Good Guns, Bad Guns
Cops And Robbers has never been this serious.

Certain guns tend to get used exclusively by either heroes or villains.

Much of this is simply because the vast majority of TV shows are made and/or set in NATO countries. For example, the popularity of AK-pattern weapons as "bad-guy guns" is easily explained by the vast quantities of the weapon which were manufactured by the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China and sold to Third World nations during the Cold War, which just happened to be enemies of America. Additionally, the huge quantities of AKs that got shipped all over the world meant they were so cheap that almost anyone, criminals and insurgents included, could buy them by the dozen and plenty of ammunition to go with them, while the design was widespread enough that clandestine arms factories could churn them out in large numbers.

"Good" guns:
  • Any AR-15 type weapon, especially the M16, ACR, HK416 and M4.
  • As the sidearm of the US military from 1985 to 2017, the Beretta M9 or 92F/S, unless it's the Inox variant. The Taurus PT92 also counts too, as its often used to stand in for the M9 in some productions.
  • Most weapons of the Allied forces (particularly the American and British forces) of World War I and World War II, such as the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Owen Gun, Sten Gun, Bren Gun, Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* or No. 4 Mk I, Webley Mark VI Revolver, Lewis Gun, Maxim Gun, Vickers Gun, Browning M2, Browning M1917, M3/M3A1 grease gun, M1917 revolver and BAR, but especially the Colt M1911A1.
  • Smith & Wesson Model 29, Smith & Wesson Schofield, Colt Navy 1851, Colt Python and Colt Single Action Army revolvers, although there might be exceptions.
  • Lever-action rifles and shotguns (especially in Westerns)
  • Any weapon generally exclusive to NATO forces, such as the FN FAL and Browning Hi-Power (with a few exceptions; see below)
  • Other weapons with black or dark finishes, however in the case of some guns of European manufacture (Heckler and Koch, Sig, and Steyr; see below) they tend to be "bad" guns just as often as they are "good" guns, usually to show how the people using them are professionals and/or affluent, or that they're mercenaries.
  • The Thompson M1/M1A1, often seen being used by American GIs in World War II movies with the stick magazines. The M1928A1 variant can also be considered a good guy gun if used with the stick magazine, as these were used by British and Chinese soldiers throughout WW2.
  • The Glock (except maybe the Glock 18) tends to be a good gun in any US production, as it's fairly widespread among police, government agencies and is tremendously popular with the civilian market. See the Real Life section below.
  • Most cop shows set before The '90s would give revolvers to good characters, whereas someone carrying an automatic would be either bad or an Anti-Hero. Any cop carrying a revolver in a more recent cop show is likely an experienced, older cop.
  • The MP5, as it tends to be used by SWAT teams and Western special forces units, most notably the British SAS, who used them to great effect in the Iranian Embassy Siege. The MP5K variant is the exception, though.
  • Most FN Herstal weapons, particularly the SCAR, F2000 and P90, usually in the hands of elite special forces units. The Minimi / M249 (As mentioned below) and Five-seveN are possible exceptions, however.

"Bad" guns:
  • Anything distinctly Soviet/Warsaw Pact in origin, most notably the Russian AK/AKM and SVD rifles and their updated descendants, and the Czechoslovak Škorpion submachine gun. The AKs may be an exception if their owners are members of La Résistance, and/or The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified.
  • The Steyr AUG and TMP - though again, there are exceptional cases. And pretty illogical ones at that, since the AUG has always been used by western armies and very rarely by organized crime. Thank a certain classic action movie for giving it the "evuuul firearm" image. All the more weird because most modern German and Austrian guns are usually depicted as being of the "hero"/"good" gun variety.
    • Individuals that tend to use these are usually professionals, generally a part of a shadowy conglomerate which has much higher standards and a lot more money to outfit them with something better than local standard-issue Soviet surplus.
  • Any rifle produced by SIG (later Swiss Arms). Pistols such as the P226 tend to bounce around on either side.
  • Almost anything made by Heckler and Koch, but like Steyr firearms, there are exceptions, such as if the good guys are part of a counter-terrorism or police unit. Most MP5 variants (see above), the HK416 (since it greatly resembles the AR-15) and the USP (and, by extension, the Mark 23 SOCOM) are exceptions.
  • Machine pistols in general, like the aforementioned TMP, the TEC-9, MAC-10 & -11, Micro-Uzi, and so on. The Weapon of Choice of urban gangsters and disestablishment types.
    • The Beretta 93R is generally an exception, as it's physically almost identical to the above-mentioned good gun, the Beretta 92. Maybe burst-fire is "less evil" than full-auto. Its also the basis for Robocop's Auto-9.
  • The FN Minimi / M249 SAW, commonly wielded by Elite Mooks in a good number of shooters, a tradition codified by Black.
  • Anything made by Calico, but especially their machine pistols.
  • Most weapons of the Central/Axis forces during World War I and World War II, especially the distinctive-looking Walther P38, MP40 (which gunned down loads of Allied soldiers, civilians, prisoners and partisans), MG-34 and particularly the MG-42 (thanks to it carrying the infamous name of "Hitler's Buzzsaw" as well as being used by a certain Galactic Empire as their Heavy Blaster Rifle, unless there are girls flying around with propeller boots). There are, however, a few exceptions:
    • Gewehr 98: A bolt-action rifle whose action remains popular well into the new millennium, where it is often used as a hunting rifle; it's only the Karabiner 98k model specifically that tends to be heavily associated with the Nazis, and even that model is still very well loved for the same reasons as its larger brother.
    • Luger P08: Although more Imperial German than Nazi, the Luger is famous as a bad-guy gun due to its association with the latter, but is considered cool enough to belong to a gun aficionado of wealth and taste or an Anti-Hero. It probably helps that British, American and Russian soldiers in WWII, essentially a pinnacle of heroism for having helped defeat the Nazis, frequently looted Lugers as war trophies. Extra coolness comes from the pistol's distinctive, sleek looks.
    • Walther PP/PPK: Popular worldwide and beloved by superspies like James Bond and Agent Carter. Plus gets bonus points for being the "Gun That Killed Hitler", though it then promptly loses some of those points when you realize it was because it was his gun. Possibly losing a few more when you also consider it was the loose basis for the Soviet Makarov pistol after the war.
    • The Mauser C96 also gets a free pass because of its association with Republican China and the KMT, with the KMT military adopting it as their service pistol until the late 1950s. The C96 and its copies have been used by various revolutionary movements worldwide and the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, not to mention being favored by both Winston Churchill in the real world and Han Solo in films.
    • The only exceptions not listed above are partisans who happen to capture Nazi guns. You can usually expect them to have modified the weapon in some way, to signify that they aren't a Nazi, though you would think they would want to use a weapon that didn't pin them as resistance member.
  • The Thompson M1921 or M1928A1 when fitted with drum magazines, as they are the weapon of choice of Hollywood gangsters.
  • Sawed-off shotguns, unless there are zombies around. Bonus points if the shotgun is double-barreled.
  • Other weapons with brown or bright (as in hard chrome) finishes, particularly Bling-Bling-BANG!. Stainless and matte silver finishes tend to be the exception, especially for revolvers.
  • Anything with one or more parts that are lit up and / or a Laser Sight.
  • The IMI Desert Eagle, unless the protagonist is an Anti-Hero.
  • The Uzi and the MAC-10, except maybe in works set during The Vietnam War, if the producers bother giving US soldiers something other than M16s.
  • The QBZ-95 and 97, though with plenty of exceptions. Expect them to be used by morally-ambiguous modern Chinese forces that could be good or bad depending on the situation.
  • The Smith & Wesson Model 500, or any similarly high-caliber magnum revolver.
  • The Type 54, the Chinese version of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33. In Asian drama, action film, heroic bloodshed films set in the 70's to 80's China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong, they are the weapon of choice for The Triads and the Tongs. The reason for their "popularity" is due to the huge numbers of them mass-produced for the PLA as their main sidearm until the 1990s and CCP cadres, the latter using them for executions. Smugglers were able to get hold of ex-military surplus pistols and sold them to illicit end-users. Affectionately named Black Star Pistol or "Hei Xing" for the black star on the grips.
  • South African weapons, such as the Vektor R4 and CR-21. As South Africa is a relatively inexpensive place to film low-budget action films, especially for films set in other African nations (in addition to a growing number of films both filmed and set in South Africa such as District 9 and Chappie ), these weapons are used by local film studios and armorers for their availability and as such tend to end up in the hands of lots of disposable mooks alongside the usual AK'S and Uzis.
  • Gatling Guns or Miniguns, unless salvaged from enemies or the protagonist is an Anti-Hero.
  • RPGs and other rocket launchers, in particular the infamous Russian RPG-7 or the WWII German Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck.
  • As a side note, villains tend to dual-wield more often than the good guys. The exceptions are the Anti-Hero and the Action Hero.

This also happened to some extent with the film cameras used by characters. Good guys favor Leicas or beat-up old manual SLRs; bad guys prefer Nikons. (A bit of Lampshade Hanging in the first season of 24 — the good guys use Macintosh computers, the bad guys use Microsoft.) Walker, Texas Ranger actually applied this to the cars characters drove; Walker and friends drove Dodges and Chryslers, the bad guys drove various General Motors products. Round turreted tanks were usually evil, while square ones were usually good.

This is often Truth in Television, though specific ones are used unrealistically. For example, the Uzi and AUG have rarely been used by actual criminals, but are often used by Western-friendly countries in real life. Many insurgent groups use many non-Soviet designs, especially as Western weapons and ammunition have become more common. In post-2001 Afghanistan, the national army and police, which are part of the UN coalition, use mainly ex-Soviet weapons, as do a lot of the British private security contractors working for Western organizations. Older "good" weapons like the FAL and Lee-Enfield are now far more common among insurgents and militias than they are in national militaries.

Note that what constitutes a "good gun" depends on the audience. Take the humble Kalashnikov rifle for example. In Western media, it's often a sinister gun used by unsavory types. In Russian media, a Kalashnikov is an everyman's weapon with no evil connotations the same way an AR-15 would be in America - after all, they invented it. In Africa, the Kalashnikov is widely seen as a symbol of liberation from colonial oppression; Mozambique even depicts an AK on its national flag.

Nazi weapons, however, are shorthand for evil almost everywhere.

Sub-Trope of Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. Related to Unusable Enemy Equipment.

Subversions of this trope:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pretty much ignored in City Hunter, in which enemies could show up with guns on either side of the spectrum without much ado. Quite telling are the scene in an early chapter where Ryo (protagonist) and Umibozu (in the occasion, antagonist) faced off wielding respectively a RPG-7 (bad guy weapon) and a M67 recoiless rifle (good guy weapon), and the whole final arc, in which the villains are mostly armed with MP5s but also have RPG-7s and their boss has a Walther P-38. In general, the choice of handgun says nothing about the character being good or evil but rather how much they know what they're doing, with soldiers and cops carrying standard-issue weapons, professionals carrying military or police weapons they know how to handle (a couple carried some improbable weapons, but they still used them well), and mob thugs and wannabes carrying whatever gun they manage to grab and often doing something stupid with it.
  • In Aoharu × Machinegun, Masamune uses twin Desert Eagles (one chrome, one normal) and Hotaru has a Walther P-38. Both are protagonists, Masamune's not an Anti-Hero. However on Masamune's side it could be because his outward image plays with the All Girls Want Bad Boys trope.
  • Strike Witches averts this thanks to its premise of "World War II between humanity in general and an alien threat". As in the real war, aces from Karlsland (the series' Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Germany) are the most skilled and most numerous, so while everyone tends to use weapons from their home country (witches from Japan tend towards a dismounted version of the Zero's 20mm cannon, one from Russia uses a DP-28, another from America uses a BAR, etc.), the majority of them use Nazi German weapons, with MG42s mounted with twin-drum magazines being particularly common for their high rate of fire.
  • Fate/Zero plays with the trope a little: Emiya Kiritsugu uses a Calico M950 as his sidearm, a notable Bad Gun, but he's a dark Anti-Hero, not a villain.

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, the government Fingermen use Berettas. Creedy uses a massive revolver.
    • Only in the movie. In the graphic novel, they use .38 caliber revolvers, possibly Colt Police Positives.
  • Both played straight and averted in Marvel's GI Joe run (and the toys). Cobra troopers usually sport Russian Dragunovs or AKs, but Snake Eyes, one of the most popular Joes, uses an Uzi.

  • Август Восьмого (Avgust Vos'mogo, August Eighth) is an inversion, because it's a Russian film about the 2008 South Ossetia War. The good guys use the AK-74, while the Georgian opposition use the M4.
  • In Iron Man (2008), the bad guys almost exclusively use Western guns. They're referred to as made by Stark International. This is used to illustrate how Stark can't bother himself at first over his tech falling into the wrong hands.
  • Face/Off contains a noteworthy example when Castor pulls out and quickly empties a Stechkin Automatic Pistol, which not only is a sinister-looking Eastern Bloc weapon, but also has full-auto capability. In a "Making of" featurette, the movie's armorer gushes about what a great "Bad Guy" gun the Stechkin is.
  • In Star Wars, Han Solo's signature DL-44 is really a rebuilt broomhandle Mauser, normally a 'bad guy' gun. Then again, it's often overlooked that Han Solo is not a hero — he's a smuggler. A smuggler with a bad-tempered partner (known to pull people's arms off if beaten at holo-chess), a highly illegal ship with multiple hidden compartments, and who has mastered the art of the subtle draw in order to be able to blow away the amateur bounty hunters that come after him if he screws up a smuggling job (no matter which version you believe, Han was definitely drawing his gun under the table and pointing it at Greedo's crotch for several seconds while Greedo talked). This was another clue that Han Solo is NOT a nice guy.
    • More generally, good guys in Star Wars tend to wield pistols (Han, Leia, Luke, the rebels on the Tantive IV) whereas bad guys use rifles (Stormtroopers, Battle Droids), with the only high-profile exception being Chewbacca's bowcaster built out of a Stormtrooper rifle. This shortly leads to the sight of the aforementioned stormtroopers firing their rifles normally at Luke, naturally missing, while Luke is firing back at them with a stolen rifle, holding it like it's a pistol and killing one trooper with each shot. An interesting note, however, is that the Tantive IV guys and the Stormtroopers both use weapons made from the same base, the formers' just having shorter barrels and the stock completely removed instead of folded.
    • Zig-zagged for the generic Rebel soldiers after the first movie - in The Empire Strikes Back the A295 blaster rifle the Echo Base troopers used was based on the StG-44, a weapon used by Nazi Germany. In Return of the Jedi, their older A280 blasters were instead based on the AR-15. The Stormtroopers, meanwhile, are given weapons based on the Sterling SMG and Lewis gun, both British designs, but later media tends to base all of their heavier weapons on the MG 34, a machine gun most notably used by Nazi Germany before it was updated into the MG 42. Attack of the Clones gives the clone troopers large rifles also based on the MG 34, partly as a Call-Forward to what will become of them after the Clone Wars, which is further exemplified in Revenge of the Sith where most of them use carbines almost identical to the Stormtroopers' E-11 rifle.
  • In Commando, many bad guys carry M16 rifles (possibly justified in that one of the terrorists' bosses was a turncoat Special Forces man). Matrix himself makes use of an Uzi, a Desert Eagle, a pump action shotgun and an AK variant, while the Big Bad carries a Steyr AUG.
  • In Avalon, protagonist Ash carries a PPK and SVD, and at one point borrows a broomhandle Mauser. Later, she trades her PPK for a dead player's Polish Radom pistol.
  • In the Korean Western The Good, the Bad, the Weird, the Good bounty hunter wields a lever-action Winchester rifle, the Bad bandit uses a Webley revolver, and the Weird thief uses a pair of Walther P38 pistols.
  • In The Rocketeer the police and FBI use .38 Special revolvers while the mobsters all carry Colt 1911 .45s. At the climax both the FBI and mobsters use Thompson submachine guns again the Nazis. However, the Rocketeer himself uses a Mauser C96.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger is set in World War II, and it features American and German soldiers using American and German weaponry. Red Skull's Luger is distinctive among the film's many examples of this because it is modified to use an infinite supply of divine power as its ammunition.
  • The 1995 film adaptation of Richard III seems to zig-zag on this trope, being set in an alternate dieselpunk Britain. Richard, a villain, carries the Mauser C96, while Edward (ostensibly good) and Richmond (definitely good) carry the Colt 1911. However, the troops of both sides use Lee-Enfield rifles and Browning Automatic Rifles. Also, in the coup that opens the film, Richard's troops use the MP-18 and Edward's men carry the MP-40, both German-made weapons.
  • In the SF/Horror film Lifeforce, the SAS troopers are armed with Steyr AUGs.
  • Though the villains of Heat use all sorts of firearms throughout the film, the big post-bank-robbery shootout has the more sympathetic Shiherlis and McCauley wielding Colt 733s (AR-15 variant with an 11.5" barrel) while Cheritto, the more stereotypical bad guy, carries a Galil ARM (as pictured above), which is based on a Finnish AK-clone.
  • In The Avengers, good guy Hawkeye carries a Heckler and Koch P30 as his sidearm. However he only fires it when he's "evil". When he's with the Avengers it lies unused in his holster, and he only uses his bow (which he granted also used when evil as well) or alien weapons he picked up.
  • Inverted in xXx. The movie takes place mostly in the Czech Republic, so the local police tactical units are armed with Warsaw Pact-derived weapons, and are allied with the hero. The bad guys tend to use Western guns.
  • In Tango & Cash, the protagonists use Calico M950s while assaulting the antagonist's base.
  • The 2004 Thai action film Born to Fight averts this as the communist terrorists use M16s, MP5s, and M1911s as their main armaments.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the Capitol uses a sleek white F2000 rifle to compliment their Light Is Not Good trend while District 13 uses skeletal black G36 rifles to reinforce their respective Dark Is Not Evil motif.
  • In the novelization of Rambo: First Blood Part II, while preparing for his mission, Rambo specifically asks for a Kalashnikov instead of the overdesigned technological marvel Murdock wanted to give him, because it'd be easy to find ammunition and replacement parts behind enemy lines. He also asked for a bow and arrows.
  • While sidearms are all over the place (mostly American), the final shootout of Gangster Squad has the titular Squad attacking mafioso Mickey Cohen's stronghold wielding Tommy Guns while Cohen's goons (and Cohen himself) get trigger-happy with MP-40s.
  • Mad Max. Inverted because, while in the original most guns seen are normal break-action shotguns (although one of the gangers has a Mauser C96), Max, a cop, has a sawn-off, while the MFP and some of the gangers have S&W revolvers. In The Road Warrior, Max still has the shotgun, while Humongous has a revolver, which appears to be a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum. In Beyond Thunderdome, all these considerations go out the window due to the scavenger society of Max's world; Bartertown goons may carry a Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, a lever-action Winchester, and an M-60 machine gun; Max hands in a different sawn-off, an S&W revolver and a C96 upon entering Bartertown; and an ordinary man in the crowd entering Bartertown has a Karabiner 98k.

    Live Action TV 
  • Lost's guns constantly change hands, making "good" and "bad" irrelevant.
    • Interestingly, many of the guns used by the "bad guys," the Others, were obtained from the US Army, generally seen as good guys in other media.
  • Partly subverted in Jericho, where the townspeople generally use hunting and police-issue weapons, while the marauding Ravenwood mercs use M4s with all the bells and whistles. Arguably, Hawkins' preferred weapon — a Beretta Cougar Inox (stainless steel finish) — reflects the doubt as to whether his intentions are good or evil.
  • Subverted by Sons of Guns. While there are no "bad guys", one of Red Jacket's biggest claims to fame are modified AK-action weapons such as AKM derivatives and the Saiga semi-automatic shotgun. They have also done prominent builds using other "bad guns" such as four MG-42s in a quadruple anti-aircraft mount and a folding gun based on the Ingram MAC-10.
  • In New Series Doctor Who, UNIT and Torchwood (and on occasion, the British Army for some reason) are armed with H&K assault rifles.
  • Subverted in Burn Notice. Both the good and bad guys use pretty much anything, and the distinctive SIG SG552/P556 hybrid is used by Michael and/or Fiona in some episodes and by random bad guys in others.
  • Played fairly straight on The Walking Dead during seasons 3 and 4. Major antagonist "The Governor" carries a Steyr AUG, his soldiers often carry weapons like H&K MP5s; while Rick and his ilk almost exclusively use M16s or M4s when seen with a full-auto weapon.
  • Dean in Supernatural carries a M1911A1.
  • Love/Hate throws this trope out the window almost entirely what with the protagonists being gang members; Beretta 92s and Glock 17s are the favoured pistols in the underworld with AKs and Sawed-Off Shotguns used in certain situations (mostly by the IRA). The closest thing to a "good" gun is the SIG-Sauer P226, which is a police issue weapon and even then, one or two turn up in criminal hands.
  • Sea Patrol tends to invert this at certain points; given that the protagonists are Australian military, they use the AUG when small arms are needed. Pistol-grip, stockless pump-action shotguns are usually used by bad guys (the Australian Defence Force uses a stock-equipped shotgun) while self-loading pistols tend to bounce around (the ADF uses a Browning 9mm, but handguns in general denote bad guys are they are difficult and complex to acquire legally in Australia). Other weapons also tend to bounce around, though any weapons not used by the Australian military are usually bad, as the characters end up in hot zones, and are once hunted for sport by a man with a crossbow and a man with a bolt-action rifle and a self-loading pistol, though by the time the pistol is revealed Bird has his rifle with which she shoots him as he tries to draw on her.

    Video Games 
  • Generally speaking, FPS games tend to commonly do this in a few ways. The first is that opposing factions start out using different yet often similar weapons, though they may vary more in games where the player can take weapons from deceased enemies.
  • Ghost Recon
    • In Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, enemy soldiers are equipped with NATO weapons instead of the standard AKs. AKs are available in multiplayer matches for use by anyone.
    • The original Ghost Recon zig-zags this. Enemies, as always, almost always use the AK and similar weapons, and while a player in campaign is generally restricted to NATO weapons like the M16/M4, M24, and M249, there are also a few bad-guy guns available to specialists or in multiplayer modes, like the SVD sniper rifle, the RPK-74, and the MG3 (a 7.62mm NATO conversion of the infamous MG42 used by Nazi Germany). The expansions went even further to avert this for the Ghosts, giving them access to the Makarov pistol, several AK variants and even WWII Soviet-era DP machine guns.
    • In a reversal, Future Soldier enforces this in multiplayer mode: generally, the Ghosts are restricted to using NATO weapons and Bodark to WarPac ones (though there's an inversion with the SA58, a FAL variant that is in use with Bodark for some reason, and an aversion with the various Tasers available to both sides), and the colors of HUD elements and the models for most attachments change depending on what "side" the gun is on - the Tac Scope for instance is an ACOG for Ghost guns, which have blue circles around them on the HUD, and a 1P29 for Bodark ones, which get red circles. As such, every time you unlock a weapon by ranking up you're given one for each faction, though at the highest level for a character, you can make one weapon available for both factions. Singleplayer zig-zags, where the player has access to anything (though cutscenes usually have them using the ACR, the suggested loadout for almost every mission consists of American weapons with WarPac ones locked behind weapon challenges, and the other squadmates when under NPC control also favor American weaponsnote ) but enemies, from Russian regulars and South American militia to Pakistani gun runners and Nigerian PMCs, almost universally use AK-based weapons.
  • Call of Duty
    • In Call of Duty 4, you fight both Middle Eastern terrorists and Ultranationalist Russians. The Russians, while armed with AK's, also have H&K G36Cs, which the SAS are also frequently seen using (it's Gaz's Weapon of Choice). Also, any generic NPC who uses a pistol is using a Beretta. Named characters play it more straight - Captain Price's sidearm of choice is an M1911, while Big Bad Zakhaev carries around a Desert Eagle. There was a bit of an attempt to justify it - Zakhaev is an arms dealer, so his forces carrying G36C's is borderline excusable. That they're seen carrying it in a flashback to 1996, before even the full-size G36 entered service with the military it was designed for, is less so.
    • In Modern Warfare 2 in contrast, while the Americans stick to U.S. military small arms and Task Force 141 uses more varied Western small arms, this is all thrown to hell by the Russian forces throughout both sides of the campaign, who seem to primarily use Western weapons to the point of absurdity, as Warsaw Pact weapons are actually in the minority. You might find an "AK-47" (oddly enough with polymer furniture and a custom M4-style stock), but you're more likely to find Israeli, Austrian, French, or Belgian assault rifles, while all the Russian "shielders" are using MP5Ks. Actually used as a plot point relatively early into the game - as part of Makarov's attempt to blame America for his terrorist attack at the airport, he and the others conducting the attack use NATO weapons. However, given the above, it's only the sheer matter of Makarov killing the player character at the end of that mission and leaving his corpse as "evidence" that his plot actually works the way he intends.
    • Also played around in multiplayer for the whole series, where you can customize your armory regardless of which side you're on, leading to U.S. soldiers wielding AKs or Russians with M16s... or Imperial Japanese soldiers with FG-42's, or TF141 operatives with Model 1887 lever-action shotguns, or Viet Cong with FALs, or African militia with XM25s, or Chinese soldiers with MP7s, or Venezuelan soldiers with AK-12s, or Korean soldiers with ARX-160s (with American flags printed on them)... the list goes on.
  • In Army of Two, for the first few missions Salem and Rios end up fighting Iraqi and al-Qaeda soldiers who use AKMs, and they fight Chinese troops later on using AK derivatives. However, during the Aircraft Carrier the Abu Sayyaf terrorists wield mostly M4s and M16s, and during the Miami mission the SSC mercenaries use FAMASes.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has the protagonist's allies in the Grove Street Families use the Tec-9 as their submachine gun of choice, while all other gangs in Los Santos use the Micro Uzi. If you spray all rival gang tags in the city, the GSF start using MP5s, playing the trope straight (mostly, as OGs like Sweet will, with very rare exceptions, still use the Tec-9 during missions).
  • In Splinter Cell: Conviction, the SC standard handgun Victor Coste gives to Sam Fisher has a reflex sight. All other Mooks do not have reflex sights unless they are other Splinter Cells. In fact, the reflex sight is to add another Mark & Execute point for Sam to use. Sam mentions this after overhearing an enemy guard test-firing his weapon in the first mission of Chaos Theory, noting that "when I think guerrilla, I think Kalashnikov"; it's used to bring up a secondary plot point across this and the next mission that whatever he just heard was not one.
  • Police Quest: SWAT 2 features the Z-M Weapons LR-300, an AR-15 variant, as the main bad guy weapon and the Desert Eagle as their sidearm. The SWAT team favour MP5s, Benelli M1 shotguns and M1911A1s.
    • Similarly, in SWAT 3, terrorists who are heavily armed tend to use AR-15s just as often as they do AKs. However, sidearms generally follow this rule, with the M1911A1 as SWAT standard, while bad guys stick with CZ-75's and stainless-steel Makarovs. Later releases came with official addons that existed mostly to allow players to use the same weapons as the terrorists, but even with both of them active, the submachine gun variant of the Steyr AUG remains a terrorist-exclusive weapon.
    • SWAT 4's expansion pack adds a "Team-Specific Weaponry" option for multiplayer matches, to limit each team's loadout to weapons that would make more sense for that team. For the most part, these play the trope straight - Desert Eagle, AK, TEC-9 and Uzi for suspects only, Colt Accurized Rifle and "Cobra" taser for SWAT only, etc. - but others avert or invert this, such as the G36 and MP5 being available for both teams, and the UMP being SWAT-only. Singleplayer averts this more, as there's an abundant number of H&K weapons that only the player and his squad can use.
  • Subverted in Jagged Alliance 2 (both the original game and the v1.13 fan mod and mods of the 1.13 mod) and 7.62 High Caliber, a Spiritual Successor, by the need to rely on battlefield pickups early on if you left the default options enabled; only later may you be able to pick and choose one way or the other. In fact, while the available choice of "operators" is multinational (including a Russian veteran), the first enemies you'll encounter are usually local bandits running around with sawn-off M1891/30 bolt-action pistols (cut-down Mosin-Nagant rifles, whose family came long before the Soviet Union).
  • Rainbow Six. In all games, while for the first few missions you usually deal with terrorists with AKs and Uzis, in later missions you will start dealing with terrorists armed with what are usually good guys' weapons (M16, M4, and M60 to start with). Though the briefing of the terrorist groups' background will usually justify them. On your side, Rainbow's arsenal plays this about as straight as possible in the first game (MP5 variants are the mainstays, with M16s and CAR-15s as higher-powered options and only the USP as a sidearm) but starts averting it in later games, with Raven Shield's rather massive arsenal including multiple "bad guy" guns like the Steyr AUG and TMP/SPP, multiple AK variants and derivatives, two versions of the Desert Eagle, and even the Chinese QBZ-97B alongside traditional "good" guns like the M16, FAL and L85.
    • The enemies in the console version of Rainbow Six 3 use every weapon you can except the AW Covert, M60 and M203, and they have the enemy-only RPG-7 as a counterpart to that last one.
    • In the intro of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield a Neo-Nazi assassin uses a Luger P.08, now more a museum piece than a gun one could use as a convenient sidearm.
    • The Vegas subseries also zig-zags this; the terrorists in the first mission of 2 in particular are typically wielding AKs and MG36s, but later in the game they start using more NATO weaponry (possibly justified as, like the title indicates, most of the series is set in and around Las Vegas). The player, meanwhile, starts both games carrying both an MP5 and an SG 552, and in the aforementioned first mission of 2 the other Rainbow team you're working with also uses the AK.
  • Second Sight stands out as a game that completely ignores this. For instance, a street gang has some members with revolvers and some with sawed-off shotguns, a violation no matter how the group is perceived (it's more good than bad, for the record.)
  • Averted in Homefront, where the North Koreans are using mainly NATO weapons instead of the typical Soviet Bloc weapons that they have in real life. This is due to the fact that they now control South Korea and Japan, which gives them access to plenty of NATO weapons.
  • In GoldenEye, the enemies usually use knockoffs of various Soviet weapons while Bond uses NATO weaponry. There's nothing stopping him from picking up and using their guns, though.
    • The remake starts with the same usual Soviet-versus-NATO equipment, but zig-zags this more and more as the game progresses and the Janus group slowly takes over as the main bad guys: at the airfield just near the opening dam the elite troops are using SPAS-12 shotguns alongside their AKs and Tokarevs, at the bunker in Severnaya they start using Vectors and Berettas, and by St. Petersburg they're using the G36 and MP7 before Janus finally takes over completely with M4s, SCARs and USAS-12s.
  • In GoldenEye's Spiritual Successor Perfect Dark, the standard Carrington Institute weapons are a renamed Colt Double Eagle (a double-action version of the M1911) and FAMAS, while the opposing dataDyne tends to favor the TMP and a mocked-up XM8. Where this starts to zig-zag is that, otherwise, a lot of the weapons are shared between both factions and others - said mocked-up XM8 is also the standard-issue US military weapon, for instance, and the protagonist Joanna acting as an infiltrator in most levels means she has to use weapons taken from killed enemies a lot of the time. It also does this for the completely fictional alien weapons later on in the game, with the good Maians using sleek, accurate and possibly-biological weapons that can trade off fire rate for more power, versus the bad Skedar having large and spiky weapons that sacrifice accuracy for a fast rate of fire.
  • Mooks in Blood who actually use guns most commonly use a Sawed-Off Shotgun or a Thompson with a drum magazine, both of which Caleb also uses. His shotgun gets a good-gun pass due to all the zombies, but his Thompson still counts as a bad gun; Caleb's not exactly a good guy himself, only counting as the "hero" in this situation because 95% of the people he murders en masse are even worse than he is. Blood II mixes this up a bit, with the shotgun being exclusively for the player's use and machine pistols wielded in pairs making frequent appearances, but it also prominently arms CabalCo-aligned characters with Beretta 92s and M16s.
  • Averted in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Mooks are armed with various weapons, both NATO and Warsaw Pact issue. Plus, each of these (plus many others) are available for the player to research and use for themselves.
    • Revolver Ocelot uses a Colt revolver as a "bad guy" gun, as he is a native Russian from the Cold War who is quite the fanboy of the Colt Single Action Army (read: "This is the greatest handgun ever made") and a pretty sound trick shooter with it no less. It ends up being used as a subtle hint in MGS3 that he's actually Naked Snake's CIA support; while EVA, the person who was actually noticeably supporting Snake, but using a Chinese copy of a German weapon, was a Chinese double agent.
    • Most games in the series tend to zig-zag this trope, since Solid Snake, Raiden and Big Boss have to acquire weapons in the field and have to raid enemy armouries to do so. While Snake is almost entirely stuck using the same weapons the Genome soldiers are, Raiden and Big Boss can choose to also avert it by using the same AKs the enemies are using, or play it straight by grabbing an M4A1 carbine or XM16E1. On the pistol front, however, most play this straight, as Solid Snake has been associated primarily with the Beretta 92 (MSX2 games, with the tranquilizer-converted one in MGS2 as a Mythology Gag) or the Mk 23 SOCOM (Solid onward), with Raiden also using the latter in Sons of Liberty (probably the exact same one Snake picked up in Shadow Moses) while when the bad guys have pistols at all they tend to have the Makarov PM or similar.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Naked Snake plays this straight with an extensively-customized Colt M1911A1 as his primary weapon. As above, however, Ocelot zig-zags this, first using a Makarov, then switching to his Single Action Army on Snake's suggestion and using it as a "bad guy" gun, then turning out to not actually be a bad guy at all and having been Snake's support agent ADAM the whole time. EVA, meanwhile, uses a Chinese clone of the Mauser C96 as her primary weapon, which apparently gets a free pass as a "good guy" gun but is mostly foreshadowing the fact that she's actually a Chinese double-agent who's more overtly there for the Philosopher's Legacy.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots somewhat turns this around, with the PMCs using things like the SCAR-H and Mk 14 EBR, and the rebels fighting them off in the first two acts using AK-102s and G3A3s. Thing is, the rebels are the good guys in these conflicts (or at least Snake can get them to not shoot him on sight like the PMC soldiers will). Snake himself can use pretty much whatever he wants, but cutscenes tend to have him stick with the Operator and M4 Custom he gets early in the first act.
  • Pretty much averted in Operation Flashpoint, particularly in the campaign of the Resistance expansion pack, where you act as the leader of a resistance group fighting to liberate his homeland from a recent Soviet invasion. Practically all the standard guns of your partisans are either stolen Warsaw Pact or civilian/hunting models. Most of your arsenal is therefore identical with that of the Soviet soldiers. On the other hand, there is a subversion later on, when the freedom fighters manage to acquire aid from a local NATO garrison. After this, they can also use a small supply of western firearms (e. g. FN FALs, Steyr AUGs and M21 sniper rifles).
    • The ARMA series played it straight with the first two games, as the Americans used American weapons and the various Eastern European-aligned nations used Eastern European weapons and equipment. However, Operation Arrowhead introduces the Takistani military. Like the Pakistani Military, Takistan's Army got aid from both Western and Soviet nations. It primarily uses FAL rifles while also using Soviet MG's, BTR-60's and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. And with the mission editor, there is nothing preventing you from giving your Marines AK-105s and having them fight M16-equipped insurgents.
  • Battlefield:
    • Early games in the series played this completely straight, as your loadout choices were entirely dependent on what side you were on. Battlefield 2 started to zig-zag this, where your initial weapons were also determined by side (e.g. the Rifleman would have an M16A2 if he were USMC, an AK-47 if PLA, and an AK-101 if MEC), but ranking up allowed players to spend points that could unlock alternate weapons for any one class, without being restricted by side, allowing for Chinese soldiers with FN SCARs and American ones with PKMs.
    • Battlefield 3 zig-zags this. The first weapons available to each class are for one particularly side only; when you play as the USMC, you only have the options of the M16A3 for Assault, M4A1 for Engineer (with SMAW or Stinger as a launcher), M27 for Support and Mk 11 as a Recon, and similarly when you play as the RGF you're stuck with the AK-74M for Assault, AKS-74U for Engineer (with RPG-7 or SA-18 for launchers), RPK-74M for Support and Dragunov SVD for Recon, and you cannot use these weapons as the opposite faction until you have the relevant kit at its highest level. Attachments follow the same pattern, with American weapons unlocking American attachments first then Russian ones afterwards and vice versa (such as the M16A3 getting the ACOG after ten kills, but requiring two hundred to get the Russian equivalent PSO-1). Later unlocked weapons are not restricted by side, however. This will often, similarly to Call of Duty, lead to Russians with MP7s, M39 EMRs and HK416s and Americans with AEK-971s, PP-2000s and PKP Pechenegs.
    • Battlefield 4 cuts out the middle-man and goes back to Battlefield: Bad Company 2's system of having just one starting weapon for each class regardless of side, like Assault getting the Russian AK-12, Support using the Singaporean Ultimax 100, and Recon getting the Chinese CS/LR4 sniper rifle. Attachments follow the same pattern as before with the addition of a third set for Chinese weapons; guns get attachments for their own "side" through making kills (e.g. the SAR-21 assault rifle gets the "Coyote" red dot sight at the same number of kills that the SCAR-H would get the RX01 or the AN-94 would get the Kobra), and then unlock attachments from the other two through opening Battlepacks.
    • Battlefield Hardline goes back to the earlier games' use of this, with most weapons being restricted to one side, but once a player makes 1,250 kills with any one weapon, it is made available to them regardless of team.
    • Battlefield 1, in turn, goes the same way as Bad Company and 4 did, giving one starting weapon for each kit regardless of what faction you're playing as, although there is a "Standard Issue Rifles" option for custom servers that allows for more historical accuracy by letting any kit equip whatever bolt-action rifle their faction used in the real war (e.g. any Imperial German player can equip a Gewehr 98, any American one an M1903 Springfield, etc.).
  • Subverted in America's Army. Friendly players are armed with American weapons, and enemy players with ones on the "bad guns" list. The subversion kicks in when you realize this holds true from your perspective no matter which side you play. America's Army 3 also follows this, where the enemy players are given a fictional weapon system to counter the AR-15-type weapons the US military uses in-game, but which pretty obviously resembles the AK-like Galil.
  • Both played straight and subverted in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. Non-aligned Loners tend to use Makarovs, AK's and shotguns, though their armament can be very varied. The Bandits primarily use Makarovs, shotguns, AKs, P99s and MP5s. The Freedom faction uses NATO-designed weaponry, while Duty primarily uses Soviet/CIS-made weapons. Depending on a character's alignment, any one of these could be the good guys or the bad guys. The only three factions that are non-joinable fixed antagonists are the Ukranian military (except in Call of Pripyat, wherein you start with them), which uses Soviet/CIS weapons, the Mercenaries who use NATO-designed weapons primarily, and Monolith, who use a mixture of the top tier of both. The weapons selections is actually (mostly) justified: bandits rarely need heavy firepower and tend to use the 74u carbine version of the Kalash; loners need reliability and cheap weaponry, and you can't get much more cheap reliability than the break-open shotgun, MP5 and AK; Freedom needs precise gear, with their tactics mainly focusing on guerrilla attacks, so they typically use the more accurate NATO weapons (they still use Warsaw Pact sniper rifles, but that's simply because there aren't any NATO equivalents in the game); Duty prefers to bulldoze over an enemy, so Warsaw Pact weapons that can put a lot of fire on target are the order of the day; the military obviously uses the weapons that Ukraine uses; Mercs use whatever they want; and Monolith, who has... somewhat unusual recruiting methods, uses whatever they can get their hands on, and since only the toughest and most well-geared stalkers can come close to the center of the Zone where Monolith is settled, that results in a plethora of good equipment from every side.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon downplays this regarding weapons, as there's only one weapon each that any specific group gets exclusive access to - the player is the only one that can pair up the handguns, while the Nightcrawlers in the second expansion pack are the only enemies that pack the VES Advanced Rifle. Vehicles are a more traditional example, with Delta Force ferrying themselves and the FEAR team around with UH-60 Blackhawks, while the Replica transport themselves with Mi-24 Hinds. The Replica also get various Powered Armor units that nobody else has, other than a couple Enhanced models that the player can hijack in the second and third games.
  • The enemies in every Uncharted game are just as likely to use NATO weapons as they are Warsaw Pact guns. There's almost literally a 50/50 chance an enemy Mook has of carrying an AK or an M4. As far as pistols go, Drake's preferred pistol in the first game is a Makarov, then in the second game he starts favoring a short-barreled 1911 or a Beretta 92 depending on the level. Sully meanwhile favors the S&W Model 629 across the series, which can possibly give away that he didn't actually undergo a Face–Heel Turn in the first game. The bad guys almost universally use good-guy pistols, particularly the Beretta in the second game and then the Walther P99 in the third, though some unique weapons follow the usual rule, such as Eddie Rasta's gold-plated Desert Eagle in the first game.
  • Counter-Strike's weapon-purchasing system has a mixture of equipment shared between and unique to the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists (though either team can use any weapon if they pick it up off a dead player), and has examples of playing the typical placements straight, averting them, and inverting them:
    • Straight: M4, FAMAS (Counter-Terrorist only); AK, Galil, MAC-10, Tec-9, Sawed-Off Shotgun, SG 552/556 (Terrorist only).
    • Averted: Dual Berettas, Desert Eagle, P228/P250, UMP-45, MP5/MP7, Steyr Scout/SSG-08, AWP, M249, Negev (all available to both teams).
    • Inverted: USP/P2000, TMP/MP9, AUG (Counter-Terrorist only); Glock (Terrorist only).
    • Where this gets rather odd is that the weapon selection (which favors NATO weapons for Counter-Terrorists) applies regardless of what real-world organizations is used for the counter-terrorist team on each map. The GSG-9, Israel Defense Force, and the Spetsnaz can all get American M4s, French FAMASes, and Austrian AUGs, but can't get their own AKs, G3SG/1s, or Galils except by stealing them from dead terrorists.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and its sequel have the player characters, a gang of robbers, use a large variety of guns from both the "good" and "bad" piles, though both cases start you out with good guns (respectively an M4 and Beretta or a Colt 733 and Glock). The cops you fight generally stick with the "good" guns - mostly Glocks and Remingtons for lower-level police, with the occasional beat cop getting a .44 Magnum revolver, while higher-level SWAT and most specials get M4s, MP5s and G36s. However, in the second game, Snipers get a mockup of the PSG1 after an update, higher-level Shields get an MP9, and black Bulldozers upgrade from pump-action shotguns to semi-auto Saiga-12s, and then "Skulldozers" from those to the M249 (and, if you get far enough in a Crime Spree, Minigun Dozers with...well). Hostile gangsters in heists like day 1 of "Firestarter", "Nightclub", and the remake of the first game's "Panic Room" all get MAC-10s with taped-together magazines... but so do the allied gangsters defending the trucks in "Aftershock". The Russian variations of the police from the Hardcore Henry crossover heist are a subversion, since they all use Russian weapons; because the heist is set in Russia it's both played straight on one side and inverted on the other. Before the Henchmen update, the AI teammates' preferred weapons also zigzagged this, with about half of them using the AK and the other half using the M4 or MP5, with little rhyme or reason as to who uses what - in particular Jacket, who is actually labeled "The Sociopath", is one of the ones to use the M4 by default, despite his related DLC otherwise adding bad-guy guns like the Uzi, Skorpion and TEC-9.
    • After the Henchmen update, however, the player is able to customise the three AI partners they get if playing solo or outside of a full online lobby. You can give the AI whatever weapons you currently own (save akimbo pistols or SMGs, or special weapons like the crossbows or saw), so it's perfectly possible to give characters weapons that better suit them, such as the weapons from their respective DLC (Sydney using her "Bootleg" HK416 assault rifle, John Wick with the "Contractor .308", etc) - or give them entirely-unfitting guns (like Jiro with an L85 or Bodhi with a SPAS-12).
  • Averted and somewhat Inverted in Syrian Warfare. Since the protagonists are the Syrian Arab Army, they all use Russian weapons like AKM, AK-74, SVD, PKM, Metis/Saxhorn and the like. The enemies who are mostly Al Nusra, Daesh, and occasionally some foreign mercenaries use all kind of weapons, while they still use mostly Russian weapons, and you can occasionally see US and NATO weapons in their hands like M16, M4, M99, M14, FN FAL, TOW, MP5k], etc. Some can be picked up by your soldiers. In the expansion, they even have captured Iraqi Humvees which are armed with [=M2HB and Mk19 though you can also capture these if you managed to kill the crew or knock it out and force the crew to abandon them.

    Web Original 
  • In the Darwin's Soldiers universe, this trope is totally averted as "good guns" are frequently used by the bad guys and the "bad guns" are used equally by heroes and villains.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer
    • Subverted with Lana's twin TEC-9's.
    • Played straight with Archer's Walther PPK as a shout out to James Bond and Ray's twin 1911's. Bad guys and Soviet soldiers are often seen with AKs, machine pistols, Lugers, and Desert Eagles.

    Real Life 
  • Even though it wasn't officially allowed, more than a few US soldiers in Vietnam chose to use "informally acquired" AKs rather than the standard-issue M16 due to the AK's greater reliability in crappy environmental conditions.
    • Occasionally SEALs would use an AK or two on missions for the effect it would have on VC/NVA forces. Hearing the AK's distinctive bark would confuse the enemy, possibly tricking them into thinking they had mistaken friendlies for enemies. Seeing green tracers coming toward them was at best more confusing, at worst morale- and soul-crushing.
    • Australian soldiers also often chose to use AKs in Vietnam, which added to some of the confusion about identifying them as they mixed and matched their uniforms quite often as well with items from other military forces.
    • In a few nations, especially those of the former Eastern Bloc, AK-patterned weapons are used by the military and law-enforcement agencies as well as criminals. However, many of them have since phased the AKM out of service in favor for more modern AK-pattern designs, importing other weapons or developing their own.
    • AKs are still common enough in some nations that even opposing forces in wartime that use standard NATO "good guns" occasionally field stolen AKs or other weapons that can take the same caliber (see Knight's Armament's unsuccessful SR-47, basically an AR-15-pattern rifle that took AK mags), simply because it's easier to loot ammo for those guns in the field than to replenish their standard stuff.
  • The TEC-9 semiautomatic pistol gained a reputation for being favored by gangs and violent criminals due to easy modification into a full-auto weapon. The original was banned in the US, and its watered-down successor, the AB-10, only narrowly avoided the same fate before the manufacturers went out of business.
  • The Steyr AUG is the standard service rifle of the Aussies with Artillery and Kiwis with Carbines, among others.
  • In many of its operations, Mossad has most commonly used either Uzis or AKs. Granted the first is an Israeli weapon, and both have traditionally been both ubiquitous and untraceable, especially in many of the countries in which Mossad has operated. Given that they're spies, rather than soldiers, it's expected that they'd use commonly available weapons in order to not raise suspicion.
    • As noted below, the Israeli military in general used the Galil rifle, which is a slightly modified licensed version of Finnish Valmet Rk.62, which itself was a licensed copy of the original AK (with the machined receiver). Police forces still favor the old American M1 Carbine.
  • After the Cold War, many nations once allied with the Soviet Bloc are getting better relations with Western nations. This means that they use both Western and Eastern weapons designs. The former Soviet-allied nation of Georgia for example has both the AK-74 and M16's/M4's in its inventory. Polish Special Forces use Western European and American designs while the basic infantryman uses the AK-derived Kbs wz.1996 Beryl, which fires the NATO-designed 5.56mm round. Other non-aligned nations such as Pakistan and Slovenia also have a mix of Eastern and Western weapons designs.
  • Several NATO or NATO-allied nations use rifles patterned after the AK. The Finnish Valmet, Israeli Galil (based on the Valmet, and is being phased out), Belgian FN FNC, Swedish Ak 4 (itself a modification of the FNC), Indonestian Pindad SS 1 & SS 2 (also based on the FNC), Indian INSAS and MCIWS, South Korean Daewoo K2, and the South African Vektor CR-21 (itself a modification of a copy of the Galil, which in turn is based on the Valmet) all have internals modeled after the AK action.
  • The Glock can be either, depending on what country you're in. For example, in the United States, many police departments carry it (in probably 9 out of 10 cities, any cop you see will have a Glock on his belt), whereas in Ireland, it has gained a notorious reputation as the weapon of choice for criminal gangs ("Good" guns are the H&K USP, SIG-Sauer P226, Browning Hi-Power and Steyr AUG). Though in Northern Ireland, it's the standard police gun.note 
  • Assault rifles themselves can count as an aversion - they're the standard infantry weapons of almost every modern military force in the world, even though the Nazi German StG-44 is commonly held to be the first true example of one, with the name "assault rifle" even being coined by Hitler himselfnote .
    • For that matter, the 9x19mm pistol cartridge was originally developed for the Luger, but it is now the most common pistol cartridge in the world.
  • Subverted by the Israeli army during its early years. The early IDF used cast off equipment from WWII, namely the German made Karabiner 98K and the Soviet made Mosin-Nagant. The Uzi, developed a few years after the war, was also initially designed specifically for IDF special forces.
  • The little known, but quite influential Armalite AR-18 zig-zags this trope. Several weapons use its design features, including the Enfield SA80, Steyr AUG and H&K G36. It was also a weapon of choice among the Provisional IRA who gave it the nickname of "The Widowmaker".
  • Licensed and unlicensed variants of the M16 and M4 are so common in the Philippines that they are much more easy to obtain in-country than even the internationally ubiquitous Kalashnikovs. Consequently, both the Abu Sayyaf and the Philippine government use them. Same for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the New People's Army. There are AKs (or more likely the Chinese version, the Norinco Type 56) reported in use here and there by local media, but only a few were smuggled into the Philippines during the Cold War. AK rifles have recently showed up again in recent years, which led to speculation from local netizens that they were either stolen from armories of private security companies (Shooters Arms Manufacturing makes a Kalashnikov-type rifle in 5.56mm NATO) or obtained from SEA-based gun smugglers.
  • Averted in Mexico and many other Latin American countries: Due to the closeness with the US, Mexican and many other military and police forces are banned from using Russian weapons, even if it's the best thing they can get in an emergency, and if any criminal is caught with an AK or similar Warsaw Pact-era weapons, that weapon is destroyed afterwards. Recently (and also due to the closeness with the US) criminals using NATO-issued weapons are more common instead.
    • If anything, this is an inversion. The Mexican military primarily use the G3 rifle and the FX-05 Xiuhcoatl, which to the casual observer looks a lot like a G36, both frequently depicted as Bad Guns. Meanwhile, while the Cartels use whatever they can get their hands on, a common weapon amongst them are AR-15 rifles illegally smuggled into Mexico from the United States.
  • There are reports from Kurdish gun merchants that militants from the Islamic State terror group are choosing the M16 as their weapon of choice after capturing munitions from Iraqi army units (which were originally trained and supplied by the U.S. military).
  • A non-gun aversion came about due to the end of the Cold War. East Germany and Poland's air forces both operated MiG-29s as part of the USSR, and continued using them after, respectively, reunifying in 1990 and joining NATO in 1999. As of 2004 Poland still uses both countries' MiGs, having been sold all but one of the remaining German ones that year for a single euro per plane, which serves as one of their primary fighter aircraft alongside the American F-16.
    • Similarly, the Indonesian Air Force, being a non-aligned country during the Cold War, uses American F-5s and F-16s as well as Sukhoi Su-27s & Su-30s for their jet-powered attack aircraft. The F-5 is slated to be replaced with the Su-35 in the coming years. Even more so in recent years, the Navy and Marines use many Russian vehicles like PT-76B, BMP-2, BMP-3, and BMD-4 while the Army recently obtained German made Leopard 2 and Marder IFV.
    • The Eritrean-Ethiopean War from 1998 to 2000 presented a sort of inversion. While Eritrea's air force primarily consisted (and still consists) of Soviet aircraft like the Su-27 and MiG-29, so did (and does) Ethiopea's.
    • The Iranian Air Force is another aversion, combining American F-4s, F-5s and F-14s (they're the only air force in the world to still use the F-14) with Russian MiG-29s, Su-24s and -25s, and even the Chinese F-7.
    • And so it is too with South Korea. The army fields locally-produced small arms, though the Special Forces use a lot of German-made weapons such as the MP5 submachine gun and MSG-90 sniper rifles. They also have a locally-produced main battle tank and APCs, but also have American and Russian armor (M113 APC's, T-80U Main Battle Tanks and BMP-3 IFV's) alongside. The airforce uses mostly locally-made and American-made fighters, but their helicopter fleet includes both American-made helicopters and the Soviet-made KA-27 and they use both American and Russian-made cargo planes to haul goods. A random bit of trivia: most of the Russian equipment was received as a means to partially pay off national debts owed to South Korea by Russia, which is why South Korea ended up with some of Russia's most advanced (at the time) armored vehicles.
  • Works set in Australia after 1988 tend to feature the Steyr AUG as a good gun, due to its exclusive use in Australia by the Australian Defence Force. After the various states' Weapons Acts of 1996, the kinds of guns that could be used to enforce this trope were difficult to acquire legally; production weapons must be sent back overseas if imported, or scrapped if made locally, in many states as soon as the production wraps. In rural areas, many guns can be seen, similar to the example of Enid Blyton under Literature: a farmer, professional pig or kangaroo shooter, or vet or wildlife officer, could have a break-action shotgun or a single-shot or manual-action centrefire rifle, and many people could also have a manual-action rimfire rifle; while the only genuine reasons recognised by the law for non-military, police or security staff in certain locations to have a handgun are sport and historical re-enactment (or media production), which are subject to many restrictions, and veterinary work and wildlife management, where one can convince the authorities that a category A shotgun or category B rifle is incorrect for the job. This means when a civilian pulls a handgun of any description, if they are not evil then they are about to do a stupid or evil thing. Using a pump-action shotgun is usually evil, except for police and military, as these are difficult to acquire legally. Self-loading rifles and shotguns are always evil, no matter what brand; as are any automatic weapons. All that said, in many works a manual-action rimfire or air rifle, which are quite a lot easier to acquire legally, are frequently shown to be used by particularly thoughtless, deranged people; often teens who never ever give a first, never mind second, thought towards their own actions, who see nothing but a big joke in firing the weapon at a neighbours house in the middle of the night. This is probably inspired by many a real life news story stating a .22 rifle to be the weapon of choice for people who see animal cruelty as comedy.
  • In the United States, Hi-Point pistols have a very negative reputation. They are some of the cheapest production handgun models in America (a new Hi-Point pistol typically sells for less than $200) and were originally meant to be Boring, but Practical guns marketed towards low-income people who needed a means to defend themselves, but as a side effect, their cheapness means they are frequently found in the hands of gangbangers, robbers, and other low-level criminal elements. Police evidence lockers are filled with these handguns. They also tend to have magazine feeding problems leading to jams. And Hi-Points just look ugly too. The gun community at large also looks down on even law-abiding Hi-Point owners, the logic being that if you saved an extra $200-250, you could get a much better gun such as a Smith & Wesson Shield or an XD (which are typically around $400-450 apiece). On the plus side, Hi-Point carbines tend to be better received thanks to greater reliability and several highly-publicized cases of citizens using said carbines to defend themselves against home invaders.
  • In Costa Rica, all AK-pattern weapons are illegal to own, even if deactivated. As such, only criminals are able to obtain them at all (via black market methods).
  • El Salvador has played this straight with a few exceptions. During the 1979-1992 civil war, the government used various NATO weapons (primarily American ones like the 1911 and AR-15), while the socialist FMLN used primarily WarPac ones, though they would occasionally use NATO weapons captured from the army. Afterwards, the army continues to primarily use Western weapons, mainly American ones with the occasional German or Belgian one, but they also use the Taiwanese Type 65 assault rifle, and special forces use the Soviet SVD alongside the American M21 and Barrett.