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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:48 pm 
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The prop gun was a Colt MKIV/Series 70 Government Model chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge (AKA: 9mm Luger), serial # 70L33101:

Image

Link to NRA video of the gun

The gun was formerly part of the Stembridge Arms inventory (a gun rental firm supplying guns for TV shows and movies since 1920) and was auctioned off:

Quote:
LOT 152
Colt MK IV Series 70 Gov’t Model
semi-auto pistol, 9mm Luger cal., 5”
barrel, #70L33101. The barrel is
adapted for firing blanks, approx. 95% blue finish remaining with
slight holster wear, checkered brown plastic grips, correct Colt 9mm
Luger marked magazine. From the Stembridge Arms inventory with
two tags noting “Tom Selleck Magnum P.I.” and “Hold for
Magnum”. For the fan of the long-running “Magnum P.I.” television
series. Est.: $1,500-$3,000.

http://www.originalprop.com/blog/wp-con ... ection.pdf


And is now on display at the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Virginia.

Finally I found some real documentation of some of things I've been claiming about the gun all along, namely the following NRA article:

Quote:
Image

As depicted onscreen as a private detective in Hawaii, Thomas Magnum
relied on a military pattern Colt pistol. The National Firearms Museum is
now in possession of this Colt pistol. Prop gun aficionados enjoy the
nuances of unusual pieces and this Magnum p.i. handgun is actually a 9
mm Parabellum pistol, rather than the expected U.S. Army issue .45 acp
caliber. The 9 mm chambering for this prop gun was selected due to
better functioning with easily obtainable 9 mm blank cartridges—ideal for
a propmaster responsible for reliable operation of prop guns on set.

http://www.nrapublications.org/a1f/MagPI.asp


Though the prop gun was a 9mm; it was a .45 ACP within the Magnum PI universe, as stated in multiple episodes. If anyone has specific quotes, maybe they can provide them along with the name of the episode. So far, the following examples have been cited by only looking:
Quote:
The episode where the Asian assassin blinks before he strikes, TC tells Magnum, use the 45. The scene with the guy in the tub shooting holes in Magnum's bathroom mentions it being a 45 as well.


As to whether or not a .45 ACP version of the Colt Government Model was ever used onscreen for non-firing scenes; there is no evidence of this that I know of. There are three ways to tell that the gun is a 9mm:

1. Bore Size

A 9mm (.355") bore is smaller than a .45 ACP (.451") bore (.096" difference). This is not always easy to distinguish onscreen, but I've always gotten the impression of a smallish bore on Magnum's gun.

2. Magazine

The 9mm magazine for a 1911-type pistol is visibly different than the .45 ACP magazine for a 1911-type pistol, due to the alignment grooves pressed into the 9mm magazine, which the .45 ACP magazine lacks. The magazine is usually not visible, but in the scenes in which it is visible, it is always a 9mm magazine.

3. Lowered Ejection Port

With Series 70 Colt Government Models, the 9mm version had a lowered ejection port, while the .45 ACP version had a standard military M1911/M1911A1 style ejection port. Whenever the ejection port on Magnum's gun is visible (ejection ports are visible on the right-hand side of 1911-type guns), it is always a lowered ejection port.

Finally, I must respectfully take issue with the current entry regarding Magnum's gun in the trivia section here:
Quote:
Magnum's weapon of choice for self-defense is the Colt Series 70 Government Model 9mm, Colt's commercial version of the standard military-issue M1911A1. Magnum also sometimes carries a Walther PPK in an ankle holster as a backup weapon.


Magnum's weapon of choice was a .45. The propmaster's weapon of choice was a 9mm. As written, this trivia entry gives the impression that the character Thomas Magnum chose to use the anemic 9mm when in fact, he chose to use the far more formidable .45 ACP, just like the .45 he used in the military.

In other words, Thomas Magnum, the character, carried a .45 ACP loaded with live ammunition. Tom Selleck, the actor, carried a 9mm Parabellum loaded with blanks, dummy cartridges, or perhaps not loaded at all, depending on the requirements of the scene.


Last edited by MaximRecoil on Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:58 pm 
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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7PbGEP1owXc/R ... istols.jpg

Here's yet another photo.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:08 pm 
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only looking wrote:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7PbGEP1owXc/RkAHRJiVhQI/AAAAAAAABa4/9VYvIEozUn0/s1600-h/pistols.jpg

Here's yet another photo.


Yeah, I've had that one saved for a while. That's from when it was in Stembridge's possession. You can see the half-shelf thumb safety in that picture, so I'm assuming that was the final state of the gun in the show.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:15 pm 
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MaximRecoil wrote:
Finally, I must respectfully take issue with the current entry regarding Magnum's gun in the trivia section here:


Yeah, sloppy work on my part. I could give you a bunch of excuses like, "I often update the website late at night, after a long day at work", or "I'm not really a gun guy (I'm more of a Ballista guy), and everything is so confusing", or "I wasn't in the right frame of mind because ALL of my football teams are doing horrible", or something similar. But, I'm not going to do that. I should have (easily) been able to come up with something better. ;)

How's this?

"In the show, Thomas Magnum uses a Colt Government Model .45 ACP handgun (as stated in several episodes), Colt's commercial version of the standard military-issue M1911A1. A .45 was not used by Tom Selleck to depict this gun, however (as at the time, .45's could not reliably cycle blanks). Instead, a 9mm Parabellum (loaded with blanks) was used, which looks very similar to the Colt .45."

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:47 pm 
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James J. Walters wrote:
MaximRecoil wrote:
Finally, I must respectfully take issue with the current entry regarding Magnum's gun in the trivia section here:


Yeah, sloppy work on my part. I could give you a bunch of excuses like, "I often update the website late at night, after a long day at work", or "I'm not really a gun guy (I'm more of a Ballista guy), and everything is so confusing", or "I wasn't in the right frame of mind because ALL of my football teams are doing horrible", or something similar. But, I'm not going to do that. I should have (easily) been able to come up with something better. ;)

How's this?

"In the show, Thomas Magnum uses a Colt Government Model .45 ACP handgun (as stated in several episodes), Colt's commercial version of the standard military-issue M1911A1. A .45 was not used by Tom Selleck to depict this gun, however (as at the time, .45's could not reliably cycle blanks). Instead, a 9mm Parabellum (loaded with blanks) was used, which looks very similar to the Colt .45."


That looks good. I think I would just add that the 9mm is also a Colt Government Model, so it is clear that it was not a knockoff like a Star Model B or something. Something like this:

"In the show, Thomas Magnum uses a Colt Government Model .45 ACP handgun (as stated in several episodes), Colt's commercial version of the standard military-issue M1911A1. A .45 was not used by Tom Selleck to depict this gun, however (as at the time, .45's could not reliably cycle blanks). Instead, a Colt Government Model 9mm Parabellum (loaded with blanks) was used, which is nearly indistinguishable from the Colt .45 onscreen."


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:14 am 
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Thanks again MR! I can't tell you how good it feels to finally have the information on Magnum's gun (and the prop) correctly noted on the site! :)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:43 am 
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James J. Walters wrote:
Thanks again MR! I can't tell you how good it feels to finally have the information on Magnum's gun (and the prop) correctly noted on the site! :)


No problem.

Magnum's gun has intrigued me since I was 9 years old (1984) when I first started watching the show with my father and brother. The appearance of it grabbed my attention right away. The small snub-nosed .38 revolvers that most TV detectives carried (e.g., Colt Detective Special, Smith & Wesson Chief's Special) looked so wimpy compared to Magnum's gun. I also thought the gun looked very modern. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was designed in 1911. The timelessness of the design is a testament to John Moses Browning's genius. 1911-type guns are even more popular today than they were ~30 years ago when Magnum PI first aired.

Magnum was ahead of his time in this respect. When Magnum PI first aired, most cops, detectives, and PIs, both in real life and in movies and TV, carried revolvers. Fullsize combat autos were mainly a military thing. These days, nearly all of them carry autos.

I had a friend who was a big Jim Rockford fan. We would always argue about who was better, Jim Rockford or Thomas Magnum. One time I said: "Magnum carried a Colt .45; what did Rockford carry?" That was the end of that argument. My friend was a gun enthusiast and considered that to be a trump card.

By the way, I just watched Mad Buck Gibson, so I have a couple of exact quotes regarding Magnum's gun being a .45 in the context of the show:

(Mad Buck Gibson has taken Magnum's gun without permission and is firing it into the bathroom wall. Magnum is yelling at him.)

Magnum: You know what a forty-five slug will do! it could've gone right through there and nailed me in bed! not to mention the wall! you're destroying Robin's wall!

(Higgins hears the shots and comes to investigate, stopping to talk to Magnum along the way)

Higgins: I heard gunfire and thought it only prudent to investigate.
Magnum: Gunfire? Shots?! Well, maybe there were just a couple...
Higgins: I counted twelve to be exact. A forty-five automatic from the sound of it, fired in the international Mozambique pattern if I'm not mistaken. And since that's hardly a technique prominent in divorce court, the person firing those shots could only have been...

Edited to add another reference:

From Ghost Writer (season 2):

Magnum: With my forty-five nuzzling his ear I expected the guy to take us to his employer...


Last edited by MaximRecoil on Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:41 am 
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Maximrecoil, your informations on the gun are so far correct.
Just one tiny additional information:
Selleck was bidding by himself (his agent) through phone bidding at the Stembridge auction, but it finally sold for 11k + bbuyers premium and the winner was finally the gun-museum (estimate 1500-3000usd).

pw


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:09 pm 
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paperwar wrote:
Maximrecoil, your informations on the gun are so far correct.
Just one tiny additional information:
Selleck was bidding by himself (his agent) through phone bidding at the Stembridge auction, but it finally sold for 11k + bbuyers premium and the winner was finally the gun-museum (estimate 1500-3000usd).

pw


So was Selleck bidding against the National Firearms Museum or on behalf of them? I ask because he's donated multiple guns to them before. For example:

National Firearms Museum to Display Tom Selleck Guns at Reno Cabelas

The display includes:

• Shiloh Sharps #3 Rifle in .45-110 caliber that was featured in “Quigley Down Under” (1990)
• A Henry rifle 44.40 Reproduction featured in “Last Stand at Sabre River” (1997)
• .45 Smith and Wesson Schofield revolver in ‘Crossfire Trail” (2001)
• Winchester 1876 .45-60 “Crossfire Trail” (2001)
• 1887 Winchester 12 ga shotgun from “Monte Walsh”
• An Ivory gripped Colt SAA reproduction from “Monte Walsh”


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:04 pm 
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MaximRecoil wrote:
paperwar wrote:
Maximrecoil, your informations on the gun are so far correct.
Just one tiny additional information:
Selleck was bidding by himself (his agent) through phone bidding at the Stembridge auction, but it finally sold for 11k + bbuyers premium and the winner was finally the gun-museum (estimate 1500-3000usd).

pw


So was Selleck bidding against the National Firearms Museum or on behalf of them? I ask because he's donated multiple guns to them before. For example:

National Firearms Museum to Display Tom Selleck Guns at Reno Cabelas

The display includes:

• Shiloh Sharps #3 Rifle in .45-110 caliber that was featured in “Quigley Down Under” (1990)
• A Henry rifle 44.40 Reproduction featured in “Last Stand at Sabre River” (1997)
• .45 Smith and Wesson Schofield revolver in ‘Crossfire Trail” (2001)
• Winchester 1876 .45-60 “Crossfire Trail” (2001)
• 1887 Winchester 12 ga shotgun from “Monte Walsh”
• An Ivory gripped Colt SAA reproduction from “Monte Walsh”



I was told: against them, but maybe he catched it to forward the gun to them. i was also bidding but was surprised it went that high.

That`s correct. He gave many weapons to them. I believe i have somewhere in my archive a catalogue showing Selleck`s weapons-collection. No magnum weapons so far, but one of the best pieces IMO
is his rifle from Quigley.

pw


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