While the BBC has an overall reputation of lower bias than many news outlets worldwide and I personally tend to agree… they have, as the intellectual community would say, “done goofed” this time.
How Fast Can Weapons Fire?
The chart makes such inquiries. It then goes onto give you some information in that regard. Ladies and gentlemen… it’s not good… not good at all. I can forgive a certain degree of generalization and I hope I am given the same courtesy but… BBC come on!? Google is there for you. Ask Siri or Alexa. Something…
“Approximate fire rates of selected weapons”
The Revolver, Ruger LCR: 20 rounds per minute. Okay, that’s actually probably close from a practical standpoint with reloads. However this is a Ruger LCR.
What’s outlined is not…
It might be a Smith & Wesson Model 36.
Such an error would be forgivable. It is after all just ‘Revolver’ as a category, however they went out of their way to highlight the LCR and failed to provide an accurate graphic when that is literally internet childs play.
I’m doing it right now, look at me go!
Second verse same as the first but a little bit louder and a little bit worse…
The Semi-Automatic Pistol, Colt Model 70: 70 rounds per minute. Again, I think this is a fairly practical rate of fire estimate. Given magazine size vs. an LCR cylinder being 40% greater and reloads being both faster and easier on a slide locking semi-automatic, 70 is fair.
But then they single out the Colt Model 70.
Which is a little misleading. More accurately it’s a Series 70 Colt Model 1911A1. The BBC could have just generalized and said a ‘typical’ semi-automatic pistol. They additionally could have used a more accurate but still broad ‘1911’.
They also could have shown an actual 1911 instead of a Sig P226…
Oopsie, BBC. That’s two really junior varsity grade errors right in a row with the added snafu of not actually nailing down a firearm model in a situation where you chose too but didn’t truly need too. The BBC put in extra effort to take a data point and make it a failure.
Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle, AK47: 120 rounds per minute
Hey! You got one right. I’ll give you this one wholesale. That is a practical fire rate for a semi-automatic rifle and I’ll even give you guys a pass on the ‘assault’ term. I just don’t care about that one anymore. Call it an assault rifle, I’m still keeping mine. A rose by any other name and all that.
Good job, BBC. That’s 1 for 3. The graphic matches too! Look at you go, we’re riding without training wheels now ladies and gentlemen.
Goof Three: The Grand Goof
“Modified” Semi-Automatic Assault Rifle, AR-15: 1,200 rounds per minute…
Wait… Wait what… You… you were just doing so well, BBC! You had it! Who did this to you!?
That’s a Kriss Vector or MG42 rate of fire. The cyclic rate on an AR-15 is ~800 rounds per minute and it can vary a little… but not 50%! I don’t know of any combination of parts right now that would lend an AR a 1200 RPM cyclic rate, even as a machine gun with all the safeguards in place.
I cannot imagine the catastrophic combination of parts that would grant a rifle, not built with the automatic sealed safeguards in place, to fire at 1,200 rpm without flying apart. As a man with mechanical understanding of what is going on inside the rifle this is a terrible.. terrible.. terrible plan.
And then they say it’s still semi-automatic… just “modified”
AR-15’s, semi-auto have a listed sustained fire rate of 45-60 RPM by the way and an extremely “rapid” rate of 180 RPM. These aren’t just made up numbers. They are to keep the rifle from becoming a useless heap of metal due to extreme parts fatigue.
Goof Four: The Final Goof
Fully Automatic Assault Rifle: M16, 950 RPM
Close. Closer than the last one, BBC… but c’mon guys you’re literally listing the mechanically fully automatic variant of the AR-15, as in as fast the parts can operate together and fire, as having a slower fire rate than a semi-automatic.
The M16 hasn’t been produced in a fully automatic version since the A1. The A2 and A4 variants are 3-round burst. It will fire 3 rounds and then pause like a semi-automatic. Yes, the concept A3 variant had an automatic trigger group and the M4A1 and M27 are also automatic. None of them operate at 950 RPM because of the wear and tear on the guns.
Rate of Fire is not indicative of “Lethality”
It’s a stupid measurement of lethality and is only used as a scare tactic, so can we stop that already?
My truck has 5.7L V8 and can go well over 100 mph but could be lethal, probably more likely lethal even, at 25 mph. Because if I wasn’t paying attention and I hit someone the thousands of pounds of vehicle are going to do what physics do and the “capability” of doing more at a higher rate doesn’t matter in the equation one iota.
Every single one of the 5 poorly listed and cited firearms in this list is a lethal threat were it to be used against you in a mass shooting, or any shooting. Every. Single. One.
Mitigate the risk