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Where Does Hollywood Get The Guns?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Treo, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. Treo

    Treo member

    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?
  2. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Well-Known Member

    There are companies that rent guns and experts to movie makers.
  3. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Josh Aston

    Josh Aston Well-Known Member

    The military doesn't lend them weapons. If they did you'd have more war movies with actual issue firearms, instead of cheesy stuff.
  6. TAB

    TAB Well-Known Member

    CA infact has a whole section of firearms law just for said rental biz.
  7. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

  8. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Treo

    Treo member

    Even if they're not around those guns must be somewhere
  10. hnk45acp

    hnk45acp Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    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.
  12. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. hardwarehacker

    hardwarehacker Active Member

    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.
  14. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    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.
  15. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. searcher451

    searcher451 Well-Known Member

  17. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. SG Merc

    SG Merc Well-Known Member

    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).

    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.
  19. Yankee

    Yankee Well-Known Member

    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
  20. GingerGuy

    GingerGuy Well-Known Member

    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...

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