Author Topic: guns for the movies  (Read 2917 times)

Offline blienemann

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Re: guns for the movies
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2021, 05:29:55 AM »
I’ll quickly wrap up this post from our perspective, but hope to hear more from others. We offered a generic southern mountain rifle that I had stocked in the 80’s, before many of today’s locks were available, using a Siler (sorry!) with rounded pan and reshaped for a little English appearance. This rifle was carried by Green Jameson, the engineer and artilleryman in the movie. This actor knew how to shoot muzzleloading rifles, while several others including Thornton held the rifle out away from their faces.






Joe Corley had stocked a copy of an original Hawken pistol for me earlier, we made a duplicate and sent these down. Travis has this pistol lying on his desk as he was writing a letter, and later in his belt. Joe and I had stocked our versions of English great coat pistols with belt hooks as fur trade pistols, and we sent these for Houston to carry.









The pistols we provided had touchhole liners, but all the rifles were direct drilled at 1/16” and tapered to about 1/8” with a reamer from the outside like the originals. I later contacted the prop house who has the guns from the movie, to see if I could buy back the few I had made for myself. He said no – that these were not the typical movie props but were very well made rifles. At some point they had shown the arms to several Texas and Alamo historians consulting on the movie, who were impressed with the examples. They performed well, and the duplicates and extra locks were not needed. He wanted to rent to other period movies, and keep for himself.

Mike Branson continued talking with his friends, at some point the movie folks became interested in the Dickert rifle in the Alamo museum, and some stories about it being used by Davy. So Mike stocked up a pair of rifles in generic Dickert style, and this is what Billy Bob used in the movie. Mtn Meek later noticed a pistol and Mike’s Dickert rifle displayed at the NRA museum.

Looking back, we stocked the rifles and pistols with extra locks in six weeks vs. the two months the movie folks requested, so were ahead of schedule and clients were happy. We probably stocked and finished about three rifles and pistols a week “in a workmanlike manner”, which was informative and fun. This makes me wonder what Christian Oerter with his journeyman and apprentice could turn out in a month or a year in 1774 and 75?

Several of us continue to study the Henry family papers, and have learned recently that in addition to providing fur trade rifles to the American Fur Co, the Chouteaus and Ewing Brothers, they supplied many rifles of varying patterns through dealers in the South during that same period. The rifles were listed by pattern number, so the customers could order so many of this or that pattern, some very fancy and silver mounted, of barrel length and bore as desired. Since most of the folks moving into Texas came through the Southern states, they may well have been carrying Henry rifles that we still know little about? Another story to investigate and share!

Other than additional thoughts on working for the movies – or perhaps for other particular customers like museums (Mitch?) or historical societies (Marvin Kemper and others?), a thread on trade rifles for the fur trade might be interesting. A very fine Melchior Fordney was posted again recently (nicer than a trade rifle but of the same period, and one of Leman’s mentors). Original examples of trade rifles would be valuable for those trying to stock up good contemporary guns.

Thanks for your interest and responses. Please keep them coming, or go off in a different direction. Bob


Offline borderdogs

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Re: guns for the movies
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2021, 12:37:54 PM »
Thanks for the post on what you did for the movies its interesting to read about. I remember seeing Billy Bob hold the rifle as you describe and thought it queer and surprised it wasn't corrected. I remember seeing similar scenes of solders in The Patriot movie doing the same thing. The artillery guy was the guy wearing glasses right?

I really like the fur trade pistols I would be interested in hearing about the parts used to make them.
Thanks,
Rob
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 12:42:28 PM by borderdogs »

Offline blienemann

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Re: guns for the movies
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2021, 08:20:23 PM »
Borderdogs and others with questions, I will send a private message, don't want to take up too much space here. Thanks for the comments and questions, Bob

Offline Daryl

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Re: guns for the movies
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2021, 12:31:47 AM »
Those bag-butt pistols are "SPECIAL".
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline hillr

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Re: guns for the movies
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2021, 05:08:04 AM »
In response to Marcruger’s post, although I did not make any weapons for “The Patriot” I did make a truckload of ironwork for the sets. I was instructed that Gibson wanted authentic museum reproductions in the sets and not stage props. I made everything from kitchen hardware, lights and tools. One interesting project was a reproduction of the Old Salem Moravian church weathervane that was on the church that was burned. I also rented them all the tools to outfit a blacksmith shop for a scene they ended up cutting. My father, Bob Hill, made the pipe tongs seen in the first scene.
It was fast work. Movie people always seem to want everything immediately.
That project also led to me doing work for the movie “Cold Mountain”. I made fan hardware for the courthouse, lantern hangers and other small stuff. The biggest part of that job was reproducing 20 some plus field hospital beds they used in the courthouse/hospital scene. I can honestly say, Jude Law was in my bed! Lol