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Half-life (1998)

Half-Life is a sci-fi FPS developed by Valve and Sierra studios and released in 1998. It is notable for being Valve's debut in the gaming industry and the first game in the Half-Life series. It is well known and acclaimed for its lack of cut-scenes (using scripted sequences instead), realistic worlds, (at the time) advanced AI, and seamless storytelling. It also helped jump-start the FPS storytelling genre. It has sold 9.3 million copies by 2009. It was followed by a sequel, Half-Life 2, and a fan-made remake, Black Mesa. It was also ported to the newer Source engine instead of the older GoldSource engine, and subsequently re-branded as Half-Life: Source. The Half-Life expansions Opposing Force, Blue Shift, and Decay are included in this page.

The following weapons appear in the video game Half-Life and its expansions:



Glock 17

The Glock 17 is the standard issue sidearm of the Black Mesa security guards. It has a 17 round magazine capacity and is accurate, but not particularly powerful. The secondary fire button makes it fire faster, but with reduced accuracy. A suppressed version is used by the female Black Ops, and HECU (Hazardous Environment Combat Unit) medics are also seen using the pistol in the Opposing Force expansion pack. The Glock (and the 92FS in the HD pack) can fire underwater.

Glock 17 (2nd Generation) - 9x19mm
Dr. Freeman looks down on a dead bullsquid with his Glock 17 in hand.
Freeman reloads his Glock, showing off its windowed magazine.
Freeman dumps an empty magazine. Whether the magazine is actually totally depleted or not, the ejected magazine shows no rounds in the window, nor a spring. Note also how it falls out oddly.
Freeman fires his pistol. Note how the shell is about the same size as the ejection port.
A suppressed Glock 17 in the hands of a dead Black Ops assassin. This weapon cannot be picked up or used by the player, and remains modeled after a Glock 17 even when the HD pack is installed.
A Black Mesa security guard fires his Glock 17. Their Glocks use unique models than the ones found on the ground, used by Black Ops assassins, or HECU medics in Opposing Force.
Corporal Adrian Shephard reloads his Glock 17 in Opposing Force (note the different texture) next to a HECU medic checking his surroundings with his own pistol.
A Glock lays by its former Security Guard companion in Half-Life: Source.

Beretta 92FS

The High Definition pack replaces the Glock 17 with the Beretta 92FS, as well as Half-Life: Source's "Ultra" High Definition pack. The change is purely aesthetic, and changes none of the weapon's stats. Although 17-round magazines are possible on a real Beretta 92FS, these ones have a deeper base than the one on the 15-round model in the game, and were not in existence when the HD pack was released.

Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm
The Beretta 92FS in Freeman's hand in the HD version of Half-Life. It incorrectly operates in DAO mode.
The 92FS locks empty.
Having dealt with one of his zombified former co-workers, Freeman reloads his Beretta.
Barney reloads his Beretta in Half-Life: Blue Shift. Like the Glock from the non-HD version, there are no bullets visible in the magazine, regardless of its remaining ammo count. In contrast to what is seen here, there is no visible magazine at all when performing a partial reload in Half Life and Half-Life: Opposing Force, due to an oversight.
Freeman brings a Beretta to work in the Ultra HD universe.
Sensing a premonition, Freeman reloads his gun in the Ultra HD version. Note the Beretta trademarks are clearly visible with this model.
The third-person model is noticeably shorter, somewhat comparable in length to the Beretta 85FS.

Colt Python

The stainless .357 Magnum Colt Python is found mid-way through the game at the bottom of a blast pit and is far more powerful than the 9mm pistol, but has a smaller capacity and lower rate of fire. Reloading is done with the help of a speedloader, but it is still slower than the Glock's.

In the multiplayer part of the game, the Colt Python is additionally equipped with a laser pointer under the barrel. This enables the player to use a zoom function, which acts as the secondary fire mode.

Colt Python, Stainless finish with 6" Barrel - .357 Magnum
The original Half-Life version of the Python without the HD patch. Note the lack of cylinder latch, an error which remains present on all versions of the game.
The multiplayer versio of the Python with an underbarrel laser sight.
Freeman flicks open the cylinder and prepares to dump a couple of .357 rounds.
Freeman, in idle, plays with the hammer of the original Python.
Freeman finds the first Python in the game, next to a dead security guard.

Colt Anaconda

The High-Definition pack replaces the Colt Python by a Colt Anaconda with wood grips, though it is still shown using .357 Magnum ammunition.

Colt Anaconda with 6" barrel and Pachmayr grips - .44 Magnum
Freeman repeats the same move in the HD universe as he waits for his H.E.V. suit to be charged up. Note that the trigger actually moves backwards when Dr. Freeman pushes the hammer down.
The multiplayer version of the revolver with laser sight under the barrel.
In the HD version, Dr. Freeman holds the Colt Anaconda as he observes some poorly-spelled Marine graffiti.
Having welcomed a Vortiguant to Earth with a fresh .357 slug, Freeman reloads his revolver.
Freeman then slams a speedloader into the cylinder.
Finding a place where the grass is even greener, despite being named "Source", Freeman plays with a very shiny Anaconda.
The world-model of the HD Anaconda where it first appears in the original game, lying next to a dead Black Mesa security guard.

Desert Eagle Mark XIX

The Desert Eagle Mark XIX appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack as the standard-issue sidearm of the U.S. Marines. The weapon is also seen used at times by Black Mesa security guards. The Desert Eagle has an attached LAM (Laser Aiming Module), which can be turned on and off using the secondary fire key. Strangely enough, the iron sights are removed from the first person model (whereas the world model appears to have them), which would make any sort of aiming with it difficult in real life unless using the LAM (sure enough, the weapon in-game is quite inaccurate when fired without the LAM active). Another modeling error is that the third person model is strangely short, with the slide and barrel measuring about two-thirds the length of an actual Desert Eagle.

In Opposing Force, the Desert Eagle replaces the Colt Python. It uses .357 Magnum ammunition (the game manual also refers to it as "Desert Eagle .357"), but holds only 7 rounds while its real life .357 Magnum counterpart has a capacity of 9 rounds. This reveals another final (though more minor) modeling error - The lack of barrel fluting which is present on actual .357 variants of the Mark XIX Desert Eagle (The .50 AE variant, which is more commonly seen in films and television, lacks the fluted barrel). The weapon is very out of place since the Marines have never used the Desert Eagle as their sidearm throughout their history.

Desert Eagle Mark XIX - .50 AE
IMI Desert Eagle MK XIX - .44 Magnum. Note that the .44 Magnum version of the Mark XIX has a fluted barrel (as does the .357 version), which is absent from the .50 AE version (as seen above).
The Desert Eagle in first-person view.
Cpl. Shephard kills a Vortigaunt with his Desert Eagle.
Shephard reloads the Desert Eagle as he stands in front of some more poorly-spelled graffiti.
Reloading the Desert Eagle from empty. Note the slide locked back.
A world-model Desert Eagle seen next to a dead security guard.


Franchi SPAS-12

The Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun is found in some armories in the facility and is also used by some HECU Marines. Strangely, it has the unrealistic ability to fire two shells at once (alternative fire), instead of firing in semi-auto like the real SPAS-12. Seemingly the developers believed the weapon's magazine tube was a second barrel.

Note of interest: The icon for the weapon in the original game's selection screen displays an Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" shotgun.

Franchi SPAS-12 without stock - 12 gauge
Ithaca 37 "Stakeout" - 12 gauge
The original version of the SPAS-12 without stock in the hands of Freeman. Note the Stakeout HUD icon.
Freeman fires the original SPAS-12.
Freeman racks the pump of the original SPAS-12.
Freeman tilts the original SPAS-12, after travelling to the Source Universe, to load a shell into it. Apparently somebody needs to tell Gordon that he's missing the feeding port by about two inches, as cramming shells into the shotgun's heatshield won't actually work in reality.
Having travelled back to the GoldSrc Universe, Freeman looks at a SPAS-12 and some spare ammo boxes. The SPAS-12 pickup actually gives you twelve shells, instead of eight (which is how much it holds), though where those extra four shells come from is anybody's guess; the ammo boxes also give twelve, despite the extra shell outside of them.
Franchi SPAS-12 with stock folded - 12 gauge
Gone to a realm where HD textures and less polygons exist, Freeman holds his SPAS. Note the HD model has the folding stock (which is strictly cosmetic and unusable in the game).
Freeman loads his SPAS-12, shells still going into the wrong place.
He finishes it off with a satisfying pump.
An HD world-model of the Franchi SPAS-12 on a desk. Note the extremely short receiver and tube.

Automatic Weapons

Heckler & Koch MP5SD3

The Heckler & Koch MP5SD3 is the primary automatic weapon in the game and is the HECU's standard issue weapon. It features a retractable stock, incorrectly holds 50 rounds in a 30-round magazine, and has M203PI grenade launcher. Since it uses the same ammunition, the MP5 shares its ammo pool with the Glock 17. As seen in early gameplay videos, it was originally suppressed as the first person model would suggest. Interestingly, in the config file it is listed as weapon_9mmAR, whereas it is actually a submachine gun.

Heckler & Koch MP5SD3 with S-E-F trigger group and stock extended - 9x19mm
Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with lengthened SD-looking flash-hider and mounted M203 Grenade Launcher. This is the weapon used by Arnold Schwarzenegger's character Jericho Cane in the film End of Days. It is a fairly close real-world representation of the in-game weapon.
Freeman holds his MP5SD3 while looking at the Marines incredibly subtle AP mines.
Freeman kills a Vortigaunt with his MP5SD3. Note that there is no peep hole on the rear sight.
Freeman laments at the lack of a fire selector on the viewmodel and sadly reloads his MP5SD.
Shephard reloads his MP5, showing that it lacks both ammunition in the magazine and a trigger.

Heckler & Koch MP5A3

The world-model of the SD3, and the submachine guns used by the Marines are replaced with Heckler & Koch MP5A3s. The HUD icon of the MP5SD3 is also an A3 model, but has had the forend and barrel of an M16 with an M203 replacing the MP5's.

Heckler & Koch MP5A3 with original "slimline" foregrip - 9x19mm
Freeman looks down on a world-model MP5A3 lying next to a dead Marine. Note the "slimline" forend. While there is no trigger mechanism, the dead Marines' submachine guns are clearly A3 variants, as noted by the SEF lower receiver.
A Marine brings his MP5A3 to bear under fire.
Cpl. Shephard holds his reanimated MP5SD3 while examining a retextured world-model MP5A3.
The MP5A3 HUD icon. Note that the HUD icon has no magazine well.

Colt Model 727

The High Definition pack replaces the MP5 with the Colt Model 727, denoted by its M16A2-style rear sights and integrated non-detachable carry handle. The M727 would appear to be more realistic, but it still shoots 9mm rounds and it is still mainly used in close quarters like an SMG. In the Playstation 2 version of the game, the M727 has a separate ammo supply and enemies tend to avoid close quarters with it.

Colt Model 727 with M203 grenade launcher - 5.56x45mm NATO
Freeman looks at a discarded M727 on the ground. Note that the M203 grenade launcher has no trigger mechanism on this world-model.
Having found a military supply area, Freeman jumps at the chance and grabs a Colt 727 as well as some spare STANAG magazines. Note the A2-rear sights.
The Colt Model 727 in idle.
Freeman looks over his darker Colt 727 in Half-Life: Source while his colleagues look on and wonder why this psychopath hasn't been fired yet. This specific version has the knobs that are normally as part of an M4A1's removable carry handle, but the in-game model maintains the non-removable one (which means it is still a Colt 727), nevermind the fact that the knobs are screwed on the opposite side. Also note the mirrored lower reciever with a normal upper.
Freeman fires the rifle. Note the pistol-like cartridges.
Despite watching the Gargantua kill several Marines, Dr. Freeman tries his attempt at killing it by engaging with the M727, which doesn't work too well as it can only be killed with explosive or energy weapons.
A HECU Marine with an M727. Note the lower detail compared to the world-model, presumably because any instance where the player character is this close to an enemy will normally result in the deaths of one or both of the involved parties before the player can get a good look at the weapon.


The FN M249E2 SAW machine gun appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack. It is by far the most powerful non-fictional weapon, with high damage, range and moderate accuracy. It should be noted that the belt box carries only 50 rounds whereas its real-life counterpart carries 100 or 200. Interestingly enough, the recoil is so powerful that Cpl. Shephard slides backwards if he fires it continuously.

FN M249E2 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) - 5.56x45mm NATO
The M249E2 SAW in first-person view as Shepard arrives at a rather gruesome scene.
Reloading the SAW. Due to an animation glitch, when Cpl. Shephard removes the drum, the ammo link stays on and disappears after a very short delay.
Firing the M249.
A world-model M249E2 SAW lying on the ground. Note the world-model has a bipod attached.
Ammo box for the SAW.

Sniper Rifles


The M40A1 appears only in the Opposing Force expansion pack as a usable weapon, where it replaces the Crossbow. It is incorrectly depicted to have a detachable box magazine, whereas the real M40A1 has an integral magazine. Other variants of the Remington 700 use detachable magazines (including the M40A5, which was produced a decade after the game's release).

There was previously an oversight that involved the player character merely pulling the bolt back after each shot, and operating the bolt back then forward before reloading an empty magazine (after which it was pushed forward again). These reversed animations were fixed in a patch.

Remington/USMC M40A1 sniper rifle with woodland camouflage finish - 7.62x51mm NATO
Shepard stumbles across a M40A1 as well as its former owner.
Cpl. Shephard holds the M40A1. Unlike the Crossbow, the sniper rifle has no hip-fire crosshair.
Cpl. Shephard operates the bolt of the rifle.
Cpl. Shephard reloads his M40A1.
Shepard spots the ammo-pickup for the M40A1. These magazines are not fully loaded, because the two mags and the cartridge add only 5 rounds in total.


M203 Grenade Launcher

The M203 grenade launcher is attached to the MP5 (and the Colt M727 in the High Definition expansion pack). The MP5 uses the the M203PI variant, whereas the M727 uses the full-length M203. In-game it can carry a maximum of 10 rounds, and is never seen reloading or possessing a trigger mechanism of any kind. The 40mm grenades it fires apparently had their fuses removed, since in real life grenades need to travel for around 30 feet before arming. They also arc extremely fast and tumble end over end while in flight. The M203 is not capable of being mounted on an unmodified MP5 in real life.

RM Equipment M203PI - 40x46mm
Freeman looks at the M203PI grenade launcher mounted on the MP5SD3. Note the missing trigger mechanism.
M203 grenade launcher - 40mm
HD version of the M203 grenade launcher mounted on the M727. Note correct trigger mechanism.
Freeman looks at the HD ammo pickup for the M203, that being two 40mm Grenades.

Armbrust ATW (Futuristic)

The "RPG" is a futuristic version of the Armbrust ATW, and is marked as "GAM14B" in the high-definition version. It is shown as being reloadable and laser-guided. The launcher uses a "soft-launch" system; the warhead is pneumatically ejected from the launcher, and the rocket motor ignites a few seconds later. Normally this system is reserved for anti-air missiles and is horribly impractical for the GAM14B's design, as the rocket motor is igniting in the user's face.

Armbrust ATW - 67mm
Dr. Freeman holds the futuristic Armbrust during the level "Surface Tension". This is the original version, with an unusable scope on the top instead of the ladder sight.
Dr. Freeman holds the futuristic Armbrust during the level "Surface Tension". This is the HD version of the launcher with a ladder sight.
Dr. Freeman reloads the Armbrust after launching a rocket at a troublesome sniper.
A modified Armbrust on the ground.
The Armbrust's world model without the HD pack.


Mk 2 hand grenade

The Mk 2 hand grenade is the standard grenade used by the Marines, and apparently kept in large numbers by security guards (though they never use it). Strangely, instead of rolling to a stop after it is thrown, it simply bounces a few inches then stays there until it explodes. The spoon also stays on when the grenade is thrown, due to an oversight on the part of the developers. This grenade was discontinued from active use by the time of the Vietnam War, making it well obsolete for the period in which the game takes place.

In the multiplayer mode of Opposing Force, the player is able to throw penguins with Mk 2 grenades attached to them. They are essentially a more powerful version of the "snarks".

Mk 2 hand grenade
Freeman holding the original version of the Mk 2 grenade.
Freeman pulls the pin on the original grenade in an attempt to blow up a wall.
Mk 2 grenades attached to the belt of a Black Ops assassin.
In the HD Texture realm, Freeman looks at some more accurate-looking Mk 2s.
Dr. Freeman holds a remodeled HD frag grenade as he blasts a couple of zombies.
Knowing the only way to distract the Tentacle is to make a boom, Freeman pulls the pin on a Mk 2.

Satchel Charge

Satchel Charges act as command-detonated bombs with very high damage and blast radius.

Freeman holds the satchel charge; "C-4 plastic explosive" is written in low detail at the top of the backpack.
The detonator for the satchel charge.

Emplaced Weapons

Browning M2HB

The Browning M2HB appears as a usable emplaced weapon throughout all the games. It is mostly seen mounted on tripods, but sometimes on pintle mounts and tanks. The M2HBs have unlimited ammunition, and are used pretty often by the Opposing Force.

In Blue Shift, a crate containing an M2HB has "USMC Ordnance" written on it, essentially a play on the U.S. Ordnance manufacturer name and the USMC featured in the game.

Browning M2HB on M3 tripod - .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
A Browning M2HB also appears mounted on the hull of an Abrams tank in a very strange way (reminiscent of tanks like the T28). This is from the pre-patched version - The updated M2 looks almost like this but has a sharper texture. This is inaccurate, as the Abrams tank has no hull-mounted machine guns and the actual tank's sole M2HB is mounted on the turret at the commander's cupola.
A Browning M2 on a tripod.
Having dispatched a Marine stronghold only to meet up with a Vortiguant attack, Freeman brings the M2 to bear on the horde.
U.S. Marines with M2 machine guns during the live-fire training in the tutorial level of Half-Life: Opposing Force seen through the use of a 'noclipping' cheat; these particular M2s use unique simplified models.
Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG
M2 Browning top-mounted on an Abrams tank. Though more closely accurate, this too is incorrect, as it is on the left, which is the loader's cupola (which has an M240D mounted). The commander's cupola, where the M2HB is mounted, is on the right side on an Abrams.

M230 Chain Gun

USMC and Black Ops Apache helicopters are armed with M230 Chain Guns.

Hughes/Alliant Techsystems M230 Chain Gun - 30mm
Dr. Freeman looks up at a VERY close Apache fly-by as it prepares to engage him. Note the 'ARMY' markings on the supposed USMC choppers (which, while confusing in terms of the game's story context, is accurate IRL - The US Army employs the Apache, not the USMC).


The M202 FLASH appears in the form of an emplaced rocket launcher with some sort of magazine mounted on the top for bigger capacity. OpFor soldiers use it the original game. This launcher cannot be used by Gordon.

M202 FLASH - 66mm
Modified M202 FLASH on a tripod. Note the "magazine" looks suspiciously like a belt box.

Bushmaster M242 Chain Gun

The M242 Bushmaster chaingun is seen mounted on several Bradley IFVs.

M242 Bushmaster Chain Gun - 25mm
Freeman looks at one of the 'Marine' Bradleys (Note that the USMC doesn't use or employ Bradley IFVs/CFVs, the Army does), armed with M242 Chain Gun. Note also the TOW launchers side-mounted on the turret. Interestingly, this vehicle is in proper desert camo while the Abrams tanks aren't. The Bradley in the game is an original production model with ball mounts for M231 Firing Port Weapons on the sides, which were blocked off by later up-armor packages: the vehicle in the game is also shown with symmetrical sides, with the armor from the right-hand side but the firing port positions from the left side.
Another Bradley, this time from the original game and without the BGM-71 TOW launchers.


The BGM-71 TOW is also seen mounted on the Bradley IFVs. Interestingly, some Bradley's use only the M242 Chain Gun when the player makes contact with them, while others fire only the TOW.

BGM-71 TOW mounted on Bradley IFV - 152mm
BGM-71 TOW mounted on a Bradley IFV.

See Also

The Half-Life Series
GoldSource Series Half-Life (1998)   •  Half-Life: Opposing Force (1999)  •  Half-Life: Blue Shift (2001)  •  Half-Life: Decay (2001)
Source Series Half-Life 2 (2004)  •  Half-Life: Source (2004)  •  Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (2006)  •  Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (2007)
VR Half-Life: Alyx (2020)
Fan-Made Projects Black Mesa (2012)

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