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They Live

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

They Live is a 1988 science-fiction film written (under a pseudonym) and directed by John Carpenter. In the movie, a drifter (the character is never named but Roddy Piper is credited as Nada) finds himself in Los Angeles looking like many in the country for work. Upon landing a job at a construction site, Nada befriends another worker who takes him to a shanty camp site for the homeless. After the camp’s shifty organizers run from a police raid, Nada's curiosity leads him to some sunglasses. When he puts on the glasses, he discovers the secret truth behind the upper echelon of society. The film's cast includes Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, George 'Buck' Flower, Peter Jason, Raymond St. Jacques, and Sy Richardson, in addition to Larry Franco, one of the film's producers.

The following weapons were used in the film They Live:



Colt Python

Nada (Roddy Piper) is confronted by two alien LAPD officers in an alleyway. Nada manages to knock them out and relieves them of their sidearms. One such sidearm is a Colt Python. Nada puts the officer’s utility belt over his shoulder and across his chest with the revolver holstered on the belt.

Colt Python Stainless Steel variant with 6" Barrel - .357 Magnum
Nada picks up the officer's Colt Python.
Nada checking the cylinder of the Colt Python.
Nada (Roddy Piper) fires the Colt Python.
Colt Python seen inside Nada's waistband at Holly's (Meg Foster) apartment.

Smith & Wesson Model 28

Besides the Colt Python, Nada (Roddy Piper) also takes the other officers sidearm, a Smith & Wesson Model 28. You can see this revolver tucked into his waistband when he walks into the bank. He is also seen with the revolver when he forces Holly to give him a ride.

Smith & Wesson Model 28 'Highway Patrolman' - .357 Magnum
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass ...and I'm all out of bubblegum."
A Smith & Wesson Model 28 is in Nada's waistband as he enters the bank. This line would later be co-opted and made famous by the Duke Nukem video game series.
Nada grabs Holly while holding the Smith & Wesson Model 28.
Good view of the Smith & Wesson Model 28.

Smith & Wesson Model 36

Later in the film, Gilbert (Peter Jason) gives Frank (Keith David) a Smith & Wesson Model 36 with square butt.

Smith & Wesson Model 36 with square butt grips - .38 Special
Frank's Smith & Wesson Model 36 given to him by Gilbert.
Frank holds the Model 36 on the way to the safe house.

Smith & Wesson Model 10

A Smith & Wesson Model 10 is carried by a bank guard who uses it to shoot at Nada.

Smith & Wesson Model 10 with 4 inch barrel - .38 Special
Bank Guard/Alien fires what appears to be a Smith & Wesson Model 10.


Desert Eagle

Nada (Roddy Piper) picks up a Desert Eagle Mark I from the table of guns at the safe house. He later uses it while engaging guards at the Cable 54 building.

Desert Eagle Mark I - .357 Magnum
Nada holds the Desert Eagle Mark I on the cleaned-up Drifter (George 'Buck' Flower).
Nada (Roddy Piper) racks the slide of the Desert Eagle.
Nada (Roddy Piper) on the roof with the Desert Eagle.
Good view of the Desert Eagle.


A few of the uniformed guards at the Cable 54 studio appear to be armed with the M1911A1.

Pre-War Colt M1911A1 Pistol - Commercial Model known as the "Colt Government Model" - .45 ACP
The guard on the left holds the M1911A1. It's also interesting to note that the communicator he's holding in his left hand is the same ghost detector prop used by Harold Ramis in 1984's Ghostbusters.

Walther PP

Holly (Meg Foster) uses a Walther PP with nickel finish and pearl grips near the end of the film.

Nickel Walther PP Pistol - .32 ACP (7.65x17mm)
Holly (Meg Foster) holds a Walther PP pistol with nickel finish and pearl grips.

SIG-Sauer P226 (LaFrance Specialties compensator)

Frank (Keith David) takes a SIG-Sauer P226 from the table of guns at the safe house. Note how the P226 seems to be fitted with a custom stainless compensator the resembles the LaFrance Specialties compensator. Frank later uses the pistol in the Studio 54 building. This appears to be the same P226 that was used in the film Feds (also released in 1988).

SIG-Sauer P226 - 9x19mm
Frank with his SIG-Sauer P226 fitted with a LaFrance Specialties compensator.
Frank with his SIG-Sauer P226.
Frank (Keith David) with the P226 outside the TV studio.
Closeup of Frank's SIG-Sauer P226.

Steyr GB

When the safe house is raided, a member of the resistance (Sy Richardson) tries to get off a shot at the police with a Steyr GB. His Steyr GB pistol has a weaponlight attachment.

Steyr GB - 9x19mm
A member of the resistance (Sy Richardson) holds the Steyr GB that's fitted with a weaponlight.

Beretta Jetfire

Gilbert (Peter Jason) gives Nada a Beretta Jetfire. Nada keeps the pistol concealed in his shirt sleeve and later uses it on the roof near the end of the film.

Beretta Jetfire - .25 ACP
Nada conceals his Beretta Jetfire in the sleeve of his shirt.
Nada taking aim with the Beretta Jetfire.
Nada with the Beretta Jetfire.
Firing the Beretta Jetfire.


Ithaca 37

The Ithaca 37 appears extensively throughout the film. Nada, police officers, and various other characters are seen with the shotgun. The shotgun is configured like the real LAPD's Ithaca Shotguns and is equipped with rifle sights. The resistance member seen guarding the door later in the film is seen holding an Ithaca with the curved pistol grip.

Ithaca Model 37 Deer Slayer Police Special (note the rifle sights and riot-length barrel) - 12 Gauge
A cop knees a homeless person during the raid while holding an Ithaca 37 shotgun.
Nada holds a police Ithaca as he enters the bank.
Muzzle flash of the Ithaca 37.
Nada fires his Ithaca at a teller in the bank.
Nada (Roddy Piper) holding his Ithaca 37 in the bank.
Nada takes aim with the Ithaca 37 at an officer. Note the rifle sights.
A line of officers firing several Ithaca 37 shotguns.

Submachine Guns

Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversion

The HK94A3 Conversion is used both by Nada (Roddy Piper) and the police in the film. These HK94A3 conversions appear to have its usually 16" barrels cut down (typically done to make it resemble the MP5). The weapons also have long barrel shrouds fitted with vertical foregrips. The unusually large muzzle flash emitted through these barrel shrouds are the result of the shorter barrel of this HK94 conversion. Nada acquires his from the table of guns at the safe house and the foregrip on it is positioned horizontally at the 9 o’clock position instead of the typical vertical 6 o'clock position. These weapons were supplied by Ellis Mercantile.

Heckler & Koch HK94A3 with barrel shroud & "tropical" handguard.
On the right, Nada (Roddy Piper) is armed with the HK94 at the safe house.
Police storming the safe house with Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversions.
A cop fires his Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversion in the safe house.
The muzzle flash of an officer's Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversion. The HK94 likely has the short barrel due to the fact that the muzzle flash lights up the entire length of the barrel shroud (as seen through the barrel shroud holes), indicating that this weapon doesn't have the full 16" barrel. Note how his fore-grip is positioned like the same way as Nada's HK94.
Two alien Police officers shooting at Nada and Frank from the fire escape.
Nada (Roddy Piper) firing his Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversion.
Nada one handed shooting.
Nada fires at the police.
An alien Cop on a roof top with the Heckler & Koch HK94 Conversion.

IMI Micro Uzi

Frank picks up a Micro Uzi from the table of guns at the safe house. He uses the Micro Uzi in the ensuing battle with the police until he runs out of ammunition.

Micro Uzi with 15 round magazine - 9x19mm
Frank holding his Micro Uzi at the safe house.
Another shot of Frank (Keith David) with his Micro Uzi.
Frank helping Nada to his feet with Micro Uzi in hand.
Frank fires the Micro Uzi at the officers.


The Uzi is used by Gilbert (Peter Jason) when the police raid the resistance meeting.

IMI Uzi - 9x19mm
Closeup of Gilbert's Uzi as he fires at the officers.
Gilbert (Peter Jason) firing his Uzi at the approaching police.
The officer in the foreground is firing an Uzi.
The officer in the center is firing an Uzi.



Nada (Roddy Piper) and Frank (Keith David) acquire M16 Rifles in the Cable 54 building and use them against Cable 54 soldiers. The Cable 54 soldiers are also carrying M16s.

The original Colt M16 with the 3-prong flash hider - 5.56x45mm
Nada and Frank shooting up the Cable 54 Studio.
Nada and Frank make their way through the building with their M16 rifles.
Frank firing at soldiers in Cable 54 building.
The three prong flash hider is seen fired in closeup.


An M16A1 is used by a Cable 54 soldier in the helicopter to shoot at Nada on the roof.

Colt M16A1 - 5.56x45mm
Cable 54 soldier in the helicopter with an M16A1.
Cable 54 soldier fires the M16A1.

MGC M16 Replica Rifle

A Cable 54 building soldiers is seen carrying a MGC M16 replica rifle. When Nada picks up the weapon, it becomes a genuine M16 rifle.

The MGC M16 Assault rifle: a non firing metal replica built by the Model Gun Corp of Japan and one of the most used non firing replicas of the M16 in movies and television
Cable 54 soldier with a MGC M16 rifle. Note the fake forward assist.


Federal L-5 Gas Riot Gun

The police use Federal L-5 Gas Riot Guns during the raid on the homeless campsite.

Federal L-5 Gas Riot Gun - 37mm. Used by police for decades for launching CS and Smoke grenades.
An officer carrying a Federal L-5 Gas Riot Gun in the background.
An officer fires the Federal L-5 while raiding the tent town.
Another officer carrying a Federal L-5.
Officer prepares to fire the Federal L-5 Gas Riot Gun.

Mk 2 Hand Grenade

When Frank is picking up weapons at the safe house, he puts a few Mk 2 hand grenades into his backpack. He later uses a grenade to blow apart a door to gain entrance to television studio. When the police raid the safe house, a resistance member (Thomas Rosales Jr.) grabs a grenade from the table.

Mk 2 "Pineapple" High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Frank pulls the pin on his Mk2 grenade the Hollywood way, with his teeth!
Frank's Mk2 Grenade used to breach a locked door.
A resistance member (Thomas Rosales Jr.) attempts to grab a grenade from the table.

Table of Guns

At the safe house, Nada and Frank are brought to a large table containing many different types of firearms.

Among the weapons seen are Intratec TEC-9s, MAC-11, Uzi, Ithaca 37 with sawed-off stock, Heckler & Koch VP70, several revolvers and semiautos (some are aforementioned guns, such as the S&W 36 and Steyr GB), and what appears to be an FN FAL variant and Remington 870 Shotgun.
Also visible are the aforementioned SIG P226 with compensator, Desert Eagle, and several Mk 2 grenades, as well as a crossbow. Underneath some weapons towards the background is what might be a Franchi SPAS-12.
Nada (Roddy Piper) and Frank (Keith David) look over the weapons on the table.
A resistance member (Thomas Rosales Jr.) attempts to grab a grenade from the table.
In the foreground is a 5.56x45mm AK variant with folding stock, possibly a Norinco Type 84.

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