Blank guns & squibs?

11 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 3 2004

Anyone know of any web site I can buy some decent blank guns & squibs from?


Same As It Ever Was! :(

harlequin's picture
Joined: Aug 16 2000

might be worth visiting 'wonderland' in lothian road edinburgh for replica guns/blank firing guns.

there is a good shop beside the 'barras' in glasgow , below one of the railway bridges.

depending upon what you want to do , it might be better to add real sounds after 'shooting' the film.

there was a company called 'sussex armoury' that i bought good replicas from about 20 years ago, but they seem to be out of business

try here for a sort of exchange and mart for replica/blank guns .... not cheap.

update: this may make for a cheaper alternative

Gary MacKenzie ( an account only used for forum messages )

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Joined: Mar 3 2004

Thanks Gary.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

Joined: Aug 27 1999

I'm not sure you can buy squibs - they are an explosive and the effects guys I use create them to measure. There was talk that squib handlers must be licensed - you should check to see if thats now the case.

Either way they must be handled by someone with demonstrated experience and training, because if something goes wrong (and actors have been killed by squibs, even on the most professional of sets) then it's a criminal conviction for the producer.

I'm sorry if I'm giving advanced egg-sucking lessons to my grandmother but people do seem to think that safety - and sometimes the law of the land - don't apply if you're making a film. Certainly I would never consider doing a sqiub effect without a good technician (you know about the thing with mobile phones, yeah?)

FYI: check out -

Joined: Mar 3 2004

Thanks Richard.

Good advice, but I think Willis is a bit out of my league.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

Joined: Jul 18 2003
Originally posted by RichardB:
.... but people do seem to think that safety - and sometimes the law of the land - don't apply if you're making a film.

I once heard a story (which I believe to be true) of a US TV station doing a programme about cross border smuggling, esp drugs. They'd spent some time with the enforcement agencies, then subsequently decided to try and see how effective the measures were in practice. When their light aircraft (flying illegally) was duly intercepted and forced to land, the producer says "it's only us, you don't need to worry, we were just seeing what happened for our film". The producer was then terribly surprised (and outraged) when the plane, gear, etc was all impounded.... and I don't believe was returned. Who says police don't have a sense of humour? Frankly, they were lucky not to have been shot down under the circumstances, and I have little sympathy.

Coming back onto topic, apart from safety issues, I'd check the law very carefully before considering guns (even replicas) for filming purposes, certainly if the filming is in the open. Even transporting them in the boot of the car could cause big problems under certain circumstances. And "we're just doing a bit of filming" is not likely to make a policeman say "oh, that's all right then, off you go."

Joined: Jul 22 2003

Do a google for "Perry Costello" - nice guy, Glasgow based. Amongst other things he does armoury/squib work for film & tv...may be able to help you out, or point you in the right direction.

Good luck!

Joined: Mar 3 2004

We'll be filming on a closed set, with our own security. There will also be a member of the constabulary present for the appropriate scenes.

The feature in question will be low budget, but it will not be a sloppy production. Although the footage for the trailer was shot in the space of 3 hours, I have invested a lot of time & personal funds into the project.

What infocus said about transport is 'very' true. When I transport any of my katanas, knives, etc. It is always done under lock & key, even when just going to the dojo to train. These things are not toys, and should be treated with due respect.

Hopefully I'll also be able to rope one of our senior instructors as an advisor for the fight scenes too. This should help save on costs, and bring more realism to the overall production.

Squib wise, I've found somewhere to purchase them from. However, I really want to get a member of the ASP in on the act. Even if this means doing any relevant training courses myself.

Oh well. I've blabbed on enough here. I better get back to that script rewrite, storyboards, phonecalls, etc.

Watch this, I'll make a cracking movie but won't be able to sell it for the life of me. ;)

Same As It Ever Was! :(

Joined: Mar 3 2004

Also found a nice alternative to using squibs.

There's a guide at:

Could be quite useful.

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Neon Films
Joined: Aug 23 2000

Hi there,

I once made some squibs whilst on work experience at Team 17 some years ago. We made them like this:

1) Get a piece of cardboard about 3" by 3".

2) Then attach a LeMaitre microdet* explosive in the middle of the cardboard.

3) Mix some red and black food colouring together with sugar and water to make a thick blood-like liquid. You'll need to experiment a bit to get the right consistancy.

4) Pour some of the blood liquid into a condom and tie off the end so none leaks out.

5) Attach the condom to the cardboard and pull it tight over the microdet*.

6) Attach this squib to the actor / victim under his shirt. Running the cables down through his / her trousers so it can't be seen by the camera.

7) Put some thin slits in the shirt so that the blood has somewhere to come through.

8) You can detonate the microdet with and 9v square type battery.

When the microdet explodes it will split the condom and the blood then splats out through the slits in the shirt giving a very realistic being shot type effect.

* I know the little explosive devices came from a comapny called LeMaitre -, and I'm pretty sure they were called Microdets. However, these could be detonated by a battery then and laws have changed since meaning any explosives like this need to be detonated through a proper switcher now. Plus, I don't think LeMaitre still make these particular devices - but it might be worth contacting them to make sure.

I hope my explanation makes sense. If anyone has any questions please feel free to e-mail me.



Mark Smith

Leeds Media Services
Video Production in Leeds and Yorkshire

Joined: Mar 3 2004

Thanks for the reply Mark.

Same As It Ever Was! :(

Joined: Oct 19 2000

stage electrics do microdets which apparently very similar if not the same as squibs.
they have two sorts
1) microdets
2) non fragmenting microdets (to wear about your person)

they also do all the firing devices

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