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Dick Tracy Movie Gun


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#1 firearm

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:25 PM

Was digging around in my vault for stuff to jpeg and ran across this 28A1 Savage.  SN# is S-361247.  Came from Stembridge Gun Rentals and was used in the last Dick Tracy movie.  It has a blued finish (old re-blue) VS the mil spec park.  BFA in the "Cutts".  Alignment mark on the barrel matches the receiver, but has a 2nd mark on the barrel about a 1/4" above that.  Why would they (movie studio) remark a replacement barrel with a 2nd alignment mark?  Matching lower and nickel bolt.  Forward vertical has holes drilled in it on the left side for a sling swivel.  They are actually threaded internally.  Pistol grip (rough) and buttstock are WWII issue.  Been banged around on the movie set I am sure.  I bought it back in 99 from Dan Shea.  Got a letter from Stembridge stating that is was used in the movie.  I have not touched the weapon.  It is just as it left the movie studio back in 99.  A couple of pics attached for you guys to look at.  Any guesses as to what a movie gun w/ docs will pull over a standard 28A1 weapon?

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#2 ron_brock

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 08:38 PM

If Jessica Rabbit fondled it, it should be worth more ;-)

Very cool, thanks for sharing. I would think the movie provenance would add some to the value over a run of the mill refinished WWII gun. If you were to sell, one of the big auction houses would really hype up the Dick Tracy connection and youd likely get more than private sale (selling fees not withstanding as I have no idea what they charge.


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#3 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 09:34 PM

Auction houses vary on their sellers fees. In my experience the smaller houses charge 15-20% so any premium for the movie provenance could get eaten up with the fee. The larger houses, Julia and RIA have lower sellers fees on a sliding scale as the value of the item increases.

Edited by Black River Militaria CII, 15 January 2018 - 09:34 PM.

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#4 TD.

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:38 PM

An interesting Thompson with great modern day provenance. I agree one of the larger auction houses may be a good place to offer it for sale. They would take professional pictures and seem to have a large clientele that is interested in one of a kind firearms. It is certainly worth more than a Savage Thompson in similar condition without the provenance. An auction would determine how much more.

 

I would guess the barrel is not original to this Thompson. The original barrel or the barrel that was installed when first obtained by Stembridge Gun Rentals was probably modified for the firing of blanks. This is most likely a replacement barrel, perhaps one of several. I would also guess this Thompson gun appeared in more movies or television programs before being used on the movie, Dick Tracy. 

 

Thank you for sharing! 


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#5 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 07:57 AM

What type of modification is done to a gun like this to fire blanks? Doesnt it function exactly like in its original condition. Does the ATF govern the sale of something like this? Tia
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#6 wwiifirearms

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:30 AM


What type of modification is done to a gun like this to fire blanks? Doesnt it function exactly like in its original condition. Does the ATF govern the sale of something like this? Tia


Because it is only adapted with a device at the end of the barrel it is still a Machinegun in th US for the ATF. The receiver is still intact and for US law that is all that matters.
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#7 firearm

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:33 AM

Yes.  It is a live weapon, registered on a BATFE form 4.  Looks like someone removed the original "Cutts" and installed a blank firing adapter in the bore.  The end of the barrel is threaded internally and the BFA installed.  "Cutts" was then put back in place.  Removing the BFA would allow the weapon to fire live ammo.  I talked with Mike Papac some time back about another weapon that I got from Stembridge, #5172.  It was a live fire weapon that was always kept locked up.  Papac stated that live fire weapons on the set were quite rare.  Everything else was typically a weapon that was modified to fire blanks only, for safety reasons I am sure.  


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#8 gijive

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:38 AM

Petroleum.

 

When a bullet travels down the barrel of a submachine gun after ignition, the gas pressure from the burning powder causes sufficient pressure to force the bolt backward after the bullet leaves the end of the barrel.  This cycles the bolt, feeds the next round from the magazine and fires the bullet as long as the trigger is held down.  Since there is no projectile in a blank firing gun, if there was no restrictor in the barrel to cause gas pressure to cycle the action, the gun would only fire one round at a time and would have to manually be re-charged to fire the next blank round.  A small plug with a hole is screwed into the front of a modified barrel (usually hidden by the compensator on a Thompson) which causes sufficient gas pressure to cycle the next round in full auto fire.  This modification is done to all blank firing machine guns used in movies and television, including semi-auto pistols.

 

The barrel modification doesn't alter the status of the gun, it is still a machine gun, it only alters it to fire blank ammunition in a fully automatic mode.  The gun is still regulated by BATF and must be registered in compliance with the NFA Act of 1934.


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#9 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:21 AM

Petroleum.
 
When a bullet travels down the barrel of a submachine gun after ignition, the gas pressure from the burning powder causes sufficient pressure to force the bolt backward after the bullet leaves the end of the barrel.  This cycles the bolt, feeds the next round from the magazine and fires the bullet as long as the trigger is held down.  Since there is no projectile in a blank firing gun, if there was no restrictor in the barrel to cause gas pressure to cycle the action, the gun would only fire one round at a time and would have to manually be re-charged to fire the next blank round.  A small plug with a hole is screwed into the front of a modified barrel (usually hidden by the compensator on a Thompson) which causes sufficient gas pressure to cycle the next round in full auto fire.  This modification is done to all blank firing machine guns used in movies and television, including semi-auto pistols.
 
The barrel modification doesn't alter the status of the gun, it is still a machine gun, it only alters it to fire blank ammunition in a fully automatic mode.  The gun is still regulated by BATF and must be registered in compliance with the NFA Act of 1934.


Interesting ty for the info...Vinny
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#10 colt21a

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:21 AM

Sell it with other movie history not Dick T. with two Hollyweird libs in it, Not too many would want it.Just my Opinion on that one. the Dick would not be a big draw today.Get with Dan and see what other movies it was in. that will make the spot! Highway Patrol would be a bigger draw. Or Sky King...

 

have fun and sell it..Colt21A Ron


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#11 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

Operating from his Flying Crown Ranch in Arizona, Sky King,...!!!! Hmmm i dont recall any Thompsons on that show but i was probably more interested in the 310 at the time ha
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#12 Petroleum 1

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:49 AM

Operating from his Flying Crown Ranch in Arizona, Sky King,...!!!! Hmmm i dont recall any Thompsons on that show but i was probably more interested in the 310 at the time ha
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#13 gijive

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:55 AM

Sell it with other movie history not Dick T. with two Hollyweird libs in it, Not too many would want it.Just my Opinion on that one. the Dick would not be a big draw today.Get with Dan and see what other movies it was in. that will make the spot! Highway Patrol would be a bigger draw. Or Sky King...

 

have fun and sell it..Colt21A Ron

I agree with Ron. The Stembridge guns were in all the WWII movies and television shows of the 1940's '50's, '60's and into the 1970's.  Two memorable television shows which highlighted the Stembridge guns were The Untouchables and Combat!


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#14 Ron Mills

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:30 PM

Modern lore has it that "every Thompson" in Stembridge's inventory was used for that big shootout scene in Dick Tracy.  Whether that is true or not I can't say.  Dan Shea could say.  

So I guess the M1/M1A1 guns were out of camera range...


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