Yesterday, I attended a meeting sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Jim Guigli was on hand to educate us crime-fiction writers regarding firearms. Though there is very little gun play in my books, I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation.
Clearly Jim can geek out about guns with the best of them. Click on the "Guns" link on his website to read his "Firearms Bio." While you're on that page, download the pdf of his article, "Firearms and Writers." It's an entertaining description things we've all seen in books and movies that don't make sense if you know about guns.
But instead of wowing us all with his knowledge, Jim geared his presentation to what might be most useful to mystery and suspense writers. He suggested we ask two questions. Why does the character carry a gun? Therefore, how does she carry it?
His demonstration was mostly about holsters. As he showed ankle holsters, leg holsters, belt holsters, and many kinds of shoulder holsters, he explained the trade-offs between concealing the weapon and drawing it quickly.
He used plastic models of common revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. The assembled writers asked many questions about different weapons and ammunition, which Jim was happy to answer. But mostly he focused on who? why? and how?
Not only is Jim a firearms expert, he's a good teacher.