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The Guns of Sin City:

Before I get into the guns, I have to give some kudos to the Director, Robert Rodriguez. He is, without a doubt, the best Director on the planet. All of his films are amazingly unique. No One Hit Wonder here. When Sin City came out, I knew I had to write this article. To say it is visually stunning, is like saying Jessica Alba is frigging outrageously hot. It goes without saying... its redundant. But it is, as much as she is. And the best thing of it, is that she is in it being frigging outrageously hot.

I'm not a follower of Frank Miller's Sin City series of comic books and graphic novels. I don't read such things... but I have in the past and know what they are all about. Sin City is a movie made into a graphic novel, which is an interesting twist and unlike any other comic book come movie you have ever seen. This was R-R's whole point. So on one hand you have this movie that is just a visual masterpiece. On the other hand, you have what has to be the most violent flick I've ever seen. I've never felt in a movie... not even in a “Slasher Flick”, that this is too violent for my tastes... Sin City gave me that impression. Now, just because Sin City is based on some comic book jive, don't think for a minute that this is something that a kid can watch. This is more of an adults only kind of picture. It's just too much for young eyes. I'm not saying that lightly. I think 9 and ½ Weeks is more suitable for kids than Sin City.

The Casting is fantastic. Everyone is just awesome for each roll... Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke... Del Toro finally has a roll that he is suitable for! (First one since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) Love Jessica Alba and Brittany Murphy... they are perfect choices for the rolls.

R-R has done almost everything digitally, but he isn't the first one to do this. Remember “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”? This flick shows us just what is possible in moving making today... but it took R-R, one of the Digital Film pioneers to really take the new medium and just own it. Shooting in Digital is all his. I'm sure he could make a fine picture again using traditional film, but I don't think he would want to even bother with celluloid film's limitations. It would be like filling a 5th wheel trailer to the back of a new Porsche Cayman. Sure could pull it, but it's much better without the drag.

As I have said before, I've not read the Sin City universe of graphic novels and comic books... so my examination of the weapons will be limited to just what we see on the screen. So lets begin, chapter by chapter.

Chapter 1.

The first weapon we see comes to us as a surprise... an unwanted and unpleasant intrusion. It shocks the audience into the sense that this movie is not to be taken for granted. It will surprise you. The gun is a classic 1911 Government model, stainless steel with a flat finish. It sports traditional double diamond wood grips and GI sights. We can not ID the make, because the gun has no markings at all. It could be Springfield, Detonics, or anybody. The muzzle end looks odd. Like it was digitally altered, but done so with an incorrect perspective angle. But then again maybe that's just the lighting. Obviously it also has a suppressor attached. If this handgun is supposed to be a .45 ACP chambered weapon, well, I've never heard a suppressed .45 sound like that. Ever. Movie Magic right there. But hey, this is Frank Miller's universe, so who am I to quibble? If this character is a hitman, and he seems to be, then the suppressed .45 is an excellent choice. Even being suppressed, the .45ACP is an outstanding caliber. It hardly looses any energy because of it's sectional density and overall mass... and to make it work with a suppressor, you don't have do download it to keep it under the speed of sound. It is not a supersonic caliber to begin with. “Big and Slow” they say. Thanks to it's heavy impact, a .45ACP hollowpoint can still expand nicely. Expansion on top of its already impressive girth makes for a tremendous amount of tissue damage. Often more so than other calibers even if it doesn't doesn't expand. With the right loads and the right suppressor, a suppressed .45ACP just might be the most effective covert handgun on the planet.

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 starts out with a very old school weapon. A club. In this case, the club takes the form of a lead pipe. Never underestimate the potential damage that can be distributed with these simple weapons. Simplicity is one advantage of a stick, club, pipe or bat... the other advantage that they have is that every boy around the world knows how to swing them. You probably spent many hours as a boy swinging a club of some sort at things like balls, bushes, or people you were mad at.... whatever the case may be. Looks like Bruce Willis has had some time at bat. He swings a home run on Clown 1, putting him down and out. Clown 2 then draws an automatic just before my man Bruce knocks it out of the park with another swing that would make Casey Jones proud. Wait a second... that automatic... let's look at that for a second. I had to back the DVD up frame by frame, and track it forward frame by frame to be sure on this one... but it looks like Clown 2 here is packing Robocop's full auto Beretta. With the vented full length rails and extended slide... that's the pistol used by Robocop. Funny that it should show up here. I'm not sure why this gun was selected. But given the character inappropriate vocabulary used by Clown 2, a character inappropriate handgun might be what they were going for here. At least it wasn't a Desert Eagle. A better choice in my opinion would have been a Charter Arms Bulldog given the era vibe they have going on so far. As it is, let's just be grateful that this pistol was out of focus the whole time it was on screen.

I am not the best source for identifying S&W revolvers. They all look pretty much alike as far as I am concerned. Bruce pulls out a largish looking S&W as stands giving us an impressive hero shot with tons of dramatic flair. Looks awesome and makes a bold statement. This revolver is an older model triple lock, perhaps a target version of the old Military and Police model. The cylinder looks like its a .38 special, which would be about right for the character and the era they are making him out to be in... powerful enough with the right loads, while being pin point accurate with that long barrel and sight radius. This gun fits the character perfectly. Even if it is a .38 Special (I'm guessing here) it still delivers full house summer action movie performance when Bruce kicks in a door and blows away two nameless thugs before catching a round himself in the arm.

The guy that shoots Bruce in the arm, the Senator's son, is packing a 1911 marked as a “Colt” and looks like it could be an Officer's model. Small but potent, the Officer's model is one of the better CCW (concealed carry weapon) choices out there... a perfect back up weapon.

Bruce has little luck here, and is backstabbed by his partner... well, back shot to be exact. The Partner character is a real slick fellow... wearing a fancy leather trench when Bruce is wearing canvas or some other rougher fabric for his trench. This might mean something... that this partner is making some more scratch than Bruce... Bruce is using his old .38 with an obviously worn finish... Probably carried it his whole career as a cop. The Partner on the other hand is packing a fancy Colt Python .357, looks like a 4 inch. The Python is one of the more spendy revolvers out there for some good reasons. It is one of the most slick and polished revolvers out there that you can get, has a really good trigger and action, and feels like a million bucks in your hand. Generally Python shooters are shooters with some jingle in their pockets. The Partner's Python is sporting some nice target style grips btw. I've known a few cops that packed Pythons... they were dirty too. Not that any cop that carries one is dirty... they just have spendy taste is all.

Chapter 3.

The cops busting in on Mickey Rourke's character are packing what seems to be prop-gun-modified Ingram Mac-10's. At least one of them is for certain given the muzzle end and the shape of the reciever. A Mac is not a typical SWAT guy's choice for an entry gun, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. The Mac offers a couple things that any SWAT trooper would appreciate. One being good reliability (I'm talking about the Ingrams of course, not the myriad of knockoffs and clowns and guns made under new management. Of course, one can not tell it this is an Ingram or a knockoff... I'm just talking about the original here) and the other being an impressive cycle rate.

The action sequence that follows the cops arrival at the door is nothing short of spectacular. Especially the way “Marv” gets the use of a police car. That's just sweet... but very far from the realm of any possibility. Marv is a walking train wreck.

The train wreck heads over to his very pretty and very undressed parole officer, who looks amazing with her nickel plated snub nosed model 60 .38 with boot grips. A good choice for the sort that carries the gun all the time buy only rarely fires it. After talking with this lovely morsel, Marv heads to a bar and we see all sorts of pretty. Just when we get comfortable, Marv gets a gun pushed into his spine. From the light coming through the ventilated rub across the top of the barrel, I'm guessing that this gun is another Colt Python. You know, I've almost purchased a Python several times... such sweet revolvers. Not the sturdiest or strongest which is why I have always hesitated to making the commitment.

The other hitman is packing a 1911 of some sort, one that I can not ID here, but will later as this becomes Marv's “Gladius” of choice. We will see an awful lot of 1911's in this picture and I am not going to get tired of it. The 1911 is just so good... (unless you are my friend Steve who makes them and most other automatics jam like a jazz band) This is also where we learn of Marv's fetish for trench coats... everyone in this flick wears one, but Marv has a thing for them. Odd, that. Well, maybe not so odd because everyone keeps putting holes and tears in Marv's coat.

Oops, wait a second here... we catch a glimps of Goldie here in this dark alley. We get a nice close up of her pretty and hostile face. In the picture with her face is a shiny little revolver that I thought was another S&W at first, but upon examining the frame by frame we see that this is actually a Taurus revolver. Its easy to make the mistaken ID, because Taurus makes S&W clones... pretty good ones too, but I prefer their Tracker and Raging series of revolvers better. Taurus comes to us from Brazil and they also make a damn fine Beretta clone too. Best Beretta clone out there short of Beretta, and in some models they are actually better if I dare say so. They actually put the safety lever on the frame where it should be, but that is another subject altogether and I am off track now. The snubby... yes... it's good choice. Quality is comparable to S&W but you can shave a couple hundred dollars off the MSRP on these guns. Lifetime warranty too, which is something that I like, a nice bonus.

Marv's 1911 again. We see him use it to slay an evil priest, but this time we can read some markings thanks to PowerDVD's technology. We see that it says “Model 1911-A1”. Classic. Come guns just give me warm fuzzies, I don't know about you...

Some time later, we see Marv get his butt kicked by Frodo the Hobbit gone bad – very bad. After he gets his butt kicked and drops the .45, he is able to pick it up again, and this time we can read the other side of the automatic. It says “Springfield” on it. This is why I got those warm fuzzies... I love Springfield for some reason.

Then the goon squad shows up, all dressed up fancy and packing Micro Uzis. The Uzi family doesn't get any nastier than this... they are small but outrageously brutal. Endless magazines with a high rate of fire in a package that conceals surprisingly well. I had one once, but actually didn't like it. I prefer the Mini Uzi, which is the in between model right there on the middle of the Uzi line up. Uzi's are a favorite for VIP protection... the US Secret Service uses them, but mostly the Mini version.
Hatchets are also a personal favorite and I think every guy should have one... if you go out into the woods they are just so much better than a large knife, even those Survival style knives... unless you are talking about a Kukri, but them things are a class all by themselves. Still, Hatchets rock. Marv shows you one of the reasons... nasty and brutal. Gotta love a small axe!


Chapter 4

Del Toro packs a .45 caliber 1911 too. He shows it to us after drinking from the big white bowl owned by Brittany Murphy... probably a lot of guys would drink from Brittany Murphy's bowl too. No, I don't like her that much, but she is yummy for a wee slip of a lass. Ahem. Where was I? Oh, that sodden Del Toro shaking his heater at no one.

Red shoes and a car chase later, lots of pretty pull out a lot of hardware... more than a whole season of Miami Vice. (now available on DVD btw, you should check into it) We see a Walther P-99, some Glocks, Springfields, you name it... but the interesting guns are the ones on the hips of the Zorro looking chick.. (damn is she pretty! Her name is Dallas btw) She is brandishing a pair of single action revolvers patterned to look something like Colt Peacemakers... in this case these guns are Ruger Vaqueros and are a bit bigger and heavier than the Peacemakers. They are wildly popular with the Cowboy Action crowd. Later we see these to guns in another sort of Cowboy Action. ahem.

A little food for thought, would a pair of Peacemakers still be a viable choice today for personal or home protection? Sure they would be. They are not without their limitations, given their slow reload speeds, but there are few problems that can not be resolved with twelve rounds of .45 Long Colt. They wouldn't be my first choice, but they would serve just fine. They did so back in their day, didn't they? Being able to deliver a heavy payload of violence with accuracy is not something that ever really gets outdated. The Rugers being even more stout than the original Colts are capable of even more powerful ammunition... no... not outdated... not ever. You are not going to shoot a goblin with a hot .45 Long Colt, and have him looking down at that hole through his chest big enough to park a Mini Cooper in, and have him say “Hey, that's too old fashioned!”

Clive Owen's character has some style... his shoes (l love those Converse Chuck Taylors but my wife wont let me buy them because they look too faddish now days) and his Caddy and his matched pair of Government models... gotta love that. If you want too a flick filled with two fisted 1911's you need to check out “Last Man Standing” with our man, Bruce Willis.

Clive doesnt' get to use the two 1911's as a tasty looking treat screws a Mini Uzi unto his ear. I don't know what they said, I was too busy looking at what she was wearing... or wasn't wearing... woof! Now some more about the Uzi's... they are largely under appreciated anymore. There was a time when they were The Choice when it came to submachine guns... Then there was a hostage situation that got some video aired and the guys that saved the hostages and killed the badguys were packing HK MP5's.... so everyone in a serious job HAD to have HK MP5's. And you think Converse Chuck Taylot All Star sneakers are faddish? Sheesh. No, the Uzi is in my opinion every bit as good as an MP5. They are just as reliable, almost as accurate, they have a good rate of fire for accurate control while firing full auto... and they are a hell of a lot lighter than the MP5 SMGs. This Mini is my favorite verison... look at that gun... sexy! No, the gun this time, I'm talking about the Uzi... I swear.

Swords don't really go out of style either. For CQB, they do very well... never jam, and they never run out of ammo... they can do some serious damage in the hands of someone who knows how to really use them.
Sometime later we catch a brief glimpse of a Steyr AUG rifle after it puts a round into Clive's chest.. well, at least the badge Clive is carrying in his pocket. Some grenades, some uzis, and more of the same... then Dallas gets shot up and drops her Rugers... she should have had more screen time, damn it!

Chapter 5

Powers Booth monologues over Bruce Willis, during which time he pulls out a neat little .45 auto. No, it's not a Detonics, I think its a Springfield Micro Compact. They are actually smaller than the Detonics Combat Masters. Can't tell exactly what this one is. Guns of this sort are especially neat. They often still hold at least 5 rounds of full power .45ACP goodness, in a package that is every bit as small and concealable as a snub nosed .38. Great CCW choice, and .45ACP does just fine out of a short barrel. Personally I prefer lighter bullet weights in small .45 guns like this, my normal preferred 230 grain drops to 185 grains, but that's just my opinion. A truly classic package.

Skinny little Nancy Callahan is nicely strapped with Dallas' Rugers. I'm pretty sure they are the same guns, but I cant' tell... Dallas had pearl handles and these could be ivory... I can't tell because I'm too damn distracted by Jessica Alba moving in ways that can make a priest want to kick in a stained glass window.

The only thing cooler than Jessica gyrating while wearing chaps... uh, I mean her Rugers... ahem... is her '57 Chevy Wagon, but lets get back to the guns back in the bar. We see “That Yellow Bastard” sitting at a table holding a Beretta 92FS. This is one of my favorite 9MM automatics, second only to my beloved CZ P-01. The Beretta has a world wide reputation for accuracy, reliability, and shear automatic handgun “Git'er done” attitude. They are also one of the best looking full size automatic handguns on planet – if not THE best looking. They are widely clowned and copied.

Side note about the Taurus made clones... the Taurus line of Beretta style guns started out not really as clones as all... They were made to Beretta specs, on Beretta machinery... pure blood Beretta DNA there. Since Beretta sold their machinery to Taurus Forge in Brazil, Taurus has slowly made changes to the design... moving the safety off the slide and down to the frame where it should have always been... they even made a .45 off the 92 style platform, something Beretta was never able to do. If you want a Beretta but can't afford the sticker price, by all means take a good long look at what Taurus has to offer. I don't mean to pimp out Taurus, but if that is what you are looking for, it's a good option.

We are now near the end of the picture as far as this review is concerned... all the guns we see from here on out are guns we have already seen... The Ruger revolver teaches us a good lesson when it comes to gun fighting: take your time to aim well, but don't take too much time. Oh yeah, we also get to see Robocops Beretta again for one last time... man, I have always hated that gun. Never liked any of the Robocop movies either. They just bugged me.

Well, this is pretty much it... I'm done talking about he guns... I'm going to rewind back to the dancing. Excuse me.




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Copyright G H Hill 1999-2012

Graphic Artwork by Martin White


“I keep two magnums in my desk drawer. One is a gun that I keep loaded.  The other is a bottle and it keeps me loaded.”

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