Following the tragedy in Las Vegas recently, there has been an outcry from the media and gun-control activists to ban “bump stocks,” a device used by the shooter in his rampage. A bump stock replaces a rifle’s standard stock and increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon to mimic that of an automatic weapon.
THE MECHANICS BEHIND THE “BUMP STOCK”
As stated, a bump stock replaces the standard rifle stock and uses the energy of the recoil to effectuate rapid fire. The shooter keeps his finger in place on the trigger while exerting backward pressure on the pistol grip, and then exerts forward pressure on the barrel. The rifle is held loosely against the shoulder to allow the stock to rapidly slide back and forth between the shoulder and trigger finger.
When a round is discharged, the rifle will recoil (“bump” back) against the shoulder. The trigger resets, and the non-trigger hand continues to push the rifle forward, away from the body. This causes the trigger to press against the stationary finger again, firing off another round.
It still results in one round being discharge with a single trigger pull and is therefore not a truly automatic rifle. However, the bump stock pushes the trigger forward against the stationary trigger finger rapidly, resulting in the rifle mimicking an automatic weapon.
Since the rifle is held loosely against the shoulder, accuracy is somewhat sacrificed during the operation of a bump stock. What you gain in rate of fire you give up in accuracy.
Granted, it does allow for someone to fire off a number of rounds in a short amount of time, but is it that much faster than an experienced shooter using a standard equipped weapon?
THE “BUMP STOCK” CHALLENGE
That very question was put to the test by marksman Jerry Miculek as he used a traditional AR-15 in a match against someone using an AR-15 with a bump stock. Each had a ten-round magazine, and at the sound of a buzzer, both emptied their magazines at a target down-range.
There appeared to be no discernible difference in the amount of time it took either of the shooters to run through ten rounds. In other words, an experienced marksman can fire off as many rounds in nearly the same amount of time as someone using a bump stock. But one thing that was evident is that the bump stock proved to be less accurate in the showdown. That could be because of the shooter’s lack of skill or more likely because of the method a bump stock uses in attaining a rapid rate of fire.
See for yourself. Here is a video of the challenge.
Should Bump Stocks be banned? Tell us what you think!