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The 10 Most Iconic Movie Weapons, Ranked By Lethality

A hero is more than his weapon, but it never hurts when his weapon is spectacular enough. Some of the tools of destruction used in the movies have taken on their own iconic nature – sometimes even more so than the characters using them.

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Debates over which guns can beat which guns are rife, but some iconic weapons are clearly more dangerous than others. When separated from their most common wielders, some of cinema’s most iconic weapons turn out to be less dangerous than expected, while others clarify their lethality.

ten Indiana Jones’ whip is more than a tool

Indiana Jones wielding his iconic Temple of Doom whip

The whip is best associated with Indiana Jones – although he used a number of other weapons. The whip is part of his iconic image alongside his fedora hat. Jones uses the weapon in every film despite not being a weapon easily associated with heroes.

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Although Indiana Jones uses the whip in battle, it has a number of other uses, including as a climbing and swinging tool. In direct combat, the whip lacks stopping power, being best used to scare or disarm enemies. Even Jones himself prefers to draw a weapon in a truly dangerous situation.

9 Ghostbusters Proton Packs Are Better Against Ghosts

Egon Spengler firing his Ghostbusters Proton Pack

When it comes to the job they were designed for, Proton Packs are an invaluable weapon. Release a stream of protons to counter the negative charge of ghosts in the ghost hunters world, they are hands down the most effective tool when it comes to popping.

Proton packs are very narrowly useful though. Against ghosts, nothing finer, but they are clearly not designed to fight humans. They can produce some kinetic force and create a shower of sparks, but their function is clearly limited.

8 Captain America’s shield is both defensive and offensive

Captain America blocks Bucky's punch with his shield

Of all the weapons used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, none quite manage the iconic status of Captain America’s star-spangled shield. Wielded by multiple characters across the MCU, the shield is recognized as a powerful symbol both in and out of universe.

Captain America’s shield’s main strength is its defense – it’s able to protect itself against almost any other weapon. He still has value as an offensive tool, being capable of both cutting and blunt force, but is very secondary to his defensive potential.

7 Hattori Hanzo Katana by Beatrix Kiddo is the sharpest sword on earth

Beatrix Kiddo wielding her Hattori Hanzo sword in Kill Bill Volume 1

The katana forged by Hattori Hanzo is used in some of the most iconic fights in the Kill Bill films, including Beatrix Kiddo’s battle against the Crazy 88 and her duel with O-Ren Isshi. Although Kiddo uses a number of weapons in her vengeful rampage, it’s the katana she’s best associated with.

The katana of Kill Bill is considered the finest work ever produced by Hanzo who is considered the greatest blacksmith in the world. Said to be able to cut God himself, the weapon is capable of finely slicing Isshi’s skull after being used in a sword fight lasting several minutes.

6 Wolverine’s claws can cut almost anything

Wolverine wielding his claws in The Wolverine X-Men movie

As the central weapon of the de facto protagonist of the x-men film franchise, Wolverine’s claws are one of the most recognized weapons in cinema.

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The claws were very lethal when they were just made of bone and were easily able to kill humans, but it’s after Wolverine’s skeleton is coated in adamantium that they take on their truly iconic form. Given the nasty edges in addition to the points, they become capable of cutting through almost any substance on Earth.

5 Dirty Harry’s Magnum is a hand cannon

Dirty Harry asks if a punk feels lucky in the movie Dirty Harry

The central character of dirty harry is an interesting case: Harry Callahan’s weapon is almost as iconic as Harry himself. The weapon is at the center of the series’ best-known scene. The weapon Harry uses in his crusade against crime is a Smith and Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum revolver.

The Magnum featured in dirty harry was briefly the most powerful handgun in the world and today it is still an extremely lethal weapon. He is able to pose anything that moves – and do it from a distance. Even though the handgun may seem more mundane than other iconic movie guns, the Magnum is unquestionably deadly.

4 The M41A Pulse Rifle can kill xenomorphs

Ellen Ripley learns how to use a pulse rifle in the movie Aliens

One of the biggest changes in the story and tone of alienscompared to its predecessor Extraterrestrial, is that individual xenomorphs aren’t unstoppable threats that are nearly impossible to kill. Instead, despite being incredibly dangerous, they are killed in large numbers in many scenes in the film.

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The main reason is that the Colonial Marines are much better equipped than the crew of Nostromo, their most notable armament being the M41A pulse rifle. The rifle is a reliable weapon with an excellent reputation that fires caseless ammo. The M41 A Pulse Rifle is capable of battling the galaxy’s apex predator.

3 The lightsaber is an elegant weapon for a more civilized age

Luke Skywalker wielding Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber in Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

The lightsaber of star wars is one of the most iconic weapons in all of fiction. The blade is made of plasma, capable of cutting almost anything, and wielded by Jedi Knights and their adversaries in the Sith. The lightsaber has taken on a life of its own in popular culture.

There’s no denying the lethality of the lightsaber as a weapon. It is made of superheated plasma and able to deflect blaster bolts, making their wielders nearly unstoppable.

2 Wands are more than weapons – but very capable nonetheless

Harry Potter wielding his wand in the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

In Harry Potter, a wizard’s wand is an integral part – it’s how the vast majority of witches and wizards channel their magic for almost everything in their daily lives. A wand is more than just a weapon: it’s a multitool.

RELATED: Harry Potter: The 10 Most Powerful Wands In The Series, Ranked

Wands are versatile weapons; they are able to inflict damage in dozens of ways – spells can cause pain, death, uncontrollable laughter, levitation, and mind control. Wands are one of the most dangerous weapons in fiction.

1 The One Ring contains the power of Sauron

Sauron's One Ring from The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings’ Central plot device is the One Ring and its terrible power. The One Ring carries a significant portion of the power of fallen Maia Sauron. It is more powerful than all other power rings and it is said that a capable person wearing the ring could overthrow Sauron himself. However, such a person would become corrupted into a new Dark Lord.

Anyone who acquired the One Ring and made full use of it would be hard to stop. If Sauron should have acquired it in The Lord of the Rings, it would have been an apoclolyptic scenario.

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