Infamy of .38 Spl

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Mosin, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Offhand McFlan

    Offhand McFlan Member

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    And something else about 38sp: Granted, theyre a little weak compared to 9mm and up, but out of a longer barrel from a 357 you can load them as hot as they'll go and harvest alot more velocity and energy instead of throwing it away.

    With such a setup and a loading kit the variety and range of loads becomes very VERY versatile.
     
  2. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    Those "statistics" are bogus on their face. It is impossible to fire 7/10 or 3/10 of a round. Only whole rounds are possible. Any time you see a suspiciously precise number like that, you should be suspicious.

    Besides, such figures are utterly meaningess with such a small sample size as they are derived from and without knowing the range and the distribution.

    Read How to Lie With Statistics. Darrell Huff explains it much better than I can and in a way even my dyscalculia addled brain can understand.

    There is a simple explanation for why police fire so many more rounds. Because they can.

    Current doctrine is to keep shooting until the threat stops. Police are armed with higher capacity firearms. Simple logic would dictate that they consequently fire more rounds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  3. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    I'm not disagreeing about the need to make good decisions based on the collection of data. We often jump to conclusions. I think it's a good idea for law enforcement to carry high capacity autos (third time I have said this) ,but also knowing the average number of shots fired compared to the highest number of shots fired is useful.
    As a production engineer I had to size equipment based on the maximum rate of output. It also had to perform in a range of variables that the process would/could deliver. Data is your friend in decision making more is better. As ccw permit holders our needs in defense is different than law enforcement.
     
  4. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That is true, to the extent that one the perp leaves, the civilian's job is done.

    The LEO is sworn to attempt to apprehend the perp.

    But that does not justify the continued use of deadly force.

    And other than that, the civilian and the LEO may only defend themselves, and there is no substantial difference in that.
     
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  5. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    An interesting piece of information; the NYPD removed revolvers from their list of approved sidearms in August of 2018 after making the 9mm it's issued sidearm in 1993.
    Not sure about backup firearms?
     
  6. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That marked the expiration of a grandfathering provision that applied only to those who had carried them earlier.

    Most had left the force by then.
     
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  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Police officers and trained civilians are trained to do the same thing: shoot until the attacker goes down.

    That does mot mean shoot, look, think, decide, shoot, look, think......

    With a violent attacker moving at five meters per second, it means shooting several rounds per second.

    The human physiology hasn't changed much, but the training and tactics have. The revolver was not as well suited for that as the semi-auto. That's why it was retired.
     
  8. No Quarter

    No Quarter Member

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    Precious few folks on the internet nowadays do anything much more than regurgitate what they read elsewhere. There is a financial incentive to market "expertise" and new whizbang products. Logic would dictate that getting shot with anything in the right, or wrong place if you are the criminal, will result in you having a very good chance of staying alive (if you are the good guy). 100% of everyone on this board is still alive regardless of what they carry, if they carry, and how proficient, or not, they are at shooting. There is much to be learned from the dead, but that takes work to sort through the accounts of what didn't work rather than the postulating of the living about what "might" work.
     
  9. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

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    The article I read said that there was 50 officers who were still carrying in May of 2018. Small number when you look at the size of their force.
     
  10. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Is that a convoluted way of pointing out that the majority of victims of handgun wounds survive?
     
  11. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    So they overcome by superior firepower, even when that "superior firepower" generally costs a lot of property damage and sometimes innocent bystander's lives ? Sounds like they need to revert to a S&W Mdl 10 and learn how to actually shoot, instead of spraying and praying.
     
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  12. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Kleanbore, my interpretation of what NoQuarter said there was that hitting the bad guy with any kind of bullet increases the chances that the good guy will survive. No one has any argument with this. However, it is often used as the beginning of an argument that therefore it does not matter what kind of bullet the bad guy is hit with. This is something I do not agree with.

    Personally, what I am curious about is NoQuarter's statement that "Precious few folks on the internet nowadays do anything much more than regurgitate what they read elsewhere"

    This is a concise, if derisive, description of how human knowledge is recorded and disseminated. When stated this way, it is usually said by people who do not agree with what other people are reading and repeating. This appears to be the case with NoQuarter, particularly as he suggests that certain unspecified assertions are being made for personal gain. If he has better knowledge than that which people are reading and regurgitating, I hope he will share it with us, because I am always glad to learn.

    I would remark further on this topic, but I must go and make measurements and do calculations to determine the value of pi, the speed of light, and the force of gravity. Otherwise when I use those values, I will just be regurgitating what I have read elsewhere, and apparently that is not good.
     
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  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    No.

    Bad idea.

    Before making such naive statements, you should avail yourself of some good defensive shooting training and learn something about the subject.

    You will learn to fire a number of shots very rapidly, placing every one of them into an area about the size of a small pie plate at close range.

    Police videos we have seen here have shown that when that is done, it can take quite a number of rounds to stop the threat.

    You are misusing a cliche that was coined to describe something else.
     
  14. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    LE can also use deadly force to protect others.
     
  15. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    And so, in most jurisdictions, may civilians.
     
  16. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    You didn't even read what I wrote, did you?

    As far as marksmanship, you oughta try shooting back at someone who is trying to kill you sometime. Someone who isn't cooperating with your square range skill level fantasies. I'm sure you'll do just fine, won't you?

    Not to mention that there are plenty of instances of old time cops emptying their far superior S&W M10s, using their vastly superior marksmanship and not hitting a damn thing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  17. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    I think that's true of a shot from any firearm, perps may be criminals, but they aren't stupid and won't hang around to figure out what caliber you're shooting.
     
  18. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    One word... training.
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's knock off the vitriol here and now.

    Let us understand a few things:

    • Stopping an attacker timely requires damaging tissue elements that are hidden and that move around rapidly in six degrees of freedom. The defender cannot see them to aim at them, and must rely on luck to hit them. More shots on target increase the luck.
    • The time available for that defensive shooting almost always involves a very short interval. The defender must shoot very rapidly.
    • "Marksmanship", as seen ot the square range, won't cut it.
    • People who have ((1) not availed themselves of good defensive pistol training and (2) have not studied a number videos of police use of deadly force encounters rarely have any real concept of what is involved in defensive pistol shooting.
    • No police armorer in his right mind would issue Model 10 revolvers today. Police officers have been using semiautomatic handguns with more capacity than six shot revolvers for quite a few decades now.
     
  20. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Those numbers are averages. In real life, not every shooting requires emptying the firearm--in fact, the numbers tell us that many people give up when a shot is fired, even if they are not hit. So that means we end up with a lot of low numbers added in to the average.

    A couple of examples.
    ----------------------------------
    Let's assume 10 people shot with 6 shot handguns (no reloads) and 50% of the people give up when a single shot is fired, while the rest require between 3 and 6 shots.

    1,1,1,1,1,3,5,5,6,6

    Average = 3 shots. So even though 2 people emptied their guns out of the 10 in our example and one person came within 1 round of emptying the gun, the average number of shots fired was only 3 although the capacity of the guns was 6.
    ----------------------------------
    Now let's run it again, but this time assume that the handguns hold 15 shots (again, no reloads). We'll have the same 2 shooters empty their guns as before but leave everything else exactly the same.

    1,1,1,1,1,3,5,5,15,15

    Average = 4.8 shots. Again, although 2 people emptied their guns, the average number of shots is still much less than the capacity of the firearms. The average is now higher than before even though we see that, again, most people didn't empty their firearms during a shooting.
    ----------------------------------

    Anyway, the point is that increasing the number of rounds on tap will tend to push the average shots fired up given that some percentage of shootings will involve emptying the gun. Averaging in 15s where before the highest number possible was 6 will move the numbers up.

    In other words, because some shootings will require more than 6 rounds to solve, and cops were given guns holding more than 6 rounds, those two facts will tend to drive the average number of shots fired up simply because in the cases where they need to shoot a lot more rounds than 6, now they CAN.
     
  21. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    38 Special, and the six round police revolver, was unquestionably acceptable, for decades. Something newer, and (supposedly ) better came along, and in a very short span of time, the 38 was deemed "inadequate". It doesn't seem like the actual ballistics of the round changed much; nor did the performance of police,( using newer rounds, like 9mm or 40S&W with higher capacity pistols) either decline, nor improve, measurably.

    Hmmm...
     
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  22. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    The police revolver was a weird relic of Americana for closer to 100 years. Obviously it was around longer than that, but it was widely regarded as obsolete around the world beginning about 100 years ago, except in the USA. Mr. Mosin should read "Shooting to Live with the One Hand Gun" (Fairbairn & Sykes). The book is based on extensive experience in the Shanghai Muni Police during the 1920's and 1930's. It's most remembered for introducing as doctrine what came to be known as "point shooting," but it discusses equipment too. Revolvers are excoriated, and semiautomatic pistols are emphatically recommended for police work. All the reasons you've ever heard in a "revolvers versus semiautomatics" argument are given. Although the book wasn't published until 1942 after the authors' expertise was exported to the Great Britain due to Japanese occupation of Shanghai, it's very clear from the text that as early as the roaring 20's, the revolver was outmoded for police work except in the US.

    Although the authors recommended the single-action 1911 in 45 ACP carried in condition 3 with the safety pinned in the fire position, this was mostly because it was the best semiautomatic available at the time. They considered even that 110 year old pistol design vastly superior to a revolver. An analysis of the reasoning behind the authors' recommendation to use semi-automatics would show that they would absolutely support the popularity of today's striker-action, double-stack magazine pistols without manual safeties. The guns that are most popular for police work today would have answered their dreams perfectly. They would find them to have so many substantial advantages over the 1911. Yet they considered the 1911 a much better choice than any revolver. Revolvers have not substantially improved since their day. Really nothing has changed in revolvers except the introduction of aluminum and the giant super Magnums.

    Truly, they would have regarded the selection of revolvers for police work over the pistols police use today as completely absurd. Their experience with semiautomatic pistols that resulted in their 78-year old advice began more than 100 years ago. They weren't the only ones who noticed the inane and irrational affinity for revolvers for police in the USA. I've talked to people that were in LAPD Metro Division's D Platoon (pre-cursor to SWAT). They had expressed a strong preference for pistols as early as the 1960's, but LAPD forbade their use except on SWAT calls. Officers had to switch back to the revolver for patrol. I'm sure there were earlier examples, but I've not come across them personally as those cops from the 40's and 50's would be pretty old in my lifetime.

    As a last note, I only ever carry a revolver myself. I'm convinced of its superiority for my non-police purpose.
     
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  23. Monac

    Monac Member

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    This thread is now 6 pages long. Your initial point ("38 Special....was unquestionably acceptable, for decades") is similar to that of "Sistema1927" in post #72 on page 3. I replied to him in post #75, which you might want to look at. Basically, I suggested that the standard velocity round-nosed-lead 38 Special used by the police was used because it was the best thing available for the average policeman, not because it was truly adequate, and that this lack of effectiveness became apparent in the 1960's, when rising crime meant that there was more shootings by police. Greater information sharing and the use of "operational analysis" techniques developed by the US and British armies in the Second World War to judge combat effectiveness may have played a part in demonstrating this.

    At any rate, new ammunition was developed and adopted at the request of the police, who very much wanted something better. It was not forced on them from above, nor were they seduced into buying it by snake oil salesmen. It was developed to meet their requirement. Why people think otherwise is a mystery to me.

    You are somewhat mistaken to say that 38 Special was deemed inadequate. True, the standard velocity RNL load was. But the newer 38 Special high velocity ("+P") lead semi-wadcutter hollow point was deemed adequate, or at least substantially superior to the RNL load. This was an actual change in ballistics. If you feel this superiority was only "supposed", I would be interested to know why.

    As I understand it, the shift to automatic pistols was a different matter, owing to concern that police with revolvers were "outgunned" by criminals with automatics. However, this change resulted in further actual changes in ballistics.

    I can't speak to your statement that the "performance of police" either declined or did not improve measurably as a result of these changes because I don't know what you mean. You may wish to make your point clearer.

    I apologize if the tone of this post is irritable. It is not meant to be. This thread is already quite long, and is only one of many like it. I am sure you are familiar with the feeling of answering the same questions over and over again.

    PS - I see Kleanbore has responded to the same post in much the same way, only with 99.9% less excess fat. Time for me to take a break.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  24. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, the ammunition has improved markedly.

    How are you measuring the "performance of police"?
     
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  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the conventional wisdom.

    It does not really hold water.

    The shift resulted from the fact that the automatic pistols then becoming available were better.

    Perhaps some people imagine a "gunfight" like the ones we see on westerns, where the "good guy" and the "bad guys" take turns shooting at each other from behind cover until someone wins.

    The "gunfights" we see on police videos are not like that.

    Nether LEOs or civilian defenders train for that kind of thing.

    Someone charges at one or two police officers, shooting fast. It takes several rounds to effect the stop. Speed and distance make rapid shooting essential.

    "Outgunned by criminals"? We recently had a video here in which a man holding a knife was walking toward an officer, who commanded him to drop the knife. The officer gave the man every chance to comply.

    Finally he was forced to shoot, several times.

    Not enough. Another policemen had to start shooting.

    Those officers were not "outgunned".
     
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