June 1, 2023
By Joe Engesser
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While Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is more widely known for his signature fedora and bullwhip, an impressive range of guns are featured throughout the franchise as the intrepid archeologist faces off with legions of Nazis, gangsters, and cultists standing between him and his next discovery. With Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny set to hit theaters on June 30, 2023, there’s no better time to look back at some of our favorite firearms from the series.
The Indiana Jones guns showcased throughout the films cover numerous genres, showcasing classic revolvers, pistols, rifles, and submachine guns, and many identical or similar firearm models can be found in RIAC’s upcoming gun auctions. Click on the images throughout this article to learn more about each gun. Needless to say, there are ample spoilers below.
The guns of the Indiana Jones movies often illustrate a character’s personality, culture, and profession. In the case of the title character, Indiana Jones is popularly associated with the classic revolver. The original film features two Indiana Jones revolvers, a Smith & Wesson M1917 and a Smith & Wesson Mark II Hand Ejector.
The two Indiana Jones revolver props in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' are well-known in the prop-collecting community and feature distinctive 4 inch barrels. The S&W M1917 revolver was acquired from Stembridge Gun Rentals in Hollywood and used for the portions of the movie filmed in the United States. The S&W Mk II was rented from Bapty & Co. of London and used for the segments of the movie filmed in England and Tunisia.
One of the few times Indiana Jones carries a pistol, the Browning Hi Power serves as the title character's backup gun in ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.’ In the film's 1936 setting, the Hi Power would have only been available from FN in Belgium, who had just started producing John Browning’s 13-round 9mm design a year prior.
In the Ravenwood bar scene, Marion (Karen Allen) is assaulted by Gestapo agent Arnold Toht (Ronald Lacey). During the ensuing shootout, she grabs a C96 from one of Toht’s henchmen and ends up saving Indy. The “Broomhandle” Mauser was widely featured in the early adventure films that inspired the Indiana Jones series and would have been available around the world during the 1930s. In the ‘Star Wars Trilogy’ Harrison Ford wielded the most famous C96 in cinema, Han Solo’s DL-44 Heavy Blaster pistol.
For decades, Hollywood has equipped its German villains with the distinctive Luger pistol, and the Indiana Jones series was no exception. The gun has been wielded by some of the most infamous villains throughout the franchise and would have been an appropriate German officer’s pistol for the 1930s setting of the original Indiana Jones trilogy.
In addition to revolvers and pistols, some of the coolest Indiana Jones guns include heavy hitters like the German MP40. Though the ‘Maschinenpistole 40’ submachine gun is anachronistic to the mid-to-late 1930s timeframe of the first three films, the weapon’s distinct silhouette and impressive firepower evoke the power of the German war machine and remind the audience how outgunned Indiana Jones often is throughout his adventures.
The villainous René Belloq (Paul Freeman) with an MP40, a common Indiana Jones gun for the series' Nazi antagonists. Available this August.
‘The Temple of Doom’ is often considered the black sheep of the original Indiana Jones trilogy for its darker tone and macabre setting. The film is also unique in that most of the gunplay occurs during its opening sequence and in the finale. During a car chase, Indiana Jones attempts to ward off his attackers with a Colt Official Police revolver until Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) accidentally disregards the weapon. Indy’s sidekick Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) briefly wields a snub nose S&W Model 10 revolver..
One of the most impressive guns used in ‘The Temple of Doom,’ the Thompson submachine gun makes a statement during the film’s opening nightclub scene. Recognized around the world for its portrayal in gangster films, the Tommy gun was a widely used weapon in China during the early 1930s, with local warlords purchasing both official Thompson SMGs and Chinese-produced copies to arm their militias.
An Indiana Jones gun with some firepower, the Model 1928 Thompson submachine gun makes its presence known with a spray of .45 ACP. Available this August.
Many Indiana Jones guns reflect the military arms of their respective regions, and this holds true for some of the rifle models depicted in ‘The Temple of Doom.’ One cult member unloads on Indy with an Enfield Martini-Henry Mk IV during the film’s mine cart chase. These single shot lever action rifles were issued to the Indian Army in large numbers and would have been one of the more obtainable guns in South Asia.
In contrast, the Lee-Enfield No 4. Mk 1 rifle fielded by the Indian Army during the ‘Temple of Doom’ finale sequence on the bridge would have been about seven years too early for the era. The gun’s predecessors, including the Enfield No. 1 Mk III, would have been a more period-appropriate firearm and was produced in abundance.
In the opening moments of ‘The Last Crusade,’ a teenage Indiana Jones (River Phoenix) confronts a colorful group of treasure hunters who put the fledgling hero through his paces. In addition to gaining a taste for a good whip and a stylish fedora, young Indy learns the value of carrying a sturdy sixgun as he finds himself on the wrong end of a Colt SAA revolver.
A Colt Single Action Army revolver, the standard sidearm for many of the Western heroes that inspired Indiana Jones.
In a brilliant bit of cinematic irony, the nefarious Walter Donovan (Julian Glover) fires a Walther PPK at Sean Connery, a gun the former James Bond actor helped popularize. Developed in 1930 as a smaller version of the Walther PP, the concealable PPK was the favored pistol of numerous Nazis, including Adolf Hitler himself.
During a speedboat chase in Venice, Italy, Indiana Jones is forced to face down yet another German machine gun. The German MP28 was similar to its MP18 predecessor, though it offered options for both semiautomatic and automatic fire and abandoned the Luger snail magazine in favor of a box mag. Kazim (Kevork Malikyan) leader of the Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, opts to use the weapon in full auto mode as he unloads on Indy and Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody.)
An MP28/II, one of the most fearsome guns Indiana Jones faces down. Available this August.
In one of the most memorable scenes in ‘The Last Crusade,’ Indiana Jones takes out three Nazis with a single shot from a Walther P38. It’s a bit of movie magic, no question, particularly the straight trajectory, though it’s true that a 9×19mm Parabellum full metal jacket round would be far less likely to deform and stop internally compared to a hollow point. So while a three-for-one would be farfetched, Indy’s bullet glancing off his first victim's rib and striking a second Nazi in the throat or pelvis wouldn’t be out of the realm of plausibility.
The ultimate Indiana Jones pistol? Indy takes down three Nazis with a single bullet using a captured Walther P38.
Though ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ received a mixed reception from audiences, the film’s Cold War setting and Russian adversaries presented the opportunity to feature a new assemblage of guns on screen. The Tokarev TT-33 pistol was widely issued to Soviet troops in WW2 and employed a simple and robust design that took inspiration from John Browning’s FN Model 1903.
In an early action sequence, Indiana Jones shoulders an M1 carbine when engaging a group of Soviet spies. The film references Indy’s service with the OSS during WW2, so his familiarity with the famous carbine isn’t surprising. The M1 carbine became the most produced American small arm during the conflict.
An Indiana Jones gun most firearm fans will recognize, the iconic M1 carbine. Available this August.
Every Indiana Jones film needs some muscle to back up its lead villain. In ‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ this role is filled by Russian Colonel Dovchenko (Igor Jijikine) who carries a Colt M1911A1 as part of his disguise as an American soldier. The 1911 pistol was originally intended to serve as Indy’s backup gun in the original film but was replaced by the previously mentioned Hi Power due to the greater reliability and availability of 9mm blanks at the time of filming.
The 1911 pistol, America's longest-serving military sidearm.
‘Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ introduced another heavy-hitting Indiana Jones gun with the Browning M1919A6. The M1919 line was an air-cooled update of the water-cooled Browning M1917, with the M1919A6 including a carrying handle and a lighter barrel that could be more rapidly changed out. Fortunately for Indiana Jones and company, the villainous Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett) went to the stormtrooper school of marksmanship and proves an inept shot with the weapon.
Most of the guns of ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ have yet to be revealed, but the trailers for the fifth installment in the franchise promise a deadly array of new and familiar firearms. If the film follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, the guns appearing onscreen will help reflect its 1969 setting and the varied locations included in Indy’s latest globetrotting adventure.
More than a few guns are drawn in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, including what appears to be a Fromer pistol, a Micro Uzi or Cobray M11, a Colt 1911 or Government Model, and a nickel Remington Double Derringer.
The dramatic variety of Indiana Jones guns appearing throughout the films give gives each chapter a unique flavor and illustrates the rapid advancements in arms technology occurring in the early and middle half of the 20th century. From vintage revolvers to full auto SMGS, the guns of Indiana Jones hit on every genre of arms collecting, and many of the same models can be found at Rock Island Auction Company.
Hollywood action films have made stars out of numerous firearms, enhancing their value in the eyes of the collecting community. Certain gun types that gained fame in the entertainment world are more attainable, such as the Beretta 92FS and the Bren Ten pistol, while models like the Street Sweeper shotgun and Jurassic Park’s Spas-12 shotgun can be harder to track down at the local gun store. Rock Island Auction Company is the best place to find all of the above, as well as genuine screen-used hero guns like Lara Croft's pistols, John Wayne's 'True Grit' revolver, and Han Solo's DL-44 blaster from the original 'Star Wars.'
Each week the Rock Island Auction newsletter offers readers new gun blogs and gun videos on a range of fascinating topics, including the guns of pop culture. From classic movies such as Winchester 73 and Quigley Down Under to more recent productions like John Wick, Peaky Blinders, the Walking Dead, 1883, and more, we take a deeper dive into the greatest guns of Hollywood.
Anyone thinking about dipping their toe into the world of firearms collecting should visit one of Rock Island Auction Company’s Sporting & Collector
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