Gail Bongalis created Castle Armoury Online to fill a small niche that within several industries, as a resource for those who research historical guns and vintage weapons. Information herein can assist law enforcement, media, motion picture & television industry & authors around the world. The gallery is a compilation of historical photographs of rare antique and vintage firearms, mostly handguns. Some of the photos pre-date 1960 and all pre-date June 1993. The gallery photos are of Gail's father's personal collection, which was auctioned in 1993, in its entirety.
Two 12 Gauge Rota shotguns with shortened barrels and converted to blank-firing, for the movie, HITMAN, starring Chuck Norris. 1992
No firearms are offered for sale or trade on this site or through a store-front.
Directors, property masters and set decoration people sometimes seek a particular look for a firearm, especially, when a script is vague. How can an author, who is unfamiliar with firearms, know which make or model is the right choice for a character or even how to accurately describe the weapon? Some producers have been known to discard a new script at the sight of even one inaccuracy,
Creative license is sometimes used in film and television productions, either by number of shots a weapons fires, use of a gun manufactured in a different era or by cheating the camera. By scanning the gallery, its easy to select a gun that suites a character by appearance and then, obtain its make, model and serial number, to ensure it was manufactured during the right time period for the storyline. The photos in the Gallery, with over 400 photos, including a large COLT Navy collection, are captioned with make, model and serial number, which allows further research, to confirm the firearm choice is accurately depicted and is a correct choice. The photographs are on the gallery are expanable, for further detail. For many guns, the year of manufacture is used as a model number.
A Resource page is included for those who want to learn more about firearms that were manufactured post-1996. The page includes links to popular manufacturers, whose brands Castle Armoury carried. The Resource page offers links to the Firearms safety and the CORE hunting manuals. The resource page will grow as more resources are added.
Do you want to learn the art of gunsmithing? Or study criminology and firearms history? This site is perfect place to start. The T-XXX number in the Gallery captions are a Castle Armoury Online identification number, only.
About Castle Armoury Ltd History
Tom and Terry Bongalis, identified a new Canadian business opportunity and pioneered blank-firing weapons for the motion picture and television industry in the early 1960s. Tom’s expertise and vast knowledge quickly made him the most recognized firearms consultant within that industry and possibly, in the country. It was important, to him, to match actors with factually correct weapons.
From then onward, the family provided weapons to production companies for films such as Rambo First Blood, Narrow Margin, Bird on a Wire and television series such as The Littlest Hobo, MacGyver, Airwolf, 21 Jump Street, Wise Guy and The Commish, to name only a few. During the early years, the older children loaded blank cartridges, packaged them and cleaned the guns that came back from rental. Their mother often attended televison and movie sets as a professional armourer.
Always a priority and of tantamount importance, safety became a critical part of the business early on, by intrinsically teaching property masters and the general public how to safely handle and use firearms. Once the business changed its name to Castle Armoury Ltd. and moved into a castle, staff taught the Firearms Safety & Education Course to the RCMP and later, the general public. With two gunsmiths on staff, more repairs and the manufacture of firearms for the general public also became possible.
Tom fell ill in September of 1990, prior to moving into the Castle and appointed his daughter, who worked with him, to manage and operate the business. He passed away in June of 1993.
The Castle thrived until two rounds of anti-firearm legislation caused the bottom to fall out of the retail and wholesale business. Decisions were made to liquidate the stock of over 10,000 arms and sell the building. Castle Armoury closed in March of 1996 and the building was sold.
About Gail Bongalis
Gail Bongalis began her journey into marksmanship and the firearms business at the age of two. During her youth, Gail became highly accomplished in marksmanship and in 1990 became president of Castle Armoury Limited, which by then, had operated for over thirty years in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Gail directed and managed many facets within the firm, such as import and export of firearms, wholesale and retail sales, mail order, repair, manufacture, public speaking and rental of blank-firing weapons to the motion picture and television industry. She also provided on-set armourers, worked with and organized classes at the Castle to teach the Firearms Safety & Education Training to a local police force and then general public. In addition to target shooting, Gail enjoyed trap and sporting clays, joined IPSC, the International Practical Shooting Confederation and learned combat-style handgun shooting and protocol.
After closing the business in 1996 due to the new and more restrictive legislation, Gail co-founded a non-profit organization. Over the next two decades, she became a forensic genealogist, a qualified fashion designer and within the field of personal development, managed 170 life, financial and business coaches across North America.
Gail's past projects have included firearms research for authors and publication and distribution of an informational brochure to bring awareness to hepatitis C and its transmission, and public speaking on that topic. She then became a forensic genealogist and researched the heirs of a US President's immediate family, a famous fast-food magnate, a well-known American attorney and a famous comedian. During her time as a professional forensic genealogical researcher, Gail located over 2,500 missing people.