RotJ DL-44 Bunker Blaster (Deleted Scene) Discussion

Vanitas

Sr Member
So I know that this thread had seen a few minor threads and occasional discussion of this rather bizarre blaster in the past before, but I personally feel that more discussion ought to be aimed at teasing out exactly what this DL-44 really is.

(The only video of the blaster in question)

My understanding is that this deleted scene was filmed in the UK, as primarily evidenced by the presence of the ANH hero scope mount and Hensoldt scope. Both of these objects rather conclusively shows that the blaster used by Ford came from Bapty, thus fueling the old idea that this prop was the Hero C96 in a 'reassembled' state.

Many people attributed this scene as the last known appearance of the Hero DL-44.

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Based on what I believe, I no longer find this to be correct.

While the C96 appears to both have an apparent bull barrel and be made from a live-fire Mauser, the presence of a lanyard ring in the grip frame's mounting stud seems to indicate that this is NOT the same C96 as used in the Hero. From what I know original Mauser lanyard rings are both quite rare and also a MAJOR pain in the hindquarters to remove.

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(A still from the footage that shows the lanyard ring clearly)

The flash hider is also something of an enigma, as it is another piece that remains unidentified to this day. We get very few clear images of it.

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In some images the flash hider almost looks like the MG-81 flash hider used on the Hero prop mounted backwards, although the above image shows clearly enough that it is not. But other images seem to show that the flash hider had rows of holes going down it in a similar approximation of the MG-81 flash hider.

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While some might not simply care, (understandably) find the design so grotesquely monstrous as to actively hate it, or even just deem the particular prop as non-canon and wash their hands of it entirely, to me the fact that this prop was legitimately created by Bapty for Star Wars, held in Harrison Ford's hands, and even had footage of it shot by him using it makes me feel that this particular prop simply deserves a bit more study and/or replication of it than 'other' certain blaster props...

Yes I'm looking at YOU, RIA blaster.

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To the best of my knowledge, only a few people on here have really tried to replicate this prop before; which I can't say I blame them for due to its unflattering design and lack of clear reference. But based on what we now know of Bapty, I think that we can reasonably enough classify this prop by starting with a few concrete foundations:

1. It was fashioned from a live-fire C96 (modified to only accept blanks, of course)
2. It was created/supplied by Bapty
3. It was NOT the same C96 as the Hero prop (3D overlays comparing the mounting lug points would likely confirm this)
4. It had a threaded bull barrel extension in a similar manner to the Hero prop's/the C96 used in the Naked Runner
5. It has a yet-to-be identified flash hider
 
Vanitas would you mind if I quoted some of your words to flesh out the information in this thread?
 
Vanitas would you mind if I quoted some of your words to flesh out the information in this thread?

Of course I wouldn't mind, I just felt it appropriate that a singular, cohesive thread about this seldom-discussed DL-44 should be created to compile all its known information and possibly inspire some discussion.
 
Of course I wouldn't mind, I just felt it appropriate that a singular, cohesive thread about this seldom-discussed DL-44 should be created to compile all its known information and possibly inspire some discussion.
I absolutely agree that this prop should have its own discussion thread, and believe you’re best suited to guide said thread. I’ll be reading along, and will chyme in if I have any relevant thoughts to add. Thanks
 
This prop seems to me to be the best approximation that Bapty could come up with that would shoot blanks, for keying spfx. We see that the MGC based hero prop is used in the control room shot that comes directly after the “hallway massacre”, due to Han not firing in that scene.

It remains in my mind a very odd choice to dress the firearm with the ANH scope, bracket, and longer section of the bull barrel. If we can speculate as to the reasons for those odd choices, other than my fore mentioned “best approximation”, we might be closer to cracking this enigma.
I just can’t imagine…
 
This prop seems to me to be the best approximation that Bapty could come up with that would shoot blanks, for keying spfx. We see that the MGC based hero prop is used in the control room shot that comes directly after the “hallway massacre”, due to Han not firing in that scene.

It remains in my mind a very odd choice to dress the firearm with the ANH scope, bracket, and longer section of the bull barrel. If we can speculate as to the reasons for those odd choices, other than my fore mentioned “best approximation”, we might be closer to cracking this enigma.
I just can’t imagine…

My best guess is that the original flash hider was no longer available (perhaps it was already being used in another Bapty rented movie/show, perhaps it had been lost/destroyed), and the original crossbar was likely long gone by that point too. Thus Bapty would have had a bull-barreled C96 (not the original), the original scope and the original scope mount, but no other pieces to tie everything together.

So from there Bapty likely rigged up the ANH scope mount on one of the RotJ brackets, but felt that the end result looked awkward with the scope oriented correctly (flipped around it would both be VERY high up and the rear bell would stick quite far back; enough to even touch the user's forearm). From there the gun in turn looked too stubby, so a threaded barrel extension was added along with whatever scope mount they had on-hand/created to balance out the gestalt.

That is just my own idea on how the design process might have gone, anyways.

EDIT: a quick idea of how it would look if the scope was flipped. You can see how ridiculous it would look, sticking so far back.

flipped scope.jpeg
 
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I follow your train of thought Vanitas, but I can’t reconcile the choice to use the Hensoldt scope, it’s just so wildly off likeness to the hero.
If we start with the bull barreled Mauser, I get that, it was possibly the only live firing Mauser they had, but to add the Hensoldt scope other than a better approximation seems to paint Bapty as very limited in options. Maybe they were that limited, and I’m over thinking, maybe the ESB live firing Mausers were unavailable.
 
It's certainly a strange choice no matter what, but clearly it was used for a reason... The only thing is, determining that reason is tricky. My best guess is that it lied somewhere inbetween just having the originals still left and not having any other mounting hardware they could make fit on the RotJ-style bracket (below).

HAN-ROTJ-Scope-Mount-3-2.jpg


The threaded barrel extensions were something Bapty always had too, though without better references for the flash hider it's impossible to say why they might have used it.
 
Nothing really to add except that I once made the mistake of removing an original C96 lanyard ring. Perhaps because the metal is so old, but once unsprung by the removal process, it will never tightly go back into shape. So yeah, no reason to try to add one back onto the original Star Wars' lower. I'd concur that it's a different lower.
 
It's certainly a strange choice no matter what, but clearly it was used for a reason... The only thing is, determining that reason is tricky. My best guess is that it lied somewhere inbetween just having the originals still left and not having any other mounting hardware they could make fit on the RotJ-style bracket (below).

View attachment 1755006

The threaded barrel extensions were something Bapty always had too, though without better references for the flash hider it's impossible to say why they might have used it.
The ROTJ scope bracket is also weird design wise, it really seems to be purpose built to accommodate some specific element that existed previous to its construction.
We know the job it does, namely it seats the weaver scope rings for attaching the faux scope. However, why the dual mounting hole space, and why not the single mount method of ESB’s blasters? Eliminating the rotation problem of the ESB props, or accommodating brazed mounting studs present on the Mauser prior to fabrication? (Not rebuking your theory that this isn’t the ANH, just spitballing)
Perhaps this bracket was made for this prop first, and the design followed on to the hero MGC.
 
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Nothing really to add except that I once made the mistake of removing an original C96 lanyard ring. Perhaps because the metal is so old, but once unsprung by the removal process, it will never tightly go back into shape. So yeah, no reason to try to add one back onto the original Star Wars' lower. I'd concur that it's a different lower.
It's definitely a different lower to the Hero, at the very least. No residual evidence of the mystery disc on the left-hand side magwell.


 
Is it possible that this is the Pawn Stars Mauser? It’s missing it’s lanyard ring now, but accounting for the swapping of scope/bracket between two Mausers story that we all assumed was bs, this could be that very backup from circa ANH. It’s all become so convoluted that I can’t really keep it all in my head, and would have to go read a few hours worth of posts to keep it straight.
 
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I don't see why it couldn't be, although it's a bit hard to say for how little we have to go off of.

At the very least, according to Karl Schmidt, there were 4 Mausers that were "eff'd up for firing" (meaning modified to fire blanks), those being:

1. The Mauser from the Naked Runner (1967)
2. The 2813 Hero Mauser (only the upper confirmed used in Randall and Hopkirk (1969) and the Sweeney episode 'Big Brother' (1975))
3. The RIA/Pawn Stars Mauser
4. The Bunker Mauser (unknown if this might be the same as numbers 1 or 3, or even a different C96 entirely)

blaster case kits.jpg


There is also another bull-barreled C96 used in the Satanic Rites of Dracula. Hard to say which specific Mauser(s) listed above it might be though, as we don't get good enough images of any of it. My money is on the Hero C96 though, as it apparently had the same case in R&H.
 
I’m leaning towards this prop being the RIA/Pawn Stars Mauser.
1. The Mauser is from Bapty & Co.
2. It follows that it would have had brazed lugs to match the hero
3. It’s possible the ROTJ bracket was made to fit the already present lugs
4. It‘s also possible that the ROTJ hero adopted the new bracket to, oddly enough, match this weird blaster.

That is a strange train of thought, but please poke holes in it.
 
Something strange just occurred to me, I was sure I’d seen Han’s blaster with a lanyard ring before…
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Look at the oddity of the blaster closely, the scope is quite different from the faux hero scope.
Artistic license, or drawn from an image of this blaster?

5CDFE180-0153-4DEC-9B16-C71A460FE24D.jpeg
 
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Something strange just occurred to me, I was sure I’d seen Han’s blaster with a lanyard ring before…
View attachment 1755055
Look at the oddity of the blaster closely, the scope is quite different from the faux hero scope.
Artistic license, or drawn from an image of this blaster?

It is drawn from the Bunker Blaster, hence the lanyard. Certainly not any of his other RotJ blasters.

062dc596e1b9648a9ef9fff8d8ebd759s.jpeg
 
It was a rhetorical question. I was leading the reader to that very same epiphany. ;)
 

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