Saturday, December 10, 2011

Comparing the 9mm, 12 gauge, and .50 S&W

I'm very liberal. You'll find me on the very far left of the political spectrum. I do have a hard time with the American political system however, I find it very binary. It's expected that one tows the party line on all issues, the more dedicated you are the more you agree with the issues. For a lot of issues it's true, I may be more liberal than Ralph Nader. Gays in the military / gay marriage? Sure, why not. Hell, if a guy wanted to marry a chair, what do I care. Universal healthcare? It should be a constitutional right. But gun control? I believe that felons and those adjucated to be dangerous to themselves or others (such as involuntarily treated mental illness) should not have access to any firearms. But, that's about it in my book. If a law abiding citizen wishes to walk around with a .45 in a shoulder holster - why should I care? Every recent domestic massacre would have turned out very different if one of the victims was armed and capable of using it. Suddenly history would have been very different, one less victim and one more hero. But, I digress. Today we're going pumpkin hunting.

I love Halloween and love pumpkins as decorations. My wife bought several small, non-carvable types this year. She decorated them with a Sharpie and they brightened our home. After Haloween they were turned around and became Thanksgiving decorations. How versatile! But after Thanksgiving, I couldn't think of a use for them. My wife could. "Why not take them shooting?"

So we have four pumpkins to introduce to you. Pumpkin number one volunteered for the 9mm test. This is about 20 yards away using standard ammunition. We have examples of the entry and exit "wounds", both are about 5cm with a 1cm puncture. Head or chest shots would appear to be incapacitating.

Pumpkin number two wanted to meet the "zombie gun". This would be a standard 12-gauge shot gun using a target load. The stock was removed, replaced with a pistol grip. While this looks "cool", it's difficult to aim and took me four shots at 20 yards before I hit. The hit is serious, however. The entry wound covers the entire face of the pumpkin with a 5cm puncture. The exit wounds are small, pellet-like. Damage is substantial, anything other than an arm-hit would appear incapacitating.

Pumpkin three met someone a little more serious, the Smith and Wesson .50 caliber magnum. The S&W .500, as it's generally known, is the current largest production handgun in the world. I know, Dirty Harry said that about the .44 magnum - but that was a long time ago. Things have improved. The entry wound is an innocuous 8cm wound with a 2cm puncture. The entry wound photo does give away some hint of the devastation which is clearly seen as the exit "wound" is simply not measurable. The entire half of the pumpkin has been ripped away. A hit anywhere is obviously incapacitating.