An old movie prop gun once used on-screen by Clint Eastwood in the 1968 World War II film Where Eagles Dare turned up at a gun amnesty day recently held in Somerset, Britain.
According to a story on WarHistoryOnline.com, the MP40 submachine gun not an actual firearm, but indeed a non-functioning movie prop.
In the movie, U.S. Army Ranger Lt. Morris Schaffer (Eastwood) parachutes into a German army base to rescue a captured General. To avoid detection, he disguises himself as a German soldier.
This means he gets his hands on some Axis firepower, like a captured Wehrmacht MP40 submachine gun—also known as the trench broom. Of course, there’s all the fireworks an Eastwood film is known for, including a scene where he dual-wields MP40s in a pre-Rambo Rambo moment.
According to the story, the prop MP40 was turned in to Bridgewater Police Station by an unidentified man that said he worked in film. When handing it over, he stated that the mock weapon was used in the 1968 Eastwood film.
Evidential Property and Stores Manager Richard Vise told War History Online that the police have confirmed the MP40 is the one used in Where Eagles Dare. The weapon, like other notable arms turned during amnesty days, will be sent to the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
The MP40 was a submachine gun chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum and developed in Nazi Germany. It was designed by Heinrich Vollmer in 1938 and was inspired by its predecessor, the MP38. It was use extensively by Axis powers during the war by infantrymen, particularly platoon and squad leaders, and paratroopers on both the Eastern and Western fronts. From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.1 million MP40s were produced by Erma Werke.