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Old September 8, 2006, 01:47 PM   #1
tonerguy
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Gun vs. Knife

“Don’t Bring a Gun to a Knifefight?”

Sure, you better bring a gun, bring a clear mind and the will to act so you don’t get cut.

Yes, I know. The old joke is about "don’t bring a knife to a gunfight."

This is no joke as you’ll see here: http://tinyurl.com/l8yk9 *WARNING* - Not for the squeamish.

Last edited by tonerguy; September 8, 2006 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Change title
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Old September 8, 2006, 03:05 PM   #2
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I think this has been posted before but it's always good to refresh.
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Old September 8, 2006, 03:11 PM   #3
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Most people who have never seen the real damage a knife can do will simply fail to appreciate the Faustian bargain of pistol use. Namely, by "upgrading" your bladed weapon to a gun, you are actually making a trade.

When you carry a gun, you are actually trading lethality in exchange for range. Lethality due to blood loss is a function of the amount of tissue exposed through skin damage. To expose a given amont of tissue, one can either make a long, shallow cut, or one can make a small, deep puncture. Either one will bleed equally, provided the variables of depth vs length are balanced.

In gun-speak, this amounts to the permanent cavity left by the round through the soft tissue. In most instances, permanent cavity is, relatively speaking, not that large. The REAL damage with a gun occurs when a large bone mass is hit, such as the head, sternum, or hip bone, in which the fragments of shattering bone will increase the exit-wound tear. But, all in all, a gun makes a permanent cavity only slightly larger than the calibur of the bullet.

With blades, the sky's the limit on length of the cut. And, if the blade is sharp enough, the only limitations on depth of the cut are the strength of the user, and the fluidity of motion in making the cut. A well-trained samurai can slice a human being in half at the waist with one swing, in which case death occurs in a matter of seconds.

So, why use a gun? Why, RANGE, of course! Personally, I would MUCH rather be able to stay greater-than-arms-reach away from a BG while I inflicted damage to him/her. Swords and knives are DEADLY, but they require an up-close and personal approach.

Also, there's the issue of temporary cavity. This is a phenomenon that occurs when a fast-moving projectile impacts a water-based target (like a human body). Essentially, when soft tissue is shot, the water in the soft tissue acts like a wave, and a large splash-like cavity opens where the bullet hits. The elasticity of the soft tissue then pulls the body closed again, leaving only the small, bullet-hole shaped opening of the permanent cavity.

The temporary cavity is the source of most of the "knock-back" power of the round. If the temporary cavity impacts a bone (as will usually happen), then the bone will often break, causing pieces to move about and compound the damage of the permanent cavity.

So, in summary, we who use guns do so at the loss of the ability to "cleave our foes in twain," often resulting in the need for multiple shots to finally bring down an assailant. However, a little range is a good thing, and the knife-user has to be able to get TO you before he inflicts one of his DEBILITATING cuts.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:04 PM   #4
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The knife is still the 2nd choice, the knife just cut some muscle tissue nothing dangerous.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:11 PM   #5
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I wouldn't necessarilly say "nothing dangerous." With those cuts, unconsciousness and eventual death was imminent. Those guys needed medical treatment IMMEDIATELY.

But, the point is well made. Guns are generally accepted as more preferable than knives.
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Old September 8, 2006, 04:59 PM   #6
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I'll go out on a limb here, but my guess is that even a .22 is preferable to a knife if ever the SHTF. I've got a couple of hunting knives that I've used to eviscerate animals after I've already killed them with a 12-gauge. Hmmm...
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Old September 8, 2006, 05:18 PM   #7
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I'll go out on a limb here, but my guess is that even a .22 is preferable to a knife if ever the SHTF.
all depends on the situation as stated before a knife ia a very close quarters weapon. if i'm within about 3ft of someone i'll take a knife over any handgun.
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Old September 8, 2006, 05:37 PM   #8
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A guy who knows how to knife fight is certainly dangerous....best I've seen are some forign folks that seemed to have been raised with one as a child; it's use is truely second nature to them.


But still...given a choice as a civialian (who won't need to kill people quietly while they sleep), how many here will choose a knife over a gun?
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Old September 8, 2006, 06:16 PM   #9
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I'm sorry, but I have to laugh at the "nothing dangerous" comment. Perhaps the only deadly cuts that I have witnessed were pure luck, but there are people in places on this planet that you would certainly not want to engage with that theory. I'm constantly amazed by the perpetuation of wives tales and urban myths that have to do with armed cqb. If nothing else they are entertaining. Those that quote the "never bring a knife to a gunfight" generalization often know too little about any of the three. Neither Guns, knives, or the last but most important factor - fighting.

Last edited by smallshot; September 8, 2006 at 06:17 PM. Reason: wrong word choice
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Old September 8, 2006, 07:17 PM   #10
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I've never stabbed anyone. But years ago, I was a Marine and we practised attacking and stabbing dummies.

As I understand it, the knife is an offensive weapon and most effective when the victim does not know you have it until it's too late. In other words, you attack with the knife. This is not a very good self defense weapon unless your assailant unaware you have it in hand.

KA BAR still makes a good Made in USA combat knife. COLD STEEL makes even better models featuring much higher grades of steel. Years ago, Buck's folding lockback knife was the standard all others were measured against.
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Old September 8, 2006, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
But still...given a choice as a civialian (who won't need to kill people quietly while they sleep), how many here will choose a knife over a gun?
Count me in among that number, at least for within 3 feet(contact distance).
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Old September 8, 2006, 07:57 PM   #12
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The knife is still the 2nd choice, the knife just cut some muscle tissue nothing dangerous.
A KA-Bar USMC model will penetrate clear to someone's heart and will kill them faster than any handgun will. Samurai, said it quite well a gun simply gives you better range not more lethality. If I was dealing with an unarmed psychopath at close range I would rather have a long bladed combat knife. There isn't a very good chance that it will be taken away from you or disengaged in a fight.

I don't know anyone who can possibly think that a knife is nothing dangerous. Entire wars were fought with bladed weapons and millions of soldiers were killed upon these bladed weapons. A knife is definitely a lethal weapon and not just some silly toy. The real damage that is done to meat and tissue comes from a knife. Have you ever tried dressing or skinning a game animal with a firearm? Doing damage is much more effecient with a knife. Its just not as comforting as using a firearm due to the range it gives you. You can engage your threat from a farther distance. The knife can only be used at extremely close range. If you are using the right knife it is a very serious defensive tool. We aren't talking pocket knifes here.
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Old September 8, 2006, 08:15 PM   #13
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At close range knife or gun would be tough call. Some one who knows how to use a blade is deadly, a handgun is also deadly but 10' gun vs. kinfe likely a tie
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Old September 8, 2006, 08:41 PM   #14
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I work for a university police department. Back in the days when we still carried the PR-24 our Director told us that if we ever used our pistols against someone armed with a knife he would have our jobs. He insisted that we should be able to disarm an attacker who had a knife with our PR-24. This is but one example that showed what a stark, raving idiot the man was. It's not a secret that most cops are not nearly as proficient with their tools as everyone would like us to be. Telling cops that they should disarm someone threatening or attacking them with a knife by using their baton is begging to get a cop badly hurt or killed. That Director, BTW, was run out of town. Good riddance.
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Old September 8, 2006, 08:45 PM   #15
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Forgot to mention...our training used to say that an ideal gap between us and a suspect was 21 feet. If you actually measure out 21' and mark it you'll see that it's probably further than you think. This distance was to assure us time to draw our firearm, baton or pepper spray and employ it before a charging suspect could reach us. The most recent training we've gotten has increased that distance to 30 feet. Truth be told, we never address people from that distance. It's rarely possbile (when you're in a room that is only 12'x12' it's physically impossible) and if I stood 21-30 feet away from a brawl, yelling at the combatants to break it up they wouldn't even hear me.
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Old September 8, 2006, 10:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
A guy who knows how to knife fight is certainly dangerous....best I've seen are some forign folks that seemed to have been raised with one as a child; it's use is truely second nature to them.


But still...given a choice as a civialian (who won't need to kill people quietly while they sleep), how many here will choose a knife over a gun?
I have owned a knife since the age of 3. I am quite good with knifes as offensive and defensive weapons, and can even throw them with good acuracy out to as much as 50 feet, although throwing one would be a last alternative since I would be losing my weapon.

I would (and do) choose to keep a knife close to my bed instead of a firearm, due to the extreme close quarters and layout of my house. I have found, while practicing room clearing with a friend using our fingers as weapons, that the tight corners and smaller rooms of the farm house we live in are not good for shooting techniques. In any given spot in the room, my friend could step out from the doorway (regardless of how he did it) and before his arms were extended in any sort of shooting position, I could slap him. (this means he is well within knife attack distance).

As it has been previously stated... the weapon you choose depends mainly on which is more practical.


The 3rd knife down from the top left (the largest) is the one I keep at my bedside.
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Last edited by Chris Phelps; September 8, 2006 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Picture added
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Old September 8, 2006, 10:30 PM   #17
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Does anyone have any info on past cases, or pure subjective opinions, on how a prosecutor or jury would view self-defense with a knife vs. a firearm? As far as I'm concerned you defend yourself legally or otherwise, regardless of the weapon, but I can envision some pinhead prosecutor feeling that wounding or killing another with a knife is somehow really bad.
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Old September 9, 2006, 12:20 AM   #18
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Look at those injuries from a shooter's perspective: a shot that grazes the ribs, three shots that graze the back, and a shot that grazes the chest.

What if those weren't cuts, but stabs wounds measuring anywhere from 3 to 6 inches? What if they were center mass in the head, neck and chest area?

From an objective point of view, I see a parallel between "poor shot placement" and "poor cut/stab placement". You can see from these pictures that blades are capable of much larger wounds than handgun bullets. A skilled bladesman is just as deadly as a skilled shooter.

Range is a variable and an advantage, but it is never a guarantee. Shooter's who understand this have a wholehearted respect for the edged weapon and train accordingly. Blind faith in your gun alone just because you have one and your opponent doesn't is foolhardy, to say the least. Never underestimate your enemy and his weapon.
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Old September 9, 2006, 08:15 AM   #19
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Something else to remeber is a knife wound to the armpit or inside of either thigh that is more than 1" deep is usually lethal inside of 60 seconds from blood loss.

SW
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Old September 9, 2006, 09:16 AM   #20
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Inside 6' a knife is a much more dangerous weapon than a gun. According to the FBI statistics 85% of gunshot victims survive and only 65% of knife victims survive and the most leathal distance for a knife is 0-6'. If you encounter a knife at this distance you need to take care of the knife problem first and not try to trade cuts for bullets. A person who knows how to use a knife will cut you to shreds before you can get your pistol out of it's holster from close distance.
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Old September 9, 2006, 09:17 AM   #21
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As is a deep gash in any direction near your stomache area. Break through all the skin from side to side, and the internal organs literally spill out of the body. Your neck area is also quite vital. Sayoc Kali teaches you about all of these vital areas, and a knowledgable bladesman can hit all 9 vital areas in less than 3 seconds with one continous move, and the reflexes of the victim will keep them from fighting back. Bottom line... get too close to someone who knows what they are doing, you will very quickly find out that a knife is not an inferior weapon.


FYI: Anyone who has seen the movie 'The Hunted' will know what I am talking about. That is sayoc kali, and it is very real!
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Old September 9, 2006, 12:03 PM   #22
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When you carry a gun, you are actually trading lethality in exchange for range. Lethality due to blood loss is a function of the amount of tissue exposed through skin damage.
if you carry a high capacity gun, like a double-stack 9x19mm etc, you can do a lot of tissue-damage in very short time and you can cause intrance- and exit wound bleeding...

As one guy above put it right: The knife is a weapon against the unarmed. Even after some 20yrs of martial arts training I would avoid fighting a knife with anything else than a gun.

Fighting with a knife requires extreme skill. Your own knife can be turned against you in the flick of a wrist.

and: there is no such thing as a CNS-Stab. and at knife-distances or a little farther, CNS shots are possibe and incapacitate upon impact.

Therefore: Gun on stong side, primary weapon. Knife on weak side to allow you to tickle BG away if he manages to lock you on top of your gun grappling.

if you fight a knife with a gun you have to distract the knife with your weak hand as good as you can while drawing and firing speed-rock-like. That puts your weak forarm at the risk of "firendly fire" but that risk has to be taken in order to survive...
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Old September 9, 2006, 01:10 PM   #23
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if you carry a high capacity gun, like a double-stack 9x19mm etc, you can do a lot of tissue-damage in very short time and you can cause intrance- and exit wound bleeding...
There have been BGs who have been shot several dozen times with a 9mm that continued to fight police. Its a fact a knife will kill somebody faster than a handgun will. 85% of people shot with handguns survive. That isn't a very comforting statistic to me. If I'm carrying a weapon in public it will definitely be a handgun as a combat knife if illegal in most places and not very practical for engaging armed threats at a distance. If you are at contact range against a non armed threat it is your duty to retreat. A knife doesn't make much sense as a carry weapon. I carry a Buck 110 on me at all times however. You never know when you are going to need a good knife.

At home is a different story. All incidents that occur in homes are extremely close range. My first line of defense is a 12ga shotgun. My plan is to strap on a tactical knife when investigating noises in the house. In case the shotgun fails I have an immediate lethal back up. I consider a knife to be more effective at quickly disabling an unarmed threat than a handgun. Depending on who you are up against you might shoot someone a dozen times and still be in grave danger. There is only so much a person can do when they have been drained of their blood. The real damage to meat and tissue comes at the hands of a knife. The longer the blade the better. I consider a handgun easier to be turned against you than a knife. You can't grab the blade of a knife without getting severe cuts on your hand.
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Old September 9, 2006, 10:56 PM   #24
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Fackler, I believe, has stated that soft tissue that is cut is damaged most, followed by tissue damaged by a projectile (i.e. bullet).
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Old September 10, 2006, 02:45 AM   #25
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Imo these "close in" encounters happen too fast to react to anyway.

Even if you're always on the edge in "Condition Pink" or whatever it's called, you'll be dead if it's from the back; or just trying to get out of the way if it's from the front. Then, if you're still alive after the first 2 seconds, you pull your gun or your blade, whichever you're better at using. No one can pass 900 people on the way to work and always be ready if any of those 900 people suddenly attack from any angle.

Be proficient with your firearm or your knife, and hope you live long enough to draw it. I'm sure a lot of cops died with their pistols in their holsters, and they're -trained- how to be alert.
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