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Now if only I knew the Swedish word for scope. Or barrel. Or customer helpline.[1]

IKEA Weaponry is all about weapons which are usually left in kit-form until they are needed. Sniper Rifles are the best known version of these weapons thanks to the Lock and Load Montage that is often featured in some movies, but other types of weapons have shown up in shows as well. This is called a "takedown rifle" in real life, and, near as records can reflect, most of them are used by hunters who travel frequently rather than assassins. (As far as we know...)

It takes a special kind of weapon to be broken down like this, and it doesn't usually work the way Hollywood depicts it onscreen. A scoped rifle that is expected to hit anything must be test fired, adjusted, and tested again, a process called "zeroing". In order to work right after assembly, the scope needs to be either permanently fitted to the main body of the weapon, or fitted to a special mount that can be separated and rejoined precisely without interrupting the adjustments. The break-away barrel connection must likewise be gas-tight and accurate enough to put the muzzle back in the same exact place after assembly. The precision machining required is always hand work, mass-production need not apply, but there are specialist gunsmiths that can deliver. (This is becoming less true with the advent of finer machining and improved "quick detach barrels." See the Bushmaster ACR for an example.)

This weapon is going to compromise some accuracy and power over a non-takedown weapon of the same type, but assassinations-by-scoped-rifle as seen in the movies are almost always over relatively short range, like a roof overlooking a street, on a highly-visible stationary target: an easy shot for a decent shooter, even if the sight is off by an inch or so.

Bifurcated Weapon differs from IKEA Weaponry in that bifurcated weapons are already weapons in their own right even before they are put together.

A Sub-Trope is the Scaramanga Special; where the parts needed to put the weapon together are disguised as different objects which may very well function as said object, eg: a pen, a pillbox or even a belt buckle.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with IKEA Erotica. We hope...

See also Briefcase Blaster and Gun Accessories.

Examples of IKEA Weaponry include:

Anime & Manga

  • Priss in Bubblegum Crisis has a Hand Cannon that can break down into three parts.
  • Yoko Ritona's rifle in the first Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann movie can be disassembled down to two sub-machine guns, or even simply broken apart. Which means it'll probably be rebuilt after what happened to it.

Comic Books

  • Mercilessly parodied in the Italian Mickey Mouse story Topokolossal: a self-declared problem solver arrives to take care of a killer robot and start assembling one of these, but gets it wrong and assembles an Eiffel Tower model made of guns. A second attempt, made after checking the instructions, produces a dinosaur skeleton. Finally the third attempt produces a BFG... Exactly three panels after the robot's battery was exhausted.

Films — Live-Action

  • James Bond
  • Used frequently in Mission Impossible; usually with a Hard Work Montage/ Lock and Load Montage showing Barney or one of the others assembling the required equipment.
    • Notably the bridge scene in the third movie, when Ethan has to retrieve and assemble such a weapon as a predator drone closes in.
  • Dirty Harry: Scorpio's rifle, which he keeps dissembled in a briefcase until he's about to make a shot.
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Colonel West assembles a sniper disrupter out of one of these. Note that the hole he cut in the window isn't big enough to look through the scope. This scene is played as a direct Homage to the ending sequence of the original The Manchurian Candidate, which is the possible Trope Codifier.
  • Phantom of the Paradise homages the The Manchurian Candidate scene.
  • In Highlander, the sword that the Kurgan uses in modern times is assembled from a kit through a Lock and Load / Kata montage. An especially Egregious example since swords are particularly dependent on internal solidity. Well, "it's a kind of magic" clearly doesn't only apply to being immortal.
  • Parodied in The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, when Nordberg assembles a howitzer from a kit. Further, each "intermediate stage" is a weapon in its own right, possibly making it a Bifurcated Weapon. Not that it matters.
  • Alien Resurrection has a character smuggle a disassembled shotgun onboard a space ship, disguised as parts of his high-tech wheelchair.
  • Police Academy: Appears in one or two of the movies. What appears to be a sniper rifle eventually becomes something like a machine gun nest or an anti-aircraft turret.
  • In The Long Kiss Goodnight, one of the amnesiac Samantha's first steps toward remembering her past is finding and reassembling the Sniper Rifle hidden in her old suitcase.
  • The assassin in In The Line of Fire brings the gun for his presidential-killing attempt in pieces. To bypass security, the gun is also made of plastic, and the bullets were hidden inside a rabbit foot keychain.
  • Johnny Dangerously: Subverted in this Michael Keaton comedy. The machine gun assembled from parts given by various felons on the walk down death row (and one part from the priest, in a hollowed out Bible) doesn't actually work, and when the eponymous character throws it at a guard for a distraction, it falls apart when the guard reactively catches it.
  • Parodied in Robin Hood Men in Tights when a medieval mafia hitman assembles a crossbow from a kit.
  • Outland. The two hitmen sent to kill the protagonist arrive with other miners on the weekly supply shuttle. They stay behind until the others have passed through the airlock, then each man assembles a shotgun, with electronic infra-red sight, from his kitbag. Note that those weren't pump-action shotguns. While Sean Connery had one for the poster, the ones in the movie were all gas-operated semiautos. Seeing as how the movie was made in Europe where pumps aren't as popular, it's not surprising.
  • The Tuxedo had a sequence where Jackie Chan's character must assemble a rifle used to plant a bug at long distance. Arguably justifies the 'use right away' scope due to the nature of his high tech tuxedo. Also the fact that the scope itself seems to be high tech as well, since it appears to have something like an auto targeting system (which ironically causes him to mess up the shot horribly).
  • Bullitt has two assassins making good use of a takedown-model Winchester 1897 pump shotgun. Many, if not a majority, of Winchester firearms pre-WWII were made in takedown form, breaking in two where the barrel meets the receiver. Also seeing as it's a shotgun fired at point blank, accuracy was not their main concern.
  • Cobra: As the cult members are shown moving towards the town where he's protecting a witness, Cobra (Sylvester Stallone) assembles his Laser Sight-equipped Jati submachine gun, which he carries stripped down in a suitcase.
  • A Perfect Getaway: Nick uses a take-down recurve bow (a KAP T-Rex painted flat black) and arrow to hunt and kill a goat.
  • District 9 During the township shootout, two contractor troops (gunner and a-gunner) are shown finishing assembly of a massive anti-material rifle which then gets used a couple times before being messily dealt with. Truth in Television here. That's a Mechem NTW-20, a.k.a. the Denel NTW-20 (Mechem is a division of Denel). It fires a 20mm light cannon round and the barrel is removed for transport because of how absurdly huge the thing is.
  • In The Fifth Element, the ZF-1 is described as doing this so it can pass undetected through X-ray scans.
  • Karl from Die Hard has this going with his Steyer AUG. He kept it in a duffel then constructed it in the elevator. Which is fair enough, given that the Steyr AUG is modular, where one receiver can be converted from a submachinegun to an assault rifle to a light support weapon by just switching the barrel assembly (and, for the SMG version, the bolt and magazine shroud).
  • Parodied in Versus: one of the villains assembles a three-part scabbard from a suitcase, then draws an intact katana from it.
  • Averted in The American: the main character is a gunsmith, and we see every bit of precision required to make sure the weapon he's building operates exactly like it should. Subverted when the gun is actually fired... at him. He figured out that he was building a gun for someone who was after him, so he sabotaged the weapon to make sure the bullet exited in the wrong direction.
  • Léon: The Professional: Leon assembles his training rifle for Mathilda's first sniper lesson.
  • In The Good the Bad And The Ugly, Tuco cobbles together his own custom pistol from various revolver parts at a general store, which he then proceeds to rob.
  • In The Day of the Jackal, the eponymous hitman uses a (single-shot) sniper gun for his attempt to assassinate President De Gaulle. To get past the police cordon, he disguises himself as an amputee war veteran, with the gun barrel in one of his crutches and the other parts hidden on his body.
  • In XIII: The Conspiracy, the first scene where Steve Rowand prepares to assassinate Sally Sheridan. This is a sniper rifle example.
  • In Executive Decision, the terrorists smuggle guns onto the plane in parts, some of which are hidden onboard beforehand.


  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle even wrote one into a Sherlock Holmes story. In "The Adventure of the Empty House", the villain totes a high power air rifle which breaks down into, except the barrel, parts that travel in coat pockets. The barrel was disguised as a walking cane. Makes the the idea Older Than Radio.
  • One sequence in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz has the Wizard, being choked by a plant-magician's spell, take various implements out of his coat. Just before he passes out, he screws them into a sword and cuts the magician in half, breaking the spell.
  • The assassin in The Day of the Jackal transports his sniper rifle in pieces, first in a tube in his car and later in a crutch as part of his disguise. The Jackal goes to the trouble of "zero-ing" his sights when he first gets the gun: a practice unheard of in most Hollywood works.
  • In Consider Phlebas, the Culture agent ends up with a memoryform Hand Cannon that conveniently folds up and can be hidden in a tooth cavity.
  • Investigator Arkady Renko finds a gun disguised as various innocent-looking objects packed in a visiting American's baggage. Of course, he never would have thought to try piecing random objects together into a gun if it weren't for the fact that the American chose such an odd selection to pack.

Live-Action TV

  • Dollhouse: In "Stage Fright", the Loony Fan assembles a sniper rifle from parts hidden inside and on his crutches. A clear reference to The Day of the Jackal.
  • One episode of Star Trek the Next Generation featured two Klingons who, captured and imprisoned aboard the Enterprise, turned out to have the necessary bits to construct one of these stashed about their person.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Something Borrowed", Jack and Ianto assemble a BFG from two suitcases in the back of their SUV when the shapeshifting alien proves Immune to Bullets from their handguns.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Earshot", Jonathan assembles his rifle in the school clock tower while looking down on the milling students in the school quad. He's really planning to shoot himself, not anyone else.
  • The Man From UNCLE was one of the earliest users of this trope, and definitely a strong influence on its popularity. It got so bad that the CIA actually paid a visit to the show's producers to a) find out where they got their information and b) find guns that could be assembled that quickly and still be in any way effective. The truth was that they just cut down the gun assembly scenes, making them take about 15 seconds rather than the 5~10 minutes it really took them.
  • Blakes Seven: One of these was created for the final season, though in practice it was only shown fully assembled.
  • The X-Files
    • Cancer Man assembles a sniper rifle to shoot Frohike in "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man".
    • Two Syndicate hit men (one tasked with eliminating Max Fenig, the other sent after Mulder) in the two-parter "Tempus Fugit"/"Max" smuggled a disassembled semi-automatic pistol aboard passenger aircraft. If this troper remembers correctly, the weapon was made of mostly plastic and ceramic parts.
  • Kamen Rider
  • Lampshaded in an episode of CSI ("Spark of Life") when a man assembles a gun-like contraption and looks through a scope at a nearby house. He subsequently "aims" higher, gazing at the stars through his IKEA telescope.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "Midnight on the Firing Line" Londo Mollari builds a PPG out of disguised parts in his quarters.
  • In one sketch by The Whitest Kids U' Know, a CEO is in his office, hiding from a sniper in a competitor's building. He then grabs his briefcase, opens it, and assembles his own sniper rifle. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Parodied in The Benny Hill Show, during a sketch set in WWII. Benny plays a sniper tasked to shoot Hitler. However, as he's testing the sights, he spots a fraulein in skimpy dress by a window. He keeps ogling while distractedly putting together his sniper riffle, which ends up in a twisted, useless shape.

Tabletop Games

  • The "Collapsible" universal Weapon Gadget in d20 Future gives this property to any weapon it's applied to for a nominal fee. In its "collapsed" state, a knowledge check is required to recognize a weapon.
  • Shadowrun
    • In second and third edition, this started with a futuristic version of a sniper rifle that could be broken down. It continued on to a version of Steyr's AUG rifle (which leaned a little towards Game Breaker), entirely transportable in a briefcase. Later weapons were said to even look like innocuous articles before being assembled into a not very innocuous rifle or revolver.
    • In at least one version in the "Street Samurai Catalog", a collection of additional weaponry, the attachable components also gave various options from pistol to machine gun to sniper rifle depending on how you assembled it.
  • The Palladium Fantasy Role-Playing Game has a magic sword known as Castlerake. It's typically broken into several parts, as when it's put together, it can breach any fortification in roughly three minutes. Nobody wants that kind of power in anyone else's reach for too long.


  • Nerf Brand
    • Nerf has the Recon CS-6, which can be used dissembled, but is quite a sight when the shoulder stock, barrel and light are attached (if not more Awesome but Impractical accessories).
    • Most of the Nerf N-Strike line have this sort of feature, to the point of interchangeable parts.
  • Some Transformers have weapons that break down into parts to store as parts of their transformed modes. For example, a Japanese-release-only version of one Optimus Prime figure allows you to remove two fuel tanks, transform them, and combine them into a rifle weapon that fits over his right hand in robot mode.

Video Games

  • Hitman: One of Agent 47's trademark weapons is a Walther WA2000, which he keeps unassembled in a briefcase most of the time. At least in the first game, his "briefcase sniper rifle" is a Blaser R93, as seen in the Hong Kong sniper mission.
  • One of the touch screen Minigames in Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is screwing together a break-down sniper rifle.
  • Heavy Barrel: The title weapon could be seen as this; you'd gather pieces and see them collect at the top of the screen. Once you get the last one ... 'HEAVY BARREL!!' BFG time.
  • Sly Spy, another Data East game does this with the "Golden Gun" (get it?).
  • Similar to the example from Heavy Barrel, Heavy Weapon also has you collect four parts to craft the Megalaser, a One-Hit Kill weapon that lasts for around 30 seconds.
  • The old pseudo-3D space sim Galactic Invasion has this as its premise: you and a rival are racing against each other to assemble one of three weapons that will annihilate your opponent's solar system. Said weapons come in the form of color-coded pieces that you find by blowing up space stations.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, obtaining the Batclaw involves a brief cutscene where Batman adds the attachment to his grapnel; later on, there is a more involved cutscene where Batman assembles the Ultra Batclaw upgrade using parts from a supply container.
  • Most weapons in Mushroom Men are this or Bifurcated Weapon. You collect parts, and some can be weapons in their own right, but almost all of them can be pieced together into more powerful weapons.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X", Deadshot infiltrates the Watchtower carrying a disassembled ceramic gun whose pieces were packaged in candy wrappers.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television. The AR-18 rifle was popular with the IRA because it could be broken down for concealment purposes without disturbing the zero. Most Hollywood IKEA weapons however tend not to have their sights attached to the weapon, ruling them impractical for sniping use in real life.
    • Although with most movie examples it is probably the case that the zero would be gone, but actually modern gun mounts and rails mean that sights can be detached and reattached whilst maintaining the zero, rendering this trope much more realistic.
  • The M-16/ AR-15 style of rifle breaks in two by pulling a pin and a bolt, with the barrel, upper receiver, iron sights and optics remaining together. Though not as compact as some other examples, a trained operator can rejoin the upper and lower receivers and prep the weapon for firing in under a minute.
    • This is taken to the logical conclusion with the TAC2 discreet carry rifle, that means that a 16" barreled (longer than a standard M4) AR-15 with sight and a couple of magazines can be carried inside a briefcase, and be assembled and ready to fire in less than 10 seconds.
    • Add to the fact that only lower reciever (the part with the trigger assembly counts as the gun), means that it also can be changed out easily for different barrel lengths and ammunition. In fact a 10" barrel (known legally as a short barreled rifle) AR-15 can easily be fit in a messenger bag with a couple of 30rd mags of ammo.
  • Marketed towards the outdoorsman, the AR-7 survival rifle not only breaks down, but the stock doubles as a case that floats in water. A modified version which did away with the storage case stock in favour of a wireframe skeleton stock was used by the Israeli military as an aircrew survival weapon.
  • The Kel-Tek SU-16 is a comparable weapon, but with a hinged stock that enables it to fold up compactly enough to fit in a modest-sized duffel bag. Possibly the only rifle in existence that might get you indicted for carrying a concealed weapon.
  • Pretty much every man-portable heavy weapon ever devised before shoulder-launched rockets. Machineguns can often be broken down into barrel, firing chamber/stock/trigger assembly and bipod or tripod, while mortars will break down into barrel, bipod, and baseplate. The practice used to extend up as far as light artillery pieces that were often referred to as "pack howitzers" and broke down into four or five parts which a man could carry. A few heavier weapons could also be broken down into multiple parts, not to make them easily carried, but so you could actually fit them on the truck or airplane.
  • Not a gun, but certainly a weapon, recurve bows (or longbows) can be manufactured so as to either fold or break down into two or three pieces. A typical recurve bow will have 2 limbs which slot into a central riser, then the bow is strung. Accessories such as a stabilizer (or more than one in various configurations) or a quiver can then be attached to the riser (if desired). Most 3 piece takedowns require a hex key or have over-sized heads on the bolts which require time-consuming tightening, the Fred Bear Custom Kodiak Takedown by Bear Archery is notable for not needing tools or bolts, instead using latches --- Fred Bear could assemble and string his Takedown bow in roughly 60 seconds. Compound bows on the other hand normally cannot be taken apart (or assembled) without a bow press, with only one model, the Martin Pack Rat take-down compound being designed for portability.
  • Relatedly so, the Stoner 63 weapon system by Cadillac Gage was a real-life example of this. With a common receiver, a carbine, rifle, light machine gun, or vehicle-mounted machine gun could be assembled using different barrels, ammo feeds and trigger mechanisms.
  • The Soviet/Russian VSS Vintorez suppressed sniper rifle is designed like the classic "assassin's gun in a suitcase". Action, suppressor, scope, stock, and magazine can all be seperated and fitted into a special padded carrying case not unlike a businessman's briefcase. Range is short by sniping standard--perhaps 300-400 meters--due to the high trajectory of the subsonic 9x39mm bullets. Since it is quite effectively suppressed, most sniping is done in relative close ranges without much problem
  • Not as dramatic as most examples here, but the traditional Japanese sword construction is this to some extent. Although the blade and tang are one solid piece, the hilt, grip, and tsuba (guard) can all be easily disassembled simply by removing a single retaining pin located in the grip. When carrying of the sword was banned during the Meiji Restoration, the Samurai removed the distinctive, and valuable, furniture (grip, guard, hilt, scabbard) and disguised the sword inside a plain walking stick. The sword could be drawn and used as normal; so they didn't bother reassembling it for dueling, although it was reassembled for display.
  • Possibly the best example: The Intimidator. A 40 pound, 125 piece metal puzzle that assembles into a muzzle-loading .45 caliber pistol, with laser sights, and a cleaning kit included in the initial puzzle.
  • An interesting illustration of this idea is the military field gun competition. A field gun is taken apart into its component pieces, carried over a series of obstacles, then reassembled. Well-trained military teams can manage this in 85 seconds — but it takes 21 men to get the job done.
  • The Steyr AUG has a barrel that is remarkably easy to remove. Since it's a bullpup, this makes the main body of the rifle very short compared to traditional rifles.
  • Completely subverted by military sniper rifles. For instance British army sniper rifles have the individual pieces seleceted from the "parent weapon" production line, and carefully built in the factory to ensure maximum accuracy.
  1. "Kikarsikte", "pipa", "kundtjänst".