SRD; defend this. please.

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SRD; defend this. please.

Post by doc66 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:46 am

I'll admit that I don't get on here much any longer, life and things just pushed frequent internet perusal aside, and there's tons of guys on here now who have some experience in the whole world of looking at the abyss and jumping, but I was scanning a thread the other day about how rifles shouldn't be used for home defense--silliness--and there are people who still talk about the awesomeness of the Shotgun Racking Deterrent.

Do you all really believe this?

viewtopic.php?f=109&t=75701

I wrote that sometime ago. If I were to write it today, I'd edit some of it, clarify other parts, and tighten up the prose, but in essence, it remains pretty accurate as to what I intended. In it I speak of myths, and the SRD is one of them.

Why does this myth persist in a thinking, rational society of people who are prepping for zombies?

Explanations please; is it because your grandfather's uncle's boyfriend with the hair lip did it once during roleplaying? I'm interested to know the logic behind this thought, if there is any true logic.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Stercutus » Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:31 am

Shotgun Racking Deterrent
Damn it. Never thought I'd be the one to say it but.... it can work. However it is kind of like saying that telling someone to "go fuck themselves" will get that someone to go away and leave you alone. Hardly scientific and certainly not something that could be relied upon but still... How do I know it can work? Well there is only way....

Regardless I'd say it would almost certainly NOT work with anyone who was trained and determined, insane, intoxicated, mentally disabled, has a death wish and lots of other circumstances. I'd put the confidence level somewhere between a broken clock being right twice a day and the chance it will rain sometime this week. Best I can do. :|
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by MaconCJ7 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:06 am

Because it's loud and scary, and everyone knows you mean business when you used the SRD. I don't know why you say society is rational, you know better than that. You live in a society where people think barrel shrouds are *silencers*, and a pistol gripped break-over pellet rifle is a machine gun. Ignorance of firearms is a broad epidemic, and many people care to learn little more than what Hollywood puts on the screen. Like shooting rifles indoors without hearing protection and still carrying on a conversation with an inside voice.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by the_alias » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:19 am

doc66 - I see this as people instinctual understanding escalation.

When training to manage street encounters, many good self defense instructors teach you to manage range and use pre-set cues when an unknown person is coming towards you.

A reasonable person is likely to adhere to your request to "Can you hold up" but a bad guy might need some more persuasion. Hence the idea of escalating your response.

It might go like this:

1 "Can you hold up?"

2 "HOLD UP!"

3 "HOLD THE FUCK UP!"

You get to 3 when someone really isn't getting your request for them to hold distance. Of course every case is different but by this point evil intent might be clear and force escalation enters the physical realm.

I would assume your average joe sees SRD in the same way.

It's that extra step of escalation before you engage in lethal force.

Is it as good as verbal communication? Debatable.

That's why I think SRD remains around the place...
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:55 am

Just me thinking out loud here's the way it would sound to me: Holy shit, this guys got a damn shotgun (or the sound of any other gun having it's action cycled).

I'm not saying sounds should be employed or they should be relied on however verbal deterrence can work and if I racked a shotgun then the bad guys left, I guess it would be a win.

However, saying just rack the shotgun then stop all other defensive measures is silly because we don't know what will stop the threat.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Paladin1 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:17 am

Well, my take on it is that the myth's are kept alive through continual propagation via the internet. It's hard to fix that.

I've always said that the great thing about about the internet is that everyone has access to it, but the bad thing about the internet is that everyone has access to it.

And more specifically, I have just recently been back on ZS myself because, honestly, many new people were/are bringing this kind baggage in with them and when you try to educate them your accused of being an elitist, or post count overlord, and not welcoming.

So while many of us have discussed, learned, experimented with, trained, and educated ourselves about various subjects. If you take on the task of disseminating what you've learned, many times your efforts are not met with appreciation.

Your just an asshole on the internet.

I fully understand that we want ZS to be a welcoming forum to people of all knowledge levels, and the last thing we want to do is run people off or discourage them. But to allow them to keep spreading the same misinformation here as is out in the general internet is a disservice to people who really want to learn.

And while I tread close to the elitist label here, the fact is there are many who have been on ZS for a long time and they know what they area talking about. When a subject comes up that I may have some expertise in I try to nicely bring the facts to light, but when the misinformed posts just keep piling up, and you state facts more resolutely, the message gets lost in the "oh yea, well that's just your opinion" defensive reflex because you just called their baby ugly.

You and DaveM know about weapons training and tactics.
TacAir knows about communications.
WoodsWalker knows about survival gear and wilderness skills

I could go on and on, but would no doubt leave someone out, we have massive talent pool here. The hard part is getting through all the noise with good info. It's frustrating to the people who have educated themselves (check out the Mosin thread :roll: )

Obviously I have consumed a whole pot of coffee this morning and am avoiding going out to the shop to get some work done.

Hope all is well with you and yours brother.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Nov 23, 2014 1:25 pm

I don't think it will work any better than yelling "HEY MOTHERFUCKER." Sometimes loud noise works, in the same manner that sometimes all I have to do is shake the spray bottle to get my caty to stop throwing everything on the floor, instead of spritzing him.

That said, the mythos continues for several reasons.

1. Laziness. It never gets tested, and therefore is never disproven. Like the "Tacticool bags will get you murdered so you need to carry a 'civvie' ruck" or "If your HD gun is too scary you'll go to jail for murder" mythos, the people repeating it are going either off of independent reckoning or more commonly having been told it by someone else. Of course, if you never have to test the theory, and you just repeat the myth, evidence be damned, it propagates. If there is testing (such as birdshot for HD) confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance tend to make the person seek out other testing or just claim that testing be damned, I know I'm right!

2. Emotional connection/internalization. If I tell you that a political idea you've believed for a decade is wrong, even if I could show you that it's destructive, you're not very likely to actually listen to the critique. The more common response is to take the criticism of the idea as a personal criticism, or a criticism of the person who propagated it first. This one seems to empower the birdshot-for-HD myth as well.

3. Talisman syndrome. Take a moment and gimme three guesses as top where my dad keeps the nearest loaded gun. Keep in mind this is a man with more guns in the house than a national guard armory, and an obvious facial scar from a home-invasion robbery. Give up? In the safe, in the garage, unloaded. But hey he's got guns, right? Never practices with them, of course never under any kind of stress, but hey there they are! Nah, you don't need to worry about a WML or practicing under stress, just rack the shotgun and they'll run right off. It's a voodoo charm, see?

4. Ignorance. I went to visit a family friend last weekend, and she was proudly a showing off her new gun. Maybe two decades ago she was a decent shot, but now she's over 50 and hadn't pulled a trigger in at least a decade. The sentence "Don't you think if I just point this at somebody they'll run right off?" made me groan quietly. Her husband told her that, loaded the gun, and convinced ehr that she didn't really need to go to the range, as it was "kodak easy, just point and click." Bonus points, airweight snubby with .38SPL +P.

So, mix someone who doesn't know better, believes the myth their granpappy told them, and has believed it for a decade with the emotional inability to separate a criticism of an idea from a criticism of the self, stir in internet-speed propagation, and you get a myth that just won't die.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Halfapint » Sun Nov 23, 2014 3:47 pm

Why does it stick around? Because it really can't be accurately studied. If you want to treat it like a scientific experiment you need to test it, only way to do that is get someone to break into a house and have the home owner rack a shotgun and see if it scares the person off. Then you need to repeat the process, and really you cant do that because.... Well there are to many variables. How do you get someone to go into this test not knowing they are being studied which would in effect alter the results. You'd also have to have a control group that breaks into a house and someone yell "HEY MOTHERFUCKER GET OUT OF MY HOUSE" to see if that works.

So you really can't study this so the so called myth continues. Maybe I took this a little to far?
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Gingerbread Man » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:01 pm

Yeah, it actually has been tested, sort of, by the FBI and DOJ. They interviewed violent felons who'd been shot, scared off by guns and shot at. It's on the net, you can google both studies.

1. They said if they thought someone had a gun they avoided them. Because getting shot sucks. This was about 80% of the time.
2. If it turned out the person had a gun, displayed it, yelled "Bitch, I gotz a gun!" or racked it they left. Of the 15% remaining this caused them to flee. Because getting shot sucks.
3. Of the fine sliver that actually went after people knowing they had a gun getting shot caused them to stop their aggression even though they didn't die. Because getting shot sucks.
4. Well, the last minimal percentage had themselves gunned down because they didn't realize how bad getting shot sucks.

So, the data pool we need to look at is the criminal who doesn't think you have a gun when you actually do and you display it. And in that percentage group it works. There is a very small percentage of criminals/attackers who'll actually go towards danger challenging a known armed defender.

My take is have the gun, know how to defend yourself if need be because there is a very small classification of criminal that just doesn't care and will go after you even knowing you're armed. What dissuades them is more than just sounds and harsh language. But they're a rare breed.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Zimmy » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:12 pm

I figure if a bad guy is close enough to hear my weapon go into battery, I fucked up several ways. Not maintaining a good enough perimeter, not being ready once my perimeter was breached, and telegraphing my position.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by DarkAxel » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:49 pm

There may (and I stress MAY) be some biological and behavioral substance to the idea of the SRD.

I've read that certain frequencies of sound have effects on human mood and behavior. For instance, that huge warehouse that gives you that queasy, haunted feeling probably just has a huge vent fan putting out low freqs that set off your nerves. It may be possible that the racking sound has a similar effect to the "nails on the chalkboard" effect. That, combined with other environmental factors (like breaking into an unfamiliar house, darkness, etc), could possibly push the fight-or-flight response to the flight side of things.

Another thing to consider is the "Hollywood Effect" already touched on here and elsewhere. Thanks to the endless use of the he-just-cocked-his-gun-so-he-means-business trope, it is possible that we as a culture have been conditioned into that idea, much like we have been conditioned into believing that shot people drop like rocks. That conditioning is so strong that some people fall after being shot because subconsciously they believe they are supposed to do so, even if they discover they had been shot some time ago and just discovered the wound after the adrenaline wore off.

Something else to consider is that racking the bolt of any firearm is a very mechanical sound that doesn't exist in nature. It is possible that the lower brain functions (the parts that control survival instincts) recognize that as something unnatural, and to the lower brain, unnatural may equal dangerous.

The problem is that humans aren't just instinct-driven animals. Everything we experience gets filtered through our own past experience, knowledge, conditioning, and self-image, and an individual's response can vary greatly (even if reacting to the same type of threat).
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by omega_man » Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:19 pm

Zimmy wrote:I figure if a bad guy is close enough to hear my weapon go into battery, I fucked up several ways. Not maintaining a good enough perimeter, not being ready once my perimeter was breached, and telegraphing my position.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by woodsghost » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:25 pm

Well every time I do it I get wood, and I figure 12 inches in under a half a second is enough to frighten any criminal. So....yeah....I wrack the slide. Every time. 8-)
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Paladin1 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:52 pm

To be fair, I do indeed think that if a home intruder heard the infamous racking of a shotgun, they would certainly pause and perhaps even bail. Typically they are there to rob, not to get into a gunfight.

However, and It's a big "however", you do not know that this will be their reaction!!!! They may not be a typical robber, they may be high on drugs, they may be there to do bad things to you, they may just open fire in your direction.

You simply don't know the who, what, how many, or why.

If your game plan is to rack the slide and that will run them off, you are literally betting your life it's a typical criminal who will run away.

10yrs ago you never heard the term Home Invasion. Thieves waited till no one was home. Now they wait till someone is home. If I have to confront someone in my home, I want to to have every possible advantage. There will not be any racking of shotguns just to see if that works.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by MacAttack » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:36 pm

Every time a bell chimes an angel gets their wings.

Pretty much as sure as...

Every time I rack a slide a criminal wets himself.



There is a reason they have the balls to break into your home. They think they can out gun/fight or surprise you. That silly noise might just trigger their fight reflex and they will start shooting or fighting.


Go ahead and announce you have a gun and not shoot. I will just identify my target and shoot.

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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Stercutus » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:49 am

If your game plan is to rack the slide and that will run them off, you are literally betting your life it's a typical criminal who will run away.
See my HD weapon is a SXS so I can't rack it. My plan is just walk out on the balcony there, walk out, put that double-barrel shotgun and fire two blasts outside the house. I promise you whoever’s coming in is not going. Because nothing says "I am deadly serious" like an empty gun.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Dave_M » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:12 am

I think the argument says more about the person stating it than anything else.

It's like when people say, "My dog would never bite anyone" they often mean, "my dog would never bite me". Sometimes people have a hard time comprehending others and assume that their own [presumed] reactions are universal.

I have heard the following:
"You mean people actually fight police officers? I thought that was only in the movies!" (Said by a third party, who obviously would never consider such a thing, to an LEO friend of mine during a conversation)
"I can't believe anyone would ever lie about rape, so it must be true" (interchangeable with anything terrible)
"I can just stand there in the open shooting, because when bullet fly everyone will just run away anyway" (Said to me during a pistol match)
"No one will ever break into a house with a dog"


Etc. I think you get the idea. This is part of the reason it can be hard for people to acknowledge crime, especially violent crime, until they experience it themselves.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by tedbeau » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:34 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I don't think it will work any better than yelling "HEY MOTHERFUCKER." Sometimes loud noise works, in the same manner that sometimes all I have to do is shake the spray bottle to get my caty to stop throwing everything on the floor, instead of spritzing him.

That said, the mythos continues for several reasons.

1. Laziness. It never gets tested, and therefore is never disproven. Like the "Tacticool bags will get you murdered so you need to carry a 'civvie' ruck" or "If your HD gun is too scary you'll go to jail for murder" mythos, the people repeating it are going either off of independent reckoning or more commonly having been told it by someone else. Of course, if you never have to test the theory, and you just repeat the myth, evidence be damned, it propagates. If there is testing (such as birdshot for HD) confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance tend to make the person seek out other testing or just claim that testing be damned, I know I'm right!

2. Emotional connection/internalization. If I tell you that a political idea you've believed for a decade is wrong, even if I could show you that it's destructive, you're not very likely to actually listen to the critique. The more common response is to take the criticism of the idea as a personal criticism, or a criticism of the person who propagated it first. This one seems to empower the birdshot-for-HD myth as well.

3. Talisman syndrome. Take a moment and gimme three guesses as top where my dad keeps the nearest loaded gun. Keep in mind this is a man with more guns in the house than a national guard armory, and an obvious facial scar from a home-invasion robbery. Give up? In the safe, in the garage, unloaded. But hey he's got guns, right? Never practices with them, of course never under any kind of stress, but hey there they are! Nah, you don't need to worry about a WML or practicing under stress, just rack the shotgun and they'll run right off. It's a voodoo charm, see?

4. Ignorance. I went to visit a family friend last weekend, and she was proudly a showing off her new gun. Maybe two decades ago she was a decent shot, but now she's over 50 and hadn't pulled a trigger in at least a decade. The sentence "Don't you think if I just point this at somebody they'll run right off?" made me groan quietly. Her husband told her that, loaded the gun, and convinced ehr that she didn't really need to go to the range, as it was "kodak easy, just point and click." Bonus points, airweight snubby with .38SPL +P.

So, mix someone who doesn't know better, believes the myth their granpappy told them, and has believed it for a decade with the emotional inability to separate a criticism of an idea from a criticism of the self, stir in internet-speed propagation, and you get a myth that just won't die.
No the real reason it still persist is because our elected leaders have so gallantly told us it works. Just ask Uncle Joe Biden.

I think the correct technique is a multi tiered approach.

1: Politely ask the home intruder if there is anything you can do to help them in their criminal (sorry, economically disfranchised self support process)?

2:If they persist and insist on harming you or your family ask him to wait a minute.

3: Retrieve shotgun.

4: Remove required trigger lock.

5. Retrieve ammo from locked storage container

6: Load 2 rounds of ammo into shotgun.

If the bad guy has not yet retreated or killed you proceed to step 7

7. Rack shotgun and reassess intruders intent. If they are still intent on killing you proceed to step 8.

8. IF living on ground floor of multi-floor apartment building, using barrel of shotgun tap ceiling of your apartment twice and yell "INCOMING"

9: Fire two rounds into ceiling.

Repeat steps 6, 7 and 9 as needed until you are dead or police arrive to arrest you for discharging firearm in residential area.

10. Wave goodbye to intruder and any surviving family members. You will most likely see intruder in exercise yard of the prison before you see family again.




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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by ultra magnus » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:50 pm

Just like simply producing a handgun has the very real potential to end an encounter I imagine the implied presence of a shotgun via it racking may work as well. That said putting any real faith in it as a defensive technique is clown shoes.

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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by woodsghost » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:15 pm

Building off the talisman idea Doc mentioned, it is cheap and easy. Why practice with your gun when you can just rack it? Why take the time out of your weekends, when you can sit at home instead and watch TV? Why spend your hard earned cash on ammo? Or instructors? Just rack the slide.

Beside, you will never need it anyway. It is just there for insurance.

It is there to make us feel better. To feel a little more secure and feel like we are masters of our fate. But of course we would never USE it. We would never need to, and if we did, we would just rack the slide and they will run away.

It does sound pretty cool though. :clownshoes:
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by doc66 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:40 pm

It's interesting to see that no one really believes that it would work; even those who kinda speak for the practice.

It doesn't really work; Truth Time; the bad guy leaves the scene not because of the racking of the shotgun, the action of the pistol sliding into battery or because they are afraid of the dog; they leave because they have been discovered.

If your dog is home and you are not, and they want something you have, they'll kick the shit out of your dog and take it. If you are home and have something they want, they'll try to kick the shit out of you and take it. If they believe that you are armed, they will come armed as well.

Lot's of crime scenes, lots of talking to criminals bear this out. It's not because they are afraid of you or that noise you just made, they just don't want to get caught.

If they come into the house, this is the time to take action, not make noise and hope.

Please, for the Love of Science, stop telling people that this is a good idea.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by Sworbeyegib » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:21 am

Here is my opinion on it. It more or less comes down to two major assumptions/factors.

First off. Someone who relies on the SRD, is assuming that they have the "drop" or advantage on someone in a defensive situation. The classic "movie moment", is a homeowner hearing a bump in the night, grabbing his trusty 12 gauge, creeping sneakily into his house to find an intruder caught off guard. He racks the gun, and that person's legs turn to jello and either runs or surrenders himself. However, as you, Dave, and many others have noted... The person initiating the crime has many more advantages than the person on the receiving end.

Secondly. A typical, sound minded, well functioning person should be scared out of their mind by the sound of a shotgun being racked. However, many individuals who are causing acts of crime, whether it be violent or not, are generally not your typically person. They could be under the influence of drugs, have mental defaults, and be expirienced cold hearted killers. You have absolutely no idea the profile of a person, or the actions they may take when confronted with a fight or flight situation. Will they stop what they are doing and become compliant? Or will they instinctively draw a weapon of their own and start firing. You have no control over what they do.

The use of the SRD is based on a lot of assumption. Assuming you will have the advantage of surprise. Assuming you have a superiority of force and armament. Assuming the person you are trying to either scare, or make compliant will not act with violent action.

I feel that by making these assumptions, you are potentially putting yourself at a higher risk. The time it may take to react to a "non-movie" moment with an empty chamber, or the potential of escalating a situation into higher violence may be the difference between life and death.
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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by 400 Grains » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:44 am

Sworbeyegib wrote:Here is my opinion on it. It more or less comes down to two major assumptions/factors.

First off. Someone who relies on the SRD, is assuming that they have the "drop" or advantage on someone in a defensive situation. The classic "movie moment", is a homeowner hearing a bump in the night, grabbing his trusty 12 gauge, creeping sneakily into his house to find an intruder caught off guard. He racks the gun, and that person's legs turn to jello and either runs or surrenders himself. However, as you, Dave, and many others have noted... The person initiating the crime has many more advantages than the person on the receiving end.

Secondly. A typical, sound minded, well functioning person should be scared out of their mind by the sound of a shotgun being racked. However, many individuals who are causing acts of crime, whether it be violent or not, are generally not your typically person. They could be under the influence of drugs, have mental defaults, and be expirienced cold hearted killers. You have absolutely no idea the profile of a person, or the actions they may take when confronted with a fight or flight situation. Will they stop what they are doing and become compliant? Or will they instinctively draw a weapon of their own and start firing. You have no control over what they do.
Good summary.

Racking a shotgun probably worked 100% of the time for scaring kids smoking tobaccy in your cornfield...

Real crooks? Mixed results, from someone who's done it a few dozen times.

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Re: SRD; defend this. please.

Post by procyon » Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:48 am

doc66 wrote: Shotgun Racking Deterrent ... I'm interested to know the logic behind this thought, if there is any true logic.
There is logic behind it.

#1. The sound of the shotgun action being worked lets them know I am about to fire at them a second time, and if they aren't dead yet they may want to leave before they are.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

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