Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gun Nomenclature And The Media

When it comes to guns, the media is so ignorant. We have all seen the various "Journalist Guide to Firearms Identification" cartoons where every gun is either an AK-47 or a Glock such as the one below.

Thanks to a reporter named John Barna of the Gloucester County (NJ) Times I may have an alternative. Reporting on the sentencing of a felon in possession of a firearm, here is how the firearm in question was identified.
On July 10, 2010, Burks knowingly possessed a 9mm Springfield Armory model XD-9 Sub-Compact Luger pistol, with a 16-round, high-capacity magazine, at a McDonald’s restaurant in Camden. Burks was found with the pistol during an arrest on unrelated weapons charges. Burks had previous felony convictions at the time.
I am still trying to wrap my head around a polymer Luger P.08 much less a sub-compact one made by Springfield Armory in Croatia.

I have a modest suggestion for Mr. Barna and everyone else in the media. The next time you decide to write about a gun as part of a story - even a mere 3-paragraph story - go to the NSSF website and read the "Writer's Guide to Firearms and Ammunition." It will keep you from sounding stupid.


  1. But it shoots 9mm LUGER ammo.... ;)

  2. @David: I'm sure that is what screwed things up for the reporter.

  3. Honestly, I think Mr. Barna did a terrific job.
    Let's face it, firearms jargon is just as confusing as any other kind to anyone who's unfamiliar with it. I didn't understand any of it when I started getting interested in firearms. For instance, I didn't know there was a difference between .45 ACP and .45 "Long" Colt because, hey, one .45 caliber cartridge is as good as another, right?
    All Barna had to do was move the word "Luger" and he'd get it bang on. A lot of people DO call that cartridge "9mm Luger."
    He didn't just take anyone's word that it was (for instance) "a deadly assault pistol," or refer to a Glock as someone's "service revolver."
    We need more journalists who take time to jot down a bunch of words like "XD-9," "9mm Luger," and "sub-compact," even though to them it's utter jibberish. Even if they occasionally transpose a word it's way better than the journalists who inspired the above-posted graphics. :)

  4. Now I just want a compact polymer framed P.08 Luger...