“What did I learn? Well, firing a gun in real life isn’t like firing in a video game. The ideas are totally similar, but there are huge piles of skill, safety, and body conditioning necessary to fire the real thing well. Good grip and shooting form, along with getting used to the kickback of the weapon, is essential to actually hitting what you’re aiming at. Even if the sights aren’t accurate, if you don’t hold the gun correctly and look down them properly, you won’t get sick headshots.” – Will Greenwald in I Shot Machine Guns, Just Like in the Video Games! [via geek.com]

59 Responses to Quote of the Day: A Gamer’s Guide to Gun Basics

    • Gamers don’t get out much. Guy probably didn’t know he had a neckbeard. Or even a beard. Or even went through puberty.

      I shoot KelTec so holding a poorly shaped piece of plastic in my hands and pretending to hit stuff is the same as playing video games.

      • “Guy probably didn’t know he had a neckbeard. Or even a beard. Or even went through puberty. “
        Sorry for having to call you out on your shit, but people who game are not just kids who are immature. Your comment about puberty is demeaning and full of shit.

        As to the neck beard, I sometimes don’t shave that either. Shaving can be a uncomfortable and painful experience – and no, I’m not talking about cutting yourself. Aside from that, it is a mark of pride. I can proudly say I am a member of the Bearded Men Club, not some no-beard-growing pussy.

    • Don’t sell neck beards short.
      Yesterday, here in Phoenix, it got below 75°. I could have caught a sniffle without my neck beard.

    • Honestly, he looks about as fit as most of the “hardcore” gun guys I see at the range with their “tactical girth”.

    • This, my dear friends, is why we cannot have nice things. We insist on name calling (*”fudd” “nerd” “neckbeard”).

      The more people understand things like (quoting from the article):

      “Using a suppressor teaches you a few things about them. One: It isn’t a silencer. It doesn’t turn the BANG! into a Pffh, it turns the BANG! into a Bang! It’s still loud, and it still sounds like a gun. The difference is the loudness isn’t quite as ear-destroying as it would be unsuppressed. ”

      … the less hold Shannon Watts absurd rhetoric will have over people when it comes time to legalize the constitution.

      Rather than being a di** when the People of the Gun adds one, we should celebrate and get his friends a gift certificate. Like it or not, gamers with a desire to shoot the real thing are probably the future in states like CA.

      And, I do not care what they look like, where they live, or what they do, as long as they support the constitution and write fact-based articles.

      • I sincerely doubt a trip to the range turned this guy into a 2A loving american, but instead just thought ,”well, that was cool, but I could take it or leave it”. I know, because up until recently, quite a few people in my circle of friends were carbon copies of unemployed neck beards (bet you dollars to donuts this guy wanted Bernie for prez.)
        I will admit that, yes, sometimes the POTG have a bad habit of turning on their own quickly, whether it be a new gun owner or someone who claims to support the 2A and the Democrat party, but sometimes you have to be realistic in the fact that just because someone shoots a gun once, they’re not going to go out and join the NRA, do open-carry marches, etc. Our side will always have enemies, whether they’ve ever shot a gun or not.

        • I am not expecting them to turn into 2A-loving person instantly.

          However, almost all gun control arguments rely on ignorance, to the point of absurdity. True fact: Shannon Watts cited a James Bond movie against the Hearing Protection Act. Silencers are bad, because Hollywood! lol.

          I merely hope that once people go to the range, people think “Guns are nothing like in movies. If Shannon Watts [Brady Campaign etc] are lying about that, what else are they lying about.”

          It has always been the case that education is our best friend. Once people realize the absurd hyperbolic rhetoric from Brady, Bloomberg, etc is silly, they stop listening to them. And that is enough. If they turn into a supporter, that’s just a bonus.

        • A take it or leave it attitude is vastly different from a take yours away from position, and is an embodiment of what the 2A stipulates. He doesn’t have to shoot and he doesn’t have to not shoot. Part of being free is being free to do as you please.

          Honestly, the game playing crowd (board, console, PC) are the circles I grew up in and still run with. The attitude from a lot of folks here is why I am a regular, but not avid, participant here. It’s an attitude that pervades from the digital to physical world.

          They aren’t alone, though. Gamers tend to have the same attitude about those who don’t go all in or who don’t fit the mold that they expect people to fit into. The flack I got at a convention last year for trying to fight the 30.06 ban at the government owned convention center was pretty vitriolic.

        • “I know, because up until recently, quite a few people in my circle of friends were carbon copies of unemployed neck beards”
          I think if you will carefully analyze that statement, you could not help but understand just how flimsy it is as a piece of ‘evidence’.
          All it means is that some certain looking type of group did you wrong, and from now on, all who look like that are bad. It is only a statement of your own bias, not of fact.
          Note that I carefully do not take exception to either position, but remain neutral. I only note the bias inherent in the statement.

        • Bill Gates is famously quoted as having said, “Be nice to nerds, someday you’ll probably work for one.”

          IMO the quote should be, “Be nice to nerds, they might be packing.”

      • Fudds are real and they need to be called out. Defining the enemy within is more about identifying than name calling.
        I agree with you on ostracizing pro gun or at least fence sitting people who you don’t identify with. But the Fudd as we know him is no friend of the 2nd amendment. Therfore I reserve the right to call them out as it pertains to this forum.

    • This was meant to be a reply to Mouseguns post.I think Dale Carnegie should give your money back.

      That fucking nerd ,”Can’t be a man cause he doesn’t smoke, the same cigarettes as me”.

      I knew a fucking nerd like that a long time ago, strange but nobody made fun of him after his first Navy Cross.

        • if you can’t say anything intelligent, say nothing.

          If you’re not part of the solution at least don’t be part of the problem.

    • Hey mousegun, you know what this “fu**ing nerd” does every third Sunday? My group of other “fu**ing nerd” friends get together and go to the range and shoot our machine gun collection, which we can afford because “fu**ing nerds” paid attention in school and went on to successful careers in lucrative fields. Then after our range trip we get drunk on single malt scotch, smoke cuban cigars and play Dungeons and Dragons all night. I know a lot of stupid jocks like yourself like to tease us, because you can’t adjust to not being the top dawg like the glory days in highschool, and your job digging ditches or whatever doesn’t quite pay the bills or pull in the ladies. But that’s okay. We don’t mind being teased (we dealt with that enough back in the day) and we don’t hate because we can sympathize with your feelings of inadequacy. In fact it must be tougher on you, because unlike us in high school, you KNOW you’ve already peaked and its all downhill from here.

      Oh, and does my description of you as a dumb jock with a dead-end manual labor job not actually describe you in real life? Huh, that’s weird. It’s almost like stereotypes and cliched stock characters rarely apply in the real world. And maybe judging people off one small quality or perceived attribute isn’t the best way to go about things?

      • And of coarse, you show your own inadequacies by having many a mini-break down on a public forum, making claims about my person even though you don’t even know my real name, let alone anything about my life, yet here you are, trying to wave your dick around, making claims of machine gun collections, single malt scotch, Cuban cigars, and dungeons and dragons.
        To summarize, you’re a little bitch.

        • LOL…. you just proved his point…. small minded much? reread the statement, without the butthurt and I think you’ll (maybe) get his point and how you played right into it… Or you could just change your name to “mousebrain”? You got trolled dude, and didn’t even notice…

  1. In all seriousness it was actually a very well written article, all things considered. He got about 95% of his facts straight. For a gun noob that also happens to be a journalist that’s got to be a new world record.

    • Nerds are gonna nerd wherever and whatever they nerd.

      Disclaim: I used to be a gamer until shooting USPSA. So I guess I’m still a gamer. Still play table top BattleTech. Still watch Anime with my kids. Still run Linux on the home computers.

      Nerds who like guns are going to save the world.

    • Tisk tisk, Id imagine most kids who have been playing games for decades would know how to load and handle most weapons.

      Tbh, I was on a computer around the age of 2, grew on on the likes of ZZT, Duke Nukem, onward through half-life, counter-strike, SWAT, Crysis, 10 years of world of warcraft, not including diablo, starcraft, etc.

      By the time I showed up on the USMC doorstep I was already quite familiar, even never having held a rifle in my life. Never doubt geeks, many of them practice self-education and are DIY people with a wide set of skills.

  2. A video-game argument on the subject of “An AR-15 can’t really DO that!” is how I got my son and one of his friends involved in guns many years ago. After overhearing a bit of the argument, I leaned into his room and said “You know, there’s a way we can settle this once and for all”, and invited them to the range the following weekend. I took an AR-style carbine, a Glock, and a .22 rifle and pistol (for cheap and easy practice and skill-building), and they’ve been hooked on guns and shooting ever since. My son assembled his first AR last year, and his buddy has gone on to start collecting milsurp rifles, and they both still shoot their own .22s regularly (thanks to my 20-plus-year-old stash of rimfire ammo, bought when it was cheap and plentiful).

  3. This article is a good thing. We need to be making hay while the sun shines. The pendulum of political fate will swing back to the the Progs. It always does. Recruiting is important now as ever.

  4. That was an unusual set of three safety rules at the range where he shot. Especially given the shooters, and what they were using, omitting “always be aware of your target and what is behind it ” from the usual four rules seems to be an odd choice.

    • Maybe they view the rules as circumstantial. They are shooting down a narrow lane where nobody can go and what’s behind the paper target is pretty much certain.

    • Those three weird rules are the ones the NRA teaches these days (at least they’re the ones I learned at my NRA Basic Pistol class).

      • I’m pretty sure the NRA Three Rules are #2, #3, and #4 of the standard Four Rules:

        1. Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded
        2. Never point the muzzle at something you do not want to destroy
        3. Keep your finger off of the trigger until your sights are on-target and you are ready to fire
        4. Always be aware of your target, and what is behind it.

        The NRA rules omit #1 (always treat every firearm as if it were loaded). The range in question included #1, but omitted #4. There is quite a bit of differing opinion about #1. I’ve just never seen #4 omitted.

        Oh, and I just looked it up. NRA includes #2 and #3, but have an entirely different, third rule: always keep the firearm unloaded until ready to use (which has nothing to do with safe firearm handling).

        https://gunsafetyrules.nra.org/

  5. Differences: no program selection for “unlimited ammo”, or “automatic reloads”.

    Also, no “immunity”; people on both ends of the chamber can be hurt, maimed, or killed.

    The “real” guns do dish out pain, blood, regret and sadness; not promotion to the next level and extra rations.

    I’m afraid many people have been seduced by film, TV, and games into a false sense of how “fun” weapons are. In reality they are blunt force tools of destruction that require a reasonable level of mature responsibility to keep them to useful work and not mayhem.

    Just like high speed driving, a malnourished diet, irresponsible sex, ingestion of mind/behavior altering substances, “gun play” has devastating effects when it jumps through the screen into the real world.

    The anime arbitragers and hentai hedge fund moguls are selling fantasy, and the sheeples are seduced and addicted to the core of their medulla oblongata.

    • So … Your point is that real life is different from TV, movies and video games, and generally harder?

      Seriously, what are you trying to get across?

    • If you want to talk smack about Kite, Mardock Scramble, Mezzo Forte, and Armitage III you’re going to have to go through me first, buddy.

        • I’ll give you Gunsmith Cats and Cowboy Bebop, but the Ghost In The Shell franchise is still one of my all time favorites, as it provides a very plausible look at how current trends in arms, networking, AI, nanotech/APM, and medical technology would impact society with regards to military doctrine, law enforcement and every day life.

  6. A refreshingly well written and factual article about firearms. The response of some people is disappointing. While the demanding mommies and their ilk may be our most prominent enemy, jackass gun owners are perhaps more damaging. Crapping all over potential friends and allies is just stupid, especially when they are part of a younger demographic.

    • I’ve bee be trying to figure out why some of the comments are the way they aren’t and came up with two possibilities:

      1) it’s grabbers trolling the site

      2) it’s legit posters who really feel that way – and people’s stereotypes of gun owners has to come from somewhere. Those folks are the stereotype and the ones that we need to ostracize along with the grabbers. Sometimes you have to cut off the gangrene to save the body.

    • The article was exceptionally well done. The author went into the experience with an open and inquisitive mind, and he came away with some great insights. He took the time to get things right before writing. You couldn’t ask for a better article.

  7. I just recently got my gay stepbrother who lives in Portland and voted Hillary to shoot both a Glock 19 and an AR-15. I too am a gamer nerd convert to real life gun owner. It doesn’t matter how or why you get a firearm into someone’s hands but that is the seed that will eventually grow into a second amendment supporter. Please do not deter anyone regardless of background from exercising their 2nd ammendment rights. Thanks.

  8. I think the best way to get “gamers” (young and old) to join the POTG is to have them try the guns they see on their favorite video games.

    About three years ago, I saw a quiet teen staring at my bullpup rifles so I asked him if he wanted to try any of them. His eyes lit up, and after getting the OK from his dad, I let him try the Tavor & the FS2000 I brought to the range that day.
    (Of course, his dad also wanted to try them after junior. 😀 )

    When the kid was done, he was all smiles and a chatterbox talking about this and that of the guns and their use on different video games. After they left, I figured that was that, but to my surprise the kid has become a regular at the range with his dad.
    And this year he build his first AR-15 with his dad’s help, which will become his once he turns 18 in about 4 months, and is already talking about more.

  9. Gamer convert here. Older generation as I grew up on the origional nintendo and, later the awesomeness that was DOOM.

    Took awhile though. Wasn’t till I worked with a bunch of guys who had all the good shit. Then first handgun, then pump shotgun, then found 3 Gun. The awesomeness that is 3gun is really what kicked the hobby into gear. Honestly if not for that, I doubt I would have bought much more in the way of guns. Paper only indoor ranges bore me to death. Like having a r/c car with no track.
    Moving, reloading, engagingly multiple targets, dropping one gun for another in a course of fire…that’s what I’m talking about.

  10. There is just something about FPS games and the younger generations. On any number of occasions I’ve found my son’s 16/18 playing FPS games and said “Hey, get off that and let’s go shoot some real guns”

    You would think that would have some appeal – nop. These games are a social occasion, not really about shooting. So they are hanging out in a virtual world with their friends. The good news – a few times they told their friends what I said, and they said they wanted to go – so after getting permission with their parents we were off. Of course some of their parents were horrified at the thought 😉 I told them they could come as well . . .

    • Well, to me, going out shooting is a social occasion.

      It’s something I do with my friends and neighbors. Always more enjoyable to share the experience with others than head out on a solo trip to the range. But that’s just me. When I’m getting an itchy trigger finger I’ll zap out an e-mail or text to everyone to see who’s up for some shooting. Preference is up in the mountains at the local shooting pits. But weather depending, we’ll hit the range, too.

  11. I think it’s odd how many people just assume that gamers are not gun people.

    Virtually everyone in both the TS channels I hang out in owns guns and nerds the fuck out about them. Many are retired military (and some are retired military and retired in the civilian world as well, that is to say: they’re old). We spend as much time talking about real guns as we do about the games we’re playing. In fact, sometimes it gets in the way of the game. It’s not unusual while waiting for a group to get everyone together to hear someone snap the slide forward on a pistol because they’re cleaning it while they’re waiting.

    It’s also not uncommon for someone to criticize a gun in a game because it’s not realistic enough even if they don’t own a single gun. FPS folks are also big on realism and will complain endlessly about there not being enough hardcore servers. “I put like eight rounds in that guy’s chest from my [insert whatever here] and he’s not down. Fucking bullshit!, .50 cal to the chest and he just runs off? WTF?” and Bunny hopping [even TTAG won’t let me say this]!!!” are common in the gaming world.

    On top of that, as a gamer myself, I note that gamers are easier to teach to shoot than most people. They listen and pay attention to details. I’ve never had a gamer muzzle me but I’ve had jocks try to, sometimes repeatedly.

    So, for the trash talkers out there, I really don’t know what you’re talking about. Now, tonight is my last night to stay up really late, so I need to figure out what to load up out of my Steam library so I can veg out for the next three hours.

    • I have to agree about gamers being easy to teach. I hired one when I needed an extra hand for a big handyman job, and he learned both chainsaw and chipper faster and with better retention than anyone else I’ve ever worked with.

      Why? To be a gamer, you have to pay attention to detail. Even if it’s strategy and not FPS games, you have to know not just the big picture but all the little nuances, and get them right every time to come out on top.

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