Guns of the Silver Screen: V20N5

By Kyle Shea

Captain America’s Guns

Who’s strong and brave, and here to save the American Way?

Captain America, AKA Steve Rogers, has become an enduring icon to many Americans ever since he first appeared in his own comic book in Captain America comics #1 in 1940. On the front cover, it shows him punching the ultimate Nazi, Adolf Hitler, in the face. The story inside tells the Captain’s backstory, how he was originally a weak and frail young man, but was given super soldier serum that made him stronger and faster than before. One year after the comic’s release, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, forcing America into World War II.

In 2011, Captain America: The First Avenger hit theaters all over the world. It starred Chris Evans as the Captain himself, Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, and Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips. It was a box office hit and was well liked by critics. It was a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which includes the Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk movies.

Being a World War II Movie, most of the firearms are from that era. Bucky Barnes carries an M1941 Johnson Semiautomatic Rifle with a movie prop scope, which he uses as a sniper rifle, and a military issued M1928A1 Thompson. The Captain himself carries his trusty shield of course, but does use an M1911A1 pistol in a few scenes. He is also seen putting a M1928A1 Thompson submachine gun into a holster attached to his motorcycle.

The Hydra soldiers, the henchmen of the Red Skull, use ether a ray gun, or a movie magic gun made for the picture. These were AKM rifles, select fire, with a plastic clamshell movie prop surrounding it. In the movie these used ten round magazines to fire blanks, though there was what looked like an M16 magazine attached permanently at the back. The magazine at the back does not make sense from a realistic stand point, there being nothing attached to the area where it could load the bullets into the gun, but this is “Hollywood.” There are no special scenes with this gun in the movie, though the can be seen from a distance in many action sequences.

Other guns used in the movie were the Sten MK2 carried by James Montgomery Falsworth, an M3/M3A1 “Grease Gun” carried by Jim Morita, M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, M1903A1 Springfield rifles, and a Browning M1919A4 Machine Gun used by Gabe Jones.

Captain America: The First Avenger is a great movie for the family to enjoy. It has plenty of action and the characters are fun to watch. Hugo Weaving is great as the Red Skull, and the romance between Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter is enjoyable. It is also historically accurate when it comes to the guns and most of the vehicles. All in all, a great movie for the Fourth of July and America. Bapty Ltd of London supplied the weapons in this movie, and Tony Watts of Bapty allowed us to photograph this famous movie gun for SAR.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V20N5 (June 2016)
and was posted online on April 22, 2016


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