Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a 2008 stealth-action / third-person shooter video game directed by Hideo Kojima, developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami. It concludes the saga of the character Solid Snake (now known as Old Snake). Set in the year 2014 following the events of the previous games, the storyline takes Snake through a series of warzones where rebels are fighting hired PMC soldiers as part of an ongoing "War Economy" engineered by a mysterious organization known as "The Patriots." Snake's mission is to uncover a plot by his old nemesis Liquid Snake, now seemingly reborn in the body of the gunman Revolver Ocelot, and set on bringing down the "System," an apparently invincible computer network which controls the world.
The initial release of the game featured an online multiplayer mode, Metal Gear Online, allowing up to sixteen player matches using characters and weapons from the main game. This mode was removed by the Metal Gear Solid 4 2.00 patch released in June 2012 as the servers were shut down, replaced with an option to install the entire game to the hard drive rather than only the current chapter. All information about Metal Gear Online below was correct at the time of shutdown.
The following weapons can be seen in the video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots:
Note: Spoilers are present in some weapon descriptions.
Metal Gear Solid 4 uses a split inventory system where the player character, Old Snake, can equip up to six weapons, which are then available using a quick-access menu; this is explained as Snake's "backpack," despite that he is not actually wearing one. The rest can be accessed via the pause menu, this swapping explained in-game as the TARDIS-like depths of Metal Gear Mark 2, a foot-tall robot which seemingly has no issues containing more or less every weapon on this page along with enough ammunition to destroy Belgium. Snake's currently equipped weapons each count their weight towards a total for all gear; heavy loads will cause his "stress" meter (which governs how well he can aim ranged weapons) to rise faster when he moves around. Only weapons count towards weight; ammunition is treated as weighing nothing. This gets bizarre with disposable systems where each reload is a whole weapon in itself but all except the currently held one are treated as weightless "ammunition;" for example, only one of the fifty LAWs Snake can be carrying actually weighs anything for purposes of inventory weight.
Weapons can be found in the environment, but often feature biometric ID locks which prevent unauthorized use. To remove these, Snake can access a "gun launderer" by the name of Drebin and exchange points earned for the "war price" of repeatedly collected weapons, allowing him to purchase ammunition, buy new weapons and accessories, or unlock already collected ID-locked weapons for use. Drebin is explained as having an inside line to the "System" which controls the ID chips so he can replace existing chips with factory blanks (the process leading to the pun of the character called Drebin saying he sells "Naked Guns"), but in reality such an operative would quickly find himself driven out of business by rogue gunsmiths simply replacing the ID lock parts with the original mechanical ones and bypassing the "System" entirely.
The game removes the "Tactical Reload" option of previous games where unequipping and re-equipping a weapon would instantly reload it; weapons now actually have to be reloaded properly. The animations have an odd quirk: apparently between games, Snake has decided to start practicing the "Middle Eastern Technique" mentioned in Metal Gear Solid 3 of always chambering a new round when reloading, even when performing a mid-magazine reload. Despite this being described in that game as a pistol shooting technique, he does it with every weapon except pistols; they are correctly shown ejecting an unfired round when he does it unless the magazine was totally spent when the reload is performed. This seems largely done to explain what happens to the "extra" round that was in the chamber of closed-bolt weapons, or otherwise to keep from having to program two reload animations for every weapon. The few open-bolt weapons in this game (realistically) do not eject a round when reloaded, as their mechanisms do not function that way.
The game features an accessory system for weapons, with certain guns able to be customised; this is rather inconsistent, with many weapons not able to receive any modifications at all while only a handful have more than one or two accessory points, the majority limited to either an optional suppressor, underbarrel launcher or taclight. The showcase of the system is Snake's signature "M4 Custom" rifle, which can accept the largest number of accessories of any weapon. Shotguns and most grenade launchers also feature multiple types of ammunition, and weapons typically feature selectable fire modes if they have them in real life.
Accessory tactical weapon lights are shown rather strangely in game; apparently Snake has a fundamentalist attitude towards light discipline and maintains it everywhere, even in broad daylight. This means taclights will only be flashed on and off briefly regardless of what the player wants; the result is only really useful for briefly blinding guards if Snake points the light in their face at extremely close range. However, taclights used by player characters in Metal Gear Online did not behave in this manner and would remain switched on until manually turned off.
Furthermore, suppressors in the game are handled differently (and less realistically) than they were in the previous game. Suppressed weapons will no longer revert to being unsuppressed once an attached suppressor is worn out; instead, a replacement will automatically and instantly be attached, even if the previous one wore out in the middle of the gun's firing a long burst. In the previous game, a gun with a worn-out suppressor would have it automatically pop off, reverting the weapon to unsuppressed fire until another suppressor was remounted manually, but in this game a suppressed weapon will only revert to being unsuppressed if Snake has no suppressors left for that weapon in his inventory. This was likely done because the PS3 controller's buttons were already assigned to other functions (such as changing ammunition types or turning taclights on/off) in the inventory view, and manually remounting a suppressor by pausing the game and going to the customisation menu would be too cumbersome.
The maximum capacity for many types of ammunition in this game (as well as the number on Drebin's APC) is 893. This is a reference to Japan's yakuza gangs. The word "yakuza" comes from the Japanese pronunciation of 8-9-3, which is a hand in the traditional Japanese card game Oicho-Kabu that scores zero when drawn.
Big Boss's highly customised M1911 from Operation Snake Eater can unlocked via entering a password. Being an unlockable "special" weapon, it deals more damage than the other .45 ACP handguns. The Custom M1911 can be fitted with its own unique degradable suppressor; it is not compatible with the ones for Snake's Springfield TRP.
EAA Tanfoglio Thor .45-70
The Thor .45-70 is a highly accurate and incredibly powerful single-shot break action pistol (referred to in the description as a "hand rifle," but more accurately described as a rifle-caliber pistol) that must be manually chambered after every shot. It is Liquid Ocelot's signature weapon, both in singleplayer and multiplayer; in the singleplayer story he only actually fires it once, and his outfit does not display it openly as previous game did with his revolvers. It can be unlocked and used by the player by either earning the Foxhound emblem or entering a code, and comes with a unique red dot sight; this cannot be removed, and the weapon has no other customization options.
Presumably his use of this weapon over his traditional revolvers is supposed to show the dominance of the Liquid Snake personality over Ocelot's own, with its single-minded focus on power. As the Thor is an M1911 derivative, there is also a parallel between his armament and Snake's, both from the same base but with one focused on strength to the exclusion of anything else, while the other focuses on efficient operation.
The FN Five-seveN is the standard sidearm for Liquid Ocelot's elite FROG special operations unit (FROG standing for absolutely nothing, but probably has to do with their tendency of jumping all over the place), and is also one of the weapons used by Dwarf Gekko drones. It can be bought from Drebin, taken from a destroyed Dwarf Gekko, or taken from a FROG by disarming them of their primary weapon and then killing them or knocking them out. Since it shares ammunition with the fairly common P90, it is unlikely to have problems with ammunition, and it has a large magazine. However, it cannot mount a suppressor, the only option being a tactical light. The presence of the weapon is a reference to Metal Gear: Ghost Babel and the Ac!d games, where it is Solid Snake's primary weapon.
The Glock 18C is the rarely-used sidearm of the rebels in Act II, and can also be purchased from Drebin. It also has a 33-round magazine, and oddly enough, is the only 9x19mm handgun in the game. It can be customised with a tactical flashlight. The weapon is a reference to Metal Gear Solid 2, where Fatman's weapon of choice (aside from bombs) was a Glock 18, albeit with a 19-round magazine instead. This handgun is also available in multiplayer.
Heckler & Koch Mark 23 Phase II Prototype
The Heckler & Koch Mark 23 Phase II Prototype can be found in the game in Act 4; its status as Solid Snake's previous handgun in the original Metal Gear Solid is noted. It is also used in the Raven Sword PMC commercial in the introduction, and is seen in the holsters of Meryl's Rat Patrol soldiers and Raiden. The SOCOM presented in MGS1, MGS2 and MGS4 is the Phase II model prototype submitted for trials in the USSOCOM Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) competition around the later part of 1991, and not the actual production model Mark 23 Mod 0. It is distinguished by small cocking serrations on the front of the slide, which the production model, Mod 0, does not have. The Mark 23 mounts the distinctive blocky LAM under the barrel as in previous games, and can also be fitted with a degradable suppressor. The Mark 23 is the subject of a number of the game's "Easter eggs," including being found almost exactly where it was in the original game. This is the only place it can be found in the campaign, and it is never available from Drebin; the only other way to unlock it is via a cheat code.
This weapon is available in multiplayer, and is also the only firearm that the special character Raiden is equipped with.
IMI Desert Eagle Mark XIX
The Desert Eagle, simply called the "D.E." is used by Meryl Silverburgh ingame. It can be purchased from Drebin, or occasionally picked up from the "Dwarf Gekko" drones (who amazingly have the strength to fire it accurately from one undersized mechanical hand). A 10-inch barrelled variant with a scope can be unlocked, and is also used by Meryl.
A number of bizarre graphical glitches plague this weapon in the game. First, when Snake reloads the long-barrelled Desert Eagle, he holds an entire second gun in his off-hand rather than just a fresh magazine. Second, there are times when Meryl's slide will lock back and she will not play the reload animation. There may or may not be a round loaded when the second glitch happens; her remaining rounds can't be seen, so it is hard to tell. Third, when Meryl draws her long-barrelled Desert Eagle there are moments in the game when it is still visible within her thigh holster.
This weapon is available in the game's multiplayer mode, Metal Gear Online. Players using Meryl's character online who equip a standard Desert Eagle in the pistol slot and the long-barrelled variant in the primary weapon slot will allow her to switch from one gun to another when the first is empty, without ever pausing to reload.
Luger P08 "Artillery Model"
During the bizarre live-action introduction sequences, one of the channels shows a PMC advertisement with two people in Middle Eastern-style robes hovering in mid-air as the camera circles around them. The one in white is armed with a long-barrelled "Artillery Model" Luger P08.
The Makarov PMM is used by the rebel "mark" Snake has to track during the third Act, and can be purchased from Drebin. It is also the sidearm of the Paradise Lost resistance group as a whole, though they are only seen using it in cutscenes. There is little to be said for it; it uses uncommon ammunition, cannot be customised or suppressed, and really seems to only be in the game to give the rebels in Act 3 a suitably Eastern European sidearm.
Mk 22 Mod 0 "Hush Puppy"
In the third Act, a painting of Big Boss brandishing his M1911 Custom with his Mk 22 Mod 0 (Navy modified Smith & Wesson Model 39) holstered is briefly focused on.
The PSS can be found in several areas throughout the game or bought from Drebin; Drebin seems to have an odd fondness for this weapon, and it commands a premium price when found. It uses 6-round magazines with special "silent" 7.62x42mm ammunition, making it a lethal counterpart to the Mk II tranquilizer pistol (neither has a degradable suppressor). The PSS previously made a brief appearance in Metal Gear Solid 2, but this game is the first time it became usable by a player character in this series.
The Race Gun is based on Strayer Voigt Inc's 1911-styled double stack pistols; it is not even close to a modern high-end race gun, with only the choice of ammunition really distinguishing it as anything unusual. The gun holds 19 rounds in 9x23mm Winchester which is a moderately powered pistol cartridge; the game's version, for reasons which are never particularly apparent, uses rounds lightly loaded with smokeless powder, providing barely enough force to cycle the gun's mechanism. In game terms, this means the low-powered bullets will ricochet off hard surfaces and can be used for the "trick shots" showcased by Revolver Ocelot with his Colt Single Action Army in previous games; the result is basically just a gimmick gun for showing off, and is useless in practical terms thanks to its low damage stats (which appropriately reflect the stopping power of such underloaded ammunition). Once the game is completed at least once, the pistol will be unlocked automatically. The Race Gun cannot be customised.
Ruger Mk II
An integrally suppressed, manually operated fictional variant of the Ruger Mk II, that fires tranquilizer rounds and has grips with a built-in laser sight and what appears to be a carbon-fiber barrel / upper receiver. It is given to Solid Snake by Otacon early in the game. After the game is completed, it is also able to fire fictional "Emotion" darts which induce one of the game's four psychological states (Cry, Laugh, Rage and Scream) in the target before knocking them out. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
Shansi Type 17
Used by Big Mama, this is a Chinese made version of the Mauser C96, chambered for .45 ACP ammunition. The Type 17 can be fired in semi-auto or - incorrectly - full-auto (the real Type 17 never had select-fire capability), and uses a 10-round fixed magazine loaded with a single 10-round stripper clip (common for other C96 versions, but the Chinese copies were usually issued with 5-rounders which allowed them to be reloaded once five or more rounds had been fired). It lacks any customisation options (not even able the option to mount its well-known stock) and also cannot be reloaded until it is totally empty. It can be unlocked by earning the Hound emblem at the end of the game, or through entering a code. While this is the weapon Big Mama used in her previous guise as Eva in Metal Gear Solid 3, it is not the same Type 17, since that one was lost during the motorcycle chase. Big Mama uses this weapon to destroy three Dwarf Gekko drones which manage to infiltrate her European hideout.
The SIG-Sauer GSR is the standard sidearm for all four of the game's Private Military Companies, and is also used by the small "Dwarf Gekko" drones. Any PMC soldier disarmed of his primary weapon will draw his GSR; the weapon can also be purchased from Drebin or found in a side-room in the first Act. The GSR uses the common .45 ACP round, but is inferior to Snake's default Springfield Operator due to being unable to mount a suppressor (though it does have the advantage of a slightly higher magazine capacity compared to the Operator).
This weapon is available in multiplayer, and if the "Drebin Points" option is not enabled, the GSR will become the only lethal pistol available to players who are not using unique storyline characters.
Springfield Armory TRP
A customized Springfield Armory TRP is Old Snake's signature handgun in Metal Gear Solid 4, and the weapon he most commonly has equipped during cutscenes; it is clearly designed to resemble the custom M1911 used by Big Boss during the previous game, though it is by no means identical. It is given to him for free (along with a Ruger Mk II pistol) by Otacon early in the first Act of the game; Otacon comments that it was never integrated into the System, hence Snake's ability to use it before meeting Drebin. The Operator has the ability to mount both a tactical flashlight and a degradable suppressor, being one of only two pistols able to mount a suppressor and underbarrel accessory (the other being the Mk 23), and uses the very common .45 ACP round. Like the Ruger Mk II, aiming it will automatically activate a laser sight - in this case, it appears to be a Lasermax style sight built into the guide rod, with the activation switch on the slide stop. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
The in-game TRP has some difference from the actual Springfield version. It has no front-cocking serrations, a olive drab finished frame similar to the Springfield Armory Loaded MC Operator, the front of the frame is not flush with the cuts in the slide, four "teeth" on the under-barrel rail instead of three, wood grips, and a threaded barrel with a standard 1911 bushing.
This category in-game also includes the "Patriot" compact carbine, but that weapon is listed under assault rifles due to firing an intermediate round rather than a pistol round.
The FN P90 is the primary weapon of Liquid Ocelot's FROG commando unit and is also used by Laughing Octopus in-game; since the FROGs are a common enemy in the game, ammunition is fairly plentiful. The P90 correctly features an integral reflex sight on the carrying handle, and also has three accessory mounting points, able to fit a suppressor, laser aiming module and a tactical light. Unusually for a game, the 50-round polycarbonate magazine is correctly shown as translucent, and visibly empties as the weapon is fired in first person. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and if the "Drebin Points" option is enabled, it becomes the most expensive weapon of its type in that mode, thanks to its ease of use and plethora of customisation options.
Heckler & Koch MP5SD2
The Heckler & Koch MP5SD2 can be purchased from Drebin and is equipped with an integral, non-degrading suppressor. However, the tradeoff is that it is one of the weakest weapons in the entire game, and uses the surprisingly uncommon 9x19mm round. This weapon is available in multiplayer, but cannot be customised. The appearance of this weapon is a reference to the "Integral" version of the original Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation 1 console that was sold only in Japan, where it was available on the Very Easy difficulty and had infinite ammunition.
Heckler & Koch MP7A1
The Heckler & Koch MP7A1 is used by several of the PMC operatives in game. It can be first found and used by the player in Act 2 and can be equipped with a unique red dot sight or the ACOG scope. For whatever reason, the weapon is depicted ingame as being distinctly inferior to the P90, lacking any option to attach a suppressor, tactical light, or laser sight (all of which it can use in real life). It is also stuck with using a low-capacity 20-round magazine ingame (intended for use for when the MP7 is issued as a select-fire backup weapon), instead of its more appropriate 40-round magazine.
In the live-action commercial for the Praying Mantis PMC that plays as part of a bizarre sequence at the start of the game, a motorcyclist is shown using a full-size Uzi submachine gun at one point, though in the rest of the sequence it is a Micro Uzi.
IMI Mini Uzi
In the rest of the Praying Mantis commercial the biker instead uses a Mini Uzi, using the folded stock as a foregrip. The weapon is probably a replica or Airsoft gun, since the muzzle flashes are CG and the charging handle does not move when it fires.
Izhmash PP-19 Bizon
The Izhmash PP-19 Bizon can be purchased from Drebin; the game claims it to be a "new Russian submachine gun," even though it was twelve years old when the game came out and is eighteen years old in the game's universe; the version in-game is not even a current model, instead being based on the earliest production model. The version in game is chambered for 9x18mm Makarov, which translates into a 64-round magazine capacity. The Bizon cannot be customized.
The MAC-10 can be purchased from Drebin or found in Act 2 in the hands of the leftist Rebels. It can be equipped with a suppressor, and uses a 30-round magazine of .45 ACP ammunition. Unlike most depictions, Snake actually uses both hands and the stock ingame. Being an open-bolt weapon, it is possibly the only gun in the game with two reload animations. If Snake reloads with ammunition still left in the magazine, he will simply remove and replace it with a loaded one as he would a handgun. On the other hand, if Snake reloads the MAC-10 from an empty magazine, he will first retract the bolt before removing and replacing the magazine. Realistically, in neither case is a round ejected when reloading this weapon.
Skorpion Vz 82
The SA Vz. 82 Skorpion is used by Paradise Lost resistance members riding motorcycles in the Eastern Europe section of the game (Act 3), and is given to Old Snake by Big Mama in the same level. While called the "Vz. 83" ingame, the game shows it as being chambered in 9x18mm Makarov rather than .380 ACP, making it a Vz. 82. It comes equipped with a visible laser sight.
Its comparatively low magazine capacity of 20 rounds, low stats, and inability to be customised, coupled with the fact that FN P90s can be obtained for free much earlier ingame, make it arguably a weapon hardly-chosen by most players, so it's largely for the nostalgia factor in singleplayer (the very similar Sa. Vz.61 Skorpion made an appearance in Metal Gear Solid 3), though players can still take advantage of the fact that it's the submachine gun with highest lock-on in the game, being especially useful for one-shotting enemies during the Act 3 chase scene. Multiplayer, however, is a different story, as it is the only firearm in its inventory slot to be available free of charge (if Drebin Points are enabled) for non-unique player characters, as well as possessing the longest auto-aim lock-on range of any weapon in multiplayer modes.
All shotguns in this game can use 00 buckshot, shotgun slugs, or non-lethal "vortex ring" ammunition. The latter references an experimental less-lethal system the US Army studied starting in 1998, using a specialised blank cartridge and a divergent muzzle device to "fire" a focused subsonic pulse of high-spin compressed air (the titular vortex ring) potentially for hundreds of feet and with the possibly of carrying chemical riot control agents or marking dye within the vortex. The project used a modified Mk 19 grenade launcher with 100,000 PSI blank cartridges and chemical reservoirs fitted to the muzzle device, but reliability issues, spillage of agents along the flight path and the ease of dodging the extremely loud subsonic vortex ring led to the conclusion that the weapon was not suitable for crowd control.
Remington 870 Custom
A heavily customised Remington 870 can be purchased from Drebin or found in the second Act; it comes with a Surefire dedicated forend WeaponLight as standard, and can also be equipped with an Aimpoint red dot sight or ACOG scope; if neither is fitted, it will have no sights at all, with Snake simply aiming along the top-mounted rail. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and is the only weapon of its type in that mode if the "Drebin Points" option is not enabled.
Remington 870 "MasterKey"
A short barrelled Remington 870 configured like an Knight's Armament Masterkey is available as an attachment for the "M4 Custom" only, and can be found in the hands of PMC search teams; curiously, they have it equipped in a standalone configuration with a pistol grip and stock, raising the question of why they aren't just using a regular full-size shotgun instead. The inferior tube magazine capacity and lower effective range would make it far less useful than a full-sized shotgun for general use, and for close quarters combat or door breaching a purpose-built short shotgun would be a far more logical choice than issuing a rifle accessory which needs to be attached to another accessory to actually function.
The Saiga-12 can be purchased from Drebin. It is the only weapon of its type capable of semiautomatic fire, as well as the only one that uses a detachable box magazine (with a capacity of 8 rounds); along with very clear iron sights, this makes it distinctly superior to the other shotguns in more or less every regard. This weapon is available in multiplayer, but cannot be customised.
A sawed off side-by-side double barrel shotgun, that can either be found in the game or purchased from Drebin. For some reason, Old Snake is restricted to using it with a one-handed grip. He can also only fire both barrels at once. Besides Snake, several members of the South American militia, as well as at least one Paradise Lost member utilise this type of weapon.
Assault Rifles / Battle Rifles
The AK-102 is used by the rebel forces in the Middle East section (Act 1), and is Solid Snake's first weapon in the game (next to Solid Snake right after the first cutscene after the opening). Until he rendezvouses with the Metal Gear Mk II, the AK-102 is the only firearm that Solid Snake has at the beginning of the game, forcing the player to rely on stealth to get past the game's introductory level. It can be equipped with a GP-30 grenade launcher. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and if the "Drebin Points" option is enabled, the AK-102 becomes the cheapest assault rifle in that mode.
The AN-94 can be found in a shack at the beginning of Act 2 or purchased from Drebin. It can be equipped with a GP-30 grenade launcher. The game correctly simulates the weapon's unusual mode of fully-automatic fire by first firing a 1,800 RPM two-round burst, before cycling the following rounds at 600 RPM. While it is powerful and accurate, it features a very poor iron sight and 5.45x39mm ammunition pickups are basically non-existent, with only a handful in the fourth Act. Its presence is a reference to Metal Gear Solid 2, where Russian mercenaries under the command of Olga Gurlukovich were equipped with the AN-94 during their attack on the Big Shell; unlike its previous incarnation, however, the AN-94 in this game cannot mount a tactical flashlight.
During the bizarre live-action introduction sequences, one of the channels shows a PMC advertisement with two people in Middle Eastern-style robes hovering in mid-air as the camera circles around them. The one in black is armed with an AKS-74U.
The FAMAS is not usable in the game, but appears in flashbacks to Metal Gear Solid, as well as the brief "nightmare" sequence of MGS1 gameplay.
The FN FAL, labelled the FAL Carbine, is seen in the hands of the rebel forces in the Eastern Europe section of the game (Act 3). It can be purchased from Drebin like most other firearms in the game. Snake acquires two or three during cutscenes in Act 3, either disarming someone or taking one from a corpse, but hands them back to their owner or to someone else shortly afterwards each time; the sole rebel actually seen in normal gameplay does not use it either, leaving it as the only 7.62mm NATO weapon that has to be purchased directly from Drebin, rather than stolen and unlocked or being added to the player's arsenal after a cutscene. Its battle rifle cartridge makes it more powerful shot-for-shot than the ingame assault rifles, and its low rate of fire combined with the long range of its round allows effective full-auto fire from a much longer range, but it can't be customised.
FN SCAR-H CQC
The short-barrelled CQC variant of the FN SCAR-H, referred to under its SOCOM "Mk. 17" designation, is the standard battle rifle used by the PMC troops ingame. It can be found fairly early on in Act 1 (simply by killing, subduing, sedating, or disarming PMC troops) up to Act 3, and can be upgraded with various optics, an LDI OTAL (Offset Tactical Aiming Laser), a flashlight and one of two vertical foregrips; it cannot, however, mount the XM320 grenade launcher, Masterkey shotgun, or a suppressor. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
Heckler & Koch G3A3
The Heckler & Koch G3A3 is seen in the hands of the leftist insurgents in the South America section of the game (Act 2). It can also be purchased via Drebin like most other firearms in the game, but cannot be customised. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
Heckler & Koch XM8 Carbine
The Heckler & Koch XM8 is used by the Rat Patrol and other US troops in game, curiously still called XM8 even though it has obviously been formally adopted by the US military in Metal Gear Solid 4's world. It can be found by the player in a secluded area in Act 2, but cannot be purchased from Drebin. The version seen in game has an early XM8 flash hider with the rest of the features of the later model. It comes with a built-in red dot sight and can be equipped with an XM320 grenade launcher, but no other accessories. Meryl's team each have different versions of the rifle, two of which are not available to the player; Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki uses the compact carbine configuration, Johnathan uses the standard one with a grenade launcher, and Ed has the designated marksman variant. The standard version of the XM8 is available in multiplayer.
Heckler & Koch XM8 Compact Carbine
The Heckler & Koch XM8 Compact Carbine, the shortest configuration of the XM8, is used by Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki, a member of Meryl Silverburgh's "Rat Patrol" FOXHound unit. While Heckler & Koch marketed this version as the "PDW" configuration, it fires a full-sized assault rifle round, therefore is classified here as a rifle. It is unavailable in singleplayer, but the Johnny Sasaki unique character in multiplayer can use it, and is the only player character in that mode who can select it at the beginning of a match or when respawning. In this mode, it retains the standard variation's red dot sight, but cannot be customised.
A customised M4A1 is Solid Snake's assault rifle of choice and is given to him early in Act 1 by Drebin. In the first trailers, he instead steals it from a PMC soldier, and it is equipped with an EOTech 552 sight and a tan XM320 40mm grenade launcher. In the actual game, it can be equipped with an Aimpoint Comp M2 red dot sight, an ACOG scope, a Surefire tactical flashlight, a LDI OTAL (Offset Tactical Aiming Laser), a Knights Armament Company (KAC) or TangoDown vertical foregrip, a Remington 870 Masterkey underbarrel shotgun, an H&K XM320 grenade launcher, and a KAC suppressor. The sheer number of attachments, combined with excellent accuracy, low recoil and the abundance of 5.56mm ammo, makes this one of the best rifles available for a good bit into Act 3. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
The weapon itself is based on the M4A1 carbine with a 14.5" barrel, tan A2 pistol grip and tan LE 6-position buttstock. It is equipped as standard with Precision Reflex Industries (PRI) folding front and ARMS#40L rear sights, a Troy Industries CQB flash hider ("CQC compatible") and a KAC RAS. Though the latter is supposed to be free-floating, it is incorrectly rendered with a standard M4A1 handguard cap.
Drebin makes a series of patently false claims about the M4A1 as shown; he tells Snake the barrel is free-floating ("of course") despite that the weapon's handguard has an end cap, and claims the weapon is "popular with the big PMCs" despite none ever using it (however, it should be noted that PMC soldiers were shown carrying M4A1s instead of SCAR-Hs in pre-release footage), and claiming it is "the official carbine model used by US Army" even though in the fiction the US Army is shown to have adopted the XM8.
This custom full-auto-only stockless M16A1 with a significantly shortened muzzle-braked barrel and smooth handguard based on the Rocky Mountain Arms Patriot Pistol and partially inspired by the M231 Firing Port Weapon that was a originally used by The Boss, is seen briefly at the end of the game. It is wielded by Big Boss, shortly before dropping it and then disarming Solid Snake and embracing him in a fatherly hug.
It can be unlocked by earning the Big Boss emblem after the end of the game or by a password. Its most notable trait is that it has unlimited ammo and never needs to be reloaded (the in-game reason is how its Beta-C magazine, misnamed in the previous game as the "feed mechanism," vaguely resembles the sideways-8 infinity symbol); it also plays part of the "Snake Eater" theme from Metal Gear Solid 3 when aimed. It is classified as an SMG, despite firing an intermediate rifle round, which would in reality make it an ultracompact carbine. The Patriot cannot be customised in-game.
This weapon was available in multiplayer, but only if a player is randomly selected to have access to it. For some reason, the Patriot in multiplayer is treated as a suppressed weapon with absolutely no firing sounds (even though it cannot mount a suppressor due to the muzzle brake), and its stopping power in that mode is minimal. Unlike Metal Gear Solid 3, player characters will use their off-hand to hold the weapon by its magazine, unlike Big Boss in the aforementioned game who used his off-hand to hold the weapon's handguard.
Sniper Rifles / Designated Marksman Rifles
The M82A2 can be purchased from Drebin, is Hideo Kojima's personal favourite, and is used the US military forces in Act 3 and later by Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki during Act 5, a curious weapon choice when it is clear that a weapon capable of extended automatic fire would be much better suited to the particular environment he's literally being thrown into. It is also exclusively available to the Akiba special character in multiplayer.
The DSR-1, a bolt-action sniper rifle with a bullpup layout, is used by FROG snipers and can be bought from Drebin; doing so is rather pointless, however, since Snake is automatically given an unlocked DSR-1 at the end of Act 2, after he uses it in a cutscene to free Raiden from Vamp's clutches. This weapon can actually be seen in Snake's possession before this on a rack of weapons on board the Nomad during the briefing sequences, next to the helicopter in the transport bay. The weapon is loud and features a fairly slow bolt-action; this along with a lack of customisation options places it distinctly behind the Mk 14 Mod 0 EBR and VSS in terms of versatility. The ingame calibre is specified to be 7.62x67mm, making it .300 Winchester Magnum. It is used by a few PMC and FROG snipers, the latter resulting in one of the game's more memorably unrealistic scenes in Act 3. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
Heckler & Koch PSG-1
While not usable in the game, the "press X" flashback after defeating Crying Wolf shows Sniper Wolf's death scene in the original game, with the defeated sniper holding her signature Heckler & Koch PSG-1.
Heckler & Koch XM8 Sharpshooter
A Heckler & Koch XM8 Sharpshooter Rifle is used by the character "Ed," a member of Meryl Silverburgh's "Rat Patrol" FOXHound unit. It is never available to the player.
Mk 14 Mod 0 Enhanced Battle Rifle
A hybrid of the M14 EBR-RI and Mk 14 Mod 0, respectively the US Army and Navy SEAL versions, is used by PMC marksmen in-game and can be purchased from Drebin. Physically, it more closely resembles the EBR-RI, including the black chassis, longer barrel, and original-style flash hider with the front sight attached to it rather than to part of the gas block. However, it utilizes the Mod 0's more distinctive Sage 90905 pistol grip rather than the EBR-RI's M14ERGO, and it has a selector switch which gives it the Mk 14's capability for full-auto fire.
It is the only weapon classified as a sniper rifle in the game that can be modified, with options of a suppressor (making it one of only two suppressed sniper rifles in the game), laser sight, and flashlight. Its full-auto mode makes it very useful even in short-range combat, and the fact that it is available early on, combined with its extensive list of modifications and the fact that it shares ammo with the majority of the PMCs' weapons makes it one of the best guns in the game. This weapon is also available in multiplayer.
It is primarily used by the Praying Mantis PMC in Act 1, with a sniper-spotter team in the intro using one to take out the driver of the truck following behind the one Snake rode in on. The Pieuvre Armement PMC in Act 2 also makes use of the weapon, though in much lower numbers due to the wider array of weapons they make use of; by Act 3, enemies stop making use of the weapon, as the FROGs prefer the DSR-1, the Raven Sword PMC has little use for a sniper rifle in patrolling the streets of a city under lockdown, and the Dwarf Gekko deployed in Act 4 are simply not capable of making use of anything bigger than a pistol.
Mosin Nagant Sniper
A modified Mosin Nagant sniper rifle with a paratrooper stock and pistol grip can be purchased from Drebin in-game. It is similar, but not identical to, the rifle used by The End in MGS3 (with it being implied in the weapons description as well as Drebin's Database entry that he modified the gun to be similar to The End's famous rifle due to being a fan of legendary military units). Like its MGS3 incarnation, this Mosin Nagant rifle is modified to only fire tranquilizer darts, though in this game this also includes fictional "Emotion" darts which cause targets to experience one of the game's four psychological states (Cry, Rage, Laugh or Scream). However, the Mosin Nagant rifle in this game has a 5-round internal magazine capacity (compared to The End's rifle which was single shot only), and is no longer treated as a silenced weapon. It can be reloaded with a 5-round stripper clip, even if it is not totally empty. This weapon is available in multiplayer, but without the "Emotion" ammunition.
The SVDS, a modernised, shortened version of the SVD Dragunov intended for paratroop use is seen in the hands of militiamen and rebel snipers in Acts 1 and 2. The weapon cannot be customised or mount any kind of suppressor, but the ammunition is relatively cheap and the weapon a semi-automatic rather than bolt-action, making it a middle-of-the-road weapon. The scope features an error: the number in the stadiametric rangefinder indicating the height of the reference target is "10" rather than the correct "1.7;" either that or in Snake's world shooting at 32-foot tall monsters is more important than shooting at infantry. This weapon is available in multiplayer.
The VSS Vintorez appears in the game, and can only be found in a room in Act 2; it cannot be bought from Drebin at any point in the game. It has an integral (non-degradable) suppressor, and like the M14EBR is capable of fully-automatic fire, though its shallower 10-round magazine can become a liability in close-range firefights. Since it uses the same reticle model, it duplicates the Dragunov's error of showing the reference height for the target as 10 metres instead of 1.7 metres. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and is capable of firing tranquilizer rounds in multiplayer only.
As was the case in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with the Stoner 63, player characters firing machine guns continuously will yell in classic "Rambo" tradition. Weapons in this category all have a strange ammunition display quirk; the ammunition bar only shows fifty rounds, with every tenth round marked white. This will scroll as the gun is fired and only count down when 49 or fewer rounds are left on the belt.
Heckler & Koch HK21E
The Heckler & Koch HK21E is seen in the hands of a rebel militiaman in the early portion of the Middle East section of the game (Act 1). In a conversation that can be overheard if the player remains hidden or has earned the trust of the rebels, he claims that it is an enemy gun, yet strangely none of the PMC troopers in the level are seen using it. The rebel militiaman also refers to it as "the very latest model", when in actuality the weapon was designed in the 1980s, some 30 years before the events of the game take place. It can be stolen in this location, or can be purchased via Drebin like most other firearms.
The PK Machine Gun is seen in the hands of militia and rebels in Act 2. At the time this machine gun is first made available to the player, this gun is a good 40-50% more powerful at close range than any other automatic weapon. However, ammo is uncommon and expensive and it cannot be customised.
The M60E4 is used by the PMC operatives in game. It can be equipped with optics, foregrips, a laser sight, and a flashlight. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and is the only weapon of its type in that mode. Unlike the MAC-10 (the only other open-bolt weapon in the game), Snake will always pull the bolt back after reloading the M60E4 (in reality this is only necessary for open-bolt weapons if the trigger was held down after the last round in a magazine/belt was fired).
Mk. 46 Mod. 0
The Mk. 46 Mod. 0 can be purchased from Drebin; it is mislabelled as a Mod 1, but has the 12 o'clock rail on the handguard that is not present on the Mod 1. It features the same customisation as the M60, but it is much lighter and fires the less powerful 5.56x45mm cartridge.
The FGM-148 Javelin is found in Act 1 and can be purchased from Drebin. It is erroneously shown as a SACLOS device requiring full-course guidance by the operator, with Snake discarding the entire launcher including the CLU after every shot and pulling out a fresh Javelin from more or less nowhere; it also cannot be used in top-attack mode by the player. Most of the time it is used by NPCs it is seen being used in an incorrect direct-fire mode; in real life, even shots fired in this mode start their flight with a rapid climb, while in game the missile flies straight forwards. The only time it is shown firing correctly is during Act 1, when a group of hidden PMC soldiers will fire missiles in top-attack mode to destroy a rebel BMP-3 IFV if the player protects it for long enough.
It is never at all clear why it operates the way it does; presumably, the lack of lock-on capability is to separate the weapon functionally from the Stinger, and the SACLOS guidance intended to be reminiscent of MGS1 and MGS2's fly-by-wire "Nikita" missile launcher, but this doesn't really explain why the resulting mechanics were given to a Javelin launcher rather than a fictional ATGM system.
The FIM-92 Stinger can be purchased from Drebin, and is also found in the back of the truck in the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building, Floor 1, in Act 4. Unlike previous games where it was reloaded in a completely unspecified manner, in MGS4 Snake will discard the launcher after firing (without detaching the gripstock) and pull another one from thin air. As per series norms, the Stinger is incorrectly shown as a strange all-purpose missile, able to lock on to aircraft, ground vehicles, and even infantry with its iron sight somehow functioning as a digital display, and the missile is shown seeking straight out of the tube rather than flying in a straight line for 660 feet as with the real weapon. As is common in media, it is shown with the IFF antenna opened up even though Snake is not wearing the IFF interrogator box required to render the antenna actually useful. Snake also does not insert a BCU into the launcher, meaning it would have no power and the seeker would not function.
The GP-30 grenade launcher can be attached to the AK-102 and AN-94. It can be found in the Advent Palace Hotel in Act 1, in a secret room at the start of Act 2, or bought from Drebin. It can be used in multiplayer on the AK-102 if Drebin Points are enabled. The GP-30 correctly does not share ammunition with the other 40mm grenade launchers (as it uses caseless VOG-25 grenades, which are incompatible with 40mm NATO grenade launchers); in game, it can only use high explosive rounds.
Heckler & Koch XM25 Mock-Up
An early mock-up of the Heckler & Koch XM25 made for demonstration purposes is shown in game as the actual weapon. A semi-automatic grenade launcher chambered in 25mm, it fires airbursting HEAB (High Explosive Air Bursting) rounds, which function rather like the PK rockets in Battlefield 2142; while the weapon is held normally they are simply impact detonated, but scoping shows a display with an always-on rangefinder. Pressing up or down on the D-pad freezes at the currently displayed range, with further presses adjusting the detonation distance up or down. It can be found on the catwalk of one of the control towers in Act 4, and is the only heavy weapon usable during the motorcycle chase in Act 3.
Heckler & Koch XM320
A mixture of the early version and later version of the Heckler & Koch XM320 grenade launcher is the underbarrel launcher for the M4 Custom and XM8 rifle; it lacks the MP7-style folding front grip added to the production M320 and has the early style trigger guard, therefore is correctly labelled in the game, even if it makes little sense in-universe for it to still have an XM- designation. It can be purchased from Drebin, and is also carried by some PMC members in stand-alone form in the South America portion of the game; it cannot be used by the player in this form. The XM320 has four ammo types; it can fire HE rounds, white phosphorous, stun grenades and smoke rounds. The attachment is also available in multiplayer.
The M72 LAW is used by a small number of rebels in Act 2. It is a little strange for this extremely elderly LAW variant to still be around during the game's events: the A3 was superseded in the 80s.
Milkor MGL Mk 1L
The Milkor MGL Mk 1L appears as the "MGL-140," it is used by Raging Raven and is acquired by Solid Snake upon defeating her. This weapon had been responsible for causing the van Snake and Big Mama had been escorting to crash. Upon retrieving it from Raging Raven, Drebin offers to remove the ID lock for Snake, although under the condition that after the events of the mission are over, Drebin be supplied with the weapon itself (it's implied in his databank entry that the reason for this condition is due to his being a big fan of legendary units including the BB Corps). It shares the ammunition reserve of the XM320, and can use the same four ammunition types: HE fragmentation, white phosphorous, "flashbang" stun rounds and smoke rounds.
The RPG-7 is used by the rebels in the first Act, and a large number of unlocked RPG-7s are present throughout the first stage, seemingly primarily to give the player some quick Drebin Points due to their high trade-in value. This weapon is available in multiplayer, and is the only one of its type in that mode.
Thrown / Placed
Airsoft gas charger grenade
A grenade with a thin, smooth cylindrical body is used as the model for both the "flashbang" stun grenades and the game's fictional electronic warfare "chaff" grenades. This appears to be based on a grenade-shaped gas bottle for Airsoft guns, such as the one shown below. Stun grenades can be found throughout the game or bought from Drebin, and stun all enemies within a fixed radius who can see them while also causing an instant alert if there wasn't one already. The Chaff Grenade is treated as a "secret" weapon; only a handful can be found during the entire game, usually in out-of-the-way places, and Drebin never sells them; they are basically a short-duration EMP-like effect rather flimsily explained as strips of metal which are spread throughout the entire current area via magic. Using one temporarily disables security cameras, alarms and enemy radios, and temporarily paralyses any drone vehicles present. This lasts until the magic fades and all the strips of metal return to wherever they came from in the first place.
M112 C4 Demolition Charge
Remote-detonated M112 C4 Demolition Charges are available during the game, and can be placed on the ground or objects and then detonated in the order they were originally placed. Precisely what attaches them to surfaces is not clear; the charges can be fixed to non-magnetic surfaces, and lack any obvious adhesive.
M18 Smoke Grenade
The M18 smoke grenade is the basis for the "fat" versions of the Stun and Chaff grenade seen in the MGS1 nightmare sequence.
The M18A1 Claymore mine is used as a trap in several locations throughout the game; as usual in the series, the mines use a proximity detonator rather than the real weapon's command detonation, although they lack the optical camouflage seen in the first two games which made them invisible.
M34 White Phosphorous Grenade
The M34 White Phosphorous grenade is available to the player only, and creates a burning cloud of white phosphorous which ignites enemies on contact.
M67 Hand Grenade
The M67 hand grenade is used by most enemies in the game and can be used by the player; it is also part of the armament of the "Gekko" bipedal IFVs, which can throw grenades using their manipulator tentacles. As with the Stun and Chaff grenades, it seems the in-game model was actually based on an Airsoft gas charger bottle; the shape of the grenade body is distinctly incorrect for a real M67 but matches several gas charger models.
M83 Smoke Grenade
The M83 smoke grenade, incorrectly labelled as an M18, is usable in the game, in a default white version and four special "Emotion" versions which produce coloured smoke which affects the emotions of enemies caught in it; Blue for Cry, Red for Rage, Yellow for Laugh, and Green for Scream.
A 30-round STANAG 5.56x45mm magazine can be thrown to distract enemies. One magazine is added to the stock every time a weapon's magazine is fully depleted; regardless of the weapon, it will always be shown as this type when thrown. Unlike Metal Gear Solid 2, the reloading animation correctly shows Snake retaining the old mag during the reload rather than discarding it and then having it in his inventory anyway.
Mk 2 Hand Grenade
During the PMC commercials before the game proper begins, two live-action combatants are seen duelling in mid-air as the camera sweeps around them. As they move close, the one in white reaches down to produce a Mk 2 hand grenade, with another attached to her belt. Mk 2 grenades are also used by Genome Soldiers in the MGS1 nightmare sequence if Snake enters a vent during an alert.
Molotov cocktails, referred to as "Petro Bomb" in game, are used in place of grenades by rebel soldiers in the first two Acts, and can be picked up by Snake, functioning as less effective versions of the WP grenade which ignite on impact.
An Italian Valmera 69 bounding anti-personnel mine is featured as the "S.G. Mine," with SG presumably standing for "Sleep Gas." These contact-triggered mines instantly knock out anyone who triggers them, including Snake himself, though they can be triggered with gunfire or defused by crawling over them or picking them up with Metal Gear Mk. 2. Some are found in the Advent Palace hotel in the first Act.
The "S.G. Satchel" is a manually triggered gas bomb which Snake can place as a trap. It appears to be loosely based on a blast-resistant anti-tank mine such as the Italian VS-3.6 anti-tank mine; the ridges on the device's body are typical of such mines.
The bipedal "Gekko" unmanned weapons are sometimes equipped with a launch unit for two BGM-71 TOW missiles on one of their weapon mounting points. These weapons are never usable by the player.
The M2HB is mounted on Stryker APC and MGS variants and HMMWVs in game, and is also the principle dorsal armament of the Gekko bipedal IFVs. They can also occasionally be found mounted in fixed emplacements.
General Electric M134 Minigun
During the second Act, soldiers of the Pieuvre Armement PMC are seen wearing suits of powered armour equipped with GE M134 miniguns on their right arms. Oddly, these power suit soldiers only appear as enemies once in the entire game, in one area of the on-rails vehicle section at the end of Act 2, and for plot reasons they never actually attempt to fire the weapon at Snake. This was apparently due to several planned confrontations with them during the mission being scrapped to make the release date.
General Electric M61A1 Vulcan
Secondary armament of Metal Gears Rex and Ray is a pair of M61 Vulcan 20mm rotary guns; Ray mounts them on the tips of the two wing-like underwater propulsion units on its shoulders, while Rex mounts them under the projections either side of the pilot's "beak." While the latter is claimed to be 30mm by the game, Metal Gear Rex has not changed size since Otacon called them "Vulcan cannons" in MGS1 and the weapons are not large enough to be GAU-8s. The battleship USS Missouri also mounts M61 Vulcans in her Phalanx CIWS installations.
During the first Act, the rebels assault Praying Mantis PMC positions with a Russian BMP-3 IFV. The BMP-3 is the world's most heavily armed IFV, packing in a 2A70 100mm low velocity gun / missile launcher, a coaxial 2A72 30mm autocannon, six 81mm 902V "Tucha" smoke grenade launchers and three PKT machine guns, one coaxial and two bow-mounted.
During the first two Acts, a number of M224 Mortars set up by rebel forces can be found and used by the player; these are aimed with a HUD indicator showing the round's trajectory, ending in an area-of-effect circle at the point of detonation. They have infinite ammunition.
PMC hybrid helicopters based on the Boeing X-50 Dragonfly aircraft / helicopter concept are armed with a chin-mounted M230 Chain Gun.
The M240C is seen mounted coaxially on the remaining Abrams tank in Shadow Moses Island's tank hangar.
Liquid Snake's crashed Hind-D can be found in the snowfield around the Comm Towers in Act 4, with the chin-mounted Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B gatling gun buried in the snow. Other Hinds can be seen in the PMC advertisements at the very beginning of the game; at least one of those seen, however, is a Hind-A which would have a different, single-barrel chin gun.
The fictional handheld railgun used by Fortune in MGS2 returns in Metal Gear Solid 4 attached to the quadrupedal armour of B&B Corps member Crying Wolf; the weapon is mounted to the "Beast" armour's shoulder, and can only be used when the cockpit is open. Following the battle, the railgun is made available to the player for free; it features a 3-step charge up activated by aiming the weapon and a digital scope with a charge level indicator. The gun no longer has the issues with runaway firing described in Metal Gear Solid 2, where it was stated the project was cancelled for this reason and only Fortune with her "good luck" could use it effectively. Despite the railgun being roughly the size of a motorcycle, it apparently still somehow fits inside the foot-tall Metal Gear Mk. 2 and Snake has no trouble hefting it and aiming it outside of the one cutscene where he initially picks it up. It also does not produce deafening sonic booms despite the ridiculous muzzle energy figure stated in MGS2, which would require it accelerate its projectiles to Mach 42 (about twice escape velocity) even if they are assumed to be as heavy as 20mm cannon projectiles.
The railgun itself seems to have been created using either the same wooden motion capture prop as the one used for Metal Gear Solid 2's MoCap work or a reproduction of it; the design incorporates elements of a number of experimental and prototype high-tech weapons, but the weapon as a whole is a work of fiction.
A Japanese clone of a Portugese muzzleloading matchlock arquebus design, the Tanegashima is basically a joke weapon that can only be reloaded while standing, taking a lot of time to do so for only moderate damage and accuracy; costing one million Drebin Points, it's a very expensive joke at that. However, there is a one-third chance that when the Tanegashima is fired outdoors it will instead summon a tornado, travelling in the direction the muzzle was aimed, which will knock enemies down and scatter their items everywhere. It is extremely silly.