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Guns Of Rambo

guns of rambo

Let’s face it, Sylvester Stallone doesn’t quickly let go of his characters. He held on to Rocky Balboa for six films spanning 30 years (1976-2006). So far, he has shot up the big screen with the guns of Rambo in five pictures starting in 1982 and continuing into 2019 for an amazing 37-year run!

The Rocky franchise garnered several awards and grossed over $1.7 billion at the box office. If you’re craving action, you would be hard-pressed to find a group of movies that provides more than the Rambo series. No one is likely to mistake Sylvester Stallone for Sir Laurence Olivier. But he is perfectly cast as the troubled Vietnam War and Green Beret veteran who can’t turn off his kill-first-ask-questions-later instincts.

Most critics agree that Rambo: First Blood, the initial offering in the series, is the finest. It’s helped by an excellent supporting cast. Including veteran actors Richard Crenna as Rambo’s former commander Colonel Samuel Trautman, and Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Will Teasle. The plot is solid, and even though the violence often pushes the boundaries of believability, it’s a wildly entertaining film featuring more than a dozen various types of firearms.

Guns Of Rambo: First Blood (1982)

a photo of an m60 machine gun guns of rambo

The Plot: John Rambo is a Medal of Honor recipient drifting from town to town looking up old war buddies when he happens into Hope, Washington, to find a meal. He comes under the radar of Sheriff Will Teasle, who arrests him for vagrancy. While in custody, deputies abuse him, triggering flashbacks of torture in Vietnam and setting off his military instincts.

Rambo manages to escape from the local jail. The sheriff’s department, state police, and National Guard fail to capture or subdue him. Only upon the arrival of his former commander, Colonel Trautman, is a total blood bath averted.

The Weapons:

Among the slew of handguns, rifles, and shotguns that Rambo and law enforcement brandished, three weapons stand out—the M16A1 assault rifle, the M60 machine gun, and John’s survival knife. Here’s the scoop on each of them:

Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

 a photo of a Heckler & Koch MP5 A3

The Plot: Part I ended with John Rambo surrendering to an uncertain future. Part II picks up three years later as he is doing hard time (breaking rocks in a quarry). He receives a visit from Colonel Samuel Trautman, his former commander. Trautman has a proposition for him. Go back into the jungles of Vietnam, find American POWs, photograph them, and get a full pardon.

This mission sounds like a walk in the park for someone with Rambo’s training and experience. However, it turns into an unholy mess quickly. He loses much of his equipment during his drop into the jungle. Afterward, he meets and loses his female contact agent, manages to rescue one POW, and is captured and tortured—eventually escaping.

Meanwhile, Rambo uses everything at his disposal, including a compound bow with explosive arrows. He acquires a captured Soviet helicopter, to rescue the POWs while laying waste to the prison camp and his former captors.

The Weapons:

In Rambo: First Blood Part II, the screen is populated with all types of handguns, shotguns, machine guns, assault rifles, submachine guns, and explosives. Here are two guns of Rambo that stand out:

Rambo III (1988)

a photo of the SVD-63 Dragunov sniper rifle

The Plot: After his rescue mission in Rambo: First Blood Part II, John Rambo decided to settle in Thailand. Rambo III opens with Colonel Sam Trautman, John’s former superior, visiting him there to ask him to join him in helping the Mujahedeen rebels fighting against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 

Trautman goes to Afghanistan alone after Rambo turns him down, eventually trapped behind the enemy lines. John launches yet another rescue mission, this one to free his friend who his Russian captors are torturing.

As expected, there are no shortages of bombs and bullets as Rambo fights his way through a large contingent of Soviet soldiers.

The Weapons:

As in Rambo II, there is plenty of killing and property destruction and lots of guns, rifles, and explosives to get it done. One of the most interesting firearms was featured in the film but didn’t survive the final cut:

Rambo (2008)

a photo of the Browning M2 50 cal machine gun

The Plot: For the Rambo re-boot (Rambo IV), John Rambo is a boat captain in Thailand. This location keeps with the canon put in place by Rambo III. John reluctantly agrees to transport a boatload of missionaries downriver to deliver medical supplies. Things go sideways when the missionaries are captured by Burmese Junta soldiers. John Rambo must decide to maintain the low profile of his quiet life or join up with a band of mercenaries for a rescue mission.

The Weapons:

The film features several classic Rambo weapons, including knives, a compound bow, and plenty of machine guns. Technically, this is the first film in the series to depict Rambo using a handgun, however, it also uses cut footage (in a flashback) from Rambo: First Blood showing an alternate ending to the first film.

Guns Of Rambo: Last Blood (2019)

a photo of an M1 Garand rifle

The Plot: John Rambo has (kind of) retired and returned home to his father’s horse ranch in AZ. He searches for inner peace while raising horses, digging tunnels, and making knives. He shares the ranch with a family friend named Maria and her teenage daughter, Gabriela. Through a series of events, Gabriela ends up on the wrong side of the Mexican border and is abducted by a notorious cartel. John is forced to cross the border to rescue her. He rains his style of punishment down upon those who are responsible.

The Weapons:

If you’re into knives and clawhammers, this is an action film for you. The film is bloody, with hand-to-hand action sequences shot in a quick edit style like a slasher movie. There’s less “spray and pray” machine gun action, and more close-range shotgun combat. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of gunplay from the cartel, they bring an arsenal to take on Rambo. Including AK-47s, AKS-74Us, and plenty of surplus hardware and equipment.

The End Of Rambo?

Is Rambo: Last Blood the end of the road for the Rambo character? In true Stallone-style, Sly leaves the door open for a possible return to the role in the future. With one foot in the present and one in the past, perhaps Rambo has finally found the inner peace he’s been searching for. One thing is for sure, the fictional John Rambo character has retained his popularity over the years. In conclusion, with five feature films spanning four decades, it seems retirement isn’t slowing him down.

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