Why Firearms Commonality is Important

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Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:21 am

It's even more important in a PAW situation because I would think it's assumed there is no industry so no supply chain!

It's not hard to imagine scenarios:

Your in a 4 man team each armed with a .223 AR:

One gun breaks which means the ammo for that gun is available to the others.
You are the last man standing which means the ammo for all the other guns is available to you.
One gun breaks, it can then be spare parts for the others.
If everyone is using the same weapon everyone knows how to use everyone else's weapon in an emergency, you will be quick and efficient.

It would also seem apparent the importance of commonality on a national level.

Now imagine the above scenarios with 2 men with AR's, one with a shotgun and one with a long range rifle. I hope you can see the potential problems that can develop?

Of course having said that the US military has the SDM armed differently then the rest of the squad, but remember they have a supply chain!
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:36 am

Stay in your lane.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by TheLastOne » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:37 pm

I'm using this unhelpful post to request popcorn.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by ineffableone » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:33 pm

It is also not hard to imagine in PAW finding a community to trade with, and while you and your group all has .223 AR's

The trading post only has 12 gauge shells, .30-06, .308, and .22LR.

Your carrying of a single common round has everyone unable to barter for more ammo.

But the other group you mentioned 2 with ARs, 1 with a shotgun, and 1 with long range rifle. That shotgun and long range rifle has a chance to be the right ammo at this trading post.

There are arguments for caliber commonality and there are arguments for caliber diversification. I would not say either is right. Each has it's own merits and a lot depends on the size of your group. I would say larger a group, some diversification actually makes sense as you can increase chances for ammo resupply choices. A group of just 2-4 commonality makes more sense to me as the likelihood of needing to share becomes stronger. But a group of 10 or more some diversification starts to make sense. With larger groups you can use a composite method, split the group into half sharing one cal the other half sharing another cal. Or split the cal commonality in 1/3rds, or 1/4s depending on the size of the group and the availability of firearms.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by quazi » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:23 pm

I guess it depends on the nature of your group and what that group is preparing for.

If a person is a member of an intentionally created survival group that considers security to be a top priority, I can see the desire to choose a few common cartridges or even models of firearms.

I'm not a member of such a group, my "group" is my extended family and friends of the family. Many of us have an interest in firearms (both practical and recreational), but we're not a group formed specifically to survive a cataclysmic disaster nor do we own firearms primarily for that purpose. I imagine that my situation is probably the most common among survivalists/preppers. In a situation like mine people aren't very standardized. Each person chooses firearms based mostly on what they think suits there needs best in the NAW and what they can find good deals on. Commonality has come up with us before, but more often it is because of people already being setup to reload a certain cartridge.

Personally, commonality is on my radar but it's not at the top of the list of reasons to purchase a specific firearm. Mostly it nudges my decisions on fun guns one way or another. Most of my relatives own pistols in .45 ACP. That's not what I decided on for myself, and I'm not going to sell my pistols and buy a .45. However, if I'm looking to buy another pistol primarily for fun I'm more likely to buy a .45 ACP. Likewise several of my relatives have .45 Colt revolvers for woods guns (they found really good deals on them). I'd like a lever action carbine someday, primarily for fun, and I might decide to go with one in .45 LC for commonality's sake.

If some people in my family were to push for all of us to get the same rifle and/or handgun I would go along with it, but it's far enough down the list of priorities that I'm not planning on pushing for it myself.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by manowar1313 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:34 pm

First, how often does a gun truly become useless? I've owned/shot a lot of guns and I've never had one "Break" to the point where I couldn't shoot it. If that did happen, murphy's law says it would happen at the beginning right after you can't turn back but before anyone really needs ammo.

Second if you have 4 guys with 3 calibers, the .223 are going to be your rifleman, the long-range rifle will be your marksman and the shotgun would be you CQ/breach gun. Specialization would make you more effective. If the 3 caliber squad went up against the 1 caliber squad, the 1 caliber could all be dead via the marksman before they're even in range.

Also if you're wanting to standardize rounds why not 9mm? So you can pair it with your sidearm? Maybe get a Kel-Tec sub2000 and Glock going?
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:30 am

Shall We Play a Game?

2 Teams:

Team A:
2 members:
2 of the same guns and ammo
Each team member is randomly assigned ammo from a stockpile of 240 rounds in 8 magazines.
Each team member is guaranteed at least 30 rounds or 1 magazine.
Team A because they have commonality of weapons can share magazines.

Team B, the gun using zombies
2 members:
2 different guns and ammo
Each team member is randomly assigned ammo from a stockpile of 240 rounds in 8 magazines.
Each team member is guaranteed at least 30 rounds or 1 magazine.

If you don't like that the ammo is randomly assigned, then make the scenario both sides started with more ammo and this is what is left.

The guns perform the same and the skill set of the players is the same.

Which team will win most of the time?
It's clearly team A
Why?

Team B will most of the time have an uneven number of rounds so one team member will run out of ammo and then team B will be at a disadvantage. How often will this happen?

We can use a distribution table:

Team B member 1________Team B member 2
Number of mags__________Number of mags
7______________________ 1
6______________________ 2
5______________________ 3
4______________________ 4
3______________________ 5
2______________________ 6
1______________________ 7
7 possibilities for mag distribution between team B members and only in one of them is the number of mags for team B equal, that is about 14% of the time, so the other 86% of the time with all other things being equal team B will have a member run out of ammo!

Someone mentioned with multiple guns you have a better chance of finding usable ammo, ok let's address that.
Let's add 2 more magazines for team B:
The distribution table:

9_______________________1*
8_______________________2*
7_______________________3*
6_______________________4
5_______________________5
4_______________________6
3*______________________7
2*______________________8
1*______________________9

So now 6 out of 9 times or 66% of the time a member of team B runs out of ammo before a member of team A. I highlighted those times with a *.Their chances have improved going from 86% of the time running out of ammo to 66% of the time, but they still lose. Now an argument can be made that team B can win a longer fight because they have more ammo, yeah! They have to have more ammo to improve their chances!

Let's say team B purchases the same amount of ammo, easy enough. However, now they must have the same rate of fire or one of the members will run out of ammo. If you increase the rate of fire of team B then team A should get the same benefit and they can still share magazines. If this is not clear I can explain it in a little more depth.

With the above I just quantified the problem of having different weapons, it's basically when one man runs out of ammo you are down a gun! With commonality of weapons if one man runs out of ammo you are not down a gun! The math shows how much of a problem having different weapons and different amounts of ammo is! :words:

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:41 am

cyruspace wrote: Each team member is randomly assigned ammo from a stockpile of 240 rounds in 8 magazines.
Each team member is guaranteed at least 30 rounds or 1 magazine.
Okay, what you're doing is cherry picking, or a very close relationship. You're constructing a perfect scenario that supports your ideas. I can just as easily construct one that doesn't. Now Team A has shotguns, you're fighting in the desert, Team B has bolt-action rifles in long-action calibers, and they're starting a half-miles away. That makes just as much sense as randomly assigning a lottery of magazines to prove that commonality is better.

But this isn't new. It's the same thing you did to "prove" that speed crawling is an important survival skill.
cyruspace wrote: I have limited hands on experience with many types of guns.
That's readily apparent, and it's why I said to stay in your lane, rather than starting a bunch of threads telling people how they should do something that you have no experience with.

Pop around RationalWiki a bit, learn the logical fallacies and how to avoid them, and avoid talking as though you are an SME unless you really are. Like, for example, don't tell veterans what the military does and doesn't value or what is and isn't useful in a firefight if you are neither a veteran of the military nor of a firefight. Doing something like that might give people the wrong idea.

On the other hand, if you want to learn about other things, the place to start is by reading. A lot.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by Mikeyboy » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:18 am

Ditto to what doc fab said. Didn't we have one of these "4 man squad SHTF tactical team" treads a few months ago.

I am all for some fantasy talk, and yes caliber commonality is useful for an individual. However when your 4 man assault team is Bob the baker, Cindy the school teacher, Larry that Accountant, and Sue the Soccer Mom is it better to send them off with guns they have been using for a while and are good at, or something that is common and interchangeable.

Larry the Accountant has bad eyesight, but grew up in a small town cop family and is handy with a pistol and a pump shotgun. Sue the Soccer mom, was an avid deer hunter and came to you with a Remington 700 in .243 with a Leupold scope, but never touched a semi auto rifle in her life.

Should Larry and Sue get AR's to fit in?
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by woodsghost » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:23 am

I"ll add that "reading" is a good place to start. But "doing" is the next step.

I did a lot of reading in my life. Particularly with wilderness living. I thought I knew stuff. I got dirt time and found I did not know much. But now I do.

I read a metric crap ton on guns growing up. I thought I knew stuff. Experts disagreed, and experience showed that in fact, I did not know as much as I thought I did. I"m better now than I was, and that required time and experience.

I'm still learning in both areas. Learning requires humility and an open mind. It requires one to let go of ideas which are false and embrace other ideas.

Lastly, the thing that helped me the most is to realize the world is a messy place. It is not neat and ordered like we wish it would be. Any idea we have has to be thrown at the messiness of reality to see how it stands up. Ideas and individuals have to be flexible to survive that.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:28 am

As to using a broken firearm for spare parts. In theory it works.

However, in practice the parts most likely to break and render the firearm inoperative are also the parts most likely to be needed by the other firearms of it's type. Thus reducing its usefulness for parts.

I think a better concept is the statement that a commonality of firearms permits one spare parts kit to service several firearms.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by woodsghost » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:29 am

There is also an entire issue of attitude. I step out on a limb all the time. But I say "here is an idea I have, what do y'all think?" rather than "y'all better listen up cuz I'm gonna school ya."

Sometimes I say stuff, fully convinced I"m right, and people let me know I'm wrong. That is fine. I learn.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by quazi » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:14 pm

I kind of think that one of the main functions of a discussion board is so that a person doesn't have to do so much reading. Nearly everything on a board can be answered by a thorough, but often tedious, search online. It's nice to be able to throw what you're thinking about up for everyone else to see and get different opinions, including criticism from people who are much more knowledgeable.

I like that cyruspace is posting a bunch of threads. Even though I often disagree with him. Even if they have already been brought up. Even if they go against the prevailing opinion on ZS (which I mostly agree with). Discussion is what makes a discussion board healthy.

There is a place for a more curated discussion of topics. Maybe where people's credentials are vetted before they are allowed to post, and duplicate threads are not allowed. I think ZS is supposed to be a more open place than that (but I'm definitely not in charge).

Sorry for not having anything on-topic to add.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by raptor » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:19 pm

woodsghost wrote: Sometimes I say stuff, fully convinced I"m right, and people let me know I'm wrong. That is fine. I learn.
Yes I have been known to do that as well in fact... everyone has or will do that. There is even a term for it. The Dunning Krugger Effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E ... ger_effect


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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:29 pm

quazi wrote:I kind of think that one of the main functions of a discussion board is so that a person doesn't have to do so much reading. Nearly everything on a board can be answered by a thorough, but often tedious, search online. It's nice to be able to throw what you're thinking about up for everyone else to see and get different opinions, including criticism from people who are much more knowledgeable.

I like that cyruspace is posting a bunch of threads. Even though I often disagree with him. Even if they have already been brought up. Even if they go against the prevailing opinion on ZS (which I mostly agree with). Discussion is what makes a discussion board healthy.

There is a place for a more curated discussion of topics. Maybe where people's credentials are vetted before they are allowed to post, and duplicate threads are not allowed. I think ZS is supposed to be a more open place than that (but I'm definitely not in charge).

Sorry for not having anything on-topic to add.
The fastest way to get an answer to a question is to go post an obviously wrongness answer. OTOH, continuing to defend those answers...

I also disagree that a discussion board alleviates the burden of reading. If you know you don't know much at all about guns, preparedness, and gun-related topics, maybe avoid posting "this is what you should do" threads. Or in other words, if you have a question, ask, don't tell.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:37 pm

My friends:
Let's cut to the chase and put this issue to bed. I hope I present the issue in a way that makes it clear to everyone.

Team A has 4 members with common weapons and ammo:
Team member 1 has 7 mags with 210 rounds
Team member 2 has 7 mags with 210 rounds
Team member 3 has 7 mags with 210 rounds
Team member 4 has 7 mags with 210 rounds
Total rounds available 840 rounds.

Team B has 4 members with a different weapons makeup:
Team member 1 has gun X with 5 mags with 150 rounds
Team member 2 has gun X with 5 mags with 150 rounds
Team member 3 has gun X with 5 mags with 150 rounds
Team member 4 has gun Y with 14 mags with 420 rounds
Total rounds available 870 rounds.

They are not fighting each other. They are just shooting paper targets at a constant rate of fire. This removes all the other variables which is confusing the issue.

The results:
Team B has more ammo yet they will lose 3 guns sooner to lack of ammo then team A will.

Which type of guns to choose is an entirely different issue.

If you are still having trouble with the concept keep considering the fact that team B has more ammo, yet has guns run out of ammo before team A.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by Waywatcher » Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:56 pm

In your example, team B is shooting for a longer duration, using your own wonky parameters.

Rate of fire is one facet. Range is another. Familiarity and proficiency are more important than you give them credit for.
Larry the Accountant has bad eyesight, but grew up in a small town cop family and is handy with a pistol and a pump shotgun. Sue the Soccer mom, was an avid deer hunter and came to you with a Remington 700 in .243 with a Leupold scope, but never touched a semi auto rifle in her life.
This is exactly right. In an imaginary PAW, if I was in a band of survivors, I'd want them to use the weapon they're best at--not a uniform weapon across the board. Besides, there are going to be strengths and weaknesses in any weapon, but having a mix of weapons will help.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:08 pm

I mention in my post that I have gun experience. I also have camping and hiking experience!

I have fired many different types of guns.

To consider only experts can speak on a subject is the height of arrogance. An outside viewpoint can offer a new perspective because they are not influenced by dogma.

What is the number of rounds that must be fired or the number of guns fired before someone can talk about guns! I bet there are many viewpoints on that issue! So according to this experts only club everyone should only listen to the person that has fired the most types of guns or fired the most ammo! Perhaps only the opinion of a veteran or gunsmith should ever be considered?

Everyone needs to post exactly how many types of guns fired and the number of rounds fired so we can determine the 1 and only person that should be listened to on all things gun related! No outside thinking or different viewpoints tolerated!

The experts only club just does not hold up. A doctor is an expert in his field, yet in court they are often judged to have made mistakes in their judgement. The judge or jury that makes that decision are often not doctors! While often experts; other doctors, testimony is considered non doctors still make the decision on competence.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by WutsFrequencyKeneth » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:29 pm

I just plan to have ammo for the guns I have. I'm not planning on relying on other peoples ammo. Pretty much eliminates all those other crazy problems.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Any of you figured out I like friendly debate yet?

I will try to remove all variables:

shooter with X gun
shooter with Y gun
Firing at same rate
If they do not have the exact same number of rounds one will run out of ammo before the other. So they are down a gun even though they have more ammo.

At some point 2-1 = 1

As an anecdotal exercise call your friends and ask them how much ammo they have, I bet all of you do not have the same number of rounds! Now, how hard is it to imagine a scenario where if you have different guns 1 of you runs out of ammo before the other!
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:40 pm

WutsFrequencyKeneth wrote:I just plan to have ammo for the guns I have. I'm not planning on relying on other peoples ammo. Pretty much eliminates all those other crazy problems.
Being self reliant is the overall idea in preparing!
However, don't be a loan wolf at your own detriment.
A squad is more capable then an individual.

I hope I don't have to be in the army to know that.
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:29 pm

cyruspace wrote:
WutsFrequencyKeneth wrote:I just plan to have ammo for the guns I have. I'm not planning on relying on other peoples ammo. Pretty much eliminates all those other crazy problems.
Being self reliant is the overall idea in preparing!
However, don't be a loan wolf at your own detriment.
A squad is more capable then an individual.

I hope I don't have to be in the army to know that.
I will agree that the squad might be more capable than the lone wolf, but only if they all have the same level of training.

You stick Suzy the soccer mom or Bill the mechanic in a squad with three other folks who have varying skill levels when it comes to guns and hand them all unfamiliar weapons, it's not going to end well.

If I were to be in a group of people in a SHTF type scenario, I'd rather them have a mishmash of weapons so long as they knew how to use them. I wouldn't care if Bill the mechanic or Suzy the soccer mom used a .243 bolt action or even a single shot so long as they knew how to use it to the best of their ability.

I use an AK as my primary rifle and I know how to use it well. You take my AK away and hand me an AR, I'm pretty much useless. It's a completely different manual of arms than I'm used to and it's in a caliber I don't stock at all.

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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:39 pm

It would appear almost no one read the original post nor the title of the thread:

Did I mention anywhere that the only way to go is with commonality? I said why it's important. Some of you have supported the position that it is important but bring up other variables. I have no problem with that and agree with many. The point of the thread is for discussion!

It does not change the post nor my mathematically based arguments that commonality is important!

No one is capable of taking the opposite position of the scenarios I provide. The opposite position is, it does not matter if a gun runs out of ammo commonality is not important!
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Re: Why Firearms Commonality is Important

Post by cyruspace » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
cyruspace wrote: Each team member is randomly assigned ammo from a stockpile of 240 rounds in 8 magazines.
Each team member is guaranteed at least 30 rounds or 1 magazine.
Okay, what you're doing is cherry picking, or a very close relationship. You're constructing a perfect scenario that supports your ideas. I can just as easily construct one that doesn't. Now Team A has shotguns, you're fighting in the desert, Team B has bolt-action rifles in long-action calibers, and they're starting a half-miles away. That makes just as much sense as randomly assigning a lottery of magazines to prove that commonality is better.

But this isn't new. It's the same thing you did to "prove" that speed crawling is an important survival skill.
cyruspace wrote: I have limited hands on experience with many types of guns.
That's readily apparent, and it's why I said to stay in your lane, rather than starting a bunch of threads telling people how they should do something that you have no experience with.

Pop around RationalWiki a bit, learn the logical fallacies and how to avoid them, and avoid talking as though you are an SME unless you really are. Like, for example, don't tell veterans what the military does and doesn't value or what is and isn't useful in a firefight if you are neither a veteran of the military nor of a firefight. Doing something like that might give people the wrong idea.

On the other hand, if you want to learn about other things, the place to start is by reading. A lot.
I don't consider you an enemy, but defend your position that I am wrong, more specifically defend the position that a gun running out of ammo in not important in a firefight due to not having commonality of ammo!
Defend this scenario.
2 vs 2
one person runs out of ammo, is a team being down a gun a problem!
Absolutely, and if you don't understand why, I can't help you.
Author of book "SurvivalFit"

http://www.amazon.com/SurvivalFit-Train ... B00OVKQ7G6

Cum Laude B.S. in Exercise Science.
Formerly CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) with the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association).
Formerly first responder with American Red Cross.

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