Horror Movie Gun Fails

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We’ve all seen them and flinched accordingly – movie gun fails. Cocking sound effects synchronized with the presentation of a Glock, bottomless magazines (and pump shotguns, hello, Walking Dead, I’m talking to you), and the stunning explosions created by the impact of a bullet – call it Hollywood fantasy or ridiculously inept, but you can’t really enjoy a movie if you’re a firearms buff. In honor of Halloween it’s time to post an oldie but a goodie: Iraqveteran8888’s Gun Grips 47,”Guns in Horror Movies.” Yes, this one dates back to 2012, but it’s still one we can all get behind. After all, who here isn’t irritated by firearm inaccuracies in movies?

What’s your biggest horror movie gun gripe?



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • wetcorps

    Barry πŸ™

  • M.M.D.C.

    My biggest horror movie gun gripe is that so many of these dorks don’t HAVE a gun.

    Or they THROW THE GUN AWAY. You did WHAT?!?

    • Martin M

      Major horror at not picking up firearms and ammunition!

    • MR

      “Gimme yer gun.”
      “I dropped the gun.”
      “YOU DID WHAT?!!”
      “The past is the past! Let’s be solution oriented!”
      -Boondocks

      • M.M.D.C.

        Thanks for that. I had a feeling I was quoting someone, just couldn’t remember who.

        • MR

          Actually, I’m not sure that I quoted it right. But that’s a reasonable response, I’d imagine it’s been repeated in a few productions over the years.

  • Brian Peterson

    I always wondered where all the full auto AK’s in the Walking Dead came from. Also all that ammo… The way they spray lead, leaves me wondering where their ammo dumps are.

    • Heretical Politik

      There is so much NFA going on in TWD. I love it, but I wonder if it contributes to the misconceptions.

      • Brian Peterson

        It has to. Misconceptions on all fronts (i.e. all ar/ak platforms are selective fire, that full auto is not a waste of ammo, that magazines hold 100’s of rounds, that hitting a moving target in the head is easy, that a colt Python has no recoil, etc.).

      • MR

        Always check the fridge in the abandoned gun shop.

      • KestrelBike

        I’m more bothered by the waste of ammo (a precious resource in the given situation) than misconceptions for the sheeple

    • anon

      dude, do you even watch msnbc?

      you can totally get a full auto AK, with extended clips and a shoulder thing that goes up at any gun show for like $14.99 with no background check.

      • JK

        Heck, my old dealer in Milwaukee had great service on NFA stuff. No paperwork hassles, just walk in and grab what you need. Haven’t been back for a while, anybody know if Fearless Distributing is still in business?

      • Cal S.

        WHERE?!?!?!

        πŸ˜‰

    • Simon Spero

      In the original comics the select fire weapons that appear come from a national guard armory. People are much more concerned about conserving ammo.
      There is some reloading, but the components are recovered from shops. Over/under on how big the average crater around the primer factories would be?

    • Dan

      In the comic they end up manufacturing their own. They must run into large caches left behind by preppers who found out too late they didn’t prep well enough. And they intercepred Russian zombie arms shipments lol

      • spasmonaut

        Doesn’t sound plausible. The existing zombies within the BATFE wouldn’t allow the import and would cite 922r and either confiscate or send the boat home.

        • Dan

          Haha

    • mosinman

      they could have been modified post apocalypse. or one of those evil ghost guns that nobody can find

    • Patrick M.

      Just pop on down to Ammunation. They have everything there

    • Bill

      “Fury Road” played in both ways – the Bullet Farmer had more than he could use, while the Vulvalinis were using muzzle loaders shooting, I don’t know, used tampons maybe.

  • Most horror movies would end in about three minutes if the protagonists were armed and competent.

    • M.M.D.C.

      True. Kind of like this:

      • Patrick M.

        Funny anecdote: there was supposed to be a big choreographed fight for that scene but Harrison Ford had real bad diarrhea on the day they were supposed to film and asked George Lucas if he could just shoot him instead

        • Captain Kirk

          Absolutely true. Anyone interested in a size 42 reg original Indy jacket ?

        • Guest

          The story I heard was Ford did it for the heck of it and the director liked it and went with it. I suppose we’ll never know for sure.

    • anon

      This is not a concept hollywood can comprehend because they are too busy with gender reassignment surgery awareness campaigns or something.

    • Georg

      Agreed, but would make for a crap movie if everything went according to plan. I know I’d have felt ripped off if the marines in Aliens really did nuke the site from orbit 20 min in and the credits rolled. That’s why I love Aliens, Predator, and Tremors for the asymmetrical match up: Well armed and competent people instead of ditzy teens, but facing an enemy where human vs human tactics do not apply (well).

  • Don Ward

    As a dedicated revolver guy, I know it is my duty to empty all six rounds at the oncoming mummy/Frankenstein monster/ vampire/ Thing before tossing the handgun at the monster.

    • TVOrZ6dw

      Duh, you never, ever, through your revolver at the bad guy if it’s not empty. It’s a safety issue.
      If you are a cop, you can throw your nightstick at them instead.

      • Bill

        TJ Hooker

  • Bill

    I gave up long ago – movies require suspension of disbelief anyway. The only movies I’ve watched with halfway realistic weapons use have been “Way of the Gun” and “Tears of the Sun.” Maybe “Blackhawk Down” for it’s depiction of what happens when hot brass goes down your shirt or somebody cuts lose with their muzzle right by your ear.

    • DrewN

      As a lefty from the slick side era I’ve had more than my fair share of brass down the shirt. learned pretty quick not to wear a wife beater under my fatigues no matter how hot it was.

      • Bill

        Those Mandarin collars make a lot of sense sometimes, don’t they? πŸ˜‰

    • Reef Blastbody

      Heat, Ronin, hell, pretty much any of Michael Mann’s work has *very* realistic weapons usage, including the original Miami Vice.

      • Bill

        You are correct, I’d forgotten those.

      • Ronin- best car chase scene ever.

        • Bill

          Except for “Bullitt,” which still holds the title.

      • spasmonaut

        Heat tends to drive me nuts with the ridiculous amounts of ammo in each magazine during the bank scene shootout.

    • bernardg

      Most of military espionage movies in modern time trying to be as realistic as possible. Since they are also employed real life ex spec-ops as their supervisors. Case to point: Strikeback series, Band of Brothers, Pacific, etc.
      Still, this is Hollywood we are talking about.

      • Bill

        “WOTG” supposedly had a former SOCOM guy come in to teach weapons handling, and you could tell the actors had been trained in movement. Personally I thought it was a story hole; how would supposedly small time hoods know relatively sophisticated tactics?

        “TOS” had some decent small unit movement clips, except when it didn’t, the infil was cool, the stealth takedown of the village was nice, and while some of the equipment was archaic or unrealistically portrayed, all in all in was decent, though trying to hold a conversation near a hovering Seahawk is audio logically impossible no matter how loud you yell. Antoine Fuqua also directed “The Replacement Killers,” one of my all-time faves, largely due to Mira Sorvino, a tremendously stylish movie with completely unrealistic weapons use.

  • mechamaster

    Aiming from injured eyes, well…..

    • joe

      In all fairness, he isn’t really aiming. It looks like he’s more of the Zen school, the bullet goes where it wants to go πŸ˜‰

      • mechamaster

        BigBoss is aiming with “phantom eye” ( maybe ) LoL.

    • iksnilol

      Maybe is just point shooting? Eyes are not that important in comparison to a consistent stance if point shooting.

      • mechamaster

        Yes, in that’s scene (-non story spoilers-) Venom Snake does point shooting.

    • anon

      T-the game was good… okay ;_:

      • mechamaster

        yes !

    • Brian Peterson

      Yeah… If you look closely a lot of TWD characters use guns with no optics at all or with pop-up sights that are folded down… It makes me cringe.

      • mechamaster

        no optic and iron sight folded down…. wow, that’s really ‘something’…

      • Joe Shipley

        my favorite is when they have a flat top AR with no rear sight but they still “use” the fixed front post

    • st4

      Shh… you’re ruining the mysticism of CQC.

  • Bill

    I also gave up on “The Walking Dead,” but for your muzzle and front sight’s sake, anyone who carried a Python should know to get a holster that fit. Tex Shoemaker even notes it in their catalog.

  • taofledermaus

    Even worse are the “car physics” in Fast and Furious.

    • iksnilol

      To be fair, they really did get a tank to go 160 km/h.

      • MR

        Yeah, but that’s like, what, 50 mph? πŸ˜‰

        • iksnilol

          In case you weren’t sarcastic it is actually 100 mph.

          If you were being sarcastic: They got a friggin tank to go highway speeds, that’s impressive!

          • MR

            Pfft. Metric. I re-engraved the caliber designation on my Glock slide to read “.355×3/4”.

    • Patrick M.

      You don’t have a 20 speed gearbox?

  • ZF

    I think my favorite “horror” is that you can always have the main character dressed in jeans and a t-shirt accompany a heavily armed police/military/whatever force against a group of Uzi-trotting thugs and only the main character, with his small pistol, comes out alive. I know it’s suppose to show us how cool the guy is but come on.

    • st4

      Blue jeans + wife beater/mullet + smart mouth + Beretta 92 > hardened career tech saavy heister + fully automatic small arms

  • Sianmink

    I just wish TWD would hire a single competent weaponmaster who could set up the guns believably and teach the actors how to hold them right.

    • Xtorin O’hern

      if i knew how to get in contact with them i would happily go do that LOL

      • Dan

        I chat via a social media forum with one of the camera men. I think TFB ran a story where they were looking for people with firearms know how. Anyway from what he has said of the show they don’t really emphasize proper gun handling. And it apparently drives the gun owning workers a tad crazy.

        • Xtorin O’hern

          lol, it certainly drives me crazy

    • Paul White

      well hell, that *isn’t* how you use a handgun?! Now you tell me

    • Dan

      I can see how people who would normally not know anything about guns could end up looking just like the actors from the walking dead. With the exception of Shane and Rick and any other professionally trained character. Think about it. Go give some complete noob that has never held one. a gun and see what it looks like. The show features people from all flavors so we cannot assume that since they have guns they know how to use them right. Or that they should have a front and rear sight. With that said. Rick should not always be aiming at peoples crotch/feet. The others i can see stupid gun handling. Not criticizing what you said just offering up my unsolicited perspective

      • Sianmink

        That’s why I forgive characters like Michonne holding a gun wrong. Rick has no excuse.

      • 6.5x55Swedish

        Yeah, but the worst thing is when you have an aimpoint with a crosshair or people making 100 meter headshots with no problem even though there are no sight on the gun.

        • Dan

          Zombie apocolypse special edition aimpoint. The 100meter head shot no problem thing is funny then the next scene they fail miserably shooting at someone down a hallway

      • Captain Kirk

        Rick is a “law enforcement officer” think maybe he should have some minimal skills ?

        • Dan

          Yea him and shane and the redhead dude with prior military should definitely at least look competent holding a gun. But regular joe thrust into a world of chaos holding a scavenged gun i would expect possible missing sights, chicken wings and just about everything else that would make people like us lol. I expect it, the first time I handed my gf an unloaded rifle to show me what she knew was almost the last time I gave her anything that did not have NERF written on the side. Noobs are noobs even in the zombie apocolypse. Also it’s a show about rotting flesh moving around. Where even though you are already infected, somehow when they nibble on you, you die and turn

    • KestrelBike

      He’s a British actor. The wrist strength… it lacks.

      • Democrats: Death to America

        Valid point.

        You gotta remember that the UK is a gun-hater’s paradise…. NOT an environment where people are familiar with proper gun handling and use, and I believe that as a British citizen, that environment figures prominently into his acting.
        But, that being said…

        TWD has been so wildly popular and been in production so long that all of the actors should have at least the fundamentals of gun use down by now. The responsibility for ensuring this is done lays squarely upon the producers.

    • Martin M

      Every time I see Rick all I can think is “GET A PROPER FRIGGAN HOLSTER!”.

  • Tassiebush

    I recall the opening credits of NCIS has one of the characters closing his eyes each time he fires his pistol. I’m sure I have seen that in a bunch of different shows and films.
    I love the way Hollywood always sends a mercenary out to kill or capture a rare creature too rather than a professional hunter or park ranger.
    Then there’s the bad or wildly innaccurate gun related dialogue. One The Flash a policeman said “they stole a large number of ammunition magazines”. On Sherlock, Sherlock gives some speel to a villain that she can’t fire at him with semi auto pistol in a railway tunnel because it’ll richocet.

    • MR

      Is “ammunition magazines” not correct?

  • Cal S.

    SPOILER ALERT!

    My gripe is in Antman where they added a hammer to a Glock just so ants could leverage it back to stop it from being fired in one of the most shoe-horned, ridiconvenience plot devices ever.

    • Anomanom

      At least they tried

      • MR

        And failed. Do, or do not, Brah. Couldn’t they have just switched to a 1911?

  • Paul White

    Long live Tremors, where heavy fire power was properly used (more or less, they’d have been deaf after the rec room), and made a difference.

    Also, am I the only one jealous of Burt’s arsenal?

    • TJbrena

      I think everyone here wants his arsenal.

    • Dan

      The sequel where Burt has a .50cal is what got me wanting one.

    • Nicks87

      Everyone is jealous of Burt’s arsenal.

  • Anonymoose

    Not a horror movie, but

    • mechamaster

      Because he is Big Boss !

    • Zebra Dun

      Hilarious! ROFLMAO.

  • Tassiebush

    The crossbow bolts on Walking Dead frequently lack a head of any type.

    • Jeremy Star

      Yeah, but Daryl aims down a pic rail with no sights for 5 seasons, so…

    • Zebra Dun

      They don’t shoot either, I saw on talking dead where the crossbow dart is actually a part of the prop.
      Darryl has three crossbows, One is unloaded, one is for bashing things and one has a bolt made into the bow.
      None of them shoot.

  • Rick5555

    On The Walking Dead, I’ve notice several times, when Rick fires his revolver. You hear the empty casing hitting the ground after each shot. It even happened in the season opener of this season. As well as, Rick walks into the food storage room. Where some of the Alexandria residents are having a meeting. You have some dude who catches Gene listening to their conversation. The dude grabs a G-19 and you hear a cocking sound. Rick enters and takes the G-19 from said dude and points the gun at him. When RIck pulls the G-19 back, to put on the shelf. You hear that cocking noise again. It is quite annoying. Considering TWD is pretty realistic is most other aspects…besides the walking dead part.

    • MR

      That’s his knuckles popping. Bad arthritis.

    • Zebra Dun

      “Considering TWD is pretty realistic”
      Zombies are real?
      Dang I need about 15000 rds of ammo now!

      • bernardg

        Person under bath salt influence. The closest thing you have to zombie in real life. Not a slow walker, but the fast runner too.

        • Zebra Dun

          Bath salts users are alive, and are drug users and addicts.
          I have yet to see one bath salts crazy in real life.
          I have yet to see a horde of them coming after me.
          ZOMBIES are fantasy and are not real.
          Though both would be quite dangerous LOL and I’d shoot both in the head if I had too.

  • Robert Davis

    These guys. I tell ya. Ash didn’t fire his shotgun with his amputated hand.

  • Kivaari

    I always wanted the revolver ammo that creates the explosions.

    • MR

      Devastators? Didn’t work so great for John Warnock Hinkley.

      • Kivaari

        Hinkley only had .22s. They failed because his guns were short barreled, so the velocity wasn’t as high as needed. I want the .38 Specials that blow hoods and truck lids into the air. The little .22s are simply novelties. Large bore pistols (44 &45s) have more room. 48 years ago, an gun writer Al Gorge from WA, made a “hollow-pointer” that accepted shotgun primers.
        Drilling into the bullet allowed room for black powder and the shotgun primer. They did go bang when hitting a tough target. He had shot a cougar with one, and it did detonate.

  • InfiniteGrim

    I miss Berry

  • AD

    If you all want to see a movie with a realistic and respectful treatment of firearms, watch Shoot-Em-Up.

    Yes, that is a joke. I do love that movie though.

  • DAN V.

    “Colombia”

    • TJbrena

      My bad.

    • JK

      I figured he was talking about the drug scene in Missouri.

  • Kip Hackman

    *sitting here waiting for Katie A to post an article with some actual substance rather than just embedding a video and adding a paragraph or less of simple opinion* you really should take some cues from Nicholas S, Alex C and Nathaniel F and write an article that actually requires you to research and learn something. At best this is simple click bait.

    • JK

      Got you to click. She’s had a couple good ones, recently.

      • Kip Hackman

        Just to write my comment. There was nothing worth reading here. Barely anything to read actually. She either copy & pasted a press release from a company or posts some video with minimal commentary. Her presence on staff diminishes the absolutely amazing work people like Alex C and Nathaniel F put up here. TFB would be best served to show her the door. I certainly hope her pay is commensurate with her post quality.

        • Zebra Dun

          You clicked on it and read it enough to criticize it.
          What does that say?

          • Kip Hackman

            It says she’s a click bait author and shouldn’t be on staff. There are plenty of female firearms personalities and trainers worth reading stuff from; she isn’t one of them. Why do you insist on defending her horrendous “articles”?

          • Zebra Dun

            “Well, she has a cute face and a bright smile and writes some good articles about things I am interested in”
            I LIKE HER and her Articles.
            QUERY:
            IF you don’t like a writer, their articles and disagree with what you see and read, and you know this before hand then WHY do you bother to read or click and open the page?

            Why do you then go to comments and state your dislike and then feel you must debate and denounce those who do like the writer and articles?

            If you don’t like something and you know you don’t like something why go there at all?
            It seems you are going to simply complain and diss people from behind the safety of your keyboard and monitor.

            The problem may just be you Bubba.

  • For one- the bad guys are always horrible shots and never seem to hit the good guys. You’d think hardened criminals or evil villains would be better shots, right? Second, they never run out of bullets. Not really “horror” but in westerns the cowpokes fire 12 shots from a 6 (actually 5-no self-respected gunman loads 6 in their Colt) shooter. Same with automatics- a 30 round mag out of an MP-5 lasts for around 100 rounds. Also, villains seem to die when shot once, or go flying through a crate, window, off a roof, etc. Barriers seem to stop everything. An AK can dig through a small tree or cinderblock wall in short order. Last, a single hero outnumbered 5 to one by heavily-armed criminals seem to escape despite running through a hail of machine-gun fire. Makes for good movies, but come on.

    • “An AK can dig through a small tree or cinderblock wall in short order.”

      Actually the reason why a lot of projects don’t have mass shooting deaths is because the walls stop AK rounds when the gangs do a shooting.

  • In those days, the “narcos” could get their hands on any weapons they wanted because both police and military officials had their hands in the cartel’s pockets. Uzi’s, Mac’s, M60’s, Glocks, Hi-Powers, Berettas, FAL’s, MP-5’s, M16A2’s, grenades, RPG’s, explosives like RDX and TNT. There was no limit to it.

    • JK

      Yeah, buy there just weren’t as many railz…

    • bernardg

      Yeahh, but this is the the place in the 80s we are talking about. Not modern day cartel. When even Delta’s and SEAL not yet using RIS during those days. How can Colombian’s paramilitary got their hands on it? Not to mention M4, M16A4 not existed during those era.

  • Strider Mccleod

    They’ve just given up on recoil in so many of these shows. Now it’s a computer generated flash and the gun doesn’t even move. So sad.

    • They think blanks are too much effort to use and don’t look good. In reality blanks are cheaper then the computer generated flashes and look better.

  • MR

    “Ride Along” with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, the shoot-out scene. “In the game, you can pick up ammo off the ground.”, and he picks up a loaded mag that works in his gun.

    • Due to how common the gun you are using, its a good chance you could pick up a random loaded mag and find it works in the gun. Only if you had something rare or not mass produced like glocks, ar-15s would you find it hard to find a mag randomly strewn about that would work.

  • Nattleby .

    My biggest beef is the “Discarded Weapon”. The hero knocks down a bad guy who has an AK or something, and Then does not pick up the gun. Just leaves it their while continuing to struggle bare handed or with inferior weapons. Or if they do pick it up, they use it once and throw it away.

    In the Walking Dead when they got to the CDC there was all kinds of military equipment laying around, you would think they would scavenge some M4s and stuff. Only the Dr. Was smart enough to do that.

    • If you don’t know how to use the weapon its best to not pick it up. Also ammo is a concern. Cannot find the ammo for the guns then they are just dead weight.

      • Zebra Dun

        It depends, if your in a city the odds of finding more ammo is better, either way the weapon would make a good club or hammer at least.
        Survival situation nothing is dead weight.
        Heck you might wander into a bunch of people who will trade food or water for the gun.

        • Finding ammo not good after a prolonged disaster. Most ammo from stores would be gone. A number of guns don’t make good clubs or hammers compared to other tools. Your more likely to find more guns after a disaster then ammo. Hence why the precious metals in the post apoc world are lead, copper and brass.

          • Zebra Dun

            True, yet to just toss a handgun seems wasteful of possible future luck.
            Besides a gun is a better hammer than a rock LOL

  • Zebra Dun

    It is fantasy from the land of make believe made up by and acted out by people who pretend for a living.
    They for the most part do not have a clue.
    These folks live pampered lives and if they need security a gun or protection they buy it and the experts who use them.

    I recall seeing Sigorney Weaver in Aliens II all bad ast handling her FN Mk 3000 over and under GL, flame thrower and assault rifle like an expert. Then I watched a “how the movie was made” show and saw Sigorney flinching and making faces shaking her hands as they handed her the non functional Prop weapon for a shot. The woman acts a good gun slinging female but in real life she couldn’t handle an air soft gun without puking.

    Lets not forget the slinging the DA revolver cylinder open and slamming it closed one handed to check to see if it’s loaded scenes by people who think it looks all professional.

    These idiots are just how they think weapons are used.

    I go into a movie and expect acting, entertainment but not realism.

  • Zebra Dun

    I saw a series of John Wayne shots where he used a six shot Colt.
    It was in “The son’s of Katie Elder” the scenes showed John shouting 18 rds without once reloading.

    Typical even from the Duke who knew guns.

    • Didn’t the Duke have multiple single action armies in that movie to the point where he was dual wielding them?

  • efred1

    Two things that consistently bother me, aside from the aforementioned errors: Marksman and Snipers shooting through a scoped rifle with both eyes open; the portable rail guns in “Eraser”, that throw the target several feet in the air and against the wall – in reality, hydrokinetic pressure would vaporize them, much like shooting a starling with a .22-250.

  • Lyle

    I’m disappointed. I was hoping for a rollicking good collection of movie gun fail clips. — Lyle

  • Core

    The problem with Hollywood production and gun handling realism is the general lack of gun safety and education most theater majors have. The big action stars seldom have a solid background in gun handling. I think when they look for experts the kids living in mom’s basement step in. The crew comes from liberal families that often shun firearms use and they never educate or train themselves. Viewers are getting more demanding because we’ve got more veteran viewers and gun enthusiasts they should all start by taking a NRA Gun Safety Course, Pistol and Rifle.

  • William McKinlay

    What I can’t stand… the most notable example is from the Fugitive with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr. … is when someone picks up a Glock or other double-stack semi-auto pistol, and then pull the trigger only to find out — surprise, surprise — it’s empty! Hah!! As if you never noticed how top-heavy it was without any ammo. Pffft.