A common claim online is that J.K Rowling said (at some point or another) that a Muggle with a gun would beat a wizard with a wand. For example, on TV Tropes:

J.K mentioned that in a battle between a wand and a shotgun the gun wins.

Or here:

JK Rowling is on record as saying that a witch or wizard wouldn’t be able to stand up to a muggle with a gun.

Some people, though, suspect it to be manufactured.

The question of whether this quote is accurate has been exhaustively covered in other questions, but its veracity hasn’t.

Is there any evidence that Rowling ever actually said this?

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    Ironically, I've already seen a couple of people on forums / boards linking to SFF:SE and saying "I think it would have come up in Stack Exchange if it were true". Commented May 23, 2017 at 10:18
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    There's a character on Reddit's /r/WhoWouldWin called "Rational man with a shotgun". I've got an idea that the character actually existed before that quote was made up, and then the fake quote was made to explain his origins later. Haven't got any evidence of this, however, hence the comment instead of an answer. Commented May 23, 2017 at 10:22
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    @Izkata - Find that and you could have a good answer.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 16:02
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    Migrated to Skeptics :)
    – ABcDexter
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 16:13
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    @TomKelly - The question isn’t whether a gun is better than a wand, only whether JKR ever said it was (or something like it).
    – Adamant
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


I'm gonna go ahead and say this is most likely a made up quote.

In the first link provided (to Post-Modern Magik), after that quote it says

(see Muggles Do It Better)

In the literature examples of this page, we have the following:

Regarding weapons, there are extremely long debates, some on this very wiki, about how far this goes. It's generally argued[note] that a Muggle with a shotgun would usually beat a wizard...

Clicking the [note] expands the text and shows:

It's generally argued [note - at least by the fans; Rowling is surprisingly silent on the debate] that a Muggle with a shotgun would usually beat a wizard...

Unfortunately, the link goes to another TVTropes page and not anything meaningful. However, if the extra [note] is to be believed, JK hasn't actually said anything about whether a firearm would be useful against a Wizard.

I think the fact that we have so far been unable to find anything said by JK even remotely similar to "rational man with a shotgun" speaks for itself.

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    Warning, warning! TV Tropes link in Answer! Beware! :D Commented May 23, 2017 at 11:46
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    @RonJohn true, but a muggle with a shotgun wouldn't be able to go into combat against a wizard on a field of battle. Voldemort or Dumbledore would probably curl the shotgun into a ball of metal.
    – user64742
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 20:15
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    @TheGreatDuck assumes that the wizard would be at the ready at all times. That's an impossible assumption. (A gun at the ready with finger on the trigger discharges really quickly.)
    – RonJohn
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 20:19
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    @RonJohn Wizards sure do; it's not obsolete for them. HP is filled with fields of battle. Commented May 24, 2017 at 4:18
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    Unfortunately, most book wizards would be at a serious disadvantage, because they'd have to both yell the incantation and do some complicated wand movement. I imagine they'd only get as far as "Expelli--" BANG. Commented May 24, 2017 at 15:48

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