I’m also perplexed that FN submitted the Five-SeveN, as the gun’s 5.7×28 caliber has been thoroughly trashed by most defensive handgun experts as a niche round that fails to create adequate tissue damage to have significant immediate impact on targets.
The FN 5.7 won’t be the next Army handgun, but it doesn’t perplex me at all, and frankly I wouldn’t pay much attention to defensive handgun “experts” as they trash things. And this is as good a chance as any to post a related bit of analysis I ran up on a few months ago.
The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. Subjective comparisons with the .22 magnum or categorization as a sub-par .223 round create confusion about the effectiveness of the FN 5.7.
Enough time has passed after the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, has been arrested, tried and sentenced. The media has moved on. Now we can begin to analyze the impact of the FN 5.7 and address the question of lethality.
Using SS192 and SS197SR ammunition (common commercial 5.7×28 ammo), several 20-30 round magazines and an FN 5.7 (shooter also had a .357 revolver but did not use it), Hassan killed 13 and wounded 32 people.
Many armchair ballistics expert criticized this result as proof that the FN 5.7 platform is not lethal enough because of the proportion of the fatalities to the wounded. Others have proposed that had Hassan use another type of pistol, 9mm or .45, there would have been more fatalities.
If you look at this Wikipedia link and look at the list of casualties, one can come to a very eye-opening conclusion.
Fort Hood shooting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1. 11 people were shot center-of-mass (COM), one was shot in the stomach and one was shot in the head. All 13 died. All 11 victims who were shot COM did not survive.
2. 3 of the 13 people who died, tried to charge Hassan, but he stopped them with COM shots.
3. The 32 people who were wounded were hit in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders. None of the wounded survivors were shot COM.
The following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The FN 5.7 is a very lethal round CQB because all 11 victims who were shot COM died. No survivors for those hit COM.
2. The FN 5.7 is a real stopper, because 3 tried to charge Hassan at close range and were stopped by COM shots.
3. One of the fatalities was shot in the stomach, and died. The fragmentation of the SS197R round can create a hail of metal shards that can cause serious internal organ damage and bleeding in the stomach.
4. None of the 32 people who were hit in the extremities, hips and shoulders were able to muster a counter-attack because the FN 5.7 must have shattered or broken bones. The high rate of wounded vicitms to fatalities was the direct result of the shooting ability of Hassan (or lack thereof), and not because the 5.7×28 round is not lethal.
5. Sgt. Kimberly Munley (base civilian police), one of the first responders, was immediately disabled with 5.7×28 bullet shrapnels to her wrist and a second 5.7×28 bullet broke her femur. The light 5.7×28 commercial ammo showed that it can shatter large bones due to its velocity
6. According to medical personnel, there was so much blood in the room that it was difficult to get to the victims because the floor became very slippery. One can conclude that the commercial 5.7×28 rounds can fragment or tumble, causing immense blood loss.
7. It took five bullets (which I assume was a 9 mm) from Sgt Mark Todd to stop Hasan. And he survived his wounds (no available info on where he was hit, except that one of the bullets paralyzed Hasan).
1. The FN 5.7 is definitely a very lethal round. 100% fatality for COM shots.
2. The FN 5.7 is a man-stopper. Three military men tried to charge Hasan, and all three were stopped.
2. The FN 5.7 is a very incapacitating round, if extremities are hit, because it is powerful enough to break the femur (which is the largest bone in the body)
3. The fragmentation or tumbling effect of commercial ammo can cause a lot of blood loss.
The FN 5.7 is a very effective weapon. It is as effective as, or arguably more effective, than any military or civilian pistols in the market.
It is unfortunate that the jihadist Hassan used this weapon against U.S. soldiers.
And as it pertains to its penetrating capability, you can see these tests for yourself (note that none of these rounds are the steel core rounds, and perhaps for maximum tissue damage one wouldn’t want to use steel core rounds anyway).
Jack is walking down a busy sidewalk carrying a handgun in a holster on his belt. Someone screams, “He’s got a gun!” A nearby police officer sees the firearm, draws his weapon, and orders Jack to stop, show his hands, and lie down on the ground. The officer then handcuffs Jack, takes his firearm, and detains him for questioning about why he is carrying the firearm.
With more states legalizing the open carry of firearms, this kind of scenario has and will occur with greater frequency. Let’s assume the person with the firearm is not carrying in a prohibited place, brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner, refusing to follow police orders, or otherwise acting suspiciously. Does the mere carrying of a firearm openly in public give the police sufficient reason to stop the carrier and seize the firearm?
In an open carry state, in this instance the police have violated the constitution of their respective states (or the body of case law appurtenant to this), and the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution of the United States. So says the Supreme Court in Terry v. Ohio.
In such cases, the responsible officer(s) should be charged with violation of the state laws, violation of the fourth and fifth amendments to the constitution of the United States, disturbing the peace, illegal seizure of property, and reckless endangerment due to lack of muzzle discipline when he pointed his weapon at an innocent citizen. He has absolutely no right to detain the individual, touch his property (including his firearm), or make a public spectacle of the detention. Such behavior is thuggish and illegal, regardless of whether the courts allow them to get away with it.
What someone who needs their safe space or doesn’t know the applicable law feels concerning this is completely irrelevant. “He’s got a gun” should be followed by “Ma’am, please be more specific concerning the law you believe to have been violated.” Open carry isn’t brandishing. The more we allow police officers to get away with this kind of behavior, the worse it will become. They need to be reminded of the decision of the fourth circuit in the case of Nathaniel Black.
This is simple. Teach police officers the law, expect them to obey it, and charge them when they don’t. The title of the article at The Hill is “Open carry complicates police encounters.” It only complicates matters when the police do illegal things. Otherwise, this really is all quite clear and easy to process.
There is no absolute right to self-defense; the right is qualified or limited. When the limits to this right are in view, the ground beneath gun ownership rights appears shakier.
Suppose I live in a country with useless law enforcement and know that an assassin is trying to kill me. Surely I, an innocent person, may defend myself. But if the only effective means is by blowing up a crowded building, killing not only the assassin but dozens of innocent people, I may not proceed. My act of self-defense would be disproportionately harmful to innocent others and would violate their rights. My right to self-defense is limited by the means I may take in exercising it.
Perhaps, then, people have a right to take effective means to defend themselves so long as these measures don’t wrongly harm or violate the rights of others. Yet this isn’t quite right either.
When others threaten your security or rights, certain measures may be necessary to protect you. But it doesn’t follow that you may take those measures if another party has assumed responsibility for taking them on your behalf. As Thomas Hobbes argued centuries ago, when we leave a “state of nature” and enter civil society — which features the rule of law rather than anarchy and vigilantism — we transfer some rights to a government whose job description includes protecting us from various common threats. For example, the police, an arm of the government, are permitted to pursue criminals, forcibly apprehend them and bring them to justice. As private citizens, we generally lack the authority to perform these actions.
So it is questionable whether we have not only a right to forceful protective measures but also a right to take those measures ourselves. If the right to do so has been delegated to the police and, in case of foreign invasion, to the military, then our right to self-defense is further qualified. We have, in fact, partly delegated the job of protecting our security to the police and military in the interest of a well-ordered society. So the qualified right to self-defense comes to this: a right to defend oneself when doing so (1) does not wrongly harm others or violate their rights and (2) is necessary to protect one’s security and/or rights because such protection isn’t otherwise forthcoming.
Does the qualified right of self-defense support gun ownership? Presumably, this right concerns the freedom to use effective means to defend oneself — subject to the two qualifications just stated. So, it must be asked: Are guns effective means? Are they necessary for one’s protection? And does gun ownership steer clear of harming others and violating their rights?
These questions raise complicated issues in the social sciences, political philosophy and ethics. In this short space, I can only offer a few brief notes of skepticism.
First, in our current American milieu of minimal gun control, gun ownership is associated with an increased likelihood that someone in the household will die a violent death. Assuming the spirit of “self-defense in the home” includes defending not only oneself but other household members, this evidence-based generalization suggests that gun ownership, on average, is not an effective means to personal security; rather, it tends to be self-defeating.
Second, is gun ownership necessary in the event of an attempted break-in? That is uncertain. Some evidence suggests that calling the police and hiding are more frequently sufficient for a good outcome than is brandishing or using a gun.
Third, does gun ownership avoid wrongly harming others or violating their rights? Not if, as I believe evidence suggests, gun ownership more often leads to injuring or killing innocent persons than to appropriate defensive use.
Well, this is a strange set of arguments indeed. I’ve never seen anything quite like it (at least put together like this in such a disjointed, disconnected set of passages). Let’s unpack this is a bit.
David displays a childish understanding of Western law, or any law in the world for that matter (Asian, Middle Eastern, etc.). Let me rehearse the reality where we’ve addressed this sort of argument before.
In the 1981 decision in Warren v. District of Columbia the D.C. Court of Appeals concluded that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.” In Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005), the Supreme Court declined to expand any requirements for protection and ruled that the police cannot be sued for failure to protect individuals, even when restraining orders were in place.
Mr. Hubbard knows these decisions, and also knows that even if it was commonly accepted that the police were required to protect individuals, it would be impossible. They cannot be there all of the time, and they cannot even promise any particular timely response to your calls. The police can literally eat popcorn and watch while a woman is raped, as long as they effect an arrest after the fact. They may be fired for failure to follow a department procedure, but they will not be charged with a crime. “To protect and serve” is a sweet campaign slogan for Sheriffs who are running for office, but it’s a lie – it’s always a lie … The police are there for stability operations and security of the government. Understand that.
It may be a sweet bedtime story for all the little collectivists and their children to believe that the government is in some sort of contract to protect them and bring utopia to earth, but it just isn’t true. No court in America recognizes such a contract. David is engaged in propagating myths and fairy tales.
Next, he disconnects rights from any mooring or foundation and thus leaves the notion of rights meaningless. Not once does the author, who is supposedly a professor of philosophy, anchor his “rights” in a larger system of philosophy with the requisite epistemology, cosmology, metaphysics, ethics and so on. He does throw in a reference to Hobbes (and here I should mention that I consider Hobbes to have been an extremely weak thinker and his philosophy full of problems), but he says too much by using Hobbes as a reference because Hobbes believed in the right of revolt.
Next, he takes an even further turn into the bizarre by becoming a tactical advisor. He would counsel people under threat call the police and hide. Hide! But concealment isn’t cover, and dry wall doesn’t stop any handgun round known to man, much less rifle rounds. If anyone listens to his counsel, you are risking your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Next, he conflates the damage done by criminals with the good done by innocent victims, regardless of the weapon (and here one can substitute hammers, knives, etc.). He has divorced volitional intentionality from the use of tools (here substitute cars, truck loads full of fertilizer, and many other things that can be used to harm man but which can also be used for good). He even throws in a derogatory term for good measure, i.e., “brandishing,” which has nothing whatsoever to do with behavior in one’s own home, and everything to do with threatening or menacing behavior with a weapon in public. No respected tactical trainer to my knowledge has ever suggested that someone “brandish” or wave around guns at home invaders. You should shoot them, just like this woman did who recently used a handgun in self defense.
Finally, he is recommending the abdication of individual rights of innocent men because of the damage done by criminals, as if removal of the liberty of peaceable men will affect criminal behavior. He gives absolutely no justification for the rationality of this belief, or why it should be taken as properly foundational and basic. It isn’t rational, and it isn’t properly foundational and basic.
Regular readers know the true foundation of the Western principle of self defense, and it extends beyond mere self defense. The basis for this principle is found in the Decalogue.
I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying. As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue. Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.
God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.
God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries. Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them. God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse. He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls. God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right. It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image. It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.
We do not need to prove that when a good thing is commanded, the evil thing that conflicts with it is forbidden. There is no one who doesn’t concede this. That the opposite duties are enjoined when evil things are forbidden will also be willingly admitted in common judgment. Indeed, it is commonplace that when virtues are commended, their opposing vices are condemned. But we demand something more than what these phrases commonly signify. For by the virtue of contrary to the vice, men usually mean abstinence from that vice. We say that the virtue goes beyond this to contrary duties and deeds. Therefore in this commandment, “You shall not kill,” men’s common sense will see only that we must abstain from wronging anyone or desiring to do so. Besides this, it contains, I say, the requirement that we give our neighbor’s life all the help we can … the purpose of the commandment always discloses to us whatever it there enjoins or forbids us to do” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chapter viii, Part 9).
I have further observed that “If you’re willing to sacrifice the safety and health of your wife or children to the evils of abuse, kidnapping, sexual predation or death, God isn’t impressed with your fake morality. Capable of stopping it and choosing not to, you’re no better than a child molester, and I wouldn’t allow you even to be around my grandchildren.”
You’re the equivalent of the child predator if you reject your duty of self defense and defense of the little ones. I haven’t one ounce of respect for you. Mr. DeGrazia has done a pitiful job of arguing against the principle of self defense. And with his unseemly deference to the state, he has also given us no reason to conclude that he would have been willing or able (or armed) to save Christian lives in the Armenian genocide or Jews in the Holocaust (both of which were predicated on gun control). Mr. DeGrazia is in bad company.
A few things are clear: guns are a murderous problem; the NRA is racist and reactionary; and liberals are deluded if they believe that sentencing more black men to prison for gun crimes will do anything other than send more black men to prison. Government must disarm America, including NRA members, including the police. And it is government too that must end the war on guns.
Daniel Denvir, the writer of this pitiful piece, is so confused one wonders if they have any editors at this web site and how they let such a paragraph slip through. A good editor might have thought to ask the writer, “So how are we going to disarm America is we disarm ourselves, and who will do the disarming, since, if government disarms itself they won’t have the necessary arms to disarm anyone? And as for that matter, how does creating such a war end a war?”
But they apparently don’t have good editors. At least you can give this to the author. He’s honest about his confusion, to the point that he is willing to embarrass himself writing about it to the world. The folks at Bloomberg – not so much.
The NRA is not suggesting that every aspiring gunslinger become an expert. Quite the contrary. The organization talks a lot about gun safety and runs training programs. But its priorities lie elsewhere — such as its demand that virtually every American have immediate access to firearms, without training or qualification or cause or background check, and that they be authorized to carry those firearms in public no matter how unskilled or reckless they may be. That’s one reason that there are countless cases of accidental shootings, rage-induced homicides and alcohol-fueled attacks for every rare instance of a good guy with a gun stopping a killing.
It’s always dangerous to read too much into a slogan, even a catchy one. Still, it bears repeating: A guy with a gun and good intentions is not enough to stop a bad guy with a gun. As Jason Falconer showed, it also takes a guy who’s good with a gun.
The author isn’t calling for the disarming of cops, just others. That’s how you know he’s lying. He is advocating the collectivist belief in monopoly of force. He just doesn’t want you to have a gun. I did quite well the last time I was at the range, and I’ll put my ability with weapons up against most cops any day. Either way, it’s a lie to say that people who haven’t been trained in stress management can’t defend themselves. The author knows it. The author of the editorial just isn’t being as honest as the Daniel Denvir, who admitted to us that he has no idea what he’s talking about.
Here’s something else about which the author(s) should be honest. Attempting to confiscate guns or even place further controls on them risks bloody civil war. If they didn’t know that before, they do now. They’ve been told.
There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States—enough, according to several estimates, for every American civilian adult to own more than one.
But actual gun ownership is far more lopsided than that.
A sweeping new survey by researchers at Harvard University and Northeastern University finds that roughly half of the nearly 300 million firearms in the United States are concentrated in the hands of a tiny sliver of the U.S. population: Just 3 percent of American adults own some 130 million guns, according to The Trace and Guardian US, two news organizations that first reported on the survey. (The full survey has not yet been released; Guardian US and The Trace reported plans to publish a series of stories about the findings throughout the week.)
This portrait of gun ownership represents the equivalent of about 17 guns per person among a group of “super-owners,” the 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns each.
Surveys also show that The Trace and Guardian are full of crap. Here is a tip for all of you aspiring “gun researchers.” Are you listening? No, I mean really listening closely?
Fifty years ago someone might have been honest with you about their gun ownership. Maybe. And just maybe you could have demonstrated that you met the requirements to be taken seriously for legitimate statistics. I would have to review the data. Or better, I would have had to review the data. That was then, this is now.
Today, very few gun owners are going to be honest with you about their gun ownership, if you can even get them to talk to you. Your data is meaningless. All of it. Every last bit of it. It’s worthless. Have a nice day.
Back to the second portion my original point: What constitutes an effective defensive handgun? A firearm designed for self-defense (either military, law enforcement or civilian) needs to meet a minimum of four criteria to be considered effective:
Function reliability even without lubrication or regular maintenance
Able to consistently hit a 6-inch target within self-defense range (typically within 25 feet)
Fire a round proven to reliably stop an attacker with reasonable shot placement
Carry at least five rounds of ammo and be easily reloadable
The 1911 barely meets the first criteria. Not because the design isn’t capable – I’ve seen 1911s that rattle like an old toolbox that run like a scalded dog – but because its magazines can be a total crap shoot. The overwhelming majority of 1911s that suffer from reliability issues can be traced back to faulty magazines.
Shooters should stick with new-production magazines from companies with solid reputations like Chip McCormick Customs. These guys have been working on, running and building 1911 magazines for 3 decades. So I called the owner, Chip, and asked him about the importance of magazines.
“Magazines lie at the heart of (the M1911’s) reliability,” Chip explained. “Browning never intended 1911 magazines to be extended, or be run as hard as competitors tend to these days.”
[ … ]
Because the 1911 meets or exceeds all the aforementioned criteria, it’s not only a solid choice for serious self-defense use, but also on par with more modern designs, right?
Yes and no.
[ … ]
The 1911’s design could certainly benefit from higher magazine capacity, like something on par with the Springfield XDm in .45 ACP or the Glock 21 in the same caliber. Higher capacity frames like those from Infinity and STI exist, but are vastly more expensive than standard capacity 1911s. But it’s safe to say, as the 1911 continues to evolve, it’s far from obsolete.
No, the 1911 couldn’t benefit from a lot more rounds in the magazine if that means giving up the single stack design. And as for what Chip McCormick said, while I have been intending on purchasing some of his higher capacity magazines for the 1911 (I have not yet), the ones I have work just fine, and I have never had a FTF or FTE with my 1911. Not even once. I don’t know what they’re talking about.
I’ve said it before, but I like the grip angle (11 degrees), the slim single stack design (and resulting narrow frame profile), and the push of the .45 compared to the snap of the 9 mm. What’s works best for you is the best choice for you. What doesn’t is not. There is also an article at Cheaper Than Dirt entitled Every Man’s Defensive Caliber – The 9 mm.
The only legitimate point the author makes, in my opinion, is that the 9 mm is cheaper than the .45. True that. But you get what you pay for. The 9 mm isn’t every man’s defensive round if every man doesn’t like it and use it. I don’t use 9 mm. I use .45 because I like it. If you use 9 mm, do so because you like it and shoot it well, not because somebody said something on the internet about it.
These debates are stupid, and anyway, why would someone feel that it’s necessary to talk someone else into liking something he doesn’t use well? The only time this debate becomes important is for something like an entire department that issues a standard service weapon. I guess in this case if you don’t like what they issue, you need to practice with it until you do or find another job.
Finally, I wonder what it would have been like for John Basilone if he used had the 9 mm instead of the .45? I wonder if perchance we would have been able to win at Guadalcanal if John hadn’t lost the battle for Henderson Field? Oh, wait. Nevermind.
In some circles the pistol-mounted light has become quite popular as a personal-defense tool. The theory in the use of such lights is, of course, that you need to be able to identify the person as an actual threat before you employ deadly force. Further, we find that when we light up the target at night or in poor light, we can deliver our hits with much greater accuracy. However, there are some problems that can arise with the use of pistol-mounted lights that the defensive shooter should consider before making the transition.
Armed citizens often have two problems when considering carrying the defensive handgun. The first is that a suitable pistol, in a substantial caliber, often seems heavy, especially when one has been wearing it all day long. The other is that this same pistol can be more difficult to conceal. Unfortunately, mounting a light on the defensive handgun makes it even heavier. And it makes it more difficult to properly conceal the handgun.
Another potential problem that occurs when a person is using a pistol-mounted light is that he is tempted to use the pistol as a flashlight. I know of several cases in which the defensive shooter shined his light—and loaded pistol—on people and things that he had no intention of shooting.
We’ve dealt with this issue before of a light on the front of your handgun, and the lack of police officer discipline causing negligent discharges because of the trigger-like actuation of the light (pressure switch near the trigger guard, along with the fact that officers stupidly go around with their finger on the trigger of their weapons while pointing them at people and things).
Don’t do it this way, and keep your finger off the trigger. Simple discipline solves that problem. Lack of time, discipline and training also causes sympathetic muscle reflex responses like it did with poor Eurie Stamps (Jesus was that my rifle?). But in general I am a huge fan of pistol-mounted lights for the right reason and under the right circumstances.
I think I’ve told the story about my purchase of one, but it bears repeating. Before my wife’s grandmother passed away, I had to work on her house, oftentimes late into the evening on the weekends, and oftentimes not getting started until after dark. The home was once in a great neighborhood, but it had turned for the worse because of gang activity, and it was in another town so we couldn’t be there except for me on the weekends.
There were also reports of ne’er-do-wells hanging around, and visual evidence of home entry when we weren’t there (along with electronic evidence such as unexplained power bills). The home was left dark in order to minimize power bills, and every time I had to begin work after dark, I had to perform a sweep of the entire home. Sometimes I had my Doberman, Heidi, and I was always safer and happier to have her.
But sometimes I didn’t have her with me. The first time I ever did entry and sweep of the home, I did so using the hand over wrist method for holding a weapon in one hand and light in another. The home had many rooms, many closets, multiple bathrooms and a garage as well as exterior structures. I swore I would never use that method again. It led to exhaustion and loss of fine motor skills associated with use of my hands and arms.
Before the next time I got a weapon mounted light and haven’t looked back. I did entry, sweeping and room clearing using proper grip technique and without exhaustion. I’ll grant the point that the handgun is unable to be concealed, and it’s a bit too heavy to carry without a rigger’s belt. With a rigger’s belt and the proper holster it isn’t a problem, but you don’t usually carry a rigger’s belt, holster, firearm and weapon-mounted light to the grocery store (I wish we could all do that without people freaking out).
So my gun with the weapon-mounted light sits under my bed. I’ll carry it in the car on trips, and sometimes I’ll carry it backpacking. Otherwise, I do the classic routine of carrying a gun and tactical light (separately) with my other weapons. You get something, you give up something. No solution is perfect, and one size fits all doesn’t work with firearms.
I use this exact grip, but I find it natural and comfortable. Others may not. I also find .45 1911 natural and comfortable, while I do not find 9mm natural or comfortable (nor do I find double-stack magazine guns natural or comfortable compared to the 1911). It may come down to choice if a shooter doesn’t come to terms with this grip, but it isn’t trivial that all the top competition shooters use this grip. It does have a number of advantages.