23 Things Action Movies Got Wrong on Violence

Normally, I am loathe to link to any site that shows memes, but Cracked.com got this one right. Included in the list is a few fun facts on our beloved firearms and Cracked goes further on other weapons systems, like the Katana and its unique properties.


Fortunately, Cracked is not one of those cheesy websites that only put one meme/picture per page. All 23 are broken down on only four pages.

Hit the link for the list (make sure to have an ad-blocker installed).

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • M.M.D.C.

    Fun, but they missed a big one: guns aren’t magic death rays.

    Most of the errors can be attributed to cinematic storytelling devices. Sometimes sparks help accentuate the peril a character is in, so they help move the story along. Ditto slide racking, etc. Understandable enough.

    But the idea of instant death upon being struck by one bullet mystifies me.

    • Eddie_Baby

      It’s amazing how many guys James Bond zaps into immediate incapacitation. I wish I could get my hands his 32 and 380 ammo.

      • M.M.D.C.

        Interesting tidbit: the old Law and Order shows from the nineties and on seemed obsessed with the idea of small caliber handguns. From watching reruns, it seemed like the vast majority of the victims killed by guns were done in with .25 auto or .32 ACP or something in the mouse gun caliber range. Don’t know whether it was agenda, ignorance or laziness. Probably all three.

        • Budogunner

          Probably agenda. Those calibers are most common in low-end junk guns. In the early years of that show there was much political pressure to get “Saturday Night Specials” of the street.

        • DonDrapersAcidTrip

          Why any of those three? I thought most murders are actually committed with small caliber guns, or at least were back then if not nowadays

      • Kivaari

        Remember when Q told Bond, that his Walther 7.65mm was like throwing a brick through a window.

        • iksnilol

          Then my Mauser must be like the hand of God 😛

          • Zebra Dun

            The ThunderGod at that!

          • Kivaari

            Thors Hammer?

          • iksnilol

            You gave me a nice idea. In Norway, Mausers are cheap (they are like our Mosins). And if I chopped the barrel down to 40 cm (16 inches) I would hit minimum legal barrel length, combined with shortening the stock some centimeters I would get something that would be short, handy and mildly firebally. AKA something that could live up to the name “Thors Hammer”.

            Now hold my beer while I find a hacksaw.

          • Kivaari

            At 18″ it wouldn’t give quite as much flame. All the Mauser rifles are great rifles. Even a Mosin M38 is a good rifle. I can’t take the recoil anymore due to 5 neck surgeries. On Friday I go back under the knife to repair the April surgery that failed. I like weenie guns now.

          • iksnilol

            Hmm, 16″ and 30-06 should give me some flame. Then again, I don’t like flame.

            Regarding weenie guns, what about the micromausers? I have been thinking of integrally suppressing one in 7.62×39 and chopping to shortest legal length. It would be a handy gun for small game (deer, beaver, fox, etc.).

          • Kivaari

            The Mini-Mauser in 7.62×39 would be great. you would have better performance than the .300 Black Out.

          • The Brigadier

            The recoil just might break your wrist. 8mm’s have a lot of kick.

          • iksnilol

            Not worse than a 308 or 30-06 IIRC.

            But I won’t do it, I don’t like powerful cartridges and short barrels.

    • M40

      Yup… always marveled at how Hollywood expects that a good guy can take hits to shoulders, legs, torso, etc, and just keep on going… maybe with a few small blood stains and some teeth gritting to show he’s “toughing it out”. However, when bad guys are hit, they immediately fall dead… no writhing, grasping, screaming, gurgling or death throes.

      On a side note, a bad guy’s “rank” in a criminal enterprise is directly proportional to the level of punishment he can take. A single gunshot will immediately kill a low-level bad-guy, whereas it will take many gunshots to put the head honcho down. This also means that a low-level henchman guarding a door can be taken out of commission (seemingly indefinitely) with a single punch. The head honcho will invariably take dozens of punches, kicks, clubs, bats, etc… right in the noggin… and just keep getting back up.

      The Hollywood idea of what is “bulletproof” is also quite laughable. I’ve seen people take shelter from rifle fire behind walls, appliances, car doors, desks, overturned tables, etc. It would seem pretty much any surface placed between a person and a gun will magically become bulletproof.

      • wzrd1

        Only in Hollywood can an object with the strength of wet toilet paper be an impenetrable shield.

        Also, a .32 can throw someone across the room, well, save for the Boss Level criminal, who can absorb more damage than an Iowa class battleship.

      • M.M.D.C.

        Yes. It’s like seeing your hometown in a movie; nothing is where it belongs the people don’t ‘talk right.’ As an painter I always find the artists portrayed in films laughable. Its almost as if *everything* in the movies is nonsense. Oh, wait…

      • The Brigadier

        This is also true of FPS video games as well. In Far Cry the boss takes an arsenal full of bullets to kill. In one of the western games and I can’t remember the title, the ultimate bad guy needs several crates of dynamite denoted right next to him before he even begins to show any damage at all.

  • Giolli Joker

    Tell Jerry Miculek about the last one. 🙂

    Fun, but some inaccuracies are still there.

  • Evil_Bonsai

    #21 is dependant on firearm and whether or not the round is subsonic or not. a .308 with a silencer? Yeah, that’ll probably still be pretty loud. Subsonic .22LR? The gun cycling is probably louder.

    • Eddie_Baby

      Yes but usually they are putting their silencer on a 9mm or some other supersonic round. I love when the bad cop in Magnum Force puts a suppressor onto his revolver.

      • Budogunner

        Heavy 9mm like 147gr and up stays subsonic. Also, there is one (but only one) production revolver that you can silence, the 1895 Nagant.

        • iksnilol

          You can suppress pretty much any revolver effectively as long as you take care of the cylinder gap. I know German police made a suppressed revolver for breaching (pointman with shield is meant to carry it). It had a barrel thingy around the cylinder making it enclosed.

          • Zebra Dun

            Yup, I believe the Tunnel Rats of Vietnam had some silenced revolvers, special weapons designed.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, they had an unique piece to say the least. The QSPR, visually resembling a chopped S&W M29 it had a special calibre: .40 smoothbore. The ammo itself was suppressed (and the revolver had a 35 mm barrel, 1.375 inches).

            There’s a good page about it on Max Popenker’s site. Just search for “QSPR Revolver”, top result should be on “World guns ru”.

          • Kivaari

            If I remember they had 12 M10s built by S&W. They were easily topped from functioning by any dirt or residue.

          • Here’s the US Army Limited Warfare Laboratory’s 1966-vintage “Tunnel Exploration Kit.” The headlamp and comm set are built into the fatigue cap. The revolver is a .38 Special fitted with a sound suppressor and aiming light.

            You can read more about the field testing of the kit here:


  • PeterK

    Ugh. Their ignorance of metal is showing.

    Most of these are pretty awesome, though.

  • Pete Sheppard

    And as usual, they confused cyclic rate of fire with actual rate of fire.

  • Sianmink

    Gonna fisk this whole thing a bit.
    #22, considering the example they show (The Princess Bride) involves rapier-type weapons, yes parries were very important there, and for the most part sword edges existed just to keep an opponent from bare-handing the blade.
    #17, it’s still a good idea to remove a bullet if it won’t cause complications. They generally leave it in place only if it taking it out would cause more harm.
    #16 completely right thanks, and this really bugs me. though, this technique works just fine for bronze swords!
    #7, never? Someone’s trying to justify the F-35 debacle again.
    #5 guns run dry in combat all the time. The part tv and movies get wrong is that somehow the user doesn’t notice until he pulls the trigger.
    #3, military body armor, the hard plates at least, are rated for 7.62 AP. They could handle a few rounds from an AK at close range just fine. Granted, maybe not in the 80’s.

    • lucusloc

      Parrying with the blade is actually common in HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) for almost all blade types. You just did not parry with the *edge*, as that would result in a dinged up blade and possible weak spots, and I thin that is where the “author” of that particular image went wrong. Granted you wanted to parry with something else other than your blade if possible, as that would leave the blade free to attack, but sword combat of all kinds is chaotic and opportunistic. If you blade is tied up in a parry and you opponent is open you simply bash him with your shield (no you fool, don’t give him love pats with with the front, punch him in the throat with the edge!). Depending on the blade type the edge was more or less important. Draw cuts with a rapier are actually fairly common, but they are used mostly to disable a limb, not as a killing blow. Foe other types of swords (the Japanese styles are the most notable example) the cut was the primary method of killing, and the point was secondary. It just depends on how the sword was designed, and the prevailing combat doctrine at the time.

      • Budogunner

        Also, a forged/folded/tempered katana will not “just shatter on impact.” That is the point of clay tempering.

        • Giolli Joker

          That one made me cringe.

        • Sianmink

          The super-hard martensite edge can shatter, but the way they put it makes it seem like the think will break if you look at it funny. The differential hardening and using a less-carbon rich iron on the spine prevents this.

        • The Brigadier

          The katana’s weakness is when someone tries to cut deeply and draws the blade in a deep slicing motion. The blade will fail rolling up back along its curve. The proper deep strike with a katana is a chop and then a slight push and pull to get the blade out. Modern steels like the Wilkinson cavalry saber blades of England and American are not folded and are made from “cleaner” steel and they are just as sharp and don’t have this flaw. The katana still looks cooler though.

      • Sianmink

        Yeah, I didn’t want to get into that, just mostly pointing out that their clip example directly refuted their claims. Parries were always part of bladed combat, though not encouraged when you had a shield for that job!

  • derfelcadarn

    ANY Hollywood action “hero” would require a minimum of two eighteen wheel dump trailers of loaded magazines for the number of rounds fired in the average movie

    • marathag

      best shown by Hot Shots, Part Deux

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Yeah but if you fling your gun around like a fishing pole you can still make bullets curve, right?

    • Budogunner

      Actually, with EXACTO, the kind of can. Crazy times we live in.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Whats that?

        • Budogunner

          A DARPA project. Self-guided bullets that can turn any grunt into a “sniper.” There are some videos on YouTube from a proof of concept demonstration. It is creepy to see a bullet trace chance trajectory midflight.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Only a matter of time before they become sentient and turn on their masters…

          • marathag


            tries to talk a bomb from detonating, from _Dark Star_

          • Zebra Dun

            “let there be light” I loved this movie, the skipper was frozen in the shower by an accident along with the entire ships supply of toilet paper LOL

    • Westin

      It’s the extreme opposite which is the case. This is one of the more ‘logically’ bizarre things about physics. Quantum gravity, obvious, I’ve written papers. But something simple like an object leaving from a moving origin source oddly moves in a straight line, period. Example: if you spin an object around in a circle on a string and then let it go, it instantaneously it leaves in a straight line, with zero of the circular motion imparted as an arc. I get it, but somehow I’m still like “reallllly?”

  • no

    They missed one:

    – Whenever you brandish/point a firearm at someone it doesn’t automatically make a hammer-cocking/slide-racking metallic type of sound.

    That drives me nuts.

    • marathag

      Or racking a modern shotgun without tabbing the lock first?

    • Henry W

      My personal favorite is when I’ve seen a character with a glock be about to enter the scary building/room with bad guy and then you hear the sound of a hammer being cocked.

      • Marco Antonio Gonzalez

        You forgot Lethal weapon. The revolver that ejects an empty case. You can clearly listen the noise of the metal piece bouncing on the floor

        • rekrah84

          My favorite is when Movie poster artists illustrate a firearm showing the entire round….bullet, case and primer exiting the barrel of the weapon. It really illustrates their ignorance about firearms.

    • Kivaari

      I liked how every cop that was searching for a thug, usually moving on a stairway, pulls his gun and works the slide. I never met a single cop that ever did that. I understand that is common in Israel, to cut down on negligent discharges among the young recruits.

  • Budogunner

    So much BS in these allegedly BS debunking meme images.

    • sam

      Yeah, really. Cracked is too sloppy, are just adding unjustified snark and another layer of misconceptions.

  • Anonymous

    They’re reasoning behind #16 isn’t exactly correct either. Heating metal doesn’t weaken the chemical bonds, but cast metal will have a poor grain structure for use as a sword. Forging, along with proper heat treating and tempering will work the grains in the casting or a piece of regular metal stock and make it into a usable blade.
    Frankly, given the number of other errors that other comments pointed out, it’s still an improvement for Cracked. Maybe they finally figured out their readers are declining in number thanks to prior Cracked things.

    • Anonymous

      *Their. Wow, do I feel bad.

      • Sianmink

        It’s ok, nobody knows who you are.

        • iksnilol

          Yes we do, he is anon.

          • Zebra Dun


          • iksnilol

            *Read in your best Sean Connery/James Bond voice*

            “The name is Ymous… Anon Ymous”

          • Zebra Dun

            LOL I can hear him now!

  • patrickiv

    “make sure to have an ad-blocker installed” That’s funny coming from TFB.

    • Sianmink

      Oh you sweet summer child.

      Try going over to TTAG.

      • patrickiv

        I’m not a frequent visitor of TTAG. Have they ever had a giant popup that covers the whole screen asking you to join their mailing list?

  • Sevenmag

    I wish I could remember the name of the TV series, and the name of the actress, but my memory isn’t what it used to be. She used to be a comedian on Saturday Night Live, many years ago, but now plays in more serious roles….anyway, in this TV cop series, she played a coroner. She was examining a body, and, off handedly announced, from looking at the entrance wound, that the weapon used was a 40mm. Must have been really hard to conceal. I’m sure the script read .40 cal. Also, it’s nearly impossible to instantly determine the caliber of the weapon used merely by looking at the entrance wound.

    • Holdfast_II

      Jane Curtin.

      • Sevenmag

        Thank you for taking the time to get this info.

        • Zebra Dun

          Thank you both for the chuckle.

    • Zebra Dun

      BEJEEBUS! Boss that’s a 40 mm bullet in the victim.
      Boss: Well, must be one purchased at a gun show, damned clingers…get right on it before it disapears.

  • Fruitbat44

    Gee! Hollywood movies aren’t documentaries? Next you’ll be telling me The Monkees weren’t a real group!!!!


    But on the subject of katanas, from someone who is as much of an armchair swordsman as he is a gunfighter, yes, one of those katanas which cost as much as a thousand spears wouldn’t break. But as to the rank-and-file Japanese mediaeval sword, well there is a reason why contemporary illustrations show warriors festooned with swords; they broke.

  • Corey

    I wouldn’t be caught dead on TFB without three minutes worth of firepower.. 😉

  • Travis

    Suppressors are 1000 times quieter for operators that load their ammunition backwards than they are for normal people like us. Obviously, people, come on! Even the CoD kids know that!

  • Zebra Dun

    I recall seeing my first grenade go off……..I was underwhelmed! No huge sheets of NaPalm, no buildings shaking down and except for the patter of shrapnel falling around me like rain there was just a dull door slamming thump.
    Then there was the stunning realization a Machine gun gets very, very hot very, very fast.
    And is very hot to reload and change barrels.
    Movies are for entertainment, not realism.
    ” I fondly recall Roy Rogers always full .45 Peacemaker that never ran dry.”

    • USMC03Vet

      I remember I was on patrol in Fallujah and saw this huge movie type fireball explosion when some convoy was hit. I actually stopped and told one of my Marines, “Look at that. Just like the movies”. It was a pretty impressive sight and easily one of the most irregular yet perfect fireball explosions I’ve ever seen in my life.

      So they do exist, but it’s like a white whale.

      • Zebra Dun

        Yup, takes a little more than a grenade though, possibly something in a satchel LOL or a belt.

  • Zebra Dun

    And then there is the occasional real life Hang fire, elevate barrels wait one minute and do it again.
    “OK that darned rocket just ain’t gonna shoot……take the round out gunner”

  • Bill

    My favorite effect is when a minigun goes buda buda buda instead of brrrp. Also, rounds are bullets and magazines are clips, as in “I’ve got one bullet left in my clip!” What, no powder, primer or case?

  • Brad Ferguson

    Say what you will, about semi auto’s vs.full auto…..But I’ll take a John Wayne Revolver and Carbine. Over any Arnold Schwarzenegger M-16 / M-60 anytime. John Wayne has been gone 20+ years…………And John still hasn’t had to reload.

  • Jean Luc Picard

    Also they missed a lot from explosive weapons like rocket / grenade launchers.

    But well Hollywood and video games are a bit the same here.
    But now why we should blame entertainment try to entertain with something spectacular ?
    I mean this quite dates and yeah unrealism with some exaggerations of somewhat plausible things