Born on the Fourth of July

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Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Born on the Fourth of July is the 1989 feature film adaptation of an autobiographical novel written by Ron Kovic, a US Marine who was paralyzed during the Vietnam War and subsequently became involved in the anti-war movement. The film was directed by Oliver Stone (who received his second Academy Award for Best Director) and stars Tom Cruise as Kovic. The film was part of director Oliver Stone's unofficial "trilogy" of Vietnam War-themed films which included 1986's Platoon and 1993's Heaven & Earth.


The following weapons were used in the film Born on the Fourth of July:

Contents


Rifles

M1903 Springfield

During the 4th of July parade set in the late 1950's, ROTC cadets are seen marching with M1903 Springfield rifles. ROTC cadets carry the rifles in a 4th of July parade set in 1969.

M1903 Springfield - .30-06
ROTC cadets marching with 1903 Springfield rifles.
ROTC cadets marching with 1903 Springfield rifles are met with more animosity in a 4th of July parade in 1969.

M1 Garand

During the 4th of July parade set in the late 1950's, veterans are briefly seen marching with what appear to be M1 Garand rifles.

M1 Garand semiautomatic Rifle with leather M1917 sling - .30-06
During the 4th of July parade set in the late 1950's, veterans are briefly seen marching with what appear to be M1 Garand rifles. The Marine in the wheelchair in the front is the real Ron Kovic in a cameo role.

M14 Rifle

Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) and his fellow Marines use M14 rifles during the Vietnam sequences, which take place in January 1968, when the rifle was in the process of being replaced by the M16A1 in the United States Marine Corps. The rifle is used in several pivotal sequences, including the accidental shooting of Vietnamese civilians in a hamlet, the death of one of Kovic's squadmates and finally when Kovic himself is paralyzed during an ambush.

M14 rifle - 7.62x51mm NATO
Several Marines on patrol with their M14s.
Kovic and his squad search a hamlet in Vietnam.
Kovic enters a hut armed with the M14.
The M14 is seen in the hands of Martinez (Jason Gedrick).
Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) fires his M14 after being ambushed by NVA forces.
Kovic tries to clear his jammed M14.
Kovic continues to fire his M14, despite being already wounded in the foot.
A close-up of Kovic's M14, firing on full auto. Note the blank shell casing.

Type 56 carbine SKS

North Vietnamese soldiers can be seen with SKS Type 56 rifles during the ambush of the Marines.

Chinese Type 56 Carbine aka the Chinese SKS rifle - 7.62x39mm. The Chinese SKS has a stamped receiver and a spike bayonet (aka a "pig sticker") much like one of their AK47 copies - the Type 56 assault rifle. This version, like many imported SKS rifles, have the infamous 'orange cratewood' stocks, probably the lowest quality wood in any mass produced rifle. Many SKS rifles during the Vietnam War were issued with reddish plastic stocks, because of the incidents of 'wood rot' in the humid SE Asian jungles.
A NVA soldier running with a Type 56 rifle.

Norinco Type 56

North Vietnamese soldiers fire Type 56 rifles during the ambush of Kovic's Marine platoon.

Norinco Type 56 (fixed stock variant) with under-folding bayonet ("pig sticker") - 7.62x39mm
NVA soldier with the rifle.
NVA soldier fires his Type 56 from a fortified position. Note the closed front sight indicating that the rifle is a Type 56.

Machine Guns

M60

Marines fighting in Vietnam can be seen using M60 machine guns. The M60 also is seen mounted on Marine "Huey" helicopters.

M60 machine gun - 7.62x51mm NATO
The M60 is fired by a Marine machine gun team.
The Marine M60 team opening fire.
A Marine on patrol with an M60 on his shoulder.
A Marine with a M60 falling back after being ambushed.
A Marine "Huey" helicopter covers the Marines on patrol with an M60 mounted on the side.

RPD

An RPD is seen being fired by a NVA soldier.

RPD - 7.62x39mm
An NVA soldier fires the RPD at a Marine helicopter.

Handguns

M1911A1

A Marine fires a M1911A1 during the battle which paralyzes Kovic.

M1911A1 - .45 ACP
A Marine carrying an M20 Bazooka also carries the pistol in his left hand.
A Marine behind Kovic fires an M1911.

Other

M79 Grenade Launcher

An M79 Grenade Launcher is briefly seen carried by a Marine in Vietnam.

M79 grenade launcher - 40x46mm
On the left, an M79 Grenade Launcher is briefly seen carried by a Marine in Vietnam.

M72 LAW

In the film, one of the weapons carried by the Marines in Vietnam is the M72 LAW.

M72A2 LAW - 66mm
The Marine on the left carries an M72 LAW.

M20A1 "Super Bazooka"

In the film, one of the weapons carried by the Marines in Vietnam is the 3.5 inch M20A1 "Super Bazooka" rocket launcher. A Marine can be briefly seen assembling a 3.5 inch M20A1 "Super Bazooka" when Kovic's platoon is ambushed.

M20A1 "Super Bazooka" - 3.5inch
A Marine carrying an M20A1 "Super Bazooka" also carries the pistol in his left hand. Visible in this shot is the enhanced loading catch which identifies the launcher as an A1 variant.
A Marine assembles his M20A1 "Super Bazooka".



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