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Old April 30, 2009, 01:27 PM   #49
maestro pistolero
Senior Member
Join Date: August 16, 2007
Posts: 2,147
Not to sound disbelieving, but am I understanding correctly that the rifles shoot the same calibers as the semi-automatic handguns?
Generally, no. Some 'long guns' shoot pistol ammo like 9mm and 45, and are often referred to as carbines. Although a carbine may also be somewhat diminutive rifle that, in fact uses rifle ammo.

Few pistols shoot rifle ammo, but there are exceptions, AR pistols, for example. Pistols that use rifle ammo have limited usefulness in my opinion.

Is there any meaningful difference between the velocity of a same-caliber bullet shot out of a different gun?
Not so much with pistols that use pistol ammo, There is a difference, but since pistols all have relatively short barrels, it is not much.

With pistols that use rifle ammo, there is a significant loss in velocity that the round depends upon for its effectiveness, also a loss in sight radius (the distance between the front and rear sight that helps to place accurate fire), and the inability to 'shoulder' the gun (no buttstock), which is the integral part of rifle technique that enables accurate fire at distance.

Pistol ammo is usually short and fat, and is most useful for up close use, say, under 50 feet. Actual defensive situations are usually much closer than that, often just a few feet away.

Rifle ammo is also useful up close, but, depending on the caliber, may pose a safety hazard if used in, say, an apartment complex, where any stray rounds could penetrate walls and endanger innocents.

5.56 nato, aka .223 Remington (the AR15/M16 round) may be the most powerful rifle round that would be prudent in such confined living quarters, because it's a light round whose effectiveness is greatly diminished by walls, etc. Choosing an even lighter, hollow point round for home defense in this caliber can reduce overpenetration issues even further. (hollow points tend to stop in their targets better rather than punch right through, also true for handgun ammo)

Is there a way to increase visibility of a semi-automatic rifle as owned by responsible, trustworthy citizens? How do we educate people who, like me, don't even realize there was a question I wasn't asking about the "assault weapon" category?
If you can figure that one out, the NRA will host a parade for you. It is difficult, if not impossible at times, to get any fair play from the mainstream media outlets. There are a few exceptions, CNN's Lou Dobbs being one of them.

Hope this helps, Stilletto.
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