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My main squeeze is cooking a proper Southern breakfast. (My arteries are hardening in anticipation.) I’m sitting here blogging about the USDA’s recent purchase of 85 submachine guns. I told her that sometime this job is like shooting fish in a barrel. Hmmm. How easy is that, anyway? What kind of barrel are we talking about? What kind of fish? Which gun? What ammo? So I’m asking TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia to ignore the image above and please suggest a proper experiment to prove the validity of this piscine adage. Note: no fish were harmed in the making of this post. Although I can’t make the same promise for the follow-up . . .

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  1. hmmm, 55 gallon drum – You lose a LOT of energy fast in the water (plus aiming would be difficult due to distortion looking through the water) – I’d say 12 gauge buckshot.

    • Naw, you’re over thinking it. Shoot the barrel at the bottom and let the water drain out. There’s your fish with no bullet damage.

        • I briefly heard about that…briefly. It makes you wonder what kind of man assaults the Amish with SMG’s to inspect milk. Or, should I wonder if they are men? It is like we suddenly woke up in Nazi Germany. I wonder how many will claim they were just following orders.

      • The USDA is issued the submachine guns to fend off the barn cats when raids are made of dairy products located in the milk room of the barn. In addition, the Border Collies, Scottish Collies, and Shetland Sheep Dogs are very territorial and will try to defend the barn and farm from all intruders. The USDA is issued No Hesitation Targets of various farm cats and dogs as well as Lutheran, Mennonite, Hutterite, Amish, and Apostolic Christian milk maids.

  2. If the goal is to literally hit the fish with a bullet, I’d say .22 shorts. If the goal is to kill all the fish in the barrel, I’d say 3″ 12 gauge slugs.

  3. Double barrel shotgun with the barrels so short that a 12 gauge supermag shell (3.5 inch shell IIRC) protrudes. Fire both barrels at once.

    It’ll be like a hand grenade going off.

      • You got my reference, nice.

        Though I am curious about how bright it would be. Especially if you used handloaded blanks (3.5 inch shell with no projectile or wad filled to the top with the slowest powder available). Would give a heck of a concussion that would knock them fish out. Seriously, somebody has to do it.

  4. I think the most creative would be a taser. One shot, many fish, little damage. Wood barrel. A few more pulses and you could have poached fish.

  5. Remember the Groucho Marx joke, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”

    With a bit of a twist on your request, how about a crocodile in a bathtub? Armament? Let’s do something funky like a old English thingy with Nitro/Rigby/Holland or Jeffery in its name?

  6. Something low velocity if you want to kill the fish with penetration. If you want to give it a concussion .50 BMG looks like it would work good.

  7. 12ga with flechette rounds

    Also, on any gun a laser would be very helpful so you don’t miss due to the index of refraction of light in water vs. air.

  8. if the fish were halibut in a barrel of monkeys i would use an ak, but i would not be shooting for any primates.
    if the fish were sturgeon i would use an anshutz, for the surgical precision.
    if the barrel were blue plastic i would use a colt sporter lightweight with a 15 5/8″ barrel.

  9. Come on, guys, think outside the barrel! The answer is a speargun, of course! Particularly a Mares Sten Mini Rigged Speargun. Specs:
    > Shock cord and bungie
    > Included leg holster with two depth compensating straps
    > Ultra light weight
    > Black anodized aluminum
    > Hydrodynamic line retainer
    > Technopolymer shock-absorber bushing and piston
    > $260

    You know you want one…

  10. The barrel should be one aged from the late 1700s.
    The fish are the worker bees supporting the barrels growing debt.
    The gun would be made from the oldest forms of locked breach evil… Greed, tyranny, ignorance.
    The ammunition of choice would be fear.
    The magazine would be a standard capacity drum but no worries there are two more in the backpack.
    Let us say the water is a masquerade of media all beamed into every home from very few state controlled sources.

  11. See Mythbusters. And a lot of internet videos shoot into a barrel to test Hollowpoints for expansion. So it may not be as easy as “shooting fish in a barrel”. Wait are you eating the fish or just blowing em’ up? 🙂

  12. As long as the barrel of fish isn’t near the primary heat exchangers, go with the M41A pulse rifle and the 10mm explosive tip, caseless.

  13. High velocity rounds and hollow points are out because they won’t penetrate more than a foot or so of water. I’d go with slow and heavy, maybe .45acp 230gr FMJ or maybe .45LC 255gr. SWC.

  14. In Virginia , on the Clinch river in Scott co. there is a fish shooting season from late April till mid May. Most people use 30-06 ‘ s or larger calibers . Trick is to use round nosed solid bullets like those used on large African dangerous game. I have done this with a 30-06 with Hornady 220 grain solids ( no longer manufactured) . You can kill fish on a rocky bottom with this rig to about 5-6 feet. Some use .375’s, .458’ s ! Only rough fish ( carp, suckers, fresh water Drum can be taken .


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