Item:
ONSV10394

Original Wood Film Prop M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle From Ellis Props - As Used in Sands of Iwo Jima

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) is one of the most acclaimed WWII movies ever made. So accurate a portrayal of the famous Battle of Iwo Jima, culminating in the famous "Raising of the Flag" over Mount Suribachi, 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 a full scale wood replica non-firing prop gun as used in the 1949 Hollywood film Sands of Iwo Jima. Note the early muzzle flash hider and early gas cylinder for the M1918 version and not the M1918A2. This all wood example was acquired from the Ellis Props and Graphics liquidation auction. Ellis was the oldest and the largest Prop House in California until its liquidation auctions in late 1999 and early 2000.

This would have been a "background" used prop gun and not a close up camera versions. Dozens of background M1918 props were used in the making of Sands of Iwo Jima and beyond this example appearing on a master list, we have no way to identify it being used in the film. We did not remove the action cover as we didn't want to damage it as it has not been unbuttoned in many years, but the gun does appear to be complete underneath. The cover is partially torn on the top.

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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