After a six-year hiatus, Jesse Pinkman, the flawed moral compass of Breaking Bad, has a new film, El Camino, and it has some peculiar firearm choices.
The fictional former cooking partner and student of Walter White picks up where he left off in the franchise, centered in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, in an epilogue to the series that so far has seen good reviews.
Coming on the heels of a crime drama that had so many iconic firearms– and left everyone wanting a push-button surprise M60 in the trunk– you know there had to be some interesting hardware in writer/director Vince Gilligan’s follow up installment. Warning, there be spoilers ahead.
Coming away with the just clothes on his back, a lot of bad memories, and a sweet Chevy coupé utility vehicle, Jesse also manages to beat feet from the compound where he was held prisoner with a little insurance in the form of a Ruger P-series double-action pistol. A 1980s/90s classic, Bill Ruger introduced the Ruger P-85 in a bid to replace the U.S. Army’s M1911 only to lose out to the Beretta 92/M9. Although the Army didn’t adopt the new pistol, Ruger saw a lot of commercial success with the series in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45ACP, only replacing them with the SR9/SR40/SR45 line after 2007.
Jesse’s Ruger P-series pistol in El Camino looks to be a later model stainless P-89 with a decocker.
Soon into his evasion around ABQ in an effort to find some dough to skip town through the helpful offices of the local vacuum cleaner repairman (rest in peace, Robert Forster, who did his part to help keep the Colt Detective perma-cool), Jesse comes into contact with a bad guy who is ably equipped with a Kimber Ultra series .45ACP
One thing leads to another and Jesse eventually loses the Ruger, which causes him to borrow a pair of family heirloom guns without permission (which is bad, don’t do that in real life). The handguns, which had been handed down from his grandfather, are a bit dated.
One of the most pined-after plinkers in the country, the Woodsman is found on the long list of John Browning’s inventions and was first released as the unimaginably titled “Colt .22 Automatic Pistol” starting in 1915. Remaining in production until the late 1970s, they are highly collectible.
The Pinkman family’s lemon squeezer-style revolver looks at first glance looks like an old Smith & Wesson Safety Hammerless, a top-break model which was first introduced in 1887 and included an option for factory pearl grips, which the gun has. Offered in black powder .38 S&W and .32 S&W, the Safety Hammerless was well-liked, remaining in production for over 50 years until it was finally retired by the more modern Centennial series J-frames.
It was so popular that it was copied by any number of companies as soon as the patents started to expire. These included Iver Johnson, who made a veritable clone with a few tweaks dubbed the Safety Automatic which despite its name, was a revolver.
The final scene with the Pinkman family heirloom shows a distinctive Iver Johnson bolt pattern on the left-hand side of the gun.
While most of the older lemon squeezers were made for black powder cartridges, later models were beefed up to take smokeless rounds. Still, Jesse uses the Owl Head pocket gun in a decidedly Wild West-style face-off/shoot out with one despicable hombre, coming out on top through a familiar movie trope, although he may have wished for a Nomex jacket.
Anyway, welcome back, Jesse, or should we say, Mr. Driscoll of Haines, Alaska.