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Thread: Better than M4, but you canít have it

  1. #61
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    I have shot a lot of .45 ACP, .40 S&W and 9mm, and have to say that I don't have a problem with any of the three, though I will admit that 9mm has it all over the other two for longer range shooting. Between 50m and 100m I would feel comfortable in engaging a man sized target with 9mm. I've tried it with .45 ACP and .40 S&W and just didn't have much luck.

    If you get up to .45 Super or .44 Magnum velocities, you should be able to take care of business, but at the expense of recoil and excessive wear on the machinery.

  2. #62
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Default Just my observation -

    I hear and understand a lot of the grief given the M16/M4, and I'll just add this -

    My issued M4, which I maintained reasonably (as opposed to spotlessly)downrange, never failed me in over 300 rounds of service use. Never had a jam on a range either.

    I can't really say I saw any major issues with any of my soldier's M16's/M4's downrange, as long as they cleaned them regularly (wipe down daily, detailed 1x/week)

    Stopping power is another discussion, but fortunately there aren't a lot of big burly Iraqis.

  3. #63
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    I do not and never have looked for penetration from a pistol. At home my pistol is a defensive weapon. In that situation penetration becomes overpenetration and that puts my family and my neighbors in danger. At work my pistol is a secondary. If I have it out then it is because either I am in a confined space or my primary has gone down for whatever reason. In those cases I don't need penetration I need something that will quickly drop targets so that I can get to cover and get my primary up. Hollowpoints would most certainly improve the performance of 9MM but we are not allowed to use it according to the Geneva Convention (for reasons that are still unclear to me). .45's supperior stopping power is undeniable. Study after study shows that .45 consistantly outperforms 9MM for pure stopping power.

    SFC W

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    Just adding my 2 cents. I am a SGT in the US Army, currently in Iraq. I was in 4th ID, 1-68 AR, IEF (part 2) and was issued an M4A2 and an M9. The M4 performed flawlessly despite high round counts; we went red and near black several times. I understand the engineered advantages the new HK has over the M4, but I would like to cast my vote for "no sale". I suppose it is an improvement, but it remains untested by time-on-ground, and seems to be the answer to a question few people ask. If it works for the Black Ninja types who have impact cards with which to buy personal equipment and weapons, more power to them. For the average Joe, the M4 certainly does not leave one at a disadvantage. I believe I saw a report that we had recently contracted Colt to supply something like 74,000 new M4s. I just don't see a reason to cancel it. Thanks for everyone's ear-time. Charlie-mike...

  5. #65
    Council Member SGTMILLS's Avatar
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    Default Hk 416

    OIF IV, TF Trailblazer in Tikrit. 05-06
    One guy showed up asking for a ride to another FOB one morning brandishing this weapon. The idea behind the HK 416 was the gas-tube free action. This guy said it was many times easier/ faster to clean than the standard gas recoil m-4. when he returned to our FOB, he let me shoot it. i saw no more accuracy or any other variants that would make it superior, OTHER than the decreased clean time/ maintenance. I really would like to see the army go to this weapon, but to no avail. SOF-D, ST-6 or other tier 1 groups have it, but the normal foot soldier will never hold it.

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    Yielding to congressional pressure, the Army will conduct a test in August to see if the M4 carbine soldiers take to war is the most reliable weapon available in sand-storm conditions.

    The test will compare how the M4 performs against a select group of newer, more compact rifles when exposed to a “dust chamber” at the Army Test and Evaluation Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., said Col. Carl Lipsit, project manager for Soldier Weapons.
    The upcoming comparative dust test at Aberdeen will pit the M4 against the Heckler & Koch 416, the H&K XM8 and FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle, also known as SCAR.
    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/0..._rifle_070715/

    Here is good presentation about incapacitation by Swedish officer.

    http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005smallar.../arvidsson.pdf
    Last edited by kaur; 07-26-2007 at 06:10 PM.

  7. #67
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    Default The most important part of the weapon

    in any situation is the person handling it.

    For example, arm me with the super rifle and 100 rounds and arm 2 US Rangers with silk handkerchiefs and lace doilies. Separate us by 3 rooms in a building typical of Iraq. I make a pretty corpse, what with the silk and lace...

    The M4 is doing its job. I'm glad to see we're looking for improvements; but let's not get all bent around the axle on side issues.

    And thanks to all of you for defending my 1st Amendment rights... Back when the war was cold and Carter was at 1600 Pennsylvania, I was doing a minor-league version of the same, sitting on SAC Alerts...

  8. #68
    Council Member MattC86's Avatar
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    Default 7.62 vs 5.56?

    First, I don't remember in "Not a Good Day To Die," which is probably the most extensive account of Anaconda and CPT Self's fight, any mention of his problems with the M4 or carrying a cleaning rod strapped to the rifle, but I obviously don't have any real experience with the rifle and can't attest to alleged reliability issues.

    I also remember an commentary in Proceedings from 2002 or 2003 arguing, basically, that Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan have all shown that the problem is not the M16/M4 rifle but the 5.56 round itself. Said that new rifles for the old M14 style 7.62 round were needed because of the bigger round's greater stopping power and long-range accuracy. Again, I have no firsthand experience with them, but I'd be interested to know if any of the legitimate "trigger-pullers" believe there should be any real consideration (aside from the procurement nightmare it would entail) to restandardizing on the 7.62 round.

    Matt

  9. #69
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Matt...

    Quote Originally Posted by MattC86 View Post
    ...
    I also remember an commentary in Proceedings from 2002 or 2003 arguing, basically, that Vietnam, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan have all shown that the problem is not the M16/M4 rifle but the 5.56 round itself...
    Partly true. Without going into a rant on the ballistics, a bigger slower bullet generally does more damage on humans (and pigs...). The capability to have a better 5.56 round than we have exists; SOCOM and the Marines are using the Mk 262 round which has better ballistics but even that can be improved upon. We're going to have the 5.56 for a long time for a variety of reasons and that's okay -- but there's no reason the round can't be improved. The Swiss have a good one...

    A piston operated rifle won't get as dirty but the carbon buildup isn't that big a problem, the real problem is just generic dirt and dust. The rifle is built to close tolerances and things can get in between parts an literally gum up the works. The Army and Marine tend to make troops over-maintain their weapons and this clears away finish and metal, thus more tolerance and more reliable functioning in older versus new weapons.

    ...Said that new rifles for the old M14 style 7.62 round were needed because of the bigger round's greater stopping power and long-range accuracy. Again, I have no firsthand experience with them, but I'd be interested to know if any of the legitimate "trigger-pullers" believe there should be any real consideration (aside from the procurement nightmare it would entail) to restandardizing on the 7.62 round.
    There's no real need to do that. The 7.62 is available and is used when the range (or stopping power) it can provide is required. Most folks do not need that range or power most of the time. The 5.56 offers a lot more ammo for the weight than the 7.62 which has all sorts of ramifications.

    Matt

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    Two thoughts: 1) In the 7.62 v. 5.56 debate a round in the 6.5 - 6.8 range would have been a good common sense compromise; 2) It still probably isn't worth changing, and that includes the rifle as well as the round. Just keep what we have unless something revolutionary can be fielded.

    What would be revolutionary? I don't know, but a couple of things come to mind: caseless ammo as well as railguns and coilguns. I have no idea if any of these can be made reliable and infantry proof in a shoulder fired weapon. The experiments that are going on now with railguns and coilguns seem to be with larger weapons such as naval guns.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_gun

    Least we think the idea of shoulder fired railguns/coilguns is pure science fiction, let's remember that when gunpowder first appeared it was used for rudimentary cannons and rockets first, and it was quite some time before it was adapted to shoulder fired weapons.

    I don't know why caseless ammo (how about a 6.5 or 6.8 caseless?) hasn't been pursued.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Caseless ammunition is one of the tracks being followed in the Army's Lightweight Small Arms Technology program.

  12. #72
    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
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    “Two thoughts: 1) In the 7.62 v. 5.56 debate a round in the 6.5 - 6.8 range would have been a good common sense compromise; 2) It still probably isn't worth changing, and that includes the rifle as well as the round. Just keep what we have unless something revolutionary can be fielded.”
    The main reasons justifying the evolution toward the 223 ammo were that combat ranges had significantly shortened from WWII on and that a man could carry about 180 rounds of .223 instead of an average of 60 to 90 maxi with bigger ammunitions such as 8mm and .308. The Germans understood that first and invented the first assault rifle (the Sturmgewehr MP 43, and MP 44) firing a shortened version of the 8mm Mauser with a case's length reduced to 33mm instead of the 57mm of the classic 8mm Mauser. This gun and its ammunition seems to have inspired Mikhail Kalashnikov.

    Long range shootings are now traditionally left to snipers who are trained to shoot at distances superior to 200-300 yards with .308 ammo and bigger. The classic .223 begins to loose significantly in accuracy beyond 200-250 yards whereas the reasonable limit with .308 is in the surroundings of 600 yards.

    “What would be revolutionary? I don't know, but a couple of things come to mind: caseless ammo (….)”
    Caseless ammos have been the object of serious experiments in Germany with HK experimental assault rifles during the late 70’s; but some problems, such as spontaneous auto-ignition, were never totally solved. Thus, HK gave up this project.

    “(….) as well as railguns and coilguns. I have no idea if any of these can be made reliable and infantry proof in a shoulder fired weapon. The experiments that are going on now with railguns and coilguns seem to be with larger weapons such as naval guns.”
    From recollection an electromagnetic pistol has been made in United States during the late 60’s or 70’s I believe but the performances and technical constraints of this experimental gun proved to be unsatisfactorily.

    “I don't know why caseless ammo (how about a 6.5 or 6.8 caseless?) hasn't been pursued.”
    6.5 and 6.8 rounds get us back to the problem of the number of ammunition a soldier can carry. During WWII Italians and Japanese soldiers used 6.5 ammunition whose cases’ length were superior to 50mm and whose case diameter at the bottom were similar to this of a .308, 8mm Mauser or 30-06 U.S. See the ballistic performances of modern civilian .243 to .270 Winchester for comparison.
    Hard to make this diameter’s case smaller as the Soviets experienced it with the 7.62 X 39 Kalashnikov. The finally opted for a 5.56 X 39 circa 1974 (Kalashnikov AKS 74).
    Remember also that the WWII .30 M1 ammo (7.62 X 33mm for U.S. M1 and M2 carbines) whose diameter at the case’s bottom is smaller and close to this of a 32 ACP proved to be unsatisfactorily owing to its poor ballistic performances and power.
    Last edited by Dominique R. Poirier; 08-10-2007 at 10:36 PM.

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    The problem is not that 308 is a better round than 223, but that the army uses a small grain steel core bullet. A 223 moving at arond 3000ft per sec with a steel core is designed to pentrate a flak vest and still provide leathality to the target. Further, steel cores where inserted to stop the use of lead. Any good deer hunter or soldier can sit down and tell you why a fast moving bullet with a solid core is bad for bussiness. Personall I hunt with a 257 weatherby mag. IT is 25 caliber bullet on a 7 mag casing. It moves with a 100 Seirra Boat tail at about 3700 FPS. With that kind of speed and a FMJ bullet, little bambi dosen't know its been shot, and even through the vitals can run a hell of along way. However, if you change that to a 117grain Round Nose bullet designed for maximum expansion moving about 3200 FPS, it turns bambis insides to jello. So as a joe carrying my M4, I'm not concerned that I have a 223. I just don't like the grain or type of bullet that we use. If you look at the hydrolics of the AK round agianst the Hydrolics of our standard 5.56mm, you can see the difference of why a small bullet is not problematic.
    Its the hydrolic effect that the bullet achevies that is important. Furthmore, when use say that a 308 has better ballistics, thats not what your talking about. What I'm gathering from your conversation is ft pnds of energy delievered of target. Thats only a portion of ballistics. The 308 dose not really have that great of ballistics, their are much better rounds when it comes to that.

  14. #74
    Council Member Dominique R. Poirier's Avatar
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    The reason for using lead to manufacture bullets owes to two or three main reasons which constitute an advantage over nearly all other metals:

    is at the same time heavy and soft;
    it is inexpensive.

    I explain why. Lead is a metal soft enough to be easily shaped in a rifled barrel without generating significant and dangerous increase of pressure during the combustion of the powder. A classic rifle’s barrel firing fast and powerful ammunition can undergo pressures as high as 3,500 to 3,800 metric kilo per square centimeter (or bar). For the purpose of comparison, the maximum pressure allowed in a 12 gauge shotgun barrel is about 1,200 bar.

    Other metals such as steel or tungsten carbide, for example, are unsuitable for rifled barrels because they are too hard metals to take the shape of a rifled barrel. They would just make the barrel blow up if ever someone attempted to use such a bullet in a rifle. That’s why there is a need to jacket or to circle these metals into or with softer metals such as copper.
    In the case of big calibers relevant to the field of artillery (say, above .50) the recourse to copper-circled shell entails a relatively fast wear of the barrel because the shell is in steel and not copper-jacketed (there are many interesting things to say about this point and I’ll be pleased to elaborate on this other fascinating subject if ever someone is interested in artillery from 30mm caliber on).

    Actually, the best metal for a rifle bullet should be platinum because it is heavy, harder than lead, and it can bear much higher temperatures than lead. But platinum is too rare and too expensive to be shot.

    We are constantly looking for heavy metals to manufacture bullets because there is a need to keep the maximum kinetic energy possible as long as possible. Air density tends to slow a bullet speed; therefore the best remedy to that problem is to make a bullet as heavy as possible for a given diameter. Also, more kinetic energy means better perforating power, of course (let me brush aside the question of stopping power for a while, which would make me wandering from the matter at hand).

    Impoverished (or depleted) uranium is still a better metal that lead, owing to its weight; but there are many problems with that metal. Impoverished uranium is uranium remaining after removal of the isotope uranium-235. It is primarily composed of the isotope uranium-238. Since depleted uranium contains less than one third as much uranium-235 as natural uranium, it is weakly radioactive and an external radiation dose from depleted uranium is about 60% of that from the same mass of uranium with a natural isotopic ratio. At standard temperature and pressure it is a very dense metal. Due to its high density the main uses of depleted uranium include counterweights in aircraft, radiation shields in medical radiation therapy machines and containers for the transport of radioactive materials. The military uses depleted uranium for defensive armor plate and its pyrophoricity has made it a valued component in other military applications, particularly in the form of armor-piercing projectiles (anti-tank 30mm shells for General Electric machine guns on Fairchild A-10 airplanes, as best example).
    Try to saw a bar of impoverished uranium with a mere metal handsaw and you’ll see an amazing shower of sparks as if you were doing the same with a powerful metal electric saw against ordinary steel… Metal temperature rises considerably during this simple experiment owing to friction and to the atomic weight of this metal.
    Depleted uranium behaves in the body as natural uranium does and that’s why it would be unethical to currently use it against humans in small arms.

    Now, the problem we have with lead is its very low melting point which is 621.43 įF only. Using full lead bullets in firearms is possible as long as the speed is not in excess of about 1,300 to 1,500 feet per second. These melting point and hardness can be slightly modified by the adding of antimony in it. Beyond 1,500 feet per second a lead bullet melts, buckles, and no longer takes the shape of a rifled barrel. As a result it totally loses in accuracy; even at short distances. That’s why we jacket it with copper, another relatively soft metal whose melting point is much higher.

    About “boat tail” shaped bullets.

    This shape has been invented first circa 1900 by the French Army, though I am not sure if they were the first to discover it (other and discrepant clues are welcome). Anyways long range rifle shooting competitions commonly existed in France during those earlier times. Shooting distances were of 1,000 meters. Targets were horsemen silhouettes and the rifles and ammunition shooters used was the Lebel rifle model 1886 M-93 in 8mm Lebel. Full metal jacket boat shaped 8mm bullets just did it the best.
    Actually, the boat-tail shape has been the best aerodynamic shape offering the best accuracy to a bullet or a shell until then, and that why it is largely used nowadays in small military arms and in artillery as well.

    “Personall I hunt with a 257 weatherby mag. IT is 25 caliber bullet on a 7 mag casing. It moves with a 100 Seirra Boat tail at about 3700 FPS.”
    Yes, your choice of Sierra bullets is a good pick and the best I know and experimented with that caliber is the Sierra Match 100 which is a FMJ boat-tail shaped bullet (the same as yours, it seems). You may improve the kinetic energy and the stopping power in using round nose shaped bullets, but this will be done at the expense of accuracy at long distances when compared with the former.

    Weatherby ammunitions are characterized by their higher speed and power and are very good ammunitions for hunting. Weatherby hunting rifles are heavier and more expensive than other standard rifles because the particular ammunitions they use develop unusually high pressures. This explains why the case of any Weatherby cartridge is reinforced at the bottom. If not, the cases would often break up under pressure.

    Now, bear in mind that speed is not synonym of accuracy; quite on the contrary. I will explain why with more details in another comment, if ever you want it, since it would make this one much longer.

    “The 308 dose not really have that great of ballistics, their are much better rounds when it comes to that.”
    Sorry to disagree a bit, but the .308 is the best compromise one can find nowadays when considering modern military ammunitions for small arms. A similar equivalent in the civilian realm is the .300 Savage which offer a very good accuracy.
    Last edited by Dominique R. Poirier; 08-13-2007 at 03:42 PM.

  15. #75
    Council Member FL-CRACKER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    The problem is not that 308 is a better round than 223, but that the army uses a small grain steel core bullet. A 223 moving at arond 3000ft per sec with a steel core is designed to pentrate a flak vest and still provide leathality to the target. Further, steel cores where inserted to stop the use of lead. Any good deer hunter or soldier can sit down and tell you why a fast moving bullet with a solid core is bad for bussiness. Personall I hunt with a 257 weatherby mag. IT is 25 caliber bullet on a 7 mag casing. It moves with a 100 Seirra Boat tail at about 3700 FPS. With that kind of speed and a FMJ bullet, little bambi dosen't know its been shot, and even through the vitals can run a hell of along way. However, if you change that to a 117grain Round Nose bullet designed for maximum expansion moving about 3200 FPS, it turns bambis insides to jello. So as a joe carrying my M4, I'm not concerned that I have a 223. I just don't like the grain or type of bullet that we use. If you look at the hydrolics of the AK round agianst the Hydrolics of our standard 5.56mm, you can see the difference of why a small bullet is not problematic.
    Its the hydrolic effect that the bullet achevies that is important. Furthmore, when use say that a 308 has better ballistics, thats not what your talking about. What I'm gathering from your conversation is ft pnds of energy delievered of target. Thats only a portion of ballistics. The 308 dose not really have that great of ballistics, their are much better rounds when it comes to that.
    Great points J.C. I agree completely with you as far as the type of rounds we're using being insufficient. Same goes for the 9x19 (9mm), if we could have better ammo other than FMJ, it would make all the difference in the world, especially when the enemy is all jacked up on meth and what not...

    I've always viewed both the 5.56 and 9x19 as surgical tools anyway, that are designed for surgically taking out vital organs in a proficient manner. Knock down power is irrelevant for those tasks in my opinion if you are using the rifle properly and placing your shots properly. The M4 is a solid weapon for our purposes and has vastly improved over the years. Add an M203 grenade launcher to that and you just increased your chances of having superior fire power ten fold.

    An example of knock down power being irrelevant that I can think of is a good friend of mine who was a 19D/Cav Scout during the Invasion of Iraq in '03 and deployed again later in '05. Many of those guys had 1911's of some form that they picked up over there, and had magazines shipped to them whether we choose to believe it or not it happened. I've heard of incidents where these guys emptied all 7 rounds into insurgents at less than 5 meters to contact and them still not going down, yet one bullet to the central nervous system using an M9 is sufficient to drop them in their tracks everytime. Shot placement is always one of the most important things in combat.

    Most importantly though; it ain't the Arrow, it's the Indian.
    "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

    "Training should be like a bloodless battle so that battle is just like bloody training." - Roman Legion Maxim

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    An example of knock down power being irrelevant that I can think of is a good friend of mine who was a 19D/Cav Scout during the Invasion of Iraq in '03 and deployed again later in '05. Many of those guys had 1911's of some form that they picked up over there, and had magazines shipped to them whether we choose to believe it or not it happened. I've heard of incidents where these guys emptied all 7 rounds into insurgents at less than 5 meters to contact and them still not going down, yet one bullet to the central nervous system using an M9 is sufficient to drop them in their tracks everytime. Shot placement is always one of the most important things in combat.
    Any idea why those soldiers were engaging insurgents at conversational distance with a 1911 and not their M4?

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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Any idea why those soldiers were engaging insurgents at conversational distance with a 1911 and not their M4?
    I know that in OIF 1, most armored crewmembers and staff ONLY had M9's. I carried an M9 through OIF 1 as a BN S4, including HIC fighting against Mehidi Army in Najaf, 2004.

    My advice, never carry a pistol to a gunfight. Hence we kicked, screamed, and bullied to get a rifle (M4 or M16) for every soldier the second time around.

    Strange, but true.

    Occasionally early on guys would pack an AK-47 on the tank as a backup, I rarely heard of anyone packing a non-issue pistol, although I'm sure it happened.

    Despite anecdotal claims, 99% of soldiers in OIF 1 carried and used their issued weapons. By OIF 05-07, I never saw any soldier carry a non-issue weapon.
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  18. #78
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I was tracking on pretty much the same thing Cavguy.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Larry was a drugged out whack job crack head with a habit of getting into trouble.

    One night Larry being the swift dude he was climbed through the window of a local member of the FOP. Plastered on not one but three windows were signs saying "Warning a gun lives here".

    Larry broke the window out of it's frame and in that unhurried yet much rushed visage of the crack fiend he scampered through the window to find the well armed owner of the home pointing a S&W 44 Magnum at the bridge of Larry's nose. Being the humble servant of the community the citizen gave Larry the not so necessary warning of "Get the F**** out of my house!" loud enough to wake the neighbors. Larry scampered back towards the window and made what would normally would have been a fatal mistake.

    Larry turned around and came back at the owner. Who then emptied six shots into Larry starting at the upper left arm and walking down to his hips.

    Now in my few years of looking over the Coroners shoulder I would say end of story...

    Not so.

    Larry is a special kind of guy. He said something unintelliligble to the home owner and jumped out the window. Did I mention this was a story and half bedroom window? Well anyways Larry ran a good five blocks down the street slamming into the side of a Patrol Unit engaged in surveilance of local donut shop. Smearing "stuff" all over the door of the unit our intrepid blue suiters watch as Larry runs down the road dragging pieces of himself.

    After another five blocks (10 in total if your counting) Larry trips on dragging pieces of himself and falls at the feet of the following (in car) police officers.

    6 rounds of 44 magnum, 10 block chase, 1 month in the hospital, 24 months for breaking and entering an occupied domicile, and a heck of a story.

    You can never have to much gun.
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  20. #80
    Council Member FL-CRACKER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Any idea why those soldiers were engaging insurgents at conversational distance with a 1911 and not their M4?
    It was his last measure of defense. His platoon was ambushed after the lead vehicle was IED'ed. He was hit by two AK rounds in the chest (was wearing his Interceptor), and knocked down to the ground. I believe he said his M4 got hit when he got hit in the chest. Regardless though, when he was "supine" on the deck with the insurgent charging for him, he couldn't service him with his M4 so he transitioned to his secondary. I just thought it was a good example, as I think a lot of people confuse knockdown power (and the .45 ACP for that matter), with being an end all silver bullet.

    Apparently a few of the 1911's they had over there, even said, "U.S. Government Issue" on them and since he was the Platoon Sergeant,he was rarely ever questioned on it.

    I don't know if it was as widespread as he said but it sure sounded like it when I went to the welcome home party at Fort Carson. A lot of them were sick to their stomachs because they had to throw their contraband 1911's among others in the river.
    "Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can't get it wrong."

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