How Obsessive Fans Built a Better Han Solo Blaster

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Before explaining how obsessive fans built a better Han Solo blaster, Norman Chan gives some background on many of the original Star Wars props:

Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, for example, was famously made out of a Graflex camera flash handle, with nothing else but rubber strips of cabinet t-track glued onto the base of the handle for a grip. Original flash handles occasionally appear on eBay and are swooped up by Star Wars fans looking to make their own lightsaber prop replica. The Stormtrooper’s E-11 blaster rifle was a modified British Sterling submachine gun. Luke’s binoculars that he uses on Tatooine were made by a camera company called Rolleiflex.

Han Solo with Blaster

The most important component in building Han Solo’s blaster is the pistol used for its base, and it’s well known that the body for the DL-44 was a German semi-automatic pistol, the Mauser C96. This is easily identifiable by the distinct box magazine in front of the trigger and curved grip in the shape of a household broom handle (the gun is affectionately nicknamed “Broomhandle” in the western world). The Mauser C96 was a very popular pistol in the early 20th century — Winston Churchill is reported to have favored it — and was a mainstay of serials and fantasy characters of that era like the Rocketeer.


  1. L. C. Rees says:

    A key feature of this new improved version is that it always shoots first.

Leave a Reply