Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This conversation really happened. I've tried to present what the other people said accurately, but it was smoky up in that joint and I may not have been paying total attention:

person one: You know, that movie version of Lonesome Dove really got period details right. For example, there's that part where Gus gets out that buffalo gun, and he used a special configuration of the sight to get a few hundred extra yards out of the shot.

person two: Yeah, the cool thing about that is the trajectory of any projectile follows a parabolic arc, and so if the earth's gravity were concentrated in a single point, the bullet would travel around that point and back again in an elliptical orbit.

Me: So, like, you could shoot yourself in the back?

*much honking*


Barbara Bruederlin said...

No one could accuse you of not paying attention in physics class.

Anonymous said...

And just what kinda smoke were it? And who really gives a rat's ass about the parabolic trajectory of a bullet. In a movie. I firmly believe in the separation of entertainment and education. Does that make me a curmudgeon? Like I care.

NotClauswitz said...

I don't mind seeing a little realism and accuracy in a movie especially when it comes to gun-handling, but Tinselgrad just keeps churning out one cartoon psychodrama after the other, reflecting their own self-absorption - they can't just tell a story anymore.

phlegmfatale said...

barbara - I'm always more alert around smart guys, for some reason

myron - It was a diner, so it was just a bunch of 'rette smoke. Haw haw - Yeah, whatevs. You're not a curmudgeon - you're a way cool cat.

dirtcrashr - Tinselgrad? Never heard that before, but I like it and I'm gonna use it! Yeah, they've gone beyond sucktastic, of late. Hey - what if the writers went on strike and no one could tell the difference?

SpeakerTweaker said...

You know, a self-proclaimed gun expert is only a few steps better than an anti. And nearly as dangerous.

Those types invariably have conversations in front of people that they shouldn't be having, and making claims that guns/shooters can do things that are absurd.

That's just what we need going into D.C. vs. Heller.


JPG said...

Hummm. I agree that most of the period details were correct, but the person one was not. Both the Gus McRae and Woodrow Call characters used Henry rifles in the movie/miniseries. The .44 Henry flat rimfire cartridge used a 200 grain bullet with around 27 grains of black powder. This yielded about 1150 feet per second velocity, about like some modern .44 Special or .45 Colt loads. This is just barely adequate for shooting deer, but could not be considered a "buffalo gun." (Unless wielded by Kevin Costner in "Dances With Wolves.")

Gus ran the sight adjustment up to the top. This makes aiming at extreme range somewhat more precise, but does not extend the flight of the bullet.


Lin said...

Just stopped by to wish you a great Thanksgiving. Watch out for those outhouse snakes!

FHB said...

Gun nerds with good taste in guns and movies, and maybe books.

Sudiegirl said...

Why does this sound like a conversation I could've had with my parents?

My parents LOVED the "Lonesome Dove" series. They were also gun aficionados.