In the movie Joker, when killing three white collars in a subway, Arthur fires eight rounds out of his 38 revolver that holds five or six bullets without reloading.

I doubt it is a mistake, why does this happen?

  • 12
    This could be a mistake, or it could be an indication that this is yet another delusion. IMHO it is impossible to answer questions like this about "Joker", since the entire movie is one massive case of "unreliable narrator" / "it is all in his head".
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 12:12
  • 8
    @BCdotWEB sounds like a potential answer rather than a reason to downvote.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 13:19
  • @AnkitSharma I haven't seen the movie, so I can only go by Reddit threads, which seem to suggest that the movie explicitly mentions the bullet limit (and even shows it) and that the movie even points out that Arthur had only access to a limited amount of ammo. But since I haven't seen the movie, I cannot judge whether this is really so explicit and thus whether this discrepancy in possible rounds is merely a mistake or a signal to the viewer.
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 16:14
  • 1
    Is it explicit in the film that this is a 5- or 6-shot revolver? There are 8-shot revolvers available; for instance: smith-wesson.com/firearms/performance-center-model-327
    – chili555
    Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 2:05

3 Answers 3


I doubt it's a mistake. There are close-up shots of the gun where you can clearly see that it's a 5 or 6 shot revolver. In fact, IMFDB identifies it specifically as a Smith & Wesson Model 36, which holds five shots.

I think the most likely explanation is that Arthur is an unreliable narrator. Arthur suffers from various unspecified mental disorders, and several scenes are shown to be in his imagination, most obviously his appearance in the audience of the talk show, and his relationship with Sophie. Scenes like the subway shooting aren't explicitly shown to be imagined, but subtle details like the number of shots fired are clues that what we're seeing may not be as they actually happened (if they did at all).

  • I've read in a reddit thread that Arthur died of cold in the refrigerator (he slept for at least 8 hours there based on that redditor); so every other scenes after the fridge scene are postmortem imaginations of his soul. Can it be possible? Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 14:50

The screenplay lists it as a...

".38 snub-nosed revolver"

...without going into any particular detail about what make or model the gun is. When we see him fire it on the subway, he fires seven shots in total. The script described him 'emptying the gun' into his victims without reloading.

BLAM! The third guy falls, tumbling down the stairs. Arthur walks over to the body and empties the chamber— BLAM! BLAM! … BLAM! He's got nothing left.


I rewatched the movie recently with this in mind. I noticed after killing the first 2 guys, he tries to kill the 3rd but the gun clicks (it's really subtle). So I'm guessing he reloaded a few bullets to finish the last guy off.

  • 1
    Lavender is correct. I'll explain why in my answer. Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 20:17
  • That sound the last comment mentioned seems to be the lights flickering, not the gun, you can hear the same sound while they are kicking him and the lights go on and off.
    – Vrika
    Commented Dec 1, 2022 at 8:24

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