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As police chased Raymond "Ready" Martinez through Times Square on Thursday, the street hustler and aspiring rapper fired two shots, holding the gun sideways "like a character out of a rap video." According to the New York Post, Martinez's side grip caused the gun to jam, enabling police to shoot and kill the suspect. What's the point of holding a gun sideways?
While the New York Post reported that Martinez's side grip caused the gun to "stovepipe"—that's when the spent casing gets caught in the ejection port, jamming the weapon—it's unlikely that the horizontal orientation caused the failure. In theory, tilting a gun sideways—90-degrees counter-clockwise for a right-handed shooter—means that gravity works against the ejection of the spent casing. As a practical matter, however, gravity is so weak compared to the force of the ejection that jamming is no more frequent in the sideways position than in the customary one. The more likely cause of the jam was Martinez's choice of weapon and ammunition. The MAC-10 is prone to stovepiping—a problem that's exacerbated by the use of hollow-point bullets, which may become deformed and scrape the inside of the barrel, or underpowered ammunition, which can slow the slide and throw off the mechanism's timing
During the first half of the 20th century, soldiers used the side grip for the express purpose of endangering throngs of people. Some automatic weapons from this era—like the Mauser C96 or the grease gun—fired so quickly or with such dramatic recoil that soldiers found it impossible to aim anything but the first shot. Soldiers began tilting the weapons, so that the recoil sent the gun reeling in a horizontal rather than vertical arc, enabling them to spray bullets into an onrushing enemy battalion instead of over their heads.
Originally posted by Seiko
reply to post by JPhish
Maybe the rappers and hollywood types do it for simple aesthetics, but what about the real life situations influenced by such a display?
Soldiers began tilting the weapons, so that the recoil sent the gun reeling in a horizontal rather than vertical arc, enabling them to spray bullets into an onrushing enemy battalion instead of over their heads.