Another gun myth?


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DirtyBrad
October 11, 2006, 09:48 PM
My girlfriend's law class is studying the Bernie Goetz case. She was talking about it yesterday and got me reading some of the trial transcripts.

There was something in there about how a lot of the witnesses thought the gun was a .357 or .44 because of the noise. It was a .38. Someone said that the gun had never been fired before, which meant that the first few rounds would be louder.

My girlfriend asked if that was true, and I said I'd never heard that, couldn't imagine why it would be true, and that the perception of someone in a life or death situation isn't exactly reliable.

But then I remembered the other day at the range. I was breaking in a new AR-15. The guy next to me, who seemed to know his way around guns, asked me if it was a .223 because it sounded a lot louder. It is a .223 and I was using regular old 55 gr. UMC.

I still can't think why this would be true, but the thing at the range means I have to ask you experts to be sure.

Thanks and sorry if I'm perpetuating an old wives' tale. I'd never heard this one before.

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SDC
October 11, 2006, 10:32 PM
The only thing I've ever heard that's even REMOTELY close to what you're describing is "first round pop" as seen (heard) when using a suppressor (the ambient oxygen inside the suppressor allows unburnt gunpowder to burn inside of the suppressor, raising the noise level). Most (if not all) of the Goetz earwitnesses had probably never heard a real gun fired before in their lives, so they would be comparing it to what they see and hear on TV.

vito
October 11, 2006, 10:37 PM
What is more important is to remember that Goetz was not charged or convicted for shooting the muggers who threatened him. His only crime was that he violated New York City's ban on owning or carrying a handgun.

gezzer
October 11, 2006, 10:42 PM
His only crime was that he violated New York City's ban on owning or carrying a handgun.

And his own Stupidity for turning himself in.

Walter
October 11, 2006, 10:43 PM
How loud a gunshot sounds can vary due to many things. Where
you are standing in relation to the position of the gun can make
it sound more or less loud. A gun fired inside an enclosed space
sounds infinitely more loud than a gun fired outdoors.
I remember the first time I shot at our gun club range after they
had installed roofs over the firing line: Wow! My .45 sounded like
a 105 howitzer. :eek:

Walter

Molon Labe
October 11, 2006, 10:49 PM
And his own Stupidity for turning himself in.Well, if it was a justified shooting and it may have been then I don't see any problem with him turning himself in.

His biggest mistake was not shutting up about it. Afterwards he bragged to the cops how he wanted to see the perpetrators "pay" for what they did. Not smart.

DirtyBrad
October 11, 2006, 10:50 PM
Like I said, I would have immediately written this off if not for the coincidence at the range. Just thought I'd see if anyone else had heard of this on the 1% chance that there was something to it.

As far as Goetz, he seems a pretty far cry from the ideal of someone defying an unjust law and protecting his life.

But that's a subject for another thread...

mnrivrat
October 11, 2006, 10:53 PM
Someone said that the gun had never been fired before, which meant that the first few rounds would be louder.

NAW !! , NO ! , NO WAY ! , Hell NO !

A gun fired inside an enclosed space
sounds infinitely more loud than a gun fired outdoors.

YES !, YEP ! , HELL YES ! And depending on where in that inclosed space you are standing in relalationship to the noise generation, it can be LOUD !

MisterPX
October 11, 2006, 11:31 PM
There's no first round pop with a non suppresed firearm. As far as the range guy, if you pulled up next to me with an AR-15 type rifle, I'd have a pretty good guess as to caliber, especially after you fired and I could see the brass. ;)

DirtyBrad
October 11, 2006, 11:49 PM
That's what I figured. Just one of those weird coincidences out of which urban legends are born, I suppose.

As for the range guy, he was a few tables over and to my left.

Larry Ashcraft
October 11, 2006, 11:55 PM
Someone said that the gun had never been fired before, which meant that the first few rounds would be louder.
No. Never heard that before, but I can't think of a reason a gun would be louder for the first few rounds. Did "someone" give a reason?

A .38 Special fired from a snub nose revolver without hearing protection can be deafening. Ask me how I know.

WHAT?

DirtyBrad
October 12, 2006, 12:08 AM
Not that I remember. I think it was a witness, but I can't remember. I don't remember the exact quote, but it seemed to have been said in a way indicating the person felt it was common knowledge.

They also said something about him "cleaning the barrel" or something, meaning the gun had never been fired before.

Sorry, I'm usually a little better with citations and stuff. I only brought this up as background to the myth because it stuck out.

MechAg94
October 12, 2006, 12:19 AM
I clean the barrels of my guns all the time. Generally good to do after firing to keep them in good shape. It has nothing to do with it having been fired before.

There is no reason a gun would be any louder the first shot versus the 100th. Physically and mechanically everything happening is the same.

The only thing I can figure is if you go shoot a pistol without hearing protection, the first few rounds are loud and deaden your hearing so the last rounds don't seem as loud. The ringing in your ears drowns out noise. :)

As was said above, people who don't shoot are not qualified to determine caliber by sound. Length of barrel, type of action, and other things effect the noise as well. The particular ammo loading or brand would also have a great effect. I think they are just used to movie sound effects and think this must have been a real "big" gun so it must be .357 mag or .44 mag. A .22 LR can sound real loud out of the right pistol.

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