The Best Guns of The Last of Us

“The Last of Us” was originally a video game released in 2014. However, in 2023 it was turned into a TV show based on the original games which enthralled old and new fans. The film adaptation is fairly similar to the games with most changes made by the game’s original creators who are kept on set to ensure the show lives up to its name. (So if you don’t like certain changes, just remember, the guys who created the game were involved in said changes.)

In this series, we follow Joel and Ellie through a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Although that may sound like a common trope, in this show the zombies are humans reanimated by cordyceps mushrooms to be known as the ‘infected.’ The United States is divided into totalitarian quarantine zones, meanwhile the rebels (aka the Fireflies, not to be confused with the admittedly perfect TV show of a similar name) plot against them.

In an apocalypse led by a deadly fungus, many characters remain heavily armed, so there are several guns worth highlighting. After all, you need firepower to fight the not-exactly dead. Be warned, if you haven’t watched the new TV show or played the video games, there are spoilers ahead. 

Beretta Model 70

When a raid happens on Bill’s (played by Nick Offerman) land, Frank (played by Murray Bartlett) goes to help Bill defend himself and pulls a Beretta Model 70 out of his drawer. Later in the show when Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey) and Joel (played by Pedro Pascal) come in search of Frank and Bill (just to find them dead), they search the house for supplies before moving on. Ellie stumbles upon the same gun and decides to take it for her own self-defense which is initially kept as a secret from Joel (that’s a whole other issue). 

Later, when Joel is attacked, Ellie saves his life by shooting the attacker. Once they find temporary safety, Joel unloads the gun and teaches Ellie how to use it properly, which was one of my favorite scenes. Gun use matters. Ellie continues to use it throughout the show by Joel’s side, as he occasionally takes her to practice with targets. 

Personally, the first handgun I was handed (unloaded) and shown how to use was a Glock 27. I really love the little moments of Joel trying to teach her not only proper technique but safety among the chaos which you don’t see much on television. It would be nice if we saw more of that. 

Joel shows Ellie how to shoot the Berretta Model 70. (Photo credit: The Last of Us)
  • Type: Pistol
  • Caliber: 32 ACP
  • Weight: 1.47 pounds
  • Length: 6.31 inches
  • Barrel length(s): 3.5 inches
  • Capacity: 8-round Magazine
  • Action: Semi-Auto (sidenote, it fires Single Action/Double Action)

Sig Sauer P226R

Marlene (played by Merle Dandridge), the leader of the Fireflies, is seen carrying the Sig Sauer P226R early on in the show. Yes, 9mm remains a self-defense favorite even during the mushroom apocalypse. She doesn’t make very many appearances until the end, so we don’t get to see often she uses it. However, the Sig is seen carried by another member of the Fireflies, so it may be a common choice among the resistance. 

Marlene Handles the Sig Sauer P226R, picking it up off of a table.
Marlene picks up the Sig Sauer P226R as she prepares for the challenges to come. (Photo credit: The Last of Us)
  • Type: Pistol
  • Calibers: 9x19mm Parabellum
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Length: 7.7 inches
  • Barrel length: 4.4 inches
  • Capacity: 15 +1
  • Action: Semi-Auto 

Taurus Model 66

Just like in the game, Joel’s everyday carry of choice is a Taurus Model 66. Making an appearance in almost every episode, it’s seen holstered on his hip and has several scenes using it to defend his—or Ellie’s—life. It really packs a punch when it comes to the Infected, or their stronger older version, Clickers (watch the show to find out the difference). His version actually has a blued finish, rubber grips, and a four-inch barrel.

Joel and Ellie hide around a corner, peering out as Joel holds the Taurus Model 66.
Joel hides from rebels down an alleyway as he tries to decide what his next move should be, keeping his Taurus Model 66 ready in hand. (Photo Credit: The Last of Us)
  • Type: Revolver
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Weight: 1.56 pounds
  • Barrel Length: 4 inches
  • Capacity: 7 rounds
  • Fire Modes: Single Action/Double Action

Ruger Mini-14 GB-F

Joel uses the Ruger Mini-14 GB-F in one of the most stressful, action-packed scenes of the show (major spoiler alert, seriously). When Ellie, who by the way is immune to the cordyceps, is taken in by the Fireflies to create a cure, Joel finds out that they aren’t just taking her blood to do so. Instead (for some reason) they are choosing to take a portion of her brain, effectively killing the only immune person they’re aware of. So, miles away, struck by infection, bedridden, and taking penicillin, Joel rises up and starts his rampage. He arrives at the Firefly hospital where he is seen using this gun primarily on his mission to save Ellie. 

Joel aims at the camera, angry.
Joel aims his Ruger Mini-14 GB-4 at a guard before shooting him as he fights his way to Ellie. [Photo Credit: The Last of Us]
  • Type: Carbine
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Length: 37.2 inches
  • Barrel length: 16.1 inches to 22 inches depending on the specific model
  • Feed System: 5/10/20/30 round box magazines (However, Joel is seen loading it with a STANAG magazine in the show which would not work.)
  • Action: Semi-Auto

Remington 700 BDL

Joel’s brother Tommy (played by Gabriel Luna) is seen carrying the Remington 700 BDL on the day the outbreak began. Joel and Tommy end up getting separated, but 20 years later while Joel is searching for him, he stumbles upon the town of Jackson. Tommy happens to be one of them, reuniting the two. Tommy is seen carrying the same rifle as he did before. 

Eventually, Joel decides to leave the town to continue with his life, but Tommy won’t leave due to his responsibilities in Jackson. After a long conflict over whether Ellie should be left in safety or taken with Joel, Ellie decides to leave. On their way out, Tommy gives them a horse and his Remington to help on their journey. 

On their way to search for the Fireflies, another great scene follows where Joel teaches Ellie how to shoot the rifle with a make-shift target downrange. After several missed shots, Joel lectures her saying she’s flinching. She rejects it saying the rifle sucks and that the target is too small. Joel takes the rifle and discusses proper breath and trigger pull. Through Ellies snarky comments he makes the shot dead center, proving his point.

Joel and Ellie are outside using a log to aim a rifle. Ellie aims as Joel talks to her about the rifle.
Ellie complains that she’s missing every shot because the Remington 700 BDL ‘sucks’, totally not because she’s flinching as Joel insists. (Photo credit: The Last of Us)
  • Type: Sniper Rifle
  • Caliber: .308 Winchester
  • Weight: 7.37 pounds
  • Length: Varies depending on model
  • Barrel length: 22 inches
  • Capacity: 4 +1
  • Action: Bolt Action

Honorable Mention: Bill’s Armory

When we first meet Bill he flicks the lights on in his hidden shelter, revealing a gorgeous armory with dozens of guns on the wall, educational books (including a Guns and Ammo magazine, Gun Digest, and The Trapper’s Bible), and several other survivalist tools. Bursting to the surface wearing his gas mask, he sweeps the area with his shotgun. It seems like heaven to him as he runs around town collecting supplies and setting up camp once he sees the town has emptied. Honestly, I don’t blame him.

Firearms lining the walls of a bunker.
Who else is jealous? (Photo credit: The Last of Us)