AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 7 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]

Understanding Head Space On An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
10 hours, 59 minutes ago

Tom McHale writing at Ammoland gives us a good rundown of what head space means and how to check it.  I won’t copy and past his prose because that would be bad form.  Visit Ammoland and read Tom’s piece.  But I will lift one of the videos and embed it here.

Application Of The Definition Of Machinegun To “Bumpfire” Stocks And Other Similar Devices: Comments On Docket ID ATF-2018-0001

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 11 hours ago

Addressed to ATF.  Please respond to the following comments, questions and observations concerning the application of the definition of machinegun to “bump” fire stocks and other similar devices.

(1) Regulatory analytical requirements (e.g., cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis) have been established incrementally during the last 40 to 50 years through a series of presidential and congressional initiatives. The current set of requirements includes Executive Order 12866 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-4, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the cost-benefit analysis shows that the proposed regulation is in the interests of gun owners in America, business owners in America, and the U.S. government in general.  You are required to supply this cost-benefit analysis for all proposed regulations.

(2) Various firearms experts in America, including commenters at my own web site, www.captainsjournal.com, believe that had a shooter used their firearms by aiming and placing directed fire with good optics, their effectiveness would have been increased (e.g., Charles Whitman and others).  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation in any way effects your alleged desired outcome given the apparent disagreement within the firearms community on the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of the alleged use of bump fire stocks in the Las Vegas shooting.

(3) The legal definition of a machinegun is established law as follows: ” … any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”  Given that bump stocks do not alter function of the trigger to discharge a single round per operation of the trigger, please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the ATF isn’t fabricating law out of whole cloth, thus usurping the authority of the Legislative Branch of the government, by this proposed regulation.

(4) To date, no empirical evidence has been brought forth showing that a bump stock equipped firearm was actually used in the shooting. The public has only seen pictures of bump stock equipped firearms from the crime scene. No one has claimed that those specific weapons were used in the crime, including and most importantly the LVPD.  Please demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this proposed regulation has any bearing on the mechanics, structures, systems or components, equipment, or devices in use in Las Vegas, which is the alleged basis for this regulation.

(5) To date, the only parties from which we have heard concerning the weapons, devices, fixtures or components allegedly used in the Las Vegas shooting are [obliquely] the LVPD until they were silenced by the FBI, and the FBI themselves.  Given the revelations of untrustworthiness and corruption in the DoJ and FBI over the last few months, demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this is a wise basis for proposed regulation.  Said another way, demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that it wouldn’t be a wise idea to formulate a fully independent review and analysis team comprised of members of the public and firearms experts (not including law enforcement) to inform the public concerning those devices used at Las Vegas?  Such an action wouldn’t be without precedent.

(6) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that regulation of bump fire stocks, which are used for the purpose of bump firing weapons, wouldn’t also have the ludicrous, laughable and preposterous effect of regulating rubber bands and human hips (both of which can also be used to bump fire weapons).  Failure to demonstrate this causes the proposed regulations to fail due to reductio ad absurdum.

(7) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that given the above point(s), regulation of bump stocks wouldn’t cause a complete failure of confidence in the federal regulatory schema and cause the ATF to become a national laughingstock and disgrace.

(8) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation functions for its alleged purpose given that some firearms competitors (e.g., 3-gun competitors) can discharge firearms with a single pull of the trigger virtually as fast as many machine guns.

(9) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that the proposed regulation won’t become precedent-setting (i.e., the rather than pass laws per the constitutional process, the legislative branch requests reviews by the executive who then takes it upon itself to pass laws via the Federal Register rather than the constitutional process).

(10) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that working on the proposed regulation is a wise use of ATF time and resources compared to its other duties, or in other words, that working on this regulation is a good use of our tax monies and provides tangible and meaningful public benefits.  Please provide the cost-benefit analysis for this judgment for our review.

(11) Demonstrate and provide compelling reason to believe that this proposed regulation won’t effect any other components of firearms intended to improve their function (e.g., well-designed and engineered triggers, improved optics, grips, other types of attachments or devices to stabilize the weapon for the shooter, night vision equipment, slings and bipods, lighter barrel shrouds or other components like the charging handle, more reliable buffer springs, lighter or faster bolt carrier groups [BCG], etc., etc.).  Some professional and semi-professional competitors already shave weight off of the internal components of their guns to assist faster cycling.

Don’t Drink And Reload

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 12 hours ago

Well, I guess don’t drink and do anything with firearms would be even better counsel.

TSA Bullies Little Girl For Having Texas Tech School Spirit

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 12 hours ago

NY Daily:

TSA is not a fan of Texas Tech’s “finger gun” salute.

A 19-year-old sophomore from Texas Tech said she was pulled aside by a TSA agent when trying to board a flight over the holidays because she made a gun gesture to a man wearing a Red Raiders sweatshirt.

Diana Durkin told BuzzFeed News Texas Tech fans say “wreck em’ and guns up” to each other when they see each other, and their hand symbol is a finger gun. When she did this at the airport, the man gave her a strange look and TSA stepped in.

“It’s a cool bonding thing. I tried to make eye contact with him and I throw my hand gun up,” Durkin said.

TSA tapped Durkin on the shoulder and pulled her out of line, asking for her ID. Durkin said the agent told her she can’t make a gesture like that in the airport.

Durkin said she was terrified and thought “they think I’m a terrorist” and “oh my gosh I’m going to jail.” She also posted a tweet about her experience that quickly went viral.

“I’m just sitting there, almost in tears, like, ‘No, I’m just really dumb, I’m not a terrorist!'” Durkin said.

The 19-year-old was then given a full screening and a pat down. She said she tried showing TSA her student ID and attempted to explain the gesture.

TSA eventually let her off with a warning and she told the agents she’d never do the gesture again in an airport. She was happy all she got out of the experience was a story instead of a trip to jail.

Uh huh.  A pat down for a pretty little girl.  Did it get their rocks off to do that?  The excuse was that the hall monitors didn’t like her school spirit.  But we all know that’s not what really happened.

Listen folks.  There may be good people working in the TSA, perhaps you know one of them.  One in maybe a thousand or ten thousand who wants to do something good.

If you know somebody like that, persuade them to leave the TSA.  It’s for their own good.  The TSA is a federal jobs program for idiots, hicks, goobers, perverts, control freaks, and maladjusted anti-social types who cannot get work elsewhere.

Prior: TSA

This Is Why Florida Doesn’t Have Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 13 hours ago

Things just like this.

“In a stunning setback for gun rights supporters, Sen. Anitere Flores, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Tallahassee, declared on the very first day of Florida’s two-month legislative session that she likely would not support any of Steube’s 10 other gun bills

The ouster of Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami means nothing to her.  Of course not.  If you’ll cheat on your spouse, you’ll do anything.  Character is the necessary prerequisite for good governance.  This is why we get tyranny from FedGov.  Washington, D.C. is a haven for witches, warlocks, demons, gargoyles, criminals and pit vipers.

Bolt Carrier Group Stress Test

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 10 hours ago

This is an interesting video.  It wasn’t made to test the gun so much, but rather the BCG.  He makes that very clear.

It sort of makes you wonder about those Soldiers complaining about firing 400 rounds through their Colt guns at Wanat and Kamdesh only to see their guns seize up.

First of all, remember that the Army hasn’t trained their men in fire control and marksmanship like the Marines.  I’m not saying that – an experienced trainer who has time in Afghanistan is saying that.

Second, I maintain that the problems at Wanat had to do with being deployed at the bottom of a valley in between mountains, giving up the high ground, no logistics, no support, a poorly connected and poorly manned observation post, and a total time of more than a year from start to finish to build and man the COP (giving the Haqqani network time to deploy fighters at will).  Again, see multiple entries on The Battle of Wanat.  If you haven’t studied it, it’s a sad but necessary tale.

There is a rich history of blaming the gun for the failures when the real blame had to do with leadership, so it’s entirely misplaced blame to point to the gun.  But it does cause you to wonder if those Colt guns had a better BCG would they have seized up after 400 rounds (400 rounds in 30 or so minutes at Wanat).

There are a lot of very good coated BCGs like this Titanium Nitride component.  This is the guts of the gun.  It makes sense to outfit yours with a good one.

 

The Heckler & Koch M27 Is The New Marine Corps Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 14 hours ago

You can read about it here.

My son (former SAW gunner) thinks this is a very bad idea.  First of all, it’s a closed bolt system.  The SAW was an open bolt system, which allowed the gun to cool.

Second, he had to train the other SAW gunners in his company over a protracted period of time to ensure that they understood rate of fire, proper fire control, etc., gun temperature regulation, and so forth, and got proficient at it on the range.  The concept of squad rushes relies on a SAW gunner laying down suppressing fire for the other three Marines in the fire team to rush forward, and then the three Marines carrying carbines to lay down fire for the SAW gunner to rush forward.

This is fixed doctrine, fully embedded into the training materials, range time, and small unit fire and maneuver tactics.  Nothing will be the same, and the Marines will have to revamp that doctrine and the follow-on training.  There won’t be any SAW gunners to rely on to provide suppressing fire, regardless of what this rifle can do.

That, at any rate, is his take.  Perhaps it will work out for them.  Say, why isn’t that Marine using a Pmag?

Oversimplifying Ammunition Ballistics

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 10 hours ago

Via Say Uncle, this comes to us from Tam.

Super Vel Ammo: I have to vent.

What kills me is how they’re hyping 90gr +P .38 Spl & 9mm and 185gr +P .45ACP bullets as if the last thirty years of accumulated terminal ballistics knowledge hadn’t even happened.

Flying dimes with no sectional density moving at Warp Factor Six are how we got Miami and then wound up spending twenty years wandering in the .40 caliber wilderness, and the shit is being pimped by people who should goddam well know better because, I dunno, Cameron Hopkins is a nice guy or something and the boxes make older gunwriters feel nostalgic.

Oh dear.  The lady doth annoy me sometimes.  So let’s discuss this a bit.  She’s referring to sectional density, which is technically calculated as the ratio of mass over the cross sectional area, or SD = M/A.  The gun community simplifies that by ignoring the value of Pi in the computation of area, and converting mass in grains to pounds with the conversion of 7000 grains per pound.  Like this.

SD = M / (7000 X r^2)

The resultant value is dimensionless and totally meaningless unless in the context of comparison to the sectional densities of other bullets.  So for instance, the 230 grain .45 ACP bullet has a sectional density of 0.162, while the 185 grain bullet has a SD of 0.130.

But in reality, the lighter bullets aren’t travelling at “Warp Factor Six,” and a 185 grain .45 ACP isn’t a “flying dime” compared to any handgun round on earth.  And as for that matter, the 45 grain 22 magnum round has a SD of 0.128, which is reasonably close to that of the 185 grain .45 ACP.  Does that mean we should all dump whatever we currently shoot and adopt the .22 WMR?

No it doesn’t, because SD isn’t the only thing on earth to consider.  If it was, then Lucky Gunner would show that the penetration and expansion of 185 grain rounds sucked, while the 230 grain rounds succeeded.  Oops.  Guess she got that one wrong.

There are multiple things to consider, like (a) velocity, (b) consistent expansion, (c) penetration depth, (d) wound track, etc.  I’ve pointed out before that while I shoot the .45 ACP and I like it, I also like much higher velocity rounds.  Let’s rehearse what we saw with the FN 5.7 shot at Fort Hood.

The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. Subjective comparisons with the .22 magnum or categorization as a sub-par .223 round create confusion about the effectiveness of the FN 5.7.

Enough time has passed after the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, has been arrested, tried and sentenced. The media has moved on. Now we can begin to analyze the impact of the FN 5.7 and address the question of lethality.

Using SS192 and SS197SR ammunition (common commercial 5.7×28 ammo), several 20-30 round magazines and an FN 5.7 (shooter also had a .357 revolver but did not use it), Hassan killed 13 and wounded 32 people.

Many armchair ballistics expert criticized this result as proof that the FN 5.7 platform is not lethal enough because of the proportion of the fatalities to the wounded. Others have proposed that had Hassan use another type of pistol, 9mm or .45, there would have been more fatalities.

If you look at this Wikipedia link and look at the list of casualties, one can come to a very eye-opening conclusion.
Fort Hood shooting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 11 people were shot center-of-mass (COM), one was shot in the stomach and one was shot in the head. All 13 died. All 11 victims who were shot COM did not survive.
2. 3 of the 13 people who died, tried to charge Hassan, but he stopped them with COM shots.
3. The 32 people who were wounded were hit in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders. None of the wounded survivors were shot COM.

The following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The FN 5.7 is a very lethal round CQB because all 11 victims who were shot COM died. No survivors for those hit COM.
2. The FN 5.7 is a real stopper, because 3 tried to charge Hassan at close range and were stopped by COM shots.
3. One of the fatalities was shot in the stomach, and died. The fragmentation of the SS197R round can create a hail of metal shards that can cause serious internal organ damage and bleeding in the stomach.
4. None of the 32 people who were hit in the extremities, hips and shoulders were able to muster a counter-attack because the FN 5.7 must have shattered or broken bones. The high rate of wounded vicitms to fatalities was the direct result of the shooting ability of Hassan (or lack thereof), and not because the 5.7×28 round is not lethal.
5. Sgt. Kimberly Munley (base civilian police), one of the first responders, was immediately disabled with 5.7×28 bullet shrapnels to her wrist and a second 5.7×28 bullet broke her femur. The light 5.7×28 commercial ammo showed that it can shatter large bones due to its velocity
6. According to medical personnel, there was so much blood in the room that it was difficult to get to the victims because the floor became very slippery. One can conclude that the commercial 5.7×28 rounds can fragment or tumble, causing immense blood loss.
7. It took five bullets (which I assume was a 9 mm) from Sgt Mark Todd to stop Hasan. And he survived his wounds (no available info on where he was hit, except that one of the bullets paralyzed Hasan).

In conclusion:
1. The FN 5.7 is definitely a very lethal round. 100% fatality for COM shots.
2. The FN 5.7 is a man-stopper. Three military men tried to charge Hasan, and all three were stopped.
2. The FN 5.7 is a very incapacitating round, if extremities are hit, because it is powerful enough to break the femur (which is the largest bone in the body)
3. The fragmentation or tumbling effect of commercial ammo can cause a lot of blood loss.

The FN 5.7 is a very effective weapon. It is as effective as, or arguably more effective, than any military or civilian pistols in the market.

It is unfortunate that the jihadist Hassan used this weapon against U.S. soldiers.

I have an FN 5.7.  You don’t want to be shot with that round, especially not the ammunition travelling 2200 FPS (the red box ammunition versus the blue tip sporting rounds).  Velocity isn’t everything.  If it was, I’d carry a 6″ barrel .357 magnum with me everywhere.  There is the issue of weight, shape, form, and so on the list goes.

But oversimplifying this to some idiotic rant about turning back the hands of time on 30 years of research is silly and does nothing to serve the gun community.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with the .40 S&W, even though she likens it to wandering in the wilderness for 20 years, any more than there is anything wrong with the 10 mm (which is similar).  The notion of high velocity round to which she refers can be studied here.  The comments are laughable.  There is this one.

In the ’60’s I was a cop in a moderate size PD in Texas, an officer shot a suspect in the chest three times with .357 Super Vel 110 grain bullets. Even though the bullets were traveling 10,000 miles an hour none of the three penetrated past the ribcage and they expanded well and destroyed his ribcage he almost knocked the officer down running passed him. The next day Super Vel was removed from my revolver.

If you believe that someone shot someone else with three .357 magnum rounds, or even one of them, and it failed to penetrate past the rib cage (in other words, it only penetrated the clothes and skin), then you’re dumber that a box of rocks.  That cop missed.  Or the person was lying about what happened.  He was fabulating.

Be careful what you read on the interwebz.

Kimber To Open Manufacturing Facility In Troy, Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 11 hours ago

A few days while touring around inside Google Analytics I saw a visit from Kimber on an article I wrote where I tried to encourage Kimber to move out of New York to greener pastures, or in other words, right-to-work states.  It would match the move South by many other firearms manufacturers and likely garner more support within the gun community.  After all, one wonders how many guns are being sold in the Northeast compared to Southeast.

Now I understand why this article captured someone’s interest.  Troy, Alabama won a new Kimber facility.

A major gun manufacturer will open a new production facility in Troy, adding 366 jobs to the local economy over the next five years.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday that Kimber Manufacturing Inc. would locate in Troy and invest $38 million in the local economy to build a state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facility. Ivey said the new factory would bring high-paying design and manufacturing jobs to Troy.

The new facility is expected to open in 2019.

Kimber officials said growing demand for the company’s products led to the decision to open a new plant in Troy.

“Troy offers us expansion with a passionate workforce, extraordinarily low utility costs, a pro-business environment, experienced local training support, and long-term incentives from the state and local government alike,” Greg Grogan, Kimber’s chief operating officer, said. “This expansion in conjunction with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class products provides for exciting times here at Kimber.”

The company has roots in Yonkers and has grown rapidly in the past two decades. The Troy facility will be Kimber’s sixth U.S. plant.

This is great news, but here’s a warning.  Leave your progressive politics up North.  We down South don’t like high taxes or intrusive, nanny state government.

Battles In The Continued War On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 11 hours ago

David Codrea points out an article by Alex Yablon that appears on the face of it to be quite fair and impartial, but David points out to me that he is a Bloomberg apparatchik and relishes pointing out dissension in the gun ranks.  Whatever.  There is a lot of dissension and if you haven’t seen it you haven’t been looking.  With friends like we have, who needs enemies?  Hey, here’s a quick note to Alex.  If he really wants to be impartial and fair, I invite him down to my neck of the woods to go shooting at a local range.  Will he take me up on the offer?

At any rate, David has made his remarks on the proposed rulemaking on bump stocks.  I’ll get to it before the deadline, but I’m still expecting some help from readers.  To date there hasn’t been much input.

There is more.

“When I was 18, I was arrested and charged with felony retail theft for theft of $479 worth of clothing at a Chicago mall,” a young man whose name  I’m withholding told me in a recent email. “State law of Illinois says any value of retail goods above $300 is a felony.

That was a bad decision, no way around it. He regrets the hell out of it, and has since striven to learn from his poor choice and to lead a productive and law-abiding life. But now he’s a “prohibited person,” forbidden by law to touch a gun. And unless he can figure out a legal way around that, it’s a life sentence.

Well, he has a God-given right to defend his life like anyone else.  I’ve made known my views on the alleged “debt” criminals have to society.  It’s a myth statists and collectivists like to tell.  There is no debt to society.  If a person steals, he should become the slave of the offended until the debt has been paid threefold.  The debt is to the offended.  If he rapes, kidnaps, or murders anyone, his life should be taken by the community.  This concept would clear out the prisons, yes?  And if someone refuses to become the slave of the offended until his debt is paid, put him into the pit with the murderers and rapists and fill it up with stones, with the first one being tossed in by the offended.  How about some Biblical justice for a change?



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