4 Most Realistic Gun Scenes in Movies (And Some Ridiculous Ones)

Do movies ever get guns right?

Guns and movies have an odd relationship.  Sometimes gun fights are portrayed realistically.

Collateral, Mozambique Drill
Collateral, Mozambique Drill

But 9 times out of 10 the portrayal of firearms is often quite humorous (and entertaining) for those in the know.

Wanted, Curve the Bullet
Wanted, Curve the Bullet

So who does it right?

I always get a little giddy when a movie gets gun scenes and firearm handling right.  So let’s celebrate a few of the best, the worst, and the funniest examples of realistic firearms handling in films.

Table of Contents

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1. Any Michael Mann Film

Michael Mann is a stickler for authenticity.

He is one of the few directors who takes firearms and how they are used seriously.  He hires firearms advisors and makes his actors receive training before filming begins.

Guess what?

It pays off.

Most famous is the film Heat.

Heat is well known for it’s extremely detailed and authentic firearm handling.  The bank robbery scene and what follows in particular is well known for it’s accurate gun handling.

Former SAS guys were advisors on the film, and it shows.

I’d GIF a section of it…but the whole thing is just too awesome.  Take the time to watch the whole thing!

The best parts in my opinion?

  • The accurate use of automatic fire to suppress the police as the crew retreats
  • Val Kilmer’s reload is quite legendary (ok…GIF time)
Heat, Val Kilmer Epic Reload
Heat, Val Kilmer Epic Reload
  • Presence of the Mozambique drill (a Michael Mann favorite)
  • Actual Trigger Discipline!
  • This movie is quiet with dialog and general sounds…until the gunfire starts.  Then it’s loud, nasty, and makes you really feel like you’re in the middle of a firefight.

Heat isn’t the only film that deserves credit.

Michael Mann’s first film, Thief, is another excellent example.  James Caan actually got to train at Gunsite for the film. This showed as he looked like he knew how to handle a 1911.

Old School but great.

Also we can’t forget Collateral with Tom Cruise’s handling of his USP 45.

This includes one of the best on screen Mozambique drills (2 to the chest & 1 to the head) where he hits two targets in 1.39 seconds from concealment.

Collateral, Mozambique Drill
Collateral, Mozambique Drill

If you are a gun gal or guy and you want to see accuracy in the handling and using of firearms look no further than Michael Mann’s filmography.

What can we learn?

  • The importance of cover fire
  • Reloading under fire is a critical skill to have

2. Way of the Gun

Way of the Gun is best described as “Heat Jr”…and not in a bad way.

This small and unfortunately overlooked movie is one of the best portrayals of firearms in movies.

Apparently the director’s brother was a Navy SEAL and served as an advisor.  It certainly shows when it comes to gun handling.  Check out the bad-ass finale:

First off, the guns in this movie are loud.

You feel them when they’re fired.  Especially near the end of the movie a massive shootout occurs.

In almost every scene the actual round count for the firearms they are using is quite accurate and they reload quite often.  And sometimes with only one hand.

Way of the Gun, Reloading
Way of the Gun, Reloading

Near the beginning of the movie the protagonists kidnap a woman and escape.  At the same time they are tactically retreating by covering each other, laying down suppressive fire, and using their wits to escape as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Trigger discipline is another near constant in the film.

The characters obviously have firearms experience so they practice perfect trigger discipline.  Also the bad guys/protagonists wear IWB holsters.  This makes sense, because they are criminals and concealment would be absolutely critical to not being noticed by Law Enforcement.

There are also two lessons about using cover you learn…

First off, don’t dive randomly behind cover.  You might get your arm filled with glass.

Way of the Gun, Watch Where You Dive
Way of the Gun, Watch Where You Dive

Second, make sure your entire body is concealed.  The first ‘bag man’ gets wacked because his toe is exposed.

What can we learn

  • Rifles beats pistol, bring more rifle ammo
  • Cover only counts when your entire body is behind it
  • Know how to do everything one handed

3. Lone Survivor

The true story of a tragedy involving a four man SEAL team was first a book by Marcus Luttrell, and later turned into a movie starring Mark Wahlberg.

Prior to shooting the movie the four actors who portrayed the SEALs attended a three week boot camp where they trained with actual SEALs.

Lone Survivor
Lone Survivor

The training cleared paid off.  The guys handle their weapons like Pros.

Not just when firing them, but when patrolling and being more casual.  They look comfortable with their weapons and their gear.

Fingers are off triggers, the firearms are carried professionally.

All of the weapons have an optic, and the actors appear to use them.

They use aimed, semi auto fire, the exact way SEALs would.  As they become more and more wounded they improvise effective means to use their firearms, grenade launchers, and smoke.

Lone Survivor, Smoke Out
Lone Survivor, Smoke Out

The tension is constantly building as the guys are running out of ammo.  This isn’t like the Walking Dead where you constantly question why they never run out of ammo.

You feel the tension as they keep fighting and run empty.

It gets to the point where Ben Foster’s character runs both his rifle and then pistol dry.  The final shot of the M9 with the slide locked back gives you goosebumps.

Lone Survivor, Slide Lock
Lone Survivor, Slide Lock

Gripes:

None of these guys seemed to have a sling, which is an invaluable piece of gear.

What can we learn:

  • Aimed accurate fire is critical
  • How to operate a firearm with one hand

4. John Wick

John Wick does suffer from the classic and unrealistic overpowered good guy syndrome.

Once you get past that you do get a movie full of gun goodness.

As an actor Keanu’s skill with a gun cannot be overlooked.  He looks confident with a gun in his hand.  His fundamentals are almost always flawless.  A nice high grip, his thumbs are forward, and his eyes are opened.

And if you haven’t check it out yet…his training with Taran Butler, one of the best 3-Gun competitors out there.

John Wick as a character is portrayed to be one of the best assassins in the world so you expect a high level of competence.

Reloading is frequently seen in the film, including both John Wick and the bad guys.  John also carried a small back up handgun that he transitions to when his primary runs dry.  This was a nice touch and kept the gun fight flowing in the night club.

John’s primary method of shooting is called center axis relock.

John Wick, House
John Wick, House

It is designed for close quarter’s combat.  John Wick does seem to find himself in bad breath distance with enemies regularly.

Center axis relock as a technique is on full presentation when John is attacked inside his home.  Keanu Reeves seems to be confident using the style and oozes contained aggression.  He never loses momentum and keeps up the attack.

Full scene goodness:

Gripes:

Another movie that portrays suppressors as creating a metallic pew noise with barely any other noise.  Also the gun karate gets a little silly in the house scene.

What we can learn:

  • Fortune favors the bold…be aggressive
  • Master reloading
  • Don’t mess John Wick’s dog

What do you think of John Wick’s gun-play?

Readers' Ratings

4.92/5 (346)

Your Rating?

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few other films that feature excellent firearms handling that didn’t make the list.  These weren’t necessarily better or worse films, it would have just become repetitive to list many of these.

  • Blackhawk Down: Nothing else needs to best said

  • Act of Valor: Using real SEALs, and SWCC guys is kind of cheating

  • Unforgiven: The scene where Munny tries to shoot a can after years of not firing a handgun is an excellent representation of how skill deteriorates.  (Eric: It’s like me at competitions…lol).
Unforgiven, Shooting Practice
Unforgiven, Shooting Practice
  • Blood Diamond: Excellent gun handling from the trained professionals, including reloads, shooting positions, and well aimed shots.  Child soldiers and rebel handle their guns in the exact unsafe and inaccurate manner you’d expect from conscripts.

  • Ronin: Excellent constant use of firearm sights and well aimed fire.  De Niro running  a SAW and firing short bursts is quite nice to see, even if it’s from the hip.

Hall of Shame

I could easily write an entire article on how and where Hollywood got it wrong.

Instead I want to point to just a few mess ups and mistakes that I find kinda funny.

If you’re new to guns these can be fun to look for.  If you are an Old hand with a firearm they can actually start to really grind your gears.

Unlimited Ammo: American History X

A tragic and great film has a few very brutal scenes.

One involves the main character wielding a Ruger P94.  This gun holds 10 rounds but the main character discharges it 24 times without reloading.

NSFW clip:

Honorable Mention: Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing, idkfa
Last Man Standing, idkfa

Yea…Cock that Hammer:

The sound of a hammer being cocked on a Glock or other striker fired pistol is an old school Hollywood goof.

Find out why that’s weird in our Single Action vs Double Action vs Striker Fired article.

Sons of Anarchy seems to do this every time a Glock is in a scene so the award goes to them.

Honorable Mention: In Ant Man a stream of Ants clog the magically appearing hammer on a Glock.

Ant Man, Glock Hammer
Ant Man, Glock Hammer

Shotgun Pumping Sounds Are Cool: The Terminator

Kyle Reese pumps his shotgun three different times without ever firing a shot.

Once when he cuts the barrel off (which makes sense) once when he wakes up, and once when he starts shooting in the club.

Pump It Real Good
Pump It Real Good

Honorable Mention: Natural Born killers has shotguns being pumped numerous times without a shot fired.

Bullets Make People Fly: Open Range

The idea that a gunshot can send you flying off your feet is a ridiculous one.

Physics says if a bullet can throw a person it will also throw the shooter.

I can forgive silly movies like Shoot Em Up and Sin City, but Open Range was a serious western.

The movie has great shootout plagued by Robert Duval sending guys flying three feet from shotgun blasts.

Honorable Mention: Running Scared has an awesome firefight in the beginning that loses any sense of realism when one of the victims is thrown several feet by a shotgun.

Open Range, Shotgun
Open Range, Shotgun

Conclusion

The balancing act in guns and movies will always be a tedious one.

Certainly those filmmakers wise enough to invest in actual firearms training for their actors will always produce more accurate films.

Luckily it is becoming more common to be accurate with gun-play in movies.

What do you think? Do you have any movies you think have good gun handling.  Let us know.  And also be sure to check out our favorite guns & gear in Editor’s Picks.

62 Leave a Reply

  • Matt

    As someone who knows basically only what I read on the Internet (I'm pretty selective about who I pay attention but still, it's the Internet) I'm quite glad that directors are taking accuracy in firearm usage much more seriously than in the past. Even as a kid, I disliked the 1980's "Uzi from the hip/good guy hits/bad guy misses" kind of B.S. I don't mind a bit of unrealism (John Wick) as long as it matches the overall (unrealistic) aesthetic and story of the film. So, yeah...even from someone who has fired a gun maybe twice, there's a ring of authenticity to some movies and not to others. Directors and producers should pay attention to that because it almost always results in a better, more enjoyable, more rewatchable film.

    1 month ago
  • B W

    The p94 in American history X has a standard preban capacity of 15. There were and still are 24 round mags available. I did and still have them now.

    2 months ago
  • Clark

    One scene that personally drove me absolutely crazy was the shootout at the end of the first episode of the TV show "Lonesome Dove...The Outlaw Years" Newt shoots 9 shots from a Colt revolver then cocks it for a 10th shot before lowering the hammer and letting the bad guy crawl away. I've yet to see a 10 shot revolver (except maybe a 22lr lol!). And btw...he's faced off against 4 guys with rifles and doesn't get a scratch. Yeah, that's realistic

    3 months ago
  • mauro

    Gracias.

    3 months ago
  • Spinach

    I know I'm late to the discussion. Great list. Perfect mostly. I like how Lone soldier got the sound right on the silenced .556. The problem with it, and I do not want to disrespect those men, they are hero's to me and I do not know what their loadout was on that day was... I wouldn't want to be silenced and next to someone who isn't silenced. It ruins the whole point of it. Different four man team on my flank. Maybe. The one that gets me and I point this out to everyone is when they cock their shotgun or pistol in every scene. I'm like.. wtf where is the round popping out from them cocking it in the last scene. At least show it fly out and catch it in their hand for fun. Alright I gotta add this movie. Pretty good, but just straight good gun battle stuff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvmSxfMGldQ Can't believe I have never heard of John Wick. Been out of the loop for a while.

    6 months ago
  • Bob

    The heat had a lot of action in their "escape/firefight". However. You don't run a mile or more, and then get into position, SLOW your heartrate down, HOLD Steady and get GOOD sight alignment and Natural point of aim and then shoot the bad guy in the head while he is holding the little girl hostage. You would have to be better then a world class athlete to do this.

    7 months ago
  • Dylan

    TV series "Lethal Weapon" (not the movie). Main character is always finger off trigger and ready stance. Would like to hear your input on overall quality of scenes. There are scenes showing one handed reload etc.

    7 months ago
  • Billyjoebob

    The Rock in the Rundown. Dual Shotguns with pumping against his torso.

    8 months ago
  • Brian

    Well put. I am fairly familiar with firearms and have competed in pistol shoots and totally agree with most of your assessments on these films, but, I will say I’m not sure a shotgun blast at close range from a 12 or 10 gauge wouldn’t send a guy flying several feet. Not sure when you had produced this list but two films I would add to it are “Miami Vice” (the Michael Mann recent remake) and “WIND RIVER” which has a finishing shoot out that rivals anything on this list.

    8 months ago
  • Mark

    good stuff

    9 months ago
    • John

      Thanks Mark! Glad you enjoyed it.

      9 months ago
  • Okie JOAT

    Angelina Jolie movie “Wanted”...curving bullets. Stallone shooting a LAW rocket through the wind screen of a helicopter with guys in the back in “Rambo” movie.

    9 months ago
  • Billy

    check out Wind River on Netflix, the last 20 min with shootout is epic...

    10 months ago
    • David L

      I haven't watched the whole movie but I did skip to the gunfight at the end. It's...very interesting. An odd mix of being very accurate and being completely false. Some interesting takeaways, 1) don't get into a gunfight in the middle of open snow! 2) Bring more ammo. 3) Body armor saves lives. 4) Reloading with clean hands and summer clothes is a lot different than reloading in gloves with a sweater and an overcoat on. And yet, there were some blatantly false things like the snipers .45-70 hitting people and throwing them 4ft. Also, the reloading was very off. Fresh reload, fire 6 shots, and then panic reloading a fresh magazine. Interesting movie though! Thanks for telling us about it.

      10 months ago
  • Chupacabra

    For the ridiculous I would add the series The Walking Dead. The good guy and gal can shoot moving zombies in the head with a +90% rate of accuracy, one handed of course, and over 20yds. They rock! Also, I love the Colt Python (main character’s gun) and the .357mag, but it wouldn’t be my first choice in a shtf/teotwaki situation. Too heavy, and a higher capacity 9mm semi will get the job done as you must hit the “walkers” in the head anyway. You would also have more chances to find spare 9mm or .45acp vs .357mag cartridges. When it comes to rifles, it never crossed their minds that carrying weapons using the same mags and ammo would be helpful. I am not a huge fan of the series but from what I can remember they are also not fan of reloading their firearms. Tactics used by and against human ennemies are also laughable at times.

    10 months ago
  • Raimo Nieminen

    Punisher - War Zone?

    10 months ago
    • Raimo Nieminen

      Many people dismiss Punisher - War Zone because... you know, for reasons? But, check this out - it is a youtube featurette about Ray Stevenson training for the film, W/ Marine Corps trainer. Sure the film is full of ridiculous overblown violence, but have you read the comic? Shamelessly plugging the Marine Corps aspect here for the writer of the reviews, but... Check it out, please. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzMyezizr3U In the film, there is trigger discipline, point-the-muzzle discipline, and when people do get shot, its not just a pretty little dab of red marker pen, and tactical reloads happen constantly. Also, the Parkour asshole gets blown up with a grenade launcher! In contrast, john wick was lame film full of gung-fu and not a single limb ever got amputated by a burst of 223 round, as far as I recall?

      10 months ago
  • jp64

    The couple of problems with Open Range does not ruin the movie for me. The flying guy with a shotgun blast but be sorta possible if Duval was firing both barrels at the same time but not like that. Costner also shoots his Peacemaker 9 or 10 times in one scene without reloading. The rest of the shoot out was pretty decent. No one took a hit to the chest and ran off, no leg strikes then a 100yrd dash that would make an Olympic sprinter proud. Just a final shootout scene that was fantastic in my view. The amount of training Reeves put into John Wick shows. The Jiu-Jitsu and Judo training he did shows in the close action fighting scenes and his reactions plus shooting firearms looks entirely natural. Kudos for trying and succeeding in getting it 99% right. Total Fail: Anti-Gun Danny Glover in one of the Lethal Weapons movies shoots a guy off the deck of a boat with his 38sp snub at what looks like a couple of hundred yards. I regularly shoot a SW Target Masterpiece and it shouldn't take me to tell you good luck with that silliness.

    1 year ago
  • BackToBasics

    One of my all time favorite movies that is realistic with phenomenal gun fundamentals, reloads, communication during firefight, etc is “Den of Thieves”. They use slings, communicate while moving to cover and reloading. They even explain some basic gun safety rules. By far one of my favorites.

    1 year ago
    • Mike

      lol that movie was a blatant rip from Heat......it wasn't horrible but nonetheless an imitation. To put it in an "all times" list is quite silly. See a few more movies first.

      11 months ago
      • Pablo

        Thanks for playing Mike, but I agree with Back To Basics, Den of Thieves is a great movie and is honesty to me more like Usual Suspects than Heat. But regardless, don't be a d*ck people (even angry people like you) are entitled to opinions. To think that your opinion matters more than someone else's is quite silly. Try being nice once first.

        10 months ago
  • Sabbotage

    Don't forget Equilibrium. Gun-Kata at its finest. LOL

    1 year ago
    • jp64

      LMAO. I forgot about that movie. Oy!!!

      1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Yuuup! We'll definitely have it in a future article on all time favorite movies with guns.

      1 year ago
  • Mark Young

    The Wild Bunch! Best ever.

    1 year ago
  • ChrisL

    Recently Wind River had two phenomenal gun scenes (though if you don't like the "blow you backward' wire effect you'll be bummed at the end.) I thought Jack Reacher was pretty good, but thought it funny that at the end, when Reacher took over an AR with an optic, it also had rapid transition off-set sighst, but for CQB Reacher just ripped the optic off and went with the irons. I guess that's in character though, that guy's Old School. The Cinemax series Strikeback generally had pretty good stuff. Also Six on History Channel, and currently CBS has SEAL Team that's clearly well coached. Biggest Pet Peeve: when flat top ARs and other guns don't have any sights on them. WTF!! Honorable mention for biggest Loser: Olympus Has Fallen, with the ACOG sights on MP5s. Lame! Not to mention every single White House Guard rushing out from behind cover in the face of a surging crowd of gunmen firing SMGs.

    1 year ago
  • Jel

    The standard capacity magazine for the Ruger p94 is 15 rounds, which makes the P94 a 15+1 fully loaded. Not quite the 24 as mentioned in the article for American History X but significantly more than 10. Great article BTW.

    1 year ago
    • David

      Ruger shipped from the factory 10 round mags for the .40S&W and 9mm P94. They also made 15 round mags but they rarely shipped that way with the P94. IMFDB specifies that they were 10 round mags used in the film.

      1 year ago
      • jp64

        Bought mine used with the larger mag. My P89 had that capacity if I remember right,. Blocky, rattled but in true Ruger tradition tough as nail going bang everytime.

        1 year ago
  • Alihilly1

    SAS - best of the best. Just imagine how real special forces operate if this is info they give to movie makers. The classified material they’d put into action must be unreal!

    1 year ago
  • Racer X

    In Lone Survivor, Marcus Lutrell was involved in the actual filming. If you know what he looks like, you can see him a few times. He was the breacher when the door was opened and "Marcus" is rescued. You can bet that the film was accurate.

    1 year ago
  • TOM BROLLINI

    Yep as a VN Marine with 23 active I always laugh at the evershoots & 1 guy with a pistol taking out guys with full autos. Hollywood magic! Good article. It's good to see some decent skills & people actually reloading when required!

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Lol, yup!

      1 year ago
  • Eddie

    I have to go against you on Heat. It was beyond irresponsible for the police to engage these guys in a heavily populated setting after seeing how well armed and willing to fire they were. The responsible thing would have been to let them escape and take them on with tactical units where the setting could be controlled. Every bullet hole in every vehicle could represent a wounded or dead civilian. I expect desperate criminals to act as such. I expect police to be first and foremost always aware of the danger to themselves and innocent people. These cops, the ones who survived, should all have lost their jobs and it wouldn't hurt my feelings if they were all put in prison. The gun handling may have been good but the scene was beyond crap!

    1 year ago
    • Terry T.

      The trigger discipline was poor in Heat. Everyone had their finger on the trigger throughout the entire gun battle.

      11 months ago
    • Jim

      Apparently you don't recall the North Hollywood shootout after the bank robbery there back in 1997, nearly 2000 rounds fired. Real life goes fast, not always time to let the bad guys get away, or worse yet get holed up with a lot of hostages. Experience has shown the longer a situation like that lasts, the higher the collateral damage. Letting the bad guys run off, almost always ends up with a barricaded suspect and hostages. Never good.

      1 year ago
  • Doug

    Besides Heat, I always liked Leon in The Professional. Teaching Matilda how to handle a gun and become a “cleaner”.

    1 year ago
  • ThorSuxWithGun

    12 Strong had unlimited ammo and not a single reload scene until the end,

    1 year ago
  • D.S.

    Worst I've ever seen is Stargate... When the ship first lands over the pyramid. You can here about 100 rifles charging at every step they take.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Lol, I might have to keep an ear out for that the next time I was SG.

      1 year ago
  • R. J. Francis

    Great article, Act of Valor is a severely underrated movie. 2 scenes in particular, 1. When on the rescue one of the operators takes a round to the face, it demonstrates how brave the men and women who serve are because “in real life” a bullet is a bullet wheather fired from an elite soldier or a 12 year old. 2 When they show the overhead scene with the SWCC “boat guys” come in and give suppressing fire. It gives me goose bumbs lol, this is a top list add but it’s technically not a movie. The tv show the wire. In a scene a car was parked waiting for a “hit” the other gang drove up and fired one shotgun round into the passenger window and ruined everyone’s day. Also second the vote on 13 hours and Blackhawk down the delta operators holding court inside that Blackhawk. One thing I feel that movies get wrong is the concusive nature of discharging a shotgun in close quarters and the damage (carnage) for the guy on the wrong end. All that said i still rank commando and predator as must have in the collection, the one liners alone make up for all the over the top combat sequences. Love the articles guys keep them coming.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks RJ!!

      1 year ago
  • sze wei

    I was an action buff from 80s to 90s who is not particular with realism gunfights yet. When i catch heat for the first time ever, damn, it has more kick than cheesy schwarzenegger and stallone movies that i am so used to watching before that. Since then, todays hollywood action deployed more realism gunfights already. Todays latest l last catch in theaters are atomic blonde and hitman bodyguard. Heat will always be the pioneer of realism gunfights that other movies since follow suit like the bourne series and the john wick series. Both are my favorite action franchise.

    1 year ago
  • Pablo Danek

    Some good calls here. Not as impressed with Way of the gun as you.... For me, it doesn't get any better than Sicario (particularly the border scene) and 13 hours of Benghazi (GOAT, IMHO).

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks Pablo! Yea Sicario was awesome...I believe they actually filmed it in night vision too.

      1 year ago
  • Christian

    I as well enjoyed the article. The first time that I watched "Heat," I had not yet reached the level of firearm appreciation that I currently hold. As I watched it again recently, I also appreciated the use of FALs as opposed to the typical "Hollywood" black rifles. I would also like to point out yet another Keanu movie, "Street Kings." Now my one gripe with your list concerns "Lone Survivor." It is frustrating that all of the details are extremely accurate in the movie, down to point of Lutrell not having a reflex on his scope while Axe did have a Docter on his, and yet they are carrying M9s as you pointed out. I guess Sig Sauer, an operator's issued sidearm, did not feel like paying for product placement.

    2 years ago
  • Robert S Campbell

    Great article! There is a reference to a character from "Thief" in "Heat." Shout it out if you can find it?

    2 years ago
  • Eugene Dalton

    Do you know that the North Hollywood Bank Robbery (true event) was modeled after the movie Heat ? The bad guys rented Heat 3 times before their doomed attempt. They did use suppressing fire very effectively and the L.A. P.D. changed their policy on automatic weapons after they analyzed what had actually happened.

    2 years ago
    • T W

      LAPD never authorized automatic weapons for patrol (I have no idea what their SWAT team uses). Prior to the robbery, patrol officers were permitted to carry only 9mm handguns (Beretta 92F) and shotguns (Remington 870s and Ithaca Model 37s) loaded with 00 buckshot. Following the robbery, the firearms police was amended to allow officers to purchase and carry certain .handguns in .45 ACP, the use of slug ammunition was allowed by certified officers, and some officers were issued rifles in 5.56mm. The rifles, referred to as Urban Police Rifles (UPRs), were military surplus rifles. Armorers were remove the rifles' automatic fire capability before they were issued to officers. Officers who wanted to be issued UPRs were required to pass a very demanding rifle course designed and run by Larry Mudgett, a now-retired LAPD SWAT instructor who is now teaching at Gunsite, I believe. This info may be out of date, as I left LAPD in 2002. However, I highly doubt that the LA city council will ever let LAPD officers carry automatic weapons.

      1 year ago
    • sze wei

      Indirectly we must thank heat movie for upgrading the LAPD officers shooting skills more and allowing rifles to be used for patrolling just like how the fall of John Dillinger had reshaped the FBI firing skills in the 30s depression era. By the way, mr mann also directed the JD biopic movie and i am glad he did so. Love the good old tommy guns and BAR rifles.

      1 year ago
    • Darth Snowball

      Considering the movie Heat was released almost 9 years after the North Hollywood Bank Robbery/Shootout. I find it very hard to believe that that is where the robbers learned their gun handling skills from...

      2 years ago
      • Doug

        Not true. Right after the North Hollywood robbery, Heat was the number one rented video at Blockbuster in Orange County. I remember watching the video about 6 months before the robbery.

        1 year ago
      • Eric Hung

        Oopsie!

        1 year ago
      • Not Miami 1986

        North Hollywood bank robbery: 1997 Heat Movie: 1995

        2 years ago
    • JER

      I was down the street from that, at home with the wife. Hell of a thing to listen to.

      2 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks Eugene...did not know that!

      2 years ago
  • Mark

    My favorite movie full of gun handling blunders is Denzel's, "The Equalizer". I can forgive the mispronunciation of ,"Heckler & Koch" but.....when he checks his revolver to see that it is loaded, he reveals all the rounds with dimpled primers. What???

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks Mark! Denzel gets the benefit of the doubt that they were all light primer strikes lol.

      2 years ago
  • Chad

    The shotgun battle scene from walking tall also seemed quite realistic to me. Two people without much firearm proficiency desperately trying to not get shot - at the cost of all offensive capability. https://youtu.be/82dHCGddOSU?t=1m30s

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks Chad, that was a great scene.

      2 years ago
  • Jonathan

    This was a very entertaining article. I find myself asking "Where's the recoil?" in most shoot 'em up movies. Or I often question the positioning of the shooter's hands on pistols. Especially if they're portraying a special agent of some sort (FBI, CIA).

    2 years ago
    • ehung

      Thanks Jonathan. They are just so good that they completely manage the recoil with their teacup grips!

      2 years ago
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