Hollywood LIES : Firearms

Every guy remembers his first face-to-face confrontation with Hollywood B.S. Whether it came in the form of a ludicrously impossible fight scene, massive gaping plot hole, or accidentally stepping on Jean-Claude Van Damme, it all adds up to one inarguable fact: Hollywood lies.


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It’s not often that a guy can reasonably compare the outlandish shit he sees in multi-million-dollar action films to real life. Most of the time, the situation is either obviously impossible to duplicate (Transformers, Indecent Proposal) or it’s prohibitively expensive (the Bond franchise, Batman, Up!). But, like almost every other situation in life, guns change things.

With a gun of comparative type and caliber, a few hours of patience, and about a thousand bucks worth of ammunition, you too can learn the thrill of blowing up cars, disabling helicopters, and launching Mexican gangsters all the way across the room. Well, not exactly.

The Dude-Launching .38 Special

dirty harry

This is the proper stance for messing dudes up.

What we have here is a Hollywood gimmick so widespread and common that most people just accept it as fact. You shoot a guy, he flips and flops like Falling Girl. Every spent bullet is a wild display of natural ragdoll physics.

Why it Doesn’t Add Up

First off, Mythbusters covered most of this ground in one episode.

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Pic related, slightly.

The short answer is that even most really high-caliber ammunition doesn’t pack the necessary punch to launch a 200-pound villain into the air. The even shorter answer is “Because math.”

Notorious Hollywood Example

Christ, pick one. You could drive a bullet-riddled Cutlass through the front of a Blockbuster store and chances are good you’ll hit at least five-hundred movies that feature this example. The most notorious, at least as far as being ridiculous goes, would be the barroom gunfight scene in Desperado. The, uh, first one.

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Antonio “Melanie Griffith Does Not Yet Own My Testes at This Point in My Career” Banderas plays a mariachi…out for revenge. His loyal sidekick Steve Buscemi feeds a titanic load of bullshit to a bunch of gritty looking hombres in a Mexican bar, mostly just to rile them up about the Mariachi’s penchant for ruining your day with large weapons. It should probably go without saying that the following video clip is totally, totally NSFW, if for no other reason than Steve Buscemi’s face is prominently displayed throughout.

At around the 4:20 mark, if you listen very closely, you can hear Antonio Banderas crapping on the grave of Isaac Newton.

The Real Life Exception

The .50-caliber LAR Grizzly Big Boar.

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Part bear, part wild pig, apparently.

This gun is available to the general public and fires an enormous .50 rifle round. It can, and in the wrong hands will, toss you into the air like a boneless sack of screaming failure. Whenever some guy is just standing there with the audacity to be all in one piece, the Big B0ar is the answer. Not that we’d ever recommend that.