Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Joey Biden's Shotgun Blast

The spread of  shot is conical, becoming less accurate and effective over range.

That circle is 4cm in diameter, shot at 25 meters/82 feet.
The rifle is this accurate at 300m/985ft/328yds.
It is even more accurate up close
 Several times now Joey Biden has claimed he supports the Second Amendment from one side of his mouth while championing attempts to violate the Second Amendment out of the other.

He supports bans on falsely vilified and inaccurately labeled "assault rifles" such as the Mini-14 and the AR-15. He also attempts to jockey public support against so-called "high capacity magazines". He fails to accurately define his terms. A "high capacity magazine" is not a magazine that can contain more than 7 rounds. It is a magazine that exceeds the standard capacity size for the firearm it is designed to fit into. For example, if you have a 9mm pistol that normally comes with a 15 round capacity magazine and you buy a special after-market magazine that can hold 20, that 20 round is "high capacity". The standard magazine for a 5.56mm (.223 caliber), magazine fed, gas-operated, semi-automatic rifle is 30 rounds.

To show his alleged support for the Second Amendment, Biden suggests people arm themselves with shotguns as an alternative. He goes so far as to suggest a 12 gauge.

Joey Biden and I do not agree on much. Our lives are on drastically different paths. He chooses to emulate thugs and mobsters like Charlie Luciano. I tend to want to be my own person but live closer to the values and morals I learned from my parents and grandparents. However I'll agree with Joey that a shotgun can be a good defensive tool. Taurus makes a great pistol that can fire either a .410 shotgun shell or a .45 caliber hollow point.

I also agree that a smart homeowner will have a shotgun. They can be very handy if you are trained and practice using them. 

From that point we diverge completely.

Joey says to buy a 12-gauge. He claims it is better than an AR-15. He suggests, if your home is under siege from armed home invaders, that you take a double barreled 12-gauge and fire it into the air from your balcony. The sound may scare the invaders. However, it may not stop them. They can count. Double-barreled shotguns hold only two rounds and are slow to reload. The delay could reasonably result in the criminals pumping you full of 9mm rounds from their TEK-9s before you can even open the breach to reload. The sound of the shotgun may inspire neighbors to call the police. But it will take police minutes to respond. The invaders are there. You have seconds, not minutes.

A 12-gauge can be used to defend your home. The scatter of the load, depending upon the level of choke you employ, can be used to affect more than one target at once. It can incapacitate an assailant rather well if he doesn't have body armor or thick clothing on.

Joey claims it is easier to aim than an AR-15. He almost seems to lead people to falsely believe that it is more accurate. That is simply not true.

First of all, most people don't bother to aim a shotgun when used for self-defense. They point it in the general direction and fire.

AR-15s have accurate iron sights. In addition, you can accessorize them with holographic sights or laser sights. Once properly zeroed, those are far more accurate than the sights on a 12-guage. The iron sights require the same aiming techniques for both weapons, though. Aiming a rifle is aiming a rifle. You line up the sights with your target. You focus on the front sight. You squeeze the trigger.

The AR-15 is far more accurate, though. It has adjustable sights, so you can take it to a range and adjust its accuracy to a very fine point. This is important.

Why is accuracy important? It reduces the risk of collateral damage or hitting an innocent. Hitting your target the first time is better than spraying him with bird that may or may not hit him somewhere that will incapacitate him.

Next, you have to consider the difference between a single, well-aimed 5.56 bullet to a spray of pellets. If you practice, you can place a controlled pair of those 5.56 rounds into an attacker and shift your aim to a second assailant. Even if you happen to miss because your attacker is moving, you have 1 or two small holes to patch. With the double-barreled 12-guage, you have a spray. Some of that spray won't hit your target and will damage surrounding materials. If the attacker is moving and you miss, you have a huge mess to fix or replace.

The recoil on that 12-guage is a lot higher than the AR-15. That makes it slower to re-acquire your point of aim and engage your next target (or re-engage if you missed). That gives your assailant time to shoot you or to move for cover that the shotgun pellets won't penetrate. In addition, smaller people may have a hard time firing a second shot from a shotgun because of that kick. That very same kick will also make their shot very inaccurate, usually going well above and to the right of the intended target.

The sound of a shell being chambered by a pump-action shotgun can be quite a scary deterrent. However, Joey suggested a double-barreled 12-gauge. Those tend to not be pump-action. They do not sound as intimidating.

So, we need to consider the silhouette and stealth factors when comparing that double-barreled 12-gauge against the AR-15. If the AR has a collapsible stock, it can be quite stealthy. Even without it, the rifle presents a much smaller silhouette than the shotgun. This is important as it allows you to maneuver better, seek cover better, and hide better. That gives you an advantage that the double-barreled shotgun eliminates. 

Shotguns are great for home defense. If I had to choose one (preferably a 10-guage pump-action) or an AR-15, I'd take the AR-15. Luckily, under the currently present violations of the Second Amendment that are infringing upon our rights, I do not have to choose. I can have both and recommend a household have both.