California Bans a Large-Caliber Gun, and the Battle Is On

Trei, Peter ptrei at
Tue Jan 4 10:41:15 PST 2005

John Kelsey wrote

> Interesting questions:  How hard is it for someone to
> actually hit an airplane with a rifle bullet?  How often do
> airplane maintenance people notice bulletholes?

Damn hard. There's a reason winghunters use shotguns,
and anti-aircraft guns are full auto.

The only way an attacker would have a chance is to
stand at the end of the runway, and fire while the
plane passes overhead. I have heard of police
choppers and ultra lights being fired on from the
ground, but never a commercial flight in the US.

The scenario the gun-grabbers posit is someone
doing this with tracer rounds. Commercial aircraft
do not have self-sealing tanks, and if the attacker
is incredibly lucky he might be able to start a fire.

50 BMG can be effectively used in anti-material roles,
but firing on planes in the air is not one of them.
Barrett actually tried to make an shoulder-fired AA
model at one point, but abandoned it as impractical.

As has been pointed out, 50 BMG rifles have never
been used in the commission of a felony. They are
being demonized because they Look Scary (check out

Peter Trei

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