EVIKE/Armorer Works custom airsoft DL-44 (Han Solo’s Blaster)

For years, I’ve wanted a nice, all-metal replica of Han Solo’s DL-44 blaster. My Empire Strikes Back version is all metal except the scope and piston greeblies (the pistons were plastic on-screen as well), but my A New Hope version is resin and styrene. After seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story three times last week, I really decided now was the time. So I jumped out into the replica prop online world to see what was currently available.

There have been some nice, licensed pieces produced over the years from companies like Master Replicas, but always in limited editions at premium prices ($400+).

So, when I saw this one in the $200.00 range, I did some research on the Replica Prop Forum, and it turns out this blaster is decently accurate for the money, and it’s actually possible that one of these was used (with some minor modifications) as the on-screen blaster in Solo: A Star Wars Story. So, I jumped on it.

It came yesterday, and I have to say, I love it. It is indeed (almost) all metal, with the only plastic being the grips and the cooling coils/fins at the front. The scope is functional (although not magnified), and here’s the best part – it’s a fully-functioning airsoft pistol!

The blaster is powered not by Tibanna Gas, but by “green gas” which you can buy from airsoft suppliers – it’s essentially propane with some silicone lubricant in it to keep the moving parts of the gun moving freely. I just happened to have some green gas left over from my airsoft “phase” – how convenient.

Being all metal, the blaster’s got a nice heft to it, weighing in at about 2 pounds, 11 ounces (without ammo). The included magazine holds 11 6mm plastic airsoft BBs, and also contains the chamber for the gas (common in green gas airsoft guns). The blaster is a “blowback” pistol – meaning that it functions much like a real firearm – the slide cycles after each shot, loading the next BB into the chamber and cycling the hammer. When you fire the last round, the slide locks back, like a real firearm.

The Base Airsoft Broomhandle does come with a small black metal piece that you can install in the magazine instead of loading it with BBs, allowing you to “dry fire” the gun.  A drawback – I’ve not found a slide release switch on the blaster – I’m not sure if the real Mauser Broomhandle had one. So if you lock the slide back, the only way to get it to release is by reloading or installing the adapter piece in the magazine.

Slide locked back

The blaster has a select fire switch to select from semi-automatic (fires as fast as you can pull the trigger) to full auto. Unfortunately, this select-fire switch is the big inaccuracy in the gun. The original on-screen blaster was built on the C96 Mauser Broomhandle, which didn’t have a full auto mode. These base airsofts are based on the M712, a later version that had a full auto mode. While it’s confirmed that both the blaster from The Force Awakens and Solo were built on airsoft guns, this select fire switch seems to have been removed from the screen-used props, in order to make them appear more like the original trilogy base guns. The blaster also features a working safety lever, like the real Mauser.

The inaccurate “select fire” switch
Safety On
Safety Off

The blaster comes in “kit form” – including the base Mauser pistol, scope, scope mount, and combo flash hider/bull barrel. The base gun is all prepped for conversion, with the proper holes already drilled and tapped to mount the scope mount. The only difficulty is that there was paint/powder coating in the threads of both the holes and the screws, so it took a little work to get things to screw together. Overall however, I had the blaster together in about 15 minutes, with 1 tool (a hex driver for the screw on the flash hider).

The included conversion parts
Scope mounting studs installed
Scope assembly installed

The flash hider/bull barrel is designed to slip right over the stock barrel of the Mauser, so you don’t even need to remove the factory-installed, federally-required orange tip to convert the gun.

Orange tip still in place

Compared to the on-screen A New Hope version, there are some inaccuracies. The screen-used bull-barrel is flat on the bottom, and this one isn’t. The screen-used bull-barrel also fits a bit more flush to the body of the gun, whereas this one installs over top of the stock barrel, leaving a bit of a gap. I think the scope might be a touch longer, and the windage knob on top of the scope seems a bit too tall. Of course, the base airsoft gun itself might be a bit too thick at the magazine area, but I can’t be sure as I don’t have a real Mauser to compare against (but it is thicker than my Denix metal replica that my ESB blaster is built on). There are a couple of detail pieces (referred to as greeblies) missing from the top of the bull-barrel, but several makers offer these for around $12 – $15 (including Todd’s Costumes).

Overall, considering it would cost about twice as much to buy a Denix replica Mauser and custom-machined conversion parts, or pick up the blaster that Todd’s Costumes offers, this is a great replica DL-44 blaster. And hey, if it turns out that they did use one of these in Solo, that will be the icing on the cake.

The overall finish on the blaster is nice – in fact, probably too nice. It’s going to need a little weathering before it really looks like the sidearm of our favorite scoundrel.

If you want to grab one of these for yourself, you can find it at
https://www.evike.com/products/64312/

And right now, you can use coupon code Free3Day to get free 3-day UPS shipping (mine came in 2 days).

Also, if you’re looking to “Go Rogue”, they also offer a custom Luger P08. And, if you’re loyalties lie to the Empire, there’s a custom Sterling SMG as well.

 

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