Writing U.S. Military Characters: Out With the M9, In With the M17

The Sig P320 is the New Sidearm of the U.S. Military

Ever since it was adopted in 1985, the ubiquitous M9 Beretta semi-automatic pistol has been the United States military’s default sidearm. That’s about to change.

M9 Beretta military purposes

This is no longer the case. (Image via Beretta)

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On Writing Close Quarters Combat: How to Clear a Room

Fiction writing police raids

(Photo by Spc. Monica K. Smith, US Army)

Today’s guest post comes from Michael Connick, someone who could probably sell his fictional works as writing guides for depicting firearms and action scenes. The information he presents below about clearing rooms is both informative and critical for anyone thinking of writing a SWAT raid, a protagonist’s dangerous infiltration into a hostile building or a military incursion into a structure into a story. You’re going to want to read this one all the way to the end.



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What Writers Should Know About the M16 and Its Variants

Military guns fiction writing tips

A U.S. sailor is pictured with a M16A4 rifle in this Department of Defense photo. Fiction writers would do well to familiarize themselves with this ubiquitous firearm.

On the heels of his terrific guest post, 10 Things Authors Get Wrong About the Military, Joshua Hood is back with more insights from his background as a decorated combat veteran who served five years in the 82nd Airborne Division. He’s also the author of the novels Clear by Fire and Warning Order, both published by Simon and Schuster.

Today, however, he’s writing about what writers need to know about one of the most ubiquitous U.S. military firearms in fiction, the M16. Enjoy!


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10 Things Authors Get Wrong When Writing About the Military

(U.S. Department of Defense photo)

Writing about military characters in fiction takes a little legwork. Here are 10 tips for avoiding the most common pitfalls. (U.S. Department of Defense photo)

This guest blog post comes from Joshua Hood. I’d normally summarize a guest writer’s bio in my notes before the article, but Hood’s background is too extensive to outline here. Read the bio at the end of the article. Let’s cut right to the chase, because Hood has some excellent tips for writing about the military in fiction.

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Shotguns Used by the U.S. Navy & Other Military Branches

(Image by Margan Zajdowicz via sxc.hu)

(Image by Margan Zajdowicz via sxc.hu)

I meet a ton of great people through my position at Gun Digest, and recently one of them happened to be a U.S. Navy veteran. Part of this person’s role involved using shotguns to breach rooms (note that he wasn’t a SEAL, or at least didn’t tell me he was). I’ll pass along the models this person used here.

This information may not apply to every manuscript out there, but I think it’s interesting anyway. The Navy isn’t all about ships, just like the Air Force isn’t exclusively the domain of aircraft.

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