Militarization of Police

Massachusetts Suspends Pentagon Giveaways to Local Police Departments

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The Boston Globe has been doing some terrific reporting about how small town police departments in Massachusetts have been using the Pentagon's surplus weapons program to acquire some ridiculously high-powered weaponry. The paper found that 82 police departments across the state have obtained more than 1,000 military-grade weapons over the last 15 years, including…

Police in Wellfleet, a community known for stunning beaches and succulent oysters, scored three military assault rifles. At Salem State College, where recent police calls have included false fire alarms and a goat roaming the campus, school police got two M-16s. In West Springfield, police acquired even more powerful weaponry: two military-issue M-79 grenade launchers.

In response, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has temporarily suspended the program to investigate.

The thing is, just about any decent-sized newspaper in the country could do a similar investigation. This has been going on since the early 1990s. The program was streamlined in 1997 when Congress created an agency called the Law Enforcement Support Program to facilitate the giveaways.  National Journal reported in 2000 that between 1997 and 1999 alone, the office handled 3.4 million orders for military equipment from 11,000 domestic police agencies, and gave away $727 million worth of stuff designed for use in war to be used in American streets and neighborhoods, against American citizens. That included…

"…253 aircraft (including six- and seven-passenger airplanes, and UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-1 Huey helicopters), 7,856 M-16 rifles, 181 grenade launchers, 8,131 bulletproof helmets, and 1,161 pairs of night-vision goggles."

The transfers have only picked up since then. The program is also how Richland County, South Carolina Sheriff Leon Lott acquired his M113A1 armored personnel carrier, which moves on tank-like tracks, and features a belt-fed, turreted machine gun that fires .50-caliber rounds. And he isn't the only one.

If I may, here's a passage about the program from Overkill, the 2006 paper on police militarization that I wrote for the Cato Institute:

The city of St. Petersburg, Florida, bought an armored personnel carrier from the Pentagon for just $1,000. The seven police officers of Jasper, Florida—which has all of 2,000 people and hasn't had a murder in 14 years—were each given a military-grade M-16 machine gun, leading one Florida paper to run the headline, "Three Stoplights, Seven M-16s." The sheriff's office in landlocked Boone County, Indiana, was given an amphibious  armored personnel carrier...

The New York Times reported in 1999 that the Fresno, California, SWAT team had two helicopters with night-vision goggles and heat sensors, a turret-armed armored personnel carrier, and an armored van…

A retired police chief in New Haven, Connecticut, told the Times in the 1999 article, "I was offered tanks, bazookas, anything I wanted."

In a 1997 60 Minutes segment on the trend toward militarization, the CBS news magazine profiled the Sheriff's Department of Marion County, Florida, a rural, agricultural area known for its horse farms. Courtesy of the various Pentagon giveaway programs, the county sheriff proudly showed reporter Lesley Stahl the department's 23 military helicopters, two C-12 luxury executive aircraft …a motor home, several trucks and trailers, a tank, and a "bomb robot." This, in addition to an arsenal of military-grade assault weapons.

As you can see, there was some media interest in this story about 10 years ago, but it largely died down, particularly after September 11. But the transfers didn't stop, and neither did the unfortunate trend toward a militaristic mindset that comes with domestic police officers using military equipment and tactics, and being told they're fighting a "war."

It's good to see the Globe to revisit this issue, and it's great that the paper's investigation seems to have won the attention of Massacusetts' elected officials. It would be even better if it could attract the attention of some members of Congress, who might stop this ill-considered program once and for all.

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  1. But I’m sacred of militias, I tell ya!

  2. Who are we, as civilians, to question the police?

    There haven’t been any terrorist attacks or Mexican drug lord violence at Salem State College, so perhaps they’re doing something right.

  3. Don’t you realize that the police need military hardware to counter things like the North Hollywood bank robbery? Going to a local gun store and borrowing hardware isn’t sufficient, damn it! These things happen nearly once in a blue moon, and the police need to be prepared with heavy artillery! Why do you hate America, Radley?

  4. I suspect a lot of cops just want to play with toys. They may have a serious A type personality complex and daddy issues, but they like things that go boom like the rest of us.

  5. What possible use is a .50 in community policing?
    Have the local drug dealers recently acquired Stukas?

  6. No police department anywhere should be allowed to have a .50 machine gun or a grenade luncher. A .50 round is devistating. They go through walls, people anything. There is no way to fire such a round without putting innocent people in danger.

  7. To be serious for a moment, John is right. No cops should ever, EVER, be allowed to have a Ma Deuce. They kill dogs and people with their .40 caliber pistols–letting them have an anti-materiel weapon is like letting McG loose on a Terminator script–pure destruction. Oh wait.

  8. But I’m sacred of militias, I tell ya!

    Indeed you are. RC’z Law, in action.

  9. The use of vague and scary words like “machine gun” and “assault weapon” in the defense of any position, even one I agree with, bothers me. Take the high road and change the rhetoric to reflect the situation and not just be scary.

    Select fire would be a more appropriate description of your machine gun, odds are it is an M16A2 and only has a 3 round burst and not the scary Al Capone street sweeping “Tommy Gun.” And what the fuck is an assault rifle or weapon? Any goddamn rifle can be used for assault including a fucking cap gun. Does a rifle being select fire make it an assault rifle? If so why not use that term instead of a vague term used to scare rather than inform.

    I say let the police have all the weapons they want, as long as I and my friends can possess the same without fearing legal repercussion. At the least police will rethink their abuses of power and knocking down doors when there is a chance of an equal force on the other side. Maybe a little containing, thinking, talking, and waiting would work.

  10. I used to think that once a police department actually used a .50 caliber machine gun, the outrage generated by such an incident would put an end to the militarization of the police.

    After reading The Agitator for a year, I’ve come to realize that when (not if) the cops use a .50 caliber, the average person’s response to the resultant carnage will be, “That’s what they get for living 3 blocks away from a known drug dealer.”

  11. But how will they protect us from the pot-smoking pro-choice homosexual mexican earthfister here illegally that wants to get married?

  12. HMM,

    A ma duce is a machine gun. An assault rifle is technically a rifle that fires a round that is in between a pistol round and a full long rifle round. The first assault rifle was the German Strumgewer 44. The Germans figured out that their beautiful bolt action mousers were great when you wanted to kill someone at 500 yards but not so good in close combat, which is like almost all the time. At the same time the Russian machine pistols were too light. So, they split the difference and built an automatic rifle that fired a round bigger than a pistol but not quite a long rifle. From the original German design came the AK 47 and later the M16.

    As far as being scary, M16 rounds are very high velocity. They were designed to go through the body armour worn by Russian soldiers during the cold war. They are exactly the kind of thing police departments should not have. A fast high penetration round is likly to richochet or go through things and hit innocent people. They should stick to low velocity rounds that only affect their intended target.

  13. I don’t know, ben…through Marxism, maybe?

  14. I could care less if the cops had M16s (re West Hollywood Shootout). However, 50 cal machine guns and the like is a bit extreme. Citizens managed to win the Battle of Athens. However, if we ever found ourselves in another situation like that, the outcome would be different. Besides, why should the cops have all these weapons? I thought gun control was supposed to disarming the citizens, err, criminals. Oh, wait, this must be to combat those right-wing radicals like Ron Paul.

  15. This just sounds like some small town guys getting some new toys for free…

  16. It would be even better if it could attract the attention of some members of Congress, who might stop this ill-considered program once and for all.

    Ain’t.
    Gonna.
    Happen.

    Call me a pessimist, a skeptic, or a cynic if you wish, but her’s why.

    Not one in ten congresscritters is going to risk being called soft on terror in a primary or general election.

    Cops want this stuff and will go to the fawning local media desribing them as needs while offering up ridiculous scenarios as justifications for their new toys.

    Local 4 News will not question them on it because they have to get to the Britney’s crotch segment before the local sports team highlights. Prioities, priorities, priorities.

    The average American not only holds an unhealthy reverence for cops, they soil their drawers when somebody mentions OMG! the terrorists!

    Damn, I need a goddam double right about now.

  17. homosexual mexican earthfister

    The earth, like the Obamas, enjoy a good fisting.

  18. It’s time to start keeping track of what police department has what.

    When the shit hits the fan, these will be useful depots to hit and obtain weapons.

  19. That’s nothing. Our school board has requested a Polaris missile.

  20. I know what is meant by each reference. Machine gun is the only term used legally or in legislation, specifically the NFA Act.

    The 5.56 is a high velocity light round that tumbles upon impact with flesh. The 7.62 is a heavier lower velocity that does not tumble and therefore does less damage. (all things equal per ammunition) Both rounds are used in what are considered the most common assault weapons M16 and Ak47. There are more than a few CQB weapons that use 9mm or .45 acp rounds (smaller handgun sized rounds) including several HKs like the MP5 and USC. The round does not determine whether something is an assault rifle or not. At best you could argue selective fire as a determinant.

    A single well trained sniper could have ended the Hollywood shootout with two .308 rounds. The problem was Russian approach of throwing your guys at the better armed bad guys. Why have a shoot out? Let them take the fucking money, track them from the air until you have the tactical advantage and then eliminate them. Shitty tactics are what cause people to die in battles more often than the fucking difference in weapons. The same goes for the swat team that entered the apartment to extract the guy who shot the cops on the street. Why in the fuck would you charge into a room with a guy waiting with an AK when all you had to do was contain him and wait. He will either kill himself, problem solved, or surrender.

  21. “The same goes for the swat team that entered the apartment to extract the guy who shot the cops on the street. Why in the fuck would you charge into a room with a guy waiting with an AK when all you had to do was contain him and wait. He will either kill himself, problem solved, or surrender.”

    In that case, they didn’t know he had an AK-47. He shot the cops on the street with a pistol.

  22. The use of the terms is low road rhetoric aimed at invoking a fear response. “THE COPS HAVE MACHINE GUNS!” is much scarier than “THE COPS HAVE SELECTIVE FIRE WEAPONS!” The same with the use of assault weapon. The terms do more damage to the argument than they do helping do describe the problem.

    In that case, they didn’t know he had an AK-47. He shot the cops on the street with a pistol.

    Would you charge into a room with a guy who just shot an officer, is known to be armed, and already contained? Shitty tactics.

  23. Hmm, you are correct about tactics, but to defend the cops (a true rarity for me), they thought they had a run of the mill bank robbery in North Hollywood. They showed in force and waited for the robbers to exit. How the fuck were they supposed to know that the fuckers would be armed to the teeth and wearing body armor including trauma plates? No one does that. Plus the dudes were chilled on barbiturates.

    The thing that should have happened with the North Hollywood shootout is that a regular person should have leaned out his/her window and drilled a 30-06 through Phillips or Matasareanu, or at the least loaned the rifle to the cops.

  24. Why did they pursue then? The whole incident lasted way longer than it should have. The same logic applies to the guy in the apartment If you have a handgun and a 12 gauge do you chase down the guy in full body armor with an AK if he is not rampaging and killing civilians and just robbed a bank? Why escalate a situation you are not going to win? I can tell you as soon as I realize the other guy has a huge tactical advantage it’s time to rethink my position and tactics and not continue on the same path.

  25. Select fire would be a more appropriate description of your machine gun,

    Hey, if I can’t own one because it meets the legal definition of a “machine gun”, then a machine gun it is.

    The 5.56 is a high velocity light round that tumbles upon impact with flesh.

    Sigh. Not really, at least the tumbling bit., which is mostly folklore. It may shatter, it may mushroom like a good round should, but unless the round is defective or strikes at a funny angle, it is not particularly likely to tumble.

    The 7.62 is a heavier lower velocity that does not tumble and therefore does less damage.

    Au contraire. A .308 is a more damaging round on a shot for shot basis.

    A single well trained sniper could have ended the Hollywood shootout with two .308 rounds.

    That, we agree on.

  26. “The thing that should have happened with the North Hollywood shootout is that a regular person should have leaned out his/her window and drilled a 30-06 through Phillips or Matasareanu, or at the least loaned the rifle to the cops.”

    That is what happened during the Witman rampage in Austin. The cops only had handguns and shotguns. They couldn’t range him on top of the tower. So the cops borrowed private hunting rifles. Even still, it took a very couragous cop to go up to the top of the tower and kill the bastard at close range.

    All and all, I think we were better off back in the days when cops only carried shotguns and revolvers.

  27. “Au contraire. A .308 is a more damaging round on a shot for shot basis. ”

    I will take my 8mm mauser over a 5.56 any day.

  28. We all know how this investigation will end.

    Everything is fine, continue as you were.

    But they can give lip service about looking into the issue.

  29. I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but Barney Fife with a grenade launcher sounds like a very bad idea to me.

    -jcr

  30. What I don’t get is why all this expensive and useful equipment was given away? Why wasn’t it sold on the market with the profits put towards whatever the Pentagon wanted to use tax funds for?

  31. Why did they pursue then? The whole incident lasted way longer than it should have.

    Because the cops are idiots and think they can overwhelm any situation with manpower alone. Again, the body armor angle totally took the pigs by surprise (as it was intended to), and the mindless fucks just kept shooting ineffective pistol and shotgun rounds at P&M. It wasn’t until the SWAT team showed up that they could actually do any damage (I remember a History Channel doc saying that cops went to the local gun store to borrow high-powered rifles, but there’s no mention of that at Wikipedia).

    Cops are mostly morons about guns, never forget that, and it affects what they do. How many shots were fired at Amadou Diallo? And how many hit him?

  32. So the cops borrowed private hunting rifles.

    This being Texas and all, a number of members of the unorganized militia also provided covering fire.

  33. “THE COPS HAVE MACHINE GUNS!”

    If they have M2s, then they absolutely have machine guns under even the most restrictive definition.

    John, are you by chance cool enough to have a Nazi-stamped K98? All I have is are Yugo and Czech Mausers.

  34. Warty, I had my K98 turned into a .30-06 (replacement barrel, kept the K98 action). How you like that, bitch?

  35. While I agree with the tone of disapproval of the militarization of police work, some of the noted examples are bordering on the hysterical. A more measured tone is in order.

    Just because the M113 CAN be equipped with a Ma Duce, doens’t mean the DOD will hand it over with one up top. Pull a couple of pins and Ma dismounts. Said vehicle would have been perfect in the mentioned Hollywood shootout to retreive the wounded from the line of fire (instead of having to borrow a Brinks armored truck).

    And with respect to the mention of an amphib APC to the landlocked sheriff: Well, DUH! Pretty much all of the recent APC’s put into US service are ‘phib capable to some degree (the M113 can swim, although slowly). The real question is: What does said sherriff need an APC for? How many times has his SWAT team been pinned down by fire from that desperate bank robber holed up in the crack house? None? Yeah, go get your toy to play with elsewhere you small dicked sheriff. The fact that it’s a ‘phip capable APC – yawn.

    Re M16’s: in police hands, the practical amount of fire power is no different than the commonly available to you and I Mini-14. Both fire the same 223/5.56 cartaridge from the same 30 round box magazine. Cops are not going to fire full auto or even burst for liability / shot control reasons. If I can get an M-16 for free from the DoD, or chunk down $1500 (or more) per unit to Ruger for the Mini-14, why not get the free stuff? From a cop on the street perspective, they’re functionaly equivelent.

    Oh, and with respect to over penetration on this particular cartridge (the M16 223/5.56): Cops use expanding (e.g. hunting, or dum dum) bullets, not fully jacketed (FMJ / Full Metal Jacket) slugs like the military is required to use by convention. FMJ’s certainly can over penetrate. Expanding rounds, by design, stay in the target they impact to get maximum energy transfer. Besides – everyone knows the 223 / 5.56 is a pussy round. Real men shoot 30-06, or it’s slightly whimped down version, the 7.62 NATO (aka the 308 Winchester). The AK-47 round (7.62 x 39) is a pip squeek with a low velocity, light bullet compared to the ‘ought-six.

    M79 grenade launchers (aka the Blooper from ‘Nam) – fires a nice tear gas round. Oh sure, you could fire H.E., but again, liability. If you could get an M79 for free from the DOD, why spend thousands on a dedicated tear gas launcher? It’s not like the DoD is handing out the explosive rounds for them. If they were, THAT would be a story.

    Helmets and NVG’s: Sounds pretty benign to me. I think my little bro has a kevlar brain bucket in the trunk of his squad car, right next to the carbine.

    “A single well trained sniper could have ended the Hollywood shootout with two .308 rounds.” – or a cop who was good with his 9mm could have done the same. Or a 22 rifle. Head shots.

  36. You are a monster, Epi. You are even worse than I could have ever imagined. I bet you even cut down the stock, too, didn’t you?

    If you had done something like that to a 1903 Springfield, it would make you worse than Hitler.

  37. It tumbles due to its mass and velocity. The yaw of the round causes it to fragment. Even if the round does not fragment it still tumbles which causes more damage than a straight penetration from a round with more mass. If you think I am wrong feel free to argue with the Army ballistic tests and the ballistic gel. The round is notorious for tumbling which makes it act differently than other fully jacketed rounds that just penetrate. The velocity of the lower mass round is the main culprit of the yaw (at least thought as) since shorter barrel versions do not yaw in tissue. That lethality and the weight of the round are why Stoner used it and not the more popular 7.62 or .308.

    I qualified the machine gun statement in the reference to the NFA Act where it is listed as a weapon requiring a stamp and is defined.

    You can argue all day about which is more deadly. The bottom line is 5.56X45 has documented issues with causing more damage through yaw and fragment than 7.62X51. Shot for shot a .357 round has more stopping power than either at short ranges. The velocity, mass, distance, material, and a ton of other variables determine the damage.

    7.62X51 does not equal .308 Winchester They are two different rounds with two different ballistic profiles.

  38. You are a monster, Epi. You are even worse than I could have ever imagined. I bet you even cut down the stock, too, didn’t you?

    SYNTHETIC STOCK OMG

  39. As long as you didn’t ruin the wood, we’re cool. I really hate Bubba-ized stocks.

  40. Shot for shot a .357 round has more stopping power than either at short ranges.

    No. Quit getting your information from people who hang out in gun shops. If you want to quantify the suckage of getting shot with various calibers, it’s:

    .22 < pistol round

  41. ah fuck.

    .22 < pistol round < mid-power rifle round < full-power rifle round

    Trying to break it down more than that is pointless.

  42. Shot for shot a .357 round has more stopping power than either at short ranges.

    HAHAHAHAHA

    5.56 has about 1700 joules of energy, while a .357 has about 800. Please, never compare a high-powered (or even a medium-powered) rifle round to a pistol again.

    As long as you didn’t ruin the wood, we’re cool.

    I let the gunsmith have the stock. I’m a monster, remember?

  43. It tumbles due to its mass and velocity. The yaw of the round causes it to fragment. Even if the round does not fragment it still tumbles which causes more damage than a straight penetration from a round with more mass.

    Sure, sure, FMJ rounds traveling at high velocity will tumble and fragment. When they drop below that velocity (I forget what it is), they are significantly less damaging than a .308 at any velocity.

    There are pages and decades of debates on this, and on the general debate over velocity v. mass and diameter for round effectiveness. Personally, I’m a mass and diameter guy – there’s a reason nobody uses high-velocity rounds on dangerous game. I also think the extended effective range of the .308 is significant – there’s a reason snipers use .308 and no2 .223.

    It gets even worse when you get away from FMJ rounds (which I would never use except for target) and start talking self-defense/hunting rounds (where I believe the .308 advantage is more pronounced).

    7.62X51 does not equal .308 Winchester

    Also true. The .308 is a hotter round, by spec. That’s why its what I use.

  44. I let the gunsmith have the stock

    To be carved into a dildo, no doubt. You cause me more pain than chiggers.

  45. That lethality and the weight of the round are why Stoner used it and not the more popular 7.62 or .308.

    It was mainly the weight. For military purposes all up and down the logistics chain, the lighter weight of .223 is a major advantage.

    One more thing: yaw and fragment is not guaranteed on every shot, whereas weight and diameter deliver every time. I’ve shot a number of high velocity .223 rounds into critters, and had a number of them drill straight through. I have been less than impressed with terminal ballistics of high velocity/223 rounds in my unscientific sample. I have never been less than satisfied with the terminal ballistics of .30 caliber rounds.

    But, to each his own, I say.

  46. 7.62X51 does not equal .308 Winchester

    And neither is as great as 7.62x54r. There’s nothing like having to clean your guns out with ammonia after you’re done blowing shit up.

  47. 5.56 has about 1700 joules of energy, while a .357 has about 800.

    Joules ? OK Nancy if you want to go all Eurofag on us. 1250/590 fpe is the way real red-blooded Americans look at it.Although it’s gonna vary depending on the loading and projectile weight

  48. Epi measures his bullets in grams and his dick in millimeters, too.

  49. “the shit hits the fan, these will be useful depots to hit and obtain weapons.”

    And also remember that Mormans all have massive food caches.

  50. Look, douchebags, there’s nothing wrong with faggy French metric measures. You know, some of us are actually trained in science where they use, you know, base-10 based metric because it makes sense.

    his dick in millimeters

    So hundreds of millimeters is a problem?

  51. and potable water, too.

  52. Energy does not solely equal damage to flesh. Ball size, velocity, type, energy. At close range a .357 JHP will do the same or more stopping as 5.56. Think of driving a nail into someone as opposed to driving a the hammer head to a similar depth. The hammer head is going to do a lot more damage.

  53. For the record I have no round preference. They will all kill something if in skilled or even marginally skilled hands.

  54. For the record I have no round preference.

    Do you own any guns?

    I’ve had to arrive at round preference(s), because I don’t know how you buy a gun without one.

    I’m old school – if it was good enough for WWII, its good enough for me – .308 rifle, .45 ACP handguns, 12 gauge shotguns. Also, a .300 Win Mag and .22-250 for hunting.

  55. Timing on this couldn’t have been better. My Congressman sent me an email today thanking me for my note on SWAT raids, and then tried to politely dismiss it by informing me that state and local police set SWAT policies.

    Radley-on-the-spot…even better than Johnny.

  56. . Think of driving a nail into someone as opposed to driving a the hammer head to a similar depth. The hammer head is going to do a lot more damage.

    You’re completely wrong, dude. Rifle bullets are particularly nasty at close range because of the high pressures they generate in tissue. Acquaint yourself with Dr. Fackler’s research.

  57. John, are you by chance cool enough to have a Nazi-stamped K98? All I have is are Yugo and Czech Mausers.

    Sadly no. Mine is a CZech one. But it is wonderful. My God it has range and just sits on your shoulder. Kicks a bit but is a wonderful rifle.

  58. A .50 caliber machine gun operated in my neighborhood by the men in blue?? holy fuck!

    At least the one in Maine had the machine gun removed. I’m not too too opposed to the personnel carriers for SWAT teams if they remove the machine gun. At that point it’s not much different from a regular armored truck.

    Still, the continued militarization of our police forces is worry-some. As much as anything I worry about the psychological effect that driving a tank will have on policemen. They’re no longer trying to bring criminals to justice (by literally bringing them to jail) so much as they’re AT WAR crime. That mentality that will have nothing but bad consequences. In war it’s ok to have some collateral damage–in enforcing justice it shouldn’t be.

  59. Christ, the attempts to make M-16s sound like the most dangerous things ever are reminiscent of a Brady Campaign press release.

  60. How the fuck were they supposed to know that the fuckers would be armed to the teeth and wearing body armor including trauma plates?

    Hadn’t these guys already a few robbed armored cars before the North Hollywood heist? ANd I believe they were armed to the teeth when they robbed the armored cars. Wasn’t their MO already sorta known by the cops?

  61. Huh. I’m really wishing I had held onto my Glock now. I feel ashamed in this den of gun knowledge.

    P.S. Anyone who disparages Glocks can eat a dick. You can pour mud in that motherfucker and it will still reliably fire!

  62. People who hoard guns are dicks. Everybody should have like one gun and just shut up about it. Leave it at home unless you’re an idiot.

    The idea that a gun will stop the Zombies from eating you if it all goes to hell is ridiculous. You can shoot zombies like twenty times before they actually die. Raimi likes headshots, but zombies really just laugh at that stuff. Don’t believe the hype.

    And the idea that you people with all your guns scare anybody who didn’t wet their bed until they were twenty is equally funny, even if you have spent your whole bank account on emptying the ammo shelves.

    Oh yeah, people who talk about their guns? Totally insecure.

  63. Oh yeah, people who talk about their guns? Totally insecure.

    Nah, people are just into different shit.

  64. Hmm… cops with M2’s…

    I wonder how many of them (who are ex-infantry or armor) remember how to properly check the headspacing and timing on those. And then there’s the ones who were never in the military to begin with!

    There was a guy in my unit who failed to do the pre-combat checks on a M2, and, when test firing, blow the backplate off it it. Almost blew his dick off, and did set his groin on fire. Needless to say, he always did the checks after that.

    Then you have these clowns:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8kqHgciN70&amp;

    And just think, the cops will probably be even more poorly trained with them, especially considering the cost of 50 cal ammo; $2.5-3 per round.

    cheers

  65. Grenade launchers and 50 cals??? Really?

  66. Further ruminations here:

    Anyone else want to see a bunch of out of shape 40-50 year old cops break (& replace) the track on a M113? Especially under fire? Hilarity abounds!

    No Name Guy: You should be able to pick up a Ruger mini 14 for less than a grand. Shittier M-16/M4 clones (Olympic arms, IIRC) you can get for around that. A nicer bushmaster or colt will easily run 1500 or more.

    Helper: I have more than one gun, each for a specific purpose:
    M1 Carbine: For the zombie apocalypse. Check Max Brooks’ “Zombie Survival Handbook.” It’s the recommended primary rifle. Also, for when I go as Patty Hearst or Malcolm X at Halloween.
    Wasr-10 AK: Riot/home defense/get the F*ck out of here gun. Nothing says “you’re not welcome here” like the world recognized banana clip. They don’t know it’s not automatic unless they’re looking for a middle notch on the selector switch.
    Para-Ord .45: Customized with unit markings, which was offered after my last tour in Iraq. It’s something I can threaten any eventual grand kids with. “Whoops! Gramps is into the juice again, waving a pistol and telling war stories!” It’s mainly a momento.
    Beretta 92fs: I carry this when I am hiking + a couple mags of JHP to protect myself from any dangerous critters, 4 or 2 legged. My brother works with a girl whose mom and sister were killed execution style in the Cascades. Ever since then, whenever we go hiking/climbing, odds are that one or both of us is prepared.

    Guns are tools. Different gun, different scenario. You don’t use a shovel for digging post holes, do you?

    Round preference: I’ve seen 7.62×51 go through an engine block, steering column, a guys guts, and the seat behind him. The 5.56×45 didn’t go through any of that, but ironically that’s what killed the guy in question (head shots through an open window).

    On final thought: Why the hell is this shit being given away anyway? The last time I deployed, our M4 situation was so bad that some guys deployed with only a Vietnam era M-14 (designated marksmen). The sears were so bad on our 240B’s that they would all fail functions check (I was the one who tested that one). It’s only a matter of time before that’ll lead to a negligent discharge, which is going to be exciting with a medium machine gun! And we were a line rifle company! Crips, it’s only a matter of time before we end up like the f*cking Russian army.

  67. The last time I deployed, our M4 situation was so bad

    At least you don’t have to carry an M16A2 everywhere. But then, I guess I have no one to blame but myself.

  68. To those of you who assert that the 308 Winchester and 7.62 NATO are different – simply put, you’re mistaken. They’re functionally equivelent. I load my own. Check your loading manuals and check the case specs. The differences are negligible.

    Kyle – I guess I’ve latched onto the “Ban” prices. I did some digging. Who would have thought – Mini-14’s for $750.

    But my point is the same: Why spend $750 on a commercial product when the DoD will give your johnny law department surplus M-16’s for the cost of a couple of hours of paperwork? Justify the cost difference to your City / County council…..

    RC Nailed it with:
    “It was mainly the weight. For military purposes all up and down the logistics chain, the lighter weight of .223 is a major advantage.”

    From a Military perspective, popping an enemy in the shoulder with a 223 renders them unfit for service. Job accomplished. No different than if they’re popped with a 7.62 NATO or 30-06. They’re knocked out of the battle all the same.

    For equal weight, a solider can carry far more rounds of 223 (or even 7.62×39) than of full power rounds (7.62 NATO, 30-06, 8MM Mauser or the Russian equivelent).

    Besides – think about how much fewer resources are consumed to make an anti-personel round if you go with a 223 vs. a 30-06. 70 grains (or so) of bullet weight vs 150. Similar proportions on the powder. The brass for the case.

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