Killer Tech 6/21/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Okay, fine. I admit it. I’m an idiot.

Today I stopped in at my gun club, and yes, I bought a new handgun. Hopefully my readers know by now that I’m not pro-gun ownership so much as I am pro-responsible gun ownership. Yes, I own handguns. Three are stored in a lockbox, one is in my nightstand, but I live alone. There are no children. As such, I do keep a loaded clip in that gun, but I never keep a round chambered. When a round is chambered, the trigger pull pressure is significantly reduced to the point where a toddler could easily fire it, but it’s unlikely that a child could pull the slide to load a round. But, honestly, the rules for guns in my house would be very different if indeed there were tiny hands around.

I bought this gun as a conceal and/or open carry gun. Honestly, I don’t carry guns, but after something happened to a good friend of mine, it made me realize that there may be times or situations when I might want to carry one. At this point, I can’t imagine where that might be, but if it arises, I’m ready. This gun, being a smaller caliber, is slenderer, it’s short, and it’s lightweight. More importantly it has a manual thumb safety as well as a trigger safety. Trigger safeties make it virtually impossible to have an accidental discharge if the weapon is accidentally dropped, but honestly, they’re not much as far as safeties go. If your finger is on the trigger, it can be fired. The thumb safety, on the other hand, is a switch type safety. Basically, you have to consciously decide that you intend to fire the gun to flip the safety off. This gun also has a trigger safety, so it’s very secure.

Buying ammo, I did my usual “thing”. I bought three boxes. That might seem excessive, but two were cheap “full metal jacket” boxes (actually, bags) intended for target shooting. Those are less expensive and designed just to practice with the handgun. The third was for self-defense.

As per my practice, I asked for hollow point ammo for self-defense. Hollow point rounds are designed to expand out as they hit which distributes the force of the bullet more widely in the body. Basically, when firing at a person, a hollow point has more stopping power while full-metal jacket would more likely go through the person. When I asked for hollow point, they asked if I wanted the hollow point or the rotating ammo.

The rotating version (I’m not sure this is the proper name), it’s designed to spin on impact rather than flatten. This basically is like hitting a person with the bullet on “puree”, spinning the tissue and causing even more damage than the hollow point.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of this type of ammo. It has always amazed me how creative we humans can be at finding new ways to torture and kill each other. Starting with simple clubs, people just advanced weapons technology further and further. Clubs lead to penetrating weapons lead to thrown weapons lead to launched projectile weapons and so on. Today, we have missiles and drones to kill without risk to any lives of those who fire them, fighter jets beating the speed of sound, bombs that can level an entire mountaintop, and nuclear weapons that are global weapons in nature.

Some of the torture instruments in the Middle Ages and Renaissance are brutal even by today’s standards. They were so clever in their torture designs. The Iron Maiden, for example, is designed to do nothing but prevent the victim from moving. Cramped or standing, the victim would have to sit or stand for days on end. If you’ve ever sat for too long and struggled to get up, or had “restless legs” at night, you might be able to imagine what this torture must have been like. The Brazen Bull was basically a huge pot to cook people alive. Large enough to allow plenty of room to move, they simply lit a fire underneath until the inside became hot enough to literally cook the victim to death.

So, what do you think? Hollow point, full metal or spinning ammo? Full metal might be better for, for example, shooting through a car windshield, but I wouldn’t use a gun to stop a car, but as cheap ammo to practice it’s very good. Heck, I fired off forty-six rounds of full metal jacket ammo at the range to acquaint myself with the gun. But my choice for self-protection was hollow point. As it turns out, the rotating ammo has a higher probability of going through the target, and I worry about the bullet hitting somebody else. Hopefully I would be smart enough not to fire at somebody with another person behind them, but in an emergency situation where I need to fire a gun, well, you just never know. With hollow point, there is less chance of collateral damage, so hollow point for me, please.

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