When it comes to firearms and movies, rifles aren’t as iconic as we initially thought. While iconic movie revolvers and shotguns were easy for us to compile, we actually had a hard time finding movies that wouldn’t be the same without their rifles. We gave it a try but we welcome you to share with us your picks for iconic movie rifles. As usual, we have a mix of sci-fi, modern, and historical weapons but we know this list is highly debatable.

M1903A4 Springfield

Saving Private Ryan is one of the most iconic WWII films ever made. The greatest film depiction of the D-day landings that has ever been made and an excellent depiction of the bond that war forges between men. One of the most iconic characters, scenes, and rifles in the film was that of the sharpshooters Private Daniel Jackson and his M1903A4 Springfield Rifle taking out a German Sniper.

Shooting the German sniper through his scope into his eye. A shot that was actually performed by America’s most renowned sniper of the Vietnam War Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock, under slightly different conditions. The use of the M1903A4 Springfield gives a beautiful variation to the diversity of the weapons carried by the squad going to save Private Ryan.

The final battle of the film would be completely different without the sharpshooter taking out enemy soldiers from the bell tower while reciting bible verses. A masterfully iconic film with an iconic and not well-known firearm used in WWII is the perfect way to start off this list. 

Saving Private Ryan Springfield Rifle
Private Jackson with his M1903A4
  • Model: M1903A4 Springfield
  • Caliber: 30-6
  • Capacity: 5-Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 24:
  • Overall Length: 43.2″
  • Sights: Weaver Model 330 2.75x Telescopic Sight
  • Weight: 9.1 lbs. Without Optic

M16A1

A change in tone coming in at number two is the most iconic drug dealing movie ever made, with one of the most quoted lines from cinematic history. Close your eyes and you can picture Scarface saying “Say hello to my little friend” while firing a grenade launcher on the bottom of a Colt AR-15 converted to shoot full auto. The weapon was made to look like a M16A1 with an M203.

This weapon, scene, and line are so iconic that it’s ingrained in popular culture, copied, and quoted so many times I’m sure many Millennials don’t even know the true source of the line. Scarface would not be the same without the final shootout and the final shootout would not be the same without the use of this iconic weapon.

Scarface movie scene
Say hello to my little friend

Even the double “jungle Style” magazines Tony has on the weapon adds to the overall intensity of the scene and character. Facing off against overwhelming odds and enemies, gallantly fighting to his last breath. Plus as a little fact for you, the weapon used in Scarface is the exact weapon later used in the first Predator film by Arnold Schwarzenegger.   

  • Model: M16A1
  • Caliber: 5.56mm
  • Capacity: 30-Round Mag
  • Barrel Length: 20″
  • Overall Length: 38.8
  • Sights: Aperture Flip-up Rear and Protected Front Post
  • Weight: 6.4 lbs Empty
  • Attachments: (Fake) M203 Grenade Launcher

AK-47

I’m usually not a fan of Nicolas Cage, and it kills me to put him on this list, but he was actually cast perfectly for this role as a slightly twitchy arms dealer. This film flawlessly showed how international weapons deals are conducted and how corruption is involved in getting weapons to conflict zones in poorer regions.

Lord of War AK47
It’s so easy, even a child can use it, and they do.

The AK-47 is synonymous with conflicts across the globe, especially in Africa. The way Yuri (Nicolas Cage) describes the AK-47 in the film was very iconic. Finally letting the masses know what the A (Avtomat) and K (Kalashnikov) stand for in AK-47. The AK-47 is an iconic weapon that is so ingrained in so many nations’ history and countless conflicts. This film places the AK-47 in an iconic way that helps to explain why and how it has become so involved in the world’s history.

  • Caliber: 7.62×39
  • Capacity: 30-Round Mag
  • Barrel Length: 16.3″
  • Overall Length: 35″
  • Sights: Adjustable Iron Sights
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs

Mosin Nagant

One of the rare English speaking films about the battle of Stalingrad and the story about the legendary Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev. The Mosin Nagant rifle was the standard issue rifle of the Russian forces during WWI and Soviet forces during WWII. The M91/30 was a variant of the Mosin Nagant rifle with a bolt handle that is slightly angled down and a scope mount. If you’re looking for a film filled with iconic sniper duels look no further. 

The film is based on the memoirs of Zaytev, where he mentions the three-day sniper duel he had against the German Major who was an instructor at the German Sniper school. However the only evidence that Major Erwin Konig ever existed comes from Vasily’s Memoirs. Looking past the likelihood of the entire story being Soviet War propaganda to boost morale, it’s still an iconic film and iconic rifle. The multiple sniper duels are solidified by the realistic choices of weapons, camouflage,and equipment used by both combatants. 

Enemy at the gates rifle
Vasily’s Mosin Nagant M91/30
  • Model: Mosin Nagant M1891/30 
  • Caliber: 7.62×54mmR
  • Capacity: 5-Round Mag
  • Barrel Length: 29″
  • Overall Length: 48.5″
  • Sights: Rear Ladder Front Fixed Post
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs

Zorg ZF-1 Pod Weapon System

The Fifth Element is my favorite sci-fi movies of all time. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. Most of the special effects hold up well today and some are arguably better than movies that have come out recently. I won’t spoil anything but the acting, props, and story are all amazing. Plus, the weapons in this film are just familiar enough that makes a gun enthusiast comfortable and entertained, but new and exciting enough that you know the universe of the Fifth Element is not our own.

The pinnacle of this combination is the ZF-1 Pod weapon with its lightweight, ambidextrous titanium recharger, shot replay, rocket launcher, arrow launcher with explosive or poisonous heads, net launcher, flame thrower, and ice cube system design. The ZF-1 does not get enough screen time, but the screen time it does get makes it so memorable and iconic, after seeing the film you’ll never forget it.

Unfortunately the majority of these features are only shown during a demonstration of the weapon and never used in combat. This is likely because when would you really want an ice cube system or arrows in a real firefight. I had to do some research to discover that the ZF-1 was built over an Ak74SU and the original from the film was destroyed so the owner of the very expensive class 3 AK74 SU could get his gun back. 

Zorg ZF-1 Pod Weapon System
Fifth Element Iconic Rifle

We hope you enjoyed and please let us know your thoughts below!

Adam V

Combat military veteran with a Masters degree in security and diplomacy, Adam V is a jack of all trades for Gunivore. He is also a martial arts, survival, and firearms enthusiast who enjoys sharing his opinions on tough topics.

1 Comment

  1. Wookie crossbow rifle for the win!
    Cool article.

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