By Friedrich Seiltgen
Although liberals won’t admit it, firearms are a big part of the American story. From the days of the Revolution to present, guns are part of our lives. They’ve made America what it is, like it or not! Guns are also entertainment. Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or documentaries, movies that include firearms are an American thing.
Here’s a list of some of my favorites!
Star Wars: Han Solo’s D40 blaster pistol was based on the 7.63 caliber Mauser C96 “broomhandle” Mauser, with a barrel shroud and a scope added on. The Stormtroopers dealt with problems using their E-11 Blasters. The E11 was based on the British Sterling Sub Machinegun. Operators would fire the Sterling with blank cartridges, and later SFX artists would add the laser beam!
Blade Runner: Starring Harrison ford as Rick Deckard hunting down Nexus 6 Replicants. Deckard’s sidearm for the hunt is the “LAPD 2019 Blaster Gun” cobbled together using a Steyr Mannlicher .222 model SL bolt action rifle receiver, a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver with a few LED lights added on. This gun is so popular that there are replicas available.
Spaceballs: The Star Wars spoof used the Calico M100 rifle as its primary weapon. The Calico caused a stir during its introduction, as the unique design used a helical magazine that contained either 50 or 100 rounds! Talk about high capacity magazines! The magazine was mounted on top of the gun, and the design required the rear sight to be mounted to the drum. Officers in the movie carried a modified TEC-9 Pistol without magazine as a sidearm.
Die Hard/Lethal Weapon: These two “Christmas” movies brought the 9mm Beretta 92 into the limelight. With John McClane battling Hans and the gang at Nakatomi plaza, or Martin Riggs shooting it out with South African terrorists. Lethal Weapon 4 created a stir when villain Jet Li removed the slide from a Beretta pointed at him. Experts say this is doable, however, Li cheated a bit as the Beretta’s disassembly lever was already down during the scene.
The Beretta 92 would become the U.S. Army’s new sidearm, replacing the historic M1911A1 .45. Designated the M9, the Beretta had some issues while in military service. Sometimes the slide would break in half during operation and travel backwards, striking the operator in the face! Some claim the issue was quality control, some claim it was operators using high pressure ammo. Regardless of the cause, the initial incident created the phrase: “You’re not a S.E.A.L. ‘till you eaten Italian steel…”
Matrix: Desert Eagle, or as its sometimes called, the “Deagle.” The Desert Eagle has evolved from its 1979 inception into a piece of firearms history. The Mark XIX system is based on a single platform that allows you to change barrel length and caliber in seconds. The Deagle is available in six different configurations, with the largest caliber being .50 caliber Action Express!
Scarface: The scene with Tony Montano and his M-16A1 Rifle/M203 Grenade Launcher combo is one of the most quoted in history: “Say hello to my little friend.” The little friend in question is the Colt M203 grenade launcher. Designed in 1967, the M203 is a 40mm under barrel grenade launcher capable of launching eight different types of grenades at seven rounds per minute.
Dirty Harry : Inspector Harry Callahan cleaned the streets of San Francisco carrying the Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum. One of the most iconic guns in movie history! At the time of the movie release, the Model 29, while still in the S&W catalog, was out of production. The 29 became an overnight success, and the pistols were selling for three times their retail price when you could find one! Smith & Wesson reportedly saw sales triple after each sequel!
That’s all for now. tTke a break from the daily grind and watch these favorites again. Always remember, America wouldn’t be here without firearms! Take Care and be safe!
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He is currently a Part-Time policer 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 [email protected].