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Air Force One

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Air Force One (1997)

Air Force One is a 1997 thriller starring Harrison Ford as James Marshall, the President of United States, who finds himself the only one who can stop the terrorists who have hijacked the Presidential airliner. The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen (In the Line of Fire) and is distinctive to movie gun enthusiasts for being the first documented film to feature the M4A1 Carbine.

The following weapons were used in the film Air Force One:



Beretta 92FS

Secret Service Agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) uses a Beretta 92FS fitted with a suppressor to execute the Secret Service Agents guarding the armory. Some of the other Secret Service Agents on board Air Force One also use them, even though in real life the Beretta has never been issued to the Secret Service. There is an interesting continuity error in the film, where Agent Walters (Glenn Morshower) (who is trying to evacuate President Marshall via the escape pod) switches from a SIG P226 to a Beretta 92FS (see below).

N.B. USSS Agent Gibbs shares the name of the NCIS Special Agent Gibbs (portrayed by Mark Harmon) on the TV series NCIS and the series premiere "Yankee White" (S1E01) has the agent investigating a possible terrorist sleeper aboard Air Force One, and a few references to this film are made during the episode.

Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm
Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) with his suppressed Beretta 92FS.
Secret Service Agent Walters (Glenn Morshower) fires on the terrorists while trying to protect President Marshall. He starts out using a SIG P226 (left), but somehow switches to a Beretta 92FS (right) before he dies.

SIG-Sauer P226

The Secret Service Agents on Air Force One are armed mostly with SIG-Sauer P226 pistols. When the terrorists take over the plane, many of them also use these pistols; Ivan Korshunov carries a P226, which he is commonly seen using to threaten and/or execute hostages. Later in the film, Agent Gibbs is also seen using one.

In real life, the Secret Service would have been using the smaller SIG P228 and P229 at the time of the film's production.

SIG-Sauer P226 - 9x19mm
Korshunov (Gary Oldman) prepares to execute Marshall's press secretary, Melanie Mitchell (Donna Bullock), with his SIG-Sauer P226.
Korshunov threatens Marshall's daughter with his P226.
Korshunov holds the SIG P226 to Marshall's head.
Different angle.
A close-up of a P226 in the hands of Gibbs during the film's climax.
Gibbs holds the P226 to Marshall's head.

Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch HK94A3 (mocked-up as MP5A3)

When Secret Service Agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) opens up the weapons storage cabinet on Air Force One for Ivan Korshunov's (Gary Oldman's) Russian Ultranationalists, the terrorists get their hands on a number of Heckler & Koch MP5A3 submachine guns. President James Marshall (Harrison Ford) also uses one of these weapons after taking it from one of the terrorists, and both Agent Gibbs and Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) also handle these weapons.

The MP5A3s used in this movie are the same partially-converted HK94A3 carbines from the Stembridge Gun Rentals inventory that have appeared in numerous other motion pictures (including Predator, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, etc.). Throughout the movie, close-ups of the guns reveal that they have the all-metal 0-1 trigger group of the HK94 (with a "2" position for full-auto engraved), as well as barrels that are missing the attachment lugs (for bayonets, flash hiders, and other accessories). IMFDB's exclusive picture of a "mock MP5" (seen below) is believed to be one of the actual screen-used weapons from Air Force One (though we haven't been able to confirm, since there's no record of the exact serial numbers for all of the weapons that Stembridge sent out to the production).

A Heckler & Koch HK94A3 converted to a resemble an MP5A3, with a chopped barrel and converted to auto, with a third firing position added to the lower receiver. This may be one of the actual screen-used guns from Air Force One (unconfirmed).
Russian terrorist Vladimir Krasin (Ilia Volok) with an H&K MP5A3 (actually a partially-converted HK94).
One of the MP5A3s lying on the floor of Air Force One after being dropped by Krasin in a fight with Marshall.
Marshall in the cargo hold with a MP5A3.
Marshall gets cornered by terrorist Boris Bazylev (Andrew Divoff) while holding his MP5A3. Note that the barrel of the gun lacks the attachment lugs, indicating that the MP5 is actually an Heckler & Koch HK94A3 that has had its barrel chopped.
Another close-up of Marshall's MP5A3 from the above scene. More telltale signs that the gun is a converted HK94 - the trigger group is the all-metal O-1 style, the receiver does not have the pushpin in front of the mag well, and there's no paddle magazine release.
Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) covers the hostages' escape from the conference room with his MP5A3 at the ready. Note his trigger discipline.
Agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) holds an MP5 on terrorist Igor Nevsky (David Vadim).

Heckler & Koch MP5K

A single Heckler & Koch MP5K is among the weapons taken by the terrorists from the weapons cabinet. President Marshall also uses this weapon at one point in the film, and it is also picked up by his wife Grace (Wendy Crewson) while Marshall and Korshunov are fighting. The MP5K used on the plane is a genuine MP5K (or at least, a full-conversion), unlike the terrorists' MP5A3s (which are partially-converted HK94s) and the special forces soldiers' own MP5Ks (which seem to be partially-converted SP89s).

Heckler & Koch MP5K - 9x19mm
Sergei Lenski (Levan Uchaneishvili) with the MP5K taken from the weapons cabinet doing a sweep of the plane.
Lenski threatening hostages.
Lenski on the phone to the cockpit while holding the MP5K. This close-up clearly shows the polymer lower receiver.
Lenski with the MP5K threatens Marshall's family. Note the paddle magazine release.
President Marshall (Harrison Ford) holds the MP5K.
Grace Marshall (Wendy Crewson) holds the MP5K.

Heckler & Koch SP89 (mocked up as MP5K)

The special forces soldiers who capture General Radek are all armed with suppressed MP5Ks, but they all appear to be partially-converted Heckler & Koch SP89s (or at least, the one used by the team leader definitely is an SP89). Maybe the armorers didn't have access to the MP5K used later in the film when this scene was filmed.

Heckler & Koch SP89 converted to full auto fire and made to look like an MP5K - 9x19mm. Note lack of paddle magazine release and push-pin lower receiver.
A joint Russian-American special forces soldier with a suppressed H&K MP5K in Radek's palace. This one is clearly an SP89, as evidenced by the metal-lower receiver.
The soldier takes cover.


Norinco Type 56-1

During the opening scene at the Presidential Palace in Kazakhstan, General Ivan Radek's (Jürgen Prochnow's) military guards are seen using Norinco Type 56-1 assault rifles which have been fitted with AKM-style muzzle brakes (customary for many of the Hollywood Chinese AKs, even though these were not factory-standard). These weapons are also seen in the hands of security officers at Sheremetyevo Airport, which is highly inaccurate.

Norinco Type 56-1 - 7.62x39mm
A guard at General Radek's palace is shot, with his Chinese Type 56-1 assault rifle slung.
One of Radek's guards runs at the U.S. special forces troops with a Type 56-1 AK.
The aforementioned guard is gunned down while firing. Note the guard in the background firing what appears to be a Makarov PM (This could also be a Walther PPK or PPK/S.)
Security officers at Sheremetyevo Airport with Type 56 rifles slung over their backs.

M4A1 Carbine

The terrorists also take several M4A1 Carbines from the weapons cabinet, all of which have had their carry handles removed and replaced with C-More C-TAC red dot sights (essentially a C-More competition red dot sight fitted into a chopped M4 carry handle, with A2 rear sight left intact). The weapons also feature a laser sight attached to the barrel, which appears to be the same type found on the Mossberg 590 shotgun used in Broken Arrow. Ivan Korshunov uses this weapon when the terrorists first start to take control of the plane, firing in vain at the cockpit door at one point. This weapon is also fired by Andrei Kolchak (Elya Baskin). Later in the film, Major Caldwell (William H. Macy) can briefly be seen wielding Korshunov's M4 when President Marshall is running back to the cockpit to call off Radek's release.

It appears that Air Force One is the very first Hollywood film to feature the flattop M4 carbine that is so familiar to American audiences today.

Colt M4A1 Carbine - 5.56x45mm
Agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) takes a smoke grenade from the armory cabinet on Air Force One. A row of M4A1 carbines is visible on the right.
A closer view of an M4A1 in the weapons cabinet.
Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman) loads up an M4A1 as the terrorists prepare to take over the plane.
Korshunov runs through the plane with his M4 in hand.
Korshunov fires the M4 at the cockpit door.
Korshunov on a conference call in the command center of Air Force One. The M4 is lying across the table in the foreground.
A closer view of Korshunov's M4 lying on the table in the command center, along with his SIG P226. Can anyone tell IMFDB what kind of attachment is fitted to the barrel/front sight post of the carbine?
A publicity photograph of Andrei Kolchak (Elya Baskin) holding his M4 in Air Force One. In this image, the M4 appears to be a rubber prop used for stunt work.

Colt Model 727 with M203 grenade launcher

A Colt Model 727 carbine with an M203 grenade launcher is carried by one of the Air Force rescue team officers who is sent to retrieve President Marshall's escape pod. It can be noted as an older Model 727 and not one of the aforementioned M4A1s due to the older-type fixed carry handle upper receiver.

Colt Model 727 with M203 grenade launcher - 5.56x45mm NATO/40x46mm
An Air Force recovery team officer with an M727/M203 combo runs towards Marshall's escape pod. Note the integrated, non-removable carry handle.

Custom Short-barreled AKMS

When General Radek is about to be released from prison, several of his troops land at the front gate in an Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship and then line up to greet him. All of them are seen carrying an AK variation similar to the short-barreled AK used by Art Malik in True Lies (which is almost certainly not a coincidence because Harry Lu was the armorer on both movies). The only difference between these rifles have been fitted with side-folding stocks (which appear to have been borrowed from Hungarian AMD-65s).

Custom Shortened AKMS - built from Norinco Type 56 and AKMS parts - 7.62x39mm. This one has an underfolding stock, whereas the guns in the film have AMD-65-style side-folding stocks.
Radek's men stand at attention with their shorty AKs slung across their chests.
Radek's men try to cover for him by firing their AKs at the prison guards.


The guards at the Russian prison fire at General Radek as he flees with AKM rifles, which may be correct because prison guards are considered rear echelon troops.

AKM - 7.62x39mm
The guards at the Russian prison fire their AKMs at Radek.


Air Force One Armory

The cache of weapons aboard the Air Force One is revealed when USSS Agent Gibbs takes a smoke grenade out. This set was later revisited in the premiere episode of NCIS "Yankee White", though it had a different design in the series. Characters also make a few references to this film during the episode.

The armory seen as Secret Service Agent Gibbs (Xander Berkeley) takes a smoke grenade.
The armory as seen in Season 1 of NCIS, as NCIS Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) prepares to take one of the SIGs. Gibbs obliquely mentions the film in the episode (but doesn't mention that the traitor in the movie was also named Gibbs).

M61 Vulcan

At one point in the film, a flight of F-15 Eagles are scrambled to protect Air Force One. While missiles are mainly used, the F-15s are armed with M61 Vulcan cannons as their secondary armament.

M61 Vulcan - 20mm
At one point in the film, a flight of F-15 Eagles are scrambled to protect Air Force One. While missiles are mainly used, the F-15s are armed with M61 Vulcan cannons as their secondary armament. Also note that while stated to be from Ramstein Air Base in Germany in the film, the "EG" on their tails actually refers to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1

At one point in the film, several MiG-29 Fulcrums piloted by renegades loyal to General Radek intercept and engage Air Force One and the F-15s protecting it, the MiGs armed with Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 cannons as their secondary weapons. The MiGs fire their guns several times, causing heavy damage to Air Force One.

Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 with ammo belt - 30mm
At one point in the film, several MiG-29 Fulcrums piloted by renegades loyal to General Radek intercept and engage Air Force One and the F-15s protecting it.
The HUD/pilot's view of a Fulcrum firing upon Air Force One with a burst of 30mm.

Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2

An Mi-24P "Hind-F" attack helicopter with its Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2 autocannons is seen arriving at the prison to transport General Radek.

Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2 30mm automatic cannon with unfired rounds - 30x165mm
The Hind-F lands at the prison.
An Mi-24P "Hind-F" attack helicopter with its Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30 autocannons is seen arriving at the prison to transport General Radek. This sequence was shot at the closed Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, whose exteriors were also used in The Shawshank Redemption.

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