Guns Used in Famous Assassinations

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This is a list of firearms used in famous assassinations. Attempted assassinations are included as well, such as the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan as an example.


Year Location Victim Attacker Weapon Description
1570 Scotland James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray, Regend of Scotland James Hamilton of Bothwellhaugh Matchlock carbine First recorded use of a firearm in an assassination.
1584 Netherlands William the Silent, Prince of Orange Balthasar Gerard Wheellock pistol Second ever recorded assassination using a firearm, and the first to ever use a handgun.
1812 United Kingdom Prime Minister Spencer Perceval John Bellingham Screw-barrel .50 caliber flintlock pistol Only British Prime Minister to be assassinated. Bellingham bought a pair of half-inch bore pistols from gunsmith W. Beckwith of Snow Hill, for four Guineas.
1865 United States President Abraham Lincoln John Wilkes Booth .44 caliber muzzleloading derringer by Henry Deringer
1868 Canada Thomas D'Arcy McGee MP Patrick J. Whelan .32 rimfire Smith & Wesson Army revolver
1880 Canada George Brown, Premier of Canada West George Bennett "Colt revolver"
1881 United States President James A. Garfield Charles Guiteau .44 caliber British Bulldog Revolver
1900 Italy King Umberto I of Italy Gaetano Bresci .32 S&W Iver-Johnson revolver
1901 United States President William McKinley Leon Czolgosz .32 S&W Iver-Johnson revolver Czolgosz bought the revolver three days before the assassination for $4.50 in a hardware store in Buffalo, where the attack would later occur. Newspaper clippings he had collected prior noted that this specific revolver model was previously used by Gaetano Bresci to assassinate King Umberto I of Italy.
1904 Finland General Nikolay Bobrikov Eugen Schauman FN Browning M1900 Example
1908 Portugal King Carlos I of Portugal Manuel Buíça Winchester Model 1907 semi-auto carbine chambered in .351 WSL Serial number was 2137. Gun imported from Germany by Heitor Ferreira
1909 Korea Resident-General Itō Hirobumi An Jung-geun FN Browning M1900
1914 Austria-Hungary Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Gavrilo Princip FN Model 1910 chambered in .380 ACP A letter dated April 2012 from Thomas Ilming, curator Waffen und Technik, Vienna Military Museum, who holds the actual Belgium made Browning (FN) M1910 semi-auto pistol caliber .380 acp (9mm Kurz) s/n 19074 used by Princip. This semi-automatic pistol design allows the interchangeable barrels/receiver either 9mm Kurz or 7.65mm which probably creates some confusion as to caliber, some references state .32 ACP (7.65 mm). Letter from the Museum in Vienna states emphatically that the caliber of the assassination weapon was 9mm Kurz.
1932 France President Paul Doumer Paul Gorguloff FN Model 1910
1933 United States Anton Cermak, mayor of Chicago during possible attempted assassination of Franklin D. Roosevelt Giuseppe Zangara .32 S&W revolver by the United States Revolver Company Upon arriving in Miami, Zangara bought the revolver for $8 from a pawn shop, as well as 10 cartridges.
1933 Peru President Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro Abelardo de Mendoza Browning semi-auto pistol
1934 France King Alexander I of Yugoslavia Vlado Chernozemski Mauser C96 pistol
1935 United States Senator Huey Long Carl Weiss FN Model 1910 semi-auto pistol chambered in .32 ACP
1938 France Ernst vom Rath Herschel Grynszpan 6.35mm five-shot "hammerless" revolver Bought for 210 francs and a box of 25 cartridges for 35 francs.
1942 France Admiral François Darlan Fernand Bonnier de La Chapelle Ruby Pistol chambered in .32 ACP (7.65mm)
1944 Egypt Resident Minister Lord Moyne Eliyahu Hakim Nagant revolver in (7.62x38mmR)
1948 India Mahatma Gandhi Nathuram Godse Beretta M1934 pistol chambered in .380 ACP
1963 United States President John F. Kennedy Lee Harvey Oswald Carcano Model 91/38 chambered in 6.5 Carcano
1965 United States Malcolm X Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, Thomas 15X Johnson Sawed-off shotgun, M1911A1 and another semi-automatic handgun
1968 United States Martin Luther King, Jr. James Earl Ray Remington 760 Gamemaster chambered in .30-06 Springfield Ray first purchased an identical rifle model but chambered in .243 Winchester. He returned it, deeming it too weak for his purposes.
1968 United States Robert F. Kennedy Sirhan Sirhan Iver-Johnson Model 55 Cadet Serial number was H-53725, Trial-People's exhibit #6, misidentified in trial testimony as serial number H-18602.
1969 Somalia President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke Bodyguard "Automatic rifle"
1975 Saudi Arabia King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Musaid Revolver
1978 United States George Moscone and Harvey Milk Dan White Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special" snub-nose revolver in .38 Special Dan White, a former police officer, used the revolver he formerly carried on the job.
1979 South Korea President Park Chung-hee Kim Jae-gyu Walther PPK chambered in .32 ACP
1980 United States John Lennon Mark Chapman Charter Arms snubnose revolver chambered in .38 Special Bought at J&S Sales in Honolulu, Hawaii for $169.
1981 United States President Ronald Reagan (unsuccessful) John Hinckley Jr. Rohm RG-14 .22 caliber revolver Hinckley was apparently obsessed with and wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster. The attempted assassination was unsuccessful, but President Reagan was wounded, along with police officer Thomas Delahanty and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy. He also critically wounded Press Secretary James Brady, who was left permanently disabled.
1981 Egypt Anwar El Sadat Khalid Islambouli and other co-conspirators Egyptian-issue AK-47 rifles One gun used in the assassination had "In the name of Allah the avenger" inscribed on its barrel.
1984 United States Alan Berg Members of "The Order", a white nationalist group MAC-10 pistol in .45 ACP The gun used was a semi-auto originally, but was converted illegally to fully-automatic.
1984 India Indira Gandhi Bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh A .38 Special service revolver, and SAF Carbine, an Indian-produced Sterling submachine gun in 9x18mm Parabellum Beant fired five rounds from his service revolver, and Satwant followed with 25 rounds from his carbine.
1986 Sweden Olof Palme Unknown .357 Magnum revolver Shooter never identified.
1995 Israel Yitzhak Rabin Yigal Amir Beretta Cheetah series (Model 84F, chambered in .380 ACP) - a semi-auto pistol
2002 Netherlands Pim Fortuyn Volkert van der Graaf Star Firestar series pistol - Model 43 chambered in 9mm
2003 Serbia Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić Zvezdan Jovanović Heckler & Koch G3 rifle, chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO Fired from a window 180 meters away.
2004 Netherlands Theo van Gogh Mohammed Bouyeri HS2000 semi-auto pistol
2009 United Arab Emirates Sulim Yamadayev Unknown Makarov pistol chambered in 9x18mm Makarov The gold-plated pistol was left at the scene.
2011 Pakistan Osama bin Laden U.S. Navy SEALs Heckler & Koch HK416 rifle
2015 Northern Ireland Gerard "Jock" Davison Unknown Makarov pistol The PSNI reported that the use of a Makarov pistol was "unusual".
2016 Turkey Andrei Karlov Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş Canik 55 TP9 Altıntaş was an off duty police officer and used his service weapon in the attack.