The Guns of “Django Unchained”

Django Unchained is one of my favorite movies of all time ever since I saw it back in 2012. This South-Western revenge flick comes from the legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and offers up some incredible visuals, a truckload of squibs, and some period-correct firearms. One of the armorers on the film was Larry Zanoff and this comes to no surprise as he has worked on some of Hollywood’s biggest films over the last 30 years. 

Movie Guns @ TFB:

Cobra “Big Bore” Derringer

Django Unchained

Dr. King Schultz (played by Christoph Waltz) and Django (played by Jamie Foxx) are depicted wielding Cobra “Big Bore” Derringers as their secondary weapons. These Derringers are equipped with drawer slides for swift pistol retrieval and sport a polished steel finish with pearl grips. It’s worth noting that these two firearms appear to be identical or perhaps even the same pistol. However, this portrayal presents a historical inaccuracy, as the film is set in 1858, a period preceding the introduction of double-barrel Derringers of this style.

In reality, the Remington-style double-barrel Derringer was not developed until 1866, after the Civil War had ended. The Cobra “Big Bore” Derringer featured in the film is a modern reinterpretation inspired by the Remington Derringer design, which means it is not historically accurate for the Civil War-era setting of the movie. This choice appears to have been made for cinematic and stylistic purposes, even though it does not align with the actual firearms available during the film’s time period.

Remington 1858 New Army

Both Dr. King Schultz and Django are shown using various models of Remington revolvers, including the Remington 1858 New Army. This choice aligns with the historical accuracy of the time period depicted in the film and adds authenticity to the characters’ weaponry. 

It’s interesting to learn about the deleted scene from the trailer for Django Unchained where Django wields a Remington 1858 New Army in his right hand and a Colt 1851 Navy in his left hand. In the film industry, especially for trailers intended for general audiences (often referred to as “Green Band” trailers), adjustments are commonly made to meet the requirements of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to achieve a particular rating.

Remington 1858 Sheriff’s 

It’s worth noting that the Sheriff’s Remington 1858 model seems to be the same type of revolver that Django carries prominently throughout the film. Additionally, Billy Crash, played by Walton Goggins, is depicted wielding a nickel-plated or stainless steel reproduction of the Remington 1858. 

Colt 1851 Navy 

My Personal 1851 Navy (Reproduction)

The Model 1851 Navy, also known as the belt revolver, holds a significant place in the history of firearms. Produced by Colt in their Hartford factory after its opening in 1847, this revolver was a pioneering medium-caliber firearm. Its popularity endured for many years. Samuel Colt, the founder of Colt’s Manufacturing Company, had a special affinity for the Model 1851.

He even had his portrait taken while holding this particular revolver, underscoring his personal attachment to it. Colt was known to have presented these revolvers as gifts to foreign dignitaries, political figures, and other noteworthy individuals, including the famed Texas Ranger Ben McCulloch. This revolver’s historical significance and Colt’s personal connection to it have made it an iconic piece in the world of firearms.

The character Django, portrayed by Jamie Foxx, is depicted dual-wielding two iconic revolvers: a Colt 1851 Navy and a Remington 1858 New Army. 

Colt Dragoon 

Walker revolver. Produced from 1848 to 1861, these revolvers were highly regarded by both the military and civilians. They were known for their ruggedness and substantial firepower. There were three distinct models developed, and some could be equipped with detachable shoulder stocks for added stability and accuracy. The term “Dragoon” was used to refer to mounted cavalrymen who often relied on heavy, high-caliber pistols like these during the mid-19th century.

These revolvers were substantial in size and weight, with some models weighing around 4 pounds and 2 ounces. Due to their weight and size, they were not typically carried on the person but rather stored in holsters attached to the horse’s saddle. This made them readily accessible to mounted cavalrymen when needed, emphasizing their role as powerful sidearms for those on horseback.

There is a scene where Lil’ Raj Brittle, played by Cooper Huckabee, struggles with a third model Colt Dragoon revolver during a confrontation with Django. Subsequently, Django takes control of the firearm and is shown using it. 

Double-Barrelled Percussion Shotgun

A double-barrelled percussion shotgun is prominently featured in the hands of several characters throughout the film. Initially, it is wielded by slavers Ace Speck (James Remar) and Dicky Speck (James Russo). Dr. King Schultz and a slave are later shown using this shotgun. Sheriff Bill Sharp (Don Stroud) also carries the same type of shotgun when confronting Schultz. Additionally, Calvin Candie’s bodyguard, Butch Pooch (also portrayed by James Remar), uses a sawed-off version of the Double Barrelled Percussion Shotgun.

Sharps 1874

A Sharps 1874 Buffalo appears to be the rifle used by both Schultz and Django. The Sharps Buffalo wasn’t introduced until twenty years after the film’s time period.

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