Although it is barely mentioned in the artice, I AM impressed with the fact that it mentioned something that has been known to the U.S. military for some fifty years, and studied in gross detail and with amazingly high subject numbers. But you seldom hear this in the hyperbola of "wound ballistics" debates. That 'something' is the simple realization that human beings do not handle firearms with the same proficiency under stress as they do on the gun range. In fact, the difference is astronomical. What the military, in particular, the U.S. Army discovered was that people who can effectively aim and shoot a handgun in real combat are exceedingly rare, and those that hit their targets are probably just lucky. Their marksman skills have little to do with it. Only long guns seem to compensate enough for the stresses of a firefight to allow reliable hits with small arms. Even conditioning doesn't seem to help much, save for the most ridiculous cases of ammunition expenditure in training. This is precisely why U.S. Navy SEALS expend so much ammunition in live fire training. It has little to do with actual marksmanship, and everything to do with reflexive conditioning. This training approach was a direct result of knowledge of past firefights. The short of the story is, if you wanna live, don't use a handgun AT ALL. Better have a long gun. Indeed, fragmentation weapons take it one step further, greatly enhancing the odds of incapacitation under mortal stress. But for police, carrying long guns routinely should be seriously considered.
The short of the story is, if you wanna live, don't use a handgun AT ALL. Better have a long gun.
The reason most don't hit with a handgun is under stress most don't look at their handgun sights. They just pull the gun, aim in a general direction, and fire. Spray the area with bullets and you'll hit your target right? WRONG!
I dry fire train several times a week with a handgun and one of my biggest habits is to line up my sights on my target before pulling the trigger. I know if I continually condition this into my head during stress I will do it.
If one wants to be effective with a handgun they need to train like this. If you don't line your sights up on your target, you will not hit your target. Obviously there are exceptions for very close quarters when you can't get your handgun out in time to aim. Different techniques should be used in these scenarios.
How can one carry a long gun into public? If you want to armed in public, a good concealable semi-automatic handgun is your best choice for a defensive weapon. Good handguns are effective weapons if you frequently train correctly and know how to use one.
To: boltCutter; harpseal; sneakypete; river rat
Most of the VN era real deal SEALs I knew in the 80s agreed with you. Most thought that pistols were pretty useless in combat except for "the final bullet" to avoid capture (that's a joke, no seals surrendered or were captured in VN) or with suppressors to kill dogs (hush puppies).
As I recall, most said "I'd take two more thirty round magazines of 5.56 over a pistol any day. If you're down to a pistol against people with rifles, you are SCREWED.
Everything weighs somethinng, and a pistol is big chunk of iron to haul into battle, compared to the 60 rounds of M-16 ammo it kicks off your web belt. That's just what I was always told, I was never in combat.
posted on 02/28/2003 1:46:20 PM PST
by Travis McGee
(----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
But for police, carrying long guns routinely should be seriously considered.
No thanks, I'd rather not have our police forces looking like Rambo wannabes or mexican federales even if they are.
posted on 03/04/2003 11:55:40 PM PST
(Take charge of your destiny, or someone else will)
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