10 Things Crime Writers Should Know About Guns ‹CrimeReads | Jobs Recent


We all read crime novels, and all crime novels feature guns (more or less). When I finally worked on my crime novel — my first, after cutting my teeth on Napoleonic spy thrillers — I wanted to make sure I knew my stuff. The modern day heist thriller about lies, art forgery, neo-Nazis and stealing a horse-Amtrak train. Guns are involved. My grandfather, a World War II veteran, taught me to shoot when I was young, but about 20 years ago. There’s a lot about the gun world that you don’t know unless you’ve spent some time immersed in it. So I spent some time immersed in it.

Knowing the world of guns doesn’t just make writing about guns easier, it makes you read about them—the way knowing LA makes Michael Connelly more fun, or being a Soviet submarine captain can add another dimension to Tom Clancy. So here are 10 things about guns that are important to know:

(1) Comforters are not silent. A few silencers actually silence the guns. What they do is make the hearing of gunshots safer, since gunshots are more likely to cause immediate, permanent hearing damage. OSHA says never exceed madecibel 140—a jackhammer is about 130 and a shotgun is about 170. A 9mm rifle is 160, and a .22 pistol is about 155. A silencer can silence a shotgun to about 135 decibels, a 9mm to 125 and a .22 to 115. An ambulance siren also makes 115 decibels.

(2) Most bulletproof vests are not bulletproof. Kevlar can stop small, slow-moving bullets, but only high-quality vests with metal or ceramic plates inside can stop a round of gunfire. Even those cannot stop powerful guns. However, vests are better than nothing: even if they don’t stop a bullet, they can slow down enough to protect your other parts (either for your own future use or for someone else’s). So, on balance, they are probably a good investment if you think someone is planning to shoot you.

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(3) The AR in “AR-15” does not stand for Assault Rifle, or Automatic Rifle, or Army Rifle. It stands for Armalite Rifle. Armalite is the company that made it. It was their 15thth gun.

(4) A bullet is something that comes out of a gun. The things you see loaded into a gun are called cartridges or, colloquially, rounds. They consist of a bullet in front of a small tube (usually brass,) which is filled with gunpowder. At the end of the tube facing the bullet is a small metal envelope of explosives, called a primer. When the primer is hit, it removes the gun that turns from solid to gas and rapidly increases in volume. That expansion is what pushes the bullet out of the gun. What remains when the bullet is gone is called the “speed case” or colloquially, “brass”.

(5) The size of a .38 caliber bullet is about 9mm, which is also the diameter of a 9mm bullet. Bullets produced in the US and Britain usually measure inches—.38 caliber is .38 inches—while European and Russian bullets use millimeters because they are very interested in the French Revolution.

(6) AK-47s—quintessential Russian automatic rifles—are notoriously reliable. They are reliable because they are made to such a low standard that nothing really fits, so getting dirt in them is unlikely one way or the other. There is a lesson there.

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(7) Machine guns have been illegal since 1986 unless you are rich because pre-arms guns were made. A good one will cost you between fifty and one hundred thousand dollars. You can buy a tank, too, if you can afford it.

(8) Weapons are very expensive. Training ammo usually costs between 30 cents and a dollar per inch, and “defensive” ammo—that is manufactured to a high standard, so you can, in theory, rely on it in a life-or-death situation—often costs several dollars. round. In an hour-long training session, you can shoot for 200 or 300 dollars, so it’s not cheap.

(9) Almost all modern firearms are based on the inventions of Robert Moses Browning, who lived from 1855 to 1926. He was a self-taught engineer and, although every gun company in the world tried, none were able to make more than minor improvements to his semi-automatic pistols and rifles. machine gun. Many of those designs date back to before the First World War, some to the early twentieth century. His .50 cal M2 rifle, manufactured in 1918, is still in use by the U.S. Army.

(10) World War II Battleships could fire shells weighing a ton and a half at targets 27 miles away. This is like driving a Toyota Prius from Baltimore to Washington, DC

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No matter how old he is, that’s the fastest way to crash a gun, taken from my own quick crash gun course. My new exciting case, Fake money, Blue Smoke also features an assassin’s scimitar taken from an eccentric collection of artefacts. But the truth of the sword will have to wait for another episode.

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