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DantheWolfMan UnderGround >> Can you stop a bullet?


1/20/04 7:02 PM
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GaryK
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Edited: 20-Jan-04
Member Since: 03/26/2002
Posts: 10
 
A good friend and fellow PDR enthusiast is also a dedicated and decorated LEO in Maryland. Recently, he undertook training that some of us dream about, while others might consider scarier than their worst nightmare. Wondering what the "real deal" is, he headed to the range with a few fellow trainers and found out for himself the answer to the age-old question, "Can I stop a bullet"? More specifically, he worked for several hours to determine how grabbing the barrel of a semi-automatic pistol would affect the pistol's operation. Successful in every trial, here--in detail--is what he described about his experience: FIRST, HOWEVER, LET ME STATE THE OBVIOUS FACT THAT THIS LEO IS A PROFESSIONAL AND HIS EXPERIMENT SHOULD NOT BE ATTEMPTED BY ANYONE WITHOUT THE PROPER QUALIFICATIONS AND/OR CERTIFICATION! ...the slide of a semi auto is designed to operate independently of the frame. When the two are bound together, even slightly, it freezes the inner workings of the gun (all the simple levers and springs that combine to form a complex machine). Any pressure that inhibits the free movement of the slide spring also inhibits the free movement magazine spring (I realize I forgot to mention that the second round didn't feed into the chamber because my hand blocked the spent shell from ejecting. Slowing the slide down kept the ejector rod from being where it was supposed to be and kept the shell in. This crowded the chamber and hung everything up--keeping the powerful guide rod spring from fully expanding and closing the slide. The slide couldn't seat properly and the weapon stayed "out of battery" thus it couldn't fire). And I'm telling you, I did not have a death grip on it like I would on an adrenaline dump. I held it very firmly but I could have gone much harder... The size of the hand may be a factor...I don't know...one of us got a small cut from the front sight but his hand is much bigger than mine. Maybe on a Desert Eagle there would be more slide movement for me...I'm not sure. The .40 is a pretty hot round but maybe a .45 or higher kicks the slide back harder.... It couldn't be all that much more and holding the slide to slow it (Vs. stop it completely) just seemed nearly effortless to me. My Sig is made to precise tolerances and my action screwed everything up. Hanging the slide up kept it from closing all the way anyway which prevented a serious pinch. As for the gasses, clapping your hands hard in the cold weather might duplicate the sensation (if it was even "painful" to that degree). I barely even noticed it - it reminded me of opening a bottle of soda. I would hypothesize based on the structure of the gun and the nature of the malfunction that most of the hot gas exploded forward ( as the round seats in the chamber for firing the open end of the shell would be "deep" in the barrel. The gas would take the path of least resistance - forward- instead of back up and out the ejection port). Just a hypothesis though. Just a friendly reminder: If I had read all this intellectual analysis but not done the exercise I would still have apprehension...it is dangerous if you're not careful. But having thought this through I realize I felt more confidence in the split second that I completed it than I have trying to justify it with words (if that makes any sense). The fear/belief that many people have is understandable - it's the way I was trained for years...and I suppose the possibility of losing skin, or a finger exists. But I feel much more confident having sought out 'The Truth" and having learned something new. Keep training...and learning! Gary
1/20/04 9:42 PM
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TopCop
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Edited: 20-Jan-04
Member Since: 03/28/2003
Posts: 3
Gary, As an LEO I am aware if a person grabs a gun and takes it out of battery, it will not fire. I'm just curious about what your friend actually did. Did he grab the gun, fire it and then just not allow the slide to cycle or did he grab it, trying to take it out of battery and it was still able to fire? Just a little confused on what he was trying to accomplish? Chad
1/22/04 1:25 PM
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GaryK
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Edited: 22-Jan-04
Member Since: 03/26/2002
Posts: 11
Chad: Thanks for inquiring. I had to contact my buddy to make sure I knew, in detail, what his exercise was all about. He writes: My partner pointed the weapon down range using a "strong hand only" grip (i.e. he locked out his right arm). standing on his right and out of the way of the muzzle, I gripped the barrel with my left hand and locked on. I directed it slightly off its forward direction attempting to mimic a re-direction of the weapon as if I was standing in front (in other words instead of facing the weapon I could only safely complete the exercise perpendicular to it. I still tried to orient my body as I would if I was facing or at a slight angle). I said "Ready" and my buddy fired the round. After the gun fired I let go. We loaded two rounds in the magazine prior to the exercise so that the weapon would cycle normally. Hope this helps clarify and add a little vicarious self confidence to those that don't have the benefit of this kind of in-depth training... Gary

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