Rambo is the fourth installment in the John Rambo film saga that marks the return of the character that hadn't been seen on film since 1988's Rambo III. Sylvester Stallone returns as John Rambo, the former Green Beret and Vietnam War veteran who is seen working as a boat captain in Thailand and takes a job transporting missionaries on a medical aid mission. When the missionaries are captured by Burmese Junta soldiers, Rambo joins a group of mercenaries on a rescue mission. The 2008 sequel also marked the only Rambo film to be both written and directed by Stallone. After over a decade, Stallone would return as Rambo in 2019 in perhaps the final film in the franchise, Rambo: Last Blood.
The following weapons were used in the film Rambo (2008):
A Tokarev TT-33 pistol is dropped by one of Burmese pirates and visible on the deck of the boat before Rambo kills him.
During a flashback to his old days of killing, Rambo is seen being shot with an Colt M1911A1 by Colonel Samuel Trautman (Richard Crenna) in what appears to be a sequence from the original film First Blood. This actually was the original ending to the 1982 film, but was changed after extremely negative reactions by viewers from test screenings. Many saw it as the filmmakers "killing Rocky" (referring to one of Stallone's best known and most popular roles as boxer Rocky Balboa in the Rocky film franchise). The alternate ending was previously only seen on the DVD extras for First Blood.
Custom Colt M1911A1
Jericho 941 RS Semi-Compact
Trivia: The actor Maung Maung Khin, who plays the villain, was a real life Karen resistance fighter, who escaped to Thailand (where the film was filmed) to reunite with his relatives. Stallone wanted someone who understood the nature of the Burmese military and luckily had an actor with real life dealings with their brutality.
Rifles / Carbines
A variety of AKM type full buttstock rifles (not Norinco Type 56) are seen in the hands of Burmese Junta soldiers. Notes: Must be noted that the Burmese Army never used AK variants in service, albeit the standard issue rifle of Burma was the MA-1 Mk.I which is a Burmese rifle inspired by the Galil but due the wooden stock and handguard still resemble an AK. Thus is likely that the AK platform rifles in those movies were used as stand-ins for the MA-1 Mk. I rifle.
Myint (Supakorn Kitsuwon), the Karen rebel leader, carries a cut down AKMS. The custom rifle has parts from the Norinco Type 56 and the AKMS. In reality, these rifles don't interchange parts, but it was possible since the gun is massively customized and practically rebuilt from scratch. This is similar to the same short rifle that Claire Danes fires in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It is NOT an AKS-74U and there is no such rifle as an AKS-74U like the airsoft weapon we sometimes see.
Norinco Type 56
There are many AK types in the film, and upon further study, most of the models will be identified. But one of the obvious ones is the Norinco Type 56. It is obvious in the hands of several Burmese Junta soldiers and during the final battle En-joo (Tim Kang) and Lewis (Graham McTavish) also grab Type 56 rifles and fight with them.
Junta soldiers also use Type 56 rifles with the classic 'Vietnam' era pig sticker underfolding bayonet.
Obvious in many shots there are many RUBBER AKs/Type 56s/AKMs. Most noticeable because their trigger guards are thicker than normal and sometimes the front sight has no hole and are solid rubber blocks.
AKM/Type 56 hybrid
A bizarre AKM rifle is seen with some Chinese Type 56 parts. This rifle cannot be confused with a similar Norinco Type 56, because it has a bakelite grip, ribbed dust cover, palm swell handguards and non-ported gas tube. This appears to be a custom AKM with a Chinese "pig sticker" spike underfolding bayonet. The bolt carrier is also blued, a feature Chinese AKs rarely have. The magazine, however, does appear to be a Type 56 Chinese "flat back" magazine.
Karen rebels carry M16A1 rifles during the final battle.
When Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) has a flashback to his old days of killing, scenes from the original film First Blood are shown when he tries to pick up an M16 (SP1) rifle in the police station to fight the police outside before Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna) stops him.
M4A1 Carbine with M203 grenade launcher
US Army Ranger Reese (Jake La Botz) carries an M4A1 Carbine with an M203 grenade launcher with a tan camo paintjob and an ACOG scope mounted on the carry handle. This is the exact same weapon that Independent Studio Services originally built for use by Tyrese Gibson in Transformers (although the camouflage paintjob had worn off during shooting on the earlier film and had to be re-applied for Rambo).
DSA SA58 OSW
US Army Green Beret Diaz (Reynaldo A. Gallegos) carries a DSA SA58 OSW short FAL Carbine with a folding stock. His model has the Type III Metric receiver (with minimal machining cuts). The DSA SA58 OSW, is offered with the Type I receiver (more cuts, lighter weight, but not as strong). Thus it is suspected that the SA58 OSW in the film is a build up of a previous FAL Type III receiver with DSA OSW parts.
SIG SG 551
This .50 BMG rifle designed by Barrett Firearms is a Close Quarters Combat model of the M82A1M/M82A3, easily distinguished by the short barrel. It is used by the SBS-trained sniper 'School Boy' (Matthew Marsden) throughout the film. During the night raid during the rainstorm, the M82CQ has an AN/PEQ-2A mounted on the scope, and is seen as fully sound suppressed, though a .50 caliber weapon (or any supersonic round, including the 5.56x45mm) can only be partially suppressed. It strangely lacks the fluting which is present on the barrels of almost all M82 variants, however.
Custom Mossberg 590
SAS trooper Lewis (Graham McTavish) carries a Mossberg 590 with a Magpul M93A rear stock attached to a Mesa Tactical M4 adapter block and a Mesa Tactical top receiver rail with an EOTech holographic sight.
Browning M2 Aircraft
The Browning M2 Aircraft model of the .50 cal machine gun used in the film has a perforated shroud around the barrel and a modern twist - a Muzzle Brake (similar to a Barrett M82A1) to divert the flash to the sides, especially useful if you're shooting from behind an armored shield and your only viewable area is directly above the barrel. The AN/M2 had a long heat shield for several reasons, not the least bit being that when used against aircraft in World War II, the bursts were much longer as gunners attempted to walk their fire (via tracers) onto their targets. The barrels grew red hot and the heat shield not only helped protect the crews, the added area improved the heat dissipation qualities of the barrel. It is not the standard air cooled Browning M2HB that is usually seen mounted on vehicles. The M2 and the M3 are visually identical however the M2 has a 600-750 RPM firing rate and the M3 has a 1000-1200 RPM firing rate. Since the gun is NOT firing as fast as a MAC-10, it must be the M2.
Trivia: Sylvester Stallone was originally going to wield the Browning M2 by hand. The gun was weighed in at +120 lbs and Sly could physically carry and fire it, but it was so cumbersome and slow that it cut down the action too much (also firing blanks handheld is possible, firing live rounds is another matter). They decided to mount it on the back of a jeep instead but the recoil was so immense that it ripped off the jeep floor. They bolted the mount down on the jeep frame and that is what is seen in the film.
The only standard Browning M2HB in the film is seen on the Burmese pirate boat.
FN MAG 58
The FN MAG 58 is seen in a guard tower where School Boy (Matthew Marsden) sets up a sniper position. The machine gun is also seen on the Burmese patrol boat. The FN MAG 58 with an M240-style flash hider.
M18A1 Claymore Mine
Rambo takes an M18A1 Claymore from School Boy to set a booby-trap. It looks to be the BLUE training model of the Claymore.
M67 Hand Grenade
British Grand Slam Bomb
A large bomb is seen partly buried in the Burmese jungle and described by the film as a "Tallboy" dropped by the British during the Second World War; the tail section shown, however, has a much thicker tail-cone than the Tallboy and seems to have been based on the larger "Grand Slam". One of the first bunker buster bombs, the British Grand Slam "earthquake" bomb (more formally known as Bomb, Medium Capacity, 22,000 lb) was 26 feet long and weighed 10 tons, and was used by the RAF and US Army Air Force in 1944. Though some audiences thought that the explosion mimicked a nuclear explosion more than anything, a Grand Slam bomb contains 9,135 lb of Torpex D1 explosive; even the "Tallboy", just under half the size of a "Grand Slam", was quite capable of creating an explosion that displaced a million cubic feet of earth. The only really unrealistic aspect of the detonation as shown in the film is that the explosion starts from the bomb's tail; in reality, this is just a metal assembly attached to the back of the main bomb body for aerodynamic purposes, and contains no explosive. The weapon's presence is hard to fathom, since no "earthquake" bomb of any weight was used in the Far East or Pacific theaters; the RAF never even deployed the type of plane (Avro Lancaster) that carried the Grand Slam in Burma. While some B-29 Super-Fortresses were modified to carry the "Grand Slam" bombs, it was used against the Germans in Europe during WWII rather than against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre. Even if a Grand Slam had been dropped, there would be no point doing so in the middle of nowhere far from any reinforced structure, and in the soft earth shown it would have plunged dozens of feet underground and been left completely buried. About the only way the situation shown would transpire is if the bomber carrying it had ditched or crashed while flying low and shed the bomb some distance from the crash site.
M1 Mortars are used by Burmese Junta soldiers and Karen rebels.
Burmese soldiers use a customized LC-T1-M1 flamethrower twice in the film. The flamethrower is a combination of the tanks from the older M2 Flamethrower and the gun from the newer LC-T1-M1 flamethrower.
ML14 Mountaineer Longbow
Rambo uses an ML14 Mountaineer Longbow with an attached reel to fish from the bow of his boat at the beginning of the film. It can be differentiated from the compound bow he uses throughout the rest of the film by its lack of cam wheels.
Martin Cougar II Compound Bow
Contrary to the previous Rambo films, which featured Sly stealthily killing enemies with a Hoyt Rambo (based on the Hoyt Spectra), Rambo picks up another vintage compound bow opting this time for the Martin Cougar II. The film showcases Rambo's skill with the bow by killing Burmese soldiers from a distance of 60 yards.
Rambo's Mini Machete
Rambo's bladed weapon in this film is a primitively built golok made out of a slab of metal as opposed to his expertly crafted survival knives in the other films. Sylvester Stallone actually stayed up all night filming the scene of him building the machete like you see in the film, although due to time restrictions, he had to do it all at once without cooling the blade. They went through about seven pairs of heat protective gloves due to this. Sly claims after making the machete, he had a rather warm handshake.
Rambo: First Blood Part II knife
Before deciding on using the machete, Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) was going to use his survival knife from Rambo: First Blood Part II and drop it in the burning Burmese pirate boat, symbolizing his end to killing. This sequence was restored in some TV edits of the film.