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The Hurt Locker

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The Hurt Locker
Hurt Locker DVD.jpg
Film Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpg United States
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow
Release Date 2008
Language English
Studio Voltage Pictures
Grosvenor Park Media
Film Capital Europe Funds
First Light Productions
Kingsgate Films
Distributor Summit Entertainment
Main Cast
Character Actor
SFC William James Jeremy Renner
SGT J. T. Sanborn Anthony Mackie
SPC Owen Eldridge Brian Geraghty
SSG Matthew Thompson Guy Pearce
John Cambridge Christian Camargo
Colonel Reed David Morse
The leader of the British contractors Ralph Fiennes
Connie James Evangeline Lilly
Beckham Christopher Sayegh
Charlie Sam Spruell

The Hurt Locker is a 2008 Iraq War film directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal that focuses on members of a US Army EOD team as they go about the business of disarming IEDs throughout the country during a yearlong deployment. The film's cast includes Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, and Guy Pearce. The film would subsequently be nominated for nine Academy Awards and would receive six, including the Awards for Best Picture as well as for Best Director. Director Bigelow and writer Boal would later collaborate on two more feature films: 2012's Zero Dark Thirty and 2017's Detroit.

The following weapons were used in the film The Hurt Locker:



Beretta 92

A Beretta 92 (distinguished by its rounded trigger guard, frame-mounted safety, and butt-located magazine release) is used by Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner), most prominently when he stops an Iraqi taxi. Mark Boal, the film's writer, notes on the DVD commentary that the Beretta 92FS that was supposed to be used in the scene got stuck in customs, which explains why it changes to the correct model later in the film. Boal goes on to say that acquiring the 92 seen here was a difficult task; he scoured local bars, trying to find a suitable pistol, with no success. Finally, he found a Jordanian General who gave the producers the used 92 (which was then converted to blank-fire by armorer David Fencl).

Beretta 92 - 9x19mm - the first Beretta model produced, noted by rounded trigger guard, butt-located magazine release, and frame-mounted safety (pre-decocking safety)
Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) points his Beretta 92 at the taxi driver.
Close-up of the rounded trigger guard as SFC James points his Beretta 92.
SFC James points his Beretta 92 at the taxi driver after firing a shot into his windshield.
Opposite angle.
Close-up of the Beretta 92 after the taxi driver retreats.

Beretta 92FS

For the rest of the film, SFC James and Sergeant J. T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) both use the Beretta 92FS pistol, as noted by the hocked trigger guard and slide-mounted safety. This is the gun that James was also supposed to use in the scene where he confronts the taxi driver, but it was held up in customs while that scene was shot (a Beretta 92 provided by a Jordanian General was used instead).

Beretta 92FS - 9x19mm
SFC James draws his Beretta 92FS on an Iraqi civilian while hunting for Beckham's killer.
"Tell him to put his hands behind his head or I'll be very happy to shoot him".
James (Jeremy Renner) radios a translator while pointing his 92FS at a man who was forced to wear a bomb vest.
"He's a dead man, James; just leave him!"
Sergeant J. T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), after trading some bolt-cutters for James' Beretta, tells him to leave the man in the bomb vest for the sake of everyone's safety.

Glock 19

A 2nd Generation Glock 19 pistol is carried by the leader of the British private military contractors (Ralph Fiennes). Sergeant J. T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) takes the contractor's Glock and points it at his comrades while telling them to put down their weapons.

2nd Generation Glock 19 - 9x19mm
Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) takes the contractor's Glock 19 out of his holster.
Sanborn holds the contractor's Glock.


Mossberg 500 Cruiser

A Mossberg 500 Cruiser shotgun fitted with a Surefire dedicated forend weaponlight is held by a guard at the FOB who intercepts SFC James after his vigilante mission to avenge Beckham's death.

Mossberg 500 Cruiser - 12 Gauge
A guard searches James with a Mossberg 500 Cruiser in hand.


M4A1 Carbine

M4A1 Carbines are used by Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner), Sergeant J. T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie), Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) as well as by other American soldiers. The carbines are equipped with a variety of sights and other attachments. The sights and attachments often change too. In particular, for most of the film, James doesn't have a flashlight on his M4, but one appears on it during the rescue of Eldridge. Also, in one scene, Sanborn's ACOG scope is briefly replaced by a red-dot sight before switching back. An M4A1 is also used by Jimmy (Sam Redford), one of the British contractors, although it is never seen clearly. Interestingly, Eldridge's M4 appears to built on an LMT lower receiver; in the opening scene of the film, it's possible to read "LMT" on the magazine well.

Also note that Classic Army M15A4 airsoft carbines are also used to stand-in for the M4s during non-firing scenes (see below).

Colt M4A1 Carbine with M68 Aimpoint reflex optic, Knight's Armament RAS railed handguard and vertical foregrip - 5.56x45mm
In the opening scene of the film, Sgt. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) covers the area with his M4A1 at the ready.
Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) with his M4A1 in the opening scene. Clearly visible on the magazine well (if the image is enlarged to full-size) is the symbol for LMT (Lewis Machine & Tool), an AR-15 manufacturer based in Illinois.
SFC James (Jeremy Renner) with his M4A1 during the scene where Bravo Company EOD team confronts a group of British private military contractors in the desert. Note that James is wearing a woodland camouflage helmet cover and Interceptor vest, as opposed to the current-issue UCP pattern.
Jimmy (Sam Redford), one of the British contractors, holding an M4A1 Carbine fitted with a C-More red-dot sight.
SFC James fires his M4A1 Carbine during the sniper ambush scene.
SPC Eldridge fires his M4 after sighting an insurgent on the railroad track. Factual Error: When Eldridge looks through his Aimpoint CompM2, it is portrayed as having zoom capabilities and no reticle. The real Aimpoint CompM2 is actually a red-dot sight and the zoom is not adjustable.
Sanborn searches the bombmaker's hideout with his M4.

Classic Army M15A4 airsoft replica

In many scenes of the film, whenever the M4s aren't fired, they're replaced by Classic Army M15A4 airsoft replicas, which would be legal for the actors to handle without the armorer present on the set. Most of them have had their Classic Army markings covered with black magic marker or paint, but they are recognizable by their white-painted fire position markings on the lower receivers (which no real AR-15 manufacturer uses).

Also note that throughout the film, it is common to see the M4s' buttstocks change from the 4-position to the 6-position style. This is because the Classic Army M15A4 was only ever available with the 4-position stock. What this means is that all M4s seen in The Hurt Locker that have 4-position stocks are the Classic Army airsoft replicas; all of the real (blank-adapted) M4s in the film have 6-position stocks.

Classic Army M15A4 airsoft carbine
Eldridge aims his Classic Army M15A4 airsoft rifle during the scene where James confronts the taxi driver.
Sanborn covers the UN compound with his Classic Army M4 airsoft.
Eldridge with his Classic Army M4. Note white-painted receiver markings. Also, some silver paint has been applied to the plastic to make it appear to be made of worn metal. The buttstock also has this, even though M4 stocks are made of plastic, not metal.
A closer view of Eldridge's Classic Army M4. Note that the Classic Army logo on the magazine well has been painted over, but is still visible.
Eldridge hunches over his M4, which appears to be the Classic Army airsoft replica.
Probably the best image showing the blacked-out Classic Army logo on Eldridge's rifle. Also note that the safety is between Semi and Auto.


A few American soldiers carry M16A4 rifles (possibly airsoft replicas, by the unnecessary screws in the A2 stocks) fitted with reflex sights and other attachments.

M16A4 with RAS railed handguard, AN/PEQ-2 IR designator, RIS foregrip, and ACOG scope - 5.56x45mm. This is the USMC style set up.
The American soldier in the middle has an M16A4 fitted with a C-More sight. Note that he wears an old PASGT Kevlar helmet.


An MPi-KMS-72, an East German model of the AKMS with plastic handguards and a side-folding stock, is seen slung over the shoulder of the Iraqi police officer that talks to SFC James about the car bomb at the UN compound. What appears to be the same rifle is seen carried by insurgents later on.

East German MPi-KMS-72 with sling and side-folding stock - 7.62x39mm
An Iraqi police officer talks to SFC James with his MPi-KMS-72 slung over his shoulder.
An insurgent takes aim at Sgt. James with his MPi-KMS-72. Note the folding stock.
Another insurgent takes position on the railroad track during the sniper ambush scene.
The insurgent lies dead with his MPi-KMS-72 in hand, after Spc. Eldridge lights him up with his M4. This is a good detail shot, showing the wear on the ribbed dust cover. Note that the rear sights are adjusted to 700 meters. Take a close look at the handguard, you can see that it is a bakelite lower handguard that has molded ribbing, this proves that it is an MPi-KMS-72.

Customized AKMS

Customized AKMS rifles (specifically WASRs) fitted with RIS foregrips and reflex sights are carried by most of the British private military contractors (PMCs).

The British private military contractors' leader (Ralph Fiennes) lowers his custom AKMS. Note the under-folding stock and RIS foregrip.
The British PMC leader fires his AKMS.
Charlie (Sam Spruell), one of the other contractors, radios for help. Note that his AKMS has a C-More sight on the RIS handguard. Note the lack of a receiver dimple, showing this to be a WASR.
Charlie takes cover with his customized AKMS. Once again, the lack of a dimple can be seen.

Barrett M82A1M

A Barrett M82A1M (as noted by it having a long accessory rail but receiver mounted front and rear iron sights) is used by the private contractors to respond to an insurgent ambush, and is later used by Sergeants James and Sanborn to shoot several of the attackers. It should be noted that Sanborn and the other EOD team members could conceivably know how to operate this rifle as one of the M82's uses is as an anti-materiel rifle to destroy IEDs from a distance.

Trivia: Producer Tony Mark commented that armorer David Fencl spent hours trying to make proper bullets for the Barrett to use when the actual ammunition was not cleared by Jordanian customs in time for the filming of the sniper scene. Also, the ammunition used Chinese fireworks powder for gunpowder like most of the firearms in the film are using because of import restrictions on military props.

Barrett M82A1M sniper rifle - .50 BMG. Note this is an upgraded M82 variant featuring a long accessory rail but retaining the receiver mounted iron sights, which pre-dates the M107 with its slightly longer accessory rail.
The British contractor leader (Ralph Fiennes) sets up the Barrett M82A1M to search for the insurgent sniper.
The PMC leader takes aim with the M82A1M.
Sanborn gets on the M82A1M.
Sanborn takes aim with the M82A1M.
Sanborn snipes with a sand-crusted Barrett M82A1M while James spots.

PSL Sniper Rifle

A PSL Sniper Rifle is used by an insurgent sniper who ambushes the EOD team and the private contractors in the desert.

PSL - 7.62x54mm R
The muzzle of the PSL rifle is seen.
The distinctive "X" shaped ribbing on the PSL magazine differentiates it from similar magazines like those of the SVD Dragunov. Also note that there is no gap between the magazine well and the front of the trigger guard as there would be on a real SVD.
In this blurry action shot, the split level shape of the wooden handguard indicate that the rifle is a PSL.

Machine Guns

Browning M2HB

Browning M2HB machine guns are mounted on top of U.S. Army Humvees, including that of the EOD team. The M2HB is also used by Chris (Barrie Rice), one of the British contractors, during the ambush scene.

Browning M2HB on vehicle mount - .50 BMG
Spc. Eldridge mans the M2HB on the EOD team's Humvee while driving to an IED site.
The Humvee is seen with an M2HB mounted on the roof during the desert scene.
Chris (Barrie Rice) fires the M2HB from the Humvee.
Close-up of the M2HB cycling during the ambush scene. Note that it is cycling blanks.


At the beginning of the film, an Iraq National Guard soldier is seen manning an FN MAG 58 mounted on a police truck.

FN MAG 58 - 7.62x51mm NATO
An Iraq National Guard soldier manning an FN MAG 58 mounted on a police truck.

Other Weapons

M136 AT4

An M136 AT4 is seen on the back of a soldier during the scene where James is trying to save the man who has been forced to wear a bomb vest.

M136 AT4 - 84mm
A soldier and a translator at the scene of the last bomb; the soldier has an M136 AT4 slung across his back.

CTS Model 5210 Smoke Grenade

Sergeant First Class William James (Jeremy Renner) is seen dropping a Model 5210 Smoke Grenade onto the ground during a mission, claiming that it will create a "diversion".

Model 5210JL White Smoke Grenade
James removes the primer handle from the smoke grenade.
The smoke grenade unleashes its gas onto the street.

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