Guns of the Villains — Movie Edition

We recently did an article on the real guns of the real bad guys (dictators), and that can be a heavy topic to cover. Dealing with so many dictators and terrorists gets awfully sad. Let’s wash our mouth out a bit and tackle a lighter topic—the best guns of the bad guys, but this time they’re fictional. Specifically, we are going with movie villains and their guns of choice.

Villains Have All The Fun

Doesn’t it look fun to play the villain? Sure real-life bad guys are psychopathic pieces of crap, but the bad guys in film always seem to have more fun. Well, at least until the movie ends. The ending often signals their demise, but it looks like a chaotic blast before that. Smart filmmakers employ what we call hero guns.

As the name implies, these guns are used by the main characters, the film’s hero. Dirty Harry’s Model 29, for example, is a hero gun. It’s a gun that stands out. And hero guns make the hero stand out even more in a world often ruled by incompetent allies and fearsome villains. Really smart filmmakers employ a villain gun that does the same.

The bad guy has to stand out, too, and when done right, it gives us a more memorable character. Today’s article is all about the memorable villains and the guns they wielded. This article isn’t in any particular order, except the first one is my all-time favorite villain Hans Gruber wielding one of my all-time favorite guns, the HK P7M13.

Hans Gruber and the HK P7M13

In Die Hard, we see a big contrast between the movie hero and villain. McClane comes off as rough and gruff—a street cop that drinks beer and watches football. Hans Gruber comes off as a well-dressed, educated, and prepared man. I love the contrast, and I also love the difference between their handguns. Both wield modern-for-the-time handguns, with Hans wielding the always awesome HK P7M13, aka the squeeze cocker.

One of the villians of Die Hard, Hans Gruber with the HK P7M13
Hans Gruber, the sophisticated villain.

The M13 in P7M13 signifies a 13-round double-stack magazine. The squeeze cocker name comes from the front strap, which cocks the gun when pressed by the user. This results in a very light trigger pull that is crisp and clean. The P17 famously uses a gas-delayed blowback system that is rather unusual but results in relatively low recoil. Accuracy is aided by a fixed barrel and a great trigger.

HK P7M13 9mm handgun
The P7M13 is a sexy gun.

Villians like Gruber need a gun that stands out, and the HK P7M13 certainly stands out. Gruber holds onto it till the last possible moment. (I don’t blame him, it’s an expensive gun.)

Bennett and the Detonics Scoremaster

As far as villains go, Vernon Wells as Benett stands out in the film Commando. That’s tough to do with people like Bill Duke and Arnold Schwarzenegger hanging around. Something about the mix of an Australian accent, a metal mesh shirt, and the confidence he carries even with his dad bod versus Arnold’s Greek god-like stature makes him stand out. He’s a little extra, and hell so is his gun. The Detonics ScoreMaster is a 1911, but not your “normal” ole M1911 type 1911.

That armored mesh shirt is fantastic.

Detonics custom-built these guns and they were top-tier 1911s back in the day. The company cut it’s teeth with smaller 1911s, but then produced several full-sized models like the ScoreMaster. This exceptionally accurate pistol is fairly rare, with reportedly less than 2,000 ever produced. The gun came in 45 ACP and the more powerful .451 Detonics Magnum that allowed a caliber conversion with nothing more than a barrel swap. It certainly works as the gun of a high-priced mercenary.

Lord Humungus and the Model 29

Mad Max‘s sequel, The Road Warrior, isn’t a movie where guns are super popular. The use of bows and arrows and deadly boomerangs is more common. Ammo is insanely scarce, so those who have guns and ammo use them rarely, which makes the use of Lord Humungus’ Model 29 even more intense. He looks to have just a few rounds for the gun and almost reluctantly reaches for it to deal with Max.

Lord Humungus aims the Model 29
Where does Humungus get the protein to build those muscles?

His S&W Model 29 features a fixed handgun scope, a rich blued finish, and a set of wood grips. The Model 29 is a .44 Magnum revolver that was one of the most powerful production handguns in the world at the time of the film’s production. It’s gorgeous, comes in a fancy wooden case, and is a weapon well preserved in a world where things get rough fast.

Boddicker and the Barrett M82 (Cobra Assault Cannon)

I loved Robocop as a kid and thought Murphy was the coolest thing ever. However, as I watched the film as an adult, I realized Clarence Boddicker is the coolest guy in the world. As far as villains go, he’s just a thug, but he is an effective one. Kurtwood Smith portrays Boddicker as a merciless psycho that’s also charismatic and unpredictable.

Clarence Boddicker in Robocop with a Barret M82 Cobra Assault Cannon
If you gotta fight the Robocop a .50 BMG might be necessary.

Robocop is too tough for his normal armament, so he is gifted a Cobra Assault Cannon, a mocked-up Barrett M82. In real life, the Barrett M82 is a 50 caliber, man-portable anti-material rifle designed for long-range sniping. If I needed to take on Robocop, I’d use a .50 BMG.

Agent Smith and the Desert Eagle

Hugo Weaving murders it as Agent Smith. I’ve never seen someone enjoy playing villains like Weaving, and he chews it up with Agent Smith. The Agents in The Matrix are rather plain, but from the first, “Mr. Anderson,” We know Smith is different, maniacal, and a monster the heroes will have to contend with.

One of the villians of The Matrix, Agent Smith aims a Desert Eagle
Mr. Smith and his Desert Eagle are an intimidating pair.

It’s not a big surprise that the Desert Eagle popped up on our villain’s list. The old Deagle has over 600 screen appearances, and it’s been in plenty of movies. Agent Smith carries a .50 AE variant of the Desert Eagle, and it’s one of the few times I have bought it as an effective firearm.

Desert Eagle blast with Hornady Custom XTP 50 AE
Yes, that’s real. Magnum Research Desert Eagle + Hornady Custom XTP 50 AE.

The Agents are superhumanly strong, so recoil and weight aren’t an issue. We see Smith wield the weapon one-handed without issue, and we get plenty of sexy Desert Eagle film footage in various scenes and scenarios. Agent Smith uses the biggest, seemingly baddest handgun on the planet, and it stands out as a fearsome little blaster in the hands of a fearsome agent.

The Joker and His Remington 870

The Nolan Batman films introduced us to a number of interesting villains, but obviously, the stand-out is Heath Ledger’s Joker. In The Dark Knight, the Joker is a genius criminal dedicated to chaos. Early in the film, he robs a bank, and the bank manager wields a sawn-off 870. It’s as short as it gets and resembles something like a TAC-14. The Joker decides this is the gun for him and makes it his own.

The Joker from Batman shooting a Remington 870
It’s tough to see, but here is the Joker deafening his driver with an 870.

The Remington 870 series shotguns have been around since 1950 and are top-notch pump-action shotguns. The Joker uses a 12 gauge, and he uses it to kill Gotham Police officers and target a SWAT van before switching to an RPG which proves to be more effective. The recoil isn’t an issue for the Joker so he must be eating his Wheaties and practicing his push-pull. Much like the Joker, this sawn-off 870 is crude, chaotic, and effective.

TAC 14
The Joker’s 870 is much like this Remington TAC 14.

The Terminator and His Whole Arsenal

What makes Terminators frightening as villains is the fact it’s never personal. They are killing machines programmed to do a task. As Reese said, “it can’t be bargained with, it can’t be reasoned with, it doesn’t feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!” In the first film, it’s a robotic Arnold, and in a famous scene, he gathers his arsenal from a California gun store.

The Terminator's sidearm
Peep that massive laser!

That arsenal includes several awesome guns that all stand out as great villain guns. This includes the AMT Hardballer Longlside fitted with a custom laser sight. That laser sight required an external battery hidden in Arnold’s field jacket and a cord that ran up his sleeve. He uses the weapon frequently and efficiently as a concealed option during his assassinations.

The Terminator also takes a SPAS-12 and an AR 18 from the gun store. We see them both use the weapons during the assault on the police station, where the Terminator dual-wields both long guns to great effect.

The Terminator dual weilding a SPAS 12 and AR-18
Only the Terminator could dual wield a SPAS 12 and AR-18.

Heck, we can’t forget the Uzi this giant of a man conceals with ease.

villains The Terminator aims an Uzi.
Uzi go brrrrrr.

Being a robotic killing machine makes it seemingly easy for him to wield long guns with a single arm. There is a great scene in the older VHS release where the sound effects for the shotgun and rifle are mixed up, making the shotgun sound like it fires a burst. These are all interesting and eye-catching guns well suited for the Terminator.

Villains And Their Guns

A good villain makes a movie stand out. The problem with many Marvel movies is that the villains are often just carbon copies of the heroes, and I think modern movies could learn a thing or two from the Die Hard, Terminator, and Matrix movies. Give us a villain who’s fun to watch, intimidating, and well-armed.

What villains and guns would you put on the list? Let us know below!

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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