Operational Requirements for an Infantry Hand Weapon

Monday, September 1st, 2014

After World War II, the Operations Research Office at Johns Hopkins produced its Operational Requirements for an Infantry Hand Weapon, based on these key points:

1. The ranges at which the rifle is used most frequently in battle and the ranges within which the greater fraction of man targets can be seen on the battlefield do not exceed 300 yd

2. Within these important battle ranges, the marksmanship of even expert riflemen is satisfactory in meeting actual battle requirements only up to 100 yd; beyond 100 yd, marksmanship declines sharply, reaching low order at 300 yd.

3. To improve hit effectiveness at the ranges not covered satisfactorily in this sense by men using the M-1 (100 to 300 yd), the adoption of a pattern-dispersion principle in the hand weapon could partly compensate for human aiming errors and thereby significantly increase the hits at ranges up to 300 yd.

4. Current models of fully automatic hand weapons afford neither these desirable characteristics nor adequate alternatives. Such weapons are valueless from the standpoint of increasing the number of targets hit when aiming on separated man-size targets.

5. Certain of the costly high standards of accuracy observed in the manufacture of current rifles and ammunition can be relaxed without significant losses in over-all hit effectiveness.

6. To meet the actual operational requirements of a general purpose infantry hand weapon, many possibilities are open for designs which will give desirable dispersion patters (and accompanying increases in hit probability) at the ranges of interest. Of the possible salvo or volley automatic designs, the small caliber lightweight weaon with controlled dispersion characteristics appears to be a promising approach. (Low recoil of a small caliber weapon facilitates dispersion control.)

7. To create militarily acceptable wound damage at common battle ranges, missiles of smaller caliber than the present standard .30 cal can be used without loss in wounding effects and with substantial logistical and over-all military gains.

8. A very great increase in hit lethality can be effected by the addition of toxic agents in bullet missiles.

The original study notes that rifles are designed for aimed fire:

Earlier work done by the ORO on the defense of the individual in combat, and a preliminary study of the offensive capabilities of the rifle, yielded definite indications that rifle fire and its effects were deficient in some important military respects, and that further study of the problem would be necessary fully to establish the facts. In these former studies it was found that, in combat, hits from bullets are incurred by the body at random: regional distribution of bullet hits was the same as for fragment missiles which, unlike the bullet, are not “aimed.” Further, it was found that exposure was the chief factor responsible for the distribution of hits from bullets and that aimed or directed fire does not influence the manner in which hits are sustained. Stated briefly, the comparison of hits from bullets with those from fragments showed that the rifle bullet is not actually better directed towards vulnerable parts of the body.

The discover of these facts, along with evidence of prodigious rifle ammunition expenditure per hit, strongly suggested the need to extend the study of the rifle problem. The facts known at this point also prompted one to regard with some dubiety the employment of the present, highly accurate, precision-made rifle as a general purpose infantry weapon.

With that in mind, it’s surprising that our military didn’t look into better sights earlier.

The study came out strongly against automatic rifles:

To answer these questions, tests were arranged at Fort Benning, Georgia, in which both expert riflemen and marksmen used current models of full automatic rifles. Type E silhouette targets were mounted in front of six by six-ft target screens. The first firing serial was at 100 yd using controlled bursts of five rounds each. Never did more than one round hit the target or screen from any of the short bursts, and consequently no information could be obtained at 100 yd on the nature of the dispersion patter. To obtain more than one strike on the six by six-ft screen, the range had to closed to 50 yd. At this short range it was noted that the man-silhouette target in front of the screen was not hit more than once from any burst. Since single round firing with the M-1 rifle at 50 yr yields a probability of hit of near unity, the effectiveness of automatic fire at such short ranges was of no interest.

This aside about training caught my attention:

An examination of the current basic training program shows that 76 hours are allowed for marksmanship training with the rifle, of which only 48 hours are involved in “wet” exercises, that is, actual range firing of the weapon.

In the 48 hours of training, each man fires at least 400 rounds, which indicates roughly the total amount of time spent in the actual employment of the rifle.

Shooting 400 rounds takes nowhere near 48 hours, even if you’re chatting with shooting buddies and walking back and forth pasting targets.

That said, a half-hour of dry-fire per day plus a half-hour of live-fire per week, for 22 weeks, would add up to 77 hours and would constitute a good start for a hobbyist shooter.

Myths of European Gun Laws

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Gary Mausera and Darrin Weiner debunked two myths about European gun laws in their study “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide: A Review of International Evidence,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol 30 (2007):

First, that European gun laws are much more restrictive than American; and second, that Europe has less violence than America.

Now it is true that European gun laws are often different from ours. This is largely because they aim to stem political violence, not apolitical gun crime. But they are not generally more restrictive. [...] Moreover European gun laws generally allow far more extensive gun use against crime than American law does.

[...]

In the 1920s a German farmer was tried for shooting starving children who were stealing from his orchard. Now under our law, which is based on what is deemed reasonable, the farmer was clearly guilty. But he was exonerated by the German court because European law follows the thought of Immanuel Kant: There is the Right and there is the Wrong — and never need the Right yield to the Wrong! The farmer is in the Right and the starving children are in the Wrong. So if the only way to stop their thefts is to shoot them, then shoot them he may.

A later German statute overturned this – but in a way that reinforces it. The statute only overrules the case if children are shot. But the farmer may shoot if an adult steals his fruit.

[...]

A rapist attacks a woman but retreats when she draws a gun from her purse. The woman, frightened and outraged, shoots him anyway. Under our law this is called “imperfect self-defense.” It is manslaughter (not murder) if the rapist dies; assault with a deadly weapon if he does not.

But under Austrian, Dutch, French, German and Italian law the result is entirely different. If she shot him from “outrage” (i.e., vigilantism) at his attack the court can just acquit her.

As to buying and owning guns, European laws are generally as permissive as American. It is true that you need a special permit to buy a 9 mm. handgun in many European nations. What ignorant American gun prohibitionists don’t understand is that this is a special control on “military-caliber weapons.” Similar controls ban military caliber rifles without special permission. But there is no restriction on other rifles or on handguns in, for instance, .380, .38 Super, 9mm Ultra and many more powerful handguns e.g., any of the magnums or .40 S&W, .45 auto, .45 Long Colt, .454 Casull, .460 S&W Magnum, 475 Linebaugh, .480, .500 and other powerful handguns.

Unlike residents of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts or California, law abiding responsible Italians can buy any revolver or semi-auto they want. No permit is required nor is there any waiting period. Though the handgun must be registered, buying it involves less fuss and red tape than Americans face even in Texas.

Austrians require permits for semi-automatic pistols but not to buy a revolver. Moreover law abiding responsible adults have a specific legal right to a permit for a semi-automatic pistol for home defense. Permits to carry are much more available to law abiding Austrians than to Americans in New York, Massachusetts or California. For a population of over 37 million, California has about 40,000 carry permits. For its population of around seven million, Austria has over 200,000 carry permits.

In France and Germany permits (easily available to responsible adult householders) are required to possess a handgun of modern design. But if you are satisfied with a cowboy-style gun, France requires no permit at all to buy a newly manufactured revolver of pre-1895 design.

Consistent with its focus on political crime, European law precludes stockpiling guns. You might be able to own multiple guns in different calibers, but not 10 or 20 in the same caliber.

There are no magazine size restrictions on semi-autos.

Nine European nations have fewer than 5,000 guns per 100,000 population. Seven have more than three times as many guns per 100,000 population. The nine nations’ violent crime situation is disappointing, even shockingly contrary to the myth that restricting guns diminishes murder. Their murder rates are three times higher than those of the seven high gun ownership nations!

We collected many examples: Norway has far and away Western Europe’s highest household gun ownership (32% of households), but also its lowest murder rate. Holland has the lowest gun ownership in Western Europe (1.9%), and Sweden lies midway between (15.1). Yet the Dutch murder rate is half again higher than the Norwegian, and the Swedish rate is even higher yet, though only slightly. Greece has over twice the per capita gun ownership of the Czech Republic, yet gun murder is much lower in Greece and the Greek murder rate with all weapons is also lower. Though Spain has over 12 times more gun ownership than Poland, the latter has almost a third more gun murder, and its overall murder rate is almost twice Spain’s. Poor Finland: it has 14 times more of these evil guns than its neighbor Estonia. Yet Estonia’s gun murder and overall murder rates are about seven times higher than Finland’s.

TwistRate

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have decided that they simply cannot allow firearm projects to sully their mission, so now TwistRate aims to fill the gap:

TwistRate is Americans coming together online to build the innovations, dreams and causes of America’s veterans, service members, law enforcement, outdoor enthusiasts, fishing and hunting communities. We bring your ideas to life, giving you the tools to take your great ideas to others in your community so they can benefit from your ingenuity. TwistRate brings communities together to fund their own, build their own and make their own – all on their own.

TwistRate and you make the American Dream a reality by connecting the dreamers with the dollars.

My first thought is, TwistRate? You couldn’t think of a better firearms metaphor for getting something going?

Soldiers’ Kit from 1066 to 2014

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

The Telegraph has compiled photos of British soldiers’ kit from 1066 to 2014:

Soldier Kit 13

Soldier Kit 12

Soldier Kit 11

Soldier Kit 10

Soldier Kit 09

Soldier Kit 08

Soldier Kit 07

Soldier Kit 06

Soldier Kit 05

Soldier Kit 04

Soldier Kit 03

Soldier Kit 02

Soldier Kit 01

Terminating Interest in Leading a Riot

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Col. Jeff Cooper suggested a system that “would make sure, first, that a riot would stop; and second, that only the leaders would feel the weight of social disapproval.”

Of course, since this is Col. Jeff Cooper we’re talking about, his recommended system was a weapon system, a suppressed .22:

This weapon, properly sighted and equipped with a noise suppressor, may be used with surgical delicacy to neutralize mob leaders without risk to other members of the group, without noise and with scant danger of death to the subject. A low-velocity 22 bullet in the lung will not knock a man down, and in these days of modern antisepsis it will almost never kill him if he can get to a hospital in a reasonable time. It will, however, absolutely terminate his interest in leading a riot.

The Israelis took his advice.

Targamite TargaBot

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

The Targamite TargaBot looks like it has some potential:

The MSRP of $2,995 seems a bit steep though.

Watch what Jerry Miculek can do with a pair of ‘em:

Pro- or Anti-Gun Ad?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Apparently this is supposed to be an anti-gun ad:

As gun-nut Caleb says, “Seriously, that’s their commercial?”

The only difference between that and a commercial for self-defense is “if the mom had a gun.” Seriously, I’ve seen commercials by gun companies that looked exactly like that, except instead of cowering in fear, the mom pulls out a gun and smokes that fool.

[...]

It practically contains all the pro-gun talking points: home invasion, restraining orders not stopping a badguy, and how a badguy with a gun easily kills a defenseless woman.

Seriously, Everytown, thanks! You’ve made a great pro-gun video, and I’ll make sure to show this to people as an example of why they should absolutely be armed in the home. Good job! You should probably fire the person whose idea this was, though.

To be fair, the goal of the ad is to support legislation that will keep domestic abusers from getting guns.

Electric Knives

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Young men want to test their courage, but most good tests of physical courage are also great ways to get killed — or at least injured.

If you modify a dangerous sport to make it safe, it’s no longer a good test of courage.

Some hobbies successfully ride the edge between too-dangerous and not-scary — most forms of grappling are mildly dangerous and, in competition or when you’re new, fairly scary — but other martial arts have lost their edge — literally.

Fighting with foils or rubber knives isn’t scary. Fighting with more substantial weapons can lead to broken bones.

Burton “Lucky Dog” Richards has done his share of fighting with rubber knives and wooden sticks, and here he talks about the benefits of using a Shocknife in training:

The downside is that a Shocknife costs $500.

But you can make your own from a cheap electric fly-swatter:

  1. Make sure any residual charge is bled off by tapping the racket into something metal and grounded, making sure that both mesh sides touch. Remove batteries. Unscrew the housing.
  2. Pry apart the plastic “racket” portion and snip off the leads to the three attached wires, or simply cut them as long as possible. Discard racket.
  3. Since this is supposed to simulate a knife, the leads will need to attach to something of a similar shape. The template should also be non-conductive. I found a piece of wood to be the best option, since it was easy to adjust to the desired shape. Take the overall length of the weapon into mind- how long does the training weapon need to be? With the body at 8 inches, I cut the wood template to a little under 3 inches.
  4. [...]

“Please don’t be stupid with this thing.”

Making Cannons with Lasers

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Alexander Sarnowski designs fully functional mini cannons that are then manufactured with CNC metal machining and laser wood cutting:

For as long as he can remember, Alexander has been building everything from his own morse code machines to home made rocket motors. For his 16th birthday his father bought him a mid-sized lathe, and since then he’s been designing and cranking out parts every chance he gets.

[...]

Alexander knew his way around a lathe, so the barrels wouldn’t be a problem. The wood carriages however, would have been impossible to make by hand at the scale he wanted. That’s where Ponoko came in:

“My roommate had ordered laser cut parts from Ponoko for one of his robotics projects, so I asked him if Ponoko also cut wood. I had plenty of CAD experience, so discovering Ponoko was the last piece to the puzzle.”

Once he learned what was possible with Ponoko, designing the first prototype “only took me a few hours” he says, adding that “the time it took me to bolt it all together was only a few minutes, thanks to how accurately the laser cut parts were.”

Ajax Gun Shield

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Modern body armor that can stop a rifle round is heavy, which raises the question of which body parts should be armored. For now, most soldiers wear a helmet and a vest with a chest plate, because those targets are vital — and because the head is often exposed, and the torso is the easiest place to carry a heavy load.

Another option is to use some kind of gun shield.

Ajax Gun Shield

The Ajax gun shield attaches to now-standard side rails:

The Ajax consists of two spring-loaded frames extending on each side of the weapon, each holding one of the bulletproof side plates available for the U.S. Interceptor protective best. Each side plate weighs 1.6 kg (3.6 pounds) and is able to stop multiple hits by heavy (7.62mm) rifle bullets. When a bullet hits one of the plates the spring system absorbs much of the impact and returns the plate to its normal position that protects the face and shoulders of the user. Thus with Ajax the soldier can be looking for targets with his head and shoulders exposed. Without Ajax and despite the Kevlar helmet (also able to stop 7.62mm bullets) the face and shoulders (protected by some Kevlar, not bullet proof plates) left the soldiers exposed and likely to get hit if the enemy put out a heavy enough barrage of bullets. The face was also exposed to grenade and shell fragments. Ajax eliminates most of that vulnerability. Even most of the hands and arms that are still exposed now have some protection.

Ajax is meant mainly for troops on the defense (like guarding a base) or those on vehicles or boats. Troops manning light machine-guns or sniper rifles are particularly vulnerable because they generate the most effective firepower but can only do that it they show themselves so they can see targets and fire at them. Ajax is not really meant for troops out on foot patrols troops, because these soldiers tend to not carry the side plates. Being more mobile is a lifesaver and the side plates are but one of many items often left behind in order to reduce the load carried by the foot soldier.

An Outstanding Weapon

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The RPG is a really, really outstanding weapon, Weapons Man says, and it fits in a sweet spot of direct-fire AT and AP support weaponry that’s really missing in the US infantry squad:

Instead, we have more riflemen, and additional-duty weapons like the AT-4. The RPG is cheaper and reusable, and it has a range advantage over most US disposable non-guided weapons. Its effective anti-tank range is about double that of the AT-4, and the disposable AT-4 costs $1,500 a round.

The evolutionary history of the RPG is fascinating. The Soviets began by copying a weapon they’d felt the sharp end of: the German Panzerfaust. There were many versions of this disposable AT weapon available, and by war’s end the Germans were evolving this weapon in the direction of a reusable tube. It was the Panzerfaust that originated the grenade-launch boost and rocket sustainer operating system, and the weapon evolved rapidly under the pressures of mechanized warfare. Early Panzerfäuste had a mere 30 meter range, demanding bravery, or recklessness, from a rifleman under the pressure of hordes of T-34s or Shermans. And the warheads were marginal, at least on the well-protected T-34. By 1945 most of the initial weaknesses had been allayed by the intense development taking place behind the lines, and the industrial and R&D plant fell into Russian hands.

Unlike the USA, where captured German scientists and engineers came to be trusted, with many staying on as employees and seeking American citizenship, the Soviets, who suffered terribly at German hands, never trusted the Germans and held them in rigid captivity. As quickly as possible, they transitioned German projects, including rockets, guided AA missiles, and turbine engines as well as AT weapons, to Soviet design bureaux and shut the Germans out, generally releasing them back in the USSR’s occupied zone of Germany.

The Soviet engineers proved to be quick and imaginative. They continued to improve the Panzerfaust operating system. It is generally believed that a Soviet-produced version of the late-war Panzerfaust 250 was given limited issue as the Ruchnoy Protitankovniy Granatomet or RPG-1. A Soviet-improved version was widely issued as the RPG-2 in the later 1940s, as part of the systematic re-equipment of the Soviet Army that also saw new rifles, machine guns, and soon, tanks in service.

The limits of the RPG-2 led to the larger, heavier, more solid, and tactically longer-ranged and more accurate RPG-7 in 1961, and the versatility of the RPG-7 has kept it on the world’s front lines to this day. While most of the world knows about the remarkable longevity of the Kalashnikov rifle, its AT counterpart is just as ubiquitous, and won’t be going away any time soon. (In fact, a US firm makes a modified version for Foreign Military Sales).

Louis Awerbuck

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Renowned shooting instructor Louis Awerbuck has passed away. Or, rather, he has shot himself, rather than face lingering illness. (At least, that’s what the Internet tells me.) This old interview may shed some light:

Q: You’re involved in teaching skills and a mindset that involve defending life and potentially taking life. Do you think about your mortality more than the average person?

LA: Yes, but I…:

Q. How often do you think about your mortality, the fact that one day you will die?

LA: Almost permanently now. But I don’t care; it doesn’t matter. I don’t have any family, so it’s not a big deal. It’s literally going back to what you were talking about earlier—the Asian way of thinking… the Japanese way of thinking. Everybody holds life so precious; I don’t. I mean, I’d like to live to a hundred and fifty if I were healthy, but [pauses] death and taxes.

Q: So in your understanding, what’s after death?

LA: I don’t know, but I think there’s got to be something. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have a five year-old killed, ridden over by a bus, for no reason. There’s got to be something out there. There’s got to be a reason one person lives to be a drunken murderer for 105 years and a good kid gets run over by a school bus when she’s four years old. There’s got to be something. What it is, I don’t know. I’m not a theologian. I guess it’s just a stepping in-between steps.

LA: Different people are different-

Q: For you?

LA: For me? For preserving my life? Honoring my parents. That’s why I didn’t die fourteen years ago. Not much else. I don’t trust anyone. Can’t trust anyone. So, that’s why I say I really don’t care about my death. I’ve had a hundred years packed into sixty. Why would I? I’ve got nothing to live for. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got no Achilles heel. I’m not the average person. I’m an exception to the rule. The average person— wife and kids, lineage, wants to see their grandchildren play football or through college or whatever. Fine. I’m the end of the line. I’m the end of the blood line, completely.

Q: Most adults wrestle with some sort of fear or anxiety. It can be their financial well-being, their health, or their personal safety. What do you fear most in life?

LA: Probably physical incapacitation, if I were cognizant of it. Dependency, physical dependency, and being cognizant of it. Having Alzheimer’s and knowing I’ve got Alzheimer’s and not being able to [pauses] end it. That’s it. I don’t fear anything else because … Mr. Roosevelt said, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” I don’t want to be dependent on anybody else. There is nothing else.

Q: Any regrets or things you would have done differently in life?

LA: I would have given my parents more time, of my so-called “valuable” time, when I was younger. That’s all. I was going to say I wouldn’t have put in as much of my side of the pound of flesh as I did, but I probably would have, but that’s it. I owe nobody anything. Nobody owes me anything. I’m happy. You get up with daily fears—“I hope the kids are alright, I hope the wife’s alright, I hope I can pay the bills…” I don’t have those worries. I go broke? I’ll make some more money, somehow, somewhere. No wife, no kids, my dog’s dead, so what am I supposed to be concerned about? No family (none living). No lineage. I mean it sounds pathetic, or pathos-tic, but why would I have worries in life? All of the general person’s worries, normal worries.

He considered himself a realist:

Q: You have the advantage of having lived in South Africa as well as America. What’s right about American culture? What about it concerns you?

LA: What concerns me is America is what South Africa was thirty-five years ago, and people are too blind to see it. What’s right about it? It’s still got a Constitution and a Bill of Rights, if people will abide by it. But … it’s never coming back to what it was. If anyone’s that stupid….The cycle’s over. World powers have cycles, and America’s is over.

Q: So you’re not optimistic about the…

LA: I’m not pessimistic. I’m realistic because I’ve lived through this before. I’ve seen it all before. Without trying to sound supercilious, I’ve seen it all before. It’s just déjà vu, all over again, to quote the lyric. It’s going to go in no other direction. I think people would be shocked to know what is not American, owned in America, and I’m not going to give specifics. But there’s hardly anything “American made” that is American made. They’re trying to do things the right way…. The nice-guys-finish-last syndrome applies. That’s it.

Even six years ago he didn’t see much future:

Q: What does the future hold for Louis Awerbuck and Yavapai Firearms Academy?

LA: The Academy, I don’t know. For me, not much. It’s twilight and the sun’s going down. Am I … despondent? No. I reckon I’ve had a hundred years of good health, but … I’m jaded with mankind. That’s my problem. I’m jaded with mankind. Too many people. Too many years. Too many lies. Too many people with no morals, no ethics. Money, money, money. Me, me, me. Nice guys finish last. I don’t mind finishing last, but I’m tired of running, running the race. There’s no point to it. What is the end of it? What is it all? Nothing that I haven’t seen before.

More knowledge, hopefully. In fact, you can cancel the whole preceding three paragraphs and say, “Hope for more knowledge.” Just learn, learn, learn. It’s the psychology that I’m interested in. But otherwise, nothing.

What do I have left to do that I haven’t done? Nothing. Except maybe golf, but I ain’t going to try to hit a 4-inch golf ball into a 3-inch hole. Snow skiing? And I ain’t jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft, so there’s nothing left to do that I haven’t done that I wanted to do, except learn. That’s it. The show’s over.

Interesting things in the NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Report

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Tactical Professor shares some interesting things in the NYPD Annual Firearms Discharge Report, including this anecdote:

On October 24, at 1837 hours, in the 46th Precinct, an off-duty officer was sitting in a parked vehicle with a friend, when he saw two men rob another man at gunpoint on the other side of the street. The officer got out of his car and approached the men. As soon as he identified himself as a police officer, the subject, one of the individuals involved in the robbery, turned and fired one round at the officer, striking him in the chest from about ten feet away. The men then fled on foot, while the officer went back to his vehicle, clutching his chest. The officer’s friend tried to drive away, only to get stuck in traffic behind a white Mustang which was stopped in front of them. The Mustang sped off and crashed up the street. Three individuals, including the subject, fled the Mustang. When the officer saw them, he pursued, still clutching his chest. The officer ordered bystanders to get down for their safety, and while taking cover behind a vehicle, fired eight rounds at the perpetrators, striking the subject once in the head and causing his demise. The other individuals who participated in the robbery were apprehended later. The subject had two prior arrests, for Robbery and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.

The officer did not die from his wound, he notes:

It’s hard to make that kind of stuff up, which is yet another reason I prefer to read the real reports rather than dreaming up my own scenarios.

Armed Dune Buggies

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

In the early 1980s, the U.S. Army created a unique battalion of armed dune buggies made by Chenowth Racing Products:

In October 1981, Maj. Gen. Robert Elton decided to get more Chenowths for the 9th Infantry Division — the [High Technology Light Division] test unit. The ground combat branch leased over 120 of the armed buggies in the end.

The vehicles got weapons and other military equipment once they reached the 9th Infantry Division’s home at Fort Lewis. The Chenowths sported machine guns, grenade launchers and even anti-tank missiles.

Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicle with MG

In 1982, the “Quick Kill Vehicle” got the less aggressive moniker of “Fast Attack Vehicle.” The Army eventually settled on “Light Attack Battalion” for its planned dune buggy contingents.

Chenowth Fast Attack Vehicle with TOW

The Chenowths made good use of their diminutive size during trials. The vehicle’s low profile made it hard to spot and potentially difficult to hit in combat.

Helicopters could also whisk the FAVs around the battlefield in large numbers. The Army’s new Black Hawk helicopter could lift two buggies, while the bigger Chinook could carry a seven at once.

However, the Chenowths were only ever meant to be “surrogates” for a final vehicle design. But the HTLD’s proponents couldn’t sell the concept.

The FAV just looked vulnerable regardless of any potential benefits.

Meanwhile in Asia and Africa, the Toyota Hilux has become the AK-47 of trucks.

One Bullet Can Kill, but Sometimes 20 Don’t

Friday, June 13th, 2014

One bullet can kill, but sometimes 20 don’t:

A man in North Carolina was shot roughly 20 times in 1995 and lived to tell about it. The rapper 50 Cent was shot nine times in 2000 and has since released three albums. And in 2006, Joseph Guzman survived 19 gunshot wounds during the 50-shot fusillade by police detectives that killed Sean Bell.

[...]

The trial of three detectives — Gescard F. Isnora, Michael Oliver and Marc Cooper — involved in the shooting that killed Mr. Bell has shown just how arbitrary the flight of bullets can be.

While Mr. Guzman survived at least 13 shots, Mr. Bell was struck only four times, and two of those shots were fatal. A bullet was found lodged near Mr. Guzman’s left kidney, and he had wounds on the left side of his chest and on his right cheek, among other places, according to testimony at the detectives’ trial on Wednesday from Dr. Albert Cooper, the surgeon at Mary Immaculate Hospital who treated Mr. Guzman on the morning of the shooting.

Matter from Mr. Guzman’s intestines spilled into his abdominal cavity, creating the potential for deadly infection, Dr. Cooper said.

Mr. Guzman survived an onslaught that would kill a person 99 percent of the time, Dr. DiMaio said. Mr. Guzman’s saving grace may have been the Nissan Altima he sat in as the detectives fired, Dr. DiMaio said.

“If they go through metal, the bullets may have so little energy they get into the muscle or fat and then they stop,” he said.

A person’s physical size does not matter much when it comes to the damage a bullet can do, the doctors say.

In 1995, the man in North Carolina, Kenny Vaughan, did not have a car to protect him when he was shot about 20 times in Rougemont.

[...]

The gun used to shoot Mr. Vaughan was a .22-caliber rifle, a firearm that is much less lethal than, say, the 9-millimeter handguns that detectives in the Bell case used, Dr. DiMaio said.

[...]

If a gunshot victim’s heart is still beating upon arrival at a hospital, there is a 95 percent chance of survival, Dr. DiMaio said. (People shot in vital organs usually do not make it that far, he added.)

Shots to roughly 80 percent of targets on the body would not be fatal blows, Dr. Fackler said. Still, he added, it is like roulette.