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June 1995, Week 4


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Off-the-Cuff Productions <[log in to unmask]>
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Off-the-Cuff Productions <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Jun 1995 20:51:23 +12000
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On Fri, 23 Jun 1995, James Bozian wrote:
> In a previous article, [log in to unmask] () says:
> >----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> >
> >The classic example of film influencing reality was the decline of sales of
> Hey, how about the way disco took off after "Saturday Night Fever?"  That
> was unbelievable and real. J.B. - L.A.
When the first Dirty Harry movie came out, the producers wanted him to
carry a really *big* gun.  At the time, the Smith & Wesson Model 29 in
.44 Magnum was languishing on shelves.  The shooting fraternity didn't
know what it was good for (it was heavy and big, it had a fearsome
recoil, etc etc...)  The producers gave Harry Callahan a Mod 29, and the
gun went down in history as "the most powerful handgun in the world".
And suddenly, everybody wanted one.  Smith & Wesson's production totally
lagged behind the demand, and it was probably the only time ever that a
gun which was still in current production fetched prices substantially
higher that the RRP.
A few years later, along came the Automag, a .44 Autoloader which was
even bigger, heavier and more powerful.  Sales were slow, since the gun
was virtually hand-built and thus very expensive.  The manufacturers
convinced the producers of the next Harry Callahan movie (I forget the
title, but Tyne Daly co-starred?) to have harry use one of their guns,
with the hope of boosting sales.  It didn't work, and the gun is now a
collector's piece, out of production.
When the first Lethal Weapon movie came out, there was a rush for Beretta
pistols again.  Then, a few years later, came the Glock autopistol.  Its
frame (only the lower part) was made of polymer plastic, to save weight
and size, but somehow the rumour started that the gun would defeat
airport security.  This was totally untrue, but in Die Hard II, the bad
guys all run around with Glocks, which at some stage is described as
being a "porcelain" gun, capable of defeating X-ray and metal detectors.
To this day, when people see my Glock, they say, "Ah, that's the gun that
will pass through security."
Tobie Openshaw
South Africa
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