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Guns of the Silver Screen: V20N6

By Kyle Shea

“Speed” (1994)

In 1994, “Mad Bomber” Howard Payne took an elevator full of people hostage with a bomb, and then demanded a large amount of money. Two police officers, Jack Tavern and Harry Temple, manage to save the hostages on the elevator, but learn that Payne is not far away, in another elevator. They attempt to get to him by climbing down the elevator shaft above him, but Payne hears them and starts shooting his Mossberg 500 shotgun at them. He soon runs out of ammo, but manages to escape, where he plays a sick extortion game with a bus full of innocent people.

This is the plot to “Speed,” a 1994 movie that is considered one of the best movies from the nineties. Jack Tavern is played by Keanu Reeves and Harry Temple is played by Jeff Daniels. Howard Payne is played by Dennis Hopper, and Sandra Bullock plays a passenger on the bus. It’s a great movie and was a financial and critical success, even getting a sequel a few years later, though nowhere near as good as the original.

One of the prominent guns in the movie is a Mossberg 500. It was designed by Oscar Fredrick Mossberg and was put into production in 1960. It is currently being used in eleven countries and is popular for home defense or camping. It is a pump action shotgun, where the handgrip is used to pump back and forth to both eject spent cartridges and load fresh ones in. O. F. Mossberg and Sons has other models of the Mossberg 500, including the Model 505, Model 535, and the Model 590.

The Mossberg 500 used in the movie has a factory pistol grip. Traditionally, it is used as a riot control gun, and is called a Mossberg 500 Mariner. Its weight is 5.2 pounds and is close to 26 inches long, with a 16 inch barrel, so it is a registered Short Barreled Shotgun. It was made by Ellis Mercantile in 1993, along with the second gun (Backup). The safety is on top and it lacks...


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