HomeFashionWhy Dirty Harry Ditched His 44 Magnum In Sudden Impact

Why Dirty Harry Ditched His 44 Magnum In Sudden Impact


Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry is famous for wielding a .44 Magnum revolver, but here’s why he switched to a different weapon for Sudden Impact.

Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry famously wielded a .44 Magnum throughout the franchise, but here’s why he switched to the Auto Mag pistol in Sudden Impact. While Eastwood found success with the Dollars trilogy or Hang ‘Em High, it was 1971’s Dirty Harry that truly made him a movie star. The film was both enormously successful and controversial, but Eastwood’s charismatic turn as the titular San Francisco detective connected with audiences. The film was such a success that it became a rare Clint Eastwood franchise, with the star returning to the role four times in the following years.


The most memorable scene of Dirty Harry involved the detective pointing his .44 Magnum at a bank robber, stating it was the most powerful handgun in the world. Just like James Bond had his Walter PPK, Harry retained this revolver throughout the series – except for the finale of Sudden Impact. This fourth entry saw Harry practice with a powerful new semi-automatic gun called the Auto Mag, which was also chambered in .44 Magnum. Later in the story, Harry is jumped and the villains kick his standard Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver into the water, so he retrieves the Auto Mag to hunt them down.

Related: Every Dirty Harry Partner (& Who Survived Their Films)

Eastwood Hated The Auto Mag

Sudden Impact makes Harry’s switch to the Auto Mag a big deal in the climax, where it’s used to devastating effect. Sudden Impact – which features the famous “Make my day” quote – was also the only Dirty Harry outing directed by Eastwood, who hated the pistol. A problem with the Auto Mag is that it kept jamming during filming, and Eastwood – renowned for his lean and efficient production style – supposedly became so infuriated with the malfunctions he often threw it away. Since the finale was shot at a pier, a diver would have to retrieve the pistol if it landed in the water so it could be dried out and prepared for another take.

The 44 Revolver Came Back In The Deal Pool

Harry’s switch to the Auto Mag was short-lived. Possibly due to the aforementioned issues with the weapon jamming, by the time Harry returned for the final film The Dead Pool – a rare Clint Eastwood slasher film he had switched back to the .44 Magnum revolver. The Dead Pool was greeted with lukewarm reviews and box office, and while Eastwood made several more action movies in the ’90s, he ruled out a return as “Dirty” Harry. His 2008 drama Gran Torino was initially rumored by AICN to be a stealth sequel, that would have seen the retired detective chasing down his grandson’s killer, who drove the titular car; this was soon debunked.

Despite being a hit franchise, there have been no attempts to reboot it with a new actor. Eastwood – who was cast after Frank Sinatra and John Wayne both passed on Dirty Harry – is so closely linked to the character, it would be near impossible for a new actor to inherit it. The closest the star came to picking up the character’s .44 Magnum again was a planned video game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which would have been set between Dirty Harry and Magnum Force; it was later scrapped over budget issues.

Next: Every Movie Clint Eastwood Has Directed Ranked From Worst To Best


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Denis Ava
Denis Avahttps://bizgrows.com/
Denis Ava is mainly a business blogger who writes for Biz Grows. Rather than business blogs he loves to write and explore his talents in other niches such as fashion, technology, travelling,finance,etc.

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