Blasting It Out of Their Hands

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Well, don't just stand there looking stupid, grasping your hands in pain. How about a round of applause for The Waco Kid?"

A character shoots a weapon out of another's hand. The one whose weapon was blasted, however, almost never gets hurt. Indeed, this technique is often used by heroic gunslingers (who may have an aversion to just shooting the enemy) to subdue their enemies without killing them.

Sometimes, however, they were aiming for something else.

If the gun is somehow still usable despite having been hit by a slug of lead and copper traveling in excess of 800 feet per second, then it's a case of Magic Bullets.

In real life, extremely dangerous. Shooting at someone's hand will probably cripple that hand for life, and hitting a target as small as a human hand in a real combat situation is virtually impossible. Consequently it is not used, much to the distress of people who believe the examples below. The MythBusters have tested this concept and declared it BUSTED; shooting an enemy's gun is not guaranteed to make them drop it, and it stings quite a bit if they are holding it firmly (and they will). Furthermore, the bullet that hits the gun is prone to shattering and sending painful shrapnel flying in multiple directions. Not to mention that if you miss, you are very likely to hit the larger chunk of body behind it.

Of course, this is even more dangerous if you take the shot to nonviolently end a standoff; if you miss completely, the enemy has no idea you were aiming for his gun, which will be between you and him.

Not to be confused with an Arm Cannon or Blasting Time. Often an example of Improbable Aiming Skills.

Examples of Blasting It Out of Their Hands include:

Anime and Manga

  • Nadie from El Cazador de la Bruja seems to do this exclusively.
  • Rose of Versailles shows Oscar subvert this, because she's actually pissed at the guy, so she shoots his hand, making sure that he'll never get to shoot again (she had seen him shoot a child in the back just for kicks).
  • Deconstructed in Gunsmith Cats: Rally Vincent's trademark move is to shoot off an opponent's thumb or trigger finger instead of merely shooting the gun out of their hands. And if that's not enough she also tends to use her encyclopedic knowledge of firearms and Improbable Aiming Skills to target the one spot that would disable her opponent's weapon without necessarily knocking it out of their hands, often with catastrophic results. (Rally tends to be stalked by vengeful amputees for some reason.) She did shoot a gun out of an enemy's hand on a single memorable occasion (the guy immediately caught it in his other hand!), but it is shown to take multiple shots—she didn't have a license at the time and didn't want the cops to find a guy (albeit a sociopathic drug dealer) she'd shot. It's partially averted in that she needs a very specific (and rare) pistol (original CZ75) to be able to pull this stunt off. Most normal pistols aren't accurate enough.
  • Two words: City Hunter (although he can also kill).
  • Death Note
    • Exception: Near the end of the series, Matsuda shoots a pen out of Light's hand to prevent him from writing Near's name on the death note. Light is bleeding badly from the shot, but continues writing Near's name with the blood from the gunshot wound. Matsuda is forced to shoot him a second time (then a third, fourth, fifth and damn nearly a sixth time), leaving Light crawling pathetically on the floor.
    • Matsuda also does this to two mafia members when the team raids Mello's hideout.
    • Watari does this to Higuchi, and Higuchi does appear to be completely unharmed, though bereft of gun.
    • In a variation of this, in the second movie, Matsuda instead shoots the watch (that contained the Death Note) off Light's arm. Though he still hit Light's wrist: Light is bleeding pretty badly from it afterward.
  • A royal guard uses an old-fashioned gun to shoot a magic wand out of a mage's hand in The Familiar of Zero.
  • Trigun
    • Occurs so frequently that it's practically Vash's standard technique. Sometimes justified in that he's not human, although some of his feats still seem implausible from a physics standpoint.
    • And is taken to such an extreme, he later uses his machine-gun arm to blast his own, out-of-control Angel Arm, so it aims straight up rather than at the city.
    • Meryl Stryfe manages to impress during a hostage situation by disarming several cops- with quick draw reflexes and a crapload of derringers.
  • Rushuna Tendou from Grenadier is a master of this technique.
  • Speed Racer knocked a gun out of someone's hand by throwing a sword at it.
  • Subversion : Kino's Journey features the main character attempting to blast a shotgun out of another fighter's hands. She aims, however, to blow most of the digits on his left hand off, and the man's cybernetic hand is Immune to Bullets.
  • Noir. On two separate occasions Kirika saves Mirielle's life by shooting a knife blade in half.
  • Madlax, the spiritual sequel to Noir, has this happen alarmingly often. The titular Madlax blasts a sniper rifle out of her chief antagonist's hand with a precise shot, disarming her and getting her to surrender. Later on, in episode 16, after Madlax kills upwards of twelve soldiers in twenty seconds after swinging from a rope, blasting madly with her pistols, running from cover to cover while shooting amazingly precisely... she has her gun totally randomly shot out of her hand by a single-episode antagonist. When she was behind a thick pillar and the only thing sticking out was her arm and said gun. Granted, this was a "neccessary" plot point for character development, in which Madlax's good-natured but totally unskilled in combat friend, Vannessa Rene, picks up a discarded pistol and shoots the aforementioned single-episode antagonist dead with it, saving Madlax's life.
  • Natsuki does this twice in My-HiME: first, when fighting the Searrs army to help Mai and Mikoto make a getaway; and later to shoot Mikoto's sword out of her hands to snap her out of her mind-control state and stop her from hurting Mai.
  • Quite a standard procedure of disabling criminals in Black Cat if not shoot on non-threatening area. Given that even normal characters in the manga has a damn good aim (don't even talk about characters that virtually have superpowers like the Chronos numbers), it's not going to harm the shootee that much at all.
  • This happens to Barry the Chopper in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. It does little harm to him, as he's a walking suit of armor, and it was probably unnecessary, as the person he was attacking was also a walking suit of armor. He still has the hole in his hand from it later, and comments on it.
  • Teana manages to do the "down the barrel" variation on Wendi's BFG in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, causing the energy building up inside it to prematurely explode, cancelling all the energy shots Wendi had prepared and stunning her long enough to leave her wide open for the finishing blow.
  • In Black Lagoon after Balalaika gets a sniper to blow out Hansel's kneecap when he refuses to kneel before her he tries to retaliate by hurling his axe at her. Balalaika simply has the sniper blow his hand off.
  • Villain-on-Hero example in Transformers Armada: Jetfire tries to help Optimus with a particularly difficult fight, but Demolishor grabs his legs and drags him down, Jetfire turns to shoot him, but Wheeljack blasts the gun out of his hand. Cyclonus shows up and poor Jetfire ends up stuck under a pile of Decepticons while Optimus is shot and killed by a newly-completed Wave Motion Gun. Ouch.
  • The Gundam Seed series borderlines ridiculousness with this although for a completely different reason. The main character can fire his beam rifle in slew along with all of his other weapons AT ONCE and disarm everyone within his visible range within the span of a few seconds or minutes. The mobile suits themselves won't be hurt much due to their protection from Phase Shift armor but damn... That's just Improbable Aiming Skills.
    • Averted in Gundam00. The Gadessa's bazooka proved to be so large that it doesn't take a lot of skill to disarm him since it is almost as big as the main suit.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Cyborg girl Petra fires a bullet that severs both a terrorist's finger and the key of a nuclear detonator he was about to turn.
  • In Asobi Ni Iku Yo, thanks to the use of anti-matter bullets that don't affect organic material, a hostage situation is quickly defused by shooting and vaporizing the gun in the shooter's hand.

Comics -- Books

  • Batman loves doing this, but not with a gun, since he's gun-adverse and his enemies certainly aren't. A thug lifts his tommy gun, levels it at Batman, then *pang* it's knocked out of his hand by well-aimed batarang. Occasionally they'll get to do some A-Team Firing first.
    • Inverted, sort of, in Gotham Knight, when Deadshot shoots Batarangs out of thin air. Not that Batman would've been successful anyway; the gun in question was basically strapped to Deadshot's hand.
    • Speaking of Deadshot, this trope is subverted in his backstory. When he was just of child, Deadshot's mother had convinced his older brother (whom he looked up to) to kill his father. Deadshot climbed a tree and intended to shoot the gun out of his brother's hands (Even as a kid, he was incredibly accurate). Unfortunately, the branch he was on cracked, and he accidentally killed his brother (who was really the only person he cared about), saving his father (who he hated). Later, when he pretended to be a hero and brought down criminals in order to secretly take over their organizations, he would shoot guns out of their hands. In public, anyway.
  • Franco-Belgian example: Lucky Luke. He can shoot your gun, your gun's firing pin, or your trigger finger if you piss him off too much—and he can do it with his bullet bouncing off half a dozen times first so he has to aim at where the gun will be, not where it is when he shoots! And true to legend, the target will be hit before Lucky Luke's shadow has time to draw his gun! He's been known to disarm four out of sight bandits with one bullet, due to the utter predictability of those four bandits and their tendency to be side-by-side in height order. Once you've seen that, Lucky Luke shooting a gun out of a bandit's hand while also making it shoot so you can disarm another bandit is starting to be predictable...
    • Once, when Luke trains a spectacularly incompetent shooter, that shooter manages shoot his own gun out of his own hands. Without the bullet bouncing first!!
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, during a Hostage Situation, Heroic Bystander John Jameson snatches a laser rifle from one of Green Goblin's Mooks, only to have it shot out of his hands. In this case, Jameson is noticably hurt by the impact, rubbing his wrists after dropping the gun.
  • Done in Y: The Last Man when Hero shoots Toyota's sword in half—although she was aiming for her head.

"Rock beats scissors, bitch."

  • At some point in the eighties, Hawkeye killed a guy this way—he shot an arrow down the barrel of the villain's energy weapon, the villain pulled the trigger, the arrow lodged itself in the barrel in the path of the discharge, and then the weapon went off, resulting in a fatal explosion.
  • Green Arrow and the multi-ethnic Arrow family regularly pull this off, being archers. Red Arrow (formerly Arsenal, formerly Speedy) also used guns, darts, shuriken, and so forth.
    • With his pacifistic bent and Improbable Aiming Skills, Conner Hawke (the second Green Arrow) has been known to "disarm" a villain by firing an arrow down the gun barrel.
    • In the The Flash #217, as part of O'Neil and Adams' Green Lantern/Green Arrow saga, Ollie tries to do this to a sniper, but due to a shoulder injury, he misses and kills him.
  • Used in more or less every single western comic book in the 60s. If the writers were feeling edgy enough, the hero might occationally shoot the villain in the hand or shoulder, but shots intended to kill or seriously harm were a big no-no.
  • In the DC Comics miniseries Thriller, Salvo was a former mercenary soldier and member of the U.S. Marines' rapid Deployment Force. After mistakenly killing an innocent man, Salvo vowed to never again shoot to kill. He would instead only wound his targets.
  • Invoked in The Walking Dead when Rick and company confront the cannibals. After one of them points to where Rick came out, saying that he's all alone, his finger promptly gets shot off. It turns out that Rick worrying about Thou Shall Not Kill isn't really an issue.
  • Sin City averts this when Miho threw a shuriken and lobbed off Jack Rafferty's hand instead of simply knocking the gun out. Considering she can slice a cigarette in half with her throwing stars without causing harm to the person smoking, it shows that she can perform this trick but chose not to.
    • After she's had her fun, though, she does jam Jacky Boy's gun by throwing a needle right down the barrel, jamming it perfectly. Like in the Hawkeye example above, Dwight warns Jacky to just drop it, but Jacky, somewhat delirious from the loss of his hand, fires. The slide shoots right off and embeds itself in his forehead, killing him.
  • In Lady Mechanika #2, Mechanika guns down Commander Winter's men and then shoots Winter through her hand as Winter attempts to draw her own pistol (Winter seems to lose a couple of fingers as a result). Mechanika spared Winter because she owed her a life debt. By sparing her when she have could have killed her, Mechanika considers the debt paid.
  • The current Dynamite Comics series routinely depicts The Lone Ranger's bullets going through the target's hands. This maintains the Lone Ranger's prohibition against killing, while realistically portraying the injury that results. In this case, it is an example of Improbable Aiming Skills.
  • Subverted by the Dead Ranger, the Deconstruction of the Lone Ranger in Planetary. Like the Lone Ranger he uses silver bullets; like the Lone Ranger he shoots to wound. And according to legend, while he never killed a man, most of those he fought died of shame. According to his grandson, however, no-one ever figured out that you also got mercury in a silver mine.
  • It's shown in Global Frequency what happens when you do this with a shotgun at close range- the guy's forearm disappears.

Comics -- Newspaper

  • The Phantom: The Phantom's favorite tactic against gun-armed enemies is Blasting It Out Of Their Hands. It never seems to do them much damage—on the order of 'Ow, that hurt!'. He also does it once with a thrown harpoon formerly from a harpoon gun.

Films -- Animation

  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
    • In Fievel's opening fantasy, all of his gun shots blast the guns out of the cat gang's hands. Of course, since this is a G-rated movie, they obviously couldn't show him actually shooting anyone... Plus, that's a fantasy. Of course a little kid like Fievel would fantasize himself doing something impossibly heroic.
    • It's played straight (using a slingshot instead of a gun) later on, when a pair of scissors is shot out of the Big Bad's hands as he's starting to cut the ribbon holding his giant mousetrap open.
    • Used again a little later when one of the Mooks shoots Tiger's slingshot out of his hand. Then he shoots it several more times while it's in the air for good measure.

Films -- Live-Action

  • Two cops get their guns shot out of their hands by Chris Penn in the first Rush Hour movie. One of them loses a pinky.
  • Spoofed in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, in which the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder) shoots the guns out of the hands of, oh, eight or ten guys at once, like an impossibly accurate machine gun with legs. Then the sheriff makes them clap their wounded hands. Ouch. Not to mention that his hands were crossed at his chest before he reached for his guns, the camera panned away before you could see him grab them, everyone's guns were shot away within a fraction of a second, and the camera immediately panned back to him, his arms in the exact same position, meaning that his arms are capable of moving faster than the speed of sound. To say nothing of a gun's rate of fire...
  • Subverted in Tall Tale. While fully capable, Pecos Bill shoots off the trigger fingers to subdue gunmen rather than the guns.
  • The little-known but absolutely brilliant parody Rustlers' Rhapsody hallmarks bi-directionally, as the only way the Hero knows how to shoot anyone is to shoot them in the hand. In fact, they take it so far as to show his daily shooting practice being at targets... that are drawings of a hand holding a gun. He is a Good Guy, after all. Then (since the lampshade is already in the room), the nemesis, an even BETTER Good Guy, and therefore a better shot and a snappier dresser, brings it back around to only shoot the guns FROM their hands. In the climactic gunfight, the two good guys shoot the guns out of each other's hands.
  • In Army of Darkness, Ash fires a shotgun at a man with a sword. The sword breaks in two where he shot it. And then he announces the superior quality of his weaponry.
  • The Medallion: Done by Jackie Chan of all people. He was right next to the guy when he did it but the Mooks hand was perfectly fine afterward.
  • Taken up a notch (and doubly subverted) by Jackie Chan in City Hunter. Ryo Saeba shoots a gun out of the villain's hand, and then wastes ammo shooting it in midair. At which point, the villain picks up the gun, only to discover that the trigger is missing and the rest of the gun is presumably irreparably damaged as well.
  • A twist on this trope appears in the 1994 movie The Shadow. The hero and his nemesis simultaneously shoot at each other with antique pistols while the latter is making his escape, and we see the two bullets hit each other in mid-air and then fall to the ground harmlessly, causing both characters to pause momentarily in stunned disbelief.
  • Used in Shooter when Mark Wahlberg makes a long-range sniper shot to blow in half the gun a thug is using to threaten his hostage. Then subverted seconds later when, while the thug expresses admiration at the first shot, Wahlberg's character fires again and blows off the thug's arm just below the elbow.
  • In the John Woo movie Hard Boiled, the character Mad Dog does this to Johnny Wong in order to stop [[spoiler:Johnny's psychotic massacre of a bunch of patients standing between him and Alan with a Mini-Uzi, just before calling him on his actions. Even though this gets him killed for his trouble, it is a great moment for Mad Dog.
  • In The Magnificent Seven, a bunch of racists blocking the burial of an Indian are disabled this way. It's mostly to prove how awesome Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner are, though it's played with a bit more realism than many examples: the men thus disarmed are visibly injured and bleeding afterwards.
  • Variation: In the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy whips the gun out of someone's hand when he tries to shoot him.
  • Man Of The House has a Texas Ranger guarding five or so cheerleaders who witnessed a murder. One cheerleader at one point asks "couldn't you just shoot the gun out of the bad guy's hand?" to which the man explains that it doesn't work. Near the end of the movie, it does. As he did not intend to do that, the Ranger was probably more impressed than anybody else who saw it.
  • Happens in Black Hawk Down. One Ranger is hit by a stray bullet, losing his weapon and a finger in the process.
    • That would be Scott Galentine, who lost his thumb in the real life incident the movie is based on. Just like the movie, it was preserved (sown into his skin), his hand was bandaged and taped, and he picked up his rifle and continued firing.
  • Maverick. The title character does this to some of the robbers who were dressed as Indians.
  • In Star Wars (all media) it's possible, thanks to the incredible mind powers of the Jedi, to disarm enemies in a variety of ways: destroying their weapons, pulling them out of their grasp, etc. Characters who aren't Force sensitive aren't so lucky, though.
  • Non-weapon example: in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Jack Sparrow makes Davy Jones drop a treasure chest by shooting it.
  • In A Fistful of Dollars the Man With No Name does this at one point. Not that he's got any problem with gunning down his enemies in cold blood; he just likes to show off.
  • Dolworth does it to J.W. Grant at the end of The Professionals.
  • In The Mummy 1999 Rick shoots a sword out of Ardeth's hand; Ardeth isn't hurt and even the sword seems to have not taken damage, since he shows up with pretty much the same sword later.


  • The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming, a James Bond short story, averts the bit about not getting hurt severely. Bond estimates the woman he shot may be permanently crippled, and even if she recovers physically, she's likely to be spooked for the rest of her life. At that, the only reason he didn't kill her outright was that he thought she was cute.
  • In Harry Potter the Expelliarmus spell is designed solely for disarming an opponent of their wand without damaging it. If cast correctly, the disarmed wand will fly towards the disarmer so that it can be neatly plucked from out of the air. It has a somewhat unspecified effect though. The first time its introduced Snape blasts Lockhart across the Great Hall, the second time it knocks a diary out of Malfoy's hand. Though, From a Certain Point of View, most people are unable to fight from the floor.
    • In a later book, this may be explained by the fact that wizards can also cast spells without giving the incantation. Snape may have been using one spell, while pretending to use another, just because he could.
  • Jack Ryan:
    • In Rainbow Six, a sniper puts a rifle round into the SMG a terrorist is holding, almost breaking the SMG in half. However, the incident massively subverts the spirit of the trope as the only reason the sniper shot the SMG out of the way is so that his fellow sniper had a clear shot to the terrorist's liver. When you're a terrorist who has earlier in the chapter murdered a little girl in a wheelchair on live TV, sometimes even elite counter-terrorist agents just want you to die slowly and painfully. Their superior officers call them on the carpet for their unprofessional behavior, but they get off with only a warning.
    • Earlier in the novel, it's explicitly stated why they shouldn't do this: They always assume the bad guy has a backup weapon, and that backup is often a hand grenade. Hence the policy of shooting enemies in the head.
    • Subverted in the novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin, when the head of the HRT unit used to rescue a scientist kidnapped by the KGB uses his MP5 to basically shred the bad guy's gun arm. A few sentences later, there's an internal dialogue about how he would chew out anyone on his team who did that, themselves.
    • Commented upon in Patriot Games when the main character is asked something to the effect of "why not shoot the gun out of his hands?" during the trial after he foiled the assassination of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower series:
    • Played straight during Roland's brief sojourn: it is mentioned that shooting a gun out of a bad guy's hand is a regular move for Roland, but extremely difficult for normal people.
    • Further played straight in the second novel when Roland shoots a gangster's gun and the magazine in the gun ignites and explodes.
    • He also managed to shoot the blade of a knife a random thug was holding.
  • One of the Monk novels involves Disher shooting a gun out of a man's hand. The man does get injured, but it's not very serious; and Disher wasn't actually aiming for his hand, anyway.
  • In Timothy Zahn's Cobra trilogy, the Cobras can aim the lasers built into their smallest fingers with enough accuracy to do this. Of course, they are Super Soldiers with built-in combat computers.
  • Also by Zahn... well, Zahn and Stackpole collaborating, in the novella Side Trip, apparently Thrawn disguised as a bounty hunter can do this.
  • Scarecrow: Shane Schofield pulls this against the Big Bad (a civilian). This was almost certainly accidental, because he followed up with an attempted headshot.
  • In Bat Durston, Space Marshal, the titular hero is a campy space cowboy who carries a six-shot blaster. In the final showdown, he shoots the guns out of the outlaws' hands.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, during "The Tale of the Adopted Daughter", Lazarus Long relates an encounter between himself, his wife Dora, and a trio of would-be pioneer bandits. Dora, sensing an impending confrontation, excuses herself to the kitchen where she draws her weapon and aims it at the chief villain. The instant he draws on Lazarus, she shoots his gun out of his hand, clearing the way for Lazarus and a guard dog to eliminate the other two hostiles. Lazarus then compliments her on making the absolutely correct split-second decision.
  • The Alloy of Law contains multiple instances of the main character doing this to a specific villain, who gets fed up with it in a hurry.
    • The second time he loses an incredibly expensive gun: "Dammit! Do you know how much those things are worth?"
    • A bit later, after the third or fourth time he gets a gun shot out of his hand: "Stop doing that! You bast--"
  • In the Bob Lee Swagger novel I, Sniper, Swagger gets into a standoff with the Big Bad and does this. The narration draws attention to the fact that the Big Bad's hand ends up practically ruined, bleeding profusely from shrapnel damage, and that it isn't like cowboy movies at all.

Live-Action TV

  • Exception: In the Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Denton on Doomsday", Denton and his opponent both shoot the guns out of each other's hands at the climax—and both suffer such injury to their hands that they can never fire a gun again.
  • Another classic example: The Lone Ranger used this frequently, at least in his radio and TV incarnations. According to The Other Wiki, this was part of The Lone Ranger Creed. Namely that the Lone Ranger was never allowed to shoot to kill, instead he was to always attempt to disarm the opponent as painlessly as he could.
  • In Red Dwarf, this is taken one step further: The Cat shoots two incoming bullets while they're in mid flight, although the crew are in a computer simulation at the time. (Aside: it turns out that bullets are an absolute nightmare to film, requiring a great many takes to get them to fall from just outside camera and stay in the field of view.)
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in the new series of Robin Hood: Robin has repeatedly fired arrows at people and knocked swords out of their hands. In one instance, it's a pair of shears and they promptly go flying many feet up into the air, whereupon Robin hits them again, spectacularly splitting them in two. (Note that in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Kevin Costner simply puts an arrow through Christian Slater's hand to disarm him.)
  • In The Adventures of Brisco County Jr, Brisco not only wins a heavily built-up fight against the supposedly invincible gunslinger Utah Johnny Montana, he does it by shooting a bullet down the barrel of his gun. They have some fun Playing with a Trope, as Brisco is puzzled about how he pulled off such a feat. The explanation is that Montana just wasn't very good.
    • This shot was tried on MythBusters, and was found to be "plausible, but literally a one-in-a-million shot"—the team was able to replicate this, using a automatic and a revolver.
    • This was a replication of something that happened in a real gunfight, but it wasn't down the barrel. The automatic shot into a cylinder of the revolver, jamming it.
  • The same thing happened on an episode of CSI; the bullet jammed the gun of a suspect by sheer chance. This was lucky as they need to prove the suspect was facing the officer and pointing the gun at him when the shot was fired.
  • In Deadliest Warrior, Jesse James shoots a gun out of Al Capone's hand (even though he could have just shot Capone dead easily). But no, because of this action of showing off, Jesse wasted his last bullet in his guns and gets beaten half to death by Capone before Frank James saves the day.
  • The short-lived series, Wild Side had a variant where one of the heroes deliberately shoots out the cylinder (the rotating section that contains a revolver's bullets) of an opponent's guns.
  • Lost: Not a weapon, but Danny blasts a walkie-talkie out of Kate's hand in "Not in Portland." The Others are the anti-stormtroopers.
  • Ben shoots a gun out of an dog catcher's hand in the Due South episode "The Wild Bunch".
  • In an episode of Blakes Seven, Paul Darrow (Avon) destroys the artificial gun-hand of Federation villain Travis. The "Good shot!"/"Not really I was aiming for his head" line is used (originally to be cut, but left in as Paul Darrow is a western fan).
  • In the fifth season of 24, Jack Bauer preforms this on a terrorist who is holding a gun to his own head, ready to kill himself rather than be captured. Seconds later, the terrorist finds an alternate way to kill himself via exploding vest.
  • Firefly
    • In the episode "Safe," Zoe blasts a revolver out of a man's hands at a good hundred yards, with a shotgun, from the hip.
    • Mal tops this in Serenity by Quick Drawing, and shooting The Operative's gun out of his hands from the hip. He Quick Drew on someone already with a gun out, and managed to hipshot their gun away before they could fire.
  • Subverted nicely in Third Watch; Sully shoots a bomb's remote detonator clear out of a perp's hand with his six-shooter. Upon being complimented, his partner even saying "I'm serious, man, that was the best shot I've ever seen," Sully admits he was aiming for the perp's head, and missed.
  • Lampshaded in Psych when a machete-wielding man drops his weapon and shouts "In the hand?" in disbelief after being shot.
  • Moonlight Mask, along with The Lone Ranger, is one of the trope makers.
  • Used in practically every episode of Sledge Hammer! by police and criminals alike. In fact, the only time Sledge actually shoots a person is unintentionally when he fires at the target on his closet door when there is, unbeknownst to him, a would-be assassin hiding inside.
  • Done again on MythBusters'' in Episode 135: "Unarmed and Unharmed" where the more traditional method of shooting the body of the weapon is explored. The myth is partially busted in that their tests showed that in the "draw", and "hostage" positions, the gun could be shot out of the dummy's hands but in the "draw" and "shootout" positions, the dummy holding the gun and the two bystanders dummies behind him were sprayed with shrapnel that knocked holes in the plywood. When tests were performed involving a gun with handles at the wrong angles and with the trigger remotely fired, Adam held onto the gun in all three cases and Jamie dropped it in two, showing that the disarming might not be consistent either.
  • Burn Notice: Michael Westen shoots a knife out of Larry's hand in "Enemies Closer". Although, given the way he was bleeding, he may have been shot in the hand. Michael's timing gives the moment a bit of irony:

Larry: Your trigger finger has rusted o-- *BANG*

  • Subverted in Castle: "Hell of a shot, Castle." "I was aiming for his head."
  • Exception to the painless part. In Burn Notice, Fiona uses a sniper rifle to shoot a gun out of the Big Bad of the week's hand. He's seen wincing in pain with his hand dripping blood.
  • Done twice by Guerrero in the Season 2 premiere of Human Target. Looks pretty painful both times.
  • In "Dimensions in Time"—the Doctor Who/Eastenders charity special for Children In Need—Mike Yates shoots the Rani's gun out of her hands when he arrives to save the Doctor.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Kimberly shoots the Snizard's arrow in half with one of her own arrows to stop him from nailing the other Rangers. She then defeats his squad of Putties, cuts her friends loose, blasts his tonsil snakes, and then kills him.
  • M*A*S*H: There's a comedic variant when Major Burns wants a small ceremonial cannon fired and the gunner warns him that with the angle, Radar is in the line of fire. Of course, Burns refuses to listen and orders the firing -- Radar's clipboard is knocked out of his hands by the cannonball. Radar is naturally furious at being almost hit himself.
  • Happens in the Young Blades episodes "The Exile" and "Secrets of the Father," with no resultant injuries either time.
  • Happens to Hogan in the first episode of Wild Boys, although it seems likely that this was an accident: the trooper was firing at Hogan and happened to hit Hogan's gun. The injury to Hogan's hand allows the troopers to identify him later.
  • In The Eighties TV cop show Hunter the title character shoots an underage crook and is asked by a reporter why he didn't do this—Hunter ridicules the idea, yet a later episode shows Hunter doing this to a man who challenged him to a duel.

Tabletop Games

  • Shadowrun: One of the explicitly specified uses of the Called Shot rule is to shoot an object out of someone's hands. Due to the -4 dice pool penalty for trying it, it takes an incredibly skilled expert to even have a hope of succeeding.

Video Games

  • In Mechwarrior 4, the Battlemaster 'Mech has a huge weapon (appropriately called the "BFG" in the MechLab; it's nearly as large as a 20-ton BattleMech) held by its right hand instead of the usual method of having a gun instead of hands, or the gun mounted adjacent to the hands. The BFG is the first thing shot off when you're piloting this 'Mech.
  • The Virtua Cop lightgun game series offered bonus points for a "Justice Shot" if the player actually performed this trope on an enemy.
  • Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 allowed you to shoot guns out of people's hands. You or the guard (if he hadn't surrendered or pulled a backup gun) could grab it and use it again. (Amusingly, guards only went for their own gun even if there were several more just like it lying around.) Remember that it uses the same engine as Goldeneye, where peoples' guns are part of their hitbox. Except for the mines. Explodarity ensues.
  • Inversion: In SiN, it is possible for enemies to shoot your gun out of the player's hands (but apparently not vice-versa), which only has the effect of forcibly switching you to another weapon; you can switch right back. Also a subversion in that it does as much damage to the player as it would hitting them anywhere else.
  • Gun lets you do this, but with auto-targeting it's a little difficult. It seems to occur somewhat randomly during Bullet Time, though.
  • The Soldier of Fortune games allowed you to do this, as well as shooting off hats and sunglasses even. A disarmed foe would either cower or run away. (Not disarm as in blowing their arm off, which you could also do. Then they just scream and die.)
  • Deus Ex: You can shoot the arms of people to make them drop their weapon. They bleed, but unless you tranq'd them in the same shot, they generally don't pass out—they just start running.
    • Lampshaded in the Human Revolution tie in comic. Where a police captain chastises Adam for deliberately wounding an armed suspect rather then just killing him.
  • In Fable II, the 4 star "Dextrous Styles" ability is to target specific parts of an enemy. Aside from the usual Decapitations and the like, you can disarm enemies this way.
  • Fallout
    • Throughout the series, crippling body parts also cripples offensive and defensive power. If you cripple a character's legs, movement is wasteful; if you shoot their eyes, accuracy drops; if you shoot an arm, they can't easily use a two-handed weapon (or, rather, a weapon that requires a two-handed animation sprites) and that usually leaves less effective knives or hand-to-hand. A good strategy to combat with super mutants, whom usually use lethal two-handed weapons, is to open full-burst while on their flank, or to target an arm specifically.
    • In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, reliance on a more real-time VATS system and the ability to inflict weapon damage makes this both easier and harder at the same time (especially since damage you take while using it is reduced). Enemies have the same responses in the earlier games when faced with wounded limbs (or weapons they couldn't use). Breaking a weapon creates a chance of invoking the trope, as does crippling the arm holding it. You can also shoot an enemies explosives (in hand or in flight) for an Assisted Suicide Bombing.
  • When players of JFK: Reloaded go out-and-out psycho with a sniper rifle, it is possible to shoot pistols out of the hands of all the cops who are obligingly standing around facing at right angles to your window, provided you're a quick enough shot. Due to their motions, it is also possible to remove the hands as well as the guns in them.
  • Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45: This happens, although the player's avatar drops the weapon out of injury rather then the gun being shot away. Strangely enough, the player also drops any ammo for the gun he was using.
  • in Cosmic Break, a Mecha Game, some weapons are built INTO the arm. Solution? Letting you blast your opponent's entire arm off. But, in some cases, the opponent is a "human" character, which will end up in this trope being played straight.
  • This can be done in the Metal Gear games from 2 onwards. Once you blast a gun from an enemy's hands, he'll draw his sidearm, although you'll notice that his hand is shaking and he's bleeding.
  • Surprisingly, this also shows up in Grand Theft Auto IV, but it's difficult to pull off since a pistol is such a small target.
  • In Red Steel, the player can perform this after receiving Ninja training. Enemies will grab up their guns after a few seconds, but while they're disarmed, they can be made to surrender permanently. This is advantageous.
  • This happens a lot in Lost Planet cutscenes.
  • A hostage scene in Mass Effect 2 can be resolved this way as a paragon option.
    • Umm...Is that the one with Kolyat? Because Shepard doesn't shoot the gun out of his hand, s/he shoots a lamp to startle and distract him then quickly punches him and takes the gun.
    • A better example would be shooting the sword out of a Phantom's grasp in Mass Effect 3. Useful, because it disables the phantom's One-Hit Kill melee attack, but much harder in multiplayer, where there's no access to Bullet Time abilities like Adrenaline Rush.
  • If you're not interested in killing people, this is always an option in Red Dead Redemption. You actually get extra Fame for disarming instead of killing opponents in duels.
  • Happens in Resident Evil 2 when Annette Birkin shoots Ada's gun off her hand, starting the cutscene.
  • Happens in the Monkey Island series, albeit twice: once in The Curse of Monkey Island, when LeChuck raises his sword to kill Guybrush and Guybrush's future-wife Elaine shoots the sword off of LeChuck's hand and knocks it onto the mast of the Death Starfish; and once in Tales of Monkey Island, when she, as his demon bride, does the same to her undead husband (Guybrush) by raising her Cutlass of Kaflu to kill him, but this time Winslow is the shooter in knocking the Cutlass onto the rail of LeChuck's ship.
  • The psychopath boss, Seymour in Dead Rising 2 will shoot your gun off as soon as you equip it.
  • In all three Wild West stages of the NES game Day Dreamin' Davey, you'll face off with gun-slinging bandits at the end of each stage, where Davey has to blast the guns off of their hands before they shoot at you. The higher the Wild West stage number is, the more bandits' guns you'll shoot out of their hands at the end.
  • Doing one in Calamity Annie doubles the reward.
  • In 7.62 High Calibre, you can aim at specific body parts when using the aiming or scope firing stance. Aiming at arms tends to cause little injury (especially if your target is wearing some of the better body armor), but carries a chance of making the target drop their weapon. The heavier the weapon, the more likely the target is to drop it. However, they will try to recover their weapon, or switch to a different one (usually grenades). If they're under suppressive fire, they'll run away, and find someone else's weapon to use, meaning that you still need to put them down eventually.

Web Comics

  • A Miracle of Science
    • In a flashback to Ben's mad scientist days, a shot from the police blows up the BFG he's holding, but other than a few minor cuts and slightly singed clothes, he's unharmed.
    • Ben's pretty unlucky with this trope. To be fair, neither gun is that small a target.
  • Subverted in The Jaded; one of Doc Ice's mutilated hands is caused by a gun being shot out of it.
  • Schlock Mercenary
    • Used, then subverted by Haban. When trying to kidnap someone, the A.I. in Haban's head first disables everyone's weapons. Typical use, but then subverted when it's discovered how the weapons were disabled...

Kevin: The A.I. was subtle, using the absolute minimum force necessary to disarm us. All the safety switches have been fused in the "safe" position.
Tagon: Kevin, philosophically speaking, there is no "safe" position for a firearm. When you pull the trigger, it is supposed to fire, period. The guns I issue my troops don't have namby-pamby safety switches.
Kevin: Oh. Well, they do now.
Tagon: That's not subtle. That's showing off.

    • In another case, the guns are shot out of hands; this works because the weapon is light caliber, the people in question have futuristic body armor that covers the hands, and in this case, the shot is aimed at the hand, not the gun, causing them to lose their grip.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja parodies this when Dr. McNinja throws a shuriken which bounces between the hands of several people he's interrogating, assuming they would have pulled guns on him by then. They haven't, and he ends up apologizing profusely when he only succeeds in injuring their hands.
  • Dead Winter: Black Monday Blues makes an exception to his usual policy.

Western Animation

  • Lucky Luke always does that when not shooting the belt's buckle of the villains to reveal their underwears.
  • Supergirl uses her heat vision to blast a gun out of Luthor's hand in Superman: The Animated Series. In this case his hand ends up in bandages.
  • In one episode of Batman the Animated Series, the thrown batarang is clearly shown lodged in the mook's hand. This is a sequence Homageing The Dark Knight Returns, which has that happen regularly. Still surprising it got through the net, though.
  • In Beast Wars Ravage introduces himself by disarming all of the Maximals while stealth cloaked. It is ridiculously badass.
  • Parodied in a Droopy cartoon, Homesteader Droopy. Droopy successfully shoots a gun out of the bad guy's hands. The gun then starts running around on the ground yelping in pain, and the bad guy must put it down. He didn't want to do it, but "it's the laawww of the West."
  • Exaggerated in the episode "Operation: V.I.R.U.S." of Codename: Kids Next Door: Numbuh One is confronted by Cree Lincoln and pulls out a handgun, which she shots out of his hand with her Arm Blaster. Then he pulls out seven other guns from various spots on his body which she blasts out one by one. Thus Nigel is left with only... a comb, which cree also shoots from his hand.

Real Life

  • One of the gunmen of the North Hollywood Shoot-out had his gun shot by police towards the end of the incident. It was more likely a stray shot, and after he had picked it up he looked at it, and, depending on interpretation, either accidentally or intentionally shot himself.
  • This is one of the first ideas to be completely, utterly debunked in a civilian concealed carry class. There is no such thing as a criminal who can only be wounded or disarmed. If you draw your weapon on someone, you are committed to using lethal force. No exceptions. Ever. This isn't quite as bloodthirsty as it sounds, because in most states in the US civilians can only draw on someone who is directly threatening the life or bodily integrity (maiming, rape) of them or someone in direct proximity to them, and has the means to carry out the threat. Moreover, it's tough enough to consistently hit someone in the center of mass under an adrenaline surge. Aiming for a hand or arm virtually guarantees a miss and a wounded or dead bystander.
    • That's really the best outcome, too: if you don't miss, the most likely immediate effect will be to make the person even angrier still. If you don't have lots of friends handy, or have freakish luck and nick a major blood vessel...
  • There's a widely-televised incident where a man waving a handgun around is threatening suicide in the street. He sits down on a lawn chair, casually drops his gun hand so it's dangling beneath him, and then looks at his hand in shock because a police sniper neatly blew the gun out of his grasp with minimal injury.Although the way the now-defenseless man is kicked down and beaten into submission makes one wonder what sparing him a minor bullet wound was for in the end.
    • In this example, and in one other case where the perp was waving the gun out a window, were special in that these were extended standoffs in which there was time for a larger presence of law enforcement to include a sniper. Given a relatively short range and some time without thinking the perp is a hair away from killing, it is possible for a trained marksman to make this to happen. It is not going to happen in the heat of the moment from a handgun.
    • Later on in a program concerning the first example, the sniper who pulled off the shot is interviewed. He stresses how lucky and unusual the shot was, and complains about people who expect snipers to do it all the time, who tell him, "The Lone Ranger does it every week!"
    • The shot was so great that even the wannabe suicide congratulated the sniper.
  • Paul Harvey once covered an incident where a cop shot the trigger off the gun. Talk about Improbable Aiming.
  • Dashiell Hammett tells of a lawman who combined this trope with Accidental Aiming Skills. See #14.[1]
  • During the successful liberation of the Cabanatuan POW camp in WW 2-era Philippines, S/Sgt Theodore Robinson was about to shoot the lock of the gate when an enemy sniper blew his .45 sidearm out of his hand without injuring him. This was shown in the 2005 movie The Great Raid.
  1. Actually, read the whole thing. It's fascinating.