as a well-established gun fetishist, it probably stands to reason that i’m also one of those guys who gets very excited and/or anal-retentive about the use of firearms in films… and if this was your hypothesis, well, let me just go ahead and confirm it for you. now, i really do try not to be that guy who just ruins everyone’s fun by pointing out how WRONG it is that a character says “clip” instead of “magazine” or worrying about how anachronistic certain guns are (although i must admit i did flip out in this regard when i was watching Terminator 3); instead, i just like to be the guy getting way excited about some random firearm while everyone else is making eye contact and thinking “yeah, well, we all knew that janklow has some problems.”
and as you can probably except, this wordy intro implies rather strongly that a listicle is forthcoming!
janklow’s 13 most favorite movie guns of all time
but wait, let’s have some random mentions!
i seriously would get Jesus Christ Is In Heaven Now put on the side of a gun i owned, even if i WASN’T using it to shoot vampires or anything like that
honorable mention: any really cool but absolutely fictional guns have to be noted here; some of these concepts WOULD be cool (or are cool for what they are, or whatever), but they’re all completely fictional (and not just in a Beretta-93R-“Auto 9”-in-Robocop) way. this list includes the M41A pulse rifle in Aliens (overrated movie, but a cool gun), Hellboy’s Samaritan and Big Baby (i mean, the Samaritan just looks turbo-cool), and the .454 Casull and Jackal that Alucard carries in Hellsing (Jesus Christ Is In Heaven Now, indeed). they just can’t make a real list.
dishonorable mention: any shit-hot new battle-rifle that’s SO popular right now. i love FN’s product line to death (the FNP is one hell of a handgun, anyway), but i’ll never put a P90 or a SCAR or a F2000 on the below list because the only reason people get emotional about them is that they’re COOL and EXPENSIVE right now. and i don’t care if any gun that does make the list seems like it fits that description, because it’s my list, okay? okay.
the downside to the hand-held GE M134 Minigun, of course, is that you have to be a goddamn sexual Tyrannosaurus to use it
13. hand-held GE M134 Minigun
let’s just get this one right out of the way. is it realistic? absolutely not. but is it cool as hell when a huge guy is running around with a tiny, hand-held MINIGUN using to basically do nothing but destroy a lot of scenery? absolutely. people will always think this is cool, and REALLY stupid people will try and tell you that it’s a real gun that their father/brother/cousin fired when he was one of those Special Forces dudes. by the way, don’t listen to guys like that.
prominently seen in: in the hands of Jesse Ventura in Predator, of course. but it also turns up in the hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2, Kurt Russell in Soldier, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, to name a few, and i gather we’ll see it again in the hands of Oleg Takarov when Predators rolls around. Hollywood will never get tired of this gun.
chances of janklow ever owning this: i really wouldn’t want to spend the kind of money a purchase like this would entail even if i DID have a shot at buying one.
12. Colt Single Action Army
some guys don’t like to call these guns Colts in movies since they’re often SAAs made by other manufacturers, but let’s just give Colt the credit and keep it moving. what i’m going to do here is note two cool variations i’ve seen: the kind with a filed-off front sight for quick draw purposes, as seen in the otherwise TERRIBLE film 3000 Miles To Graceland, and the 12″ Buntline Lee Van Cleef attaches a shoulder stock to in For A Few Dollars More.
prominently seen in: tons and tons of movies, especially Westerns or anything where a military officer is supposed to have a classy, rank-symbolizing gun.
chances of janklow ever owning this: it wouldn’t be hard for me to acquire one (maybe not a Colt, but some version of the SAA), but i’ve never been wild about single-action revolvers, even if i think they come off really cool in the movies. now, that carbine version would be cool as hell to own; however, the ATF seems to really frown on pistols with rifle stocks these days.
11. Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket
given my tiny, compact size, i have a soft spot for tiny, compact pistols, but i have to admit i find older guns a lot cooler than all these modern, designed-for-CCW pistols, and the Model 1908 is the best example of a cool older gun. and there’s REALLY nothing cooler than sneaking a pistol through security in a cup of coffee… which is precisely what Gene Hackman does with his Model 1908 in the film Heist.
prominently seen in: well, Heist, but MÃ©lanie Laurent runs around with one in Inglourious Basterds, and i think every single person has one in the Maltese Falcon.
chances of janklow ever owning this: i see them for sale (and for reasonable prices) pretty regularly, so we may have to make it happen.
i really have no idea why Bonnie Bedalia seems so distressed; she’s hanging out with one of the coolest guns EVER
10. FN Model 1949
as stated before, i think FN is pretty cool; this is one of those random rifles that didn’t see service in time for WWII, but was then replaced by later (and presumably better) semi-automatic rifles before it got a lot of attention. the main reason this makes the list is that i recognized it immediately when Knockout Ned started running around with one in City Of God… and then it occurred to me that i hadn’t noticed it in many films.
prominently seen in: the only film you guys have seen is probably City Of God. but Knockout Ned is awesome!
chances of janklow ever owning this: decent. i’d like to think i have a shot at one of these showing up and me throwing money at it. and i absolutely would.
09. .475 Wildey Magnum
now, everyone knows i love to bash the Desert Eagles (just overrated garbage, really) and i never get excited when they pop up in films, and part of this is going wild for other semi-automatic pistols like the .475 Wildey Magnum (obviously the classier man’s choice of Magnum semi-autos). granted, the Wildey doesn’t even need the fuck-the-DE factor to be considered awesome, since it’s featured in a prominent role in one of the most ridiculous films of all time: Death Wish 3. a mugger’s back is no match for the power of the .475 Wildey Magnum!
prominently seen in: well, Death Wish 3. i think Harrelson also runs around going wild with it (and a Beretta 93R) in Natural Born Killers.
chances of janklow ever owning this: slim to none. i tend to shy away from ridiculously collectible guns and/or guns that come in calibers that are especially pricey to shoot. but i COULD always become fabulously wealthy somehow.
08. Winchester Model 1892 “Mare’s Leg”
what’s not to like about taking a fairly potent rifle (a Winchester Model 1892) that fires a fairly potent round (.44-40) and chopping it down to make a pistol out of it? i submit that there’s NOTHING not to like about it. it can’t be pleasant to fire regularly, it kind of defeats the purpose of getting a rifle (i mean, a pistol’s not practical for some reason?) and it looks RIDICULOUS… and yet none of this makes the concept of the gun less fun.
prominently seen in: Steve McQueen (always in the running for coolest guy ever) rocked the hell out of this in Wanted: Dead or Alive; everything else (Harrelson in Zombieland; an unnamed gunman in Once Upon A Time In The West) is basically an homage to that. but Gina Torres running around with one in Firefly/Serenity remains one of the mild reasons i respect that show/movie.
chances of janklow ever owning this: possible, but only because there are manufacturers that make these as straight-up pistols instead of chopping down Winchesters. i guess getting a short-barreled rifle isn’t that impossible, but i’d never cut down a gun i owned like that.
07. HK P7 series pistol
HK’s a well-known and long-supported-by-fanboys (including yours truly) firearm manufacturer; many of their product lines have featured prominently in films, and i’m sure that if you had to guess what i’d throw on this list, it’d be a USP or Mark 23 Model 0 or maybe just a G36K or something. but no, i have to go with the adorably-tiny, squeeze-cocking, fixed-barrel-having P7 series, which are all about performance and not so much about looking cool (or magazine capacity). and i love them.
prominently seen in: the example of this i always give is Alan Rickman’s nickel P7M13 in Die Hard, mainly because it’s a flashy gun in the best action movie of all time, and a movie that everyone’s seen at that. but P7s are all over the place; Tommy Lee Jones had a P7M8 in Under Siege, Christopher Walken had a P7M13 in True Romance, and supposedly Ken Takakura carried one in my choice for unfairly-ignored-Ridley-Scott-film, Black Rain.
chances of janklow ever owning this: well, i DID finally get myself a P7 PSP, which is essentially an older, European-style P7M8. and it’s the most awesome pistol i own. so, 100%!
what a nice set of… barrels you have there, Ms. Bellucci
06. COP 357 Derringer
i’ve long noted this crazy-looking gun in films i spot it in; it’s a four-barreled .357 Magnum semi-automatic that’s somehow supposed to serve as a backup pistol for police officers. it really seems like that description shouldn’t be accurate, although it somehow is due to its rotating firing pin selector and inability to actually be a good size to use as a backup gun. still, it looks really cool, and so it seems perfectly suited for the movies.
prominently seen in: i best recall it as the weapon Brion James uses early in Blade Runner, but it’s also prominently carried by TchÃ©ky Karyo in Bad Boys and by the illustrious Monica Bellucci in The Matrix Reloaded. and this is why no man may trash the latter film around me (although i will not defend Bad Boys, ugh).
chances of janklow ever owning this: i can’t imagine that they’d cost that much and i’d snatch one up just to be ridiculous… but i’ve had a shot at one around here. still, there’s a chance.
05. Dillinger’s Colt .38 Super “Machine Pistol”
Michael Mann will always be a favorite of gun nuts because he always seem to go all out in using realistic-but-cool guns in realistic-but-cool shootouts; his films may have other shortcomings, but the gun stuff is not one of them. this gun is based on one John Dillinger actually carried, an M1911 chambered in .38 Super, modified to fire fully-automatic, and tricked out with an extended magazine, fore-grip and compensator; for the film Public Enemies, it’s a custom job chambered in 9mm and it’s only briefly seen in the hands of “Baby Face” Nelson, but it’s still awesome. and this is why we love Michael Mann so much.
prominently seen in: obviously, M1911s, even in .38 Super, have figured prominently in many, many movies, but Public Enemies is the only film i have seen THIS gun in.
chances of janklow ever owning this: it’ll never happen. i really don’t foresee janklow ever owning ANY fully-automatic handgun, but especially not this one.
03-04. Browning Automatic Rifle with cut-down barrel and Winchester Model 1907
these two guns are actually not as cool as the machine pistol that precedes them, so that should actually be #3 and these two #4-5. but given that the write-up for the machine pistol flowed out much more passionately, i didn’t want to ruin it by having this less excited one precede it. still, the BAR with the chopped-down barrel (a neat period touch that i don’t recall happening in other films) and the .351 Winchester are really cool period guns that only show up in the work of a guy like Michael Mann, who takes the time to make the details count. well, when it comes to guns, since Public Enemies is SO historically inaccurate in other ways.
prominently seen in: Public Enemies. nothing else that i know of.
chances of janklow ever owning this: it’ll never happen, although i suppose the Winchester is much more likely than an short-barreled BAR.
02. suppressed Remington 11-87
this is the story that spawned this update: i generally respect Stephen Hunter, who seems to make a great point to present himself as a friendly and knowledgeable gun enthusiast and to write in a very firearms-accurate manner… but in an article about movie guns in American Rifleman, he went out of his way to bash both this gun AND the movie it’s prominently featured in, No Country For Old Men. now, with all due respect, Cormac McCarthy is a fucking genius, and Stephen Hunter is the guy that wrote Shooter. so i think we all understand my outrage, right?
prominently seen in: just in the hands of the wonderful Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men at this point.
chances of janklow ever owning this: again, short-barreled rifles and silencers are the “financially reasonable” thing when compared to fully-automatic firearms… but at the same time, it’s pretty unlikely. i’d always rather spend silencer money on another gun.
are you talkin’ to me?
01. Smith & Wesson Model 29
is it sort of anti-climactic to end the list with a seemingly mundane firearm like the S&W 29? maybe a little, since it’s basically just a large-framed S&W revolver made to fire one hell of a round (in this case, the .44 Magnum). that being said, i’d like to point out that it’s rocked by none other than both Travis Bickle in the greatest film ever made (AKA Taxi Driver) and “Dirty” Harry Callahan in that series of films. and have you ever seen what a .44 Magnum will do to a woman’s pussy? now that you should see.
prominently seen in: did i not just say Taxi Driver and Dirty Harry? but also, Arnold Schwarzenegger was forced to carry one in Red Heat, and Lord Humungus had one in the Road Warrior, and Victor Wong had one in Big Trouble in Little China , so i think it’s pretty clear what kind of awesome gentleman you have to be to be carrying one of these bad boys. and Gary Oldman even has a pretty cool variant of this with his 629 Classic Hunter in Léon
chances of janklow ever owning this: i infamously passed on buying one from a gun store liquidating its inventory and ever since, i’ve felt a little guilty. at some point, i’ll acquire one, although it might not be any time soon.
summation: firearms are awesome!