.45 Security Carbine
.45 Security Carbine
This is possibly one of the least radical ideas on the Scrapboard, but like many others it is derived from logic.
A while back an number of events occurred at about the same time. Foremost of these was a terrorist attack. Men of limited view trying to impose their prejudices and superstitions on others. Since reasoned discussion is not an option for them, they choose to run amok and kill random innocents. To defend against such tactics needs defence in depth, with a force capable of response within a few blocks rather than a few miles.
At about the same time, I had just written an article about the merits of the .260 Rem and 6.5mm Creedmore as a general-purpose military round, an idea that I am pleased to see is gaining some momentum. While they have great potential, these were not, I reflected, ideal for use in a urban environment filled with friendly non-combatants. Another article I had just written was about the suitability of suppressed .45 ACP carbines for special forces operations. The solution became apparent:
For police and similar operations, the close-range weapon of choice should be a .45 carbine. Unlike the special forces’; weapon I suggest, this would have a barrel of between 30-40 cms. It may be found that the optimum barrel length for a standard .45 is actually a shade shorter than this.
The .45 has superior terminal effects to the 9mm rounds used currently in various sub-machine guns. It is also superior to the over-hyped, tiny, lightweight rounds used in PDWs.
The relatively modest velocity of the .45 means that it poses less of a downrange threat to non-combatants. The relatively more curved trajectory of the .45 does not have a significant effect on practical point of aim at realistic engagement ranges.
The longer barrel of a carbine will fire the .45 at higher velocities and produce a flatter trajectory than when the round is fired from pistols and SMGs.
In a police or internal security scenario there will hopefully be some effort to positively identify a threat and offer a chance to surrender. Most engagements with the security carbine will be well under 80 metres range.
If body armour is a potential problem, a magazine of APCR loads is carried.
The closed-bolt mechanism and carbine configuration will encourage accurate fire over “spray and pray”. The lower recoil of a .45 carbine makes it easier to use accurately than a pistol or more powerful rifle, simplifying training.
The momentum of a .45 is similar to that of a 5.56x45mm or .357 magnum, and significantly higher than that of a 9x19mm.
There is a good precedent as to how useful such weapons might be. The .44-40 and the Winchester ’73 rifle. This was the round and weapon combination “that won the west”. It has also been said that the .44-40 has killed more game, large and small, and more people, good and bad, than any other commercial cartridge ever developed. Ballistically, the .44-40 is similar to modern .45 ACPs in weight and velocity. For example, 200gr at 1,100-1,300 fps vs 230gr at 1,016-1,163 fps.
In the 1920s and 30s the Thompson submachinegun was the preferred means to prevent vehicles running roadblocks. The heavy .45 bullets had better penetration against car bodies than most of the alternative options. The large-capacity drum magazine improved the chances of hitting a vital area.
.45 carbines can be created from existing assault rifle designs, minimizing retraining and familiarization. The weapon should use the same magazines as the handgun carried. Useful accessories will be a reflex sight, flash-light and a visible laser-spot. The intimidation effect of the laser may cause aggressors to surrender before the need to resort to bloodshed. The laser has other applications, such as pointing out potential threats to fellow officers.
The Need for a Compact .45 Machine Pistol.
Contrary to the decisions of some military forces, the .45 ACP remains the only logical choice of military pistol round.
- A round that can be used with suppressed weapons is needed. This limits the choice to rounds that are subsonic without recourse to special loadings.
- Good close-range performance is needed, which eliminates small calibres such as the .22 and .32/7.65mm, and makes rounds such as the .380/9x17mm and 9mm Makarov at best, marginal.
- The only commonly available round that meets the above is the .45 ACP.
Many modern military operations require weapons that can be easily concealed, yet there may be a requirement for more capability that can be provided by a conventional handgun. It is, perhaps, surprising that as a distinct class, that of “machine pistols” is relatively small. Many of the older weapons in this class have very-high rates of fire, affecting their accuracy and utility. Even if fired semi-automatically, heavy bolts and open-bolt configuration affect accuracy. A few, more modern designs have attempted to address these issues, but none that I know of at the time of writing are offered in .45 ACP.
A compact, suppressible, .45 machine pistol would be a very useful weapon for military and security forces. It would be capable of using the same magazines as the .45 handgun issued. To improve accuracy, it would be designed for closed-bolt operation, at least when in semi-automatic mode. Fully-automatic operation would be reserved for special situations, and features incorporated to keep rate of fire to practical levels. A burst-fire mechanism that allows two or three-round bursts is worth consideration.
As is discussed elsewhere, a compact .45 machine pistol will have applications beyond the use by special forces. Provided with a suppressor, it would be the ideal weapon for a downed aircrew, for example.