Fairy Tales of the Gun

Just stumbled across a collection of episodes of the old History Chanel show Tales of the Gun on YouTube and proceeded to watch a few of them. Now, I used to enjoy watching Tales of the Gun when I was a kid.

And now I feel embarrased just admitting that.

The show is so full of errors, so full of mistakes, so full of misconceptions… I swear, I haven’t seen this much concentrated FAIL in a single forty-five minute stretch since I quit watching America’s Funniest Home Videos. And at least that show as somewhat entertaining.

What am I talking about? Well, let’s look at the episode focusing around automatic handguns. The list is so long I’ll probably spend all night writing it down, but I have to be up early for church, so that’s a no-go. I’ll just point out the most glaring screw-ups here:

  • The Mauser C96 was not developed to compete with the Luger P08. It couldn’t have been, seeing how it was introduced a full twelve years before the Luger!
  • The Webley-Fosbery was not the only revolver “that featured a self-cocking ability.” EVERY FREAKIN’ DOUBLE ACTION REVOLVER IN THE WORLD FREAKIN’ “SELF-COCKS”!
  • The Beretta 92 series. For the love of John Moses Browning, there was so much fail related to this gun. It is not the only ambidextrous handgun design in the world. Standard magazine capacity is fifteen rounds, not seventeen. And in the name of all that is good and sacred on this earth, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO JUST CASUALLY REACH OUT AND YANK THE SLIDE & BARREL OFF THE GUN! THAT IS A MYTH!
  • This last one is common to every single episode: at least half of the supposed firearms “experts” on the show hold the guns with their fingers on the triggers. YOU ARE BREAKING RULE #3! Get your booger hooks off of those bang switches!
  • And finally, the show puts out this insulting presumption that the only ones who own or carry guns besides soldiers, hunters, and police officers are hardened criminals. I’m not even going to dignify that one with a rant.

I swear, I want to find the researchers, scriptwriters, and so-called experts and scream at them ’til my throat starts bleeding. The fact that they could even think about calling that series “history” or “educational” when it was so full of mistakes – amateurish and stupid mistakes at that – just defies logic.

5 Responses to Fairy Tales of the Gun

  1. Peter Grant says:

    Er . . . one minor quibble, on point #2. Every revolver in the world DOESN’T ‘self’-cock; its trigger cocks the hammer as it’s pulled, so in that sense it’s operator-cocked. The Webley-Fosbery actually did cock its own hammer and turn the cylinder as part of its automatic action, leaving the trigger ready to fire in single-action mode. That’s why it was called an ‘automatic revolver’.

    • Raptor says:

      You are correct. However, when describing the W-F, the show claimed that all other revolvers need to have the hammer manually cocked by the shooter before the weapon could fire. The fact that they (probably deliberately) used a Colt 1860 and a Colt Peacemaker to encompass “all other revolvers” didn’t help their cause any.

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