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HConn
12-05-2004, 11:07 PM
There are certain subjects that infuriate afficianados when a writer gets a detail wrong. Titanic, The Civil War and guns.

What are good resources for gun research? I don't have a problem with guns in general, but I don't own any and have never shot one (well, except for bb guns). Where would a guy like me find reliable, easy to access info on firearms?

And please, if you're going to post links, don't post 13 of them, with little or no explanation. That kind of overload doesn't help anyone. Please post one or two of the most comprehensive, reliable and easy to use. 8o

Thanks.

Maryn
12-06-2004, 03:56 AM
Similar problem here, with even less experience--no BB guns in my background. Although I haven't done it lately, I've made concerted efforts in the past to find a reliable site about handguns (other guns would be gravy, but it's handguns mystery writers need most) and come up empty.

If anyone should come along and post sites, I agree that a line or two about what each has to offer would be terrific. A forum where the writer could ask questions? An overview or FAQ about guns? Guidelines for choosing the right gun for the right person and purpose? Information on ammunition? Instructions for the novice shooter?

So far, I've skirted needing to know more, but other writers I've talked to report they've also been unable to find what they sought online. A few have taken gun safety classes, gone to gun shows and gun shops, and visited shooting ranges. There you explain flat-out that you're a writer not so much interested in guns as in getting every detail, including the guns, right. Apparently if you ask respectfully, and if the people aren't too busy, they'll help you out.

Hope this works for you, too.

Maryn

rtilryarms
12-06-2004, 05:41 AM
It is probably best to join one of the many message boards for guns and ammo. Just like this writing board.

I could send you to those dozen links or if you had a specific question one would be better than another.

For instance the revolver with a silencer would have different challenges depending on make, caliber and factory load vs custom or self load.

Go to the ezboard menu and search by keywords.

Personally, silencers belong on special automatics, for revolvers I use a potato. But not with Ruger.

katdad
12-07-2004, 01:23 AM
I would be happy to help with specifics about firearms, modern ones. I have considerable experience with modern weapons and have been a gun owner all my life. I have a concealed carry permit and have carried a handgun for years.

So ask away.

Re: "silencers" on revolvers? You could put one on, but it would have little noise-reduction effect. That's because the noise also comes out of the area around the cylinder. So only autos can be effectively "silenced" (the actual term is "suppressed").

Potato? That's a new one for me. I can't even visualize it. And why not Rugers? They are essentially the same as any other revolver design.

Principal fictional firearm errors:
1- A "silencer" on a revolver. Has no effect.
2- A safety on a revolver. They don't have 'em.
3- Recoil from firing a handgun knocking the shooter onto the floor, and a corrolary, the person who's shot flying across the room.

And one I've seen a lot lately: The guy with the auto has a hostage or whatever, and he racks the slide of the gun to show he "means business" Duh! If the slide was not racked at the beginning, the gun has no shell in the chamber, and won't fire. Most people carry a gun with a shell already in the chamber. Just release the safety and pull the trigger. Or, in case of Glocks, just pull the trigger (Glocks don't have external safeties.)

Questions? Ask & I'll spew.

Maryn
12-07-2004, 01:40 AM
I'm still very early in my current WIP, but don't think I'm not going to hold you to your very generous offer when the time comes for me to put a firearm in a character's hand. (Or pocket, purse, or car.)

Thanks so much! (BTW, I asked for the aria recording from Santa, and I've been a very good girl, so...)

Maryn

rtilryarms
12-07-2004, 03:38 AM
Potato's work swell. Best on auto's but are fairly effective on smaller rim fire calibers as the flash gap is very thin and can be muzzled with a towel for effective noise suppresion.

Rugers are notorious for a large flash gap, never stand next to someone shooting one.

And I am with you, on TV when the gunslinger chambers the automatic to add importance of a loaded gun and no shell pops out, it DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!

katdad
12-07-2004, 07:35 AM
And I am with you, on TV when the gunslinger chambers the automatic to add importance of a loaded gun and no shell pops out, it DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!
Saw one TV movie the other day, the bad guy did this THREE TIMES in the same scene, each time, I suppose, ratcheting up his evil intent. Jeez Louise.

Never heard of using a potato as a suppressor. Heard of using a towel, etc.

Mob hits mostly do the silencing thing, but these days the hits are done splashy style with little regard for peace and quiet -- shotguns and such.

Sigh, the old days were soooo polite. ha ha

rtilryarms
12-07-2004, 09:38 AM
It happens on every show

Every single solitary one


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGG GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHh

HConn
12-07-2004, 01:08 PM
Thanks, all.

I picked that subject header because I'd been told it was one of the simplest mistakes people make.

macalicious731
12-08-2004, 05:38 AM
I brought this up very breifly in the Novels section, but I am also in need of some gun help.

Katdad has already mentioned unfamiliarity with "historical" weapons, but I'm going to go ahead and give it another shot, especially since I don't need many details.

Basically, I've got a story set around the Industrial Revolution, so about 1890s-1900. The story doesn't follow the actual Revolution, so the specifics aren't really necessary.

What I'm really interested in knowing is if someone were to have a small handgun with a very basic make, how that gun would sound when shot, how much distance it could get, and its accuracy.

It would be a great help if someone could point me in the right direction. (:

katdad
12-08-2004, 05:37 PM
A very good "generic" choice for a turn-of-the century gun is simply a Colt .32 caliber revolver.

Just say "a Colt .32 revolver" and you'll be fine.

.32 caliber is quite old, and has been around many years. It was a popular cartridge a hundred years ago, before the heavier .38 essentially supplanted it.

A Colt .32 revolver would be 6-shot, inexpensive, easy to shoot, and quite reliable. You can have the person who gets shot die or survive, depending on how you want your story to go.

A .32 isn't very powerful but it can certainly kill you. It might however not stop a large angry drunk charging man unless you hit him in the head.

But it's an excellent choice for your book, since you're not writing a techno-thriller or a 'gun' book and therefore you don't need 1000000% accuracy for firearms.

A .32 revolver would make a fair bang, not terrifically loud but you would certainly hear it if nearby. Like a big firecracker, not a "huge roar" however.

These old Colt .32 revolvers come with several barrel lengths, so you can have one with maybe a 4" barrel and it would be reasonably accurate up to 25 feet or so, even if fired by a non-expert. The bullet will carry a mile or more, like any decent firearm, but it will not have significant accuracy beyond 100 feet.

I have a book somewhere on Colt firearms and if you'll be more specific to your needs, I can look up an exact model type that will fit the bill. Otherwise "She had a Colt .32 revolver." will be okay.

Now ask me some questions about singing opera. ha ha

macalicious731
12-09-2004, 12:35 AM
Katdad, sounds great! I think you've covered anything I would need, but if anything else comes to mind I'll be sure to send an inquiry your way.

I won't need the actual name of the gun listed in the novel since it's not really our timeline, but it will be a great model for research.

Thanks for the help!

Sorry, not opera questions! Yet.

katdad
12-09-2004, 01:22 AM
Okay -- I happened to spot my Colt Firearms book this morning while stumbling around the living room.

Here's the absolute good stuff I recommend:

Colt 6-shot revolver
3" barrel
Caliber .38

Nitpick: Not .32 like I said earlier, and not ".38 Special" -- the .38 Special is a later design, more powerful than the "standard" .38 caliber of this old revolver. Nevertheless the .38 caliber of this revolver is quite lethal (or can be), so you can have it kill or wound the shootee. Or miss.

Details: "Colt's New Army and Navy Revolver", manufactured from 1892 through to 1907. Nearly 300,000 made.

The "Army-Navy" name didn't necessarily mean it was made for the military -- it's a slogan to boost sales, most of which were civilian.

It looks like any standard small revolver, even new ones, although the frame is more slender and less robust than modern guns. But it's essentially a "modern" gun in function, so there are no special things you need to mention about it.

It has a swing-out cylinder, same as you've seen a thousand times in cop movies, where the cop flips out the cylinder to check his full cylinder, then twitches his wrist to pop the cylinder shut.

Fires both double-action (DA) and single-action (SA). Double action means that you simply pull the trigger to fire it. Pulling the trigger cocks the hammer back, and then releases it. Bang.

So your character can go "bang, bang, bang" six times then it's "click, click, click". That is fine for someone who's not familiar with guns, because ANYONE will try to pull a trigger to fire a gun. And for DA revolvers, it works!

This means that your character can be a newbie about guns and still pick up the revolver and fire it. And the gun is also a good, reliable gun for a crook or detective to carry. Therefore this is an excellent choice for your gun in your book, since there are no goofy details or strange quirks to account for. (If you do happen to want some goofy strange firearm as a plot twist, let me know and I'll find one for you.)

Single action (SA) by the way means that you first have to manually latch the hammer back before you can fire the gun by pulling the trigger. This is the older 19th century style like the cowboy Colt Peacemaker in western stories.

Except for the caliber change, everything I said was correct. So just say "She had a Colt .38 revolver in her purse when we arrested her." or whatever, and you're home free.

Oh yeah. Be sure that this revolver doesn't have a safety. It didn't. ha ha

macalicious731
12-09-2004, 09:12 AM
Katdad, that's a wonderful help! I never would have thought about flipping the cylinder, but that piece of information will definitely come in handy.

Plus, since guns are a new invention, there isn't anyone (aside from one or two "experienced" folk) who would actually be familiar with how one works.

Thanks again!

katdad
12-09-2004, 01:58 PM
Plus, since guns are a new invention...

Now I understand. You're writing an alternate history "fantasy" story, not a direct & linear historic story.

Right?

macalicious731
12-09-2004, 11:11 PM
Correct. (:

However, all of that info will still be exceptionally handy.

Jamesaritchie
12-21-2004, 02:25 PM
Re: "silencers" on revolvers? You could put one on, but it would have little noise-reduction effect. That's because the noise also comes out of the area around the cylinder. So only autos can be effectively "silenced" (the actual term is "suppressed") .

I wish I could remember the model, but can't. Anyway, there is one French made revolver that can take a silencer. It has cylinder cones that withdraw from the chamber as the cylinder turns, then snap back into the chamber as the cylinder lines up for the next shot. These cones form a barrier that stop sound and gasses from escaping. A very good idea. They also mean a silencer will work on this particular revolver.

A potato does work moderately well with small caliber handguns, but there's always a better, and less messy, choice. Several of them, in fact.

If you can find an inline lawnmower muffler, it may work even better than an actual silencer. . .the two are really the same thing, and use the same technology. For many years, the words silencer/suppressor/muffler were interchangable. Firearm muffler was a common term.

And, of course, it's illegal to own a silencer, but perfectly legal to own a lawnmower muffler.

As for Glocks, some were made with external safeties, which can be a good bit of trivia. And as often as Glock is being sued because of accidental discharges, I wouldn't be surprised to see this change in the future.

rtilryarms
12-21-2004, 08:17 PM
True.

But mufflers tend to deflect. Potato's were favored on the muzzle for the lesser resistance. The flash gap could be muzzled with any insulating material, cushion, jacket etc.

Silencers are machined to be a smooth extension of the barrel and the gun-metal is the same heavy duty gauge. Mufflers are dangerous if not perfectly aligned.

Other ways I was taught (I grew up around my friends from JM/Wave):

Small metal flashlights, doubled as koppo's but could be hollowed and stuffed. Popular in the late 60's early '70's.

I keep hearing that nothing beats a pillow.

Hit the fellow over the head with the gun and stab him for a quiet kill.

rt

katdad
12-21-2004, 11:54 PM
I keep hearing that nothing beats a pillow. (or stabbing or hitting over the head)

No, guns rule. That's why they invented them. Not everyone is strong enough to smother someone or tough enough to confront the person directly.

As my dad taught me "A gun never killed anyone. It's that little thing that comes out of the barrel that does it."

Remember that even smothering yields forensic evidence. Best to stand back and do it at a distance.

rtilryarms
12-22-2004, 12:49 AM
lol,

No, I meant a pillow over the gun as a silencer. And the feathers flying around from a down pillow adds a nice touch for effects

Jamesaritchie
12-22-2004, 07:47 AM
But mufflers tend to deflect. Potato's were favored on the muzzle for the lesser resistance. The flash gap could be muzzled with any insulating material, cushion, jacket etc.

This problem is easy to solve. There's a simple way of securing a muffler, and of making sure it stays aligned. This is a long range setup when other means just won't do. You can't hold a pillow or a jacket over the muzzle of a handgun and hit a target that's 150 yards away.

The correct handgun for this setup isn't a semi-auto, it's a single shot handgun such as the Thompson, firing a round with a high ballistic coefficient, loaded to just below supersonic velocity.

Or even above, if the job calls for it. You can still silence the explosion of the round, and the supersonic crack of a bullet is usually mistaken for something else by the uninitiated. It's also deceptive. Since the shock wave travels along behind the bullet, witnesses can almost never tell which direction the shot came from, even if they recognize that loud snap as coming from a bullet.

There's also a simple way to use an aluminum cleaning rod as a shoulder stock for better accuracy. Shoulder stocks are also illegal, but cleaning rods are not. You can drop a cleaning rod and a lawnmower muffler in a tool box and no one will think twice about finding them there.

There's also a way to remove the stock from a Thompson, do some fairly serious modifications, and hide it in a toolbox so the average police officer will never realize what he's looking at. But I'm not going into that here. Ammunition and scope can be harder to conceal than the handgun itself, though there are tricks for this, as well.

I saw such a setup once upon a time, and it was truly impressive. (And, well, it's also possible to obtain actual silencers that look just like lawnmower mufflers, right down to the box they're stored in.)

The Thompson single shot can be a fearsome weapon, and the perfect weapon for a situation where you need much more range than an ordinnary handgun, and more concealability than any rifle can give you.

Glen T. Brock
03-25-2005, 07:58 AM
Hello folks,

A .32 is a woman's purse gun. For that matter the .38 was too until it became the standard issue for police side arms. At the turn of the 20th century the .44 revolver was the bad boy on the block. During the Spanish-American War in 1898 the .45 automatic was introduced for the army. It was designed to have a quarter ounce bullet travel at a relatively low speed (about 600 ft. per second), giving the bullet the foot pounds of energy to not only cause hydrostatic shock on impact but to knock the target down as well. This was important, considering the Army was fighting Moros in the Phillipines, who would habitually dope themselves up into suicide charges with machetes.

The best homemade silencer I've ever heard of is the good old propholactic (non lubricated rubber) tied over the end of the barrell. It's only good for one shot but that's all it was designed for. A suppressor works by dissapating the gasses coming out of the barrell when the pistol is fired, thus reducing the shock wave. The trick is to suppress the gas just enough to keep the barrell from bursting. If the gun is silenced too well it will backfire. Not good. The Heckler & Koch 9mm. is a favorite weapon for silencing because it has a portruding barrell that may be threaded for easy installation of a muffler.

Best wishes,

Glen T. Brock

Liam Jackson
03-25-2005, 10:53 AM
http://www.americanhandgunner.com/ American Handgunner- devoted to all well, the handgun. Nice information on handgunning including laws, equipment and heavy doses of political posturing. Obviosuly, just my opinion), and a bit one dimensional. 3 1/2 stars out of 5

http://www.gunsandammomag.com/
Guns and Ammo Magazine- One of the premiere publications for recreational shooters. Reveiws guns and related equipment, provides periodic ballistics and comparison tests. Covers long guns as well as handguns. Four Stars


Other issues mentioned above.
Reference the prophylactic silencer-
The best non-commercial silencer I've ever tested was a patch of bicycle inner-tube. It screwed with the cycling of the next round, but served the purpose in close quaters. Personally, I would avoid a silencer on nearly any wheel gun. The blowback through the cylinders just gives off too much noise and flash.

Regarding the 44. mag, it's only been around for about 50 years and has some serious drawbacks as a combat weapon. In many field situations, it's inferior to the 41. mag. (Recoil and nightblindness from excessive muzzle flash contributed to the Boder Patrol's decision to adopt the .41 years ago. (Which is quite ironic since you can charbroil sirloin with the muzzle falsh from a .41.)

The 44-40 Russian and .44 Colt were extremely popular at the turn of the century, but so many calibers were coming out, cartridge loyalty seemed well distributed. Even the anemic .36 cal had strong supporters among various pre-1911 military units. The, along came the formidable .45 auto. Few cartridges of that period (1880-1915) carried the foot-pounds of energy released by the .45 auto. Later, some folks developed a liking for the snubby .44 Special due to low muzzle flash, reduced recoil and a solid kinetic energy release at short distances. Most all it was cheap.

http://www.gunsandammomag.com/ga_handguns/GAforgotten_44s225E.jpg
Some of the forgotten .44s (and a couple of resurrected ones) include: (from left to right) .44-40, .44 Remington, .44 Colt, .44 Merwin & Hulbert, .44 Russian, .44 American, .44 Webley and .44 Bull Dog

Finally, as James R. mentioned, the Thompson Contender can be chambered in a hellaciously wide range of calibers (75 to date) from small varmit rounds to the nasty 45-70 Goverment. Adjustable front and rear sights on most models (meprolight is available for less than $100.00, and and I recommend meprolight sights on any handgun) The breech locking mechanism prevents nearly all rear-escaping gas, making this a potent and accurate weapon. Add a 16-21" barrel and you have an extremely efficient tool.
http://www.notpurfect.com/main/contender.jpg
I understand Thompson is considering production of a .50 caliber Action Express barrel. This is an extraordinary event as this is an incrediblt powerful round.

Jamesaritchie
03-25-2005, 05:53 PM
Hello folks,

A .32 is a woman's purse gun. For that matter the .38 was too until it became the standard issue for police side arms. At the turn of the 20th century the .44 revolver was the bad boy on the block. During the Spanish-American War in 1898 the .45 automatic was introduced for the army. It was designed to have a quarter ounce bullet travel at a relatively low speed (about 600 ft. per second), giving the bullet the foot pounds of energy to not only cause hydrostatic shock on impact but to knock the target down as well. This was important, considering the Army was fighting Moros in the Phillipines, who would habitually dope themselves up into suicide charges with machetes.

The best homemade silencer I've ever heard of is the good old propholactic (non lubricated rubber) tied over the end of the barrell. It's only good for one shot but that's all it was designed for. A suppressor works by dissapating the gasses coming out of the barrell when the pistol is fired, thus reducing the shock wave. The trick is to suppress the gas just enough to keep the barrell from bursting. If the gun is silenced too well it will backfire. Not good. The Heckler & Koch 9mm. is a favorite weapon for silencing because it has a portruding barrell that may be threaded for easy installation of a muffler.

Best wishes,

Glen T. Brock

I'm not sure I'd use "dissipation" to describe how a silencer works, though I suppose you could say that. What you're really doing is goiving the sound more wave more room to be absorbed.

A quality weapon won't backfire, no matter how well it's silenced, and high quality commercial silencers do a really impressive job at quieting things down.

The trouble with silencers such as a prophylactic, or a potato, or most other home remedies, is that they don't work very well, especially with large caliber rounds, most will interfere with aiming, and they can only be used once. In real life, one shot seldom does the trick. I saw a man shot six tijmes with a .357 Mag who lived, and another who was shot five times with a .45 Colt ACP who lived.

The only absolutely certain one shot quick kill is right where the spine and brain join. Some will die almost immediately with one shot anywhere near the heart, but other men take a lot of killing. You have to shoot them six times, then beat them with a club, then hang whatever's left. And they'll still spend half an hour trying to untie the noose to get at you.

When you pull the trigger on someone, you have to be able to keep pulling the trigger until he's dead, or he might live long enough to kill you. If the person is armed, even with a knife, or with a handy nearby hard object, you do not want to be close enough to him for a spur of the moment silencer to do it's job. It takes less than one second for a good man to cover ten feet and kill you with almost anything he has at hand, and he can do this with a bullet, or five bullets, already in him.

In the movies, the script is usually written so the first well placed shot drops the person in his tracks, and the murderer calmly walks away. In real life, the first shot, or the first two or three shots, even well-placed, may just make the person mad.

If you're really up close and personal, the best silencer is the person's body. Jam the muzzle of the weapon hard into his abdomen right under the ribs and pull the trigger. There's very little sound at all except a big whump as the gases expand inside him.

Of course, as they say, if you REALLY want to kill someone, forget the noise. Get a shotgun, get close, and get messy.

Liam Jackson
03-25-2005, 07:12 PM
When you pull the trigger on someone, you have to be able to keep pulling the trigger until he's dead, or he might live long enough to kill you. If the person is armed, even with a knife, or with a handy nearby hard object, you do not want to be close enough to him for a spur of the moment silencer to do it's job. It takes less than one second for a good man to cover ten feet and kill you with almost anything he has at hand, and he can do this with a bullet, or five bullets, already in him.

More than one cop is dead because he/she fell back on double-tap range training when dealing with a whacked-out actor. Shotguns are indeed the man-killer of choice when the **** hits the fan.

Regarding the one-shot/one kill, most snipers are taught that a hydroshok or core-lokt pass-thru of the medulla oblongata is generally the preferred sniper shot, with a 1" kill zone surrounding the second cervical vertebrae a close second. Of course, as with every other subject under the sun, there are differing schools of thought.

(Silencers are best used (if at all) inside point-blank, or 12 feet. Just a rule of thumb from old shooters far wiser than me.)

hipshot49
03-25-2005, 07:58 PM
It has a swing-out cylinder, same as you've seen a thousand times in cop movies, where the cop flips out the cylinder to check his full cylinder, then twitches his wrist to pop the cylinder shut.



Unless your character has no firearm expertise, doesn't give a damn about his/her weapon, and/or is cognitively challenged, NEVER have/show them doing this "flipping" trick. This is pure Hollywood #@$&%, like everybody and his dog holding a pistol sideways to fire. They put the sights on the top for a reason! Anywho, back to the flipping. Fastest way in the world to damage the cylinder crane (the doohickey that keeps the cylinder attached to the frame) and destroy the alignment between the cylinder and the chamber so that when the bullet makes that little "jump" from the cylinder into the chamber everything is perfectly lined up. This alignment is referred to as timing. If you don't think this is important, feel free to fire a revolver with the timing off. Trust me, picking lead shavings out of the back of your fingers is no picnic. Thankfully, in my case, it was a very well used .22.

As to the French revolver on which, purportedly, a silencer will work, it is/was the 1895 Nagant. I have also seen pictures of a revolver suppressor that slid over the entire weapon to the back of the cylinder and thus trapped the gases from the barrel-cylinder gap and channeled them into the baffles in the suppressor itself. Not really very practical, I would think.

I would also invite those with firearms questions they can't seem to find an answer to to email me. I am somewhat of an expert, especially regarding "Old West" weaponry (Every time I see a movie purportedly set in, or shortly after the Civil War, where they are using Colt Peacemakers and Winchester 92's and 94's, I want to run screaming into the night) and U.S. military personal weapons. I can also answer pretty much any question on the geography of Montana (In "Sniper", Tom Berenger puts a "tributary of the Missouri" on the wrong side of an entire mountain range, something that could have been avoided by looking at any road map) or Alaska (the only thing "Northern Exposure" EVER got right was that Juneau is the capitol and Anchorage is the largest city).

I would commend you mightily for actually wanting to research this topic. Apparently, few writers who themselves don't possess any firearms knowledge bother to do this. Robert Ludlum put a rather detailed "explanation" of why a suppressor worked on a revolver and not on a semi-auto in one of his short stories. Some of these things seem pretty minor, but, trust me, anyone who actually is familiar with the subject will be VERY annoyed.

Glen T. Brock
03-28-2005, 04:53 AM
Hello folks,

Got to disagree with Liam on the subject of backfires. If you constrict that projectile too much the gas won't have anywhere to go. That's bad news. I had a personal experience with a backfire when a Mossberg shotgun burst a barrel because I had the wrong choke setting on it. The last three inches of the barrel was blown away and the stock broke in half from the recoil right at the trigger guard. It was just about the biggest surprise I've ever had.

Don't ever flick cylinders! If the cyclinder gets out of allignment the pistol will start shaving bullets right back at you. I had a Rossi as a throwaway gun once that did just that. If confronted I planned to throw the pistol at the perp and tell him to shoot me.....

Glen T. Brock

BradyH1861
03-28-2005, 05:47 AM
Personally I hope the movies and TV shows keep showing the bad guys firing handguns sideways. The real life (usually wanna be) bad guys copy them and discover that they have a hard time hitting anything.

I do not carry a gun that often, though technically I can. When I am working an active arson investigation, I do not strap it on until it is time to make an arrest or serve a search warrant. I carry a 1911 .45 for two reasons. First, it is a good looking, tough gun. Second, I want something that will do some damage if I have to use it. I feel sorry for our police officers where I work. They have to carry 9mm Glocks. I really do not like that type of weapon. For those of us who are involved in the criminal side of the fire service, we get to carry whatever we want as long as we can qualify with it. (that may be different in different locals)

Though I really do like my little Russian Makarov too. I have one converted to 380 instead of the 9X15 that is standard for them.

Brady H.

Liam Jackson
03-28-2005, 09:20 PM
Hello folks,

Got to disagree with Liam on the subject of backfires. If you constrict that projectile too much the gas won't have anywhere to go. That's bad news. I had a personal experience with a backfire when a Mossberg shotgun burst a barrel because I had the wrong choke setting on it. The last three inches of the barrel was blown away and the stock broke in half from the recoil right at the trigger guard. It was just about the biggest surprise I've ever had.

Don't ever flick cylinders! If the cyclinder gets out of allignment the pistol will start shaving bullets right back at you. I had a Rossi as a throwaway gun once that did just that. If confronted I planned to throw the pistol at the perp and tell him to shoot me.....

Glen T. Brock

Glen, help me out here. I'm trying to find a post where I mentioned "backfire" and can't. The nearest thing I can find is where I spoke of the revolver "blowback" or spent powder and "shavings" (those nasty little pieces of lead shaved off by the indexing end of the revolver barrel that tend to exit the rear and sides of the cylinder.) If you'll point me at the correct quote, I'll reexamine what I've written.


I did, however, read an exchange between you and James R about "backfires." Might that be the post you are referencing?

Cheers, mate!

DaveKuzminski
03-29-2005, 12:44 AM
Out of curiosity, why not fire a sidearm sideways? I'd like to hear your reason.

BradyH1861
03-29-2005, 02:45 AM
Out of curiosity, why not fire a sidearm sideways? I'd like to hear your reason.

Hipshot said it best in his above post when he said "They put the sights on top for a reason!" Also, I think most people who have actually been trained to shoot will tell you that the best way to fire a handgun is to use your dominent hand to actually grip it, then cup your other hand around the base of the hand that is actually holding the weapon.

Firing a pistol one handed and sideways is just not a good idea. You probably won't hit anything (unless you are a couple of feet away from the target person) and you may in fact hurt your wrist if you are using a larger caliber handgun.

This is all my opinion, of course, and only my opinion. But I think most trained shooters would agree that one handed and sideways aint the way to go.

Brady H.

Crosshatcher
03-29-2005, 03:58 AM
Writer's Digest Books had some comprehensive books on firearms; how they work and what doesn't work. It's been awhile since I was last at the site so you'd have to do a little searching.

I've also found that your local police can be of help when they know you're a writer. Also any local or area gun club will be glad to give you the proper schooling you need to write a competent story.

Then there's also the NRA.

A Google search will help you find any of the above.

Liam Jackson
03-29-2005, 04:32 AM
The reasons are numerous and according to professional trainers, different reasons take precedence.

First, for semi-auto shooters, its something of self-preservation. Many auto loaders, eject casings to the rear at something of a 45 degree angle. Holding the weapon sideways puts hot casings in the shooter's face or down his shirt/vest. (And that really sux)

From an ergonomic prespective, the grip of most handguns fit well into the web of the hand. In an upright position, this helps align the radial forearm bone with the hand, dominant eye and gunsights for better stability and accuracy. Also upon firing, the muzzle rises, but theoretically never leaves the centerline of the target. This makes for easier target reacquisition.
Additional reference to the eyes- By sighting down a ramp, the shooter has a better depth perception. (supposedly)

When held sideways, the muzzle jumps left or right and the gun must be realigned to center mass after each shot.

This is all subject to the notion that the shooter actually cares where all the shots go. If he/she simply lays down blanket fire in the hope of hitting "something" then it really doesn't matter, or at least, not as much.

A weapon held in the vertical position also offers much faster reloading. The front sight never has to leave center mass of the target.

These are just of few of the arguments you will hear from civilian and military shooters/trainers. I'm sure there are many, many others. I'm also sure you may hear from advocates of the horizontal carriage. Besides, "It looks so cool," I'm interested in knowing what other benefits come from the horizonatal firing position.

I've shot from just about every conceivable position, including standing, sitting, prone, kneeling, inverted repelling, all while skipping bullets and pellets off of car hoods, winshields, grass, and shooting down behind cover by skipping off of ceilings, or around hallway corners by skinning sheetrock. I'm a firm believer that there are multiple ways to accomplish any task. Some just work better than others.

Glen T. Brock
03-29-2005, 06:05 AM
Liam,

Misread your post. It was James I was thinking of (and I may have misinterpreted that too).

Gun manufacturers won't admit their guns may backfire but in the real world any gun can given the right circumstances. My Mossberg shotgun burst a barell and I once owned an Apache .45 (phoney Thompson) which sent a round down the clip and discharged 18 rounds! An employee standing next to me at the time had a bowel movement in his pants (I would have if I could have). Generally speaking though most silencers (mufflers)don't spike the guns they're supposed to silence.

I fired a 45-70 Government when I used a Marlin lever action during a hunting trip. The thing kicks like a Missouri mule! Other than bragging about shooting it I can find nothing to recomend it as a hunting rifle. I don't see anyone using the Thompson Contender in that caliber either for that same reason. My rifle of choice is the Remington 760 pump. It is as effective as the 742 and doesn't jam.

One of the prettiest shotguns I've ever seen was owned by an old boxer I once knew named 'Blacky' Admore. He called it a cat pistol. It was a double barrell 20 gauge shotgun on a flintlock pistol frame, nickel plated, with the old fashioned hammers and a barrel length of about 10 inches. Illegal as hell but man it was so beautiful!

Liam Jackson
03-29-2005, 06:40 AM
I've fired the Thompson chambered in 30-30 and frankly, I wouldn't go any higher. The gun is a heck of a piece of work, and has a great breech lock system, but the weapon is just too light (in my humble opinion) for the heavier loads. Of course, a "pistol" chambered in 30-30 is pretty damned nasty.

An add-on in reference to your gun with the mule-kick: I've got one of those...a .458 Winchester lever-action. I usally push 510 grain bullets through that cannon, and the old adage of "it kills on both ends" comes close to describing the effect.

Birol
03-29-2005, 12:27 PM
First, for semi-auto shooters, its something of self-preservation. Many auto loaders, eject casings to the rear at something of a 45 degree angle. Holding the weapon sideways puts hot casings in the shooter's face or down his shirt/vest. (And that really sux)

Just a side note, for women, casings that go down the shirt tend to land in the bra. They are held next to the breasts by said bra. This really, really sux.

Liam Jackson
03-31-2005, 01:16 AM
or would like/need additional information regarding the issue?

BradyH1861
03-31-2005, 01:23 AM
Just a side note, for women, casings that go down the shirt tend to land in the bra. They are held next to the breasts by said bra. This really, really sux.

I would imagine so. But what REALLY sucks is when she turns to you and asks "Would you mind fishing that out for me?"

I hate it when that happens. :ROFL:

:guns:


BLH

Retroflow
09-17-2005, 09:48 PM
Hello, I was looking for something else and landed on this site...

First and foremost, the usual period of the FIRST Industrial Revolution did not see the use of metallic cartridge firearms. At a stretch, you may have seen the dawn of the first Pin-Fire cartridges near the "end", but this might be unlikely. More likely you'd have Flintlocks and then Percussion Cap fired guns in the 19th C leg of it. The SECOND Industrial Revolution would take place roughly at the same time that Centerfire Cartridges were starting to significantly appear, though the majority of firearms used in the early part of this phase would still have been Percussion "Cap-'n'-Ball" or Rimfire; Such as those used in the Spencer, Henry and later Sharp's rifles and pepperboxes, among others.

Now, pistols... Hmmm... Really, the only folks who widely used suppressors/silencers prior to about the early/mid-20th C. were...ready? Farmers. Hence the term, "Farmer's Friend". See, they had to use mufflers on their pistols and rifles to shoot predators (Fox, Weasel, Coyote, etc.) inside or near the hen houses, because if the hens got spooked from the gunshot (report), they'd stop laying eggs! That's a serious matter. In the early days of Sears & Roebuck/Montgomery Ward, you could order "Farmer's Friends" right out of the catalogs, no questions asked other than the address to send it to. Nowadays, we think of silencers as aids to discreetly murder people. The chosen device of Assassins. But it wasn't always the case and they weren't always illegal. Keep in mind, killing a man wasn't necessarily illegal either in many parts, if done in self-defence or by accident. Nor was it illegal yet in many parts to carry a firearm openly or concealed. Which combined, also meant that there wasn't really a need to keep it quiet. Big knives were also very popular as well, as were the early switchblades.

The .32 ACP is sorta' considered a Lady's Gun by some, but it's not entirely true. The .32 H&R Magnum is a current caliber in use by S&W's "Ladysmith" becuase it's considered just adequate to kill and easy on the typical woman to shoot. I'm about to buy at least one .32 ACP becuase it's a lightweight and very small pistol which is excellent for Concealed Pocket-Carry compared to my 1911 or Hi-Power. In addition to the size and light weight, the report when fired indoors won't likely cause much more damage to my ears like the larger calibers will certainly do, and have done. I have hearing loss from indoor shooting - WITH (inadequate) EARPLUGS! Notice that hearing loss after gunfire without earplugs is rarely mentioned in films? The actors will WHISPER to eachother and none of them shout back, "Huh? What?!" Lack of deafness is as bad as lack of recoil and multiple instances of racking/charging a weapon before firing. Another thing is movies and shows with hundreds of shots fired and no one has powder burns and soot on them.

Popular calibers for pocket pistols and revolvers in the late-1800s/early-1900s, just offhand, were .31 Rim, .32 Rim, .32 Colt/S&W, .41 Rim. And the surviving "siblings", the .22 Short, .22, and .22 Long Rifle. Some of these pistols were made by larger firms such as S&W, Colt, Remington, Sharp's, and by smaller firms known mostly to collectors. Larger calibers were .38-40, .44 S&W, .44 Russian, .44-40 (.44 WCF) and a whole slew of other .32s, .41s, .44s, .45s long since obsolete and again almost forgotten except with collectors. .38 Colt wasn't ever really that prominant outside of M&P use. S&W made their top-break "Lemon Squeezers" mainly in .32 S&W and .38 S&W, the former seems to be the more common one in that class. S&W competitors such as Merwin & Hulbert, Harrington & Richardson and Iver Johnson and "Owl Heads" by several other makers in the period tended to rely mainly on calibers created by S&W more than Colt. The classification "Owl Head" refers to the common logo on the grips of many of these small revolvers, and NOT because of any resemblance to the famed "Bird's Head" Colt D/As. It was not "Bird's Head" = "Owl Head", it was; Owl head molded on typical Gutta Percha (hard rubber) grips = "Owl Head" pistol/revolver. There were other makers as well, such as English, Belgian and Spanish made pistols which were quite common in the day. Pinkerton himself is said to have carried an Adams D/A revolver.

I could go on and on about this as there was a vast array of gun makers and designs 100 years ago and earlier. Try going to a site like http://www.armchairgunshow.com/ This site not only gives background on the antique and collectible pistols and revolvers they sell, but is well illustrated with excellent photos of their inventory. If you want an exotic 19th Century pistol, may I recommend one of the Remington-Elliot multibarrel derringers he has photos of? I'm trying to research more on these myself.

And lastly, there is no advantage whatsoever to shooting a pistol other than upright-normal, unless you have to and take the difference in grip, stance and aim into mind first. I have tried it and never had a jam and hit where I wanted to, but it's mostly pointless. In short, people do it because guys like Tupac did it in movies. It looks "Gangsta". And, BTW, there's no real rocket science to sound suppressors. Most only s-l-o-w down the rush of expanded hot gases as they leave the muzzle, which normally exit at high velocity and "crack' when they do. Sub-sonic ammo is used to prevent the bullet from "cracking" in flight - .45 ACP is/was popular becuase standard loads are inherantly sub-sonic. And in Semi-automatics purpose-built for suppressors, there's usually a thumb latch to lock the slide during firing and the slide must be unlocked and the spent case ejected manually. In some pistols, they've retarded the delayed blowback enough to allow the gases to exit the barrel sufficiently to muffle the sound when the breech opens. One of the easiest ways to do this is a very short barrel so that the main impulse of gas is mostly absorbed by the supressor upon ejecting/reloading. Silenced weapons are usually used up-close and long ranges aren't a real factor. When they are a factor, things get somewhat more exotic.

Sorry for the long post!

-Adam

Jamesaritchie
09-18-2005, 05:10 AM
Adam, good post. Once upon a time, my grandfather had a "Farmer's Friend" stuck back in the closet, though he never used it.

Hearing loss can be significant and normal, but not everyone who fires a handgun suffers from it. Some ears are apparently tougher than others. Tinnitus is probably more common than actual hearing loss. I've fired many thousands of rounds from handguns, most without any sort of ear protection, and my ears are fine. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of rounds fired from rifles and shotguns. I have very slight tinnitus, but I pass hearing tests with no problem, and I never have to say, "Huh?"

I know others who haven;t fired weapons nearly as much as I have who suffere severe hearing loss, and still others who have fired several times the rounds I have who have ears that are fine. Like most things, it depends on the individual.

In bench tests with a handgun in a shooting vise, we've found that point of aim does change when a handgun is fired in any position other than upright and normal. How much it changes depends on range and type of handgun, but if you want to hit anything beyond twenty-five yards or so, you're taking a chance when firing a handgun this way. We also found we have just over three percent more jams this way, but again, it depended on the particular handgun.

As for the .32 ACP, it's a very nice caliber, but I've found a woman can, with just a little training, handle any weapon a man can handle.

The idea is not to kill an attacker, but to stop him as quickly as possible. The .32 ACP has plenty of killing power, but darned near no stopping power. You have to get incredibly lucky to stop an attacker with such a weapon. To stop an attacker quickly enough to prevent him from injuring or killing you before he dies, you need a bullet that can shatter big bone and cause such massive blood loss that he goes down and stays down, whether he's dead or not. Killing is not the point. Stopping is the point. Inflicting fatal wounds does not mean you've stopped the attacker.

The .32 ACP isn't bad as a backup weapon, but I wouldn't give one to any woman in my life as a primary weapon for defense, and I've seen too many people shot to ever use one as my primary defense weapon. Even a teenage girl is deadly with a bigger weapon, when adequate training is applied.

Even the .357 Magnum is a poor handgun, if your life depends on stopping an attacker instantly. High velocity and penetrating power do not always mean high stopping power. Most of the studies done on it have now shown to be biased and wholly inadequate, and autopies on .357 victims are frightening in how little damage they cause compared to larger rounds such as the .45 ACP. And don't get me started on the 9mm.

D.J.
09-18-2005, 09:59 PM
Hello folks,

Don't ever flick cylinders! If the cyclinder gets out of allignment the pistol will start shaving bullets right back at you. I had a Rossi as a throwaway gun once that did just that. If confronted I planned to throw the pistol at the perp and tell him to shoot me.....

Glen T. Brock

How funny!

I do want to let you know not all women carry a .32 in their purse. I carry a .40 Sig. My hubby bought me a purse (very pretty leather) especially designed with a holster inside an outer compartment. I can easily access it and if I have to shoot through the purse, the company will replace my purse free of charge. LOL!

Here in Texas we have to take a class, take a written test with a score of 80 or above I believe it was - I made 100 :) and take a training or shooting class, before we can carry legally. I took mine from a retired officer who did training for the police force. Dallas was one of forces where he helped train officers. His son helped teach and with his being a black belt in Karate, they gave self-defense tips too. They also let us know several scenarios of when and when not to use the gun. I really enjoyed it but have much to learn.
If I want to use anything about guns in my writing, it certainly seems like this board has lots of experts - great to know.

I have a question, I read somewhere that a plastic bottle was used as a silencer. In my reading all the posts, I never saw it mentioned. I might have just missed it or am I the only one who has run across this idea being used? Pehaps it's just too stupid for the rest of you to even have given credence if you had read it. - thanks!

D.J.
09-18-2005, 10:07 PM
Jamesaritchie, my "trainer" taught us the point you made about the goal being to stop an attacker. He said that so many times it really stuck with me. I feel much more confident with a larger gun. I think it's very important to train with the gun you carry also. He said that even trained policemen missed at close range in a gun fight, due to nerves. The more comfortable you are with your gun, the better. He also said to never aim to wound like shooting at an arm or hand like you see in the movies. Shoot for the middle so there is more room for error.

DaveKuzminski
09-19-2005, 04:54 AM
Any opinions on the .50 caliber Desert Eagle?

Liam Jackson
10-26-2005, 12:49 AM
Late reply to Dave's question, RE: 50 cal. D Eagle-
It's a killing machine, pure and simple. One of the finest weapons I have ever fired.

The round is a man-stopper, the trigger pull is short and crisp, the action is gas operated (more in line with semi-auto long guns, than the typical "blow-back" semi-auto handgun. The barrel is "fixed" rather than "floating", and this helps with accuracy issues usually associated with heavy duty calibers.

Most bullets for this cartridge hover around 300 grains. I had a chance to fire the 300 grain JSP Samson through a six inch barrel. Muzzle velocity of around 1,380 feet per second, and 1,260-plus foot pounds of energy.

I was afraid the recoil from such a nasty round would lessen the gun's effectiveness in close quarter combat. However, the weight of the gun, coupled with the gas operated action, offset a potentially hellacious muzzle jump. It was very easy to keep the front sight glued to center mass.

One final thing. While there are ported barrels available for the .50, it's not a standard feature. The muzzle flash is considerable, and will destroy your night vision in a heartbeat. That's the only real beef I have with this weapon in close quarters combat.

DaveKuzminski
11-01-2005, 07:27 AM
Okay, this occurred to me and I think it's feasible when you consider all of the pressures are basically even as to direction, but consider how easy it would be to smuggle and dispose of a gun that has to be put together in a jigsaw puzzle manner. There are three-dimensional puzzles out there made of cardboard, foam, and wood. I don't see why a 3-D puzzle can't be made from metal that would then snap together to form a firearm. Admittedly, the barrel would leak gases, but if it's meant for short range, no more than a few shots, and no rough usage, so what?

Anyway, it could form the basis for a who-dun-it? type of book or has anyone already seen or read a book with that kind of solution? Any comments or opinions?

LloydBrown
11-01-2005, 08:20 AM
Any opinions on the .50 caliber Desert Eagle?

One little detail you might add for verisimilitude if you go that route: the Desert Eagle is a beast that shoots about an 18" gout of flame out of the end of the barrel. I've been to the pistol range with friends who spend about $1,000 on ammo every time they go, and the Desert Eagle is usually the high point of their day. I can feel the heat from that muzzle blast on my cheek from 5 feet away.

It's mighty impressive.

three seven
11-01-2005, 01:30 PM
a gun that has to be put together in a jigsaw puzzle manner.That'd be The Man With The Golden Gun.

DaveKuzminski
11-01-2005, 08:00 PM
In a manner of speaking, you're right. If I'm not mistaken, there were one or two movies that featured such weapons even before that, such as the original Day of the Jackal.

However, I was thinking of something resembling a real jigsaw puzzle so that it's true nature would almost surely be missed. Anyone questioning it, even if you told them it was a jigsaw puzzle of a gun, would instantly assume that it was only a puzzle and not capable of acually working when assembled. Theoretically, I believe it's possible.

My-Immortal
11-10-2005, 05:35 PM
Okay, this occurred to me and I think it's feasible when you consider all of the pressures are basically even as to direction, but consider how easy it would be to smuggle and dispose of a gun that has to be put together in a jigsaw puzzle manner. There are three-dimensional puzzles out there made of cardboard, foam, and wood. I don't see why a 3-D puzzle can't be made from metal that would then snap together to form a firearm. Admittedly, the barrel would leak gases, but if it's meant for short range, no more than a few shots, and no rough usage, so what?

Anyway, it could form the basis for a who-dun-it? type of book or has anyone already seen or read a book with that kind of solution? Any comments or opinions?

There was something similar to this in the movie (I think this is the title) 'In the Line of Fire' with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich with Malkovich as the assassin and Eastwood as the secret service agent. (also had Rene Russo in it). Malkovich's character made some sort of handmade gun (I'll admit I know very little about handguns so I couldn't tell you anything more about the weapon of even if it was realistic) and had to assemble the weapon on the spot.

Just a side note - I saw in earlier posts people talking about using potatoes as silencers....anyone ever seen / or made an actual potato gun? Many years ago when I was a police dispatcher, the officers confiscated one and test fired it a few times behind the department. A plain potato would punch a hole (about 2 1/2-3" diameter) through 1/2" plywood. Of course, the potato itself probably wouldn't "kill" (I would assume it would hurt like hell) but when you filled the potato with nails, or pieces of glass....

Anyone with more info?

James D. Macdonald
11-11-2005, 03:32 AM
A disguised assemble-on-the-spot firearm also featured in the novel Day of the Jackal.

Jamesaritchie
11-11-2005, 10:21 AM
There was something similar to this in the movie (I think this is the title) 'In the Line of Fire' with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich with Malkovich as the assassin and Eastwood as the secret service agent. (also had Rene Russo in it). Malkovich's character made some sort of handmade gun (I'll admit I know very little about handguns so I couldn't tell you anything more about the weapon of even if it was realistic) and had to assemble the weapon on the spot.

Just a side note - I saw in earlier posts people talking about using potatoes as silencers....anyone ever seen / or made an actual potato gun? Many years ago when I was a police dispatcher, the officers confiscated one and test fired it a few times behind the department. A plain potato would punch a hole (about 2 1/2-3" diameter) through 1/2" plywood. Of course, the potato itself probably wouldn't "kill" (I would assume it would hurt like hell) but when you filled the potato with nails, or pieces of glass....

Anyone with more info?

Anything that would punch through half an inch of plywood would almost certainly kill a person. It's much tougher to make a hole in plywood than it is to make a hole in a person's chest. And I know from experience that you can kill a small cow with a spud gun.

Tiaga
11-11-2005, 11:16 AM
Made lots of "Spud Guns" in my day for my two sons.
6' 2-1/2 abs (plumbing pipe) a reduction coupler from 3-1/2 to fit it and a 12" length of 3-1/2 glue together add a threaded end cap. Buy a electric spark starter from a BBQ store (like on your BBQ) drill hole and insert wires. In the large chamber spray hairspray (preferrably my wifes most expensive brand) and replace cap.
Stuff spuds or golf balls etc into long tube. Hold away from face aim, push BBQ starter and KABOOM!
Shot a golf ball right through a metal stop sign from about ten feet away.

Tiaga
11-11-2005, 11:17 AM
We had a Farmer Friend used it for shooting rats and skunks under the barn. It was so we wouldn't scare the cows and horses.

MadScientistMatt
11-11-2005, 10:45 PM
Just a side note - I saw in earlier posts people talking about using potatoes as silencers....anyone ever seen / or made an actual potato gun? Many years ago when I was a police dispatcher, the officers confiscated one and test fired it a few times behind the department. A plain potato would punch a hole (about 2 1/2-3" diameter) through 1/2" plywood. Of course, the potato itself probably wouldn't "kill" (I would assume it would hurt like hell) but when you filled the potato with nails, or pieces of glass....

Anyone with more info?

Yes, I've built one myself. I only needed something around $20 worth of parts for it - some PVC pipe, a few screws, and a gas grill ignitor. They're relatively simple to piece together, and I have no doubt that you can kill someone with one. The accuracy wasn't the greatest - it would be a real pain to hit a moving target with one, and I'm not sure it would be a good choice to take down someone over 50' away. IIRC, the sound of firing one is sort of like a firecracker. Some long-barreled ones hardly make any noise at all.

My-Immortal
11-12-2005, 09:40 AM
I'd love to see a CSI episode where the weapon used was a spud gun and see how they'd go about solving that. :)

I've never made one - only saw the one as I mentioned - in action a few times many years ago and yes, it was pretty much put together as others have described.

James - you are probably quite right about it being capable of killing, though I'm guessing like Mad said most likely only on close range. (adding nails and broken glass etc may not extend the lethal range but would surely carve someone up if it wasn't a kill shot).

I suppose if you scaled down the plumbing pipe you could make one that shot ball bearings, marbles and such...?

Jamesaritchie
11-12-2005, 01:48 PM
Potato shooters come in more than one size, from spud guns to potato cannons, and with more than one propellent. I've seen everything from three quarter inch PVC pipe to four inch steel pipe, and hairspray, lighter fluid, gasoline, acetylene, hydrogen, and black powder used as a propellent. I had a science teacher who used the hydrogen, and it worked extremely well. I believe he also used a hydrogen/oxygen mix, but I'm not sure.

I like high octane gasoline and black powder for potato cannons, and hairspray for small spudguns. A gasoline powered potato gun will launch a fairly large potato at more than 600 feet per second, and that's getting into bullet speed.

Geeze, I haven't made a potato gun in years and years. Bet I have everything I need to make a great one, though.

Mike Coombes
11-12-2005, 09:42 PM
And I know from experience that you can kill a small cow with a spud gun.

How small?

Jamesaritchie
11-12-2005, 10:37 PM
How small?

It was actually a heifer. Roughly 500 pounds. It was a little less than half grown. Funny thing was, at roughly fifty feet, the potato didn't penetrate, didn't even break the skin, but it did break a couple of ribs in just the right spot.

Tiaga
11-12-2005, 10:53 PM
yup and if you miss the cow and happen to hit the back window of your 1992 Explorer it will kill that too! *sigh*

jvandiveer
03-11-2007, 10:52 PM
from WIKI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagant_M1895

The Nagant M1895 Revolver was designed and produced by a Belgian industrialist, Léon Nagant......
(skip)

Technical Characteristics
Most other (non-gas seal) revolvers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver) have a small gap between the cylinder and the barrel; the small gap between the cylinder and barrel is necessary to allow the revolver's cylinder to revolve, presenting a new, loaded chamber for firing. This necessitates that the bullet jump the gap when fired, which may have an adverse effect on accuracy, especially if the barrel and chamber are misaligned, and also presents a path for the escape of high-pressure and high-temperature gases from behind the bullet. The M1895 has a mechanism which, as the hammer is cocked, first turns the cylinder and then moves it forward, closing the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. The cartridge, also unique, plays an important part in sealing the gun to the escape of propellant gases. The bullet is deeply seated, entirely within the cartridge case, and the case is slightly reduced in diameter at its mouth. The barrel features a short conical section at its rear; this accepts the mouth of the cartridge, completing the gas seal. By sealing the gap, the velocity of the bullet is increased by 50 to 150 ft/s (15 to 45 m/s).
This closed firing system meant that the Nagant revolver, unlike other revolvers, could be effectively fitted with a silencer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppressor), as indeed it was [1] (http://guns.connect.fi/gow/nagant.html). During World War II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II), a small number of Nagant revolvers used by Russian recon and scout troops were outfitted with a variety of silencer known as the “Bramit device.” The NKVD were known to use the silenced Nagant for assassinations. Silenced Nagant revolvers, modified in clandestine metal shops, also turned up in the hands of Viet Cong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong) guerrillas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrilla_warfare) during the Vietnam War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War) as assassination weapons. There is an example of a silenced Nagant M1895 in the CIA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency) Museum in Langley, Virginia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langley%2C_Virginia).
However, success had its price. Nagant revolvers had to be reloaded one cartridge at a time through a loading gate with the need to manually eject each of the used cartridges. Therefore, reloading was labourious and time-consuming. However, the loaded revolver was safer to carry around and could stay loaded for longer periods of time. This was a major factor in the longevity of the weapon: such features made the weapon a good choice for those who had to carry the gun a lot, but did not need to fire it often, like officers or policemen. This, the ability to use a silencer, and the large number of "free" Nagant revolvers available from Russian army reserves put the weapon on the short list of options whenever a self-defense gun was needed.
The Nagant M1895 was made in both single-action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_%28firearms%29#Single_action_.28SA.29) and double-action (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_%28firearms%29#Double_action_.28DA.29) models before and during World War I (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I); they are known colloquially as the “Private model” and the “Officer’s model”, respectively. Production of the single-action model seems to have stopped after 1918, with some exceptions, including examples made for target competition. Most single-action revolvers were later converted to double-action, making original single-action revolvers rather rare.

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-17-2007, 12:14 PM
Depends on what sort of rounds you're considering, which depends on the situation.

If your character is taking someone out at a distance, then you'd clearly need a rifle with some sort of disperser or suppressor. If he has a pistol, that seems to be close-in work. If he's right on top of the target, a small &/or low-vel round will be masked by the target's clothing (& the barrel length can be neglegible, hence the KGB & CIA assassination guns with no barrel worth mentioning).

I've got a classic H&R "Woodsman" revolver that I can load with eight rounds of just about any .22 -- LR, shot, short, BB, tracer. Somewhere I've got a box of short subsonics. This is quieter than my Sheridan air-rifle, so putting a suppressor on it -- making it longer, heavier, & unbalanced -- is superfluous. A specialised revolver could have ported barrel with a jacket, which at least would give some of the balance back.

What's the target like? Does your character need a powerful gun, or just the minimum?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 07:34 PM
For "close in" work in the 1970s, the Israelis used a downloaded .25 (might have been a .22 Short, though...don't remember the exact caliber offhand) semi-auto pistol with weakened springs. It wasn't much good past about twenty feet if memory serves, but it was so quiet it didn't need any kind of suppressor. It was also very small.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 08:24 PM
How hot would the barrel of a .45 semi automatic be after firing a single shot? (Of course, grabbing a gun by the barrel is a dumb thing to do, but struggles for a gun do happen.) Would it be warm? Would it burn flesh? How long would it take to cool down. A few seconds or a couple of minutes?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 08:28 PM
How hot would the barrel of a .45 semi automatic be after firing a single shot? (Of course, grabbing a gun by the barrel is a dumb thing to do, but struggles for a gun do happen.) Would it be warm? Would it burn flesh? How long would it take to cool down. A few seconds or a couple of minutes?

You'd be grabbing the slide, not the barrel, on a semi-auto, and if you've only fired one round it would be warm to the touch but not burn you. I'd say it would cool down pretty quickly, unless you've run more than a few rounds through it.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 08:37 PM
That's what I thought. The barrel is only exposed when the slide is moving, which happens very quickly, right? Would the gun fire if someone was gripping the slide? I'm guessing that it would since it's the gas from the cartridge that moves the slide, but I'm not sure. Could someone gripping the slide cause it to jam?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 08:44 PM
It depends. Most likely, if you grabbed the slide it would rip the crap out of your hand as it cycled. The first round would still fire, though.

The old M1911Al Colt COULD be prevented from firing if you were close enough and could push the barrel and slide back toward the firer. There was a sort of safety there that prevented the hammer from dropping. Not a recommended tactic to be sure, and I'm not certain if more modern copies have the same feature.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 08:53 PM
Thanks.

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 08:58 PM
No problem! Hope my ramblings were of some use.:)

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 09:03 PM
Defintely. Thinking ahead to the next book, I have an amateur who needs to kill a lot of people at close range, in a hurry. Is an AK47 the best choice? What would firing one for the first time be like? How long would it take to reload, if the amateur had seen one reloaded, but never done it before?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 09:29 PM
Lots of variables here. For one, most people firing on full auto (assuming the AK is full auto) tend to let the weapon "run away," which means in short they end up shooting a bunch of holes in whatever's overhead (due to recoil) and put little lead in the direction they want it to go. Reloading any assault rifle can be interesting for the beginner, since most of them have a bolt-hold open mechanism that isn't often shown in movies.

Have you considered giving your amateur a shotgun instead? You can do a lot of damage with a semi-auto shotgun at close range, more than with an assault rifle or SMG depending on the shot size and choke of the gun, they're easier to get, and easier to reload.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 10:21 PM
She and her hubbie have got to kill a lot of people and not necessarily one at a time. Wounded, but not dead, bad guys would keep firing. I was thinking full auto, with instructions not to aim at people but just to "sweep" the area while trying to keep the barrel level at waist hieght.

Which is pretty much what I think some female VC did back in Nam. I'm thinking that would be a more realistic way to take out two bad guys than aiming a shot gun twice and pulling the trigger twice. Also, don't most semi auto shot guns have a relatively small magazine? In terms of "stopping power" wouldn't an AK round outperform even the heaviest shot?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 10:48 PM
Actually, at close range a shotgun does tremendous damage. Shot fans out from the muzzle as soon as you fire, and one shell can cover five feet plus at a range of say ten to fifteen feet. It's a better area weapon than an assault rifle at close range. I think seven shells is standard magazine size for a semi-auto shotgun.

You also have to consider that with buckshot (heavier than birdshot) you're talking about close to a .22 caliber projectile. Within a shotgun's good spread radius, a person could get hit with five or six of those (at least). At close range, with a center mass hit, shotguns tend to kill as opposed to wound. Fire a shotgun from the hip and you could kill two people at close range with one shell, and with less hassle than an assault rifle.

But if you use the AK, keep in mind that a novice would need at least some coaching to keep the weapon under control on full auto (with with "spray and pray" orders), and reloading might be a bit beyond them without practice. The AK requires you to slot the magazine in first and then pull up and back at an angle (if memory serves), not an easy immediate thing for someone who's never used one before. They'd also have to set the thing for full auto (using a three-position selector switch), which could cause some confusion. It's also possible that they'd fire off the entire mag at one person.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 11:24 PM
Mr. K. designed them for a peasant army. Little training, little maintenace, won't jam when dirty, spray and pray and find some new peasants if the prayers are unanswered. (I believe full auto is all the way up, the default setting, so even the dumbest peasant can figure it out.)

Though, if the peasants understand guerilla tactics they can be very effective. And I've heard some Americans are using capturing AK's in Iraq instead of the M16. Also, the stock is pretty damned heavy, which comes in handy if you need to whack someone with it.

The amateurs only advantage is a knowledge of military tactics, so the AK fits better thematically and the AK's backstory is more interesting. I can fit reloading practise, how to use the selector etc. into the plot (just not firing, long story) so it sounds like the scene can be realistic.

What about firing into a car? Would the AK round penetrate better than buck shot? (BTW, is there heavy shot than buck? What would it be used for?) But if the bad guys were wearing a Kevlar vest, I guess the shot gun would probably be a better choice: better odds of something hitting an unprotected area. Is that right?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 11:32 PM
Re. Buckshot: Slugs are heavier than buckshot, but then you're talking a single (though quite large) projectile.

Re. AK: It would be better against a vehicle (unless your shotguns are using slugs). You're right about the shotgun against Kevlar. Shot spread could leave people getting hit in the legs, neck, etc. without the need for precise aiming.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 11:35 PM
It's also possible that they'd fire off the entire mag at one person.

Good point. They'd need to be warned against that. Hubbie and wife would also need to be careful not to run out of ammo at the same time. Which is a little tricky on full auto, but just thinking out loud, if it happened once, it would build suspense. The bad guys wouldn't automatically know that they were both out at the same time if they were behind cover. If they practised changing magazines, it wouldn't need to last very long. And if I'm going to all that trouble, a 9mm on the hip in case of emergency wouldn't seem excessive.

Doug Johnson
03-17-2007, 11:37 PM
Thanks. What would it smell like if a bunch of people were all firing off AKs?

Cav Guy
03-17-2007, 11:42 PM
Acrid powder smoke and possibly hot oil (if the weapons had been cleaned recently). Stop by a range if there's one in your area and smell it. Smokeless powder isn't as strongly sulfur-smelling as black powder (used in fireworks), but it does have a specific smell.

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-18-2007, 12:43 AM
The AK-47 is a lousy gun -- I say that advisendly, much the same way I'd tell you that a Harley-Davidson is a second-rate bike. They're both fantastic at what they do, which is crank out raw horsepower under exceedingly adverse conditions.

Aiming an AK-47 (especially the aftermarket Third World clones) is oxymoronic. The pro way to fire one, especially burst or full auto, is on a long sling, down at your right hip, with your left hand on top to lock it in. You spray it like a garden hose, & turn your whole body to cover another position.

Like a Harley, the cyle rate isn't much to write home about. Also, there's the weight & bulk of the ammo to consider, & limits of how much you can cram into a mag. Go compare to stuff like the MAC-10 -- when folks start talking 700+ rpm, my eyes are glazed. Anyway, a straight mag with 9 Para is much easier to handle than an AK banana, even though you'd rip through the former in half the time of the latter. A crazed firer could walk in with bandoliered MAC mags, dozens of the damned things, where only a gorilla could carry that much for an AK.

When you're sweeping, treat it like a paint nozzle: begin the sweep before you reach your target sector. Else, like CavGuy says, your character could whap off a whole mag at the centrum, which would suck when you need a reload & everyone else starts shooting back.

Vehicle passenger compartments are surprisingly hard to take out. If your ammo is soft, it'll spread going thropugh the metal skin then likely hit some support or strut or something & disintegrate. Some hollowpoints don't even do well with auto glass, & you'd have to pound the glass away with multiple rounds. Buckshot gets past the first layer, but is undirected & tends to bounce. You could consider mil-surplus steelcore rifle rounds, or specialised hole-punching ammo that is on the market.

I second the shotgun idea. Look into the ballistics of "pancake" shot; if you want, have your characters hire a machinist to saw off a few pounds of flat steel disks, maybe 3-4mm dia & 1-2mm thick.

Kevlar is surprisingly vulnerable to .22LR: high-vel pointed rounds, plated with soft copper, then waxed -- they can burrow right through the weave. Kevlar is also no panacaea: if you take four large-cal rounds in the chest, there may be no holes but your ribcage might be turned to little fragments just like you got hit by a truck. And too many vests stop at the waistline, have no arms, & the wearers are idiots who don't have 'em buttoned to the throat -- speaking of which, why the heck do so many vests open in the FRONT??

Doug: except when hunting ducks, you don't "aim" a shotgun. You point it. You're throwing a handful of ball bearings, at high velocity. An exception would be slug or sabot or maybe flechette. Your chars could have their weapons with a "waltz" setting -- three-round burst, each tap gets three bullets downrange.

Smells? Don't forget that tang of blued steel -- I don't know what it is exactly, but it's there even at the range or when I'm out plinking with the .22.

realism note: ever see some of the bozos down at the gun range? Criminies: firing sideways, all that shuck. Do these clowns know how to clean a barrel? Have they ever cleaned the gunk from around the breech? Do they have the faintest idea that pocket lint can really mess up your whole day? or that springs fatigue with overuse & neglect & can REALLY mess up your day?

CavGuy: the "scattergun" effect neglects whether there's any choke, right? Okay, fair enough, that'd probably confuse someone who didn't come from a hunting family.

(Can you tell I'm a pacifist hippie...?)

Cav Guy
03-18-2007, 12:58 AM
AR: Choke reduces the scatter, if memory serves, which is why I gave rather limited kill spreads at close range. If you get rid of the choke, a shotgun is VERY nasty at close range. Just take a hacksaw to the barrel, and choke's gone. And I second your comments about the AK. I'd thought about the Mac family as well (something like 19 rounds a second out of the .380/9mm versions and a bit less from the .45), but Dave sounded like he wanted assault rifles. I tossed in shotguns because the amateur tag made me think of novices to the entire thing who'd have trouble getting their hands on military (or even para-military) weapons.

Doug Johnson
03-18-2007, 11:45 PM
Interesting debate. So why don't you see more shotguns used in military applications? (I know the M16 has pretty good accuracy/range in single shot mode and can function as a "rifle" so I understand from the US perspective, but it sounds like the AK doesn't/can't, so why doesn't the other side use semi auto shotguns more often?)

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-19-2007, 07:42 AM
Well, first of all, shotguns are controlled by the Geneva Accords -- supposedly.

If you have a team conducting an op, then you can have a couple of shotgunners, just like you might have a heavy rifle. But for the most part, you don't want to have one soldier with a shotgun pinned down (or picked off) because he can't fire back effectively at a kid with a pistol. Then again, a friend of mine credits surviving Vietnam to trading his new M-16 for a stainless-steel 12ga for brush patrol.

There are all sorts of military-type shotguns, not the least of which are belt-fed "street-sweepers." There's also some interesting "projectile launchers" that can handle quite an assortment of stuff you'd never want to run through a shotgun.

Cav Guy
03-19-2007, 05:44 PM
Shotguns also have some pretty serious range restrictions that assault rifles don't. It wasn't unusual in Vietnam for a point man to have a shotgun (since many of their contacts took place at almost point blank range), but they weren't all that common outside of that. I don't know how heavily they're controlled by the GC, because they were issued in World War I and beyond. Not saying that they aren't, mind, just that I don't know how tight the control is. I think it comes down to the fact that a shotgun is a very specialized weapon in a military context.

Histry Nerd
03-22-2007, 01:30 AM
I think the Law of Land Warfare (including the Geneva Conventions plus a small host of others) actually prohibits flechette rounds and other types of projectiles rather than shotguns in general. Flechettes are tiny darts packed into shotgun cartridges; they give the shotgun a much longer range, but tend (if I understand it right) to penetrate deeply rather than causing massive tissue damage and shock the way shot does. The deep penetration incapacitates whoever gets hit, but also makes the darts difficult to remove and makes infection a major problem. I think that's why they were outlawed.

Shotguns have limited application in a military environment, mostly because their range is so limited. But the U.S. Army still has shotguns in the inventory--many units train with them in urban scenarios, where they are used mainly to breach doors (good for shooting the hinges off and avoiding boobytraps that might be triggered if the door is opened the right way, at least in theory). We also had them in a few of the guard towers of the post where I was in charge of security in Iraq. The idea was to use them with rubber shot to deter the kids who came through the wire to sell hash and whiskey to the truck drivers. We never did use them--a roving patrol on the road had the same effect, and didn't make the locals near as mad.

As for shooting into a car or a kevlar vest--a FMJ (full metal jacket) rifle round will rip right through either and keep going. No special treatment or hole-punching ammo needed. That's why the interceptor vests we use have trauma plates in the front and back; kevlar will stop shrapnel or pistol rounds, but you need steel to stop rifle rounds.

For what it's worth.
HN

Rich
03-22-2007, 01:36 AM
Hmmm, I gotta stay away from some of you guys.

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-23-2007, 09:24 AM
Actually, a flechette tends to produce a neat through-&-through wound, where a bullet transfers kinetic energy. A fairly small slug can hit a peripheral area like a limb & kill a person from peristaltic shock -- for instance, the heart stops from the wave of fluid pressure running through the body. In combat, a wounded soldier is cared for, which requires medics, & transport, & surgery, & recovery care, where a dead soldier is just dead & can be either buried or sent back at relative leisure. To put it another way, dead soldiers are cheaper, where a lot of wounds can paralyse an army's infrastructure.

Flechettes, generally hardened steel, are easier to trace & remove than a lead or jacketed round that mushrooms & shatters.

Steel or ablative (ceramic or cermet) plates under kevlar aren't there to stop penetration, but to diffuse the energy transfer. I've done a litte research in semifluids like (honest!) Silly Putty that spread the impact over a larger surface. Kevlar (especially seven-layer minumum) owes part of its effectiveness to the bunching of the knit, which is why it can stop a knife thrust. The .22LR tends to slip through the weave, which is why it's more dangerous than large-bore handguns. Wouldn't surprise me to find out that it's ineffective against FMJ, but at that degree of combat the primary focus is mitigation.

The specialty rounds that can be made up for shotguns is surprising, like the beanbag or "skip" rounds to bounce under vehicles & break ankles. As for opening doors, I recall when some NYPD loaded wadcutters (target rounds), sometimes reversed, for smashing locks -- the advantage over shotguns is that an extra pistol is easier to kit than an extra shotgun.

Histry Nerd
03-23-2007, 04:44 PM
Actually, a flechette tends to produce a neat through-&-through wound, where a bullet transfers kinetic energy. A fairly small slug can hit a peripheral area like a limb & kill a person from peristaltic shock -- for instance, the heart stops from the wave of fluid pressure running through the body. In combat, a wounded soldier is cared for, which requires medics, & transport, & surgery, & recovery care, where a dead soldier is just dead & can be either buried or sent back at relative leisure. To put it another way, dead soldiers are cheaper, where a lot of wounds can paralyse an army's infrastructure.

Anthony, I'll have to go with you on the effects of flechettes. I'm working from pretty limited top-of-my-head info. I'll have to research why they were banned (or why we just don't use them anymore). Stand by.


Steel or ablative (ceramic or cermet) plates under kevlar aren't there to stop penetration, but to diffuse the energy transfer. I've done a litte research in semifluids like (honest!) Silly Putty that spread the impact over a larger surface. Kevlar (especially seven-layer minumum) owes part of its effectiveness to the bunching of the knit, which is why it can stop a knife thrust. The .22LR tends to slip through the weave, which is why it's more dangerous than large-bore handguns. Wouldn't surprise me to find out that it's ineffective against FMJ, but at that degree of combat the primary focus is mitigation.

We're using different terms for the same thing here. Yes, trauma plates dissipate the energy from the round; that's how they stop it from penetrating. Because, in the scheme of things, broken ribs and bruises are easier to repair and recover from than sucking chest wounds and large-caliber holes in the heart or major blood vessels.

I've never tested kevlar against a knife thrust or .22LR; I'd bet an interceptor vest would stop most of the blade from penetrating, although the tip might still get through.

Oh, and just don't tell Joe you want to put him in a silly-putty vest....

HN

Prawn
03-25-2007, 03:21 PM
Let me ask you guys a question if I may about cordite. I have a bomb-maker in my novel. He makes suicide vests triggered by a lightbulb (http://www.waronline.org/en/terror/suicide.htm)

"simple light bulbs as detonators - it is enough to break the glass and coat the wire with any easily flammable material. When the light bulb is turned on, the wire is instantly heated and the bomb detonates."

I need my bombmaker to have a trademark. Seems like lightbulbs break, so my bombmaker fills his with something solid.

Could I use gunpowder or cordite to fill this lightbulb? Bad guy flips a switch and current passes through the cordite and detonantes the bomb.

Histry Nerd
03-25-2007, 04:08 PM
Let me ask you guys a question if I may about cordite. I have a bomb-maker in my novel. He makes suicide vests triggered by a lightbulb (http://www.waronline.org/en/terror/suicide.htm)

"simple light bulbs as detonators - it is enough to break the glass and coat the wire with any easily flammable material. When the light bulb is turned on, the wire is instantly heated and the bomb detonates."

I need my bombmaker to have a trademark. Seems like lightbulbs break, so my bombmaker fills his with something solid.

Could I use gunpowder or cordite to fill this lightbulb? Bad guy flips a switch and current passes through the cordite and detonantes the bomb.

Prawn -

Seems like that would work. Gunpowder and cordite require only a heat source to detonate, unlike some other explosives which require both heat and pressure. So the heat from a lightbulb filament would be enough to set it off.

One caution: it was not clear from the article you linked, but I would bet the terrorists discard the bulb and just use the guts, the filament and electrical connectors. Takes up a lot less space that way, and you could use tape or rubber to make a new "bulb" to hold the powder over the filament. This becomes your blasting cap to initiate your real explosive.

Does that answer your question?
HN

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-25-2007, 09:21 PM
It'd be a lot less work just to pick up a length of nichrome from a hardware store or repair place, or even salvage it from an appliance. Better still, go to Hobby Lobby & buy a pack of Estes rocket-engine igniters.

Dunno about cordite, but loose gunpowder's a terribly inefficient explosive. So while it doesn't need "pressure to set it off," it needs restraint to concentrate the blast. That's the effect you get from wet-capping a charge, or even just sand-capping. (Sorry; around here, any farmboy knows this stuff. That's how we used to remove boulders with an M-80.) Packing a fragile glass capsule full of powder...?

Before you go running loose with all sorts of ideas like this, you might want to dummy-up what your bomber's doing. Instead of explosive, use fine white sand. There comes a point when either you've got to get some expert advice, or learn to write around the sticky spots.

Prawn
03-25-2007, 10:24 PM
Thanks AR.

I didn't make up the light-bulb thing, it is the most common method of making these kinds of bombs in the middle east according to my research (see the link above). My story takes place in the middle-east, out of reach of the Hobby Lobby. I was simply looking for a way to personalize the bomb so that the authorities would who had made it. Remember, the cordite is just a detonator for the larger bomb, not the bomb itself.

Actually, I was looking for a way for the protagonist to know whose bomb it was while he was at the scene of the bombing, and I thought the smell of cordite (or something that he put in these light bulb detonators) would do the trick for me.

Prawn
03-25-2007, 10:45 PM
One caution: it was not clear from the article you linked, but I would bet the terrorists discard the bulb and just use the guts


Thanks HN!
I am sure you could just use the guts, but here are a few sites which fill the bulb up to make a detonator or small bomb, for example here (http://www.totse.com/en/bad_ideas/ka_fucking_boom/164832.html)

Histry Nerd
03-26-2007, 02:35 AM
Interesting. But from the link you posted, it seems like filling the bulb would be more trouble than it's worth. If you're using powdered match heads, it's probably a good way to make sure you have enough to cause a usable initiating charge. But if you have access to gunpowder or cordite, you wouldn't need that much--and there'd be a pretty high risk of your bomber breaking the blasting caps on the way to the target. Hard to set off the bomb that way.

Second thought, let 'em use the bulbs. No virgins for them. Sorry SOBs. What? They're fictional terrorists? Oh well. Never mind.

HN

dlcharles
03-26-2007, 06:54 AM
George Hayduke published an interesting seventy-five page book called "The Hayduke Silencer Book" Quick and Dirty Homemade Silencers -- A Paladin Press Book ISBN 0-87364-522-7, 1989

A most informative collection of information on making several home built silencers - and each of them works exactly as he claims.

Anthony Ravenscroft
03-26-2007, 07:53 AM
Hm. Speaking only for my Little Voices, I'm not sure I'd want to be running around with a fragile bomb -- I've busted lamp filaments by setting them down too hard. But while getting an Estes igniter might be a little problem (though they're easy enough to mail, or to hide in an inoffensive piece of electronics), I figure it'd be easy to find an electric-powered heater of some kind where the nichrome wire or ribbon is meant to take some bouncing. Though you'd probably want to mount it well in the device, & shave it down a little in the middle.

Don't forget the possibilities of mechanical or chemical detonators, though. And there's the classic WWII gimmick: a lit cigarette tucked into a book of matches. (But always remember: American cigarette!)

Prawn
03-26-2007, 04:37 PM
there'd be a pretty high risk of your bomber breaking the blasting caps on the way to the target.

They do blow themselves up from time to time. More's the pity.


But if you have access to gunpowder or cordite, you wouldn't need that much

Which is why I thought that if the bulbs were filled with something, they would have less chance of breaking. The bulbs he is using are small--like the ones in night lights.

Another reason I wanted to use cordite/gunpowder is to confuse the sniffer dogs. The bomb itself is odorless. If the detonator is made from the same charges as in the arms that the soldiers looking for the bombs are carrying, then it would fool the sniffer dogs.

Histry Nerd
03-26-2007, 08:30 PM
It appears I was wrong about flechettes being banned by the laws of war, although their use in tank rounds by the IDF in recent years has generated some controversy. Near as I can tell, the reason the U.S. military does not use them in shotguns any more is because the flechette rounds are not as effective as buckshot. They increase the shotgun's range but cause less severe wounds, as Anthony mentioned above. You have to hit your enemy with a lot more flechettes to stop him.

In addition, flechettes are easier to deflect than buckshot; although they are better at penetrating light armor, a relatively minor obstacle (like a branch or a leaf) in their path can cause them to tumble. This means the jungle terrain that made shotguns useful in Vietnam also made flechette rounds less useful. And you don't generally need the extra range in such close terrain, anyway.

A few of my sources:

http://www.janes.com/regional_news/africa_middle_east/news/jdw/jdw010522_2_n.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flechette
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combat_shotgun
http://www.answers.com/topic/shotgun

HN

James D. Macdonald
03-26-2007, 09:16 PM
You need to know that cordite is obsolete, and hasn't been produced since 1995.

Histry Nerd
03-26-2007, 10:17 PM
Uncle Jim, you might be right. I only found one reference (in Wiki) to its no longer being produced, but everything else I looked at just used the term propellant in describing what makes the bullet go downrange. Which is what we always called it on active duty, that and plain old powder.

That said, I expect a terrorist in the Middle East who wanted to have an MO with which to taunt the good guys could get hold of cordite without much trouble. I can tell you from personal experience that Iraq is positively littered with pre-1995 rounds of various types and calibers. All he needs is a network to get it to him. It may be somewhat degraded from being stored in less-than-controlled conditions, but it is there.

HN

Joe270
04-06-2007, 11:19 AM
How hot would the barrel of a .45 semi automatic be after firing a single shot? (Of course, grabbing a gun by the barrel is a dumb thing to do, but struggles for a gun do happen.) Would it be warm? Would it burn flesh? How long would it take to cool down. A few seconds or a couple of minutes?


Doug, you might have all you need by now, but there's another tidbit about a .45 auto, there's a slide safety. Pressure on the barrel/slide will prevent the weapon from firing, so this is not the handgun of choice to jab into someone's ribs.

The idea of your hero grabbing (thereby applying pressure to) the slide works, for those few who know this. And, no, I don't ever recall my .45 auto getting hot, and I pumped a lot of rounds through it. But this fact is so obscure, I doubt readers would believe it, so I'd go with another idea the masses might buy.

Prawn
04-26-2007, 12:04 AM
Did you know that cordite came in strings instead of grains? Check it out (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu30.htm)!

Popeyesays
04-26-2007, 09:36 AM
Doug, you might have all you need by now, but there's another tidbit about a .45 auto, there's a slide safety. Pressure on the barrel/slide will prevent the weapon from firing, so this is not the handgun of choice to jab into someone's ribs.

The idea of your hero grabbing (thereby applying pressure to) the slide works, for those few who know this. And, no, I don't ever recall my .45 auto getting hot, and I pumped a lot of rounds through it. But this fact is so obscure, I doubt readers would believe it, so I'd go with another idea the masses might buy.

The best hope for grabbing a gun is to get some part of your hand in between the hammer and the firing pin. Should the other guy have a hammerless or shrouded hammer weapon--don't expect that to work.

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
04-26-2007, 09:43 AM
Did you know that cordite came in strings instead of grains? Check it out (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/edu30.htm)!

Cordite is kind of a 'catchall' term for everything from small arms propellant to the explosive filler for naval AP, SAP, and HE rounds. The original compound was made of nitroglycerin, guncotton, acetone and vaseline. There were more many other smokeless propellants for small arms at the same time and since.

Future propellants will include such things as caseless combustants, binary propellants, and eventually magnetic 'gauss' weapons where there is no propellant at all.

Regards,

Scott

Lannie
05-22-2007, 06:17 PM
Recoil from firing a handgun knocking the shooter onto the floor, and a corrolary, the person who's shot flying across the room.

Certainly the effects of recoil are often exaggerated. On the other hand, improper grip on something truly massive -Casull .454 Super Redhawk, e.g.- could certainly cause injury. :)

Bmwhtly
05-22-2007, 06:44 PM
On the other hand, improper grip on something truly massive -Casull .454 Super Redhawk, e.g.- could certainly cause injury. :)Not even on something massive.
Even holding something mid-caliber, say a Glock 9mm, improperly can result in a 'slide-bite' which is getting that flap of skin between the thumb and finger caught in the slide as it returns after a shot.
Or if there's a tussle before the shot, it's entirely possible that the muzzle flip would leave a bruis (or a burn) somewhere on the shooter.

Just some thoughts.

Lannie
05-22-2007, 09:55 PM
Ouch! I've been bitten a few times, mostly by a Colt 1911 .45 ACP.

But setting aside the semi-autos, I have written a scene wherein a petite young woman, frantic to avoid being assaulted by a madman, snatches up and fires (one-handed) a Casull Super Redhawk, in the process breaking her wrist.

From my own experiences with a much-less-powerful S&W Model 29, I don't think that's an implausible scenario, do you? :)

Histry Nerd
05-23-2007, 03:32 AM
Lannie, I've never fired a .454, but I'd say that's a little far-fetched. She'd have to have a hell of a grip on it for the recoil to break her wrist--it'd be more likely to tumble out of her hand. A sprain I might buy, but not a break.

HN

Lannie
05-23-2007, 04:26 AM
Thank you, Mr. Nerd! Most informative.

Another question, if I may: Would there be any possibility of the revolver bucking sideways and somehow hitting her in the face? Or, could her arm conceivably be dislocated? (She's a little thing, remember.)

From what I've read the .454 is almost off the charts in savagery, something like 55% more recoil than a .44 magnum. For my story, I need this firearm to be a real beast. Something along the lines of a Thompson Center Contender wouldn't really fit, though. It's got to be a wheelgun.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-23-2007, 09:27 AM
The Cassull was the "Slag Stopper" that Jimmy Caan used in Alien Nation. No, it's not gonna knock someone across the room -- the recoil force is to instantaneous -- but yes it could break the arm of someone dumb enough to wave it around without a clue.

Any reason you need to be so commercial? There's all kinds of stupid stuff out there, like the over/under Derringer chambered for .410 shotgun. You could build up a 10-gauge pistol, or any number of rhino-stopper loads.

If you need whopping big power, then either you're going to take the shooter's arm off -- maybe literally, mind -- with the first shot, or you're going to have a pistol with such a long barrel that it might as well be a stockless rifle (like the Joker's gun), because that gives a large charge enough time to burn without needing chamber walls a half-inch thick.

I'm old-fashioned, wishing only for a 6" barrel & +P .357m in a pair of speedloaders -- as a friend said, "If I need more than twelve rounds, I'm pretty much screwed anyway."

Bmwhtly
05-23-2007, 12:07 PM
For my story, I need this firearm to be a real beast. Something along the lines of a Thompson Center Contender wouldn't really fit, though. It's got to be a wheelgun.
Like the History Nerd said, there are many 'non-standard' firearms that are small but pack a hell of a wallop.
However, if you need a traditional six-gun that's mammoth in power, may I suggest you check out the Smith & Wesson .500 Revolver?
It's idiot-big and shiny and carries enough stopping power to kill, roughly, the sun.

Lannie
05-23-2007, 04:49 PM
Thanks, Mr. Scribblist! Here's something I found in Shooting Times:


The key to what I call the "shootability" of today's heaviest power handguns is their application of recoil management technology, primarily in the area of grip configuration and muzzle brake/compensator applications. For example, I do not consider guns like the original-design Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum four inch, with its light-profile barrel (by today's standards) and hard-checkered wooden grips, or the relatively lightweight Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull with its unported barrel and noncushioned wood-insert grips to be particularly "shootable." Both are very good, very functional tools, but after about three rounds fired in succession, you want to put them down. On the other hand, you can shoot guns like the Taurus Raging Bull .454 Casull with its rubber shock-absorber grip insert and heavy-profile full-lug barrel with integral muzzle brake or a Magnum Research BFR .475 Linebaugh single-action revolver with Pachmayr grips and a good aftermarket muzzle brake all day. Likewise, you can shoot the Model 500 all day too.

I read another review which pretty much echoed these same sentiments. Apparently the .500 has been designed very well, and doesn't produce killer recoil. So I guess I'll have to stick with the Casull... at least until one of the gun manufacturers produces a hand-held RPG. ;)

Bmwhtly
05-23-2007, 05:01 PM
You're welcome Lannie.
Although it may be worth bearing in mind that even the cannon Casull could be made more bearable with a set of chunky Hogue grips and a ported barrel.

I also seem to remember hearing of a short-barreled revolver designed to fire shotgun shells. The name escapes me but I believe it was used in Three Kings.
If you're looking for a pistol that'll hurt the shooter when fired, you may want to consider a zip-gun (home-made) or a converted replica. Both are illegal because firing them can result in burns or the thing coming apart.

Vanatru
05-24-2007, 04:37 PM
You're welcome Lannie.

I also seem to remember hearing of a short-barreled revolver designed to fire shotgun shells. The name escapes me but I believe it was used in Three Kings.

I believe that was called a Thunder 5
http://www.thunder5.com/docs1.html

Bmwhtly
05-24-2007, 06:35 PM
I believe that was called a Thunder 5
http://www.thunder5.com/docs1.htmlThat sounds like what I was thinking.
Thanks Van!

Vanatru
05-25-2007, 01:27 AM
That sounds like what I was thinking.
Thanks Van!


No probl. I've been trying to get some shipped over to us, but apparently theres a shortage of chocolate easter bunnies so we're having to wait for now.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-25-2007, 08:25 AM
Depends what you mean by "revolver." This term actually refers to a design basic, so the Gatling gun is technically a revolver.

Yeah, the "Thunder 5" is a (snurk) improvement of the Derringer I mentioned. I can tell you right now that if you fire .45, you'll be unlikely to hit a one-foot radius at twenty feet, due to lack of spin... that it'd only take you a few rounds to start lousing up the rifling... & that my guess is it'd be significantly louder than a comparable stubby .45 due to the loooong cylinder.

As I said, odd toys aboud. Look into the AMT AutoMag chambered in... you ready? .30 car.

(Hey, this is neat: Wikipedia has some comments about AMT, who it seems also had AutoMags in .45 WM & .50 Action Express. Live & learn.)

Vanatru
05-25-2007, 08:54 AM
Depends what you mean by "revolver." This term actually refers to a design basic, so the Gatling gun is technically a revolver.

Perhaps........but the holster would be a bugger. Oi! The hip pains!.........and having speed loaders for this would be horrendous. Though, I can see some Manga making it visually mangeable.

Working title: Wild West Gattling Slingers or with a bit of hentai: Wet Rod Slinger Aliens.

Bmwhtly
05-25-2007, 11:24 AM
Perhaps........but the holster would be a bugger. Oi! The hip pains!.........and having speed loaders for this would be horrendous. The quick-draw wouldn't be breaking any records either.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-26-2007, 08:30 PM
In one of the "American Ninja" movies -- at least, I think that was the series; with Sho Kosugi, anyway -- one of the characters had a slung gatling, in probably the only amusing scene in the entire film: it's a good depiction of what handling one of these suckers would actually look & sound & feel like.

Anthony Ravenscroft
05-26-2007, 08:36 PM
Anyway, don't get too hung up on mechanicals. If you're writing "Destroyer"-type novels, that's one thing -- many of the devoted fans are ex-Marines & LAPD cops, & know what it's like to be shot at & likely shot. But if you're writing for mainstream, most readers aren't gonna be surprised to hear about someone knocked on their can due to being on one end or the other of a big-bore pistol. Your job as writer is to make it believable -- your not just some lowly scribe!

Lindo
05-31-2007, 07:38 PM
Exactly. Most people think that a hand grenade will blow a couple of guys twenty feet through the air, that a cigarette will ignite gasoline, that shooting into a gas tank will explode it, that a revolver can fire twenty times without reloading.

The big thing that drives me nuts in movies is that the goodies NEVER PICK UP THE DAMN GUN. How many times do you see it? They're unarmed, being chased by armed men, they knock a guy down...then run away leaving the gun on the ground! And they NEVER listen to me. Just like they go right ahead and open that damn closet door no matter what I say!

Vanatru
05-31-2007, 09:00 PM
The big thing that drives me nuts in movies is that the goodies NEVER PICK UP THE DAMN GUN. How many times do you see it? They're unarmed, being chased by armed men, they knock a guy down...then run away leaving the gun on the ground! And they NEVER listen to me. Just like they go right ahead and open that damn closet door no matter what I say!

Have you tried yelling at the TV? Or throwing a football at it? Maybe that'll get their attention.

Doug Johnson
05-31-2007, 09:10 PM
Have you tried yelling at the TV? Or throwing a football at it? Maybe that'll get their attention.

Glad you're all right. I worried about you when I heard about the chopter. I'm hope you'll check in with us when you get back home, though I'll understand if there are a few things you want to take care of first.;)

Anthony Ravenscroft
06-03-2007, 06:06 PM
Lindo: I once had a story fragment where the POV has a handful of barrel plugs, figuring he can't carry every gun or even their mags in a "cleanup" situation, so he disables them quickly, & makes them likely to blow a barrel if a badguy gets mobile.

But yeah, don't you think the white-hat could at least pop the mags & throw 'em over a fence or something...?

Vanatru
06-04-2007, 03:57 AM
Glad you're all right. I worried about you when I heard about the chopter. I'm hope you'll check in with us when you get back home, though I'll understand if there are a few things you want to take care of first.;)

Sorry for the delay, works been busy. Lots of customers. I'll be home in about 3 weeks, give or take. Till then, I just need to enjoy the fun and games. :)

Thanks for the thoughts.