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Red Heat

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Red Heat (1988)

Red Heat is a 1988 action thriller that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Ivan Danko, a Soviet police officer from Moscow who travels to Chicago to bring back notorious Soviet-Georgian drug dealer Viktor Rostavili (Ed O'Ross). When Viktor escapes custody, Danko partners with Chicago PD Detective Art Ridžić (James Belushi) as they attempt to track him down. The movie was directed by Walter Hill from a screenplay written by Hill and Troy Kennedy Martin. This film was done while the Soviet Union still existed, thus it was extremely difficult for any US movie armorer to get Soviet Bloc weapons, due to an ATF regulation (per Department of State directive) that no weapons from any Communist bloc country be sold within the United States (unless that country had signed a specific trade agreement, like China [Norinco], and Yugoslavia [Zastava], imported by Mitchell Arms); many AKMs (ARM/MISR) were imported from Egypt with no special agreement since Egypt was not a communist country, nor had ever been one.

Since the film depicted a Soviet policeman as a hero, the filmmakers actually secured permission from the Soviets to do some filming in Moscow and the soldiers marching in Red Square were real, as were their Parade SKS rifles. The other snowbound filming took place in Budapest, Hungary, which is why so many of the "Soviet" police (Russian: Militsia) were carrying FEG PA-63 Pistols (from Hungarian weapons armorers).

The following weapons were used in the film Red Heat:



Podbyrin 9.2mm (mocked up Desert Eagle .357)

The fictional Podbyrin 9.2mm Pistol, which is actually a modified Desert Eagle Mark I .357 Magnum to look more like a Soviet weapon, is the main weapon for Captain Ivan Danko (Arnold Schwarzenegger) for much of the film, until he gets it taken away, due to his lack of a diplomatic license.

Director Walter Hill wanted a "P38 but bigger and meaner. A P38 on Steroids", so movie armorer Tim LaFrance built three guns he named "The Hollywood Eagle". He used the Desert Eagle .357 Mk I pistols as a base and had to modify the entire profile to resemble a large Walther P38. According to LaFrance, the most difficult part of the blank adaption conversion was the gas porting. It should also be noted that the Makarov PM, the most popular handgun in the Soviet Union, used a 9.2mm round, which is probably why the Podbyrin is said to be chambered in '9.2mm'.

Magnum Research Desert Eagle MK I - .357 Magnum
'Podbyrin 9.2mm'
Danko searches for Viktor 'Rosta' Rostavili with his fictional Podbyrin 9.2mm
Danko shoots and kills Vitkor's brother, Vagran Rostavili (Gábor Koncz) with his Podbyrin 9.2mm
Danko loading up his Podbyrin 9.2mm in Chicago.
Locking and loading the Podbyrin 9.2mm.
Montage of Danko in Chicago with the Podbyrin 9.2mm
Commander Lou Donnelly (Peter Boyle) confiscates the Podbyrin 9.2mm from Danko for legal reasons.


The BTJ DA38, a.k.a "sleeve pistol" is used by Viktor "Rosta" Rostavili (Ed O'Ross). It was modified by Tim La France, who also modified the Desert Eagle, and made the sleeve device (a la Taxi Driver). The barrel of the derringer was cut off and a new one with a bore larger than a 12 gauge was machined, welded and blended into the original contours.

DA38 O/U derringer - 9x19mm
Closeup View of Rosta's heavily modified BTJ-DA38 with the enlarged barrel opening
Rosta's heavily modified BTJ-DA38 as it "fires" indicates that the flashes are small pyrotechnical charges (like a road flare) rather than actual blank ammunition fire.
Attaching the less than practical "suppressor" by simply snapping it into the barrel.
A side shot of the sleeve device
Rosta kills again, now in Chicago with the BTJ DA38. In every scene where Rosta "fires" the gun, he fires three times without reloading, which is another Hollywood impossibility.

Heckler & Koch P9S

One of the weapons employed by Viktor 'Rosta' Rostavili are a pair of Heckler & Koch P9S pistols - one with a black slide, the other with a Stainless slide.

Heckler & Koch P9S - 9x19mm
Viktor Rosta (Ed O'Ross) looks back with his standard Heckler & Koch P9S Pistol
A closeup of Rosta's hands as he racks the slide of the Stainless steel slide H&K P9S Pistol
Viktor Rosta (Ed O'Ross) with both guns, ready for a fight.

Taurus PT99

Several Taurus PT99 pistols are used by the hit squad of Cleanheads sent after Danko in his hotel room.

Taurus PT99 - 9x19mm
RH-TaurusPT99 Apta.jpg
Clear view of the adjustable rear sight

Colt Government

A nickel Colt Government Model (commercial M1911A1) by one of the Cleanheads sent to kill Danko, in his hotel room.

M1911A1 nickel plated with brown grips - .45 ACP
One of the Cleanheads sent after Danko has a nickel plated Colt Government. Two other Cleanheads have PT-92s and one holds a two tone Colt Combat Commander.
Colt Government held by the Cleanhead closest to the wall.
The man on the far left holds the nickel plated Colt Government.

Colt Combat Commander

A Colt Combat Commander is held by one of the Cleanheads while outside Danko's hotel room.

Colt Combat Commander, two-tone finish (polished frame and parkerized slide/components) - .45 ACP
One of the Cleanheads sent after Danko has a two tone Colt Combat Commander. Two other Cleanheads have PT-92s and one holds a nickel plated Colt Government.

Beretta 92F

A Beretta 92F is used by Josip Barada (Tengiz Borisoff) dressed in drag as a female nurse, to shoot at Danko in the hospital corridor.

Beretta 92F - 9x19mm
Barada, dressed as a female nurse, fires his Beretta 92F at Danko.
Barada crashes through the glass door, shot several times by Danko, the Beretta 92F clearly falling to his side.


The FEG PA-63 is used by nearly all parties (other than Danko) during the shootout follwing the fight in the Druzba Cafe. This entire sequence was filmed in Budapest, Hungary, and used Hungarian Armorers.

FEG PA-63 - 9x18mm Makarov
One of Danko's fellow Soviet policemen runs up with his PA-63.
Vitkor's brother, Vagran Rostavili (Gábor Koncz) stumbles down the stairs after being shot in the leg, with his PA-63.
Vitkor's brother, Vagran Rostavili (Gábor Koncz) makes a final stand with his FEG PA-63.


Soviet policeman Yuri Ogarkov (Oleg Vidov) uses a Polish P-64 pistol while in pursuit of Viktor Rosta in the snow.

P-64 - 9x18mm Makarov
Danko's partner Yuri Ogarkov (Oleg Vidov) yells for Danko to follow him, with his P-64.
Danko's partner Yuri Ogarkov (Oleg Vidov) chases Rosta with his Polish P-64.
Danko's partner Yuri Ogarkov (Oleg Vidov) with his P-64. The nose of the slide is thicker and the barrel in more inset than a PM.


Smith & Wesson Model 629 (2.5" barreled Mag-na-Ported)

Chicago Police Detective Art Ridžić (James Belushi) carries a snub revolver that resembles a 2.5" barreled Mag-na-Ported Smith & Wesson Model 629 with Pachmayr combat grips. It is possible that this is the same revolver used in the previous Walter Hill-directed film Extreme Prejudice.

Smith & Wesson Model 629, 3" barrel - 44 magnum.
Ridžić (James Belushi) takes aim at the Cleanhead Apartment with his snub nose revolver.
"You look like Marvin Hagler. I lost money on Hagler!!" Ridžić holds his revolver on the "Cleanhead" who shot at him with a shotgun.
Ridžić (James Belushi) takes cover from a gun-toting Rosta while holding his snub nose revolver.
Ridžić aims his snub revolver.

Smith & Wesson Model 29

One of the guns used by Danko is the Smith & Wesson Model 29. Though Ridžić gives Danko the revolver, he gives him no spare ammunition, so in typical "Hollywood" fashion, Danko regardless fires eighteen shots out of the six shot revolver without reloading.

Smith & Wesson Model 29, 6.5" barrel - .44 Magnum
Danko searches the hotel hallways with his S&W Model 29.
Montage of Danko with his S&W Model 29.
"Who is Dirty Harry?"

Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special"

A Smith & Wesson Model 36 is carried by Lieutenant Charlie Stobbs (Laurence Fishburne) during the raid on the Cleanhead Apartment. A nickel version is carried by Detective Sergeant Gallagher (Richard Bright).

Smith & Wesson Model 36 - .38 Special
Lt. Charlie Stobbs (Laurence Fishburne) readies himself to raid a Cleanhead apartment with his S&W Model 36 'Chiefs Special". It is curious why the Lt. would choose to kick in the door of an armed gang with only a five shot .38 special revolver.
Lt. Charlie Stobbs (Laurence Fishburne) reacts to the fleeing Cleanhead.
Smith & Wesson Model 36, nickel finish - .38 Special
Det. Sgt. Gallagher (Richard Bright) ready in the hallway with his nickel S&W Model 36.
Det. Sgt. Gallagher (Richard Bright) makes an arrest with his nickel S&W Model 36.

Smith & Wesson Model 586

A Smith & Wesson Model 586 is used by Cleanheads and one of Rosta's henchmen when they break Viktor Rosta free.

Smith & Wesson Model 586 - .357 Magnum
Cleanheads, impersonating security guards have S&W Model 586s holstered before Viktor Rosta's breakout.
A Cleanhead pistol whips Det. Sgt. Gallagher with his S&W Model 586.
One of of Viktor Rosta's Georgian Gangmembers, Pytor Tatomovich (Roger Callard), fires the shots that kill Gallagher with his S&W Model 586. Actor Roger Callard is a fellow bodybuilder and many of Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding buddies make appearances in his films.

Smith & Wesson Model 38 "Bodyguard"

A nickel Smith & Wesson Model 38 is carried by a hooker in her purse and used to save Danko's life, but later is discarded in the Hotel room. This was probably an attempt to disassociate herself with the killing, but to no avail, since she is questioned about shooting the Cleanhead by the CPD later. The hooker was played by actress Gretchen Palmer who would later become a familiar face on television.

Smith & Wesson Model 38 (Airweight version), nickel with pearl grips - .38 Special
A Nickel plated S&W Model 38 "Bodyguard" is pulled from a purse.
The hooker (Gretchen Palmer) fires her S&W Model 38 "Bodyguard" hammerless revolver while cowering behind a nightstand.


Remington 870

A Remington 870 is seen in the hands of a Cleanhead during a Chicago Police raid on a Cleanheads' apartment. It appears to be a Remington 870 with the early 1980s style combat rig, extended magazine tube and sling loop, however this one has a pistol grip only. A very similar setup is used by Schwarzenegger as John Matrix in Commando.




SKS rifles are carried by Red Square parade soldiers during the title sequence.

Soviet Simonov Type 45 aka the Soviet SKS rifle - 7.62x39mm. The Soviet SKS has a milled receiver and a blade bayonet. The rifles were issued with hardwood or laminated stocks. This example has a hardwood stock.
Soviet soldiers in full parade dress march with polished Simonov SKS-45 Carbine with laminate stocks.
Closer shot of the SKS.


An M16A1 or a similar AR-15 rifle variant is carried by a Cleanhead.

M16A1 with 30 Round magazine - 5.56x45mm
The man in the back to the right, carries a full sized M16A1 with triangular forearm.

CAR-15 Variant

A CAR-15 variant is seen in the hands of the Cleanheads during a brokered truce.

Colt Sporter I Carbine - converted into an XM177 Lookalike with a slipover Flash hider - 5.56x45mm
The man standing to the left behind the leader holds a CAR-15 variant. It looks to be a modified SP1 Sporter Carbine with slab side receiver.


Seen in the hands of the Cleanheads during a brokered truce.

A hard to identify AK-47 variant is held by a Cleanhead. It is most likely a Norinco Type 56 rifle, but it cannot be verified since the man is seen from a distance in the film and only briefly.

Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch HK94

A full length Heckler & Koch HK94 is seen held by a Cleanhead. It has the ventilated barrel shroud and foregrip, as seen in Schwarzenegger's previous films Raw Deal and The Running Man.

Heckler & Koch 94 carbine with front pistol grip & barrel jacket. This modification was common and often seen firing full auto in movies of the 1980s.
A cleanhead to the right holds the HK94 Carbine. His version has the ventilated head shroud and foregrip, seen in the films Raw Deal (1986) and The Running Man.


The Cleanhead Apartment Arsenal

From left to right: Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and wooden pump, a Smith & Wesson Model 66, an Ithaca 37 shotgun, another Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and wooden pump, two Colt Python revolvers, one stainless, one blued, a Taurus PT99, a Smith & Wesson 39, a Heckler & Koch P9S (note the "HK" logo on the handgun's grip), and an unknown Colt revolver.

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