This is definately one of the most highly sought after collectables from the movie. There are two kinds available: replicas which sell for about $150- $200 at SciFi trade shows and Conventions, and the actual REAL thing (like the one pictured above from Mr. Azarian's collection) which can actually FIRE and fetch a nice price!
In regards to the Gun: John Azarian writes: This gun is an "original black prop flame pistol used both in the Oscar winning film and later in the television series 1977-1978 (CBS). The gun is constructed of aluminum, brass, and phenolic, and has a self-contained acetylene torch. The gun has a spring loaded trigger on the handle.
"Only 16 working flame pistols were made in 1975 at a cost to MGM of $24,000 ($1,500 each). They were later modified to make them sturdier for the television series because it was too costly to build new flame pistols. Total original cost, plus modification cost, are estimated to be $2,300 per pistol. They were, and still might be, some of the most unique, functional, special effects props ever created. Built at MGM studios, under the design and direction of Fred Cramer, the bottom of the handle is etched "MGM 8094".
"These weapons were used by the Sandmen who tracked down runners in a world where people were not allowed to live past the ripe old age of 30." Thanks, John, for the great information!!
Mark Worley, a Gun replica maker, describes the gun this way:
"The gun works by mixing a chemical with water to create a gas that is shot out the front end of the gun and ignited. The 3" back chamber of the gun with the knob on it is the "gas' mixing chamber. This knob has an O-ring on it to create a tight seal so the expanding gas doesn't escape, so pressure can build up to create a strong burst of flameable gas. Once you inject water into the chemicals in the back chamber of the gun, you tighten down that knob as soon as you can to keep the gas from escaping - you obviously can't twist or adjust this knob after it's been "gassed up", or you would release all the gas! "
Thanks, Mark, for some more insight into this great prop!!
A rare look inside the famous blaster! Note the battery hidden by the gun's grips! Awesome design Fred Cramer (Logan's Run's special effects master who came up with this ingenious design and prop)!!
As an additional side note to the collectors out there, please be aware that there are two different types of original 'working' Flameguns available: 1) Originals that have been modified for the TV series, such as Mr. Azarian's gun, as shown above and 2) Unmodified originals that were only used in the Movie as seen in the pictures below from the P. Jones collection.
O.k. Now it's time to take a look at an actual Working Sandman Blaster from our friend, DavidT. Check out the awesome pictures of Dave firing his custom made Sandman Blaster at our Fans Page !! Too cool!!
Also, be sure to check out Richard Coyle's Working Sandman (D.S.) Gun webpage where the mechanics and the 'chemistry' of the gun are spelled out in even greater detail. Once there, click on his Back Issues button, then Issue #4. Very informative with some cool pix! (D.S. = Deep Sleep for those not familiar with the book).
To check out an Original Flamer Blueprint, click here ! This print was drawn by K. Harris.
Special thanks to Mr. Azarian and P. Jones for the use of their pictures on our site.
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