When TV shows and movies get it wrong

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tedbeau
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When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by tedbeau » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:32 am

I wanted to start a thread were we can list common tv and movie gun facts that they always get wrong.

To avoid political discussions, limit the post here to fictional tv shows and movies that get firearm details wrong. Maybe the script writers will discover the thread and start getting the details right.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

A few years ago on the TV show Flashpoint (Swat Team Drama) there was a bad cop that was assigned to a witness protection detail for a witness that was being flown in to testify. The witness had killed a family member of the bad cop, from what I remember. There were a lot of prostester outside the airport and Swat was there to help.

So the bad cop is in a locker room at the airport getting ready to join his protection detail. Another member of the team walks by and ask, "Are you ready?". The bad cop says yes, and picks up his gun (semi-auto) and racks the slide to chamber a round. Later the bad cop manages to sneak away from the team and is taking a short cut to intercept the witness. As he nears the ambush point the cop draws his gun again, racks the slide again and gets in position around a corner.

As I am watching this I am wondering, "Why did he just eject a live round onto the floor? Why didn't the director show the round hitting the tile and bouncing in super slow motion for effect? Do script writers think there is an expiration period on ammo, so if you don't fire it in ten minutes you need to rack a fresh round in the chamber?"

Here's another, this is more recent:

Show, Elementary, (modern day Sherlock Holmes helps NYPD)

There is a shooting and Holmes is checking out the crime scene. He finds a spent casing which all the official investigators managed to miss.

As he is showing it to his assistant Watson and the police detective Bell that they normally work with one of them mentions that the case looks pretty beat up. Holmes then has to explain that there is a practice known as "Handloading" in which people dare to actually reuse ammunition components. The detective appears to have never heard of this practice!
It gets better, since they now know that they are looking for a reloader they check gun store records and come up with a list of possible suspects that have purchased reloading supplies. The list contains THREE NAMES! They didn't mention what caliber the round was but it must be pretty dam rare. Perhaps it was a pin fire cartridge! I mean I know it's New York and all, but three reloaders in the entire greater metro area!

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Drop Dead Zed » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:36 pm

Too many! I personally love all the clicking that tv guns do. It sounds like typing on a keyboard. I cringe at chicken wings (to be fair, I see that at the range too) and goofy pistol grips designed more for framing the actor's face than accurate shooting. I also like it when the CSI guys dig a perfect slugg out of a wall and ID it as "9mm" or what ever. Leaving aside the condition the bullet would be in, how do you know thats 9mm and not .357 mag, .38 spc or .357 sig? Is that a 40 S&W or a 10mm?

BTW, I turned off Elementary immediately after that scene. I can accept a certain amount of political preaching and anti-gun stuff from Hollywood, but that was too much for me to stomach.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Towanda » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:48 pm

A number of shows do this, but the only one I can think of right now is The Walking Dead: the slides on semi-auto pistols don't move when they're being fired.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by eugene » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:32 pm

Would be a shorter list if you listed what they did get right.

But to name a few things they get wrong:

How about NCIS where the dog collar wearing girl explains to the supervisor what a frangible bullet is "its designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain and suffering"

How about all the shows where they compare a bullet from the crime scene to another recently fired from the gun barrel and they match because no one ever shoots in between and none of the other rounds in between ever adds more/changes the scratch pattern.

Or every show that asks "is it registered" even though the scene isn't happening in one of the few states that require registration.

Or even how gun registration actually solves a crime.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by KGBrick » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:55 pm

The amount of non-educational (which sadly includes Discovery & co. these days) media I can stand to watch on a subject is inversely proportional to how much I know about that subject. It goes way beyond firearms.

Sometimes it is best if a show just doesn't even try. Lord of the Rings? They're fighting orcs in Middle-earth, I don't care if the fighting is silly (except bloody Legolas). Shooting laser rifles instead of real rifles? Groovy. Wuxia movie martial arts heros flying around? Okie dokie.

Suspension of disbelief goes out the window when they try and fail.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:24 pm

eugene wrote:Would be a shorter list if you listed what they did get right.

THIS^^^^^^

I could go on. But the worst was in Longmire when a bad guy's shotgun made a pumping noise off screen, only to pan over and show a double barrel shotty.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Wraith6761 » Sun May 03, 2015 10:44 am

Nearly every movie that involves somebody using a scoped rifle, the shooter is going to have his/her eye right up to the scope...yet they never get a black eye or anything like that.

There's also the constant clip vs magazine issue...sigh.

Finally, recoil...it's always way too much or not nearly enough. The Walking Dead is the biggest culprit that comes to mind on this one...a full-frame Glock causes a shooter to nearly fall over, but they can shoot a 12 gauge without budging at all.

I'm with KGBrick, give me lightsabers or phasers or trick arrows and I'm good to go...
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by grumpyviking » Sun May 03, 2015 11:01 am

do you REALLY expect them to get it right? they aren't documentaries they are entertainment or as I call it "opium for the masses" :ohdear:
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by eeb » Sun May 03, 2015 11:29 am

grumpyviking wrote:do you REALLY expect them to get it right? they aren't documentaries they are entertainment or as I call it "opium for the masses" :ohdear:
Ha ha, Marx Bros., right? I was amazed at how much unrealistic garbage got past the consultants for "Sons of Guns" or "American Gunsmoke" or whatever that Colorado based show was.

Chicken winging doesn't bother me, bad technique is actually pretty realistic. I do it myself sometimes when shooting my retro inspired firearms, feels more era-correct.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by grumpyviking » Sun May 03, 2015 11:50 am

I was thinking about TV programmes in general rather than just ones with shooting in them, even wildlife programmes have false bits in them too sometimes.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by mtncharlie1968 » Tue May 05, 2015 1:15 am

When you're dealing with a large group of people who are responsible for bringing a finished product to the screen, many of whom have absolutely NO idea of what they are doing as far as the subject matter is concerned, there are going to be mistakes made. Unfortunately it gets portrayed as gospel to the ignorant.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by dtwn92 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:24 am

See lots wrong in shows and films. Most people don't pick up on small things like that, hell most directors don't either. Remember we see something that happened in 5 seconds. It might have been a 12 hour day with 25 takes and the final cut was done on the 1st cut and the 18th cut to piece it together.

I did not however, notice that the slides don't move in the Walking Dead. Hmmm...
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by grumpyviking » Tue May 05, 2015 5:21 am

heck they cant even get the architecture right so how do you expect them to get actual facts right? Victorian drama's with tv aerials on roofs and burglar alarms on walls are just the start of the "bloopers".
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by ShooterMike » Tue May 05, 2015 10:30 am

These may be a bit subtle, but the ones that really drive me up the wall are Walking Dead scenes where we are repeatedly shown the following:

- Rick sticks out his beautifully pristine Python, supposedly aiming it at someone/thing, and it's obvious that he's actually pointing it at the ground and can't see either frickin' sight.
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- Someone is blazing away at bad guys with a rifle equipped with either no sights or folding sights that are folded down and cannot be used.
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- The early prison episodes where the M4s all have the Aimpoint CCOs mounted backwards.
http://www.imfdb.org/images/8/87/TWDS3E01_12.jpg

- The scene shows someone looking through an Aimpoint-equipped M4 then shows what they're looking at as if through a magnified scope with hair-thin crosshairs.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Stercutus » Tue May 05, 2015 11:01 am

- The early prison episodes where the M4s all have the Aimpoint CCOs mounted backwards.
Tears of the Sun was especially brutal in this regard. I think every single optic in that movie was mounted wrong. I had them all pegged for dying at the end. Amazed they lasted as long as they did. At some point Willis had his flashlight mounted facing into his optic... Probably to illuminate the reticule?

The media has given up trying to ID firearms. It is better than back in the day when...

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Wraith6761 » Tue May 05, 2015 11:46 am

ShooterMike wrote:- Rick sticks out his beautifully pristine Python, supposedly aiming it at someone/thing, and it's obvious that he's actually pointing it at the ground and can't see either frickin' sight.
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So it's not just me then...I'll be the first to admit that I know very little about revolvers and the way they fit in the hand, but it always looked like he was holding it wrong, either bending his wrist wrong or just holding too low on the grip, but there's no way he could be accurate with it. I just thought I didn't know something about how to hold one properly...glad to hear it's Hollywood screwing up again, and not me being completely stupid.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue May 05, 2015 4:23 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the famous line in Die Hard 2 about the "Glock 7" and it being a "porcelain gun made in Germany and doesn't show up on your airport x-ray machines."

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by eeb » Wed May 06, 2015 8:45 am

ShooterMike wrote: - Someone is blazing away at bad guys with a rifle equipped with either no sights or folding sights that are folded down and cannot be used.
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Bro, do you even operate? That's the Chris Costa approved, sight-down-the-picatinny technique, his mastery of which netted him victory when his Chinese optic failed at the 2014 Airsoft Pan-Asia Battle of Japan.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by offcamber » Wed May 06, 2015 9:18 am

I always enjoy watching folks hide behind car doors and the ubiquitous menacing of thumbing the hammer back on semi auto pistols.

I also enjoy how "loose" guns are in movies.. every time someone waves one around they make rattling noises.

Lets also not forget the "click, click, click" of trigger pulls on an empty chamber in rifles and pistols that lock back when empty, lol.

Or the horrors of revolvers on film that obviously have no ammo in the cylinder.

The absolute worst has to be "universal ammo" though, when folks toss each other mags from different weapons and calibers and they magically work in all firearms in the scene.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Purple_Mutant » Sat May 23, 2015 4:39 am

I like how TV guns make a nice 'click' every time they pull them out. Then there is the extra capacity magazine that has the same physical size as a standard capacity magazine. It's a tardiszine, bigger on the inside than it is on the outside! :D :lol: How about when someone is handed a gun who doesn't really know how to handle firearms. A perfect example is in the movie Under Siege. He hands the stripper an AR and has to explain to her to put the red dot on the bad guys and pull the trigger. It's one thing to be handed an unfamiliar firearm and have to be shown where the safety is, mag release, ETC. But if "pull the trigger" has to be part of the discussion, you probably shouldn't be handed a gun.

Does anyone have any particularly shining examples where a TV show or movie got something right? I like how in Black Sunday (the one about the super bowl) you see the guy reload his revolver using a speed loader.

By the way, people should check out the Internet Movie Firearms Database.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Main_Page

You can look up guns used in TV shows and movies. You can look up a TV show or movie to see what guns were in it. You can also look up a gun and see what movies or TV shows it was in.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by Neptune Glory » Sat May 23, 2015 10:06 am

I think my favorite was the original Robocop movie. It featured a Barret .50 caliber that could shoot giant balls of light and destroy cars, and even take the entire upper half off of a giant sized, armored robot.
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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by ssgcmw » Sat May 23, 2015 9:41 pm

Here are a few of my favorites to hate on:

1) Shooting the weapon out of the bad guy's hand.
2) Loading magazines in a vehicle on the way to the gunfight
3) Pumping a shotgun / racking a slide when there already is/should be a round in the chamber
4) The never-ending magazine
5) Revolvers that shoot seven, eight, twelve, etc. times before anyone reloads (if ever)
6) Firing a full mag in an AR/M-16, then proceeding to grab the barrel to use it like a club.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon May 25, 2015 3:35 pm

Purple_Mutant wrote:I like how TV guns make a nice 'click' every time they pull them out. Then there is the extra capacity magazine that has the same physical size as a standard capacity magazine. It's a tardiszine, bigger on the inside than it is on the outside! :D :lol: How about when someone is handed a gun who doesn't really know how to handle firearms. A perfect example is in the movie Under Siege. He hands the stripper an AR and has to explain to her to put the red dot on the bad guys and pull the trigger. It's one thing to be handed an unfamiliar firearm and have to be shown where the safety is, mag release, ETC. But if "pull the trigger" has to be part of the discussion, you probably shouldn't be handed a gun.

Does anyone have any particularly shining examples where a TV show or movie got something right? I like how in Black Sunday (the one about the super bowl) you see the guy reload his revolver using a speed loader.

By the way, people should check out the Internet Movie Firearms Database.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Main_Page

You can look up guns used in TV shows and movies. You can look up a TV show or movie to see what guns were in it. You can also look up a gun and see what movies or TV shows it was in.
I can think of one movie that got guns right.

"Appaloosa" starring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.

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Re: When TV shows and movies get it wrong

Post by 0122358 » Tue May 26, 2015 11:49 am

My big gripes are

Clicking repeatedly when empty or if the slides are locked back.

No substantial understanding between what is cover vs concealment and the corresponding ballistic results of each

Recoil

Sights

Clinking mechanisms on weapons that don't have clickable items (like the hammer on a striker fired gun :x )
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