How Did The Beretta M9 Show Up In ‘Lone Survivor?’

How Did The Beretta M9 Show Up In ‘Lone Survivor?’ That’s the question being asked.

At the time of Operation ‘Red Wings’ which is the subject of the hit movie ‘Lone Survivor’, SEALs were toting SIG P226s, not M9 Berettas. Hollywood prop houses have loads of different guns, including SIGs, and any recent action movie will attest to that. So how did it get there? Rumor has it that M9 manufacturer Beretta paid the movie’s producers an undisclosed sum of money (some say in the high 5 figures) to have their weapon included. In fact, Brand-in Entertainment has bragged about the Beretta’s insertion on their website. It’s just brand placement right? So much for insisting on accuracy.

M9 in Lone Survivor

An M9 is clearly visible on the belt of Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) in the opening scene and later again, when a SEAL draws his handgun while ordering one of the Chinook pilots to not turn around.

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86 Responses to “How Did The Beretta M9 Show Up In ‘Lone Survivor?’”

  1. Frogman says:

    Thanks for putting that out there. Having been involved in that tragic chapter of NSW history I was seriously peeved to see the M9’s instead of our trademark P226’s.

    That should open the door for a “what else was sold out” discussion.


    • mike says:

      But I thought this was highly accurate to actual events as they really happened!?

      /end sarcasm

  2. Thomasjane says:

    Beretta paid to be in a scene where a SEAL points his gun at an American pilot? How much did Colt pay to have their Colt Commandos used by Force Recon on Americans in The Rock?

  3. BM says:

    Also as Lutrell is being extracted from the village, you can see blokes wearing what looks to be Ops-Core Helmets.

    From memory Ops-core popped up in 2006.

    Red Wings II was 2005.

    Can anyone counter?

    • straps says:

      All kinds of discrepancies in the parts of the movie NOT centered on what Lutrell and his Team mates touched or experienced personally.

      Nothing wrong with Lutrell and his brothers advocating for an accurate representation of THEIR experience.

      Where things went askew is the lack of attention to detail in the outer rings. That’s on the filmmakers. Some of the extras in the extract scene were OBESE. And way too clean. And apparently equipped by product placement greaseballs, not military historians.

      • subchasr says:

        On the topic of discrepancies…Can anyone tell me about when the SEALs started using double plates because I noticed at the end when Murphy was shot in the back (view pic above) he has no back plate. Also what about patches. I think I saw them wearing unit and American flags on this covert mission. Still I really enjoyed the movie. A very sad story.

        • Rick says:

          You are obviously coming from the outside.

          It was a reconnaissance mission in the mountains of Afghanistan. They were not wearing body armor. This was not a “covert” mission by the military definition. They were Americans involved in an armed conflict, they we wearing the flags as a means of uniform (required by Geneva Convention in most scenarios) and for purposes of identification of friendly/foe.

          – Rick

    • Eric says:

      We supplied the movie with a bunch of stuff, and helmets was one of them. For the record, we brought up that point to ISS about the ops cores not being around during that time. They still wanted them..

  4. Mark says:

    Berreta is frog hoggin’.

  5. endwahl says:

    The Beretta is easier to shoot blanks with.

    • Mandingo says:

      With all due respect; I don’t know who told you that, or where think you heard it, but your comment is neither accurate nor relevant.

      Film industry armorers are highly skilled at what they do, and blink no more of an eye at needing to adapt a crate of 226’s than they would at M9’s.

      If you had said, “Beretta’s are more common in the film industry arsenals.” You would have had a solid theory, but still been incredibly incorrect in regards to what appears to have influenced the decision making process in this particular situation.

      • Mmtmc375 says:

        All blanks in this movie were from Ultimate Training Munitions (UTM) and fired from weapons using UTM conversions. UTM converts both the M9 and the Sig among many others.

  6. Jason says:

    The PJ’s Ops-Core helmets were definitely time traveling as were the current generation of Mechanix gloves.

  7. BM says:

    Oh yeah the Mechanix Gloves!

  8. GreenTip556 says:

    The same way they all wore Gatorz, were dunked in Under Armour, and had Oakley Boots (though that may have been legit), and Luttrell has a suspiciously Boston “aaahr” in his speech pattern…

    You can’t really complain though, considering the advertising was probably needed to generate funding for the flick. Let’s not forget it’s not a documentary. It’s a homage a la Act Of Valor, just slightly more faithful to the original story. All in all a great film and a heartfelt dedication to the men of Red Wings and the SEAL community in general.

    • SSD says:

      At the time Under Armour would have been right and Oakley boots. Gatorz? Not sure. Back then Oakleys were king.

      • mike says:

        I only know of Gatorz from 2009 and on, but the original owner of Gatorz has been making metal glasses for a long time. Tale goes he got his start bootlegging Oakleys in the late 80s, early 90s and was told he made pretty good glasses and that he should go legit and make his own stuff. Gatorz was the successful product of this endeavor. He sold Gatorz and started Liquid, which is why Gatorz’s logos, advertising, and models have changed.

      • Frogman says:

        What SSD said is correct. It felt like my war in ’05 was sponsored by UA and Oakley.

        • Mike says:

          I was adding additional information about Gatorz, not arguing that one community or another cared about them at one time or another.

          They like them plenty now, and that’s without a doubt.

      • Jon OPT says:

        In early 04 Oakley boots and Underarmor were very prevalent. SEALs with M9s, not so much.

        Jon, OPT

      • GreenTip556 says:

        While the M9 thing is strange considering how prevalent the 226 and 229/M11 were in NSW (unless of course Beretta sponsered the film). However, a lot of stuff was accurate: the the VIP strobes, RAID/modified BDU tops, Kelty MAP packs and the spray paint dusted gear…..Even the Protec helmet Wahlberg wears is supposedly Marcus’s original that he got from Morgan when they met in country that he wore on the op. They’ve said numerous times it wasn’t meant to be a docudrama or biopic in the strictest sense.

        Big Navy was also involved in the production so I’m sure a lot of the SOP and command decision gripes Luttrell shares in the book and during lectures (the HRST/Fast Rope masters dropping rope on their INFIL, the insertion point silhouetted them in the moon light, the command and control issues, etc.) we an implied no-go.

        The broad strokes of the story are there and, ultimately, he portrayed some of our best warriors doing what they do: looking overwhelming odds in the face without batting an eye and replacing fear and doubt with aggression and an indescribable will to be tested to their utmost.

        Overall it’s a great movie and will once again swell the ranks of BUD/S hopefuls in the very near future, which is cleverly in-keeping with the SOCOM/Navy goal of growing the total NSW force by nearly double.

  9. Sal Palma says:

    A few years ago I had a similar question revolving around accuracy and the veritas of film productions. Producers, routinely accept compensation from organizations wishing to have their products in a movie. Props for example a soda can will have a generic branding but if you want the Coke / Pepsi logo, you pay. This came straight from a production company executive. I was really surprised by the response but it is what it is. It’s always about the money and a minor adjustment like that, which doesn’t alter the story is perceived as inconsequential. So, yeah I believe Beretta paid for a spot.

  10. Zak says:

    I just don’t see what all the uproar is for. If any discrepancies of the movie are to be argued, why focus on a gun?

    I have bigger issues with the scene where all 4 SEALs essentially held hands and jumped off the cliff together. I’ve got bigger issues with the tribe dynamics and what Marcus did and didn’t do in the village after he was aided by the locals. I’d rather hear a debate about the original 8-12 enemy combatants that some how morphed into hundred over time.

    With all of that, why do we focus on a little 9mm. Aren’t there bigger issues to get all bothered by?

    Regardless the movie was good, but let’s not forget that it is just that, a movie.

  11. Bill says:

    I didn’t notice the M9s until Axe’s last scene. When he pulled out the M9 it was a total WTF moment. My wife didn’t understand why I cared that the wrong pistol was in the scene. All I could say was that details matter. If they fudged that, what else did they fudge on? But then they had that big battle at the end in the village that never happened….I know all directors take some liberties to make a movie more exciting/watchable/interesting, but to those of us who serve, details and accuracy matter.

  12. CSpellman says:

    There are a couple of sites for mil pics and gear where the mere mention of this topic would send its members into fits of apoplexy and a Tourette’s Syndrome episode of screaming, ‘Airsofter! Airsofter!!’

  13. MK EOD says:

    Hey, it could be worse. My career field got “The Hurt Locker”. I’d take a director taking liberties with a true story, or the occasional wrong gun over…over that.

    • BillC says:

      I still can’t finish that. What. A. Crap. Movie.

    • Eric B says:

      But, Hollywood said Hurt Locker was so gritty, realistic, emotional, and…hahahahahaha. Shit, I just can’t finish that thought without laughing. You EOD guys deserved a much better movie. But, I digress. Yeah, shameless product placement once again with that Beretta move.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        Yeah – just remember, this is the same Hollywood that eulogizes a dead drug addict and protects a known child molester…

        • Mobious says:

          Yeah so what if they’re druggies, cultists or predators because THEY ARE ARTISTS WHO MADE AMAZING THINGS

          And all the people arguing that people shouldn’t speak badly about them, when those same people would spit at any other drug user or pedophile who doesn’t have a celebrity name…

    • JohnC says:

      I see your “Hurt Locker,” and raise you “CSI,” “Bones,” “The Blacklist,” “Hostage Rescue Team,” “The Kingdom” …

      • matty says:

        Don’t forget The Unit and Flashpoint.

        • straps says:

          Gonna slide in for the pot with “Enlisted.”

          • JohnC says:

            Nah. Comedies don’t count; at least not until they cause people (a) to show up at a field office asking for applications for the profiler job, or (b) debate a verdict based on non-existent science.

    • Chris K. says:

      AMEN. At least Lone Survivor is a movie that shows the military in a good light with some aspect of realism. PLEASE keep it in perspective, we need more movies that show some of the amazing things people have done for this country and less BS like the Hurt Locker.

      • JohnC says:

        “We need more movies that show some of the amazing things people have done for this country and less BS like the Hurt Locker.”
        Agreed. Frankly, I’d like to see more movies/shows where it’s not just the *one* agency (i.e., *guffaw* NCIS) who has to overcome the by-the-book incompetence/corruption of the Bureau, CIA, CAG, the DOD/DOJ brass, plus invariably nefarious contractors for a shady conglomerate, in order the thwart the terrorists. Amazingly, competent people exist everywhere. Some are even in charge.
        (Also, unrealistic as it was, I wonder how many kids were nudged towards NSW by Charlie Sheen. At the very least, I can think of four who wanted more after replicating his impromptu 30/30.)

        • JohnC says:

          Oh, and realistic suppressor sound effects, too, please. And, stop mistaking flash-hiders, etc. for suppressors. Thanks.

  14. Brian says:

    They were having a discussion about that on Internet Firearms Database

    One member found this:

    Brand-in Entertainment successfully integrates Beretta into Lone Survivor

  15. says:

    I read the book and it was pretty good. I was skeptical about the movie while viewing the trailer. The moment I saw the SEALs in the forest I knew it would be more of a “Hollywood” interpretation of what went down. From what I understood in Lutrell’s book is that the biggest concern was that there was no cover whatsoever in the AO.

    • Frogman says:

      The sentiment about the book isn’t widely shared by those who were around when it happened. The movie even less so.

      Accuracy isn’t our focal ring, better to focus on loss and valor.

  16. Buckaroomedic says:

    It’s just a Hollywood blockbuster . . . why is everyone getting all excited about gear?

    • straps says:

      What if you saw a Gatling gun used in a movie about the Alamo?

      Good to see you here–we miss you @ Kifaru lol.

  17. B31A says:

    What about the rattlesnake? Last I heard rattlesnakes where indigenous to N and S America only.

  18. reverend says:

    I’ve read the discussions, and the lack of details in the movie. Now I wish Hollywood would read this site, and realize why so few of us go to the movies.

    It’s hard to “suspend belief” for the sake of the story, when the details ARE the story!

  19. H.C. says:

    My unit did the apache and chinnok support for the movie. When we asked if they wanted a particular configuration, aircraft markings, etc, they didn’t care and just wanted aerial shots. We told them they would need alpha model apaches and delta model chinooks, they didn’t care. We said the chinooks would be the wrong color… Didn’t care. Hell, the whole reason the apache coverage was not there isn’t accurate in the film. A lot of the extras were crew chiefs they kitted out to look like seals so they could ride I’m the back of the aircraft (actors couldn’t legally). What I learned in all of it was the speed that filming has to get done and at what cost determined the level of realism or accuracy acceptance. If it affects the bottom dollar, they will go with what is cheaper. Also, the production company freaked when they got the bill from the army and tried to balk, we were in sequester at the time, so the army wasn’t playing.

    I’ll share my favorite conversation with a navy 0-3 handling the bill

    her “peter burg has done a lot for the military and veterans… Do you think the army can just let this bill go?

    Me: “holy shit, did you even see Battleship? It was horrible.”

    Like other guys have said, aside from the gun fight, everything else Hollywood took some artistic liberties with.

    • Mike Nomad says:

      Thanks for bringing up the Financial Dynamics of Movie Production. One less foaming reply I have to type today.

      Your 0-3 conversation almost made my drink come out my nose. Well done.

    • Flan says:

      Pretty obvious Air Cav stickers all over the aircraft. When I first saw that my reaction was “seriously?!?” They at least could have taken that realistic view that aviation folks (including myself) would have obviously noticed.

      – Former Air Cav Soldier

      • straps says:

        Yeah I saw that too. I’d like to have been the fly on the wall for the conversation about painting those over, on the basis of exactly the (much appreciated) information H.C. brought forth.

  20. afi1 says:

    Some of the discrepancies would have been more excusable had the director not made a bunch of claims to have a moral responsibility to be truthful and other B.S. The heart stopping in the beginning, the M9s, various aspects of the firefight, the MH-47 crash, Marcus being able to walk after, the stupid near beheading, the “Rescue” and the whole timeline for that matter… Can you imagine being Mat Axleson’s wife and watching the way the director/writer showed him being killed? Or Dietz being gear stripped alive then executed? Neither their award citations or Marcus’ book shows it this way. Too much crap was added and left out- it did a huge injustice to the tragic loss of life.

    • Frogman says:

      I was at the Virginia Beach advance screening at the request of Patsy Dietz. She was there along with many family, friends and fellow teammates of the men lost on that operation. I was disgusted by the representation Peter Berg created of the enemy removing the wedding ring from Danny Dietz. It did not happen that way and even though his widow and all of us who were out there immediately after know that, it was excruciating to view that scene. I believe I told the Universal representative who asked what I thought when leaving the theatre, “I don’t remember it that way. I guess you had to be there.”

      • Joshua says:

        Assuming he either didnt wear it or it was on him when he was recovered then? Just an entirely made up scene.

  21. ski says:

    Its a movie. Who cares.

    • This Gentleman says:

      Cant have put it better myself. Though beretta literally paying to be the pistol of choice is pretty ridiculous. Is it not good enough to be the service pistol for quite a few armies of the world?

      • Mandingo says:

        Some might say it’s the same approach they used to become the U.S. Service Pistol…

        Some might say that…

  22. Dirt Farmer says:

    In general I find it interesting how much Beretta wants to connect themselves to the teams. Since the M9 appearing in Lone Survivor sparked this conversation, I’m surprised nobody has thrown out the old “you’re not a SEAL until you taste Italian steel” saying.

  23. Mike says:

    I truly despise Beretta. That’s easily something they’d do, too. Horrible handguns and horrible game plan; rake in as much money possible with little to no regard of the end user’s experience.

  24. Jim says:

    These seem like minor innacuracies when seen through the prism of such insulting films as U571 and the hurt locker.

  25. joe_momma says:

    The notion that an operator would operate during an operation tier downrange in the sandbox with such a non operatoresque handgun that has operating problems is nonsensical!!!