Bandoliers are belts that hold ammunition for Cool Guns
, grenades, or just weapons in general (or even mundane items). They also give off coolness
The fundamental concept is that a warrior will want to wear all of his equipment close at hand, so the bandolier sends a message that the wearer expects combat. Various cultures have used bandoliers for different purposes. In the age of muzzle-loading firearms, a wealthy soldier might wear multiple single-shot pistols so he could discharge them rapidly one after the other without reloading. Cavalrymen and banditos of the Old West might also wear multiple pistols, as reloading was still a laborious process through the 1800's. In the latter half of the 1800's, cartridge technology made it feasible to wear individual bullets or shotshells in the bandolier. It was a sort of status symbol to wear a fully-loaded bandolier, as this showed you were not only a warrior but also wealthy enough to maintain a full complement of ammunition.
The use of a bandolier is not without its problems, however. Munitions exposed to the elements may corrode and become unusable. Since the invention of the machine gun, soldiers in fiction tends to sling ammunition belts over their shoulders to present a menacing appearance. However doing this for an extended period would cause the belted ammo links to rust so that they cannot be fed into a weapon. In reality, ammo belts tends to be carried in metal boxes until they are needed. Hollywood often depicts soldiers with hand grenades dangling from their bandoliers (John Wayne being perhaps the most famous example of this). This is also a bad idea, as a hand grenade dangling from equipment may become snagged as a soldier crawls or moves through rough terrain, with unfortunate results
. Unfortunately, young soldiers would try to emulate what they saw on television. Vietnam veteran David Hackworth once recalled a soldier telling him the Army would not provide grenade pouches because they believed John Wayne was wearing his munitions "the right way," another example of life imitating art
In the modern world, cross-body bandoliers are only common among poor armies and militias. Pouches and magazines are used to avoid the problems mentioned above. The American army only uses canvas bandoliers to carry packaged bulk ammunition, while in combat all equipment is worn on vest and belt pouches.
Modern hunters who use slow-reloading bolt-action rifles or single-shot rifles would usually have a leather or canvas bandolier slung across the chest or around the waist in the time-honored manner, or a smaller 5-10 round bandolier wrapped around the rifle stock.
In Wild West settings, Banditos
will stereotypically be wearing them, in emulation of Pancho Villa.
The worn form of Gun Accessories
. Compare Superhero Packing Heat
, Utility Belt
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Anime and Manga
- Berserk: Guts has a bandolier of throwing knives, as did Judeau.
- Kujiranami Hyougo from Rurouni Kenshin.
- Ranma ½: Ukyou wears a bandoleer of spatulas to cook with (that she also uses as weapons).
- Meru on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has a bandolier filled with cell phones. Kind of a weapon, since she uses them to troll people.
- One Piece: Captain Smoker has a bandolier of cigars.
- Roberta from Black Lagoon.
- Kuroko Shirai from A Certain Scientific Railgun often uses her teleporting ability to teleport spikes and she usually keeps the spikes holstered under her skirt. But in one episode there is a scene where she prepares for the battle by arming herself with a long bandolier with spikes.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Negi put on one with magic potions when he went to fight Evangeline.
- Coyote Starrk from Bleach has a pair at the back of his Badass Longcoat in his Resurrecion, to compliment his lone-wolf-gunslinger-theme. They don't hold bullets however - they let him summon a an army of spirit wolves and a pair of energy swords if he needs them.
- Triela from Gunslinger Girl typically has a bandolier around the stock of her Trenchgun. From her actions in episode 9, she uses it as a ready source of specialized shot, to be thumbed in on top of her regular loadout. She fires one shot, the bandolier is missing one shell, and it's a tire-shot, (presumably a slug).
- Sgt. Rock is often shown carrying a belt of .50-caliber machine gun ammunition over his shoulders... despite the fact that Easy Company seldom actually uses heavy machine guns.
Live Action TV
- In Doctor Who, the forgotten incarnation of the Doctor that fought in the Time War is depicted wearing one of these, using it to hold his sonic screwdriver. "The Night of the Doctor" reveals before being worn by the War Doctor, the bandolier belonged to a prospective companion, who upon discovering the Eighth Doctor was a Time Lord, elected to die rather than be saved.
- The mercenary gunrunners in "The Caves of Androzani" wear bandoliers of Deadly Gas grenades.
- In a few earlier concerts, some of the members of Rammstein wore fake bandoliers.
- Raven wears one, though it fails at making her look badass.
- In Bone Busters, the team members' backpack straps double as bandoliers.
- Dungeons & Dragons: in older editions characters could buy bandoliers to hold daggers or darts for use as throwing weapons. (Your character can still have one in newer editions, but since the game has grown less concerned with nit-picking details, it's just a flavorful explanation of having a bunch of them in your abstract inventory.)
- Most G.I. Joe toys had the grenade variant, and sometimes bullets as well. These bullets were very rarely ever actually used in combat.
- Once again Nerf comes to the rescue with a bandoleer dart kit that holds both darts and magazines (and even a clip useful for small pistols) for when you need as much foam as you can carry.
- Link starts wearing a bandolier of pockets in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- Team Fortress 2: The Heavy, Soldier, Demoman, and Pyro wear one. Cosmetic items can replace the grenades and ammunition held in them with such things as Christmas tree ornaments, batteries, bongos, and cartoon bombs, and human skulls.
- Team Fortress 2 participated in a costume crossover deal with the Steam version of Monday Night Combat. Gamers who bought MNC before February 1st got a bunch of crossover gear the characters could wear. The Gunner's gear was the Heavy's bandolier.
- In Battlefield 3, the US Support class wears one like a scarf.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, Whitaker and the Fallen Survivor infected (which is a infected model of Whitaker).
- A bandolier can be bought in Red Dead Redemption. It doubles the amount of rifle and repeater ammo you can carry. Once you buy it you will always be wearing it and receive its benefits, even when wearing an outfit that hides it. In a nice graphical touch as you burn through your ammo stock the number of rounds on the belt disappear.
- The protagonists and character classes in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 generally wear grenades on their chests. The snipers, however, subvert expectations by wearing shotgun shells on a bandolier over their chests.
- That's because that class is not the Sniper class; it's the Recon class.
- Several Armor Permutations in Halo: Reach feature the Grenade Launcher variant, including the Ua/Multithreat, Base Patrol, and Grenadier variants. However, this is purely aesthetic, and doesn't do anything other than look cool.
- In Yarudora series vol.3: Sampaguita, one of the Triad members wears a bandolier full of shotgun ammo.◊
- Several armors in Fallout 3 & Fallout: New Vegas have decorative bandoliers.
- The Vietnam version of the Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality has the Automatic Rifleman class for the US Army & US Marines wearing two bandoliers of ammo for their M60 machine guns crossed over their torso.
- Revolver Ocelot of the Metal Gear series carries bullets on his bandolier and belt. He really enjoys reloading his revolvers in battle.
- Then-Major Ocelot didn't start out wearing one in Metal Gear Solid 3, since he was using a magazine-fed pistol at the start, but after Naked Snake suggests his technique is more suited to revolvers, the Major starts wearing one to go with his Single Action Army pistols.
- Also in MGS3, Volgin wears a pretty long ammo belt around his waist and over his shoulder. It might seem like a bad idea, considering his Psycho Electro powers, but he is wearing them over a rubberized suit. It does come back to bite him in the ass in the final battle when he's struck by lightning.
- In X3: Reunion, Terran Conflict, and Albion Prelude, several Space Pirate NPC portraits wear ammo belts as bandoliers. One Split portrait also has them, occasionally causing confusion for those who haven't memorized the race portraits yet.
- Frank West in Dead Rising can wear criss-crossing bandoliers as an unlockable outfit.
- Nathan Drake wears one of these for the last act of the third Uncharted game.
- In The Godfather II one of the rewards you can unlock for capturing a set of fronts is doubled ammo capacity, which is shown in the aversion of Informed Equipment as ammo worn as a belt.
- On Homestar Runner, Fightgar of the Cheat Commandos wears one, along with a Rambo-esque headband.
- In the Strong Bad Email "your funeral", a Future Badass version of Pom Pom is seeing wearing a bandolier while facing off against a zombified Strong Bad.
- Agent Blue (Agent Florida/Butch Flowers) of Project Freelancer sports one in Red vs. Blue.
- Since it's a parody of Battlefield 3 mentioned above, any character in Battlefield Friends using the Support Class] wears an ammo belt like a scarf.
- The Badass part largely only applies to Colonel, though, since the other two primary users of the class are Noob and Simon.
- Parodied in Schlock Mercenary, where the footnote points out that the bandoliers the bad guys are wearing are completely unnecessary, since in the future bulky ammunition stores are nonexistent. It then goes on to theorize they are instead filled with chewing gum.
- Michel Wibert in New York Magician has a bandolier full of various magical artifacts.
- In the Insane Cafe 2 and its sequel, bandoliers are worn by Mr. Bigmouth, Deimos and Rime. Interestingly, Mr. Bigmouth also uses a much less badass but equally useful messenger bag. Also, Deimos and Rime use assorted pockets in their armored vests to carry stuff.
- Gaia Online has Bullet Belts purchasable at Gold Mountain.
- Faun Reinaka of Tasakeru wears one strategically across her considerable assets. It has dozens of pouches to hold her Trick Bombs.
- Invoked in The Fountainhead Filibuster: Tales from Objectivist Katanga. The feeding mechanism on Che Guevara's drum-fed machine rifle breaks, forcing him to tear the ammo belt out of the drum and wrap it around himself while feeding the end directly into the gun.
- Dinobot in the "Coming of the Fuzors" arc in Beast Wars sports one of these towards the end of part 1. Along with (at that point) the largest gun seen on the show.
- Blackbeard the pirate wore bandoliers full of pistols (as well as a sword in each hand and burning fuses in his hair).
- Wearing two bandoliers of bullets in an "X" across the body became Pancho Villa's trademark.
- Bandoliers are somewhat iconic◊ for Mexican fighters in general.
- The British Army uniform included bandoliers called cross-belts up until they did away with the bright red coats.
- A "revolutionary seaman", in a striped sleeveless shirt with two criss-crossed bandoliers full of machine-gun ammo, is an iconic image of the Russian Civil War.