Top 10 Best Gun Movies Ever!

This list ranks the top 10 best gun movies of all time. One of the oldest and popular genres of film is action. This genre of film typically involves life-threatening situations and lots of violence. Action films became extremely popular in the 1970s. Of course, this means gunfight choreography is essential to these films. Gun movies are tightly choreographed with many safety protocols in place (especially when handling guns). It takes a lot of time and skill to make a realistic gunfight scene. Here is our list of the best gun movies, all of these movies are packed with explosive entertaining battle scenes, and epic shootouts.

Top 10 Best Gun Movies

10/10. Blackhawk Down

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10/10. Blackhawk Down

This movie is an adaptation of the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden. It is about Operation Gothic Serpent, the doomed mission in which the Task Force Ranger was told to capture a Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid in October 1993. Most of the action movie takes place during the Battle of Mogadishu. It had a large cast ensemble such as Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Orlando Bloom, and Tom Hardy.

Black Hawk Down is considered a cultural look into the depiction of war in the USA film and tv industry. It’s considered one of the best gun movies receiving much praise for its portrayal of military warfare. The USA Department of Defense supported the production, and the actors received extensive training with the USA Army Ranger Force for a week. Those who played the Delta Force were also trained. What helped the film immensely was the involvement of many soldiers and pilots who took part in the Battle of Mogadishu.

The USA Special Forces even provided actual Black Hawk and “Little Bird” helicopters to be used in the production. It’s very brutal, showing many violent war scenes. One of the most poignant scenes was the decision to defend a fallen chopper. Two Delta Force soldiers, Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong) and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau,) make their last stand. Featuring reloading of M19111 (Delta sidearm of choice) and even guns jamming, this scene demonstrates the brutality of war as the men are swarmed and killed, with their bodies paraded by their enemy.

seeing as the whole film is based on an intense gun battle, many different types of weapons are used. Each unit has different weapons. The Delta Force soldiers are seen holding Colt Model 727 rifles. However, this was used by Rangers, not the Delta Force soldiers in real life. They also are seen using a Colt Model 733 rifle. For non-firing rubber props, the movie showed the use of Colt M4 Carbines. However, these were not in the military until 1994. Furthermore, in one of the most infamous scenes, an RPG-7 launcher is used to take down Super Six-One (the first Black Hawk).

9/10. Act of Valor

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9/10. Act of Valor

When a modern warfare film was inspired by director Mike McCoy, and Scott Waugh’s previous work with the Navy SEALS, you know it is going to include some great action scenes. This fictional story has a team of Navy SEALs performing covert operations to rescue a captured CIA agent and stop a major cartel organization. As the Navy SEALs supported the production, many of the actors are active-duty Navy SEALs. There is a strong sense of realism with actual Navy SEALs on set. According to Lt. Commander Rorke, who starred in the film explained to ABC News, the gunfights are “a lot calmer and collected, and disciplined.”

The gunfight scenes are based on the Navy SEALs various experiences. The extraction mission is a perfect example of this realism. It starts with the SEALs camouflaged in the water, stealthily sniping away from the defenses of the enemy. This sequence is eerie because it is so routine as they even catch the dead bodies before the bodies hit the water and alert their presence. The first-person camera angles also help with the immersion, especially after their cover is blown. The SEALs are calm, even though the hail of gunfire. Many of the sets and weapons used in Act of Valor are navy training sites, as these sets are made to be realistic. To aid with realism, many fight scenes involved live ammunition. Some of the weapons seen in the film are:

  • SIG-Sauer P226, which was used by Chief Dave in the film’s climax
  • Heckler & Koch MP5A2, which were used by the cartel guards
  •  AKM Rifles, which were used by the cartel guards
  • Sea Hawks equipped with M240 door guns
  • A GAU-17/A Minigun was used by Special Warfare Combatant Craft (SWCC) Crewmen aboard a SOC-R boat. This was one of the guns with live ammunition.

With many one-take moments, live footage from helmet cameras, and live bullets used, this is one of the best gun movies, showing realistic action scenes, and the life of a Navy SEAL on active duty.

8/10. The Outpost

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8/10. The Outpost

The Outpost is another action film based on the 2012 non-fiction book The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper. The book tells the story of one of America’s deadliest battles against the Taliban during the war in Afghanistan, known as the Battle of Kamdesh.

This film demonstrated military commodore and was highly praised by the families and those who served during the battle for its realistic portrayal of life on the field and respecting those who had passed in the battle. The Outpost also investigates the dangerous mission of Combat Outpost Keating. This film has a star-studded cast, with Scott Eastwood, Orlando Bloom, Cory Hardrict, and Jonathan Yunger. Actual soldiers from Combat Outpost Keating also make cameos.

Like Black Hawk Down, it was about portraying a real gun battle and actual soldiers. Thus, the gunfight had to be realistic to achieve this goal. The opening scene sets the tone of warfare with an intense gunfight. While two men argue about a dog, gunfire abruptly starts the battle. With snipers, bombs, and ammo runs resulting in arguments, a motor pit, and no sound buffer, the opening shows how things go from 0 to 100 on the battlefield. This opening sequence also shows the main issue with the outpost, which is the high ground surrounding the outpost without having any dialogue. This is a high-stress situation. Whilst there is a lot of cheering at the end, there are also arguments from the fight and adrenaline.  

Unlike the other two films on this list so far, there is no evidence that the US Army or Navy were affiliated in any way outside of the cameos of soldiers who took part in the Battle of Kamdesh. Nearly all the soldiers have an M4A1 Carbine. Some of the soldiers mount a grenade launchers. Local Afghan soldiers, as well as Taliban members, are seen using AK-47s. M120 and M224 Motors play a large role in defending the outpost.

7/10. Sicario

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7/10. Sicario

At number seven of the best gun movies, we have Sicario, Spanish and Italian for ‘hitman’, which gives a hint as to what this film is about. Emily Blunt plays FBI agent Kate Macer, who is tasked with bringing down a Mexican drug cartel. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography, Original Score, and Sound Editing at the 88th Academy Awards and many BAFTAs. It has also begun a trilogy with the sequels being Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Sicario: Capos.

Sicario has a slow-burning plot but has some excellent fighting scenes. A perfect example of this is the border crossing gunfight scene. As the extraction is happening, the convey is held up due to traffic. Here, they notice members of the cartel disguised as civilians amongst the other pedestrians. It’s a tense showdown, with both sides showing their guns. The atmosphere is built up as the gang members exit their vehicles, causing the agents to follow suit. The fight is over as soon as it begins, with the agents massacring the cartel.

Not only does this desensitizes Macer to the nature of this mission, but it also desensitizes the audience to it. The guns displayed in the movie are not as varied as in the other films. However, there are still quite a few different weapons seen here. Kate Macer used a Glock 19 during the border crossing gunfight. Another weapon seen in the bridge crossing gunfights was the SIG-Sauer P226 DAK handgun.

6/10. Unforgiven

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6/10. Unforgiven

A western setting is always good for a gunfight. With a star-studded cast with Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Gene Hackman. Unforgiven has Eastwood as Will Munny, an ex-outlaw, hunting down two men for injuring a prostitute for $1000 in 1880 ($27,116.57 in 2021). The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning four. The box office hit has plenty of classic western shootouts. Turning every western trope on its head about good cowboys and helping only purely innocent people, the saloon shootout demonstrates pure skill and ruthlessness. Here, we see Munny at his worst.

Coldly shooting the saloon owner (who was unarmed), Munny empties plenty of guns into the dozen men surrounding him. While their bullets miss due to their panicked state, Munny is calm. There’s no waiting and no dramatic monologue. It’s a few quips before the bullets are fired. Due to the film’s setting, there are many historical guns from this time such as:

  • The Colt 1860 Army Pistol
  • The Remington 1875 pistol
  • The Spencer 1860 Carbine rifle

However, there are some guns that did not exist in 1880. The Winchester 1892 rifle is seen with several deputies and was used by the Schofield Kid.

See also: The Man with No Name vs. Harmonica: The Ultimate Gunslingers In Western Films

5/10. Extraction (Netflix movie)

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5/10. Extraction

Chris Hemsworth ditches his Thor hammer and drapes and takes up an army gun and SWAT vest. Hemsworth is a black ops mercenary named Tyler Rake, tasked with saving a kidnapped son of an incarcerated Indian drug lord, played by Rudhraksh Jaiswal. With double-crossing and the lockdown of Dhaka, Bangladesh, it is a tough job for Rake to fulfill his job.

As a black-ops mercenary in 2020, there are many types of weapons. Ranging from shotguns, and machine guns to grenade launchers and pistols, there is a lot of action as Hemsworth takes on a dozen men by himself. When he rescues Ovi Mahajan (the son of the incarcerated Indian drug lord), Rake is a one-man army. The camera angles, the fight choreography, and music completely make this massacre memorable, perfectly mixing both hand-to-hand combat and guns into a violent and bloody fight.

There are multiple different guns. Rake carries a Glock 17 as his sidearm, he also carries a customized BCM CQB-11 rifle in the climax scene.AK-47 assault rifles and M79 Grenade Launcher were also seen heavily in the film. Bangladeshi forces use the Type 69 RPG grenade launcher.

4/10. Lone Survivor

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4/10. Lone Survivor

At number four of best gun movies, we return to the war in Afghanistan with Lone Survivor. Based on another best-selling book by the former US. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), the movie tells the story of the unsuccessful SEAL Operation Red Wings. During this mission (also known as the Battle of Abbas Gohar), the team is tasked to take out a Taliban leader. However, things go wrong, and the men soon find themselves in a fight to the death. As the title suggests, there is only one survivor named the US. Navy SEAL Luttrell.

Realism is a top priority with war films based on true events. The four Navy SEALs central to the plot are constantly put into impossible odds. After choosing to spare possible Taliban sympathizers, the team is soon surrounded by the mountainside. The only sounds are plenty of silent moments, only for the rain of gunfire to break the forest ambiance.

The cinematography has many different camera angles. From being in first-person mode through a scope to large, panned shots of the field, you get different angles of the fight. They also never shy away from the bloodshed as we see both sides being brutally gunned down. 

There are different military guns in this film. Due to the small team, they are outnumbered. The Beretta 92FS handgun was used instead of the SIG-Sauer P226 Navy used in real life. Chinook helicopters have FN M240D machine guns mounted. M4A1 Carbine is used by the Navy SEALs. Mk 12 Mod 1 Special Purpose Rifle was used by the snipers.

See also: Movies Like Jarhead: Best 11 Marine Movies

3/10. The Way of the Gun

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3/10. The Way of the Gun

This crime film has many action scenes. Two lowly criminals called Parker and Longbaugh (Ryan Phillippe and Benicio del Toro) kidnap the surrogate mother of a dangerous criminal. With more twists and turns, it ends with a devastating ending. The action sequences are part of the reason why this film still has a cult following.

The Way of the Gun has a lot of action sequences and got high praise from many critics. The final shootout begins with the two protagonists already sensing the danger. As they position themselves by a doorway, they say a few words about death. Then, with their backs against one another, they start the final shootout. There aren’t as many fancy camera angles as possible, but it is still an epic final showdown that sees our protagonists fighting until their last breath. Even though the criminals are constantly on the run, there are a surprising number of different guns used by them in this film.

The main handgun used by Parker and Longbaugh is the Colt Series 70 Government Model. The other handgun used to kill off one of the most significant characters Dr. Painter (Dylan Kussan) is the Walther PPK/S. Other guns include shotguns, rifles, and revolvers.

See also: 12 Best Crime Comedy Movies Like Snatch

2/10. John Wick

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2/10. John Wick

If there is one thing this movie taught everyone, it is that you don’t ever kill someone’s dog. John Wick is a retired hitman, who seeks vengeance after the mobster’s son and the cronies for killing his dog that his deceased wife arranged for him to have and stealing his car. Drawing on anime and martial artists, the film uses gun fu techniques in its cinematography. This was before Black Widow ever arrived on the scene with her guns and martial arts combo.

There are plenty of hand-to-hand combat scenes that blend smoothly into a gunfight. After the initial robbery and death of his dog, Wicks still has henchmen after him. Using complex techniques to disarm and choke his opponents, as well as blend into the shadows, Wick eventually takes down the henchmen without any injury.

Whilst Wick has retired from being a hitman, he still has a secret stash of weaponry. His main gun used throughout the film is a Heckler & Koch P30L, which is fitted with a custom compensator. He is also seen using a Glock 26 compact pistol, FN SCAR-H sniper rifle, and DTA Stealth Recon Scout sniper rifle. The snipers are especially in delivering his vengeance. When he finally hunts down Viggo’s son (the one who killed his dog and stole his car), he ruthlessly snipes each guard and associate of his own. He purposely saves him for last and shows no mercy. Again, do not mess with someone’s dog!

See Related: James Bond vs John Wick: Which Highly Trained Killer Wins?

1/10. Heat

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1/10. Heat

Last but certainly not least, we have a crime drama, and the best gun movie ever!

Heat follows an LAPD Lieutenant Hanna (Al Pacino) and his pursuit of master thief Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro). They each develop respect for one another as they try to sabotage each other. So, how does a 1995 action film top our list?

Well, let’s analyze the bank robbery scene. This scene still holds up today due to the non-muzzled sound of bullets that Hollywood typically uses. The scene builds slowly as we see the thieves with guns loaded. As soon as the first shot is fired, the sound echoes through the street. Heat has a slow build-up as the adrenaline kicks in. When it is all said and done, cars are shredded to pieces and the silence is deafening. The scene we just described is still considered one of the best shootout scenes in film history. This is because it was choreographed by British Special Air Service special forces veterans Andy McNab and Mick Gould.

They had also designed a training course for the actors to practice on for three months with live ammunition before shooting blanks on the actual take. Each scene took a long time to choreograph.  Some of the guns used in the film are rifles, handguns, submachine guns, and shotguns. The most recognizable guns are the distinct handguns Hanna and McCauley use. Hanna uses a Colt M1991A1 Series, 80 Officers, ACP, whereas McCauley is seen at the start of the film and in the bank robbery scene with a Heckler & Koch USP.

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