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Thread: "Hollywood phrases" - gun related terms

  1. #1
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    "Hollywood phrases" - gun related terms

    The media, general non-gun owning populace and even some gun owners will consistently use "hollywood phrases" to describe firearms and firearms accessories inaccurately. I'd like to make a list of these phrases and their real definitions. This would come in handy when talking to non-gun owners who are fence sitters, as well as educating gun owners who are new to the community.

    Examples:
    "Assault Weapon" - In reality most assault weapons are select fire rifles or carbines used in the armed forces. Most of the AK/AR variants you see in civilian ownership are semi-automatic but are mislabeled as "assault weapons" for the scare factor.

    "Machine Gun" - generally used to describe semi-automatic weapons. Machine guns manufactured after '86 are illegal for civilian ownership.

    "Automatic <insert gun here>" - Most <insert gun here> in public hands can be auto-loading, but are not usually auto-firing. You need to pull the trigger for each round, you can't hold the trigger and spray a crowd. In order to legally own an auto-firing weapon, it would need to have been registered prior to 1986 and transferred through the BATF. Most civilian owned auto-firing weapons today cost between $5k-$20k.

    "Silencer" - In the movies the sniper will have a suppressor installed on their firearm which will make it completely silent to the human ear. This is physically impossible in reality. Even the best suppressor on the smallest caliber will not make it completely silent.

    ".50 Caliber Sniper Rifle" - Any rifle that is capable of shooting a bullet could be used as a sniper rifle. In reality most military snipers like to use smaller calibers due to their quiet factor, ease of transportation and significant weight difference. The .50BMG is used in long range shooting, but there have been zero civilian attacks involving a .50BMG.

    "Militia" - this term in modern days has negative connotations however less than 90 years ago it was quite common for states to have local militias which were called upon in case of civil emergency. For more information on militias, why they were origionally created and why they are still needed today, please read <insert good militia reference here>.

    "High capacity" - Think about this term. One could describe an F250 as having a "high capacity" fuel tank. One could also describe a 757 as a "high capacity" jet. The current label of "High Capacity" magazines was created to make 30 round mags seem bad. However, magazines capable of holding 90+ rounds have been in existence since WW1.

    "Clip vs. Magazine" - Clips are used mostly for old rifles. They are called clips because the ammunition is held in place by a clip. Magazines are used on most modern firearms, rifles and pistols, and are small boxes that hold ammunition internally. (Anyone have a better description for this, I'm all ears )

    "Armor Piercing" or "Cop Killer Bullets" - The truth of the matter is, ammunition from most center-fire rifles will pierce body armor. The "Armor Piercing" and "Cop Killer" terms are widely used to villify any type of ammo that isn't a pistol caliber, even if it's any old rifle round. (see http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/921.html for the actual armor piercing definition. see http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquer...d099query.html for the federal bill regarding this definition. Why should ammunition type be set at a federal level? Why should ammunition for pistols be restricted when 99% of center fire rifles will pierce body armor?)

    "Explosive/Exploding" bullets - expanding bullets, like soft points and hollow points, which are not shown in movies without some gross exaggeration of their destructive capabilities; the fact that they are designed to reduce overpenetration is never mentioned.

    "Fifty-Cal" is most always used to refer to a .50 BMG, rather than other .50 caliber cartridges like .500 S&W, .50-110, or .50 AE. The said weapon in question will then fire a round with little report or recoil, often from a concealed location. If someone actually shot a short-barreled .50 BMG rifle with a muzzle brake inside a bell tower, they would not likely be able to hear any sound for days, if ever.

    "Shot to Death" - this phrase is used to describe accidental shootings, when in reality it implies someone literally shot another person until that person was dead. A more correct term would be "Accidentally shot, and eventually died" or even "Accidentally shot, but later died stemming from blood transfer complications".

    "high power rifle" - In media-land, all rifles are "high power." In reality, what classifies something as "high"? Is it above another object thus being higher?


    "lock and load" - not exactly sure where this comes from...

    "bullets" - in truth, a bullet is the projectile within a cartridge, most often made of copper and or lead. Media will describe anything from casings to cartridges as "bullets"



    Feel free to correct my initial definitions above, I'm basically trying to compile a list (I'm not 100% right in all of my assumptions). If you can think of anything additional to add, please do! Personally I know several people who would like to have a list like this, especially if I can find citations/quotes to back it up.
    Last edited by brighamr; November 22nd, 2008 at 12:36 AM. Reason: added more, AP, Explosive, Fifty-Cal

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    Here's a few. I'll leave it to you to add the definitions:

    Armor piercing
    High capacity
    Clip vs. Magazine

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    hardline - thanks. I added the last two, but apparently i need some education on "armor piercing". AFAIK, the military has a specific color tip for AP ammo..... what's the hollywood term associated? Do you mean they call regular ammo AP?

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    Some thoughts on "armor piercing"....

    When used in a military context, this term usually means that a person is protected in some fashion, and someone is taking special measures to defeat that protection. It's very factual and logical, with no hidden meanings.

    When used in a civilian context, the connotation is much, much different. The implication then becomes this: that the subject protected is somehow set apart from (above?) the rest of us, and that the ability to defeat his armor violates that segregation.

    I've heard it said numerous times that most average hunting rounds will defeat police body armor. The fact that common arms are in fact "armor piercing", and the fact that we never hear about that in Hollywood/ on the news, tells me that the purpose of the use of the term is to reinforce the idea of the police as a separate caste - the caste of official protectors, who perform a job we are incapable of doing.

    I point also to the use of the term "cop-killer bullets" as a synonym.
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    Cop killers: Any type bullet they are demonizing that day.

    I do wish the 'news' folks would use gat, or Roscoe more often.
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    I was tempted to write "cop-killer" instead of "armor piercing" but the intent was the same. When the media says "assault weapon with high capacity magazines firing armor piercing rounds" usually they mean any run-of-the-mill AR-15. The term "armor piercing" is used to villify any type of ammo that isn't a pistol caliber, even if it's any old rifle round.

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    Ahhh, now I see what you're getting at. Noted, and added to the list.

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    Clips load magazines

    Magazines load guns.
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    Armor Piercing = Ammo with usually a steel core and specially hardened tip , made to penetrate VEHICLE Armor, I.E. Halftracks, APC's, Aircraft and Ships.
    I got these guns for my wife, the kids still miss her on holidays.

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    "Explosive/Exploding" bullets - expanding bullets, like soft points and hollow points, which are not shown in movies without some gross exaggeration of their destructive capabilities; the fact that they are designed to reduce overpenetration is never mentioned.

    "Fifty-Cal" is most always used to refer to a .50 BMG, rather than other .50 caliber cartridges like .500 S&W, .50-110, or .50 AE. The said weapon in question will then fire a round with little report or recoil, often from a concealed location. If someone actually shot a short-barreled .50 BMG rifle with a muzzle brake inside a bell tower, they would not likely be able to hear any sound for days, if ever.

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    Once and a while they will still pull out that all time classic Dum-Dums. Curse those imperialists and their Indian colonial lackeys.


    Like this:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2666300.ece


    Shooting the wrong guy, 7 times in the head, that was not the lead...Dum Dum bullets, that is what is really important! It's barely even considered, that 7 head shots, from the way it is written I am guessing rifle shots, alone, could have been the cause of this poor guys demise. It was those Dum Dums.


    the cop killer bullets all started with those KTW rounds(handgun!) and the teflon coating on the, was it tungsten bullets(?) 'letting them slip between the fibers of bullet proof vests". Never mind, no cop was ever killed with one.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
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    thanks for the additions all!

    I'm looking for citations as well, such as when and why the KTW rounds were banned? if anyone has any links, citations, or remember's the actual statute - I'd appreciate it!

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    another term/phrase I hate to hear...

    Shot to Death, especially if it's an accident, being shot to death implies you were continually shot until dead.
    The local news reported about an FBI agent who was accidentally shot to death by another FBI agent a while back. Which instantly made me think the guy emptied his firearm at the other agent only to realize he was there.

    It's a lot less confusing to say "A person was accidentally shot today and later died of the injury."
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    completely agree. There are a lot of terms used specifically to increase ratings.

    Example: It's much more accurate to state "someone was shot, and eventually died stemming from <insert cause of death here>". But most media outlets just say "someone was shot to death"; even if the cause of death was in no way related to the shooting.

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    "high power rifle"

    In media-land, all rifles are "high power."


    "lock and load"

    I don't know what "lock" means, but it sounds like something you'd do after you were finished loading it.


    "semi-automatic"

    In media-land, this apparently means "machine gun."

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    when and why the KTW rounds were banned? if anyone has any links, citations, or remember's the actual statute
    Statute: The term “armor piercing ammunition” means—
    (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or
    (ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile.

    § 921 of the US (Federal) criminal Code was modified on 8/28/1986 by Public Law No: 99-408

    I think Massad Ayoob has the story written down somewhere that a felon was caught in NYC with a revolver with "mixed bag" ammo, some of it .38 Nyclad. Someone mis-identified it as KTW armor piercing, and that event spurred Mario Biaggi to the "Cop-Killer Bullet" law.

    Can't find that, at the moment.

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    machine gun.

    Often used to describe an automatic rifle or sometimes a semi-auto.

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    Another one I have heard is:
    ...a number of bullets found at the scene (of a drive by shooting)... where the correct terminology would have been ...a number of spent shell casings...

    I have also seen movies where a piece of wood -- supposedly shot full of holes -- has brass shell casings sticking out of the holes. It is painfully obvious that news personnel and many movie directors know absolutely nothing about firearms. I creeps me out to watch someone on the screen firing a pistol that produces absolutely no recoil and never needs reloading.
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  19. #19
    I have also seen movies where a piece of wood -- supposedly shot full of holes -- has brass shell casings sticking out of the holes.
    Whoa, whoa. That is TOO much! What movie is that?!?!
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    The movie with the shell casings sticking out of perforated wood -- I can't even remember the name of the movie. I just remember thinking (since the shot was in the intro to the show) that I wasn't gonna believe anything that happened in the plot, since the intro shot was so hokey. I'll try to look it up, but it has been a really long time...
    The uneducated and the misinformed are easily led astray. -- John Mellencamp

    I remember when Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms was a shopping list and not a government agency.

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    appreciate all of the help!

    Any others or does this about cover it?

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