practical experience, FTW
- Jul 11, 2012
- Reaction score
Tom Clancy is perhaps the best known author today who uses info-dump concerning technicalities of weapons or weapons-systems. He does it well, and it is part of his voice.
Personally, I find it interesting. However, most people I know in everyday life just say 'guns' without knowing 'pistol' means a semi-automatic handgun versus a 'hogleg' which means a revolver. (in practical word usage - technically, both revolvers and semi-auto's can be a "pistol") Some of them would like to know the difference, some don't care.
I agree with most of the posters above, in that the amount of detail used to describe the weapon in question depends entirely upon the the character, the setting, the scene and the author voice. I care about authenticity and historical correctness. Rather than info-dump, though, I will try to bake details into the scenes to provide more understanding to the reader.
For example, I wouldn't say "Jeb reloaded his hogleg." I might say, "During a lull, Jeb quickly pushed two more quick-burning nitrate paper cartridges into the empty chambers of his .44 and rammed them carefully with the lever to ensure proper firing." Or something similar. Be careful, though. Only use such an explanation once or it becomes repetitive and boring.
I could discuss the merits of creating a differentiation between pistol and revolver, but I have never heard, or read, the word hogleg in my life.
Also, not for nothing, but Tom Clancy hasn't done anything in a while, heh.