What are the differences between The Avengers and The New Avengers?
The New Avengers breaks many of the traditional rules of the original Avengers such as including uniformed policemen, blood visibly on display and Steed using firearms in episodes such as 'Dead Men are Dangerous', 'The Gladiators', 'Hostage' and 'Trap'. Steed also keeps an antique Colt 45 from his cowboy days in his house. The lower classes are now portrayed including tramps and the central conflict is explicitly the Cold War between NATO and the Warsaw Pact rather than some unnamed 'foreign power'. In many ways the series is seen as bridging the gap between the pure fantasy of 'The Avengers' and the gritty realism of creator Brian Clemens' next project 'The Professionals'.
Does Steed ever use a gun in the series?
Steed didn't normally use a firearm as Patrick McNee had an aversion to them after his wartime combat experiences as motor torpedo boat commander. However in The New Avengers he does use firearms in episodes such as 'Dead Men are Dangerous', 'The Gladiators', 'Hostage' and 'Trap', killing at least 2 men. He keeps an antique Colt .45 revolver from his cowboy days as a momento in his house.