Call of Duty Effect #2

I was checking out my blog statistics and noticed that the Bushmaster ACR is no longer the biggest search term used to find The Firearm Blog. The current champion is the HK416. Why? It is featured on the game Battlefield: Bad Company 2 which was launched a few weeks ago. In the game it is called the M416 and has a standard M4 style stock, not the distinctive HK416 clubfoot stock, and oddly it appears to be a lefty version (ejection port is on the left side).

BF:BC2′s M416 rifle

A close second in my search statistics is the Taurus Circuit Judge. Can anyone explain why this gun is generating so much interest?

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.


  • SoloTwo

    Watch out for you XM-8 searches as well, that damn thing is in the game also. It will never go away.

    • SoloTwo, I have not noticed XM8. Probably because I don’t write about it: I agree, its time to move on!

  • The interest in the Circuit Judge is easy – it is, so far as I know, relatively unique. There are blackpowder replica revolver carbines, but some people do not want to get their hands dirty, so to speak, getting into BP… and a cartridge-firing revolving carbine is not something we have seen before (again, so far as I know).

    Unique = interesting.

  • SpudGun

    I know this might seem a new phenomenon, but it’s not. Back in the olden days, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, movies and TV shows were the primary source of gun advertising. All that’s changed is the entertainment medium.

    I now have visions of Steve hanging around his local GameStop 24/7 to get the skinny on the latest console titles so he can drive more traffic to this site. 🙂

    Here, I’ll even help – ‘Head shotting noobs with DEagle is 1337 roxor! Find top cheats, codes and skins only at The Firearm Blog!’

  • Jon

    I have never understood the purpose of the Judge. I don’t mean to slam Taurus but .410 has never been anything more than a kid’s shotgun round. .410 is wholly unsuitable for self-defense. Putting a .410 into a pistol seems little more than a gimmick to me. Still, the gun is selling – somebody wants it.

  • Matt Groom

    My boss and I were lamenting the fact that so much of the gun industry has fallen into a very monotonous pattern of mindless repetition of past successful designs. AR+Rails+Light+Laser= BORING. You don’t even see as many AK Clones gracing the covers of “Super Tacticool Guy Commando Monthly” as you did a few years ago. The majority of the time, it’s an AR, an AR with a piston, a 1911, or a Glock on the cover of every magazine, with few exceptions.

    One of those exceptions is the Judge series, including Circuit Court Judge. These are so far off the beaten path as to be exciting and new to most shooters, and they have been big sales successes because of it. They seem terribly impractical, but compared to the rail monsters that everyone seems to build now, something like the Circuit Court Judge is the model of pragmatic utility. You can likely even hunt with it in some places.

  • daskro

    I’m an avid Battlefield: Bad Company 2 fan, but the game is filled with so many gun inaccuracies that you just have to ignore them. Lefty ejection ports and charging handles, incorrect use of the cycling and reloading the weapon, incorrect nomenclature (They call the Saiga 12K the Saiga 20K), I could go on, but the key to any and all of these kind of games is to ignore it.
    Solotwo is right on with the XM8 comments, I’d also add the AN-94 to that list.

  • MikeJ

    The Judge carbine is very interesting as a home defense gun. Don’t underestimate it.

    DA revolvers are always ready-to-go, demanding nothing more than a trigger pull to bring them into instant use. When the shooting stops, just put it down. No safeties, no cocking, no clearing the action, nothing. If you can operate a windex bottle, you can operate a double-action revolver – no other repeating firearm comes close.

    Pistol-caliber carbines allow even recoil-sensitive people to fire full-power handgun ammo without difficulty, and with much improved accuracy over handguns of any kind. The option to use buckshot is an even greater advantage for some.

    Furthermore, long guns are more forgiving of lapses in muzzle discipline than handguns are, and DA triggers more forgiving of lapses in trigger discipline. (Not a subsitute for safe gun handling, of course, but still a real improvement in the margin of safety).

    It’s hard to imagine a better HD weapon for someone who is not a gun enthusiast – someone who will tolerate only a basic level of training, but who may be required to perform under stress, perhaps after many months have passed. I think Taurus has a real winner here.

  • Eddy A

    yep, i use the ACR in MW2 and the 416 in BFBC2

    ..but can’t afford either in real life 🙁

    The xm8 is the main gun in the single player of BFBC2 and it drives me crazy. MW2 is very much a gun guy’s game while BFBC2 is made by europeans who can only look up guns on the internet and have no idea what’s going on. Oh well, both games are still fun and will hopefully introduce new shooters to our sport/hobby.

    My 2 buddies with whom I plink and take tactical carbine courses with also play these games with me. We play several nights a week and it sure beats watching dancing with the stars or some garbage like that lol.

  • HK_WSU

    I have a question for you guys. Why is it in some games that the names of the weapons are changed and others they are not? Is it a copyright issue? I think the makers would want the names of their products out amongst the gaming masses.

  • cryptical

    I think there was a blurb on Shooting Gallery last night about the Circuit Judge, and a picture and blurb in the NRA magazine. I saw both within the last few days.

  • R.A.W.

    Counterstrike had all the guns mirrored so the ejection ports and whatnot faced left.

    Methinks this was so that you could see the brass showering out while you fired.

  • John

    Crysis and Crysis 2 are both XM8 games.

  • Eric

    Taurus Circuit Judge looks kinda like the sniper rifles from Borderlands?

  • JStar

    The lefty-thing is easy. For some reason, designers are convinced that we need to see the brass eject. So, they mirror image the gun. Sometimes they think it’s easier to model it if it is mirrored. Sometimes, like in BF: Bad Company 2, half the guns are lefty and half correct, seemingly at random. The worst are the games that shift everything on the gun to the left side of the gun, so that you can see the ejection port and the bolt release on an M4 style rifle.

    It drives me fricking nuts when I am playing these games.

  • zack

    All the rifles in Bad Company 2 are lefty guns. It was the same in the first one. Maybe the developers just wanted the ejection process to be more flashy.

    Also Daskro the Saiga in Bad Company is in 20 gauge, not 12, hence the 20k.

    man I feel like a dork for knowing that much!

  • Doom454

    I know it may be old knowledge, but the reason they purposefully screw up the ejection ports is simply that it looks cooler. You don’t get to see the all the fancy action and animation of spent shells ejecting in your face. The name changes are to avoid royalties and lawsuits.

    It’s actually a game called Killing Floor has a personal place in my heart. The developer -despite the in-game guns obviously varying greatly in appearance, function, accuracy and other technicalities from their real-life counterparts- actually has the ejection ports on the correct side and put detail in to the reloading animations.

    The short version: Game devs love what looks cool and what gets done cheap, not what’s real.

  • MechanicalMan

    Daskro the Saiga 20k is a real gun. Its a 12k thats chambered in 20 gauge (hence the number 20)

    The 416 has been in other games before Steve, and I dont think its that heavily searched because of Bad Company. The 416 has had a lot of publicity. Future Weapons did a segment on it, countless blogs and other media sources do articles on it, etc. The hype around the ACR has died down now that it finally is being released after years of development hell and people are finding out the price is whack and theyre looking for other space guns to show off at the range.

  • J Ryan

    As for renewed interest in the Judge, I noticed it was being used as one of two backup pistols in the new tv show “Justified”.

  • Thirsty

    The reason for the ejection port and controls being mirrored is so the player can see more shiny things on screeen. All the animators have to justify that paycheck.

  • zach

    I’ve gotten console time on all of the battlefield games (except 2142), bad company is my favorite simply because of the interactive environment (everything can be destroyed). anyway, apparently none of the developers of the battlefield series know anything about the guns they model. In the vietnam one, every single gun including the M40A1 and it’s VC/NVA equivalent, the Mosin Nagant is lefty (except the lmgs like the M60 and RPD) , they called the Degtaryev DP the “Type 53”, which I believe is a russian torpedo,and for some reason you can carry an M60 with three 100 round belts plus an M79 with 6 rounds and a pistol and 6 frags, and countless other mistakes including the infamous rack the slide during mid mag reload on a pistol/rack it pointlessly even though it locks, and they apparently forgot about the FAB on the M16A1 so he just smacks the side of the receiver.

  • Likvid

    Saiga 20k is actually Saiga in calibre 20g and AN94 is at least used by some russian units, unlike totally dead XM8 or AEK 971 which is also in the game.
    “Lefty” weapons are unfortunately very common in most videogames. Same for cycling and loading (like using cocking handle on AR15 after each mag change etc.).
    Just keep in mind, that game developers are mostly people, who knows weapons only from other videogames and movies.

  • KTB

    Hey Steve, the Circuit Judge looks like a design I saw in the trailers for Red Dead Redemption. Check that out to see if it’s there.

  • KP

    Eddy A:
    DICE Sweden, they have access to guns. They’re not fully realistic, but from how they handle I know DICE put more effort in to research than Infinity Ward. In CoDMW2 it’s like the rifle is stuck to your screen. They both act like an airsofter’s idea of a war, but I think BC2 feels and plays a lot better. 🙂

  • Eddy A

    @ KP:

    You know what? You are right. I’m a fan of gun behavior and ballistics in BFBC2. It’s infinitely more realistic.

    I guess a better way of expressing my sentiments is that dice is out of touch with gun guys in America (main market).

    -russian style optics on every rifle (that reddot is crap in the game.. where’s my eotech?). (yes there’s an acog… **sigh**)
    – why is there an XM8???
    -no interesting mall ninja guns like KRISS or p90
    -how about guns we all lust after like the g36 or [ahem..] ACR?

    What I’m trying to say is that there is much less gun porn in BFBC2 than in MW2, but in the end the ballistics and behaviors of the weapons are more realistic.

  • Montag

    The Taurus Judge featured heavily in a recent movie, ‘Max Payne’ (2008). While a terrible movie, it made me look up that gun.

  • subase

    Actually the Judge pistol makes alot of sense as a self defence gun to those ignorant of ballistic (most people). Most times when you pull your pistol out its for purely intimidation purposes, and the Judge is VERY intimidating. Compare it to a PF9. For people who don’t practice and couldn’t hit anything if they tried, perhaps bigger is better?

    Its like Clint Eastwood with his huge gun, people think that the gun makes the man. And they may have a point, people would probably crap their pants if you pulled one of them out. It’s a big gun man!

    I would agree with MikeJ on the Judge carbine. It’s basically a revolver with buttstock. It is the most simple gun to operate and has 60 percent more rounds than a double barrel. Would make a good alternative to a pump shotgun. In addition the calibre would allow one to practice in your normal shooting range and the recoil won’t knock the users off their feet.

    I reckon the Judge carbine and the Kel tec PMR30 with superglued safety would make the best weapons for home defence for people who are too old or weak, can’t shoot and don’t practice. (The kel tec also has a magazine catch at the bottom of the gun, not the side, so no chance of someone dropping the magazine.)

  • B

    Damnit, and here I was looking for the latest skinny on the elemental weapons and plasma rifles from Borderlands and I ended up here. What gives, also, |-|3@D $|-|00+||\|g |\|3\/\/b$ is teh awesome (if you can read the “leet” speak, you’re too young or have to deal with kids far too often online).
    I liked the one you had recently about the kid going into the pawn broker and asking for the Ess-Emm-Gee and Sniper Rifle. Too funny.

  • Komrad

    A mag on a lot of guns holds 30 rounds. You shoot five at a Nazi. You reload. Now there’s 30 rounds in your gun again. Where did the one in the chamber go? Who knows? But the useless racking of the slide may explain it. But then why do I get to keep the rounds in the mag I just threw away? Nobody knows. The only game that I know of that lets you keep the round in the chamber and keeps track of mags not rounds is GRAW 2 (Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter) for pc. It’s a bit old but still fun. It also has an XM8, a HK416, FN SCAR (both varieties), another XM8 (compact version), lots of G36s (Mexican rebels use them), and Beretta Rx4/ Beneli MR1 product placement. But the SCAR, HK416, and XM8 were new at the time so I guess it’s okay.

  • DieForDixie

    There is a gun resembling the Taurus Circuit Judge in a new videogame called “Metro 2033”

  • Marc

    Well I like the 416, I hear it cools down fast and it looks like the same size as the M4 commando that Navy SEALs use, so I hope they field it one day. And about its use in games, I can see why but making it lefty so the bullets can be seen is crazy-you can see the shells exit when you’re looking down the sights and I aim when I fire! BFBC2 is my opinion is better than MW2, though I like both games, Bad Company is more well-rounded to me.
    Thing is most games do horrible recreations of real guns and with the effort they put into face movement and graphics, you think they can put some of those bulby things on a real gun and fire it. Makes sense to me but I’m sure there’s some reason why it hasn’t been done yet. So with that said people who have never fired nor seen that gun in real life are so gullible that they think it is a 1:1 comparison. The only way to make a gun realistic in a game is to make your own.

  • subase

    It would be pretty cool and realistic if in a game like Stalker you had to manage you magazines, loading them, keeping them when reloading, looking for them you threw them away, take into account their weight. It would add one more tactical aspect to gunfights and would look cool in modern games where you would be able to see your magazine pouches full or empty.

  • LB

    the Circuit Judge looks like a few of the sniper rifles from the game “Borderlands”

  • Bobby

    You know what game had pretty decent gun realism?

    Metal Gear Solid 4.

    You know what game didn’t?


    Look them up.

  • Tom R

    Bit of speculation here but it might not be a CoD effect at all. In American Rifleman’s latest issue, the first thing you see in the “What’s new for 2010” article is a big old close-up pic of the Circuit Judge. The magazine is free with an NRA membership so I assume it’s got a pretty decent circulation.

  • Travis

    I wouldn’t say the 416 is quite as ‘low profile’ as the ACR was. It’s not like it doesn’t deserve the attention, anyway..

  • Edward

    Re: The lack of a Metal Gear Solid 4 effect: The “featured” weapon for the indigs was an unaccessorized AK-102 (it can only accept an UGL), and a generic “M4 Custom.”

  • Alex N

    @JStar, Komrad

    You’ve forgotten one important aspect – these are games. They need only pay lip service to realism and in fact, should really be ignoring it altogether. What goes into a game is what makes sense from a gameplay perspective – this is why Bad Company 2’s Barrett M95 does roughly as much damage as its M24 rifle. The look, sound and feel of guns is dictated not by how real guns behave but by what makes the game most fun to play, guided by how developers think players think real guns behave; much like film treats guns. Divorced from the real, physical stuff surrounding their use (the shooting, maintenance, going to the firing range, et al), guns are quite boring; and the developers’ job is to make every part of their game as exciting as possible.

    As for which gun models make it in, most of it is due to licensing issues – I guess whoever owns the rights to the XM8 series’ likeness and name must have decided to license it to as many places as possible so they could make some money off it, given the number of games it shows up in. I imagine EA bought the rights to every variant of the thing and decided to make use of that license while they were sitting on it, possibly in order to cut costs, rather than have to pay for the right to use the likenesses of other weapons. Probably also explains why all red dots are Kobra, all 4x sights are ACOGs, etc.

    These are not simulations. If you want to play something on your PC which is specifically designed to get as close as possible to the experience of sighting and loading a real gun, you play something like the old Operation Flashpoint game, or its newer incarnations, the Armed Assault series. Those were specifically built to emulate real warfare (of course, they still take quite a few shortcuts for the sake of keeping things interested). Both OpFlash and the ArmA series are actually repurposed military simulators.

    Really, games have absolutely no business kowtowing to realism, and I wish they’d just ditch real guns entirely. That’s what soldier sims are for.

  • The original “Rainbow Six” had excellent motion capture and team movements. Before they sold out to Ubisoft, one of Red Storm Entertainment’s owners was the author Tom Clancy. As a result, they were able to call in a favor from Gene Zink of HK’s International Training Division.


    Chinese-manufactured Degtaryev DPM were designated the Type 53.

  • stig pedersen

    “oddly it appears to be a lefty version (ejection port is on the left side).”

    Its pretty usual to mirror weapons in videogames. The reason why is that the ejection port will then be visible to the player (weapons are on the right side of the screen in an fps), thus the shooting becomes a more interesting visual experience.

  • JryOnly

    I play games and build/shoot guns in real life. 416 is over rated IMO it gets fueled by games and tv shows. Personally I think a piston driven rifle should be designed as such from the get go and not crammed into a platform not designed for it. Abou helping and teaching youngsters about firearms after seeing them in games sounds good I. Theory but most of them already “know everything” and are quick to call one a fag or a bitch as opposed to actually learn from someone with experience.