Skip to comments.Rethinking The Pistol As A Weapon Of War
Posted on 06/03/2010 5:20:05 AM PDT by marktwain
A pistol is only good for fighting you way to a rifle.
Its a common quote, often attributed to Jeff Cooper and other well-known tactical experts.
In todays increasingly complex battlefield, and in times of economic collapse and the shrinking legitimacy of the state, we often find that rules of thumb once taken for granted have been turned upside down. Perhaps its time we reconsider the tactical utility of pistols.
Perhaps the biggest fallacy held among modern patriots, militia groups and survivalists is the idea of SHTF. This isnt to say there wont ever be SHTF type situations, but the idea that one day everything is going to be perfectly normal and the next day life is utter chaos its just not going to happen.
Those in government are usually too smart for that. Even when the whole rotten system is collapsing around them, they are pretty good at finding ways to keep things seeming normal for just a little longer to stay in power.
A survivor of the Argentine economic collapse, Fernando FerFAL Aguirre, wrote all about his experiences on various internet forums and blogs. He eventually published a book and has his own blog. He describes what its like to live in an economic collapse, and how in some ways life goes on while in other ways it doesnt.
Much of what survivalists in the states believe is turned on its head by his experiences.
Some of what he shared sheds a lot of light on the pistol vs. rifle argument:
(Excerpt) Read more at itakeliberty.com ...
Wrong! I remember seeing Frank Cannon out gun many snipers at long range with his snub-nosed 38 revolver.
unfortunately, most do not have his skill with said pistol...
I agree with this view 100%. Most everyone has a shotgun, but where is it located if BG’s kick in the door? The best weapon is the one on your person ready for action.
I’ll take both and throw in a shotgun just in case.
For 95% of citizens and situations, if you have a handgun, and the other guy has a rifle, you are in deep trouble.
Good point. That’s why it’s critical to always be armed or have a loaded firearm secreted away in each room.
I’m thinking that a good paint ball gun ought to get the job done. Am I wrong in this?
If the bad guy has a knife, I'll take the pistol.
If we're in an outdoor area, if it's open, I'll take the rifle, if it's wooded, it depends on the skill of the opponent.
Both have good use, and it depends on the situation which one is preferred.
You can hide a handgun if you need to, and most would need to as most do not live is rustic locations.
Walk down the stret with a rifle/shotgun and you are the new target, even of you are not the BG.
Rule #1: Learn to become proficient with a handgun.
I recall reading a study years ago while I was in the Navy that the mean battle range of a .45 calibre pistol was 1.5 inches. In other words it was a weapon of last resort (and also used for executions).
One can learn to shoot or teach some one to shoot a rifle much quicker that a pistol. Then there are 12 gauge shot guns. A weapon which is really hard to beat when seconds count in low light levels.
That being said, if one has used a pistol enough so that it is instinctive some amazing shots can be made under amazing conditions.
I have a hard time ceding credibility to a writer who never heard of Hurricane Katrina...it was in all the papers for a while. Was it a complete SHTF scenario? When the cops become looters, I'd say it's close enough.
It may not have been big news in Argentina.
In a civvy environment, even during SHTF, a pistol will be the first line of defense.
It will be concealed. It must be because our government masters will not trust you to carry around a rifle.
I’ve incorporated this into my SHTF plan as my primary, rather than a rifle, for that reason.
Argentina was one of the foreign countries that sent aid to the US for Katrina.
Watch out for those pointy iron rods and you will be A-OK.
Are 95% of all situations "conflict?"
But could he roll and come up firing like Mannix?
I’ve been in combat with a pistol and with a rifle. Give me a rifle any time.
As for home defense a shotgun is the only choise. It can kill an intruder dead and if you miss has a low probability of injuring or killing a neighbor with a round through the wall. Something that can’t be said of a .44 or even a .38 handgun.
Its time for a new industrial revolution concerning the handgun. Time to create a more lethal compact device, time to adopt modern technology concerning propellant and especially the bullets themselves.
Its time to create a handgun that is more deadly at extreme close range than any current assault rifle is at standoff distances.
Off the top of my head was that interesting device used in Minority Report that created a shock way and was apparently self loading not needing any ammunition, you just literally wound it up recharging it.
Where can I get one? Where can I get one? I Want THAT ! ;>)
I agree with you. The author is projecting total colapse of society on a national level and that is unlikely.
I am prepared for the scenario that you have proposed, local natural disaster. Katrina is a good example, LA riots, another. These are temporary situations that are probably more dangerous than total colapse.
What makes you think propellants and bullets are not modern?
Modern propellants are more smokeless, clean and efficient burning, and predicable than they’ve ever been. What current technology hasn’t been implemented?
Ditto for bullets. Uniformity in construction, weight, size. Optimized for accuracy, penetration and expansion.
Really, the metallic cartridge is at its apex using modern technology. Caseless is currently a no-go, telescoping cartridges are in development but the promise is waning.
A pistol, by its practical nature, will always be second to the rifle in firepower and accuracy..
The Fort Hood shooting is a perfect example of why ALL soldiers should be armed with a pistol at all times. Most times you just won’t carry a rifle, but you can always have a pistol handy.
In the event of a global banking collapse, there will be no help coming from outside; it will be every man for himself. My other concern would be an EMP attack on the US...a few years ago, I would have considered such a thing extremely unlikely, but we now have an administration doing everything in its power to increase our vulnerability...
You wanna know if Frank Cannon could “roll?”
Excellent view; fire arms are tools pure and simple. Each has a different usage, even if they over lap at times. Like every other tool, you use the one that best fits the situation. Saying you don't need to have, or learn to use one over another (an argument I hear quite frequently from a surprising array of people!?!) is like saying that you don't need a hammer in your tool box, because you can use a drill to pound in those pesky nail. It'll work if you bang long and hard enough; it won't be pretty, though.
I disagree with with too many uncertanties in the individual components required for operating a handgun or long rifle, mostly its the restrictions of being able to buy primers, powders, the cases and the bullets.
I reload and in the last year I have have had extreme difficulty finding my usual trusted tried components, and if I do the pricing is sky high. Everyone is aware of the empty shelves of reloading components in the last year. All the best of the best of the best is useless if you cannot get it.
With my background as a fabricator, machinist and gunsmithing I would gladly spend my retirement years developing a personal close in weapon that skips most of the traditional usage of bullets.
Nanny states, dictators in thieves and enemies of the State will shut off all firearm components, a gun is useless if all the barrel manufacturing facilities are padlocked or bulldozed.Or the primers have a shelf life of months.
Time to rethink, time to advance. Those that wish us harm can do so with basic off the shelf stuff and if we maintain a mindset that super technology will always win then we have lost half the battle. There can be simplicity with design and application, I’m not talking about going back to throwing rocks but I think the gun as we know has reached its apex, time to move along. Build something simpler, easier to use or to make.
I’ve been reloading for over 20 years and, while the components haven’t changed significantly, they’ve been constantly upgraded during that time.
The issue of component availability is an entirely different matter. I remember the primer shortage of 1993-1994 and today’s shortages are comparable. Pricing does suck, but that isn’t an issue of performance, either.
There’s already the MetalStorm weapon system from Australia. It’s currently a large weapon, but can be miniturized to some degree. I doubt it will sufficiently replace the standard cartridge because of cost and reloading issues.
After the metallic cartridge, projectile weapons might progress to metered gases/liquids but that’s too much complexity for what is really a simple tool. Ditto for magnetic “rail” weapons.
The simple metallic cartridge, in simplicity, reliability and availability will reign supreme for some time.
Exploding, poisonous bullets?
Situations where you need a gun, of course.
“Wrong! I remember seeing Frank Cannon out gun many snipers at long range with his snub-nosed 38 revolver.”
His karate was amazing too!
I love the TV and movie scenes where the hero takes a handgun and overcomes a half dozen assassins using full auto rifles. They can’t hit him with twenty rounds from a rifle but he knocks them off with one round from a handgun. It’s almost as much fun as the ones where the 110 pound model beats up a half dozen 200 pound martial artists.
You can’t take your rifle to work, or to the store etc. Even during a collapse such as in Argentina 2001, or for that matter, Sarajevo in the middle of the siege, people still have to go to work (to get money to buy food) and they need to buy food (in a store or a black market.)
95% of the time, it’s the pistol you will have on you. As ferfal says elsewhere in his book, while you are out fixing your fences etc, you will not have a rifle on your shoulder.
Ferfal has written the best and most practical survival guide yet.
“Its almost as much fun as the ones where the 110 pound model beats up a half dozen 200 pound martial artists.”
That isn’t real?
What are you going to do next...tell me James Cameron isn’t qualified to stop the oil leak? Sally Field isn’t an expert on farming? Where does it stop?
I will let you experts and professionals have your say, but I would not be alive today if it weren’t for my antique, outdated .45.
There were people fighting for the last food on the shelves of grocery stores last year during the snow storms. It seems that a simple nation-wide truckers' strike could do more damage to civilization than a nuclear weapon.
The best weapon is the one on your person ready for action.
Spot on!! The first rule of gun fighting is; bring a gun. The gun in your pocket is far more likely to save your life than the one in a closet.
Also, a small gun you carry EVERYWHERE is more likely to save your life than the high caliber, heavy pistol you leave at home just to run to the store when you are wearing short pants and a tee shirt because its 100 degrees outside.
“That being said, if one has used a pistol enough so that it is instinctive some amazing shots can be made under amazing conditions.”
That is true I can shoot a pistol but not well enough to brag on my skill. I have seen some who are amazing, I have one brother who used to pop pecans at thirty feet with a .22 revolver. He almost never missed. I am more in the Pepsi can category at that distance.