Bullet in the Head

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Bullet in the Head (1990)

Bullet in the Head (Chinese title: Die xue jie tou) is the 1990 historical drama/action film directed by John Woo. Set in 1967 with the effects of the Vietnam War in the background, the film tells the story of three friends who flee from Hong Kong to Vietnam, with dramatic and ultimately tragic consequences.

The following weapons were used in the film Bullet in the Head:




Smith & Wesson Model 15

A pivotal weapon in the film, the Smith & Wesson Model 15 used at different points in the film by Wing (Waise Lee), Fai (Jacky Cheung) and Ah Bee (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). Most notably, the weapon is used when the three protagonists are held at a Việt Cộng camp, where they are coerced into executing fellow prisoners.

Smith & Wesson Model 15 .38 Special
Wing uses a Smith & Wesson Model 15 to rob a storekeeper of his money in Saigon
Ah Bee is threatened by Wing with a S&W Model 15 during an argument.
Fai aims the Model 15 at a prisoner.
Ah Bee (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) holds an NVA officer hostage with his own Smith & Wesson Model 15.
Fai with a Smith & Wesson Model 15.

Llama revolver

Y.S Leong (Lam Chung), a Saigon crime boss, uses a Llama revolver to hold Yan Sau Ching (Yolinda Yam) hostage after Wing, Fai and Bee attack his club.

Leong aims the revolver at Yan Sau Ching's head.
Leong prepares to fire.

Actually that's a LLAMA marking, not a Taurus symbol; IMHO that's either a Llama mod. "Martial" or "Comanche"



M1911A1 pistols are among the most common weapons in the film, and are used by the protagonists, Vietnamese gangsters and ARVN soldiers.

M1911A1 .45 ACP
A M1911A1 pistol is aimed at a Viet Cong terrorist's head as ARVN soldiers prepare to execute him
Corrupt ARVN officers and thugs with M1911A1 pistols. One of the thugs in the background can be seen with an unknown revolver.
Ah Bee with a M1911A1.
Ah Lok (Simon Yam) reloads his M1911A1.

Auto Ordnance M1911A1

The Auto Ordnance M1911A1 is also occasionally seen in the film, most noticeably during the final scene.

Auto Ordnance M1911A1 - .45 ACP. This is a well worn blank adapted movie gun used in multiple World War 2 movies as a substitute for the Colt M1911A1
Ah Bee threatens the crime lord with an Auto-Ordnance M1911A1.
An Auto Ordnance M1911A1 at the end of the film.

Browning Hi-Power

Some of Mr. Leong's thugs are armed with Browning Hi-Power pistols. Ah Bee also uses a Hi-Power as one of his weapons when he confronts Wing at the conclusion of the film.

Classic Commercial Browning Hi Power (Belgian Mfg) - 9x19mm
A thug with a Browning Hi-Power.
Ah Bee with a Browning Hi-Power.

Norinco Model 54

A Norinco Model 54 pistol is used by Fai during the shootout at the Y.S Leong's club.

Norinco Model 54 - 7.62x25mm Tokarev
Fai holds the crime boss hostage with a Model 54.

Submachine Guns

Beretta M12

A Beretta M12 submachine gun, concealed under a piano, is used by Wing during the gunfight at the Leong's club.

Beretta M12 9x19mm
Wing awaits Leong's gangsters with a Beretta M12.
Wing fires the M12.

Sten gun

One of Leong's thugs is briefly seen firing a Sten submachine gun before being shot by Wing.

Sten Mk II Submachine gun - 9x19mm
The thug with a Sten gun is shot.

M1928 Thompson

Ah Lok (Simon Yam) uses an M1928 Thompson without a butt stock and loaded with a 30-round box magazines during the gunfight at Leong's club.

M1928 Thompson .45 ACP with 50-round drum magazine
Lok retrieves the Thompson submaachine gun from Leong's office. You can also see a number of pistols and revolvers on the left at the top of the shelf.
Lok points the M1928 Thompson at Leong.
Lok fires the M1928 at approaching thugs.


Wing uses an Uzi submachine gun when he confronts Bee in the conclusion.

IMI Uzi 9x19mm
A close up of Wing's Uzi.
Wing fires the Uzi from his car.


Remington 870 Shotgun

Ah Bee uses a pistol-gripped Remington 870 shotgun with a sawed-off barrel during the gunfight at the crime lord's club. The cap on the magazine tube is the giveaway that it's an 870.

Remington 870 12 Gauge with sawed-off barrel and stock
Bee fires his shotgun as he covers his friends' retreat
Bee holds off the thugs with the shotgun.
In a typical John Woo fashion, Bee fires the shotgun at a fountain, creating an explosion of debris.


M1 Carbine

An M1 Carbine is used by a shopkeeper in an attempt to defend his store from robbery. Later, another M1 Carbine appears in the hands of a gangster working for a local crime boss.

M1 Carbine .30 Carbine with twin magazine pouch
A shopkeeper with a M1 Carbine ducks when Wing fires at him
A gangster fires his M1 carbine.

M16A1 Rifle

M16A1 rifles are used by South Vietnamese (ARVN) and U.S. ARMY soldiers, as well as Việt Cộng rebels throughout the film. Ah Lok (Simon Yam) is armed with an M16A1 when he attacks the Việt Cộng camp with American soldiers, and Fai (Jacky Cheung) attacks his Việt Cộng captors with a captured M16A1.

M16A1 5.56x45mm NATO
M16A1 rifles in the hands of an ARVN soldier robbing a jewelery store in Saigon
ARVN troops confront an anti war protest armed with M16A1 rifles
A Viet Cong points his M16A1 at Bee.
Lok approaches the Viet Cong camp with a M16A1.
Fai and Bee hold an NVA officer hostage.

Colt Model 653 Carbine

When the main characters attempt to flee pursuing ARVN forces, Ah Lok (Simon Yam) and Fai (Jacky Cheung) use Colt Model 653 carbines with two 20-round magazines taped "jungle style" to defend themselves. It is also used by US Army soldiers during the battle scene. Note: In the real world, these variants by Colt were only available after 1973 so any depiction during the time frame between 1964-1973 is anachronistic.

Colt Model 653 carbine - 5.56x45mm NATO
Fai and Lok fire Colt Model 653 carbines.
Lok prepares to set off the claymore mines.
Lok fires the Model 653 with one hand.

Norinco Type 56

Norinco Type 56 assault rifles are used by the Việt Cộng and North Vietnamese soldiers who capture Ah Bee, Fai and Wing. Wing later uses a captured Type 56 to massacre an innocent family when he steals their boat.

Norinco Type 56 (fixed stock variant), early model with milled receiver and under-folding bayonet ("pig sticker") which was standard on PLA-issue Type 56s - 7.62x39mm
Type 56 assault rifle aka M22, early milled receiver model without under-folding ("pig sticker") bayonet - 7.62x39mm
A NVA soldier with a Norinco Type 56.
Bee is forced to execute prisoners with a Type 56.
Fai fires a Type 56 after seizing it from a NVA guard.
Wing with a Type 56.

Scoped Springfiled M1A

An Springfield M1A is used by U.S. special forces to kill Việt Cộng guards in the watch towers during their assault on an enemy encampment.

Springfield M1A - .308 Winchester. Note the notch where the fire selector would be.
An American special forces soldier prepares to fire the M1A Designated Marksman Rifle
A special forces soldier aboard a Huey with a M1A.

Machine Guns

M60 Machine Gun

M60 machine guns appears in two instances. It first is shown as a Jeep mounted weapon when ARVN soldiers rob a jewelery store and later in the hands of Việt Cộng at their encampment. US Army soldiers are also seen using them during the battle scene.

M60 machine gun 7.62x51mm NATO
A Jeep-mounted M60 machine gun
A close up of the M60 as it shoots up a jewelery store.
A VC M60 fires on an escaping prisoner.
A VC (on the left) fires a M60 at American special forces soldiers.

M60D Machine Gun

A helicopter mounted M60D machine gun is shown when U.S. special forces attack the Việt Cộng encampment.

M60D machine gun 7.62x51mm NATO
A helicopter-mounted M60D being fired

Browning M2 HB

Browning M2 HB machine guns are seen on ARVN tanks and positions throughout the film, as well as at a Việt Cộng bunker in their encampment.

Browning M2HB on M3 tripod - .50 BMG.
VC fire from a position with a Browning M2 HB.


Federal Gas Riot Gun

During scenes depicting the 1967 leftist riots in Hong Kong, police officers use the Federal Gas Riot Gun to disperse protesters.

Federal L-5 Gas Riot Gun - 37mm
Hong Kong Police open fire with Federal Gas Riot guns.

M79 Grenade Launcher

The M79 grenade launcher is carried by ARVN soldiers, who use use them to fire tear gas grenades at anti-war protesters. American soldiers fighting off a Viet Cong ambush are also briefly shown using them.

M79 grenade launcher - 40mm
ARVN soldiers aboard a truck hold M79 grenade launchers.
ARVN soldiers firing tear gas at protesters.

M18A1 Claymore Mine

Viet Cong terrorists use a M18A1 Claymore to assassinate an ARVN officer, while Lok and Fai later lay several Claymores in anticipation of an attack by corrupt ARVN soldiers.

M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel mine
A VC terrorist ignites the fuse on a Claymore mine.
A half buried Claymore mine laid by Fai.

M16A1 with M203

South Vietnamese soldiers carry M16A1 rifles with M203 grenade launchers when they chase the three protagonists along a river. The weapon is anachronistic since the movie is set roughly between 1967 and 1968, while the M203 did not enter American service until 1969.

M16A1 5.56x45mm NATO with M203 grenade launcher 40mm
An ARVN officer fires an M203 grenade launcher mounted on his M16A1.
A close-up of the M203.
An American special forces soldier fires upwards into a guard tower with a M203, a feat not possible in real life but possible in the world of action movies. Notice also the tiger stripe is a post-war commercial pattern.


Corrupt ARVN officers use a M72 LAW to destroy the boat that the protagonists are riding in.

M72A2 LAW - 66mm
An ARVN officer aims the M72 LAW.
The ARVN officer fires the LAW.

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