The Terminator is the 1984 science fiction film directed by James Cameron that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as a killer cyborg sent by machines from the future with the sole mission of eliminating the woman who will give birth to the leader of the future human resistance. Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise the role in the sequels Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and as well as appear via CGI in 2009's Terminator Salvation. In 2013, a new trilogy of Terminator films was announced to go into production, with Arnold Schwarzenegger rumored to return to the primary cast (although it's not known which role he will play).
The following weapons were used in the film The Terminator:
AMT Hardballer .45 Longslide
The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) acquires an AMT Hardballer Longslide with a primitive laserlock sight (a one-off made by someone from a company that would later become SureFire) in addition to several other weapons from a gunshop shortly after his arrival from 2029. He first uses it to terminate two women from a phone book who share the name Sarah Connor. When he arrives at the real Connor's (Linda Hamilton) apartment, he 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.
Smith & Wesson Model 15
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 Smith & Wesson Model 15 when the Terminator raids the police station. A nickel-plated Smith & Wesson 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 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.
Soon after arriving in the present, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) grabs a Colt Trooper 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. In that scene, the revolver resembles more closely a Smith & Wesson model 15 "Combat Masterpiece", as the typical S&W thumbpiece can be seen. On a S&W it has to be pushed forward rather than pushed backwards to unlock the cylinder, as is the case with a Colt double-action revolver.
A Colt Python is seen in the hands of a police officer that searches the patrol car that the Terminator abandoned.
Ruger Security Six
In a deleted scene, a gravely wounded Lt. 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.
Another weapon the Terminator acquires from the Gun Shop at the start of the film is an IMI Uzi. His purchasing of this is 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. 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. 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 as Kyle Reese remembers the "Skin Job" Terminator attacking his Resistance base.
The Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun is another firearm used by the Terminator. The Terminator first is seen with the shotgun in the gun store and then is 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.
Ithaca 37 (Extended Magazine Tube with Sawed Off stock)
Upon arriving in present day Los Angeles, Reese procures an Ithaca 37 shotgun from an unattended police car. In addition to having a high-capacity 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 handle 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.
Following the skirmish at the Tech Noir nightclub, the Terminator acquires his own Ithaca 37. The model used by the Terminator is the standard police model with a full stock, and 4-shot magazine. He keeps it with him while he stalks Kyle and Sarah in the multi-story 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.
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 magazines taped together in a 'jungle style' configuration. He uses it primarily during the assault on the police station and during the car chase following the motel scene. 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.
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 after finding Traxler wounded by the cyborg. The Terminator returns fire with both the AR-18 and SPAS-12.
Heckler & Koch G3A3
A number of Heckler & Koch G3 rifles can be seen in the hands of human resistance fighters responsible for guarding a human bunker in 2029, fitted with the wide handguard and the G3's proprietary bipod. This makes sense, as a 7.62mm battle rifle would be a logical choice against heavily armoured enemies. A number of the G3's civilian cousin, the HK91 rifle can be seen on the gun racks at the Alamo Gun Store in 1984.
A Valmet M82A is used as Kyle Reese's plasma gun in the future war scenes. This Valmet M82A moved the front sight to the body of the rifle rather than the barrel versus the M82. An interesting trivia note is that Kyle's appearance in these scenes was the inspiration for the cover art of the first Metal Gear game.
Browning M2HB Heavy Machine Gun
Browning M2HB heavy machine guns are seen in the future war battle scene.
Amongst other miscellanous weapons in the Alamo Gun Store, a WW2 Finnish-made Lahti L-39 anti-tank rifle is on display.
"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 has a custom barrel shroud and appears to be mocked up from either a Maxim or Vickers 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.
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.