Sunday, June 15, 2008

Movie Guns X

Better late than never, right? And happy Father's Day! I know that I missed last weeks movie guns post, and for that I am deeply sorry. This week I decided to ramp it up with over 30 - some pictures in order to make it up to you.

So what movie is in the works for this week? None other than:

Title Page

This title page from the Michael Mann film Heat shows a BG with a Colt M4A3 firing on auto. Michael Mann is a stickler for firearm accuracy, and this movie is no exception. Featuring oodles of gun porn that a gun geek can only dream of, Heat contains one of the most exciting shootouts in movie history.

The pictures in this post will roughly follow in the order that they appear in the film. I was certain that I knew the make and model of every gun in the movie, but I did some research with a few of them and changed my mind. Let's start with this frame of a FN FAL Para held by Michael Cheritto (Tom Sizemore) during the beginning heist of an armored car:

On his vest is a Ruger P90 and multiple spare magazines, which if you look closely you can see that they are empty:
Sig P220 in vest

Trejo (Danny Trejo) runs a spike strip across the road while carrying a Chinese Type 56 rifle with underfolding stock:
China Type 56 Underfolder

Waingro (Kevin Gage) has a blued Star Megastar, in what looks like .45 ACP, which he uses to kill an armored car guard:
Star Megastar Blue

I'd love to have one of those in 10mm.

Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) has a Colt M4A1 which he uses to gun down another guard when he draws a revolver from an ankle holster:
Colt M4

I couldn't get a pic of the revolver, nor could I get a good shot of the Colt Commando that McCauley (Robert DeNiro) has during the robbery. Some of them are wearing body armor with hard plates, and all of the rifles are slung with bungee cords that are configured like a large number eight. They put an arm through each loop on the eight, and there is another bungee cord that runs down from this and attaches to the rifle with a snap hook. There are better slings these days, but those look like they worked just fine considering they used them later on during another robbery.

The second gunfight happens during a money drop. Two bad guys try to take out the main cast of bad guys (McCauley, Cheritto, and Chris) by staging a phony money drop which goes bad. One of the bad guys has a Steyr TMP:
Steyr TMP

But he gets shot by Chris with a Heckler & Koch G3 who does a needless judo roll from his position on a roof:
H&K G3

And then he is finished off by McCauley who is firing a H&K USP through the windshield of the car:
Windshield Shoot

The bad guy in the truck is also shot by Chris, but Cheritto finishes him off with some judicious use of a Benelli M3 Super 90:
Cheritto Benelli M3 Super 90

These scenes are just teasers. The main event is the legendary shootout during a bank robbery in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. This is the same scene that was allegedly viewed by the scumbags in the North Hollywood shootout before they went on their shooting spree, only nobody told them that a shootout like this is fiction.

We start inside the bank with a shot of McCauley's vest holding eight magazines and a Sig P220, and Chris in the light suit with his finger on the trigger and the selector on semi. Looking closely at another frame shows McCauley has his selector on auto with his finger firmly on the trigger. Safety violator.
Two Safety Violators
Safety Violator

Of note is that they flex-cuff one of the guards but leave his pistol in his holster. Very strange.

Cheritto carries a IMI Galil with a folding stock:
IMI Galil

Outside of the bank, and seconds before he ignites the firefight, Chris shows the level of training and realism that is injected into Michael Mann's gunfight scenes with this frame showing proper sight alignment and sight picture:
Good Sight Picture

Here he is missing the cops at about thirty feet distance with automatic rifle fire from a Colt Commando:
Chris firing Colt

Later he does an excellent reload with the Colt, and unleashes some suppressing fire:
Fast Reload
Auto Fire
Chris' Colt on Auto

McCauley is also firing a Colt Commando as can be seen here with him shooting through the windshield again. In the really real world all of the passengers would be very deaf from the report of three rifles going off within the confines of the car:
Shooting Rifle Thru Glass

Here he is laying down suppressing fire:
McCauley firing Colt

Unfortunately, there are no shots of Cheritto shooting it out with the Galil, but the cops answer back with some firepower of their own, like this frame of two cops carrying an M16A1 and a Mossberg 500:
M16A1 & Mossberg 500
Cop w/ M16A1

Before the firefight, the cop with the shotgun racks a shell into the chamber one-handed (not likely unless he had just fired the gun which unlocks the slide), in front of a crowd of people, with his finger on the trigger, and only about 50 feet from the BG's. Bad tactics.

Detective Hanna ( Al Pacino) is shooting back with a FN FNC:
Vincent FN FNC
Vincent FN FNC blast
Brass Eject

In the last frame, he takes cover behind a car while he reloads, but when he goes to chamber a round he ejects a live cartridge. You can see it as the goldish line just off of his chin. In one scene in first person view, Hanna is firing the rifle at nothing. Ooops. But he did have some good advice for the other cops before the shootout when he says "get clean your background."

There is, of course, the token Berretta 92F which is in pretty much every movie ever made:
Cop with Beretta 92F

And I have no idea what would make the holes in this police car besides steel rounds from a 30mm auto-cannon. Obviously, the 5.56mm NATO is the round that is fired in all of the BG's rifles, but there is no way they would make holes like this. Ted Kennedy would have a fit
30mm holes

Later, Hanna and another detective are in an elevator getting ready to raid an apartment. Hanna has a Colt Officers model that he pulls out for a brass check:
Vincent's Colt Officers
Vincent's Brass Check

I have heard that this method of checking to see if there is a live round in the chamber was popular back in the day, but where I come from anything that is not the actual finger that you manipulate the trigger with is a foreign object; to include your thumb. Recently a Federal Flight Deck Officer showed the US government why their requirement for putting foreign objects in trigger guards is a bad idea.

Anyways, the other detective loads some peculiar blue, low-brass slugs into the Mossberg 500 that he is using, and then does another dramatic racking of the slide in the hallway of the apartment complex mere feet from the door they're about to breach. You can clearly hear that the gun is empty:
Weird Slugs

Later on, McCauley goes back to kill Waingro for tipping the cops off about the bank heist. He realises that the cops are in the hotel because he sees this Ithaca 37 shorty behind the desk, which I had originally thought was a Remington 870:
Short Ithaca 37

McCauley does the dangerous brass check with a Sig P220 while in the elevator on his way up to Waingro:
Sig Brass Check
Sig P220 Fireball

Before this scene, he uses the Sig to kill a money laundering investor by shooting him three times, at which point the slide is locked back, but when the camera pans back to McCauley, the slide is in battery.

Waingro is armed with another Star Megastar; this one in stainless steel. Notice the finger on trigger, safety off, and hammer back. Rule number three!
Star Megastar in SS

Towards the end, I caught this frame of a SWAT officer with an unknown make 1911 in a thigh holster; probably a Kimber. Next to him are two fellow SWAT officers with H&K MP5's:
SWAT w/1911

The last picture I have is from the title screne again. This is a Colt M4A3 ejecting real fired brass and not blanks like during the film:
Colt M4A3

All of the Colts used in the movie had the A1 sights, but this picure clearly shows the A3 detachable carry handle.

If you haven't treated yourself to the movie Heat, you need to. It's pretty long, but it has a great cast and lots of action. Not to mention a great story line. The gun handling is good, despite the chicken wing stance of Val Kilmer or fingers in triggers, and you can tell that someone addressed it because they will have their finger straight in other scenes. Al Pacino uses a good stance and grip, and he keeps the gun locked in front of his view as he is scanning for the threat at the end.

Well, I hope I delivered on making up for a week of no movie guns. Enjoy!

Update: As noted in comments, the Mossberg shotgun is actually a Model 590, which is identified by the deadly "barrel shroud" that makes NY Senator McCarthy stink in her slacks. Good eye. I don't know how I missed that one.

Update: My readership has reminded to that I have some errors on this page, and that for correctness sake I should fix them. Sorry it took so long.

First up, the picture of the title screen shows what I now believe to be a Colt Commando Model 933. I had originally labeled it a Colt M4A3 due to the A3 carrying handle. The weapon is a flat top full auto sporting a 11 1/2" barrel sans bayonet lug, and includes the case deflector that dings up perfectly good brass, as well as a forward assist.

Contrary to popular belief, this was the last picture I copied from the movie, not the first, and I almost didn't include it because I didn't even notice it until I was just about done loading the pictures to Photobucket. It was more of an after thought. Further, I didn't assume every AR pattern rifle was the same as this one; indeed, I noted at the bottom that it was peculiar that this rifle was pictured on the title page with the A3 carrying handle, while all the others in the body of the film had an A1.

Next, the AR rifles used during the armored car heist are not Colt M4A1's like I originally thought. They have all of the makings of the Colt Model 654, except for the 16" barrel, which would make it a civilian model, or a franken gun. I suspect the latter. Wikipedia has it fitting the R6003 model. Who knows.

I concur with Professional Adventurer in that the H&K rifle that Chris uses to shoot at the truck is a G3, which is the basis of the series of those particular rifles, but I have to give a hat tip to GM45 in that the rifle is a semi-auto type, which would make it a HK91A2 Model. Good eye.

GM45 has noted that the handguards on the M16A1 are of the A2 variety, and that the lower receiver is actually a civilian type AR-15/SP1. That would make this a franken gun, and from what I gather from some of the posts on IMFDB, of which GM45 is a heavy contributor, many of the AR type rifles on film are pieced together from many different parts.

Last, I again concur with GM45; the model rifle that Chris and McCauley use during the bank shootout are Colt Model 733s. I had them ID'd as Colt Commandos, which they are, but that is the series and not the model. Sometimes I take the short route, and I'm glad I am held to a higher standard by my readers. I thank you for that.

I will be updating more of the Movie Guns posts, as I can.


Paul said...

Much enjoyed and appreciated as always. My wife comments (she read this with me) that if all the scenes with De Niro's love interest were cut, the movie would be shorter and better. Pachino's family life was more entertaining and explained his character better, so they can stay. Maybe a fan edit is in order?

Unknown said...

I agree. His character would have been way better as a loner, and his struggle with that relationship didn't make sense, nor was it neccessary.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post.


robstar said...

this is awesome!! it was added at

Donna Mc said...

Thanks so much -- great info! Added a link from Kevin Gage's Heat page.

Anonymous said...

A shame this was done years ago by the guy at; it's pretty much what put him on the map. (Guns of The Matrix, Guns of Heat, Guns of Equilibrium, etc.)
Even if you're intentionally ripping him off- and I'm not saying you were- I enjoyed your own particular commentary.

Anonymous said...

Loved the review.

I just saw the latest Rambo movie and it kinda cheesed me the .50 Barrett with a silencer. I mean come on.

Anonymous said...

Great article, more in depth than one I found a few years ago. There were some errors though. Not to nitpick but that is not an M4A1 it is most likely a Colt model 723. Good call on the Star Megastars.

Unknown said...

Nitpickyness is a good thing, and I welcome corrections. On just about every post there is a gun or two that I just can't identify, and I invite comments from folks who can.

I'm also glad that there are so many who enjoy these posts. Thank you for visiting!

Anonymous said...

That is a Mossberg 590--NOT a 500.

Also,5.56 can leave hugely disproportionate exit holes in metal car doors. I once shot a metal barn door with .22 rimfire that made silver dollar sized exit holes.
Remember--the shooter is on the OTHER side of that police car. The bullets would have already penetrated one side and have to exit the other side.
By the time they exit the second door they would be severely deformed and possibly 2-3 times larger than original bore size.
The bullets would be flattened and really tumbling,especially 55 grain slugs. (62 grain would probably leave a smaller exit hole)

Anonymous said...

You can tell it is a 590 because of the different mag tube cap mainly, some 590s don't have heat shields on the barrel. Also, just because the DVD menu shows an M4A3 firing, does not mean it was in the movie (An M4 of any model has a removable carry handle with RIS sight rails, none of these guns have them). Both McCauley and Shirhelis are using Colt Model 654 Commandos during the armorered car robbery, noted by flat 16" barrel(M4 has divoted section to fit an M203 launcher) and no forward assist. During the shootout with the cops during the bank robbery, they are both armed with Colt Model 733 Commando rifles with 11.5" barrels made specially for downed helicopter pilots at the time (and somewhat useful to fire in cars). When in the drive in, Shirhelis has an HK91A2, NOT a G3. you can tell because an HK91 is a civilian model with only a safe and semi selector switch(visible on the gun), while a G3 has 3 swithces for safe, semi, and full. And the M16 used during the bank heist is an M16A1 with A2 handguards. According to the armorer, the gun was an M16A1 upper put on a civilian AR-15/SP1 lower converted to full-auto for the film, but Michael Mann only let them shoot semi-auto because he knows cops are more concerned with accuracy around civilians, NOT supporting fire. And that Shorty Ithaca 37 is known as the "Stakeout" model. You also missed how one police sniper has a civilian PSG-1 rifle, known as the SRC(TC-9). And an officer points a Glock 19 at McCauley after he kills Waingro before being disarmed. Hope I helped you out.

HeI An Jian Consulting said...

I thought the big shootout scene was based on the N. Hollywood shootout not the other way around. Anyway, loved the movie, and good post from one blogger to the other. I hope you making money or having fun!

GM45. You are incorrect about the HK G3. The G3 is the base HK system that overall provides the blueprint for all variants (all variants can be correctly referred to as a G3). Including the PSG, SRC, HK41, HK911, SR9, and even the PTR with Portugal HK tooling.

Anonymous said...

Professional Adventurer, the North Hollywood bank robbery occurred two years after this movie was released, so the scene wouldn't have been inspired by the robbery.

Anonymous said...

Actually, there is a good chance the North Hollywood shootout was inspired by this movie. The guys could have seen how effective assault rifles were against 92FSs and shotguns and decided to kick ass. This page missed a couple guns. Check out imfdb CTone and see what you missed. Great page though, love the bluray shots.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a moviegun review of the movie Narc.

Anonymous said...

Hey, when my dad was in the PD, they issued some blue shotgun shells... They were Smith and Wesson 00 Buck. I remember they were nickled high brass. Really cool... I never saw any like them, and I always wondered if they were Magnesium and not lead. I'd heard rumors......

Great site BTW....


Anonymous said...

Excellent reading and very informative..Michale Mann knows his stuff, result of going out with LAPD on observation rides, also employing various LAPD advisers on HEAT, Tom Elfmont being one example..Just to digress a bit, the gunbattle filmed on Figerora(sp?)there, took 6 weekends to film.
Am in the planning stages of writing a book on the making of HEAT, as there is no quality book that deals with behind the scenes of the film.
If anyone in the US there has any contacts and or info that could benefit, please let me know by all means.
My email is:

New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

I just looked at this again and wonder why haven't you changed that the rifle seen at the beginning used by Val Kilmer wasn't an M4A1. And what is an M4A3? I've asked around and no one's ever heard of this rifle before.

Unknown said...

Sorry that it's been awhile since I checked up this page. I'm working on fixing errors that ya'll have pointed out.

I appreciate that everyone keeps me honest!

GM45 said...

I actually goofed up with the AR-15/SP1 lower. Your shot actually shows the magazine release has fencing around it, indicating the lower belongs to the rifle as well. And Shiherlis used a 733 during the armored car robbery too, only McCauley had a 654.

Also, armorers mainly use civilian AR-15 rifles in films instead of actual Colt Commando variants listed on wikipedia. But never-the-less, McCauley had a Colt 654 with an SP1 lower with a drop in auto sear so it would fire full auto for the film. Our armorer on IMFDB MoviePropMaster was on the set when the filmed the movie, and had some interesting info to tell us about Vincent's FN FNC-80.

GM45 said...

I forgot, there's no such thing as an M4A3. The original M4 was an A2 reciever gun that fired bursts, but eventually an A3 top was added (but the gun was still called just an M4 Carbine). Making the gun full-auto made it the M4A1. While civilian rifles with A3 carry handles are removable, the M4A1 is the removable carry handle model, and there is currently no such thing as the M4A2 or M4A3.

Anonymous said...

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Tam said...


"You also missed how one police sniper has a civilian PSG-1 rifle, known as the SRC(TC-9)."

A "civilian PSG-1" is called a PSG-1.


LAPD SWAT at the time was using 1911s built up by department armorers from seized guns; this was before Kimber won the contract to supply them with the "TLE" factory pistols.

Anonymous said...

I know this blog is pretty old, but the "peculiar blue slugs" are probably breeching charges. He does breech the door with them, after all.

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