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 fewer 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.

See also Improperly Placed Firearms, Family-Friendly Firearms, Cool Guns, 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.

Rifles

    De Lisle Carbine 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deninja.jpeg
The De Lisle Carbine was designed in 1942 to be used by commandos to silence patrols and guard dogs during clandestine missions. The design for the weapon was based on the Lee-Enfield rifle, but with an integrated suppressor over a modified Thompson barrel, chambered for .45 ACP with a detachable magazine based on those of the M1911. Essentially, the end result was a Frankenstein's rifle. The weapon itself was shockingly quiet, comparable to the Welrod in the Pistols page, but with greater range (owing to its longer barrel) and durabilitynote ; tests have shown it's even quieter than most modern suppressed weapons, usually by 30 to 60 decibels (it helps that .45 ACP is a subsonic cartridge). Most rifles has a solid stock like pictured, but there were also those with a folding stock similar to the later Sterling sub-machine gun. However, only 129 were built in total. Modern reproductions have been created in recent years, either full rifles or conversion kits for SMLE's, the latter coming with the bonus of being able to take unmodified M1911 magazines.

Comic Books
  • Corporal "Smiler" Dawson from Commando's "Convict Commandos" series uses this weapon, although knives are his weapon of choice.

Video Games
  • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault added this weapon in the Breakthrough expansion pack.
  • Men of War featured the carbine exclusively wielded by Allied infantry specialist units like the US Paratroopers, British SAS or Commandos.
  • No One Lives Forever featured one with an optional scope as the "Hampton Carbine".
  • Death To Spies features it as an option for the player's loadout. How exactly a Russian operative got his hands on one during the war is unknown.
  • One of the available weapons on Enemy Front.
  • The Carbine can be acquired through the Silenced Weapons Warfare DLC in Sniper Elite 4. Because of the caliber used, it sacrifices power and range in exchange for the suppressed shots with low recoil.

     Ross Rifle 
The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) was equipped with the Ross as they embarked for the Western Front in 1915. Exposing the Ross to the trenches of the western front made apparent that this rifle, which was otherwise an excellent and accurate rifle, was very much so unsuitable for trench warfare.
Description, Verdun
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/images_88.jpeg
Agreed by many to be one of the worst weapons used in World War I, the Canadian Ross Rifle was issued to Canadian troops when the country was declined Lee-Enfields by the United Kingdom and in need of a service rifle, designed by Charles Ross as a target rifle in 1903. note  The rifle was a straight-pull bolt action, which allows for a quicker cycle time between rounds than even the famously-fast Enfield. The rifle can also be disassembled more easily. However, much of the infamy for this rifle became more apparent thanks to conditions of trench warfare, which made the Mk. III that was used in the war an unreliable weapon to use. The straight-pull bolt requires a complex system of cams and grooves, which makes the rifle jam with even the slightest hint of dirt; there are stories of soldiers having resorted to stomping on the handles of dirtied rifles and failing to budge them an inch. And even if you were to clean it, it's possible to reassemble the rifle with the bolt head facing the wrong direction. When reassembled like this, the bolt would close, but not lock - but the rifle could still be fired, sending the bolt backwards with great force, not actually throwing the bolt out of the rifle entirely as some stories claim but still smashing something rather delicate along its path.note  Many of these flaws were due to the fact that it was adopted too close to the outbreak of the war to have a proper period of testing and addressing of its flaws, which is a much lengthier and complicated process in wartime. When it was time for the rifle to be replaced with the Lee-Enfield in 1916, many Canadians made the switch without any second thought. The Ross rifle nevertheless saw some service in World War II as well, though mostly in the Canadian Navy, British Home Guard, or any branch that wasn't directly on European soil. It was also the official rifle of Latvia, which saw usage during the Latvian War of Independence from 1918 to 1920, and the Soviet Union had acquired many of these rifles to use as target rifles.

Many Ross rifles after being replaced were issued as target rifles for training, where their flaws were less apparent and their use there freed up more battle-worthy rifles for the front lines. Despite how it was hated by the common soldier, snipers had taken a liking for this weapon, as, being designed as a target rifle rather than a military one, it was also a fair bit more accurate at range than the Lee-Enfield. The fact that many snipers were in more ideal conditions and better-trained in disassembly and cleaning meant they wouldn't have to worry about immediate combat or incorrectly reassembling the weapon that much, though the rifle would still jam at the drop of a hat if the rounds fed to it were less-than-perfectly clean. Even though the Ross did horribly as a military rifle, it was popular as a sporting and hunting rifle during peace time before and after the war with models chambered in the .280 Ross cartridge, the first practical cartridge to come close to reaching a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet/910 meters per second.

Midway through the war, Joseph Alphonse Huot of Quebec's Dominion Rifle Factory had taken the liberty of designing a light machine gun from the leftover Ross rifles, simply called the Huot Automatic Rifle. The result was a rather decent and effective weapon, which had undergone many improvements. However, by the time it was ready, the war had already ended, and unlike the Thompson SMG, which overcame this exact same setback by simply entering the civilian market and making history, the Huot was forgotten by time. One can only wonder how well it would've performed if it got the chance to see combat.

Live-Action Films
  • Clint Eastwood's character in western film Joe Kidd used a customized Ross Rifle to escape from some bounty hunters.
  • The 1931 Soviet film Sniper has Russian troops use this rifle for some reason,note  alongside their Mosin-Nagants during World War One.
  • A Canadian made for TV movie called A Bear Named Winnie had some soldiers training with the Ross rifle. One soldier voiced his complaints about the Ross' flaws before the General snaps, grabs the soldier's rifle, and madly proclaims the rifle the best in the world.
  • One of the IRA soldiers in the "Easter Rising" scene of Michael Collins drops one of these while surrendering.

Video Games
  • The Ross Rifle is issued to Canadian troops in Verdun's Horrors of War expansion pack.
  • Battlefield 1 allows you to get your hands on the Huot Automatic Rifle. Despite only five of them ever existing, and only used in experimenting.
  • The Allied Forces Rifle DLC for Sniper Elite 4 allows you to get your hands on the Ross Rifle. Fortunately there are no muddy trenches for you to worry about.

Sniper Rifles

    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).

Other

     Underwater Firearms 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aps_underwater_rifle.jpg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hk_p11_1.jpg
Top: APS Underwater Assault Rifle. Bottom: Heckler & Koch P11.
Normal guns do not work well underwater. Specialized underwater firearms were first developed during the Cold War in 1960s to arm frogmen who might see combat underwater. These weapons are effectively miniaturized Harpoon Guns, firing small bolts or flechettes at high speeds.

Examples of underwater firearms include the Heckler & Koch P11, an underwater pistol with a design resembling a pepperbox pistol, the Soviet SPP-1 underwater pistol and APS underwater assault rifle (which can also fire 5.45×39mm rifle cartridges above water, though at extremely short ranges and deteriorates the weapon very quickly, so most Soviet frogmen preferred using an AK-74 with an SPP-1). Later Russian developments include the ASM-DT based on the APS, and the ADS amphibious rifle based on the A-91 assault rifle.

Due to their incredibly specialized nature, they are not widely produced despite active use, and don't expect any civilian divers in real life to get their hands on them.

Anime & Manga
  • In Black Lagoon, one episode shows off the APS underwater rifle, with Revy using it both above and underwater to kill some people.

Live-Action Films

Video Games
  • Depth features an incredible array of underwater firearms armed by civilian divers, though this is required due to the game's focus on divers vs sharks underwater combat. Amongst other weapons like spear pistols, the divers are also armed with SPP-1 and P-11 underwater pistols, as well as the APS and ADS underwater rifles.
  • The P11 is one of the available weapons in Delta Force: Land Warrior.
  • The APS Underwater Rifle is a weapon featured in some underwater missions in the Call of Duty: Ghosts campaign.
  • The SDAR 5.56mm is an all-faction underwater weapon in ARMA III, though unlike all of the above weapons, it is apparently a modified Kel-Tec RFB Carbine.

Misc Single Examples

     Misc 
Comic Books

Video Games
  • Battlefield 1 contains a large amount of rare historical World War I-era guns, many of which are so rare that their inclusion in media is also rare (some are exclusive to just Battlefield 1), making it impractical to create whole entries about them. 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, and the only commonly available media 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.


Alternative Title(s): Rare Gun

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