Welcome to a special edition of Gun Links devoted to guns in the movies. But first, a few recent news items.
Kallini fisks an anti-gun article in The Nation that tries to use recent shootings as a rationale for more gun restrictions. Kallini shows that in each case, more restriction would be either ineffective or counter-productive.
In one of those recent events – the Red Lake school killing spree – no one including the school guard was armed. Joel Rosenberg points to a 1997 incident when Pearl High School vice principal Joel Myrick stopped a killing spree at his school by retrieving a gun from his car.
Thibodeaux has a history of David “Carbine” Williams, a firearms inventor best known for the short-stroke gas system used in the M1 Carbine. Neat stuff.
Jeff Cooper commentaries for March are up.
For other gun roundups, see Jeff Soyer’s Weekly Check on the Bias and Resistance is Futile’s Carnival of Cordite.
Guns in the Movies
“Good, bad. I’m the one with the gun.”
– Ash, Army of Darkness
From rec.guns: “What movies have we seen actors with jammed autos pretend that they
aren’t jammed and then the guns are unjammed in the next scene?”
Revolvers making a comeback in the movies. Interesting quote from someone in showbiz:
Just wrapped work on an Indie movie here in Seattle… the last two movies I’ve worked on now have requested a pair of revolvers as the hero’s weapon of choice.
There definitely is a stylistic element to it, but another note- revolvers are much easier to do for films. The purpose-built blank guns (like you can buy on ebay) jam all the time, but with a revolver that’s less an issue… plus you can put blanks in a real revolver (if you observe the appropriate safety on set) without it jamming, and without having to fiddle with restrictors or other gunsmithing.
Or maybe, as another commentor notes, “Besides, nobody has to reload except at important plot points anyway, so what’s the point in having a large magazine capacity?” Ha!
Shotguns in the movies. The shotgun to the right is Sean Connery’s from Outland. Pump shotguns are always popular in movies, probably in large part due to the blank issue mentioned above, but also because they make noise. Pick them up. Rup-chik-chik! Pump a round. Rawk-chunk! Glare menancingly at the other guy while holding them. Wack-click-chuck!
Guns of Total Recall. I still can’t believe that sci-fi looking weapon was a real, production gun.
Numerous movies tell the story of story of Tombstone, Arizona and the gunfight at the OK Corral. This page covers historical discrepancies in My Darling Clementine. Movie and Old West fans will appreciate this account of Doc Holliday’s dramatic life and his eventual move to Tombstone with the Earp brothers. Having read it, I’m looking forward to watching Wyatt Earp and re-watching Tombstone.
Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven
If you’re a fan of Unforgiven, you’ll remember the story Little Bill (Gene Hackman) tells W.W. Beauchamp of the shootout between Two Gun Corcoran and English Bob in the Blue Bottle Saloon. “Well, now the Duck of Death is good as dead ’cause this time Corky does right an’ aims real good, no hurry… Bam! That Walker Colt blew up in his hand… which was a failing common to that model.”
According to David Markowitz’s history of Colt percussion revolvers, Little Bill was right. “The Walker had several flaws which needed to be fixed. Most seriously, there were metallurgical problems which led to a number of the guns exploding when they were fired. This contributed to the very low survival rate of this model, of which only about 1000 were made.” More here.
According to the script, Clint Eastwood’s character (originally to be nicknamed “Three Fingered Jack”) used a Starr .44 revolver and a Remington 10 gauge shotgun.
Incidentally, if you’re a fan of a particular movie, find the script. It’s hugely enjoyable. You’ll find discrepancies between the script and the movie, script directions for setting and plot points, and interesting details. In David Webb Peoples’ Unforgiven script, his instructions have Little Bill ejecting five rounds out of the revolver he gave English Bob, not six. That shows Peoples knows his guns. Revolvers of that era lacked a safety block between the hammer and cartridge. A blow to the hammer would set off a round. The only safe way to carry them was with five chambers loaded and the hammer down on an empty chamber.
Pirates of the Carribean, Sort of
This is an interesting account of a boat that successfully repelled two pirate boats off of Yemen using a 12 gauge shotgun, and using the boat itself as a ram. That story lead to interesting accounts of travelling with guns in international waters, and shooting from a boat at sea.
We used old empty 20 lb freon tanks for targets 15 miles out from the coast. The general consensus was, due to boat/target wave movement, hitting anything over 75 yards away was pretty much a matter of luck.
A lot of near misses. You’ll hit say, a 24 ft boat, but point targets such as the bad guy’s head are a matter of wishing. Shotguns/Ar15′s work a lot better than heavier M1A’s or Garands, 50 yards and in is best. Keep in mind they have to slow to board, and the pilot is way too busy to do any shooting
From a discussion of the same events at The High Road.
/1/ Legally, a shotgun is easiest to declare as you visit countries around the world. Declaring an AR-15 is like declaring C-4 or heroin in many places. Many countries ban military calibers, PERIOD. No 9mm, .45ACP, 5.56, 7.62X39, 7.62NATO etc. Besides a “legally safe” shotgun, obsolete milsurps are a good bet. An Enfield in .303 (obsolete caliber) could be called your “shark gun.”
/2/ Accuracy on land is not like accuracy at sea. An M1A is no more likely to get aimed hits at long range than a Mini-14. You adjust by your splashes. Shooting from a boat is like shooting from the roof of an SUV, as it lurches over bumpy fields. ALL shooting is “off hand.” You cannot “rest” a rifle, since the boat is moving in all directions at once, pitching, rolling and yawing.
Now I understand why shotguns are so popular on boats, and why Jeff Cooper thinks a submachine gun is a good anti-boarding weapon.
The Weekly Piracy Report keeps tracks of piracy and piracy attempts. Things apparently cooled off in the Pacific after the tsunami, but as pleasure boaters returned so have the pirates.
Gun Pic of the Week
This is the Smith &Wesson Performance Center 627, an eight-shot .357 magnum best known as the gun from Clint Eastwood’s Blood Work. S&W still offers the gun, but only with a five inch barrel rather than the 2.65 inch barrel. Both models have “.357 Mag 8 x” stamped on the barrel.