Iraq Gun Porn

This is an essay blog; I don’t normally just carry links to other peoples’ postings,
but Iraq Gun Porn is just too informative, and too much fun, to pass up.

I was particularly tickled by this:

The ..45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there.
Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one.
With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put ’em down with a torso
hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK
military model and supposedly love it. The old government model .45’s are
being re-issued en masse.

Yeah, baby! .45ACP rules OK.

UPDATE: Yes, I like cranking off the sort of person who is offended by a title like “Iraq Gun Porn”; why do you ask?


  1. So why did we switch to the .223, anyway? The breakdown is simple: .223 and 9mm Parabellum suck, everything else is good.

    I’m certainly no fan of the Parabellum round, either. I wonder what they’d think of .40 S&W or 10mm.

  2. Interesting how practically everything said in the post is contradicted by the comment writers, who are then contradicted by other comment writers, until the whole thing degenerates into a literal pissing context.

    But I found the reference to the Moros in one comment interesting.

  3. your blog on very often doesn’t show the content – it gives the following warnings –

    Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier ‘/’ in /public/html/esrblog/wp-content/plugins/google-hilite.php on line 107

    Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier ‘r’ in /public/html/esrblog/wp-content/plugins/google-hilite.php on line 105

  4. I was scrolling down some of the discussion, and apparently the OP is crap, but there are discussions and debunkings to follow (along with page references to further debunkings).

    I don’t own a gun, not sure if I ever will, but I still thought it was a pretty cool read. :)

  5. I think I trust the OP more than the critics. I’ve talked with a Marine who’d been in action in Iraq, and something about the OP’s language is just like him.

  6. Amit,
    I get the same thing if I enter the site from the Google RSS aggregator. If you reload it by hitting enter in the location bar it loads properly, but not if you hit the reload button.

  7. The most intersting thing to me is how low-tech the .45 round is.

    When the .45 automatic was invented, roughly 100 years ago, one of the more interesting things about it was that it had less power than other calibers available at the time. That’s right: less power. Even at the time there were handguns and ammo that could throw a bullet farther and faster than the .45. There were then and there still are.

    Thing was, a faster and more powerful round could hit an enemy and pass right through him and he could keep going. You hit a guy in the chest with a .45 round, and even if he was running full-tilt toward you, he’d get hit in the chest with that .45 round and wouldn’t just stop, he’d blow back several feet and hit the ground on his back.

    Which is an important lesson: it’s not how fast you strike, and it’s not how much power is behind your strike. It’s how effective your blow is.

  8. Dean,

    Actually, any bullet shouldn’t be able to throw the target back much at all. Mythbusters did a test on this and found that even 50 cal wasn’t able to push the target back. But forget the Mythbusters, we can defer to an even higher authority: Isacc Newton and his third law. If the bullet could blow the target back by several feet, then the shooter would also be blown back by the same amount (assuming equal mass). So if the gun isn’t bolted to something or doesn’t include some means of drastic recoil reduction (Venturi or the like), it won’t blow anybody away. I suspect you’d have to get hit in the chest with an RPG (an Army Ranger actually survived this in Somalia – the round failed to detonate and he was wearing body armor) before you’ll see this kind of effect

    Now, I suppose if the target were unbalanced somehow, say mid-stride, it is possible that he’ll lose his balance and fall over, but that’s not quite the same as the movie-style flight several feet through the air. Now your main point, that a bullet passing through the enemy is wasteful of kinetic energy, may well be true, I don’t know.

  9. Yes, I like cranking off the sort of person who is offended by a title like “Iraq Gun Porn”; why do you ask?

    Do you get many such delicate flowers passing through here? Anyway, that’s not porn – porn should be transgressive, rather than vaguely sad / creepily fetishistic. used to qualify, but they’ve taken the images off their gore galleries pending some legal action or other.

  10. A NY state trooper had to dispatch a deer that had gotten hit by a car on my property. He shot it in the head with his 9mm and …. nothing happened. He had to shoot it twice to kill it.

  11. Well you may be right that I’ve accepted an urban legend but the reasoning you’re using is fallacious. Something that would cause the target to be knocked backwards would not necessarily do the same to the shooter because the shooter’s arms act as shock absorbers.

    It may also be that the reports of people being thrown backward were people wearing some kind of armor. I’ve seen footage of a Marine wearing body armor who got shot full in the chest. Backward he fell… and promptly got up.

    But there are a lot of urban legends about weapons so I wouldn’t be surprised to be wrong about that. I recently discovered that ancient long and broad swords were never particularly heavy, were typically 2-3 pounds, 6 pounds at most for a very large and heavy sword. And here I’d always thought they must be huge heavy things…

  12. The issue is about total energy transfered to target and NOT the energy available in the round itself during flight. Ballistic energy transference is an incredibly complicated combination of mass, velocity, point of impact, material impacted, projectile material, projectile geometry, and impulse time (duration over which the impact occurs).
    The so-called “knockdown” effect of the 45 is likely due to more total energy being transferred to the target during the initial phases of the total impulse timeline. Again, the target itself is not “knocked back” due to the force of the blow, but more precisely, becomes unbalanced due to the body’s internal gyros unable arrange the limbs in space and time quickly enough to compensate for the force.A twig delicate enough to snap between your fingers can be used to reliably trip you if applied to the correct place at the correct time.
    The famous/infamous FBI wound-studies which, along with a good deal of political issues, resulted in the adoption of the 10mm were all based on total damage to the target during flight and NOT on impact inpulse. Anyone with a basic physics education, given the same lethality measurement criteria and ballistics data would reach the same conclusions. Namely that penetration and not initial impact impulse was the key goal to achieve lethality. Unfortunately, the round itself is only part of the total ‘gun’ weapons system, a hard lesson which the FBI learned when they attempted to field 10mm handguns to the more slightly built of their male personnel and the vast majority of their female agents.

  13. Colt 45 ACP, well I always call em Colt 1911As ’cause that’s what they are. The best close combat small arm …. still, and the 1911 was the date of their introduction.

    As too power it depends on what’s in the round and more importantly who rebuilt yer cannon ;). A 1911A, well built, can handle up to about 1800 fps with a standard weight slug. That will definitley push your target back a bit. An ACP steel jacket round, govt issue, does about 8 – 900 fps.

    Do What Now ??? … Standards and Practices !

  14. > Something that would cause the target to be knocked backwards would not necessarily do the same to the shooter because the shooter’s arms act as shock absorbers.

    Nope. They merely ensure that the shooter has a very inelastic collision – conservation of momentum still applies.

    The target has a fairly inelastic collision in that the bullet doesn’t bounce off. You can make the shooter’s collision even more elastic than the target’s by having him shoot while standing on a skate board. He won’t go flying back, even if you arrange things so the arms don’t absorb any shock.

    Bullets don’t have much momentum compared with people. They can’t cause “flying back” – that requires special effects.

  15. Me, I’ve always figured that “stopping power” had more to do with kinetic-energy transfer than any action-reaction thing. It makes sense to me that a slower-travelling bullet with a bigger cross-section would be better for inducing serious hydrostatic shock than a small fast bullet that punches right through.

  16. @amit

    I get this if I follow an external link to one of Eric’s articles. If I go from his front page, it works.

  17. Why were the 9mm and .223 adopted?

    9mm- because doctrine says that pistols are for emergency use and not a first line weapon. Nobody (other than SpecOps folks) authorized to carry a pistol is expected to actually shoot at the enemy with it. SO… when it came time for the US to give up something to the rest of NATO for “commonality”, the .45 bought the farm and we now use a weapon whose ammo is common throughout NATO.

    .223 – studies showed (in both WWII and Korea) that the vast number of men involved in actual firefights *never* shot their weapon, and, of the ones that did, only a few used aimed shots. Further in-depth studies showed that the reason(s) were psychological, that the prohibition against killing (fear of “next world”retribution, mainly) was so ingrained that soldiers, unless in very close combat (like “about to be bayoneted”) would not deliberately shoot another human. Many simply pointed their weapon in the general direction of the enemy and yanked the trigger. So, since damned little fire is aimed to start with, turn
    combat troops into “area weapons”. With the M-16 and .223 round, the average GI could deliver lots of unaimed fire (carrying a much bigger ammo load) over a large area. So Army training, especially, turned into convincing soldiers that shooting into an area wouldn’t get them roasted in hell. The Marines just got sucked along.

    email is human readable – aloud

  18. The .223 was adopted because Springfield was trying to deflect Stoner into an area that wouldn’t compete with their pet M14. Nothing less nothing more. They did the same thing to Melvin Johnson by asking him to look at weapons for jets. Stoner had the last laugh on the rifles and Johnson had the last laugh on the jet armament. You’ll find the M16 in wide issue. While the Gatling gun Johnson bought from Bannerman is in the Cody museum, it no longer has the electric engine Johnson used on it. F-15s do have an electric Gatling Gun on them though.

  19. I thought the .223 was adopted because it’s more economical to wound someone than to kill them – looking after wounded slows the enemy down.

  20. > A NY state trooper had to dispatch a deer that had gotten hit by a car on my property. He
    > shot it in the head with his 9mm and …. nothing happened. He had to shoot it twice to kill it.

    Any cop that didn’t shoot for “center of mass” (yes, even on a deer) in inane, and should have his gun (and badge) taken away. Are you sure he was trying for a head shot?

    Even if you shoot a deer with a .308, it doesn’t “die” right away unless you manage to hit the heart and splatter it out the other side of the rib cage.

    .223 and 9mm were both invented on the theory that its important to be able to carry more ammo. Spray and pray is what you get when people watch too many movies and don’t understand the concept of sight picture.

    Back in Texas (from whence I hail) the first person shot by a legal “carry permit” holder was shot with a .45 at extreme close range (muzzle in chest). He stepped back, looked at the shooter, said, “you shot me!”, and took 45 mintues to die.

  21. “Any cop that didn’t shoot for “center of mass” (yes, even on a deer) in inane, and should have his gun (and badge) taken away. Are you sure he was trying for a head shot?”

    Head shots have there place. How about you tell the next cop or CCW holder that is looking at a guy in a vest full of TATP to shoot him in the COM. Personally I’ll punch is off switch.

    The amount of wound ballistic mis-information that is flying around this place right now is sickening.

    Knock down power doesn’t exist. It’s simple newtoian physics equal and oppsite reactions and all if you don’t fly to the ground when you shoot the gun. The target won’t fly to the ground when shot.

    The FBI after extensive _scientific_ testing. Has determined there are 4 mechanics of projectile wounding.
    (1) Penetration
    (2)Permant Cavity
    (3) Temporary Cavity
    (4) Fragmentation

    At pistol velocitys the termporary cavity does nothing to aid injuring and fragmentation doesn’t reliably happen (rifles is a different story)

    As long as a round pentrates more than 12 inchs it’s acceptable 14 is prefered.

    If you would like to learn more reality and less myth go here
    and start reading.


  22. As a trapper, eliminating nuisance animals, and harvesting fur, I have personally dispatched 100’s, if not 1,000’s of animals with headshots.
    #1 – The brain is a relatively small target w/in most animals’ heads. In many animals, most of the “head” is jaw, sinus cavities, etc. The state trooper probably missed the brain. Imagine an X, drawing one line from left ear to right eye, the other line vice versa. The intersection is your target.
    #2 – Every perfect headshot I’ve seen results in immediate, random, and violent (and very disturbing) convulsions, presumably caused by random nueron firings. This continues for some time (until the muscles run out of oxygen?). Based on this, I’m not real confident that a headshot to a suicide bomber or gunmen holding a hostage would have teh desired effect. I can easily imagine the brain-dead body convulsing a trigger-finger, and setting off a bomb.
    #3 – On the other hand, the human brain contains about a 14 second supply of oxygenated blood. Even if the circulatory system is totally shut down, e.g. through-and-through to the heart or a severed aorta, the person has about 14 seconds of conscious, directed action left in him. He may fall down screaming, faint, sit down and examine his wound, run like hell, stab you, shoot back at you… Deer shot in the heart commonly run 100yds or more before piling up. Anecdotal evidence suggests felons sometimes cover 40 yds with similar wounds, even from .45’s My CCW and tactical instructors state that if you are forced to shoot an attacker armed with a contact weapon (knife, club) at 7yds, assume you will be injured. Great reason to be competent at shooting while moving backwards.

  23. First lesson in mass and energy transfer.

    My first moosehunt, late evening, about 50 miles up the Yukon River from our cabin and 120 miles upriver from Dawson City. Good sized moose shot at @140 yeards with 180 grain .303 in the neck just below and behind the ear. Moose turned away from echo of the shot which had bounced of a hug cut bank facing him. Ran 100 yards up slough towards us. We are standing on mud flats. Only cover is 8″ high reeds.

    Moose saw us and cut to our right into 8′ high trees. Head and neck above trees. Second shot into neck to hit jugular. Moose gets mad and charges, rack down – full speed. I have 4 shots left. Robin has 4 rounds from 30/06 Gamemaster. By time moose has covered 20 yards, I am out of ammo. I turn to Robin, moose at 10 yards, Robin shoots at less than 5 yards, stopped moose in its tracks. Moose rears up to full height with front hooves reaching for the sky and moose left front hoof hits right button on Robins’ jacket. Falls to the ground, twitches a bit but dead as a doornail.

    On cutting up, moose has no functional heart, arterial or lung structure, left. Robin’s last bullet went in brain, and exploded about a foot down the spinal canal.

    My first 2 shots were plastic tipped bullets that shed the core. Barely penetrated the hide. Last 4 were Silvertips. I was shooting left handed with a right hand bolt rifle. Robin was shooting at the same time I was, He said I was firing so fast it sounded like I had a machine gun. I don’t remember even pulling the trigger but we found 8 entry wounds, 7 in the chest and the final shot in the head, just below the 58″ rack, large palms and some very ugly looking spikes. Robin estimated live weight 1200 pounds. Alaska Yukon moose.

    Haven’t got a clue about physics or transfer of energy but I saw what I saw and the liver from my moose sure tasted good.


  24. I have a Colt 45 replica. The 45LC cartridge is huge compared to the 45ACP. The bullet is also much larger and broader. Lots more powder too. It sends milk jugs full of water about 12-15 feet into the air. The 45ACP doesn’t even compare. I don’t know what it will do to a person and I really don’t want to find out.

    IMO, the 45LC is the best cartridge for home defense. The Colt 45 is not, however, a very good carry weapon. Cops have a tendency to stop me and question me all the time. Just kidding. I keep it in it’s holster hanging from my bedpost. But I do carry my 45ACP. Yes, I have a permit. And yes, I have a job that requires me to carry. Not that that should matter.

  25. What the fuck wrong with you guys. A 45. can knock a person back, not far but yes. The reason is the recoil in yours arms.

    And the XM8 is being tested with are troops in the middle east.And from what i hear it is a kick ass gun.

    ps. peace out woes


    Ok, firearms can carry enough power to knock someone down, should a few conditions be met.

    1. The round hits them at exactly center of mass.
    2. the round transfers all of it’s momentum directly to COM.

    Now, the first one you’ll never be able to INTENTIONALLY HIT center of mass. Because it’s different for every person, if you don’t then you have to consider leverage and other factors. and 2 a bullet RARELY transfers its entire KE into a target. Save for one and it’s destructive potentiality is INSANE. The limited penitration Frangible round.

    The LP Frangible is probably the most destructive bullet ever fired, don’t believe me, Google it.

  27. IF ANYONE thinks that someone shot with a bullet could really be knocked backwards, blown flying across the room, like what happens in the movies, THEY ARE WRONG.

    MYTHBUSTERS TOOK A 180 pound dead pig, balanced it hanging from a hook, and then shot at it to see if they could blow it back. They had scales to measure the amount of energy pushing the pig backwards. They shot a bunch of handguns and the pig barely moved. The 12 gage shotgun moved the pig a little, but not enough that it would knock a man into the air. Then they tried some automatic fire, still nothing. Then they went all out with a bunch of guns at once….still nothing.

    With Newton’s third law, whatever force the bullet makes on impact, it should also direct the same amount of force in the opposite direction when fired. Whenever I fire a handgun, I feel like your my ARM is being pushed back by no more than a few pounds of energy. I always seem to be able to keep my stance pretty well when I fire a shotgun. The recoil in my arms and shoulders is always less than a few pounds. Therefore, when someone whereing a bullet proof vest is hit with a bullet it is usually only a few pounds of energy trying to push them back.

    Next you guys are going to say that a bullet comes down faster than when it was shot straight up. Thats also not true, objects reach a maximum velocity. Skydivers don’t fall faster and faster to earth, they stop gaining speed at around 120MPH. Everything falls at the path of least resistence, therefore bullets will be facing straight down when they fall, but that doesn’t mean they keep falling faster and faster.

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