Despite their ubiquity in pop culture and general discourse, there are numerous myths surrounding military firearms. This article by Travis Pike seeks to debunk five common misconceptions regarding the usage and characteristics of specific military weapons used by the U.S. armed forces.
- M1 Carbine’s Piercing Capability: Contrary to the popular belief that the M1 Carbine couldn’t penetrate heavy winter coats during the Korean War, it possesses significant power, comparable to a .357 Magnum, making it more than capable of piercing winter attire.
- .50 BMG’s Shockwave: The widespread myth posits that the .50 BMG cartridge generates a lethal shockwave. In reality, while the round is undeniably powerful, it does not produce a shockwave strong enough to even knock over a house of cards.
- M1 Garand’s “Ping” Sound: The characteristic “ping” sound emitted by the M1 Garand when its clip is ejected has been erroneously believed to have gotten soldiers killed during WWII. In the heat and noise of battle, such a sound would have been difficult to discern, and tactical considerations make this myth implausible.
- Machine Gun Accuracy: Popular media often portrays machine guns as powerful but inaccurate. In actual combat scenarios, machine guns play a crucial role in infantry support, being effective and accurate over considerable distances.
- Suppressors and Silence: While movies often depict suppressors (or “silencers”) as rendering firearms nearly silent, they don’t eliminate the loud crack caused by supersonic projectiles. However, they do effectively reduce noise and muzzle flash, offering tactical advantages in combat.