Alec Baldwin fatally shoots woman with prop gun on movie set

Caporegime
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You can most definitely inspect the chamber on those weapons. How do you think they eject the casing?


Sigh, "open bolt" they load as they fire.

They don't have a round in the chamber, bolt back chamber empty is "live" and ready to fire.

You will find this on many fully automatic weapons as sticking a round in a very hot chamber is a good way to set it off.

The firing pin is fixed and sets off the round with the moving of the bolt. You physically can't close the bolt with a round in the chamber without setting off and firing that round.

But according to you its "safe" when it's cocked and ready to fire like "all firearms"
 
Caporegime
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Sigh, "open bolt" they load as they fire.

They don't have a round in the chamber, bolt back chamber empty is "live" and ready to fire.

You will find this on many fully automatic weapons as sticking a round in a very hot chamber is a good way to set it off.

The firing pin is fixed and sets off the round with the moving of the bolt. You physically can't close the bolt with a round in the chamber without setting off and firing that round.

Which is all irrelevant if there's no magazine/clip...generally the first thing you remove before you hand a weapon over to someone in safe condition.

And again, the entire context of this thread is a single or double action weapon. Speculation was that it was potentially a semi auto pistol early on but that was found quite quickly to be false.
 
Man of Honour
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Angilion, don't take my jibe "at their feet" so literal - what I'm getting at is this:
- it makes no sense to discharge prop weapons (revolvers or any other hand gun) EVERY TIME before filming, because they were loaded specifically to be fired in front of the camera, if every actor in a 'wild west' movie was to fire all the blanks every time before filming they might as well not load them at all.
- granted, I never worked on the set where ammunition or guns were used but in my limited experience I also never heard of a hand over technique involving firing weapons (loaded with blanks or otherwise) AT THE GROUND. I'm sure Yanks also use clearing barrels for that purpose?

When you wrote about firing all guns at their feet, I thought you were referring to firing all guns at their feet.

It makes no sense to test fire every round in any gun other than a revolver because of the way guns work. But it makes a lot of sense to test fire every round in a revolver that's supposed to be loaded with dummies. Not blanks - that would be pointless and probably dangerous and definitely negligent. If you're standing on dirt it might even be more dangerous to fire a blank than it is to fire a live round because none of the energy of the gas is expended by accelerating the bullet. If you fire a blank with an average handgun load it's dangerous up to about 2 metres. Pointed straight down it would be at a guess about 50cm from your feet and at that range a blank with an average handgun load would be dangerous in more than just a straight line.

But I'm wandering off the point, which is that (as I said before) Clooney was explicitly referring to a revolver and almost certainly referring to a mid to late 19th century American revolver as he used the phrase "six gun". But definitely referring to a revolver only. You can't test the rounds in a semi-auto or full auto gun that way if they're dummies because dummies don't fire and thus can't autoload the next round. You can't always do it with blanks - it depends on the load in the blanks. It's not uncommon for a blank to have a lighter than usual load for safety reasons. Possibly too light to cycle an automatic reload system designed for a normal full load for that ammunition. But there are safety implications in that too. That was part of the reason Brandon Lee was killed. It also doesn't make sense with most manual loading setups. Bolt action, lever action, whatever, because loading the next round ejects the previous round (even if it's a dummy that didn't fire). It only makes sense with revolvers. And Clooney explicitly referred only to revolvers.

Wandering back to the point...why do it with revolvers? To check that every round in the gun is a dummy. Not a blank. You'd be right about firing blanks. But you wouldn't need to test that a revolver is loaded with blanks because you can see if it is. Blanks look completely different to live rounds or dummies and the rounds are visible in a revolver. That's why they're usually loaded with dummies. With most types of guns they're usually not loaded at all on a set. The rounds aren't visible unless the scene involves showing someone loading the gun, so it usually doesn't matter that the gun isn't loaded. But with a revolver most of the rounds are always visible so they have to be loaded while on camera and they have to be loaded with something that looks like a real round. That's where dummies come in - they look like real rounds but they have no load and no primer (very different to blanks, which have a load and a primer but no bullet). Blanks are live rounds for when the gun has to be fired and look and sound like it's firing a real round. Dummies are inert props that look like real rounds for when the rounds are visible to the camera. So the most reliable way to confirm that a dummy round really is a dummy round is to aim in a safe location and pull the trigger. You could unload the gun, examine each round and if you know what you're looking for you can tell if it's a dummy or a real round. If you know what you're looking for. Or listening for - it's common custom to make dummies rattle when shook. And assuming that the dummies have been deliberately made with some form of failsafe identification. But with a revolver it's possible to test each round quickly, simply and completely comprehensively by test-firing it. Absolutely certain testing, completed in seconds. And completely safe if you're aiming it safely (e.g. at unoccupied earth downwards but not too close to anyone's feet). Click, click, click, click, click, click...gun is comprehensively tested to be completely safe.

On a side note - where would Clooney use a revolver? Cohen brothers movie?

No idea. I've only vaguely heard of any actor. I don't know what roles any of them have played.

How do we know Clooney was talking about dummies? Is it in that Independent article we are discussing?

Because it wouldn't make any sense for anything other than dummies. Also, the gun in this case was supposed to be loaded only with dummies (as revolvers on set almost always are). And if Clooney was handed a revolver by anyone doing their job properly and the revolver was supposed to contain anything other than dummies, they would tell Clooney before handing him the revolver so he wouldn't be testing it that way anyway because he'd already know it wasn't loaded only with dummies. The procedure Clooney was talking about applies only to revolvers that are supposed to be loaded only with dummies. It's a final check to make sure nothing has gone wrong and resulted in a real round being loaded. Or a blank, but that would probably have already been detected by simple (with a revolver) visual inspection.

It boils down to checking, checking, checking again, confirming the check...check as much as is reasonably possible. Or else someone might get shot and might be killed. Which happened in this case. One dead and one wounded because the gun was not adequately checked.
 
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It is possible to have a failure in a revolver which allows the hammer to fall forward and hit the primer setting off a bullet without the trigger being pulled i.e. nothing to do with the person handling it, but this would be tested for by the police who would look for signs of damage to the engage/disengage sear and trigger mechanism etc, plus just shaking the crap out of it with the hammer locked back to see if they can get it to fail without pulling the trigger.

However, on balance it's far more likely that Baldwin did either pull the trigger or accidentally released the hammer himself (didn't pull it far enough back to engage the sear before releasing it - single action revolver) and, due to the shock involved etc, just doesn't realise he did it.

On the other hand I always find watching an actor giving an interview like this reminds me that these people are paid to be professional liars as a job, and if they can lie better than anyone else they rewarded handsomely for it by winning awards etc, which I realise sounds unfair but it's the truth.
 
Man of Honour
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"The dog ate my homework."

Which can happen. As can a gun firing without the trigger being pulled. I don't know enough to assess the probability of either, but both are possible. My guess is that it's less unlikely with a mid 19th century revolver design (i.e. the gun in this case) than it is with a modern gun. I know it's extremely unlikely with a modern gun, but that's with the benefit of ~150 years of improvements in design. But I'm guessing it's still very unlikely with a mid 19th century design because it's always been considered important for a gun not to fire unless it's fired deliberately. But it's possible.

But...a rare failure of a gun combined with a real bullet that shouldn't even have been anywhere on set let alone in the gun and which was in exactly the wrong chamber of the 6 chambers in the gun and all of that happening at just the time when the barrel (which was in a traversing motion at the time) happened to be pointing at someone...that's an extremely unlucky combination of circumstances. Which is still possible. Even the most unlikely situations will occur sometimes.
 
Soldato
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Yuck.

Compensation lawyers piling in with their compensation oriented takes and the accused doing stories to promote their angle.

Everyone's pushing what they want to be believed.
 
Soldato
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Which can happen.
Yes, and someone could repeatedly fall on a knife. Until evidence comes out that the firearm was faulty, and just happened to fire as he was pointing the gun at someone, it's a nonsense claim. He fired that SAA, and he's trying to deflect with all the legal action now swirling around him.
 
Soldato
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Given that the revolver was a Colt pattern single action one, the hammer had to be manually cocked for the gun “to fire all by itself without a finger on the trigger”. Did the AD hand Baldwin a cocked gun?
 
Soldato
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Sounds like it. It apparently can happen on these old school revolvers.

Could also have caught the hammer as he drew it. They used to holster them with an empty chamber to prevent that.
 
Soldato
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Given that the revolver was a Colt pattern single action one, the hammer had to be manually cocked for the gun “to fire all by itself without a finger on the trigger”. Did the AD hand Baldwin a cocked gun?

"I don't know what happened on that set. I don't know how that bullet arrived in that gun. I don't know," Mr Baldwin said.

"But I'm all for doing anything that will take us to a place where this is less likely to happen again."

The actor said that during the rehearsal on 21 October Hutchins was directing his every move.

"She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle.

"I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit."

To get the shot, the actor said he needed to **** the gun - but not fire it.

"The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.

"I **** the gun. I go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?'

"And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off," Mr Baldwin said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-59514525
 
Associate
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Baldwin seems to have gone into full 'not my fault guv' mode.

why is he even doing interviews on this. I thought the first rule of anything that is likely to wind up in court is to keep your moth shut (especially in the USA).

edit. Even a blank could do catastrophic damage at the kind of distance the they could have been at.
 
Associate
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Sounds like the gun wasnt put together properly.

single action revolvers can have very light triggers, so it entirely possible he pulled it as he tried to drop the hammer back down.

alternative the sear mechanism might be warn or to lightly engaged and be set off by nocking the firearm.
 
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Soldato
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After reading the article today, could he have pulled the hammer back to c*** the gun but not pulled it back all the way, then when he release it the hammer sprung back? If he didn't lock the hammer into place he wouldn't have needed to pull the trigger.

Still doesn't explain the live round though.
 
Soldato
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Whilst normally wise to say nothing whilst there is still a criminal investigation going on, I suspect he's had to do an interview just to try and get the paparazzi scum off his and his families back. Being followed and hassled everywhere you go for weeks on end must be horrendous.
 
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