Are You Guilty of Spreading These Five Common Gun-Counter Myths?

Step into most gun stores or visit any Internet message board, and you’re certain to come across some fairly common stories and legends that have plagued the firearms community for decades. Despite readily available information that presents fact-based rebuttals to these untruths, they seem to persist and actually grow as the years move on.

So, here you go: Five gun counter and message board myths that seemingly won’t go away, yet have almost no factual basis for continuing to propagate around the firearms world.

Racking the Action of a Shotgun Is Enough to Scare Away Intruders

Gray haired man in dark sweater and gray pants holding a shotgun in the hallway of his home.
In a home, skill and determination carry the day although be sure you use the proper load.

It’s almost impossible to walk into a gun store without hearing one of the counter salespeople loudly work a shotgun’s action with a “Click-Clack,” while explaining that it’s the most recognizable and universally understood sound in the world. “Rack the action, and intruders will flee in fear!”

This may or may not be true, but choosing your home-defense weapon and strategy around the noise of an action working is, quite frankly, asinine. Racking the action, and hoping for the best, is guaranteed to tell an intruder two pieces of information: You’re present, and that you’re armed. If he doesn’t decide to leave (and that’s a big if), he can now decide how to tactically proceed in a way most beneficial to himself.

Not only this, but you’re giving up at least one round in your shotgun, which already has a frighteningly low capacity. Whether you’re ejecting a shell in the chamber to make some noise, or have simply left it empty to begin with and feed the chamber from the magazine, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by giving up precious ammunition.

Merely Owning a Gun Is Enough to Protect Yourself

Boy snatching away a girl's revolver
Mere ownership doesn’t make you an expert. Train and then train some more.

Far too many gun owners view their concealed handgun as something akin to a magic talisman, in that possession alone is enough to create a deterrent to violent crime or form a sense of security. How many times have you heard somebody say “Oh, time for her to get a CHL.” with no follow up afterwards?

Shooting a handgun is difficult enough on a range with good lighting. Mix in the element of a surprise attack, low light, odd shooting angles, and uncertain spaces behind your target, and your handgun might just be as useful as the laminated plastic your permit is printed on.

It’s not enough to simply own a handgun. You have to train with it, under a variety of circumstances, for it to be effective.

Bullets Rise as They Leave the Muzzle

This one is particularly confusing, especially if you look at a linear trajectory table for any caliber. At first glance, it does indeed seem as though bullets rise, and then fall to the target. However, the simple realization that the muzzle is angled to create this rainbow-like trajectory will make all things clear. For example, when you throw a baseball, does the ball rise on its own accord? Of course not. The trajectory is created because you threw it at an angle.

Bullet Flight Path

Bullets are not baseballs, but they illustrate gravity the same way. Bullets don’t rise; they fall, and we have to impart an angle to them via elevation of the muzzle.

Leaving Magazines Loaded Will Wear Out the Springs

GLOCK 42 Magazines, Loaded
GLOCK 42 magazines hold six rounds of .380 ACP ammunition.

While there’s no question that magazine springs do eventually wear out and need to be replaced, it’s not entirely clear that leaving them loaded is what makes it happen. In fact, there’s a strong case to be made that rotating ammo in and out of your magazines is what causes springs to give out!

This makes sense if we think about it. Consider a wire coat hanger, as an example: If you bend it in half, it likely won’t break. Working the bend opened and closed, however, will eventually cause the wire to snap.

While magazine springs are made of much higher quality wire than a coat hanger is, the same principle applies. Working the springs is what wears them out, not leaving them in a static position. Load up your mags and don’t worry about them.

The AR-15 Is Unreliable

Image shows I and a heart and underneath a picture of an AR-15 rifle.
It just isn’t true that the AR-15 isn’t reliable.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If your rifle and mags are built to the correct standards, and if you use decent ammo and perform even the most basic of maintenance tasks (apply oil through the ejection port periodically), you will never have a problem in thousands of rounds.

Given enough time and ammunition expended, any rifle will fail. And the AR-15 is certainly no exception. Most rifles will never even see a full case of ammo fired through their lifetimes, making much of the hubbub about AR-15 reliability issues a moot point at best, and a downright lie at worst.


What are some tall tales and mythical falsifications that you’ve heard perpetuated at the range or the gun counter? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (122)

  1. The choice is to have a round in the chamber, “hammer” back and the gun in safe, or leave the chamber empty, “hammer” down and not on safe.

    If I were breaking into a home, the two things I would rather not deal with is a home owner, and a firearm.
    Racking the slide tells me both are there, AND a round has just been chambered.
    No than you!

  2. i hear or see these comments from newbies. how about racking the slide on your semi auto pistol. when the slide is in the open position after the last round, do i let the slide go back to battery with full force or use my weak hand and let it go back slowly with help. or dry firing your pistol, will this hurt the firing pin or hammer.

    1. Only let the slide go back to battery with full force if you are chambering a round. If the magazine is empty, remove the magazine and let the slide go back slowly. This will save unnecessary wear and tear on the pistol.

      Dry-firing modern day weapons will not hurt the firing pin or hammer.

  3. “For example, when you throw a baseball, does the ball rise on its own accord? ” properly thrown, a baseball with backspin will rise (relative to its base trajectory) on it’s own due to aerodynamic loads (much like a golf ball). bullets spin along the axis of their trajectory and do not impart aerodynamic loading (other than drag).

    1. george smythson you are absolutely correct. The ability to put “spin” on a round ball and change that balls flight path is well documented. If my Biomechanics recall is correct it is called the “Magnus Effect”. The spin on a bullet is through the longitudinal axis of that bullet and keeps the bullet on trajectory. Notice I used round ball earlier to describe the Magnus Effect. A football (American) is like a bullet and a good pass is one with a tight spiral. When a football doesn’t have a tight spiral it wobbles and looses its trajectory.

  4. If spings on cars were not assisted by shocks, multi leafs, inflated tires, etc, as well as being much heavier/thicker, and metalurgically different you might be right. Still doesn’t explain the dingle balls, Christmas tree lights, and skid plates…. lol

    1. I call bullsh!t. Leaf springs are not even in the equation. Tires and shocks may soften the recoil. But, the loading action of a simi- automatic also softens the recoil action as much if not more. And the quality of the metal is hard to argue without proper testing. But probably not a factor. Size of the spring is relative to the size of the job on hand.

  5. @ss1

    I’m not a structure engineer or anything, but I continue to follow what has worked for me.

    Anyone who has loaded a magazine to max load, has experienced how hard those last couple o rounds are to load. I have always figured that if I have not hit my target with 18 rounds, I’m probably not going to hit my target with 20 rounds.

  6. My 20 rounders are loaded with 18 rounds. That was another thing learned in Vietnam. They issued enough to load 20 but one of our old timers had picked that up during WW2 (maybe even WW1 if he was as old as he looked). Reportedly, those two rounds took just enough tension off the spring to avoid problems. While it may be a myth, it seemed to work.

    1. @DaveW:

      At first I was very excited about the original premise in this article about magazines, but then I saw all the conflicting opinions, and I also was thinking about overall stress physics and common sense.

      The guy who really made me take notice was the one who posted about the magazines loaded in 1993 being useless when they were finally used.

      My old method was to take 1 round out. I think I’ll go with your recommendation and take 2 out of all my AK mags. With my 15 round Glock mags, I’ll either take 1 out or cycle them.

  7. I have heard the myth that AR-15s are inaccurate. Maybe the cheap ones are, but then you get what you pay for. I use golf balls for 200 yard targets for my 16″ barrel, 5.56 AR, and 50 yard rimfire targets at 200 yards for my 20″ 6.8 SPC version.

    The odds are not in favor of the golf balls, and the little red dots in the middle of the rimfire targets soon disappear (if the wind cooperates).

  8. Comparing the action of bending a coat hanger to the action of a spring is like comparing apples and oranges. Coat hangers are made of low carbon steel and springs are made from alloy and/or high carbon steel that is heat treated and tempered. Springs can lose a little of their hardness over time, so they will become weaker. Springs that are designed properly and with alloy spring steel will perform their purpose correctly. Springs made of poor quality steel will lose their “springiness” when they are compressed too far. When magazine springs are compressed to their maximum designed size they should perform as expected, but loading the magazines to the max and leaving it that way is more likely to reduce the power of the spring as temperature variation is likely to reduce some springiness over time. I believe it is not a myth in most cases. I keep my 10 round S&W pistol mags loaded with 8 rounds. It is more about the quality of the spring steel and the design of the mags that will determine what strength the mag spring loses over time.

  9. Another total garbage article by the anonymous CTD Blogger.

    Two of them people don’t even say. Another is stated incorrectly to mislead. And one he’s just plain wrong about – mag springs.

  10. As I said… there was alcohol involved. A lot of downright stupid things happened during my career. Early on, we loaded revolvers with only 5 rounds and aligned the empty chamber so the hammer would fall on the empty chamber if you “accidentally” fired. Fast draw was not considered an accident, but, as happened to me, wearing a seatbelt (pre 3 point) over rough terrain, on one occasion I found my holster unsnapped and the hammer fully cocked. It appears it hooked on the seatbelt. I found it because I reached down and my thumb slid between the hammer and frame. Damn near caused a traffic accident when I slammed on the brakes. Also, damn near threw my partner through the windshield (seatbelts were not mandatory back in the day.

  11. I can appreciate that. It’s the same reason I will never own another Morris Minor or Mustang II.

    I am fine with my M1A1, AR-15. Even my M1 Carbine. I used them in the military and law enforcement over many years and never had a problem. I also never listened to myths about any of them.

  12. In the future, the idea that ammo will not climb may become passé as the development of self guided ammo. Yes, the military and perhaps law enforcement will get it first, but, sooner or later, it will reach the hands of civilians. Science fiction eventually becomes science fact. Then we may see ammo which can loiter around waiting for a target, rise and hang a right at the bakery before dropping straight down through the target’s brain pan. I believe, considering the skills of many of the hunters who take to the woods, I will hang up my guns until the apocalypse.

  13. Shot placement is everything no matter whether the brush is light or heavy. A 30-30 or a .30 cal is a good brush gun if you are not trying to shoot something you can not see. Both calibers are good for deer.

    If I can not see my target (outside of combat conditions) I don’t take the shot.

    Personally, I think the best brush gun is the one I can take into the woods and not care a bit whether it gets scratched o not. For the same reason I’d rather have a beat up truck or jeep to go off road over one with an $8K paint scheme.

  14. While attending the San Bernardino County Sheriffs Academy, not long after the “Newhall Incident” shotgun use was stressed and they added shooting clays as well as firing at a steel target on the hillside using slugs. Our instructors pointed out that the steel target was most often missed because the shooter aimed AT the target instead of compensating for the arc of the bullet path. For the majority of us, it took a few attempts to even get close.

  15. I do not understand the “ammo problem”. During my government paid tropical vacation to the beautiful Mekong Delta, I used my M-16 almost daily. I used an M-14 on specific positions. I used M-60s on positions, Jeeps and APCs. Used a 1911, a S&W K15-4, M-12, and an M-2 on one APC. We even had gattling guns (M-134s ?) on a couple of V-100s. Not once did any of those weapons fail due to ammo or the weapon.

    We rotated ammo on a regular basis and, some was rotated out of use and used fore practice, and as a last resort if TSHTF.

    I don’t believe my unit just happen to get lucky.

  16. Good article, however I have to say,… comparing a coat hanger to a magazine spring is much like comparing Rebar to High tensile steel. It simply is no comparison!!!

  17. The finger over the barrel is a factual police case from Alaska. Not a myth. This took place at a party, and alcohol was involved. I think the idiot who lost a finger probably got the idea from reports that you can stop a 1911 from firing if you push the slide back.

    1. One of the safety checks done on a semi-auto is to see if it fires when out of battery…the slide pushed back. The officer probably just put his finger over the muzzle and did not push the slide back to take it out of battery.

  18. Agreed. You need SPACE to properly use any weapon. A law enforcement study showed that the vast majority of shootings take place within 3 to 10 feet. That study led to training addressing keeping distance between yourself and the person/subject you are in contact with. If they get too close, you face being jumped.

    I learned this the hard way when I asked an individual for his identification. I had the radio mike in my right hand, which is my gun hand, while standing next to the open door of my patrol vehicle. The guy reached casually for his back pocket and came back with a fist. He could just as easily have come out with a knife or gun and finished me off. Fortunately, he chose to run. I never made the mistake of being too close to a subject again.

  19. Not claiming that this is scientific, but my EXPERIENCE with the mag spring issue is contrary to the statement in the article on this “myth”. Deployed to Bosnia with a medical unit in the ’90s we were issued mags and ammo on arrival in country and since we were nearly always within the confines of Eagle Base because of our medical mission, we carried with mag in the handgun but no round in chamber by policy. Never unloaded the mags and never fired a round for 3 months at which time we were all issued new mags due to failure of the issue mags. When unloading the originally issued mags, after the first few rounds (can’t honestly remember exactly how many) the remaining rounds in each mag could be just shaken from the inverted mag, with no spring pressure that would have allowed rounds to feed. You can argue about mag quality all you want, but for me I will always rotate mags every ~2 weeks. I keep a minimum of 6 mags for any carry gun and put them all through the rotation. None of my rotated mags have failed due to the rotation. So, in my EXPERIENCE, continuously loaded mags halfway through a six month deployment all failed, while my personal carry mags have not suffered a failure being rotated in and out of service. Best of luck to all no matter what approach they take to the mag failure “myth” but you will have to show me a controlled experiment to prove to me that failure of continuously loaded mags is a myth before I will alter my practice of rotating mags in and out of service.

    1. So, I know/have seen exactly whatbyoubate talking about, and I wanted to share an experiment I did when I encountered the same issue.

      After obtaining a kel tec sub2000 in .40 (using Glock mags) I purchased a few 30 round “Asian manufactured” non OEM flack mags because, at the time, I could not find any factory 22 round mags. They were difficult to load, but I got at least 27 rounds in each (brand new out of package). What I had on hand to load them up with was hollow point ammo. About a month later, I finally got a chance to shoot it. Didn’t want to burn through all the hollow point ammo, so I decided to unload and load with ball ammo I had picked up for the range.

      If you’re still reading, here’s the relevant part. First mag I started to unload I experienced the same thing you did – the follower was stuck and after a handful of rounds, the rest were “rattling” in the mag. I continued to unload it and reload with ball.

      The second mag I unloaded did the same thing! Stuck follower. But, this time I just put the rounds I had removed back in the mag, and decided to see if it would function, since I wanted to test hollow point feeding anyway (to test the rifle).

      The mag fed every round! Even though I had dropped those removed cartridges back in over a stuck follower. The first one that had a stuck follower and was fully loaded also fed all the ball ammo when I shot it (I had slapped the empty mag against my hand to dislodge the follower).

      What I determined is that while followers in double stack mags (especially cheap ones) may stick (maybe only when new?) the force of recoil when firing can dislodge it and prevent it from sticking again as the mag is fired through the gun.

      This may not be true in every instance, but worth considering. What you experienced unloading those mags by hand may not have been a problem at all if you had emptied the mags by firing them.

      Obviously, the stuck follower should not happen in the first place, but it was not nexessarily due to the Mage being loaded for 3 months.

      I have also fired a full AR mag that was left loaded for at least a decade before I got it (it had 28 rounds in it).

  20. Where the hell did you get your view of the troops and training of those who served in Vietnam? You sound more like an anti-war propagandist.

    We trained before we went. We trained while in country. Even had a field course in country for familiarization. At base camp, we were always getting training of one type or another, and the guys we were there to replace were constantly on us in two ways. They slammed us if we did something wrong, driving home the lessons they had learned, and teaching us how to survive to go home. We, in turn, passed those lessons on to our replacement. As we learned new things, we adjusted what we taught others. We wanted our brothers to go home upright as much as we wanted to go home upright.

    Weapons were passed on to others in some cases. In others, units arrived with their own. As soon as my group received ours, we took the time to clean them, then sight them in, then clean them again. Yes, there were times when they got soaked by either weather or terrain, but as soon as we got back to base, we cleaned them.

    Our tactics were based on prior conflicts (WW2 and Korea). The enemy had been fighting in that terrain for generations. They had been fighting in that region for centuries, and had beaten the French who warned us to stay out of there. We learned from our mistakes and we adapted as we went. We are faced with the same situation in the middle east. Russia learned that the hard way. What we learned in Vietnam has even helped greatly in operations in South America. We also have a problem accepting that some societies put so little value on life that they would die for their cause while we sought to live for ours.

    Your comments about those who fought that war being alkys and such is, at the very least, a disservice to their sacrifices, and an insult. A lot of good men died.

  21. Re: Vietnam and humidity…. at the rate we burned up ammo, and the manner in which ammo is put together, what are the chances that humidity would play a part in failures? The only area I would expect humidity to play a part would be in fouling of the weapon itself (ie carbon buildup). That brings the problem back to the user following proper maintenance. Just my opinion, of course, since I never experienced problem in the Mekong Delta region.

  22. My favorite is “the .38 special airweight snubnose is the perfect ladies gun!” It won’t jam and besides, women can’t work the slide on a semi-auto anyway.

  23. I am retired from law enforcement. I was a range instructor and tactics instructor. A veteran of military deployment and actual police shootings and raid operations. There is no substitute for preparation and practice.
    My AR has more than 10,000 rounds through it. Most deputies wanted to use mine for the competitions at distance. Reliable, nuff said.
    High tension situations and people don’t react like one would think. Any cocking, loud verbal commands and physical manipulation pale in comparison to a weapon mounted Lazer tracing on the suspect ‘ s face. Suddenly they always start to follow commands.
    Then there is you as the person defending your life, family or whatever. Do you have the commitment to follow through if you had to. Good realistic training will solve that variable.
    Stay safe and secure.

  24. I have a dozen sks and ak mags loaded since 1993 and the spring died long ago. No release and reload either. 30 rd mags will unload about half then no more.

  25. Last fall we had to empty out a homestead that was in the family for close to 100 years. We found a European made pistol. I don’t remember the caliber but it was similar to our 9mm. It was in a cigar box with the mag loaded and I know it had not been used for close to 50 years at best. I unloaded the mag and reload it and the spring seemed as strong as my modern pistols.

  26. I have to agree, “The AR-15 is Unreliable.” I’m a M-1/M-14 Marine. I witnessed first hand the failures of the early M-16. I just can’t get the idea that any AR-15 is reliable. If one doesn’t trust his weapon (AR-15,) then it is unreliable for him.

  27. ANOTHER MYTH for the BS session is a 30 30 is a good brush gun. Some people may think this gun can shoot through heavy brush. It might be easier to carry in brush that is about it. brush will deflect any bullet.

  28. I’ve racked the slide when I heard somebody outside near the house, and all I heard after that was rapidly retreating footsteps — what I wanted to hear. But if someone is IN the house (yes, I’ve had home invasions!), then I hunker down behind cover and call 9-1-1 and wait. Aim the shotgun at the door of the room I am in.

  29. The “Bullets rise as they leave the muzzle” is a familiar misunderstanding. Of course, gravity causes bullets to begin to fall as soon as they leave the muzzle, as they are no longer supported by the barrel. They fall as they would if you dropped a bullet from your hand.

    Now because they are falling, the firearm must be zeroed so as to have the bullet intersect the line of sight as the desired ranges. “Ranges,” because the trajectory of the bullet, which indeed is rising relative to the line of sight, will cross that line of sight twice, one while rising relative to it, and once while falling. The diagram accompanying the article shows this very well.

    This is a pointless quibble, the kind of thing which people with a little bit of knowledge like to play “gotcha” over.

  30. With regards to the first two myths:

    If an intruder ever heard me racking my shotgun, all it would tell him is that I wasn’t using a double-barrel. The first boom would have cleared up the fact that I had a shotgun.

    In a close-quarters situation, what is needed hand-to-hand training to buy you the time and space to draw a weapon. Where people get killed is trying to draw a weapon without giving themselves the space to use it properly. Whether you are planning to carry a weapon or not, basic martial arts training is valuable.

  31. During Viet Nam GI’s could not and majority of them today even in Iraq turkey shoot hardly ever hit what they are firing at.
    During Nam you had lifers doing the instructing and they mostly had no fn idea of capability of Charlie and his AK SK and squad light weapons and tactics, they were mostly alkys putting in their 30 years cuz they were no good for anything else.
    GI’s did fire way over enemy heads and hell I seen em blast full 20 round holes into ground 20 foot in front of them the spray and pray full autos of cherry gunners.
    it was usually about half way through a Nam tour a (Army) grunt had gotten to know his weapons capability. And began to respect its capabilitys, especiallin gaining immediately the initial fire superiority so that unit cohesion remained and survival more likely.
    No other terrain since nam so challenged military small arms, and some Black Guns went through the hands of 5 or more grunts that lived.
    Most REMF types fired their weapons what at most twice three times to blow dust and rust out.
    Days of downpour rain and no way to dry your weapon without deliberate extra care, extra care not given to trainees to understand.
    But hell they drafted men with Lower IQ’Than what was then called mentaly retarded, down to 40+IQ.

    1. What? I’m glad I wasn’t in your unit. The guys I was with could shoot and we were all schooled on how to maintain our equipment in a pretty hostile environment. The major problem with early M-16’s was not the gun itself, it was the ammunition…wrong powder, causing lots of fouling. Changing the powder type in manufacture, and chroming the chamber and barrel helped a lot as well. The AR of today is an accurate, reliable weapon when properly maintained, just as the M16A1 was when properly maintained. Yes, the AK is reliable and deadly in the right hands but beyond 200yds, accuracy is a problem

    2. your post is so full of bile toward the military and senior nco;s i have some doubt as to whether you actually served or are just a wannabe troll.
      my neighbor is a leftover hippy and spouts almost verbatim your post.
      if you served, i thank you. if you served it’s also clear you had some real issues during your hitch.

    3. Speaking as a REMF, my non-combat unit was over ran 3 times while I was there. I had a truck shot out from under me and I was in at least 5 one on one fire-fights with,including ‘running fire fights’ where I was trying to put as much distance between me and an ambush, as I could, and a VC sniper,or two, but the occasional patrol that made probing raids against our outer perimeters at night, when I was on guard. My MOS was 63 B, but myself and others like me, in out-laying units, far from the protection of ‘hero-types’, had our weapons in our hands more often than wrenches. I have the Silver Star, to prove at least one time, I saved the asses of a work detail, that I was hauling materials to. Got that truck shot-up by a sniper too. SO, most REMFS that I knew, fired their weapons more than 2 or 3 times to blow the dust & rust out of them.

  32. Modern metals are far superior to those of even a few short decades ago. Consider the cars built today vs the 1950s.

    I believe (it’s my opinion) that the metals used to build modern magazines allows them to hold up under tension, and under loading and unloading.

    The coat hangar idea has to do with constant bending back and forth far more frequently than one might load and unload a magazine, which heats up the metal at the apex of the bend until the metal fails.

    That said, I have a checklist inside my safe which I follow. One section deals with swapping out ammo about every six months. I don’t follow this religiously, but generally. Of course, this is also the time when I change out ammo from magazines ready to take to the range so that I don’t have one batch of ammo which sits for months or years while newer ammo gets fired. This was a practice followed in Vietnam, though not as big a problem as we had far more opportunities to shoot, and thus ammo generally didn’t end up sitting in the humidity. It’ a concept I followed for the rest of my days of duty in the military and law enforcement and I never had a magazine spring break.

  33. My father was an instructor for the Air Commandos at Hurlburt Field, FL when M-16s were tested before being adopted. It was what the troops had wanted since WW2. A light weapon which allowed more ammo to be carried. However the Army and Marine brass favored the tried and true wood and steel. The AF wasmore “spaceage” with their nukes, missiles, etc, and more open to a new weapon, and were the first to adopt it. It was initially over engineered with very tight tolerances, unlike the AK. It should be noted that the AR was already being marketed to the public in the same configuration as the M-16 except for select fire, as a varmint/small game rifle. Once the tolerances were relaxed, the initial problems went away… as long as the received a minimal amount of field maintenance.

  34. If mag springs wear out with constant compression and release, should we then limit our range training? I have 1911s and have not had any problems with mags I bought in 1976. I cycle my mags every four months or so, and use them all at the range when I train. So far, the only problems were with McCormick mags. I threw those away and stick to Wilson 47Ds.Quality over price.

    1. Just an opinion, but I think your range training should only be limited by how much ammunition you can afford. You’re already willing to spend for ‘quality over price’, so consider buying new mags, or replacing the springs in the older ones, and don’t worry about it. You can never have too many 1911 mags. (another opinion I have)

  35. When I was in Nam we were told we were not cleaning the M-16 right or not cleaning them enough, that’s why they wouldn’t work, then we were told it was the ammo. Now people are praising them as accurate and reliable weapons. To each his own, I still think they are a piece of s**t and will not ever own one.

    1. Exactly. Also, the chambers and barrels were not chromed in the early version. Changing propellants and chroming solved most of the problem. Although the AK is/was considered more reliable, The -16’s were much more accurate than the AK. Today, AR’s are used in competitions out to 600 yds (some even use them out to 1000 for the challenge) but most of the energy is gone at 600 yds.. I’ve never even seen an AK in serious long range competitions but I have seen many AR’s shooting MOA at 600 yds with quality 77 or 80 grain bullets.

    2. All ammo in Viet-Nam had a real nasty habit of swelling, because of the heat and the humidity. In my unit, where we had M-14s instead of M-16s, we checked our ammo once a week, after an attempted ‘over-run’ by Charlie and over half of our rounds failed to chamber. So it wasn’t just 16s that were malfunctioning because of bad ammo, even our M-60s that we had on our guard towers jammed, which is not a good thing when you have 200 screaming Cong charging your perimeter, screaming for your blood.

  36. You’re accidentally pushing left-wing propaganda to the rookies when discussing training. Certainly, training can make you a safer or more accurate gunhandler, but I keep seeing a statistic that over 80 percent of firearm self-defense cases don’t involve any shots fired. I personally know three such cases, and none who needed to actually use their skills. So you CAN be effective with no training.
    I agree that training is good, but your essay makes it sound like the old anti-gun crap about “only properly-trained minions of the state can use guns without dying – keep your grubby peasant hands off!”

    1. Steven – you’re “accidentally” confusing luck with effectiveness. I’m no fan of the silly arguments anti gun people make, but to suggest that a “rookie” gun owner doesn’t need training isn’t doing anyone any favors. For goodness’ sake, training and education is a major part of what the NRA does. When I’m at the range and observe an untrained ignoramus mishandling a firearm, he’s not my friend, he’s a threat to my safety. I call cease fire and get him kicked off the range.

  37. Myth: “The WWII Japanese Arisaka rifle killed more Japanese, by blowing up, than it killed his enemy!” The idea probably had it’s roots in a few cases of people firing captured Arisaka drill rifles after the Japanese surrendered and GIs went all over the home islands collecting booty to take home. The Japanese drill rifles, if made to fire any ammo at all, were only designed to shoot blank cartridges. Some parts on these drill rifles were weak castings, never designed to withstand the chamber pressure of live rounds. The Japanese characters stamped on the drill rifles warned not to load and fire live ammo, but how many GIs could read Japanese?
    All of the Arisaka combat rifles rank among the strongest bolt rifles ever made.
    After WWII, the NRA was sent a Type 38 Arisaka, having a 6.5mm bore, as was the norm for that model. The rifle had been re-chambered to accept 30-06 ammo! When the 30-06 was fired, the bore swallowed the too large bullet, as a snake would swallow a rat. The NRA fired the rifle again with 30-06 ammo and took slo-mo xray photos of the bore expanding and snapping back after the passage of the 30 cal. bullet. Amazingly, the Arisaka rifle held together through the abuse!

    1. The Type 38 Arisaka was and is probably one of the best designed and constructed bolt action rifles around. It wasn’t the 38 that that was blowing up, killing Japanese soldiers, it was the newer in 7.7 cal. that was rushed into production, because the Japanese government wanted a larger caliber rifle. As a result of this ‘rush’ these rifles had cast receivers aka ‘pot metal’. They could fire a 1000 rounds then explode, or just 1 round before exploding.

  38. Here’s a thought. I know the bullet begins to react to gravity the moment it leaves the bore. But if you have an AR-15, or another rifle with a scope or sights well above the bore line, then the axis of the barrel is tilted just slightly upward with respect to the sight line. At the end of the barrel, the bullet would impact about 2 inches below the sight line, but out a 50 or 100 yards, the bullet has ‘risen’ to the sight line, so to a doofus, he could argue that the bullet “went up after it was fired.” In actuality, the sights are tilted down, to create an intersection point at some given range.

  39. 12 gauge shotgun AMMO question. Brand is Federal Premium 00 Buckshot (9 pellets) with the famous FliteControl wad. With Federal the “premium” means the pellets are copper plated. 2-3/4″ shells.

    Two seemingly identical versions, at least on paper.
    #1 is the low recoil Personal Defense 00 buckshot, 9 pellets at 1145 fps at the muzzle, with that famous flitecontrol wad for tight patterns from typical 18.5 – 20 inch cylinder bore shotgun barrels.

    #2 is the LE (law enforcement) low recoil version. Also 9 copper plated pellets, also 1145 fps at the muzzle, also with that lovely flitecontrol wad for tight patterns from typical 18.5″ – 20″ cylinder bore shotgun barrels.

    I can get the LE132-00 version for $3.57 per box of 5: while the seemingly identical Personal Defense ammo is a bit over $5 per box of 5. This is a big difference. 10 boxes / 50 rounds for $35.70 or over $50 for the Personal Defense for the same amount. Double the difference for 100 rounds and etc.

    So what _precisely_ is the difference between the LE low recoil and the Personal Defense low recoil. Federal Premium, 9 copper plated pellets at 1145 fps with the flightcontrol wad designed for shorter no choke barrels. Is the name “Personal Defense” the only practical difference between the two, as in paying for a name that would sound better in court if you ever have to use it in self defense? is there some expensive change in the flightcontrol wad’s configuration?

    I’d like to know from someone who’s fired both of the above just what the difference is and if it is worth the extra money for a man to defend his castle with, so to speak. Of course, the typical guy is too poor to pay attention and the castle is a very humble little house. But still, “Personal Defense” appears to be the same but perhaps it does legally sound better than “Law Enforecement” rounds. Is that what they are charging extra for? 🙂


  40. I have met a number of people who believe that a bullet will print higher in a head wind. This headwind some how magically give the bullet lift.
    Headwind means less groundspeed, hence more time in flight to target so gravity pulls it down more and the bullet prints lower.

  41. On the magazine springs… I do believe that compressing those springs is no where near the same activity as bending a coat hanger. That seems pretty low thought. As for a spring breaking, the compressing and decompressing will reduce the time it takes for that to happen. Most peoples concerns about magazine springs is that they get compressed down for too long and might not feed the last of the rounds correctly. I believe that is a possibility, but very unlikely.

  42. you didn’t dispel #1. #3 i’ve never looked down a barrel and seen any kind of rainbow, otherwise i would know it was off. you say the muzzle does it…. it is far more likely that because of the length of barrel coupled with the amount of recoil, it shoots high at short ranges. #4 while it is a well known fact that a bow looses it’s power if left strung, why would it not be the same for a metal spring? sure our auto engines have valve springs that are under tension for years, but look at the tension they are under. did they over build the springs so that staying sprung effected them less? #5 when compared to the AK, most people agree that the AR is far less reliable.

  43. If you are going to debunk myths you need to state/cite facts not opinions. For example your section on racking the shotgun is nothing but your thoughts on encountering a intruder. The circumstances of the situation need to determine how you approach it. Thanks to Hollywood the sound of a shotgun racking up is one of the most recognized sounds. The public has been TRAINED or this. Having the ability to prove to a bad guy or bad guys that you are armed and READY should not be discarded. If you look at the studies of criminal behavior you will find that most bad actors do not want to encounter a victim who is awake and armed. Your point on ammo capacity conflicts with your point on training since you advise that any weapon user train but then you do not acknowledge what proper training can teach someone regarding the use of a shotgun. You can rack loudly or you can rack quietly and top off or do a combination of these action. Proper training lets you adjust your reactions to the situation and your goals. Having been on the wrong end of a shotgun, me knowing that the guy has only one less ready round of 12 gauge available does not make me feel much better taking them on at close quarters. Of course this is just my opinion and we all know what they are like.

    1. I can correct you on another issue…a slug in a .12 guage WILL rise! I was in a combat pistol shoot while a police officer, one of the specialty shoots was shooting a riot gun, at a target 60 yards away, the range master told everyone that stepped to the line that the slug climbed at 60 yards, no one listened! They all shot out the crotch of the target, being one0 of the last, I adjusted accordingly and shot out the 10 ring winning a nice trophy….!

    2. Desert, that’s ridiculous nonsense. No bullet fired from a gun barrel will ever gain altitude. The laws of physics won’t allow it. You misunderstand the difference between point of aim, point of impact and the “view” the un-fired bullet has when it’s looking down the bore. The bullet will never, ever ever rise above that line it sees down the barrel. Except maybe in the movie The Matrix.

    3. I agree johncarter. My 870 12 has wood and steel, 28″, heavy- but still shoots a bit high with Remington Foster Magnum Slugs. Very accurate, but must aim a bit low to hit bulls eye. Know your gun and ammo. Practice. Oh, and the 12 gauge does kick a bit… ya think? (always hold the shotgun TIGHT on the shoulder…) Training is essential for gun safety.

    4. The sound to show an intruder you are armed is ‘bang’, not the racking sound of a shotgun which will only give him time to take cover or even shoot first.

    5. Easy now slim… You are doing just as you are accusing the author of… Where is your data to back up the “TRAINED” by Hollywood opinion? I can show you a bunch of people who have watched those same movies and who could care less about guns and who wouldn’t recognize that noise if they heard it… And I beg to differ with you… In a life threatening situation, you can have all the training in the world… If you don’t practice what you have learned under as close to the real world situation as you can get until it is second nature, your training is moot.

  44. Thats basically it, but it doesnt tumble on impact, it “yaws” -like, it tilts a little, which causes rapid fragmentation. At the very high velocity it travels, the kinetic energy driving those fragments causes a substantial wound. There were reports of soldiers in Vietnam calling the M16 “the meataxe”. It is a highly effective round. Period.

  45. As I understand it, the tumbling actually does not start until it strikes the target, and has to do with the speed and weight of the bullet, and that the tumbling report was attributed to the degree of damage found during autopsies. I have never seen what a .223 would do to a block of ballistic gelatin. Personally, I never really cared if it tumbled or not. What mattered was whether it had the affect/impact I intended.

  46. “If you shoot the perp with a measly .22/.25acp it will just make them madder…” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot…Look, I do not recommend either caliber for one’s primary choice in sd/hd to be sure but I can certainly tell you that it will not make the perp “more angry” anymore than a .380 or .357. CNS hits are what matters even if its a knife much less a firearm.

    1. The old joke was “If you shoot someone with a .25 and they find out, they’re going to whip your ass!” 🙂

      The truth is, an effective shot is just as if not more important than the caliber, though larger calibers will do more damage even if not placed in the correct spot. A single shot through the breastbone with a .25 will still end the perp’s life, regardless.

  47. You CAN argue with science. It is done every day…. by other scientists!

    There is a psyche term for people who start something then back off and say, ‘I didn’t do anything.’

  48. It has happened more often than you might think. A GI in Alaska demonstrated this myth during a party at his home. In another case, the expert demonstrated how, using your palm, you can push on the barrel to stop it from firing. Probably watched too many Bruce Lee movies.

  49. Don’t know about Massoud, however, the .22LR can be deadly when properly placed. Inside the skull, for example, that tiny little pellet can do a LOT of permanent damage. Striking the brain stem, it can stop a bad guy from being able to pull the trigger. It comes down to being able to place the shot and getting past the skull. A shot to the base of the skull can instantly drop an opponent; if they survive, they’ll be vegetables. Again, shot placement. But, this is just part of my training in the military and law enforcement. Unfortunately, perhaps, I wasn’t quite good enough for sniper school.

    1. Exactly right, Dave. Shot placement is the key. Center-mass may not immediately stop an aggressor but the brain stem shot will drop him in his tracks.

  50. Yeah, that “tumbling” thing is pretty absurd. What does happen (mostly with the 55gr rounds) is the bullet will “yaw” upon deceleration, which enhances the fragmentation of the round. Its one of the big contributors to the rounds effectiveness.

  51. Years ago (late ’60s) I heard more than once that the M-16/AR15 223 ammo tumbled end over end in the air on it’s way to the target. Heard this from some who “really knew” firearms. Don’t know who started this but a shame some actually believed it!

    1. My old CSM swore they tumbled, as that’s what they were told in Vietnam to explain the damage they did. He hated the M16, as he felt it wasn’t accurate firing when firing in the jungle due to the tumbling. He felt the bullet weight combined with the tumble made it inaccurate if it hit anything, like leaves, before it hit the target. 50 year old story!

  52. also posted this under “firearms misconceptions” – have heard for years that the 22LR is basically non-lethal.
    have also heard that the 22LR is Israels Mossad (secret intelligence agency) weapon of choice.
    would like to hear your opinion on this.
    p.s. don’t jump my case or be a gun snob, you’ll notice i did not give my opinion.

    1. Tom F,
      I’ve heard the .22 myth as well as the tumbling .223 myth many times over the years. My response to anyone trying to tell me that a .223 fired from an AR tumbles is to ask them why a .223 from an AR leaves perfectly round holes in a paper target if the bullet is tumbling in flight as it goes downrange. I usually get a blank stare accompanied by a moment of silence which is usually followed by indignant dissembling and bluster about how I don’t know what I’m talking about.

      As for the deadliness of.22lr, I have a friend that is a homicide detective. He once told me that in 20 years, in all the cases he has investigated, .22lr has accounted for more homicides than all other calibers combined. It would be interesting to examine the FBI crime stats to see if this anecdote applies nationwide. I suspect that if it is not the #1 caliber used in homicides it easily makes the top 5.

    2. Bobby G – i do agree with you and your homicide detective friend. i have however learned not to stir the beast of opinion and gun-snobbery. my choice of carry was based on coroners reports as to the caliber / weapon involved. i’m an OLD ex-gi, used to carry a 1911 and a BAR. since they are clearly out of the realm of carry, i choose my firearm based on unbiased medical reports. if we all agreed on everything this would be a very boring world.
      all the best to you in the coming conflict.
      tom f

    3. Tom,
      I understand your concerns. Please do not misunderstand my intentions. I am in no way recommending .22lr as an EDC round but supplying anecdotal evidence that the round is quite deadly under the right circumstances. I would not utilize .22lr in a self-defense situation by choice but I would certainly prefer it to nothing. I too am from the old school but I suspect not quite as old as you. I carried an M-14 and a 1911 when I served and still prefer them both to anything else currently available.

    4. Bobby G
      I do not carry a 22LR (or a 9mm). i did however once make the mistake of publicly opining on my choice of carry. the feedback i got from that was quite surprising, you’d have thought i insulted someones’ mother. I’d guess you’re right about our age too. suffice to say i have one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel

  53. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off…

    1. DaveW, if someone is stupid enough to have his finger over the muzzle of a 1911, when attempting to fire it, he deserves, not to just loose that finger, but his whole ‘damned’ hand.

    2. I am sure DaveW is quoting a myth and not telling about something he knows from personal experience to be true!

  54. It seems some folks including the author of this piece need some basic education in spring stress physics. You can’t argue with science no matter how much experience you think you have. To those who believe that the first step they should take in a self-defense situation is to shoot someone before assessing the environment, thanks for making the rest of us look like psychopaths and good luck in court; please go get some real self-defense education from someone who knows what they’re talking about. I won’t read followup comments because my point is not to start an argument but to hopefully help others who didn’t know that the article is not accurate in respect of the magazine spring matter and that we (gun owners) aren’t all trigger-happy psychopaths which some comments might lead someone to believe.

    1. Eddie,
      You state that you won’t read follow up comments to your comment because you don’t want too start an argument. You just want to lob a grenade into the crowd and then flee the scene, smug in your confidence that you have educated us ignorant rubes to the error of our ways with your comment. It doesn’t work that way, this is supposed to be a forum for discussion. If you don’t want to start arguments with your comments or read the responses to your comments then maybe you shouldn’t leave comments.

      That being said, I have found from my personal experience over the years that the negative impact on performance of keeping your magazines loaded is directly proportional to the quality of construction of the magazine. In my humble opinion many shooters blame the failure of low quality magazines to perform on this practice rather than acknowledge the reality that they have purchased a low quality magazine. My advice is not to skimp when it comes to buying magazines and you’ll never have this problem.

  55. Gun myths are actually very funny. The old “rack the slide and the bad guys will run” is such complete BS. Now, having said that, I did hear noise outside my home once in the miserable 18 months I lived an California, and went out the back door, took a well covered firing position and racked my 12 gauge, and got an immediate Don’t shoot!” from some worm who was sent out to track illegal tapping into cable TV. I asked WTF he thought he was doing creeping around outside my house at 11PM, and he just said it was what they told him to do.

    Stupid bugger. A good way to get killed.

  56. 1) If this is really true about keeping magazines loaded, this is great news for me because I’ve been concerned about it, but I didn’t want to hassle with cycling them. With the logic written here, I’m going to quit worrying about it.

    2) I never thought an AR-15 was unreliable. I just believe that shooting those itsy bitsy 55gr FMJ’s may not stop an adversary as quick as you need them to.

    1. In VN, the first generation M-16 s were unreliable. No forward assist, in case of a jammed round. If a round failed to chamber, you were screwed. The charging handle released the bolt once the bolt moved forward to chamber a round. Tolerances were so close, they were prone to stoppage for any bit of dirt or dust. Having ammo that was prone to swelling in the humid climate, didn’t help, either. As for anything deflecting a fired round, this rumor circulated for years, never heard of it actually happening. The 16 was so bad, my C.O. refused to use them. We kept our M-14 s. All of these problems were supposedly corrected with the never generation weapons.

    2. @Dark Angel:

      Thanks for explaining the issue in the past. I currently own a DPMS Gen1 AR-10. It’s been shooting flawlessly since I inserted a Gen2 extractor. I don’t own an AR-15.

      It must be interesting for you to have seen how weapons have evolved since Vietnam.

    3. ss1, weapons have evolved, sometimes for good, sometimes for worse. The M-16 has gone through many generations, yet I hear people complain that the .223 is under-powered. Considering it’s original design purpose, shots under 100 yrds., as in VN, it isn’t up to the long ranges in the Middle East. Under most circumstances, it is a 300 yrd. round at most.
      That’s why newer AR platforms came along in larger calibers. I have used the .223 effectively in numerous circumstances and found it a good man stopper, but being old and old school, too, I still like the .308 over most of the new ‘gee-whiz’ calibers that have come along in recent years. I have effectively used the .308 out to 1500 meters and while there are people using more powerful calibers at this and greater range, the .338 Lapua, comes to mind, .308s just don’t beat you up like heavier calibers do.

    4. In Vietnam, I experienced rounds being deflected by elephant grass, water, and various types of leaves. It all depended upon the angle of the bullet strike. The closer you got to 180* impact angle, the more likely to experience a deflection. Like skipping stones across a pond.

      The one “myth” I still believe is that it is far “better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6”. It used to be true, but, in this day and age, it may depend on your race and who is picked for jury duty.

      Wracking a shotgun may say you are there and where you are, which gives them the opportunity to leave rather than risk being shot. Most criminals do not like confrontation, especially if they might get hurt.

    5. ss1, keeping a mag loaded is not hard on it. Repeated compression and relaxation of the spring is hard on it.

  57. All my firearms, when carried or otherwise readied for use, are in “Condition One”…full mag, one in the pipe, firing mechanism cocked, and safety on.

    I would never want to call “TIME OUT!” to a bad guy so I can get one in the chamber. That and lose one round of ammo capacity.

  58. Perhaps you need to think about the element of surprise. Racking your shotgun, you just lost that. Stupid. The first shot in their chest is surprise enough and one of the bad guys is dead. Believe me, they now have a rude awakening someone else is there. They now have a decision, fight or flight. With one of them dead already, flight doesn’t look so bad. Perhaps your writers ought to think, about the element of surprise.

  59. Myth #7 — if you play enough videogames, you’ll learn how to handle a firearm. Virtually every single teenager believes in it.

  60. What is bad about an AR 15 is if there is something in the line of fire it will deflect the bullet. Also you have to keep them clean or they will jam. If you don’t think so ask a Viet Nam Vet.

    1. Ask any WWII vet if a 1911 will fire if you drop it, but dont let their answer keep you from buying a Kimber. The AR you buy today would perform way better in 1963 Viet Nam… bolt carrier components and barrels have been greatly improved. Plus, anyone who lives in a jungle or a swamp has a much more rigorous maintenance schedule on ANY of their gear. The AR is a solid, highly reliable platform.

    2. @Victor S.

      Amen to that. Along with caring for my M4 in Iraq, I used to disassemble and clean the mags and even wipe down the ammo with a dry rag. My Colt M4 never failed once in the 2 years I was on that particular contract.

      And a lot of the issues with the original M16 in Viet Nam were due to, one, the wrong mix in the propellant that allowed moisture to build up and cause FTF, and two, inadequate training on the proper cleaning and maintenance of the weapon itself.

      Besides my Garand (which is just plain cool) my favorite rifle I own is my M&P M4 style. I don’t recall ever having an issue with it of any kind.

    3. Tony, no argument that your rifle should be kept clean.HOWEVER, no AR15 is gonna jam just because it’s dirty. The Viet Nam vets that you referred to had trouble with their early M16s because of several things, most importantly that the Army switched from IMR type powders which the rifle was designed to use to ball type powders which burn MUCH dirtier. There were a few other issues as well, but by 1970 or so everything was sorted out and addressed. Any M16/AR15 is capable of firing thousands of rounds with very little care. Robert McNamara fouled up the early M16s…it always was, and still is, a very robust and forgiving platform, unless or until the bean counters and REMFs screw it up.

    4. Tony….In other words you don’t ever clean your weapons after using them…OR you figure your going to have to shoot a 1000 rounds in a home defense situation?..C’mon man… deflect the bullet? what are shooting through the fake bamboo plant in your living room?….The only thing bad about an ar-15 is usually the nut pulling the trigger….

    5. The AR is not nearly as unreliable as some would think and in fact will operate better after being covered with sand than an AK will some cases. its better sealed against dirt than the AK is. Yeah its been tested. In the Ukraine there were photos of Russians with (I am sure the AK fans will be shocked) scoped AR platform rifles. By the time I went to VN in 1970 there was no reliability issue and I never even HEARD of it till long after I was back home. The only stoppage I had in my entire time in the Army was a bad magazine. Fortunately I found this at time when there were no NVA around. This encompassed an M16E1 in basic, an A1 in infantry school and an A1 in VN. This unreliability myth just will not go away and was initiated by the US DEPT OF DEFENSE through their INTENTIONALLY, stupidly, loading ammo with powder that Colt TOLD Them would cause malfunctions. But it was on hand and the people making the decision were not pulling triggers in Viet Nam so what did they care? Frankly I consider it sabotage. The AR is a wonderful design as is proven by its being the service rifle of the US and many others since the 1960s. I recommend that the prospective AR buyer buy a Col (first) or Armalite (second). Buy a bunch of m193 ball for practice and social work and learn how to care for it.×4449

    6. Thanks Icorps 1970. I was in in the 25th Inf Div in 1970. We had no problem with M1A1 that a cleaning kit wouldn’t fix. Today I have an S&W M4 carbine. It’s a better rifle and with a scope I’m still not any better than I was when I was 20 with iron sights. Todays M193 and M855 are sure a lot cleaner to fire than the 223 we used in 1970.

  61. I’ve heard them all and a few more on top of these. I used to try and correct such utterances with logic and common sense whenever I heard them but eventually gave up trying in frustration from all the blowback and attitude I received for my efforts. My attitude now is that if you’re not someone I care personally about, live in ignorance, it’s your funeral. If you don’t care enough about your own life and personal safety enough to educate yourself why should I? That being said, whenever I am approached by others, friends and strangers, who inquire about the subject, I do my best to give them accurate information and not to help spread these and other similar myths.

  62. True story, years ago, about 3 in the morning woke up to loud banging in the backyard, grabbed my winchester 94 lever action in 357 mag, cracked open rear sliding door and “racked” the lever action, the banging stopped, realized idiot neighbor was responsible. Next day after work asked said neighbor what the hell he was doing, he said hammering fence board that had fallen. I asked , “What compelled you to do this at 3 in the morning!” He says new meds he’d been given by his doctor and then said he heard the “racking” of the rifle and thought I was going shoot him and stopped. I said I realized it was you so went back to bed and could he please find something less noisy to do when on new meds.So, needless to say, while not a shotgun the sound was similar, but I agree, nowadays it’s better to have a glock 21 sf with tactical light and laser loaded and ready to go, gtfoh!

  63. A lot of people get their “knowledge” of firearms usage from watching TV and Movies.

    Like any sport / hobby / discipline, you need the proper education, training, and practise to perform at an adequate level.

    You won’t get that from just watching TV / Movies, or listening to crap you hear at a lot of gunshops or BS sessions.

  64. You should call yourself, Myth Busters’. Wait. that name is already taken!
    Read a supposedly true story once; GI came back from WW 2 with his 1911. Put it in his nightstand, Condition 1, full magazine, hammer cocked. Nearly 60 years later, after his death, his son discovered his father’s pistol. Wondering if it was worth keeping after so many years of neglect, he took it to a gun range. There, according to the story, the pistol functioned flawlessly, firing all 8 rounds. And, owning a pistol with not knowing how to use it, or if you can use it, is just stupid. “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” [Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC deceased] If you are not mentally prepared to take a life, don’t carry. Someday someone will kill you with you own handgun.

    1. Roy, you have addressed one of the most important issues that is most ignored, YOU MUST BE PREPARED TO TAKE A LIFE. Anyone that does not understand EXACTLY what that means has no business owning a firearm. There is a reason people get killed with their own handguns, they don’t fully understand what it means to take a life, and they freeze when faced with life or death. That is NOT the time to stop and think. There are many non-lethal options available.

  65. BIG myth #6 – “you don’t even have to aim when using a shotgun. Inside your home, or anywhere else, yes, shotguns have to be aimed. Virtually any weapon capable of one-person carry/use has to be aimed to be effective. The only “area” weapons either float, fly or are on wheels.

  66. I hate watching movies or shows, especially cops/crime dramas, but you see it in almost every movie, and people rack their slides on their semi-automatics repeatedly. I saw one where a guy was holding a gun to someone’s head, threatening to shoot. Then he gets really mad, “steps it up” and racks the slide. So you’re telling me that earlier you were not actually ready to shoot the guy?

    1. One of my favorite sound effects in movies and TV is when the old Colt Peacemaker “Four Clicks” sound is used with modern revolvers and semi auto pistols.

      I remember one movie where Sylvester Stallones character was an assassin who was using a silenced Ruger MkII pistol, and just before he pulled the trigger, you heard the “Four Clicks”. What a hoot.

      I have also heard this used with Glocks, along with multiple slide and shotgun rackings.

    2. …and then there’s the ever famous sound of an fired case hitting a concrete floor. I laughed and laughed when our hero was shooting a six shot snubbie and after every shot there was the distinct sound of a case hitting the floor.

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