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Discussion Starter #1
I just saw "Munich." It is the best of Spielberg's "serious" movies, meaning the best in 15 years. It's a gripping and grim story of Israeli Mossad agents taking vengeance against the masterminds of the '72 Munich Olympic terrorist atrocity.

Did anyone see the movie, and if so, what kind of semi-auto pistols did they use? I could not tell. Also, in the scene where they take out that woman in Holland, any speculation on the way they created those single-shot handguns? (Don't want to violate the "all legal" rule here.)

Thanks.
 

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Sorry to hear you liked it. Although billed as a work of "historical fiction," it was a bad movie on multiple levels, both historical and cinematic. Oh well, the pistols, Beretta .22s, were neat. Model 70 I think.
 

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They used Beretta .22s for the European 'hits' in real life - as Jonny said. I read the reviews of the movie so I didn't bother with it an have no clue what Speilberg used.
 

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Hi there,

Actually, in real life they trained with the Beretta .22 Jet Fire and used a pistol similiar to the Beretta 21 A Bobcat. There was an interesting side bar to the article and training methods written in Gun Test Magazine many years ago.

I wish I could remember any, if much of all of what was written except there were some quotes from the gentleman that trained the teams.

I still remember the news casts from back then as "terrorism" cast its ugly pall across the middle east and Europe. It signified the beginning of "counter terrorism".

Chris
 

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fwiw:
It has been sometime since I've read one of the books the film is somewhat loosely based on. (The one I read has the debacle where one of the Mossad hit teams followed a Black September courier into Scandinavia, and wound up assassinating a hapless Moroccan waiter in Norway by mistake...). That group used .22lr Beretta target pistols without silencers on the theory that if the pistols were discovered they could be more readily explained away than some more sinister armament they might have had. It is also my understanding that the first El Al "air marshals" used the .22s abninftr and Chris described up-post.
In Spielberg's film it sure looks like the actors have M1951 Beretta/Helwan 9mms, especially in the first Rome "hit," no? At least the shell cases picked up by the clean-up guy look like centerfire cases.
 

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While in the IDF and training with former ElAl security guys, the only .22s I ever saw were the larger Model 70s. I never saw in Israel the smaller Jetfire models. In a quick action, it would be easy to mistake the larger Beretta .22 for an M951 or Helwan. I can guarantee 100% that no Mossad agent, given any kind of choice, would have ever used a Helwan, they were universally reviled in Israel by anyone who ever shot them.
 

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Hi johnnyc,

You are "on target" as usual as I did a little research yesterday to see if I could retrieve the article. The only reference made to the Beretta .22's is that five were purchased directly from the Beretta factory with no reference to the model number.

The model 70 was in current production still in the '70's and I have owned one. It was quite a neat little pistol that had a propensity to jam at the wrong moment at the range.

I agree that the Egyptian Helwan was probably the last pistol the IDF would use.

Chris
 

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Very interesting. I understand why they would use the .22 in a "hit." I have heard that is what the Mafia tends to use. It's true though, throughout most of the movie it appeared that they were using 9 mms. It was a movie though of course, not a documentary.
 
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I wish I could quote the source, but I can't. I read many years ago that the Israelis used pistols chambered in 22 short for assassinations. The idea was that the 22 short didn't need a silencer, so the weapon could be smaller and simpler. I wouldn't expect any accuracy as to weaponry from Hollywood; they couldn't care less.
 
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I haven't seen the movie and don't plan on it, whatever really happened in '72 happened. I'm not anti-semitic, I just don't see that many movies.

I recall reading an article in a gun magazine years ago about LaFrance Specialties, who made the prop guns for the Schwarzeneggar/Belushi movie "Red Heat". The gun Arnold carried was a "Podbyrin 9.2mm", a totally fictional gun and caliber based on the Magnum Research Desert Eagle. It looked cool and was chambered to fire what I think was called 3-in-1 9mm blanks, if i remember correctly is commonly used in Hollywood. That may be why it appeared that centerfire cases are in the movie.
 

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There was a made-for-cable picture some years back about the Mossad operation against Black September after Munich that's not as intense as MUNICH but historically more accurate, if memory serves. The guns were suppressed Beretta .22's, and shorts, because subsonic, but I don't know if this is authentic. If you read "Every Spy a Prince," about Mossad, some specific details are left out, even though it's an unauthorized history, but it makes sense for the weapons and ammo to be easily obtained and readily discarded. At close range, meaning muzzle to skull, a .22 short will likely melonball. On the question of Hollywood getting guns right, John Milius seems to be the only guy with an interest in accuracy (THE WIND AND THE LION or DILLINGER, for example). But as a sidelight, a 1911 in .45 won't cycle blanks reliably, so in DILLINGER, or THE WILD BUNCH, for that matter, the 1911's are Llamas or Colts in .38 Super---and Dillinger, in life, is reported to have carried a .38 Super, not a .45 ACP. I think you'd have to solicit comment from an FX guy or a movie armorer, like Thell Reed, Jr., to get a definitive answer. (It always bugs me when I see somebody carrying a gun, in a Western, say, that's wrong for the period; a double-action Smith, for instance, instead of a SAA---GUNMAN'S WALK is a prime offender, but not alone.)
 

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I'm sure someone who knows definitively will respond, but my sense was the .22lr round was like the Eley type: relatively quiet report, but still a .22 lr. Also, no suppressor, since the .22 pop was about like loud firecrackers.

Thanks for mentioning the previous film efforts: Steven Bauer and, I think, Michael York were in past film adaptations...one of which also had the small-caliber-bullet-firing-bicycle-pumps.
As for Spielberg's movie, the DVD advertisements have a full-size Beretta 92, so there is your "historical accuracy" for ya.
Regardless of your likes/dislikes of Spielberg's numerous films, I do think that after _Private Ryan_ folks have come to expect a degree of realism from the director, despite quibbles like the criticisms: "the MG42 was usually fired with shorter bursts," or, "how could the telescopic sight on the 1903 Springfield return to zero," and, egregiously, copying, erm, "quoting" the unlikely bullet-through-the German-enemy-sniper's rifle scope lifted whole-cloth/completely from one of those Tom Berenger sniper flicks!

Thanks for the points on FX and blank adaptations, etc.
--d.
 
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