Sunday, September 09, 2012

Personal Defence Weapons

I'm fixing to gore somebody's sacred ox here, but that idiot over at RECOIL Magazine pushed one of my hot buttons, that being the FN and H&K PDW systems and their "magic death-ray" powers.

Folks, the FN 5.7 and the H&K 4.6 PDWs were designed for the use of personnel who either couldn't be bothered to carry a real rifle, or whose duties made the carry of a real rifle impractical. Cooks, clerks, supply, and the other rear-echelon types who are vital for running a war.

Both systems pretty much produce the same result: .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire ballistics out of something that's too large to be a pistol, but not big enough to be a rifle.

4.6X30mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1900 FPS.
5.7X28mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 2034 FPS.

.22 WMR. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1920 FPS.

Which sounds pretty good -- until you realize that the .22 WMR is okay on 40-pound coyotes, but most-assuredly marginal on anything bigger. And most enemy soldiers are somewhat larger than a 40-pound canid.

So, basically what you have with the FN/H&K PDW systems is the equivalent of a full-auto .22 rimfire that the folks who don't carry a real rifle can shoot at enemy troops (armed with the equivalent of .30/30 deer rifles) who get around, over, or through the front-line guys and start running amuck in the rear areas.

To boil that down: the FN/H&K PDW guns are there so that the generals awarding the posthumous medals can say, "They went down fighting" with a straight face.

They are not a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug -- any more than your grand-father's .22 WMR varmint rifle is a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug.

Period.

LawDog

27 comments:

Mikael said...

Yeah but they've captured the imagination of PC gamer geeks everywhere. ;)

Mind you my favorite in this category is the Magpul PDR, which at least has the decency of chambering 5.56NATO. Though it seems to have run into some problems, as development has halted.

Of the ones that finished development, at least the Bofors CBJ-MS, and the PP-2000 have options for 9x19mm chamberings. (And so does the in-development VBR-Belgium PDW).

robert martin said...

So What you are saying is these guns would have to do something like hit a "Varmit" in the eye or impact say a Grenade to actually do anything effective in a battle.


"Hey you killed that one!"

"I guess but i think the large sucking chest wound he has helped a bunch"

Roger said...

That ole .30 M1 Carbine keeps lookin better and better.

Chris Byrne said...

Yeah... the theoretical point is that they're controllable in full auto, short, relatively light, and are effective against body armor... with the military restricted armor piercing ammunition.

It's a concept... One I disagree with. Give them an assault carbine, or an SMG, not something combining the worst features of both.

Completely ineffective in stopping with a single round, you need the full auto; and it will only penetrate body armor with the restricted ammo... so as a civilian weapon it's kinda pointless.

No more "dangerous" than a long barreled .22wmr pistol; and rather less dangerous than either an m4gery, or a defensive pistol of any kind.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Your basic spray and pray for those folks who don't get a lot of training.

Anonymous said...

They pushed more than a few buttons: https://www.facebook.com/Recoil.gun.lifestyle/posts/360458947366646

Orion said...

Speaking as one of the 'rear-echelon types' (helicopter mechanic), I'll stick with my M-4, thank you very much.

Orion

Chris Byrne said...

Oh and I forgot to mention above... Effectiveness against body armor is great...

Except the M4 is plenty effective against body armor (particularly at the short ranges PDWs are effective) so it's not like we have a problem there...

And more importantly...

Our enemies, and our criminals, for the most part, DON'T WEAR BODY ARMOR.

Dave H said...

Our enemies, and our criminals, for the most part, DON'T WEAR BODY ARMOR.

No, but American troops do. Makes me wonder who FN and H&K expect these guns to be pointed at.

Jess said...

You'd think they'd give the rear echelon bunch a shotgun or two. They're great for close and personal warfare and you don't have to worry about the missed rounds going places they weren't intended.

Anonymous said...

+1 on Roger's comment
I'll take an M-1 Carbine.
more effective range and it can be aimed it also comes with an effective pig sticker at the business end too.

Wondering who was thinking what about using something even smaller than a 5.56? as if ammo logistics aren't stupid enough with 7.62 x51 x39 and 9x19, .45 ACP and what ever the sandbox standards are for Warsaw pact pistols (9x18 7.62x25)

Woerm/THR

Gopher said...

I guess they won't be reviewing the Kel Tek PMR-30 then will they.

KBCraig said...

There have been actual handguns with better performance for at least 116 years now, starting with the C96 Mauser Broomhandle.

And for the latest re-invention combining old and new, check out Armscor's 1911 chambered in a caliber they invented, the .22 TCM. In short, it's a cartridge the size and dimensions of 9x19mm (even uses the same magazines without modification), necked down to .223 so that it can launch a 40 grain pill at 2100 feet per second.

Then they put it in a double-stack 18+1 1911, along with a spare 9mm barrel for cheap practice and plinking, and delivered it right to you, ladies and gentlemen.

Because it's not an AP round, it's perfectly legal.

Joe in PNG said...

Heck, if I wanted a mini bullet hose in a wussy caliber, a CZ Skorpion vz 61 would do the trick- and cost far less- in the world market at least.

But I'm rather happy with my Colt 6920.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

My immediate thought on reading about the PN was "Why on earth would you adopt a weapon requiring yet another sort of ammunition, thereby adding another factor of complication to your supply problems?"

That said, there is some thought behind this. Most people - even most troops (and we're talking about CLERKS here) - are not shooters, and therefore cannot hit the broadside of a bard with a pistol. Rifles are awkward, and get put down a lot. The PN looks like it could be slung out of the way. I'm sure it looks even MORE like it could be slung out of the way if the looker is a design specialist or a General who doesn't have to schlep ration cases with any regularity. And say what you like, but if the clerks can manage one hit in ten, the PN would then generate 5 small calibre hits per magazine, which is something I personally would care to avoid.

In short, it looks GREAT on paper, if you aren't one of the people actually likely to have to use the thing.

In the case of the PN, though, it has found widespread acceptance as the go-to gun for arming cinematic henchmen. I bet they've sold more to hollywood than to anyone else.

RobC said...

That was a very amusing commentary... My favourite FN weapon is the 7.62 FAL followed closely by the LMG or more commonly called the MAG.
Shooting through a 9" tree is a piece of cake with this kit.

Anonymous said...

So the vunder round can penetrate Soviet body armor at 300 yards but a 22 mag has a tough time killing a woodchuck at 150 yards?

Has anybody spent much time over the last twenty years shooting folks with body armor? Not in Iraq, AFPAC, Somalia or Panama.

Gerry

Kristophr said...

Modern version of the .30 carbine.

I'd rather have an M1 Carbine.


And do not get me started on Recoil magazine's "civilians" crap.

Mikael said...

I mean it's not like you need to come up with a new mini-calibre to make a subgun that goes through bodyarmor...

The m/39B (swedish army) steel-plated +P 9x19mm (often a benchmark for how well 9mm pistols handle +P pressures) will go through class IIIA bodyarmor / 50 layers of kevlar. It's known to penetrate kevlar helmets(and the bone beneath) at 200 meters.

Diamond Mair said...

Personally, Folks, I'd LIKE an FN FiveseveN, but I don't "qualify" for the LEO ammunition - so why bother?

Semper Fi'
DM

Mister_V said...

I kinda question why H&K didn't just put up the HK53 instead of the MP7. We already have MP5's in our arsenal, with armorers trained on them, and big stockpiles of 5.56. Even out of a short barrel a 62gr. penetrator will kick the ballistic crap out of both of those PDW rounds. If they just had to come up with something "new and improved," how about one that takes stanag mags? Regardless of the platform, it seems to me that a 5.56 PDW just makes more sense.

R.L. Hunter said...

I'd like to have one but in .22LR so I could actually afford to shoot it full auto.

Anonymous said...

Ft Hood, TX.
214 rounds expended by all parties. 13 dead, 30 wounded.

Most of the rounds were from Maj. Hassan's FN 5.7

markm said...

You're missing the point. The 5.7 and other souped-up tiny caliber sub-guns were designed in Europe, for combat between "civilized" armies. Their soldiers understand that, when you're perforated, no matter how tiny the hole, you lie down, scream for a medic, and enjoy your vacation. The 9mm used to be perfect for that, but since the US Army is wearing body armor, pretty soon all the other "civilized" troops will also have it. And 9mm rounds sometimes bounce off front teeth, let alone armor...

So they invented a round that will make a teeny-tiny hole through armor, with recoil that wimps can handle. And they issued it with a SMG so you don't have to shoot so well. Cooks and supply clerks can at least scare anyone who gets too close, and maybe even send a few of the enemy on medical leave.

And it's not that bad for real combat troops in close quarter work, either. If the enemy isn't civilized enough to quit at the first hit, a half-dozen teeny holes equal one or two .45 hits. Against light body armor the AP rounds should make holes where .45's only make bruises, and the 9mm would only annoy your target (if he notices you shooting at him).

What I really wonder is how these sub-guns would work for mechanics and technicians that are too damned busy fixing everyone else's gear to clean their own weapons. (Think Jessica Lynch's unit.) They'd do better with a cut-down AK47 than an M4 carbine, and I think the 5.7 is going to be easier to carry than either of those - if it will still work after they've toted it for weeks without even looking inside.

Toastrider said...

markm: Ah, someone remembers the infamous story of the Iraqi insurgent that shot an Army guy in the mouth -- and the Army guy never even stopped.

I always figured Mr. Insurgent had some bad ammo, and the round didn't have enough juice to do its job, instead knocking out the guy's tooth and embedding itself in his upper jaw.

Stretch said...

But, but! Star Gate Command kills aliens all the time with that round!

Ammo said...

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