Today's entry comes by request.

Say no more, friend, say no more.
By now, the three of you that read these things on a regular basis know I'm a stickler for nomenclature and realism. I've been playing with guns for literally decades (I received my first BB gun as a birthday present in elementary school), and over the years I've had the opportunity to train with a lot of really cool stuff, and I've had the opportunity to play with even more. My purpose in laying this out isn't to brag, but to establish credentials. Well, it's also to brag, because c'mon, who wouldn't want to brag about qualifying with a Ma Duece or Mk 19?
Anyway, the point is, I've played with a goodly portion of the firearms that appear in popular video games, so when I say they screwed them up, I'm speaking from experience. We'll also touch on a couple other issues. Anyway, here's a list of things that video games screw up about guns and warfare in general, in no particular order.
1. Machine Guns- This was very nearly the subject of its very own blog entry a few weeks back. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I had logged into a different character to check for posts, so when I hit the publish button, it vanished into the ether. There are two things that really annoy me about the treatment of machine guns in video games. The first is that they're treated as little more than assault rifles with large magazines and slow reload times. The characters run and sprint and fire from the shoulder with them like it's nothing. No. Not only no, but hell no. Machine guns of any sort are heavy. The M249 SAW weighs 16 pounds and some change. The M240B weighs 27.6 pounds. Most SAWs and equivalents are designed in such a way that they can be used like oversized rifles, but it's not easy. And you can straight up forget using a 240 like a rifle unless you've got abnormally long arms. They're designed to be used in conjuction with either tripods, pintle mounts, or the built in bipods. From a stable platform, it's entirely possible to hit targets out to a kilometer with a 240, though it takes practice.​
Another major misconception is that they do less damage than an assault rifle or submachine gun. The concept of damage is almost purely a video game mechanic, since a .22 will kill you just as surely as a .50 in the right hands, but it's a mistake to think that they're less capable. The SAW fires the 5.56, the same as the M16 and M4. The 240 and M60 both fire the 7.62x51 NATO, otherwise known as the .308 Winchester. That's a big honking round carrying a ton of velocity, and its effects on flesh are horrifying. Also, holding down the trigger and hoping for the best is a terrible idea, since it'll melt the barrel in short order. Ideally, you want 5 to 8 round bursts, or as long as it takes to say "die mothereffer die" for the SAW, or "kill a family of 5" for the 240. The 240 has a slower rate of fire, so it takes a little longer to fire the same number of rounds.​
2. Assault Rifles- The term "assault rifle" in and of itself is a bit of a misnomer. Thanks to the real world controversy surrounding AR-15s and other weapons of their ilk, people think it refers to all semiautomatic rifles that look scary. In reality, the term assault rifle only applies to weapons with the ability to fire either in bursts or fully automatic. Since most civilian versions cannot, the term does not apply. Anyway, the main problem with their use in video games is the fact that, regardless of the game, they're basically just submachine guns with better range and worse handling. In reality, that's just stupid. In most situations, an assault rifle will never leave be used in burst or automatic fire mode. Spray and pray is inaccurate and a huge waste of ammunition. A few halfway aimed shots on semi are far more useful than a magazine dumped on full in the general direction of the enemy. Not only are you more likely to hit what you're aiming at, you're far less likely to run through your ammunition load in the opening minutes of a firefight. Since you can never know how long a firefight is going to last, fire discipline is key, and leaving the weapon on semi makes it a lot easier to conserve ammunition.​
It should also be noted that even carbines are capable of engaging targets at extreme range. An M4 has a maximum effective range on a human sized target of about 600 meters, and that's with iron sights. With an ACOG, which provides some magnification, an experienced marksman can hope to shoot accurately well past that. An M16, with its longer barrel, is rated for 800 meters. For Army marksmanship qualification, one must successfully engage targets anywhere from 50-300 meters away. For reference, 300 meters is longer than a football field. You're doing the equivalent of standing in one endzone and shooting someone in the other, and that's just to qualify. Meanwhile in Battlefield 4, you're doing good to hit an enemy across the room with one. CoD is a little better, but you still have to dump a magazine into an enemy to hope for a kill, even at point blank range.​
3. Sniper Rifles- No, most sniper rifles do not have the ability to quickly zoom in on a target at the push of a button. No, a sniper rifle will not pick a target up and sling them across a room with a single shot. Yes, some rifles can successfully engage targets over a mile away, but doing so takes years of experience and frankly, it's as much black magic as anything. Experienced snipers are among the deadliest combatants on a battlefield, but as anyone who has ever tried distance shooting can attest, hitting a target at range is not as simple as lining it up in the crosshairs and pulling the trigger. There are a number of factors that have to be accounted for, such as bullet drop over distance, wind, variations in temperature, and even the rotation of the earth. To hit a target at extreme range, you might have to aim 30 feet above the target's head and a hundred feet off to the other direction. Watching a truly gifted long range marksman in action is freaking creepy. Also, they rarely, if ever, work alone. Aside from a handful of secret squirrel missions buried in the archives of history, snipers almost always work in two man teams. The more experienced member will be the spotter. The spotter has a powerful telescope-like thing called a spotter's scope. They know how to read the shot and tell the shooter how to adjust to compensate for variables. You might also be intersted to note that they can follow the trajectory of the round using its trace, or the distortion it causes moving through the atmosphere.​
4. Explosives- If you are within 5 meters of an American frag grenade when it explodes, you will die. If you're within 15 meters, you'll probably wish you were dead. There's a chance of being injured out to 200 meters. Claymore mines will not only kill anything within about 50 meters to the front of it, and will at least disable anything within about 100 meters. Also, if you're standing within 5 meters of the ass end, you're in for a bad day. In other words, CoD and Battlefield lied. It's also worth noting that video games cannot possibly convey just how loud these things are. The concussion of a grenade going off, even from several dozen meters away, is a physical thing, almost like getting punched by a giant fist. Same thing with claymores. Even from inside a bunker, they're impossibly loud.​
I could rant about this topic all night, but my wife just got home and she takes priority over you lot. If there's enough interest, I'll continue the topic at a later date. In the mean time, the comments and my inbox are open if anyone has any questions or comments.