first published on November 19, 2015 by Matt Silvey
One would think that with all the advertising money they receive, and all the people they employ, major media outlets could afford to employ just one single person who knows something about guns and police work. In fact, it is quite possible they do, but based on the rubbish they routinely churn out, it is clear they either do not, or they have no intent in being honest.
Take this article which recently appeared at the Daily Mail in which they attempt to discuss Britain’s new counter-terrorism police unit. In doing so, they posted a photo of one of those cops and then made utter fools of themselves as they went about attempting to describe pieces of gear seen in the photo.
Their most notable error is completely misidentifying the rifle and its abilities. If you look at the rifle in the photo, which they incorrectly identified as a Sig Sauer 516, you might notice that it has a 2-wire type collapsible stock and completely lacks a buffer tube, an item that is of vital importance to the functioning of a Sig 516. While the author did get the brand right, but the gun is actually a Sig MCX. Another telltale indicator that the rifle pictured is an MCX, and not a 516, is the very distinctive MCX forend. While the MCX does have some scary similarities to a Sig 516 (it comes in the same extra deadly black color, and it takes those scary high capacity magazine clip thingies), it is an entirely different operating system than the 516.
Moving beyond the misidentification of the gun, the author also understated the ability of the rifle, and by a huge amount. Whether the gun was a Sig 516 or an MCX (both 5.56mm / .223 rifles), the range of both guns far exceeds 350 feet that the author suggests. In fact, both of those guns are combat effective out to 500 yards (1500 feet) and beyond, depending on the user.
They identify the Glock 17 and list the “effective range” at 150 feet, or 50 yards. While the round is indeed effective at that range and beyond, I don’t know many folks who are combat effective with a handgun at that range, especially not once the bullets are flying.
How’s this for some trigger word usage? “Tactical radio with earpiece, tuned to a secure, encrypted firearms channel” Really, to describe a radio? A “firearms channel?” What the heck is that, and what caliber does it use? What about the radio makes is “tactical” other than it has an earpiece, something many patrol cops have been using for decades?
I really like how they made special note of the transparent magazine in the rifle, you know, because transparent mags are more deadlierest, or something… That is almost as amusing as the notation about the gun mounted weapon light, because God forbid a cop might want to see what they are shooting at if it is dark out. And finally, one must not dismiss the evil “padded knees” and the “military fatigues,” because so many military units are using sold color, light grey fatigues? And the knee pads, those make cops deadlier… duh! ???
Seriously, what is the point of this article? Are they trying to reassure the public that the British cops are geared up to fight the heavily armed terrorists, or are they trying to scare the public by spewing scary nonsense about the cops’ gear? Or, worse yet, are they just talking out of their butt about a topic that scares them, one they know nothing about, and one they have no chance of ever fully comprehending?