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Firearms Of Cinema: Guns From Blood Diamond

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Welcome back to another edition of Firearms of Cinema. Last time we looked at the guns from the Book of Eli and why the main character may have used the guns he did. If you happened to miss that article, be sure to check it out by clicking the link here. This week is no different with a deeper dive into some of the firearms the main character Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) from Blood Diamond uses. Let’s take a closer look at some of the guns from Blood Diamond.

Movie Guns @ TFB:

Glock 26

At the very beginning of the film, Danny Archer has a small Glock 26 as his concealed carry piece. One thing you have to keep in mind is the fact this film is supposed to take place in 1999, so the newer Glock 43s and other variants were not available just yet. At the time, the Glock 26 was one of the most reliable and compact options on the market.

I know some of you will throw out other variants that were available at the time, but by the late 1990s, Glock had a reputation for building ultra-reliable pistols that worked no matter what. Sadly though, Danny is soon arrested for smuggling diamonds, and his trusty Glock 26 is confiscated. Although the Glock 26 had a short appearance in the film, it sets up the idea that the main character Danny Archer knows his weapons and cares about what he carries every day.

Photo Courtesy of IMFDB

HK USP Compact

Later on in the movie, Danny Archer meets a good friend in the bar and buys an HK USP Compact from him since Danny’s Glock 26 was confiscated. His friend even says he “has something special for Danny” in the film which makes sense for the timeline. Again, if this film was based in 1999, the HK USP Compact would still be relatively new but had the reputation of being incredibly reliable and a workhorse by that time. If you were running around in Africa and needed a gun for self-defense, the HK USP Compact is actually a really great choice. With little to no maintenance required to keep it running, Danny Archer could run around all over Africa in search of his diamond without having to worry about constantly cleaning his pistol.

This happened to be the first pistol I ever owned, so I can testify to its overall reliability and just how tough of a handgun it is. throughout the movie, there are a few scenes where you can see an exposed hammer which is not standard for a traditional USP Compact. Exposed full-size hammers were available on the German P10 variants or they can be installed by users aftermarket if you have the capability to switch out parts. It’s a rather interesting choice for the movie, but in certain scenes, Danny’s character pulls the hammer back for dramatic effect so it makes sense why they switched it out. Overall, the HK USP Compact is a bulletproof reliable handgun with a fantastic track record so it makes complete sense why it was the main handgun for Archer’s character.

Photo Courtesy of IMFDB

The Classic CAR15

One of the most interesting firearms in the entire movie is the contractor’s heavily modified CAR15 rifles. These rifles were 10.5 CAR15s equipped with an Aimpoint M2, old-school surefire lights, blast deflectors, and a custom rattle can paint job. Towards the end of the film, Danny Archer ends up taking one of these CAR15s off a contractor and helps Solomon escape with the massive conflict diamond. Typically in movies, you will have something rather standard but this was one of the early movies to show some high-end weapons that were squared away. From the handgun choices to the overall layout of the rifles, it makes this movie one of the few movies out there that was made for gun guys by gun guys.

One interesting point was this firearm was oddly similar to the Gordon Carbine from Black Hawk Down. Eventually, it came out that the Blood Diamond rifles were just repurposed Gordon Carbines which just adds another level of cool factor to these rifles. The ending scene where Solomon is trying to get away isn’t exceptionally long or dramatic but is more realistic than other movie shootouts. Danny Archer was wounded so he struggles to reload and fight off the soldiers so Solomon can escape. The angles and shots where they show Archer’s character engaging the bad guys with his CAR15, it really makes the gun feel special and really did create a cult following as a result.

Photo Courtesy of IMFDB

What The Gun Choices Tell Us About The Movie

This may not be a super violent movie or action-packed like John Wick, but the action is very realistic. In its brief moments of violence, our main characters try to evade rather than take on a substantial force. I wish more movies would have fantastic firearm choices and take this approach over something like the over-the-top unrealistic action we see today. Blood Diamond does a great job having a wide variety of interesting firearms from classic Hi Powers to PKMs, RPKs, RPGs, and all kinds of other rarities we don’t see in movies every day. If you haven’t seen Blood Diamond I highly suggest you take the time to watch it. It’s one of the few movies where they try to keep the action realistic and did a fantastic job with the overall gun choices.

Overall Thoughts

The advisors for Blood Diamond took the realistic approach and as a result this movie still stands up and shines even almost 20 years later. Like I said earlier, if you haven’t seen this movie I highly suggest you check it out just for the awesome gun content in this movie. What do you guys think about the gun choices in Blood Diamond? Is it a realistic take for the time period of 1999 or should they have used different models to make it feel more authentic? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions about these guns or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you in the next edition of Firearms of Cinema.

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