Predator

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Predator
Predator Poster.jpg
Country USA.jpg United States
Directed by John McTiernan
Release Date 1987
Language English
Spain
Studio Amercent Films
Davis Entertainment
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Silver Pictures
Distributor Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Main Cast
Character Actor
Dutch Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dillon Carl Weathers
Anna Elpidia Carrillo
Mac Bill Duke
Blain Jesse Ventura
Billy Sonny Landham
Hawkins Shane Black
General Phillips R.G. Armstrong
Poncho Richard Chaves


Predator is a 1987 sci-fi action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the leader of a Special Ops team who discovers that they have become the prey of an unusual hunter. The film was directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard) and would spawn two direct sequels, 1990's Predator 2 and 2010's Predators, as well as the Alien vs. Predator series. The film has become 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.

The following weapons were used in the film Predator:

Contents


Rifles

AR-15/SP1

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.

Screen-used Faux M203 launcher attached to M16/SP1 configured as seen in Predator © Copyright MPM2008 - 2009 Licensed to www.imfdb.org
Publicity image of Arnold as Dutch firing the AR-15/SP1 fitted with a fake M203 launcher.
Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) armed with his AR-15/SP1 fitted with a fake M203 launcher.
Publicity image of Arnold as Dutch with his AR-15/SP1. This particular image served as an inspiration for the cover of the NES version of Contra.
Dutch trades his AR-15/SP1 for a pair of binoculars when scouting the guerrilla camp.
Dutch fires his SP1 rifle during the raid on the guerrilla camp.
Dutch carries the SP1 rifle in one hand while seeing what's going on with Billy.
Publicity image of Arnold with his SP1 rifle.
Dutch with his SP1 rifle, wondering what's got Billy so spooked.
Dutch helps chop down the forest with his SP1.
Dutch hits the release button to dump the empty mag.
Dutch with his SP1 after the team let loose with their weapons.
"RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNN!" Dutch opens up with his SP1
Billy armed with an SP1 rifle, yet his Mossberg 500 shotgun is missing in this shot.
MGC M16 Replica Rifle.
The Predator uses its Shoulder Cannon to blast Dutch's SP1 in half. This is an MGC replica hence the mock forward assist and 20 round fake magazine, as opposed to the 30 round magazine seen in the weapon at all other times. The weapon also does not appear to be fitted with the special forward shroud usually used when mounting a grenade launcher to an M16 - instead, holes have simply been drilled in the side of the MGC's regular handguard. The grenade launcher itself is different as well, in that it appears to be missing a trigger.

AKM

Some of the guerrillas fighting the commandos are armed with AKM assault rifles.

AKM - 7.62x39mm
A guerrilla fires his AKM.

Shotguns

Mossberg 500

Billy's AR-15/SP1 is fitted with a Mossberg 500 underslung under the barrel. 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 not included in the film).

Mossberg 500 - 12 gauge.
Billy with his SP1 rifle fitted with a Mossberg 500 shotgun.
Billy with his SP1/Mossberg 500.
Billy with his SP1/Mossberg 500.
Close up of Billy's Mossberg 500.
Billy with his SP1/Mossberg 500, just before discarding it and drawing his knife to face the Predator in hand-to-hand combat.

Machine Guns

GE M134 Minigun (Handheld)

Nicknamed "Painless", a hand-held M134 Minigun is the main weapon carried by Blain (Jesse Ventura). This particular weapon was modified for handheld use with an M60 handguard assembly (installed backwards) 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. It is believed in real life a similar weapon was tested by US special forces in the 1970s but found to be impractical.

Some sources claim the weapon is an XM214 Gatling gun, part of the "Six-Pak" system which fires the smaller 5.56mm 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 Mac 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.

A showgirl presents a replica of the handheld General Electric M134 Minigun with M60 handguard used in the film - 7.62x51mm NATO.
Blain chambers all the barrels of the M134 handheld Minigun by twisting them left and right (this was probably done to give a macho screen appearance, but in reality, doing this would most likely fire off chambered rounds).
Blain prepares to fire the handheld Minigun.
Blain lets loose the 1250+rpm Minigun on some guerrillas. Talk about overkill.
Close up of Blain firing the Minigun.
Blain fires his Minigun (perhaps fed with incendiary rounds?).
Blain firing his Minigun.
Close up on the barrel of Minigun. Note the M60 handguard (which appears to have been installed backwards).
A close up shot of part of the harness that Jesse Ventura helped build to support the weight of the minigun.
Blain flicks the safety off the Minigun.
Mac mows down the forest with the Minigun.
Mac fires the Minigun.
Mac still holds down on the trigger on the Minigun after the ammunition is exhausted.
The barrels on the Minigun continue to rotate until Mac finally releases the trigger.
Jesse Ventura poses with the Minigun during the closing credits.
Blain carries the minigun while on patrol in the jungle. Note the ammo box is tilted sideways for a smaller profile indicating the actor will not be firing in this scene.
For the firing scenes the ammunition box is positioned correctly.
The ammo box for the M23 armament system. This ammo box, if filled, would give Ventura and Duke approximately 550 rounds; however, John McTiernan has stated the miniguns only had 6 seconds of ammunition, while Kevin Dockery has stated they had just four. This indicates the ammo box was never filled to capacity.

GE M134 Minigun

One of the Bell UH-1N helicopters that drops the men off has a door-mounted GE M134 Minigun.

GE M134 Minigun - 7.62x51mm NATO.
A UH-1N doorgunner mans a GE M134 Minigun.

M60E3 Machine Gun

An M60E3 machine gun is carried by Sgt. Mac (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.

M60E3 with short barrel - 7.62x51mm NATO
On the right, Sgt. Mac (Bill Duke) carries his M60E3.
Mac lays down fire with the M60E3 during the raid on the guerrilla camp.
Mac with his M60E3 while speaking with Dillon.
Mac rests his M60E3 on his knee after the battle.
Mac with his M60E3.
Note how a blank adapter is visible on Mac's M60E3.
"CCCCCOOOOONNNNNTTTTTAAAAACCCCCTTTTT!"
Mac with his M60E3.
Mac fires his M60E3 at the Predator.

Valmet M78/83 Light Machine Gun

Some of the Guerrillas are seen armed with Valmet M78 light machine guns, note 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.

Valmet M78 - 7.62x39mm.
A Guard on duty with his Valmet M78/83 LMG nearby.
Another shot of the same scene.
A guerrilla fires his Valmet M78/83 at the commandos.
An M78/83 is seen in mid-flight.
A guerrilla fires his M78/83.
The guerrilla is sent flying with his M78/83 in hand.

Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch HK94 (chopped and converted)

The Heckler & Koch HK94 are the mainstay weapons of many members of the squad. Blain (Jesse Ventura), Poncho (Richard Chaves), Hawkins (Shane Black) and Dillon (Carl Weathers) all carry them. 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.

Heckler & Koch HK94 chopped and converted to resemble an MP5A3. Note the lack of a paddle magazine release, a lugged barrel, and a push pin set - 9mm.
Blain in the chopper armed with a chopped HK94.
Poncho with his HK94.
Dillon fires his HK94 at the guerrillas trying to escape in the helicopter.
Hawkins fires his HK94 at the guerrillas.
Clear shot of the HK94 barrel when Mac kills the Scorpion on Dillon's shoulder.
Close up on Poncho's HK94. Note lack of barrel lugs.
Note lack of paddle magazine release and push pin set.
"Maybe you better put her on a leash, Agent-man." Poncho points his HK94 at Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) when she tries to escape Dillon.
Dillon helps cut down the forest with his HK94.
Poncho interrogates Anna with his HK94 in hand.
Dutch throws Dillon Blain's HK94 when Dillon goes to help Mac take on the Predator.
Dillon wielding two HK94s.
Close up of Dillon pulling the trigger on the HK94.
Dillon fires the HK94 at the Predator.
When the Predator blows off Dillon's arm with his blaster, the HK94 continues to fire in the severed arm. While the finger is clearly not pulling the trigger, a wire is seen wrapped around it to make it fire.
"NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Anna (Elpidia Carrillo) attempts to use Poncho's HK94 on the Predator before Dutch frantically disarms her and urges her to reach the extraction point.
Carl Weathers poses with his HK94 for the credits.

Launchers

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.

Screen used Faux M203 39mm launcher attached to an M16/SP1 rifle. Note that the film used multiple rifle/launcher combos, and the wear on the launcher actually changes from shot to shot, indicating that the actor is using the backup rifle/launcher combo for that particular shot.
Dutch fires his fake M203 launcher at the guerrillas. Note how the SP1 rifle has a blank adapter protruding from the barrel into the muzzle brake.
Dutch with his SP1/Fake M203.
Dutch takes out the UH-1 Iroquois with his fake M203 at a far too short distance.
When Dutch uses the launcher, a considerable amount of smoke exits the muzzle...
...yet as the chopper blows up, no smoke is visible. (Also note the stuntman about to exit the exploding helicopter!)
Dutch takes out his two 40mm rounds, which don't actually fit in his fake M203. While the powder is used to make Dutch's leaf-bombs, the projectiles are affixed to an arrow and a spear.
Dutch dumps the powder out of the 40mm round to make explosives.

Custom 37mm Launcher

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) and uses parts from an AN-M5 aircraft pyrotechnic discharger (a 37mm flare launcher). It's possible the same launcher was used in Braddock: Missing In Action 3, and it also seemed to be the basis for the grenade launcher in GoldenEye 007.

"Yeah, strap this on your sore ass, Blain." Poncho (Richard Chaves) displays his grenade launcher.
Note how the stock is that of an H&K HK94, although the grip appears to be molded from the original grips.
Poncho fires his launcher at the guerrillas.
Poncho firing his launcher.
Over the shoulder view of Poncho firing his launcher.
Front view of Poncho's launcher.
Poncho firing his launcher at guerrillas embedded on the hill top.
"You got time to duck?"
Poncho helps cut down the jungle with his launcher.
Poncho firing his launcher.
Poncho with his launcher at the ready as the commandos wait for the Predator to walk into their trap.

Handguns

Walther PP

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.

Walther PP - .380 ACP.
A Soviet officer executes an American prisoner with a Walther PP, which is clearly a flashpaper gun. This was done for safety purposes, and since blank rounds could damage hearing.
Anna readies her Walther PP.

IMI Desert Eagle

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 used on-screen, 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.

IMI Desert Eagle Mark I - .357 Magnum
Billy with a Desert Eagle in his shoulder holster.
Dutch with a Desert Eagle in his hip holster.
Mac with a Desert Eagle in his shoulder holster. Note the eagle symbol (a bit faded) on the holster. This means that is an original early production (based on the harness too) Magnum Research cordura holster. Mac keeps his holster with closing strap removed because this holster fits the DE very well.

M1911A1

While the other Commandos have more modern pistols, Dillon is briefly seen with an M1911A1 pistol as his holstered sidearm.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP.
Dillon with an M1911A1 in his hip holster. Take it he likes the 'old stuff' hence the Vietnam Era OG Fatigues, Cap, Webbing etc.

Other

M67 hand grenade

Dutch uses an M67 hand grenade to start the battle between the guerrillas.

M67 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade.
Publicity image of Dutch with M67 grenades on his vest.
An M67 grenade is seen on Dutch's vest. Like in Commando, he carries his grenades simply tied by the pin to his vest without any tape on the spoon.
Dutch readies his M67 grenade.

M72 LAW

An M72 LAW is briefly carried by a guerrilla who is then cut down by Blain's minigun.

M72lawopen.jpg
An M72 LAW is briefly carried by a guerrilla who is then cut down by Blain's minigun.

M18A1 Claymore

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.

M18A1 Claymore Mine.
Mac holds down the trip wire of a Claymore Mine as Blain clips the wire.
Mac sets up a Claymore mine as a trap for the Predator. Interesting to note that the green paint is chipping off the mine revealing it to be a blue practice mine

Satchel Charge

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.

Dutch plants a Satchel Charge in the truck bed.
Preparing explosives: So easy a caveman could do it!

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.

Dutch aims his Custom Torque Bow at the Predator.
Despite the fact this bow was shown capable of putting an arrow through a tree, it doesn't seem to be able to propel a Torque arrow very fast.

Predator Weapons

"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.

The Predator's "Blow Dryer" gun locks on to a Muskrat at the river bank.
The gun fires.
The Predator randomly fires his gun at Dutch, unable to detect him by heat due to his mud coat.
The Predator fires his gun after encountering an explosion.
The Predator fires his gun wildly, searching for his prey.
The Predator removes his gun from his shoulder so he can fight Dutch hand-to-hand (although his blades should have been removed too).

Harpoon Gun

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.

A harpoon projectile is seen in motion, skimming Blaine. Note how blood is seen coming out of his shoulder, yet look how high the harpoon is.
A picture of the harpoon gun being fired by the pre-Stan Winston Predator (in the red SFX suit for creating the camouflage effect) in a cut scene. This version of the Predator was originally played by Jean-Claude Van Damme before a more physically imposing actor was deemed necessary.

See Also

Alien & Predator Franchise
Films
Alien Alien (1979)  •  Aliens (1986)  •  Alien³ (1992)  •  Alien: Resurrection (1997)  •  Alien vs. Predator (2004)  •  Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)  •  Prometheus (2012)
Predator Predator (1987)  •  Predator 2 (1990)  •  Alien vs. Predator (2004)  •  Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007)  •   Predators (2010)
Video Games
Alien Aliens vs. Predator 2 (2001)  •  Aliens: Colonial Marines (2012)


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