Home Editorials Firearms of Cinema: Guns from “The Book of Eli” By: Matt E

Firearms of Cinema: Guns from “The Book of Eli” By: Matt E

Firearms of Cinema: Guns from “The Book of Eli”   By: Matt E

If you’re anything like me, then movies have been a huge influence on your love for firearms. Whether it’s classic movies like Heat, Die Hard, or True Lies, all of these movies made an impression on me when it comes to what I thought was a cool movie firearm. One of the newer movies on the list, Denzel Washington’s post-apocalypse action movie The Book of Eli, is another great example of a movie full of cool guns. While there is everything from full autos to a civil war era Gatling gun, I want to focus on the main character’s firearms and why he may have chosen them. Let’s take a closer look at the guns from The Book of Eli.

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Firearms of Cinema: Guns from "The Book of Eli"

Firearms of Cinema: Guns from "The Book of Eli"

Eli’s HK45

One of the more interesting choices for a main character. The HK45 is an updated more ergonomic version of the classic USP line of pistols and has a track record of being an incredibly reliable handgun. Considering this is a film set in a post-apocalyptic setting, having something known for its reliability is a great first step. The HK45 was released in 2006 as a modernized updated version of the classic USP pistol. Chambered in 45 ACP, the HK45 came standard with a 10-round magazine with an extended 14-round magazine available as well. This offered a respectable amount of power combined with the reliability that was known for the USP line of pistols.

Ammo availability would be something to worry about and although 45 ACP wouldn’t be my first choice, it’s still popular enough that it would be one of the easier callers to find ammo for in the wild. In a perfect world, having something chambered in 9mm would be preferred but we never find out the back story of how he acquired his firearms. These could have been the only options available to him in the beginning which are solid choices in terms of reliability so I can’t really complain about it. In the movie, his HK45 looks like it’s been to hell and back with all of the finish being worn off but every time it works which is what really matters.

Image Courtesy of IMFDB

The Remington 870 Witness Protection/Tac14

In the movie, Denzel’s character Eli also has a Remington Witness Protection model which looks similar to the Tac14 models on sale today. Having a 12 gauge option in a setting like this starts to make a lot of sense. With everything from birdshot to slugs available, having a wide variety of ammo available would help with both hunting and self-defense needs. Having the sawed-off stock wrapped with grip tape offers a bit more mobility as well. You do lose a lot in terms of usability when you cut the stock off, but the ease of carrying for miles makes up for it and I can understand why someone would do that.

It’s incredibly easy to switch out barrels on the 870 as well so realistically, he may have had a longer barrel for hunting small game while the shooter barrel offers move mobility in self-defense situations. I can completely understand why Eli went with the Remington 870 as a main firearm. It’s no secret the 870 is one of the most popular shotguns in the United States. This shotgun has been a prevalent pump action option for over 70 years, and the amount of available parts in the wild is a huge benefit. It may not be the sexiest option or by far the most exotic gun Eli could have picked, but realistically, it’s a very strong choice for ammo and parts availability in terms of the movie setting.

Spoiler Section

If you haven’t seen The Book of Eli, I strongly suggest you go watch the movie before continuing this section. You have been warned!

Alright, now that we can’t really look at why Eli chose these firearms, the choices become much more interesting. At the end of the movie, it is revealed that Eli has been blind the whole time and the Bible he’s been carrying was a brail version of the Bible. It’s a shock to the audience and when you look at these firearm choices, they really start to make a lot more sense than before we knew he was blind. The HK45 is probably the one that makes the most sense after realizing Eli is blind. The 45 is known to have more stopping power than a regular 9mm bullet.

Image Courtesy of IMFDB

Every Fudd since the beginning of time has bragged about the stopping power of the 45 ACP and I truly think that is why Eli has it. When you have your eyesight, shot placement is really easy but fighting the disadvantage of being completely blind is a tough barrier to overcome. Eli may not have the advantage of eyesight, but having a 45 will allow him to stop various threats without having a perfect shot placement. The shorty shotgun also makes more sense due to its wide shot pattern at a distance which allows you to not be dead on but still make hits on target. There may be various moments where it’s hard to believe a blind man could do that, but in terms of firearm choices, it’s a fairly smart choice done by the writers for the movie’s setting.

Overall Thoughts

It’s always fun taking a look at firearms in movies but out of all the movies, I’ve always thought the guns in The Book of Eli have made sense for the story and setting. There’ve been a few times when I’ve gotten together with other gun buddies of mine and we’ve talked about the one pistol and long gun we would take if we could only choose one of each. Both of the choices above make sense and even though they may not be super high-end or exotic, they still are fun to look at why Eli may have chosen them.

Let me know what you think about these guns in the comments below. I feel lucky enough to own both of these firearms personally, so I understand the appeal of both and why someone would want to choose them over other options. What do you guys think? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and if you think there are better options for you, be sure to leave those choices in the comments as well. If you have questions on firearms, be sure to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and I’ll see you in the next one.