It is somewhat comforting to know that even in a future with starships, teleporters, and holodecks, the humble handgun still has its place. If you’re going to create a sci-fi setting, you’re going to need some great looking sci-fi guns. While a lot of the genre’s most iconic firearms are actually modified versions of existing guns, there are a handful that are completely unique. In this list we’ll run through the most memorable handguns in sci-fi history. We couldn’t include everything, but we did cover the best of the best.
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid,” Han Solo eloquently stated in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
We couldn’t agree more.
1. The BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster
Han Solo’s signature handgun from the Star Wars series, this prop is actually derived from a Mauser C96 pistol with some shiny parts added on. In fact, observant viewers will even spot the handgun’s distinctive broomhandle grips on the blaster.
In real life the Mauser shoots 7.63x25mm, but in fiction it, uh, shoots first.
2. Auto 9
We can’t wait until the day that Beretta finally decides to make this gun from the original RoboCop. A heavily modified version of the Beretta 93R machine pistol, this behemoth handgun is the perfect armament for cyborg protagonist Alex Murphy. It may also barrow some technology from the Tardis, since the standard magazine that comes with this handgun (as seen below) can hold 50 rounds.
The Auto 9 can also fire in three-round bursts. That typically doesn’t matter, since as a cyborg RoboCop is by default an aimbot.
3. The Noisy Cricket
Although not based on any existing firearm, the laughably small firearm used by Will Smith’s character in Men in Black is among the most powerful handguns on this list. It is also one of the most poorly designed. With a recoil powerful enough to throw an adult shooter several feet in the opposite direction, it can be realistically inferred that in the real world, this gun would probably break your wrist.
Also, Agent J learns about muzzle discipline from the Cricket.
4. The Lawgiver Mk II
Oh yes, this Swiss Army knife of a gun from Judge Dredd has made it onto this list. Based on a Beretta 92FS, the gun’s firing modes include full auto, grenade, armor-piercing, and something called a “double whammy.”
In real life the Beretta 92FS is only chambered for 9x19mm. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t have the security feature which electrocutes you. We can only imagine the number of ways that could go wrong.
5. The Samaritan
As a giant red demon from another dimension, you’d think that Hellboy probably doesn’t need another weapon aside from his massive fists. Well, you’d be wrong. Proving that just about everybody—whether they’re native to earth or not—loves a revolver, Hellboy’s signature weapon is the massive revolver called the Samaritan. Capable of firing specialized monster-killing rounds filled with holy water and garlic, the gun seems to have been inspired by a Webley or Schofield revolver.
6. Bio-organic gun
Hopefully you don’t have a weak stomach. This bio-organic gun from 1999’s eXistenZ may very well make you lose your lunch—or in one case, be built from it. Constructed nearly entirely from the bones of genetically modified fish, this creepy gun shoots human teeth and can’t be picked up by metal detectors.
Yeah, not one we’d want to take to the range either.
7. Moses Brothers Self-Defense Engine Frontier Model B
It’s been stretched out and had some new metal parts added to it, but the gun Captain Malcolm Reynolds uses in Firefly can be nothing else than a Taurus Model 85. One big difference, however, is that the futuristic laser version replaced the revolver cylinders with a conventional magazine.
8. Blade Runner blaster
Rick Deckard’s handgun from Blade Runner, this gun is actually constructed from parts of a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver and a Steyr-Mannlicher Model SL rifle. The resulting Franken-gun is an intimidating service gun for the Los Angeles Police Department of the far-flung future—well, as futuristic as 2019 gets anyway. We have no idea what it shoots, but it seems to do the job pretty well.
9. Zat’nik’tel (or Zat for short)
As expected, alien weapons would warp the meaning of “handgun” a bit, but this strangely-shaped energy weapon from Stargate SG-1 only fits the broadest definitions of the term. Crafted in the image of a serpent, the Zat is an energy weapon designed used by the alien Goa’uld and their quasi-human slaves, the Jaffa. One shot to any part of the body will incapacitate the target, while a second shot would be lethal. Surprisingly, a third shot will completely disintegrate the victim and their clothing—making the Zat perhaps one of the most versatile guns on this list.
Of course there was no way we could end this list without including the iconic Phaser from Star Trek. Much like the Zat, this futuristic weapon can be used to stun, kill, or even disintegrate its targets. A mainstay of Starfleet, this directed energy weapon one-ups automatic fire by firing a continuous beam. We’re not sure if there is a shotgun version, but there probably should be.
What are some of your favorite blasters and bazookas from sci-fi flicks?