Trigun (Japanese: トライガン, Hepburn: Toraigan) is a Japanese anime based on the manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. Trigun was first serialized in Tokuma Shoten's shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Captain from April 1995 to January 1997. The series continued its publication in Shōnen Gahosha's seinen manga magazine Young King OURs, under the title Trigun Maximum, from October 1997 to March 2007. Trigun was adapted into a twenty-six episode anime television series by Madhouse; it aired on TV Tokyo from April to September 1998.
Set on a desert planet called "Gunsmoke", populated by small towns of human settlers, Trigun follows Vash the Stampede, an outlaw known as the "Humanoid Typhoon" with a 60,000,000,000$$ ("double dollar") bounty on his head. The show draws heavily from the Hollywood portrayal of the American frontier (especially Spaghetti Westerns) and relies heavily on guns and gunplay, boasting a wide array of firearms ranging from real-world models to carefully designed fictional firearms. The series is notable for being one of the major anime titles in the U.S. in the late '90s and early 2000s, where it gained (and still maintains) far more popularity than in its native Japan.
A movie spinoff called Trigun: Badlands Rumble was released in 2010, which was based on the manga, but has several elements taken from the anime.
Note: Many of the weapons in the series are based on real-world designs but have been modified to appear more futuristic. Most modifications are largely cosmetic and will simply be noted as "Futuristic" in the section header.
The following weapons appear in the anime Trigun:
AGL Arms Factory .45 Long Colt (EF Auto Ejecting, Double Action) (Vash's Revolver)
Trigun's most iconic weapon is a fictional double-action, full-sized revolver chambered for .45 Long Colt. It possesses a 6 o' clock position barrel similar to a Mateba Autorevolver, and a break-top mechanism similar to a Schofield Model 3.
The revolver's internal operation is somewhat unclear. The barrel mates up with the lowest chamber of the cylinder, but when fired, the hammer does not appear to be striking the round in that chamber. There may be an internal mechanism that redirects the force of the hammer down to the correct round. It appears to be styled in this way to keep the gun looking more conventional, instead of having the more unusual-looking hammers of the Mateba handguns. It sports an auto-ejector and thumb-activated cylinder releases on both sides of the frame, making the weapon very quick and easy to reload and allowing it to be used with either hand. The gun houses a Plant module on the upper part of the gun (hence the 6 o' clock barrel), which when activated transforms it into a super destructive weapon that fires beams capable of destroying entire cities.
At least two of these weapons exist in the series, the first belonging to Vash the Stampede, the other to his brother, Knives. While Knives claims to have "made" them, it is unclear if this means that he designed and built the two revolvers from scratch (suggesting that the "AGL Arms Factory" markings on the barrel weight are simply a coy reference to the "Angel Arms" system), or if they were manufactured by a regular weapons producer and that when Knives claims to have made them he is simply referring to the addition of the Plant modules over the barrels. Whichever is the case, they are most certainly rare specimens, as no other examples outside of these two are seen in the show.
Vash's AGL Arms .45 Long Colt
Vash the Stampede's primary weapon throughout the series is his AGL Arms .45 Long Colt with a silver (likely nickel-plated) finish. At the beginning of the series, the weapon has fallen into disrepair (Vash states that it is "three inches off from only ten yards") until episode 3 when the gunsmith Frank Marlon "changes the cylinder and hammer parts" and gives it a general tuneup.
Knives' AGL Arms .45 Long Colt
Knives' AGL Arms revolver is almost identical to Vash's weapon, but sports a black (possibly blued) finish, features a slightly different set of grips (which include a lanyard loop in the front), and lacks the fluteless cylinder upgrade of Vash's revolver.
High Standard Derringer
Insurance agent Meryl Stryfe carries fifty High Standard Derringers in a series of holsters lining the inside of her coat.
Marshal Marianne's weapon of choice is a crossbow-style handgun.
Mr. Cliff's pistol
At the end of episode 2, Mr. Cliff uses a fictional semi-auto pistol with a ring trigger. While it doesn't appear to be based off of any particular weapon, the design is fairly believable and features a cut-away slide similar to many Beretta handguns.
Grader Single Hand 2043
Nicholas Wolfwood carries several fictional 1911-style handguns called the "Grader Single Hand 2043". According to markings on the weapon, it is a .45 ACP handgun, manufactured by a "Grader Arms Co.", based out of July City. The most distinguishing feature about these weapons is the cocking lever; the front of the trigger guard is separate from the rest of the guard and acts as a non-reciprocating cocking lever, similar to the Norinco Type 77B. This allows the shooter to rack the slide with their trigger finger, allowing the pistol to be used completely one-handed. It also sports a ported barrel and skeletal trigger.
A frequently-seen weapon is a futuristic version of the Colt Lightning revolver, called the "Belief Lightning", chambered in .45 LC with two ejector rods. It is shown in three different barrel lengths across the series.
"Frank Marlon Special"
A large portion of episode 3 centers around the history of a small town where gunsmith Frank Marlon had previously armed the population with custom-built revolvers referred to as "Frank Marlon Specials". The Special lacks a top strap like most cap-and-ball revolvers, features a semi-auto pistol style ring hammer, and its general shape resembles that of the Mars Automatic Pistol. All of these weapons are identical save for their finishes and some ornately engraved models.
The gang leader in episode 3 uses a pair of lighter pistols modeled after the basic design of several early Colt revolvers during his introduction. It is never shown if these are actual pistols with a lighter mechanism built in or just a pair of ostentatious cigarette lighters, as he never uses them again.
Futuristic Remington 1875
Several futuristic versions of the Remington 1875 revolver are seen throughout the show.
Fictional Square Revolver
One of the mercenaries in episode 4 uses a pair of fictional revolvers with twin angular barrels and square cylinders.
Fictional C96-Pattern Pistol
One reoccurring weapon is a fictional semiautomatic pistol that uses design concepts from an assortment of real-world pistols. It features a forward-mounted magazine and cocking handle similar to the TEC-9, while the action operates like the Mauser C96.
Remington 1866 Derringer
Elizabeth uses a Remington 1866 Derringer.
Custom Remington 1866 Derringer
Gofsef Nebraska's father uses a custom Remington 1866 Derringer with an extended barrel.
Fictional Pocket Pistol
A waitress at the diner in episode 5 threatens Vash with a fictional pocket pistol that appears to be a shorter-barreled version of the pistol Mr. Cliff used in episode 2.
B.D. Neon's Magnum
Brilliant Dynamites Neon carries a fictional .45 caliber (likely meaning that it's chambered for the .45 Winchester Magnum) magnum pistol that is a combination of the barrel and recoil spring setup from the AMC Auto Mag Pistol, the grip design of a Wildey Magnum, and a series of neon lights wrapped around the chamber.
Several members of the Rodrick gang are armed with double-barreled break-action pistols similar to the Lancaster Howdah pistol.
Heat Waves 187M
Dominique the Cyclops uses a Heat Waves 187M, a fictional semiautomatic handgun that is based very closely on the Luger P08 pistol.
USF Force Pistol
The astronauts aboard Project SEED were armed with semiautomatic pistols (marked "USF Force") with built-in LAMs. These same weapons are used by the settlers living inside one of the derelect SEED ships.
Futuristic Colt SAA
Zazie the Beast, one of the Gung-Ho Guns, dual-weilds a pair of futurized Colt SAA revolvers. Both are fairly close to their base weapons, but have shorter ejector rods and are seen firing in double-action.
Knives is seen with a revolver other than his AGL Arms .45 Long Colt during a flashback to the destruction of July city. Due to the lighting and the fact that it is only visible for a split second, the weapon cannot be positively identified.
Futuristic IMI Micro Uzi
Several of the assorted criminals and thugs in the show use futuristic Micro Uzi submachine guns. The cocking handle on these submachine guns wraps around the top of the receiver (as opposed to the real Micro Uzi's cocking handle, which is just a hook-shaped protrusion), and the trigger guard has been altered.
One of Descartes' goons uses a futuristic PPSh-41 submachine gun with a squared-off muzzle.
Mr. Cliff's coat guns
Mr. Cliff carries six small submachine guns hidden in his coat. Each one is rigged up to a metal arm that raises them into position and fires them when he opens his jacket far enough. Despite their effectiveness as a surprise weapon, they are shown to have a very limited ammunition supply.
Several mercenaries, thugs, and lowlifes are seen using a fictional submachine gun variant marked as an "Ingram MAC-15". As the name suggests, the weapon is a compact, closed-bolt design that draws heavily from the MAC-10, but also incorporates elements from the IMI Uzi. The MAC-15 appears to come standard with a (removable) vertical foregrip and can be fitted with a skeleton stock.
Fictional Hybrid Submachine Gun
One reoccurring weapon design is a fictional submachine gun that uses components from various designs, most notably the magazine of an MG34 machine gun. Despite the size of its magazine, it is shown ejecting pistol-cartridge-sized casings.
Many of the larger gangs in the series make use of a futuristic AKMS assault rifle. The weapon is modeled after the custom-built short-barreled AKMS rifles seen in American films, but has been heavily altered around the muzzle and receiver.
Bounty hunter Ruth Loose (aka "The Constance Rifle") uses a fictional double--barreled lever-action rifle. The weapon feeds from two separate stick magazines, each one connected to a separate barrel. Operating the lever causes the barrels and magazines to rotate counter-clockwise, ejecting the spent round from the previously-fired barrel and chambering a round in the top-aligned barrel.
Unknown Single-Shot Rifle
One of the deputies in episode 4 uses a generic single-shot rifle.
Futuristic M1 Garand
Several minor characters are seen with a fictionalized rendition of the M1 Garand rifle. The primary changes to the design are a detachable magazine (which now extends slightly below the stock) and the addition of small heat shields in the gaps between the stock and barrel shroud.
Caine's Sniper Rifle
One of the Gung-Ho Guns, Caine the Longshot, uses a specially built bolt-action sniper rifle with a barrel several meters long.
While Rai-Dei the Blade, a member of the Gung-Ho Guns, mostly uses a katana (to go along with his overall samurai theme), the sheath for his katana doubles as a revolver rifle. With a curved barrel, no less.
Futuristic Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Gun"
Several futuristic Winchester Model 1897 "Trench Gun" shotguns are seen throughout the show. The forward sling/bayonet mount has been altered from its real-world counterpart, and the receiver has some sort of vent-like structure over its front half. Several short-barreled versions, sans bayonet mount, are also seen throughout the show.
Futuristic Break-Action O/U Shotgun
In addition to the 1897, several minor characters use a futuristic double-barreled over/under pattern shotgun.
Machine Gun Multi-Weapon
The gang leader in episode 3 uses a fictional machine gun as his primary weapon. Racking the shotgun-style pump causes the barrel shroud to open up, revealing a large variety of alternate functions (none of which are actually used onscreen).
Unidentified Machine Gun
B.D.N.'s henchmen use an assortment of improvised armored vehicles in episode 7, most of which are armed with machine gun turrets. The only clear shot of these weapons is of the muzzle, making it difficult to positively identify them.
The massive pauldrons on Brilliants Dynamite Neon's outfit house a pair of hidden machine guns (referred to as his "Dynamos" by one of his henchmen).
Monev the Gale's Machine Guns
Monev the Gale, an assassin hired to kill Vash, uses a massive and complex setup of two rotary machine guns, one mounted to each wrist with the barrels rotating around his forearm. These machine guns are connected to an ammo feed system attached to his back, containing six ammuntition canisters (three per gun) arranged in a circle with the two canisters on each side feeding the machine guns. After the active canisters run dry, the backpack system automatically disengages the active canisters, rotates the assembly until a pair of fresh canisters are lined up, then engages the fresh canisters so that Monev can resume firing.
Shoulder-Mounted Mult-Weapon System
After his primary weapon runs dry, Monev the Gale switches to his backup plan: a massive shoulder-mounted rotary machine gun (complete with two sets of barrels that spin in opposite directions and a built-in bullet shield) and rocket launcher combo. Both its size and the the level of devastation it causes suggests that it fires a round on par with most aircraft-mounted cannons.
Model 24 "Geballte Ladung"
Ruth uses a Model 24 "Geballte Ladung" when making his escape.
Numerous characters in the series either have limbs that have been replaced with firearms or have firearms hidden inside fake limbs.
Cybernetic Arm Gun
During his battle with Monev the Gale, Vash reveals that his left arm is actually a cybernetic prosthesis that houses a semiautomatic 9mm firearm.
In episode 20, a scientist aboard one of the derelect SEED ships upgrade's Vash's arm gun into the "Gale M101", a fully automatic weapon chambered for 10mm Auto.
Prosthetic Arm Machine Gun
The gang leader in July City has a primitive looking machine gun in place of his right arm.
Machine Gun Fingers
One of the Gung-Ho Guns, Gray the Ninelives, has a machine gun hidden in each of his fingers.
Insurance agent Milly Thompson carries with her a large Gatling-style concussion gun, usually concealed under her coat. It fires long projectiles which unfold into 4-armed crosses which have enough force to incapacitate people, or flip over trucks. Despite its design and resemblance to a typical Gatling gun, Milly's Stun-Gun is semi-automatic.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood and Chapel the Evergreen, two priests who routinely find themselves embroiled in the violence on Gunsmoke, both carry weapon systems called "Punishers" that are disguised as massive crucifixes befitting of their professions.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood usually keeps his Punisher concealed with a cloak and several leather straps to hide its nature as a weapon. Its primary weapon is a large machine gun that occupies the long end of the crucifix, while the opposite end houses a rocket launcher. One arm of the cross also contain a storage rack capable of holding five handguns for quick access, while the other houses the ammunition for the machine gun component.
Chapel the Evergreen, Wolfwood's mentor, uses a Punisher that is actually two separate weapons. When deployed, the Punisher separates down the middle, with each half becoming a separate machine gun similar to the one in Wolfwood's Punisher.
A few minor characters are seen using the same fictional rocket launcher throughout the series.
Midvalley the Hornfreak's Saxaphone
Midvalley the Hornfreak's saxaphone contains eight hidden guns mounted inside the bell bow.