Tuesday, May 29, 2007

History repeats itself

I just found a short article at Defensetech.org (with a hat-tip to military.com) about the weapons our troops are using in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It seems that many troops are requesting that the military ditch the M9 pistol ( a 9mm round) because it has insufficient stopping power. Some are specifically asking for a return to the venerable M1911 .45 caliber. In fairness, I've been hearing this for a couple years.

Well duh. The US adopted the 9 mm about 20 years ago (give or take) simply because our allies all use it, and this way we could have compatible ammunition. The .45 on the other hand was designed for the US Army during the Moro rebellion in the Philippines. It was designed specifically to give the troops a pistol with terrific stopping power, as a last-ditch defense.

Here's a little tip: When your military buys a new weapon, designed specifically to be used to stop fanatical Muslim guerrillas who are whacked out on their narcotic of choice, and it works brilliantly for about 80 years, think hard about replacing it for no good reason.

The saddest thing about this whole affair is that it's just so... obvious. I was in the Army when the switch to the newer pistol began (though I never used one). I clearly recall discussions with other officers and NCOs, in which we all-without exception- took the view that it was a mistake to switch, because the .45 was a more "lethal" round. But of course, the decision was made up in Washington (I assume), which someone once described to me as "where the rubber meets the clouds".

I just wonder how many of our soldiers were killed because they couldn't stop an enemy soldier, even with multiple shots. As the article says:

'"When speaking to experts and Soldiers on site, many commented on the limited ability to effectively stop targets, saying that those personnel targets who were shot multiple times were still able to continue pursuit," the report said.'

This is a tragedy. You need weapons that are lethal to fight a war. It's pretty simple. The .45 is one of the best weapons mankind has ever designed for close-range fighting, like that in a fight to the death (which is what our soldiers have to expect when fighting these animals).

I hope that none of the soldiers that have been captured by terrorists-like the 3 young men this month- were captured by assailants that had already been shot, to no avail.

That would be a crime.



Jenera Healy said...

What is the point of having a weapon in battle if it doesn't kill? It's like having a gun at home for protection that has all the stopping power of a water gun. I bought a gun for protection. It will kill you if necessary. Why should the military have to deal with sub par weapons?

gun-totin-wacko said...

Alas, there's no sense to the switch. The .45 is, all things considered, a superior weapon. Unless you value "compatability" with your allies over everything else.

The .45 has another advantage, for those moments before the shooting starts. It's a really big round, coming from a really big pistol. I've heard several accounts of people over the years that have found themselves on the wrong end of one. The consensus seems to be that when it's pointed at you, that big ol' barrel looks like a 16 inch naval gun pointed right between your eyes.

It's very persuasive, and has a wonderful deterrent effect.

Someday I intend to do a post on different types of pistols, and my ideas about carrying them. But this comment should provide a good insight into what I think.

Ah, the love of a man for his gun. It's a beautiful thing.

Walter Clark said...

Ah, yes that "staring down the barrel into the depths of hell" look. I once in college had a job at a stop and rob, graveyard shift (redundancy alert). The guy who'd just quit had been robbed at gun point. When the police asked if he could tell them the caliber of the pistol he held his arms in a great big circle and said "It looked this big. I think it was a 22."

I don't care nearly as much about how big the barrel looks as how successfully it blows a big enough hole to put the other guy down in one.

As for Washington, I've always referred to that as inside the Beltway and above reality.

gun-totin-wacko said...


I have a trilogy of books about WWII with the 101st airborne, by a gentleman named Donald R. Burgett. Highly recommend them.

At any rate, near the end of the War, he was leading a patrol into a German village. The locals all came out, and he ordered the mayor to order them all inside. The man hesitated. Burgett pulled his .45, stuck it in the man's face and repeated the order. The man muttered "gross", i.e. "big", and immediately complied.

That's one of the things that influenced me, along with the fact that I used the .45 when I served.

Toss in some hollow-points, and I think it'll stop anybody, no matter how whacked out they are on drugs.

Thanks for your comment.