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Thunder at the Border

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Thunder at the Border
Winnetou und Old Firehand Poster.jpg
Original German Theatrical Release Poster
Country GER.jpg Germany
YUG.jpg Yugoslavia
Directed by Alfred Vohrer
Release Date 1966
Language German
Studio Rialto Film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Winnetou Pierre Brice
Old Firehand Rod Cameron
Nscho-tschi Marie Versini
Tom Todd Armstrong
Silers Harald Leipnitz
Michele Mercier Nadia Gray
Sgt. Mendoza Rik Battaglia
Robert Ravenhurst Viktor de Kowa

Thunder at the Border (original German title Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand, alternative English title Winnetou and Old Firehand) is a 1966 Eurowestern directed by Alfred Vohrer. It is the tenth movie in Winnetou film series, based on the novels by Karl May (though in chronological order it preceeds the first film, Treasure of Silver Lake). In Thunder at the Border a group of Apache, lead by Winnetou (Pierre Brice), is attacked by Silers (Harald Leipnitz)) and his brigands near the Mexican border, but the hunter Jason Waade known as "Old Firehand" (Rod Cameron) and his friends help Winnetou against the gang. Winnetou and Old Firehand go to the Mexican town of Miramonte where they find out that Sgt. Mendoza (Rik Battaglia) recently arrested Silers' brother, and the town is under threat. Old Firehand, his friends Tom and Caleb, and Winnetou with his sister Nscho-tschi deside to help the townsmen.

The following weapons were used in the film Thunder at the Border:


Single Action Army Revolver

Single Action Army "Artillery" revolvers (probably modern European replicas) are used by Silers (Harald Leipnitz), his lieutenants Derks (Aleksandar Gavric) and Vince (Milan Bosiljcic), the chieftan of Mexican gang Luis Sanchez Quilvera (Miha Baloh) and some of their men. Sgt. Mendoza (Rik Battaglia) and bartender German-Joe (Aleksandar Stojkovic) also use SAA revolvers.

Colt Single Action Army with 5.5" barrel known as the "Artillery" model. The most common of the SAA revolvers as it is just the right length. - .45 Long Colt
Derks fires in air, signalling for the attack.
Vince holds his revolver during the shootout with Apaches and hunters.
Silers stops Derks' attempt to argue with boss.
Sgt. Mendoza draws his revolver to stop the quarrel.
Wirz (Nikola Gec) (at the left) draws the revolver.
German-Joe hides his revolver inside a loaf of bread.
Derks fires.
Quilvera draws the revolver.
Silers holds the revolver in the climactic scene.

Arminius HW-1S Revolver

Many of Silers' and Quilvera's brigands are armed with 5-shot Arminius revolvers with 6" barrels. It appear to be the long barreled version of HW-1S signal revolver. Due to continuity errors, Silers (Harald Leipnitz) and Quilvera (Miha Baloh) themselves are sometimes seen with Arminius revolvers instead of most often used Single Action Army revolvers. Some Mexican soldiers also carry Arminius revolvers. During the attack on the town Winnetou (Pierre Brice), Tom (Todd Armstrong) and Jace Mercier (Jörg Marquardt) arm themselves with Arminius revolvers, taken from slain brigands.

Arminius HW-1S signal revolver with 6" barrel - 9mm Knall blank
A bandit (stunt performer Josip Biscan) holds the Arminius revolver during the shootout in the opening scene.
Another bandit picks up his previosly dropped revolver.
He fires.
A perfect view of the Arminius revolver in hands of a bandit (stunt performer Zvonimir Kuzmic) in the same scene.
A Mexican soldier (stunt performer Josip Valkaj) holds the revolver.
Tom and Winnetou fire the revolvers during the attack on the town.
Quilvera holds the Arminius revolver instead of SAA.
Silers holds the Arminius revolver instead of SAA.

Percussion Cap Pistol

British (or, maybe more correct, Scottish) traveller Sir Robert Ravenhurst (Viktor de Kowa) has a pair of Percussion Dueling Pistols.

Modern replica of Lepage percussion dueling pistol.
Sir Robert carries two pistols in holsters and a double barreled shotgun on sling.
Sir Robert cleans the pistols.
He fires at attacking bandits, showing perfect marksmanship.
Sir Robert fires his pistol during the last attack.

Pepperbox-style Handgun

Moses (Ilija Ivezic), one of Old Firehand's friends, carries the handgun that looks lile enormous four-barreled pepperbox revolver. After Moses is killed in action, Caleb (Vladimir Medar) takes his gun. The weapon isn't a real pepperbox as the barrel doesn't rotate, and only the top muzzle fires. The general shape and size of the weapon allows to make a guess that this is possibly a flare pistol, visually modified by adding a barrel cover with three fake muzzles. Supposedly same prop is used in the crime film Zombie Walks of Rialto-Edgar Wallace film series, made by same studio two years later.

Moses aims...
...and fires.
Caleb readies the gun for battle.


Double Barreled Shotgun

Old Firehand (Rod Cameron) and his friends Tom (Todd Armstrong), Caleb (Vladimir Medar) and Moses (Ilija Ivezic), carry Double Barreled Shotguns with exposed hammers. Winnetou (Pierre Brice) also use a double barreled shotgun (this movie is set in time before Winnetou obtained his signature weapon, "The Silver Gun", from his father Intschu-tschuna). Bandits and townspersons also use double barreled shotguns.

Charles Parker 1878 Side by Side Shotgun - 12 gauge
Moses (at the left) and Caleb hold shotguns in the opening scene.
Old Firehand fires at bandits.
Winnetou and his Apaches in action.
A good view of Caleb's shotgun.
Winnetou fires the shotgun during the attack on the town.
Silers (Harald Leipnitz) takes a shotgun from his henchman and fires.

Unlike other shotguns, the one, used by Sir Robert Ravenhurst (Viktor de Kowa), is hammerless.

1960s Era Commercial Stevens hammerless side by side shotgun - 12 gauge
Sir Robert carries his shotgun.


Winchester Model 1894

The only lever-action rifle in the movie is partially seen in Derks' (Aleksandar Gavric) saddle holster. Winchester Model 1894 is a good guess as such rifles are seen in other Winnetou movies.

Winchester 1894 - .30-30
The buttstock and lever can be seen.

Kipplaufbuchse Single Shot Rifle

Single shot top-break hunting rifles are widely used by various characters, including hunters Caleb (Vladimir Medar) and Tom (Todd Armstrong), many townspersons, notably Jace Mercier (Jörg Marquardt), Leon Mercier (Dusan Antonijevic) and old Puglia (Emil Kutijaro), bandits and Mexican soldiers. Such rifles were (and still are) produced by various manufacturers in Europe and America, often referred by the German term Kipplaufbuchse.

Savage Model 219 - .30-30. A good example of top-break single shot rifle, similar to the screen guns.
Caleb and Tom hold single shot rifles in the opening scene. Almost immediately their rifles switch to double barreled shotguns that are used by these characters during all the movie.
A Mexican soldier escorts Caleb, Tom and Nscho-tschi.
Billy-Bob Silers (Walter Wilz) holds the rifle during his attempt to escape.
Leon Mercier carries a pair of rifles.
Tom reloads. This scene is the proof that rifles are top-break as they are nearly never seen reloading.
German-Joanna (Marija Crnobori) sacrifice herself, firing at the crate of dynamite in bandits-filled building. Note the bore of the rifle, big enough of such popular calibers as 7.92 or 9.3mm.
Several townspersons at the left hold rifles.
Jace Mercier holds the rifle at the right.

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