Poncho's Mulit-shot Grenade Launcher from Predator

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
As some of you may know, at SDCC 2014, a group of us recreated the Rescue Team from the original Predator (sadly, our Mac backed out at the last minute).



In doing the research for that group, we learned a tremendous about the weaponry used in the film. Everyone remembers Blain’s mini-gun, but I found Poncho’s 40mm Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher to be just as interesting and unique. The core of his MGL is a AN-M5 Pyrotechnic Discharger a WWII era flare launcher used on large aircraft like the B17 Bomber. The rest of Poncho's gun consists of parts from an HK94 and other odds and ends.

Shortly after SDCC an AN-M5 Discharger came up on eBay and while it seemed like it would be a fun project to work on, the price was just more than I wanted to spend.

A year passed… and I have watched the seller list and relist the piece with no bites. Finally I wrote him and made him an offer, low to be sure, but since this was only one piece for the project, I didn’t want to invest too much. It was only after he accepted my offer that I really started taking a hard look at the piece and what it was going to take to modify it to Poncho’s MGL… and that is when I realized that this wasn’t just a stock AN-M5.

An AN-M5, out of the plane looks like this:


The AN-M5 I bought looked like this:





The barrel was completely custom (I had assumed that was how they came out of the plane) and matched relatively closely to Poncho’s gun. Closer inspection showed that the bracket on the top of the barrel to match the one seen on James Braddock’s (Chuck Norris) custom HKG3 in 1998’s Braddock: Missing in Action III.



This in and of itself was pretty exciting as it made the piece a screen used item… but from a movie no one knows or cares about. However, further inspection of the custom barrel shows the unquestionable weld marks from Poncho’s MGL foregrip.



This isn’t the found part that could be used to make a Poncho MGL replica. This IS Poncho’s MGL from one of my favorite films!!! Sadly, I can't screen match it positively as it has been repainted more than once and has a considerable amount of wear and tear, but the uniqueness of the AN-M5, coupled with the custom barrel and the foregrip weld marks makes me feel confident in what it is.





So... now I am looking into what it would take to restore it to its former glory, as seen in the film!
 

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Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I know I have already said it but, pretty damn cool man. For it to sit on EBay all that time also... was just meant to be.
 

Apollo

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hard one to tackle!

Gonna really enjoy seeing this one come about! :thumbsup
 

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SciFiMuseum

Well-Known Member
Congrats on one heck of a find Art! Amazing that no one else put it together that this was in fact a screen-used piece...
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
The mechanics work and that loud click you are hearing is the hammer falling on each cylinder!

 
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Sidewinder

Sr Member
Wowzers. Been looking for an ANM5 myself for ages too. Will there be any form of replication of this made available - CAD, castings, drawings or dimensions etc?

SAS
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Wowzers. Been looking for an ANM5 myself for ages too. Will there be any form of replication of this made available - CAD, castings, drawings or dimensions etc?

SAS
While I have no plans of casting it (would be a nightmare), if you have general questions or measurement requests, I will be more than happy to give you what I can and once I have the custom pieces modeled, I certainly don't mind sharing that info. I can't imagine many people would want to build one of these, but I am all for sharing info for those who do.
 

Sidewinder

Sr Member
Well, multi angle shots of the Cartridge holder & backplate casting (bit with the gear on it) would be good also the plate on the end of the barrel. Dimensions of the major components too, the type I could scale the other dims off of the picture from, something like that. Ooh the diameter/length of the barrel too. :D

Thanks.

SAS
 

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Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
Whew! That is a tall order. I am out of town for the next three weeks, but once I am back, let me see what I can do.

Well, multi angle shots of the Cartridge holder & backplate casting (bit with the gear on it) would be good also the plate on the end of the barrel. Dimensions of the major components too, the type I could scale the other dims off of the picture from, something like that. Ooh the diameter/length of the barrel too. :D

Thanks.

SAS
 

Sidewinder

Sr Member
Well you did offer! I know, send it to me and i'll get all the stuff I want and you can have it back after eh?

SAS
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
So... it has only taken TWO years to make any progress at all on this. Today I started a study of the receiver of Poncho's MGL. The biggest hurdle is that there seem to be at least three of these in the movie and all three are different. From what I can see there is

1) a hero that has a M16 A1 style grip (hollow in the bottom)
2) a stunt that has a M16 A1 style grip (solid on the bottom... probably a cast piece)
3) a stunt that has an HK HK94A3 lower receiver (this also appears to be a solid casting, and non-functional)

Worse yet... the rear receiver on all of these guns appear to be slightly unique/different and because they switch so much from scene to scene it is very difficult to tell what goes with what. With that being said, I am going to do my best to follow one of those all the way through and see where it leads.

Without using any dimensions at all... just playing around, I designed the receiver in Fusion 360. It is just a start to see what I think and overall I THINK I like the direction, but I have a LONG way to go.

predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-study.PNG
 

Art Andrews

Community Owner
Community Staff
another thing I discovered... or at the very least, am struggling with, is the receiver alignment to the AN-M5. I thought it was very obvious, but after looking at scenes from the movie, it appears to be severely offset, centered over the crank shaft instead of on the more obvious mount points.

predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment.jpg


It is VERY obvious in this first image that the center of the receiver it not aligned at all with the nut and threaded rod at the top, which represents the center of the firing pin.
predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-1.jpg

This... not so apparent. Note that this receiver is VERY different in shape and even the number of ribs than the one above. It is far more rounded and appears to be more aligned with the nut at the top, but note how bent the receiver is in relation to the AN-M5... making me think this is a stunt gun.
predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-2.jpg

This on falls somewhere in between although I feel it is closer to the first than the second.. The ribs are large and chunky like the first and the receiver appears to be offset.
predator-poncho-grenade-launcher-receiver-alignment-3.jpg
 

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