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Deserter (2002)

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Deserter (2002)

Deserter is a 2002 adventure movie set in Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It tells the story of Simon Murray (Paul Fox) who is confronted with insurmountable class differences when he meets the love of his life in 1950s England. Disillusioned, he decides to join the Foreign Legion and is send to a remote outpost in Algeria where he is subject to brutal training.

Here, he develops a deep friendship with Belgian fellow Legionnaire Pascal Dupont (Tom Hardy). As the training nears the final stages, both Legionnaires become entangled in the brutal civil war, with FLN rebels seeking independence from France and "Pied-Noirs" ("Black Feet"), French settlers who wish for Algeria to stay a part of France, and the Legion caught in between.

The following weapons were used in the film Deserter (2002):


SIG P210

Most Legionnaires can be seen carrying the SIG P210, most notably during the climatic shootout at the Algiers mosque when both Pascal and Simon use it to deadly effect.

SIG P210-2 - 9x19mm
Pascal holding his P210 on a Muslim cleric in a vain attempt to learn more about a suspected weapons cache at the mosque.
Simon aiming his P210 at some of the break-away Legionnaires who have taken matters in their own hands.



The bolt-action MAS-36 is the common rifle for the Legionnaires in their clashes with the FLN rebels. The more modern semi-automatic MAS-49 would have been a more logical choice, which probably explains the strange fact that on no occasion is a Legionnaire seen cocking his MAS-36!

MAS-36 - 7.5x54mm French
Close-up of a Legionnaire firing his MAS-36 when his unit is being ambushed by FLN rebels. Note the forward-angled bolt.
Legionnaires have set up camp with their MAS-36's stacked together, the short knob on the side of the barrel allowing the rifles to stay upright.
In a rather unheroic pose, Simon (left) and Pascal (right, with MAS-36) watch their comrades perform exercises at the remote Foreign Legion outpost in the Algerian desert.

Mauser Karabiner 98k

When a secured FLN rebel outpost is searched for weapons, one of the confiscated guns appears to be a Karabiner 98k.

Karabiner 98k - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Simon leaving the well-hidden rebel outpost with the Karabiner 98k in his hands.
Pascal signaling to Simon to leave the outpost, the barrel of the Karabiner 98k visible below his arms.

Submachine Guns


For no apparent reason, the weapon of choice for the Legionnaires keeps switching from the MAS-36 rifle to the MAT-49 submachine gun throughout the movie. This submachine gun is mostly used to impress local residents suspected of cooperating with FLN rebels and during ambushes in the mountainous terrain of Algeria.

MAT-49 Submachine Gun - 9x19mm
A Legion officer giving orders before he enters a farmhouse to collect information about suspected rebels in the area. Note the good view of the sliding stock.
Simon holding his MAT-49 to provide cover during the search of the farmhouse.
Pascal (middle) with his MAT-49 before he and his unit are send to capture the capital Algiers. Nice detail; the magazine well and pistol grip have been folded into the upright position, a typical feature of the MAT-49.

Hotchkiss "Type Universal"

During confrontations between Legionnaires and French special forces to take control the Algiers airport, one of the members of the French special forces is seen with a Hotchkiss "Type Universal".

Hotchkiss "Type Universal" - 9x19mm
The French trooper on the left can be seen carrying a Hotchkiss "Type Universal", distinguishable by the typical front-end of the barrel.

Machine Guns

Chatellerault M1924/29

In one scene, FLN insurgents attack the Legionnaires from a mountain hideout with several rifles and machine guns, including a Chatellerault M1924/29.

Chatellerault M1924/29 Light Machine Gun - 7.5x54mm French
The Chatellerault M1924/29 can be seen just behind the head of its unfortunate ex-operator as Simon inspects the insurgent hide-out after the battle. Typical features such as the wooden grip and the typical top-mounted magazine can easily be identified.


In several scenes, Legionnaires are equipped with the MAS AA-52. Oddly, it is never actually seen fired during their clashes with the FLN rebels.

MAS AA-52 GPMG - 7.5x54mm French
During a raid to search for a suspected rebel leader, a Legionnaire can be seen holding the MAS AA-52, recognizable by the carrying handle and the sleek front section.

Browning M1919A4

In several scenes, Browning M1919A4s are used by Legionnaires. In most cases, they are mounted on Jeeps to provide supporting fire during urban shootouts.

Browning M1919A4 on an M31C pedestal mount - .30-06 Springfield
During the final stand-off at the mosque, a Jeep-mounted Browning M1919A4 is used to persuade the deserting Legionnaires hiding inside the building to surrender.


Mk 2 Hand Grenade

During a training, an instructor demonstrates to the new and relatively innocent recruits how a simple but deadly booby trap can be constructed from a tin can and an Mk 2 hand grenade.

Mk 2 "Pineapple" hand grenade (sometimes written Mk II)

M29 Mortar

In a mountain marching scene, Pascal is seen with the barrel of a 81mm M29 Mortar slung on his back. This mortar is also used by the Legionnaires in several clashes with FLN insurgents.

M29 Mortar - 81mm

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