Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.
Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:
- Top Five Revolver Myths
- Top Five Types of Revolver Grips
- And Top Five Questions I Get as a Gun Owner
- Top Five Glock Enhancements
- Top Five Belly Bands
Like many of you, I enjoy a good action/adventure movie with a somewhat believable protagonist and/or an unlikely hero and some crazy plot. I especially enjoy it when the main character is up against unbelievable odds and has to overcome them with minimal means. It’s obvious but worth noting again: Movies like these are meant for entertainment and we’re better off not to let Hollywood influence our firearms choices and tactics. With that, as much as I enjoy movies like these, here are my top five Hollywood gun handling awards.
1. Holsterless Carry Award: Jason Bourne
Besides the fact that David Webb can’t seem to remember who he really is, Bourne also seems determined never to carry a handgun in a proper holster. I’ve seen him tuck handguns in jacket pockets, in backpacks, inside the waistband (appendix) and inside the waistband (small of back). Of course, the way he acquires most of his guns doesn’t really afford the opportunity to get a proper holster, so I can cut him a bit of a break for that.
But, in a couple instances, he picks up a handgun from some vault or locker, along with his famous watch, multiple passports and currency from a dozen different countries. I don’t see why there can’t be a simple but decent IWB holster in there. Or even some kind of universal holster. Side note: Bourne should also get some kind of award for dismantling handguns or throwing them in garbage cans.
2. Weakest Caliber Award: James Bond
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a .32 or .380 caliber pistol for self-defense, especially if that’s the one you shoot the best and will actually carry with you. But a British spy ought to be able to upgrade to at least a 9mm. In one of the older 007 books, Bond said he preferred the Walther PPK because it fit best and hid easily when he was wearing a suit or tuxedo, which of course he always was.
Modern Bonds especially should make use of the greater ballistics afforded by a larger, modern caliber as well as all the innovative means of concealed carry available today. Moreover, as good as shoulder holster carry might appear in movies, it can be limiting if you’re wearing a European-cut suit jacket. Unless you’re James Bond, of course.
3. Heaviest Gun Award: Dirty Harry
The iconic S&W Modle 29 revolver and the associated .44 Magnum cartridge indeed is a very powerful round, punk. And the only way a gun handles that type of round is by being built of steel. And lots of it. Over 40 ounces worth. By comparison, most of today’s concealed carry guns weigh less than half of that. So, it’s a wonder how Dirty Harry got around without some horrible lurching motion impeding his progress.
And, where James Bond preferred the slim Walther PPK for his shoulder holster, Dirty Harry managed to carry that giant revolver in a shoulder holster. Of course, Harry would have worn a suit jacket with American tailoring, so maybe it had some extra room… Have any of you packed a full-size revolver as a concealed carry piece? If so, how? Did you feel lucky, punk?
4. Why Even Bother With a Handgun Award: Jack Reacher
Reacher is one of my favorite movie characters and seems the most real of this bunch. Lee Child’s character is careful, detailed, tough as nails and likes coffee. He’s a former Army MP who knows guns and how to use them. Plenty of guns — handguns, rifles and shotguns — appear in the books and movies, sometimes in Reacher’s hands, but he seems to be without a handgun just as often, if not more often, than with one.
But Reacher — similar to Bourne — is also a master at using objects around him as weapons or simply using his own hands and strength to handle certain situations. In the movies, he seems to have more guns pointed at him but always manages to make some kind of escape. Side note: I could give Bourne this award and switch Reacher to the holster-less carry award. Thoughts?
5. Most Handguns Carried at Once Award: John Wick
And not only does he carry multiple handguns and reloads — concealed — he does so while very well dressed. And then he draws and uses them in multiple scenarios while doing his tactical business. It’s an impressive array of weaponry, right down to the Glock 26 carried in the small of his back. It’s not the number of guns that’s most impressive but the number of magazines to support such an arsenal.
Imagine carrying two full-size duty pistols and a backup pistol. To do Wick’s work, you’ll want at least two reloads per gun, so that’s six magazines not only to store on your person but also to keep organized. Amazing. Anybody know how many guns and magazines constituted Wick’s load-up?
Thanks for reading this article. It’s meant just for fun and could have been titled “Movie Characters Not to Emulate (Except When They’re Doing Things Right).” Seriously, when it comes to gun handling, don’t take many cues from Hollywood.
Instead, seek out the professional and informed opinions of law enforcement training officers and certified self-defense trainers. Enjoy the movies though, and be on the lookout for the good, bad and ugly of movie gun handling. Unfortunately, there are probably many more “awards” that could be given out.
Discover how you can join more than 200,000 responsibly armed Americans who already rely on the USCCA to protect their families, futures and freedoms: USCCA.com/gunsamerica.