Conflict: Vietnam sets itself apart from other games in the Conflict franchise in a number of ways, and chief among these is the characters' limited access to weaponry. Whereas in the Desert Storm games soldiers were resupplied between every mission, were prone to finding bountiful weapon hoards, and were able to carry as much as they could find, the squad in Conflict: Vietnam will have no such surpluses.
Because your squad is trapped behind enemy lines for most of the game, the only way for them to replenish their weapons and ammo is to pray to find a left-behind weapon, discover the rare, hidden VC munitions cache, or cannibalize guns from fallen enemies. Compounding this problem of shortage is that each character can carry only four weapons--a knife, a pistol, a rifle, and a heavy weapon. All too often you will have to sacrifice a superior gun in order to at least have something with some bullets in it.
Thus, the weapons available in Conflict: Vietnam are a key element to the game. Through heavy research and hands-on experience, developer Pivotal Games selected 30 unique weapons that showcase the variety of arms potentially available to soldiers during the Vietnam War. Every weapon in the game has a different feel thanks to specific report sound effects, unique gun sights, fire settings, ammo capacity, and so on.
On the following pages we present five pistols, five rifles, and five heavy weapons to give an overview of the various firearms that you will encounter in Conflict: Vietnam.
M-1911 A1 .45 Automatic
First used by the Army in 1911, this pistol became standard issue during World War II. Production ceased in 1945, but due to surplus inventories it was used by the armed services for decades after. It was widely respected for its reliability and stopping power, and its design required soldiers to be very familiar with it to be able to carry it in the ready-to-fire mode. Numerous unintentional discharges of the M-1911 resulting in injuries were documented during the Vietnam War.
S&W .38 Special Revolver
Standard issue for police officers for decades, the Smith & Wesson .38 Special is the most widely used handgun in the world, and it has been in continuous production since its introduction in 1899. This pistol was standard issue for helicopter pilots during the Vietnam War because it is compact and reliable and has tremendous stopping power.
Tokarev 7.62mm Automatic Pistol
This pistol was developed in the Soviet Union in 1930 and was adopted by the Soviet army the same year. Used by the North Vietnamese army and the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, it was popular because of its interchangeable parts and eight-round magazine. It's still being manufactured in China today.
Makarov 9.5mm Automatic Pistol
The Makarov became the standard pistol for most Euro-Asian Communist forces after its introduction in the early 1950s. The gun's grip was bulky, which made firing uncomfortable for those with small hands, but the thumb-operated safety catch served as a moderate consolation for this.
These crossbows have been created for centuries by the Montagnard--French-speaking natives who dwell in Vietnam but are ethnically separate from the Vietnamese. Entirely constructed from wood and bamboo, the weapons could be devastating at close range, easily able to penetrate 1-inch-thick planks of wood.
M16 A1 5.56mm Assault Rifle
Developed to match the Soviet-created AK-47, the M16 was the main assault rifle of the US military by 1970, and it has since become one of the most abundantly produced assault rifles in the world. The addition of the three-round burst fire option helped to greatly conserve ammunition during the Vietnam War.
M3 A1 9mm "Grease Gun"
Originally used during World War II, the M3 earned the nickname "grease gun" because it could fire only in fully automatic mode. The introduction of assault rifles greatly diminished this weapon's military use, but it was still popular with Vietnam War pilots because of its small size.
AK-47 7.62mm Assault Rifle
Undeniably the most widely distributed assault rifle in the world, the Soviet-developed AK-47 is easily recognizable from its high front sights and banana-curved magazine. Renowned for its reliability and accuracy, it can be fired in both semiautomatic and fully automatic modes.
M40 A1 Sniper Rifle
Put into service in 1970 to meet the need for extreme-range weapons, these sniper rifles are hand-built by specially trained military personnel. This bolt-action weapon is heavy due to its thick steel barrel, and it's designed to maintain a devastating degree of accuracy at long range.
Though this rifle was relatively modern when it was first introduced, continuous attempts to make it less expensive resulted in an utterly inferior firearm by the time of the Vietnam War. Because it's cheap, reliable, and simple to repair, and it has an acceptable level of accuracy, this is the preferred weapon to assign to poorly trained soldiers. With minor modifications it can also be used as a rudimentary sniper rifle.
M60 7.62mm Light Machine Gun
During the Vietnam War, the M60 was the main firepower of the infantry section, but it was also mounted on helicopters and ground vehicles as an anti-infantry weapon. Gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed, and equipped with a quick-change barrel to counter overheating, this weapon, with its quick rate of fire, was capable of decimating enemy forces on the open battlefield.
RPD 7.62mm Light Machine Gun
Basically the Soviet version of the M60, the RPD is a light and uncomplicated weapon capable of sustained heavy fire. Its best feature is its 100-round ammo drum that can be changed in a matter of seconds, which protects the belt-fed bullets from debris (and therefore jamming).
M72 66mm Light Antitank Weapon
Weighing only a touch over five pounds when loaded, collapsible into a watertight casing, and extremely simple to use, the M72 proved to be the most effective weapon against enemy tanks and bunkers during the Vietnam War. Though this weapon could be used only once before being discarded, its light weight allowed for multiple units to be carried by a single soldier.
M79, 40mm Grenade Launcher
The M79 saw its first military use during the Vietnam War and quickly proved itself able to bridge the gap between a grenade's throwing distance and the minimum range of a mortar. Operated much like a break-barrel shotgun, in the hands of an experienced grenadier, the M79 was accurate at up to 200 meters.
Remington 870 Pump-Action Shotgun
Introduced in 1950, the Remington 870 was adopted by the military in 1966 because of its effectiveness, versatility, and reliability. This 12-gauge shotgun is most effective at close range, with distance decreasing its deadliness.