On Sept. 30, 1982, the first episode of the third season of "Magnum P.I" aired. For many long-time fans of this show, this compelling two-hour episode came to be one of their favorites, revealing a side of Thomas Magnum not previously seen with its many flashbacks to Vietnam, and its powerful ending with a single pistol shot. Throughout this episode, there are many references to sunrises following the death of Mac, one of Magnum's military intelligence friends killed in a car bomb intended for Magnum.
As depicted onscreen as a private detective in Hawaii, Thomas Magnum relied on a military pattern Colt pistol. The National Firearms Museum is now in possession of this Colt pistol. Prop gun aficionados enjoy the nuances of unusual pieces and this Magnum p.i. handgun is actually a 9 mm Parabellum pistol, rather than the expected U.S. Army issue .45 acp caliber. The 9 mm chambering for this prop gun was selected due to better functioning with easily obtainable 9 mm blank cartridges-ideal for a propmaster responsible for reliable operation of prop guns on set.