Guns of Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies 1987-1993

The Running Man (1987) • Red Heat (1988) • Total Recall (1990) • Kindergarten Cop (1990) • Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) • Last Action Hero (1993)

After establishing himself as a bankable action star, Arnold tried a bunch of different things, from a Stephen King adaptation and a movie about Mars to playing a Soviet-era Russian cop in Chicago. But it wasn't until he reprised his first big action role that he became one of the biggest stars in the world.

The Running Man (1987) - Ben Richards

Sci-fi treated Arnold well in the 1980s, so it makes sense he would continue in the genre. In 1987 he took the lead role in an adaptation of a Stephen King story, The Running Man. While the short story was a grim commentary on a potential dystopian future where most of the population is desperately poor and obsesses with gruesome forms of entertainment that involved a lot of blood and death—the movie was more tailored to be an Arnold movie.

A lot of...honestly...really bad one-liners were written into a flimsy story that relied on a parade of bad guys for Arnold to tear through...and they were equally laughable and cartoonish.

The movie is a favorite of Arnold fans now, just for its sheer treasure box amount of bad dialogue. This one is arguably the best:

Steyr AUG

Richards chambers the Steyr AUG after finally being taken in by resistance fighters.
Richards chambers the Steyr AUG after finally being taken in by resistance fighters.photo from imfdb.org

When Ben Richards (Arnold) finally hooks up with the resistance fighters after making out of the game-show kill zone, he and a number of the other fighters are armed with the Steyr AUG assault rifle. The gun is an Austrian 5.56×45mm NATO bullpup assault rifle, designed in the 1960s by Steyr-Daimler-Puch and now manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher GmbH & Co KG.

It made a number of appearances in movies through the 80s and 90s because of its unconventional and futuristic appearance, though the AUG was made about the same time as the M16.

Colt Commando

Richards with a Colt Commando during the prison break.
Richards with a Colt Commando during the prison break.photo from imfdb.org

Near the beginning of the movie, the Colt Commando carbine is used by Richards, Laughlin (Yaphet Kotto), Chico (Thomas Rosales Jr.) and a number of prisoners during the escape from the Wilshire Detention Zone (that's the creepy prison with the exploding collars that gave you nightmares as a kid) as well as a number of the prison guards at the beginning of the film. We also see a few of them in the hands of the guerrillas towards the end of the film.

Heckler & Koch HK94

Richards (Arnold) uses what looks to be the same customized HK94 from *Raw Deal* near the end of the movie.
Richards (Arnold) uses what looks to be the same customized HK94 from Raw Deal near the end of the movie.photo from imfdb.org

In what Arnold fans might see as a bit of a throwback, Richards uses a gun that is almost identical to the HK94 he used in Raw Deal.

The customized HK94 is fired in full auto, has a ventilated shroud covering its full length barrel and is equipped with a vertical foregrip that Richards never uses.

Red Heat (1988) - Capt. Ivan Danko

Sometimes it felt like Arnold's agents were just looking for scripts that involved some element that explained his humungous size and thick accent, which apparently can also be Russian.

In this odd Cold War take on a buddy cop movie, Arnold stars as Ivan Danko, a Moscow police officer who travels to Chicago to bring back a notorious Soviet criminal, Viktor Rostavili (Ed O'Ross), who killed his partner.

Danko teams up with Chicago PD Det. Art Ridžić (Jim Belushi) to track him down. Of course, the movie was made before the fall of the Iron Curtain, and it was very difficult for armorers to get their hands on any kind of Soviet Bloc weapons for movies due to an ATF regulation that no weapons from any Communish bloc countries be sold in the U.S. unless that country had signed a specific trade agreement. That's why you see so many Norinco AKs made in China in movies from the period.

However, the filmmakers did secure permission to do some filming in Moscow and the shots of soldiers marching in Red Square are real and they were carrying real SKS rifles. For other scenes, Budapest, Hungary stood in for Russia.

Podbyrin 9.2mm (Desert Eagle in .357 Magnum)

Danko with the fictional Podbyrin 9.2mm pistol, which is built on a real Desert Eagle Mark I.
Danko with the fictional Podbyrin 9.2mm pistol, which is built on a real Desert Eagle Mark I.photo from imfdb.org

Since the armorers had to cobble together some Soviet guns anyway, they figured why not make one up from scratch.

Danko arrives in the U.S. with the fictional Podbyrin 9.2mm pistol. The intimidating gun is actually a Desert Eagle Mark I in .357 Magnum that was modified to look more like an Eastern Bloc gun.

According to imfdb.org, the director, Walter Hill, wanted a "P38 but bigger and meaner. A P38 on steroids."

So the film's armorer modified the shape of the Desert Eagle to look more like a P38 and added P38-style brown grip panels and an extended barrel and rounded trigger guard.

More shots of Danko with the Podbyrin 9.2mm pistol in Moscow.
More shots of Danko with the Podbyrin 9.2mm pistol in Moscow.photo from imfdb.org

Danko uses the big gun in Russia and later in Chicago before it is confiscated from him by Commander Lou Donnelly (Peter Boyle) after he uses it to save his new American partner.

Smith & Wesson Model 29

Ridžić gives Danko an S&W Model 29 after his own gun is confiscated.
Ridžić gives Danko his S&W Model 29 after his own gun is confiscated.photo from imfdb.org

After his fictional Soviet pistol is taken from him, Ridžić pulls a gun out of the glove compartment of his car and gives it to Dank to carry in a display of trust.

The revolver is a Smith & Wesson Model 29 in .44 Magnum, the gun Dirty Harry made famous almost 10 years prior.

It's interesting that Ridžić's backup gun that he keeps in the car is a massive revolver—his duty pistol is a S&W Model 629 with a 2.5" Mag-na-Ported barrel.

Danko with Dirty Harry's gun.
Danko with Dirty Harry's gun.photo from imfdb.org

Though Danko opens the cylinder to check the loads when he's given the gun, he isn't given any spare ammo to go with it. Regardless, he's able to reload the six-shooter, as he fires 18 shots from it (though we never actually see him do any reloading).

Total Recall (1990) - Douglas Quaid / Hauser

When in doubt, get back to sci-fi. Arnold started the 1990s off with a special effects extravaganza that was actually an adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick novel, whose writings also served as the source material for Blade Runner and Minority Report, among other movies.

Total Recall is set in a dystopian future where humans have colonized Mars for a number of years and mine the red planet for its resources. Arnold is Douglas Quaid, a strangely fit construction worker with a staggeringly attractive wife (Sharon Stone) who decides to take a virtual vacation.

The company known as Total Recall implants memories of a vaction in a person's mind, when they can't afford to take the actual trip. Sort of like VR, but without the actual living it.

When Quaid goes through the procedure, suddenly a bevy of memories that are not his are awakened and he finds out nothing is as it seems on a journey that takes him all the way to the ancient alien ruins of Mars.

The film was a huge success, reaching the pinnacle of hard-R-rated action movies with huge budgets, and served as a special effects milestone for a good number of years.

Goncz GA with Custom Barrel Shroud

The Goncz GA pistol.
The Goncz GA pistol.photo from imfdb.org

As with any dystopian future movie, some appriopriately futuristic guns had to be secured. One of the most memorable guns was hardly modified to fit the bill.

The Goncz is the predecessor of the Claridge Hi-Tec pistol designed by Joseph Claridge. When the movie was made, the pistol was literally brand new and the 9mm handgun featured a unique telescopic bolt design encased in a tubular upper receiver with a forged steel frame, button rifled match barrels, and a standard 16-round magazine.

The only thing changed about the gun for the movie was the addition of a custom barrel shroud.
The only thing changed about the gun for the movie was the addition of a custom barrel shroud.photo from imfdb.org

The pistol was given a custom barrel shroud for the movie, but was otherwise unchanged.

The lack of a moving slide or hammer made it look different from any pistol on the market at the time and became highly sought after when the movie was released.

Unfortunately, this occurred during a wave of anti-gun sentiment in the U.S. and just before the assault weapons ban of 1994.

The Goncz looks like no other handgun.
The Goncz looks like no other handgun and has never been produced by another company.photo from imfdb.org

In 1993 Claridge Hi-Tec was forced to cease operations due to the Government out lawing the guns in the state of California. No firearms based on the Goncz design have been produced since then.

Micro Uzi with Custom Compensator

Quaid holds a customized Micro Uzi.
Quaid holds a customized Micro Uzi.photo from imfdb.org

The main henchman, Richter (Michael Ironside), uses a modified MAC-11 .380 with no folding stock and a squarish barrel shroud as his primary weapon in the movie.

Lori (Sharon Stone) also briefly pulls a similarly-modified MAC-11 fitted with a 16-round magazine just before Quaid shoots her.

These two guns should not be confused with the Micro Uzi held by Quaid in the photo above.

Several of Richter's goons can be seen using Micro Uzis modified with handguards and barrel extensions (to make them appear futuristic) at various points in the film.

Muzzelite MZ14 Bullpup / Ruger AC556

On Mars, a common futuristic firearm is actually a Ruger AC556 in a custom stock.
On Mars, a common futuristic firearm is actually a Ruger AC556 in a custom stock.photo from imfdb.org

Quaid and Melina use the Ruger MZ14 Bullpup, as do the Mars Federal Colony troops. The gun is a Ruger AC556 rifle fit into a modified Muzzelite bullpup stock with the front sight section removed.

The guns also had their barrels shortened and they were fitted with a small scope affixed on the carrying handle section.

The 1990s saw Arnold beginning to dip into a whole new genre, the action-comedy. In 1988 he found success with the lighthearted (mostly) comedy Twins which paired him with Danny DeVito.

In 1990, he starred as Mr. Kimble in [Kindergarten Cop](/Kindergarten Cop (1990)){rel=nofollow} as a tough cop forced to go undercover as a teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who is in hiding. He has to positively ID her before her ex, who recently escaped from prison, comes looking for her and their son.

Ithaca 37 "Stakeout"

Arnold begins his on-screen love affair with short shotguns with this Ithaca 37 "Stakeout."
Arnold begins his on-screen love affair with short shotguns with this Ithaca 37 "Stakeout."photo from imfdb.org

The movie begins in typical action movie fare, with a bearded Det. John Kimble using an Ithaca 27 "Stakeout" shotgun with a nickel finish and al aser sight to take on a gang of thugs.

At the end of the sequence, he arrests Crisp (Richard Tyson), the criminal who later escapes from prison and gets all the action rolling.

Even today, in the world of Mossberg Shockwaves and Remington TAC-14s, this little silver Ithaca still looks pretty awesome.

Beretta 92FS

Kimble's primary firearm is a Beretta 92FS.
Kimble's primary firearm is a Beretta 92FS.photo from imfdb.org

Kimble carries the Beretta 92FS as his primary sidearm throughout the movie.

He uses the pistol, not the shotgun, to arrest Crisp at the beginning and he uses it again during the final confrontation at the end of the movie.

At the beginning of the 90s, Arnold was offerred starring roles in two sequel projects to previous films that were pretty successful. Filmmakers wanted to get Predator 2 off the ground with Arnold reprising his role as Dutch and going up against the alien hunter again.

He opted not to take the role in favor of working with James Cameron again on a sequel to The Terminator. This time Cameron, an established director by then, was able to wrangle a big budget for the high concept sequel and Arnold could come back as the T-800 with a twist—this time, he was a good guy.

T2 ended up being one of the most successful movies of the 1990s and is almost universally regarded as the best film of the Terminator series. It launched Arnold's already successful career into a stratosphere of popularity most actors never attain.

Sawed-Off Winchester 1887 Lever-Action Shotgun

Winchester 1887
Sawed-Off Winchester 1887 Lever-Action Shotgun - Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
One of the T-800's primary weapons is a Winchester 1887 lever-action shotgun.photo from imfdb.org

In Terminator 2, Arnold's T-800 Model 101 is a good guy—a reprogrammed Terminator sent from the future to protect a 10-year-old John Connor from the liquid-metal T-1000. The Terminator acquires his "clothes, boots, and motorcycle" at a biker bar early in the movie, along with a Winchester 1887 lever-action shotgun with the stock and barrel sawed off, and a pair of shades. (The gun may actually have been a very similar Winchester 1901 10-gauge. Go here to find out why.)

There were actually three versions of the shotgun used for filming. The first was the "Rosebox Shotgun" with the trigger guard removed and a normal lever loop. The second was the same as the first but with a large lever loop and a metal plate so it could be flip-cocked with one hand. The third was a rubber prop gun.

M79 grenade launcher / Colt/Detonics hybrid M1911A1

M79 40mm Grenade Launcher and a Colt/Detonics M1911A1 - T2
M79 40mm Grenade Launcher and a Colt/Detonics M1911A1 - T2
When he ditches the shotgun for the second half of the movie, the M79 40mm grenade launcher becomes one of the T-800's primary weapons along with the Colt/Detonics hybrid M1911A1 pistol he acquires in the first scene at the biker bar.photo from imfdb.org

The T-800 fires the coup de grace from his old-school M79 grenade launcher that he finds in Sarah's arsenal buried in the Mojave desert. After the shotgun, this is Arnold's primary weapon for most of the movie, along with a Colt/Detonics M1911A1 Series 70 Hybrid pistol that he hangs on to from the biker bar.

The gun is chambered in 9mm with a Colt Series 70 slide, a Detonics frame with an ambidextrous safety, and Pachmayr grips. As a matter of fact, there's another interesting 1911 in T2…

M134 Minigun in 7.62mm

M134 Minigun - T2
M134 Minigun - T2
The T-800 with the same modified minigun from Predator.photo from imfdb.org

And how could we not mention the iconic Minigun scene. Finding the M134 Minigun in 7.62mm in the weapons cache actually makes the T-800 crack a smile, letting us know he was going to be letting Ol' Painless out of the bag at some point. The gun is the same prop used by Jesse Ventura in another Arnold movie, Predator (1987), but with some modifications.

For Predator (bottom photo), a steel Y-frame was added to the gun so a rear pistol grip could be mounted in it, along with the forend from an M60 machine gun, so it could be held with the non-trigger hand. Ventura carried the 550-round ammo can on his back.

In T2, Arnold keeps that, and supposedly the power source running the electric machine gun, in a huge duffel bag hanging from his shoulder in the only scene where he fires the Minigun, from a office-building window. The M60 grip is gone in T2 and a "chainsaw" horizontal grip has been added to the top. For both films, the firing rate of the gun was lowered from 6,000 rpm to about 1,200 rpm, so the barrels wouldn't be a blur on film when spinning.

After the success of T2 died down, Arnold took a little time off before returning to the screen in the high-concept Last Action Hero in 1993. The movie's premise was interesting. Arnold played Jack Slater, the main character of a series of action movies within the movie and the hero of the movie's protagonist, young Danny (Austin O'Brien).

Danny is gifted a magical movie ticket that was made by Houdini decades before. He discovers that the ticket's magic is that it can transport him into the world depicted in the movie he's watching. While there, all the rules of the movie universe apply, which allowed Last Action Hero to poke a whole lot of fun at the action genre and Arnold's previous career.

Unfortunately, the movie had a number of faults, wasn't as funny as it thought it was, and was released around the same time as the uber blockbuster Jurassic Park, all leading to a less than stellar performance at the box office and rental stores.

Desert Eagle Mark VII

Desert Eagle Mark VII.
Slater's favorite gun is a Desert Eagle Mark VII.photo from imfdb.org

Slater carries a Desert Eagle Mark VII chambered in .44 Magnum throughout the film as his weapon of choice. Upon close inspection, it's not the .50 AE model, and the bore is too large to be a .357 Magnum, leaving only the .44 Magnum model left as a possibility.

As Arnold always does with handguns, Slater fires the large pistol exclusively one-handed.

A row of Desert Eagle pistols
A row of Desert Eagle pistols sits in Slater's closet, along with a bunch of identical jackets, shirts, and boots.photo from imfdb.org

During one of the funnier scenes, after shooting an obligatory bad guy hiding in wait through a closed closet door (as if he does it every day as part of his coming home routine). He does this with what looks to be a nickel Beretta Cheetah handgun, carried in addition to his Desert Eagle. (He also keeps a Smith & Wesson 645 in the glove compartment of his car).

Slater reveals a closet full of identical t-shirts, identical jackets, identical boots, and a row of identical Desert Eagles.

On-Body Arsenal

The pile of guns Slater is carrying on him.
The pile of guns Slater is carrying on him. He's a marvel of concealed carry.photo from imfdb.org

In the movie inside the movie, Slater is cornered on a rooftop by a sinister killer who tells him to drop all of his guns.

Thus begins a lengthly humorous scene wherein Slater continuously pulls guns from his person and drops them to the ground.

Among the guns is an M1911A1, a Smith & Wesson 669, and at least one more, plus a Colt Mustang that he carries in a holster clipped to the top of his cowboy boot.