The Real Guns of Robocop

RoboCop is one of the great late 80s action films. It was intended to be a satirical take on the themes of greed and the privatization of social services. The film was also a fun science fiction action flick known for its over-the-top violence. Oddly, such a violent, R-rated movie got a Saturday morning cartoon, but I guess enough kids like me watched the movie and loved it. RoboCop took place in the not-too-distant future of 2028 and aptly featured some futuristic firearms that went on to become legends in their own right. 

As a big fan of RoboCop, I wanted to take a deep dive into the film and cover the all-too-awesome weapons from the series. The movie is chock full of firearms. The bad guys and cops use a diverse group of guns, ranging from World War 2 Sterling SMGs to sawn-off Remington 870s. I won’t cover them all, but I will discuss the most prominent Robocop firearms. 

The (Real) Guns of Robocop 

The Auto 9 – AKA The Beretta 93R 

After being blown to literal bits by the bad guys, Alex Murphy is rebuilt into RoboCop. RoboCop is no average police officer, so he doesn’t carry your average handgun. Our hero is armed with Auto-9 handguns, a huge machine pistol capable of automatic fire. According to the film, the weapon holds 50 rounds, which seems impossible judging from the magazine size. Still, it’s the future, I guess. 

robocop and his auto 9
Robocop carried a massive machine pistol. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]
The Auto-9, in reality, is a dressed-up Beretta 93R. The Beretta 93R is a machine pistol capable of selective fire. It can fire in semi-auto or in three-round bursts at a rate of 700 rounds per minute. Typically, the gun is equipped with a compensated barrel and a fold-down forward grip. It could also be fitted with a stock for increased stability. 

The armorers took the 93R and modified it extensively to give it the Auto-9 look. The weapon used a barrel and dust cover extension, a set of raised sights, and a compensated barrel. The gun spews a massive fireball, which is one of its trademarks. It’s a sweet gun and probably one of the most legendary sci-fi weapons. 

Mossberg 500 Bullpup 

I said I wouldn’t point out every gun used by every rando, but I’ll break my own rule for just a moment. I’m the writer so I can do this, and I love the gun. The Mossberg 500 Bullpup was an experiment by Mossberg 500. They converted it to a bullpup platform to shrink the design. It’s still a Mossberg 500 pump action shotgun, but it’s dressed up to shorten the overall length while still providing a stock and useable design. 

mossberg 500 bullpup
The Mossberg 500 Bullpup is an old-school cool shotgun. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]
Mossberg wisely included a vertical foregrip to keep your hand from drifting in front of the barrel while working the pump. The shotgun features an M-16-like carry handle, and that’s where your sights sit. The Mossberg 500 bullpup also had a grip safety, which was an interesting addition. 

The bullpup look gave the gun a futuristic look that worked well in the film. It was still just a pump action shotgun, but it looks pretty sweet on screen. It’s seen in use by other officers and even made its way into the RoboCop Rogue City video game. 

The Cobra Assault Cannon, AKA The Barrett M82 

The only gun capable of taking down RoboCop was the Cobra Assault Cannon wielded by Red Forman, err, I mean Clarence Boddicker. The Cobra Assault Cannon is a giant rifle adorned with a high-tech optic and often fired from the hip…wasteful. It appears to fire some form of explosive ammo, and we see it destroy a car with a single shot. Perfect for taking out the walking, talking, gun-slinging tank known as RoboCop. 

robocop cobra assault cannon
The Cobra assault cannon is so cool. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]
In real life, the Cobra Assault Cannon is the Barret M82 .50 BMG sniper rifle. The M82 was fairly new in 1987 and was a great stand-in. The gun’s fearsome size lent it some credibility in terms of RoboCop-killing firepower. This massive semi-auto rifle was one of the first man-portable .50 BMG rifles and proved popular enough to be a massive success. 

The weapon feeds from a magazine and holds ten rounds. It’s designated as an Anti-Material rifle. Material is anything from trucks and light armor to communications equipment and, hell, even RoboCops. The M82 is a very powerful weapon, and our hero, RoboCop, even uses one to fight ED-209. 

SIG Sauer P226 

The official gun of the Detroit Police Department is the HK P9S, but the SIG P226 seems to be a popular alternative. In 1987, this gun was high-speed and high-tech. If we fast-forwarded four years to 2028, the P226 still wouldn’t be out of place in the hands of police officers. It’s a very stout, reliable, and accurate handgun that uses double-stack magazines to hold 17 rounds of ammo. Prior to being blown to bits, Alex Murphy carried a P226, and his partner, Anne Lewis, carries a P226 throughout the film. 

murphy with sig p226
RoboCop was one of the first times the P226 was used on screen. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]

Desert Eagle Mk 1 

Bad guy Clarence Boddicker carries a Desert Eagle MK 1 in several scenes. His specific model is a .357 Magnum with an extended threaded barrel that is used with a suppressor at times. The Desert Eagle is one of the most screen-used firearms of all time. It’s huge, has a unique look, and makes an impression on camera. In real life, it’s not a combat pistol but typically a hunting weapon. The Desert Eagle is too big to be carried easily and tends to be ammo-selective. Originally, RoboCop was going to carry a Desert Eagle, but the gun looked too small in his huge hands. 

clarence with desert eagle
For a man named Clarence he sure looks tough. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]


Bad guy, Emil Antonowsky famously carries a MAC-10 submachine gun when he robs a gas station. His particular model features an aftermarket stock, although it’s never deployed. The barrel is also extended slightly and compensated to reduce recoil. The MAC-10 has an open bolt design, and in the film, the bolt is properly locked to the rear, with the first cartridge easily visible. The MAC-10 is a fairly small submachine gun but also quite blocky and very rudimentary. However, it is a functional and reliable weapon. 

Robocop bad guy with mac 10
Notice the bolt is open, which is exactly how the gun functions in real life. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]

Mossberg 5500 

Another Boddicker special is the sawn-off Mossberg 5500. Boddicker’s gun has a short barrel, pistol grip, and heat shield. The gun lacks any form of sights, and I’d be curious to know how well it ran with the short barrel in real life. Semi-auto shotguns are sensitive to such changes. The Mossberg 5500 is an often forgotten-about, gas-operated semi-auto shotgun. It was primarily made for hunting and sportsmen, but if your sport is hunting RoboCop, then Boddicker’s ready. 

mossberg 5500
The Mossberg 5500 is a semi-auto shotgun that didn’t stand a chance against RoboCop. [Credit: Amazon MGM Studios; Orion Pictures]

Part Man. Part Machine. All Cop. 

The year 2028 is approaching quickly, and we have seemingly avoided the dark future RoboCop promises. I mean, we have. Detroit didn’t. In fact, they could likely use a RoboCop. RoboCop still remains one of my favorite movies of all time. The action, over-the-top violence, humor, and giant robot cop really tie it together. The sweet mix of fictional and real guns keeps the movie as grounded as it can be. What’s your favorite RoboCop weapon? 

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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