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Film, TV & Video Game Replica Guns

How do I get an Airsoft Gun as a member of a TV or film production team?

Proof that you work for a film or production company is required before you may acquire a non-two-tone firearm from our store. At a minimum, we need the following information to meet the requirement:

  • Proof of the production companies insurance documents, clearly showing the business activities.
  • An address that is associated with your production company is required to receive the item.

The use of airsoft guns in film production

Today, airsoft guns are frequently used in television and film. Due to their low cost and the fact that they don’t require a firearms instructor to attend the set, this is the case. In the following paragraphs, we’ll explain airsoft and the UK law on airsoft firearms for film and television. Please contact us if you have any queries about the following information. Below are some pointers on how to get the most out of airsoft guns in the production of television and film – you’ll see not only how to make your guns look realistic in real life, but also how to use after effects to produce a striking firing effect.

Legal & Safe: Airsoft Replicas for Movie & TV Guns

For film, television, and other productions, airsoft replicas are legal and safe. Due to the fact that most airsoft replicas can be mistaken for the real thing, they must be sold and used with caution. There are both legal and self-imposed regulations in place to guarantee that airsoft replicas are sold and used in a responsible manner. Although there are many different schools of thought on how to interpret things, the underlying ideas remain the same.

Props or replicas purchased for film, television, or theatrical productions must be accompanied by the company’s details and a copy of its liability insurance, so that the store may be certain that they are being purchased for a genuine purpose.

Externally, Airsoft reproductions can be difficult to tell apart from actual firearms. It is therefore necessary to use caution when transporting. An airsoft replica must not be visible or unsecured in a vehicle’s trunk, nor should it be kept in a locked container. The magazine should be removed and disconnected from the power supply when it is being transported in a gun bag or case.

Unless you have a compelling need to carry it, you should not do so. Taking it to or from a film shoot, bringing it to a play where it will serve as a prop, etc. To keep it safe from curious onlookers and curious youngsters, replicas should be kept out of sight and out of reach at all times when they are not being used for transportation. Replicas should always have their magazines taken from them, and the power source disconnected, at all times.

Keep the guns out of sight and secure on set so that onlookers will not suspect a real gun is being used. Closed sets make it easier to keep your crew and yourself safe, compared to open public sets. Local authorities must be made aware of your plans, and you must secure the necessary licences.

In the perspective of the law, airsoft reproductions were considered toys until quite recently (2006/2007). This list is by no means complete. You shouldn’t get into any difficulty if you follow the advice presented above, which is mostly basic sense. The VCRA OF 2006 and its following 2007 modifications are the relevant legislation, however, if you seek more extensive information.

The Use of Airsoft Guns in Movies and TV

Anything you can accomplish with a blank-firing weapon, you can do with an Airsoft version in a more safer method, and without the need for a professional Armourer or costly guns insurance plans. While knowing your way around your Airsoft prop weapons and practising proper firearms safety when handling them is beneficial, making a mistake will never result in death.

The desire for genuine, lifelike weapons has always existed in the film and theatre industries. Consider how unsatisfactory classics like The Godfather would have been if they had been made with toy guns. Consider the fight scene in Les Misérables without the realistic gunshots reverberating throughout the auditorium. Investing in genuine weapons for your film or stage performance can keep the audience engaged and enthralled from beginning to end. A phoney gun, more than anything else, shatters the illusion of realism.

It was normal practise until recently to use actual guns loaded with blanks. Due to the dangers of using blanks, it is now frequently recommended to utilise airsoft weapons.

When live ammo got trapped in the barrel of the gun instead of blanks, accidents like the on-set shooting of Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) occurred.

Following the sad incident on the Rust set involving Alec Baldwin, extra safeguards have already been implemented on numerous film and television sets, including in some cases a ban on live ammunition. This has led to the use of Airsoft guns on set, such as on ABC’s The Rookie, which replaced all of its real weaponry with Airsoft GBB pistols the day after the shooting. In a note dated October 22, creator Alexi Hawley wrote, “As of today, it is Rookie’s policy that all shots on the set will be done with an Airsoft gun with a CG muzzle flash added to the post.” “In the exhibition, there are no longer ‘live’ firearms.” The actors and crew’s safety is extremely crucial. Any risk is too dangerous.”

Actors may or may not think it’s worth their effort to learn how to correctly handle a firearm or replica, and may not treat live, lethal weapons with the respect they deserve because they’re used to handling “prop” weaponry. You can avoid upsetting the talent, save money on insurance, and save employing an Armourer by using Airsoft firearms instead of live weapons, all while keeping everyone on set safe!

Why should you choose Airsoft replicas over deactivated or blank-firing weapons?

Blank-firing weapons can make excellent props due to their realistic function, noise, and shell ejection, but they do have certain limitations. Most UK-spec blank-firing pistols don’t have a hole in the barrel because the hot gases from firing are released through apertures drilled into the solid barrel’s top. This can pose problems in editing because the flash and heat mirage from the barrel ports will be quite obvious on film, revealing that the scene was shot with a blank-firing weapon.

Blank-firing weapons in realistic colours are difficult to come by, and must typically be ordered directly from the maker or imported from another country. This is owing to UK imitation firearms restrictions in the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, which stipulate that at least 51% of the replica must be realistically coloured. Even though UK spec Blank shooting guns are among the safest on the market, they can still cause injury, necessitating the use of hearing protection and specific insurance.

De-activated firearms are another choice for filmmaking, and because they were formerly actual firearms, one would believe they are the finest prop to employ. The UK’s weapons legislation complicates this one further, as current requirements for de-activated firearms in the UK require the action to be rendered entirely unusable, preventing shots of the weapon being loaded, cycled, or disassembled.

Deactivated firearms can be useful in some situations, and if the action does not need to be cycled at any point, they can be a convincing prop. De-activated rifles are unfortunately highly expensive due to their uncommon and ancient nature, while more modern weapons for use in a film or television series set in present times are just not available.

Advice on how to use airsoft guns in your movie or TV production

When working with lifelike weaponry on stage or in film, safety must always come first. Crew members with in-depth understanding of the weaponry must always be present, and all cast members must have thorough training.Even with the safest designs, accidents can happen.

There are numerous airsoft retailers including here at Defcon Airsoft who can assist you if you are looking for superb airsoft guns at a reasonable price. They sell gun replicas that can be used in any film or theatre production. They provide both standard and bespoke items, as well as custom builds, so if you’re searching for a specific design for your production, have a look at what’s on offer.

The filming will run smoothly and safely if you choose and use your airsoft gun with care. If you’ve never used or assisted with the use of an airsoft gun before, make sure you’re familiar with all of the recommended standards for handling and preparing the weapon well before the shoot. You’re ready to film a scene with one of the most lifelike gun replicas on the market once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions.

Types of Airsoft Replicas for Filming


Pistols and Rifles with Gas Blowbacks

The most realistic Airsoft guns available today are Gas Blowback Pistols and Rifles. These replicas are built to an exact 1:1 scale and include features like moving slides and bolt carriers, as well as the ability to lock the slide/bolt back when the magazine is empty. A Gas blowback replica is the finest item for any scene where a gun needs to be cocked, producing the audible metal on metal “click-clack” that the audience expects! Nothing else comes close to simulating an empty handgun in the same way, with an open and empty chamber and a locked slide to emphasise that the pistol is empty, for those dramatic “gun runs dry” moments.

When shot, Gas Blowback guns produce a dramatic cloud of vapour at the muzzle and chamber, replicating the hot gases ejected by a genuine firearm while staying cool to the touch and completely safe. These Airsoft reproductions are ideal for close-up shots, especially those involving cocking, loading, or disassembling the weapon, and their blowback mechanism is also useful for mimicking recoil. The realism of these replicas is unparalleled, to the point where they are regarded as the closest thing to a real firearm among the tactical training community in the United States, and they are frequently used instead of real rifles for training scenarios where using live firearms poses a significant safety risk.

Bolt Action Rifles picture of Shell Ejecting Airsoft Rifles

For a filmmaker, airsoft bolt action shell ejecting rifles give a fantastic opportunity. They’re 1:1 scale, composed of metal and wood, and seem convincingly real on film, just like GBB pistols and weapons. They are frequently inexpensive and give genuine action noises, which are especially handy for portraying a shooter frantically manipulating the bolt to get the next shot off. These reproductions can be dismantled in the same way that a real rifle can, and they’re fed by metallic shells that can be inserted one at a time for added effect, or five at a time using a stripper clip. When the bolt is pulled back, the shell is removed and expelled, just like a real rifle, and sent flying out of the chamber with a satisfying and immersive metallic sound. These guns are frequently reproductions of historic rifles, though they are not limited to a certain historical period. In the real world, these rifles often spend long lives after military duty in the hands of civilians, criminal gangs, and terrorist groups. These rifles don’t have to be fired to work the action, which increases set safety and allows for several takes without wasting propellant.

Shotguns with double barrels and pump action

These Shotguns use authentic-looking, self-contained rounds that are realistically expelled when spent, similar to bolt action shell ejecting rifles. They’re made of authentic materials and produce an audible metal-on-metal “click-clack” when pumped, delivering valuable audio and eliminating the need for post-production noise editing. They can be dismantled and loaded in the same way as genuine shotguns, providing the opportunity to load up shots that are indistinguishable from those filmed with a real firearm. These shotguns come in a variety of configurations, allowing them to be employed in practically any environment from the mid- to late-twentieth century.


Nothing quite like cocking the hammer of a revolver and seeing the cylinder rotate menacingly to align the next cartridge with the barrel to suggest a serious danger like cocking the hammer of a revolver. Airsoft revolvers offer realistic functioning, with swing-out cylinders or burst open designs, and metallic shells with an accurate brass finish, just like the real thing. CO2 is used to power these revolvers, however it is not required for their use as props because the revolver’s actions are all mechanical and controlled by the trigger and hammer. These revolvers may be loaded from fast loaders, moon clips, or individual shells, allowing for immersive reloading scenarios as well as the traditional slow and precise loading method, which builds suspense as the player mentally prepares for their next battle. From a battle-worn WW1 Officers Webley to a high chrome finished Mafioso revolver hidden in a desk drawer just in case, its solid metal construction and profusion of coatings available give a broad variety of usage on Film. The availability of revolvers from various times of history makes them exceptionally handy for a filmmaker, with revolvers ranging from the American Civil War era through the time of Dirty Harry, with modern designs like the Chiappa Rhino creating an ideal weapon for the dystopian antagonist.

Launchers for Grenades

Airsoft grenade launchers are another widely available alternative to actual and deactivated grenade launchers, with the appearance and functionality of a real grenade launcher. Airsoft grenade launchers, like actual grenade launchers, use self-contained shells, and dummy shells can be used in an Airsoft launcher with ease to add authenticity to loading and unloading sequences. No projectile is required to produce the jarringly loud “BOOM” and a massive cloud of gas ejected from the muzzle when fired with an Airsoft shell, accurately imitating the muzzle blast from a real grenade launcher. The noise of firing is actually extremely similar between Airsoft and real launchers, with the only difference being a tiny increase in volume, which may easily be reproduced in post-production. Airsoft grenade launchers come in a range of shapes and sizes, ranging from underslung launchers that attach to Assault rifles to historical Vietnam War era launchers to more Police/SWAT-oriented stand-alone and six-shot revolver launchers.

Non-firing Airsoft Props


Electric Airsoft Assault Rifle (AEG)

This style of Airsoft rifle is the most popular in the sport, and it has previously been utilised in film and television as both shooting and non-firing props. Some of you may have caught a glimpse of a brass inner barrel or a high-cap magazine winding wheel in a multi-million pound TV show. Fortunately, these tell-tale indicators are not visible because to the realistic look of AEGs and their right proportions, and the more skilled production teams will take pains to cover these areas, whether through clever camera work or editing. The majority of the time when an AEG appears in a film or television show, the audience, even Airsofters, is completely unaware!

Externally, Airsoft AEG rifles are exceptionally close copies of Assault Rifles, Machine Guns, and Submachine Guns from the current to WW2 era. These replicas are frequently built of metals and have realistic weight, balance, and feel, allowing the non-firing prop to appear to be a real rifle on screen. AEGs contain functioning controls like fire mode selectors and charging handles, as well as replaceable magazines, which aid in realism and enable for “gearing up” sequences without the use of more complex, dangerous, and delicate firing props or Gas Blowback Airsoft weapons. These imitation firearms can even be utilised in place of a firing prop with the right orientation and special effects. AEGs can be fired without ammunition in a safe manner, offering aural and visual cues to which after-effects can be tied.

Shotgun with a Gas/Spring Pump Action

Spring and gas shotguns are a less expensive alternative to their shell-ejecting siblings, especially when supplying props for a large number of extras. These shotguns pump like the real thing, have realistic proportions, and, because they’re constructed of metal, can produce the audible “click-clack” sound that moviegoers recognise as a shotgun’s angry sound. These shotguns are very affordable, and they come in a variety of configurations to fit almost any situation, from aggressively styled modern shotguns with door breaching chokes to equip a SWAT team to the classic wooden stocked shotgun you might find in the hands of a redneck rancher who wants you off his land.

Rifle with a Spring Bolt Action

To complete the tactical aspect, the Spring Bolt Action rifle usually takes the shape of a Sniper rifle and can be equipped with huge scopes and bipods. These rifles have a similar movement to a real rifle, but they require more force to cock, and they’re better suited to situations that involve taking the shot rather than manipulating the action, which is where the shell-ejecting bolt action rifle thrives. Because of their precise proportions and metal and high-density polymer construction, these guns may readily stand in for a blank firing weapon in rooftop Sniper/Assasin situations. Spring bolt action rifles come in a variety of styles, some of which lean toward the Law Enforcement/SWAT aesthetic, while others resemble a Military Sniper rifle. Many historical WW2 rifles are available in spring bolt action type, and these rifles are built with special care to the finish and fine details, making them the most genuine and safe WW2 vintage props.


We can supply theatre groups, television and film productions throughout the United Kingdom.
Our Armourer can advise on appropriate armament and historical authenticity, and we offer a sourcing service for any hard to obtain goods.