Rolling Thunder

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Rolling Thunder (1977)

Rolling Thunder is a classic 1977 revenge flick that starred William Devane and featured one of the first major roles for Tommy Lee Jones. Devane stars in the film as Major Charles Rane, a Vietnam veteran who returns to his small Texas town after being a POW in Hanoi. He then takes on a band of outlaws who killed his loved ones and amputated his hand. The screenplay was co-written by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver , The Yakuza) and Heywood Gould (Fort Apache, The Bronx) from a story by Schrader. Sometimes referred to as a "Grindhouse" movie, it actually had more effort put into it than many of the Grindhouse films from the 1970's. In actuality, much of the movie is more of a drama than the typical violence-filled revenge movie.Originally the movie was going to be released by 20th Century Fox, but a disastrous advance screening made the company elect not to release it. It was sold to the famous B-movie company American International Pictures (AIP) which is probably one of the reasons it is considered a "Grindhouse" movie. Though a cult classic and a favorite of director Quentin Tarantino, the film only recently became available in the U.S. via the MGM Archive program and a subsequent Blu-ray release. The movie is also currently available in Netflix for online viewing.

The following weapons were used in the film Rolling Thunder:



Smith & Wesson Model 28

Major Rane (William Devane) carries as his Smith & Wesson Model 28 as his handgun of choice throughout the movie.

S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman with 4" bl.
Major Charles Rane (William Devane) interrogates a suspect with his Smith & Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman.
Linda Forchet (Linda Haynes) joins in on the target practice.
Major Rane (William Devane) showing that payback really can be a bitch.

Smith & Wesson Model 19

One of the thugs that Rane (William Devane) is tracking uses a Smith & Wesson Model 19 Snub Nose .

Smith & Wesson Model 19 Snub Nose (right side) - .357 Magnum.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 Snubnose

Cliff (Lawrason Driscoll), a Texas Highway Patrolman, uses a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Snubnose when conducting an unauthorized investigation.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 snub nose revolver - .38 Special.

Smith & Wesson Model 15

One of the thugs who shoots it out with Cliff appears to use a Smith & Wesson Model 15.

Smith & Wesson Model 15 with factory target grips - .38 Special

Smith & Wesson 44 Hand Ejector

One of the other thugs who shoots it out with Cliff appears to be armed with an older style 44 Smith & Wesson 2ND Model

S&W 44 Hand Ejector. 2ND Model. Military.

Model 1911A1 Government

Automatic Slim (Luke Askew), one of the thugs hunted by Major Ranes, (William Devane) prefers a Model 1911A1 Government Pistol.

Pre-War Colt M1911A1 Pistol Commercial.


Cut-down Double Barrel 12 Gauge Shotgun

Major Rane (William Devane) cuts down one of his 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotguns after losing his hand. The movie shows him working the weapon and practicing with it.

Stoeger/IGA Coach imported side by side shotgun - 12 Gauge
Major Rane (William Devane) with a Cut-down 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun that he cut-down himself before starting his mission of vengeance.
Another view of Major Rane (William Devane) and his 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun. He has to relearn the manual of arms after losing his hand.

Winchester Model 1897 Shotgun

The Winchester Model 1897 is MSG Vohden's (Tommy Lee Jones) only weapon. But he's very effective with it. It's notable that he uses one of the 97 "Take-downs" and it is featured in the movie.

Winchester Model 1897 Riot Gun. Also in the "Take-down" configuration.

Remington 870 Field Gun

During some target practice Linda Forchet (Linda Haynes), the major's companion and partner, picks up his Remington 870 Field Gun and displays some shooting ability.

Remington 870 Field Gun with raised barrel ribbing and 28" barrel - 12 Gauge.
Linda (Linda Haynes) joins the Major in target practice.



During the flashback scenes to when Major Rane was a prisoner of war in the "Hanoi Hilton" the North Vietnamese guards are shown using M16A1 rifles.

M16A1 with 20 round magazine - 5.56x45mm. What distinguishes it from the original M16 was the addition of a raised rib around the magazine release button, changing of the forward Receiver pins, and the addition of the forward assist button on the upper receiver.
RollingThunder vet.jpg


Assorted Firearms

At the beginning of the movie we see a few unidentified firearms on the wall in Major Rane's workshop. We also see several firearms in the trunk of his car once he has begun his self-appointed mission of vengance.


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