Guns of Breaking Bad — 45 ACP Everywhere

When you talk about Breaking Bad, it seems like everyone takes away something different from it. To some, it’s the story of an incurable narcissist who uses his cancer as an excuse to become a drug kingpin. To others, it’s a story of a desperate teacher trying to save his family from financial ruin as he battles a terminal illness. Whatever you might think of the show, you have to admit it has a ton of gun use. We’re just here for the guns, yo. Check out some of our favorite Breaking Bad firearms moments. Philosophical discussions need not apply.

Breaking Bad Season 1 Cover
The first gun on our list can even be seen on the cover of the first season packaging. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

Smith and Wesson 4506-1

The Smith and Wesson 4506-1 wasn’t the only handgun to make an appearance in season 1, episode 1 of Breaking Bad, but it’s a bit more noteworthy than the Glock. The gun belongs to Krazy 8, the original meth dealer and bad guy in the show, but it finds its way to Walt (of course). In the very first episode, Walt hears sirens in the distance and believes his brand new cooking enterprise has already been outed, so he goes out into the road, gun at the ready. The only problem was, the gun was still on safe, which you can clearly see in the show.

Smith and Wesson 4506-1
The Smith and Wesson 4506-1 made an appearance in the pilot episode, which was accurately titled, “Pilot.” (Photo credit: gunslist)

The Smith and Wesson 4506-1 was an interesting choice. This model was only in production from 1988 to 1999. It’s a bulky, all-metal pistol chambered in 45 ACP with an 8 +1 capacity. Not exactly what you might think a serious bad guy would carry, but here we are. The rounded trigger guard was a later version of the gun; the original had a square trigger guard. This is noteworthy because this gun supposedly makes another appearance in Breaking Bad during episode 2 of season 1, but it’s the older model with a squared-off trigger guard. In the middle-of-the-desert-road scene, Walt’s gun has a round trigger guard.

Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced

Season 3 of Breaking Bad brings us the somewhat unhinged drug dealer Tuco. He causes Walt and Jesse a lot of trouble, and eventually, his “cousins” wreak havoc as well. His cousins use Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced pistols, one with black grips, one with pearl grips. The guns appear in several episodes, including season 3, episode 7 when Tuco’s cousin Marco thinks it’s a good idea to mag dump in a parking lot.

Tuco with Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced pistol in Breaking Bad
A Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced being mag-dumped in a parking lot. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

You’re probably at least passingly familiar with the Gold Cup, but there weren’t as many Enhanced guns made.

Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced
Two Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced guns were used in Breaking Bad. One had black grips and the other had pearl grips. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

The Colt Gold Cup National Match Enhanced is basically a flashier, somewhat upgraded version of the standard gun. It’s another 45 ACP, which isn’t surprising considering the fact it’s a 1911. The original Gold Cup hit the market in the 1950s, and different variants have come out periodically ever since. Fans of the gun tend to prefer the first run guns rather than the new versions.

Heckler and Koch Mark 23

This gun is seen in the hands of a guy who can only be described as a professional bad guy: Mike. The character of Mike is played by Jonathan Banks. He’s basically a jack of all illegal trades from hitman to cleaner to private investigator (yes, he dabbles in technically legal work, too). In the show, one of his guns is a Heckler and Koch Mark 23 that’s used suppressed and without a suppressor.

Mike and his Heckler and Koch Mark 23 Breaking Bad season 4
Mike and his Heckler and Koch Mark 23. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

During episode 4 of season 4, Mike wields the Heckler and Koch to guard a refrigerator truck. That ends in his using it against cartel gunmen who attempt to rob the truck which was, of course, transporting drugs.

Heckler and Koch Mark 23 with suppressor
The Heckler and Koch Mark 23 is used with and without a suppressor in Breaking Bad. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

The Heckler and Koch Mark 23 is a 45 ACP, which seems to be a bit of a popular cartridge on Breaking Bad. (Remember when Hank, Walt’s law enforcement brother-in-law, comments on 9mm being a weak round?) It has a 12-round capacity and is a large-frame gun, which is kind of code for “it’s a big gun.” Empty, it still weighs around two and a half pounds. There’s no denying it’s a well-made, quality pistol, and probably a good choice for someone dedicated to their, uh, “craft” like Mike seems to be.

Ruger LCR

Hypothetically, you’d think a person deciding to take the leap and buy a gun illegally would buy something worth it. However, in season 4 of Breaking Bad, Walt’s little shopping trip to an arms dealer ends with him buying a Ruger LCR.

Walt buying Ruger LCR from illegal arms dealer in Breaking Bad season 4
In the fourth season of Breaking Bad, Walt finally decides to buy a gun from an illegal arms dealer. (Photo credit: imfdbg.org)

It ends up being the gun that’s flashed a lot but rarely used with any success. Interesting choice for a teacher-turned-meth-cooker at the top of his illegal drug game.

Ruger LCR
A Ruger LCR was Walt’s illegally purchased gun of choice in season 4. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

The Ruger LCR is a snub-nosed pistol chambered in 38 Special (it’s made in other calibers, but that’s the one used in the show). It has a 5 round capacity and is a double-action, which is probably good considering the way Walt carries it around. Somewhat odd choice, but maybe that’s why the show’s writers chose it as Walt’s illegal sidearm. Maybe it’s symbolic of his lack of knowledge of the realities of what he’s doing…or maybe it’s just a gun.

Kimber Ultra Raptor II

In the series finale of Breaking Bad, which came with season 5, a Kimber Ultra Raptor II is seen. It changes hands a lot during the final episode; the characters of Kenny, Walt, and Jesse all have it at some point.

Kimber Ultra Raptor II in Breaking Bad season finale
A Kimber Ultra Raptor II can be seen throughout the series finale of Breaking Bad. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

This one’s noteworthy for a few reasons, including the simple fact that it was the last episode and final shootout, ever, for Breaking Bad.

Kimber Ultra Raptor II
A Kimber Ultra Raptor II makes the rounds in the series finale of the show. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

Guess what? The Kimber Ultra Raptor II is another 45 ACP. It’s not that other calibers never showed up, just that 45 APC seemed especially beloved. The rearward slide serration pattern alone makes this an easily identifiable pistol and that is, of course, patented by Kimber. It has a 7-round capacity and 3-inch barrel, making it a relatively compact gun.

Walt from Breaking Bad aiming gun at camera
Breaking Bad has more guns than the average TV show. (Photo credit: imfdb.org)

What was your favorite gun-related moment in Breaking Bad? Tell us in the comments section below.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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