We’ve gotten too good



We’ve had semi-automatic and even automatic rifles for a long time, yet mass shootings are a recent phenomenon. Back in the 1970s a day at the range with my M1 (30-06) would leave me reaching for the Bengay. In a recent article, Chuck Hawks, a well known firearms expert, wrote, “About 15 feet-pounds of recoil energy represents upper limit of the average shooter’s comfort level. Above that recoil becomes increasingly intrusive. The majority of authorities seem to agree that recoil of over 20 feet-pounds is likely to cause the average shooter to develop a flinch, which is ruinous to accuracy.

The effects of recoil are cumulative. The longer you shoot and the harder a rifle kicks, the more unpleasant shooting becomes and the more likely you are to jerk the trigger or flinch.”

The problem isn’t in the rifle; the problem is in the bullet. My M1 had a recoil of 20 feet-pounds; 308 Winchester (NATO) has between 17 and 18 feet-pounds. An AR15, shooting 223 Rem., has a recoil between 2 and 4 feet-pounds.

Any idiot can shoot this thing all day and when the long, narrow bullet hits you, it spins causing at least as much damage as the other two rounds. We’ve gotten too good at making our killing machines.