Predator is a 1987 sci-fi action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, who along with members of his special ops rescue team soon discover that they have become the prey of an unusual hunter. The film was directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) and became notable on several levels, for popularizing the idea of a hand-held M134 minigun and the fact that two of its cast members (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura) would later be elected to the office of governor in the states of California and Minnesota respectively. The film would spawn several sequels: 1990's Predator 2, 2010's Predators, and 2018's The Predator as well as the Alien vs. Predator series.
The following weapons were used in the film Predator:
Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) as well as Billy (Sonny Landham) are prominently armed with AR-15/SP1 slab-side M16 rifles fitted with M16A1 birdcage muzzle flash suppressors to appear more modern (they are likely AR-15/SP1s over genuine M16s, converted to full-auto by the armorers for the film). Dutch's AR-15/SP1 is fitted with a Fake M203 Launcher and a perforated forend typical for the M203, while Billy's AR-15/SP1 is fitted with a Mossberg 500 shotgun and M16A2 foregrips. These particular SP1 rifles are clearly fitted with blank adapters (which are visible sticking beyond the muzzle, out into the flash hider), which means they were real guns converted to fire blank rounds. Many other guns in the movie also have these adapters visible.
Some of the guerrillas fighting the commandos are armed with AKM assault rifles.
Billy's AR-15/SP1 is fitted with an underbarrel Mossberg 500. While never shown prominently firing the shotgun, there is a brief instance where he appears to run out of ammo for his rifle, and fires off a single shot before the film cuts to the next scene. It is often overlooked as he is in the background in this scene and there is no sound effect for his shotgun firing. He is also seen pumping his shotgun closed after the men cut down the forest with weapons fire, implying he had been firing it during that scene. In the original screenplay, Billy's SP1 rifle was to be fitted with an M203 launcher. During the helicopter scene, he was to be seen opening and closing the breech repeatedly. Since the fake M203 launchers don't open in such a manner, someone may have decided to change it to a Mossberg 500 shotgun (although the pumping scene was ultimately not included in the film).
GE M134 Minigun (Handheld)
Nicknamed "Ol' Painless", a hand-held M134 Minigun is the main weapon carried by Sergeant Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura). This particular weapon was modified for handheld use with an M60 handguard assembly installed (backwards) beneath the barrels and a rear pistol grip which is taken from normal (at the time) Minigun spade grips. The grips are attached to the weapon by a custom Y-frame with an M16-style carry handle that mounts to the weapon's recoil absorbers. The weapon was powered by an electric cable hidden off camera and fired blank rounds to ease the recoil force; in addition, the rate of fire is substantially decreased from the normal 6,000 RPM to 1,250 RPM. There are several reasons for this; to ease recoil, save on ammunition, and because director John McTiernan wanted the barrels to be visibly turning rather than a blur. Ventura still spoke of the fearsome recoil, saying that "you just had to grit your teeth and hold on" and that it was "like firing a chainsaw."
Some sources claim the weapon is an XM214 Gatling gun, part of the "Six-Pak" system which fires the smaller 5.56x45mm NATO rounds. The XM214 never made it beyond testing and the film weapon is clearly the larger M134 as evidenced by the non-tapered barrels, and the four-disc barrel clamp. On the subject of the weapon's caliber the film's technical adviser Kevin Dockery had the following to say:
"The Predator gun is an M-134. It was never a Microgun (XM-214). That story has been rattling around the Internet and elsewhere for years, that the Predator gun was a 5.56, it wasn't. Ventura had a hand in putting together the harness that held the gun, after all, he had to carry and handle the darn thing, and told me a bunch about it. When Dan had the gun (past tense I believe) he contacted me to see if Ventura wanted to buy the weapon. I'm going to do a writeup on the XM-214 including pictures of me holding one. It isn't a big deal to pick the microgun up and hold it cradled in one arm. Maybe when people see just how small the 5.56mm gun is, this story will start going away. The pack in the movie held all of four seconds worth of ammo and no batteries. In the first scene when Ventura fires the gun, you can see the cable for it in the dirt behind him. And the trigger didn't work. The special effects man handled powering the gun for several reasons, including safety. Something about them not wanting the actors injured if the gun was dropped and the trigger pulled."
The gun is also operated in the film by SGT Mac Eliot (Bill Duke) shortly after Blain's death and Mac uses it to chop down half the forest in an attempt to kill the Predator. The ammo pack for the weapon uses an M23 armament system ammo box and cover assembly attached to an ALICE pack frame. These ammunition canisters hold approximately 550 rounds when filled; at the confirmed rate of fire (1,250 RPM) when the weapon was sold, the minigun had a maximum of 25 seconds of ammo.
For the firing scenes the box is oriented correctly with the feed chute attaching to the upper left corner of the box and oriented on the weapon so the window is facing upward. During the non-firing scenes the ammo box is positioned up and down with the chute turned upside down, hiding the fact that there is no ammunition present. Also for non-firing scenes, the weapon is not hooked up to a power supply, as the pack only contained ammunition, not batteries. This allowed the actor to move freely during these scenes. During the firing scenes, the batteries were just off camera and the weapon was shot so the cables would not be visible; the cables are trailed along the ground and then routed up the actor's trouser leg and through their clothing to the gun.
GE M134 Minigun
One of the Bell UH-1N helicopters that drops the men off has a door-mounted GE M134 Minigun.
An M60E3 Machine Gun is carried by SGT Mac Eliot (Bill Duke). Like the gun in Commando, this M60 appears to have a professionally shortened barrel. It's entirely possible that this actually is the same gun supplied by Stembridge Gun Rentals.
Some of the Guerrillas are seen armed with Valmet M78 light machine guns, noted by their synthetic "Dragunov" style stocks. While similar to an RPK light machine gun, slight differences in the sights and receiver help tell them apart. This is another weapon that may possibly have been used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, as both films were supplied by Stembridge Gun Rentals.
Heckler & Koch HK94A3 (chopped and converted)
Heckler & Koch HK94A3s are the mainstay weapons of many members of the squad. SGT Blain Cooper (Jesse Ventura), Jorge "Poncho" Ramirez (Richard Chaves), Rick Hawkins (Shane Black) and George Dillon (Carl Weathers) all carry them. SGT Mac Eliot (Bill Duke) can be seen one time with Blain's HK94. The guns are meant to be MP5A3s, but close inspection reveals they are the civilian HK94s with the 16" barrels chopped down and they are converted to full auto. They clearly aren't MP5A3s due to the lack of the three lugs on the barrel, the lack of the paddle magazine release situated behind the magazine, under the gun and the lack of the push pin set.
Fake 39mm M203 Launcher
Fitted on Dutch's AR-15/SP1 is a fake M203 launcher with a 39mm bore diameter. This particular faux launcher was popular at the time before the Cobray launcher was produced and was used in several other '80s movies, including Heartbreak Ridge. The grenades are inaccurately seen as capable of being used at very close range; real M203 rounds have a safety device in which they must spin for a certain amount of time before arming, giving them a minimum range. Dutch later uses his spare 40mm rounds (which actually wouldn't fit his 39mm fake launcher) to make explosive tips for his arrows as he is about to face the Predator.
AN/M5 Pyrotechnic Discharger
The grenade launcher used by Poncho (Richard Chaves), was custom built specifically by the armorers. It is built from Heckler & Koch HK94 parts (mainly the stock and pistol grips) but the heart of the device is an AN/M5 Pyrotechnic Discharger (a WW2-era 6-shot 37mm flare launcher). The same launcher was modified to fit under a G3A4 for Braddock: Missing In Action 3.
An M72 LAW is briefly carried by a guerrilla who is then promptly cut down by Blain's minigun.
A Soviet officer (Sven-Ole Thorsen) is seen using a Walther PP to execute an American prisoner. Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) is also seen trying to shoot Dutch with a Walther before he whips around and rifle butts her.
IMI Desert Eagle Mark I
Billy, Dutch, Mac, Poncho and Hawkins are all seen with IMI Desert Eagle handguns, presumably .44 or .357 Magnum, holstered as their sidearms. Dutch and Poncho keeps theirs in a hip holster while Billy, Mac and Hawkins use shoulder holsters. While the weapons are never seen fired, Billy is briefly seen sleeping with his Desert Eagle in-hand, while later in the film, Dutch reaches for his after crawling out of the river and through the wet mud, only to find that he lost the weapon when going over the waterfall.
M67 hand grenade
Dutch uses an M67 hand grenade to start the battle between the guerrillas.
Sgt. Mac can be seen arming M18A1 Claymores as part of the defensive perimeter when he and the commandos camp out for the night after Blain is killed, then when Dutch orders the other commandos to make a stand against the Predator in the jungle. Mac and Blain are also seen disarming a Claymore when they sneak into the guerrilla camp.
Dutch plants a Satchel Charge on one of the guerrilla trucks and then uses his hulk-like strength to roll the truck into a cluster of them.
Custom Torque Bow
When preparing to fight the Predator, Dutch builds himself a re-curve bow with enough strength to send arrows completely through trees. Dutch also builds an explosive tipped arrow and spear by removing the explosives from his M203 ammunition (Likely M433 or M406 rounds). In reality this would not work because of the lack of any kind of detonator on the arrows.
"Blow Dryer" Gun
The infamous shoulder mounted plasma gun used by the Predator (who was portrayed by the late 7'2" actor Kevin Peter Hall), is used several times in the film and is the main cause of death to many of the team's Commandos. The weapon was nicknamed the "Blow Dryer" gun due to its similarity to a Hair Dryer. The weapon is dubbed the "Plasma Caster" in official literature.
Before the late great Stan Winston turned the Predator into what it was, it was originally going to use a Harpoon gun, and in one scene, we see this gun's projectile in use. The Predator uses it to skim Blaine's shoulder and stun him before using his shoulder gun to put a hole through his chest. Since this idea was dropped, this is the only instance the weapon is seen used in the film. There is also the possibility that the Harpoon could be another version of the "Spear gun" seen in the second movie.