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Monday, September 23, 2013

Gun Entheuists vs Reality

So, I see the following pic on my Facebook news feed :

While I support the 2nd amendment and am not anti-gun, I am not obsessed about guns any more than I am obsessed about hammers, digital cameras or computers.

The above meme image has some very inaccurate information.  For one, the PICTURED top gun IS more dangerous than the PICTURED bottom gun.  It has, IN THE PICTURE, a 20 round Magazine.  The bottom gun only has 5 rounds.  Using basic math, the top gun can kill or damage 4 times more things than the top gun. (Oh, and don't call a 'magazine' a clip, which is what they were called until rather recently when terminology freaks started using the difference to call people stupid.  I remember when gun magazines - the monthly publications for reading - advertised "banana clips", curved, high capacity 'magazines' for various guns.  Okay, so maybe my experience is a bit out of date... like I said, not obsessed with guns.)

They claim that a pistol grip, higher capacity magazine and, it looks like the top gun has a heat dispersal mod and a flash suppressor on the barrel, are just cosmetic.

Lets stop and define the word cosmetic
: not important or meaningful
: not substantive :  superficial <cosmetic changes>
Any HONEST police officer or SWAT officer will tell you that the grip changes a LOT about how the gun handles.  It changes the ergonomics and mechanics of shooting.  The shaped stock improves shoulder contact.  Having a pistol grip will allow more accuracy when firing in rapid succession.

Even the MANUFACTURER (Ruger) calls the top version a "tactical rifle" and the bottom one is the "ranch rifle" model.  They are DESIGNED for completely different applications.

According to the specs, the Tactical has a shorter barrel by a little less than 2 inches, shorter overall by 4 inches, a tiny big heavier and $80 more.

Saying that the differences are only cosmetic - not important nor meaningful - goes against all of my logic and reason.  It seems an affront to physics, mechanics and ergonomics.

But the idiots jumped my case, called me ignorant and said all kinds of nasty things about me because I dared to point out that blatant lies do nothing to help any cause.

The poster below is a bit more accurate. 

It uses "mostly superficial" instead of "only cosmetic."  It also points out they can both accept the same magazines of different capacities.  However, they are not the same gun.  They are different models of the same gun.  Using the Tactical Rifle to go hunting is like taking a Nascar vehicle to do the grocery shopping.  I'm sure it will get the job done, but it is not what it was made for.
Of course, with our roads, I'm not sure the racer could make it to the store without bottoming out and getting stuck in a pothole.

When I found a youtube video of a guy demonstrating the differences a pistol grip makes, they called HIM an idiot too.

I have found a blogger who knows about guns...
"The pistol grip affects a few things in reference to your relationship with the rifle.  The shape and angle of the grip affect how the rifle carries and how it shoots, which encompass most of the things you might do with your rifle."
"The reason is that vertical grips make shooting easier."
and part 2...
(with a pistol grip there is) "No contorting necessary.  I can just grasp it normally and the finger ends up pretty close to where I want it.  I find it odd that a rifle could just fit so easily."

Doesn't seem like it is 'just cosmetic,' but they would probably call him ignorant as well - his knowledge doesn't fit with their meme and talking points.

I was looking at reviews of the Mini-14 Tactical and one of the best quotes I saw in comments was from a Trooper :
"Accuracy? Well sports fans, it was never meant to be a benchrest rifle but it will reliably kill a man at two to three hundred yards all day long, which was the whole point."
A different article has a good quote regarding the pistol-grip design on the AR:
"Many famous firearms such as the Thompson submachine gun and several WWII-era German designs used similar grip-to-receiver angles for the same reason it’s endured more than five decades of AR service: It is conducive to effective combat shooting. The AR grip is most natural in-hand when shooting upright (standing, kneeling, etc.), but is likewise well suited for prone work and patrol-type activities. Traditional stock designs lack in one or more of these areas, but thanks to Eugene Stoner, today’s ARs are pretty darn comfortable guns."  (note: the AR has a pistol grip)
It is fairly clear that the reason for a pistol grip on a rifle is to make it an effective Combat Weapon.  Therefore making the change not just for looks.  The standard stock is better for long-term carrying and carrying in wooded and brush areas - less stuff to get caught on the brush and poke into body parts while being carried.



Not 'just cosmetic' differences
Mostly Superficial differences
I made a picture from Ruger's website.  The top is still the 'tactical' model and bottom is still the 'ranch' model, but the differences AS PICTURED are, in fact, mostly superficial and neither is 'more dangerous.'

All I'm saying is have a little more accuracy when trying to do a meme!!  And when called on the bullshit, don't defend it.

One more thing about the 'arguments' is that they used school-yard bully tactics.  They focused on one, insubstantial part of a statement and over-emphasised it to discredit me and distract from the substance of the argument.  Since they can't argue on the facts, they have to draw attention away from valid points by any means necessary.  I hate that - and that is one reason I don't keep firearms within reach.  :)

I have no experience with firing those two configurations one after the other.  I, however, hunted and shot quite a bit growing up.  I was (successfully) squirrel hunting with a revolver when I was a teenager. 

The only way to fully settle this would be to do a side by side test at a firing range with the two guns AS PICTURED.  Firing once for speed, once for accuracy.  With a non-biased judge collecting the stats of each test, the speed, the accuracy, the accuracy during the speed test and the speed during the accuracy test.  Probably at least two or three testers with various experience levels.

Fire 5 rounds as fast as possible with each, time speed and accuracy of both rifles.
Fire 20 rounds as fast as possible with each, time speed and accuracy of both rifles.
Fire 5 rounds as accurately as possible, time speed and accuracy of both rifles.

1. Would you expect a difference in the two rifles performance?
2. Would you expect a difference in speed and/or accuracy due to the stock/grip?
3. What was the actual experience regarding performance and the stock/grip?

If Ruger would loan me the rifles to test, I am sure that I can get a gun range to host the testing.  My office is full of people who won't stop talking about guns, load their own ammo, etc. Even a guy with his own range.  So I can get some volunteers to help test.  I'd be a tester, of course.  Probably have to bring our own ammo though.

I wonder what the engineers who designed the Tactical Rifle would say to all their additions being 'just cosmetic.'  Or what all the designers for military applications whose designs are basically being called complete failures - as they make no difference other than looks?

I guess there is a possibility that they are just cosmetic and change nothing significant about the gun.  That would make those wishing to ban the weapon because of it's looks seem very silly.  It would also make those who want to own that style weapon, who would suffer great emotional distress if they had to settle for the standard version, very, very silly people.

If it turns out there is no difference, then I'd have to say, "I came into this thinking that they should not be banned.  Now, why not?  There is no functional difference in the two, no reason to want one over the other, so, why not put the scary looking one away to make a lot of people feel better?  Its not like they'd be taking away any combat advantage or anything.  All sides of the argument are stupid and a waste of time."

One small side effect to this encounter is that I am now considering getting the Mini-14 Tactical instead, or perhaps in addition to, the CZ75-b that I have been looking at getting. But I know, realize and admit that I am not getting either one to go hunting for food nor just for target practice.  Its all about the Zombie Apocalypse!