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From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Bioshock (2007)

Bioshock is an award-winning first-person shooter released in 2007, developed by 2K Boston (later Irrational Games) and published by 2k Games. Set in 1960, player character "Jack" (who is never actually called that in-game) is stranded in the middle of the ocean after the plane he is on crash lands. Seeking shelter in a lighthouse, he soon comes across the city of Rapture, an underwater Heaven-turned-Hell filled to burst with leaks, a powerful element called ADAM, power-giving Plasmids, violently ADAM-addicted "Splicers", little girls with giant diving-suited protectors, and a friendly Irish man called Atlas. Arming himself with these powerful Plasmids and various weapons, Jack ventures out into Rapture to defeat the tyrannical Andrew Ryan, the founder of Rapture, and find out that not all is what it seems.

A remastered version was released in 2016.

The following weapons appear in the video game Bioshock:


Webley Mk VI

The first firearm the player character finds is the "Pistol," based on the Webley Mk VI Revolver. This is also the weapon of choice for Leadhead Splicers for most the game. Its ammunition is very common until the Splicers begin to use other weapons. The pistol uses .38 caliber rounds, and it can use rare armor-piercing rounds or rarer antipersonnel rounds. The pistol can be upgraded with a damage boost and a strange device that seems to be a drum magazine feeding into the right side of the cylinder, which increases the weapon's capacity to twenty-four rounds. The pistol model held by Splicers is smaller than the one held by the player. The hammer is portrayed as cocked by default, with it somehow cocking itself after it has been fired. This is a leftover from an early build of the game, where the Webley was single-action. Another interesting thing to note is that Jack reloads the gun by replacing the entire cylinder, rather than using a speedloader (indeed, ammo packs for the pistol are of multiple cylinders, even when upgraded with the capacity increase).

Webley Mk. VI - .455 Webley
The "Pistol," chambered in .38 S&W. This is probably one of the best modeled weapons in the game, along with the Wrench. Note that the right side is noticeably less detailed than the left.
"Pistol". From left : Regular, extended cylinder magazine, increased damage and fully-upgraded.
Player character "Jack" fires his revolver at a Leadhead Splicer. Note that flames are somehow coming out from behind the cylinder.
Jack holds the revolver as he comes across a Vita-Chamber. When the player's health is completely gone, they automatically re-spawn at the closest Vita-Chamber rather than actually dying (this can be disabled in the options menu).
When Jack reloads the revolver, the release latch somehow flips up automatically right before Jack proceeds to snap open the revolver.
Even stranger, there is no separate animation model for a loaded cylinder, as no rounds can be seen inside after the reloading process ends.
Dr. Tenenbaum with her revolver when she encounters Jack for the first time.
Looking down the iron sights of the revolver.
The revolver in the tech demo. Note the attachment on the barrel that isn't in the final game and how the cylinder extension mod seems to have made the cylinder itself non-existent.
Jack reloads the revolver in the tech demo by actually operating the hammer swivel, opening the revolver, and removing the cylinder itself.
The Webley in the Remastered version.
Aiming down the sights. The increased cylinder detail of the remastered version is clearly visible.
Reloading has not been made more accurate.

Single Action Army

The logo on the "El Ammo Bandito" vending machine features a pair of Single Action Army revolvers.

Single Action Army - Colt Single Action Army w/ 5.5" barrel known as the "Artillery" model - .45 Long Colt
A pair of Single Action Army revolvers can be seen on the logo of the "El Ammo Bandito" (Probably intentional badly translated Spanish for "The Ammo Bandit") machine.

Submachine Guns

M1921 Thompson

The "Machine Gun" is the third weapon in the game, and is based on the M1921 Thompson, with a charging handle on both sides of the weapon and long barrel like the M1927 Carbine. At the early stages of the game after it's found, ammo is very scarce. The weapon and its ammo become increasingly more common when Leadhead Splicers upgrade to this weapon from their revolvers towards the end of the game. The Splicer model is smaller and lacks the foregrip and stock (Which, oddly enough, is very similar to the Thompson No. 8 prototype:[1]). A modified version is the standard armament for security bots. The weapon's casings eject to the left, as is common in video games. The weapon uses a forty-round drum (as opposed to actual Thompson drums, which hold 50 rounds). The Thompson can fire standard ammo, rare antipersonnel rounds, and inventable armor-piercing rounds. It can be upgraded with a damage boost and a recoil reduction which resembles a suppressor. The ones used by Security Bots appear to be M1/M1A1 Thompsons.

In the remastered version the proportions are much better, the weapon actually looks like the M1921/1928 model (only with the Cutts compensator with the front sight at the wrong end and the aforementioned side-position charging handles), the weapon has a much cleaner appearance, and it has a box-shape rear sight.

M1921 Thompson - .45 ACP
The model of the "Machine gun", without any mods. Note the poorly-rendered Cutts compensator with the front sight at the wrong end. The stock and rear sight wings are a weird hybrid of M1921 and M1. Also note the hideous modeling on the weapon, with grips around twice the size they should be and the drum magazine smaller than it should be, which looks awkward in first person view.
"Machine gun". From left : Regular, increased damage upgrade, decreased kickback upgrade and fully-upgraded.
When Jack arrives at the Medical Pavilion entrance, he finds a Machine Gun lying against a control panel.
Jack fires the Machine Gun at a Splicer caught off-guard. Note that the spent casings are ejected to the left, unlike the real Thompson, which ejects casings to the right.
Jack reloads his Machine Gun while simultaneously contemplating the fate of a lone Little Sister. Note that the drum is a completely smooth cylinder, with no hole through which cartridges could possibly enter the weapon.
The receiver seems to imply that at the beginning of his life this gun had the usual Thompson upper charging handle, but then someone decided that it was not very convenient and replaced it with a twin side one in the M1/M1A1 style. Note that the left side of the Machine Gun is a mirror of its right side, technically giving the gun two bolt handles (although Jack only pulls back the right side bolt handle, which is correct for the Thompson). The bolt handle is always pulled, regardless of whether or not the weapon was empty prior to reloading.
Looking down the iron sights of the Machine Gun. Note the damage upgrade for the Thompson, which appears to add some sort of pump that heats up the rounds of the weapon. Realistically, this would not be terribly helpful in terms of damage, and could possibly cause extraction problems or even lead to rounds spontaneously detonating within the weapon's chamber and magazine.
The fully upgraded gun is a bit of a Frankengun, between the large improvised muzzle brake/suppressor, the heat pump, and various random bits and pieces of machinery attached to it.
Note that this particular submachine gun (used by a Leadhead Splicer against a Big Daddy) lacks the wooden stock the player character's Thompson has. This model would later be reused in Bioshock 2. Also note how NPCs do not use the weapon's foregrip, instead choosing to hold it by the barrel; this could cause severe hand burns in reality, as the barrel heats up when fired repeatedly.
The Thompson in the remastered version.
Much better.
Aiming down the sights.
Reloading the drum mag.
Getting ready to pull the bolt handle.

Machine Guns

Browning M1919

The Browning M1919 is mounted on the automated gun turrets found throughout the game. It is not directly available to player character, but the turrets can be hacked to fight for them instead. Destroyed gun turrets sometimes drop .45 ammunition, implying that this gun somehow uses that instead of .30-06, which would mean technically it has been converted into an SMG.

Browning M1919 - .30-06 on M2 tripod
A lone hacked automated turret fires on a couple of Splicers with its mounted Browning M1919.


Spencer 1882

The "Shotgun" is the fourth firearm in Bioshock. It is based on a Spencer 1882, with custom Art Deco-style gold Inlays on the receiver/main body of the gun. Unlike the real Spencer, which loads from the top, the in-game shotgun loads from under the receiver. Ammo for the shotgun is not common throughout the first half of the game, especially since enemies don't carry it, so it often has to be bought from vending machines. A mechanical auto-loader can be fitted to the weapon as part of the "Increased Rate-of-fire" upgrade, as well as a damage upgrade. The weapon can fire 00 buckshot, as well as electrified or explosive slugs.

Spencer 1882 - 12 gauge
the model of an unmodified "Shotgun". The grip looks a bit iffy, but otherwise okay.
"Shotgun". From left : Regular, increased rate of fire upgrade, increased power upgrade and fully-upgraded.
Jack finds a shotgun on the ground next to a slain Splicer and a box of 12 gauge slugs.
Jack frantically pumps his shotgun as he confronts the psychotic Dr. Steinman.
With very little time to reload his shotgun, Jack finds himself mired in an intense struggle with one of the Big Daddies - heavily armed guardians of the Little Sisters.
After finding a bathysphere, Jack decides to reload his shotgun.


Home-made Grenade Launcher

The "Grenade Launcher" is the fifth weapon in the game. It is a custom setup built from common household and industrial parts. The Grenade Launcher seems to be made from one of the many pipes available in Rapture, complete with their Art Deco patterns, a converted handle and trigger to fit that pipe, and various other parts - even including a box of "Home-Grown Asparagus" for the magazine/grenade box. Jack loads the next round by twisting the rear of the gun to the left, which exposes the breech and loads a new grenade from the box, and reloads by replacing the entire module behind the barrel. Ammo is somewhat rare until the final areas, where it suddenly becomes extremely abundant. Luckily, no enemies wield this weapon, though Rosie Big Daddies will often throw proximity mines when attacking, and RPG turrets fire RPGs (which may be heat-seeking like the ones you can get for the grenade launcher). The three ammo types for the Grenade Launcher are:

  • Fragmentation Grenades; a very crude concoction of empty sardine cans filled with explosives. After shot from the grenade launcher, these will explode on impact with the nearest enemy or surface, but will often take some time before they explode, and will not explode after hitting the first surface due to their very primitive and simplistic design and manufacture. They are fired in a ballistic arc, so long-distance aiming might be more difficult. Fragmentation grenades are the standard ammo type and by far the most common.
  • Proximity Mines; these are a significant technological step up from the regular grenades. These will only explode when an enemy/NPC (including friendly Big Daddies and Little Sisters) enters a certain radius around them; basically anyone except Jack. These are most effectively used as traps, to set up a defensive radius, or to inflict massive damage in a single attack to enemies who require it, by using telekinesis to throw an object covered in mines (the so-called "Doomcan," so called because the usual object used is a trashcan). These also fire in a ballistic arc but adhere to any surface, including walls and ceilings. Since they will also stay in place until detonated (even after transitioning to a different level), proximity mines are ideal for setting up on the known paths of Big Daddies so they take immediate damage and have to hunt you down. These are considerably rarer than the normal fragmentation grenades but also become more abundant towards the end of the game.
  • Heat-Seeking RPG; the most advanced and rarest of the ammo types for the grenade launcher. As the name suggests, these projectiles are not only propelled by rockets - so don't follow a ballistic arc - they also actively seek the closest heat source. This is very useful if that closest source of heat are enemies, as you only need to aim in their general direction and the rocket will seek and destroy on its own. However, they will also aim towards fires and other hot masses if they are larger and/or hotter than your target. These are ideal in taking down Big Daddies as quickly as possible, as you don't need to precisely aim; just back away while facing their general direction while shooting RPG's at them from a very long distance. These are also ideal against targets who are not only very far off, but also semi-obstructed from direct line of sight, as well as groups of splicers due to its large radius of damage.
The grenade launcher's model.
When coming across the Fontaine Fisheries building, Jack receives a Grenade Launcher via conveyer belt.
Jack detaches the barrel from the rear module during the reloading animation.
Jack comes across a proximity mine ready for the taking. Armed proximity mines will have a red ring circling around them.
Note that even before the grenade launcher actually fires, the grenade round (which appears to be made out of a tin can) spawns, although to the left of the gun's breech.
Jack successfully proves to the imbecile of a Big Daddy that what he's shooting at him is no ordinary metal tin can, but an explosive one.
After firing a grenade round, Jack twists the gun's rear to the left to chamber another round. This also happens when the gun is being reloaded or ammo is being switched out.
Jack finds a heat-seeking RPG round on the ground for the taking.

Unusable Weapons

Colt Detective Special

A Colt Detective Special can be seen as the logo for the Combat Tonics when viewing them via the Gene Bank.

Colt Detective Special - .38 Special
A cartoon Colt Detective Special is highlighted by the Gene Bank.

Charter Arms Bulldog

A cartoon image of a revolver resembling a Charter Arms Bulldog appears in the description of Combat Tonics.

Charter Arms Bulldog - .44 Special
The Wrench Jockey combat tonic description features a cartoon rendition of a revolver.

M1/M1A1 Thompson

The weapons used by Security Bots appear to be M1/M1A1 Thompsons.

M1A1 Thompson with 30-round magazine - .45 ACP
Security Bots carry their own machine guns. This version is belt-fed, and the trigger and pistol grip have been replaced with parts integrated with the Bot's mechanism. Its damage and physics are identical to the model the player uses.

See Also

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