Originally Posted by acc
When it comes to weapons, everyone else on the internet is sooooooooooo obsessive that you really don't have much of a choice. If you have a single curve that's so much as 1mm off someone will point it out. Becoming either equally obsessive yourself, or just not giving a shit at all, is the only way to preserve your sanity when showing gun models. Even cars and women don't get anywhere remotely near the same level of obsession as guns.
Proceed at your own risk!
Honestly i think the only sensible option is to be moderate about the whole thing. Sure some gun nuts will be on your case if you make some small errors, but its really not worth the amount of time to make sure that every little screw is modeled correctly or the internals are all modeled and working, when nobody will actually see the detail you've put into it in game.
Accuracy in guns is wonderful if it is actually adding to the quality of the asset, when you get to the point where it is a major detriment to the process, that is when you need to worry about going overboard.
On the other hand, being lazy with research and missing key things that are easily recognizable isnt a good option either. So no, i think you need a balance, neither OMG ITS PERFECT or OH JUST FUCK IT are ever good options.
Now for someone who is just starting to get into doing weapons, i think any and all research is great, and that you can't really do too much. As you do more and more you'll find a balance and get in a grove as far as what needs to be correct to sell the "feel" of the asset, because in the end that is all that matters. You can have a perfectly modeled, perfectly accurate gun, but if it looks boring in game because you failed to exaggerate proportions or key details its a lost cause to me.
Things like flipping a weapon so that the "interesting" side is not facing away from the player in FPV, bulking up some of the forms to make it appear more threatening, or designing extra detail into the FPV even if being totally functional isnt the main goal, are very import to the end visual result, and each decrease the "accuracy" of the weapon.