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Underneath this upload PhantomSavage asks “Why do so many people hate this show? I love this show, I watch it all the time, and I’m not a retarded red neck… So what, maybe these guys don’t have the state of the art equipment major contractors and companies do, but they at least know what the hell they’re doing and do amazing [things] with what they’ve got. Stop calling them dumb red necks, they’re actually intelligent people who run a small business and run it well, and have some fun along the way.” If Mr. Hayden would like to be taken seriously, he should, at the least, take firearms safety seriously. What if one of his employees decided to return fire? What a great episode that would have been. Or, more likely, crime scene evidence. [h/t to]

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  1. Meh I don’t have too much of a problem with the show, I think they will run out of ideas soon enough though. If they got out of Discovery’s framework of tight deadlines and ridiculous builds with little or no technical information delivered to the audience I would like it a lot better. To me the show is just a gun-centric OCC. Will made his name as being one of the best AK smiths in the industry, and he has remained active on a lot on gun websites even after the show gained popularity. I don’t expect him to make his way over to this site anytime soon though. If I had an AK, UZI or Mac-10 that I wanted custom work on he would be the only smith I would send it too. I have seen his work at the ranges by me and read his comments on other sites. The guy is pretty down to earth and his work before the show was excellent.

    • First off bro they will never break from the as you called it “Discovery’s framework”. Reason being that it’s not just Discovery Channel that does it, all Reality shows do the same thing in order to add some structure or like you said framework to the show.! Despite what you think that you want without that structure the show would be virtually unwatchable.! As far as not revealing to much technical information that also is done intenonally due to the fact that there are alot of crazies out there & that gun laws vary widely from state to state they cannot just go ahead & reveal on national TV how to do an for example a semi to auto conversion & how to make explosive charges ect ect.!! I did not think that this would be something that would have to be explained but I guess I was wrong.!! Jeez..!!

  2. It’s all a big joke until someone gets killed. There have been at least two actors that have died screwing around with blanks, and imagine what could have happened if some real ammo had gotten into the mix.

    • Yes two actors have died…….as compared to the thousands of actors who have used them sets with and the millions of blank rounds that have been fired AT THEM. To be honest sqiubs are more of a health hazard than blanks, lets strap a firecracker onto your chest and surround it with liquid and then blow it up.
      As to the live rounds, he modified the weapon so it will only accept blanks, and he hand loaded the rounds into chamber. I am sure he knows the difference.

      • While I can see the point (heck, I dry fire, and check the chamber religiously), personally, I don’t point a real gun at anybody, empty or loaded with blanks or whatever. It’s the intent behind this that troubles me. I like shooting, I like competing, and I have a *lot* of fun while doing so. But I take the safety side of shooting very seriously, and won’t let my desire to have a good time put myself or anyone else in harm’s way.

        There’s a word to describe right-handed people who goof around with table saws, (“Lefty”), and words to describe people who goof around with guns like this, (“ND’s waiting to happen”).

      • Anybody who has had even a day of stunt training knows that, even when loaded with blanks, the gun is not pointed at the other actor… the camera angle is set to make it LOOK like the gun is pointed at the other actor. In reality, the gun is pointed just wide of the “receiving” actor. Even the stunt actors know not to point a gun at a target you don’t intend to shoot – even if the gun is loaded with blanks.

      • They put something under the squibs. Something like a bullet proof vest. Just not as nearly as strong. It does help protect the actor or stuntman. They have also came up with better blanks.

  3. I rarely watch the show but it is entertaining when I do watch. However I think they paint a very poor picture of responsible firearms usage — I think they are just way too casual in their handling. I think firearms can be great fun but the way they go about it makes it look like “gun types” are just reckless.

  4. Uh.. what, popping off a few blanks in a relatively large space, while aimed in a safe direction is the great satan? Wouldn’t be much work for hollyweird armorers if that were the case. Poor judgement? Perhaps slightly, but I’d put it on the same level as your typical gearhead on a typical gearhead show lighting off a balloon full of oxygen and acetylene.

    While I’m pretty far from a huge fan of the show, if Discovery ran something that boiled down to 60 minutes of longbeards debating a particular page of their Speer #6 reloading manual, before gowning up in Lab 4 space suits to gasp expend a .22 LR in an indoor range, I doubt many people would be watching it.

    • Well, I’m pretty sure I’d never want to go shooting with you, if your idea of “safe direction” is “towards the other people in the shop”.

  5. Clowning around with guns is only funny if you’re still in junior high school.

    … Or, if you’re intellect hasn’t progressed since then.

  6. Crazy stuff. First episode I saw was last night. They were modding a tactical shotgun for a sheriff so pulling a trigger on the fore end pistol grip activated a taser. So to tase someone you have to point a shotgun at him?? Wrong on so many levels.

    • I don’t mind the concept and appreciated that they kept the shotgun trigger and the taser trigger far away from each other. Though the mount for the taser was atrocious and looked like it made it very awkward to use.

    • Another thing thats wrong is having two triggers on one gun, esp. when one trigger is less than lethal. Didnt Sig or someone have a VFG mounted light with trigger activation that was recalled/discontinued?

  7. Someone else pointed out that the gun he fired was modified to only shoot blanks, and that he loaded it himself. At any rate there is obviously some context missing.

    I’m not sure I’m bothered by this – this type of thing (guns with blanks being fired at people) happens on TV and movie sets every day. While you can’t tell exactly how far he was away from the two guys, it’s obvious that he didn’t fire it against there noggin’s. The two incidences where actors died due to being shot with a blank were due to stupidity and utter negligence:

    form Wikipedia:

    1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun loaded with a single blank cartridge. Hexum was playing Russian Roulette during a break in filming.

    1993: Actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop gun during the making of the movie The Crow. The accident happened after a mistake in prop handling procedures: In a prior scene a revolver was fired using a cartridge with only a primer and a bullet, but the primer provided enough force to push the round out of the cartridge into the barrel of the revolver, where it stuck. The gun was then reused to shoot the death scene of Lee’s character. This time it was reloaded with a blank cartridge that contained propellant and a primer. When actor Michael Massee fired the gun, the bullet was propelled into Lee.[144]

    If it was a prop gun, I’m not sure that this is really any issue…

    What I find more interesting is that a custom gun smith who touts that “if you can dream it we can build it” can stay in business without having a modern machine shop and educated engineers and designers. I just watched an episode last night where Hayden was touting that he had a $300,000 CNC machine. The funny, and sad, thing is that there wasn’t a person in the shop who knew how to run it. One guy didn’t even know he could use a plasma cutter to cut aluminum. The utterly failed at trying to build a custom Gatling shotgun and had to resort to strapping conventional shotguns together.

    I’m not criticizing so much as cocking my head to the side in curiosity as to how they stay in business and lack the ability to truly engineer products. They certainly know what they are doing as far as gun smiting. The extent of their custom ability seems to fall short of simple modifications to existing guns. Of course, I gleam all this from what the TV shows me – I very well might be talking out of my ass.

    • The fact that the actors who died due to blanks did so because of “stupidity and negligence” tends to argue against this particular incident, unless you consider what happened to be a reasonable and prudent use of a firearm…

      • Stupidity and negligence in context…

        The first actor died because he fired a prop gun against his head while playing Russian roulette (not part of the movie/scene). Stupid because why would you put a small explosive to your head and set it off? Negligent because the prop gun was not taken form the actor and stored securely when it was not being used in a scene. Also negligent if the actor was not versed on the dangers of prop guns.

        The second actor did not die from being shot with a blank, but a real bullet. This is pure negligence on the part of the armorer(s) and the person(s) who’s idea it was to have live ammo on set.

        In the context of this show – Sons of Guns – if in fact it was a prop gun incapable of firing live rounds, and he fired it at a distance from the workers, or did not point it at them, they I’m not sure how his actions are any different then what happens on TV and movie sets every day… for which there is no complaining about. Sons of Guns is a TV show after all.

        • The TV shows I’ve worked on or been around have had dedicated armorers who are tasked with insuring that the prop guns are used safely, professionally and responsibly. In this case, Will himself was the armorer, and that was not responsible nor safely. Yes, it’s a reality show about a business, so the rules don’t apply as much here, but if we want safe gun use we must, (to borrow a phrase from 2008 🙂 ) be the change we are looking for.

        • Compared to the thousands of other shows (and the ones you’ve worked one) and assuming this was a prop gun… What, exactly was unsafe about what Will did in comparison to what goes on on TV and movie sets?

        • Professionalism. Armorers take their jobs VERY seriously and are probably the most-serious guys on the set. Long hours, creative people and copious amounts of gaffer’s tape can lead to some EPIC pranks, but nobody ever jokes around with a prop gun.

        • Essentially the firearm he created wasn’t any different than stringing together a couple of M-80’s and lighting them off in a tin can. If he would of done that, no one would be complaining. The firearm was safe, it seems like it was pointed at the employees, but it also seemed like Leo died at the end of the Titanic. Creative editing, I would bet that weapon was pointed in a safe direction when he pulled the trigger. What was the actual harm? Maybe some ringing in the ears but other than that nothing.

        • @ExurbanKevin

          I find that exceedingly difficult to believe. See: “actor shoots himself in the head with a prop gun while joking around.”

          And again – you have no clue what went on on the set of Sons of Guns. You have no clue as to how far away one person was from the other, if the gun was pointed at anyone, or even if there was anyone else inside the room when Will shot the prop gun (assuming it was a prop).

          Of course I don’t have a clue either. I’m postulating a scenario based off the fact that Sons of Guns is a TV show, and like any TV show has lots of lawyers and insurance agents they have to answer too, as well as a number of other agencies.

          It’s a TV show people – Will supposedly shot a prop gun at his employees (when they were not expecting it). What is the difference between that and “normal” actor doing the same thing on a “normal” set?

        • I don’t see why it’s hard to believe, because as you say,

          “actor shoots himself in the head with a prop gun while joking around.”

          When it happens, people get hurt. The problem with Jon-Eric Hexum and Brandon Lee wasn’t that they were fooling around with guns on-set, it was that the armorer on the set wasn’t being professional and keeping the props off set until they were needed. In fact, those two instances are why armorers now take their job so seriously. No one wants a repeat tragedy.

        • Actually John Hexum was playing Russian Roulette during a break in filming when he shot himself in the head & died.!! So he was playing around unlike you stated!!

        • I am sure that I am not the only John Wayne fan here at TTAG. Watch McClintock, a stuntman shoots Patrick Wayne (Dev Warren) in the stomach with a blank pistol that was close enough to leave powder on Patrick’s shirt. There are two cut-aways, before the shot and after the shot. The shot itself was done by the Movies Armorer, and left a small powder mark on his green shirt, there is another cut where moved the burn up and enlarged to make it look bigger and that it caused the shirt to catch fire. BUT the actual shot was just longer than arms length.
          I like the quote afterwards, “If he dies, he will be the first man to be killed by a blank cartridge.”
          There isn’t much difference between what happened on that set and what happened on the set of SonsofGuns.

        • @irock350

          First – with insurance companies, I think things have changed a bit regarding on set safety. Second – powder burns? Do you realize that actors strap small explosives to their bodies (squibs) to simulate gun shots… I’m sure that more than once and actor has gotten more than “power burns” from a squib.

          Second – you have no clue what went on on the set of Sons of Guns. You have no clue as to haw far away one person was from the other, if the gun was pointed at anyone, or even if there was anyone else inside the room when Will shot the prop gun.

          It’s a TV show – get over it.

        • Wow way to misread the internets. My point is that both were safe and that there wasn’t any difference, hence the quote about dying from a blank. 😉

  8. This was likely as scripted as any scene from Die Hard or any other action movie scene. I find it hard to believe that a show with as many lawyers as that one has attached to it would have anything like that happen spontaneously.

  9. I take it that there are people who don’t know that the show as is scripted as Monday Night Raw, including this little practical joke. So the cameras just happen to have the right lighting and angles all the time? Amazing. Most shows have to spend big dollars to get the lighting and angles right.

    It may be entertaining, but it’s about as real as pro wrestling.

    • “It may be entertaining, but it’s about as real as pro wrestling.”

      And about as educational. I don’t know why these crap shows are even on Discovery. Remember when it used to be watchable?

    • Wait a minute, Ralph. Pro Wrestling fake? How can you fake a body slam? If you want to know about fake sports, check out baseball. Don’t you think it’s a bit strange how the inning always ends right before it’s time to show the commercial?

  10. I don’t think it takes a lot skill to toss some model rockets into some pvc tubes. Did they really think that’ll scare the pirates?

    I get a little tired of the “we’re the first ones to ever do something like this”. Only if you don’t count just about every 5th grader.

  11. I feel bits of my intelligence erode away every time I see more than 10 seconds of that show. But then again, I feel the same about most other “reality shows”.

  12. @ExurbanKevin

    Again, you are purporting to know what happened when, (I’m assuming) you don’t. Yes, it looked like a joke but it may have very well been (and I’d bet it was) a planned event. I would not be surprised to find out that the two “victims” of the joke knew it was going to happen.

    Again – this is a TV show, reality TV or not. What’s the difference between this and any cops and robbers show where they are running around pointing, and shooting prop-guns at each other? You haven’t explained that.

  13. About the whole “being the first to do it thing”, there was an episode where they made a folding gun with a flash light on it. They made it out like they did it first…when in fact it had already done (Google fmg 9). I mean come on, what do you think they based that airsoft gun that gave will and them the idea to make it from?

  14. On last nights show the one Tech( i dont know his name) stuck the barrel of a dueling pistol in his mouth. Yes, it was black powder and requires a cap but dont they have compressed air in the shop? I personally dont stick any gun near my head period.
    Its a dumb practice and degrades the persona of gun owners to dumb-a$$ red necks.

    If someone had a picture of a person with a bong made from a gun it would be the IGOTD.
    Dude, dont stick guns in your mouth…unless surrounded by zombies with one bullet left.

  15. If someone had “returned fire”without determining if there was a real threat first, then they are an idiot who will be spending many many years in jail. Simple as that.

  16. I watch the show all the time. I find it entertaining, which is what television is supposed to be.

    As for the incident in the video, so what? He did something that was less than the perfection demanded by the Gods of TTAG. I’d like to point out that none of us are perfect. We’ve all done things that if caught on tape, could be Monday morning quarterbacked for the next several months. There are much more irresponsible gun owners out there than Will Hayden that are more deserving of the title.

    The kind of nitpicking that’s going on in this post is best left to the anal-retentive, hand-wringing loons of the CSGV, VPC, and Brady variety.

  17. Will Hayden’s out-of-control temperament – and his domineering abuse of his employees – is not entertaining. Nor does it have any place on a television show that purports to show guns in a positive light.

    • Neither does OCC present that the guys know about bikes. Ice Road Truckers is all about shit disturbing. Crab Guys the cold. Alaska Flying Plane Guys about the whining. None of these shows have much value of anything except when something bad goes down and the ratings go up. It is all bullshit and I see no reason why it should be on what used to be deemed an educational channel. Hell, put WWE on there and be done with it. I personally have seen a lot worse stuff on TV for the sake of entertainment but please I wish they would get this shit off Discovery. Move it to Spike so something besides Star Wars and UFC re-runs can play.

  18. Even if you don’t consider this irresponsible Will ( I think it’s Will, I don’t really watch the show much) has a bad habit of sticking his finer in the guard when he handles the guns. Heck on the anniversary episode one of their men stood right in front of one of the project gun while they played with the back of it. Let’s not forget having the cameraman walk in front of loaded guns, that’s most Discovery shows though.

  19. Well, that was stupid.

    Mostly I like the show but Will Hayden’s temper and the made up soap opera act with the gunsmith wanting to date the daughter is getting annoying. I watch for the fun stuff they do with firearms. Not stupid stunts and phoney soap opera stuff.

    One other thing from a recent show – They bought $300,000 of CNC machine tools and no training on how to use it? No one to design products to produce on it? What the hell is that about?

    I have programmed for CNC, do 3-D CAD/CAM design. Any company making that kind of investment wants one of those machines cranking as non-stop as they can get!

    • Well first off I have no doubt that Haas gave them that CNC for free or at a SEVERLY reduced cost because of the advertising value alone that will get from being on a popular TV program. I have no doubt in my mind that everybody received the proper training just like everyone else gets that comes along with purchasing a system. As far as the segment where they made like they could not get the system to execute their program I bet the farm was preplanned for the show..!! I know it makes not much sense at all to folks like you & I but keep in mind that there is not a & I use this term very loosely “Reality TV Program” that is “Reality” & alot of the content in them is “Scripted”.. The reason being is truthfully that coming from a director/producer prospective reality is boring & for TV purposes needs “Spicing Up” in order to make it watchable for the amount of time that the show airs for. The fact is that for every 60minute “Reality” program on average around 100 hours of footage is shot.!! With all that said as far as what you call the “Soap Opera” parts of the program like whats going on between Kris & Steph who BTW are actually married so it’s not an act. You have to realize that even though you think that the show would be better without it the fact of the matter is that as boring it is to you sitting there & just watching a bunch of guys build guns the entire time is just not good content.!! I mean how long do you think a show will last if that’s all it was?! Not long at all & it also opens up the viewing audience to a wider demographic. Take American Chopper for example, they do the same exact thing, it’s not just an hour of shop time building bikes it’s also filled with a bunch of other things that go on outside the shop. That rings true for every single “Reality Program” that’s on TV today.

  20. Their irresponsible behavior goes beyond a prank in the shop. One of their employees was smart enough to sit in a Penske rental truck parked in front of a terminal at DFW airport on 11 Sep 2011 while he waited for an associate. Just happened that the truck was loaded with pyrotechnics and and one or more weapons.

    No ticket issued, no law broken, no harm done (I guess). However, it seems almost the same level of irresponsible, non-thinking behavior as firing off some blanks in the shop for fun to see people jump. Maybe not, opinions will differ.

    • Dumb yes but let’s be fair here, it was not Red Jacket that did this. The TV production company did it with their own stunt people.

  21. 1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.

    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
    —Jeff Cooper

    So…I count that as three basic rules of gun safety that Mr. Hayden violated.

    • While I agree that no gun should ever be pointed at anyone or anything you don’t want destroyed, there is an exception, stage guns, ones that can’t fire a projectile. The weapon in question had been modified so that a bullet can’t transit the barrel. While even that can cause damage from powder burns up close, at even 10 yards you can ignore it.

      So that makes Will’s action merely stupid, not really dangerous.

  22. Ok guys obviously what u guys don’t know is those actors were killed by what is called a wadded blank instead of the newer crimped blanks. Totally different as a wadded blank still releases some form of projectile wads which is how they were accidently killed. Used to be they used sharpshooters in hollywood. Now they use crimp blanks on plugged barrel guns and effect in the muzzleflash into the movies during editing as that’s the law now. So um unless guys actually know what you’re talking about y’all should probably shut the f*** u.

    • Actually they use front firing blank guns instead of the training blacks that have gas exit the top. No need to add cgi muzzleflash, no-it-all. So why don’t you shut the.fuq up a$$hole!

  23. Totally agree with Enuf Istoomuch…

    Buy 300k of eqiupment, have no training on it, no qualified engineer to design products to use it on. They fly in an engineer for a design, waste time and money then having to get the company HAAS on site to program it whilst the engineer waits… looks really professional hey ?!

    It seems Red Jacket were a little out of their depth on the gatling shotgun !

    The more basic design they presented to the junk yard owner should have stayed at that, don’t put your foot into a more deeper, advanced pond until you know the depth and what you are doing ! Will… pay for Joe to do a course on the CNC.

    And Will always seems to commit to projects, big or small, to be completed in a matter of days or a week tops. What I mean is a client walks in with a job, Will says “yep done in a week”, then abuses the staff and stresses over finishing it, when it is obvious that they have other work needing to be completed first, or the job is larger than thought and Will wants it rushed.

    Will obviously knows his stuff to a certain degree, but quite a few times seems out of his depth.

    What’s the deal with Kris ? He is no longer an apprentice is he ? Either way he seems to have no idea what is going on with most of the projects ! Anyone agree ? I understand he is green and young, but c’mon, and his constant joking attitude is out of place in alot of scenarios, especially in front of clients.

    And Steph is weird. Knows her guns, but the thing with Kris is soap opera indeed. And does anyone thnk she is ugly and with a weird body ? 🙂

    Flem is the only one on the show who totally knows what he is doing. Now that Vince has left as well… If Red Jacket lose Flem… they are in trouble. Vince really knew his s**t.

    • Man u people really take this shit waaaay to seriously..!!! It’s call “Creative Editing & Scripting”!! Watch every single do called “Reality TV” program & every single one of them is on a crunched deadline or it needs to be done yesterday ect ect.!! The production staff feels that it adds excitement to the show ect.!! Take these programs with a grain of salt & for what they are worth.!! It seems to me that the Producers accomplished what they set out to do at least with you they did.!! Lol.!!

  24. Let’s hope that some nit-wit out there who thinks this show is awesome doesn’t try the same stunt and winds up killing someone. If that happens and it surfaces that he got the idea from Sons of Guns Will Hayden is going to be liable along with Red Jacket Firearms, the Discovery Channel and YouTube. I hope that never happens. But if it does then they should be sued for everything they got for being so irresponsible.

    One more thing about this whole Sons of Guns I do not understand is why is the BATF letting this go on? Will Hayden and his daughter lost their FFL license after the BATF couldn’t locate 10 of their registered firearms. That shows even more irresponsibility on their part. Yeah yeah someone else in the shop owns the FFL for the business to continue. IDK maybe the BATF and Hollywood want to give the gun industry and owners a bad image.

    • Are you serious? They lost their license before the show even aired. This show was around discovery for awhile. I remember an episode in season one, where they did a blank gun (Mac 11, i think) for a movie and Kris was an extra. Usually it takes a movie a year from filming before it hits theaters. They filmed the movie silver linings playbook across the street from me. The house where Bradley Coopers character & his parents lived was across the street from me. They started filming October 7th, 2011 and finished November 24, 2011. They spent two weeks on my block. The movie was released almost a year to the date of ending. They finished the Tuesday before Thanksgiving & released it Thanksgiving of 2012. So I think Sons of Guns almost didn’t make it to air. At least not from the date of the movie release they showed Kris on and knowing it was filmed a year prior.

  25. As a company they suck. Just look at the complaints online. Plus they have an F with the Better Businss Bureau. I still can’t believe Will had his daughter marry the village/shop idiot for ratings. He took them to get married for the season finale a few seasons ago. It was a shotgun wedding with cameras….. The fact that Vince is a AT expert and they supposedly had the biggest deal in their history and gave it to her husband is a joke. Also, if you watched the show. Kris is the one that dropped the buffer and screwed things up. So the whole things was his fault. I hope Fleming leaves & gets a job with Vince.

    • The truth is they really don’t know that much about firearms. That whole episode about the wrong buffer being in their AR15 clone is bogus. So they originally installed a hydraulic buffer in their super duper AR15. It didn’t function in full auto because a regular buffer was installed instead. LOL the hydraulic buffer is there to reduce the recoil and maybe slow down or speed up the cyclic rate. That’s why it’s called a buffer. If it functions in semi auto and not full auto it’s in the trigger assembly. But then again this is hollywood and we all know hollywood is true to life.

  26. All we can comment upon is what they show us. from what I’ve seen..Vince really showed a lack of character. but then it’s hard telling what he actually went thru. however, that was just no way for an honorable man to leave. Have any of y’all ever noticed that reality shows are most often based on fantasy? Ok nuff from me Will, Best oif luck to you and Red Jack

  27. Will Hayden is the biggest ASS i have ever witnessed on TV, by the way im danish, I just watched the show, the way Will interacts with other people even his supposed “friends” is appalling, Will is arrogant and egotistical. Once i liked the show but the more I saw of Will Hayden, the more disgusted I became, now to the point I can’t stand to even hear his voice and I really sympathise with his employees

    • I agree with emil. I did not watch the show this past season, something about hayden just rubed me the wrong way.
      Now we know the truth, he is an evil man.


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