AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 10 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

Hi, I Run Dick’s Sporting Goods, And I’ve Consigned My Corporation To Death With My Idiotic Position On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 2 hours ago

The Washington Post:

Edward W. Stack is chief executive of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Throughout history, the United States has been a beacon of hope for the world — especially for people who appreciate and respect that we are a country founded on laws that have been enacted to guard our freedom and keep us safe.

As a gun owner, I support the Second Amendment and understand why, for many, the right to bear arms is as American as baseball and apple pie. But I also agree with what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his majority opinion in 2008’s landmark Heller case: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” It is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”

It is clear we have a problem with the gun laws in this country. They are not squarely focused on keeping all of us safe — especially our children.

There continue to be mass shootings — at our schools, churches and entertainment venues. Following each of these senseless, tragic events there’s a great deal of idle, fruitless talk in the halls of Congress, and then the conversation quickly comes to an end.

It’s our great hope and belief that this time will be different. It has to be different.

Maybe it’s because the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., massacre — and the thousands of students who made their feelings known for 17 minutes last week — are standing up and shouting “enough is enough” and “never again.” They are demanding that our elected officials come together to find solutions. These brave young men and women are not going away.

In the weeks since we at Dick’s Sporting Goods announced plans to stop selling assault-style rifles, plans to only sell firearms to those over 21 and other new policies, we have been striving to keep this conversation going. We have met with a number of lawmakers and have talked with many of our peers in the retail industry. We have spoken with strong-willed advocacy groups and visited with families in Parkland.

It is becoming increasingly apparent through our conversations that there continues to be deep skepticism that anything of substance will be done.

Some members of Congress are committed to change, but not enough are willing to set aside partisanship to find a solution. I continue to call on lawmakers in both parties to talk with each other with the expressed intent to act.

What’s also surprising is how many citizens and leaders in our government are not aware of the loopholes and inconsistences in our firearms laws.

Here are some to think about:

●You can’t buy a handgun until you’re 21, but you can buy an assault-style rifle at 18.

●You can buy a gun on the Internet from someone in your state without a background check, but a background check is required to buy a gun on the Internet from someone in a different state.

●Few states provide a list of those in their state who are banned from buying a gun to other states.

●A person deemed too dangerous to fly on a commercial plane is nonetheless legally permitted to purchase a gun.

We understand this is a complex issue and Congress has a number of constituencies with broad agendas. But we hope Congress will take notice of not only what students are saying but also what the private sector is telling it. Two of the three largest firearms retailers in the country have publicly said we are implementing our own policies for the sale of firearms.

This issue transcends our company’s bottom line. We suspected that speaking out would have a negative impact on our business. But this was about our values and standing up for what we think is right.

After we announced our new firearms policy, we were gratified that Walmart, Kroger, L.L. Bean and REI showed courage and leadership by announcing their own new policies. We hope others in the private and public sectors join us in this effort.

A group of us in corporate America have taken a stand, made hard choices and enacted reforms on our own because we firmly believe it’s the right thing to do for our kids and for our country.

The kids in Florida and across the nation have taken a stand and been brave enough to make their voices heard.

The majority of Americans are demanding that members of Congress take a stand and be brave enough to do their jobs.

Well Edward, you’ve thrown a number of red herrings around in your arguments.  For one thing, we and you know that the whole internet purchasing issue is ridiculous, since it’s just another means of communicating other than calling them on your cell phone, meeting someone in a parking lot, meeting them at a gun show, work, home or on the side of the road, and selling them one of your guns.  In common parlance, it’s called a “person to person transfer.”  It’s legal as it should be, but you already know that.  I’m just pointing out that we aren’t fooled by your corporate communications department.

What you’re really telling us is that you oppose the right and liberty of person to person transfers, or in other words, you favor universal background checks, which not only runs contrary to the second amendment, but wouldn’t have done anything about the event you claim to be the catalyst for your positions.

Next up, the issue of the no-fly list galls me because what you’re really saying is that you favor leaving men and women in the country who are dangerous enough to warrant that kind of scrutiny, but opposed to deportation.  In other words, you’re just using them as an excuse for more gun control like the rest of the progressives.  You don’t want the country to be safer by deporting them – you’re just setting them up as a prop for more statist control over common, ordinary, peaceable men and women.

And you also know all about the wonderful lives saved as a result of having those AR-15s available to them.  Since you know all about this, what you’re really saying by your self-imposed ban of AR-15 sales is that you don’t want anyone to have what they might consider to be the best weapon available for defense of home and hearth.  You’re a cruel elitist and you don’t really care about others.

I could go on, but I’m just writing these things down to show you how badly your corporate communications department sucks and how badly they botched this commentary.  They really didn’t do a good job on this one, but of course, they are writing talking points rather than really knowing what they’re talking about.

So here’s the scoop for me and Dick’s Sporting Goods.  I had begun to visit less frequently, and most of the time if I was there with a family member I walked over to the firearms section only to notice that no one was manning the counter (if anyone wanted to buy anything an employee had to be paged), the ammunition was fairly run of the mill and not really all that cheap, you had a few shotguns, a few bolt action rifles and not much else, your gun cleaning supplies pretty much sucked, and it was in general a depressing place to be.  Everyone else there seemed to shake their head and walk away too.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is like the little child who doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.  You don’t know what you want, except to make some money.  But you’ve let your progressive viewpoints get in the way of that, Edward.

So this is all going to be decided for you by the consumers.  You’re basically going to become nothing but a store for women’s clothing and pansy-ass golf gear.  But here’s the thing: women can find their clothing anywhere, and you won’t survive as a golf shop.

The only product I have bought recently at Dicks, some outdoor shoes, I will now buy at Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s.  Yes, I’ll avoid REI as much as I can as well.  Going to Bass Pro Shop or Cabela’s will be just a little extra drive for me, but it’ll be worth it to watch Dick’s spin down the drain.

Congratulations.  You just consigned your company to doom.

Police Shot At A Man 20 Times In His Own Yard, Thinking He Had A Gun. It Was An iPhone.

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 8 hours ago

The Washington Post:

Police say they saw an object in Stephon Clark’s hand before they fired 20 bullets that killed him in his back yard Sunday night in Sacramento, a disturbing moment that was made public through body camera footage released Wednesday night.

The two officers were responding to a 911 call about a man breaking vehicle windows when they encountered, then killed, Clark, an unarmed black man.

Video released by the Sacramento Police Department depicts a frantic foot pursuit through darkened streets pierced by white slivers of police flashlight.

The officers spot Clark approaching a house and shout: “Show me your hands! Stop! Stop!”

Clark is seen running, and the two officers round the corner of the house and find him under a covered patio.

An infrared camera on an overhead helicopter briefly loses sight of Clark.

“Show me your hands! Gun!” an officer shouts and ducks behind the wall in a fraction of a second.

The helicopter footage shows one of the officers appearing to grab his partner to pull him to cover.

Clark steps toward the officers. Behind the wall, one of the officers issues another command. “Show me your hands!” And then: “Gun, gun, gun!”

Both officers open fire. Sparks from the bullets light up the helicopter’s infrared camera in sharp white pops.

The sequence, from the first glimpse of Clark on the patio to the first gunshot, unfolds in about six seconds.

The officers are never heard identifying themselves as police before fatally shooting Clark.The gun officers thought Clark had in his hand was actually a white iPhone.

“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time in his own back yard?” his grandmother, Sequita Thompson, told the Sacramento Bee. “C’mon, now, they didn’t have to do that.”

Quick!  He has something in his hand – furtive movement – everyone is trying to kill us – shoot – kill, kill kill!

Hmm … let’s see, trespassing, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, brandishing a firearm, entry without a warrant, and second degree murder.

That should about cover it.  Except for qualified immunity and all that.

Ralph Peters Does Gun Control: Hey Ralph, I Always Thought You Were A Crackpot And Liar

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 2 hours ago


What enables this dictatorship of the caliber-iat? A spineless Congress that puts re-election ahead of children’s lives, safe schools and the right to safety of law-abiding citizens.

The irony is that, if only members of Congress banded together against the NRA, they’d quickly find that the emperor-for-life has not only no hunting clothes but an empty magazine, too.

[ … ]

The NRA’s dire warnings fuel a bizarre, all-too-common fantasy among its acolytes (I’ve been startled by how often I’ve encountered it). The scenario runs that either our government and military will turn on the population in a new civil war, or the government and military will suffer catastrophic failure — at which point our freedom will be preserved by out-of-shape, middle-aged men with AR-15s.

My fellow Americans, if our military can’t protect us, geezers with guns won’t.

[ … ]

Also in the name of liberty, NRA supporters circulate carefully selected quotes from several Founding Fathers — Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry — in support of the notion of a well-armed population.

None of those cited served in the Continental Army that freed us from Britain. Each of them let others do the fighting for them.

Jefferson famously remarked that “the tree of freedom must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots.” He just didn’t want it to be his blood.

And each of those men was a slave owner. I’d take their rhetorical bravado with a very large grain of saltpeter.

Hey Ralph, I don’t cite Jefferson, Madison or Henry to justify my views of liberty, an armed public or the right to either defense of family or the amelioration of tyranny.  I go right to the fountain of such rights.  The constitution is just a covenant by which we’ve agreed to live together.  If you want to break it, thanks for letting me know.  I’ll make a mental note of it right alongside your name.

As for whether these men did or didn’t fight in that “continental army that freed us from Britain,” Francis Marion says hello.

Regarding those “middle-aged geezers with AR-15s,” I don’t really think you understand 4GW.  In fact, I know you don’t.  The U.S. Army is practicing 5GW because they never learned to win at 4GW.  But in order to know that you’d have to be a military analyst, and you suck as a military analyst.

I always thought you were a crackpot.  Now we have the proof.  What are you doing – trying to beef up your creds for a gig at MSNBC or CNN?  You never really believed in your oath of enlistment, did you?  You knew all along it was a lie, didn’t you?

YouTube Bans Firearms Channels

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 2 hours ago

Those who follow firearms, shooting, and tactical channels on YouTube know about the travails of Hickok45 on YouTube.  Venerable and old school, Hickok45 tests and comments on firearms manufacturers send him.  Sometimes he shoots his own firearms, but always, he shoots, comments and often provides history and mechanical commentary on the machines he is using.  Sometimes it is with admiration, sometimes slight disdain, but always honest and interesting.

Hickok45 met with disapproval from some redditors when he supported the NRA in light of the compromises the NRA recommended (e.g., bump stocks, enhanced background checks), but being a former LEO and old school like he is, I wouldn’t have expected anything else from him.  Just as interesting to me is Jeff Quinn of Gunblast, especially when shooting and commenting on revolvers, but always interesting.

Hickok45 met with several bans on YouTube for promoting products, but he never really did that and always appealed the decision, mostly meeting with reinstatement by those who run YouTube.  But all of these folks may need to find new homes.

Full30: I received an email from my Google/YouTube rep at 9:30pm tonight. He requested an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss YouTube’s new policies regarding firearms content.

This is really bad. Please read this carefully and a couple of times, and let it sink in. 1/3rd of my videos or more will need to be removed. If you don’t have them removed in 30 days, your channel will be deleted for policy violations.

I wish this were a joke. It’s not. I feel horrible for reloading channels or NFA channels. Showing how to make ammo or even showing the installation of a silencer is prohibited. Hell, showing the use of a magazine larger than 30 rounds is prohibited! Belt feds are a no go.

I’ll try to find out as much as I can from my rep tomorrow. I mean, are legal machine guns and silencers being demonstrated really going to get us account strikes now?

Please read this guys… I’m in shock, but then I knew this day wold come. It looks like it’s here in 30 days. I’m at a total loss for words. ~Tim

Redditors are up in arms, because the Google guidance says the following.

“YouTube prohibits certain kinds of content featuring firearms. Specifically, we don’t allow content that:

Intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items.

These accessories include but may not be limited to accessories that enable a firearm to simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g., bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and high capacity magazines (i.e., magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds).

Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities.Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.”

“Manufacturing a firearm.”  Reddit understands that this means if you teach someone to field strip an AR-15 or replace a bolt carrier group and check head space (Brownells), you fall into this category.  If you comment positively about a particular firearm, part, accessory, or manufacturer, you fall into these categories.

Their temporary answer is to start downloading targeted videos.  But make no mistake about it, they’re pissed off.  There is also no mistaking the fact that at the moment, there is no replacement for the information and firearms channels on YouTube.

This could possibly effect other related videos such as tactical instruction where firearms are discussed, such as with Kyle Lamb, Travis Haley, Chris Costa, and John Lovell.

I’ve long thought that an alternative needed to be developed to YouTube other than Live Leak, but to date there is nothing.  Suffice it to say that the progressives at Google are winning this battle.  What happens in the longer term war will be up to someone other than Google.

You might have noticed that I rarely embed or even link YouTube videos any more.  I’ve made my choice – has the rest of America?


Nine Year Old North Carolina Girl Attacked By Coyote

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago

Via reader Fred Tippens, Yahoo:

A 9-nine-year-old girl was attacked by a coyote outside of her home in North Carolina.

On Thursday evening, the animal approached Madilyn Fowler on her porch, leaving her with minor injuries, including scratches on her bottom, back and face, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.

“The coyote had been attempting to attack the family dog before this,” the Davie County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “The Victims Mother was able to get the coyote to stop the attack.”

It’s unclear whether Fowler was exposed to rabies; however, the sheriff’s office issued an advisory to those in the area to stay guarded, especially considering the coyote couldn’t be located after the attack.

“We recommend that residents in the area be cautious with their pets and when outdoors for the next two weeks,” the advisory message on Facebook says. “An animal infected with rabies normally expires within two weeks, but can spread the disease to other animals and humans that it comes into contact with.”

And thus I carry a gun all the time, for predators of the four-legged kind and the two-legged kind.  The two-legged concern me more than the four-legged, but it’s best to be prepared.

It may have been a Coyote, but more than likely a mixture such as Coywolf.

Guns Tags: ,

Private Ships Of War And The American Maritime Tradition

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago


Privately owned warships are so deeply at the heart of American maritime tradition that a reference to them is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. With their own contract crews who rushed to the fight for independence during the American Revolution and in defense of the nation during the War of 1812, the private warships successfully waged naval guerrilla warfare against the world’s most powerful fleet. Private warships also fought the Barbary pirates in the nation’s first foreign war.

The privateers of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were much different from the private military contractors (PMCs) and private security contractors of today. They operated as independent businesses, chartered by Congress and bonded to ensure observance of the law, but, unlike PMCs, they were free of the military chain of command. They served the national interest not as government contractors, but made their profits by attacking enemy shipping—especially commercial shipping, on which the enemy’s economy depended. Those on the receiving end viewed privateers as glorified pirates. But the U.S. government viewed them as legitimate weapons against the commercial engine that fueled the enemy’s armed forces. Several European powers also used privateers at sea.

By necessity, American naval warfare at the time was asymmetrical against the overwhelmingly superior Royal Navy. From the very beginning, the leaders of what would become the United States of America turned to the private sector to do cost-effectively and efficiently what the government could not do at all. Before independence, in April 1776, the Continental Congress voted to issue commissions for “private ships of war” to attack the British. Borrowing from established French and British practices, the Continental Congress authorized the issuance of “letters of marque and reprisal” for the owners and captains of private warships to attack enemy vessels. In one of the Founding Fathers’ earliest regulations of private business, the Continental Congress legislated how the private naval forces and their commanders and crew would conduct themselves, and required privateer owners to post bond to guarantee compliance.

The “letters of marque and reprisal” language appears in Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution.

I ran across this excellent analysis a few days ago and thought it would be good to remind my readers of the American tradition.

So the next time someone says to you, “You don’t really believe that the second amendment protects your right to own military hardware do you, that means you could own a tank?”

You can say to them, “Why yes, yes I do, and yes it does, in the best tradition of the American states and our founders.  For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”

Denver City Council Bans Bump Stocks, Shocked To Find That No One Turns Theirs In

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago

In January, the Denver City Council approved a ban on the possession of bump stocks and police have told people they need to turn them in. More than two months later, police have not received a single one.

Denverite reports police told gun owners that if they “are in possession of a bump stock, and would like to turn-in their bump stock to the Denver Police Department, they can do so at any Denver Police Station.”

The council approved the ban by a vote of 11-1. “Congress failed to act. The legislature had not acted. And I saw an opportunity for Denver to lead the charge and create the momentum that we desperately need,” said Alan Kennedy-Shaffer, who introduced the measure.

The measure that was passed also removed the “grandfather clause” that enabled people to have a magazine with a capacity of 15 rounds or more if they bought it before 2013.

Well what the hell did you expect?  Get used to it.  This is good practice for when you expand that magazine ban across America, and for when you ban AR-15s.

Or as they say, “No.  Your move.”

VISA Refuses To Cut Ties With Rifle Manufacturers

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 3 hours ago


Their announcement comes after an anti-Second Amendment campaign resulted in over dozen companies cutting ties with the NRA. It also follows a New York Times’ suggestion that Visa and Mastercard could circumvent Congress and restrict “assault weapon” sales by refusing business with “assault weapon” manufacturers and/or dealers.

According to CBS San Francisco, Visa received a petition with 150,000 signatures, asking the credit card company to refuse to process purchases of “assault weapons.”

Visa responded, “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services.”

Well good.  I guess it’s possible to win these skirmishes after all, although I don’t know the decision process they went through.

John Robb: The Social Network War On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 4 hours ago

Via WRSA, John Robb has written an interesting entry on the social network war on guns.

When it comes to politics, it should be of no surprise to anyone that we’re in uncharted, nonlinear territory now.

Weaponized social networks have seized control of the political process from the traditional political parties and their media gatekeepers.  They are in charge now and, more importantly, they are rapidly evolving.  Getting more powerful with each passing day.

Here’s a good example of how that evolution could could quickly (nearly overnight) go non-linear and plunge us into civil turmoil.

One of the weaponized social networks I’m currently covering is a loosely connected network built on a newly emergent consensus morality (#metoo, etc.).  A consensus that it uses to successfully wield social, and increasingly, political power.

This moral network recently expanded with the addition of the #neveragain movement, after the Parkland shootings.  In the past, a movement like #neveragain would be focused on gun control through changes in government legislation.  Now that it’s part of this weaponized moral network, that focus is going to change.

Why?  This weaponized network isn’t interested in just changing legislation.  It’s far more ambitious than that.  It wants to change everyone‘s behavior and it is building the means to do it.

I think in the main, John is right in his assessment.  Usually in more formal philosophical circles, morality is considered personal behavior, and of the formal divisions of philosophy – metaphysics, ontology, epistemology and ethics – the last category of ethics is considered politics.  It pertains more to public behavior and punishment for failure to meet standards.

What this network is doing is combining the two, morality and ethics.  They are coupling both legal pressure and expectations for personal behavioral.  Because the Christian church in America is so weak and won’t teach its congregants about self defense, tyranny and the like, and because America has lost its cultural foundations, their efforts (the anti-gun social networks) are largely being successful.


A number of stores have now decided to stop selling AR-15s or ammunition, and did you know that this includes military PXs?

The sign says, “Ammo clips, magazines and accessories policy update: The Exchange and MCX will no longer sell magazines and clips with a capacity of 11 rounds or higher. These items are no longer available in store or online at; this includes marketplace vendors such as Sportsman’s Guide and the RSR website.”

Kroger has decided even to stop its sales of magazines that discuss certain kinds of weapons, including AR-15s.  The children have yawped and yammered, and people are listening.  In fact, as if totally unexpected, republicans in tight races are now embracing gun control.

There is a problem with all of this.  The social networks don’t have the guns – gun owners have the guns, and aren’t willing to give them up.  This all sets America up for a head-on collision in the coming months and years.  Unless the social networks and politicians back down, there will be blood spilled over this, and it has little to do with guns.  It all has to do with control.

Suffice it to say that Sebastian’s take on this – “Gun owners all need to “come out of the closet” and make it clear we are normal people. We do not have blood on our hands from the school shootings” – won’t do anything to placate the controllers because clarity and correction isn’t what they’re after.  Actually, this is Joe Huffman’s take on it that Sebastian cites, but Joe is as confused as Sebastian if he thinks that demanding that the controllers ignore us will do anything but show weakness and encourage more of the same.

On the legal end of things, how would you like to pay an excise tax of 50% on ammunition?

What Were The Ages Of The Soldiers In The Battle Of King’s Mountain?

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 4 hours ago

This transcript (which was bot-generated, so it’s not fit for human consumption unless you’re patient and forgiving), is interesting and informative.

So a little research battle kings mountain which you may be familiar with just west of here over in Cleveland county. Was one of the turning ports in the American revolution. And in researching that battle … One of the things I found Is that for people who were in the battle where they knew their ages. Over eighty of the participants were under the age of eighteen.

So don’t bother me with debates about why 18-year olds cannot be trusted with rifles unless you want to live under British rule.

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