Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yay, cops with machine guns

Given how lousy cops perform with handguns (on average, 75% of shots fired by police officers at suspects miss their intended target), is this a good idea?

Cops with machine guns. [shudder]. Just like every other third-world nation, I suppose... sigh.

-- Badtux the Ducking Penguin
Erm, given that machine guns tend to ride *up* when firing, the safest place to be when one of these legends in their own mind start firing off bursts is on the ground.


  1. Based on my own experience, I would say a 25% hit rate is way too high, one in 10 would be closer to reality.

    I hated the M-16 on full auto, and they got smart with the M-4 and reduced it to 3 round burst.

    For any accuracy you have to have your off hand on top of the barrel when you fire full auto. The Uzi and HK are worse with shorter barrels and less weight.

    The biggest problem with any auto loading weapon is that you need jacketed ammo for the weapon to function reliably, and jacketed bullets ricochet in an urban environment. I preferred my revolver with Hydro-shock bullets that not only supplied a knock down shock, but would "splash" when they encountered a hard surface, like concrete or asphalt.

    You can do a much better job with a 12 gauge and double ought buckshot, than an Uzi. Nine rounds in a tight little pattern.

  2. Actually the more recent marks of the M-16 had cut it down to three round bursts too, based on the experience of Vietnam. When they cut the late-mark M-16 down to become the M4, the three round bursts came with the package.

    The 25% was being generous. I found other quoted statistics as 20%, and even your 10%.

    Not only do steel-jacketed rounds ricochet, but they also overpenetrate, wounding instead of killing like a soft slug splashing through the body. That was a selling point for the .223 round when the U.S. Army adopted it during Vietnam, because a wounded enemy soldier requires far more enemy resources to evacuate and treat than a dead enemy soldier would take. But that isn't what you want for a cop who is trying to take down a thug that's shooting at him, said cop needs all the stopping power he can get out of his weapon, which in a typical urban environment is going to be either a shotgun with buckshot or a .357 Magnum revolver (the .44 has even more stopping power, but most folks can't accurately shoot the thing because it kicks so much). The fact that you can hit an enemy who's several hundred yards away with a M-16... who the frick cares? Who shoots at someone several hundred yards away? How can you even *see* someone several hundred yards away unless you have a big-ass sniper scope on the goddam thing? Fact of the matter is that in urban environments you'll likely be at close range with the perp and you want to take him down rather than injure him, and a shotgun or .357 revolver is going to get you way more firepower on point than some dipshit carbine spitting out teensy little .223 caliber jacketed rounds.

    But I suppose cops nowdays carrying 9mm handguns (with no more stopping power than their old .38 revolvers if you look at the stats) with 17 rounds in the magazine look at the 17 rounds and think, "wow, I got so much more firepower!" Which is where I bring up another statistic, which is that most encounters are over quickly. For example, one righteous shoot that I encountered, the perp, a junkie, was running through a graveyard. He ran into the spiked fence at the back of the graveyard with two cops in hot hoofing after him. So he grabbed a big stake from a grave (probably to hold up a plant or something) and started running at one of the cops to impale him on it. The cops cleared every round fired out of their firearms within three seconds, with the target cop having to knock the stake aside with his arm to keep from being impaled, with the two cops putting a total of five rounds into the perp out of eleven rounds fired (good shooting, they almost broke 50%!). That's just how fast these things happen.

    17 rounds in the magazine might make some cops' pricks hard, but it doesn't have much to do with everyday righteous shoots in the real world. I'd rather have six big soft slugs in an ultra-reliable revolver than seventeen steel jacketed bullets in a semiautomatic weapon susceptible to jams if you accidentally limp-wrist it, that can misfeed for any of a number of reasons from a weak magazine spring to a bullet whose jacket has a nick in it, where you have to remember to jack a round into the chamber before opening fire or otherwise carry "hot" (hope you're not carrying a Glock if you're carrying hot, because that's how cops manage to shoot their toes off, by retrieving their service weapons under stress and accidentally catching the trigger with their finger in the process), and of course there's that whole safety thing with non-Glock automatics where you *thought* you flicked the safety off but you didn't and now you're f*cked (three seconds, remember?). Nosirree, gimme a .357 revolver every time for normal use in an urban environment. Those fancy military weapons are great for the military, but the point is that the military and cops have different goals and objectives. The military prefers to injure the enemy. Cops want to kill perps who are a threat to the cops and others. Different goals, different weapons needed. This militarization of the police forces (NYC now has the equivalent of a combat brigade of M4-equipped cops!) is just plain nonsense.

    - Badtux the Overly Verbose Penguin


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