John Wayne Western Films: His Top 5 Movie Guns

by Matthew Wilson
John-Wayne-Western-Films-His-Top-5-Movie-Guns

John Wayne is cinema’s favorite cowboy. Sorry, Clint Eastwood. The actor made a name for himself with his tough as nails characters. Throughout his career, Wayne played many different cowboys, soldiers, and police officers. The actor was known for his weaponry.

But some guns are more memorable than others. Here is the Top Five guns Wayne used during his career:

5. John Wayne Used a Colt Diamondback in ‘Brannigan’

John Wayne was always the motto of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Okay, so maybe he didn’t speak that softly. But Wayne certainly never backed down, even when he traded the Old West for London. The 1975 film “Brannigan” saw the actor go abroad as a detective trying to capture a criminal.

Wayne uses the iconic Colt Diamondback in the film, which certainly packs a punch. The weapon becomes a source of contention in the film. Because it’s against British law to carry a firearm. But Wayne refuses to listen and continues to carry the weapon.

4. The Cowboy Retrieves Two Double-Barrels in ‘Big Jake’

You don’t want to mess with a grandfather and his greeners. A couple of bandits found out the hard way in the 1971 film “Big Jake.” Wayne plays a grandfather on a mission. When his grandson is kidnapped, Wayne’s wife brings him his guns. In the iconic scene, Wayne pulls two short double-barreled shotguns. Notably, Wayne has a cinematic gunfight with the bandit leader, using one of the double barrels.

Why were the shotguns called Greeners? W.W. Greener is a British manufacturer of weaponry. The actual shotguns used in the film were created by the American Gun Company. So, this is a little bit of a white lie on the part of the film’s production.

3. Wayne Has Fun with a Mac-10 in ‘McQ’

Now, that’s a gun. The screen legend gets his hand on a MAC-10 submachine gun with a suppressor almost as big as his arm. For most of his career, Wayne dabbled in revolvers, rifles, and westerns. But the actor starred in the 1974 police film “McQ,” opening the door for modern weapons.

During the film, Wayne brings out the weapon for a beach chase at the end. While Dirty Harry may have his Magnum, audiences will hardly see a more fun image than Wayne firing a submachine gun.

2. ‘Stagecoach’ Features the Iconic Saddle Ringe Carbine

One of Wayne’s earliest films also featured one of his most iconic weapons. The cowboy and the Winchester 1892 Saddle Ringe Carbine make for a deadly combination in 1939’s “Stagecoach.” It may not make sense for the film’s timeline. The gun wasn’t released until the 1890s while the film is set in the 1880s. But audiences forgave the inconsistency.

The film features a group of people traveling on a stagecoach between Arizona and New Mexico. During the film, Wayne flips the rifle in an iconic twirl. And the cowboy was born.

1. John Wayne Goes Out with a Pair of Revolvers in ‘The Shootist’

From one of John Wayne’s first to his last. The 1976 film “The Shootist” features Wayne in his last movie role. The actor is at his most poignant, playing an aging gunfight looking for one last fight. After the film, Wayne died from cancer in 1979. In the film, Wayne used his own personal guns – a pair of Great Western Revolvers.

Wayne will always be connected to the image of the cowboy, with revolvers as his go-to. These pair of guns were created personally for Wayne in the 1950s. Wayne’s decision to use the weapons in the film fits with the flick’s swansong nature. It’s only right that the cowboy goes out with a pair of revolvers in either hand.

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