Pistols and revolvers

I’ve just finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, and I enjoyed as much, if not more, than the previous books.

I suppose I’m nit-picking, but the English translator has committed a very common error in referring to the Sig Sauer 226 and the P-83 Wanad as revolvers. These are both semi-automatic pistols of course and definitely not revolvers. Using the words “guns” or “weapons” would have been a safer bet.

Posted by John in Geneva , 13 October 2009

By Editor

6 thoughts on “Pistols and revolvers”
  1. Just for the record: In “The girl with the dragon tattoo” Martin uses a Glock pistol (p.393 eng.ver.) on p.410 Salander grabs the gun and “flicked off the safety”. Glocks in general do not have a safety that can be flicked off.

    Posted by Rob in Zugdidi ,

  2. Good points. Glocks have no safeties, period. For books that depend on meticulous research, either Larsson or his translator got a lot of basic firearm facts wrong. In “Girl…Fire” the murder weapon is called a Colt .45 Magnum; there is no such weapon or cartridge. Is it a .45 ACP semi-auto or a Colt Model P, the classic old Single Action Army revolver? Then follows a treatise on military vs hunting ammunition more appropriate to rifle ammunition, not to lower powered pistol ammo. Later the same pistol is described as a “cowboy” gun, so maybe it’s the latter, powerful enough but not a true “magnum.” Then Salander steals a Colt 1911 Government model. When Blomqvist finds it it’s a “single action” 9 mm with a “fully loaded magazine, seven rounds.” The vast majority of 1911s were .45s; although Colt made limited numbers in 9mm, the magazine for that caliber holds eight rounds. Hmmmmmm. Still, the books a great thrillers — wish there could be more.

    Posted by Mufti in Alexandria VA, USA ,

  3. ?We found four revolvers. A Sig Sauer that had been dismantled and was being oiled on the kitchen table. A Polish P-83 Wanad on the floor next to the bench in the kitchen. A Colt 1911 Government ? that?s the pistol that Blomkvist tried to hand in to Paulsson. And finally a .22 calibre Browning”

    Should read “We’ve found four handguns.” It’s really very obvious throughout the books that the translator doesn’t speak English on a native level. But that’s what finally made me google “stieg larsson translator” and led me to this board.

    Posted by René in Texas ,

  4. Actually, the translator (Steven Murray aka: Reg Keeland) speaks perfect English. It’s Larsson who is in the wrong here with lazy research and awkward prose. Steven Murray has been quite vocal defending his translation. Blame Larsson and the editors – who must’ve been asleep at their posts – for not doing a thorough vetting on all the facts in these books.

    Posted by Séan in Belfast ,

  5. I could have been a Colt New Service Revolver or any of it’s derivatives, or it could have been a Colt Anaconda. The Anaconda came in both .44 Magnum and .45 Colt calibers. I believe the gun used in the murders is a Colt Anaconda, it is a large stainless steel revolver that could easily be described as a “cowboy” gun. Chambered in either .44 magnum or .45 colt, and using hollow point or other “soft” ammunition would leave the horrendous wounds as described in the book.

    Posted by Pat Sewak in Erie, Pa ,

  6. Pat, I did a google search and found the same as you while reading …Played with Fire and I was surprised that Colt made these but on reflection with Smith and Wesson success with the .44 Magnums (and Dirty Harry) it was a logical step for Colt to enter this market.

    I found a bit of sloppiness in this area that Larsson could have avoided by sticking to S&W .38 and Barretta 9mm. etc. and think he was interested but found his notes wanting.

    No big deal unless you want these books to be Jack Reacher or …almost any Yank crime/thriller. We are famous for fetishizing our projectile weapons.

    Posted by turtle in California ,

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