Drag Queens… Star Wars Blasters & Their Real Firearms Equivalent

Got to hand it to the various propmasters. They have quite the challenge to create a myriad of future fake firearms to satisfy the yearning and eager audiences. The latest Star Wars is no slouch, with a plethora of new models of hand blasters, carbines, and full-size support weapons equipping no less than hundreds of new characters and classes. Under simple guise, it’s amazing what one can do with the a bit of plastic and some imagination.

Like other movies and series, the future weapons are based on today’s firearms and often, weapons of years past. Han Solo’s blaster being a classic example of a weapons designer looking to the past (C96 Mauser Broomhandle) to inspiration for the future.


Rogue One features a fantastic array of new blasters based on a similar combination of old and new. Jyn’s blaster is an easy one to spot, being based on the luger handgun. Likewise Cassian Andor’s blaster pistol is based on an extremely compact AR-15 with a nubbin attached to the front and a few parts welded on for good measure.

Perhaps more interesting and difficult to tell are the weapons used for the sniper rifle, Death Troopers, and even the classic Stormtrooper. For a full gallery, check out Inverse and put your attention to the test. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Don Ward

    Rather than linking to somebody else’s work, is it really that hard for a TFB writer to do his own article on the subject?

  • Mr Mxyzptlk

    The article that was linked was also wrong about a lot of things and missed a lot of things out. Firstly, they are not actually real guns. They are Airsoft guns that have had a bright light attached at the muzzle to add local lighting and to synchronise with the VFX. The Luger and AR-15 are correct, but the Death troopers are carrying MG34s, not MG42s. I have no idea why they would think that Baze’s shotgun is based on a Saiga, the only vague similarity is that they both have a lever on the side (although it is in a different shape and position). The trigger group actually looks a bit like a Bergmann 1896 one, which was used as a basis for a lot of guns in The Force Awakens.

    They have missed out a lot of guns too, like the M60s that are used as the basis for a couple of different blasters, the Rexim Favor based pistols, the Stormtroopers with the Lewis guns.

  • Cassiua

    Check out the B-Roll footage of the original Star Wars. The ‘blasters’ are firing blanks so they have to be based on real guns.

    • Major Tom

      There’s an entire set of articles on the Internet Movie Firearms Database about what (real!) guns they used as props in the original trilogy.

    • Ryfyle

      In-universe lore wise, blasters seem to shoot a plasma based projectile. Probably why they have magazines.

      • pun&gun

        At least until the Disney takeover, blasters used two types of ammunition. A power pack, which is about what you’d expect, and a blaster gas cartridge (usually Tibanna gas). The latter was more equivalent to a magazine, but typically allowed more shots than our magazines hold while also being smaller.

    • Quarax Toa

      They didn’t use any blank-firing guns; those were just blowback airsoft guns firing.

      • Cymond

        I don’t think airsoft existed in 1977.

      • When he says “Check out the B-Roll footage of the original Star Wars”, what he means is “You can literally see 9mm blank cartridges being ejected from Stormtrooper blasters in several scenes”. Go watch some videos.

    • mikebike

      Blank firing = real guns?

  • imachinegunstuff

    Google the New Nerf Blaster for Casio Andor, it’s a solid AR pistol

  • diana pierce

    One oddity… the vast majority of those in the audience are far leftists in just about all things (in the real world) . In Star Wars … this same (large) niche glorified everything about the movie…. including futuristic guns and other weaponry. In fact, since that time, the collection of similar weapons used in the flick now capture a high premium.. Star War-ites lust for that plastic gun or that laser-sword. But once they left the theatre the want to take >your guns< away became an every increasing preoccupation… a real craving for them. A good rationale?… there never is one.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Dude, there are many threads in which it is difficult to separate guns from politics.
      This aint one of them.

    • pallam

      Still consistent. Obi wan depreciates the blaster as ‘uncivilized’ and the jedi are held up as a super elite. Liberals think of themselves as lightsabre wielding jedi, who can deflect blasters shots (gun shots) and disable people not kill them. (knife tendon cutting? lol)
      The new stars ‘jedi’ in rogue one has a gun staff and hits people with his staff, so still disabling people not killing them. He also can deflect blaster shots through force power alone. And he’s disabled too. (blind)

    • LOL– Pardner, the Star Wars films have collectively made over $5.7 billion at the box office; if you honestly believe a cockamamie idea like “the vast majority of those in the audience are far leftists”, then it sounds like you’re the one living in a galaxy far, far away.

      • diana pierce

        Of course I maintain exactly what I said. Hundreds of millions did view this movie. the majority are liberals. and of course, this does not reflect upon the good conservatives who have a healthy interest in the movie. The sole difference is liberals will take the core meaning of the story, any story for that matter, in a totally different direction than conservative , right thinking folks. Consider just how sick global society, Godless and Communista’s…. infest mankind today. Is this where ‘Star Wars’ got us… NO… but it is where the majority of Liberal Progressivists got us…. and worse is yet to come.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    This is by far the best of the “new” SW movies.
    So much better than any of the prequels.

    • Rick O’Shay

      You say that like the bar for “better than the prequels” isn’t laying on the floor.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Good point.
        Looking back at that time I was so psyched about the first one it probably never could have lived up to my expectations even if it WAS really good.
        Ive found that im able to enjoy these new movies a lot more just by having a good time and not expecting too much.

      • Swarf
        • TheNotoriousIUD

          “WHERES THE BODY??”

      • SignalFromTheRim

        I literally, not figuratively, LOL’d. Thank you, I needed that.

    • CavScout

      Prequels were better than the originals.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Your crack pipe must be hot to the touch.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    That AR pistol has got to be the least inspired “just get it out the door” prop to have even come up in such a high profile film.

    • DataMatters

      Cassian’s “pistol” Is an A1 style AR–I didn’t notice that at first, but they cut the carry handle off and it has the old-style A1 pistol grip.

      • Dan

        Pretty sure it’s one of those spring airsoft things, the stocks come off with that mounting flange on the back (ie, no buffer tube).

        That and the made in China on the side, and the whole thing is plastic (except for the mag release)

      • Mr Mxyzptlk

        It isn’t an A1, it has a BD so is either a chopped A2 or an A4 (I think the latter). The picture used in this article isn’t the real prop, it is a less than accurate replica that somebody has made from a crappy airsoft replica.

    • .45

      That was my thought upon seeing a Nerf version with a picture of the character waving it around on the box. Take AR, cut off protruding parts, done. I wonder if it jams and he needs to use the forward assist in the movie…

  • Nicholas Dunham

    ” Han Solo’s blaster being a classic example of a weapons designer looking to the past (C96 Mauser Broomhandle) to inspiration for the future.”

    Wait… Star Wars is set in the future?

    • Swarf

      “A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, in the future, in a world where the deer and the antelope play, only one man, and a small band of misfit toys will have the wet hot romance of the apocalypse, and we will all do the time warp again. If you dare.”

    • pun&gun

      Funny how rarely people pay attention to the first words on the screen.

  • Cap’n Mike

    This was one of several prop guns on display at Disneys Holywood Studios I saw a couple of weeks ago.
    Clearly started life as an AR-15 or an airsoft version of one. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/88b306126135bd92af4b14d20c290d8050751c657f69c4d8d36e0c2c14aeff8f.jpg

  • J.T.

    The fact that “gunsmith and prop expert Taylor Anderson” doesn’t know the difference between an MG 34 and an MG 42 makes me to doubt his expertise.

    • Martin M

      I was going to mention that. The MG34/42 mistake is a big one. Huge even. Love the half-hearted dig on ARs.

      Taylor Anderson seems to be a typical media gun know-nothing phoning in some content.

  • John

    Meh. I’d have used a flush-fitting magazine, attached roundels to each side of the charging handle, put on an upper without a forward assist, attached a few more nubbins everywhere and especially taken the time to fill in and color the gaps around the grip for good measure.

    This isn’t an indie film. This is Star Wars. Spend a little more money on the prop budget.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      There isn’t really too much room for additions on the pistol as it has a stock and forend attached to it at points in the film to turn it into a complete rifle. It is also based on the props from ROTJ so it has to look like basically the same gun. As for the colours being crap, this is because the image used in this article is not the real prop but an attempt at a replica, hence why it incorectly has an A1 upper.

  • Ronaldo Olive

    Couldn’t help remembering the Danish Madsen M50 as an Ape SMG in The Planet of the Apes… Great!!!

  • Ronaldo Olive

    Madsen M50 as Ape SMG in Planet of the Apes

  • Quarax Toa

    I doubt it; I’ve added stuff to the IMFDB article about how they used airsoft guns and whatnot, which isn’t mentioned in the article.