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Heartbreak Ridge

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Heartbreak Ridge is a 1986 military drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Highway, a veteran Marine Corps NCO and Medal of Honor recipient nearing retirement who is assigned to put an unmotivated Force Recon platoon from the 2nd Marine Division's 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion into fighting shape while dealing with a by-the-books commanding officer. The film's title refers to a battle that occurred during the Korean War (which actually was a US Army engagement, as is explained in the film that Highway first served in the Army and joined the Corps after Korea).

The following weapons were used in the film Heartbreak Ridge:


M16 (AR-15/SP1)

In many scenes, M16 (AR-15/SP1) rifles is seen. Some of them appear to be genuine civilian AR-15/SP1s and aren't seen fired full-auto. Instead, M16A1s seem to be used to depict full-auto fire. That is, until the Grenada sequence, when the Recon platoon's weapons are both M16A1s and M16 rifles, possibly AR-15/SP1's converted to fire full-auto, perhaps due to a lack of enough M16A1 rifles for those scenes.

M16 (AR-15/SP1) with A1 flash hider and 30 round magazine - 5.56x45mm
Recon Marines including Corporal "Stitch" Jones (Mario Van Peebles) in training fire their M16s down range, although they are likely AR-15/SP1s, as they aren't seen firing full-auto until in Grenada, when more full-auto guns were required. One Marine fires his weapon full-auto during the rifle training, but it is clearly an M16A1.
By putting three rounds in the center, Gunnery Sergeant Highway (Clint Eastwood) demonstrates to Lance Cpl. Fragetti that there's nothing wrong with his AR-15/SP1.
"Did you wake up this morning with a piss-pot on your head?" Cpl. "Stitch" Jones (Mario Van Peebles) with his AR-15/SP1 while Highway hassles him over why he's wearing a "piss pot" instead of his Marine-issue Kevlar helmet.
Highway with his AR-15/SP1 in Grenada. This one appears to be converted to full-auto or it could be an actual M16 fitted with an A1 birdcage flash suppressor, but it's a bit less likely.
First Lieutenant Ring (Boyd Gaines) with the AR-15/SP1 in Grenada, his also featuring full-auto fire, making it a possible M16 with a birdcage flash suppressor as well.


The M16A1 is seen in the hands of several Recon Marines, used when a fully-automatic weapon is required early in the film, until Grenada when possibly all the weapons were converted to full-auto fire, perhaps due to a lack of M16A1s. They seem to have civilian AR-15 SP1 lowers modified to fire full-auto, as noted by the lack of magazine fencing and a screw head style receiver pivot pin.

M16A1 with 30 round magazine - 5.56x45mm
Highway pulls Profile's (Tom Villard) M16A1 out of his face when he complains about his weapon malfunctioning, nearly getting his head blown off. The weapon empties a full magazine, almost killing the other men on the firing range.
Profile and Quinones (Mike Gomez) fire their M16A1's during a training exercise. The rifles are fitted with MILES gear.
Jones with his M16A1 in Grenada.
Lance Corporal Fragatti (Vincent Irizarry) empties a mag from his M16A1 into a skeleton model from a classroom in Grenada.
Cpl. "Stitch" Jones now armed with an M16A1 in Grenada. This rifle is fitted with an SP1 lower as noted by the lack of magazine fence and the screw head receiver pivot pin.
1stLt. Ring is seen using an M16A1 after taking the hill, a possible continuity error, since he was using an AR-15/SP1 rifle earlier. This rifle also appears to have an SP1 lower receiver.

AR15/SP1 with M203 Grenade Launcher mockup

One of the Marines has an AR-15/SP1 (or possible M16) fitted with an underslung Fake M203 Grenade Launcher made to take the place of the M203 40mm launcher. Upon close inspection, this is one of the first 'fake' M203 launchers that were made by Special Effects Unlimited, Ltd and later used by Stembridge Guns and other Hollywood Rental houses. It is not a Cobray/SWD or any other commercially available 37mm Flare Launcher. The entire launcher was custom fabricated out of Aluminum and designed to fire a special pyrotechnic charge. It is the same 'fake M203' used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Predator. The visual differences between this custom M203 versus the 37mm Flare Launchers is:

1) Larger receiver with no cocking handle or safety.
2) There is a lever on the left side which opens the barrel for loading, both the 37mm & Real M203 unlock the barrel with a lever near the top of the mounting block.
3) The Trigger guard is larger and more square with no second safety trigger.
4) The 'ribbed' foregrip of the M203 & the Cobray 37mm Launchers utilize the real plastic sleeves used by Colt, this one has the 'ribbing' actually molded into the metal of the barrel. It's one entire piece, painted black and noticeable 'smoother' with the ribs spread farther apart. If you see wear and tear on the ribbed foregrip and there is metal underneath the paint, it's one of these fake M203s. The real or 37mm versions are plastic.
5) This is actually an 39mm tube not the smaller 37mm diameter flare launchers. But it is still not subject to the same restrictions as the M203 because of it's custom design. It can't take any standard breach load munitions of any kind and it's a smooth bore barrel.
6) The Barrel is slightly longer than both the standard M203 and Cobray CM203 (though all types have offered 'long barreled versions' for sale).
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.
Corporal Collins (Rodney Hill) fires his Fake M203 Grenade Launcher at Cubans in Grenada.
Cpl. Collins orders his men up armed with his M16(AR-15/SP1) with the Fake M203 Grenade Launcher.
Collins fires his M16(AR-15/SP1) with underslung Fake M203 Grenade Launcher.


GySgt. Tom Highway (Clint Eastwood) uses an AKM (which he incorrectly - though understandably - refers to as an "AK-47") to teach his recruits in basic training, by shooting at them so they can learn the distinct sound of an AK. Several Cuban soldiers use them as well, just as Highway said they would.

AKM, Stamped Steel Receiver w/ slant muzzle brake - 7.62x39mm
"This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy - and it makes a very distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it.".
Highway fires his AKM at the recruits as they crawl through barbed wire trenches.
Cuban soldiers fire their AKM rifles at the Recon Marines using the armored vehicle as cover (note that the vehicle is actually an American-made Cadillac-Gage Commando, apparently meant to be a BRDM).

Norinco Type 56

What looks like a Norinco Type 56 is seen lying next to a dead Cuban soldier. This is assumed based on the smooth receiver and front grips. The front sights aren't seen so it is hard to be sure.

Norinco Type 56 with "pig sticker" bayonet - 7.62x39mm.
A Norinco Type 56 next to a dead Cuban soldier.

Machine Guns

M60 machine gun

An M60 machine gun is used by Recon Marine Private "Swede" Johansson (Peter Koch), used inside an armored vehicle by the Cubans, and seen on the helicopter that picks up the Recon men after the operation is complete.

M60 machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
An M60 machine gun is used by Recon Marine Pvt. "Swede" Johansson during a training exercise.
While in Grenada, "Swede" Johansson gives supporting fire with his M60.
"The Swede" walks with the rest of his men to the hill, somehow comfortably holding the 23lb M60 with one hand. It could be a light weight polyurethane cast of the real gun or perhaps he really is strong enough to hold it like that. (Peter Koch was a defensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs at the time.)
"The Swede" climbs the hill with his M60.
Swede fires the M60 out at the armored vehicle.

M60D machine gun

What appears to be an M60D machine gun is seen mounted as a doorgun on a Marine helo.

M60D machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
The helo carrying Colonel Meyers (Richard Venture) is fitted with a door mounted M60D.
The M60D is seen.


A Cuban soldier is seen firing a fake DShK heavy machine gun at the Recon Marines. It is an M60D dressed up to look like a DShK, one of the guns modified for the film Red Dawn, as DShK machine guns weren't available in the U.S. at the time.

DShK machine gun - 12.7x109mm
A Cuban soldier fires a fake DShK at the Recon Marines.
A closer shot of the Cuban firing the fake DShK.

M134 Minigun

The M134 Minigun is seen mounted on a Marine gunship that engages the Cuban troops.

M134 Minigun (7.62x51mm) mounted on M21 Armament Subsystem (Which also includes huge M158 Rocket Launcher).
The M134 Minigun is seen mounted on a Marine gunship that engages the Cuban troops.

M85 Heavy Machine Gun

LTVP-7s used in the film appear to have M85 heavy machine guns mounted in the turret.

M85 Heavy Machine Gun - 12.7x99mm NATO (.50 BMG)
An LVTP armed with an M85 heavy machine gun, notable by the conical muzzle brake.


M242 Bushmaster chaingun

The 25mm M242 Bushmaster chaingun is the main gun of the Marines' LAV-25 armored personnel carriers seen in the film.

M242 Bushmaster chaingun - 25x137mm
Seen driving across frame is an LAV-25 with an M242 chaingun as the main armament.

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