44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout
44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout is a 2003 television film that dramatizes the events surrounding the infamous 1997 shootout between Los Angeles Police Department officers and two heavily armed bank robbers in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles. The film's cast included Michael Madsen, Ron Livingston, Andrew Bryniarski, Oleg Taktarov and Mario Van Peebles. Some of the film's technical advisers included the LAPD SWAT officers who participated in the actual incident.
The following weapons were used in the film 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shootout:
Two types of non-Russian AKMS copies (incorrectly - though understandably - identified in the film as "AK-47s") are used by the 'High Incident Bandits' - Larry Eugene Phillips Jr. (Andrew Bryniarski) and Emil Matasareanu (Oleg Taktarov).
The first type of AK used by the robbers is the Romanian-manufactured AIMS, distinguished by its side-folding skeleton stock and vertical foregrip integrated into the handguard. This is the type used by both men when they first enter the bank and for nearly all of the gun battle. For much of the movie, the men use 75-round drum magazines when they engage the LAPD in the massive 44-minute shootout (though Matasareanu's AIMS has a 30-round box magazine when he first enters the bank).
In real life, the two main AKs used by the gunmen were Chinese Norinco Type 56S rifles illegally converted to full-auto (1, 2), though both guns were fitted with Romanian side-folding stocks and Phillips' AK was fitted with a Global Trades "reverse donkey dong" vertical foregrip (similar in design to the Romanian AIMS grip).
Later, Phillips (Andrew Bryniarski) reaches into the trunk of the getaway car and grabs a Hungarian AK-63E under-folder (in the United States, the gun was sold in semi-auto-only form as the SA-85M), also fitted with a 75-round drum magazine. He uses this weapon until it jams, after which he discards it after failing to fix the problem (in the actual incident it was a "stove-pipe" jam, due to a short-stroke action cycle caused by a faulty/under-filled cartridge powder load, and Phillips discards the weapon after having his thumb shot off, rendering him unable to fix the jam). In real life, this was a full-auto converted Norinco Type 56S-1 fitted with an AKMS lower hand guard.(3)
Heckler & Koch HK91A3
A Heckler & Koch HK91A3 (converted to fully-automatic) is used briefly by Phillips during the battle; fitted with a 30-round magazine. Due to continuity error, however, it is also seen with a 20-round magazine in a few shots. The HK91A3 used in the real-life incident was not converted to full auto.(4)
Near the final battle, Matasareanu (Oleg Taktarov) arms himself with a custom M16 assault rifle. The weapon has an M16A2-style receiver and heavy barrel, with a collapsible CAR-15/XM177-style stock and the triangular forearm of an M16A1. The weapon is also fitted with a 100-round Beta C magazine. In all likelihood, this is an M16A2-style upper receiver/barrel unit fitted with A1 hand guards, and slapped onto a full-auto lower receiver with collapsible stock by the movie's armorer, Thell Reed. Specific make/model of either the upper or lower receiver assemblies is difficult to identify.
In real life, this weapon was a Bushmaster XM15 E2S "Dissipator" carbine that had been retrofitted with M16A1-style hand guards and a collapsible stock.(5) The Dissipator carbine differs from the "Franken" gun seen in the movie in that it has a shorter 17.25" barrel, whereas the movie gun has a standard 20" A2-style heavy barrel.
One of the SWAT officers fires the CAR-15. The gunshop owner briefly shows one of these rifles to the LAPD officers when they come in desperate for better firepower. Being that it is a California gun store, chances are that it's a CAR-15 clone, made by one of the many AR rifle manufacturers that were California 'legal' in the 1990s.
Colt AR-15A2 / Sporter II HBAR
The gun shop shows several Colt AR-15A2 HBAR rifles to members of the LAPD when they come in the store desperate for better firepower, they then leave with multiple rifles in the trunk of their car. Since this takes place in California in the mid 1990s, no gun shop would sell any rifle that was marked Colt AR-15 or Colt CAR-15 since they were banned 'by name' by the California "Roberti-Roos Assault Weapon Ban of 1989". However any aftermarket/third party gun or the Colt Sporters were okay since they didn't say "AR-15". The Colt Sporter II and other AR-15 style rifles would still eventually be banned by another California bill in 1999. These weapons were never used because by the time the patrol officers with the rifles arrived at the scene, SWAT officers had already neutralized the second suspect. The gun shop owner calls it "America's answer to the AK-47".
Two of the LAPD SWAT officers carry M16A2 Rifles during the shootout. These weapons were deployed with the SWAT officers when they received the call and were not among the rifles that the patrol officers procured from the B&B gun store. They were referred to as the ".223" by SWAT Officer Donnie Anderson (Ron Livingston).
The gunshop owner shows the LAPD officers that come into the store a Remington 700PSS rifle and calls it "the best sniper rifle made". Another Remington 700PSS could be seen at the police armory.
The Beretta 92FS was the primary sidearm of the LAPD during the time of the North Hollywood shootout. It is seen being fired by LAPD Officers Jake Harris (Ray Baker), Bobby Martinez (Douglas Spain), Nicole Gomez (Alex Meneses), Henry Jones (Mario Van Peebles), and numerous other officers.
Beretta 92FS Inox
After his AKMS jams, Phillips (Andrew Bryniarski) pulls a stainless Beretta 92FS Inox from a leather shoulder holster in his final moments. As a last act of defiance, he flips off the nearby officers with one hand while simultaneously firing shots from the other hand. Phillips then gives up and winds up committing suicide with it. He is simultaneously shot in the spine by Detective Frank McGregor (Michael Madsen).
Smith & Wesson Model 686
Detective Frank McGregor (Michael Madsen) carries a 4" Barreled Smith & Wesson Model 686 as his sidearm and uses the revolver during the shootout. At one point, he takes a shot at Phillips at the same instant Phillips puts his own Beretta to his chin.
Smith & Wesson Model 19
As the bandits make their getaway, an LAPD detective opens fire on Phillips with a 4" barreled Smith & Wesson Model 19.
Custom Jim Hoag M1911
Donnie Anderson (Ron Livingston) finds a custom M1911 in a box of his late father's things. This 1911 was custom built by Master Pistolsmith Jim Hoag of Canoga Park, CA, and was seen used by James Caan in the film Thief.
Heckler & Koch MP5A2
The Heckler & Koch MP5A2 is seen in the hands of several SWAT officers in an early scene including Officer Donnie Anderson (Ron Livingston). When the call about the shootout was received, Donnie instructed the other SWAT officers to leave their MP5s in the trunk due to the fact that the 9x19mm ammunition used by the MP5s would probably not be able to penetrate the suspects' multiple layers of body armor.
Several LAPD officers are armed with Ithaca 37 12 Gauge pump-action shotguns, loaded with 00 buckshot. The Ithaca 37 was the standard shotgun of LAPD patrol officers at the time.
Several LAPD officers are also armed with Remington 870 12 Gauge pump-action shotguns, loaded with 00 buckshot.
Benelli M1 Super 90
SWAT Officer Richard Massa (Christopher Jacobs) is seen with a Benelli M1 Super 90 fitted with a pistol grip and Surefire dedicated forend weaponlight at the beginning of the film.
A variety of shotguns are glimpsed inside the gun shop as LAPD officers enter to procure heavier firepower for the shootout.