Are Prop Guns Dangerous? A Guide to Safety
Posted by Sharp Import on 7/13/2022
The belief that firearms in movies often exaggerate their true capabilities is a widely held one. In particular, films with blank firearms are often cited as a prime example of how Hollywood's role in shaping the public's perception of guns can be overdone. However, this belief is factually incorrect.
In particular, it is a myth that blank guns are almost never used in movies and TV series. This assertion is commonly made because of the fact that blank firing guns were prohibited by the 1968 Gun Control Act.
However, these types of guns have been used in some movies and TV series for virtually their entire history; they have even been used by some of the most popular action heroes in history (e.g., Rambo, Indiana Jones, Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry persona).
In addition to being used through most of the history of American film and TV (i.e. almost 100 years), blank firearms have also been used in Japanese films and TV series as well; this is because Japan has a long history of producing blank firearms.
Props as Compared to Real Guns
Another factor that often comes into play when discussing the use of blank firearms in movies is the fact that their sound cannot be mistaken for real guns.
This assertion applies to both blank-firing guns and those with fake unconcealed metal parts, which are often called prop guns. For example, the sound of a Beretta 92FS pistol in "True Lies" is distinguished from that of real M9 Beretta pistols by its distinctively louder and louder report when fired.
These guns have often been used to add realism to action films. For example, firing pistols and rifles were used in the films "The Professionals" and "First Blood", both of which were based on popular novels by Stephen Hunter.
Although such movies have been criticized for the unrealistic quantities of gunfire they depict, there is no inherent contradiction between guns used in this way (i.e., for blanks only) and their use in real life (i.e., for blanks with some metal parts).
What Exactly are Prop Guns?
A gun for movies, plays, and action figures is an example of a prop firearm. They may not be functional like a real gun. This is because they are meant to resemble a gun and have some of the same characteristics as one such as size and weight, but they are not guns themselves.
The barrel may be connected to the trigger by string or wire so that it has very little movement when fired. This allows them to function cheaply during production while avoiding the cost of handling recoil in real firearms.
Good prop guns generally use foam, plastic, aluminum foil or other soft materials which can be cut into shapes more easily than hard materials such as steel or silicone rubber. They also usually contain a spring or other mechanical device to pull the trigger or bang the bullet into place. It is desirable to have a prop look like an authentic gun.
New uses for these guns include firearm training, teaching dialogue delivery and firearms inspection. They are more expensive and time consuming to produce than functional replicas of guns, but they can be used in many ways that contribute to educating the community on gun safety and crime prevention.
Many universities use these types of guns in high school drama productions as well as in training courses for police officers regarding realistic firearms handling, aiming and firing skills.
Components to Make a Prop Gun:
Prop guns are an integral part of many productions, particularly those involving science fiction or fantasy. New props for these productions may be made from scratch by the prop maker, but usually they are some sort of imitation of a real firearm.
This post will cover some of the more common pieces in these props which are essential to their functionality and how they interact with each other.
- Barrel: This is where the ammunition is stored and it’s what spits out a bullet when fired by the trigger under most conditions.
- Magazine: This is where extra ammunition for firing comes from in props. It usually is a box or drum on the side of the gun or a cylinder in the stock.
- Trigger: Pull this back to “fire” the gun.
- Foregrip: This is where you grip the barrel and where you rest your trigger finger when firing. Also used to mount things such as fiber optics underneath.
- Sight: These are important because they help you aim at your target. They may be removable if not permanent parts of the gun that are removed for certain shots or for concealment in scenes where they can be seen, but aren’t needed for a particular take.
- Barrel Extension: This piece is essential on most guns in order to cover the inner workings of the gun and make it look more realistic, as well as help with gripping. A silencer will also attach here, if you’re using one.
- Trigger Guard: This is where your trigger finger will rest when firing, thus adding protection from shot debris or even friendly fire in some cases. Some older guns don’t use this, but it is a requirement for today’s film industry to avoid accidents.
- Receiver: This is basically the body of the gun that houses all internal workings, including the magazine and barrel.
- Slide: This is where the barrel connects to the receiver. This piece is also a part of some guns in which one has to slide out and back again to load a new bullet into the chamber.
- Pistol Grip: This provides stability when firing, as well as adding safety and functionality in some cases.
- Sights: These are what help you aim at your target.
- Safety: On most prop guns, this will be a lever that locks the trigger after pulling the trigger back all the way, thus protecting yourself in an unsafe situation.
A perfect prop would not be complete without these components. The gun cannot function properly without these parts. It is important to examine all parts of a prop before buying one for yourself.
Are Prop Guns Dangerous?
There is a lot of debate as to whether or not prop guns really pose a danger. If you're in doubt, there are some pretty compelling arguments for why you should think twice before using a fake gun.
- One counter argument is that these guns pose minimal danger because they don't look like real guns. Prop makers often take the time to design their props with both children and police in mind, making sure that they have bright coloring and an overall appearance very different from the authentic guns they’re going for.
- In addition, prop makers put warnings on their products saying things like "not intended for use by children". Prop guns are being used by children every day.
- Another counter argument is that because the manufacturers of props are honest about their product, we know that they only make fake guns for use by actors and movie sets, not for kids.
- This kind of fake gun can only hurt someone who puts it in their mouth, but what about those who hang onto them just out of curiosity?
- The gun could be mistaken for a real one and cause an accident or even a fatality. The worst part may be that law enforcement officials don't usually take such things seriously until after the fact and then it's too late to do anything about it.
Prop Guns: Safety Guidelines
There are a few safety measures necessary for prop guns. They should be unloaded when not in use. The barrel can be plugged with a dowel rod or other object to check if the gun is loaded and ready to fire. These guns can also have fake magazines attached to the bottom of them, which will show at a glance that they're empty. Safety first!
Increasing demand for Prop Guns!
Our society is becoming more and more dangerous and violent. Who knows how many lives have been saved by someone stopping a gunman with a prop? As you can see, the popularity of prop guns has been on the rise since 2008. At this point, it's safe to say that these firearms are thoroughly modernized.
These firearms are made of metal or plastic and come with realistic features such as an orange tip or a laser sight. They're far too fun not to play with! But be careful, they could be dangerous if handled improperly (especially when using them in real life).
Since people love them so much, there's a good chance that a blank gun enthusiast might own one. So be sure not to leave these firearms lying around your house in case someone gets hurt with it! But don't worry – many at the store are clueless about their properties and abilities.