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Death Wish (1974)

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Death Wish
Theatrical Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg USA
Directed by Michael Winner
Release Date 1974
Language English
Studio Dino De Laurentiis Corporation
Distributor Paramount Pictures (North America)
Columbia Pictures (International)
Main Cast
Character Actor
Paul Kersey Charles Bronson
NYPD Lt. Frank Ochoa Vincent Gardenia
Ames Jainchill Stuart Margolin
Jack Toby Steven Keats
Freak #1 Jeff Goldblum
Jackson Reilly Christopher Guest

Death Wish is the 1974 cult classic thriller based on the novel of the same name written by Brian Garfield. Charles Bronson stars as Paul Kersey, a quiet architect who becomes a vigilante, when his wife is killed and his daughter is raped by three muggers (including one played by Jeff Goldblum in his film debut, crediting him only as "Creep #1"). Bronson would go on to star in four more "Death Wish" films. Death Wish author Brian Garfield would also write a sequel novel to Death Wish, which wasn't used for any of the later Bronson films, but served as the basis for the 2007 Kevin Bacon-starring film Death Sentence. A feature film remake directed by Eli Roth and starring Bruce Willis as Kersey would be released in March of 2018.

The following weapons were used in the film Death Wish (1974):



Colt Police Positive

Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) uses a .32 caliber nickel Colt Police Positive revolver with a 4-inch barrel as his weapon of choice. This revolver was given to him as a present by Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) and is used throughout his vigilante encounters. He kills ten street muggers with it, usually with two rounds each. The revolver inflicts devastating wounds on any mugger unlucky enough to be on the receiving end, and not a single person shot with it survives.

The exact chambering of the revolver is never specified, but it is repeatedly confirmed to be a .32 caliber. The Colt Police Positive was chambered in three separate .32 caliber cartridges: the common .32 Smith & Wesson Long (referred to on Colt revolvers as ".32 Colt New Police" to avoid stamping their competitor's name on their weapons), the .32-20 Winchester Center Fire, a powerful rifle cartridge and, finally, the anemic and scarce .32 Long Colt. While some have speculated that the revolver is a .32-20 because of how powerful the revolver is, but it is clear judging by the size of the cylinder relative to Kersey's hand that it is a .32 Long. The cylinder on a .32-20 is the size of a .38 Special, which is much too long to be the gun in this film. The .32 Long was at one point so common it was carried by the New York Police Department (and chosen by Theodore Roosevelt, who was the commissioner at the time).

Colt Police Positive with nickel finish and pearl grips - .32 S&W Long
Paul Kersey's revolver in special case.
Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) holding his Colt revolver. Note the distinct Colt curved trigger shape in this shot.
A nice shot of the Colt Police Positive.
Paul Kersey aims his new revolver at the first time, just before his first vigilante encounter.
Paul Kersey shoots his revolver at mugger Thomas Leroy Martin. Note the hot gases escaping the barrel-cylinder gap. What a flash!
Kersey shooting another mugger in his second vigilante encounter.
Kersey shooting down a subway mugger. This aggressive, knife-wielding criminal was done for after the first shot, but Kersey wasn't taking any chances.
Kersey shooting an mugger in the subway station. Note very little (compared to other in this film) muzzle shots in this scene.
A surgeon holds two .32 caliber bullets removed from a mugger's liver. They appear to be lead round nose slugs, one of which mushroomed on contact.
A reverse angle shows Inspector Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) holding Kersey's empty revolver on him.
Inspector Frank Ochoa (Vincent Gardenia) holds Kersey's revolver.

1842 Percussion Revolver

During his business trip in Tucson, Paul is seen target shooting with a percussion revolver. Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) describes the weapon as a 'Percussion pistol, 1842', but it is actually a reproduction of the Remington 1858 New Army.

Remington 1858 New Army - .44 caliber
Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) takes out the revolver and ammunition from a gun case.
Kersey holds the 1842 revolver.
Kersey aims 1842 revolver on the target. Note the iconic stance, used by Bronson in all Death Wish movies.
Kersey aims 1842 revolver on the target.
Kersey shoots 1842 revolver. Note big yellow muzzle flash. Some of the muzzle flashes in the film also yellow and some - white.

Single Action Army

Paul opts to try the Colt Single Action Army revolver, after impressing Jainchill by shooting the Percussion pistol dead center at the range. It's described by Jainchill as revolver used by bandit Candy Dan in 1890. They're also used by stuntmen performing in a Wild West live action show.

Colt Single Action Army w/ 7.5" barrel known as the "Cavalry" model - .45 Long Colt
Kersey aims the Single Action Army on the target.
Close-up of the revolver as Kersey cocks it.
Another close-up of the cocked SAA.
Kersey shoots the revolver on the target.
SAA revolvers seen in actors hands and holsters.
An actor playing a deputy sheriff points his revolver at bandits.
An actor playing a deputy sheriff shoots his revolver at bandits. There was no muzzle flash in the first shot.
But there was muzzle flash when he fires another one.
An actor playing a bandit fires his revolver.
SAA revolvers on Jainchill's Gun Club's Shooting range wall.

Smith & Wesson Model 36

During his first night of vigilantism, Paul encounters drug addict and mugger Thomas Leroy Martin who points a nickel-plated Smith & Wesson Model 36 behind him with a warning to give him the money or 'I'll bust you up'.

Nickel Smith & Wesson Model 36 - .38 Special
Thomas Leroy Martin points his Smith & Wesson Model 36 on Kersey.
Martin with his Model 36 on Kersey. Another angle of the same situation.
Martin with his S&W Model 36 on Kersey.
Martin is shot by Kersey while holding his Model 36.

Smith & Wesson Model 10

A Smith & Wesson Model 10 is seen wielded by a police officer.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 - .38 Special
Cop with his revolver. Kersey is seen in the first window, sitting.



A mugger is seen wielding a 1911 platform pistol upon Paul's vigilante mission. The exact model cannot be identified.

Colt M1911 - .45 ACP
Mugger with his 1911.
The mugger shoots his 1911. He misses this shot, but wounded Kersey's leg by another shot.


12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun

A short-barreled 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun is used by an actor playing a deputy in the wild west show.

Short-barrel Double Barreled 'Coach' Shotgun - 12 Gauge
An actor playing a deputy sheriff with his double-barreled shotgun.
An actor playing a deputy sheriff shooting his double-barreled shotgun. Note again yellow muzzle flash.


Depicted revolvers

We can also see generic pictures of revolvers, first on a Newsweek cover in the street commercial and again, a drawn image on a TV news broadcast.

Revolver seen on the cover of Newsweek.
Drawn revolver seen in the TV news.

Weapons Case

Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) is seen taking Kersey to a private gun range where gun cases displaying several weapons are visible.

Ames Jainchill (Stuart Margolin) takes out a revolver and ammunition from a gun case.
Several rifles and shotguns seen at the left.

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