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Author Topic: Q for a Gun nut.  (Read 429 times)

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Offline Spear80Topic starter

Q for a Gun nut.
« on: July 15, 2015, 01:27:45 PM »
Hey all,

First off, i'm not a (space)Marine. (or any military arm) I just play one on E. My knowledge of guns is limited to; bullets go in one end, you pull something and then bullets come out another end. And that's the end that should point away from you. And then there sometimes is a safety and a switch between automatic and not so automatic. That's basically it, for me. I wing it for the stories that get woven.

But on to the question.

So for whatever reason the badguy gets the jump on the good guy or his BFF. And puts his badguy gun, bullet exit first, to the back of goodguy's head. Usually accompanied by a threat and or demand to drop his/her weapon.

The good guy hesitates and then badguy goes and cock's the weapon. (pull back the hammer?) repeats the threat which promptly gets taken serious and down goes the good guy's gun.

This is more or less how the scene goes, but to me the need to pull back the hammer, means the gun isn't ready to fire, initially. Correct????

Which to me is puzzling, why doesn't goodguy do something before the gun is ready. Granted off course, i was correct with the hammer thing. Or for that matter, why don't they make sure the gun is ready before you put it to someone's head.

And it's not gun noobs, such as myself in those shows/movies. These involve seasoned police/military and evil criminals/terrorists. Who on either end off the gun should know better.

Anyway, was i right? Is this silly?




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Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 01:44:32 PM »
Ah, yes, the unnecessary if ever-emphatic gun cock.

There are three main types of handguns in the world.

Single-action revolvers.

Double-action revolvers.

Automatic pistols.

Now each one of these has its own unique quirks.

A SA (single action) is not going to shoot until the hammer is pulled back. That's why you see a lot of professional twisting out their elbows as the gun falls from firing: It gives a little extra torque to get that thumb on the hammer and bring it to battery.

Double actions don't need this initial cock, they keep shooting as long as you pull the trigger (they might require an initial pull of the hammer but I've seen ones that don't so this might be a safety feature).

An automatic pistol usually has a slide and a hammer, pulling back the slide simultaneously strips the first round off the clip, chambers it, and puts the hammer back at battery. You can usually pull back the hammer further, but it's totally redundant. That's often what is seen in movies. Because cocking back that hammer won't do anything to load the round into the chamber).

As for why the hero doesn't try something with a gun to the back of his head? Would you? Can you reasonably be assured that the gun isn't at battery (are you faster than a speeding bullet). It's dramatic, and might snap someone out of trying something stupid.

Much like the ever unique and pants-shittingly terrifying sound of a shell being chambered in any shotgun that you cannot see. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 01:46:23 PM »
I am not a gun nut.  However, the thought process I see here is one of escalation.

By touching the gun to the back of the hero's head (or the small of his back), the bad guy is saying 'I have a deadly weapon, and I can kill you.'
Pulling the hammer back makes an audible click that says 'I am now ready to kill you.'

Some heroes will take steps between 'I can' and 'I am now ready to'.  However, until the hammer is pulled within earshot, the hero doesn't know that the bad guy hasn't already pulled the hammer back outside of earshot.  (Or, if it's a semi-automatic, whether the gun has been fired before and still has one in the chamber.)  It's a gamble, and the hero usually takes time to consider what will happen if the gun is ready to shoot.

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Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 01:52:44 PM »
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DramaticGunCock

(Also I didn't mention double-action only's because it means you've got to leave the chamber unloaded to get the dramatic gun cock.)

Real Life has the reason for which you're looking.

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2015, 07:48:25 PM »
I'm reminded of a rule I learned in boot camp, and was reinforced every time I hit the rifle range on Paris Island...

Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

Now TV and Movie stuff differ from real life. If you want to be realistic and the bad guy puts the gun to the back of your head, then assume you're screwed if he pulls the trigger. If one was pressed to the back of your head then you don't know if he has a pistol, rifle, BB Gun or Squirt gun. You also would have no clue if he was out of ammo, fully loaded or simply had blanks. (By the way blanks can kill as well...) The dramatic cock means that the gun wielder is an idiot or done for said TV or movie...

If the person is serious, the pistol should be ready to fire when barrel touches the back of the head but film handles things different. Now for the gambling part that Oniya brought up? I am reminded of the person that decided to play Russian Rolette with a semiautomatic pistol.... I believe he got a Darwin Award for it as well...

Offline Xanatos

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2015, 08:21:13 PM »
Reality aside, because what has already been said is quite true, its just an age old trope that is over used in Hollywood. Companies rarely like to leave their safe zones. Meaning, they recycle the same old stuff over and over. Until something new and inventive manages to nudge in - then that new thing gets used and abused (Matrix slow mo anyone?).

Now, however, martial artists in particular have proven they can be quick enough to strip a gun from an opponent even a foot or two away. Even if fully cocked and ready to shoot, a quick enough person can disarm a gun toting opponent. This would also conceivably include an opponent behind the martial artist. And, having a gun to someone's head is rather stupid. It opens up the gun holder to be easily disarmed or allows the 'hero', in this case, to simply duck down, turn around, and execute a blow all in one quick and fluid movement. The gun holder has to be able to react first, thus forcing himself to lower the gun, then has to lower the gun and then make sure the shot will hit. Its already too late when the hero reacted, to even try and retaliate with the pistol.

Obviously not all hero types have such quick reflexes, but the situation of a gun held point blank, is not as hopeless as it seems for some heroes.

Offline eBadger

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2015, 01:55:14 PM »
Now, however, martial artists in particular have proven they can be quick enough to strip a gun from an opponent even a foot or two away. Even if fully cocked and ready to shoot, a quick enough person can disarm a gun toting opponent. This would also conceivably include an opponent behind the martial artist. And, having a gun to someone's head is rather stupid. It opens up the gun holder to be easily disarmed or allows the 'hero', in this case, to simply duck down, turn around, and execute a blow all in one quick and fluid movement. The gun holder has to be able to react first, thus forcing himself to lower the gun, then has to lower the gun and then make sure the shot will hit. Its already too late when the hero reacted, to even try and retaliate with the pistol.

I would not describe that as simple or easy, even if a few notables have done a trick under controlled circumstances. 

Holding a weapon against someone with pressure allows faster reaction time (touch is processed by the brain faster than sight) and also allows one to sense movement even when not looking at them (the classic distraction). 

Cocking a weapon manually also allows a quicker, lighter trigger pull, and thus a (very slightly) faster reaction time.  Tiny fractions of a second. 

However, a couple notes on the trope: first off, never point a weapon at anyone you aren't intending to shoot.  If you have a gun drawn on an opponent and are telling them to surrender or you'll fire, there is no purpose in moving into close melee range; they struggle, you fire, you don't wrestle with them. 

Expanding a bit on Inkidu, as the terms are actually very explanatory once you understand them:

Single Action: pulling the trigger performs one action - dropping the hammer onto the bullet to fire.  This requires a manual "cocking" of the hammer.  This method is pretty archaic; the best examples are pistols in cowboy movies (watch Clint Eastwood or John Wayne perform a "fanning" motion over their gun while they fire quickly - watch this; at 1:50 you can see a close up of Clint fanning as he guns down several villains). 

Double Action: pulling the trigger performs two actions - pulling the hammer back and chambering a new round to fire, then dropping the hammer down to fire.  Almost every modern handgun works this way.  As I said before, you can manually cock the hammer on most weapons, which will save a tiny bit of force and time; this is usually only used in accuracy shooting, though, and then mostly to minimize the pressure required to fire (which can pull a weapon off target). 

Automatic: the weapon automatically performs two actions - a double action, but the back pressure of firing the round is used to cock the weapon instead of finger pressure on the trigger.  This leads to the rapid fire of a machine gun. 

Semi-automatic: like the automatic, it uses the back pressure to chamber a new round, but doesn't fire it until the trigger is pulled.  Note that single action can be semi-automatic - although it'll have to be manually cocked to start with and again if there are any mechanical issues (if the back pressure doesn't cock a double action semi automatic, it will simply have a longer trigger pull and cock from the force of the finger pressure). 

Offline Spear80Topic starter

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2015, 05:36:41 PM »
So i posed the question about why the hero in the story doesn't act when a gun, not ready to fire is pressed to his/her head. Or that of his BFF.

And then the question was posed to the reader of the thread, or possibly me as the OP would YOU do something.

This being the internet, i could off course, claim i'm the bestest martial artist in the world who would kick his ass within a moments notice even before the gun touches the back of my head. And those reading my reply, would then justifiably call me a liar, i am at best a marginal martial artist, although they did try to teach me how to take a gun away, and under controlled circumstances it worked every time. Off course with a rubber gun that doesn't go click, to signify whether or not I was fast enough, it will always work because who can tell me otherwise. I had a lot of fun, taking the gun, beating him with it and then as he lies on the ground pretend double tap him. Those Krav Maga instructors do not fool around, or at least mine doesn't.

But then there's the fact that if i read the responses right, the consensus is that in RL, i would be facing a gun properly prepared to turn my brain in a gray mist, so in all honesty, taking into account my marginal skills, i'm gonna go with probably not.

But all that wasn't the point of the thread, this was me asking a genuine question, which apparently more people have, next time i'll google it, so as not to bother anyone here. ;) This question was answered. So thanks for that guys, i apreciate it.


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Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2015, 11:54:13 PM »
Actually the only thing you could hope to reliably do when someone has a handgun leveled at you is (and this is only taking it from the front) put your thumb between the hammer and the receiver (where it'd strike the percussion cap. It'll pinch like a son of a bitch, but it won't fire. Some automatic pistols you can grab the slide and shove it back, but I don't know how reliable this remains.

When he's got it to your back you're dead to rights, and assume he's won. Remember, just because you hear the click doesn't mean it's right next to you. Handguns are ranged weapons.

Though for the sake of real life you can actually keep a round chambered and cock back the hammer before firing for the sound. Much like racking a shotgun shell in a pump action, the psychological effect is nothing to be sneezed at. Even an old black-powder pistol can have the same effect.
 

Offline Pulsar501

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2015, 06:25:13 PM »
Time in the military has a way of really killing the 'I am the hero' fantasy...

Offline Spear80Topic starter

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2015, 02:53:17 PM »
As does RL, i assure you, at least with me. Anyway, the orignal question was about something in movies/ tv shows, and turned out to be uniquely hollywood. And then RL got mixed in, and the rest is as above. :)

Offline Blaskovich

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2015, 05:06:33 PM »
Trigger question aside, the whole situation is fairly ridiculous.  You always keep your weapon out of arm's reach of who you're threatening if you're not already killing them with it.  The "gun to the head" thing only really happens in real life when someone is inexperienced or the victim is completely restrained and is about to be executed.  It's a dramatic fabrication for movies, as is the gun cock - for the cool factor.  All it does is add risk for the shooter if the victim is unarmed.  You already have the upper hand, why even give them the chance to mess with your shot?

That being said, having the gun that close only tilts the odds slightly in favor of the victim, with them still at a significant disadvantage.  Your best possible hope if you were going to attempt to do something about it would be to try and make a grab for the shooter's arm to knock their aim off center before they can pull the trigger.  It's still a dice roll at best and you'd have to accept the fact that this would still likely get you killed.  And even if you do manage to make them miss, you will have ruptured eardrums and probably permanent hearing damage when the weapon fires right next to your head.  If you've still got the shooter's arm, you can maybe attempt to wrestle the gun away.  Trying to jam the trigger, hammer, or some other nonsense with your finger just won't work, too much is happening too fast for delicate work like that.  You could be the best, fastest martial artist in the world and it doesn't change the fact that your arm has to travel a lot further to interfere with the bad guy's weapon than his finger has to travel to send a bullet through your skull. 

In the end, it's best to just accept it as is and not overthink things because it ruins the magic.  There are so many things wrong with that situation that have nothing to do with whether or not the guy has a round chambered.  Unless my media is expressly trying to be true to life, I'm willing to accept lots of rule bending for more cool scenes.

Offline Thumper

Re: Q for a Gun nut.
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2015, 12:08:10 PM »
Ah, yes, the unnecessary if ever-emphatic gun cock.

There are three main types of handguns in the world.

Single-action revolvers.

Double-action revolvers.

Automatic pistols.

Now each one of these has its own unique quirks.

A SA (single action) is not going to shoot until the hammer is pulled back. That's why you see a lot of professional twisting out their elbows as the gun falls from firing: It gives a little extra torque to get that thumb on the hammer and bring it to battery.

Double actions don't need this initial cock, they keep shooting as long as you pull the trigger (they might require an initial pull of the hammer but I've seen ones that don't so this might be a safety feature).

An automatic pistol usually has a slide and a hammer, pulling back the slide simultaneously strips the first round off the clip, chambers it, and puts the hammer back at battery. You can usually pull back the hammer further, but it's totally redundant. That's often what is seen in movies. Because cocking back that hammer won't do anything to load the round into the chamber).

As for why the hero doesn't try something with a gun to the back of his head? Would you? Can you reasonably be assured that the gun isn't at battery (are you faster than a speeding bullet). It's dramatic, and might snap someone out of trying something stupid.

Much like the ever unique and pants-shittingly terrifying sound of a shell being chambered in any shotgun that you cannot see.

In addition to what you wrote some DA pistols have a safety feature built into the safety where the hammer drops after you put the weapon on safe.