Monday, May 23, 2005

Note to self: Dogs

Note to Self:

When shooting dogs, 9mm is much better than .223.

Warning. The following is graphic and icky. So is life around here. For the record, I love dogs. I’ve owned several. I will own one as soon as I can get home and buy one for the children. The Mrs. isn’t too fond of the idea (she has to care for it when I am gone).

Okay, PETA (My Definition) (is going to hound (no pun intended) me for this , but that’s just a simple fact of life here. The dogs are a serious disease vector, and we shoot them to cull the packs of wild dogs. Iraqis don’t keep dogs as pets, and they roam wild and generally despoil everything in their purview. Not to mention that their barking gives us away when we’re being sneaky.

I’m a good shot. That means that I hit what I am aiming at on the first try, out to 300m, with my issue rifle and iron sights. I also hit what I am aiming at with my 9mm pistol at ranges of 50m.

I hunt. I like to spend the fall and spring walking through the woods and prairies finding cute furry things to kill and eat. I’ve never taken a trophy, mostly because it’s friggin expensive to have the taxidermy done, but also because I don’t want a big deer head in my living room. It would get in the way of the TV.

So I went on a dog hunt. With my M4 (.223/5.56 mm). (Marines name their weapons. My weapon has a name, although I am not a Marine. My weapon’s name is old worthless Rack #32.) We went out to the local dumping grounds and parked the trucks, made sure there were no kids out looking for whatever it is that Iraqi kids look for in dumps (what do those living in squalor have to throw away that is another man’s treasure?) found the nearest dog pack and got to work. I took a knee and brought the rifle up, aimed right at the same spot that’s brought down so many deer, and squeezed.

Dead Dog, right? Dead wrong. It jumped, yelped, spun around, and started running. The damn dog was still going strong. Shot #2, moving target, 75meters. Easy. Same target area. Same effect, but he started running the other direction. This was getting ridiculous. My gunner spotted some more dogs about 400m away, so he hosed them off with the M240 machine gun. About 50 rounds (4-5 bursts) later, no more dogs. Great target acquisition and engagement on his part. I was getting pissed. I picked the terminator for a dog. Doggie was now stationary, and yelping a bit less. I think shot #2 was a lung shot (at this point that’s what I thought). Okay. Shot # 3. 50m, easy money. Dog facing me, sitting. Shot right in the big red spot on his chest. Dog goes down.

Terminator Dog sits back up. I’ve had it. I figure this dog is just screwing with me at this point. I pull out the pistol, take aim, (head shot) and let fly. Dog Drops. Dead. (Finally!) We walk out to inspect the dog. 2 holes on either side of the chest, about 3 inches apart. Pencil sized holes. One hole in the front of the chest and out the back. Same size entry an exit wounds. One little hole in the head, back of head gooey mess.

The .223 is supposed to tumble when it hits the squishy stuff. Either doggies aren’t that squishy inside or the round has (and I never thought I’d say this) too much power. The pistol had the desired effect with 9mm ball. Go figure.

Next time, bring the shotgun.



Joe Norman said...

.223 SUCKS!!!!!!! Why do they give you guys such a shit round to kill the enemy with?!
In MY Army, your standard issue would be:
Sidearm: 1911A1 in .45ACP
Rifle: M-14 in .308

Stops'em AND kills'em FIRST SHOT!!

Go get'em Capn!

Anonymous said...

I recently found out what this "tumbling" myth is all about, re 5.56mmNato.

The round doesn't "tumble" on contact, it doesn't buzz-saw through a target as some would have you believe.

The word "tumbling" was chosen to describe an effect properly termed "bullet yaw" wherein the light, fast .223" bullet would (relatively) slowly turn through 180 degrees inside ballistics gelatine and proceed base-first through the target media.

One half-turn. No buzzsaw.

The people trying to get the AR-15 adopted in the '60s chose the misleading synonym "tumble" for "yaw" and the rest is a lot of inflated misinformation to appologise for an underpowered round.

The new .280 SPC should be a happy medium between the weight of 5.56 and the power of the 7.62x51 or the .30-06 of bygone (glorious!) days, but only if that new plastic rifle works the way its supposed to.

Dogs are inherently tough animals. Each of your hits on target was likely a fatal wound, but not instantly disabling. To stop an attacking dog, it should be repeatedly shot in the head (frontal) or in the lower half of the front half of the torso with a major-caliber handgun.

I've seen video of a police officer firing an entire magazine of .40SW into an attacking pit-bull, and I think he scored about 5 or 6 solid hits, and the dog kept on trying to kill the little kid the officer was trying to rescue.

I'll shut up now. Stay safe, sir.

~Rick Berry