Chainsaw-Grip BFG

Bob has a Really Big Gun. It's noisy, destructive, and probably has an endearing nickname. But the main thing that shows everybody what a BFG it is... is the way he holds it. A fore handle, chainsaw-style, and a grip in the back, firing from the hip.

Now, this would be a really stupid thing to do in Real Life for various reasons, but in assorted media it has basically become the default way of depicting oversized man-portable weaponry. It can also be used specifically because it is stupid: To demonstrate that a weapon has no need for accuracy, or that the wielder doesn't really care about cover.

Also note that any gun heavy enough to require this sort of grip needs to be mounted to realistically use it as a weapon — the Browning .50 Caliber is much smaller and lighter than any examples below, but a normal human cannot steady it against the kickback and nozzle riding. This can be somewhat more justified if the weapon in question is an energy weapon like a laser and recoil is a non-issue.

Frequently appears in conjunction with Gatling Good and Removable Turret Guns.

Compare Gangsta Style and Guns Akimbo for firearms techniques similarly based on Rule of Cool. However, unlike those, this is not a grip by choice but a set-up of handles built into the gun, and often there isn't any other way to wield it.


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  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team has the Type 09 sniper cannon used by Sanders' RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type, firing 180x800mm high-explosive rounds from a eight-round box magazine to a maximum range of three kilometers. While he does fire it from the hip from time to time, it is usually against nearby targets. While sniping, he uses a different stance where he stabs his Gundam's shield into the ground and rests the barrel on it - understandable as according to the Gundam Wiki, the cannon has so much recoil that a GM can't handle it.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, the climax of the Kampfer Amazing vs. GM Sniper K9 battle features one of these—a gigantic gatling gun, to be specific. This is a Mythology Gag based on the original Kampfer's fate in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Meanwhile, Maoh's Gundam X Maoh has a Hyper Satellite Cannon so huge and elongated that it has this arrangement of grips just so that the suit can even begin to move the weapon around to aim it.
  • Batou wields a chainsaw grip minigun in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Annihilation". Of course, this is a world in which super-strong cyborgs with targeting computers in their brains are a routine occurrence, so it's entirely possible the gun was specifically designed for that kind of person.

    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo: Robo carries one on an action zoology expedition into the Amazon rainforest. Mostly, it's there to make him feel safe despite being surrounded by insects.
  • The Incredible Hercules: Ares has a minigun with the Terminator 2-style chainsaw grip on his Wall of Weapons, along with several other movie shout-outs.
  • A Punisher story occurring during the World War Hulk events has Frank pursuing a massive alien warlord. He and Micro rig up a shotgun attached to an ACTUAL chainsaw, which is, naturally, held like this.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The M56 Smartgun from Aliens is a fairly reasonable example, since it also incorporates a powered harness to help with aiming and recoil compensation.
  • A minigun with this configuration shows up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, wielded by one of the gunmen in the highway ambush.
  • The minigun from Predator represents the missing link between the actual vehicle-mounted weapon and this trope, having been modified for handheld use (albeit with a M60-style underbarrel grip rather than a chainsaw handle). The film crew's experiences with that prop would eventually lead to the version seen in Terminator 2.
  • The heavy stun-guns used by Johns' crew in Riddick use this configuration.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-800 uses this in the iconic minigun scene, and the GE M134 Minigun used in the film is in fact the first known example of this trope. Also a Justified Trope — it's intended to emphasize the T-800's Super Strength. And having computerized targeting sensors built into him, the T-800 doesn't actually need traditional sights for aiming.
  • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Roadblock (The Rock) twice wields a Ma' Deuce in this fashion, as part of a shooting competition and in actual combat. This also happens to be a nod to the comics and original action figure where the Browning is Roadblock's standard weapon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a flash-forward due to Negative Space Wedgie in the Babylon 5 episode "Babylon Squared", Garibaldi is seen using some sort of Gatling PPG this way against unseen aggressors.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Destiny: Cabal Colossi and Strike boss Valus Ta'aurc wield their heavy bolt throwers this way.
  • Dune II. The Heavy Trooper, favored infantry unit of the Harkonnen and Sardaukar, carries a really big machinegun like this.
  • Many heavy weapons in the Fallout franchise are used like this, including several incarnations of the Minigun, the "Incinerator" flamethrower/grenade launcher hybrid from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, and the iconic Plasma Caster (a.k.a "Heavy Plasma Rifle") present in most games in the franchise.
  • In Gods Eater Burst, all three gun types for the gun mode of the God Arcs are held in this fashion.
  • The Minigun is held this way in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Spartans wield detached turrets in this style in the Halo series, beginning in Halo 3.
  • Vulcan Raven of Metal Gear Solid does this for carrying an M61 Vulcan cannon, a gun that's so not designed to be man-portable that it's only seen on aircraft and naval vessels in Real Life.
  • The BFG from Quake II is wielded much like this.
  • Brutes in Saints Row: The Third carry oversized heavy weapons fitted with chainsaw grips, both flamethrowers and miniguns. The Boss, being the utter over-the-top Badass s/he is, can naturally use them too.
    • And in Saints Row IV, the DLC weapon 'Merica is all the guns taped together and given a Red Bull, carried this way.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Assault cannons, oversized weapons carried by the Commando class are held this way. See the page picture.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Heavy's miniguns all follow this design. The Medigun and its variants use a slightly more sensible design with a pistol grip below the barrel in addition to the top handle.
  • The X-COM clone/tribute game UFO: Extraterrestrials follows this design for most of its heavy weapons, with a few (shoulder-mounted) exceptions. The Heavies in XCOM: Enemy Unknown fire their BFGs the same way.
  • The Terran Republic Mini Chaingun in PlanetSide 1 is underslung this way (somewhat unusual in that the chainsaw grip is parallel to the weapon body, rather than perpendicular). Averted in the sequel, where the MCG is laid out like a normal rifle. A vocal part of the playerbase wants the chainsaw one back.
  • Man-portable cannons are wielded this way in TorchlightII, but then again they're not exactly accurate, they just blow out a spray of flame and shrapnel like an extra-large Short-Range Shotgun.
  • In Star Trek Online the "blast assault" and "assault minigun" weapon types both use this grip configuration. So does the unique Synchronic Proton Distortion Prototype Assault Rifle (say that three times fast!).
  • A variation shows up in Ratchet & Clank: the heavier guns tend to have a second grip on the side rather than on top. Presumably it was done for ease of animation.
  • While not a 'gun' per se, Xiahou Ba's "Siege Lance" moveset from Dynasty Warriors 8 is wielded in this fashion, and as might be expected from a rocket-powered melee weapon constructed in such a way, it is positively ludicrous in design and effectiveness.
  • The Razor Girls from Brütal Legend wield their massive guns (made from Fireboar carcasses) in this manner.
  • Doom: The eponymous BFG-9000 has a rearward grip implying this when found, but no equivalent foregrip, and its first-person sprite doesn't show it in use.
  • Alien Swarm: Though most are not BFGs, all but three or four of the weapons used by the marines use this setup - presumably because it's somehow more practical when combined with their powered armour (perhaps due to range-of-movement restrictions or increased strength). In full force for the Autogun and Minigun though.


    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Chainsaw grips are now available for shotguns. Of debatable practicality but very much Rule of Cool.
    • Laser sights dramatically improve the accuracy of firing from the hip.
  • Related to the Terminator 2 example:
    • If you have $3500 burning a hole in your pocket, you can order a BB-firing replica of the Terminator 2 minigun.
    • Some paintball enthusiasts have custom built paintball versions.
  • Quite a few Fire Hoses appear to have this kind of grip, though usually in this case the "grip" is actually the "trigger"; you pull it toward yourself to increase the flow rate (it's designed so that the recoil force, which for a flow of several gallons per second is substantial, tends to shut the water off if you can't handle it instead of giving you even more).
  • Some crew-mounted machine guns, such as the American M-60 (chambered for 7.62mm), can be fired this way, supporting the weapon by the carrying handle while working the trigger with the other hand. This leads to a severe loss of accuracy, but it can help to provide suppressive fire when the gun crew is on the move. Similar tactics were used with early light machine guns as far back as World War One to varying degrees of success.
    • The so called T33 variant of the M1919 Browning was famously used like this during the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The T33 was a makeshift modification of a lighter aircraft variant of the M1919 and given a rifle buttstock. Fired from the hip it's main use was to unload a heavy barrage of shoots to suppress enemy formation or to fire into the openings of bunkers where the bullets would cause sharpnells to fly around or riochete inside killing the defenders.
  • The KAC ChainSAW is an attempt at making an ergonomic LMG. Needless to say, Knights Armament Company decided to use the chainsaw grip.
  • The Nerf corporation created the Vulcan, one of their largest battery-driven dart blasters at a mind-numbing 7.7 pounds—it actually is made to be fired from a tripod stand. It can also be carried and fired in the manner of this trope. The even more massive Vulcan BF-50 is pretty much a toy squad automatic weapon, meaning that you would have to use the integrated chainsaw grip to even lift the thing—it weighs over 28 pounds!