Guns

3 Reasons Why Banning 'Assault Weapons' Is a Terrible Idea

A ban won’t stop mass shootings, but it will hinder self-defense.

|

The specter of a federal "assault weapons" ban is once again haunting the land. Here are three reasons why any such federal action is a terrible idea.

1. There is no agreed upon definition of "assault weapon."

Politicians looking to enact stricter gun control laws have always struggled to define what exactly constitutes an "assault weapon." It's like the famous line about identifying pornography: "I know it when I see it." Unfortunately, this feckless approach guided the drafting of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and is once again threatening the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. 

Consider these two versions of the Ruger Mini-14 from a technical perspective:

Both are mechanically identical. They fire the same cartridge; they have the same effective range, the same rate of fire, and the same mechanical accuracy. But under the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), only one of these guns, the lower one in the photograph, was banned as an "assault weapon" due to the folding stock and pistol-grip design. Features like a folding stock or muzzle brake have little effect on the function of a firearm. Yet these cosmetic components were explicitly restricted as "common characteristics" of assault weapons in the language of the 1994 law. And despite the ban on the "assault" version, the fixed-stock Mini-14 was classified as a "firearm with legitimate utility" that could be sold by any licensed retailer. None of the features included or exempted in the AWB have any bearing on the lethality or mechanical function of the firearm itself.

Further clouding the issue are contradictory definitions for firearms in state and federal firearms codes. California's laws (the supposed model for gun control) are so complex that even honest compliance can lead to significant legal problems. Scott Kirschenmann found that out when he contacted the California Department of Justice to register his lawfully assembled firearms. As a result of his good-faith attempt to follow the law, he was arrested and charged with 18 counts, including felony possession of an illegal firearm. Thankfully, his case was ultimately dismissed, though not before some of his firearms were destroyed by law enforcement.

Even gun control advocates can get in trouble. Scott-Dani Pappalardo made a video of himself destroying his AR-15. In the course of that destruction, he inadvertently created a highly illegal, short-barrel rifle. Fortunately for him, he was not brought up on charges.

2. Banning "assault weapons" won't stop mass shootings.

Gun control groups insist "assault weapons" like the Mini-14 or AR-15 are the cause of mass shooting violence in America and must be regulated accordingly. A very broad definition of "mass shootings" compiled by the Gun Violence Archive tabulated 465 fatalities across 417 incidents in 2019. Those deaths represent about 2.8 percent of the 16,425 total homicides that year. Rifles were used in only 6 percent of all gun-related homicides in that same year. Many of these incidents were more commonplace types of criminal activity, such as shootouts over drugs or gang turf. Few of these incidents constitute a "shooting spree" of indiscriminate violence. Rare randomized killing sprees get disproportionate news coverage and politicians rush to the soapbox to proclaim that they are taking decisive action.

While we may not comprehend the motives for these tragedies, we can learn from them by deconstructing some of the more notorious ones. It might surprise some to learn that the presence of a semi-auto rifle is not a common denominator in the bloodiest mass shootings.

The 2007 Virginia Tech shooter was not armed with an assault weapon, just a 9mm Glock, a .22 caliber target pistol, and a duffel bag full of spare 10-round magazines at his hip during his 10-minute rampage. In 1991, a man crashed his truck into a Texas restaurant. Over 15 minutes, armed only with a pair of handguns, he fatally wounded 13 people and systematically executed 10 more. The 1946 "Walk of Death" in Camden, New Jersey, was perpetrated by a disturbed veteran armed with a 9mm pistol, two eight-round magazines, and some loose ammo in his pocket.

There is little evidence that weapon type, caliber, or capacity has any relation to the number of casualties in a spree killing. The spree shooter will always have the best advantages: planning and surprise. Typically, they deliberately select locations where firearms are unlikely to be present. Without resistance they can maneuver aggressively and without fear of reprisal.

The most significant factor in reducing fatalities in these sprees is how quickly an armed defender intervenes. These discoveries have prompted doctrinal changes in police departments. Official police procedure now is to engage the shooter immediately, with or without backup.

3. Assault weapons are a crucial self-defense tool.

Today's gun owners are an increasingly diverse segment of the population. Associations like the National African-American Gun Association, the LGBTQ+ group Armed Equality, and the Well-Armed Woman have seen record growth in the last year. In a time when many people are questioning the role of law enforcement in their daily lives, it makes sense for greater numbers of people to take personal responsibility for the safety of themselves, their families, and their homes.

Experts prize the AR-15 as the ideal home-defense tool. High-capacity magazines are a particular benefit to senior citizens or physically disadvantaged people who might struggle with handling a handgun or shotgun. The lightweight bullets have low recoil; compared to shotgun and pistol rounds, they are less likely to over-penetrate walls and barriers. Everything the home defender will need can be prepared and stored safely under lock and key until needed for an emergency (which is hopefully never).

Banning such weapons would make felons out of people who have committed no harm and simply wish to protect themselves. Greater regulation will disarm marginalized groups facing very real threats of violence.

We must be wary of politicians who know little about firearms yet promise fast-acting, feel-good legislation instead of working towards more meaningful solutions.

NEXT: Phoenix Police Seized $40K From Him at the Airport, but Never Charged Him With a Crime

Guns Assault Weapon Ban Firearms Crimes weapons Second Amendment Self-Defense Gun Control

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

91 responses to “3 Reasons Why Banning 'Assault Weapons' Is a Terrible Idea

  1. Biden and his ilk do not want to ban guns. They just want to make sure only the government and it's agents have them. That's all you need to know about '' gun control '.

    1. Really? They way the are currently demonizing the government enforcers, it seems like a mixed message that "Only racist violent cops should be armed."

      1. You're asking for ideological consistency from progressives? Good luck with that.

        1. USA Making money online more than 15$ just by doing simple work from home. I have received $18376 last month. Its an easy and simple job to do and its earnings are much better than regular d office job and even a little child can do this and earns money. Everybody must try this job by just use the info
          on this page.....VISIT HERE

      2. That is a contradiction people have been pointing out for some time now. I don't think they care. It's all about emotional reactions.

        1. Yes exactly, they already know that fear = votes.

      3. Do they ever demonize federal agents (FBI, ATF, DEA, etc) as racist? (ICE exempted of course) or only state and local law enforcement?

        Seems like the contradiction evaporates when you separate federal and non-federal government

      4. Most of the people I know are ideological leftists. From what I've seen, most of the tenets of leftist dogma seem to be directly contradictory to at least one or two of their other supposed "principles".

        One thing they almost never do is to put any two of their beliefs together and try to figure out how both can possibly be true. They don't have to wonder why the cops that are "hunting black and brown people" are also the only ones who can be trusted with the tools of lethal force because they never put both ideas into the same paragraph.

        1. True but the same inconsistency is found among conservatives who oppose gun control but also back the blue. You end up making excuses for the Capitol rioters in one sentence while defending Derek Chauvin in the next. What you’re talking about is political tribalism where your “principles” aren’t meant to be universally applicable but only insofar as it benefits your side.

    2. They want to gentrify gun ownership. It's okay, they think, for the bodyguards of "important" people to be armed with the best guns; it's just bad for us commoners to have them. So they will enact a thicket of regulation that only the wealthy and well-connected can navigate. So much for being the "party of the little people".

    3. Single Mom With 4 Kids Lost Her Job But Was Able To Stay On Top By Banking Continuously $1500 Per Week sdk With An Online Work She Found Over The Internet… Check The Details HERE…. Visit the given link........... Visit Here

    4. "I will use a pistol to fight my way to my rifle" said some guy. The rifle is the ultimate defense against government oppression, thus it must be banned.

  2. #4. Shall not be infringed

    1. #5 FYTW

      1. #6 IANAL but ICWYD

  3. The 1994 bill merely changed the value of the banned weapons. The Styer Aug is a good example. The Steyr Aug is a bullpup style, futuristic looking weapon that was featured in many movies during the early 90s. No criminal ever used a Steyr Aug in the commission of a crime except in the movies, yet it was banned. My friend owned one. It cost him $700. A nice AR cost about $400 at the time. After the ban, my friend's Styer Aug was worth $3000 overnight after the ban.
    I considered buying one but opted to buy seven new ARs instead for the same price. Why would I need seven ARs? Easy. When you are going to engage in a gunfight, bring friends, friends with guns. Instead of showing up with that cool looking Steyr Aug, I could show up with 7 armed friends.

    1. Progressives are far more concerned with how something looks than anything else, so something seen that looks like a Rambo gun is obviously more dangerous. Just look at it!
      Anything requiring close consideration instead of deep feelings and moral outrage is beyond almost all Progressives. They can do numbers, but mathematical relationships are always beyond them.

      1. Fun fact: Rambo doesn't kill anyone in Rambo first blood

        1. Not quite. He killed someone by throwing a rock at a helicopter.

        2. Even more fun fact: Stallone was a draft dodging school teacher at a girls private school during the war.

          1. Yes, and the man who played the "evil sheriff" was a patriotic American who served in the military. He was a really good guy in real life, and had a reputation for being easy and pleasant to work with, as opposed to Stallone.

            1. Yes, I have heard that. I saw Rambo and could not want to sign up. Boy was I surprised that we were not allowed to traipse around shirtless while firing an M60 from the hip.
              I am old enough to remember when a whole slew of Hollywood types were veterans and worthy of respect. A bar near my house shows the great Jacky Gleason and others in uniform.

    2. Lol, did your army of fake friends help you kill all those fake A-rabs during your 274 fake deployments to the sandbox you pathetic little bitch?

      1. Hey did you get the chance to shoot any fake innocent A-rab women and children in the face while you were on your fake tours, or did you just sit in your fake barracks furiously jacking your microchode and calling in drone strikes to kill them during weddings and funerals?

        1. No, but I did shoot plenty of loads onto your Mom's tramp stamp while I was stationed in your head. At first I could not understand why any woman would want a tramp stamp, but your Mom's is different. It says, "Classy".

      2. No Omar, but we did swing by your Mom's house, she wanted to test our ability to work together as a squad in close quarters. She is the real hero in my eyes.

    3. Bought an AR this year after realizing my Mossberg 500 was too much to handle. Easy to handle , accurate and my shoulders appreciate it.

  4. "Erik Nelson is the owner of Nelson Gunsmithing in Boise, Idaho."

    I'll take the word of longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn over the owner of a gun company. And Mr. Hihn says the libertarian position is to demand comprehensive gun safety legislation.

    #UnbanMichaelHihn

    1. I remember when the comment section used to suffer the occasional Hihnfection. Don't know whether one mask or two would have limited the spread.

      1. Well, someone apparently found a vaccine for that too.

    2. #UnbanMichaelHihn

      I think you mean disinter Michael Hihn.

  5. The only reason banning assault weapons is a bad idea is that it is unconstitutional.

    Like asset forfeiture, hate speech, and all the other made up bullshit of the fascists.

    1. I can think of a few other reasons. But I suspect you mean that that is (or should be) the only argument against that is needed.

      1. The constitution is the product of systemic racism.

        1. If it was good, why did it require amendments?

  6. I am fairly knowledgeable about guns, and concur that everything in the article is factual. While semi automatic rifles are indeed used by some criminals, they are by no means exclusive. The vast majority of homicides are committed with handguns. Rifles and long guns of any type are the most seldom used to commit crimes. Criminals, including "mass shooters," choose their victims and venues thoughtfully, and "gun free" zones make the best targets. And I especially agree that "Banning such weapons would make felons out of people who have committed no harm and simply wish to protect themselves," because I will be one of them.

    Problem is facts do not matter to those who have already made up their minds about something. To most anti gun people they are simply machines made to kill, they don't need them, and neither do you.

    Another AWB will reduce crime no more than the last one did [no matter what Biden mumbles to the contrary, the the press never takes him to task on]; which will necessarily lead to more "needed" legislation to further restrict the rights of everyone, mostly the law abiding who have no intention of committing any crimes.

    The best thing to come out of this will be the nullification of yet more federal regulations, and a general weakening of the government.

    1. Problem is facts do not matter to those who have already made up their minds about something.

      You cannot reason someone out of something they weren't reasoned into.

      1. That depends on how you view 'victory'. It's extremely difficult to persuade someone to abandon a point they're defending. In fact they will often double down even harder if they feel like they are losing.

        But while they're flailing, you're out there winning the hearts and minds of the silent spectators. I run debates straight into the ground with zero luck persuading the opponent, only to receive thanks and compliments from spectators later on. Make an earnest and compelling case, and your opponent just looks like an over-emotional loon.

        1. This is the way you always have to look at it.

    2. "The vast majority of homicides are committed with handguns. Rifles and long guns of any type are the most seldom used to commit crimes."

      To expand on your point, this is true for mass shootings as well; the majority are committed with handguns, not rifles

    3. He did say something that was off about flash suppressors. Clearly, he has never shot a weapon without one at night or with NODs on.

      1. If you're at the point where you are making performative comparisons to accommodate your A/N PVS-7s, you are not the target audience for this article. 😉

        1. Erik, PVS-7s? Those were a while back, but I catch your drift.
          Even without nods, a weapon with a crowned barrel and no flash suppressor will blind you and give away your position. It is a good "heads up" to any budding snipers out there.

          1. TalcumX,
            You spoke about the Steyr Aug earlier.
            I have one, and at night it is amazing how much fire comes out of the gas tube.
            There is an actual jet of flame shooting at right angles to the barrel.
            I hope the Aussies and Austrians never have to fight at night as the Aug has the biggest blast signature of any modern rifle.

    4. It’s a culture war issue for a reason. Millions of Americans grew up with guns but millions of others did not. The former cannot understand why the latter don’t arm themselves and the latter don’t understand why they do. The most promising signs are what the article noted - that gun owners are becoming more diverse. That and local nullification are the only things standing in the way of Biden and the gun control fanatics.

  7. Trying to discuss this in a logical and rational manner doesn't work. Nothing the left does or says is truthful, rational, reasonable, and you can assume words have little meaning with them.

    Their ultimate goal is a society of slaves completely dependent on the one state to provide all. You don't argue with crazy, you contain it or remove it.

    1. "You don’t argue with crazy, you contain it or remove it."

      Like Lesly Chao?

  8. The best reason not to ban assault weapons is that it would turn millions of Americans into criminals--despite the fact that they've never pointed a gun at anyone or done anything wrong with a gun.

    The next best reason not to ban assault weapons is that it violates the Constitution. In fact, given the text of the Second Amendment and the explanation for it in The Federalist Papers, the constitutional protections for assault weapons are stronger than they are for handguns.

    1. Remember how banning "Saturday night specials" wasn't racist? Yeah, I'm that old.

      1. The earliest "Saturday night special" laws predate the term and were enacted immediately after the ratification of the 14th Amendment (and those passing them made no effort to hide the racial motivations) but I'm pretty sure you aren't THAT old

    2. [OT] hope you saw the no-no, Ken.

      1. Every pitch!

        1. fantastic. the enemy crowd cheering Musgrove on was spectacular.

    3. "The best reason not to ban assault weapons is that it would turn millions of Americans into criminals–despite the fact that they’ve never pointed a gun at anyone or done anything wrong with a gun."

      Many on the left see it the opposite way; turning millions of gun owners into criminals is the best argument FOR banning "assault weapons"

      1. Still, it's fundamentally unjust to make criminals of people who haven't done anything to hurt anybody. Throwing people in jail for drinking beer to prevent drunk driving is most fundamentally wrong when it makes criminals of beer drinkers who have never driven drunk in their lives.

        If their law requires the government to throw people in prison who haven't done anything to hurt anybody, their law should have an uphill battle--if we're fighting in the court of public opinion. People generally abhor injustice, and throwing innocent people in jail is the definition of injustice.

        1. This is the reason there are so many 'nobody needs' types who use language implying all gun owners are child killers and tear-wrists.

      2. You have lots of regular people out here in the sticks, who just want to work, provide for their families, and be left alone.
        They see the direction things are going here, and are alarmed and worried about their futures. But they are not out there rioting are causing problems, because they are conflict averse, and don't want to get into trouble. They have too much to lose.
        If the people in Washington pass a law turning all those folks into felons, they are going to feel like they have less to lose, even though enforcement of such a law would be impossible.

        From the perspective of folks out here, it seems like such proposals would primarily benefit the enemies of the US, as they would almost certainly lead to severe disruption.

        And honestly, what is the advantage of trying to turn millions of law abiding people who don't want to harm anyone into armed insurgents?

        1. They just did exactly that in Virginia.
          The left does it to hurt red voting areas.
          There is no other benefit .

  9. More reasons -
    We will not comply.
    We wait to see if "ban" morphs into "confiscation".
    Finally we see how many people actually support the 2A.

  10. wtf is an assault weapon?

    1. I think it means that the weapon has a bayonet lug for those all too common bayonet charges you see these days.

      1. Actually, the problem is drive-by bayonettings.

        1. With 3D-printed bayonets at that

          1. The possibilities are endless.

  11. You Americans are the most frightened people in the world

    1. Oh, I don't know. Those unarmed Kiwis probably have us beat.

      1. Yeah but they haven't had decades of mass media and politicians fearmongering that inanimate objects will jump up and start killing everyone in near proximity.

  12. Given Diane Feinstein spent over 30 years advertising ARs & AKs to criminals. Why don't the anti-gun crowd sue her instead of trying to sue the manufacturers?

  13. Want to bring gun deaths down to almost zero? Ban hand guns and these modern rifles, and issue every citizen a modern rendition of the Charville Musket; a maximum range of 50 yards and two shots per minute. (Revolutionary War period, French design)

    Trauma surgeons agree that the killer factor is the high muzzle velocity of some modern guns. They say that the high speed bullets rip you apart as opposed to just burrowing in.

    If this recent shooter had one of Charvilles, I doubt he would have killed a single person. My guess is he would have wounded one or two.

    1. The same can be said of locking everyone up and systematically sending them to the guillotine.

      I'll guess, trauma surgeons have never seen what a rather slow 45-70 bullet does when it goes shoulder to hip through a large grizzly bear or shoulder to shoulder through a bison. You'll forgive me for not being that concerned with what trauma surgeons supposedly agree upon.

    2. But it had a bayonet lug, right? He could probably kill at least one person if he has been trained in "The Spirit of The Bayonet".

    3. This was one of the points that unfortunately got cut on the editing floor: eliminating firearms ownership enables other kinds of violence.

      Let's say you eliminate all firearms from the public inventory. Congrats! What is your solution for dealing with a maniac on the streets, or a home invader? I'm a big guy and I've got more training than most in hand to hand work, and I would not want to test my luck against a determined, violent intruder. Cops are 10-30 minutes away. That is a hell of a long time to be dueling with an attacker.

      Are you willing to be another statistic? Are you willing to let it be your family? My LGBT+ friends face significantly higher rates of assault and predation. Forcibly disarming them is saying "I want to feel safer in my middle class neighborhood, so I'm willing to throw my minority friends under the bus."

  14. Experts prize the AR-15 as the ideal home-defense tool. High-capacity magazines are a particular benefit to senior citizens or physically disadvantaged people who might struggle with handling a handgun or shotgun. The lightweight bullets have low recoil; compared to shotgun and pistol rounds, they are less likely to over-penetrate walls and barriers. Everything the home defender will need can be prepared and stored safely under lock and key until needed for an emergency (which is hopefully never)."

    totally agree

    1. "they are less likely to over-penetrate walls and barriers."

      What experts? You are 180 degrees from reality on that one. A 62 grain, 5.56 bullet traveling at 3000 ft per sec penetrates walls. It was designed to penetrate. 62 grain "green tip" military ammo has a feature called a "tungsten penetrator" for punching through objects like car doors. It doesn't expand. It is not very good at killing people either, it passes straight through leaving a small wound channel. It was an issue in the wars.
      If you want to keep your kids and neighbors safe, shooting a 5.56mm inside the house is not the best choice. A round traveling 3000 fps ricocchets like crazy. Look at video of soldiers shooting tracers at night.
      A shotgun, carbine, or pistol is much better for indoor use. You can always get a 20 gauge or a .410 if you can't handle a 12 gauge. You can use lighter loads to keep down the penetration factor. Or, a pistol with "Glaser Safety Slugs" is your best bet. They won't travel through walls because the bullet breaks up when it hits something. There is no penetration, it breaks up into small particles. If a Glaser hits a person anywhere in the torso they will not survive.

      1. A friend and I conducted a test a couple of years ago; had an old scuba tank that I relegated to the firing range; we tried the usual pistol calibers up to .357 Magnum, and then rifle. Nothing came close to going through it until we 5.56 penetrators [API]; punched as if it were butter, and then sizzled inside it.

        This trial included 5.56 frangible rounds that left interesting marks but pretty much disintegrated, as designed, upon impact.

        While I live in a rural area I still have my Mossberg pump, equipped with a light and loaded with 00 as my go to home defense go to.

        1. scratch one go to, and add edit button

        2. Were you training to repel divers? Dang Frogmen! We loved conducting tests like that. 5.56 went through car doors as good or better than 7.62 x 39.
          In the war, most guys dumped the green tip 5.56, 62 grain for Winchester 75 grain. Much better stopping power. I had an SPR 5.56 that was designed for the Black Hills 77grain. Those rounds are extremely accurate and lethal out to 400m in my experience.
          Of course, the shotgun is my favorite for home too. I don't need long range as a civilian protecting my home, just lethality to 25m. It is funny how people disregard the lethality of a 12 gauge. I have seen it do "some things".

      2. This is objectively, provably incorrect with even a modicum of effort. I have spent plenty of time talking to SWAT operators and special teams with significant experience in urban combat. The reason they switched from the 9mm MP5 to the AR-15 was almost entirely due to the yaw characteristics of lightweight .224 bullets. Lightweight high velocity rounds tumble radically. This causes them to absorb energy along their long axis. It'll still go through plenty of drywall with lethal force, but it slows much more rapidly than heavier rounds will.

        1. Erik, please tell me what SWAT teams in the US have "with significant experience in urban combat" unless they were former military. If SWAT teams were getting into regular "urban combat" here in the US, we would never hear the end of it. Even FBI HRT was having trouble recruiting capable/experienced HRT members from their pool of agents so they heavily recruited ex-military special operations personnel for that very reason. They didn't even require them to have time as an agent, they went straight to HRT.
          Compared to a military CQB team, SWAT operators are severely under trained. The basic course for SF is 4 weeks long, the advanced course, SFARTAETC is 10 weeks long. Sniper school is an additional 6 weeks. Civilian SWAT courses range from 4 days to 2 weeks. They don't have the money for that much range time. They don't have their own "shoothouses" to train in. SF CQB teams train at the range and "shoothouses" 4 days a week and do maintenance and classes on the 5th day. They have no other duties. Show me a civilian SWAT team that does that. Maybe LA. Maybe Dallas. The rest do not get nearly the training needed to be really good. I have trained them, their situation is not great.
          They are carrying M4s because after 9/11, everyone got M4s. The guys you talked to may not have the experience that you think they do. 5.56 is very dangerous inside houses. Ask anyone that kicked doors in Iraq.
          I am a huge fan of the M4 and it's variants. I carried one for 25 years or so. There are better weapons for close quarters than an M4 if you only need short range capabilities and weren't expecting a gunfight at 300 meters.

      3. You're objectively incorrect.

        first off, Green tip doesn't have a tungsten penetrator, it's got a mild steel core. It was designed to go through Soviet steel helmets.

        Lightweight high velocity rounds easily destabilize upon impact with things like drywall and start to tumble, rapidly bleeding off energy or even breaking apart entirely.

        The lack of penetration through intermediate barriers is why "barrier blind" rounds were specifically made.

        Shotgun pellets and handgun rounds are heavier and slower. They have less kinetic energy, but more momentum and just keep on trucking along after passing through drywall.

        1. Take a green tip apart if you get a chance. There is a small wire in the core. That is a piece of tungsten. I'm no expert, but I was a SF Weapons Sergeant for well over a decade and someone showed me that many years ago.
          Shotgun rounds and handgun rounds are heavier and knock people down better during CQB. You don't need 300-400m capability, just short range stopping power. The reason that guys are carrying long guns for CQB in combat is because they may need longer range capabilities while traveling to and from the objective. If you have done it, you know that you have to double tap or triple tap with 5.56 to put people down quickly. If you don't hit center mass, they don't go down. If you read the AARs from Mogadishu, you will see it repeated over and over.
          Many teams were carrying MP5SDs which slows the round by bleeding gas off of the barrel into the integral suppressor. They worked great on paper targets, not so much on people because it slowed the round down too much. An MP5 with just a can suppressor is much better. But when using the 9mm, the SAS had a sayng, "shoot them until they are down". The terrorists at 'Princess Gate" were riddled with bullets, some of them had been shot 80 times.
          I carried a "breach weapon" for several years. We used "bird shot" and "Hatten" rounds for breaking doors and hinges. I have shot a lot of different rounds inside of buildings and we tested everything we could get our hands on. Penetration and over-penetration depends on the type of round.

          1. TalcumX, I think I see where the wires got crossed.

            M855LF uses a soft tungsten-*polymer* core, and the M855A1 uses a steel tip, but neither of them uses a hardened tungsten penetrator. (There is a M995 black-tip 40gr tungsten round but it was used almost exclusively by European NATO states near the ComBloc).

            This is one of those anecdotal things that goes around the military, like 'You can't use a .50 cal against people because of the Geneva convention'. M193 ammo was the standard issue for a lot of years, but it was really optimized for performance between 100-200 meters. Dr. Fackler did some really good work in analyzing the permanent wound cavities; too far away and it 'fishooked' unpredictably, and too close it simply punched tiny holes in targets before yawing. Hence, the 'Mogadishu Drill', which later evolved into the modern technique of controlled pairs high-center mass.

            The 77gr ammo you're thinking of is likely the modernized MK262 Mod 0. It uses a cannelured OTM 77gr round that was built around the NWSC-Crane SPR. But this wasn't introduced until 2002/2003, as an evolution of custom-ordered 80gr target ammo developed for the AMU. I'm guessing that would have been right at the tail end of your time in the military. I would be very surprised to hear that an SF unit was authorized to purchase civilian ammunition outside the normal procurement chains.

            As for shotguns and handguns-- no one's contending that #00 is ineffective as a fightstopper. In fact it's overkill, so much so that LE units and civilian defense instructors have switched to #1 or even #4 buck in shotguns. 9mm rounds are notoriously inefficient at stopping targets compared to Speer 62gr JHP.

            The yaw characteristics of 5.56 are pretty well documented. It may seem counterintuitive but it's simply a function of physics. Heavy, short projectiles like 9mm or buckshot will keep on trucking through meat and drywall because they don't destabilize in flight. This is not a big deal to 18Bs and other combat arms, but it's a significant liability factor for domestic LEO units. 5.56 will destabilize very quickly upon encountering any intermediate barriers. This is a *good thing*, because it reduces risk to adjacent buildings and bystanders without sacrificing lethality.

    2. Not sure the .223/5.56 round in an AR or any other platform. One of my biggest shocks after the MSD school shooting in FL was the shooter hit one of the kids with three rounds and they survived. Not saying that round can't be fatal, just that if someone is hit three times with one and they survive I am not sure it would be my first choice for self defense.

  15. Hindering self-defense is one of the desired results.

    Underneath this is a nasty view of what "civilization" means: Self-defense is a malum in se crime, anything that might be useful for self-defense must be banned lest the weak-minded be tempted into committing the horrible crime of self-defense, and if the Authorities say "You must die, not for any fault of your own but simply for the Good of Society," then you have a duty to die.

  16. Re: "Assault weapons are a crucial self-defense tool"

    The Second Amendment is not about "self-defense". Its purpose is clearly stated in the preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons by law abiding, private citizens and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or prevent a “misconstruction or abuse, of the government’s powers” - so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who - for whatever reason - don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. The problem is history has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising.

  17. Other people probably commented on this but the article inaccurately states that "they are less likely to over-penetrate walls and barriers." referring to rounds shot from AR-15. This is not true, generally speaking. AR-15 shoot .223 caliber rounds that have lots of powder and move around 2,800-3,200 feet per second and generally speaking pack a lot more "punch" than most handguns. Most 9mm handgun bullets travel around 1,200 fps, but can vary due to ammo types. A full metal jacket .223 round from an AR-15 is going to out penetrate 9mm all day long.

  18. Assault weapons are not a "crucial self defense tool." This statement is ludicrous. Nobody needs a weapon such as this to defend his or herself, unless they are on a battlefield. These weapons should not be in the hands of civilians.
    What is needed is a repeal of the outdated and dangerous Second Amendment, so that reasonable gun restrictions can be implemented in the United States. The death toll from guns in our society is an embarrassment--and an abomination that we should not accept. Unfortunately, too many politicians, especially Republicans, are willing to sell the lives of the citizens for campaign dollars.

  19. These pandering politicians that come up with these let's ban everything pabulum and we will have unicorn utopia are not even worthy of being compared to wallowing pigs or bloated cattle. Bovine and swine have more integrity and brains than these poltroon POS "officials" could ever hope to have. Is stupidity and arrogance a prerequisite to being a politician? It seems so.

    Beyond the fraud in media, politics, entertainment, government, courts, elections, law enforcemnet etc.... The brainwashed Americans that believe these F%!k wits and their corrupted Bureaucracies are most definitely mentally flawed.

  20. In a 1988 white paper that led to the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban, Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center wrote:

    "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons."

    Take a close look at the photo posted at the top of this article. It shows a black "X" fashioned out of tape superimposed over the image of a rifle. It sort of implies that this is one of the "assault weapons" that was banned in 1994 and that some people would like to ban again.

    My first impression was that the rifle was a semi-automatic Springfield Armory M1A which in fact was "banned" in 1994. Now take a closer look. Get a magnifying glass if you need one. Look carefully in the cutout just over the trigger where the wood of the stock meets the receiver. There's a lever in that cutout which gives the whole thing away. That's the select fire lever which switches an M-14 from semi to full auto. That is no "assault weapon." It is in fact a select fire assault rifle as defined by the DoD. It is, was, and probably will continue to be covered by the 1934 NFA.

    If you recall, the Sheriff of Broward County, FL got into a whole lot of trouble over this sort of slight of hand, using a select fire police "patrol rifle" seen hosing down a piece of concrete block in a video meant to promote an assault weapons ban.

    If you listen carefully you can hear Mr. Sugarmann chuckling.

Comments are closed.