Monday, August 11, 2014

A Chat About Handguns

Unless you are interested in some facts and opinions about hand guns, this will probably be a very boring blog. As I watch TV, both news and entertainment shows, there are some things said and some things implied that give a person incorrect information.

Back in the days when cops walked a beat and they wore blue uniforms, they all carried revolvers. Simple, reliable, and with six shots at your disposal. Detectives and officers, often carried five shot models. The problem was that they weren't very powerful. Typically they would shoot a 148 grain bullet at 690 feet per second. At 25 yards they only produced 138 ft. lbs. of energy.

What makes a bullet effective, is not the hole that it punches. It is the amount of energy that it imparts to the target. This produces hydrostatic shock to the target through the bodily fluids. So the higher the energy produced in the target, the more effective the wound. Bullets that go completely through the target are less effective. 

The criminals of those days had immediately adopted the 9 mm. Luger cartridge that became popular in WWII among the axis powers. It became popular for two reasons. Although it shot the same diameter bullet as the .38, the velocity was higher and it hit with more than twice the impact. Also, it was used in semi-automatic pistols that held up to seventeen rounds. 

Many police departments adopted 9s almost immediately. Some had the ridiculous idea that these guns were too powerful for police. They are a far superior cartridge to the 38 special and have become the most popular centerfire cartridge in the country. So when you hear some TV detective say that the victim was shot with a 9 and the suspect owns one, so don't 80% of the pistol owners in the country.

Lately, police find that they're under gunned against gang bangers and career criminals. Many are upgrading to either .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, or the venerable .45 Automatic Colt Pistol. My personal favorite. In spite of what your great uncle who fought in world war two told you, the .45 ACP is a very accurate weapon and it is a standard in pistol competition.

Let me say, finally, that anyone deciding to purchase a hand gun for home protection should get a qualified instructor to teach them gun safety and gun handling. You need to shoot frequently to maintain a familiarity with your weapon. You must also ask yourself, would you be able to do what is necessary? If you are not willing to do these things, you are better off with a baseball bat. 

A gun is nothing but a tool. But it is a tool that can do great damage if badly used. So check out your mindset and acquire the needed skill set. Then just pray you never need to test either.

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