At its heart, its the kind of slightly goofy but ultimately meaningful science fiction premise that can and has inspired generations of writers and filmmakers. If you haven’t seen the original movie from 1968, now might be a good time to stop reading—but when a movie passes the 50-year mark, spoilers should be expected.

Here’s the setup: A crew of astronauts leave Earth for a long voyage through space. The trip is so long that it requires them to go into hibernation in special capsules on their spacecraft. While they are asleep, something goes awry and they crash land in a lake on a mysterious planet.

The three surviving astronauts discover the hibernation capsule belonging to the female member of their crew malfunctioned some time ago and she has been mummified in her sleep.

They make it to shore with a survival kit from the ship and their clothes, but not much else. After hiking through a blistering desert, they find a fresh water spring and take a swim. In the interim, their gear and clothes are stolen and destroyed by a group of primitive human beings that have been following the trio.

They seem to be human, but they are all mute and live like prehistoric people.

Planet of the Apes
The original Planet of the Apes (1968) was making a powerful statement through science fiction, something that didn’t always translate from the page to the screen in that particular genre.

Then the first big twist. The people begin running at the sounds of horns in the distance and large canes probing the high grass. The frightened people attempt to hide in high brush as nets swoop down on them, thrown by riders on horseback.

The rider are finally revealed to the astronauts who are astounded to see that they are…APES WITH GUNS!

Somehow, on this planet, a different branch of the primate family tree advanced at a faster pace than humans and have become the dominant species, or so the men think.

They are all taken prisoner and two astronauts are ultimately killed (one is dead, the other is lobotomized) leaving only Taylor (Charlton Heston) to navigate this bizarre world of bipedal apes…who somehow speak perfect English.

Eventually, Taylor teaches two of the more open-minded Ape scientists about the potential of humans and he learns something about his nature as well. Plus, he falls in love with a native human and they break free from the Ape bureaucracy together, with help from the scientists Cornelius and Zira, to start out into the “Forbidden Zone” and start a life on his new planet.

Planet of the Apes 1968
A poster depicting the pivotal twist during the film’s epilogue that made movie history, inspiring imitations and parodies for five decades.

Then the movie hit viewers with one of the biggest twists in motion picture history, so monumental it was that other movies and TV shows would be spoofing it literally for decades.

We know something is off when Taylor finds an ancient-looking child’s toy—a human doll that talks—in a cave where Apes are forbidden to go, along with some other ancient artifacts that look a lot like they’re from our world.

As Taylor and Nova rides further into the wasteland of the Forbidden Zone, he comes upon something quite familiar leaning askew, half buried in a sandy beach.

As Taylor pounds the sand and hurls curses at the human race, the camera pulls back to reveal a weatherbeaten Statue of Liberty and the audience was left to realize that Taylor has been on Earth the entire time. This was not some alternate Earth-like planet, but the very same Earth the astronauts left, just a few centuries later. Not only did their spacecraft crash, but it failed to awaken them when it was supposed to, sending them on a long circuitous trip.

This puts the entire Ape history revealed throughout the movie in a different light, and means that people most likely destroyed the old world with nuclear weapons (this was in the middle of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Anti-War Movement), leaving mostly a wasteland where Apes continued to evolve and humans stagnated and regressed.

That’s a lot to imply with a matte painting and simple pull back shot. And it stuck.

It stuck so hard that it was rehashed and expanded upon in four sequels of varying quality released over the next five years. Then it was rebooted twice, once by Tim Burton in 2001 (it didn’t go so well), and again with three successful feature films beginning with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes which actually takes some solid concepts from the sequels and makes them the focus of the over-arching plotline.

Guns of The Planet of the Apes (1968)

The Ape society had a lot of technology that is familiar to us, including firearms, horses and tack, and adobo-like buildings and homes—though their firearms look strangely featureless and somehow primitive—but they are actually real guns and not movie props, but we’ll get to that.

Colt 1903 Hammerless
A still of the astronauts survival kit, including a Colt 1903 Hammerless pistol. You’d think they would have chosen something more futuristic, but this is the only time we even see the gun.

The first guns we see are from Earth.

When the astronauts first open up their survival kit in the beginning of the movie, it does include a firearm. We can see a Colt 1903 hammerless pistol in .32 ACP along with three extra magazines and a rock hammer amidst the high tech movie gadgets in the cases. But they never get a chance to use it.

M1 Carbine
The M1 Carbine (bottom) was dressed up with a bulky wooden stock concealing most of its features to become the carbines of Ape City (top). The stocks are designed to fit the Apes’ hands.

In the original film The Planet of the Apes (1968), the Apes exclusively use modified M1 Carbines. The .30 Cal. carbines were wrapped in large black-painted wood stocks that covered the action, barrel, and even the magazine so as to make the guns unidentifiable.

These are the only firearms we see in the movie other than the brief glimpse of the astronaut’s survival kit pistol, though we do find out in later films that the Ape society had submachine guns and pistols in addition to the carbines.

M1 Carbine
Taylor (Charlton Heston) using one of the Apes’ carbines in the film’s final act. Note how awkwardly he has to hold the large wooden stock.

Near the end of the movie, Taylor takes one of the guns for his own and it seems to have either a black wooden stock or a synthetic one. You can really see how the grip of the stocks appear to be shaped to better fit the Apes’ large hands when Taylor has to handle it.

Guns of Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

The first sequel in what would become a five-film series, Beneath the Planet of the Apes was released in 1970 and starred James Franciscus, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, and Linda Harrison with Charlton Heston reprising his role from the original film in a smaller, supporting capacity.

So how to set up a sequel without focusing on the same characters? By golly, just try the same thing over again!

The movie opens where the original ended, with Taylor (Heston) and Nova (Harrison) riding into the Forbidden Zone on horseback. A pillar of fire suddenly erupts from the desert floor and a deep chasm spontaneously opens. Taylor investigates a strange cliff wall, but disappears through it before Nova’s eyes. The strange phenomenon then disappears and she is left alone.

Elsewhere, yet another Earth spaceship has crashed on the now familiar Ape-ruled Earth with a mission to search for Taylor and his crew—we assume this rescue craft was subject to the same trick of relativity that returned Taylor and his crew to Earth hundreds of years after they left. The only survivors of the rescue mission are Brent (Franciscus) and his Skipper (Tod Andrews), who dies soon after. Brent is able to tell he is in the year 3955 but still thinks he is on an alien planet. Of course, this time, the audience knows better.

M1 Carbine
The most common firearms are again modified M1 Carbines with large crude looking wood stocks.

He encounters Nova through the magic of movie coincidences and recognizes Taylor’s dog tags on her neck. He then begins the quest to complete his mission and find Taylor, only to be shocked by discovering the simian civilization and Ape City.

In the third act, Brent finds a secret subterranean city accessed via the ancient ruins of the New York City Subway and inhabited by mutant humans who can still speak and have telepathic powers granted to them by generations of exposure to the radiation of a nuclear bomb that they worship in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The ending to this one is grim. Like, really grim.

Taylor shows up and realizes that the bomb, bearing the alpha and omega symbols, is a doomsday device capable of wiping out life on the whole planet. Then, pretty much everyone is shot and killed in a firefight. As he dies, Taylor activates the bomb. The screen whites out, and a voiceover says,”In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium-sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead.”

Madsen M-50
The Apes add an SMG to their arsenal in the form of a Madsen M-50 in a wooden case.

The primary firearms used by the Apes and some humans are the same as in the original, modified M1 Carbines with wood casings. In this movie, some of the casings were left natural wood and not painted black, and some can be seen with bayonets attached. Taylor and Brent both use the carbines.

One of the new guns in the Ape arsenal we see in the sequel is a submachine gun that is used by several gorillas and most prominently by Gen. Ursus (James Gregory) in the final scene. The SMG appears to be a modified Madsen M50 with a large wooden stock/case concealing the original gun’s details, much like the M1 Carbines.

Madsen M-50
A gorilla soldier on the right holds the SMG. You can clearly see the thumbhole stock designed for Ape hands.

The Madsen M-50 was a 9mm submachine gun introduced in the 1950s and produced by the Danish company, Dansk Industri Syndikat of Copenhagen.

The gun features a simple blowback design and was constructed of stamped steel in a unique two-piece design that hinged and included the pistol grip and magwell as part of the two pieces. It was in service into the 1980s.

Ape Pistol
We also get a look at an Ape pistol in this movie.

For the first time we also see an Ape handgun.

One gorilla chases Brent and Nova into the woods and fires a couple warning shots with the little pistol, also enclosed in a wooden case. Later, Gen. Ursus also uses the handgun. It could possible be an S&W Model 32 in there, but its impossible to tell.

Guns of Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971)

The following year, Escape from the Planet of the Apes was released starring Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter from the original reprising their roles as Cornelius and Zira, along with Bradford Dillman and Ricardo Montalbán. So how do you make another sequel when you literally destroy the planet in the last movie? Well, head to present day Earth of course. Maybe this is where Star Trek go the idea for the one with the whales…

While the events of Beneath were taking place, Cornelius and Zira escape Earth before it is destroyed and are accompanied by their fellow chimpanzee Dr. Milo (Sal Mineo) while testing the salvaged and now repaired spaceship originally used by Taylor and his crew. Apparently they had enough time to get it up and running between the time Taylor and Nova head out into the desert and when Taylor activates the bomb.

When the Earth is destroyed, the shockwave sends the ship through a time-warp (because why not) that brings them to 1973 Earth (naturally), where they splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California (more naturally). Either tarp warps are really damaging to spacecraft or these spaceships really weren’t well-designed for landings.

So, we have a few evolved primates who can speak dropped into 1973 USA, and hilarity ensues. Actually, the movie flips the circumstances of the first one on their heads as Cornelius and Zira are taken to a secluded ward of the Los Angeles Zoo. They decide to play their cards close to the vest and don’t reveal they can speak until Zira speaks in frustration during an experiment. Soon after, Dr. Milo is killed by an agitated 1973 gorilla.

Then, a bunch of stuff happens. The Apes testify before a commission and become celebrities, are later disgraced and framed for crimes, Zira is pregnant, they escape, hide in a circus, and Zira gives birth.

If you thought the last sequel ended on a downer…prepare yourself.

The bad guy, Dr. Hasslein, tracks Cornelius, Zira, and the infant to a shipping yard. He shoots and mortally wounds Zira when she refuses to give up the baby, knowing Hasslein will experiment on it. He then proceeds to shoot the infant several times before he is killed by Cornelius, who is then shot and killed by a sniper. Zira tosses the dead baby into the water and crawls to die with her husband. (I know right?!)

It’s then revealed that Zira switched babies at the circus with a regular ape that was born at the same time—the reveal comes when we see the surviving infant Ape begin to talk.

M1 Carbines
U.S. Marines armed with M1 Carbines meet the ape astronauts on the beach.

The first people the Apes meet after landing in the ocean are a cadre of U.S. Marines armed with M1 Carbines who meet them on the beach. The M1s are as issued and a cool nod to the fact that that the guns from the original movie were M1 Carbines housed in wooden stocks. Maybe they simply removed the stocks from the prop guns from the last one.

Some of the Marines can also be seen carrying fake M14 rifles that were mocked up from stock M1 Garand rifles with M14 style flash hiders added to the muzzle, a fake box magazine added to the receiver and a faux M14 top handguard covering the Garand’s wooden handguard.

The Marines’ gear is also out of date for 1973 as they are wearing WWII-era Pacific Theater helmet covers, Khaki M23 10-pocket ammo belts for the M1 Garand, and OG-107 utilities without the USMC eagle, globe, and anchor emblem on the left pocket.

S&W Model 10
A Smith & Wesson Model 10 is held by Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden).

Dr. Otto Hasslein (Eric Braeden) is the main bad guy in the movie. We see him use a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver in .38 Special that he keeps in his briefcase. He uses the revolver to gun down Zira and her baby near the end of the film.

Colt Detective Special
Cornelius with a Colt Detective Special in the shipping yard.

Cornelius is seen carrying a Colt Detective Special revolver in the shipping yard. He uses it to kill Hasslein before being shot and killed by a sniper.

Guns of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Like clockwork, another sequel was released the following year in 1972, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, and again starred Roddy McDowall and Ricardo Montalbán along with Don Murray. It explores how the apes, led by Milo—the son of Cornelius and Zira, rebelled against humanity after the events of Escape. The series reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) has a very similar premise to this movie, but isn’t an official remake, but we’ll get to that later.

The movie takes the events from the fictional 1973 presented in the previous film and extrapolates from there. In 1983, a pandemic from a space-born disease that may or may not be related to Cornelius and Zira’s arrival wipes out all cats and dogs on the planet and a number of people.

Governments then degenerate into a series of police states that take apes as pets before eventually establishing a culture based on ape slave labor.

Zira and Cornelius’ son, Milo, was raised by the circus owner Armando as a young horseback rider. Fully grown, he goes by the name Caesar and is played by McDowall, the same actor who played his father. He keeps his ability to speak secret from humans.

Like his mother in the previous vilm, Caesar cannot hold his tongue when seeing the shocking tasks and discipline slave apes are subjected to, he shouts, “Lousy human bastards!” before running off. He eventually goes into hiding with a group of caged orangutans and is trained for slavery through violent conditioning.

He is then sold at auction and toils before hearing of Armando’s death at the hands of human interrogators seeking information about him. Caesar then loses faith in human kindness and begins secretly teaching the apes combat while having them gather weapons. He then begins an ape revolution and builds an army.

Caesar runs with an M16, leading a group of slave Apes.

Finally catching to to the times (lol) the government forces sent to quell the Ape uprising carry M16 rifles as their primary firearms. Ceasar and other slave apes also use M16s with a 20-round magazines in one battle scene.

Colt New Service
An old revolver, the Colt New Service, is the sidearm for many government agents.

Oddly, a few of the human officers are seen using the Colt New Service during the Ape uprising.

The Colt New Service is a large frame, large caliber, double-action revolver made from 1898 until 1941. It was produced in various calibers, but it was the .45 Colt version with a 5½” barrel that was adopted by the U.S. Armed Forces as the Model 1909.

The Colt M1917 revolver was later created to supplement insufficient stocks of M1911 pistols during World War I—which was simply a New Service re-chambered to accept .45 ACP cartridges with half-moon clips. After WWI, the revolver gained a strong following among civilian shooters.

A commercial rimmed cartridge the .45 Auto Rim was also developed that allowed the M1917 to be fired without the need for moon-clips.

pump action shotguns
The police carry a variety of pump-action 12 gauge shotguns including a Winchester Model 1912, a Remington 870, a Winchester Model 1897, and a Ithaca 37.

It seems the armorers wanted police to have pump shotguns, but couldn’t get a bunch of one kind, so we see government forces using a smattering of wooden stocked pump action shotties including the Winchester Model 1912.

You can see the riot police using them alongside soldiers with M16s. Some officers are using Remington 870s and a few even have Winchester Model 1897 shotguns. At least one of the officers in the photo above is using an Ithaca 37.

Guns of Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

As the title implies, this final entry in the original Planet of the Apes series of films has the most firearms in it as it finally deals with the clash amongst the Apes and with the early mutant humans.

The movie attempts to bring the series full circle as it is told as a flashback to the early 21st century with a wraparound sequence narrated by the orangutan Lawgiver in “North America – 2670 A.D.” The story follows Caesar from the previous film as he navigates the world after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and their son, Cornelius and creates a new society while attempting to build a lasting peace with the remaining humans. He is opposed by a gorilla named Aldo, who wants to imprison the humans and enslave them.

After several conflicts and a battle with the predecessors of the subterranean human mutants from Beneath that prove to Caesar apes are no different than the humans who once enslaved them, he agrees that humans should be treated as equals and coexist with apes in a new society. They store their guns in the armory and explain to the armory’s overseer that they will still need firearms for future conflict and “can only wait for the day when they will no longer need them.”

We then transition to the narrator who explains it has been more than 600 years since Caesar’s death. His audience is revealed to be a group of young human and ape children and that their society still waits with hope for a day of true peace. This is still kind of grim, because now we know that apes and humans coexisted for centuries before whatever happened that led to the slave-based society we see in the original movie.

Madsen M-50
We see several unmodified Madsen M-50 submachine guns in this sequel.

In keeping with the theme of using the original guns behind the big wooden stocks, we see the return of the Madsen M-50 submachine gun in this sequel. Caesar carries one and so does Virgil (Paul Williams) along with the human assistant MacDonald (Austin Stoker) on the way to the Forbidden City.

M16s are used by the apes and the mutants.

The M16 rifles from the previous movie return in Battle and are used by both the apes and the mutant humans already living in their subterranean home. Like the previously used rifles, these appear to be SP1 rifles aka “slab side receiver” M16s with an A1 birdcage flash hider that is used to stand in for the M16A1 in many Vietnam era movies. All the rifles have 20-round magazines.


Giving the movie arsenal some extra flavor, we see the M1928A1 Thompson in the film series for the first time. The WWII era submachine gun is used by both apes and mutants and is notably carried by the gorilla leader Aldo (Claude Akins).

The M1928A1 was the military contract version of the Thompson that was awarded in 1928. It had a more crude military grade blued finish than previous models, a heavier actuator and the signature vertical foregrip of the Tommy Gun was replaced with a horizontal wooden handguard.

gun cache
A pile of guns in Mandemus’s armory.

We see a large pile of firearms on Mandemus’s weapons cache table in the armory. We see M1 Carbines, M1 Garands (which are seen in the background of some battle scenes), and M16 rifles, many with green military style canvas slings.

M1 Garand
Ape soldiers using M1 Carbines and M1 Garands on the battlefield.

During the final battle, we see the apes using a variety of firearms, including M1 Carbines and, for the first time in the series, M1 Garands. It makes sense that in the early 70s the most available firearms to Hollywood armorers would be surplus guns from WWII and Korea, hence all the 1940s guns showing up in the distant future.

We briefly see a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) in the hands of a gorilla.

Guns of Planet of the Apes (2001)

In 2001, director Tim Burton took on the task of rebooting the aging film series with his own signature spin. The project had been in development hell since 1988 and almost was made with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the starring role with Phillip Noyce directing and Oliver Stone producing. The project cratered and names like James Cameron, Chris Columbus, Peter Jackson, and the Hughes Brothers were all involved at one time or another.

Burton eventually came to the helm in 2000 with a script by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal and Mark Wahlberg in the lead with Tim Roth as the villain and Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estalla Warren in supporting roles.

The plot is fairly straight forward. In 2029, astronaut Leo Davidson (Wahlberg) works on the USAF space station Oberon with primates trained for space missions. When a deadly electromagnetic storm approaches the station, Pericles, Davidson favorite ape, pilots a space pod to probe the storm. The pod then disappears.

Leo defies his superior’s orders and uses a second pod to go after Pericles. After entering the storm, he crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021, a world—you guessed it—ruled by humanoid apes who speak English, use horses for transportation, and treat humans as slaves.

In this go-round, significant efforts were made for the actors playing Apes to move more like actual apes and less like humans in ape costumes. They use their knuckles at time, make ape-like noises when agitated, and adopted primate body language. This gives it a more realistic feel, but the movie’s tone is off somehow and many scenes come across as comical when they aren’t supposed to.

In a new twist, Leo discovers that the Oberon space station somehow crashed on the planet long before his pod did (assumedly due to the space storm) and is now ancient ruins the Apes call Calima, coming from the sign only showing certain letters in “CAution LIve aniMAls” written on the space station wall. The station has been there for thousands of years and the apes are descendants of the primates Leo once worked with on the station. They were led by Semos after the crash and the humans on the planet are actually the descendants of the space station astronauts.

Since the Statue of Liberty bit couldn’t be rehashed again, the twist comes when the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimp astronaut from the beginning, descends from the sky in the last act. When his pod opens, the apes see his arrival as the return of Semos. They bow and hostilities between humans and apes cease.

The movie’s bad guy, Gen. Thade (Roth) still wants a battle and he and Leo face off in the ruins of the Oberon. Thade is eventually trapped. Here’s where things get…questionable.

Leo decides to leave Pericles on Ashlar and uses his undamaged pod, which apparently has enough power and fuel to break the Earth-like planet’s gravitational pull and leave the atmosphere, to fly into space and back in the electromagnetic storm. He then crashes in what looks to be Washington D.C. circa 2001. But when he looks up at what should be the Lincoln Memorial, he sees it is a monument to Gen. Thade and is then surrounded by a swarm of Ape police officers, firefighters, and reporters. End.

Claridge Hi-Tech
Leo (Mark Wahlberg) holds the futuristic space pistol from his pod, which was built on a Claridge Hi-Tech pistol.

While Burton is no stranger to weirdness and violence in his movies, he’s never really been a fan of depicting firearms. One of the biggest differences between Burton’s movie and the original series is the weapons. In the remake, the ape society is basically in the Middle Ages, relying mostly on swords, pikes, spears, and axes.

There are no firearms to speak of, other than the pistols included in the supply crate on the space pods, which is possibly a reference to the pistols we see in the astronaut’s supply cases in the original movie.

The guns in Burton’s film are the already futuristic Claridge Hi-Tec pistols, the same handguns from Total Recall (1990) that have been given a near reflective casing and are portrayed to have electronic elements including a power up light in front of the trigger guard, but they still fire projectiles, as we see several ricochet all over the place in the Oberon wreckage.

Claridge Hi-Tech
Gen. Thade examines a pistol from Leo’s time.

Leo uses the pistol from his pod’s supply pack when escaping from the apes until it is smashed and destroyed by Krull (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Gen. Thade uses the second one found in the ruins of the Oberon when he is trapped inside by Leo.

Beretta 92FS
During the twist ending, an Ape police officer aims a Beretta 92FS pistol.

During the bizarre finale, the ape police officers are all seen with normal Beretta 92FS pistols. This seems to imply even on a planet populated by survivors from a space station still evolved to eventually create the 92FS exactly as it was created on Earth in the 1980s.

Despite having an all star cast and stellar make-up an visual effects, the movie didn’t do so well at the box office or on video and it didn’t generate enough interest to spark a sequel, let alone another film series.

Guns of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

But that wasn’t it for the Apes universe. The series was rebooted yet again in 2011, abandoning the crashed astronaut theme and focusing instead on the themes and circumstances explored in the latter sequels in the original film series and how the Ape civilization came to be.

Instead of actors in make-up and suits, the intelligent primates are completely CG, created via performance capture for the most visually remarkable turn in the series and a far cry from the rubber masks and furry gloves from the originals.

The differences among chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans is lifelike instead of being conveyed merely by hair color and stature.

Unlike the Burton remake, Rise of the Planet of the Apes received critical praise and commercial success and was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Andy Serkis’s motion capture performance as Caesar was widely acclaimed and was nominated for several awards on its own.

The setup is in present day San Francisco and Will Rodman (James Franco) of the biotech company Gen-Sys is working with a virus-based drug ALZ-112. He’s testing the drug on chimps, hoping to find a cure for Alzheimers, a disease afflicting his elderly father.

An iteration of the drug is given to a chimp named Bright Eyes (a nod to the nickname given to Taylor in the original movie) and it greatly increases her intelligence. Just as Will is about to report on the drug’s success, Bright Eyes goes on a rampage and has to be shot to death. Assuming the rampage was a side effect of the drug, the ruthless CEO terminates the project and orders the test chimps to be put down.

It is later discovered that Bright Eyes lashed out because she had a newborn baby in her cage she was protecting, but its too late. Will reluctantly takes the baby chimp, who is named Caesar in a nod to Conquest. Caesar has benefited from the ALZ-112 treatments his mother had and develops superior intelligence.

Eventually, a gaseous form of the drug, ALZ-113 is developed. It has the same effects as ALZ-112 on apes, but proves to be fatal to most humans. Caesar is held captive at a primate facility after attacking a neighbor and eventually leads a revolution of apes after escaping and returning with canisters of ALZ-113, increasing the intelligence of all the primates in the facility and setting them free. They then release the remaining apes from Gyn-Sys and the San Francisco Zoo along the way.

After a battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, the intelligent apes flee into the redwood forests. Before the movie ends, we see that a virus called the Simian Flu is beginning to spread across the globe.

African poachers carrying Lee-Enfield rifles.

The movie opens in Africa where we see Bright Eyes being taken captive by poachers. The criminals are armed with Lee-Enfield No 1 Mk III rifles, which makes sense as they would be fairly common in former British colonies and surrounding areas.

The Lee–Enfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that served as the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century. It was the British Army’s standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957.

M4A1 Carbine
San Francisco SWAT officers are seen with M4A1 Carbines.

Most of the San Francisco SWAT team members are seen with M4A1 Carbines with M68 Aimpoint red dot sights and ACOG scopes, Knights’ Armament RAS rail systems, and foregrips. Several have Surfire M82 rails.

We primarily see them when the SWAT officers engage the ape horde on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Daewoo K3
An officer fires a Daewoo K3 machine gun from a helicopter.

In one shot, we see a CHP officer firing a Daewoo K3 machine gun mocked up to resemble an M249 SAW machine gun during the ape attack on the police blockade on the bridge.

Heckler & Koch G36K
An officer fires a scoped Heckler & Koch G36K from a chopper.

We see a CHP officer acting as a sniper from a helicopter using a scoped Heckler & Koch G36K with a rail, iron sights, and brass catcher to take out several apes on the GGB.

Glock 17
A Highway Patrol Officers fires his Glock 17 empty at a gorilla attacking his helicopter.

The SFPD and Highway Patrol officers are armed with Glock 17 pistols during the bridge attack. Chief John Hamil (Ty Olsson) is seen aboard a helicopter firing his G17 at the gorilla “Buck.” The gun eventually locks empty as Buck is attaching the chopper, eventually leading to it colliding with the bridge and crashing.

Guns of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

The first sequel in the rebooted franchise picks up 10 years after the pandemic we hear about at the end of the first movie. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, we find out the ALZ-113 virus, dubbed the Simian Flu, has drastically reduced the human population on Earth with only about one in 500 people being immune to it—90 percent of the the worldwide population is dead. Martial law has been declared in nearly every country and most have fragmented into military settlements, camps, and forts.

Meanwhile, the apes, under Caesar’s leadership, have thrived with their enhanced intelligence and have added to their ranks as more apes were infected with the virus, which enhanced their intelligence. They have a long established colony in the Muir Woods near former San Francisco.

When the ape territory is invaded by a group of humans looking to restart a hydroelectric dam so they can restore power to a nearby city and create a new start for humanity. An initial encounter leads to an ape bing injured, but the expedition’s leader, Malcolm, manages to prevent further escalation.

Caesar has a son, Blue Eyes, who is extremely loyal to his father, but Koba, the scarred bonobo from the previous movie has more violent ideals and holds a grudge against humans for the experiments they put him through when he was a lab chimp.

The people and apes briefly work together to get the dam running again, but the cooperation is short lived, and a conflict soon breaks out. Koba eventually turns on Caesar, attempting to shoot and murder him. Caesar survives and sees that apes are becoming as corrupt and violent as humans after visiting his former home in San Francisco. Malcolm helps Caesar recover and eventually finds Blue Eyes, who frees the imprisoned humans and apes.

A full on battle ensues, with humans fighting humans and apes fighting apes. Caesar tackles Koba off a ledge. Before dropping him, Caesar disowns Koba as an ape and drops him to his death. The apes then prepare for the arrival of military personnel from a nearby based that was contacted while the city had power from the dam.

Ruger Model 77
Malcolm holding his Ruger Model 77 rifle at the ready.

In the beginning of the film, we see Malcolm (Jason Clarke) leading the expedition to find the hydroelectric dam carrying a Ruger Model 77 rifle with a silver telescopic scope. He hands the gun over to the apes per their agreement and we see it being destroyed by a gorilla.

S&W Model 629 V-Comp
Carver with his Smith & Wesson Model 629 V-Comp revolver.

Carver (Kirk Acevedo), one of the survivors who is extremely fearful of the apes, uses a Smith & Wesson Model 629 V-Comp at the outset of the movie, until it is taken along with Malcolm’s rifle and destroyed.

Remington 870
Caesar with Carver’s shorty Remington 870 shotgun.

Carver smuggles a Remington 870 Witness Protection with synthetic furniture into the ape colony in violation of the agreement with the humans working on the dam. Caesar briefly handles the shotgun, proving he knows how to use it, and then throws it in a river.

Mk 12 Mod 0 SPR
Two guards with an M16A4 (left) and a suppressed Mk 12 Mod 0 Special Purpose Rifle (right).

McVeigh (Kevin Rankin) is seen with a suppressed Mk 12 Mod 0 Special Purpose Rifle and he and another guard with an M16A4 topped with an ACOG scope is confronted by Koba, who tricks them into giving him a rifle before turning it on them.

Koba (Toby Kebbell) with an M4A1 carbine.

Koba eventually learns how to use firearms and takes on of the humans’ M4A1 carbines topped with a Trijicon ACOG scope. He uses it for the rest of the movie, firing it one handed like a pistol, demonstrating the apes’ superior strength.

Bushmaster ACR
Blue Eyes with a Bushmaster ACR.

We see Blue Eyes prefers a Bushmaster ACR with a skeletonized front rail and a 10.5″ barrel.

The ACR, or Adaptive Combat Rifle, is a modular semi-auto rifle released in January 2008 by Bushmaster Firearms Internation and Magpul Industries, who had previously been manufacturing the gun as the Masada. Remington now makes the selective fire version of the ACR for the U.S. Military and LEO sales.

The gun is based on a number of firearms, including the FN SCAR (upper receiver, charging handle), H&K G36 and XM8 (polymer components), and the M16/AR-15 (trigger pack, barrel, fire control group). Features developed by Magpul include a quick-change barrel/trunnion system, adjustable gas regulator, non-reciprocating charging handle, and storage compartments located in the stock and grip.

The ACR has been chambered in 5.56 and 6.8mm Remington SPC as well as 6.5mm Grendel, .300 AAC Blackout, and 7.62x39mm via aftermarket conversion.

Malcolm with an FN SCAR-L with tan furniture and finish.

Near the end of the movie, Malcolm uses an FN SCAR-L fitted with an ACOG scope, vertical foregrip, AN/PEQ-15 laser designator, and weapon light.

The SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) is a gas-operated, short-stroke gas piston rifle with a rotating bolt. It was developed by FN Herstal for the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) as part of the SCAR competition. The SCAR-L is chambered n 5.56, whereas the SCAR-H is chambered in 7.62 NATO.

We see Koba with what looks like two M249 Paratrooper SAW machine gun.

We see humans and apes using what appear to be M249 Paratrooper SAW machine guns. McVeigh (Kevin Rankin) is seen taking target practice with the machine gun.

Later, Koba, Caesar’s ruthless bonobo adviser, dual-wields two SAWs during his charge against the human settlement.

Colt Model 933
Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) with a Colt Model 933 carbine.

Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) as well as other human survivors can be seen using a Colt Model 933 carbine. Dreyfus’ gun has a Leupold CQ/T scope on top and a Surefire M900 foregrip.

The Colt 933 is a compact carbine based on the M16. Colt has been making it since 1995 an they are still favored by some U.S. Special forces and foreign forces because of their extremely compact size.

AT4 Launcher
Dreyfus with an AT4 launcher.

We see Dreyfus use an AT4 rocket launcher at the end of the movie.

The AT4 is an 84mm unguided, portable, single-shot recoilless weapon built in Sweden by Saab Bofors Dynamics. It is one of the most common light anti-tank weapons in the world designed to give infantry units a means to disable or destroy armored vehicles and fortifications, though it is mostly ineffective against modern main battle tanks. The launcher and projectile are manufactured pre-packed and issued as a single unit of ammunition. The launcher is discarded after use.

The launcher comes packed with a variety of projectiles, including a HEAT (high explosive anti-tank) round that can penetrate thick armor, HEDP 502 (High Explosive Dual Purpose) rounds, which are for use against bunkers, buildings, enemy personnel in the open, and light armor—they can be set to detonate on impact or with a slightly delayed detonation with a heavier nosecap that will penetrate light walls or windows. It can also be skipped off the ground for an airburst effect, HP (high penetration) for thicker armor, AST (anti-structure tandem warheads) designed for urban warfare which has a lower penetration but larger blast radius, and others.

Guns of War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

The most recent film in the series, War for the Planet of the Apes came in 2017 and sees Caesar and his clan of apes two years after Koba attacked the humans in San Francisco. They have been forced to fight a leftover U.S. military faction calling themselves Alpha-Omega, led by a ruthless Colonel, played by Woody Harrelson. Some of the apes that were loyal to Koba are employed by Alpha-Omega and are referred to as “donkeys.”

The movie depicts what becomes the final conflict between apes and humans before the tables turn in favor of the apes and lead to the world we see in the original Planet of the Apes with the ape forces led by Caesar along with his eldest son, Blue Eyes—who finds palce across the desert on an expedition tha the says would be perfect for a permanent home for the apes, further hinting at the ultimate outcome.

The humans are defeated and the apes cross the Colorado Plateau and reach the oasis that Blue Eyes had reported finding. While the other apes celebrate, Maurice discovers Caesar’s fatal wound. He promises to tell Cornelius who his father was and what he did for the apes, moments before Caesar dies.

A chimpanzee is seen armed with what appears to be a short-barreled L1A1 SLR.

During a battle scene in the woods, we see a chimpanzee with what looks like a short-barreled L1A1 SLR.

The L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle is the British version of the Belgian FN FAL battle rifle made by FN Herstal. It is produced under license and has been used by the armies of Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Rhodesia, Singapore, South Africa, and Great Britain.

L1A1 is a leftover of an early attempt to create a NATO standard rifle and cartridge.

Remington ACR-E
Rocket is seen with a Remington ACR-E not much different from the ACR carried by Blue Eyes in the previous movie.

Rocket (Terry Notary) uses a Remington ACR-E carbine. The -E designation means it is chambered in 5.56 NATO and has a short 10.5″ barrel, a five-sided handguard, and an adjustable, folding stock.

The Remington ACR also appears in Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: Dark of the Moon as opposed to the Bushmaster-made version, which was Tom Cruise’s gun in Oblivion (2013). The original Magpul Masada rifle appeared in Terminator Salvation (2009) and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Seems like Michael Bay has a thing for this platform.

The Alpha/Omega soldiers man an FN GAU-21 .50 BMG machine gun mounted atop their defenses.

The Alpha/Omega soldiers have a remarkable piece of machinery mounted as a defensive weapon on their fortification’s wall: an FN GAU-21 aircraft machine gun that is an evolution of the M3 50 BMG.

It’s a .50-caliber single barrel rapid-fire machine gun made by FN Herstal “suitable for rotary-wing aircraft applications providing defensive firepower ranging out to nearly 2,000 meters,” according to the company. The GAU-21 was designed by the U.S. Navy in 2004 and is in use by all branches of the service. It fires at 1,000 rounds per minute from an open bolt and using a dual recoil buffer system.

SIG SG 552
Alpha/Omega soldiers armed with SIG Sauer SG 552 carbines.

Some Alpha/Omega soldiers can be seen with SIG SG 552s with various attachments.

It is a variant of the SG 550, an assault rifle made in Switzerland. SG is an abbreviation for Sturmgewehr, German for “assault rifle.”

The SG-552 Commando is a compact carbine version of the gun released in 1998 with an 8.9-inch barrel with an open three-prong flash suppressor, ventilated handguards, and a redesigned bolt carrier group.

Colt Combat Commander
Col. McCullough put his Colt Combat Commander to Caesar’s head.

Colonel McCullough (Harrelson) carries a Colt Combat Commander 1911 pattern pistol. Caesar (Andy Serkis) briefly uses the Combat Commander during the film’s climax.

The Colt Combat Commander is a single action pistol based on the 1911 design and was the first mass produced pistol with an aluminum alloy frame and the first Colt pistol to be chambered in 9mm.

The pistol was offered in several variations and in .45 ACP as well as .38 Super chamberings.

In 1970, Colt introduced the all-steel “Colt Combat Commander”, with an optional model in satin nickel. The Colonel’s gun appears to have either Hogue or Pachymar grips with finger grooves.

Mk 18 Mod 1
Col. McCullough (Harrelson) with his Mk 18 Mod 1 equipped with a green laser sight.

Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson) uses a Mk 18 Mod 1 modified with a suppressor, EOTech sight, Magpul CTR stock, laser module, weapon light, and vertical foregrip during his surprise raid on Caesar’s ape colony.

The short carbine is a result of the utilization of the M16/M4 platform’s modularity. A compact upper receiver is attached to a standard M16 or M4 lower receiver. if the complete CQBR (Close Quarters Battle Rifle) upper is used, it is designated as a Mk 18 Mod 0. If the upper has a sightless gas block and full-length accessory rail kit, it is a Mk 18 Mod 1.