Cool Guns: Rifles
The greatest battle implement ever devised.Back to Cool Guns
—General George S Patton, on the M1 Garand.
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Winchester lever-action rifle
AKA "The Gun That Won the West", the Winchesternote is the quintessential lever-action rifle seen in numerous westerns. In real life, the unique design was for its main utility as a horseback gun; the shorter barrel and the repeating lever made it easier for horseback soldiers to fire off of a speeding horse. While The Wild West is long gone, the Winchester rifle and its lever-action cousins are still used today for hunting.note In movies, the model in question will almost always be the Model 1892 carbine, due to the ubiquity of the "Five-in-One" blank cartridge.note A Model 1866 (with a brass or "yellowboy" receiver) will often have the forestock removed and do double duty as a Civil War-era Henry rifle (the Winchester's immediate predecessor), as until recent reproductions came onto the scene, the "Yellowboy" Winchester was much more readily available. It should noted that it's successor, the 1893 Winchester, is the original "trench gun" and "street sweeper". A little known thing is that after WWI the Germans tried to make the use of shotguns in combat illegal and the US said no.
- Cool Action: As with the Winchester 1887 shotgun, spin-cocking it is very common in fiction. Don't Try This at Home-you have a very high risk of breaking your fingers.
- Name a Western, any Western.
- Lord Bowler in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. uses a sawn-off version, identical to the one used by Steve McQueen in Wanted: Dead or Alive.
- In For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Clint Eastwood's character carries a "Hollywood Henry" (a 1866 Winchester modified as mentioned above).
- Namegiver of and found in a bar in Shaun of the Dead.
- Vincent can use three Winchester rifles in Final Fantasy VII. In addition to a standard Winchester Model 1894, he has access to a "Mare's Leg" version called the "Shortbarrel", and the "Sniper CR" which is simply the Shortbarrel with a sniper scope attached.
- Harry Dresden carries one on the cover of Cold Days
- Shows up in Fallout: New Vegas as the "Cowboy Repeater", rechambered for .357 Magnum.
- The Model 1894 appears in Killing Floor as the "Lever-Action Rifle", where it is both incredibly cheap and very useful with its high power per-shot.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for '7.62 High Caliber''. The Winchester 1892 is available in three different sizes (full size rifle, carbine, and Mare's Leg pistol) and each can be had in .45 Long Colt, .44 Magnum, or .357 Magnum.
What does a battle rifle have in common with a microwave?
They both go "ping" when they're done.Any World War II movie featuring Americans will feature this rifle. One of the first semi-automatic weapons fielded by a major army, it fired 8 rounds of .30-06 from its internal clip-fed magazinenote , and continues to be a sticking point among people trying to explain the difference between a clip and a magazine, as one of the few examples of a clip being physically inserted into a weapon. Legendary durability was a plus, too, though the gun had a nasty snap to its action that lead to a common complaint known as "rifleman's thumb" or more simply "M1 thumb." Commonly said to have the "disadvantage" that the ejecting en-bloc clip made a distinctive ping when it hit the ground; in practice this was not nearly as large a problem as is often believed, since the ping was usually drowned out by gunfire, only occurred on hard surfaces, and the rifleman with a Garand reloaded more quickly and fired faster than any opponent with a Mauser-derivative could hope to. Not to mention the fact that war is not fought as a one-on-one duel, and it's generally unlikely for the entire squad to run out of ammo at the same time. In fact, some riflemen took advantage of this quirk, whereby they would intentionally make the pinging noise to tempt enemies out of cover. Some Italian versions (the Beretta BM59) with detachable box magazines were produced after World War II, and for a time were the standard rifle of the Italian Army. With the advent of automatic rifles, the American military tried to convert the M1 into the M14 battle rifle. Even by changing the ammo from .30-06 to .308 Winchester / 7.62x51 NATO, it turned out to be too much dakka. This was noted, sadly, after it was instituted as a standard rifle round. Italy had the same problem with their full-auto BM59 models, meaning that in practice only semi-auto was actually used. In fact, the full auto selector switch was frequently removed from the M14, so that soldiers wouldn't be tempted to waste ammo with uncontrollable full-auto fire. The M1 itself stayed in service through Korea and was still in limited use in Vietnam, especially the M1D sniper variant with a fitted scope. Garands served with other military elements well into the 70s, and are still used by military drill teams even today.
- Cool Action: The Garand literally has a cool action; you're guaranteed to see close-ups of it cycling if the movie focuses on anyone firing it even slightly. Coolest and most exaggerated is the ejection of the empty en-bloc clip as the last round is fired, which in a movie will typically produce an almighty "SHIIIING!" noise almost as loud as the actual gunshots.
- The cool action and clip feeding system were also the Garand's foremost flaw: the rifle was not to be fed with individual bullets in standard form, only the clip - it could be reloaded one round at a time, but it was very hard to do it - so the soldier had to fire all 8 rounds before reloading. As the American forces had plenty of ammo, the fault was not apparent, but for the civilian post-war market there had been some modifications to make it more user-friendly.
- One of the main reasons this was a problem during the war was that rifle grenades were still widely used, and required blanks to fire rather than regular ammo. With traditional bolt-action rifles this was easy; just open the bolt and manually insert a blank. For Garands equipped with rifle grenade adapters, special two-round clips for the blanks had to be issued (a one-round clip just wasn't possible with the specific design of the Garand clip system).
- The cool action and clip feeding system were also the Garand's foremost flaw: the rifle was not to be fed with individual bullets in standard form, only the clip - it could be reloaded one round at a time, but it was very hard to do it - so the soldier had to fire all 8 rounds before reloading. As the American forces had plenty of ammo, the fault was not apparent, but for the civilian post-war market there had been some modifications to make it more user-friendly.
- Any WW2 movie featuring the Americans; the Garand is if anything a little too common, often displacing the Springfield M1903 rifle which was still issued in fairly high quantities, especially among the Marines.
- During the Omaha Beach scene of Saving Private Ryan, special closeups are given of M1-equipped members of The Squad returning fire, complete with loud empty-clip ejections.
- In videogames, it's the weapon most likely to not follow the One Bullet Clips rule, and will usually be impossible to reload without shooting off the entire en-bloc clip first. Truth in Television, as it was notoriously hard to insert cartridges into the magazine while under any kind of pressure, and American soldiers were typically instructed to simply fire off any remaining rounds rather than try. While ejecting a partially-spent clip was possible using the clip latch, the Manual of Arms for the weapon stipulated that the soldier should instead fire until the current clip was empty and reload a fresh one.
- Vietnam examples are a little rarer since the M16 tends to take the spotlight; a rare videogame example appears in the Vietcong games, with the player able to choose the M1D sniper version.
- Whenever they need a gun with some serious power, the Mythbusters will often use a Garand.
- Videogames often reproduce the peculiar "ping" noise when it runs out, but almost always make the mistake of attributing it to the weapon's mechanism, so the gun pings when it fires the last bullet rather than when the empty clip hits the ground... and as such it happens even when the player is standing on soft terrain.
- Every World War II-based Call of Duty game features this extensively. World at War includes the sniper-scope attachment in multiplayer. It also faithfully reproduces the complex reload-from-partially-empty-clip nature of the weapon (the other games don't let you manually reload it at all), making it take longer to reload from that state than to just fire off the last 2 or so rounds and then insert a fresh clip.
- In Fallout: New Vegas it can be acquired as a unique weapon, named "This Machine". Unsurprisingly, it's a virtual Game Breaker, firing the .308 round, and having a good fire rate, clip size, and accuracy. The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC (re)adds in the non-unique version known as the "Battle Rifle".
- Available in the 1.13 mod for Jagged Alliance 2. The in-game gun website even lampshades the ridiculousness.
If you have an M1 Garand for some reason, here's some ammo for it.
- One of the weapons available for player use in L.A. Noire.
- Present in the World War 2-based Battlefield games, alongside the extremely rare Japanese Type 5 copy. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 adds it as an every-kit weapon for "Battlefield Veterans" (those who confirm on the game's website that they've played other Battlefield games), while the introductory mission for the campaign again gives the player the Type 5.
- In Hellsing, Luke Valentine carries a pair of chopped-down Garands that he uses as pistols.
- Recommended along with the M1 Carbine in The Zombie Survival Guide for being a fast and reliable rifle, as well as the fact that it is a good hand-to-hand weapon in close quarters.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber as an early battle rifle, appearing before even AKs and other assault rifles. It's mostly stymied by its low capacity and bulk.
- The M1D is available in Sniper Elite V2 with the "St. Pierre" DLC pack. Sniper Elite III likewise features the M1C as your starting sniper rifle.
- Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino has one left over from the Korean War, which he uses to scare some hoodlums off his lawn. He doesn't actually fire it in the film, but tells Tao that he used it to kill a young North Korean soldier who wasn't much older than him who was trying to surrender and has had to live with it all his life.
The "assault rifle" before assault rifles were cool.note The M1 Carbine fires a bullet with the inventively named caliber of .30 Carbine, which was designed to cover the gap in effective range between .45 ACP SMGs and the .30-06 M1 Garand. Utilizing a short-stroke gas system devised by a no-shit convictnote , 15-, and later (post-war) 30-round detachable box magazines (when the British Lee-Enfield had only 10, and the iconic Garand had a mere 8) and its own proprietary .30 caliber round, the weapon was a favorite of paratroopers, officers, and vehicle crews. In fact, a primary purpose for this weapon was to provide a decent longarm for behind-the-lines troops in case of an enemy using blitzkrieg tactical doctrine to outmanoeuvre the front line troops and interdict their support system instead. The Nazis, especially the Waffen-SS, also loved captured M1 Carbines. A variant with a pistol grip and a folding wire stock, the M1A1, was actually developed for paratroopers so that they could have a longarm from the moment they hit the ground instead of having to assemble their weapons while people were trying to kill them. It saw extensive use in Korea (where it obtained a significant hatedom due to its perceived lack of stopping powernote and the M1 was even used through to the end of Vietnam, as well as use by nearly every Western European military (the French Foreign Legion particularly adored it) and the nascent State of Israel (where it remains beloved by police units to this day, to the point where it's being attempted to market a bullpup conversion kit◊ for the guns so the police can update to a "modern" weapon while still using the same guns). The M2 variant was full-auto, and the one issued in Korea, and the M3 version saw one of the world's first night sights (which was incredibly bulky, and that's not even including its primitive battery which was so large it had to be carried in a separate backpack and attached via cable). In addition to surplus rifles, very slightly modified versions were produced for civilian sales (the main difference being that the wood handguard is replaced by a perforated sheet metal one), which for a time were very popular as self-defense weapons.
- In Mob City, Joe Teague uses an M1 Carbine that he likely brought back from his service in World War II.
- Almost every WWII movie, ever. Usually seen anachronistically with post-war bayonet lug and upgraded sights, as M1 Carbines that escaped the upgrades are comparatively rare.
- Indiana Jones (and various mooks) in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- Charlton Heston in Planet of the Apes.
- Almost everyone in The Green Berets.
- Infamously, was the weapon wielded◊ by Patty Hearst, when she was "brainwashed" into aiding the Symbionese Liberation Army. Also, Ebony magazine once published a famous photo◊ of Malcolm X covering a window with one, when his split with the Nation of Islam turned nasty.
- Unlocked for multiplayer in Call of Duty: World at War at level 65, or level 1 for players who pre-ordered the game. It has the highest damage and magazine capacity of its weapon type.
- The original Call of Duty commonly featured the M1A1 in the American campaign. As above, it is incorrectly fitted with post-war adjustable sights. Given that video games aren't governed by real-life rarity, chances are the programmers simply hadn't seen the genuine WW2 configuration. Call of Duty 2 had the original version with period-accurate sights, but made it much rarer.
- The unnamed "Carbine" or "Huntsman" in BioShock Infinite appears to be based on the M1. It would normally be anachronistic within the game's 1912 setting, but the existence of interdimensional "tears" throughout Columbia explains its presence. Its high power and thicker magazine suggest that the Columbian version is chambered in something larger than .30 Carbine.
- In The Zombie Survival Guide, the M1 is named as the best firearm to use against zombies, due to being short and light enough for indoor combat and on the run.
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber. It doesn't appear very often and it faithfully replicates the gun's attributes: very light and fairly powerful at close range, but not a substitute for a proper battle rifle or assault rifle.
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein features the M3 carbine, with the massive IR scope, as the "Snooper Rifle"; it's a silenced, far more powerful alternative to sticking a scope on the standard Kar98, but it holds far less ammunition (15 bullets max, compared to 200 in reserve for the Kar98) and you can't get more from dead enemies.
The SKS was designed and fielded in the last days of World War 2. Firing the intermediate 7.62x39mm round (which is known for being the same caliber used by the AK-47), it was soon replaced by AK pattern weapons and ultimately forgotten in the Soviet Union. It went on to have quite a long career in the People's Republic of China, the Democratic Peoples' Republic of North Korea, the Democratic (later Socialist) Republic of Vietnam and numerous other former Soviet client states, and it is still quite a popular gun around the world today. Visually, it is very similar to the SVT-40, although not quite as pretty, a good bit more robust (slightly heavier), and 8 inches shorter. The SKS features a fixed magazine with a capacity of 10 rounds which can be filled either by clips, or one at a time. The SKS is slightly more powerful and accurate than the AK because it features a longer barrel and better sights. This is the reason why the Chinese Army in particular loved the rifle, fielding them as designated marksmen rifles alongside the AK until they copied the Soviet SVD. Even then, the assault rifle that replaced both the AK and the SKS, the Type 81, still mostly used an SKS action with only ergonomics and rotating bolt inspired by the AK. Most have bayonets that fold underneath the barrel, or at least originally did; some (especially from China) had the bayonet removed prior to import. When the Communist Bloc fell, all of a sudden, it was suddenly available for very cheap with crates of Soviet and Chinese ammunition (Soviet variants qualified for "Curio and Relic" status, as do Yugoslavian ones [most of which have an attachment for firing rifle grenades via blank ammo, which is mostly useless since grenades are illegal but which has spawned a popular golf ball launcher attachment], along with the ultra-rare East Germannote , North Korean and Vietnamese versions, which bypassed some restrictions (on account of being brought home from Vietnam] as war trophies rather than imported the normal way), and the fixed magazine meant that they were not at all affected under the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban of 1994) (which when it game to rifles only dealt with those with a detachable magazine), and a large number of people found that the ballistics matched up nicely with those of the .30-30 Winchester 1894 (the "poor man's deer rifle" of the previous century). Frequently susceptible to being "bubba'd" with optical sights (Scoped SKS'es served as urban marksmen rifles in the Bosnian War, but lackadaisical beyond that role), "tactical" accessories (or "tacticool", as some disparagingly call them; these include jam-happy aftermarket detachable magazines) and camo paint. Now it's a favorite of both hunters, as well as mall ninjas on too low a budget for an AR-15. It is also a moderately popular choice of Home Defense weapon, being easy to use, easy to bring to bear, and firing a relatively more powerful round than handguns, shotgun pellets, and the AR-15 (and a round that's readily available at a low price).
- Cool Action: One of the last rifles designed to feed from stripper clips, will lock open on empty. If the operator needs to reload with a partial magazine, he would pull the magazine latch allowing it to swing open dropping all the cartridges, close it, and pull the bolt back. Having a dump pouch for those falling cartridges and then being able to be loaded with said loose cartridges one by one make it ideal for ammo shortage scenarios. Also helps when the Chinese issued low profile chest-rigs that carry 200 rounds of ammo on stripper clips in 10 pouches, you could theoretically wear two to three of them depending on your shoulder strength for a total of 400-600 rounds on your chest! This can be achieved because stripper clips are lighter than stamped metal magazines. The Czechoslovakian VZ. 58 assault rifle can also be fed via stripper clips alongside detachable proprietary magazines (AK mags won't fit) but lacks the capacity to quickly unload the cartridges into a dump pouch.
- Rebels in Tropic Thunder.
- NVA forces in We Were Soldiers, Born on the Fourth of July, and many more movies set in Vietnam (Truth in Television, as the design was exported to nearly all Communist nations).
- Afghan villagers in Rambo III.
- A very good long-range rifle in 7.62 High Calibre, including permanently attached bayonet. In keeping with the Gun Porn styling, you can also get the Type 63 and Type 84 carbines (which use detachable AK magazines, a godsend in a game with no stripper clips for reloads) and the Zastava LK M59/66, which is unique among SKS clones in being capable of fitting a sniper scope.
- Appears in Battlefield 3's multiplayer mode as a mid-range sniper rifle, equipped with just about every single one of the aforementioned "bubba" accessories. Battlefield 4 features the same weapon again.
- The popular Battlefield 2 Game Mod Project Reality has the SKS in the hands of the Iraqi Insurgents, Taliban and Chechen Militia forces.
- Appears in the DayZ standalone. It is one of the better non modern military weapons, able to mount a medium range PU scope and can kill in 1-2 hits anywhere on the body. Arguably its most useful feature is the fact that it does not need a magazine to fully load it.
Widely regarded as one of the best bolt-action rifles ever made, though this was not always the case. At the time of its introduction, it was considered to be far too inaccurate as well as unreliable for combat; there was also resistance to the idea of a magazine rifle from top brass, with fears of wasted ammo and the detachable magazinenote being lost. Early rifles often had the magazine chained to the rifle's body to prevent a careless soldier from losing it and were fitted with a "magazine cutoff," a panel that closed over the magazine and turned the rifle into a single-shot breech-loader; soldiers were ordered to use the magazine only in emergencies, an order which was so universally ignored that the cutoff ended up being deleted altogether as a cost-saving measure.note It turned out however, that the SMLE was not as bad as was thought. In fact, it was just about one of the best rifles ever made; the problem in the Boer Wars was the ammunition, not the rifle. It was accurate, reliable, and most notably, fast: every British soldier was expected to be able to do the "Mad Minute," firing not less than fifteen aimed shots in sixty seconds; most were drilled until they could manage thirty (and thus also reload three times during that time)note . This had quite an effect on the enemy; German accounts frequently praised British rifle fire. note This was helped by the fact that the rifle could carry ten rounds of ammunition at a time, double that of the rival German Mauser. Lest the Enfield be thought of as a superweapon, the design was mechanically much less sound than the Mauser or Mosin-Nagant designs; repeated firing of .303 British caused the receiver to stretch out over time, necessitating longer and longer bolt heads to be installed over the life of the weapon; good thing they designed the bolt head to be detachable. This is why, while the Mauser 98 action is used for all sorts of super-magnum big-game hunting rifles, the Enfield action was rarely used for sporting rifles. The British Army as well as the associated Commonwealth states, would continue to make use of this rifle all throughout World War I and World War II, with Lee-Enfield sniper rifles lasting all the way into the 1990s. And in India, they're still in use as police weapons to this day.note A little-known fact is that despite being the quintessential British rifle, the design of its basic action, James Paris Lee, was Americannote . After decades of minimal interest in his designs from the US Navy and a few states' National Guards (at the time they weren't standardized on the same weapons as the regular Army, just the same caliber), and none at all from the Army, he sold his latest rifle, the Lee-Metford, to the British military. An improved barrel resulted in the Lee-Enfield long rifle, followed by a succession of improvements leading to the SMLE in 1904, less than two months before his death.
- Cool Accessory: Earlier versions of the SMLE, up to the No.1 Mk III*, featured the P1907 Enfield sword bayonet, which was over 17 inches long, or roughly 3 inches longer than the German equivalent. The reason for this extreme length was that at the time, the SMLE was noticeably shorter than most other rifles at the time: prior to World War I, military theorists argued that the shorter length would put British soldiers at a disadvantage when forced into hand-to-hand combat, as their opponent would have a longer reach. The response was to create a longer bayonet, to make up for this deficiency. While undoubtedly cool and a sound idea in theory, it turned out that the long, unwieldy rifle-bayonet was a distinct disadvantage when fighting in the confines of the trenches (though no moreso than a shorter bayonet on the longer Gewehr 98 Mauser rifles used by most German soldiers). However, the length of the sword bayonet proved to be just about ideal for a close-quarters battle weapon, provided that it was detached and used alone. By the time of World War II, India was making shorter versions of the P1907 bayonet while Britain and Australia still used the full-length ones. But Britain was transitioning to the No.4 Mk I version (pictured above), which used the widely disliked "pigsticker" spike bayonet that had no capacity for use as a handheld knife separate from the rifle.
- Anything set in World War 2 and featuring the British should feature this weapon, though sometimes they are shown using American weapons instead.
- If a work is set in World War One, it has to include this weapon. If the Tommies are using something else, something's wrong.
- Features in Kokoda which is to be expected considering it's about the Australian forces on the Kokoda Track during WWII.
- The Desmond Bagley novel Flyaway has a lengthy scene where an accountant who's never handled a weapon in his life works out how to fire an SMLE, whereupon he blows the Big Bad's head off.
- Another weapon featured prominently in the Call of Duty games. Like the Garand, it is one of the few weapons not to follow the same One Bullet Clips rule as the other rifles, due to carrying double the ammo; in Call of Duty 2, it's also one of the few rifles to still (intentionally, unlike the first game's Mosin-Nagant) reload with stripper clips when scoped.
- Killing Floor DLC features a steampunk variation as the "Single-Piston Long Musket"; one of the very few depictions of the weapon where it is reloaded by replacing the magazine.
- The "Hunting Rifle" in Cry of Fear is a scoped Lee-Enfield with a reduced capacity. It fares well as your only real long-range option when you can find ammo for it, but that ammo is among the rarest in the game.
- Battlefield 1942, naturally. The game actually inverts the point about WWII British forces above, as every Allied nation uses it.
The Russian analogue to Mauser-based designs, this 7.62mm bolt-action rifle was originally designed by Sergei Ivanovich Mosin, with details taken from a competing design by Léon Nagant. It was originally rolled out in 1891 and was designated at the time the "three-line rifle".note and is still in limited use today by militias and insurgents; it was replaced Russia as a general issue weapon by SKS and later AK pattern weapons and as a sniper weapon by the Dragunov. Known for rugged construction, a "safety" that is non-intuitive (and in many rifles, especially those of WW2-era production, physically difficult to engage) and unknown by most owners of the weaponnote , and firing the rather powerful 7.62x54R round, this rifle was used by the Soviets in WWII, and by both sides in the Russian Civil War and the Russo-Finish Winter War (the previous two leading to the gag that the rifle has "fought itself and won every time;" the Finnish version used 7.62x53R ammunition, though the difference was mainly just in name). Said to be the weapon of legendary snipers like Vasily Zaitsev, Ivan Sidorenko and Simo Häyhä, the latter credited with 505 confirmed kills with the Finnish M28 variant. In less than a year. With no scope (Häyhä didn't trust them to not fog up in the cold or deflect sunlight straight at anyone he was trying to shoot). A massive number of these rifles were made (estimated at over 17 million) and many were packed up by the Soviets to prepare for World War III. When that never came, the crates were bought up by Americans and the rifles is now very common on the surplus market for just a couple hundred dollars, though prices of the carbine versions have spiked to around $400. Finnish Mosins tend to be more expensive than the Russian versions, and there are also a variety of rare variations (like the Russian M1907 and Finnish M27Rv cavalry carbines, probably the two rarest of all) that most people will never see outside of pictures or a museum. One particularly unusual, ultra-rare and totally unofficial variant was the "Obrez" pistol, a Mosin-Nagant with the stock and most of the barrel sawed off to form a highly concealable but dubiously practical weapon, which are known to have been used to some extent during the Russian Revolution.note
- Most movies and videogames that feature the Soviet Union during World War 2 will feature the Mosin-Nagant. Often also a first choice weapon for Cold Sniper characters, sometimes to emphasize their distrust of modern technology.
- Famously unbalanced as a sniper weapon in the original Call of Duty due to being the only scoped rifle to reload with a stripper clip (in real life, or even with every other bolt-action sniper weapon in the game, the scope placement prevented this). Even the basic rifle had the best iron sight in the game.
- Has a big role in Enemy at the Gates. Naturally, since the movie is about Vasily Zaitsev.
- The sniper rifle used by The End in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a modified Nagant with a pistol grip and folding stock, modified to fire tranquilizer rounds.
- It appears again in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, always in the same form as The End had it (though in Peace Walker you have to research and upgrade it to that point; it can also be upgraded even further than the old version to take a suppressor).
- One of the first rifles available in 7.62 High Calibre. It's very powerful and accurate, even compared to later rifles, but features a very long refire time (1.8 seconds in a game where less than 1 second is the standard) and an equally long reload time, to reflect the bolt-action nature of the gun. Also available in the Mosin-Nagant 1944 Carbine, with permanently attached bayonet, and the unbelievably common Sawed-Off Mosin-Nagant 1944, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin (and also less powerful and less accurate, while being just as slow-firing and slow-reloading).
- Extremely common weapon for the Soviet forces in the Red Orchestra games. Standard riflemen also have the option of the shorter M38 or M44 carbines, while snipers can use a scoped version.
- Appears in PAYDAY 2, with the "Mosin" dropped from the name. It's also the only sniper rifle in the game that can be fitted with an iron sight.
- Appears in the DayZ Standalone. Since it is the only weapon currently in the game that can mount a long-range optic, it is the closest thing the game has to a true sniper rifle. This, and its relative commonality make it a popular choice for PvP.
A series of bolt action military rifles (the two most triumphant examples being the Gewehr 98 and the Karabiner 98k, the infantry weapons of Germany during the World Wars) beginning issue in 1871 and still in limited use todaynote , the Mauser rifles have at one time or another been the standard infantry weapons of Germany, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, Israel and many more. Mauser copies were also the standard infantry weapon of Nationalist China and even the United States (as the M1903 Springfield; the US actually paid royalties to Mauser until the Treaty of Versailles) and Britain (their brief flirtation with replacing the Lee-Enfield came in the form of the Mauser-derived Pattern 14 during World War I; the US also used this rifle, adapted to .30-06 as the M1917, alongside the M1903 during WW1note ), and the Japanese Arisaka also drew heavily from the Mauser (though the bolt was internally rather different, the magazine and stripper clip system were a direct copy). Czechoslovakia and Belgium also made numerous Mauser 98 clones for export between the World Wars, when Germany was prohibited from making military weapons, and to a limited extent resumed this practice after World War II until even third-world militaries stopped buying bolt-action rifles in favor of semi-autos or assault rifles. The Mauser design, although not as fast to operate as the Lee Enfield due to its cock-on-opening action, featured a third locking lug and was one of the strongest bolt-action designs of the time (allowing it to be chambered in huge big game hunting magnum rounds from the .300 Winchester Magnum to .577 African game calibers, which the Enfield and Mosin-Nagant would never be able to handle), and counts almost every current-production bolt-action rifle as a descendant. It wasn't until the Weatherby Mark V Magnums, with an insane nine locking lugs, entered the market in the late 1950s that the Mauser 98 was surpassed as the strongest bolt action design, and the abundance and lower price kept the Mauser on top sales-wise. Very common on the military surplus market, and sporterized versions are a common European hunting weapon. And not uncommon as an American hunting weapon either, on account of large numbers having been brought back as war trophies; however, Americans often consider the cartrige to be Nerfed; since there are multiple incompatible 7.92x57mm specifications, 8mm Mauser in the US is loaded to the lowest one, putting it on par with a .30-30 versus the .30-06 power class of European loadings. The Mauser action is also commonly used in factory-built civilian hunting rifles.
- Cool scope: The standard German scope reticle (seen on the top right of the picture) is most often associated with sniper versions of the Kar 98, and after the Dragunov's PSO-1 is probably the most recognizable rifle scope reticule in medianote . It consists of a horizontal bar with a break in the middle and a vertical one which goes from the bottom of the scope to the middle, with a triangular top. You'll often see a Cold Sniper staring down one of these in a World War 2 movie or a Mafia hit.
- The Gewehr 98 and Karabiner 98k are iconic mook weapons for movies set during World War I or II. Somewhat less commonly, Gewehr 98's are seen as an IRA weapon in movies depicting the Irish Civil War (Truth in Television).
- The World War II iterations of the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty video game series feature the 98k quite heavily.
- In Public Enemies, Christian Bale carries a Model 98 Sporter.
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade features the Spanish Mauser, as well as the Czech vz. 24 model. The latter was commonly used by the real-life Nazis after they conquered Czechoslovakia; since it was the same length as the K98k and most of the parts interchanged, for once their affinity for captured weapons didn't introduce another logistical nightmare.
- The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor features the Chinese Type Zhongzheng (aka "Chiang Kai-Shek Rifle") licensed copy.
- The Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber adds the K98k among its many, many new additions. It tends to appear from the beginning of the game in the hands of low-level thugs and bandits, with a very high level of power offset by a slow rate of fire, low capacity, and sheer size and weight.
- The Legacy of the Glorious features a Spanish company making licensed copies of the Mauser 71, and then go on with self-designed improvements.
Mannlicher-Schönauer Full Stock Carbine
Although based on a military rifle designed for export and adopted by the Greek Army by 1906 (why the chronically underfunded Greek Army adopted a rifle that every other army regarded as too expensivenote is unclear), this superb hunting bolt-action rifle-carbine had been built directly for the civilian market beginning in 1903. It had a complex action with rotary magazine and split receiver and fired proprietary Mannlicher ammo, either 6.5x54mm (M1903), 8x56mm (M1908), 9x56mm (M1905) or 9x57mm (M1910), though non-proprietary chamberings like 7x57mm Mauser and .30-06 were eventually offered (the M1924 and M1956 came in nearly all common rifle chamberings of the era). It acquired a brilliant reputation as a hunting rifle either in the Alps, British Isles or Africa, fired by such figures as Ernest Hemingway and WDM "Karamojo" Bell and proving it could take even the largest African Elephant with a well-placed shot. The action was the smoothest bolt-action in recorded history and the features that made the gun instantly recognizable also betrayed it as an "aristocratic" weapon: short length, full stock, very straight bolt operation, flat bolt handle and precise triggers (sometimes including a double trigger, with the front trigger being a "set trigger" than would set the main trigger to go off with only the slightest pull) told the gun has been aimed to be carried in a saddle sheath and used in hunting on horseback, like upper class hunters did. The full-length stock was so intrinsically linked to the Mannlicher-Schönauer carbine that even now, decades after it went out of production, such a stock is still referred to as "Mannlicher style" (even though Mannlicher himself had nothing to do with the stock design, it was more his protege Schönauer's doing). It stood in production until 1972. Steyr-Mannlicher now offers a vaguely similar rifle, the "Mannlicher Classic", which mimics the style of the Mannlicher-Schönauer but replaces the rotary magazine with a less expensive but distinctly less cool detachable box magazine and simplifies the bolt design. The proprietary Mannlicher ammo was also abandoned, even the classic 6.5x54, much to the disappointment of more nostalgic shooters (who would seem to be the target audience of the rifle, so what the hell Steyr).
- In the TV show Ramar Of The Jungle, Dr. Tom Reynolds carries a Mannlicher-Schönauer.
- Amon Goeth uses one to take potshots at his Jewish workers in Schindler's List.
- British brigadier Lord Lovat uses one to lead his men onto Sword Beach in The Longest Day.
- Interestingly enough, in real life, Lovat and all his men were issued American Garand M1s for that mission, to ensure that they had enough firepower to "hold until relieved".
The Double Rifle
The weapon of choice for the Great White Hunter should be, of course, the double rifle - not a specific model of a double rifle since there is no model whatsoever, the rifles of the golden age of African Hunting were mostly tailored to their user like Savile Row suits. As wealthy Great White Hunters were much fewer than Hollywood would like us to think, the number of true large caliber double rifles is small, in the high hundreds for the entire colonial period and an area which spanned 3/4 of Africa. Some non-custom double rifles in smaller calibers also exist, but even they are rare because the demand was just never very high. The closest thing to a "common" double rifle are combination guns, which have one rifle and one (or more) shotgun barrel: from the crude .22 rifle plus .410 bore shotgun barrels for taking small game as a survival weapon, as in the US Air Force M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon, to the Russian over-under designs which are as good at firing as they are ugly.
- As stated above, a great many films featuring a Great White Hunter will have him using a high-caliber double rifle to take down his quarry. Examples include The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Ghost and the Darkness and White Hunter, Black Heart
- In the climax of Skyfall, Bond carries his father's double rifle, an Anderson Wheeler in .500 Nitro Express.
- Roland Tembo brings with him a .600 Nitro Express double rifle to bag the biggest game of all, a T. rex in The Lost World He almost gets his chance when a T. rex begins attacking the hunter's camp, until he discovers Nick Van Owen sabotaged his rifle. The rifle in question was a B. Searcy & Co. custom rifle made specifically for the movie.
- In Eternal Darkness, Dr. Rovias fights off the servants of the Eldritch Abomination of your choice with a .500 Nitro double rifle. If you steady it first, it throws him far off-balance. If you fire it too soon, it knocks him on his ass.
- A double rifle appears in Far Cry 4 as the ".700 Nitro". It has tremendous recoil, which can make aiming difficult, fires only two shots and takes a long time to reload, but it is guaranteed to kill almost anything in the game in one hit. It can be customized with low-magnification electronic optics to make aiming easier.
- Even though double rifles were rare, since they were custom-built, they came in a bewildering variety of cartridge chamberings. The most popular were the Jeffery rounds (.333, .400, .475, and .500), the Rigbys (.350 and .416), and the "true" Express rounds used in the Holland & Holland rifles (.470, .577, and .600). As for the "Nitro Express" name, that indicated a cartridge loaded with smokeless ("nitro") powder; the earlier "Express" rounds were loaded with black powder. The Nitro cases were deliberately made about half-an-inch longer than the black powder Express cases, to prevent anyone loading a Nitro Express round into a black powder Express rifle by accident; it was an almost 100% guarantee of a burst barrel and/or breech.
The Sharps series of rifles was one of the most prolific rifle types of the 1800's, and arguably the most popular rifle in use in the Wild West before the invention of lever-action rifles like the Henry repeater. The Sharps rifle is a breach-loading falling-block rifle firing a single cartridge, at first paper cartridges but later versions used brass cartridges. First developed in the late 1840's, the Sharps rifle saw a long career in a number of roles. The military rifle was the weapon of choice for U.S Sharpshooters in the American Civil War and the carbine version was extremely popular on both sides of the conflict.note Meanwhile, the civilian versions gained a reputation as being powerful and accurate hunting rifles, to the point that a with some going so far as to say that the Sharps rifle was the cause of the near-extinction of the North American bison and is often referred to as the 'buffalo gun'. The Sharps rifle is thus an icon of the Old West, though lesser known than the Winchester Lever-Action or the Colt Single Action Army.
- Cool Accessory: During the Civil War, the Sharps Rifle Company developed a version with a coffee grinder in the stock for grinding coffee in the field. However, these were not produced for very long and are now days extremely rare and valuable.
- The Sharps 1863 Carbine shows up several times in Dances with Wolves.
- A Sharps 1874 is used by The Man With No Name to shoot the rope Tuco is hanging from in the graveyard in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It travels back in time about a decade or so to get in his hands.
- One of the most popularly depicted of the Sharps rifles is the 1874 Long Range. It appears in several movies including Quigley Down Under, Legends Of The Fall, Up and Wayat Earp. It also appeared in the television series Lonesome Dove and two video games, GUN and Red Dead Redemption. The "Quigley" rifle was provided by Ace Custom manufacturer Shiloh Sharps, who offers modern-day hand built variants for about $3000.
- In Sons Of Guns, Will starts getting a bit giddy when someone brings in a Sharps Carbine with a coffee grinder stock. It turns out to be a far-less valuable reproduction.
- The Sharps 1874 Cavalry rifle shows up in both the original True Grit and the remake as the Weapon of Choice for Le Beouf. He displays an uncanny accuracy with it throughout both films.
- Appears in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood as the "Heavy Rifle."
The Springfield M1903 rifle is a five shot, bolt action rifle that was used by all branches of the United States military. The rifle was developed in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. There, U.S Army and Marines armed with a number of lever-action rifles and the Krag-Jørgensen rifle were often outmatched in firepower by Spanish and Cuban soldiers armed with Spanish-made versions of Gewehr 93 Mausers. Specifically, two shortcomings in the Krag's design were that it lacked the ability to be quickly reloaded with a stripper clip and it could not load high-velocity ammunition without being damaged. Though modified versions of the Krag were tested in small numbers that got rid of the first shortcoming, and there was some room to strengthen the Krag actionnote , the U.S military knew they had to adopt a new rifle. Given that the Krag was obviously shit compared to other rifles being evaluated at the time, it was a miracle that it had been adopted at all. Seeing an obviously superior weapon system in the Mauser, Springfield Armory did its best to recreate its greatness in a design of their own by copying the Mauser almost wholesale apart from the furniture. The result was the Springfield M1903 chambered for the .30-03 and .30-06 rounds, the latter would be the mainstay rifle round of the U.S Military until the formation of NATO. So similar to the Mauser 93 was the Springfield that Mauser Werke sued the U.S Government, who were forced to pay royalties to Mauser. In a fit of irony, the first notable engagement the rifle was used in was during World War I, used by United States Marines against German soldiers carrying Mausers. It proved to be reliable, accurate and much quicker to reload, much to the dismay of the Germans who were on the other end of it. When WW2 broke out, the United States supplied Springfields to foreign powers as part of a lend-lease program, most notably Nationalist China. The rifle was just being supplemented and eventually replaced with the M1 Garand when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. During the first years of the Pacific Campaign and the U.S' entry into Northern Africa as part of Operation Torch, the Springfield was still the primary service rifle of the Marines and the Army until finally being (mostly) replaced by the Garand mid-way through the war. In 1942, production shifted to the M1903A3, which used cheaper stamped steel parts and a simplified but more practical rear sight.note Production continued for the duration of the war for rear-line units (and initially for the Marines, until they too had enough Garands to go around), as the production lines for Springfields were incapable of manufacturing Garands or M1 Carbines (at least, not without significant retooling that nobody had time for). The Springfield was not removed entirely from service, though. The most celebrated use for the Springfield was that of a sniper's rifle. Already an accurate and powerful rifle, many Springfields were modified to be more accurate and fitted with scopes as the M1903A4 (in the Army; the Marines used a different modification of existing M1903A1 rifles from their National Match target shooting team, adding a distinctive Unertl 8x power scope that was nearly 20 inches longnote and without a new model number, for their snipers). The Springfield sniper rifle saw service after its infantry rifle version was retired, seeing service in both World Wars, The Korean War and The Vietnam War (alongside the Winchester Model 70 in Marine Corps usage) until finally being replaced by more modern bolt-action rifles based on the Remington 700 and the M21 semi-automatic rifle. Original snipers can be distinguished from modern reproductions by the fact that the manufacturer and model number markets are offset slightly to the left and the serial number slightly to the right so that they remain fully visible with the scope mount in place, while when an M1903A3 is converted into a repro sniper they'll be partially covered by it.note Today, the Springfield is a popular collector's item and surplus examples were and sometimes still are used as hunting rifles.
- The Springfield rifle and the sniper variant has been seen in just about every WW2 film, television show and video game made featuring the American Military. Examples include: Call of Duty, The Pacific, Battlefield 1942, Battle of the Bulge, The Big Red One and Saving Private Ryan.
- The Springfield is used frequently by the sailors of the U.S.S San Pablo in The Sand Pebbles.
- Used in Far Cry 2 as the first sniper rifle the player encounters, and the first used by enemy snipers. For no readily apparent reason, all available M1903's are left-handed, fired by right-handed shooters, which is exactly as awkward as it sounds.
- Used by the U.S Army after King Kong starts tearing through New York City in the remake.
- The residents of the Hoovervile The Doctor visits as well as their leader Solomon try to fight off the Daleks with these rifles in the Doctor Who episode "Daleks In Manhattan". Not that it does them a bit of good.
- Used by soldiers of the US and Mexican armies along with the main character Coffer in The Wild Bunch. Among the Mexican soldiers it was presumably a stand-in for Mexican Mausers, as in 1913 the United States wasn't exporting the M1903 to anybody.
- Leon's first sniper rifle is a Springfield M1903 converted to .223 in Resident Evil 4.
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth lets the player use this as a weapon, as well as Marsh's followers, U.S Marines and Coast Guardsmen. It's powerful enough to drop even a Deep One in one well-aimed shot.
- A sporterized version is seen in the film A Boy and His Dog, used by Vic. It features a modified stock, peep sight and cut down barrel. Interestingly, this exact same rifle can be seen used by a man aiming from a rooftop in The Book of Eli as a sort of homage.
- The Birdseye sniper rifle in BioShock Infinite is an M1903 with an assumed name, along with a few hybrid features from the Kar-98 and Lee-Enfield (the section of exposed barrel and the detachable box magazine, respectively).
- Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber. It's like all other bolt-action rifles from the era: powerful and long range, but slow to fire and reload. Not to mention ammo not being very easy or cheap to get.
The NATO battle rifle that's not chambered in 7.62mm NATO.note Instead, France stuck with the 7.5x54mm round (despite the "7.5" designation, it's actually exactly the same diameter as the 7.62mm NATO) that they'd been using since 1930. While France was a founding member of the alliance, they resisted standardization for decades. The MAS-49 was the culmination of a nearly 50-year quest by the French Army to issue every soldier a semi-automatic weapon. With development slowed to a crawl by lack of funds and interrupted by the World Wars, it wasn't until the 1950s that the goal was achieved. By that point, having a standard-issue semi-auto was no longer revolutionary at all. The MAS-49 only saw limited production before being replaced by the shorter, rifle grenade capable MAS-49/56. It utilized a tilting bolt system similar to the FAL, and a direct impingement gas system like the later M16. Interestingly, while the M16 became infamous for needing to be cleaned constantly, the MAS-49/56 was beloved by French soldiers for its ability to go for weeks at a time with only the most rudimentary cleaningnote , even in the harshest desert and jungle conditions. It also uses the unique system of having the magazine catch on the magazine instead of on the rifle. No one else has ever used this odd system on a standard-issue weaponnote , but it works well enough.
- A French sailor in Golden Eye is armed with a MAS-49/56.
- In The Day of the Jackal, French soldiers have MAS-49/56 rifles, while gendarmes carry the older MAS-49.
- The Battle of Algiers has lots of French soldiers carrying the MAS-49. Despite being set in 1966, no MAS-49/56s to be seen.
- The Vietnamese first-person shooter 7554 (the name comes from the date 7 May 1954, when North Vietnam defeated the French in the Battle of Dien Bien Phu) includes the MAS-49 and, anachronistically, the MAS-49/56.