Author Topic: PROPS: Firearm safety and maintenance (meta-thread)  (Read 12738 times)

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centaura

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blanks sideways
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2005, 11:10 pm »
Quote
Fire the weapon again from each side, both at four feet and then at point-blank range. This identifies the danger zone around that particular weapon, loaded with that size blank.


This is something that I think can't be stressed enough.  Blank firing guns do not have forward discharge - i.e. their barrels have been blocked - but they do have sideways discharge.  The power of the explosion of the gunpowder exits out the sides of the guns, and it can be VERY dangerous to be standing next to one that's being fired.  Setting up a test paper like it mentioned above in your scene shop or some other area and doing test firings is helpful.  Just like you don't want to be in front of a real gun, you don't want to be next to a blank firing gun.

-Centaura

loebtmc

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Gunmaster -- any experience?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2005, 01:32 pm »
That idiot who fired the actor because they wouldn't do a suicide gun-to-the-temple should be thanking his lucky stars that hearing loss was ALL the actor who replaced suffered. People have died from being stupid about guns loaded with blanks.

Sigh

That director needs a lesson in reality, and theater - and the difference!

Mac Calder

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Gunmaster -- any experience?
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2005, 08:58 pm »
No, not fired the actor - fired the gun master.

and it was an idiot gunmaster who replaced him, who should have had his licence removed - and criminal charges filed IMO.

loebtmc

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Gunmaster -- any experience?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2005, 01:25 am »
my bad - but still, stupid director, stupid gunmaster, and oh my talk abt a lesson for the actor!

When we were doing Oliver, we got the gun at dress reh and the director wanted me to give it to the Bill Sykes to use at that reh, even tho he hadn't touched it, no one had heard it fired, etc. I was the ASM and had joined the company at tech (this being one of those 99-seat shows where they hadn't realized they would need someone on deck to deal with all this). Well, I know we are all about saying "yes," but I refused the director and told him that I wouldn't allow the gun onstage until everyone who handled it had had a chance to handle it, a rehearsal and a gun safety check, outside of the run and with no time and space pressure.

hbelden

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PROPS: firearm maintenance
« Reply #19 on: Jun 05, 2009, 07:08 pm »
Thanks to all for the safety information in this thread:
http://smnetwork.org/forum/index.php/topic,392.0.html

regarding firearm safety.

Does anyone have information about cleaning and maintaining pistols?  We're firing quarter-round crimps in a stage gun and in an offstage starter pistol for WHAT THE BUTLER SAW.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 02:20 am by PSMKay »
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KMC

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Re: firearm maintenance
« Reply #20 on: Jun 05, 2009, 10:35 pm »
Cleaning firearms is fairly straightforward.  Basically you need a cleaning kit which you'll find at any sporting goods store that sells firearms or ammunition.  The kit consists of gun oil, liquid powder solvent, an aluminum cleaning rod, bore brush, and some cloth patches.  There will be specific instructions for each kit, but the basics are the same.  Also, it probably won't come with a whole lot of cloth.  You can use a fine fabric in place of this.  Old t-shirts are perfect.

Basically you'll use the solvent with cloth patches and the bore brush to remove residue from the black powder.  The gun oil is used sparingly on the action of the firearm to keep all the moving parts well oiled and clean.  Finally, a lot of folks also like to use a silicon cloth to wipe down the gun after you're done cleaning.  This is mostly aesthetic and removes fingerprints, spots, etc..., which could be desirable for your a staged production, but your LD may not be happy as it will make the firearm shiny  ;).  I was going to get very detailed, but found this website that sums it up quite well and has some pictures and tips, and is a much better explanation than I could provide.   

The primary reason for cleaning a firearm is safety.  When shooting a firearm, black powder residue is discharged from each round.  This is also true in blanks, the only difference between a blank and a live round is that there is no bullet, only a cartridge of black powder.  Over time the residue can build up to a point where it causes an obstruction in the bore.  As I'm sure you can imagine, an obstruction in the bore of a gun while shooting is not what one would call desirable.  Residue also builds up in the action, and if not cleaned regularly the action will not be as precise as it needs to be and can eventually lead to malfunctions of the weapon, misfires, and jams.

Best practice is to clean your firearm after every session of shooting to remove the residue immediately.  Now, thinking along the lines of theatre, I'd say that's probably overkill.  You won't have any rounds passing through the bore of the stage gun so you don't need to worry about that issue, and you'd be hard pressed to build up enough black powder residue in the span of a week to disrupt the action.  I'd say a weekly cleaning would be more than sufficient for the amount of shooting you'll be doing. 

Hope this is helpful!
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

Sarah

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Re: firearm maintenance
« Reply #21 on: Jun 07, 2009, 04:36 pm »
At my theatre, our props manager or props artisan is always in charge of cleaning/maintaining weapons, though it is a good skill for a stage manager to posses.

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