Rust shooting…

First and foremost, I AM NOT AN ARMORER OR A WEAPONS MASTER. I am an NRA instructor, and 60 year shooter of multiple weapons. I have been an extra (no gun) in exactly ONE movie in my life. So take this post for what it is worth…

I did reach out to some folks that I know in the business and got the following information or references from them.

The stories are still changing hour by hour, minute by minute…

What is ‘known’ at this time is the following. Alec Baldwin discharged a pistol which killed Halyna Hutchins and wounded Joel Souza. So at least two of the four rules were violated. Why/how? The why we may never know, the how is pretty apparent…

The movies/TV/plays, etc. treat weapons differently than most shooters do, in the ‘interest’ of ‘accuracy’ (and I use THAT term loosely)… And actors (with a few notable exceptions), wouldn’t have any idea how to check an weapon to see if it was loaded, much less with what…

These are ‘their’ rules for sets…


1. Refrain from pointing a firearm at anyone, including yourself. If it is absolutely necessary to do so on camera, consult the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) or other safety representative, such as the First A.D./Stage Manager. Remember that any object at which you point a firearm could be destroyed. 

2. NEVER place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. Keep your finger alongside the firearm and off the trigger. 

3. KNOW where and what your intended target is. 

4. DO NOT engage in horseplay with any firearms. 

5. NEVER discharge a firearm when the barrel is clogged. The Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production) should inspect the firearm and barrel before and after every firing sequence. 

6. UTILIZE all safety devices until the firearm is ready to be used. 

7. NEVER lay down a firearm or leave it unattended. Unless actively filming or rehearsing, all firearms should be safely secured. 

8. ONLY a qualified person shall perform hand loading or altering factory loaded blank ammunition to work on firearms (either licensed or experienced). Check with local, state and federal regulations to see if a specific license is required. 

9. NO PERSON is to be coaxed, coerced, or otherwise forced into handling a firearm. 

10. The jamming of firearms or any malfunctions must be reported immediately to the Property Master (or, in his/her absence, the weapons handler and/or other appropriate personnel determined by the locality or the needs of the production). Do not attempt to adjust, modify, repair, or un-jam the firearm. Malfunctioning firearms should be taken out of service until properly repaired by a person qualified to work on firearms. 

11. Protective shields, eye, and hearing protection or other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shall be issued and utilized by all personnel in close proximity and/or directly in the line of fire. 

There are also ‘statements’ out there that because they were filming in New Mexico, none of the normal rules apply. Not true. UNION rules apply regardless of which location shooting is taking place. HERE is a link to the safety bulletins recommended by Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee for the Motion Picture and Television Industry. The first two safety bulletins apply to this discussion- 1. Recommendations for Safety with Firearms and use of “Blank Ammunition”. 2. Special Use of Live Ammunition. They are both pdf, so you can download them at your leisure. Of note, there is not, to my knowledge any request for live ammunition on this set.

So going from there, the following observations/links are my look into what is supposed to happen, or not happen…

First of all, there are various ‘definitions’ being thrown around about a ‘prop gun’ and how they are supposed to be safe. There are different types of prop guns used in movies.

‘Rubber guns’- These look like a real gun, but are usually made out of some type of composite or plastic. These are truly non operational, and can be dropped, thrown, or used to hit someone with.

‘Toy guns’- These are usually airsoft type copies of weapons that look and move realistically (e.g. the slide cycles, etc.)

‘Demilled or non-firing guns’- These are actual weapons that have been rendered safe by various means (filled barrel, removal of firing pin, etc.)

‘Functional gun’- This is a working weapon, capable of firing blanks (known as 5 in 1s) or actual rounds.

According to reports, this was a functional gun period correct for the 1860s-70s. That would mean it was some type of single action (hammer must be cocked to fire) pistol.

I want to digress slightly here and talk about 5 in 1s…

These are blanks designed to be used in five different caliber weapons (primarily cowboy/western calibers). Originally developed by Stembridge, according to some old gun folks. More info HERE.  There are four ‘loads’ used in blanks as follows-

1/4 charge, normally used for inside scenes

1/2 charge, normally used for close ups, also around skittish animals

3/4 charge, normally used for outdoor scenes with animals

Full charge, normally used for outdoor action scenes

When Stembridge went out of business, a number of companies stepped into the ‘breach’ so to speak. One of those is Mike Tristano and Co.

The next part of the equation is the armorer or weapons master. HERE is a 2019 article from Dave Brown, a long time armorer and weapons master.

Another HERE from SL Huang, one of the female armorers out there.

Armorers or weapons masters are responsible for storing them on set. Guns are not supposed to leave their hands until cameras are rolling; actors hand them back as soon as “cut” or “wrap” is called and the cameras stop. This means someone else, e.g. AD in this case, should not have been handling the weapon or been the one to hand it to Baldwin. In most cases, if not all, armorers and weapons masters also ensure that there are NO live rounds anywhere on the set. This is one of the biggest questions that most of us have…

Per the safety rules from SAG and other organizations, gun training either at a range, or on location is a requirement for safe gun handling by the actors. Most, if not ALL of the various unions have safety requirements and reporting chains embedded in their contracts for any work on sets. Note- Most actors are anti-gun, unless they are using them to make money in a movie, so their knowledge of weapons is questionable at best (See Dance Monkey).

Rule of thumb is 20 feet for any blank cartridge, but a production safety coordinator, working with the armorer, will begin planning long before production begins. The armorer is brought on board early to analyze the script and, working with the director and prop master, decide what weapons are needed, graphing out scenes for safety zones, distances, and other requirements including blocking for actors and observers. In today’s world, remote cameras are used, often with a protective screen, if the gun is required to be pointed directly at it.

Good camera operators and cinematographers can ‘skew’ angles enough to make it look like the actors are firing ‘at’ each other, or appear closer than they actually are to stay within safety rules.

I was pointed to this twitter thread from SL Huang, which is worth the read…

Most of the backchannel chat revolves around the ‘issues’ on the set with safety, non-union personnel being used, and why/how live ammo was allowed on set in violation of safety rules. It appears there was NO application for live ammo on this shoot.

There are also questions about the NDs that occurred causing some camera operators to walk off the set on Friday. There are apparently a number of other issues around the production, but I’m not going into them. I’m ‘trying’ to stay strictly on the shooting.

Lastly, as usual, the antis are dancing in the blood before the bodies have cooled, wanting to ban ALL guns of any type from sets everywhere. “They can fix it in post with CGI.”

CGI/VFX is not cheap, even if one is just adding ‘smoke’ to the barrel, much less flash from the barrel will cost somewhere between $2000-5000 per minute, examples HERE. Most actors cannot accurately simulate recoil, so anyone with any experience is going to notice it and be thrown out of the action, unless that is added to the CGI/VFX (see cost above).

So, what is my bottom line? There were multiple violations of safety rules, apparently by multiple people. Were they ‘by direction’? I don’t know. The sad part is the confluence of those violations ended with a live round, which should never have been there in the first place, being loaded (or never unloaded if one report about the gun being used for shooting off set is to be believed), no ‘chain of custody’ from the armorer to the actor (why/how the AD got the weapon, who else had handled it in the interim from the armorer or was the armorer even on set), and no safety checks.

One person is dead, another wounded, and now ALL of those people in that failed chain of custody will have to deal with blood on their hands. The unknown (for now), are charges and lawsuits that are sure to come, and whom and how many will be banned from working again, and who/how many will suffer severe PTSD or commit suicide as a result of this.



Rust shooting… — 41 Comments

  1. I have no doubt there is plenty of blame to go around….the Armorer screwed up royally, the AD handing a hot weapon that he described as cold but the biggest blame belongs squarely on the head of Alec Baldwin who violated multiple firearms safety rules. And whether or not he knew those rules is irrelevant. Just as his intentions at the time he pulled the trigger are irrelevant. He made THREE distinct movements that ended up in a death. And I have little doubt that New Mexico law has a statute for Involuntary Manslaughter and such statutes do NOT take “intent” into account, only ACTIONS. As such the DA there MUST arrest, charge and try Mr. Baldwin under those statutes and under any others that he violated. As for the Armorer and the AD…..if they broke laws they too need to face trial. Anything less is a massive miscarriage of justice and further proof that rule of law is dead in America.

    After the legal proceedings are ended then PERHAPS the actual policies and rules regarding firearms on sets can be addressed.

    In reality NO set can be 100% safe if ANY of the weapons being used are capable of firing live ammo. The obvious solution is to use realistic looking weapons that can function like a real gun but CANNOT FIRE ANYTHING through the barrel.

    This isn’t the first “tragic death” from piss poor firearm handling on a set. But it SHOULD be the last.

    • Alec Baldwin is a Democrat in good standing. New Mexico is a Democrat State.

      Laws are for peons and suckers.

  2. Sometimes unions are a good thing.
    In this particular case, it’s too bad that the money people (including most especially Alec Baldwin himself) decided to work outside the unions and their pesky rules and expenses.

    • X2

      Sometimes “cheap” is very very expensive.

      At least Baldwin can answer his question about what it feels like to accidentally shoot somebody.

  3. A sadcase but my opinion is that an investigation should be conducted and charges against all involved in this tragedy should be prosecuted for negligence at the very least and involuntary manslaughter. This includes Alec Baldwin who has handled firearms in previous mvies. He should have know better than to point any weapon at anyone.

    • So I’m guessing you’ve never seen an actual movie in your entire adult life, if you seriously think that’s an unusual act for one, let alone a criminal act…?

      Or would you like to stop acting crazy, come in off of that ledge, and get serious?

      Just hoping to nail that fact down.

      • Aesop, just like your name sake what you have said is nothing more than a fictional fable. Unless filming has begun after safely test firing the weapon then during filming it may be pointed at another actor. My suggestion is do not use real weapons but use those that are fake or those with the firing pins removed. As a boy I was taught by my father to never point a weapon at anyone and to observe strict safety rules when handling any firearm. It is obvious that you do not have the slightest idea of common sense.

        • John:
          1) Real, functional weapons are not allowed on primary sets. This is evidently news to you.
          2) Live ammunition is not allowed on primary sets. This is evidently news to you.
          3) Prop guns are not allowed to be capable of chambering live ammo. This is evidently news to you.
          4) Prop guns are not to be loaded with even blanks during rehearsals. This is evidently news to you.
          5) There are times when weapons inevitably must be aimed at people on sets and movies, as anyone who’s ever seen one would know, making any reliance of the Four Rules fundamentally stupid, inappropriate, and impossible. that’s why Hollywood relies on the 79 Rules. This is evidently news to you, despite OldNFO quoting them at length, verbatim above.
          here they are, in their entirety:

          Ensuring all of the above-noted conditions (and many others) are met, flawlessly (exactly as they have been in Hollywood for 20,000 movies, and 50,000 TV shows, for millions of rounds fired, over the last 28 years) is the sole and entire job of the Armorer on a set, otherwise this duty belongs to the prop master.

          Your father was wise.

          But clearly, you know as much about firearms safety rules on sets as the Armorer who got that woman killed did. (That would be nothing whatsoever, just to be crystal clear.)
          I say that having been an expert with weapons (at least if we’re going to listen to the Army, the Marines, and the NRA) for some 40 years’ time, and worked on motion picture and television productions for a mere 20 years.

          I hesitate to plumb the depths of your obvious ignorance on the topic any further.

          And you didn’t answer the original question.

          • Apparently if there is any ignorance in this case it is on your lack of knowledge on the facts. The pistol in question was used for target practice by the crew prior to the accident. They were using live rounds at the time. The person in charge of the pistol admitted she did not check to see if there were any live rounds still in the pistol. That was gross negligence on her part. This was a violation of the rules of which I an aware. What you have alluded to just shows your own ignorance of proper handling of firearms but also your ignorance of what knowledge someone else may have. Perhaps you should take a course on proper decorum when addressing your superior.

          • There are reports, none authoritative, that target practice was happening as you describe.
            That alone would be gross negligence by the armorer.
            Having a functional live weapon on set would be gross negligence by the armorer.
            Not checking the rounds in the pistol every single time it was handed to or taken from an actor would be gross negligence by the armorer.
            Not knowing that functional weapons capable of chambering live rounds was a violation of protocol and safety regulations would be gross negligence by the armorer.
            Not distinctively and obviously marking live rounds, so as to distinguish them from blanks or dummy rounds, would be gross negligence by the armorer.
            The 2d AD, in violation of even more rules and guidelines, was acting as the double-check person for the armorer. He manifestly failed to notice that live weapons on set, let alone live ammo in them, was gross negligence by the armorer, and by himself.
            he also failed to notice the live ammo, which is gross negligence on his part.
            There were literally dozens of violations of all basic safety rules governing every aspect of prop gun and ammunition safety by the armorer.

            There were exactly none by Baldwin, including pointing his prop at the camera and pulling the trigger, exactly as the script and director wanted and directed him to do in a rehearsal, and in a shocking development, he was neither the armorer, nor the armorer’s designated double-check person, both hired by the production, and the former, entirely and solely responsible for providing all weapons, ammunition, and the security, cleaning, care, loading, and general safety for same, on the entire movie, from Day One until it wrapped, by law, custom, regulation, and basic common sense, going back 50 years and more, and therefore solely and completely responsible for all the violations of safety rules which led directly to the death of the director of photography, and the wounding of the director of the movie.

            Cooper’s Four Rules don’t apply on movie sets, nor are they codified into NM state law (nor any other state’s AFAIK) necessarily, because on productions you routinely have people shooting from both ends of the range, with non-firearms, shooting blanks, and not real weapons launching real bullets, ever.

            That’s why it’s called a movie, and not a combat documentary.

            As this is all news to you as well, I was just wondering how much else you still don’t know about what you’re talking about.
            When you achieve any superiority in knowledge of the subject matter, or anything else, I will so note.

            But I’m not holding my breath, at this point.
            Maybe go call Mr. Sherlock Holmes to help you out.

            Continue at your discretion, please.

  4. There are no “Four Rules” on a set, for one simple reason:
    1) No guns are ever loaded, i.e with live rounds, except in circumstances so rare as to be unicorns. Exactly the opposite of every gun you or I own, or ever will.
    2) Nothing shot at on set is ever something to be destroyed. Destroying anything on set is the antithesis of why they have guns on sets. Rest assured, If I take a #7.5 round of 12 ga. to that water jug or water melon, I want to see it destroyed.
    By the same token, 180° out, if anyone on a movie set ever saw anything destroyed like that, there would be a full epic meltdown from the janitor to the CEO of the studio, and everyone in between, because that sort of thing is the one thing no one on the entire crew ever wants to see happen, and it’s contrary to every purpose for bringing a gun onto a set.
    Simulate that sort of thing? Sure.
    Actually do it? No way in hell.
    3) There are no “targets” on sets. In fact, the entire point for guns on sets, is to hit nothing, and nobody. Otherwise, sets would be a never-ending bloodbath, instead of a place where no one had had been accidentally killed (let alone deliberately killed) in over 28 years, which streak was only ended because one person, the designated subject-matter expert, violated an incredible number of rules, repeatedly, including at least 12 in the incident in question.
    4) Lacking targets, nothing beyond what doesn’t exist matters, nor can exist either. Particularly in a rehearsal where even blanks aren’t to be loaded, the number of things “targeted” or “beyond a target” remains nil, by express intent.

    Your NRA experience and perspective is phenomenal.
    For shooting live rounds at actual targets.

    It is wholly irrelevant to shooting blank rounds at nothing, and even less so to rehearsals with empty guns firing nothing whatsoever anywhere in creation.

    People keep conflating shooting real bullets at real targets, and the acknowledged Rules for that, with an actor (or a hundred of them) who was pointing a gun that was supposed to be empty, at a camera that wasn’t ever intended to be a target.

    The sole and entire problem, on the day, was that some incompetent homicidal idiot left or put a live round someplace it never should have gotten within a country mile of.

    That’s the entire problem, in a nutshell.
    Thus it isn’t hard to answer where the problem lies.

    Firearms in Hollywood productions don’t have Four Rules.
    They have 79 Rules.
    Number of them violated by Alec Baldwin: zero.
    Number of them violated by the armorer: twelve, just in Safety Bulletin #1.
    (Specifically #7, #11, B1, B2, B3, B4, B11, B12, B14, B15, B16, and B18, if you’re keeping score at home.)
    Since a live round was the literal malfunction, let’s look at how many rules were violated from Safety Bulletin #2, had the use of live ammunition ever even been authorized for that production:
    #1, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #17, #18, #19.
    So that’s 29 specific and deliberate violations of the Industry Safety Rules for firearms and live ammunition by the armorer, just based on what we know, now.

    If I was prosecuting this case for the state of New Mexico, when the jury was done, they wouldn’t be giving Armorer Ms. Reed a guilty sentence, and 18 months in prison.

    They’d take her out back of the courthouse to the nearest suitable tree, put a rope around her neck, and string her up.

    And she has it coming.

    So would Baldwin, had he done anything similarly reckless. But alas, such is not the case.

      • You know, me and Aesop have locked horns in the past, but in this case I have to say: F-O David S! Who in bloody hell died and made you king? Are you the owner of this blog?

        So, you disagree with Aesop. Fine. Then argue the points he made! Saying “go away” makes you worse than the Democrats.

        Right now, my only disagreement with Aesop is that until all of the facts come out, we don’t know whether or not “Number of them violated by Alec Baldwin” = zero. I don’t know and neither do you. However, until we DO know, I’m willing to give Alec Baldwin the benefit of the doubt.

        I can’t stand the man, so why would I do this? For the simple reason that if I am ever involved in a tragedy through no fault of my own, I want to be treated the same.

  5. Hello Aesop,
    Rules or not, karma is very powerful.
    And since the story continues to change, it’s still probably best to wait and see.

  6. My understanding is that Alec Baldwin’s father was the coach of a high school rifle team and a Marine. If Alec wasn’t taught the Four Rules as a child, I’ll eat my left shoe.

  7. All- Thanks for the comments, and No Aesop, I’ve never been on a set where guns were used. But I did reach out to folks that have. What I tried to present was a factual list of procedures that are the norm, rather than the exception. And yes, there were multiple violations by the armorer. I am not excusing anybody in the chain of responsibility.

    • Understood, sir.

      On set, it’s a very short chain.

      And her name wasn’t Alec Baldwin.

      My never-ending (it seems) gripe is with people who think (and opine loudly, inversely proportional to their actual knowledge of the subject matter) they know what they’re talking about, yet who keep conflating handling prop guns with no bullets and which kill no one ever (unless one screws up massively) with how you handle real guns with real bullets which are built and designed to kill people, every single time, as if the two were identical subjects.

      And then act shocked that the rules they think are THE RULES turn out not to be any such thing, in a place where the guns are fired from both ends of the range, all the time, with the full intention that everyone laughs about it and goes to lunch immediately afterwards.

      One of these things is not like the other, and that people are both baffled, and so pig-headed about their own bafflement, bespeaks the dearth of instruction in thinking for some de0cades of public education, at a minimum.

      That, or a steady diet of lead paint chips, and the after-effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, are much more widespread than previously imagined.

      I thought even movie-watching was more widespread in the modern era, but evidently, most people just go there to catch some sleep.

  8. Baldwin’s civil liability will be a sight to see. He was show-runner and producer.

    • There is no such thing on a movie as a “show runner”, which is a TV term.

      The closest equivalent in “line producer” which Baldwin reportedly was not.

      He was one producer out of twelve listed on the movie, and thus the title is more honorific than actual, except to be entitled to a piece of the gross, and any awards given.

      The last time he did that, it was on another piece of Low-budget schlock, Crown Vic, abut the LAPD, which was made for $3.6 million nowhere near L.A. (Buffalo, NY, IIRC), and achieved box office returns of $4000 (not a typo). IOW, it lost $3,594,000. And paired with the same director Baldwin shot last Thursday.

      Maybe that’s why he shot him. 🙂

  9. Lots of good information here. I put the 72 hour rule on this, when the first word came out.

    First thought was how many of the Four Rules got broken.
    Second thought was how did a live round of the correct caliber get on set and loaded into that particular weapon.
    Third thought was that I’ll wait for everyone on or near the set, and everyone else on the location, to get deposed first.

    A Very Bad Thing happened. A lot of rules were broken. Someone lost their life. It’ll take time to discover who, how, and why. It’ll take more time to present in a court of law, and then (opinion) hang the culprit after a fair trial.

  10. Not to dismiss the human tragedy, I feel sorry for all in the LEO community and justice system that are dealing with this c……….

  11. That twitter thread was much more informative than most other commentary from people associated with the business.

    And for those who say “Dancing-monkey-boy is too stupid to follow rules,” well, there are lots of actors who do. Besides the obvious ones like Selleck, Eastwood, Reeves, all the ‘cowboy’ actors, you can add to the list people like Will Smith (famous for his “Don’t muzzle me” video,) Tom Hanks (his “News of the World” had some great shooting scenes in it) and scads and hordes of other actors.

    If the industry was as badly run as “Rust” was, there’d be dead people everywhere. But there aren’t. For the most part, actors and production staff of movies, plays, community theater, reenactments and theme parks all have done a wonderful job in giving us a safe and enjoyable experience, be it in the movies, on tv shows, at the local Wild-West park, during various reenactment events and such.

    If an 18yo ‘kid’ can get it right during the heady experience of participating in a reenactment of The Battle of (insert local battle here,) then so can ‘Dancing-Monkey-Boy.’

    What this ‘Rust’ shooting shows, so far, is that Mr. Baldwin (not the Animal Mother Baldwin, nope, who has had some rather pointed statements to say about this whole excrement-show) is the arrogant, abusive ass that he is known to be.

    It will be interesting to see how the judicial system handles this, and then to see how the various trade unions handle this.

    My hope, judging by the way Alec Baldwin has jumped to conclusions over the last 10 or so years of 24/7/365 social media, that he gets the same treatment that he has meted out to so many good people who were involved in self-defense shoots and in doing their jobs as LEOs. Karma… Gonna run over your Dogma.

    • The bit that makes me laugh in a dark, malevolent way is that he had a tweet a while back musing about how ‘I wonder how it feels to kill someone accidentally’.

      And now he knows.

      But no argument with what you said, Beans. 🙂

  12. I want Baldwin in jail.
    He is a nasty, evil man who is rotten from the inside.
    Involuntary manslaughter?
    Like Hillary, the rules for that class do not apply.

  13. GB- That is most probably what he will be charged with. If convicted that makes him a felon. That ‘might’ prevent him from handling any guns on a set.

  14. After years of dealing with safety on construction projects, there were situations where accidents did still happen. Usually, someone made a terrible mistake, even after all safety items were completed. It happened in an instant, all the procedures were examined again, and the accident investigated. Too many times the accident occurred due to the unsafe actions of one individual. The rule of safety being an individual responsibility was ignored.

    That’s what happened with Baldwin. Either he wasn’t properly trained, or failed to verify the weapon he held was in a safe position. Throwing him in jail won’t allow him to pay the huge judgement he’ll be faced with to cover the civil suit he’ll surely lose if tried.

    • First paragraph: spot on.
      Second paragraph: Where you went off the rails and over the cliff.

      It’s already blisteringly obvious who screwed this pooch, because live guns and live rounds don’t belong on a primary set.
      We know who had sole handling responsibility for the weapons.
      We know who brought the live firearm to set on her prop cart, loaded with a live round.

      Unless Baldwin brought the gun and the bullet himself (which no one anywhere alleges or suspects), the author of the crime of gross negligence causing death of another is Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer.

  15. When the random holes in the slices of Swiss cheese line up, this happens.

  16. The “Rust” set was noted for safety violations. A revolver has a lot of exposure. An actor doesn’t have to be a firearms “expert” to do a visual inspection on a revolver. A “cold” firearm means no ammunition of any kind. If a visual of a revolver shows “Brass”, it ain’t “cold”. Something is very wrong. Baldwin, not an unintelligent man, practiced “quick draw” and scored a direct hit on the woman who had been “griefing” him about safety procedures. Curious, No?

    The reports are all vague. We will know all in several decades. Maybe.

    Oh. “Prop” comes from “Property” and doesn’t mean “fake”, although there are, indeed, fake prop guns that are sometimes used in training and “on stage”. The guns used in “Rust” were fully functional firearms that required safe handling. Any firing toward a camera or toward another actor requires extensive safety precautions. The set armorer was a young, “mouse” who was easily “bullied” from her responsibilities.

    • No, a “cold” firearm means no blanks or live rounds.
      It doesn’t mean no dummy rounds.

      This was a rehearsal of Baldwin firing into the camera, with the camera looking barrel-on, including the front of the cylinder.
      Where an armorer would put dummy rounds, for the camera to see.

      Which is what anyone, even an AD who wasn’t supposed to touch the weapon, and an actor, would see, even if they opened the gun, and spun the cylinder on a single action, which nobody but the armorer is authorized nor expected to do. to exactly prevent anyone else from putting live rounds or blanks into a cold gun, or live rounds into a hot blank gun, which is why prop guns are supposed to be incapable of holding a live round to begin with.

      And I’m sure your instructors covered all this in depth and hands-on with each of you at your NRA training classes, amirite?

      If the armorer on Rust was using real guns as props, directly contrary to all weapons rules in the industry since before she was born, it’s pretty obvious why Hollywood hasn’t killed anyone in 28 years, but she managed to accomplish this feat in only 12 days, isn’t it?


  17. Mike-SMO, the problem with your ‘brass check’ is that the revolver in question appears (in the pictures provided that I’ve seen) to be a cap and ball revolver. They don’t use brass cartridges. In order to check if a cap and ball revolver is loaded with blanks versus lead, you’d need to pop the cylinder out and check the front for lead. Depending on how the bullets are patched, you may need a probe in order to be sure. Someone who didn’t know what they were doing (like Alex Baldwin) could mess up the loads by checking.

    Here’s an interview by Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons done a few years ago with Charlie Taylor on this subject:

    You may not listen to Aesop, but how about Gun Jesus?

  18. Apparently the crew were using the guns for plinking while not filming. There aren’t enough “I can’t even” memes on the internet.

    And Andrew “Law of Self-Defense” Branca says Felony Manslaughter.

    • “Involuntary manslaughter”, yes.

      Which was evident in about 0.2 seconds to anyone with 6th grade reading comprehension, and internet access to FindLaw.

      Pity he can’t stop assuming things long enough to correctly ascertain who had responsibility for the actual gross negligence, but he’d rather pander to the peanut gallery than consult anyone with 5 minutes’ more experience with on-set props and production operations than he has himself.

      If I were Alec Baldwin right now (geez, I threw up in my mouth a little at the thought), and put on trial for this incident, Branca is the guy I’d most want to have hired to advise the prosecution. But only because the OJ prosecutors and the Stuttering Lawyer from My Cousin Vinny aren’t available.

  19. Thanks for providing the info. Baldwin is otherwise a …, well, maybe this will help him be a guy who would feel bad for me if I had a tragic ND at the range. A week ago I wouldn’t think he would. I certainly feel bad for him even though this is ultimately his responsibility.

    Increasingly sounds like there was good reason to walk off the set for safety reasons.

  20. I think I’m with everyone else and scorn the appalling Baldwin figure. But how did live rounds get on set in the first place, why were they there? I guess Drang’s right, plinking, and errrrone got careless and now someone’s dead.

    Isn’t her husband something to do with the Clintons?

  21. Well you must have done your homework and researched the rules. If you would notice I said there was negligence committed on the set. You seem to absolve Mr. Baldwin of any responsibility in the death of one person and the wounding of another. When one person costs the life of another regardless of the rules set by the industry, that person can and should be charged witn no less than 2nd degree manslaughter. In this case I will not be surprised if Mr. Baldwin along with the weapons technician and others are charged with manslaughter charges, be it 1st or 2nd degee. Along with those charges most likely there will be other charges including negligence by various individuals. I do not disagree with you points on the safety rules that are supposed to be adhered to but in this case those rules were NOT adhered to and a real revolver and live ammunition was on the set and the revolver was used for target practice by the crew prior to this shooting. We can call it accidentally but I call it sheer stupidity.