Wednesday, March 17, 2010


People everywhere talk about how intimidating the sound of a pump shotgun racking is. Even gun types. And police types. There must be some validity in it. Why, do you think?

Certainly, humans have imaginations. And the sound of a gun's action working is almost universally known thanks to the Talkies at your local Cineplex Odeon. And your TeeVee stories. The imagination can invoke a result that would be worse than reality, thus having a bigger impact than actual action.

It's like a rattlesnake rattle. It warns the bad guy of imminent danger but also hopefully warns off. Fear doing better work than any actual damage might.

But it is useless unless you are prepared to follow up. There are snakes that can simulate the sound of a rattle, but are not venomous themselves. Sometimes this bluff works out. But is it really a good idea to rely on the sound of an unloaded Remington 870 getting pumped scaring off the badguys? Or a loaded 870 that you'd never in a million years drop the hammer on another human? I think our answer in the gun community is 'no.' But I think that's as far as a lot of people have thought the use of a shotgun through, for any dire personal defense situation. If you are one of those short sighted people, don't be. Get past that thought process. Chances are you'll never need to put it in action but don't let it be your handicap in that unlikely event.

But you hear variations of that "racking the slide will scare a bad guy into incontinence" EVERYWHERE! Have you noticed?

At least with zombies, no one things a shotgun racking will intimidate them. Now if I can just convince folks not to go against zombies with a scatter guns if they don't have to...


Jay G said...

See, I've always looked at it that the sound of the shotgun makes when a round is chambered is an added feature. It's not the only feature; it's not even the primary feature.

If the sound of me chambering a round of 00 buckshot into my Mossberg scares off the bad guy, all the better. If not, I've got a round of 00 buckshot at the ready. It's win-win.

What mystifies me, though, is those that steadfastly insist that the sound of a gun being loaded will have no effect on a bad guy. Look, if you've got Ninja Harry with nerves of steel breaking into your house, and he's not dissuaded by the fact that you are armed with a loaded gun? You've got other problems.

The other laughable trope is "I don't want the sound giving away my position." YOU'RE IN YOUR DAMN HOUSE. At best you're talking 2500 square feet, perhaps 8 rooms not counting bathrooms. There's not a lot of tactical positions inside your average foursquare colonial; please stop pretending otherwise.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Good point. The sound, in the dark, is as effective as watching someone draw from the holster in good light.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

And I want a house like Willy Wonka's chocalate factory or Maxwell Smart's apartment... LOTS of weird tactical hiding places...