Hey guys, just wanted to say two things, as a writer:
1. None of my editors have ever really been knowledgeable about guns; my characters don't use them often, but they do use them, and I've never been questioned by either my editor or copyeditor (or my agent, for that matter) about any of the details. It technically is something that would fall more under the copyeditor's aegis when it comes to edits (as they're supposed to do whatever fact-checking may be needed), but it's the responsibility of the author. Saying that, though, most readers don't know a lot of that stuff either, so it slips through.
2. Thank you all so much for these details! That bit above about cordite being smokeless just made me run to my current ms to make a change, since I have a character in Victorian London shooting a gun and smelling cordite & seeing smoke. (I did do some research on it but the smokelessness either wasn't mentioned or I missed it.)
Seriously, your discussion here in this thread is incredibly helpful. If any of you are interested, I'd say you could probably do pretty well writing a little guide for writers and self-publishing it for a buck or so. There are not a lot (well, to my knowledge there aren't any, but I haven't really looked) of inexpensive guides like that, which focus on the details writers need rather than details gun users/collectors want. Which means that even if we do research, we miss things. I grew up around guns and I'm a decent shot, but all my characters can't use the kinds of guns I'm familiar with, and I don't have anywhere near an encyclopedic knowledge of different calibers and what they're used for, or the different types of ammunition.
Just a thought, and again, thank you!
Thank you for the very kind words.
I am a writer myself and in case you are interested I will point you to my book which is on Kindle and is called The Pale Horse
. I use my real name on IMDb, so you can easily identify mine. It's quite long, but with all due modesty I think it is pretty good. A bit of shameless self-promotion there.
Your idea of a guide for writers is something to think about. For those writers who care about technical details, it could prove quite useful, but in the meantime, you can, if you have questions about guns, ask either Jefbecco or myself and we will be very happy to help however we can. Right, Mr C?
Some of the errors writers make concerning guns are absolutely hilarious. And we might also include politicians as well, except that they have the capacity to make laws and sometimes attempt to do so on the basis of their misconceptions. Stephen King's telling us about the gun shooting seventy 'gas-tipped' slugs per second is a good example of this.
Another example was the California Assemblyman who described the '30 caliber magazine clip that could be emptied in half a second'. He was holding a standard 30-round magazine for the AR-15/M-16.
Or when Rep. Carolyn McCarthy was on Tucker Carlson's program, discussing the bill that she was the prime sponsor of and since they would be banned under her bill, he asked her what a barrel shroud was. She tried to change the subject, telling Calson that cops overwhelmingly favored her bill because it would ban high-capacity magazines, and make their jobs so much safer. (That statement about cops overwhelmingly supporting her bill is questionable, BTW) Carlson asked her again what a barrel shroud was, and he did this several times telling her that since she was the prime sponsor of the bill, she ought to know what was in it. Finally she gave up and told Carlson that a barrel shroud was 'the shoulder thing that goes up'. This is is a classic example of ignorance, and the you.tube
video of McCarthy and Carlson still provides a good laugh on some of the gun forums. BTW, a barrel shroud goes over the barrel and its' function is to protect the shooter's hand from the heat that is quite often generated from shooting.
Sorry for the long post, but I sometimes get carried away. Again, thank you for the very kind words.