Saturday, August 09, 2008

Some gun facts:

Syd thinks a .380 is "about a half step above shooting spitwads", which would probably make all the people it had killed laugh if they weren't, you know, graveyard dead. He no doubt has a quaint faith in the Mighty .45, given the title of the site on which he posts. I had to comment:
There is a Vietnam-era helicopter pilot who has a souvenir helmet with a 12.7mm hole in either side of it, which is why I don’t trust any pussy .50BMG and carry a 14.5mm DShK.

The cranial vault is tougher than most people think.

Handguns are a lot less powerful than most people think. (Yes, even the “mighty” .45)

Ball ammunition is a lousy stopper and often deflects from skulls and ribs.

Pistols are a poor choice to shoot a body with. I don't have faith in any of them, not even .44 Magnums. The only reason you'd ever use a pistol for self defense is because you'd look silly wandering through the produce department at the grocery store with a slung Garand or pushing your stroller while carrying an M4 carbine.

27 comments:

Strings said...

See, I was always told that the only purpose for a pistol (other than fun) was to allow you to shoot back while hauling ass for the rifle or shotgun you shouldn't have set down in the first place...

DJ said...

I don't know; they seemed to have gotten used to the idea of slung rifles/carbines in public in Israel. Given similar circumstances, I think it could happen here, too.

ditto said...

Packing my M4 to the local market would probably get me a stern talking to by our local Sheriff. Then he would want to shoot it.

Weer'd Beard said...

I dunno, pushing a stroller with an M4 sounds dead sexy to me!

Johnny said...

There is an article in a 1945 copy of `The Lancet' (which I have read in the archives of The University of Edinburgh) about a guy who blew a chunk of his brain out with a 455 Webley (by putting it in his mouth) and then walked half a mile before he dropped dead. The commentary is to the effect of that if it wasn't unambiguously documented that the guy walked half a mile with a chunk of his frontal lobes missing any doctor in the world would have said that was impossible (he put on a hat that covered the big hole, BTW).

Breda said...

I wonder if Syd would be willing to let me shoot my spitwads at him.

BryanP said...

"blah blah blah standard argument #6"

"blah blah standard response #3"

"blah blah #3? Are you nuts? Remember #17!"

(sorry, I couldn't resist, I'm a bad man)

Anonymous said...

I thought there was at least one other good excuse of pistols: anything longer is damnadly awkward in your vehicle.

Sailorcurt said...

One trend that I noticed in the local paper was the number of gang bangers who were killing each other successfully with .22 pistols.

I'm thinking that, although probably not the ideal self-defense weapon, I'd prefer not to be shot by a .380 and I'd imagine that the bad guys feel the same way.

Robert said...

Anyone who thinks they are spit wads should stand downrange about 50 yards and try and catch one.

Kevin said...

I have an uncle who was a detective in the Baltimore PD. One of his favorite stories was the time he was called to a robbery/homicide scene. Seems a cabbie picked up a fair who intended something other than a cross-town trip. The fair pulled a .45 on the cabbie and demanded all the money he had. The cabbie pulled a .380 (PPK if I recall correctly) and said "NO."

Firing commenced.

My uncle said that when he got to the scene, the cabbie was sitting on the curb, head in his hands. The cab looked somewhat like a colander from all the exit holes in the roof and glass. The perp was dead in the back seat, victim of one hit to the eyeball.

Paramedics asked the cabbie if he was injured. "My head hurts" was his reply. No doubt, being in close confines while a .45 and a .380 were being repeatedly fired would cause a headache, but no! The cabbie was bleeding slightly.

From either side of his skull.

One of the .45 slugs (hardball) it turned out, had hit him in the temple. The hospital later reported that the bullet had entered his skull from the front, done a lap around the back of his head, and exited the other side pretty much at the same place the entry wound was. It appeared, at first glance, as though he had taken a round across the frontal lobes.

They put bandages over the entry and exit wounds, kept him for observation overnight, and let him go. Even the DA couldn't bring himself to charge the cabbie for having an illegal firearm in the hack.

As the saying goes, with handguns as with real estate there are three crucial things for good results: location, location, location!

Earl said...

If the government would just issue all its militia an nice M1 from WWII, we would still want to only carry the pistol - a small light weight polymer - because the government isn't issuing bad guys fast enough to carry rifles everywhere. Georgia could use some help now - but they are all AK SKS and 122mm rocket thunder.

Bob said...

Xavier agrees with Syd.

Smaller caliber? Just shoot him some more. Problem solved.

Anomalous said...

"Handguns are a lot less powerful than most people think. (Yes, even the “mighty” .45)

Ball ammunition is a lousy stopper and often deflects from skulls and ribs."


Elmer Keith noted that squirrels shot with 45 auto ball had the tendancy to run off, with their insides hanging out, but still run off. Having shot various game animals with different caliber rounds and loads, I'm absolutely underwhelmed by the terminal performance of 45 auto ball ammo compared to various SWC loads in revolvers. The difference is stunning.

Cirrilo mentioned that coroners told him they generally couldn't tell the difference in wounds from 32 to 45 cal when ball ammo was used. RN bullets aren't very good terminal performers compared to other types.


Anomalous

BryanP said...

Okay, flippant comment from earlier aside, I have to come down on the side of the .380 being better than nothing. In my case my build is *cough* *cough* not conducive to IWB CCW. I normally carry a S&W 638 in a pocket holster. However, there are times and places where even that is not practical. For that something like a P3AT or LCP in .380 is better than not carrying at all, and I will likely buy one fairly soon. Would I rather have a full sized .357 or .45? Sure. Unfortunately I don't have good way to carry one.

Stingray said...

"...is because you'd look silly wandering through the produce department at the grocery store with a slung Garand or pushing your stroller while carrying an M4 carbine."

Sez you.

Anonymous said...

Fun fact: the Japanese considered their 6.5 mm cartridge too weak, so they tried to upgrade to 7.7 mm during WWII.

There's actually a wikipedia article (towards the bottom) that mentions that lack of "stopping power".

Tam said...

"Fun fact: the Japanese considered their 6.5 mm cartridge too weak, so they tried to upgrade to 7.7 mm during WWII."

As a more prosaic reason, 6.5's didn't carry an adequate amount of the tracer compound used at the time and thus made lousy MG ammo. Sweden used 8mm machine guns and issued their crews 8mm rifles to go with them.

Part of the problem with the Japanese and Italian 6.5mm rounds is that they used round-nosed bullets of nearly cylindrical cross-section. These very stable bullets had slow to non-existent yaw cycles: great penetration, but a pencil-like 6.5mm wound track (the .30 Krag suffered the same problems, btw). The spitzer-bullet versions of the 6.5 Swede are rarely condemned, OTOH, because spitzer bullets have a rearward center of mass and concomitant faster yaw cycle, giving a much more violent wound track...

Moriarty said...

Pistols are a poor choice to shoot a body with.

That fairly sums the discussion, I think.

I'm so weary of the same interminable arguments, slightly restated every few years, that "prove" that this caliber (bullet design, shooting stance, action, et bloody cetera) is better than that one and only a fool would think otherwise.

No, I don't spend much time on THR or arfcom either, anymore. I'm more interested in recycling my brass than my arguments.

alex. said...

I've been working shootings and killings for some 15 years. As to handguns, the key is bullet placement, and a bit of luck. A .22 short from a RG revolver in the heart will get the job done, as will dumping most of the magazine from a Colt Woodsman into some poor fool's chest.

Of course, if you really want to take care of business, use a 12 gauge shotgun or a 30/30 rifle. Those will seal the deal, as it were.

docjim505 said...

1. Something is better than nothing. If I was being assaulted, I'd be happy to have a friggin' pellet gun over my bare fists.

2. The average perp isn't going to carefully inspect your pistol and sneer that it's a "mere" .380ACP. When he sees that you're armed, he'll run like hell... unless he's totally stoned, in which case even a .44 Magnum might not get the job done with one hit.

3. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

I'm a big guy, but if I carried, it would likely be my Mak because it's small and extremely reliable. 9x18 ain't much bigger than a .380, but I figure it'll get the job done if I do my part.

the pawnbroker said...

as has been alluded to a few times in the comments above, a .22 up close and personal is a very effective, if unpredictable, projectile...more importantly, my naa .22lr revolver, about the size of a small lockblade knife, is in my pocket always...

would i prefer something else if i am faced with the necessity of armed defense? hell, yeah, i'd wish i'd taken the time to clip on my old colt cobra, or i'd be glad for a .380, or a .357, or a .45...even better, if i'd only toted my pistolgrip 12ga. store gun along with me...

but i didn't, so thank God that naa microgun is cradled in my hand inside my pocket as i gas up at the all-night station when a meth freak seeking hit money makes it necessary for me to jam it under his chin or into his temple and pull the trigger...yeah that's gonna get some penetration and maybe a little internal ricochet action to boot.

it's not what's "best" or what you have in your collection at home that counts if you God forbid face the elephant...here's hoping none of us will.

jtc

alath said...

I don't trust anything .50 cal or lower to get the job done. Hey, it's LIFE or DEATH we are talking about, here.

People argue all day long about different JHP designs, but the bottom line is you never know if they're going to work or not. That's why I don't trust any inert projectiles with MY LIFE. If the round doesn't carry a high explosive charge, I'm not trusting it to defend me and my family.

That's why I've got the Bofors people making me a handy little CCW pistol I call the "20mm Micro Carry." The recoil may be a little harsh, the mag capacity is not that great, and considerable wardrobe alterations will be required especially for Summer carry. However, I consider these minor sacrifices to be worth the sense of security I will have compared to carrying a wimpy poodle shooter round like .50 BMG.

Ben said...

Personal protection is no laughing matter. That's why when I carry, I carry the Nukem 5000 Personal Sized Nuclear Device in the convenient backpack delivery system. Available in slate, navy, burgundy, black, blaze orange, British tan, olive, lizard camoflage, and teal. Teal in women's sizes only.

I can't wait for the new fall color line. I hear they're finally going to bring us Hunter green.

Joseph said...

I want a quad mount .50 myself.

Oh, wait. Concealable? Maybe a chest mounted Claymore???

SpeakerTweaker said...

I'm probably too late coming in on this one, but I'll throw in anyway.

I am going to have to fundamentally disagree with Tam on this one. I happen to think that if I saw a girl wandering through the grocery store with a slung Garand, I'm not thinking she's looking silly.

That'd be teh hawtness!

I've already commented on the balance of the subject matter at Unc's and at Syd's.



tweaker

docjim505 said...

alath: LOL! Where can I get me one of them Bofors things?

speakertweaker: Yeah, it's amazing how much hawter a chick looks with shootin' iron as a fashion accessory. Guess I'm weird that way.