Two lessons from the biker attack on a family in NY

We now learn that cops were among the bikers who attacked a traveling family in New York and took an active role in the beating. Two lessons jump out at me:

1. Given a choice, try to avoid jurisdictions like New York, New Jersey, DC and California. Places where armed self-defense is restricted or illegal are also locations where “law enforcement” tends to act in criminal ways.

2. Make sure that all adults and teenagers in your family can use weapons. Practice using small arms from a vehicle (which is quite difficult to do effective and safely), so that the driver can concentrate on escaping the threats while another family member can shoot down boarders if necessary.

Robust but not quite the tank it's supposed to be

Using small arms is often preferable to using the vehicle in a defensive fight, as many cars are designed to shut off in case of even a minor accident. For example, Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis will turn off the fuel pump in case of even a minor rear impact. Running over bikes can cause tire damage which would make high-speed escape impossible or dangerous to the car occupants. Even a small impact at speed can cause the vehicle to lose control and skid out.

An SUV or a truck gives a better firing platform than smaller vehicles, but people with small cars actually need guns more as their means of escape are more likely to be easily disabled. High-capacity magazines are essential as reloading at speed is difficult. Aimed fire from a moving vehicle is tough but attackers who are right by its side and at similar speed would be relatively easy to hit. Even a peripheral hit would likely be enough to discourage pursuit.

Due to the helmets, protective leather and plastic armor (or Kevlar in case of rogue cops), .223 pistols actually make useful car guns. If your vehicle is disabled, you may have to shoot through the bodywork of the attacker’s cars or bikes. While some calibers work better than others, any defensive gunfire is likely to discourage road-raging criminals. For being able to fire to the left without injuring the driver, rear seat makes position more sense for the shooter. Since adults usually ride up front, it makes sense for the older kids to be able to take up arms in their own defense if necessary.

Mob violence seen in the biker pursuit case is more expressive than instrumental. The perpetrators aren’t out to capture or rob the victim, the intent is to harm for its own sake. Absent effective defense, the end result is torture and death for the prey. If your kids are with you, they are likely to be savaged along with the adults. So stand ready to repel boarders. Failure to resist can mean death or crippling injuries for the entire family.

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44 Responses to Two lessons from the biker attack on a family in NY

  1. Rob.G says:

    I carry a handgun on my hip at all times and one in my car with extra mags available, but never thought about a .223 pistol. I’ll have to consider that one.

  2. William Kemp says:

    the 223/5.56 as typically loaded is simply not intended as a pistol cartridge. Properly loaded– look in your loading manuals and choose the fastest available powder for the 223/5.56. This will not give you velocity anything approaching rifle velocity, but you are not shooting a rifle. You are shooting a pistol. 6 inch barrel? At the outside a 10 inch barrel (illustrating the loss of performance from the M4 short-barrel). Most of the powder is expelled and is burned in the air, when using ‘rifle loads’ from short barrels. Load with the fastest pistol/shotgun powder listed to the max safe pressure. This will give you the best performance from your short barrel platform. It still won’t be in the rifle velocity, but it will give you the most from the short barrel. Mark the cartridges well, and only use them in the long-barrel variants as a strict necessity.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Most .223 pistols have 8-10″ barrels. I agree about handloading.

    • CrankyBuddha says:

      I agree that buying or making a custom load might give you better performance and might be preferred but how much power is actually lost with a short barrel? I would be willing to bet that even standard 5..56 loads out of a short barrel pack more punch that most handgun calibers.

        • CrankyBuddha says:

          Nice! I should have thought to check there.
          Just a quick look shows (if I am reading this correctly) even standard loads out of a pistol length barrel would have around 25% more muzzle energy than even hot .40 cal loads and the numbers are even better when compared against 9mm.
          I’m liking the idea of a 5.56 pistol for personal defense even more.
          I am a relative noob to firearms so if I am reading that wrong just correct me (please).

        • It’s worth noting that the BBTI numbers are a little low for 5.56 ammunition (they’re using commercial .223 ammunition).

          Even from a 6″ barrel, .223 with slower burning rifle powders will be quite potent. Your biggest issue will be flash and blast, though in that situation one might consider those things to be positive for crowd deterrent purposes (keep ear pro in the car, I guess?).

  3. Lyle says:

    Good post, Oleg. I haven’t fired from my vehicle in a long time, so I need some more practice. It isn’t easy, most especially if you’re shooting while driving.

  4. CrankyBuddha says:

    I have often thought that a 5.56/.223 pistol might be the best bet for home defense. The light, fast rounds from a 5.56 will provide great stopping power while minimizing over penetration of walls, even interior walls. 30+ round magazines minimize the need for a reload even with multiple attackers. Depending on the foregrip there should be plenty of rail space for a light and a laser (if desired). A sling would be nice to allow you to use both hands without holstering or setting the weapon down.
    The main concern I would have in a home and especially in a car is muzzle blast and noise. I can’t imagine how deafening an AR pistol would be within the confines of a car…but I would rather deal with that than a beating or worse.

  5. LarryArnold says:

    Another thing about the .223 pistol is its early warning function: any place it’s illegal, don’t go there.

  6. sean says:

    Interesting. However, where is someone to learn and practice shooting from a car? I have sort of practiced with an airsoft gun in my car a few times. But that isn’t quite the same.

    • Lyle says:

      Out in the boondocks. If youre not on a public road no one has anything to say about it, but the land owner amd maybe his neighbors. It can be done safely if one thinks about it. I did it at our local shooting range, when I was the only one there. There’s a range near Coeur d’ Alene, ID that sponsors a “war wagon” shoot wherein you drive, or rather ride while someone else drives, past several bays and pop as many targets as you can. Several IPSC stages I’ve seen have vehicle scenarios where you’re seated behind a mock steering wheel and you shoot from a fixed position.

  7. Wet says:

    And don’t forget the sawn off shotgun, ideal to defend your Ford Falcon against those pesky raiders 🙂

  8. Anon says:

    FYI Posessing a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle is illegal in many counties in Virginia. Suspect other places have similar regs unfortunately.

    • Linoge says:

      Do they define “loaded”, and if so, how?

      Just trying to clarify that an empty rifle in the passenger compartment and a loaded magazine in a glove box might not constitute “loaded”.

      • Geodkyt says:

        “Loaded” in Virginia means ammo in the weapon, and includes “full mag, empty chamber”.

        But a rifle caliber pistol is still legally a pistol. I suspect, if I had to choose a rifle caliber pistol, I’d go with a 7.62x39mm from a ballistics POV. The M43 round doesn’t suffer as much degradation in short range performance from a short barrel.

    • TheRock says:

      With preemption now, how is it possible that it is only some counties? It should be either the whole state, or not at all?

      Preemption is how we got rid of the stupid laws in the individual cities and counties (hello chesapeake, arlington, etc…)

      • Joe E. says:

        Preemption has some exceptions. In general, localities may not prohibit the carry of handguns, but can prohibit their discharge.
        I haven’t dug into it a lot lately, but there may be an exception for long guns. Hunting rules and such.

    • Renegade_Azzy says:

      Also illegal in PA. Unless it is a SBS or SBR, or Machinegun… those dont fall under the same hunting regulations.

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  10. Cargosquid says:

    Does that include those weapons being carried concealed?

    • Geodkyt says:

      In VA, your permit is only good for a “handgun”. It changed from a “may issue” concealed WEAPON permit to a “shall issue” concealed HANDGUN permit in 1995.

  11. Paul says:

    You know, I’ve never cared for the AK ‘Draco’ line of pistols they make. Or the AR pistols.

    But, they may make some sense when you have to deal with a bunch of crazed individuals.

    Mobs are like packs of dogs, very fickle and dangerous.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      I am not normally a fan of .223 pistols, but something like PLR16 can be fired with one hand and tend to be quite reliable (long stroke piston). Armscor 22TCM with 5″ barrel would also work well.

      • Lyle says:

        The AMD-65 is a bit bigger and heavier, but it was designed for motorized units. It can be operated with its wire folding stock folded, and the 20 round magazines allow a bit more maneuvering room in tight spaces. It also launches heavier bullets;

        The option of deploying the shoulder stock for more controlled fire is a plus. An SBR version would be a bit closer to ideal.

  12. Lyle says:

    Then again, I’ve done my from-the-vehicle shooting with my regular 10 mm carry pistol. Mr. .223 sits in the back seat without a magazine in it while Mr. Glock is right at hand and ready to go, launching 180 or 200 grain pain killers.

  13. Lyle says:

    I guess if you really want to punch the hell out of a bekevlared rouge, something in .308 would be good. Shooting lengthwise though a vehicle to get at the driver is something else to consider, if the need should arise, though that may not be compatible with the small and light concept. A shortish full auto carbine or SBR?

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  15. Kirk Parker says:

    WA state too, for the entire state.

    And they define “loaded” as any rounds in the chamber, OR any rounds in a fixed magazine, OR any rounds in a detachable magazine that’s loaded into the rifle. Your best bet in this case is a loaded detachable magazine NOT inserted into the rifle.

  16. Kirk Parker says:

    Re the PLR16: the SU-16C, the folding stock, free-America version of the rifle, is fully operable with the stock folded, and the stock will fold and unfold over a standard metal 20rd magazine. (Full disclosure: I’ve never actually shot mine folded, but the handgrip formed by the folded stock is pretty smooth and broad, and it looks like a fairly feasible thing to do–I’ll have to try this at the range next time.)

    Then, in this configuration it’s very easy to deploy in a full-size cabin like in a Suburban–the barrel just barely reaches to the driver side window. Hmmmmm…..
    just not a very good way to carry this around with me in the front seat.

  17. DocMerlin says:

    I am pushing for Texas to legalize pistol open carry, so I can carry a PLR-16. The damn thing is too big to conceal.

  18. Daniel Beegan says:

    Oleg, I refuse to live in, or visit, any city that my concealed carry would throw me in jail. My permanent residence now is Beech Grove, Indiana, a city surrounded by Indianapolis. I have a lifetime personal protection carry permit in Indiana.

    Sadly, I have kith and kin in Chicago. I will not go there at this time. Maybe when the issue of concealed carry is settled, and Illinois either accepts my Indiana permit or allows me to get a non-resident permit, I will visit.

    My carry weapon is a Caspian Arms CCO in .45 ACP, thanks to a good deal from VP Amy Foster and my cousin Gary H. Smith, sales manager. Sorry for the plug but is a sweet pistol.

    Daniel Beegan

  19. Jake says:

    I wonder if an FN57 would be a good alternative for a car gun? Good ballistics designed for both a pistol and a rifle, and as a pistol it’s more easily maneuvered inside the confines of a vehicle.

    It would also be more easily stored in the glove compartment or center console than even a folding rifle or AR-pistol. Plus, in VA, you can keep a loaded pistol stored in an unlocked glove box or console without needing a CHP, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the local restrictions on loaded rifles.

    And it’s not just the rogue cops wearing kevlar – though they’re probably the only ones wearing actual ballistic vests – but a lot of motorcycle gear incorporates kevlar along with protective plates. I doubt it would stop even a handgun bullet, but it would very probably reduce the effectiveness of most handgun rounds. I bet even the non armour-piercing 5.7×28mm ammunition available to civilians would perform better than, say, a 9mm JHP against that.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      FN57 and even more so PS90 would work well — just make sure you load it with Federal FMJ ( and not the varmint rounds produced by FN.

      • Geodkyt says:

        Is the terminal ballistic performance of the Federal FMJ any better than the FN “government only” FMJs? Because the terminal performance of the FN produced 5.7mm FMJ/AP sucks — it performs in tissue about like you’d expect a .22WMR RNL load to, i.e., pretty sucky.

        Better off with a TT-33 or Cz52 with decent FMJ loads (preferrably Czech milsurp if you can get it), and they leave a significantly better wound track.

        • Geodkyt says:

          Oh, and bonus — you not only will be using a more effective round, but you’re not out a mortgage payment while your gun sits in evidence.

        • Oleg Volk says:

          7.62×25 would be quite superior on vehicle bodywork.

          • Linoge says:

            If you can convince Kel-Tec to make a PLR16 chambered in 7.62×25, I guarantee I will purchase one.

            That would be the first K-T gun I have ever bought ;).

  20. ASUsax says:

    Pistol Caliber AR’s make a ton of sense in 300 Blackout.

    You don’t need a lot of barrel length to get ideal velocity out of that cartridge, and everyone likes a 30-caliber pill.

  21. Sabre22 says:

    Serbu Super Shorty for starters followed up with a 5.56 mm or 7.62 caliber Pistol

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