Movie Style Guy: Guns Wanted

In trying to keep the Style related to topical releases I was faced with a tough decision this week – Wall*E or Wanted.  Now what’s tough is neither of them really lends itself to this, unless I was either talking about dressing up yourself as a trashbot or an iPodbot or detailing tattoos.  Instead, I opted to talk about the sexiest of all male accessories.  Now females can carry these too, of course, but their sexiest accessory is still naughty school girl uniforms.

What I’m talking about are firearms.  Now there are a lot of people out there who don’t like guns, or who are afraid of them.  I am no such guy.  So without further hesitation, I bring you the five sexiest handguns out there.

Colt 1851 Navy

5. The Colt 1851 Navy Revolver
Designed in 1850 (odd, I know) by Samuel Colt and later adopted by the US Navy (a similiar, but different model was produced for the Army shortly after), the 1851 Navy Revolver is beautiful on many levels.  It’s an intimidating weapon with great length (14inches) and a weight of just over 3lbs.  While in stock configuration its a beauty, this is one handgun that takes engraving and custom grips well.  Chambered in .36 ball, this black powder pistol takes awhile to load up, but makes a strong statement as to how much of a badass you are.  Later on, some conversions were produced allowing the gun to accept cartridges, as seen in a few of Sergio Leone’s flicks.  Eastwood’s character sported an 1851 with custom grips emblazoned with a rattlesnake.

Notable Users:  Wild Bill Hickock, Robert E. Lee, The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood)

Luger P08

4. The Luger P08
One of the most easily recognizable handguns on the planet, the Luger P08 was designed in 1898 by Georg Luger and saw service in both World Wars.  Interestingly, the United States considered purchasing thousands of units of what would later go on to be seen as somewhat of a symbol of Nazi Germany for its prevalence during the wars.  Weighing in at under 2lbs, the sleek barrel and slanted grip give this gun a unique style and it owns a large part of fire arm history.  Notably, the 9mm cartridge was developed for this handgun and has gone on to become one of the most widely used cartridges in the world.

Notable Users:  German Soldiers, WWII Video Game Characters

Colt Single Action Peacemaker

3. The Colt Single Action Army (or Peacemaker)
You may be noticing that I’ve got a sweet spot for classic American firearms from the “Old West” period of American expansion.  I make no denials, sir!  This gun is often given credit for helping tame the West, along side the likes of the 1873 Winchester Rifle.  If you’ve ever seen a Western film, you’ve seen this handgun.  Available in a variety of lengths and well balanced for fancy gun twirling, the single action pistol is beautiful on its own, but capable of being elevated to pure art by talented engravers.  The immense popularity of this gun in fiction has lent to it still being widely available today, alongside several clones.  Designed in 1873 by the Colt Manufacturing Company and chambered in .45, this piece went on to serve both the frontiersman and the Army during the American-Indian Wars.  Groundbreaking for being an early cartridge pistol, this weapon was the gun of choice for many a Western Hero, and a few more modern ones as well.  George S. Patton carried a custom ivory gripped Colt SAA, with which he famously killed two of Pancho Villa’s men in what many historians consider the last Gunfight of the West, during which Patton stood his ground in a Mexican street and calmly shot the two men dead.

Notable Users:  George S. Patton, John Wayne, Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Marty McFly

Colt 1911 .45

2. The Colt Model 1911 .45 Government
This is perhaps the most recognized handgun in media, appearing in the hands of cops, detectives, World War II heroes, villains, and anyone else who has ever seen a handgun.  Easily customized and with an entire world of support and engravers available, the ability to fine tune and customize the 1911 has made it a favorite among prop masters and gun owners alike.  Designed in 1911 by John Browning and chambered in the powerful .45 Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge, this American workhorse has seen every conflict the US has entered since 1911.  While it stopped being the US official military sidearm in the 1980s, many operators still keep it in use, including some Marine units and SWAT Departments.  In film, this is perhaps the default go to handgun and has appeared in nearly every World War II film and in many a modern movie as well, including but not limited to Last Man Standing, Resident Evil, Ronin, SWAT, Full Metal Jacket, Romeo + Juliet, Cobra, and No Country for Old Men. This classically styled handgun, I think, is at its best when presented plainly, though fancy engraved versions are available.

Notable Users:  Llewellyn Moss, Thomas Magnum, The Terminator, El Mariachi, The Phantom

Beretta 92FS

1. The Beretta 92FS (or M9)
Amongst gun fanatics, this may be blasphemy, placing this controversial handgun at the top of the list but I’ll be damned if it isn’t an attractive weapon.  Designed in 1975 by the Italian Beretta company, the Model 92 is perhaps the only gun more common in movies than the M1911.  The reason for this abundance is the same reason for its controversy – it replaced the M1911 as the official side arm of the US Military and was adopted by many police departments.  Weighing in right near 2lbs empty, the 9mm handgun accepts a 15 round magazine, packing a lot of firepower into the palm of your hand.  The open slide design not only decreases the likelihood of jamming, but creates a unique and elegant styling.  While not as commonly engraved as some of the other weapons on this list, many movie appearances have the gun engraved or embellished with gold or silver for that Hollywood style.  Personally, this is one of my favorite handguns of all time, with the looks to impress and the demeanor to back up any tough talk.  Besides, if its good enough for John McClane, its good enough for all of us.  Accurate, reliable, and sexy, the Beretta 92 deserves the top spot.

Notable Users:  John McClane, Jason Bourne, Dr. Robert Neville, Modern US Soldiers, Detective Martin Riggs, Neo, Trinity

So there you have it.  My list of the top five most attractive handguns, in honor of Wanted.  Which ones will we see in the film?  That remains to be seen – but hopefully we’ll get a wide variety of beautiful guns to talk about in the future.

Dishonorable Mention – The Desert Eagle .50, made famous by The Agents in The Matrix and later video games, is a big clunky weapon that keeps appearing in film and being bandied about like either a super weapon capable of launching men backwards or a high capacity handgun capable of being shot akimbo.  Boo.


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