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Posted on March 30, 2011
Guns often play a large role in the conflicts portrayed on the big screen. Whether it’s a high-action thriller or a historical drama, this particular type of weaponry has been featured as far back as the days of black-and-white film.
The NRA’s Hollywood Guns exhibit highlights this storied history of Hollywood and firearms. Displaying guns from well-known flicks such as The Wild Bunch, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and We Were Soldiers, this shooter’s showcase has inspired people to travel across the country to the NRA National Firearm Museum in Fairfax, Va.
1. Browning Model 1917 – Various characters in 1969’s The Wild Bunch shot this A1 Browning. The Browning Model 1917 was used throughout the movie. A focal point of sorts in the film’s final shoot-out, the ammo box still has remnants of fake blood from the scene.
2. Nock Volley Gun – Both the 1960 and 2004 versions of The Alamo are represented in the exhibit. From the 1960 film, this Nock Volley gun was wielded by Richard Widmark as frontiersman Jim Bowie. The Nock Volley gun was designed by Henry Nock to fire all seven barrels at the same time, meaning the concussion and recoil are quite devastating.
3. Flintlock Pistol – In the newer version of The Alamo, Dennis Quaid holstered this flintlock pistol.
4. American Custom Long Rifle – This American custom long rifle was also featured in the historic depiction of The Alamo. Billy Bob Thornton manned the flintlock rifle in the 2004 flick.
5. Barrett Model 82A1 – Winning several Academy Awards, The Hurt Locker (2009) included the use of this Barrett Model 82A1. The Barrett semi-automatic sniper rifle was employed by Sgt. JT Sanborn, played by Anthony Mackie, in order to take out the insurgents during a shootout.
6. Colt M16 – In 2002, Mel Gibson wielded this fully automatic Colt M16 as Hal Moore in We Were Soldiers. It was chambered in 5.56 NATO and was adapted to fire blanks for the film.
7. 7mm Nambu – Used by an extra in the 2006 film Letters From Iwo Jima, the Baby Nambu was loaned out by ISS Weapons- Karl Weschta. The Japanese soldier carried the firearm in the portion of the Clint Eastwood movie that focused on the battle from the Japanese point of view.
8. Springfield Model 1873 – Beau Geste (1939) just wouldn’t have been the same without this trapdoor Springfield. Not only was the Springfield Model 1873 used by numerous extras in the film, but was shot on the western frontier as well. This model was the often used in the film industry because they were cheap, readily available and could easily be made to look like most any long arm – from flintlocks to Civil War muskets.
9. Colt Gatling Gun – Despite its use in numerous works of cinema, the Colt Gatling gun most notably appeared in the 1939 classic Gunga Din, which starred Carey Grant, Douglas Fairbanks and Sam Jaffe.
10. Colt Mark IV/Series 70 – Almost as famous as his mustache, Tom Selleck’s Colt 1911 pistol was used in Magnum, PI. As Thomas Magnum, Selleck was regularly seen onscreen with the Colt Mark IV/Series 70 (9mm).
11. Beretta 92FS – Ok. Die Hard fans are in for a treat. The Hollywood Guns displays not one, not two, but three separate guns from the action-packed movie. Playing the part of John McClane, Bruce Willis relies on this Beretta 92FS (9mm) throughout much of the Die Hard series of movies. The success of the movie even spurred the popularity of the Beretta 92. The same model was used by Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon and is also on display in the exhibit.
12. HK 94 – Mixing his arsenal up, Officer McClane shot a HK 94 in the film, which was modified and converted. Not only was it useful as a firearm, but also as a tool for rappelling down an airshaft.
13. Heckler & Koch P7 – Finally, but not least, the bad guy’s sidearm. Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber utilized this Heckler & Koch pistol in Die Hard.
14. Smith & Wesson Registered Magnum – In his downtime, Clark Gable relished shooting sports. Selected from his collection, the exhibit displays a Smith & Wesson registered Magnum (.357 Mag.) and a Browning superposed 12-gauge shotgun.
15. Browning Superposed 12-Gauge Shotgun
Pictured above are only a portion of the firearms on display. Over nine cases are filled with Hollywood guns and gun-related memorabilia within the William B. Ruger gallery. For more guns and information about the NRA National Firearms Museum, check out its website.
What are your favorite movie guns?