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Gender: Male
Hometown: Eastern North Carolina
Home country: United States
Current location: Eastern NC
Member since: Wed Dec 1, 2004, 03:09 PM
Number of posts: 11,572

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Rate of sustained fire, hmmm....

Spencer - sustainable rate-of-fire in excess of 20 rds per min

For clarification, that's the rate of sustained fire for the early 1860s Spencer, 7+1 and reloadable with speedloaders.

Comparing apples to apples, here are the U.S. military specs on the M16 (the NFA Title II restricted select-fire military rifle, not non-automatic civilian AR's, but similar limitations apply):


Rate of fire: 1215 rounds/min sustained
4560 rounds/min semi-automatic
700950 rounds/min cyclic

Note that the rates of semiauto and cyclic fire are instantaneous rates and do not take reloading or heat buildup into account, unlike the listed sustained rate. The M16, and all other military infantry rifles, are not designed for or capable of sustained high-volume fire (see Wanat); that's what machineguns and SAWs are for.

Ha, what you refer to are drastically substandard to modern semi-auto rifles & used mostly in the latter couple years of the Civil War. We went over this in an earlier thread; link below pegs spencer at 1 rd per 3 seconds: Spencer- sustainable rate-of-fire in excess of 20 rds per min
A modern semi-auto 2 or 3+ rds per second quickfire with extra mags by your side, a henry or spencer maybe 1 rd per second underaimed until your approx 15 rds are up, thus Yankees using Henrys & spencs more prone to suppress rapid fire for a better aim.

So you consider a sustained 1 round per second "underaimed" but think the average person can sustain 0.33 to 0.5 second splits aimed fire with a civilian semiauto while aiming? A more realistic one round per second, plus pauses for reloading, put speedloader-capable lever-actions and the AR-15 and other civilian semiautos on a lot more even footing than you care to acknowledge. And as you well know, 30+ round lever actions were produced in the early 1870s, though the development of more convenient and reliable box magazines truncated their development.

There's also the pesky fact that semiauto has been the default civilian mode of operation for decades, outside of guns optimized for long-range lethality. You're not going to ban semiautos any more than you're going to ban 11 to 30 round magazines. And given that 30-round rifles account for fewer than 300 homicides a year out of 8000+ in this country, despite being some of the most popular civilian firearms in U.S. homes, I'd suggest that your crusade is wrongheaded and counterproductive.

Dude, they *had* fast-shooting lever actions in the Civil War (many using speedloader systems),

which can deliver rate of aimed fire not far off that of a modern semiauto, and they had them in fairly large numbers. They didn't change the outcome of the war.

Ironically, many of those Civil War vintage lever-actions would be banned from new production by this wrongheaded bill, due to holding 15 or 16 rounds.

I was thinking of .308 rifles and carbines, like Straw Man mentioned.

The AR-10, FAL, CETME, SCAR-17, FN Herstal FNAR, Springfield M1A, etc. etc. all have a capacity of 20 rounds, because that seems to be the ideal compromise between weight/bulk and reserve capacity in that caliber. For .223, which is considerably smaller than .308, the "sweet spot" for rifle capacities seems to be 30, at least in non-bullpup designs.

Yeah, a .308 pistol would be a handful to shoot. The old Remington XP-100 hunting pistol was chambered in that round beginning in 1963, and recoil must have been pretty stout!

Update, the bill number is S.407 (114th Congress).


That ship sailed decades ago, when the gun control lobby chose to fight for 10-round limit.

Today, a 20 or 30 round limit would be seen as merely a stepping stone to a 15- or even 10-round limit, and would be a nonstarter.

As an aside, I think 20 rounds makes sense for 9mm pistols or the .308 family, since full-sized 9mm pistols hold just under 20 rounds and most .308-based semiautos hold 20, but that limit wouldn't really make sense for smaller calibers like .22LR or .223 where the default capacity has been 30 for many years. Banning common 30-rounders would punish tens of millions of gun owners for absolutely no social benefit, and might ultimately push the civilian rifle market back toward larger calibers, as the 1994 magazine price increases did for pistol calibers.

Oh, not this crap again...civilian magazine ban introduced in Senate.


Another proposal to ban ordinary civilian magazines with a capacity of more than 2/3 of what you could buy at a gun shop in the 1860's (rifle) or 1930s (pistol), even though there are already a billion-ish 11- to 30-rounders in civilian hands.

The sponsors hype 100-round magazines (as usual), but introduce a bill to jack the price on ordinary 11 to 30 round magazines (as usual), give Dems a black eye (as usual), and prod gun owners to spend more money stocking up on yet more replacement magazines (as usual), just so the same group of sponsors can get in front of the cameras and preach at us sinners again.

Maybe they should ask Gov. Hickenlooper how well a 15-round limit went over in Colorado, or how well this same 10-round limit went over nationwide back in 1994 before small-caliber rifles were so popular.

I notice that this bill doesn't bother to exempt tube-magazine lever-action centerfires, like the 1866 Winchester or 1861 Henry. The old 15+ round lever-actions squeaked past the 10-round limit in '94 because of the "named guns" exemption, but there is no such exemption this time.

Semiautomatic is the default civilian mode of fire, and doesn't come anywhere near cyclic rate.

Most slowfire target shooting is done with semiautos, and about 75% of the civilian market is semiauto. It doesn't matter how hard you squeeze the trigger, it is only going to fire one shot until you release the trigger and pull a second time.

Even a slow-cycling automatic weapon shoots much faster than anyone can pull a trigger, and since you have to wait for the trigger reset it is physically impossible to shoot as fast as an automatic weapon even if you install a mechanism not limited by the constraints of the human hand. Good shooters with a civilian gun and practice can get splits down into the low teens for a few shots, but that's not including the aim time required to actually hit, and most people's splits run 0.15 or above even without aiming, slowing as more shots are fired. By comparison, an automatic weapon can lay down ten to twenty shots per second for as long as ammunition holds out, or can fire bursts or sweeps with a single pull of the trigger.

A semiauto may be "rapid fire" if your basis of comparison is a bolt-action optimized for lethality at extreme range, but not if your basis of comparison is a typical civilian rifle, pistol, revolver, or repeating shotgun. Pretending otherwise hurts your cause, IMO.

This phrase:

"Semi-automatics have only two purposes. One is so owners can take them to the shooting range once in a while, yell yeehaw, and get all horny at the rapid fire and the burning vapor spurting from the end of the barrel. Their other use---their only other use---is to kill people."

That could be a very jaded representation of full auto. If it were intended to be a description of civilian guns that fire once and only once when you pull the trigger, on the other hand, then it is either ignorant, intentionally deceptive, or wacky. Semiautomatics (aka self-loaders) account for about 75% of the civilian gun market and for the majority of sport shooting, after all.

Perhaps Mr. King should stroll down to Van Raymond's in his own home town and see what his neighbors actually buy, before implying they are a bunch of sexually deviant rednecks.

You're projecting, but I suppose that explains a lot of your stances on the issue.

I have had a CHL since the mid '90s, but I don't carry for "swagger". I carry a Smith & Wesson Lady Smith, for what that's worth. If you want "swagger", go get a leather jacket and a Harley.

As to the item discussed in the OP, it's a phenomenally bad idea because it is apparently exaggerated enough to "print" so all your idiot friends can see the lump, but gives you zero capability in the unlikely event you ever actually needed it.

It's kind of like blasting exaggerated, cartoonish turbo and blowoff-valve sounds from your car's sound system, and about as effective.

Apparently he doesn't know what a semiautomatic *is*.

Probably 75% of guns sold annually are semiautomatics. Most .22 squirrel rifles are semiautomatic. The pistol your local peace officer carries on her hip is a semiautomatic.

I think he is confusing semautomatic (non-automatic) civilian guns with automatic weapons, and as a writer he should damn sure know better than that.

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