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Red Scorpion

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Red Scorpion (1989)

Red Scorpion is a 1989 action film starring Dolph Lundgren as Nikolai Rachenko, a Soviet Spetsnaz-trained agent sent to assist Soviet forces in the putting down of a rebel movement in an African country. Nikolai then finds himself siding with the rebels after being betrayed by his superiors. Directed by Joseph Zito (Missing in Action, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), the film was produced in South Africa and used the resources of the South African Defense Force for vehicles and weapons (somewhat controversial because this was filmed during the time of apartheid).

The following weapons were used in the film Red Scorpion:


Rifles / Carbines

Soviet Assault Rifle (mocked up FN FAL)

The large assault rifle used prominently by Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) during the final assault is an FN FAL mocked up to resemble an experimental Soviet assault rifle. The weapon is also seen being tested by Colonel Zayas (Carmen Argenziano) on the rifle range near the beginning of the film. The FN FAL used in the movie has been modified with twin barrels, a custom stock, the pistol grip from a Vektor SS-77 general purpose machine gun, an enlarged magazine/foregrip and a Lewis gun's drum magazine mounted on top. Upon closer inspection only the lower barrel can actually be seen firing; presumably this is because building a weapon that could fire from two barrels would be a far more difficult modification, and the discrepancy isn't that noticeable on-screen.

FN FAL 50.00 - 7.62x51mm NATO
The double-barrel assault rifle as seen in the movie. Apparently, this implies that the upper barrel is fed from the drum magazine, and the lower - from the box one. The text on the box means "Made in USSR".
Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) with the double-barrel rifle seen vaguely in the opening title.
Colonel Zayas (Carmen Argenziano) being handed the double-barrel rifle for testing.
The rifle inflicts damage all out of proportion to its size to targets that are apparently impervious to 5.56x45mm and 7.62x39mm ammunition.
Colonel Zayas satisfied with the results.
Nikolai gets ready for the final battle. Note the image of an AGS-17 automatic grenade launcher on the stand behind Nikolai.
Nikolai firing at the "Mil-24 Hind".
"I am Spetsnaz! But I'm no longer one of you."
Nikolai threatening the general with the rifle.


Unmodified FN FAL rifles are seen in the hands of guerilla fighters.

FN FAL 50.00 - 7.62x51mm NATO
On the right, a rebel guarding Nikolai is armed with a FN FAL 50.00.

IMI Romat (fitted with grenade launcher)

An Israeli contract FAL "Romat" fitted with a grenade launcher is used by rebel Kallunda Kintash (Al White). It is later taken and used by Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) for much of the final assault on the Soviet camp.

IMI FAL "Romat" with Wooden Furniture - 7.62x51mm NATO
Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) is seen with an Israeli contract FAL "Romat" in a briefing photo.
Kallunda Kintash (Al White) takes aim with the IMI Romat.
Kallunda with the Romat at the rebel base.
Kallunda takes cover with his Romat during the Soviet helicopter attack.
Nikolai armed with Kallunda's Romat.
Nikolai with the Romat as he raids the base.
Nikolai carrying the Romat as he searches for the general.


After the truck chase, Nikolai is seen with a milled receiver AK-47 that is fitted with a bayonet.

Type III AK-47 with cleaning rod removed - 7.62x39mm
Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) with a AK-47. Note that the hilt of the bayonet is held on with cloth.


An AMD-65 is used by Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) to drunkenly shoot up a bar on the Soviet base so that he can be arrested and subsequently aid guerilla Kallunda Kintash (Al White) in his escape, thereby gaining the trust of the rebels and allowing him to assassinate their leader (in an incredibly convoluted plan that actually involves the deaths of several Soviet soldiers). AMD-65s are also seen being used by various Soviet soldiers/guerillas and by Dewey Ferguson (M. Emmet Walsh).

Hungarian AMD-65 - 7.62x39mm
Nikolai shoots up a bar with the AMD-65.
Kallunda restraining his distraught wife with a AMD-65 slung over his shoulder.

Vektor R4

Vektor R4 assault rifles are used by Angolan troops.

Vektor R4 - 5.56x45mm NATO.
Soldiers marching with R4 assault rifles.
Soldiers getting in some target practice with R4 and AMD-65 assault rifles.
Two rebels opening up with R4 assault rifles (this is a flipped shot).

Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine

Mosin-Nagant M44 carbines (without the bayonet) are seen in the hands of African guerillas.

Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine with attached side-folding bayonet - 7.62x54mmR. Note the slightly longer barrel ahead of the front sight to accommodate locking in the bayonet, brass reinforcements around the sling holes and an integral bayonet attached to the barrel.
Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine and PPSh-41 resting by a woman.
M44 Carbine in the hands of a rebel (Ernest Ndlovu).
M44 Carbines in the hands of rebels surrounding Nikolai.

SKS M59/66

Several Rebels are seen with Yugoslavian M59/66 variants of the SKS. Interestingly enough, the rifles have their bayonets removed.

Yugoslavian SKS M59/66 rifle with blade bayonet and grenade launcher attached to barrel, the variant most seen during the Balkan Wars - 7.62x39mm. The Yugoslavian M59 is nearly identical to the Soviet SKS, it is the M59/66 which has the grenade launcher attachment at the end of the barrel.
M59/66 seen in the hands of a crouching rebel.
M59/66 seen in the hands of a running rebel.
Rebel member holding an M59/66 SKS to the right of Kallunda's buddy.
M59/66 rifles in the hands of rebels surrounding Nikolai.


Atis R.G. 700

An Atis R.G. 700 with extended mag tube, synthetic furniture, and sawed-off stock is seen in the hands of Krasnov (Brion James), Soviet Military Policemen, as well as Dewey Ferguson (M. Emmet Walsh) during the road chase. A similar Atis R.G. 700 with a full stock is used by Nikolai when he and the rebels make a final assault.

Atis R.G. 700 - 12 gauge
Krasnov (Brion James) holding the Atis R.G. 700 shotgun while examining prisoners.
Kallunda (Al White) holding the Atis R.G. 700 during their escape. Note the way the sling mount is attached to the magazine tube.
On the left, Dewey Ferguson (M. Emmet Walsh) holds the Atis R.G. 700 during the road chase.
A full stocked Atis R.G. 700 is used by Nikolai when he and the rebels make a final assault.

Machine Guns

Browning M1919A4

A Browning M1919A4 machine gun (which would never be used by Soviet forces) is seen mounted on a Soviet Ratel Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

M1919A4 M37 vehicle pintle mount - .30-06
RedScorp 030.jpg

Vektor SS-77

A South African Vektor SS-77 machine gun is seen mounted on an armored vehicle during the road chase, and also on a motorcycle and sidecar being ridden by Cuban troops.

Vektor SS-77 GPMG - 7.62x51mm NATO
Cuban soldier fires a Vektor SS-77 from a motorbike sidecar.
Vector SS-77 seen mounted on a sidecar as Nikolai knocks out the soldier.
Twin-mounted Vector SS-77 in the turret of the Soviet armored vehicle chasing the escaping truck.


RPKs are used by various Soviet and Cuban troops. Lt. Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) takes one and uses it during the ambush at the oasis.

RPK light machine gun - 7.62x39mm
Cuban guarding Kallunda armed with a RPK.
Nikolai about to shoot a Cuban that he took the RPK from. Note the use of the bipod as a grip.
Nikolai holds the RPK while contemplating surrender to the Cubans.
On the right, the rebel standing behind Kallunda (Al White) holds a RPK fitted with a 75-round drum magazine. Every other RPK in the film is fitted a 40-round box magazine.
Ango Sundata (Ruben Nthodi) about to drop his RPK and rescue a child during the Soviet attack on the rebels. It speaks highly of the character that he would run into gunfire to save an innocent life.

M134 Minigun

What appears to be an M134 Minigun can be seen mounted in the nose of the Sikorsky S-62 "Hind gunship". Upon closer inspection, this appears to be a mockup as the barrel cluster seems to be fused to the fuselage of the helicopter and therefore could not possibly rotate. Furthermore, it seems to fire from each of these stationary barrels in sequence (with acetylene-powered muzzle blasts), rather than always firing from the barrel in the uppermost position as a real Minigun would. It is most likely an acetylene-powered mock-up.

General Electric M134 - 7.62x51mm
The minigun mockup seen mounted in the nose of the "Hind".

Degtyaryov DT Machine Gun

A DT machine gun is seen firing from the hull of a Soviet-manufactured T-34/85 tank. While this tank (and the DT machine gun) had long since been taken out of Soviet service by the time the film was made, some “Client States” still had such outdated armor; both Angola and Cuba continued to retain T-34s in second-line or reserve roles.

Degtyaryov DT Machine Gun - 7.62x54mmR
DT machine gun firing from the Hull of the T-34/85. Note that the shot is reversed as the next image clearly shows the machine gun mounted on the opposite side of the tank.
DT machine gun mounted on the left side of the T-34/85.

Submachine Guns


PPSh-41 submachine guns are also seen wielded by the rebels.

Soviet PPSh-41 Submachine Gun - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
The rebel to the right of Nikolai is holding a PSSh-41.
On the left, a Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine and PSSh-41 resting by a woman.


Colt Officer's ACP

A Colt Officer's ACP is seen the hands of the Cuban officer and General Vortek (T.P. McKenna). This is likely supposed to portray the Soviet Tokarev TT-33, as Cuban or Czech officers would've never been issued a handgun of American manufacture.

Colt Compact M1991A1 - .45 ACP - the Colt Compact is the Parkerized version of the Colt Officer's ACP
The Cuban officer is armed with a Colt Officer's ACP.
Closeup of the Colt Officer's ACP.
General Vortek (T.P. McKenna) pulls a Colt Officer's ACP.


M40A1 106mm Recoilless Rifle

An M40A1 Recoilless Rifle is seen mounted on a Land Rover and used by Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) during the assault on the joint Soviet/Cuban military camp.

M40A1 Recoilless Rifle - 106x607mmR
Dewey (M. Emmet Walsh) driving a Land Rover carrying the M40 Recoilless Rifle into the Soviet Base.
Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) prepares to use the M40A1 Recoilless Rifle.
Nikolai abandoning the M40A1 Recoilless Rifle.

Grenade Launcher

A grenade launcher of unknown type is seen underslung on the IMI Romat used by Nikolai Rachenko (Dolph Lundgren) and Kallunda Kintash (Al White). Nikolai fires the launcher several times during the assault on the Soviet base at the end of the film, using both high explosive grenades and buckshot rounds. However, he is never once shown reloading it and consequently manages to fire off six rounds from the single-shot launcher!

Kallunda Kintash (Al White) with the IMI Romat fitted with a grenade launcher.
Nikolai with the Romat fitted with a grenade launcher.


A RPG-7 launcher is used by a Czech tank gunner during the escape of Kallunda Kintash (Al White). Amusingly, it is not loaded with a warhead even though there's clearly a whoosh sound effect when it's "fired".

RPG-7 - 40mm
A Czechoslovakian soldier aims an RPG-7 at the truck being used by Nikolai, Kallunda, and Dewey and fires the brand new state-of-the-art invisible warhead.


A mockup of an RKG-3 anti-tank grenade is wielded by Colonel Zayas (Carmen Argenziano) before getting his arm blown off by Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren). Contrary to the movie's depiction of the grenade, the RKG-3 is an impact-detonated anti-armor weapon with a shaped charge, not a very large time-fused HE grenade. Additionally, the spoon is never removed, which would prevent the weapon from arming in the first place.

RKG-3 anti-tank grenade
Colonel Zayas (Carmen Argenziano) informs Nikolai that he has a RKG-3 grenade.
Colonel Zayas uses a grenade with a pin in it as a threat as to not be shot.
"This is such a small space... and this is such a very big grenade!"
Closeup of the grenade. Note that the spoon is still in place.
Colonel Zayas reaches for the RKG-3 grenade, but to no avail. He appears to be trying to reinsert the arming pin, which is pointless as not only is the spoon still in place, but the RKG-3 isn't time-fused in the first place.

M26 Hand Grenade

During the truck chase, Kallunda cuts a belt of grenades off of an unconscious soldier. These appear to be US-made M26 Hand Grenades.

M26 Fragmentation Grenade
Kallunda cutting off a belt of M26 grenades.

Magnetic Grenade

At the end of the truck chase, Nikolai (Dolph Lundgren) places what appears to be a magnetic grenade based on an SPM Limpet Mine onto the truck's fuel tank to destroy it.

What is supposed to be a magnetic mine is placed on the truck by Nikolai and appears to be based on an SPM limpet mine. In reality, this prop looks to be constructed from vacuum-formed plastic and the detonator at the top is a spark plug. The Russian text on the magnetic grenade reads: "MZ-4" / "AT Mine DIT" / "Type K". This text is pure fiction.


Custom flamethrowers are used by Soviet troops to 'cleanse' a tribal village in a scene in the extended cut.

RedScorp 036.jpg


"Faux" Mil Mi-24 "Hind" Gunship

The "Mi-24 Hind" seen in the movie is a cosmetically modified Sikorsky S-62. The helicopter appears to be the same one previously seen in Braddock: Missing in Action III and Bulletproof, albeit fitted with more extensive and slightly more convincing modifications this time; it has now been fitted with slightly larger, more sturdy-looking wings, incorporating large faux engine intakes at the wing roots and additional winglets at the tip. The longer wings have allowed for an extra rocket pod to be added on either side, increasing the total number from four to six (which is in fact two more than the real Hind could carry beneath its wings). The non-functional side-mounted faux Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-2K cannon on the earlier version has been removed and replaced with the new acetylene-powered M134 Minigun assembly in the nose (making it no longer a faux Hind-F), and the helicopter's outrigger floats (containing the main landing gear) have been cosmetically joined to the hull with additional plating. Finally, the helicopter has been painted with a new desert camouflage scheme, as opposed to the plain black with gray hull seen in its previous film appearances. A similar (but far more convincing) "Faux Hind" modification was done to another type of helicopter for the films Red Dawn, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III, utilizing an Aérospatiale Puma.

The "Hind" attempts to take off.
The Hind prepares to take out a village. In reality, the Hind is usually fitted with four rocket pods, not six.
The Hind rises.
Sideview as the Hind searches for Nikolai.
The Hind spraying deadly chemicals.

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