Harsh Times

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Harsh Times
Movie Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by David Ayer
Release Date 2005
Language English
Studio Andrea Sperling Productions
Crave Films
Distributor Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Main Cast
Character Actor
Jim Luther Davis Christian Bale
Sylvia Eva Longoria
Toussant Chaka Forman
Flaco Noel Gugliemi
Darrell Terry Crews

Harsh Times is a 2005 crime film that marked the feature film directorial debut of David Ayer (the writer of Training Day). The film stars Christian Bale as a U.S. Army Ranger who returns from the War in Afghanistan to his Los Angeles, California neighborhood with the intention on becoming a Los Angeles police officer. When the plan doesn't work out the way he hoped, he finds that circumstances cause his life to begin to spiral out of control. The film co-starred Eva Longoria and Freddy Rodriguez.

The following guns were used in the movie Harsh Times:


M4A1 carbine

When Jim Davis (Christian Bale) is having military flashbacks to his days as a U.S. Army Ranger in Afghanistan, many of the Rangers in the flashbacks are armed with M4A1 carbines. All the M4A1s are fitted with RIS fore-grips, Aimpoint M68 scopes, AN/PEQ-2 IR designators, and tactical flashlights.

M4A1 Carbine with RIS fore-grip and M68 Aimpoint scope 5.56x45mm
Jim with an M4A1 in Afghanistan during one of his flashbacks.

Colt Model 933

During Jim's military flashback, Jim is armed with a Colt Model 933 fitted with forward hand grip, Aimpoint M68 scope, AN/PEQ-2 IR designator, and tactical flashlight. He uses it with great effect to clear out an Afghan trench by himself.

Colt Model 933 5.56x45mm with M68 Aimpoint scope and Surefire M900 weapon-light fore-grip
Jim with a Colt Model 933 (as seen through another Ranger's night vision) in Afghanistan during Jim's flashback.

M249 SAW

Another weapon which Jim sees in his Afghanistan flashbacks is the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).

M249-E2 SAW - upgraded M249 with heat shield and full synthetic Stock - 5.56mm with 200 round ammo drum.
An Army Ranger with an M249 SAW (as seen through another Ranger's night vision) in Afghanistan during Jim's flashback.

Unknown AK rifle (Norinco Type 56?)

The Taliban fighters who get killed by Jim and his fellow Rangers are armed with AK-type assault rifles which are most likely the Norinco Type 56, the most common AK seen in movies and TV shows (and the most common AK-type rifle used by the Taliban in real life).

Norinco Type 56 (fixed stock variant) - 7.62x39mm
Jim shoots a Taliban fighter in a trench armed with an AK (probably a Norinco Type 56) during one of his flashbacks.

RPK (?)

An RPK-type light machine gun is visible in the scene where Jim and his fellow Rangers are engaging Taliban militants, but it is not seen clearly enough to be sure. It is possible that this is a Valmet M78, which has very often been used to impersonate the RPK in American movies, but it doesn't seem to have the distinctive three-prong flash hider of the M78. It's also likely that this might be one of the semi-auto Norinco copies that were sold in the U.S.

The barrel seems too short to be the RPK. It looks like a 21" Chinese RPK clone with the Chinese club foot stock and a standard Chinese AK front wooden fore end. Or it could be a 'franken-gun'. Lord knows there are tons of those in the film biz. :) MPM
Yeah, I think you're right. I think I'm gonna have to add some pics of Chinese RPK-type weapons to the RPK page, just because I imagine there are plenty of American armorers who use them in movies. Good call. -MT2008

RPK light machine gun 7.62x39mm
Jim shoots a Taliban fighter in a trench; the RPK is circled in red.

Type 69 RPG

A Type 69 RPG (the Chinese copy of the RPG-7 is visible in the scene where Jim is fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is not seen clearly, but the weapon seems to have the thicker heat shield of the Type 69.

Chinese Type 69 RPG
Jim shoots a Taliban fighter in a trench; the Type 69 RPG is circled in red.

Smith & Wesson 5904/915

Throughout the movie, Jim uses a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol which changes models repeatedly, depending on the scene. When he uses the S&W to rob Flaco (Noel Gugliemi) and his crew, it is a newer-model Smith & Wesson 5904 with a rounded trigger guard and the Novak-type sights. However, at the end of the film, when Jim draws the S&W on Flaco again, and later when Mike uses the gun, it clearly has the standard iron type sights and right side-only safety, which would make it a Smith & Wesson 915. Also, when Jim gets angry and points the gun at Mike, it seems to have the squared trigger guard of the older-model 5904. In other words, at least three different guns are used to represent Jim's pistol. This is a continuity error, likely caused by the fact that this movie had at least three different armorers (according to IMDB), all of whom likely worked on different scenes and brought different guns to the set during filming.

Early Model Smith & Wesson 5904 - 9mm. This has the finger step contoured trigger guard that would later be replaced by the round trigger guard.
Late Model Smith & Wesson 5904 - 9mm. The early model 5904 pistols had the finger step trigger guard, but S&W changed it to the rounded trigger guard for 'ease of production'.
Smith & Wesson Model 915 - 9mm. This model is similar to the 5904, but the decocker is not ambidextrous and the sights are standard iron sights rather than the Novak type.
Jim holds his S&W on Flaco and crew. In this scene, the gun is quite clearly a newer-model 5904 with the rounded trigger guard.
Another view of Jim holding the S&W 5904 on Flaco. Note the ambidextrous safety and Novak sights, as well as the rounded trigger guard.
Jim shouts at Flaco to get down while holding the S&W 5904.
Jim points the S&W 5904 at Mike. Note that in this scene; it's a different 5904 than the one he had earlier; it has a squared trigger guard, meaning it's an older-model 5904 than the one he uses during the robbery scene.
Jim confronts Flaco with his S&W pistol. Note the standard iron sights of the gun; which indicate that the S&W has become a 915 rather than the 5904 Jim was seen using earlier in the movie.
An extreme close-up of Jim's S&W 915 in his bloody hand. Note that the gun now lacks the ambidextrous safety of the 5904.
Another close-up of the S&W 915 as Mike takes it from Jim. This view shows clearly the standard iron sights rather than the Novak-type sight, and it's also possible to see that the safety/decocker lever is on the left side only.

Ruger KP94

When Jim and Mike rob Flaco and his crew, they take a brown paper lunch bag containing a Ruger KP94 pistol and a BB pistol. After this, Jim and Mike spend much of the film driving around and trying to sell the gun to various gang members, cops, and other such characters for $300. Jim even refers to the gun as a "Ruger P94" repeatedly throughout the film whenever he's trying to sell it to people. He also says it's a "good fuckin' gun" when he first takes it out of the bag. Other characters through the film, likewise, praise the Ruger as a good gun, including Darrel (Terry Crews), who calls it a "nice little machine".

Ruger KP94DC (Stainless, Decocker) 9x19mm
Jim checks the load in the Ruger KP94 after finding it in the paper bag that Mike took from Flaco.
Darrel (Terry Crews) checks out the Ruger KP94 after Jim shows it to him.
Another view of Darrel trying out the KP94.
Jim offers the KP94 to Toussant (Chaka Forman), who finally buys the gun from them.

Beretta 92FS

Early in the film, in his military flashback dreams, Jim kills a Taliban militant with a Beretta 92FS, standing in for the Army-issue M9 pistol. The Beretta 92FS is also used by the cops who pull Jim and Mike over while they're driving around with open alcohol containers and guns in their car.

Beretta 92FS 9mm
Jim points his Beretta 92FS at a Taliban fighter during his military flashback.
LAPD officer Leo Sosa (Blue Mesquita) points his Beretta 92FS at Mike and Jim after pulling them over.

Heckler & Koch USP Tactical

Early in the film, while Jim and Mike are leaving a Korean-owned convenience store after buying beers and cigarettes, they see a gang member run by shooting at another gang member. The owner of the convenience store comes out with a Heckler & Koch USP Tactical after hearing the disturbance. (It should be noted that the USP Tactical would be banned in California, where the movie takes place, because the threaded barrel would classify the gun as an "assault weapon" under California's gun laws).

H&K USP Tactical .45 ACP
The owner of the Korean convenience store with his H&K USP Tactical drawn.

Colt Python

When Jim confronts Flaco at the end of the film, Flaco draws a 4" Colt Python on him.

Colt Python with 4" Barrel - .357 Magnum
Flaco points his Colt Python at Jim.

SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper

At the end of the film, when Jim and Mike flee the scene where Flaco is shot, another drug dealer comes out of the house nearby and fires at their car with an SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper cylinder shotgun. A noticeable goof is that the foley editor added the sounds of a pump-action shotgun being cocked every time the weapon is fired, even though the Street Sweeper is a semi-automatic shotgun.

SWD/Cobray Street Sweeper 12-gauge
A drug dealer fires a Street Sweeper shotgun at Jim's car as he and Mike flee.
The drug dealer retracts his Street Sweeper after shooting at Jim's car.

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