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Chainsaw-Grip BFG

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Mini Gun... macro damage.

Bob has a Really Big Gun. It's noisy, destructive, and probably has an endearing nickname. But the main thing that shows everybody what a BFG it is... is the way he holds it.

With a chainsaw-style fore handle and a grip in the back, firing from the hip.

Now, this would be a really stupid thing to do in Real Life for various reasons, but in assorted media it has basically become the default way of depicting oversized man-portable weaponry. It can also be used specifically because it is stupid: to imply that the weapon is so devastating there's no need to aim, and/or that the wielder doesn't care about cover.

Realistically, any traditional gun heavy enough to require this sort of grip would need to be mounted to use as a weapon — the Browning .50 Caliber is much smaller and lighter than any examples below, but a normal human cannot steady it against the recoil and muzzle climb. This can be somewhat more justified if the weapon in question is an Energy Weapon like a laser and recoil is a non-issue, or if the wielder is wearing strength-enhancing Powered Armor that makes them strong enough to compensate for the recoil. In the latter case, however, one has to wonder: if they're strong enough to use such a massive weapon, shouldn't they be strong enough to carry it properly?

Frequently appears in conjunction with Gatling Good and Removable Turret Guns.

Compare Gangsta Style and Guns Akimbo for firearms techniques similarly based on Rule of Cool. However, unlike those, this is not a grip by choice, but a set-up of handles built into the gun, and often there isn't any other way to wield it.

Note: This is about weapons with a chainsaw-like grip. For actual chainsaws (and the like), see Chainsaw Good.


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  • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team has the Type 09 sniper cannon used by Sanders' RX-79[G] Gundam Ground Type, firing 180x800mm high-explosive rounds from an eight-round box magazine to a maximum range of three kilometers. While he does fire it from the hip from time to time, it is usually against nearby targets. While sniping, he uses a different stance where he stabs his Gundam's shield into the ground and rests the barrel on it - understandable as according to the Gundam Wiki, the cannon has so much recoil that a GM can't handle it.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, the climax of the Kampfer Amazing vs. GM Sniper K9 battle features one of these—a gigantic Gatling gun, to be specific. This is a Mythology Gag based on the original Kampfer's fate in Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Meanwhile, Maoh's Gundam X Maoh has a Hyper Satellite Cannon so huge and elongated that it has this arrangement of grips just so that the suit can even begin to move the weapon around to aim it.
  • Batou wields a chainsaw-grip minigun in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Annihilation". Of course, this is a world in which super-strong cyborgs with targeting computers in their brains are a routine occurrence, so it's entirely possible the gun was specifically designed for that kind of person.
  • Season 2 of Sword Art Online features in its first episode a character named Behemoth carrying a heavy machine gun based on the real-life M134 Minigun (which is usually mounted on vehicles like helicopters or cars) this way. Justified due to the fact that it's a videogame, although the thing still has the drawback of being way too heavy to be effective outside of group battles, and makes him a sitting duck without proper support.
  • The minigun-wielder in the Roanapur Freakshow Circus from Black Lagoon wielded his weapon this way. He never hit anyone with it, though by the looks of it he was more interested in causing suppressive fire anyway.

    Comic Books 
  • Atomic Robo: Robo carries one on an action zoology expedition into the Amazon rainforest. Mostly, it's there to make him feel safe despite being surrounded by insects.
  • The Incredible Hercules: Ares has a minigun with the Terminator 2-style chainsaw grip on his Wall of Weapons, along with several other movie shout-outs.
  • A Punisher story occurring during the events of World War Hulk has Frank pursuing a massive alien warlord. He and Micro rig up a shotgun attached to an actual chainsaw, which is, naturally, held like this.
  • Transmetropolitan: While shopping for guns, Helena asks about a BFG, but the owner refuses to sell it to her, not because she's a girl, but because the gun was designed for people with two backup spines.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The M56 Smartgun from Aliens is a fairly reasonable example, since it also incorporates a powered harness and targeting eyepiece to help with aiming and recoil compensation. Recoil is only a minor issue as the rounds used are relatively low-mass, the "BFG" part of the weapon is the support systems for the auto-aim. The wielder only has to point the mounting frame in the general direction of the enemy and the auto-targeting systems adjust the specific aim of the weapon to hit targets within its zone of fire.
  • A minigun with this configuration shows up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, wielded by a gunman during the highway ambush.
  • The minigun from Predator represents the missing link between the actual vehicle-mounted weapon and this trope, having been modified for handheld use (albeit with a M60-style underbarrel grip rather than a chainsaw handle). The film crew's experiences with that prop would eventually lead to the version seen in Terminator 2.
  • The heavy stun-guns used by Johns' crew in Riddick use this configuration.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-800 uses this in the iconic minigun scene, and the GE M134 Minigun used in the film is in fact the first known example of this trope. Also a Justified Trope — it's intended to emphasize the T-800's Super Strength. And having computerized targeting sensors built into him, the T-800 doesn't actually need traditional sights for aiming.
  • Trench 11: A German blasts away the infected with an MG08/18 from the hip with this style of grip.
  • In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Roadblock (The Rock) twice wields a Ma' Deuce in this fashion, as part of a shooting competition and in actual combat. This also happens to be a nod to the comics and original action figure where the Browning is Roadblock's standard weapon.
  • Korso, a member of Beckett's crew who is killed offscreen in Solo: A Star Wars Story, wields a Z-6 Rotary Blaster Cannon in this fashion in deleted scenes of the fighting on Mimban.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a flash-forward due to Negative Space Wedgie in the Babylon 5 episode "Babylon Squared", Garibaldi is seen using some sort of Gatling PPG this way against unseen aggressors.
  • Action Girl Cara Dune of The Mandalorian carries a heavy automatic blaster rifle as her favored weapon. It's basically the Star Wars equivalent of a Squad Automatic Weapon, complete with top-mounted carry handle. She uses it extensively in this fashion in Chapter 8. Justified as Cara is a hulking Amazonian Beauty (played by the equally Amazonian Gina Carano) easily capable of manhandling the fully-armored Mandalorian.
  • The Pacific: John Basilone does this with a Browning M1919 .30cal machine gun — smaller than most weapons associated with this trope, but still a ostensibly a mounted and crew-serviced weapon — both while demonstrating for Marine recruits during training, and later during the Battle of Iwo Jima. This is very much Truth in Television.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Vindicator Minigun from Shadowrun is designed with this in mind.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Ogre Leadbelchers and Skaven Ratling Gunners both wield their BFGs this way. At least in the case of the Leadbelchers, the accuracy part is academic anyway as the Ogres' guns fire an expanding cloud of shrapnel in the general direction of where they're pointed, the Ogres being more interested in the giant 'BOOM!' than with actually hitting anything.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Space Marines (and Sergeant Harker of the Catachan II Regiment) wield Heavy Bolters in this fashion (only the forward grip is parallel to the barrel instead of chainsaw-style). Plasma Cannons and Multi-Meltas follow the same design principles (although these are also used bazooka-style by Space Marines). Note that, because of their superhuman physiques and Powered Armor with integrated targeting systems, it's not as unreasonable with the Space Marines as in most cases.
    • Eldar Dark Reapers wield their Reaper Launchers like this, and maintain their accuracy by virtue of rigid locking bracing mechanisms in their armor, recoilless munitions, and their psychic abilities.
    • Dark Eldar Scourges use their splinter cannons and dark lances like this. Their aim is kept steady by anti-grav pods under the weapon's barrel.
    • The larger ork guns work like this, notably those wielded by Flash Gitz. Of course, these are orks; accuracy would reduce the fun if it means less dakka.
    • The Tau, since redesigning their XV-88 "Broadside" Battle Suits from a twin-linked Shoulder Cannon, now hold their standard Heavy Railrifle in a similar manner (though the foregrip is on the side, rather than top mounted, for the obvious reason that the targeting sight is on top). Much like the Space Marines above, the issues involving this trope is solved via the fact that the Broadside is a Mini-Mecha, and that the gun's sight instead relays the targeting info to the pilot's HUD.
    • Necron Immortals wield their Gauss Blasters and Tesla Carbines this way. Being ancient androids likely takes care of any accuracy concerns.
  • A few BattleTech Mechs from the later Dark Age portion of the timeline hold their autocannons this way. The largest example is probably the Atlas III, a huge, slab-sided, and breathtakingly ugly piece of machinery hauling a 35mm rotary autocannon in a one-handed chainsaw grip.

  • Hasbro's NERF series has some massive blasters built in this fashion:
    • The N-Strike EBF-25 Vulcan is one of their largest battery-driven dart blasters, coming in at a mind-numbing 7.7 pounds—it's actually made to be fired from a tripod stand. It features a top grip to allow it to be carried and fired in the manner of this trope.
      • The even more massive Vulcan BF-50 prototype was a full-sized squad automatic weapon in plastic form, meaning that you would have to use the integrated chainsaw grip to even lift the thing—it supposedly weighed over 28 pounds! It was also about 5 feet long, further encouraging use of the supporting grip.
    • The N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire is an electrically-powered flywheel blaster that feeds from a carousel that can fit up to 8 Clip System magazines, and its chainsaw grip is pulled to rotate the carousel and bring a loaded magazine to the chamber.
    • The N-Strike Elite Rhino-Fire is a double-barreled BFG built in a similar vein to the Vulcan, only it feeds from 2 Clip System mags at once and runs on electrical flywheels with barrel housings that reciprocate when firing. Transitioning from the Vulcan's heavier direct plunger that could also be fired manually in single shots also makes it a little bit lighter.
    • The oddly-proportioned Mega Mastodon has a chainsaw grip due to its immense size and 24-dart capacity. It's also the first automatic MEGA blaster.
    • In the Zombie Strike series, there's the Brainsaw, an eight-barrel shotgun with a chainsaw blade running down the middle. It's meant to be fired in a conventional manner, though, with a handguard behind the blade.
    • Nerf's Rival series, which uses foam balls instead of darts for ammunition, includes the Prometheus MXVIII-20K, a blaster with a 200-roundnote  hopper and a fire rate that's not to be laughed at.note 
    • The Modulus Regulator, although technically modelled after a rifle, does come with a chainsaw grip accessory.
    • And now enter the Titan CS-50, with a first-of-its-kind fifty-dart drum and a rotating barrel effect.
  • Other chainsaw-grip toy blasters include the Air Zone Punisher Gatling Blaster and the Dart Zone Scorpion Gatling Blaster.

    Video Games 
  • Alien Swarm: Though most are not BFGs, all but three or four of the weapons used by the marines use this setup — presumably because it's somehow more practical when combined with their powered armour (perhaps due to range-of-movement restrictions or increased strength). It's in full force for the Autogun and Minigun though.
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall has this design used on numerous units and hero weapons like Promethean Purifiers, Assembly Electrocutioners, Shakarn Omni Cannons and the Dvar Rotary Autocannon.
  • The large Minigun of Montana from Battleborn is of this type for which he effortlessly lugs around.
  • The Razor Girls from Brütal Legend wield their massive guns (made from Fireboar carcasses) in this manner.
  • While no guns are held this way in Darkest Dungeon, the Arbalest's massive crossbow is wielded in this fashion.
  • Dawn of War: Flash Gitz and Ogryn wield their Ripper guns (the former loot their guns from the latter) this way due to pretty much all the reasons stated above: they're stupid, they're excessively strong (the basic ork looks like a seven-foot-tall green gorilla, the ogryns are eight-foot-tall space ogres), and they don't care about accuracy (the Ripper gun is a shotgun specifically designed to be equally efficient as a club and a projectile weapon so the Ogryns can make themselves useful while charging into melee, while the orks... well...). Flash Gitz even have a firing animation where they shoot one-handed, pumping their other fist in the air.
  • Deep Rock Galactic features these as primary weapons for the Driller and the Gunner. Their weapons are so heavy or bulky that they require two hands to wield and are too large to shoulder. Being Dwarves, they have the Stout Strength necessary to wield such enormous weapons with ease. This includes a minigun, heavy autocannon, and man-portable guided missile launcher for the Gunner and a industrial flamethrower, cryo-based turbine cannon, and a corrosive 'sludge pump' for the Driller.
  • Destiny: Cabal Colossi and Strike boss Valus Ta'aurc wield their heavy bolt throwers this way, as does Primus Ta'aun, even after he'd been Taken.
  • Doom: The eponymous BFG-9000 has a rearward grip implying this when found, but no equivalent foregrip, and its first-person sprite doesn't show it in use.
  • Dune II. The Heavy Trooper, favored infantry unit of the Harkonnen and Sardaukar, carries a really big machine gun like this.
  • While not a 'gun' per se, Xiahou Ba's "Siege Lance" moveset from Dynasty Warriors 8 is wielded in this fashion, and as might be expected from a rocket-powered melee weapon constructed in such a way, it is positively ludicrous in design and effectiveness.
  • The Jar Cannon is a rare medieval fantasy example in Elden Ring.
  • Many heavy weapons in the Fallout franchise are used like this, including several incarnations of the Minigun, the "Incinerator" flamethrower/grenade launcher hybrid from Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, each game's version of the Gatling Laser, and the iconic Plasma Caster (aka "Heavy Plasma Rifle") present in most games in the franchise.
    • In Fallout 4, the Flamer and Junk Jet are wielded this way as well, in addition to the previously mentioned Minigun and Gatling Laser.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, the boss of Doma Castle carries a weapon that is a very literal interpretation of this trope: the gunsaw. Not only is the gunsaw a rapid-firing BFG carried in the manner of a chainsaw, it has an actual chainsaw built into it acting as an underslung (and oversized) bayonet, letting the boss wield it like a melee weapon when he isn’t shooting people.
  • In God Eater Burst, all three gun types for the gun mode of the God Arcs are held in this fashion.
  • The Minigun is held this way in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto V.
  • In the Halo franchise, Spartans, Elites, and Brutes wield detached turrets in this style beginning in Halo 3, retaining the third-person camera viewpoint of their mounted variants. Promethean Soldiers join in on the fun in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • The Brute Shot and Sentinel Beam introduced in Halo 2 are handled like this, though unlike the detached turrets, they're still fired from a first-person camera.
  • Zarya's gun in Overwatch originally was mounted on a vehicle; her backstory (former bodybuilder and Olympic-class weightlifter) is used to handwave away the implausibility of her carrying around such a heavy piece of equipment. It doesn't hurt that the weapon itself is explicitly a gravity manipulator.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda is the first game in the franchise to provide an archetypical Gatling-style weapon, the Kett Soned, which plays all the associated tropes including this one to the hilt. An interesting variation is that the grip is not only used to hold the weapon - racking it back is part of the gun's unique reload animation.
  • Vulcan Raven of Metal Gear Solid does this with an M61 Vulcan cannon, a gun that's so not designed to be man-portable that it's only seen on aircraft and naval vessels in Real Life.
  • In the Monster Hunter series, both Light and Heavy Bowguns use this kind of grip.
  • The triple-barrel miniguns used by the Ironclad/Demolisher/Destroyer enemy type and their upgraded variants in Outriders are carried in this way. Also available to Technomancer players as one of the options summoned by the Tool of Destruction power (the other one being a just as iconic bazooka) - true to the trope it slows you to a walking pace and stops you from dodge rolling or using cover, but offers considerable firepower.
  • The Terran Republic Mini Chaingun in PlanetSide 1 is underslung this way (somewhat unusual in that the chainsaw grip is parallel to the weapon body, rather than perpendicular). Averted in the sequel, where the MCG is laid out like a normal rifle. A vocal part of the player base wants the chainsaw one back.
  • Every All-Star from Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare holds their weapon like this, be it a tennis ball pitching machine or half of a motorcycle.
  • The BFG from Quake II is wielded much like this.
  • A variation shows up in Ratchet & Clank: the heavier guns tend to have a second grip on the side rather than on top. Presumably, it was done for ease of animation.
  • Brutes in Saints Row: The Third carry oversized heavy weapons fitted with chainsaw grips, both flamethrowers and miniguns. The Boss, being the utter over-the-top Badass s/he is, can naturally use them too.
  • SCP: Secret Laboratory provides a variation with the Micro H.I.D, a Lightning Gun with its grip and trigger located opposite each other on the side.
  • In Splatoon, the Splatling class fits this profile; they have an excellent fire rate, but require charging up their bursts, and fully-charged bursts guzzle ink very quickly. The chainsaw grip also affects your aim at extreme angles.
  • In Star Trek Online the "blast assault" and "assault minigun" weapon types both use this grip configuration. So does the unique Synchronic Proton Distortion Prototype Assault Rifle (say that three times fast!).
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Assault cannons, oversized weapons carried by the Commando class, are held this way.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Heavy's miniguns all follow this design. The Medigun and its variants use a slightly more sensible design, being a repurposed fire hose nozzle with the top handle flipped backwards, so you push forward to open it instead of pulling back.
  • Titanfall 2 has the Predator Cannon, a Gatling gun so big that a 20-foot tall, 53-ton Titan has to wield it this way. It's big enough for a person to walk on.
  • Man-portable cannons are wielded this way in Torchlight II, but then again, they're not exactly accurate; they just blow out a spray of flame and shrapnel like an extra-large Short-Range Shotgun.
  • Tower of Fantasy has Hilda's Terminator, which can also be transformed into a mounted turret that fires single-burst projectiles.
  • Uncharted has two examples, those being the GAU-19 from Among Thieves and Golden Abyss and the DShKnote  from A Thief's End and The Lost Legacy. Both weapons can't be used in cover (unlike Drake's Deception's counterpart, the PAK-80), can't be stored on the player's back (obviously), and significantly reduce your movement speed.note 
  • The XCOM clone/tribute game UFO: Extraterrestrials follows this design for most of its heavy weapons, with a few (shoulder-mounted) exceptions.
  • Grenadiers in XCOM 2 use their cannons like this (with an added element of Gatling Good), unlike Heavy soldiers from XCOM: Enemy Unknown, who fire their machineguns from the hip in a slightly more reasonable fashion. "Slightly" because they hold the carry handle to steady the front of their LMGs when firing rather than the foregrip, for some reason.
  • Several archwing guns in Warframe come with an overslung handle to hold with the user's left hand. This does not prevent the user from aiming with them in the slightest, although getting to use these weapons outside of microgravity requires an upgrade earned through a daring heist in Orb Vallis.
  • In the Trails Series, recurring antagonist Shirley Orlando wields her Swiss-Army Weapon like this for certain attacks. Rather fitting, considering the weapon in question is part chainsaw...


    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Chainsaw grips are now available for shotguns. Of debatable practicality in everyday use, but very much Rule of Cool. SWAT teams sometimes use them (loaded with special breaching rounds) to blow open locked doors, since the added grip lets them reduce muzzle climb when fired.
    • Laser sights significantly improve the accuracy of firing from the hip.
  • Related to the Terminator 2 example:
  • Quite a few fire hoses appear to have this kind of grip, though usually in this case the fore handle is actually the "trigger"; you pull it toward yourself to increase the flow rate (it's designed so that the recoil force, which for a flow of several gallons per second is substantial, tends to shut the water off if you can't handle it instead of giving you even more).
  • The KAC ChainSAW is an attempt at an ergonomic LMG. Needless to say, Knights Armament Company decided to use the chainsaw grip.
  • As noted in the trope description, while smaller and lighter than the weapons generally associated with this trope, American soldiers in WWII (particularly in the Pacific Theater) would do this with their Browning .30 machine guns, which were ostensibly either fixed or flexibly-mounted on tripods and intended to be crew-serviced weapons. While the cooling sleeve of the M1917 made this impractical, the air-cooled M1919 facilitated the slipping of a handle over the barrel, allowing the weapon to be picked up, carried, and even used in this fashion by firing from the hip (John Basilone's demonstration to Marine recruits in The Pacific is very much Truth in Television). While not terribly accurate, it nonetheless provided a platoon with a devastating walking base of fire.