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Bottomless Magazines
aka: Infinite Ammo

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"You know, a lot of professional officers, even up to field rank in the combat branches, seem to think that ammo comes down miraculously from Heaven, in contra-gravity lorries, every time they pray into a radio for it."
Carlos Von Schlichten, Uller Uprising

Possibly one of the oldest and most abused tropes when it comes to gunplay is the frequent ignorance of just how many shots the good guys/bad guys have fired from their guns without stopping for a reload. In Real Life, most revolvers hold between 5 to 8 shots, depending on caliber, while semiautomatic handguns have magazines that usually hold 10–15 shots. Pump-action, bolt-action, and lever-action longarms generally hold 5–8 rounds (but the magazine can easily be topped off) and detachable-magazine semi-automatic or automatic rifles generally hold at least 20, if not 30 rounds.note  But keep a running count, and you'll sometimes see a weapon go for much longer without hesitation.

Ammo capacity of guns on TV seems to be totally dependent on how much drama and suspense is needed. The hero will always have plenty of ammo to mow down the mooks, but will run out just before reaching the Big Bad, or confront him with One Bullet Left. Reloading is usually only done when it adds to the drama or when you need to show off how badass the gunslinger is. If someone is firing an automatic weapon that's belt-fed or has a large banana-shaped magazine in it, forget it — he's never going to run out until you shoot him dead. The only thing that seems to stop a movie or TV gun from firing is the inevitable and dramatic jam.

Can be partially explained by editing in some of the less unrealistic movies. If multiple shots of a gunfight flow well together, shot counts might be ignored, rather than breaking the flow by putting in a reload shot where it would not be cool or dramatic enough to include one. Likewise, editing has temporal considerations, and if the camera cuts to a different angle while the shots are occurring, you may be seeing the same shots repeated from different perspectives, making the actual number of shots fired lower than what was perceived.

This is a common characteristic of Energy Weapons; seldom do you see a ray gun run out of zap juice.

An adjunct to this would be the Bottomless Quiver for archers. Many an archer in animation and video games can pour out a stream of arrows without ever hitting the supply cart.

See also Infinite Supplies, Hammerspace. Unorthodox Reload is an aversion of this trope. Not at all related to Topless Magazines.

This may end up becoming an acceptable break from reality in many Video Games; who wants to pull their fighter plane over to the side to top up on the 20mm ammo in the middle of a Shoot 'Em Up?

Even in video games where you do have to reload, typically shooters, the game doesn't keep track of individual magazines. You can reload at any point without wasting bullets or having to move bullets from one magazine to another. When the game invokes Universal Ammunition, the rules just get that much fuzzier. An extremely common side-effect of this as well is that the number of shots you can fire before you need to reload has a good chance of being higher than what your guns' magazines can hold in reality - common instances include firing 12 shots out of pistols that hold 7 or 8, or automatic rifles loading 20-round magazines that somehow last for 30, developers evidently having long since decreed that these are the number of bullets those types of weapons are "supposed" to hold at once. If you're unlucky, though, some people's magazines might be more bottomless than others.

A common justification in science fiction stories is that future firearms actually fire extremely tiny projectiles (hundreds or even thousands of which can be packed into a single magazine). Since kinetic energy is a factor of both mass and velocity, firing mechanisms that allow the projectile to be shot in a very, very high velocity can compensate (or more) for the size of the bullet. Stronger characters sometimes have the 'cheats' of an absurdly large magazine relative to their body size (e.g. having their gun belt-fed from a backpack) or internal magazines whose capacity cannot be accurately calculated. Neither of these can actually be bottomless, but since viewers can't tell the actual number of rounds, they're less likely to have their Willing Suspension of Disbelief broken.

This trope often goes hand-in-hand with More Dakka. Contrast Counting Bullets, which is about limited magazines.

There's a separate "Exceptions" subsection on the bottom of this page. Please post aversions and subversions there.

NOTE: Clips are devices used to help load cartridges into a magazine, such as the en-bloc clips used to help feed the M1 rifle's fixed magazine or "moon clips" used hold multiple rounds in-place for loading revolvers. It's a common and understandable mistake to mix clips and magazines up, especially since most people already refer to magazines as clips in movies or video-games. Regardless, it's a Berserk Button among many firearm enthusiasts.



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Modern weaponry

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Brave10, Kakei's matchlock musket is perfectly historical, but its bullet supply as the plot demands along with the pistols he later invents are decidedly less accurate for 1599.
  • City Hunter: Sometimes the anime will have guns firing more than they should. Averted in the manga, where Ryo needing to reload his six-shooters tend to be a plot point once in a while.
  • Corpse Princess: Makina fires something like 500 rounds each from her dual submachine guns before changing magazines.
  • Mad Pierrot's cane gun in the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot le Fou" can be fired as rapidly as he feels like, despite it having no conceivable place to store any ammo besides the one round in the chamber. This adds to the Surreal Horror nature of the episode.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Loz and Yazoo's Velvet Nightmare gunblades qualify for this trope. Averted with Vincent Valentine: see the Exceptions section.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sosuke is evidently not used to running out of bullets and having to reload. Rather, he's instead developed the tendency to discard an empty weapon and pull out new, fully-loaded one. This is evidenced in an episode of Fumoffu when he plays a First-Person Shooter arcade game and gets flustered when he runs out of ammo, proceeding to pull out his real gun and blowing the game away (and when told the method to actually reload — namely, pointing the light gun away from the screen and pulling the trigger — he replies that this would be horribly unsafe). It works for him, though — he certainly manages to carry an unlimited amount of firearms on his person.
  • Possibly in reference to this, Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu has a robot known as Vulking, a Mighty Glacier who specializes in More Dakka. It's final attack involves firing EVERYTHING at the enemy... and is known as Endless Burn. Vulking also has this in effect by not running out of ammo in its FINGER CANNONS every few seconds (though most of the rest of its arsenal are energy based). Similar to this, we never see the Kill Jaguar reload its Vulcan Storm either.
  • Gundam is inconsistent on this, as on some occasions weapons (both kinetic and energy) are shown to have ammo limits, but generally mobile suits will only need to reload when it is least convenient to reload.
    • The original Gundam is shown to run out of power for its beam rifle on several occasions, at least, though at these points he'll rather toss the rifle away because, in that series, the ability to actually reload beam weapons in the field doesn't exist yet. Other requirements like fuel are also skimmed over entirely, despite how much of a big deal outside sources make about it.
    • Heavyarms has been shown to run out of ammo on multiple occasions, most pointedly in its battle with Sandrock early in the series, as well as in Endless Waltz; its magazines aren't bottomless, but they're sure as hell high-capacity.
    • The 08th MS Team mostly follows this as well, though there is one occasion, during the battle with Norris Packard, where Shiro expends a hell of a lot of ammo and promptly runs out in the middle of emptying his gun in the enemy's direction. Interestingly, power requirements for the ground-type Gundams' beam sabers are rarely acknowledged, despite the fluff mentioning they only carry enough power for a single minute of use and then require fifteen to recharge.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, though, is an odd one — as its beam weaponry is connected to its power source, it doesn't run out unless its suit runs out of power. It's averted, though, when the suits using nuclear power are introduced.
    • Taken to an extreme early on in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, the AGE-1 has only one ranged Dods Rifle, and the unskilled Frit Asuno fires it all day long just trying to land a hit on enemies. Averted however in a later episode with Kio Asuno and the AGE-FX. After using the FX's Stungle Rifle to take out the Vagan border guards when raiding a base late in the show and being inefficient with it because of a desire to keep the pilots alive it runs out of ammo and has to be discarded right before Zeheart and Fram show up, forcing him to have to rely on melee and putting him a major disadvantage in a 2 on 1 battle.
  • Beyond the Grave in Gungrave reloads his guns once in the entire series.
  • Hellsing:
    • The manga does this, as nearly every gun user, and one character who fights by throwing bayonets, is shown to have unlimited ammunition, or at least Super-Speed combined with an implausibly large number of reloads. This stands out because Alucard's guns are noted to fire very large and powerful bullets that would logically give the guns a small magazine size (one of them is explicitly given a six-shot magazine), and as the rounds they fire are made of solid silver and blessed by the Church, counting shots would make a lot of sense—Alucard, though, routinely dumps dozens of bullets into any foe that can survive the first hit. The creator jokingly states at one end-of-manga rant that Alucard's firearms are "cosmoguns" that hold an enormous amount of ammunition, while the bayonet-using Anderson is just "fourth dimensional".
    • An exception to this is Seras' Harkonnen anti-tank rifle used during the attack on Hellsing mansion. It holds only one shell and reloading takes a realistic amount of time. Then again it might very well be done purely for drama. Though this becomes a Double Subversion when she then gets fully-automatic versions.
    • Alucard is seen to reload in the manga and at least once in the anime, but that's more Rule of Cool.
    • Averted in the final episode of the Hellsing (2001) anime when, during his fight with Incognito, Alucard runs out of ammo for The Jackal until Seras brings him a reload. Of course, he then goes on to fire 8 or so shots from a magazine that's explicitly stated to hold 6 rounds.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders: Unusually for a revolver, Hol Horse's Emperor is shown never to need reloading. Justified, since it's a Stand that produces the bullets inside its own chamber due to them actually being a part of itself. As seen in Heritage for the Future, he can also rapid-fire it much like a machine pistol.
    • Steel Ball Run: Johnny's Tusk Act 1 allows him to fire as many nail bullets as he wants. Unfortunately, these bullets don't do much damage, leaving Johnny helpless against stronger Stand users. However, Tusk's later Acts are limited by how many nails he has, and it takes some time for them to regrow.
  • Musashi Gundoh's main character uses revolvers. Musashi Gundoh is one of the stupidest series in history. You can probably see where this is going.
  • Ninjas in Naruto can easily carry a ton of shuriken and kunai by using seals to basically store them inside scrolls.
  • One Piece:
    • Franky is the most noticeable offender, apparently having a nail machine gun in his arm (which should logically hold only four nails) and a cannon, which he is never seen reloading.
    • A number of characters use flintlock pistols that they fire faster than they could possibly reload. According to Word of God, the really are capable of holding multiple bullets. While such things did actually exist in real life, they were rare prototypes that were both bulky and unreliable, whereas the flintlocks shown look identical to the normal single-shot types.
  • Elie's Guns Tonfa in Rave Master are often used for full auto bullet-spraying. There are no visible magazines, integral magazines for guns the size of tonfas shouldn't have that much capacity, and she is never shown reloading. It could be a helical magazine, which would have the right shape and ammo capacity for the tonfas — except that such a design would leave little space for the firing and shell-ejection mechanism.
  • None of the girls ever seem to need to reload their weapons in Strike Witches. It feels a bit odd too considering how much ammo they can sometimes burn through to take down one Neuroi. What makes this especially glaring is that Charlotte, armed with a BAR, actually complains about her weapon's low capacity (even with a magazine extended to twice the capacity the real M1918 ever got) compared to the MG 42s most of the rest of the cast lug around, despite as above it not actually being an issue in the slightest.
  • A standard feature of the Symphogear system is Spontaneous Weapon Creation, which might just justify Chris' ability to fire continuous streams of lead from her Billion Maiden configuration; the bullets are created as fast as she can fire them. Downplayed for her more explosive weapon options, which she needs more time to create and thus function as a sort of Charged Attack.
  • Played straight with Vash's opponents in Trigun, who never seem to run out of ammunition. This becomes even more confusing/distressing with Elendira the Crimson Nails, who seems to have an infinite number of giant nails hidden in her briefcase gun. And except for a hilarious subversion of a Mexican Standoff at the beginning (and despite complaining that bullets are hideously expensive), Vash never runs out of bullets, either.

    Card Games 
  • An Equipment Modifier in one of the Munchkin games is "...With Unlimited Ammo."
  • Made fun of in the card game Ninja Samurai on Giant Robot Island, where the flavor text on a gun reads: "There is no word in the Chinese language for 'reloading'."

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD:
    • In Nikolai Dante, it is explicitly stated that the Huntsman 5000 creates ammo internally and replenishes automatically, so there is no need to reload.
    • The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael: Quite literally; Ichabod's revolver continues to fire an unlimited amount of bullets despite the chamber being entirely empty when he checks it.
  • Batman: Played dead straight with the Holiday Killer in The Long Halloween. Either he/she had a .22 pistol able to fire fifty shots at once, or the Riddler was a good sport and stayed stock-still while Holiday put a bullet outline around him, not moving even while Holiday was reloading.
  • Blood Syndicate : This was the explicit power of Tec-9, any gun he fired never needed reloading.
  • Hitman: The series can't make up its mind on this, variously using it, subverting it, and lampshading it.
  • Jonah Hex: In The DCU, the Modern Age version of Jonah Hex has guns that channel his own psychic energy, and the Modern Age Crimson Avenger has the original's guns, now magically attuned to her. In both cases the effect is the same, they never run out of ammo.
  • Lucky Luke:
    • The title character does this often. When asked "Do you ever reload?" in one Animated Adaptation, he replies "Yes, at the end of the episode." This is a transcription of the original comic, where he replied, "Yes, between each album."
    • Another lampshade comes in the animated series: when asked if he ever reload, he answers with his catchphrase "Yes I do, faster than my shadow", then the camera moves and show that the shadow is STILL reloading the bullets shot during the previous gunfight.
    • Averted at the end of one comic when he tries to get the attention of a crowd by firing in the air, only to realize that he has spent the whole issue without reloading. And if you go back and count, he has indeed fired a total of six shots up to that point.
    • Also partially averted in one album, where Lucky Luke comes in reinforcements to a cavalry detachment (for once, the situation is inverted) attacked by Indians. Luke rides from the top of the hill, keeping shooting, until the Indians run away, and you can count at least 36 gun shots without the hero reloading. When the Captain of the detachment says that it was about time that they flee, Luke agrees: "Indeed it was about time. My revolver is empty."
  • Preacher: Hand waved, as the Saint of Killers has a pair of Walker Colt revolvers that never run out of bullets because they were forged by Satan from the former Angel of Death's sword. For the same reason, his guns are incapable of missing and kill anything they hit. The origin of his guns also explains why the wounds they make are much less like pistol fire and much more like cannon fire. It should be noted that every other firearm in Preacher makes these kinds of wounds - it's just that only the Saint of Killer's weapons are actually justified in doing so.
  • Sin City: That Yellow Bastard has Bob firing about 8 shots from a 6-shot revolver early in the first issue. It's pretty rare that anyone ever reloads.

    Fan Fiction 

    Films — Animation 
  • Boogie fires what seems to be a few hundred rounds out of his double guns throughout the movie, yet the amount of times he's seen reloading can be counted on one hand.
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, the newest Red Hood fires around 50 (that we see, many more if we assume that the fight isn't taking place simultaneously) shots from akimbo pistols.
  • Beauty and the Beast, during the tavern scene, Gaston fires three shots into a keg, causing beer to spill out and fill his mates' glasses, in under a second. He used a muzzle-loaded black powder blunderbuss (early Short-Range Shotgun). Even the fastest shooters (such as soldiers) can only get three shots off in a minute.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, the hunters fire bolt-action rifles and double-barrel shotgun several dozen times without working the action before eventually reloading.
  • Old Master Q In The Water Margin has wacky Time Travel shenanigans taking our three protagonists back to the events of the legendary novel The Water Margin. Big Potato takes a revolver back with him but no spare ammo. It is later lost in a scuffle and stolen by a corrupt minister who has gone mad with fear. Said minister manages to fire several hundred shots despite never actually reloading, let alone having that many rounds to begin with!
  • Played with in Ratatouille. Mabel fires at least 10-12 shells from a pump shotgun whose magazine tube is nowhere near long enough to hold them all, but she does eventually have to stop and reload.
  • In Tarzan Clayton has a double-barrel shotgun that can fire up to five times between reloading.
  • In Toy Story 2, the Emperor Zurg toy fires a lot of nerf balls out of his tiny plastic ion blaster during the elevator fight scene.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 3 Ninjas, the boys' father leading the FBI task force fired 9 shots from a revolver at the crime boss escaping on a helicopter.
  • 21 Bridges: The two robbers fire hundreds of bullets combined from their submachineguns. Not only are they never seen reloading, but it's a major plot point that they never expected to get into a firefight, so why did they bring so much ammo with them in the first place?
  • In Army of Darkness, Ash fires his double-barrel shotgun three and later four times in a row without reloading. He also fires at least two dozen rounds at the deadite in S-Mart from a lever action rifle at the end. Also, his chainsaw seems to never run out of fuel. Or need any fuel, for that matter. However when his shotgun fires both barrels, the camera switches away from Ash and a soft clicking sound is heard (which would still mean a very fast reload, especially for a man with only one hand). Of course, the question still remains, where he's getting all those shells in the first place although we see him in Evil Dead 2 stuffing his pockets with rounds at the cabin and a box of further shells are visible in the boot of 'The Classic'.
  • Almost averted in the '50s monster movie Attack of the Giant Leeches, where we do see a character reload. Almost, because before and after reloading, he manages to fire off five shots from a double-barreled shotgun.
  • Battle Royale: Kazuo Kiriyama's Uzi. This seems to apply in some form to every gun handed out in the film, but that Uzi and, fittingly, someone else's Micro-Uzi are the biggest offenders because of just how much ammo gets pumped through them without anyone ever touching the magazines.
  • In Battleship, the USS Missouri is shown firing several rounds from her main guns, before switching to Alex Hopper yelling "Reload! Reload!" The big 16" guns on an Iowa-class battleship max out at two rounds per gun per minute. There is no such thing as an automatic 16 inch cannon, they have to be reloaded after every shot.
  • In Birdemic, no one ever reloads, and the protagonists fire a truly insane amount of rounds at the birds. Of course, at the end when the heroes are trapped, they suddenly the realize they're out of ammo.
  • Black Dynamite. The titular character regularly fires upwards of 10 shots from his six shot revolver. Of course, this is probably on purpose.
  • In The Blue Max, the aircraft-mounted machine guns apparently had no ammo tracks at all, the props simply spouting flame.
    "No big deal. People just watch the muzzle flashes."
  • In the first half of the final gun battle in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch and Sundance are shown reloading their guns every six shots... but then they go the entire rest of the fight without ever reloading.
  • In Carriers, Brian is seen to use his gun to shoot a Christian couple in a car an abnormally large amount of times without any sign of reloading. He also uses the gun multiple other times throughout the film, and given the scenario (post-apocalyptic disease-ridden society), it's unlikely that he would have any other ammo than the bullets in the gun handy.
  • In Commando, the ammunition belt on John's machine gun actually gets longer between every cut away and cut back.
  • Pretty notable in Constantine (2005). Angela fires her gun consecutively 30 times without reloading, but her Smith and Wesson Model 6906 holds a total of 13 rounds.
  • In Dead Heat, Roger Mortis and a mook (both zombies) unload into each over from about four meters away for several seconds of full-auto fire from an Uzi and an MP5 respectively.
  • Deep Rising (with the exception of a Karmic Death) has people firing automatic weapons at the monsters with never-ending bullets. At one point they even start shooting up an empty room. Just for the hell of it. There's at least an attempted justification: in the beginning they mentioned the magazine can hold 1,000 rounds of ammo which would last quite a while but would be far bigger than shown in the movie (the guns do exist in reality but only have a maximum capacity of 50 rounds).
  • Die Hard:
    • In the first Die Hard, no one ever reloads unless it's plot important. The Steyr AUG has a magazine capacity of 30, and the bad guy fires constantly for minutes. On the other hand, it was one of the first action movies to have the characters carrying spare magazines as a matter of course.
    • In Die Hard with a Vengeance, the security guard in the bank vault fires his shotgun about 15 times before coming up empty, nearly twice as many shells as a typical law-enforcement model can hold.
  • Averted in Dredd. Judges Dredd and Anderson are shown reloading throughout the film. In fact, Dredd ends up killing so many Mooks that he runs out of ammo. He ends up getting more ammo after Anderson dispatches a corrupt judge.
  • Equilibrium deals with this by having the main character have a mechanism under his sleeves that loads his pistols with new magazines. This does not explain how exactly the mechanism works however, or how many magazines it holds. He also has sort of elaborate decoy magazines, magazines on round bottoms that he tosses to the floor, runs out and shoots down several guards before dropping to the floor and slotting the magazines into his gun. Careful counting of shots along the hallway scene in which both the sleeve reload and the weighted weeble clips are used reveals at least 30 rounds per magazine are being fired all the way along. At best count, about 40 are fired before the first reload, possibly more.
  • Snake's revolver in Escape from New York is like a magic gun that doesn't even need ammo. When all of his gear is displayed before he sets out on his mission, you can see two extra speedloaders for his scoped S&W Model 67. Not only is his gun never reloaded onscreen, but it fires about 10x as many bullets as he had with him.
  • In The Fast and the Furious (2001), the villain fires way more rounds than the submachine gun he's carrying can hold in a magazine during the final chase scene. Furthermore, he's doing so while riding a motorcycle, giving him no realistically-conceivable means of reloading. When they destroy Brian's Eclipse, each of their submachine guns fires like an anti-materiel machine gun, about 150-200 rounds of API ammo each. After so many rounds, any machine gun with one barrel would have gone white hot.
  • Occurs twice when Lana Ravine is firing her revolver in Fatal Instinct: when she's at the firing range and when she's shooting Max Shady.
  • An extremely frequent cliche in Filipino action films. This scene in particular being one of the more famous examples.
  • In Gentlemen Explorers, this is an explicit property of the Infinity Pistol: the MacGuffin of the movie. The Infinity Pistol is magical gun that is enchanted to never run out of bullets.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank has this in abundance. Oddly, his lack of ammo then becomes very important in his brief stand-off with Grocer.
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Doc Holliday fires three shots in a row... from a double-barreled shotgun.
  • Some scenes in Hacksaw Ridge have soldiers firing their guns a lot longer than typical. Most notably with Smitty and his BAR and Sergeant Howell with his M3 "Grease Gun".
  • A minor version of this happens with the original Halloween II (1981). In the first Halloween (1978), Dr. Loomis shoots Michael Myers once with a six-cylinder revolver, then after Myers staggers back a few steps, Loomis takes aim and fires the other five bullets in his gun, causing Myers to fall off a balcony to the ground below. However, the scene where Michael is shot and falls off the balcony was re-shot for the second film, leading to two rather glaring continuity errors: the balcony looks completely different than the first film's, and Loomis shoots Myers with six bullets instead of five following that initial shot. Which mean that, instead of shooting him "six times", as Loomis claims, he actually shot him seven times.
  • Hellboy:
    • In Hellboy (2004), the title character's revolver The Samaritan clearly holds and is loaded with four bullets, but when he shoots at Sammael in the museum he fires it six times before putting it back in his belt, then on the street twice more. When he reloads it with a tracking bullet a while later he doesn't remove any shell casings. He shoots it more than four times while fighting the tooth fairies in Hellboy II: The Golden Army as well.
    • In Hellboy (2019), Hellboy is never seen reloading his six-shooter regardless of how many shots he fired in any given scene.
  • In Hitman, 47 loads a pair of MP5s (30 rounds per magazine) and proceeds to slaughter a room of baddies without ever stopping to reload (you know there weren't any reloads off screen, because 47 was frisked when he entered the room).
  • In Hot Fuzz, the bartender fires 8 shots from his double-barreled shotgun before ducking to reload. Given that the movie is both a parody of, and tribute to police and action flicks, this may have been intentional.
  • The Commando parody in Hot Shots! Part Deux. When the action cuts away from Topper Harley firing a machine gun several times. Each time the camera cuts back to him, the pile of shell casings around him is higher (up to his waist by the end of the scene) and the belt is the same length.
  • Lampshaded and ruthlessly parodied in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, where the protagonist chases down a thug with his Magnum, and keeps shooting. After a brief chase, the thug stops him to point out:
    Willie: Now, you got a .45 revolver that holds six bullets! Now, I counted at least twenty shots and you never reloaded!
    Slammer: That's right.
  • Independence Day: Subverted with the fighter jets running out of missiles, as it seems like they won't have anything else to attack with. But then the pilots "plough the road" with a seemingly endless supply of bullets from their Gatling cannons. In real life, fighter jets carry enough rounds for less than ten seconds of continuous fire.
  • I, Robot was a big offender. Spooner never reloads any of the several pistols he uses throughout the movie, but even worse, he has a submachine gun that gets a lot of use toward the end. By 2035, apparently bullets are infinite.
  • In John Wick this is averted. We regularly see John reloading, and even reloading BEFORE he runs out of ammo, which is actually considered the right way to do it. You reload as soon as you have opportunity.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, one of Dean's mooks somehow manages to fire eight shots from a six-shot revolver.
  • Komodo vs. Cobra, an already remarkably bad movie with technical mistakes every few seconds, really goes to town with this. The .45 semi-auto pistols (which are misidentified by multiple characters as .38 revolvers, somehow) have apparently infinite ammo. There's one scene where a character fired one gun around 45 times, and another scene where he had one gun in each hand and fired at least 60 times total. Note that they never stocked up on ammo when they were at their base, nor did the movie ever show them re-loading between action scenes, let alone during them. Since the two titular beasties are also somehow Immune to Bullets, they're basically just loud flash-toys.
  • ''Last Action Hero': Played with'. When they are in the movie, everybody's shooting left and right without ever pausing to reload. When they exit the movie to real life, Arnie's character realizes things work differently: cars don't blow up with little provocation, and guns need reloading. In one of the final scenes, as the Big Bad is shooting his revolver randomly in Arnie's direction, he apparently runs out of ammo. Arnie pops out of his hiding place and pokes fun at the Big Bad forgetting to reload, only to discover he has faked running out and has one last bullet left... with which he's immediately shot.
    Jack Slater: Oops! Did you make a movie mistake? You forgot to reload the damn gun!
    Benedict: No, Jack. I just left one chamber empty.
  • Seymour's revolver in the film of the musical Little Shop of Horrors has at least 12 shots.
  • Particularly evident during the climax of The Lone Ranger.
  • In The Lord of the Rings film adaptations, the accusation is sometimes made that elf-archer Legolas never seems to run out of arrows. Ironically, this is actually because the narrative is a bit condensed in adaptation: in the books, Tolkien actually notes on multiple occasions that in lulls between major fight scenes (i.e. between enemy waves during the Battle of Helm's Deep), Legolas has to go foraging for more arrows. This is a large reason why he lost the Body-Count Competition he had going with Gimli at Helm's Deep: he only has about two dozen arrows on him, and he was winning at first because he could fire them more quickly than Gimli could kill foes with his axe — but after Legolas ran low on ammo, Gimli started to catch up.
  • In The Man Who Fell to Earth, a six-cylinder revolver is fired seventeen times in succession.
  • The Matrix films.
    • The scenes in the Matrix can be explained by the same logic that gives humans and programs super-strength and speed. In fact, the weird part is when they do run out of bullets, especially the Agents, who are literally a part of the environment, and have full support of the world-building program, so if anyone has a legit excuse to have infinite ammo, it should be them. It is also justified for the people since they are able to hack it.
    • The Matrix: Neo fires a gatling gun from a helicopter for almost a minute. That's upwards of six thousand bullets at the rates those sorts of guns fire at.
    • The Matrix Revolutions: The lobby shootout scene (the ones with bad guys on the ceiling), in which no character ever reloads or throws away guns, and in the subway chase when The Trainman fires at least 11 rounds from his 6-shot revolver, without reloading (or being shown to, anyway).
    • Also prevalent in The Matrix Reloaded during the highway chase. The twins seem to have a UMP45 with at least 200 rounds in its magazine, whereas the real-life counterpart has only 25.
    • During the battle for Zion, in the real world, the legion of APUs can be seen firing for extended periods of time on full auto. In fact, many APUs reload at different times despite all beginning to fire at the same time.
  • Max Payne, in which Max fires roughly thirty shots from an 92FS during one shootout and is never seen reloading. In-game however, everything reloads, complete with scattered empty magazines. In the sequel, an effect of getting deep into bullet-time is to make this even more badass.
  • In Miller's Crossing, Leo fires over five hundred rounds from a Thompson submachine gun loaded with a hundred round magazine.
  • In Ms. 45, Thana never reloads, never purchases additional bullets after taking the gun from the second rapist, and never runs out of ammunition.
  • In The Mummy (1999), during the riverboat battle, one American fires a total of twelve shots from a six-cylinder revolver. Have fun with some drinking games based on this one. In the same riverboat battle, Rick fires about fourteen times without reloading, whereas with exactly the same gun three years before he ran out after about three shots in each. During the camp battle he only fires six, so that's okay.
  • In Night Train to Munich, Randall fires a revolver more than six times, and then arbitrarily runs out of bullets at the most dramatic time.
  • Played for Laughs during the opening credits of The Outlaws IS Coming!. The credits appear on the mirrors, windows, bottles and drinking glasses in the saloon set, as well as on a dancing girl's abdomen. Trigger Mortis shoots up all of the glass items, firing more than 30 shots from his six-shooter without reloading. Just as he is about to shoot the dancer, he stops, looks at his revolver and mutters "lucky for you I've got to reload".
  • The director's commentary for Planet Terror notes that even the actors were wondering about it. The director told them, "It's not that kind of movie."
  • Predator, in which a character fires a Minigun (rate of fire 1,200-2,000 rounds per minute, easily half the actual rate of fire of an M134) for several minutes before it empties. The total ammo expended is easily more than he could have possibly carried for such a heavy weapon. During the famous More Dakka scene, Dutch and Dillon are seen reloading — albeit after firing about six times as many rounds as they had any right to — and Mac's M60 runs dry before he grabs the Minigun rather than load a fresh belt.
  • Appears during the hilarious chase scene in Raising Arizona: a cashier reloads his double-barreled shotgun after firing one shell at H.I., but then fires off five shells in a row without stopping.
  • In Rambo IV, Sly opens up on the bad guys with a fifty-cal machine gun mounted on a small jeep. He keeps it up for a while, far longer than a single belt could possibly allow. It does eventually run out, but not before shooting a lot more rounds than a small jeep would reasonably carry (.50 BMGs are big). And then he reloads.
  • Robin and the 7 Hoods: When Will (Sammy Davis Jr..) is shooting up the casino during the "Bang, Bang" number, he fires more shots than either gun holds (12 from one, 11 from the other).
  • RoboCop (1987) plays with this trope. Although the film features plenty of gunplay, characters are seen to reload. However the title character, while tending to fire short, controlled bursts, expends a lot more bullets than is possible for the size of his admittedly oversized Auto-9 before returning it to his leg holster at the end of any given engagement, and is never seen performing a reload action during combat at all. Additionally, the ED-209 robot appears to carry more ammunition than a fighter plane; in its Disastrous Demonstration it empties three 20mm cannon into a hapless executive for nigh-on half a minute.
  • In RoboCop 2, RoboCain's rampage includes his firing hundreds if not thousands of rounds from his built-in rotary gun- far more than he could be carrying.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, the American sniper fires more than five shots from his Springfield sniper rifle without reloading, exceeding the weapon's capacity.
  • Scarface (1983) has loads of guns on full auto, and most of them seem to have nigh-unlimited ammo. Micro Uzis always keep blazing like miniguns. The final shootout takes it to ridiculous extremes. Tony's M16 has two magazines Jungle-Style'd together, but it certainly goes through more than 60 rounds before Tony has to reload. And he has to reload twice. And there's the countless bullets pumped into him which barely get him to stumble, let alone kill him. One single shot from a double-barrel shotgun finally does.
  • In Snatch. the trope is averted and later followed. Bullet Tooth Tony is unable to kill Tyrone because he runs out of bullets killing Boris the bullet dodger — he pulls the trigger, the gun goes click, and he comments "You lucky bastard". In this sequence, he reloads at least once, and each magazine holds 7 shots, exactly as many as the real Desert Eagle in .50 AE holds. Later on, however, Cousin Avi gets the gun and fires 10 shots at a dog without a reload.
  • In the 1939 movie Stagecoach, during the final chase scene, nearly every male riding the stagecoach has a Winchester or revolver, and are shooting them as fast as possible, but none of them are shown reloading them (the Native Americans, on the other hand, sometimes have to reload theirs). Then suddenly, without warning, they're out of ammo and about to be overrun (before The Cavalry saves them).
  • The film version of Starship Troopers downplays it. In the attack on Klendathu most of the MI's guns fire continuously without needing to reload, but in the battle in Whiskey Outpost later in the film they start running low on ammo. Keep in mind this is after around four minutes of almost continuous firing, long enough for the bugs to be able to start crawling up to the top of the outpost's walls on piles of their dead.
  • Nobody ever seems to run out of bullets for their six shooters in Tall Tale. However, given the dreamlike nature of the movie, this may be intentional.
  • Noticeably averted in The Terminator with reloading scenes or magazines running empty. An exception is the parking garage chase where sloppy editing caused Arnold to fire numerous times from a pump-action shotgun without racking the slide or inserting more shells (or driving). Also it's not clear where Kyle Reese got the spare shells to reload his shotgun, since he is not shown taking any spare ammo when he steals it from the police cruiser early in the film. One must assume that at some point between then and the shootout at the Tech Noir, Reese must have found some way to acquire more ammo, perhaps by stealing it from a sporting goods store.
  • Both Arnie and the T-1000 are shown reloading in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but for Arnie that just raises the fridge logic of where he got the spare shotgun shells. One could handwave the spare pistol mags by saying they were in the jacket he stole, but he famously took the shotgun and only the shotgun (after one shot had already been fired). The shotgun also fires 7 in excess of the model's 5 plus one in the chamber, and the T-1000 also makes use of two different 9mm pistols that each hold, at maximum, 15 bullets per magazine, yet fires more than twenty shots from each of them before reloading.
  • In The Thing (1982) Blair fires seven shots from a six shot revolver without reloading.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, Skurge makes a Last Stand with two AR-15s, from which he fires at least a hundred rounds each, despite their magazines only holding 30 rounds.
  • Happens in quite a few shorts of The Three Stooges, the most blatant example being in the short Tricky Dicks, where the villain fires a six shot revolver numerous times without reloading once.
  • Silent Slapstick comedy Tillie's Punctured Romance offers an egregious example. Tillie whips out what looks to be a standard revolver, and fires about 20 shots from it.
  • Tombstone: During the Gunfight at the OK Corral scene, everybody fires more than 6 rounds from their revolvers. Some of this comes down to sloppy editing; Doc shoots a cowboy during the OK Corral gunfight once with his shotgun (having fired the first barrel into the air), but the scene's cut to show the same shooting twice from different angles. Moments later, however, Doc unholsters his pistols and fires seven shots into Billy Clanton, then immediately fires fourteen more at Dirty Coward Ike Clanton trying to ambush him from behind.
  • Notably averted in Transformers: Age of Extinction, where Hound runs out of ammo during the Final Battle and is forced to improvise.
  • In Undead, the police officer's revolver fires a rather obscene amount of rounds in the first gunfight.
  • In the Underworld (2003) series, Selene can occasionally be seen reloading. She does however, fire far bullets than her guns could hold. The scene involving the escape via a Bullet Hole Door is one of the worst (Best?!) examples out there as she fires what must be far more bullets than the mass of her berettas.[1] Why these guns even have a fully automatic mode is odd, since an extended clip won't last long. (Not that she had extended clips...)
  • In The Villain, Arnie's character Hansum Stranger has a seven shot revolver which otherwise looks like an ordinary gun. When Cactus Jack, disguised as a preacher, fires six rounds, he then waves the gun around thinking that it's empty. Then, he pulls the trigger, spooking the horse hitched to the buckboard he's standing on.
  • In The Walking Dead (1936), Nolan and Loder fire 17 shots from a six-shot revolver without reloading.
  • Lampshaded in What's Up, Tiger Lily? (and referencing Peter Pan) — when the hero is in a shootout and runs out of ammo, he tells us "If all you people in the audience who believe in fairies clap your hands, my gun will be magically full of bullets!"
  • In Where Eagles Dare, Clint Eastwood's character fires an MP 40 submachine gun minute after minute, never once reloading for a quarter of the movie. Since there are no convenient ammo trucks following him around, the ammo fairy must be helping out.
  • John Woo movies. Almost every single one, with the exception of The Killer (1989) — in that movie's final battle you see one of the main characters toss a magazine to the other so he can reload. The only time the guns ever seem to run out of ammunition is when it's somehow relevant to the plot. Woo has stated in interviews that showing a reload detracts from the action of a gunfight and he wonders why American film audiences are so obsessed with it. Correlates with the MST3K Mantra.

  • There is an Israeli joke about a Golanchiknote  in the IDF, stereotypically a Lower-Class Lout Colonel Kilgore who once found a genie who gave him three wishes. He asked for a bottomless magazine. Later, in a battle, he fights very, very hard in his unit’s encounter with enemy forces, thanks to never having to reload; everyone praises him as a hero, so when the genie comes to ask him for his next two wishes, he says, ‘That was fucking A, mate! Gimme two more of these!’

  • The King of Ward 3 in Blindness has a revolver that has capacity of more than six bullets. Oddly, it is NOT used as a plot point, so this trope comes into play despite the person wielding it being blind.
  • Chakona Space: Neal's Betsy is no ordinary shotgun. The ammo tube contains a transporter target beacon so Tess can transmit more rounds during a firefight.
  • The Devil's Detective and its sequelThe Devil's Evidence by Simon Kurt Unsworth features Thomas Fool who's an Information Man to Hell. Essentially a human law enforcement officer to the Archdevils, he's been given a gun that only has 1 bullet. But after a Cool Down period, another bullet magically appears. In the second novel, Thomas and some other Information Men were investigating mysterious disappearances in Heaven, when he get mobbed by a swarm of hellbeasts. Their guns were inadequate against so many, so the Hell bureaucracy upgraded their guns by vastly improving the cooldown, so the guns became fully automatic pistols with unlimited ammo.
  • In The Half-Made World, Agents of the Gun carry magical, demonic revolvers that do not need to be reloaded.
  • A rare Justified example appears in the third entry of the La Fuerza Series, The Inquisitor. A mercenary named Witch Doctor’s superpower is Illogical Construct Creation, and one such creation is a pair of minigun pistols with no recoil and infinite ammunition.
  • Katanagatari has Entou Jyuu, a pair of guns that never run out of bullets. Justified as they were created using future technology.
  • In his article "Meanwhile Back at the B-Western", the humorist Patrick McManus writes about his love of that film genre, and grumbles about nitpickers who insist on pointing out this trope when it appears in such productions. "Ol' Roy must be usin' a nine-shooter!"
  • The Night Mayor is set in a virtual reality realm that runs on movie logic. Several times the protagonists note that somebody's just shot off more bullets than their gun should be able to hold.
  • In John Scalzi's Old Man's War series, the standard issue gun that each soldier is given (the MP-35) is powered by an ammo block of nanites that can create eight different types of ammunition. While the blocks don't last forever, they hold 100 times more ammo than a regular rifle.
  • Ready Player One: Firearms in the OASIS never run out of bullets, as more ammo gets teleported into the weapons whenever necessary. It's still necessary to be mindful of how many shots one's taken, however, as there's a monthly bill on ammunition that can get expensive quickly.
  • Curveball, a minor Epic from The Reckoners Trilogy, has the power that any gun he uses will never run out of bullets.
  • Downplayed with Merlin's prototype revolvers in Safehold. They're normal revolvers, with six shots each. But since the only firearms anyone else has are flintlock pistols that have at the most two shots a gun (and that only with the double-barreled models), they still get treated as this trope in their first appearances.
  • Secret Histories: Edin "Eddie" Drood is a secret agent for Illuminati-like Drood family who essentially rule the world in secret. As such they have access or create Mad Science and Magitek equipment. One such example is Eddie's .44 Magnum revolver, which is gun enchanted to have an endless number of high-explosive bullets.
  • Tim and Tom, two gunslinging geezers in The Worst Shots in the West, manage to accidentally kill a hundred man gang using revolvers.
  • David Drake's Redliners uses the abovementioned "tiny bullets" justification, with the titular Space Marines' "stinger" weapons being described as electromagnetically accelerating grain-sized pellets at high velocities, with 200 per magazine. Yet, it is actually a subversion, as despite that a great deal of attention is given to proper ammunition management and very frequent mentions are made of troops reloading between or during fights. It also points out that the drawback of such tiny projectiles is that, while many fit in a magazine, you also have to fire ''a lot'' of them at the enemy to achieve much beyond sandblasting them a little.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In the Season 5 episode "Underneath", Lindsay's (fake) wife fires an Uzi continuously for almost ten straight seconds.
  • Bosch: Near the end of Season 2, when Bosch and his partner approach the cabin where the season's Big Bad is holed up, the villain opens up with a long unbroken spray of fire, emptying several times more ammo than can be stored in his rifle's 30-round magazine.
  • Breaking Bad: In "One Minute", Hank is attacked by the Salamanca twins. Between Leonel and Hank, Leonel's pistol is fired 14 times before it is empty and Marco fires his 11 times before needing to reload. Since they both carry a Colt Gold Cup National Match (essentially an M1911A1), they would've only had 8 shots each at most (7 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber).
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Parodied in an episode where the detectives investigate a burglary surrounding a TV cop show, and Detective Peralta keeps badgering the producers to name a character after him. In a sign of how immensely irritating they found him, not only does "Jake Peralta" turn out to be a cannibalistic serial killer and self-described "biggest pervert who ever lived", but he ends his story with one cop shooting him at least a hundred times with a handgun without ever reloading.
  • Combat! (1962): Neither Pvt. Kirby's BAR nor Sgt Saunders's Thompson need a lot of reloading. In fact, the rest of the squad seldom need to reload their M1's.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace: After remarking that he only has five shots left in his revolver, Dr. Rick Dagless, M.D. fires off nine shots in a row. Thorton Reed is also known for firing his shotgun repeatedly without reloading, often in a clearly different background. It's deliberately So Bad, It's Good, so it gets a pass.
  • Heroes: In one episode, Ando and Hiro take cover as a stripper and a cop begin firing at each other. They fire countless times at each other, even though they both have "regular" guns, and the stripper even has a bullet left when they're done shooting. Commented on and mocked on the audio commentary for that episode.
  • Kamen Rider has an abundance of toyetic firearms which never seem to need reloading. In some shows such as Kamen Rider 555 or Kamen Rider Gaim, the guns do need to reload after a few shots... by pressing a button or pulling a lever on the gun, which causes it to magically and instantly restock its ammo.
  • The Muppet Show: The Swedish Chef in one episode shoots three bagels with a blunderbuss, which can only have one shot at a time, and 5-10 minutes of reloading before shooting again. He shoots two bagels after the first without reloading.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Lampshaded in "Escape 2000", when Crow remarks of the main character: "He must be playing in God Mode with unlimited ammo."
  • Police Squad!, being a parody of cop shows, features a lot of this. In the first episode, Frank gets into a gunfight where he fires around thirteen shots from a six-shot revolver before he runs out of ammo... against a criminal less than ten feet from him.
  • Sledge Hammer!: Lampshade Hanging, where almost every episode had this trope. (Heck, every time we look at the chamber of Sledge's gun it's not loaded, but ten seconds later the revolver can fire ten rounds without him even touching a bullet.) In one episode during a shootout, Da Chief yells "Where the hell is he getting all this ammo?"
  • Stargate-verse:
    • Often plays this straight, particularly noticeable when after firing a P90 for a few seconds, you can still see that the magazine is full thanks to its see-through properties.
    • Staffs and other Energy Weapons have nearly limitless power, and can be used good as new despite millennia of neglect. The power cell from a single staff was sufficient to power a wormhole to another galaxy, albeit only once and with heavy modification. Likewise, in Stargate Atlantis, Wraith stunners never need a recharge. Traveller energy pistols, however, have been shown to run dry eventually, but the character that accomplished that used one to melt through an Ancient door at full power and fired continuously for at least a minute.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In "Shore Leave", Sulu finds a six-shot revolver. He fires four shots from it while doing some target practice, then Kirk uses it later to fire three more shots at the knight.
  • Torchwood: The episode "Something Borrowed" is fairly bad about this. In one scene, Owen fires his pistol roughly two dozen times without pausing to reload. Could be hand-waved with alien tech...
  • The Walking Dead (2010): Hershel in Season 2 fires eleven shots over the limit with his Remington 870 5-shot.

  • You'll begin every session of Doom (Zen Studios) with a pistol that has unlimited ammunition.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Battle Armor only tracks ammunition for missile weapons under normal game rules. Typically, this isn't a huge issue as most Battle Armor carry a couple dozen shots for most ballistic weapons and if they're out in the open making shots for more than six rounds it typically indicates that either the enemy forces are being routed or the squad is about to get splattered by artillery or a Battlemech.
  • Eclipse Phase: Most guns fire flechettes or electromagnetically accelerated projectiles small enough that you can in essence hold an infinite quantity of ammo on your person; the recommended rule is to ignore total ammunition entirely and only make players pay attention to the magazines, which need to be switched out when they're empty and can prevent certain firing patterns when they're partially depleted.
  • Feng Shui, in all its cinematic glory, offers a gun schtick that specifically replicates this trope. A character who purchases three shticks in Lightning Reload is allowed infinite ammo and never needs to reload no matter the circumstances.
  • Fudge: Players don't keep track of ammo, instead the GM declares that they've run out whenever it is most dramatic.
    • The "Infinite Ammunition" option means the players always have extra bullets or arrows. It's also a perk in the Gun Fu splatbook.
    • GURPS Magic has the enchantment "Cornucopia" which allows a container to always a single count of projectile or ammo ready. You have to take it out by hand, so I doesn't work on magazines.
  • Hong Kong Action Theatre: As long as your gunplay attack rolls on D20 don't come up a 3 or worse, you can blast off to your heart's content, but if you do roll that 3 or worse, you need to take a full round to reload. This can sometimes get annoying if this happens two to three shots into a freshly-loaded mag.
  • It Came From The Late Late Late Show: You're playing an actor in a B-movie. Any missile weapons you get have the same number of shots as your Fame score (basically your experience points). If your actor has forty-eight Fame points, then the derringer he's got up his sleeve has forty-eight shots.
  • Mutant Chronicles: Played with in 3rd edition. You can buy reloads for your guns, but the only time you use them is when the player rolls badly enough to get a Reload result, or the storyteller spends Dark Symmetry Points to force a Reload, or for special maneuvers that increase the damage and the chance to hit, like fully automatic fire. Otherwise all guns have bottomless magazines.
  • Mutants & Masterminds generally assumes that weapons operate under this trope, with a PC's blaster running out of ammo counting as a complication.
  • Mutant: Year Zero: Scrap and Breach-loading firearms only have one shot per round and can only be reloaded on move turns. Weapon artifacts that have any sort of multi-bullet chamber or magazine do not have to be reloaded at all, as the game assumes you reload outside of combat.
  • Pathfinder: The empyreal lord Cernunnos spontaneously creates fresh arrows when firing a bow.
  • Scion: The god-level War Purview boon Blessing of Ammunition gives a gunslinger this ability. In fact, if the character is willing to kiss a permanent Willpower point goodbye, the effect is permanent.
  • Sniper has optional rules for a Super-Soldier, including never needing to reload.
  • Spirit of the Century: Played straight. Following the pulp tradition, characters generally don't have to track shots and are assumed to reload as needed without having to take explicit actions to do so; but running out of ammunition can still happen when "dramatically appropriate", such as by a relevant aspect being compelled to earn that character another Fate point for his or her trouble or as a possible consequence of losing an exchange in a gun-related conflict. There's also the stunt "One Shot Left", which lets a character who has it make one attack at a significant bonus by declaring it to be his or her last shot...but then he or she definitely is out of ammo for any and all of his or her weapons until further notice.
  • Super Awesome Action Heroes: You never run out of ammo as long as you mention that you grab an extra clip.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • One of the first symptoms of the Obliterator virus is, along with absorbing weapons, the ability to conjure ammunition.
    • More traditionally in line with this trope, there's the Space Marines' bolters. Most images and models of them show them carrying no spare magazines for reloads at all yet they are described as fighting and shooting for hours — even days — on end. Dawn Of War 2 shows them taking magazines out of their Awesome Backpack to reload. That being said, those backpacks never run out of magazines either.
    • The ork species-wide psychic field (the one that really does ensure that Red Ones Go Faster) is often used as an explanation as to how their enormous rapid-fire weapons never run out of ammo, although it's more a "heat of the moment" thing: who has time to look at ammo counters when you nee to make More Dakka by pulling the trigger?
  • Wild Talents: A superhero game taking place in a world in which Reed Richards is most definitely NOT useless, the influence of super intelligent heroes has made it so the vast majority of firearms in use after the 1960's are electromagnetic railguns with magazines containing hundreds of tiny bullets.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Mage: The Awakening: There is an actual magical item called a "bottomless magazine". It isn't actually literally bottomless. Instead it is enchanted to continuously teleport bullets from a specially set aside cache (containing hundreds of them) into the magazine.
    • Mage: The Ascension: Any mage with even a small amount of matter could infinitely fire a gun so long as the magazine was large enough that a mundane viewer couldn't keep count. With more obviously small-mag guns you could only cheat a little bit (firing six rounds from a revolver was common, when most revolvers hold only five shots) but even then you could always pull more from your pocket without the universe calling you on it.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse.
      • The urbane Glass Walkers know a Gift that transports rounds directly from spare cartridges to the gun. The Garou temporarily skirts the inconvenience of reloading as long as he has mags on his person somewhere.
      • Another Gift (Garefena's Crown, Level 2) gives them the infinite-ammo cheat for the duration of the scene. The cost is one Gnosis point, and you have to wear a hat.
      • Also, they can create magical one-shot items called Bottomless Magazines, which do just what you'd think they do for one scene.
      • The Cyber Dogs camp had a cyber-fetish solution to the problem of reloading as well: A surgical steel tube into their own stomach, which allowed bullets to mystically form there and be fed out to the gun.

    Web Animation 
  • Played straight in the Lackadaisy animated short when The Highwayman Serafine, a gleeful Blood Knight member of the villainous Marigold Gang, wields a custom sawed-off M1918 BAR and fires it full-auto near constantly without running dry. While its possible she reloads during pauses in the Car Chase Shootout she's in, it's never shown. The BAR has a pitiful 20-round magazine, and Serafine's seems to lack evidence of an extended one. Freckle, the gunsel of the more heroic Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters of Lackadaisy, is comparatively forced to abide by the laws of physics when his Tommygun and pocket pistol exhaust themselves in course of the same shootout.
  • Parodied in Halo-based machinima Red vs. Blue. Played straight with the Warthog turret, but that's ripped straight from (and parodies) the actual Halo game mechanics.
  • Also parodied in There's Something About Halo 2. MC's firing his pistol at the Covenant, who respond: "Does he not need to stop, and reload?" "He must have a really big clip or something..." Cue MC running out of bullets, and a magazine several metres long dropping out.
  • RWBY: Countless characters have weapons that also double as guns, many of which also have gatling-like firing rates. There are occasions when Ruby and Weiss have been shown switching their weapon ammo from one Dust type to another, and one or two occasions where Yang has been shown reloading her ammo in a dramatic way to indicate she's about to get serious. However, for the most part, Huntsmen are almost never shown running out of ammo or needing to reload, even in those weapons that seem to hold very few rounds, such as Blake, Ren and Nora's. Many characters also have designs that look like they can't carry any spare ammo, or have tiny ammo pounches that can't carry much. So, even on the rare few occasions where a reload happens, it's not clear how on earth the character is able to carry spare ammo in the first place; for example, Ruby's cartridges are massive square cases that are bigger than the tiny pouch she wears at her waist, which might be able to carry a single cartridge at very best.


    Web Original 
  • In the 12 oz. Mouse third season webisode, mouse is in a gun fight that dramatically freezes long enough for him to think "I'll tell you what's cool right now, and that is a gun that never runs out of ammo."
  • Repeatedly throughout Code Ment, although the most triumphant example would have to be Episode 8. ZeroOne spends about a minute and a half firing about 70 shots from a pistol. The guards right outside the room(who ignore the sounds of SUSTAINED GUNFIRE but bust through the door when they hear a cough) take two more bullets. Only THEN does the pistol inexplicably run out of bullets.
  • In Curveball, whenever Agent Grant puts ammo in his gun, all his clones gain access to it. Thus, he's able to blaze away non-stop, so long as another clone is in a safe location swapping magazines.
  • In The Daisy Saga, Daisy's primary weapon is her "Magic AK-47 that Never Runs out of Ammo".
  • Repeatedly parodied in Italian Spiderman, starting with a fifteen-round barrage from a six-shooter.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, a particularly blatant example occurred with Madison Conner, who had taken an MP5 with only one magazine of ammo. She was specified to have "emptied the clip" (or other variations) at least three times with no mention of reloading whatsoever. This was semi-prevalent in all versions of the game (at least in terms of reloading but never actually running out of bullets) until v4, where each firearm assigned has a specific ammo count.
  • Parodied in CalebCity's Guns in movie scenes. Two robbers attempt to escape only to get ambushed by a single officer with a handgun. The robbers discuss that the average handgun bag holds fifteen rounds and that they can strike back while he reloads, but the cop proceeds to keep shooting at the two with no reload. The two robbers eventually give up and surrender the money after four hours of continuous shooting.
  • Similarly parodied in Gus Johnson's "how they use shotguns in movies" where a hiker is threatened by a redneck who won't stop ejecting shells from his shotgun. When he does start firing, well... it gets sillier.
    "I got fifty-seven more rounds in this four-round magazine!"

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy
    • In one episode, Peter fires a double barreled shotgun five times. After loading it with four rounds.
    • In the Stephen King episode, Stewie fires another double barreled shotgun three times.
    • In a Cutaway Gag from much earlier in the series, Peter fired yet another double-barreled shotgun at least six times.
    • When Brian and Stewie are recruited into the Army in another episode, they try to get out by shooting each other in the foot. They end up firing at least 17 bullets from a pistol that should at most hold 16.
    • And then there's the cutaway where Dick Cheney shoots Peter with God-knows-how-many bullets. Then casually claims afterwards, "I thought you were a deer".
  • Jonny Quest TOS episodes:
    • "The Sea Haunt". The captain of the Dutch ship fires off 12 shots from a six-shot revolver without reloading, and a pair of Very pistols (single shot Flare Guns) are fired off 12 times without reloading.
    • "Treasure of the Temple". After Perkins enters the cave with the stalagtites, he fires 9 shots from a 6 shot revolver without reloading.
    • "Turu The Terrible": The boat captain fires 9+ shots from a 6 shot revolver. Dr. Quest loads Race Bannon's bazooka seven times, even though they are clearly not carrying any rockets.
    • In "Monster in the Monastery" one of the villains dressed as a yeti fires at least 70 shots at Jonny and Hadji from an automatic pistol without reloading.
  • In all old Looney Tunes cartoons, people like Elmer Fudd clearly use double barreled shotguns, but always cock them between shots.
  • Lampshaded in The Secret Saturdays. When faced with a robot that can fire tiny bombs from its Arm Cannon, Drew complains about its seemingly limitless supply after it's been firing at them continuously for a few minutes.
  • On one episode of The Simpsons, Moe Szyslak somehow manages to get three shots out of a double-barreled shotgun.
  • In The Legend of Vox Machina, Percy uses a six-barreled pepperbox revolver which normally averts this trope, but in the first-season finale, he fires it so many times in a row that other characters actually make note of it. Justified because the pepperbox is actually an Evil Weapon channeling a demon, and it has chosen that moment to drop its disguise.

Other weaponry

    Anime & Manga 
  • The eponymous Death Note has an unlimited supply of pages with which the user can write the names of the people they want to kill.
  • Ryōga Hibiki from Ranma ½ uses bandanas as projectiles that he never seems to run out of.
  • Rowan of Strata from Ronin Warriors. His armor magically generates an infinite supply of arrows.
  • Not quite guns, but just as important: Duelists in Yu-Gi-Oh! never seem to run out of cards. A duel deck typically consists of 40 cards; during a duel, the players will draw 10, 20, or even 30 cards from their deck to place them in their hand — and yet, the deck never grows smaller (unless the plot requires it).
    Kaiba: Now we must both chose three cards to form a new deck, and the rest of our deck goes to the graveyard.
    Yugi: Our whole deck?!
    Yugi has already used 31 cards at this point (what whole deck?), but that doesn't stop him from pulling out an all-but-complete deck to chose from. Handy. (And no, they didn't reuse the graveyards.)
    • There was one duel where Yugi/Atem exploited the special effect of Osiris and a regenerating slime monster of the opponent's deck to make him continuously draw until he had no cards left, in which case, his opponent loses.
    • Another duel has Yugi's opponent use an absurdly overpowered card that also requires Yugi to discard half of his deck every turn. When Yugi only has one card left in the deck, the card fails and Yugi pulls out the win on the last possible turn.
    • Another exception was in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, where Judai's opponent was the pro duelist X, who used a Mill Deck. Judai managed to beat him by also using a mill trick very similar to what Yugi did against Strings. Both Judai and X's decks were visibly being depleted, and the duel keeps up a running tally on both sides.

    Comic Books 
  • The Savage Dragon villain Dung is equipped with hydraulic cannons that spray apartment-filling amounts of dung... teleported in from the local sewer systems. Thank God the Dragon has awesome healing abilities...

    Fan Works 
  • Played completely straight by Heroic weapons in Heroes of the Desk (Raynor's rifle, Valla's crossbows, etc.). The Heroes notice this and exploit it.
  • The Automatic Crossbow that Glintlock receives in Manehattan's Lone Guardian is enchanted to have its already souped up ammunition return to its magazine a short time after use, letting him fire as much as he wants without reloading.
  • In Origins, this is averted, then played straight for the Badass Crews working for Aria. Initially, the heatsink system from Mass Effect 2 is used, but it's lampshaded that they cannot expect Blatant Item Placement, therefore it would be wise to switch back to the unlimited-ammo cooldown-based weapons previously seen in Mass Effect. One Hand Wave later (an engineer did it), the squad is back to cooldowns instead of sinks.

    Films — Animation 
  • Toy Story 2: Evil Emperor Zurg's ion blaster sure has a big supply of those foam balls.
  • No guns or ammunition, but Wallace & Gromit fulfills this trope to a T in The Wrong Trousers's Chase Scene: Gromit pursues Feathers McGraw by rapid-fire laying of model train tracks from a box that never runs out. There's no justification other than Rule of Funny.
    • Best of all, they're exactly the right shape — when Gromit is about to hit something on the floor, curved pieces come out to take his path around the obstacle and then back to his original course.

  • Susan in The Chronicles of Narnia has a Bottomless Quiver, but it's a magical one.
  • One of the forms the Swiss-Army Weapon called a memory sword can take in The Dark Side of the Sun is a projectile weapon that creates ice-bullets out of the water vapour in the air.
  • Dungeon Crawler Carl: Hekla's magical crossbow contains just one standard bolt, but can fire copies of it an unlimited number of times — which is good, because the crossbow's other ability is to fire faster and faster as more women join the party, until it's practically a machine gun. It can load other bolts if special enchantments are needed, but they're not unlimited. Katia later acquires another bolt, with magically enhanced damage, that can work in the crossbow unlimited times.
  • A Piece in the Game of Gods: Cassandra's arrows, as described:
    With that, Cassandra pulled back her bow and an arrow just appeared in her hand, already notched and ready to fire. I’d seen that kind of thing in video games, where the inconvenience of having to carry a ton of arrows was often ignored, but not in real life.
    Cassandra stood up and moved away from the table, then in a burst of sparks, she was suddenly dressed in her armor. Her wicked looking bow was now clutched firmly in hand, though she didn’t seem to have any arrows on her at all. Of course, when you had the ability to actually summon your own arrows, there was no real reason to carry a quiver.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: Gwen's quiver that Helen chose for her character, as said in Book 1 when discussing heirloom items:
    "I picked a magic arrow-holdering thing," Helen added.
    "A quiver."
    "Yeah, that was it. Thanks, Uncle. It never runs out of arrows."
    Uncle had been more than happy to let her have that one, too. There were enough things to pay attention to that he didn't want to add keeping track of arrows in a big fight.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Kimberly's Power Bow has an endless supply of arrows. (She doesn't even carry a quiver.) Said arrows can explode and chase after monsters like guided missiles. The Dragonzord seems to have an infinite amount of missiles.
  • In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode called Mondays, a monkey gets his paws on Ned's small cup of Matzo balls and throws a way beyond the actual amount he had for a number of weeks.
  • In Smallville, Green Arrow naturally never runs out of arrows. In "Siren", he is clearly shown to only have 4 arrows in his quiver. But then, in the same scene he manages to take one arrow and then shoot three, so it is not like they cared about consistency.
  • Star Trek: Voyager starts off trying to avert this (by explicitly stating that they have 38 photon torpedoes and no way to replenish them)... but then proceeds to play it extremely straight by using approximately three times this number over the course of the series — sometimes in barrages of five at a time.
    • To be perfectly honest, they only said they couldn't REPLACE the torpedoes. This could easily be interpreted via rules-lawyer interpretation to mean that they couldn't restock from officially sourced torpedoes. They could of easily replaced them with either alien substitutes or they simply could of replicated the constituent parts to build new ones. Nothing in the technical information suggests that a antimatter/matter warhead couldn't be replicated, and then fuelled from the ship's own dilithium and antimatter supplies. Plus, they don't even need the impossible-to-replicate dilithium stabiliser crystal, as they intentionally create a unconfined antimatter explosion to use as a weapon in the first place!!!

  • Unless it's specifically included as a gameplay limitation or gimmick, any weaponry used in Destroy the Godmodder will never, ever, have to reload.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • An actual bottomless quiver called the Endless Quiver is available in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition.
    • And 3.5. They called it the Quiver of Plenty back then.
    • In the "far too many shots for the object" vein, there's the Quickloading crossbow (+1 enchantment). It will store 100 bolts and effectively give you the Rapid Shot feat.
    • Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition has a Ranger spell, "Swift Quiver," that lets the caster's quiver or ammo pouch produce infinite ammo for a minute — with an additional perk of giving the caster two additional ranged attacks as a bonus action; at the level you'd get this spell, this could translate to four attacks a round.
    • Fifth Edition Artificers have the Repeating Shot infusion, which is applied to a weapon that uses ammunition, like a bow, crossbow, or pistol (if guns are allowed). It causes the weapon to magically generate appropriate ammo every time it's readied.
  • In Mindjammer weapons with the Regenerating Ammunition aspect contain a small Makepoint (or just a zip reactor for energy weapons) that replenishes ammo as it's fired.


    Western Animation 
  • Mai from Avatar: The Last Airbender, whose robes are stocked with an endless hidden supply of metal arrows and shurikens that never run out, without impeding her movement at all. It's lampshaded in the Ember Island Players, where the "Mai" on stage draws a knife from her hair, throws it and immediately has a replacement waiting in her hair.
  • Batman's batarangs: he never runs out.
  • In Here Comes the Grump, the eponymous Grump has a Bottomless Quiver when he fires a bow in some episodes.
  • Green Arrow from Justice League Unlimited seems to have a bottomless supply of arrows.
  • Samurai Jack
    • In the episode "Jack and the Blind Archers" has three superhuman archers that apparently never leave their tower that actually made it rain arrows for nearly a minute. (They don't even have quivers, so their bows are likely enchanted.)
    • In the episode "Jack and the Super Robots", this is Zigzagged. One of the robots uses a flamethrower, another uses a machine gun, and another uses shuriken. But while a flashback scene in the beginning shows their weapons being loaded with ammunition and fuel, they never have to reload over the course of the story, destroying at least four cities before Jack even encounters them. (Indeed, they seem to have no home base, having destroyed the one they were built in.)
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): Lunella has way more boxing gloves than she should be able to carry. Lampshaded by Aftershock as she's pelted by them.
    Aftershock: How many gloves do you have?
    Lunella: It's gloves all the way down, baby!
  • In the Steven Universe episode "The Kindergarten Kid," while helping Peridot understand the perspective of a Gem monster, Steven pelts her with an incredible number of marshmallows and the bag still appears to be almost full.
  • Speedy on Teen Titans (2003): How many arrows can he fit in that quiver? In the Season 3 finale, he's firing them off nonstop three at a time but always with plenty to spare for the next scene.


    Anime & Manga 
  • The pilots of Area 88 regularly run out of missiles and gun shells in longer engagements. A few get shot down because of this.
  • Played with in The Big O. Roger never seems to run out of ammo for his titular megadeus during a battle, but in his fight with Big Duo, he learns too late that Norman hadn't had time to restock his ammo after his last fight. As such, Roger's stuck with only his Sudden Impact. A later episode shows Norman using several local bums to help him care for the Big O, including reloading it's many guns.
  • Played with in Black Lagoon. When the scene is serious, Revy needs to reload realistically (no one else lives long enough to get the chance). When it's not, everyone can empty enough rounds to swiss cheese a car without reloading.
  • Digimon Tamers:
    • The series averts this with Gargomon, who runs out of ammo twice. The first time, Henry uses a recharge card. The second time, Gargomon is defeated before he can reload.
    • Happens again with Megagargomon, but he's so confident that it doesn't matter. To wit: "Who needs ammo when you're a whooping machine?
    • Beelzebumon also runs out of ammo in one of his shotguns (he loses the other one) near the end of his battle against Dukemon.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Vincent Valentine's triple barrel "Cerberus" handgun runs out of ammo very quickly during the battle with Bahamut SIN, which gives him a chance to reload on Bahamut's shoulder.
  • In Episode 19 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, we get an inversion of the trope. When Riza is emptying her guns into Lust, the last firearm she pulls is a six-shot revolver, but she only fires off 5 bullets before it starts clicking dry. Even stranger is that earlier in the episode, we got a clear look at the chamber, and she had 6 rounds loaded into it. She ran out of ammo too soon.
  • Zigzagged in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Some episodes have characters frequently reloading, while others show characters firing weapons for far longer than they should be able to (even if the weapons used caseless ammunition).
  • Grenadier. A fairly accurate bullet count is kept since the highlight of every episode is when Rushuna Tendo reloads her revolver. Fresh bullets are ejected from her considerable cleavage, then scooped out of the air with the cylinder. In this case it's her cleavage that's bottomless. It's subverted once, when even her cleavage runs out of ammo and it's up to her companions to supply her with bullets. It's then lampshaded in the final fight scene when she and her rival have their bras cut, and a literal cascade of bullets spill out from each of them.
  • Generally averted in Gunsmith Cats, if only to remind the reader that author Keneichi Sonoda is a serious gun otaku.
  • Even though they're using magic bullets, no one in Lyrical Nanoha ever uses more bullets in a single battle than their gun can hold without reloading in between. During the longer battles they even keep track of how many spare magazines they have.
  • The Macross franchise tends to avoid this trope a lot, most evident in episode 2 of Macross Frontier where Alto very quickly runs out of ammo for the gunpod of the VF-25 he hijacked due to constant sustained fire without relaxing on the trigger. The one place it will always play this trope completely straight is with missiles. Nobody in the history of the series has ever run out of missiles, despite firing them in salvos consisting of dozens at a time.
  • The title mech of Mazinkaiser SKL tends to have an amazing amount of ammo for its chest-mounted pistols, but it does run out. However, its pilot (in that mode, as it’s a two-seater) is skilled enough to keep attacking and reload at the same time.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Banagher has to keep a close eye on his Beam Magnum as, unlike other beam weapons, he only has five shots per magazine as the magazine is five normal beam rifle magazines hooked together and each shot drains the entire thing.
  • Also generally averted in Noir. Kirika and Mireille are often seen reloading during gunfights with mooks, though sometimes the reloading is presumed to happen off-screen (e.g., Mireille fires off a dozen rounds from her gun's 15-round magazine, the action cuts away to show Kirika fighting, then we cut back to Mireille firing another dozen rounds or so). Where they keep their spare magazines is never shown, though.
  • One Piece's first Non-Serial Movie, in which the villain's henchmen carry an enormous box of flintlock pistols (which can only fire one shot each) for this reason.
  • In Volume 1 of the Read or Die manga, Yomiko whirls to face a henchman, only to find that she's out of paper — but he's out of bullets, too, and they both take a moment to reload before continuing.
  • In the Rurouni Kenshin manga, Takeda Kanryu, the opium and weapons dealer, is defeated when his Gatling gun runs out of ammo. In the anime, however, the gun becomes jammed when Aoshi's underling lodges a thrown projectile on the bullet belt.
  • In one episode of Saiyuki Reload Gunlock, Goku, Gojyo, and Hakkai attempt to keep track of how many shots Gato has fired, knowing that two six shooters means twelve shots (and twelve shots means they each get four, and everybody has to take their fair share), and try to attack him while he's reloading. The Gunslinger Sanzo sometimes follows the trope and sometimes averts it, but it's worth noting that he never has to buy ammo. Cigarettes, yes; ammo, no.
  • Trigun:
    • Averted, as we often see Vash reloading with speedloaders (a cylinder's worth of ammunition held ready for loading like a magazine). How he never seems to run out of these is another question, just like the "finite rounds in infinite magazines."
    • In the manga we see where he keeps them: they're in those tubes on his coat. Plus we see him buy bullets.
    • The first scene of the anime itself involves Vash nonchalantly surviving an incredible tavern-demolishing volley of gunfire; frequent cuts to the mooks delivering said volley show that they do stop to reload. He then pulls his gun to return fire... then cut to him running away because his gun was empty.
    • Another exception is the standoff with Knives at the end of the series, where both of them have only one bullet each and are playing Russian Roulette with the other person's gun in their eye.
    • The Movie "Badlands Rumble" has Vash counting the bullets of a group of bounty hunters during the opening Blast Out.
  • Undead Unluck averts the trope as ammo follows real-conventions and do need to reload, with one exception being Creed because as Undecrease, he is able to negates an exhaustable item's ability to be exhausted, allowing him to infinitely replicate bullets, grenades, and the like as long as he keeps firing. Andy even notices the fact Creed is able to fire his mini-gun without reloading as likely a Negator ability.

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in 100 Bullets. Most of the plots revolve around a protagonist who is given a finite supply of untraceable bullets. Guess how many.
  • Subverted in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, during one of the first real fights a recently-returned Batman has against some would-be bank robbers. One in particular starts to reload his pistol when it runs empty after firing on Batman, but before he can replace the magazine, Batman catches him by surprise from below. The thug aims at Batman and pulls the trigger on reflex, but nothing happens but an empty click before Batman pulls him down with him to take him out of the fight.
  • Averted a couple of times during the original ElfQuest series, where Strongbow does run out of arrows, and during the final battle with the Trolls is forced to use the large sword, which he doesn't do at all well with.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck actually averts this — when using two six-shooters, Scrooge does fire exactly twelve shots and then spends one frame reloading.
  • Averted and played for laughs in a Richie Rich comic book story, where one of Richie's many uncles is a compulsive gambler. When a robber with a handgun threatens the bank Richie and his uncle are in, the uncle says "huh, ten to one it isn't even loaded" and, by offering new bets at higher odds each time, manages to make the robber use up all five shots. Justified because Richie's uncle had recognised the handgun model and knew how many shots it could hold.
  • A Runaways arc one dealt with time travel to the 1900's. One of the villains there had a particularly nasty pair of magic revolvers that hit its target every time. He ended up being killed when he wasted his shots on an undead hero who couldn't be killed so easily.
  • Thor: The Mighty Avenger has fun with this.
    Chief: He's getting away!
    Officer 1: We're... We're out of ammo, chief.
    Chief: Then reload!
    Officer 2: No, he means we're really out of ammo. That was it. Small-town budget. We never thought we'd need it.

    Fan Works 
  • Fantasy Of Utter Ridiculousness: Continuing from above, the bottomless magazines granted by the Spell Card system don't seem to apply to most of Megas's non-missile-based weaponry, such as the beam-gatling guns used against Yuuka.* Those are more akin to bombs, and are thus in limited supply.
  • In Fates of Ice and Fire, Joffrey Baratheon is summoned as Archer. He is armed with a crossbow and three trebuchets that launch wildfire bombs. While he can create new arrows and bombs with magic, his weapons have to be manually reloaded.
  • Heroes of the Desk shows that even SPEAR's Magitek has limits, for instance the MR-7 "Merida" only holds five rounds per magazine. In the sequel Heroes of the Desk: Repercussions said rifle is upgraded to the MR-8 but still has a five-round limit. One Hero wielding such weapons finds out the hard way that non-Heroic weapons aren't affected by this trope.
  • In Origins, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands/Halo Massive Multiplayer Crossover, this is averted specifically for Trans-Galactic Republic starships in a fashion—a component of the Applied Phlebotinum that enables turbolasers to fire is actually limited (though large amounts are carried). Thus, while it's not an issue initially (when the fleet thinks it is in for a short battle) it becomes a problem over time as the war stretches on for years. Characters are also shown to stop to reload on occasion, though this appears to be more Rule of Drama/Rule of Cool than anything attempting "realistic" portrayals of limited munitions.

    Films — Animation 
  • Subtly averted in Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door; fighting Spike on a monorail, Vincent unloads a ridiculous number of bullets from his gun before dramatically reloading. Close inspection will reveal, however, that his pistol is an Infinity made by Strayer-Voight, and the magazine actually holds nineteen rounds in some calibers. That said, even closer inspection shows that the casings are marked ".45 ACP", the one caliber the gun in question comes in that doesn't hold that many.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother. If you count carefully, Moriarty shoots off exactly 6 rounds from his revolver while pursuing Sigerson. When he catches up:
    Sigerson: A Webley's #2, I think, carries only six cartridges.
    Moriarty: [tries to fires the revolver at Sigerson] Click.
    Sigerson: Yes, that's right.
  • Aliens carefully avoids this. Hicks instructs the Marines to use "short, controlled bursts" to avoid wasting ammo. Vasquez is eventually reduced to a sidearm when her rifle runs dry, and Ripley's ammo counter is constantly shown during the finale. In the extended version, the Marines watch the ammo counters on the sentry guns' laptops quickly count down as wave after wave of aliens attack the guns, listening to the guns firing in the distance before they run dry, fall silent, and is replaced by the sound of the aliens thumping open the pressure door behind where the guns were.
  • The Avengers (2012) averts it, if you pay close attention. Hawkeye runs out of arrows during the final fight (though he does seem to have an inordinately large stock of them), and he is forced to tear one out of a killed Chitauri in order to use his grappling-hook arrow head. Notably, by the time of Avengers: Age of Ultron, he's upgraded to an expanded quiver, presumably to counter this problem.
  • Averted with Rhodey's War Machine suit. Avengers: Infinity War gives a first hand perspective of how the suit actually change the minigun's magazine during the Battle of Wakanda.
  • The Book of Eli is one of the few After the End movies in which it is mentioned that bullets are hard to come by (even if this doesn't seem to be true). While the scarcity of ammunition is used to explain why raiders attack the main character, it seems to be a complete non-issue when the main character fires twenty some rounds with perfect accuracy from a ten-shot pistol. One scene involves shooting with automatic weapons until a house literally falls apart, though some guns are reloaded from cover in the same scene.
  • Spoofed delightfully in Bottom Live 2:
    Eddie: I know what you're thinking, Parrot. You're thinking how many shots did I fire back there in Act 2, Scene 1? And to tell you the truth in all the excitement of Rik forgetting his fucking lines, I've kind of forgotten myself. So, Parrot, do you feel lucky? Come on, make my day.
    Parrot: You already fired six, you overweight bastard!
    Eddie: That's right.
    (Shoots the parrot six times)
    Eddie: But I fucking reloaded!
  • Done oddly in Captain America: The First Avenger. The saboteur who assassinates Erskine runs out of ammunition after firing sixteen bullets from a gun with an eight round magazine. One could argue that he had two magazines, but if so, given what he was doing while firing shots eight and nine, he was able to rapidly reload a gun while driving a car without losing control of the vehicle.
  • Averted in all three of the endings to the Clue film when the characters question the remaining ammunition in the Revolver.
  • Avoided in Collateral: Vincent is shown reloading twice, and it actually becomes a plot point in the film's finale, putting the shot count from him at 36. In the Club Fever scene, he actually fires the exact capacity of his pistol with a loaded magazine.
  • While Commando suffers from this trope in some scenes, as mentioned above, the fight between Duke and Matrix nicely averts this with Duke firing six shots from his revolver before getting the drop on Matrix and pulling the trigger only to have a loud *click* result. The Fridge Logic of two special forces veterans both failing to track the number of rounds he fired is not however addressed.
  • Scrupulously and rigorously averted at the end of Italo-Spanish Mystery Science Theater 3000-bait spy film Danger!! Death Ray as superspy Bart Fargo constantly changes magazines for his Schmeisser during the confrontation with the Big Bad and his Mooks. In fact, the film is so rigorous about this it slows the action down considerably, which is part of why it was MST3K fodder.
  • Averted in the bank robbery scene at the beginning of The Dark Knight, when the bank manager shoots Chuckles in the back with a shotgun and chases Grumpy and the Joker down the lobby.
    Bank Manager: Don't you have any idea who you're stealing from?! You and your friends are dead!
    Grumpy: [to the Joker] He's out, right?
    [The Joker hesitates for a moment, then nods. Grumpy stands up, at which point the bank manager fires his shotgun, hitting Grumpy in the shoulder, and spending his last round]
    Grumpy: What—?! [The Joker breaks cover and guns down the manager] Where did you learn to count?!
  • In the highway fight at the beginning of Deadpool, Deadpool only has twelve bullets on him and he counts them off (each bullet also has its number engraved on the end of the case). One goon tries to catch him, but didn't check his ammo and fired on an empty chamber. Deadpool shoots a dead man twice, leaving him with One Bullet Left to deal with the last three mooks. Oddly enough, the pistols he uses are underloaded, carrying six rounds each in a Desert Eagle that holds seven. At least he wasn't surprised by this- he's clearly seen counting how many bullets he has in the cab, before the shootout.
  • After the bar shootout in Desperado both El Mariachi and the last Mook left try to shoot each other simultaneously, only to realize they're both out of ammo. It takes several tries for either of them to grab a gun that still has any rounds left.
  • Dirty Harry:
    • Scorpio's sub-machine gun seems to spray a lot of lead with very few reloads. Given, a lot of SMGs tend to have fairly large ammo capacities and is shown to have several magazines in his suitcase. And avoided of course in the movie's most quotable scene.
    Harry Callahan: I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself.
    • It's often averted. During gunfights the shooters are regularly seen changing out magazines, which also takes quite a bit of time. This is especially noted in Magnum Force where one of the antagonists is nervously firing rounds down the hallways. He is is then quickly dispatched with several jabs to the throat while attempting to reload.
    • Avoided in The Enforcer. Kate Moore is rescuing the Mayor from kidnappers on Alcatraz, and in one scene, she reloads her service revolver.
  • In Heat, the characters are shown frequently reloading in the background of scenes.
  • Averted in Iron Man. Iron Man's power source, the arc reactor, will run out of power if the power drain from the suit outstrips the power output of the reactor for too long.
    • Played straight with everyone else who fires kinetic weapons, though.
  • A major plot point in I Stand Alone. The Villain Protagonist's revolver only has three bullets. He plans out very carefully which of his enemies will receive each bullet.
  • James Bond
    • Averted in the 1962 Dr. No. Bond (Sean Connery) hides behind the door as an assassin fires several shots into blanket-covered pillows on the bed. Bond disarms the assassin and the two converse, but Bond "carelessly" allows the assassin to retrieve his dropped pistol — which clicks on an empty chamber. Bond doesn't even flinch and says "That's a Smith and Wesson, and you've had your six." before killing the assassin.
    • In GoldenEye, during the final battle the Big Bad clearly has to reload his pistol after eight or nine shots. Played straight earlier in the movie with Bond and the assault rifle, though they attempted to mask this by having him toss away his guns and grab new ones from bad guys rather than actually reload.
    • Live and Let Die has Bond fire exactly 6 shots from a .44 before switching to hand-to-hand combat.
  • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Bard fires every arrow he has at Smaug until he completely runs out. In the climax, Legolas shoots down Orcs attacking Thorin...leaving him with none left when he sees Bolg about to kill Tauriel. The shocked and panicked expression as he desperately reaches into an empty quiver is priceless. Clearly he decided to never be in this situation again, and got a bottomless quiver for future movies.
  • John Wick:
    • The filmmakers are so dedicated to averting the trope that action scenes are scripted and storyboarded with John's ammo count in mind, making sure he never fires more than what he's carrying, and forcing him to reload or grab another gun once he should be empty. They also make Ammunition Conservation a character trait; John, whenever possible, takes precise single shots (especially since he favors headshots over center mass, a smaller, difficult target), and only sprays blind fire as a last resort (as in the start of the catacombs firefight in Chapter 2, when he does not have cover and must flee from a wave of incoming shooters). Specific examples include:
    • John frequently has to reload his guns in John Wick, and the number of bullets he shoots before he has to reload in usually accurate to the gun model in question. In one scene, he punches a mook in the neck with his gun, tries to deliver a headshot, grimaces, reloads, and shoots him in the space of three seconds.
    • Becomes a plot point in the climactic battle of John Wick: Chapter 2, where John is given a .45 with precisely seven rounds. He fires all seven rounds in the first few seconds of the gunfight and is forced to scavenge weapons from downed enemies. Earlier in the film, he's shown repeatedly reloading when he has the opportunity, and he never fires more rounds than the weapon he has could hold.
    • John uses up all the rounds in a shotgun and is required to reload, while pinning a mook to the wall with the business end of the weapon, when he finishes reloading the results are spectacular
  • The film Kick-Ass averts this — in the climax, Hit-Girl reloads her guns in the air... literally. Something that has to be seen, preferably widescreen. And at some point she finally does run out of bullets.
  • Averted in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Guns run out of bullets and need to be reloaded or replaced throughout the movie, especially in the church scene.
  • Used in Last Man Standing. We do see Bruce Willis using up mags and having to reload, and there is a scene which shows him loading numerous spare magazines from boxes of cartridges, but he seems to be able to fit an inordinate number of magazines in his pockets.
  • Averted in The Last of the Mohicans: The 18th Century weapons only fire a single round before being empty. The amount of time it takes to reload is even shown. At one point, Hawkeye and Uncas have to provide sniper cover for a runner. They are seen loading several weapons before the runner starts, and simply pick up a new one after they shoot. In the climax, Hawkeye shoots one Mook, reloads his gun while running, picks up another rifle, and then shoots two different targets with them. He then discards the previous enemy rifle (which is now empty) and picks up a new one, uses that one to kill another Mook, and then takes the others hostage with his now empty gun.
  • Live Free or Die Hard. John McClane seems to spend over half of the first action scene repeatedly slamming new magazines into his automatic, to the point where you start wondering where he got all those from (of course, McClane bringing five to ten extra mags to a run-of-the-mill arrest, just in case, is actually kind of in-character). Even John falls victim to this aversion in the first movie. He only fires 16-17 shots before he first reloads his Beretta. This means that he at most fires one more bullet than the gun can carry. He also probably takes his reloads from his enemies' corpses, and the amount of ammo he has left becomes an important plot point.
  • Averted in both film adaptations of Lolita. Humbert has to stop and reload his revolver in the middle of trying to kill Claire Quilty, which only adds to the Black Comedy of the scene.
  • Averted in The Road Warrior, where it's revealed nearly halfway through that the Sawed-Off Shotgun Max threatened the Gyro Captain with was unloaded, and only one of the shells he finds at that point is usable (and even then it ends up being a dud when he tries to actually fire it in the climactic fight).
    Gyro Captain: Empty! All this time...! That's dishonest.
  • The final showdown in the serial The Masked Marvel has the Big Bad and eponymous Masked Marvel shooting at each other while taking cover behind furniture. Ten shots in, the villain leaves cover and announces he's been counting bullets: The Masked Marvel has shot six times (so his gun is empty) but the villain has two shots left. The Masked Marvel similarly leaves cover, agrees with the villain, then shoots him. A lampshaded case of this trope? No, the Masked Marvel simply reloaded during the villain's "now I have won!" speech.
  • The Matrix avoids this, at least in the first movie's Lobby Scene... to some degree. The protagonists take cover until the mooks shooting at them begin to reload, then run out and dodge the bullets of other mooks, who are not out of ammo. Likewise, the protagonists use Throw-Away Guns in their counterattacks.
    • Demonstrated even more dramatically when Neo fights Smith in the subway. They charge each other, firing away and wrestling in slo-mo until they have their guns pointed at each other's head... but they are both out of ammo. Which is, amusingly, one of the cases where having bottomless magazines would make sense, since they are inside virtual reality, Smith is even a part of it, the Matrix was clearly demonstrated to be capable of altering the surroundings on the fly, and the whole point of Agents is that they possess supernatural abilities.
  • In an early scene of Mission: Impossible III, Ethan Hunt invokes one trope, averts it a few seconds later, and then averts this one. He manages to shoot the wing of an airplane with a high-powered machine gun and takes it down. He then runs after Philip Seymour Hoffman's villain character who is escaping in a helicopter. Not only does he miss the first few shots but he runs out of ammo soon after.
  • In the Troma flick A Nymphoid Barbarian In Dinosaur Hell, which is set After the End, Marn acquires a gun. An old man warns him that it has limited ammo. It runs out after six shots.
  • In Predators, after the group sprays bullets with reckless abandon at the first alien they see, Royce warns everyone to count how many bullets they have left and to conserve ammunition. Isabelle's sniper rifle runs out in one scene. As the movie goes on, every character eventually runs completely out of ammo and is forced to improvise.
  • Averted in Pulp Fiction where Jules is shown running out of ammo after repeatedly shooting Brett. It's debatably the only reason why he stopped firing.
    • And yet despite the gun being clearly empty (the slide is locked back), when they replay the scene to include the last guy running out to shoot them, he just raises his gun and fires.
      • The camera does cut away for a while, so it's possible that, like the Noir example above, Jules and Vincent reload off screen.
  • Thoroughly averted in Punisher: War Zone, where the Punisher is almost constantly reloading during his firefights — either conventionally or in the "New York" fashion.
    • It also shows a very rare example of character changing mags before they went dry just to make sure he won't run out of ammo in the middle of shootout.
    • Also Jigsaw and Loony Bin Jim surrender only because they run out of ammo and they apparently haven't brought spare mags.
  • Reversed in The Raid. Lt. Wahyu acquires a S&W 327 from a thug near the end of the movie. Over the rest of the film he fires six shots, and then tries to commit suicide with it. The gun fails to fire with a big CLICK. That particular revolver is notable for having an eight shot cylinder, instead of the usual six.
  • Saving Private RyanThe Squad mostly runs out of ammo during the climactic battle and are reduced to hand-throwing mortar shells and other Improvised Weapon attacks. Both Capt. Miller and Sgt. Horvath are down to nothing but their sidearms and Reibin's BAR seems to be the only primary weapon that still has rounds left.
  • Averted in Scarface (1983) to the point that characters with submachine guns tend to get shot exactly when they have to reload after spraying out all ammo.
  • Averted in Serenity, where Jayne runs out of ammo for his submachine gun during the Reaver chase at the beginning. Later, during the final battle against the Reavers, the crew rapidly runs out of ammunition while killing wave after wave of enemies, to the point where Jayne comments that he's down to "three full mags, and my swingin' cod."
  • Somewhat avoided in Shoot 'Em Up, as he continually switches weapons (taking fresh ones from any old dead mooks, of which he creates plenty). However, every gun does seem to have lots of bullets before needing to be replaced.
  • Averted by, of all things, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Ricky uses exactly six bullets from his revolver during his "Garbage Day" rampage, then when he goes to commit suicide when more cops come to arrest him, he discovers that the gun is empty.
  • Subverted in Silver Streak; the protagonist quickly runs out of bullets in a shootout. His sidekick chastises him with "What do you think this is, a Western?" It's a reference to Gene Wilder's previous role as the Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles.
  • In Sucker Punch, the girls never fire more than their weapons can hold, and constantly pause to reload.
  • Terminator, with occasional loading shots. In fact, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the number of shells Sarah loads into a particular gun turns out to be important several minutes later.
    • Additionally, a few SWAT team members engage the Terminator with their backup pistols. Given that they'd been firing their MP5 submachine guns for a good thirty seconds straight before that, it's implied that they were out of magazines for them.
    • The T-800's M79 is something of an inversion, as how many grenades he has in his bandolier varies between scenes, and ultimately he starts with eleven grenades but runs out after only eight (seven fired plus one dropped mid-loading).
    • Sarah's shotgun also has an inversion despite the continuity. Right before the T-1000 skewers her shoulder, she chambers a shell. When she loads the six other shells, she pumps the gun again, which would've ejected the first shell and only leave her with six shots instead of the seven she later fires.
  • In This Means War (2012), Tuck runs out of ammo in two fight scenes, causing FDR to scold him for not carrying extra magazines like he does.
  • Averted in the first Tomb Raider movie. How Lara reloads her guns is shown (if in an implausible, Hand Wave way), and mooks are repeatedly seen changing magazines.
  • Averted (and lampshaded) in Tremors 2: Aftershocks, when Burt Gummer drives up in his truck.
    I am completely out of ammo. (slumps down, pause) That's never happened to me before.
  • True Lies:
    • During the bathroom shootout, Aziz fires a long burst at Harry on first entering the room,* another long burst sweeping the row of stalls - leaving a good dozen or so bullet holes in each of the six doors - and two more bursts as Harry dives out of the last stall and returns fire. He does not reload until after he leaves the bathroom.
    • In the scene where Helen drops a MAC-10 down a flight of stairs, the gun is shown firing almost continuously as it tumbles - this after Helen is first seen wildly firing off 10-15 rounds in one long burst. Its magazine runs dry upon hitting the bottom step.
  • Averted once in Ultraviolet (2006). The bad guys' helicopter-mounted gatling gun runs out of ammo and needs to be reloaded, giving the heroine a chance to drive/jump a motorbike through the heli, blowing it up in the process. Otherwise ignored through literal Hyperspace Arsenals.
  • Averted in the film version of V for Vendetta.
    Creedy: We have guns.
    V: No, what you have are bullets, and the hope that when your guns are empty, I'm no longer standing, because if I am... you'll all be dead before you've reloaded.
  • Averted in The Way of the Gun, which shows many characters reloading various weapons as they crouch behind cover. Christopher McQuarrie employed his brother, a former Navy SEAL, in an effort to treat firearm usage realistically.
  • Averted thoroughly in Zulu Dawn, in which the British at Isandlwana have the Zulus pinned down with hideously effective gunfire and are holding their position well, but suddenly find themselves scrabbling for their last few rounds. Meanwhile, the quartermasters are handing it out to the drummer boys a packet (20 shots) at a time, as if they were at peacetime manoeuvres, to take to troops several hundred yards away. Historically accurate. The few survivors who got to Rorke's Drift before the fighting reached there tipped the troops at the Drift off as to what had happened, and all the ammo boxes were opened at once before the battle started. Things then went very differently. And by the end of that one, their 20,000 rounds were down to about 900.

  • Averted in 1632. Even with as much ammunition as there would be in a West Virginia mining town circa 2000, they have to be careful about spending too much of it, as it is terrifically hard to make more.
  • In The Adventures of Samurai Cat, Tomokato's older brother Shimura demonstrated in the second book that the "Badass" part of Retired Badass still applied: he carried an utterly ridiculous number of Colt .45 semi-automatic pistols in his kimono, and his wife had an even more ludicrous amount of extra ammunition. But they still ran dry during the big shoot-out of that story.
  • Louis L'Amour usually averted this in his Western novels, even pointing out that even in a loaded pistol, the chamber under the hammer was left empty to prevent accidents, meaning one less bullet than modern audiences might expect.note 
  • Subverted in Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident when after learning about the goblins using supposedly-destroyed weapons adapted to human batteries, Foaly remarks that 'You'd only get six shots, but you give every goblin a pocket full of cells and that's a lot of shots.' Whereas normal fairy weapons use nuclear batteries that essentially have unlimited ammo, Holly even comments on it when the goblin shooting at her runs out of shots.
  • In the Jack Ryan novel The Bear and the Dragon, during the inevitable war sequence, a hardened target comes up to be hit. The initial idea is to use ground-penetrating bombs (aka Bunker Busters), until someone points out that getting the bombs that have already been used in the campaign required several days of direct, non-stop flights, and that the bombs might not even be available. True to form, the arsenal has been depleted, and while the manufacturer is making more, they won't be available for weeks.
  • Averted in The Dark Tower series. In the first few novels, Roland worries about how much ammo he has left, until he makes a pit stop and buys a few hundred bullets. Also, during every firefight, Roland and his friends must reload.
  • An allegedly bottomless magazine is the key clue in an Encyclopedia Brown mystery. A (crooked) lawman claimed that he received two minor gunshot wounds before taking the gun away from the man who shot him and then killed the gun's owner and his four cohorts with one bullet each. The town hailed the sheriff as a hero until somebody pointed out that you can't shoot seven bullets from a six-shooter without reloading at some point.
  • Mentioned in Fatal Descent by Carter Dickson and John Rhode: One character is editing a book in which the protagonist carries a six-gun, but fires 13 times without reloading. Another character suggests giving him two guns and taking out a bang.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel The Guns of Tanith, it's a crucial point, because they were supplied with the wrong sort of power pack and must jump practically unarmed.
  • Averted during some of the later Honor Harrington books. In addition to all the other destruction it caused, the Oyster Bay strike destroyed Manticore's missile production lines. For the next several books, Manitcore's strategic and tactical decisions are constantly being influenced by the need to conserve their limited missile supplies.
  • Carefully averted in The Hunger Games: Katniss is limited to a total of twelve arrows, and retrieves used arrows whenever she can. Several times throughout the story, the reader is informed about exactly how many arrows she still has.
  • An energy-weapon aversion in Galactic Patrol; Kimball Kinnison drains the power packs of several blasters while waiting for his suit batteries to recharge.
  • Averted in Les Misérables, in the barricade sequence; several plot points hinge on the need to conserve powder and bullets, not least the death of Gavroche, who's shot while out in front of the barricade scavenging ammo from fallen guardsmen.
  • Legolas is mentioned to be out of arrows at least twice in The Lord of the Rings. He often has to pick up orc arrows to refill his quiver. This never causes him any problems, despite orcs using smaller bows and thus shorter arrows.
  • Averted in Kerry Greenwood's Murder in Montparnasse when the Big Bad gets taken out after running out of bullets.
    Phryne: Six shots. He has six shots in that gun. That was the third.
    Lin: What are they going to do?
    Phryne: I don't know, but as soon as he runs out of ammunition, I wouldn't be René for a thousand pounds.
    (two more shots, then a third.)
    [one of the guys hunting René]: Bugger!
    Phryne: That's six.
  • Purposely averted in all adaptations of the Intellivision game Night Stalker. In the Intellivision version you get six shots for each gun. In the Atari 2600 version Dark Cavern each gun gives you up to 10 shots, which you can accumulate throughout the game, up to 99 shots.
  • In Only Sense Online, one of the reasons why the bow is disdained by players of the titular VRMMORPG is because arrows are one-use consumables and acquiring them from shops is very inefficient.
  • Averted in REAMDE, which contains an almost fetishistic level of detail on firearm handling. Stephenson even credits someone as his firearm copyeditor.
  • The ammo in the father's revolver is a constant concern in the Post-Apocalyptic novel The Road. He starts with only a few bullets and at one point gets so desperate that he fashions fake bullets out of spent casings so that he can bluff people.
  • Consistently averted in A Simple Survey. When firearms show up, they almost always have a specific amount of ammunition, and its scarcity is a plot point. The most extreme example of this is a story in which each character has a handgun with exactly one bullet.
  • Averted once in the Star Wars novel Tyrant's Test: Chewbacca and his son are on a mission to rescue Han, and in the final battle they switch out their blasters for bowcasters, partly because the enemy has blast shields, but also partly because they're almost out of power for the blasters.
  • Averted in H. Beam Piper's Uller Uprising, when the male protagonist is impressed by his new, previously civilian adjutant taking their supply of ammunition into account (see page quote). They can't produce ammunition as fast as they've been expending it, and need to end the war before they run out.
  • Averted in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Warrior Woman, in which gladiators using slingshots are handicapped by being given a fixed number of stones (fourteen); the crowd chants the number of shots taken.
  • Whateley Universe: Predictably, given how Gun Tropes are generally treated in this series, this is mostly averted; several of the authors are meticulous about things like magazine sizes, jams, reloading times, weapon maintenance, and so forth. However, given the presence of both Functional Magic and Mad Science hypertech, there are exceptions, though they are usually explicit ones. The most notable of these are the Aegis reloaders, which use Hammerspace to reload the REACT team's heavy weapons. There are only a few of them, however, and they are carefully monitored because the bullets fed through them completely disintegrate after a few minutes, making them a potential nightmare for law enforcement. They also tend to jam during extended firing in a way which destroys the mechanism.
  • Invoked in Karl May's Winnetou novels and related work. Author Avatar Old Shatterhand's "Henry carbine" (not to be confused with the real life Henry rifle) actually packs "only" twenty-five shots into a magazine that's apparently complex enough that few if any enemies who manage to get hold of the gun ever figure it out, but because that's still a lot of shots between reloads and he rarely needs to expend them all before topping it off again a number of his more superstitious adversaries — especially those who only know him by reputation — do end up convinced that the weapon is somehow magical and a straight example of the trope, and he in turn takes full advantage of that misconception quite a few times.
  • Subverted in Wolfhound Empire from Peter Higgins. Investigator Lom goes through several different weapons, while the first instance was him losing his favourite gun because of getting captured and interrogated by the militia, the other examples were simply him running out of ammunition and not being to get more (for instance he throws away a high-calibre submachine gun that had been modified to take 100 round drum magazines and was strong enough to kill an especially strong giant in a single burst).
  • World War Z — In the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Yonkers, the US military engages the horde of 8 million zombies shuffling north of of Manhattan with anti-tank weapons, against what was obviously a human wave attack. Veteran (more accurately "survivor") of Yonkers Todd Waino explains that even if they thought the armor-piercing depleted-uranium rounds the tanks fired were useful against a massed zombie horde (which they are not)...all of the heavy artillery ran out of ammunition after under an hour of sustained fire. Waino says that it simply never occurred to the officers commanding the battle to count how many rounds they had. Something as basic as "this tank can carry 40 rounds, and fire once a minute; wow, they'll need a reload in 40 minutes". Maybe they thought a single shot would take out hundreds of zombies each time...but against a horde literally numbering in the millions?
  • The Zombie Survival Guide also averts this trope in several ways. It notes that power tools can be effective against the undead...until the batteries run out and they provide as much protection as a hand-held stereo. Also, using battery-powered sights on guns should be avoided, as they'd just be blank tubes once the batteries run out. Finally, there's Maxim #4: "Blades don't need reloading."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Averted in the first season finale; Coulson's BFG runs out of charges just as he defeats out all but the two most dangerous opponents in the room.
    • During Skye's big fight scene in "The Dirty Half Dozen", she runs out half-way and reloads. Notably, her pistol isn't slide-locked empty, indicating her skill by reloading before she's empty
  • Arrow:
    • Generally played straight, but subverted in one of the earlier and more realistic episodes where the Villain of the Week makes sure to have as many henchmen as Oliver has arrows, so that by the time Ollie gets to him he's out of ammo.
    • In a much later episode, Cupid's partners tell her not to waste time retrieving her arrows from dead bodies. She replies "Do you have any idea how expensive these are?"
  • Batman (1966): Averted on the old TV series, where the villains are shooting at Batman behind smoke; when the smoke clears, it's revealed that not only does Batman have a shield, he knows the villains are now out of bullets and can attack them.
  • Doctor Who: Averted in "The Doctor Dances" when Capt. Jack's Sonic Blaster runs out of power; amusingly, a few moments before, he was making fun of the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver.
  • Due South: Averted at least once. Constable Fraser confidently approaches a criminal pointing a gun at him, telling him that he's out of ammo (the pistol is a 9-shot), while his partner and another cop argue over whether he is, or whether he still has a bullet or two left (one says he's heard 8 shots, the other says only 7). Turns out Fraser was right and he had used all 9.
  • Farscape:
    • Seems to play this straight as pulse pistols have absurd numbers of shots...but in one episode John runs out of ammo. Lampshading how unlikely it is to run out of shots with a 500 round battery, and then getting understandably irate when the pulse pistol he loots from an enemy ALSO runs out of energy after only a handful of shots.
      Crichton: You are the most powerful hand gun in the Uncharted Territories and I don't know whether you've fired 500 shots or 600 but - (checks the cartridge) - 600. Empty. Damn you! Winona would never do this because Winona is very reliable!
    • Played for Laughs in another episode where John and Aeryn start firing at each other during an argument (the crew are being driven nuts by a Poisonous Person they picked up). After a few seconds both of their weapons run dry leaving them pulling the triggers to no effect. Aeryn asks John if he has any spare cartridges but he doesn't. The pair toss aside their useless weapons and opt for charging at each other to continue the fight.
  • Firefly: Averted with Energy Weapons no less, for at least one character who discovered that, although a hand laser looks pretty cool, it starts giving the "low battery" warning after only three shots or so.
  • Get Smart:
    • When Max and 99 are in a department store, Max suggests that he shoot out the lights for cover. He fires six shots, but there's still one light. He tries to shoot that one, but he's out of ammo. 99 then turns off the light switch. For the rest of the episode Max tries to bluff KAOS agents with his empty gun.
    • When Max and his boss are in a gunfight with a KAOS agent, Max suddenly stands up and says that he's going on strike until his boss approves a better contract for him. His boss then sighs and signs the contract while Max and the KAOS agent discuss what sorts of benefits KAOS offers. When he signs the contract, the KAOS agent pulls the trigger on his gun, but nothing happens. Max then captures him and calmly says that he heard him fire six shots. When his boss says that he only heard five shots, Max takes the gun and tries to fire again - when it goes off and Max sheepishly says "Six."
  • Hou$e of Lie$: Averted for comic effect in the first season finale, where the protagonist—even though he's using imaginary (and invisible) pistols in a breaking-the-fourth-wall fantasy—has to take a few seconds to reload once he's out.
  • Jake 2.0: Averted, where the protagonist caught in a predator/prey situation is able to beat an armed villain. After deliberately coming out of hiding, the man raises his gun to shoot Jake, only to realize that he's out, told that he should keep track, and is promptly knocked out with a lead pipe.
  • Jericho (2006):
    • Averted, wherein the people of the town are very conscious of their ammunition, and the heroes are continually requesting new magazines and fighting over the actual weapons themselves.
    • Used by Hawkins and Jake during a gunfight when they count the number of shots a bad guy spends before making their move.
  • Leverage: Surprisingly averted in the Season 3 finale: despite the totally over the top nature of the rest of the gunfight, Eliot stops to reload several times, raids bodies for spare magazines, and does not significantly exceed the potential capacity of the guns he's using.
  • Revolution: Averted, since a major factor in the story is that ammunition for modern weapons is in very short supply. In fact, Monroe was discussing the issue with Miles in a flashback in episode 10. If characters gets hold of a loaded gun, it will usually only have a few bullets in it and they quickly have to go back to using bows and swords. In some instances the trope even gets inverted when weapons that should have a full magazine, run dry after 2-3 shots.
  • The Rockford Files: Generally averted. It is frequently important to the plot that Jim's gun fires only six shots, and he never has any extra ammunition.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The SG team members actually have to reload their guns now and again, and not just for the sake of dramatically running low. One episode that still stands out has a rogue NID agent escaping from a special forces team, using a machine pistol to lay down suppressive fire and shoot a lock out of a door. At least twice, after a couple of sustained bursts, he ejects his magazine and slaps a fresh one in.
    • In another episode, they give the villagers guns and join them to try and repel Ori footsoldiers, but are overrun when they run out of ammo... and judging by the befuddled looks of the villagers, they didn't have time to warn them beforehand.
    • In the early episode "Emancipation", O'Neill trades his sidearm to a warlord in exchange for Carter. The warlord proceeds to show off to his companions by Firing in the Air a Lot and O'Neill quietly mutters they should get moving before he finishes the magazine and realizes he was duped.
  • Viper: Averted in one episode, where robbers take hostages, one of them manages to seize a robber's gun — and the robbers start calculating whether it has any bullets left.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech mostly averts this. Non-energy weapons draw upon a finite supply of ammunition stored in the carrying unit and individual shots or salvos are tracked not just to determine when they run out, but also to compute the damage caused by an exploding ammo bin on an appropriate critical hit — shots already expended obviously can't blow up anymore. Some weapons still do pack fairly silly numbers of shots into a single ammo slot, though (machine guns being particularly bad offenders), and ammo expenditure for most infantry-level weapons is indeed not tracked on the boardgame level (which, to be fair, is more concerned with the interaction between larger units with bigger guns).
  • In Infinity, most weapons are assumed to be unlimited, but certain weapons have limits - the Panzerfaust, for example, is basically a two-shot mini-rocket launcher.
  • Averted in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution. Every gun has an ammo capacity and firing on fully automatic (if possible) will empty your clip in one round.
  • Laser barrels in Paranoia are rated for six shots (with the usual 5% chance of exploding during any given shot). You can go over the limit, but the chance of explosion keeps going up. Some gamemasters keep careful count of shots fired; others just pick someone who hasn't reloaded in a while, roll some dice, ignore the result and declare that their weapon explodes. Now please report for termination, Citizen. Have a pleasant day. The Computer is your friend.
  • Shadowrun gives limited ammunition for all weapons (yes, even the laser guns). Some have absurdly large magazines (the Fichetti Security pistol is a light handgun with a 30-bullet magazine), but they are all limited. Most even make sense.
  • The Star Wars d20 game gives limited ammo for most blasters, which makes sense as they are actually shooting plasma (ionized gas), not laser bolts. However, blaster pistols don't need a new power pack until you have fired a hundred shots (blaster rifles are slightly more reasonable at 50).
  • Warhammer 40,000 has a few exceptions: combi-weapons are boltguns with a one-shot special weapon attachment, the Manticore missile launcher gets four missiles and then is done, the Black Templars get the Holy Orb of Antioch (a one-shot super-grenade), and a few other one-shot powers.
    • The spinoff game Aeronautica Imperialis has limited ammunition for every weapon. Yes, even rayguns.
    • The community ruleset for 40k using the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rules has not only limited ammunition but a 10% chance of jamming every time you fire a full-auto weapon.
    • The Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy rules state that they assume all models have sufficient shots to last the entire battle (given the average game length, that translates to around six or eight bullets/laser bolts/bursts of small metal shuriken/arrows/powder charges/crossbow bolts/javelins/etc. per person, which is perfectly reasonable). However, certain scenario rules do limit the number of shots units can take in a turn (mostly justified by limited supplies).
    • On the whole, the 40k and Fantasy universes tend to avert the trope - some by the simple expedient of "The model has enough shots to last the battle", but in the specialist games this is looked into in more details. The fantasy spinoff Mordheim has certain weapons (such as barbed arrows and vials of holy water) that had limited ammunition, but the 40k narrative game Inquisitor took it to ridiculous levels with noting down the number of shots, the time taken to reload, the number of magazines a person has and even what order the special bullet types were preloaded in. As a general rule, the less models to keep track of, the more detailed the mechanics.
    • Certain rules advert this. The Dire Avengers can use a special attack called "Bladestorm" where each member of the squad gets an additional shot to their standard gun, but doing so expends the remainder of the ammunition in the gun, forcing them to reload next turn (and thus cannot fire, but curiously can still fight in close combat). Heavy Weapons also have this limitation, being unable to move and fire in the same turn unless the wielder has Relentless, rationalizing that the bearer has to load up the gun(in the case of Missile launchers) or charge it up and brace himself for the attack. Likewise, Ordinance weapons and Barrage Artillery Weapons must remain stationary to fire even on a tank, as the crew needs to manually load each shell into the firing chamber.
    • One Apocalypse formation, the Tyranid Endless Swarm, has an entertaining special rule: if any one unit rolls five or more 6's to hit while shooting at them, their weapons all jam and the Tyranids take no damage.
    • Discussed in the Horus Heresy novel Know No Fear, while some Ultramarines are talking about Orks. One of them points out how important round count is, since while it's not too hard to kill an Ork with massive damage, this needs to be balanced against how many friends he brought along (which is usually quite a large number).
    • The massive gatling gun mounted on the Stompa can fire out a ludicrous amount of bullets in a single turn, but there's a chance that the loaders would get a bit too zealous and load ALL of the ammunition into it. This is represented by the weapon firing a (ridiculously huge) random amount of shots determined by dice, and if a certain result comes up it means the gun has run out of ammo.

    Web Animation 
  • In Madness Combat series, the guns do run out of ammo. After that, you might expect Pistol-Whipping or the gun being thrown. Krinkels always makes sure to keep meticulous count of each gun's magazine capacity to defy this trope.
  • In Monkey Wrench, Shrike's blaster runs out of ammo at a critical moment, forcing him to try to stop the person he's chasing by throwing a roll of duct tape at them.
  • A Season 2 episode of Red vs. Blue subverts it hilariously, just after the Reds launch a pretty epic (though wasteful) More Dakka assault on the Blues:
    Simmons: Ah, crap, I'm out. Give me some ammunition, Grif.
    Grif: Me? I don't have any extra. I'm down to one bullet!
    Simmons: Wha—? How can that be? You're the one who carries all the extra rounds into battle!
    Grif: Wait, since when?
    Simmons: Since the last staff meeting.
    Grif: We actually talk about stuff in those things? I just fall asleep inside my helmet.
    Simmons: Well, you missed your job assignment, and now we have no ammo.
    • By Season 4, Sarge has started ordering Simmons to also carry ammunition into battle, as it's only expected Grif will forget and they'll then run out of ammo.
    • This actually saves Grif's life in Revelation, as he once again forgets to bring extra ammo, which causes Sarge's shotgun to run dry right when Tex is pointing it in his face.


    Web Original 
  • Subverted in Cereal Killer, a short by Rocket Jump. Freddie's gun, a six-shooter, runs out of ammo after killing two goons. Since he took the gun from a robber who was holding him up and he was forced to retreat after things went south he doesn't have the ammo for the gun so no luxury of reloading. The robbers, most notably the last one, do have the ability to shoot more, but that's because their guns have a higher bullet capacity and they can reload when Freddie isn't looking.
  • Averted in Darwin's Soldiers. The characters spend a fair amount of time reloading and several of their enemies have been killed because they ran out of ammo.
  • Averted and subverted in The Mercury Men. Although The League’s zap-gun-of-choice - the Lumiére — resembles a modified six-shot revolver, so at first glance this trope appears to be played straight, the blueprints on their website reveal that each of the six glowing mercury pin bullets is actually good for 24 shots, for a total of 144 energy blasts per full reload.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • Subverted in the story "UIU Orientation". The instructor shows the new recruits an anomalous .50 AE Desert Eagle magazine which normally contains seven bullets, but this one contains eight... nine... ten... eleven... he passes it around, and the recruits each manage to pull out some more bullets. No, it's not infinite - it has a maximum capacity of 1,296 bullets. The previous owner found this out the hard way when he ran out of ammo in a gunfight.
    • SCP-1637 ("The Army of the Future") is an underground facility that manufactures broken cyborg armies, some of which have RPG launchers, and rotary autocannons with unlimited ammo. The clients' brochure mentions a "folded space ammunition technology" developed by the makers used on the cyborgs.

    Western Animation 
  • Averted and lampshaded in Archer several times. Apparently, Lana combines this with A-Team Firing enough that she earned the name "Spray and Pray" Lana, as well as having about 10 seconds of combat effectiveness with a gun. Archer also had several instances where he had to remind people that, no, his handgun does not hold more than 7 bullets and, yes, they get emptied very fast. Archer himself uses this trope to his advantage due to a preternatural ability to not only keep track of how many bullets he has fired, but how many his opponents have fired as well.
  • Hawkeye in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes goes through arrows at a rapid pace and repeatedly finds himself with an empty quiver in mid-action. He usually doesn't seem to have much trouble resupplying himself between fights, but right in the middle of one...
  • Averted in Code Lyoko, in which early on, Odd is equipped with a certain amount of "Lazer Arrows", and once he's out, he's out until Jérémie restocks his arrows. Through Season 1, barely any episode went by without Odd running out of arrows at some point. Jérémie, however, is eventually able in Season 2 to upgrade Odd's virtual form, enabling his gloves to hold 10,000 arrows apiece. Played straight in "False Start", however, where Jim uses a nail gun to fight Xana's monsters, and never has to reload it.
  • Averted on the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) cartoon, as Hank's magical bow fired Hard Light rather than physical arrows.
  • The Avalon Arc of Gargoyles. Elisa empties her handgun at the Big Bad, and for the rest of the adventure is handicapped by not having more ammo for it. Several times during the arc, she pulls her gun in reflex to a threat, only to remember she's out of shots.
  • Justice League:
    • In "Dark Heart", the Batplane runs out of missiles.
    • In "Patriot Act", when Green Arrow and Speedy fight General Eiling, they run out of arrows and Green Arrow humorously steals a couple of them from Speedy's quiver.
    • In "Destroyer", Batman runs out of Batarangs. Lex Luthor offers him a gun, but he instead resorts to hand to hand combat.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: While most akumas play this trope straight, the Collector is an exception. His book can absorb anything that touches it or that he touches with it, but each thing stored uses up a page, and once they're all filled he can't absorb anything else until he takes the time to clear some pages.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • One sketch parodies the fable about the scorpion and the frog by having the frog pull a gun when the scorpion tries to sting him and shoot at it twice. When a gerbil on the other side asks for his help again, promising not to crawl into his anus, the frog pulls the trigger six times – four shots and two clicks.
    • Another sketch parodies The Tortoise and the Hare with a movie-western style gunfight. The hare has enough time to empty his guns before the tortoise even reaches his. Unfortunately, bullets don't bounce off hares.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Infinite Ammo, Bottomless Quiver


"Maybe I really am in a game."

A YouTuber by the name of FoxMaster created an AI based off Lara Croft to play her own game, Tomb Raider. One of the personality traits they imparted onto her was her self-awareness of being in a video game, as demonstrated when she tests out the ammo capacity in her infinite-bullet pistols.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MediumAwareness

Media sources: