Archive for the 'Guns' Category

May 31 2011

7 Things Guns Cannot Actually Do

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

How many times has a Hollywood protagonist screwed a silencer onto his pistol, cocked the hammer a few times, and delivered a perfectly silent shot or ten into the bad guy, causing him to fall backward and knock over a storage unit full of lead weights? There is so much wrong with that premise, and yet we see it all the time. It’s given many people a poor perspective on firearms, how they really work, and their capabilities. I’m here to help dispel these myths and improve the realism in your writing!

1. Guns are loud!

Crazy loud.  Without any ear protection, a gun battle is louder than a rock concert.  The cartoonish image of somebody’s ears bleeding after a loud sound is almost accurate if a gun battle were to erupt inside a building. Decibel levels of a gunshot can be 140dB, which is more than four times as loud as a common rock concert (115dB). (See this breakdown for more info.) It is worth adding, though, that when adrenaline (and even morphine) levels are running high during a fight-for-your-life scenario, strange things have happened where (in addition to expected things like tunnel vision) gunshots feel much, much softer, so it’s conceivable for a conversation to take place right after a gun shot.  However, this is incredibly unlikely.


2. “Silencers” aren’t.

They’re also more formally (and accurately) referred to as suppressors. Technically speaking, they suppress the concussive shock waves that are released from the barrel in front of the exiting bullet. Suppressors tend to greatly reduce the “boom” associated with gunfire, but the sounds of the actual explosion of gunpowder and all the metal moving parts on the gun are not really decreased at all.  Either way, it’ll be very loud.  For example, most suppressors on the market will bring a .22lr round from 160 dB (loud enough to rupture an eardrum) to about 120 db (a rock concert or jet engine).

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29 responses so far

Dec 26 2008

I approve!

Published by under Art,Comedy,Guns

I found this Atomic Robo pinup amusing.

Atomic Robo Saturday 6 by ~LordVenom05 on deviantART

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Dec 18 2008

I hate Barbara Streisand

Published by under Guns,National service

The students’ lounge had It Must Have Been The Mistletoe on infinite repeat.  Always the editor, I was thinking about some simple ways to fix this song.  It was surprisingly easy:  It Must Have Been the Missile TOW.

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Dec 07 2008

Common Gun-Related Errors for Authors

This article lists a few tricky points related to writing about guns. I think its list is pretty good…

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12 responses so far

Sep 11 2008

Two articles on futuristic weapons and armor that might help inspire a plot or visual

Defense Tech has an article on military exoskeletons.  We haven’t reached the level of killer androids (yet), but strength-enhancement is interesting, too.  (Also, if killer androids are in the works, exoskeletons will help programmers teach the androids how to move naturally, says one commenter).

Popular Mechanics did an article on 5 rifles in development.

They include a submachine gun that can fold into a large pocket…

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4 responses so far

Aug 11 2008

The Real Batman Wouldn’t Get Clobbered by a Grocery Shopper

This isn’t government-sponsored national service, but I think that twelve stitches and a hell of a lot of ass-kicking earn the tag.

A Tulsa newspaper reports that a Batman imposter walked into a grocery store and unsuccessfully tried to open fire. Then an airline mechanic tackled him from behind. Several minutes of unrelenting pounding ensued.

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Jun 29 2008

And now, a message from the Navy

I found this list of Navy slang pretty funny. Here are some choice Navy phrases…

  • Bullet Sponge: U.S. Marine.
  • Cleaning Stations: Hour-long field day evolution where everyone drops what they’re doing and cleans their spaces. See “XO’s Happy Hour.”
  • Corpsman Candy: Sore-throat lozenges handed out at sick bay in lieu of any substantive treatment. Sometimes accompanied by two aspirin. Continue Reading »

One response so far

Jun 18 2008

Demotivational Mewtwo

Step 1:  Kill Lucario.

I’m tempted to add some snarky comment about unemployment causing Mewtwo to cling to guns…

Picture taken from Path-e-tech-graphics.

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Jun 07 2008

A Quip About Ulysses

Ulysses is a totally incomprehensible book. Understanding it is like machine-gunning a pack of unicorns. Anyone that claims to have done either is lying, but should be institutionalized anyway.”

–Cadet Davis

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May 24 2008

Return to Jim’s Gunz and Mattresses

Agent Orange, the mutated alligator, has a conversation with Agent Black about a firearm he purchased from Jim’s Gunz and Mattresses.

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Apr 16 2008

Quote of the Day: Tuesday

Agent Orange, paraphrasing Groucho Marx: “Outside of an alligator, a rocket launcher is certainly your best friend. Inside of an alligator, I’d recommend a gun.”

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Apr 13 2008

More Proof Gators Cause National Strength

Web Gumbo provides a great picture of his unit mascot. You might wonder what a Marine mascot does. Deliver pep talks? Rally the fans? Please.

Agent Orange, our mutated alligator, says that “it’s not surprising that they turned to an alligator when they needed someone to scare and bond with Marines. Here you can see the gator playing Marco Polo with a Marine that is obviously enjoying the gator’s friendly and sociable company.”

Lash retorts retorts that “if the guy’s actually enjoying anything, it’s probably the thought that he will soon not be dangling over a watery grave.”


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Mar 22 2008

Don’t Shoot, I’m an Author!

A WWII German fighter ace just learned that one of the Frenchmen he killed was his favorite author, Antoine de Saint-Exupery. (Whoops!)

This further shows that, if you should ever find yourself in a gunfight with an author, you should let him kill you.

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Jan 28 2008

Scenelet of the Day

Agent Orange and Agent Black step onto an elevator in the lobby.

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Jan 27 2008


Published by under Agent Orange,Comedy,Guns

Sigh. Apparently the Office of Special Investigation’s Agent Orange is not the only federally employed Agent Orange. It appears the FBI also has one. The OSI’s Agent Orange, the free-wheeling reptile, has more.

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Jan 13 2008

Quote of the Day (1/13/08)

Dr. Darpa: Virtually every Office of Special Investigations agent uses a firearm as his primary weapon, but the vast majority of our kills are executed with non-gun weapons.

Captain Carnage: Every one of the criminals we deal with has steel-like skin, dodges bullets like they’ve gone out of style, or both.

Dr. Darpa: Over the past twelve years, I’ve been modifying tank-mounted machine guns to compensate for those unusual characteristics. I have created a handgun so horrifically lethal that Congress has limited its sale to NATO countries.

Captain Carnage: You mean…

Dr. Darpa: The Western Cannon.

Captain Carnage: I thought it was a myth!

Dr. Darpa: Mythically deadly, perhaps. With a full mound of ammo, it weighs roughly half a ton. It has three rates of fire: “full automatic,” “wall of lead,” and “dodge this.

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Nov 29 2007

Quote of the Day: Nov. 29

Quotes from USMC Drill Instructor Oliver Ryan.

Dammit, maggot, if I wanted your opinion I’d give it to you!

Movies are big on “be yourself.” That’s a bunch of crap! When you’re ready to be more than just yourself, you too might make the Marines.

Goddamn… you’re drinking like someone in a Stanley Kubrick film.

I am not a “drill sergeant”, maggot!

I’m Drill Instructor Ryan. Today might be the longest day of your life… but it’ll probably be the shortest.

You can’t spell party without P-T! [author’s note: PT = physical training]

Exclamation marks make life more interesting!

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Nov 16 2007

Other Art Stuff

Published by under Art,Guns,National service

Proving that, when you have 10,000 Marines in one place and nothing to kill, strange things happen.

Marines Posing As Marine Logo

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Nov 07 2007

Quote of the Day: Wednesday

Captain Carnage: “We have a Department of Defense. We need a Department of Offense.”

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