Firearm History

Guns: How can Hollywood get it so wrong?

Ann Margret using the hit-yourself-in-the-forehead-and-knock-your-lights-out grip while shooting a revolver

With the tragic death on the set of the movie Rust making headlines, a lot of attention was focused on the firearms procedures used in Hollywood. As a veteran of a 40-year career in that industry, and an “Emmy Loser,” I know a thing or two about the procedures on sets regarding firearms.

A Little Background

Beyond the death of a crew member, allow me to provide a little background of firearms on movie sets and backlots. First, firearms are not allowed on studio property or locations unless they are under the control of a licensed armorer, PERIOD! Additionally, it is verboten to have live ammunition of any kind or caliber.

The cut-your-thumb-really-bad-or-break-it grip demonstrated.
Here we see the cut-your-thumb-really-bad-or-break-it grip demonstrated.

I must offer a caveat at this point. Prior to the technology that allowed squibs and CGI effects, exhibition sharpshooters did use live ammo to make certain shots and create effects that could not be achieved any other way. A classic example can be seen in the movie Winchester 73 starring Jimmy Stewart when, to break a tie at a shooting contest, a coin is shot out of the air. The shot was made by world-renowned exhibition shooter of the day, Herb Parsons.

The practice of using live ammunition, fired by professional shooters, ended shortly after that in the 1950s. From that day through ‘tomorrow,’ live ammunition has been banned on all movie sets for safety reasons. My career in the industry started in the 1970s. On the occasions I was responsible for arranging for a firearm, this is how it worked.

I was given a script that specifically stated what firearms were needed, exactly how they would be used, by whom, the way the ammunition would be photographed, the number of times each firearm would be fired in rehearsal and on camera, and where the scene would be shot i.e., in a sound stage or on location. I would go to the famous prop house — Ellis Mercantile on La Brea Ave. or Stembridge Gun Rentals AKA The Gun Room on the Paramount Studio lot. With one of their gunsmiths or armorers, I would go over the script.

Once everything was arranged, I would issue a purchase order for the rental of the firearms, the number of dummy rounds, and the purchase of the number of blanks. The armorer on the show would be notified when the order was ready and would pick it up. Everything remained in the armorer’s possession, under lock and key, until the moment before the director yelled, “Action!

After he yelled, “Cut!” everything would immediately be returned to the armorer and securely locked away in his box. BTW most, if not all, of the Hollywood guns were modified to fire blanks only. With no live ammunition being used, safety dictated that the guns should not be able to fire live ammunition.

Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore as James Bond
Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore — anti-gun James Bonds all with their Hollywood fingers on the trigger regardless the direction the gun was pointed.

Getting back to Rust… for one live round to find its way into a single-action revolver and be staged in the correct chamber, so it would fire the first time it was cocked, and the trigger was pulled, makes me believe it had to have been deliberate. Colt Single Actions, and their clones, load through a side-loading gate. The cylinder needed to be rotated so the loaded chamber was the next in line to fire. That must have been done by someone who knows guns, and single-actions in particular. At a minimum, there was a number of errors that culminated in the tragic event.

Hollywood used to get it right. However, in recent times Hollywood is, more often than not, embarrassingly wrong. One reason everything is incorrectly depicted is because those involved in contemporary productions are anti-gun and know nothing about the proper use of firearms. Even if a firearms advisor is hired, their advice is most often ignored. The worst part is that Hollywood influences what new shooters and the general public think about guns and two wrongs don’t make a right. That being said, let’s start with one of the most photographed and obvious mistakes that occurs over and over and why.

Actor, Daniel Craig as James Bond using the “English Teacup” grip.
Actor, Daniel Craig as James Bond using the “English Teacup” grip.

Hollywood’s Errors

The most egregious error we often see is an incorrect grip. But let’s start with the finger-on-the-trigger pose first. The finger on the trigger was the way it was done until the NRA pioneered safe gun handling in both the military and law enforcement, forcing the Motion Picture industry to follow suit. However, until that occurred, the finger on the trigger was how it was.

The first grip we will examine is the “cup-and-saucer” or “teacup grip.” This shows up in a lot of movies and TV shows. When utilized, the shooter cups the pistol in his or her dominant hand and then rests the bottom of the grip in the support hand (the saucer).

In the first photo, we have the character Jack Bauer, played by rabid anti-gun actor Kiefer Sutherland, from the popular TV show “24.” Notice his hands, especially his weak hand. You can clearly see he is using a cup-and-saucer grip. Jack Bauer isn’t the only character who has used the cup and saucer.

Actor Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
Actor Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer from the popular TV show “24” cupping the grip.

In the next picture, we have James Bond played by another anti-gun actor, Daniel Craig also using a cup-and-saucer grip. Finally, we have yet another anti-gun celebrity, Milla Jovovich from the Resident Evil series of movies, also using the cup-and-saucer grip but with a revolver this time.

No doubt, pay attention and you will see this grip used in many other movies as well. The choice of grip is less of an issue for me. Do you notice the hypocrisy here? They have all publicly came out against firearms. They all make big money with a gun but seek to deny others the right to defend themselves… However, I digress…

The next incorrect grip we often see is the wrist brace. This was most famously displayed in the Dirty Harry series of movies. The series starred Clint Eastwood in the role of “Dirty Harry” Callahan, as a police inspector working in the San Francisco Police Department. Surprisingly, Clint Eastwood uses that grip, which consists of holding the revolver in one hand and gripping the wrist of that hand with his support hand. I guess it’s supposed to mean that the weak hand provides help in controlling the recoil of the .44 Magnum and prevents his wrist from being broken.

In the movie, Dirty Harry extols the virtues of the .44 with the following famous speech, “I know what you’re thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I’ve kinda lost track myself. But, being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question, ‘Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’”

Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” Callahan using the Wrist Brace grip.
Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” Callahan using the “Wrist Brace.”

Technically, that speech was not completely true, because by the time the first movie was released, the Model 29 in .44 Magnum was no longer the most powerful handgun in the world. However, sales of the Model 29 went up dramatically after the movie was released because of that speech.

Dirty Harry isn’t the only movie character to use the wrist brace grip technique. In the next photo, we see the famous English spy, James Bond (played by actor Roger Moore), using the same technique with his much smaller Walther PPK pistol. I guess he was afraid the .380 might snap his wrist too.

Actor Roger Moore, as James Bond is using the wrist brace grip shooting a .380 ACP.
I can’t figure out why Actor Roger Moore, as another James Bond is using the wrist brace on a .380 ACP.

My all-time favorite “Hollywood” way of holding a handgun — that has become very popular — is none other than the infamous sideways “Ghetto Grip.” Some people think that this style of holding a handgun originated in the 1990s, but it was actually seen in movies made in the 1960s as well. For example, Marlon Brando as “Rio” in the movie One-Eyed Jacks released in 1961, and Eli Wallach as “Tuco,” the ugly guy in the 1966 classic, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly used it.

While these movies did briefly show characters using the sideways grip, it was the 1993 movie Menace II Society that really popularized it. After Menace II Society was released, the sideways grip started to appear in a lot of other Hollywood movies, TV shows, and rap music videos. And then there is super anti-gun guy Russell Crowe who steps up and demonstrates his sideways grip, in the movie No Way Back.

The real reason why we started to see this grip in films and videos is because it allows the director to show a dramatic view of the actor’s face while the firearm is being pointed at the audience, all in the same frame, as you can see in the photo of Mr. Crow. At least that makes some actual cinematographic sense to me.

Russell Crowe shooting a gun with a sideways grip
Super anti-gun guy Russell Crowe “Gangsta Ghettoing it.”

For those who might not understand why the ghetto grip is a bad idea in reality, allow me to explain. First, the sights of the weapon are rendered ineffective. The reason firearms have sights is to help the user aim the firearm accurately. Another complication comes in the fact that in all firearms the barrel is tilted up to help compensate for the gravity that will act on the projectile. If you put the gun on its side, the projectile will fly off to the left and drop. It may look cool in the movies, but in real life, the sideways ‘gangsta grip’ is detrimental to shooting — even when the shooter is relatively close to the target.

Here are a few more examples of bad grips I have seen — I’m sure you will know more and hope that you will call them out in the comments. The first is the beautiful actress, Ann Margret. Note how she uses her arm as a support for the firearm. That grip is guaranteed to let the pistol smack her in her pretty little forehead. Ouch!

Ann Margret using the hit-yourself-in-the-forehead-and-knock-your-lights-out grip while shooting a revolver
The beautiful Ann Margret using the hit-yourself-in-the-forehead-and-knock-your-lights-out grip.

The next bad grip technique also guarantees painful consequences. Notice where the thumb of the weak hand is placed. That’s right, it is behind the slide. When the user squeezes the trigger, the pistol will fire, and the slide will move backward at a high rate of speed to eject the spent cartridge. If the thumb is in the path of the slide, it will cause a painful cut or a broken thumb. Both thumbs must be placed so they do not interfere with the rearward movement of the slide.

Conclusion: Hollywood Guns

There are many more examples of the liberties Hollywood takes when portraying firearms, but time and space do not allow all the really stupid and impractical things to be discussed in this article. Fortunately, this article will provide fodder to continue the discussion around campfires and the clubhouse at your local shooting range.

Surely, we have a few firearm aficionados who are also movie buffs. Which movie or TV show scenes really ‘trip your trigger’ when Hollywood got it wrong? Share your answers in the comment section.

  • view of the cut-your-thumb-really-bad grip demonstrated.
  • The cut-your-thumb-really-bad-or-break-it grip demonstrated.
  • Ann Margret using the hit-yourself-in-the-forehead-and-knock-your-lights-out grip while shooting a revolver
  • Russell Crowe shooting a gun with a sideways grip
  • Actress holding a semi-auto handgun with a Gangsta Ghetto Grip
  • Actor Roger Moore, as James Bond is using the wrist brace grip shooting a .380 ACP.
  • Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry” Callahan using the Wrist Brace grip.
  • Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and Roger Moore as James Bond
  • Actor Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer
  • Actor, Daniel Craig as James Bond using the “English Teacup” grip.
  • Milla Jovovich from the Resident Evil series using the cup and saucer grip shooting a revolver
  • A unobstructed view of cupping the grip of a Glock.
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Comments (79)

  1. Frank E. Kelland dismisses the silliness of a police SWAT sniper shooting from a helo at 200 m because….. well, the Coast Guard does it?

    Really? How many real world CG helo “sniper” incidents has he actually seen. Being a sniper and engaging a deadly target requires a host of mechanics that all must be done properly and in sync with one another. Ever even been on a military helicopter? Making a “sniper” shot from one requires incredible skill from both shooter and pilot with a healthy dose of luck.

  2. Here’s my two cents ready for evisceration by the experts. I am going out on a limb here but the author, when stating the barrel is tilted up is likely referring to the fact that the bullet does not travel in a straight line, it has a more, albeit slightly parabolic path. For those who served in the military back in the 80’s, you may remember that a 25 meter target had the same aim point as 200 meters. That was due to the exterior ballistics of the ammunition and the sight radius of the M16A1. So it may possibly cause the shooter to miss left or at the very least reduce the chance they will hit their target vs a proper sight picture.

    Lastly many gaffes have been noted here and my wife and I both call them out when we see them on TV or movies too. I will say that I have enjoyed watching Keanu Reeves in the John Wick films and the videos of his training with Taran Butler to try to get it right.

  3. I do have to say actors today are doing better about keeping the finger along the slide, as Angela Bassett Holding her Glock correctly when confronting two home invaders in an episode of 911. Ivan Tor, in Plan 9 From Outer Space would have been arrested for Misconduct with a Weapon as he scratched his head with a finger in the trigger guard, and waved the weapon around as he had officers moving around. I shudder to think what might have happened.

  4. I always love it when a “Six-Gun” never runs dry. 30, 40, 50 shots and atill going…. Judst like the Energizer Bunny.

  5. Note that the cut-or-break-your-thumb-grip would be generally fine on a revolver, with the support thumb in position to re-cock the hammer on a single action. It’s a bad grip only in the context of a semi-auto with a slide.

  6. Oh Alec Baldwin. Hopefully he’ll be thrown in jail for what he did. Hopefully.

    These are well pointed out mistakes in TV & movies. Granted I bet not every actor/actress has been shooting before so it’s not like they’d actually know how to hold a firearm but at the very least they should use that “firearms advisor” and (presumably) not treat him like garbage and ignore proper etiquette.

    It’s always fun to see mistakes with firearms in shows and movies. 18 shots with a revolver or 100 rounds out of an AK or AR platform before reloading, “red dot” sights turned off while aiming, no magazine in a pistol yet it still “fires”, the list goes on. Funny stuff when you catch it.

  7. Shooting over the forearm was taught as a standard technique at one point. I think Ann Margret is holding it too close, but a slightly wider grip was used even in military matches.

  8. @Danno; I do not believe Baldwin is capable of telling the truth if he would have to admit that he had a failing. He has a history of not accepting responsibility for his behavior. There have been several instances where he displayed very poor behavior and it was always someone else’s fault, like the time he left a profanity laden message on his daughter’s voice mail when she did not pick up the phone. He reported that it was all his daughter’s and ex wife’s fault that he behaved so badly. He has been recorded more than once giving tirades leveled at others and none were his fault. His behavior has NEVER been his fault? So, it is not surprising that what happened in New Mexico NOT his fault, it never is.

    Alec Baldwin has been known to spread a lot of barnyard effluvia when discussing a variety of topics and this is just one more example of his scapegoating and blaming others for his foul-ups. He has lied about his wife to cover up some of her behaviors and his ex-wife in order to deflect blame away from himself for his behavior. I do not believe for a moment that he is capable of accepting full responsibility for anything he has ever done wrong; it seems someone else is the true responsible party for how he responded in those situation.

    I listened to an interview given by John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard, et.al) who has a history of playing with guns on screen and in real life. He stated the first thing he did when handed a weapon, regardless of what it was, was to check it and the ammo before he did anything else, something about firearms safety. He also stated categorically that he was NEVER told not to check the weapon. He talked about standard safe gun handling practices every time there were guns on set, as in all actors checking their weapons.

    Over the years, I have heard other actors discuss real safety measures taken on other sets when guns were present. When one considers the reports of low budget activity and many other unsafe practices taking place on the set of “Rust” and the producer being Baldwin, there are too many things suspect here. And when I consider the veracity of some other things that have spewed forth from Baldwin’s mouth, I will believe Schneider over Alec any day. If Producer Baldwin was taking the cheap shortcuts to save on costs as some are alleging, it is easy to conclude that he is the one who made those cuts and is continuing to blame others for his failures.

    I believe the ONLY reason he has not stated who he thinks is to blame is he would be sued for defamation and then all the info would be laid out for everyone to see. He is in CYA mode, and I for one, will shed no tears when his chickens come home to roost.

  9. God forbid that Alec Baldwin, as producer of “Rust”, should have hired a certified armorer (maybe NRA certified?). But his contempt for firearms and the Second Amendment prohibited him from doing so because he would have had to admit that there are people with more knowledge and experience with firearms than he, or others in Hollywood, has. The Hollywood elite disseminating their propaganda again!

  10. If actors are to use any gun in a movie, maybe they should actually learn how to load, unload, clean and then shoot a gun. I had heard that an “A” list actor stated that it is OK for him to own a gun but not the rest of the “non-hollywood” people. I have been around firearms all of my life as my father was an avid hunter. He taught us the do’s and don’ts as soon as we could understand what they were used for. The best thing that we can do is to teach our children how to respect them and understand what they can do. One of my best friends was on the navy shooting team and his daughter could field strip a 1911 when she was 6. Children are less likely to play with them when they know about them and are taught to respect them. Knowledge is powerful. I always secure my guns.

  11. I always laugh at the use of Gatling Guns in some movies. The recent remake of The Magnificent 7 (2016) shows a Gatling firing like a belt fed 50 Cal. No problems with jams and the real Gatlings used 20 or 40 (?) round mags and jams happened on occasion. When they happened the barrel had to be cleared to prevent the next round destroying the barrel. But what do you expect when audience “draw” is all important. Also,much of the movie public is very illiterate when it comes to guns.

  12. So many pet peeves about Hollywood and guns. One of my biggest is the whisper-thin “pew” from a suppressed pistol or rifle. Anyone who’s used a suppressor knows that it brings the decibel level down only enough so that the shooter (usually) doesn’t need hearing protection, but the gun still makes a really loud bang. Even John Wick 2 (a film series that’s pretty good in its depiction of firearms) fell for this old trope.

    It’s because of Hollywood’s fictional representation of suppressors that they’re federally licensed when they don’t need to be. Hunters and sport shooters would really benefit from the deregulation of suppressors.

  13. This article, to me, is just filled with cheap shots (pun intended). The self-righteous allegation that anti-gun actors are “hypocrites” for taking roles that use a gun is nonsense. It’s the same reasoning that claims, for example, that only Native American actors should portray Native American characters.

    No one (at least no one with their sense of realism intact) should go to movies to learn history or to learn how to safely and properly use guns.

    The one useful comment so far in this thread is by Pat Tomksi: ” What needs to be done with all the gun phobia in Hollywood is massive logical, realistic tutorial about guns. They make us take health and safety classes about everything from the use of a fire extinguisher, safety around electricity, so on. There should be a class or part of a class about firearms. Responsibility for each crew member to do their job, their job only and by the book as set by the Trade’s Union and or license.”

    And I also agree with her sane assessment of the “Rust” tragedy.

  14. Now that Alec Baldwin has explained how that woman was shot, we can stop searching the grassy knoll & high-rise book buildings. Here’s a thought, though–had he not “accidentally” fired off a live round, when the Director would have yelled “Action”–just who would have got shot instead? It was a homicide just waiting to happen.
    As far as Hollywood goes, what frosts me is that every bad guy has a full-auto firearm to use against the good guys. A mag dump is 3 seconds, but they continue shooting for the duration of the firefight without reloading. They hit nothing, but the good guy with a pistol takes all of them out.
    Then there’s the twit who loaded her shotgun, racked it, drove to the scene & got out of the car, racked the shotgun, then snuck up on the bad guy & racked it again. Not a shot fired.
    Then there’s the lack of recoil. Fire snubbies fast & accurately? Right.
    How about the hero woman who has a pistol in both hands & fires away?
    I thought this article would have been more of a primer on how an armorer works on a set, rather than how actors shoot guns. I heard that Baldwin was not permitted to open the loading gate to check the rounds, because he was given the gun & told it was green. If he were to do anything other than shooting it, he would be responsible for the consequences. As such, the armorer (or the last person to handle the gun & clear it) is totally responsible. It is not within the actor’s purview to question the safety of the firearm.

  15. My all time Favorite HOLLYWIERD fubar is the “We have to rack the shotgun before every important scene”…

    you know we are at the Door ready to enter I have to say something prophetic and rack a shell… or I just shot 10 rounds out of a mossberg pump, but somehow racking it reloads the gun…

  16. To Al with the SWAT helicopter shot comment – what about USCG drug interdiction snipers who fire from helicopters? Obviously someone can do it.

  17. While a lot of the comments are interesting reading and somewhat informative, they don’t change anything. Here’s a thought… why don’t we just put pressure on”Hollywood” to have a disclaimer before every movie or TV show where firearms are involved. “The following scenes where firearms are used are staged for the shock and awe effect and should be not be confused with the actual handling methods that should applied in the everyday usage of such products”. Kind of like “the names have been changed to protect the guilty”… I mean innocent. 😂😂😂

  18. Actors, one and all, are paid to speak what is written for them. That is their livelihood, and the most successful ones make it their life.
    Being anti-gun in Hollywood is a good way to keep your job. It does not surprise me at all to hear the “big stars” claim to be anti-gun as that gives them a better chance of playing a part. The very best of them therefore have to be excellent liars. You can often see this in interviews where the character they play in the movie is obviously not the person being interviewed.
    Actors prostitute themselves for a chance to be on the silver screen. Their skill is being able to surpress who they really are and make themselves appear to be the person that the writer/producer/director wants them to become. Keeping that in mind tells you everything you need to know about their character. You will never know if what they are speaking is the truth or just what someone is paying them to say. I cannot see how any of them can be trusted, ever.

  19. Anyone that handles a firearm on a movie set needs to have mandatory gun safety training before they do any scenes with any firearms. There is no excuse for what happened on the Rust Movie.
    It is the responsibility of anyone who is handed a firearm to assume that it’s LOADED.
    Also check that firearm is indeed safe. It was Alec Baldwins responsibility know the condition of that firearm.
    I can tell you that if I’m handed any firearm, I personally check its condition for my own personal safety and others.

  20. Take a look at the Glock injury in the Bruce Willis remake of “Death Wish.” Movies can be a mix of realism and utter nonsense. That injury became a plot device.

  21. September 11, 2022 2:41 AM

    In 1996, we were trained to use a two-handed grip on our S&W Model 4053’s, with our bodies bladed toward the target.
    I always preferred a modified Weaver stance. But of course, the preferred shooting stance is now a “triangle”, facing the target head-on, thus relying on the superior ballistic armor that is now available.

  22. The US Army (and other military branches) play around with “movie prop” guns of all sorts. Who remembers their Rubber Ducky M16 fake rifles? Blanks are used when live ammunition is inappropriate. Training with MILES (Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System), paint ball, Simunitions, Air Soft and other systems that provide down-range feedback in force-on-force training. Movies are not the only activities that use fake guns and fake gunfire. There’s a problem with “playing army with fake guns:” soldiers soon develop really bad gun handing habits.

    The famous police “red guns” were inoperative service revolvers painted red to distinguish them from operative guns. The problem with using worn-out service revolvers were many–including sworn law enforcement officers being injured or killed when the “inoperative” revolver discharged a live cartridge. This led to the development of plastic replicas by companies such as ASP. It also led to police horseplay with their duty sidearms because they learned that there were no repercussions from horseplay with “fake” training guns.

    Movies develop bad gun-handling habits. So do “toy guns,” and I’ve talked with many “gun nuts” who wanted a total ban on toy guns. Guns in video games have been scape-goats for creating mass murderers.

    Training is synthetic experience. Training guns are theatrical props, much like those used in stage plays, costume parties, and movies. Bad training results because there’s no consequences for bad gun handling behaviors-much like bad gun handling in movies has no consequences in the movies. Go ahead, joke about the hundred-shot revolver–you don’t see the character laboriously loading up that magazine, hundred-shot magazines never malfunction, those bulky magazines are as light as feathers, and there’s no penalties for missing the target. In the real world, shooters can run out of gunfighting time before exhausting their ammunition–or “you cannot miss fast enough to win a gunfight.” Tossing a loaded machine pistol down a staircase and wiping out the opposition without also scoring own goals? Okay–“True Lies” was satire.

    Training devices have the same shortcomings as movie guns. Training props can develop poor gunhandling.

  23. Thanks to the author for addressing the ridiculous “teacup” grip: so many guys believe that if Grandpappy taught them that way, then it must be correct. It isn’t – thumb over thumb is superior stability wise and anyone who prefers the other has just been not been using best practices. I take issue, however, with the author’s characterization that a most semi-automatic handguns utilize a upwards-tilting barrel design: by in large, it seems more likely a shooter of any kind will be more likely to encounter a fixed barrel or barrel that otherwise exhibits not lateral movement during operation, thus never disrupting the linear orientation of the bullet.

  24. Well–here it goes–ready to be lambasted by all the ‘experts’–
    What is this about the ghetto grip firing to the left because all barrels are ’tilted up’–hogwash–the reason it goes to the left is plain physics–the barrel is mounted over the grip–as any gun is fired it pushes back on the grip and the barrel rises as it rotates against the grip–sometimes throwing the shot vertically–if you use the
    ghetto’ grip it merely rotates the action of the barrel 90 degrees to the left and naturally throws the round to the left–no barrels are tilted up–
    By the way my peave is people in the movies with holsters on their left or right hip moved around to the front [so you can see them wearing it] –try sitting down like that or ride in a vehicle–obviously the writers or directors never have–but then again they just don’t care–hh

  25. On Baldwin in “Rust.” Claims that he was doing as the cinematographer instructed to “frame the shot.” There would be no earthly reason to have the gun cocked simply to “frame the shot.” Framing the shot would only require the Baldwin to hold the gun up, allowing the cinematographer and cameraman to get everything in focus. That he was dicking around, thumbing the hammer back with his finger on the trigger when “it went off” does not make it anyone else’s fault but his. But we all know he will skate on this, as he is part of the Hollywood in-crowd. While I enjoyed his performance in Hunt For Red October, I now quickly turn anything off when he appears. He is well-enough off to be able to take care of his new family.Hoping he is a pariah now in Hollywood for killing a beautiful and very well liked member of the movie family

  26. I guess Mike Brown didn’t read the recent FBI findings that the only way Baldwin’s Colt could be made to fire was by pulling the trigger. Shortly after the first article appeared I tried to reproduce his alibi on two similar single action western style revolvers, and it was impossible to duplicate what he said he did. The only way the firearm would fire was if you fully cocked the firearm and pulled the trigger or held the trigger down while fanning it beyond the cocking point.

    He also violated each of the four basic rules of firearm safety. The thing that makes me most angry is the stalling tactics being used and he has still not been charged with negligent homicide. I knew what the FBI found five minutes after I read the article. There should be absolute outrage at the foot dragging going on here. If you or I did the same thing you know exactly what would have happened to us and it wouldn’t have take more than a year to figure out we were negligent.

  27. Another bit of Hollywhacked idiocy is the racking of the shotgun. Seen shows and movies where the ahem.. actor racks the slide 3-4 times never ejecting a shell. All for the “effect”, of the empty 12ga. You come into my house at 2am uninvited I doubt you’ll hear the sound of the safety being disengaged.

  28. Kojak used the wrist grip and always hit the running bad guy in the back of the thigh no matter the distance with his 38.
    One of the dumbest things is apparently carrying on an empty chamber since they always rack a slide at the door with the pistol pointed up. And that stupid hammer click that all glocks on TV have.

  29. Hollywood rarely gets details of firearms and firearm safety correct. As an industry, they are predominantly anti-gun, except when it can make them money.

    In support of the sideways hold; it can be the preferred hold when firing a machine pistol into a crowd. Muzzle rise transitions to become muzzle drift, keeping the bullets in a general target zone instead of over the heads of the intended victims.

    My Hollywood firearm pet peeve is firearms making a clicking/clacking/racking sound every time the bearer wishes to punctuate what he has told someone to do… firearms don’t make warning noises because you move them or gesture with your hand while holding them!

    It’s also aggravating when combatants approach a situation with weapons drawn and presumably ‘ready’, but the have to work the mechanism and chamber a round just before going through that one doorway! What better way to warn the bad guy that you’re there?

    i laugh when I see actors pointing the weapon at the head of another actor… small target and easily moved out of range… point at center mass of the largest body part in sight, usually the torso. If they try to evade you, you’re more likely to land a bullet in them if you’re on center mass!

    …and don’t even get me started on shot count and reloading! LOL

  30. A revolver can be sound suppressed if the cylinder gap is sealed in some manner. There was a pre-WW1 era Russian revolver design that sealed the cylinder gap just before firing, and thus would have been, at least in theory, suppressible.

  31. Ok first I would like to speak about Alan’s above statement. If you’ve been in the “firearms” industry for years you would know that a high grip on something like a 1911 is actually better for accuracy as it puts your bore more in line with your hand making the felt recoil less and improves accuracy. Especially on a 1911 which has a beavertail above the grip for the top of your thumb to rest. In fact many firearms are built in a similar fashion i.e. shadow systems, Glock, 1911. The list goes on. Now on to other things. Yes slide bite, broken thumbs and several injuries can happen of you’re stupid enough to hold your gun wrong, or if you buy an extremely compact gun too small for your hands the chances are higher. BUT remember it’s the operator of the firearm that makes it dangerous. Not design, not possible mistakes. Point is if you don’t know what you’re doing don’t pick up a gun. And as for these anti-gun actors I find it extremely hypocritical that they are willing to be in a film where they are using firearms. My 11-year-old son has more knowledge about proper firearm safety, usage, and form than 95% of the people I see at the range in the movies or just in general. The real pointer all this is if you don’t know get yourself trained. And to add one more thing that you forgot to mention holding a pistol sideways while shooting not only is stupid because you have no sight but also you will have a much higher probability of a failure to feed, failure to eject or stove piping. For those of you who do not know what any of that means get some damn education before you decide to pick up a gun.

  32. Well as i have seen quite a few grips on firearms in movies and ,knowing guns the way i do i realized many of the actors were too ignorant to know the proper grip for any given gun they would be using in what ever shitty movie they are making at the time. I never really cared if they were holding it wrong but when it came to doing things in a movie with a gun that isnt possible is what pisses me off! Then those same Anti-2A actors will take the crap they are told or think they lean while making the movie ,becomes propaganda! They use the crap to try and get people to think its all “real” which we know its not! Lets just say if they ever want my guns ,if they ever make it that far, they sure as hell better bring theirs! I would be giving them up peacefully!!! I will abide by my constitutional law and rights! They can piss off!!!%

  33. Mike Brown, you obviously do not know how a single action Colt operates. If the hammer is released as you describe, the hammer would be caught on the half cock notch. And you did not read the FBI report on their finding which stated the firearm was in perfect working condition and would not drop the hammer unless the trigger was pulled. Baldwin is an idiot and a liar; he had the trigger pulled back when he let go of the hammer. But he will get off because of his politics and those of the DA.

  34. All-time favorite Hollywood Gunfight scene: Sgt Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant, Police Squad using garbage cans as cover, shooting it out with the bad guy, also behind garbage cans. Camera pulls back – the rows of garbage cans are about 5 feet away from each other. When Drebin and the bad guy both run out of ammo they don’t reload, they click on 3 spent cases and throw their Detective Specials at each other. Then they each throw 3 or 4 more snubbies at each other. No CGI!

  35. Not exactly a “grip” issue, but I recall a movie starring Bruce Willis as a hired gun or some such, set in the 1920s or 30s. He carried a pair of Colt Govt Models in shoulder holsters, and even with 14+2 seemed to get off about 50 shots before reloading. But in one scene after apparently running both of them dry, he drops both empties simultaneously. His trademark bada$$ facial expression turns out to be the same face he makes when “NOW what?” dawns on him.

    Yippee Ki Yi Yippee Yippee Ki Yi Yippee Yi Yo Ki Yippee Yi Yay Melonfarmer.

  36. SWAT TV SHOW. Honda hitting his target with a single shot from a moving helicopter from 200 feet up in the air. SERIOUSLY !

  37. The hold the wrist grip that ‘Dirty Harry’ Eastwood and ‘James Bond’ Moore are using was actually
    one developed by British Major Fairbairn when he was in the Shanghai Police in the 1930s. Fairbairn later would train the British Commandoes and SAS, SBS and OSS in knife fighting and offense and self defense in WW2.

  38. I have found that Hollywood gets very little correct when it comes to people being shot. The movie “The Quick and the Dead” is just one that comes to mind but just about any movie that has people being shot. It shows multiple people being shot with .45 Long Colts and either being blown backwards into somersaults from being hit or having huge holes appear that light can pass through. None of those things happen in reality.

    I am a retired ER nurse who worked in various busy metropolitan ERs for more than 30 years; at one time or another, I worked the three busiest ERs in my state. I have seen more GSW’s than I can count, but they easily number into the high three digits and may extend into 4 digits. I have treated patients shot with just about every common caliber found in the US, and some not found in the US.

    Before I was a nurse, I was an Army Medic on a team that was tasked with Search and Rescue/ Recon someplace overseas back some 50 years ago. I have been in places where the Army did not admit any of us had ever been there. And yes, I saw stuff in the Army that I do not discuss, I had a lot of bad dreams for years.

    Hollywood also gets human response to being in a firefight wrong. I have seen too many scenarios where the person involved in a gunfight is like, “No big deal.” Anyone who ever draws a gun on another person knows it is a very big deal. It is life changing, even when no rounds are fired or anyone dies. It is much worse when there is a fatality, even for those who fire in self-defense.

    I have seen many people who were shot in the head with large bore handguns, read .45 ACP and even .44 Magnum. None of those wounds would allow anyone to see all the way through the head. And I have seen people whose faces were gone as well as portions of their skull, not from GSW’s. Those were worse than anything Hollywood has ever portrayed. For the record, I have never seen a head shot from any caliber starting with “4” that survived.

    Hollywood gets most things wrong every time, whether it is the human response to being shot or what happens in those knock down drag out fights. Very few people could survive the first minute of those ten minute fights. And being just “knocked out” after a thump on the head… a head injury with loss of consciousness can be serious, resulting in death or permanent disability if not addressed. Closed head injuries kill people all the time, especially those which are ignored by the victim who does not seek treatment, alcohol makes it worse as it allows the head bleed to worsen. And I may have participated in some brawls when I was in the Army.

    I have seen a number of people neutralized by injuries far less than any movie enactment. I have also seen and treated many people who thought they were superman and were stopped without any kryptonite, just a judicious application of trauma from a wooden Billy club, lead pipe or baseball bat. More than a few sustained permanent and devastating deficits in the aftermath, that is, when they survived.

    Remember this; the same people who show an arrow stopping in a person’s chest also show incredible responses to being shot or taking part in a brawl. I have taken multiple deer with bow and arrow. Every time I shot a deer, I recovered the arrow from the ground, it passed through. I have seen very few accurate portrayals of shootings, gunfights, or hand to hand combat. It has always been obvious to me that they were making it up to play the screen.

  39. @Mike Brown. You are in error. There may be SOME single action revolvers where that is true, but according to Sheriff Adan Mendoza, the weapon used by Alec Baldwin was an “F.lli Pietta long Colt 45 revolver,” a well-known replica of the Colt 1873. That weapon has a half-cock setting that removes the firing pin far enough from the cylinder so that the cylinder can be spun freely. Even if that weapon has a live round in any of the chambers, it will not fire if the hammer is dropped before it gets to half cock. Once it gets to half cock, it cannot be fired until it is taken to full cock and then only when the trigger is pulled. If the shooter is taking the hammer to full cock and drops the hammer before attaining it, it will drop to half cock. That gun CANNOT fire unless the trigger is pulled in some manner. Do a search online, YouTube has a lot of videos concerning this weapon. What Baldwin claims is neither credible nor reproduceable with that weapon.

  40. In the opening credits on the first year of the “Charlie’s Angels” TV show it shows the actress Kate Jackson firing a .38 snub nose revolver on a range. She is holding the gun in her strong hand and using the weak hand to brace her wrist (obviously incorrect). She fires the gun (I’m assuming with blanks) and when she does she purposely makes the gun recoil after the shot is actually fired with an obvious time delay with the sound effects than it would have been as if she was actually firing a loaded gun.

    Another thing that Hollywood gets wrong is having the actor/actress screw a suppressor on the end of a revolver barrel. We in the gun world know that the gunshot sound can’t be silenced on a revolver. That’s the magic of Hollywood. That’s why uneducated people believe what they are seeing is reality.

  41. Al, if you are talking about a semi-auto pistol, wrap your strong hand around the grip like you normally would (remember, keep your finger out of the trigger guard/off the trigger). Then place the fingers of your support hand over the fingers off the hand holding the pistol. The thumb of your shooting hand should be along the frame point toward your target. Now take the thumb of your ‘weak/support’ hand and nestle it right under your other thumb. You will want to pull back slightly with the support hand while pushing forward slightly with the gun hand. The web area should be the only thing in back of the gun.

  42. As a 30 LE officer and firearms instructor in hate to see bad gun handling. The show Blue Bloods has the best straight finger handgun handling of any show. I wish they would blacken the Glock barrels where they grind the locking log down to work with blanks. That drives me nuts

  43. Mike Brown. They released the actual rehearsal video of Baldwin cross-drawing the revolver over and over again. His finger was on the trigger EVERY TIME.

    While conspiracy theorists correctly point out that the dead woman’s husband is an attorney who got mixed up with the Clintons, we should all agree that Baldwin should be tried and found guilty of at lease negligent homicide, gross negligence, death by misadventure, and a few charges related to being the Executive producer on a set that had virtually no safety in place for firearms.

  44. Live ammo was used in one scene in The Long Riders. I read an interview with one of the Carradines discussing it. It was the scene where the cabin door gets shot up. They put a camera behind the door and shot it up with live ammo. Then left the guns laying around, still loaded, and some of the crew members started playing with them, pointing them at each other. Somehow, none were injured and the interviewee thought it was funny.

  45. One thing that irks me and is a true safety issue is when a character racks the slide, then ejects the magazine to empty the gun. But with the mag ejected after the racking of the slide, there is still a round in battery. If a viewer thinks this is how it is done, they could shoot someone.
    !. Eject the magazine.
    2. Rack slide.
    3. Confirm an empty chamber.

  46. Another outstanding and thought provoking article by Ed LaPorta. Didn’t know that he had a long and distinguished career in the movie/TV business; so maybe he really is the “real” most interesting man in the world! That being said, the entertainment industry is so arrogant, polarized and self-serving that I for one, refuse to patronize them in any way, shape or form!

  47. To Mike Brown:

    Not necessarily correct, sir. A properly working Colt SAA will not fire unless the trigger is pulled or it is held back during the process of cocking the revolver. If the finger is off the trigger during cocking, should the hammer fall before coming to full cock, the hammer will fall into the hammer intercept notch, sometimes called the “half-cock notch”.

    Examination of the revolver in question is needed to see if any parts were broken, excessivly worn, improperly modified, etc. In that case, you could be correct for that particular revolver.

    According to news reports of the examinition of the revolver by the FBI, the FBI report stated the trigger had to have been pulled to fire the revolver. With that said however, I would not trust any news report or reporter to correctly interpret the examination report. I would need to read it for myself.

    My SWAG, and that’s all that it is, is that safety protols were not followed.

  48. The sideways grip was actually taught to Israeli Police. Stick your arm straight out in front and it is off to the side of your site line and your arm must be adjusted to bring a pistol to where the sights and target align. Now stick your arm straight out with a pistol and turn the pistol over sideways and you will be looking down the slide. It was used for close in shots. It required a pistol that would eject properly from this position . the Ruger P-85 was selected as one to use when it came out as it was designed by Ruger to use full power military ammo. The Israeli’s don’t tend to use techniques or equipment that does not work . they are also probably the most besieged country in the world and don’t have time to mess with anything that is not as idiot proof as possible.

  49. What a wealth of information! Stuff many of us never think much about because, well it’s just a movie. However, when dissected as in this article it not only makes good reading but solicits good comments.
    As for Mr. Baldwin, I’ve been waiting for his indictment following the conclusion of FBI testing of the gun used on set, coupled to the video of Baldwin drawing the gun with his finger on the trigger, which he denies ever doing. I think he has been caught in enough lies to Hang ‘Em High. Let’s face it, in an automobile accident someone dies it is still homicide on the party causing the accident. The Baldwin shooting may be negligent but it is still homicide. Baldwin was the/a Producer and had a grater responsibility / culpability to make certain the rules of safety and common sense were followed. he fine against “Rust” was only $136k. This is hardly sufficient for the egregious violations that have been reported and the death due to, shall we say “negligent homicide”

  50. Good piece, but a coupla minor nitpicks:

    1. James Bond used the .32 ACP (7.65mm) version of the Walther PPK, not the .380 ACP (9mm Kurz).

    2. Yes, the cup-and-saucer method is improper, but long before Hollywood actors were using it, the U.S. Army was actually teaching it in a Vietnam War-era training film on the M1911-A1.45 calibre service pistol!

  51. I always chuckle when an actor rests the barell on their forearm to steady the shot of their revolver.
    Or grip the barell just in front of the cylinder like holding a rifle.
    The gas from firing would certainly burn them.
    Maybe the blanks don’t have enough powder to do that. Real bullets would.

  52. Teacup hold, wrist brace hold, and cradle the baby hold were all doctrinal techniques at one time. For movies, using the techniques of the period depicted on-screen is valid. I saw all three pistol holds in the 1976 revision of Rex Applegate’s “Kill or Get Killed.” The 1942 “Shooting to Live” by Fairbairn and Sykes showed teacup and wrist brace.

    Dirty Harry was released in 1971 when these two-hand techniques were still current. Yes, they’re all obsolete now, but would you have a horse opera set in the 1880’s using Glock 18 machine pistols? If not, why use modern pistol techniques in that story? Most historical pistol techniques from 1534 (first wheel locks) through the eighties were one-hand techniques. American police used to qualify on their revolvers thumb cocking each shot–except for waist-level “combat” double-action shooting that was believed to be faster–at the end of the Sixties Los Angeles modified their Model 15 service revolvers by grinding off the cocking notch, rendering their revolvers double-action only for liability reasons. Note that through the Seventies police were trained to attain a firing grip with finger on trigger and to keep finger on trigger–combined with a cocked hammer, this was an invitation to an unintended discharge, but that was the doctrine of the day.

    Things change. I don’t know when Britian’s MI-6 quit using the cup and saucer or wrist brace holds, and they continued to use the Fairbairn and Sykes instinctive pointing into the Seventies with one hand–Special Air Service started using both hands (when possible) beginning in the Seventies. Manuals exist–technical advisors may be ignored by directors, but technical advisors are supposed to know these things and be able to document those period techniques. Early James Bond movies in the Sixties and possibly through the Seventies (James was an old hand and could be expected to use old techniques) would get it right going one-hand or with teacup or wrist brace, but during the Nineties and later the modern techniques would have taken hold.

  53. Hollywood has epitomized the mishandling of firearms and what happens when a person is shot since I can remember. You know, the old .45 in the shoulder and other ‘flesh wounds’ that would ‘normally’ incapacitate an individual, taking them out of the fight, at least for the, near, foreseeable future. Combine that with what can only be described as unsafe firearm handling practices and you are looking at a problem in the making…at least for those who want to emulate their favorite actor and the way they handle a firearm. As a range safety NCO in the Army, I had a number of instances where the participants actually said they watched a movie and ‘this’ was how it was done. Those went back to their command, with a letter explaining why they were taken off the range and were not allowed to qualify and needed remedial training on firearm safety and operation.
    The thing that bothers me the most, I think, are the actors who are anti-gun, but make a good living off action movies where ‘they’ use a firearm throughout the movie. If they had any principles, at all, they would refuse to do a film where they used a firearm. Of course, they would soon not be making films, but their conscience would be clean.
    On the ‘Rust’ situation…the firearm was in Baldwin’s immediate possession and control and that, alone, makes him responsible for what happened. Any ammo mix-ups, on that set, is a different situation that is separate and goes back to the armorer and prop manager and then to the producers who hired them.

  54. You missed one. At one of Bill Lewinski’s Force Science Institute seminars a speaker brought up the “Hollywood carry” where the actor has the gun held pointing up at the ceiling next to their head so that the camera shot shows the gun and the actor’s face in the close up, similar to the gangsta’ close up shot you posted with Russell Crowe. It’s very sad that so much of the public’s perception of what happens with firearms comes from what they’ve seen in the movies and on TV. like someone flying backwards 5 or 10 feet when they’re shot with a pistol. Talk about “misinformation”!

  55. One point is that the early Glocks (preferred handgun of ghetto types, and most popular among inexperienced shooters due to the expert marketing of Glock) had a tendency to stovepipe if held “ghetto style”. Physics indicate this would create an increased likelihood for any handgun to fail in this scenario.
    Second, with a SAA assuming a live round was loaded first, or left in the ” wheel” and subsequent blanks were to follow, AND the chamber beneath the hammer was left empty(as was recommended by many) this would stage the live round for the first shot.
    The author did key on the cinematic reasoning for the ghetto grip, but missed on the use of the teacup grip for the same reason. The support arm with a proper grip may also obscure the shot angle of the camera.
    Moreover, the hiring of Gutteriez by Baldwin as armorer in Rust, a young attractive female with little formal experience, also follows a Hollywood pattern. Even though the only previous experience she could show in the role was fraught with safety complaints from actors on the set.
    On this, my question is; is there any other qualifying internship in dealing with inexperienced gun handlers beyond an armorer license? This would seem to be a practical concern since the license only requires mechanical knowledge of a firearm. This seems much the same as letting a jet engine mechanic fly a commercial airliner. Knowing how it works in no way assumes operational proficiency.

  56. The lovely Miss Ann Margaret is actually quite safe. Unfortunately, so is her target. While her dominant trigger finger is “Alec Baldwining” the trigger, the hammer of the single action revolver is not cocked and it does not appear she is in a position to do so.

    But she is quite lovely! Pretty and stupid. Just the way we like them! 😆😂🤣

  57. Baldwin didn’t have to pull the trigger to fire the gun! A single action revolver will fire if the hammer is pulled back and released right before it locks in the cocked position!. It is my guess Alec Baldwin pulled back the hammer and it slipped off his thumb right before it locks. Then fired. This does not explain the live round in the cylinder. That’s another issue. I believe Baldwin did not intentionally shoot the lady. It was an accident.

  58. I’ve worked in the Entertainment Industry for decades since I was a young teen. I’ve seen and worked on so many films that were run so badly with very little regard to the crew’s safety, this includes many iffy firearms instances. I’ve been sprayed with blank wad pack, (the cardboard type stuff in blanks as opposed to bullet/projectile metal), had full load blanks shot in the air around me with my delicate set boom operator’s mic aimed at the actor to pick up dialogue, (ear damage to myself and Boom guy), sheets of “protective” rolled sheet plastic or cardboard easily penetrated hitting camera people and close first team crew with full load blanks. I could go on for hours about the insanity I’ve dealt with just to make a living. Live ammo has been used for certain shots but usually with smaller closed off second unit. I was the first female on set Sound Mixer on the West Coast. I have worked with Law Enforcenent, I have owned guns for many years now with absolutely no incidents, if anything I need to “qualify” my self and practice shoot more often. What needs to be done with all the gun phobia in Hollywood is massive logical, realistic tutorial about guns. They make us take health and safety classes about everything from the use of a fire extinguisher, safety around electricity, so on. There should be a class or part of a class about firearms. Responsibility for each crew member to do their job, their job only and by the book as set by the Trade’s Union and or license. What happened on the Rust set was and still remains one of the most insane on set accidents and a huge showing of how dysfunctional certain aspects of Hollywood are. Not one person is to blame, it was a horribly shitty accident.
    Pat Tomski
    Burbank, CA & Scottdale, AZ
    FYI: Computer graphics are getting so good and so inexpensive that this all may be a mute point soon.

  59. Other than “hit yourself in the face,” grips don’t annoy me as much as clicks and pings from striker fired guns when aimed or empty trigger pulls.

    Then every street thug (especially in Hawaii) has a fully automatic with 100 round magazines.

  60. What irks me in movies & TV is when one person is holding the gun, pointed at a subject and threatening to shoot. Whether a good guy attempting to corral a villain. Or a villain threatening a good guy. And then they get angry that the other won’t comply, so they “rack the slide”. So I always say to myself, so you were not actually ready to pull the trigger and shoot the person or did you decide you wanted to eject the round that was in the chamber for some unknown reason.

  61. Two things come to mind (and grind me) in movies or shows, that deals with double action revolvers. When the cylinder is out of the frame, and the actor/actress spins the cylinder and it makes the hand/ratchet “clicks” like a single action. The other is the actor/actress “flips” the cylinder back into the frame by snapping over their wrist.🙄😡

  62. They will never understand, never believe and never submit to reason and sound instruction. They are elitists, they actually BELIEVE that they are smarter and better informed by their feelings than those who rely on facts and experience. That’s the definition of ignorance, and the only remedy for ignorance is education, not indoctrination.

  63. You forgot Hexum’s death from shooting himself in the head with a blank.

    How does one get to be a ‘licensed’ armorer? Because the Rust armorer seems to have been a product of her family relationship.

    Live and blank ammo were mixed in the prop building. Crew members were firing live ammo from ‘prop’ guns on informal ranges.

    FUBAR seems to be the best explanation.

  64. In the excellent “Road to Perdition” Tom Hanks’ character is involved in a hotel room shoot out with Jude Law. Despite the fact that Law’s character is an exceptional pistolero, he cannot seem to hit the broad side of a barn with a shotgun. That said, while on his back behind a couch, Hanks’ 1911 runs out of ammo. This is visually observed by the slide locked rearward. Nonetheless, without reloading he manages to continue to fire and extricate himself from this situation. Hmmm.

    Similarly, Leonardo DiCaprio’s single-shot flintlock pistol never seems to run dry while in a horseback shoot-out with hostiles in the otherwise excellent “The Revenant”.

  65. All fine and well. Until the rules are broken, AKA Brandon Lee. Movie firearms, real world firearms, plenty safe, if you follow safety rules.

  66. Super Great Article! We need to learn about gun handling from great organizations like the NRA not Hollywood. Unfortunately, Hollywood has had the minds of several generations and that’s where we as a country has gone in the tank.

  67. My favorite, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly movie blew it sky high with guns during this Civil War era movie. They mingled cap n ball pistols with cartridge fed handguns that had yet to be produced during the Civil War. The 3 way quick draw gun fight at the end of the movie had close- ups of Angle Eyes using a cap n ball pistol while wearing a belt filled with cartridges ! Oh brother !!!

  68. My favorite, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly movie blew it sky high with guns during this Civil War era movie. They mingled cap n ball pistols with cartridge fed handguns that had yet to be produced during the Civil War. The 3 way quick draw gun fight at the end of the movie had close- ups of Angle Eyes using a cap n ball pistol while wearing a belt filled with cartridges ! Oh brother !!!

  69. While working overseas as an armorer and firearms instructor I got into the habit of carrying a box of band aides and disposable antiseptic wipes in my shirt pocket because revolver-trained security officers would injure themselves when they fired their M9 Beretta pistols right-handed–and forgot to get their thumb out of the way. I felt guilty because I hadn’t drilled them enough to cancel out their old revolver shooting habits–I even caught some trying to cock their cocked semiautomatic pistols with their thumb! This was in the late 1990’s and a lot has changed. Our course of fire went from 7 meters to 35 meters and included firing around the left side of the barricade–oddly enough, when firing left-hand nobody injured their thumbs. The obvious answer was that they had either never fired with their non-dominant hand or had not fired two-handed with their non-dominant hand. I knew the then-new FM 23-35 well and refreshed my memory as part of preparation for classroom and live-fire training. Part of the qualification course forced using the non-dominant left hand and usually I was working with a blank page–there were no bad habits to unlearn.

    Yes, your thumb-breaker hold brought back memories.

    A realistic movie training montage for a movie set in the Eighties and Nineties probably should include one or two thumb injuries. Fitting it into the plot would be the job of the writers and directors. The actual scene would be Special Effects.

    Note that the modern pistol technique is a high hold to lower the bore axis–the shooter chokes up on the grip. For many pistols, this puts the hand too high and results in hammer bite or slide cuts on the shooting hand. Pistols such as the PPK require a slightly lower hold to avoid this–and it can happen with the M1911A1 caliber .45 service pistol–these two pistols were designed to be held lower down on the grip than the modern technique. Sometimes mixing new techniques with old guns HURTS! Pistols were intended to be held and fired in one hand and clamping the pistol with both hands required a lot of trial and error to get right. Yes, using two hands on the pistol and holding the pistol as high on the grip as possible helps control recoil and speeds up firing cadence–but even though the 1942 book “Shooting to Live with the One-hand Gun” demonstrates two-hand techniques using the Colt Government Model pistol, the default pistol firing technique for the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP) was held in one hand and used a point-shooting technique (eye level “shoulder point” at distances up to five yards). The SMP didn’t use a bent elbow and cocked wrist that was dogmatic with other police and military organizations because SMP pioneered using rapid semiautomatic fire in bursts of two or three or even six shots–SMP held their pistols in front of the body roughly along the center line, squared off to the target, pistol at eye level and vision focused on the desired point of impact. Target shooters of the day were either bladed to their targets or at a 45-degree angle…

  70. Alec Balwin had the trigger back against the frame from the ti.e he pulled the gun from the holster and when the hammer came to full cock it slipped from his thumb and swung forward to fire the gun ! Just like the gun fighters tied the trigger back and let the hammer slip from the thumb ! The videos clearly show it !

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