Men With Golden Guns: A Trend in History - History Key

Men With Golden Guns: A Trend in History

There are many people who love guns, probably even more than gold, so what would happen if these two things would be mixed? History Key will show you the exact result, even if it is not related to the loved people.

Basically, when you have a lot of power you have also a lot of money or vice versa, it would make sense both ways. But when you live in “God mode”, everything would be permitted. Starting from the apparently simple and usual things, until those that can hardly be imagined.

And who would be the best candidates for this kind of description, holding excessive power and endless money? Only the dictators and the infamous rulers from all over the globe. Among many candidates, we will stick to some of the most classic and well-known, just in order to let you directly relate to them.

Saddam Hussein

Let’s start with Saddam Hussein, the President of Iraq during 1979 and 2003. It is well known that he and his family (and also his entourage) loved to take luxury at the highest levels, but we will stop only on one aspect of his life, more exactly his passion for guns.


Saddam firing a rifle during one of his public speeches
Saddam firing a rifle during one of his public speeches ©

For Saddam and his sons, Uday and Qusay, guns were daily companions, so why not have them in a special form, and edition suited to their royal status? Considering that Saddam was always surrounded by guns, and even during his public apparitions he used to show off rifles, pistols and all sorts of weaponry, it seemed normal to have customized golden guns.

After the collapse of Saddam’s regime, when the American troops entered the palaces and facilities directly related to Saddam or his sons, they had the surprise to find several golden guns, specially crafted for the dictator.


The 101st Airborne Division, while checking and clearing the buildings from the Kirkuk district, found the golden guns in northern Iraq. Not one, but an entire collection of golden guns was found in the palaces related to Saddam. Some of the guns were received as a gift from other Iraq key figures, some were directly ordered by Saddam, for him or his beloved sons. In any case, the US soldiers who discovered them probably had a big surprise.



Muammar Gaddafi

But not only Saddam had this preference related to guns. Muammar Gaddafi could not miss from this list. Mostly known as “Colonel Gaddafi”, he was a Libyan revolutionary and politician who ruled Libya between 1969 and 2011.

No need to say that also Gaddafi’s life was a luxury race, with all sorts of uncommon practices and insane methods. Among all that, there is the story of Colonel Gaddafi’s golden pistol, which had become a symbol of the fall of Gaddafi’s regime.

Rebels with Gaddafi's golden pistol, moments after his capture
Rebels with Gaddafi’s golden pistol, moments after his capture ©

When Gaddafi was finally captured on October 20, 2001, some of the rebels managed to get his personal golden pistol, which was found with him in his hiding place. The pistol is a Browning M1911A1, a classic .45, and it became famous because it was found together with the dictator, but the pistol was not the only golden gun in his possession.

Everything was concentrated on the pistol also because it became an icon for the end of the Gaddafi era. When it was held and waved in the air by the rebels, as a trophy and a proof that the power direction had changed.

We all know how the story ended for Saddam and Gaddafi, so there is no need for further details. We can only add some information related to their golden gun fate. The ones coming from Saddam’s collection are currently displayed in several institutions around the globe. The golden AK-47 (which is, in fact, a Tabuk rifle, the Iraqi copy of the AK) is exhibited at the Australian War Memorial after the Australian Army received it from US troops as a sign of thanks for their participation in the Iraq war.

Gaddafi’s golden pistol is still in the possession of the rebel who took it then, during the capture of the Colonel. A British journalist, who was present at the moment of Gaddafi’s capture, managed to trace the pistol. He met the man who appeared in the iconic pictures with the pistol. Here is how the pistol looks nowadays.

The BBC journalist with Gaddafi's handgun, 2016
The BBC journalist with Gaddafi’s handgun, 2016 ©

As you would notice, the pistol looks more washed out, a detail that would confirm the fact that the guns were not made in solid gold but only plated.

Even if we stated that the article would form around dictators’ habits, we want to include only another example related to golden guns. This time we are talking about another kind of dictators, not directly related to politics but more likely to money: the Mexican drug lords.

Besides the “normal” forms of lush, expensive cars, jewels, incredible villa and so on, they also have this golden guns fetish, using to customize pistols and rifles with gold plating and all sorts of mottos or drawings.

In the picture above is a golden pistol with the motto from Scarface, a cult movie for all the drug lords who want to “make it big”, just like the character from the movie, Tony Montana.

The museum related to the Mexican Ministry of defense, have on display several golden guns coming from all sorts of drug lords and drug compounds. The museum is used in order to educate the soldiers about the habit, lifestyle, and culture of the drug cartels.

Image from the Mexican museum of the Ministry of defense
Image from the Mexican Museum  of the Ministry of defense ©

So, if you see a golden weapon you should start asking some questions or quickly leave the place.

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