Friday, January 11, 2008

Simple Firearm Facts

I am constantly amazed at the amount of erroneous "information" being disseminated by hordes of self-proclaimed gun experts. Because I care deeply about my fellow man, I decided to jot down a few core facts that, once learned, will save them from floundering and possibly drowning in firearm fallacy and ballistic bullshit.

FACT ONE: Bullets do not knock people down. No metallic cartridge smallarm (rifle, shotgun, or handgun) of any caliber or gauge, fires a projectile (bullet) that possesses the energy to knock a man off his feet. This is not my opinion this is a fact. There is 20 year old video evidence to prove it. In the video a man wearing soft body armor stands on ONE FOOT while being shot in the chest (on the vest) from a distance of about 5 feet, with a full power ( 240 gr. bullet at 1250-1400fps.) .44 magnum load. Not only is the man NOT knocked 15-20 feet backwards, he doesn't even have to put his other foot down to get his balance. On the same video, the same man dons heavier armor, again stands on one foot, and is shot with an H&K 91 assault rifle chambered in 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.), and once again EASILY retains his balance on one foot. Keep in mind that bullet fired from a .45ACP hits its target about as hard as a box of .45ACP ammo dropped from 6 feet hits the ground. Knowing this one simple fact will keep people from believing either movie scenes where bodies fly around after being shot, or self-defense experts who talk about "knockdown power". Remember, a bullets lethality rests solely in its ability to penetrate NOT in its velocity or kinetic energy.

FACT TWO: Modern handguns DO NOT "go off" when subjected to external abuses such as dropping, throwing, or striking with a hammer. All modern revolvers and autoloading pistols that have either internal or external hammers are equipped with transfer bars that physically block the hammer from contacting the firing pin, UNLESS, steady deliberate pressure is applied to the TRIGGER. Knowing this simple fact will keep you from falling for the "idroppedthegunithitthefloorandwentoffandkilledmyhusband" defense. While any mechanical device can fail, I have never heard of a transfer bar doing so, either in real life or during testing. But in cases involving the above mentioned defense, the handgun in question would be available for inspection thereby settling the issue one way or the other. The striker fired pistols like Glock and others, are equally immune to external abuse but not being as familiar with them, I am unqualified to explain the process. Perhaps the King will enlighten us.

FACT THREE: If you assume a vacuum, perfectly level ground, and a rifle barrel that is exactly perpendicular to the ground, and you fired a bullet and dropped an identical bullet simulaneously from exactly the same height, one would hit the ground at your feet and the other a few thousand yards away but at exactly the same instant. Knowing this simple fact will do you no good at all but I thought it was interesting.

This long and ponderous post doesn't even scratch the surface of all the firearm fallacy and ballistic bullshit out there, but having long ago bored you, gentle reader, I have now begun to bore myself. Consider this particular subject dropped, for now.



King Selfish said...

Gun posts are good. We need more gun posts. And yes, of course, Glocks do indeed have a drop safety.

tara said...

HAHAHA to Fact Three :)