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]

Do Not Talk To The Police

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 3 months ago

The Blaze:

An Oregon man has had rifle confiscated and is facing criminal charges after he attempted to stop a wanted felon from breaking into his home by firing a warning shot.

Police in Medford, Ore., say the incident occurred at around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Officers responded to an apartment complex in the area after receiving a disturbance call. During their investigation, cops heard a gun shot and a man running away toward the complex’s parking lot.

Authorities say 40-year-old Jonathon Kinsella, a wanted felon, was attempting to flee the scene when he was arrested on outstanding warrants, including for burglary and assault.

Military veteran Corey Thompson, 36, told KDRV-TV that the wanted felon was trying to beak into his home via the back door. Defending his property, Thompson said he warned the criminal that he was armed and he was giving him his one and only warning shot.

“This is the end result. You break into someone’s house, there’s consequences,” Thompson said.

Wielding his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the veteran made good on his threat and fired one warning shot. The bullet did not strike the suspect or anyone else.

“When I’m dealt with a stressful situation, being a veteran from Iraq and the Afghanistan war, it’s natural. I just jump into combat mode. I told him, ‘I’m going to give you a warning shot’,” Thompson explained.

However, police later determined he wasn’t justified in firing his weapon. Medford Police Lt. Mike Budreau said “there was nothing that the suspect was doing that was aggressive enough to justify the shooting.”

Apparently, for police in Medford, a wanted felon trying to break into a law-abiding citizen’s home isn’t enough to justify a warning shot.

Thompson was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and reckless endangering. The veteran’s AR-15 was seized by police because they claim it was used in the commission of a crime.

The comments section to this article contains horrible legal advice.  Do not follow any of it, and do not get legal advice from anonymous commenters at The Blaze.

This poor man made one mistake.  He talked to the police.  Listen to me very carefully.  When the police show up, flip open their note pad, and begin asking questions, they are not your friend.  They are not there to protect and serve you.

You are not trained in the law or the legal nuances of what you might say, correct or incorrect, and all of the implications thereof, while under duress.  While this video has made the rounds within the firearms community, it’s worth watching again, and if you’ve never watched it, do it now.  Watch every single second of it, and if you didn’t get it the first time, watch it again.

Do not ever talk to the police.  Do you understand?

Police Shoot And Kill Grandfather While Responding To Burglary Call

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

DFW CBS:

A grandfather checking on his neighbor is shot and killed by Fort Worth police. The shots rang out early Tuesday morning near Woodhaven Country Club, in east Fort Worth.  Those close to the family say the victim lived nearby and heard his neighbor’s burglar alarm. Neighbor Jerry Wayne Waller then apparently went outside to see what was going on.

The 72-year-old man didn’t even make it to the house across the street before he was shot. He died on his own property.

The neighbors in the Woodhaven Country Club area and generally know each other pretty well. Becky Haskin, a former Fort Worth City Councilmember, lives in the area and said she believes Waller, “…was doing what neighbors do probably checking on the neighbor that the alarm went off.”

The elderly man, who was armed at the time, was shot and killed in his own driveway by police responding to a burglary call. “We heard five shots,” Haskin recalled. They were just rapid fire one after the other.”

Speaking on the incident Fort Worth police Cpl. Tracey Knight said, “Officers felt threatened by the man with the handgun and he was shot.”

After the shooting Haskin said, “The police officers were sobbing uncontrollably and very distraught.”

Sobbing and distraught or not, the police will never be held accountable for this crime.  If I or any of my readers do something like this, it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a firearm, and probably second degree murder.  It wouldn’t matter that we “felt threatened.”  But a man has a right to be armed on his own property, and it’s highly doubtful that the elderly man pointed his weapon at the police.  If he had the initial report would have said so.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Law enforcement officers have no moral or legal right to trespass on my property and threaten me, or especially unholster their weapons and point them at me.  And LEOs have no moral or legal right to shoot at me, my family members or my beasts.  I consider every home invader to be a criminal, since impersonating the police is a common tactic among crime gangs now.  Any such invasion of my home or property will be deadly, for the invaders, me, or both.

In lieu of being held accountable, which will never happen in the U.S. court system, I hope that these officers see the poor elderly man’s face every night of their lives as they try to sleep.  I know men who are LEOs who do things differently.  This kind of thing can be done safely, and bevavior which reflexively shoots innocent people is hazardous to everyone (bystanders and homeowners alike), especially the innocent victims.

Demand For Ammunition Is Up, So Why Aren’t Prices?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

It isn’t common that an unbiased, informative report comes from NPR, but hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.

Sales of guns and ammunition rose after President Obama took office in 2008, and they went through the roof starting late last year, when a school shooting led to a push for new gun control measures. That’s led to a prolonged ammunition shortage, even with manufacturers running at full capacity.

A gun owner in Florida told me he has had a hard time finding .380 ammo for a small handgun for the past six months. Customers at Bob’s Little Sport Shop in southern New Jersey told me it’s hard to find ammo for some rifles and for the popular 9 mm. Even .22 rounds, the small ones, have been hard to come by.

An economics textbook would say this shouldn’t happen. It would say that Bob Viden, who has run the shop for almost 50 years, should respond to the increase in demand by raising prices. And some stores and online sellers have done just that. But, Viden told me, “We don’t want to do that. We want to be fair.”

Apparently so do some of the best-known ammo sources across the country. At the sporting goods store Cabela’s and at Wal-Mart, shelves are empty but prices are mostly flat. During my conversations at Bob’s Little Sport Shop, the word “fair” came up about two-dozen times. Or, as one customer put it, “There’s no reason to make a profit off of our misfortune.”

To a traditional economist, a shortage is evidence prices are too low. But Viden predicts if he raises his prices, his customers won’t come back because they’ll think he ripped them off.

“Traditional economic theory doesn’t really have room for fairness perceptions,” Margaret Campbell, a marketing professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told me. But about 30 years ago, she says, “people started noticing that there were these kind of quirks.”

In a famous study, the Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and two colleagues found that people’s ideas of fairness are so strong that, even if it makes short-term sense to raise prices during a shortage, many retailers don’t. Campbell says that’s because when prices go up, consumers actually care about the reason behind the increase — the retailer’s motive.

“If a consumer sees a price go up in an unexpected fashion, they want to know, ‘Why? Why has it gone up?’ ” she says.

There are lots of reasons consumers approve of (if the price the store is paying for the goods has increased, for example). But research has consistently shown that a sudden increase in demand is not one of them. So rather than raise prices, Bob’s Little Sport Shop and other stores are rationing ammo in order to keep their customers’ loyalty.

You’d better believe it.  As I’ve said before a number of times in my posts on ammunition, availability is more difficult, but with the right attention and time, and checking back again with the stores from which I purchase, it can be found.  A few months ago I noticed a slight increase in prices for handgun ammunition when I find it, but I’ve also noticed that it’s back down now.  I can usually find .38, .40 and .45 for around 45-50 cents per round or a little lower.  .357 magnum is just a little higher.  .30 carbine is still difficult to find, and I have to work at it.

5.56 mm ammunition was reaching a dollar per round, but that has trailed off to around 75 cents per round, and I expect it to go lower.  The stores around me (and you know exactly who you are) who were selling 5.56 mm ammunition for four dollars per round now have customers who are royally pissed off (and I noticed that you have backed way off on your prices now).  You reap what you sow.  I’ll keep increasing my stockpile of 5.56, but not by purchasing from you.

I always see .270 ammunition everywhere I go, all of the time (perhaps showing the wisdom of .270 owners), and .308 is still a little pricey if it can be found at all.  But the main point is that the store owner above knows how his bread gets buttered.  He wants customers in the future, not just a small fortune now.  And he also has a sense of “fairness.”  Maybe that’s something gun control advocates just can’t understand.

UPDATE: David’s brief observations are on point.

Some were even loaded, ready for firing!

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

From Australia:

The problem with this government is that it takes an eternity for it to act on crucial law enforcement laws, Michelle Roberts, Australian State Opposition’s police spokeswoman, ranted on Tuesday.

Last week, detectives from Western Australia, acting on an anonymous tip, raided South Beach hotel in Fremantle and three properties in Caversham which yielded a massive cache of guns and ammunition, including a Chinese assault rifle and a laser-sighted Magnum handgun as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Only half of those confiscated in the Caversham houses were licensed. Police noted that some of the firearms were unsecured, and scattered in different locations around the houses. Some were even loaded, ready for firing.

Well if they were “scattered in different locations around the house” and were “loaded, ready for firing,” then those dudes must have been really dangerous indeed.

I have more than enough guns for every room in the house, and (gasp) they’re “loaded, ready for firing!”  Who would have a gun that wasn’t ready for firing?  Why would someone spend effort and money on such a thing?  Is it a paperweight?  What do these journalists think we do with guns, and why do they think we have them?

Seriously.  As I read some of this claptrap I just don’t know.  Does this journalist have an automobile in her driveway (gasp!) with tires, ready for driving, or food in her kitchen, ready for cooking?

Are You Stockpiling Ammunition?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

Ammo_Update 002

Are you stockpiling ammunition?  You need to be.  Remember – the police are doing it.  As an update on the ammunition shortage, I see it getting slightly better, but not much.  If one cannot order in bulk because you don’t happen to have a spare $500 or $1000 sitting around the house, you have to purchase in small quantities (50 rounds here, 100 rounds there, out of every paycheck).

Is Universal Background Check Really Dead?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

NYT:

A strange thing happened after 45 senators killed a bill to expand background checks for gun buyers five weeks ago: many of those same senators suddenly discovered a profound affection for background checks. They had been for them all along, it turns out, and wanted nothing more than to keep guns out of the hands of felons.

“Knowing your interest in gun control, I wanted to give you an update on legislation I have co-sponsored and supported recently,” Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, wrote to his constituents earlier this month. “I have been adamant from the beginning of the gun control debate that our current background check system needs strengthening and improving.”

[ … ]

This kind of dissembling by gun control opponents has been rampant for years, but rarely have the National Rifle Association’s most captive lawmakers been so nakedly deceptive as in the weeks since public rage grew over the gun vote. Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hampshire, also voted against the Manchin-Toomey measure, and she immediately suffered the backlash of angry voters in her state. So she issued a statement saying “I support effective background checks” and reminding voters that she had backed the misleadingly named Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act — a measure that does nothing to close the loopholes for Internet or gun-show sales and that was, in fact, supported by the N.R.A. because it actually makes it easier to transport guns across state lines.

But triangulating and equivocating is what politicians do these days.  It doesn’t mean that the universal background check will end up law.  However, let’s suppose that the NYT editorial board is right (later on in the editorial), and this issue isn’t going away.

Very well.  Bring it.  We defeated you once, and we’ll do it again.  Word to everyone who has been entrusted with a stewardship of a vote in the House or Senate.  This won’t make it past the Senate, but even if it does, it will go down in remarkable and inglorious flames in the House.

When it does, support for this bastard proposal will haunt you for the rest of your lives.  Gun owners never forgive, and never forget.  Don’t believe the hype about public support for universal background checks.  It’s all a lie.

Tread carefully.

Guns And Terror In Great Britain

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

The Telegraph:

In the first terrorist murder on the British mainland since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005, the men attempted to behead the soldier, hacking at him like a “piece of meat” in front of dozens of witnesses, before both were shot by police who took around 20 minutes to arrive.

After the killing, one of the men, believed to be a British-born Muslim convert, spoke calmly into a witness’s video phone.

Speaking with a London accent, holding a knife and a meat cleaver and with his hands dripping with blood, he said: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe …

Witnesses said that the men used a car to run over the soldier just yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, south-east London, before setting about him with knives and a meat cleaver as if they were “trying to remove organs” …

There were also questions over why it took around 20 minutes for armed police to arrive on the scene, during which time the killers calmly walked up and down the road, carrying their bloodied knives and a pistol, while members of the public confronted them.

So let’s run down the facts.  Two men armed with knives and a gun hack another man to death, the police respond no sooner than twenty minutes after the attack, and laws in England virtually prohibit carrying of weapons or owning of weapons beyond firearms used for hunting (which cannot be carried on your person).

So to repeat.  Man prohibited from owning a gun gets killed by criminals who were prohibited from owning a gun but who didn’t have any regard for the law since they were criminals.  People who witnessed the crime could only shout at them since they didn’t have guns either.

Got it.

Unable To Obtain Fire Superiority?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

Via WRSA, Max Velocity has an interesting article up on the inability to obtain fire superiority.  The whole article is worth reading, but this part struck me.

So back to the bolt action rifles in the original question: there is no reason why such weapons cannot be used to suppress the enemy, particularly if their very nature means you have to be more accurate with them. This exposes the weakness of automatic weapons: if you face someone with uncontrolled automatic weapons, they could be hosing down your general area but not effectively, while you can put one through their eye with your bolt action rifle. That does not mean all automatic weapons are bad, it depends on the operator: a good operator with a SAW firing short controlled burst will kill/suppress well.

Similarly with semi-automatic weapons with thirty round magazines, like AK or ARs, these can be devastatingly effective but in the wrong untrained hands can be next to useless. So a lot of this comes back to quality of the individual and the level of training and experience they have. Once the adrenalin stacks up in a contact situation it is very easy to look over your sights and fire into or towards the enemy, rapidly pumping rounds downrange in the excitement of the contact. You have to mentally get a grip of yourself, re-focus to get a sight picture and get more accurate.

So far I have basically said that you can use a lot of different types of rifles to be effective so long as you are trained to do so, and conversely even if you have the best equipment none of that will help you if you are just a tacticool goon. Yes, a well-trained team will be more effective if they have better equipment, but I am telling you not to give up hope if you have just bolt action hunting rifles. The advancing German Army at the beginning of the First World War thought they were up against machine gun battalions as they pushed the British Expeditionary Force back to the English Channel. No, it was the fire power generated by the British infantryman with his bolt action Lee-Enfield rifle.

Shotguns are a different matter in my opinion, (mentioned in the original question). At least with bolt action rifles you can try and adapt your tactics to take advantage of range and accuracy if terrain allows, but with shotguns you lose range, volume of fire and also accuracy. Useful for close range contacts in close country, historically carried by point men in the Jungle; I’d prefer an AR.

In many of the scenarios we have discussed here I would never even think to equate having a bolt action rifle as being inferior to having an AR, except for CQB.  Recall also what Travis Haley accomplished with the use of an AR at long distances.

So even using an AR, a scope, deliberate, methodical fire, and a trained shooter is superior to “tacticool” operators.  Furthermore, it seems to me that if concealment didn’t work and you find yourself potentially facing CQB, my 3-e’s are always important if you want to stay alive: egress, evasion and escape.  In any of the scenarios we have discussed over the pages of this web site, a bolt action rifle and a good revolver might be more valuable than any other commodity.

SWAT Team Rams Wrong Man’s Car

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

In a slight twist of the SWAT team raids the wrong home theme, Austin American-Statesman has this report.

Driving in the early morning hours to his job at a metal shop in Buda, Miguel Montanez at first thought the approaching lights were a school bus or a tow truck.

But Montanez says it was a Hays County SWAT truck that rammed his car head-on. As they collided, another police vehicle pinned him from behind, he says.

He heard a shot.

“I saw my windshield crack, and I ducked down as low as possible,” Montanez said. “I really thought I was going to die.”

Seconds later, he says, three deputies were pointing assault rifles at him. “That’s when I heard one of the officers say, ‘Oh, (expletive), we got the wrong guy,’ ” Montanez said.

Montanez, 39, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court on May 6 against Hays County, the city of San Marcos and nine law enforcement agents for injuries he says he sustained that morning last summer, July 13.

Even after officers realized that he was not the suspect, he said, they kept him in handcuffs for half an hour while they questioned him and ran a warrant check that came up with nothing. Then they let him go.

Montanez, who lives in Guadalupe County, said that one of the officers told him they were looking for one of hisbrothers, who lives at a different address.

Sheriff’s officials in Hays County and San Marcos police declined to comment.

The county’s insurance company paid about $3,700 for the damage to the car, which was totaled, but has never offered an apology or to cover his medical bills. Montanez said he suffered a herniated disc in his back …

Out of control.  These are the only words that I can think of to express the situation and supply some analysis, albeit brief.  This SWAT team is completely out of control and off the chain.

When we have SWAT teams ramming cars and shooting at innocent people, it’s way past time for the concept of SWAT teams to come to a timely end or at least focus on the much less frequent instance of active shooters or kidnappings.

But no court anywhere will hold the police accountable.  Welcome to Amerika!

UPDATE:

Instapundit

War On Guns

The Low-Tech Way Guns Get Traced

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

From NPR.  None of this is a surprise to any of my readers, but the main thing to recognize is that when they refer to trace, they mean trace it to a gun dealer.  So a serial number gets traced to a wholesaler, who then can trace it to an FFL, who then (unfortunately) has the form 4473 on file.

What they don’t say, and what they can’t do, is tell whether a gun has been privately sold to another individual.  This happens often, and it’s legal as it should be.

I’m fine with this being low-tech, and I’m fine with the ATF being unable to trace it to the actual owner in a large number of cases.  Being not okay with this means belief in a national gun registry, and that would be anathema to believers in liberty, and a function of a wicked government since all gun control is evil.


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