The Second Version

08/10/10

The Silence Of The Gun

In 13 hours of intercontinental flights, there is a huge lot of time to kill. At least Emirates has an excellent in-flight entertainment system with hundreds of films, TV series, music CDs and more.

The airplane is not an environment conductive to detailed exploration of deep issues, so I watched only (relatively) brainless action movies, where even if I missed some dialogues I could still enjoy stuff blowing up. You know, the A-Team, Predators, The Losers and that stuff.

Well, one thing I noticed in these movies is that everytime someone picks up or handles a firearm you can hear a string of clicking, clacking and clanking sounds, way beyond the classic (and acceptable, within limits) racking of the action.

I have some experience with handguns, rifles and shotguns and I can assure you that unless someone deliberately performs an act such as firing the gun, racking the action, flicking on or off the safety or inserting/removing the magazine the gun stays as silent as a piece of metal and wood or plastic can be. Simply picking it up or swinging it around does not produce a sound.

Moreover, of the above noises only a gunshot is truly loud; all the others would be easily drowned in even moderately noisy environments. I concede that in a moment of silence, some gun-related noises can bea heard rather clearly especially by a trained ear.

On the other end, I'm not sure it makes much sense to flick the safety on between one unexpected firefight and the other: too much risk of forgetting it and missing the chance to shoot. Even more inane would be to take a round off the chamber so that the action has to be racked again.

It is a matter of volume more than anything else, of gun-related sounds being amplified beyond their normal level for the show.

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3 Commenti:

  • Never mind the movies. I got enough in the "Tactical Videos" folder of my HD to keep me busy for ten circumnavigations of the globe.

    Di Anonymous Wellington, Alle 8/10/10 20:29  

  • I have noticed the same thing. It is similar to the "audible sharpness" trope where a knife moved through the air almost always makes a metallic sound.

    On the other hand, gunshots are in reality much louder than in the movies, especially indoors. People in movies shoot indoors like it's nothing, while in reality they would be deaf for at least some time afterwards. I still remember the first time I've heard a gunshot indoors (with earplugs). Of course my friend back then handed me a tiny snubnose loaded with .357 magnums, :D so that might have had something to do with it. But after that I always had a lot of trouble suspending my disbelief and accepting the movie guns as real.

    Di Anonymous Michael G., Alle 9/10/10 01:14  

  • Yes, tactical vidoes! There's some extremely cool ones out there!

    Yes, movies do forget to show the real effect of gunshots and explosions - probably because it's not cool to show the hero(es) milling about covered in dust and blood in a deaf and semi-confusional state.

    It's either dead or fully-functional, there, even after suffering multiple wounds.

    Di Blogger Fabio, Alle 9/10/10 11:16  

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