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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

When non-experts speak

As I was doing my morning news review, I went to the Drudge Report and saw this screamer headline:"Introducing the world's smallest gun that fires deadly 300 mph bullets! " complete with exclamation point! Many people know me as a certified firearms instructor. And a member of the leadership group ( a late joining member) that was responsible for passing the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (misnamed Conceal/Carry). So, I immediately knew that this was an idiot headline.
300 mph as a deadly speed is relative. A glacier moving at 300 mph would be miraculously stunning. A jet flying at 300 mph is creeping along. A comet speeding at 300 mph is not speeding. A train that goes 300 mph is noteworthy. A bullet at 300 mph is a weak sister. Real weak. 300 mph equates to 440 fps (feet per second). Ballistically that is termed as sub-sonic (sonic or the speed of sound is generally considered to be 1,100 fps). My 45 shoots at a muzzle velocity of around 830 fps. That is considered a slow round. With a heavy bullet. The reason speed is important is because it figures into muzzle energy. Speed and the weight of the round are put into a formula that tells us what the "work" of that round will be. So, taking 300 mph (440 fps and reading the article, the headline is also wrong as the speed is 270 mph and therefore muzzle speed is 330 fps) and that this is a very small round (light weight) and doing the conversion (from the Swiss Mini-Gun website ) equates to less than a foot pound of energy. The Swiss Mini-Gun website also says that the round has less energy than a BB gun. Now, don't get me wrong. I would have no desire to put the muzzle up against any part of my body. Or anything else for that matter as I observe the safety maxim "Don't ever point the muzzle of a firearm at anything that you're not willing to destroy".
But as you read the article, the writer found someone who he described as a "consultant forensics consultant" and "firearms expert " and who spoke in dire terms: puncturing skin and bones, threshold, lethal etc. However, all his warnings of lethality, when put into analysis of the facts as presented, put the specter of serious doubt as to his expertise. And the real agenda of the writer.
And this is same screaming lack of logic, we found an "expert who agrees with our agenda" that you hear from the left-on nearly every issue.


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