History, as presented on TV, usually isn't.
Since you are knowledgeable on the subject of guns, you caught a series of incorrect statements and knew them to be untrue.
Now think about all of the programs you've watched that told you about stuff you didn't already know something about. Those programs were also filled with errors, but you couldn't catch them.
The only way to really learn something is to read, or listen to, or watch, at least two competing authorities, and then to compare and contrast the things they wrote or said, looking for inconsistencies.
When you have settled the inconsistencies to your own satisfaction, then you really have learned something.
R. Lee Ermey was entertaining as always but I was surprised by the number of glaring errors in the show.
Exactly. Even "history" on TV is entertainment. We need to remember as gun enthusiasts that the majority of the country (especially the entertainment industry) doesn't know anything about guns and don't care much about "getting it right". For entertainments sake, guns are things that you point and pull the trigger and then they go boom and the victim falls down with a dramatic spray of blood.
Just the other day, I was watching a show where two guys were in a stand-off armed with pistols. One had a Berretta 92FS, one had a 1911. Both of the guns had the hammers down. Who would have won that one in the real world?
The fact that is was a History channel program is what surprised me the most. I think they have had some quality firearm programs in the past. I have the 4-VHS (yeah I know, I'll keep them until my VCR breaks) Tales of the Gun documentary and its really good.
I've noticed a general decline of the History channel over the past year. Very little history and alot of UFO's, lumberjacks and how cheeze is made.
Speaking of errors in TV/Movies I was watching a movie called "The Recruit" with Al Pacino and Colin Farrel and there was a scene where Pacino fired his Glock until it was empty and the SLIDE ACTUALLY LOCKED BACK!!!!!!! Can you fathom it??? It did make clicking noises!
This reminds me. I was watching the Will Smith movie SWAT on TV the other day. I never noticed this before, but I was cracking up. When Colin Farrell and his SWAT partner are competing in the shooting course, the other guys slide locks back, but the gun keeps on firing. I've seen that movie a few times, but never noticed it before. Anyways, back to your regularly scheduled program...
I have it on the DVR right now. The show is about the history of the rifle, so to the extent that they showed a few firearms that weren't properly rifled long guns, you could complain that they got it wrong. For what it's worth, they called the second weapon in the show the "hand cannon" several times, and then one time referred to it as one of the "first rifles." On the Kentucky long rifle, it IS true that while frontiersman armed with longrifles were effective participants in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the decisive factor in the revolution was the French smoothbore musket and the French navy.
I didn't see them so much making mistakes as they were simplifying the story for a general audience. Most of the errors -- to be as picky as possible -- has to do with calling a few things by some terms that were not painfully accurate. I thought the show was great.