Who can forget that oft-repeated phrase, “I’ll be back”? It’s become a part of our collective moviegoing experience and usually comes with a thick Austrian accent. The Terminator guns and movie series have captivated audiences worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on pop culture. Each film offers an exciting science fiction journey with unforgettable characters and innovative storytelling.
In this article, we’ll look at the first three installments. They contain thrilling action sequences, complex characters, and fascinating themes that still resonate decades after the first film’s release. Our primary mission will be to see how the abundant weaponry plays a role in these exceptional movies. First up is the original – and arguably the finest story – in the series.
In the first “Terminator” movie, audiences find themselves in a dystopian future where machines have seized control of the earth. An artificial intelligence (Skynet) sends the main antagonist, an emotionless cyborg known as the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), back in time. His job: is to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can give birth to her son, John. John Connor is destined to lead humanity in a rebellion against the machines. Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), a soldier from the future, also goes back in time to protect Sarah. The story unfolds into an intense chase, with Sarah and Kyle constantly on the run from the relentless Terminator.
Guns of The Terminator
AMT Hardballer Longslide
The Terminator acquires an AMT Hardballer in the gun store, part of the .45 ACP platform manufactured by Arcadia Machine & Tool (AMT). It was the first completely stainless steel 1911 pattern pistol. Having a 7-inch barrel and a laser lock sight, the 46-ounce pistol debuts as the cyborg kills two women sharing Sarah Connor’s name.
Another weapon the Terminator gets at the gun store is a Franchi SPAS-12. This is a versatile 12-gauge autoloader shotgun that can go “pump or auto,” as the clerk tells him before he dies. The Terminator removes the SPAS-12’s top folding stock before using it to attack the police station. He fires it with one hand to display the cyborg’s incredible strength.
Kyle carries a Finnish-made Valmet M82A bullpup assault rifle. The front sight is on the body of the rifle rather than the barrel to distinguish it from the M82. The 5.56x45mm NATO caliber rifle has a fictional computerized digital tracking scope that can mark, track down, and analyze cybernetic threats. He uses the gun during future war scenes.
General Dynamics RBS-80
During the Future War against the machines, a T-800 Infiltrator (bodybuilder Franco Columbu) carrying an RBS-80 sneaks into a resistance bunker and starts killing everyone in range. This rapid-fire plasma cannon prop based on a Browning M2 Water Cooled machine gun has a custom barrel shroud.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The plot dramatically turns in the second installment, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In this movie, the protagonist is Sarah Connor, who has been institutionalized for her claims about the existence of Terminators. In the future, Skynet sends a more advanced Terminator, the T-1000, back in time to kill Sarah’s son, John Connor, who will lead the human resistance against Skynet’s domination. Simultaneously, the future John Connor sends a reprogrammed T-800 model to protect his younger self. The movie narrates an adrenaline-pumping race against time as Sarah, young John, and the T-800 work together to prevent the impending doom of Judgment Day.
Terminator Guns T2:
Colt Series 70/Detonics 1911
Upon arriving in the present, the Terminator enters a biker bar and asks one of the bikers to give him his clothes, boots, and motorcycle. During a brief fight, the Terminator throws the biker on a stove’s hot burners, burning his hands and making it impossible for him to chamber his custom Colt Series 70/Detonics 1911 Hybrid. Gun aficionados have pointed out that he could have defended himself if he had kept his weapon “Condition One”—chambered, hammer cocked, and safety on.
Note: The pistol is built with a Colt Series 70 slide and Detonics frame with Pachmayr grips, an ambidextrous safety, and chambered in 9mm.
As he prepares to leave on the biker’s Harley, the biker bar’s owner confronts the T-800 (Schwarzenegger). The bar owner fires a warning shot from his sawed-off 10-gauge Winchester 1887. The shotgun has a large-lever loop and a side metal plate for improved handling during flip-cocking. The Terminator calmly snatches the gun from his hand and keeps it as his primary weapon for much of the movie.
Side note: Winchester stopped producing the 1887 shotgun before the film, so the film’s armorers had to find pristine condition guns that were no longer in production. To their credit, the guns in the movie are genuine Winchester shotguns and not foreign copies.
Colt 653 Carbine
Sarah Connor attempts to assassinate Miles Dyson at his home using a 5.56x45mm Colt Model 653 with a 16″ barrel. It looks like she removed the flash hider and added a sound suppressor. The carbine has a laser sight on the barrel and a Trijicon ACOG scope on the carrying handle rear sight. Sarah’s first attempt is with semi-auto fire, but after missing, she switches to full auto and empties two magazines at him.
The M134 Minigun is a six-barreled, electrically-driven rotary gun chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO. Designed during the Vietnam War by General Electric, the M134 is a high-volume-of-fire weapon (up to 6,000 rounds per minute) suitable for mounting on helicopters. During one memorable scene, the T-800 engages the police with a Handheld M134 Minigun, an invention of fiction from the movie Predator, destroying the police cars but leaving the police unharmed!
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the storyline reveals the inevitability of Judgment Day, despite all efforts to prevent it. The film opens with John Connor (Nick Stahl) living off the grid due to the prophesied future. There, he leads the human resistance against Skynet, an AI system programmed to destroy humanity. A more advanced and lethal Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken) goes back in time to eliminate Connor and his future lieutenants. Concurrently, another Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back to protect Connor and Katherine Brewster (Claire Danes), destined to become his wife and second in command. The plot thickens as the trio strives to thwart the activation of Skynet and prevent impending doom.
Terminator Guns T3:
Smith & Wesson 4506
The Smith & Wesson 4506 is a third-generation semi-auto single-action/double-action pistol. Chambered in .45 ACP, it has an 8-round magazine. S&W produced it from 1988-1999 with several different makes, including sights, trigger guards, and grips. A modern variant, the 4506-1 comes with a round trigger guard and stainless steel hammer and trigger. In the movie, the T-X (Loken) uses a Smith & Wesson 4506-1 that she took from an LAPD officer who pulled her over to terminate several targets.
The Remington Model 870 shotgun arrived on the scene in 1950 and has been a favorite of police, military, hunters, sportspeople, and gun enthusiasts ever since. It’s the world’s most widely owned and used shotgun, with over 9 million in civilian hands. The Terminator’s movie version has a high-capacity magazine tube, custom forend, and heat shield. He uses the 12-gauge shotgun during his first encounter with the T-X at the veterinary clinic and in the subsequent car chase.
Heckler & Koch G36K
The G36K is a shortened carbine version of the original G36, which H&K introduced in 1997. As with the G36, it is available in an export version known as the G36KV, which does not come with the dual-sighted carry handle from the factory. In the movie, the G36K is one of the weapons in the coffin taken from the cemetery. It has the stock removed and two magazines clipped together. The Terminator uses it at the CRS facility to fire on a flying robot, and later, he attempts to engage the T-X, only to discover it’s empty.
Type 69 RPG
The Type 69 RPG launcher is the Chinese version of the Russian RPG-7. This one has a single pistol grip and an integral lightweight bipod that folds against the body of the tube. Another weapon from the coffin, the Type 69 has a PGO-7 scope. The Terminator fires it from the hearse at the T-X, sending her smashing into a headstone in the cemetery.
The Terminator franchise has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the landscape of science fiction cinema. These films challenge us to consider questions about artificial intelligence, humanity’s future, and the moral implications of technological advancement. Despite storytelling shifts and multiple directors, the Terminator series maintains a relentless, thought-provoking examination of our relationship with machines. These attributes and memorable Terminator guns make it a timeless pillar in the world of futuristic narratives.