5 Gun Myths that should die

Caleb over at Gun Nuts posted 5 myths about guns that should just die.


1. Handgun stopping power

2. High bore axis

3. You can upgrade a Mosin in a way that makes it better

4. Competition shooting will get you killed in the street

5. Pistols and shotguns are “safer” for home defense than rifles


He explains more about why these myths should die. Go here to find out what they are.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Blastattack

    Your “go here” link is broken.

  • Joe Schmoe

    #5 is true though.

    Having a round that will go through the wall, through the neighbors wall and into the kid sleeping next door is overkill. These weapons were designed to kill at long range and through basic body armor.

    • Joe Schmoe is Ignorant

      No it’s not, .223 tends to fragment when hitting barriers and lose energy quickly while the heavier pistol rounds will plug up and will fly right through drywall etc.

      Do educate yourself..


      • Joe Schmoe

        Did you happen to notice that it said “rifles” and not just “.223” before launching your tirade?

        Not to mention that even with your “.223” example, it covers a very wide range of ammunition; many of which do not fragment so easily. You can see one quick example here:

        • Nicks87

          Yeah I tend to agree with Joe. If you use an AR-15(.223/5.56) for home defense you better make sure you are using a short barrel (16in or shorter) and 60 gr or lighter soft point bullets. Otherwise penetration will be just as much or more than your pistol or shotgun.
          What’s ignorant is making a user name just to disparage somone you dont agree with, especially when they weren’t wrong in the first place.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I don’t even….

            Ok… So we can all agree the 40-77gr bullet is light.

            We can all agree that it gets it’s “stopping power” by means of a high velocity.

            We can all agree that the light bullet will fragment and tumble.

            Then some people think that BARREL LENGTH plays into this!? First off… I’m not sure how big your house is because short barrels will still be within fragmentation velocities, and long barrels will be more so. You don’t get to say a 24″ 556 is “worse” because it has more energy, all that means it’s it’ll fragment faster/better when it highs something. A long barrel is “better” if you want to be certain the round will fragment on impact.

            This site adopted some curious posting practices but the comments section has gotten REALLY bad. Like, AR15.com bad.

          • Nicks87

            Ok, so a 62gr FMJ bullet shot out of a 24″ barrel is guaranteed to fragment in soft tissue at a range of 3 to 10 feet? If it does fragment, where do the fragments go? They aren’t guaranteed to stay in the bad guy and what if you miss? Now there is a high velocity projectile heading god-knows-where because you didnt do your research concerning home defense options. I’m not saying you are wrong, all I’m saying is dont be so pedantic and preachy when discussing things that are not an exact science. Most police tactical teams use 55-64 gain soft tip bullets and SBRs for CQB (we used 60gr Black Hills soft points). I think thats probably the best option for home defense if you choose to use an AR-15 for that purpose.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Ugh “guaranteed” :

          • Nicks87

            Yes, nothing is guaranteed. Especially when it comes to killing folks.

          • When those high velocity fragments DO exit (and a lot of them likely will — just as it is likely that EVERY pistol bullet and 00 buckshot pellet would at teh same range and impact location), you have several small, lightwieght, irregularly shaped, highly unaerodynamic fragnets that frequently won’t go through both sheets of sheetrock in an interior wall.
            00 buckshot or a 115gr (or 230gr) pistol bullet will sail through multiple sheets of sheetrock without losing very much energy at all, because the higher weight of the projos mean they retain velocity so much better than 5-10 grain fragments that go through the air like they have drogue chutes attached.

            This has been tested numerous times, by several different methodologies, and teh facts have been established — pistol calibers and 00 buckshot WILL “overpenetrate” far more than M193 or M855 bullets out of carbine or rifle length barrels, whether or not they hit the bad guy first.

            It’s counterintuitive, I know, but scientifically validated.

          • Nicks87

            I know, I’ve seen the youtube videos but I’ve also seen them not fragment and pass through soft tissue and continue to travel into and through solid objects. I’m not trying to be a dick, I’m just speaking from personal experience. When it comes to wounding characteristics of a specific bullet/cartridge nothing is 100%. The best practice would be to use a firearm that you are comfortable and proficient with (instead of using what the internet commandos tell you to use) and know what is behind your target before pulling the trigger.

          • sianmink

            Well that’s granted. The point is that with 9mm, 40, or .45, you don’t have an option that won’t penetrate multiple walls AND produce good wounding, and the less we talk about 00 buck and slugs, the better.
            I’ve got my AR loaded with 42 grain frangibles at ludicrous velocity, and having shot it into gel, I know it’s going to hurt bad, yet a couple sheets of dryrock and it’s done. If you use heavy, barrier blind rounds, of course you’re going to shoot through.

        • Marc

          It only takes a single counter-example to disprove a false absolute like “pistols and shotguns are safer for home defense than rifles”.
          This counter-example is NOT the claim of a new absolute.

        • Aaron

          So this guys interior walls are made of 1 1/2″ thick Spruce/pine/fir hybrid? Not a valid test in the least. Shoot through 1/2 sheetrock set up on 16″ SPF centers with the proper 3 1/2 space between the sheets and give the muzzle 2-3 yards from the first sheet. Conditions for this test don’t mimic real home construction or an in home encounter in the least.

          He believes it would have taken out the jug if it hadn’t keyholed? I thought the purpose of this test was to prove over-penetration of an AR in a house. Leave those suppositions and stick to the facts.

    • René D.

      Get better walls.

      • iksnilol

        Never understood it. Get better walls and use soft points, problem solved.

        .223/5.56 tends to fragment quickly, would recommend a 20 inch barrel.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      … Ugh.

      Post about myths explains why it’s a myth… Internet genius gets on to explain how it’s true. Where have I seen this before…. Hmmmm….

      • Fromthesidelines3

        On the subject of ar15.com forum level commentary…

  • McThag
  • JaxD

    Cool, second post from Gun Nuts today. Thanks for letting us know we can cut out the middle man and just go there. Great business plan, send people to other sites. The many advertisers pasted all over the page will follow shortly.

    • nadnerbus

      Sometimes TV channels even advertise for shows on other channels. It’s insanity I tell you!

      • JaxD

        Are you’re saying that Nick accepts money for these advertisements? Or are these sites related and trying to double dip on viewsm Because sending people to other businesses for free is not to bright.

    • M.M.D.C.

      You should ask for your money back.

      • JaxD

        Classic reply, haven’t heard it before. Gold star for you.
        Just hate to see a site I enjoyed greatly once go down in quality.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Works for Gawker who just rips off Wired all day everyday

    • BattleshipGrey

      I’m not sure how long you’ve been reading TFB, but from very early on they’ve shared and linked stories from other blogs on occasion.

      • JaxD

        “On occasion” key words.

  • Jake Barnes

    This blog was better when it was just Steve….

    • BattleshipGrey

      Ouch, it’s a simple mistake, I forget to put links in emails from time to time. This is our one-stop-shop for gun news. Having to wait for a link or googling for it is definitely a first-world problem. Let’s give ’em some slack.

      • TyroneAlfonso

        Slack or no… Jake is right.

    • Fromthesidelines3

      I completely agree. Two reposts from Caleb at GunNuts in as many days by Nicholas C is just the latest of many examples.

  • Tyler M.

    3# is so true.

  • ThomasD

    High bore axis is not so much a myth (the physics of leverage being pretty well understood) as it is an exaggeration.

    • Nicks87

      Low bore axis tends to reduce muzzle flip. Example: Chiappa Rhino vs. S&W 686. The Rhino has less muzzle flip vs the S&W because it fires from the bottom of the cylinder which means the barrel is much lower on the frame compared to conventional revolvers. However, as far as most autos are concerned I agree that the concept does get exaggerated.

      • john huscio

        I shoot my p226 (infamous for its “high bore axis”) all day with 18-20rd mags at 15 yards or so and shoot one ragged hole most of the time…

        • Sadler

          That’s a non sequitur. Bore axis affects perceived recoil, the speed at which you can get back on target after a shot is fired, and the ability stay on target while shooting.

        • Nicks87

          All that proves is that you shoot your gun well. It says nothing about “bore axis” or how it affects the shooter. It becomes more of a factor when you are shooting fast (follow up shots), like in competitions.

    • Yup. I have two pistols, otherwise VERY similar in weight (well, technically, mass, but that’s physics geekery and pedantics. . . 😉 ), similar mass distribution, similar barrel lengths, firing the same rounds. Only one has a noticeably higher bore axis than the other. The one with the higher bore axis definately has more muzzle flip.
      However, since it also has a better trigger, I still shoot it better.
      So, Myth Confirmed — but HIGHLY exaggerated. Other factors are way more relevant. . .

    • Manny Fal

      It’s not exaggerated because we are talking rapid fire pistol shots, as you do in real life pistol combat.

      • Manny, I’m talking about rapid fire pistol shots. If it’s slow fire, I don’t care about muzzle flip at all.

        I have two pistols that are very close matches in grip feel, size, mass, mass distribution, and caliber — and I can shoot the one with the high bore axis (and noticeably more muzzle flip) as fast as the low bore axis pistol, with groups almost half the size. Because OTHER factors (such as sight picture and trigger) more than make up the difference.

  • Risky

    WTF TFB. We need better, informative posts. Not more stupid and pointless ones. It ain’t rocket surgery. This place is on the fast track of getting removed from my quick tabs.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Caleb’s posts are pretty good actually. TFB should have made this more clear that gunnuts wrote a good article. I wouldn’t have listed the 5 here at all without the further explanations.

      So on this case, I think you’re wrong. However, on the whole… I have noticed some quality issues with some of the posts lately here as well. One about an AR “manufacturer” that was nothing more than a typical assembler still really gets me.

      They recently added a handful of authors, still seem to be figuring out what’s what. I’m sure they’ll get it together.

    • Mack

      Rocket Science…..Brain Surgery……. Nah i guess we are going with Rocket Surgery!

  • ColaBox

    “Competition shooting will get you killed in the street”
    That’s definantly a myth, two words: Jerry Miculek

  • st4

    #5 pushes my buttons something fierce. I’ve seen so many fudds spreading this misinformation around as reason why no one should be able to own, “assault weapons.”

  • Bunglezze

    The idea that you can dispelling gun myths is itself a myth.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    On the Mosin: can’t anything be upgraded? I’ve seen polymer chassis systems and whatnot. I’m sure it’s not worth the money compared to buying a newer rifle, but I don’t like the idea of saying nothing can be upgraded.

    On home defense weapons: The argument against using something like an AR15 for home defense is that if you live in a densely populated area, the bullet could potentially travel through several walls and into another house. I understand there is frangible ammo for rifles, but isn’t “over-penetration” less likely with buckshot or certain types of handgun ammo?

    • GunNut

      Actually, no. Unless proper ammunition is selected, any good defensive caliber will overpenetrate to a dangerous degree. And proper ammo will get the job done from, again, any decent caliber– but the precision, low recoil, and large capacity of an AR-pattern rifle really can’t be beat for home defense.*

      And what Caleb was actually saying is that you can’t really upgrade a Mosin in a way that will make it actually BETTER. It’ll still be a ~$99 surplus rifle at its heart.

      *Unless you’re planning on having to move around; then a pistol may be better since it’s easier to retain and leaves a hand free for other tasks.

      • Fromthesidelines3

        Michael’s comment is articulate, polite, logical, and uses proper grammar.

        GunNut’s reply would get a failing grade in an 7th grade English class, is glib, illogical, and includes yelling.

        I’d love to hear more of GunNut’s thoughts on how making modifications to a gun that improves it’s accuracy doesn’t actually make it bette” considering “improve on” is a synonym for “better”.

      • Bub Rub

        People don’t buy Mosins to upgrade them into something other than what they are. They buy them to be able to take advantage of the cheap mil surplus ammo that’s available. What other guns can you buy cheaply in 7.62x54r?

      • macbat

        wtf is your definition of “better”?

    • Hunter57dor

      well sure you can. Steel bed the surplus stock, refinish the wood, tighten down and clean all the parts up, load some decent ammo for it. upgrades don’t need to be expensive.

    • Actual tests (my numerous individuals and organizations, using a variety of test results) consistantly show that overpenetration is more of an issue with pistol bullets and buckshot than it is with 5.56mm using M193 or M855 ball ammo. Period.

      Also, the test results show that when a 5.56mm does penetrate a wall, the resulting wound will be far less severe than your typical pistol bullet or 00 buckshot pellets, because the 5.56mm round will have dropped significant amounts of velocity, and _impact_velocity_ has a whole lot to do with lethality in M193 and M855 ball. Pistol bullets or 00 buckshot pellets will simply drill larger holes through a target on the far side of the wall, based on the fact that they are wider projos to start with, and below a certain velocity, M193 and M855 do _not_ exhibit the same kind fo nearly explosive fragmentation they do at higher velocities.

      This is also why 5.56mm is “safer” if you DO hit the target before teh wall — _any_ projo that has adequate penetration to rely on for self defence _by_definition_ has enough penetration to exit the body. 00 buckshot pellets or a 115gr 9mm bullet expanded to over a half an inch after leaving a human body will STILL drive through sheetrock hard enough to be very lethal on the far side. 5.56mm M193 or M855 bullets that hit a human body in excess of 2800-2900 fps will exit as a collection of much smaller fragments, and very often will not make it through the second layer of sheetrock AT ALL.

      Based on the science (not theoretical, but confirmed by testing), I would use 5.56mm without hesitation in almost any home defence scenario, including living in a densely populated area. I would certainly feel less nervous about using it around my own family than a shotgun or pistol caliber for defense. Let’s face it, 5.56 at “indoor” ranges hits almost as hard as 12 gauge in terms of damage inflicted _on_a_human_body (shooting a deer doesn’t accurately simulate shooting a human – for one, the probable shot profiles run perpendicular to each other), FAR harder than any pistol caliber, offers less recoil than a shotgun with faster followup shots, is also more controllable in rapid fire than a pistol (although not, to be fair, a pistol-caliber carbine of roughly the same weight and configuration – but having a stock doesn’t change the overpenetration problems of pistol calibers), and present a significantly reduced threat to non-targets on teh far side of interior and exterios walls.

  • dan citizen

    So was the original article written by someone unfamiliar with guns? The link is broken so I could not read it first hand.

    These sound like gross over simplifications at best and more bad gun info at worst.

  • Tinkerer
  • TyroneAlfonso
  • Andy

    The high bore axis one is especially stupid. “Let’s look at a few guns that people say have a bore axis that’s too
    high: the Sig Classic P-Series and most of the HK lineup. Hmmm…what else
    do those guns have in common…oh maybe it’s that they’re some of the
    widest used service pistols in the world?” How in the hell is that a rebuttal to the argument?

    While it may be true that the bore axis between an HK 45 and 1911 are similar, comparing other guns would get you very different results. How about comparing a Glock with a P226? I personally don’t believe bore axis ruins a gun, but I will acknowledge that the recoil impulse will feel very different when there is such a great difference.

    • Beju

      Personally, I found the Glock 17 to have noticeably more recoil then the Sig P226. The G17 might have been a slightly lower percentage of the energy felt in muzzle flip, but it’s not like 9mm is all that snappy in a P226 anyway.

      The P226 has a higher bore axis, but it’s also over 50% heavier unloaded, which to me, probably makes a bigger difference then the bore axes do.

  • Hunter57dor

    Are you trying to start a flame war? because this is how you start a flame war.

    I was about to react to the mosin thing when i realized its just flamebait.


  • jay

    Seriously? The link to the page with the info, on why these myths should die, is unavailable?

  • Comrade

    I find it ridiculous that people give Mosin Nagants such a bad rep. Literally all you have to do is bed the receiver and put shims along the barrel to keep it from swinging like a flaccid dick when it fires. It will no longer be a minute-of-paper plate rifle anymore.

  • k

    1st-nick c never contributes decent posts
    2nd-bore axis height is real, its just not real important.
    I can think of infinitely more important myths that could go here.
    1.cant hunt with an AR
    2.short barrels are inaccurate
    3.cocking a shotgun is the best home defense plan, it will make them run away
    4.if you are in fear of your life, you can draw down and shoot
    a few more but no one cares so im done

  • avconsumer2

    Posted 2 days ago & the link is still no good.

  • snmp

    3. You can upgrade a Mosin in a way that makes it better ; That’s not myth you could upgrade Mosin Nagant Like finish DRM Rifle “7.62 Tkiv 85” or the Czech VZ54 ….

  • dave

    Number 3 shows the writers lack of knowledge, add a straight jacket to a mosin and it will increase accuracy, some people know nothing of firearms or profess to know it all, i do neither. all i do know is all my weapons that have straight jackets are much more accurate. i had a PSL with straight jacket, it was absolutely astonishing how well it worked. #2 is one of the first things any competent shooter will learn, if you haven’t learned shoot a 9mm HK USP, then turn around and shoot a CZ-75. #5 find funny, LMS Defense did a whole bunch of testing on this subject they showed that a 55 grain 223 hollow point would penetrate FAR fewer walls then a 357 mag HP, or shotgun slug.

  • Rusty Shackford

    This site should attempt to debunk these myths, either using proper citations or your own physical tests. The article you sent a link to “sucked”