No way I can spoil my long posts anymore, so I'll just have to make it only this long and keep it at this length to stay on point.
Ok, so another crazy thing or two I learned when modding my San Andreas, one are the animations I can play around without so much as a tutorial handed to me from famous Japanese modder Ryosuke or his followers and the other one being self-explanatory about damage, fire rate, and stance. For the first one, sometimes it takes a bit of luck trying to get the exact animation I wanted into replacing the same animation I always seen in normal gameplay for years into something a bit more interesting, or to make someone aim in a badass mafia-like way. A few particular bones I shouldn't remove when trying to animate their bodies are the root (possibly controls the whole body's rotation), the pelvis (trunk area that controls most of the body, but not the whole unlike the root), and the legs. If I try to adapt a one-handed aiming style for a two-handed weapon normally meant to have you aim down the sights and utilizing the shoulder or stormtrooper dummy style, then they'll weirdly raise their gun off center but still fires towards the direction of the intended target, including CJ.
For the second thing, I like to start my game with certain weapons being so weak at first neither CJ nor the peds, gang members, and cops can do much other than absorb each other's damage like soap sponges until I get decent training in common weapons. They are what we are all familiar: the pistol, the Mac-10/Tec-9 since they both share the same stat but their data sets are individually configured, with the Tec-9 infamous for having no recoil on the shooting arm when firing, and the sawn-off that thankfully no one would ever use against the player except through mods. As I get better at firing such weapons meant to do low damage against the player, I will increase the damage potential overtime until it matches the stats from other shooting games released around the time San Andreas was released to be realistic. Other guns would stay the same until I start encountering enemies that can wield them and then I'll try to train in these uncommon-tier weapons, again increasing their damage potential with big buffs.
For ammo, as I get better with my arsenal, so does the amount of rounds I can carry before having to run out, but so does too peds. Usually, when they shoot at their enemies or dummies, they will always fire four to five bullets, sometimes they’ll fire another burst right away without stopping unless they need to crouch or if their target has been out of sight for a few seconds. Depending on the fire rate of the weapon from the weapon dataset file, it depends on the delay by a small factor it takes for them to shoot a burst of rounds. The closer the fire rate digit is to their starting animation digit, the faster the weapon will fire, meaning a very short delay between bursts, but they'll still have to fire no more than 4-5 bullets, whereas for the player will often see a faster drain on the ammo count. Eventually, the weapon might refuse to fire at all if the fire rate is lower than the starting animation. This means I can safely use that setting temporarily in my ModLoader to gather as many testers as I can in a single vicinity in a slightly curved arc where I can see them. Then I’ll use a small script to give them a weapon I want them to test, since no gunshots fired whilst targeting the peds holding their guns means they can’t flee yet and prepare to use a health cheat to withstand their barrages. Once all of them attempt to fire their guns correctly at the same time as I put back in the correct fire rate, there may be millisecond “last chance” checks. It is the game’s smart way just to see if any of them within 1/10 of a real second of each other they will stay put or flees like a chicken only to be shot in the process.
If I change the fire rate around for a usually fast weapon like the Uzi/Tec-9 just slightly higher, it actually means they'll take just a little longer in the process of firing the weapon and the delay it takes becomes a little longer before they fire again. Up to a point where if the fire rate is so slow, it would take at best 1.5 to 2 seconds real time delay firing only one bullet at a time yet still doing as much damage regardless of fire rate, it cannot be delayed any further. The same thing can happen to CJ as well, the player will have to wait just as long before firing, making crucial shots essential. I then notice that the fire rate is not universal, there are actually two fire rates, one for standing and the other for crouching, so while one fire rate can be fast or slow whilst standing, once it switches to crouching position or vice-versa, the fire rate has changed. As for the starting animation digit, it mostly determines the angle in which the weapon is being held, usually a higher number results in the shooter holding the gun straight up in the air. Usually when looking back, blocked by an obstruction or if you have higher FPS mod for peds, but as the number gets lower, the angle changes by a significant amount until it points straight at their target or pointing towards the floor.