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Discussion Starter #1
This sorta belongs here, hopefully.

Brief sketch - sorry it's longer than intended - author's privelage re embellishments! :rolleyes: Gotta have those imagined images in mind.

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It is dark at the Mall, late evening. Hardly a busy time but a good few folks still around. A severe storm has just quit (1" of rain in minutes!), such that tho light rain, all folks who took shelter have started going about their business again. Most have emerged from under cover to go get their vehicles. You included.

You have one average size plastic bag in left hand (containing your nice new 160 Gb hard drive and a large USB hub), right hand free, operating your remote as you get near your car. You walk carefully as the intense storm has left large and sometimes deep puddles - this ain't the best laid black top you ever saw.

As you look up again to watch for your car to flash lights in response to remote, you see a shadow move on the other side. Yellow becomes orange and you pocket your key ring - freeing up right hand to place discretely on grips of piece.

Tho you see no more movement - you are not comfortable and decide to make as if to go first to trunk - the better to nonchonantly check beyond the car before getting in. The light is not good but a wide sweep to reach trunk still shows up no more suspicious movement.

You move then to driver's door but there was someone there - just hidden by crouching low at front and staying out of your sight - you should have seen them, checked further but you didn't. You sense them just as they move towards you and lunge - you do not know whether they lunge with a fist, a blade or a firearm.

You react quickly and sidestep left and swing the shopping bag to the right hitting him, drawing your piece as you do so. Unfortunately, the manouver and wet ground puts you off balance and you fall backwards - your right hand holding the gun takes the brunt of your fall and the gun gets all but submerged in the deepest puddle on the whole lot!!!

You are now sitting awkwardly on the ground, the aggressor is recovering from your swung bag and again appears to be pointing something ........ you are able to shift weight and raise gun hand - but ................

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OK here is where my prime question comes in - your gun is totally drenched - containing water for 100% sure - do you or can you shoot it safely. Arguably you have little choice but - what might the outcome be??

I have never tried nor probably will, firing a totally and freshly soaked gun. (But - thinking all the while on partial water in barrel and the hydraulic resistance effects as first shot tries to make it out!)

It is clear too - you should have made a wide and full sweep of the car on all sides (and some) before going to get in.... aided by your Surefire which was unused and on your belt!!

OK - over to my esteemed carry friends...................
 

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Sorry :( not number one..or ten, or even ten thousand, on my worry list.

One of the reasons I carry three guns, would not worry or even try to retreive the one in the puddle. If is is as dark as you say and the gun is under water, how am I going to see it anyway???

Sorry, I'll pass...some other problems with this one too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If is is as dark as you say and the gun is under water, how am I going to see it anyway???
KC, you maybe miss the point a bit. The darkness has little bearing here, or even seeing the gun - the gun and hand have just effectively gone under water ... no need to see that - it is wet and cold! You are sitting there on wet ground - looking up at a threat.

I am failing to project my own mental image I guess.

By the time said gun and hand are raised there is no spare time to go for a BUG - it is shoot or not... the BG threat is too total.


Nate - the gun having been effectively immersed - quite likely when raised it could come up barrel high - you on ground and BG standing. So you point - with potentially a significant amount of water against the chambered round! No time for drainage to have been total. Thus on firing - a signficant ''hydraulic barrier''. I am assuming this can act 'a la' a barrel obstruction and cause severe raised pressures - possible kaboom.

THAT is why I am exploring for thoughts. True too - other aspects of the scenario can also be pulled to pieces! :smile:
 

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This is one of those I hope I never face. I can see reasons to shoot and reasons not to shoot. But assuming that my judgement says I need to shoot, I will, water or not. I know there are a lot of Hollywood movies that show shooting from underwater and I always doubted what would really happen, but there is a McGill DVD out there that shows you how to effectively shoot (I believe a Glock) while underwater. Like KC135, that is way down on my list of things to anticipate being a problem but does give some evidence that you should be okay shooting it. Even if there are some questions about what is going to happen when you pull the trigger, I would do it, ignoring the water.

Back to the shoot itself, I just dont know. If he had a weapon in your hand you're okay; if he had a Bible and was planning on saving you, you are in deep doodoo....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone out to ''save me'' in a dark parking lot - is either over enthusiastic or has been on ''something'' LOL. They would NOT be welcome, plus with the imagined ''lunge'' bahavior of this fictional dude - he would be enough to put someone in fear of their life IMO. Threat at very least.

I do believe a gun can be fired - FULLY submerged. The problem as I understand it is when water is partial but gun otherwise in atmospheric pressure.
 

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P95Carry said:
Anyone out to ''save me'' in a dark parking lot - is either over enthusiastic or has been on ''something'' LOL. They would NOT be welcome, plus with the imagined ''lunge'' bahavior of this fictional dude - he would be enough to put someone in fear of their life IMO. Threat at very least.
Probably a better example would be a police officer who has mistaken you for someone he has been looking for. Or anyone else that had no weapon and that a jury would say that you "screwed up." If I made the decision to pull the trigger, I would without worrying about whether it was gonna do anything else but work correctly, since I am expecting to die if I don't fire. :wink:
 

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Remember That In Vietnam

The small bore of the .223 would not drain when the rifle was pulled up out of the water & then fired right away.
Suffered from the old "finger over the end of the soda straw effect" & the water stayed in the barrel.
Years ago...I did my own testing on factory fresh .45 ACP ammo leaving some various factory loaded ammo submerged under water for weeks & then "Drying It Off w/ A Towel" and shooting it without any problems at all.
So...figure that wet factory ammo is waterproof and NOT a problem at all.

Concerning Hydraulic Resistance due to the bore still being wet.
I can only say that some firearms were factory & military "torture tested" by shooting them immediately after being submerged in H2O...and in mud.

The GLOCK can actually be fired under water with only one part change ??? Somebody more into GLOCK will hafta shed some light :Candle-Sm on that but, I believe the same factory standard barrel is used.
I'm just not sure.
 

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The bag in hand thing is why when possible, I always use a shopping cart. I can drop it without damaging my goods and have both hands immediately free.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
QK - as I understand it - if entire ''environment'' is water then the underwater firing is safe. If tho a ''mixed'' environment - water and air - things change.

Anyways - this is only a trial situation - going for input as usual! :smile:

Re the person being a cop - I'd expect by stage of ''showdown'' per my fiction, that any cop would have already verbalized enough to defuze things - hopefully! Apart from not implying any ''lunge'' manouvers! :biggrin:
 

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Interesting Thread

My curiosity is peaked.
''mixed'' environment - water and air - things change."
I'll be curious to hear some more input from other members.
BTW: I can't think of any particular firearm of mine that I dislike enough to try it with.
Otherwise...I would put on a Kevlar glove...bpv & a face shield and "Have A Go At It" ~ then we would know for sure if it was OK ~ OR...if the forum needed a replacement moderator. :biggrin:
 

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It's a contained explosion

Usually, with an unfouled barrel, the explosion that occurs in the cartridge finds the path of least resistance towards the barrel. In other words, the slug will yield more readily to the chamber pressure than the wall of the cartridge when reinforced by the steel of the chamber. So, the bullet yields, and as the pressure continues, the bullet has a force applied to it, and gathers momentum as it travels down the barrel.

If the gun is completely submerged, then theoretically, the water pressure on the slug increases. However, being completely submerged, the water pressure applied to the outside of the chamber also increases. So, the net effect is that the while the slug and the chamber both require higher pressures to yield, the slug still yields way before the chamber, and you have something approaching a normal shot fired.

If the chamber is not submerged, then theoretically, the pressure is only higher against the slug due to the increased mass of the water, which can cause casehead blowouts, or even chamber wall failure.

Again, this is all theory. I am not a hydrodynamics engineer, but the physics seem sound to me.

In this case, I would flick the wrist to try to shake out the water from the barrel, and fire, since you are basically asking a shoot/ no shoot based not on whether you are justified or not, but on whether you would take a gamble with your weapon in such a condition.

If I think it is do-or-die time, I am going to take the shot since I have a .45 and the greater diameter of the bore will drain water more easily. Also, the .45 acp is a relatively low pressure round, with a low velocity, which means that fluids will not impede travel as much (I think).
Even if the gun fails catastrophically, it will probably not incapacitate me, and the discharge may actually buy me some time to either get a BUG or prepare for hand to hand combat (which in my case, means palming a S&W blade I carry, so that he doesn't see the weapon coming). This would also be a good time to get out your surefire (if you have it) and blind the guy to get away.

In the final analysis, there are far too many variables for a clearly correct decision. Whether you fire or not, you are taking your chances. For me, I am of the opinion that I am better off taking the shot, especially if I can at least flick the wrist.

It is an interesting scenario. Thank you for coming up with it. I would not have considered it had you not. Now, if I am ever in a situation where I may have water in the barrel, I have an IA drill to clear it.

Fortune favors the prepared mind.
 

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Lenny magill made a dvd where they were shooting under water other than some bum ammo and primer strikes everything went fine no blow ups... so if the gun was wet i would have no problem firing it
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Doc - I am with your reasoning - seeing as I do an effect similar to excess oil in a bore - in normal atmosphere we have a potential obstruction. water is a moblile fluid but - the speed of pressure rise and the inertial effects make that water briefly pretty ''solid'' . Dive badly into water from a height - it feels pretty ''solid''!

Because under water pressures are equal in all directions - the water is no long an obstruction - but a uniform medium.

Anyways - all that aside - more I think on the more I'd almost expect to do a reflex flick of the piece as it is on the way up - not so much a drop muzzle and drain - just a lateral flick so centripetal effects throw barrel water out.

All very much theory and conjecture but - interesting to speculate. Just another oddball situation! :biggrin:
 

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One good point already raised: the smaller the bore diameter, the greater the risk. Th "capillary effect" of the .223 bore has been found to retain the water, where the old .30 bore would typically drain out.

I know the old caution against firing a weapon with a coating of grease in the barrel, too.

My thoughts:
1) Bigger bore should (I think) result in less obstruction from residual water.
2) The shorter the barrel, the less overall effect of the resiudal water in bore.
3) Lower pressure rounds would logically be less likely to "spike" pressures to a dangerous level.

Sounds like a good reason to carry my "shorty" .45 ACP !
 

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Verbalizations...Get Back, Back up....[use the time to access, Is he shootable?, What is going on?]

Get your legs up and your head off the deck [assuming you couldn't get off the ground safely given the proximics of the situation], to be able to stop him from coming in on you.

Keep the gun back in retention position, lest you lose it in the ensuing fray.

Manuever so that you can get some idea of what is behind your head, lest his buddy give you a 'bootparty' while you try and figure out what's going on.

Oh, and I'm not concerned about water in the barrel. The only time you have to really worry about water tension in the bore is with pretty small diameter barrels [such as 5.56mm]. I've lobbed guns across the range into shindeep standing water, fished it out, run downrange, retrieved it and commenced shooting without ill effects.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thx Paul - good to have feedback on actual ''wet'' shooting!

I mentioned elsewhere but again welcome - good to have you on board.
 

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P95Carry said:
QK - as I understand it - if entire ''environment'' is water then the underwater firing is safe. If tho a ''mixed'' environment - water and air - things change.

Anyways - this is only a trial situation - going for input as usual! :smile:

Re the person being a cop - I'd expect by stage of ''showdown'' per my fiction, that any cop would have already verbalized enough to defuze things - hopefully! Apart from not implying any ''lunge'' manouvers! :biggrin:
The underwater firing is "safe" to a very limited degree. First, no HP's. Second, you may have a set of ruptured nuts, eyeballs, eardrums, and other parts. Well, probably not ruptured, but severely bruised and possibly permanently damaged. There are a lot of variables, bullet weight/velocity, level of submersion, water temp, etc.. There was a discussion on HKPro about this, and an ex-Navy guy chimed in.

Mixed environment, like you describe, should not be much of an issue. My concern would be cycling. Did you hit your mag release accidentally? Got a piece of gravel lodged between the hammer and slide (ala 1911/BHP/USP)? That type of thing.
 

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P95Carry said:
KC, you maybe miss the point a bit. The darkness has little bearing here, or even seeing the gun - the gun and hand have just effectively gone under water ... no need to see that - it is wet and cold! You are sitting there on wet ground - looking up at a threat.

I am failing to project my own mental image I guess.

By the time said gun and hand are raised there is no spare time to go for a BUG - it is shoot or not... the BG threat is too total.


Nate - the gun having been effectively immersed - quite likely when raised it could come up barrel high - you on ground and BG standing. So you point - with potentially a significant amount of water against the chambered round! No time for drainage to have been total. Thus on firing - a signficant ''hydraulic barrier''. I am assuming this can act 'a la' a barrel obstruction and cause severe raised pressures - possible kaboom.

THAT is why I am exploring for thoughts. True too - other aspects of the scenario can also be pulled to pieces! :smile:
You aparently do not get it..if I drop the gun, I'll grab another, not look for it. If gun was still in hand, I'll shoot it, If the situation meets AOJ. I'll let the other guy worry about the 'hydraulic barrier'...something I have never heard of.
 

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Paul Gomez-

I truly appreciate your posts and perspectives !!

Chris,
I have used a "drenched" gun, one of the the impromtu things. These were "work guns", not bling bling, not tacticool toys. So yes " we skittered" the gun across the asphalt - thru the water puddles. Anywhere from surface to 4" inch deep.

The set-ups were made to resemble parking lots, having a pard, skitter a gun to you, maybe to give BUG to spouse,picking up BGs guns to use on him..rolling under a vehicle for cover...shooting under vehicles...

We on purpose were wet, using asphalt, dirt, gravel, anything we might encounter.

Don't figure it will be sunshine, 65* and soft dirt around if the balloon goes up. Wasn't the last time things got serious for me anyway....

GI Gov't 1911, Model 10, Model 19, Model 36 with bobbed hammer, Keltec P-11, BHP, Glock 17, Glock 26, Taurus 85 were used...

Not scratches - Called Character :wink:
 
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