Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holding the Gun Sideways - Gangsta-style ran a very informative article tracing the history of the increasingly popular style of shooting a gun sideways. (Thanks for the tip FishyJay).

To look Hollywood, of course. Journalists and gun experts point to the 1993 Hughes brothers film Menace II Society, which depicts the side grip in its opening scene, as the movie that popularized the style. Although the directors claim to have witnessed a side grip robbery in Detroit in 1987, there are few reports of street gangs using the technique until after the movie came out. The Hughes brothers didn't invent the grip, though. In 1961's One-Eyed Jacks, Marlon Brando used it, as did Eli Wallach in 1966's The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Directors may prefer the style because it makes it easier to see both the weapon and the actor's face in a tight camera shot.

So, it seems it's nothing new, it's certainly not been invented recently by rap singers. The article goes on to explain that the claim that the gun jammed in the Times Square Martinez shooting last week is false. Guns do not jam because of that. It would mean that the pull of gravity on the weight of the shell casing is significant compared to the force of the ejection. In spite of what one so-called expert has said, in addition to the newspapers that everyone realizes know nothing, he was just wrong about that.

Here's some more history.

During the first half of the 20th century, soldiers used the side grip for the express purpose of endangering throngs of people. Some automatic weapons from this era—like the Mauser C96 or the grease gun—fired so quickly or with such dramatic recoil that soldiers found it impossible to aim anything but the first shot. Soldiers began tilting the weapons, so that the recoil sent the gun reeling in a horizontal rather than vertical arc, enabling them to spray bullets into an onrushing enemy battalion instead of over their heads.

Nowadays, the only time professionals use the side grip is while holding riot shields, which limit their field of vision. Turning the gun and raising it up make the sight slightly more visible.

What's your opinion? Is this nothing more than a popular trend that Hollywood and music videos have popularized? Why do so many people go in for these trends? Isn't it embarrassing to be so trendy?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. I'm all for the sideways grip--anything to make a gangsta's weapon less effective.

  2. Yup, me too.

    And while I'm no expert I'm right on that regardless of what MikeB claims.

  3. They can't shoot anyway. Most gangstas carry the guns for intimidation purposes.

    there was a story in Washington DC after one kid did a pedal bike shooting on his trike (no joke). The two gangs lined up in a field near Benning Terrace and shot at each other.

    No one was hit.