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MoviePropMaster2008 01-25-2011 05:55 PM

STORIES from the armory world....
I got a call from a movie art director. The story supposedly takes place in the late 1950s.


Me: "Okay, what do you need?"

Them: "Oh, we need, uh, Glock 26s, Beretta 92FS, H&K USP-9C and an XD."

Me: "Oh, you mean for a scene that takes place today?"

Them: "No, the story takes place in Topeka, KS in 1959"

Me: "WTF? Those guns had not been invented yet."

Them: 'Nobody cares about that. It's what the director wants. He likes the look of them. We need them anyway for continuity because we've FILMED some of the scenes already with airsoft weapons and the live firing weapons need to match."

Me: (Sound of MPM2008 fainting and his head hitting the floor)....
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Nearly every week I get a voicemail or email like this:

"Hi there. I'm shooting a film about a bank robbery. My name is _ _ _ _. I need three live firing MP5s, four Colt M4s, three Beretta 92FS pistol and a Benelli M4 Shotgun. Please mail them to THIS address: _ _ _ _ _ (usually an address that is EAST of the Rockies) Next Day Air delivery is required as I need them by tomorrow afternoon. Please let me know when the package is on the way. Thank you."
No other identification other than their first name. No mention of what the production title or production company is. No mention of whether or not they are renting or buying these things (well they can't buy them) and obviously no realization that it is not legal to ship firearms that is not theirs already, to non-licensed persons via mail. No mention of insurance or security deposit, the list goes on.

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I love it when a low budget production enlists the aid of an active duty COP to be their weapons advisor. Sorry but COPS are not movie armorers. Their knowledge base is really deficient when it comes to movie making. I had a detective ask me the following:

HIM: We need a shootout scene so we need handguns.
ME: Okay how many do you need? of what model?"
HIM: Oh, let's say, um. We need 30 Berettas, 30 USPs and 30 Glocks.
ME: Okay, I can get you multiple firing versions and then non-firing background guns to total 30 of each gun.
HIM: NO! What kind of armorer are you? We want 30 FIRING guns of each one.
ME: I doubt any armory stocks 30 firing versions of these handguns by themselves. When there are large orders, they usually borrow/subrent from the other armories. Armories DO stock weapons in those numbers if they are infantry issued (so we have at least 30 M1 Garands or more, 30 Springfield rifles or more, 30 M16s or more, 30 AK-47s or more (much more), etc. etc. because it is much more likely to have a mass firing scene with a ton of guys firing, but even then, when you get close to a HUNDRED ACTORS, you're gonna start issuing fake/rubber/replica guns to the background guys.)
HIM: Well you obviously don't know what you're talking about. We will look elsewhere.
Now this guy is talking Ninety (90!!!) live firing handguns in one shot. There is no film in existence where you see 90 pistols firing at the same time. Much less the SAME HANDGUN MODEL. But he thinks "Well I can conceive of it, therefore it MUST exist". Sorry pal. We're not a Police Armory paid by taxpayer dollars. Also your POLICE armories have tons of the same weapons because they are DUTY WEAPONS used by dozens and dozens of officers.

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I get a call from a low budget film production and they want to rent some firearms and they want full flash from the muzzle like in other movies. I give them a quote and note that many of the live firing weapons they need requires a licensed handler on set, I can't just hand them off to them and say "Have a nice day". I get a call back from them later which usually goes like this:

THEM: Oh, thank you. We got a 'gun guy' on set. He's a cop.
ME: Uh, okay, he MAY be exempt from some of the gun control laws, but just being a cop doesn't allow him to receive firearms any more than a non-cop.
THEM: Oh, well, we're gonna use his guns for the film.
ME: You sure?
THEM: Oh yes. He says he knows what he is doing.
ME: Okay, have a nice day .....
I hang up the phone, and wait, expecting a call later when they realize that this cop only has live ammunition and doesn't have full flash movie blanks and none of his autoloaders are blank adapted...... DOH!

And it's only Tuesday.....

k9870 01-25-2011 06:11 PM

Can you mention the 1959 film with the Xd's name? i just HAVE to see that.

predator20 01-25-2011 06:22 PM

WOW those are some great stories. The one asking you to ship them the guns is the best. Do low budget films often try to use a cop for the weapons advisor or on-set armorer?

MoviePropMaster2008 01-25-2011 06:34 PM


Originally Posted by predator20 (Post 24736)
WOW those are some great stories. The one asking you to ship them the guns is the best. Do low budget films often try to use a cop for the weapons advisor or on-set armorer?

Yes. They think "Oh Cop, he MUST be a gun expert". As others here (exemplary professionals like PhoenixEnt or Gunguy001) can attest to , we set them straight pretty quickly.

In fact right now, I am providing some M16A2 barreled uppers to a police department (to use on their own lower receivers) and sell them full flash blanks for some sort of training video. They can't figure out why their weak Milspec 5.56mm blanks don't appear in bright sunlight or why the blanks don't cycle the actions.......

MoviePropMaster2008 01-25-2011 06:37 PM

Seriously guys. I cannot make this stuff up......

predator20 01-25-2011 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by MoviePropMaster2008 (Post 24738)
Seriously guys. I cannot make this stuff up......

So like once a week or month you're going to tell us some new ones?

MT2008 01-25-2011 06:47 PM

As soon as I read these, I started thinking about a quote from some famous guy regarding the universe and stupidity and which is infinite.

And Jesus Christ...if my local PD had cops who were as stupid as the ones you've dealt with, I'd want them fired ASAP.


Originally Posted by k9870 (Post 24735)
Can you mention the 1959 film with the Xd's name? i just HAVE to see that.

Of course he can't. For the same reason he posts anonymously.

k9870 01-25-2011 06:49 PM

Tell us when it comes out, some things are stupid enough to bother watching...

As to a cop automatically being able to be a gun expert....I saw a news photo of a NYPD officer strolling around with his finger wrapped around the trigger of his ar-15.

funkychinaman 01-25-2011 07:07 PM


Originally Posted by k9870 (Post 24735)
Can you mention the 1959 film with the Xd's name? i just HAVE to see that.

Maybe it's science fiction and involves time travel. It's odd that someone would be able to name those guns so specifically (USP-9C?) and not know they weren't around in the fifties.

k9870 01-25-2011 07:11 PM

They must have just bought the airsoft stuff they though looked cool.

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