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In Snatch there's this well known scene where Vince and Solomon come to Bullet Tooth Tony and hold him at gunpoint and Tony immediately spots the replica inscription on the pistol side and says they should leave immediately (which they do) because his pistol is not a replica.

Yet a bit earlier when they prepare for getting to Tony they test one of the pistols by shooting into a car window and it definitely sounds like a working pistol and the window is destroyed. Perhaps the replicas couldn't be used for precise shooting at long distances but the guys were no more than several feet from Tony and so shooting Tony should not have been a problem for them.

Why do they accept the "replica v Desert Eagle" reasoning and leave?

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Are you sure they test fired the replica's? I don't recall that scene. That would be a plot hole as they shouldn't be able to fire these. –  AidanO Jul 1 at 11:49
    
At first I thought you were talking about the Dwayne Johnson movie and was like, "That scene doesn't register at ALL". Then I realized the name of that movie was "Snitch". :oP –  Johnny Bones Jul 1 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

Contrary to Andrew Martin's assertion, it is very easy to modify replica firearms and is a serious problem here in the UK.

The issue has been somewhat obscured in the media due to its implications with legal firearms in the States: a number of mishandlings in the states (particularily the story about the ATF seizing 'toy guns') was purposely mangled by gun lobbyists to try and claim that it was impossible to convert replicas into the real thing. It isn't: at all.

I have been to an exhibition in the Leeds Armory that was dedicated to exploring exactly this problem: the amount of modified weapons recovered or submitted during weapons amnesties in Yorkshire alone is staggering.

This isn't the sort of thing that gets reported on the news, because the details are considered mundane, but there is even a number of competing commercial companies that specialize in the controlled destruction of seized modified firearms. Its a secret cottage industry.

Infact, Police powers were increased in the early 2000s to deal with this, and the legislation of the 1968 firearms act was amended to introduce "Possession of an Imitation firearm" as a chargeable offence; meaning since 2004, its actually illegal to carry a toy gun in public.

Because guns are illegal in the UK (unless owned under incredibly stringent licences), they are incredibly rare and obviously hard to acquire. The purpose of the Vinny/Sol- Bullet-tooth scene is a glorified dick measuring contest.

Vinny and Sol are amateurs, wannabe gangsters and Tony intimidates them into submission simply by pointing out the disparity of their equipment: Vinny and Sol have unreliable, amateur and largely ineffective 'toy-guns', whereas he has a Desert Eagle.

For a plan based entirely on intimidation, Vince and Sol are utterly defeated by Bullet-Tooth's lack of reaction. They realize they aren't going to win this, as he is totally unfazed.

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+1 Since it's a Comedy/crime movie, that's what I thought, Vinny and Sol are small time thieves and Bullet-tooth is a gangster, there's no way they can compete with Tony. I found myself laughing hysterically during the entire scene. –  chaitanya89 Jul 15 at 7:14

In light of @John Smith Optional's answer, I'll rewrite/clarify my own answer.

In the film, the guns used are blank-firing replicas, i.e. they fire blank bullets, not live ammunition.

Whilst some weapons can be converted to fire real bullets, it's implied that this didn't happen in the film (hence the annoyance of several characters at having only replicas. On a site not, it's worth noting that this conversion is a dangerous and often ill-advised procedure, as the weapons often can't handle the pressure of real ammunition. For more info, see here or here, or do a simple google search on the topic.

This wikipedia page details the guns that were used in the film. Effectively, the film used real guns adapted to blank fire as there were no commercially available replicas of the guns they used. However, they were intended to be replicas in the film.

What all this effectively means is that in the scene in the car when they did shoot the bullets, they shot blanks. To quote from the wiki on blanks:

Blanks are commonly used when the sound and flash of gunfire is needed, but a projectile would not be safe...

The appearance of a blank cartridge can give a false sense of safety. Although blank cartridges do not contain a bullet, precautions are still required because fatalities and severe injuries have resulted on occasions when blank cartridges have been fired at very close ranges.

Blank cartridges frequently contain a paper, wood or plastic plug called a wad which seals the powder in the case. This wad can cause severe penetrating wounds at close range and bruising at medium ranges.

So they could in theory have squared up to Tony with their blank-firing replicas, but his real Desert Eagle would have caused far more damage and been far safer to fire (in comparison to their replicas).

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I don't think this answer needs to be downvoted.. anyone care to explain? –  John Smith Optional Jul 2 at 17:36
    
I didn't downvote, I don't have a stake in this at all, I merely wanted to point out that Brandon Lee was killed by a gun firing blanks (apparently a piece of scrap metal somehow found its way into the chamber). I just say this to back up the wiki statement that "a blank cartridge can give a false sense of safety". –  Johnny Bones Jul 2 at 18:50

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