Friday, January 18, 2013

Gun Stats, Facts & Trivia - Part One

With all of this talk about gun control lately, maybe we should take a look at some facts and statistics - and yes trivia - so that we can be a little more knowledgeable about the gun industry in our culture.

The first big statistic to me, the one that really jumped out at me is that 650,000 Americans use firearms for protection on an annual basis.

Each month American Rifleman, the journal of the National Rifle Association, features about a dozen such accounts of armed citizens defending themselves against criminals.

These accounts are based on newspaper clippings submitted by N.R.A. members, the stories dramatically show how a gun can sometimes prevent a crime and perhaps even save a victim's life.

Fact is that more lives are saved than lost by firearms that Americans buy to protect themselves and their family.

I agree with the N.R.A. which emphasizes that "According to noted criminologist Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University, every year some 650,000 Americans use firearms to thwart criminal assault. That's 12,500 a week."

Compare the violent crime rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 people in the United States to the violent crime rate of Great Britian which has a rate of 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and realize that Great Britain bans gun ownership. 

And yes, beyond this single fact, there's more ...
  • The are 88 guns for every 100 people in America.
  • The United States is #28 in homocides: 2.87 per 100,000 people - dispite being #1 in gun-ownership in the world.
  • The annual number of hunting licenses, tags, permits, stamps sold is 31,625,161
  • Gross money for conservation from license sales $525,753,481
  • Annual Federal tax dollars collected on firearm sales $123,000,000
  • Guns and ammunition manufacturing annual revenue is $11 Billion
  • The U.S. firearms industry's economic impact is $32 billion.
  • American sportsmen contribute nearly $8 million every day, adding more than $2.9 billion every year for conservation.
  • Hunters and target shooters have paid $6.8 billion in excise taxes since the inception of the Pittman-Robertson Act in 1937.
  • Hunting in America is big business, generating 600,000 jobs just in the United States.
  • For more than 80 years, American sportsmen have paid more than $13.7 billion for on-the-ground projects in every state, protecting our natural environment and our fish and wildlife.
  • The $4.95 billion in annual federal tax money generated by hunters' spending could cover the annual paychecks of 150,000 U.S. Army Sergeants.
  • $31 billion is the economic impact of the firearms industry in 2011 in dollars.
  • $19 billion is the economic impact of the firearms industry in 2008 in dollars.
  • $4 billion is the number of dollars spent in annual commercial gun and ammunitions sales -- a 20-year high.
  • 310 million is the estimated number of guns owned by Americans. That's about one for every American citizen.
  • 158 million background checks have been conducted since the FBI was mandated to do so by Congress in 1993.
  • 80 million Americans own guns.
  • 45 million Americans own handguns.
  • In a 2011 Gallup poll, 47% of Americans reported having at least one gun in their home. Of those, most (62%) said they had more than one. The most popular reasons for owning a gun: self-defense (67%), target shooting (66%), and hunting (62%).
  • 16.8 million background checks for gun sales in 2012.
  • Compare that to the 8.5 million background checks for gun sales in 2002.
  • 154,873 - The record number of background check calls the FBI reported receiving on Black Friday this year.
  • An AR-15 style .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle cost between $700 - $2000.
  • Although not true, the liberal media is trying to say that that was the type of firearm used in the attack in Newtown, Connecticut. In fact, the Police arrived and found the AR-15 rifle that the killer got from his mother in his car in the parking lot.
  • There has been a 200% profit boost for gunmakers since Obama was elected in 2008.
  • 96% of the $3 million that gun lobbyists donated during the 2012 election went to Republicans, which makes sense since most Democrats are anti-gun.
  • 62.8% of the people in Wyoming own guns, the state with the highest rate of gun ownership in the U.S.
  • 47% of Americans report owning a gun.
  • 45% of U.S. households own a gun.
  • There has been a 33% increase in Winchester’s ammunition sales since 2007.
After falling to a 36-year low in 2009, violent crime fell another 6% during the first half of 2010, according to the FBI.

Property crime decreased as well.

Concurrently, more Americans own more guns than at any time in U.S. history.


Have those found breaking the law under the Federal background check, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, been brought to justice?

If you want to know how well the Federal Government does its job, Americans should understand that prosecution and conviction of violators of the Brady Act are extremely rare - if at all.

During the first 17 months of the Act, only seven individuals were convicted. In the first year of the Act, 250 cases were referred for prosecution - and 217 of them were rejected.

So what makes Obama think that things will be different now when it won't? Nothing. 

More than 58% of all Americans feel laws limiting gun ownership infringe on the public’s right to bear arms.

The FBI reports that 87.3% of very serious rape, robbery and assault during this ten year period had nothing whatsoever to do with firearms.

If there were no firearms available to criminals, common sense tells us that most of the 12.7% that does involve firearms would shift over to knives or other non-firearm weapons with no real change in the number of victims.

Common sense and real world experience also tells us that if criminals never had to worry about their intended victims being armed because of firearms bans, the rates of rape, robbery and assault would be much higher, as they are in gun-ban cities.

The U.S. firearms industry's economic impact is $32 billion.

To put that in perspective, that’s about the same size as the U.S. organic industry and more than the budget of Nigeria. It’s grown from a $19 billion business in 2008 and appears to be accelerating at a quick clip.

Background checks for gun buyers increased nearly 60% from December 2011 to December 2012.

The FBI has already recorded 16.5 million background checks from Jan. 1, 2012 to November 2012 – the most on record.

There are 51,000 gun shops in America, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives.

That’s close to four times the number of Starbucks or McDonald’s stores in this country.

Number of weapons and ammunition manufacturers in the U.S. is 465.

How many firearms were made in America since 2010, and how many gun-related jobs have been created over the past two years?

Altogether, about 5.5 million firearms were made in America in 2010 and more than 26,000 new gun-related jobs have been created over the past two years.

The largest gunmakers in the U.S. have been raking in the profits over the last several years.

Sturm, Ruger & Company stock has increased nearly 500% in five years. Shares of Smith & Wesson’s have soared more than 75% in one year.

A majority of people in the United States believe President Obama has been great for the firearms industry. Because of a justified fear that Obama may try to ban the ownership and confiscate all guns in America, gun buyers are rushing out to buy guns - so much so that firearms manufacturers can't keep up production and are backlogged.

For me, even though they are law abiding citizens, I can't help but wonder how many Americans will now report their guns stolen just to avoid being put into some Federal Database.
So what was the first "assault rifle"?

Developed by Nazi Germany and first deployed in 1944, the “storm rifle” fired 500-600 rounds per minute.

It was a revolutionary weapon that would have tremendous impact on future small-arms development, but it came too late to change the tide of the war.

So what is an "assault rifle"?

An assault rifle is a selective fire (either fully automatic and/or burst, and semi-automatic as well) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine.

Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies.

Assault rifles are categorized in terms of using an intermediate cartridge power that is between light machine guns firing full power cartridges, which are intended more for sustained automatic fire in a light support role, and sub-machine guns, which fire a lower powered pistol cartridge rather than a rifle cartridge.

Fully automatic fire refers to an ability for a rifle to fire continuously until the magazine is empty and no rounds remain; "burst-capable" fire refers to an ability of a rifle to fire a small yet fixed multiple number of rounds with but one press of the trigger.

In contrast, semi-automatic refers to an ability to fire but one round per press of a trigger.

The presence of selective fire modes on assault rifles permits more efficient use of rounds to be fired for specific military needs, versus having but a single mode of operation, such as fully automatic, thereby conserving ammunition while maximizing on-target accuracy and effectiveness.

While some today are using the term "assault rifle" to describe civilian semi-automatic versions of military "assault rifles," the only thing the civilian version and the military versions have in common is their cosmetic appearance.

The civilian versions might look like the military versions. They might have the same sights and feeding system, but the civilian versions do not have the full automatic capabilities like the military weapons have.
Is the M16 an "assault rifle" or an "assault weapon"?


The M16 is an "assault rifle" and not an "assault weapon."

The M16 first entered U.S. military service in 1964 through its use with the United States Air Force. Today, the M16 is the primary infantry service rifle.

Since the mid-1960s, more than 8 million have been produced. It fires the high velocity 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and is the second most used "assault rifle" in the world after the AK-47.

What is an “assault weapon?”

Well, just for the books, between 1943-1984, newspapers used the slang term “assault weapon” to describe bows and arrows, Hank Aaron’s baseball bat, snow plows on pickup trucks, cobblestones used to pave roads in quaint style, the Army Air Corps’ B-26 Marauder bomber aircraft, amphibious assault machinery, military battle tanks, rocket launchers, missiles, and fully-automatic machine guns, none of which includes any gun that gun control supporters now call an “assault weapon.”

Gun control supporters began commonly referring to semi-automatic rifles as “assault weapons” in 1985.

However, semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns have been commonly owned since the early 20th century, and the most common semi-automatic rifle affected by the federal “assault weapon” ban of 1994-2004, was the AR-15 which was introduced in 1963.

The 1994 ban applied to semi-automatic firearms that had more than one of their standard complement of attachments.

For example, a semi-automatic, detachable-magazine rifle was defined as an “assault weapon” if equipped with a pistol-type grip, flash suppressor and bayonet mount.

However, since 1994, gun control supporters have said that many other kinds of firearms should also be called “assault weapons,” including semi-automatic rifles and pistols having only one of those attachments, all semi-automatic shotguns regardless of their attachments, and pump-action rifles and shotguns.

Gun control supporters apparently believe that the public will go along with banning any firearm, so long as it is called an “assault weapon.".

  What's the difference between an "assault rifle" and an "assault weapon"?

"Assault rifles" should be distinguished from the US legal term "assault weapons."

"Assault rifles" have full automatic firing capabilities and semi-automatic firing capabilities - meaning "select fire" capabilites. That means the shooter can select SEMI or FULL.

Semi-auto enables a shooter to fire his rifle like any rifle in the world. Full-auto enables the shooter to fire a weapon specifically designed for military use.

A fully-automatic firearm, known under Federal Law as a “machine gun,” is the only kind of firearm that is capable of firing repeatedly while the trigger is depressed.

While some may refer to the Federal Law definition, others like myself who used the M16 while in the military understand the difference between a "machine gun" and an "asault rifle".  It is the basic difference between an M60 machine gun and an M16 rifle.

No, the M16 which has full auto capabilities is not referred to as the M16 machine gun - but is in fact referred to as the M16 rifle.

"Assault weapons" only have the capability to fire semi-automatic - meaning one shot at a time. The ability to fire one shot at a time applies to civilian hunting and sport rifles all over the world.

"Assault weapons" refers to different types of firearms, and is a term that has differing meanings and usages depending on who you listen to.

Basically, in discussions about gun laws and gun politics, an "assault weapon" is most commonly defined as a semi-automatic firearm that looks cosmetically similar to military firearms. 


Black stocks, pistol grips, "large" capacity magazines, flash suppressors, are what irritate gun control supporters.  

So, what do you think you'll have if you put a new black stock and pistol grip on an old 10 shot .22 caliber semi-automatic hunting rifle that you might use to hunt rabbits?

Well, fact is that some empty headed liberal who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground might just call it an "assault weapon" because of the way it looks.

Below is a Ruger Model 10/22, .22 caliber rifle. Since its creation in 1962, well over 5 million of these little .22 rifles have been sold. And yes, both the "Before" rifle and the "After" rifle are the same rifle. 

The "Before" picture is how they are sold as a basic stock rifle. The "After" picture is how one can look after buying a bunch of accessories from a number of suppliers. 

So has the firing capabilities changed? No, it is still a semi-auto rifle. Just the looks, the improved sights because of the scope, and number of rimfire shots because of the "large" magazine, make them different.

Would some liberal call the "After" look an "assault weapon"? Probably, but then again you just can't always fix stupid!  

What's ironic is that if I were looking at a guy in a hoodie with gang tattoos, and I referred to him as a gang member then most liberals out there would say that I'm profiling and shouldn't do that because I would be showing a lack of tolerance for others.

Yet, they see a black stock and pistol grip on a rifle and automatically assume its an "assault weapon." Imagine that!

How often are “assault weapons” used in crime?

In imposing the 1994 “assault weapon” ban, Congress also required a study of its effect.

The resulting study, conducted for the National Institute of Justice, concluded that “the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders."

That finding is supported by state and local police reports, which have shown that “assault weapons” have been used in about 1-2 percent of murders, and in about two percent of all violent crimes.

By comparison, over 30% of murders are committed without any type of firearm whatsoever

Are “assault weapons” more powerful than other firearms?

The short answer is, No.

Gun control supporters claim that "assault weapons" are "high powered weapons" that "should frighten the public."

However, power is a function of the ammunition that a firearm uses, and "assault weapons" use the same ammunition as any other firearms, ranging from the least-powerful rifle and pistol ammunition, to medium-powered pistol, medium-powered rifle, and shotgun ammunition—all much less powerful than ammunition used in many hunting rifles, as shown in the following chart:


Ever wonder where some words come from? Ever wonder where the term “rifle” originates from?

“Rifling” refers to cutting spiraled grooves on the inside of the barrel to give the projectile spin, thereby improving its accuracy and range. A rifle was originally known as a “rifled gun.”

What's the difference between muskets and rifles?

Musket barrels are smoothbore, meaning they are not grooved. Meaning no rifling. They are not rifles, they are muskets.

How does a “carbine” version of a rifle differ from the standard version?

Carbines were originally issued to cavalry troops. Since they are a shorter rifle than standard versions, they were easier to shoot while on horseback.
They remain popular with soldiers around the world today because they are easy to carry - though diminished range and accuracy are sometimes considered trade-offs for a carbine's smaller size.

What was the first semi-automatic rifle?


The M1 Garand officially replaced the 1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the U.S. military in 1936. It fired 16-24 rounds per minute from an eight-round magazine, and was in service until the mid-1960s.

Many believe that the M1 Garand was the deciding factor in beating Nazi Germany on the battlefield.

In the movie Tombstone, Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) carried two different Colt pistols in this film. What were they, and which one took out the most ruthless "Cowboy"?

In the movie, Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) carries two pistols. He carries a Colt Lightning in .38 Long Colt and a Nickel Colt SAA Quickdraw.

In a classic showdown, Doc and Johnny Ringo (Michael Beihn) draw on each other in the woods near the end of the film and Doc takes him down with a single shot to the head from his Quickdraw, named as such because of its short 4.7-inch barrel.

In 1861, Doctor Richard Gatling patented the Gatling Gun. But why?

It is a six-barreled weapon capable of firing a phenomenal 200 rounds per minute.

The Gatling gun was a hand-driven, crank-operated, multi-barrel, machine gun. The first machine gun with reliable loading, the Gatling gun had the ability to fire sustained multiple bursts.

Richard Gatling created his gun during the American Civil War, he sincerely believed that his invention would end war by making it unthinkable to use due to the horrific carnage possible by his weapons. Imagine that!

The Lee-Enfield No.2 Mk1 revolver and the Webley Mk IV revolver was the British service pistol for what seemed like forever. Which two pistols replaced those legendary pistols?

The answer is the Browning HP and the SIG P226

At the start of World War II, the Lee-Enfield No.2 Mk1 was the official Service revolver for Great Britain. But, with a large influx of new recruits, the government was soon in short supply of handguns.

As a solution, the Webley Mk IV revolver was handed to those without pistols, and soon became Great Britain's second official service revolver.

So how long seems like forever for a service pistol? Well, the Webley Mk IV revolver was in service from 1887 to 1963. That's 76 years of service.

To put it in another prospective, the Webley Mk IV started its service the same year Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show opened in London and Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print.

It ended its service in 1963. That was the same year of Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have a dream" speech and the March on Washington.

It was also the year that President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas The same time, as result of Kennedy's assassination, Lyndon Johnson became President.

The man accused of assassinating President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, is shot and killed as he is led to jail by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby. The assassination of President Kennedy also marked the first time 24-hour coverage of a major news event by the major networks took place. 

So what is an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare sniper rifle?

The short answer is that it is the L96A1, and it is the British Armed Forces' sniper rifle of choice. It is incredibly accurate, easy to clean and maintain, and can be manually loaded if a magazine jams.

What makes the PPSh-41 such a special sub-machine gun?

The PPSh-41 is a Russian designed sub-machine gun with a magnificent rate of fire, first appearing in World War II.

During the Nazi occupation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the government wanted to quickly supply a large number of men with cheap, powerful weapons that would drive back the Germans.

The result was the PPSh-41. Besides being cost-effective, its 71-round drum magazines, incredible rate of fire, and ease to assembled and maintain made this sub-machine gun ahead of its time.

The vented barrel of the PPSh-41 allows a large number of bullets to be fired without fear of it overheating, and the 71-round drum magazine makes it an excellent weapon to use to suppress enemy troops.

Ever wonder what's a Coach Gun?

This is sort of interesting for those of us who love trivia about the Old West, a Coach Gun is a term used for a double-barreled shotgun.

As coach services, or Stage Coaches like Wells Fargo & Co., came into use during the mid-1800s, they regularly used double-barreled shotguns to fight off bandits and outlaws on the long and often dangerous journeys between towns.

And for you folks who might not know what the "M" designation on a military weapon stand for, such as the M1 Garand, M14 rifle, M16 rifle, or M9 pistol.

Once a firearm is assigned as a standard military or para-military service weapon, its original name is taken away and it is given a "M" designation.

Once the model is improved, they add an "A1" designation to the name. When the model is improved again, the A1 is changed to A2, and so fourth. For example, M16A1, M16A2, M16A4, and so on.

We all hear the terms RPG used on the news and in movies these days, so what does RPG mean?

People often confuse Rocket-Launchers and Rocket-Propelled Grenades.

Rocket-Propelled Grenades, an RPG, usually have the same effect as normal grenades - meaning that they are most effective as an Anti-Infantry weapon since shrapnel shards are released upon blast.

The difference between a normal hand grenade and an RPG? Well, RPGs are rocket-propelled. And please don't confuse Rocket-Propelled Grenades and Grenade Launchers, Rocket-Launchers usually shoot Anti-Tank Rockets and does not release shrapnel when it explodes.

What is a Anti-Materiel rifle? Have you ever heard of such a thing?

Well, an Anti-Materiel Rifle can be defined as a rifle that is mainly used against objects (as opposed to Anti-Personnel Rifles), and are primarily used as Anti-Tank rifles.

Sci-Fi movies, games, and books, however, make the Anti-Materiel rifle seem like a rifle that "dissolves" matter. And "Materiel" isn't a mis-spelling, that's just how the military spells it!

So is a silencer the same as a suppressor?
The short answer is no. The two terms should not be confused. 

A suppressor uses a series of baffles to slow the bullet to a sub-sonic speed before it leaves the barrel - this eliminates the ballistic "crack" heard by the supersonic projectile breaking the sound barrier.

A silencer simply quiets the sound of the firing cartridge by providing a larger expansion chamber for the hot gas to go instead of inside the small barrel.

And lastly, all of us gun folks have heard of the term 9mm Parabellum. But do you have any idea what Parabellum means?

Well, the word Parabellum is a noun coined by German arms maker Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken.

It is derived from the Latin saying "si vis pacem, para bellum," meaning "If you want peace, prepare for war."

Makes sense to me!

Story by Tom Correa

1 comment:

  1. Interesting fact. The Colt Single Action Army has three generations of models. Any Colt .45 revolver made from 1873 to 1941 is called the 1st Generation, any Colt .45 revolver made from 1955 to 1974 is called the 2nd Generation, and every Colt .45 revolver made from 1976 to now is called the 3rd Generation. Another interesting fact. The Smith and Wesson Safety Hammerless was produced from 1887 to 1940. And more one interesting gun fact. Jesse James was known to have favored the Smith & Wesson Schofield .45 revolver.


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