Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The Mark 1 Gyrojet pistol in 1965 marked the first commercially available rocket-firing handgun. But even after use in a James Bond movie, the arm failed to meet with wide acceptance. Firing any Gyrojet was not a cheap proposition, as each rocket round cost $1.35—meaning emptying the six-shot magazine would have cost the equivalent of a meal for two at the local drive-in.
Hidden beneath the bronzed exterior of Captain Malcolm Reynolds’ Frontier Model B lies a Taurus five-shot .38 revolver. Used in the 2005 movie “Serenity” to support the captain of a near-derelict transport ship taking cargo and individuals from one planet to the next, the pistol had to have a unique appearance to match the rugged frontier of the future.
Al Ljutic had agreed to go trapshooting before realizing he didn’t have a shotgun, and this futuristic-looking 12-gauge trap gun was the result. Machining a single-shot tubular receiver with a button trigger, and then fitting a cylindrical round forearm and a high post rib on the muzzle section of the barrel, the impromptu shotgun was completed just in time for the trip to the range.
Among the more imaginative special effects in the 1977 blockbuster film “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” was the legendary arm of the Jedi knights: the light saber. Constructed from the Graflex camera flash battery units, these two light sabers are attributed as back-up props built by Ellis Props for Mark Hamill and Sir Alec Guinness in their roles as Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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