The Guns of ‘Breaking Bad’

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The final episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad airs this Sunday and the staff is eagerly anticipating a just and Scarface-esque finale to this epic piece of moral madness.  We know it’s not your classic Western (yet), but this grand homage to nerd rage won our hearts and minds back in 2008 with a bag full of mercury fulminate and we’ve been hooked on the blue stuff ever since… and as you already know, we always keep an eye out for drool worthy hardware. So, let’s cook:

SPOILER ALERT:  If you’re currently watching the series, perhaps planning riding out the marathon currently going on AMC with all 64 episodes in order, realize this article is basically one big spoiler.  So, please bookmark it and read it afterwards.

1.  Smith & Wesson 4506

In the beginning of the series, gun violence is the reality “Mr. White” (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) are trying to avoid as they dip their big toes into the meth business.  But their naivety gets shattered in the pilot episode when a drug dealing vato calling himself Krazy-8 uses a Smith & Wesson 4506 to put some new air vents in their mobile drug lab a.k.a. the Crystal ship.  Walt “inherits” this piece and not long after Jesse gets rid of it, marking the first time the duo disposes of an illegal gun.  It would not be the last.

2.  Glock 22

When we first met ASAC Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), it was easy to write him off as just a stereotypical cop—a little brash, a little self-righteous, a touch arrogant and definitely tenacious—but over the series this nuanced character turned into one of our favorites precisely because he underlines the fact that the job of catching monsters may well demand all the above mentioned traits.

In the pilot episode Hank introduces Walt Jr. (and us) to his DEA issue Glock 22, which can be seen throughout seasons two, three and five. With an audience around him, it’s almost as if Hank can’t help himself from getting into the power of the .40-caliber round over the 9x19mm (claiming he has seen the round ricochet off a car windshield)—and leading us to believe ABQ’s finest are also readers.  He uses this gun to kill Tuco after the Cartel mad dog reaches for a…

3.  M4A1 Carbine

It’s fitting our series introduction to select fire weapons comes to us in the hands of Tuco Salamanca, himself a chemical fueled machine caught somewhere between wild and brutally efficient.

Tuco uses a M4A1 Carbine (sometimes with an ACOG scope) in the second episode of the second season, when he takes Walt and Jesse hostage. He later uses a couple three round bursts to ward off the speed demons in his head, all while making a complete, albeit uncomfortable lunch for his uncle and captives.  Walt gets his hands on the rifle after Jesse introduces Tuco’s head to a rock (the first time we see Jesse isn’t just good for taking punches).  Jesse also gets his hands on Tuco’s two-toned Jericho 941 R during this scuffle, which is just too good looking for us to call it a ‘pimp gun‘.

M4s pop up occasionally throughout the series, usually in the hands of good guys (i.e. law enforcement) though not always.

4.  Remington 700 Bolt-action Rifle

When running his model, clandestine drug empire, Gustavo “Gus” Fring  (Giancarlo Esposito) tended to avoid all out gun battles in favor of box cutters and a god-like tactical advantage, but in the drug trade that’s like saying you prefer not to get into traffic accidents. Stay on the road long enough, and eventually you’re going to get hit with metal.

One of the most memorable of these moments was when the Juárez Cartel sent ‘Chickenman’ a message in the form of sniper Gaff, who takes out one of Gus’s henchmen before littering the ground with lead love letters, using a Remington 700 bolt-action rifle hiding under a Badger ordnance BDM bottom metal and Barrett BORS scope.

5.  Beretta 84F

If honor among thieves exists, Jesse and Mike Ehrmantraut’s (Jonathan Banks) relationship proves it can never survive.  Though their father son dynamic was far more morally grounded than the one between Jesse and Walt, these two also tended to bond over bloody things… and shared a seeming fondness for Beretta handguns.

After Jesse’s order of burgers with a side of Ricin gets intercepted by Fring’s crew, he buys a Beretta 84F to exact revenge on the two drug dealers who killed his friend, Combo (and used a kid to do it). Later, Jesse uses this gun to murder Gale.  Mike takes out his former crewmember with a suppressed Beretta Cheetah and then threatens the paranoid Madrigal executive Lydia with it (who I think I dated in college).  When escaping Don Eladio’s compound (appropriately played by Steven Bauer), they both pick up some Beretta 92FS Inox pistols and Jesse empties a magazine into a cartel member, marking the second time Jesse kills somebody with a firearm.

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