Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Silence Of The Lambs

I use to compete in a sport called "Practical Shooting", which is where scenario-based stage designs are used to help people simulate 'defensive' pistol shooting scenarios.

One of the things we did in Practical Shooting Matches was to shoot at targets behind a partition ... variously called a 'baffle', or  'vision barrier..   What is was, was a wall that we had to shoot around.
You had to stand behind the baffle, and crane your neck (and upper shoulders) to get the handgun past the vision barrier far enough so you could engage the target.

You could't always manage to get the muzzle of your gun past the Vision Barrier far enough that you could see the target, keep your balance, and still keep the Vision Barrier between yourself and the handgun.

With the usual kind of handgun, that imposed a penalty of a LOT of the noise of the handgun firing bouncing back, so you heard more of the noise of the gun than was comfortable.

But some of us were shooting what were called "Open Guns".
They were guns which were fitted with Compensators.

Compensators were heavy metal additions to the 'front ends' (muzzles) of the barrel which (because of inertia) minimized the amount of "muzzle flip" between shots;  so that we could shoot two shots quickly with about the same sight-picture, but needed less time between shots, because the weight prevented the front part of the gun from 'bouncing' (recoiling) as much as it would without the Compensator.

Another factor of the compensator was that it had holes drilled in the top, and at the sides, so that the "muzzle blast" was directed both vertically and laterally so the "muzzle bounce" was not so extreme.  Thus, the word "Compensator" ... compensated for the nature tendency of the muzzle to rise dramatically between shots.

This allowed us to re-engage the targets faster ... we didn't have to wait the extra half-second for the sight picture to re-show us the target, so we could shoot two (or more) shots in quick succession.   Instead of waiting a second (or more) between shots, we could take our "double-tap" in "Split times" of 0.17 to 0.30 seconds.

In a stage with, say .... ten shots, that could save us as much as 2.5 - 3 seconds, depending on the number of targets we had to engage (it usually took us from 0.30 to 0.50 seconds to transit between targets, if they were placed close together).

And in competition, a full second is like an eternity. It can be the difference between first place and forget-it-ville.

JUST TO DEMONSTRATE the difference in seconds, here are two examples of shooting a 'stand and shoot' stage with a compensated and a non-compensated pistol.

(The videos may load slowly ... they are high-resolution files.)

(Later: Well, I can't get the videos to show.  I guess the 1MB+ videos aren't acceptable to Blogger.

The first competitor is using a non-compensated (limited-class) pistol:

The second competitor is using a compensated (open-class) pistol.
You can see how the compensator allows the competitor to get that 'second shot' at a target faster (and more accurately).

Well ... you can see it if my video load works correctly.

Underreported: How Gun Silencers Became a Health Issue:

Most people only know about silencers from what they see in the movies—a stealthy gun accessory that helps criminals more easily kill by suppressing the sound of the gunshot. But silencers, some say, is a misleading way to describe these firearm accessories. Why? Because they don’t actually silence the sound of a gunshot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you shoot enough, you don't need an evil silencer. You can't hear the shots anyway, through the loud ringing in your ears.