learn machining and firearms design building your own firearms is legal as long as you don't build anything that breaks any laws like machineguns, too short, sliencer for NFA '34, or something that breaks the 94 AW ban.

It's also possible to "build" a firearm, but not from scratch such as an AR, AK, or FAL from surplus parts kits, and a reciever you purchase from an FFL. This is generaly safer since all the parts are factory made, and you're just assembling them. Again can be dangerous, but would be safe if you learned what you're doing.

November 19, 2003, 07:51 PM
Building a firearm in this country is legal, provided you follow some strict guidelines. In your country, you'd best ask an expert in the legal field.

What is possible is NOT the same as what is legal or wise. The silencer, for instance requiresa $200 registration and tax, the firearm is also undersized, and would be considered a short barrel rifle, which would also be registered and taxed.

Beware of all information gleaned from the internet.

As far as the rifle used in the original film it was made by a comeptant gunsmith.

Marlin and Charter arms both made small, take down rifles, and some kits are avalaible to make the AR-7 into a similar looking firearm.

November 19, 2003, 08:01 PM
Actually it's very possible. Years ago, when the move first hit the theater, a friend of mine who was a very good amateur gunsmith built one for fun.

He started out with an inexpensive .22 Mag rifle.
He pitched everything except the barreled action.
The action was a typical rim fire round receiver, so he discarded the magazine assembly and it's mounting assembly, closed off the bottom of the receiver, and converted it to a single shot.

He cut off the bolt handle, threaded the stump, and made up a short "stub" bolt handle that could be screwed in place.

He cut off the trigger, threaded the stump, and made a new threaded trigger finger piece, that screwed into the trigger.

A simple piece of steel tubing with a threaded bolt on each end became the stock, and a curved tube was the butt plate.

A threaded block attached to the under side of the receiver was the mount for the stock.

He bought a scope mount and scope, and had a package that looked very much like the Jackal rifle.

Basically it looked like nothing but a long piece of tubing when disassembled.

He said it was difficult to shoot accurately, because it was so light, and hard to hold securely, but would make an excellent survival rifle.

Looking at it, we figured that if the barrel was less than 16" and a special crutch was made up from much larger than standard aluminum tubing, the thing could actually have been concealed inside a phony crutch.

Elmer Snerd
November 20, 2003, 12:53 PM
Looking at it, we figured that if the barrel was less than 16" and a special crutch was made up from much larger than standard aluminum tubing, the thing could actually have been concealed inside a phony crutch.
I don't know if that was done is the Bruce Willis movie, but that is pretty much what happened in the novel and in the movie starring Edward Fox.

Joe Demko
November 20, 2003, 01:34 PM
One of those cute little Chipmunk .22's would be a good starting point for something like this.

November 20, 2003, 01:39 PM
I don't know if that was done is the Bruce Willis movie, his version of it, Bruce Willis used an automatic 20mm cannon. :uhoh:

Oleg Volk
November 20, 2003, 01:53 PM
Funny movie picture...I'd think that using a small tree for support would cause the shooter to sway with the wind.

November 20, 2003, 02:01 PM
Regarding airguns - PVC won't hold the pressure, but airguns can manage quite significant power levels.

Sam Yang's "Big Bore .44 909" throws a 180 grain, .44 caliber bullet at 750fps.

But it works at 3000 psi - scuba gear pressures.

November 20, 2003, 03:39 PM
It's a movie gun. No basis in reality. Mind you, you could get a hold of an AR7 and start with it. That movie ruined me for having anything to do with melons or gourds in general. I always see them as targets.

November 20, 2003, 05:47 PM
I haven't seen the movie so I don't know what that gun exactly looked like.
I don't know that any commercial firearm like that was ever sold, bit I do know that for a while, the UK airgun company Brocock sold an air-cartridge gun that looked and worked pretty much exactly the same as that. And as of now they sell the Fox rifle, which might be it (scroll all the way to the bottom):
Server pages vex me.
Well, hit on the "BACS" logo, and then scroll all the way to the bottom of that page......

November 20, 2003, 06:42 PM
That is one really nice airgun!!! Thanks for everything guys..I think I will be doing some research on that system and maybe get one of those...Thanks DougCxx!

November 20, 2003, 10:35 PM
Building your own firearms is a good way to get yourself darwinated. Andrew, you should stick with advice like, "know your limits." What would we do if John, Sam, and Gaston had listened to you.

Granted, if you're having to ask questions on an internet forum instead of reading metalurgy books or brushing up on your machining skills, you probably don't possess the what-not to build a gun, and Andrew's advice might just pertain directly to you.:D

I'm going to stick with "know your limits." Some people shouldn't even hand load.

Andrew Wyatt
November 20, 2003, 11:00 PM
My name is Andrew.

November 21, 2003, 02:50 AM
You all should go tell all those FAL and AK builders that they are crazy. I mean wow who knew that it was such a crazy idea.

The fact is that people have been building firearms for a long LONG time. And even in this modern era the only "hoops" that one must jump through is adherence to the NFA and AWB and if your using foreign parts, 922. This of course MAY vary by state. But in most states it is the norm.

November 21, 2003, 09:07 AM
If you are planning on building a firearm, you are way ahead if you can obtain an already-professionally-manufactured barrel. There's safety benefits of course, but it's more practical also: you don't have to figure out how to drill a small, precise hole through a piece of steel 18+ inches long, or how to cut rifling in it.
Incidentally, one place you can often buy such an inexpensive item is to buy a cheaper Chinese barrel-cocking airgun in .22 caliber, and use the barrel from that. These airguns are made of wood and steel (no plastic!) and the barrels used are considerably thicker than most new US-made 22LR pocket pistols I have seen. Although I do not know what the injury rate of these arms is, I do know that it is common for poorer people in Africa to modify them to function as single-shot 22LR rifles. In that use they are even safer, as the breeches of the barrels of these guns is set into a thick steel block, making burst breeches even less likely. Airguns were even sold as "dual-use" in the past--able to "fire" balls/pellets as an airgun, and also to fire 22-rimfire shells.

Carl N. Brown
November 22, 2005, 11:18 PM
The novel claimed it was based on an American bolt action.
As a previous poster noted, the cartridges appeared to be
.22 magnum rimfire. The gunsmith noted the hollowpoints
were filled with mercury to make them expand explosively
on impact. :what: Nice thought: the wound channel would
be contaminated with mercury. :barf: Not for subsistance

A Savage 120 in 22 lr would be a good candidate for making
a replica: remove the bolt handle and operate the bolt by
twisting the cocking knob. The trigger can be detached and
the later versions are grooved for tip-off scope mounts.
Keep the barrel length over 16" and require that the shoulder
stock be fitted for an overall length over 26" before the gun
could be gripped and fired as a conventional rifle.

cracked butt
November 23, 2005, 12:49 AM
The thing on xinventions is a potato launcher.

The easiest firearm that I know of to make is a 12 guage shotgun, provided that ammo is readily available.

Here's a design that is even more complicated that I would make, even though its still very simple:

I trust that you won't do anything illegal or unethical with the information in the provided link, its hypothetical and for informational purposes only.:cool:

November 23, 2005, 08:04 AM
The novel claimed it was based on an American bolt action.+1. In the novel the rifle is custom built by a gunsmith. There is fair amount of detail that the gunsmith explains to the assassin when he buys it.

November 23, 2005, 09:49 PM
In the movie Bruce Willis uses a ZPU-1 14.5mm AAMG to such devastating effect.


I think Hollywood said something about "depleted uranium bullets", the stock APIT would have been more than enough.

The book does not have the same level of excitement, nor amount of stuff blown up.;)

November 24, 2005, 09:52 AM
Building your own firearms without proper research into the subject before beginning is a good way to be limbless or lifeless.

Building firearms after doing the research and truly understanding what to do? Not a problem with that at all, as long as you're not a felon and you obey state and federal laws.

ken grant
November 24, 2005, 11:52 AM
If you liked the movie,you will love the book!!!!!!!:D

Carl N. Brown
January 26, 2006, 05:53 PM
After running off at the keyboard, I later re-watched the movie
and double checked the novel:

In Fredrick Forsythe's novel, The Day of the Jackal (1971), the gunsmith
M. Goossens says: "I think I have such a gun in mind, and easily available
here in Brussels at some sports shops... used a lot for chamois and other
small deer..." with about six or seven pages of exposition.

The discussion of the gun is tightened up in the 1973 movie;
the gunsmith says "Oh certainly. I can take an existing gun and
make some modifications." Some :)

Now, the action resembles a Stevens bolt action .22 hornet, but for the
life of me, I cannot recall where I got the impression it was definitely
based on an American bolt action. After a couple of moves and a flood,
my archives are spotty.

By the way, if you start with a legally acquired rifle and keep barrel length
over 16" and the gun is over 26" when assembled for firing, a home gunsmithed
Chacal "Jackal" rifle should be within the Federal NFA limits. Local laws may vary.

January 27, 2006, 01:25 AM
it is like an ar7 but i think either a 22 mag or 6mm cal. you can see the parts on two sites, ar7 accessories, or long island shooting range. there is also a other company out of brooklyn that makes a quad switch bbl rimfire with a non floating foldertype stock, that pacsk up in a very small little bag. i dont remember the name of this company but it comes with a milspec 1913 style full lenght piccatiny rail that is cantilevered! on the bbl! very nice.

January 27, 2006, 03:02 AM
"...if it was POSSIBLE!..." Anything is possible with enough time and money.
"...think Hollywood..." Exactly. Nothing in movies or TV is real.

October 26, 2008, 10:30 AM
SIR;has the manufacturer of the rifle used in the DAY OF THE JACKAL:prior to being converted for the movie ever been determined &has the master english gunsmith been identified ? thank you, W.N.

Brian Williams
October 26, 2008, 02:47 PM
Welcome to THR CLATU, but please do not bring up such old threads.

October 26, 2008, 03:12 PM

Scroll down to post #20..

October 26, 2008, 10:14 PM
Fredrick Forsythe rocks.
Read Eye of the Needle. The movie wasn't too bad if you're not into novels.

Rifleman 173
October 27, 2008, 12:11 AM
Try an AR-7 survival rifle for a start.

All 3 of these sites give you photos and information about the rifle that can be converted to one like used in the Day of the Jackal. Something to think about BUT be very careful NOT to violate any laws.

October 27, 2008, 12:34 AM
Juast to clarify things, the AR-7 was never adopted nor used by the USAF.

Carl N. Brown
October 30, 2008, 06:08 PM
My candidate to build a replica of the Jackal rifle would be
the Savage Arms Model 19 or 23 in caliber .22 Hornet.
The gunsmith in the novel said he would start with a hunting
intended for chamois and other small deer easily available
at sports shops in Brussels. The cartridges shown in the
movie appear to be .22 Hornet.

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