If there’s something we know well, it’s gun play. We often rob a bank during our lunch hour just so we can get into a gun battle with the authorities. Straight up Dillinger-style.  Okay, so maybe our battlefield experience is limited to Nerf bullets and rubber bands, but losing is still not an option. If you happen to find yourself trapped between Butch and Sundance, you need to have the know-how on how to win and walk away unscathed. Luckily, you have MadeMan on your side to guide you through the process. We decided to ask a weapons expert (from Vegas, yo) for some hints on how to win a gunfight. That, and we also rewatched the kickass gun battle in the streets from Michael Mann’s Heat. Val Kilmer took one to the neck and kept going. Sweetness.

MadeMan’s Gun Expert: Roman Apodaca of Armory Dog

Quick Bio — Brings fugitives to justice, lifts weights, shoots things, filming a reality TV show about his awesomeness (to be aired very soon).

Choose Your Weapon Wisely: You probably won’t have access to a rocket launcher or bazooka, but choosing the next best thing will be key to your victory. We think something small, but powerful would be the best so you can do the ‘bob and weave’ if needed while firing off some rounds. Some rifles can be too cumbersome and awkward, so a handgun is the best route to take when choosing what you’ll be packing. And we’re not talking a .38 six shooter like the Westerns your grandpa grew up watching. We’re talking a heavy hitter with a clip that can be switched quickly. That’s what watching a lot of TV has taught us.

Advice: .44 Magnum.

Train: Roman says that “the best way to win a gunfight is training. You must train as often as you can depending on how good you want to be.” We think that since it is a gunfight and for reals, you probably want to be pretty good. Call it a gut feeling. Roman suggests training at least once a week and quotes the film Man on Fire: “You are either trained or untrained.” Okay then. Sign us up. That means you need to be ready for bullets flying by your head while you are kicking ass or go ahead and paint a target on your face.

Advice: Watch more Denzel Washington movies.

Don’t Duel: Alexander Hamilton is a cautionary tale for all of us who want to challenge dudes to a gun duel. Duels are now illegal in a few states and are kind of dumb anyway. But they do sell cotton candy in the stands, for what it’s worth. Another reason not to duel is because it isn’t a real gunfight. It’s a crap shoot. And there are ‘gentleman’ rules that we don’t even know about involved in a duel. Borrrrrring.

Advice: Drive-by.

Don’t Be All Action Film-ish: Apparently the Die Hard films got it all wrong. Our gun expert says that “running around and shooting off rounds” is a good way to get blown away. You may need to dodge and duck a little, but running like a maniac increases your chances of being hit — which is probably not the start of a good day. In a real gunfight, stopping and aiming is the recipe for gunplay success — that, and not running from place-to-place like a trapped fugitive. Stay in a safe location and be shielded. You know, so the bullets won’t hit you. That’s kind of important from what we have read in medical journals and seen on “M.A.S.H.” reruns.

Advice: Hide.

Pack Some Extra Junk: You know how in movies they keep firing and never run out of bullets? Yeah, not really the truth. Bullets run out quickly and guns need to be reloaded at some point. If you are in the line of work that requires carrying a gun, always have extra ammo. Loaded clips are best in a rush and muskets are discouraged because they’re ridiculous. Be prepared, is what we’re saying.

Advice: Wear cargo pants. Lots of pockets.

Don’t Shoot That Dude: Our expert (aka, Roman) reminded us of an important fact. Not everyone in your immediate universe is involved in said gun battle. We thought it was fun to shoot everyone in video games, but we were corrected. Roman’s warning of “you must always be aware of your surroundings” kind of makes us think twice when playing Play Station and shooting everything that moves. If the sh*t is going down in the street and you are under fire, make sure to scan the area before you fire back. Unless it’s your annoying neighbor walking by. Two birds, one stone, you know?

Advice: Give bullet proof vests to all your friends for Christmas.

Calm Yourself: As in, be zen like Phil Jackson.  Or someone else that is pretty calm under pressure. Roman says that a “gunfight won’t be a relaxed deal. It most likely will be completely nuts [with] your nerves going a mile a minute.” Who would have thought that? It’s only bullets and shrapnel and stuff flying at you around 600 miles per hour. Staying calm during the battle requires focus and hours of training. We’re assuming it also requires physical fitness so you don’t decide to take a nap in the middle of the gun duel. Just FYI.

Advice: Dance with Mary Jane. Daily.

Someone Has to Lose: Don’t blame us for saying there has to be a loser. Blame our gun expert. But be careful with your blame game — he has a weapon and knows how to use it. Roman says that “to win [a gunfight], someone must lose their’s.” This means you kinda’, sorta’, haveta’ not have any mercy for the one you are battling. This is easy if you are on the right side of the law. Not so easy if your weapon is a Nerf gun and you are battling your 3-year-old nephew. Okay, maybe he deserves it.

Advice: Be heartless.

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