Coming Home

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Coming Home (1978)

Coming Home is a 1978 drama directed by Hal Ashby (The Last Detail) that chronicles the experiences of two Marines, one an experienced military officer and another whose wounds left him paralyzed, upon their return to the States following their service in the Vietnam War. The film would garner Academy Awards for both Jon Voight and Jane Fonda for their roles in the film.


The following weapons were used in the film Coming Home:

Contents


M16 Rifle

The movie begins a couple days before Captain Bob Hyde (Bruce Dern) ships out to South Vietnam. At one point he is seen qualifying with his M16 Rifle. His M16 features a three-prong flash hider and 'slickside' upper receiver (lacking the forward assist), but features the 'full' magazine fencing of the M16A1. This indicates it is either simply a 'frankengun' built with a combo of the aforementioned parts, or could possibly be a later variant of the Colt Model 604, which was the M16 variant adopted by the Air Force. Other Marines are seen qualifying with M16s, though most of the rest of these seem to be M16/SP1s. Neither the Model 604 nor the original M16 were ever adopted by the USMC.

The original M16, the first version, with 20-round magazine, adopted in large numbers by the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam - 5.56x45mm. This has the original 3-prong flash hider. It would later be replaced by the upgraded M16A1.
Colt Model 604 (aka "USAF" M16) - 5.56x45mm. This is an early variant featuring the 'partial' magazine fence of the XM16E1 - Later variants would feature A1-style 'full' mag fencing.
Marines qualify with their M16 Rifles before shipping out to South Vietnam. The one closest to frame clearly features a SP1-style 'slickside' upper reciever and A1-style lower receiver with 'full' magazine fencing.
Captain Hyde (Bruce Dern) fires his M16. His rifle also has a 'slickside' upper and full fence lower.

Type 56 Carbine (Chinese SKS)

A year later, Bob (Bruce Dern) returns from South Vietnam and learns about his wife Sally (Jane Fonda) and Luke Martin (Jon Voight). He retrieves a disassembled SKS rifle from his footlocker (which is full of souvenirs from Vietnam) and reassembles it minus the wood furniture. Later Luke Martin (Jon Voight) breaks the rifle down. It appears to specifically be a Type 56 Carbine, the Chinese variant of the SKS - This is a nice (and accurate) detail since the Chinese supplied weapons to the North Vietnamese Army as well as the Viet Cong.

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 AK-47 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, save for the last ditch Arisaka Type 99 rifles at the end of WW2. 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.
Bob is seen here with the (partial) Type 56 Carbine.
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