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Soccer Mom
07-09-2006, 06:23 AM
Anyone have some good links or advice to share on how to become more informed about guns. I have lots of stupid questions and some really specific ones like: How does the safety work on an H&K nine?

Thanks for helping a newbie out!

Robert Toy
07-09-2006, 09:36 AM
Anyone have some good links or advice to share on how to become more informed about guns. I have lots of stupid questions and some really specific ones like: How does the safety work on an H&K nine?

Thanks for helping a newbie out!

Hi,

Your ref: “…an H&K nine?” Is to bit too broad, as H&K have many 9mm handguns.

For a start I would check the following link:

http://www.hecklerkoch-usa.com/index.jsp?loc=5&REFID=A0000&SITEID=A (http://www.hecklerkoch-usa.com/index.jsp?loc=5&REFID=A0000&SITEID=A)

From there you can find/match the specific model or if you already know the mode just enter it, and it will give you all the specifications.

Happy hunting!

asorum
07-09-2006, 10:08 AM
I would agree with Robert. HK is known for innovative projects and one line of their handguns is modular and can modified about nine different ways. Most semi-autos have a safety lever somewhere around where the thumb rests on the frame. Good luck on the WIP.

Soccer Mom
07-09-2006, 06:01 PM
Thanks so much to both! I've added the link to my favs. See, I told you I had dumb questions.

Robert Toy
07-09-2006, 06:09 PM
Thanks so much to both! I've added the link to my favs. See, I told you I had dumb questions.

Your most welcome

BTW - On this site, there is no such thing as a dumb question :)

Carlene
07-09-2006, 07:31 PM
Why not visit a gun shop and ask questions? Most clerks in gun stores LOVE to answer questions. Tell them you are a writer and they'll be happy to help you - well most of them. I think it helps to be able to actually hold a gun, see where the magazine fits, etc. It there's a shooting range in your area - go and fire off a few rounds. They rent ear protectors along with the pistols and should be able to help you.

Carlene

Gillhoughly
07-09-2006, 10:40 PM
Yeah--go to a gun store! Most of the people there are absolutely DELIGHTED to help a writer get their firearms details right. They read too!

It saved me from putting a safety on a revolver and kitting it out with a silencer. The clerk explained the design of a revolver makes that impossible. Later I read a thriller where the hero pulled out his "automatic silenced revolver and flipped off the safety." I'm sure that somewhere there is such a thing, but it won't ever be in one of MY books! :tongue

Another clerk talked me out of using the wrong kind of gun for a scene in one of my books--it seems that model hadn't yet been invented!

There's a book called "Weaponry For Writers" which is pretty good, but be sure to get the latest edition. The first editions were full of errors.

One weapon savvy writer is Massad F. Ayoob (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Massad%20F.%20Ayoob&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/104-3610234-9919137), who has a number of highly informative, entertaining books that I've found to be very useful in my research. He also outlines the legalities of firearm protection. (If your character drags a body into the house and claims self-defense he will be in for a baaad time with the law.)

Good luck!

Jamesaritchie
07-09-2006, 11:06 PM
Yeah--go to a gun store! Most of the people there are absolutely DELIGHTED to help a writer get their firearms details right. They read too!

It saved me from putting a safety on a revolver and kitting it out with a silencer. The clerk explained the design of a revolver makes that impossible. Later I read a thriller where the hero pulled out his "automatic silenced revolver and flipped off the safety." I'm sure that somewhere there is such a thing, but it won't ever be in one of MY books! :tongue

Another clerk talked me out of using the wrong kind of gun for a scene in one of my books--it seems that model hadn't yet been invented!

There's a book called "Weaponry For Writers" which is pretty good, but be sure to get the latest edition. The first editions were full of errors.

One weapon savvy writer is Massad F. Ayoob (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index=books&field-author-exact=Massad%20F.%20Ayoob&rank=-relevance%2C%2Bavailability%2C-daterank/104-3610234-9919137), who has a number of highly informative, entertaining books that I've found to be very useful in my research. He also outlines the legalities of firearm protection. (If your character drags a body into the house and claims self-defense he will be in for a baaad time with the law.)

Good luck!

I saw a TV show just the other day where the bad guy had a silencer on a revolver. Drives me nuts. I'm lucky enough to have grown up using weapons of all sorts, and then had small arms and sniper training, and have had jobs where carrying a weapon was required. I carry one almost every day, in fact.

So it really irks me to see such silly mistakes on TV, or to read them in books.

Though in fairness, there is an old French revolver that can take a silencer. The cylinder has a cone that slips in and out of the barrel and forms a seal so a sliencer works.

Gillhoughly
07-10-2006, 03:58 AM
So it really irks me to see such silly mistakes on TV, or to read them in books.

I've a vivid memory of a TV hero using tin trash cans as cover. The bad guy's bullets were bouncing, not going through as they should. Bwah!

I lost a bit of respect for a fav writer who had someone smuggling "plastic guns" onto planes. (The dang things have more metal in them than the average machete AND show up on X-ray machines.) He let his politics get in the way of his research--which in other books was meticulous.

Then there was the mystery writer who had the hero loading a revolver with a clip of ammo, slamming it home, and putting the safety on. Of course one page later he totally forgot about the safety, delaying his shot, thus were readers subjected to a bad cliche in addition to no research.

My least favorite cliche is having an anti-gun character turning into Rambo on steroids when the plot sags--uh--I mean--the going gets tough. Yeah, right, like they could hit anything... :tongue

Jamesaritchie
07-10-2006, 04:40 AM
I've a vivid memory of a TV hero using tin trash cans as cover. The bad guy's bullets were bouncing, not going through as they should. Bwah!

I lost a bit of respect for a fav writer who had someone smuggling "plastic guns" onto planes. (The dang things have more metal in them than the average machete AND show up on X-ray machines.) He let his politics get in the way of his research--which in other books was meticulous.

Then there was the mystery writer who had the hero loading a revolver with a clip of ammo, slamming it home, and putting the safety on. Of course one page later he totally forgot about the safety, delaying his shot, thus were readers subjected to a bad cliche in addition to no research.

My least favorite cliche is having an anti-gun character turning into Rambo on steroids when the plot sags--uh--I mean--the going gets tough. Yeah, right, like they could hit anything... :tongue

The trash can is sort of my favorite pet peeve, only with cars. Who the heck came up with the idea of having bullets bounce off cars with an accompanying shower of sparks? I've shot cars. I've even been in a car that was being shot at. Bullets do not bounce off. Just ask Bonnie and Clyde. But I rarely watch a TV show without being forced to watch bullets bouce off cars with a shower of sparks.

Er, ah, loading a revolver with a clip of ammo? That'd be a neat trick.

DeadlyAccurate
07-10-2006, 10:58 AM
The trash can is sort of my favorite pet peeve, only with cars.

What does happen? Does the bullet go through?

My pet peeve is the Foley sound of a gun being cocked or a slide being racked every time the gun-toting hero or villain moves in a different direction (or the actor does it him/herself). One day, I'd love to see a movie where the hero racks the slide repeatedly and then when he goes to fire, his gun is empty because he dumped all his ammo on the ground.

the1dsquared
07-10-2006, 04:36 PM
You are so right James and Deadly. Movies are the worst though, and I completely agree that people's political views often lead to technical inaccuracy. It's inexcusable. Here is a really fun site with good information:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot17.htm

In this section they tested a steel door with standard ammunition. The only thing that didn't penetrate the door was #6 bird shot.

The only protection provided by an auto would be the engine block.

Soccer Mom
07-10-2006, 04:40 PM
My son is addicted to the show Mythbusters and now I am too. They have taken on a lot of gun myths. If you've never seen the show, the premise is they take myths of conventional wisdom and Hollywood and subject them to actual scientific testing. They try to recreate the sequences from movies.

In past episodes they have bustedthe "bullets sparks", "water stops a bullet", "the exploding gas tanks when shot by a bullet" and the "bullet throws the guy six feet backwards when hit" myths. It is very entertaining.

moth
07-10-2006, 04:48 PM
Ooh I love Mythbusters! Haven't seen it in forever though -- I should seriously start watching it again. Thanks for the push. ;)

And thanks for starting this thread -- I'm finding it very interesting. :)

Gillhoughly
07-10-2006, 06:42 PM
I completely agree that people's political views often lead to technical inaccuracy. It's inexcusable.

Not to mention boring!

That writer who had the hero racking the slide on a revolver--I wrote an anonymous letter to his editor. Point by point I listed ALL the things he had wrong in that book, from the gun stuff to a snake having eyelids to a 4-seater plane flying faster than an F-16 to the fact that there is no such kind of horse as a bay palomino. The works. By the time I was done I wondered why I ever liked his stuff in the first place.

It must have gotten to the writer. His very next work was full of utterly accurate gun stuff, but he'd spent the entire book making a statement that THIS political party was GOOOOOOD and THAT political party was EVUUUUUL. Every bleeping page had a rant on it with that theme. Of course the bad guys were all in the political party the author didn't like and came to bad ends. I never read another of his books 'cause I don't shell out money to twerps on a soapbox. There's plenty of twerpism available for free on the 'Net.

And yes, I very purposely did not mention the names of those parties so as to avoid political debates on this thread. There are other places to rant. :D

And Mythbusters RAWKS!!!! They rawk like a great big rawkin' thing! WOOOOT!

the1dsquared
07-10-2006, 07:14 PM
You my friend are a wise man.

Variant Frequencies
07-10-2006, 07:30 PM
In past episodes they have busted the "bullets sparks", "water stops a bullet", "the exploding gas tanks when shot by a bullet" and the "bullet throws the guy six feet backwards when hit" myths. It is very entertaining.

They even busted the cartoon myth, the one where a finger in the muzzle makes the barrel explode, and the finger is unharmed. It was awesome!

Soccer Mom
07-10-2006, 07:38 PM
That writer who had the hero racking the slide on a revolver--I wrote an anonymous letter to his editor. Point by point I listed ALL the things he had wrong in that book, from the gun stuff to a snake having eyelids to a 4-seater plane flying faster than an F-16 to the fact that there is no such kind of horse as a bay palomino. The works. By the time I was done I wondered why I ever liked his stuff in the first place.


*snorts with laughter*

bay palamino indeed! Thanks for a milk-through-my-nose start to my day.

Jamesaritchie
07-10-2006, 08:05 PM
What does happen? Does the bullet go through?

.

Yes, the bullet goes through. Even a .22 will poke a hole in most modern cars. A large caliber handgun makes a big hole. A .44 Magnum can actually crack an engine block.

And taking cover behind a car door? Forget it, unless that door has a Kevlar lining.

Jamesaritchie
07-10-2006, 08:36 PM
My son is addicted to the show Mythbusters and now I am too. They have taken on a lot of gun myths. If you've never seen the show, the premise is they take myths of conventional wisdom and Hollywood and subject them to actual scientific testing. They try to recreate the sequences from movies.

In past episodes they have bustedthe "bullets sparks", "water stops a bullet", "the exploding gas tanks when shot by a bullet" and the "bullet throws the guy six feet backwards when hit" myths. It is very entertaining.

I've never seen anyone hit with a handgun or a high-powered rifle be thrown at all. Handguns lack the power, and a high-velocity round from a rifle goes through so fast very little energy is expended on teh body. But I once saw a man "thrown" at least six feet by getting hit in the chest with a 12ga Brennekeslug.

Part of this is certainly what the muscles do when something like this occurs, rather than impact of the round. But a Brennekeslug is .70 caliber hunk of soft lead traveling about 1,475 feet per second, which may not sound fast compared to a high-powered rifle, but muzzle energy is 2,535 fps. And most of the energy is transferred to the body. The man I saw was standing on the road when hit, and when he landed his head was alsoxt shoved through a fence five feet from the road.

My own opinion is that sudden muscle contraction and release from shock causes this, but the effect can be the same.

One big mistake I've seen made is trying to test impact by firing at buckets of water. Of course the bucket doesn't move. Every bit of the energy is transferred in the wrong direction by the water itself. Just because a human is largely fluid does not mean a body reacts the same way a bucket of water, or ever a gel pack, reacts. You have to take muscle and brain reaction into account.

I've seen the same thing happen to deer. Ninety-nine out of a hundred drop right where shot, but the hundredth flies about six feet, even when hit with the same round in the same spot.

I believe this is how the myth got started. In a sense, it isn't a myth, it just doesn't happen very often, or for the reason everyone assumed it happens. In other words, when this does happen, it's not so much because of the impact, but because of the body's muscle/brain reaction to the impact.

broughcut
07-10-2006, 08:50 PM
Another peeve is re-cocking guns all the time. In Demolition Man during the melee in the museum Sly lets his pistol go empty before swapping magazines, so the action's back... he loads it and releases the slide which chambers a round from the magazine--he then pulls the slide back a second time to "cock" it, ejecting a live round right past his face. And presumably nobody noticed.

Kate Thornton
07-10-2006, 08:56 PM
And of course, the "Golden Goose" never-ending ammunition theme - "He fired a dozen shots into the canyon, spotted Hector and fired nine more times..."

With a handgun.

This is more of a problem on TV & in movies where I wonder where all that handgun ammunition is coming from...they only run out at opportune story moments - "click, click" after they have run 70 or 100 rounds through on a single clip or in a single standard cylinder.

Jamesaritchie
07-10-2006, 09:19 PM
It really bugs me how bad guys can shoot realy well when they're murdering someone, but can't hit a bull in the butt with a baeball bat once the hero shows up.

Trust me, folks. In real life the bad guys can usually shoot very well. It's the cops who generally can't hit anything, especially in the heat of a gunfight. Bad guys often have much more experience at shooting people, at staying calm under fire, than do most police officers.

Most police officers go a lifetime without shooting anyone, and without being shot at. Many bad guys shoot people regularly, or are shot at by rival gangs, etc.

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 01:56 AM
Gang-Bangers are always shooting innocent bystanders and missing their intended target.

Gang-Bangers don't CARE if the bullet goes through a wall and kills a child.

Gang-Bangers are never trained in shooting or in firefight tactics.

Gang-Bangers rarely qualify in a legitimate sense with their firearms.

Police must be aware of where their bullets will go if they miss the target.

Police HAVE to care if their bullets go astray and kill or injure bystanders half-a-mile away.

Police are carefully trained in firearms and firefight conditions. Particularly well-trained in shoot or don't shoot scenarios.

Police officer MUST pass qualification tests with any firearm they carry-on the job or off-duty.

To say that bangers are better trained because they are more likely to have killed than police is really dumb. It shows that you have not much understanding of firearms or tactics.

Regards,

Scott

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 02:00 AM
<One big mistake I've seen made is trying to test impact by firing at buckets of water. Of course the bucket doesn't move. Every bit of the energy is transferred in the wrong direction by the water itself. Just because a human is largely fluid does not mean a body reacts the same way a bucket of water, or ever a gel pack, reacts. You have to take muscle and brain reaction into account.
>

Most serious research on gunshot wounds are done on pig carcasses or ballistic jell.

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 02:04 AM
<Another peeve is re-cocking guns all the time. In Demolition Man during the melee in the museum Sly lets his pistol go empty before swapping magazines, so the action's back... he loads it and releases the slide which chambers a round from the magazine--he then pulls the slide back a second time to "cock" it, ejecting a live round right past his face. And presumably nobody noticed.>

It is silly. Training with a semi-auto pistol usually entails counting your rounds and reloading while the last round is still in the chamber. Modern nine millimeter autopistols have the rounds staggered in the magazine for maximum capacity--like the Baretta M-92 in use in the armed services--fifteen round magazines mean the policeman or soldier carries a minimum of forty-five rounds on his person. One magazine in the weapon and two spares.

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 02:16 AM
A "Clip" actually refers to a stripper clip which holds the ammo all in a neat roww, and one pushes it down into an internal box magazine. The stripper is ejected either right at the first (like the M98 Mauser, the very first semi-automatic production pistol-1898), or with the last round, like the .30/06 M-1 rifle of WW 2 and Korea vintage.

"Clips" have become synonymous with interchangeable box magazines like the .45 autopistol or the M-16.

Revolvers have "Quick Loaders" which hold the six rounds in perfect alignment for inserting into the cylinder, but one pushes a little plunger when the bullets are in and pockets the quick loader. A Policeman might carry three or four loaded "quick loaders" if he carries a revolver.

Some revolvers actually have snapo-in cylinders and an individual carries spare loaded cylinders in pouches on the belt.

For home defense a revolver IS better, because it can sit loaded in a drawer or cabinet for years without attention and still be expected to fire. An auto=pistol does not provide that luxury. Springs lose their springiness, or the complexity of the auto-pistol just causes a malfunction when the gun chambers a round and the ammo will not feed.

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 02:19 AM
Anyone have some good links or advice to share on how to become more informed about guns. I have lots of stupid questions and some really specific ones like: How does the safety work on an H&K nine?

Thanks for helping a newbie out!

Many auto-pistols have TWO safeties. One is on a lever on the left side of the grip for the thumb and the other is arranged so one must have the pistol in one's hand squeezing the grip somewhat to allow the gun to fire.

H&K means Heckler and Koch, a German weaponmaker. They make auto-pistol sub-machine guns, auto rifles, machine guns, and I believe they make light auto-cannons as well, though I'm not sure.

Gillhoughly
07-11-2006, 02:24 AM
Yuppers on "clips."

My local violence expert (he's a guy I call for advice on how to kill characters when I need technical help--I don't ask how he knows all that stuff...) has me trained to refer to it as a magazine.

I'm kinda worried how he might react if I ever forget that. :eek:

Jamesaritchie
07-11-2006, 02:52 AM
Gang-Bangers are always shooting innocent bystanders and missing their intended target.

Gang-Bangers don't CARE if the bullet goes through a wall and kills a child.

Gang-Bangers are never trained in shooting or in firefight tactics.

Gang-Bangers rarely qualify in a legitimate sense with their firearms.

Police must be aware of where their bullets will go if they miss the target.

Police HAVE to care if their bullets go astray and kill or injure bystanders half-a-mile away.

Police are carefully trained in firearms and firefight conditions. Particularly well-trained in shoot or don't shoot scenarios.

Police officer MUST pass qualification tests with any firearm they carry-on the job or off-duty.

To say that bangers are better trained because they are more likely to have killed than police is really dumb. It shows that you have not much understanding of firearms or tactics.

Regards,

Scott

Read my post again. I never said they were better trained. Not once. That would be dumb. I said they're more used to gun violence, and they are. Training is a good thing. So is a qualification test. Both often mean sqaut teh first time you're in a firefight. Especially a one on one firefight that's up close.

I don't care how well a police officer shoots on the range, the first time he's in a real firefight he probably won't be able to hit a brick wall at ten feet.

I not only have a great deal of undertstanding about firearms and tactics, I've been in the situations you think about. And I've had training that makes what the average poince officer goes through look meaningless.

Yes, police officers have to care where their bullets go. I've still seen a seasoned police officer miss an assailant eight times at a range of ten feet.

I've seen two highly trained police officers miss an assailant eighteen times at twenty feet.

Neither had anyting to do with poor training, with poor tactics, with caring where the bullets went. These police offiers were being shot at for the first time in their lives. It scared them. It terrified them. When you're terrified, when a real weapon is pointed at you and fired, the tendency is to yank your weapon and start spraying lead. Sometimes training prevents this, but it often does not.

You need to do some real world research. Just being a police officer doesn't mean you know squat. I know, I've been one. And about half my family are police officers. They all say the same thing I'm saying.

Training is good. Training is important. Range qualification is good and important. Tactics are good and important. But nothing really prepares you for the first time someone draws a weapon and tries to kill you. And nothing prepares you for taking another human life except actually taking one.

Are the bad guys better trained? No, of course not. Do the bad guys often have far more experienec at shooting at people, and in being shot at? Absolutely they do.

Jamesaritchie
07-11-2006, 02:56 AM
A "Clip" actually refers to a stripper clip which holds the ammo all in a neat roww, and one pushes it down into an internal box magazine. The stripper is ejected either right at the first (like the M98 Mauser, the very first semi-automatic production pistol-1898), or with the last round, like the .30/06 M-1 rifle of WW 2 and Korea vintage.

"Clips" have become synonymous with interchangeable box magazines like the .45 autopistol or the M-16.

Revolvers have "Quick Loaders" which hold the six rounds in perfect alignment for inserting into the cylinder, but one pushes a little plunger when the bullets are in and pockets the quick loader. A Policeman might carry three or four loaded "quick loaders" if he carries a revolver.

Some revolvers actually have snapo-in cylinders and an individual carries spare loaded cylinders in pouches on the belt.

For home defense a revolver IS better, because it can sit loaded in a drawer or cabinet for years without attention and still be expected to fire. An auto=pistol does not provide that luxury. Springs lose their springiness, or the complexity of the auto-pistol just causes a malfunction when the gun chambers a round and the ammo will not feed.

Regards,
Scott

Speed loaders, we always called them. You leave a revoler loaded in a drawer, and you're an idiot. Of ocurse, if you leave any weapon lying around long enough to have a spring go bad, you aren't much brighter.

If you really want to defend yourself with that wepaon, you'd darned well better take it out of the drawer about once a week and USE it. And if you're going to leave a magazsine loaded for years, you shouldn't be allowed near a weapon.

And after years, there's a good chance some of the ammo won't fire, either. It takes one misfire to kill you.

For most people, under most circumstances, the best possible weapon for home defense is a 12ga shotgunn loaded with #1 buck, not a revolver or a semi-auto.

Jamesaritchie
07-11-2006, 03:08 AM
<Another peeve is re-cocking guns all the time. In Demolition Man during the melee in the museum Sly lets his pistol go empty before swapping magazines, so the action's back... he loads it and releases the slide which chambers a round from the magazine--he then pulls the slide back a second time to "cock" it, ejecting a live round right past his face. And presumably nobody noticed.>

It is silly. Training with a semi-auto pistol usually entails counting your rounds and reloading while the last round is still in the chamber. Modern nine millimeter autopistols have the rounds staggered in the magazine for maximum capacity--like the Baretta M-92 in use in the armed services--fifteen round magazines mean the policeman or soldier carries a minimum of forty-five rounds on his person. One magazine in the weapon and two spares.

Regards,
Scott

Well, sometimes. It's fine to reload with one round still in teh chamber, but you reload the moment yu can, whether you've fired three rounds, all but one, or the last one. And you often do have to fire the last one. It always pays to know how many round syou have left, but it's often impossible to count rounds in a firefight, and even if you can count them, that last round is often more important being fired than left in the chamber for a reload. With most semi-autos, the slide locks back automaticaly when the last round is fired. This is often when you HAVE to reload.

And the Berreta 9mm is a piece of dog crap. Or the round it fires is.

Soccer Mom
07-11-2006, 04:03 AM
Thanks to all the great info. I'm learning a lot from following the exchange. Mostly I'm learning why I write cozies.

heh.

HoosierCowgirl
07-11-2006, 07:07 AM
For home defense a revolver IS better, because it can sit loaded in a drawer or cabinet for years without attention and still be expected to fire. An auto=pistol does not provide that luxury. Springs lose their springiness, or the complexity of the auto-pistol just causes a malfunction when the gun chambers a round and the ammo will not feed.

Regards,
Scott

Technically speaking, maybe, yeah ...

Common sense says no. Much more likely to be found by a curious child.

I was raised in a home with guns (hunting rifles and shotguns) and will probably own some in future but will use my dad's rules of always locking them up.

I always heard a shotgun would be the weapon of choice in home defense, but what do I know. Half the time we dont' even lock our doors.

Other than that, very interesting thread.

Ann

Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 07:35 AM
Read my post again. I never said they were better trained. Not once. That would be dumb. I said they're more used to gun violence, and they are. Training is a good thing. So is a qualification test. Both often mean sqaut teh first time you're in a firefight. Especially a one on one firefight that's up close.

I don't care how well a police officer shoots on the range, the first time he's in a real firefight he probably won't be able to hit a brick wall at ten feet.

I not only have a great deal of undertstanding about firearms and tactics, I've been in the situations you think about. And I've had training that makes what the average poince officer goes through look meaningless.

Yes, police officers have to care where their bullets go. I've still seen a seasoned police officer miss an assailant eight times at a range of ten feet.

I've seen two highly trained police officers miss an assailant eighteen times at twenty feet.

Neither had anyting to do with poor training, with poor tactics, with caring where the bullets went. These police offiers were being shot at for the first time in their lives. It scared them. It terrified them. When you're terrified, when a real weapon is pointed at you and fired, the tendency is to yank your weapon and start spraying lead. Sometimes training prevents this, but it often does not.

You need to do some real world research. Just being a police officer doesn't mean you know squat. I know, I've been one. And about half my family are police officers. They all say the same thing I'm saying.

Training is good. Training is important. Range qualification is good and important. Tactics are good and important. But nothing really prepares you for the first time someone draws a weapon and tries to kill you. And nothing prepares you for taking another human life except actually taking one.

Are the bad guys better trained? No, of course not. Do the bad guys often have far more experienec at shooting at people, and in being shot at? Absolutely they do.

Absolutely right!

I've done security work under contract to the government-plain clothes detective work-back when I was young. The adage was to to "Drill as if it's combat, and hopefully combat will feel like a drill."

The reluctance to pull the trigger has to be trained out of someone one way or the other. The most common way these days is video "shoot-em up" games. The Army has even developed them for combat training.

As to firefights in small groups or single combat I recommend Joseph Wombaugh's book Lines and Shadows. It goes into depth about the San Diego Police department's plain clothes squad that patrolled the border with Mexico to try to protect illegals from the bands of robbers, rapists, and murderers from the Mexican side who preyed upon them.

It gets right down to the number of rounds expended on both sides and the outcome of the shooting. Only about one round in 30 resulted in a hit. Of the twenty or thirty shooting victims there was only a single death.

The weapons being used by the cops were snubby .38 revolvers and a twenty gauge `room broom' pump.

The book also talks about the effects of constant combat strain on a small unit of police. These guys were engaging in firefights several times a month and were out in the desert looking for bad guys every night of the week almost-that was the same strain as constant recon patrols in a war zone. It all had the same effects on the personnel.

Be glad that the average cop doesn't fire his weapon for real. That kind of psychological strain can scar you forever.

Regards,
Scott

BJ Bourg
07-12-2006, 08:41 AM
It really bugs me how bad guys can shoot realy well when they're murdering someone, but can't hit a bull in the butt with a baeball bat once the hero shows up.

Trust me, folks. In real life the bad guys can usually shoot very well. It's the cops who generally can't hit anything, especially in the heat of a gunfight. Bad guys often have much more experience at shooting people, at staying calm under fire, than do most police officers.

Most police officers go a lifetime without shooting anyone, and without being shot at. Many bad guys shoot people regularly, or are shot at by rival gangs, etc.

I've worked several murder cases where the bad guys fired multiple rounds and hit a target each and every time -- and they never had any type of firearms training, nor were they ever in combat situations. Without knowing it, they instinctivly utilized an ability we all have -- and that is to simply point. If you can point a finger, or point a flashlight, you can usually point a gun and hit what you're pointing at.

bjb

BJ Bourg
07-12-2006, 09:06 AM
I not only have a great deal of undertstanding about firearms and tactics, I've been in the situations you think about. And I've had training that makes what the average poince officer goes through look meaningless.

Training is good. Training is important. Range qualification is good and important. Tactics are good and important. But nothing really prepares you for the first time someone draws a weapon and tries to kill you. And nothing prepares you for taking another human life except actually taking one.


If you don't mind my asking, what department did you work for and what types of training have you attended? I'm always amazed at the number of officers I meet on writing lists.

You're absolutely right about training being good, but, as I'm sure you've witnessed, there's poor training and there's proper training. Poor training can sometimes be more deadly than lack of training, because it teaches officers bad habits that can get them killed. A classic example of this is when officers were instructed to dump empty casings from their revolvers into their hands and pocket them, so they wouldn't have to clean up the range later. Officers have died with empty casings in their pockets, as they spent those precious seconds wasting time on a habit that had been drilled into them from hours on the range. *Proper* mental, physical, and firearms training can absolutely prepare an officer for the first time he has to face down a gunman. Training has to be practical and should go beyond merely shooting the department qualification course once per year. That type of static training will do next to nothing in preparing an officer for combat.

Well, I could talk about this kind of thing all night long, but I'm cutting into my writing time, so I'd better get to stepping.

Take it easy and be safe,

bjb

Nancy
07-12-2006, 07:06 PM
removed

C.bronco
07-12-2006, 07:27 PM
RE: original question... I like "Mail Call" with R. Lee Ermey (did I spell his name right?) He mostly covers military stuff. I haven't seen the show in awhile & don't know if it's still on.

Nancy
07-13-2006, 06:07 PM
Hi BJ:

I sent you a reply to your PM, but your mailbox "has exceeded it's limitations" or whatever. Wouldn't it be great if that happened in real life and it was due to so many fat checks??

I'll resend the PM if I need to. Let me know.

Thanks,

BJ Bourg
07-14-2006, 08:00 AM
Hi BJ:

I sent you a reply to your PM, but your mailbox "has exceeded it's limitations" or whatever. Wouldn't it be great if that happened in real life and it was due to so many fat checks??

I'll resend the PM if I need to. Let me know.

Thanks,

Nancy,

I'm so sorry about that! I received a message saying that you had tried to PM me, but my inbox was full. I didn't realize I had exceeded my number of messages. I've since made room for your message. Again, I'm sorry!

Take care,

bjb

Nancy
07-14-2006, 08:28 PM
deleted

BJ Bourg
07-16-2006, 08:56 AM
BJ:

I sent you a new PM this morning.

Talking guns is way more fun than working!

Got it! :-) I'll be replying shortly. The power just went off here and shut everything down for a minute. Hope it doesn't happen again.

bjb

TesubCalle
08-02-2006, 09:56 AM
I've bummed around a Police Forum and asked questions of the officers about weapons cops tend to use, if their departments issue them 'standard' firearms, etc.

I also just Google stuff. Of course we all know any old piece of info on Google must be checked and double-checked for accuracy, but even just searching for names of weapons, their manufacturers, what gun enthusiasts have to say about them, etc., etc.

The things you can find if you just have the time to poke around the corners of cyberspace...Shooting stances. Caliber. Certification. Gun-related injuries.

Such fun!

jpserra
10-09-2006, 04:37 PM
There are a few things commonly overlooked by writers when it comes to guns. They are loud! The auditory reaction to the first round can be short term paralysis; freezing up, for the novice. Shooting in low light can cause flash blindness due to the muzzle flash.

After 25 years of carrying and 17 years on the job, most professionals find reasons NOT to draw a weapon; choosing instead a lesser device for engaing criminals such as spray, batons or tazers.

JPS

Scarlett_156
10-12-2006, 07:41 PM
I read through this entire thread to see if anyone brought this up, and no one has yet.

For simple questions about parts or components of things (per the original question which I believe related to the safety catch on a particular handgun) the first place I always turn for help is my old pal Google. For example, just now I went to Google and typed in "Smith and Wesson", and clicked on "images" for an image search. I was able then to see many MANY good images of S&W guns (and other weird things such as cartoons and knives, etc.) including (on the first page of results) a diagram with every part of a handgun labeled. Google image search is the bomb! :)

But yeah, like one of the early replies mentioned-- nearly every modern gun has a safety on it somewhere (one exception being a .45 Colt derringer owned by a friend of mine-- it needs no safety because the thing is so damned hard to cock in the first place), and that safety catch is most likely to be located within easy reach of one's thumb.

(edit) and now when I raise my glance to the post a couple of notches above mine, I see that someone did INDEED mention Google. heh... oh well...

DeadlyAccurate
10-13-2006, 12:35 AM
But yeah, like one of the early replies mentioned-- nearly every modern gun has a safety on it somewhere (one exception being a .45 Colt derringer owned by a friend of mine-- it needs no safety because the thing is so damned hard to cock in the first place), and that safety catch is most likely to be located within easy reach of one's thumb.
Glocks (http://www.glock.com/_safe_action_.htm)don't have external safeties. They have what they call the "Safe Action" system. If you picked up a Glock, the only thing you'd have to do is squeeze the trigger. They don't have an external hammer, either, so you can't have your hero thumbing back the hammer on his Glock 17 for dramatic effect.

Anthony Ravenscroft
10-13-2006, 03:53 AM
The previously mentioned HK series has a cocking/safety mechanism built into the grip; when you let go, it decocks.

I'm surprised how often on TV the Good Guy (with hands free) has a gun stuck in his face, & the hammer's down. Now, I have yet to hold a serious double-action handgun where I'd be able to snap off a shot fast enough to dissuade someone that close who made a grab for the barrel.

I'd love to write a scene where the "gangsta" runs the slide manually (forward-back, instead of pulling back & letting go -- manually sometimes mis-seats the round) & then fires dry, either having thus jammed his gun or ejected his last round.

Popeyesays
10-13-2006, 09:45 PM
Well, the nine millimeter has its problems. I think double-tapping became practice BECAUSE the nine mill became so prevalent.

You hit a man with a .45 and he is likely to be incapacitated for a little just because the round delivers so many pounds of force that a knock down occurs.

Still the NATO 9mm is slightly better than the Warsaw Pact 9mm, the cartridge of the NATO round is slightly longer increasing the volume of propellant.

For manyyears the European police carried a .32 automatic as standard issue.

The .32 round always reminds me of the advice from Blazing Saddles: "Oh NO!! Don't shoot Mongo, you'll only make him angry!"

The 10mm round is a good compromise between the .45 and the 9mm, but I doubt it will ever gain such widespread use. That the NATO standard pistol round is 9mm that will rule the field when handguns are produced.

Regards,
Scott

Amadeus
10-14-2006, 02:58 PM
Why not visit a gun shop and ask questions? Most clerks in gun stores LOVE to answer questions. Tell them you are a writer and they'll be happy to help you - well most of them. I think it helps to be able to actually hold a gun, see where the magazine fits, etc. It there's a shooting range in your area - go and fire off a few rounds. They rent ear protectors along with the pistols and should be able to help you.

Carlene

Hehe, if you're not an American, visiting a gun store will be -very- hard! *smiles*

Linda Adams
10-14-2006, 03:22 PM
Hehe, if you're not an American, visiting a gun store will be -very- hard! *smiles*

There's tons of message boards on guns. Just drop in on one of them.

DeadlyAccurate
10-14-2006, 09:49 PM
There's tons of message boards on guns. Just drop in on one of them.

And there are those that are specific to a brand of guns. My husband just bought a Glock 27 (that he just picked up yesterday from the gun store*), from a guy who was selling his on the Glocktalk forums**. Of course, if you've hung around product specific boards before, you know the debates on certain topics can get heated and serve to only confuse the newcomer.

*The way I understand it, to sell a gun across state lines, they have to go from one FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer to another.

**He got a terrific deal, and the gun was in excellent condition.

icerose
10-15-2006, 12:57 AM
For most people, under most circumstances, the best possible weapon for home defense is a 12ga shotgunn loaded with #1 buck, not a revolver or a semi-auto.

Now you're talking!! That's my gun. After that is my 270, then my AK-47, then my glock.

Shotguns are great because with a scatter shot it's much harder to miss and you don't have to be very good to hit something. If you fire inside it will be earshattering and chances are good you are going to blow your eardrums because the sounds has no where to go, it's contained, you get the full amount and then some.

My biggest petpeeve is the pumpaction shotgun. They just keep firing. They don't pump it, they don't do anything, and they shoot out like 15 rounds before they are out. I'm thinking WTH? I don't understand why they even bother, the methodology of pumping that shotgun adds great fodder as does the sound of loading in more rounds into it.

Even worse are the double barrel with no spare capacity. There is room for 2 shells. Just 2. If you shoot more than twice, you're BSing. Yet how many times do they have them shoot five and six times?

limitedtimeauthor
10-16-2006, 06:36 AM
Who the heck came up with the idea of having bullets bounce off cars with an accompanying shower of sparks? I've shot cars. I've even been in a car that was being shot at. Bullets do not bounce off. Just ask Bonnie and Clyde. But I rarely watch a TV show without being forced to watch bullets bouce off cars with a shower of sparks.

Speaking of shooting cars, is there a way to have someone shoot a car window and leave a hole, but not leave a bullet (i.e. evidence) inside? I want my MC (a housewife) to get shot at in her car, but the police do not believe her thinking she freaked over a piece of gravel hitting her windshield or something.

Is that completely unrealistic? (And if it is, is there any other way to have someone shoot into her car without leaving evidence that would convince police?)

Thanks!

ltd.

DeadlyAccurate
10-16-2006, 07:34 AM
I don't know whether the hole itself would give it away, but what if it came in through a closed window and exited out an open window?

icerose
10-16-2006, 08:25 AM
Speaking of shooting cars, is there a way to have someone shoot a car window and leave a hole, but not leave a bullet (i.e. evidence) inside? I want my MC (a housewife) to get shot at in her car, but the police do not believe her thinking she freaked over a piece of gravel hitting her windshield or something.

Is that completely unrealistic? (And if it is, is there any other way to have someone shoot into her car without leaving evidence that would convince police?)

Thanks!

ltd.

Yeah, have it take place in England.

Before I get smacked for this one, my sister lived in England for a while and her Ex took a shot at her car (both of them military thus both have access to weapons) and punctured right through her front windshield, it embedded into her seat and they still didn't believe her. Told her it was gravel.

limitedtimeauthor
10-16-2006, 05:30 PM
Deadly Accurate - you are so smart!! Such a simple solution, and aren't they always the best ones? I thought if I had it exiting through the other window, leaving a hole, then the cops would believe her. An OPEN window!! You gotta love that! (forgive me for being so effusive, but when you've rolled the scene around over and over, the lightbulb moment - even when it's someone else's lightbulb - is reason for partying.)

And Icerose, that's exactly what I was thinking of! Wow, even with the bullet embedded in her seat, the police didn't believe her? Was her ex higher-ranking or something? Sheesh.

Thanks for the input, guys. (Wow. I should post questions like this more often. I could probably have the whole plot whipped into outline by November. :D ) ltd.

alleycat
10-16-2006, 06:21 PM
I don't want to rain on your parade, limited, but if accuracy is important to you, I don't think this idea will work. I'm no expert, but the bullet holes I've seen in car windows is difference from a hole made by gravel (you've also got the problem of a piece of gravel actually going through the window and not just cracking it, plus . . . why isn't the piece of gravel still in the car?). A bullet leaves a very round holes, when a piece of gravel leaves a more irregular holes (and leaves a trace on the windshield similar to a meteor making a crater. The police are experts, and there's a good chance they could tell the difference easily.

Another suggestion: Just have the woman claim she was shot at. Maybe both side windows were down, or she was driving a convertible. The bullet pasted right in front of her face, she heard the sound of the gun . . . but there is no physical evidence at all.

icerose
10-16-2006, 09:51 PM
I don't want to rain on your parade, limited, but if accuracy is important to you, I don't think this idea will work. I'm no expert, but the bullet holes I've seen in car windows is difference from a hole made by gravel (you've also got the problem of a piece of gravel actually going through the window and not just cracking it, plus . . . why isn't the piece of gravel still in the car?). A bullet leaves a very round holes, when a piece of gravel leaves a more irregular holes (and leaves a trace on the windshield similar to a meteor making a crater. The police are experts, and there's a good chance they could tell the difference easily.

Another suggestion: Just have the woman claim she was shot at. Maybe both side windows were down, or she was driving a convertible. The bullet pasted right in front of her face, she heard the sound of the gun . . . but there is no physical evidence at all.

Except for the fact that when she was in England the police included along with all civilians were not allowed to have guns. Now if you have never shot one, never held one, and never seen a bullet hit anything, how would you know it was a bullet and not a piece of gravel?

On top of that both of them are military for the US. Report a gunshot against a visiting military officer and have the possibility high that a second military officer is involved and you have one can of worms. No harm no foul right?

And her windshield did spiderweb out, it was one of those plastic coated windsheilds, so everything isn't as cut and dry as you would like.

It was still a bullet, she dug it out herself, but it was a lead tipped bullet from a handgun so it had mushroomed thus the irregular hole. The tiniest factors can change everything.

Back to the other question, a rolled down window would definitely allow the bullet to zoom in and out of the car without leaving a mark and only a hysterical woman (who probably crashed out of panic) claiming she was shot at with no physical evidence to collaborate it.

Also if she was already making accusations of a stalker or someone trying to kill her, and there was no evidence the police would be more than eager to dismiss it as paranoia and the like.

limitedtimeauthor
10-17-2006, 03:56 AM
A bullet leaves a very round holes, when a piece of gravel leaves a more irregular holes (and leaves a trace on the windshield similar to a meteor making a crater. The police are experts, and there's a good chance they could tell the difference easily.



Yeah, Alleycat, I was thinking of that too...

Well, I'm just going for a modicum of reality. For one thing, who knows if this will ever even see the light of day? It's my first attempt. Secondly, I'm going for humorous, but with a little real suspense too. So I don't think it has to be completely plausible, just possible. Then again, I don't want any horrible blatant errors, either. That would just be unprofessional.

And, hey, rain on my parade anytime. Better now in this safe little forum than out in the big, bad world. :) Thank you for your input.

ltd.

Anthony Ravenscroft
10-17-2006, 12:12 PM
Effects on safety glass depend on a bunch of factors.

Angle. A high-velocity rifle round or large pistol round from a shallow angle can impart some of its force before ricochet, destroying the window before heading off into the trees.

Round. A full jacket will tend toward a neat hole, while a plain lead wadcutter from the same pistol would make a huge mess. There's a specialised round that's a metal cup filled with liquid Teflon & tiny shot that'll make a very neat hole in almost anything. Then there's a frangible round that disintegrate into tiny pieces of metal upon initial impact. A nylon bullet at close range would impart almost all its remaining force before pinging harmlessly away.

Distance. An exhausted bullet still carries some force.

You're a writer. Just get the basic facts correct, then sell it convincingly.

limitedtimeauthor
10-17-2006, 06:32 PM
Thanks for this information, Anthony. It gives me a lot more to consider - what would my particular brand of bad guy be likely to use for his weapon, his ammo, how far away will he be, that kind of thing. I'm very happy. I've got something to go on.

This wasn't even supposed to be the difficult scene in the novel. Hah! I have a lot to learn. :)

Thanks again.

ltd.

zornhau
10-17-2006, 08:12 PM
Since the gun experts seem to have congregated here, I hope it's OK to chip in with the following questions:

For complex reasons and carefully worked out reasons, some of my characters have lightweight bullet-proof plate armour.

Would hits from, say a Vickers .303 (7.7mm) machinegun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vickers_machine_gun) have enough punch to knock them over, or would they be able to keep coming?

Can I take it a hit from a 57mm 6 pounder artillery piece would send them flying, and kill them through concussion?

Thanks in advance!

Prawn
10-17-2006, 10:15 PM
Okay, I ran across this last night. I have a scene in the Middle East (in the West Bank) where a terrorist pulls out a pistol. I know that AK47s and Kalishnikovs (sp?) are common over there, but what pistol would they have?

Anybody have any ideas?

alleycat
10-17-2006, 10:32 PM
Okay, I ran across this last night. I have a scene in the Middle East (in the West Bank) where a terrorist pulls out a pistol. I know that AK47s and Kalishnikovs (sp?) are common over there, but what pistol would they have?

Anybody have any ideas?
I think I could answer your questions, but we have at least a couple of people around here who are there, I'll point them to this question instead.

Check back later.

ac

TeddyG
10-17-2006, 10:45 PM
Okay, I ran across this last night. I have a scene in the Middle East (in the West Bank) where a terrorist pulls out a pistol. I know that AK47s and Kalishnikovs (sp?) are common over there, but what pistol would they have?

Anybody have any ideas?

AC sent me a PM about trying to answer your question Prawn.
Before I even try...please remember:
1. I am not a gun expert though I do own and have used my own pistol to defend myself on more than one occasion.
2. I am NOT a fan of guns which is actually why I never visited this thread. (This is not a comment about those that do..so dont get defensive) I have just seen up close and personal what guns, sub-machine guns, mags, pistols etc. can do the body of a human being. So I kind of am not a fan of these things.

As to the terrorists.
You better believe they own pistols and own every damn type possible. From what I know personally, a favorite of many of course were Glocks. 9mm are also a fav. cause they can steal the bullets for them easily. Baretta's (not sure on spelling) Astra (a Spanish knock off of the Baretta).
But believe it or not the most common one you will find is a .22
Why? First they make less noise. Second they are really good close range. Third they usually smaller and slimmer and easier to hide.

ETA - almost forgot...there is a chezk or russian pistol that they use too. forgot the name think it is 9mm as well. That too is a favorite. If someone comes up with the name I will know it.

Hope this helps...
and if I said anything that makes any sense thank AC he gave me the heads up.

And if any of you gun experts here think my advice is wrong and/or off - be my guest. I am cool. Like I said I am a NOT a gun expert and I am damn proud of the fact.

Popeyesays
10-18-2006, 12:56 AM
The RUssian 9mm is called the Makarov, thought the previous standard issue autopistol in Soviet service was the Tokarev, which is actually 7.62mm.

However the Makarov will not chamber a NATO standard 9mm round. The Soviet 9mm round is 17mm long, the NATO 9mm is 18mm long.

Regards,
Scott

Anthony Ravenscroft
10-18-2006, 03:45 AM
zornhau:

Modern ballistic plate armor is very good in limited ways. I've seen a ceramic-plate vest stop a round of .30-30 at about 20 feet. Problem is, the best of this class absorbs the impact by shattering -- with each subsequent hit, it's far less effective, like 50% each time, even if peripheral.

A single & anticipated round from a Vickers? Possibly not. Full-auto? Well... if you're wearing a crash helmet & someone whacks you in the head with a hammer, that's one thing, but two guys whaling away as fast as they can swing might, yeah, tend to put you off-stride!

A vest might take some of the risk from fragmentation rounds, but concussion is kinda like dressing up in chainmail & getting pounded with a club -- the armor does just dandy, but you've been liquified.

Then there's the fact that you've got a few minor bits still exposed: head, arms, groin, legs... Even if the armor were 100% effective, go watch Johnny Got His Gun.

BradyH1861
10-18-2006, 06:25 AM
The RUssian 9mm is called the Makarov,

I own a Makarov that was re-chambered for .380. I carry it as a back up weapon. It shoot fairly well. And since it is Russian made, it is virtually indestructable and simple to operate.


Brady

Higgins
10-18-2006, 03:51 PM
zornhau:

Modern ballistic plate armor is very good in limited ways.

This guy used to lead his company (as in way out in front). The big problem was German MGs and his preferred fighting kit was a really big special Mg-bullet-proof helmet (with cork to absorb impact) and a 51mm mortar to kill MG crews. At least that was the theory.

One day during the 43rd's crossing of the Sienne (in August 1944) he ran into a German Company commander who also led from way out in front and of course he "carried" an MG. The MG hit the helmet on the Brit and knocked him out, but his men drove off the MG-weilding enemy commander. The Brit captain regained consciousness and the Brits won the crossing battle.

I always thought the big helmet and the little mortar was an interesting infantry-fighting theory. Apparently the size of the helmet was a problem...ie it was pretty big.

zornhau
10-18-2006, 05:27 PM
That is utterly ###### insane! Can you point me to the original source?

Regarding my question. I'm writing Heroic Fantasy, so the armour is magically hardened plate armour. Bullets short of anti-tank rounds won't harm it. However, it obeys the laws of physics. Consequently a good anti-knight weapon is a hammer or war club - poor chap can have his brains scrambled without so much as a mark on his armour.

So, from the above anecdotes, sustained machinegun fire to the helmeted head should render our hero concussed. If the bullets catch a gap which is merely mailed, he'll get cracked bones and serious bruising.

What about grenades? Do they really hurl people off their feet, or merely throw shrapnel?

Popeyesays
10-18-2006, 11:14 PM
This guy used to lead his company (as in way out in front). The big problem was German MGs and his preferred fighting kit was a really big special Mg-bullet-proof helmet (with cork to absorb impact) and a 51mm mortar to kill MG crews. At least that was the theory.

One day during the 43rd's crossing of the Sienne (in August 1944) he ran into a German Company commander who also led from way out in front and of course he "carried" an MG. The MG hit the helmet on the Brit and knocked him out, but his men drove off the MG-weilding enemy commander. The Brit captain regained consciousness and the Brits won the crossing battle.

I always thought the big helmet and the little mortar was an interesting infantry-fighting theory. Apparently the size of the helmet was a problem...ie it was pretty big.

Okay, you got this where?

The Brit 2 inch mortar was crewed weapon, not something one person might carry.

What do you define as a machine gun? The Brit standard LMG was the Bren Gun which fired .303 rounds from 30 round clips, the SOB was very heavy and had a bipod, for firing. The other alternative was to fire from the hip which was extremely inaccurate. Firing from the shoulder required a Hercules considering the weight of the weapon (23 pounds), and the recoil from automatic fire would have made it highly inaccurate as well. That's why it had a bipod.

From Wikipedia:
For a light machine gun of the interwar and early WWII era the Bren was about average in weight. On long marches in non-operational areas it was often partially disassembled and its parts carried by two soldiers. Writing about his experiences in the infantry during the Burma campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign)[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-2), the author George MacDonald Fraser (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_MacDonald_Fraser) stated that one Bren gun was issued to each eight man section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_%28military_unit%29). One soldier would be the gunner and another would be his 'number two', who would carry extra ammunition and the spare barrel and change magazines in combat. The top-mounted magazine vibrated and moved during fire, making the weapon more visible in combat, and many Bren gunners used paint or improvised canvas covers to disguise the prominent magazine. [4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-3)
Realising the need for additional section-level firepower, the British Army endeavoured to issue the Bren in great numbers, with a stated goal of one Bren to every four private soldiers. [5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-4)
On occasion, a Bren gunner would use his weapon on the move supported by a sling, much like an automatic rifle, though generally the Bren was fired from the prone position using the attached bipod. Each British soldier's equipment normally included two magazines for his section's Bren gun, and every man would be trained to fire the Bren in case of an emergency, though these soldiers did not receive a Bren proficiency badge.

If you're calling the STEN Machine pistol a "machine gun", it's not. It fires 9mm pistol ammo.

As to "51mm mortar in British service, it wasn't used in World War Two at all. The Brit small mortar was a TWO Inch device, which is 50.8mm--it may round off to 51mm, but try to drop a two large round into a mortar and you'll find it doesn't drop to the bottom of the tube. The mortar had no bipod frame, one soldier had to estimate the proper angle of the tube and actually hold the tube with his hands, the assistant gunner would drop the bombs down the tube. It was only about five pounds, but each mortar bom was two pounds and two ounces. It was NOT a one man weapon.

The story sounds more like Sergeant Rock than Sergeant York.

Regards,
Scott

Higgins
10-18-2006, 11:19 PM
That is utterly ###### insane! Can you point me to the original source?

Regarding my question. I'm writing Heroic Fantasy, so the armour is magically hardened plate armour. Bullets short of anti-tank rounds won't harm it. However, it obeys the laws of physics. Consequently a good anti-knight weapon is a hammer or war club - poor chap can have his brains scrambled without so much as a mark on his armour.

So, from the above anecdotes, sustained machinegun fire to the helmeted head should render our hero concussed. If the bullets catch a gap which is merely mailed, he'll get cracked bones and serious bruising.

What about grenades? Do they really hurl people off their feet, or merely throw shrapnel?

The book is devoted to the crossing of the Sienne (Sp, the River that goes throgh Paris, crossed below Paris in the expoitation after the Falaise pocket) by the 43 Wessex. There are a lot of very strange things in the book, but the Captain with the big cork helmet using a 2-inch mortar as his personal weapon was perhaps the oddest.

Another shock was the 6-pdr with discarding sabot ammo, a rather small gun (small for an anti-tank gun in 1944) that could penetrate the Tiger I's turrent frontally at 100 meters or so with specialized ammo.

I read it about 10 years ago and I still wonder about it.

And Oh..grenades, there are all sorts. The standard thing that people are talking about is optimized for fragmentation. As people have said, when a big chunk of something hits a nervous system you may see people flying around from their own muscular contractions as much as from external projectiles. Or so I am told. Thankfully I have very little first-hand knowledge of weapons other than knives, bows and flint-tipped spears, hunting rifles, shot guns and such...

Higgins
10-18-2006, 11:26 PM
Okay, you got this where?

The Brit 2 inch mortar was crewed weapon, not something one person might carry.

What do you define as a machine gun? The Brit standard LMG was the Bren Gun which fired .303 rounds from 30 round clips, the SOB was very heavy and had a bipod, for firing. The other alternative was to fire from the hip which was extremely inaccurate. Firing from the shoulder required a Hercules considering the weight of the weapon (23 pounds), and the recoil from automatic fire would have made it highly inaccurate as well. That's why it had a bipod.

From Wikipedia:
For a light machine gun of the interwar and early WWII era the Bren was about average in weight. On long marches in non-operational areas it was often partially disassembled and its parts carried by two soldiers. Writing about his experiences in the infantry during the Burma campaign (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Campaign)[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-2), the author George MacDonald Fraser (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_MacDonald_Fraser) stated that one Bren gun was issued to each eight man section (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_%28military_unit%29). One soldier would be the gunner and another would be his 'number two', who would carry extra ammunition and the spare barrel and change magazines in combat. The top-mounted magazine vibrated and moved during fire, making the weapon more visible in combat, and many Bren gunners used paint or improvised canvas covers to disguise the prominent magazine. [4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-3)
Realising the need for additional section-level firepower, the British Army endeavoured to issue the Bren in great numbers, with a stated goal of one Bren to every four private soldiers. [5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren#_note-4)
On occasion, a Bren gunner would use his weapon on the move supported by a sling, much like an automatic rifle, though generally the Bren was fired from the prone position using the attached bipod. Each British soldier's equipment normally included two magazines for his section's Bren gun, and every man would be trained to fire the Bren in case of an emergency, though these soldiers did not receive a Bren proficiency badge.

If you're calling the STEN Machine pistol a "machine gun", it's not. It fires 9mm pistol ammo.

As to "51mm mortar in British service, it wasn't used in World War Two at all. The Brit small mortar was a TWO Inch device, which is 50.8mm--it may round off to 51mm, but try to drop a two large round into a mortar and you'll find it doesn't drop to the bottom of the tube. The mortar had no bipod frame, one soldier had to estimate the proper angle of the tube and actually hold the tube with his hands, the assistant gunner would drop the bombs down the tube. It was only about five pounds, but each mortar bom was two pounds and two ounces. It was NOT a one man weapon.

The story sounds more like Sergeant Rock than Sergeant York.

Regards,
Scott

Well the Brit company commander was carrying the 2-inch (or 51mm) mortar. His German opponent was carrying what I would assume was the bipod version of the german MG. I'm not sure how that would work, since I imagine the German Mg was heavier than the Bren.

I always thought the big cork helmet was the oddest thing about the tale...which I read in an otherwise plausible history of the crossing of the Sienne by the 43 Wessex.

Popeyesays
10-18-2006, 11:35 PM
The book is devoted to the crossing of the Sienne (Sp, the River that goes throgh Paris, crossed below Paris in the expoitation after the Falaise pocket) by the 43 Wessex. There are a lot of very strange things in the book, but the Captain with the big cork helmet using a 2-inch mortar as his personal weapon was perhaps the oddest.

Another shock was the 6-pdr with discarding sabot ammo, a rather small gun (small for an anti-tank gun in 1944) that could penetrate the Tiger I's turrent frontally at 100 meters or so with specialized ammo.

I read it about 10 years ago and I still wonder about it.

..

Well, the 6 pdr was also the American 57mm anti-tank gun. It was developed as an improvement on the 1938 issue 2 pdr (40mm) AT gun. Itwas a huge improvement over the earlier 2 pdr, but inadequate against the post-1943 tank armor on the PzV and VI series tanks. There was, however, no such thing as a DS (discarding sabot round) in World War Two. The best armor piercers of the day were the Capped Ballistic Rounds (APCB).

When the Brits were introducing the 6 pdr AT gun, the Germans were already issuing the 75mm L40 AT gun which was highly superior.

The famous 88mm was originally an anti-aircraft gun, that was pressed into service as an AT gun in 1940.

Regards,
Scott

Higgins
10-19-2006, 12:09 AM
Well, the 6 pdr was also the American 57mm anti-tank gun. It was developed as an improvement on the 1938 issue 2 pdr (40mm) AT gun. Itwas a huge improvement over the earlier 2 pdr, but inadequate against the post-1943 tank armor on the PzV and VI series tanks. There was, however, no such thing as a DS (discarding sabot round) in World War Two. The best armor piercers of the day were the Capped Ballistic Rounds (APCB).

When the Brits were introducing the 6 pdr AT gun, the Germans were already issuing the 75mm L40 AT gun which was highly superior.

The famous 88mm was originally an anti-aircraft gun, that was pressed into service as an AT gun in 1940.

Regards,
Scott

It appears the British Army had APDS weapons by March 1944:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_QF_17_pounder


From what I have read, APDS was also available by late 1944 for the British 6 pdr.

Popeyesays
10-19-2006, 12:22 AM
Well the Brit company commander was carrying the 2-inch (or 51mm) mortar. His German opponent was carrying what I would assume was the bipod version of the german MG. I'm not sure how that would work, since I imagine the German Mg was heavier than the Bren.

I always thought the big cork helmet was the oddest thing about the tale...which I read in an otherwise plausible history of the crossing of the Sienne by the 43 Wessex.

The mark IV Brodie helmet issued to the British assault troops at Normandy was an improvement of the previous mark. It had a slightly more narrow brim and a deeper crown to increase protection of the sides of the skull.

It did indeed have a liner, but that was to improve comfortable wear, not to provide increased protection.

The "bigger" helmet could only have been the "Pith Helmet" of tropical service. That was MADE of cork or cork-like material, but it had absolutely zip armor protection to it.

The British 43rd (Wessex) Division (from Wikipedia):
The Division was a formation created with the rest of the Territorial Force in 1908. On 24 September 1914, it accepted overseas service in India in order to relieve regular units required for active service. Divisional and Brigade HQs, both artillery and infantry, did not embark for India. The "Division" sailed on 9 October 1914, and moved to India where it remained throughout the Great War.
In World War II it was organised as an infantry division and fought in Normandy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Normandy), where it faced off against two elite German SS Divisions at Hill 112 during Operation Epsom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Epsom)?. It performed well, and is considered one of the best British Divisions in the 2nd World War. It later played a major role in Operation Market Garden (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Market_Garden) , as the support to Guards Armoured Division (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guards_Armoured_Division). During Market Garden, a Battalion (4th Dorsets) successfully crossed the Rhine as a diversion, so that 1st Airborne could withdraw more safely, but many men of the 4th Dorsets were themselves left behind on the north Bank of the Rhine when the Division withdrew
The division later played a small part in the Battle of the Bulge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bulge), where it was placed on the Meuse as a reserve, and a large part in the invasion of Germany and the Crossing of the Rhine (Operation Veritable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Veritable)).
[edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=British_43rd_%28Wessex%29_Infantry _Division&action=edit&section=2)]

Commanders


Major-General G. Thomas. Thomas was often called "The Butcher" by his men, because of his obliviousness to casualties when pursuing objectives, and was one of the most Loathed men in the British Army.Operation Epsom was the assault against Caen. There's no special recognition of their service crossing the "Seine". Paris itself was not defended by the Germans, they surrendered on the 25th after a day of sharp fighting outside of Paris with LeClerc's Free French division..
The 43rd division was involved in Market Garden as part of the relieving force. It was the 43rd that linked up with the Polish Airborne Brigade across the Rhein from the British 1st Airborne Division.

Anyway, we're off the subject of guns.

The two inch mortar was not a one man weapon. Your company commander had a two inch mortar in each platoon, and three 3" mortar sections attached to his company.

The troops he was commanding directly in the field DID have a two inch mortar and Bren guns with them, but the company commander was not shooting them single-handedlhy. That is NOT what a company commander does. Pre-Normandy it would be rare to find a British captain carrying more than a service revolver or an HP 35 Browning 9mm autopistol. After Normandy he would probably have a Sten gun which was a sub machine gun firing 9mm pistol rounds.

You might consult the book again, and quote it directly or at least cite it so others can check it out.

Sorry, it's the historian in me that is finding the story myth rather than history.

Regards,
Scott

Popeyesays
10-19-2006, 12:30 AM
It appears the British Army had APDS weapons by March 1944:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordnance_QF_17_pounder


From what I have read, APDS was also available by late 1944 for the British 6 pdr.

The 6 pdr APDS was introduced in late '44, I don't know if it was available during August. I acknowledge that it did appear late in the year, sorry for the error. The 17 pdr round was developed first and back-engineered for the 6 pdr afterwards.

The 6 pdr was still used in the field since it could be moved physically by the crew shoving it around. The British never could develop an AT gun that could remain light enough to do that with better performance than the 6 pdr.

Histry Nerd
10-19-2006, 01:25 AM
I'm writing Heroic Fantasy, so the armour is magically hardened plate armour. Bullets short of anti-tank rounds won't harm it. However, it obeys the laws of physics. Consequently a good anti-knight weapon is a hammer or war club - poor chap can have his brains scrambled without so much as a mark on his armour.

So, from the above anecdotes, sustained machinegun fire to the helmeted head should render our hero concussed. If the bullets catch a gap which is merely mailed, he'll get cracked bones and serious bruising.

What about grenades? Do they really hurl people off their feet, or merely throw shrapnel?

Zornhau -

I knew a guy who took 3 rounds from an AK in his trauma plate (that's the steel/ceramic plate in the front of modern body armor). None penetrated, but it knocked him out and broke ribs. He wasn't much good for a while after that. A machine gun round (the old .303 rounds aren't much different from our modern 7.62mm rounds) carries considerably more force than an AK round of the same caliber, because the velocity is much higher. I would think unless the armor can somehow absorb and distribute impact force across the entire body, he's going to need some serious padding where the edges come in contact with something non-rigid like mail, clothing, or flesh.

As to the effects of grenades, I have a couple of observations: first, they make a really big boom--much larger than you see on TV shows and movies. You can feel the concussion wave from a frag even from inside a concrete bunker. So it's plausible they would knock a person off his feet, but not throw him through the air. More likely it would just knock him down or bowl his feet out from under him.

Second, frag grenades are designed to shred people, not knock them over. So unless the concussion is right next to him, his biggest worry is shrapnel, which your magic armor covers.

Of course, he'll need something magically protecting his hearing as well....

HN

Popeyesays
10-19-2006, 03:59 AM
These days they have frag grenades, defensive (concussion)grenades, 'Flash-Bangs', and a wide selection of smoke grenades.

The concussion grenades are used preferentially for close in defense. The force of the explosion stuns the attackers, but the grenade doesn't generate a lot of fragmentation to injure your own comrades.

The flash-bang is used a lot by police and special forces to blind and deafen the opposition.

Regards,
Scott

Ordinary_Guy
10-19-2006, 04:12 AM
These days they have frag grenades, defensive (concussion)grenades, 'Flash-Bangs', and a wide selection of smoke grenades...
Just for giggles, there's all kinds of fun angles you can use, even for the lil' concussion grenades, from misfires to the flash setting off flammables.

Using grenades to fish...

Destroying evidence with incendiaries...

Popeyesays
10-19-2006, 06:07 AM
Just for giggles, there's all kinds of fun angles you can use, even for the lil' concussion grenades, from misfires to the flash setting off flammables.

Using grenades to fish...

Destroying evidence with incendiaries...
A tear gas grenade into the main ductwork of a building . . .

Rolling Thunder
10-19-2006, 06:17 AM
Primer cord wrapped a round a tree that's growing beside your nosey neighbor's house....

Popeyesays
10-19-2006, 06:28 AM
There's the standard grenade booby-trap, of course. The requirements are a length of monofilament line, a hand grenade, a tin can, and something to attach the tin can to a tree or a door lintle, or the underside of a latrine seat, whatever.

Attach the can where you want, tie the monofilament around the stem of the grenade.

Pull the pin on the grenade, squeeze the safety arm, slide the grenade into the tin can. This keeps the arming handle depressed so the grenade will not go off.

Then tie the free end of the monofilament across the trail, or to door, or latrine seat.

When someone tangles his feet in the monofilament, or opens the door or seat, it drags the hand grenade out of the tin can--the arming handle is no longer depressed, it flies off and the hand grenade detonates.

Regards,
Scott

icerose
10-19-2006, 07:34 PM
To answer the body armor question.

They are designed to keep bullets from penetrating but they are terrible at stopping the actual force of the bullet. A hit can actually stop your heart from the force without actually penetrating the armor. It is much like the plate mail and the clubs, you can be beat to death without harming the armor.

Then the ceramic ones come in, they accomplish both the force and the penetration by shattering, disappating most of the force, however they lose their efficency fairly quickly if you get hit more than one or two times especially if it's in the same place.

Body armor is a heck of a lot better than nothing but don't expect to walk away without at least a serious bruise. They have at least in experimental stage, a rubber like padding that goes between the body and the armor to absorb some of that impact. The navy seals use something similar because they can't risk being taken out of commission while on their assignments as it's not unusual to come back with a few bullets imbedded into your armor that you get to dig out. The body armor the seals use is rather neat, I can't remember the name of it, but it is much like the ring mail used in the old days as it molds around the bullet stopping it with not a solid plate of metal that can get double tapped and puncture through but rather several small links so it can form around the bullet without using its efficency, then the bullets can be pried out and the armor is as good as new.

Then you just have to worry about those parts not covered by body armor as stated by Scott.

So if you don't want your MC to be knocked to the ground, either breaking something, stopping his heart, and what not, I would suggest either have a dispersal system built into the armor where the shock of the blow is experienced at a much wider area or that he have some sort of shock absorbant padding beneath, and even then he's going to feel it in the morning.

And HN nailed it on the grenades, they are built to take people out by shredding them. And then there are of course concussion grenades that are meant to temporarily shock your enemies without harming nearby friendlies as stated above which can avoid the blast by hiding behind a wall, but make sure they cover their ears and close their eyes or they will be getting the same effects as the enemies.

Popeyesays
10-20-2006, 12:48 AM
I am told, by those who have had the experience, that a round stopped by Kevlar is still about as bad as being hit in the chest with a baseball bat swung by a major leaguer.

Sure the bullet does not go through, but broken ribs, cracked sternums, even a calamaitous pre-cardial thump are all possibilities.

Regards,
Scott

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-20-2006, 03:21 AM
I have seen cops AFTER they stopped a bullet. Yes, they are bruised and battered and can have broken bones It stops the penetration and spreads the force of impact, but you still get hit.

However, hurt is better than dead

zornhau
10-22-2006, 07:25 PM
Thanks folks. I think I can achieve versimultude using what you've given me.

jpserra
10-27-2006, 09:10 AM
There are various classes for body armor, and they stop varying calibers. Each has it's own excentricities. Most are no longer so much heavy, as they are uncomfortable. I've worn class 2 and 3 body armor, with and without the ballistic plates in key areas (chest and groin). Spending a day in this type of armor is arduous. It also usually shows beneath clothing, though when I wore a suit it was less noticeable.

Also, the more modern version will usually stop penetration, it does not stop injury. Broken bones (ribs) are a common result. And short thrust knives can penetrate some types.

The downplay; your arms and legs are exposed; as I can attest with the scar on my left leg.

JPS

Former police offier / Bounty / PI