|—||(noun) An untranslatable, Russian word – Vladimir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.” (via les-espaces-et-les-sentiments)|
One time I was on a rollercoaster and a guy’s hat fell off during one of the loops but he caught it when we were right side up again, and i have to go my whole life knowing I’ll never be as cool as that guy.
So it’s my little sisters birthday
my kind of skyrim
He did it. He actually managed to describe how it feels to live with depression and suicidal tendencies. And the being boring part? Blew my mind. This man is amazing.
We’ve all seen it in movies, comics and anime: the bad ass hero or the sexy heroine toting two handguns with barrels bigger than their forearms.
It looks cool, in both the design of the guns and the ability to blow orange-sized holes in the bodies of opponents. But is that even realistic?
Properties of a Handgun - Stopping Power
To answer that question, I need to talk about a few different things. First is the point of a handgun. As the name implies, a handgun is a weapon that’s meant to be both portable and concealed with relative ease. In order to have these things, a trade-off occurs between them and stopping power. Stopping power is the ability of a gun to cause an injury that would incapacitate a target, regardless if death occurs or not.
Compared to other ballistic weapons, like rifles, handguns suck at this job. Their rounds are weak and bullet-placement (not having shitty aim) has a much greater effect on target incapacitation. It is in this way that stopping power is also a reflection of the shooter. If you are not accurate with your shots, then your handgun is going to have less stopping power.
If you haven’t heard of the terms “knock down power” or “one stop shot”, then I’m sure you’ve at least seen them in an action flick somewhere. You know the scene where the righteous law-man shoots the outlaw in the chest with one shot and then the bad guy is knocked flat on his ass? This is a myth propagated by Hollywood. There isn’t a handgun that can stop a man with one shot nor is there one that cause you to fall backwards. The energy of a bullet fired from a handgun is pretty low and simply doesn’t have the power to do either of those things.
I don’t believe you! Those incredibly large guns look pretty powerful. They must be high caliber, and high caliber means more power, right?
Perhaps. Let’s take a look at what high caliber really means and then we can see the effect that it has on stopping power.
First, caliber is the internal diameter of a gun barrel. The size of the round is determined by what best matches that diameter. In terms of damage to the body, a bigger bullet is generally a better bullet. Higher caliber bullets have leave a larger permanent cavity, which refers to the hole left by a projectile. In research done with ballistics gel presented by Dave Spaulding (see sources below), the larger caliber bullets (.45 cal) did 15-20% more damage than smaller caliber bullets (9mm). Now that sounds significant but, that 15-20% was measured in millimeters. So, even if the larger bullet is better, it’s not going to make up for the shortfalls of the shooter.
But what about those orange-sized holes where you can see through the body of the victim?
I’m sorry to tell you guys, but that’s not realistic. I asked Teye, my former Marine and source of all things pew pew, what he knew about this. I was informed that the entry wound, (where the bullet enters the body) would be the size of the projectile, regardless of the caliber. If you shot someone at point-blank range with a .45 or a .50 caliber handgun, then you would probably see the exit wound (where the bullet exits the body) be of a significant size. That means you’re just not going to see the kind of through-and-through depicted above in a real world setting.
Alright then, what about explosive rounds?
Explosive rounds for handguns are fiction, pure and simple. They exist in the real world for heavy machine guns, anti-material rifles and other large weaponry. They’re called HEIAP (High Explosive Incendiary/Armor Piercing Ammunition) or SAPHEI (Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary). If you want to use smaller versions of these for handguns in your storyverse, then by all means do so. Just make sure it fits your world!
Let’s Talk About Recoil
Yeah, recoil gets its own section. Recoil, also commonly called knock-back, kick-back or kick, is the backward momentum of a gun when it is fired. The recoil is going to match the forward momentum. In terms of a handgun, the momentum is going to be transferred from the gun, through the body of the shooter and to the ground. Generally larger caliber handguns will generate greater recoil because the projectile is larger so it requires a greater force (and more gunpowder) to move the bullet. Larger caliber handguns also tend to be a lot heavier to accommodate larger ammunition.
When choosing a handgun for your character it is very important to keep in mind the amount of recoil that gun is going to generate and whether or not your character can handle it. Their level of experience with handguns as well as their weight, and strength are all factors to consider.
My protagonist, Kyu, was taught how to shoot by her grandmother, so she has range firing experience with handguns. The problem lies with the fact that she’s about 110 pounds, so giving her a weapon with a high kickback would be silly. She likely wouldn’t be able to handle the recoil from something like a Desert Eagle and might get whacked in the face.
Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIHotBcp0l0
And just to be fair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-M7FgKedUk
Even considering the fact that both people in the videos are likely not experienced, you can still see the power behind a large caliber hand gun like the Desert Eagle. In both cases neither were expecting the recoil. The thing with recoil is you can learn to prepare for it and get used to it. My character has never fired a large caliber handgun before so the result certainly wouldn’t be smooth.
The gun I decided to use for Kyu was a Glock 19 since the Glock model is widely used by security and law-enforcement (the 22 and 23 are both used by the FBI). The 19 specifically is a compact model with low recoil and 9mm ammunition that I felt she would be comfortable handling. It’s also not nearly as loud as larger caliber models. Being comfortable with a handgun in all aspects generally leads to higher accuracy with the weapon. It is important to know what to expect from your gun, even when you don’t know what to expect from a situation where you have to use it. The less unknown variables you have to deal with, the better.
Glock 19 vs. a .45 fired by someone with more experience. You can still tell the difference in recoil from the slow motion shots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5782pVYrwU
Gun Barrel Length
The longer the barrel of your gun, the more time your gunpowder has to burn when you fire a shot. This allows for a greater pressure build up, which will propel your bullet at a higher rate of speed. This will cause your bullet to hit harder, and in terms of trajectory, have a flatter shot (meaning it doesn’t or has less of an arc, think of when you hit a baseball).
A gun has two sights, a rear sight and a front sight.
Say you were looking at a target at a firing range. You line up the rear sight with the dot on the target that you want to hit and then adjust the front sight so it intersects that dot. The longer the gun barrel, the more accurate the shot because your front sight is going to be closer to your target than it would if your gun had a shorter barrel. There is going to be a smaller margin for visual human error when aiming.
The only issue with large barrels is that having one severely decreases the portability and concealability of your handgun.
Shooting Two Handguns at Once
It’s possible, but the human eye cannot aim two guns at once so your accuracy is probably going to suck. Those pinpoint shots you see in movies are bullshit. With two guns, you’re going to be stuck using point shooting, which relies on instinctive reactions and is often used in life-threatening situations when you simply don’t have time to aim a shot. You’re also going to have to deal with holding two guns at once, having one arm to support the weight of each and their recoil, so if you’re character isn’t strong, they may have a hard time pulling this off.
Since dual wielding is inaccurate, your character will probably empty the clips of both weapons just to make sure he killed whatever he’d been shooting. Handgun ammunition capacities have a pretty extensive range. Revolvers tend to be either 5 or 6 rounds while other handguns (pistols) can be modified with extended clips of about 30 rounds or drums to increase their capacities to about 40. There are ways to extend this further of course, but that dips into serious modification territory and I question why you wouldn’t just switch to an Uzi (32-round standard, 40-50 round extended, 22 round for the micro version) or another submachine gun at that point.
Regardless of what you use, reloading is going to be an issue. Reloading a weapon is meant to be quick and since you no longer have a free hand while dual wielding, you’re character is going to have to waste time setting one of the guns down and putting in a new clip. He’s also going to have to do it again. In that time whoever he’s fighting is probably going to kill him or find a way to get around his cover. So unless you can come up for a realistic solution to this problem (and don’t use the infinite ammo cop-out), dual wielding handguns is just going to end up being silly.
Well what about in Underworld or Resident Evil where they have ways to quickly reload spent clips from their belts or holster straps?
Yeah those sorts of things don’t exist right now. There is some liberty with reloading methods if your story takes place in a futuristic setting, but if your story is in modern times, you’re SOL.
Fun with Tropes!
Mythbusters tests out the dual wielding trope. They hit the targets but if you compared the dual wielded shots to using a single weapon, there wouldn’t even be a contest when it came to the overall accuracy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HhY2xQr0zw
TV Tropes Page (I’ll never see you guys again D:): http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GunsAkimbo
What you’ve seen in media is lies, liiiieeees.
But, just because Hollywood, comic books and anime tend to embellish the truth, doesn’t mean that they’re portrayals aren’t awesome. You can feel free to modify the way handguns work with your characters and your world, as long as you remember the real concepts behind them. That’s what being creative is. :)
My boyfriend Teye, a former Marine.
The work of Dave Spalding, a 28-year law enforcement veteran who retired at the rank of lieutenant, and then went to work for a federal security contractor. He’s currently a trainer for law enforcement and his website can be found at: http://www.handguncombatives.com/.
The work of Jeff Cooper, a former Marine. He is considered the father of “the Modern Technique” of handgun shooting.
The first three images are from Hellsing by Kouta Hirano.
The image in the dual wield section is from the film Equilibirum.
I did pluck the recoil definition from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoil). I rarely use Wiki directly but that information was actually solid.
Firearm Stopping Power – Fact, Fiction and Anecdotes (http://www.ammoland.com/2013/06/firearm-stopping-power-fact-fiction-and-anecdotes/)
Dave Spaulding on Stopping Power Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWMGBCVtTrM)
Dave Spaulding on Stopping Power Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myKGVV7xVDI)
How long should your gun’s barrel length be? (http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob136.html)
Side Note: I’m not picking on Hellsing with this article. I love Hellsing. It’s just the only example that came to mind when I thought of oversized handgun, unless you wanted me to use this:
What, he’s using one hand. It totally counts, right? Curse you Superman at Earth’s End (which belongs to DC).
50´s Shingeki AU >u<
Yesterday “Grease” was aired on tv *-* - 50´s the time of rock´n´ roll and Elvis x) I really like the fashion there and since I saw an amazing 20´s AU of shingeki on tumblr, I wanted to put some characters in 50´s clothes >//u//<
Lately I´m having an huge art block. I couldn´t make some new serious illustrations instead of sketches and practise stuff. ;_____;
College! Levi’s thoughts on calculus.
I hate when people casually discuss superheroes because I’m sitting in the corner with KNOWLEDGE and OPINIONS but I just have to smile and be like “haha yeah I like superman too” so I don’t scare anyone
i think ive watched enough anime to know how to fight
Remus Lupin and marauders
Based on the book “Harry Potter” (J.K.Rowling)
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