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Walking Dead II

TTAG reader CC sent us the above image from The Walking Dead. It’s not a fail, exactly, but “tea cupping” a pistol like that is pretty darn dumb – especially when the undead are coming for your brains. Speaking of brain dead, Hollywood has a long and ignoble history of making guns do things they can’t. Bad guys fall down dead from a single shot. Or get blown off their feet – backwards – by a shotgun blast. Good guys have magic mags that never require a refill. While most people don’t know or care, The People of the Gun do. So, cowboy, what’s the dumbest gun fail you’ve see on the silver screen or within the glowing confines of the boob tube?

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        • That would probably be Army Of Darkness. They were trying, I think,
          to let you hear the reloading process off camera, to combat the never
          empty hollywood gun thing, but the foley ended up sounding more like
          a pump than a double. Good try though, and a great movie.

        • I don’t think they were trying to be serious with the pump-sound in Army of Darkness 🙂

          Hail to the king, baby!

        • This is done with all cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, etc. None of them understand how shotguns work.

    • The cocking and clicking sounds drive me bonkers. But what also gets me are the CONSTANT rattles that happen ANY time a fire arm is picked up, it sounds like they have a bunch of nuts and bolts rattling around inside the gun.

        • that might void any warranty….but its movie cool…. so it balances out. Oh I just thought of another movie pet peeve…Highly trained, super deadly assassins always miss on the first shot. could be all the dremel work….But seriously, what are these evil masterminds paying for

    • I actually prefer the misplaced cocking sound over the ‘ptui’ of a firearm with a (hollywood) silencer.

      • Yeh, Hollywood makes magic silencers! What’s bad is when a silencer on a revolver makes it quietly go “phfft.”

        • F&( K Holly weird. All gun owners are their enemy. Except their personal bodyguards. Why do you support those who would GLADLY disarm YOU ??
          The Slime by Frank Zappa says it all. They don’t call it PROGRAMMING for nothing.

        • I’ve actually seen the bg’s thread a silencor INTO the barrel of a revolver in more than one hollywood “epic”.

        • The killer biker cops in Magnum Force. I also like how the killer slid the silencer over the barrel then gave it a little twist to “secure” it.

          On a side note, I wonder if Dirty Harry was made recently, instead of the 1970s, would he have used a .500 Magnum instead of a .44? I know what you’re thinking. Did he fire 5 shots or only 4?

      • Every Hollywood firearm is silenced straight from the factory…I have never seen, even in the most realistic portrayals (as discussed a few days ago), a movie or TV gunshot that is anywhere near as loud as we all know them to be – I still have tinitis from unprotected shooting over two decades ago. And I have only seen one show (criminal minds, I think it was) where one character fired an MP-5 inside the vehicle and his partner complained bitterly about how loud it was. Any other time they go about their business as though nothing in the dangerous decibels level has occurred.

    • Hammer cocking sounds and racking the slide are truly annoying. Why is it not ejecting a cartridge or why were you carrying without a round in the chamber.

  1. I laughed at that scene as well. I think in the same episode there was a scene with a empty AR doing the hollywood “click, click, click” it’s empty routine. Seen other shows perform the same silliness with Glocks as well.

    • I was watching that episode with my 18 yo daughter and immediately due her attention to the way she was gripping the pistol. My comment was “if she fires that gun it is going to hit on top of her head with the way she is holding it.” She knew exactly why.

      • To be fair, Michonne doesn’t usually do the gun thing; she symbolically left the katana at home.

        Maybe it wasn’t actually a typical Hollywood mistake. They could have made a purposeful decision to have her be a bit awkward with it (yeah, not likely, I know, but it’s possible).

        That low grip, though. Be lucky if she doesn’t drop the gun on the first shot.

      • Sure, teacupping is bad form, and can be dangerous with powerful handguns. But a two-pound 9mm like that Beretta probably doesn’t have enough recoil to bop her on top of the head unless her arms are made of Twizzlers.

    • No one ever seems to remember the episode where Rick killed a walker by jabbing it with the barrel of his Colt Python.

    • I saw Michonne using that Berretta and was so irritated. I was yelling at her “come on grip that gun!” I understand why the guns click when empty because they are trying to tell a story and silence wouldn’t necessarily tell the audience the gun is empty.

      • No but showing the slide lock to the rear should. MY favorite gun fail was an audible. In one “‘Dead” seazon finale, when Andrea killed herself behind a closed door with Rick’s Python…and you could hear the ejected casing rattle across the floor.

        I’m also impressed with the group’s ability to accurately shoot many tacticool rifles without any sights.

  2. I’ll get it out quick so we can move on.
    The endless supply of bullets. I count everytime and just start shaking my head.

    • I can’t remember the Bruce Willis movie set in the gangster period where he carried 2 1911 45’s that could shoot 40 or 50 gangsters without reloading (or jamming).
      I wish I had one of those.

        • At least they made a show of how many spare mags he was carrying, and he changed them out several times. That movie was, BTW, the occasion for one of the dumber “journalist” quotes about guns I ever saw–movie reviewer was snarking because in a movie set in the Depression Willis had those 1911s, the reviewer seemed to think that semi-autos weren’t invented until, well, yesterday. Also was the occasion for a great response, a subsequent letter-writer noted the reviewer’s error and remarked, “It’s easy to see why the gun-control debate is so acrimonious; one side literally doesn’t know what they are talking about”.

        • Yup–pretty much a remake, just like The Magnificent Seven was a remake of The Seven Samurai.

        • Last Man Standing also bore a striking resemblance to A Fist Full of Dollars.

          And Bruce Willis was so badass, getting shot by his .45s was like getting hit by a Kenworth.

      • And wasn’t that the one where he was shooting while flying through the air (jumping over a pile of bodies, maybe), while he held the guns sideways – gangsta’ style? And never missed?

  3. I want the 500000-round AK47 Assault Kalash Magazineclip that Arnie used in Commando. Although initially loading it might be a b!tch…

    Though, my BIGGEST gunfail is when a “good guy” has a gun and fails to shoot the bad guy immediately, after the bad guy has already killed/assaulted people or made clear his intentions and ability to. Horror movies do this way too much, but I suppose the movie would be over half an hour in if the protagonists actually did that.

    • Monologing drives me nuts. Funny bit in the Incredibles when Mr. Incredible and Frozone talk about it.

      Folks acting like just because they have a gun on someone the problem is solved..

      • My biggest one is this scene from “The Hitcher” where Sean Bean has the female protagonist trapped in a motel bathroom and he’s trying to bust the door down. She’s propping herself up against it trying to keep it from flying off the hinges. WHILE HOLDING A LOADED S&W 686. I kept yelling “SHOOT THE ********* YOU ******* DUMB *******” in the theater. Spoiler alert: she didn’t, then the hitcher left and killed her boyfriend.

    • +1,000 on the horror movies. I was recently rewatching the original Friday the13th which has a scene where the hero picks up a rifle and, for reasons I still can’t figure out, decides to throw it at the killer instead of, you know, shooting her.

    • Which brings to mind what may actually be the second biggest Hollywood gun fail – NO GUN.

      How many times have we seen the “good guy/girl” get the upper hand and the BG runs for the hills dropping guns and ammo as he goes, or maybe some of the baddies get shot and drop their weapons. Good guy gives chase with a baseball bat or some such and NEVER stops to pick up a discarded weapon.

      • Pretty sure hollywood has a dictate that you want to avoid implying that picking up a gun will make the situation better for any protagonist that isn’t highly trained secret agent, former military, or police.

  4. why people need to rack their pistols sooo many times? why did they forget to rack the pistol before going into the building? this goes along with the nearly endless ammo.

    • When I taught in the academy, we always teach that skill. Usually, by the end of the day, there would be over 30,000 rounds of live ammunition on the ground . . . 🙄

      We also taught people to partially lower their sunglasses and state, “I think we have a dead body.” If you don’t look like CSI, your no good! 😀

      • No, no no no no. You have to do it in a PUN! “Sir, the deceased owned a floral shop.” “Well, now he’s pushing up daisies.” “YEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.” [Cue, The Who]

        • Never been a CSI watcher, but the few times I’ve been subjected to it has made my skin crawl with all the.. Creative license they take

        • “Sir, the victim came out to the desert intending to shoot himself. His gun jammed and he couldn’t get it working. Because he intended to kill himself he brought no food, and starved to death.”

          “I guess he had a … failure to feed.”


    • I love it when they hold a gun on somebody for 5 minutes, then get around the racking the slide. I guess it looks and sounds cool, and demonstrates the gunner is finally getting serious.

      • Or when someone “menacingly” cocks the hammer on a 1911.

        Sometimes, I think JMB made the half-cock position just so that anyone stupid enough to go into a gunfight with a C2 1911 would give the other guy a chance to win the fight while he was playing with the hammer.

  5. The new british Sherlock holmes series

    Bad guy has a gu on Watson, racks the slide a QUARTER INCH, then holmes shows up to save the day and she ( bad guy) racks the slide AGAIN, a quarter inch. Total Hollywood fail, but then what do you expect from a gun “free” culture?

        • How about when Watson opened his drawer in that first episode showing the Sig? It was like he and the camera were staring at a severed hand or something. I enjoy a lot of BBC shows but the gun fear and belittling of those who use them (Doctor Who a big offender) is so sad its funny.

  6. Like everyone else..the clicking and racking sounds..just drawing a handgun from a holster, the “cha-chink” sounds. Or even when it gets pointed..”click click”, or raising a shotgun, and hearing the pump rack..on a double barrel..
    Oh well..I haven’t learned to ignore it yet.

    • My theory is that movie guns are all bought as individual pieces and chucked together without any expertise….if the lockup and slide/frame fit is bad enough, they’ll make some of those noises.

      It makes me feel a bit better to pretend that’s what it is instead of knowing it’s probably a foley artist plaing with a chain.

    • Dunno why, but your comment made me think about when we were kids and every time we shot our Mattel Colts, we made KaPow! sounds. Or when we drew our knives, we “went” “Sha-lick”. And what kid, when his arrow hit the target (or missed?) didn’t think “Ta-tatle-a-tadle-a-taddle-a-tah!” “Whoosh!” in honor of Richard Greene (as Robin Hood)? Or when we were riding bikes and slammed on the brake (coaster style with down press on rear pedal), we’d “go” “Screeeech!!!”
      Really, kids need to learn to make these sounds from movies so when they’re playing, they can make realistic sounds..
      (sarcasm off now)

  7. Guns that change. Watched a western on youtube. Cavalry plainly had 1873 trapddoor springfields. Appropriate for the era. Then they get into a battle with the bad indians and suddenly the troopers have 1892 Winchesters.

    The movie Anzio. American troops are loading in the ships for the assualt on Italy and they plainly have SMLE’s until they have their first battles. Then they’re carrying M1’s.

    And how about cops stacking up outside the bg’s door and then checking to see if their guns are loaded. Do they often forget to load their duty weapons?

    • According to the FBI the average cop does not know how to sight-in his issued sidearm, nor how to clean it, nor disassemble it. So yeah, maybe he does forget to load it.

    • Ok, maybe not a “gun fail” but more of a tactics fail.

      Huge raid to get a bad guy, dozens of SWAT officers lined up, full kit. Who goes in the door first? Thats right, the detective in a trench-coat and his six shooter.

    • I recently saw a movie (can’t remember which one – aren’t they all the same?) where the protagonist went into an elevator with a Beretta, a close up showed it as a Glock, and the final scene where he exited the elevator, he was holding a Sig. Hey, they’re all black and look gun like, who’s gonna notice?

  8. Well, the most unsafe thing I’ve ever seen, gun-wise, was on an episode of The Shield. Claudette Whims (CCH Pounder) pulls her revolver, and then puts her support hand forward of the cylinder, up by the end of the ejector rod. If she’d have to shoot it, she’d have some issues using that hand ever again.

  9. Well, in an uncommon variation of the “gun that doesn’t run dry” theme, Doc Holliday appears to fire a double-barrel shotgun three times in quick succession at the OK Corral in “Tombstone”. He also manages to fire his single-action revolvers without taking time to thumb back the hammer a time or two. On two occasions in the final shootout in “Open Range”, a shotgun blast picks the target up off the ground and hurls him backwards through the air, once from about 10 yards away and once after being fired through a wooden wall. In a TV-movie dramatization of the Miami Shootout, David Soul’s Ruger Mini-14 fires with full-auto rapidity. In “American Gangster” Russel Crowe racks his pump shotgun a couple of times without ejecting any shells while chasing a BG from a heroin lab. You know, there’s a lot to choose from out there…

    • The three-shot double barreled thing in Tombstone is an editing/artistic style issue and not an actual mistake, they’re switching character POV. He fires the first shot to spook the horse, then you see him shoot the same person twice.

      • aha–I had actually thought about that when I saw it–but it still makes for a confusing scene. Guess you’re right, if that’s the case at least it’s not caused by firearms ignorance.

    • In Tombstone Doc Holiday carried a Colt SAA in his right hand and a Colt Lightning in his left hand… The Colt Lightning was a double action revolver, so the double action fire you were seeing in the “DOC BEHIND US!!!” fusillade was not an error.

  10. In American Psycho Christian Bale shoots a handgun at a pursuing police cruiser which explodes. Although we dont know if this occurs in reality or is a delusion.

    • Yeah, anything in a Brett Easton Ellis novel is likely to be a psychotic dream anyway.

      I’d love to see how much gun, and explosives, fail there will be if the Glamorama movie ever gets made.

  11. Clearing a semi-auto pistol by first racking the slide, and then removing the magazine (probably leaving a live round in the chamber).

    Also, the reticles shown in most movies and TV shows are strange and unfamiliar to me.

  12. I’d like to nominate the bullets that disintegrate after shattering glass. It’s one of my most hated cliches, mostly because it’s so glaring. The same show or movie will make a point of a character not being safe behind relatively solid cover (like a door), but then they will be saved by a window or glass of water. I guess a vase of flowers might stop a 9mm, but anything bigger?

    “I’ve seen .38s bounce off windshields.”

    • Actually have seen a bullet bounce off a windshield. Snubby Dick special, classic cop gun and 158 grain lead roundnose bullet, classic cop bullet. Fired from just in front of front bumper of 59 chevy. Bullet creased the glass and then went airborn. Heard it hit the tin roof of an outbuilding near the car.

      • I’ve never seen it myself, but have heard a lot of stories from former LEOs. I just thought it was an appropriate (and probably botched) Dirty Harry quote to emphasize that I was joking about starting a caliber war.

  13. I loved the scene in “True Lies” where Jamie Lee Curtis dropped an Uzi down a staircase. The gun went cyclo-matic, emptying a full mag, but only in appropriate sectors of the rotation as it bounced and rolled from stair to stair. Of course, neither Jamie nor Arnold were hit, but the Crimson Jihad guys were dropping like flies. Good fun!

  14. In several episodes of Justified, bad guys pull out a 1911 and threaten to use it but the hammer is always forward.

  15. I hate how they’re all moving away from blanks in favor of CGI gunshots these days. It makes everything so boring and fake when there’s no physical toll.

    • Sometimes, it’s not blatantly obvious when they do it. First time I saw it in a movie, I didn’t notice at all, or realize all that the gunfire was cgi until watching the behind the scenes bonus features. But when a slide or cylinder doesn’t move, it becomes obvious.

  16. Tea-cupping is great if your gun weighs a lot and you plan on just shooting 1 round. Come on.

    I was more focused on the location of her grip on the gun. She is holding it very low on the pistol. There is a like an inch or more between the web of her thumb and index finger and the hammer guard. Limited surface area contact on the thing.

    • That’s my main issue with it as well. I was watching it with my wife, and before I could say anything she commented on how jacked up michonnes grip was. The show portrays them as expert marksmen, but that certainly couldn’t be achieved with a grip like that.

      I love how it shows them rebelling against their new town’s gun confiscation and stating what a stupid idea it is though

  17. I don’t know why I remember this after all these years, and I’m not sure it’s the dumbest, but in the movie “Runaway” with Tom Selleck and Kirstie Alley, at one point a house robot (not a fancy one, more like a rumba with arms) was shooting a revolver, and before every shot, there was the sound of a shotgun racking.

    The whole scene was a fail on too many levels to list here.

  18. I havent actually watched the movie but the cover of it is Wesley SNIPES. The title is The Marksman. And he is holding some sort of Uzi looking thing.

    Surely somebody suggested a scoped rifle?

    • I watched it, the title is a play on words. He marks things with a designator or beacon or something for jets to hit, ala Marksman. Pretty terrible movie all around.

  19. Person of Interest was almost all digital this week. Slides weren’t moving back but the prop sigs flashed nicely.

  20. Latest ape movie. Apes fire full auto during the last half of the movie without reloading or having extra mags for their m16s.

    • Yeah, the apes not reloading is what spoiled the realism of a scene where a bunch of apes are operating machine guns.

  21. I hate that cops or FBI agents will raid a building and have shoot outs with the bad guys but then when trying to extract where exactly paco is they put the gun to bad guys head and then after failing to answer they chamber a round, sometimes as a third scary tactic they will then coco the hammer

  22. My ultimate fail, and it appears in hundreds of films and TV shows, is the open cylinder of a revolver being spun and hearing a fast clicking sound. First, there is absolutely no good reason to spin the cylinder, and no revolver I am aware of makes any sound when spinning the open cylinder. Cringe-worthy is the wrist flick slamming the revolver cylinder back into the frame. Might as well throw it on the ground 5 or 6 times before using it to shoot someone.

    • It would indeed be hard for a cylinder stop located on the frame to reach an open cylinder. Without it how will the audience be sure that the character is cool and knows how a firearm doesn’t work? Showcasing the flicking of the cylinder you mentioned has been all the motivation needed to abuse revolvers. So much that I feel the need to tell a new shooter to not Hollywood it before handing them a one even (if not especially) when it is unloaded. I have learned that waiting until the instant they touch it may be too late.

    • That’s my #1 peeve as well. I own three double action revolvers, Colt Python, S&W 629, S&W 642, and none of them make that cool ratcheting sound. I feel cheated..

      I think it comes from the single action/cowboy revolvers. If you move the hammer to the half cock/load position, the cylinder will rotate, and the pawl that advances the cylinder will click over the teeth.

      • You could take an old playing card – the Ace of Spades is probably the best choice – and attach it to the top strap with a clothespin so that the corner of the card hits those little notches. Then when you spin the cylinder you’ll get the cool clicking sound everybody loves.

    • I sometimes spin the cylinder to see if it’s lubed up enough. If you hold it up to the TV and spin it counterclockwise you should be able to see it slow down and reverse direction due to the 30fps cycle. Kind of silly, I know.

      And as JR pointed out, SAAs will click.

    • Clint Eastwood… Fistfull of Dollars, final gunfight scene… Clint has an empty cylinder, throws gun to ground and beats a rifleman in loading his weapon. Clint drops in the cartridge, spins the cylinder and cocks the Colt on the round, beating the rifleman. Not gonna happen- any man using a Winchester can load and chamber a round faster than Clint can open the loading gate on his .45. That scene has always bothered me.

      But worse… I watched a few episodes of the NBC series with kids coming from the space ship and the girl has a crossbow– with the string in front of the bow, the bow above the trigger.

  23. Beverly Hills Cop 2. Eddie Murphy has a conversation on the indoor range with the club gunsmith, no hearing protection while other are firing.

    • I always got a kick out of how Dirty Harry (for example) could fire 6 rounds of 44 magnum and casually walk up and in a quiet, understated voice say, ‘You got to ask yourself one question, do I feel lucky?’ In the real world all he’d be saying is ‘Ma…ma…ma…’ as jiggled his finger in his ear.

  24. The apartment fight in The Bourne Identity where the bad guy’s SIG 552 “Commando” goes ‘click-click-click’ as if there was some kind of electric motor in there.

    I’ve seen this error in other movies, too. All that you would see and hear happening is the gun stop firing, as you probably wouldn’t hear the hollow ‘click’ anyway during an adrenaline dump.

    • Shoot surplus commie steel jacketed bullets at an indoor range(Provided they let you) and watch the sparks fly when the bullets hit metal or even the concrete floor of the range.

  25. In the movie Shaft, a bad guy is firing at Samuel Jackson running across the street. The semi-automatic gun jumps every time he fires it. Even has a flash each time. Too bad the slide was locked back the entire time. The bad guy was basically just waving an unloaded gun at Jackson.

    On an episode of Stargate: Atlantis, one of the guys pulls his Beretta 92 series out to check it before a mission. He racks the slide then hits the decocker. After that, he puts in the magazine.

  26. Airheads 1994 – Guy drops a MP5 on the floor and it fires on its own until the magazine runs dry. Even though the gun is ON THE FLOOR, everyone hits the deck apparently to avoid getting shot. Can’t stand that scene, but otherwise hilarious movie.

  27. That gun fight in Django at the Candy Land Plantation, those six-shooters never ran dry, until the plot required it. Chappie infuriated me – they never carried their firearms with a round chambered, and the scene where Hugh Jackman’s character threatens that guy in the office.

    • In defense of Django, I’m pretty sure that was intentional. The single action with a thousand shot cylinder is a staple of spaghetti westerns, which is entirely what Tarantino was going for.

  28. On a related note is the dumb/stupid/ridiculous procedural things. For instance, every week on NCIS Gibbs and Company show up at the heavily armed suspect’s house armed with 9mm pistols – and nothing else. No rifles, shotguns, body armor, or uniformed backup. That is not how it works in the real world.

    • I’m unsure whether or not that’s worse than “Let’s put the lab techs and their pistols in the body of the arresting force when going to apprehend a heavily armed murderer” thing that CSI and related shows do, tactically speaking, but they both annoy me.

    • And don’t forget how the cop procedurals are looking up recovered guns in a registry to find the owner, even in WYOMING.

      • On an episode of Bones, they dug a pistol out of some dirt along with the body-of-the-week. They were not only able to tell it was loaded just by looking at the mud encrusted blob, but identified it as a “Ruger Mark III”. It was obviously a rubber or plastic fake, and was made from a mold of a generic .22 pocket pistol. You could see molding lines and the painted-on dirt on it in the closeup, and it was most definitely NOT a MkIII.

    • Also why do they take their guns off and put it in a desk drawer when they get to the office? It blows my mind

  29. What you deride as “teacup” was taught for quite a while as a very good shooting grip. People can shoot very well that way. That it is currently out of favor does not mean that you still can’t evacuate the cranial contents of a zombie that way.

        • My mom has to use it to be able to shoot her M&P accurately. She doesn’t “Michonne” it, however, she grips it properly with her main hand. It’s just too heavy for her to hold up for very long any other way.

    • People teacup pistols all the time in movies, what makes this particularly egregious is that her grip should be about 2 inches higher than it is.

      • Yes, I noticed that too.

        Could it be that the role she plays is supposed to be someone unfamiliar with good shooting grips?

        • Her character is a practitioner of Samurai swordsmanship, and she does wield it fairly well in the series, even has proper footwork, which causes me to believe she actually has had some reasonable training.

  30. Movie gun fails are the rule rather than the exception, so few stand out like this one:

    In Godfather 2, Mama Andolini (Vito Corleone’s mother) is shot with a lupara, a short barrel side by side shotgun. The blast lifts her off her feet and knocks her back five feet. You’d expect more from one of the greatest movies ever made.

    FYI, you can’t see the harness or wire pulling her back, but it’s obvious.

  31. The very first episode of The Walking Dead, a deputy is told to remove the safety of his Glock and he depresses the side stop…..

    • The fact this comes up so often really made a scene in the new 12 monkeys series stand out:
      Guy hands a woman a revolver, she asks where the safety is. His response: “um, its a revolver….”

      • True enough. And Heritage Arms single-actions have a manual safety. But of course those and the Chinese revolvers are pretty much “niche” products.

  32. My all time fave is the use of an M203 to knock down doors of blow holes in walls at close range. Chuck Norris movies are notorious for this.

    • And speaking of Chuck…

      In an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger, the bad guys were shooting M-16/AR-15s from a small airplane and Walker was hit in the left scapula (shoulder blade) by a 5.56 round. He handed his folding knife to his girlfriend and had her cut out the bullet (from the back – it did not penetrate past the bone) and then went on to have full-on karate fight scenes later in that same episode.

  33. I think the all-time dumbest gun tropes is the classic “hand-gun” shot, where the bad guy draws and the good guy draws and shoots the gun out of the BGs hand while it is still in motion.

    Another one is that despite all the rough edges on a Colt SAA, it seems that when one gets on a wooden floor during a bar fight, it will slide around like it is on a ice rink.

    One of the worst grips I’ve seen was Jack Lord in the old Hawaii 5-0. He once fired his Colt Detective Special with his support hand on his shooting hand forearm.

  34. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “True Lies” where he plays a spy and Jamie Lee Curtis plays his wife. In one of the scenes, Jamie Lee Curtis drops a MAC-10 which bounces down the stairs shooting off rounds that only ‘randomly’ hit and kill the bad guys (with one-shot kills maybe).

  35. No recoil when guns are fired, muted gun firing sounds, funny ricochet sounds, limitless ammunition, bullets that spark when they hit something, cops that drop their guns first when confronted, and no effect on hearing when guns are fired inside vehicles.

  36. How about when the good guy disarms the bad guy pointing a gun at him by pulling the slide off the frame of his semi-auto. I think it was Jeremy Renner’s character in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol who did that. I’ve seen it in other movies too.

  37. Ncis going after a bad guy in a house they all surround it and just dump m4s with 30 rounders but they fire like 1 beta mag each then on top of it would have ben shooting at each other when surrounding the house

    • This is a common, and stupid fail. How many times have we seen the house surrounded by guys with full-auto weapons and they just open up through the walls and windows and doors. Then they continue shooting until everybody is out of ammo and their lackies are on the way to Walmart for resupply and they never once think to shoot below chest or waist-high, as though the people inside would be too stupid to drop to the floor (where they usually find a convenient trap door to the sub-basement) as soon as the shooting starts.

  38. Not really a “gun fail,” but I get amused watching The Rifleman, where Lucas always seems to have that screw pin in the appropriate position, either to fire the rifle or just cock it menacingly, to meet the current situation!

    • Lucas McCain always makes me laugh. He can shoot the eyes off a fly from the hip when showing the BG how good he is… but can’t hit a man-sized target when he aims at him.

      • Saw an episode a few weeks ago where some salesman was having a shooting contest in town, on main street, with hay bails as a backstop. The townspeople were all gathered close around, with no hearing protection, and the salesman was standing downrange about five feet from the target.

        Lucas walks up to a pistol competition, puts the butt of his Winchester against his hip, and puts 5 rounds rapid fire dead center in a group about the size of a fifty cent piece.

        Following all this huge safety fail Lucas wins a double barrel shotgun which he intends to give to Mark, but he tells him he can’t have it until he’s old enough to know how to use it safely!

  39. NCIS where they disarm in the office by putting their guns in unlocked drawers. They frequently leave the huge room with no one there from their team.

  40. Hah. I had to pause and roll it back when I saw Michonne’s Xtreme Teacup technique. She didn’t even have the sights lined up when shooting, the barrel was angled noticeably down. She must have learned that from Rick, who has a reputation for not holding or pointing any gun properly.

    Seriously though worst gun fail? There’s so many!

        • I did notice in the original “Stagecoach” one of the Indians firing and reloading a “trapdoor” carbine on the gallop–Thought it was a nice touch, something bedsides Winchester lever-actions…

    • Rick’s previous job was as a teacher at an English Comprehensive School, where he downed pints and dreamed of bedding the girl teachers.

  41. Just about any scene that uses an RPG-7. They just don’t work the way that Hollywood thinks they do. And I work for a company that supplies props and military vehicles to the movie and tv industry.

  42. “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. Dosen’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, and it cost more than you make in a month.”

  43. The scene in “The Fugitive” when Tommy Lee Jones and crew are about to capture “Poole” and we see Jones racking the slide on his glock behind his back. It is wrong on so many counts!!!

  44. Any scope ever on any TV show, I’d love to find the 2000x that holds that kind of focus. As far as the rack then load, I always thought it was a new mag so they were X+1in the tube. Spinning a MAC-10 around a pole and having it fire all the way down, The weight and centrifugal force would force the trigger away from the pole and make the contact point the trigger guard

  45. I seem to recall in Sharknado (which is, of course, a standard of excellence in its own right), one of the female characters had a pump-action shotgun which she felt the need to rack every single time the camera switched back to her. This probably happened half a dozen times before she ever fired the gun. I guess we’re just lucky no one slipped on all the unfired shells which must have been strewn all over the place.

  46. The Sherlock Holmes TV series. The “genius” Sherlock inspects a bullet riddled vehicle and from the pattern of bullet holes in the car he can tell the rounds were fired from a rifled barrel which shows the bad guys had access to “advanced firearms augmentation”. Gee, I wish I had known beforehand that everything but my shotgun was so advanced…

  47. so many to choose from!

    – shotguns blowing people back 10 – 15 feet, as mentioned above.

    – one handed shooting of Mac10’s and sawed off shotguns and the like, no recoil at all.

    – and yeah, that stupid constant racking of slides to make the actor look like a bad ass

  48. Any movie with suppressor use in it. Any newer movie with ANY kind of explosion in it. No movie in the past 20-30 years has made realistic looking or sounding explosions. Theres all this roaring fire… Real explosions are just a huge BANG and smoke and dirt and shit fly everywhere with some light and fire from the blast. The older war movies actually have more realistic looking combat scenes because they had to use real explosives and blanks. Also, some commercial on a few weeks ago for some show showed a dude racking an AR like a pump action and it makes a pump action sound.

  49. Sons of Anarchy, when Tara(doctor) removes bullet out of Bobby as evidence, and pulls out an unfired cartridge (with bullet seated in the shell unfired). Kept showing it to in previews for the next episode

    • I was scrolling through looking for that one. I had started losing interest in SOA and that episode ended it for me.

    • I recall a scene from ER many years ago where a patient was brought in with multiple gunshot wounds. It seems the perp had taken .45 hollow points and put some sort of explosive in the hollow that supposedly detonated on impact? One of the doctors had to do some delicate surgery to get out one of the un-exploded bullets. I gave up at that point, so I don’t remember if he was successful, but if they were true to Hollywood suspense he probably dropped it into one of those stainless steel bowls where it exploded while a beautiful nurse wiped the sweat off his forehead.

  50. Runner up: “The Lincoln Lawyer”, which taught us forensics can identify the make and model of gun from a bullet.

    Gold medal: “Shoot ‘Em Up,” which gave new meaning to “hand gun”.

  51. I’m a huge fan of the true crime stuff on Investigation Discovery, and their reenactments are often hilarious, from saying the killer used a rifle and showing him with a shotgun, to the two times in the last two weeks I’ve seen them reenact the cops picking up .223 rifle casings as the real cop from the investigation says something like, “We recovered multiple casings from a 9mm handgun at the scene.”

  52. Don’t remember what movie/show it was, but some guy let loose with a semi-auto handgun inside an air duct. The sound made on-screen was reminiscent of a firecracker in a 55-gallon drum and he was perfectly fine, whereas in real life the blast from one round would have most likely blown out his ear drums in such a small, enclosed space.

  53. Any movie or TV show (too numerous to mention) where a precision rifle shot is called for and the individual takes the shot off-handed—-despite being right next to a window sill or tree or car….

    • Scream 3. Deputy Dipshit (Dewey) bursts into the room and begins shooting the bad guy in the chest using the “two-handed hollywood cop” grip. Because the bad guy is wearing body armor, the girls in the room start screaming “Head shot! Head shot!” at Dewey. So Dewey pauses, adjusts to a single-handed grip, takes careful aim, and makes a single, perfect shot to the bad guy’s head from across the room. Oh, and the bad guy was still upright and reeling from the 10 or so body shots when Dewey shot him in the head.

  54. Another one was some show where the female detective was jogging down a hallway with her gun in hand. Not too bad, except for the constant rattle sounds that it made – sounded like some marbles in a coffee can.

    The funny thing was later in that show, she removed the magazine and used the side of it as a mirror to check around a corner. Friend (who was around when we complained about the rattling previously) said that can’t be right either, can it? Whereas we had to say that yes, a magazine can be polished and reflective like that (it looked like a single-stack 1911 mag).

  55. You guys are missing the granddaddy of gun fails:

    The mini-gun from Predator.

    Several fails rolled into one. Cutting down a tree w/ said weapon is not one of them. Mythbusters confirmed that epic feat of coolness can be done . . . just not by a guy acting as his own mount 🙂

    • The Mini-Gun backpack in Predator is based on a real design that holds 300 rounds. At 6000 rounds a minute that is exactly 3 seconds of fire before you run dry… Yet in between the raid on the guerrilla base and the jungle fusillade the Mini-Gun fired cumulatively for about 30 seconds at least.

  56. Consistant slide racking is my biggest pet peeve. But on the walking dead there was an episode that referenced the safety on Ricks revolver. So much fail.

  57. The redo of the Han Solo vs Greedo scene in the bar. No way would Han Solo miss when he’s so calm and calculated. The original scene was fine.

  58. >>Runs out of bullets
    >>Drop magazine
    >>Insert new magazine
    >>Does not rack slide to actually push a new round in (it was set in WWII and the gun did not enter slide lock, I’m assuming it’s one of those gun that doesn’t have that feature)
    >>Continues firing anyways

  59. Wow there’s so many…the latest planet of the apes was mentioned. Just last night I saw Riggs blown off his feet and hurled 20 feet through a plate glass window in Lethal Weapon with a single shotgun blast. Scarlett J. shooting 2 Glocks with Zero recoil in Avengers/ Captain America. Not exactly a gun but Jennifer Lawrence killing a jet with an arrow. Almost every cowboy gunfight ever…oh yeah James Bond carrying that tiny pistol and killing every machine gunned bad guy…

  60. I saw the last Walking Dead episode referenced above and though to myself: ‘tea cupping and her hand is way to low on that grip”. In general though, when I watch TV now a days I notice actors always have their fingers along the frame when not shooing (a good thing).

  61. Face Off. The lead and bad guy stand one foot from opposite sides of a bullet proof piece of glass and empty their pistols at each other. No ricochets and neither gets hit by the many, many bullets they just fired.

  62. I always loved ol Dirty Harry sticking his hand cannon around a corner one handed and pulling the trigger, boom, no sign of recoil, BWTF it’s a movie, or every John Wayne movie about the War of Northern Agression where he’s carrying a colt peacemaker.

    The colt Python in Walking dead, somebody needs to point out the need for speed in Z fight.

    And the hot chick in Under World with the Glock 18’s that never run dry. BUT! she’s so hot in the black leather I forget to notice the guns because her ass gets in the way 😀

    Now how about some not epic fails where the actor did a pretty good job?

    Like Val kilmer in Heat, his mag change was outstanding as was his using “AIMED” fire instead of spraying the area from the hip.

    Also while I’m not a fan of Tom Cruse I liked his gun handling in Collateral Damage as a hit man, he took lessons from a pro class IDPA shooter to learn how to carry the weapon and draw it from under his jacket, I slowed down the scene where he shot the two muggers who had his brief case, it was spot on IMO.

    I also always like Tom Selleck as Jessie Stone in the series of the same name. His handling of his 1911 is fine and he never has to rack the slide to load a round before shooting the dirt bag.

    • I believe Tom Selleck is a lifetime member of the NRA. I used to get a kick out of Thomas Magnum always carrying his 1911 with the hammer down, but then I saw him get ready for a fight by racking the slide and engaging the safety, so I guess he just preferred Israeli carry.

    • You should see the background on the training all the actors did for Heat. Also, all the “sound effects” of the main shoot out in the streets were the actual sounds of the blanks being fired at the time, not post-editing.

  63. One of my favorites is that very distinctive 12 gauge shotgun blast sound effect from 80’s movies like “The Terminator” or “Platoon”… Sounded cool as hell, but I’ve never heard a real shotgun sound remotely like that.

  64. I saw two movies in a row, (Zombie movies I think). Where the lens caps of a scope and the binoculars were on while being looked through.

  65. Sorry, but Hollywood actors/actresses, playing pretend parts in movies, don’t mean sh!t to me.
    They don’t live in the same world that I live in.
    A plumber/electrician/mechanic holds more value to me than an actor or actress.

  66. My favorite was in the episode before that one mentioned, where one of the characters was shooting a bolt action rifle semi auto. Lmao best fail ever in this show.

  67. I saw a scene, can’t remember what film or TV show now, where a feisty granny was holding some miscreant at gunpoint and worked the bolt on her bolt action rifle at least three times in less than 60 seconds without ever firing the rifle — “for emphasis” I guess.

  68. I’ve got to rant on The Walking Dead a little. I’ve been binge-watching to get caught up, and my wife is getting tired of me grousing about some of the errors. The few that stood out in my mind:

    – Herschel’s magical shotgun. That thing never ran out. I should go back and count, but man. It was amazing.
    – Taking cover behind flimsy stuff, like file cabinets, when you’re getting shot at with .223. In my experience, that’s just not going to work. Now, if this is a spur-of-the-moment-find-cover thing, OK, but they were setting up these file cabinets as a barricade, KNOWING the guys had rifles. And not even setting them up full of files, which might be OK if you lined it up front to back. Just empty file cabinets.
    – Muzzle awareness. They’re pointing guns at each other, at the kids, all over the place. If I were Sheriff Rick and a good Southern man* (even one played by a Brit), I’d be quite anal about the 4 rules.
    – While we’re on the subject, take your damn finger off the trigger. Come on now.
    – There was a whole “how to use a gun” bit in Season 1. Would it have been too much to ask for a good Southern man* like Rick or Darryl to go over the rules a bit?

    (* I’ve had the privilege of living in Tennessee. There are a lot of weird rednecks out there, but they’re the exception. Most of the people I knew who carried a gun were of that good sort. I love the South.)

  69. I’ve seen so many films where the protagonists have pointed guns at their own friends during some disagreement, apparently to “show how serious they are” that I just want to rage every time I see it. Dude. That’s your best friend. You never, ever, point a gun at someone you don’t intend to kill.

  70. I saw the original Robocop the other day and I got a kick out of how he had his whole arm blown completely off up near the shoulder by a single blast from a 12ga. shotgun.

    • Watching Assault on Precinct 13 now and just noticed the same issue. Also a pump action shotgun that only has to be pumped every 3-5 shots and more Hollywood silencers than I can count (actual line after several dozen shots were fired: “They were using silencers. No one heard any gunshots”)

  71. Just saw A Million Ways to Die in the West. Everyone cocks the hammers on their Peacemakers for every shot but Seth Mcfarlane follows up with shots in double action!

  72. These are my biggest beefs:

    1. The first episode in Season 3 of The Walking Dead when they are clearing the prison yard full of zombies. They are firing through the fence and none of the slides on their pistols are cycling, even though they keep getting a bang and a muzzle flash with every trigger pull. I sat their in disbelief at such an oversight.

    2. Zero Dark Thirty: The complete lack of muzzle discipline by everyone on the entry teams at the Bin Laden Compound.

    3. Any movie where “Snipers” use red lasers that show up on their target and movies where the hero shoots from the hip while on full-auto.

    • “movies where the hero shoots from the hip while on full-auto.”

      In slow motion. While grimacing, mouth wide open.

  73. Number one thing that bothers me beyond the “cocking hammer” sounds is in a number of disaster/SHTF type movies, when you see citizens armed with AR and AK type rifles, they are somehow all fully-automatic.

    I really liked the first couple seasons of Falling Skies, but I was wondering where they were getting all the FA AKs, Galils, G36s, etc. There can’t possibly be armories stocked up with NFA Euro firearms just littered all over the east coast.

    Walking Dead did this too. One minute one of the characters had a WASR underfolder, and the next minute it became a FA Chinese AK.

    Is it too much to ask the shows’ armorers to click the selectors to semi-auto? It just perpetuates the idea that America is awash with fully-automatic death-dealing assault whatchamacallits.

    • Remember the scene in Fast & Furious (the original) where the Chinese gangsters shot up his car with full auto? They were later arrested and charged with all sorts of things before their rich parents got them out on bail, but nobody ever bothered to mention an NFA weapons violation.

  74. You probably missed this. In “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” Sarah Jessica Horseface “shoulders” a Henry .22 LR with the comb of the butt stock UNDER her armpit and shoots like Julie Duff!!! Then her movie hubby < Hugh Grant, puts it TIGHT to his shoulder and is beaten black and blue by the "brutal recoil" of a rimfire .22 rifle.

  75. In Act of Valor (one movie you’d think would get it right), the SEALs’ optics kept switching between EoTechs and Aimpoints. Then suddenly one of them had an Elcan SpectreDR for one shot.

  76. Not a gun fail, but surely the cinematic weapon-related fail for the ages: The ubiquitous metallic scraping or schinnnngg sound that accompanies any blade being drawn, swung, wielded or even picked up off velvet in a soundproof room.

  77. There’s a scene in The Transporter where the baddies are firing 5.56 rounds at a building with stone walls. The slugs are penetrating those walls and bouncing around inside.

  78. I watched a low-budget movie last night starring Stone Cold Steve Austin. I think Tactical Force or Tactical Team was the name. The non-moving slides weren’t the biggest hint of the cgi gunfire, it was the cgi itself. I’ve seen better cgi in home-made videos on youtube. It was also full of hilariously poor “tactics”. But, it wasn’t intended to be a serious movie. Their “tactics” in the beginning of the movie were the funniest. Hostage situation in a grocery store. One SWAT guy threw a beef tenderloin at a hostage’s head to knock him out and get him out of the line of fire. Another carried a Red Ryder BB gun and after he had kicked his M4 and pistol over to a bad guy, he shot the bad guy in the forehead with the Red Ryder, stunning him long enough for the hostage to get free and the SWAT guy to grab his M4 and shoot the bad guy. And of course, Stone Cold himself decided to just charge and tackle a bad guy who was using a hostage as a human shield, then throw the bad guy around and generally kick his ass. Later we learn that the tackle broke the hostage’s hip, and that Stone Cold’s ass whuppin’ gave the bad guy “a ruptured testicle, and his rectum is swollen shut so bad, he needs machines just so he can sh*t”. Despite the stupidity of it (most of which was intentional), it was a fun hour and a half.

  79. Personal pet peeves on Hollywood gun scenes-
    Big caliber handguns that have no muzzle jump when fired
    Any western where the cowboy’s firing his rifle on his horse at a full gallop and hits his target, also on a horse at a full gallop, a hundred yards away, with a single kill shot- who does that! Even the circled wagon scenes with the injuns at a full gallop being dropped like ducks at a shooting gallery- I’m good to hit a static paper target at that distance!
    Add the endless ammo supply for wheelguns and autos that shoot 10 extra rounds without reloading.

  80. Oh, I almost forgot, on last night’s episode of Criminal Minds, a senator’s wife was kidnapped. During the “profiling”, they find out the senator, who is pro-gun control, secretly bought a hand gun for protection. Not exactly the topic, but it’s a gun-related fail nonetheless. And probably more true than anyone realizes.

  81. I recall a TV program some years ago. The hero was using an Uzi, when he’d shot the magazine empty, you could hear it clicking in full auto.

  82. I recall a low budget movie shown on TV once, many years ago when I was still in high school, in which one of the actors used an M16 and fired it gangsta-style, SIDEWAYS, one-handed, and thrusting it out in front of him with every shot (and yes, he was shown to be actually HITTING his targets this way). I was too stunned to even comment on it to anyone. I just left the living room in dumbstruck silence.

  83. Sopranos, 1st season where Brendan Filone is highjacking a Comley Truck with two “gangstas”. One of the said gangstas hops in the rig, tries to get it in gear to no avail. When he gets told to get out, he drops his Glock and it magically fires a cartridge.

    Bonus part of the scene is where Brendan gets after one of the gangstas for holding the gun sideways.

    NSFW –

  84. Another “Walking Dead” pet peave – not really a gun fail but more of a strategy/SOP thing. Thousands of rounds fired since the start of the series and nobody bothers to pick up some brass (after the dust and gore settles) or check the walkers for anything useful? I know primers and powder would be a challenge but one future zombie’s too slow mag change is another man’s ammo resupply.

    • How about the insane accuracy when shooting moving walkers, but insane inaccuracy when shooting stationary humans?

  85. I hate how Hollywood always has an endless supply of bad guy minions who drop with a single shot no matter where it lands. Meanwhile, the hero is able to soak up multiple bullet wounds to ‘superficial’ areas like the legs, arms, shoulder, gut, or even lungs and keep on going. I swear they take a bullet to the shoulder one scene and are hanging from a skyscraper the next.

    Also, I hate it when they dual wield pistols shooting everyone in sight. It is neither practical nor accurate.

  86. In the famous Dirty Harry scene he cocks his iconic revolver before delivering his “do you feel lucky” lines. After a scene cut when he actually pulls the trigger, it’s a double action trigger pull. He must have de-cocked it?? So whether or not there was one round left, he’d have dropped the hammer on an empty chamber.

    • oops, rather he cocks it single action AFTER he delivers the lines, then the cut to the guy gasping, then back to him and he pulls double action (you see the cylinder rotate).


  87. I noticed this postol holds myself on last episode, funny. Should they have consultants helping them making movies?

  88. movie “lets be cops”… BG pumps shotgun, and 9mm shell sound commences. then shoots 8 times before pumping again, lolz!!!

  89. Captain Phillips! Where the pirates rack their AK’s over and over and over (and over) again. Pretty sure by the end of the movie they had empty mags just from racking their rifles.

  90. I can’t believe I am first on this but the scene in countless movies where the BG is holding the GG at gun point and the GG says, “The safety is on” causing the BG to A. Turn the gun sideways to look at it giving the GG time to disarm him. B. Losing all focus on the GG. Dude, just pull the trigger, if it doesn’t go boom then flick the safety and pull again.

    Also, sometimes involving the about scene, the GG can disarm the BG but just grabbing the gun out of his hand, apparently the BG has the grip of a toddler.

    Finally, when showing a character “cleaning” his semi-automatic, he is either running a patch or mop through a gun not broken down.

  91. The trailer for the new hitman movie has a closeup of him shooting and the spent cases are clearly blanks. I honestly can’t say Ive ever seen it so obvious before.

  92. In the Disney animated Tarzan movie, the BBG (British Bad Guy) has a psychic weapon – it’s a sniper rifle when he aims at something far away with that loooong, typical Hollywood CRACK! sound that lingers – but when he aims at something close it racks, sounds, and leaves holes bigger than an impossible-gauge shotgun. And it switches back and forth so many times that I assume it’s on purpose to give adults something to notice.

  93. Any of dozens of old westerns in which you see a desert scene (usually shot in Monument Valley) with an Indian standing on a high cliff watching the cavalry ride up in the distance. The Indian shoots one arrow, from about 4 miles away, nailing a trooper through the heart. This is followed by a lengthy gunfight in which, at a range of a few yards, the cavalry expends more ammo than 45 spare horses could carry, but almost never hit anyone (maybe the Army should have gone to bows and arrows-if they worked so well for Indians and Robin Hood). The only ones they CAN hit are the REEAALLY stupid ones who keep riding around and around the cavalry (or sometimes a wagon train) in a circle until enough of them are killed.
    I guess my other peeve is with actors who look at their guns like they’ve grown appendages or something, and then throw them away when they run dry. Just once I’d like to see someone reholster their pistol, or better yet, reach for a spare mag or speedloader.


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