Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mystery Movie Guns - Part 1

Wish We Still Had The Carnival Of Cordite For Posts Like This...

Part of my day off yesterday was spent researching some nagging questions. Namely, what are some of the uncommon or rare guns being used in various movies??

George the Mad Ogre has a pretty good head start on listing movie guns. He's done reviews of gun-dense flicks like Heat, Way Of The Gun, Collateral, The Matrix and The Boondock Saints.

I've been meaning to email him and ask him to do a "Guns of The Godfather Trilogy". I'll sweeten the pot by getting a difficult to I.D. gun out of the way!

I was always intrigued by a scoop-fluted revolver that showed up several times in Godfather Part II. You first see it in a stage play visited by Vito Corleone and his buddy Genco Abbandando:

The next time you see it, it's being held by Peter Clemenza when he and Vito are boosting the rug:

It took a while for me to ID this one. Turns out it's a variant of an 1870-90 vintage Merwin & Hulbert open-top "Pocket Army" revolver, more than likely in .44-40 caliber.

The next example of a Mystery Movie Gun I've known about for some time. ( I just needed the time to do the screen caps!)

I was so jazzed about this discovery that I had to pester my friend Rockhauler about it as soon as I found out, 'cause he's a huge fan of this pistol.

I've watched Raiders of The Lost Ark countless times since it was released in 1981, and I can recite the movie line for line. I'd also assumed since 1981 that Indy was using a .45 revolver and a M1911 Govt. Model in .45 Auto.

Looks like it, right?

Hmmm. I dunno, something's not right... Let's look closer:

Finally, there's a scene that removes all doubt.

No 1911 there, movie fans! Indy's packing a Browning Hi-Power! This raises my respect for the character of Indiana Jones, since it shows he's not averse to new technology in spite of his career as an archaeologist! 'Raiders' is set in 1936, and the Browning Hi-Power, while designed in the 1920's, was not put on the market until 1935!

What about Indy's other pistol? The one he used to put the smackdown on the Egyptian swordsman? Hard to tell in this picture.

Want a closer look?

We've got a round butt with a lanyard ring, big bore, could be either a Colt or a Smith! Better look closer:

Once more, from REALLY close up, and we see the giveaway features:

This is either a Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector or M1917 in .45 caliber. Probably .45 ACP, but possibly in .45 Long Colt. .44 Special is also not out of the question, but I'm betting Indy rolls with a .45!

There's a squared-off platform the front sight blade rests on. Colt front sights "grow" directly out of the barrel. Second, there's a guard on the underside of the barrel in front of the ejector post. Colt ejectors just swing in the breeze unprotected. Finally, there's a tiny glint of light reflecting off of the barrel pin. S&W pinned their barrels to the frame, Colt does not.

So, there it is! Some mysteries solved! More in Part 2!

Note - Big kudos to the Dashboard widget Screenshot Plus! It lets you pull screen caps directly from the Apple DVD Player, instead of having to deal with VLC's effed-up and imprecise interface! (VLC is a 3rd party app used to get around that annoying Mac DVD output-direct-to vidcard issue!)