By: Friedrich Seiltgen
The reviews are coming in, and Gunpowder readers want more movie guns! So here they are!
Wanted: Dead or Alive – Steve McQueen starred as Civil War veteran turned bounty hunter Josh Randall in this series, which lasted three years. Randall took care of business with his chopped version of the Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine known as the “Mares Leg”. Designed by Kenny “Von Dutch” Howard, the Winchester was a rounded barrel version with a D-shaped loop and 12” barrel. A later version used an octagonal barrel with tear drop loop. The rifle was a .44-40 caliber, but the shells weren’t impressive enough for the director, so McQueen wore .45-70 shells on his belt!
The Rifleman – Chuck Connors starred as Lucas McCain in this TV western around the same time as “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” Lucas had his Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine with large lever loop to allow one-handed loading. The opening scene where Lucas fires 12 shots in five seconds was accomplished by fitting a screw through the trigger guard. Every time the action is worked, the rifle would fire!
Have Gun - Will Travel – Richard Boone starred for six years as gunfighter for hire “Paladin.” In the movie and TV westerns of the day, the most commonly used pistol was the Colt Single Action Army! “Have Gun – Will Travel” showcased the SAA. Paladin carries an SAA “Cavalry “ model that features a 7.5” model. Also used in the series is the SAA “Artillery” model with a 5.5” barrel. Another familiar pistol used was the Remington 1866 derringer, a 2-shot pistol in caliber .41 R.F. (Rimfire) produced from 1866 – 1935. This famous pistol has been used in movies such as Sherlock Holmes, 1922 to John Carter, 2012!
El Dorado – This Howard Hawks classic is one of my favorites. The sheriff, Robert Mitchum, is a drunk who is about to lose the town to the local boss, Ed Asner. he “good” gunfighter, Cole Thornton, played by John Wayne, comes to town and ends up saving the day. The character, “Mississippi,” played by James Caan, arrives to avenge the murder of his friend, killing him with a Knife. When other guns for hire show up, they join forces to save the town. Mississippi is now forced to use a gun instead of his usual knife, so Thornton takes him to meet the town gunsmith, aka the “Swede.” The Swede sets him up with a sawed-off, double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun (Rossi Overland) kept in a thigh holster, as he can’t hit anything with a pistol. Deputy “Bull” carries a Colt Revolving Rifle Model 1855 Carbine in .56 caliber. And in one scene, a rare Remington - Keene Repeating Rifle is used.
The Expendables – Difficult to list, as the three Expendables movies use an array of weapons long enough for a separate article. Stallone and the gang bring a diverse array of weaponry to the Big screen. Stallone’s character Barney Ross packs a Single Action Army with front sight removed and compensator cuts on a shortened barrel. Terry Crews is seen toting an AA-12 Atchisson 12-gauge shotgun. The AA-12 has a rate of fire of 300 rpm, and it’s equipped with a 32-round drum magazine. In one scene, Jason Statham is seen using an M2 .50 Caliber Aircraft machine gun quad mounted in the nose of a Seaplane. Gunnar (Dolph Lundgren) takes care of business with an M79 Grenade launcher. The Vietnam-era M79 aka “Blooper” was a favorite with many Vietnam vets, as a trained grenadier could drop a 40mm into a unit of Viet Cong and ruin their day!
No Time to Die – The 25th James Bond film is set for release later this year, and as usual, 007 has some surprises for SPECTRE! Bond is, of course, equipped with his customary Walther PPK. His other sidearms are a nod to his service in the SBS (Special Boat Service) and MI6 - The Browning Hi-Power and the Sigarms 226R. Both pistols are/were standard sidearms of these services. Bond uses the .223 caliber Beretta ARX-160 fitted with the Beretta GLX-160 40mm Grenade launcher mounted underneath. One of Bond’s fellow “00” agents, Nomi, uses the HK MP-7 with suppressor. Some bad guys are shown descending a skyscraper toting AKS-74U rifles while conducting an Australian Rappel, which is facing down while descending! This technique allows the operator to fire the weapon at the same time!
No Bond movie is complete without the commander driving his classic Aston Martin DB5. In this installment, MI6 Quartermaster Q has installed not one, but two, Gunpowder favorites – The XM-134 Minigun! One behind each headlight!
Please keep sending in your comments to Gunpowder; we aim to please. Maybe there are more movie guns in the works? As always folks: “Lets’ be careful out there!”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He is currently an Officer with the Starke, Florida Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.