Bad guys have all the fun — at least in movies and TV — and often get to wield the coolest guns.
Everything about bad guys is distinctive…from the style of dress and speech to the weapons they wield.
Hans Gruber will always be remembered because he spoke eloquently, seemed eternally bored, dressed well, and wielded the HK P7.
And today we’re going to chit-chat about the best bad guy guns.
We’ll cover everything from the guns used by cannon fodder thugs to the biggest baddies in movies and TV.
So if you can’t help but love villains, keep reading.
Best Bad Guy Guns
1. Jericho 941
This is a weird one, but if you pay attention, Jericho series guns pop up in the hands of bad guys all the time.
In television shows like Burn Notice and Banshee, you can regularly spot the Jericho 941 in the hands of the episode’s bad guy.
Movies like Casino Royale have the head thug wielding the Jericho.
First, the gun does have a distinctive look with a stainless and two-tone vibe. This makes it look remarkable on screen.
Second, it’s a modern firearm that can counter the good guy gun with something equally scary.
The front end resembles a shark and clings to that Desert Eagle appeal.
In real life, the Jericho is a CZ-75 inspired design made in Israel for domestic security and police forces. There are tons of variations of this pistol with other safeties, frame designs, and calibers.
It’s a sweet pistol and one of my favorite 9mms.
The polymer frame variants work well but lack the charm of the steel Jerichos. Like the CZ-75, it’s underrated and a fantastic firearm.
If I was a bad guy, I could see the appeal of packing a Jericho.
What do you think of the Jericho? Rate it below!
Outside of the use by Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, the TEC-9 occupies the hands of endless thugs, gangsters, mercenaries, and bikers in film and TV.
The TEC-9 gets this treatment because it was specifically named and banned by the 1994 AWB.
Since then, it’s become the go-to for bad guy guns — specifically, its the gun of choice of the random bad guy.
You know, the one who will point the TEC-9 from his hip and spray wildly at the good guys.
The hero usually dispatches this guy quickly with a well-aimed shot. We see this repeated in movies like Robocop and Bad Boys 2, and television shows like Walker, Texas Ranger.
In real life, the TEC-9 started life as an SMG and attracted no MIL/LEO sales. It was eventually sold as an open bolt semi-auto pistol.
The ATF wasn’t a fan, so the TEC-9 became a closed bolt, blowback pistol that did nothing well.
They are hard to shoot, way too big, and have that famous blowback recoil.
Not to mention the crappy sights.
My TEC-9 rarely makes it through five rounds of ammunition without a failure of some kind. It sure looks scary, though.
3. SVD Dragunov
If you need a well-trained bad guy in a foreign nation hunting our hero, he’s likely armed with a Dragunov or a PSL stand-in.
This Soviet sniper rifle has been kicking around for decades and has that Soviet look to it.
Anything Soviet equals instant bad guy in many cases.
We see this trope in American Sniper, Atomic Blonde, Behind Enemy Lines, and many more.
The SVD Dragunov gives shooters an optically enhanced rifle that can zoom in and come scary close to killing the good guy.
A Dragunov offers a device for the film to increase tension and raise the stakes a bit.
The SVD Dragunov in real life is less sniper rifle and more DMR.
It was intended to increase the range of the Soviet squad out to 600 meters or so.
With a semi-automatic design, it featured a side-mounted optic that appears as crude as any AK-47…but in real life, it’s a very nice rifle.
The short-stroke gas piston design is much more refined than the AK’s long-stroke gas piston.
Its gas system is adjustable for cold weather or a fouled gun. And the weapon has successfully served for decades in the Russian military, as well as several foreign nations.
4. Luger P08
Who are the ultimate baddies? The Nazis. And according to film and TV, what handgun do Nazis use?
The Luger P08, of course. I know what you’re saying. Travis, the Luger was the gun of Imperial Germany, not the Nazis.
Yeah, I know, you’re right.
In real life, the Luger wasn’t used much by the Nazis compared to the Walther P38, but don’t tell Hollywood that.
It pops up in Saving Private Ryan and The Miracle at St. Anna.
The Red Skull even uses one in Captain America: The First Avenger and it’s featured in Band of Brothers.
The Luger P08 was designed by Georg Luger, the same guy who invented 9x19mm.
This early semi-auto pistol was quite successful with its distinctive toggle lock action and fixed barrel.
Distinctive is good, especially in movies and TV. In the hands of an SS officer soon to be killed by an American Hero, this gun stands out.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
Pew Pew Tactical recently tried out a Swiss Luger. Read the full review or watch the video below.
5. Sawed-Off Double Barrel Shotgun
Do you need to arm a junkie, a liquor store robber, or some kind of redneck criminal?
Then the generic double-barrel shotgun with a sawed-off barrel and stock is the way to go.
It doesn’t matter who made the gun, so long as it’s a side-by-side double barrel.
Sawed-off shotguns are concealable but have massive bores that make the weapon look incredibly intimidating.
These big guns often find their way into the hands of lower-end bad guys who are easily disposable.
We see them pop up in Goodfellas, Scarface, Cobra, and Crank: High Voltage in the hands of bad guys and thugs.
That’s not to say good guys don’t wield the gun too. Mad Max famously packs a thigh-mounted sawed-off that bears mentioning, but it’s typically a bad guy gun.
In real life, a sawed-off shotgun is a crude weapon.
With the cylinders gone, the spread will be wide and unpredictable, the recoil will be stout, and shooting these guns without a stock isn’t easy.
However, they do offer compact firepower that’s hard to beat.
Until you run dry after two shots.
Are sawed-off shotguns legal? Check out our article to find out. Or to get your own defensive shotgun to ward off baddies, see our 10 Best Home-Defense Tactical Shotguns [Hands-On].
Bad guys of all races, creeds, and mindsets use AK-47s.
From militia-style conscripts to the elite Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean forces. The AK-47 might be the most prominent bad guy gun ever.
If you need an African warlord, gangsters, or a third-world military force…give them an AK-47.
Obviously, Hollywood took a page out of real life because the AK series guns are ubiquitous.
It doesn’t help that representatives from Norinco were busted trying to sell Chinese-made AKs to street gangs.
Tons of movies and TV shows resort to the AK-47 including Jackie Brown, Lord of War, Inside Man, Firefly, Justified, The Italian Job, and Black Widow.
In real life, the AK-47, well, really the AKM, is used by just as many good guys as bad guys.
Lots of Kalashnikov-based weapons are used by legitimate and democratic states. It’s one of the more popular rifles for the American gun owner, and heck, police in Alaska even use them.
We have all the deets on the AK in our Best AK-47: Complete Buyer’s Guide.
7. The Uzi
Israel made over two billion dollars in sales from the Uzi by exports, and that’s why I think it became a bad guy gun.
Weapon houses could find them rather easily, and they look intimidating, work well with blanks, and are rather short and sweet.
As Nino Brown said, “Ain’t no Uzis made in Harlem.”
The gun comes from Israel and occupies the hands of henchmen, thugs, and bad guys in The Raid 2, The Equalizer, Taken 2, and Seven Psychopaths.
It looks somewhat crude but intimidating and is relatively easy to hold with one arm. This makes it look cool in the hands of bad guys right before the good guy guns them down.
In the hands of various police and military forces, the Uzi was an MP5 alternative in the days where SMGs ruled the counter-terrorism world.
Uzis are robust and reliable, albeit somewhat outdated in 2021.
8. Desert Eagle
The Desert Eagle and its many variants have over 600 television and film credits to its name.
Along the way, it’s certainly been used by good guys, but its most famous use is by bad guys.
The Agents in The Matrix and its sequels famously wielded Desert Eagles, as did Bullet Tooth Tony in Snatch and Paul Giamatti’s Mr. Hertz in Shoot ’em Up.
This big hand cannon is absolutely striking and perfect for the head thug in your bad guy’s army.
It’s a massive pistol that is instantly recognized. The Desert Eagle screams power and if you want the bad guy to stand out, just put one in his hand.
In real life, the Desert Eagle is a very powerful pistol that comes in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, and the famed .50 AE.
These pistols utilize a gas-operated system commonly reserved for rifles. They are massive and, as such, often impractical for 99% of pistol things.
They can be used for hunting, but that’s about it. But, they are fun to shoot.
PPT contributor Johnny did a full review on the Desert Eagle. Check out the article here or watch the video below.
9. Skorpion Vz. 61
This little Czechoslovakian design machine pistol is a weird-looking but striking firearm that finds its way into bad guys’ armories.
Eastern European bad guys typically wield the little Skorpion with the stock folded across the top.
The Klobb found its way into xXx, The Equalizer, Face/Off, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Taken 2 in the hands of various thugs and bad guys.
It’s used almost exclusively with the stock folded over the top. Mainly because the stock helps give it a distinguished look.
It’s a short and compact weapon barely larger than a pistol, allowing the bad guy to have compact firepower.
This gun is perfect for the cannon fodder grunt who makes a lot of noise before being dispatched by a well-placed karate chop.
The Vz. 61 is a sweet little gun in real life. It’s one of the few effective machine pistols that’s easy to control and handle.
Though it fires the anemic .32 ACP round, the low recoil makes the gun easy to handle when fired full auto.
The Skorpion has fallen into the wrong hands before in real life and rather recently was found among shipments of illegal guns heading to the UK.
These guns have been around since the 1960s and made in the hundreds of thousands…so it makes sense some escaped into the black market.
10. Steyr AUG
The Steyr AUG started its bad guy career in the hands of Karl, a member of the high-tech terrorist group in Die Hard.
From there, it leaked into the trench coat assassins in Harley Davidson and the Malboro Man, in the hands of terrorists in Under Siege, and in the villainous Jean Vilain in The Expendables 2.
Also, remember when the Governor in The Walking Dead looked through the optic with a missing eye. That was great.
The Steyr AUG is the perfect gun for the big bad guy. It looks high-tech and futuristic with its bullpup design and integrated optic.
In real life, the AUG is a fantastic rifle — extremely well made and in use by numerous military and police forces.
AUG rifles are modular and can be converted to 9mm to light support weapons and designated marksman rifles.
You can get your own AUG in semi-auto only and it’s probably my favorite bullpup design.
Read my review on the Steyr AUG here.
The bad guy gun has to be intimidating and stand out. Sure, you can arm your bad guys with nothing but black polymer pistols, but that’s no fun!
You need guns that stand out, look fierce, and appear to give the good guy a challenge.
Of course, they don’t. Good guys win regardless of what the bad guys are wielding.
So what’s your favorite bad guy gun? Let me know below. And if you liked this list, check out our guide to Survive a Horror Movie: Weapons to Keep You Alive.