Thursday, October 28, 2010

Firearm Basics

This section came about as a result of the sheer number of times I answered these types of questions on several different forums.  Rather than re-write it every time it comes up in the future, I figured I’d post it for general viewing.

So, what is this?
This is basic information about firearms which is aimed (the information, not the firearms) at writers who want to get things right.  If you are a writer, or just have an interest in the basics of how firearms work, I encourage you to look around.  If you already know this stuff, and want to fact check me, I welcome that as well.

Why put out a guide for writers?
Quite simply, based on what I’ve seen, the average person gets a tremendous amount of information from writers.  It could be from television or film, books or comic books, or even video games.  And, it’s not just firearms.  Much of what we think we know comes from the various forms of entertainment in which we choose to indulge. 
Test it yourself.  How long do the results from a DNA test take to get back?  Where did you get your information?  Is it right?

As a hopefully soon to be recognized writer, I think it’s important to be sure that any information I present as a fact, actually is.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that if I present some odd fact about something, you can bet that Murphy’s Law will ensure that the first person to see it will be an expert on that subject.  The second is that I don’t want to misrepresent something to the people that have never heard of it before reading what I wrote.

Who am I to be writing this?
I’m one of the other sources of information.  I’m “some guy on the internet”, and even with that awesome sounding title, I’m still just a writer.  The only other real options to learn something anymore are personal experience and qualified instruction.

What makes my information better than the rest?
I’m writing this with the intention of letting other writers get it right.  Facts are more important than drama here.  Sure there’s not conflict on every page, but this is a different type of writing.  This is me passing on information that I have seen lacking among new writers.  When someone asks something about a firearm, there are two types of people that will flock to answer them.  The first, and more numerous are those who have a passing familiarity of firearms from games, TV, movies, YouTube clips, or stuff “some dude said this one time”.  The second group is the people that have actual experience with the subject.  That’s my group.

I’ve been shooting since around age four or five.  Honestly, I don’t remember my first shooting lesson.  I’ve got actual, hands-on experience with all types of pistols and rifles (except muzzle loaders), and some experience with submachine guns.  My dad knew a guy when I was a kid.  I’ve also reloaded my own ammunition and even made my own cast lead, and jacketed bullets.

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