View Full Version : Airsoft & Prop gun safety and the realistic use of prop weapons & replica firearms

08-02-2009, 11:38 AM
Hi all,

We've sold off some of our air soft prop guns that we didn't need for a shoot we thought we had coming up.

We have had a lot of interest in these Tokarev prop guns (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=178297), and I have been sending this information to some of our buyers.

So, I thought I'd go a step further and post this info here as a thread, in case anyone had concerns or needed additional info about using prop weapons on a shoot...

Advice & Guidelines for Realistic Prop Gun use:

As the director/producer on any shoot, you want your actors to treat these weapons like the real deal for several reasons.

First of all, it is much safer for everyone involved on the shoot.

Second of all, many people have a natural aversion or fear of guns- even fake or toy guns. Out of respect for your crew, you should consider everyone's comfort level as a professional on a shoot to ensure a smooth day.

Third, if your actors learn to respect and treat prop weapons like the real deal, they are more likely to use them that way during filming and you'll get a more realistic performance.

Are you a director/producer or the property master/weapon wrangler on a shoot? You should let every one know that prop weapons are being used on the shoot that day, and what they look like, when the weapons are being used, how they are being used etc.

You should also have a dedicated weapon wall/pegboard or table for these props, and have a zero touch policy for anyone who is not actually using the weapon. Again, they should remain in this area and supervised or locked down unless it is time for rehearsal or you are rolling cameras, and no one from the cast or crew should be playing around with them or handling them between takes.

Prop & Airsoft Gun Safety Disclaimer:

Check county/state codes before covering/removing orange tip as it is illegal to do so in most states and may also be a violation of federal law.

Prop weapons are for use ONLY as intended in theatrical productions. Any misuse by purchaser whether intentional or unintentional may be a criminal act and is not the fault or responsibility of the airsoft seller.

DO NOT aim any airsoft or prop toy or weapon replica at face or eyes of any actors/crew/public with or without pellets... Several infamous cases of injury and death have occured from blank & replica prop guns including these two infamous cases:

Actor Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee's son) died in 1993 from a "blank" gun accident during the filming of the movie THE CROW- the gun happened to be loaded with a real round due to a squib load (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squib_load) misfire. The "villain" in the scene- actor Michael Massee and a friend of Brandon Lee's, aimed and shot at Brandon Lee's mid section for the scene. Tragically, the squib load dislodged during the scene and became a real, live round which struck brandon lee in the abdomen, killing him. He bled to death on set, while being held and comforted by friend Massee- the crew helplessly stood by waiting for the paramedics.

Another actor, John-Erik Hexum accidentally killed himself (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum)in 1984 while working on the TV show "Cover-Up" which was in it's first season. While filming a Russian Roulette style scene, he held the gun a few inches away from his head and pulled the trigger- it did in fact have a blank cartridge in it... of course, he didn't know that even with a blank, the gun ejects a lot of air and a wad of paper & burned debris from the blank cartridge- this sudden, highly focused blast of air to his temple acted literally like a bullet, and although it didn't actually penetrate his skull, it caused enough blunt trauma to his head, that a piece of his skull broke off internally and entered his brain- that fragment killed him, just as much as a real bullet would have.

Lesson learned from these situations is to treat ANY replica or prop gun with respect, just like a real weapon. Between aiming the weapons for takes, always point prop weapons at the ground or sky, and away from people and animals.

A real firearm is never supposed to be intentionally aimed at anything unless you are planning to shoot, and even if you have cleared the waepon and checked the chamber, you should always assume that any weapon is loaded and can go off at any time, even with the safety engaged.

If you aim or use these prop gun/replicas at or in front of the wrong person for the wrong reasons, i.e. law enforcement, you MAY VERY LIKELY be shot and seriously injured or killed, so common sense is mandatory on your rehearsals and shoot.

Make sure you have all neccesary permits and insurance required for filming with prop weapons, secure all licenses required for use of prop or airsoft guns and notify the public & police of what you are doing with signage, safety tape, etc.

If the orange tip is painted over or removed from an airsoft gun, make sure you have any/all licenses required to do so.

Remember, many airsoft weapons, especially greengas & blowback guns look exactly like the real thing in public, and folks tend to freak out when they see them, especially when you have actors dressed up and costumed like thugs or criminals. Just because YOU know it's a fake bank robbery or convenience store hold-up for your movie, doesn't mean the cops driving by will.

A bad situation can unfold very quickly- whenever law enforcement enters a situation quickly without all the neccesary facts, tragedy can ensue.

Instill these ideas and practices about prop weapon use and safety among your actors & crew and you will have a much safer and realistic production for everyone. Now go have fun with your filmmaking!

:kali: :shocked:

See our prop guns for sale (http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=178297) here.