Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hot Gun! WOOOOOO-EEEeeeeeeee! Hot Gun!

DOWN RANGE TELEVISION with Michael Bane - Show #1: 1-ON-1 with Todd Jarrett

Michael Bane and Todd Jarrett met at Blackwater in North Carolina today to determine just how fast the World Champion IPSC shooter (Todd, not Michael) can shoot 1,000 rounds of .45acp through a box-stock Para USA PXT 1911 SSP.

[Note that the link listed above is for a stainless pistol. The pistol used in the video was not stainless, but rather a blued finish steel pistol. And it didn't appear to have a fiber optic front sight. Not that it mattered because most of the rounds were fired without using the front sight.]

Not surprising, you get to see a World Record on DRTV!

(Click on the title bar to watch the 24-minute four-part video.)

Actually, the video takes more time to watch than Jarrett took to shoot the 1,000 rounds. I personally find this a fascinating test of both man and machine.

The video was "obviously ... played ... for laughs", and Jarrett was having fun with it. For a while.

Starting in a standard 2-handed shooting position, within 100 rounds he switched to an unconventional 'shoot from the waist' style. As the gun heated up (and the strain on his trigger finger became painful), Jarrett was trying other styles: pulling the trigger with his middle finger, then holding the gun in his right hand as he used the 'simulated full-auto' technique of bouncing the trigger with fingers on his left hand.

After 200 rounds Jarrett began shouting "Hot Gun! Hot Gun!" and, in a manner reminiscent of Howard Dean, shouting "WOOOO-EEEeeeeee! Hot Gun! Hot Gun!"

The test started out with 20 single-stack 10-round magazines (ten Para mags, ten Chip McCormick mats). Dan Arnold was picking up the discarded magazines, and there were three people reloading the 230-grain ball .45acp ammo into the magazines as quickly as they could.

By about 800 rounds, Jarrett was pounding the butt of the pistol on the bench, shouting "More Ammo! More Ammo!"

What with some magazines being short-loaded (well, one of them anyway), the magazine contained 2 rounds that were fired with the left hand.

Time? 10 minutes, 40+ seconds.

I've seen some fast shooting of a lot of rounds in my time, mostly in the Dundee Croc Match, but that was not a valid comparison. Never have I seen 1,000 rounds fired through a pistol in that short a time. (Heck, never in a single day!)

The point of the exercise was to demonstrate that heat build-up is the most torturous test of reliability in any gun, let along a pistol. I believe that entirely. In USPSA matches conducted during the summer months, when it can take an hour to complete one stage and start again on the next stage, I've been known to pack my pistol in the ice chest between stages just to cool it down so I could hold and fire it. Note that this experience involved shooting something like 60 rounds a stage.

Shooting 1,000 rounds in 10+ minutes? I wouldn't want to do it not matter what the weather. Although it was cold in North Carolina during this January test, I doubt it significantly affected the heat build-up of the pistol.

Note that the three reloaders couldn't keep up with the shooter. It's entirely possible that the newly established Ten Minute standard could be beaten, with another reloader or two.

But I don't know how many shooters would / could stay with the gun under those conditions. And no gun that I own is likely to function with 100% reliability. That's right, as nearly as I could tell there were zero malfunctions. There were some breaks in the continuity, if malfs did occur I didn't see them (and Bane mentioned that there no were feeding failures; see quote below).

Doesn't matter, really. That's the kind of reliability which will make or break the gun you choose for competition, or for personal defense.

As Michael Bane says:

"What will really cause a gun to fail, is HEAT! Heat is the enemy of guns. How do you generate heat, all of the little explosions going on in the chamber there -- when you put a thousand rounds going through a gun that quickly, you are generating a huge amount of heat. If the gun is going to fail in use, it's going to fail there.

Now take a look here. [close-up of the gun barrel.] Barrel's changed color. Heat's changed the color of the barrel. A little finish wear on the end of the slide.

But you saw it. A thousand rounds went through the gun as fast as Todd Jarrett could pull the trigger, and Todd Jarrett can pull the trigger faster probably than any other living human being. The gun never malfunctioned, the gun never failed to fire, the gun never ... stopped ... functioning. It always went bang, and that is what you want from a handgun.

So, the next time you see some guys in lab coats, and they actually have a big bowl of soup where they have like potatoes and carrots and leeks and onions, and they're boiling up guns in it? Remember, that's not a test. That's not a torture test.

A thousand rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger, that's a torture test. "

Update: 18-JAN-2008

The Shooting Wire has the story here.

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