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Badass Bandolier

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Well, where else am I gonna put my bullets? What, a pouch? Get outta here!

Bandoliers are belts that hold ammunition for guns, grenades, or just weapons in general (or even mundane items). They also give off coolness and badassery when worn.

The fundamental concept is that a warrior will want to wear all of his equipment close at hand, so the bandolier sends a message that the wearer expects combat. Various cultures have used bandoliers for different purposes. In the age of muzzle-loading firearms, a wealthy soldier might wear multiple single-shot pistols so he could discharge them rapidly one after the other without reloading. Cavalrymen and banditos of the Old West might also wear multiple pistols, as reloading was still a laborious process through the 1800s. In the latter half of the 1800s, cartridge technology made it feasible to wear individual bullets or shotshells in the bandolier. It was a sort of status symbol to wear a fully-loaded bandolier, as this showed you were not only a warrior but also wealthy enough to maintain a full complement of ammunition.

Modern hunters who use slow-reloading bolt-action rifles or single-shot rifles would usually have a leather or canvas bandolier slung across the chest or around the waist in the time-honored manner, or a smaller 5-10 round bandolier wrapped around the rifle stock.

In Wild West settings, Banditos will stereotypically be wearing them, in emulation of Pancho Villa.

During wartime setting, characters armed with fully automatic weapons may have a string of rounds draped across their chest like a bandolier. The difference here is that there's no leather/cloth belt; the rounds are held together by metal links that are ejected along with the spent cases when the weapon is fired.

The worn form of Gun Accessories. Compare Superhero Packing Heat, Utility Belt. Beware of Pineapple Surprise.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Guts has a bandolier of throwing knives, as did Judeau.
  • Coyote Starrk from Bleach has a pair at the back of his Badass Longcoat in his Resurrection, to compliment his lone-wolf-gunslinger-theme. They don't hold bullets, however - they let him summon an army of spirit wolves and a pair of energy swords if he needs them.
  • Kuroko Shirai from A Certain Scientific Railgun often uses her teleporting ability to teleport spikes and she usually keeps the spikes holstered under her skirt. But in one episode there is a scene where she prepares for the battle by arming herself with a long bandolier with spikes.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Triela typically has a bandolier around the stock of her Trenchgun. From her actions in episode 9, she uses it as a ready source of specialized shot, to be thumbed in on top of her regular loadout. She fires one shot, the bandolier is missing one shell, and it's a tire-shot, (presumably a slug).
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Negi put on one with magic potions when he went to fight Evangeline.
  • One Piece: Captain Smoker has a bandolier of cigars.
  • Ranma ½: Ukyou wears a bandoleer of spatulas to cook with (that she also uses as weapons).
  • Meru on Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has a bandolier filled with cell phones. Kind of a weapon, since she uses them to troll people.
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Kurin is a 14-year-old bounty hunter, armed with a twin set of flintlock pistols. So she wears a crisscrossing set of bullets around her hips, instead of a belt.

    Comic Books 
  • Knife, an assassin from Batwoman (Rebirth), holds her throwing knives on a pair of straps that crisscross her chest.
  • Loop: The red twin is dressed up like a Wild West cowboy type, including a bandolier (actually a giant watch, to fit with the time theme).
  • As Red Robin, Tim Drake traded in most of the bulky pouches from his utility belt as Robin for a set of bandoliers with compressed canisters on them to carry around his gear. At least those elements of his gear that can be compressed.
  • Sgt. Rock is often shown carrying a belt of .50-caliber machine gun ammunition over his shoulders... despite the fact that Easy Company seldom actually uses heavy machine guns.
  • Star Wars: Kanan: Commander Grey wears a bandolier on the right side of his armor, which includes a slot for a short sword on his back.
  • Suicide Squad: Writer John Ostrander and artist Luke McDonnell added a bandoleer of boomerangs to Captain Boomerang's costume, which has become standard in all of his subsequent appearances.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland (2010) has one, though it holds spools of thread rather than bullets.
  • Naturally the title character and his men in And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.
  • In Another 48 Hours, one of the villains wears boots with bandolier-inspired bullets on the toes.
  • Downplayed in Assassins. Miguel Bain wears a cuff with spare rounds for his sniper rifle attached to his right wrist, while he waits to kill the protagonist.
  • Blazing Saddles: the bandito who gives the "Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!" speech.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, Howling Commandos machine-gunner Gabe Jones - who used a 30 pound (plus ammo) Browning M1919 medium machine gun as his main weapon, solo, even while running through the woods under a volley of mortars - is seen with a single bandolier wrapped around him. Captain America himself is seen sporting the Pancho Villa version in a propaganda movie, despite him using a drum-magazine Tommy gun. Justified in that these are just props and the in-universe filmmakers probably didn't care.
  • Animal Mother in Full Metal Jacket carried two ammo belts for his M60 machine gun crossed over his torso. Other Marines in the film can also be seen with bandoliers containing extra magazines for their weapons.
  • Realistic version: In Heat, Neil wears a utility vest stuffed with spare magazines for his assault rifle during the bank robbery and the shootout that follows.
  • This backfires (literally) in The Last Stand when someone fires a Flare Pistol at a mook wearing a bandolier of grenades.
  • Likewise in the Australian film The Lighthorsemen (1987) when a Turkish bullet strikes an ammunition pouch on the bandolier worn across the chest of a Light Horse soldier, causing all the other pouches to spontaneously detonate.
  • Lone Hero: During his Lock-and-Load Montage as he arms up in preparation for facing the Iron Bandits, John straps a pair of bandoleers across his chest, filled with cartridges for his Colt Peacemakers. And, unusually for this trope, he is actually seen reloading his pistols from the bandoleers during the course of the fight.
  • The Bullet Farmer from Mad Max: Fury Road wears an outfit comprised of nothing but bandoliers filled with rounds, including one draped over his head like a judge's wig, in a conspicuous display of his wealth in the Scavenger World. Must be rather hot in the desert though.
  • In the Rambo series the title character has worn bandoliers of ammo for his machine gun.
  • In Scarecrows, Corbin wears a bandoleer of shells for his combat shotgun, which proves to be the most effective weapon against the scarecrows.
  • In Star Wars Chewbacca wears a bandolier of ammunition for his crossbow.
    • They're actually very common in the Star Wars universe, particularly on Tatooine. Tusken Raiders wear them, Jawas wear them, and many of Jabba's goons wear them. Though in all those cases they are of the 'leather pouch' variety rather than exposed ammunition. However, in Return of the Jedi some Rebel commandos on Endor wear bandoliers holding objects that appear to be grenades.
  • St Trinians (2007): a Funny Background Event has the girls being checked by metal detector as they arrive for the first day of school; one of them is wearing crossed machine-gun belts under her jacket.
  • A bad guy in Swamp Thing wears these.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-800 wears a bandolier of grenades across his chest for his Grenade Launcher.
  • Several bandits in ¡Three Amigos!, including El Guapo's The Dragon Jefe.
  • In Valdez is Coming, Bob Valdez wears a bandolier of shotgun shells over his old uniform.
  • In The War Wagon, Pierce's outriders wear crossed bandoliers. This is to emphasize how heavily armed they are, as each is carrying a Henry repeater, a revolver, and 400 rounds of ammunition.

  • Discworld
  • In Richard Powell's Don Quixote, U.S.A. Conchita, who joined the local rebel group after her father was killed, wears crossed bandoliers. She gives them up at the end of the book when she starts a relationship with Arthur.
  • In the non-fiction WW2 story The Greatest Escape, an Australian POW makes contact with the Slovakian partisans to arrange the escape of his colleagues, and describes them as looking like something out of The Maid Of The Mountains. They realise what he's talking about on encountering the partisans, all of whom are weighed down with bandoliers of ammunition and explosives as they don't have a supply train to carry them.
  • In Harry Turtledove's The Guns of the South, General Jeb Stuart takes to wearing crossed bandoliers but gets contrite when Robert E. Lee points out that the leather could have better been used to make shoes for the soldiers. Lee was just teasing, adding afterwards that a few feet of leather won't make or break the Confederacy.
  • In the Old Kingdom series, necromancers (and Abhorsens) keep their seven necromantic bells in bandoliers.
  • In the Heroes "R" Us series Soldiers of Barrabas, the mercenary protagonists visit El Salvador and encounter a female communist Rebel Leader who wears a heavy ammo belt for the apparent purpose of pulling her shirt tight to expose her cleavage.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: Bahar, a rookie witch at an evil Wizarding School, wears twin bandoliers which are loaded with small flasks full of various potions that she brewed. Given the prices her potions command from the other students, it's clear that she's got some very powerful magic loaded into the bandoliers' flasks.

    Live-Action TV 

  • In a few earlier concerts, some of the members of Rammstein wore fake bandoliers.
  • A staple for extreme metal bands. The trend was started by Lemmy of Motörhead and has since become an iconic symbol worn by bands from Megadeth to Bathory.

  • In Bone Busters, the team members' backpack straps double as bandoliers.
  • Raven wears one, though it fails at making her look badass.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Seen primarily in World Xtreme Wrestling, Solo wears a bandolier as part of his entrance attire.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Blades in the Dark: The Leech playbook allows you to pull alchemical preparations from a bandolier.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: in older editions, characters could buy bandoliers to hold daggers or darts for use as throwing weapons. (Your character can still have one in newer editions, but since the game has grown less concerned with nit-picking details, it's just a flavorful explanation of having a bunch of them in your abstract inventory.)
    • In 3rd/3.5 edition, bandoliers still exist, and still have the same function. A humanoid can reasonably equip as many as 3 bandoliers, one as a belt and the other two across the chest. Drawing items from a bandolier does not provoke attacks of opportunity, regular bandoliers hold 10 items, whereas Masterwork ones hold 12.
  • These were removed in the second printing of Pathfinder's 2nd edition. The first printing had them as items, just like 1st edition(being an offshoot of D&D 3.5) did. But the second printing decided to simply give you a "carry on" item limit, and just granted that the character had whatever bandoleers and pouches needed for it on their person for free.

  • Most G.I. Joe toys had the grenade variant, and sometimes bullets as well. These bullets were very rarely ever actually used in combat.
  • Once again Nerf comes to the rescue with a bandoleer dart kit that holds both darts and magazines (and even a clip useful for small pistols) for when you need as much foam as you can carry.

    Video Games 
  • The Vietnam version of the Battlefield 2 mod Project Reality has the Automatic Rifleman class for the US Army & US Marines wearing two bandoliers of ammo for their M60 machine guns crossed over their torso.
  • In Battlefield 3, the US Support class wears one like a scarf.
  • The protagonists and character classes in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 generally wear grenades on their chests. The snipers, however, subvert expectations by wearing shotgun shells on a bandolier over their chests.
    • That's because that class is not the Sniper class; it's the Recon class.
  • Frank West in Dead Rising can wear crisscrossing bandoliers as an unlockable outfit.
  • Several armors in Fallout 3 & Fallout: New Vegas have decorative bandoliers.
  • In The Godfather II one of the rewards you can unlock for capturing a set of fronts is doubled ammo capacity, which is shown in the aversion of Informed Equipment as ammo worn as a belt.
  • Several Armor Permutations in Halo: Reach feature the Grenade Launcher variant, including the Ua/Multithreat, Base Patrol, and Grenadier variants. However, this is purely aesthetic and doesn't do anything other than look cool.
  • Aldus from In Pursuit of Greed carries a bandolier of shotgun shells around his chest, and is among a group of badass bounty hunters and raiders. He's also a fearsome Bovarian Mooman.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2, Whitaker and the Fallen Survivor infected (which is an infected model of Whitaker).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link now wears a baldric with pouches, for carrying his scabbard on his back. Which crosses into Costume Porn in Twilight Princess.
  • Revolver Ocelot of the Metal Gear series carries bullets on his bandolier and belt. He really enjoys reloading his revolvers in battle.
    • Then-Major Ocelot didn't start out wearing one in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, since he was using a magazine-fed pistol at the start, but after Naked Snake suggests his technique is more suited to revolvers, the Major starts wearing one to go with his Single Action Army pistols.
      • Also in MGS3, Volgin wears a pretty long ammo belt around his waist and over his shoulder. It might seem like a bad idea, considering his Psycho Electro powers, but he is wearing them over a rubberized suit. It does come back to bite him in the ass in the final battle when he's struck by lightning.
  • The Steam version of Monday Night Combat participated in a costume crossover deal with Team Fortress 2. Gamers who bought MNC before February 1st got a bunch of crossover gear the characters could wear. The Gunner's gear was the Heavy's bandolier.
  • Erron Black from Mortal Kombat X doesn't have one Badass Bandolier, he has Three of them.
  • [PROTOTYPE 2] protagonist James Heller wears one full of shotgun shells before his Viral Transformation. Strange, considering that he never uses a shotgun (preferring a giant knife instead) and there aren't shotguns in the game to begin with.
  • A bandolier can be bought in Red Dead Redemption. It doubles the amount of rifle and repeater ammo you can carry. Once you buy it you will always be wearing it and receive its benefits, even when wearing an outfit that hides it. In a nice graphical touch as you burn through your ammo stock the number of rounds on the belt disappear.
    • Red Dead Redemption 2 also features a bandolier that has the same effect as its predecessor. The Online mode takes an extra step and features various purchasable bandoliers, though they are solely cosmetic.
  • As the game's resident Gunslinger, Magoichi Saika of Samurai Warriors was originally modeled with a belt of tanegashima cartridges over his shoulder. The amount he wears would have been more than enough for a rifleman of the era, but as this is a Koei Tecmo game, Magoichi can fire more bullets in one attack than any three men can carry on their person.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Heavy, Soldier, Demoman, and Pyro wear one. Pyro and Soldier's are mostly for show (as neither uses grenades in their loadouts), but Soldier has a few taunts involving them (including one that can kill). Cosmetic items can replace the grenades and ammunition held in them with such things as Christmas tree ornaments, batteries, bongos, and cartoon bombs, and human skulls.
  • Nathan Drake wears one of these for the last act of the third Uncharted game.
  • In X3: Reunion, Terran Conflict, and Albion Prelude, several Space Pirate NPC portraits wear ammo belts as bandoliers. One Split portrait also has them, occasionally causing confusion for those who haven't memorized the race portraits yet.
  • In Yarudora series vol.3: Sampaguita, one of the Triad members wears a bandolier full of shotgun ammo.

    Web Animation 
  • Since it's a parody of Battlefield 3 mentioned above, any character in Battlefield Friends using the Support Class wears an ammo belt like a scarf.
    • The Badass part largely only applies to Colonel, though, since the other two primary users of the class are Noob and Simon.
  • On Homestar Runner, Fightgar of the Cheat Commandos wears one, along with a Rambo-esque headband.
    • In the Strong Bad Email "your funeral", a Future Badass version of Pom Pom is seen wearing a bandolier while facing off against a zombified Strong Bad.
  • Agent Blue (Agent Florida/Butch Flowers) of Project Freelancer sports one in Red vs. Blue.

  • Parodied in Schlock Mercenary, where the footnote points out that the bandoliers the bad guys are wearing are completely unnecessary since in the future bulky ammunition stores are nonexistent. It then goes on to theorize they are instead filled with chewing gum.

    Web Original 
  • Invoked in The Fountainhead Filibuster: Tales from Objectivist Katanga. The feeding mechanism on Che Guevara's drum-fed machine rifle breaks, forcing him to tear the ammo belt out of the drum and wrap it around himself while feeding the end directly into the gun.
  • Gaia Online has Bullet Belts purchasable at Gold Mountain.
  • In the Insane Cafe 2 and its sequel, bandoliers are worn by Mr. Bigmouth, Deimos, and Rime. Interestingly, Mr. Bigmouth also uses a much less badass but equally useful messenger bag. Also, Deimos and Rime use assorted pockets in their armored vests to carry stuff.
  • Michel Wibert in New York Magician has a bandolier full of various magical artifacts.
  • Faun Muranaka of Tasakeru wears one strategically across her considerable assets. It has dozens of pouches to hold her Trick Bombs.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: Dinobot sports an x-shaped one in the "Coming of the Fuzors" two-parter, beginning from the end of part 1, when he prepares to face the Predacons. Along with (at that point) the largest gun seen on the show.

    Real Life 
  • The use of a bandolier is not without its problems. Munitions exposed to the elements may corrode and become unusable. Unfortunately, young soldiers would try to emulate what they saw on television. In the present day, cross-body bandoliers are only common among poor armies and militias. Pouches and magazines are used to avoid the problems mentioned above.
    • In the modern day, machine gun ammunition belts are sometimes worn over the shoulder in a similar manner to bandoliers, satisfying this trope in spirit. The ammo belt isn't meant to hold individual rounds for reloading, but rather to be loaded into the machine gun as a single unit. Machine gunners usually carry their belts in sealed boxes to avoid the corrosion mentioned above, but there are only so many ways to carry a belt box and still have it be easily accessible, so draping spare belts over your shoulders is a convenient way of carrying spares (or, as often happens, having your squadmates carry your spares for you).
  • Blackbeard the pirate wore bandoliers full of pistols (as well as a sword in each hand and burning fuses in his hair).
  • Wearing two bandoliers of bullets in an "X" across the body became Pancho Villa's trademark. Bandoliers are somewhat iconic for Mexican fighters in general.
  • The British Army uniform included bandoliers called cross-belts up until they did away with the bright red coats. They did not actually hold bullets in and of themselves but were instead carrying straps for an actual ammunition pouch, as well as the soldier's bayonet or a sword scabbard. They weren't exclusively a British invention, as most armies of the 18th-19th centuries used them in some form, but the striking white-on-scarlet look of the British cross-belts is the most remembered version.
    • The cross-belts were eventually replaced by the Sam Browne belt, which was a Utility Belt to which ammo pouches and other accessories could be clipped, supported by straps over the shoulders. The version worn by cavalrymen and officers somewhat resembles this trope, with one belt going across the chest and over the shoulder, while the one for regular infantrymen was more of a suspender-style arrangement.
  • A "revolutionary seaman", in a striped sleeveless shirt with two crisscrossed bandoliers full of machine-gun ammo, is an iconic image of the Russian Civil War.
  • This trope was actually common during The Yugoslav Wars, as seen on several video footages from that time.
  • The chokha is a traditional coat for Caucasians (Georgians, Chechens, Western Armenians etc) and Cossacks from South-West Russia (Kuban and Terek in particular) with the cartridge loops built into it (originally for powder cartridges).