Monday, August 29, 2011

4 Common Misconceptions About Guns

Guns are one of the trademarks of popular games and films. Guns have earned their place in game history along with health bars and save points. In one form or another, guns play an important role in modern day gaming. Either you're shooting a AK74, or shooting bubbly poison out of jars, they all relate to projecting projectiles in one fashion or another. There's no doubt that there are hundreds of movies that have guns in them. Name a ten hundred movies without any guns in them whatsoever. So we all probably know a  great deal about them right? We could probably determine the caliber from simply the sound right?

Pictured: You?

Despite guns being everywhere, everyday Joe like you and me wouldn't know every gear and pin of a M1911A1 pistol. The truth is, many people are either ignorant or simply don't know much about guns. Thankfully, we don't have lives and we've compiled a list of four things that people commonly misconceived about guns.

4. Scopes

Doesn't everybody love being the sniper in the FPS games? You can locate and kill people from a mile away thanks to your trusty rifle and scope without getting all up and personal. I mean, all you need to do is right-click to trigger the scope, put your virtual eye to the scope and click at things you don't like right?

I'm not digging the face mask Jim.

In real life, no. Many feel that in order to look down the scope, you have to press your face into the scope, and shoot away, which is wrong. But what's the worst that could happen right? In reality, doing such and shooting can result in very horrible things. First off, when you shoot, the recoil has a greater chance of giving you a good smack in the face. As you can see from sniper movies and games, snipers don't walk around with black eyes; obviously someone's doing something wrong.

Or maybe you should sport some new shades.

The second problem is that your perception of your surroundings are lowered. What that means is that you cannot see if there is a guy to the left or right of you, that you would normally see if you had both eyes free. The result is blacken eyes and lost of perception, which can be fatal if an enemy is standing right in front of you. Look below for what it should look like for most cases, without the map and the HUD floating inside of your eye of course.

3. Cocking

We've all seen those crazy movies with main characters that don't seem to be effected by gun fire, and run around scoring one-hit-kills with a pistol while the enemies that don't appear to have the mental capability to operate a hammer, wielding machine guns. Right at the end, when the main character is about to deliver his catch phase and pull the trigger, he cocks the gun in a awesome fashion.

"These muscles don't need cocking."

The mere sound of the cocking of a shotgun or pistol instantly sends the cold chill of reality down any villain's spine. But what is the purpose of cocking? Gun makers couldn't have possibly inserted a "be awesome" sound maker device into every gun in existence right? The purpose of cocking a gun is to insert a new round into the chamber, and to expel the existing object in the chamber to allow the new round.

What that means is that if you put a fresh magazine into a gun and cock fifty two times (If your weapon allows that many rounds), be prepared to play fifty two pick-up with all of the perfectly good bullets on the ground. The only reason during combat to cock your gun is to load the very first round into the gun after placing a fresh magazine. In any other situation, cocking your gun for dramatic effects would result in your bullets falling onto the ground.

If you still have the urge to cock your gun before dramatically killing someone, you should place your gun down and simply throw the bullets at them. It'll be safer for everyone.

Maybe you should stick to rubberbands. Just to make sure.

2. Silencers/Suppressors

Haven't we all seen those spy movies where the main character breaks into a enemy base, and literally kills hundreds of people with his trusty silenced pistol and muscles? Ignoring that it's simply unlikely for any one person to take down hundreds of "professional" bodyguards, the portrayal of silencers isn't accurate.

When you fire a gun, you propel a bullet fast enough to impact a person at hundreds if not thousands of pounds of force in a concentrated area. The sound it gives off probably wouldn't sound like the laughter of children playing in the schoolyard. The sound can reach 120dB to 160dB, and puts out a miniature sonic boom. Do you really think a 6 inch pipe in front of your gun will muffle the sound to equivalent of tip-toeing pass your neighbor's lawn after stealing back your kid's baseball?

Will it muffle the sound of this guy's head exploding? Unlikely.

Surprisingly, suppressors don't make loud gun sounds become gentle breezes in the wind. The idea of a silencer is to lower the sound and flash given off by the weapon. But it cannot simply disappear like your friend Tim that dined and dashed last Thursday (I want my money Tim). So what's the point of even muffling the sound, you ask?

Why? Just look at all these guns, and how much cooler they are with a tube attached to it! 

The point of a silencer is to lower the sound and flash, making it more difficult to determine the location of the gun fire. Other silencers can make the gun shot sound 'not like a gun shot' which can prove helpful in urban environments with crazy sounds everywhere. Suppressors can even deceive observers of the location of a shooter by 90 to 180 degrees, but I doubt it'll help your Call of Duty skills. The idea of a suppressor isn't to make a sniper silent, but to make them invisible.

I was hoping it would make me cooler.

Other more legal uses for the silencer is to lower the amount of sound to protect hearing, increase precision, and reduce recoil . Try shooting a shotgun in a small cave where the sounds can dance around your head, making your ears bleed. Ear bleeding syndrome isn't very pleasant;  But then again, you never know right? Go ahead and try it out, I insist.

1. Path of a Bullet

The path of a bullet is the path between your gun, and where the bullet hits. Some of us already know about this from hours of "education" on the computer playing Call of Duty or the like. It's as simple as positioning the crosshairs on the guy's head and pulling the trigger right? 

As easy as baking a cake.

Actually no, bullets don't travel in a straight line of death towards your target. Think of guns as miniature cannons that shoot little balls of fury. Between the path of your intended target and yourself, the bullet will be effected by many factors which can throw the bullet up, left, right, and down.

When people are using rifles to hit long distance targets, wind speed, gravity, air resistance, and even the weight of the bullet plays a factor in where the bullet is going to hit. People may have to pull the trigger seven feet above the target to land a hit.

However, we obviously don't see people aiming their guns six feet to the right while shooting at point-blank range. Up to a certain distance, a traveling bullet may appear to be going straight, which causes some to believe that bullets go in a straight line after watching their action hero aiming down the sights of a sniper rifle to shoot someone 15 feet away. Hence the misconception.

Our hallucinative drug addicted action heroes. Oh you.

Many games in the industry have begun to incorporate bullet drag and bullet drop in their games, which require gamers to actually consider how far the targets are in order to hit them. This results in aiming slightly above one's head before shooting, just like in real life. We can deduce that adding wind drop, precipitation, and elevation is in the works.

Anyways, the fact is bullets don't travel straight. While they aren't flying straight up toward the skies or shooting straight to the core of the earth, regardless of where you aim, there are thousands of factors that can effect the path of a bullet. The decreased molecules on a highly elevated area (Like a mountain) would change where the bullet hits due to the decreased drag and possible gravity changes. (Like how a watch runs slower in the bottom of the ocean)