Terminator, The (1984)

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The Terminator
Terminator Poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Country USA.jpg United States
Directed by James Cameron
Release Date 1984
Studio Hemdale Film Corporation
Distributor Orion Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
The Terminator (T-800) Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton
Kyle Reese Michael Biehn
Detective Hal Vukovich Lance Henriksen
Lt. Edward Traxler Paul Winfield

The Terminator is the 1984 science fiction film directed by James Cameron that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the title character, a killer cyborg sent by machines from the future with the sole mission of eliminating Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the woman who will give birth to the leader of the future human resistance. Michael Biehn co-stars as Kyle Reese, a human soldier also sent from the future in order to protect Sarah. Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise the role in the sequels Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) as well as appear via CGI in 2009's Terminator Salvation. He returned to a starring role in the 2015 sequel Terminator: Genisys.

The following weapons were used in the film The Terminator:




AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide

The ".45 Longslide" that the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) acquires in the gun store is an AMT Hardballer Longslide with a primitive laserlock sight (a one-off made by someone from a company that would later become SureFire) shortly after his arrival from 2029. The pistol is first seen used to terminate two women from a phone book who share the name Sarah Connor. When he arrives at the apartment of the real Sarah Connor, the Terminator is seen with it when confronting her roommate, Ginger Ventura (Bess Motta). Upon tracking Sarah to the Tech Noir nightclub, the Terminator loses this weapon when Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) intervenes in the attempted termination, at which point he switches to his IMI Uzi.

AMT Hardballer Longslide with laserlock sight as used in the film - .45 ACP
The Terminator inspects the .45 in the gunshop.
A closeup of the laserlock sight.
Another shot of the Terminator inspecting the gun.
The Terminator aims the .45 at Ginger's (Bess Motta) answering machine.
The Terminator reloads his .45.
The Terminator sets the .45 down as he looks for Sarah's address book.
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) aims his .45 at Sarah's head seconds before being stopped by Kyle Reese.
In 1984, laser sights were rare, and required a high level of power. This helium neon laser needed 10,000 volts to turn on, and a further 1,000 volts to maintain its brightness. The cables were run up Arnold's arm to a battery that was in his M65 field jacket. The laser was activated by his other hand.

Smith & Wesson Model 15

Soon after arriving in the present, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) grabs a Smith & Wesson Model 15 from a police officer and holds him at gunpoint while demanding to be told the current date, then flees into a nearby department store when more police arrive. After Kyle and Sarah are apprehended by the police later on, several officers can be seen holding Smith & Wesson Model 15s. Several officers also use S&W Model 15s when the Terminator raids the police station. A nickel-plated Model 15 is also seen being wielded by the Terminator when he runs out of ammunition for his AR-18 during the car chase at the end.

Smith & Wesson Model 15 - .38 Special
"What day is it? The date!"
Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) holds the police officer's own Smith & Wesson Model 15 on him when he asks what year it is.
Kyle peeks out of a photo booth with a S&W Model 15 in hand.
An officer fires a Smith & Wesson Model 15 during the Terminator's attack on the police station.
A nickel S&W Model 15 is seen sitting on the counter next to the other weapons, closest to frame.
The Terminator fires the nickel-plated Model 15 during the film's final car chase.

Ruger Security Six

In a deleted scene, a gravely wounded Lieutenant Edward Traxler (Paul Winfield) gives Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) a snubnose Ruger Security Six as he and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) escape the police station. In another deleted scene, Kyle instinctively aims this revolver at Sarah when the two get into a tense confrontation. Later, at the Tiki motel, Kyle gives it to Sarah when he leaves to buy supplies. At the end of the film, Sarah carries a full size stainless Ruger Security Six with rubber grips on her lap as she rides through the Mexican desert.

Ruger Security Six with 4" barrel - .357 Magnum
Lt. Traxler gives Kyle his Ruger Security Six in a deleted scene.
Kyle pulls the Ruger Security Six on Sarah in another deleted scene.
Sarah inspects the Ruger Security Six in the motel room.
Stainless Ruger Security Six with 4" barrel - .357 Magnum
Sarah's full size stainless Ruger Security Six lies on her lap. Note that revolver appears to be unloaded.

Colt Python

A Colt Python is briefly seen in the hands of a police officer that searches the patrol car that the Terminator abandoned.

Colt Python - .357 Magnum
A police officer searches the Terminator's patrol car with a Colt Python in hand.

Smith & Wesson Model 36

A detective is seen dropping what appears to be a Smith & Wesson Model 36 when Reese knocks him out during the Terminator's assault on the police station.

Smith & Wesson Model 36 - .38 Special
A detective is seen dropping what appears to be a Smith & Wesson Model 36 when Reese knocks him out during the Terminator's assault on the police station.

Submachine Guns


Another weapon the Terminator acquires from the gun store is a full-size "Uzi 9 millimeter" as stated specifically in the film. The Terminator purchasing an Uzi with a short barrel would be rather unrealistic, since civilian semi-auto Uzi carbines were always sold with a 16" barrel per legal requirements. A short dummy barrel was sometimes installed to entice buyers; the gun sold here, however, is just a regular open-bolt Uzi. Director James Cameron mentioned in the magazine "Soldier of Fortune" that he assumed that in story terms the Terminator had converted the Uzi and the AR-18 into full auto weapons in his hotel room. The Terminator uses the Uzi mainly in the Tech Noir nightclub, when Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) interferes with his attempts to terminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). After losing his .45, the Terminator unloads several rounds at the nightclub, killing quite a few innocent bystanders, but fails to hit Sarah, or Kyle. The Uzi appears to be attached to a leather shoulder rig which the Terminator uses to conceal the weapon under his armpit (much like how Kyle conceals his Ithaca shotgun under his armpit but with a piece of rope instead of a leather shoulder rig). This rig appears to be used by bodyguards as this leather shoulder rig is available for purchase; the Terminator probably acquired this item from the gun store when he stole the Uzi and his other weapons. He loses the weapon when Kyle uses his Ithaca to blast him out of the club's window. Another Uzi with a wooden stock is very briefly seen in a flashback sequence of Kyle Reese remembering the "Skin Job" Terminator attacking his Resistance base.

IMI Uzi - 9x19mm
The gunshop owner (Dick Miller) retrieves the Uzi from a shelf. Note that the short barrel is installed, which if live would not be legal to sell over the counter, even in 1984.
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) whips out his Uzi at the Tech Noir night club. Though in the story, the Terminator 'converts' an over-the-counter semi-automatic Uzi Carbine, the weapon used by the film's armorers was an open bolt select fire Uzi. They wouldn't convert a Carbine (and pay the ATF tax stamp) just for the sake of the film, when they could use existing full auto Uzi Submachine guns from Movie Armory inventories. Here you can see the leather strap which wraps around the top and bottom of the gun and has two snaps for quick deployment.
The Terminator fires his Uzi at Kyle Reese.
The Terminator fires his Uzi at Sarah Connor.
IMI Uzi with detachable wooden buttstock - 9x19mm
Visible only for an instant as the Terminator attacks the Resistance base in the future is this Uzi with a full wooden stock.



The "12 Gauge Autoloader" acquired by the Terminator while in the gun store is a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun. The clerk mentions that the shotgun is Italian and could go "pump or auto". The Terminator first is seen using the shotgun in the gun store and then as one of the two weapons he uses during the assault on the police station. A SPAS-12 is also seen in the hands of a human Resistance fighter in one of the "Future War" flashbacks. The SPAS-12's top folding stock was removed by the Terminator before the attack at the police station, presumably since a Terminator would not need the stock for recoil or stability. Schwarzenegger fired the SPAS-12 with one hand, displaying the 'strength' of the Cyborg.

Franchi SPAS-12 - 12 gauge
The Terminator inspects the SPAS-12 at the gun store.
Another shot of the Terminator inspecting his SPAS-12. Note that the factory top folding stock (now extended) is on the shotgun.
"Hey, you can't do that.."
The Terminator loads a live 12 gauge shell into the chamber.
The Terminator kills the gun store owner (Dick Miller). In reality, very few gun stores keep live ammunition within reach of a customer on the counter top. Some stores might have crates of ammunition for sales or special deals on the floor, but gun store employees would pull their own sidearms on any customer who grabbed a box of ammo and had a live weapon in their hands at the same time. (Not that it would have helped in this case.)
Franchi SPAS-12 combat shotgun with no stock – 12 gauge
The Terminator keeps his SPAS-12 at the ready in the police station.
The Terminator fires the SPAS-12 with one hand.
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leans the SPAS-12 on his shoulder as he leaves the police station.

Ithaca 37 (Extended Magazine Tube with Sawn-Off Stock)

Upon arriving in present day Los Angeles, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) procures an Ithaca 37 shotgun from an unattended police car. In addition to having a extended 7-round magazine tube, Reese saws off part of the stock to give it a pistol grip instead, making it easier to conceal under his trenchcoat. He is also seen attaching it to himself with a piece of rope (a reference is made to this in 2009's Terminator Salvation). Reese notably uses it against the Terminator in the Tech Noir nightclub shootout (knocking him back several feet, which seems even more unlikely given he is a cyborg), and the ensuing car chase after he and Sarah escape the car garage. Between acquiring the Ithaca and discharging it for the first time in the night club, Reese pumps the foregrip three times. First when he saws off the stock, again when he wakes up from his nightmare and for the third time just before shooting the Terminator at the night club. Not a single time is a shell ejected from the extraction port, which suggests Reese unloaded it prior to sawing off the stock, and only loaded it before he entered the night club. In a continuity error, an Ithaca without the extended mag tube is seen being held by Reese in the shootout.

Full-stocked Ithaca 37 with extended magazine tube - 12 gauge
Kyle steals the Ithaca 37 from an unattended police cruiser.
Kyle retreats from the alley with his Ithaca 37.
Kyle saws off his Ithaca 37's stock.
Kyle wraps a string around the Ithaca's sawed down grip.
Kyle pumps his Ithaca 37.
Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) fires his Ithaca 37 at the Tech Noir nightclub.
Kyle fires his Ithaca 37 during the car chase with the Terminator.

Ithaca 37

Following the skirmish at the Tech Noir nightclub, the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) acquires his own Ithaca 37. The model used by the Terminator is the standard riot model with a full stock and 4-shot magazine tube. He keeps it with him while he stalks Kyle and Sarah in the parking garage. He then uses it to exchange fire with Kyle in the ensuing chase. During the police station massacre, a few cops can be seen with Ithaca 37s. During the shootout at the Tech Noir nightclub, Reese's Ithaca 37 turns into a 4-shot Ithaca 37 in a continuity error.

Ithaca 37 Riot Version - 12 gauge
The Terminator acquires an Ithaca 37.
Kyle crouches with a standard Ithaca 37 in a continuity error. Though still an Ithaca 37, this is a standard riot model, with the 4 shot magazine tube and a blade front sight.
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fires his Ithaca 37. Note the Terminator's lack of eyebrows due to them being burned off prior.
During the police station massacre, a few cops can be seen with Ithaca 37s.


Armalite AR-18

Yet another of the Terminator's guns is an Armalite AR-18 assault rifle. The gun is used with the stock removed (like the SPAS-12) and with two 40-round magazines taped together in a 'jungle style' configuration. He uses it primarily during the assault on the police station and while chasing down Kyle and Sarah from the hotel. The script refers to the rifle as an AR-18 and it is shown as such in the movie, though rather obviously a California gun store in 1984 would never sell a fully automatic rifle over the counter. The Terminator novel excuses this by stating the T-800 instead took a civilian AR-180 semi-automatic rifle and converted it to full-auto using tools stolen from a hardware store earlier in the day.

A transferable fully automatic Armalite AR-18 as used in Terminator - 5.56x45mm. This is the actual prop weapon used in the movie.
The Terminator inspects the AR-18 at the gunshop.
The Terminator fires his AR-18.
The Terminator reloads his AR-18.
The Terminator holds his AR-18 at the ready as he leaves his motel room to find Kyle and Sarah.
The Terminator kicks in the door and fires into Sarah and Kyle's room at the Tiki Motel.
The AR-18 slides off the roof of Kyle and Sarah's truck after they hit the Terminator.
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fires his AR-18 during the car chase in the tunnel.
The Terminator (here played by stuntman Peter Kent in an uncredited role) tosses the AR-18 when it runs dry.

Colt M16A1

During the assault on the police station by the Terminator, several police officers head to the armory and begin passing out M16A1 rifles with 20-round magazines. Lt. Edward Traxler (Paul Winfield) is seen with an M16A1 and uses the rifle to shoot the Terminator in the back (which resulted in the Terminator turning around with his own AR-18 rifle). Detective Hal Vukovich (Lance Henriksen) opens up on the Terminator with one of his own after finding Traxler wounded by the cyborg. The Terminator returns fire with both the AR-18 and SPAS-12.

Colt M16A1 - 5.56x45mm
Traxler, Vukovich, and a few other officers prep their M16A1s.
Lt. Traxler (Paul Winfield) fires his M16A1 before being gunned down.
Vukovich (Lance Henriksen) holds his M16A1 as he checks an injured Traxler.
Vukovich returns fire with his M16A1.

Heckler & Koch HK91A3

Heckler & Koch HK91A3 rifles, fitted with the proprietary G3 bipod, can be seen wielded by resistance fighters in 2029 - One is most notably seen wielded by a fighter responsible for guarding the entrance to a human bunker. This makes sense, as a 7.62x51mm battle rifle would be a logical choice against heavily armored enemies. A number of HK91A3s can be seen on the gun racks at the Alamo Gun Store in 1984.

Heckler & Koch HK91A3 with factory telescoping stock - 7.62x51mm NATO
A Resistance fighter aims his HK91A3 (with folding-bipod) at the stronghold peephole before allowing Reese to enter. Note there is no stock as weapon is very close to his shoulder.
Same Resistance member holds his rifle as the 'Skin Job' Terminator attacks. The folded bipod is barely visible.
He falls exposing the sliding stock of the HK91A3.
Another fighter with a HK91A3.
At the gun store two HK91A3's, both of which includes a folded bipod, are seen in the rack to the far left with magazines inserted. Note the extended sliding stocks and that the furthest HK91A3 lacks a paddle magazine release, showing they are not G3A4s.

Valmet M82A

A Valmet M82A bullpup assault rifle is used as Kyle Reese's plasma gun (known as the Westinghouse 40 Watt Range M-25A1 Phased Plasma Carbine in the official novelization of the film) in the future war scenes. This is the Valmet M82A that has the front sight moved to the body of the rifle rather than the barrel versus the M82. It also had its magazine removed for the film.

The rifle was equipped a fictional computerized digital tracking scope (built from scratch for the film using surplus video camera components), called the Flexy Sight in the novelization, that is able to mark, track down, and analyze potential cybernetic treats. An interesting trivia note is that Kyle's appearance in these scenes was the inspiration for the cover art and the protagonist, Solid Snake's, appearance in the first Metal Gear game.

Valmet M82A - 5.56x45mm
A production image of Reese (Michael Biehn) with his "plasma gun" which is really a Valmet M82A. Note lack of magazine.
Kyle crouches with his Valmet M82A.
Kyle descends the stairs of a resistance compound with his M82A.
Kyle scans a HK Fighter Plane through the computerized scope of his Valmet.
Kyle playfully "aims" his Valmet M82A at a child in the compound.
Kyle aims down the sights of his M82A to fire at the Infiltrator Terminator.

Machine Guns

Browning M2HB

Browning M2HB heavy machine guns are seen during the future war flashback sequences.

Browning M2HB in vehicle mounting - .50 BMG
A member of the human resistance mans a Browning M2HB heavy machine gun in the future. Note it has no spade grips and ammo belt.
A twin M2 setup with a scope and various futuristic embellishments is seen inside the Resistance base as the 'Skin Job' Terminator attacks.


Lahti L-39

Amongst other miscellanous weapons in the Alamo Gun Store, a WW2 Finnish-made Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle is on display.

Lahti L-39 - 20x138mm B
A 20mm Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle is seen in the background.

"General Dynamics RSB-80 plasma gun"

A heavy gun is used by the Infiltrator Terminator (Franco Columbu) upon secretly entering the Resistance's underground bunker. This rapid-fire laser cannon was identified in the Terminator novelization as the "General Dynamics RSB-80 plasma gun". The weapon prop has a custom barrel shroud and overall appears to be based off a Browning M2 Water Cooled machine gun. A similar cannon is also seen on the sunroof of the car driven by Reese while being chased by the Aerial HK. It is interesting that prop weapon really had a muzzle flash (probably acetylene), as seen in the shots without visual effects of plasma beams, that leaked into the original teaser trailer.

The 'Skin Job' T-800 Infiltrator Terminator (Franco Columbu) fires the RSB-80. Note the spade grips and the large protruding wooden charging handle, both features of a .50 Browning. Though the charging handle is upside down and the spade grips are wider compared to a real Browning M2.
A muzzle flash can be seen instead of a beam here.
The T-800 makes its way deeper into the Resistance shelter, firing at anyone in its path.
One of the iconic shots of the scene, used in promotional material quite often. Also note that beam (superimposed on real muzzle flash) is not coming right from the barrel - a mistake of animators.
Original muzzle flash as seen without visual effects in the original teaser trailer.
Another shot before the addition of visual effects.
A RSB-80 set atop a Resistance car's roof.
A RSB-80 set atop a Resistance car's roof.


See the Discussion section for some interesting and detailed non gun-related trivia on the film.


For the film's teaser trailer, an animated sequence depicts Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator holding a skillfully drawn M1911A1 instead of the AMT Hardballer Longslide. The art appears to be based on early character concepts drawn by James Cameron himself and it's possible that he drew and animated the entire sequence.

Nickel Plated M1911A1 Pistol with brown grips - .45 ACP
The Terminator with M1911A1 as seen in the animated sequence of the original teaser trailer.
A close-up.
A concept-art by James Cameron, on which the trailer sequence was based. This image was actually used as the official, promotional (and spoilerific) poster for the film in some countries.
An earlier concept-art by James Cameron depicts Lance Henriksen as The Terminator (the director's original intention for the film was to have the Terminator be more of an infiltrator, hence the more "common man" appearance).

See Also

Film The Terminator (1984)  •  Judgment Day (1991)  •  Rise of the Machines (2003)  •  Salvation (2009)  •  Genisys (2015)
Television The Machinima Series (2009)  •  The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008)
Video Games The Terminator (1990)  •  Salvation (2009)

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