The Guns of Firefly?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Tom Servo, Jun 8, 2004.

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  1. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    Just got the series on DVD and have been rewatching pretty closely. Most of the guns (with the exception of one goofy laser pistol) seem to be analogues of present-day centerfire pistols. I'm pretty sure I've seen a couple of cosmetically-altered 1911s, and Mal's gun looks similar to a Ruger Old Army blackpowder, of all things. Anyone care to venture any opinions on what they've seen?

    It seems somewhat apropos that the show would favor projectile weapons, since on the fringes of civilization, ammo would be easier to manufacture and come by than, say, Dilithium Laser Crystals, and in Mal's case, reloading might be the most economical way to go.

    Except for the goofy "laser-noise" that all the guns seem to make (and the fact that EVERYBODY loads and cocks with their finger on the trigger), the writers seem to have done some research on guns. Incidentally, "futuristic" weapons are shown to be either unreliable or in the hands of government elite-types.

    Oh, and if you haven't seen this show, you're just a bad person and should probably go stand in a corner somewhere.
     
  2. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    I picked up the series on DVD also, and have been very surprised with how well the show was written and produced. Most of the guns seem to generally be a mixture of modern day and western weapons.

    For those who haven't seen the show, in a given episode you're likely to see everything from SAA's to M60's all attending the same gun battle.

    As for Mal's gun, as near as I can figure, it's a prop specifically designed for the show. It obviously has the styling of a single action cowboy gun, but is, in actuality an autoloader. In one of the episodes I distinctly remember seeing Mal pop the magazine to check if it's loaded. The mag seems like it fits in roughly the same location as it would on a high-end target pistol, like a Walther GSP. It fits flush with the gun though. (At least from what I can tell. I could be wrong.)
     
  3. Pappy John

    Pappy John Member

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    What struck me most was Mal's 2nd in command's "Mare's Leg"....and her penchant for shooting people in the back with it. Her name doesn't come to mind right now....my copy has been lent out for a while now.
     
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Fantastic series, cancelled by the biggest boneheads in television history. Had to be expensive to produce, but what a diamond among the chaff of network programming it was. The good news; the movie, Serenity, is now officially in pre-production!

    I loved the mix of western and post-modern sci-fi, though I had to swallow a good bit of disbelief that firearms technology was still supposed to be preserving at least the styles and some elements of the function of the American west, 1860-1900, five centuries in the future.
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    That'd be Zoe.
     
  6. Pappy John

    Pappy John Member

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    Justin, yeah that's her....I did remember the name of Jayne's favorite gun though.

    Vera!!!
     
  7. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    Random useless factoid: Jayne's favorite gun, 'Vera' was originally designed and used in the Eddie Murphy/William Shatner movie 'Showtime.' I've never seen it, and heard it's really not worth bothering with. But it is a bit of trivia you can use to impress other Firefly nerds.

    :D
     
  8. Ransom

    Ransom Member

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    The gun from Showtime was ridiculous looking. Jaynes gun looks fairly decent.

    The guns are my only pet peeve about the show. Everything is a mix of either redesigned wester style guns, modern day guns like DE's and so forth, and regular old west style six guns and lever rifles. It doesnt make much sense and seems like they just cleaned out the entire gun section of the prop department.

    Plus the sounds they make are kind of goofy. I hope they retool it for the movie. I dont mind guns like Mals and Zoes and some of the rifles they used but adding in desert eagles and glocks and stuff just looks dumb and out of place.
     
  9. Jeff Timm

    Jeff Timm Member

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    Something I posted during Firefly's brief run.

    Firearms and Fireflys

    A few things to keep in mind:

    If you see firearms used in the movies and TV. It isn't accurate. Firearms recoil. Guns are LOUD. Handguns are not very good at stopping an attacker, but they are better than anything else of their size and price. Cross reference, if you have a strong stomach, http://communities.prodigy.net/sportsrec/11april86.html
    for an inaccurate report, all reports on gunfights are inaccurate, on a real fight between two men who didn’t care if they lived or died, and some FBI agents who lived, mostly.

    Good guys don't always win.

    A club or a knife at close range can be better than a gun. (Strike first strike often)
    Teaching someone to use a weapon is different than teaching them how to fight.
    Cross reference the Alliance Commander was trained, but he didn’t know how to fight at close quarters.

    The Old West was nothing like the movies, but some lessons can be learned.
    Cross reference "cause the point of a gun was the only law Liberty understood,
    when it came to shooting straight and fast, he was mighty good."
    http://www.norbyhus.dk/valance.html

    Having seen three episodes of Firefly now, I can say they catch the essence of a gunfight, utter chaos.

    If you want to believe there are rules for a gunfight, see http://communities.prodigy.net/sportsrec/gz-gunfight.html


    Why firearms? Especially why 400 year old firearms? I wait for answers in the fullness of time.

    Geoff
    Who has the DVD set, but hasn't taken time to play it all.:(
     
  10. Zedicus

    Zedicus Member

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    Never heard of this Sires, can somone point me ot a site with info non it?
     
  11. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Member

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    One of the unaired eps ("Heart of Gold") actually has a full-on gunfight, with the crew defending a brothel against an evil town boss. The proprietresses also get in on the action. Mal gives a neat piece of advice: "Shoot the man, not the horse. A dead horse is cover; a live horse is a big pile of panic."

    There's also a neat 2nd-amendment dig when Mal first meets the bad guy and notices that he has better ordinance than he'll let anyone else in his (largely unarmed) populace have.
     
  12. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I guess I'm in the minority - I really like how they do the guns in Firefly. They present a huge jumbled smorgasbord of everything from the old (lever-actions, Peacemakers) to the modern (pump shotguns, Glocks, Mec-Tec carbine), to the futuristic (Vera, the Lacitor [sp?], the laser in Heart of Gold). It's just like the way they combine a whole slew of cultures - the idea that the future will see much more diversity, rather than conformity.

    (Just a thought - since futuristic stuff is shown but rarely used, perhaps the Alliance banned most of it?)

    Besides, haven't we all seen the only-half-joking references to the quiet master shooters using hundred-year-old worn-looking guns? I can totally see Zoe (the combat vet but not gun nut) using an odd old carbine/pistol thing, Mal (the combat vet more into guns) using a rather plain-looking futuristic gun, and Jayne (the gun shop commando sort) using the biggest, baddest new rifle he can find.

    Another way to look at it (and this ties in with the zoopy gun sounds) is that the props used for guns are just placeholders. They can't afford to make futuristic prop guns for every episode, so they instead use a huge variety of sthings that 99% or people won't recognize, gize them laser-like sound effects, and rely on the viewer's imagination to make them futuristic.

    On another point, it does really irk me in War Stories when Wash (in particular) is waving pistols around with his finger on the trigger. But I have noticed a number of scenes where actors show really good gun handling (I think The Message has several).

    Also, I love how the scripts show so much more creativity with guns than other TV shows I've seen. There's Book shooting at knees, Jayne's "I wuz aimin for his head", the laser running out of battery, River's one and only time shooting, Mal finally shooting the fed in Serenity (the pilot episode), and so many others...

    MAL - ...you know, it ain't altogether wise, sneaking up on a man when he's
    handling a weapon.

    INARA - I'm sure I've heard that said. But perhaps the dining area isn't the
    place for this sort of thing?

    MAL - What do you mean? Only place with a table big enough.

    INARA - Of course. In that case... (rearranges guns) Every well-bred petty crook knows -- the small concealable weapons always go to the far left of the place setting.

    :p
     
  13. Ian

    Ian Member

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  14. rayra

    rayra member

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    This topic is begging for some pix. Be back shortly.
     
  15. Nuts_McGrath

    Nuts_McGrath Member

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    I read on a Firefly website (I think it was Fireflyfans) that Mal's gun was just a dressed up Taurus revolver, like a .38 or something. For a while fans debated what the thing was and it was assumed to be an old-timey blackpowder pistol.
    Anyways, the prop department just took it apart and covered it with machined plastic pieces, most notably the hexagonal barrel and a box-thingy over the magazine (sorry, I'm not too keen on firearm terminology. I don't shoot... at least not yet.). I remember seeing a small picture being used in the prop company's website, but you could tell it was Mal's gun in CAD.
     
  16. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Absolutely outstanding series, but I had some problems with the gun noises at first too. Got to be so I didn't mind 'em so much as time went on.
     
  17. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    There was nothing haphazard or random about the firearms used in "Firefly." The producers wanted to convey the idea that space was the "new frontier," reminescent of the old west, so certain guns were chosen that harkened to that image. The mix of old and new technology was also deliberate. Generally, in Hollywood, nothing is done by accident and the prop choices in "Firefly" are a good example of that.
     
  18. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    Jeff Timm, not everybody is using firarms.
    Alliance security has those stun gun carbines. The rich guy in Heart of Gold has a laser. The straffing run by the Alliance aircraft in the opening seems to use lasers and not tracers.
    But in a place where not everybody has electricity, how do you keep your laser charged? Powder, black or smokeless, would be relatively easy to make.
    If you have some machinery, you can easily make firearms. A ship like Serenity probably has a small machine shop, maybe even a CNC. Certainly the cities in the fringe regions would have them. So just from a standpoint of cost, durability, and ease of maintainence, a firearm may have advantages.
    Besides, it is a universe of contrasts. The "Core" is like the east coast, or NYC in the 1870s to 1920. Now remember what the West and frontier regions were like. Heck, look at some places in South America and Africa now.
     
  19. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Nuts - After digging through a Firefly forum, I found a pic of Mal's pistol taken by the company that made it. It's definitely some sort of centerfire revolver (I can't tell the make or model) with some extras tacked on:[​IMG]
     
  20. rayra

    rayra member

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    1.)
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  21. rayra

    rayra member

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    9.)
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  22. rayra

    rayra member

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  23. rayra

    rayra member

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    And if firearms aren't enough reason, there's THIS

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    BTW, these were ALL from the Pilot / first episode.
     
  24. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    Ian, which Firefly forum?

    While Mal's gun looks like a revolver, I don't see a cylinder in it.
     
  25. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    Serenity (the movie coming out this summer) better rule or I say we load up on CAS guns and march on Joss Whedon's house. (j/k)

    atek3
     
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