8 Firearms Myths Hollywood Still Can't Get Enough Of

Hollywood can't stop getting guns wrong...

Jason Statham Transporter

When it comes to realism, Hollywood happily throws out the rule book in favour of spectacle over accuracy. Its depiction of firearms is no exception, what with substituting the sounds of mortars for shotguns, using the ever popular Hollywood blank to spice up those muzzle flashes, and having its heroes waltz effortlessly through a scenery-shredding hail of bullets.

Still, it is difficult to blame filmmakers, as audiences go to movies to be entertained, not necessarily educated, which results in a great deal of time-consuming minutia being left to languish in technical manuals, and rightly so.

But some myths have been perpetuated far for too long, and with the truth long since out there these poor tropes have been mercilessly mocked for decades. Hollywood, however, is nothing if not persistent. And so, the old myths remain and with them come new ways to poke fun.

Here, then, are eight examples of firearms myths that Hollywood still can’t get enough, and some surprising new ways in which they are wrong.

8. Sniping Is Easy

Jason Statham Transporter

It is a staple of Hollywood thrillers. The assassin creeps through the shadows, settles silently into position, and with ominous music rumbling in the background takes aim and seconds later places a round bang on target.

Easy, right? Not quite.

In reality sniping is a far more complex undertaking. A sniper must, among many things, accurately measure range to target, accurately gauge the direction of the wind and its strength, take note of whether they shooting up or down hill, take into account their current altitude and, in the case of long range shots, even the Earth’s rotation. All of this information must then be translated into the correct inputs to the range and windage drums on the rifle’s sight.

A trained, experienced sniper could be expected to do all of this within three minutes. A movie sniper does none of this and yet is ready to fire within seconds.

But the most egregious error is the near perennial lack of a spotter. The spotter aids in making the necessary calculations and guides the shooter onto target in case of a miss. With a sniper rifle, arguably more than any other weapon on this list, being a weapon system that depends on teamwork, even trained assassins need a spotter in order to do the job right.

So, if the assassin needs to gather information, use a pair of binoculars. If they’re going to take the shot, get a spotter in there.

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