It took five movies for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to get there, but with 2012’s The Avengers, fans got to see what they’d waited decades for: one of the most popular superhero teams in comic book history in a big budget, live action movie.
The original team consists of Iron Man / Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), The Hulk / Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow / Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansen), and Hawkeye / Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) along with Samuel L. Jackson finally appearing as Nick Fury, the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. for more than a cameo.
Its hard to believe the THIRD sequel in the Avengers series and the 22nd movie in the ever expanding MCU is coming out this week.
The Avengers: Endgame, hitting theaters this week, is likely the final installment in Phase 3, the largest collection of MCU movies so far, which began with Captain America: Civil War in 2016.
For a movie about superheroes, the first Avengers movie has a decent number of firearms, and not just futuristic ray guns either. Let’s take a look.
While the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have similar gear when it comes to uniforms and gunbelts, they all carry different sidearms depending on the movie, and the main characters who are also a part of the organization carry pretty much whatever they prefer. Their leader, Nick Fury (Jackson), carries a Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm.
In the spinoff show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., all agents carry the M&P, while most agents in the movies use Glock 17s, but not all.
In Fury’s first appearance at the end of Iron Man2, he’s carrying a Glock 17 in a shoulder holster, but we never see him with that setup again.
Fury only carries one M&P in a drop leg holster on his right side. A gun in his left hand wouldn’t do much good, since he’s missing an eye on that side. The gun is featured prominent in publicity stills and posters and was fairly new when the movie was made.
The M&P is a striker fired polymer framed handgun platform that is now available in several configurations and calibers, including .380 ACP, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP in addition to the original 9mm chambering. It’s also available as a 22LR pistol as well as tactical versions with extended threaded barrels.
Sometimes a situation calls for more than just a handgun. In an attempt to stop a highjacked plane from launching from the SHIELD helicarrier, Fury uncases an Airtronic RPG-7 launcher, which is a modernized, U.S. manufactured version of the RPG-7.
It has been done up to fit with SHIELD’s futuristic weaponry and fires a movie magic custom warhead instead of a rocket-propelled grenade. A mercenary in Loki’s hideout is also seen briefly with the prop.
Black Widow is technically a SHIELD agent, but she doesn’t carry an M&P like her boss. Instead, she prefers to carry dual Glock 26 subcompact 9mm pistols in thigh holsters that she often fires akimbo.
The little pistols seem to have never ending flush-fit magazines, which is a good thing, because she doesn’t appear to carry any spare mags on her gunbelt, and there aren’t too many places on her skintight stealth suit where she could hide them.
She also has a strange stance when she’s firing both guns at the same time. wherein she locks out her elbows and holds the pistols above her eye line, seemingly firing downward at her target.
Maybe its just the camera angles, but in a movie with so much CG, its a strong probability she’s not even using blanks. Her Glock 26 pistols are likely just props, with the muzzle flashes and slide movement added later in post.
When Natasha uses a lone Glock 26 to confront Bruce Banner in a Calcutta hut, she displays a much better grip and handling of the gun than she does in the later full-out battle scenes.
In Black Widow’s introductory film, Iron Man 2, she carries a single, chrome Walther PPKS pistol in a BLACKHAWK! SERPA holster. She also uses an H&K USP Compact that she takes off a guard.
Captain America – Steve Rogers
In a flashback to his time fighting in WWII, Capt. Steve Rogers is seen holding an M1911A1 pistol along with his shield in footage taken from Captain America: The First Avenger. In that movie, he used a number of WWII era firearms to fight the forces of Hydra.
Once aboard the hijacked SHIELD helicarrier, Steve Rogers takes a Noveske N4 Diplomat carbine from a mercenary and is seen using to dispatch a couple bad guys while trying not to fall to his death.
According to imfdb.org, the Diplomat is fitted with a Vitor VIS upper receiver. This is the only time, other than in flashbacks, that Rogers uses a firearm in the entire movie, instead relying mostly on his shield and acrobatics.
Hawkeye, the butt of many an Internet joke, is basically just a dude. Like Black Widow, he doesn’t have any super abilities, but is merely an extremely gifted operator and highly trained. One could say he has something bordering on supernatural accuracy with firearms and a bow, which is how he got his name, but it’s never revealed to be an actual super power of some kind.
Hawkeye was introduced via cameo in Thor, where he carried a compound bow. In The Avengers he uses a recurve bow when appropriate, but also uses a handgun quite a bit. Again, unlike the other SHIELD agents, Hawkeye carries a single Heckler & Koch P30 pistol in a thigh holster on his left leg.
While he always has the pistol on him, he only uses it when he is glamoured by Loki and directed to help Loki escape with the wand from the SHIELD headquarters. Other than the brief flash of Cap’s 1911, this is the only hammer fired handgun in the movie.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill
Most SHIELD agents, including Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) carry Glock 19 pistols as their sidearms, usually in thigh holsters. during the assault on the Helicarrier, Hill draws her Glock and uses it along side Nick Fury to repel the mercenaries.
Hill returns in another Marvel film, but in that movie, she has switched to a regular Glock 17 pistol instead of the small G19. NYPD officers are also seen carrying and using Glock 19s in various scenes, mostly during the final battle in the streets and skies over the city.
While SHIELD agents generally carry Glocks as their sidearms, plenty are seen with some bigger guns. In the photo above we see the agents with Hawkeye carrying KRISS Vector submachine guns when they board the the ship.
Other SHIELD agents, who are actually mercenaries posing as agents, use M4A1 carbines equipped with EOtech MPO holosights. Some of Loki’s mercenaries use Galil MAR rifles.
The SHIELD Quinjet has a bit more powerful of an armament than small arms. The vehicle is outfitted with an under-mounted General Dynamics GAU-17/a gatling gun. The big gun is electrically driven and fires linked .50 BMG M9 linked ammunition with a rate of fire selectable to either 1,000 or 2,000 rpm.
The National Guard members who respond to the alien attack in NYC are armed with M4 carbines, as to be expected, and are decked out in ACUPAT camo gear and body armor.
The Guardsmen aren’t only on foot, they have several vehicles with mounted weapons, including at least one with a Browning M2HB heavy .50 BMG machine gun mounted on a Humvee with a pintle.
Several Humvees in the streets can be seen with Mk 19 automatic grenade launchers mounted on top. The intimidating weapon is a 40mm belt-fed full auto grenade launcher that was first developed during the Vietnam War. The Navy mostly made use of the launcher until the Mod 3 was adoped by the Army in 1983 where it remains in service to this day.