Top gun mistakes movies make

This is the one I find most annoying:

KER-CHAK! We’ve all seen this one. The good or bad guy had been holding a shotgun on his opposite number for a while and, just for dramatic emphasis, racks back the pump to chamber a shell. Loud Ker-Chak! Then a take-away line. “Be sure to say ‘hi’ to your mama when you get to Hell!” This is very cool and dramatic and I do love that sound effect. But what this actually means is that the character has been threatening everyone with a gun that has no chambered round. If he pulled the trigger nothing would happen.

GGGaaarrhhh, I can’t stand seeing that in a movie.

More mistakes here.

Hat Tip: SayUncle

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • EzGoingKev

    One of my favorites is when the actor is pointing his Glock at another actor and he “pulls the hammer back” for effect.

  • EzGoingKev, it wouldn’t be done on a Glock as they use an internal striker, not a hammer, but I know what you mean. It really gets me.

  • jdun1911

    Surrendering your firearm to a criminal/terrorist/etc piss me off the most.

  • Dan

    My favorite is the where the shooter fires 1 round from a semi auto pistol and then slide locks back.

  • kp

    there’s a caveat to the first “flaw.” There are some rare revolvers that can take a supressor and fire on a sealed chamber. :}

  • Tony

    Steve, I believe EzGoingKev’s whole point was that Glocks do not have hammers, and yet still, in the movies people thumb cock said non-existent hammers all the friggin’ time.

    I could add my own gripes about firearm mistakes, but trust me, we would be here until tomorrow morning… Perhaps I should just go and watch Way of the Gun one more time? 🙂

  • dogon1013

    I always get disturbed when a gun of some type is shot until it’s empty (usually a machine gun), and then the actor keeps pulling the trigger and it keeps going click-click-click when it’s clearly a single action gun which would not make any noise past the first click.

    darn sound effects guys wanted something to do I guess

  • Nooky

    What I like the most is when a sniper shoots and the camera follow a whole cartridge getting out of the canon instead of a bullet.

  • That list is not good. E.g.,

    #2: Semi-autos can easily end up empty with the slide forward if the shooter’s thumb accidentally bumps or holds on the slide catch. I have big hands and this has happened to me during tactical drills.

    #3: A good sniper would dial in his scope for the known distance. Only reason to not center his crosshairs on the target would be to hold-over for movement or gusts.

    Try my recent complaint on Hollywood gun mistakes here.

  • guy

    “My favorite is the where the shooter fires 1 round from a semi auto pistol and then slide locks back.”

    I was just watching “Road to Perdition” and noticed Tom Hanks was able to fire one more round at Jude Law AFTER the slide locked back.

  • BigBore

    Silencers on revolvers. Arrrrggggg.

  • I hate it when every time somebody touches a gun or raises it up, it makes this metallic click sound like something was just engaged.

  • Windy Wilson

    Well, if it’s a single-action revolver, you need to cock it before you can pull the trigger, and if someone were to draw quickly on someone else with the intent to threaten them, they’d have to cock it as they bring the gun to bear, so there would be some clicking going on as the gun is drawn.

    As long as we’re complaining about mistakes, isn’t it a gun sight the homies ought to be looking down, not a gun site?
    We could refer to this blog as a gun site, but the little bits of metal on the rifle is a gun sight. I should drink more, I’m getting too pedantic.

  • I’ve noticed the one-shot-then-slide-lock thing, too; “24” is horrible on this. I want to walk up to the propmaster and say “Here’s a snap cap. I know you think you only need one round, but put this one in first. Your producer will thank me later.”