Courtesy '60 Minutes and YouTube
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It’s summer, when network TV ratings traditionally dip. Add to that the fact that we’re heading into a campaign year (the first Democrat presidential debates take place this week), so the producers of CBS’s 60 Minutes decided yesterday was the perfect time to re-run a segment on why AR-15 rifles are unusually deadly and the weapon of choice for mass shooters. Allegedly.

You can view the full segment here (it’s not embeddable).

The misinformation comes fast and thick.

  • The AR-15 is the choice of our worst mass murderers.
  • They imply that mass shootings are increasing in the US.
  • The AR-15 is unusually powerful and deadly.
  • They compare .223 to 9mm, but no other rifle rounds, implying that 9mm wounds are like a pin prick in comparison.
  • Mass casualty events have become so common that everyone now needs to carry a blowout kit. All Americans must prepare for “the grievous wounds of high velocity rounds” thanks to the AR-15.

As we wrote when the segment originally aired (now slightly updated) . . .

CBS ran a ’60 Minutes’ segment on the AR-15 rifle last night which took a largely ballistic approach. They didn’t talk to anyone on either side of the gun control issue, instead looking at the damage an AR-style rifle does to someone who is shot compared to that of a 9mm round, along with the challenges first responders and emergency rooms face in treating those wounds.


But at the top of the segment, host Scott Pelley pronounced the AR-15 the “weapon of choice” of mass shooters. To back that up, he listed the Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Parkland, Las Vegas and last week’s Pittsburgh synagogue shootings.

The fact is, however, that long guns in general and rifles in particular are used in a tiny fraction of gunshot deaths in the US. And Pelley conveniently overlooked mass shootings like Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Santa Fe, Texas, the Washington Navy Yard, the Gabby Giffords attack and the Virginia Beach shooting, to name just a few examples, in which shooters used handguns and/or shotguns. Probably just an oversight by the ’60 Minutes’ crew.

But you’d think that Pelley’s producers could have taken five minutes to do a little Googling to make sure their claim has some basis in fact. Apparently not.

60 Minutes: The AR-15 Is the Mass Shooter's Weapon of Choice

It turns out that in a study of mass shootings in the US from 1966 to 2016, handguns are — by far — the actual weapon of choice among mass killers. But pointing that out wouldn’t have made quite the impact on the show’s audience last night.

So yes, it’s true, when someone is shot with a .223/5.56 round, the wound is more devastating than one inflicted with a 9mm bullet. The rifle round has about three to four times the energy of the pistol round.

The ’60 Minutes’ segment did a good job of illustrating that aspect of basic ballistics. And the program’s low information viewers now think that every mass shooting involves a scary black rifle, often equipped with a bump fire stock.

Mission accomplished.

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  1. No lie, 60 Minutes! I saw an AR in a Gun Shop of Death and I passed out from fear. 8>)

    I wonder why so many people have lost faith in the accuracy of the Lame Stream Media….

      • I recall seeing one of those “pants-wetting liberal journalist goes to the range” articles (you know the type) a while back. The author had been offered an M&P15-22 but rejected it out of hand as absurdly overpowered. Her “firearm-knowlegeable friend” steered her towards a 9mm pistol instead and, judging from the reported hearing loss, didn’t know how to properly wear foam earplugs.

    • kept waiting for the gun control slam…but they kept it relatively low key…choosing to concentrate on the difficulty in treating wounds caused by the unique properties of this cartridge…

      • Hah. Just that: “…by the unique properties of this cartridge”.

        A cartridge that is considered to weak to ethically hunt deer in a number of states.

        ‘Devastatingly powerful, explosive damage, etc. I watched that re-run and it was a comedy of ‘what else can I make up to make this poodle-shooting round sound like the next worst thing to the Death Star’…sigh.

  2. Nothing new, unfortunately. Corporate media has political and policy agendas. They continue to support those agendas with editorial material (much of which they call news).

  3. So a rifle round is more potent than a pistol round!? How on earth did they figure that out? Morons, wait until they discover the .308, their faces are going to melt!

    • My fave AR is the .300 BLK. .30-cal bullet with the loadout capacity of the 5.56. A 120g supersonic BLK bullet is about the same grain weight as a 9mm, but has literally twice the muzzle velocity (10.5″ BLK barrel vs. 4.5″ 9mm barrel) and four times the muzzle energy. Plus, due to the sharply pointed profile, it will penetrate the immediate layer of a target, but quickly tumble and cause a wide would cavity, expending its energy into the target and decreasing the chance of exiting the other side.

      And you can use the heavier 220g subsonic for (slightly) quieter operation. No cartridge is perfect for all conditions, but I like .300 BLK.

      Wait until one of their intern noobs at CBS reads about 7mm Rem Mag or .50 Beowulf. I once saw an article in Rolling Stone magazine (it was a printed copy on the table in a waiting room) that was totally anti-gun, and totally ignorant. The author wrote all about rifles and ARs, and the only photo included for illustration was a Mossberg 500.

      • Sounds like fantasy gunplay in TV and Movies at it again. Kurt Russell said it best what is a reality and what is fantasy while promoting Hateful 8 interview, somehow turned into a gun control debate. Look at Netflix and HBO and The CW Supernatural, excellent Gunplay if it were real orJohin Wick 3 Does the movie cause mental disturbability In America. I say that is an individual Choice and choice of self-defense to protect from the demons in the belly of the beast in America today. comes to play. The Demtards will NEVER destroy our God Given Rights Protected by our 10 BILL OF RIGHTS!

    • that was just for comparison purposes…remember, much of their audience is made-up of the uninitiated and uninformed….very little, if any…evidence of these larger calibers used in mass shootings….think the point they were trying to make is that we have to come up with better ways to treat this type of gunshot wound…

  4. Once again, “common sense” media control. If what you publish can be debunked by an amateur online in 30 minutes, you lose your license to publish.

  5. Ah but 60 Minutes bills it’s rerun’s as “new”. Updated dontchaknow?

  6. “do a little Googling”

    Dan Zimmerman,

    TTAG routinely has stories about Dick’s, Benchmade, Cory Booker, or Camala Harris (just to name a few) however none of the mentioned is as insidious as goffle. They are a monopoly unlike any the world has seen, and they have already begun snuffing out free speech. Yet you continue to “freely” use the platform that wants your voice silenced.

    There are alternatives, stop aiding and abetting the oppressor.

  7. Wonder how this would have played out with a 30-30 or an ought six. Yes gunm of choice, the sky is filled with both good and bad.

  8. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: accordingly the CDC, more people die each year falling out of bed than are killed by all long guns (shotguns, ARs, hunting rifles, etc).

    So how can there be so many people experiencing these grievous wounds caused by the scary .223?

    • Exactly great point. In NV Especially Overpopulated S NV or Las Vegas Valley is Heat Stroke and Then Auto Accidents and All gun shootings are way down.

    • think the point they were trying to make is that this was the weapon of choice in several mass shootings…that’s not an inaccurate statement…….

  9. I bet if the statistics were collected we would find that Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics are the “drunk drivers’ car of choice” for similar reasons- they’re common, inexpensive, and they work.

  10. Actually the idea that everyone should carry a “blowout kit” isn’t one I disagree with. The reasoning behind it in this case is horseshit but the recommendation is, in and of itself, solid IMHO.

    What’s taught in TCCC courses was mainly figured out and started being seriously applied in the ’90’s in ERs and on ambulances. Since the WoT started it’s been significantly refined and TCCC adds the whole combat tactics element to it, but the general principles are applicable to a car accident as well as a shooting intentional or ND. Get control of the area, assess, treat quick and dirty, move to better location, reassess and treat as applicable, get patient to better care. Works at a car accident just like it works in a gunfight except you’re worried about a distracted driver plowing into the scene rather than incoming fire.

    With proper use of TQs, chest seals and hemostatic agents many injuries that killed people 20 years ago are much more survivable, and we know that in many situations involving penitating trauma, ABC is backwards.

    So I don’t see the problem with that recommendation except the reason behind it that they’re suggesting which is pure propaganda.

    • I actually agree with everything you just said, and carry a basic EMT kit in my vehicle along with my GHB and EDC for exactly those reasons. Thinking about adding a TQ and hemostat packet to my AR buttstock (rubber banded out of the way).

  11. Unfortunately the BS presented by 60 Minutes will be accepted by non gun owners as fact, they will never check to see if it was the truth which is how most of the ‘fake news’ is consumed my the general public.

    • Of Course, its Hillary Clintons push behind the scenes tho Diane Feinstein is not shy about it to push 100 % gun Confiscation for it is that good ole’ National Campaign
      Season again. To Disarm us is to open up our Borders without resistance.

  12. This 60 Minutes piece has convinced me that all guns are evil and should be banned. I feel guilty because I own Glocks. I was touched by the producers sad-eyed look and her tender voice is something I’ll never forget. VLAD TEPES I want to join your cause!

  13. If they think the .223/5.56 is deadly, I’ll just switch to the antique .30-06. It must be less deadly because it’s old (and the rifle that uses it has a wood stock).😊

  14. Well I can agree with the statement that, “the public is the first line of defense.” That is correct so far. Even better is “the private citizen (individual) is their first line of defense vs. the collective (the public)”. Perhaps this is best taught via “Dial 911 and Die: The Shocking Truth About The Police Protection Myth”, by Richards Stevens. This is available from JPFO, Inc. at Can also be viewed online at You Tube. JPFO, Inc. is “America’s Aggressive Civil Rights Organization” and is non-NRA affiliated. JPFO, Inc. delves deep into the real issues the establishment news media, who in collusion with our government controlled socialist public schools, colleges, and universities and academia, attempt to censor, hide, cover up, and keep concealed from the American public and global community. The powerful “tax exempt foundations such as the Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie Foundations also collude with academia and the news media. Aside from JPFO, Inc. The John Birch Society in Appleton, Wisconsin at and respectively, also exposes the real hidden socialist agenda.

  15. Most states do not even allow .22x’s to be used for hunting because they lack the power of even a .243 and even a .243 is not considered a magnum rifle. Well if they get the AR’s away I hope you all realize the 1st, the 25th will fall like dominos. They will then convert to communism and it wont take long. So I hope there are those willing to die and kill to prevent our republic from becoming a footnote in a communist world history that parades as socialist

    • “So I hope there are those willing to die and kill to prevent our republic from becoming a footnote in a communist world history that parades as socialist”

      At last count, 9.5 million minimum. The Commies are outnumbered by a factor of at least 4.

      All we have to do is not become the frog on slow boil….

    • they obviously have an agenda…but they never actually stressed it…all in all, I thought it was a decent piece….wounds from this popular cartridge are, in fact…more difficult to treat

  16. I saw the segment on 60 Minutes last night. Funny isn’t, how they went on and on over the projectile velocity of the 5.56x 55 MM service cartridge. Strange to note, the projectile velocity mentioned is achieved with the 55 grain projectile. Heavier projectiles run onsiderably slower, strange isn’t it? Additionally, projectiles or bullets if one so chooses, particular commercial loading of the .308 Winchester aka the 7.62 x 51 MM NATO round, the long bearded 30-06, the .270 Winchester all exceed 3000 ft/sec. Projectiles of the old .220 Swift, in some loading, exceeded 4000 ft/sec., al, of the above mentioned remaining UNMENTIONED, how come?

    • …but weapons chambered for these cartridges are rarely used in mass shootings…the AR-15 is light, easy to handle [and conceal] and features a large magazine capacity while being considerably more lethal than a handgun or even a shotgun, in many cases…

      • So, an ideal defensive arm, you’re saying.

        Add in that even a carbine is hard to conceal and these types are even less suited to criminal mayhem by surprise. Indeed, most mass shootings you can see the guy coming, what with all the gear. Makes the consequences of prohibiting armed self-defense even more obvious — bad people with a plan get to do their mayhem until you stop them.

        • most people in these scenarios are usually caught off-guard…and aren’t even aware something is happening till they hear the shots…and even then they are often misinterpreted…yes, it is an excellent self-defense weapon, when pressed into that role…which is why you see more and more of them in patrol cars,,,

        • Replying to Frank…

          Exactly so. Most attacks are planned, taking their victims by surprise. And a few years back the feds — I forget which alphabet soup group — determined a semi-auto carbine in a medium-power cartridge was the best (least bad — nobody normal wants to be trading gunfire in the first place) defensive arm for that.

          So, one wonders, why again is some number of minutes, there so spun up about peaceful people having this kind of tool?

  17. 60 minutes can eat shit. The are square in the middle of a group of lairs not to trust. There is reams of evidence that ARs are used the least in mass shootings of all the different types of guns.

  18. 60 minutes has been a bastion of leftist propaganda since at least the 1980s. Probably since it’s inception.

  19. Ah yes another peep from the Marxist left’s propaganda wing,on why they should infringe on Americans civil rights,even all the while the 2 nd.’s prohibition on the governments infringement in the first place.

  20. I think the whole point 60 minutes was making is that high capacity assault rifles shooting rifle rounds simply produce way more devastation wounds. That is a fact and they got it right. Lets face facts the Los Angeles sniper would never have killed or crippled for life the amount of people that he did from that great a distance using a 9mm or any other common pistol round. Even the Band who were armed with pistols that were totally worthless at that great a distance for return fire made the Band into “believers” in wanting a ban on such weapons. When your on the receiving end of a hail of long range assault rifle fire it changes your beliefs very quickly.

    • “…into “believers” in wanting a ban on such weapons. ”

      The words of Mr Washington sum it up best:

      A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, & evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority

    • think you mean vegas…those were pretty iong shots for an AR…and it tends to lose steam rather quickly..think a lot of those people were injured by the ensuing panic that he caused with his spray tactics….

      • “”””””””””””””””””””think you mean vegas…those were pretty iong shots for an AR…and it tends to lose steam rather quickly..think a lot of those people were injured by the ensuing panic that he caused with his spray tactics…””””””””””””””””””

        Thanks for the correction yes I meant to say Los Vegas but I disagree with the rest of your comment about the majority of people getting trampled. The interviews with people shot to pieces in the hospitals were very horrific as to what high velocity rifle rounds will do to people. I still am wondering what became of the young girl in a comma that was shot in the head and still unconscious a month later after the shootings.

      • security was adequate for that concert…except for the unanticipated threat…once again,..a failure of imagination…this was probably a one-off event that will not be repeated…Vegas can just not afford it…..

    • Yo VLAD I so believe you brother. Can I call you brother? Your cause is my cause. Your insanity is my insanity. We can change America by banning guns. I’ll turn mine in after you turn yourself in. I’m with you brother.

  21. As some of them if they will sit in a room while I employ a briefcase full of gasoline and a mini road flare?

  22. “if it’s your loved one, you’re going to want them to survive that shooting”





    Any questions?

    • think we’d all agree they’d ban the gun if they could…but their figure of at least 11 million out there and the popularity of the weapon were spot on..which is probably why they moved on to explain why the medics now carry military style trauma kits…..

  23. 60 minutes who single handily destroyed Audi’s US market in the 80s because they fabricated a test.

  24. We need to seriously ban these weapons of propaganda, these vile assault reporters. They spew so lies and mistruthes that the normal citizen is just too woefully unequipped to handle. Time for these evil weapons to be cast on the dustbin of history.

    Then lit up with a flamethrower.

  25. I quit watching that poo show decades ago. Purely, for the most part, agenda driven, rating grabbing propaganda. Knowing the brain stems that still view are easily manipulated.

  26. Which bullet were they shooting out of the 9mm? Ball ammo will have a totally different effect on a target compared to a hollow point or other defense round. Why not throw in some 10mm or .45 cal. into the mix? Or even some 7.62 x 39 for an “assault rifle”? Sounds to me that CBS had an agenda that they wanted not to be blatant about.

  27. Does anyone else notice that they always referred to the cartridge shot by the handgun “9mm”, the actual caliber being used, but the cartridge shot by the AR-15…. just “AR-15”?

    So AR-15s now just shoot AR-15s? Cool… cool… that’s not blatantly staged…

  28. And let’s not forget Jesse Jackson Jr’s claim that an ar-15 can shoot down an airplane and blow up a railroad! That’s scary stuff! 😱😱😱😱

  29. First, she acknowledged that more people are killed with 9mm handguns each year than ar15’s. Second, she acknowledged that far more people own 9mm handguns than ar15’s. Third, they DID use fmj ball ammo in the 9mm rather than jhp; that is obvious from the video footage. Fourth, they inadvertently acknowledged that injuries resulting from being shot with an ar15 are exceedingly rare, which is why the vast majority of hospitals have never seen those injuries and why they don’t prepare for them. Fifth, if lethality is the purpose of the demonstration, more people in the US die every year from .22lr than from 9mm and .223 rounds COMBINED.

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