By Kurt Saxon
A pistol for the bedroom,
A shotgun over the door,
A 30-06 for reaching out;
You don't need any more.
If an intruder makes it to your
bedroom, shoot him with the pistol. If he's trying to break in, use the shotgun.
If he is fifty yards or more away and shooting at you, pick him off with the
This is the real Survivalist's arsenal; basic,
inexpensive, effective. So why all the promotion of rapid-fire weapons? If you
aim at a man and don't hit him, he' going to move, and probably shoot you.
Banging away in the same general direction is just a senseless waste of ammo.
You need practice, not rapid-fire. You also need a realistic attitude, not a
But fantasy sells. There is big money in Macho.
The more awesome your weapon looks and sounds, the tougher and sexier you look.
Girls get off on rapid-fire. It's the Freudian part of the package.
The Rambo Survivalist image being sold to
neurotics is making weapons dealers rich. It is also showing the profound
ignorance of weapons among the general public.
To know guns, you must understand the three
basic methods of shooting; sweeping, pointing and aiming.
Sweeping is with rapid-fire. Its main purpose
is to dispatch several enemies before one can shoot you. Such confrontations are
unlikely in any actual civil conflict. Raiders don't bunch up. There would be no
point to it. Of course, if you are the raider you would have a better chance
wiping out a couple and two or three children if you have a rapid fire weapon.
Sweeping is also anticipated in cases of moving
targets. Proficiency with the shotgun will do more damage to the moving target
than expert use of rapid-fire.
There is a psychological disadvantage to
dependency on a rapid-fire weapon. One tends to sweep or just bang away
ineffectually. It is the nature of the weapon and a case of the weapon
controlling the man.
An example is a commercial for a TV crime
story. One of the heroes bursts into the room and says, "I just had an Uzi
emptied on me outside". Obviously, the character with the Uzi swept, did
not aim or even point. At least 20 shots and nothing. Of course, it was fiction.
But that kind of shooting is becoming acceptable.
If an automatic weapon is shifted one and a
half feet, in 20 or more yards, the bullets are spaced several feet apart. You
could empty a clip on several people and not hit one. The nut who unloaded
several clips of an AK-47 at a crowd of 35 children in Stockton only killed
five. What if he had had a rifle and had to aim? What if he had had a shotgun
and had to point? Couldn't he see his sweeps were ineffective?
He was crazy but he wasn't blind! He knew how
to operate the weapon. But he was psyched up with the glamor image of that
weapon. He was not controlling that weapon; it was controlling him.
Another TV segment was on the Gulf. Here were
all these troops practicing, banging away at a dune, fully automatic, as usual.
I only hope the Iraqis are on full-auto. I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt.
Yet another segment was at a California
shooting range. It told how the state had 300,000 assault weapons owners but
only 15,000 had registered as ordered.
There were about ten men banging away on
semi-auto, as fast as they could shoot. They were all pointing, as they were
shooting too fast to correct aim.
I suppose they were all wealthy, as ammo costs
a lot. Whatever practicality there might be in such weapons, only the wealthy
can afford them.
Watching those men, I could see that their
practice was ineffective. The targets were only 10 to 15 yards away. No
proficiency can be gained by simply banging away at a stationary target from a
distance at which one only has to point.
Watching them reminded me of the reason for the
arming of all the American forces with rapid-fire weapons. During the Korean War
it was found that only one in nineteen soldiers would fire his rifle. They were
mostly uniformed civilians in a no-win war and didn't want to get killed. So
they would just hunker down and try to ignore the Chinese. Having Garands, which
demanded aiming, put them at risk of getting a bullet in the face.
So by the time the Vietnam fiasco rolled around
the boys all had the confidence-giving, noise-making M-16s. They were effective
enough for jungle fighting where one could not aim anyway, even if he knew how
to shoot. It didn't matter, however, since the other side had AK-47s; just as
worthless. Of course, there were plenty enough bombs and napalm to keep the VC's
numbers manageable and most U.S. losses were due to booby-traps. So a rifleman
was about as useful as nipples on a boar.
I know it is hard to believe that glamor
weapons with all their sound and fury, are more hype than effect. However, if
one of their proud owners has it out with any practiced hunter with any rifle,
the hunter will win.
Now we come to pointing. Apart from shooting at
flying ducks, the shotgun is mainly for pointing. Man-killing shot is from #4 to
00 buckshot. (Single 0 buckshot has 12 .30 caliber pellets per round). The best
killing range is up to 50 yards.
The 12 gauge shotgun is the most devastating
hand-held weapon. Few people realize how really terrible the shotgun is. The
Geneva Convention bans its use in war but police use it. It was also preferred
in Vietnam over regulation arms, even though a soldier's family had to send it
A buckshot pellet does not have the penetrative
force of any bullet of equal diameter because it is round and not as heavy as
the longer bullet. Buckshot is also fired at lower velocities than bullets.
But they still inflict wounds of maximum size,
induce considerable shock and hemorrhage. Also, when two or more pellets hit,
their total effect on the victim is as the square of the number of hits, not
just an additive progression; that is, two hits equal four times the effect of
one hit, three hits equal nine times that effect, and so on. If the victim is
hit by three Single 0 buckshot pellets it is the same as if he had been hit by
nine .30 caliber Carbine rounds.
For the combat shotgun, it is best to take a
hacksaw and cut the barrel down to the legal 18 inches. This gives it a slightly
wider shot pattern and makes it a little more maneuverable.
Rapid-fire, semi-auto from an assault weapon
has no greater killing range than does the shotgun. And since the shotgun must
be pointed, and the shot pattern is wider, multiple hits per target are surer
than with any assault weapon.
Next in pointing, is the pistol. Beyond a few
feet you want a shotgun or a rifle. Aiming a pistol is possible, but only with
practice. Practice, however, has made some pistol shooters as deadly at long
range as shot gunners or riflemen.
The American Rifleman article, "Debunking
The Debunkers", reprinted in US MILITIA Issue 1, tells what can be done
with a pistol. Read it. For the most part, the pistol is for close quarters.
You ought to own a pistol and it should be a
.38 Police Special with a six inch barrel. I recommend a revolver over an
automatic, since the revolver has fewer parts to malfunction. And if you don't
think the .38 has stopping power, you just don't realize what you can do when
you practice. You may have been fantasizing over glory guns, the most popular of
which is the .45 automatic. Read the aforementioned article.
Several years ago I was in a Los Angeles gun
shop. A plain-clothes officer was at the counter talking to the dealer. The
dealer stepped back into an alcove and reached up to a shelf. A shot rang out.
The gun the dealer had reached for had fallen butt-first and discharged. Before
the sound registered with me the officer had his pistol drawn. Naturally, there
was no threat. His action was pure reflex. That cop was fast!
In the same time period, there was a funeral
for a police officer fallen in the line of duty. The media covered the funeral
and some dummy exploded a bomb outside the funeral home as the attending
officers were assembling. The newspaper featured the frame of the newsreel of
the explosion. In it was an officer with his revolver half-way drawn out of his
holster! Both the accidental discharge and the explosion caught on film showed
the reflexes of these men to be a tiny fraction of a second each. So you can
believe the examples of speed in the article.
Also, if you practice and so become as
proficient as those two officers, both in speed and instinct aiming, you can be
sure of a fatal hit before your opponent can even touch his own weapon.
For the .38 revolver, I recommend the six inch
barrel over the two or four inch. This is because of the barrel's rifling. The
rifling gives the bullet its spin, which keeps it on course. The longer the
barrel, the more the rifling and hence the more spin. The more spin, the greater
the accuracy. A six inch barrel gives enough spin to guarantee about as much
accuracy as you will need when using your pistol.
The glamor weapon among pistols is the
automatic, especially the .45. It is heavier, bulkier and more than twice as
expensive as the .38. Its main claim to fame is its stopping power. But a
well-placed bullet is a greater guarantee of stopping power than a bullet's
size. And as the article shows, speed comes with practice. Reliance in mechanics
over skill leads to overconfidence. Many glamor gun fantasizers are going to die
when they confront a foe who has mastered his weapon.
You may know of whole police departments
adopting .357 Magnums or automatics. Maybe their chief watched too much TV.
Again, skill with a basic weapon is better than reliance on mechanics or power.
The punk spraying lead is no match for a cop skilled with his .38.
Now for aiming. The reason for aiming is to hit
the target at a greater distance than is practical for pointing. A rifleman hits
everything he aims at. A macho fool just bangs away with a lot of sound and fury
signifying nothing; except the deserved death of the ignorant.
Unfortunately, few people aim today. They have
mistaken multiple loud reports for damage. One has but to watch newsreels of
Arab-Christian conflicts in Lebanon, closeup coverage of the fire fights in
Vietnam, the results of drive-by shootings in Los Angeles, etc., to see that
moderns simply are not learning to shoot accurately. The discrepancy between
shots fired and clean kills is appalling. Our honored WW II dead are spinning in
Aside from a shotgun or pistol, one should not
own a gun not designed for aimed hits. Anyone who advertises such a gun should
be boycotted as a traitor to his country. Those who decry the deaths of little
children should shame the incompetents but not spare the sellers of weapons
which flatter such ineptitude.
I got a laugh from a news report some time ago.
A character named T. J. Johnston in California, an
anti-gun-registration-protester, was burning his order to register his assault
weapon. His cronies were banging away at some targets ten yards away with more
assault weapons. No rifleman would waste ammo shooting at a target that close.
If he goes to jail he might have time to
reflect that one rifleman with an M1 30-06 Garand could wipe out his whole
flock. He might also reflect that a well-regulated militia made up of private
citizens proficient in the use of real weapons would have no fear of gun
Have you ever heard of Sergeant Alvin York? You
have probably seen the movie, starring Gary Cooper. York was a conscientious
objector. But when his friends were dropping like flies he reacted. A hillbilly,
he was a trained hunter from childhood.
He first worked his way around the enemy's
flank. He was armed with a 1903 30-06 bolt-action Springfield and a pistol. He
killed 20 Germans and captured l32. Of course, few of those captured knew it was
a one-man job. The point is, he could shoot! He killed 20 men with one
well-placed bullet each. He had no need for rapid-fire. He knew that every time
he aimed and fired a man was dead.
Most American and German soldiers at that time,
with their bolt-action Springfields and Mausers could also shoot. They had to
work those bolts and correct every time they fired. And there were men actually
trying to kill them all the while! There was no getting around their having to
know how to aim and shoot. No room for fantasy.
Among the best combat rifles ever made is the
WW II U.S. M1 30-06 Garand. It is a semi-auto with a 1,000 yard effective
killing range. It holds only eight rounds so there is no tendency to bang away
at a single target.
However, don't discount the bolt-action rifle.
After aiming and firing, the bolt is worked as the gun is reaimed, so no time is
lost. Most good military and hunting rifles are bolt-action anyway.
You might be tempted to buy the most expensive
rifle. But it is best to buy the most common, the tried and true, the least
Pause a minute to reflect; if you were driving
cross-country on a very important trip, would you choose a common car or a
sports model? Of course, you would look grand in the sportster. But if getting
there were the only important consideration, you would want the reliability, and
serviceability of your dependable standard model over the object of your
The same goes for civilian combat. You may
fantasize owning an expensive rapid-fire gun, mowing down raiders with ten slugs
in each. It looks great in the movies, but why use 10 bullets where one would
do? Besides, raiders won't bunch up and charge. They will fan out, using what
cover is available, and you will have to pick them off one by one.
Now, if in your fantasies, you used a 30-06,
preferably an M1 Garand, and could shoot, you could make your fantasies pay off.
Then, with practice in making every bullet count, you could defend your
territory against any number of predators.
So if you must fantasize about
weapons, fantasize being a better shot than any thieving parasite. Fantasize
putting one well-placed bullet into every looter with the stupidity to set foot
in your community.
Kurt Saxon's website is here: http://www.kurtsaxon.com/index.htm.
Go see what else he's been up to.