The Judges of Megacity-One use the iconic Lawgiver pistol to hand out justice. More than just a standard sidearm the Lawgiver can fire multiple types of ammunition. But the magazine it uses appears to be almost identical to a modern firearm magazine that fires standard munitions. So my question is, does each magazine carry a certain amount of each type of munition (high-explosive, incendiary, non-lethal/rubber, armor piercing, etc.) or is it a standard round that has the properties selected by the user added to it by the Lawgiver when the round is chambered and fired?

(Note: I am referring to the Mark II Lawgiver, however if the tech is the same an answer pertaining to the mark I will be acceptable)

4 Answers 4


Both. The Lawgiver was designed to be a multipurpose, long range, incredible deadly firearm, capable of supporting a Judge in the deadly environments of MegaCity One. The weapon was durable, capable of being used as a bludgeon in addition to shooting people at ranges up to three miles with smart ammunition.

Because Judges tended to die in the line of duty, Lawgivers were designed to detonate if the proper biometric handprint wasn't used, to keep them from be used against other Judges.

The Lawgiver Mark I was a multifeed device capable of taking ammo from three different chambers allowing three different types of ammunition able to be selected by a dial.

The Lawgiver Mark II (in the comics) drew all of their ammo from a single chamber and each round was jacketed as needed. (Call it super-science, and leave it at that). The weapon was also capable of add-ons for a variety of grenades, stun rounds and hypodermics.

The multiple round system supported a variety of common round types including:

  • Standard Execution (SE): ammunition used in response to generic situations.

  • 'Armor-Piercing (AP)': ammunition used to deal with Robots or lifeforms wearing body armor. Armor-Piercing rounds are also powerful enough to go through cover or multiple unarmored perps.

  • 'Ricochet (R)': rubber-titanium ammunition used to shoot perps around corners and behind walls. Can be used in standoff situations to allow Judges to shoot around hostages.

  • Incendiary (I): partially explosive chemical rounds that ignite whatever target they hit.

  • 'High-Explosive (HE, Hi-Ex)': these rounds can be used when a situation calls for a forced entry into an area and there isn't time to wait for heavier reinforcements.

  • 'Heatseeker (HS)': rounds that lock on and seek targets by their body-heat. Can be used in combination with incendiary rounds.

  • The Grenade bullet was replaced by a larger clip-on Fragmentation grenade shell.

  • PSI Division Exorcists carry Exorcism rounds instead of Heat-Seekers.

In the Movies

The Lawgiver has been shown to be slightly less capable in most movie depictions where it has more than one feed chamber feeding a variety of ammunition, allowing it to run out of one type of ammo but retaining others.

  • At the Academy of Law, Judge Dredd (played by Sylvester Stallone) is seen demonstrating the Lawgiver, which has a clip of 25 rounds. The ammunition is referred to as "mission-variable" and "voice-programmed".

  • Apparently the ammunition is a generic multi-purpose slug that turns into a specialized type (High Explosive, Armor-Piercing, etc.) when it is verbally designated by the operator. The High-Explosive round was called "Grenade".

  • There is also a new "Signal Flare" ammunition (though it might be a different name for the Incendiary round). The anti-tampering boobytrap differed in that it gave a lethal shock rather than detonating an explosive charge.

The Lawgiver in the 2012 film Dredd resembles the MK II model. The "Hot Shot" round used in the standoff in the beginning of the movie, although carrying the nickname of the Heat Seeker round, is more of a focused pyrotechnic.

  • The incendiary round proper serves as a white-phosphorous cluster-grenade. It also has a digital screen that indicates what type of rounds are to be fired (e.g. when Dredd commands "High Ex", the display says "HIGH EX", showing that "High Ex" has been selected).

In the 2012 movie Dredd, a revised version of the Lawgiver II demonstrated seven types of ammunition, which could be voice activated :

  • RAPID (Rapid fire),
  • FMJ (Full Metal Jacket),
  • AP (Armour Piercing),
  • INC (Incendiary),
  • HI-EX (High Explosive),
  • Hotshot,
  • and Stun.

    Lawgiver Displaying the Selected Ammunition

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In a special feature of the Dredd DVD, it is revealed that the Lawgiver used in the film uses three separate magazines housing separate kinds of ammunition simultaneously, as opposed to the comics where all kinds of ammunition are fired from one universal magazine. This culminates to a moment in the film where Dredd’s Lawgiver runs out of all forms of ammunition except for High Explosive rounds.


Here is the current "take" on the Mark II (comic) lawgiver, as per Planet Replicas production designs (copyrighted). Dan took the previous designs and tweaked them, to make his own version on the Mark II, which has now been adopted by almost all Dredd artists (Cliff Robinson notably uses the Termight Replicas model - based on his own designs, still, for his Dredd). This should explain the functions and ammo capabilities better than I could....


Scroll to the end of the article to see the specific cutaway designs to which I refer. These are now taken to be canon, in the comics.


The Lawgiver has 5 types of ammo:

  1. Semi (regular bullets that appear to be .45 hollow heads)(clips feed on the handle)(Rapid Fire voice activated function available)
  2. Hi-Ex
  3. Stun
  4. Incendiary (with a voice activated option to turn into a Hot-Shot (no spread upon traveling)
  5. Armor Piercing.

All of these extras are fed through the frontal clip. Looking at the schematics the frontal clip appear to have 12 shots visible with maybe 4 more that wont show due to the clip insertion into the gun´s casing. That means that the actual special round count in a Lawgiver II is of around 4 bullets of each that is not Regular hollow heads. (4 Incendiaries, 4 armor piercing, 4 hi-ex and 4 stun) His belt clips are Hollow Heads only with 4 new clips plus the one loaded in the lawgiver (thinking on the rapid fire function it makes sense)

  • this is as per the 2012 movie i forgot to add. -R Feb 24, 2015 at 17:29
  • You can edit your post with the "edit" button (in the lower left corner of it) to add something you forgot.
    – Null
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:32
  • Where is your info that his replacement mags are standard .45 rounds only?
    – Monty129
    Feb 24, 2015 at 17:38
  • the 2012 movie lawgivers where constructed over Glock 17 firearms that shoot 9 mm bullets. My mistake was stating.45, I apologize on this. The correct type of regular bullets is 9mm. Feb 24, 2015 at 20:14
  • The reality of what production states and what you can see on the firearm (Structurally speaking)is very different from what the actual info screen states though: The screen readout shows that a full magazine supposedly carries 50 FMJ (Full Metal Jacketed, or "Standard" ammo), 25 AP (Armor-Piercing), 25 IN (Incendiary) and 25 HE (High Explosive) rounds.The "D" reading in the lower left-hand corner is the distance to the target in meters. If the magazine is near empty (at 10% or less), the screen has an "AMMUNITION LOW" warning. Structurally speaking these numbers are impossible in real life. Feb 24, 2015 at 20:18

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