Die Hard 2

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Die Hard 2 (1990)

Die Hard 2 is the 1990 sequel to 1988's Die Hard. Bruce Willis returns as Lt. John McClane, who this time finds himself trapped in Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport during Christmas week when mercenaries take over the airport's instrument landing system and threaten to bring down incoming passenger jets (one of which is carrying McClane's wife) unless a deposed military dictator on his way to the United States is allowed to be freed upon his landing. Directed by Renny Harlin, the film encountered some controversy at the time of its release due to its depiction of an airline disaster as well as its (unrealistic) depiction of a firearm that would be able to pass through an airport metal detector. The film was released in some video formats under the title Die Hard 2: Die Harder.

The following weapons were used in the film Die Hard 2:




Beretta 92FS

Instead of the Beretta 92F carried in the original Die Hard, Lieutenant John McClane (Bruce Willis) carries the Beretta 92FS as his sidearm in this film. The Dulles Airport Police, along with Chief Carmine Lorenzo (Dennis Franz) and Major Grant (John Amos) also carry the 92FS.

Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm. This is the actual screen used Beretta carried and fired by Bruce Willis in this film and in Die Hard with a Vengeance.
LAPD Detective Lt. John McClane (Bruce Willis) draws his Beretta 92FS.
McClane loses his Beretta on a luggage conveyor belt during a shootout.
McClane fires his Beretta 92FS at Stuart's men during the skywalk ambush.
McClane loads a fresh magazine into his Beretta 92FS
Closeup of McClane's Beretta on the floor of the skywalk.
McClane checks the load on his Beretta 92FS before going to intercept Gen. Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero).
McClane fires his Beretta 92FS during a shootout on the tarmac.
Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm
LAPD Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) appears to now carry a Beretta as he receives a phone call from McClane.
Miller (Vondie Curtis-Hall) holds a Beretta after the shootout with McClane in the luggage handling area. It is possible that this is a continuity error, since he was using a Glock in the shootout.
An empty Beretta 92FS in the hand of a dead SWAT officer after the Annex skywalk shootout.
Major Grant fires his Beretta 92FS during the shootout at the church.
Carmine Lorenzo (Dennis Franz) checks the load in his Beretta 92FS as he gets his officers ready.
Major Grant (John Amos) searches for McClane on the wing of the 747 with his Beretta 92FS drawn.

Glock 17

Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) and the mercenaries under his command use Glock pistols as their sidearms. This is one of the earliest appearances of the Glock in a major Hollywood film (it had just been featured in 1989's Johnny Handsome). While the handguns seen in the film appear to be the Glock 17 model, in a now-notorious scene early in the film, McClane (Bruce Willis) identifies the handgun to Chief Lorenzo (Dennis Franz) as a "Glock 7," (no such model exists) and recites a string of inaccuracies, describing it as "a porcelain gun made in Germany that doesn't show up on your airport metal detectors and costs more than you make in a month."

The most glaring misconception is that the weapon is undetectable to the X-Ray machines at the airport, while in reality, Glock never produced such a handgun. In fact, 83.7% (by weight) of the Glock pistol is normal ordnance steel and the "plastic" parts are a dense polymer known as "Polymer 2", which is radio-opaque and is therefore visible to X-ray security equipment. In addition, virtually all of these "plastic" parts contain embedded steel not to make the firearms "detectable", but to increase functionality and shooting accuracy. Contrary to popular movies like Die Hard 2, neither Glock nor any other gun maker has ever produced a "porcelain", "ceramic" or "plastic" firearm which is undetectable by ordinary security screening devices. Even if a pistol that was completely undetectable by either X-ray machines or metal detectors were to be developed, the ammunition inside would still be detectable. Another mistake is the claim the Glocks are made in Germany when in reality, they are manufactured in Austria.

When Glock pistols were first introduced to the U.S. market, they were promoted as being because of their extensive use of non-metallic components. This generated controversy from people fearing that this would make them easier to conceal from metal detectors and X-ray devices - hence the scene in the movie. However, as described, the scenario shown in the film is pure Hollywood fiction. Armorer Mike Papac, whose company Cinema Weaponry supplied all of the firearms used in Die Hard 2, has commented, "I remember when we did that scene, I tried to talk them out of it. There's no such thing as a gun invisible to metal detectors, and there shouldn't be, but they wouldn't budge. They had it written into the script and that was that."

A Generation 1 Glock 17 in 9x19mm.
Baker (Tony Ganios) pulls his suppressed Glock on the custodian in the church.
Sgt. Oswald Cochrane (John Costelloe) holds his Glock 17 as he searches for McClane during the confrontation in the baggage handling area.
Colonel Stuart puts his Glock to Miller's head to threaten him for his failure, and pulls the trigger, but the gun clicks empty. Note the milled ejection port, which is part of the blank-fire conversion process.
O'Reilly (Robert Patrick) surprises the SWAT team with his Glock 17.
O'Reilly puts his Glock 17 to Barnes's head while also holding a Heckler & Koch MP5K in his left hand.
In a deleted scene, O'Reilly eliminates some painters with a suppressed Glock. Note the "stovepipe" jam.


General Ramon Esperanza (Franco Nero) is seen with a blue-finished M1911A1 while onboard the military plane transporting him to the States. He then is seen using it to fire at McClane.

Colt M1911A1 Pistol - Commercial Model known as the "Colt Government Model" - .45 ACP. This has a deep Colt factory blued finish, common for commercial variants.
Esperanza holds an M1911A1 to the pilot's head.
Esperanza picks up the snow-covered M1911A1 before leaving the plane.
Esperanza (Franco Nero) with the empty M1911A1. Here the blue-finishing and the "non-original" full length guide rod are visible.

Smith & Wesson Model 19

Several airport police officers throughout the film carry Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolvers as their sidearms.

Smith & Wesson Model 19 - .357 Magnum
An airport police officer pulls a Model 19 on McClane in the baggage handling area.
Dulles officers draw their revolvers after McClane opens fire with the MP5A3.

Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch MP5A5

Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) uses a Heckler & Koch MP5A5 as his main weapon throughout the movie. (IMFDB previously misidentified this weapon as an MP5A3, but Blu-ray screen captures indicate that Stuart's MP5 has the 4-position Navy trigger group which characterizes the A5 variant.)

Heckler and Koch MP5A5 - 9x19mm. Same as the MP5A4 but with a telescoping stock. Both the A4 & A5 variants have the additional option for '3 round burst' on the selector.
Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) with his Heckler & Koch MP5A5 on the tarmac after McClane escapes the exploding C-130. Visible in this image is the 4-position Navy lower receiver, the distinguishing feature of the MP5A5.
Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) with his MP5A5 in the church.
Closeup of Stuart's Heckler & Koch MP5A5 after swapping out the magazine.
Stuart observes the fight between Major Grant and John McClane on the plane's wing with his Heckler & Koch MP5A5.

Heckler & Koch MP5A3

Garber (Don Harvey) carries a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 fitted with a scope. Like the other MP5 variants used by Stuart's men, it also has two magazines taped together 'jungle style'. McClane later commandeers Garber's MP5A3 and uses it to fire at Captain Carmine Lorenzo to prove a point about the firefight between Stuart's men and Major Grant's unit. During the film, MP5 magazines filled with live ammunition are seen being switched for magazines filled with blanks.

Note: One cannot switch between blanks rounds and live rounds in an Heckler & Koch MP5A3/MP5K or an M16A1 as seen in the movie. All firearms that 'autoload', i.e. are either semiautomatic or fully automatic, must be blank adapted in order to cycle. This does not apply to revolvers or other manually operated firearms like pump shotguns or lever/bolt action rifles. If a gun, like an MP5 has been firing blanks, one cannot just switch magazines and start firing live rounds. The blank adapter (which restricts the barrel down to anywhere from 50% to 75% of the original barrel interior) would have to be removed or else the first live round would blow up the firearm.

Heckler & Koch MP5A3 - 9x19mm
Garber (Don Harvey) fires his scoped Heckler & Koch MP5A3 out of the church window.
A closeup of the Heckler & Koch MP5A3 fired by McClane in the airport security office. This is not a recommended method for proving if your weapon is loaded with blank ammunition.
McClane unloads the MP5A3.

Heckler & Koch MP5K

The other weapon used by Stuart's men is the Heckler & Koch MP5K submachine gun. Many of them have two mags taped together 'jungle style' with blank & live ammo, just like the MP5A3's. While not commonly seen in productions during the time period (1989-1990), these screencaps clearly show paddle magazine releases and polymer lower receivers with S-E-F trigger groups, indicating these are actual MP5Ks and not converted Heckler & Koch SP89's.

Heckler & Koch MP5K - 9x19mm
One of Stuart's mercenaries fires a Heckler & Koch MP5K during the Annex skywalk shootout.
The same mercenary fires a Heckler & Koch MP5K at McClane.
O'Reilly (Robert Patrick) about to finish off Leslie Barnes (Art Evans) with a Glock 17 while also holding a Heckler & Koch MP5K. The paddle mag release is seen in this shot.
A closeup of the cocking handle being racked on a Heckler & Koch MP5K. Here the S-E-F trigger group can be clearly seen.
Mulkey (Ken Baldwin) takes cover with his Heckler & Koch MP5K. Though faint, the S-E-F polymer lower receiver and paddle mag release can both be seen in this shot.
Kahn (Tom Verica) with a Heckler & Koch MP5K while on the tarmac. Here is a clear shot of the polymer lower receiver.
Burke (John Leguizamo) with an Heckler & Koch MP5K.


Ithaca 37

During the shootout on the Annex Skywalk, one of the SWAT officers can be seen carrying an Ithaca 37 shotgun with shell holder on the stock.

Ithaca Model 37 riot version - 12 gauge
An airport SWAT officer armed with an Ithaca 37 fitted with shell holders.
The same SWAT officer lies dead with the shotgun at his side. This is actually an Ithaca 37, identifiable by the barrel retention lug at the magazine tube.



The M16A1 is used by the Dulles Airport SWAT team and as well as the Special Forces unit sent to deal with the situation. Some of the M16A1s used by the Special Forces unit also appear to have M16A2-style handguards.

M16A1 with 30-round magazine - 5.56x45mm
An airport SWAT officer carries an M16A1 during the Annex Skywalk shootout.
The same airport SWAT officer firing an M16A1 during the shootout.
M16A1 with A2-style handguards - 5.56x45mm
The soldiers behind Major Grant has an M16A1 with A2 style handguards.

Machine Guns

Browning M2HB

When Baker and Thompson show up at the church and are knocking on the door, the custodian is watching a news broadcast of Esperanza's extradition, and a Browning M2HB heavy machine gun is glimpsed on the TV.

Browning M2HB - .50 BMG
A Browning M2HB is seen on a broadcast that the church custodian is watching when Stuart's men arrive.


M26 Hand Grenade

In attempt to kill McClane after securing Esperanza, Colonel Stuart (William Sadler) and his men throw M26 hand grenades into the cockpit of the plane McClane is in, but luckily for McClane, he manages to escape the cockpit using the pilot's ejector seat before the grenades detonate. The grenades seen in the film (especially in closeup) are in reality dummy training grenades meant to represent the M26 style grenade (as evidenced by the obviously 'rough' cast iron and no MFG markings). In typical Hollywood fashion, the hand grenades create explosions far in excess of their power (mockingly called nuclear hand grenades by some prop masters). Also noteworthy, the M26, at maximum, has a seven second fuse delay, and it takes over half a minute for McClane to eject himself from the time the first grenade enters the cockpit.

M26 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Several M26 hand grenades land near McClane in the cockpit. Note the lack of MFG markings.

See Also

The Die Hard Film Franchise
Die Hard (1988)  •  Die Hard 2 (1990)  •  Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)  •  Live Free or Die Hard (2007)  •  A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

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