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

60 minutes AR-15

courtesy 60 Minutes and youtube.com

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.

But the fact is, 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 Fort Hood, Santa Fe, Texas, the Washington Navy Yard and the Gabby Giffords 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

courtesy rockinst.org

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 viewers now think that every mass shooting involves a scary black rifle. Mission accomplished.




  1. avatar Michael in AK says:

    Only steeple watch 60 minutes

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

      They vote, and they *complain*…

      1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

        And speaking of voting, the latest generic ballot Rasmussen poll shows…

        …wait for it…

        Republicans +1.


        This may be a repeat of 2016, when at the last second, the independents broke *hard* Right and put Trump in the White House…

      2. avatar Will Ford says:

        THEY WHINE!

    2. avatar Bearpaw says:

      Probably just increased AR sales and saturated the market for used 9mm pistols.

      Good thing they didn’t compare the 9mm to a shotgun. They’d be picking pork out of the trees.

    3. avatar SpellChecker says:

      Only steeple watch 60 minutes

      What else is there to do, sitting on top of a church all day?

  2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    If these guys ever find out about the AR10 in 6.5 Creedmoor they’ll shit their pants.

    1. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the 6.5mm Creedmoor" PR says:

      “If these guys ever find out about the AR10 in 6.5 Creedmoor they’ll shit their pants.”

      You’re not gonna tell them, are you?

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        As long as they don’t read TTAG.

      2. avatar Daniel G Dixon says:

        Actually, I hope someone tells them on live tv. Could be very entertaining to see the emergency call to the cleaning crew.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I have one of them.
      Shoots like a dream.
      I need to do a velocity comparison between it and my bolt gun

    3. avatar Danny Mann says:

      Please pardon my ignorance, I was just a “lowly Navy Corpsman”, and carried a 1911 M-16 in the early to mid 70’s I did a fam fire or 3, but mainly, I just fired my weapon when told to(a lot, I must add) and which direction to fire it in! All that being said, I didn’t learn much a ballistics, other than the AK seemed to make a bigger mess,in my humble, uneducated opinion. My question(s): What is the thing about the 6.5 mm Creedmoor? I was just about to start LEGAL conversion of my .223/5.56 to 300 Blackout, but, now this? Which is better for home defense? Which is better for a 100 to 300 meter shot? Is the .223 ammo going away? Is the 300 Blackout going the way of the .41 magnum? Will standard issued body armor become obsolete? What kinda price hike should expected? Any body???!!! And please keep answers in “hey doc” language, heh heh!!

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        The 6.5 Creedmoor runs on the AR-10 platform, not the AR 15. Although they are ballistically equal out to 500 yards, the 6.5mm carries more energy farther and at a higher velocity than a .308. It outranges the .308 by 200 to 400 yards. It was the round of choice for long range target shooters until supplanted by the 6mm.

        The 300 Blackout is still an excellent pig round and isn’t likely to be going anywhere any time soon.

      2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        The 6.5 Creed moor holds the distinction (IMHO) of being the most useless, over-hyped car tridge ever created. The goal was to make the 6.5×55 Swede fit into a .308 length action, which it did, except that Remington had already done that a decade before with the .260 Rem. But Hornady is better at hyping up new rounds than Remington so it took off.

        Bottom line is the 6.5s offer a flatter trajectory and less recoil than a .308 and actually surpass the .308 in energy beyond 600 yards. A lot of 1000 yard shooters have gone to them.

        1. avatar Manse Jolly says:

          Above…260Rem in a bolt gun.

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          The .260 will wear out the throat of a barrel quicker. And the 6.5CM feeds better in semi-autos. So there are some advantages to the round.

          But what’s so bad about having choices?

        3. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          I think you’ve got that backwards on feeding in semis. The Creed moor has half the taper to make up for the shortened case. More taper is good for feeding and extracting.

          Not sure where you heard there’s worse throat erosion with the .260 either. If anything the CM should be worse because they also upped the pressure just a bit to compensate for the smaller case capacity. Either way, allowing the chamber to cool between firing will do far more to limit throat erosion than any difference in the case.

          If you reload the .260 case is thicker at the neck and should outlast the CM case.

          Having 2 choices where there should be one is bad because both cartridges end up costing more.

      3. avatar rosignol says:

        My question(s): What is the thing about the 6.5 mm Creedmoor?

        It’s a running gag that the TTAG commentariat has decided to make a part of the site culture. It is just a matter of time (maybe a year or two) before there’s a new cartridge that gets touted as the answer to all our needs, at which point we will shift to mocking the new(er) hotness.

        Before 6.5 Creedmoor, the new hotness was 300 Blackout, before 300 Blackout it was 6.8 SPC, etc, etc, etc.

      4. avatar Geoff "Mess with the bull, get the horns" PR says:

        For home defense, you want the 300 blackout with subsonic ammunition.

        With a suppressor on it, it will kick ass for hearing-safe home defense…

        1. avatar Seans says:

          Subs make little sense for HD, they have worse over penetration issues.

  3. avatar pod says:

    Who’s the guy working the HK and why would he volunteer to be on 60 Minutes?

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Probably some ex-cop who hates everyone.

    2. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      So where do I get my select fire HK 416 “weapon of war” from? Interesting choice for “the average off the shelf AR.”

      “The mass shooters all used a gun like this one” except they didn’t.

      1. avatar pod says:

        Was it a 416 or a MR556? I didn’t watch enough of it to check.

        1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

          Going by the photo stills above, I see the sling loop on the gas block (416) and third position marking on the lower (416), granted you can add markings and get a 416 gas block from online to make a clone, but this is not just a m&p15 from the local big box.

          Should have stuck a m320 grenade launcher on it or bayonet for some extra scare factor.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Uh, isn’t that a police gun? Are the police the mass shooters?

        1. avatar pod says:

          Well if it’s a 416 only dealers, military, and LE can legally possess that firearm in this country. So if a so-called mass shooter had a 416, then holy shit, some government official really fucked up.

          If it was an MR556 then the shooters have really good budgets.

          Regardless, and yeah we’re nitpicking, but to use a top-tier rifle for the demo is disingenuous at best. If it was a 416, I’m surprised the guy didn’t do a mag dump for the media.

          As has been said elsewhere, the people are picking the gun because it’s cheap and plentiful, not specifically because of any sort of “devastating” effects. Mass shooters aren’t gun people. They’re freaks of nature that happen to use a gun in their crimes. They’re gonna grab whatever’s easiest, and considering the AR is this nation’s most popular rifle, they’ll probably go for that. They aren’t gonna use a Fudd gun since Fudd guns are a pain for a novice to use, and not really that common anymore.

        2. avatar JasonM says:

          Are the police the mass shooters?

          According to the progressives, yes they are. That’s why only they can be trusted with guns.

        3. avatar James W Crawford says:

          Considering the fact that American police kil over 1,000 Americans per year and the vast majority of Americans who are killed with semiautomatic rifles are killed by police, it is a valid question.

    3. avatar Tom in PA says:

      HK Vision and Mission Statement: “You suck and we hate you.”

    4. avatar jwm says:

      Liberal gun owner. You know. The 2a supporters that vote for pelosi, feinstein, hillary etc.

      1. avatar pod says:

        Or a “fuck you, I got mine” dealer. Mike The Gun Guy with a machine gun.

  4. avatar rt66paul says:

    Rifles are designed to do the job better. This is the reason hunters do not rely on handguns and why soldiers carry rifles.

    Maybe someone can show the difference in AR-15 power vs AK-47, AR-10 and/or an average hunting rifle.

    Comparing damage done by a rifle vs a handgun is as silly as comparing the damage done by a car vs damage done by a motorcycle. Once you add in the damage done by your average suv, pickup truck, and/or big trucks, you tell a different story.

    1. avatar Mad Max says:

      All I could think of when watching them shoot the gel was: I wonder what would happen if I shot the gel with my M1 Garand in .30-06 or my .44 Magnum revolver with hot loads?

      Hollow point vs. ball vs. semi-wadcutters?

      How would any of that compare to the XM193?

      How do the 5.56 mm bullets compare to the others in terms of ballistic coefficient?

      Gotta hit the books. I think too much.

  5. avatar LKB says:

    They similarly could have shown the relative trauma inflicted by 00 buck or a slug from a 12 gauge vs. .223/5.56 NATO at the distances typically involved in mass shootings (i.e., under 25 yards). But that would make the damage from an AR look like a flea bite, so it wouldn’t fit the narrative.

    And can you imagine their pearl clutching if they compared the relative trauma of an AR vs. your typical broadhead hunting arrow / bolt at that range?

    1. avatar VicRattlehead says:

      Just yesterday my wife, kids and I took our Halloween pumpkins out back for some fun (kind of a fall tradition for us) and I can tell you first hand the difference between a 62gr 5.56 round and a 12ga slug is ASTOUNDING! Lol!

      I would assume similar, giggle inducing, results in a block of ballistics gel.

      1. avatar LKB says:

        Yup. At just past bad breath distance (typical range of most of these mass shootings — Las Vegas and UT (Charles Whitman) are the outliers here), a .223 / 5.56 is gonna punch a single (albeit nasty) hole per shot. 12 gauge with 00 buck at that distance is going to turn an unarmored target into hamburger.

        1. avatar binder says:

          For a shooter trying to hit multiple targets as fast as possible, nothing really beats the AR-15 platform with 5.56. The ability to mount a holographic weapon sight makes it even better. Yes there are more “powerful” weapons, but the AR-15 just hits such a nice sweat spot if you goal is to shoot everyone in the room.

          Look at any 3 gun competition and what is everyone using?

        2. avatar Mad Max says:

          I think a semi-auto, magazine fed, 12 gauge shotgun should out perform the AR if you want to kill everyone in the room and the walls too.

        3. avatar Erik Weisz says:

          Shotgun and shotguns.

  6. avatar little horn says:

    i seriously question how large that viewer base is and if its anyone under 60 years old. completely serious.

  7. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Front sight set 4″ back from the end of the hand guard. Just can’t unsee that.

    1. avatar Dave in PTC says:

      I had to look a second time. Yep.

    2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      First thing that caught my eye.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Using optic. I removed my iron sights altogether.

  8. avatar MLee says:

    What’s 60 Minutes?

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      Andy Rooney remembers…but no one remembers Andy Rooney

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      One hour. *sorry*

      1. avatar jwm says:

        You need a time out to think about what you did.

      2. avatar ACP_armed says:

        Don’t listen to jwm, that was perfect.

  9. avatar SoBe says:

    And who says there is no fake news?

  10. avatar Specialist38 says:

    So …. what about my Ruger Scout in 308? LOL.

  11. avatar KarVer says:

    Another liberalist socialist commie leaning Show.
    No wonder ive no interest in watching it. I would rather watch the fake military supporting national Anthem kneeling NFL over 60min, world news tonight, sat night live, or 1/2 of TV for that matter.

  12. avatar barnbwt says:

    These things happen when you ban Tec9s and raise the age to buy pistols to 21.

    “But we can fix it we ban just a little more!”

  13. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    ‘I think that what we have to do now, and this is urgent, is that we have to have the general public understand that they are the first line of defense.’

    Sounds like a ringing endorsement of CC.

  14. avatar Larold says:

    If you’re going to list some active shooting incidents where the AR platform was not the weapon of choice of the nutjobs, you cannot forget Virginia Tech, it is maybe the “best” example in the U.S

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Really? I would say Ft Hood, where the victims were trained combatants, defeated by a fruitcake jihadist with handguns, solely due to the fact they were forcibly disarmed by their government. And the cowardly killer knew it.

      1. avatar CZJay says:

        The Virginia Tech shooting was done with a .22 and 9mm. He shot 49 and killed 32 of them. I think he used a bunch of 10 round magazines. He chained the doors closed to stop people from escaping and coming in. Then he walked around hunting… He shot everyone at least 3 times and most of them in the head.

        Practically everyone knew he was crazy well before he attacked. It wasn’t a planned jihad attack like Fort Hood.

    2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      The VA Tech shooter used a 22 caliber hand gun. The weapon that so many “experts” says is useless for self defense. The gun grabbers say you don’t need an AR-15. And the gun experts say you need at least a 9mm weapon.

      The reality is most gun ranges in the country can’t support an AR-15. They were built for hand guns only. And know one considered practicing with a rifle indoors back then. Gun sellers won’t tell you that. And people who are boosters of the AR-15 platform won’t tell you that either. The gun grabbers are very stupid. They could use this information in their arguments. But that would support AR 15 ownership for those who have access to a suitable range.

      A similar argument is made against the bump stock. You need an AR-15 to use a Bump Stock. And “gun experts” seem to agree with gun grabbers, who say you don’t need a Bump Stock.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        RE .22: I don’t think anyone has said a .22 isn’t deadly, and it has been a leader in annual deaths. However, killing and defense are different criteria, and it’s pretty much the worst caliber for defense (.25 ACP might be worse), but it isn’t unusable.
        Defense is about stopping the attacker as quickly as possible. The attacker might die as a result, but that isn’t the measure of success. The wounding mechanisms for handguns is primarily the permanent wound cavity, which is destroying the tissue the bullet touches, so it needs penetrate far enough to reach vital tissue, and the bigger the diameter does more damage and has a higher likelihood to hit something vital. The temporary cavity is the “splash” in the flesh, but its small enough in pistols that it only applies inelasric tissues.
        To stop someone, you need to do enough circulatory damage that their blood pressure/volume drops enough to loose conciousness, a central nervous system hit (brain or spinal column), or you break bones/muscles/tendons so they can’t operate mechanically. The .22 is pretty much the smallest round available, so it will do the least amount of damage, cause less bleeding, and have a lesser chance if hitting something vital than a bigger bullet at similar velocity. The presence of a gun or being shot could also be enough that the attacker gives up, which a .22 is as good as most anything else.
        A central nervous system hit with a .22 can be effective, but it’s hard to get a hit on a moving target, and it has to hit a vital part of the brain. It’s not as hard if you’re hunting down unarmed, cowering victims. If someone bleeds out over the 30 minutes or more that it takes the authorities to respond, that’s a success if body count is your goal, but not if you’re trying to stop someone from sticking 6 inches of steel into you.

        1. avatar Jackal says:

          Amen! Well said! Finally, someone on here with some knowledge! It’s a refreshing change from the massive amounts of bullshit which is the usual case..

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Chris T in KY,

        Anymouse nailed it. Just about any firearm chambered in .22 LR is an excellent assassination platform at point-blank range. And it is definitely lacking for self-defense at point-blank range where you want to STOP your attacker AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Larger calibers are much more likely to physically incapacitate and attacker sooner.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Larold for the win!

      The Virginia Tech mass murder caused the second highest casualty count with a firearm (second only to Las Vegas if I am not mistaken) and the attacker only used handguns in modest calibers.

      Note: the Virginia Tech mass murder ranks fifth overall in all U.S. mass murders behind the September 11th World Trade Center attack; Oklahoma City bombing; Las Vegas attack; and Bath, Michigan school bombing.

  15. avatar Nick Valentine says:

    I think part of the issue is how you define mass shooting. Legally its four or more people. Most of the time when people think of mass shootings, its more than that. Lets be honest, many if not most of the well-known mass shootings do involve so called “assault weapons.”

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Perhaps they defined it as a shooting at a Catholic church during services?

    2. avatar jwm says:

      You know what these mass shootings also involve? Unarmed victims. Gun Free Zones. The mass killers greatest ally is the folks that make his job easier. His enablers. Which, at this point in history, is the democrat party.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        When the mass killer’s “enabler” is not a politician or law enforcement officer, we call that person an accomplice. I still have not figured out the magic that somehow turns a criminal accomplice into a benevolent “enabler”.

    3. avatar Porkchop says:

      I think that you are right. The most headline-grabbing recent mass shootings have involved a rifle.

      To the point made above about the “60-MInutes-watching” demographic. I am over 60 and I channel Andy Rooney.

      Overall, I thought that the broadcast version was fair. The “Overtime” producer’s comments are at odds with what was stated in the broadcast. If you listen to the broadcast version, Scott Pelley stated, among other things, that there are 11 million AR-15 variant rifles in the United States, that AR-15’s are rarely used in murders, and that handguns cause many more deaths. He does note, that this rifle is the choice of “the worst mass murderers.”


      If you simply count casualties from events in the past several years, he is right. I think that there is a bandwagon effect — the more this style of rifle is used for mass murder, the more attractive it is to others who wish to commit mass murder. That’s not really going to stop any time soon. I don’t purport to have any understanding of what makes those people tick, but listening to the paramedic from Pittsburgh describe how one of the murder victims was shot more than twenty times was very disturbing. What kind of rage makes you want to shoot an elderly woman twenty times? There are some really out-of-control individuals out there. Regardless of one’s politics or views on firearms policy and the entire bill of rights, there is a problem here.

      With respect to the ballistics demonstration, I do think that it was overly simplistic to compare one pistol to one rifle. And, of course, focusing on the ominous look of the rifle they used leaves the impression that those features define the damage they can inflict, when the real culprit is the caliber. The only actual solution to the problem of people being killed by .223 cal./5.56 mm bullets would be to ban that caliber entirely. Good luck with that.

      1. avatar Batterycap says:

        It appears you have bought into the “ominous” look of the rifle argument as used by Dianne Feinstein. Why? Does it actually look scary to you. We are the same side, but I won’t let my vocabulary be dictated to me by the anti-2A crowd. Words matter.

        If we called abortion the forced dismemberment of a defenseless unborn child into a minimum of 7 pieces, all of which are collected and arranged on a table to be sure all are removed from the womb, instead of “a woman’s right to choose”, abortion would have been outlawed a long time ago. It’s not, because videos of the procedure are banned, and people are afraid to uses any other phrase other than ” a woman’s right to choose”.

        Call a spade a spade.

        The tern “assault weapon” was invented by liberals in order to further their cause of neutering the 2nd. I once pointed out to a friends father when noted that we “had to do something about these assault weapons” that I would most surely would rather be shot by a non-assault weapon. He quickly developed a puzzled look, as his brain was forced to kick into gear, apparently with some pain.

        Use your vocabulary, not the one that is being forced upon you.

    4. avatar Scoutino says:

      Nick, you might be right that “most of the well-known mass shootings do involve so called “assault weapons.””
      Is it coincidence that crimes in which the most popular rifle (that is also the most hated one by gun grabbers) is used are covered by media wall to wall for weeks? But when a civilian armed with the same rifle stops mass murderer, it’s over in couple of days. Doesn’t fit the narrative, move on, nothing to see here.

  16. avatar Leigh says:

    Depends on what you call “mass”…

  17. avatar Quasimofo says:

    Hmm, seems like much of this talk about the power of the AR-15 is based ER docs who are accustomed to pulling pistol bullets out of thugs. A wound from a typical deer rifle caliber will make the .223/5.56 look like the varmint cartridge it is, and I’m sure they’ll eventually be calling for restrictions on “military style sniper rifles” using the same justification as this video. You’ve been warned, Fudds.

    But, it’s all OK because they kept the piece “completely apolitical” …

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      No one needs a sniper rifle. Sniper rifles are for the military. How many people can claim they’re a trained sniper? So no civilian needs a high powered sniper rifle ever. That weapon is for assassinations: One shot, one kill.

      No hunting gun needs a magazine, you can hand load it. Magazines are for sniper rifles. Ban all external and internal magazines from hunting rifles and regulate the calibers. Require the rifle to be a certain length and weight. No lightweight, folding or easily disassembled guns. It will be easier to simply have a list of nationally approved hunting rifles for sale. Also, you can only buy a few boxes of ammo a year for hunting season to go along with your tags and you must return all fired micro stamped brass for the government to make sure you’re being honest.

      1. avatar Mad Max says:

        I could have done the Florida high school mass shooting with multiple black powder revolvers and wouldn’t have missed Hogg if he was really in the building 😀

        (Technically speaking only).

    2. avatar Scoutino says:

      People shot with hunting rifles are often seen by coroner, not surgeon.

  18. avatar Defens says:

    My belief is that the episode of 60 Minutes was specifically finaanced by Bloomberg and the other Washington billionaires to saturate our state just prior to the vote on the anti-gun initiative here. Why else run this hit piece two days before the election?

    Don’t bother to tell viewers that .223 isn’t even allowed for hunting in many states because the round isn’t considered potent enough to kill a 140 lb. deer.

    Aerial view of .223 vs. 9mm and how much it wiggles a block of ballistic gel in comparison? Pleeezzz.

    They didn’t compare the .223 to a .30-30, a 12 ga shotgun, or a .308 – the piece was so totally skewed from the opening scene. I watched about 4 minutes of it before I asked the wife to switch the channel to “Love it or List It” or “Island House Hunting” – anything but that.

  19. avatar Sian says:

    “0.9% At least 1 other gun”

    Did I miss a mass shooting committed with a cannon or a speargun or something?

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      Some type of air gun? Like a nail gun?

      1. avatar ACP_armed says:

        Thing is a nail ‘gun’ isn’t a gun, it’s an air powered hammer. So I doubt it’s by air nailer.

  20. avatar MB says:

    What they forgot conveniently was that if those people who survived were shot with a 9mm pistol or an other rifle caliber, they would most likely have been dead. The wounds from a .223/5.56 round as devastating as they are would not compare to a .308 or even a .243 round. The people that did die were hit in the head, heart or with multiple shots. The .223/5.56 round was designed to wound, not kill, which in theory takes 3 people off the battlefield 1 wounded, and 2 people to carry him off vs just one dead body. That was the thought process in the 50’s & 60’s. Now the military is looking to replace the .223/5.56 with a high velocity 6.5 mm or 6.8 mm round, because they consider the .223/5.56 too weak for today’s battlefields. I would prefer not to be shot with anything, but would prefer .223 over .243 or .308 any day. The best solution I can come up to deal with crazy shooter is to shoot back, I carry everywhere I go, including church, along with several other parishioners. All gun laws are unconstitutional, period.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      The .223 was designed to kill small deer in the 1950s. Intermediate rifle cartridges (7.92×33, 7.62×39, .223/5.56, 5.45×39) were designed to be just enough to kill a human. The “shoot to wound” thing has never been true, and neither has the hydrostatic shock “remote wounding” crap that mallninjas like to claim about their 40gr .223s and 85gr 9x19s. Fragmentation and tumbling (and good shot placement) is what kills you, not nebulous “energy” and velocity numbers. It’s all about having the most statistical lethality in the smallest, lightest-weight, lightest-recoiling package, and 55gr 5.56 out of a 20 inch barrel is reasonably good at that on unarmored, squishy humans. .30-06, .303, 8mm, and .308 were designed for long-range engagements and to kill horses and people outright. Full-power rounds carry better at long range and punch through cover, but aren’t as forgiving to the shoulders and backs of scrawny teenage conscripts in close-range engagements, and the guns that use them used to be all rather long and heavy.

      1. avatar MB says:

        .223/5.56 is not legal to hunt with in most states, but legal for varmint control. Shot placement is always the best way to immobilize. The military is no longer as so concerned with ammo loadout capabilities or recoil as much as lethally and barrier penetration. In any case humans always find ways to kill other humans, guns, knives, rocks, bombs or trucks.. the one factor in all of these murders is evil, complete lack of morals and lack of humanity.

      2. avatar possum says:

        .223 is a wildcat .222 rem mag. Varmints and targets, most whom shot deer with it were not really impressed.

    2. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

      Oh no, not the crapola about the 5.56mm being designed to wound again. Geez.

      Our foreseen opponents in the 50s/60s were the Soviets and the Chinese. Neither were known for their giving a damn about wounded soldiers on the battlefield. They weren’t going to carry a dude off with 3 other dudes; they were gonna leave him lying there and have the medics attached to the battalion get them when the 2nd wave went thru. Maybe. The Soviets were more likely to just leave a guy there.

      1. avatar MB says:

        Then why the the soviets develop the 5.45, a round know for it’s wound capabilities? , ask any Taliban. Certainly not because they were concerned with number of rounds a combatant would carry into battle, or the recoil against his body. No, they were trying to wound and disable, fear of horrible and disabling wounds are more frighting than death to many. The NATO 5.56 and COMBOC 5.45 are very good at what they are designed for, one shot kills are not the intention, because it it was, the primary infantry light caliber on both sides would still be .30

        1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

          You really need to look into the development of small arms. You’re basically passing on “just so” stories without anything remotely historically accurate to back it up.

        2. avatar MB says:

          @Ragnarredbeard Where is your evidence to prove me wrong. I may have read what I read 20 years ago, but I think I still remember it correctly. Well, hopefully. But I did find this on the Internet, so it must be true. LOL https://www.quora.com/Why-is-the-Soviet-5-45x39mm-round-called-the-Poison-Bullet

        3. avatar Porkchop says:

          That does not really prove your point. The fact that the Russians or Chinese are likely to leave their wounded in place does not mean that their opponents will act in the same way. Think of it as the Russians exploiting the weakness of an opponent. If they are fighting an an enemy that expends the effort to collect and remove casualties from the battle space, then it makes tactical sense to use “wounding” ammunition. If the US is fighting an enemy that does not bother to do so, then there is no tactical advantage in using such ammunition.

        4. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

          Start with this. Come back when someone reads it to you. https://www.snipercountry.com/5-56×45-nato-and-ar-15-chronology/

          As for the 5.45mm the Soviets developed, it was pretty clearly a “me too” response as the rest of the world began to step away from 7.62mm ammunition. Even the Chinese developed a .22 class round for their battle rifles.

  21. avatar DaveL says:

    Remember this every time a leftist claims to support the 2nd Amendment with references to hunting.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      What kind of hunting? Human hunting?

  22. avatar BLAMMO says:

    To me, the most striking thing about the whole segment was the suggestion that we all should be carrying a “bleeder kit”. “That’s where we are in America today.”

    What a sad victim mindset .

    1. avatar Jon in CO says:

      I do carry such a thing everyday. It’s realistically more for someone in a car wreck, since I see one of those every week on way to work. TQ, chest seal, quickclot, Izzy, and a Decompression needle. Never know. Carry a gun everyday too. Never know.

      1. avatar BLAMMO says:

        In the midst of a mass shooting, having the latter may obviate needing the former.

  23. Just more fake news from Big Brother. What did anyone expect. It’s just another propaganda hit piece against the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights by the USA hating media platforms of the EU Globalist/ New World Order…$ Fake News Actors creating crisis and directing the ‘news’.

  24. avatar FortWorthColtGuy says:

    Once they are successful in getting the AR banned based on the “weapon of choice” argument, what do you think they will go for next? They will say handguns are the weapon of choice now and those must be banned on precedent and success of the previous ban. Wash, rinse and repeat until you are like the UK and are banning butter knives and having civilians turning them into receptacles with stickers of the cookie monster on them.


  25. avatar possum says:

    Mass shootings . I’m assuming that’s why the Catholic Pope is against gunz

  26. avatar former water walker says:

    Yeah I watched it(and reported as breaking news HERE). There’s a buttload of campaign “commercials” on local Chicago TV decrying the AR15 and the Republican “support” for ’em. Would that they actually DID! Don’t let the idiot’s know handguns kill the vast % in Chiraq…😩

  27. avatar Rick Taylor says:

    As usual much of the piece was wildly inaccurate. The myth that the bullet is designed to tumble and fragment really gets tiresome.

    1. avatar ACP_armed says:

      M193 does tumble and fragment, it’s no myth.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        5.56 FMJ doesn’t tumble (repeatedly flip end over end) unless it hits a barrier. What it will do is precess/yaw, and it may go all the way to base first, if it doesn’t fragment when the bullet is perpendicular to the direction of travel and the stresses are maximized. All conical, supersonic bullets have this behavior because the pointed tip is the optimal shape for the shock wave. Once an.object slows down, the optimal aerodynamic/hydrodynamic shape is a teardrop. The bullet is actually more stable backwards first, and it will achieve that orientation if it can overcome the angular momentum keeping it point forward. The 5.56 wasn’t designed to do this. It’s the same bullet from .222 Rem, .22-250, .220 Swift, and a bunch of other cartidges with a .224 bullet. They were varmit cartidges, and most varmits aren’t big enough to slow the bullet down enough to see this effect. A prarie dog will be ripped apart by the temporary cavity, but it might be seen in a coyote, deer, or hog (where legal).
        The small caliber .224 has a thin jacket, so it breaks apart easier by the time it goes sideways. West German 7.62 also had a thinner than typical jacket and was more prone to fragment, while thicker jacketed US rounds would complete the flip.

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        Side effect not design.

        1. avatar ACP_armed says:

          I’ll admit I missed the “designed” part.

    2. avatar RA-15 says:

      ACP_armed is absolutely correct. I guess You’l remain tired 🙂

    3. avatar CZJay says:

      Military rounds have to be designed to tumble or fragment because hollow points are illegal. You need some way to create more of a wound: Velocity, tumbling, yawing, fragmentation.

      5.56 isn’t a very good round when you shorten the barrel length. The higher the velocity the more tearing/displacement occurs on impact, as water can’t be compressed and your body is mostly water. If you slow down the bullet there is less energy to do damage in the area the bullet travels through unless the bullet is designed to work under those conditions.

      5.45 seems like a better round because the bullet is long enough to bend once inside the body, which will cause the bullet to tumble and yaw, thus creating more of a wound than simply passing through (in a somewhat straight line) like 5.56. So you get less recoil, longer range, more wounding and less carried weight.

      I think 5.56 is a good police round. You can kill with it, but it might take a bunch of shots to get the job done, which gives you more time to assess. The recoil is low, trajectory is flat enough, barrier penetration isn’t severe and it’s accurate.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        No, hollow points are not illegal. The Hague Convention of 1899 includes “declaration concerning the Prohibition of the Use of Bullets which can Easily Expand or Change their Form inside the Human Body such as Bullets with a Hard Covering which does not Completely Cover the Core, or containing Indentations” in wars between signatories. Which USA is not.

  28. avatar NateInPA says:

    One time when I was a lot younger and dumber than I am now…I thought that the “new” .300 RUM was the gottahaveit gun for whitetails. I mean, if .300 Win Mag is good, the RUM was better. So I went out and bought a Remington 700 in the new caliber, threw on a scope, and trekked off into the woods for my game.

    The very first deer I shot, the round completely disemboweled the animal…entrails stretched for 20 yards.

    That is what terrifies me…being hit with a round that can completely sever limbs and heads.

    I’m not smart enough to know how to embed videos here, but here’s a link to .300 Win Mag vs. ballistic gel. (remember, the .300 RUM is hotter yet.)

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      If they wanted to freak out the muggles, they would show a .308/.30-06 or a shotgun. Magnum rifles will tear a block of ballistic gelatin into pieces. Shotguns have been used in spree killings, like Navy Yard, and UT tower used a couple deer rifles (6mm & .35 Rem). Once “high power assault weapons” have been banned, that’s how they’ll go after bolt and pump guns.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        I think they should round up and interview all the taliban that have survived a torso hit from 5.56 and all the ones that have survived a torso hit from something in .30 caliber or larger (hint, there are very few of these) and then try to explain how super deadly 5.56 is.

  29. avatar RA-15 says:

    60 minutes of scare tactics 🙁 all I can say is get out and vote on Tuesday !! Talk is cheap , actions speak louder than words. Vote Republican straight down the line. The only chance we have of keeping our 2nd Amendment rights intact , and unmolested , is to get rid of the democRATS.

  30. avatar Michael says:

    I dunno, I’ve owned quite a few 5.56/.223 semi-auto firearms over the years. Always seemed to be the first ones to go for trade or sell to get something different. Watched the segment on the CBS site after it aired. Must be that old devil MK Ultra working. I woke up this morning deciding I need another AR platform rifle. I live in a free state so I can 4473, buy and fly legal. Bet AR and S/A type rifle sales today spike like never before. Gotta get at least a case of ammo… I might still have some packs of that IMI stuff left…and some mags from Brownells …maybe some kind of optic…and a green laser/light combo. Legos for adults. Free advertising is the best advertising. Wow, I wonder if/did CBS even imagine… -30-

  31. avatar JohnnyL says:

    I watched the 60 minutes story by Scott Pelley “What makes the AR-15 style rifle the weapon of choice for mass shooters?” and it was the most biased story I have ever scene. The whole focus of the story was how lethal AR-15 bullets are. They never mentioned the caliber of what an AR pattern rifle fires. It was just demonstrations of ballistic test, interviews with medical professionals of what rile rounds do to people and how deadly they are. They also showed kids learning about tourniquets.

    You would think by the title of the story they would at least mention the reason why the AR platform is so popular. Which is it is a modular rifle system they can be customized to any specifications you like. The AR platform is now no different than a PC that you build at your local computer store. There both made from Aluminum and you can customize whatever parts you like or legal depending on your state you live to whatever you plan to use it for.

    After watching this story, it is clear that 60 minutes was trying to betray the AR as a rifle that is used only to kill people and based on these test and demonstrations this is why mass shooters prefer them. It is sad that news organizations now are so desperate it this new era of media and internet that they will do anything for views even if it means not telling the truth which seem to get worse year after year.

    I also feel this was planned to air right before the mid terms as well.

  32. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    There are to many kids who are now adults who played video games, with M-16, AR-15 rifles. And Many of them are AR-15 owners now. They are not going to be banned. And I don’t think President Trumps two sons will let him ban them.


  33. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Dan? What the hell does the fact that rifles are used in a tiny fraction of all gun deaths in the U.S. have anything whatsoever to do with the proposition that AR-15s arr the firearm of choice among mass shooters. That’s just you switching the premise of the assertion, then arguing against the point you created and ascribed to CNN.

    Interestingly, there is no universal or even consensus agreement on what defines a mass shooting. So the stats will necessarily conflict because not eveyone counts the same events. Going by the report’s definition, particularly that targets must be selected at random or for symbolic purposes, at least a couple of the non-AR-15 mass shootings that YOU cited wouldn’t even count! as mass shootings! Thus, the non-AR aspect would not be acknowledged.

    In the final analysis, based on whatever definition, it may end up being that ARs are prominent, but perhaps don’t comprise a majority and aren’t a true “weapon of choice” among mass shooters. So what? They are very prominent among the list of the most infamous mass shootings. Chicken and the egg, I know, as they get coverage because an AR was used. Still, they are used disproportionately in such shootings. That’s a POTG PR problem. Sitting around arguing definitions and splitting hairs over talleys won’t get you anywhere with anyone, least of all the antis.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      Actual anti 2nd amendment people do not care what your argument is or how correct you are. They will dismiss your argument whenever possible and claim they are morally in the right regardless of ignorance. Facts/details are irrelevant because the moral people are doing something to save children whereas the gun nerds are calling for more guns.

      There are two types of arguments: Technicalities and logic. You have to choose which to use for the given discussion. It’s best to smoothly weave them together for the most impact. To top it off, throw in some empathy and sympathy to not come off as robotic.

      A well educated, reasoned and compassionate human being is hard to beat in an argument/debate. Tends to bring out the old “We have to do something!” comment, which then gives you the opportunity to give an actual solution to the problem rather than an emotional response that is ultimately harmful.

  34. avatar ozzallos says:

    It’s not hard to hit up the FBI site and cross reference murders by firearm type to completely dispel this media myth. The overwhelming number of murders are by hand gun. Of the mass murders committed within the last 20 years, those by an AR are amazingly small, numerically.

    But, the media doesn’t operate on fact as the current admin has made abundantly clear.

  35. avatar Unrepentant Libertarian says:

    A hit piece that tries not to look like a hit piece. Comparing a pistol vs. a rifle is comparing apples and oranges.
    CZJay is correct that the anti-gun folks could care less what the POTG arguments are, they are dismissed out of hand as “gun freak” propaganda. That more people were killed by fists/feet (blunt force trauma ) than by all the deaths by rifle/shotgun is immaterial to the “ban the gun” crowd.

  36. avatar Chris. says:

    So… 60 whole minutes in order to say

    “Pistols are Pistols & Rifles are Rifles”.

  37. avatar Brewski says:

    Willful ignorance and lies are the media’s weapon of choice.

  38. avatar VICTOR says:

    At 1:17, the brunette admits that the 9mm “kills more people than the AR-15”, here in America

  39. avatar me says:

    The common folk just found out that what gun owners already know, rifles are powerful .. .. Did they say what ammo was used? was FMJ used for both?

  40. avatar nyglockowner says:

    I guess the AR-15 bullet does more damage that the Mini-14 bullet…..if I understand correctly.

  41. avatar Sivispace says:

    Just another lame stream media hack job. Liberals don’t trust cops. But wait for it, they also say only cops should have guns. I believe that we the people should have parity with the government. If the 5.56 is not too destructive for cops, it isn’t too destructive for the people.

  42. avatar joefoam says:

    Since when did ‘journalists’ actually do any fact checking? The AR-15 platform has been selected for demonization and ultimate ban if the MSM has their way. And rest assured they will keep at it until they attain their goal. Then they will move on to the next type, and the next until all guns and gun owners are deemed evil. At that point the radicals will be turned loose on us while a blind eye is turned, as they did in Portland recently. Hitler didn’t kill all those people all by himself, he had plenty of help from brainwashed Germans who considered them sub-human, therefore murder was an acceptable form of liquidation, for the ‘good of the people’.

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