17 August 2014

The Weapons of Sci-Fi: Deckard's Blaster from BLADE RUNNER

While not military science fiction, BLADE RUNNER is one of most iconic and important sci-fi movies in the genre and features one of the most celebrated (and copied) science fiction firearms of all time. There has never been a fictional science fiction weapon that has bewitched fans for decades like Rick Deckard's Detective Special. This passion caused us to pause old VHS copy of BLADE RUNNER more times than we could count, and inspirited the legions of fans to create art, homebrew props replicas, and fan-fiction (including me!). The M2019 PKD Detective Special is one of the most iconic sci-fi weapons of all time..and while the impact of the weapon is without a doubt, the history of the BLADE RUNNER gun is shrouded in mystery and conjecture. On a personal note, the very first time I was on the internet back in late 1996 at a junior college in Oklahoma; the first thing I ever typed into a primitive search engine was to locate more information on Rick Deckard's weapon. Some obsessions are for life. In this blogpost, I will be using all common names and labels associated with Deckard's handgun.

What Do We Call This Iconic Sci-Fi Weapon?
Regrettable, we do not know the official name of the handgun featured in BLADE RUNNER, and this has lead to all manner of monikers attached to this handgun of 2019 by feverish fans (like me). Some names are attached by  a specific prop makers trying to sell their own kits under their own names, giving some sort of originality, while others are an attempt to label the blaster. Here is the list of the various names of the Deckard's handgun and the best information I could gather on the origin of the name.

The "Pflager Katsumata-D"
One of the more interesting, older, and odd names attached to the blaster was "Pflager-Katsumata series D" or just "PKD". This is name that I know the BLADE RUNNER gun by and what I refer to the blaster as mostly. According to propsummit.com, the name PKD is a tribute to author Philip K. Dick and was one of the earliest name attached to the handgun just as the internet was taking off in the mid-1990's. The name "pflager" is an German last name, and was attached to the gun because it sounds cool I guess. The other name, "katsumata" is a traditional Japanese last name, and could be a reference to anime director Tomoharu Katsumata. The origins of the name can be traced back to one of the bigger names in BR blaster prop-models: Rick Ross. In 1997, Rick Ross, would be the one who christened the blaster, the "PKD" for his prop-model company, Doppelganger Studios. The name "doppelganger" was also attached to the BR blaster early on in internet history.
 In some of the older prop kits by Rick Ross, the name "Shimago Dominguez Corporation" was stamped on the barrel. Later, this had to be removed due to legal issues with the film company. Shortly after this Rick Ross would develop the name PK-D.

The "Blaster" and "2019 Detective Special"
The single most common name for the BR handgun, is simply "the blaster". Another is the "Detective Special". Both can be traced back to one of the biggest name in BR blaster prop game: Richard Coyle.  During the 1970's Coyle was building mail-order rayguns, and was hired by the Star Trek II: TWOK production prop department. He founded his own prop company in the early 1980's, and work on films like The Last Starfighter. Since around 1997, Richard Coyle has been turning out some of the most accurate (and expensive) copies of the BR blaster. In various interviews, Coyle called the weapon "the blaster" or "the 2019 Detective Special". His kits also carry the same names. Given his looming presence over the BR blaster community, these names carry a great deal of weight.

The "M2019 Blaster" and "Chief's Special"
Japanese kits were some of the first BR blasters replica models available on the market, and appeared shortly after the film left theaters. In 2006, the Japanese prop kit and airsoft gun maker, Hartford of Japan, issued an plastic model kit called the "M2019 blaster". They are believed to be the originators of the terms. The title of M2019 was also used by RAC Props and Monster in Motion for their own prop replica kits as well. At times, the name M2019 is used in conjunction with other common BR blaster names, like the "M2019 Detective Special Blaster". Later, Hartford of Japan attached another name "chief special" to their traditional BR model-gun kit. Chief Special is a name attached real-world snub-barreled revolvers, like the S&W Model 36.

The "Detective Special"
One of the frequent names attached to the BR handgun is "detective special". What the hell is an "detective special"? Plainclothes police detectives often carried snub-nosed six-shot revolvers with an two to three inch barrel. Introduced in 1927 by Colt firearms, the "detective special" was a great choice for detectives that need to blend in, and not have a regular service revolver sticking out. Other companies, like Smith & Wesson had their own snub-nosed revolvers as well. These revolvers were available in .32 and the most popular was .38 special. Given the gumshoe world of plainclothes Rep-Detects in 2019 Los Angeles as seen in the 1982 film, it makes sense that Deckard's issued Replicate-killing weapon could be called an "detective special". Of course, the gun seen in the film was a little big for being a conceal firearm. Rick Ross, Hartford of Japan, and Goldberg Arms all make an snub-nosed variants of the blaster that are closer the original real-steel gun concept.

Why Did We Know So Little About the BLADE RUNNER Blaster?
Before we get into the meat of this blogpost, I think we should address one majority element of any discussion about the PKD service weapon. Up until recently, we fans knew very little about it. For years, we didn't the proper name of the weapon (and still don't), nor who constructed the prop, or what the fucking thing even fires. Hell, Ridley Scott even changed the sound effect for the pistol in 2007 "final cut" of the film. With some iconic sci-fi weapons, like the M41A1 Pulse Rifle, Han Solo's DL-44 Blaster, and the Lightsabers, we have detailed files on them.
But that is simply not true here with Deckard's handgun until just recently. Why? My guess is that since BLADE RUNNER was a flop and the film shoot was hostile, both the general public and the crew just forgot about the film and moved on, including the science fiction community-at-large. We have to remember that SW: ROTJ came out in 1983, burying BLADE RUNNER further. Also, BLADE RUNNER is not a film about the gun itself nor gunfights nor sci-fi battles. The BLADE RUNNER PKD is not the Ligthsaber or the Phaser, and film does not refer to it at all. It is just a tool of the character. BLADE RUNNER at its' core is a futuristic film noir and Deckard's sidearm is a sci-fi take on the old detective special carried by most gumshoe characters of film noir cinema.
We also have to remember that BLADE RUNNER is known for its retrofitted look, the excellent direction, the soundtrack, Batty's end speech, the Replicants, and the Spinners of the LAPD. This cause a number of works dedicated to the film to focused on those elements, not a heavy-framed sci-fi pistol that is hard to see in the film. Even one of the most popular and older BR websites, www.bladezone.com has nothing on the gun itself, but does detail the various items in Deckard's apartment. Another example is from Paul M. Sammon's excellent and definitive text on the film, Future Noir: the making of BLADE RUNNER. This 1996 book devotes a single sentence to the creation of the blaster prop, but then,  has paragraphs about the magazines on LA city-streets shots that we cannot see. It wasn't until recently that Paul M. Sammon shared one of the cut sections of his novel with an noted BR website, and it was all about the crew. This included the propmaster of BLADE RUNNER, Terry Lewis, who spills the beans on the PKD. Also helping the prop history of this mysterious handgun was that the world finally got to see the actual hero-prop at WorldCon in 2006.

The Historical Context of the PKD Blaster
When BLADE RUNNER came out in 1982, the world of science fiction was in the grips of a burning love affair with the laser blaster. Due to works like Star Wars and Star Trek, the idea of our space heroes wielding large-framed space laser pistols was hot and most works of the time capitalized on this trend. However, the genesis of Kirk's Phaser, Han Solo's DL-44, and Deckard's PKD Detective Special was older and more entrenched in the popular culture and mindset than most realized. Heroes wielding pistols only can be traced back to the iconic revolvers of the Old West, and the countless works romanticizing that brief time period in American history. Our outlaws, Cowboys, lawmen, and guns-for-hire all wore the revolver, and for generations of kids, the revolver-style capgun was their childhood weapon-of-choice. It also helped that most police departments at the time still carried .44 and .357 revolvers...and of course, there is always Dirty Harry and his Model 29 S&W .44 Magnum. 
When science fiction came about in the very late 19th century, it wasn't long before authors and creators mixed the traditions of Old West literature with outer space. Thus, the raygun of the spaceman was born. The term "blaster" was first used in 1925 by author Nictzin Dyalhis in his Weird Tales short story: When the Green Star Waned. Shortly after this, characters like Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, and other space-adventurers would often wielding space-age looking personal directed energy weapons that appeared similar to pistols. For decades, the trend of "pistols-only" was carried out in books, magazines, movies, and TV. By the time of Star Trek, the weapon-of-choice for most of sci-fi heroes and villains was the directed energy pistols, like the phaser and disruptor. 
After Star Wars, the trend was at its apex, but, in 1982,  the BLADE RUNNER PKD represented the very beginnings of a shift in sci-fi weaponry; from beams to bullets. The PKD Detective Special was one of the first neo-revolvers that began to be seen in sci-fi, this was coupled with the return of the bullet into mainstream sci-fi works. Of course, for the true return of the bullet into outer space tales, it would take the Colonial Marines from ALIENS. The PKD was an early icon of both new trends, and for many, the M2019 Blaster was the progenitor. 

The Real-Steel Under the Prop

The Charter Arms Bulldog Revolver
Charter Arms is an American firearms company that has been making quality handguns since 1964, most notably the Bulldog series that was used by police. It seems that all Bulldog revolvers chamber the powerful .44 Magnum caliber. Unfortunately for Charter Arms, several of their handguns have been used to commit some of the most infamous murders of the 20th century. I've actually fired the .38 "off-duty" model many years ago, and it was a nice, fluid revolver. Charter Arms is still around and they still make the Bulldog...gotta get me one of those.

The Steyr-Mannlicher .222 Remington Rifle
Steyr is one of world's best gun makers, and their current bullpup assault rifle, the AUG, is one of the finest in the business. Steyr-Mannlicher was founded in Austria in 1890. The weapon at the heart of the 2019 Blaster was the SL, which either stood for Super-Lux or Sport-Light. This Sport and Hunting rifle chambered the rare Amercian.222 Remington hunting round. Both the round and rifle first started in the 1950's, when woodstock hunting rifles regained popularity after the 2nd World War. It wasn't until 1969 when the actually SL model was produced, and it was offered in both double or single triggers along with several calibers.
While double-trigger shotguns are common, double-trigger rifles are not as common. That was one of the unique features of the BR prop gun, and there is a reason behind it. Technically called a double-stage or double set trigger, this system is designed for smoother, lighter, and safer trigger pulls and thus, more accurate fire. One trigger, normally the froward trigger, sets the lighter trigger pull, and then the rear-most trigger, now engaged and can be used to discharging the round. The .222 round was for Remington's hunting/sport rifles, and was first developed in 1950 by Matt Walker for the purpose of varmint hunting. The round enjoys some popularity in Europe then and still, and was the foundation for the NATO .223/5.56x45mm AR-15 Stoner round. Some of the first Stoner rifles during testing and development actually chambered the .222 Remington. Today, while you still can buy the .222 ammo, is not in current production rifles. The .223 and .243 took its place.  

The Story Behind the 2019 Blaster Prop
For much of the history of the 2019 Blaster, we fans have know so very little about it. For years, rumors and false "insider information" were all we had, that and pausing our VHS copies of BLADE RUNNERIt was only recently that via Paul M. Sammon's cut section of his book, that we discovered the truth. That is Terry Lewis, the property master of the film, was the "father" of PKD blaster, and also what real-steel guns were under the sci-fi coverings. Back when the movie was new, Paul M. Semmon wrote an article about the film production for Cinefantastigue magazine, and he reported that Deckard's handgun was based off of a German flare pistol. This idea populated BR circles for years. When Semmon's defining text on BLADE RUNNER was released in 1996, the author only devoted one single sentence about the 2019 blaster in the entire book. Later it was learned that the cut section of his book had detailed information on the gun itself. That one sentence stated that the heart of the hero prop (which was missing at this point) was an bolt-action Steyr rifle. That was it for years, until two events in the history of this sci-fi weapon unfolded. One, was the cut section of Paul Semmon's Future Noir was released on the internet for all to read. The other was World Con in 2006 when the actual hero prop was on display by its owner; Jeff Walker.

Deckard's Android killing firearm was not an easy evolution to what we saw on screen. Several designs were considered, one by Sid Mead and the other by Stephen Dane. During the pre-production phase, god-of-sci-fi-concept-art Sid Mead was hired to design the world of 2019, and one of his art pieces was the original idea for Deckard Detective Special. More sci-fi blaster than gumshoe Film Noir revolver, Sid Mead's blaster was an interesting piece, but not what Ridley Scott was looking for. Sid Mead remembers altering the design, but Ridley wanted the pistol to be unique but believable. Despite the design changes, Sid's blaster was rejected by Ridley. What is an mystery how far the Sid Mead blaster got in product prior to Ridly killing it. We fans are not sure if an actually prop was constructed of the Sid Mead blaster, but either the design and/or the rejected prop gun was recycled into a futuristic telephone that I believe in the scene when Holden interviews Leon at Tyrell Corporation HQ.

In the BLADE RUNNER Sketchbook, there are several pages devoted to a unused compact folding pistol designed by Stephen Dane. It was based on a compact .357 magnum revolver, and the sketches are dated 1980. This is a very interesting design that remains me of some of the rejected ST:TNG phasers. Once again, Dane's compact Detective Special was rejected, but may have led to Leon's quad-barreled pistol that killed Rep-Detect Holden. With two design rejected, Ridley's vision of what Deckard used to retired skin-jobs with becoming increasingly difficult for property master of BLADE RUNNER, Terry Lewis with his assistants: David Quick, Arthrur Shippee Jr., and John A. Scott III. Lewis. Both he and the film producer, Ivor Powell, both recall the challenging nature of the near-future firearm. Finally, Ridley took Powell and Lewis to an LA gunstore to gather inspiration and design notes.
It was there that the history of the BLADE RUNNER 2019 Blaster altered, and the shape took form. While examining the cases of weapons on display, Terry Lewis commented to Ridley about the bolt-action assembly of an .222 Steyr SL rifle. This rifle would be altered and retrofitted to become the core of Deckard's handgun, including the mysterious double-triggers. On the upper frame of the 2019 Blaster is the original serial number of the Steyr rifle: 5223. During the interview between Semmon, Lewis, and Powell, none of them mention how the Carter Arms Bulldog .44 revolver came to be the other pieces of the puzzle that is the 2019 Blaster. Both the Steyr .222 SL and the Bulldog .44 were modified, and the Bulldog was mounted under the Steyr with two LED lights, powered by a battered, attached for that right amount of sci-fi look. By the time of filming, the PKD blaster was in the hands of Deckard and Holden...the only problem was that the damn hero prop weight in at between 5-6 pounds! After complains from Harrison Ford and the lack of funding to construct more blaster props, the crew did what most film prop crews do: make a rubber mold.
During the tense filming of BLADE RUNNER, two rubber stunt pistols were on-set along with the hero prop. Given the weight, it like likely that the actually hero prop was only seen in close-ups and when being fired. According internet rumor, hero PKD prop was able to fire blank ammunition, .44 Magnum to be precise, and this is one of the reason that caused the hero PKD blaster prop to weight over five pounds. It is unknown how hard it was to reload. After production had wrapped on BLADE RUNNER, the hero blaster prop was bought by Hollywood marketing specialist Jeff Walker in 1982. At some point one of the rubber stunt casting molds was taken and used as the basis for the majority of model replicas on the market. However, the rubber stun model that was stolen was an unfinished version of Deckard's pistol. This was only learned when the hero prop surfaced at World Con in 2006.
The hero prop was in Jeff Walker's private collect and unseen by the general public until it surfaced at World-Con in 2006 fully restored. It was a rock star at the convention. Fans crossed thousands of miles and oceans to photograph the legendary weapon. Out of this, one of the most accurate replicas was born, the $900 metal Tomenosuke PRO BLADE RUNNER blaster. The hero prop was seen again in 2009 when it was sold at auction for nearly $300,000 to another private collector. For the most part, that ends the story of the hero prop...or does it? Even today, there dozens of replica kits on the market, and with Ridley heavily discussing an BLADE RUNNER sequel, we could see another blaster in the near future.

How Many Props Were There?
We have to remember that prop guns, especially those constructed out of real-steel firearms are heavy and expensive. Often, props like that, there is only one. In a production like BLADE RUNNER, with the suits watching over the expenses, the BR crew only had the cash to construct one hero PKD blank-firing prop. However, there were rubber molds made of the hero prop for action scenes. When Leon attacks Deckard in the alley way after the retirement of Zora, Deckard pulls out his gun, Leon being a NEXUS-6, bitch-slaps the gun out of the hands of our Blade Runner. That was not the hero prop, but the rubber cast. Rumors suggest that one hero prop was build, and two rubber stunt versions were made. One of those rubber guns was stolen off of the set after production was shut down, and that led to the beginnings of the early countless PKD blaster kits. The other stun pistol is in the possession of BLADE RUNNER film producer Ivor Powell, along with the actual holster from the film.The Hero prop was found, restored, and sold for $270,000 in 2009, hundred thousand over the auction estimate.

What Does the PKD Detective Special Fire?
The simple answer, we do not know. From a fictional in-universe prospective, it is never explained, nor is the PKD ever shown on-screen being reloaded. In the original text, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the Deckard character there used an "laser pistol" or "laser tube". In the 1997 Westwood CD PC game, the junior Rep-Det Roy McCoy uses an standard issue 2019 Detective Special. According to this game, Rep-Detect handgun fires .45 ammunition. No mention if it .45 Long or .45 ACP. This is the first mention and one only references to the PKD firing .45. When we examine the original prop, the working portion is an Charter Arms Bulldog revolver that only chambers the then-popular .44 Magnum round. Some fans and prop-model makers have assumed that it fires some sort of futuristic ammunition, mostly caseless. It is likely that due to the M41A1 Pulse Rifle that fans have attached the casless ammo theory to the 2019 Blaster.
Chief among these internet fan speculations of what the 2019 blaster chambers, is the 10mm caseless round or even the 12mm. Of course, the 10mm was what the M41A1 Pulse Rifle fired and 12mm is very close to the .50 pistol round found in the very popular IMI Desert Eagle .50 Action Express hand cannon. Some of the prop replicas sold today, are stamped with various calibers on the barrel. Some say .44, others 10mm, and some even say 12mm. Even noted experts on the M2019, Richard Coyle and Phil Steinschneider, believe that the M219 fires caseless ammunition (based on the design of the weapon) and that is fires some sort of "special ammo". The scene with Roy Batty in the Bradbury apartments is often cited as the example of when Deckard fires the special ammo and reloads the Detective Special. That reload scene is supposed to be in the Work Print of BR.
Since I own the obsessive fan 5-disc Ultimate Collection Briefcase edition of BLADE RUNNER, #49983 out of 103000, I popped in the Work Print DVD. After closely examining the section of the Work Print from the time Deckard enters the Bradbury Building to when he drops the pistol, there is no portion where Deckard reloads his sidearm. When he fired on Roy, I slowed down the film and zoomed in, and it is clear that the blast comes from the original barrel. There is some sort of mechanical sound when Deckard takes position behind the door but that is the only clue. The idea of that scene demonstrating the reloading of the M2019 may come from the Marvel comic adaption of the BLADE RUNNER, which is clearly said in the narration dialog box.

The Myth of the Twin Barrels
Part of the reason this rumor of a twin barreled handgun lasted until we fans finally got a look at the real prop from the film at World-Con in 2006, was the 1982 Marvel Comics adaption. In the art, we clearly seen some panels that showed the PKD pistol with side-by-side barrels like some old black powder pistol. This was done by the artist most likely because of the dual-triggers. As said above, noted experts on the blaster, Richard Coyle and Phil Steinschneider believe that Deckard's LAPD Rep-Detect issued handgun was twin barreled. Some fans point to a scene in the Work Print edition of BLADE RUNNER that may show the alternate barrel being used and also the gun being reloaded. One of these barrels fired the rumored 10mm or 12mm caseless round and the other fires either micro-grenades, like the Battlestar Galactic Colonial sidearm, or a shotgun shell, like the Civil War-era LeMat revolver. As mentioned above, there is no proof in any version of BLADE RUNNER that Deckard fires a special ammunition type through his handgun nor is it twin barreled.

The Auction Description of the Hero Prop
876. Harrison Ford "Rick Deckard" hero blaster from Blade Runner. (Warner Bros., 1982) Arguably one of the single most important weapons in Science Fiction history is the hero firing blaster used by Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) to "retire" replicants in Ridley Scott's timeless Sci-Fi classic Blade Runner. While few rubber stunt guns have surfaced in the collector's market over the years, this particular Hero-blaster has been thought to have been lost for decades. Purchased by Hollywood Marketing specialist Jeff Walker, in a sale by the film's production company after filming had wrapped, this iconic piece has been in Walker's private collection for over 25 years. It was briefly displayed at a convention around the time of Blade Runner's 25th Anniversary and immediately caused a frenzy among Sci Fi fans, who had never thought to ever see the "holy grail" of Sci-Fi weapons in person. Only one hero firing weapon was made for the production which was created by mating a Steyr-Mannlicher Model .222 SL receiver on to a Charter Arms .44 police bulldog double-action revolver. It features custom amber grips, dual triggers, and futuristic illuminating LEDs (four red and two green) that can be activated by a small switch mounted beneath the barrel. Besides its cult-classic status and tremendous re-release success on its 25th Anniversary, Blade Runner is a leading example of the neo-noir genre and is regarded by its director as one of his most complete and personal films. It has been selected by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". It is also ranked by the American Film Institute and Time Magazine as one of the "100 All-TIME best movies" and the popular British movie magazine Empire voted it the "Best Science Fiction Film Ever" in 2007. This blaster is most likely the most representative artifact for this important contribution to cinematic history. $100,000 - $150,000

The Fictional History of the M2019 Detective Special
This information comes from my unfinished, unauthorized and unpublished BLADE RUNNER book "Lifespan". This book was all about the combat Replicate squads on the off-world colonies and the flesh-and-blood humans that lead them in corporate open warfare to control the best colonial real estate. In 2010, the revolt of a combat team of Nexus-03 Replicates on the off-world colony of Tanhauser Gate caused ripples throughout the colonies and Earth. This resulted in massive policy change, and the banning of Replicates on Earth by the United Nations in 2011. In that same year, Earth-based police departments created specialized units, the Replicate-Detection or commonly known as “Blade Runners”
Answering the call, the German-Japanese firearms manufacture, Pläger-Katumate Arms, rushed a large-framed powered cartridge revolver onto the Law Enforcement and military markets. The standard issue Plager-Katumate series D .44 Magnum revolver soon became the choice of Blade Runners around the globe and some off-world military contractors and officers. Rep-Detect units in LA, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London were the first to buy and use the series D .44 revolver. The need for such a powerful handgun by these specialized police units was due to the hearty construct of the Replicants. 
Built to survive the rigors of colonizing hostile worlds and combat, Replicants were able to absorb greater gunshot trauma than a normal human being. While the relative small size of Blade Runner units keeps the orders for these heavy-hitting revolvers limited, it was an vid program that fueled greater demand. In 2014, the vid-show “Hiding in Plain Sight” starring veteran TV actor Danny Ito portraying an hard-boiled veteran Blade Runner who carried the PK-D handgun. Sells jumped after the first episode. By 2015, Plager-Katumate Arms was fielding several variants of their iconic revolver to serve the increasing market. To help keep up with demand, Plager-Katumate opened an off-world manufacturing facility. Some firearms experts have noted differences between the PK series of revolvers made on Earth and the ones made off-world. It is noted that some of the off-world manufactured PK series revolvers chamber unusual cartridges found on the colonies. It is rumored that Plager-Katumate is working on a magazine-fed automatic pistol. While some PKD pistols have been procured from military sources on the off-world colonies for the purposes of personal defense, the company has no plans to release their famed PK line of pistols to the civilian firearms market. 

The Sound Effect of the M2019 Detective Special
One of the after effects of watching BLADE RUNNER over a hundred times (no really), I noticed that there was difference between the report of the PKD from the 1982/1992 versions and the 2007 Final Cut version. So, in the interest of research, I popped in the 1982, 1992, and 2007 versions and compared the report of the M2019 Blaster when Deckard shoots Zhorea. In the 1982 original release, and the 1992 director's cut, the PKD has a sci-fi sound effect to it, more futuristic, and less real-steel, but not quite a laser blaster from outer space. There is a noticable a computerized sound effect after the firing report that seems high-tech and not quiet normal. In the 2007 Final Cut version, the gun SFX has definitely been altered. The gun firing SFX is clearly more mechanical, more revolver-like, and sharper in power and report. I can clearly hear the click of the cylinder, and the intense power of the cartridge...whatever it is.  

Why is the BLADE RUNNER Blaster So Popular?
Model kits, props, toys, and art work depicting the 2019 Blaster  have been around since the mid-1980’s, and even today, fans pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for replica props of the M2019 Blaster. Mythbuster Adam Savage has been obsessed for over twenty years about constructing the prefect copy of the hero prop, propelling him to spend thousands of dollars forging various kits and props of the BR gun. During interviews, he has confessed to currently owning no less than 11 copies of the BLADE RUNNER handgun. 
This led me to ask the immortal question: why is the Deckard handgun so popular? After all, the movie was a flop when originally released in 1982. Using my own passion as a guide, my guess is that the BLADE RUNNER pistol is just of one of those unique prop weapons that transcends the original source material. When you examine the overall design of this sci-fi weapon, you can see how special it was when compared to the phasers and laser blasters of the day. It also helped that the gun was featured in one of the most groundbreaking sci-fi films of all time, and this cult film went on to become one of the icons of sci-fi design and cinema.  Hell, even people that do not like BLADE RUNNER love the design of the gun. Another factor helping the coolness factor is how mysterious the PKD was in the film and in other media. As I said above for decades we knew nearly nothing about the PKD. The only thing we had were blurry VHS pausing, some publicity photographs, and some of the early kits taken from images or the plastic stun rubber mold. Certainly, this fueled the quest and passion for the PKD. 

The Impact of the BLADE RUNNER Blaster on Science Fiction
When BLADE RUNNER was released in 1982, it bombed at the box office. However, over time and with the advent of video tape, BLADE RUNNER became a cult classic, fueling a feverish fandom. Within just a few years, BLADE RUNNER transformed the world of sci-fi design and established the look of a dystopia and/or a cyberpunk future. Coupled with the design of BR, creators also drew from Deckard himself which included the PKD blaster. So, if a creator was building a dystopia or cyberpunk future, they would include a firearm similar to Deckard’s handgun. The futuristic revolver itself became an inspirational piece of future arms technology. When fans of Deckard’s gun began creating their own fictional works, they used their love for the pistol to create their own weaponry. Then there was something else. At the time of BLADE RUNNER’s release, laser blasters were very popular, due to Star Wars, and on the surface Deckard’s handgun appears to be just another very cool blaster-type weapon. But it was much more than a SW ripoff. The 2019 Blaster was differed from the normal crowd of laser blasters constructed on the Star Wars model, and created ripples in the water of sci-fi. The massive popularity of  Deckard's blaster would lead to several secondary effects on science fiction. First, it helped usher in the return of the bullet to sci-fi and be a beginning example of the emerging trend of traditional kinetic energy firearms in sci-fi, rather than just directed energy blasters. Second, it helped launch the trend of futuristic revolvers in science fiction that we still see today. Next to the traditional blaster/raygun, the M41A1 pulse rife, the 2019 blaster from BLADE RUNNER is one of the giants of sci-fi weaponry.  

Will We See the 2019 Blaster in BLADE RUNNER 2?
Recently, Ridley "God" Scott has been making news with talk about a long-awaited sequel to BLADE RUNNER. There is no firm data on the possible BLADE RUNNER II: the Quest for Electric Sheep, we must ask...while the 2019 blaster be in the sequel?  That depends on the story. If we get a more combat film, I suspect that the blaster will not be in new film. If we get a Rep-Detect centered story, than the 2019 Detective Special will be there, in all of its glory.
Some BR fans have speculated that the sequel will be about the lives of the Replicates on the Off-World colonies, and the conflicts that are being waged away from Earth. There are others that think that the 1997 Westwood Studios PC game could be very similar, with a new (female) actor playing an newbie Rep-Detect officer tracking down another group of skin-jobs walking the streets. Some believe that a storyline with a female Blade Runner could involve a plot about a former or current lover being an skin-job or even the new Blade Runner hunting down Deckard and Rachel. My hope is that the new movie strikes out on its own, and leaves Deckard and Rachel alone. Some outlandish rumors point to the sequel to Prometheus being connected to BLADE RUNNER II: the Quest for Electric Sheep. Time will tell...call me, Ridley! 

Where Else Have We Seen Deckard's Pistol?
The actually PKD pistol was only seen in the 1982 movie and the 1997 PC game, however fans like the Spoony One have used in their videos. Much like the M41A1 Pulse Rifle, the M2019 PDK Revolver has been copied to reference the coolness of BLADE RUNNER and the coolness of the pistol itself. Here are the children of Deckard's service android hunter sidearm.

The PDK Blaster from the Official Marvel Comic Movie Adaption
Prior to video tape, the major comic book studios would be tasked by the studios to turn out an comic book adaption of science fiction films. This would either drive interest in ticket sales, or be a keepsake for the fans of the film. In 1982, BLADE RUNNER got its adaption by Marvel Comics in their Super Special #22 released in September of 1982 after the film was released in theaters on June 25th, 1982. The super-sized comic was just 45 pages long, and forced the storyline to be condensed the just basic plot elements of BR movie. The condensed script was penned by Archie Goodwin (later editor-in-chief of Epic Comics) and art by Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon. In October of 1982, the BR comic was broken down into a limited series of two issues, but the overall length was the same. Reading this today, there is nothing new presented in these comic panels about the mysterious sidearm of Rick Deckard. However, the comic does shed light on some elements of the film, and the comic adaption adds new elements, including a space battle between Russian and American warships. 

If you want to read this oddball comic adaption of the movie, you can read it here:

Noah Antwiler's Blaster Replica on The Spoony Experiment

In the final episode of Spoony’s Ultima IX: Ascension review, Spoony and the Guardian finally have their last confrontation. During this conversion, Spoony whips out a nice-looking replica of the Deckard service revolver. He tells the Guardian that it is an “anti-magic gun”, and Guardian refers to it as an “science weapon”. Shortly after Spoony moved in with April near Chicago, there were two more video with the BLADE RUNNER pistol. His Rebruary “Viking Bikers From Hell” and part one of the Ultima: Runes of Virtue review. I reached out to Spoony via email to fill me in on the details of his M2019 replica and by press time, he never got back to me. Typical.      

Agent Gillian Seed's handgun from the Snatcher Video Game

To most, Hideo Kojima, is the man behind the popular Metal Gear games. However, back in 1988, Hideo Kojima would develop a cyberpunk detective adventure game for the Japanese MSX gaming computer, later it was released for the Sega CD in America. The basic story was culled from BLADE RUNNER, Bubblegum Crisis, and The Terminator, and a great deal of the visuals was borrowed from BLADE RUNNER, mostly for JUNKER agent Gillian Seed. In the dark future, bio-robots are “snatching” flesh-and-blood humans, killing then and replacing them in everyday society in the megacity of Neo-Kobe City. It is up to the agents of taskforce J.U.N.K.E.R to find and kill the bio-robots. Of course, the agents of JUNKER are equipped with a handgun that is cross between Deckard’s Detective Special and Robocop’s Auto-9. In the in-game screen shots, the JUNKER handgun is an automatic and not a revolver, and this could be used as the basis for an magazine-fed PKD variant by fans. 

The .223 Pistol/That Gun/5.56 Pistol from the FALLOUT universe
The existence of three different BLADE RUNNER handguns in the FALLOUT games only proves how much the development staff involved with these games fucking loves Deckard’s gun. These handguns were rare in the games, very powerful, and modeled directly after the film prop. One of the strangest elements of the FALLOUT BLADE RUNNER pistols is the ammunition that they fire. Two of three pistols fires .223 or 5.56mm. A revolver firing an assault rifle cartridge? What the frak? My only guess, is that the development staff confused the original prop's Steyr .222 (5.7x43mm) bolt action rifle core with the AR-15 .223/5.56x45mm round. After all, would it make any goddamn sense to have a revolver to fire an assault rifle cartridge? I would have an easier time accepted 12mm caseless rounds than .223!

Ichihara's Cybernetic Pistol from Angel Cop 
There have been three "waves" or invasions of Anime/Manga to America. The first began with works like Astroboy and Speed Racer, and ended around the time of Battle of the Planets, Gundam, and Starblazers. The second wave was during the 1980's, with works like ROBOTECHUlysses 31, Captain Harlock, and Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. The 2nd Wave was also marked by the greater importation of VHS tapes, toys, models,and  comics to the shores of America. The 2nd Wave was when I was kid, and was a great deal of fun. Today, we live in the 3rd Wave. During the crush of import titles via American distributors like US Manga Corps, Viz Media, and Manga, it seems that a little bit of everything was imported to the states to reap in the cash.
One of the titles was the pure-shit Angel Cop OVA. There no words how bad this anime is. Like many animes of the time, Japanese creators culled from BLADE RUNNER and other popular American works. In the 3rd episode of the OVA, mad scientist Dr. Ichihara whips out a pistol that appears to be an ugly mating of the M9 Beretta, the 2019 Blaster, and the Auto-9 from Robocop. According to the fucked up logic of Angel Cop, this pistol is for enhanced cybernetic bodies only, like Raiden, because...and get this shit...the gun's recoil is so high that it can break an normal human beings arm after two shots. There are handguns like this in the real-world, the .600 Nitro Express revolver being the best example. However, when Angel loads the arm-breaker, it is a relatively small magazine. During the finally part, Raiden dual-wields these pistols and Angel uses it as well to kill Raiden and Lucifer. Never watch this.

The Lawgiver from Judge Dredd (1995)
The original A.D. 2000 comic predates BLADE RUNNER by several years, and the iconic Lawgiver, the tool of the Judges' justice is well-established. While the original comic Lawgiver as more in common with machine pistols, that is not true of the 1995 dogshit movie adaption of the British comic. This Lawgiver was based off of the Beretta 92FS series handgun and given the plastic-fantastic sci-fi shell treatment. Given the mega-city dystopia setting, and some visual references, it is likely that the 1995 film Lawgiver is a child of Deckard's 2019 Blaster.

Roy McCoy's Blaster from Westwood's 1997 BLADE RUNNER PC Game
During the heady days of the late 1990’s computers, the CD-ROM was the dominate form of hard media, and in 1997 we fans of BR finally got our video game that was light-years better than the old 1985 Commandore 64 computer game. Thankfully, the events of the game are not based on the film, and portray newbie Rep-Detect officer Roy McCoy on the hunt of several illegal skin-jobs in LA in 2019. Ray interacts with other Rep-Detect officers of the LAPD and allows us fans to gain new insight into the world of BLADE RUNNER. The main focus of the game was the investigation and exploration of  2019 LA, and not shooting. Ray carries the standard PKD sidearm like Rick Deckard, however, the sound effect is far difference, more traditional gunshot SFX. One of the added elements to the PC game pistol was special ammunition that allowed Ray to retire skin-jobs more effectively. Interestingly, the game states that Ray’s sidearm fires .45 ammunition, but makes no mention if it is .45 long or .45 ACP. The PKD that was used for the game developers’ model and for the game box-art was an blaster replica from 1993. In that year, Universal Armor prop company asked Shawn Morgan to correct the model of stun rubber handguns used during the filming of the movie. Shawn’s scratch-built PKD was the progenitor of countless 2019 blasters kit that are still sold today. It was one of these that was used by Westwood Studios.

The SN-9 WASP Caseless 9mm Auto-Revolver from AVATAR
I'll hand to James Cameron, he makes incredible sci-fi hardware. From ALIENS to AVATAR, his futuristic weapon designs are some of the best in the business. In AVATAR, we see Colonel Miles Quaritch, former USMC RECON, and the head of the RDA's SecOps on Pandora, strap this large framed, decked out sci-fi revolver to his leg. The weapon is fired in one key scene, fatally wounding Dr. Grace Augustine during an escape attempt.  One of the oddest things about he WASP, is the 9mm ammo. According to the technical manual, the 9mm is a hypervelocity sabot ammo type, and all six rounds can be expended via burst, single-action, or full-auto fire models. Is the WASP a child of Deckard's 2019 Blaster? I tend to think so, but that is just my opinion. Under the sci-fi plastic-fantastic dressing, the SN-9 WASP is a real-steel revolver...but which one? According to several trusted sources, the WASP is either an Dan Wsson 15-2 or an Ruger GP100. Some other sources say that gun under the coating is an Russian MP412 REX.

The Colonial Sidearm from Battlestar Galactica 

When Ronald D. Moore and David Eick rebooted BSG for the Sci-Fi Channel in 2003, they decided to take their mutual love for BLADE RUNNER and incorporate certain concepts into the new series. One of the style elements borrowed from the 1982 movie was the design for the standard sidearm of the Colonial military. The prop guns were constructed with the S&W Model 686 revolver at its core with a futuristic sci-fi plastic shell giving the Colonial sidearm it the desired sci-fi look. This large-framed handgun was a marriage of the 1970’s Battlestar Galactica laser blaster design and Deckard’s Detective Special. Little hard technical information exists on the Colonial sidearm, and it is never seen reloaded on-screen, and it appears to a large caliber with a slow rate-of-fire. 
Under the barrel, is a micro-launcher that was carried over to the next standard issue Colonial Fleet sidearm, the FN Five-SeveN. Much like the BR blaster, this BSG pistol has no official name, but an BSG propmaster called the weapon in one of David Eick’s v-blog “the Colonial Calmshell”. This prop gun was trouble from the miniseries and only grew worse as the series continued. To reload the blank ammo, the propmasters had to remove the plastic shell…which was rumored to be a real bitch. It was redesigned several times, but the issues lingered. By the second season of BSG, the FN Five-SeveN 5.7mm pistol with a flux micro grenade launcher attached became the standard issue pistol for the rest of the series

The Boltok Pistol from the Gears of War Universe
Like many of the examples of the BR blaster here on this blogpost, the connection between this example and the film weapon is subject to interpretation. When I first played GOW, I immediately noticed the first time I used the Botlok revolver that it was similar to the BR blaster, and thought like many game designer, that they were fans of the movie, and the Locust Horde revolver is a tribute to the film prop.   

The Futuristic Revolvers  from the Firefly universe
Like many of the examples of the BR blaster here on this blogpost, the connection between this example and the film weapon is subject to interpretation. Some of the most lavishly designed sci-fi revolvers of all time belong to the short-lived Firefly TV series. Like many people in the movie and television business, they are fans of BLADE RUNNER, and it is hard for me not to believe that revolvers of Mal and Jayne are not somehow influenced by the BR blaster and elements of that gun’s DNA is in those futuristic space revolver.  

Jim Raynor Revolver from the Starcraft Universe
For those that have ready read this blogpost, a reader, Shas, reached out to FWS on the comments section and informed us that Starcraft character Jim Raynor used a heavy-frame revolver in the games. So, I decided to add this revolver to the list because I think Shas is right about Jim Reynor's sidearm about being a reference to Deckard's blaster. We all know that Jim Raynor is a badass, from his cool powered armor, to his Clint Eastwood outlaw days, and he only gets cooler with his badass revolver on his hip. Once again, Jim's weapon is channeling the image and power of the Old West and modeling it on top of a sci-fi character, and results in a another fine example of the sci-fi revolver. This is not just a civilian revolver that Jim uses, it is an sidearm of some Terran Marines, and it hold six rounds of some unknown, highly-powerful future ammunition. Like the standard Terran Marine rifle, Jim' handcannon could use Gauss technology. In the games, Jim is seen with this highly detailed revolver in and out of his powered armor. During the climax of Wings of Liberty, Reynor uses his revolver to kill Tychus Findley to protect Sarah and during the final fight with Arcturus Mengsk in Heart of Swarm. This Starcraft revolver has gone on to be a favorite of fans with fan-made replicas as a tribute to this offspring of the 2019 Baster.

Elijah Bailey's Detective Blaster from The Caves of Steel
The original The Caves of Steel novel was written back in 1954 and it wasn't until recently that there was a connection to BLADE RUNNER. There is something about the basic story of The Caves of Steel that has a BLADE RUNNER feel, and that was reinforced by the 1983 cover-art by Michael Whelan, which is the cover-art that is on my copy of this wonderful book. That connection became only stronger with newer 1991 cover-art by noted sci-fi illustrator Stephen Youll. In the original 1954 text, plainclothes detective Elijah Baley wears a “blaster” and is a generic sci-fi weapon of the time with generic abilities. However, in Stephen Youll’s 1991 cover art piece, Elijah Bailey looks more like Rick Deckard and even sports a close copy of the 2019 blaster in his hand. 

The Pistol from Will Rock
In 2003, Ubisoft would release an interesting first-person shooter called Will Rock for the PC. This was a standard FPS similar to Serious Sam will Greek mythological elements. In the story an archaeological student named Willford Rockwell has his girlfriend abducted by Zesus, and Will Rock has to go after her. Like many standard shooter games, Will starts off with an weak handgun…and it just so happens that the standard pistol appears similar to the BR blaster.

The Standard Marine Pistol from DOOM 3

The pistols in most standard FPS games are the weakest of the weak, and are quickly forgotten about by the player when the first “real” gun is to be had. When Id Software rebooted the basic DOOM storyline with their 3rd game in 2004, every weapon got a major update, including the unloved basic pistol  In the original two games, the standard pistol was based of the M9 Beretta and was only usable for the first few levels. However, in the third game; the standard Marine pistol the UAC Mars base is clearly based Deckard’s 2019 blaster, but it doesn't sound like it. The accurate of this gun clearly helps, but it is still too weak, and by the time you gain other weapons the deeper you explore Mars, the basic pistol is forgotten. Pity, because it is beautifully designed and is a real treat for us BR fans. 

The Mateba Revolver from The Ghost in the Shell Universe
Once again, like many manga/anime creators, GITS creator Masamune Shirow, is inspirited by BLADE RUNNER, and it could be that Section-9 newbie Togusa (used to be a normal cop) choice in handguns is a visual reference to Deckard's Detective Special. The Mateba of Togusa is featured in the original manga, the 1995 OVA, and the rest of the GITS works. Unlike many of the fictional sci-fi revolvers on this list, Togusa's revolver is an real-steel gun. The Mateba Auto-Revolver first came out in 1997 and lasted through 2005. The real gun bears a striking similarity to Deckard's blaster, and one variant of the Mateba fires a round that would be at home in the 2019 blaster, the .454 Casull. I would love to add an Mateba to my firearms collection!

The Slammer Mega-Revolver from Hard Boiled
Like many of the examples of the BR blaster here on this blogpost, the connection between this example and the film weapon is subject to interpretation. There is no direct reference screaming that the Nixon/Seltz Slammer mega-revolver is descended from Rick Deckard's PKD, but it hard not to think so. Hard Boiled is one of Frank Miller's most insane and hard-to-understand works that liberally borrows from BLADE RUNNER in style and setting. In the 1990 graphic novel/mini-series, our main character Nixon is an ultra-violent heavily armored cyborg city tax collectors that is living a false-life. During his exploration to find his "real life", there is a trail of bodies all shown in highly detailed gratuitous art that is greater than the writing and plot. In the end, I never really liked this work of Miller's...it is just too much. However, the over-the-top Slammer revolver is very cool piece of sci-fi hardware. In some of the art pieces, the words ".357" and ".45" are clearly stamped on the foregrip. Gathering the fact that Miller and Darrow borrowed some much from BLADE RUNNER, that I firmly believe that the Slammer is the bigger, steroid-taking, cousin of the PKD blaster. What to know more about Hard Boiled? Check out FWS friend Derek Restivo's website for a complete review:

The "Duke" MK. 44 Hand Cannon from Destiny
Destiny could be one of the great new games on these next-gen consoles, and at E3, we fans of Bungie got to see a limited clip of this sci-fi revolver in the Destiny demo. As of yet, there is little information on the Duke MK. 44 hand cannon that presumably fires .44 Magnum shells. Given the appearance and the caliber of ammunition, it seems to me, that the Duke is an off-spring of Deckard's Detective Special and the Dirty Harry Model 29 .44 Magnum. Cannot wait to see this handcannon and Destiny in action...now I need an Xbox One.

Jake Cardigan's Plasma Pulse pistol from the Tekwar TV Series
Around time that William Shatner was in production with Star Trek V: The Final Insult, the writers strike allowed Shatner time to write a series of future cop-and-crime sci-fi novels called "Tekwar".  The main focus in the books, TV series, and comics that followed in the 1990's, was the drug "tek" and the struggle of former cop Jake Cardigan. In 1992, Marvel Comics' Epic Comics would create an Tekwar comic series called Tekworld that drew heavily from BLADE RUNNER and Shatter. The handgun that the comic book Jake character used was unlike the 2019 Blaster. From 1994-1996, USA Networks would created a TV series around Shatner's novels, with some alternations, but much like the comic, elements were borrowed from BLADE RUNNER . In the TV series, Jake Cardigan was wrongly convicted and after his cryo sentence he was hired by a mid-21st century private eye firm.
After being hired, Jake was issued an interesting sci-fi Less-Lethal weapon, called the "plasma pulse pistol". William Shatner's character hands Jake the weapon, he says that he has to give Jake an "non-lethal plasma-propellant" weapon due to his parole restrictions. Very realistic actually. This DE pistol would be folded down for compact conceal carry by Jake, and when needed, the handle and barrel would extend for use. Throughout the series, the plasma pulse pistol would toss enemies back in a similar manner to the weapons from Minority Report. The original hero prop, which someone bought and put up a video on youtube, had the word "ORLAW" stamped on the lower assembly and seemed well made.

The Light Guns from The House of the Dead arcade game
Here is yet another example of an indirect connection to the iconic 2019 blaster. The very popular The House of the Dead arcade rail shooter from the 1990’s, featured two bulky Namco blue blasters that have a strong visual resemblance to the BR blaster. The second House of the Dead arcade game was also fitted with BR blaster type light guns. The 3rd and 4th arcade game with fitted with shotgun and Mac-10 light guns respectively. Once again, this is just my opinion that these Smurf guns are directly patterned after the 2019 Blaster. 

The Futuristic Revolvers from Paradise Dolls/AD Police/Bubblegum Crisis

Given the massive impact of BLADE RUNNER, fans have become creators, and the off-spring of Ridley's work as populated the globe. No where is that more true that in Japan. Countless anime and manga works contain some element of BLADE RUNNER, and it seems that Toshimichi Suzuki is one big fan of BLADE RUNNER. All the works connected to the original 1987 Bubblegum Crisis: 2032 limited series have been liberally borrowed from BLADE RUNNER , and the idea of big frame sci-fi revolver seems to be in the spirit of Deckard’s blaster. These futuristic revolvers are commonplace in the hands of the Neo-Tokyo’s Advanced Defense Police, especially Detective Leon throughout every work in the BSG universe. For the record, no one directly says that these revolvers are like Deckard's Detective Special...just my brain working overtime.   

James Gordon's Service Sidearm from Batman Digital Justice
Like many of the examples of the BR blaster here on this blogpost, the connection between this example and the film weapon is subject to interpretation, and it was just a hunch that I included this example from a forgotten classic of old-school Batman comics. Before comics were directly involved in the production of comics, computers were a novelette in the comic world. When Batman: Digital Justice by visionary artist Pepe Moreno was released in a hardbound format in Feburary of 1990, and there very few digital comics on the American market: Shatter and Iron Man: Crash in the mid-1980's. When Digital Justice came out in 1990, it was a big deal. So big in fact, that the graphic novel was wrapped so could not read it, you just had to buy. In the book, Pepe Moreno directly tells the reader that the graphic novel is inspirited by BLADE RUNNER...so that makes my job easier. In the first part of the graphic novel, Jim Gordon's grandson, James Gordon is a Deckard-like cop in the Cyberpunk future and his service weapon is an large handgun with a integrated sight.   


The step-by-step of Coyle's build:

Another article about the different models of the PKD

The History, Timeline of the BR Blaster Replicas

The Website of Rick Ross PKD prop effort

Next Time on FWS...
In the last two years, the idea of MILSPEC combat exoskeletons has caught fire and now with the next Call of Duty game and the recent Edge of Tomorrow, this type of near-future hardware is only going to grow even hotter. While FWS has discussed powered armor previously in a massive blogpost, we are going to discuss the exoskeleton in more lavish detail. And, it is a good excuse for me to buy Elysium on DVD. You know, for research.


  1. As always, excellent post and job well done. I think you forget about one, maybe less know but still iconic for some people gun, James Raynor revolver. I think we can see in it clear reference to the legendary Blade Runner's revolver.

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  2. Oh, damn! Okay, that is getting adding it! Nice catch! That is what I get for not playing Starcraft! Glad you enjoyed this blogpost, was a real labor of love...

    1. Enjoyed is massive understatement my friend, checking your blog for new posts is my daily routine. You presents in very professional form very interesting topic's, you put in that a lot's of work and soul. Hat's from the heads before you lad, can't wait for the next post about exo's.

  3. Added Jim's Revolver and gave you credit. Thanks for the kind words, ! Wish I could update FWS on a more regular basis...love working on this these posts. The exoskeleton is in final editing, and should be up in one to two weeks. After that, FWS is covering the mid-1990's GI Joe Star Brigade MSF toyline.

  4. Great post! Makes sense and answers a lot of my questions about this gun.

    During my research for the technical data article I found a claim that in the original book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" that Decker is armed with two separate weapons: a laser tube & 0.38 revolver.

    According to that source in the book universe there's a device called "sine wave" that can dissipate coherent light like laser and there for the revolver is needed as a backup gun.
    Never read the book, if you or one of your readers read it I hope you can clarify that issue.
    Could the initial intend of the movie makers was to have dual DEW & KEW in the same gun?
    Giving the two triggers, the upper tube etc. it's seem logical…
    If so, this I think could have been the first of its kind in SF, dual DEW & KEW weapon.

    Plus – there's claims that the box under the revolver barrel is the Styer magazine sleeve and the magazine itself.
    Couldn’t find in the web Pic. Of The Steyr-Mannlicher .222 Remington taken apart to clarify it too.


  5. Can you still play it? Playing old computer games can be a nightmare.

  6. It's Charter Arms, not Carter Arms.

  7. Very elaborate article - I personally enjoyed it a lot.
    Just a note though - another media that drew heavy inspiration from the PKD is the game EYE Divine Cybermancy. There are two revolvers in it (you'll find the information and pictures on the developers website) that are almost a complete match with the original gun, both of course completely disregaridng the common 'pistols are weak' motto.

  8. I enjoyed your article, and for the most part you did an admirable job researching. A lot better than most blog posts, but you did mix up a few things and maybe miss a few other. I got to interview the replica prop makers directly when I did my timeline on propsummit. I also provided parts and info to Adam Savage for his shooting replica. I would love to share my info with you and even help you get in touch with these guys directly. I know in general most bloggers don't care about accuracy, but you seem like you do.

  9. Nice article. I admire the lengths you go through in your research.
    Just a side note- Charter Arms Bulldog chambers the .44 Special. NOT the .44 Magnum.The case length of the .44 Magnum round is longer by 4mm compared to the .44 special which acts as a useful safety feature.
    The Charter Arms Bulldog however is offered in .357 Magnum as of 2015.

  10. The four barreled gun used to kill the detective was not an invented prop. It was a "COP" handgun in 357 Magnum. Google it up, its from the 70's. Also the Bulldog is 44 Special, not 44 Magnum

  11. Actually the 5.56 has been used is pistol weapons. I've fired one and the recoil is actually fairly light(less than a 44). Given the heavy frame of the gun it would actually be completely viable.

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  14. Fun reading, thanks!

  15. Great article. Since the first time I saw the movie this weapon has been an obsession for me.

  16. Check out the Rhino 357 mag pistol real gun closest design to Deckers blaster you can get has a laser sight rail for attachment to the frame looks very cool

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  18. This has probably been pointed out already, but... It's not "Replicate." It's "Replicant." Note the 'n': replicaNt. For the authenticity of your fan-novel. :-)

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