The Blade Runner Blaster: One Handgun Everybody Wants
Dr. John Woods 10.10.17
Maybe there are some movie guns that should actually be developed as a real weapon. I vote for the LAPD 2019 Blaster created for the 1982 movie “Blade Runner” starring Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard, the ex-cop detective hired to retire Replicants.
In this Sci-Fi film, the Replicants were quasi-organic creations of the mega-business bio technology Tyrell Corporation, a firm developing genetically modified “humanoids.” These “Replicants” (nicknamed “skinjobs” by the local police) were banned from the home planet, presumably Earth, but some had escaped their interplanetary work assignments as laborers, soldiers, and prostitutes to return home seeking out an extension of their “life clocks.”
Rick Deckard’s job was to put these Replicants into “retirement”, permanently. Ironically he was hired by the local police administrator as a specialist in this type of work, since the regular police were unable or more likely incapable of dealing with them. After all this was a science fiction movie. Deckard held both the experience, intuition, and attitude to handle the retirement paperwork processing for the Replicants.
Deckard’s primary weapon of use was a very unique sidearm that he carried in a crossdraw holster. That alone met with my immediate approval. The crossdraw format is a favorite carry mode because it is easy to reach, and more comfortable in a sitting position in his land/air DeLorean type modernistic vehicle. Deckard was able to wield his firearm quickly from this non-traditional mode of carry for a law enforcement type. This carry also set him apart from the other law enforcement officers depicted in the movie. In this way his role was certainly even more unique.
The Blade Runner Blaster or as specified in the reference research officially was the LAPD 2019 Blaster. Remember this movie was released in 1982, so the gun’s 2019 reference adds to the futuristic designation of this Sci-Fi flick. Its origin is indeed purely a Hollywood gun fab shop creation. How they dream these things up is always a wonderment to movie lovers also fascinated with weaponry. The Blade Runner Blaster is one genuine piece of work for sure.
The Blade Runner Blaster or LAPD 2019 Blaster is based on two real firearms oddly combined together in a quite unrealistic format. The main configuration is the bolt action rifle action from a Steyr-Mannlicher Model SL in .222 Remington including their famous identity butter knife bolt handle. The second part of the contrived handgun is a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. A side cover and a barrel shroud was added to hide the cylinder and hammer of the Charter Arms Bulldog handgun model. Other stranger modifications were added as well.
The LAPD Blaster had a set of double set triggers quite visible in the movie. This feature held no particular utilitarian function for the operation of the movie handgun. As it turned out, the movie’s director, Ridley Scott just liked the look of the Steyr-Mannlicher’s double trigger system so he kept the design. Also added were multiple bolt heads and screws to appear as knobs and controls for the Blade Runner gun. It also had 6-LED lights and two green LED lighted sights, so some electronics and a type of battery power had to be included. The grip was a custom target type checkered wood stock with a heavy metal end plate.
There is no mention whatsoever in the research material on this movie gun of its cartridge or chambering. The Charter Arms Bulldog was chambered for the .44 Special. Also, in its use by Deckard for retiring the Replicants, he never once cycled the rifle bolt action or reloaded the Bulldog cylinder. It seemed to clearly function as a semi-auto pistol. Hmmm. Go figure.
Consider though the one scene where Deckard’s unofficial replicant girl interest Rachael played by Sean Young, saved his life by planting a Blaster bullet though the head of another replicant Leon. The complete back to front head shot with resultant exit wound even from the close range shot might yield consideration for the .44 Special round of the Charter Arms Bulldog or a similar type cartridge in the Blaster. Hey, work with me here. Whatever the chambering of the LAPD Blaster, it was pretty darn powerful and effective. It retired a number of replicants.
Anyway, I think it would make a super neat great sidearm. Just its appearance to a threat would certainly be an attention getter. Add a laser sight activated by the front double trigger and you’d be good to go. The only issue I see is how to work out the cocking of the double action cylinder along with the long bolt and butter bolt handle from the Steyr rifle. Well, anyway, it was just a Hollywood movie, so we’re allowed to dream aren’t we?