Despite what nice people would like, everyone else is always fascinated by the guns of the famous criminals. Two of the most famous criminals in history were Bonnie and Clyde Barrow. During the "Public Enemy Era" criminals were looked at in a different way by many of the people who had been victimized and impoverished by the rich bankers and the emerging powerful corporations. Many people saw them as people driven to the edge that were only taking back what was stolen from them and striking back at a society and Government that let the Depression cause so much harm to so many. The interest that still exists for people like Bonnie and Clyde cannot be denied. They were known to be quite skilled with their weapons, and unlike most criminals, they practiced with them and maintained them. They are considered to be responsible for the deaths of at least 9 law enforcement officers and and unknown number of civilians.
Just some of the weapons carried by Bonnie and Clyde the day they were killed
The most famous firearm of the 1930s was without a doubt the Thompson submachine gun. While it was favored by many of the famous gangsters, Clyde Barrow was known to prefer the .30-06 Browning Automatic Rifle, a much more powerful gun capable of powering through walls, bullet proof vests, and even the heavy steel of 1930's automobiles. At least one of the BARs owned by Clyde Barrow was cut down on the barrel and stock to make it more maneuverable for the mounted and urban combat that was so common for the Depression era bank robbers. Another famous weapon of the pair was the sawed-off Browning Semi Auto shotgun. The Browning Auto 5, as it is known, was considered the best semi automatic shotgun design until the rise of the truly modern Benelli and Beretta designs in the last 15 or so years. Loaded with 00 Buckshot, it is capable of discharging 40 .32 caliber lead pellets in about 2 seconds. This would be absolutely devastating for anything in its path, out to about 75 yards. The Barrows were also said to favor the Colt 1911 .45 automatic, a pistol that is still among the most favored by people who know firearms. They were also known to use the common .32 and .380 version of the Colt 1903 Pocket.Hammerless. Many of the weapons used by the pair were taken from Police Officers and police stations. Several BARs were taken in a raid on the National Guard Armory in Enid, Oklahoma.
When Bonnie and Clyde were killed on May 23, 1934 by Texas and Louisiana police officers, their Ford V8 was filled with:
Three .30 caliber. Browning Automatic Rifles
One 20 gauge “sawed-off” shotgun
One 10 gauge “sawed-off” shotgun
One .32 caliber Colt automatic pistol
One .380 caliber Colt automatic pistol
One Colt .45 caliber “Double Action” revolver
Seven M1911 .45 caliber automatic pistols
One-hundred rounds on machine gun clips
Three-thousands rounds of ammunition
That arsenal would be envied by most any gun collector today. It is as much or more ammunition than the terrorists that perpetrated the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 had.
There are some of military units in the world today that don't have that much firepower. but as you can see, it didn't help them much in the end. On the day of the ambush, Bonnie and Clyde never even got off a shot.