Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The only thing constant is...

From a FB discussion on the Army's new pistol request:


Anonymous said...

Why does everyone seem to think this is going somewhere the last several new pistol searches never got? Did I miss the "we're serious this time" memo?


GuardDuck said...

I've been saying for years that the broad leafed shape has much better stopping power.

That new-fangled narrow blade is way too puny to do any real damage.

And don't even get me started on the composite bows.....

Will said...

I used to think that weapon and associated equipment design and selection for our military was not colored by politics and favoritism. BWAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAAA!!!!!! Snort... giggle...

One would think, or at least hope, that some sort of functional basis would guide the final selection of this sort of thing. Sigh... No such luck, or that much reality involved, it turns out.

Case in point: Had an engineer friend who was involved in the design of an IR laser aiming unit for the M-16 (this was over 20 yrs ago). Told me the only person on the battlefield who would be able to see the beam was the target, if he was wearing the correct goggles, and you were painting his face. Tight beam, extensive baffling to keep anyone not targeted from seeing the laser, and it made their only competitor look like crap. Guess who's system the military bought? Turned out the competitor knew someone on the selection group, and the purchase decision had been made before they even saw the finished products.

tl;dr: follow the money, or figure out the relationships

og said...

Cant wait for Kel-Tec to step up to the plate and finally get it right.

Robert said...

Isn't the root of the problem that they are forced to use ball ammo?

Tom the Impaler said...

Bribe the right guys and our boys could be carrying bullpup FAL knockoffs.

Old NFO said...

LOL, on the money as always... :-)

Ritchie said...

Parts of the Army need a new project. The $_item is just a pivot point.

mikee said...

Pistols are so 20th Century.

Poor knockdown power with ball, limited magazine capacity, hard to aim well....

I want my military rear echelons equipped with modernized M1 carbines or PS90 bullpups if they can't lug around a full sized M4 all day.

Then we can have a discussion about which front line troops are even - allowed - to have pistols.

Ed said...

I think many are still disappointed that for a difference of a few dollars, the SIG P226 would have been the M9 instead of the Beretta. Some are still arguing over whether a .45 ACP pistol like the M1911 should have been retained instead of a 9mm Luger pistol, or question the merits of following the USCG and adopting the .40 S&W in a SIG P229.

Greg Ellifritz published a study a few years ago, “An Alternate Look at Stopping Power”, that compared the effectiveness of various pistol calibers vs. a rifle or shotgun:


9mm .40 .45
Luger S&W ACP

# of people shot - 456 188 209
# of hits - 1121 443 436
Average number of rounds
until incapacitation - 2.45 2.36 2.08
Accuracy (head
and torso hits) - 74% 76% 85%
% actually incapacitated by
one shot (torso or head hit) - 47% 52% 51%
% of hits that were fatal - 24% 25% 29%
One-shot-stop % - 34% 45% 39%
% of people who were
not incapacitated - 13% 13% 14%

The data suggests that based on the percentage of that were fatal, the average number of rounds until incapacitation and the percent accuracy with head and torso hits that there is more skill or a longer sight radius with the .45 ACP shooters. However, there are more one-shot-stops (not necessarily with incapacitation) with the .40 S&W, which may reflect a bigger perceived bang. There is little difference in the percentages by caliber among those not incapacitated or those who were incapacitated by only one shot.

So which one of these three calibers would you pick?
I personally would be satisfied with any one of these three.
Each has good potential to leave a mark.

Geodkyt said...

Ed -- those numbers have ALL bullet types lumped together.

Most of those shoots were probably with JHPs.

The Army will not be issuing JHP for combat use.

What were the numbers comparing just FMJ hits? THAT'S the key methodology if you're going to go all Morgue Monkey. If you go by wound track, you have to accpet the fact that .45ACP FMJ makes a hole that is 50% larger than 9x19mm FMJ -- with FMJ pistol bullets, the amount of tissue actually destroyed* is directly related to the frontal area, NOT just diameter.

* (Provided the round has enough snot to penetrate through and through. If it only goes in three inches and stops dead, you'll have lousy performance, unless it's the size of a dinner plate. ;-) Luckily, both .45ACP ball and 9x19mm ball at reasonable handgun ranges will go all the way through your typical 17-21 year old troop's chest.)

markm said...

How long is it going to be until our troops are facing enemies who are wearing fairly good body armor? The US has proved that it's practical to armor troops against anything short of a direct hit with a high-velocity rifle round. There probably won't be much out there as good as the US Army's best, but even the Russians should be able to make armor that will grossly change the pistol results - and they need the foreign exchange. Several other countries have the technical capability and a history of selling arms to the highest bidder. So I'm surprised we haven't had this happen already - I guess we're just lucky to be fighting people crazy enough to believe Allah will protect better than Kevlar and ceramics...

My guess is that when body armor is involved, 9mm will be useless unless you can hit the face or an arm, .45 caliber will bruise them but often fail to penetrate, and .40 FMJ will usually penetrate at short range, but with FMMJ plus the energy lost in penetrating the armor it will be less than a reliable stopper. Maybe the solution is to issue the lightest and handiest 5.56mm carbine the designers can invent instead of pistols - armor that will stop that round at pistol ranges is too much armor to run around in. And maybe if we have enough people carrying carbines, our enemy du jour will cross body armor off their shopping list because so many of our troops are equipped to counter it.

Or there's the FN 5.7. It ought to be pretty good at punching tiny little holes through body armor. In a pistol, it lacks stopping power, but tiny little holes are better than no holes. Remember that they designed the submachine gun (P90) first - you don't need big holes for stopping power if you can deliver LOT'S of tiny little holes, and that ridiculous little cartridge makes it possible to hold the weapon on target in full-auto.