The world is full of gun myths, most are born out of pure ignorance. The people who write Hollywood screenplays and direct action sequences aren’t exactly gun people, so it’s somewhat understandable that they botch so much.
However, there are a few myths that seem to float around people who, in theory, should know better. These are the myths that supposed gun people tend to perpetuate.
We’ll start with this one because it’s a classic.
The idea is simple. The argument is that a shotgun with a barrel only slightly above legal length will, when fired, put out such a wide swath of hate and shot that aiming the weapon becomes pointless. This is why people like to recommend shotguns to people who want something for home defense, but don’t really want to practice with it.
While the shot does spread out a bit, it’s not nearly as much as some people would like to think. A shotgun can be a little more forgiving in the aiming department than a handgun or a carbine, but you still have to have the gun pointed in the right spot, otherwise, you’re going to miss. There’s no way around that one.
The idea is straightforward. The military developed the 5.56 round not so much to kill the enemy, but to wound them. Proponents of this myth state that a wounded man takes more people off the battlefield–the wounded man, stretcher bearer, and medics–whereas killing the enemy only takes one man off the field.
It almost sounds plausible until you remember that wounded people can return to kill you later. Those who remove the wounded man from the field will also return to kill you.
Wounded men are not now, nor have they ever been the goal of our armed forces. Dead enemy soldiers are people who will never menace our people again. Make enough dead enemy soldiers, and the enemy decides peace is preferable to war regardless of the cost, and we win. That’s not nearly as likely to happen if you wound people.
Now, we can debate the lethality of the 5.56 versus, say, 7.62×51 all day long, but to say that the 5.56 round was designed to wound is ridiculous.
“I’m gonna use me a .45 cuz even it’s got plenty of knockdown power.”
No, it doesn’t. That’s because there’s no such thing.
The idea with knockdown power is that a round is so powerful that it’ll knock down anyone you shoot with that round. However, even a rudimentary understanding of physics should tell you just how wrong this concept is. Newtown’s Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. For our purposes here, that means any power strong enough to knock someone down is probably enough to knock the shooter down as well.
Yes, there are various things that can factor into reducing felt recoil, but it still wouldn’t be enough to keep you from hurting every time you pulled the trigger.
There are people walking around right now carrying a weapon that doesn’t have a round in the chamber. Why? Because it’s dangerous!
Now, this isn’t all that much of a myth per se, because a round in the chamber is more dangerous than an empty chamber, but so what? Negligent discharges don’t happen if you keep the booger hook off of the bang switch, so having a round in the chamber won’t matter if you keep our finger off the trigger.
But what’s really dangerous is walking around with a self-defense tool that’s useless because you believe this next myth.
This one will get people killed. Plain and simple.
The idea here is that having a round in the chamber means you may have a negligent discharge, so it’s safer to carry with an empty chamber. After all, you’ll be able to rack the slide before you need to shoot…
…except, you can’t. Not always.
If you need a gun, you generally need a gun right freaking now! You don’t have time to pull some movie badass stuff where you rack the slide, make a witty one-liner, and then get to down to the business of shooting. That’s not how it works at all. Especially since in most cases, if you’re needing a gun, it’s because the bad guy is right there in front of you and armed.
What are you going to do then? Remember, there are no “times outs” in the real world.
So those are five gun myths that supposed gun people need to stop spreading.
What are your favorite myths that need to die in a fire?