The Guns of 24
Day 1 When the first episode of Fox’s 24 aired on November 6, 2001, it struck a chord with American...
When the first episode of Fox’s 24 aired on November 6, 2001, it struck a chord with American audiences for a few reasons. It had an innovative (at the time) format, in that the series took place in real time, each episode representing one hour in a 24-hour time range, such as “12:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.,” with a total of 24 episodes. This had a way of heightening the tension if done right, and a way of dragging things out, as later seasons would prove.
The show’s timing, for a nation freshly reeling from the 9/11 terror attacks, couldn’t have been better. Kiefer Sutherland played Jack Bauer, who is pretty much the definition of a super agent working for the federal Counter Terrorism Unit or CTU based in Los Angeles. He had super-high-level security clearances, the latest technology, and a mission to go above and beyond to hunt down terrorists. He was a welcome hero with an identifiable mission, with each episode ending as a cliffhanger, and the show became instantly popular.
In the first season of 24, Jack Bauer establishes himself as a small arms expert (among many other skills) and carries a SIG-Sauer P229 with a matte stainless slide and stainless controls as his main sidearm through the season, sometimes with a suppressor affixed.
Every once in awhile, the pistol changes to a P229 for several scenes in a well-known gaffe. The P228 is a compact 9mm version of the company’s P226 with a shorter slide and barrel with a 13-round magazine. The model was the standard sidearm of the FBI in the late 1980s for a time, before the agency briefly switched to a 10mm handgun.
Returning for a second season, Bauer again carries a SIG-Sauer P228 that occasionally changes to a P229. The season is set 18 months after the first season, with Bauer racing to stop a nuclear bomb from detonating in LA, before helping the president prove who is responsible for the threat and stop an impending war. All in a day’s work.
Season 3 saw a change for Bauer’s kit. He ditched the SIG and carried a Heckler & Koch USP Compact. Bauer briefly used full-sized USPs in a few episodes of season 1 and 2, but this is the first time we see him with a Compact. This remains his regular firearm until the end of the regular series.
Set three years after Season 2, the day begins at 1:00 p.m. with Jack working to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel to seize a deadly virus that’s being marketing underground, while President Palmer deals with a potentially serious scandal.
According to imfdb.org, Sutherland is a bit of a method actor and only used two H&K USP Compacts throughout the run of the series, because he doesn’t like to change props. Additionally, he only wore one of three real Kevlar bulletproof vests throughout all eight seasons.
As the name suggests, the H&K USP Compact is a scaled-down version of the USP, which itself is a scaled-down version of the Mk223 Mod 0 pistols used by the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Because of the smaller dimensions, magazines for the Compact often have a handgrip extension or a flat floorplate. The pistol is available in 9x19mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. The size of the gun prohibits the use of a mechanical recoil reduction system like the USP. Instead, it uses a polymer bushing as a recoil buffering system, which is designed to absorb energy at the end of the slide’s travel rearward.
Sutherland returned as Bauer in Season 4 with his USP Compact 18 months after Season 3. Jack has to save the lives of his new boss, Secretary of Defense James Heller, and Heller’s daughter Audrey Raines (with whom Jack is romantically involved) when they are kidnapped by terrorists. Meanwhile, a terrorist named Habib Marwan uses the kidnapping as a ruse to launch attacks against the U.S., forcing Jack to use some unorthodox methods to stop him.
This season sees Bauer use the USP Compact with a suppressor for the first time. Addtionally, Bauer uses a suppressed Beretta 92FS that he captures from a downed bad guy. He also uses a SIG Pro SP 2009 that he gets from Ronnie Lobell to hold some people hostage.
In episode 3, Bauer has to take out some terrorists at long range, putting him behind a bolt-action Accuracy International AWP also known as the Arctic Warfare, because it has some features that improve performance in very cold conditions without impairing use in less extreme conditions. It’s chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win) and has a 10-round detachable box magazine.
Season 5 sees Bauer return with the USP Compact, again leaping ahead 18 months in time, but it’s not the same Jack Bauer. The season starts off with everyone except a few of his close friends thinking he’s dead. He’s forced to resurface when some of the people who know about him being alive are killed and he’s framed by the terrorists who did it.
To make things worse, the terrorists have tendrils in the American government, and they have some nerve gas and itchy trigger fingers.
We also see Bauer briefly use a Glock 19 in episode one, when he grabs it from beneath a sofa cushion when someone knocks at his door.
At the beginning of Season 6, set 20 months after Season 5, Bauer is released after being detained in a Chinese prison following the events of the previous season. He must stop terrorists who have a vendetta with him from setting off nuclear suitcase devices in America. So, of course, he straps on his USP Compact and saddles up again.
Bauer also takes a Beretta Px4 Storm in .40 S&W off Mike in episode 20. He is also able to acquire a Px4 from a dead CTU guard during the attack on CTU by Chinese operatives in episode 21.
He also uses a Makarov PM in episode 13 at the Russian consulate to dispatch a few guards and in episode 2 he briefly uses a SIG-Sauer P229R. In episode 21, Jack uses a H&K G36C assault rifle.
Because of the 2007-08 writer’s strike, Season 7was delayed for a full year. To bridge the gap, Fox produced a TV movie called 24: Redemption that takes place three years and six months after Season 6, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Bauer finds himself caught up in a military coup in the fictional African nation of Sangala on America’s inauguration day. Militants are being provided assistance from officials within the U.S. where Allison Taylor is being sworn in as the first female President.
Bauer uses a Glock 19 with an extended slide release during the shootout at the school. When he runs out of ammo, he picks up a AKS-47 rifle with an under-folding stock that magically becomes a Norinco Type 84S rifle in 5.56 later on.
When Season 7 finally did air, it was set two months after the events of Redemption, with Bauer and his trusty USP Compact assisted by the FBI and covert operatives when the firewall for America’s federal computer infrastructure is breached by the same people responsible for the events in the TV movie. Bauer must uncover corruption within President Taylor’s administrations, which has allowed the Sangalans to raid the White House and capture the President.
In some episodes, he’s seen using a Glock 19, which is the FBI’s standard sidearm in the season. He also briefly uses a Beretta 92FS.
During the kidnapping scene, Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida use Heckler & Koch MP7A1 submachine guns they acquired from Emerson’s arsenal to assault the bad guy’s base of operations in Episode 7.
During the shootout with the Starkwood Mercenaries in episode 15, Bauer uses Tony’s Mk 18 Mod 0-Inspired CQB rifle equipped with an Aimpoint M4 red dot sight, an AImpoint 3x Magnifier on a flip-to-side mount, a Gemtech G5 suppressor, a LaRue Tactical 7.0 railed handguard, Yankee Hill Mfg. front and rear iron sights, a DPMS Inc. 4-railed Gas Block, and a Vltor Modstock.
Season 8 was the final season that would conform to the original format of 24 episodes. covering 24 hours of plot in real time. Again jumping 18 months after the previous season, it kicked off with a retired Bauer being brought in by CTU to uncover a Russian plot to assassinate Islamic leader Omar Hassan during peace negotiations with U.S. President Taylor. There’s also a dirty bomb in the mix and Jack is seeking personal retribution for losses he suffered at the hands of both the Russian and American governments.
As in previous seasons, Bauer’s main sidearm is the H&K USP Compact, which he also uses with a suppressor in episode 16.
Again, Jack briefly uses a Beretta 92FS in episode 8 that he gets off one of Bazhaev’s men, and he uses a Taurus Judge “Public Defender” in episodes 19 and 20.
As you can see above, Bauer examines a highly customized Springfield M1-A rifle that belongs to Russian assassin Pavel Tokarev fit with a scope and suppressor. Though it was used in production stills for the season, Bauer never fires it on-screen. He calls it a Springfield M1-A Rifle firing the .308 Win round.
At the end of episode 23 and at the beginning of episode 24, Bauer uses an FN SCAR-L fitted with an Advanced Armament Corp. BLACKOUT flash suppressor, telescopic sight, foregrip bipod, and laser designator to target Charles Logan and Russian President Yuri Suvarov in the U.N. building.
And for the second time in the entire series, we see Bauer using a shotgun. In episode 10 we see Bauer chamber a round into a Remington 870 with a pistol grip and all-black furniture, but he never actually fires it on screen. He also picks up an M26 MASS, but never uses it. In season 4, Bauer uses several shotguns during the sporting good store scene, including another Reminton 870 and two different Mossberg 590s.
24: Live Another Day
But the end of the show wasn’t the end of Jack Bauer’s adventures. in 2014, 24: Live Another Day aired as a 12-episode limited series set in the same universe as the regular 24 show. Set four years after the events of S8, Bauer is still on the run from the U.S. government and finds himself in the middle of yet another potential terrorist event, this time in London when he gets wind of a plot involving hijacked U.S. military drones and the possible assassination of President James Heller (William Devane). Though the season was only 12 episodes, it still covered 24 hours of time, including a time jump before the final episode.
With a change in setting, Bauer also changed his regular pistol from the H&K USP Compact to a 9mm H&K P30, often fitted with a suppressor. The SA/DA handgun falls somewhere between a compact and subcompact, with a 15-round magazine that is commonly issued to police forces in Europe, especially Germany.
Bauer is also seen using a Glock 17 and a SIG-Sauer P226R during the season and in episode 6 he briefly uses a captured Steyr M9-A1. He also uses a Heckler & Koch HK416 rifle in the final episode.
People who stayed tuned into Fox after this year’s Super Bowl saw the premier of a new era for the show, a series called 24: Legacy, which is technically a spinoff from the original series.
The show follows military hero Eric Carter (Corey Hawkins) who returns to the U.S. with a whole lot of trouble from his days as an Army Ranger. He’s living under an assumed identity after conducting an assault on the base of terrorist Ibrahim Bin Khalid under the orders of now former CTU director Rebecca Ingram (Miranda Otto).
The series, like Live Another Day, covers 24 hours in 12 episodes instead of the longer, original format. According to the network, Legacy will also feature connections to the previous series, with Carlos Bernard reprising his role as Tony Almeida. While Sutherland has returned as an executive producer for the show, it’s unclear if Jack Bauer will make an appearance on Legacy.
So far, there has been a lot of gunplay. Hawkins has mainly used a Beretta M9A3, the updated version of the military’s M9A1 (they skipped the A2). Beretta tried to sell the Army on the A3 as an update to the M9 that would keep it in service. Instead, the Army held trials for a new pistol.
In addition to the new color and Cerakote finish, the A3 updates include a 17-round magazine (increased from 15 rounds), an integrated 3-slot Picatinny rail, a thinner vertical grip for improved control and less conspicuous concealed carry, removable wrap-around grip that can be swapped between Vertec-style and M9 style grips, removable sights so that users can select night sights or fiber optic sights or tall sights for use with a suppressor, a universal slide which makes it convertible from decocker-safety to decocker-only mode, and sand-resistant magazines.
In the show, Carter’s wife, Nicole (Anna Diop) uses the gun first after retrieving it from the house safe in the first episode when some bad guys come calling. She saves them with it, allowing Carter to use one of the bad guys’ suppressed Astra 400 pistol.
Check out a trailer for the first season of 24:
And a trailer for 24: Legacy