Shooting sports enthusiasts love to take the same guns they see on big and little screens out to the range. It's a great way to enjoy two favorite hobbies at the same time! Bill Ruger made hundreds of Single-Six and Blackhawk single-action revolvers for the fans of the 1950's-era Old West TV shows. The popularity of the movie Dirty Harry (1971) turned the .44 Mag. Smith & Wesson Model 29 into a Hollywood and shooting range icon. And when two action movies featured the Desert Eagle pistol in 1985 (The Year of the Dragon, Commando), it sparked a fan following for this beefy semi-automatic which lasts to this day.
But what about those of us who like Sci-Fi action flicks? Do we have to feel left out of the fun? All too often futuristic films feature heroes wielding blasters forged from “unobtainium.” Their pistols and revolvers are either highly customized, like the full-auto Berretta 92FS used by the Grammaton Clerics (Equilibrium, 2002), or they are based on hard-to-find guns, like Han Solo's scoped Mauser C96 (Star Wars franchise). Either way, their rarity or expensive custom work commands exorbitant prices. This places these movie guns well out of the reach of the average enthusiast who just wants to punch some paper with a smile on their faces.
With this in mind, here are a few current production guns that can scratch the sci-fi blaster itch without the need of extensive custom work or having to sell your puny planet's civilization into slavery to the Grand High Conqueror Zyphylplex.
Bond Arms “Long Neck” Derringer
Bond Arms' double-barrel pistols are no strangers to the silver screen. Various models have cropped up in movies like Hot Pursuit (2015) and John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019). They can also be seen in TV in shows like Castle(ABC) and Nikita (The CW). But I'm waiting to see one of these big-bore, all-stainless steel derringers make a much deserved appearance in a space opera or dystopian future epic where handguns with enhanced dimensions are the norm.
Bond Arms’s interchangeable barrels and grips allow for easy "custom" modifications.
When the Hollywood gun wranglers decide to give me a call, I'm going to recommend the gun shown here which I’ve dubbed the “Bond Arms Long Neck.” The frame is borrowed from the company's budget priced Roughneck 9 mm pistol. It's less refined matte finish and soft black rubber grips give it a suggested retail price of $277 with real world prices closer to around $250.
These built-like-a-tank pocket pistols are made wholly from stainless steel with a rebounding hammer and other safety features. The factory grip fits the theme nicely so I saw no reason for an upgrade. The removable hinge pin allowed the Roughneck's 2.5" 9 mm barrel to be traded for an all-matte finish 6" barrel chambered for .45 Colt and .410 Bore shotgun shells. The longer barrel blends in perfectly with the frame and can be ordered from the company’s website for $310. The Long Neck looks impressive and, believe it or not, these long-barrel derringers are a hoot to shoot!
Fightlite SCR “Pirate” Pistol
Have you ever seen an AR-15 pistol that made you say, "Hee harrrgh me matties! We'll plunder the seven galaxies and all the worlds beyond, I tell ye!" If not, take a look at the Fightlite SCR pistol. It's all modern-day AR business up front with a grip that hearkens back to the flintlock pistols of the early 18th century. It's that just right balance of old and new for movies like Harlock: Space Pirate (2013) or Treasure Planet (2002).
The short, rounded grip gives the SCR an exceptionally compact profile for an AR-15 pistol.
The grip shape is made possible by the SCR's unique recoil assembly. Instead of a buffer tube, like most AR designs, the bolt assembly uses a hinged extension and spring which fit down into the grip, much like those used on some semi-automatic shotguns. This makes for a more compact and easy to carry design. The grip design also precludes the use of a stabilizing wrist brace which continues to be a potentially legally vague accessory at this point.
Complete pistols are available chambered in .223 Rem./5.56 NATO (SCR-556PM) or .300 BLK (SCR-300PM) for a suggested retail price of $999.99. If you already have a .223 Rem. AR-15 pistol upper on hand, Brownells offers a ready-to-use SCR lower assembly (100-026-429WB) for $575. The burning question for me is just how well it shoots. Putting this type of grip on a shotgun like the Mossberg Shockwave seems more workable since shot shell patterns tend to spread out a bit. But with the low recoil of the SCR and a good red dot sight, I'll bet it shoot's well enough to get the job done. I’m hoping to try it and find out.
Kriss Vector SDP Pistol
The Kriss USA Vector series of pistol-caliber personal defense weapons have been seen in the hands of fictional mercenaries and soldiers in a variety of film franchises including The Avengers, Divergent, Maze Runner and Resident Evil. Available in various combat configurations, civilian legal models include the semi-automatic Vector CRB carbine or the Vector SPD pistol configuration which is shown here. The carbine and the pistol both look sci-fi, but the pistol is an especially good fit for the big screen.
The relatively low position of the barrel contributes to the Vector’s reduced muzzle flip design.
The SDP's unusually wide, square frame shape is due to the Kriss “Super V” diverted recoil system. An inertia block travels downwards against a recoil spring set into a space located in between the magazine well, which is just behind the barrel, and the grip. The goal of the design is to reduce muzzle flip. The barrel rests almost below the trigger which gives the gun an exceptionally low bore axis. The SPDs are available in three colors including Black, Flat Dark Earth and Storm Trooper, oops, I mean Alpine White with a suggested retail price of $1,445. You can see the Gen II version of this gun in action by following this link.
Taurus Raging Hunter in .460 S&W Revolver
Japanese anime movies from the 1980s and 1990s spawned a variety of eye-popping (and sometimes physics-defying) big-bore revolvers that blended stylized profiles, futuristic sighting systems and oversized cylinders. They fit right in with dusty off-world settings, fashionably dressed bounty hunters and spacecraft cobbled together from mismatched parts.
The Taurus Raging Hunter is built tough for big-bore calibers.
A production revolver that looks like it was sent over from central casting and ships ready to impress right out of the box is the Taurus Raging Hunter. This model is available in several configurations and calibers. But the one that rings the sci-fi blaster bell for me is the 5.12" barrel two-tone version chambered for .460 Smith & Wesson.
The black barrel has a sleek, beveled profile enhanced with a heavy under lug, ported barrel cut outs and a no-nonsense silver barrel nut. The top of the barrel features an integral 2.5" long 5-slot Picatinny rail for attaching magnified or red dot optics. The massive frame supports an impressive 5-shot cylinder that will safely chamber and fire the sausage-size .460 S&W cartridge as well as .454 Casull, .45 Colt +P and .45 Colt loads. It's fitted with a big, shock absorbing rubber grip to help manage its 3 lbs. 13 oz. weight. This version has a suggested retail price of $1081.67
Honorable Mention: The Heritage "Space Cowboy" .22 LR Revolver
Most of the guns mentioned so far sport price tags comparable to those attached to quality AR-15 rifles. While this is not an exorbitant amount to some, others are not ready to make that kind of financial commitment. So here's an honorable mention for a model that goes easy on the savings account.
The "sci-fi" updates to this rimfire revolver may look a bit out of place but they make the gun more fun to shoot!
As I mentioned in the review of this gun, when I saw the Heritage Manufacturing, Inc. Tactical Cowboy for the first time I thought it should be called the “Space Cowboy.” It looks like it would fit right in with the other modified revolvers seen in the short lived, but much loved, TV series Firefly (2002).
This single-action rimfire arrives ready to use with a fiber front sight, 6-shot .22 LR cylinder and polymer grip panels for a suggested retail price of $212.88. No additional accessories are needed to enjoy this gun. But the threaded barrel, Picatinny optics rail, interchangeable custom cylinders and the variety of affordable replacement grips Heritage provides makes it a gun you can dress up without breaking the bank. To see the range report and the accessories that were tested with this gun, follow this link.