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Old July 24, 2014, 11:38 AM   #1
SansSouci
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Neophyte Jargon

Where do shooters come up with their terminology? Is the origin of these terms gun magazines? For instance, platform. A gun is not a platform. A gun is a gun: shotgun, rifle, pistol, revolver, muzzleloader, etc. In 20 years as a cop, including countless hours of professional firearms training, I've never heard anyone refer to a gun as a platform. A platform is what divers dive from. A gun is referred to as either a gun or weapon, not a freaking platform. If you're planning on swanning into the deep end, talk platform. If you have a M1911A1 in your hand, you're holding a gun.

Man stopper is another such term. Who in God's name came up with that one? Everyone who does professional law enforcement knows that there is no such cartridge as man stopper round chambered in a tactical firearm. I have a friend who pumped 6 "man stopper" rounds from his .357 Mag service revolver into a very bad guy's chest. He didn't even flinch. I guess his homies forgot to tell him that that man stopper ought to have stopped him. It didn't come close. An 870 round did make the very bad guy property of the coroner.

Spray and pray??? Really??? If that ain't a gun magazine term, I have never heard one. It must be a whole lot more sophisticated than law enforcement officers can understand, and it must only be taught to men in black, because I've never heard a professional training instructor use it. It must be a whole lot different than very efficacious cover fire, which is putting a whole lot of rounds on bad guys with the intent being bad guys' inability to put aimed rounds on the good guy. There has to be a top secret definition of spray and pray because I have never heard it. I do know what cover fire is, and it is a potentially life-saving tactic.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I've read that accuracy is the most important part of a gun fight. I must of been out for coffee and donuts during that highly sophisticated training. I'd rank accuracy as third on the list of surviving gun fights. I'd rank gunfight survival as: 1) to assure remaining at 98.6 degrees, don't get in one; 2) don't make yourself a good target for the bad guy. After all, in a gunfight, at least one bad guy is trying to kill a good guy. Taking time to precisely aim is gun magazine legend. Were a good guy take precise aim, he ought to have his final arrangements in order because he's likely to take rounds from at least one bad guy. That's why training to shoot and move and shooting while moving is so damned important. Remember, if the good guy dies, regardless of what happens to the bad guy, the good guy loses; and, 3) accurate return fire. I could lower number 3 if running away were an option or running to cover. Practice hip point and shoulder point. Just the other day I showed my friend's kid how accurate he could be by using only a shoulder point sans sights. After a few magazines, he was doing pretty good.

The BS of armchair wannabes about how cops fired a whole bunch of rounds and didn't hit a bad guy is neophyte jargon 101. Assess a gunfight by survival of good guys. If cops fired a hundred rounds and every single one missed the bad guy and every single one of the cops survived, the cops did something right, not wrong. Never, ever forget that cover fire: putting a whole lot of rounds on bad guys, is a tactic of survivors.

Keep in mind that I don't read gun magazines. While I've been retired for just over 10 years, I have not forgotten the very scientific firearms training that, apparently, is not taught in gun magazines. And while we've hit the topic of gun magazines, never forget that gun magazines are entertainment. They are not professional journals.

One last thing. The primary tactical failure of FBI agents in Miami that caused two agents to ascend to Heaven was agents' not handing the pursuit to Miami cops. Miami PD and not the FBI should have been the primary pursuit agency. They had immediate access to helicopters. They had immediate access to every cop in the city, and they assuredly had far more experience with felony car stops. If the two dirtbags were on meth, it's doubtful that handgun cartridge would have made much difference; however, choice of handguns might have given agents a decided edge. Remember the importance of cover fire. A handgun that holds a lot of rounds and can be very quickly reloaded with a lot more is a definite tactical advantage. Were I to find fault with that horrible tragedy it would be agents not requesting Miami PD to take over as lead law enforcement agency or at least notify Miami PD of what it was doing, especially after they had located the dirt bags' car. That way, Miami units already would have been rolling to the scene, and almost assuredly Miami PD's helicopter would have been broadcasting transpiring events.

FBI does its own thing, which is a serious tactical error. FBI agents would be far safer were they to have local agencies do their felony car stops. If they can't hang with that, they should at the very least have radio contact with local cops and keep them informed of bad guys they're pursuing. That way, local cops already will be rolling to scenes of felony car stops, no to mention that a helicopter is almost always beneficial. Remember, were any cop: federal, state, or local in a perilous situation, all cops, regardless of agency, will respond. Cops do not allow other cops to die.

When cops are attempting to arrest dangerous felons, law enforcement agencies want every available cop on scene. The intent is to show bad guys that they will not win; hence, it's far more wise to surrender w/o resorting to violence.

Sorry for the rant. It's just that I've read a gun magazine neophyte term this morning, and it's about causing me to think that good guys ought not read entertaining magazines.

Last edited by SansSouci; July 24, 2014 at 11:44 AM.
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Old July 24, 2014, 12:42 PM   #2
g.willikers
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Remember, you are not the intended audience of most gun publications.
Car magazines do the same thing.
Like "drop in an engine", or do a "drive train swap", like those are something done in an afternoon, with a few tools from the hardware store.

As for the term "platform" it can be used to describe the variations of guns sharing a near identical design, like difference in calibers, size and such, all based on one manufacturer's product line.
That's ok, really.
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:19 PM   #3
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Hi g.willikers,

You mean like a 1911A1 "platform"?

To me, it's redundant. Everyone know that a 1911A1 is a gun.

Is platform a nascent term used to describe guns? It seems as though a gun writer took to calling a gun a platform and it caught on like a women's fashion fad.

I'm good with anyone calling anything what suits them. But to me, and everyone I know, a gun is a gun. For instance, I'm a hunter. Every hunter I know knows that a Model 70 or a Model 700 are rifles.

I can cannot see how calling a gun a platform distinguishes it from a more descriptive noun such as Glock, or S&W. But if others want to refer to guns as platforms, I'm good. I know that I have never described a gun as a platform, nor will I ever describe a gun as a platform.

BTW, to me, the noun, "platform" sounds like it is intended to placate those who are politically correct.

Another BTW, how did shooters manage to describe their guns since guns were invented w/o the noun, "platform"? I never seen it used in history books to describer Revolutionary War muskets, Civil War rifles, or either of the world wars' guns.
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:30 PM   #4
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When ya' get down to it, doesn't "Winchester 700 platform" sound a lot cooler than "Model 700"?
Pardon the car reference, again, but a "Four Door Coupe" just sounds way neater than a "Family Sedan", doesn't it?
Gotta' love those advertising executives and magazine editors.
How did the world ever get along without them for so long?
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Old July 24, 2014, 01:57 PM   #5
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The term platform has been used in other technology fields and I guess it sort of migrated to the firearms industry. I suspect many of the engineers may have been exposed to the term in school and just continued to use it. For better or worse language evolves thus the need to update the dictionary ever few years.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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Did someone steal your doughnut this morning?

Firearms engineers, like automobiles engineers use the term platform to describe the basic "foundational" elements of a system when the specifics are not necessary. For instance, the "K-car" was a platform, not a specific model. There are a lot of 1911 brands and variants, and not all manufacturers call their 1911/2011s by those terms. Like Kleenex is more defined descriptor, often misused when someone really needs a tissue, the terms have meanings for those who understand them and use them.

As a court endorsed ballistics expert who has worked for both the plaintiff and the defendant on shooting reconstruction cases, the accountability for every piece of brass and every round fired is of huge import in some cases. Deficiency of training is also of import in many officer involved shootings. Yes, including misses that fail to stop a determined assailant who went on to kill an innocent. I won't necessarily fault you for missing that important element, but it does bring into question perspective. You fire 100 rounds and live, but an innocent dies due to your lack of ability to hit an assailant...that can not be called a win based on any standards I have ever seen.

Yes, show of an immense presence is a force all of its own, but it is not an end all be all tactic and in some cases will be detrimental.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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So much anger, annoyance and negative energy. Couldn't even read the whole thing. And for the record, plenty of military folks (not all) would hurl at the thought that we run around calling these things "guns." They were taught that "guns" are on warships and hauled behind trucks and take a team of people to clear, load, and fire.

Is all of this really so upsetting? And who sets these standards that everyone should meet & not stray from?

Sheesh. And more, more, MORE ranting from another voice on an internet discussion forum about the lack of value of printed gun magazines. YAWN. And I do the same exact YAWN when one of the scribes in the gun rags points out some CRAP he saw some loudmouth spout while in an online forum.

Extremely tiring.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:34 PM   #8
SansSouci
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MarkCO,

Deficiency of training is another neophyte term that needs to go. Every state of which I am away has minimum standards of firearms training. Cops have to demonstrate meeting or exceeding minimum standards, or they won't be officers long. These standards are objective and are assuredly reviewed by states' attorneys general for being legally defensible.

In CA, CA POST determines minimum firearms training standards. Judicial notice confirms that officers meeting or exceeding these standards are proficient.

No law enforcement agency would allow an officer in the field who has failed to meet any POST standard of training. To do so would expose an agency to huge liability, assuredly including punitive damages. Hell, cops have to meet minimum standards of First Aid & CPR, or they are not allowed in the field.

I'd like for you to cite one case for me where an officer met his state's minimum firearms standards but was found by any court to be deficient.

When cops qualify, it is documented in duplicate. The cop keeps a copy and the other goes in his personnel file.

It is fallacy to assume deficiency of training should a cop be unable to stop an assailant who then commits murder. Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to exclude all possible variables of a law enforcement shooting and isolating nebulous "deficiency of training" as causal? Mark, it is too ridiculous to even consider.

How is tactical overwhelming presence of force when trying to arrest a dangerous felon detrimental? This is the first I've heard of it. Maybe you know something I don't. So I'm willing to learn. Teach me.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:39 PM   #9
SansSouci
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g.willikers,

It's gotta be subjective. To me, Model 700 is all I need to hear. If I want more, I'll ask about caliber.

But if you're good calling a Model 700 a platform, I'm good. As for me, I'd good calling it what it is, a Model 700 rifle.

Last edited by SansSouci; July 24, 2014 at 02:49 PM.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:41 PM   #10
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"Gun= gat, piece, rod, heat, etc."

Languages are always in a state of flux. Our version of the English language
is an amalgumation of languages from almost every part of the world.
People I've met that were raised in other countries speaking other languages have told me that they had a great deal of trouble understanding American English tho they took classes in "english" for 6 years.
One girl visiting from Brazil ( they don't speak Spanish ) was told her American friend had a lead foot, ergo got a speeding ticket.
She thought he had a physical deformity of the foot.

In Brittain the roof of a car is known as a bonnet, & our flashlight is a tourch or electric tourch in Brittain. In Russia to this day a truck is a Studebaker in England it's a lorry.

"Gun" comes from: mid-14c., gunne "an engine of war that throws rocks, arrows or other missiles," probably a shortening of woman's name Gunilda, found in Middle English gonnilde "cannon" and in an Anglo-Latin reference to a specific gun from a 1330 munitions inventory of Windsor Castle ("...una magna balista de cornu quae Domina Gunilda ..."), from Old Norse Gunnhildr, woman's name, from gunnr + hildr, both meaning "war, battle." First element from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane); for second, see Hilda.
Re: gunnr + hildr, from old Norse. That could be why large breasted ladies are said to have "big guns".
In the U.S. its said about someone that gets shot with a gunne was
shot, blasted, capped, popped, venitlated, etc.
I could cite examples ad nauseum but there isn't space for such a diatribe on etymology.
As part of my college studies I was required to take up studies in communications so learned way more than anyone wants to know about language.
( By the way I did 22.5 years in the mean streets & do understand your, ah, concerns.)
Why to we call a revolver a wheel-gun, a pistol an auto-loader, a shotgun a smoothie and so on?
If we call a revolver a gun & everyone knows and understands what we mean then there is no problem with understanding our casual conversations or writing.
That said when we must write or speak in diplomatic, business, or offcial terms the use of language must be 100% correct.
One who commands the language commands the people.
It worked all too well for Hitler.
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:45 PM   #11
SansSouci
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Mark,

I have thought about your deficiency of training thing. Keeping in mind that I have known many thousands of cops, and I have know of a lot cops who have been in shootings, I have never known a single one who was ever determined to have been deficiently trained. Zip, zero, zilch. Nada. Goose eggs. In fact, I have never even heard of firearms deficiency of training ever coming up in any shooting investigation or trial.

It must be one of those terms that only men in black know.

Do you know of one?
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Old July 24, 2014, 02:48 PM   #12
SansSouci
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jaeger106,

Have you ever heard of a gun described in a police report as a platform? Was the robber armed with a 1911A1 platform? Or was he armed with a semiautomatic pistol that appeared to be a 1911A1 handgun?
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote from SansSouci:
jaeger106,

Have you ever heard of a gun described in a police report as a platform? Was the robber armed with a 1911A1 platform? Or was he armed with a semiautomatic pistol that appeared to be a 1911A1 handgun?


I was a criminal investigator for 10 years & testified in many court cases so
no, never, not once.
I thought a "platform" was a shoe style?
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:14 PM   #14
SansSouci
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Hi jaeger106,

I kinda figured that'd be the case. I've never heard any cop refer to a gun as a platform.


Stay safe,

Sans
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:18 PM   #15
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"Platform" is used to describe a 'family' of firearms where the operational and (often) maintenance skills are similar, and portable across the weapons.

Example: "I carry an STI Trojan in IDPA, and so got a SIG 938 for CCW, since my skills on that platform were already fairly high."

Sometimes things that 'don't make sense' actually do, but not TO YOU. Gotta' watch out for that...


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Old July 24, 2014, 03:20 PM   #16
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I have only heard of 'platform' used this way, in the military.

They wrote in the 40s or 50s, and it is a bear to get documentation changed.

It is even done on the Wiki for the M1911

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol


It isn't that it is new (neophyte)

It is old. And stuffy sounding.

Last edited by Marty8613; July 24, 2014 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Add stuff
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:26 PM   #17
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DT Guy,

I'd of said it, "...since I have skills with that type of gun." Intuitively, I know what a gun is. A platform could be a whole lot of things.

I'd be willing to wager that the noun platform originated in a gun magazine.

I have never, ever heard another shooter, either at the cop range where I have to qualify to keep my credential or at the indoor range near my home, ever call any gun a platform. I have heard shooters call their guns P-226's, Glock 17's, 686's etc. But never a platform...

Might be because I ain't a man in black...

Jus' sayin'...
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:34 PM   #18
SansSouci
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Hi Marty,

I didn't read your Wiki link. If platform was in it, the reasonable question was when the Wiki article was written and who authored it.

If platform has been used for a half-century to describe guns, why is it that it's only recently caught on?

Maybe a a 'net search using "platform" + "gun" might pull up when platform was first applied to guns.

In the end, who cares?
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Old July 24, 2014, 03:46 PM   #19
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OMG! I can't believe I just wasted 20 minutes reading this whinefest.
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
The BS of armchair wannabes about how cops fired a whole bunch of rounds and didn't hit a bad guy is neophyte jargon 101. Assess a gunfight by survival of good guys. If cops fired a hundred rounds and every single one missed the bad guy and every single one of the cops survived, the cops did something right, not wrong
Guess I'm an "armchair wannabe" but if a cop fires 100 rounds at a bad guy and survives, that's not good tactics, that's pure luck. Where did those 100 rounds go? At best I'd call that reckless endangerment not good tactics. Like the cops a while back who shot 9 civilians in an attempt to take down one bad guy. You want to call that "good tactics"?

As to Jargon............I'll find that under "who cares". Its like spelling police attacking the spelling instead of offering content to the subject. What does it accomplish.

I've been around guns quite a bit in my 67 years. I have enough confidence in my knowledge I don't feel the need to correct someone who calls a magazine a clip. I know what they are talking about, what does it accomplish to go all ballistic.

As to "platform". The term does fit will into "gun talk". Mr. Smith builds a rifle. Mr. Jones ask what was the platform. Having build untold numbers of rifles in my time, I would automatically assume Mr Jones was asking what action. Or depending on the subject, platform could mean, a hunting platform, a target platform, plinking platform, etc. All I would consider platform.

A good example I confess I use to cringe when I heard the term "driving a rifle". I've said in the past, you drive trucks not rifles. That is until I saw a video put out by "Rifles Only" on shooting precision rifles. In the video Jacob was talking about "driving the rifle" in the same way one drives a vehicle. Unconscionably moving the steering wheel as he drives down the road. You do the same thing in shooting. You do in fact drive a rifle.

"Man Stopper", let me point out, its man stopper, not man "instant' killer. If it constantly stops a bandit from his intended evil doing, its a man stopper. A 44 to the hard lung area may not be a man stopper, killer yes, but it wouldn't necessary instantly stop him. How ever a 38 hitting the bandit low in the stomach would instantly stop the bad behavior.

I could go on and on but my point is, if one has enough confidence in his/her knowledge, they don't have the need to belittle one's improper terms. Embarrassing someone shows how little we are, not how dumb the person we embarrass.
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Old July 24, 2014, 04:38 PM   #21
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Quote from Microgunner:
OMG! I can't believe I just wasted 20 minutes reading this whinefest.


Well said & I agree. Can't believe I went to all the trouble of explaining the changing state of language. ( most understood it was meant with good natured humor )
Anyway I think gun writers come up with these terms to make themselves
more noticable and readers follow suit to make themselves seem smarter.
Terms like "shoot to incapacitate and stop agressive behavior" serve only to confuse the good people that serve on jury duty.
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Old July 24, 2014, 06:26 PM   #22
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Antagonistic OP, bickering, off-topic for T&T and going nowhere.
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