We all know The Punisher likes guns, but today we’re going to look at what weapons exactly he uses. Frank Castle isn’t the typical Marvel superhero. He doesn’t have any superpowers beyond his military training and iron will, and he’s not exactly a hero – he’s a stone-cold killer, a take-no-prisoners vigilante who exists only to take out as many criminals as he possibly can before death inevitably catches up with him.
The Punisher doesn’t utilize web shooters, laser beams, or any other gimmicky gadgets. No, when it comes to dispensing punishment, Frank relies on military tactics, his own instincts, and a big pile of guns. He is a ruthlessly efficient killing machine, who takes pride in striking fear into the hearts of his enemies and leaving no survivors in his never-ending war on crime in New York City.
Daredevil Season 2 marked the first appearance of The Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he used a variety of military and street-level weapons, but that was just a prelude to his arsenal as seen in his own solo series. From sniper rifles to shotguns, pistols, and even a pink Ruger, Frank Castle knows his way around virtually any firearm, and even a few improvised weapons. Let’s take a look at The Punisher’s array of weaponry, as shown in Netflix’s The Punisher, and how his arsenal compares to the tools used in his movies, from 1989’s The Punisher, starring Dolph Lundgren, to the 2004 reboot with Thomas Jane, to 2008’s re-reboot, Punisher: War Zone, which featured Ray Stevenson in the lead role.
Jon Bernthal and the Quest for Lots of Guns
At the start of The Punisher, Frank wipes out everyone involved in the drug cartel run by the (recently deceased) Schoonover, and then proceeds to abandon his vigilante identity, opting instead for a quiet life. Of course, his past and his insatiable bloodlust inevitably catch up with him, and Castle finds himself on the hunt once again. However, before he can start dispensing his own off-brand version of justice, he needs to secure a cache of weaponry.
His first effort to procure a stash of guns doesn’t end well, and he winds up with only a single rifle from Marvel Netflix’s recurring low-rent hooligan, Turk. The second time’s the charm, though, and Frank gets his hands on a substantial arsenal, much of which is used to show-stopping effect later on. The wall on his and Micro’s lair is decorated with the spoils from their raid, including an M4 with an underbarrel grenade launcher and much more. While Frank never goes on to use the M4 in the series, he had previously used a somewhat similar weapon, a SIG-Sauer 516 with an attached grenade launcher, in one of his Daredevil appearances.
Assault on Micro’s Base
In Episode 11, “Danger Close,” Frank finally dons his iconic skull (after previously ditching in in the series premiere) and takes on a CIA hit squad with a variety of traps and stealth tactics before going loud with many of the guns he had stolen earlier. Nothing screams “Shock and Awe” like strapping a grenade to a decapitated head and throwing it at the enemy before opening fire like a man possessed by a demon.
Over the course of that crazy battle, Castle rapidly switches from the G36 assault rifle to an M1911 pistol, to an Ithaca pump action shotgun, and then to a SAW machine gun, efficiently exterminating the masked intruders with grisly aplomb. The SAW is a heavy-duty weapon normally used for suppressing fire, keeping the enemy from firing back with a sustained hailstorm of large-caliber bullets. He practically tears an enemy combatant to shreds with it before closing the distance on his next target with a barrage of suppressing fire before tossing it aside and taking him out with his Ka-Bar combat knife and taking up his fallen foe’s MP5 submachine gun. As awesome as the SAW may be, it’s too cumbersome for close quarters combat; the MP5 is a more effective choice. After all, Frank Castle isn’t just a mindless killer; he’s an efficient tactician who knows the best tool to use in any given situation.
The climax of Episode 4, “Kandahar,” sees Frank flashback to a heated skirmish against enemy combatants in Afghanistan. Frank starts out with a Heckler & Koch HK416, a 5.56mm NATO assault rifle. As the bloody battle intensifies, he switches to his Kimber Warrior (an M1911 variant) sidearm, then his Ithica shotgun, and then takes up a fallen enemy’s AKS-74U, before being wounded and regressing into a primal state, brutalizing enemy fighters with his Ka-Bar and then just bludgeoning a man with a heavy rock.
It’s a disturbingly brutal scene which underscores Frank’s diminished mental state from three long and violent tours in the war, even before his family is killed. By the time of his solo series, Frank may be a broken man, but he knows how to kill, and he’s the best there is at what he does. And the other versions only add to the armory.
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