Sunday, May 31, 2009

Steyr handgun in the movies -- again: Bladerunner Redux

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If you're a sci-fi fan, you'll know it's the 2019 Detective Special from the cult classic Bladerunner, starring a very young Harrison Ford, who grew up to be Indiana Jones. Or did he grow backward from 2019? But I digress.

The above strange-looking movie prop is indeed a Steyr firearm, sorta.

The Firearm Blog reports:
The “2019 Detective Special” prop gun from the movie Blade Runner has been auctioned off for $270,000!

At first glance the gun looks to be some sort of auto-revolver. It is in fact a Steyr Mannlicher .222 Model SL rifle action and trigger group with some revolver parts tacked on. Note the double set trigger and Steyr’s iconic “butter knife” style bolt handle. It even retains the Steyr serial number.

Phil Steinschneider has a website detailing how be built a replica of the prop using a Steyr Mannlicher .222 Model SL action and a Charter Arms .44 Special Police Bulldog revolver.
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Phil’s replica
As has been chronicled at numerous times, (I'm too lazy to run a search for the threads) Steyr pistols have been in movies before, probably many times. Certainly the M and MA1 and I would imagine the GB also. If you're not a Steyr nut like me, they're great pistols made by that other Austrian arms manufacturer that hardly anybody in the U.S. knows about. Hint, it ain't Glock, it's Steyr-Mannlicher of Steyr, Austria.

Hollywood may be full of baloney on practically everything, but prop guys do know a cool gun when they see one. And Steyr guns were cool before cool was invented. How cool would Indiana Jones look with one of these in hand?
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Model 1905 Steyr-Mannlicher semi-auto Pistol, cal. 7.63mm Mannlicher

And in case you don't know, and most Americans don't, the man whose name is the second half of the modern arms company, Ferdinand Mannlicher, is the one who designed that famous bolt-action design used in the Bladerunner pistol as well as the above real pistol, the Model 1905.

He was designing semi-automatic and fully automatic pistols and rifles before the famed American arms inventor John M. Browning, father of the 1911 .45 pistol, got out of knee pants.

If you'd like a quick education in early modern firearms history, read Ferdinand Mannlicher: Austria's John M. Browning

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