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"HELP - Prop rifle - how to make" Topic

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875 hits since 1 Jun 2014
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar01 Jun 2014 10:12 a.m. PST

The production of Iolanthe my wife is in needs a 'Rifle' for one of the guards.

What is a cheap easy way to make one?

It is 1900'ish, but doesn't have to accurate, but obviously a AK47 toy would look wrong, but it has to LOOK like what the audience expect – not be accurate

I've got some 15mm copper pipe I could cut for the barrel, but not sure how to do the rest.

Help please.


napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP01 Jun 2014 10:45 a.m. PST

would an old BB gun be sufficient?

KatieL Inactive Member01 Jun 2014 11:19 a.m. PST

Sketch out an outline of about the right sort of shape, transfer it a couple of times onto 10 or 15mm MDF. Cut them out, glue a couple together. Round off the edges with a sanding belt.

If you do something like an SMLE, you could probably get away with just a couple of inches of piping showing at the end fitted into a hole drilled into the MDF. A small shaped piece of metal to make the trigger guard screwed into place. Don't bother with a bolt or trigger -- it'll just get in the way while the actor is waving it around.

Paint brown/black areas on it for the furniture/metal but check with the set dresser/designer for the right colours to fit with the production.

Bare in mind this doesn't have to be realistic so much as convey "rifleness" in the minds of the audience and a lot of that will come from the way the actor holds it.

Tommy2001 Jun 2014 12:41 p.m. PST

A friend of mine played the Guardsman in Iolanthe. He got lucky because another member of the troupe let him borrow a rolling-block Remington to use. While not exactly correct, it certainly gave the right feel!

I suggest hitting up a local high school band, drum corp, color guard, etc… for one of these:



Last Hussar01 Jun 2014 4:06 p.m. PST

Flintloque – I'm in the UK. We don't have hobby organisations that drill with weapons.

45thdiv01 Jun 2014 4:23 p.m. PST

You could contact some of the movie prop houses. They have stuff just sitting around.

Here is just one that I found. They are going to look good and should not cost much at all.


There are many more in the UK so you can hunt around.


Martin Rapier02 Jun 2014 4:32 a.m. PST

"We don't have hobby organisations that drill with weapons."

I rather think we do, although something like a dummy Denix Mauser K98 might set up back more than you are willing to pay.

What KatieL says is quite right though, you just need a stock outline made from MDF or even balsa wood.

If you don't want to make a stock, Shoot & Scoot have a ton of surplus stocks from airsoft rifle conversions available very cheaply (the Varmint ones).


Best to ring, Warren isn't great about answering emails.

Tommy2002 Jun 2014 10:23 a.m. PST

Perhaps one of these chaps could set you up with a loaner:

The Gray Ghost Inactive Member02 Jun 2014 5:38 p.m. PST

I have made several out of wood for HS shows, just cut it out and file/sand the corners then paint few people watching will care if it's exact or not

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member03 Jun 2014 10:46 p.m. PST

I don't suppose you could do what we did as kids and hold out a reversed baseball bat and say "Bang! Bang!"?

45thdiv04 Jun 2014 4:19 p.m. PST

So what did you end up doing?

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