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Ex circus gun.


Well-Known Member
Hello all,
Here are a few pictures of a worn out and unusable theatrical revolver which was given to me by an old friend, who has now sadly gone to the big tent in the sky.
He told me that it was used in a 'wild west' circus act and latterly in cowboy re-enactment get togethers. It was given to me in a bag of broken parts with the remains of another similar but even more broken one. I think he dropped them frequently as he wasn't very good at twirling them around his finger, (sorry John)!
I'm pretty sure that this is of Japanese manufacture, the sideplate reads; MGC Manufactory. It's chambered for .44-40 long blanks. The cylinder and entire gun is cast from very inferior soft white metal. The chambers are cast so that it's not possible to accept a live round, and the barrel is cast with a solid bar through the centre which will only allow smoke and flash to emerge from the muzzle.
With it he gave me a couple of .22 adapters made of brass and bored at an angle so that it is impossible to chamber a a live .22 round. The reason for the adapters were because .44-40 blanks were expensive and usually much too loud, so .22 long blank or even the tiny .22 short blank could be used.
I hope this is not off topic, I only remembered the old gun was in the bottom of the spares box when discussing Morris Tubes, and .38 snap caps!
Best regards,


  • .44 .40  long blank 1a.jpg
    .44 .40 long blank 1a.jpg
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  • .44 .40  long blank 4a.jpg
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Remember that these can be deadly, more than one mentaly limited thespian has stuck one of these to their head and found that the presure from the blank was enough to blow their brains out.
Hello Gus,
Thanks for the reminder, but I'm well aware of this, perhaps I should have made things more clear;
I am an ex serviceman and have experience with many types of ammunition, I should have added that pointing any sort of weapon in the direction of oneself or any other person, except the enemy is beyond stupidity.
As to the 'showbiz' connection, I have spent many hours explaining to actors how dangerous blanks are. After leaving the armed forces I worked in the theatre where I was responsible for special effects including pyrotechnics. It is difficult to get people, particularly non shooters to understand the dangers involved. On one occasion I had to supervise a scene which involved a 10 man firing squad live on stage. I had to make sure that none of the 'squad' were actually pointing their weapons at the actor playing the part of the victim. I also removed the wadding and powder supplied as blank ammunition so that the only thing that went bang were the primers. I was relieved when that production was over as I had to watch every rehearsal and performance for the entire run of the show, and personally checked every weapon and ammo before each performance.
It was thoughtless of me not to mention the inherent dangers involved when using any blanks at all. However I was describing an old non-firing relic, perhaps that goes someway to explaining why I didn't add a 'health and safety warning'.
With my sincere apologies,
Hey Guy,
Sounds like I was preachy to the choir. We recently had a case in the US where a kid managed to kill him self with a pistol loaded with blanks, no doubt because there was not some one like you in charge of the weapon. The news media and other actors were schocked to find out that such a thing could happen.
Years ago, Father had a Wyoming cowboy working on the ranch, he told of when he was a kid, he and the neighbor kids would pull the bullets out of .22s and replace them with a wad of aluminul, and then they would play cowboys and idiots, shooting at each other, and yes, he did say it hurt like hell when they got hit. Kids are feral in Wyoming.
Best wishes

Do you remember the son's name of a high profile martial artist that put the .44 magnum up to his head and pulled the trigger during the making of his picture? It wasn't Jackie Chans son was it? Ahhh, it just came to me, wasn't it Bruce Lee's son.