The Guns of G.I. Joe: Retaliation

This publicity photo released by Paramount Pictures shows Channing Tatum, left, as Duke and Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock in a scene from the film, "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," from Paramount Pictures, MGM, and Skydance Productions. The movie opens nationwide Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Jaimie Trueblood)
This publicity photo released by Paramount Pictures shows Channing Tatum, left, as Duke and Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock in a scene from the film, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” from Paramount Pictures, MGM, and Skydance Productions. The movie opens nationwide Thursday, March 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Jaimie Trueblood)

The 2013 sequel to 2009’s G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra has been met with mixed reviews (At GunUp, we’re trying to figure out what exactly everyone expected from an action movie directed by the same mind behind Justin Bieber: Never Say Never). Despite how Hollywood may have done with the rest of the movie, the Guns of G.I. Joe: Retaliation were top-notch, as the characters rocked popular, reliable guns, and we’re willing to bet that most of our readers can find at least one on the list that they would want to own.


In fact, Bruce Willis’ character, General Joe Colton, carried a Colt M1911A1. The pistol was meant to have originally belonged to Patton, and was a gift to Colton from his family. General Patton was often pictured carrying a Colt Single Action Army in .45 with ivory grips. The gun used in the film is a government model 1911 with a commander hammer and does sport the ivory grips that Patton notoriously installed on his firearms.

Model 629 V-Comp
Model 629 V-Comp

The standard sidearm of G.I. Joe is the Glock 21, the .45 caliber variant of the popular, polymer sidearm that is the chosen issue firearm of many military and law enforcement agencies world-wide. Roadblock, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, carries two 21s that are fitted with detachable magazine housings that are made from parts of a KRISS Super V. The Super V is a .45 ACP submachine gun that is designed to minimize recoil, the futuristic firearm is standardized to use Glock 21 magazines.

The Cobra ninjas and Cobra Vipers were equipped with the FNX-9. FN’s polymer-frame double action/single action hammer-fired 9mm was a sensible choice for the Cobra Organization’s armor-bedecked infantrymen, as it is well-designed for use with gloves. The gun features a more aggressive grip and a large trigger guard so that shooters using guns have an easier time with the controls and handling.

Guns of G.I. Joe: Retaliation FNX9

Smith & Wesson’s Model 629 is not an uncommon sight in Hollywood, the .44 Magnum six-shot revolver makes appearances again and again. In the latest G.I. Joe movie, a 629 V-Comp is the choice sidearm of antagonist Cobra Commander. The V-Comp is a performance center version of the 629, with a 4” barrel that has a removable compensator, is equipped with a chrome hammer and barrel, and has a tuned action.

Shotguns and Submachine Guns

Lady Jaye, portrayed by Adrianne Palicki, uses an M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS). Based off of the Knights Armament Masterkey system, originally a Remington 870 mounted under an M16 rifle or M4 carbine, the MASS allows a weapons system to be mounted under these standard rifle variations that can fire a variety of rounds unavailable to the rifle. They have been under development in the U.S. Army Soldier’s Battle Lab since the late 1990s and would provide soldiers with access to slugs, door-breaching rounds and less- or non-lethal rounds.


Also found in G.I. Joe: Retaliation are several of the Heckler & Koch sub-machine guns that seem to be extremely popular in Hollywood right now. Several guards can be seen sporting HK MP5A2s fitted with Navy trigger groups and Surefire dedicated forend weaponlights. Firefly’s motorcycle also seems to be equipped with HK MP7A1s. The MP7 uses the same short stroke gas piston system that is used to power the G36. It uses a specially designed 4.6x30mm round that is almost exclusive to the MP7. This round is available in a copper-plated steel projectile known as the DM11, which has a muzzle velocity similar to the .223 Remington but is also capable of penetrating NATO’s CRISAT target, which has 20 layers of Kevlar backed by 1.6mm of titanium.

MP5 with retractable stock
MP5 with retractable stock


FN Herstal’s SCAR family is heavily used throughout the movie. The G.I. Joes appear to use the SCAR-H as their primary battle rifle and the SCAR-L as their carbine of choice. The SCAR family was developed for use by the United States Special Operations Commands (SOCOM) and began being issued in 2009. The SCAR-H, or “Heavy,” is chambered in .308, or 7.62x51mm NATO, and uses newly-designed 20-round magazine. The SCAR-L, or “Light,” is chambered in .223, or 5.56x45mm NATO, and uses improved M16 magazines.

Guns of G.I. Joe: Retaliation -  SCAR-H

In contrast, the Cobra troopers use AKMs that have been customized and fitted in Center Balance Systems stocks. The Center Balance Systems stock that the Kalashnikovs are sporting are a real product, designed to improve the balance and ergonomic of rifles. The drop-in system can be used to change a variety of older-style rifles, including the Mosin Nagant and AK47, into a modern-looking bullpup-style firearm with lower perceived recoil.

Machine Guns

There is something about “The Rock” that lends Hollywood towards handing him large, automatic firearms, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation is no exception. On the more tame side of things, we find Dwayne Johnson’s character, Roadblock, rocking a M249E2 SAW. Then again, I think most of us can agree that with an unlimited supply of both money and upper body strength, a M249E2 SAW with a 200 round drum and an AimPoint would seem like a really good idea.

Of course, then there’s the part where Roadblock decides to actually get hardcore and starts hip shooting a Browning M2 Aircraft machine gun. Like ya do. The M2 seen in this footage has a customized chainsaw grip for the Rock to hold while he hip-shoots the automatic, belt-fed, .50 caliber machine gun. Don’t try this at home.

M249 SAW
M249 SAW

This same Browning M2 is presumably the one mounted on top of the “Ripsaw” vehicle since they both sport the customized chainsaw grip. A Browning M2HB is also seen mounted on a Cobra boat, which is far less exciting than any sort of hip-shooting seen involving Dwayne Johnson and a customized chainsaw grip.

Of course, then there are the M242 Bushmaster chainguns that serve as the primary weapon system on Cobra’s HISS tanks. The movie uses mockups to represent the M242s, which are mounted on the tanks next to two 8-barrel rotary guns.

By Peter Barrett. Originally published in the May 2013 issue of GunUp the Magazine.

Article Update August 2019: New G.I. Joe movies are in the works with Snake Eyes for 2020 and G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant TBD.

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