How much do gun goofs in books bother you?

  • Totally ruins it for me. Stop reading.

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Annoying, but keep going.

    Votes: 27 64.3%
  • Maybe giggle-inducing, but I can paint a better mental picture.

    Votes: 7 16.7%
  • Don't care.

    Votes: 3 7.1%
  • Not really into reading.

    Votes: 4 9.5%

  • Total voters
    42
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It's been a year or so, but I read a crime fiction novel by a fairly well-known author who had the plot turning on two key points: two empty 38 cartridges were recovered at the crime scene, and cops searching a suspect's house seized a 38 revolver that was two rounds short of a full load.

I read on, expecting to eventually read something like, "Aha! Our evidence must've been planted to frame that poor sap; the murderer will be a dummy who thinks that 38 revolvers eject empty brass when fired."

Nope, I expected too much of the author. IIRC, some other plot twist led cops to conclude that the murderer had planted the murder weapon in the poor sap's house. I concluded that the author was the dummy.
 
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Good story telling draws ZERO attention to the writing: e.g., grammar, language, spelling, descriptions, etc.

ANYTHING that pulls the reader OUT of the story (like becoming aware of a glaring error regarding a firearm) is poor and lazy writing.

I like to read mystery/thriller/crime fiction, and run into firearm errors more often than I'd prefer.

First error in a book - I let it slide. Second error, book gets set aside, because now I'm wondering when I'll get jerked out of the story again with another error. So, getting absorbed in the story again is almost impossible - FOR ME. (Might be different for you.) "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Some of the classic blunders - many of which are about my beloved Glocks - include:

WRITTEN: (these are not the actual quotes - but close to what I remember coming across in books.)
  • "He thumbed off the safety on his Glock."
  • "He cocked the hammer on his Glock."
  • "He grabbed his Glock 40 and stuck it in his pocket as he ran out the door." (G42 - yes. G40 - no. LOL)
  • "He grabbed his Glock 15 and stuck it in his holster."

VIDEO:
  • Sound of a hammer being cocked by character holding a Glock." (Foley artists dropped that ball.)
  • Racking the slide of a Glock and it's obviously the sound of a shotgun racking. (Another Foley F-Up.)
  • 25+ rounds being fired with standard magazine, often from a Glock, 1911, or revolver, without a reload. (Wish mine could do that.)
  • And - drum roll please - bad guy getting hit in the chest with a 9mm or 357 or 45 and literally being thrown in the air backwards 15 feet over a coffee table and a couch.
Yeah, I know, b**tch, b**tch, b**tch. First world problems.

Take what you like and leave the rest.

Cheers.
 
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I don't know how to read.

Tbh when I've read far enough I just finish it, then never read it again.
Likewise; once invested in the book, I generally tend to finish if off anyway (not to say that I'll ever pick up anything by that author again). There are two quick-kill triggers to my 'finish it' tendency, but neither has anything to do with firearms. Examples:

Page 5 and we've mostly learned that the household furnishings were tastefully chosen to match the wall colors, or we've only learned how agonized the main character is over her ambivalent feelings toward a lifelong friend. (I won't say that all such writers are female because some hide behind initials in place of a first name.)

Page 5 and there's been no action or plot-developing conversation whatsoever, although we've learned the family history and social standing of the visitor who entered on page 1 and is finally invited to sit down for tea. (But, I have found that some British authors actually know how to draw the reader in and get on with the story.)
 
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We've all seen the endless parade of film gun goofs. In a similar vein, if one reads enough fictional works, well gun goofs will be encountered. I've seen them in both mainstream, successful authors and more obscure writers.

For example, I recently read the first of the Dirty Harry novels (not novelizations, different stories) and started a second before wandering back to the nonfiction stack. (Oh, they are utter pulp trash, but that is one of the appeals.) What was odd for a quintessentially "gun guy" film and book series, there was a lot of goofs. And I don't mean just the wacky ones like a gigantic .44 Magnum revolver with an equally huge silencer hanging off it. Naturally, there are others, often in the horror genre, that I read from time to time.

But I've meandered enough. Do the goofs ruin the book for you? Or, nah, no biggie? What were some authors and genres you found surprising to find such therein?
Depends on the author. Robert Ludlum constantly botched gun stuff, but it was always generic stuff and didn't detract from the overall story. What really grinds my gears is modern writers with access to all kinds of data to research screwing up really obvious stuff with named pieces of gear. Best example I can think of was a book written by some other guy under Ludlum's name after he died. In it the heroine draws a .50AE Desert Eagle from concealment and shoots it one-handed while also weilding and shooting a USP45 in the other. I almost stopped reading at that point. There's really no excuse nowadays for an author to write crap like that.
 
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Did anyone notice in one of the DIE HARD flix (the one taking place in NYC I think, with Jeremy Irons) where Bruce Willis describes a Glock as "a porcelain handgun" ?? That's what I heard ....

Following up with "that costs more than you make in a year" or something similar ....

>>> Late edit with video PROOF of my uh, excellent memory:

 
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I try to read 52 books a year. I've actually done it a few times! But for the life of me I can't finger out how to post a vote in this poll!

Jack Belk's "Unsafe By Design" drives me nuts by the way it's written. I can't stand the style and the "southernese", BUT it's a very important book to read so I've read it 2x and sometimes dig it out, blow the dust off, and look up something specific.
 
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I read Stephen King's "Dr. Sleep" a few years back and there was a comical firearm blunder where he talked about... I think it was one of the posters above regarding the hammer on a Glock as well as a model number that didn't exist. I chuckled but kept reading, of course.
 
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So there I was at Sea-Tac with a long wait for my flight (I like to be early, just to get through the business of checking my firearm and the ridiculous TSA lines) with nothing to read. So I picked up Ken Follett's (normally a guy who puts out a fairly easy, worthy read) latest, Never..

First few pages: "She set her Glock to single-shot firing, otherwise, she could run out of ammunition in seconds." (This a couple pages after it mentions that our main character, a young female CIA officer, "was carrying a gun, a neat small Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a holster that was built into the vest.")

Yeah, I kept reading, but really, for a guy who's been writing "internationally best-selling novels" for more'n 40 years, c'mon, man. It matters.
 
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So there I was at Sea-Tac with a long wait for my flight (I like to be early, just to get through the business of checking my firearm and the ridiculous TSA lines) with nothing to read. So I picked up Ken Follett's (normally a guy who puts out a fairly easy, worthy read) latest, Never..

First few pages: "She set her Glock to single-shot firing, otherwise, she could run out of ammunition in seconds." (This a couple pages after it mentions that our main character, a young female CIA officer, "was carrying a gun, a neat small Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol in a holster that was built into the vest.")

Yeah, I kept reading, but really, for a guy who's been writing "internationally best-selling novels" for more'n 40 years, c'mon, man. It matters.
It's almost like someone should host a class - "Guns 101 for Authors: how not to completely screw up when writing about firearms".
 
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One mystery writer, a friend of mine, actually, wrote a mystery in which solving the crime involved "knowing" that the guy everyone thought was guilty couldn't have done it because he was 50' from the (non-moving) victim and had only a handgun, and handguns were only short range--nobody could hit the victim at 50' with a handgun. I felt like writing her and telling her that at 50' with a stationary target I could empty my Ruger .22 pistol into the victim from offhand with two hands or one and count on never missing his brain. From a sitting position I could put all eleven shots into the guy's eye except for the fact that he would fall and be a moving target after a few shots. And that's just ordinary competent shooting, nothing special. I didn't though. The book had just been published, and it would have been really mean. And she had not asked my advice. It really bugged me though. She could have called and asked me about the gun info.
 
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From time to time I run across a reference to the "smell of cordite" from a firearms having been fired. Cordite for pete's sake. I e-mailed Clive Cussler about this error in one of his books, but did not received a reply!

 
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Highly successful writers have a team of researchers (sort of like paralegals) that run with technical details so they can focus on writing the story. I would think the subject of firearms would be handled by them correctly.
 
Speaking from experience here....
Writers , authors , directors and such....
Will often ignore or not use the advice and knowledge given by those who they asked or hired to do so.
Andy
Apparently so. A few decades ago I asked my neighbor for his advice on what weed eater to buy. I needed a pro model rather than a consumer model but hand held because of the slopes and irregularities in my property. And my neighbor had spent decades as head of heavy equipment for a big forestry operational and in charge of buying, repairing, and training for everything from hand held machines to logging equipment. He turned out to be a great teacher too! He spent nearly an hour teaching me all about weed eaters. So I ran right out and bought exactly what he suggested. Then I came home and proudly showed it to him and told him where in the garage I would be keeping it, and told him he would be welcome to use it any time he wanted. He was downright shocked. Turns out that in decades of neighbors and others asking his advice about buying equipment it was the first time anyone had actually bought what he recommended!!!
 
Highly successful writers have a team of researchers (sort of like paralegals) that run with technical details so they can focus on writing the story. I would think the subject of firearms would be handled by them correctly.
Maybe if by highly successful writers you mean millionaires. Or nonfiction writers working for a university or think tank who have a salary in addition to book earnings and institutional grants for researchers. Thomas Sowell, the conservative economist/historian at Hoover Institute, who seems to write about a book a year, has researchers. But even most very successful nonfiction writers do their own research. I've personally known a number of SF or mystery writers who are successful enough to earn their entire livings writing. Not even the couple with the huge swimming pool had any researchers.
 

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