What caliber for riots?

Like a lot of other people I’ve been thinking about what would be the best defense against the riots like are being experience in the U.K. and the flash mobs in some U.S. cities.

Recently someplace, which I can’t find right now, I proposed a couple of fully loaded USPSA Grandmasters could rapidly educate a crowd on the downside of violence against innocent people.

Yesterday Phil advocated 9mm because of the greater capacity.

While I think those ideas have potential the rioters in the U.K. have been dispersing at the first sign of law enforcement then regrouping at another location (apparently many of these “poor” people have cellphones). Plus no matter how many rounds in whatever caliber you have when you are facing off against hundreds of people the odds of getting hurt yourself is significantly greater than zero. This calls for a different weapons platform.

I think the right caliber for the task is a couple of AC-130s.


24 thoughts on “What caliber for riots?

  1. +1 on the AC-130s; down at ground level in the grazing fire department, there’s nothing you can do with .223 that you can’t do with .308 two hundred meters farther out and with fewer rounds required per target. Performance of USPSA GMs notwithstanding, I think I’d rather have that 400+ meter buffer. Either would be an interesting exercise. Pity they don’t understand such things in Less-Than-Average Britain. Or Milwaukee and Philly, either, it seems.

  2. Since I have no hope of ever getting one of these, I vote for 9mm, .223, and a plethora of standard-capacity magazines. But if I could get away, or one of those, it would be that.

  3. 12-guage works just fine for me. Some #4 shot will go a long ways into creating doubt for rioters. Nobody wants to go around looking like the headless horseman.

    I posted about the AA-12 fully automatic shotgun on my blog a few days ago. THAT’S the weapon I’d want, along with four or five additional drum magazines.

    I’d like that shotgun even better if it could be belt-fed.


  4. .308 or 12 Guage. Capacity is irrelevant, once two or three of them are on the ground trying to put their insides BACK inside, the rioters tend to seek lower hanging fruit. Riots by nature are cowards acting in unison.

  5. While the AC130 idea is pleasing to the palate as they say, I have to agree with parts of all, rioters are cowards. I like the 400+ buffer idea but I recall the Koreans who stood on their roofs with 12Ga pump shotguns (5 round capacity just like grandpa’s bird gun (ok, my Grandad had a browning semiauto but… anywho) in the LA riots a few years back and more than adequately defended their stores. Shotguns are called street sweepers for a reason I reckon. 🙂 What’s that Front Sight motto again… any gun will do, if you will do? Sounds good to me. On the other hand, Joe, let me know if find a surplus AC130, I’ll help you man that artillery piece they have on board, we’ll draw lots on who gets to man the miniguns!

  6. I’m with Larry and Weer’d on this one. The Koreans had it right during the Rodney King riots. Rooftops. If the average Boomershoot participant can hit a target the size of a playing card from 375, imagine what they can do with a target the size of say… A PERSON.

  7. I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    That said, there is much to be said for being an ensconced defender. Having the high ground on a roof and firing down into the crowd to disperse them and give yourself distance and cover. If caught in the crowd, I would want a standard capacity handgun if the encounter was on contact distance terms. Better able to keep possession and control. Long gun in .308 with removable mags for three times the power than any handgun and ability to reach out to the rioters before they get to you. Shotgun only if you were ensconced upstairs. not on the street. Too much downtime to load.

  8. @Weer’d – capacity does have value, and one reason for the .308 is it eats in 20-round gulps. True, there is high probability that once muzzles start flashing the yobs will break and run, but there’s a reason for something that reaches out 400-500 meters – the violent rioter you shoot today is one less who will return tomorrow night to torch your business or kill/maim you. Initiate corrective action at 50 meters and you have another 400 meters or so to continue administering same; if a rioter can run a 12 second 100 you’ve got 40+ seconds in which to work. Not fair play to shoot them in the back? This is war: The barbarians seek to destroy the civilization, and its component parts, that feed you, me and our families. If you can put the front sight on a target, take the shot.

  9. 7.62, I believe. Either x39mm, or x51mm, take your pick.

    Might be nice to have something you can hit a bottle at range with. Or is it considered cruel and unusual punishment to pop the molotov cocktails over the would-be arsonists?

  10. I say something in the belt or drum fed breed. With that many targets grouped so closely together as long as you control muzzle climb you have a good probability of scoring hits. Take a clump of them down and watch the rest freak and scatter like the cockroaches they are.

  11. Several American 180s on rooftops throughout the city;

    While a 7.62 belt-fed would certainly do, it would tend to cause more collateral damage, as would the aerial gunship.

    For large crowds, my son and I have long though that a belt-fed, 10 gauge minigun shotty, with adjustable angle barrels for on-the-fly variable spread patterns, running at about 6K RPM, would be simply marvelous. I think you’d only have to use it once. One long burst and there would be no more riots for a generation.

    But really that only addresses the symptom. The disease is socialism. Every little bit of it, and the perpetrators aren’t on the front lines. They use the poor for their dirty work. So regardless of the system to be used, the perpetrators, who tend to work from cover and often hold official positions, are the ones who need “schooled”. Go after the queen bee and you get the whole hive.

  12. My m1919a4 seems like its up for the task. Belt fed .308 is not something that mobs enjoy

  13. I think a little skipfire would be incredibly effective. London still has cobblestones in some places, blacktop or concrete in others. BUT…in any circumstance, skip fire in front of the mob will definitely slow them down!

    I’m all for the AC-130, but from what my friends coming back from Iraq/Afghanistan say, the A-10 dispensing serious goodness with this is the ticket:


    An airplane built around the gun! Now that is the way to build attack aircraft!

  14. Well, Lyle beat me to it. I’ve long thought that a Gatling shotgun would be just the shizznit. Can we mount a couple of them on an Apache? I think a helo might work better in an urban environment than good old Puff, or his successor.

  15. If the street’s burning already…..napalm.

    If it’s not…do it the old fashioned way. Bring out the Royal Guard from Buckingham with sabers. At least they’ll earn their money then.

  16. Lyle: That American 180 is pretty cool. I’m sort of amused that it’s basically equivalent to 7 rounds of 1.25 ounce #F birdshot shells, if you could find lead #F shot.

    The more … linear nature of the 180 lends itself to crowd control somewhat more, though.

    Your thought about the belt-fed shotgun reminds me of an idea I had once. .50 BMG shells, if you ditch the shoulder and neck, are almost perfectly sized to be 12 ga cartridges. A bit long, perhaps, so, more like 3.5″ goose loads. But, y’know, there’s obviously already a belting system for those, if you just moved the barrel mouth back an inch and a half on an M2 and made the barrel .730″ to .750″ instead of .510″, you’d have quite the weapon. How many rounds per minute does an M2 run, multiplied by 18 rounds of #00 Buck per shot, in little .32 caliber balls downrange? That’s a whole lot of lead. And easier on the city infrastructure than full blown 750gr .50 BMG rounds, too.

  17. Walmart has OO-buck on for about $4.40 a box.. Picked some up yesterday, I intend to pick up some precious metals each payday we swing by.

  18. Well, I tend to be old-school. Mount 2-3 classic .45-70 gatlings on the back of a flatbed or three…and you have a “Heavy Riot Response” unit with a little bit of class (more if you find an antique flatbed to mount on – style points, after all). And I agree, bring out the Household Regiments, particularly the cavalry units…with full 19th Century battle rattle.

    Try and bring down a nation, take the big person risks.

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