Suppressors 101: Griffin Armament joins us for an in-depth discussion about suppressing firearms. We try to answer most of the common questions around their use on both rifles and handguns.
She picks up the custom handgun painted in her favorite colors, purple and black.
Her long, black braid bounces slightly with each of the six shots she fires. Metal pings signify when she’s hit the mark. She runs to the next target. Nine more shots. Reload.
Meet Shyanne Roberts, a 10-year-old competitive shooter who is out to prove something: Children with guns don’t always mean disaster.
“I want to be an inspiration to other kids and be a leader,” said the girl. “Kids and guns don’t always mean bad things happen.”
Shyanne competes alongside junior shooters, who are participants younger than 18, and even adults. Last year, she beat out adult women to place second in the Women’s Division of the New Jersey Ruger Rimfire Challenge.
On October 31, she will square off against 200 of the top women shooters at the Brownell’s Lady 3-Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Covington, Georgia. Shyanne is the youngest competitive shooter registered at the female-only event, according to the match director. The top shooter has a chance to win $5,000, as well as items from a prize table of guns, ammo and more.
I want to give a brief discussion of the history of CQC, or close quarters combat. I am hardly an historian so if I have missed something, please let me know here.
The first thing I will say is that you will never see more animosity, petty bickering, or jealousy outside of a teenage cheerleader locker room than you will see in the martial arts community or firearms training community. Everyone steals from everyone and everyone reinvents things for their own benefit. Recently I read an article about a trainer’s discovery of “P.A.D.E. or Perceive, Analyze, Decide, Execute”. No mention of John Boyd or the OODA. Inevitable discovery or theft? I don’t know…moving on.
While I am certain the CQC matter was thought of my the gunmen of the old west, their lack of education did not lend itself to writing books about such things. As well…the classification of what the fight was is also unknown. For example…if you hip shoot someone in the back while they are pissing, and initiate the fight that way, you won in spite of your technique and not because of it.
I suspect that many of the fights that had the old timers firing from combat crouches and below the eye-sight-line were those types of fights. If you have the initiative…in other words if you start the fight, it really doesn’t matter what you do does it? That does not make the technique the winner…but rather the fact you ambushed the guy.
We first hear of any sort of organized answer from Fairbairn. His works are intended for a very basic level and there isn’t much detail in the description of the various gunfights…other than there were many. He taught a sort of close quarters shooting position with the pistol where the arm was slightly extended as pictured above and fired. There is no mention of shooting while moving in any of his works that I recall. Most of his work involved bringing the weapon up to the eye-sight-line before shooting. And his material was watered down for ignorant conscripts with little interest or time in skill development.
The long gun CQC involved keeping the weapon back under the arm, parallel with the deck and again…in line with the eye. This was later adopted by Applegate. A few years later it was “rediscovered” by Chuck Taylor and vainly renamed – wait for it – the “Taylor Underarm Assault Position”.
May 6, 2014
FBI Training Division: FBI Academy, Quantico, VA
Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners
- Caliber debates have existed in law enforcement for decades
- Most of what is “common knowledge” with ammunition and its effects on the human target are rooted in myth and folklore
- Projectiles are what ultimately wound our adversaries and the projectile needs to be the basis for the discussion on what “caliber” is best
- In all the major law enforcement calibers there exist projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing LEO’s in a shooting incident and there are projectiles which have a high ting incident likelihood of succeeding for LEO’s in a shooting incident
- Handgun stopping power is simply a myth
- The single most important factor in effectively wounding a human target is to have penetration to a scientifically valid depth (FBI uses 12” – 18”)
- LEO’s miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident
- Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)
- 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI
- 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)
- The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)
- There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto
- Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers
Justification for Law Enforcement Partners
Rarely in law enforcement does a topic stir a more passionate debate than the choice of handgun caliber made by a law enforcement organization. Many voice their opinions by repeating the old adage “bigger is better” while others have “heard of this one time” where a smaller caliber failed and a larger caliber “would have performed much better.” Some even subscribe to the belief that a caliber exists which will provide a “one shot stop.” It has been stated, “Decisions on ammunition selection are particularly difficult because many of the pertinent issues related to handguns and ammunition are firmly rooted in myth and folklore.” This still holds as true today as it did when originally stated 20 years ago.
Caliber, when considered alone, brings about a unique set of factors to consider such as magazine capacity for a given weapon size, ammunition availability, felt recoil, weight and cost. What is rarely discussed, but most relevant to the caliber debate is what projectile is being considered for use and its terminal performance potential.
One should never debate on a gun make or caliber alone. The projectile is what wounds and ultimately this is where the debate/discussion should focus. In each of the three most common law enforcement handgun calibers (9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 AUTO) there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing law enforcement officers and in each of these three calibers there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of succeeding for law enforcement officers during a shooting incident. The choice of a service projectile must undergo intense scrutiny and scientific evaluation in order to select the best available option.
Understanding Handgun Caliber Terminal Ballistic Realities
Many so?called “studies” have been performed and many analyses of statistical data have been undertaken regarding this issue. Studies simply involving shooting deaths are irrelevant since the goal of law enforcement is to stop a threat during a deadly force encounter as quickly as possible. Whether or not death occurs is of no consequence as long as the threat of death or serious injury to law enforcement personnel and innocent third parties is eliminated.
“The concept of immediate incapacitation is the only goal of any law enforcement shooting and is the underlying rationale for decisions regarding weapons, ammunition, calibers and training.”1
Studies of “stopping power” are irrelevant because no one has ever been able to define how much power, force, or kinetic energy, in and of itself, is required to effectively stop a violent and determined adversary quickly, and even the largest of handgun calibers are not capable of delivering such force. Handgun stopping power is simply a myth. Studies of so?called “one shot stops” being used as a tool to define the effectiveness of one handgun cartridge, as opposed to another, are irrelevant due to the inability to account for psychological influences and due to the lack of reporting specific shot placement. In short, extensive studies have been done over the years to “prove” a certain cartridge is better than another by using grossly flawed methodology and or bias as a precursor to manipulating statistics. In order to have a meaningful understanding of handgun terminal ballistics, one must only deal with facts that are not in dispute within the medical community, i.e. medical realities, and those which are also generally accepted within law enforcement, i.e. tactical realities.
Shots to the Central Nervous System (CNS) at the level of the cervical spine (neck) or above, are the only means to reliably cause immediate incapacitation. In this case, any of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons. Other than shots to the CNS, the most reliable means for affecting rapid incapacitation is by placing shots to large vital organs thus causing rapid blood loss. Simply stated, shot placement is the most critical component to achieving either method of incapacitation.
Wounding factors between rifle and handgun projectiles differ greatly due to the dramatic differences in velocity, which will be discussed in more detail herein. The wounding factors, in order of importance, are as follows:
A projectile must penetrate deeply enough into the body to reach the large vital organs, namely heart, lungs, aorta, vena cava and to a lesser extent liver and spleen, in order to cause rapid blood loss. It has long been established by expert medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that this equates to a range of penetration of 12?18 inches, depending on the size of the individual and the angle of the bullet path (e.g., through arm, shoulder, etc.). With modern properly designed, expanding handgun bullets, this objective is realized, albeit more consistently with some law enforcement projectiles than others. 1 Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness: Firearms Training Unit, Ballistic Research Facility, 1989.
B. Permanent Cavity:
The extent to which a projectile expands determines the diameter of the permanent cavity which, simply put, is that tissue which is in direct contact with the projectile and is therefore destroyed. Coupled with the distance of the path of the projectile (penetration), the total permanent cavity is realized. Due to the elastic nature of most human tissue and the low velocity of handgun projectiles relative to rifle projectiles, it has long been established by medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that the damage along a wound path visible at autopsy or during surgery cannot be distinguished between the common handgun calibers used in law enforcement. That is to say an operating room surgeon or Medical Examiner cannot distinguish the difference between wounds caused by .35 to .45 caliber projectiles.
C. Temporary Cavity:
The temporary cavity is caused by tissue being stretched away from the permanent cavity. If the temporary cavity is produced rapidly enough in elastic tissues, the tensile strength of the tissue can be exceeded resulting in tearing of the tissue. This effect is seen with very high velocity projectiles such as in rifle calibers, but is not seen with handgun calibers. For the temporary cavity of most handgun projectiles to have an effect on wounding, the velocity of the projectile needs to exceed roughly 2,000 fps. At the lower velocities of handgun rounds, the temporary cavity is not produced with sufficient velocity to have any wounding effect; therefore any difference in temporary cavity noted between handgun calibers is irrelevant. “In order to cause significant injuries to a structure, a pistol bullet must strike that structure directly.”2 2 DiMaio, V.J.M.: Gunshot Wounds, Elsevier Science Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1987, page 42.
Fragmentation can be defined as “projectile pieces or secondary fragments of bone which are impelled outward from the permanent cavity and may sever muscle tissues, blood vessels, etc., apart from the permanent cavity”3. Fragmentation does not reliably occur in soft tissue handgun wounds due to the low velocities of handgun bullets. When fragmentation does occur, fragments are usually found within one centimeter (.39”) of the permanent cavity.4 Due to the fact that most modern premium law enforcement ammunition now commonly uses bonded projectiles (copper jacket bonded to lead core), the likelihood of fragmentation is very low. For these reasons, wounding effects secondary to any handgun caliber bullet fragmentation are considered inconsequential. 3 Fackler, M.L., Malinowski, J.A.: “The Wound Profile: A Visual Method for Quantifying Gunshot Wound Components”, Journal of Trauma 25: 522?529, 1958. 4 Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness: Firearms Training Unit, Ballistic Research Facility, 1989.
Any discussion of stopping armed adversaries with a handgun has to include the psychological state of the adversary. Psychological factors are probably the most important relative to achieving rapid incapacitation from a gunshot wound to the torso.5 First and foremost, the psychological effects of being shot can never be counted on to stop an individual from continuing conscious voluntary action. Those who do stop commonly do so because they decide to, not because they have to. The effects of pain are often delayed due to survival patterns secondary to “fight or flight” reactions within the body, drug/alcohol influences and in the case of extreme anger or aggression, pain can simply be ignored. Those subjects who decide to stop immediately after being shot in the torso do so commonly because they know they have been shot and are afraid of injury or death, regardless of caliber, velocity, or bullet design. It should also be noted that psychological factors can be a leading cause of incapacitation failures and as such, proper shot placement, adequate penetration, and multiple shots on target cannot be over emphasized. 5 Ibid.
Shot placement is paramount and law enforcement officers on average strike an adversary with only 20 – 30 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident. Given the reality that shot placement is paramount (and difficult to achieve given the myriad of variables present in a deadly force encounter) in obtaining effective incapacitation, the caliber used must maximize the likelihood of hitting vital organs. Typical law enforcement shootings result in only one or two solid torso hits on the adversary. This requires that any projectile which strikes the torso has as high a probability as possible of penetrating deeply enough to disrupt a vital organ.
The Ballistic Research Facility has conducted a test which compares similar sized Glock pistols in both .40 S&W and 9mm calibers, to determine if more accurate and faster hits are achievable with one versus the other. To date, the majority of the study participants have shot more quickly and more accurately with 9mm caliber Glock pistols. The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success while improving the speed and accuracy of the most skilled shooters.
While some law enforcement agencies have transitioned to larger calibers from the 9mm Luger in recent years, they do so at the expense of reduced magazine capacity, more felt recoil, and given adequate projectile selection, no discernible increase in terminal performance.
Other law enforcement organizations seem to be making the move back to 9mm Luger taking advantage of the new technologies which are being applied to 9mm Luger projectiles. These organizations are providing their armed personnel the best chance of surviving a deadly force encounter since they can expect faster and more accurate shot strings, higher magazine capacities (similar sized weapons) and all of the terminal performance which can be expected from any law enforcement caliber projectile.
Given the above realities and the fact that numerous ammunition manufacturers now make 9mm Luger service ammunition with outstanding premium line law enforcement projectiles, the move to 9mm Luger can now be viewed as a decided advantage for our armed law enforcement personnel.
For many, carrying with a round in the chamber is a step that hasn’t been taken yet. The reasons vary, but it’s definitely an issue for a lot of people. In this article, I am going to discuss a simple thing that you can do to ease your mind.
If you came here to say something along the lines of “Carrying with an empty chamber is stupid” or “Why even carry if your pipe is empty?”, save it. This article isn’t for you.
If you’re still reading, I hope that you’re here for the tip in this article.
First, keep this in mind: For a modern handgun to fire, the trigger needs to be depressed. For the following example, I am going to be referring to Glock pistols as the example, since they have no external safety (aside from the trigger safety).
When a man jumped over the White House fence, ran across the lawn and entered the residence, the Secret Service failed and failed again. One of the most conspicuous and surprising failures was that though it had armed agents on the ground and snipers on the roof, no one fired a shot to stop him.
In fact, the agency bragged about not using their guns, saying that “the officers showed tremendous restraint and discipline in dealing with this subject.” The agents didn’t shoot Omar Gonzalez because they “apparently concluded that he was not armed and did not appear to be carrying anything that might contain explosives,” reported The New York Times.
Lucky guess. As it turned out, he was carrying a folding knife with a 3 1/2-inch blade, which could have been put to deadly use. But agents were able to subdue him without bloodshed. A man reported to be mentally ill didn’t hurt anyone and wasn’t killed unnecessarily.
All’s well that ends well? Hardly. The idea that security officers would let a running intruder pass, based on the instant and highly fallible judgment that he was unarmed, suggests an excess of caution. “Tremendous restraint is not what we’re looking for,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “The message should be overwhelming force.”
But that’s not quite the right answer, either. Just this year, six people have scaled the fence — and no one would commend the Secret Service if all six had been riddled immediately with bullets. Gonzalez might have been stopped by attack dogs, which for some reason were not unleashed. It would be unfortunate to kill someone whose mental illness drove him to do something terribly stupid.
Executive summary: Usually a bad idea, often a very bad idea.
Can/should I hold someone at gunpoint?” A common question when the topic of guns and defensive use of deadly force is discussed. The questioner’s “gunpoint” hypothetical usually poses a home invasion, robbery attempt of the questioner, or “in progress” interdiction of someone committing a property crime, or a violent crime against the questioner or another person. The question is another one to which I respond with my smart aleck lawyer’s answer: “I don’t know, can/should you?” It lends itself to analysis similar to what I discussed in prior MSW posts on the use of deadly force – my paradigm:
CAN / MAY / SHOULD / MUST
For the purpose of this post, holding someone “at gunpoint” is not necessarily muzzling the threatened person(s), openly holding an exposed firearm in any specific “ready” position, or a mode of “display” permitted or prohibited by a state “brandishing” statute. I use the phrase here to mean the display of a firearm coupled with the express or implied threat that a failure to obey commands will result in the use of deadly force, that is, the gunpointer WILL shoot. (If unprivileged, usually considered a serious felony, such as an armed assault or assault with/by deadly weapon). Consider the following for your analysis of the SHOULD element of the paradigm.
The CAN: Yes, it has been done. By the aged and frail, even when outnumbered. You can find the stories on the internet. Surprisingly, stories on gunpoint failures are absent. (The embarrassed don’t admit, and the dead don’t speak). Reality check: Anything beyond a brief taking of someone at gunpoint and then allowing/urging them to make a hasty retreat is rather complicated. It requires command presence/confidence for an extended period of time, advanced tactical skills (CQB, firearm, improvisation, less lethal), and most important – in-hand firearm retention training. Gunpointing is difficult at best against one adversary, and almost impossible to effect solo over multiple adversaries. (Unless one or both are incapacitated — see example here). Your hypothesized home invader and robber are not likely first time rodeo attendees. He/she/they may have planned in advance to implement a response (you can bet it is ugly) if caught in the act or resisted by an uncommitted homeowner/victim. Questions to ask yourself: Do you know the experience, skill, or mindset of the adversary? Does he/she have a second/concealed weapon? Does your adversary know that action usually beats reaction? Can you multitask with a gun and phone in hand to secure family members or other innocents, handle possible criminal confederates, admit/direct responding LEOs? Does your gunpoint position give you overwatch on avenues of ingress? What is the adversary willing to risk? What are you? Are the interests of other innocents simultaneously at stake? Do you feel lucky?
Crazed Muslim Stabs Two Women – BEHEADING ONE in Oklahoma Before Being Shot by a GOOD GUY WITH A GUN
- Alton Nolen, 30, had just been fired when he drove up to Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma and ‘attacked the first two people he saw’
- He beheaded Colleen Hufford, 54, and stabbed Traci Johnson, 43, before Mark Vaughan, an off-duty officer and the company’s former owner, shot him
- Nolen and Johnson are both being treated in hospital
- Co-workers revealed that Nolen, who has an extensive rap sheet, had recently converted to Islam and had tried to get them to convert as well
- In 2010, after he eluded cops and sparked a massive overnight manhunt, he was ordered to take an anger management course
- 911 call reveals the chaos inside the entrance to the building after the suspect entered and attacked at random before he was gunned down
Many, no doubt, have seen this video and have formed some opinion about what should or should not be done in a scenario like this. I have polled several police officers from the lowly rank of officer, like myself, to assistant chiefs. I have polled detectives and am awaiting some results from a few other agencies. What I found was not that surprising. I found that 50% of the people I talked to stated that they would shoot before seeing a gun based on the man’s behavior. The other 50% stated that they would wait to see a gun before they engaged.
I heard and read several responses on the Warrior Talk Forums, where “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” was applied to a scenario like this. If one shoots this guy to the ground and it turns out that he didn’t have a weapon, they argued that one would be screwed legally (criminally & civilly). Others argued that if you didn’t shoot or if you waited to visually acquire a gun before shooting, it would be too late. The “good guy” is behind the power curve and may not catch up to the event happening to him or her. If this is the case, your chances of being shot and/or killed increase. For me, I tend to err on the side of winning the physical fight and shooting him to the ground before visually acquiring a weapon based on the violator’s behavior. That is me, though. Every person has to decide for themselves at what point their “Red Line” has been crossed and its time to engage. Whether or not I’m pursued criminally or civilly is a real possibility……unless……I’m dead. Then it doesn’t matter.
This is the first in a series of articles discussing how to carry a weapon without detection, as well as how to detect others that may be carrying weapons. I have been carrying concealed firearms all of my adult life. I carried in spite of regulations before my life in law enforcement. I carried officially during off duty hours and while working various plain clothes as well as undercover details as a police officer in Southern California. Later, I carried weapons as a “private businessman” in various non-permissive environments overseas in Africa, and Latin America as well as Europe. There are some things to consider and some points to always observe.
1). Always carry a gun, the biggest gun you can conceal (which means “hide”) for the job at hand. If you cannot carry a big gun, carry a small gun. A Walther PPK in 32 ACP in the hand is better than a Glock 21 at home.
2). If you can’t carry a gun, carry a knife. Actually, you should always have a knife whether you have a gun or not. Be as good with the knife as you are with the gun. The power of the will to use the weapon is 90% of the matter.
A firearms instructor has died after he was shot by a nine-year-old girl when she fired an Uzi at a shooting range in the Arizona desert.
Mohave County sheriff’s officials said 39-year-old Charles Vacca, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, died at the hospital on Monday after he was shot at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range.
Mohave County Sheriff Jim McCabe told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Vacca was standing next to the girl when she pulled the trigger. The gun recoiled and it went over her head.
The paper reported that the girl had successfully fired the 9mm weapon several times in “single-shot” mode before Vacca changed the setting to “fully automatic” mode.
“This is a fighting school, not a shooting school.”
Rangemaster John Hall set the tone as he welcomed us to the 250 Pistol class is that is the core of the “Gunsite experience.” The 19 students in the class paid close attention as Hall introduced us to the concepts that Jeff Cooper introduced in the Arizona desert for the first time 38 years before. Nineteen of us were taking part in a five-day class to learn how to fight with a pistol, using methods that have become the standard by which all other forms of handgun fighting are judged.
Our four instructors averaged roughly 25 years of experience. Hall, who was performing rangemaster duties, has an Army and police background, including time as a SWAT team leader and department rangemaster. Bob Whaley has retired from nearly three decades of police work, including 15 years in St. Louis SWAT. Sergeant Major Walt Wilkinson spent 30 years in the U.S. Army, include 26 years in Special Forces. Provost Chris Curry spent 22 years in the Marines.
The students themselves were an interesting mix.
Sales numbers reported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) show that gun ownership among females is at an all-time high.
Numbers from 2011 and 2012 showed a “79 percent… increase in female customers,” and female concealed carry permit holders are making up a larger and larger percentage of overall concealed carry permit holders throughout the country.
For example, NSSF quoted numbers from USA Today showing that “women now make up about 22 percent of concealed pistol license holders” in Florida and Washington state. They made up over 30 percent of concealed carry permit holders in Tennessee by the end of 2013.
On May 22 Breitbart News reported that a growing number of grandmothers were also buying guns and getting concealed carry permits to protect themselves and their grandchildren. Fox 8 Cleveland reported that grandmothers were “one of the fastest growing groups to get a firearm.”