Saturday, August 27, 2005

Liveblogging - Guns on TV - Numbers and Snipers



Interesting episode of numbers tonight (a repeat), about sniping; and I think I'm going to liveblog it.

Any time crime shows start talking about guns I perk my ears up, usually to be disgusted by massive errors and anti-gun propaganda.

Well in the first five minutes a "sniper expert" shows up, and starts talking about possibilites, skill, gun types etc...

The first thing was "There were four different calibers. In this shooting, he used a 7.62x39... he could have picked up a russian SKS for under $100, or he could be using a Blaser R93. It has interchangeable barrels, which could explain the multiple calibers, and would be an easy way to avoid having you link his gun to all four shootings". Hell he even pronounced Blaser properly (It's a very interesting gun actually. Col. Cooper has a lot to say about them, both good and bad), although I've never seen one in 7.62x39, I'm sure it's available. Of course we saw the rifle he used, which I think was a rem 700 (I didnt see it for long enough).

Not bad there; though you haven't been able to find an actual Russian SKS for under $100 in a while. At least not in any condition for 200-300 yard shot.

Next he talks about a snipers state of mind, and the human factors effecting taking a shot. Adrenaline, cramping, sweat, breath control ... spot on. Somebody actually did their homework.

Compare this to the new TNT series "Wanted", which features great gun porn, but gets all the details wrong (and this from a show that has an ATFE agent as a main character... of course if you know anything about ATF agents that may be the best thing about the show).

Other Numbers episodes have featured the "correct" weapons and frequently the correct tactics and execution for FBI agents and SWAT members involved in dynamic entries etc... So it would seem that either they have a gunny on staff, or someone is really doing their homework.

Then they move into instructing Charlie to shoot a rifle; which should be no big deal for any real cop, FBI agent etc.. but for hollywood that is a BIG DEAL, as if merely shooting a gun was a major life altering decision...

Well actually it is, but rarely in a negative way.

Back to the instruction...

They started him on an Accuracy International rifle with a nightforce scope, both very good choices in service with police and military around the world (though not exactly what I'd use to teach a beginner). Also they were shooting at 25 yards.

His first shot barely hit the paper, which is to be expected, and his brother wants to call the whole thing off, but Charlie insists on learning, so they discuss valid breath control techniques, and he makes a dead bull the next shot.

Unfortunately they gave him a total of about 30 seconds of instruction. This could have been a decent scene if they spent some time on it; and I think could have moved the story on a bit deeper, but oh well...

The episode then degenerated into pop psychology, and there wasn't any more real gun detail.

Overall it was a better depiction of firearms than we generally see, which means it was palpably anti-gun, but at least the details were mostly correct this time; and it wasnt so grossly stupid that I wanted to shut it off.

Unfortunately that's about as good as it gets from hollywood.