The Lawgiver Pistol in the DREDD movie was a formidable weapon to go up against. Using standard pistol ammunition as a blunt force, the Judges of MegaCity One can hurl "Specialty" ammo at their targets. These special rounds included: Hot-Shot, Armor Piercing, Rapid Fire, High Explosive (Hi-EX), Incendiary, and Stun. The use of specialty ammo is voice activated. The Lawgiver also has a special DNA secuity feature that only allowed it's designated Judge to operate it.
The Lawgiver Working-Prop, used in DREDD, was based on a Glock 17 Pistol (most likely the 9mm version.)
"The actual Airsoft G17 used in the production ones is the KJW (KSC without trades) Gen. 3 G17." - Michael Van Kesteren
The "specialty" ammo is housed in the front of the weapon in a magazine that has clear "see-through" windows.
Production designer, Michael Cannone, created a very cool AMMO CHANGING mechanism for the lawgiver pistol, but due to time constraints, the item never made it into the hero prop. He uploaded a video clip of the working mechanism that he created, after the movie was released.
We (DREDD Costuming Fans) realised after a while that the gears of Michael Cannone's Ammo Changing Mechanism were visible in the left window of the Lawgiver magazine. You can clearly see the teeth of the gears in this one screen shot.
The specialty ammo seen in the clear windows of the lawgiver magazine are actually fake. It's a photograph, not real physical items. Dredd fan, Jared Butler, talked extensively with the DREDD production weapon designer and learned that tid-bit of information. Click the image above for a printable PDF of the magazine ammo, to go inside you own lawgiver window. Thanks to Chris Wailes for making this image avaialble to the fans.
In the movie, Dredd and Anderson have to conserve ammo, and they engage the "silencers" on their lawgivers. The barrel extends out about 1.5 inches further than normal. The barrel is 28 mm in diameter.
When fired, the Lawgiver only moves the lower back-end of the reciever body, not the entire slide like you would think. This is useful information if you decide to recreate this feature in your own 'blow-back' Lawgiver.
There were only 12 functioning lawgivers on set. They ranged from bullet firing props -to- airsoft blowback versions -to- silencer extending props -to- electronic light up display versions -to- rubber stunt props.
"as for electronics, due to the size of the weapon there is no space to have the led screen working and have it actually fire. ... all the electronic ones we used on set were purpose built and didnt fire." -thereallawgiver on therpf.com
" .... the actual [specialty round magazine] release, which was functional, just never seen on screen, was a pull release on the right hand side of the weapon just above the trigger.. A flat bar ran under a panel and into the front mag well and clasped the mag in place... On this it's non functioning, but the wedge shaped button above the trigger is the button. The user would simply pull it back with the trigger finger. The bar ran under the cladding into the mag well. The detail is on all the lawgivers....The tab that held the mag in place, and was connected to the wedge via a flat bar, was spring loaded. In the end the tab wasn't quite reliable enough, so the lads used a magnet, and by pulling on the tab you misaligned the magnet from the magazine and the mag would release.. I can't quite remember if the magnet was on the tab or in the magazine, though. I do know the magnet was centered on top, whereas the tab release was at the top rear of the magazine." -Michael Van Kesteren