Platoon Leader is a 1988 Vietnam War film starring Michael Dudikoff as Jeffrey Knight, a US Army lieutenant freshly graduated from West Point and who is assigned to a forward base in Vietnam. The film was an adaptation of the memoirs written by James R. McDonough and was produced by B-movie studio Cannon Films, likely to capitalize on the popularity of Vietnam War-themed features in the late 1980s. Platoon Leader also was directed by Aaron Norris and marked the only film he helmed that did not star his brother Chuck.
The following weapons were used in the film Platoon Leader:
The M16A1 rifle, sometimes loaded with (anachronistic) 30-round magazines, is the primary rifle carried by US forces in the film, notably by Lt. Jeffrey Knight (Michael Dudikoff).
M16A1 with 30 Round magazine - 5.56x45mm
Some members of the unit carry M16 (SP1) rifles instead of the A1 model.
M16 (AR-15 SP1) with A1 flash hider and 30 round magazine - 5.56x45mm
Colt AR-15 Sporter II Lightweight
Sgt. Michael McNamara (Robert F. Lyons) carries a carbine that resembles a Colt Sporter II Lightweight that has been fitted with a fixed A2-style buttstock.
Colt Sporter II Carbine with 30 round magazine and fixed stock - 5.56x45mm
Sgt. McNamara (Robert F. Lyons
) with his carbine. Note the fixed buttstock was used instead of an adjustable variant.
The carbine is seen at the right.
VC and NVA forces are armed with Norinco Type 56 rifles throughout the film.
Norinco Type 56 (fixed stock variant) with under-folding bayonet ("pig sticker") - 7.62x39mm
NVA troops with their rifles.
Norinco Type 84S Target
An enemy soldier appears to be armed with the Norinco Type 84S Target.
Norinco Type 84S "Target" Rifle - 5.56x45mm. Basically a standard Norinco Type 84S with a slightly longer barrel. This variant was ready for market just as the 1989 US import ban was implemented, so it is mostly seen in Canada. It has an 18.5" barrel and was very rarely seen in the U.S. Gun market.
Opening fire with the rifle.
A Winchester 1300 shotgun is carried by Sgt. "Roach" (Brian Libby).
Winchester Model 1300 with extended tube & rubber Butt pad - 12 Gauge
Lt. Knight carries a Browning Hi-Power as his sidearm. He draws the pistol when confronting Private Raymond Bacera (Michael DeLorenzo).
Commercial Browning Hi-Power Mark III - 9x19mm
Smith & Wesson Model 29
Sgt. Michael McNamara (Robert F. Lyons) carries a revolver that resembles a Smith & Wesson Model 29.
Smith & Wesson Model 29 - .44 Magnum
The revolver is cleaned by Sgt. McNamara.
The revolver is used by a wounded Sgt. McNamara.
M60 Machine Gun
The M60 machine gun is primarily carried by Jan Shultz (Tony Pierce) as well as mounted as door guns on Huey helicopters.
M60 GPMG - 7.62x51mm NATO
A helicopter doorgunner operates the M60.
Browning M2HB Heavy Machine Gun
A Browning M2HB heavy machine gun is seen at the forward base.
Browning M2HB .50 BMG in vehicle mounting
The Browning M2 about to be fired during a VC attack.
M79 Grenade Launcher
The M79 Grenade Launcher is seen primarily carried by Private Raymond Bacera (Michael DeLorenzo). He discharges the launcher to threaten Lt. Knight.
M79 grenade launcher - 40mm
M26 Hand Grenade
The M26 Hand Grenade is carried by US troops.
M26 High-Explosive Fragmentation hand grenade
Lt. Knight about to pull the pin on the M26
The unit toss their M26
M72 LAWs are carried by members of the platoon.
The M72 LAW is seen carried by the downed soldier.