Gun article on Slate.com
This is a discussion on Gun article on Slate.com within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was surprised how un biased it is.
Was it difficult for the Fort Hood shooter to fire 100 shots in seven minutes? - By ...
November 14th, 2009 10:24 AM
Gun article on Slate.com
I was surprised how un biased it is.
Was it difficult for the Fort Hood shooter to fire 100 shots in seven minutes? - By Brian Palmer - Slate Magazine
How Many Times Can You Shoot a Handgun in Seven Minutes?
More than a thousand.
By Brian Palmer
Posted Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, at 6:25 PM ET
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the army psychiatrist accused of gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood on Thursday, managed to fire 100 rounds with a semiautomatic handgun between the start of his rampage at 1:20 p.m. and the time he was shot at 1:27 p.m. How many rounds can a handgun shoot in seven minutes?
At least 1,500. Modern semiautomatic weapons can discharge a round and load the next bullet into the chamber faster than even the nimblest of fingers can pull the trigger. FBI studies have shown that a novice can fire three shots in less than a second, and a trained shooter can double that. (Two of the officers in the 1999 Amadou Diallo shooting emptied their 16-bullet magazines in about four seconds.) That means an experienced gunman can fire off a 20-round magazine—the likely capacity of Hasan's gun—in 3.3 seconds. Reloading takes under two. You just press the magazine release button with your shooting hand and insert the new magazine into the grip with your offhand.* Experts holster extra ammunition on the side of their nonshooting hand to speed the exchange and can have the new magazine loaded before the empty one hits the ground. So each 20-round magazine would take no more than 5.3 seconds, including time to reload. That means you could fire off 1,575 shots in seven minutes—provided you were carrying 79 magazines on your person.
There are a few potential snags. Each magazine is over an inch wide, and you probably couldn't lug around more than 25 magazines on your belt. It might take two minutes to get through those 500 bullets; at that point, you'd need someone to hand you more ammunition. In addition, each gunshot creates fouling—a combination of unburned powder and metal filings from the casing and bullets—which can accumulate and cause the gun to lock up. Overheating would also be an issue: A pistol can get so hot from the exploding gunpowder and the bullet screaming through the barrel that the cartridges ignite without the trigger being pulled, a situation called cook-off. The heat might also cause the barrel to deform slightly, decreasing accuracy.
With or without a laser-straight barrel, aiming is an issue when you're firing as fast as you can. Hasan minimized that problem by choosing the FN Herstal Five-Seven Pistol. The relatively new gun—it hit the market in the late 1990s—uses longer, skinnier, and lighter bullets than more popular handguns like the Glock 9 mm. This means there is less recoil, so a shooter can recover his aim between shots.
The slowest handguns on the market are revolvers, which hold five or six bullets in multichambered cylinders. The original revolvers were single-action—in between shots, the user had to cock the gun with either the thumb of his shooting hand or the thumb or palm of his nondominant hand. (Still, a skilled shooter could squeeze off five or six rounds pretty quickly.) Modern double-action revolvers don't require this extra motion, but the triggers are much stiffer than those of semiautomatic pistols—12 pounds of finger force is required, as opposed to five or six. Reloading is also more complicated. Placing the bullets into the chamber individually can take several seconds. A speed loader, a plastic device that lines up over the chambers and drops the bullets in at the turn of a knob, is faster but still can't match the speed of a semiautomatic pistol.
Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.
Explainer thanks Ken Cooper of THT of New York and Edward Robinson of George Washington University.
Correction, Nov. 10, 2009: The original version mistakenly referred to inserting an empty magazine into the grip. (Return to the corrected sentence.)
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November 14th, 2009 10:57 AM
That is a pretty unbiased explaination of the use of a firearm.
November 14th, 2009 11:29 AM
After reading a well written & unbiased article like that I wish there were more like it to read. Very interesting points he brings up as well. A good read!
"Gun control is being able to hit your target."
November 15th, 2009 12:46 AM
Pretty even-handed for Slate... I did like the line, "A pistol can get so hot from the exploding gunpowder and the bullet screaming through the barrel..."
"Who is to say that I am not an instrument of karma? Indeed, who is to say that I am not the very hand of God himself, dispatched by the Almighty to smite the Philistines and hypocrites, to lay low the dishonest and corrupt, and to bust the jawbone of some jackass that so desperately deserves it?"
November 15th, 2009 02:24 AM
I have heard my bullets scream thru the barrels of my guns,sounds just like 10 year old girls on a roller coaster
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
November 15th, 2009 03:07 AM
Really? My hand would fall off far before then. There is a video of Todd Jarratt shooting 1000 rounds in a "world record" of about 11 min. He is obviously above average. I bet the average shooter would have serious trouble shooting a few hundred rounds in 7 min. Accuracy will fall tremendously as one's muscles fatigue.
That means you could fire off 1,575 shots in seven minutes—provided you were carrying 79 magazines on your person.
This is exemplified by Hasan's performance:
managed to fire 100 rounds with a semiautomatic handgun between the start of his rampage at 1:20 p.m. and the time he was shot at 1:27 p.m.
It is hard to shoot 20 rounds in 3.3 seconds. Especially more then once or twice. Using this rate for 7 solid minutes is impossible with a handgun. Also, the majority of handguns out there have less then 20 round capacity. 17 rounds of 9 mm and even less in .40 or .45. Many mags have even less. (7 round .45 mags...) Also, a handful of states have a 10 round mag limit.
an experienced gunman can fire off a 20-round magazine—the likely capacity of Hasan's gun—in 3.3 seconds
Quality modern pistols can easily handle 1,500 rounds without cleaning. Need I remind anyone about the various torture tests floating around. 15,000 rounds between cleaning is reachable.
each gunshot creates fouling—a combination of unburned powder and metal filings from the casing and bullets—which can accumulate and cause the gun to lock up.
Which also reduces the terminal performance of them. Poorer terminal performance means less injury and death (hard to quantify).
FN Herstal Five-Seven Pistol. The relatively new gun—it hit the market in the late 1990s—uses longer, skinnier, and lighter bullets...This means there is less recoil, so a shooter can recover his aim between shots.
They make bolt action pistols. They make muzzle loading pistols too. Those are slower then revolvers. There is even that single shot WWII pistol that the allies were planning to air-drop that took at least 10 minutes to reload (the name escapes me at the moment)
The slowest handguns on the market are revolvers
I would not call the article unbiased. It is over-hyping what a single person with a firearm can do. The calculations it makes are flat out wrong. It is uninformed as well.
The problem is some media or gun control person can quote this article (by a "firearm expert") and cast things in an false light. "The Ft. Hood shooter used a new high capacity assault pistol which can fire an astounding 1,575 rounds in under 7 minutes, we need to ban these!" This is totally false, but it is what the expert article said, so they can accurately quote it.
here is one of the "expert" authors: Kenneth Cooper :: Law & Legal - Criminology :: JurisPro Expert Witness Directory :: New York
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
November 15th, 2009 03:33 AM
Oh, I don't know. I watched John Wayne in a shootout in a movie once, he fired a Colt revolver over 25 times and never reloaded, often not even aiming. He hit his target about 80% of the time. He was using one of those new Colt 45's (45 shots between reloading).
FOP Lodge 55, RPOAC, NRA Life Member
One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory
November 15th, 2009 06:42 AM
Make no mistake....Slate is a VERY biased anti gun Liberal!
His articles can sometimes come across (such as this one) as being a simple fact finding statement. However, as nutz4utwo pointed out.....this is a subtle shot at how dangerous even "semi auto" guns are.
In other words, why just ban fully automatic guns when a shooter can do this much damage with a semi auto.
November 15th, 2009 01:35 PM
Yeah, the article is educating all the folks on how much 'safer' single action revolvers are than pistols. He is giving the reader just enough information to lead them down a path and let them think they arrived there on their own.
November 15th, 2009 03:36 PM
Thinking about it more, this is exactly how firearm myths get started:
"armor piercing cop killer bullets that can penetrate an officer's bulletproof vests"
"firing assault weapons from the hip because it has a pistol grip"
"high capacity magazines cause more murders"
"barrel shrouds allow shooters to hold the weapon after firing thousands of rounds even if the barrel gets white hot"
"machine guns are favored by bad guys who use them to spray and pray"
"silencers make gunfire undetectable by law enforcement"
"gun show loophole"
Now, we can add to this:
"Gun importers have brought a new menace to main street USA- the Belgin FN assault style pistol. Designed for the military, it carries an unusually high 20 bullets per magazine and is designed to reload as fast as possible. Traditional American firearms like revolvers pale in comparison to the raw power this arm posses. It is destined to become the weapon of choice for mass shooters; small, light, and easy to hide on your body, but because of it's high rate of fire- it can shoot 1000 people in 4 minutes and 26 seconds. The average time it takes police to respond to an emergency is that same four and a half minutes. We must ban this gun before 1000 innocent voices are taken in four and a half minutes. Speak up America!"
I could get a job as publicist with the Brady Campaign. No skill required.
"a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.
November 15th, 2009 08:33 PM
Exactly how the Brady Bunch gathers up stats nutz4utwo!
Originally Posted by nutz4utwo
Some of us may laugh about your post, because it's humorous to those with any common sense and basic knowledge.... But the anti's use this type of BS to fabricate things very much like your sarcastic shot above.
November 16th, 2009 12:15 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned that revolvers are in fact faster to fire than semi-autos - no waiting for the slide to cycle, revolvers fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, as is illustrated by the fact the records for shots fired by a handgun in the shortest period of time has been held by revolvers for decades.
November 17th, 2009 11:01 PM
Don't confuse us with the facts!
Originally Posted by AutoFan
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