Cool is like pornography: it’s hard to define but easy to identify. The A10’s GAU-8 Avenger gun’s got it. A GLOCK? Well…I dunno. Maybe? A 1911? Oh yeah, they’re cool. Personally, I think lever guns are the world’s coolest guns. But then I think a schnauzer is a proper dog. Guns & Ammo readers recently voted for America’s coolest gun in a round-robin style showdown. They picked Tracking Point‘s “forget and fire” rifle. I mean, “fire and forget.” What say you? What’s the Steve McQueen of firearms, country of origin and portability notwithstanding?

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131 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s The Coolest Gun In the World?

  1. Welp….I was gonna say the A-10’s avenger cannon but it already got mentioned lol.

    Fictional: the M41A pulse rifle from Aliens.
    Real: the German MG42.

  2. Ooooh! A good question. Erm… I dunno. Maybe the Tommy gun. A great piece of engineering. The M1 Garand is an amazing gun. Honestly, though, I think a Henry Yellow Boy is a really cool, beautiful firearm. But really the Holland and Holland double rifle in .700 Nitro is the coolest, most beautiful weapon ever.

  3. The lever-action repeating rifle. No need to pick a specific model. Just work that lever and become the badass you were born to be.

  4. The tracking point rifle? Really?

    My vote goes to…hmm. I’d say the M134 Minigun, but it has to be vehicle mounted. Colt Python makes me ache, as does the SCG Carry. And most SBR AR’s do, too. Desert Eagle…240B…SAA…there’s just too much cool stuff.

  5. The Accuracy International AWSM in .338 Lapua Magnum. How many other small arms can be used to reliably blow Terry Taliban’s head off from 2500+ yards away?

  6. M16 with the shotgun attachment that Billy carried in predator.

    Edit: jeez this is hard. I’m totally second guessing my response.

  7. Coolest? Dragunov SVD and nickel plated 1911s are the cool gats for me.

    I have to mention that most guns are pretty cool to me, even Glocks.

  8. Tracking Point? Ooookay… Sounds like someone is selling product.

    To me the coolest guns are pistol caliber lever rifles, M1 Garand, and single action revolvers.

    But if “coolness” is defined as something that immediately stops me at the range to go see what the hell that is, then the answer is “anything black powder.”

  9. I believe Jeff Cooper had an answer for your Schnauzer…

    I’d have to go with a lot of other folks a Thompson SMG with a Cutts compensator and a drum. Really show up anywhere in the world where TV exists and they know why you’re there so just hand over the cash. And it is such a cool looking SMG.

    2nd would have to be P08 (luger)

    3rd Colt Peacemaker

    I’m thinking of things you could actually carry and use versus mini guns and imaginary weapons.

  10. I dunno–Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum? Maybe the cut-down 12-gauge double-barrel Antonio Banderas carried in Desperado? Again, maybe not necessarily the gun, but “Ma Deuce” is the coolest name I know for any gun.

    • Smith&Wesson model 29 with a 6.5 inch barrel was my 1st pistol. I am still very fond of the S&W wheel guns.
      Dirty Harry: “Do you feel lucky punk!” “Go ahead, Make my day.”

      I know what movie I will be watching tonight.

  11. Well, you started with it, and nobody said “small arms”, so I’m going with the GAU-8. Have you ever seen the ballistic comparison between the 20mm and 30mm? Oh my goodness, that bad boy shoots FLAT. For miles, I might add. And wait for this: did you realize the gun is behind the pilot, and as big as a Volkswagen? Most probably realize the muzzle is at the point of the nose of the aircraft. How does that work? The pilot straddles that 7-barrel rig like he’s riding a damn horse! God, what I would give for just one time…. I tried for years to talk somebody into letting me fly that babe, but the closest I got was flying the tanker that refueled it. If you can get close enough sometime, stick your finger in the muzzle. You’ll cream your jeans!

    • They are cool indeed!
      I watched “Sons of Guns last night. The put a 20MM cannon on a motorcycle side car. I suppose next week they will try and put one of these GAU-8’s on an electric Razor scooter??

    • GAU-8 hands down. Are you aware that they’re trying to phase out the A10? That’s garbage and it makes me sad.

      But if we’re talking regular smallarms here, my Counterstrike background is saying SIG 552.

  12. For me its a tie between the GE M134 Minigun and the A10 / GE GAU -8 combo. Since I can’t actually hold one of those, the M240 G. But that’s still pretty heavy, so the M249 SAW. And I can’t legally own one of those, and I didn’t buy one from Leland Yee before he got arrested. I can still legally own an AR-15 in CA. Then I’m stuck with the old 5.56 / 6.5 / 6.8 / 300 BLK / .50 Beowulf choices. A suppressor or three would be awesome. I’ll take all of the above (although I’ll probably not ever own a 6.5 Grendel and can’t get a suppressor until I leave CA). The AR-10’s of various flavors are also very cool. Let’s not leave out the semi-auto 12 gauges like the Mossberg 930 or the Benelli M4. A 10/22 used to be fast, fun, and affordable to shoot. These days, two out of three ain’t bad.

    Alas, I can’t conceal a long gun. GLOCKs are cool, but not terribly accurate. 1911’s are badass, but don’t hold a bunch of ammo. Sigs can be a good combo, as can the M&P or the XD / XDM. Let’s not leave out the CZ’s and olde school Browning Hi-Power.

    Mega revolvers are a blast. Literally. So are .44s and .357s.

    I think cool is a safe (or two or three) full of guns. With a few dollars left over for ammo. Add some actual freedom to carry a handgun or two in a responsible manner, and you may really have something.

    • And then die reloading.

      The Henry is a beautiful rifle, of that there is no doubt, but give me a loading gate any day.

  13. I’ve only ever seen one in person, but a mint S&W registered magnum will twist my heart into a knot.

  14. AN-94 maybe, from a gadgetry perspective? Two round burst at 1800 RPM, weird offset magazine well, and a reciprocating barrel 😀

  15. Ruger Blackhawk (or Super Blackhawk) in .44 magnum. Can’t get any more classic than a SAA and the Ruger’s good for those Ruger only loads that blow up regular .44 magnums. And if you’re feeling a little mellow you can take it easy with .44 Specials.

    • W T H???? It took THIS LONG for someone to mention the Gatling Gun? The minigun, the Phalanx, and the A-10 all get mentioned beforehand, but for sheer coolness don’t you have to go to the ORIGINAL??? Not only was it the first for putting out massive rates of fire compared to everything before it, but most are strikingly beautiful pieces of art, that also have function.

      With a pick of the right 6 there will be one in place of a coffee table in the living room!

  16. I like elegance coupled with unique solutions to common problems as a requirement of “cool.”

    Two entries: Darne’ shotguns and a Scottish O/U shotgun that breaks open to the side (the barrels pivot to the left) the name of the maker escapes me now.

    The Darne’ wins “cool” points every time one shows up on a shotgun range.

    • Got any more?

      I know we’re all egalitarian n’ shit around here, but experience speaks volumes.

  17. Early Mannlicher Schoenauer carbine in 6.5×54
    Beautiful gun and smooth action. rotary magazine. I used to have a long time ago. I cry every time I remember selling it.
    Their going for two grand now, if you can find one.

  18. I like gattling guns, 6+ barrels rotating by hand, prefer 45-70. But yes an A-10 is the coolest weapons system on the planet!

  19. Mauser C96

    It’s a mechanical marvel, held together entirely without screws or pins, except the one screw that holds the grip panels on. And it just looks friggin cool.

  20. Pistols:1911 as God and John M. Browning intended with the Mauser C96 as a close second. If it was good enough for Winston Churchill…

    Revolvers: Smith and Wesson Triple Lock – the classic heavy revolver. And if you aren’t a Smith guy let’s go with a Colt Python.

    Rifles: M-1 Garand is number 1. Steel, walnut and American engineering that saved western civilization. i’ll go with the 1895 Winchester as second. Teddy Roosevelt’s big medicine.

    Shotguns: Greener double barrel 10 gauge. Just the thing for a peaceful Saturday night in Dodge City. Remington 870 as the modern equivalent. Safety in Camden or Oakland when things go bump in the night.

    Machine guns and other novelties: Ma Duece – almost a hundred years old and still doing bad guys who desperately need killing. Early Tommy gun with the drum magazine, forward grip and compensator. Nothing says bad boy as much as a Thompson. MG-34 – a complex and over engineered killing machine that makes you want to invade France.

  21. The coolest gun is the gun at the top of my will-purchase-when-I-see-one list. Which is currently a S&W Model 36 (wheel list), CZ 75B (semi list) and M1 carbine (long gun list). Though a .357 lever gun is up there on that long gun list too.

  22. Coolest? That’s tough to answer. IMHO, my favorite (almost) production rifle was the AAC Honey Badger. Favorite handgun, LeMatt revolver. Favorite fictional rifle, M1-L1 Triple Pulse Rifle from Deep Rising – look it up. Favorite fictional handgun, probably the Phlager-Katasumata-D Blaster from Blade Runner.

  23. I am going with my Dad’s S&W .45 semi auto. I don’t what model it was. But he used to let me hold it (after clearing it). I thought it was so cool and beautiful. Then he took me shooting and it was the first gun I shot that day, or ever for that matter. I have loved guns ever since. So yeah the gun that got me hooked is the coolest gun ever to me. Thanks

  24. The coolest gun in the world is the one I so want but can’t own because it’s banned, not importable, not affordable or not even made yet, that’s the coolest gun in the world.

  25. From a pure aesthetic factor, I gotta go with another classic, the Walther PPK; even my gun averse mother thinks it’s sexy looking. Probably also qualifies for the best movie/gun product placement ever.

  26. Funny that you mentioned Steve McQueen, because his “Mare’s Leg,” the original badass SBR, would have to be the coolest gun ever made period.

  27. Davey Crockett Nuclear gun. Only gun invented that shot a miniature Nuclear Bomb. A low yield, 1 kiloton warhead.

    And you thought that was only in Fallout….

    • I took a peek at that Tom, They really are a fine piece of craftsmanship.
      $90,000.00 is a bit out of my league though.

  28. Mp5 9mm suppressed or 10mm

    Ruger deerfield 44. With matching wheel gun or course.

    A keltec sub2k scores novelty points

    M1 garand is awesome.

    Barret 50. Just epic.

  29. S&W 659 & Colt .38 D special
    659 1st I purchased for duty carry. The Detective special my father’s retirement weapon. 4506-1 as an add on it was my last “real” duty weapon. Really a glock but 4506 has more class & badge engraved on her.

  30. Rifle: Winchester Model 70 Pre 64 made rifle.
    Pistol: .45 Colt ACP
    Revolver: Model 29 SW
    Single Action Revolver Has to be a Colt .45
    Machine Gun .50 Bmg
    Bigger… the Mark 7 16 inch guns on the Iowa class BBs. 2780 feet per second, 2700 pound Shell. Able to penetrate 32 feet of reinforced concrete!!!

  31. Iowa Class Battleship’s 16 inch batteries. They had 3 turrets of 3 16 inch guns (9 total) on swiveling turrets that were roll stabilized using gyro inputs to keep them on target. (The Battleship Yamamato had 18 inch guns but we still beat them.)
    What else launches a 2000 pound projectile 60 Nautical Miles.

  32. Well, I think you got it right with the Avenger, and the A-10. Of course, those will be gone very shortly.

  33. Colt M1911 all the way. It’s impossible to get one of those in Zimbabwe for anything less than 9 grand, but good God I want one. Notable mention to the Colt M1873 Single Action Army, the M-61 Vulcan on the Phalanx CIWS platform and whatever that thing is they used in the first Starship Troopers movie.

  34. Apparently the enthusiasm for the AR-15 has cooled.

    I gotta go with a Thompson. Endorsed by the FBI, US Army, WInston Churchill and John Dillinger.

  35. Yup, I think the Warthog has the biggest, baddest gun in active combat use on the planet. It gets my vote.

    Any gun that slows down an aircraft midflight when it fires and requires the aircraft to retain the spent casing to maintain its flight characteristics is pretty awesome.

  36. I knew 1911’s would come up since they have a following and I still think they deserve a spot, what surprised me was how often SA revolvers came up. For cool factor the size of (most) of them and all the rigmarole in loading and firing them makes them pretty cool even without all the cowboy mystique. The manual of arms for an swing gate SA revolver definitely makes them cool.

    Getting into weapons systems the flakvierling is definitely cool. It’s ‘podular’ design, armor plate and four barrels sticking out like spines on a hedgehog just make it cool looking. Then if you know what it’s capable of and just how versatile it is it becomes an imposing and awesome weapon. Extra cool points: You can ride the thing while your shooting it, very cool.

    I noticed the MG42 mentioned and that is one of those things that I’m surprised came up but I’ll second. Awesome looking and awe inspiring in it’s capabilities and so far ahead of it’s time that it would still be a very viable weapon on the modern battlefield.

    While it may not be the most efficient, the lightest, the most reliable or the most modern there is one light weapon that has always done it for me and one of those few things that I’ve wished to obtain consistently from childhood on; the M60 machine gun. Maybe the ubiquitous versatility of it appeals to me, mount it on a truck, tank, APC, helicopter, sand bag it into a bunker, mount it in a tower or just hump the ‘Pig’ around with you, it can be reconfigured for almost anything, they even made a CQB variant out of the beast. Perhaps it’s because it was such an iconic weapon from the Vietnam era, the war of my father and uncles, that I find it so desireable, maybe It’s because I saw Rambo at perhaps the perfect age. I was only 6 when the film was released but was about 8-9 when I first saw it. At that age I had little critical commentary other than to ask what it was and if such an awesome weapon was truly man portable and if it could be fired in the manner shown. When I learned that it could be I knew that someday I had to have an M60. Genetics played a trick on me and the 60 is barely ‘man portable’ by this man at least and hip firing the beast isn’t something I can do with anything approaching accuracy or for very long at that. The really cool hold the weapon in one hand while feeding it with the other isn’t something I’ll ever manage without resting the front of the 25lb monster on something so I can focus on jitterbugging with the recoil. None of that matters to me though, I’ve always wanted one and if there is ever a time when I have $35,000 to $70,000 that isn’t tied up in mundane stuff like a house and a car and a retirement plan I’ll have one yet.

  37. Coolest gun? Of all time? Unpossible to tell. Although I love sub guns… Uzi, Mp5, Mp40, Thompson, Sten, Beretta m12, Swedish K.

    I also dig the M249 SAW and the early Maxim’s all decked out in brass.

    However the coolest gun I own is my HK USP with a Gemtech suppressor and a streamlight laser combo. Nothing more fun than a suppressed pistol.

  38. Guns that combine different metals or finishes are cool – like Turnbull Manufacturing’s beautiful TAR-15 or the Henry Golden Boy lever-action rifles – So are the the old single-action revolvers with brass parts.

    For modern guns I’ve always thought IWI/IMI Jericho handgun was cool. 1911’s with 4inch barrels and bobtail grips are cool to me also.

  39. For modern production, my votes are for the Sig 552 Commando for rifles, the S&W M&P R8 for handguns. For classics, I’ll take the Krag-Jørgensen Carbine, and the Schofield/Model 3 top break revolver.

  40. I work at a museum, and the coolest gun we have on display at the moment is an old flintlock that was cut down to about 5″ and affixed to an elk horn. Mainly just the uniqueness of it. While I love my 1911s and I want a gatling, Thompson, and a Tavor. it is the most unique one I’ve ever seen.

  41. I just skimmed, but I can’t believe I didn’t see MK19. Nothing says “Your 72 virgins are right this way” like a full auto, belt fed grenade launcher.

  42. Honorable mentions are: the Henry US survival rifle, the LeMat revolver, the Saiga 12, and just about anything designed by John Moses Browning.

    However my vote for the survey is the lever action 12 gauge. I’m in agreement with everyone about the lever guns, they are just awesome. When you add that with the power of a 12 gauge shotgun you get THE coolest gun. One need look no further than Arnold’s Schwarzenegger in Terminator two.

  43. Ma Deuce. Specifically, a Quad-.50 mounted on a half-track.

    On a portable level, an S&W New Model No.3 in .44 Russian. Blued steel.

  44. The Fabrique National Fusil Automatique Léger (“Light Automatic Rifle”) or FN FAL , known in British Army service as the SLR. The right arm of the free world. Heavy as fuck, longer than most prison sentences and punishing to fire from the standing shoulder position if you weren’t holding the thing properly but if you had to shoot someone, you had the comfort of knowing that they tended to stay shot.

    Also known in British military circles as THAT Rifle.

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