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Accidental myths

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by STW, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. STW

    STW New Member

    This was sparked by the favorite gun myth discussion.

    I’m more interested in instances when someone is trying to get it right, makes a pretty good case, but misses because of one small, overlooked, yet vital piece of information. I’m more likely to make those kinds of mistakes. Case in point:

    In the last year or three “In Search of History” or some similar show investigated the Little Big Horn, specifically whether Reno should have known the trouble Custer was in and come to his aid. They did some elaborate calculations and a field test where they made a bunch of noise at Custer hill and listened for it at Reno’s hill. Shazam, they could hear the noise. Therefore, Reno must have heard the goings on with Custer. (Whether or not he or his troopers were in any condition to help Custer was not explored as I recall.)

    However, the researchers overlooked the effect that firing .45 caliber weapons for a sustained period would have on the listeners hearing and, therefore, their ability to register gunfire five miles away. They also, apparently, ignored my yelling at the TV from only ten feet away.

    What other, if any, similar cases is anyone aware of and what was the missing piece that changed the whole dynamic of the question?
  2. Biker

    Biker Active Member

    Seems to me that wind speed and direction would have an effect also.

  3. g56

    g56 New Member


  4. Axman

    Axman New Member

    Aw heck I thought this was going to be about "accident myths" like, "I was cleaning my gun and it just went off!"
  5. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves New Member

    Or that "the Battle would have been different if Custer had only waited for the Gatling Guns". If Custer had waited for the Gatling guns, he wouldn't have got there in time. The Indians would have been long gone, so there wouldn't have been a battle. Then again, the battle of the Rosebud which occurred the previous day, the Cavalry still got trounced and they had Gatling guns, but they were too cumbersome to move into position quickly, and they had feed problems due to the dusty terrain.
    All these people that say "if only" might as well say, "If only Custer had won, the Indians would have lost." Well, duh!
  6. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta New Member

    Sometime just before WW II, the Imperial Japanese Army switched from .25+/- to .31+/- caliber ammunition for their main battle rifle. This switch was made at great cost and logistic headaches, both for the Army and the industry that supported it.

    Why did they do this?

    Accidental myth: The Japanese switched calibers so their rifles could fire captured US .30-06 and British .303 ammunition, but their enemies could not fire captured Japanese ammo.

    The truth? A search of The High Road will revel.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2006
  7. javacodeman

    javacodeman New Member

    MythBuster Myth Concerning Ice Round

    As an expert scientist and an amateur shooter, I'll probably come at this from a different angle than most of you. Please inform me of anything that I'm missing...

    If you saw the episode, Jamie and Adam investigate the plausibility of the "ice bullet" and declared it to be a myth.

    While I don't have any problem declaring it to be a myth, I do have a problem with their level of investigation.

    First (and probably their biggest mistake), they insta-froze their bullet in liquid nitrogen making it very brittle.

    Second, they wouldn't allow the shell to get cold for fear of an explosion/misfire. This lead to the bullet being well below zero instananeously while they tried to maintain the shell at room temp.

    Last, they loaded the cartridge and left the room, shooting from a remote location. This time delay would have given ample time for the bullet to thaw enough to not get a good seal with the discharge of the round.

    If I did it, I would allow the "bullet" to slowly freeze and allow the cartridge to cool down with it. I would also allow the gun to be chilled. I might still shoot from a remote location, but with every cooled down, it would be less likely for the ice to melt.

    Only thing, I'm unsure of modern ammo's ability to fire when very cold.

  8. GW

    GW New Member

    There didn't seem to be any trouble with ammo in any of the winter campaigns of WWI, WW2 or Korea
  9. cncguns

    cncguns New Member

    The marines test ammo at all different extremes in temp to ensure consistant accuracy, so I don't believe the cold would be a major factor. My concern would be keeping the powder dry. You would almost have to engineer a refridgerated weapon to maintain the subfreezing temps required.
  10. Geronimo45

    Geronimo45 New Member

    If memory serves right, the cold will reduce a round's power... which could be a problem in autoloaders, they might not function properly.
  11. Axman

    Axman New Member

    Deer hunting in subzero temperatures is plausible.
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Active Member

    The "ice bullet" is a purely fictional invention. No matter how it's frozen.
    "...Jamie and Adam..." Neither of them know squat about firearms.
    "...if Custer had only waited for the Gatling Guns..." There was no waiting or not waiting involved. Custer didn't have them with him. He decided they'd slow him down. Likely would have too. In any case, Reno didn't really know where Georgie was. The battle sounds echoed all around the hills as well, so he wouldn't have known where to go. If he had taken his troopies in, they would have been wiped out too. There was an estimated 3,000 plus Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors in the camp.
  13. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves New Member

    "...if Custer had only waited for the Gatling Guns..." There was no waiting or not waiting involved. Custer didn't have them with him. He decided they'd slow him down. Likely would have too."

    That's what I said! Did you even read the rest of my post? I hear that myth constantly.
  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Active Member

    Custer had disdained the Gatlings; he wasn't waiting for them, they had been deliberatly left behind.
    The Battle of the Rosebud hadn't happened the day before, but weeks befroe. General George Crook's men had engaged a band of indians and had been routed, and had run low of ammo. There were courts martial for this.
    As for who heard what, when, where, and why, it seems to me that it really doesn't mean a lot. In all my readings about this battle, I seem to recall that as Reno & Benteen took refuge atop Reno Hill, they could see a "dust" cloud in the distance and knew something was happening, but couldn't get there. It seems to me it was actually tried by a squad or two but they were routed back to Reno Hill by the indians, IIRC.
    It is quite clear that Benteen ignored written orders from Custer, and I am convinced Major Reno was an inexperienced lout who panicked and ran. But by the time they were on Reno Hill, there wasn't anything to be done for Custer and the five companies with him.
  15. Zach S

    Zach S Active Member

    While, unlike some members here, they dont know everything (I'm not pointing fingers), but they seem to know more about guns than some of the LEOs I've dealt with, and most of the people I interact with on a daily basis.
  16. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves New Member

    "Custer had disdained the Gatlings; he wasn't waiting for them, they had been deliberatly left behind."
    Correct. That is what I said. But alot of people will make the statement "If only he had...etc."

    "The Battle of the Rosebud hadn't happened the day before, but weeks befroe. General George Crook's men had engaged a band of indians and had been routed, and had run low of ammo."

    Correct again. But they did have Gatling guns and they did them no good.

    I think that if Benteen had gone on the offensive, instead of taking a defensible position on the ridge, the entire regiment would have been wiped out. They almost were anyway. The Indians only left when General Terry arrived with his men.

    Benteen was the only reason any soldiers survived that fight.
  17. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Active Member

    That's likely true -- Benteen was the 7Th's answer to Captain Parmenter.
    Seriously, while he did ignore written orders, it is likely true that had he not joined Reno, Reno and his men would likely have eventually died.
    And I think you're right about the Gatlings. They were always problematic out on the field. They were heavy; and there are accounts of their cassions breaking away as they were being dragged up a hill and rolling back down, bowling over troopers in the wake or causing other problems and delays.
    They broke easily and jammed up on the black powder.
    I've read some accounts by historians who claim the terrain around the Little Bighorn where the battle was fought gave an advantage to weapons like the bow & arrow, which can be used en masse and take a ballistic trajectory, whereas any type of firearm (Gatling or Springfield rifle) is a little limited, as the indians can hide and maneuver in the coulees.
    In short, I think Custer lost because the indians not only outnumbered him but outfought him. Custer had made almost a specialty of snatching victory from defeat during the Civil War, where he was always outnumbered. Hitting the indians in camp like the 7th did was supposed to give a tactical advantage to the cavalry, but Custer did not realize the indians were well prepared and even believed they would win, so the advantage turned into a myth.
    If Custer HAD brought the Gatlings, he would have been delayed. He would have met up with the Terry/Gibbon column, and then had to go traipsing away finding the indians...and who knows what would have happened....???

    You seem very well read about Custer. I'm curious what books you may have read about him or the Little Bighorn debacle?
  18. Axman

    Axman New Member

    Keep in mind that they have to go by what the show's producers and advisors let them do. It's a liability issure not a knowledge issue. While the ice bullet is fictional, the Mythbusters are there to test it and YES they did determine it to be "busted".
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Active Member

    I don't recall the "ice bullet" episode, but I doubt than any "ice bullet" no matter how frozen would stand up to firing; did they check to see if anything other than ice particles came out of the gun?

    On the Gatlings, I sometimes wonder if anyone has actually seen a .45 Gatling. Those things are big, fully the size of a 12 pounder howitzer, though not as heavy, and quite unsuitable to the type of hilly terrain involved. I think Custer was wise to leave them behind. His problem was the old (and current) one of underestimating the enemy, both in numbers and in fighting quality. The Army (imbued with the idea of white superiority) always underestimated the Indians, and almost always won because the Indians were outnumbered and the Army was well enough disciplined that they were able to employ tactics the less organized Indians could not use.

    But in that battle, the Indians not only had far superior numbers but showed good command and control, plus a mastery of small unit tactics; the troops proved to be the ones who lost cohesion and broke into small groups that were easily overwhelmed.

  20. entropy

    entropy Active Member

    I hear that one about Soviet arms all the time. Try as I may, I have yet to get a 7.62x51NATO round to fit into a 7.62x39 chamber.....a 7.62NATO round just drops in too far into a 7.62x54R chamber to fire....and the x54R was designed in 1891, so that would be a moot point anyhoo. Haven't tried the 5.56/5.45 series or the 9x19/9x18....but physics says they wouldn't work either. ;)

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