Firearms and Star Wars enthusiast Kurt Schneider did a thing. He built a working Han Solo blaster-style working AR-based .22 pistol, complete with a custom flash hider and long eye relief scope.
The original blaster used by Solo in the Star Wars movies is called the BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster and is based on the Mauser M712 or C96. While Schneider’s blaster isn’t a 100 percent copy of the DL-44, it shoots real ammo without the need for special effects.
“This is a functional pistol, but it’s a range toy,” said Schneider on Facebook. “It shoots reliably and accurately–and gets a lot of attention at the range. But it’s both heavy and nose-heavy, and the scope is offset on the wrong side for a right-handed shooter. I do have some red tracer ammo that would look like blaster bolts, but ‘the Rona’ showed up before I could get video of it.”
Schneider patterned the blaster specifically off the prop used in “Empire Strikes Back” mostly with parts he had lying around. The one part he had to secure specifically to get the look right was the muzzle device.
The muzzle device was sourced from ForceRelics on Etsy which is unfortunately not currently producing or shipping the muzzle device. Other companies do make replica DL-44 brakes, although a lot of them are for airsoft projects so this may be the hardest component to find or make for anyone else inspired by this build.
The original prop blaster used a muzzle break from an MG81 which was a German World War II machine gun, so originals are going to be hard to find for sure.
The rest of the parts are going to be pretty easy to lay hands on. Schneider used a regular AR-15 lower receiver by Anderson Manufacturing, with a Sons of Liberty Gun Works lower parts kit with a slick-sided pistol-caliber carbine upper by RightToBear.
The upper was completed with a CMMG .22 Long Rifle kit with a 4.5-inch barrel, side-cantelevered scope mount and Tasco 1.5×20 long eye relief scope. Other parts include a Magpul pistol grip and a M&P-22 magazine and magazine adapter by Redi-Mag.
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Finally he weathered the pistol to look the part. He sand-blasted and bleached the muzzle device and sanded the rest of the parts with emery cloth to look battle-worn.
Again, the hardest part to find or make is the flash hider, which is unique looking and does a lot to make this pistol like a real Han Solo blaster. A lot of other parts from different makers can be swapped out, but that cone-shaped muzzle device is this design’s standout feature, and really looks great.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid,” said Scheider. “Now, if I can find my old leatherworking tools and make a proper holster…”
Canto Arms sell this and it’s nice. I’m building my clone now. Han Solo Blaster DL-44 Muzzle Device – Flash Hider, 1/2-28 Threaded $60 bucks
The blasters used in the original Star Wars movies in the ’70’s were demilled Sterling L2A3 sub-machineguns. Dave Howroyd (who was the GM of Sterling at the time) explained that several guns in their inventory were sent to Bapty and Company for demilling and were subsequently provided to Lucas for use in the films.
One of these “props” found its way into the collection of Paul Allen and was on display in the EMP Museum in Seattle when I visited there in the early 2000’s. It was under a glass dome and looking down the bore it appeared to have a welded up chamber. The magazine was cut down to a stub that barely cleared the mag well. “Cooling fins” mounted to the side looked like cut down windshield wiper blades. I don’t know how or when Allen managed to get this “prop” through US customs as it would still be considered a NFA weapon or at least a DEWAT as it most definitely had the “casing” intact.
I got to shoot a reweld Stirling that my sot built.it’s a excellent subgun and it’d be nice if we could pass a nics and buy one at the gun store! These days I’d run it on semi because 9 ball is getting up there
Terrible idea. Some kid is going to pick this up and “blast” someone.
Do you leave your guns loaded and accessible to “some kid”? Maybe it’s only a bad idea to someone like you who doesn’t understand that you shouldn’t just leave it on the coffee table?
Doesn’t have to be a “kid”, there are enough A$$-clowns that wonder in and out of shops or gun shows that have to pick up and play with anything and everything…… Also if it looks like a toy, some don’t show the same respect or safe practices they should.
Kids should be tought to be freedom compliant! Freedom should not become idiot compliant.I pity the untrained children of hoplophobic morons because even if they don’t have a fatal firearm encounter something else will shorten their lifespan
You’re a terrible idea.
The original DL-44 was not a 712 or C96 Mauser, but the smaller interim variation C96 Bolo.
A No.V flash hider might work. You’d have to modify it though.
I suppose AR parts are more common than finding an extinct Mauser.
The muzzle device on the movie blaster appears to be from a MG34, not a MG81, which had a slotted or perforated cone, or in some cases, no muzzle device attached.
This is awesome! I must have one. I think I will keep mine in 5.56 though. The DL-44 is a Heavy Blaster after all.
Yes, the .22 Long Rifle caliber doesn’t do Han Solo’s blaster justice. I would say chambering this in .45 Auto or 10 millimeter would be a much better caliber.
Y’all know that he used a 22LR kit because it doesn’t require a nicer tube, right? If you want to do this in a centerfire caliber, you’ll need to buy one of those special uppers that doesn’t need a buffer tube, like the BRN-180, but those don’t look right, either.
22LR doesn’t require a BUFFER tube