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I remember watching a Vietnam film several years ago that followed soldiers through training. I can only remember one scene where the drill instructor teaches the recruits about the AK-47 and that it makes a distinct sound that they must remember so they can easily identify an enemy based on its sound.

I think there was an abandoned building in the background of the scene and I think someone was shooting out of a window (My memory of that is very fuzzy and it's possible that it will end up being from a different scene or even film but I think that is unlikely). I always believed that this film was Full Metal Jacket, however having watched it recently the scene was not there and I'm fairly certain it had different actors in it. I also believe that this film was well received.

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Could you be thinking of Heartbreak Ridge (1986)?

1983. Tom Highway is a well-decorated career military man in the United States Marine Corps, he who has seen action in Korea and Vietnam. Close to retirement, one of his last assignments, one he requested, is back at his old unit at Cherry Point, North Carolina, from where he is to train a reconnaissance platoon.

It also features this quote:

Highway: This is the AK-47 assault rifle, the preferred weapon of your enemy; and it makes a distinctive sound when fired at you, so remember it.

You can see the scene on YouTube, there's no abandoned building but they are briefly shown marching past the barracks at the start.

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Ah - you beat me to it!!! –  Stefan Aug 4 at 12:16
    
Yes, this is it, thanks a lot, the abandoned building was probably just my imagination. –  Kate Smith Aug 5 at 13:15
    
The abandoned building with someone shooting out of it was probably Full Metal Jacket! The sniper who is there for no reason, can shoot through walls, never misses and even the blood spurts out of her targets at the wrong angle so you can never tell where she is. –  Stefan Aug 19 at 11:48

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