By: Friedrich Seiltgen
We continue our series of favorite movie guns with another list of firearms to look for as you watch your favorite films!
The Man with the Golden Gun – Christopher Lee stars as the assassin Francisco Scaramanga, and Roger Moore is James Bond in this ninth installment of the Bond Series. In Ian Fleming’s book, the golden gun was simply a gold-plated .45 caliber revolver, much too boring for a James Bond film. For the film version, the fictional golden gun was assembled from four components: a cigarette case, a lighter, a pen, and a cufflink!
The single bullet was a 4.2 mm gold-plated “dum dum” round that was carried in the belt buckle. The barrel was a solid gold fountain pen that screws into the body of a gold cigarette lighter. A gold cigarette case is snapped into place to form a grip. A solid gold cuff link turned into the trigger, and a single gold bullet was placed in the chamber.
There were three golden guns made for the movie. The first was called the “gimmick gun” and was used to show Scaramanga assembling the weapon. One was a non-firing stunt gun that was one piece, and the third gun was used to fire percussion caps!
Line of Fire – Clint Eastwood pursues the assassin John Malkovich in this 1993 action thriller. The star of this movie is the custom-built composite pistol. The pistol was chambered in .38 short colt, and there were two separate pistols made: one used for scenes where it is assembled and loaded, and one for firing sequences. Many questioned if the pistol’s composite material could withstand the gas pressure of firing. The pistol was shot several times in the film without incident.
The War Wagon – The War Wagon’s main armament was, of course, the Colt Gatling Gun mounted on a turret on the rear of the War Wagon. As with most westerns of the era, several characters are seen using the Colt Single Action Army and the Winchester Model 92, which were standard fare at the time.
The Guns of Navarone – A couple of interesting weapons from the film include a 1934 Mauser pocket pistol, aka the “Humpback” pistol, and the Luger P08 “Artillery,” which had an 8”barrel. One of the German officers uses the Luger to torture a prisoner by beating his injured leg with the pistol. This is the first time I ever saw this pistol. The Sten Mk I submachinegun is used by several characters, and one is seen toting a Sten Mk IIS with an integral silencer. Due to its easy production, the Sten was dropped to resistance units all over Europe!
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels – This 1998 British crime comedy is one of my favorite films and has a great assortment of real and replica guns. The stars of this film are a pair of 12-gauge double barrel shotguns that change hands countless times! The make of the guns is never discussed though. In a later scene, the crime boss Hatchet Harry is seen holding a Holland & Holland double gun, but it is not one of the star shotguns of the movie. The most memorable scene of this movie is a slow-motion sequence of a Bren MK1 Light Machine Gun being emptied inside an apartment!
Gangs of New York – Many New York residents carried single shot boot pistols for protection during this era. Perhaps they should be doing this now! Another popular model during the time, because of its size, was the Colt 1849 Pocket Pistol with its 5-round capacity chambered in .31 caliber. In one scene, Leonardo DiCaprio attempts to assassinate the “Butcher” Bill Cutting with an Elgin Cutlass pistol. This single shot pistol with a built-in blade has an extremely high cool factor to it!
The Outlaw Josey Wales – Josey carries his two signature Colt Walker 1847 revolvers in twin holsters. The guns were modified to accept metal cartridges that are much safer when firing blanks. In the famous scene where the two bounty hunters “capture” him, Josey presents them with butts forward. Before the two know what hit them, Josey reverses the guns in what’s known as the “Road Agents Spin.” In another famous scene, Josey sends some “Carpetbaggers” down the river on a “Missouri boat ride” when he shoots the ferry rope with his Sharps 1865 Sniper rifle with full-length J. Stevens brass tube target scope!
Please keep sending in your comments to Gunpowder; we aim to please. Maybe there are more movie guns in the works? And as always folks, “Let’s be careful out there.”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando 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.