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Guns of Pop Culture: “Eraser” & The Rocky Mountain Arms Stakeout

We take a look at "Eraser" -- an Arnold Schwarzenegger film where he wields the Rocky Mountain Arms Stakeout.

    In the 1996 action flick Eraser, we see a fair bit of cool guns.

    Eraser poster
    Eraser poster

    Most people probably remember the EM-1 Railgun that featured an X-Ray capable optic.

    If you looked past that gun, you might have noticed the Rocky Mountain Stakeout shotgun wielded by our main man, Kruger. 

    Kruger, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a U.S. Marshal working with WITSEC. He erases witnesses’ lives to protect them. He is tasked with safeguarding Lee Cullen, played by Vanessa Williams. 

    Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vanessa Williams in Eraser
    Arnold Schwarzenegger and Vanessa Williams in Eraser

    His weapon of choice is one of the coolest configurations of short shotguns ever derived.

    The Marshals have a long history of using short-barreled shotguns. The Marshal’s Service Short Shotgun was designed by Gene Thompson at the behest of a Marshal looking for compact firepower. 

    He designed the gun, and a young Bill Wilson created the pistol grip and later developed a commercial version known as the Witness Protection shotgun. That was a pump gun, though, and we even see one in Eraser used by another Marshal. 

    Remington 870 "Witness Protection" used in Eraser
    Remington 870 “Witness Protection” used in Eraser

    However, the Rocky Mountain Stakeout shotgun is something entirely different. 

    The Stakeout 

    Rocky Mountain Arms is a now-defunct company that made some interesting firearms. Two stand out. One being today’s shotgun and another being an AR. 

    They produced one of the earliest AR-15 pistols, known as the Rocky Mountain Arms Patriot and famously used in Metal Gear Solid 3. 

    "The Boss" with her Patriot in MGS 3
    “The Boss” with her Patriot in MGS 3

    The Stakeout Shotgun was a unique take on the idea of a super short shotgun. Rocky Mountain Arms designed an over/under double barrel shotgun and trimmed the barrels to a length of either eight to twelve inches, depending on user preferences. 

    The O/U design of the weapon allows it to remain fairly thin and easy to conceal compared to other guns. Additionally, O/U guns fold essentially in half.

    This produced an even smaller design when folded for even easier concealment. 

    According to Tactical Life, these weapons were developed for a specific request by a Miami Vice stakeout team. Compared to a handgun, the gun offered a lot of firepower, at least for the two rounds it contained. 

    Police officers could fold the gun in half and store it in a briefcase, gym bag, small cooler, or whatever else they need to hide the gun in while staking out dealers and distributors.

    Miami was the wild west in the 80s, and I see why police officers likely wanted more firepower than their handguns offered. 

    You can see the shotgun in Kruger's hand as he and Cullen run from the house
    You can see the shotgun in Kruger’s hand as he and Cullen run from the house

    Handling a pistol grip-only shotgun can be a major hassle. They have lots of recoil and muzzle rise and require a steady, trained hand to use effectively. These guns bite as loud as they bark. 

    As you’d imagine, they fall into the NFA category of firearms. Depending on what they originated as, they could be AOWs or SBS guns. Either way, you need a tax stamp, but sadly they are reduced to expensive collector’s items these days. 

    In Eraser 

    We see Kruger carry the firearm in numerous parts of the film, but he rarely uses it.

    When he does, it’s a great combination of movie lore and shotgun fiction. He fires it essentially from the hip with a single hand. 

    Kruger uses his Stakeout Shotgun
    Kruger uses his Stakeout Shotgun

    Not only does he do that with style, but he fires both barrels and is seemingly unaffected by the recoil. Those two rounds of buckshot hit their bad guy in the chest and sent him flying across the room. As we know, this is all movie magic. 

    The RMA Stakeout works well as a movie gun. It’s unusual, eye-catching, and absolutely massive. It’s not your dad’s 870 and is more like a big pistol than a standard shotgun. 

    In Arnold’s hands, it works well on screen. Plus, it’s admittedly just a cool gun. Who wouldn’t want a massive 12-gauge derringer? That’s an entirely different kind of cool, and I’m here for it. 

    What do you think of the RMA Stakeout? Let us know below! For more Guns of Pop Culture, check out our Fun Category.

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      Arnold signs bill to ban .50-caliber BMG rifles

      Tuesday, September 14, 2004

      SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Breaking with Republican lawmakers who oppose gun control, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill banning .50-caliber BMG rifles.

      The large-caliber, high-powered rifle is used by the military and police to shoot at long-range targets, including ones more than a mile away.

      Civilian owners of the weapon typically use the rifle at firing ranges and for big-game hunting, but with armor-piercing ammunition the rifle can penetrate concrete shelters and lightly armored vehicles.

      Critics of the rifle argue that there is no reasonable civilian use for the weapon. They say it could be used by terrorists to shoot at oil refineries and airplanes, or by snipers against people.

      Gun-rights advocates maintain that the weapon has not been used in a crime in California.

      Despite his gun-toting film career, Mr. Schwarzenegger is in favor of some gun controls, including the 10-year federal ban that expired Monday on certain semiautomatic firearms known as “assault weapons,” said his spokeswoman, Terri Carbaugh.

      “He’s committed to keeping the public and law enforcement as safe as possible,” Miss Carbaugh said. “This lines up with his philosophy that reasonable gun-control measures are necessary to accomplish that objective.”

      December 7, 2022 3:58 pm
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