The Guns of Indiana Jones

Once again, Harrison Ford has donned the famed fedora to play Indiana Jones. A lot of us saw the fourth movie, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and considering the Disney take on “Star Wars,” we are apprehensive about how the fifth movie, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” will be. 

It could be fantastic and a return to form. Or, will it be so bad that Crystal Skull looks good by comparison? Either way, today, we aren’t going to be movie critics. Instead, we are going to talk about the guns of Indian Jones through the first four flicks. Indy has nice taste in firearms and certainly isn’t afraid to use them. A bullwhip and a blaster are all a man needs to get through whatever comes his way. 

We won’t be looking at the TV series or the video games, either — just the live-action movies. 

Guns in Raiders of the Lost Ark 

My favorite Indiana Jones will always be “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” We get the dashing, intelligent, and charismatic Indy globe-trotting, punching Nazis, and swooning the beautiful and tough Marion. Jones gets in his fair share of trouble, and we see Indy wield three different guns. 

S&W M1917 

At the beginning of the film and in most of the scenes shot in the United States, Indiana Jones carries the awesome S&W M1917. It’s an interesting choice. These guns were produced by S&W for WW1. The Army didn’t have enough M1911s, so they supplemented with revolvers. These guns were chambered in .45 ACP and were the reason moon clips were invented. It’s a capable, reliable, and quickly reloading handgun. 

M1917 handgun from last crusafe
The M1917 used by Indy was customized to be smaller and more efficient. (Screen Movie Props and Wardrobe)

Indy’s isn’t the norm. In fact, it’s a trimmed version. The barrel has been cut down to four inches instead of five. It’s certainly handier and more compact. This was never a factory option, so it’s a custom cut and believable for the era. The M1917 was a great big gun with a fairly long 5.5-inch barrel. This put it in the above-average range for revolvers. 

S&W Mk 2 Hand Ejector 

When production traveled overseas, it was easier to get prop guns there than it was to import them. It’s likely this is supposed to be the same revolver as the M1917, and at a glance, you don’t see much of a difference. It’s a S&W Mk 2 Hand Ejector that was British issue. These were chambered in .455 Webley, and it is nearly identical to the M1917. It even featured a trimmer barrel. 

Indiana jones with revolver
Indiana Jones was quite the professor.

This is the gun Indy used in the scene where the Arabic swordsman confronts him, only for Indy to shoot him. The gun is used extensively in the film, and he uses it to make a truck crash and explode. That certainly helps the argument that .45 has some punch. 


Jones is a man of two guns, and outside of his revolver, he later wields a Browning Hi-Power. The movie takes place in 1935, and the Hi-Power was first produced in 1935, so it is possible an archaeologist could have one, but he got it from Belgium. They didn’t make it to the States until the 1950s. Archaeologists are often seen as men of the past, but Indy clearly was a man of the future with the Hi-Power. 

Hi power handgun in last crusade
Indy used a Hi-Power, but only briefly.

It was the first Wonder 9 and carried 13 rounds in an era where eight was considered enough. Indy sadly loses what has to be a fairly rare gun in Nepal, and it’s not seen again. A shame because it’s such a cool, capable gun. 

Guns in Temple of Doom 

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” terrified me as a kid. It also convinced me I could pull a man’s heart out with my bare hands. The beginning of the film has a ton of action, but throughout the film, the gunplay is fairly limited. 

Colt Official Police 

Indy keeps to a traditional double-action revolver. Hey, if you know how to shoot it and appreciate it, why not? The Colt Official Police is his gun of choice as he and Short Round zoom through Shanghai. It’s a .38 Special option, and it’s smaller and lighter than either of his .45 caliber choices. 

colt official police revolver
The Colt Official Police was his revolver of choice in China.

Perfect when wearing a white tuxedo and making a getaway. The Colt Official Police was massively successful and became THE revolver for police forces from the 1920s until the 1950s. It’s not a surprise Indy found one in Shanghai, as they were popular around the world. 

Guns in The Last Crusade 

Finally, we get to “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” which paired Indiana Jones with Henry Jones, his father, played by Sean Connery. Although in real life, Connery was only 12 years older than Ford. This movie has the Joneses punching Nazis together across the world once more and a bit more gunplay. 

Webley WG Army Model 

Yet again, Indy arms himself with a double-action revolver. This time he breaks ranks from American-made and uses a British Webley Army Model. This distinctively ugly gun is used to try and fight a plane and then used once more to shoot at a tank. The Webley Army Model is a top-break design. I do like a good top-break revolver. 

indana jones with webley revolver
The Webley was a great big gun.

This isn’t slim and trim as before. It’s a full-sized military revolver with a six-inch barrel chambered in .455 Webley. Like most things British, it’s certainly made its way around the empire. 

Guns in Kingdom of Crystal Skull 

I’ll admit on rewatch this movie isn’t as bad as I remember, but it really stands out as the worst one. It was very prequel-ish in terms of dialog and special effects. 

Webley WG Model 

Indy carries the same Webley from the last film. There isn’t much to say about it. He only vaguely threatens someone with the gun during the movie. He never actually fires it. 

M1 Carbine 

Indy gets his hands on a long gun in a standoff with the Russians. The M1 Carbine was a fairly modern rifle at the time. It was light, short, and easy to shoot. Indy grabs one from the Soviet spies and trains the gun on their leader. He’s betrayed by an ally, though, and outgunned. When ordered to drop the gun, he does just that. 

Indy with M1 carbine
Are M1 Carbines drop safe?

He tosses it, and it fires, striking a Soviet spy in the foot. This allows enough chaos for him to escape. It’s the only time Indy shoots someone in the film. This might be possible, but I’m not entirely sure if the M1 Carbine is drop-safe. 

The Next Indy 

I don’t imagine the next Indy film will be a John Wick-style action flick with lead flying and violence and mayhem abound. I think it will likely tone the violence down for the Disney audience. That’s not all bad, and if that’s all they do with the franchise, then I’ll be happy. Time will tell, and I plan to review the film and its guns when I get the chance. 

What’s your favorite Indiana Jones gun? I’m partial to the M1917 myself. Let me 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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