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10 Top Sci-Fi Film Firearms

Staying away from Death Stars, Borg cubes and Martian tripods, we instead focus on bad-ass blasters, hardcore handguns and armaments intended for the individual.

Regardless of whether you're chasing zombies or xenomorphs, replicants or rebel scum, you'll benefit from a good blaster at your side.

Zorg Industries ZF1

The Zorg Industries ZF1, it's safe to say, is a unique, impossible item within the world of sci-fi and features an array of different options, from pacification to incineration. It's an ambidextrous assault weapon incapable of being detected by x-rays and breaks down into four parts, ideal for quick, discreet interventions. The actual prop was built around a Russian AK-74U 5.45mm assault rifle circa mid-80s.

As seen in: The Fifth Element (1997)

Noted for: Being utterly absurd, but thoroughly entertaining and sounds like a supercharged hand blender when it's fired.

Technical: Fitted with a titanium recharger, it holds a 3000 round clip that shoots a burst of three to 300 and the Replay function sends every following shot to the same location. It also boasts a single-shot high-explosive rocket launcher, dual arrow launchers on the sides of the weapon shooting a total of 10 darts with either exploding or poisonous gas heads, the famous Zorg Industries net launcher, flamethrower – effective up to 15 meters – and an all-new Ice Cube System that sprays the target with super-cold, sub-zero nitrogen gas.

Rick Deckard's gun

With no official name, it's known under a number of monikers, including the 2019 Detective Special, M2019 Blaster, LAPD 2019 Blaster, or more commonly the PKD (Steyr Pflager Katsumata) Series-D Blaster: it appeared to be the standard issue sidearm for police officers and blade runners in Los Angeles in 2019. The movie prop was constructed from parts of a Steyr Mannlicher .222 Model SL hunting rifle (the double trigger and receiver housing) and a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 Special revolver. Quality replicas are sought after collector's items.

As seen in: Blade Runner (1982)

Noted for: The unusual design was favored by Ridley Scott and many elements served no discernible purpose. For instance, the double trigger design led some to believe there were two barrels, but this is not the case.

Technical: projectile weapon, it's assumed to fire a .44 caseless round, with five held in the chamber.

M41A Pulse Rifle

"I wanna introduce you to a personal friend of mine..." Corporal Hicks says proudly as he swings up what is, without a doubt, one of the most awesome assault rifles ever seen on film. The Armat M41A Pulse Rifle can always be found on any list of the finest firearms in sci-fi. Basically a marriage between a Thompson M1A1 SMG circa 1944 and a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun, it served as the standard issue weapon for the Colonial Marine Corp in the epic Aliens, a movie cram-packed with an awesome armory.

As seen in: Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992)

Noted for: Being a remarkably reliable, rugged weapon and it makes a really cool noise when it's fired.

Technical: projectile weapon firing 10 millimeter explosive tip caseless, standard light armor piercing rounds, with 30mm pump action grenade launcher.

Law Giver MK II

Undoubtedly the handgun with the longest history in sci-fi, the legendary Law Giver is the sidearm of the mighty Mega-City 1 Judges in 2000AD. There have been two models of Law Giver within the Judge Dredd universe and two portrayals on screen. However, we're going to focus on the MK II, which was the inspiration for the handgun design seen in Dredd (2012) and built around a suppressor-equipped Glock 17...nothing like the unorthodox redesign used in the abhorrent Judge Dredd (1995).

As seen in: Judge Dredd (1995), Dredd (2012) and 2000AD

Noted for: Each Lawgiver has a sensor on its grip that is programmed to recognize the palm-print of the authorized user registered to the weapon. If anyone else, including another Judge, attempts to use the weapon it will self-destruct.

Technical: The Lawgiver MK II is capable of firing the following different types of ammunition: standard execution, armor-piercing, ricochet, incendiary, high-explosive and heatseeker. The grenade round from the MK I was replaced by a larger, clip-on fragmentation shell and PSI Division carry exorcism rounds instead of heatseekers.

E11 Imperial Stormtrooper blaster

The Imperial Armed Forces use a wide variety of cool weapons for different tasks, including the TB-DLT-19 Heavy Blaster and the T-21 Light Repeating Blaster, however every Imperial Stormtrooper carried the BlasTech Industries E11 as standard. The prop is based on a British World War II Sterling Arms Mk4/L2A3 Sten sub-machine gun. Six 'T-Track' grips were added along the barrel, together with a vintage 1942 model M38 azimuth scope mounted on a custom-made scope rail, a Hengstler Corporation industrial counter box on the side and two small cylinders on top of the magazine well. Finally, the 34-round magazine was cut down significantly.

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Noted for: All things considered, the shoulder stock was seldom used and it was predominantly shot from the hip, so it's no real wonder Imperial Stormtroopers had a reputation for being such a bad shot.

Technical: This light but powerful energy-based weapon combines lethal firepower with impressive range and a versatile design. Featuring three power settings; lethal, stun, and sting, the rifle proved useful for a variety of combat situations. An advanced cooling system resulted in the blaster's superior performance, especially useful for its fully automatic fire setting. The E-11 also included a telescopic range-finding sight and a folding three-position stock, which could convert the blaster into a full-length rifle. Its standard issue power cells carried energy for 100 shots, however the rifle could also be loaded with plasma cartridges that could last for more than 500 shots.

The Samaritan

Given to Hellboy by the Torch of Liberty when he was 12, the Samaritan is an oversized, very large caliber revolver. It fires its custom-made bullets with adequate power to easily penetrate almost any material. The metal of the gun is forged from a combination of Irish church bells, cold iron from crucifixes, blessed silver and other mystic metals. The wood grips have the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense insignia on each side are believed to have been carved from the True Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Weighing around 10lbs, the gun has immense muzzle energy and is capable of breaking a normal mans arm due to great recoil. It holds four rounds and fires bullets Hellboy makes himself as a hobby. The original weapon prop was designed from scratch and built by legendary New Zealand-based WETA Workshop.

As seen in: Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), comics

Noted for: Generally being utterly gorgeous in an antique, pseudo-steampunk kind of way. The original version in the comics was an even bigger caliber pistol that only held one round at a time. 

Technical: Projectile type weapon, firing an enormous .75 caliber round. Hellboy uses a number of different, specially constructed rounds, including a tracker round filled with phosphorescent green liquid that will drip from the wound they open, allowing the target's path to be easily followed in low-light situations and 'the works', a round containing holy water, garlic cloves, silver shavings, white oak and clove leaves. These ingredients each bear a folkloric power to impede evil and/or specific monsters, such as vampires, werewolves and witches. The gun uses a tip-open action similar to a Webley or Schofield revolver. 

DL-44 heavy blaster pistol

Put simply, Han Solo's weapon of choice. The DL-44 was a powerful, highly modifiable and accurate blaster pistol. It packed a heavy punch compared to other pistols without losing accuracy, which made it a prime choice among many groups and individuals, ranging from smugglers and bounty hunters to military and the Rebellion. Originally designed by BlasTech and seen as early as three decades before the Battle of Yavin, the weapon found increased use at the hands of outlaws and fringers on the edge of legality, groups like smugglers and the Rebel Alliance due to its capability to penetrate stormtrooper armor. This caused the Empire to restrict and technically outlaw purchase and ownership of the gun. Consequently, other companies took advantage of the model and capabilities, releasing similar but tuned-down versions of the 44s.

As seen in: Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens and every single book, comic or animated story featuring Han Solo.

Noted for: It's complicated origins. The prop comes from the German C96 'Broomhandle' Mauser pistol, an early semi-automatic handgun with a 10 round internal magazine. The air conditioning vent on the front of the magazine came from a model airplane and the large flash hider came from the German MG81 machine gun from a fighter plane. The scope is the Hensoldt Wetzlar Ziel Dialyt 3x scope, which was often seen on German sniper rifles such as the famous K98. Due to the size of the flash hider, the iron sights were not usable.

Technical: Aside from being a powerful and reliable sidearm, the DL-44 had other attractive features such as a vibration system built into the handgrip that pulsed gently to alert the user that the weapon had only five shots left, and the ability to charge a bolt twice as powerful into a capacitor without damaging the sidearm. Like most handguns, its gear typically included a motion-sensitive scope and galven circuitry that allowed the pistol to deal more damage with a normal energy drain and fire rate.

Auto 9

The Auto 9 is a highly advanced select-fire machine pistol with a 50-round magazine. The most commonly utilized fire setting is in a three-round burst mode; however, RoboCop has been seen firing a single round in multiple instances. The weapon is also capable of utilizing special ammunition, which can be selected by its user via the targeting interface. The Auto 9 was built from a Beretta 93R, the select-fire version of the Beretta 92, capable of three-round burst fire, with a custom fore end and compensator. 

As seen in: RoboCop (1987), RoboCop II (1990), RoboCop III (1993) RoboCop: The Series and RoboCop: Prime Directives

Most noted for: Having a very cool holster: it was kept in a concealed alcove within RoboCop's thigh, together with at least one reload magazine in storage.

Technical: Shortly after his activation, RoboCop was assigned the Auto 9 as his primary weapon and he has used it as his main weapon ever since. A unique weapon, the only two confirmed users of the Auto 9 are RoboCop himself and RoboCable (RoboCop: Prime Directives), who was assigned two pistols as part of an upgrade to the software allowing for secondary targets to be established by the targeting software. Despite being unique to RoboCop and RoboCable, humans were able to utilize the weapon, although in the series, RoboCop's Auto 9 is registered to his hand, and cannot be fired by anyone else.

Starfleet phase-pistol

Every incarnation of Star Trek has it's variations on the phaser, from The Original Series to Voyager, plus of course the movies, from epic The Wrath of Khan to the dreadful Star Trek Beyond. However, despite every futuristic firearm on this list having come from a movie, the best Star Trek phaser isn't from any of the films in the franchise, it's from Star Trek: Enterprise. The vastly underrated fifth spin-off series offered some of the best episodes once it gathered momentum and more importantly, it didn't rely on as much on technology as a plot device, simply because it was set on the first ever starship launched by what was still Starfleet, since the United Federation of Planets wasn't formed until 2161. Even transporters weren't used yet to teleport crew to and from a planet's surface. And yes, warp engines have moving parts, which means the Chief Engineer might get his hands dirty trying to fix them.

As seen in: Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005)

Most noted for: Actually resembling a handgun from the future and not looking like one of Roddenberry's glossy interpretations, least of all like an utterly absurd sidearm from The Next Generation.

Technical: The phase-pistol was a type of phase-modulated energy weapon, a personnel sidearm characterized by a focused energy discharge in the form of a steady stream or a phase pulse. It had two settings, stun and kill. The phaser could also be used to ignite a fire and utilized in clearing obstructions of rock and earth, and as a cutting tool. By cross-polarizing the power cells to increase particle yield, the weapon could be modified to be more effective against shields. A phase-pistol could also be set to overload and function as an explosive device. The prop was designed and made by Los Angeles-based prop weapons specialist Independent Studio Services.

Proton Pack

Designed by Dr. Egon Spengler, the proton pack a man-portable particle accelerator system that is used to create a charged particle beam – composed of protons – that is fired by the proton gun (also referred to as the "neutron wand"). Described in the first movie as a "positron collider", it functions by colliding high-energy positrons to generate its proton beam. Midway through the original, classic Ghostbusters (1984) there's a montage of newspaper and magazine covers and one of them is a fictional edition of OMNI that features the Proton Pack on the front cover. 

As seen in: Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), The Real Ghostbusters

Most noted for: The dangers associated with crossing the proton streams, either accidentally or deliberately. This results in total protonic reversal, which is where all life as we know it stops instantaneously and every molecule in your body explodes at the speed of light.

Technical: The energy emitted by the proton stream helps to dissipate psychokinetic (PK) energy which ghosts use to manifest themselves. Draining them of their PK energy weakens them, allowing them to be captured in their portable ghost traps. Each pack's energy cell has a half-life of 5,000 years. Controls on the main stock of the proton pack can perform various functions to customize the proton stream, including adjustments for stream intensity, length, and degrees of polarization.

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