Friday, January 13, 2006

Full Auto vs Semi-Auto?

I've participated in several conversations (well, a lot more than several), about gun bans and so forth, and particularly the ban on full-auto weapons.

Here's a thought for you to either agree with, or dispute.

In my opinion, a full auto weapon in the hands of a bad guy is probably less dangerous than if the bad guy had a semi-auto.

The first reason is lack of accuracy when shooting full auto. At the Missoula Annual Bowling Pin shoot the fastest time for getting five pins off the table was with a semi-auto shotgun, an amazing 2.15 seconds. The distance was 21 feet. Here's some of the times:

Fastest single runs of the day - seconds

2.17 - Autoloading shotgun
2.54 - .22 Rifle
2.55 - Pump shotgun
2.94 - .22 Pistol

Total of best two runs - seconds

4.56 - Autoloading shotgun
5.91 - .22 pistol
6.07- .22 rifle
7.16 - Pump Shotgun
7.86 - Full-auto
8.93 - Centerfire pistol
10.77 - Double-action Revolver
13.36 - Single-action Revolver
19.45 - Lever-action rifle

Unfortunately center fire semi-auto rifles were shooting a different class with pop cans instead of bowling pins, so no times are available for comparision. I would predict that they would have been in the high6's to low 7's.

Clearly when speed and accuracy are combined, full auto weapons show no advantage, and if anything, they are at a disadvantage. Do they put the most lead down range? No doubt about it. Do the sub-gunners have the most fun? They WERE having fun! However hitting the target is a REALLY big part of the equation, and at that they didn't fare too well.

Think about this: If you come up against a bad guy with a weapon, there are two possibilities, either he is competent with his weapon, or he isn't. If he knows what he's doing, he will wait for his shot, and probably get you with the first shot, no matter how many more rounds he has in the magazine.

On the other hand, if he's a bozo with an UZI, he may well spray all thirty rounds all over the place with one trigger pull, and very possibly miss you entirely. Once his magazine is empty, or thre gun jams, you can take him out with whatever is at hand.

If he was shooting semi-auto, he may plink away at you one shot at a time, and it might not turn out so well for you.

The argument can be made about an UZI in a small room, but I would question just how deadly it might be compared with a semi-auto 12 gauge with buckshot. A full auto with a 30 round magazine has 30 bullets to send down range, an 8 shot 12 gauge with double ought buckshot has 72.

The question, then, is this:

Why are full autos banned at all? They certainly don't give bad guys any advantage, and might even put them at a disadvantage instead......


At Friday, January 13, 2006 3:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

** Disclaimer: I am not pro any gun bans **

I am sure the tactics used by gangsters and other criminals during prohibition is what led to the public "acceptance" of the law, remember this is the same group of folks that voted for the 18th amendment. While fully automatic weapons may be less accurate in that mode then a semi-automatic counterpart if a group of individuals puts enough lead in the air SOMETHING is going to get shot.

If you had not watched gun rights steadily erode over that last 70 years, might you have been tempted in 1938 to buy the argument that "There was really no "legal" use for an automatic weapon" after all even the military did not have them in wide distribution at this time. (Remember I am not arguing for the ban just expressing how it easily could have happened)

The New Deal ushered in the new age of government and people did not realize how much freedom and autonomy they were about to loose. Now we have to be on guard for those reasonable sounding arguments "What possible use could you have for a .50 BMG gun?" (Personally I would love one but I doubt I could keep that baby fed as she would eat me out of house and home) because we KNOW where they are leading.

At Friday, January 13, 2006 5:23:00 PM, Blogger Rivrdog said...

You've all overlooked the reason that full-auto was developed: as an area-denial weapon. Around 1900, when the first machine guns began to be tested, there was an actual international movement to ban them as an early "weapon of mass destruction". It was said that machine guns would make war obsolete, that an army that had them, and marched into your territory with 'em, simply had to be surrendered to (might have been suggested by a Frenchman, I don't know).

The whole field tactical situation changes when MGs are deployed. If they are set up properly, with interlocking fields of fire, they create an area that no formation of troops may enter without risk of destruction.

A subgun is just the miniaturization of a GPMG. The reason that they are banned goes to the thinking of statists who want to eliminate, in so far as possible, the chance that their statist applecart will be overturned by a successful revolution. Along with military explosives, artillery and the like, the subgun (and all MGs) are seen by statists as giving too much force-multiplying effect to the individual.

I forward the argument that the 2A was written to include ALL military weapons, INCLUDING ARTILLERY AND MILITARY EXPLOSIVES, WHICH WERE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. The 2A doesn't say that arms must be limited to individual weapons, or single-shot muskets/pistols. It envisions the citizenry being an EFFECTIVE MILITIA, and in today's terms, that means being armed with the usual assortment of infantry weapons.

As I understand the modern infantry, the TO&E involves every company (about 250 men) being broken down into 5 platoons, one of which is the Weapons Platoon, which has Mortars and Machine Guns, both crew-served weapons.

The 2A didn't say that the Militia was to be limited to Riflemen only.

A full-auto capable gun in capable hands is able to, when employed properly, make the militiaman much more combat-effective.

If we are to take our Constitutional Duty to be militia-capable seriously, we should be allowed to keep and bear full-auto weapons.

At Monday, January 16, 2006 9:25:00 AM, Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Great post Mr. C.
We need to get our rights back.

Heck, why are silencers illegal (almost)? They're just a safety item!

At Thursday, January 19, 2006 6:23:00 PM, Blogger Murdoc said...

Agree 100% that full-auto isn't much use in the hands of typical shooters.

I don't have too much trouble with the full-auto ban. I can see a lot of sense in the argument that some jerk with a full-auto could cause a fair amount of carnage in a crowded place, probably worse (wounds per second or whatever stat you'd like to use) than a semi with 30-round mags.

I've never really bought the claims that hi-cap mags are inherently dangerous. A good shooter will cause destruction no matter how often he has to change out. But a bad shooter can do a lot more with full-auto using the "spray-and-pray" than he can with semis no matter the mag size.

Just my two cents.

At Saturday, January 21, 2006 8:30:00 AM, Blogger EgregiousCharles said...

Full auto is better that semi-auto for area denial and the related suppressing fire; both defensive tactics. Full-auto is less effective than semi-auto for offensive use.

Full auto in a crowded place is much less dangerous to the crowd than semi-auto, especially in the case of a poor shot, because semi-auto is going to be approximately one bullet, one person, where full-auto is going to be lots of bullets in the same person and in the ceiling.

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 5:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its how they use the guns. If your in lets say a large room and theres a row of bozos with UZI guns and a row of people with shotguns the Bozos would pluck them off because the speed sure a coule of the would get shot. But if you think about it semi-auto weapons are better at long range beause its steady gunfire because the bullets do not spread out like an UZI.

At Saturday, January 07, 2012 11:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the military, the merits of full auto allow suppresive fire and close range firepower and hit probability over semi autos. Once the range increases to much over very close range, aimed semi auto fire generally is more effective, with machine guns providing said supression, area denial etc. at range.


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