Some guns just look so cool you just have to make a point about how awesome they are. It doesn't matter if they're real or fictional, big or small, this trope is about the weapons with an impression; given that special close-up spot on the cover, being the hero's iconic combat signature, having a speech extolling their virtues, et cetera.
The key point here is impression. This trope is not a description of every gun that had appeared in any work. Some guns are just regular guns; the ones that are there purely because someone needs to fire something at someone else. These don't apply. The Cool Guns are the guns with the special focus by the work's creators to make them stand out.
Guns in real life can be considered cool guns too if they too stood out amongst the large crowds of guns in history.
See also Rare Guns, Gun Porn, Good Guns, Bad Guns, Gun Accessories, and the Sword Counterpart, Cool Sword. For guns that are not so cool, see Reliably Unreliable Guns. See also Modern Battlefield Weapons, Internet Movie Firearms Database, or the Gun Wiki for when you do want a description of every gun that had appeared in any work.
Anime and Manga
- In Masamune Shirow's works, the small arms manufacturer Seburo and their productions appear frequently, alongside real guns.
- The Dominators from Psycho-Pass. Accept no substitutes. The second season and the movie introduce the Assault Dominator, which can shoot through walls.
- Blitz Talker's revolver from Re:CREATORS, which uses the rare 6 o' clock barrel position that was invented by the Mateba Auto-Revolver and is currently in used by the Chiappa Rhino.
- Hellboy gives us the Good Samaritan, a giant revolver that fires four very large and powerful shots. The barrel and cylinder are forged from church bells, with the grips made from pieces of the cross Jesus was crucified on. There is also Big Baby, which is this time a revolving shotgun that fires very large shells.
- Judge Dredd's sidearm, the Lawgiver, is a Smart Gun capable of firing multiple ammunition types and explodes if an unauthorised user attempts to use it. The original Lawgiver is listed under pistols, as it was based on a Luger. Both movie versions are listed as well, with Sylvester Stallone's Lawgiver built around a Beretta 92 and Karl Urban's built around a Glock 17.
- Scaramanga's "Golden Gun", that can be assembled from simple parts and used for assassinations. It's been a staple weapon in many 007 video games such as Goldeneye 007 and NightFire as a one shot, one kill weapon. It's a complicated story what it is, details here.
- Rick Deckard's Blaster, also called the P.K.D., "LAPD 2019 Blaster" "2019 Detective Special", "M2019 Blaster", or simply "That Gun", and is actually a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special revolver hidden inside the receiver of a Steyr-Mannlicher Model SL .222 bolt-action rifle. It's one of the rare examples of a fictional Cool Gun to show up outside of its originating work, most notably in the Fallout video game series.
- RoboCop carries an Auto-9 pistol, in actuality a Beretta 93R pistol fitted with a raised rear sight and giant casket-shaped ported barrel extension, which is fired in single-shots and bursts at various points through the films. Like Deckard's Blaster above, it's been popular enough to show up in non-Robocop works, such as the film adaptation of Sin City, Perfect Dark, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.
- Almost every blaster in the Star Wars saga is this by principle, all based on a real world firearm mocked up to look futuristic. Two of the most popular weapons are the DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol (based on the Mauser C96 pistol & Han Solo's weapon of choice), and the E-11 Blaster Rifle (based on the Sterling submachine gun, standard issue for the Imperial Stormtroopers). A blaster not based on any firearm would be Chewbacca's Bowcaster, which was shown to be a powerful weapon in Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
- Aliens has its iconic M41A Pulse Rifle and M56 Smart Gun, both of which are apparently chambered in 10mm caseless, armour piercing, explosive-tipped rounds. The Pulse Rifle is additionally equipped with a Grenade Launcher and the Smart Gun is so big, its user carries it using a Steadicam harness. The former is a Thompson SMG in a polymer shell with the grenade launcher a Remington 870 hidden inside the outer body of a SPAS-12, the latter a German MG42 decorated with parts of several motorcycles.
- The Gravity Gun from Half-Life 2. With your own personal tractor beam at your side, you can pick up all manner of objects to shoot at your enemy, including buzzsaws. Then it gets supercharged at the end of the game and those caught in the shadow of Gordon Freeman have cause to fear.
- The Portal Gun is a rather odd example of a gun seeing as it isn't particularly useful for violent encounters outside of some very specific scenarios. Still, a gun is a gun and there's nothing quite like being able to connect two distant places with a portal to a flat wall.
- Reaper's Hellfire shotguns don't behave much differently to regularly guns. He dual wields two of them and they fire four shots apiece. Rather than reloading an empty gun, however, Reaper simply tosses his guns aside and pulls a new pair out from his Badass Longcoat. Still, though, those guns are very stylish and cool.
- While the Doom series gave many different weapons, the weapon that tops them all would have to be the BFG9000, which makes mincemeat of many demons Doomguy encounters.
- The Fallout series features the Fat Man, a personal mini nuke launcher. It's generally one of if not the strongest weapon in the game, and can defeat most enemies in a single shot. Sadly, the rarity and expense of ammo and risk of getting caught in the blast often keep it in the Awesome, but Impractical or Too Awesome to Use category, brought out only for the most dangerous enemies. If you didn't forget it in storage, because it's one of the heaviest weapons available.
- The Wolfenstein series is a semi-frequent offender, Wolfenstein 3D having the biggest imapct for being the Trope Codifier for the chaingun as a staple for shooter games, and its 2001 sequel Return to Castle Wolfenstein making it better with the Venom chaingun, a 12.7mm monstrosity that can and will reduce anything to little giblets. Wolfenstein: The New Order also gives us the Laserkraftwerk, a big, bulky laser gun that starts out primarily as a tool like the Gravity or Portal guns above, but with upgrades across the game eventually turning into one of your biggest and best options, able to turn an entire squadron of Nazis into cinders with one shot.
- Like with the films above, the Star Wars video games also has a nice few weapons that you can get your hands on.
- The Dark Forces Saga has a nice variety, ranging from the humble sawed-down Bryar pistol to the concussion rifle - the latter being conspicuously absent in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast in favor of the PLX missile launcher, but returning with a vengeance in Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. Outcast even gives the Star Wars equivalent of an assault rifle with a grenade launcher in the form of the Imperial Heavy Repeater.
- The DC-17m Interchangeable Weapon System issued to Delta Squad in Star Wars: Republic Commando. It's a blaster rifle, a sniper rifle, and even an anti-armor grenade launcher that can easily be reconfigured for the right job in two seconds. Also, there is the ACP Array Gun and the Wookiee Rocket Launcher that can be picked up.
- Lots of guns from Perfect Dark qualify. A few standout examples are the Laptop Gun, an SMG with a 50 round capacity that disguises as a laptop and can be thrown to operate autonomously as a Weak Turret Gun, the RC-P120, another SMG with a gargantuan 120 round magazine and a built-in cloaking device, and the Devastator grenade launcher which can launch sticky grenades. That doesn't even get into the alien weapons, among which the absolute standout examples would be the Farsight XR-20, a rail gun with a built-in X-Ray scope that assists you in shooting through walls, and the Slayer rocket launcher which gives you the option to manually control its rocket as it flies.
- The majority of the firearms in Team Fortress 2 are actual firearms with a cartoonish design to them. And there are those of entirely fictious origin, such as Demoman's Sticky Bomb Launchers, Scout's Scattergun, or any of the promotional weapons designed by Dr. Grordbort.
- For those who played the second and third games of the Turok series, would most likely remember the Cerebral Bore. It is a weapon that launches a homing projectile, drills into the enemy's skull while launching a geyser of blood, and caped off by an explosion.