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Cool Guns

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Well, The Mona Lisa is maybe nicer but can she spew 900 rounds a minute?
"God made men. Sam Colt made men equal."
— Popular saying referring to the Colt Single Action Army, or "Peacemaker"

Some real-world firearms just look so cool people have to put them in things to show how awesome they are. In some cases, so much so that they appear more than in real life and / or in the wrong places, but this page is for the rest; cool guns that generally do belong where they are, are justified by internal backstory, or hidden under Hollywood embellishments. Regardless, these are the weapons that are often given that special close-up, spot on the cover, or speech extolling their virtues. Frequently, the real gun isn't quite as cool to actually use as fictional depictions would have you believe. Cool guns may even have pride of place as a BFG or Hand Cannon, or at least be depicted as similarly awesome; this is particularly true if they have any unusual characteristics. If they do, this is a Cool Action, and will be listed with the weapon.

This trope also includes the guns so widely used that you just can't get away without having them, since these too often get special attention from the cameraman. If not, they're just regular guns; the ones that are there purely because someone needs to fire something at someone else.

See also Gun Porn, Good Guns, Bad Guns, Gun Accessories, and the Sword Counterpart, Cool Sword. For guns that are not so cool, see Reliably Unreliable Guns. For a look at appearances of real-life firearms in fiction, see Guns of Fiction.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Masamune Shirow's works, the small arms manufacturer Seburo and their productions appear frequently, alongside real guns.
  • In Bleach, Coyote Starrk has a set of ornate pistols that can fire an infinite number of Cero lasers.
  • In GUN×SWORD, Ray's main weapon is a machine pistol with brass ornaments and an extra-long magazine.
  • Alucard's guns in Hellsing, the ARMS .454 Casull and the massive Jackal, which both shoot blessed projectiles (even anti-armor for the Jackal). The perfect weapons to fight vampires, monsters and whatnot.
  • The Dominators from Psycho-Pass. Accept no substitutes. The second season and the movie introduce the Assault Dominator, which can shoot through walls. The First Inspector movie introduces the Dominator SG model, which can lock onto and hit multiple targets at once.
  • Blitz Talker's revolver from Re:CREATORS, which uses the rare 6 o' clock barrel position that was invented by the Mateba Auto-Revolver and is currently in used by the Chiappa Rhino.
  • Vampire Knight: Zero's version of the Desert Eagle that eventually can be transformed into metal vines at his whim certainly counts.

    Comic Books 
  • Hellboy gives us the Samaritan, a giant revolver that fires four very large and powerful shots. The barrel and cylinder are forged from church bells, with the grips made from pieces of the cross Jesus was crucified on. There is also Big Baby, which is this time a revolving shotgun that fires very large shells.
  • Judge Dredd's sidearm, the Lawgiver, is a Smart Gun capable of firing multiple ammunition types and explodes if an unauthorised user attempts to use it. The original Lawgiver is listed under pistols, as it was based on a Luger. Both movie versions are listed as well, with Sylvester Stallone's Lawgiver built around a Beretta 92 and Karl Urban's built around a Glock 17.

    Fan Works 
  • In Tales of the Otherverse, Sherri wields a modified Steyr AUG capable of firing powerful energy blasts.
    In her hands she gripped a weapon that, to the casual observer, resembled an old Austrian Bull pup – A Steyr AUG. Indeed, in this probability, the manufacturer might well have been the same. Yet the similarities ended at appearances. This weapon, Sherri had demonstrated, fired blasts of energy that Kara was sure could probably knock her off her feet, even if they could not hurt her.

    Live-Action Film 
  • The Man with the Golden Gun: Scaramanga's "Golden Gun", that can be assembled from simple parts and used for assassinations. It's been a staple weapon in many 007 video games such as Goldeneye 007 and NightFire as a one shot, one kill weapon. It's a complicated story what it is, details here.
  • Blade Runner: Rick Deckard's Blaster, also called the P.K.D., "LAPD 2019 Blaster" "2019 Detective Special", "M2019 Blaster", or simply "That Gun", and is actually a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special revolver hidden inside the receiver of a Steyr-Mannlicher Model SL .222 bolt-action rifle. It's one of the rare examples of a fictional Cool Gun to show up outside of its originating work, most notably in the Fallout video game series. And that's without even touching its near-countless homages in other media, such as Doom³, Syndicate, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
  • RoboCop carries an Auto-9 pistol, in actuality a Beretta 93R pistol fitted with a raised rear sight and giant casket-shaped ported barrel extension, which is fired in single-shots and bursts at various points through the films. Like Deckard's Blaster above, it's been popular enough to show up in non-Robocop works, such as the film adaptation of Sin City, Perfect Dark, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.
  • Almost every blaster in the Star Wars saga is this by principle, all based on a real world firearm mocked up to look futuristic. Two of the most popular weapons are the DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (based on the Mauser C96 pistol & Han Solo's weapon of choice), and the E-11 Blaster Rifle (based on the Sterling submachine gun, standard issue for the Imperial Stormtroopers). Blasters not based on any firearm would be Chewbacca's Bowcaster, Amidala's ELG-3A blaster, and Jango Fett's WESTAR-34 pistols.
  • Aliens has its iconic M41A Pulse Rifle and M56 Smart Gun, both of which are apparently chambered in 10mm caseless, armour piercing, explosive-tipped rounds. The Pulse Rifle is additionally equipped with a Grenade Launcher and the Smart Gun is so big, its user carries it using a Steadicam harness. The former is a Thompson SMG in a polymer shell with the grenade launcher a Remington 870 hidden inside the outer body of a SPAS-12, the latter a German MG42 decorated with parts of several motorcycles.
  • The Mobile Infantry of Starship Troopers are armed with the Morita assault rifle with underbarrel shotgun attachments. Though it doesn't appear to be effective against the bugs unless whole squads concentrate their fire on a target. There is also the Tactical Oxygen Nuke launchers, which are a lot more effective in combat.
  • The Fifth Element: Zorg's latest creation as an arms dealer is his ZF-1 Pod Weapon. Its noticeable feature is the Replay Button, which fires a single beacon shot, and all subsequent shots follow its target. Other features include a rocket launcher, arrow launcher, net launcher, flamethrower (his favorite), and the all-new Ice Cube system. And a Self-Destruct Button.
  • The Suicide Squad: Bloodsport signature weapon is a handcannon that he spins around a turntable-style grip to cock it. It can be upgraded with additional attachments that transforms it into a BFG.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Bazookoids from Red Dwarf. Introduced in Series III, the Bazookoid is actually a mining laser, used to blast rocks, but in practice, is used by the Dwarfers as their primary hand held weapon. The nearest they've come to being used for their original intended function was in "Psirens" when Lister used one to clear some rubble from one of Starbug's landing legs. In addition to standard blasts, the Bazookoid also comes with a heat seeking mode. There are three variants: The original long barreled Mk I from Series III-VI, the short barreled Mk II from Series VII, and what is essentially a hybrid of the two (MK II style housing with a Mk I style long barrel) introduced in Series XI.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Bolter from Warhammer 40,000 has become one of the icons of ballistic-based future firearms. The makers of Rogue Trader wanted a weapon that was high-tech but suitably savage for a game that wasn't an optimistic vision of the future. So they based their new gun idea on the concept of the real-life gyrojet and came up with a gun that fires a self-propelled high calibre (originally 75mm then later reduced to a more realistic .75 calibre) shell that explodes once it penetrates a target. With its intimidating bulk and squat boxiness, it makes a big contrast to the sleek lines of '50s ray guns and no clean, sanitized vanishing in a flash of light. The bolter would punch a large hole in a target only to turn into a blast crater as the target is torn apart in the resulting explosion.

    Video Games 
  • Half-Life
    • The first game includes prototype weapons designed by Black Mesa that use depleted Uranium for ammunition: the Tau Cannon and the Gluon Gun. Opposing Force adds the Displacer Cannon, and alien creatures acting as guns, being the Shock Roach and the Spore Launcher (the larval form of the Shock Troopers).
    • The Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2. With your own personal tractor beam at your side, you can pick up all manner of objects to shoot at your enemy, including buzzsaws. Then it gets supercharged at the end of the game and those caught in the shadow of Gordon Freeman have cause to fear. Any sort of energy projection from the supercharged gun, be it the punting primary fire or the tractor beam of secondary, is a One-Hit Kill on any human-sized Combine, and it's also able to pick up, hold and launch Dark Energy cores.
  • Lots of guns from Perfect Dark qualify. A few standout examples are the Laptop Gun, an SMG with a 50 round capacity that disguises as a laptop and can be thrown to operate autonomously as a Weak Turret Gun, the RC-P120, another SMG with a gargantuan 120 round magazine and a built-in cloaking device, and the Devastator grenade launcher which can launch sticky grenades. That doesn't even get into the alien weapons, among which the absolute standout examples would be the Farsight XR-20, a rail gun with a built-in X-Ray scope that assists you in shooting through walls, and the Slayer rocket launcher which gives you the option to manually control its rocket as it flies.
  • Portal: The Portal Gun is a rather odd example of a gun seeing as it isn't particularly useful for violent encounters outside of some very specific scenarios. Still, a gun is a gun and there's nothing quite like being able to connect two distant places with a portal to a flat wall.
  • Overwatch: Reaper's Hellfire shotguns don't behave much differently to regularly guns. He dual wields two of them and they fire four shots apiece. Rather than reloading an empty gun, however, Reaper simply tosses his guns aside and pulls a new pair out from his Badass Longcoat. Still, though, those guns are very stylish and cool.
  • While the Doom series gave many different weapons, the weapon that tops them all would have to be the BFG9000, which makes mincemeat of many demons Doomguy encounters - even the Spider Mastermind, the Final Boss of the first game, can be killed in one shot from it if you fire it from point-blank range, depending on your luck.
  • The Fallout series features the Fat Man, a personal mini nuke launcher. It's generally one of if not the strongest weapon in the game, and can defeat most enemies in a single shot. Sadly, the rarity, weight, expense of ammo and risk of getting caught in the blast often keep it in the Awesome, but Impractical or Too Awesome to Use category, brought out only for the most dangerous enemies. If you didn't forget it in storage, because it's one of the heaviest weapons available.
  • In Gary Chalk's Gun Dogs video gamebook from Tin Man Games, the titular Boxed Crook gets his class defining weapon. It's a three-barrelled ball and cap breech-loading pistol that's basically an early Clock Punk repeater. The gun becomes even cooler if you can afford to rebuild the gun using magical metal from a meteorite.
  • The Quake series has its share of cool guns, from the rotary Super Nailgun, to a wide variety of lightning guns (plus a plasma beam variant), the BFG 10K (it has Dark Matter Gun variant too), Star Wars-like Hyperblasters (plus their Plasma Gun mutations), and traditional cool guns like Grenade and Rocket Launchers. However, one of the "trademark" guns of the Quake series is the sniping-focused hyper-velocity Railgun.
  • The Wolfenstein series is a semi-frequent offender:
    • Wolfenstein 3-D had the biggest impact for being the Trope Codifier for the chaingun as a staple for shooter games, and its 2001 sequel Return to Castle Wolfenstein making it better with the Venom chaingun, a 12.7mm monstrosity that can and will reduce anything to little giblets.
    • Wolfenstein (2009) introduced the Leichenfaust 44, basically the "Corpse Fist". It's similar in concept to the Doom BFG, launching an energy ball of doom (no pun intended) at surprisingly fast velocity. Most enemies caught in the path are Stripped to the Bone and vaporized in one fell swoop and the sphere usually keeps going through enemies until it finally hits an environment obstacle and explodes dramatically.
    • Wolfenstein: The New Order also gives us the Laserkraftwerk, a big, bulky laser gun that starts out primarily as a tool like the Gravity or Portal guns above, but with upgrades across the game eventually turning into one of your biggest and best options, able to turn an entire squadron of Nazis into cinders with one shot.
  • Like with the films above, the Star Wars video games also has a nice few weapons that you can get your hands on.
  • The Journeyman Project: Pegasus Prime features a number of weapons, but usage of them is limited, since you're a TSA agent.
    • One of the enemy robots is sent to kill a historical figure using a laser sniper rifle, and you can steal it after taking out the robot. Being made of a futuristic alloy, it comes in a two-barrel unit that fires plasma rounds and tranquilizer darts, though only the darts are left when you can get it.
    • The Big Bad also has a mint-condition M16 assault rifle in his office, but carrying it with you will result in getting spotted by NPCs.
  • The majority of the firearms in Team Fortress 2 are actual firearms with a cartoonish design to them. And there are those of entirely fictious origin, such as Demoman's Sticky Bomb Launchers or Scout's Scattergun. There are also many promotional weapons that are added, for example Dr. Grordbort's Ray Gun collections for Soldier, Engineer and Pyro.
  • The Turok series' contribution is the infamous Cerebral Bore. It is a weapon that launches a projectile which homes in on the head of an enemy, drilling into their skull with a geyser of blood, capped off with an explosion.
    • Other less spectacular but equally impressive guns include the Fusion Cannon and the Chronoscepter, which basically unleash a small nuke that kills everyone on a 15 meter radius.
  • Kurt Hectic, the main character of MDK has a chain gun, which is attached to his arm, and carries unlimited ammo. The other major weapon in the game is a sniper gun. This is created when Kurt detaches his chain gun from his arm and mounts it onto his helmet. The sniper weapon can zoom up to 100x, and has the capability of supporting five different types of ammunition, including homing missiles and mortar shells. Kurt's helmet in sniper mode also offers him protection from friction and heat during the atmospheric entry sections. There are also three Bullet Cams that track each projectile and linger briefly after impact, showing any damage done. However, when Kurt is in sniper mode, he is unable to move, and can thus be easily targeted by enemies.
  • Borderlands runs almost entirely on being able to wield the coolest, strangest and most amazing guns ever made. In this game you can use the spectacular Maliwan guns that shoot pure lightning, fire, acid or radiation, the hyper badass Torgue guns that shoot small rockets with absurd firepower, the Tediore guns where instead of reloading them you just throw the gun at an enemy and a new gun spawns on your hand, the Vladof assault rifles that are more like miniguns, the Hyperion guns that automatically load your clips and become more accurate the more you fire them, the Children of the Vault guns that are powered by an internal combustion engine, or the Simple, yet Awesome Jakobs guns that look like pre-World War II guns yet have always the best statistics in the game (and even Jakobs is not above using cool guns — their high tier assault rifles fire cannonballs), and that's just the common vanilla guns — the unique guns include shotguns that fire undulating waves of energy, pistols that fire weaponized synthwave music, sniper rifles that distill ammo into Slow Lasers, and shotguns that fire swords that break into mini-swords that impale everyone.
    • Dahl and Jakobs guns are themselves modeled after cool real life guns, complete with their cool signature actions — such as Jakobs battle rifles with a Winchester lever mechanism and a Garand magazine that pings when empty, or Dahl submachineguns that are cocked with an HK slap.
  • Thing-Thing 4 has the N.U.K.E gun. Based on the real-life PHASR, which was a laser dazzler meant to blind targets, this gun is capable of blowing everything up in a flash. It is however, unlocked by 100%-ing the game, and mainly serves as a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Many Deus Ex players will swear by the Guided Explosive Projectile (GEP) Gun. As it can fire homing rockets to dispose of enemy troops and robots alike and rockets are abundant. Especially since you can choose to have the GEP Gun at the start of the game with the concession of taking eight inventory squares.
    • With the right modifications, many guns in Deus Ex: Human Revolution are this. Like the 10mm Pistol with armor-piercing rounds, the Revolver with exploding rounds, or the Combat Rifle with the Target-Seeking upgrade. The Diamonback revolver, Sniper Rifle and Widowmaker shotgun made a crossover appearance in Team Fortress 2 as promotional items with decent stats.
  • Whereas the previous eight weapon groups would all fit in the overt medieval fantasy that otherwise pervaded the setting, the manacasters of Dragalia Lost are a wide variety of mana-fueled firearms, from precision shots like Joe and Joachim's rifles to bullet hoses like Leonidas' tommy and Chelle's foldable gatling. The Forgotten Truths event had a lot more of these around with Augus' soldiers and Ilia packing their own, which also served to ultimately reveal that the setting was a post-apocalyptic fantasy locked in Medieval Stasis, and the event was where and when the end of the old world went down.
  • Exagryph: The Adamant Rail, is a useable weapon in Hades that Zagreus can use to escape the Underworld. It was made during the war between the Olympians and the Titans and used by Hestia, of all people. After seeing firsthand what it can do, the Greek gods sealed it away believing humanity would make warfare even more brutal and efficent. Needless to say, they were right. Exagryph also has many forms based on who used it, and one of said users is none other than Lucifer himself, which takes the form of a laser gun with literal Hellfire bombs.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: The Malorian Arms 3516, Johnny Silverhand's Ace Custom magnum semi-automatic with a built-in incendiary shotgun mod. Did we mention you can use the flamethrower burst infinitely? According to him, he stormed Arasaka Tower armed with this one pistol. When you eventually find it, it works exactly like the flashback sequence.
    • According to the source material, Johnny had the pistol commissioned after one too many run-ins with a heavily-chromed and aggressive Loony Fan, and specifically asked for something that could put down a cyberpsycho with one shot.
  • Date Kaname's Evolver ("Exciting VOLtaic VERsatile") gun from AI: The Somnium Files. A rather odd-looking revolver that uses what appears to be electromagnets to fire its bullets, it is also capable of loading a wide variety of bullets for various functions such as wire bullets or explosive fire bullets. The sequel introduces another version of the Evolver modeled after a derringer pistol.
  • Metal Gear has a ridiculous number of cool real life guns, but also one or two fictional ones. Most notable is the series of railguns that appear in various forms. In Metal Gear Solid, REX's railgun is a plot point in that it's used to launch nuclear weapons. Scaled down railguns appear in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots as Fortune and Crying Wolf's weapons of choice. These are portable in the loosest sense of the word, given that they're ridiculously huge. In the latter game, Snake can make use of it after defeating Wolf and it makes use of a Charged Attack; The longer it's aimed, the more damage the shot does. Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has both a Metal Gear mounted railgun and a prototype man portable version developed by the MSF in 1974. In a nod to the earlier time period, the portable version has a separate charger for it, making Co-Op Multiplayer a must to use it to its full potential.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Ironwood is one of the few people on the show who owns a gun rather than a weapon that turns into a gun. He wields two, extremely large, revolvers, one of which is called 'Due Process', while the other is unnamed. They are engraved with floral designs and fire Dust, though the unnamed gun fires gravity dust exclusively.
    • Watts also has a fairly impressive, twenty-shot revolver covered in decorative gold wire making vine-like shapes all over the gun. It shoots ice, lightning and fire dust as well as actual bullets.
  • Xionic Madness 4 has the Grudge, a sniper rifle that casts out holograms that enable a single shot to hit multiple targets at a time by ricocheting towards each hologram.

Alternative Title(s): Cool Gun


The Sonic Shotgun

Apparently the cooler you look when you twirl it, the stronger the (((boom)))

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GunTwirling

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