The Guns of Den of Thieves – An Action Movie Without Any Glocks

    THE GUNS OF Den of Thieves:

    Den of Thieves was released to movie screens in January of 2018. This was a while ago obviously but it has been on my brain’s watchlist for two years. Just a little bit ago it made its way onto Netflix and found itself on the top 10 movies currently on Netflix chunk of the streaming platform, so naturally, I had to watch it.

    While watching it I came to the realization that it was a fairly well-made heist movie and surprisingly I would say its a gun guy kind of movie. Not because it had firearms in it but the lingo and attention to detail were appreciated, well-executed, and not too terribly over the top. The guns I list in this article are ones that I noted while on a second watch of the film. I probably missed some minor background gats. Also, screengrab quality is due to the fact that the gun is not the center of attention nor the focus thus some images may not be clear.

    Brief synopsis:

    Den of Thieves is a heist movie that is given a little more depth than the typical gadget-filled and snarky sort of jewel thief flick. It revolves around a group of literal thieves (most with a military background) that are stealing things for the eventual ultimate heist and also the bad good guys I guess for lack of a better term. Not full anti-heroes because they definitely aren’t shown as heroes. I am of course referring to our beloved Scottish “this is Sparta!” dude, Gerard Butler, and his fellow law enforcement officers who to put it plainly, don’t really give a crap. They are the Major Crimes Unit of the police force in the movie.


    Opening Shots:

    The film opens with a preliminary mini-heist of an armored truck and it turns bad when one of three armored truck associates “spills” his coffee and reaches for his sidearm while being held up. The screengrab below is the only shot of any of the associate’s sidearms and your guess is as good as mine. My pick is it is a SIG Sauer P226 of some sort or Beretta 92 just by going off of the floor plate and the fact that there are no Glocks to be found in this movie.

    fair use: educational

    Mystery Pistol. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Main baddy’s Battle rifle and best friend:

    The supposed leader of the thieves is seen using what appears to be a Heckler & Koch HK416 which I think is extremely fitting since the character was in the United States Marines and their own version of the 416 was selected to be the new infantry rifle a few years ago. His go-to rifle looks to have a red dot, flashlight, laser, and vertical grip.

    HK416. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    The Main baddy seems to be an HK guy overall since even though at a point in the film he is shooting a SIG P226 at a range, he totes and points a Heckler & Koch HK45C and fellow thieves and pursuing law enforcement. It’s shown very subtly at first and later is more identifiable.

    Heckler & Koch HK45C. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    SIG Sauer P226. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Main bad good guys guns:

    Gerard Butler’s character has an interesting choice for an everyday appendix carry in that of a Smith & Wesson M&P9. I do not think this is a 2.0 nor do I believe it is the full size 17 round handgun. A close inspection of the grip texture and grip length leads me to make out an M&P9 “1.0” 15 rounder with a red dot on it.

    Smith & Wesson M&P9. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Now for Mr. Butler’s battle arms! Let us start with the obvious. His character is wielding an FN SCAR and at first, I really thought it was a SCAR 17 since the character is a “big bullet equals big hole” type of guy but it actually looks like a SCAR 16 just going off of the size of the magazine and ejecting shells.

    FN SCAR 16. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    A big man with a big personality needs a big duty sidearm and what better than to keep that FN train rolling! He is seen holstering an FN FNX 45 Tactical multiple times along with using it to great effect by the end of the film. I was watching for the red dot attached to it and it looks like a Vortex Venom and is different than the one on his Smith & Wesson.

    FN FNX 45 Tactical. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    The Crew Weapons:

    There are a lot of background guns in this film and some are identifiable and some are not. There is quite a bit of generic M4 action being passed around here and there and you can see things like a Beretta 92 or a Colt 1911 if you are looking close enough. All and all, the supervisors on the set did a good job of pairing unique guns to unique characters.

    50 Cent’s Character, for example, wields a full auto RONI for most of his battle scenes and my first thoughts were it was a full-auto Glock in that RONI but when the gun is set down at one point in the film, you can somewhat make out the SIG Sauer logo that you would see on metal frame SIG pistols such as the P226. This is the fun part. I asked my fellow staff here at TFB about it and Nicholas C reached out to a friend at Independent Studio Services and more or less confirmed it was a SIG and that not just the full auto nature of the gun but it firing at all was mostly movie magic such as CG, due to the fact that the gun used was an airsoft gun.

    I apologize for the photo’s quality. It’s the only time it is seen set down and I had to turn up the brightness a bit. It is also accompanied by an extended magazine and a Walther PPQ which is shot in the air during the bank robbery.

    SIG 226/RONI. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Another bad guy gun is shown subtly in the film here and there but never shown firing. It seems to be a Saiga shotgun or a clone of some sort with a drum magazine and chainsaw style grip.

    Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Here we see a weapon featured fairly often in the fight scenes that I think is either another HK416 variant or even a Noveske N4 Diplomat. The confusion lies in the grip and handguard. When the gun is set down, it has more of a 416 style pistol grip but also a blast suppressor and rail like that of the Noveske. I suppose movie magic and onset armorers could have configured the gun in such a way to make it even more unique to the person holding it.

    Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    Final Cut:

    At the end of the film, there is a standoff and right before it happens we get to see an FN 249 Paratrooper SAW. Aside from this weapon being super easy to identify and no guesswork on my part, the main baddy does, in fact, say “pass me the SAW”.

    FN 249 SAW. Image Credit: Diamond Film Productions, Tucker Tooley Entertainment

    In closing, I thought this movie was an enjoyable watch and keeps your attention. Better yet, I stand by my statement that this is very much a subtle gun guy kind of movie. The action wasn’t over the top and the acting is simple in a good way. It is hard for me not to analyze guns while watching a movie so this whole article was a new fun thing to try out.

    Did I miss any major guns? Did you guys see the movie? As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time! Let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.


    Writer | TheFirearmBlog
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    Instagram | sfsgunsmith

    Old soul, certified gunsmith, published author, avid firearm history learner, and appreciator of old and unique guns.