After escaping the Pescadero State Hospital in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John and Sarah Connor along with Uncle Bob traveled to the camp of Sarah's friend Enrique Salceda. There they accessed a weapons cache which included a minigun equipped with a special hand grip on top:

The minigun picked up by Uncle Bob has a special hand grip mounted on the top, unlike the machine gun in the background (at 0:07 in the above clip) which has the normal rear hand grips used when such weapons are mounted on a vehicle.

The minigun with the special hand grip was later used by Uncle Bob at Cyberdyne Systems headquarters:

As a Terminator, Uncle Bob's superhuman strength allowed him to use the minigun unmounted with no apparent recoil.

However, I highly doubt that a human could wield a hand held minigun with any accuracy or effectiveness -- and the Terminator Wiki's article on the minigun seems to agree. But if a hand held minigun is useless to a human and Sarah Connor has no idea that a friendly Terminator might one day help her, then why would she and Enrique stockpile a minigun with special hand grips? It would make sense to stockpile a minigun for mounting on a vehicle, but the clip above shows that the minigun used by Uncle Bob was stored with the special hand grip.

Or is my assumption that a human can't wield a hand held minigun incorrect -- i.e. has any human attempted to do so in (or out) of universe?

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    Because they're designed to be mounted onto a vehicle. The hand-grip is merely for moving it (unless you happen to be a super-strong cyborg).
    – Valorum
    Oct 30, 2014 at 18:19
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    You're asking WHY would they stockpile such a thing? Well, heck, wouldn't YOU??? I sure would. I'd put it on the shelf next to my pipe bombs.
    – Omegacron
    Oct 30, 2014 at 19:13
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    Just speculation, but she did know that there was a crazy robot-filled future on the way. It's not unreasonable to think that she might have been hoping to get some Terminator-level weapons on their side, as part of her plan to change the future. Like a Civil War soldier stockpiling oil and metal because a time-traveller told him about tanks, she could be hoping to get a jump on it as soon as they're invented and get some killer robots of her own before the war can really get started.
    – Nerrolken
    Oct 30, 2014 at 19:47
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    @Nerrolken - Not just speculation but actually contradicted by the canon. She's not merely surprised to see a friendly terminator, she's literally dumbfounded.
    – Valorum
    Oct 30, 2014 at 19:57
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    If we’re speculating, maybe she just came across a minigun with a grip like that on it and thought cool, might be useful, better to grab it than pass it up. Oct 30, 2014 at 20:06

4 Answers 4


Holding an M-134 is possible. Not practical, but possible. It uses standard .308 rifle rounds and weighs 85 pounds, unloaded. The steady recoil force is about 100 pounds. FPSRussia has a video of using one in a similar manner as in the movies.

The impractical part is, as usual, all logistics. At a reasonable 3,000 rounds per minute and 15 rounds per pound (linked belt), 30 seconds of firepower will require 100 pounds of ammo. And there's batteries to consider. We can probably get a lightweight lithium-ion pack made, so it's just bulk to deal with there. Plus accessories like an ammo feeder from the backpack to the gun, straps, padding etc. etc.

So lets say an all-up weight of about 225 pounds. Even The Arnold in his prime wouldn't be carrying that around all day, but it is easy enough to picture an urban-combat scenario where someone could drag the package out of storage, pick up the business end and use it out the window without too many problems. Accuracy won't be that great but if the other side just has repeating handguns you can scare them into leaving.

At bulk ammo prices it will cost you $75-$100 per second (plus gun rental), but it will be the most awesome $2k you will spend.

You can find the video here, at about the 2-minute mark:

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    "30 seconds of firepower will require 100 pounds of ammo." Anyone else read that with the voice of Heavy Weapons Guy?
    – Mario
    Nov 1, 2014 at 10:19
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    It's worth mentioning that there exist a couple of variants (the M134D/H and M134D/T) which are 40 pounds lighter than the standard unit. Mar 30, 2015 at 3:02

One was used by Jesse ventura's character in Predator. This Internet Movie Firarms Database article describes the gun used in Predator, and also states that U.S. special forces tested a hand held model in the 1970's.

Nicknamed "Painless", a hand-held M134 Minigun is the main weapon carried by Blain (Jesse Ventura). This particular weapon was modified for handheld use with an M60 handguard assembly (installed backwards) and a rear pistol grip which is taken from normal (at the time) Minigun spade grips. The grips are attached to the weapon by a custom Y-frame with an M16-style carry handle that mounts to the weapon's recoil absorbers. The weapon was powered by an electric cable hidden off camera and fired blank rounds to ease the recoil force; in addition, the rate of fire is substantially decreased from the normal 6,000 RPM to 1,250 RPM. There are several reasons for this; to ease recoil, save on ammunition, and because director John McTiernan wanted the barrels to be visibly turning rather than a blur. It is believed in real life a similar weapon was tested by US special forces in the 1970s but found to be impractical.

THis IMFDB article discusses the min-gun used in T2, and its differences from the one in Predator.

But the main article on the gun itself clearly states that such a weapon couldn't be operated by a human. So it is entirely a work of fiction.

A distinctive invention of fiction is the hand-held M134 minigun, a concept which was popularized by the film Predator. Physically demanding even for a slowed-down minigun firing blanks, such a weapon would be impossible for a human being to either carry or operate. This fact has not stopped it appearing frequently in other works, especially in video games. Generally such depictions will totally ignore the weapon's need for external power, and sometimes even forget it requires a source of ammunition.

So, yes, a gun like that has been used in fictional universes, and was at least attempted by the military. But it isn't feasible for a person to operate.

Updated to add: If I ever get my hands on one, I'm stockpiling it, whether it's practical or not!

Update 2: Sarah Connor has seen a Terminator at bad breath distance. She knows they exist and knows that small arms are not very effective at stopping them - you need as much firepower as possible. She believes that more are coming once Skynet becomes self aware . So Sarah would stockpile a hand held nuke if they existed and she could get one.

She has obviously has had previous contact with Enrique and has had an influence on his buying habits.

But even absent Sarah's influence, if he ever acquired one, he would probably keep it until a buyer came along. It is unique and would probably bring several thousand dollars from the right buyer. He would not care if the buyer could use it effectively.

And lastly, the handles attached to the gun don't necessarily prevent it from being mounted to a vehicle and used in the normal way, so it is still a useful weapon.

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    +1 Excellent background information! Now the question remaining is why would Sarah stockpile a weapon which cannot be used by a human. I suppose if it was attempted by the military then she may have also thought it would be possible (or the filmmakers used artistic license to claim that it is possible in-universe, and that Sarah "knew" that).
    – Null
    Oct 30, 2014 at 20:44
  • @Null Updated the answer to address your question. I previously focused on the last sentence in your original question. Oct 30, 2014 at 20:59
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    Hand held nukes existed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_%28nuclear_device%29 And I agree, Sarah would totally stockpile one :) Oct 30, 2014 at 22:22

Let's be clear, she had one because they thought it would be cool to have Arnie wield one, end of. However, if you want to make that fit the canon logically, in addition to the answers above that demonstrate which she might have legitimately come across such an item, also consider that she was planning on training her son in guerilla warfare. Often preparing for guerilla warfare includes lots of kitbash DIY solutions to make weapons more portable, easier to deploy, use and spirit away quickly before the enemy responds.

A central handle makes a lot of sense, it equalises the load somewhat meaning you can just about lug it about in one hand with a box of ammo/batteries/belt feed in the other. In canon, it was probably never intended to be fired from the hand, it's just an affectation to make the whole rig easier to relocate when psychotic robots are converging on your location.


Simple answer; Sara was just stockpiling weapons for the coming Apocalypse so she grabbed whatever she could get her hands on. Besides when the other side has (indirect quote) phased plasma rifles in the 40 megawatt range (T1), you need all the firepower you can get your hands on.

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