After the original film, SHIELD’s prominence began to wane, and along with it, the presence of firearms in the film sub-series. Also because the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier threw the organization into a state of chaos.
Plus, the size of the cast just gets bigger and bigger with each Avengers movie and there’s just less screen time for individual characters, including those with less spectacular powers, like being a really good shot.
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)
In the beginning of Age of Ultron, Black Widow / Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansen) pulls a Glock 19 from its hiding place beneath a the bar in the Avengers building when Ultron first reveals himself in the bionic body he has assembled from Tony Stark’s drones. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much good.
In a flashback to her instructional days in the Red Room show a younger Black Widow / Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansen) is seen using a Makarov PM pistol. Though we don’t get much about the character’s history but bits and pieces throughout the many movies Black Widow has appeared in, these details line up with the character’s comic book history.
According to creator Stan Lee, Romanov was born in Stalingrad, Russia (now Volgograd) and was trained as a spy, martial artist, and sniper and became an expert with an arsenal of high-tech weaponry, including a pair of wrist-mounted energy weapons call her “Widow’s Bite.”
When Black Widow first showed up in Iron Man 2, she was wearing prominent wrist gauntlets that looked a lot like the ones in the comics, though they are never referred to by name and she only used them once in that movie. In subsequent appearances, she still wears them when fully kitted out, but they appear to get a little more compact. She uses them every so often as a melee weapon and as a short-distance stunning weapon.
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, she is stunned by one herself and remarks that it stings.
In the comics, Natasha defects to the U.S. (this was during the Cold War) for reasons that include her love for the reluctant criminal turned superhero archer, Hawkeye—again, something that is hinted at in the first Avengers movie as having happened in the past.
The character’s original past is a little murky and involves Nazi plots and such, but her origin was retconned later on, establishing her as being raised from very early childhood by the U.S.S.R.’s “Black Widow Ops” program along with other young female orphans who were brainwashed and trained in combat and espionage at the covert “Red Room” facility, which is was we get a glimpse of in the movie. And if she was being trained in the U.S.S.R., her use of a Makarov PM pistol is certainly correct.
She’s also quite a bit older than she looks, since the program enhanced her with biotechnology and psycho-technology. Black Widow operatives essentially have their memory’s wiped and they are replaced with a false narrative that ensures their loyalty. Natasha’s story was that she was once a ballerina, which she discovers is false when she overcomes the brainwashing. Fans are expecting that some of this will be explored in the upcoming standalone Black Widow movie.
In the previous Avengers movie, when fully geared up for battle, Natasha carries two Glock 26 subcompact pistols in thigh holsters. She has the same model in the sequel, but it seems she only carries one pistol instead of two, and she’s not seen using it very often.
While in the SHIELD helicarrier over Sakovia, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) again has his Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm pistol in a thigh holster, but he’s never seen using or drawing it in this film.
Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is back again, but this time, instead of carrying a Glock 19, she is seen with a full sized Glock 17 pistol during the attack on the SHIELD Helicarrier.
Later, while in the Avengers Tower, Agent Hill is seen cocking the hammer on a stainless Walther PPK in 9mm.
We see some of the bigger guns on the Avengers jet, which is armed with an under-mounted multi-barreled gun that looks like a General Dynamics GAU-17/A, an electrically driven gatling gun that fires .50 BMG cartridges in M9-linked belts. The rate of fire can be set at 1,000 or 2,000 rounds per minute. The Humvee armament kit fires at 1,300 rounds per minute. Other Miniguns are seen mounted on transports sent to evacuate citizens of Sokovia.
During the opening confrontation with high-tech terrorists in South Africa, the local South African Police Service (SAPS) and Special Task Force elements are armed appropriately with Vektor R5 rifles when they engage the Hulk, who has been driven mad by the Scarlet Witch’s spell.
The R5 is a short carbine version of the 5.56 NATO Galil SAR that is licensed and manufactured in South Africa as the Vektor. The barrel and gas system are about 5 inches shorter with an appropriately shorter handguard than the R4, and its flash suppressor does not support rifle grenades like the R4 does.
The fictional Sokovian police appear to be using the Browning Hi-Power as their standard sidearm. For long guns, the police in Sokovia use AKMS rifles. The AKMS is the main variant of the AKM. The extra S is for “Skladnoy” or “folding.” As you can guess, it is equipped with an under-folding metal shoulder stock instead of the AKM’s fixed wooden stock.
The stock is different from previous AKS-47 models with a different locking mechanism, which locks both support arms instead of just one. It’s also made of riveted steel pressings instead of the milled versions found on most AKS-47s.
With all its globe trotting, Age of Ultron showcases a number of local police officers. Over in South Korea, the officers in the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency are seen with Smith & Wesson Model 586 revolvers as their sidearms.
The Model 586 is a .357 Magnum revolver that comes with either a six- or seven-shot cylinder. Its the same as the Model 686, only with a carbon steel construction with a blued or nickel finish instead of the stainless construction of the Model 686.
Ulysses Klaue – Beretta 90Two Pistol
The slimy South African arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) carries an interesting sidearm: a Beretta 90Two, which we see disassembled on a table and also in Klaue’s grip during a confrontation at the salvage yard.
The Beretta 90Two was released in 2006 by the Italian gunmaker as an enhanced version of the popular Beretta 92 9mm series of pistols, which was adopted by the U.S. military as the M9 in 1985.
The 90Two was made in 9mm, 9mm IMI, and .40 S&W chamberings before it was replaced in the company’s lineup with the 92A1 and 96A1.
The 90Two is quite different in appearance from the 92 models. It has an ergonomically enhances design with a “technopolymer” interchangeable wrap-around style grip that allows the user to modify its contours for either large or small hands.
The pistol includes an accessory rail with a dustcover option that allows for the attachment of various light and laser accessories. The frame is a light allow and the slide and barrel are steel.
The slide is a modified design with all the rough edges of the 92 models smoothed out for a more snag-free design, making it easier to use for concealed carry and in open-carry holsters. The dustcover, which protects the accessory rail when not in use, gives it a distinctive silhouette.
Magazines were available in 10-round single stack or 15- or 17-round double stack in 9mm.
AVENGERS: INFINITY WARS (2018)
Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes – M249 Paratrooper SAW
There aren’t many conventional firearms in this galactic-scale installment of the Avengers series within the MCU. But Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) uses what he knows how to use instead of some kind of futuristic laser gun.
During the main battle in Wakanda at the conclusion of the Infinity Wars, Barnes arms us with a customized M249 SAW Paratrooper machine gun fitted with a SureFire 100-round casket box magazine.
The gun is identical to the one used by Barnes during the climax of Captain America: Civil War, and could potentially be the very same firearm.
The M249 is now classified as a “light machine gun” whereas it was formerly known as a “Squad Automatic Weapon” or SAW. It is the American version of the 5.56 NATO Belgian FN Minimi.
The SAW was introduced in 1984 to provide infantry squads with a high-rate-of-fire machine gun that had the accuracy and portability of a rifle. The paratrooper model has a collapsible buttstock to make it easier and more compact to jump with.
The M249 is gas operated and air-cooled with a quick-change barrel and a folding bipod. It can be fed from both linked ammunition belts, or STANAG magazines like those used in the M16 or M4, or like the 100-round mag Barnes uses in the movie.
M249s have seen action in every major conflict involving the United States since the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989. Due to the weight and age of the weapon, the United States Marine Corps is fielding the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle with plans to partially replace the M249 in most uses.
The M249 largely replaced the 7.62 NATO M60 machine gun, which was also intended to be carried with troops to provide heavy automatic fire. It saw heavy service in the Vietnam War, but it was heavy, prone to malfunction after extended use, and required a crew of at least two to operate efficiently. The M249 was designed to be operated by one person and was much easier to carry than the M60.
Falcon – Sam Wilson – Dual Steyr SPP
One of the few other characters in Infinity Wars who relies on conventional firearms is Falcon / Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). While flying around on his winged glider pack, he uses the same dual Steyr SPP submachine guns as his main weapons that he has used since he was introduced in the Captain America series.
The Steyr TMP (Tactical Machine Pistol) is a select fire 9mm machine pistol made by Steyr Mannlicher of Austria. The gun uses 15-, 20-, or 30-round box magazines. It can also accept a suppressor.
Steyr sold the design in 2001 to Brügger & Thomet, who developed it into the Brügger & Thomet MP9.
The Steyr SPP (Special Purpose Pistol) used by Falcon is a semi-auto version of the TMP constructed mostly of Polyamide 66. The SPP has a longer barrel and barrel jacket and the forward pistol grip was removed. Though its the semi-auto version, it is depicted as firing in full auto from never-ending magazines in the movie.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The new, and likely final, Avengers movie hits theaters this week. We haven’t seen much from the trailers in the way of guns, but at the very least, Natasha Romanov (one of the characters not victim to Thanos’ finger snap in Infinity Wars is back in Endgame with her signature Glock 26 pistol. In the earliest trailer, we saw her taking in some target practice, presumably at the Avengers HQ.
Once we’ve had a chance to see more of the movie, we’ll have more guns for you from Avengers: Endgame, in theaters Friday.