Top 6 Guns of Mission Impossible Series

Patrik O
by Patrik O
Top 6 Guns of Mission Impossible Series 

The Mission Impossible film series is one of those rare things in the film that seem to get better with the more entries they put out. Since 1996, Ethan Hunt a.k.a. Tom Cruise, and the gang has been giving filmgoers, and movie buffs more than a few reasons to buy some expensive popcorn, and take a seat in their local movie theater. From the elaborate plot lines and the death-defying stunts, the series seems to always find a way to stay fresh. The Mission Impossible series is not particularly well known for its gunplay but does feature some interesting firearms from throughout the years. With the seventh installment of the Mission Impossible series hitting screens a few weeks ago, I figured this would be a good time to take a look at some of the guns from the film series. A quick disclaimer, though, I will only be covering one gun from each film in my criteria for picking each gun solely based on its functionality, or how unique it is. So without further ado, let’s get into the list.

Movie Guns @ TFB:

Mission Impossible (1996)

While not being featured for very long in the first installment of the series, the Styer TMP can be seen being wielded by Kittridge’s right-hand man Barnes (Dale Dye).

The TMP is a submachine gun of Austrian origin. It was developed by Steyr in the early 1990s as a private venture. The name TMP stands for Taktische Maschinenpistole, which translates to Tactical Machine Pistol. Depending on the exact definition used, it can be classified as either a machine pistol or a submachine gun. Since the mid-2000s, the design has been marketed in modified form by B&T as the MP9.

The TMP operates from a locked breech, short barrel recoil operated action, and rotating barrel . The barrel and mechanism are made out of steel and the exterior is made from polymer. A dual-stage trigger acts as a fire selector. A vertical forward grip is standard and most TMP were produced without stock. A plastic fixed stock is optional.

The Styer fires the 9x19mm round from a 15 or 30-round magazine. It is a select-fire weapon with a cyclic rate of fire of 850 to 900 rpm. Despite its high rate of fire, it reportedly remains controllable, even with bursts of up to 10 rounds. The effective range is 100 meters and the accuracy is significantly improved with fixed stock. The SPP is a semi-automatic variant.

You will notice that in the film Barnes is the only character who is even carrying an SMG of any kind besides the security guards at Langly who is seen with an H&K MP5A3. With his limited screen time, this makes me think that Barnes was definitely the gun guy in his agency when everyone else from the IMF is carrying around the double or single-stack, steel-framed pistols and this guy has a freaking SMG. Good choice Barnes.

Mission Impossible 2 (2000)

With the second installment of the series really going as hard as it possibly could, the number of guns on screen seemingly tripled from the first film. This time around the man directing the film would be Hong Kong legend, John Woo. Looking back at this film, now it is easy to see all of the classic Woo trademarks from the use of slow-motion, flying doves, and akimbo Beretta 92 Compact pistols.

Designated M9 by the U.S. armed forces and known simply as the 92 around the globe, the NATO-certified Beretta 92FS is one of the most iconic military pistols in the world. With outstanding accuracy and reliability, the time-tested and battle-hardy 92FS is simply The World Defender. The new 92 Compact takes some of the best features of the 92/M9 family and scales them down to be more compact and concealable. Sporting a 4.25” barrel, the 92 C is certainly not what most people would call “compact” by modern standards but it’s still a super cool pistol.

The 92 C is the favorite pistol of Ethan Hunt in this film with it being his go-to handgun for many of the most exciting set pieces in the movie. While it would make more sense to me that you would want a small SMG while storming a chemical weapons lab, the film kinda makes up for this by giving Ethan two 92 Cs for this scene. This was a film directed by John Woo so obviously there was going to be a lot of dual wielding. Later on, Ethan uses the 92 C while riding a motorcycle during one of the most ridiculous chase scenes ever put to film but also a handgun would be a half-decent choice for this scenario, I guess…..

Mission Impossible 3 (2006)

While being a much more grounded film than its predecessor, Mission Impossible 3 still sports some really cool firearms, and definitely ones that make more sense in their situations.

While there is an excellent scene where Ethan Hunt clears out a factory full of goons with an H&K MP5 K and great use of a Desert Eagle as a grapple gun, I think the bridge sequence with the G36K takes the cake here.

The G36 is an assault rifle of German origin. It was developed by Heckler & Koch in the early 1990s as a new assault rifle for the German army. The G36 is a departure from H&K’s high-quality but very expensive and heavy roller delayed blowback system. The G36 has been influenced by various weapon systems and the internal mechanism is rather similar to the AR-18.

The G36 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from a 30-round translucent magazine. It is a select fire rifle that is available with a variety of trigger groups. The rate of fire is 750 rpm. The effective range is 400 meters for the full-size G36 and 200 meters for the sub-compact G36C.

After being ambushed on a bridge in a convoy and concluding that an M9 is not the best option for taking down a helicopter full of goons with guns, Hunt runs back to his flipped SUV and retrieves a disassembled H&K G36K. While having a disassembled rifle like this makes zero sense for a large armored convoy, it certainly elevates the tension of the scene when Hunt is desperately assembling the rifle while the bad guy is getting away. In the end, Hunt is too late and the big baddy gets away but not after dumping a mag into the air at the helicopter he escapes on. I also like this scene as you never get to see the G36K in films as it loses out on screen time to its little brother the G36C.

Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol (2011)

While MI3 had many great firearms in prominent roles, Mission Impossible 4 takes a step back and only allows the film’s protagonists to carry pistols. While this does make sense as there are much fewer large shootouts in the movie and most of the actual missions are done covertly, it still would have been cool to see more long guns that were not in the hands of villains. For MI4 I think the SIG P226 has to be the clear choice as it’s highly utilized by the entire Impossible Mission Force Team.

The P226 was designed for entry into the XM9 Service Pistol Trials that were held by the US Army in 1984 on behalf of the US armed forces to find a replacement for the M1911A1. Only the Beretta 92F and the SIG P226 satisfactorily completed the trials. According to a GAO report, Beretta was awarded the M9 contract for the 92F due to a lower total package price.

The P226, like the other members of the SIG classic family, operates by the locked breech short-recoil method pioneered by John Browning. On firing, the slide and barrel are locked together for a few millimeters of rearward movement, after which the barrel is cammed down at the rear. By this time the bullet has left the barrel and the pressure has dropped to safe levels, whereupon the slide completes the rearward stroke, ejecting the spent cartridge. The recoil spring then propels the slide forward, stripping a round from the magazine and in the last few millimeters of forward movement the barrel is cammed upwards, locking the slide and barrel together again.

In the movie, there are two variants of the P226 used on screen, the P226 E2 and the P226 SCT. All of the male IMF agents are seen using the P226 E2 while the only female agent is seen using the P226 SCT throughout the film. The P226 is one of my favorite pistols of all time and I personally own the MK25 variant, so this was obviously a very unbiased choice. But in all seriousness, the P226 makes for an excellent sidearm in real life with it seeing wide adoption all around the world so it makes sense to see it being carried by the cast of a spy movie.

Mission Impossible 5: Ghost Protocol (2015)

Mission Impossible 5 does sport some pretty interesting firearms but still plays it safe with all of the IMF agents using Glock or SIG pistols. There is one scene where Hunt uses a disguised flute rifle to stop an assassination attempt and while this rifle is pretty cool and seems like the obvious choice, it’s not my pick from this film. For MI5, my pick is the good old M4A1 used by the CIA’s Special Activities Division. Is this the boring choice? Yes. Is this the practical choice? Yes.

I’m not going to get into the history or the development of the M4A1 here but I wanted to point out that I find it funny that these guys are clearing a small home while sporting ACOGs on their rifles.

Mission Impossible 6: Fallout (2018)

This was by far the hardest film to pick from as it features a lot of interesting and fun firearms. I would like to mention that the overall use of accessories in this film series has gotten better and better over the years. Honorable mentions certainly go out to the H&K 416s being used by the French Special Forces and Rebecca Ferguson’s character. The Beretta PM12 is also a really interesting firearm for its uniqueness, but there was really no other choice than the FN Minimi Para being.

The Minimi Para is a light machine gun of Belgian origin. It was developed in the 1990s as a more portable variant of the full-size Minimi. The Para model was originally developed for paratrooper use. In practice, the Para model has slowly taken over the role of the full-size Minimi as a general issue weapon. The Para model is more portable and better suited for mechanized infantry and more portable on patrols.

The Minimi Para fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round. It is usually used with 100 round belts in an assault pouch. The 200-round belt box can still be used. The Minimi Para fires fully automatic only at a cyclic rate of fire of 700 to 850 rounds per minute.

The Minimi Para being used in the film is pretty stock but it is mostly fired during a crazy helicopter chase at the end of the film. It is also being fired by Henry Cavill who is sporting one of the best mustaches ever seen put to film. For those very scientific reasons, it has to be my pick from this movie.

Patrik O
Patrik O

-Former Army Photographer / Videographer -Current Aviation Student -Future in debt due to Firearm collection

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4 of 24 comments
  • Ivanator Ivanator on Aug 12, 2023

    There were two ghost protocols??

    • MediumSizeTex MediumSizeTex on Aug 12, 2023

      @Ivanator Yes; first there was Ghost Protocol, then its offspring Ghost Roguenation Protocol, which is better known by its middle name.

  • Anomanom Anomanom on Aug 12, 2023

    How can you talk about MI:3 and not mention the drum-fed M82 remote turrets?

    • Forrest1985 Forrest1985 on Aug 17, 2023

      @Anomanom I was just about to say the same! The G36 bridge scene is good but the drone is the star of that scene. Barrett sentry guns is on another level!