Sword Vs. Gun

BlackCatBonz

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i think if warfare was still fought at the hand to hand level with spears, knives, and the bow and arrow, people would be be a lot more reluctant to take up arms and go to war. i doubt a cop or soldier that has his weapon drawn to engage an enemy that is bearing down on him finds it fun.
the difference is, that person rarely, if ever has to look his opponent in the eyes before he takes his life.
 

cdhall

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Gun.
See "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
:snipe2:
Sorry. I couldn't resist.
:)
 
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dasgregorian

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I was the person the OP was talking about having the discussion with so I wanted to chime in:

The debate is situational. In some circumstances, a gun would certainly be better... any time range is an issue... but the same thing can be said about any weapon. (example: a chain saw vs. a bow and arrow... at range... the ranged weapon has the advantage... except light sabres... nothing beets a light sabre, yo.) Any time you have your target in range and you are out of your targets range, you have a distinct advantage... therefore, the range argument is a bit out of context.

You have to assume both people are of equal skill with their respective weapon and they're both within the range of eachother. My opinion is in melee range, a swordsmen would have an equal chance (if not an advantage over someone with a gun). My reasoning is it takes one motion to draw a sword, pulling the sword straight from it's sheath is an attack. A gun takes a motion to change the gun's position and a seperate movement to squeeze the trigger. One motion is generally quicker than two motions (although the sword starting from a sheathed position will take a significantly longer motion). There is also the following argument: Guns shoot one bullet in a straight line... a (katana for example) attacks everything within it's path. It's much easier to miss with a gun than it is to miss with a katana. With a gun, you may very well hit an arm, painful, but not a 'fatal blow' ... with a katana, any swing can be carried through a vital area. Further, a swordsmen may be able to draw, aiming for the hand holding the weapon, a gun wielder has no defense against this, and would be disarmed, leaving himself completely defenseless.

Also, it's a matter of taste. Guns are loud and scary and... umm... loud. Swords are undoubtedly more artistic. With a gun, you point and click... a small child can kill anyone with a gun, you need no skill whatsoever to use it... With practice, you can 'point' much faster and more efficiently, but there's little 'art' to shooting a gun. However, a sword is very artistic. You can do more with a sword than hunt, target practice, and commit crimes... practicing with swords is a very good excersize (much more of a work out for the mind and body than pointing your gun at stuff and squeezing your trigger), etc.

Swords are also more... friendly... eherm... kinda. Two people holding guns are in a very dangerous position. There is no 'defense' with a gun. It is impossible to 'defend yourself' with a gun. You are simply commiting an offense before your opponant can. However, two people holding swords may be perfectly safe. From my training, I'm confident that some random punk on the street with a sword (or weapon used as a sword, i.e. a bat, pipe... anything of the sorts) would be safe for me to go up against with any similar weapon, because I can comfortably DEFEND myself by stopping his attack rather than just shooting him first.

Lastly remember this... guns run out of bullets.... swords don't. Assuming you're using the quickest gun to draw (a pistol of some sort), you have a fairly limited amount of bullets (6 by old west standard... or however many your clip can hold). If the gunmen can assume range, the swordsmen can assume he has cover... Either the gunmen must come within sword range, or fire until he has to reload... allowing ample time for the swordsmen to come and attack, seeing as how a gunwielder is completely helpless while reloading (although I realize some modern guns have clips that can be reloaded pretty drrrn fast.)
 
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dasgregorian

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solidman82 said:
actuaklly, it sort of depends how close range you're talking. If you had a guy with a sword grappling he wouldn't be very usefully besides some stabbing that may or may bot critically injure you. A gun just takes one simple movement pressed up against your body and you're dead.
I disagree. I've grappled with many different sizes of knife/sword/axe (in practice form, obviously, just foam boffers), and you can not only use your weapon to great effect... but in some cases the melee weapon is more effective while grappling. I was well known in yakima for getting in very close range with my 90 inch long sword (not a typo... 7 1/2 feet) and using it as leaverage to take people down. It can be worked in as part of your grappling tecnique very efficiently. In contrast, if I see you have a gun, I just have to make sure 'bad end no pointy at me.' A gun gives you no leaverage... if anything, holding a pistol by the butt in grappling range is a bad thing, you have SIGNIFICANTLY more leaverage on the other end of the gun to turn the gun to point it at the original wielder. (simply put, the fulcrum of the gun will be the trigger, the barrel has a longer arm than the butt, therefore you have a mechanical advantage.)

flying crane said:
any distance greater than about three or four yards, I think the odds begin to heavily favor the guy with the gun. Not only is the beginning range out of reach of the sword, but the swordsman would have to be able to cover the ground very very quickly. Some people could probably pull it off, but I think the gunfighter has a real advantage. It also helps to have a high-capacity clip, incase you miss...
ALso have to disagree Swordsmen with very little training learn to cover ground quickly. I was shown a trick with a rapier where you can stand a good 12 to 15 feet away and pierce someone through the heart in the time it takes to make one step. Obviously taking a step is slower than just drawing though... but 4-5 feet is way closer than necissary.

Tgrace said:
I usually dont participate in teenage debates of sword vs. gun...samurai vs. SEAL.....lightsaber vs. M1 Abrams....less filling vs. tastes great...but I always say this.

If bladed weapons were "superior" we would still be using them. Theres a reason combat evolved into firearms. The whole 21' rule boils down to who has the initiave...who makes the first move. You jump a person with any weapon not in hand and the 21' rule applies. Try drawing a knife and charging me from 21' when I already have my sights on you......Its not just a blade vs. gun thing.
Well, if you want to bring a lightsabre into it, you can deflect bullets with them, so it's just silly to bring that up. Your sarcasm is duely noted, though. The typical "I hart teh militaree" responce to the gun vs. sword debate is 'why aren't we still using swords then?' But... a real military person (especially seals) should definitely know about the tricks they're tought with a knife. If a gun is in all ways superior to melee weaponry why train with a knife? Answer: Because guns are superior when you're at range... ranged weapons are superior at range... makes sense. However, in many situations, melee weaponry are superior. also the 'drawing your knife while I have my sights on you' is an unfair statement. That is like saying drawing your gun while I have a rapier to your throat. A fair analysation of that would be a rapier to your throat while I'm in your sights.

... getting a little long, more in the next post.
 
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dasgregorian

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technopunk said:
By the same token, in my house, in the dark, I might choose my sword over my gun if I know there is an intruder... because if I am in my darkened bedroom room hiding alongside/behind the door, and I know somone is in the house, I FEEL the advantage is still with me, and If I can take the SOB from below/behind as he comes thru the door... and not worry about my round killing my neighbor, roommate, or houseguests.
Another wise argument. Bullets don't always stop. I sleep with a ninja sword by my pillow... if someone comes in the house, I want to know: A: I won't hit my roomate or fish tank, and B: I won't run out of bullets. Plus C: if someone breaks in I can take away his arms and knock him out without killing him... I don't know, call me a hippy, but I don't like killing people. I know it's popular nowadays that "if you touch my car I'll ----ing shoot you" but... honestly... if someone just wants to steal my PlayStation... I'm not honestly going to become a murderer in defense of something I can go buy for $50. If I defend myself, and in the process my attacker dies... oh well. But I'm not automatically going for his neck if it's unnecissary.

Shane Smith said:
Also consider that a gunshot is far from always being an immediate stopper of hostilities. What good was your .38 snubby to you if your tactics allowed a Swordsman to lop off your head before he bled out(a drastic dismemberment by blade is perhaps a more sure stopper than a gunshot to the abdomen...It's the old rapier versus cut and thrust debate in another guise..).
True, again. Gunshot wounds (not shotguns) are small. If you hit a vital spot they can stop you immediately, but usually you won't be instantly dropped. A couple shots to the belly WILL kill you... in a while... but it won't save the gun wielder. I'm related to a former EMT who went to a suicide attempt... an old man shot himself in the head 14 times. In the head... point blank... 14 times. I've seen the X-rays... the guy lived... The guy was awake and speaking clearly in the ambulance, so I've been told. Gunshots aren't always fatal.

arnisador said:
But the Japanese Defense Forces now use rifles. Why? Because, in general, they're a superior weapon.
(buzzer sound). It's a weapon with more range that takes little to no training to become proficiant with. Point... click... thing on other end has a hole. (I won't bash guns though, people can get EXTREMELY good with them... they can point... better... and faster... but they're still just pointing and clicking.) However, most military forces that I'm familiar with (short of the airforce) train with knife attacks too... because in some situation, their gun is less effective.

Further point: Note that anything you take to a confrontation CAN be taken away from you. Any idiot can point a gun at you and make you bleed to death, therefore it's more dangerous for YOU to use as well. However, if you bring a sword/knife, and he takes your sword/knife, you're much more likely to find something to defend yourself with.

Tgace said:
Maybe the Knife vs. gun in a "street confrontation" debate has some merit (who carries swords around anyway???) , but in COMBAT the firearm beat the sword hundreds of years ago. If we are talking about attacking or defending a position you can keep your sword and ill keep my M4 and we'll see who comes out on top.
This reminds me of another point... if you're good with a gun (and no further empty hand training)... and you don't have one... you're helpless... if you train with a sword (and no further empty hand training)... and you can find any stick like... thing... you can easily use it as you would a sword. Unarmed, a gun fighter has no advantage over anyone with no training at all... but someone trained with a sword is generally able to use sword tecniques empty handed. Yes... people like guns.. they're easier and you can cowardly be farther away from danger when using it... but if you don't have a functioning gun WITH bullets... your training is useless. A swordsmen has a weapon without needing a sword.

Also... the 'why do we always use guns now' is a pointless arguement as well... as... we don't. Modern warfare is almost entirely fought with explosives. Missles here, bombs there, etc. I believe vietnam was the last time we got most of our kills at a range were we could see the whites of our enimies eyes. Just because we're running away from danger doesn't mean we're getting 'better'... we're just caring less about innocent bystanders. With a sword, you kill ONLY who you mean to kill... bullets don't stop, and explosions keep destroying well after your target is dead.
 

Tgace

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Been to Fallujah lately? The infantryman is still the only sure means to win a war. Which means taking and holding ground.

SEALS may train with knives but they enter CQB with MP5's or M4's why is that?
 

Tgace

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dasgregorian said:
You have to assume both people are of equal skill with their respective weapon and they're both within the range of eachother.

You have to do no such thing and thats the problem with these comparisons. The power of the gun is that an untrained man can kill a swordsman with decades of experience. Even the Samurai had to give it up....as a matter of fact, up against a skilled swordsman I would take a firearm 110% of the time.

Regardless of weapon, range and initiave wins...the person close (or far) enough to make use of his weapon before his opponent can react, will win most of the time.
 
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dasgregorian

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Tgace said:
Been to Fallujah lately? The infantryman is still the only sure means to win a war. Which means taking and holding ground.

SEALS may train with knives but they enter CQB with MP5's or M4's why is that?

They enter unknown terretory with ranged weapon because they don't know what range their possible target will be at.... they, ideally, want to stay as far from danger as possible, so if they have to, they'll stab them, if they can they'll shoot them, they'd prefer to snipe without being seen, but the best solution would be to blow them up from miles away. The farther away we are the safer we feel and the less accurate we become. If we save a few hundred soldiars and kill a few thousand people here and there... so be it.

You have to do no such thing and thats the problem with these comparisons. The power of the gun is that an untrained man can kill a swordsman with decades of experience. Even the Samurai had to give it up....as a matter of fact, up against a skilled swordsman I would take a firearm 110% of the time.

Regardless of weapon, range and initiave wins...the person close (or far) enough to make use of his weapon before his opponent can react, will win most of the time.

Yes, that's the unfortunate thing. Any child can pick up a gun and kill a person as fast as any navy SEAL with 30 years of experience. But we're not debating about range... It's a simple fact a gun is a ranged weapon, if someone has a target in range, but is outside of their target's range, they have the siginficant advantage.... this goes for ANY weapon with longer range than their opponant's weapon (be it a gun or swords of different lengths).

However, you can't say that JUST because a gun has range it will win... we still haven't addressed if both people are within range of eachother. The time it takes to draw a gun vs. the time it takes to draw a sword. If the swordsmen draws quicker he can take out the hand and open the personfrom waist to shoulder in one swipe. The gunmen will have time for only one shot (unless you assume he has a SMG or something). That having been said, they may have an equal chance of killing their target, but with a sword you have a much higher chance of survival yourself. If someone is in the process of drawing a sword, there are very few targets that will instantly stop the person (thus save your life).... and those targets are the highest up, hense take the longest to get to. If you're worried about your own life, you'll wait to shoot your opponant in the head.... during that time, a swordsmen can aim for his closest target, at the same level of the sword, the gunmen's hand. Once that's gone, the gunmen is defensless.

I honestly think that if both people are within range of eachother... a sword has the advantage of attacking a larger area in one pass.
 
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dasgregorian

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Also... answer this one:

Your family are taken hostage, their captor, standing directly between you and your family) says you can have one weapon to fight him with as their only chance for life. When he hands you the weapon, you can use it .... therefore you'll be within melee range... would you honestly want a gun? What if you miss, and hit your wife? What if you shoot him, bullets don't always stop. You could hit your children standing directly behind.

In some cases swords are useful.
 
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dasgregorian

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Btw, I know the whole hostage, 'fight like a man' thing wouldn't happen, but this example comes from something an old 'teacher' once told me (horrible old man, IMO)... he said that he is never more than three steps from a loaded, unsafetied gun in his home. And he told his wife and two sons never to leave their room at night because if he ever hears a door open at night, or what sounds like an intruder, he'll just fires off some shots into the darkness hoping to hit something.... and if he shoots them, then it's their fault for getting up.

Another reason I don't like guns as much as swords... they can be used with very deadly force by a complete idiot with no self control... that's not a good thing.
 

Swordlady

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How does that saying go, "Never take a sword to a gun fight" - or something like that. :ak47::jedi1:
 
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Eric Daniel

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Most of you think guns will be a superior weapon against a sword in a fight but what if a swordsmen were to cut off a gunsmens hands? the swordsmen would than follow with killing his opponent and the gun will have lost to a sword.
 

Tgace

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I cant believe Im having this conversation... x-box isnt real life. Neither is the Matrix.
 

Flying Crane

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Maybe we can summarize our findings here: A sword/knife or gun each has its advantages and disadvantages, and these become prominent depending on the circumstances, and depending on who is wielding the weapon. Under the right circumstances, either weapon can have the advantage, or the disadvantage. It is always possible to think of a sitation where one weapon has the advantage over the other, and vice-versa. I don't think that is a profitable line of thought to pursue, however, because it would just go on forever and never really mean anything. Let's just understand that it all really depends on the circumstances.
 

arnisador

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Tgace said:
I cant believe Im having this conversation... x-box isnt real life. Neither is the Matrix.

I agree. We can all imagine circumstances in which a sword might be preferable...but for the most part, this is fantasy. As a rule, a gun is better...including that most of us will not be experts in either, and it's better to be an untrained gunman than an untrained swordsman. Some of those swords are so heavy it's hard to lift them! Sure, a gun can kick back, but by then you've shot it.
 
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dasgregorian

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Tgace said:
I cant believe Im having this conversation... x-box isnt real life. Neither is the Matrix.

If all you have to contribute to the conversation is "Oh NoOo Teh Swords... that's Like Onm Th eViDEO Gam es. I Dont' Heart bideo games." then... please don't have the conversation.

So far we've established that 'swords are dumb because I'll just pull out my gun and shoot you before you get to me.' ... no one's even attempted to contrast the two assuming they were both in range.
 

Charles Mahan

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dasgregorian said:
no one's even attempted to contrast the two assuming they were both in range.

Why would anyone want to?

I'm not just being flippant here. What's the point of this discussion? Why should we spend any time on it?
 

MartialIntent

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dasgregorian said:
If all you have to contribute to the conversation is "Oh NoOo Teh Swords... that's Like Onm Th eViDEO Gam es. I Dont' Heart bideo games." then... please don't have the conversation.

So far we've established that 'swords are dumb because I'll just pull out my gun and shoot you before you get to me.' ... no one's even attempted to contrast the two assuming they were both in range.


You're coming from two different viewpoints. The OP was trying to illicit a debate on a hypothetical situation. Tgace is reporting from real world experience. I'd hate to think there are martial artists out there deluding themselves into invincibility. But FWIW, I too would like to believe the sword/katana could - as you say - slice and disarm the shooter [similarly with Escrima aiming stick strikes to the hands to remove the opponents weapon or ability to use it]. But I'd have to say in the real world, no. Bang! Gun wins.
 

Tgace

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If I believed that all you need in the world is a gun I wouldnt be here, Id be on some gun forum.

That being said,when I was a kid I thought "who needs a gun when I can just use my mad emptyhand skilz" too. I grew up.

http://www.themartialist.com/1004/nihonto.htm
True, a sword will kill a man just as well today as it did in 1600. One can also dispatch ones foes with a Kentucky rifle or a heavy stone, but that doesn’t mean that these are the best tools for the job in our day and age. Unlike an unarmed fighting system, there is little means of testing the combat effectiveness of the techniques one has invented for the sword, an obstacle not shared by those who devised the real JSA. Thus, I consider the sword more or less an obsolete weapon. You cannot strap one on and walk the streets like Blade or the Highlander. There are far more efficient, effective, and more legally defensible weapons and tactics for home defense. Those "pragmatists" who obtain a sword for the sole purpose of ham-handedly slicing and dicing assailants without either the background or desire to appreciate the most basic principles for using or even holding it correctly are seen as quite odd and possibly delusional.
 
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