Whatever else you can say about actor Steven Seagal — and there’s a lot of weird stuff in his bio — the man is a gun guy. But even his flicks feature some decidedly dodgy gun handling. The question is . . .

Can you shut up about it?

Or are you one of those people who can’t watch a gun movie without pointing out unsafe gun handling and stupid gunfighting tactics to anyone within earshot? Even if you can stay stum, does the lack of firearms safety and ballistic strategy stop you from enjoying the movie? Examples please.

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146 Responses to CapArms Question of the Day: Can You Watch a Gun Movie Without Complaining About the Gun Handling?

  1. Hawaii 5-0…. Steve McGarrett wears a plate carrier all the time loaded with AR mags…. No AR

    • I surfed (sry) through it the other night. The Chi McBride character has a vest resplendent with shotgun shells, but no shotgun with him.

      • I heard that each shell actually contains at least one cleverly-concealed crunchy Cheeto.

        Damn…

        Now I want some crunchy Cheetos.

        • If you eat a bag of Cheetos and run your hands through your hair while doing so, you’ll turn into…

          Donald Trump. (Believe me!)

          (Don’t bother, I’ll get my coat…)

      • Wow. I made that exact comment to my wife about an hour ago, as we were watching the last two episodes of this past season on Netflix.

        As for Steve wearing an AR mag-filled, without an AR, well, with or without the spare mags, he should carry a rifle on their missions. He does sometime have an AR, but probably the majority of the room clearing they do is with pistols.

        As apparently crawling Hawaii is with terrorists, traffickers, gangsters, serial murderers, and poachers (this is what happens to a disarmed populace), his team really ought to have shotguns or rifles for that [stuff], every time.

        • Or bottle neck fmj rounds that are .30-06 or .303 for his winchester lever action rifle.

  2. Honestly it bugs me. Not enough to make me stop watching action flicks but enough to distract me from the movie and think about the person’s lack of trigger discipline.

  3. If it requires loads of suspension of disbelief because Hollywood can’t be arsed to get it right, it can make the movie useless. The new Dark Tower is probably meant for children, but not me. So be it. Or if it’s like a major plot component but stupidly handled, like in 80’s Stallone movies.

    Night of The Hunter is an example of theatrical gun handling (unless I’m mistaken DGU’s don’t tend to involve singing) that still comes out right overall. The gun isn’t an easy one-step solution, but the homeowner is way better off with it than without.

    • According to my father (RIP) nothing is a total waste – it can ALWAYS be used as a bad example. This is the way I view Hollywood gun movies.

      They’re like those multiple choice tests where at least one of the choices is total BS, one is possible, but only one is correct. You go through the movie categorizing the gun handling by choosing the right answer when presented with the wrong one.

      • Your dad was right:
        I love having this conversation with new customers. I tell them about my hobby of spotting the untrained noob in movies and TV. Look for where their trigger finger is. Trained stuntman and women are often former military this usually have good trigger discipline. The star usually doesn’t.
        The unspoken point I hope to drive home to them is:
        1. Celebrities are a terrible and incompetent source of opinions on guns (or most subjects).
        2. If you have poor trigger discipline, the trained among us will poke fun at you (for some, that’s worse than simply being called out for a rule violation).

        • That’s what I don’t get. All of these shows and movies have some badass ex-whatever serving as consultant. How does such silliness (GLOCK 7, anyone?) make it into the film. If they’re ignoring the consultant, then why even hire a consultant?

        • ” If they’re ignoring the consultant, then why even hire a consultant?”

          That’s *very* common in Hollywood.

          The filmmakers claim “It interferes with the storytelling / flow of the movie.”…

        • In Die Hard 2, the armorer protested the “Glock 7” — a lot — but yes, they ignored him. It was in the story and they were sticking with it.

          I’ve worked on Hollywood movies, and there are a lot of moving parts. Unless you address something in the script stage, every change screws with some other part of the production. My “favorite” gun error was in The Lincoln Lawyer, where the plot hinged on a bullet identified as being fired from a Colt Woodsman. I would have re-written that part, but once it was in play, you’d have reshoots. Those are expensive.

      • Ha, I guess so, but I think there are clearer bad examples. I was shocked to find my one newbs thought a gun couldn’t fire with the mag out… I’m not a trainer, I wouldn’t shoot with a newb who didn’t have decent mechanical sense in general, it had to come from movies.

        Another thing, the gun handling in Evil Dead is often ludicrous, but I don’t mind at all. The Boomstick isn’t just a shotgun, it’s a totem of Ash’ heroic nature which in turn fights metaphysical forces, somehow. So there has to be abstraction, the gun has to be insanely fearsome.

        • If I’m reading your post correctly, your student isn’t wrong. Commiefornia requires all handguns (not sure about rifles) have a magazine disconnect which keeps the gun from firing when the mag is out.

        • Yep, correct Trapped. I wouldn’t say student since I’m not that qualified, just a bud I helped to use a range. But yeah, not entirely wrong and maybe existing mag disconnects and the authoritarian states that require them are to blame, not just movies.

    • Yeah, among other things Tarantino should have put a high pitched tone on the sound track and cut the voices. Vincent and Jules should have been deaf dudes for the rest of the movie.

      • The voices should be muffled and not understandable along with the tinnitus.

        ‘Private Ryan’ had that in the Normandy invasion sequence and it was a nice touch.

        Quick story on ‘Private Ryan’ – On one of the morning network shows, the producers had some actual Normandy veterans there as part of the movie promotion.

        They showed a clip of the Normandy part, where they were leaving the Higgs boats and getting chewed up fierce, and one of the clueless TV faces asked the veterans if it was really as violent as they showed. The veterans were *awesome*. They just looked at her and said, to the effect of, if anything, it was lots worse.

        That left the pretty face TV girl speechless, they panned away from her quick and one of the other interviewers asked the vets another question.

        Great job, vets!

  4. Not only bad handling, but wretched overuse of Foley (rattling “gun noise” sound effects almost every goddamned time a gun is touched or moved). Worst of all: Thumb-cocking noises on striker-fired pistols!! Hollywood sure can take you right out of their “story” sometimes.

    The only movies that usually get things right are ones by Michael Mann, because he actually cares about realism, and puts his actors through enough training to do things the right way. Beyond that, when I see a gun brought forth on screen, I’m pretty sure some unintentional hilarity is about to ensue.

      • Since it won’t let me edit my comment I’ll just add that there were several scenes in Justified that were exceptional but I specifically remember being impressed when Raylan was in the tub and took the bad guy’s gun, shot through his abdomen and killed the Bad Bitch also in the room. Awesome. (And was SHE surprised, briefly.)

    • I watch TV with subtitles because every sound engineer or whoever decides the relative volumes of dialogue, sound effects, and music is, is an evil SOB. Dialogue should never be so quite that to hear it, the other sounds are painfully loud.

      I was watching Jessica Jones recently. There is a seen where someone has a switchblade or folding knife. He flicks the blade out, and the subtitles say “gun cocks.” There isn’t a single gun in the scene.

    • “(rattling “gun noise” sound effects almost every goddamned time a gun is touched or moved)”

      That. Right there.

      And racking the gudamn slide 4 times. Those pistols must unload themselves between scenes.

      Glocks that make ‘hammer cocking’ noises when picked up by someone.

      Stop racking the action on that shotgun. You’ve ejected all the ammo in your excitement for the fight.

      • Yeah, in TV and movies, the gunman racks the slide whenever he draws a gun, points a gun, etc.
        Then just to show he REALLY means business, he always racks the slide AGAIN, but you never see it ejecting a shell no matter how many times he racks it!
        In “Let’s Be Cops!” the real cop made a point of racking the slide before confronting a crazy man in a grocery store, then told the fake cop to rack his slide too, so instead of saying, “I already did it before I left the precinct, just like you should’ve done,” the fake cop made a slide-racking noise with his mouth because he only had a fake gun (apparently one with no moving parts).

        Gun noises every time someone picks up a gun, points a gun, raises a gun, lowers a gun.
        Pump-shotgun racking noise when someone picks up a double-barreled shotgun that doesn’t have a pump!

        Hollywood often does the same with swords, making that “metal on metal” sound when someone points a sword (or draws it out of a LEATHER sheath). Yet Hollywood crossbows and longbows are quieter than the real thing, go figure!

  5. Well, like the Michelin Man, he’s slimmed down a bit. But, you can see the clothes strain for every arm movement.

    Same character he’s always played, with the same ‘depth’. I guess someone still pays to see him “act”.

  6. I gave up when I saw all of the left hand Krags in The Rough Riders – which was otherwise a pretty good mini series. I do count shots and wish to myself that I could find one of those Roy Rogers wheel guns that never ran out of ammunition and always winged the bad guy.

  7. My major complaints about LA LA land are:
    Hypocrisy of making millions off of shoot em ups vs. Hypocrisy of gun control
    Hypocrisy of “I am smarter, better looking, more sensitive” than the gun/dirt/deplorable people which gives me the right/obligation to tell them how to live.
    Hypocrisy of ….
    Well, you get my drift. The gun handling is just one more sore point.
    We have not set foot in a theater since Titanic, 1998. We don’t associate with these kinds hypocrites.
    Grumpy

  8. Drives me nuts, both when “guns don’t work that way” nonsense or safety violations. Particularly when two LEOs are clearing a house and I’m thinking, well, the guy in front is either going to die from a chest -entry wound from the bad guy or chest exit-wound from his partner.

    • Hey, it just adds realism.
      Witness the number of times that cops get wounded in gunfights with empty houses that they’re raiding.

      One time, Michigan State Police went so far as to form a perimeter and Waco the house to ashes to get even with the imaginary guy who shot two of them, simultaneously, one with a pistol and one with a rifle. Sounds like they were up against a really talented suspect until you realize that:
      A. The trooper who was shot with a pistol was carrying a rifle.
      B: The trooper who was shot with a rifle was carrying a pistol.
      C. The wounded cops entered different doors of the house.
      D. The homeowner was miles away when he shot them.

        • There was a video on youtube of them torching the house and watching it burn (incendiary devices inserted via an APC type vehicle).

          Here’s the best I can remember of what happened:
          Local sheriffs deputy and longtime personal enemy of the accused showed up at his house, forced her way in as he answered the door, he shoved her back out and locked the door. She had a (some might say BS) warrant for his arrest. The complaining witness for that warrant later recanted her accusation, after he was dead.

          Unknown is what they said to each other and whether he even knew she had a warrant. She left, probably after threatening to come back with a SWAT team and kill his ass, he vanished, MSP showed up to make a felony arrest for assaulting a LEO. They burst in the front and back doors and got in a gunfight with themselves, but you’ll never hear MSP admit that, they always maintained he shot them. (but if he shot them, why didn’t their attempt to burn him to death succeed? The obvious answer is he wasn’t in the house at the time he allegedly shot them in the house)

          A couple days later, the manhunt caught up with the guy and he supposedly went down shooting, but he was the only one injured (killed) in that gunfight. If I could remember his name it would probably be searchable.

          Ah, here it is, Scott Woodring. More recent than I thought, 2003.
          Somebody reposted the video of the fire/attempted murder to youtube in 2010:

          Yes, MSP, I just said that you set fire to a home in attempt to deliberately murder the homeowner.
          The truth hurts, eh?

        • Most of what I said earlier is from my memory of a conversation about ten years ago with somebody who was closer to the situation. I had never heard of the event before 2008.

          The fact that they burned a house down with intent to kill the occupant is not open for dispute, but just about everything else is. I still think the way I remembered it is the most likely scenario, with the exception of the fact that police say the wounded trooper and the dead trooper were standing next to each other. Either my memory or my information may have been flawed, I thought the two troopers who got shot were on opposite sides of the house.
          The claim that a MSP death squad made a dynamic entry into the house and none of them had a rifle or carbine in their possession is just laughable. Officer.com discussion at the time indicates that the cops thought Trooper Marshall may have died from friendly fire, but I never found a news report that admitted it as a possibility.

          In the youtube link below, Marshall’s teammates admit Marshall was shot and they didn’t even know what direction the shots were coming from, so they just blindly returned fire in multiple directions, one of them even left the house and shot into the house from outside during the ‘gun battle’.

          https://forum.officer.com/forum/public-forums/general-law-enforcement-topics/18247-more-bad-michigan-news

  9. #1 pet peeve. Someone draws a glock or similar pistol and the accompanying sound is that of a double action revolver being cocked.

    • Not only that, but when the same gun is “thumb-cocked” multiple times before it’s ever fired! I can’t recall what movie it was (some syndicated weekend B-grade nonsense), but as a cornered bad guy pointed a Glock at the various people he was keeping at bay, the Foley guy “cocked” the gun AT LEAST three times in succession.

      I didn’t count any more than that, because that was when I said, “[Forget] this,” and started surfing other channels.

      • That drives me crazy. I’ve seen a bunch of movies/shows where they charge a pistol/rifle multiple times in the same scene so everyone “knows they mean business” without firing a single shot. Yet they never eject any live rounds.

      • As a lefty with an AR pistol, I’m happy to say I’ve never been bonked in the face with brass. The only gun that ever did that to me was a Browning BAR Stalker, which I promptly sold for that reason. Shame, too – it was a great rifle.

    • I dunno. Baby Driver is an Edgar Wright movie. Like Hot Fuzz, it’s more of a parody film that stands up on its own.

    • Like im the good war movies where the director LISTENED to the military advisor. If the advisor was Dale Dye, it usually comes out pretty good.

  10. The one I notice the most is the inability of actors to act like they know what the sights on a gun are for.

  11. Forget the gun handling – did you see the female co-star?

    She is smoking hot!

    Moral of the story, I will overlook improper gun handling for the appropriate application of T & A.

    • I was wondering how to figure out who that was, without giving the trailer a click for its counter (can’t go around encouraging this stuff, after all).

  12. It bugs me because a majority of new gun owners watch these silly shows/movies and it promotes unsafe handling.
    It’s just as annoying how a lot of unsafe drivers don’t use the fundamental rules driving.

  13. Improper gun handling doesn’t bother me enough to effect my movie experience.

    Out of place guns bug the shit out of me. American soldiers carrying Lee Enfields. 1866 wild west and guys carrying 1873 Colts and 1892 Winchesters.

    Van Helsing. I would expect to see a S&W number 3 or some variant of in Eastern Europe during that time frame. 1880 -1900. But trap door springfields? And why does the lead female arm herself with single shot cap and ball pistols when the cartridge firing breechloaders are in play?

    • Out of place guns?

      I am always annoyed when the good guy shoots some low-life, continues the pursuit and runs past a couple of dozen perfectly good pistols and rifles on the floor as though he has unlimited ammo clipazines stashed in his sport-coat pockets. This is especially annoying when they run past dropped AR-15s or AK-47s. Holster your damned pistol and grab the long gun, dummy!

      • I can’t even imagine how many times I have screamed at the tv: “pick up the rifle you fucktard!!!”

  14. Don’t y’all realize that McGarrett & Co have those AK’s and shotguns in the trunk, just in case? Or in the Helo?

    I mean, just because ya can’t see it on camera doesn’t mean they aren’t around, somewhere!

    (Hope you got the sarcasm)

  15. Keanu Reaves in John Wick 2. Dude specifies every part of his suit for the tailor, but has no preference on guns? Just takes whatever the dealer recommends. Huh. Then, he takes a shotty to fight waves of people?! Guy can’t hide a second rifle, or pack more magazines? Gonna trade 30 rounds and quick reloads for a shotty. It’s not like the movie would have lost any action with a second hidden rifle.

    Then, let’s not forget the subway scene where he misses the other assassin 20 times? I could forgive the suppressor being totally silent if that were the only thing.

    • That scene cracked us up, especially with all the recent hullabaloo about the HPA..I said to my wife, “Well, now it’ll never pass. The lefties will shriek about “silent shootouts in subway stations” because the movies are the only place so many of them get their “information” about how guns work.

      Pure BS, but a fun show.

  16. I always laugh when neo pulls put twin vz61 scorpions and during the close up the drop .223 brass. Amazinghow many rounds they can fit in those little .32 acp mags

    • That happens inside the matrix though. You can let them get away with a lot of stuff for that. Remember, he learned kung fu through a download.

  17. Gun crap in a movie or teevee show irks me, but if the rest of the thing is good enough I can suppress my annoyance. My initial impulse when I see something stupid is to get snarky, but I’ve learned to suppress that, too, for the most part. Except for the snort.

    • CAR has some application. buts its really hard to pull off. i use a altered version of it where instead of angling it, its vertical like weaver, but closer to me so i can use my off hand to lower the recoil (in the car stance where the offhand is actually does lower recoil)

  18. I’m with some other people here. Incorrect sounds are what stand out to me. The rest I can pretty well ignore.

    I didn’t used to care but when I started watching movies almost exclusively while listening through headphones it started to annoy me. Same thing with obvious voiceovers. There are a bunch of lines in 13 Hours that came from a sound stage and were added in. If you hear them on high end headphones you can tell it’s another layer of sound and it doesn’t fit.

    • ADR looping! Gifting us all with such gems as “Yippe ki-yi-yay, [maggot farmer],” “What the [freak] are you lookin’ at?” and so many others.

      • I used to chuckle at the number of times the term frack, frack you, fracking, mother-fracker got past the censors on Battlestar Galactica until I just got bored and stopped watching altogether.

  19. It’s the same with most any kind of craft Hollywood puts in movies. They are betting most people won’t know or care. Sure I shake my head at (lack of proper) gun handling. But I am not a firearm expert. I know this is a little off topic but in the same vein but I get turned off by horrible aviation stereotypes Hollywood perpetuates. Lose and engine, plane falls outta the sky. I also like the sound of the RPM increasing on piston engine as it falls…when it’s a jet. A guy hopping into a Gulfstream and flying it single pilot. Then there is the radio communication, rarely realistic. Stock footage of three different types of aircraft on the same flight. Many more I won’t list. I am really impressed when a movie has aviation scenes that are accurate, I can tell they listened to any advisors they hired. Anyway I wonder what kind of silliness I’d recognize if I were in the medical field watching a medical drama. Or if I were physicist watching an actor spout on how he’s going to save the world by (insert science lingo here). Most of the time I’m able to let it go but man, sometimes it seems like they are just trying to be wrong.

    • I’m not particularly informed about aviation but I am about cars and they do similar stuff. Don’t recall the movie but one of the dumbest I ever saw was the sound of screeching tires and smoke billowing out of the rear wheels of a Honda Accord. Other common car stupidity is the sound of a large, domestic V8 coming from a 4 cylinder compact, squealing tires on snow, cars surviving massive collisions (or jumps) without subsequent damage, high end sports cars that can’t outrun large sedans, or trucks, or vans, or semis. And, of course, guns and cars play together in films often – bullets fail to pass through doors and glass and then disable engines and drivetrains, gun shot to the rear of a car blows the car up, tail-lights shattered by bullets that work again in the next scene, yada yada yada.

      • My ex made me watch the fast and the furious movies, I can identify engines by the sound alone and when they gave a Buick GNX a naturally aspirated V8 sound, I almost Elvis’d the TV

    • I am not a pilot, so, just because I have a scene in my book where I have a pilot flying a G-IV solo, why exactly can that not be done? May need to do some editing.

      • It can be physically done, but it’s not legal or safe. Most jets require still two pilots to operate them. Midsized, super midsize, and large cabin jets are designed for two pilots, this includes Gulftreams, Challengers, Lear jets, larger Citations etc. With today’s technology many if not all of the new light and small cabin jets are certified for a single pilot. They can accomodate two pilots and have controls at each seat but they are specifically built to only require one pilot and all aircraft functions can easily be controlled and manipulated from the left seat.

    • How about the pulling back on the cyclic of a helicopter to go up, when you pull up on the collective to go up. A helicopter NOT operated like a airplane.

      Heaven help the fool who try’s that in real life.

  20. Steven who…? I gave up on him as a “gun guy” when I saw him perform a press check in one of his dumb arse movies. Press check = amateur.

  21. No. From using NO firearms safety like waving pistols around in a crowd like laser pointers by cop actors, stupid sound effects like popcorn fart suppressors & cocking hammers on striker fire to idiotic special effects like AK rounds making sparks on a cars paint job but no holes. 5000 rnds fired with no hits. Dude gets shot by a 9mm, goes flying 10 feet. Walking into a room with the pistol stuck as far out as possible, by ‘pros’. Same ‘pros’ don’t clear rooms for shit. Ignoring what could be behind the door, under beds, closets etc. 1 fast glimpse and “CLEAR!”. EVERY damn thing is great for cover: sheet rock, plywood, standard house & car doors, sheets etc. Hell, I’ve seen a 165grn 40 JHP go through 2 walls in a house and lodging in the 3rd, but stop 5.56, 7.62×39 in a movie.
    There’s a LIMITLESS list of hollywood stupidity on any subject, it’s what they do.

  22. Expendables 3 (shut up, there was nothing else on and I was bored). Stallone’s character is supposed to be this badass mercenary, yet he can’t keep his finger anywhere but on the trigger. Oh, and he wears some kind of vest, but it has NO SPARE AMMO OF ANY KIND ON IT.

  23. I do that all the time, my wife hates it. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but in Captain America: Civil War (which I really liked, FWIW), during the opening fight with Crossbones’ men, Cap says they have “AR15s.” IMFDB research suggests that not a single person in that scene had an AR or even an M4-type rifle. I have to chalk it up to the bad guys being the ones with the fully automatic “assault weapons,” because as far as Hollywood is concerned, only criminals have scary black guns, AKA “AR-15s.”

  24. Gotta’ warn you all about the new Planet of the Apes…NO safe gun handling😜But a very entertaining flick nonetheless…

  25. I most certainly can, because few people would listen anyway 😀

    However, it does not prevent a few chuckles here and there; like certain moments in (not so) recent Kingsman; or mostly ridiculous display of sniper scopes, tactics, etc. (it is comical tragedy that, for all consulting money, only select few, including Bigelow, managed to do somewhat right).

    Seagal is another story. His career is built on industrial amounts of bullshit concerning his martial art skills and background. To me, taking him seriously when you turn 15 implies lack of self-respect.

    • I have enormous respect for Seagal’s ability to make a decent living while being so full of sh!t.

      • That I agree with. His self-marketing skills are on par with Systema peddlers and pre-UFC crop of self-proclaimed 10-dan True Karate Adherents.

  26. How about in The Walking Dead when Rick uses a suppressor on his Colt Python in the church when they kill the guys from Terminus?

  27. Let us also not forget that all guns in movies are always in Condition 3 by default. No matter what the situation, the first thing that happens when a gun is drawn or picked up in a movie is that the slide is racked. What the hell!?

  28. How can anyone even stand up with all of the loose ammo rolling around on the floor after the incessant racking of slides???

    {!-{P

    • This would be a good scene in a spoof. Have an extended gunfight scene with lots of gratuitous slide racking then after the shooting stops someone comes running in and does a banana peel style slip and fall. The camera follows the fall and reveals a floor completely covered in unfired rounds.

    • Yeah, Season 1 of 24 tv show. Jack Bauer on the run from authorities. He takes a woman hostage so he can try and get her to help him escape the police, however she tries several times to sneak away. Each time, Jack yells at her and racks the slide and points gun at her.
      An episode of Vegas, James Caan’s character is kidnapped. He is in his car, a dude hiding in the back seat brings up a 1911, you hear the cocking noise and he puts the muzzle up against Caan’s head. the 1911 isn’t cocked.
      My answer to TTAG question is NO.

  29. In the movie Red when dude shoots a large bore revolver and hits an rpg dead on one handed.
    Or the movie Wanted with angelina jolie where the curve the trajectory of the bullets.

    • Red also has the ridiculous early scene in which a handful of guys with M4s (that have unlimited ammo capacity) virtually tear down a house in about a minute.

  30. Last Steven Seagal movie I watched had Erika Eleniak in it. I watched it because it had Erika Eleniak in it. On VHS. Over, and over, and over…

    Birthday cake has never tasted the same since.

    The only movies with guns I ever see include John Wayne.

    • That, I would say, is the best Seagal movie but that is a bit like saying ‘Bring It On’ is the best cheerleading movie.

      • Yeah, Under Siege was on HBO every 45 minutes in the 90’s. Was always worth watching for birthday cake tits.

  31. A lot of good replies. I’ll add mine … I can’t stand when gun people in movies rack the slide to chamber a round just before the action heats up.

    I’ve been rewatching Breading Bad and Mike Ehrmantraut, on multiple occasions, chambers a round every single time. Come on dude! You’re a firearm expert. I cannot believe he wouldn’t have a round in the pipe all the time.

    I know, it’s for effect. Bugs me though.

  32. Probably my biggest guns-in-movies pet peeve in the repeated racking of the action for menacing effect.

    First, especially if you’re the bad guy, the one who prepared for and initiated the action, why wouldn’t you have chambered a round before you started? Why, once the shootout starts, must you occasionally rack the action again? I get it if you’ve swapped out for a fresh mag and you’re racking a locked-open slide, but that’s rarely the case.

    The worst is when someone is threatening another person, demanding information, with the semi-auto aimed just a foot from their face. When the hostage refuses, backtalks, or whatever, then the bad guy gets *really* serious and racks the action. Huh?

    No chambered cartridge ever flies out. So it had been empty all along. What international terrorist/assassin goes around threatening people with an empty gun?

  33. Mad Max Fury Road – Big deal is made on how he got only a round or two for his “sniper rifle” that a SKS he comes back with bunch of AK mags does not reload – same caliber rounds!

  34. I saw a police show recently where, the someone was killed, and the cop says, he was shot with a glock 17, but we don’t have the weapon yet. What? You know caliber not make and model.

  35. Can’t say that it bothers me too much–though I grew up in the (unglamorous side of the) entertainment industry, so there’s a bit of provincialism going on…

    Actually, after reading Rex Appelgate’s “Kill or Get Killed,” I began to see where a lot of Hollywood action excesses came from: Karate chop to the back of the neck? Page 9! Not using the sights (point shooting)? Page 106! Finger on the trigger? Every illustration with a hand on a gun, including photos of the colonel, has a finger on the trigger, and trigger finger discipline goes unmentioned in “The Safety Habit” section, on page 125.

    (Mind, it is outdated doctrine and there is plenty in the book that the movies ignore to their determent–there’s enough cool stuff in real life that you don’t have to make up cool stuff to make cool fiction.)

    My untested, un-researched hypothesis is that, considering this is what was taught during WWII, its not surprising that numerous veterans who went on to work in pictures brought this paradigm to Hollywood. And because we haven’t had another war with the same scale of conscription since, when action movies decided to try a new style, they didn’t have the background to even get some stuff right.

  36. Guns are rarely done realistically in movies but gets a pass when it looks cool. Unless it’s completely and four-wall-breakingly unbelievable. Long pistol shots, dual wielded automatics, recoiless large caliber weapons (I swear, you’d think the Desert Eagle is an absolute pussycat), and the most egregious of them all: the unlimited round magazine in the pistol (unless we’re talking about John Woo, he gets a pass. Characters usually don’t respond to what would be definitely be an incapacitating or mortal gunshot wounds. The ones that get it right are usually military movies like Saving Private Ryan and Zero Dark Thirty. Michael Mann does a good job with firearms (im sure Heat has been mentioned). I’m drawing a blank on the others. Need to think for a second..

  37. How do I count the ways of gun screw ups. Countless trigger discipline issues. Every gun clicks as it is moved; in real life when gripping a 1911 or Springfield pistol the grip safety does make a clicking noise, but not like the movies. Even AR-15s click in the movies. Super silent silencers. Referring to the safety on a Glock. The War for the Plant of the Apes trailer y’all just posted: Woody Harrelson is pointing a 1911 at an Ape’s head without the hammer cocked. People knocking over a wooden table and using it as cover (as opposed to concealment). Very thin metal cabinets acting as cover (again, as opposed to concealment). One of the worst gun scenes is in one of my favorite shows – The Walking Dead. In season 2 they are trying to clear the prison of walkers, it shows pistols firing without the slide cycling, numerous times. In another scene an old man fires a shot gun for several minutes continuously, only reloading once at the farm. In that same scene, Glenn is consistently hitting zombies in the head 30-50 yards away while hanging out of the window of a moving vehicle, driving over a bumpy field – he never misses! Ridiculous. And I’m currently watching the “24” series on Amazon Prime. I like the show most of the time, but Jack Bauer will go after known heavily armed terrorists with just his Sig pistol and a couple of spare mags. My biggest pet peeve about show, though, is the apparent willingness some Americans have for helping terrorists kill thousands of people for a little money. Where do they find these people?

  38. 3) dual wielding and not missing.
    2) striker fired guns being thumb cocked.
    1) 1911s being fired with the hammer down.

  39. Most of the time i go into movies and whatnot with the expectations that non-gun people will have been involved, so i usually just take it all in stride.

    only really bothers me if i have raised expectations. Example: The 1st John Wick, when he picks his P30L off the night stand before the house shootout…finger immediately on the trigger. I was like “Ahhh c’mon John Wick…so close”

  40. If fantasy movies have bad gun action I will overlook it, Like “Ant Man” or Zombie films.
    However serious movies should have realistic gun action. Some films, like James Bond films are not sure what they are trying to be. Some good stuff, some bad stuff
    Now, not every cop or soldier in a modern Army has good gun handling.

  41. Argghhhh…now I remember the Mike Hammer TV show with Stacy Keech (sp?). He had his >>one<< 7 round magazine for his 1911 "Betsy" and a few loose rounds in his pocket to reload with.

    It drove me nuts…now I will have to try to forget it again…at least with a winder-nine you will have 13-20 rounds in the magazine…

    And this fits in the "carry a reload?" topic, too!

    {!-{P

  42. Just rewatched Silverado the other day.

    Close-up of Kevin Kline holstering his SAA with his finger on the trigger. I laughed.

    • Not a great habit, but with a SAA, the risk is limited to if he snags the hammer badly enough to turn the cylinder enough to bring the next round into battery, isn’t it? Or am I missing your point?

  43. Westworld!
    With the Hector scene at 0:38 the lever action rifle autoejects; after which it is lever reloaded of course!

  44. Check out James Caan in Thief for an example of excellent gun handling. The room clearing scene is great. Of course James spent a week at Gunsite with Jeff Cooper prior to filming.

  45. This isn’t so much firearm handling, but it is firearm related.

    What gets me is the 20 Rd standard mags in 1911’s, or the 15 shot revolvers

    That is just bad directing

  46. Depends on the egregiousness. A finger on the trigger or a sweep of the muzzle is forgivable if the character is supposed to be unhinged or simply undisciplined. A trained lawman or soldier doing it will needle me, but I can overlook it if the movie’s good enough to maintain immersion. Someone blowing another character’s face off, using a single-action revolver with the hammer down?* That’s when I stop and look up who to call about returning the unused portion of the movie so I can get my wasted time back.

    *Yes, I swear I saw this happen in a film once.

  47. Most gun handling in movies and TV makes me cringe. The one tv show that did it pretty well was Strike Back. The one thing they jacked up that bugs me is they use a lot of Aimpoints, but they will show shots through a scope occasionally, but they have a red dot.

  48. The blonde, Ellie, on NCIS grips her pistol with more than an inch gap between the top of her thumb web and the top of the backstrap. Who needs a low barrel axis with a grip like that? There’s some other popular woman cop/agent who does the same.

    Also, it bugs me that the human torso ALWAYS make a perfect shield to every type of pistol round.

  49. Revolvers- ratcheting sounds when spinning cylinders, spinning cylinders (except for Russian Roulette, of course).

  50. Ever discharge a firearm in an enclosed space without hearing protection ? Try it with in full auto with a rifle caliber round, everyone is deaf.

    • That is my biggest pet peeve too, I hate it. Especially with how many movies show an indoor fire-fight, followed by a hush and listening for a whisper or soft footsteps. Ironically ‘sum of all fears’ got the ear ringing right, but only after a helicopter crash, not the unsuppressed handguns.

  51. Dirty Harry: During the test on the active shooter/innocent gun range he sweeps the entire viewing crowd! Made me cringe!

  52. I think we should distinguish between rules for safe handling and issues regarding the actually functioning of the firearm in question as well as the laws of physics.

    Safety rule violations happen all the time in the real world. Granted, it is irritating when fictional ‘pros’ ignore them, but it is another thing all together when the actual functioning of the firearm is ignored. Many of these have already been mentions (un-cocked 1911’s, infinite capacity magazines [I got’s to get me one of them!], etc). The violations of the laws of physics (outside the realm of science fiction/fantasy) are the most galling.

    One recent (for me) example: just watched Jurassic World and Chris Pratt’s character had what appeared to be a .45-70 or other big-bore lever action rifle. The few times he fired it…NO discernible recoil!!!
    Arggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. It always amazes me how guns in movies never have any recoil. They fire a handgun and that gun doesn’t move a bit. It stays perfectly flat. Also, the noise never seems to bother anyone. Are they all wearing ear plugs all the time ? After an indoor gun fight, those that survive would be hearing impaired at least for a while if not permanently.

  54. It’s still one of my favorite movies, but The Mummy (1999 version with Brendan Fraser) has gun scenes that make me laugh out loud. I know, it’s a mummy movie, so we can’t expect total realism, but they could at least make an attempt.

    First, Brendan Fraser is carrying a bandolier of rifle ammo when he has no rifle.
    Second, Brendan Fraser’s revolvers shoot about 20 shots between reloads.
    Third, and my favorite goof-up, is that Brendan Fraser’s revolvers are clearly Colt SINGLE-ACTION Army revolvers (when he does load them, it’s clear that they’re Colt SAA), yet he’s shooting them double-action, one in each hand, without thumbing back the hammer!

    I wish I had me a pair of those “magic revolvers” that can fire 20 shots, look like (and load like) Colt Single-Action Army but can be fired double-action! They’d be great for Cowboy Action Shooting!

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