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Gunga Din

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Gunga Din (1939)

Gunga Din is a 1939 adventure film directed by George Stevens (Shane, Giant) starring Victor McLaglen, Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The film is partially based on Rudyard Kipling's 1892 poem of the same name. In the film, Kipling is actually a minor character who writes the poem based on the exploits of Indian water-bearer Gunga Din, played by a 47-year old Sam Jaffe.

Although based on a British poem and starring (mostly) British actors playing British characters, the film was produced by RKO and shot entirely in California, with the Alabama Hills doubling as the Khyber Pass. Although the film was the second highest grossing film in 1939, second only to what is now the highest-grossing film of all time, Gone with the Wind, the film actually lost money due to production costs. A remake, Sergeants 3, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford was released in 1962, moving the setting to the American West. The film was a major influence on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which also used Thuggee cultists as villains. (Both films are also criticized by native Indians for their portrayal of Indian culture.)

The following weapons were used in the film Gunga Din:


Colt New Service

Sergeants MacChesney (Victor McLaglen), Cutter (Cary Grant) and Ballentine (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) carry Colt New Service revolvers as their sidearms. Since the film is set in the 1880s, they are an anachronism.

Model 1909 Colt Army Revolver - .45 LC
Sgt. Cutter opens fire on the Thuggees.
Sgt. MacChesney opens fire with his Colt.
Sgt. Ballentine shoots open a box of dynamite. (There are probably safer ways to open boxes of explosives than shooting it.)
Sgt. MacChesney with sidearm drawn. Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe) is next to him.



British/Colonial troops are armed with Krag-Jørgensen rifles and carbines. Some Thuggee cultists are also armed with Krag-Jørgensens. Since the film was shot in California, Krag-Jørgensen were probably more plentiful than Martini-Henrys, which would've been correct for the time period. The rifles are likely Model 1892s or 1896s, while the carbines are likely Model 1899 Constabulary Carbines.

Model 1892/1896 Rifle

US Property Marked Krag-Jørgensen Model 1896 Rifle - .30-40 Krag
A Krag-Jørgensen next to a sleeping Lt. Markham (Roland Varno).
A Colonial soldier with his rifle.
Colonial soldiers use their rifles to form steps, allowing each other to climb atop a building.
A Colonial soldier works the bolt on his rifle. (The Colonial troops are shirtless because they were working on erecting telegraph lines and were caught by surprise.)

Model 1899 Constabulary Carbine

Krag-Jørgensen US Model 1899 Constabulary Carbine - .30-40 Krag
Sgts. Ballantine and MacChesney with their carbines.
A cultist threatens MacChesney with a bayonet. The Model 1899 were the only US Krag-Jørgensen carbines with full length stocks and bayonet lugs.
Ballantine with a Krag carbine.
Ballantine and MacChesney take cover. MacChesney later detaches the bayonet to use as a knife.
Gunga Din (Sam Jaffe) with a carbine.
A cultist delivers a bayonet thrust with his carbine.
Sgt. Cutter with a carbine.

Trapdoor Springfield Rifle

Most of the Thuggee cultists are armed with Trapdoor Springfield Rifles.

Replica Springfield Model 1873 "Trapdoor Springfield" built by Uberti Arms - .45-70
Thuggee cultists with their Trapdoor Springfields.
Sgt. Ballantine goes all out, with a sabre in one hand and swinging a Trapdoor Springfield with his other.
A shot of a cultist's rifle as Cutter pushes away a siege ladder.
A cultist hold a Trapdoor Springfield on Ballantine. The other cultist is armed with a Krag carbine (see above).
A cultist opens fire.
GungaDin TDS 06.jpg
The "trap door" actually open as a cultist reloads.

Magazine, Lee-Enfield

Some of the Colonial troops appear to be armed with Magazine, Lee-Enfield rifles. These could also be Lee-Metfords.

Lee-Enfield Mk.I - .303 British
Two Colonial soldiers with their rifles.
The soldier on the right extends his Lee-Enfield to assist Sgt. MacChesney as Ballantine provides covering fire.

Jezail musket

A Thuggee cultist is seen with an Jezail musket.

Jezail musket
A Thuggee cultist with his flintlock.

Machine Guns

Colt Model 1883 Gatling Gun

The regiment is armed with a pair of Colt Model 1883 Gatling Guns.

Colt Model 1883 Gatling Gun - .45-70
A Colt Model 1883 as Ballantine carries off a drunk Cutter.
British troops unload two Gatling Guns off of their elephant transports.
British troops open fire with their Gatling Guns.
GungaDin Colt1883 04.jpg


Cultist cannon

Cultists maneuver their cannon into position.

British cannon

GungaDin cannon2 01.jpg
GungaDin cannon2 02.jpg

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