|Black Hawk Down
Theatrical Release Poster
|| United States
Black Hawk Down is the 2001 feature film adaptation of the non-fiction Mark Bowden book that recounted the events surrounding the ill-fated US mission to capture a Somali warlord in 1993. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film was notable for its depiction of modern US warfare. The film received support from US Department of Defense, who provided extensive training for the actors with members of the US Army Rangers and other Special Forces soldiers to ensure authenticity in addition to allowing access to actual Black Hawk and "Little Bird" helicopters for filming. During the film's production, many of the soldiers and pilots seen were active duty, some of whom were veterans of the actual battle. The film's cast included Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, William Fichtner, and Ewan McGregor.
The following weapons were used in the film Black Hawk Down:
WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Rifles / Carbines
Colt Model 727
Many of the Delta Force operators are equipped with the Colt Model 727 fitted with various accessories such as Aimpoint scopes and Surefire flashlights, with some of the carbines also having camouflage paint schemes. Delta Staff Sergeant Daniel Busch (Richard Tyson), Sergeant First Class "Hoot" Gibson (Eric Bana), Master Sergeant Tim "Grizz" Martin (Kim Coates), and SFC Sanderson (William Fichtner) all carry the Model 727.
In the film, most of the Model 727 carbines are anachronistically equipped with Aimpoint M68 CCO reflex sights (which was not standardized until 17 March 1995). During Operation Gothic Serpent, some Delta operators and Rangers utilized the Aimpoint 5000 reflex sight.
Colt Model 727 ('M16A2 Carbine') - 5.56x45mm
SSG Daniel Busch (Richard Tyson
) with a Colt Model 727
carbine equipped with a M68 reflex sight. A Surefire flashlight pressure switch is taped to the carbine's handguard.
"Hey, who's hungry?!"
SFC "Hoot" Gibson (Eric Bana
) with a camouflage painted Model 727 carbine equipped with a SureFire flashlight (with pressure switch taped to the carbine's handguard) during the "aerial target shooting" scene.
"Grizz" Martin (Kim Coates
) with a Model 727 from a deleted scene later included in the Black Hawk Down Extended Cut
SFC "Hoot" Gibson with the same camouflaged Model 727 carbine as above.
SSG Busch with a Model 727 carbine during the defense of the Wolcott crash site.
SFC Sanderson with a M727 during the "Mogadishu Mile".
Colt Model 733
Various Delta Force operators and Army Rangers are equipped with the short-barreled Colt Model 733. Some are standard 733's, while others are customized with camo paint schemes and Aimpoint scopes (similar to the aforementioned Model 727s). Some of the weapons have a XM177-style flash moderator instead of the standard barrel with A2 flash-hider. One particular Model 733 used by Delta MSG Gary Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and later Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mike Durant (Ron Eldard) is heavily modified with a camouflage paint scheme, M68 Aimpoint red dot scope, weaponlight, and a sound suppressor.
Colt Model 733 ('M16A2 Commando') - 5.56x45mm. This particular Model 733 features an A1E1 upper receiver, noted by the brass deflector with the A1 sights; The variants in the film feature A2 uppers. M733s were available with A1, A1E1 and A2 upper receiver units.
CPT Steele fires his Model 733.
SFC Kurt "Doc" Schmid (Hugh Dancy
) holds his M733 as he rushes to an injured Ranger. Note the 100mph tape (Military duct tape) on the magazine, this is done to make the smooth mags easier to grasp and pull out of a pouch, this film being one of the first to depict this practice.
MSG Gordon with his Model 733.
Gordon fires his M733 while defending Durant's crash site.
CWO3 Mike Durant (Ron Eldard
) uses MSG Gordon's Model 733 at the crash site.
A Delta operator fires his Colt Model 733
. This weapon is one that clearly has a XM177 style flash hider.
An operator carries his M733 as he moves down a street. Behind him is another operator with a Model 733 (this one also with the XM177-style moderator).
Another Delta operator engages a Somalian technical with his M733. This has a camo paint scheme, M68 Aimpoint, and XM177-style flash moderator. This greatly resembles another Colt carbine used in Blood Diamond
, and could be the same weapon, since the weapons were supplied by the same company in both films.
For several of the sequences that involved stuntwork, a number of non-firing rubber prop Colt M4 Carbines are seen in the hands of the operators.
Colt M4 Carbine - 5.56x45mm NATO
Captain Mike Steele (Jason Isaacs
) points out the fact that the selector switch on the carbine carried by SFC "Hoot" Gibson (Eric Bana
) isn't set to "SAFE" when on base, who then replies, "This is my safety"
, and bends his trigger finger. The selector switch appears to be molded into the receiver, making it likely this is actually a rubber stunt prop. The book states Hoot had just cleared the chamber and pulled the trigger before inserting the magazine, making it unable to engage the safety due to the hammer being down.
A Delta operator with a rubber stunt M4 Carbine.
A trio of actors portraying Delta operators the set of Black Hawk Down
. The operator on the right has one of the rubber stunt M4 Carbines. The one in the middle holds a camouflage Model 733 with XM177-style moderator. While not obvious, the operator on the left has a Model 733 (the 11.5-inch barrel is visible in other images taken during the same series of photographs).
Most of the Rangers, including SSG Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) are armed with M16A2 rifles. While defending the second Black Hawk crash site, SFC Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong) can be seen briefly using an M16A2, alongside his M14. Also, when CPT Steele tells SSG Eversmann that they have to secure the perimeter for the SAR chopper the Ranger lying prone in the background appears to be working the forward assist on his M16A2.
SSG Eversmann firing his M16A2 at Somali militia as the Rangers make their way to the first Black Hawk crash site.
SGT Mike Goodale (Carmine Giovinazzo
) fires his M16A2 while making his way to the first Black Hawk crash site.
SSG Eversmann fires his M16A2 during the rescue of SSG Busch. The pilot on the left is CWO Keith Jones, who was the pilot who rescued the real Busch during the actual event.
SGT Goodale (Carmine Giovinazzo
) with his M16A2 as the Rangers and Delta hold off the Somali militia.
Delta Force SFC Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong
) switches between his M14 and an M16A2 as the Delta snipers defend their position at the second crash site. He must have found it in the chopper because in Mike Durant's book "In the Company of Heroes
" it says Shughart asked Durant if there were any weapons in the chopper.
Probably the only Ranger in the film to fire bursts from his M16A2. Rangers are usually trained not to fire in bursts unless "they have a damn good reason", as quoted by several Drill Sergeants. However this instance may certainly qualify as a 'damn good reason'.
The same Delta actor as above shows M16A2
's in the movie armory, the one he's holding fitted with an M203 grenade launcher.
The M14 rifle is seen being used by Delta Force Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart (Johnny Strong), most notably when he and MSG Gary Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are covering the second crash site. His M14 sports a camouflage paint scheme and an Aimpoint CompM2/M68 reflex sight.
M14 rifle - 7.62x51mm NATO
SFC Shughart fires his M14. This shot appears to have been reversed. Note how the bolt and the battery slot on the Aimpoint is on the left side, not the right. Also see how Shughart and Gordon (off-shot) are right-handed in the other shots except for this one.
SFC Shughart covers the second crash site.
SFC Shughart fires his M14 in defense of the second crash site.
Several M16A1 rifles are seen in the Somali arms dealer's shop and one militia member is seen loading up one. At one point, Rangers can be seen watching a portion of the film The Jerk where a madman is trying to shoot the protagonist using a scoped M16A1.
rifles hanging in the dealer's shop on the top left of this screenshot along with M16A2s, likely captured from American forces.
A militiaman picks up an M16A1 with the flash hider and magazine removed.
Heckler & Koch G3A3
The local militia arm themselves with, among many other weapons, Heckler & Koch G3 rifles. Both older variants and newer G3A3 variants are seen in the film. The older variants were previously ID'd as CETME Rifles, which is incorrect - The furniture, magazines, trigger housings and receivers are incorrect for CETMEs. The fixed rear sights, while generally associated with CETMEs, were also used on older-spec G3 rifles; The distinctive (and more commonly seen) H&K adjustable spindle/drum rear sight was only first introduced with the G3A3.
Early Heckler & Koch G3 rifle with wooden handguard and buttstock - 7.62x51mm NATO
Militia members pick up older-spec G3 rifles in the dealer's shop.
Older Heckler & Koch G3 rifles hanging next to the dealer. Note the primers on the belt of ammunition. These are obviously fired dummy rounds.
Heckler & Koch G3A3 - 7.62x51mm NATO
A Somali militia member firing a G3A3 at the first MH-60K crash site.
A Somali militia member takes cover from a Ranger's .50 caliber barrage armed with a Heckler & Koch G3A3
A militia member fires his G3A3.
Norinco Type 56
A full stock Norinco Type 56 is used by a Somali to whack Mike Durant in the head. It has a slanted AKM-style muzzle brake added on.
Norinco Type 56 with 'pig sticker' type bayonet - 7.62x39mm.
A Somali smacks Mike Durant across the face with a Norinco Type 56.
Norinco Type 56-1
Nearly all of the Somali gunmen are armed with the Norinco Type 56-1 assault rifle, which is a Chinese derivative of the AKS-47/AKMS. They are identified by the hooded front sights, which only Chinese Kalashnikov rifles have. At one point in the film, one of the soldiers can be seen removing the magazine from a discarded Type 56-1 and stuffing it in an empty pouch. Whether this was done to take back a souvenir or for some other reason is not known.
Norinco Type 56-1 - 7.62x39mm
A "Skinny" dies firing his Type 56-1.
Somali militiamen running with Type 56-1 rifles.
A round from this Norinco Type 56-1 causes the first KIA of the operation, SGT Dominic Pilla.
A Somali kills SGT Joyce (Chris Beetem) with a shot to his back with a Type 56-1. Note the $150 Ray-Ban shades on a Somali gunman.
Note the hooded front sight on this Somali's 56-1.
Mo'alim (Razaaq Adoti), the Somali militia leader, carries an AKS-74U as his weapon of choice, first seen picking it up and inspecting it before heading into battle, then firing a burst into the air to break up the mob attacking CWO3 Mike Durant before announcing that he was to be taken alive as a prisoner.
Mo'alim picks up and inspects an AKS-74U before heading into battle.
A clearer shot of the AKS-74U.
Mo'alim with his AKS-74U.
When Hoot (Eric Bana) is in the Somali town, he passes the arms dealer, who has an SVD Dragunov on display.
SVD Dragunov - 7.62x54mm R
An SVD Dragunov is seen in the background over Hoot's shoulder. (Interesting anachronism here: the shades, Oakley Juliets, worn by actor Eric Bana did not exist during the events of this film.)
Ranger Specialist Shawn Nelson (Ewen Bremner) can be seen carrying an M60 machine gun as his standard weapon. A mounted M60 is also seen and fired from at least one of the Humvees in the extraction convoy. Some of the Somalis can be seen using them as well.
M60 GPMG - 7.62x51mm NATO
A Somali fires an M60 at the Deltas.
A Somali fires an M60 machine gun
at the humvees. Note the stray dog running next to the Humvee. During production, the set was frequently disturbed by stray dogs running into the shots. Director Ridley Scott
decided to keep them in the shots to improve the realism. Eight stray dogs were adopted by various members of production and taken back to the United States.
Nelson fires his M60 at the Somalis to provide suppressing fire for Eversmann.
Several Rangers can be seen carrying FN Minimis throughout the film, standing in for the M249-E1 SAW. It is also the weapon used by Specialist Lance Twombly (Tom Hardy) to accidentally deafen Nelson when he fires it too close to his head. The Minimis are also fitted with circular 200-round cloth ammo bags instead of hard plastic drums. At one point a Somali shoots at Twombly and hits one of his ammo drums causing the ammo to cook off and burn him, though he's able to get rid of it before he's seriously harmed.
FN Minimi with 200-round ammo drum - 5.56x45mm
PFC John Waddell (Ian Virgo
) firing his Minimi.
Twombley with his FN Minimi.
Close up of the charging handle rocking in slow motion on the Minimi.
Specialist Lance Twombly (Tom Hardy
) with his FN Minimi, yelling to Yurek about how they almost killed him. Note the clear showing of the uniform and helmet in this shot, particularly the mismatched camouflage patterns - This is not a goof but rather yet another accurately depicted detail in the film - More info here
A Ranger fires his FN Minimi
during the "Mogadishu Mile".
The Browning M2HB heavy machine gun is fielded by the US Army on their HMMWVs, the U.N. forces on their APCs, and the Somali militia on their technicals in the film. The opening shots of the film feature Somali militiamen slaughtering a gathered crowd at a food distribution center with the powerful .50 cal.
Browning M2HB in vehicle mounting - .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Aidid's gunmen open fire on the crowd at the food distribution center with the Browning M2HB
An Army Humvee with a Browning M2HB mounted on the roof, actually a rubber prop as shown when the barrel bounces when the Humvee goes over some bumps.
SGT Dominic Pilla (Danny Hoch
) fires the M2HB from his Humvee as they evac an injured Ranger back to base.
Hoot (Eric Bana
) clearing the roof top of "skinnies" with an M2HB.
Closeup of Hoot firing the M2HB (Note that this is a continuity error, since Hoot was actually wearing Nomex gloves, as seen in the screencap above.)
A mean-faced Somali awaits to fire on the Rangers with the Browning M2HB
GE M134 Minigun
The MH-60 Black Hawks in the film are armed with GE M134D Miniguns mounted as doorguns. Pylon-mounted miniguns, mounted alongside 2.75" rockets, are seen as the armament of the AH-6 Little Birds. The Black Hawk and Little Bird helicopters were provided for the film by the US Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, and the weapons mounted are the actual armaments. One of the pilots seen in the film (Keith Jones) was a veteran of the actual battle.
General Dynamics GAU-17/A, US Air Force version of the M134 Minigun. The US Army uses a similarly-configured minigun for its helicopters, but do not utilize the GAU designation.
A M134 Minigun
on the MH-60 Black Hawk as it transports Rangers and Deltas.
An AH-6 "Little Bird" supplies close air support with its twin miniguns.
An MH-60 door gunner provides cover fire with a minigun. Note that the helicopter's name seen on the fuselage is Armageddon
Closeup of the minigun as it fires on RPG gunners.
Several vehicle mounted Russian DShK heavy machine guns appear in several scenes of the film.
Russian DShK - 12.7x109mm
The Somali militia leader Mo'alim (Razaaq Adoti
) rides a "technical" mounted with a DShK.
One of the Somalis fires on Mike Durant's Black Hawk armed with an Zastava M72, a copy of the RPK light machine gun, identifiable by the stock and handguard design. Another Somali is seen providing suppressing fire on the Rangers and Delta operatives with one when the Delta operators and Rangers try to reach the first Black Hawk crash site.
A Somali fires his Zastava M72 at the downed Black Hawk.
A Somali uses his Zastava M72 to pin down the Rangers and Delta operatives.
A PKM Machine Gun is seen resting on a table in the Somali arms dealer's shop.
PKM machine gun with early flash-hider - 7.62x54mmR
A PKM sits on the arms dealer's table
A shot of the PKM muzzle brake
Heckler & Koch MP5A3
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Michael Durant (Ron Eldard), the MH-60 Black Hawk pilot of Super Six-Four, is armed with a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with a slim handgrip and uses it to defend himself after he's shot down. The MP5 was briefly issued to helicopter crews as a personal defense weapon (PDW), but was discontinued in this role when it was determined its 9x19mm ammo lacked sufficient stopping power against armor-wearing or drug-crazed enemies, as was the case in Somalia. The guns is also briefly used by SFC Randy Shughart before being killed by the overwhelming militia. In the book and real life, the weapons were actually MP5Ks. They were referred to as "Skinny Popper", a reference to the men's nickname for the Somalis.
Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with 'slimline' handguard - 9x19mm
Durant fires his MP5A3 at the approaching Somalis.
Durant continues firing his H&K MP5A3 as the Delta snipers extract him from his downed Black Hawk.
While never used on screen, SFC Sanderson (William Fichtner) can be seen with a customized Remington 870 Express Magnum (standing in for an 870 Police Magnum) slung over his right shoulder. A pistol grip (minus the folding stock) is used in place of the full stock. This same setup is used on a short 870 by Charlie Sheen in the movie Navy SEALs. In a deleted scene, SFC Sanderson uses the shotgun to blow the hinges on a door inside the target building. The tail end of this shot is still in the finished movie, although if you haven't seen the deleted scene before it would be hard to spot. In the book, at least one of the Delta operators has an 870 Masterkey attached to his CAR-15.
Remington 870 Police Magnum with folding stock - 12 Gauge (The one seen in the film lacked the folding stock)
Sanderson with his Remington 870 Express Magnum slung over his back. Note the full length barrel.
A close up of Sanderson's 870. Also a good shot of an M733 barrel.
Receiver reads "Express Magnum" on Sanderson's 870. In real life it would have been a sturdier Police Magnum, not the cheaper, "economy priced" Express Magnum, though both are visually identical. The Police Magnum is the same shotgun, but built from stronger materials and has slightly different finish.
The M1911A1 pistol is seen used by the Delta operators as their sidearm of choice. The weapon is most notably seen in the hands of Gordon and Shughart as the two Delta snipers attempt to secure the second crash site and are forced to draw their M1911A1 pistols as the overwhelming Somali forces close in on them. Delta Force MSG Wex (Kim Coates) can be seen at the firing range with an M1911A1 near the beginning of the film.
Delta Force MSG Wex (Kim Coates
) shows the Rangers what a .45 can do.
MSG Gordon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
) fires his M1911A1 at the Somalis. At one point, his M1911A1 jams and the muzzle flashes are all CGI.
SFC Shughart (Johnny Strong
) fires his M1911A1 while defending the second crash site.
Despite being wounded, SFC Shughart continues to fire his M1911A1.
Delta Force SFC Sanderson (William Fichtner
) fires his M1911A1 during the "Mogadishu Mile". Note the ambidextrous thumb safety.
A Somali militiaman uses a Tokarev TT-33 to kill SFC Shughart (Johnny Strong) at the second crash site. It should be noted that the militiaman fires 11 shots, which is 3 more than the TT-33's 8-round magazine.
Tokarev TT-33 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev. Pre-1947 version.
A Somali unloads his TT-33 into SFC Shughart
The Beretta 92FS pistol (standing in for the Beretta M9) is seen a few times in the film in the hands of Rangers, and members of Lieutenant Colonel McKnight's convoy. Mainly it is seen in the hands of Maddox in the Humvee. McKnight himself carries his 92FS sidearm around as a proper means to defend himself.
A Humvee driver, Maddox (Michael Roof
) fires his Beretta 92FS.
McKnight is seen armed with his 92FS when walking away from a Ranger, blown in half by an RPG.
The Ranger in the middle sprints with his Beretta 92FS during the famous "Mogadishu Mile" scene.
The Russian-manufactured RPG-7 launcher features prominently in the film as the weapon which brings down a pair of MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. In one scene inspired by an actual event, a projectile from an RPG-7 strikes PVT Kowalewski (Brendan Sexton III), the driver of one of the M35 'deuce and a half' trucks in the convoy commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Danny McKnight (Tom Sizemore). The warhead fails to detonate, impaling the luckless soldier instead. At least one of the RPG-7s used in the film was a rare live and registered example owned by Movie Gun Services.
being handed out by the militia.
A rocket-propelled grenade being fired at a Black Hawk. It is obviously CGI, since there is no backblast.
A militia member fires the RPG that takes down Super Six One, causing the first Black Hawk crash of the operation.
An undetonated RPG warhead impales the deuce and a half driver, PFC Kowalewski (Brendan Sexton III
Norinco Type 69 RPG
Along with the RPG-7s mentioned above, Chinese Norinco Type 69 RPG launchers are also used by the militia. The Type 69's also seem to be loaded with PG-7VL rockets instead of the more commonly-seen PG-7VM rockets, distinguished by the larger warhead.
Norinco Type 69 RPG - 40mm.
A militia member with a Type 69 RPG. Note how there is only one pistol grip and how he is holding the carry handle.
A militia member behind Mo'alim with a Type 69 RPG. Clearly visible here is the larger warhead of the PG-7VL rocket.
An Army Ranger, Lieutenant Tom DiTomasso, can be seen taking out a "technical" with an M72A3 LAW. The M72A3 was a Post Vietnam improved model of the M72 Rocket, and the last variation used by the U.S. Army. Upgrade versions (up to M72A7) of the LAW are being fielded by the U.S. Navy and USMC as recently as 2007, as well a variant is used by the Canadian Forces and other NATO nations in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Tom DiTomasso takes aims at a technical.
A 66mm rocket fired from an M72A3 LAW
SPG-9 Recoilless Rifle
At one point in the film, Aidid's militia begin to bombard the building the majority of the Rangers and Deltas have taken cover in with mortars and an SPG-9 recoilless rifle. A group of Deltas led by Hoot soon kill the gunners and then turn the weapon against the militia, killing several with one shot. It's later destroyed by Hoot's team before they join Eversmann's team. Interestingly, according to the audio commentary on the DVD, this incident never happened and was made up for dramatic effect by the writers.
SPG-9 recoilless rifle - 73mm
Aidid's militia prepare to fire the SPG-9 on the Rangers and Deltas who are holed up at the first crash site.
After eliminating the Somali operators, Hoot and another Delta operator prepare to fire the SPG-9 at the militia.
Cobray CM203 Flare Launcher
Many of the Rangers' M16A2s are fitted with Cobray CM203 37mm Flare Launchers, standing in for the M203 grenade launcher. Most notably seen in the hands of SGT Ruiz (Enrique Murciano) of CPT Steele's (Jason Isaacs) unit. See the Cobray launcher page for a guide on telling them apart.
Cobray CM203 Flare Launcher - 37mm
A Ranger behind CPT Steele is seen armed with an M16A2/CM203. Note the squared trigger guard and cocking bolt on the right side.
Steele gives the dying SGT Ruiz (Enrique Murciano
) his M16A2/CM203, ordering him to give anyone two in the chest and one in the head if they enter the door.
M203 Grenade Launcher
While the Cobray CM203 37mm Flare Launchers are fitted on most of the Ranger's M16A2 Rifles, a couple of actual M203 grenade launchers attached to M16A2s are seen, the most notable of which is Specialist John Grimes (Ewan McGregor) who assists Delta in taking out a technical that has them pinned down, missing the first shot before destroying the vehicle with a High-Explosive Dual-Purpose (HEDP) grenade from his M203.
M203 Grenade Launcher - 40x46mm
M16A2 rifle (5.56x45mm) with mounted M203 Grenade Launcher (40x46mm)
Grimes fires his M16A2/M203.
Corporal James "Jamie" Smith (Charlie Hofheimer) in Eversmann's unit armed with an M16A2/M203.
Grimes ejects a spent 40mm grenade.
Here, the trigger guard appears to have been removed.
M67 Hand Grenade
While loading up for the assault, Hoot (Eric Bana) is seen taping up the pins and spoons on some M67 fragmentation hand grenades. SFC Sanderson is later seen throwing one into a window to take out a Somali who has him and the Deltas and Rangers pinned down.
M67 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Hoot tapes up the pins on the M67 Hand Grenades before the mission.
SFC Sanderson throwing an M67 at a Somali in a window.
AN/M14 Incendiary Grenade
There are several appearances in the film of AN/M14 incendiary grenades; used by Deltas to destroy sensitive equipment at both Black Hawk crash sites, as well as to destroy the SPG-9 recoilless rifle mentioned above once Hoot and his team are done with it. Another one can be seen sitting on a table when Hoot is loading up.
AN/M14 incendiary grenade
An AN/M14 incendiary grenade (far left) on a table