Handguns Suck

It’s no secret, handguns are pretty terrible relative to their larger counterparts at pretty much everything. Gun guys know this, but Hollywood and clueless politicians are responsible or perpetuating the myth that they are much more capable than they really are. In this video we explore that topic a bit and try to explain to our less informed viewers why a handgun is always a compromise. Video of doctor’s lecture.

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Transcript …

– [Voiceover] Handguns suck.

Now, hold on, hear me out.

This really isn’t a big secret to gun guys, as they know how much more powerful rifles are, but Hollywood and clueless politicians make handguns out to be mythical death-dealing objects that were imbued with demon tears and created by witchcraft.

They aren’t, handguns are an amalgamation of metal, wood, and polymer that use a chemical reaction that drives small pieces of lead forward.

And they do this rather poorly compared to rifles.

Handguns are a compromise.

They trade accuracy, velocity, effective range, capacity, and energy delivery, for one thing, size.

It simply isn’t convenient or sensible for police officers, certain military positions, or civilians, to carry around a long gun all the time.

Of course there are situations that may call for a rifle or shotgun, and as such, they are issued to certain police officers, but a police officer’s primary function is not to seek and destroy, but to serve and protect.

Carrying a rifle generally requires special training and qualification in the USA.

And in places like Germany, France, or Australia, a police officer will not get to handle a rifle on the job, unless they are a member of a specific police unit, akin to SWAT.

Basically, if the proverbial excrement slams into the axiomatic oscillator, then the rifles come out.

Same way for the military in World War Two.

Officers were often issued with 1911’s or Colt 1903 pistols.

And in World War One, commissioned troops in the British military generally had a 455 caliber revolver, and their French counterparts relied on Labelle wheel guns.

Historically soldiers, the men doing the engaging, had long guns, because they are better suited for warfare.

Of course, there are exceptions to this, such as horse-mounted cavalry.

But generally speaking, the rifle has been king.

Well, actually artillery has been king, but that’s another video.

As a civilian in my state, I have the option to carry around a long gun if I want to, as does every other law-abiding citizen, but I’ve never actually seen anybody do this, that wasn’t making a political statement.

Presumably because of how big a pain in the ass it would be, to do this, and the lack of necessity.

After all you’re exponentially more likely to die in a car accident, than by a gunman.

But few people drive around with a Hans device-equipped helmet, with five point harness, or have any high-performance driving classes under their belt.

People hedge their bets based on the situations they are most likely to encounter.

Most people, and professionals, carry a handgun because they’re small, portable, and light.

That’s pretty much it.

A man wiser than I once said, the only purpose of the pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle that you should not have laid down.

And that’s more of a jab at the ineffectiveness of a handgun in a combat scenario than anything else.

But let’s put it in perspective.

Grandpa’s semi-auto 308 hunting rifle fires an 11 gram projectile at 820 meters per second.

That results in about 3600 joules.

The average nine millimeter handgun fires an eight gram projectile at 350 meters per second.

This give us, 500 joules.

That means mathematically, Grandpa’s 308 is seven times more powerful than your run of the mill military handgun.

In a 2012 lecture that you can watch on Youtube, that I will link to, a Doctor Andreas Grabinsky out of Seattle talks about gunshot wounds.

He works with the surgeons and trauma teams in the operating room.

And he provided some information based on his experiences.

Some of the more interesting points are, that six out of seven people survive being shot with a handgun.

They simply have low penetration, and the most likely cause of death, is due to bleeding out.

If the victim can get to the ER, it’s very likely they will survive.

The doctor also notes that many statistics regarding firearm deaths are skewed by suicides being included.

Also, he says that if a person gets shot with a rifle, there isn’t much they can do, and notes the huge difference between the severity of a rifle wound, and a handgun wound.

Perhaps the most interesting thing said in the presentation, as that the doctor notes the resistance of human skin to handgun bullets.

He says that our skin is equal to four inches of muscle tissue when it comes to stopping most handgun projectiles.

Because of this, many handgun bullets stop at the muscle.

And there’s often no exit wound.

Rifles on the other hand, are rifles.

So, handguns are a huge compromise.

We trade a tremendous amount of effectiveness for portability, and often concealability.

But in most situations your average person will face, the presence of a handgun will deter the bad guy.

Now there are people who can do some absolutely amazing things with handguns.

Just look at high-level competition shooters, and see what they can do in capable hands.

But there is a reason that if somebody is going into combat to seek and destroy an enemy, they take a rifle.

While said man may have a handgun in tow, for them it’s a backup in case their primary goes down.

Anyway, I want the takeaway of this video to be about the inefficiency of handguns as a weapon.

It really bothers me when Hollywood, the media, or clueless politicians make handguns out to be the devil’s paintbrush, capable of blasting someone through a brick wall.

They aren’t.

They are generally defensive firearms, designed for protection for situations where a long gun, isn’t a viable option.

Thank you very much for watching.



Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Octotron

    My Sig Sauer Legion P229 does not suck. 🙂

    • Dickie

      it does if it isnt chambered for .357Sig. Lol

      • Joseph Goins

        I like my hearing, thank you.

        • Could you speak up?

          • Mark

            I THINK HE SAID HE GOT AN EAR RING.

        • Anonymoose

          Doubletap makes a 180gr subsonic .357 SIG load, and Barsto and EFK make 1/2-28 threaded barrels for .357SIGs.

          • Joseph Goins

            I’m not into suppressors. I would love one, but I have too many questions before I buy one.

          • iksnilol

            Questions such as?

            Legality? It’s a bit of a hassle but nothing that is too problematic (if you live in the US). In Norway it is a free for all in regards to suppressors.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        Not a 40 fan but I love the 357sig!

  • Andrew Miller

    I wait for the .45 ACP Kool Aid drinkers to commence their “well, yeah, but” in 3, 2…

    • The Raven Returns

      How about 10mm?

      • David Kronenfeld

        Or the 7.5FK BRNO.

        • Major Tom

          .50 AE or go home!

          • The Raven Returns

            I’ve dropped a 185lbs tusker, at 70 yards, with my Big Rock…I have more than a few .45’s but if I’m headed out on the back 40, I strap a 10mm to my leg.

    • Porty1119

      .45ACP sucks less compared to other common autoloader calibers, but still sucks when compared to a shotgun or intermediate-on-up rifle cartridge.

      • Anon

        No, it doesn’t “suck less”, period, get over it.

        • iksnilol

          Well, it is pretty low pressure so you can get decent effect out of it with black powder and whatnot.

          Personally, I’d like a revolver in 50 GI. Even lower pressure.

    • DrewN

      .44 Special is my fav.

  • dshield55

    I’ve never heard of a Marine or other retelling a story along the lines of “hey guys, we’re gonna go clear that house, so put down your rifles and pull out your handguns because they’re better in houses.”

    And yet conventional wisdom among a lot of people is that handguns are somehow more effective for home defense.

    • Joseph Goins

      If you want a rifle for building clearing (what Marines do), you definition of home defense is flawed. You should only seek to protect your family, not clear the damn thing. That is why you call the police and let them take care of it.

      Handguns have their place in home defense. Rifles have their place. Everything makes you compromise.

      • iksnilol

        Not Obrez though, Obrez is only a compromise if a chance of failure is desirable.

        • Joseph Goins

          We get it: you like Obrez. Who cares? Quit posting about it.

          • iksnilol

            You sound like a man without an Obrez. A fate worse than death, fret not comrade, just get a hacksaw and your life will improve. That’s an Obrez guarantee.

          • Anonymoose

            I got obrez’d as a baby. I hear that Catholics and Eurasians usually don’t, and that’s kinda nasty.

          • Swarf

            With a hacksaw?!

          • Giolli Joker

            Nope, it isn’t.
            As long as you live where there’s enough water and soap.

          • Paul J

            That’s a hard life without a butt.

      • Dracon1201

        Not at all true. If your definition of point defense is a handgun, you’re doing it wrong.

        • Joseph Goins

          Go back and critically read what I wrote. I never said a handgun was good, and I never said a rifle was bad. In fact, I said Everything makes you compromise. I said wanting a rifle to better help you clear your house is wrong as it is not really a valid home defense concept (from a legal standpoint).

          • Anonymoose

            It is if you’ve got castle doctrine, but unless you’re tooled up with level 4 full-body armor and NVGs it’s strategically safer to shelter in place with your HD weapon(s), and the body armor, NV, and salt waffle might hurt you in court if Tyrone’s momma tries to press charges after he dindunuffin.

          • Joseph Goins

            I’m not a fan of castle doctrine. I would much prefer having no-duty-to-retreat laws. Too often, people shoot and kill individuals when their own lives are not on the line simply because it was justifiable. My response to that is this:
            youtu . be/Ly_gZWmRDvE?t=54s

          • Major Tom

            Castle doctrines and Stand Your Ground laws are often worded similarly if they are not the same law. In Colorado, both exist in one form or another in the Make My Day law. Under Colorado law, you are NEVER under obligation or duty to retreat and may defend yourself and/or others when threatened by those who would do you and/or other harm. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, on a sidewalk on a public street, at a place of business or even on government property like a courthouse or school.

            The only place that doesn’t count is inside a prison cell. (That clarification went into effect today.)

          • DrewN

            So, no self defense in a prison cell then? That pretty muck sucks because I’d be hard pressed to think of a place you would need it more.

          • Major Tom

            I think they made the clarification because prisoners kept picking fights and stabbing each other too much in their cells and tried to pass it off as self-defense. Especially against guards.

          • Joseph Goins

            They are vastly different.

          • Major Tom

            Not really. As mentioned the Colorado Make My Day law is both a Stand Your Ground statute and Castle Doctrine. We’re not the only state with laws like that.

          • Anonymoose

            Love me some Mass. <3

          • Swarf

            Salt waffle?

          • Bob

            Assault weapon. Semi auto rifle what can shoot from detachable mags, usually equipped with extremely dangerous features such as bayonet lugs, adjustible stocks, heat shields, shoulder things that go up, muzzle brakes, lights, lasers, and amour piercing heat seeking rounds that go through buildings, to name a few. Also referred to as “high powered rifles” and weapons of war”.

          • Swarf

            Ha ha ha! Got it, thanks.

          • KestrelBike

            My problem with the “hunker down and call the po-po” thought-process is if you hear something in the night, you’re not automatically going to barricade yourself and call the cops, right?

            I mean, if you hear your window break and your door get kicked off its hinges, then sure, you KNOW something bad is happening and it might be best to take a defensive position. Otherwise, you hear a strange noise, and you either:
            A) investigate it (with weapon?)
            B) hunker down and wait for further developments (so you’re either waiting for whoever’s in your house to get the upper hand or make off with your TV, or you’re just staying awake all night after the cat knocked over a box of cereal) or
            C) you hunker down and call the cops on your cat who knocked over a box of cereal.

      • Anonymoose

        Instead of clearing your house, train your shotguns/rifles/pistols on the bedroom door/top of the stairs, and have your wife or kids call 911.

        • Joseph Goins

          Ding ding ding! We have a winner! Its about protecting people, not objects.

          • Anon

            And it’s always a better idea to ambush people if at all possible, as the element of surprise is vastly underrated (Do not pump a shotgun to scare them off, you’re not supposed to give them any warning if you have any choice in the matter).

            Also, SBRs are stupid if you’re not clearing rooms, as they sacrifice power and are earsplittingly loud; once again, I reiterate that you will be fine with an AR-15 that has a 20 inch barrel in the situation where you’re waiting for them to come to you.

          • Major Tom

            “Do not pump a shotgun to scare them off, you’re not supposed to give them any warning if you have any choice in the matter”

            Under some jurisdictions, no warning invalidates the self-defense clause and is thus grounds for murder.

          • Anon

            Hence the part that said “if you have any choice in the matter”.

          • Major Tom

            It’s always better to be safe. The sound of a shotgun racking is an unmistakable noise and all too often it scares folks and critters off from sticking around to find out if it’s live. Additionally, it gives you more legal protections and less suspicion.

          • Anonymoose

            Get a SOCOM 16, then. An Garand-type action sounds much more authoritative than an 870 or AK.

          • Anonymoose

            Get a SOCOM 16, then. A Garand-type action sounds much more authoritative than an 870 or AK.

          • Evan

            But that .308 round is less than ideal when you’re worried about overpenetration

          • Anonymoose

            That’s what PDX1 and Safety Slugs are for.

          • Anon

            “It’s always better to be safe.”

            Yeah, but my point is that maybe it’s not such a good idea to give a person who’s possibly armed and ready to kill you advanced warning of any kind, as they might not be deterred by that, and you’ve just given away your location and lost the element of surprise by doing that.

            Also, as for “additional legal protections” and “less suspicion”, that can be solved by simply shutting up and not incriminating yourself.

          • Major Tom

            Not always possible. Sometimes the cops and DA’s are absolute dingbat idiots are automatically assume you’re the perp when you shut up. It’s improper legal procedure sure and it gives you loads of civil charges you can levy against them in court when you’re proven right but right then and there it’s not always beneficial.

          • Joseph Goins

            In America, that is why you remain silent.

          • claymore

            Name the jurisdictions where one must give warning.

          • LG

            I do not agree. My suppressed 458 SOCOM SBR is neither inadequate in power nor deafening in roar. Fire superiority is maintained with situational awareness.

          • Anon

            I was referring to unsuppressed 5.56 rifles and things like that, but I suppose that works too, even if I’d never use that, because I’m sure that .458 SOCOM can overpenetrate compared to the 5.56, oh, and followup shots

          • iksnilol

            That ambush works best is something I’ve learned from playing games such as STALKER and ARMA.

            Getting into a head-on gunfight is in the top 5 of bad ideas in real life.

      • Major Tom

        “That is why you call the police and let them take care of it.”

        U wot m8?

        • Joseph Goins

          I’ll reply when you use proper language skills.

          • Major Tom

            Ok then I’ll translate from Aussie. You what mate?

        • Anonymoose

          Call the police while you dig a foxhole in your bedroom and fortify your position with a 240 or 249.

          • Major Tom

            I’d rather just take a 249 in paratrooper configuration and storm the place loaded with a belt of JHP’s. According to fanboys, overpenetration what’s that?

            That way if I do find something I can fire 100-200 rounds full auto and never need worry about hitting the neighbors.

            (Yes I know better than that.)

    • Dickie

      The tunnel rats did it

      • iksnilol

        Tunnels and houses are a bit different though.

    • John Yossarian

      When in the military, if the enemy grabs your muzzle while rounding the corner, you have someone else to shoot them. Not so when it’s just one person clearing the house during a suspected home invasion.

      • Joseph Goins

        Knife works well.

        • Anonymoose

          *bayonet

          • Joseph Goins

            Knife (or non-attached bayonet). You can’t stab with one attached to the rifle if they control the muzzle.

          • Anonymoose

            They won’t be as willing to grab the muzzle if there is a bayonet on it.

          • Joseph Goins

            This is true. Or it would make them hold on for dear life.

        • Major Tom

          Naked Snake’s CQC technique. Handgun in one hand, knife in the other used as a brace and quick stab.

          • Joseph Goins

            What is a Naked Snake?

      • dshield55

        You can grab a muzzle of a handgun sticking through the door way, it’s been demonstrated quite well. It’s quite the red herring though because you’re suggesting using the weapon thats less effective and harder and slower to aim is superior to a rifle in the off chance that the muzzle is grabbed.

        • Major Tom

          That’s the moment you squeeze the trigger. Whether they recoil in pain from being hit, recoil from being burned, recoil knocks the gun out of their hands, or all three all at once one way or another it will be free of their grip.

          Cuz if you don’t, that gun is then going to be used against you.

          • A handgun being grabbed especially a semi auto tends to render it non functional due to the slide being pushed back. Revolvers if the cylinder is gripped tight enough will malfunction. A rifle or a shotgun doesn’t tend to have those issues when someone grabs the barrel.

      • iksnilol

        + you can also just fire off a round of somebody grabs the muzzle, I presume most people will let go then.

        • John Yossarian

          Most would let go, but those who understand combative concepts would pull on the long-arm to shorten the distance between you and them. When inside the distance between the shooter’s body and the muzzle, one cannot be hit by the bullets.

          So with a handgun, you have 1. Less chance of being disarmed via the long barrel, and 2. Less distance between the muzzle and your body for the attacker to enter.

          I agree the long-arm is better for those who plan to wait in ambush and leave the house-clearing to the police. But if you are the one clearing the house, choose the handgun every time.

    • Don Ward

      Because clearing an apartment complex in Fallujah == waking up in your mobile home to your wife saying “Honey, what’s that noise”.

      This should be OBVIOUS but this is the Internet.

      • dshield55

        If you have to use violence to protect your home, there is no difference. In fact, if police are called to your home knowing they’re going to face a confrontation, they’re coming in with rifles too.

        • Joseph Goins

          No, they don’t.

          • crackedlenses

            They might. At least, the option was available in the police training I watched.

    • AK

      In a hypothetical situation, I would choose a handgun over a rifle in two hd scenarios: 1. I don’t want to provocate/give away that I am armed, 2. Lack of hearing protection for myself or immediate family member.
      Make sure to hang earpro near your hd long gun.

      • Evan

        In a life and death situation, worrying about the noise of a rifle going off inside is a horrible mix up of priorities. “Time out, mister rapist, my wife and I need to put our earplugs in before I blast you with a rifle, so kindly untie her real quick, and then we’ll all get right back into it”. Yeah, when I go to the range, I always use ear pro. But in a home defense situation? No way I’d bother. You won’t go completely deaf from one or two indoor gunshots.

  • Joseph Goins

    And .223REM sucks compared to .308WIN which sucks compared to .300WINMAG .338LAPUA which sucks compared to .50BMG which sucks compared to air-to-surface missiles which suck compared to nuclear missiles. Everything mission has a specific requirement that precludes certain weapons.

    (Granted: the purpose of the video was to tell non-gun people that handguns aren’t mythical weapons that have Hollywood style effects attached to them.)

    • Jon

      To continue the sucking chain you should say “.50BMG sucks comoared to 14.5x114mm”

      • Joseph Goins

        This here is America. We don’t shoot no Soviet ammo here. We shoot 20×102MM.

        (Point made though.)

        • Jon

          Soviet ammo, 14.5x114mm included, is shoot in America.

  • iksnilol

    Well, yeah, but I have an Obrez.

    I have hte accuracy, range and stopping power of a rifle with the added bonus of a flashbang.

    • PK

      Me, too! Who doesn’t love crazy things like that?

      • iksnilol

        I am honestly thinking an Obrez isn’t that bad of an idea if you were to make a cartridge suited for it. I am thinking just take your rifle, blow out the neck and stick a big lead boolit in there. Then put in a new barrel of appropriate bore diameter.

        • PK

          For self defense, a manual action isn’t the best idea. For concealment, that sort of layout isn’t ideal, and as you point out the cartridge is hardly suitable for the barrel length. Interestingly, slowing the projectile down and making it heavier would produce even worse terminal effect. Faster is better, all things considered, which is a big part of why rifles are substantially more deadly than handguns.

          Sure is fun, though! These days that particular 91/30 has proper sights and a full stock.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8d85a20fcbedda750bfeac6ea54eaa261fb252381399dc95da5b62451391c29b.jpg

          • iksnilol

            But mah stopping power?

          • PK

            Trust me, 7.62x54R out of a barrel that short isn’t too impressive. It sure is fun to shoot, though! Ballistics are what you expect from a short 7.62x39mm, sadly.

            The good news is even a miss will probably kill, just from the muzzle blast. The bad news is doubling up on earpro is mandatory. Also, I suggest welding gloves and sunglasses.

          • iksnilol

            No, I was thinking of a .44 supermag equivalent. blow out the neck of 7.62×54, seat the biggest lead bullet you can fit as far out as the mag will allow. Load with the fastest pistol powder.

            Would probably be a significantly smaller fireball.

          • PK

            Oh, I see. Yes, the action is more than strong enough, as well. For what it’s worth, minimal modification is needed to the magazine to hold and feed .45-70. .45-70, given a strong enough action as the 91/30 is, can be loaded HOT.

            Still, I like it as it is. A cheap, fun noisemaker. I’m still shooting through ammunition I bought years and years ago!

          • ostiariusalpha

            “slowing the projectile down and making it heavier would produce even worse terminal effect”

            Hmm, someone should tell that to shotgun slugs, they keep being more lethal than rifle rounds in defiance of all logic and good manners.

          • PK

            “Faster is better, all things considered”

            Conditional, not absolute. Don’t be disingenuous. A fair comparison to shotguns in terms of centerfire rifles would be… oh, a slightly slower and lighter .50BMG or something along those lines, perhaps a .338 Lapua. Even a .45-70 is more fair a comparison.

            Shotguns are fantastic, for what they are. In the same vein, large bore rifles are far superior in reach, terminal ballistics, and overall ability. The tradeoff is cost, expense, and price. Also, large bore rifles tend to be spendier than shotguns.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Handguns suck at what?
    People generally stop living when you shoot them with one.

    • Joseph Goins

      Did you not watch the video?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        No im at work.

        • Joseph Goins

          I could tell. The video said that handguns suck compared to rifles in terms of their effectiveness. It also chastised politicians and movie makers for perpetuating a myth that handgun wounds are insta-kills that will send victims flying backward in the air when they get hit.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Your chances of surviving pistol bullet wounds (even from HPs) are actually pretty good if you get immediate medical attention. Pistols do suck compared to rifles and especially shotguns, and most shooters aren’t exactly Annie Oakley, so devastating CNS wounds are not the norm.

      • As long as your heart is beating when you get to the ER you gotta good chance of surviving a gun shot like 95% but that does drop a few percentage points each gun shot.. A 12 gauge shotgun slug on the other hand that can remove a limb while a handgun bullet tends to not do that.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Fair enough but I prefer my Glock .45.
        It stays on the window frame above my head where I sleep.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        I think it depends on your motivation. I’ve been shot at (but not shot ) and I’ve shot a man and that was with a .22 chipmunk bolt action. He did live but he lost all of his front teeth.
        I don’t think it’s wise to use a hunting rifle for home defense when most people share walls though.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Most ball rounds (and more than a few HPs as well) will penetrate drywall with plenty enough energy to be lethal even from a pistol, proper bullet construction makes the most difference there. I take your point though, I don’t grab my .30-06 for bumps in the night, my VP9 does the job to my satisfaction.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            My concern is safety. Period.
            Know where that round is going.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            I don’t care if you’re scared or this is something new, that rifle round is going somewhere.
            Think about it.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    That’s why I’ve started training for first shot head shots within 5 yards. Only why to come close to guaranteeing incapacitation.

    • gunsandrockets

      Head Shots. Best ever use for .38 Duplex loads.

      • Harry’s Holsters

        I’ll stick to 147gr 9mm haha

    • Bob

      Good luck with that in a real life situation. Head shots aren’t so easy if they’re moving, especially given that you aren’t going to reliably penetrating the skull unless you hit the so called triangle or are packing something more impressive than 9mm….

      • Harry’s Holsters

        There are a lot of problem with shooting anything on the move. It’s a goal I strive for and will hopefully never have to really use. I’m not really looking for killing them. I’ve heard that statistically head shots aren’t as deadly but do do a good job of stopping the fight.

  • Cal.Bar

    Come on Alex! Politicians actually don’t demonize pistols nearly as much as they do rifles (when’s the last time you heard of a complete pistol ban at a State or Federal level) And also to be fair, while pistols certainly are not as powerful as rifles (although they can be found in most of the rifle calibers)…. pistols account for the vast majority of firearms deaths (both suicide and homicide) in the US. I know the line was a lead in line, but we demand intellectual honesty from the other side, we should lead by example.

    • dshield55

      Prior to Heller/McDonald, there were large pushes to ban handguns precisely because they’re the most commonly used crime guns. Brady Campaign was Handgun Control Inc when it first started. Prior to the 1934 National Firearms Act, early generation gun grabbers were trying to push handgun bans and the rationale was something along the lines of “people have sawed off shotguns, they don’t need handguns.”

      • Banning handguns is at least a more mathematically logical argument then banning scary assault rifles (handguns were responsible for 5,562 homicides in 2014 vs 248 rilfe homicides according to the FBI.)

        660 people were punched/kicked to death that same year, to give a sense of how rare rifle crime is.

      • iksnilol

        I think the rationale was something like “people can hide pistols but not shotguns and rifles”.

        I don’t think they considered that if somebody wanted to shoot something up or somesuch that they’d *break* the law by cutting down their shotgun or rifle instead of getting an illegal pistol.

      • Vizzini

        This precisely. They’re just, um, picking their targets. If they’re not coming after “your” firearem today, just wait, it will happen tomorrow. Reference the UK and Australia.

    • FarmerB

      Yet. After assault rifles are “fixed” you can bet that handguns are next. I also remember previous times where handguns were the focus of US activists. And there are countries where handguns are totally banned, and others where it’s not far off.

  • Don Ward

    Oh sure. And that’s why I’ve watched a British dude in a tuxedo drop machine gun wielding henchmen with a single shot from a 32 ACP.

    • Badwolf

      British dude can bring down a helicopter.

    • Andrew Miller

      Oh, on the James Bond documentaries, well, that’s different.
      He has “shot placement” on his side.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Seriously, 007 has his Aimbot cheat fully activated.

    • Sermon 7.62

      A Russian dude with GSh-18 can drop a truck’s engine and bulletproof doors.

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      Isn’t Bond’s Walther PPK chambered in .380? No that it makes that much difference…

      • Don Ward

        Both. Earlier bond movies it is a .32. Later it was .380.

  • TVOrZ6dw

    Just look at the stats for Chicago- on any given weekend there are 25 to 45 people shot, with 3 to 7 deaths…
    I would like to know what the real numbers are when suicides are taken out of the equation.

    • Chicago has some damn good trauma wards if you can get to them in time. one cause of an uptick in deaths is when they shut down the gun shot trauma ward in one area.

  • Disarmed in CA

    Disappointed to find that something “sucks” and doesn’t indicate a funny Yeager rant

    • Joseph Goins

      Or that he was doing the sucking…

      I mean he sucked it up at Gunsite recently and didn’t get what they were teaching him. That is sucking.

  • UCSPanther

    In my personal experience, handguns require more skill to shoot accurately than rifles, since they are not as stable a firing platform.

    They are essentially the daggers of the firearms world, being more agile at shorter ranges than a full-size rifle or shotgun.

  • Bill

    “…but a police officer’s primary function is not to seek and destroy, but to serve and protect.”

    Well, sort of, but sort of not. Post-Columbine, we serve and protect, by finding, fixing and finishing active threats of death or serious physical harm to others, hence the normalizing of patrol rifles,

    • Kivaari

      Before that it was shotguns. Actually cops have been packing rifles for well over a century. It just ook the North Hollywood shootout to demonstrate that big city police policy was defective. LAPD brass was afraid of rifles and even shotguns with slugs. I was packing rifles over 45 years ago. It was common to see Winchester M94 .30-30s in sheriff’s patrol cars well before my time.

      • The_Champ

        Heck, in the 1920s Law Enforcement was carrying semi auto model 8’s, Tommy guns, and BARs.

      • Bill

        I was referring more to the doctrinal shift in active killer response. IMHO, there is still plenty of roles the LE shotgun can perform, and when I become Imperial Chief of All Known and Unknown Worlds cruiser will have, and cops will qualify, with both.

        I’ve seen photos of .351 Winchester semi-autos, Garands, BARs and M1 Carbines in various police rides down thru the mists of time.

  • TDog

    Handguns only suck when they are used for a situation where there are vastly superior alternatives.

    Changing the channel? Yeah, handguns suck at that.

    Walking the dog? Yeah, they kind of suck at that.

    But people say the word “compromise” as if it were radioactive and contagious. A compromise is the best solution to a complex issue or convergence of issues. Will it do the job the best all the time?

    No. But then again, no gun will.

    • Joseph Goins

      HEY HEY!!! Glock can do anything all the time.

      • TDog

        Except look pretty! 😉 😀

        • Joseph Goins

          ^win

        • Mikial

          Pretty is overrated when it comes to life and death.

          • John

            Beauty is only skin deep…9mm goes to the bone!

  • John Flynn

    One thing handguns are surprising useful for, it seems, is urban SHTF. I read an article by a guy who survived a year of SHTF in Bosnia. He said long guns were not as useful as you might think. Ambushes were common, even at his house, and if the rifle were more than an arm’s length away, it was useless. Also carrying a long gun outside made you a target. He said everyone wore a handgun around the house, all the time, and they concealed them outdoors. He said gun fights in his situation were always at close range.

    • in battle rifles tend to be king. the gun fights you are talking about are close in ambushes.

    • iksnilol

      I think I know that guy. He was a nurse, right?

      Yeah, balance is always though. You have to look though/geared up enough for people to not mess with you whilst at the same time not looking geared up/though enough to warrant bothering. Best bet is to just hide weapons and equipment. And in regards to rifles, camoflauge them so as to not make them attractive (color splotches of brown to look like rust and whatnot) and cover up the scope.

  • Siggy Stardust

    Good points. I love handguns nonetheless. Could you list all the handguns that were shown in the video as I did not recognize all of them and some looked very interesting! Thanks.

  • retfed

    I think I see the problem. I kinda skipped through the video, but I never saw anyone shooting the super-awesome 1911. The closest anyone came was the guy shooting what appeared to be a Smith 1917 (and what’s with twisting it to the side after every shot?). Everyone knows if you shoot someone with the effeminate Parabellum Europellet he’ll shake it off like a dog walking out of the rain onto your carpet; that’s why a real man only uses bullets that start with a 4 (and end with a 5).
    Problem solved.

  • gunsandrockets

    I prefer youtube links where you don’t have to sign in to watch.

    • Mikial

      I didn’t have to sign in to watch.

      • gunsandrockets

        I see a “content warning” page that requires you to sign in for age verification.

        • Tim

          Ask yer wife

  • Mikial

    Nice discussion. And true, but in modern society, I choose not to carry my M4 around all say, even though I legally could.

  • gunsandrockets

    A good reminder, Alex. Thanks.

    Anyone who hasn’t watched that Doctor’s video really should. Aside from the larger point about how much less severe handgun wounds are compared to rifle and shotgun wounds, it can also make you rethink your ideas about the best choices among handguns too. I know I did.

  • John

    I have been told by the secret Internet gun gurus that the Glock 19 is more accurate than a Rem 700, more powerful than a .50 BMG and holds more ammo than the trunk of a 1973 Buick.

    P.S. you can use the powder residue off a Glock 17 as an aphrodisiac!

    • Tassiebush

      Just mention of it gives one a stiffy!

      • Klaus Von Schmitto

        Yea but does it have real knockdown power?

        • Tassiebush

          Well no it doesn’t according to most evidence. Gee I hope I didn’t just waste a good double entendre opportunity.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Are we just talking about your personal experience here?

            *double entendre train back on the tracks*

          • Tassiebush

            Well done! Speaking of trains I should have just stuck in there but I thank you for continuing the ride for me…

          • ostiariusalpha

            Hahaha! Well, your the one that’s been pulling this train since the start.

          • Tassiebush

            Haha well that’s kept me laughing for a while both at appropriate and inappropriate moments. I’ll have to check Amazon for that title later! It’d be an awesome one to leave out for visitors to see!

          • Tassiebush
        • John

          No…it has “stay up” power. SCHWING!

  • Oldtrader3

    I have several handguns in .357, .44 Mag and .45 Colt (SAA’s) which can easily kill a milk jug at 100 yards, shot after shot. I used to, before old age set in, shoot in the low 290’s with big bore and .22 handguns. These handguns are only as limited as the person wielding them?

    • Joseph Goins

      Did you watch the video before commenting?

  • Coltman15

    Just put the shoulder thing that goes up on a handgun and it becomes an unstoppable force of libtardism.

  • Badwolf

    My 45 is capable of blasting your soul.

    • Don Ward

      Well sure. You can shoot yourself in the sole with a 1911 if you don’t have a proper holster or you don’t use proper trigger control when you draw it while disengaging the safety…

  • Joe

    Handguns beat rifles if you use right ammo. I read on the Internets of a rainbow farting unicorn round called the black talon. Apparently it’s so deadly that you have to wear a blindfold when loading it. This is why you see all those H&K magazines with bullets loaded backwards.

  • Bub

    Alex, spot on with this video. I have watched the doctor’s video in the past. It’s a lengthy video, but well worth your time IMO. As bad as I hate to admit it pistol caliber carbines and sub guns fall into this category as well. Even the beloved MP5.

  • DannyBoyJr

    I agree that handguns are underpowered compared to long guns. But they don’t suck. I can understand if an operator says that handguns “suck”, but if you’re a civilian whose primary weapon is a handgun, then you’re just trolling.

  • derpmaster

    The art of trolling is not arguing with others, but making others argue amongst themselves.

    I like this blog but this sort of content is nothing more than trollbait. Rifles are obviously more effective weapons in most cases but handgun vs rifle is apples vs oranges. The title “Handguns Suck” is Buzzfeed tier clickbait crap.

    Alex, you are better than this.

  • Bob

    Pistols for home defense do make sense in some ways. Easier to dial 911, open/close doors, flip light switches, round up the youngsters, etc, with a pistol than a shotgun or rifle. Also have some place for investigating strangers at your door. Kind of rude to wave around a shotgun when you open it, and might give any police present the wrong impression. A handgun holstered and not seen is much better.

    That said, this is making me think a little more about home defense and my present pistol oriented theme. Maybe a used Remington 870 might not be a bad idea to have around. (Yeah, yeah, you can get frangible rounds for rifles that are safe to use in town, but I don’t see any reason to mess around with that when a shotgun can do it right out of the box and arguably is more impressive.)

    • CommonSense23

      A shotgun has far more issues than a 5.56 rifle in terms of over penetration.

      • Bob

        I don’t have anything in 5.56, so in my case that is not relevant. Besides buck shot is lots of fun.

  • Connor

    what is the pistol that you drop the magazine in from the top around the 3:57 mark? I want one.

  • Tassiebush

    I’m trying to remember where I saw it but I think that method used by Clint Eastwood may have actually been taught at one point. Not necessarily a good way to do it though.

    • iksnilol

      Better than letting the other arm dangle though.

      • Tassiebush

        Yes agreed. I think I’ve remembered the picture. It was an illustration in shooting to live.

  • MPWS

    Well done Alex. Btw, I like that Steyr in first take; looks better in hand.

  • John john

    Is it handguns that suck, or is it just Alex C.?

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Thats probably because people in Chicago generally suck at shooting.
    “Gangsters” there started shooting each other in the a-s to get out of attempted murder beefs.

  • Evan

    All OTHER handguns may suck, but the particular model and caliber of handgun that I own is the perfect firearm for every situation, is mechanically incapable of malfunctions, is literally impossible to miss with, and has the stopping power required to drop a charging rhino dead in its tracks.

  • “Tom Selleck shots a bucket 800 yards distant with iron sights. ”

    Ever hear of Billy Dixon? He used a sharps rifle to hit and kill an Indian Chief 1,538-yards away. Didn’t have scopes back then on those sharps and they were black powder

    • ostiariusalpha

      Dixon himself admitted that it was a lucky shot at that range. Still, it took real skill to place the shot in correct area for that luck to happen, so I would have bought the humble sonuvab*tch a drink if I’d been alive back then to meet him.

      • point I was trying to make is people can make those shots with iron sights. they have shooting competitions were people do that with black powder guns. I think too many shooters these days are spoiled by scopes and other aiming helps to the point where they basically let the device do the aiming rather then the shooter.

  • Tassiebush

    Long arms are very familiar to me. Handguns are something I have far less experience with. When I have used them i have found them to be diabolical in comparison to long arms. They clearly require a lot more practice and instruction to become proficient with. If it was possible to design a rifle that was able to be carried out of the way like a handgun and could be quickly deployed like a handgun that cost a similar amount and didn’t fall foul of laws then I doubt handguns would have a niche. Of course good luck to anyone hoping to design that unicorn.

  • adverse4

    If my pistol stays up for more than four hours, I’m taking it to a gunsmith.

  • Kafir1911

    When I read the blurb, Handguns Suck, my first thought was ‘some millennial basement living nerd wrote that’. Or one without much real world experience. I may be wrong. The writer may be the spiritual descendant of Alvin York and Audie Murphy. He writes though as if he is the off spring of Tiny Tim.

  • John Wisch

    Ok, well try sitting in your car with a M1A, FAL, G3, or AR10 Jammed down your pants strongside, or appendix.
    Ok I am being overly critical. Try it with a M4, or AK, hell to make it sporting use an Under Folder AK. Still not working hugh?

    Well then Try a Glock, SIG, FNH, H&K, Beretta, Ruger. Oh that works on a daily basis for every where you go in public as opposed to a war zone. I guess it wasn’t that big of a compromise after all.

    Which one could you employ more easily in a carjacking from inside the car with out getting shot from the jacker outside the car? Oh yeah a Pistol. You can employ is with greater stealth with out tipping off the criminal to the fact that he was going to get shot.

    Dude, Guns are tools for the tool box. You don’t use a 5lb sledge to turn a nut, you use a wrench. You choose the right weapon for the mission. If your mission is a PERSONAL DEFENSE in a suburban American City with a some what high crime rate then a good quality double stack pistol is the order of the day with a blade or two and a spare mag.
    If your a Boy Scout then a back up pistol as well.

    I guess Handguns don’t SUCK AS BAD AS YOU SAY THEY DO.

    If you are a law breaker and your providing security or over watch for a criminal transaction, ok then log arms it is, if I am at home, I fight my way with a pistol to my long gun after I secure my family first.

  • Cory C

    So, in a time when the general public has gotten over pistols and is instead focusing on rifles as over-powerful killing machines, you thought it would be a good idea to explain how much better rifles are at killing stuff? Got it. Thanks.

  • True. I love handguns. I’m a 1911 afficionado.

    But the simple fact is, they are backup weapons. If one knows one is going to be involved in a firefight, one simply does not go in the fight armed primarily with a handgun. One straps a handgun onto one’s belt, just in case, then slings a long gun over one’s shoulder. A rifle, a carbine, a submachine gun, a shotgun, or a PDW.

    It’s a matter of geometry. A long gun is indexed between the buttplate of the stock and the forearm. A handgun by contrast, is held in the hand, and subject to movement in the wrist, the elbow, and shoulder. The instability is far greater, and the potential for inaccuracy is far greater.. One simply does not make a handgun one’s first choice.

    The only reason for carrying a handgun is convenience. EDC, so that one will have it when one needs it. A handgun is a case of something being better than nothing.

    • A hand gun is used to fight your way back to where you left your long gun.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Try storing a rifle in your glovebox, wearing one on your ankle or IWB . . . won’t be very comfortable . . . unless you’re about 9 feet tall ; )

  • Hugo Stiglitz

    Good information but the title of the article is kinda stupid. Rifles suck if you are trying to carry them around concealed.

  • Mac

    As a portable,short range,defensive weapon, the handgun is quite effective at what it was designed to do. Comparing a 9mm to a 7.62 Nato round is pointless as both rounds are extremely successful at what they were designed to be used for.
    As far as effectiveness is concerned, the 125 grain hollowpoint from at .357 magnum at a velocity of 1450 fps has an excellent record as a fight stopper.
    So no, handguns do not suck.

  • Jim Drickamer

    Forget the Obrez. How about a nice Mare’s Leg. It did Josh Randall proud.
    But seriously, folks, handguns don’t suck. They are quite good for their designed purpose which is to shoot your way to the rifle you should have had with you from the start. Handguns only get themselves in trouble when shooters try to use them beyond the limitations of their designs.

  • Slobberjaw

    Great video!