Guns of Action Stars — Tom Cruise

Certain celebrities have made a name with their ability to thrill us on screen with their impressive firearm handling and shooting ability. These “Action Stars” have used a wide variety of guns throughout the years, but some stand out more than others. Here are some of the best and coolest guns used by the incredible Tom Cruise in some of his top films. 

Mission Impossible Beretta Cougar
We get a clear shot of the Cougar on the table as Hunt types away. Image Source: IMFDB

Mission Impossible

The widely successful Mission Impossible franchise needs little in the way of introduction. Tom Cruise starred in this action-packed feature and really built a name for himself. In the first movie, Agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is seen using the Beretta Cougar, a retro classic and popular model at the time. It had been stashed in a vase at the team’s apartment in Prague. 

The Beretta Cougar, specifically the 8045 F used, is a double-action/single-action pistol chambered in .45 ACP. It incorporates a safety/decocker lever similar to the ones found on the popular 92 series. The mainstay of the Cougar was the unique rotating barrel design, which locks and unlocks via a cam system.

The Cougar does not tilt like a standard Browning design. This keeps the barrel in line with the sights the entire firing sequence and was intended to provide improved accuracy. Later, the design was produced by Stoeger, and we can see similarities with the modern Beretta PX4 Storm. 

Jack Reacher Remington 700
Jack Reacher uses the Remington 700 well. Image Source: IMFDB

Jack Reacher

Based on the popular book series, Jack Reacher is packed full of action and adventure. Reacher is a former U.S. Army investigator living off the grid. In the first movie, he is challenged to prove his skill by shooting three rounds into the center of a target at 700 yards by Cash before he will disclose information. At least he gets an extra round for practice, right? 

He uses a Remington 700 in .308 Winchester. This tried and true bolt-action rifle isn’t the fanciest or the most expensive, but it does have a long history of accuracy and reliability. The legendary strength of its steel receiver is now paired with a 5R barrel on every 700. This style of rifling provides improved contact with the bullet and reduced wear, lending to excellent performance for years to come. 

Knight and Day Taurus Judge
The Taurus Judge should be in more movies. Image Source: IMFDB

Knight and Day

This next one, your wife will love too. Knight and Day is a fun action comedy with some romance. It is packed with cool guns, tons of shooting, and classic Cruise action. Although it is only used briefly, I’d like to highlight the use of the Taurus Judge in the film. This is one neat revolver that doesn’t see enough love. Sure, it’s not 100% practical for everyone or every situation, but it’s certainly unique. 

The Taurus Judge is a DA/SA revolver capable of holding 5 rounds of ammunition. It can fire both the .45 Colt and .410 shotgun shells. It’s available in a number of different barrel lengths, but the most common is 2.5 to 3 inches. There is even a Raging Judge configuration that holds an extra round in the cylinder, .454 Casull ammo, and .45 ACP on moon clips. This is one hard-hitting powerhouse. 

War of the Worlds Charter Arms Off Duty
The Charter Arms Off Duty makes sense for Cruise’s character. Image Source: IMFDB

War of the Worlds

In War of the Worlds, a dock worker named Ray Ferrier (Cruise), finds himself forced to fend off an invading alien species to protect the Earth. This seems less far-fetched today than before. 

Before heading out, we see Ferrier pull a Charter Arms Off Duty out of a small safe under the bed. Obviously this is not the ideal gun for defending the human race, but a small-frame revolver makes sense with the working-man character. 

Like many of Charter’s firearms, the Off Duty functions well and comes in at an affordable price point. It’s not packed with features and every detail is not refined, but this little .38 snub is rugged and reliable. 

Collateral HK USP45
Collateral features some excellent scenes with the HK USP45. Image Source: IMFDB


A taxi driver must chauffeur a hired killer (Cruise) around all night while he performs several jobs. For his role in Collateral, Cruise did some serious training with a former SAS soldier. The movie features good acting, a great story, and naturally, some impressive firearm handling. 

Our hitman, Vincent, carries a HK USP45 as his main sidearm throughout the movie. This is probably one of the most durable handguns on the market, as it was derived from the legendary MK23 offensive pistol. The MK23 was developed for SOCOM as an “Offensive Handgun Weapon System.”

The USP carries over the same design and features into a more manageable size and weight. These pistols are so durable, some have even seen hundred thousand rounds without parts breakage or failure.

Beretta 9000S Minority Report
The Beretta 9000S wasn’t produced for long, but it’s a neat little pistol. Image Source: IMFDB

Minority Report

In a future where murder can be predicted, a LEO named John Anderton (Cruise) heads the “Precrime” division of his government agency. His job, to apprehend individuals before they commit their crime… yikes! Of course, this doesn’t go well, and he finds himself on the run when he is charged with predicted murder. 

He uses the distinct Beretta 9000S pistol as his sidearm. Like a miniature polymer Beretta 92, the pistol retains the reliable open-top slide design. The frame sculpting is reminiscent of what people in the past deemed the future would be like — similar to what’s found on the PX4 Storm. The subcompact footprint is easy to conceal, and the polymer frame makes it light on the belt. 

American Made M16A1
The M16’s is bound to appear in an action movie. Image Source: IMFDB

American Made

In American Made, Barry Seal, a commercial pilot who smuggles Cuban cigars, is recruited by a CIA officer to help fly reconnaissance missions over Central America. He’s seen handling and transporting M16A1 rifles that are later used by the rebels. 

The modularity of the AR platform rifle has made it America’s rifle, and the M16 was the basis for this success. Gaining popularity throughout the Vietnam War, the M16 brought improved components, increased durability, and a three-round burst mode. Though the original AR-15 came about well before the M16, the improvements made to the rifle (for the development of the M16 for the U.S. military) paved the way for the modern iteration we have today. 

The Mummy SIG P226 Combat
The SIG P226 Combat features a rugged FDE finish. Image Source: IMFDB

The Mummy

Though it ultimately failed at the box office, The Mummy reboot — not the original Brendan Fraser gems — features some interesting guns. I’m a sucker for a SIG P226, and Nick Morton’s (Cruise) sidearm is the more elusive “Combat” variation. It incorporates a full Picatinny rail (not the standard SIG rail), threaded barrel, and flat dark earth frame and grips. This stands out and matches the 50 shades of FDE FN SCAR-L he uses as well. 

The Last Samurai S&W Schofield
The top-break Schofield revolver was revolutionary for its time. Image Source: IMFDB

The Last Samurai

Not all action, this historical drama tells the story of a civil war veteran, Nathan Algren (Cruise), who travels to Japan for a job training soldiers in how to use modern weaponry to eliminate the last of the samurai. After being captured by the enemy, he learns a thing or two. 

There are a lot of classic firearms throughout the film that represent the time period. Algren’s main sidearm is a Smith & Wesson Schofield revolver. This top-break revolver was extremely quick to load for the time and was the perfect example of a next generation sidearm at the time. This worked well with his Winchester 1873 Trapper model with large loop and one-handed reload.

What’s your favorite Tom Cruise action movie? What’s your favorite gun he used on screen? Let us know in the comment section.

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