Rare Guns
aka: Rare Gun

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.


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Machine Pistols

     Heckler & Koch VP70 
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 
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.


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.

  • 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).


    10mm Auto pistols/SMGs 
With their combination of high stopping power and low recoil, pistols chambered for the 10mm round have become the sidearms of choice for paramilitary forces around the world.
Ammo Description, Deus Ex

Top, Colt Delta Elite in 10mm Auto, Bottom: Heckler & Koch MP5/10 with "jungle style" magazines
The 10mm Auto cartridge was designed as an alternative to 9mm Parabellum and .45 ACP, offering better stopping power than the former in combination with a flatter trajectory, higher muzzle velocity, and larger magazine capacity than the latter. Full power 10mm Auto loads can match typical .357 Magnum rounds in muzzle energy, an aspect that gave early 10mm Auto handguns the rare image of being Hand Cannons that are actually practical to use in real-life situations.

Expected to become a popular handgun caliber when the FBI chose the Smith and Wesson 1076note  as its new sidearm in 1990, its rise and fall is largely tied to the failure of that weapon. Reliability problems with the pistol (and every other pistol initially designed for it, for that matter, from the below Bren Ten to the Colt Double Eagle), coupled with concerns over the recoil of the 10mm Auto cartridgenote , soon led the FBI to abandon not only the gun but the cartridge as well, though some of the FBI's special units do use a 10mm version of the MP5note  and there are a small number of newer pistols manufactured in the caliber today.

To a large extent the cartridge has fallen victim to Technology Marches On - the derivative .40 S&W cartridge has almost completely taken over its intended niche within the handgun marketnote . What market remains for the 10mm Auto is basically the minority of handgun hunters who don't like revolvers, and people who want a defensive weapon to carry in grizzly bear country.

On the other hand, reports of the 10mm Auto's demise may have been greatly exaggerated. In the mid-2010s, the .40 S&W experienced a huge drop-off in popularity as the FBI and many law enforcement agencies moved to make a switch to 9mm instead, and the 10mm round still continues to have a die-hard following, most strongly evidenced by the fact that in the same time period, a large number of firearms manufacturers have rolled out new 10mm handgun models, and ammo manufacturers have followed suit by producing a wide variety of training and defensive ammo loads. Another factor contributing to the 10mm's revival is the alarming rise in the use of cars and trucks as terrorist weapons, leading to a low-key but growing demand for a powerful handgun round that can reliably penetrate vehicular metal. The 10mm continues to be a popular cartridge in fiction, particularly in works set 20 Minutes into the Future, where presumably the real-world problems with the cartridge were addressed. Perhaps in the near future, the 10mm Auto may not be such a rare beast anymore.

Comic Books
  • Button Man. While he uses whatever comes to hand, Harry Exton has a preference for the Smith & Wesson 1006 as his Weapon of Choice in books 2 and 3, set while he is in the United States. A couple of panels clearly show boxes of 10mm Auto while Harry is loading up.

  • The famous M41A Pulse Rifle from Aliens is said to be chambered for a caseless, explosive-tipped 10mm bullet.

  • In the Tom Clancy novel Rainbow Six, Rainbow's assaulters are described as using the MP5/10note  as their primary weapons. Somewhat Truth in Television, as in reality the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team does use the weapon in a similar role.
    • In addition to Rainbow, Clancy also depicted FBI Special Agent Pat O'Day as carrying a Smith and Wesson 1076. Again, this is partly truth in television; as noted above, the FBI did test, and even briefly issue this weapon to its agents. However, O'Day continued to carry one long after all real life agents had turned theirs in.

Live-Action TV
  • Miami Vice had Sonny Crockett carry a Bren Ten, whose real-life sales were driven largely by its use on TV. While the Bren Ten is widely considered to be among the best pistol design of the 1980s (incorporating the best features of the CZ 75 and Browning Hi-Power, as well as having the legendary Col. Jeff Cooper as a design consultant), production shortfalls and notoriously bad quality control drove its manufacturer Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises into bankruptcy after just three years with only 1,500 pistols made and most of the original commercial orders never filled. After this happened, the Sonny Crockett character switched between seasons two and three to the decidedly less rare Smith & Wesson Model 645, as the production refused to use firearms that were not in active production. It also gave birth to the "Bren Ten Curse": All companies that have attempted to resurrect the pistol have either gone bankrupt trying to do so, or ditched it in favor of more lucrative military and police rifle contracts before a single example was sold.

Video Games
  • In the Fallout universe 10mm was a common pistol caliber before the Great War, and great amounts of it remain in the post-war world. There's a fairly high number of weapons using it in the series, including a shoulder-mounted minigun in Fallout: New Vegas DLC.
  • In both Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the standard sidearm is a 10mm Auto pistol.
  • Like the novel above, the Rainbow Six series of games usually give the player the option of using the MP5/10 in place of the many 9mm variants. Similarly, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has the MP5/10 available to Sam.
  • In Police Quest 2, Sonny Bonds carries a 10mm 1911 variant.
  • Takedown: Red Sabre allows players to take a 10mm "1911 Elite" as their sidearm.
  • Doom, the Roguelike uses 10mm for its take on the pistol and chaingun ammunition, unlike the original that based its pistol off the Beretta 92.
  • In PAYDAY 2, the MP5 can be turned into an MP5/10 with the "Straight Magazine" attachment.

     Underwater Firearms 
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.

Well-known examples of underwater firearms from the Cold War include the Heckler & Koch P11, an underwater pistol with a design resembling a pepperbox pistol, and the Soviet SPP-1 underwater pistol and APS underwater assault rifle. More modern Russian developments include the ASM-DT based on the APS (which is designed to fire both its proprietary darts underwater and regular 5.45mm rounds on land) and the ADS amphibious rifle based on the A-91 assault rifle.

While undoubtedly a cool idea, underwater firearms are very rare, and not used very often even in the rare situations they would be useful in for various reasons. For one, even their specialized ammunition is limited in range in their intended element (the longest-reaching ones like the APS have a maximum effective range of 30 meters at shallow depths - for context, regular modern 9mm pistols reach 50 meters), and their ability to be fired both above or below water means they're not very effective at either (to mention the APS again, its above-water range is only 50 meters - and its barrel is only rated to withstand two-hundred shots in air, versus 2,000 underwater). While rifles have more than acceptable range and power for underwater usage, it's also hard to aim them properly, as the longer barrel and the typical wide, flat magazines give a lot of surface area for water resistance to hinder movement; generally, Spetsnaz frogmen would prefer to take the smaller SPP-1 pistol for underwater work, then switch to a regular AK-74 once they got on land. Underwater firearms are still in active use, but they are not exactly common due to their incredibly specialized nature. 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.
  • Delta Force: Land Warrior allows use of both the P11 pistol and the APS rifle. They're both depicted rather unrealistically, being highly-effective both above and below water, the P11 incorrectly shown as keeping a round in the chamber when it's reloaded before being emptied (despite it being a multi-barrel design that doesn't have room for an "extra" round) and the APS incorrectly given the same 30-round capacity as most other assault rifles (the real thing carries 26).
  • 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 firing supercavitating ammunition.
  • The P11 is issued to James Bond in the "Night Shift" level for the console version of Nightfire. It's been re-purposed as a tranquilizer gun used to incapacitate rather than kill the security guards.
  • A P11 shows up near the end of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Sully grabbing it from a kit with scuba gear for the two to use. It's shown incredibly unrealistically - for one, it's only modeled with three barrels rather than the real thing's five, and for two, it apparently launches high-explosive rockets, one of which is enough to destroy a crane dragging the game's local Artifact of Doom out of the water, and one more of which is enough to set the entire ancient city this is happening in to start crumbling.

Misc Single Examples

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