Rare Guns

Models and types of guns that saw little to no production in reality are more likely to show up in fiction. Sometimes, the number of appearances of a weapon in a given work can outnumber its actual production run.

This is mostly because some models of gun can look incredibly cool or futuristic despite having real-life problems with their functionality or production that make them unpopular, uncommon, or dismal failures. Or it could be a case of a writer wanting to show they did their research by deliberately picking form over function without going completely into the realm of fiction. Of course, no one's supposed to care. Alternately, some authors may simply wish to avoid associating a fictional character or group with real-world products, and so choose abandoned concepts and rare weapons with less economic and political baggage.

Remember that this trope is not about rare guns that appear once or twice in a work of fiction, or are an available weapon in a game. It only applies to rare weapons that appear in much larger numbers than they should or did in the real world, or firearms that are prohibitively expensive, difficult to use, or otherwise impractical but yet appear in the hands of many characters. A common justification is that the wielder/orderer of these weapons has an astounding amount of money, is extremely skilled with it, or it has become increasingly successful.

This trope is common in anime, due to the obsession many writers have with technical and historical details. They also have the advantage of being able to include anything they want without worrying about the inability to get their hands on a real example. Anything the artists can draw is fair game for inclusion, whereas in live-action productions either acquiring an example or building a convincing look-alike as a prop is necessary. For the same reason, rare guns are also a staple of gun-oriented video games.

For less-rare guns, see Cool Guns.

See also Improperly Placed Firearms, Family-Friendly Firearms, Rare Vehicles, and Improbable Use of a Weapon. Compare Selective Historical Armoury, where firearms that should be present are absent. See also the Internet Movie Firearms Database site for more. This Youtube channel, appropriately titled "Forgotten Weapons", also has plenty of footage of obscure firearms. Similarly, champion shooter Jerry Miculek's Youtube channel includes a series of videos called "Unicorn Guns" in which Jerry profiles and sometimes gets to shoot rare guns, including some so rare as to be literally unique.


Examples


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Machine Pistols

     Heckler & Koch VP70 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hkvp40masheenpistol_3258.jpg
The H&K Volkspistole (German for "people's pistol", though it's sometimes said to be Vollautomatische Pistole, "fully automatic pistol", which would be somewhat of a misnomer) is a select-fire semi-automatic/burst-fire handgun firing 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum (9x21 IMI for Italian civilian customers, due to 9x19mm being restricted to military/law enforcement use), first produced in 1970. It was one of the first (preceded only by a prototype Makarov called the TKB-023) pistols to use a polymer frame, predating the Glock 17 by twelve years and sported a still-impressive 18+1 round capacity. It is also unusual in that in order to fire the weapon on burst-fire, one has to fit a combination holster/stock (similar to the one found in Broomhandle C96 Mauser pistols) that contains the selector switch. Once mounted, this allows a shooter to fire a three-round burst at a staggering 2,200 RPMnote . It also has a rather hefty trigger pull (though Wolff Gunsprings offers a replacement striker spring to lighten the trigger pull), due to being double-action only. Overall it was mechanically very simple and field stripped into only four components (slide, recoil spring, magazine, and the frame) and rather rugged due to its other intended use as a simple weapon that civilian conscripts could be trained to opperate when the Reds came swarming over the wall.

H&K produced two versions of this pistol, the VP70M or Militär (military) and the Z, Zivil (civilian). Naturally, the burst-fire capable "M" model is the one most frequently depicted. Unfortunately, while innovative and unusual, it never really took off; its hefty trigger pull, European magazine release (a lever at the base of the grip, as opposed to a button behind the trigger guard), push-button safety, and lack of a slidelock (meaning that when empty the slide cycles normally instead of locking to the back, so the slide needs to be racked again after the magazine is swapped during a reload) meant it never really stood a chance on the U.S. civilian market. Coupled with little interest from Law Enforcement and it never serving its purpose as a tool of resistance against an East German invasion, the VP70 saw abysmal sales throughout its production life. Production ended for the M model just a few years after it was first produced, with the production of the Z series ending in 1989. It was yet another example of an innovative design that could not find a marketable niche note . Despite its relative scarcity, lightly-used units still in their box can still be purchased inside the U.S. for around $450 (less than the price of most new name-brand handguns - other still-produced H&K pistols demand that much just for the H&K logo on the grip, nevermind the gun itself), making it a rare but affordable collectable.

Anime & Manga

Films — Live-Action
  • Appears as the sidearm for the Colonial Marines in Aliens, seen used most prominently by Lieutenant Gorman. The film's armourers selected it due to its status as a rare gun and for its futuristic looks. According to the tech manual, the VP70 used by the marines is based off of the M variant and fires a futuristic 9x19mm sabot round in place of conventional ammunition.
  • It appears rather frequently in the first Street Fighter film, used by Ken, Sagat and T. Hawk.
  • One of Roman Bulkin's thugs uses a VP70 to intimidate Sin LaSalle in Be Cool.
  • The Weapon of Choice for 49er One in Half Past Dead.

Video Games
  • Leon S. Kennedy's starting pistol in Resident Evil 2 is a VP70M. You can find a stock for it in-game that turns it into a three-round burst pistol. He gets it back in Resident Evil 6, this time called the "Wing Shooter".
  • Jurassic Park: Trespasser sees Anne run across a few. It's capable of burst fire, despite not having the shoulder stock/fire selector attached. The burst-fire makes it one of the more accurate automatic weapons in the game, but it also means you have to track the number of bullets yourself, as Anne will note "nearly empty" at the 16th bullet without accounting for the fact that the 17th and 18th just went along with it.
  • Simon runs across one with shoulder stock in Cry of Fear. It also fires in three round bursts and eats through ammo like there was no tomorrow. Which, given the situation, might not be entirely inaccurate.
  • In a nod to the original Aliens film, the VP70 appears as the "W-Y 88 MOD4" in Aliens: Colonial Marines. Lieutenant Gorman's pistol appears in the game as a special "legendary" version.

Sniper Rifles

    CheyTac Intervention 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/diplomatrifle.jpeg
The CheyTac Intervention is a bolt-action dedicated sniper’s rifle designed by CheyTac LLC. It’s relatively recent, but made big waves when it was introduced in 2001. It fires either the .408 or .375 CheyTac, rounds designed to be the middle ground between the standard rifle calibers like the 7.62mm and the massive anti-armor .50 BMG. The Intervention also has a long-range laser rangefinder designed to aid in the rifle’s primary function of long-range shooting. While not many military forces use it (currently Jordan, Turkey and Poland’s Special Forces units), it holds the record for the longest distance grouping of three rounds (16 and a half inches at 2,321 yards).
  • Mark Wahlberg's character Bob Lee Swagger owns one in Shooter, which is used to frame him for the assassination of a foreign delegate.
  • Default sniper rifle in Modern Warfare 2's multiplayer. Soap uses one in single player when he and Price attempt to infiltrate the Big Bad's base in Afghanistan.
  • The Rolins LRSS in MAG is an Intervention.
  • Richard Machowitz demonstrates one in Future Weapons. He manages to break the record for a long distance grouping, hitting three out of six shots on a human-sized target at 2,530 yards.
  • SOCOMUS Navy Seals Fireteam Bravo 3 has the CheyTac as the “C-TAC”.
  • In Angel Beats!, Yuri attempts to snipe her nemesis Angel with one. A stunned Otonashi asks “Is that a real gun?”
  • U.S Army and Resistance units use the CheyTac in Homefront against KPA soldiers. Comes with a nifty thermal sight.
  • Used in The Unit by Bob Brown and Hector Williams in the episode “Dark of the Moon”.
  • In Battlefield 4 it is called the SRR-61 in reference to a special forces unit that fields this rifle, the Jordanian 61st Special Reconnaissance Regiment.
  • Added in the Blue Sun mod for 7.62 High Caliber, along with its unique ballistic computer: have a soldier with the computer near the sniper, and his/her chance of a hit goes way up.
  • The "M320 Long Range Rifle" used by NATO snipers in ARMA III is the M200 Intervention. It fires .408 anti-material rounds, and shoots farther than CSAT's counterpart, the .50 BMG GM6 Lynx, which in turn has more stopping power in-game.

    Walther WA2000 
A new model of sniper rifle developed to withstand the rigors of Special Forces operations in a world where unconventional warfare is becoming the norm. The WA2000 is heavy and extremely unwieldy, but compensates for this with low recoil, which gives it exceptional accuracy. Its scope has three levels of zoom to allow targeting at multiple distances, and armor-piercing ammunition makes it an effective weapon against heavily armored enemy troops even at long range. If long-range sniping battles are your thing, you can't go wrong with this gun.

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/walther2000_8621.jpg

Designed from the ground up as a target rifle, this bullpup semi-auto is exceptionally rare. Estimates vary on how many were produced, but the number was only 170-250 in two versions with minor differences; this was largely due to extremely high costs killing demand. A WA 2000 in good condition is now easily worth $75,000 on the open market. Unfortunately, there aren't any even if you have this kind of money to spare; there are exactly fifteen WA2000 rifles in the entire United States, with 11 owned by the President of Walther's American branch and the rest owned by another collector.

Very, very popular in movies and videogames, since it has a nice mix of the unconventional (bullpup layout) and the traditional (wood furniture). Due to its obscene rarity, many WA2000 rifles seen in movies are actually Ironwood Designs SG2000 .22 rifles acting as stand-ins for the WA2000. If a work of fiction wants to get even more ridiculous about rarity, it'll specify that the WA2000 in question is chambered in 7.62 NATO or even 7.5 Swiss instead of the standard .300 Winchester Magnum.

Anime & Manga
  • Henrietta uses one in the anime of Gunslinger Girl.
  • Also used by the stylish hitwoman of Geobreeders: Breakthrough.
  • Kurz Weber uses one against a Giant Mecha in Full Metal Panic!.
  • Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats uses one in one of the few scenes she uses something other than a pistol.
  • Emiya Kiritsugu from Fate/Zero uses one equipped with a dual-scope setup: night-vision, and thermal imaging. Presumably he was able to acquire it via his connections with the ludicrously wealthy Einzbern family.
  • Major Motoko Kusanagi uses a very similar rifle in a WWIV flashback in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd gig. Since the series is set 20 Minutes into the Future and the rifle has some design changes and updates, it's likely that this is supposed to be a new model based on the vintage WA2000.
    • The same rifle is later seen in Solid State Society, the made for TV movie of Stand Alone Complex, being used by the same guy the Major had previously shot with it. Allegedly.

Films — Live-Action
  • Used as a shotgun to kill dogs in Equilibrium.
  • Used by Timothy Dalton as James Bond in The Living Daylights, equipped with a large night vision scope.
    • Notably, they had an actual WA2000 on hand for the close-ups, as the Walther logo is prominent in the close-ups of Bond's finger on the trigger. Probably part of the deal, considering the fact that James Bond is one of Walther's biggest film endorsers.

Literature
  • Able Team. Carl Lyons finds a mercenary sniper team practising with this weapon to assassinate the President of Guatemala.
  • Dieter Weber, the Rainbow Team 2 Sniper, uses this in Rainbow Six. Memorable usages include shooting the submachine gun out of a terrorist's hands, allowing his partner to painfully send a bullet into said terrorist's liver for killing a child.

Video Games
  • Agent 47 uses this weapon as his primary sniper rifle in the Hitman series. In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, there is a custom version of this gun, used by ninja. In Hitman: Blood Money, it's customisable with a variety of Gun Accessories, such as scopes, suppressors, an optional bolt action for greater accuracy, and three types of ammo.
    • Notably, it is the single most expensive weapon in the game. And you can carry it in a briefcase. It's also not available until you reach Rotterdam, which is 3/4 of the way through the game (he uses a Blaser 93 until then).
  • Appears in Modern Warfare 2 in the hands of an entire force of Russian snipers. How they afford it is anyone's guess.
    • It's also an early-tier sniper rifle in multiplayer, superior to the Intervention because it's semi-auto and has a slightly larger magazine.
    • Returns in Treyarch's game Call of Duty: Black Ops. Which is set in the sixties, before the weapon's invention.
  • Team sniper Dieter Weber uses this rifle in the sniping sections of the console versions of Rainbow Six: Lockdown and as far back in the games as Rogue Spear.
  • Used in Black, shown as a straight-pull bolt-action rifle, and therefore presumably broken.
  • Used in the Quantum of Solace video game.
    • Also appears in both versions of the GoldenEye remake; being a Walther gun, it is one of the few to keep its real name. During the Severnaya Bunker mission in the Wii version, it is given a winter white finish.
  • Now available from Bobby Ray's Guns and Things at the low, low price of $7940!!! Cash, major credit cards and conflict diamonds accepted!
  • Again, found in Combat Arms as the WA2000 and the WA2000 Classic (which has a wooden handguard and stock).
  • Anachronistically (as the game is set in 1974) appears in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
  • The Weyland-Yutani WY-102 sniper rifle in Aliens Versus Predator 2 is basically a dressed-up WA2000 with a strange rotating cylinder replacing the action.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Hitman's Heatmaker is a mix-and-match of this rifle and the VSS Vintorez. It can decapitate targets on headshots.
  • The WA2000 appears as the "Lebensauger .308" in the PAYDAY 2 Gage Ninja Pack DLC.
  • A silenced variant with some sci-fi embellishments shows up as the standard sniper rifle in Perfect Dark.

Western Animation
  • Used by Archer to take out some guards in "Placebo Effect", then never seen again (possibly because ISIS uses the H&K PSG-1).

Misc Single Examples

     Misc 
Comic Books

Video Games
  • Battlefield 1 contains a large amount of rare historical World War I-era guns, but one example that pushes this trope Up to Eleven is the Standschütze Hellriegel M1915, which never went beyond the experimental phase, had no known examples that survived the war (making it a rare gun so rare that it no longer exists), and the only evidence showing it are a few photos, all of which only show the weapon's right side. Worse, its documentation is so sparse that little is known on how it is operated, or who the name stands for. It's a miracle that it is even in the game at all.
    • Another example of a weapon that is practically unique is the Maxim submachine gun, a submachine gun based on the MG 08/18. Only a single example that is known to still exist. Nobody knew who made it, how many were made, or even what its actual name was.


Alternative Title(s): Rare Gun

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RareGuns