GLOCK 30SF just hanging around (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Today is Rolling Stone day at TTAG. We’re running three posts (including this one) about the magazine’s onslaught of anti-gun articles. The most ridiculous of these: The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America. The article claims to ID “the types of guns most often recovered from crime scenes and/or used in murders.” SPOILER ALERT! They are – in order – pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and derringers. In other words, guns are the most dangerous guns in America. Small ones more than big ones, although really small ones not so much. Well that’s just dumb. So, what firearms are the most dangerous guns in America – to criminals (obviously)? Let’s choose one and base the answer on lethality. All things being equal, what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?

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180 Responses to Question of the Day: What’s the Most Dangerous Gun in America?

  1. Rifles and shotguns kill fewer people than hammers and blunt weapons. I didn’t see machine guns on the list anywhere!

    • The most dangerous gun is the one I am pointing at you, because if I am pointing it at you then you are a dangerous criminal and I only shoot to kill. And I rarely miss as I have been shooting since 1962.

    • My first thought when I read the title to the article was “a dangerous gun is a gun that goes ‘click’ when I was expecting a ‘BANG’…”

  2. Question: All things being equal, what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?

    Answer: The one being fired in their direction in response to their criminal acts against their intended victim.

  3. …what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?

    The one in the hands of a law-abiding citizen.

      • Yeah.. if you look at the time stamps on the first few posts, it seems most of us were thinking the same thing. If I had to further that sentiment, it would be “the gun you’re best with for the situation you’re using it for” (ccw, home defense, etc).

      • I believe Jeff Cooper would concur. If memory serves, he once wrote that approx. 9 of 10 murders were done by and to a small subset of society that, frankly, was not going to be missed all that much. When one drug dealing murderous gang banger kills another drug dealing murderous gang member I can’t get too worked up about it.

  4. The most/only dangerous gun in the world is the one that’s in the hands of someone who has lost regard for the sanctity of human life. I guess that can be said of anything that can be used to kill another human being.

  5. I think the most dangerous gun in America has to be the gun from which the liberal/left-leaning media shoots its anti-gun propaganda at the people of America.

  6. When you summarized their list I thought you were joking, and when I clicked on the link and read it, I assumed they were joking. I was wrong. Rolling Stone might be a joke, but they aren’t joking, and I’m dumber for having read it.

    • I saw it yesterday. My immediate response was, “The most dangerous guns in Amur’ka: ALL OF ‘EM!!!”

    • I sent the link of that “article” to a friend with the disclaimer that IQ points may be lost by reading attached.

    • My favorite quote was, “Popular among handgun owners, pistols…”. And then they go on to list revolvers and derringers as a separate category entirely from the “Pistol” category. The stupid; it burns.

      • I haven’t read the article, but…

        Don’t we usually categorize “pistols” separately from “revolvers”? That is, my 1911 is a pistol; my Blackhawk is a revolver (but not a pistol); they’re both handguns.

        • My personal interpretation of “pistol” is a firearm designed to be held and fired by one hand. I believe this is where the term hand-gun also originated?

        • I first heard that definition around 15 years ago, after thinking for 40 years that pistol and handgun were synonymous, revolver described a different action on a pistol/handgun than an automatic pistol/handgun or single shot pistol/handgun. Other than the descriptive value (I’m buying a revolver today, not an automatic.), I don’t see why anyone cares.

        • Origin of PISTOL
          Middle French pistole, from German, from Middle High German pischulle, from Czech píšt’ala, literally, pipe, fife; akin to Czech pištět to squeak
          First Known Use: circa 1570

          I don’t think they had autoloaders in 1570.

      • Although they’re both types of handguns, revolvers are distinct from pistols by definition. A pistol is defined as a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistol ). Rolling Stone’s description is somewhat different however: “pistols are defined by their built-in barrel and short stock”. The stupid does indeed burn, and it burns real bad.

  7. 50 BMG from the neighborhood overwatch position.

    Of course they should fear the tacti-awesome operator behind it more. Every criminal know the gun won’t shoot him without help….

    • Without help … for now.

      Just wait for the RFID tag wristband so the OughtToCannon can tell you’re not a bad guy…

      Or for Officer ED prototypes to come to town.

      • When they require police forces to use RFD systems and they complain because of unreliability concerns, maybe those systems will finally die.
        No consumer wants a smart gun.

    • “50 BMG from the neighborhood overwatch position.”

      You being from Detroit, a rather wise choice…

  8. The one firearm that bad guys should fear most is the pump-action shotgun. Why, the mere sound of a shotgun being racked has been known to make bad guys swoon, or even drop dead on the spot.

    You don’t even need to shoot one to stop a home invasion! In fact, you don’t even need a shotgun! Just download shotgun sound effects from Youtube and your home will be safe.

      • At close range, under 25 yards, the 20 or 12ga shottie does the most damage and is hard to recover from even if you make it to the hospital before bleeding out. Most deaths from any firearm are from blood loss therefore a knife or hammer to the skull are just as deadly. But for long range lethality, got to give it to the AR and AK in a dead heat…pun intended.

        • For ease of operating, I’d give it to the AR but for the “when you absolutely, positively have to kill every single mother-effer in the room” accept no substitute to the AK.

        • Michael while I thank you for your support on the 1911 I am going to have to seriously take you to task on this one. Any Winchester Model 70 in a caliber 243 or greater is a far more deadly long range weapon than an AR or an AK.

        • tdiinva, in other context you would be correct, however, “long range” was in reference to anything beyond a knife, hammer, or shotgun. The question of the day is not “What is the best long range gun?” It is what is the most dangerous?

        • Me too, but when talking about the most feared gun, I don’t think many people fear anything from 500 + yards except for lightning. Not that your wrong, but sniper rifles don’t really fit the genre of this discussion.

    • It’s a good thing the “racking” sound is scary enough, After you watch a few Hollywood flicks, you can see most of the actors have ejected all their shells by the time their actually ready to shoot something.

        • I’ve got a zombie shotgun and a vampire shotgun, so sure, a ghost shotgun, why not?
          Does anybody know where to find a proton pack these days, and preferably one no longer than 76mm?

      • On a related rant, I was watching a show yesterday in which the main character had a revolver, and every time it moved it made the sound of racking a pistol slide.

        • That’s one of my favorite stupid things in movies and TV. Every time someone so much as touches or moves a gun, the thing makes all these great metallic clacking and ratcheting sounds. Doesn’t matter what the gun is, or what the person holding it is doing, it’s always making a freakin’ racket. None of my guns do that. Are they broken?

          Second favorite is the “shwing!” sound all blades make when being removed from sheaths and scabbards.

        • “Second favorite is the “shwing!” sound all blades make when being removed from sheaths and scabbards.”

          Or picked up from a silk pillowcase, retrieved from velvet wrappings, or in any other way manipulated.

        • Right around the time that people started building home theaters, the movies started including more high range sound effects. One of the favorites was the sound of ejecting shells hitting the ground. Even with revolvers and even on grass. You almost never hear BANG! without CLINK CLINK CLINK.

      • I am fluent in sarcasm so I get your post. However, I get so aggravated at “gun folks” that say “I keep a pump shotgun by my bed cause if somebody comes in my house uninvited in the middle of the night, all I have to do is rack that thing and they will crap their pants as they run out of there”. I just say ” you put a lot of faith in the fear of someone that would risk a night time home invasion.” The pump shotgun is a great home defense gun for sure but relying on a sound to protect you is the worst reason to ever own any gun.

        • Sorry but all of my guns already have a round in the chamber. I let the first bullet rack the slide!!!!

        • The sound of a pump shotgun is terrifying, it does make interlopers crap their pants. I’ve done it (had an uninvited “guest” some time ago). It worked as advertised to wit I screwed the muzzle in the “guest’s” ear then racked it, didn’t take long for the smell to come up to say hi. So yes they work as advertised.

        • You’re lucky he didn’t swipe the gun away from his ear and gut you with a blade. You are the very idiot I was talking about If you believe “noise” is a good defense strategy.

        • I’m not relying on JUST the noise of the shotgun. I’m also relying on the fact that the shotgun is now loaded, with seven more shells in the tube in case one just isn’t enough.

        • But the same guy that says “I want a pump shotgun instead of an auto loader because the sound of that racking will send chills down the spine of the bad guy”, will argue “I won’t put a light on my shotgun because I would not want to give away my position”. Common sense is rare in the blogosphere.

      • How many times have you seen this one in a movie? Guy A is holding on Guy B with a pistol, perhaps moving through a building or other activities that take some time. Then, finally, much later, Guy A jacks the slide back, meaning he’s been holding a piece of inert steel on Guy B the whole time. I think they just think it looks cool.

    • Open you door and point your speakers outside and give it two blasts. That way you can take Joe’s advice and still be within the law.

  9. Belt fed AR15 with barrel shroud, 30 caliber clipazine, shoulder thingy that goes up, & ghost gun super lethal action. ok now that I got the silliness outta my system the gun Mr. I.R. Bad should fear most is the one in the hands of Mr. & Mrs. America. On the other hand, the least feared should be anything with property of NYPD etched on it somewhere. “They will fire at you but they will miss.” Obi Wan Kenobi when asked about his thoughts on the NYPD… err Imperial Storm Troopers.

  10. Hollywood machine guns, the ones that can shoot two or three hundred rounds out of a 30 round magazine!

  11. So I guess all pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns ever made are killing all of us right now, as we speak? Go home Rolling Stone, you’re drunk.

  12. …So its like saying the 5 most dangerous cars in America are Sedans, SUV’s, Trucks, Vans and Crossovers.

  13. Glock 22.

    I know a lot of police agencies use them and from what a lot of articles say about LEO guns “they just go off.”

  14. Uh…, guns are supposed to be dangerous. That’s how they work. Wouldn’t want one if it wasn’t dangerous.

  15. “With more than 119,000 pistols found at crime scenes in 2012, this handgun model holds an unfortunately solid first place in criminal weaponry.”

    This is pretty horrible writing to start. But what irks me is their use of the word “unfortunate”. Unfortunate to whom? Unfortunate to people who are trying to focus everyone’s attention on “assault rifles” as the most commonly-used type of firearm for criminals? That handguns lead the pack is definitely unfortunate, as it strays from their narrative.

  16. Too bad they didn’t word it as the 5 most common weapons recovered from murder scenes. I do not think the gun would be on that list. I am certain that hammers and bats would be right at the top.

    • Not so. Guns are used for more homicides than all other means combined. You might be thinking of the statistic that blunt objects are used in more homicides than rifles, which is true, and shows how pointless “assault weapons” bans are. But something like 2/3 of all murders in the U.S. are committed with handguns.

  17. Now that I think about it there are so many umber dubber dangerous guns.

    Anything in .45 because it not only obliterates the body with one shot but it also kills the soul.

    On a more serious not, all “smart guns” are dangerous because of the many ways they can fail you when you need them.

  18. I have to go with the Glock 17. The pistol most favored by cops and criminals who hit more innocents than their intended targets and of course the gun most likely to inflict damage on its negligent owners.

  19. Rolling Joints must be pretty desperate for traffic these days, to be publishing this much obvious click-bait in rapid succession. Don’t feed the troll, people.

  20. On the “Pistols” slide:

    Popular among handgun-owners, pistols …

    And children are popular among parents and brains are popular among skulls and derp is popular among Rolling Stone ‘journalists.’

  21. I am dumber just for reading that article. If I read much more of this non-factual anti-gun agenda journalism, my brain might stop functioning all together.

  22. In all honesty I fear a wrong address SWAT raid more than any criminal activity. I do live in a low crime area, but that hasn’t stopped our local Sheriff from acquiring a zombiewagon from the feds. I also fear the scores of federal agencies run by unelected, unaccountable bureacrats who have their own SWAT teams and don’t take kindly to dissent from us rubes out here in flyover country. Therefore, in my mind, the most dangerous firearm is the M4 carbine since that’s the weapon our government is most likely to use on it’s own citizens.

  23. The two most dangerous kinds of hotdogs:
    1. Hotdogs made of beef.
    2. Hotdogs not made of beef.

    The 3 most dangerous animals:
    1. Canivores
    2. Omnivores
    3. Herbivores

    The two most dangerous kinds of humans:
    1. Male
    2. Female

    The deadliest form of electricity.
    1. The Electric Kind

    Now that I just covered those topics, and knocked them out of the park (I might add), will Rolling Stone pay me the big bucks????!!!!

    Epic fail, Rolling Stone. Epic fail.

    • It makes one wonder if the editor even knows what’s going into the editions, let alone actually reads it beforehand.

  24. Guns are NOT dangerous. They inanimate pieces of metal, plastic and wood. A person holding said inanimate object, loaded, with deadly intentions, or little common sense, is dangerous.

  25. For those interested in how the math works out. Of those “Top 5”, rifles at 39,000 recovered, account for 1.67% of firearms recovered at crime scenes. Semi auto handguns alone account for over half, and handguns as a group account for over 70% of firearms recovered at crimescenes… yes lets ban the rifles, it will completely eliminate all violent crime.

    /Sarc

    • And hey! Aren’t the firearms found at crime scenes the arms of the losers? Seems like the winners would have taken the “most dangerous” firearms with them.

  26. The 380. Denigrated by LE and real men. Still too much recoil for many. Small enough to tuck away and carry without the assistance of a costume designer. If a thug has a potential victim draw a .380 it means they want to eliminate the threat and get on with their business.

  27. By far, the most dangerous guns in America are those in the hands of criminals, the mentally unsound, and jihadists, as always.

  28. The most dangerous one is the automatic death shot gun that kills things by itself when you even pick it up. It has 999999 bullets per clip and must be banned because it doesn’t exist and anyone who believes a gun can do such things is rather uneducated.

  29. Well there is a surprising element here. She did distinguish pistols, revolvers and derringers.

    Pistol is sometimes used for any handgun, yes. And originally even the revolver was called the revolver pistol.

    But generally we distinguish. A pistol has a single chamber integral to a single barrel. A revolver has a barrel and multiple chambers. And a derringer has 2 barrels.(purely American nomenclature…in Britain a revolver is still called a pistol too)

    But she didn’t even understand what the distinction was. “Built in barrel” Most guns have a barrel. Derp.

    • I wouldnt give too much credit… the author did that because they realized halfway through that they wouldnt have enough to complete a “Top 5” article if they didnt.

    • I believe your fatal flaw was presuming the author was actually interested in conveying useful and informative material rather than publish just blabbering garbage.

      Someone posted the twitter account for that author and it’s filled with similar garbage but with foul language added.

  30. Easy. The most prevalent one. And it’s time we stopped letting the antis troll the narrative with it. :p

  31. I have a couple pistols that could be considered dangerous. One is the Lorcin .25. A woman said her father gave it her and she had never fired it. I took it to the range to test it. When I gave it back to her, I asked her how well did she get along with her father?
    The other gun functioned better that another woman had for protection. She had me clean and test fire it. It was another .25 by Phoenix Arms. It shot very accurately and reliably…one you got past all the “safeties”. It has a thumb safety, a mag disconnect, can’t rack the slide with safety on, can’t eject mag with safety off, can’t cock hammer with safety on…etc. I told her to sell it and buy a revolver.

  32. This article is amazing. Pistols are the most dangerous guns in America.

    In other news: Food is causing obesity in America.

  33. The most dangerous guns in America: none.

    Much the same as with cars, it’s the idiot behind the wheel that’s dangerous. What guns should make a criminal poop himself if he breaks into my house? All of them, but here are some of my personal favorites:

    -Winchester 12 ga. with 00 Buck – The sound of racking a round is almost magical in its ability to get someone to stop what they are doing and pay attention. There is almost no way it can be mistaken for a plastic toy like an AR can.

    -Deagle .50 – The visual image of the triangular muzzle-end should be familiar to anyone who has watched any action movie in the last 20-ish years. Even the most motivated criminal would think long and hard about their life choices staring down the massive hole where the bullets come out drilled into what is essentially a giant block of steel.

  34. Hmmm…around Chicagoland I reckon a Hi Point 9mm would be #1. Mighty popular with the pants on the ground crowd.

  35. Subtitled “Everything You Need to Know About Guns if You Need to Hate Them But Don’t Know Sh*t About Them”

  36. ‘Round here, it’s the one I happen to grab when something goes bump in the night.

    Seriously, though, I couldn’t say as here are many factors involved – lethality of the load, controlability, magazine size and prevalence, to name a few – and I know of no comprehensive study.

    Probably a Glock brand Glock in a heavy caliber; on the other hand, it’s not all that popular among gang bangers; on the other hand, there’s lethality to dogs, handcuffed detainees, seniors at the wrong address, newspaper delivery persons and bystanders a block away; on the other hand…

    Hmmm.

  37. Three most deadly alcoholic drinks based on DUI statistics? Beer, Distilled Spirits, and Wine. Two most powerful American politicians? Democrats and Republicans.

    Journalistic excellence from Rolling Stone… ugh.

  38. As usual, the statistics are inflated beyond any means to seriously interpret the data. These are not “weapons used to commit crimes”, they are “weapons found at crime scenes”. In other words, If they raid a gun store, they would count all the inventory as “weapons found at the crime scene”.

  39. Most dangerous? Based on what I’ve read here and elsewhere, I’d say the Remington R51, as it might just blow up in your hand if you’re not careful.

  40. Everytime I hear the antis say something stupid, I think can they possibly be be more intellectually dishonest than this?

    Then within a few days they exceed my expectations. They are consitent.

    As to the question, what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?

    The one that’s had 5,000+ rounds through that they don’t know I’m carrying.
    The one that’s had 2,000+ rounds through that they don’t know my wife is carrying.
    The one that’s had 300+ rounds through that they don’t know my wife’s sister is now carrying.
    The one that will have had rounds through that they don’t know my soon to be daughter will be carrying.

  41. The most dangerous gun, imo, is an unpredictable one. Damaged, poorly maintained or badly designed, for whatever reason the gun does not properly function or cannot be relied on to do so regularly. Thse at the most dangerous, because they put the shooter and every on nearby at risk every time the trigger is pulled.

  42. That’s an easy one: whichever gun that the criminal’s would-be victim has on-hand and is the most practiced with.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s a lowly .22LR, or a .45 ACP, 5.56MM NATO, or a 12-gauge. Whichever they can make reliable, consistent hits with in short order is what will win the day. Caliber wars are stupid for that very reason, as a .22 Short to the heart is and always will be an infinitely better shot than a .44 magnum that misses.

    Being that property crimes are far and away the most reported types in the U.S., that’s why I’m focusing on defense of the home on this question. That being said, few things still available to we “little people” are more devastating in close-quarters than the shotgun — affectionately nicknamed “The Hallway Howitzer” — and it’s the closest thing most of us will ever come to wielding real (shoulder-fired) artillery. There is a shotgun out there for just about everybody from the old, small, and meek to the stocky running-back that never was, and effective defense ammo for all of them that delivers the goods.

    Defend. This. House.

  43. “All things being equal, what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?”

    The one in their potential victims hands.

  44. Three choices, really:
    3. The 1911 handgun in .45 ACP, a real classic; bringing death to criminals for 103 years. I chose the 1911 because of the sheer power of it, and the fact that the mere sight of it will make a criminal crap his pants.
    2. The AR-15 in .223 Rem, modern and quick. I chose this because it is accurate and quick to handle, plus it is as customisable as a LEGO gun.
    1. The Remington 870 in 12 gauge makes the number one spot for it’s huge power and the versatility of the shotgun. But the reason that puts it head and shoulders above the rest is the fact that, to see off an unwanted guest, you don’t even need to loose a shot. All the criminal needs to hear is the ‘shick-shick!” of the shotgun being pumped before they add to the music with a ‘plop’ and the ‘slap-slap-slap-slap’ of running feet.

  45. The most dangerous gun is pointed at me. The most effective one is being pointed back, hopefully from behind cover.

  46. I almost wonder if this article was written by a closet pro-2A writer trying to make Rolling Stone look stupid.

  47. I am going to say bad guys should fear a .44 Magnum revolver with 6 inch barrel shooting hot 180 grain hollow point bullets … a true “hand cannon”. I cannot imagine anyone surviving the resulting wound from that combination.

    And while such a revolver would be rather large, it is possible to carry it concealed with a shoulder holster under a sport jacket. Or you could just carry it openly on your hip.

    If that combination was good enough for Inspector Harry Callahan, it is good enough for me.

  48. Any gun publicity is good gun publicity. The hipsters reading “The Most Dangerous Gun” won’t all be turned off to guns. Many of them will go shopping…for a boom stick!

  49. All types of guns can qualify for a “Most dangerous” status or a “Nobody needs one” status in some way or another. Hand guns are easy to conceal, bolt-action hunting rifles are sniper rifles, etc…

  50. Contrary to what those who defend the right to own high-powered assault rifles believe, not all guns are created equal.

    UGH. They aren’t “high-powered” and they aren’t assault rifles.

  51. So, what firearms are the most dangerous guns in America – to criminals (obviously)? Probably another criminal with a small pistol.. Criminal interviews state that the most feared gun is a home owner with a shotgun.

  52. “All things being equal, what’s the one firearm that bad guys should fear most?” Easy… mine.

  53. So they did zero research and slapped it into print, sounds about right, probably a Bloomberg grant.

  54. The question should be “What are the safest guns in the world” and the answer would be “Any gun in the hands of a trained law abiding citizen”. End of story.

  55. The most dangerous guns? How about the ones that are completely abused, neglected, etc. Nothing worse than firing your gun and having it blow up in your face because you was a dummy and used too hot a load, plugged your barrel, relied on a safety when you shouldn’t have, etc.

  56. Factually speaking?

    Smith 38 revolvers and Lorcin 25s are “the most dangerous” as the most used in homicides.

  57. I just finished reading through all of the comments on the Rolling Stone article page (yes, all of ’em — I got sort of mesmerized for the better part of 30 minutes). The “journalist” is getting devastated for writing such a laughably bad piece. Nobody, not even the most zealous gun-rights opponent, is even trying to defend her.

  58. @michealinGA

    Ok there tacticool, guess I should forget everything ever learned about the action/reaction gap. Think about it, a muzzle in your ear, I would love to see you try that on. Things I didn’t mention because frankly they seemed germane to the point: First he was drunk and in the wrong house, second I came up behind him, third (I did mention this part) I put the muzzle in his EAR, fourth no blade, fifth arm reach favored me. That’s ok though from now on I’ll get all my knowledge and training from a random jackoff on the internet.

    Guess I forgot to explicitly tell you there was more than a little sarcasm floating through my posts.

    • You get called out for being an idiot then you claim sarcasm?
      “Tacticool” is the wrong description for me. I am advocating surviving, not looking or acting like a tough guy.
      You put a shotgun muzzle up to my ear and I will take it from you and beat your ass with it. At that point you have proven to me that you don’t want to shoot so you won’t react in time to shoot me and if you do squeeze the trigger, the shot will go off and hopefully not hit your family, but it aint hitting me, I am not in front of the muzzle. You really should get pro training and not from a “jackoff” on the internet. Take a shotgun defense course and on the first day, tell the instructor your story. He might not call you an idiot…to your face, but that is what he will be thinking.

      • I guess it really is true. Opinions are like assholes, except on the internet where everybody has two. Good day to you there tactikewl.

        • One problem…we were discussing facts of a DGU, not opinions. An opinion is you calling me an asshole. A fact is that you assessed that a drunk wandered into your home, unarmed posing no threat and you decided to terrorize him. You’re a nice peace of work.

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