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Deer Hunter, The
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 Vietnam War film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino. The film follows a group of friends from a small Pennsylvania working class town through their harrowing experience serving as soldiers during the Vietnam War and how it comes to affect them upon their return to the United States. The film, which would go on to receive Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, did encounter controversy for its graphic depiction of Russian roulette. The cast includes Robert De Niro, John Savage, Meryl Streep, and Christopher Walken, who received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
The following weapons were used in the film The Deer Hunter:
WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Colt Detective Special
A Colt Detective Special is used in the initial Saigon Russian roulette match observed by Nick (Christopher Walken). The ejector rod shroud that is unique to the 3rd Generation DS is visible on the revolver being used.
Smith & Wesson Model 36
When Michael (Robert De Niro) returns to Saigon to search for Nick (Christopher Walken), the revolver being used in the Russian Roulette matches is now a Smith & Wesson Model 36. Since the Model 36 is a 5-shot revolver, the chances of shooting one's self is now 1/5, instead of a 1/6 chance (as with a 6-shot revolver).
Smith & Wesson Model 10
Following the wedding when the men get ready to go hunting, Stan (John Cazale) is seen pulling a Smith & Wesson Model 10 with a 2" barrel and nickel finish. What appears to a different firearm is seen from the latter part of the movie. See the quote in the fourth screencap. Axel takes a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver with 2" barrel out of Stan's waistband to show Michael. Later in the hunting cabin Stan threatens Axel with it, and Michael takes it from him and puts one round in the cylinder, clicking it empty against Stan's head. (Trivia: According to the director, De Niro requested a live bullet to be used in this scene to heighten the sense of danger. John Cazale, who played Stan, did not protest, yet compulsively and understandably checked that the bullet was not next in the chamber for the scene.)
Smith & Wesson M&P
The Viet Cong soldiers order the POWs to play Russian roulette with a Smith & Wesson M&P revolver. Michael (Robert De Niro) notably uses it when he asks the Vietnamese soldiers to load three bullets in the gun, which he then uses to kill three soldiers and uses their weapons to dispatch the rest. It's identified as a Pre-Model 10 M&P from its hammer configuration. That is what is known as a "Long-Action" M&P. The "Long Action" was phased out in 1948. Smith & Wesson did not start numbering the models until 1957. By then, the "Short Action" with the re-designed hammer was standard on all models.
American MPs at the Saigon Military Hospital carry what appear to be M1911A1 pistols in their holsters.
Toy Single Action Army
What appears to be a toy Single Action Army is held by a child in this scene.
12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun
A 12 Gauge Double Barreled Shotgun is seen on the rifle rack in Michael's house.
Remington Model 760
The rifle on the gun rack in Michael's house is a Remington Model 760 pump rifle.
Remington 700 BDL
Remington 700 BDL rifles are used by the members of the hunting party. Michael (Robert De Niro) notably carries a left-handed model. Interestingly, De Niro shoots right-handed when using a handgun (particularly in the famous Russian Roulette scenes) and when using the flamethrower. He switches to left-handed with the Remington 700, as well when using the M16A1. Cross-dominant shooters will often switch sides when using long guns, in order to be able to aim with their dominant eye when shouldering the weapon.
M16A1 rifles are carried by Nick (Christopher Walken) and Steven (John Savage) while serving in Vietnam. Michael (Robert De Niro) notably uses one to finish off an NVA soldier after setting him on fire with a flamethrower. Many US soldiers carry them as well when Michael returns to Saigon to look for Nick.
Colt XM177E1 Commando
A US soldier is seen carrying what appears to be an XM177E1 carbine upon exiting a helicopter. The footage appears to be actual documentary footage from the war so it's likely the real thing.
Norinco Type 56
Norinco Type 56 rifles are used by the Viet Cong. Michael (Robert De Niro) and Nick (Christopher Walken) both take one from their captors during the Russian Roulette scene and use them to dispatch the remaining Viet Cong.
We also see Viet Cong with older style Type III AK-47s.
A US helicopter that manages to save Nick (Christopher Walken) has two M60 machine guns mounted on it. An ARVN jeep that stops for Michael and Stevie has an M60 mounted on it as well. M60s are also seen atop the US embassy during the Fall of Saigon.
A Browning M1919A4 is seen mounted on a US Army Jeep when Michael Vronsky (Robert De Niro) returns to Saigon to bring back Nick.
Several Browning M2HB heavy machine guns are seen in the film mounted on US M113 armored personnel carriers.
Michael (Robert De Niro) uses an M2 Flamethrower to torch a Vietnamese soldier.
Chinese Type II
A People's Army of Vietnam (also known as the NVA) soldier uses a Chinese Type II grenade.