Call of Duty Effect

A while back I was surprised to see searches for the “Bushmaster ACR” rising to the top of the list of search engine terms used to find The Firearm Blog on search engines. Over the past month it it has risen to the top search term.

I was surprised because compared to the AKs, M4s and Glocks of the world, the ACR is relatively unknown outside of the industry. I finally realized why this is: the gun is featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2, which was launched last month.

Bushmaster ACR with the mythical heart beat sensor.

Have any other bloggers noticed the call of duty effect?

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.


  • Jesse

    Not only is it in the game but it’s one of the best weapons in the game. Obviously I don’t know how well it’s modeled because I’ve never even touched an ACR let alone fired one on full auto.

    That game makes the F2000 look like crap.

  • Haven’t noticed. Too busy scaring off hippies, zombies, and PLAYING the new Call of Duty. I prefer the SCAR, myself, in the game. With a suppressor.

  • Clodboy

    I thought the weapons choices of CoD2 were kind of …peculiar at times.

    Basically, the only domestically produced guns employed by the Russian forces were, if I recall correctly, the PP-2000 SMG, the Dragunov, the RPD machine gun and the AK-47 (fitted with an M4-style telescopic stock, no less).

    Complementing these are the Israeli Tavor, the Belgian P90/F2000/FAL, the Austrian AUG HBAR, the French FAMAS, the American TDI Vector and AA12, the South African Striker, the German HK USP/UMP/MG4, the Italian SPAS-12 and a few more I might have missed.

    Then again, it does kind of help reinforce that “Red Dawn”-esque campness (heck, the first mission set in the US is even titled “Wolverines!”)

  • I was riding around with a friend of mine when I asked him to stop in at this new gun shop. He knows next to nothing about guns so I was surprised when he asked, “Can you buy an ACR in there?”

    After explaining they don’t sell it to regular people I asked him where the hell he had heard of it…should’ve known before asking. He’s an avid gamer.

    • Robert, HAHAHA, I like that.

  • Sgt King

    Not only is the gun featured in the game, it was one of the original rifles revealed in the trailers and sneak-peeks that were released months before the game actually came out. So it was talked about quite a bit.
    “Did you guys see the new MW2 trailer?”
    “Yeah, that gun with the heart sensor thing was really cool!”
    “I know! It says on the web that it’s a Bushmaster ACR, have you ever heard of it?”
    “No, lets look it up!”

    And so on, however many millions of fans who were out there following the progress of the game, I’m sure that conversation came up once or twice. And like was mentioned before, it’s one of the better rifles in the game.

    Me, I’ve been following it since it was still the Masada. They claim the initial price point for the non LE/Mil model of the ACR to be around $1800, which is preferable over the $2800-$3500 price tag for a new SCAR.

  • AP

    CZ’s offering a Skorpion pistol is a direct result of these games.

  • Raph84

    I have been following the Massada/ACR for a long while as well, I have to be honest I did a little happy dance when I unlocked it in the game.

    One of the biggest benefits of a game like this is now my friends know what I am talking about when I mention the SCAR or ACR etc

    Ps the weapons and how various attachments affect them in MW2 is not very well thought out, all thunder no lightning (looks neat but not so good) Wish there was a real tac sim type game out there.

  • Eddy A

    ACR is my weapon of choice in the game as well…. But I’ve been waiting for it in real life since it was the masada 🙁

  • Ed

    We have seen a huge bump on Adam’s ACR post since 11/10. This is almost certainly why. If the real gun is anything like the one in the game, I will buy one no matter the cost.

  • If you look at it it really is the masada. They modeled it after the Masada. It even says Masada on the side of the gun. The guys over at Infinity ward I’m sure most likely got their hands on one or was able to take some very good reference pictures so that the modelers of the comany would not miss any of the details. Anyways just an insight from the game industry. I am actually currently modeling a Remington ACR for my 3D portfolio and will definately be linking it here when I am finished.

  • Plunkettb

    over 8 million people play this game so if you want to market a weapon you got to get it in to modern warfare 3. just make sure they make it sick and everyone uses it online.

  • D

    another lame thing I noticed is you have these CoD kids coming into youtube vids of real guns and acting like they know what they are talking about because they used a gun in a video game.

  • I find it’s the best all around gun in the game too, which is sure to draw in more people.

  • Scotch

    Yea like Sgt King I’ve been following the ACR since it was still the Masada. I am hoping MW2 will spark enough interest in the rifle that it will finally get pushed into the civvie market.

  • Jim

    I had an incident similar to Robert’s. I wouldn’t call it the Call of Duty effect as much as the Halo effect. He came in to a Pawn Shop I was shopping around at and asked for an “Ess Em Gee” (Submachine gun). The owner said that he didn’t carry them. He then asked if he had any sniper rifles. The owner showed him a .270 (I believe). As the punk (hat cocked off to the side and his pants at a level where a belt would not allow them to fall) looked down the scope, he asked how to “zoom it” (a common feature of scoped rifles in video games. The owner showed him how to magnify and clarify the image. The punk said that he was just used to the rifle doing that for him.

    Finally the owner asked what the kid was looking for to which he replied “I just want to headshot some noobs!….Like on Halo!”

    The conversation quickly degraded from that moment and ended very shortly…I could barely contain my simultaneous disgust and laughter.

    • Jim, awesome story. Classic.

  • Lance

    Ill stick to guns on Operation Flashpoint.

  • XxleoxX

    Before MW2 noone knew what a PP2000 was or for that fact what a Chey-Tac Intervention was! Im extemely content with the work that Infinity Ward crafted.

  • AJ187

    Well, Sgt King, How much for the Heart beat sensor. Or is that like a davidson exclusive? Anyway, if any of you gun guys are gamer guys my tag is Bad Charma. Come find me.

  • Vak

    Yes, I have noticed the CoD effect in more way than one, and one have been really unpleasant : people coming to a weapon board (namely 4chan’s /k/) and either out of sheer stupidity or in the purpose of trolling, asking where they could buy a PP2000 or a RPD, or why they think about joining the army and going to the special forces after having finished CoD.

    Well, I don’t want to be mistaken, /k/ is mostly… crap, but the people really know how to make themselves annoying.

    Oh, well, I guess it’s still better than people running around naked because they think they are invisible elves…

    • Vak, HAHAHHAHAHA, joining special forces after playing COD. You should refer them to the French Foreign legion. It is a special (elite) force that may actually take them and turn them into men.

  • jdun1911

    The vast majority of Americans kids are stupid. That’s what we get for supporting a very bad public school system. A prime example are youtubs comments.

    I’ve seen comments on gunboards as well as on this blog that make my eyes roll up. The main thing IMO is that the majority of Americans can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy (TV, Movies, Games, etc). They think what they see in movies/tv and play games are real. It is a metal illness that can only be address at the early stage in life and unfortunately the US public school system fail miserably.

    Do the nation a favor if you have kids. Make sure they understand the difference between reality and fantasy. Teach them critical thinking skills. It is the most important skills they will ever learn.

  • Walter Driver

    I think some of it is the Call of Duty affect, but for me personally the ACR has been my wallpaper (the images you posted here) since well before the game came out. The game has only further increased my desire for one because of what the rifle is supposed to be…a SCAR alternative that isn’t 2500-3000 dollars

  • KP

    Lance: OFP? Get with the Arma 2 times, man! ACE 2 just came out for it. 😀

  • Lance

    Love too get Arma 2 and Flashpoint 2 is comming out soon. Still trying to find a old copy of First to Fight and Men of Valor.

  • I’ve enjoyed the game. I have a few people I play with regularly who know I’m into guns and were interested when I mentioned the ACR was real.

    BTW, I talked with a Remington rep at work a few weeks ago. He said they’re hoping to get the ACR out next year and the MSRP is around $2000. According to him, Remington will be doing LEO/Military sales and Bushmaster will be doing civilian sales.

  • KP
  • Karl

    I’m not certain which is more fantastic: a ‘heartbeat sensor’ that can pick up people’s heartbeats through hills and walls, or a KRISS-TDI that can make it through an entire magazine without a FTF…

  • Jimmy Carmine

    I have to put my hands up red faced and admit ‘it’s a fair cop guv.’
    I found this place thanks to a combination of the Call of Duty effect and a desire to know more about the weapons in the last version of the game.

    Over here in the UK I was more an Archer growing up, only getting to shoot air-rifles once a year at the big camp with the Scouts. Though once I got to do some target shooting a couple of years ago when a friends dad let me shoot his .22 rimshot rifle he has out on the farm to deal with any vermin that give the chickens any bother.

    Other than that I’m completely ignorant on the subject and this blog has been a wonderful source of information. Thanks Steve.

    • Jimmy, welcome! I am pleased you found us!

  • Kevin K

    Same thing happened a few years back with the FN Five-seveN pistol. That time, the games were Counterstrike and Splinter Cell.

    —hangs head in shame—

    —mumbles—I may have bought a 5-7 partially under the influence of CounterStrike…

    But I’m all better now!

  • Cadpat Carnage

    I found it rather interesting when I first played MW2 that there were so many FN weapons in the game.(P90, SCAR, F2000, FAL) Where the last Modern Warfare game had alot of HK weapons. (G3, G36, MP5, USP) It’s like they had to use a certain amount of their weapons in order to use any of them. Also nice to see Steyr make it into the game with the TMP and the AUG.

  • AJ

    I dont blog, but I have noticed an increase in people walking around here at work talking about the P90, SCAR, FN FAL…..People that know nothing about guns. So it peaked my interest one what has peaked their’s. Come to find out it was COD MW2. All these dudes going on how great it is to shoot those guns, etc. etc…..I simply sat back in my chair and said You wanna know whats fun is shooting those things for real. The AK’s, and AR’s I can arrange if your interested….I got a strange look and no one took me up on my offer….pussys…..

  • Lance

    FN yuck! Id take my M-4 and M-16 with a M-21 sniper rifle any day over belgain guns aginst cyber terrorist.

  • Walter D

    What’s ironic is the FN FAL has been around for years and has been largely replaced in military service like the M14 (except in the sniper role), yet alot of these kids think its something new.

  • Mert

    Hey, I’ll confess also. I have never been much of a gamer or a gun guy but a few months ago I did have the chance to participate in a “LAN” party playing COD4. I’m not sure why but it really piqued my interest in the whole gun industry. Since then it’s been a lot of fun learning about it especially the up-and-coming ACR. Turns out it’s something that my brothers, my dad, and I all really enjoy talking about. I doubt I will ever be able to afford the ACR but I can only wish.

    Thanks for the blog (Steve?) and all the interesting comments from everybody.

  • Aurélien

    “Vak, HAHAHHAHAHA, joining special forces after playing COD. You should refer them to the French Foreign legion. It is a special (elite) force that may actually take them and turn them into men.”

    Well first they’ll get the shit beat out of them. Many young guys go to the Foreign Legion to live adventures, but get rejected because they dont need many people, so they only take the elite of the elite… And a lot of people get out after broken ribs, legs, etc.
    And that’s not even to get into the Foreign Legion special forces outfits.

    To be back on topic, some guy asked me if the ACR was a real gun. Laughed pretty hard.
    Had questions about the Kriss SMG too.

    Anyhow, MW2 gave me an urge to buy a 30-rounds mag for my FAL.

    • Aurélien, I did not realize lots of people wanted to join the legion!

      LOL, me also. Those large capacity magazines in the game are great 🙂

  • subby

    Anyone played S.T.A.L.K.E.R? It is actually a russian made game, so it has more soviet block weapons you can shake a stick at. The AN-94 Abakan kicks ass man! Extremely accurate and semi auto fire with two shots at a time is deadly! Also when getting up close and personal, nothing has the mobility of the MP5, which I silenced and put a laser on. The ballistic and weapon design of that game is awesome. Make sure you get the Oblivion Lost mod for it.

  • CharlesA222

    Well, given the way MW2 is flying off of shelves (heck, my local PX has something like 20 or 30 copies in stock right now, which is unheard of for them) I’m not really surprised I suppose.

  • Lance

    Naw OFP with my addons has the best selection of NATO and Warsaw Pact weapons for any military game.

    M-16A2, CAR-15, M-4, M-9, G-17, G-36, G-3, FAL, L-85, MP-5SD, M-21 Sniper Rifle, M-60, M-240, LAWs, Carl Gustov Recoiless rifle.

    AK-47, AK-74, AK-74M, SVD Dragonov, Bison SMG,, PKM, Tokarov, Makarov, VZ-58, Groza SMG, Supprersed Soviet sniper Rifle, RPG-22, AT-4 Sprial anti tank missle.

  • Edward

    Do ‘vanilla’ ArmA 2 or ACE2 support all the different (perhaps ludicrous) ways to accessorize one’s primary weapon? I was disappointed with the original ArmA having each configuration as its own separate weapon.

    Agreed though that the ACR majorly benefitted from being the weapon featured in the first public video of MW2 gameplay, albeit the specific configuration used in the screenshot — red dot sight, heartbeat sensor, and suppressor — is single-player only. Normally only one accessory may be used at once; you must use the Bling perk if you want to equip two; unfortunately, optics count, and I don’t believe you can do the real-life “Docter Optic on top of an ACOG” combo.

  • Jay

    Is it just me or does the heart beat trackermadigger thing on the ACR look exactly like the Motion tracker in Aliens? 😉 “THEY’RE COMING IN THROUGH THE VENTS!!!!!!!!!”

  • Kyle

    Before MW2 i had heard of the Masada off of Future weapons, I said ‘thats a cool idea with the interchangeing calibers’ and the completly forgot. Then MW2 was in the works and i wanted to see what guns they had and i started researching it. After every article i read I started to love it more and more. But because of MW2 i redicovered one of my favorite rifles. Hell i’m even looking in to getting an airsoft Masada to put on my paintball gun(gut, cut and place the A5 in it).

  • Rafaga

    I also knew about the Masada from Future Weapons, technically it seems like pretty good rifle with some advantages not seen in a standard M4 rifle but honestly the very first thing I noticed about the gun is the design which to me is very cool and very modern…

  • zach

    I often find myself correcting movies and games on firearm data, and this game I’ve only seen problems with usage (as far as I know Russia doesn’t use NATO and South African (striker) weapons and have replaced the RPD with the RPK and PKM machine guns. I don’t believe they use the Tavor either, but I have seen domestically produced tacti-cool AK-47 designs strongly resembling the one in-game but they obviously aren’t standard. One question I have I thought the ACR had a locking bolt similar to the M4/M16, but in game you have to work the charging handle after reloading. I’ve never touched an ACR so I wouldn’t know.

  • destroyer

    “FN yuck! Id take my M-4 and M-16 with a M-21 sniper rifle any day over belgain guns aginst cyber terrorist.”

    Lance, do you even know what you are talking about??? FN Herstal makes 70% of the small arms for the US military, mostly M16’s and M249’s and M240’s…please compare Colt’s sales to FN Herstals…I dare you. Samuel Colt was good…but not as good as John Browning.

    Fyi…I strongly dislike gamers. They try to engage in conversation about firearms to somebody that is a professional firearms hobbyist and end up embarrassing themselves. its funny. Gamers should get a life…if you are really interested take geology and metallurgy and try to get a gunsmiths certification for f–k sake!

  • > but honestly the very first thing I noticed about the gun is the design which to me is very cool and very modern

    Same thing with me. Yes, I saw the ACR in a CoD video for the first time and the unusual shape made me wonder if it’s an actual weapon. I’m not actually a gun enthusiast and never used one, but I prefer it when movie makers and game designers get their stuff straight. This site here offers a lot of informations compared to the XBox-kiddies myths. ^^

  • Why is the gun in the game when you can’t incorporate the features that make it what it is. CoD gun use is absurd; assigning weird and variable attributes to guns that fire the same round. Oh well, it’s just a video game. People who think it is real can keep thinking that, it doesn’t effect my day.

  • Puzz

    This isn’t a new or unique phenomenon. Dirty Harry drove the sales of .44 magnum revolvers (and arguably still does) Westerns drove the sale of single action revolvers long after they were less effective for law enforcement and home defense use. Etc etc. Pop culture has been connected to gun sales since the dime novels.

    Of course the games draw out a few idiots as well, as did the movies, but if they can get a few people to take an interest in picking up shooting how are we the worse for it?

    The shooting sports has far too much of a nose in the air attitude to newcomers. If someone takes an interest in shooting because of a game, perhaps we would be better served by educating them rather than mocking them.

    I remember when I was 12 and my dad took me out to my first competitive shooting event. The attitude of the other shooters toward me as a new shooter put me off from competitive shooting events for another 20 years.

  • Kalon

    I cracked up after reading this- it’s an effect I see everywhere. As I am a teenager, all of my friends play the Call of Duty series, and they believe that, after playing CoD, they have an encyclopedic knowledge of firearms in general. Of course, they’re wrong. As a geek, I research all this stuff, as I’m something of a conceptual gun nut- I haven’t fired any of the weapons I know about, and I make that clear, but I do my homework before talking about a weapon with friends. For example, the M4A1 was a weapon that everyone raved about, how it was so awesome and realistic. However, on closer inspection, it turned out that during the in-game reload process, the player flipped the fire selector switch forward instead of pulling back the bolt after inserting a new magazine!
    So yes, the Call of Duty effect is real, and it’s annoying as hell.

  • awmperry

    I’ve spent much of my life around guns, one way or another as laws have permitted. When I was six, my grandfather gave me a deactivated snub .38 to teach me gun safety; when I was ten, I attended a police convention open to the public, and got to try an MP5 and an air pistol. Then I started shooting in the Air Cadets – .22 LR and 5.56 (the L98) – and shooting handguns with a local gun club whenever I was in Sweden. Then I served in the Swedish military, and since then I’ve been using airsoft both for fun and to at least keep some modicum of weapon handling skills in practice. (Dividing one’s time between the UK and Sweden doesn’t allow for much in the way of real steel shooting.)

    BUT, I’m also a gamer. I enjoy computer games of various stripes; they’re fun recreation, just like some people entertain themselves by painting or writing or playing chess or – yes – sending lead downrange. It’s a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with being a gamer. The problem arises when one is *only* a gamer, and believes that games are an accurate reflection of reality.

    Computer games have an, I think, undeserved image as being for kids, geeks, or people who one way or another can’t have jobs or driving licences. Writing all gamers off as “needing to get a life” is both unfair and inaccurate, not to mention almost as bigoted as Lance’s remark in its own way.

    Anyway, I think Puzz has the right idea; instead of mocking newcomers (and, yes, gamers) it would be better to educate them and bring them into the fold.

  • timmix9
  • Destroyer

    kalon, to reload the M4 (once the weapon is black or empty), you have to insert a new magazine and push the bolt release (which is by the safety selector). thats it. no need to pull back on the charging handle.

  • WinchesterDevon

    16, never had an X-Box.

    I have DEFINITELY noticed the CoD effect, even in some of my friends. I know one who actually wants to join the Seals…. Scrawny little thing (my wrists are thicker than his biceps, and I’m not that buff). I have two Seal cousins, and my uncle was KIA in Vietnam. I mean, I hunt quite a bit, and I’m not too bad (and not too modest), but what these people have in mind would be funny if it wasn’t just so pathetic.

    These kids really don’t know what they’re dealing with.

  • zach

    I’m like most adolescents and have an xbox 360 but I am not one of those that gets all their gun/military “knowledge” from video games. MW2 is a great game, but its a game. And I also know better then to think you can buy an M14 EBR scoped with heartbeat sensor in the nearest Cabela’s.

  • zach

    @ Karl what does FTF stand for?

  • Nicholas

    Well, I admitt I’m a prefect example of the call of duty effect. I like to think I’m smarter then most of these guys, because I know I’m a total noob. I know how to lurk on forums and after a couple of month I have some thoughts on this call of duty effect.
    I’ve learned that Gun nut really means Gun Nerd and people with guns fall into every hole other nerdy people with hobbies have.
    Except they’re a little preachy, in better shape usually and they don’t write fan fiction (if there is some kind of M16/ak47 slash fic please PLEASE don’t tell me)
    I think this effect is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black. The much better qualified pot to be fair, but there is a lot of obsession with guns that haven’t any real success or been adopted.
    Hk 416 Scar ACR all have very few or no military units using them and little word on their successes. Few civilians have them or fired them.
    But there are tons of flame wars and rabid fanboyism over all the forums.
    No more experience with these guns than any cod player just the same old internets.

  • zach

    @nicholas the ACR is the only one you mentioned not being used by military. the HK416 is being used by US soldiers (not as standard issue obviously), and the Swedish and I believe a few other european countries are using it, and the SCAR is being used by the 75th Ranger battalion. there’s some pretty good feedback on those weapons too

  • Destroyer

    Nicholas, it is not the pot calling the kettle black. Video games nerdism is of no use in our society…”gun nerds” are. Knowledge in firearms, namely gunsmiths and armorers, are invaluable to a modern society because they keep the military and police adequately equipped and maintained weapons wise. The reason why many obsess over guns that haven’t been adopted is because many of those weapons have design features that make popular ones miles better. Zach is right, those weapons (with the exception of the ACR) are used quite commonly among elite troops because of flirtations to replace the existing line of weaponry. They are experiments as of now.

    I personally have issues with gamers because of their video game acquired knowledge of firearms. I honestly don’t care that people game, though i have had gamers try to correct me when they are dead wrong. They are almost as bad as airsofters (who sell their cheap s–t that imitates high quality brands).

    • Everybody is welcome on the blog, regardless of level of knowledge.

  • zach

    Personally, as a gun nut and a moderate gamer, I reserve the right to chuckle when some level 70 MW2 guy talks about buying a “G18 with a red dot” or “AA-12 hearbeat sensor”, but i agree with some people on this thread that instead of freaking out on them we should educate them politely.

  • awmperry

    “I personally have issues with gamers because of their video game acquired knowledge of firearms. I honestly don’t care that people game, though i have had gamers try to correct me when they are dead wrong. They are almost as bad as airsofters (who sell their cheap s–t that imitates high quality brands).”

    There’s nothing wrong with getting one’s knowledge of weapons from games, as long as one understands that that knowledge is not necessarily applicable to reality. That said, it’s not unusual for gamers to have a more thorough *theoretical* knowledge of guns than professional soldiers; gamers are used to reading stats (at least in those occasional games that get it right) while many soldiers don’t really care that their gun has a one-in-24 rifling or whatever as long as it shoots straight.

    I’m rather on the fence, really; I’m ex-military, I’m a lifelong gun hobbyist, I’m a computer gamer, and I’m an airsofter. There are overlaps, but I know where the lines go between reality and fiction. For instance, I know from my airsoft G36 that the ergonomics of the G36C don’t suit me well, because that’s just about the only thing that airsoft guns emulate well. But from my reading on the subject, I know that it’s an exceptional rifle in reality.

    Similarly, from my military service I know that the FNC (or at least its Swedish derivative) is a rifle that suits me, is reliable and accurate, and is a pain leaping in and out of vehicles. From games, I know that in Rainbow Six, it behaves little like the real thing.

    From airsoft, I know that the Sig P226 fits my hands well. From reality, I know that I need to get more live fire done, because my recoil control has gone up the spout in the last decade.

    You see? You can’t tar all gamers or airsofters with the same brush. I suspect your real gripe is with all those who genuinely think their games are real; those who really think an underslung grenade launcher is a “noob tube”, those who believe Far Cry 2 is an accurate simulation of stopping power and weapon degradation, and those who think their China-clone M4 is a valid “Oh yeah, I’ve got one of those, it’s really good” when real shooters are talking about real guns.

    I don’t quite understand your remark about airsofters “selling cheap rubbish that imitates high-quality brands”, though. I presume you don’t object to airsofters using replica weapons; it would be a pretty poor game if we used real guns. Is it the actual copying of real firearms rather than making up fantasy guns that you object to?

    As for them being cheap… well, the China clones tend to be. Most quality airsoft guns are around the $200-300 mark, which is, I agree, cheap by “real steel” standards. But there are many airsoft guns that go well into the thousands. The Systema PTW – an M4 replica used by many police departments for training – clocks in at over $1400, and that’s before any kit is added to it.

    But then, what’s the harm in them being cheap? It’s a hobby, a game; much like paintball or chess or football, it’s just a pastime for people to have fun. Why should it have to be expensive?

  • awmperry

    Good heavens. Ah, if only I lived in a country where I could own a proper gun…

    Yeah, I meant airsoft. But I suppose Chinese cloned RS guns shouldn’t be a surprise… 😀

  • Destroyer

    “There’s nothing wrong with getting one’s knowledge of weapons from games, as long as one understands that that knowledge is not necessarily applicable to reality.”

    thats the problem though, gamers cant discern reality from game world. Immediately jumping into a conversation and arguing with armorers or gunsmiths about firearms stats when they learned them from a game only embarrasses them and enables me to call them out. Keep up the work gamers…i need amusement.

    That said, it’s not unusual for gamers to have a more thorough *theoretical* knowledge of guns than professional soldiers”

    Actually it is. Gamers do not know Jack. enough said.

    “gamers are used to reading stats (at least in those occasional games that get it right) while many soldiers don’t really care that their gun has a one-in-24 rifling or whatever as long as it shoots straight”

    That non-military, video game designers cant even get right in the first place…

    “selling cheap rubbish that imitates high-quality brands”, though. I presume you don’t object to airsofters using replica weapons; it would be a pretty poor game if we used real guns. Is it the actual copying of real firearms rather than making up fantasy guns that you object to?”

    you don’t understand what i am saying. I am saying that airsoft companies will sell airsoft accessories under brand names such as eotech or larue tactical…absolute bulls–t.

    or selling LBVs on ebay that are made to imitate the real thing. IF YOU WANT TO PLAY RAMBO ENLIST OR EARN YOUR GEAR!

    if you spend thousands on a airsoft gun, you are a tool plain and simple.

    my contention stands. Airsoft is okay if you keep with yourselves and stop claiming to be soldiers and operators.

    • Destroyer, you need to seriously calm down – there are military orientated forums that will let you make fun of other, this is not one of them.

      Most (all?) of us are idiots for spending the amount we do on our gun hobby, not much different and I see it as a way to recruit future gun nuts.

  • Jason

    Wow…some of the comments being posted here are a little…concerning…

    I suppose I’ll at least introduce myself by giving a little background. I’ve been shooting since 7, started off with a little air pistol that belonged to my dad and worked my way up over the years. I’m also an avid gamer. Over time, I’ve noticed that game developers can seem to misrepresent weapons, ranging from near-reality to granting them god-like powers at worst (“no drop bullet” was one of the worst I’ve seen).

    What they do well however is in concept development. MW2’s ACR heartbeat monitor is a good example of this. The human heart does produce a unique electrical signal that can be detected at range, in fact a recently released car has a heartbeat sensor as part of it’s alarm package. While nothing is currently as advanced as this fictional heartbeat monitor, it isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility (unlike that rifle that fired the magical “no drop bullet”…I’m sure quite a few of us here would love to have that one).

    While I agree that a large portion of gamers act stupidly, I’ve also seen a lot of stupid behavior from fellow shooters as well. As some of the other people said, some gamers suffer from misinformation and you should try to educate them first, not simply disregard them outright. Some of today’s gamers could be some of tomorrow’s shooters, would you act the same way to a novice shooter doing something wrong on the range?

  • Jay

    I play lots of shooting video games and have never picked up a real firearm.

    I know more about guns than the average person (who is also a pacifist Canadian), but probably would take awhile to even remove an empty magazine from a real weapon. (you don’t just press ‘R’ to reload??)

    I like guns in fiction, but I understand how incredibly fuckin suicidal real firearms are in untrained hands.

    (referred from, a game website that is not totally full of idiots)

  • Konig

    I wish to also counter Destroyer’s comment.

    You have grouped all gamers together in a group. Not only do I take offense to being compared to General Sweatpants, the 45-year-old man in his parents’ basement playing CoD and Halo, but it’s also embarassing to you. It’s bigotry and attempting to make yourself feel superior (I know there’s a term, but have forgotten it of late). Plain and simple.

    I admit, like most other gamers on this forum, that I don’t have that good a knowledge of firearms, and in a situation requiring one I would be just as likely to blow my own foot off as protect myself. But the point is that I know this, and as such I am prepared, and willing to learn sometime in the future (when I’ve finished schooling and have more time to devote to other persuits).

    And on that note, if anyone is willing and able to provide input to this (the beginning of that) then it will be archived and taken note of.

  • Tahoe

    This discussion is…interesting. Not what I expect at this site, but here it is. Guys, not to try and moderate this (and Steve, my apologies if it comes off as such), but this isn’t a place to bash gaming, or airsoft. There’s (and other sites) for that–and I’ve seen more than enough idiot “serious” gun owners there, so don’t act like “real guns are cooler than anything else!”

    I’m former military; I am a gamer; I have used airsoft guns; and I teach tactical shooting to civilians. I’ve seen all these groups of enthusiasts, and all of them have their idiots and their squared-away guys. Relax and stop bashing one or the other.

  • I’m sorry, but how can an increase in recruitment for the Armed Forces be a bad thing? So what if these guys have an interest in trying to joined the Special Forces after enlisting? It’s not a mythical establishment created to cause fear in the thoughts of the enemy. I’m interested in joining the Armed Forces, and have quite far in the application process, and I can tell you an extremely high proportion of soldiers are also gamers, so if gaming generates an interest in the Army, than so be it. I’m also going of the Para’s, which make up 70% of the SAS, so what’s wrong with the idea that some day even I may be apart of the Special Forces?

  • Kalos

    Wow… just wow. I’m pretty sure Destroyer needs to go out and meet a few gamers. The idea that everyone who plays video games is completely incapable of determining realism from fantasy is just a stereotype that popular news media has been spinning since the ’90s. Most gamers aren’t going to profess to any large knowledge of shooting guns, and this even ignores such games like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series which incorporates a full ballistics simulator into their game engine. Maybe you should stop getting your knowledge of gamers and games from Fox News and Wolfenstein 3D

    • Kalos, I have played STALKER and many games, no ballistics simulation is going to simulate firearms, they may simulate bullet drop and atmospheric effects, but not actual shooting.

      Offtopic, but dispute loving real shooting, I find highly realistic ballistics annoying in case. I just want to snipe the bad guys and not worry about bullet drop 🙂 If I wanted to miss targets I would be at the range not at the computer 😉

  • Ed

    Ralph84 – check out Armed Assault (technically “ArmA” in the states) 1 or 2. Or to go back even further, try Operation Flashpoint (came out about 2001, but forget OF 2, which just came out a few months ago).

    These are, in my experience, the best tactical games ever made. I’m not sure how best to describe it, so I’ll just go with this: think about all the lame sh*t you’ve seen in MW/2 and I can practically guarantee that it’s not like that in Arma2.


  • SigArmsman

    interesting blog and discussion
    I am a Firearms instructor (10 years) , been shooting for over 25 years mostly handguns, and a gamer since Commadore 64 days to the PC I have now. Good/acurate knowlege can only help educate people to a level beyond that presented in the everyday mass media hate of firearms, so whether people search out data and want to learn more because of exposure to video games or hands-on does not matter.
    Ignorance is the worst enemy anyone has to deal with. Schools are not to blame for the racist or inane comments kids make in games, the kids themselves and in some small way their parents are. I find the satisfaction of helping someone learn and better themselves will always out weight and be more beneficial then belittling some one for what they don’t know or don’t understand.

  • Todd

    “Airsofter” is a very wide category of people. Many of the teams in Southern California have ex and current military, LE and first responders as part of their teams. There are also many re-enactment/historical buffs, and many gamers.

    These teams attend large scale MILSIM events ( 100-400 people) that have VIP command like Col. Danny McKnight, Mst. Sgt. Mad Max Mullen, 1SG Matthew P. Eversmann , SGT Kenn Miller and COL Paul Longgrear . So overall there is not only a great deal of military awareness, but a huge amount of respect for both the equipment and service of military and LE.

    Many of our teams have been doing this for 10 years. We all understand we are not soldiers(except those that are). We do not wear rank, and do not wear ACU ( or the various other active-duty patterns) and we do not pretend for a moment that we know about combat or service. There are players though who start in airsoft and end up in the military serving their country because they played.

    Many of us also own firearms, and some have even attended the Magpul Training. There is an enthusiasm for firearms that is based in the reality of both the subject and the history. We understand the radical difference between an airsoft rifle/pistol and a real one. There has been a very long battle to educate LE and Gov, and to define Airsoft as a valid hobby/sport.

    Airsoft replicas are not just Cheap Asian rip offs of American firearms anymore. Magpul has released an entire line (PTS) of their products designed for Airsoft, and many others (like SIG, PWS, JP) have licensed their names/products for Airsoft. I can understand the frustration a firearm enthusiast/proffessional must feel when they look out over the digital horizon to the proliferation of both virtual and replica weapons, sites, and blogs.

    Many of us also enjoy video games and would fall under the category “gamer”. We know the difference between pressing WASD and what is takes to actually move over terrain in gear, in a squad with a simulated weapons(often the weight of a real firearm), aim it and fire it- and that difference is huge. By that same token, we know what we do is a very far cry from the real thing.

    There are real soldiers who are gamers- Gamers who become soldiers, and everything in between. The US military has a game out called America’s Army, much like COD.

    I remember playing with my 12″ GI Joes as a child, did that make me stupid and think I could walk into a pawn store and buy a tank? no.

    Searching for information and reading that information are two differnt things. I think it’s great that people are learning about the weapons being portrayed in games, movies and replicas, perhaps that will help them appreciate the real firearm it was based on.

    The “Effect” as I see it, is not about being a “gamer”, or whether you are into firearms or airsoft, whether you are old or young, but whether you are inexperienced, assumptive, uninformed, arrogant, socially unadjusted, or just plain stupid- all which is really nothing new.

    As far as the ACR…Nearly all of us knew about the Masada well before it appeared in COD2. from MAGPUL’s website and Future Weapons (to call out a few sources). There was a mod for Ghost Recon that had a masada in it nearly 2 years ago.

    • Todd, with airsofters usually having guns before the “real steel” version are in production, I am not surprised you gentlemen knew about eh Masada 🙂

  • zach

    I usually find in my school that the gamer kids (I’m a moderate gamer as well) know a wide field of firearm names from games, but not much about the guns real life performance as opposed to its in-game performance, which is not always accurate, i.e. MW2 portrays the FN F2000 has having a much higher stopping power then the M4, and both fire the 5.56x45mm round, or showing the Barret M82 as having almost zero recoil or showing the Colt Python .44 magnum as having a higher stopping power then the Desert Eagle, which we must assume its the .50 AE version (which is a hotter round then the .44), since thats what everyone thinks of when they hear Desert Eagle is a .50 cal handcannon. Anyway, I usually don’t get gamer’s trying to join me and my buddies in our usual pre-morning classes gun discussions, but I get asked by other gamer friends of mine questions like how *enter firearm here* shoots in real life, or what round and how reliable is it, and I tell them things like yes, the PP-2000 is a 9mm machine pistol and is also a peashooter, you’re much better off with a KRISS or something like that. Sorry about the novel just trying to make my point

  • Marc

    Hi just checking out your site and I gotta agree, there is a fine line between gamers and guns but many shouldn’t own them. I myself decided to join the military and besides from getting myself into shape, I have been checking the web for the latest guns, gear, and news from the front. I like many of those CoD ‘never owned a gun or even held one’ nubs I checked out the bushmaster site but I heard about the Masada from ‘Futureweapons’ back in 2005. Seeing it again recently I checked it out because I heard that the M4 was having problems with the desert terrain. Hopefully I’ll be able to have the M16 which has had less problems in the field. I hope to continue school and eventually become an officer. By then I am hoping to buy my own rifle for active duty use, probably one of the rifles gunning for the military contract (Hk 416, FN SCAR-L(The H variant is the 7.62, don’t think i’ll find much ammo for that) and of course the ACR(masada)). Don’t know which to choose, but I WON’T be making my decision on a video game! Though Iam a very avid gamer of all genres and hope to start my own indy studio one day, i believe the only people who should asking such ridiculous questions about guns anywhere are teens because well most are stupid (I was). Foreshame any one over 17 who only know a gun from a videogame and think the know all there is to know about said weapon. the web is there for a reason, look up the anotomy of a particular weapon or something and get some knowledge in that head of yours.

  • zach

    Marc I totally agree with you there

  • Aspect

    Highly interesting read.

    There is this thing about gamers that I love, is that you some time meet one or two that say “This Plasma gun is totally unrealistic, it would just melt the K’niarla’s Armor.” There is no point in getting mad when ignorance is so simple to cure

    Enthusiasm is fantastic, regardless of the source. I want to join the Reserve (aust) because I enjoy learn medieval martial art, and I wish to learn how to shoot, and fight hand to hand in a more modern setting.

    We all start somewhere, even those who have posted here about their families grand martial tradition had an ancestor who went “screw shoe making, I’m joining the army!”

  • Mjauv

    I’m an amateur gun enthusiast, also a vivid gamer. While MW2 has it’s moments it annoys me that a game that is so extremly focused on weapons doesn’t care more for realistic portrayals. I’m not talking about ballistic physics but simple things like having you customizing your load-out before starting a mission or having the ability to choose between semi-automatic and automatic fire. Add to this the sheer oddness in russian commandos armed with Israelis weaponry or the fact that some guards on an oilrig carry FN 2000-rifles with termal sights.

  • Keith Applegate

    “I hope to continue school and eventually become an officer. By then I am hoping to buy my own rifle for active duty use, probably one of the rifles gunning for the military contract (Hk 416, FN SCAR-L(The H variant is the 7.62, don’t think i’ll find much ammo for that) and of course the ACR(masada)). Don’t know which to choose, but I WON’T be making my decision on a video game! ”

    Marc, are you planning on becoming an officer in the US military? If so, YOU won’t be making ANY decision as to which battle rifle you will carry. That decision will be made for you. You’ll use what your unit TOE says you can. There is no branch of the US Military that currently allows its troops to bring their own weapons from home.

    As for your comment about 7.62 ammo [“the SCAR (FN SCAR-L(The H variant is the 7.62, don’t think i’ll find much ammo for that)”]. Just what round do you think our troops using in all of those M14s and M240s?

    And with the exception of decreased terminal ballistics from it’s shorter barrel, any problem “with the desert terrain” that will affect an M4 will have an identical affect an M16. Both work just fine if properly maintained.

    • TJ

      My grandfather was a colonel in the military and he told me a story of all the things he’d find on new recruits, including switchblades, knives, and even a sawn-off shotgun. His comment to the soldiers was “You guys do realize the army provides you with a gun, right?”

  • Nick

    Hey guys first post on the site. I was actually led here by a link I found on a game site but I am an active duty Marine infantryman (G company 2/7 if anyone’s wondering) and the posts from some of the gamers I saw filled me with rage. I’m a gamer too but I avoid discussion on topics I know nothing about. I’ve calmed down a little and would like to contribute a little bit.
    This may or may not surprise you all but, CoD is insanely popular among us enlisted men. Of course we know it’s not a real simulation of combat, its just a lot of consequence-free violence with weapons we wish we could use. (MW2 is about as close as I am likely to ever get to an ACR, it pains to say) We don’t go into games expecting realism, we expect fun. So the lack of realism doesn’t bother me. But God Damn do I hate me some fucking CoD fans.
    Let’s go with Marc here for example. Dude, I hope you are a long damn way from becoming an officer in the military. Not because your firearms knowledge is lacking. Best forget you think you know anything anyway. What bothers me is that you joined a discussion about children like you acting like they know firearms because they played CoD and railed against their ignorance while asserting that your self education on gun wikis and manufacturer sites is superior. You must be the least self aware person on the internet. Good job.
    Everyone else, sorry for the rant. Could someone please point me in the direction of a board containing advice on finding myself an affordable semi auto carbine for leave and liberty shooting?

  • Rocko

    First post here too myself after a referral from the game website, Escapist Magazine ( They really like this blog.

    27 year old archer myself (since gun control in Australia is too damn strict to make it worth bothering with anymore since the mid-90s) so I don’t have a single thing to say for/against firearms other than it’s a perfectly legitmate sport and I’d happily switch to trap shooting for the higher challenge if the process to do so in my country wasn’t a such a bureaucratic nightmare.

    But as an avid gamer, I’ve seen doses of the Call of Duty Effect myself with some of the younger children and even with friends who’ve played CoD2 (which is pretty good) and then gone and tried to join/joined the defense force from that starting experience. And for the most part all of them firmly know the difference between the simulation of a computer game and the truth of reality, but there is one young friend of mine from the club who got a rude shock when we carted him off to the local gun club to try a lever-action shotgun (Chiappa I think?) and was surprised at how much a shotgun can kick when you’re just a skinny teenager. And he didn’t too much care for it and went back to his games and NERF gun battles 😛

    By large, the majority of gamers know the difference between simulation and reality. But just like so many past contributors have said, the Call of Duty Effect (just like the CSI Effect!) is more about ignorance and stupidity more than anything else. And if ignorance and stupidity can be broken with education and a hard clip across the back of the head, the rest of us are all better for it.

    Here’s an Aussie ad’ that was actually based on the adult CoD effect over here:

    Good for a laugh. 🙂

  • Zach

    Lets just say his knowledge was very lacking, to a humorous level but a good point he made was not making a decision on a gun based on just a video game. Granted I think he needs to do some research on the firearms he is talking about in his comment but still. Allow me to point out that only a few units of the US Army use the SCAR anyway (limited deployment with 75th Rangers in Afghanistan) and as said before the M4 and M16 function pretty much identically given that the only major difference is barrel length.

    Actually Nick I happened to get within 10 feet of one at Cabela’s the other day. So if you feel like spending an insane amount for the basic version hope is not lost 🙂

  • Dusty

    Hey there. Yes, I first heard of these weapons because of CoD, but honestly, I would never think of owning something from it. It’s so funny how many people believe they’ll be able to handle a weapon in real life just because they played a game. I went shooting with my dad for the first time (14 years old, lived with mom whole life) last week, and we started with just some .22s. Then he brought out his Glock, and I was just amazed at how it hurt my hand a little bit, because I’ve never shot one. I don’t know why anyone thinks they’ll be able to get anything fully automatic. They think they know these guns inside and out, and they barely know what they look like.

    • Dusty, congrats on shooting your first guns! I hope you will continue enjoying the sport for years to come.

      Forget the pain, can you imagine trying to stay on target with a fully automatic Glock?

  • Nick

    Dusty, keep shootin’ dude. You’ll get used to the recoil. Steve, I will never argue the practicality of a fully auto glock, but I got to fire one a gunsmith friend of mine modified. That was fun as hell.

  • George

    Most of my friends only know about/got into guns when they started playing MW2. It’s a fun game, but it’s not realistic, so what kids are seeing in this game is basically what their idea of the army is. I will admit, I got into guns when i played CoD, and most of my friends did too, but apparently they’re too stupid to know that in real life, you don’t run around the place with custom classes mostlyusing unrealistic guns and attachments. Only one of them has become somewhat of a troll, but I jst hope they don’t start pretending their pencils are throwing knives, or that their plastic butter knife at lunch is a K-Bar.

  • A.J. Blue

    I see it all the time here. Some of my friends (Who actually have real knowledge of guns, and more or less live in the shooting range) laugh it off, but I try to argue, like that works against a 14 year old with more Horomones than brain cells.
    For instance, trying to tell them the Desert Eagle is far from the badass killing machine they think it is like fighting a brick wall.
    They’re relatively nice, if only they would look up what the gun ACTUALLY is instead of shooting it virtually.