A question on bump-firing

I’d never heard of this until the news that the Las Vegas shooter used a bump-fire stock to replicate the action of a machine-gun. I know that there are moves afoot to make these devices illegal. This is confusing. Checking on Youtube and elsewhere I see that apparently you don’t need such a device at all to bump-fire a rifle. There are videos there showing people spraying bullets at an incredible rate by just using their own hands. So what is the point of bump-stocks and how is making them illegal going to make any difference?

The stock makes it easier. Without the stock it takes quite a bit of practice to get proficient. The stock also allows to use ones index finger while sans stock it’s usually done with the ring finger which feels awkward.

The stocks are actually quite ingenious and work well.

I’ve done both and as PKBites mentioned, it is a lot easier with the stock. Without the stock you have to hold the rifle down at your waist and aiming is hit or miss. Mostly miss.

With a Slide Fire you have a normal sight picture with the rifle at your shoulder.


In the hands of the emotionally unstable or psychotic person they are evil devices for killing People!! There is no other use for these devices. They must be banned! We gave got to make it harder, somehow, for people to get their hands on these horrible things. I don’t pretend to have any answers, I just know we got to do something.

I’m visualizing you running around screaming “DO SOMETHING” while flailing your arms around in the air.

The one thing we must NOT DO is succumb to panic.

Also, anything in the hands of an emotionally unstable or psychotic person is apparently an evil device for killing people. I recommend banning unstable or psychotic persons. :rolleyes:

Bump-trigger devices are a tool which reduces the difficulty of performing an action which is inherently possible in a semi-automatic longarm weapon: externally triggering the action more rapidly than would be typical for aimed fire. The idea of banning a “device” when the capability is integral to the weapon itself seems like a half-measure, at best. Maybe a half-measure is the closest we can come, but let’s not kid ourselves that we’re going to completely eliminate the possibility.

Someone with the planning and dedication to fit out over a dozen weapons with ersatz autofire capability would probably be able to teach himself how to do it without mechanical assistance, if it came to that.

When in danger
Or in doubt
Run in circles!
Scream and shout!

That’s what I do, anyway.


ETA: I sense now that your and my response are kind of outside General Questions territory, so I’m done with it.

Well, I am not running around screaming. I am not panic-y. I am mad. I agree we need better mental health care, I don’t see that happening any time soon. I just think something should be done. Of all the very smart minds here on the Dope, is there no way we could come up with a solution? I cannot believe there is no way a compromise of some sort cannot be reached between gun rights advocates and peaceniks ( like me ). We have guns in my house, hunting and personal protection. I completely want my rights to keep them to be assured, but I also want them to be kept out the hands of crazies. How do we do it?


I can see how people may feel my post was directed toward you. It wasn’t. It’s just that whenever I see/hear/read about people panicking, I think of that verse.

So I was just reacting to the image and not to you or anyone else.

Moderator Note

**Beckdaweck, **political commentary of this kind is not allowed in General Questions. If you want to express your opinions on gun control, there are other threads in Great Debates and the Pit where you are free to do so. In General Questions, please confine yourself to factual responses to the OP. No warning issued, but do not do this again.

General Questions Moderator

It’s irrelevant to ban guns or bump stocks or certain accessories or eternal features of guns (because they look scary).

It’d take awhile, a long while, but tax ammo heavily. Kinda like how those gas prices jumped to $4/gallon then all those large SUVs started to disappear because 12MPG at $4/gal would break the bank for a log of people. In DC with traffic, easily $12-16 a day unless you lived super close to work. That times 30 days and its a car payment on a new and smaller car.

But yeah, total side-track, if you want to do something tax ammo. People will hoard but eventually the stock piles will diminish.

Still won’t stop a crazy person intending to kill. They’ll just find some other means, like, running people over, or setting a bus on fire, or something.

Moderator Note

Once again, this is more appropriate for Great Debates than General Questions. Let’s stick to factual answers to the OP rather than your views on gun control. No warning issued, but further posts of this kind will be subject to them.

General Questions Moderator

Sorry! My bad.

As I pointed out in the less hijacky parts of my earlier response, high cyclic rate of fire is an unavoidable feature of the design of a modern semi-automatic weapon. (I said longarm, but on further reflection unassisted bump-fire is quite doable with a common semi-automatic pistol as well.)

The limit of the rate of fire for a semi-automatic is the triggering speed. The cyclic (the maximum cycle rate of the action itself) is almost always very high. Weapons that share heritage with full-automatic combat variants (like the AR-15 family’s relation to the military M-16/M-4 rifles) are designed for full-automatic fire and don’t engage full automatic only by virtue of having a single-shot trigger mechanism. One pull of the trigger cycles the weapon once, but the cycle time is so quick (because of the energies involved) that the weapon is ready for the next trigger pull in milliseconds. Hence, if you can trigger the weapon fast enough, you can take advantage of the high cyclic rate of the action and closely simulate full-auto fire.

Since you can bump-fire a semi-auto with no mechanical assistance at all, there’s nothing you can ban to prevent this.

Why would any reasonable person even need a semi-auto. Simply ban them altogether,

It’s not going to happen though is it.

In all seriousness, in a self-defense situation( say a home intruder) it takes a (relatively) long time to take a shot, rack the slide, re-acquire the target, take the shot, repeat.
Being shot once with a handgun((or the shot misses) does not always result in a stoppage of the intruder’s actions.
The defender could be rushed while trying to cycle the action.

In a hunting situation, if the first shot is off target and the animal is wounded, a semi-auto allows a much faster follow-up shot.


Since I’ve already reminded people twice about discussing their opinions on gun control here, I’m making this a warning.

Drop discussion of gun control in this thread. There are other forums appropriate for that discussion. Thank you for your attention.

General Questions Moderator

Could one design a semi-automatic that is not just a dumbed-down automatic - a fresh design that takes a longer amount of time to cycle, in a way that is inherent in the design and cannot be defeated? If the cycle time is longer than the recoil time then bump-firing won’t work. You could have a semi-automatic weapon that would be much harder to convert into a WMD.

I think this thread might be fatally flawed. A negative response to the second part of the OP’s question (“is making them illegal going to make any difference?”) will always sound a lot like the general argument against gun control, which triggers a response, which gets a warning.


From the context, I take that part of the question to indicate the factual question of whether or not bump stocks are necessary to allow a high rate of firing. The posts I noted and warned went well beyond a simple negative response to that part of the question, and in fact didn’t address it at all. They merely gave their opinions about more general gun control issues.

I would like to have an occasional question about guns that can stay in GQ without having to move every single one to GD or the Pit because people insist on jumping in with personal opinions about gun control, from either side.

General Questions Moderator