The Guns of Tiger King’s Joe Exotic

Tiger King, Joe Exotic. The star of Netflix's smash hit documentary likes guns, Tannerite and, well, tigers. Check out Joe Exotic's gun collection.
Tiger King

Joe Exotic Tiger King loves guns almost as much as tigers, and straight men that can be turned gay with Meth. That’s an introduction you didn’t expect to see here, let’s be honest…


Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has become a global overnight sensation for Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, you need to.


You just have to watch Tiger King to see just how messed up these people are. And to see Joe and his band of followers shooting effigies of Big Cat Rescue sanctuary owner Carole Baskin and ‘dems animal rights folks’.


Joe Opted to Hire a Hitman

That dark obsession led to a 22-year prison sentence for hiring a hitman to kill Baskin. But hitman Don Lewis turns State informant instead. Eric Goode basically films Joe’s self-destruction and Jeff Lowe takes the park from under him all at the same time.


It’s all just batshit nuts. And even though you kinda think Joe got entrapped to Hell with the Murder for hire charge, he kinda deserves to be in prison for a lot of other stuff.


Every moment of the show is distilled mental illness, abuse and tragedy wrapped up in the most watchable format you’ll ever see.


It’s a United States of America tragi-comedy of the worst kind, because these people are real. This is real life and this man really did run as a political candidate, twice.


You’ll hate yourself a little, but you’ll love it…


But what guns did the man formerly known as Joe Maldanado-Passage, and before that plain old Joseph Schreibvogel, use to spread his message of pure madness? 


Here are the Guns of Tiger King, and where you can buy them.


The Smith & Wesson Model 27 Classic that Joe Exotic carried at all times. He said it was for people. He lied. Joe killed tigers with this gun.

1. Smith & Wesson Model 27


  • Price: $999.99
  • Barrel: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 2.93lb
  • Capacity: 6 rounds

Joe’s revolver is a trusty Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. Some people say he used it to execute horses, and tigers. But aside from that, he blasted a shit ton of Tannerite and effigies of Carole Baskin.


Here he uses it for Liger defense, just firing a warning shot when one of his big cats decided to eat his shoes, feet and maybe some other stuff.


He shows some pretty questionable gun safety during the whole Netflix series, though, and may well have been red-flagged if he wasn’t serving 22 years in prison now. Real gun owners cringed at him waving that revolver, we promise…


Gun ownership is a right, but you do look at Joe and wonder if he should have the right of gun ownership. Although that is one hell of a slippery slope…


Solid and Reliable. The Gun, Not Joe


It’s a solid, dependable revolver, quite unlike the man himself. Here the gun her chose says very little about his personality, because that’s largely a fragmented mess.


This is a Smith & Wesson Classics Model 27 that first saw the light of day in 1935 and became known as the Registered Magnum. This model will shoot the hugely popular .357 Magnum rounds or the much less taxing 38 Special.


Guns Don’t Kill Tigers…


Other than that, it’s the classic S&W wheel-gun with wood grips. And it’s one that Joe used to shoot adolescent tigers in the head, which is an unfortunate way to end this quick summary.


But remember: Guns don’t kill tigers, people do.


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The Guns of Tiger King’s Joe Exotic

2. Magnum Research Desert Eagle Tiger Stripes


  • Price: $2,000
  • Barrel: 6 inch
  • Total: 10.75 inch
  • Weight: 4.7lb
  • Capacity: 7+1


Are you even surprised that Joe has a Magnum Research Desert Eagle Tiger Stripes special edition? Think it through for a nanosecond, watch the new Netflix docuseries, and it makes sense. 


That has been revealed in interviews, but the weird thing is we can’t find one picture of the man and what should have been his signature sidearm. I mean it’s perfect…


But we literally can’t find one picture of Joe with the Tiger Stripes. Is it there? Is it another figment of his imagination? Who knows with this dude?


Anyway, we like the Desert Eagle more than a lot of folks, especially now they have embraced 44 Mag and .357 Mag, too. It features in a few of our serious posts, as well as just the world’s most powerful handguns.


Desert Eagle Can Work as a Hunting Pistol


The DE made our shortlist for the best hunting handguns of 2020 and we think it has a lot more to give in the smaller calibers. Integrated compensators, a smart action that means a scope can sit up there with ease and other premium touches mean this is far more than a movie gun.


The 50AE round is more of a bucket-list thing than a regular tool. That is unless you specifically need that kind of defensive firepower, you really don’t want a revolver and you’re OK with the rebuilds.


Most people buy one, have fun with it and then sell it.


Or you can just keep it in your gun safe, like a tiger in a cage. Just don’t feed it on expired Walmart sausage like on the true crime Netflix docuseries. And don’t use it to execute tigers. That’s like the ultimate betrayal.


Seriously if you kill big cats with a tiger striped gun then you are some kind of sicko. Joe, we’re looking at you…


The Savage 64F. The gun that taught Tiger King Joe Exotic's husband John that it's OK to like pink camo.

3. Savage 64F Muddy Girl

  • Price: $160.99
  • Caliber: 22LR

Joe’s husband John Finlay sports the Muddy Girl bolt-action rifle in the because he likes pink camo. He’s a complicated soul is John.


Massively addicted to meth, this young straight man found himself in a gay marriage to one of the weirdest men in America. Still John insisted that Joe opened his heart, and helped him come to terms with his love for pink camo rifles.


That’s a beautiful thing. Probably. 


Savage vs Ruger 22LR War. Like Tigers and Lions.


The Savage 64 is an American staple and along with the Ruger 10/22 is one of the best 22LR rifles of all time. We got a lot more of them you might want to consider in this post of the top 22LR rifles on sale now.


Also take a moment to marvel at John’s acting skills in this 4 minute slice of pure madness: I Saw a Tiger, Joe’s lip-synched music video that you know you’re going to watch until the end.


Like everything the man does, it’s a horror show. Also, if John really was chasing that tiger with a 22LR rifle, somebody needs to stop him. That’s not going to end well. That gun is fine for music videos, bad for big game hunting.


The docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, would take on a whole new sinister twist if they tried to euthanize tigers and bigger exotic animals with that peashooter.


Ruger LCP380, a cheap concealed carry gun

4. Ruger LCP 380


  • Price: $198.97
  • Caliber: .380 ACP Auto


We never even see the Ruger that has perhaps the biggest single impact on the docuseries Tiger King. We don’t even know for sure that it’s the LCP 380. But it fits the profile.


First it’s a cheap gun and Joe likes cheap guns. It’s the Mk1, it’s worth pointing out. The LCP 380 II is often more expensive than a Taurus G2C and that’s pretty much insane, but the MK1 is still available for less than $200.


That’s the kind of deal Joe likes.


All we really know is that Joe’s husband Travis Maldonado, the 6’6″ California kid that crumbled before our eyes on the show, put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.


He intended to prove the gun couldn’t fire without a mag and that is just, well, yeah. Saying Travis needed lessons in gun safety is kind of redundant now. Just like saying he probably should have steered clear of Joe’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in the first place.


It was one of the darkest twists in the show. Travis Maldonado’s self-destruction was complete and Joe was never the same again.


Kimber Super Jagare, Joe Exotic's finest handgun

5. Kimber Super Jagare


  • Price: $2,271
  • Caliber: 10mm Auto
  • Barrel: 6 inch
  • Total: 9.7 inch
  • Weight: 2.63lb

Well even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes. That sounds like something Joe would say, but he’d probably adapt it for tigers. Then turn it into a country music song and several music videos.


But anyway, simply because he thought it was the Kimber Super Jaguar, Joe found himself in possession of one of the finest long slide pistols for sale in any caliber.


This 10mm Auto pistol is a work of art. It just is. It features anywhere we can get away with including it.


We’re kind of disappointed Joseph Maldonado Passage didn’t supply handyman Joe with the Kimber to do the deed. If you’re doing Murder for Hire, and it’s going to end up as a Netflix series, do it right…


Kimber 10mm Auto: Hunting AND Home Defense


This is a hunting round and a hunting gun that often takes exotic animals in far flung corners of the world. But it could also be a complete home defense system. With the RMR, you’re the problem if you miss.


And when you’re not sending expensive 10mm auto down range, you can just sit there and admire your amazing semi-auto pistol.


The custom porting on the slide and barrel lines up and is epic. The Micarta grips are stunning. Everything is match grade and beyond and the result is a gun you probably have to own to truly appreciate.


Check out the Kimber Super Jagare and a whole host of other 10mm Auto handguns here in our post that covers that very subject.


Ruger AR-556 - the kind of cheap AR-15 Joe Exotic loves.
Ruger AR-556 for sale, a great budget AR-15

6. Cheap AR-15s

  • Price: $500
  • Caliber: 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem

Joe and his flunkies wheel out a procession of cheap, sometimes pretty nasty looking AR-15s.


We can’t even identify some of these generic M4 clones and we think we can do better than Joe’s ‘Going to Tampa Gun’.


We have one of the most popular lists of cheap AR-15s under $500, or a little more, here:


So go there, get a better rifle than Joe will recommend. And a better haircut. Probably a better all round life…


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  1. Yamilka April 15, 2020

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