This post is just up to fuel discussion. First up I’ll say that there really is no such thing as an “Obsolete” gun. Guns have changed a LOT since people started lobbing rocks with gunpowder, but the human body has changed very little. So the same Brown Bess musket that was the top-of-the-line infantry rifle 300 years ago will kill a man just as graveyard dead in 2012 as it did in 1722 (with the exception of modern medical care and rescue). And gags like AK vs. AR Vs. Mosin Nagant are funny because while even tho the M91/30 rifle was fairly primitive even when it was being issued to Soviet troops when compared to the other bolt-action infantry guns at the time, its still a formidable weapon that fires a powerful and effective rounds.
That being said there are some guns that seem to have past their prime as weapons of war and self defense. So let’s discuss what you think about all of these. Again none of this is set in stone, and we’re talking only defensive and war use. People still use muzzle-loading rifles and bows for special hunting seasons and areas, also every there are “Shotgun Only” seasons and areas, and of course you will ONLY see shotguns in duck blinds and people bird hunting.
Let’s lead with the old “Room Broom”, the proverbial scatter-gun. The Shotgun. While Michael Bane lays down a VERY good case for double-barrel defensive guns, Caleb wrote this great article about how shotguns may be in their twilight as defensive guns. Certainly a good case has been made that various 5.56×45 ammo has less over-penetration than the bench-standard #00 buck load. Also in home defense distances shotgun patterns really don’t fan out much, so the myth that “you don’t need to aim a shotgun” is foolishness, as you will need to aim them just as much as a rifle at close range. At longer ranges the pattern gets bigger, but soon it gets so big that a target in the center of your pattern might not feel much shot. Really except for a magical “sweet spot” a rifle performs better. Further, anybody who’s spent some time shooting 12 gauge high-brass loads, and 5.56×45 ammo, you’ll note that one has gentle recoil, and the other beats your shoulder into hamburger.
And that’s not getting into ammo capacity and the mechanics of reloading. I’ll just say personally I was planning on upgrading the furniture on my Mossberg 590 to make it my ideal view of a combat shotgun…I’ve since decided I’m better off saving my pennies for another .308 Battle rifle as a backup for my FAL because currently I’d grab my SKS before I’d grab the Mossy. Just my opinion.
Shotguns used to really shine in the “Entry Gun” field. Short, maneuverable guns use by Police and Military entering structures to engage hostiles, or for home owners clearing their home of threats. The other gun traditionally seen in that role was the submachine gun. Makes sense, really. When you look at the mass of shotgun pellets, and a burst of pistol ammo from a sub-gun the two are VERY similar when it comes to terminal ballistics. Tam has a great insight on that.
There’s only one problem: Most of the people who used machine pistols have gone to rifle-caliber “shorty” carbines over the last few years; any agency still using the MP5 is probably going to replace them with M4s or shorty G36’s or the like, rather than another pistol-caliber weapon. I felt like I was looking at the sleekest, most-advanced, CAD-CAM, carbon fiber and titanium… horse and buggy. I wish ’em all the best of luck, though, or maybe they can translate the system to something that fires a rifle round.
A few weeks ago I shot a York Arms Conspirator in .300 BLK, I believe the barrel on this unit was 10″ long, and it was REALLY small and REALLY light, and even on full-auto it’s recoil was very controllable. When you factor in all the above stated advantages in Rifles over shotguns, and make note that like SMGs the .300 BLK can be fed subsonic ammo for the purpose of suppressing, the sub-gun really doesn’t seem to have much relevance anymore.
As fun as sub-guns are, I don’t own a single pistol-caliber rifle, or a SMG, and no intentions of owning one. The only gun I’d be interested in owning would be a VZ-61 and that is for no rational reason at all, as a matter of fact I feel strange professing my attraction to those silly little SMGs in such a public place.
Last is one that I have the most personal conflict in. The full-size pistol.
Now I’m the guy who lugs a commander-sized 1911 around just about every day, and I would still say that if somebody who can carry and/or conceal a full-size pistol, especially a large-capacity one like the M&P9, Glock 17, or XD9, they should do that.
Still while I shoot my 1911 better than most of my pistols, its only an 8+1 gun, because I find a slim gun is easier for me to carry than a double-stack (not to mention the difficulty of getting large magazines in this state). How much of an advantage do I gain with this gun over my subcompact .45 pocket gun?
I didn’t really get into old-world mouse guns. The little tiny guns in .22, .25, and .32. They used to be the only way to get a gun into your pocket. These days there are .380s that are close to the same size, further now there are 9mm guns that are getting very close to this size.
Still with all these small 9mm guns and of course all the guns in what is considered “Compact” size in damn near every caliber you want, and the ability to stuff massive magazines into many of them are we really gaining much lugging all that extra gun around?
Just some interesting thoughts for the day.