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Good Guns, Bad Guns

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Cops And Robbers has never been this serious.

Modern works often use firearms to quickly tip off the audience about a character's alignment. In the same vein as having a heroic character wielding a sword and a villainous character wielding a scimitar in a historical or fantasy work, a character carrying a gun with a "good" reputation signals a "hero" while a gun with a "bad" reputation identifies a "villain".

Some general traits commonly differentiate the two types of guns. "Good Guns" are often Boring, but Practical, or at best Simple, yet Awesome, compared to "Bad Guns" which are often flashier, bigger, have higher capacity/a greater rate of fire, and/or dual wielded. Conservation of Ninjutsu and Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy often play into this — Since "Good Guys" are typically more individually competent, one way to make "Bad Guys" more threatening is to give them better guns. Thus, a single hero with a simple pistol is still threatened by a dozen incompetent Mooks with assault rifles, but can take them down without stretching disbelief too much. This idea also escalates — if the "Good Guy" has an assault rifle, the "Bad Guy" will have a Grenade Launcher. If the "Good Guy" has the grenade launcher, the "Bad Guy" will a Rail Gun.


Specific types, models, and families of firearm that often fall into these classifications can be found in the folders below. Please note, these aren't intended to capture every possible specific model of firearm that may qualify, but to capture broader categories from which these guns are pulled.

    Common "Good" Guns 
  • Modern "Western" Military Firearms: In large part due to their prevalence in Western media and other countries with pro-Western sentiments (Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, etc.), the firearms used by "Western" militaries often end up in the hands of "good" characters. As the standard infantry rifle of the US military since 1967, the M16 (part of the Colt AR-15 family) and its 5.56 NATO-firing cousins used by other Western militaries are a very common example. Notable inversions occur when the military is portrayed as the antagonist in a given work, as well as in the hands of Private Military Contractors. These weapons have also fallen into the hands of Iraqi and Afghan insurgents due to the long US military presence in both nations, but media has been slower to demonstrate this.
  • Allied Weapons of World War II: For similar reasons, nearly anything used by the Allied forces (especially the U.S. and British) tends wind up with "good" characters, not only in period works, but when they show up in modern works as well. Examples range from (and certainly aren't limited to) service rifles like the M1 Garand and Lee-Enfield, to the popular Colt M1911 sidearm, to (sub)machine guns like the Sten and BAR, to even other weapons like the Mk II "Pineapple" grenade and M3 Fighting Knife. While more often "Bad Guns", Soviet weapons in period works focusing on the Eastern Front often lean "Good" as well, mostly by comparison with who they're being used against. Compared to the other categories, inversions are relatively rare, but may pop up when these guns are used by post-war insurgent groups. See the Tommy Gun under "Gangster Weapons" below for another major inversion.
  • Law Enforcement Firearms: Firearms typically associated with police and government agents are also likely to be carried by "good" characters. The Glock and Beretta families of handgun are common examples favored by police forces worldwide. Their Boring, but Practical nature in the hands of a hero instantly contrasts the flashier and more exotic guns often preferred by villains. Older works and older-set works may instead give their officers double-action revolvers, such as the Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 calibernote . A favorite of SWAT teams, government agencies, and regular officers who need a step up from their sidearm, the MP5 submachine gun is another very common "Good Gun" with a law enforcement basis. Inversions most often occur when law enforcement is the antagonist of the story.
  • Shotguns: From the badass sound they make when cocked, to the deep "boom" when fired, to their versatility, and the fact that they are often "just better", shotguns are a popular option for the "Good Guys" in media. With their origins in the Wild West (where riding "shotgun" literally meant carrying one to defend against bandits), their lethal effectiveness in the trenches of World War I (Germany protested their use and considered it a war crime), their use by law enforcement (a step up from a sidearm but not requiring the higher security levels to access automatic weapons), and their ubiquitousness in video games (often acquired early and never quite outclassed in sheer power within its effective range), shotguns are one of the most recognizable and accessible varieties of firearm in the world. In cases where shotguns show up on both sides, expect the heroes to use classic pump- or lever-action varieties while the villains are more likely use semi-auto or sawed-off versions.
  • Firearms of the Old West: Ubiquitous in the real life Wild West and popularized by the media version, these tend to be "Good Guns" in the hands of characters in modern works thanks to their connections to cowboys and gunslingers, as well as their Good Old Ways factor. In actual "Westerns", as both sides are likely to use these guns, their aesthetics may be used to identify character alignment instead. For example, the "Good Guy" may have white pearl grips on his revolver to invoke Light Is Good while the "Bad Guy" has dark ebony, invoking Dark Is Evil. Revolvers Are Just Better and Revolvers Are for Amateurs also come into play, but the odds are good that a revolver-wielding character is going to be "good".

    Common "Bad" Guns 
  • Soviet Bloc/Warsaw Pact Weapons: Much for the same reason as "Western" military firearms tend to be seen as "Good", anything originating in the Soviet Bloc tends to be a "Bad Gun". The most obvious example in media is the classic Kalashnikov automatic rifle, also known as the "AK" and "Kalash". The most famous variant, the original AK-47, came into service as the official weapon of the Soviet military in 1949 and it (or a variant/knock-off) quickly proliferated into the militaries of nearly every "non-Western" (or "non-Western supporting") country in short order. Even if the weapon in question is one of the later AK models, expect it to be referred to as an "AK-47" to drive the point home. Due to the Cold War, these guns, usually depicted with classic wooden stocks and pressed black metal frames (though modern versions with synthetic stocks have been appearing more frequently in 21st century media), are burned into the consciousness of Western audiences as the ultimate "enemy" weapon. With their low-cost and an estimated 100 million produced, they are the most common gun in the world, having found their way into the hands of terrorists, insurgents, and criminal organizations world-wide. As such, it is almost never seen in the hands of a "Good Guy" in Western media unless it has been taken from an enemy. Naturally inverted in Russian (and some former Soviet countries) media where it is basically a National Weapon. Similarly, due to its use by revolutionary forces around the world, it is sometimes seen as a symbol of liberation. Mozambique even depicts an AK on its national flag.
  • Nazi Guns: As the primary antagonist and belligerent in the most devastating war in world history who committed countless atrocities, any firearm associated with Nazi Germany near-universally identifies its carrier as a "Bad Guy". The varieties of Luger handguns (which are technically Imperial German but tend to get lumped in), Walther handguns, and the MP40 submachine gun are prime examples which stand out even more thanks to how distinctive-looking they all are.note  This last feature also makes them popular choices as a basis for futuristic "Bad Guy" weaponry in Science Fiction and Space Opera works since the reputation instantly carries over. One major exception is that the most famous spy of all time most often carries a Walther PPK, a pistol otherwise issued to Nazi military officers and the personal sidearm of Adolf Hitler (the one he took his own life with, in fact).
  • Gangster Guns: Anything associated with gangsters, be they Mafioso, urban, or another ethnic crime group, tend to be "Bad Guns", depending on the time period and location. The Thompson submachine gun (aka "Tommy Gun"), particularly the early models with the vertical foregrip and drum magazine, is the Mafia weapon. Machine pistols such as the Uzi, TEC-9, and MAC-10 are favorites of gangbangers. The Irish Mob is often associated, especially if set during the The Troubles, with hand-me-down American guns like the AR-18. The Mafiya will cross this over with the above Kalashnikovs, perhaps with the barrels and stocks cut for concealment. The Cartel may have any or all of these. Naturally, these are almost exclusively "Bad Guns", with the Thompson getting a reprieve in WWII works.
  • "Advanced" Guns: Going along with the general theme that "good" guns are often Boring, but Practical, a good way to signal a villain is to give him a futuristic-looking gun with lots of "bells and whistles". Black synthetic stocks, "bullpup" designs (where the breech is located behind the trigger and grip), fancy scopes, laser sights, extended magazines of all sorts, silencers, muzzle brakes, etc. are all accessories that can push a standard gun into this category. Weapons by German manufacturer Heckler & Koch (often abbreviated H&K) are prime examples in fiction dating back to at least the '80s, though many of their creations (such as the MP5) have been adopted by law enforcement around the world since, giving them a split reputation.

This certainly isn't an exhaustive list (nor is intended to be) and there are many, many models of firearm around the world that do not neatly fit within this binary. Some "Good Guns" in one time period may evolve into "Bad Guns" or vice versa. For example, the futuristic-looking Steyr AUG was made famous by the villains in Die Hard, but variants have since been adopted by law enforcement throughout the world in the decades since and have become more often depicted as "good"; alternately, see the Tommy Gun, which went from a gangster's weapon that made the '20s roar to a heroic weapon during World War II. Others may vary depending on the nature of the work in question. For example, it isn't uncommon to see an Anti-Hero using a traditional "Bad Gun". Similarly, while More Dakka may otherwise be a "Bad Gun" trait, having your hero pick up a Gatling Gun designed to be fired while mounted can be downright awesome. Conversely, a Dirty Cop may use a standard-issue "Good Gun" for nefarious purposes.


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

As with all morality tropes, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Examples of this trope:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Aoharu × Machinegun, Masamune uses twin Desert Eagles (one chrome, one normal) and Hotaru has a Walther P38. 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.
  • Zig-Zagged in City Hunter, where 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 P38. 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.
  • Fate/Zero Downplays this. Emiya Kiritsugu uses a Calico M950 (a high capacity, high-tech looking semi-auto handgun) as his sidearm, typically a Bad Gun (especially since he's converted it to full-auto), but he's a dark Anti-Hero, not a villain.
  • In Lycoris Recoil, protagonists Chisato and Takina use different high-end Western pistols while the assorted arms dealers, terrorists, and mercenaries opposing them largely use post-Soviet firearms such as Kalashnikov-family rifles and PKM machine guns.
  • In Mitama Security: Spirit Busters, Good guy Joh's Ghost-Be-Gone gun is a classic "good" revolver. Meanwhile, the Mob boss Onigawara uses something similar to a black Tokarev TT-33, or more likely its Chinese Type 54 knockoff (and he wields it Gangsta Style to boot).
  • In Patema Inverted, villain Izamura carries a gold-plated Walther PPK, a gun that just oozes "bad".
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura zig-zags this in several ways. She's initially antagonistic before becoming more of an Aloof Ally and Anti-Hero. She favors handguns, drawing from all over the spectrum including a Beretta, Walther PPK, Desert Eagle before moving into favoring bombs and rocket launchers later in the series.
  • Inverted in Red Eyes, where the bad guys use a variety of American and NATO firearms. Justified by the setting, where America Took Over The World.
  • Many airsoft-themed anime and manga, such as Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³, often have the Desert Eagle (a typically blingy looking Hand Cannon) as a weapon of choice of the Big Good. 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 the more good-guy aligned P90 instead.
  • 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.
  • In Upotte!!, the students are Anthropomorphic Personifications of guns. Seishou Academy students use guns that originate from Western or Western-aligned nations (the main four use an FNC, M16, L85 and SIG 550) while Akaganekou students are Russian and Warsaw Pact weapons (AK variants, Chinese firearms, etc.). Firearms that are from Western-aligned nations, but are based off Warsaw Pact designs, have questionable morality (Israeli Galil, Finnish Sako 95). A weird side effect of this is that unambiguously-human characters wield good guns, while bad guns are in the realm of Cat Girls and others with Unusual Ears, because the name of the school the AKs come from is a pun ("AK ga neko", or "AK is a cat").

    Comic Books 
  • Sugan Man in Age of Apocalypse is a four-armed, villainous mutant who carries multiple weapons in battle. In addition to Dual Wielding an ax and hammer, he is known to carry "bad" TMP machine pistols.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) (and the toys):
    • Cobra troopers, the primarily villain, typically use AKs and other Soviet-era Russian guns like the Dragunov sniper rifle.
    • Inverted with Snake Eyes, one of the most popular Joes, who uses a typically villainous Uzi. Its small size fits with his role as a stealthy Ninja while still offering firepower.
  • Invoked in Judge Dredd, an ex-Judge who was part of an extralegal killing squad within the high ranks of the Justice Department used his old uniform to carry out hits. He gets discovered because he uses a non-standard issue "bad" weapon.
  • Double-Subverted in Marvels, crossing over with Improperly Placed Firearms. In the newsreel and the ending WW2 scene, the Japanese and German soldiers are equipped with gangster Tommy Guns (an American weapon and typically depicted as "good" during the war) instead of the MP 40 or Arisaka rifle. So while they have "bad" guns, they have the wrong "bad" guns. Possibly justified due to "Golden Age" comic book rules (which Marvels, despite coming out in 1994, takes place during), which often depicted Mooks using Tommy Guns as short hand for "bad guys".
  • The cover of Sensation Comics issue #1 depicts a stereotypical gangster shooting at Wonder Woman with a drum magazine-fitted Tommy Gun in classic "gangster gun" style.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), initially villainous Julie-Su undergoes a Mook–Face Turn. Original plans were for her to use a Sawed-Off Shotgun, but this was changed to a blaster pistol due to the negative stereotypes surrounding the former weapon
  • Zig-Zagged 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. Justified as this was Truth in Television for that era.
  • Inverted in V for Vendetta, where the villainous government Fingermen, who use .38-caliber revolvers similar to Colt Police Positives.
  • In Xenozoic Tales, all of the good guys carry revolvers while only the bad guys use automatic pistols.

    Fan Works 
  • In C.I.A.: Agents, zig-zagged by Anti-Hero and Badass Biker Shadow Dark who uses both a typically "good" Colt M1911 (upgraded to fire Chaos Energy) and a classically "bad" AKA 27.
  • In Death Stranding Alaska, generally played straight as the main character uses an AR-15 while the primary villains mostly use futuristic AK variants. However, another enemy faction uses American-made WM 556s, zig-zagging it overall.
  • Inverted in Time Trials, a Sonic the Hedgehog crossover fic, Redcell the Vampire Bat is part of the Good Is Not Nice Emerald Network. He wields a Welrod, a very rare "assassin's pistol" with an integrated surpressor.
  • The Wastes, a Fallout RP, lawful deputy Thomas Grey uses a Colt Single Action revolver, a classic "old west" "good" gun. Meanwhile, wannabe Texas Ranger (and Hired Gun and Bounty Hunter) Ryan Hawkins is a Walking Armory of mostly "good" guns, carrying a shotgun named "Talon", a 10mm pistol (often associated with security forces), and a revolver (implied to be a typically "good" Webley.

  • Август Восьмого (Avgust Vos'mogo, August Eighth) is an Inversion, as 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 Avalon, protagonist Ash carries a PPK and Russian SVD, and at one point borrows a broomhandle Mauser. Later, she trades her PPK for a dead player's Polish Radom pistol.
  • In Best Seller, Officer Meechum uses a classic snub-nose .38 police revolver contrasting former Mafia hitman Cleve's favored semi-auto pistol (a Beretta 92).
  • In The Big Restaurant, the villains fire on Mr. Septime using a Luger, with noted association of Nazi Germany.
  • The Bond franchise:
    • Throughout the franchise, Bond is most often associated with the Walther PPK, a Nazi Germany gun that is a "bad" gun almost everywhere else. Its prominence sets it up as the "spy gun" in other works and Bond's many parodies/knock-offs.
    • In For Your Eyes Only, Kristatos and his mooks all carry P38 and Luger pistols, "bad" weapons heavily associated with Nazi Germany.
    • In Goldfinger, the mooks at Goldfinger's European plant carry weapons of Nazi German origin - mostly Walther P38s, and of course the grandmotherly gate guard who wields an MP 40. In the assault on Fort Knox, they use Kar 98k bolt action rifles and MP 40 submachine guns. In contrast, the US Army troops use Thompson SMGs and some M14 rifles, and Tilly Masterson uses an AR-7 rifle, the same type of rifle Bond himself used in From Russia with Love, and while her allegiance is ambiguous at first, she is ultimately revealed to be on Bond's side.
  • The 2004 Thai action film Born to Fight inverts this as the communist terrorists use M16s, MP5s, and M1911s as their main armaments.
  • Inverted in many Indian films set during the era of The Raj, where British firearms are often depicted as symbols of imperialism and colonialism. One notable example is in the 2012 film Chittagong, where Gurkha troops wielding Lewis Guns kill Indian freedom fighters in 1930s East Bengal.
  • In Colors, the police use more conservative, traditionally "good" guns like .38 revolvers, 9mm pistols, and pump shotguns in contrast to the firepower of the gang members including full-auto Uzis, sawed-off shotguns, and assault rifles.
  • Commando:
    • Many of the Big Bad's Mooks carry M16 rifles and other "Western" military weapons. Justified in that one of the terrorists' bosses is a turncoat US special forces veteran who would be most familiar with them for training purposes and that the Big Bad himself is planning to launch a revolution in his Banana Republic home country, likely purchasing the weapons as surplus.
    • Matrix, the hero, instead gets most of his weapons from an implied illegal (given the fact that they were hidden in a secret room) surplus store. This justifies the fact that he uses several typical "Bad Guns" including an AK variant, an Uzi, and a Desert Eagle. Though he otherwise uses stolen "Bad Guy" guns, Matrix wields a pump shotgun in his confrontation with Arius, the Big Bad (who uses a Steyr AUG), ultimately using it to blast him out a window.
  • In the 2011 film version of Coriolanus, the "good" Romans use Colt Carbines (part of the AR-15 family) while the "bad" Volscians use Zastava M70 rifles (an AK variant).
  • In Dead Mine, the mercenaries protecting the researchers use "western" M4A1s/HK416s and MK. 48 light machine guns while the pirates use AK-47s.
  • In Die Hard, hero John McClane mainly uses his Beretta 92 handgun against the terrorists who mostly use submachine guns. In particular, The Dragon Karl uses a Steyr AUG, a highly advanced and futuristic looking gun for the time the movie came out (in the years since, variations of it have been adopted by law enforcement and even some militaries around the world, turning it into more of a "good" gun). The SWAT team uses "good" M16s while Sgt. Powell carries a Smith & Wesson 15, a classic police revolver, showing him as the straight-laced cop to John's Cowboy Cop.
  • The Dollars Trilogy:
    • A Fistful of Dollars has "The Man With No Name" (good) carry a Colt Single Action Army revolver (particularly, the "Artillery" model with a shorter barrel which is better for Quick Drawing), one of the most classic "good" guns of the Old West. Ramón Rojo, the primary antagonist, prefers his rifle, a Winchester 1892. It's more accurate at a distance, holds more rounds, and Ramón at one point utters the now-famous below quote to "The Man". In the climax, knowing Ramón's calling card is to always aim for the heart, "The Man" crafts a chest protector out of an old boiler plate, wears it under his trademark poncho, and takes the hits until Ramón's rifle is out of ammo. After taking out Ramón's henchmen, "The Man" moves into close range and gives Ramón a final chance to test his quote. "The Man" wins easily.
    "When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with a pistol will be a dead man."
    Ramón Rojo
    • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, being a period piece, has a twist on the "Old West" guns variant. All three of the main characters use Old West styled guns, but each has technical and aesthetic differences to tell them apart:
      • Blondie, "the Good", uses a cartridge-converted Colt 1851 Navy .38 revolver, a classic "good" Old West gun. Showing that Good Is Not Nice, he has a silver snake engraved into the handle.
      • Angel Eyes, "the Bad", primarily uses a dual-toned (thus flashier) Remington 1858 New Army, a more advanced revolver than Blondie's. It is also chambered in .44 caliber, making it more powerful than Blondie's as well.
      • Tuco, "the Ugly", goes through a number of guns throughout the film given that he's captured and arrested repeatedly, using whatever he can find. This fits his characterization as an Anti-Villain Bandito quite well. The weapon he is most identified with is the custom Navy revolver he pieces together out of several guns at the gun store, which foreshadows the complexity of his character that comes to light later. This last bit may surprise as Truth in Television, as Samuel Colt (inventor and founder of the Colt Manufacturing Company) would often piece together parts of as many as 10 of his revolvers in front of audiences to demonstrate that they were interchangable for easy replacement and upkeep.
  • In the first Dirty Harry film, the titular character carries a S&W Model 29 in .44 Magnum, then the most powerful handgun in the world. While more powerful guns are typically "bad", this started a trend of Hand Cannons ending up in the hands of Anti Heroes and Cowboy Cops just like Harry. His partner, Chico, carries a classically "good" Colt Detective Special, a standard issue police revolver of that era. Conversely, Big Bad serial killer "Scorpio" uses a modified Arisaka rifle (a Japanese WWII weapon often brought home as souvenirs), a Nazi MP40, and in the climax, a stolen Walther P38, yet another Nazi weapon.
  • Inverted fully in Equilibrium. The evil Tetragrammaton regime use "western" firearms like a Beretta 92FS, MP5, FN P90, M16 carbine, and G36, all typically "good". However, Resistance members are mostly (but not exclusively) seen using Soviet firearms like AK-47 variants and Scorpion machine pistols, typical "bad" guns. Justified as the government is the villainous faction.
  • In Face/Off, villain 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.
  • The Front Line:
    • Played straight as the South Koreans use US-made WWII issue weapons like the M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine while the North Koreans use Soviet-made surplus like Mosin Nagants and PPSh-41 submachine guns.
    • While Dressing as the Enemy, "good guy" Soo-Hyeok picks up a PPSh, a justified inversion.
  • Subverted in Fury (2014), where the American crew uses salvaged German MP40s after their issued guns run dry. Protagonist Don uses a German StG44, which simply provides more firepower than anything else he can get his hands on. Some other US Soldiers are also seen using captured German MP40s in the hedgerow battle as well. Truth in Television, as the MP40 was popular among Allied troops and even provides the page image for The Enemy Weapons Are Better.
  • 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.
  • Zig-Zagged in the Korean Western The Good, The Bad, The Weird, where the Good bounty hunter wields a lever-action Winchester rifle (straight), the Bad bandit uses a Webley revolver (inverted), and the Weird thief uses a pair of Walther P38 pistols ("bad" and anachronistic).
  • The Guard:
    • Zig-Zagged by protagonists Gerry and Wendell, who use a Glock and an AK respectively, the former typically "good" and the latter typically "bad". Justifed as Gerry took these from the IRA.
    • The villains instead use a SIG-Sauer ("bad") and a Beretta ("good"), zig-zagging it as well.
  • Though the villains of Heat (which provides the page image) 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 Helios, the bad guys using AKs fits, as does the counter terrorism unit using MP5s and Glock handguns. The eponymous Helios, the code name of the South Korean terrorist, uses an "advanced" SIG SG 552 and CZ-805 BREN.
  • 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.
  • Discussed in In Bruges, about two Irish hitmen hiding out in the titular city, regarding the "bad" gun Uzi.
    Harry: An Uzi? I'm not from South Central Los fucking Angeles. I didn't come here to shoot twenty black ten-year olds in a fucking drive-by. I want a normal gun for a normal person.
  • In Jurassic World, protagonist Owen carries lever-action rifle, an Old West-styled "good" gun. In contrast, the InGen Security operatives, Big Bad Hoskin's Mooks who arrive after the Indominus rex breaks loose to claim it as a Living Weapon, carry a variety of much more advanced tactical weaponry, primarily H&K models with large scopes, laser sights, surpressors, and all sorts of other typically "bad" accessories.
  • Invoked in The Killer Elite, where a fake police officer is identified because he's carrying a non-standard automatic (more common with criminals than police in that era) instead of a police issued (at that time) .38 revolver.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
    • One major clue that Gray isn't good is that he uses a Luger when shooting Ishmael.
    • The villains carry automatic rifles that resemble Steampunk AKs, while Nemo's men carry guns that look like British STENs in contrast.
  • Zig-zagged in London Has Fallen, though Justified at points because of terrorists undercover as policemen. As professionals, Mike Banning and the other Secret Service use Sig handguns. Terrorists use HK G36sand MP5s, which can be either good or bad guns, depending upon user. Also lampshaded with the Terrorist dressed as a policeman when Mike points out his AK is not usual police issue. Undercover terrorists use Glock 17s and SA80s when posing as good guys.
  • Mad Max franchise:
    • Inverted in Mad Max, the eponymous Max, a cop, uses a typically "bad" Sawed-Off Shotgun. Played straight by one of the gangsters who has a Mauser C96.
    • 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.
    • Zig-zagged in Beyond Thunderdome, where all these considerations go out the window due to the scavenger society of Max's world. Bartertown goons carry a Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, a lever-action Winchester, and an M60 machine gun; Max hands in a different sawed-off than he had before, an S&W revolver, and a C96 upon entering Bartertown; and an ordinary man in the crowd entering Bartertown has a Karabiner 98k.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers:
      • Good guy Hawkeye carries a H&K 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 also used when "evil" as well) or alien weapons he picks up.
      • S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are mostly armed with "good" Glock pistols and M4A1 carbines. Loki's brainwashed human Mooks use an assortment of mostly "advanced" guns identifying them as bad. Naturally, the invading Chitauri aliens at the end use "bad-looking" weapons of their own design.
      • The Reveal of "Phase 2" being the reverse engineering and development of weapons based on HYDRA technology serves to sow quite a bit of discord amongst the heroes, partly due to them being left in the dark about this plan. Captain America and Thor in particular are very upset by this, for different reasons.
    • Captain America: The First Avenger is set in World War II, and it features American and German soldiers using period appropriate 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.
    • Inverted in Iron Man, where the bad guys almost exclusively use Western military styled guns. They're referred to as made by Stark International, Tony Stark's fictional company. This is used to illustrate how Stark can't be bothered at first over his tech falling into the wrong hands.
  • In Missile to the Moon, Mad Scientist Dirk uses a German Luger while protagonist Steve uses a classic Colt M1911.
  • The Mummy (1999):
    • Protagonist Rick uses a pair of revolvers and a pump-shotgun throughout most of the film, decidedly "good" guns.
    • The American group, morally gray but definitely aligned against Big Bad Imhotep, use a collection of typically "good" Old West revolvers, a British Webley revolver, and a Colt M1911.
    • The Medjai, Knight Templars of an initially murky alignment who later help the heroes against Imhotep, primarily use Mauser Gewehrs (the German service rifle in WWI) and Mauser C96 pistols, typically "bad" guns. With the movie taking place in the early 1920s, they were likely acquired in surplus after the war.
  • 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.
  • In Operation Chromite, the members of Team X-Ray, posing as a North Korean inspection team, use "bad" Soviet weapons like the PPSh-41 and Tokarev pistol, in order to blend in. After their cover is blown, they begin to use weapons provided by the KLO, including "Allied" guns like the M1911A1, M1 Carbines, and M1 Garands. Then Invoked when two South Korean sympathisers are outed by the KPA due to possessing "Yankee" firearms.
  • 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, two different sets of typically "Bad" guns.
  • In Platoon, the Americans and the briefly-seen ARVN troops use NATO firearms, while the NVA use Chinese Type 56s and B-40 RPGs, "bad" guns. Barnes and Taylor, late in the film, pick up Type 56s from fallen enemies.
  • Predator franchise:
    • Predator:
      • The merc "rescue" squad is outfitted mostly with "upgraded" and/or modified western military firearms. Dutch uses a modified M16 with a under-barrel M203 grenade launcher attachment, Billy also uses a modified M16 with an under-barrel pump-shotgun attachment, and Mac uses a short-barrel M60E3 light machine gun while the rest of the squad initially use what are supposed to be MP5s (really heavily modified civilian HK94A3 prop guns). Big Guy Blaine switches to a M134 Minigun prior to assaulting the rebel base while Poncho uses a customized Grenade Launcher as a secondary weapon. Justified across the board as the movie runs on Rule of Cool and Rated M for Manly, while also establishing just how much of a threat the titular alien hunter as he cuts down the squad members one by one despite their firepower.
      • The Banana Republic rebels naturally use a variety of AK and Dragunov variants, clear "bad" guns.
    • Predator 2:
      • The LAPD unit under Lt. Harrigan primarily uses a selection of a advanced semi-auto handguns with modifications like laser sights and underbarrel flashlights that would normally come across as "bad" weapons, especially Harrigan's brushed chrome Desert Eagle. Justified, however, as the movie (released in 1990) is set 1997 where LA has devolved into an Urban Hellscape dominated by warring gangs and the police need the extra firepower to keep up. Late in the movie, when Harrigan goes after the titular alien, he upgrades to two classically "good" guns - a CAR-15 (a shorter barreled AR-15) and a shotgun.
      • The various gangs shown throughout the movie use just about every kind of "bad" gun there is at one point or another. Machine pistols and submachine guns are the most common, but "advanced" guns like the Steyr AUG and heavy machine guns like the M60 are also used. Columbian gang leader El Scorpio uses a pair of Micro Uzis and then a Grenade Launcher. Jamaican gang leader "Gold Tooth" has a high-caliber revolver with gold-plating and ivory grips.
      • The government agents under Keyes, perhaps as a clue that they aren't exactly "good" as they're trying to capture the Predator despite knowing about its explosive self-destruct mechanism, are seen carrying "advanced" Muzzlelite bullpup-style guns and a modified M60.
    • In Predators, the main group is comprised of "warrior" humans kidnapped from Earth and dumped on a "game preserve" planet to be hunted by the titular aliens. While none are truly "good", the most "heroic" of the bunch, American mercenary Royce and IDF sniper Isabelle, use a shotgun and sniper rifle, respectively. In contrast, the rest of the group consists of outright criminals and those who use guns have obvious "bad" guns. Mexican Cartel enforcer Cuchillo dual-wields customized MP5Ks, a smaller version of the MP5 that looks and functions closer to a gangster gun-like Uzi. Sierra Leonean "death squad" leader Mumbasa naturally uses an AKM, an AK variant, with a folding stock. Russian Spetsnaz heavy gunner Nikolai carries a minigun. Yakuza assassin Hanzo uses a stainless steel Beretta with ivory grips and a compensator. Noland, a survivor of a previous hunt, first shows up carrying an alien weapon, obscuring his morality. He later double-crosses the group.
    • In The Predator, the group of protagonists is a rather anti-heroic bunch of PTSD suffering veterans who've escaped custody (and one scientist who outlived her usefulness). However, they primarily use "good" guns, like a pump shotgun stolen from a guard and some police weapons, including MP5s, after stealing a police car. The Stargazer organization, despite being "good" in-universe, primarily use a variety of "advanced", tactical-looking H&K products, classic "bad" guns in this circumstance. Oddly, when the two groups are forced into an Enemy Mine against the Ultimate Predator at the end, the protagonists equip themselves with several classic "good" M4s from the Stargazer site, despite the Stargazer Mooks not really using them.
  • The Quick and the Dead, being an Old West period piece where everyone uses very similar models of gun, has an aesthetic version. The Lady and the Kid (both "good") use nickel-plated Single Action Army revolvers with white grips, giving them Light Is Good vibes. Herod, the Big Bad, also wields a pair of SAAs. His have darker metal with custom gold dragon grips, classic "bad" gun traits, and he also dual wields them at several points, a typically "bad" method.
  • Rambo franchise:
    • In First Blood, the deputies, state troopers, and National Guardsmen carry M16s. Justified as they are the official "good" guys. Rambo uses these and an M60 too, taking them from fallen enemies. Teasle uses an Heckler and Koch G3, which is justified as he is both an authority figure but not necessarily good, so it shows he can be viewed either way. Trautman has a holstered M1911 on his person which is usually well hidden by his coat or the camera.
    • In the novelization of Rambo: First Blood Part II, while preparing for his mission, Rambo specifically asks for a Kalashnikov instead of the overdesigned, cutting edge rifle Murdock wanted to give him, because it'd be easier to find ammunition and replacement parts behind enemy lines. He also asks for a bow and arrows.
  • The 1995 film adaptation of Richard III seems to zig-zag 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.
  • Zig-zagged in The Rocketeer, where the police and FBI use .38 Special revolvers while the mobsters all carry Colt 1911s. At the climax, both the FBI and mobsters use Thompson submachine guns again the Nazis. However, the Rocketeer himself uses a Mauser C96.
  • Zig-zagged in The Siege of Jadotville. The Irish peacekeeping force uses a collection of "western" military weapons in use at the time from British and French sources, all "good" guns. However, the Kataganese rebels use (likely seized) French FALs (a "good" gun) in addition to "bad" German Mausers. One of the mercenaries aligned with the rebels uses a Walther PPK, a classic "bad" Nazi gun.
  • In Se7en, the two police protagonists have different takes on "good" guns. The older By-the-Book Cop Somerset carries a Smith & Wesson Model 15, while Cowboy Cop Mills carries a semi-automatic handgun, a custom M1911.
  • Star Wars:
    • Han Solo's signature DL-44 is really a rebuilt broomhandle Mauser, normally a 'bad guy' gun. While he is on the "good" side, 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.
    • 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.
    • 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, and is favored for combat within a starship since it has just enough power to pierce Stormtrooper armor without also punching holes in the ship itself if you miss.
  • Terminator franchise:
    • The Terminator:
      • Protagonist Kyle Reese initially steals a police officer's Smith & Wesson Model 15 reolver and a pump-action police shotgun, classic "good" weapons, though he does saw off the shotgun's barrel for easier concealment. Later, after escaping the police station, he uses Lt. Traxler's police revolver, another "good" gun.
      • The T-800, the eponymous machine, gets a collection of "bad" guns via Ballistic Discount at a gun store. Included are a tactical black Armalite AR-18 assault rifle, an Uzi, and an AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide (with a laser sight), all fitting "bad" guns. He also gets a shotgun, a tactical Franchi SPAS-12 with folding stock, which is a semi-auto in contrast to Kyle's pump.
      • When the T-800 assaults the police station, the cops initially fight back with their revolver sidearms. When these prove futile, a few, including Traxler and Vucovich, grab "good" M16s. These are still no match for the Terminator, however.
      • At the end of the movie, Sarah, now pregnant and believing Kyle's warning of the future, has a Ruger Security Six in her lap, a stainless steel revolver.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
      • The T-800, reprogammed to protect John Conner, quickly acquires a Winchester 1887 lever-action shotgun and a M1911 pistol from the biker bar, both "good" guns hinting at his new alignment. Later, he uses an Vietnam-era M79 single shot grenade launcher as his signature weapon for the film's third act. While normally explosive firepower like that is a "bad" gun trait, it's justified given what they're up against. He also uses an M134 Minigun to destroy the police cars surrounding the Cyberdyne building. Again, More Dakka is typically a "bad" trait but him using a handheld Gatling Good weapon like that falls under Rule of Cool.
      • Sarah takes the M1911 from the T-800 during the escape from the asylum as her first weapon. She later picks up an M16 variant which she uses to try to kill Dyson before her Became Their Own Antithesis moment. She uses another to shoot at the T-1000 during the helicopter chase. Finally, she picks up a pump shotgun (pumping it one-handed due to her injuries) and uses it against the T-1000 in the steel mill.
      • The T-1000 initially inverts it, taking the appearance and gun of the police officer investigating the disturbance of his arrival, a Beretta 92FS. He later takes a Browning Hi-Power, a black semi-auto handgun, off the security guard he kills in the mental asylum. During the helicopter chase, he uses a police-issue H&K MP5K, which, despite its law enforcement usage, tends to pop up more as a "bad" gun due to its size and rate of fire.
  • In Tomorrow: When the War Began, the invading Coalition Mooks carry AK-47s, leaving little doubt about their alignment or intent.
  • 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.
  • White Sun of the Desert, being a Russian film, naturally inverts it as the "heroes" carry what would seem like "bad" guns to a Western viewer. However, zig-zagged even within that dynamic by the Big Bad who carries a Mauser C96. Typically a Nazi-associated "bad" gun (despite pre-dating them by half a century), it was seen as a "good" gun associated with the Bolsheviks and Red October in the Soviet Union.
  • In Wind River, protagonist Cody uses a lever-action rifle, fitting the film's New Old West setting. The villainous Drill Security use an automatic rifle in contrast.
  • Inverted and Zig-Zagged 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. Tomcat (Scott Adkins) and Big Daddy (Frank Grillo), the two American antagonists in the films, both use M4A1s as their primary weapon.
  • In Wonder Woman (2017), "bad" German General Ludendorff naturally carries a Luger pistol as his favored weapon. In contrast, "good guy" Steve carries a Winchester Model 1897 pump-shotgun and a Colt M1911, classic "good" guns. Given that he and Wonder Woman are attached to a British unit, these may seem like Improperly Placed Firearms, but shotguns were extremely effective in WWI trench warfare making them not only popular with Americans, but they were picked up by allies and enemies alike, meaning it isn't much of a stretch for him to have acquired one. In addition, M1911 pistols were used by British forces and Colt even manufactured them as "British Service Models" in the traditional .455 Webley caliber.
  • In Yesterday (2002), the SI and SWAT use traditional "good" law enforcement guns like MP5s and Beretta handguns. The bad guys mostly use AK variant "bad" guns, but have a few MP5 type weapons as well. One also carries an H&K MK23 SOCOM, a tricked-out semi-auto handgun described by the manufacturer specifically as an "offensive handgun" because it was designed to be big, menacing, and used in place of a rifle or submachine gun.

  • Invoked in Born a Crime when Trevor describes his abusive, alcoholic step-father's gun. It was "sleek and black and menacing, not like the shiny guns from cowboy movies".
  • In Invasion, the US standard issue M16s are the "good" to the Chinese Type 95 QBZ "bad".
  • In Left Behind, the "good" Tribulation Force is armed with M16/M4s while the Global Community Peacekeepers, who serve the Anti-Christ, use AKs.
  • Invoked in Monster Island, where the DHS agent stationed in Governor's Island immediately assumes the Somali girls are terrorists due to the fact they were armed with AK-47s while he is armed with an M4.
  • In Out of the Dark, due to the desperation of battling invading aliens, the resistance forces are absolutely thrilled when the get some old, typically "bad" Soviet weapons.
  • Zig-zagged in The Tomorrow Series, where both the good and bad sides use M16s.
  • Invoked in Vertical Run, when Dave attempts to convince his friend that the pistol he's carrying was stolen from a paramilitary hitman and not a cop. He points out that the high-tech, internally-suppressed, laser-sighted machine pistol with no manufacturer mark or serial number isn't exactly the sort of gun a cop would carry. It doesn't work, as the friend freely admits that he doesn't know anything about guns and such technical distinctions are meaningless to him.

    Live Action TV 
  • In 1-800-Missing, the good guys are FBI agents and use their issued Glocks. Characters of indeterminate loyalty and a couple of minor bad guys carry Beretta 92s. Bad guys carry SIG P226s, with one episode Big Bad getting a shiny stainless-steel slide on his.
  • Zig-zagged in Athena: Goddess of War where both the Athena terrorists and South Korean security forces use a variety of Glocks, Walthers, H&K weapons, and M4s from all over the "good/bad" spectrum.
  • In Blue Bloods, the police naturally use a variety of "good" law enforcement weapons while criminals use just about everything else. In particular, an Uzi-toting biker performs a drive-by in "Hall of Mirrors."
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • The majority of the detectives carry Glock 19s, a common standard police-issued sidearm. Terry carries a slightly more advanced SIG Sauer P226, setting him apart in a justified way since he is the Sergeant (and later Lieutenant) of the group. Det. Diaz, being a "not nice" Action Girl, stands out by carrying a higher-power Colt Compact M1991.
    • Captain Holt, having come up as a detective in the '70s and '80s during the Big Rotten Apple era, carries a Colt Detective Special revolver which would have been a common sidearm in that era.note  Its "old school" factor identifies him as both an authority figure and veteran of the force.
    • In a twist, when geared-up as part of SWAT teams, the "nine-nine" detectives are likelier to carry more "heroic" police pump-shotguns while the generic SWAT officers get assault rifles and submachine guns.
    • "Bad guys" throughout the series are much more likely to carry flashier handguns and sometimes machine pistols/submachine guns, quickly identifying them.
  • Zig-Zagged in Burn Notice. Both the good and bad guys use all sorts of guns, and the distinctive SIG SG552/P556 hybrid is used by Michael and/or Fiona in some episodes and by random bad guys in others.
  • Inverted in the Cowboy Bebop (2021) episode Binary Two-Step where Kaypack is armed with a Luger but it turns out he's just trying to help protagonist Spike.
  • Inverted by New Series Doctor Who, where UNIT and Torchwood (and on occasion, the British Army for some reason) are armed with typically "bad" H&K assault rifles.
  • Typically played straight in Iris, however, at one point, the anti-IRIS faction uses some western military weapons as well.
  • In Jericho (2006), 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.
  • In Lost, many guns constantly change hands, making "good" and "bad" irrelevant. Howver, 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.
  • Love/Hate inverts this with the protagonists being gang members. Beretta 92s and Glock 17s are the favored 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; given that the protagonists are Australian military, they use the Steyr 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.
  • In Sons of Guns, there are no "bad guys", but 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 the Star Trek: Voyager episode Nemesis, the Defenders use the British SA80 assault rifle, while Kradin soldiers use a Kalashnikov type, both modified with plastic coverings.
  • On Supernatural, Good guy Dean carries an M1911A1, while several "darker" characters - a future version of Dean, Gordon, and Sam while he was missing his soul - use the typically "bad" H&K Mark 23.
  • In Tiger Cubs, the Special Duties Unit are armed with Western-made weapons like Glock 17s, HK MP5s, and KAC SR-25s while the bad guys are armed with AK-based rifles and IWI Uzis. The former is justified since the force was created and trained by British police officers stationed in Hong Kong when it used to be a British overseas territory.
  • Zig-Zagged throughout Walker, Texas Ranger. The eponymous hero Walker initially carries a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 revolver, a notable Hand Cannon caliber, but loses it at the start of season 2. After, he primarily uses a Taurus PT92, similar to a police Beretta which would be playing it straight, but is nickel plated with custom pearl grips ("blingy" guns typically being "bad"). His partner, James Trivette, carries a typically "bad" Walther P5, but is definitely a good guy. Conversely, "gangster" machine pistol TEC-9s seemingly appear Once per Episode in the hands of a bad guy. Native American Reservation Policemen Sam Coyote and Black Fox, friends of Walker, carry "Old West" style lever-action rifles. Lever-action rifles also appear in the hands of unnamed background rangers throughout the series.
  • Played straight on The Walking Dead during seasons 3 and 4. Major antagonist "The Governor" carries a Steyr AUG and his soldiers often carry assault weapons like H&Ks, while Rick and his crew almost exclusively use M16s or M4s when seen with a full-auto weapon.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, the "Sawed-Off Shotgun" and ".45 Thompson" belong to the Rogue class and have the "Illicit" trait, signifying their status as villainous weapons.
  • Star Wars: Roleplaying Game has a fictional variant. Disruptor weapons are described as cruel, agonizing firearms that are broadly considered illegal across the galaxy. When compared with more common blaster weapons, they don't have a stun setting and have the Vicious quality, which automatically increases critical injury results when they're rolled. They also have higher damage and lower critical ratings.


    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • ARMA series:
    • Played 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.
    • Come the Contact DLC and this trope gets played with again with the new INDFOR faction, the Livonian Defense Forces, who are primarily using a gun based on the Polish MSBS with minor details from the Croatian VHS-2, and like the AAF before, also end up as the real bad guys of the expansion's campaign, as they stubbornly push to destroy the alien core regardless of the warnings of their American NATO counterparts. Which forces the latter to team up with the Russians, the main REDFOR faction of the expansion, who unsurprisingly comes armed with AK-platform weapons, in order to stop the Livonians from potentially destroying the entire Earth. This makes it a rare case of good guys who are using both good and bad guns against misguided bad guys who are using weapons with somewhat ambiguous affiliations.
  • In Army of Two, played straight for the first few missions as 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, Inverted during the Aircraft Carrier where the Abu Sayyaf terrorists wield mostly M4s and M16s, and during the Miami mission where the SSC mercenaries use FAMASes.
  • Battlefield:
    • Early games in the series play this completely straight, as your loadout choices are entirely dependent on what side you are on. Battlefield 2 and the first Bad Company start to zig-zag it, 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 allows players to spend points that can 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 averts this and gives 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 mostly plays 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.
  • Mooks in Blood who 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.
  • 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. Bandit weapons, now under control of the Children of the Vault, bear spraycan markings and Spikes of Villainy. 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.
  • 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, with Captain Price's sidearm of choice being an M1911 and player character Soap usually starting levels with a USP in his holster, 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 justified. 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).
    • Zig-zagged in multiplayer from Call of Duty 4 on, 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 US Marines with Arisakas, TF141 operatives with Model 1887 lever-action shotguns, Viet Cong with FALs, African militia with XM25s, Chinese soldiers with MP7s, Venezuelan soldiers with AK-12s, North Korean soldiers with ARX-160s (with American flags printed on them), Nazi German soldiers with Winchester Model 21s, Russian soldiers with SIG MCXs, East German soldiers with EM-2s... 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 Accord and Common Defense Pact sides.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert plays it straight or inverts it depending on which side you control, as every game involves a conflict between the Allied forces and Soviet Union; the basic "rifle infantry" of the Allies use M16s, M60s and pump-action shotguns depending on the game, while the Soviet counterparts use AK-47s (knockoffs or otherwise) and PPSh-41s.
  • Inverted in Conker's Bad Fur Day in the War and Heist chapters. Conker dual-wields Skorpions with Berri also using one in the latter, while the enemy Tediz and security guards are armed with M16s.
  • Counter-Strike:
    • The 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, UMP45, 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 are 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.
  • In Defiance, smug and narcissistic Mayor Pottinger, the tyrannical mayor of Defiance, has a Luger as a sidearm.
  • The Delta Force series overall zig-zag this. The original two games play 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 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 make 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 goes back to playing this straight, and takes it to particular extremes, with your Western guns being pinpoint accurate and killing in one bullet while the enemy's AKs are 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 doesn't allow use of any non-Western firearms, or even playing as any non-Western factions, pitting Delta Force against the SAS. Xtreme zig-zags 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.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VIII provides a fantasy version. Gunblades are portrayed as swords with gun handles, but they utilize the kinetic shock of the fired munitions for an attack 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.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, good engineer Mustadio comes with a Romandan Pistol, a basic handgun, in contrast to evil templar Barich, who uses a fiery Blaze Pistol.
  • 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.
  • Ghost Recon
    • 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" guns available to specialists and 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 invert this for the Ghosts, giving them access to the Makarov pistol, several AK variants and even WWII-era DP machine guns.
    • Inverted in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2, enemy soldiers are equipped with NATO weapons instead of the standard AKs. AKs are available in multiplayer matches for use by anyone.
    • Ghost Recon: 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.
  • Subverted in Ghost Trick by Kamila, a little girl. When possessed by Yomiel, she uses a Tommy Gun, one-handed no less, but isn't actually bad.
  • Zig-zagged in Girls' Frontline:
    • As the entire playable cast are personifications of various guns, T-Dolls aligned with the Commander use good and bad weapons alike without much rhyme or reason. The "good vs bad" split ends up being more between "real vs fictional", as the initial villains, Sangvis Ferri, use made-up guns, including energy weapons; the story explains that Private Military Contractors like that which the player character works for are forbidden from arming their T-Dolls with any weapon created during or after World War III.
    • 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 become the principal antagonist faction after Chapter 10.
  • In GoldenEye, this is played straight for the majority of the game, where the enemies usually use knockoffs of various Soviet weapons while Bond uses NATO weaponry. 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.
  • GoldenEye (2010), 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.
  • 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).
  • Zig-zagged throughout the Henry Stickmin Series. To note:
    • The prison guards in Prison, police and museum watchmen in Diamond, and military in Airship and Mission, who are mostly Hero Antagonists unless Henry chooses to join up with them, use what look like Remington-type shotguns, Glock pistols (except for Kurt Dietrich who uses a Webley), and AR-type rifles. Charles is shown carrying a Glock pistol when he meets Henry again at the beginning of the Government/Dead route of Mission. Tellingly, when Henry does the "Wololo" on Kayn West, his AK-47 becomes an M16.
    • The Toppat Clan mainly uses AK-47 assault rifles; the zigzag comes in since they use Colt M1911 pistols.
    • The Wall, the main organization that Henry doesn't align with, uses AK-104 rifles and Makarov pistols.
  • In the Hitman franchise, if the target isn't a crack dealer or a pimp, they're most likely running guns. Hitman doesn't think too highly of merchants of death—forgetting that 47 makes full use of Kruger-Schmidt's services in each game. Thankfully he buys "good" guns. A majority of enemies throughout wield classically "bad" SMGs and AKs.
  • Inverted 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 potentially justified that they now control South Korea and Japan, which gives them access to plenty of NATO weapons.
  • Insurgency:
    • The game restricts each side to their own sets of weaponry, of which only three weapons are directly shared: the S&W Model 10 revolver, the Makarov pistol, and the H&K P2A1 flare gun. The general division is that more modern and fancy Western weapons are good while older castoffs are bad; Security gets modern Western weapons like the M16A4 and M4A1, Mossberg 590 and M249, while Insurgents are stuck with older, predominately-Soviet weapons like the AKMS and AK-74, TOZ-194 and RPK. Even the few Western weapons available to the Insurgents tend to be older weapons that have since been abandoned by their original users for more modern ones: Insurgents can get older M1911s, M1 Carbines and FALs, whereas Security has the more fancy M45, AC556, and their choice of an old-fashioned L1A1 or a more modern Mk 14. The only other outlier is that both sides have access to different versions of the Galil, Insurgents getting the ARM and Security the shorter-barreled SAR.
    • Insurgency: Sandstorm mostly keeps to this idea, with a few new weapons added to one side or the other because of media reputation more than the previous theme (e.g. Security gets an MR-73 revolver and Insurgents a Desert Eagle), but there are a lot more outliers. The biggest source of these is that the time period for "old enough to have been abandoned by the West" seems to have shifted up to The '90s - Insurgents now have exclusive access to the Beretta M9 and FN P90, have access to several more direct counterparts to Security weapons like the M16A2 and MP5A2, and in one case even get a more advanced version of a weapon than Security does, Security stuck with the Galil SAR as an assault rifle while the Insurgents can use the more modern Galil ACE as a marksman's rifle. A few other weapons that were once good guns have been removed from Security's inventory, like the FAL, only to be replaced by similar weapons that are now typically bad guy guns, like the G3 and the bullpup Tavor 7; conversely, the Makarov was removed from Security's armory, replaced with a local clone of the Beretta M1951 that logically probably should be available to both sides. There are also several more WWII guns added to the game, but Security has held onto a couple of them, keeping the M3 Grease Gun while letting the Insurgents get the Welrod and M1 Garand.
  • 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).
  • In Jet Set Radio, the rival gang Golden Rhinos are Gangbangers who primarily use MAC-10s with some Cold Snipers who use Soviet Dragonovs.
  • 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 armories 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 "good" 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 ("bad"), then switching to a Single Action Army ("good", 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 ("bad") as her primary weapon, but is actually foreshadowing the fact that she's actually a Chinese double-agent who's more overtly there for the Philosopher's Legacy.
    • Zig-zagged 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. However, 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.
  • Zig-zagged 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).
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY2:
    • 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).
  • In 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.
  • Averted in Player Unknowns Battlegrounds, where players can freely find weapons regardless of manufacturer and location.
  • Police Quest:
    • In 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 H&K UMP being SWAT-only. Singleplayer inverts this more, as there's an abundant number of H&K weapons that only the player and his squad can use.
  • 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 to the PC version of 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 while 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.
  • Red Dead Redemption II:
    • While the guns Arthur uses throughout the game are up to what the player acquires and chooses to use, he starts off with a Cattleman Revolver (based on the Colt Single Action Army revolver) and the Carbine Repeater (based on the Spencer repeating rifle), which lean "good" as classic Old West weapons. These hint at Arthur's good heart beneath his rough exterior and his possible "redemption" at the end of the game.
    • Foreshadowing his status as The Mole, Micah dual-wields (a typical "bad" trait) a pair of double-action revolvers (advanced for the age, another typically "bad" gun trait).
    • Saint Denis Mafia boss Angelo Bronte uses a Mauser pistol, obvious to modern players as a "bad" gun due to its associate with Germany in the World Wars. For the time period, it counts as an "advanced" gun, typically a "bad" trait as well.
  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein, being set during WWII, makes the Allied/Axis "Good/Bad" split fairly obvious. However, in multiplayer, a few weapons are available to both sides including the Mauser and Panzerfaust, two infamous Nazi weapons; Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory only adds an Allied counterpart for the Mauser in the M1 Garand.
  • Second Sight stands out as a game that completely averts 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.)
  • Soldier of Fortune:
    • The player and allies typically use the M4 rifle and US SOCOM Mk. 23 pistol, while the bad guys typically use the AK-74 and Micro Uzi.
    • Zig-zagged later when fighting the Western terrorist group the "Prometheus Operatives", who also use M4s.
  • Splinter Cell:
    • 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.
    • Zig-zagged in Splinter Cell: Conviction, where only enemies in the first two levels drop Skorpions and Desert Eagles, and only in Diwaniya, Iraq and co-op are AKs dropped; in all other missions the enemies are using "Western" guns. Justified, since all other missions take place exclusively on US soil.
  • Zig-zagged in the Stalker series. Non-aligned Loners tend to use Makarovs, AKs, 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 selection 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.
  • 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.
  • The enemies in every Uncharted game are just as likely to use NATO weapons as they are Warsaw Pact guns, zig-zagging the trope. 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 and shiny modern guns for them just because they're the bad guys.
  • Generally played straight in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Steyr AUGs are used by the Society of Leopold (a Hard-Coded Hostility enemy faction), while MAC-10s are used by mobsters and a few Society members.
  • In Xenonauts, the standard ballistic weapons available to the eponymous heroic organization (Beretta 92, M16, Mossberg 500, FN MAG, H&K G3SG/1) are all Western guns, as is the rocket launcher (a Mk 153 SMAW); non-Western firearms like the AK and Makarov are present in the game, but only used by NPC soldiers, policemen and other armed forces in missions set in the Middle East and Soviet Union, and even then only the AK can be used by having a soldier pick one up - trying to pick up a Makarov just has it transform into a Beretta.

    Web Original 
  • Subverted in Dan The Man by the Resistence fighters. While they get along with Dan at first, the fact that they use AKs tips off that they are not what they seem to be, ultimately killing hordes of people in pursuit of freedom, while their leader ultimately turns out to be a wannabe dictator.
  • In Elites Of War, the "good" Legion faction prefers using human weapons against the villainous Council faction, which uses exclusively alien weapons.
  • Subverted in The Game Masters Tournament, where "good" Cool Old Guy Ambrose Bierce uses a Mauser. Justified as, although it has long been lumped in with Nazi guns, the original Mauser C96 actually dates back to the late 19th century when Bierce lived and wouldn't have those "bad" connotations yet.
  • In Homestuck, sociopathic Card-Carrying Villain Caliborn uses the "Black Rifle", a tactical AK variant.
  • Zig-zagged all over in Mortal Wills, Mortal Hearts, to the point where the gun tells you basically nothing about its holder's alignment. "Bad" Russian mercs use non-Russian small arms, "Good" guys use "advanced" weapons and Russian weapons, The Mole uses typically "good" American small arms, etc.
  • Zig-zagged in A Student Out of Time by Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, a member of the Yakuza and Friend in the Black Market who uses a classic "bad" Tommy Gun. Despite his criminal connections, he is very honorable and assists the Quantum Crew however he can.
  • In Zoofights, The Berlin Walrus, a Red Scare inspired fighter and the combined effort of East and West Berlin, uses an AK-47 on the Russian side in its second battle.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer
    • Inverted with Lana's twin TEC-9s, "bad" guns normally associated with Gangbangers that she dual-wields, a normally "bad" (or at least anti-heroic) style. She's an agent and a member of the main cast.
    • Played straight with Archer's Walther PPK ("good" in this case 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.
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, villains Red Hood and Talia use a heavily modified AK and a Luger, respectively.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Frank Bean, the most competent, dangerous, and blatantly evil of the three farmers, uses a Luger.
  • In Transformers: Generation 1, Big Bad Megatron's alternate form is the infamous Nazi Walther P38.
  • Inverted in Young Justice (2010) when it comes to the oppressive Bialya, who use guns modeled off of real life US military weapons, and the progressive Qurac, who use guns modeled after AKs.