Halloween Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to have an actor fire a shot into the air with a vintage looking long barrel gun. The biggest issue is volume and reload.

Does anyone have suggestions? He won't be running around with it. Pretty much standing in one spot.

Ideally I'd be able to have it go off without being SUPER loud. Just enough to startle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
if that is the case, the gun might be alittle much.... air cannon maybe? it will sound like a louder balst of air, but will startle... i would think
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
I've used an Airsoft gun before in my haunt. I've also ordered from these guys in the past... http://www.redwolfairsoft.com/redwolf/airsoft/Home

I see that they do have a musket, but man is it expensive. Maybe another rifle or even a spring loader would be cheaper. They still make a pretty good pop just shooting without any bbs in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
I need the actor to be able to threaten the crowd and the gun helps sell it
If you want a gun to fire as a startle, contact any area civil war re-enactors. They often volunteer for our Haunted Hayride. We offer to pay for the powder, wadding and firing caps, but they refuse any payment. Muzzle loaders can and are used to great effect as a startle scare, but safety and responsibility are paramount.

That being said, I would highly recommend not "threatening" or pointing an actual firearm at anyone, including other actors. That is a surefire (pardon the pun) way of getting sued, arrested, or having the firearm confiscated, even if it is simply a starter pistol. The muzzle loader rifles used by the civil war folks are capable of firing projectiles, so they are never pointed in the vicinity or at anyone...period. I have seen first hand how far the wadding can fly with a simple 50 grain, non-projectile discharge from a muzzle loader. These should always be pointed up and away from anyone. There is also the risk of hearing loss if fired too close to a crowd.

It is not worth the risk of liability, injury or death to wave a firearm at or near anyone. The person holding the gun can also be charged with threatening or reckless endangerment if a person really does feel threatened by a gun. Yes, even in a haunt. Like it or not, with the number of highly visible mass shootings recently, people can be very or even overly sensitive to guns being used this way. I live exactly 12 miles from where the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings took place last year and the principal that was killed was a friend of ours. I still have no problem around guns and do own my own, but we will not be using any gunfire in this year's Hayride, both out of respect for the community and honestly, for fear of civil or criminal liability.

Yes, I am a lawyer, and no I have not stayed in any Holiday Inn Express. ;)

Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I would stay away from any kind of firearm with blanks. People tend to think these are safe so they play around with them, but they can, and do kill. Even if your actor was experienced with guns, you run the risk of someone else getting a hold of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
854 Posts
I am a part time "Gunfight" actor, and I can say that even firing blanks, we never point a gun directly at another actor or the spectators. As the illusion allows, it is pointed to the side toward the set and slightly down toward their feet. People always look at the actor being "shot", not the shooter. The sheriff's department monitored our gunfights until they were positive we were following all safety guidlines regarding projectile weapons. They would have shut us down, and conficated ALL our guns if we had violated safety protocal. All our guns are designed to fire blanks, but crap still comes out of the barrels.
A lot of words to say it's better to be safe than sorry.
HM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
i was thinnking using the gun as a prop only, not loaded with anything not actually fired, and then have another means of sound effect, something that wont make the cops come around, thats the idea of the air cannon, but after thinking in that, i don't think it would have the effect you are looking for. Maybe you could record a real gun shot, then have it where the actor can control the playing of that effect... or if your state is cool with fire works, a simple firecracker lit and controlled by someone else out of sight and no where close to spectators, it might give the effect without a real gunshot... just an idea... I know some states allow sells of fireworks year round, but... not sure of all the laws on that.... Where i am it is illegal to discharge any type of fireworks at any time... July 4th kind of sucks... LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
I noticed that Frightprops has a plug-in gun they are selling this year that makes loud pop noise when you shoot it. It's more like an M16 style though -- not musket. Maybe you can try to copy what they did. Just a thought.

Hallomarine: part time gunfight actor?? That's cool!!
 

·
Human Candy Shovel
Joined
·
1,107 Posts
Talk to civil war and revolutionary war reenactors. They can point you in the right direction, and provide training on how to control the noise by reducing the powder charge being used. Along with the noise, there is also plenty of flash and smoke with a black powder weapon as well.

I was looking into this myself because I wanted to eventually add some Revolutionary war era Hessian zombie soldiers to my haunted trail. After the battle of Fort Mercer in October 1777, a group of about 100 deserting Hessians ran across the very property my train operates on, so they could ford the creek and flee to Blackwood, NJ, where they settled down and most became farmers in the area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
As a former prop safety second for an effects company I strongly advise against any type of firearms that actually fire. Even with all the safety events in place people have still gotten injured..there are too many factors in effect..there is residue in the chambers, poorly loaded so called "blanks" and I can count the endless people who have been hurt or killed by so called blanks..
Jon-Erik Hexum--He was apparently unaware that at close range, a blank can cause great damage. The explosion drove a quarter-sized piece of his skull far into his brain. The paper wadding of the straight-walled blank cartridge went straight into his temple and forced a bone chip to lodge in his brain.
Brandon Lee--an actor and the son of the martial-arts star Bruce Lee, died when he was shot on a movie set with a gun that was supposed to fire blanks. ..and the list goes on and on....every gun should be treated as loaded and dangerous..even a toy gun..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Depending on how loud you want the gun shot to be one option that I have used before is to use a Denix replica percussion style pistol or musket/rifle (sometimes called ball & cap) they look realistic and have a working trigger & hammer mechanism. They also have a nipple under the hammer that fits those little red caps they sell for toy cap guns. The flintlock style guns won't work without some modification but the percussion style ones are set up for this right out of the box. Nothing comes out of the barrel (because the barrels on Denix replicas are blocked off about half way down you just get a flash and a bang. But it's effective for small re-enactments. The effect works better indoors in a darkened room, but you get the idea. I have tried using the real metal caps they use for percussion based black powder firearms for a bigger bang, but the spring rates on the Denix pistols I have don't come down with enough force to set them off.
I'm sure they could be modified, but since the little red caps worked right out of the box, that's what we used. Good Luck.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top