Harrison Ford's Star Wars gun blasts record as it sells for over $1 million

By Vicki Newman
han solo split

A blaster gun used by Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy has made its way into the record books as the most expensive prop gun sold at auction.

The BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster, made for Harrison Ford’s character, was picked up at auction for a whopping $1,057,500 (£904,342).

Sold at Rock Island Auctions, in Illinois, USA, the gun was the only survivor of the three original props made for A New Hope in 1976.

It’s one of the three “hero props” – meaning it was a high-detail master version used for close-up shots and publicity images - made by London props house Bapty. 

The basic components of the gun were chosen by Star Wars set director Roger Christian and were assembled by armourer Carl Schmidt.

The weapon was put together from a World-War-I-era Mauser C-96 "Broomhandle" pistol (that had been previously adapted to fire blanks), the flash-hider from a World-War-II-era MG81 machine gun, and an early twentieth-century rifle scope made by Hensoldt-Wetzlar.

han solo with blaster gun

It was based on the German-made Mauser C96, which was one of the first and most recognisable semi-automatic handguns ever made.

Various bits of “greebling” - or surface detail – were added to the functional model, including parts from a model aircraft motor as a way of making it look more futuristic.

Since the gun and its parts were only rented from Bapty for the movies, it was returned when filming completed, where it was stripped of its greeblies and disassembled.

It was only in 2010 when the new owner of Bapty, Terry Watts, asked armourer Carl to dig through the archives and put it back together.

It was originally hoped the gun would fetch $500,000 (£410,000) when it went to auction, but one fan was so keen to get their hands on it they paid more than double that amount.

When the item was brought out to auction, it quickly surpassed the estimated amount it would pull in, and surpassed a blaster prop used in Return of the Jedi that fetched  $550,000 (£448,734).

han solo and chewbacca

The Star Wars franchise has earned many Guinness World Records titles over the years, and many have been inspired by it.

Fans can flex their memory skills with most Star Wars characters identified in one minute or can gather enough stuff to have the largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

Star Wars is also the most spoofed film series and the most valuable movie franchise.

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