Gunfights: Hollywood versus real life, by an expert in the field

Larry Vickers is held in very high esteem by many in the firearms instruction field.  He’s a former Delta Force operator who had many years of just about the most intensive training and experience any Special Forces soldier can get, and then brought all of that to gear development and training in the civilian world.  You can read an abbreviated bio here.

Larry – or rather his company, Vickers Tactical – also has a YouTube channel.  He’s taken to analyzing some of the best-known Hollywood movies involving gunfights and tactics, pointing out the similarities and differences between what they portray and the real world.  His commentaries are a very good learning tool for those of us who don’t move in high-speed, low-drag circles, such as yours truly.

He’s analyzed four movies so far:  Heat, John Wick, The Way of the Gun, and Sicario.  Click on the preceding links to read about each movie, if you haven’t seen it, then click on the links below to go to his video breakdown of each of them.

To whet your appetite, here’s the last of the four, Sicario.

I find Larry’s commentary interesting as a learning tool, both for what’s wrong and what’s right in those movies.  My military service was in a different war, on a different continent, and anything but Special Forces in orientation, but it’s interesting to compare my training and experience to what he describes and portrays.  I’ve learned a lot.



  1. Some interesting comments on technical aspects but, my word, what an irritating presentation!

    " I can tell these guys are not Delta, they are probably Navy seals, in fact they Seals. They use blah, blah, blah, they don't blah, blah, blah, blah, they hold their pinkie out when they drink coffee. "

    You know what? Who gives a damn? This isn't an training class; it's a movie! I don't need the instruction on the Mp4,697 or the Sig or the pants holster or especially the sling. Especially the sling.

    Thank you for bringing this to us, Peter, but Larry offers me nothing with his movie analysis.

  2. @urbane legend: I think you've missed the point. Larry's analysis is precisely what's valuable about these reviews – at least from the point of view of people who have experience in combat, and know guns and tactics, and want to know what they can learn from open source information.

    Many of us (including myself) were trained in an earlier era, with weapons, tactics and equipment that don't match what's in use today. We can watch the movie, listen to informed commentary, analyze both in the light of our own backgrounds and experience, and come up with valuable "lessons learned". If you watch from a more entertainment-oriented perspective, sure, that won't appeal to you.

  3. ^^This^^

    I agree with Urbane. I didn't even get past the first minute of the first video. I didn't bother with the others.

    Also, a lot of otherwise good action novels have been ruined by getting bogged down in what I call "gun trivia".

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