This photo of a military K-9 handler firing an M4 has been making the rounds on the interwebs over the past couple of weeks as comic relief on social media (including TTAG’s entertaining accounts) and as a generic stock photo for news articles.
When you see it, you’ll probably laugh. An empty brass case appears to have been Photoshopped flying out of the muzzle as though it was the projectile fired by the M4 . . .
Naturally, it isn’t hard to believe someone unfamiliar with guns would be stupid enough to do this.
We’ve seen it on the Discovery Channel in their oh-so-very educational animation teaching us all how rifling works. Just, you know, minor details were missed.
We’ve seen it in “advertisements” from our under-educated friends in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex. In fact, mistaking a complete cartridge for the thing that flies out the business end of a firearm is shockingly common.
Of course, in this case it wasn’t the entire cartridge, but just an empty case. Which means it could potentially be a legitimate photo, right? An ejecting case caught on camera in just the “right” place?
Ha! Come on! Get outta here. No freaking way.
Why? Well . . .
• No visible gas from bolt carrier or muzzle
• Shooter’s finger is already off the trigger, which is certainly possible but awfully quick
• Brass looks suspiciously clean
• Brass has no apparent tempering discoloration, which is very obvious on nearly all 5.56 NATO. Even in photos where the brass is much blurrier than in this photo.
• This M4 has to be over-gassed to eject a case at, what, like 1:00?
• You’re telling me that case is flying, spinning, and flipping through space and crosses the plane of the barrel just as it happens to point directly down range precisely as the photo is taken?
• I mean come on, seriously?
Thankfully the photos on Nellis AFB’s website are all credited to the photographer who took them, and we tracked down Airman 1st Class Andrew Sarver via social media.
Guess what? The photo is real. Not edited. A totally legitimate and ridiculous coincidence.
A1C Sarver sent us a photo of the original as displayed on his camera’s screen. He says it’s legit; just lucky happenstance. Awesome!
The funny thing? This is wilder than some idiot in the marketing department not knowing how a metallic cartridge firearm works.
Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction!