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Good Guns, Bad Guns

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Cops And Robbers has never been this serious.

Certain guns tend to get used exclusively by either heroes or villains.

Much of this is simply because the vast majority of TV shows are made and/or set in NATO countries. For example, the popularity of AK-pattern weapons as "bad-guy guns" is easily explained by the vast quantities of the weapon which were manufactured by the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China and sold to Second and Third World nations during the Cold War, the former which just happened to be enemies of America, the latter who often purchased weapons from the Eastern Bloc. Additionally, the huge quantities of AKs that got shipped all over the world meant they were so cheap that almost anyone, criminals and insurgents included, could buy them by the dozen and plenty of ammunition to go with them, while the design was widespread enough that clandestine arms factories could churn them out in large numbers.


"Good" guns:

  • Any AR-15 type weapon, especially the M16 family, ACR, HK416 and the M4/M4A1 Carbine.
  • As the sidearm of the US military from 1985 to 2017, the Beretta M9 or 92F/S, unless it's the Inox variant. The Taurus PT92 also counts too, as its often used to stand in for the M9 in some productions.
  • Most weapons of the Allied forces (particularly the American and British forces) of World War I and World War II, such as the M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, Owen Gun, Sten Gun, Bren Gun, Lee-Enfield No. 1 Mk III* or No. 4 Mk I, Webley Mark VI Revolver, Lewis Gun, Maxim Gun, Vickers Gun, Browning M2, Browning M1917, M1917 Enfield, M3/M3A1 grease gun, M1917 revolver, M1903 Springfield and M1918 BAR, but especially the Colt M1911A1. Soviet equivalents (the Tokarev Pistol, Mosin-Nagant, and PPSh-41) are more ambiguous, but tend to lean towards good on works focused in the Eastern Front.
  • Smith & Wesson Model 29, Smith & Wesson Schofield, Colt Navy 1851, Colt Python and Colt Single Action Army revolvers, although there might be exceptions.
    • Special mention goes to the Smith & Wesson Model 10, which is not only the de-facto image of revolvers in general, but was the Weapon of Choice for police officers both in fiction and in real life throughout almost the entirety of the 20th century in the United States.
    • Most cop shows set before The '90s would give revolvers to good characters, whereas someone carrying an automatic would be either bad or an Anti-Hero. Any cop carrying a revolver in a more recent cop show is likely an experienced, older cop.
  • Lever-action rifles and shotguns (especially in Westerns).
  • Any weapon generally exclusive to NATO forces, such as the FN FAL and Browning Hi-Power (with a few exceptions; see below)
  • Other weapons with black or dark finishes, however in the case of some guns of European manufacture (Heckler and Koch, Sig, and Steyr; see below) they tend to be "bad" guns just as often as they are "good" guns, usually to show how the people using them are professionals and/or affluent, or that they're mercenaries.
  • The Thompson M1/M1A1, often seen being used by American GIs in World War II movies with the stick magazines and horizontal front grips. The M1928A1 variant can also be considered a good guy gun if used with the stick magazine, as these were used by British and Chinese soldiers, as well as some US Marines, throughout WW2.
  • The Glock (except maybe the Glock 18) tends to be a good gun in any US production, as it's fairly widespread among police, government agencies and is tremendously popular with the civilian market. The Glock's quintessential Boring, but Practical aesthetic also provides an instant contrast with the flashier guns many villains prefer.
  • The MP5, as it tends to be used by SWAT teams and Western special forces units, most notably the British SAS, who used them to great effect in the Iranian Embassy Siege. The MP5K variant is the exception, though.
  • Most FN Herstal weapons, particularly the SCAR, F2000 and P90, usually in the hands of elite special forces units. The Minimi or M249 and Five-seveN are possible exceptions, however.
  • The SA80 series, typically seen in the hands of British military personnel.

"Bad" guns:

  • Anything distinctly Soviet/Warsaw Pact in origin, most notably the Russian AK family, the SVD rifle and its updated descendants, and the Czechoslovak Škorpion submachine gun. The same goes for arms produced by Red China, especially their copy of the AK-47, the Type 56, and the Type 54 pistol as detailed below. However, the AKs are exceptions if their owners are members of La Résistance, and/or The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified.
  • The Type 54, the Chinese version of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33. In Asian drama, action film, heroic bloodshed films set in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong in the '70s to '80s, they are the weapon of choice for The Triads and the Tongs. The reason for their "popularity" is due to the huge numbers of them mass-produced for the PLA as their main sidearm until the 1990s and CCP cadres, the latter using them for executions. Smugglers were able to get hold of ex-military surplus pistols and sold them to illicit end-users. Affectionately named Black Star Pistol or "Hei Xing" for the black star on the grips.
  • The Steyr AUG and TMP - though again, there are exceptional cases. And pretty illogical ones at that, since the AUG has always been used by western armies and very rarely by organized crime. Thank a certain classic action movie for giving it the "evuuul firearm" image. All the more weird because most modern German and Austrian guns are usually depicted as being of the "hero"/"good" gun variety.
    • Individuals that tend to use these are usually professionals, generally a part of a shadowy conglomerate which has much higher standards and a lot more money to outfit them with something better than local standard-issue Soviet surplus.
  • Any rifle produced by SIG (later Swiss Arms). Pistols such as the P226 tend to bounce around on either side.
  • Almost anything made by Heckler and Koch, but like Steyr firearms, there are exceptions, such as if the good guys are part of a counter-terrorism or police unit. Most MP5 variants (see above), the HK416 (since it greatly resembles the AR-15) and the USP (and, by extension, the Mark 23 SOCOM) are exceptions.
  • Machine pistols in general, like the aforementioned TMP, the TEC-9, MAC-10 & MAC-11, Micro-Uzi, and so on. The Weapon of Choice of urban gangsters and disestablishment types.
    • The Beretta 93R is generally an exception, as it's physically almost identical to the above-mentioned good gun, the Beretta 92. Maybe burst-fire is "less evil" than full-auto. It's also the basis for Robocop's Auto-9.
    • The MAC-10 may sometimes be a good gun as well in works set during The Vietnam War, if the producers bother giving US soldiers something other than M16s.
  • The FN Minimi / M249 SAW, commonly wielded by Elite Mooks in a good number of shooters, a tradition codified by Black, though it's an exception if the US military are the ones using it.
  • Anything made by Calico, but especially their machine pistols.
  • Most weapons of the Central/Axis forces during World War I and World War II, especially the distinctive-looking Walther P38, MP40 (which gunned down loads of Allied soldiers, civilians, prisoners and partisans), MG34 and particularly the MG42 (thanks to it carrying the infamous name of "Hitler's Buzzsaw" as well as being used by a certain Galactic Empire as their Heavy Blaster Rifle, unless there are girls flying around with propeller boots). The Japanese Nambu Type 14, Arisaka rifles, Type 100 submachine gun, and Type 96 and 99 light machine guns are also prominent choices here, especially if a work is set in late 1930s China or in the Pacific Theater, as these guns were more than often used to execute civilians and prisoners of war outside of their use in combat. There are, however, a few exceptions:
    • Gewehr 98: A bolt-action rifle whose action remains popular well into the new millennium, where it is often used as a hunting rifle; it's only the Karabiner 98k model specifically that tends to be heavily associated with the Nazis, and even that model is still very well loved for the same reasons as its larger brother.
    • Luger P08: Although more Imperial German than Nazi, the Luger is famous as a bad-guy gun due to its association with the latter, but is considered cool enough to belong to a gun aficionado of wealth and taste or an Anti-Hero. It probably helps that British, American and Russian soldiers in WWII, essentially a pinnacle of heroism for having helped defeat the Nazis, frequently looted Lugers as war trophies. Extra coolness comes from the pistol's distinctive, sleek looks.
    • Walther PP/PPK: Popular worldwide and beloved by superspies like James Bond and Agent Carter. Plus gets bonus points for being the "Gun That Killed Hitler", though it then promptly loses some of those points when you realize it was because it was his gun. Possibly losing a few more when you also consider it was the loose basis for the Soviet Makarov pistol after the war.
    • The Mauser C96 also gets a free pass because of its association with Republican China and the KMT, with the Nationalist Chinese army using it as its service pistol until the 1950s. The C96 and its copies have been used by various revolutionary movements worldwide and the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, not to mention being favored by both Winston Churchill in the real world and Han Solo in films.
    • Italian weapons like the Carcano M91 series, Beretta MAB38, Breda 37, Beretta M1934, etc also tend to get a free pass because they are much less famous than German and Japanese weapons and a lot of people don't know how they look like. Not to mention a lot of movies and games often replace them and give the Italians German weapons instead. In addition they are used by Italian Partisans and defecting Italian soldiers. The Carcano of course is more infamous for something else instead.
    • The only exceptions not listed above are partisans who happen to capture Nazi guns. You can usually expect them to have modified the weapon in some way, to signify that they aren't a Nazi, though you would think they would want to use a weapon that didn't pin them as resistance member.
  • The Thompson M1921 or M1928A1 when fitted with drum magazines and vertical front grips, as they are the weapon of choice of Hollywood gangsters.
  • Sawed-off shotguns, especially double-barreled ones, unless there are zombies around.
  • Other weapons with brown or bright (as in hard chrome) finishes, particularly Bling-Bling-BANG!. Stainless and matte silver finishes tend to be the exception, especially for revolvers.
  • Anything with one or more parts that are lit up and / or a Laser Sight.
  • The IMI Desert Eagle, unless the protagonist is an Anti-Hero.
  • The QBZ-95 and 97, though with plenty of exceptions. Expect them to be used by morally-ambiguous modern Chinese forces that could be good or bad depending on the situation.
  • The Smith & Wesson Model 500, or any similarly high-caliber magnum revolver.
  • South African weapons, such as the Vektor R4 and CR-21. As South Africa is a relatively inexpensive place to film low-budget action films, especially for films set in other African nations (in addition to a growing number of films both filmed and set in South Africa such as District 9 and Chappie), these weapons are used by local film studios and armorers for their availability and as such tend to end up in the hands of lots of disposable mooks alongside the usual AKs and Uzis. The Milkor MGL is usually an exception, though, due to being used by the US military as well as police forces around the world.
  • Gatling guns or miniguns, unless salvaged from enemies or the protagonist is an Anti-Hero.
  • RPGs and other rocket launchers, in particular the infamous Russian RPG-7 or the WWII German Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck.
  • Flamethrowers, unless the work is set in the Pacific Theater of World War II or involves parasites.
  • The Armalite AR-18, due to it being a favored weapon of the IRA during The Troubles.
  • The FAMAS, popularized as the other assault rifle of choice of terrorists besides the AK by Metal Gear Solid. The exception is if the French military are involved.
  • As a side note, villains tend to dual-wield more often than the good guys. The exceptions are the Anti-Hero and the Action Hero.

This also happened to some extent with the film cameras used by characters. Good guys favor Leicas or beat-up old manual SLRs; bad guys prefer Nikons. (A bit of Lampshade Hanging in the first season of 24 — the good guys use Macintosh computers, the bad guys use Microsoft.) Walker, Texas Ranger actually applied this to the cars characters drove; Walker and friends drove Dodges and Chryslers, the bad guys drove various General Motors products. Round turreted tanks were usually evil, while square ones were usually good.

This is often Truth in Television, though specific ones are used unrealistically.

What weapons count as what may reflect what the audience is expected to interpret them as, but can also be contrary in the case of wars and alliances changing. For example, the Uzi and AUG have rarely been used by actual criminals, but are often used by Western-friendly countries in real life. Many insurgent groups use many non-Soviet designs, especially as Western weapons and ammunition have become more common. In post-2001 Afghanistan, the national army and police, which are part of the UN coalition, use mainly Soviet weapons, as do a lot of the British private security contractors working for Western organizations, and UN peacekeepers from many non-NATO nations. Older "good" weapons like the FAL and Lee-Enfield are now far more common among insurgents and militias than they are in national militaries. The M16A2 and M16A4 are also becoming increasingly common in the hands of Iraqi and Afghan insurgents due to the long US military presence in both nations ensuring a steady flow of American arms through the black market.

Note also that what constitutes a "good gun" depends on the audience. Take the humble Kalashnikov rifle for example. In Western media, it's often a sinister gun used by unsavory types. In Russian media, a Kalashnikov is an everyman's weapon with no evil connotations the same way an AR-15 would be in America - after all, they invented it. In Africa, the Kalashnikov is widely seen as a symbol of liberation from colonial oppression; Mozambique even depicts an AK on its national flag.

Nazi weapons, however, are shorthand for evil almost everywhere.

Sub-Trope of Good Weapon, Evil Weapon. Related to Unusable Enemy Equipment. Contrast The Enemy Weapons Are Better.

Subversions of this trope:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Pretty much ignored in City Hunter, in which enemies could show up with guns on either side of the spectrum without much ado. Quite telling are the scene in an early chapter where Ryo (protagonist) and Umibozu (in the occasion, antagonist) faced off wielding respectively a RPG-7 (bad guy weapon) and an M67 recoiless rifle (good guy weapon), and the whole final arc, in which the villains are mostly armed with MP5s but also have RPG-7s and their boss has a Walther P-38. In general, the choice of handgun says nothing about the character being good or evil but rather how much they know what they're doing, with soldiers and cops carrying standard-issue weapons, professionals carrying military or police weapons they know how to handle (a couple carried some improbable weapons, but they still used them well), and mob thugs and wannabes carrying whatever gun they manage to grab and often doing something stupid with it or being otherwise outmatched.
  • In Aoharu × Machinegun, Masamune uses twin Desert Eagles (one chrome, one normal) and Hotaru has a Walther P-38. Both are protagonists, Masamune's not an Anti-Hero. However on Masamune's side it could be because his outward image plays with the All Girls Want Bad Boys trope.
  • Strike Witches averts this thanks to its premise of "World War II between humanity in general and an alien threat". As in the real war, aces from Karlsland (the series' Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Germany) are the most skilled and most numerous, so while everyone tends to use weapons from their home country (witches from Japan's counterpart tend towards a dismounted version of the Zero's 20mm cannon, one from their version of Russia uses a DP-28, another from their America uses a BAR and loaned an M1919A6 to a squadmate from the Italian counterpart, etc.), the majority of them use Nazi German weapons, with MG42s mounted with twin-drum magazines being particularly common for their large ammo capacity and high rate of fire to simply chew through the aliens' armor.
  • Fate/Zero plays with the trope a little: Emiya Kiritsugu uses a Calico M950 as his sidearm, a notable Bad Gun, but he's a dark Anti-Hero, not a villain.
  • In many airsoft-themed anime and manga, such as Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³ and the above-mentioned Aoharu X Machine Gun, the Desert Eagle is often the weapon of choice of the Big Good, with the former show tending to invert this in particular. For example, Rento Kirishima, one of the nicest members of the titular club, uses an AK-47, the almost textbook example of a bad-guy gun, as her main weapon, while Karila Hatsuse, one the club's rougher members, uses a P90 instead.

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, the government Fingermen use .38-caliber revolvers, possibly Colt Police Positives. In the movie they've upgraded to Berettas, while Creedy uses a massive revolver.
  • Both played straight and averted in Marvel's GI Joe run (and the toys). Cobra troopers usually sport Russian Dragunovs or AKs, but Snake Eyes, one of the most popular Joes, uses an Uzi.
  • Sensation Comics: The iconic #1 cover depicts a gangster shooting at Wonder Woman with a drum magazine fitted Tommy Gun.
  • Averted in Tex Willer, as not only lever-action rifles are used by both good and bad guys (as bandits who aren't known as such just need to walk into a gun shop and buy one), the US Cavalry is noted to not use them but rather the Springfield 1873, a single shot rifle with a trapdoor breechblock.

  • Август Восьмого (Avgust Vos'mogo, August Eighth) is an inversion, because it's a Russian film about the 2008 South Ossetia War. The good guys use the AK-74, while the Georgian opposition use the M4.
  • In Iron Man (2008), the bad guys almost exclusively use Western guns. They're referred to as made by Stark International. This is used to illustrate how Stark can't bother himself at first over his tech falling into the wrong hands.
  • Face/Off contains a noteworthy example when Castor pulls out and quickly empties a Stechkin Automatic Pistol, which not only is a sinister-looking Eastern Bloc weapon, but also has full-auto capability. In a "Making of" featurette, the movie's armorer gushes about what a great "Bad Guy" gun the Stechkin is.
  • In Star Wars, Han Solo's signature DL-44 is really a rebuilt broomhandle Mauser, normally a 'bad guy' gun. Then again, it's often overlooked that Han Solo is not a hero — he's a smuggler, one with a bad-tempered partner (known to pull people's arms off if beaten at holo-chess), a highly illegal ship with multiple hidden compartments, and who has mastered the art of the subtle draw in order to be able to blow away the amateur bounty hunters that come after him if he screws up a smuggling job (no matter which version you believe, Han was definitely drawing his gun under the table and pointing it at Greedo's crotch for several seconds while Greedo talked). This was another clue that Han Solo is NOT a nice guy.
    • More generally, good guys in Star Wars tend to wield pistols (Han, Leia, Luke, the rebels on the Tantive IV) whereas bad guys use rifles (Stormtroopers, Battle Droids), with the only high-profile exception being Chewbacca's bowcaster built out of a Stormtrooper rifle. This shortly leads to the sight of the aforementioned stormtroopers firing their rifles normally at Luke and Leia, naturally missing, while Luke is firing back at them with a stolen rifle, holding it like it's a pistol and killing one trooper with each shot. An interesting note, however, is that the Tantive IV guys and the Stormtroopers both use weapons made from the same base, the former's just having shorter barrels and the stock completely removed instead of folded underneath.
      • The blaster of the Tantive IV crew later reappears in the hands of the Imperial Naval Troopers. In-universe it's simply a very popular and enduring design that the Rebels bought on the surplus market.
    • Zig-zagged for the generic Rebel soldiers after the first movie - in The Empire Strikes Back the A295 blaster rifle the Echo Base troopers used was based on the StG-44, a weapon used by Nazi Germany. In Return of the Jedi, their older A280 blasters were instead based on the AR-15, dressed up to look similar to the StG. The Stormtroopers, meanwhile, are given weapons based on the Sterling SMG and Lewis gun, both British designs, but later media tends to base all of their heavier weapons on the MG 34, a machine gun most notably used by Nazi Germany before it was updated into the MG 42. Attack of the Clones gives the clone troopers large rifles also based on the MG 34, partly as a Call-Forward to what will become of them after the Clone Wars, which is further exemplified in Revenge of the Sith where most of them use carbines almost identical to the Stormtroopers' E-11 rifle.
  • In Commando, many bad guys carry M16 rifles (possibly justified in that one of the terrorists' bosses was a turncoat Special Forces man). Matrix himself makes use of an Uzi, a Desert Eagle, a pump action shotgun and an AK variant, while the Big Bad carries a Steyr AUG.
  • In Avalon, protagonist Ash carries a PPK and SVD, and at one point borrows a broomhandle Mauser. Later, she trades her PPK for a dead player's Polish Radom pistol.
  • In the Korean Western The Good, the Bad, the Weird, the Good bounty hunter wields a lever-action Winchester rifle, the Bad bandit uses a Webley revolver, and the Weird thief uses a pair of Walther P38 pistols.
  • In The Rocketeer the police and FBI use .38 Special revolvers while the mobsters all carry Colt 1911 .45s. At the climax both the FBI and mobsters use Thompson submachine guns again the Nazis. However, the Rocketeer himself uses a Mauser C96.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger is set in World War II, and it features American and German soldiers using American and German weaponry. Red Skull's Luger is distinctive among the film's many examples of this because it is modified to use an infinite supply of divine power as its ammunition.
  • The 1995 film adaptation of Richard III seems to zig-zag on this trope, being set in an alternate dieselpunk Britain. Richard, a villain, carries the Mauser C96, while Edward (ostensibly good) and Richmond (definitely good) carry the Colt 1911. However, the troops of both sides use Lee-Enfield rifles and Browning Automatic Rifles. Also, in the coup that opens the film, Richard's troops use German MP 18s and Edward's men carry the MP 40.
  • In the SF/Horror film Lifeforce, the SAS troopers are armed with Steyr AUGs.
  • Though the villains of Heat use all sorts of firearms throughout the film, the big post-bank-robbery shootout has the more sympathetic Shiherlis and McCauley wielding Colt 733s (AR-15 variant with an 11.5" barrel) while Cheritto, the more stereotypical bad guy, carries a Galil ARM (as pictured above), which is based on a Finnish AK-clone. This is in comparison to the cops, most of whom use M16s and Mossberg shotguns for that shootout, and with Lt. Vincent Hanna using a slightly customized version of the FN FNC. One unique use of this trope also revolves around how people use their guns, where the villains - concerned with simply getting away - fire their weapons in full-auto at the cops to try and keep them in cover, while the cops - very mindful of the several innocents caught in their shootout - all return fire with careful single shots to minimize the chance of hitting anyone other than their targets. Another interesting use is in regards to sidearms, to highlight how Hanna and McCauley aren't so different, by giving them both good-guy pistols: Hanna using a Series 80 1991A1 (an upgraded version of the classic M1911) and McCauley using an HK USP until after the drive-in shootout, where he switches it out for a SIG P220.
  • In The Avengers, good guy Hawkeye carries a Heckler and Koch P30 as his sidearm. However, he only fires it when he's "evil". When he's with the Avengers it lies unused in his holster, and he only uses his bow (which he granted also used when evil as well) or alien weapons he picked up.
  • Inverted in xXx. The movie takes place mostly in the Czech Republic, so the local police tactical units are armed with Warsaw Pact-derived weapons, and are allied with the hero. The bad guys tend to use Western guns.
  • In Tango & Cash, the protagonists use Calico M950s while assaulting the antagonist's base.
  • The 2004 Thai action film Born to Fight averts this as the communist terrorists use M16s, MP5s, and M1911s as their main armaments.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the Capitol uses a sleek white F2000 rifle to compliment their Light Is Not Good trend while District 13 uses skeletal black G36 rifles to reinforce their respective Dark Is Not Evil motif.
  • In the novelization of Rambo: First Blood Part II, while preparing for his mission, Rambo specifically asks for a Kalashnikov instead of the overdesigned technological marvel Murdock wanted to give him, because it'd be easy to find ammunition and replacement parts behind enemy lines. He also asked for a bow and arrows.
  • While sidearms are all over the place (mostly American), the final shootout of Gangster Squad has the titular Squad attacking mafioso Mickey Cohen's stronghold wielding Tommy guns while Cohen and his goons get trigger-happy with MP 40s.
  • Mad Max. Inverted because, while in the original most guns seen are normal break-action shotguns (although one of the gangers has a Mauser C96), Max, a cop, has a sawn-off, while the MFP and some of the gangers have S&W revolvers. In The Road Warrior, Max still has the shotgun, while Humongous has a revolver, which appears to be a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum with a scope. In Beyond Thunderdome, all these considerations go out the window due to the scavenger society of Max's world; Bartertown goons may carry a Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, a lever-action Winchester, and an M60 machine gun; Max hands in a different sawn-off, an S&W revolver and a C96 upon entering Bartertown; and an ordinary man in the crowd entering Bartertown has a Karabiner 98k.
  • Inverted in the Chinese film My War, which depicts the Korean War from the Chinese perspective. The Chinese Communist protagonists wield a mix of Japanese (eg. Type 99 rifles, Type 92 machine guns), Soviet (eg. PPS-43 submachine guns, DP light machine guns), domestically manufactured weaponry (Type Zhongzheng rifles, ZB vz.26 light machine guns and Type 24 Maxim guns) and a few captured American weapons presumably taken off the Chinese Nationalists, such as M1903 Springfield rifles. The opposing US Army wields its iconic arsenal of M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, Thompson and M3 submachine guns, and Browning machine guns. However, the Americans use M1928A1 Thompsons instead of the much more common M1A1 by that stage in time, and Browning M1917s instead of the more widespread M1919A4s and M1919A6s. Justified as these weapons are leftovers from Chinese Civil War movies, where they're usually in the hands of Nationalist Mooks.
  • Subverted in the Chinese film Operation Red Sea, where the protagonists - Chinese special forces - are equipped with Chinese weaponry such as QBZ-95 rifles, while the Arab terrorists wield staple Soviet weapons.
  • Inverted in the Chinese Wolf Warrior films, where the Chinese protagonists are armed with modern PRC weapons such as the QBZ-95, but the rebel forces they tear through use AKs. In contrast, the villainous "foreign mercenaries" in both films are armed with American weapons such as M16s, M4s, M249 SAWs, or M21 rifles. Tom Cat (Scott Adkins) and Big Daddy (Frank Grillo), the two American antagonists in the films, both use M4A1s as their primary weapon.

    Live Action TV 
  • Lost's guns constantly change hands, making "good" and "bad" irrelevant.
    • Interestingly, many of the guns used by the "bad guys," the Others, were obtained from the US Army, generally seen as good guys in other media.
  • Partly subverted in Jericho (2006), where the townspeople generally use hunting and police-issue weapons, while the marauding Ravenwood mercs use M4s with all the bells and whistles. Arguably, Hawkins' preferred weapon — a Beretta Cougar Inox (stainless steel finish) — reflects the doubt as to whether his intentions are good or evil.
  • Subverted by Sons of Guns. While there are no "bad guys", one of Red Jacket's biggest claims to fame are modified AK-action weapons such as AKM derivatives and the Saiga semi-automatic shotgun. They have also done prominent builds using other "bad guns" such as four MG-42s in a quadruple anti-aircraft mount and a folding gun based on the Ingram MAC-10.
  • In New Series Doctor Who, UNIT and Torchwood (and on occasion, the British Army for some reason) are armed with H&K assault rifles.
  • Subverted in Burn Notice. Both the good and bad guys use pretty much anything, and the distinctive SIG SG552/P556 hybrid is used by Michael and/or Fiona in some episodes and by random bad guys in others.
  • Played fairly straight on The Walking Dead during seasons 3 and 4. Major antagonist "The Governor" carries a Steyr AUG, his soldiers often carry weapons like H&K MP5s; while Rick and his ilk almost exclusively use M16s or M4s when seen with a full-auto weapon.
  • Supernatural somewhat plays to this; Dean, a good guy, carries an M1911A1, while several "darker" characters - a future version of Dean, Gordon, and Sam while he was missing his soul - use the Mark 23.
  • Love/Hate throws this trope out the window almost entirely what with the protagonists being gang members; Beretta 92s and Glock 17s are the favoured pistols in the underworld with AKs and Sawed-Off Shotguns used in certain situations (mostly by the IRA). The closest thing to a "good" gun is the SIG-Sauer P226, which is a police issue weapon and even then, one or two turn up in criminal hands.
  • Sea Patrol tends to invert this at certain points; given that the protagonists are Australian military, they use the AUG when small arms are needed. Pistol-grip, stockless pump-action shotguns are usually used by bad guys (the Australian Defence Force uses a stock-equipped shotgun) while self-loading pistols tend to bounce around (the ADF uses a Browning 9mm, but handguns in general denote bad guys are they are difficult and complex to acquire legally in Australia). Other weapons also tend to bounce around, though any weapons not used by the Australian military are usually bad, as the characters end up in hot zones, and are once hunted for sport by a man with a crossbow and a man with a bolt-action rifle and a self-loading pistol, though by the time the pistol is revealed Bird has his rifle with which she shoots him as he tries to draw on her.

    Video Games 
  • Generally speaking, FPS games tend to commonly do this in a few ways. The first is that opposing factions start out using different yet often similar weapons, though they may vary more in games where the player can take weapons from deceased enemies.
  • Ghost Recon
    • In Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, enemy soldiers are equipped with NATO weapons instead of the standard AKs. AKs are available in multiplayer matches for use by anyone.
    • The original Ghost Recon zig-zags this. Enemies, as always, almost always use the AK and similar weapons, and while a player in campaign is generally restricted to NATO weapons like the M16/M4, M24, and M249, there are also a few bad-guy guns available to specialists or in multiplayer modes, like the SVD sniper rifle, the RPK-74, and the MG3 (a 7.62mm NATO conversion of the infamous MG42 used by Nazi Germany). The expansions went even further to avert this for the Ghosts, giving them access to the Makarov pistol, several AK variants and even WWII-era DP machine guns.
    • In a reversal, Future Soldier enforces this in multiplayer mode: generally, the Ghosts are restricted to using NATO weapons and Bodark to WarPac ones (though there's an inversion with the SA58, a modern American-made variant of the FAL, and the Ultimax 100 which are treated as Bodark weapons, and an aversion with the various Tasers available to both sides), and the colors of HUD elements and the models for most attachments change depending on what "side" the gun is on - a Tac Scope and Suppressor, for instance, take the form of an ACOG and M4-2000 for Ghost guns, which have blue highlights, and a 1P29 and PBS-1 for Bodark ones, which get red highlights. As such, every time you unlock a weapon by ranking up you're given one for each faction, though at the highest level for a character, you can make one weapon available for both factions. Singleplayer zig-zags, where the player has access to anything (though cutscenes usually have them using the ACR, the suggested loadout for almost every mission consists of American weapons with WarPac ones locked behind weapon challenges, and the other squadmates when under NPC control also favor American weaponsnote ) but enemies, from Russian regulars and South American militia to Pakistani gun runners and Nigerian PMCs, almost universally use AK-based weapons, with the only widespread exception being the aforementioned SA58 showing up in the hands of every fifth Russian soldier.
  • Call of Duty:
    • In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, you fight both Middle Eastern terrorists and Ultranationalist Russians. The Russians, while armed with AKs, also have H&K G36Cs, which the SAS are also frequently seen using (it's Gaz's Weapon of Choice), and use them quite frequently alongside G3s and MP5s. Also, any generic NPC who uses a pistol is using a Beretta. Named characters play it more straight - Captain Price's sidearm of choice is an M1911, while Big Bad Zakhaev carries around a Desert Eagle. There was a bit of an attempt to justify it - Zakhaev is an arms dealer, so his forces carrying G36Cs is borderline excusable. That they're seen carrying it in a flashback to 1996, before even the full-size G36 entered service with the military it was designed for, is less so.
    • In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in contrast, while the Americans stick to U.S. military small arms and Task Force 141 uses more varied Western small arms, this is all thrown to hell by the Russian forces throughout both sides of the campaign, who seem to primarily use Western weapons to the point of absurdity, as Warsaw Pact weapons are actually in the minority. You might find an "AK-47" (oddly enough with polymer furniture and a custom M4-style stock), but you're more likely to find Israeli, Austrian, French, or Belgian assault rifles, while all the Russian "shielders" are using MP5Ks. It's to the point that, even when it's a plot point early in the game that Makarov's group uses NATO weapons as part of his attempt to implicate America in the massacre at the airport, it's only by virtue of him killing the player character, an undercover CIA agent, at the end of the mission and leaving his corpse as more "evidence" that the plot actually works, since everyone else responding to the attack is also using NATO weapons (the security guards have M9s and a few TMPs, and the FSB that shows up later use UMPs, MP5ks, TAR-21s and SPAS-12s.
    • Also played around in multiplayer for the whole series, where you can customize your armory regardless of which side you're on, leading to U.S. soldiers wielding AKs or Russians with M16s... or Imperial Japanese soldiers with FG-42s, or TF141 operatives with Model 1887 lever-action shotguns, or Viet Cong with FALs, or African militia with XM25s, or Chinese soldiers with MP7s, or Venezuelan soldiers with AK-12s, or North Korean soldiers with ARX-160s (with American flags printed on them), or Nazi German soldiers with Winchester Model 21s, or Russian soldiers with SIG MCXs... the list goes on.
    • Averted in the campaign to Black Ops III, where the clear AK analogue, the KN-44, acts as the Weapon of Choice for basically every named character on both Winslow Accords and Common Defense Pact sides.
  • In Army of Two, for the first few missions Salem and Rios end up fighting Iraqi and al-Qaeda soldiers who use AKMs, and they fight Chinese troops later on using AK derivatives. However, during the Aircraft Carrier the Abu Sayyaf terrorists wield mostly M4s and M16s, and during the Miami mission the SSC mercenaries use FAMASes.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has the protagonist's allies in the Grove Street Families use the Tec-9 as their submachine gun of choice, while all other gangs in Los Santos use the Micro Uzi. If you spray all rival gang tags in the city, the GSF start using MP5s, playing the trope straight (mostly, as OGs like Sweet will, with very rare exceptions, still use the Tec-9 during missions).
  • In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Sam brings this up after overhearing an enemy guard test-firing his weapon in the first mission, which turns out to be an Australian AICW. He notes that "when I think guerrilla, I think Kalashnikov" and that he's had enough of those fired at him over his life that he knows whatever he just heard was not one. It's to set up an optional objective for this and the next mission, which involves tagging weapons crates to find out where small-time guerillas got such advanced hardware.
  • Police Quest: SWAT 2 features the Z-M Weapons LR-300, an AR-15 variant, as the main bad guy weapon and the Desert Eagle as their sidearm. The SWAT team favour MP5s, Benelli M1 shotguns and M1911A1s.
    • Similarly, in SWAT 3, terrorists who are heavily armed tend to use AR-15s just as often as they do AKs. However, sidearms generally follow this rule, with the M1911A1 as SWAT standard and the Mark 23 as an alternative, while bad guys stick with CZ-75s and stainless-steel Makarovs. Later releases came with official addons that existed mostly to allow players to use the same weapons as the terrorists, but even with both of them active, the submachine gun variant of the Steyr AUG remains a terrorist-exclusive weapon.
    • SWAT 4's expansion pack adds a "Team-Specific Weaponry" option for multiplayer matches, to limit each team's loadout to weapons that would make more sense for that team. For the most part, these play the trope straight - Desert Eagle, AK, TEC-9 and Uzi for suspects only, Colt Accurized Rifle and "Cobra" taser for SWAT only, etc. - but others avert or invert this, such as the G36 and MP5 being available for both teams, and the UMP being SWAT-only. Singleplayer averts this more, as there's an abundant number of H&K weapons that only the player and his squad can use.
  • Subverted in Jagged Alliance 2 (both the original game and the v1.13 fan mod and mods of the 1.13 mod) and 7.62 High Caliber, a Spiritual Successor, by the need to rely on battlefield pickups early on if you left the default options enabled; only later may you be able to pick and choose one way or the other. In fact, while the available choice of "operators" is multinational (including a Russian veteran), the first enemies you'll encounter are usually local bandits running around with sawn-off M1891/30 bolt-action pistols (cut-down Mosin-Nagant rifles, whose family came long before the Soviet Union).
  • Rainbow Six. In all games, while for the first few missions you usually deal with terrorists with AKs and Uzis, in later missions you will start dealing with terrorists armed with what are usually good guys' weapons (M16, M4, and M60 to start with). Though the briefing of the terrorist groups' background will usually justify them. On your side, Rainbow's arsenal plays this about as straight as possible in the first game (MP5 variants are the mainstays, with M16s and CAR-15s as higher-powered options and only the USP as a sidearm) but starts averting it in later games, with Raven Shield's rather massive arsenal including multiple "bad guy" guns like the Steyr AUG and TMP/SPP, multiple AK variants and derivatives, two versions of the Desert Eagle, and even the Chinese QBZ-97B alongside traditional "good" guns like the M16, FAL and L85.
    • The enemies in the console version of Rainbow Six 3 use every weapon you can except the AW Covert, M60 and M203, and they have the enemy-only RPG-7 as a counterpart to that last one.
    • In the intro of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield a Neo-Nazi assassin uses a Luger P.08, now more a museum piece than a gun one could use as a convenient sidearm.
    • The Vegas subseries also zig-zags this; the terrorists in the first mission of the first game frequently use the AK-47, MAC-11, and SV-98, though they also use the Beretta M9, Remington 870 MCS, HK21E, and G3KA4. The terrorists in the first mission of 2 likewise are typically wielding AKs and MG36s, but later in the game they start using more NATO weaponry, which is possibly justified as, like the title indicates, the subseries is almost entirely set in and around Las Vegas. The player, meanwhile, starts both games carrying both an MP5 and an SG 552, and in the aforementioned first mission of 2 the other Rainbow team you're working with also uses the AK (for some reason).
    • Siege handles this much differently in regular PvP mode, as for gameplay purposes both sides are Rainbow. The playable characters are split up into different counter-terrorist units they originated from, which each one having its own set of Attacker and Defender operators with their own sets of both shared and unique equipment, and while the Attackers would "technically" be the good guys owing to the typical objectives (including rescuing hostages, securing biohazard containers, and defusing bombs the Defenders are trying to keep from them) they still for the most part use guns that make sense for their CTU, with equipment differences simply hewing to different tactics their side needs to be good at, rather than any sort of media-induced stigma or reputation given to the guns. Attackers from the Russian Spetsnaz or Hong Kong SDU, for instance, don't all use American weapons for no reason to "prove" they're good, but instead tend towards longer and heavier assault and marksman's rifles to take out defenders from longer ranges or through heavier concealment, while Defenders favor shorter and faster submachine guns and shotguns to surprise attackers in close range.note  Terrorist Hunt has its own aversion, as the "White Mask" terrorists that stand in for one side have their own pool of weapons from across the base CTUs that they use at all times; while they do have some bad-guy-guns like the AUG and SG 552, by far they rely much more on British L85 rifles and American Mossberg 590 shotguns. The only Russian weapons they ever use are the PKP as occasionally used by suicide bombers, and some variety of AK in Fuze's unlock cinematic, which is itself a zig-zagging example since Fuze himself is Russian and can use his own AK variation against them.
  • Second Sight stands out as a game that completely ignores this. For instance, a street gang has some members with revolvers and some with sawed-off shotguns, a violation no matter how the group is perceived (it's more good than bad, for the record.)
  • Averted in Homefront, where the North Koreans are using mainly NATO weapons instead of the typical Soviet Bloc weapons that they have in real life. This is due to the fact that they now control South Korea and Japan, which gives them access to plenty of NATO weapons.
  • In GoldenEye, this is somewhat zig-zagged. For the majority of the game, the enemies usually use knockoffs of various Soviet weapons while Bond uses NATO weaponry, though for the final few levels the enemy suddenly makes use of NATO weapons. There's nothing stopping Bond from picking up and using their guns, either.
    • The remake starts with the same usual Soviet-versus-NATO equipment, but makes the zig-zagging more apparent, particularly by having the Janus group slowly take over as the main bad guys across half the game rather than suddenly popping up two missions from the end. At the airfield just near the opening dam, the elite troops are using SPAS-12 shotguns alongside their AKs and Tokarevs; at the bunker in Severnaya, they start using Vectors and Berettas; and by St. Petersburg, they're using the G36 and MP7, before Janus finally takes over completely with M4s, SCARs and USAS-12s.
  • In GoldenEye's Spiritual Successor Perfect Dark, the standard Carrington Institute weapons are a renamed Colt Double Eagle (a double-action version of the M1911) and FAMAS, while the opposing dataDyne tends to favor the TMP and a mocked-up XM8. Where this starts to zig-zag is that, otherwise, a lot of the weapons are shared between both factions and others - said mocked-up XM8 is also the standard-issue US military weapon, for instance, and the protagonist Joanna acting as an infiltrator in most levels means she has to use weapons taken from killed enemies a lot of the time. It also does this for the completely fictional alien weapons later on in the game, with the good Maians using sleek, accurate and possibly-biological blue and teal weapons that can trade off fire rate for more power, versus the bad Skedar having large and spiky black and green weapons that sacrifice accuracy for a fast rate of fire.
  • Mooks in Blood who actually use guns most commonly use a Sawed-Off Shotgun or a Thompson with a drum magazine, both of which Caleb also uses. His shotgun gets a good-gun pass due to all the zombies, but his Thompson still counts as a bad gun; Caleb's not exactly a good guy himself, only counting as the "hero" in this situation because 95% of the people he murders en masse are even worse than he is. Blood II mixes this up a bit, with the shotgun being exclusively for the player's use and machine pistols wielded in pairs making frequent appearances, but it also prominently arms CabalCo-aligned characters with Beretta 92s and M16s.
  • Metal Gear series:
    • Most games in the series tend to zig-zag this trope, since Solid Snake, Raiden and Big Boss have to acquire weapons in the field and have to raid enemy armouries to do so. While Snake is almost entirely stuck using the same weapons the Genome soldiers are, Raiden and Big Boss can choose to also avert it by using the same AKs the enemies are using, or play it straight by grabbing an M4A1 carbine or XM16E1. On the pistol front, however, most play this straight, as Solid Snake has been associated primarily with the Beretta 92 (MSX2 games, with the tranquilizer-converted one in MGS2 as a Mythology Gag) or the Mk 23 SOCOM (Solid onward), with Raiden also using the latter in Sons of Liberty (probably the exact same one Snake picked up in Shadow Moses) while when the bad guys have pistols at all they tend to have the Makarov PM or similar. The exception to this is Olga Gurlukovich across MGS2, where she uses a USP as a clear-cut bad guy in the Tanker (before Snake claims the pistol for himself after knocking her out), then switches to the Makarov as a double agent who's helping Raiden and ends up teaming together with Snake.
    • The antagonistic FOXHOUND unit from Metal Gear Solid uses both traditional "good" and "bad" guns. Revolver Ocelot uses the usually heroic Colt Single Action Army, while Vulcan Raven uses a M61 Vulcan that he took from a downed fighter jet and Sniper Wolf uses a Heckler & Koch PSG1, which are both typically seen as "bad guy" guns. The regular Genome Soldiers, meanwhile, primarily associate with the FAMAS assault rifle.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Naked Snake plays this straight with an extensively-customized Colt M1911A1 as his primary weapon. However, Ocelot zig-zags this, first using a Makarov, then switching to a Single Action Army (which he will later become famous for) on Snake's suggestion and using it as a "bad guy" gun, then turning out to not actually be a bad guy at all and having been Snake's support agent ADAM the whole time. EVA, meanwhile, uses a Chinese clone of the Mauser C96 as her primary weapon, which apparently gets a free pass as a "good guy" gun but is mostly foreshadowing the fact that she's actually a Chinese double-agent who's more overtly there for the Philosopher's Legacy.
    • Averted in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Mooks are armed with various weapons, both NATO and Warsaw Pact issue, with the difference lying mainly in the group's origins (e.g. Soviet troops use WarPac guns while the Peace Sentinels stick with the NATO kit). Plus, each of these (plus many others) are available for the player to research and use for themselves.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots somewhat turns this around, with the PMCs using things like the SCAR-H, Mk 14 EBR, M60, MP7 and Remington 870, and the rebels fighting them off in the first two acts using AK-102s, G3A3s, PKMs, MAC-10s and sawed-off double-barrel shotguns. Thing is, the rebels are the good guys in these conflicts (or at least Snake can get them to not shoot him on sight like the PMC soldiers will). Snake himself can use pretty much whatever he wants, but cutscenes tend to have him stick with the Operator and M4 Custom he gets early in the first act.
  • Pretty much averted in Operation Flashpoint, particularly in the campaign of the Resistance expansion pack, where you act as the leader of a resistance group fighting to liberate his homeland from a recent Soviet invasion. Practically all the standard guns of your partisans are either stolen Warsaw Pact or civilian/hunting models. Most of your arsenal is therefore identical with that of the Soviet soldiers. On the other hand, there is a subversion later on, when the freedom fighters manage to acquire aid from a local NATO garrison. After this, they can also use a small supply of Western firearms (e. g. FN FALs, Steyr AUGs and M21 sniper rifles).
    • The ARMA series played it straight with the first two games, as the Americans used American weapons and the various Eastern European-aligned nations used Eastern European weapons and equipment. However, Operation Arrowhead introduces the Takistani military. Like the Pakistani Military, Takistan's Army got aid from both Western and Soviet nations. It primarily uses FAL rifles while also using Soviet MGs, BTR-60s and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. ARMA III plays around with this, where NATO and CSAT play this straight (the former using a gun based on the ACR and SCAR and the like while the latter use a gun that is almost a straight copy of a real Iranian weapon [albeit one internally based on the M16 in real life]), but the indigenous army of Altis end up more or less being the real bad guys and use the FN F2000 as a "bad" gun - then for the Apex expansion it goes right back to playing it straight, with NATO using the HK416 while the local crime syndicate uses AKs and CSAT's special forces use Chinese guns. And with the mission editor, there is nothing preventing you from giving your Marines AK-105s and having them fight M16-equipped insurgents.
  • Battlefield:
    • Early games in the series played this completely straight, as your loadout choices were entirely dependent on what side you were on. Battlefield 2 and the first Bad Company started to zig-zag this, where your initial weapons were also determined by side (e.g. the Rifleman in 2 would have an M16A2 if he were USMC, an AK-47 if PLA, and an AK-101 if MEC), but ranking up allowed players to spend points that could unlock alternate weapons for any one class, without being restricted by side, allowing for Chinese soldiers with FN SCARs and American ones with PKMs.
    • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 completely averted this and gave everyone the same guns to start with, and in fact starting most kits with Russian weapons (only the Recon starts with an American one, the M24), with later weapons, either exclusive to a kit from leveling it up, or all-class unlocks from ranking up, being usable regardless of side. The singleplayer campaign somewhat played this straight, with the player character and his squad using several XM8s and an M60 (though the player can swap out for whatever they want as soon as they find a weapon crate) while 98% of the Russian soldiers you fight all use the AEK-971 or AN-94.
    • Battlefield 3 zig-zags this. The first weapons available to each class are for one particularly side only; when you play as the USMC, you only have the options of the M16A3 for Assault, M4A1 for Engineer (with SMAW or Stinger as a launcher), M27 for Support and Mk 11 as a Recon, and similarly when you play as the RGF you're stuck with the AK-74M for Assault, AKS-74U for Engineer (with RPG-7 or SA-18 for launchers), RPK-74M for Support and Dragunov SVD for Recon, and you cannot use these weapons as the opposite faction until you have the relevant kit at its highest level. Attachments follow the same pattern, with American weapons unlocking American attachments first then Russian ones afterwards and vice versa (such as the M16A3 getting the ACOG after ten kills, but requiring two hundred to get the Russian equivalent PSO-1) and the underbarrel Grenade Launcher taking the form of either the M320 or GP-30 depending on whether you attach it to an American or Russian weapon. Later unlocked weapons are not restricted by side, however. This will often, similarly to Call of Duty, lead to Russians with MP7s, M39 EMRs and HK416s and Americans with AEK-971s, PP-2000s and PKP Pechenegs.
    • Battlefield 4 cuts out the middle-man and goes back to Bad Company 2's system of having just one starting weapon for each class regardless of side, though at least trying to make things more even, like Assault getting the Russian AK-12, Engineer using the Italian Mx4 Storm, and Recon getting the Chinese CS/LR4 sniper rifle. Attachments follow the same pattern as before with the addition of a third set for Chinese weapons (although this does get weird in that Singaporean and even Israeli guns are counted as "Chinese" for this purpose); guns get attachments for their own "side" through making kills (e.g. the SAR-21 assault rifle gets the Chinese "Coyote" red dot sight at the same number of kills that the SCAR-H would get the American RX01 or the AN-94 would get the Russian Kobra), and can unlock attachments from the other two (even before you've grinded out the kills for the matching version) through opening Battlepacks. Singleplayer plays this interestingly as far as starting weapons go, as you start almost every mission with a Belgian SCAR-H, but your beginning sidearm is always the Russian MP412 REX revolver your character receives from the squad leader at the end of the first mission (and which is the only usable handgun in the campaign), with nothing stopping you from grabbing weapons from enemies and weapon boxes throughout the levels to let you grab whatever you want.
    • Battlefield Hardline goes back to the earlier games' use of this, with most weapons being restricted to one side, but once a player makes 1,250 kills with any one weapon, it is made available to them regardless of team.
    • Battlefield 1, in turn, goes the same way as Bad Company and 4 did, giving one starting weapon for each kit regardless of what faction you're playing as and favoring Rare Guns over historical standard issue. However, there is a "Standard Issue Rifles" option for custom servers that allows for more historical accuracy by letting any kit equip whatever bolt-action rifle their faction used in the real war - with it on, any Imperial German player can equip a Gewehr 98, any American one an M1903 Springfield, etc.
  • Subverted in America's Army. Friendly players are armed with American weapons, and enemy players with ones on the "bad guns" list. The subversion kicks in when you realize this holds true from your perspective no matter which side you play. America's Army 3 also follows this, where the enemy players are given a fictional weapon system to counter the AR-15-type weapons the US military uses in-game, but which pretty obviously resembles the AK-like Galil.
  • Both played straight and subverted in the STALKER series. Non-aligned Loners tend to use Makarovs, AK's and shotguns, though their armament can be very varied. The Bandits primarily use Makarovs, shotguns, AKs, P99s and MP5s. The Freedom faction uses NATO-designed weaponry, while Duty primarily uses Soviet/CIS-made weapons. Depending on a character's alignment, any one of these could be the good guys or the bad guys. The only three factions that are non-joinable fixed antagonists are the Ukranian military (except in Call of Pripyat, wherein you start with them), which uses Soviet/CIS weapons, the Mercenaries who use NATO-designed weapons primarily, and Monolith, who use a mixture of the top tier of both. The weapons selections is actually (mostly) justified: bandits rarely need heavy firepower and tend to use the 74u carbine version of the Kalash; loners need reliability and cheap weaponry, and you can't get much more cheap reliability than the break-open shotgun, MP5 and AK; Freedom needs precise gear, with their tactics mainly focusing on guerrilla attacks, so they typically use the more accurate NATO weapons (they still use Warsaw Pact sniper rifles, but that's simply because there aren't any NATO equivalents in the game); Duty prefers to bulldoze over an enemy, so Warsaw Pact weapons that can put a lot of fire on target are the order of the day; the military obviously uses the weapons that Ukraine uses; Mercs use whatever they want; and Monolith, who has... somewhat unusual recruiting methods, uses whatever they can get their hands on, and since only the toughest and most well-geared stalkers can come close to the center of the Zone where Monolith is settled, that results in a plethora of good equipment from every side.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon mostly plays this regarding vehicles - Delta Force ferries themselves and the FEAR team around in UH-60 Blackhawks and proper APCs, while the Replica transport themselves with Mi-24 Hinds and converted trucks, and are also the only ones to get variour types of Powered Armor (save for Enhanced models you can hijack in the second and third games). Weapons downplay this, as for the most part you're on your own, so the only weapons you see are enemy weapons - though the most common ones in enemy hands, the assault rifles and submachine guns, are also in use with Delta Force when you link up with them. The only weapons that actually appear to be properly exclusive to one side are in the first game, the player being the only one to use the pistol (either on its own or Guns Akimbo), and the Nightcrawlers in the second expansion pack being the only enemies to drop the VES Advanced Rifle.
  • The enemies in every Uncharted game are just as likely to use NATO weapons as they are Warsaw Pact guns. There's almost literally a 50/50 chance an enemy Mook has of carrying an AK or an M4. As far as pistols go, Drake's preferred pistol in the first game is a Makarov, then in the second game he starts favoring a short-barreled 1911 or a Beretta 92 depending on the level. Sully meanwhile favors the S&W Model 629 across the series, which can possibly give away that he didn't actually undergo a Face–Heel Turn in the first game. The bad guys almost universally use good-guy pistols, particularly the Beretta in the second game and then the Walther P99 in the third, though some unique weapons follow the usual rule, such as Eddie Rasta's gold-plated Desert Eagle in the first game. Old Nazi German weapons also make random appearances in the first two games, where they're exclusive for the player's use rather than the bad guys randomly dropping their bright, shiny and new guns for them just because they're the bad guys.
  • Counter-Strike's weapon-purchasing system has a mixture of equipment shared between and unique to the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists (though either team can use any weapon if they pick it up off a dead player), and has examples of playing the typical placements straight, averting them, and inverting them:
    • Straight: M4, FAMAS (Counter-Terrorist only); AK, Galil, MAC-10, Tec-9, Sawed-Off Shotgun, SG 552/556 (Terrorist only).
    • Averted: Dual Berettas, Desert Eagle, P228/P250, UMP-45, MP5/MP7, Steyr Scout/SSG-08, AWP, M249, Negev (all available to both teams).
    • Inverted: USP/P2000, TMP/MP9, AUG (Counter-Terrorist only); Glock (Terrorist only).
    • Where this gets rather odd is that the weapon selection generally favors NATO military weapons for Counter-Terrorists and WarPac and/or cheap, widespread "gangsta" weapons for Terrorists, and applies regardless of what real-world organizations is used for the counter-terrorist team on each map. The GSG-9, Israel Defense Force, and the Spetsnaz can all get American M4s, French FAMASes, and Austrian AUGs, but can't get their own G3SG/1s, Galils, or AKs except by stealing them from dead terrorists.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and its sequel have the player characters, a gang of robbers, use a large variety of guns from both the "good" and "bad" piles, though both cases start you out with good guns (respectively an M4 and Beretta or a Colt 733 and Glock). The cops you fight generally stick with the "good" guns - mostly Glocks and Remingtons for lower-level police, with the occasional beat cop getting a .44 Magnum revolver, while higher-level SWAT and most specials get M4s, MP5s and G36s. However, in the second game, Snipers get a mockup of the PSG1 after an update, higher-level Shields get an MP9, and black Bulldozers upgrade from pump-action shotguns to semi-auto Saiga-12s, then "Skulldozers" from those to the M249, and, if you get far enough in a Crime Spree, then to Minigun Dozers with... well, you can tell. Hostile gangsters in heists like day 1 of "Firestarter", "Nightclub", and the remake of the first game's "Panic Room" all get MAC-10s with taped-together magazines... but so do the allied gangsters defending the trucks in "Aftershock". The Russian variations of the police from the Hardcore Henry crossover heist are a subversion, since they all use Russian weapons; because the heist is set in Russia it's both played straight on one side and inverted on the other. Before the Henchmen update, the AI teammates' preferred weapons also zigzagged this, with about half of them using the AK and the other half using the M4 or MP5, with little rhyme or reason as to who used what - in particular Jacket, who is actually labeled "The Sociopath", was one of the ones to use the M4 by default, despite his related DLC otherwise only adding bad-guy guns like the Uzi, Skorpion and TEC-9.
    • After the Henchmen update, however, the player is able to customise the three AI partners they get if playing solo or outside of a full online lobby. You can give the AI whatever weapons you currently own (save akimbo pistols or SMGs, or special weapons like the crossbows, RPGs, or saw), so it's perfectly possible to give characters weapons that better suit them, such as the weapons from their respective DLC (Sydney using her "Bootleg" HK416 assault rifle, John Wick with the "Contractor .308", etc) - or give them entirely-unfitting guns (like Jiro with an L85 or Bodhi with a SPAS-12).
  • Averted and somewhat Inverted in Syrian Warfare. Since the protagonists are the Syrian Arab Army, they all use Russian weapons like the AKM, AK-74, SVD, PKM, Metis/Saxhorn and the like. The enemies who are mostly Al Nusra, Daesh, and occasionally some foreign mercenaries use all kind of weapons, while they still use mostly Russian weapons, and you can occasionally see US and NATO weapons in their hands like the M16, M4, M99, M14, FN FAL, TOW, MP5k, etc. Some can be picked up by your soldiers. In the expansion, they even have captured Iraqi Humvees which are armed with M2HBs and Mk19s, though you can also capture these if you managed to kill the crew or knock it out and force the crew to abandon them.
  • Borderlands has early Atlas, Hyperion, Bandit, and later Maliwan weapons on the bad end of the scale, being them the guns made by morally bankrupt factions that want to kill you, and Jakobs on the "good" end of the scale, being them depicted in Borderlands 3 as a legitimate, honest company with firm values. Atlas and Hyperion guns have a sleek futuristic look, have very good statistics and lots of gimmicks, and in the case of Hyperion, their names are corporate babble such as a shotgun called "Customer Focused Innovation"; unlike Jakobs, whose guns are Retraux, with no bells and whistles, and whose sniper rifles sport Chinook names. Bandit guns, meanwhile, look like they were made with random junk cobbled together with wire, duct tape and the will of the Holy Spirit, and have mediocre stats compensated with gigantic magazines; unlike Jakobs, whose guns are exquisitely crafted pieces with small magazines but amazing stats. In Borderlands 3, Atlas undergoes serious renovations and a change in leadership, leaning towards good thanks to its benevolent CEO, in stark contrast to Maliwan, now waging war to make acquisitions during the wars for Eridian keys. In the neutral middle we have Torgue guns, which are manliness incarnate, full of explosions and made by a company with an erratic CEO more worried about manly explosions than about running his company properly; and Vladof guns, made by a capitalist megacorporation that claims to embrace communism and is equally hypocritical on its dealings and employee relationships. Tediore is the outlier, a company that is taken seriously by nobody in the story, who assembles cheap, mediocre, disposable guns.
  • The old Delta Force series overall zig-zagged this. The original two games played this straight, with the player limited to Western firearms like the Colt Model 727, M1911, Mark 23 and M40, while the enemy was limited to the AK. Land Warrior and Task Force Dagger started to zig-zag this, as the player's much-expanded armory only added that AK and a few other bad-guy guns like the APS underwater rifle - but made up for this by also expanding the amount of guns the enemy could show up with, several enemies making use of odd choices like the G11 and Jackhammer. Black Hawk Down went back to playing this straight, and took it to particular extremes, with your Western guns being pinpoint accurate and killing in one bullet while the enemy's AKs were laughably inaccurate, enemies often missing you several times from five feet away and requiring half a dozen bullets to kill you even when they did hit; multiplayer likewise didn't allow use of any non-Western firearms, or even playing as any non-Western factions, pitting Delta Force against the SAS. Xtreme went closer to zig-zagging this again, as your arsenal includes primarily NATO weapons, but still allows you to kit up with several of the Soviet guns the enemy uses.
  • In an interesting play on the trope, Final Fantasy VIII. Gunblades are rather portrayed as swords with gun handles, but they utilize the kinetic shock of the fired munitions for an attack on spot for an empowering vibrating impact, and are further realized in later games like Dissidia Final Fantasy as being able to eject enough kinetic energy to rebound and recoil movements, making for maneuvers such as being able to accelerate the user for a charging slash or detonating fighting energy for explosive results. In short:
    • The protagonist Squall wields a variant simply known as the Revolver, and its as descriptive as you think. But while he is able to upgrade and change his weapon on hand, he always sticks with a six shooter (for the most part). It's further noted that gunblades are considered a classic but very difficult weapon to master, and some have even commented that it's in line with his personality to stick with a technically difficult weapon. Very indicative of him being an old fashioned taste hero, with a very methodical and focused temperament, as Squall evokes a silent gunslinger vibe. As he goes on to get an M16 assault rifle through his ultimate weapon of the Lionheart, this shines through as Squall becoming a Father to His Men and a full fledged devoted military general.
    • The rival and minor antagonist Seifer wields instead a Beretta M9 inspired variant known as the Hyperion. It's greatly implied that his weapon is of a newer innovation for gunblades due to its modern aesthetics and function, but also rather more vicious: probably due to its lighter weight, Seifer wields a one handed and speed orientated fighting style, and because of its higher magazine load, there's more opportunities to inflict more critical damage to the point of overkill on the opposition than with the classic Revolver types. Contrast to the silent gunslinger of Squall, Seifer is hot blooded and daring, but impulsive, reckless, and an outright overcompetitive bullying jackass.
  • Averted in Player Unknowns Battlegrounds, where players can freely find weapons regardless of manufacturer and location.
  • Zig-zagged in Girls Frontline.
    • As the entire playable cast are personifications of various guns, pretty much every weapon listed above is used by T-Dolls aligned with the Commander.
    • The AR Team, as the name implies, consists of AR-15 derived weapons, and are the main focus of the campaign story. Subverted later on as M16A1 defects to Sangvis Ferri, still using her namesake weapon.
    • Team DEFY uses modern Russian weapons (AK-12 and AN-94 at first, with AK-15 and RPK-16 joining later on). While they are nominally aligned with the FSB, they still work with the Commander in most of their appearance, making them heroic characters who use "bad" guns.
    • Played straight with the KCCO. Their human and robotic infantry are armed with AN-94s and PP-19s, and became the principal antagonist faction after Chapter 10.

    Web Original 
  • In the Darwin's Soldiers universe, this trope is totally averted as "good guns" are frequently used by the bad guys and the "bad guns" are used equally by heroes and villains.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer
    • Subverted with Lana's twin TEC-9s.
    • Played straight with Archer's Walther PPK as a shout out to James Bond and Ray's twin 1911s. Bad guys and Soviet soldiers are often seen with AKs, machine pistols, Lugers, and Desert Eagles.


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