Weapons for dummies?

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Weapons for dummies?

Post by one_ofmany » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:36 pm

I'm working on some short stories related to the undead, unfortunetly I know nothing about firearms. Absolutly nothing
Would there be a good book or website that might outline the different types, their ammo, general uses and class? (Class= hunting, military etc..)

Thank you.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by bonanacrom » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:48 pm

Don'T waste your time. Wright about what you know. Bats and axes,hammers and frying pans these are what makes a interesting story ! I was once told a story back in the 70,s about a women that was home alone and hear some one trying to force there way in through the back door of her house. After calling the cops and fearing they would get there to late she tied a frying pan to a broomhandle, and when the cops showed up they found her husband out cold and missing some teeth.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Fire » Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:53 pm

hang around on any gun forum for a while, look at basic firearms safety and edu manuals online, but be aware there is no substitute for actually firing a weapon- maybe go to a range and take a class- sadly, if you do not know it WILL show, especially to anyone who does know.....And for the love of god, the thing that holds the ammo and goes into the pistol is a MAGAZINE not a CLIP - that is a common mistake that screams "this guy does not know the subject matter"
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:14 pm

I searched the "For Dummies" website, apparently there is no "Guns for Dummies" or "Firearms for Dummies".

Either that or their search engine just flat out sucks (likely).


There are plenty of firearm afficionados here though, I'm sure they'd be happy to share their knowledge with you.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Murf » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:21 pm

Go to Amazon and search for the term "howdunit." It's a series of books written for writers on various subjects like poisons, forensics, police procedure, etc. There is also one for weapons that covers firearms, though it didn't get particularly good reviews.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Hoppy » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:25 pm

Magazine not a clip

unfired ammunition are called rounds or ammo. when a rounds fired it separates into the bullet ( pointy thing that hurts) that comes out the barrel. and the casing, shells or "brass" ( those are what pops out of the gun) i hate reading in a book that there was bullets all over the floor when they really mean casings

guns don't send people through windows. a shot in the chest isnt going to send a guy flipping

i agree though don't try to write as if you know guns. if its an undead story stick to simple weapons or maybe have a minor character with a gun if you do need that Deus Ex Machina effect

i DOOOOOOO encourage you to go to a range with some one, or go to a rental range and learn how a gun works, learn what they are like to shoot and use. so long as your skill level is atleast equal to the characters level and you use the right terms it will be ok to read
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:29 pm

Magazine not a clip
What does the M1 Garand use? A clip or a cartridge?
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bonanacrom wrote:I found that if your 6 feet tall and weigh 260 pounds and answer the door naked with a big shit eating grin on your face you get to control the conversation right from the beginning.

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by ArmyOfDarkness » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:37 pm

JibbaJabba wrote:
Magazine not a clip
What does the M1 Garand use?
A bullet.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Trebor » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:41 pm

JibbaJabba wrote:
Magazine not a clip
What does the M1 Garand use? A clip or a cartridge?
Both. The 8 cartridges go into the clip. The "en bloc" clip, containing the 8 cartridges. then goes into the Garand's internal magazine.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:43 pm

I see. Each cartridge contains what - a bullet, obviously, but what else? A jacket for each bullet? (I've only got experience with the M16 series of rifle so I'm unfamiliar with different ammunition types)
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bonanacrom wrote:I found that if your 6 feet tall and weigh 260 pounds and answer the door naked with a big shit eating grin on your face you get to control the conversation right from the beginning.

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Trebor » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:44 pm

one_ofmany wrote:I'm working on some short stories related to the undead, unfortunetly I know nothing about firearms. Absolutly nothing
Would there be a good book or website that might outline the different types, their ammo, general uses and class? (Class= hunting, military etc..)

Thank you.
The best thing to do is go your local library and see what books about firearms they have available. Do the same at your local "big box" bookstore like Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.

Read through a bit and you'll have a better idea what questions to ask.

If nothing else, browse Wikipedia a bit. Try "firearms", "cartridge", "ammo" and types of guns such as "Glock", "Berretta" "M-16" etc. Just read and absorb the info.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Trebor » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:48 pm

JibbaJabba wrote:I see. Each cartridge contains what - a bullet, obviously, but what else? A jacket for each bullet? (I've only got experience with the M16 series of rifle so I'm unfamiliar with different ammunition types)

A "Cartridge" is a complete loaded "round" of ammunition. For modern small arms ammunition a cartridge is made up of:

The cartridge case. This is the brass case. Often called a "casing" or "shell."

The propellent. This is the chemical mix that burns rapidly to create the gasses that propel the bullet. While it is often refered to as "gunpowder," modern smokeless propellents are a different chemical composition then classic black powder.

The primer. This is the small button like oject at the base of the case. It contains a sensitive priming compound. When it is struck by the firing pin the primer combusts and ignites the propellent.

The bullet. This is the projectile that is fired. (Shotguns fire slugs or shot, btw)
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:52 pm

Thanks for the answers! I'm sure they'll help the OP as well.

Another question: The firing pin hits the primer on each bullet, but how safe is the primer? I always handle my 5.56mm NATO rounds very carefully, and get somewhat nervous when people do things like tapping them against a table. This is due to the fact that I'm not exactly sure how easy it is to mistakenly set one off.
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bonanacrom wrote:I found that if your 6 feet tall and weigh 260 pounds and answer the door naked with a big shit eating grin on your face you get to control the conversation right from the beginning.

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by DryGrain » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:00 pm

I do know that you have to hit the primer on a shotshell pretty damn hard with a hammer to get it to fire. Don't ask me how I know or anything. :lol:
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by AmirMortal » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:44 pm

The primer SHOULD be recessed slightly from the end of the casing, not much, just a little. Enough that the surfaces aren't flush. "Tapping" new manufacture modern ammunition a few times shouldn't create a problem. That said, freak accidents happen. Anything can happen, so it's best not to tempt fate.

My personal pet peeve I when a writer calls some thing by the obviously wrong name. If your character is holding a revolver, please don't call it a Glock. Or the old favorite of mine the 9mm Forty Five.

Also, revolvers don't use "silencers". Nor does a revolver have a safety, generally anyway.
Cartridge diagram

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:48 pm

Revolver safety: Having the hammer un-cocked. :lol:

Also, 9mm Forty-Five sounds pretty epic.

Looking at that diagram, if it matches what 5.56 NATO looks like in cross-section, the actual bullet is surprisingly small. :shock: It's hard to imagine something so tiny doing so much damage.
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bonanacrom wrote:I found that if your 6 feet tall and weigh 260 pounds and answer the door naked with a big shit eating grin on your face you get to control the conversation right from the beginning.

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Hoppy » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:04 pm

Also, revolvers don't use "silencers"
as a general rule, your correct. but since this is ZS i have to bust out the exception to the rule

i present, for your approval. the LEAST high speed low drag suppressed weapon... YES, the M1895 Nagant Revolver
http://guns.connect.fi/gow/nagant.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

due to the nagants design, the cylinder actually movers forward and can provide a sufficient seal to make the suppressor atleast... acceptable if nothing else
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by AmirMortal » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:18 pm

JibbaJabba wrote:Revolver safety: Having the hammer un-cocked. :lol:

Also, 9mm Forty-Five sounds pretty epic.
Yes, VERY epic.

JibbaJabba wrote:Looking at that diagram, if it matches what 5.56 NATO looks like in cross-section, the actual bullet is surprisingly small. :shock: It's hard to imagine something so tiny doing so much damage.
The specifics will vary with the particular round, but yes the bullet is very small. Especially in refence to the overall size of the cartridge.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by one_ofmany » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:02 am

Thank you
Allot of great suggestions here and tiny bits of into that I wouldn't have even known to look into.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by Paragon » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:20 am

AmirMortal wrote:My personal pet peeve is when a writer calls some thing by the obviously wrong name.
My biggest pet peeve is the clueless morons in Hollywood that threaten someone at gunpoint with a semi-auto or pump shotgun, then when they really what to get their point across, they rack the slide to chamber a round. :?

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by painiac » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:15 am

JibbaJabba wrote:Looking at that diagram, if it matches what 5.56 NATO looks like in cross-section, the actual bullet is surprisingly small. :shock: It's hard to imagine something so tiny doing so much damage.
It IS small. A 5.56mm round is .223 inches. The .223 projectile is only a hair wider than an itty bitty little .22 bullet. Of course, .223 has a LOT more kinetic energy than a .22, and the military's 5.56 version has more power than a commercial .223.
.223 was originally considered to only be useful as a varmint round (for shooting little animals), and that's what it was designed for. Needless to say, many people balked when it was suggested that such a tiny projectile should be our military's primary small arms ammunition.

There's a good reason for it, though. When the first fully-automatic battle rifles were developed, it was immediately discovered that the large rifle ammunition in use at the time, with its bucking recoil, made accuracy after the first round impractical to impossible. Research was done into wounding factors and fatalities during WWI and WWII, and it was decided that the greatest combat effectiveness would be from many small bullets delivered quickly and accurately. A succession of small rounds that hit the target have a lot more damage potential than only one moderately larger bullet out of a group that went too high.

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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by JibbaJabba » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:20 am

I've always heard the 5.56 vs 7.62 explained thusly in the Army:

"Sure, you can kill a guy with 7.62mm. That takes one guy out of the fight. But if you WOUND someone and four of his buddies have to drag him behind cover and attempt to save his life, that's 5 guys out of the fight."

Of course, this is complete crap since even the battle doctrine that a Signal soldier like ME was taught goes along the lines of "kill the bad guys first, THEN try to save your buddy, not vice versa". ;) Also, 5.56 is plenty lethal on its own.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by one_ofmany » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:45 am

I live in the Denver area of Colorado. When the time where to come how would I look for a range that would allow me to shoot various types of their guns? I should have thought to ask in my last post but I'm not that far yet, since the topic is going ATM though might as well.
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Re: Weapons for dummies?

Post by firerat » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:03 am

one_ofmany wrote:I live in the Denver area of Colorado. When the time where to come how would I look for a range that would allow me to shoot various types of their guns? I should have thought to ask in my last post but I'm not that far yet, since the topic is going ATM though might as well.
I don't know Denver area so I can't tell you specifically, but I would just look in the phone book for shooting ranges (gun ranges) and start calling locally. I'll bet you'll find multiple places that rent firearms within your first few calls.

I know down here in Miami, there are at least 6 places I can rent from within 7 miles of where I'm sitting.

Good Luck!! :wink:
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