Weapons FAQs

Q: What weapons did Crockett use?

A:n the pilot episode, Sonny used a Sig-Sauer P220 in .45 caliber. During the first two seasons, he used a Bren 10 which was a stainless steel 10 mm. It was manufactured by Dornhaus and Dixon, but it was prone to parts breakage and magazines were hard to get and cost over $100 a piece. The company went out of business after about a year.

Starting with the third season, Sonny used a Smith & Wesson 645 in .45 caliber. Smith & Wesson had just introduced this new model. It was also made of stainless steel. He carried it in a Galco Miami Vice Holster. Smith & Wesson discontinued that model and replaced it with the model 4506. It was this gun that he used for the last season. If you want a good view of the Bren 10, watch the “Glades” episode and also the “One Way Ticket” episode. Sonny also carried a backup gun which was a Detonics CombatMaster in .45 caliber. It can be seen in the bar scene shootout in the “Prodigal Son” episode. He carried it in an ankle holster on his left leg.

(courtesy Dan Mentzer)

Link: The History of the Galco Miami Classic Holster Rig (used in the TV series Miami Vice)

 

Q: What weapons did Tubbs use?

A: A Model 37 Ithaca Shotgun cut down, and Model 38 Smith & Wesson Chief’s Special.

Comments

  1. Peter Mahoney says:

    Repleat with errors…

    Crockett’s primary sidearm in the pilot episode is actually not a Sig-Sauer P220 but was a Browning BDA, an earlier version of the P220. The main difference being the magazine release was a European heel style, not the traditional “American” button at the rear of the trigger guard.

    Next the Bren 10 was not an all stainless steel gun. From the manufacturer these pistols were actually 2 tone. For the series the slide was hard chromed so that it would appear better on film.

    The holster mentioned in the article is also incorrect. Galco does indeed have a “Miami Classic” in its line up, but that is NOT the holster used by Johnson. Initially, the rig used in the pilot with the BDA was a vertical style shoulder holster. In the series, a custom made system by Ted Blocker, called the Jackass. Johnson used one version of that system or another throughout the series. The main difference between the Miami Classic and the Jackass is in the placement of the strap attachments to the holster itself. The classic hangs horizontally, and the Jackass is more of a diaginal rig.

    The Detonics backup gun was replaced in the 5th season by a S&W 6906 in 9mm.

  2. Peter Mahoney says:

    While you have Tubbs’ shotgun correct, the revolver he carried was not a Model 38. Tubbs carried a S&W Model 49 which is a “J” framed all steel revolver that has a shrouded hammer.

    • The Weapons info was written over 10 years ago, and long after Galco had stopped making the Jackass. If they’ve started making it again, send us a link!

    • It would be difficult to visually tell the difference between an alloy-framed S&W 38 and a steel-framed S&W 49 on the small screen. Can you back up your assertion that Tubbs packed a 49 and not a 38?

  3. Peter Mahoney says:

    Interesting…

    Galco International has been selling the Jackass Shoulder Holster System consistently now for YEARS. While it is not exactly the same as what is seen on the show, the most important element is. The main feature of the jackass system is the manner in which the holster component connects to the straps. On the Miami Classic, the holster hangs from the top. The Jackass hangs from the top and rear creating a more diagonal style of suspension.

    10 years or not… I expect a dedicated Miami Vice to have better information than Wikipedia.

  4. Peter Mahoney says:
    • Thanks for the link! It’s my understanding that they used to sell the exact model seen on the show, but discontinued it sometime around when the show started, or maybe even before (it was rumored to be an older model that a prop master still had). Thus the writer of the FAQ included the other model, because the original was no longer available for the obsessive Miami Vice fan/collector. That’s all we were interested in at the time… things of primary relevance or interest to the Vice fan.

      As for quality of information, it’s always been a collaborative effort, since 1988. I’m not even sure where the original creators of the Weapons and Ferrari FAQs are anymore… I have printouts of their emails from long ago, and that’s about it. My personal focus was the episode guide and the music guide, and I relied on the input from dozens of other fans for the rest of the factual information.

      There have been many people over the years who’ve pointed out items they thought were mistakes; some have been right, many have been incorrect. And there was no World Wide Web back then to re-fact check every suggestion, so the handful of us that were left stopped taking suggestions for corrections that were made without proper corroboration and proof. Over the past 10 years, that handful has dwindled down to just me, and some of the minor things aren’t as important to me to keep correcting.

      If you want to write an updated Weapons FAQ and put your byline on it, feel free to put your knowledge and reputation on the line all other fans to critique… just use the Contact form to submit it for use here!

      • I, having worked with the prop master that did the original MV shows in their entirety, can say without much hesitation that he would never have used a holster that he just happened to own. Being a prop master myself, the number one rule is you never use something on camera that you only have one of.
        Now, having said that, maybe he had a back up. But knowing him as I do, I doubt that he would have used anything that he had personally and would have not only the means, but the juice to procure the latest, greatest version of available products. At that time, MV was huge and Galco, S&W, etc., would have been drooling to get their products to the prop master to use on camera.
        k

  5. While I did not watch MV back in the ’80s, and have only seen two or three episodes recently, I’m a “gun guy”, mostly interested in the weapons and accoutrements worn on the show. A company called Vltor, known mostly for rifle parts and accessories, is making a new version of the Bren Ten, the pistol featured in, I think, the first two seasons of MV. I’ve been following this development, and have been researching the holsters used on MV. The first season, “Sonny” carried his Bren in a Ted Blocker Lifeline shoulder rig, which is still available (perhaps only on special order) in the original 1980s MV configuration. The second season, the rig had changed to the similar Jackass, made by the Jackass Leather Company, now Galco. The following season, the Bren pistol was replaced by a Smith & Wesson 645, and a couple of seasons after that by a S&W 4506. By that time, the Jackass had evolved into the Miami Classic. About ten years ago, Galco resurrected the Jackass name, applied to a holster that really looks very little like the original. It’s held together with rivets rather than stitching, and while it does allow the gun to hang at a butt-down angle (the Classic hangs horizontally), it’s really more of an homage to the original, than a re-issue. So, if you have a Bren, are planning to buy a new Bren Ten this Summer, or just want the rig in which Sonny packed his, get the ’80s-style Lifeline rig from Ted Blocker. Neither of the current Galco products is much like the original MV rigs, and they won’t make either one to fit a Bren, anyway. I don’t think Galco makes rigs for the S&W autos anymore, either, but there are probably more of those available on ebay and elsewhere than is anything for the Bren Ten.

    • So, they had to change Sonny’s shoulder rig because they changed his gun, and the first rig is the only one that’s still being made, and that one was never the Jackass?

      I love research… Thanks Rick!

  6. The Jackass shoulder rig apparently replaced the original Lifeline part-way through season two, so you’ll see the Bren Ten in both. The circa 1984 Jackass looked very much like the Lifeline, the differences mostly in the fasteners. When Sonny’s gun was changed to a S&W 645, the holster had to change to fit the new gun, but it was still a Jackass/Galco rig. To cash-in on the MV connection, Galco changed the name of the Jackass rig to Miami Classic. Some Bren Ten fans are trying to get Galco to make the Miami Classic for the Bren, so that when the new production guns hit the market (supposedly May, 2010), they’ll have the “original” holster, but the Miami Classic was never made for the Bren Ten, the current Miami Classic looks little like Sonny’s Jackass holster (It’s sort of strange that Galco chose the name Miami Classic, as that sounds like what you’d call a timeless design that doesn’t change, but the Classic has changed a lot over the years), and the current Galco Jackass doesn’t look much like the MV-era Jackass (and also isn’t available to fit the Bren). If someone wants an authentic rig for their Bren Ten, ordering the Lifeline in 1980s MV congfiguration appears to be the way to go. Ted Blocker apparently still has the non-functional Bren Ten pistol that they used to make the pattern for the original MV rig in the ’80s, so they can probably make any of their holsters for the Bren.

  7. William says:

    Hi,

    I’m looking into getting the Detonics that Sonny used, and wanted to know what kind of ankle holster he used for that. If anybody could explain, that’d be helpful. Thanks!

  8. The Detonics Combat Master is an awfully heavy gun to be worn in an ankle holster. Typically, you see snubnose revolvers and pocket autos – in the 15oz weight range – in ankle holsters, while the Combat Master weighs 29oz. That’s quite a load to be dragging around on one leg.

  9. The Galco custom shop is now offering shoulder rigs for the Bren Ten, styled like those made during the mid-’80s, rather than of the current Miami Classic style. Not to bore too much with minutiae, but it looks like both this Galco rig, and the retro rig offered by Ted Blocker may be of a style slightly later than the rigs actually used on MV. Blocker made a limited run of numbered rigs commissioned by a Bren Ten collector group, and even those looked like the rig used by Don Johnson on Nash Bridges, rather than the earlier, MV-era style.

  10. Galco still makes the miami classic shoulder holster and they do make it for the S&W and other colts there are other makers out there who offer a great shoulder holster custom fit for your gun for 180.00

  11. DAVE ONWILER says:

    IN 1984 C. WARD WAS COMMISIONED TO BUILD A S&W 29 FOR SONNY TO USE ON THE SHOW. I HAVE ONE OF THE GUNS C. WARD BUILT. DOES ANYONE HAVE A COPY OF THE MOVIE THAT WAS MADE WHILE THE MIAMI VICE GUN WAS BEING BUILT.
    DAVE AT daveonwiler@embarqmail.com

  12. DAVE ONWILER says:

    IN THE FEBRUARY 1982 ISSUE OF GUN WORLD C. WARD BUILT 3 S&W 629 S FOR THE SHOW. 1 WENT TO THE PRODUCER, 1 WENT TO SONNY, AND 1 WENT TO A RESTRAUNT OWNER IN NY. THERE WAS A ARTICLE IN THAT ISSUE ABOUT THE GUNS, PICTURES, AND THE GUNSMITH C.WARD. THERE WAS ALSO A EPISODE FILMED ABOUT THE GUN SONNY ORDERED. C. WARD PASSED AWAY IN JUNE OF 2009 AND ALL RECORDS WERE SOLD AT AUCTION IN INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI. I AM TRYING TO LOCATE THE ISSUE OF GUN WORLD MENTIONED. C. WARD BUILT A COPY OF THE MV 629 IN 1984, I STILL HAVE IT AND USE IT FOR HUNTING. IF ANYONE KNOWS OF ANY RECORDS PLEASE MAIL ME. daveonwiler@embarqmail.com

  13. arkansaslawman says:

    I looking for any information as to who provided and/or customized the Ithaca model 37 stakeout shotgun that the Tubbs character carried in the special tv movie the Prodigal Son. What type of shoulder halter system was it carried in?

  14. Randy Evans says:

    I originally purchased a “Miami Classic” sometime around 1985 while employed as a bodyguard in south Florida. I had tried just about everything out at the time and the Miami Classic was recommended to me by one of my associates. I didn’t even bother trying one first, as I went right ahead and just bought my own based on my colleagues experience with it.

    Of course, I absolutely LOVED the Miami Classic and continued to use this rig as my primary system for nearly four years. One thing I can say for sure though is the version I purchased connected in a slightly different way than the later Miami Classic, as well as the current offering does. It seems one of the straps on original “Jacks-ass” version connect on the top/front of the holster, while the rear strap connected to the bottom side just under the barrel. The later version (as well as today), the rear strap is connected to the TOP of the holster ABOVE the barrel.

    I have no idea why this change was made but it WAS changed after a given point. I preferred the old version myself, having actually carried my pistol professionally for years, I can honestly say it provided a better overall *fit* for the Beretta 92FS I carried during those years. Like most of the staff at the time I never used tie-downs, as the loaded pistol on one side and two loaded magazines on the other seemed to counter-balance each other quite well.

    I sure don’t miss those hot, muggy years always having to wear a coat in the south Florida heat but it was a good experience overall. Not many people can say they worked in “the business” as a good guy and live to tell about it.

    The Miami Classic was indeed a GREAT shoulder rig but I definitely preferred the original version to the one that came later (and today) I just wish they hadn’t changed the rear strap attachment location from the bottom to the top-side of the holste ๐Ÿ™

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I bought my M645in 1985., one of the first ones of about 7,ooo made.I also bought the shoulder, miami vice rig. Mine is all black leather, which is not available today. May be a Jack Ass rig, Idonot know, can anyone tell me for sure. Thanks .

  16. They drove a Daytona , original hardtop on Top Gear , they were pulled over and held along the roadside for a while, it was pretty cool! Has anyone shot a new “Bren- Ten”, ? Let me know. What does a good leather rig cost these days .,,,a grand? I really wasn’t a fan of the movie but check out DJ in Machete! I live near a smaller ,man made lake , I’ve always wanted to pull up to the dock in a 40 footer! Also my Dad and and I , being Vice fans could never figure out why they named Crockett’s home boat The St.Vitus Dance? My Dad knew a guy with that disease,..just cannot figure that out, it is a terrible disease ,.. let me know Vice Pals!

  17. Hello ol’ Vice Buds! In real life the Nug(sp) Man rapped on The Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.

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