Guns A Perspective Based On Need

Discussion in 'Guns, Knives, Tools, Etc.' started by TexDanm, Sep 30, 2017.

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  1. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    GUNS A perspective based on need

    This was written to be a blog but it wouldn't let me so here it is...

    There is always a lot of debate when it comes to what gun is the best. The fact is that no one gun is the best in all situations or for all applications OR for all people. In general people have the idea that the military, since they use their guns a lot, must have the best weapons. Unfortunately that is not a fact. In general the weapons used by the military are selected for reasons more political and financial than most people realize and then there is the fact that the needs of a soldier in combat are unique and not what most people will ever encounter in their life even if the world goes down the tubes.

    In general the military has to adjust pretty often based on what had woirked and what had NOT worked in our previous conflict. Vietnam lasted long enough that we had to make a change during it. Weapons that had worked real well in Korea and in the European theater of war in WW2 just didn't work well at all in Vietnam. Studies indicated that with NON automatic weapons more soldiers didn't do much shooting in a fire fight. If you are shooting one bullet at a time you want to aim that one bullet and in the jungle you very seldom had a certain target. When you did get a target it was a fleeting chance and only the most skilled would manage to get more than one shot off.

    Their experience with the BAR, M-3 Grease gun and M-1 Thompson in the Philippines and South Pacific jungles lead them to believe that it would work better if the primary infantry rifle could be fully automatic. In order to make the ammo both lighter to carry AND to make the recoil more manageable in full auto they went to a much smaller round and hence the M16 was born. In the jungle if you caught a glimpse you could shoot the entire damn bush. It wasn't efficient but it did work.

    As soon as we got out of the jungle it started showing problems and now they have changed them from full auto to three round bursts. The fact is according to several friends they are not real popular in the middle east and a lot of my friends say that they grabbed an AK-47 the first chance that they got. The problem is that we have now convinced all of our NATO alies to switch to the 5.56 and there is a lot of resistance to change. It was a political decision to drop the 45 APC and go to the anemic 9mm. That was what our NATO partners preferred so we had to change to suit them so we could all be twinkies and shoot the same ammo.

    The truth is that unless you are going to fight in a military fashion and have military type back up and supply lines then you are better of not emulating them. I don't care how much ammo you can carry, if you start ripping it off in 20 or 30 round strings you are going to be without real fast. Also you do NOT want to have to fire even a hundred rounds for every kill when they are trying to kill YOU. You are not interested in causing casualties or wounding people. You want to STOP them and make them so they are no longer a danger to you or your loved ones.

    Even in a platoon in the military every man did not carry an M-16. A group would have an assortment of weapons for different situations. Unless you have 25 or 30 people and the ability to support them you won't be able to have that sort of force protecting you. Most of us will be a part of a small group. Family and maybe a few close friends and neighbors does not a Delta Force make.
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  2. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    Now, what sort of firearms are out there and what are their individual strengths and weaknesses? First off in general real full automatic weapons are not easily available to a civilian. You can get one in the US but it is EXPENSIVE both in licenses and the weapon itself. I'm not sure that it is worth it even if you are made out of money though. You are not in the military and don't want to act like you are.

    SO, semiautomatic rifles...They are now days very dependable IF you maintain them and know how to make quick fixes for the common problems in the field. They offer you a lot of firepower but at the expence of using up a lot of ammo if you aren't careful. While I'm not fond of the 5.56 a lot of that has to do with the ball FMJ ammo that most are shooting. There ARE better rounds that make up some of the inadequacies of the military ball ammo. I would prefer to start where the 5.56 had to work hard to get to though. A 30 caliber starts off at about the size that you hope your hollow point 5.56 will get to. Even the old M1 Carbine in the 30 caliber carbine round is about 2 or there times the stopping power per round of the 5.56. There are also some very nice simiautomatic hunting rifles out there and all sorts of 7.62 military rifles. If you live in Bear country I think that I would not feel comfortable with a 5.56. It might kill the bear but would it do it before it killed you??

    Ammo for automatics is limited to operating in a relatively narrow band of pressures. More and it batters your gun to pieces and lower and it won't dependably operate your system. If you plan on reloading you will need to know what you can do or you may end up with a single shot because the pressures aren't right. Some rifles are a lot more sensitive to this than others but in general you need to do things more meticulously for autos. If you can't get the preferred powders or bullets you are going to have to “improvise” and that is not something for a novice.

    Bolt action Rifles have been around for a long long time and are still in use in a lot of places. If you have nothing else I assure you that you are not at all in a bad place. With all my guns one of my favorites is an old WW2 Nagant in 7.62 X 54R This is a Russian Bolt action that saw action in WW1 and WW2 and is still kicking. It is tough as nails and amazingly accurate even with open sights. I only paid about a hundred dollars for it and got two huge 440 round metal sardine cans full of ammo for it for 45 bucks each. I also have a French Mass and had a Italian Mannlicher Carbine (One of these was used to kill J F Kennedy). All were dirt cheap and deadly. The advantage of a lot of these old bolt actions is that they reload FAST from a stripper clip.

    If you have a bolt action hunting rifle you are even better off. Most are real well made and as long as they have iron sights as well as a scope you are good. I used to shoot crows at 600 yards with an older Model 70 Winchester in .270. That means that you don't have to let them get close it you think they are bad news. Most bolt actions for deer have enough power to make it one shot one kill so if you will aim you don't need a lot of ammo. The Russians ate the Germans UP with their old surplus bolt action rifles. The Germans would try and charge across a field with their machine guns chattering and the Russians would just shoot them dead with one bullet apiece. Several people with bolt action rifles can keep up a pretty good sustained level of fire.

    Bolt actions are for shooting from a set place in cover. They aren't a run and shoot sort of weapon but if you are dug in and know what you are doing you are going to be a tough nut to crack and that will generally mean that they will give up and go someplace else. They aren't military either and don't have a goal set by some butt hole at a desk someplace else. The thing about bolt action rifles is that they are tough, dependable and adaptable. Automatics are designed to shoot a a specific round tailored to their pressue and over all length requirements. Pump and lever actions also have limitations because their actions are not as strong and their feeding systems are more specifically aimed. There is a reason that they were the go to weapons for armies all over the world right up into the 21st century.

    Lever action rifles have a rather special history and have got a lot of TV and Movie exposure. They are romantic to a lot of people and then to others they are old fossils that they have no use for. First the good. Lever actions are fast to shoot. They are not semiautomatic fast but still fast to shoot. They are generally light, flat and easy to carry. They are pretty tough and reload pretty fast. The down side is that they are usually limited in what you can shoot in them and also most of them are designed for a lower pressure round and a less balistically efficient bullet shape. You can NOT load pointed bullets into a tube magazine! The point may hit the primer on the round in front of it and the gun will sort of blow up in your face. That is why these guns shoot ammo that is not loaded with pointed bullets like the 30-30, 357 mag, 44 mag, 45 long colt and 45 -70 and all of the many Winchester specific rounds like the 32-20, 38-40, all the way up to a 50-110 monster. There ARE some lever actions that shoot other ammunition but they don't have tubular magazines. The Savage Model 99 has a rotary magazine and the Browning lever action has a box magazine. Both of these also have a stronger lock up and can handle more powerful high velocity rounds.
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  3. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    The single shot rifles get a bad rap. They may not be the fastest for repeat shots but if you see a man with a single shot rifle there is a good chance that he is a darn good shot with that one round. I have found over the years that hunting with single shot weapons sharpens my skills and makes me a better hunter. The idea that a lot of lead in the air is better is flawed in so many ways. It is wasteful of ammo; if you are not aiming it gives away your position allowing an enemy to try and shoot YOU. It extends the length of time a fire fight lasts and with all that shooting going on it makes it hard for your attacker to say to heck with it and leave. If you are going to shoot at a person you need to try really hard to make every shot count. Popping up and just shooting with the idea of keeping them down will get you shot. An experienced warrior will spot you and next time you pop up he will END you.

    Break action rifles seem to be having a bit of a return right now and I'm glad to see it. There are also rolling block, falling block and bolt action single shots but they are either 22s or much more expensive center-fire rifles. Not everyone has a lot of money and the various single shot weapons gets them some protection for a fairly inexpensive initial investment. Some of the multi barrel setups will cover everything from rabbits and birds to deer. I often think that these weapons will save a lot of lives because you are not going out and look for trouble with a single shot weapon. Also if you decide that you need to shoot someone you are more likely to be sneaky and just kill that person. Fire fights are BAD. If you want to survive avoid them like the plague! Retreat then come back later if you must and just kill them. This isn't a sport and rules will get you killed.

    Handguns are the weapon that you can ALWAYS have with you and bring quickly into service. I'm a little bothered by the trend these days with the high capacity magazines for people to get the mistaken idea that they are the best choice for fighting. A handgun should be a stop gap to keep you alive until you can reach your rifle or shotgun. Handguns take a lot of practice to get really good with them for combat shooting. If you are going to depend on a handgun you need to shoot it until it is an extension of your will and basically you just look at something hard and your hands shoot it.

    Very seldom will you have the time to line up a perfect sight picture and even then you really don't want to look at your sights. You need to look past them to your target so you will know what they are about to do to YOU!! This sort of skill comes from tens of thousands of rounds fired in hours and hours of practice on combat courses designed to stretch your abilities. Different positions each require a different set of muscle actions. The least useful will be the stand there in the middle of the room in the currently approved stance while you shoot as if at a target. When I was young and into this I spent time shooting with my off hand. You never know when you might need to do it so try it out now.

    Pistols are for up close and up close you don't have any time for niceties and you have to fire on instinct. A rifle or shotgun can be put into action at greater distances and you can master them and become proficient with somewhat less practice because they are generally used at a better distance and aiming is possible. Assault rifles are weapons that bridge this and offer the quick use in near hand to hand distances and some ability in a more distant fire fights. They are either full automatic or 3 round burst and this makes them handy for point and shoot situations. If you are a cop clearing a building that has terrorists in it or in the military working door to door in a village this is a great choice. The semiautomatic civilian versions are just not nearly as effective in this area. I really like the three round burst because it gets the job done even with a weak round and in the AR configuration is a good instinctive pointer. In general I prefer the shotgun for this sort of room clearing thing but then it is almost useless for ranges over 60 yards.
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  4. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer

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    It doesn't matter so much what you have in the way of a weapon as what you do with it. Whatever you have you need to be very familiar with its REAL potentials, strengths and weaknesses. TV and Movies have less than ZERO to do with how effective they may be AND even more important how effective YOU will be with them. There are no hundred round cowboy revolvers that never need reloading and belt fed machine guns run out of ammo almost instantly if you are limited to what you can have in a hand carried version.

    If 10 people are charging you and you SWEEP them with a machine gun you will hit and stop two and then the rest will shoot you just FULL of holes. Do the math. Ten guys in a row 60 feet wide coming at you. You sweep them with a 30 rnd mag. If you are able to pace it perfectly there will be a bullet in the middle of a string of 1 foot boxes 60 feet wide. A mans chest is about a foot wide so there are at best ten possible boxes that will hit out of the 60 possible. That is actually 1.6 hits!! and that is your BEST case scenario!!

    Jeff Cooper addressed this exact situation at his place with a bunch of idiot writers. He let 6 of them do exactly this with 6 targets and he showed them what I'm telling you. It takes 3 seconds for an M16 to dump a 30 round mag on full auto. Cooper explained this and then picked up an old Winchester and in just a little over 4 seconds put a hole in the middle of the HEAD of each target. Point made!!

    With each weapon you will need to use it in the best way to put you in the least danger possible. If you have a standard rifle then you want to do your stuff at a distance and you want to make all of your shots one shot kills. Then move after each shot. If you have a shotgun you want to be more of an ambush predator. If possible you want them in the open and you have some cover. If this is a single shot you need to limit your ambushes to one person traps. If you are out numbered be smart and either hide or slip away. Understand, if you are smart, even if all you have is a single shot shotgun upgrading is just a matter of ambushing someone and taking their weapons. I would prefer that you pick on people that are trying to hurt people but its survival. Some times the old saying “Kill them all and let God sort them out!” is just sadly applicable!

    During WW2 the allies dropped thousands of these really cheap little handguns (FP-45 Liberators) all over the German occupied territories. It was small and made of stamped out metal with a barrel that was basically just a piece of pipe. It looked a little bit like a small automatic but was totally a manual single shot gun the place in the handle where a magazine would be was actually just a sheet metal box where a few 45 acp rounds stored. It came in a little wooden box with 10 rounds and a dowel stick to push the fired cases out so you could reload it. It had a little paper showing pictures of how to load it. It had a VERY short effective range of fire (1 to 4 yards/meters) so in the pictures it showed a man standing behind a German soldier shooting him in the back of the head from that sort of range and then taking his weapons. Since the barrel had no riflings and the fit was pretty loose after 25 feet or so the bullet was tumbling and might go anywhere. Nonetheless it was capable of doing the trick if you had the balls to use it. Compared to this a single shot shotgun or even a single shot 22lr is a heck of a good weapon!

    Everything that I have said about single shot rifle or shotgun is true and even more useful if it is a muzzle loader. With a flint lock, as long as you have powder, you are armed!! In a bind rocks, nails or broken up files can be shoved in the barrel and used to up grade your armament. Personally I like the musket concept because it is good both as a scatter gun or with a bal is fine for critters up to white tailed deer. It isn't as sexy as my 50 caliber Hawkins percussion rifle but it is a better choice for survival because of its versatility.

    Saying the above there is another thing that I think a survivalist might want to look into. They make an incert that you can install in a break action shotgun that basically converts it into a muzzle loader. It isn't as safe but I HAVE done this with the base of a long brass shotgun shell. I cut off the plastic, replaced the shotgun primer and then stuffed a light black powder load into it. It worked great and while I don't recommend it it is something that can be done. The insert is a lot better. It seals and doesn't alow any gasses to get past it. I think that it also uses a 209 primer that is made for muzzle loading.

    In a bind you can make your own gun. I'm not going into it but it is not all that hard and will put you in a better place than bringing a knife to a gun fight. I made a couple of zip guns that shot 22s when I was a kid. I have made a lot of guns but then I have a lathe and they were as strong as or stronger than store bought guns. In a bind you can make a bang stick. That is just a piece of pipe with a cartridge in it on a long pointer metal tipped stick. When you jab it hard against something the point hits the primer and BANG. I made and sold a bunch of these for divers that were having shark troubles and wanted something that would kill a shark if necessary. I put a piece of latex tubing on one end so you could pull the bang stick back and then when you released it the latex shot it forward with enough force to fire it.

    There are no deadly weapons people. There are deadly people. What makes them deadly is a willingness to kill and the knowledge that will allow them to arm themselves under any circumstance.

    As always, Opinions are like butts and mine always smells better than yours...
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  5. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist

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    This multi post post / blog-in-posts is loaded with info for those not so familiar with the shooting world. The info is very accurate and needs to be understood if conversing in firearms lingo. This post can serve as one dynamite intro read for new folk.

    New members should NEVER feel self-conscious if not a shooting afficianado. Everybody here is simply not going to be such. New members may be in the market for a family-defense weapon for when the economy goes upside-down and the citizenry goes brain-dead. Can't find what you need if you don't know the turf. Don't go car shopping if you don't know the vehicles out there for sale and don't know the vehicle type that will serve your needs. Get your intel together before heading out shopping. Don't count on the fellow behind the counter at a gun shop to be an expert -- oh dear heavens the trash I've heard at gun shops over the decades! Same for law enforcement folk and same for military / ex-military.

    I've had true gunsmiths doing work on my toys for over 45 years. I listen to real experts. Seek out reliable publications. For any life-or-death info, assiduously avoid hearsay and fishing stories.
    branchd77 likes this.
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