Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 military drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway, a veteran Marine Corps NCO and Medal of Honor recipient nearing retirement who is assigned to put an unmotivated Force Recon platoon back into fighting shape while dealing with a by-the book commanding officer. The film's title refers to a battle that occurred during the Korean War (which actually was a US Army engagement, as is explained in the film that Highway joined the Corps after Korea).
The following weapons were used in the film Heartbreak Ridge:
In many scenes, M16 (AR-15/SP1) rifles is seen. Some of them appear to be genuine civilian AR-15/SP1s and aren't seen fired full-auto. Instead, M16A1s seem to be used to depict full-auto fire. That is, until the Grenada sequence, when the Recon platoon's weapons are both M16A1s and M16 rifles, possibly AR-15/SP1's converted to fire full-auto, perhaps due to a lack of enough M16A1 rifles for those scenes.
The M16A1 is seen in the hands of several Recon Marines, used when a fully-automatic weapon is required early in the film, until Grenada when possibly all the weapons were converted to full-auto fire, perhaps due to a lack of M16A1s. They seem to have civilian AR-15 SP1 lowers modified to fire full-auto, as noted by the lack of magazine fencing and a screw head style receiver pivot pin.
AR15/SP1 with M203 Grenade Launcher mockup
One of the Marines has an AR-15/SP1 (or possible M16) fitted with an underslung Fake M203 Grenade Launcher made to take the place of the M203 40mm launcher. Upon close inspection, this is one of the first 'fake' M203 launchers that were made by Special Effect Unlimited, Ltd and later used by Stembridge Guns and other Hollywood Rental houses. It is not a Cobray/SWD or any other commercially available 37mm Flare Launcher. The entire launcher was custom fabricated out of Aluminum and designed to fire a special pyrotechnic charge. It is the same 'fake M203' used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Predator. The visual differences between this custom M203 versus the 37mm Flare Launchers is:
- 1) Larger receiver with no cocking handle or safety.
- 2) There is a lever on the left side which opens the barrel for loading, both the 37mm & Real M203 unlock the barrel with a lever near the top of the mounting block.
- 3) The Trigger guard is larger and more square with no second safety trigger.
- 4) The 'ribbed' foregrip of the M203 & the Cobray 37mm Launchers utilize the real plastic sleeves used by Colt, this one has the 'ribbing' actually molded into the metal of the barrel. It's one entire piece, painted black and noticeable 'smoother' with the ribs spread farther apart. If you see wear and tear on the ribbed foregrip and there is metal underneath the paint, it's one of these fake M203s. The real or 37mm versions are plastic.
- 5) This is actually an 39mm tube not the smaller 37mm diameter flare launchers. But it is still not subject to the same restrictions as the M203 because of it's custom design. It can't take any standard breach load munitions of any kind and it's a smooth bore barrel.
- 6) The Barrel is slightly longer than both the standard M203 and Cobray CM203 (though all types have offered 'long barreled versions' for sale).
GySgt. Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) uses an AKM (which he incorrectly - though understandably - refers to as an "AK-47") to teach his recruits in basic training, by shooting at them so they can learn the distinct sound of an AK. Several Cuban soldiers use them as well, just as Highway said they would.
Norinco Type 56
What looks like a Norinco Type 56 is seen lying next to a dead Cuban soldier. This is assumed based on the smooth receiver and front grips. The front sights aren't seen so it is hard to be sure.
M60 machine gun
An M60 machine gun is used by Recon Marine Private "Swede" Johansson (Peter Koch), used inside an armored vehicle by the Cubans, and seen on the helicopter that picks up the Recon men after the operation is complete.
M60D machine gun
What appears to be an M60D machine gun is seen mounted as a doorgun on a Marine helo.
A Cuban soldier is seen firing a fake DShK heavy machine gun at the Recon Marines. It is an M60D dressed up to look like a DShK, one of the guns modified for the film Red Dawn, as DShK machine guns weren't available in the U.S. at the time.
The M134 Minigun is seen mounted on a Marine gunship that engages the Cuban troops.
M85 Heavy Machine Gun
LTVP-7s used in the film appear to have M85 heavy machine guns mounted in the turret.
M242 Bushmaster chaingun
The 25mm M242 Bushmaster chaingun is the main gun of the Marines' LAV-25 armored personnel carriers seen in the film.