Ton’s Gunz….. not talking about my biceps

I have done two posts on guns, both were a practical intro to firearms on the cheap, I hope. This will be about some of my guns, and what I think is a much better package then a combat rifle or shotgun and a pistol( though those will do the job)

I will start off with pistols. FBI research shows 9mm, .40 & .45 in a statistical tie for most effective pistol calibers. I believe .40 edges out the other two, but does so with in the margin of error. I haven’t looked at that report in a long while and don’t plan on it either. The results are close enough that any of those three rounds are good choices. On top of that .38 and .357’s have been getting the job done for a long, long time. Something like 1902 for the .38 and 1934(I think) for the .357. Each round fell out of favor based on the limits of revolvers round capacity vs a lack of performance. You literally cannot go wrong with any of these 5 calibers. All the big name brands make great guns. A Colt, Smith and Wesson or Ruger revolver will last you a life time. I beat a Charter Arm’s .44 to death when I was a kid, but it was a damn fine gun fun the money and didn’t deserve the abuse. For semi autos again you cannot go wrong with the big names; Glock, S&W M&P, XD, H&K, Sig if you have the money… They are all great fire arms.
I carry an XDM, Kel Tech or a Ruger LCP all in 9mm. The XDM’s and Ruger’s have CrimsonTrace lasers on them. The smaller pocket guns make it easy to conceal. Recently I had to play dress up for some formal events. The Ruger in an ankle holster ended up being the best carry choice. Slimmer then the Kel Tech and carrying the XDM would have required leaving the jacket on all night. I sweat like a pig in August when I have a suit/ tux on. It’s nice to have options. In the past I have carried…. Well lots of things. Colt 1911’s, Ruger SPS101’s in .357, Colt detective in .38…. Never once felt out gunned. A while back I cut my pistol collection to the bone because it things were becoming difficult to manage. Keeping track of the guns and calibers and ammo was taking up to much time. The kicker was finding a box of .32 ammo in my undershorts drawer and not remembering owning a .32, sending me on a 2 hour quest to find the .32. It was a nice Berretta .32. . I consolidated on shotguns and rifles as well for the same reasons and around the same time.

I settled on 9mm as my basic carry round because #1 the already mentioned FBI research; #2 ammo cost, making it cheaper to train and store ammo and #3 faster times on the pistol qual course. Less recoil means quicker shots and speed kills; #4 more rounds is always better then less. I sold most of my older pistols and the ammo but kept a few that have sentimental value to me. I have a 1858 Remington, with the family rumor being it belonged to an ancestor who rode with Col Mosby; a pair of Colt 1911’s, one belonging to my grandfather, the other my father; a Colt Python with an 8 inch barrel; Ruger Vaquero in .357 (want to do cowboy action shooting one day and again I got a great price on it);a Thompson Contender( Encore actually but folks know the Contender name better) with a couple different barrels because it is fun to shoot rifle rounds out of a pistol and to have a pistol you need a scope for and lastly….. .22 pistols. I have Browning and Ruger competition .22’s and a Ruger threaded for a suppressor, with a mini red dot on it. I also have a custom built 9mm that is threaded for a suppressor with a mini red dot. Not sure what to say about any of these. I love them all. I have only shot the Remington once, with an expert in antique firearms but it is prominently displayed in my house. The9mm’s are carry guns, but XDM’s are the only semi auto pistols I have ever picked up and wanted to shoot. I rarely shoot the 1911’s. Grew up shooting them and they are iconic but not a joy to shoot like the XDM. The Colt Python is the best shooting of all my pistols but at $1800 it fucking ought to be. I think they run about $2200 now. I also have a .44 magnum (Ruger SuperRedhawk) I only own those three revolvers these days. Mostly I shoot the .22’s. They are fun, cheap and don’t bug the neighbors.

I use to have shotguns by the tons but I consolidated here as well. I own a coach gun (short double barrel shotgun), and a lever action shot gun, because I like the guns vs any tactical advantages etc.. I use a Remington 11-87 for my shotgun hunting needs. It is easy to change out the barrels on the 11-87 so there is no need to have more than one shotgun for my various hunting needs (yet I own 2). One shot gun with a rifled barrel for deer (took a deer at 176 yards with this set up), a longer bird barrel and a turkey barrel covers all my hunting needs for less cash then three different shotguns. Tactically I use 870 Remington’s or theor 11-87’s with extended tube mag, ghost rings, and shell carrier. Simple and effective. I have 5, and just recently sold my last Mossberg.

Riffles…. Where to begin? ….. Barrett model 82a1 in .50. “Thanks” to someone else’s divorce I got a great price on it. Some UH60 pilot out @ Simmons Army Airfield. I reckon he rarely fired it. I get ammo from an Army friend who takes it off the range. I rarely shoot it and think it’s of limited tactical use in my AO but it makes a semi frequent appearance at work and I feel it’s important to have the tools I use down range here at the house to keep my skill set up. I will probably sell this rifle if I don’t go back down range in the next three years. I have a Remington 700 in .338 Lupua …. But this one is tuned the fuck up. It is one of two rifles I have where I buy ammo custom built to the rifle. Might also sell it if I don’t go back down range. Less sure about this rifle then the Barrett. Next is a Remington 700 in .308. Tuned up of course and this is the other rifle I buy custom built ammo for. This is the most expensive rifle I have. I hunt with another Remington 700 in .308; as well as one in .270. Notice that trend with Remington 700’s? If you ever want to ask what type of rifle I suggest….. Course there are a lot of other brands out there. My father has a shit ton of Ruger rifles and they are fine weapons. When I was a kid and broke I used a Savage and have no complaints but Remington 700’s are the most common sniper rifle in the USA, military and LEO(or was last time I checked). They aren’t all that costly to get into and are easily tuned, but you can get into a Ruger or Savage for less money. 700’s are super common and gunsmiths will be familiar with the rifle. I have three lever action rifles a . 22, a 30/30 and a .45-70. All three are Marlins. I love the power of the big bore .45-70. Rumor has it the round was developed to kill grizzly bears. I have had the .22 since I was 8. There is something satisfying about working the action of a lever action rifle. I have taken a few deer with the 30/30 and a couple of pigs with the .45-70. That round takes the starch right out of a pissed off 400 pound hog. Reality is I could do the same job with a shotgun and deer slug. I also have a pair of Ruger 10/22’s. Those are .22 rifles. I have them set up fairly well, adjustable M4 style stocks so my nieces and nephews can shoot them. I shoot them pretty damn often myself. I have AK 47’s out the you know what. I only have one with any money invested in it. I picked up a couple AK 74’s over the last few years. Not a bad rifle but I am not into the Soviet Surplus stuff to much myself. Great weapons for what they are, not my bag or 1st choice. Same with the Mosin Nagants I have. Mostly I keep them around because they cost me nothing and who knows when I’ll have to arm a couple of platoons’ worth of folks? AR15’s, I have them. One with a short barrel, select fire and a suppressor. A friend of mine built this for me at cost. Otherwise I think it would be cost prohibitive to me. Most of my AR’s are Colts, though I have a pre ban Bush Master that is still going strong. My favorite is the Ruger SSR 556. It is the most accurate out box weapon I have ever purchased. Which is why it’s my favorite. I am pretty spun up about accuracy, way more than required to be an effective hunter or to defend yourself effectively. Main battle rifles in .308 are next. The 1st one I picked up was an old CETME for like $500, including some gun smithing to clean up the action. Once that was done, it has been a great weapon. At the time mags for it were a dollar and I could walk off the range with all the .308 ammo I could carry. I have two FN FAL’s built from kits; an AR 10, by Armalite which I might sell and use the money to buy a Ruger SSR 762; a Springfield Arms SOCOM “Scout” with an Eotech; traditional M1A1 (civilian models of the M14) My M1A1 is pretty well tuned up and has a suppressor. The 700 and M1A1 are big deals to me as they are the primary work tools. I have an M1 Garand as well.

Here’s where things get to be over the top in most folks minds; ammo and magazines. A few years back I ordered a pallet of AK 47 ammo, and one of military surplus 7.62×51. “They” changed the laws/ regulations on shipping and you can no longer do this, or so I am told. I set aside 10% of my pay for ammo purchases. I already mentioned how I made a sofa( more like a love seat) out of boxes of .308 ammo. I no longer have the sofa, but I don’t have an “assault rifle” or a main battle rifle and don’t have 100 full magazines for it. I have over three hundred, 30 round mags for my AR 15’s. Basically when I show up to a shooting school, I don’t have to reload any mags. I have a closet dedicated to shot gun slugs. It’s a hallway closet so it’s not particularly large. Most of the ammo I store is cheap bulk ammo. I don’t keep much match grade or hunting ammo on hand. I have maybe 5k in 9mm ammo. Otherwise I’d keep about 1k of 9mm on hand. I have about that in match grade .38 and .357 ammo for the Python.

Military ammo creates more pressure and velocity then the same caliber civilian ammo. For the typical shooter, this is a non issue, but I don’t risk it since I shoot often. I do 100rounds a week out of my Remington 700. Mostly simple .308 rounds but I do break out the high dollar stuff every so often. I run maybe 3 mags every two weeks or so out of an AR and maybe 50 rounds every two weeks out of my XD and 20 or so rounds of birdshot every two weeks. That’s my ideal at least. Otherwise its .22 shooting for fun and whichever rifle I plan on using to hunt. I’ll be back to instructing next month and will get all my tactical rifle/ pistol training in there on someone else’s dime.

A number of firearms I own would be pointless for the typical shooter. In fact any of my tuned riles would be over kill. Optics are costly too. I figure a man would do just fine with two pistols, a large frame “combat” pistol and a small pocket pistol in the same caliber. I will always recommend the 9mm for reasons already listed, but any of the main 5 will work and have their advantages. Always use the best self defense ammo you can get your hands on and that your pistol feeds well. Use ballistic tips or good ol ball ammo during the winter if you live up north. The extra layer of clothes can fill the hollow point and keep it from expanding. Penetration counts for more than expansion…. That sounds vaguely naughty doesn’t it? A Remington 700 in .308 or .270 would cover most men’s hunting/ long distance shooting needs @ their skill level. If you want to shoot out past 300 yards or so, the .308 is a better option. I hate the recoil in the .270, much more like a punch then a push, so that is a factor as well. The .270 weighs less and is a smaller weapon, which is nice in the scrubby brushy swampy areas I hunt. Everything is a trade off. A Savage Arms in either of those calibers will be good to go as well. As always I don’t want men thinking they have to gun up like I am to see themselves and their beloveds through the zombie apocalypse or fill the freezer. Personally I think ammo storage is more important than gun selection. In a “battle rifle” I will always recommend the AR in 5.56 1st. Mostly because of training cost and recoil management. The AR uses a 30 round mag and it will take 5-7 rounds to kill a guy in close quarters combat (typically) allowing you to engage 4-6 tangos on a mag( don’t do this). My SOCOM has a 20 round mag and will take 3-5 rounds to drop a tango in CQB allowing you to engage….. 4-6 tangos per mag. Same same on that and you will reacquire the target much quicker with the 5.56. I am a controlled pair kind of man meaning, acquire the target, pull the trigger, reacquire, pull the trigger. Recoil with a 5.56 with barely take your barrel off target, given the size of the average mans torso; you’ll stay on target the whole time. The SOCOM has the advantage in longer distance shooting, but again that takes a particular skill set and practice. Most men won’t have the cash or time to develop that skill set. Which isn’t going to be a lethal liability when the EBT card stops working; you will do well enough if you always take into account your own liabilities in skills, tactics, technology etc. when you do your reckonings. In shotguns I would suggest getting a semi automatic Remington or Mossberg. I prefer Remington’s because I find tactical reloads easier but both are fine shotguns. I suggest semi auto over pump because rookies short stroke the pump action when the heat is on. Won’t be an issue if you buy the semi auto…. Or practice a lot with the pump action. In the long run, the semi auto will be cheaper because of lower training cost, and time is always a factor. Do you really have the free time to learn how to run a tactical shotgun? Train with bird shot, use hollow point deer slugs or sabots when it counts (slugs for smooth barrels, sabots for rifled shotgun barrels)
When it comes to reducing training cost and plan good ol Southern fried fun, I cannot recommend .22’s enough. You can eassyily buy a used Browning Buck Mark or Ruger mark2 or 3 for under 300 bucks and the same for a Ruger 10/22 rifle. The fundamentals of shoot are the same regardless of caliber and distances and I think the last batch of .22 I bought cost me $380 for 5k rounds.

Also I will recommend paying for quality training and fewer firearms over a shit ton of guns. There are some good tactical training schools out there. The training cost is high, mostly because of the ammo and needing a hotel room etc, but worth it. I would, if money allows take a class in tactical/ defensive driving, a tactical rifle/ pistol class combo class( or separate depending on your ready cash) and a tactical shotgun class. If funds are limited, do the driving class and the tactical pistol class 1st. Way more likely to come in handy.
Sooooo….. zombie apocalypse weapon selection: the gold standard in survivalist advise is pistol, combat rifle, hunting rifle and shotgun, or pistol, .22 rifle, hunting rifle and shotgun. Most advice in this area is…. Not based on professional assessments of tactical needs. If your budget allows, have 7 rifles. I would suggest two pistols in the same caliber. A large full frame semi auto and a smaller semi auto pocket pistol for easy concealment. Again I recommend 9mm. I would keep about 1k rounds on hand plus another 200 or so of quality self defense rounds. The up side to .45 is I would not feel the need to have hollow points in her. I suggest one shotgun. I do not recommend hunting with a shotgun if the EBT card stops working. I don’t recommend hunting small game at all. Trap them critters so I would suggest you get a quality tactical shotgun. Remington and Mossberg rule this market. Remington’s are cheaper on the initial entry and cheaper to tune up. I also feel they are easier to run in tactical situations because they are easier to reload on the move. Remington’s have been the shotgun of choice for every outfit I have worked with. Once again I suggest the 11-87 over the 870 because of the whole short stroke issues, but training will overcome that. Keep 400 or so slugs on hand, train with birdshot, and ignore buckshot. Rifles. I would suggest a Savage, Ruger or Remington in .308. With a decent scope and moderate training consistent 600 yard shots are extremely possible. I would suggest the AR over the AK 47, mostly due to improved accuracy, lighter weapon, and lighter ammo, easier to operate. I use to tell people I have never fired more than 15 mags in a firefight but that is no longer true. Twice over. I suggest 30 full 30 rounds mags, at the low end, plus as much ammo as you can afford to stack up. I would also think about getting a second AR or having an AK 47/ 74 with 30 full mags and maybe 1500 rounds in storage as a backup. I would suggest having 2 AR’s or an AR and an AK before having a tactical shotgun. Shotguns are not particularly tactically flexible weapons. I would delay the hunting rifle as well ( unless you are already a hunter then you are pretty much good to go and know weapons). Pistols are also not very tactically flexible but pistols are a must and should be #1 purchase item on your list because you can conceal one and carrying one leaves you hands free to do other shit (which is why cops carry pistols btw) I would suggest a .22 rifle, the options are endless but the Ruger 10/22 is the best selling .22 on the market for a reason. Last I checked Ruger was the biggest selling brand of fire arms. That’s a lot of satisfied customers. And of course a .22 pistol. I would keep a couple thousand .22 rounds on hand for training and fun. If you need to hunt for small game, the .22 will do the job.


Someone is going to get pissy about the timing but remember Christ tells us to sell our second cloak and by a sword. Every man, especially every God fearing man should be armed, the question is to what extent? That is driven by budget and need and the fun factor. Shooting is fun.

66 thoughts on “Ton’s Gunz….. not talking about my biceps

  1. theshadowedknight

    I have a SCAR 17S, which is the civilian version in .308, and I plan on getting a Remington 700 in .308, as well. Pistol is a Glock 21, in .45, which I run with hollowpoints for home defense.

    What is your opinion on the .300 Blackout? I want to get a AR in that, because it has magazine and lower compatibility with .223/5.56, and it seems to be a nasty little round to shoot at somebody.

    Do you reload, or do you buy it all?

    The Shadowed Knight

    1. sfcton Post author

      I’m agin’it. That round was designed to duplicate the ballistics of the 7.62×39. An AK would be cheaper, the ammo much cheaper. 300 blackout is .46 a round the AK .21 per round according to

      We already talked about the SCAR so I won’t beat a dead horse. For simplicity sake I would find a better.performing .308 rifle that took the same mags or another SCAR before I went with a round as hard to find and as costly as the 300 blackout. Or just another .308 that took the mags.

      Also you already have one weapon in .30 why would you want a second .30 that is hard to supply and more costly to run but with less range, penatraion etc as the .308?

  2. Artisanal Toad


    Sounds like you got plenty of guns and ammo, what you need now is crew. Men who will answer the call when needed and band together. Abraham had 318 men of his household trained with the sword and spear. It takes a team, but you know this.

    Hope you had a merry Christmas (you’re probably drinking far better stuff than I’ve got right now) but then again, I’ve been down. Hard. Just climbing back out after two months and hoping I’ll recover. Never been this sick in my life.

    1. sfcton Post author

      Got a crew AT, but there is always room for expansion….

      Yea man that was me down range. Shit my britches and everything. Can you imagine how bad the truck smelled? X number of dudes shitting and puking, Windows won’t go down….

      Good to know things are improving no matter how slowly

  3. sfcton Post author

    Think I should put this out here

    My firearms/ammo etc fit my self perceived needs.

    #1 is to keep a perishable and profitable skill set up to speed

    #2 a place to park cash earned from said skill set and side line jobs. I do not trust/ like banks and the banking system. It will be much easier for the feds to take your 401k then what’s in my house.

    #3 I have kids and one day grandkids. I am unsure what will be available to them in the future. I read somewhere that a wise man saves up an inheritance for his children’s children. Since I have no faith or trust in financial institutions I have elected to build an inheritance based personally held commodities.

    I think a man should be prepared for violent times but what’s going to happen to the usa is much likely to resemble Argentina/ Brazil or South Africa then Mad Max.

    1. sfcton Post author

      ps I don’t reload but have friends that do. Currently they are working on a business plan to take it fulltime. Anyrate I pay for materials

  4. Artisanal Toad

    Speaking of keeping up a perishable skillset, here’s something I did to keep the kidz on their toes. Anybody can shoot at targets that don’t shoot back, but when the target is shooting back it’s a whole different world. So, how do you get the target to shoot back?

    The igniter for model rocketry runs off a battery. Attach some igniters to some roman candles that are mounted in a tube near the target and aimed at the shooter. Shooter requires a paintball mask and glasses for safety. Shooter has to complete the course of fire while the roman candles are shooting at them. For added fun, a string of firecrackers tied to their back gets lit. When the first one goes off, shootin can start.

    That’s the closest thing to combat I was ever able to come up with in a training environment. Back in the day I had access to flashbangs as well, but no longer. However, for training the candles and firecrackers can build a level of stress that the shooter has to overcome to make the training worthwhile. With certain people in South America, the results were hilarious. Reached the point that I had to have to large range officials backing up the shooter because when the candles started shooting they wanted to turn and run with a loaded weapon.

  5. Artisanal Toad

    It works in terms of maintaining a perishable skillset as well as in training kids, and it’s easily available. Once they know how to shoot at a target that doesn’t shoot back, teach them how to shoot when under fire. Day and Night.

  6. Artisanal Toad

    People like to say that practice makes perfect. That isn’t true. Practice makes permanent, good or bad. Practice plus good coaching gets a person as close to perfect as their natural talents will allow.

    Having said that, I’m willing to bet I’ve spent at least 500 hours dry firing when I was getting ready for every division match I’ve competed in. Once had an M-14 checked out of the Navy armory for more than 3 weeks. They screamed bloody murder until the Gunner shut that down. I was dry firing any time I wasn’t on duty and carried it when I was. It stayed with me 24/7. The Gunner approved of that arrangement… said that ideally a Marine should sleep with his weapon rather than a woman. The weapon only shoots one way and only when the Marine pulls the trigger. I wish I’d understood what he was saying back then.

    1. sfcton Post author

      LOL I have my favorite AR 15 & 870 on my bed. They have been there for days because I have not rotated them back to the gun safe after shooting them last

    1. sfcton Post author

      Naw, I have working man parts……

      I think you would be way unhappy with the USMC right now. Seems like the pole smokers joined in mass. At first I dismissed the observation because so many young kids look like pole smokers and because the Marines draw so many fellas from the left coast but a buddy of mine of the Gunnery Sgt type told me he has caught three pairs of Mainres making out in the last year.

      Shit is going to hell in a hand basket

      1. theshadowedknight

        Far worse is the new attitude towards the Corps. They are pushing out warriors and fighters for not being polished enough. Telling the men that have sacrificed and fought a rigged fight that they are not worthy. All so the new Marines will be god at drill and uniform inspections, and look nice. All political correctness and public relations.

        This man knows what to do:

        One of the biggest reasons I left. A Marine who knows his job and runs a 21:00 three mile is shit, but a Marine that cannot spell and runs 18:00 is a great Marine.

        The Shadowed Knight

      2. sfcton Post author

        Good article; there really isn’t any such thing as peace time

        I actually have a lot of second hand and some 1st hand experience dealing with Marines. The individual Marine is no better or worse then any other troop but their officer corps should be shot for dereliction of duty. The worse staff I have seen…. ok tied with who ever plans SEAL mission.

        Seems to me I had a career from bailing out the department of the Navy. I won’t get into the higher tier SOCOM stuff.

        Panama, Marines failed to secure a bridge for us. Apparently their staff pissed and whined to get in on the fun then dropped the ball on the hit time. Heard tell they had issues with their aviation assets.

        Iraq round one, got a frag-o to go look for two marines captured by the Iraqis; the Marines truck was found with all their clothes etc neatly folded in it. The Marines, one male, one female were captured while fucking. Last well ran war I fought in by the way, even then we all had lessons to learn.

        Somalia….. they had a good idea about using snipers as the quick reaction force but otherwise dropped the ball and refused to admit they had way to few men for the job. War is man power intensive. It’s insane how many dudes it takes just to guard an old radio station.

        Iraq round 2; we handed them a subdued Sunni triangle, they lost control and quickly because they made the decision to be more friendly. Things got real bad there. It was never an easy place but we stomped them down when ever they got out of hand and gave them a manageable battle space.

        Re-taking the Sunni triangle; they had one third of the mission, 10th Mountain and 1st Cav the rest, with 1st Cav given the hardest section because it’s a heavy armor outfit. Marines fail to bring enough gun to the fight and get hurt yet some how mange to get the credit. I could look over and see all the army air support and fire power stacked up and was given a rather rude response when I told the staff the army would gladly shift fire and share resources. One of the best planned Army missions I witnessed. Even my salty self was impressed with the firepower pulled in.

        Hellmond in the A-stan; once again they don’t bring enough gun to the fight and get in a bad way. We get about half their battle space; Rangers are used on the toughest objectives Marines get praised.

        Marines don’t fail because they won’t fight; they fail because the assholes running their missions believe their own hype and now they are proudly on the cutting edge of all the social justice warrior bullshit. It’s a shame what the USMC does with fighting men

      3. Sumo

        As a Canadian, all I know of the USMC is gleaned from what I’ve seen on TV and in the movies. As such, from what I see, the USMC is an institution dedicated to integrity and honor. Anyone who has a problem with that can kiss my big fat half-breed Japanese-Canadian ass.

      4. theshadowedknight

        The Marine Corps has no integrity. Lower enlisted are a bunch of savages, unscrupulous bastards, and I love them. The higher enlisted, at the staff level, is an assortment of incompetents, malcontents, and bureaucrats. The officers are either clueless when they first show up, or senile by the time they get some rank. At any level, they are politicking, whining, tyrants.

        The lower enlisted in the Marine Corps are some of the best men I have met. I would trust them with my life, but never my wallet or a woman. Officers and staff can go pound sand.

        The Shadowed Knight

      5. Sumo

        A bunch of guys you can trust to fight beside you and watch your back? That *IS* my definition of integrity.

      6. theshadowedknight

        Basically, all the lower enlisted joined to kill people and take their stuff. They realize that it is bullshit or after a while, or they never got their chance, and get out. The ones that stay are usually the ones that cannot make it on the outside, so they reenlist.

        Then you have officers, and the less said about them the better.

        The Shadowed Knight

      7. sfcton Post author

        To be fair my former brother in law retired out of the USMC as an O-6 and was well liked by his troops as a captain. He had no command time after that but also noted the huge difference in staff work between his guys and mine.

  7. Anonymous Reader

    Back to the OP.
    People need to ask themselves “what is this thing for?” and proceed from there. Friend of mine lives in an apartment building, never mind why. His choices revolve around various low velocity handguns (.45 ACP and .38 Special) because of overpenetration issues. Another friend lived down in Texas hill country with the nearest neighbor 1 mile away behind a hill, he preferred a .223 carbine with 30 round mags downloaded. Both make sense. Anoter family lives on the edge of a rural area, they have a couple of 20 gauge youth shotguns (both man and woman are short) and shoot them well enough. Got to know your limitations.

    Typical suburabnite is possibly better off with a shotgun loaded with buck and slugs on a side saddle that fits. Simple is better for people who won’t do even dryfire regularly.

    “Fits” matters a lot from what I see. If a pistol doesn’t fit the hand that will shoot it, then it will hurt to shoot and there won’t be a lot of pracice, so…no. I lusted after the ParaOrd P-14 back in the 90’s until I got to shoot one and it was just too thick for my hands, I could not maintain proper grip and operate the safety and get finger on the trigger. Seeing pinned grip safeties on shooters at the local matches didn’t give me a warm fuzzy. Same thing with the .44 mag revolvers, I can’t shoot them comfortably, so I’d rather shoot what I can hit with relibably.

    I once was involved with helping a couple of women find suitable sidearms, one was 5’2″ and all of 115 pounds soaking wet. After a bunch of round and round over this revolver and the hot ticket pistol of the month, we found a gun that they could shoot, that fit their hands – 1911A1. Had to revise the slide rack a bit for their hand/arm strength, but otherwise it worked. No surprise, really, the average American man was all of 5’9″ or so back 100 years ago, when John Moses Browning designed that pistol. A different hand reach might have produced a differerent solution, such as one of the new S&W or Walther 9x19mm pistols. People understand that shoes need to fit, so that’s how I explain pistols now – like shoes, except not a fashion statement.

    Everyone has to work out their own safety their own way. Always useful to read the decision tree from someone who has been there, especially recently. Thanks for posting this.

    1. sfcton Post author

      Excellent point about fit. I am a prime example of it. I did not much enjoy pistol shooting until I picked up my 1st XDM and then it was true love @ 1st sight

      There are something like 1500 defensive justifiable homicide rulings a year for citizens ( vs about 650 for cops), and the last time I checked no civil or criminal cases pertaining to over penetration. The FBI couldn’t find any either so I understand people’s worry but the data doesn’t Point to any cause for concern. And that 1500 is (I think) only the number of cases ending in fatalities and not the entirety of civilian rounds fired. And from a common sense perspective, 12 gauge, 9 mm; .40;.45 & .223/ 5.56 are the cailbers law enforcement use to deal with the same situations in the same settings. Way I reckon it, that’s a lot of data points and no criminal or civil court cases to support over penetration concerns.

      20 gauge… box o truth estimates 12 inches of penetration for 20 gauge #3 buckshot which is just shy of 13 inches making it a questionable choice. Especially if you live somewhere cold and people wear a lot of clothes or have to shoot a larger person, or through a sofa etc. If 12 gauge is to much recoil, then run an AR 15 in .223/ 5.56. Less recoil, more rounds on tap, more tactical flexibility…. better option in many ways.

      Here is a link to the box o truth 20 gauge test. Love that webpage as he makes a lot of solid tests and shows his data. I disagree with his 20 gauge conclusion but that’s no big deal

      Simplicity is vital. The more complex something is, the more points of failure. Folks would be surprised @ how much time SOCOM units dedicate to simplifying the complex.

      1. sfcton Post author

        To be clear about disagreeing with the box o truth guys conclusions on 20 gauge buckshot;

        12″ inches is the minimum according to the FBI and the 20 gauge with buckshot hit that minimum in “laboratory” conditions. Bigger attacker, more heavily dressed for cold weather, heavy leather vest or jacket like I wear ridding, bad shooting angle, attacker hiding behind a sofa etc and 12 of penetration will be reduced.

        12 inches doesn’t leave much room for the messiness of life (lol that sounds dirty)

      2. sfcton Post author

        Since we are doubling tapping shot guns…

        The notation the noise from racking a pump action shotgun will send bad guys running is silly. Maybe it will, but waste that time and make that noise with me and you just told me where to put my 1st round. I always assume the other guy is at least as well trained and experienced as me

        Shotgun spread is not your friend. The more shot spreads, the less of it you will get into your target, the less shot in your target the less lethal it will be. And by lethal I mean lethal with a quickness. The longer it takes the other guy to die, the more time he has to ruin your day. Some shotgun/ buckshot combos will have a 12 inch spread in 25 yards, some more. What that means is, that relatively close ranges, the spread will make sure few pellets hit your target. So you ars supposed to learn your buckshot pattern…. slugs elevate this “need” with need in quotes because most shotguns and buckshot won’t spread that much across living room and chokes will tighten up the spread. Where this sucks is, God forbid, you have to make the classic hostage shot where your loved one is being held hostage and in front of, close to the bad guy. Which happens everyday….. in TV land.

        Shotgun spread is not your friend and does not remove the necessity of aiming your weapon correctly and accurately.

      3. Anonymous Reader

        20 gauge… box o truth estimates 12 inches of penetration for 20 gauge #3 buckshot which is just shy of 13 inches making it a questionable choice.

        Yeah, it’s like carrying a .380, but they are both slightly built and have a hard time with 12 guage shotguns. It’s better than dialing 911 and waiting.

      4. Anonymous Reader

        The notation the noise from racking a pump action shotgun will send bad guys running is silly. Maybe it will, but waste that time and make that noise with me and you just told me where to put my 1st round.

        I read that line back in the 90’s, “Just rack the slide, nyuck”. Gunstore commando garbage.
        Someone like Platt / Matix (FBI Miami shootout) would conclude “Hey, he has a gun and he’s too stupid to chamber it without giving away his postion…”

      5. sfcton Post author


        I’d like to see 20 gauge slugs vs a different medium. like gell vs water. Water is weird because it compresses super hard super quick; the faster it is struck the quicker it does both, so I think giving the small size of the 20 gauge slug and how hard water compresses, that it was not a good test of the slug. Now I could be wrong since the water was in a plastic jug vs a metal tank, but one of the myth buster shows dealt with this to a small degree.

        I’ll never test it though since I don’t have any 20 gauges or need for one.

      6. Anonymous Reader

        Shotgun spread is not your friend. The more shot spreads, the less of it you will get into your target, the less shot in your target the less lethal it will be.

        Patterning a shotgun is a good idea. Most people never do it, just as they never try out different brands / loads. I’ve seen shotguns that produced a nice 8″ pattern with 00 buck at 10 yards from Brand A that put shot all over the paper from Brand B. Ditto for slugs to some extent, Brennekes are my preference when I can find them.

        Again a lot depends on who and what and where. #6 birdshot might solve problems pretty well in sunbelt suburbia, slugs and more slugs might be much better in cold, rural zone. But really, at that point a carbine could be a better choice. Heck, there’s still older rural types out there with 30-30’s who would be very bad to mess with.

      7. sfcton Post author

        lol pattering buckshot was a major factor in my old crew going with slugs only. That and what slugs will do to locks.

        I’m fair certain tests with #6 show very little penetration. I’d imagine the wound would be bloody as hell but not effective in stopping a determined attacker. Just a logical guess.

  8. Artisanal Toad

    Rule #1 There is nothing a soldier hates worse than a warrior.

    The problem with the USMC officer corps started when they changed how their fitness reports would be graded, it’s called “zero defects.” Essentially an officer started off with a perfect fitness report and gained nothing from accomplishing something, they could only be dinged from making mistakes. This meant that an officer who did nothing got an excellent fitness report but an officer who tried things and occasionally failed got a much worse fitness report.

    Here’s a story for you about officers. The rules said that if ammo got broken out but not used, it had to be hauled to the EOD blowhole and destroyed. That might be reasonable for mortar rounds, grenades or other explosives, but it’s flat out stupid for regular ammo. So if there was some extra at the end of a range, the platoon Sgt would collect it up, stick it in his locker and wait for the next range so it could be used. That was the way it was done and everybody knew it. If there was a shakedown *nobody* was going to open my wall-locker because the CO, the XO, the 1st Sgt and the Gunny *all* knew what was in there. The Gunny even kept an inventory of what everybody had for planning purposes. That’s the background. Then, some kid from the 1st Marines got killed over at Camp Horno with a personal weapon. In the barracks. The Commanding General ordered a base-wide shakedown. That should have been handled in-house in my case, but my Battalion was deployed to 29 Palms.

    I got ratted out to the Naval Investigative Service by a POS SSgt. who was being separated for incompetence (and blamed me for it). The squids cut the lock on my locker, screamed with horror at what they saw and their report landed on the CG’s desk. He ordered a special court martial and contacted my Battalion CO to ask if he wanted me in pre-trial confinement. The answer was no. However, as I was the most senior of anybody that got caught with anything and an example had to be made so General McMonagle decided that I was to be very publicly fried. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the lynch party. The judge realized it was all bullshit and instead of the six six and a kick* the prosecution was asking for he fined me 1/3 of a month’s pay and ordered a letter of reprimand. That should have been written by the Battalion CO, but the CG was pissed off the judge didn’t fry me so he wrote it himself.

    I’m fairly sure my company CO was ordered to rape my special fitness report, which he did. All because I was doing something he knew all about and approved of but refused to take any responsibility for. But wait- it gets even better.

    Suddenly, I was toxic waste to the officers and a hero to the troops. They started calling me “Sgt Asbestos (He don’t burn)” The court martial happened less than a week before the battalion deployed to Okinawa, so to maintain “good order and discipline” they stuck me in a sister company. We get to the rock and my new CO calls me in and explains that every one of his Lt’s has come to him and begged him not to put me in his platoon. He’s like ‘so what am I going to do with you?’ and I said I didn’t know.

    He grinned and said ‘I have a solution. You are now in charge of supersquad and the battalion competition will be held in Korea next month.’ I got one cheezy kiss-ass corporal who volunteered and for the rest I got the ‘dirty dozen’ of the company. Literally, I got the company’s problem children (at that point I was probably considered the Battalion’s biggest problem child, so I should have expected that). Anyway, 6 weeks later we won the Battalion competition because it was really more of a squad leader competition and by the time the regimental competition rolled around I’d had time to work with my guys. Almost all of them were outstanding marines, but in every case they’d had incompetent NCO’s or officers who burned them rather than deal with the problem, or they’d popped on a piss-test. We won the 9th Marine regimental competition and that got me an appointment with the CO of the 9th Marines, Col A.C. Zinni. That got me resources to train with.

    What I didn’t know is there was a large group of officers and senior enlisted that did NOT want my squad to win the division competition. The reason is that winning the division supersquad competition means an automatic meritorious promotion for all members of the squad and a trip to Quantico for the Marine Corps competition. And my squad was literally the “dirty dozen.” The division competition was a six-event comp. My squad was first in four of the events, second in one and third in the last. Each of the other two squads had one first place and were more or less even in second and third place scores. In other words, we won. And that third place event? That was the six-mile run with full gear. Two officers intentionally sent us the wrong way to wreck our time. Still, based on what we’d done, we won.

    At the award ceremony we were told we came in second. When it was over, Col Zinni walked over and told me to take the men out and have a few drinks, and we were relieved of duty until further notice, but I was to be in his office at 10 the next morning. We went out to Kinville and closed a bar. So, I report in the next morning at 10 and he sits me down and proceeds to (from memory) list all the transgressions of each of my guys, finishing with me (he had my SRB on his desk). He explained that it would be particularly galling to certain people to hang a rocker on me less than six months after I’d been court martialed. Then too, there were financial considerations. They gave the award to a squad that was about to deploy back to Lejeune, and all they had to do was put them in a couple of vans and drive them up to Quantico for the Marine Corps competition. OTOH, if they’d awarded the comp to us they’d have had to fly us to Quantico from Okinawa… and that costs money.

    He looked me in the eye and said “you were robbed. We both know that, and there isn’t a lot I can do, but to help ease the pain I’m issuing orders for your squad to attend two weeks of JEST school in the Philippines.” I’ve been through the JEST school before and its a miserable experience. At the look on my face he started laughing. “You’ll find that when you get there, there aren’t any slots open for your squad, so I think you’ll just be put on liberty in Olongapo ”

    That was different. Two weeks of basket leave in the Subic Bay area was nice, but it didn’t make up for what had been done. Then he handed me a letter of commendation, written by General Christmas. That’s how I became probably the only Marine Sgt to ever have back to back letters from two different commanding generals in my jacket within a six-month time frame, the first saying I’m a turd that needs to be flushed and the second saying I walk on water, all my sins are now forgiven and I’m eligible for promotion again.

    With the competition over for us (and all of the officers knew exactly what had happened) my company still didn’t know what to do with us. The problem was even worse, actually, because it was no longer just me, it was now my entire squad and we were not exactly happy campers. When we got back from Subic, 1/9 was running some crazy field op with no officers, just NCO’s, and they needed an opfor, so Col Zinni gave my squad the job. We spent 3-4 days harassing them with IEDs and hit-run stuff, but only during the day. Then, the next night we slid into their BN CP at 0-dark-thirty. Their security was asleep and when I gave the signal we started throwing CS grenades into the tents. Then we threw flashbangs and smoke everywhere and beat feet. We embarrassed the hell out of them because they’d talked a lot of trash.

    We made it back to our hooches and laughed our asses off for at least an hour before falling asleep. Later that morning we got a radio message that a truck was coming and get all our stuff together, We got pulled out and I was told to go get cleaned up and report to Col Zinni. I reported, and he wanted an oral report on what we’d done as the opfor. I told him my strategy and what we’d done. Then I got a lecture on safety and how throwing CS grenades into tents with sleeping people was not authorized for training, but since we hadn’t been given any specific instruction as the opfor, he wasn’t going to allow me or any of my squad to be charged with anything (apparently the charge-sheets were already flying). That’s when I found out that we’d set one tent on fire and the Sgt Major got burned (fool was sleeping in his skivvies and one of the grenades landed on him). I was told to stay as far away from 1/9 as possible.

    It was during that period that I made the decision to get out. A year later, about 4 months before I was due to separate I got a visit from Col Meegher, who used to be the Bn XO but now worked at division. He was on a special mission to see three senior Sgt’s that were due to separate. The hilarious part is we were all friends and we were all disgusted with the fact that loyalty was supposed to go up but they’d fry an innocent guy in a heartbeat if if would keep heat off them. He had a deal for all of us: $5k bonus, switch suits to the Army, immediate promotion with the new suit and our choice of unit, but it had to be some flavor of infantry.

    The sweet part of that deal was it would get us a new service jacket. All the Army would get would be something like a DD-214. Starting over with a clean slate, so to speak.

    I politely told him no, I was already enrolled in college and I had some serious loyalty issues. He said he was familiar with what had been done to me and figured that would be my answer but he had to try. He went to see Bick and Bick gave him pretty much the same answer I did, but that getting out was a decision he and his wife had made together and it wouldn’t be changing. Then he went to see Kooch. The thing about Kooch was that his father had retired as a Sgt Major and Col Meegher knew him socially. His dad also had a job working on base as a civilian. Kooch was on duty when the Col found him and he gave him the spiel. Kooch asked if he could call his father and ask his advice. The Col didn’t have any problem with that, so Kooch picked up the phone and called his dad (base phone system). He gets his dad on the line, explains the deal and then asks “Dad, how do you tell an officer to go fuck himself without getting in trouble?”

    According to Kooch, Col Meegher started laughing, stood up and said “I think you just did. I wish you well” and walked out laughing.

    *Six, six and a Kick is slang for reduction to e-1, six months in the brig, six months no pay and a bad conduct discharge, also known as the Big Chicken Dinner.

    1. sfcton Post author

      The Army got infected with the 0 defect bug as well. All bad. Freind of mine did 6 years enlisted Ranger time, green to gold and became an officer, did his LT time in the 82nd and then Ranger Batt, then got a bad OER for….. inspecting White and black enlisted men for extremist tattoos instead of just the White guys. Go Bill Clinton.

  9. Artisanal Toad

    One other thing. You were saying that people die by bleeding out. No. They die by CNS damage (brain-stem shot), shock or bleeding out. GSW’s create a temporary wound channel which is much larger than the actual tissue-destruction wound channel. That introduces shock into the system. Multiple such shots create an overload of shock to the system that the system shuts down while it shuts down. CNS destruction is the king, destroy the cerebellum and it’s over. Instantly.

    One of my best friends in my last 3-4 years in the Corps was a match armorer. We shared a BEQ until I had my problems. You can file a .45 sear down to a profile that’s full auto. It isn’t difficult. With a Glock you can buy the little doo-hicky that does that with a switch on the back end. However, the idea of machine pistols was that they killed by shock. Take 6-7 bullets within a second and it isn’t bleeding out that kills, it’s the cumulative shock. Temporary wound channels and all that. Beppo was a master at tuning a .45 to a 3/4 pound trigger pull. Breathe on it to hard and it goes off. A little too far and it goes full-auto. I won matches because of him.

    1. sfcton Post author

      Shutting down the CNS requires a high degree of skill and being able to place the rounds in two exact spots. Not something most can rely on

      As for the rest, the FBI research would disagree and does my experience. With rounds packing a lot more energy then pistols and a lot larger temporary wound cavity

      1. Anonymous Reader

        Shoot some bowling pins sometime. That’s a cheap model for the spinal column. Then stick an IPSC target up with the bowling pin behind it. Then put a shirt on the ISPC target.

        Alternatively, get some 3×5 cards and draw circles on them – instant optical window. Also not easy to hit under stress, especially with a pistol or revolver.

        I used to be skeptical of red dot sights but no more, now you can change the battery on an Aimpoint every New Years and be good to go, and the difference in first round hit is obvious on everything from M1 carbine on up to .308.

        A man up in Alaska I know who used to put scout scopes (long eye relief, 2.5X) on some guns now puts Aimpoints on the same guns, these are bear guns that need a fast and accurate shot. No report so far on how the Aimpoints have held up on the Co-Pilot in 45-70 though. Of course at Alaska brush ranges you could lose the dot and just use the tube as a really big ghost ring, probably.

      2. sfcton Post author

        I am a big fan of red dots(optics of all sorts); huge advantage in my line of work. My XDM and Ruger both have crimson trace’s on them. My AR’s and MBR’s are well dressed; I didn’t invest that kind of money in the AK’s

        I would suggest anyone who doesn’t have the military or SWAT footing the bill, avoid the idea of shutting down the CNS. Otherwise the training cost to do it in combat would be unreal. I shot about 15k (12.5k rifle, 2.5k pistol) a week for weeks on end. Center mass will get the job done and is a much more realistic skill set to develop for the average person with a busy life Course if you have the time and money….

        I love my .45-70. If it will fuck up a pig it will fuck up any damn thing. Friend of mine claimed he dropped a Cape Buffalo with one, round entered the shoulder and went out the opposite ass cheek. That is penetration

        My friend working on becoming a hunting guide up in AK uses an 11-87 with deer slugs(sabots actually) as his back up. I was told that’s a popular option and has to be quicker on the follow up shot then a lever action

      3. Anonymous Reader

        Re Crimson Trace:
        Another gadget I was skeptical of. Turns out at short, “don’t mug me” range they work pretty well provided some practice is done. Get the same grip every time, and it is kind of like the old point-shooting of the 60’s but more accurate because at a few feet the laser dot is also the point of impact, so “see dot, shoot dot” actually works. Still need to know what the front sight is for at any distance, or if the batteries fail.

      4. sfcton Post author

        Yep but for the statistically typical oh shit ,7 yard or less citizen defending him self scenario they are on it, or close enough. I really disagree with the thinking that a citizen needs to be as well trained as a SWAT or SOCOM operator to defend himself and his. Time and money are resources most folks never have enough of

        @ work, generally there are no optics on the pistol as it is a back-up to your rifle but my last contract was Glocks with mini red dots.

      5. Anonymous Reader

        Crimson trace:

        Yep but for the statistically typical oh shit ,7 yard or less citizen defending him self scenario they are on it, or close enough.

        Yep. I know some who experimented in the dark on indoor and outdoor ranges, Tueller distance or closer, that’s where I get “see dot shoot dot”. More robust than I thought, stands up to recoil on a J-Frame S&W pretty well.

        I really disagree with the thinking that a citizen needs to be as well trained as a SWAT or SOCOM operator to defend himself and his. Time and money are resources most folks never have enough of

        Agree, but with care. Yeah, watch the typical video from a gas station robbery and it is not hard to imagine how to deal with that kind of thing. Basic gun handling skills, trigger control, lots of dryfire reps and mindset go a long way for Joe Average – ’cause he’s most likely going to have to deal with one or maybe two trouble sources if it ever happens.

        But. I know lazy types who have been to a few matches and basically take the approach “I just have to be better than the average local thug with a Jennigs .25”, which works until it doesn’t. So they don’t dryfire hardly at all, or shoot in low light, or shoot when tired, etc. carry only an Airweight with 5 rounds and no reload, etc.

        We all have to work out our own solution, and hope it works. If I have the rest of my life to figure out what to do about an intruder in the house or a hijack in the parking lot, I would like to have some planning already done in advance.

        @ work, generally there are no optics on the pistol as it is a back-up to your rifle but my last contract was Glocks with mini red dots.

        Lot of people trying to figure out how to make RDS work reliably on a pistol, because of the possible gain in sight acquisition speed. I’m not an early adopter type, but I like knowing those that are. Maybe at some point the RDS on pistols will become as standard as on carbines.

      6. sfcton Post author

        Once again ligit points. Given the cost of red dots for pistols I am not surprised they haven’t caught on. Crimson traces seem like a better solution for the money given the most likely scenarios.

        Eotech’s on Glocks are a good combination. That’s from training. I have never used a pistol outside of training. M4’s/ M16, crew served, shotguns, sniper rifles, various anti armor weapon systems, claymores, hand-grenades etc but never had to pull a pistol

        I am surprised cops haven’t adopted red dots but cops shoot way less bad guys then people think

      7. Sumo

        I am surprised cops haven’t adopted red dots

        Budgetary concerns, mostly. Even if some guys wanted to buy them on their own dime, most departments have policies about “personal” equipment being approved for duty use, and I doubt some paper pusher would approve anything that would be “intimidating”, as some limp dick pansy-ass would claim. Also, God forbid that the police have any tools that would be more effective in stopping (killing) bad guys.

        For anyone who doesn’t know me, that last line was pure sarcasm.

      8. sfcton Post author

        no doubt cost is a factor, mini red dots cost as much as most service pistols, but would improve hit ratio and I think reduce some bad press. Maybe LEO’s worry about the increase in lethality as well as cost?

        I understand a goodly amount of what LEO’s deal with but have no real expertise in the logistical/ admin stuff.

      9. BuenaVista

        On Dec 7 at 4:30 a.m. I was reading upstairs and heard noises which I presumed were a from an unsecured storm door. Then I heard noises and a human voice. There was a man attempting to break into my house via the kitchen door.

        I retrieved my G19 and had to call 911 three times before the dispatcher read back my address; she couldn’t press the PTT or something. I eventually just kept repeating “intruder” and my address until I heard her talking to the squad car. She never did copy anything back to me.

        I have no training in this sort of thing and I’ve reflected a lot on what I did and didn’t do that morning. It was a relatively low-stress event because he was shirtless and drunk. But I didn’t know he was drunk, and there’s a lot of meth use by the industrial workers out here. I don’t know if I would have shot him had he come all the way into the kitchen. (I’ve never shot at a human.) But as I was waiting for the cops and staring at this dude pounding away on my (half-glass) kitchen door, pistol in hand, I decided that if he came in and didn’t immediately get on the floor, I would shoot him.

        And since there’s no castle doctrine here, and since he was drunk out of his mind, I think I would have been charged with homicide, since threat of imminent death or grievous injury are required to legally discharge a weapon. So I’m pleased it ended as it did.

        When the cops arrived I put the pistol on the floor and raised both hands, which the lieutenant said he appreciated as it indicated to him I was armed. He ferried the drunk to jail. His pixie (she must have weighed 100 pounds) ‘partner’ took my report, but asked me to clear the gun first. (I did, but wish I had said something clever like, “Sure, if you clear yours.”) I don’t really see the virtue of sending out a 100 pound woman on possible B&E or drunk and disorderly calls, but we all know that women can do anything a man can do.

        I’m a bit curious how the professionals would have handled something like this.

      10. sfcton Post author

        I am no more fond of men in those positions, or rather those positions, then the next guy but they do have their own set of ligit concerns as they see a whole other spectrum of the same job.

        In a healthy and sane society suits would not be at odds with the reality on the ground but they have all sorts of bullshit to deal with. Mostly because we let bitches vote

  10. Artisanal Toad

    I will agree with that, but I was taught that a CNS shot was only definite if it destroyed the medula. A shot into the cerebrum would typically do this (+90%) but other than that, it had to be a shot from behind that severed the spinal cord in the back of the neck. Not such a good shot to go for.

    I recall a class in machine-pistols from my gunner, who explained that the machine pistols were developed to put enough lead into the person in a very short period of time that they collapsed from shock and bled out. *Death* was from bleeding out but *incapacitation* was from shock. I obviously wasn’t clear on that. I’m also reminded of an historical note from the Old West, where a guy got shot in the head with a .45 Long Colt 5 times and still walked 20 feet and strangled the man who shot him. Some people have the zombie gene.

    A CNS shot past 300 yards carries no guarantees, especially cold bore. I know old farts (in their mid-sixties) who usually shoot .4 MOA. On a good day they’ll shoot .35 MOA. Both of them are addicted to the 6mm Magnum. Don’t ask me why. On a bad day they’ll bump out to .5 MOA. But past 300 yards, a CNS shot would be as much luck as skill, even considering the temporary wound cavity and the resulting damage and shock to the system. Still, at close range, “aim for their teeth” is good advice if you have a precision shooting platform. HRT doctrine says CNS shots only under 200 yards.

    1. sfcton Post author

      correct between the eyes often called the “T” or at the base of the skull where the spine meets the skull, or the “apricot”. Otherwise a shot to the skull is not a sure thing.

      that 200 yards is way short. my .338 Lupa with custom ammo has a 9″ variance @ damn near 1400 yards. The human head is 9″. You can get a rough idea from there. doesn’t mean its a good idea to bust that 200 yard range but riles and shooters can do better.

    2. theshadowedknight

      The reason multiple shots will incapacitate someone is that the hydrostatic effects on the cardiopulmonary system resemble a stroke or blood choke. That, and the impact also transfers to the brain through the soft tissue. It is similar to being punched in the head while you are in a chokehold.

      The Shadowed Knight

      1. sfcton Post author

        not according to the FBI or my experiences at work or hunting

        Look at deer hunting. Punch a 12gauge slug through a deers lungs/ rib cage and he’ll run. Punch one through is neck and he’ll run. No transfer of shock waves to his brain at all

        Punch .308 rounds through a Juan, hajji or skinny and he’ll run, keep fighting etc. Read up on state side shootouts like the FBI shoot out in Miami AR refereed to and look how many rounds men will take early on and keep fighting. No hydrostatic shock transfer of energy

        The way people go down, according to the FBI studying police shooting bad guys is #1 is psychological conditioning ie people see it on TV so they lay down when there is no physical reason to do so, then bleed out, sometimes because bones are broken and then of course shutting down the CNS

        Bullets don’t knock you down etc and you will have more energy transferred through your body from IED’s, car crashes etc then a bullet.

        also look how many people survive multiple gun shot wounds if they get treatment quickly.

        multiple shoots take people down because bleed out is speed up. or people think shit I am fucked and lay down to die.

      2. theshadowedknight

        Not single shots, Ton, but multiple shots in quick succession. It is the compound effect of the multiple impacts that overwhelms them.

        Do not get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the idea that shooting someone more is better. If I have to shoot someone, I will be double tapping at the least. The more bullets, the more wounds, the more chances to get something important.

        If it was legal and feasible to conceal carry an M240, I would use that. Bigger is better, more is better, faster is better. I can agree with both at the same time.

        The Shadowed Knight

      3. sfcton Post author

        Rounds through the head that don’t destroy the correct sections of the brain do not cause an immediate fatality. Nor do multiple .308 rounds through center mass. Reality doesn’t work like your info suggest.

  11. Artisanal Toad

    If the shot has to take the guy out instantly (think hostage situation), we’re talking about a 1 inch target for a CNS shot, and that’s the medula, regardless of the position of the target. Past 200 yards you have issues with wind and mirage but 200 yards or under it’s not that big of a deal to compensate for unless the wind is blowing half a gale.

    If the rifle can shoot 1/2 MOA cold bore and the shooter can hold his shots to 1/2 MOA, then maybe walk that distance out a little further. But if that first shot had to take the guy down with a CNS shot, guaranteed (I know, there are no guarantees), how far out would you feel comfortable taking the shot? If you were the control and had to give the green light, knowing there would be serious political repercussions if the sniper missed, how far out would you allow the shot?

    Also, there’s the kinetic energy transfer to consider. Have you ever shot anybody in the head with a Barrett? I’m thinking that a head-shot with a .50 cal would probably put somebody down as long as it was fairly within center mass. I’ve seen deer shot with a .50 cal using hollow points and it knocked them off their feet and after that they lay there twitching. I’ve killed deer with a .22 magnum with head-shots. They dropped in their tracks and didn’t get up again.

    One time I was feeding my cows and a herd of deer was eating my hay. They didn’t run off when I drove off, just looked at me like WTF do you want? It had been a bad year for hay and I was kind of pissed off. I pulled out my 9mm Star (my carry gun at the time) and shot one of them. Bullet entered through the brisket and traveled back through the heart and into the abdominals but didn’t exit. Knocked her down, but she got up and ran for like 20 feet before collapsing. I had to call into work to tell them I’d be late and I set about cleaning and butchering the deer. I drove over to the lab and got a necropsy scalpel and a half-dozen blades. Went home and got a gambrel, ropes and a come-along. Hitched her up, skinned, gutted her and proceeded to butcher her.

    Along the way of butchering her, I sliced my finger open with the scalpel. Bad. I wrapped it with duct tape and finished the job. Put all the meat in a large tupperware container in the back of my truck and drove it home and gave it to my wife. Left the gut-pile and skin for the coyotes. The wife took the container and filled it with water and salt to soak it for a day. Then I drove myself to the emergency room to get my finger taken care of.

    Had a huge advantage there because the head nurse was the daughter of the guy we employed as the head of our clinical chemistry section. Besides, during that time frame I got banged up often enough… they practically had a coffee cup with my name on it at the emergency room. That time was different. Because I’d been cut with a scalpel, and they wanted to classify it as a work-related injury. Had several doctors and one administrator question me hoping they could classify it as a work-related injury. It was all about workman’s comp. If it was work-related then the HMO didn’t have to pay for it. But, no, cleaning out a deer didn’t conform to my work duties. Too bad.

    1. sfcton Post author

      everything has improved since they came up with the 200 yard “rule”, which I belive was a conservative measure when it was adopted.. Firearms are more accurate, optics are better, ammo is tighter with much less variance in a lot of match grade ammo,folks are building ammo to fit specif rifles now, we use lasers to determine distances vs making our best guess, better/ more accurate info on air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure and computers do the math. Those are huge improvements ( lol sort of, you know the differences are small when we are talking about this level of accuracy but “huge” none the less) shooters are better trained and more skilled, yet HRT guys cling to the 200 yard rule, Doesn’t make sense, from a technical stand point. Practical stand point, there are a lot of issues going on, ligit political issues, ranges you are likely to deal with, the LEO mission vs mine, caliber of the weapon on hand etc.

      Cannot really speak to my comfort zone because while trained to do HRT work, it is not anything I have 1st hand experience with and LEO stuff is different then what I was trained for. Hostage safety is #1 for them; not always for us, with killing the hostage on purpose a remote possibility and far to many variables to answer that as a blanket statement but the 200 yard “rule” needs reevaluated

  12. Artisanal Toad

    My point was this- wind/mirage are the most critical aspects in precision shooting, assuming a skilled shooter and a weapon that will deliver the accuracy needed. 200 yards and under, the wind/mirage are negligible (assuming reasonable conditions), thus leaving it to the skill of the shooter. Move back to 300 yards and you’ve increased the distance by 50% and now the wind/mirage have a much greater effect.

    I completely understand the point of having better optics and laser range-finders and the advantage they give, but honestly, if you look at serious competitions the scores haven’t got that much better over the years. I haven’t looked at it seriously, but just from memory the scores from competitions in the 1970’s aren’t much different than they were in the 2000’s. And these are worlds-class shooters who can afford the best. If the technology was the driving force behind improved shooting I think it would be reflected in the competitions and v-counts.

    OTOH, every serious shooter I know shows up at match-time with handloads and they’re anal about it. My favorite load for my M1A was a 168g Sierra Matchking HPBT sitting on top of 43.2g of IMR 4064 in a military LC case. For long range shooting I like the 155g Palma Match VLD’s, but in heavy wind I’d go with the 168g. I measure the power loads with a laboratory grade digital scale. I’m still trying to find the sweet spot for my .338, not there yet. So, maybe the commercial stuff has come up in the world. Still, it comes down to somebody pulling the trigger and there’s more art than science there. That’s why the 200 yard rule. Politicians always want a sure thing.

    Military/combat situations are different. The guys making these incredible shots at 1400 meters were walking the rounds onto target. Shooting at a machine-gun crew, the targets never heard anything until they started dying. Shooting at a 1 inch target, it comes down to could you or should you. Depends on the situation.

    1. sfcton Post author

      men are making 1400 meter cold bore shots on the regular.

      and I am in the zero your weapon/ scope cold side of that debate though really it depends on the work you are likely to do.

      ps there are various qualities of commercial ammo, but I think most of the hand load stuff is about the shooters psychology. Military snipers make these distance shots with unlinked M60/ 240B ammo. ammo matters, shooters matter more. Now this ammo they are making is cut to fit your chamber and what not with the bullet and powder combo you prefer and is another step up from match grade or hand loaded. The big improvement in commercial ammo has been in consistency in performance. That way you know when shooting ammo X you do Y and it works out better then in the past.

      We are living in the golden age of firearms

  13. Artisanal Toad

    Yay!!! Today I am officially off of bedrest. On the down-side, I’ve lost almost 25 pounds and doc says no lifting for at least another month. Doubt if I’ll listen to that, but I’m headed off for the range today.


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