“Serenity” was a 2005 film that picked up where the short-lived 2002 TV series “Firefly” left off. The sci-fi flick is set in the future, in which a spaceship called Serenity is harboring a passenger with a deadly secret.
In the film, Nathan Fillion’s character of Captain Malcolm Reynolds utilized this Taurus five-shot .38 revolver. A constant companion to Browncoat Reynolds—who uttered the line “I aim to misbehave,” which is now legendary among the movie’s cult following—this blank-firing prop handgun was designed by Allied Effects in Los Angeles.
Captain Malcolm Reynolds "aimed to misbehave" with this Taurus five-shot revolver. Photo by Michael Ives
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. While a solid pistol casting was used earlier in the TV show, the big screen needed to have blank-firing capabilities for close-up shots, so the compact Taurus revolver was incorporated. The hidden revolver's cylinder could be accessed through a removable cover plate—but for on-screen reloading purposes, a detachable magazine was part of the futuristic design.
To generate buzz for the movie’s release, Universal previewed an untitled version of the sci-fi film in 35 cities—all screenings sold out in less than 24 hours. But despite early critical acclaim, Joss Whedon’s futuristic film was less than a box-office smash. It did receive positive reviews however, and picked up several awards including the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and the Nebula Award for Best Script.
This gun, plus many other historic treasures, can be seen at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., located on the first floor of NRA Headquarters.