Games vs. Reality - The Firearms

How many times you have wondered if it is true that switching to a handgun is faster than reloading a rifle or if you can hide behind a table during a gun fight? Today I will review some game myths regarding weapons with an ex-ranger from Polish special forces GROM.

Gordon: I will start with a simple question - shooting two handguns at the same time. More effective than a single gun?

X (I was asked not to reveal his real name): Hahaha! Total bullsh*t. Inaccurate, a simple waste of ammo. You can hurt yourself more than the enemy - recoil will move the guns in every possible direction and at the end one of the guns will hit the other hand, or a misguided shell will burn your arm.

G: Good to know:) I'm most curious about switching the weapons. Is it really faster to switch to a sidearm than to reload your primary weapon?

X: This is a tricky question. In GROM and in most special forces it wouldn't be faster. Cartridge belts are made for fastest accessibility to the clips. However, sometimes switching the 3rd or 4th clip can be more difficult than picking up a hand gun. But the main question is why would you do it? In definition rifles are better than pistols. They mostly are. That's why it is better to reload than switch the weapon.

G: When we are talking about the clips - how much ammo can a typical solider carry? 300, 400 pieces?

X: No, such numbers are out of reach. The standard is 5-6 clips each with 30 bullets, so that gets max 180 bullets.

G: How about collecting clips from killed enemies?

X: If it is exactly the same kind of bullets that could be useful, but you usually don't have time for that. Of course, if you are using a AK-47, you can enter the battlefield with only one clip because full clips are everywere! (laugh) In practice you don't collect guns from battlefield as long you are not securing the area for a longer stay. Or if you are alone surrounded by zombies.

G: What about mufflers? Are they really so effective as we can see in games and movies?

X: They are effective and there is practicaly no sound of the shot. But you have to remember two things - firstly, if you want to make it as silent as possible, you should use subsonic ammunition and secondly you can not forget that even if the sound of the shot will be suppressed, there are still many metal parts of the gun that are moving and are making noise. And of course you can not put a muffer on a shotgun.

G: What about accuracy? Does a silencer affect it?

X: I've never experienced that, but I think it may affect accuracy at a bigger distance. Unfortunately, you would have to ask a sharpshooter.

G: Okay, so what about close combat in a closed room. I've heard the noise of your MP5 and it was one of the loudest thing I've ever experienced. How do you deal with the noise while shooting in closed areas?

X: First of all, we are trying to avoid shooting without silencers in small rooms. We are also using special earphones to protect our eardrums. Nevertheless, if you don't use the mufflers, you have to be prepared for temporary deafness.

G: Shooting through doors/walls/tables?

X: False, false, true. We don't shoot (usually) through doors, because there can be hostages or explosives. Walls are practically impossible to piece unless you have half-inch ammo but here again you would have to talk to a sniper. I know that some walls can be penetrated - like in Iraq where most walls are made from mud and some don't but as I said - I'm not a specialist in that matter.

G: And what about hiding behind the table?

X: Good luck. You can also try to hide behind cardboard (laugh).

G: Yeah, that is what I thought. Thank you for your time and for sure I will be back with more questions.

X: No problem, have a nice day.

Next week I will meet with him again, this time he will also bring his sniper friend. Are there questions you would like to ask them? Share in comments.