Browsing all articles from November, 2011

TV & Gun Noises

Posted Posted by DetectiveEstes in Detective Estes' Corner, Uncategorized     Comments No comments

I like to watch some cop shows on TV. My favorites are SVU:Criminal Intent, The Mentalist and NCIS. These shows are all simply fun to watch – like a good book is fun to read. I think Criminal Intent & the Mentalist have interesting star characters and intelligent plots. NCIS’ characters interact with each other very well and the action seems to go along with the plot. Another plus for NCIS is there is no gratuitous sex or violence. NCIS is produced by the same folks as produced the TV show, Magnum PI, my favorite cop show of all.
My wife likes all of the CSI shows, so for home peace, these are required watches. In viewing any of the CSI shows, I have found these shows to be a comedy of how not to be the real police. We also watch Castle, another show which is opposite of how the real police operate, thank goodness.
About a month or so ago, I began noticing extra sounds of gun mechanisms in many of the shows, either just before a shooting engagement, or just before the police are getting ready to do something serious outside of their headquarters.
I began paying closer attention and soon figured out what these gun sounds were. They were the sounds of a hammer being drawn back to full cock!!
Now,not everybody is a handgun aficionado but I am. I’ve been shooting handguns since I was four years old when I first shot my Dad’s Smith & Wesson Combat Masterpiece police revolver. I played with a genuine Civil War handgun, growing up. When I was hired as a police officer I continued to study handguns as both a police officer and later, a police firearms instructor. I know a lot about handguns, their mechanisms, noises they make and how they work. In a nutshell, the only noise any handgun ever made was early model single action revolvers and modern clones of those. In those guns the noise was made by pulling the hammer back which turned the cylinder of the revolver and cocking the hammer to fire. The noise was caused by pulling the hammer past the trigger sear, and then past the half-cock and on to full-cock so the gun could be fired. These movements caused 3 separate clicking noises which might be heard by someone other than the user; provided they were close enough. These were the noises I was hearing on the cop shows.
All these TV shows I mentioned use Auto loading pistols. I think this is to keep up with the appearance of nearly all police departments in the U.S. which also use pistols. These pistols all make ejection & chambering noises but that noise is overwhelmed when the gun is fired. As an aside, this ejection/chambering noise is the main problem of attempting to completely silence auto loading firearms.
Back to the sounds: I began to pay attention to these gun sounds. Shortly I noticed that in the TV show, Castle, the detectives would get ready to go someplace important, or to a possible gun fight and all that were going would take their pistols out of their holsters and rack a round into the chamber. Two problems here are: (1) this would indicate that the police walk around with empty guns the rest of the time when they aren’t on known dangerous outings. (2) When do they unload? Nothing was ever shown about the detectives removing the magazine and then racking the slide to eject that loaded round so they could return to the police station. So when did that happen? It all appeared very fake to me. It turned the show into a comedy.
But here was another problem, where was the hammer noise coming from?
When watching CSI, I started noticing these mechanical noise sounds. I immediately knew the sound to be the cocking of a hammer on a single action revolver, but it seemed to accompany the removal of the detective’s Glock pistol (an auto-loading, hammerless pistol) from its holster. Naturally, I began looking for where the noise was originating from, since all Glocks are hammerless. I guess a few fans must have written to CBS and informed them of these new phenomena of the non-existent hammers. So about a week ago I was watching one of the CSI shows, and this noise came up when a detective reached to the rear of the slide of his Glock, and LO! There was a hammer growing in the back of the Glock!! Yet, as soon as the gun was thrust forward to firing position the hammer disappeared! For sure, only in Hollywood could a hammerless pistol grow a hammer, and have the hammer disappear when the gun is prepared to fire!
Watchers of these comedies should keep their eyes open for further miraculous firearm developments.

About Detective Estes

Detective EstesMr. Estes has lived in the DC Metropolitan area for most of his life. His father’s influence and expertise in firearms resulted in Mr. Estes beginning to rifle shoot at a young age and eventually shooting on the Washington-Lee High School rifle team in Arlington, VA.

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