Adam Savage: my Blade Runner gun

I made my first Blade Runner pistol when I was 18, while living in Hell's Kitchen, NYC. I stared at the VHS version on pause and made sketches. Put it together from toys and model kit parts. It's lovely and terrible:

Photo 3

(Years later the internet would teach me that the six dollar plastic gun I bought on Canal street in NYC and cannibalized for the grip was created by Edison Giacattoli, a legendary toy gun designer)

I made a crazy accurate scratch-built when I was 30, from resin and bondo. I had great picture reference but shitty size reference, it was 20% too small. Fuck!


I even had it chrome plated at one point and I weathered it:

Chromedbr Blaster

In 2006, the screen-used original surfaced after 25 some-odd years and sold at auction last year for $256,000.00. Supposedly to Paul Allen [That myth has been busted -- Mark]:


This is the final iteration:


It's 95% finished. My hand-built baby. About 30-40 hours of labor spread out over (at least) 6 years. An original Steyr-Mannlicher .222 target rifle receiver and magazine and a Charter Arms Bulldog .44, both demilled and gunsmithed by me (working with hardened steel -- FUN!) with custom machined aluminum and steel parts (barrel, grip, butt) and made as close as possible, in every respect, to the original. Painstaking.

That is all I have to say on the subject (probably not). I can't even describe how good it feels to hold it in my hand.

[Click thumbnails below for enlargements]

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Adams-Blade-Runner-Gun-04 Adams-Blade-Runner-Gun-05 Adams-Blade-Runner-Gun-06

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  1. If this fellow ever set up a booth charging $5 per minute just to hold and aim his magnificent handiwork, you’d find me waiting in line.

  2. I bought a kit of this pistol from Monsters in Motion a while back with the goal of making a firing airsoft version.

    Sadly, the airsoft revolver that was going to be the base of this project wound up disappearing into the bowels of US customs, and since I have about thirty thousand projects going at any time, I haven’t made any progress in a couple years.

    I do have a working airsoft M41a pulse rifle, though. That’s a fun one.

  3. What about the little red lights and that box between them? They seem to be the only part of the original prop not included on the reproduction, yet are the detail that stands out the most. Was it a deliberate style choice not to include them?

    1. I second this question… the most unique thing I remember about the gun frm the movie were the little red LEDs!

  4. Adam, just in case your one of the mystifyingly large number of people who seem to think there’s some guy called Edison Giacattoli, it’s actually Edison Giocattoli, i.e. Edison Toys.

  5. When you say that you “gunsmithed” it, does that mean it can actually fire?

    And if not, why not?

  6. Hate to be cliche, but “That is soooo you”. Great to see you’re a happy mutant too Adam.

  7. Adam, you are everywhere! I follow you in twitter, I see you in Mythbusters… and now BoingBoing!! Hope to see more from you!!!

    Diego (Spain)

  8. @Hanglyman #5, he did say it is not quite finished.

    if it can actually shoot, does it lob .222 on one trigger, and .44 on the other? ’cause it should.

  9. This is in every way the coolest post ever on BB. That is beautiful Adam. Down right bad ass cool.

  10. This is no short of pure cool.

    Love to hear about your replica stories ever since I saw some random ass lecture you gave about the crazy ordeals you had in replicating some golden (?) owl/hawk/something statue from a movie.

    Can’t wait to read your posts.

  11. This reminds me of your TED talk about your projects making your replica Dodo and Maltese Falcon. I would be most interested if you made a video going over your process for the gun, what problems you ran into, etc.

    Anyways, i didn’t realize you were on Boing Boing so i was pleasantly surprised to see your post. Hope to see more of your projects, or any other sort of post on here (:

  12. Be careful with the cut down .22 rifle receiver. Technically, the receiver is the firearm, and to cut it down under 16″ is in violation of the NFA.

  13. Hello ! I’ m a reader from Paris, France, that’ s a biautiful gun Adam ! And I’ m in love with Blade Runner moovie, so let’ have all my ” félicitations ” how we say in french !!

  14. As a firearms designer (pat no 5834678), patent attorney, and model builder I have to say, That is Freakin’ AWESOME. Nice work Adam!!

  15. So incredibly awesome that it may be further proof that Adam is not of this world. He should be VK tested. Question 1: you conduct an experitoon called “Airplane Conveyor”. An irate fan writes in to complain that BLAM BLAM BLAM….

  16. “Why, this isn’t a real blade runner sidearm, it’s a replica! Find the forger and retire him!”

  17. This article is a test designed to trigger an emotional response. Anyone who doesn’t love this gun is obviously a replicant.

  18. Adam, since you’re in the show biz, do you know who built the original prop?

    I would think you could have hit them for all the details.

  19. Pretty neat in terms of like craftsmanship igues.. but Always found The constant Jackin off over firearms to be the most distatsteful pare of mythbusters. ‘sp[ecially since its partly a kidshow

  20. Very cool. One thing I never understood about that gun (the movie prop or the reproduction): where was the ammo supposed to go? I see a revolver cylinder in one of the pieces used for the reconstruction, but can’t tell if the cylinder remains intact in the final gun, or how you would get at it. Of course, this is a non-existent futuristic gun so maybe it is not supposed to fire traditional bullets at all…

  21. Is it legal to grind the serial numbers off a gun in California. Well maybe if you made it non working first.

  22. octopussoup: He “demilled” the firearms, which is a shortening of the term “de-militarized”. In the context of firearms means “made permanently unable to fire”.

  23. There was a Monsters in Motion replica of the Replicant retireer? I wish I would have known sooner I would have gotten one before they disappeared. I’m still trying to get a Blade Runner umbrella, which have also sold out.

    Looking at this article I keep thinking over and over, “I wonder how hard it would be to make a Logan’s Run flame gun.”

  24. Nice work! As for actual functioning, the revolver might if Adam hadn’t disabled it. The upper “barrel” is only the receiver, not the chamber. Therefore, the shell would go in the loading opening in the receiver and get pushed into thin air when the bolt was closed.

  25. HOLY FREAKIN JESUS ITS ADAM SAVAGE. is jamie nice in person oh and if by some miracle tori reads this because he also has a boingboing account i have you riding that bike from the car polevault episode the second your face slams into the ground as my screen saver props to ya for walking that off.

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