It is official. The revolver fired by Baldwin that killed Halyna Hutchins and wounded Joel Souza is a F.lli Pietta 45 Long Colt Revolver.
Take a look at the video of how it operates:
It is a single action revolver. That means you have to cock it manually in order to fire it each time. There is no way to fire it accidentally. You have to cock the hammer and then put your finger on the trigger. (The gun, if loaded, can be fired if you hit the hammer with a club of some sort, but that also is a purposeful act.) If you pick it up and the hammer is de-cocked it will not fire.
Also look carefully at how it is loaded. You have to cock the hammer halfway back and open the loading gate. The cylinder stays in place. You must rotate it to insert a round into each of the chambers.
Thank you for the film on the operation of the gun, I had looked to see if Forgotten Weapons had and episode on this but no. The film shows clearly it is a quick and easy 2 second job to check there are no cases in the gun. No conceivable excuse for all concerned not to have checked. Baldwin should go to jail. Won’t hold my breath.
It’s perfectly obvious to me, as it should be anyone else here, that Hannah Gutierrez-Reed can’t handle a gun worth a flip! Which means that in all likelihood she’s an affirmative action hire based on the fact that she’s a girl working in the gun industry, that’s very much dominated by males.
That said, I suspect there’s another reason she was hired for the job, despite her obvious incompetence. First of all, notice that her middle name is Hispanic, but actually it’s her first surname with a hyphen after it followed by her second surname, thus she goes by the name “Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.” However, that’s NOT how Hispanics list their double surnames! The first surname they list is their father’s surname followed by their mother’s surname. However, Hannah’s father’s surname is Reed, not Gutierrez. Even if she were married, “Reed” should be listed first.
So my best guess is that she added her mother’s surname “Gutierrez” to her own name (or changed her middle name to that) and then put a hyphen after it followed by her father’s surname in order to sell herself as an Hispanic, thus doubling her chances of getting hired as an affirmative action hire in Hollywood. And the only reason she didn’t change her actual surname she acquired from her father to a Hispanic name is because he is a well-known gun master in the movie industry. Having his surname in her name, though wrongly placed in reverse, was just icing on the cake for her in terms of getting hired in Hollywood!
He’s saying he was told the gun was “cold”. He’s never going to take any responsibility basically. I don’t think that will work in a civil lawsuit.
I agree that the weapon should always be verified, but I grew up around guns and then served in the military. Baldwin is an actor who had other things on his mind. There were two people in the crew whose jobs were to get this right. They reportedly failed at that and then told him they had done it.
All firearms training in my experience repeats the safety measures endlessly. That is because this sort of thing is almost guaranteed to happen when there is not a fanatical focus on weapon safety status. I have seen it. (A shot into the air, thankfully.)
Should Baldwin have checked the weapon when it was handed to him? Yes. Is it likely that he understood that at a level that would prevent tragedy? I doubt it. His lawyer should have an easy time making that case. Real weapons are inherently risky in the hands of people whose relation to them is casual.
The job of “armorer” seems to have been treated as perk for descendants of VIPs. Those descendants have clearly treated the job with the seriousness one would expect from their class of people. They should be prosecuted for their negligence. I regret that whoever gave them the jobs probably cannot be prosecuted.
Baldwin is not a child, he is a 63 year old adult male. He has decades of movie industry experience as an actor, director, and producer. He’s certainly not inexperienced. If he has never taken a gun safety course in his professional life, one in which he’s handled guns on multiple movie sets, then he’s a fool. That does not relieve him of personal responsiblity in this matter.
As seen from the video it would be less than a ten second exercise to place the weapon on half-cock, open the loading gate and move the cylinder 360 degrees to check that each chamber was unloaded. He fired the weapon without doing that. It doesn’t matter what anyone told him, he failed to do what was requried to ensure safety. Everyone else may also be guilty of negligence, but they didn’t fire the fatal round, he did – after failing to inspect the firearm.
“I regret that whoever gave them the jobs probably cannot be prosecuted.”
Alec Baldwin was the producer. Guess who is responsible for hiring the crew members.
My guess is he is guilty, and probably got pissed off thinking the gun wasn’t loaded. Perhaps he thinks he has enough juice as a semi-official propagandist to get off. As Mr. Johnson indicates, it is hard to “accidentally” fire on old style revolver like that one.
Updated Branca analysis from LI:
And, while not particularly illuminating in the current regard this DA seems to be “inspired” to hold to the law – case in point:
The fact that this type of revolver obscures the cases in the cylinder might explain why Baldwin didn’t notice the revolver was loaded, maybe only a single round in the 6 o’clock position. Should he have checked it, yes. I don’t think that fact has been mentioned enough in the discussion here….I would like to know if there were more rounds loaded, who loaded it, and why there was live ammo onsite at all. From what I’ve read there seems to have been a rather cavalier attitude towards it all. A more complete picture of what actually happened should be helpful.
You should look at both ends of the chambers while rotating the cylinder. It only takes a minute. I have been handling and using SA and DA revolvers for about 50 years.
I agree with you. I am not saying people weren’t careless/negligent, that seems to have been clearly established. I am just curious as to how the gun was loaded and whether or not it was done so deliberately. As Mr. Johnson pointed out, letting the hammer rest on a loaded primer is not advised due to the chance of accidental discharge. As I understand it, loading 5 and letting the hammer rest on the empty chamber is best practices. Could that have happened here? More questions than answers for now. Still an avoidable tragedy.
Surely the next chamber had a “Ball” loaded round. Idiots
If it is an acknowledged protocol that actors aren’t responsible for clearing a weapon, then someone else in the crew surely is, and the actor would seem to have a duty to ensure that that happens.
The problem of the SAA is 1) the hammer/firing pin sits behind a primer and if sufficiently jarred can hit the primer and 2) since the cylinder does not swing out like an S&W, you can’t see from a distance if it is loaded. You have to physically rotate the cylinder with the loading gate open as shown in the y-t.
And, you should look at the front end of the chambers as the cylinder rotates. Basic stuff.
Some of the armorers interviewed in the press express amazement not only that there were live rounds on the set but there was a gun capable of accepting them. Seems the Brandon Lee incident spawned a market for guns modified to accept only blanks, and they are cheap. Several versions of the 1873 to cater to different desired levels of patinas for western movie sets, all less than $130.00, and they have become ubiquitous within the industry.
It can be a fair bet that there can be actors who’ve done westerns for the last twenty years straight and have never been in the same room with a real gun, and all but definitely not while on a set. Yet that not only happened on Rust, there was one on the ready cart, with a round in it.
Curiouser and curiouser , as Alice might put it.
At any rate it’s easy to imagine laxity creeping in when the worst thing assumed as possibly happening is a blank going off. I’ll predict Baldwin skates on the crim charges but gets creamed on the civil ones.
Can’t say I expected to hear this from these two:
“I don’t recall ever being handed a weapon that was not cleared in front of me — meaning chamber open, barrel shown to me, light flashed inside the barrel to make sure that it’s cleared,” [Jeffrey] Wright said. “Clearly, that was a mismanaged set.”
Actor Ray Liotta agreed with Wright that the checks on firearms are usually extensive.
“They always — that I know of — they check it so you can see,” Liotta said. “They give it to the person you’re pointing the gun at, they do it to the producer, they show whoever is there that it doesn’t work.”
In my email today an attorney acquaintance directed my attention to a series of video presentations the subject matter of which all have to do with the set of the Rust shooting. Actually the exact item received was to a trailer of the series which, when I watched it was on the most well-known video platform but it ain’t there now as it occurred to bring it to your attention. However on the Rumble platform I was able to locate three of the four known (to me) episodes which can all be found here:
Currently (for now) the better known video platform site [will have – at this current time of 1346 CDT – the airtime will be at 1630] the fourth installment of the series here:
It’s just too darn bad the better known platform has a habit of yanking down stuff that doesn’t conform to the narrative.