The average military man cannot hit much with any pistol

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

Before the war, Dunlap was a competitive rifle shooter:

The average military man cannot hit much with any pistol, and as a rule, the bigger the gun the less he hits. That is why Uncle called for the M1 carbine in the first place. In the hands of gunmasters such as Charles Askins, Jr. or Al Hemming or Harry Reeves the handgun is more deadly than the rifle is with the average soldier behind it. However, men like that are so scarce they cannot be counted in an army. The old claim of “the .45 knocks ‘em down if it hits ‘em in the arm or leg” carries no weight with anyone who has actually seen any bullet work on humans. Sometimes a .45 bullet may flatten a man with a minor wound, but I have known of Jap soldiers who absorbed a burst in the body from a Thompson and went down fighting. The .45 carries a lot of shocking power, it is true, but the point nearly every pistol argument misses is that a hit with any bullet above a .22 rim fire will slow a man enough from whatever he is doing—running away, running toward you, or shooting at you—to give you time to put in a fatal hit or hits. And I do not think anyone will argue that the smaller calibers are not easier for the unpracticed man to handle. A hit with a 9mm or .38 is 100% more effective than a miss with a .45, regardless of the wound it causes.

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