People who can’t shoot – anything.

Morosi For most of my life I have listened to people who "bitched" that they could not hit anything with the M1911A1 .45 caliber US automatic pistol.  I always shot "expert" with that gun.  So many people "bitched" about the .45 that the military got rid of it and replaced it at considerable expense with a fancy-dancy Italian designed Beretta 9 mm. I don’t know, but I would bet that the same kind of people can’t hit anything with that either.  Now, commercial manufacturers across the world are making all kinds of variants of the M1911A1 .45.  People who can shoot love them.  The picture, "Knocking out the Moros" is about the "birth" of the Army .45.

For most of my life I have listened to people "bitch" about the M16 rifle and now its lineal descendant the M4.  It’s a "toy," it jams, it breaks, etc.  Guess what.  You have to clean it.  A soldier in combat who has not cleaned his rifle today is a slacker.  I always shot "expert" with the M16 also.

What’s next? Laser rifles?  The same kind of people will "bitch" about them.  Some people just can’t shoot and they are not all in the Air Force.

That reminds me.  I need to buy another gun just to make myself feel good.  pl

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47 Responses to People who can’t shoot – anything.

  1. Neil Richardson says:

    Dear COL Lang,
    Those of us in armor had M3A1s before the Army upgraded to M4s in the 1990s. My father who’d been at the Iron Triangle with the 7ID in 1951 had sometimes used it as well. He had quipped that since the Army had to pay more salary thanks to the AVF, we had to make do with some hand-me-downs. Personally I didn’t mind it but parts used to bend (especially the folding stock) inside a turret if you weren’t careful.

  2. Walter Lang says:

    I was trained to be an armored officer at VMI before a fast talking infantrymen talked me out of it in appplying for a
    Regular commision.
    I preferred the M3 Grease Gun and carried it in preferennce to the Thompson. pl

  3. Mark K Logan says:

    What next? A no doubt very expensive version of the M4 that has a closed bolt but keeps cool enough to eliminate “cook off”.
    Well, whaddaya know..
    I suspect the maker is just drooling over any
    coverage that there are some complaints about the M4. Or perhaps just happy their marketing campaign
    is getting under way…
    I wonder what the Chinese are selling AK47’s for these days?

  4. kevin says:

    I personally own both a GI type 1911 and M4. No bitches or complaints here. The pizza pistol is a POS though….

  5. J says:

    re page 3 para’s 4-9:
    Within military circles there are M4 defectors. U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa was one of the carbine’s first customers. But the elite commando units soured on the M4; the rifle had to be cleaned too often and couldn’t hold up under heavy use.
    “Jamming can and will occur for a variety of reasons,” concluded an internal report written seven years ago by special operations officials but never published. “Several types of jams, however, are ‘catastrophic’ jams; because one of our operators could die in a firefight while trying to clear them.”
    Pointing to the report’s unpublished status, Colt has disputed its findings. The M4 has been continually improved over the years, said Keys, the company’s chief executive.
    Special Operations Command is replacing the M4s and several other rifles in its arsenal with FN Herstal’s SCAR, which comes in two models. One shoots the same 5.56mm round as the M4; the other fires a larger 7.62mm bullet and costs several hundred dollars more. Both SCARs can accommodate different-size barrels, allowing the weapons to be fired at multiple ranges.
    The SCARs are more accurate, more reliable and expected to last far longer than their predecessors, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Marc Boyd, a command spokesman.
    “Socom likes to be different,” said Keys of Colt, using the shortened name for the command. “They wanted something unique.”
    from what i understand, coburn’s office has gotten numerous complaints from personnel serving in iraq and afghanistan.
    and it’s like you said, for a weapon to work properly, requires the necessary cleaning that is a prerequisite for proper operation.

  6. Some people just can’t shoot and they are not all in the Air Force.
    That’s why I like my old Springfield, hinge-action 12 gauge with a hefty choke. “Qualifying” means learning to point and tap. Life’s easy.

  7. condfusedponderer says:

    I was a conscript in the German army. I was a pretty poor shot with the 9mm pistol I was issued. I was much better with the rifle, and really good with the machine gun. I liked about the latter that it was stable even in burst fire, thanks to it’s weight. The point about it is that this is that I am probably simply recoil shy, and lacked training.
    I have a read a little about the ‘dispute’ about the ‘best rifle for the US army’ and all that.
    The Colt M1911 is a mature pistol, and renowned for it’s accuracy. I have no doubt it works well. And I also don’t doubt that the .45 bullet has a greater ‘stopping power’ than the 9mm, if you hit the target. Then, the Beretta is a reliable weapon. I also have not heard of complaints about the 9mm’s effectiveness by the Wehrmacht, or many other subsequent users, or jokes by US soldiers of not being afraid of the 9mm because it just doesn’t hurt enough. Point? To use a gun successfully you need training, training, training.
    The whole stopping power debate sounds like a sales pitch to me, or like outright jingoism – that the all-american .45 is a sort of silver bullet against them Muslimiacs, was designed to kill Muslims (no joke, I did read that) and hey, the smart Marines still use the M-1911, unlike the corrupt army and so forth.
    Perhaps there are better cartridges than the 5,56mm. Probably. When I read the complaints about the 5,56 stopping power I get the impression they expect or desire the target must disintegrate after a hit.
    As for the M4 itself, also a mature design, there have been designed improvements over the original weapon, namely an improved gas system, that is said to substantially increase improve reliability. That is unsurprising. One would expect someone in 40 years to come up with something like that. I wonder about the resistance to improvement in that regard.
    What I always wonder about in the US is that apparently there is a lot of tinkering with existing designs, with incremental improvements using CNC machining and new materials, based on 40-50 year old designs. Where is the innovation?
    The new developments all seem to come from overseas. I do not think that it is an accident that the two main contenders for the new US battle rifle are Germany’s HK and Belgium’s FN Herstal. FN Herstal built the US’s machine guns. Beretta built the US service pistol, and the other contenders would have been the Swiss-German SIG or Austria’s Glock (who refused to participate because the US idea of contracting would have generated a US competitor selling his pistol). Is this already a sihn of weakness in the US industrial base?

  8. Walrus says:

    Well Col. Lang, maybe you just hold your mouth right because I couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a 1911, yet I was in the shooting team at school from age 14, I’ve demonstrated M60 to 1500 yards on the bipod and was battalion range conducting officer.
    My best friend was the 7.62 FN SLR. I thought the M16 was a flimsy toy which was so weak it had that bolt assist nonsense lever. I did think it was pretty good as a sub machine gun and I carried it a few times instead of the rotten Australian F1 (9mm NATO) SMG that replaced the beloved Owen gun.
    In my old age I shoot .308 (7.62) and .223 (5.56) and have more respect for the smaller round these days.

  9. Stromcrow says:

    I sure do hear you loud and clear on this one.
    I can’t speak to the M4 issue from any direct experience, since I’ve always been a civilian. But I can speak to the M1911 issue. From direct experience. If I could only have one pistol, it would be that one.
    I really don’t understand why it “can’t” shoot with more than sufficient accuracy. All this takes is care and practice, just like any other skill worth learning.
    If pressed, I would have to say that it was considerably easier for me to develop a reasonable level of competence with the 1911 than it was, for example, to develop a far lower level of competence at reading technical Russian. At just about the same time in life, too. And very many of the Russian vocabulary words were cognates. And I did not have all that much time to spend at the range. Graduate work is like that, especially when you’re facing prelims.
    If it’s worth learning, you’re going to have to work at it. This is true across the board, for everything.

  10. Alex says:

    That reminds me. I need to buy another gun just to make myself feel good.
    W. Patrick Lang: American.

  11. Tyler says:

    I love my Paraordnance 1911. I also liked the M4, but its a shame the X7 project got scuttled in the name of “Jointness” because all the services can’t agree on a rifle.
    The Army needs something different from the Air Force, which needs… And so on. I don’t understand why the new blue is “one size fits all”.

  12. Richard Whitman says:

    I had terrible trouble qualifying with the 45cal M1911A1 over 50 years ago. I did better hitting the concrete abutment in front of the target instead of the target itself. Since then I have become proficient with a 22 Ruger and a 38S&W Combat Masterpiece. Recently I acquired a 9mm Beretta 92F Military style sidearm. I cannot hit the bullseye with it. At 25 yards it looks like a shotgun pattern.Had the weapon checked by a competent gunsmith. Its OK. You are probably right. Those of us who cannot hit anything with the 45, will not do better with the Beretta.

  13. TomB says:

    Aw look, forget even the huge number of guys who have reported an inability to shoot that ugly old .45 and look at the huge discrepancies in people’s ability to write cursive.
    The problem is simply the enormous differences in the architecture of the human hand and arm, plus then also the huge differences in fine motor skills and etc. While of course you can somewhat experience this to a much lesser degree generally with long guns too, you can pick up one handgun and it just somehow “feels” right and another just feels like a misshapen chunk of junk. And yet a friend may have the exact opposite experience. And look at the differences that can exist in the hands of even a bunch of men otherwise built alike. Can be huge.
    Maybe the solution is different styles being offered to servicemen and women in the same caliber. Even in a .45. I have no doubt just even making it less ugly would help too.

  14. lina says:

    are you clinging to guns and religion again?
    i’ll stick with lattes and volvos, thank you very much.

  15. Will says:

    it’s a tradeoff b/n accuracy and jamming
    stamped vs. machined parts
    i own a south american manufactured colt 45. a llama

  16. Green Zone Cafe says:

    The holographic laser sights fitted on U.S. infantry M4s now are amazing. A one-inch rectangular sight picture showing the red dot on where the bullet goes. No need to close both eyes when sighting.
    I am one of those who couldn’t hit things reliably with the M1911 and did much better with the M9. I think it was because of the better sights of the M9.

  17. Montag says:

    The Smithsonian Magazine did an article on the .45 pistol when it was retired and of course some were added to their collection. One Army officer quoted in the article agreed with the officer in the picture: “I don’t need this thing often, but when I do I need it BAD.”
    This debate is as old as the hills. In 16th Century England there was a truly vicious debate over whether to replace the longbow with the handgun. Both sides put forward their own areas of strength without admitting their areas of weakness. It wasn’t until the Privy Council issued its Ordinance of 1595 that the issue was finally settled. Archers would no longer be enrolled in the Trained Bands as soldiers, only handgunners.
    As for laser rifles, fuggetaboutit! Science Fiction films which show soldiers of the far future using slug-throwers know their stuff. It’s very easy for the internal mirrors to get out of alignment under “field conditions,” not to mention the major problem of carrying around its own power source. In this argument the conservatives have the trump card of practicality.

  18. condfusedponderer says:

    I think a third of the ‘M4 reliability debate‘ is about marketing and one third about institutional inertia and the last third about a real problem. And certainly, every arms bearing American appears to have an personal opinion and experience with firearms, leading to instantaneous and infinite second guessing of service requirements, even when they are sound.
    And then there is national vanity. The XM8, the contender with the SCAR and the HK M416 rifles, and for a brief while the Army’s future rifle, is simply a ‘spaced up’ German Army’s (and Air Force’s and Navy’s) HK G36, because the US Army couldn’t possibly do as the Norwegians and everybody else and just buy the rifle. It had to be Americanised first, at great expense. That’s just silly, even though the sums wasted are pathetic when compared to the price tag for even a single fighter aircraft.

  19. patrick theros says:

    My cousin retired as an officer in the Greek Army with lots of combat experience. The Greeks had the m1911 as the standard sidearm since since 1948 and the Thompson and Sten guns as the standard issue “carbine” for non-coms and officers. They also had the sten gun inside tanks and other vehicles.
    His comment when they shifted to a 9mm smaller pistol and to a 5.56mm carbine. “Why fix it when it isn’t broken?” The M1911 is a little heavier as was the Thompson and hit harder than the replacements. The Sten is much more reliable but doesn’t hit as hard. They both killed as effectively as their replacements. Ammo was no more expensive. With simple but disciplined maintenance, they operated just fine. On balance he thought the change was a waste of money and unnecessary.

  20. Maureen L. says:

    From personally viewing the number of deer hanging head down from our backyard trees per season, & squirrel skins drying out back, brother Pat is by any standards a superb shot w/a rifle.
    Another childhood memory is of him meticulously cleaning rifles @ our kitchen table in Maine, along w/whichever uncles had been hunting that day.

  21. mike says:

    Over a 20 year carrer I always shot high expert with the M-1, the M-14, and eventually the M-16. Could never match that with the .45 but managed to squeak out a low to mid sharpshooter qualification with it every year.
    I did love that pistol though. With its low muzzle velocity and the high humidity at the Coastal Carolina pistol ranges you could actually see the rounds traveling downrange in July or August. Not the bullets themselves of course, but a V-shaped shock wave as the round went through the dense air. You could not see your own rounds. But if you were standing to the side you could see it clearly. It probably also had something to do with being at sea level.

  22. Jimmy says:

    WRT the .45, the big problem was that they were getting worn out by the late 70s. The question then came down to: buying new parts to fix the .45s (new slides, barrels, etc), OR buy a new pistol.
    It might have been cheaper to buy just parts, but of course that doesn’t give you as much money in the budget game.
    As for the M4s, the Small Arms Review( ) just concluded an interview series with James Sullivan, a co-designer of the M-16. In it, he said that the M-16 system was designed to work optimally with the longer barrel of the M-16. When they chopped it down to the 14.5in of the M-4, the gas system does not work as good, and you will get more “failure to eject”. The primary reason, Sullivan said, was that the gas comes back too early, thus not giving enough time for the brass case to cool down and contract from the heat of the firing. Therefore, the brass, being expanded, sticks to the barrel, causing failure to eject.

  23. DeLudendwarf says:

    A serious question:
    At what distance is the M4 consistently lethal, if you have a laser sight, scope,bipod, or whatever. And a competent user?
    I’ve seen numbers all over the place.

  24. Nancy K says:

    I really don’t want to shoot anything, at least not anything alive. We have a gun because my husband thinks it is a good idea. Since we live in the suburbs and it is a hand gun, I don’t think it is really going to decrease our food costs.
    Having said this as a left leaning,vegetarian, Californian Democrat, I believe Americans have the right to own a gun.

  25. avedis says:

    My wife, who is 5’7” and 124 pounds loves her .45 Kimber and she’ll put 7 out of 7 in the center of mass of a silouhette target all day long. I’ve never understood the arguments against the .45 acp either.
    Silimalry, I found both the M16 A1 and A2 to be fine rifles; quite accurate and reliable when properly maintained (like any rifle requires) and with magazines properly inspected and properly reassembled (the military has this weird habit of making people dissamble weapons and related accessories to an extent that seems past the point of diminishing returns, IMO. This causes damage to magazines and/or discombobulated reassembly and all of that is a major source of failures to feed). I think much of the criticism of the M16 and/or its ammunition is the product of the hot stove league watching too many grade B action movies – you know, where grenades flip 2 1/2 ton trucks in the air, humans are blown through the air by a single rifle or pistol round, etc………

  26. anna missed says:

    There’s a lot to admire about the M16 (& probably the later M4)- that also account for what folks dislike about it. Small, light, and toy like are when used in its designed context – combat – are flexible and formidable assets.
    Was offered a 45 when I carried an M60, and turned it down because of the weight. But if you really want to talk about an inferior infantry weapon, then look no farther than the M60. A real piece of crap, that.

  27. DeLudendwarf says:

    Back in the late 50’s early 60’s, I knew a Virgina state trooper who hunted squirrel with a standard issue .38 special, 5″ barrel. He made his own loads, so I am not sure what type of projectile he was using for this.
    He thought it sporting to attempt to “bark” the squirrel.
    He was successful most often and I dined on many “barked” squirrels.
    Link To The Technique.

  28. Publius says:

    From another old soldier: I love the M1911. Was always able to shoot it well, and—something I haven’t seen here—it may have something to do with having bigger hands. I’ve heard that folks with smaller hands had more of a problem with it. I don’t know about that, but I do know I liked it a lot.
    I’m a guy who spent a career in the Army from the 60s to the 80s and I’ve never fired an M16. Bet I’m one of the few who can say that, but what it also means is I can’t judge it. I have heard more negative than positive, most of it having to do with the weapon not taking as much abuse as, e.g., the M1. I did qualify expert with the M1, M14, M1 carbine and .38 snub nose (try that one).
    In Vietnam, I carried variously a .45, .38, carbine, shotgun and Thompson. The Thompson—off the books of course—was hands-down the finest individual weapon I ever had. At least for my purposes. IOTM it could be very useful in Iraq. It is made for combat in cities. Why did they ever get rid of it? That was a rhetorical question of course.

  29. taters says:

    Wesley Clark beat Colin Powell in an officer’s target shooting competion at Ft. Carson – Powell had a new 9mm Beretta and Clark the 1911 Colt .45.

  30. Cold War Zoomie says:

    From personally viewing the number of deer hanging head down from our backyard trees per season, & squirrel skins drying out back, brother Pat is by any standards a superb shot w/a rifle.
    With all due respect, the true measure of an outdoors man is the number of these flushed into a burlap sack during the wee hours of the morning…
    Wily Little Critters
    And the number of these mounted on the wall…
    Watch Out for That Rack – It’s Lethal!

  31. Montag says:

    Here in Texas Game Wardens will set up automated deer decoys within shooting range of highways to entrap hunters who are too gung ho to obey the law against shooting from highways. Usually when they cite a hunter the malefactor tends to become belligerent, but not in this case. For these trigger-happy dolts the worst punishment is to have their hunting buddies find out that they shot a fiberglass deer. Some people can be so unforgiving . . . and unforgetting.

  32. condfusedponderer says:

    it reminds me of a renowned prize of hunters in Southern Germany, the Wolpertinger.

  33. Walter P. Lang says:

    You may perhaps have heard of the wily Jackelope? pl

  34. Neil Richardson says:

    To DeLudendwarf:
    My boy did his first tour as a PL with the 15MEU last year and thought a lot of the M4 controversy had more to do with personnel than a structural design flaw. The USMC now mandates that company grade/ field grade (up to 0-5s) and SNCOs carry M4s. He didn’t think much of the M9s but he felt a lot of the pistols had worn out parts. Same with SAWs and when he could he tried to scrounge up an extra M240 team when he went out on patrols. As far as the “effective range” of M4 is concerned, the answer seems “it depends.” The question probably depends a lot on the usually rancorous debates on 5.56 vs 7.62 as well as .45 vs 9mm. From his experience with the 15MEU since they were doing a lot of house-to-house search in al-Anbar so close quarter battle requirements would mean that the weapon’s reliability and lesser recoil meant more than the lethality of a 556 round vs 762 IMHO. It seems most know how to double tap center mass properly at 250 to 300 range with enhanced optics. Whether that’s enough to knock a man down probably depends on the size as well as whether he’s wearing some sort of armor.
    I admit I know far less about small unit tactical considerations than I should but for those with infantry background in RVN, did you have as much trouble with CAR-15s? Despite its reputation, I never had a problem with M16A1s during quals, but for those of us in armor we worried more about the M68 main gun and M2 .50 cals which were splendid weapons (and M3A1s that were just worn out). One final point I’d like make is that M4s are carbines. In WWII and in Korea a lot of people were complaining about the range and lethality of M1 and M2 carbines. In fact some have claimed that the rounds had trouble penetrating ChinCom infantry who were wearing quilted winter clothing. Granted in the age of counterinsurgency, the distinction between combat arms and support is blurred but I wonder how much of this M4 debate has to do with keeping weapons clean? I recall the 507th Maintenance Co. had jammed M2s which I found remarkable considering they knew they were going into a fight after crossing the LD.

  35. FDChief says:

    As a medic, my only issue with the M1911 was the weight compared to the small capacity of the magazine. Seven rounds wasn’t much time between magazine changes, and the rounds themselves are heavy as hell for a pistol round.
    But I’d have traded the thing for an AK-47 in a heartbeat. Pistols are nice toys, but as the commentor above noted – if you need one in combat you’re in BAD trouble.

  36. condfusedponderer says:

    I think that it depends on where you fight. The Brits on the Falklands happily traded their old Sterling SMG for captured FN FAL that were far more suitable for the vast open plains down there. I don’t think you want to carry that long, bulky thing, however good a rifle it is, through urban combat (or in the jungle), that apparently requires less range, and that suggests a handier SMG-ish weapon with relatively controllable full automatic fire.
    I fired the G3 on full auto, a fine rifle. I didn’t hit much, but probably posed a hazard to low level flight over the base. It was fun, we called it the ‘Mexican unloading’.

  37. condfusedponderer says:

    I first heard of the ‘Jackelope’ here on SST, and you can take credit for so contributing to the education of a foreign audience on american wildlife. I myself am a notorious ignoramus – it needed Bugs Bunny to introduce me to the Doo-Doo Bird, the Tasman Devil and the skunkus amourus francus.
    I certainly will take care to add a Jackelope to my future trophy collection, once I have tracked down a Wolpertinger.

  38. Cold War Zoomie says:

    Hmmmm. Someone’s had a few too many liters of Hacker-Pschorr before the hunt.

  39. condfusedponderer says:

    as the thread has already moved to the less serious thing in life, let’s return it to the important things. Like beer.
    I consider beer a distinct part of German food (with bread, sausages and ham) and, to my great delight, the exploration of my country in this respect never ceases to surprise and amaze me.
    While Hacker Pschorr is a distinguished brewery (and in my view probably Munich’s best), what the people in Munich order when they drink beer is usually “A’ Helles!” (a beer light in colour [only], and Hacker Pschorr’s [and Munich’s] standard – Munich’s bottled favourite being Augustiner Helles; highly recommended). Hacker Pschorr’s other beers, especially their ‘Starkbier’, ‘Maibock’ and ‘Bockbier’ and also their ‘Weissbier’ are excellent as well, just (partly quite) different. The Oktoberfest beer is a special brew, only brewed for the Oktoberfest, and not available for the rest of the year. The strongest beer would be the beer brewed in Munich for the ‘Starkbieranstich’ on the Nockerlberg on Ash Wednesday. It is in strength like wine, and sweet (like Bavarian beers in general) and quite nutritive (think of drinking bread; nevertheless, it is no reason not to eat, in fact, not eating in this setting is an act of supreme folly, for practical reasons as much as for culinary ones). Considering the fact that it is served in 2 litre glasses (4-1/2 pints) – the ‘Maß’ – one doesn’t need to wonder about the inevitable consequences of it’s consumption.
    Thinking of it, it could serve as an explanation for the sightings of Wolpertingers. But then, the phenomenon is neither seasonal, nor limited to Munich, indeed, it appears to be more at home in rural areas, which, thinking of it, probably have intriguing beers as well. If that isn’t a route worth exploring … who knows, maybe I’ll find myself a Wolpertinger.

  40. ole says:

    Having been trained with both the M1 Garand (Danish Army, 1992 – better believe it 🙂 ), the HK G3 and the CA Colt (Diemaco) C7 Flat Top, I’ll take the M1 anytime for range shooting with the built in iron sights; if I can get a weapon that isn’t completely worn out that is.
    As far as practical infantry purposes goes, I’ll take the C7 each and every time. The G3 is heavy and sports a pretty hefty recoil kick due to the weight of the lock being kicked back and forth way above the weapons’ center of balance.
    At 50 meters I’ve emptied a 20 shot clip at full auto with the C7 and managed to keep 15 shots on a 3/4 full silhouette target – that’s just plain impossible with the G3. What’s the use of stopping/penetration power, if you don’t actually hit the target?
    As far as jams go, in my experience the C7 isn’t any worse than the G3 with it’s recoil loading lock. You can leave the G3 pretty much unattended for some time (better clean the rollers in the lock though), but you better hold on to the god dammed thing when you squeeze the trigger or else … the C7 will merrily reload if the gas channel and the chamber is clean, even if you don’t hold on to it as if clinging to a life raft in the middle of the Atlantic.
    As far as pistols go I really don’t have an opinion, the Danish armed forces use the P M/49 Neuhausen, identical to the SIG P210 – and it’s a wonderful weapon. Never been close to a M1911.

  41. ole says:

    CP: The G3 in full auto is a lot of noise and no effect. And a sore cheek.
    1st shot might be on target, 2nd shot a near miss – from there on you’re absolutely right Re: Low level flight 🙂

  42. Cold War Zoomie says:

    CP – My three days spent at Oktoberfest in 1988 are a blur. Chances are I enjoyed at least 75% of the beers you mention. For some reason Hacker-Pschoor has stuck in my mind.
    I wonder if there is some natural law to the effect that the longer men talk the more likely the conversation will settle onto booze, women, firearms, sports, gambling, or grilled meats.

  43. Carl Osgood says:

    Years ago, in the Air Force, I tried to qualify on the S&W 38 prior to going overseas. The gun they gave me to shoot with had had so many rounds put through it that parts were literally falling off of it. As you can probably guess, i didn’t qualify.

  44. dano says:

    If you believe Dr. Martin Fackler’s scientific studies (see equation below) on stopping power, then the .45ACP has about 67% more than the 9mm. The .45 round is considerably slower, but it is much bigger and heavier. Some people choose not to believe in Fackler’s studies. Of course this doesn’t matter much to the pistol shooter who is interested in accuracy, under the theory of “First hit wins”. I’ve seen shooters who were superb with one or the other; and have seen shooters who sucked with either. It’s not the machine as much as it is the operator.
    Stopping Power (SP) = momentum (mV) times cross-sectional area (A), or SP=mVA
    With rifles the operator is also just as important, but some technical differences emerge. The 5.56mm rifle family (M-4/M-16) have higher velocity and flatter trajectories at short ranges (out to approx. 300 yds), and also have considerably lower recoil than western .30cal (7.62NATO or .30-06). The 5.56 thus are also easier to shoot, so they can be more accurate for the vast majority of barely trained riflemen who come from urban/suburban backgrounds with little training. But .30cal family has a much greater range (out to 1km) and still has stopping power even at that range. But they require training, skill and experience for the longer ranges. And even at the shorter ranges they require more training than the M-4/M-16. The latter are smaller and much cheaper to manufacture too. Though it has less bang for the buck, for mass warfare and mass production the M-16 family is a better buy – less bang but less bucks. (The M-16/M-4 family needs about as much care as the M1/M1A family, so that’s a wash.)
    Bias: My sensei was a Korea/Lebanon Marine so most of my training and field work is with the .45 (Gov’t and Commander), and those are what I prefer. The 1911 is much more comfortable than the Beretta M-9 which hammers my hand too much with its sharp recoil. (And don’t get me started on Glock – combat Tupperware.) Most of my buddies prefer the .45, but they’re mostly old guys too. I think preference depends on what one trains on when young.

  45. judasnoose says:

    I hate the balance of a typical .45. It’s nice and light to carry, but the firing chamber seems off-balance to me. Whenever I fire a round, my whole arm flies upward with recoil.
    By contrast, a nice heavy .44 Magnum revolver also has a high firing chamber, but oddly enough, a very heavy gun always shoots more accurately for me. The recoil drives straight up my arm and the whole pistol stays right on target.
    Of course, no one would mistake me for a skilled shootist.

  46. jon Stephens says:

    I loathe the equalization of a normal .45. It’s decent and light to convey, however the terminating chamber appears to be reeling to me. At whatever point I fire a round, my entire arm flies upward with pull back.
    On the other hand, a decent substantial .44 Magnum pistol additionally has a high discharging load, however strangely, an overwhelming weapon consistently shoots all the more precisely for me. The backlash drives straight up my arm and the entire gun remains spot on.

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