Poll Question 318 – Have You Ever Fired a Real Gun?

27th August 2015

Last week’s poll question was related to violence and video games and this week’s question is an extension of that.

Have you ever fired a real gun?

It’s another emotive subject and I suspect that it might turn into a debate about whether guns should be legal etc but let’s try and keep on-topic.

I’ll tell you now that I haven’t fired a real gun but I have to admit I am curious as to how it would feel.

We have to accept that the games we play provide a simulation of exactly that: firing guns. Yes, I am mature enough to separate reality from fantasy but in ever other fantasy I have I want to do it for real. Perhaps on some level, I relly do want to find myself fighting for humanity is a secret base.

Also, wanting to fire a gun is clearly not the same as wanting to kill people. I love riding my bike but that doesn’t mean I try to hit pedestrians walking across the road. But can we separate the simply action of firing a gun from the context. Maybe. Some of you know that I used to coach and play squash. I am very happy just hitting the ball alone. The action of hitting the ball IS hugely satisfying for me, whether it’s squash or any otherbat/rcaket and ball sport. So, perhaps it is possible to simply enjoy firing guns.

I’m not sure this is exactly the right time to mention this but I have always felt strange that as a society we can turn on our TV and watch people kill people with guns (illegal) but can’t watch two people have consenting sex (legal). I am NOT suggesting pornography should be on TV, I just feel that it is deeply reflective of society that we can watch an illegal act but can’t watch a legal one. Sorry if that’s too much off-topic.

I’m hoping to visit the U.S.A. next year and if the oppotunity comes, I might visit a gun range and try, not sure yet.

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

Lastly, what about paintball? Do you or have you played paintball? That’s soething that has never interested me at all, but it’s pretty close to my gaming interests. Maybe if they made a HUGE Black Mesa themed paintball facilty I might try it.

Time to Vote


  1. i have phillip,however thats what you would expect from a ex british soldier ….. these include
    1) SLR ( self loading rifle ) used by the forces prior to the release of the SA-80
    2) SA-80 .. this ( as the name impies ) was supposed to be released in 1980 .. however we never got it until 1988 …
    3) M-16 … we used this in the jungle( beleize ) .. it was extremely light for a weapon and this was handy when patrolling through the jungle
    4) browning 9mm … used for protection details in northern ireland … nice little handgun
    5) MP-5 … this was only used for specifc tasks ( mainly on active service such as ulster or bosnia )
    that said i left the army many years ago and the only weapons i want to see are in half life 2 ( especially the shotgun )

    1. Because I was in the past Bulgarian military officer, I’ve fired a lot of different weapons, pistols, revolvers, SMG, assault rifles, machine guns, tanks, artilery. Russian weapons mainly because Bulgaria has a lot of Russian weapons.

  2. bobdog

    I grew up on a farm and had to use various rifles (.22, shotgun) to put critters down that were getting at our animals, but I always had a pit in my stomach afterward. I tried hunting turkeys once, shot something, and then felt sick, so I never hunted again. I don’t mind going out with people that hunt, as I appreciate the stalking aspect of it, but I couldn’t pull the trigger myself unless it was necessary to protect our animals.

  3. lj4linux

    Yes I have! TT-33 (Tula-Tokarev, model 1933) an old russian handgun. Heavy like hell and if you wanted to kill somebody you have to be a couple of meters close, LOL!
    And, of course, the well known AK-47 (Kalashnikov)… or at least a clone of it.
    Anyway, that was over 35 years ago…

  4. I’ve never fired a gun.

    Never played paintball either, but I did play lasertag back in the day. Never found it that appealing. The digital me is a heck of a lot more agile than the physical me. XD

    I’ve never been a fan of the sex-violence double standard in the media. We can witness all kinds of brutal violence on TV, but suggestive situations? Oh, no! Avert your eyes! We can’t have that!

    But making something taboo rarely works in the long run. You just make people more curious about it, and they end up making bad life decisions because of their uninformed stance on things. It’s better to put it out in the open and have a mature understanding about it.

  5. enufruf

    I live in N.W. Montana, gun’s are part of life here. I began shooting at 7 yrs. old. .22 rifle, then a 410 shotgun next was a .243 Winchester. I moved up to a 30.06 when I was 10.
    Killed my first and last deer with a .270 at 14. Hunting( if that’s what you want to call it is not my thing). Off topic! Yes. Shooting will scare certain people and they shy from it, other’s enjoy it far to much. Walk softly, but carry a big stick!

  6. Like Brianthesnail I too have shot real guns but I was never in the military.
    To answer one of your questions from above Phillip “perhaps it is possible to simply enjoy firing guns” the answer is an absolute YES and a great stress reliever at time’s just like hitting a ball about a court on your own. If you do go to the US and visit a range, go with an open mind and don’t start with a .44 magnum ask if you can try a .22lr first as it has little recoil and then work up. If the range you go to offers full auto and you can afford the ammo go for it (but follow the range officers instructions to the letter as safety is paramount).

    The area of shooting I preferred was pistols but I have shot most other types of guns, sadly never any full auto guns. As you will realise I have not shot for a long time now, since the UK gun bans made pistols (except black powder) illegal, but I try to keep up to date by watching Youtube channels such as Hickok45 and others.

    Of the guns I once owned my favourites were my
    1) Ruger Redhawk .44mag 7- 1/2inch barrel revolver. Despite it being a magnum, as I hand loaded my own ammo I could produce rounds that did not make people think WTF on either side of me at the range.
    2) Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 magnum 6inch barrel revolver. I won it in a raffle at the Pistol80 open shoot at Bisley, again I could load low for everyday shooting.
    3) Berreta model 92 9mm 4.9inch barrel semi-auto. It was one of the first into the UK with the European style mag release. The load I eventually found best was 4.2 grains of Hercules Bullseye and a CCI 500 primer behind a 124grain Hornady truncated cone FMJ.

    I owned a number of other guns including rifles and shotguns but the above, I still miss them like family after all these years.

    Of the guns I didn’t own but have shot, three are up there in my memory
    1) Luger P08 9mm 4inch barrel. OK this is a historically classic pistol for more reasons than you might expect. The one I shot was in pristine condition and was damn accurate at 25yards despite its age. The P08 is also the one journalists frequently refer to when a 9mm is used in a crime, on the frame or slide of modern 9mm pistols the calibre/cartridge is engraved in one of three (usually) way’s.
    9mm Parabellum
    Or (wait for it) 9mm Luger
    2) Mauser C96 7.63mm 5” barrel (I think but not sure). This has got to be in the all time most accurate pistols I have shot, it could hit a gnat’s nuts at 25yrds.
    3) Baby Browning .25acp barrel less than 2inches! To be fair it was a John Browning design but it couldn’t hit the side of a barn at point blank from the inside.
    An honourable mention has to go to the Nagant M1985 revolver, as far as I am aware it is the ONLY revolver that can be suppressed (silenced).

    In the UK the tragedies that led to the gun bans were both failures by the Police to act on information and evidence available to them, in the case of Dunblane, two years before it happened!!!!

    Of the guns in the HL series I have handled an HK MP5 is one but never fired it, the Spaz 12 is another which those who have read my posts in the past know it is my pet HL inaccuracy peev!!!! it only has one barrel, so you can’t fire TWO barrels with alt-fire.

    1. Well, if I do got to the States and if I do get to a range, I’m only interested in a smallish pistol.

  7. Does an air rifle count?

    1. Not really, no. Neither does a water pistol or pea shooter. Sorry.

      1. Anon_1408012

        Actually an air rifle can be as formidable as a .22 which is underestimated. There are many scenarios in “Total Resistance” by Major H. von Dach where an air rifle plays a vital roll.

  8. Kalashnikov’s machine-gun rules! It’s unforgettable. 650 shots per minute, 200 practice cartridges in a box. Stationary targets were torn.

  9. Zekiran

    Like a couple, I have only played Paintball and that’s the extent of my desire to use or shoot a real gun. For my part I dislike them being near me. A close friend of mine was murdered in the 90s and it took over 10 years before the people that shot him were convicted, so for a very long time I just hated the things overall.

    Many of my friends, however, are military or ex-military and current or former police/sheriffs officers. Those guys I trust with the guns. I know they can handle them, understand when and when not to use them, and keep them safely put away for others not to screw with.

    On one hand, I *would* like to see what it feels like, but on the other – my broken wrist says ‘oh no you won’t’. Though the bones in my wrist are *healed*, they’re definitely not painless, and particularly when compressed. The kick of any gun, I think, would probably be more trouble and pain than it would be worth for me to go to a range with any one of those friends with guns.

    I’ll stick to video games. 🙂 If I was in better shape overall, I would like to paintball more though. Quite the workout.

  10. 2muchvideogames

    my dad took me to a shooting range once and he tried to get me to shoot some with his handgun but the sound was so loud that I thought if I tried it I’d loose control of the recoil and hurt somebody. Guy next to us was using a revolver and it was EVEN LOUDER

  11. Anon_1398300

    I’ve shot a handful of handguns (hah) along with some old-style bolt-action rifles, uh. It’s fun, yeah!

    1. I’ve also forgotten to log in before leaving a response!

  12. zoe

    For a slightly humorous approach to the subject, Penn and Teller’s “Bullsh*t” (Season 7, Episode 3, 2009) covers both sides to the story. But of course, they are of the opinion that video games DO NOT lead to the development of gun-toting psychopaths.

    During the episode they get a 9-year old video gamer to shoot a real gun (under supervision, of course). After a single shot, he says he doesn’t want to shoot again. In fact, he starts to cry (during the closing credits). The reality of the powerful gun is not even remotely close to the fantasy of video games.


  13. I did competitive shooting in my youth (targets, not critters). However once I moved to the city I stopped. You need a safe place to shoot and a safe place to store your guns. Living in an urban environment I don’t really have either one.

  14. Duke

    It’s a part of life here out in the sticks, I have a pistol and a shotgun to protect us or the animals.

  15. I have no idea if it is just a coincidence, but I have just received an email about a Texas wildlife hunting establishment. Maybe my email address has been crawled from sites with posts about guns etc.

    It made me smile though.

  16. I’m from the rural midwest, so it’s hard not end up with a gun at some point. I was a “weaponized teen”. My friends and I had throwing knives and shuriken and bo sticks and bows and arrows. (Of course I forgot most of that when I discovered girls and guitars.)

    Anyway, my brother-in-law was an outdoorsman, and one day he took me hunting. He handed me a .22 rifle. I put it against my shoulder. *pop* *pop* I tried to shoot at hedgeapple and I missed. No big deal.

    My B-I-L, then handed me a 12 gauge shotgun and said something like, “You won’t miss it with THIS.” To his credit, he warned me to put that rifle stock firmly against my shoulder, but he was talking to a 12 year old and you know how well 12 year olds listen. Well, I sighted down the barrel for a good long while, and thought about how he warned me that this thing had quite a kick, but I was also trying to aim and figure out the mechanics of it all. I pulled the trigger and the thing roared and thundered and then crashed against my shoulder like a line drive (a baseball term for those unfamiliar). It was deafening and it hurt.

    Phillip, the closest description I can give is that firing a gun is like holding a crazy strong living thing that doesn’t want to be held. You pull the trigger and, for an instant, at least, you have zero control.

    As a side note, I use custom sounds for my Half-Life weapons. I think the stock Glock sound is cheesy, and the MP5 and shotgun sound devastating when the damage they inflict really ain’t. My MP5 sound is much quieter, almost like a typewriter.

    According to the Wikipedia graphic, hedgeapples shouldn’t be growing where I live. Either Wikipedia is wrong, or I don’t live where I think I do.

    1. Hi Skeezix.

      Your brother-in-law sounds as if he is a rather irresponsible individual. For the fact that you said the shotgun was deafening indicates that he never gave you any hearing protection, a very big no-no when teaching some-one to shoot, especially a 12year old. Next he handed you a 12 gauge (we call it 12 bore in the UK), if you had never shot one before it was not the gun to start you with unless he had any low recoil ammo. I’d have been very reluctant to start a novice shooter, even a fully grown adult male on a 12 gauge even if I believed they could handle it.
      In the past I have seen young people of the age you were then handle 12 gauge shotguns with proficiency, but they had been taught responsibly, starting with a mild .410 then onto a 20 gauge before trying a 12 gauge.

      1. I decided to keep my story short, but here’s a couple other details: I think it was sort of a “prank” for my B-I-L, to give me the 12 gauge. We actually brought a .410 into the field, too, probably with the intention for me to shoot that, but he just couldn’t resist giving me that big gun. And no, I wouldn’t call him the most responsible guy in the world. The 12 gauge was a big leap for a second time shooter.

  17. I enjoy shooting. After dealing with broken tech that I didn’t break I find it refreshing to blast away at old hardware. I used to live in NY on long island where the laws were very strict. I moved to Georgia and recently the gun laws were relaxed to where it’s OK to be armed. I can walk right up to the security in an airport with a weapon. Concealed of course, never tip your hand!

  18. Unq

    Peashooters and air rifles don’t count, but does a railgun?

    I shot something like this:

    1. Hmmm!
      Can you get an IWB holster for one of those?

  19. brotalniq

    No, as getting a gun license in Bulgaria borders on the impossible if you don’t have connections. But i would love to try it as it looks really fun. I’ve thought about buying a gas gun to shoot some blanks, so maybe i’ll do that when i have money to spare.

  20. Geoff Wales

    I had a small air rifle when I was about 11. I fired my friend’s .22 once. And that’s it. I enjoy shooting in RPG’s but have no desire to shoot real guns. I can imagine they are somewhat thrilling, if you are into that kind of thing. I’d rather play my guitar.

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