Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Dark Tower and Ruger

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Flashpoint, Sep 30, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Flashpoint

    Flashpoint Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,288
    Location:
    the land of rice and mosquitoes
    I've been listening to the audio book, The Dark Tower by Steven King, it 's a really good story, but something in the book has me wondering. At one point in the story, in about the late 60s, one of the characters gets ahold of a Ruger .44 auto pistol. I've done some seaches for this gun and have turned up nothing. Does this gun exist or is it just King's embelishment?
     
  2. Trebor

    Trebor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,817
    King doesn't know the first thing about firearms. I'm amazed at how many gunnies like "The Dark Tower," considering the wildly unrealistic firearms portrayal.

    Btw, it's not just guns. King doesn't generally do much research and is known for all sorts of large and small errors in all sorts of topics. Generally, they don't bother me, if the story is good, but there are some whoopers of mistakes in his books.
     
  3. SLCDave

    SLCDave Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    821
    Location:
    Salt Lake Valley
    I think in This Thread I came to the conclusion that you had to just accept that, in the world Jake came from, Ruger made a semi-auto .44, and in other worlds, there was Nozz-A-La Cola, the cola for discriminatind Bumhugs everywhere.... :D
     
  4. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,108
    Location:
    Manassas, Va
    I'm reading the last book. There's already a mention of an 8 shot Colt SA revolver.

    Still, it's a good series. :)

    Chris
     
  5. White Horseradish

    White Horseradish Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,352
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yeah, and Roland's guns are chambered in .22LR.

    Well, the story is good, so I can live with that.
     
  6. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    Well, the real answer is that King isnt real great on firearms knowledge. At least he chose the name of an ACTUAL manufacturer of firearms.

    If you want to rationalize it you could argue that since the entire premise of the novel is the existence of parrallell (sp) universes that in the particular universe in which the Ruger .44 was acquired such a weapon actually exists.

    Hell maybe in that universe ".44" is a really neat auto cartridge similar to .44spec or something.
     
  7. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    3,108
    Location:
    Manassas, Va
    Where'd you see that? I thought they had mentioned that it was a 45 or that the slugs were large. Nothing I read made me think it was a 22lr.

    Chris
     
  8. SLCDave

    SLCDave Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    821
    Location:
    Salt Lake Valley
    In "The Drawing of the Three" it mentions Roland obtaining ammo, and they were Colt 45 rounds, IIRC.
     
  9. PromptCritical

    PromptCritical Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Messages:
    382
    Location:
    The State of the Beaver
    A buddy of mine told me yesterday that ruger did in fact make an Automag type semi auto.
     
  10. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    1,913
    Location:
    Wayne, Mi
    They were winchester 45 rounds in the 3rd book
     
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    14,651
    Location:
    Centennial, CO
    Which are missing, along with the two revolvers he picked up in New York from the cops at the start of book 4.

    That was a big error, like rewinding and saying... no I don't want to end it thatw ay after all.
     
  12. tulsamal

    tulsamal Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Vinita, OK
    I don't agree with that. King does a lot of a real "meet the people" research when he writes a book. He spent months with troopers when he was writing From a Buick 8. He cares deeply about really understanding his characters. That's always been the best part of his books: you really come to know and care about the people in his books.

    So how do we explain the fact that he gets so many gun facts wrong? I've got a theory! If he said things that were totally wrong we could just figure he didn't know or care about guns. But he gets right up next to the truth but then misses. It used to bug the heck out of me. He would talk about a rifle that "felt like" he was describing the .350 Remington Magnum. But he would call it the ".351 Magnum." Or that Ruger .44 "semi-auto pistol." These are the kinds of things most writers would keep straight just by looking at a Gun Digest. I've started to write him a letter several times but I haven't because I came to a conclusion: he's doing it on purpose.

    Remember years ago when some kid went crazy and started shooting people and then they discovered he had recently read a King story like that? King took a lot of heat about writing stories that might "direct" teenagers in how to do something bad. I think he made a conscious decision to slightly change the guns in his stories. He tweaks what they are called or what caliber they are. And he does it so no one will do a John Hinckley with one of his stories. If some nut job goes to a gun store and asks for "one of those Ruger .44 semi-auto pistols" they will be met with a blank stare. Probably a good idea on his part.

    Gregg
     
  13. ZeroX

    ZeroX Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Messages:
    888
    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    I remember that story, tulsa. I liked it a lot, actually. :uhoh:

    But it could also just be some mistake in editing or some such.
     
  14. tony4311

    tony4311 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    that always bugged me but I got over it pretty quick.
    Picked up the final book last night myself :D
     
  15. Trebor

    Trebor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    Messages:
    4,817
    tulsamal,

    Re-read some King books and look at the little details. He may hang out with State Troopers and do other similiar research to get the broad idea of a topic, but he often gets the little details wrong. It's not just guns, it's all over the place whenever he gets overly specific. The guns jump out at us because that's what we are familiar with, but guys who are into cars have noted a bunch of errors and guys who are into flying have noticed some whoopers there, etc. It's a pattern since he started writing. He just guesses or makes up the details he needs on the fly and sometimes he's right and sometimes he's wrong.

    The only example I can think of off the top of my head without digging through some books is when he calls a "Hurst shifter" a "Hearst" shifter in one of his books (maybe "Christine"?)
     
  16. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    6,986
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Don't knock King, he's far from being the only popular author who makes serious mistakes when writing about guns.
     
  17. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    829
    Location:
    Hixson, TN
    In the final analysis, I don't read and love S. King books for lavish technical detail, or even casual technical detail. That's what the Tom Clancy & Stephen Coonts section of my bookshelf is for. I expext those guys to be technical. With King, I expect him to put me in the dark corners of his character's minds, and to understand them and why they do what they do. That's the beauty of King, and it takes more than a 44. Ruger auto to annoy me.

    YMMV.
     
  18. entropy

    entropy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,728
    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    Clancy gets gun stuff wrong, too. There's a fine line between writers who know nothing about guns, like King; and writers like Jerry Ahern, who would spend a whole page on someone's gun, then another on the Alessi double shoulder holster....:rolleyes: Don't get me wrong, I like all three writers books, I prefer when a writer includes a glossary so those who know what an MP5A2 is can get on with the story, and those who don't can look it up.;)
     
  19. Joe Demko

    Joe Demko Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    6,523
    Location:
    Just two minutes from sanity.
    King tells a good story almost always, and a great story once in a while. You can count me in with the people who don't crack open a King novel looking for technical data.
    As for his being a liberal, that shouldn't be a surprise when you consider that he came of age in the sixties. If it pleases you to screen your authors for ideological purity, more power to you, but I do not. Their political leanings do tend to color their world view; but unless the political values are the point of the novel, I don't find them too disturbing in an otherwise good story.
    As I said in another thread here on this topic, King is fascinated by guns, but also seems to be a bit fearful of them and know only a little about them. FWIW, you can often hear errors greater than his come out of the mouths of people, some of them behind the counter, at gunstores and gunshows.
     
  20. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,661
    Location:
    Leeds, AL.
    The Wastelands was quite a bit ago but I seem to remember that Jake came from our universe. The universe with the Rose is ours, or so I gathered. But it has been a long time.

    As for King missing details, meh. If I wanted to scrutinize everything all the time I would get a job involving microscopes. I have attempted to do some writing before and part of the fun of fiction is that you don't have to get everything right. If someone calls you out on XYZ fact, you can just say it's different in your world. Saves time and effort. ;)
     
  21. Calhoun

    Calhoun Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    506
    Remember folks, Mr. King writes fiction. One of the perks of his job is that he can take liberties with facts. It's what makes a good story. The same thing goes with movies, TV, the talk around the water cooler at work, and most of the things said by politicans :neener:

    I really enjoy his stories. If you haven't read it, check out The Stand. It's really long but worth the read. You'll never look ar someone coughing in public the same way again.

    Calhoun
     
  22. SLCDave

    SLCDave Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    821
    Location:
    Salt Lake Valley
    Man, that's the truth. I have a cold now, too...:uhoh:

    Anytime I get sick, that's the first thing I think of!
     
  23. Thumper

    Thumper Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,904
    Location:
    Rosenberg, Texas
    Did you laugh at him a lot?
     
  24. mec

    mec Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,459
    King once came up with a Colt Woodsman in .38. He has had a long time to get some basic gun stuff right but isn't interested. On the other hand, he's no worse than Ian Fleming and seems to have better tastes in liquor and tobacco.
     
  25. Firethorn

    Firethorn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,386
    I just read the first book, and I know that Roland didn't come from our universe. He's carrying revolvers in that, and given the sci-fi/fantasy/alt universe coming apart setting I'd forgive caliber errors.

    A .44 Auto doesn't seem impossible at all. I've seen centerfire pistols in .25-.50. If you think about it, if John Browning had been born slightly later, he might have gone with a .44 instead of a .45, given the tendency to smaller faster calibers in later years. 4 parts .45, one part .40 perhaps. ;)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page