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Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Lethal Weapon
402px-Lethal Weapon Poster.jpg
Theatrical Release Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpgUnited States
Directed by Richard Donner
Release Date 1987
Studio Silver Pictures
Distributor Warner Brothers
Main Cast
Character Actor
Roger Murtaugh Danny Glover
Martin Riggs Mel Gibson
Mr. Joshua Gary Busey
General McAllister Mitchell Ryan
Michael Hunsacker Tom Atkins
Menendez Ed O'Ross
Captain Murphy Steve Kahan

Lethal Weapon is the 1987 action film that was one of the first features in the modern "buddy cop" genre. Mel Gibson stars as LAPD Detective Martin Riggs, a cop and former Special Forces sniper who lives on the ragged edge and who could be suicidal, much to the chagrin of his new partner, LAPD Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), who is celebrating his 50th birthday and an impending retirement. Together they uncover a drug smuggling ring that involves a criminal enterprise comprised of mercenaries and former members of a CIA / special forces "Black Ops" unit with ties to the Vietnam War. The film was written by Shane Black and directed by Richard Donner (Superman: The Movie). The success of the movie would help spawn numerous movie imitators in addition to a film franchise that spanned four installments and a television series adaptation that premiered in the fall of 2016.

The following weapons were used in the film Lethal Weapon (1987):



Beretta 92F

The Beretta 92F is the sidearm carried by LAPD Detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson). As his new partner Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) famously puts it, "Nine millimeter Beretta, takes fifteen in the mag, one up the pipe, wide ejection port, no feed jams." In a memorable scene in the film, Riggs takes out his Beretta and loads a single round into the chamber, and contemplates suicide. Later, Riggs claims that this round is a special hollow-point saved for that purpose, making that sure the job's done right. However, when seen in closeup, the bullet seen is a standard full metal jacketed round, not a hollow-point. He's also highly proficient with the weapon, able to "draw" a smiley face on a silhouette target at several dozen yards with it, much to the bewilderment of Murtaugh. An identifying feature of this particular 92F was the gold finish on the Beretta logos on the grips. In the director's cut of the film, Riggs is seen drawing his Beretta during a sniper situation at a school.

Beretta 92F - 9x19mm. This well-worn movie gun is the original Beretta 92F that Bruce Willis used in Die Hard and was also used by Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. The live-firing handgun that was used in both films has since been 'retired' to a glass museum case. Note the extended slide catch.
"Now that's a real badge, I'm a real cop, and this is a real f***ing gun!"
Det. Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) pulls his Beretta while working undercover.
A closeup of the "hollow point" 9x19mm round. In a later conversation, Riggs mentions that the bullet he wants to use to end it all is a hollow point, but here the round is actually a FMJ.
Closeup of the round in the Beretta's chamber.
A closeup of Riggs' 92F as he looks at his deceased wife's picture. Note the gold finish on the Beretta logo on the grips, as well as the Allen bolt replacing the magazine release button.
The suicidal Riggs holds his Beretta 92F to his head while hesitating to pull the trigger.
"...Have a nice day."
Riggs shows off his prowess with his Beretta 92F, shooting a smiley face onto the head of a paper target down-range as Murtaugh (Danny Glover) looks on.
Riggs empties his Beretta at Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey)'s helicopter.
In the Director's Cut of the film, Riggs loads his Beretta before going to work. He is seen loading the magazine into the Beretta and racking the slide. Note the slide sticks as he pulls it back, indicating he is actually loading an empty magazine.
"Hello!? Mr. Sniper, sir?"
In the Director's Cut, Riggs takes aim with his Beretta.
"I'm still here asshole... or do you only do kids?"
Riggs aims his Beretta at the sniper's hideout. In the ensuing shootout, Riggs appears to fire 19 rounds even though the magazine holds only 15 rounds.
A production still of Riggs holding his empty Beretta 92F after filling the sniper with lead.

Beretta 950 Jetfire

Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) uses a Beretta 950 Jetfire during a standoff with Murtaugh in the desert. He later appears to pull it when confronting two police officers at Murtaugh's home.

Beretta 950 Jetfire - .25 ACP
Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) uses a Beretta 950 Jetfire during a standoff with Murtaugh in the desert.
Mr. Joshua with the handgun.
Joshua opens fire with his handgun.


During the escape from Shadow Company's nightclub hideout, several Shadow Company goons can be seen armed with M1911A1 pistols. Riggs forces one of the Shadow Company goons, Mr. Larch, to shoot one of his comrades with his before briefly commandeering it until he recovers his Beretta.

Colt M1911A1 - .45 ACP
Detective Riggs forces Mr. Larch to shoot one of his comrades with his M1911A1.
Detective Riggs wields an M1911A1 commandeered from Mr. Larch.

Smith & Wesson 459

Murtaugh briefly carries a Smith & Wesson 459 (taken from one of the mercenaries) while chasing Mr. Joshua down Hollywood Boulevard.

Smith & Wesson 459 - 9x19mm
Murtaugh carries the Smith & Wesson in his left hand, his Model 19 revolver in his right.
Murtaugh with the Smith & Wesson in his left hand as he catches his breath.
Another angle of the Smith & Wesson in his left hand. Notice the decocking lever on the slide, the double stack bulges near his hand, the adjustable sights, and the compact frame, contrasting it to the M1911A1 it was previously thought to be.

Walther PPK/S

While following up on a lead, Riggs and Murtaugh are ambushed by a suspect brandishing a shotgun. After Murtaugh wounds him and tries to cuff him, the man pulls a stainless steel Walther PPK/S out of his coat.

Stainless Walther PPK/S - .380 ACP
"He's got a gun!"
The suspect reveals his Walther PPK/S while being apprehended by Riggs.
The suspect with the PPK, before Riggs pumps him full of a few rounds from his Beretta.

Heckler & Koch P7

What appears to be a Heckler & Koch P7 is seen among the weapons in a bag taken by General McAllister when Riggs and Murtaugh escape.

Heckler & Koch P7 - 9x19mm
What appears to be a Heckler & Koch P7 is seen on the left as McAllister attempts to reach for an exposed grenade.


Smith & Wesson Model 19

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is the sidearm carried by Detective Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). The script calls for him to carry a ".38 Special wheelgun", but the Model 19 is a .357 Magnum. He refers to it as a "Four-inch Smith". In a famous scene in the movie which is repeated in later films, Murtaugh rolls his neck before dispatching a villain with a single shot from his Model 19. At one point, Murtaugh gives his revolver to Riggs and challenges him to prove his sincerity in his claims of being suicidal. Riggs then places the barrel under his chin and slowly squeezes the trigger, Murtaugh blocking the hammer with the web of his hand at the last moment being the only thing that keeps the weapon from firing. Standard Smith & Wesson Model 19 revolvers can also be seen in use as the sidearms of numerous L.A.P.D. officers throughout the film.

Smith & Wesson Model 19 'Combat Magnum' - .357 Magnum. This is the actual screen-used movie firearm - a custom ported Smith & Wesson Model 19 with black rubber grips, used and carried by Danny Glover in the film.
"Hey! Look at that, will ya'? Not bad for an old man!"
Det. Sgt. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) demonstrates his prowess with his Smith & Wesson Model 19 on the range, putting a round dead center on the head of a paper target.
"You shouldn't tempt me, man!"
Riggs holds Murtaugh's Smith & Wesson Model 19 to his head when Roger challenges him to prove he's suicidal. Notice the gun is in single-action mode.
Closeup of the Model 19 as Riggs threatens to pull the trigger. Note here the gun is now in double-action mode, even though it wasn't uncocked (on camera) during the scene. Also note the visible cartridges, indicating it was made after 1982, when S&W discontinued recessed cylinders on magnum revolvers.
Murtaugh wields his S&W Model 19.
In the Director's Cut, Murtaugh is shown firing his Smith & Wesson Model 19 at the range on his birthday.

Astra Terminator

During the undercover drug bust near the beginning of the film, one of the drug dealers (Blackie Dammett, who is actually the father of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis) holds Riggs at gunpoint with an Astra Terminator. Another dealer draws his before Riggs unloads on him. When the other officers fail to act to end the crisis, Riggs manages to disarm the suspect and take his revolver, holding it on the suspect and threatening to shoot him.

Stainless Astra Terminator - .44 Magnum
"Shoot me, come on, shoot me!"
The drug dealer holds Riggs hostage with an Astra Terminator.
"Riggs! He ain't worth it, man."
Riggs angrily holds a drug dealer at gunpoint with his own Astra Terminator.
Another dealer (Jason Ronard) draws his revolver as Riggs unloads on him.

Smith & Wesson Model 15

Also from the Director's Cut, a female patrol officer (Gail Bowman) can be seen with a Smith & Wesson Model 15 as her sidearm. Other LAPD officers are also seen with them throughout the film; appropriate since it was their service revolver in real life back then.

Smith & Wesson Model 15 'Combat Masterpiece' - .38 Special
From the Director's Cut, two uniformed officers with their Smith & Wesson Model 15 revolvers drawn while under fire from the sniper. The officer on the right clearly had some weapons training.
Seeing a weapon in his hand, an LAPD officer draws his Model 15 on Murtaugh.

Smith & Wesson Model 36

During the undercover sting in the Christmas tree lot at the beginning of the film, several of the undercover cops pull out Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolvers. An LAPD detective is also seen firing what appears to be a S&W on the shooting range.

Smith and Wesson Model 36 'Chief's Special' - .38 Special - 5 shot. First pattern with flat latch cylinder release.
An LAPD narcotics officer (Gail Bowman) wields a Smith & Wesson Model 36 when the drug bust goes bad.
"Drop it, prick!"
LAPD narcotics officers aim their S&W Model 36s.
An LAPD detective is also seen firing what appears to be a Model 36 on the shooting range.

Unknown revolver

One of the mercenaries at the club tries to stop Riggs and Murtaugh with an unknown revolver.


Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch HK94A3 (converted to resemble the MP5A3)

After fighting their way out of the Shadow Company hideout, Riggs commandeers a Heckler & Koch MP5A3 fitted with a scope from one of the slain Shadow Company henchmen and uses it in a running shootout with Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) on a crowded L.A. freeway. General Peter McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) and several of his men also use them earlier in the film when meeting with Murtaugh when he and Riggs are captured. In the Director's Cut, SWAT officers can also be seen carrying them. In reality, the MP5s that appear in this movie are the elusive "chopped-'n-converted" Heckler & Koch HK94s that frequently appear in films made in the 1980's and 1990's.

Heckler & Koch HK94A3 with barrel chopped down and converted to MP5A3 - 9x19mm
Riggs opens fire with the HK94A3 at Joshua's car.
Mr. Larch (left) brandishes a Heckler & Koch HK94A3 while under fire from Riggs.
SWAT officers on the right carry the converted HK94's in the Director's Cut.


During the ill-fated rescue attempt that leads to Riggs and Murtaugh being captured by Shadow Company, several henchmen can be seen wielding Uzis. Another henchman can be seen using one when the protagonists make their escape from Shadow Company's nightclub hideout.

IMI Uzi - 9x19mm
A Shadow Company goon (Chad Hayes) brandishes an Uzi during the confrontation with Murtaugh.
Gustaf (Gustav Vintas, right) firing his Uzi.
A Shadow Company goon opens up with an Uzi as the protagonists attempt to escape the nightclub.

Rifles & Carbines

Heckler & Koch PSG-1

When Riggs and Murtaugh attempt to rescue Murtaugh's daughter Rianne (Traci Wolfe) in the desert, Riggs provides cover for Murtaugh using a Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle with a high-capacity magazine and Harris bipod. He succeeds in taking out several Shadow Company goons and is about to shoot Mr. Joshua when General McAllister (Mitchell Ryan) interferes and captures him, later seen carrying the rifle across his back while escorting the captured Riggs.

Heckler & Koch PSG-1 with 20 round magazine - 7.62x51mm NATO
Riggs (Mel Gibson) extends the Harris bipod on the rifle.
Riggs takes aim at Shadow Company with a Heckler & Koch PSG-1 sniper rifle.
General Peter McCallister (left) carries the Heckler & Koch PSG-1 as he escorts Riggs.

Colt XM177 Commando

During the ill-fated attempt to rescue Rianne from Shadow Company, several of the Shadow Company henchmen can be seen carrying Colt XM177 Commando carbines, using them to shoot Murtaugh's station wagon to pieces and force him to surrender. Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) is also seen using one fitted with a scope atop the carry handle; first to assassinate Michael Hunsacker (Tom Atkins) from a helicopter at the funeral of his daughter, then during a running shootout with Riggs on an L.A. freeway, and finally when he reaches Murtaugh's house and starts shooting the place apart. In the latter appearance, it has two magazines taped together 'jungle style'. In reality, these are actually civilian AR-15 Sporter 1 carbines which have been visually modified to look like XM177s, with fake flash hiders and shorter barrels.

AR-15 Sporter 1 mocked up as XM177 Commando - 5.56x45mm
Mr. Joshua aims his scoped Colt XM177 Commando as he prepares to assassinate Michael Hunsacker.
A Shadow Company goon (Paul Tuerpe) wields a Colt XM177 Commando during the confrontation with Murtaugh.
"Goddamn Christmas!"
Mr. Joshua (Gary Busey) shoots a T.V. displaying a Christmas commercial with his Colt XM177 Commando at Murtaugh's home. Also notice the "Free South Africa" sticker on the fridge.


In the Director's Cut, Riggs responds to a call of a sniper armed with an M14 Rifle at a school. After he is provoked by the suicidal Riggs, who himself hopes to be shot, The sniper begins firing several rounds that fail to hit their mark, Riggs, being forced to fire, unloads 20 rounds from his Beretta, the magazine capacity of which is 15+1.

M14 Rifle - 7.62x51mm NATO
In the Director's Cut, the sniper fires the M14 at Riggs, missing him with every shot.

MGC M-16 Model Replica Gun

In the Director's Cut, SWAT officers are seen carrying MGC M16 Model Gun Replica loaded with 30-round magazines.

The SWAT officer on the right carries an MGC M-16 Model Gun in the Director's Cut.


Mossberg 500

What appears to be a pistol-gripped Mossberg 500 shotgun is briefly seen during an undercover bust that Riggs is on.

Mossberg 500 with pistol grip - 12 Gauge
A dealer prepares to open fire with his shotgun on Riggs. Note that mag cap appears to be flat, indicating a Mossberg.
The dealer falls and the shotgun is seen on the left.
It appears that shotgun has a sawed off stock.

Remington 870 'Witness Protection'

The suspect that opens fire when Murtaugh and Riggs arrive at his home appears to use the "Witness Protection" model of the Remington 870.

Remington 870 'Witness Protection' - 12 Gauge
The hoodlum fires the Remington 870 at Riggs & Murtaugh.
A wounded hoodlum lies on the ground with a sawed-off shotgun at his feet. Note that the shotgun appears to have a rounded pistol grip consistent with the 'Witness Protection' shotgun.

Remington 870

Mr. Joshua can also be seen wielding a Remington 870 (extended magazine tube) when he attempts to kill Riggs in a drive-by shooting. What appears to be a Remington fitted with a pistol grip and extended magazine tube is held by a Shadow Company goon who guards Rianne Murtaugh in the desert.

Remington 870 Police Magnum with a 20" barrel and extended magazine-tube - 12 Gauge
Mr. Joshua escapes with his Remington 870 after shooting Riggs.
Remington 870 Folding Stock with extended magazine tube - 12 Gauge
The goon to the right of the limo holds the 870 shotgun.
The shotgun is seen on the right.

Ithaca 37

In the Director's Cut, an L.A.P.D. SWAT officer can be seen carrying an Ithaca 37 during the sniper situation. One of the Shadow Company mercenaries carries one when they meet Murtaugh in the desert. One can also be seen in Murtaugh's squad car.

Ithaca Model 37 riot version - 12 Gauge
One of Joshua's thugs (Sven-Ole Thorsen) holds an Ithaca 37.
In the Director's Cut, a SWAT officer on the right is seen carrying an Ithaca 37 shotgun.


M26 Hand Grenade

During the meeting in the desert, Murtaugh pulls out what appears to be an M26 hand grenade, threatening to kill everyone present including himself and his daughter if she's not released. Several grenades are also seen in the car carrying General McAllister that is involved in a crash with a bus.

M26 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
"It's a live!"
Murtaugh (Danny Glover) threatens Shadow Company with what appears to be an M26 frag grenade.
Some M26 grenades are seen in the bag that McAllister takes with him.
Several M26 HE-Frag grenades in the back of General Peter McAllister's crashed car.

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