The Most Awesome Guns in Film
The Most Awesome Guns in Film
Sometimes a signature weapons can be just as memorable as the hero themselves. Who could forget Ash’s “boomstick” from Army of Darkness or Dirty Harry’s colt .44 (are you feeling lucky?). These weapons are the icing on the cake, a few rare side arms and rifles that stood out from the rest and made the film and hero iconic. We look at the best weapons that have ever graced the silver screen. The biggest, loudest and most entertaining, The most Awesome Guns in Film.
“Boomstick” – Army of Darkness
When Ash (Bruce Campbell) must fight against the evil dead, he wields his might “Boomstick”. Ash, not being the most brightest of sparks, identifies this weapon as a Remington, but the might deadite slayer is actually packing a 12 gauge Stoeger Coach Gun. That does not matter to our incompetent hero who blast deadites and doppelgangers alike in his never ending battle against the Evil Dead.
Blurring the lines a little, Ash manages to fire off multiple rounds without reloading this two shell weapon. Either that or Ash is very fast at reloading for a man with one hand!
Walther PPK – James Bond
In the 1960s, a single spy film made the Walther PPK the most famous gun in the world. Being the signature fire arm of secret agent James Bond (Sean Connery) , the weapon is as famous as 007 himself. Starting back in 1962 with Dr. No when M handed Bond his very first PPK, the tradition of the weapon has carried on through the years. All the bonds have handled a variation on the PPK, with Daniel Craig most recently handling a Walther PPK – 7.65x17mm Browning in Spectre.
The Walther PPK is well known for being short but powerful automatic pistol and was designed with law enforcement in mind, so it’s apt that the world’s most famous spy would use it against the criminal element he encounters.
.44 Magnum – Dirty Harry
Probably one of the most iconic revolvers in cinema is carried by Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in the 1971 crime drama Dirty Harry. Harry’s weapon of choice is a Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum, which he lovingly waves around like he’s showing of his prized puppy. Harrys not happy unless he’s pointing it into bad guys faces and generally looking mean with his giant, long barreled, sidearm. Yes Harry and his .44 is a true love story, even when he’s threatening to blow your head “clean off”.
Producers run into trouble obtaining the gun as S&W Model 29 was no longer in production at that time. It is claimed that Eastwood contacted Smith & Wesson and used his star appeal to get them to produce a couple for filming. The blanks used in shooting had to be custom made as the standard blanks would not fit.
As for Harry’s line in the film about the .44 Magnum being “the most powerful handgun in the world”, it seems he was right, as it was a good ten years before the more larger .454 Casull round was commercial available in a handgun.
“My Little Friend” – Scarface
In one of cinemas more memorable moments Tony Montana (Al Pacino) pulls out a full auto converted M16A1 rifle, to fight the home invaders in his mansion. Not only does this weapon look mean in the hands of crazed Montana, but it also has a heavy punch. The weapon has a M203 grenade launcher attached to the bottom for maximum stopping power at short range, loaded with 40mm grenades and 5.56x45mm bullets. Tony has been taped together Two 30 round magazines to increase ammo capacity.
The guns M203 grenade launcher was a custom-made prop for use on the film, as the production could not find any live firing grenade launchers. The prop is the same one used in Predator.
Zorg ZF-1 – Fifth Element
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) makes a deal with the shape-shifting Mangalores, trading them his company’s new multi weapon device, Zorg ZF-1. This all purpose, multifunction, tactical device has a titanium recharger, three thousand round clip with bursts of three to three hundred (With a Replay Button) rocket launcher, poison arrow launcher, net launcher, flamethrower (Zorg’s favourite), and the “all-new Ice Cube System”. This swiss army knife styled device also comes with its very own auto destruct button, in the form of a large glowing red button on the side.
The weapon was built around a AKS-74U carbine and other models were created for each effect needed. The props were swapped out for each of the ZF-1s functions.
Auto-9 – Robocop
Whilst Detroit Police Department Officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) carried the SIG-Sauer P226 as he sidearm of choice, his alternate identity as Robocop used a Beretta 93R based machine pistol, called the “Auto 9“, which slotted into the side of his leg. The pistol is fitted with an extended casket-shaped barrel with a raised front sight and matching enlarged rear sight. Robocop has a tracking system which he can use to further increase his accuracy with the powerful weapon.
The Beretta 93R was developed for police and military use and comes with a selector switch which allows for rapid three-round burst with each pull of the trigger. The three round burst allowed the user to control the gun more accurately than with a full automatic weapon.
The Auto 9 was designed specifically for Robocop, but has since been reused in other films, TV series and video games, such as in Sin City and Far Cry 4.
Westinghouse M95A1 Phased Plasma Rifle – Terminator 2
A sequel to the sci-fi action thriller that made him a huge star,Arnold Schwarzenegger returns with bigger guns and better one-liners in Terminator 2. From the M79 grenade launcher to the humble Winchester 1887, there were plenty of weapons on display. Even the M134 minigun from predator makes an appearance. However, our favourite piece is the destructive little number seen at the beginning of the film, dual wielded by a skinless T800 in the future war between man and machine. This weapon was built on the Calico M960 (Liberty 100 variant) 9mm submachine gun and shoots blue plasma rounds.
Cobra Assault Cannon – Robocop
When the murderous Boddicker Gang get their hands on experimental military weapons being developed by OCP, the streets of Detroit become a war zone. The Cobra Assault Cannon is an anti-tank rifles that fires powerful high explosive incendiary rounds, with little to no recoil. We witness these weapons being fired several times to maximum destruction, blowing up cars and buildings alike.
These weapons are based on Barrett M82 long-range .50 BMG rifles, dressed with plastic housing over the receivers and fitted with gigantic scopes. These Scopes were supposed to display complex targeting, like Robocop’s, but budget restraints saw these displays scrapped. These mean looking guns are big and bad! I’d buy that for a dollar!
Bio Force Gun v3.14 – Doom
The Doom video game adaption was a relatively disappointing affair, but it did manage to include one of the games highlights; The BFG (Big Fragging Gun / Bio Force Gun). Like in the game, the Bio Force Gun v3.14, is the most destructive weapons seen in the film. It accumulates energy which it fires in the form of blue plasma (very hot and highly energised matter). Due to its high heat attributes, plasma will melt through or burn materials, causing death through heat transfer or disintegration. Due to its lack of splash back from the plasma discharge, it can be used in close quarters without hurting or killing the user.
The Gun is based on the BFG 9000 which can be found in several video games, with Quake and Doom being the most prominent. In game the plasma projectiles are classically green, though other colours have also been used.
The Gun is used in film by Sarge (Dwayne Johnson) and fires a bright blue plasma projectile that explodes on impact leaving a caustic substance. Considering it’s size, it’s relatively light.
EM-1 Railgun – Eraser
The EM-1 Railgun is a fictional weapon designed for The Arnold Schwarzenegger action film Eraser. U.S. Marshal John ‘The Eraser’ Kruger (Schwarzenegger) discovers that his partner is selling special mechanical weapons to terrorists. These weapons are the “Electromagnetic” rail guns that can fire aluminium rounds at close to the speed of light. The weapon is also fitted with a variable magnification “X-Ray” scope, allowing the user to see through solid walls and skin. Targets show up as outlined skeletons on the scope, allowing for the user to target internal organs such as the heart.
In reality, rail guns (weapon that would use neither explosives nor propellant, but rather rely on electromagnetic forces to achieve a very high kinetic energy of a projectile) are purely fictional, though development of this technology is ongoing.
M41A Pulse Rifle – Aliens
The Marines of the United States Colonial Marine Corps (USCM) know how to handle dangerous situations, by using their standard issues M41A Pulse Rifle. These futuristic assault rifles pack a real punch with 10mm caseless armor-piercing ammunition and an additional 30mm grenade launcher mounted underneath the barrel. Each rifle has a LED read out that displays the number of rounds remaining in the magazine. Each Magazine has a capacity of 99 (loaded to 95 to prevent jamming).
The actual prop was made from an M1A1 Thompson submachine gun and a cut-down Remington 870 shotgun finished with a futuristic aluminium shell painted in “Brown Bess” paint. Due to the predominantly blue on-set lighting the guns often appeared to be an olive-green colour.
GE M134 Minigun – Predator
Sergeant Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura) wasn’t one to mince his words and he backed it all up with his dear pal “Ol’ Painless”, which he took with him into the jungles of the fictional Val Verde Jungle.
The gun has a rotating barrel which allows a higher rate of fire and increases cooling. It was built for suppression and is what it makes up for in power it lacks in accuracy. Due to the electricity required for the weapon an external power pack is required, restricting the weapon to vehicle-mounted use. Hollywood’s take on the gun is a portable battlefield weapon that requires no fixed power source!
Blain little beauty has been modified with a M60 handguard assembly and an M16-style carry handle for easier handling and stability. It used an M23 armament system ammo box that could fire 6000 rounds per minute.
For the film, the weapon was powered off-screen via cables and loaded with blank rounds. To capture the barrels spinning, the guns rate of fire was decreased from the normal 6,000 RPM to 1,250 RPM.
It is also the same type of weapon used by Arnold in Terminator 2.
Plasma Caster – Predator
Probably one of the most iconic weapons on our list, it’s difficult to confuse the three-point triangular laser sight being any other thing than the targeting system of a Predators Plasma Caster.
The plasma caster is a shoulder-mounted energy weapon that shoots a bright blue (or gold) plasma pulse in a straight line. The energy output can be adjusted, ranging from lethal to stun, which explains why Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is hit but not killed by a bolt. A triangular laser rangefinder is used to assist aiming the shot, which works in conjunction with the predators helmet for displaying targets. Different signatures can be switch, with heat being the Predators main source for hunting. The guns shoots with a spray of sparks and is not always very accurate. Once it has locked onto a target, it’s position of fire is fixed, and so moving targets are harder to hit.
The weapon was nicknamed the “Blow Dryer” gun due to its similarity to a Hair Dryer. The weapon is dubbed the “Plasma Caster” in official literature.
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