Handguns are an essential tool in many facets of jobs that action movie stars find themselves in. Whether being employed as a space smuggler or a hitman, having a proper sidearm is essential for the mystic and allure of the character and film. In many cases, these handguns play a pivotal part in some of the most iconic scenes in these classic movies. Without the proper handgun, the scenes or characters portrayed would no doubt be lacking much of their beloved fan favorite. Keep in mind this list doesn’t include any revolvers so don’t expect Dirty Harry’s 44 magnum or any western revolvers on this list. These are my 5 most iconic pistols in film.
Star Model B
Pulp Fiction easily one of my favorite movies of all time. Part of that reason is the flawless soliloquy given by Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the opening scene and in the final scene of the film. The classic “Bible” verse Jules recites in the opening scene and closing scene wouldn’t be the same if he hadn’t pulled out that beautifully nickel plated Star Model B pistol, which you find out in the closing scene is no ordinary 1911 because he calls his sidearm ‘Mr. 9mm over here’.
There are so many classic props in Pulp Fiction, few as prominent as Jules’ gorgeous Star Model B Spanish pistol. To not have this firearm as number one on this list would be blasphemy. ‘Mr. 9mm’ takes up the majority of the screen time for the final scene of the movie while he has it shoved into Pumpkin’s face while taking his time explaining to him the intricacies of his beloved bible verse, how he found G-d earlier in the day, and why he wasn’t going to kill him.
This sidearm was carried in both classic Christmas movies Die Hard and Lethal Weapon both with equal levels of effectiveness against the bad guys. Yes, both films take place during Christmas, look it up. I have to say its connection to Die Hard has to be more intense. From the iconic movie poster of John McClane holding it and in the final standoff with Hans Gruber with it taped to his back this classic 9mm was beautifully cast. The fact that ammo conservation was even a factor in this movie set it apart from other action films of the era.
Also, the fact that the Berretta 92 was a relatively high tech new weapon of the day, makes a lot of sense why it was chosen and stays the trusted sidearm of John McClane. This classic Christmas tale would certainly not be the same without the Berretta 92. So often in sequels, they try to give the main character a new fancier sidearm that often makes no sense, *cough cough* Boondocks Saints 2. The fact that the filmmakers have consistently used it in all the sequels is a testament to its importance and validity as a sidearm in the franchise.
No list about iconic movie handguns would be complete without one of the most iconic and recognized firearms from movies, James Bond’s Walter PPK. Very few firearms have survived reboots and actor changes, but 007’s favorite sidearm doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Regardless of the new gadgets and tools given to 007, he will always carry his trusted Walter PPK.
Originally, 007 was carrying a Beretta M1934 but was forced to switch to the Walter PPK because the Beretta M1934 malfunctioned on his last assignment, this occurred when Sean Connery was playing Bond in Dr. No. Tossing back martinis and utilizing that license to kill solidified the Walther PPK into movie history. Its subcompact size, smooths lines, and reliability make it an obvious pick for an assassin or secret agent.
BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (Broom Handle Mauser C96)
Han Solo is an iconic action hero who has been featured in six Star Wars films in addition to many other non-canon books, comics, and other media. Besides for his beloved hair sidekick Chewbacca, Han Solo is attached to his trusted sidearm, the DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. While they may have outfitted this pistol to look futuristic, Solo’s Blaster is actually a slightly tweaked Mauser C96, commonly known as the Broom Handle Mauser first developed all the way back in 1895.
The Mauser box cannon went on to be reproduced all over the world and has been featured in well over 100 films and television programs, though none are as iconic as Han Solo’s. This is the gun that’s caused a whole lot of controversy in the famous Cantina scene in A New Hope where it’s not quite clear who shoots first, Han Solo or the green Greedo.
Para-Ordnance Nite Tac
Milla Jovovich has solidified herself as an action hero particularly for her role in the Resident Evil film series. The star character wields plenty of firearms throughout the films but it’s her dual-wielding of the Para-Ordnance Nite Tacs in Resident Evil: Extinction that has become so iconic. These pistols serve as her primary sidearms throughout the film and she uses them gracefully to wreak havoc on crazy survivors and battle the dead in the ruins of Las Vegas. However, her proclivity for Para-Ordnance goes back to Resident Evil: Apocalypse in which she can also be seen dual-wielding Para-Ordnance pistols, this time the .45 ACP P-14s.
To be an iconic movie pistol partially means that the firearm and the film are almost inseparable. We understand that this is an incomplete list so we ask that you share with us your picks for the most iconic movie pistols. Also don’t forget to check out our picks for the most iconic movie shotguns, which may have a few surprises.