Firearms Versus Dinosaurs
Hunting Down and Stopping Dinosaurs
I stumble across random facts about the Jurassic franchise movies all the time. Did you know there was less than 15 minutes of actual dinosaur screen time in the first movie? Another crazy fact is that nobody actually ever shoots any dinosaurs. That’s right, despite all the sweet looking Franchi SPAS-12 shotguns laying around in the original Jurassic Park, and the giant helicopter mounted machine gun in Jurassic World, no dinosaurs ever actually get shot in the movies. Now, a Tyrannosaurus was tranquilized in The Lost World, but only because Roland’s rifle was sabotaged. Of course, Roland only found out after he tried to shoot it. So what kind of firearms would actually take down a dinosaur? That all depends on what kind of dinosaur you’re trying to stop.
Firearms That Would Stop A Dinosaur
Speaking of Roland’s rifle, that particular model is a .600 Nitro Express double barreled rifle. Not a very common sounding rifle is it? Why not just a regular old AR-15 or AK model variant? Because trying to kill your average dinosaur with one of these would get you killed. They just don’t have enough power behind them. Imagine if you got shot…with a needle. It’d hurt, but it wouldn’t stop you by any means. There’s a documented report of a young elephant on a rampage that took almost 100 shots from smaller caliber pistols and rifles before it could be stopped. Elephants are part of what is commonly referred to as ‘Big Five Game’ in Africa. Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Cape Buffalo, and African Leopards are included in this group. The biggest of these is of course the elephant, the largest of which can weigh around 6 tons. A Tyrannosaurus Rex could weigh as much as 9 tons. That combined with the fact that the bigger an animal is, the thicker it’s skin is, means that Roland was probably going to need both of those barrels.
Utilizing Modern Firearms
I’m not going to cover every single weapon known to mankind that could kill a dinosaur. Obviously a tomahawk missile would drop one, but I don’t think many of us have access to those. For purposes of keeping this article relevant and interesting, I’m going to talk about firearms available to the general public here in the United States. There are so many out there, but I’m just going to cover a few to give you an idea. Keep in mind that, like anything else, you can pay as much as you want to add some fancy to your firearms.
Your average dinosaur was the size of a car, and the nasty ones like Tyrannosaurus, Carnotaurus, and Allosaurus were much bigger. This means we’re going to need something special to penetrate that incredibly thick skin. Ever heard of an elephant gun? Just like it sounds, elephant guns are a class of rifles used to hunt elephants and other of the big five game. They use rounds that are extremely powerful and absurdly large. Hunting big five game is so dangerous, that there are actually laws regarding the minimum specifications for ammunition to hunt them with. Lions and leopards of today are no joke, and dinosaurs would be even worse.
Ruger No. 1
This is the bottom of the barrel, pun intended, as far as big game hunting guns goes. The Ruger No. 1 costs $999 USD. It has a capacity of 1 bullet, so you either better not miss, or you need to reload really fast, maybe take a friend that has one of these rifles too, or have another plan to stay alive. This uses a .416 Rigby round, developed in 1911 and one of the most successful big game cartridges. At $204.99 for 20, these rounds cost over $10 each.
Merkel 140-2 SXS Double Rifle
With a slight advantage of having a two round capacity 2, the Merkel 140-2 SXS costs considerably more at $8999 USD. It uses a .470 Nitro express round, which is a slightly larger round as well. The .470 Nitro express costs about $229.99 for 20 rounds, making these rounds cost over $11 each. That’s $22 to empty both barrels ladies and gents.
This rifle is the only .50 semi-automatic rifle available to the public. With a price tag of $10249 USD, it probably doesn’t matter much. It can carry 11 rounds at a time, giving you a lot more insurance than a single or double shot rifle. More ‘good news’ is that the rounds are considerably cheaper with 80 rounds of .50 BMG going for $299.99 or just under $4 per round. Just imagine, 11 rounds in the gun means that it costs you $50 every time you empty it. This round is cheap because it’s also used by militaries across the world.
Of course there were smaller dinosaurs, so smaller ammunition would be viable. We’re all thinking of the same thing here, the Velociraptors of the Jurassic franchise, which were not actually Velociraptors at all. They were more akin to Utahraptors, one of my favorite dinosaurs. Utahraptors were roughly the size of a moose at about 7 feet tall and 490kg/1000+ lbs. To stop animals of this size, the more common .308 (AKA 7.62×51) round will do the trick. These are going to be considerably cheaper for both rifle and ammo.
Century Arms C308 Synthetic
Now we’re shopping the clearance rack luckily. For just $499 USD, the Century Arms C308 fires the rounds you need to put down raptors and other, more man-sized dinosaurs. It has a magazine capacity of 6, which you can of course increase with larger magazines. Luckily our ammo drops in price significantly again. Just $18.99 for 20 rounds, or less than $1 per round. You could probably find cheaper, as well as more expensive. There are different types of bullets, but that’s a conversation we’re not going over here today.
Springfield Armory M1A
A tried and true weapon, the M1A has been in civilian hands since 1974. Variants of it’s military counterpart, the M14, are still in service today. The Springfield Armory M1A has a base ammo capacity of 11, which again you can increase by purchasing larger magazines. At $1699 USD, this is going to be a bit more solid of a rifle than the C308. It’s larger, heavier, but an all around sturdier rifle. You get what you pay for. It does use the same rounds however, making it an easier pill to swallow.
The Tyrannosaur .577
Who knew there was actually a rifle caliber named after a dinosaur? The Tyrannosaur .577 round is over 3.5 inches long, and over a half inch wide. It’s a freaking monster round. Oddly enough, or maybe not, the T-Rex .577 was created in 1993, the same year Jurassic Park was featured. A-Square, the company that manufactured this massive round, is no longer in operation. Below I’ve shown you some size comparisons. Starting on the left, the .40 S&W and .45 ACP are the larger sizes of Police handguns. The .223 Remington is the same as the 5.56mm that is used by Nato militaries across the world. The .308 is the round we talked about above used by the M1A and C308. The .50 BMG is what is fired from the hugely expensive Barrett. As you can see, the .577 Tyrannosaur is somewhere between the .308 and the Barrett. One round of .577 Tyrannosaur costs $39.95 USD!
Surviving Dinosaur Attacks
Now you’re ready to face any dinosaur threat that comes your way. Whether it’s an escaped animal from a nearby island resort, or a post-apocalyptic future where dinosaurs have reclaimed the earth. Affording one of the specialized rifles is probably going to be hard enough, but finding the specialized rounds may prove the most difficult. Can you imagine trying to shoot a sauropod? You’d probably be out of luck unless you had that aforementioned tomahawk missile. One thing’s for sure though, you’ll definitely be hearing “cha-ching” every time you fire off a shot. Maybe twice if you miss.