06 - Bolt Action

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The uninformed think that a bold action hunting rifle would somehow dramatically decrease the death rates. Two of our most famous mass shooters (Charles Whitman and the DC Sniper) both killed 17 people with one: which puts them on the high end of mass shooting spectrum. (The average is around 5). And WWI killed plenty of people with them. A few guys with them could hold off hundreds. Even mass charges against a line of them didn't end well for most, and that's with smoke, grenades and artillery support.

Pre-WWI the British and the Americans had training with their bolt action rifles, that included a mad minute: seeing how many holes you could put in a target at 300 yards using their bolt action rifles -- you had to do 15 to qualify, but the peak was about 38 shots per 1 minute. But that's 300 yards with a really powerful round (30-06), if you reduced the range and size of round to something about 1/3rd the size (a .223) and you could easily up the rate of fire. The average mass shooting is like 15 minutes, do the math on that. Throw in that someone could have a backup gun (or two), and that you can speed-load these with clips/etc. The average death rate is one person every 3 minutes in a mass shooting event: people don't charge the shooter, they wait. A bolt action can kill as many as an assault rifle with those realities. Again, the problem is the guns action, it's the response times that matter.

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There's a fallacy amongst hoplophobes (gun phobics) that limiting magazines to 10 rounds will help against mass shooters, or that assault rifles are somehow unique. However:
  • The time it takes to reload is less than the reaction time to know that a shooter is reloading.
  • We fought all wars prior to the Korean war without removable magazines, and all wars prior to Vietnam with 10 round magazines (or less).
  • The FBI studied mass shootings and found that the average mass shooting is 10 rounds over 5 minutes, most never even need to reload.
  • In all the mass shootings in the U.S. there has never been a case where a shooter was charged and disarmed during a reload, even with revolvers.
  • Shooting sprees end by them leaving, surrender, suicide or getting shot: virtually never by takedowns during reloads.

Magazine limits, assault rifle bans, outlawing removable magazines, and so on, sound great to those who don't know any better, but is just an infuriating ineffective annoyance to gun owners. Each bad law like this, makes it harder to pass "good" laws, as the tolerance for any more legislation was been wasted dividing us, instead of making a real difference. more...

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Reload Times: The Basics Removable Magazines Fixed Magazines Revolvers Pump Action Lever Action Break Action Air Rifle