“Luck. It’s a calculated thing to me. What can you do to improve the odds. Well….experience, faith, and alot of luck. So…yes it is still luck“.
With this recent quote this really was lucky. As the catalog attested the Dum Dum Dugan costume was meant to come with belt, holster and sidearm. It was marked as a Colt .45 but I had watched the film and the actor had only ever used a Webley tucked into his belt. There was a shot with a holster but it was a darker tan.
I had always resolved to sell this piece then to finance the cost of the auction. Pics showed up again at profiles of the costume on display this time with the holster but still not enough information for matching.
Nobody had yet seen the gun… And yet skipped I imagine by most including me profiles web site had close ups of the pistols on their early bidding list/program that could be zoomed in on. This wouldn’t sadly come into play until I received the piece as this pistol was the only one not photographed for the auction.
So flash forward to the auction and I won the costume. A few weeks ago Fong Sam sent my items but the pistol had been sent to a friends house by mistake. It was moved to another box and forwarded to me and not even taken out of the bubblewrap.
So this week I get the parcel…thank you Shannon… And open it up and find the beautiful leather holster within just wreaking of that new leather smell you get. I open the holster and there it is a beautiful resin replica of a colt .45. I take it out and admire the casting, taking note of the very few defects and bubbles and seamlines you tend to get with these things. There is a serial number showing it was cast off s real firearm and then I happen upon a most intriguing development. The hammer of the gun pulls back..and can be positioned.
Now I’ll be honest I have seen alot of replica firearms over the years from various productions and this is truly one of the cleanest made and the only one with a moving component.
So… Time to hit the movie. With trusty camera I make notes from the auction about the Colt. Here Are the facts:
There are 3 resin colts in the auction and 4 rubber. Of note the other two resin are sold together without holsters. The only holsters are for the hero main cap suit and USO suit both of which have rubber weapons. The seam on the barrel is always the giveaway here. In the catalogue only other character with one is Tommy lee jones but has no gun in holster.
So now the blu ray. It’s incredibly rare to see s background character with a holster. The drill sergeant has but never uses gun. Their is one background lt. Who wears a holster…again never see gun. These would have had holster fillers in my opinion and not been as clean or have moving parts. There is a security patrolman…different belt…never pulls gun.
So what are we left with. well Tommy lee never pulls the colt he uses his shotgun. So we are left with two characters. captain pics a colt up from the table and shoots Steve Rogers vibranium shield. A real gun was used for the firing but on the pick up closeup although not this weapon in my opinion the serial number and the defects in the resin are clearly visible! The gun is also very clean and matched in every otherway proving that this gun I had was of a quality and type that would have been allowed to use for a closeup where either the weapons master was not required on set or a live gun was not needed. This reduces the daily shoot cost and also is a big safety concern if you don”t have to use a real gun for every shot that’s very good for the whole crew. This was proven to me already with the use of cgi bullet firing which in an early article I had pointed out.
So… The only other character to use this was Captain Rogers and although again I wasn’t able to make an exact match I was able to match the holster to closeups on screen… Which matches perfectly on construction but not stains and marks in the leather. This costume the holster is attached to the webbing on his costume so that too ruled out that one. The other great shot is of the colt rolling off the gantry and again I’m convinced this was resin… In fact at the front of the grip the resin I’d chipped where it was clearly dropped but even in slo mo the matching of this gun is impossible.
I got in touch with Fong who is incredibly busy on other projects right now but he confirmed that I may have lucked out.
As per the auction he confirmed Marvel put the lots together and that in the case of weapons etc stuff was pulled out of huge boxes and placed with costumes as needed. all of it was made for captain America and all of it was used. The likely hood that all these items were used by a myriad different actors and shots was extremely high.
So what next. I had information to contact people at Marvel but I knew I would get nothing there or merely a response similar to Fong’s. They simply wouldn’t know or really remember. Fong I guessed had no idea the trigger moved…nobody had really played with the props I guessed and even stuff in Chicago wasn’t really checked outside the cases very much.
So I went to the callsheets and the Internet and started finding that as I knew the top of the chain would be too busy to talk…but the lower you go the more they seem to know.
Barry Gibbs was the lead propman but several of his colleagues were lower down the totem so I was able thru facebook and imdb to shoot a few messages across the ocean.
Today I was able to talk to one of the crew by phone and confirm yes the gun I had was a closeup pistol and although he couldn’t confirm it was any particular gun it was made that way so actors could be on set with it and simulate it being cocked in closeup. I was also able to confirm to his knowledge the holsters were custom made for production and thats why they don’t have makers names inside.
So obviously this is pretty darn cool and has not only shown some great detective work but also given me another contact in the industry.
Hope you enjoyed reading,