Original Sands of Iwo Jima Film Prop U.S. Browning 1918 BAR Display Gun with Certificate of Authenticity
Original Item: Only One Available. Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) is one of the most acclaimed WW II movie ever made. So accurate a portray of the famous Battle of Iwo Jima, culminating in the famous "Raising of the Flag" over Mount Sunibachi, that the Marine Corps allowed the production to not only use the actual flag that was raised on that fateful February 23rd, 1945, but utilized three of the actual Marines who originally held the flag up in the scene that recreated that monumental event.
The film was also required viewing for all Marine Recruits in boot camp for the next 40 years. It was also one of John Wayne's most complex characters, playing the iconic Sgt. John M. Stryker, a man whose personal torment is taken out on the green recruits that he is training for the battle. Everything about this production was painstakingly accurate, including the inclusion of the famous gunners who were specially trained to use the BAR weapons (Browning Automatic Rifle) The Browning Automatic Rifle was a mainstay of the Marine rifle squad and platoon. It was deployed to every campaign that Marines fought in during World War II and was essential to "give cover" during the Iwo Jima Battle. These were hand carried, and even hand-fired machine guns. So in demand where these, and so hard to use, that only a few highly experienced gunners were assigned to each squad.
This is one of the extremely rare actual hero stunt M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles used in the film by PFC George Hellenopolis (Peter Coe) who was Wayne's Squad's BAR Rifle gunner. These brave soldiers were known as "BAR Men". In order to achieve the feeling of these extremely heavy weapons, Republic Studio's Prop Department, crafted this stunt non-firing version with many of the same metals and wood to give it the same weight as the original, so that the actor would look right when holding and running with it.
An actual "live-fire" version of this rifle, which was one that was actually used in the Iwo Jima battle, was used during the scenes where we see Hellenopolis firing the gun. Several other BAR gunners can be seen in several battle sequences, and several of them may also have used this non-firing prop BAR.
This fantastic prop BAR 1918A2 machine gun was constructed for and used in the film Sands of Iwo Jima even comes with a Hollywood Prop Company Premier Props Certificate of Authenticity which is stamped. It is constructed of steel with wood butt stock, forestock and a genuine BAR bipod which was added for better display purposes. It is full size and correct weight. From a few feet away it looks like the real thing! Certainly good enough for background battle action scenes.
History of the BAR- The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was a family of United States automatic rifles and light machine guns used by the United States and numerous other countries during the 20th century. The primary variant of the BAR series was the M1918, chambered for the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge and designed by John Browning in 1917 for the U.S. Expeditionary Corps in Europe as a replacement for the French-made Chauchat and M1909 Benet-Mercie machine guns.
Final development of the M1918A2 was authorized on 30 June 1938, The FN-designed pistol grip and rate-reducer mechanism with two rates of automatic fire was shelved in favor of a rate-reducer mechanism designed by Springfield Armory, and housed in the buttstock. The Springfield Armory rate reducer also provided two selectable rates of fully automatic fire only, activated by engaging the selector toggle. Additionally, a skid-footed bipod was fitted to the muzzle end of the barrel, magazine guides were added to the front of the trigger guard, the handguard was shortened, a heat shield was added to help the cooling process, a small separate stock rest (monopod) was included for attachment to the butt, and the weapon's role was changed to that of a squad light machine gun. The BAR's rear sight scales were also modified to accommodate the newly standardized M2 Ball ammunition with its lighter, flat-base bullet. The M1918A2 walnut buttstock is approximately one inch longer than the M1918 BAR buttstock. The M1918A2 barrel was also fitted with a new flash suppressor, and fully adjustable iron sights. Late in the war, a barrel-mounted carrying handle was added.
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