Movies/TV and Their Guns – Things That Make Me Go Argggg !

Where to start? Perhaps when I was a kid watching Roy Rogers and Gene Autry with the magic six guns that never needed to be reloaded, each gun could shoot about a hundred or fifty times and for some reason they seemed to need shaking, with a back to front motion, so the bullet would get our of the barrel faster. Of course every horse had one speed, a full hard run as if it was trying to win the triple crown, with cowboys and bad guys shooting the heck out of everything and occasionally being hit and flying off of his horse without any bloodshed. The gangster movies were just as bad except from time to time some got shot and had to die while all the other guys stood around pointing their snub nose .38’s at each other, at least that is what the good guys used while the bad folks who needed a shave used semi-auto’s and machine guns which never ran out of ammo.


Fast forward to the 60’s and 70’s where we got to see a few gallons of blood splatter out of bad guys shot from the hip with deadly aim from distances, far enough away for a good camera angle. For some reason no one wanted to pull the rifle, slung on the side of the saddle, to shoot about a half a mile down hill and the pistol was used to pick off a fast riding antagonist from time to time. That special shot only worked when the proper background movie theme increased in volume. It wasn’t just the cowboy and horse show that were ridiculous, our spy guys at the time could pop off bad guys with a .32 PPK while driving a rare, tricked out car at high speed and sliding through a 180 degree turn, while dodging the small missile from a hand held rocket launcher. That is some of the back ground an a few of the movies like the Wild Bunch and later war stories like The Big Red One appeared to be more realistic in the way guns were used.

In the past two decades it seems as if movie producers have better writers who actually research the guns, except for the comedy crap with magic guns that can shoot multiple times while they are falling down stairs and shots made by idiots with no regard for gun safety. However the TV cop & crime shows put the actors through a few classes on gun handling so they use two hands when they shoot bad guys, at least every other episode and the writers go out of their way to make the storyline stupid, every where from glitch stupid to weapons grade stupid. Two stupids this week that annoyed me were the glitch stupid takes place in Virginia where one of the cops hold us a S&W WWII pistol and talks about the antique gun not being registered to the guy who appeared to do the shooting. Like most all of the states in the US Virginia does not require registration of any guns except for Class III firearms, Why writers like to use that line no matter what state the action takes place I have no idea unless they want viewers to think firearm registration is a normal thing.

The second full bore, weapons grade stupid was the death of a cop by a sniper using a .308 and the supposition was that the distance and bullet drop was so large that a different officer was probably the intended target. The scene after the shot showed the hands of the sniper with take-down a bolt action rifle putting it in a large foam insert case with lots of cutouts for gadgets and goodies which made for a large heavy case. Of course the experts on the crime team did their ballistic research on the .308 which they knew was the cartridge because the shooter left the casing on a roof top which was the long distance of 70 yards away. The smarter gun guy cop explained that at that long distance the bullet makes an arc like a rainbow and it would fall at least six inches and that would be a difficult shot. At that time I made a lot of argggg noises and left the room. I will explore this total lake of gun knowledge by writers and crew more in later postings but any sniper would be able to use a rangefinder and set the scope for the exact distance and the bullet drop for a .308 set for 200 yards would rise about 3/4″ at 70 yards which is a very close shot for a rifle that can shoot accurately out to four or five hundred yards.

More to come later as we look at firearm stupid and the media.

About the Author

Joe McElyea
I am an original member and founder of the esteemed High Plains Shooting and Dining Society which is dedicated to fellowship of bird hunters and shooters who also enjoy finding great local places to eat large, unhealthy portions of breaded and fried meats and gravies washed down with the appropriate libations. I am also a retired old man who enjoys fishing, shooting and my wonderful family.