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]

Mississippi Judge Blocks Open Carry Law

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

We’ve previously discussed the Mississippi open carry law, and how LEOs in particular don’t approve of the new law.  And yet, it is still new law, and the LEOs must honor the rights of citizens.  When progressives said Mississippi would turn into the Wild, Wild West, I demurred and pointed out that my own home state of North Carolina was a traditional open carry state.  Everything would turn out fine, I admonished.  But rather than accept the new law, progressives found themselves an activist judge who would side with them.

A Hinds County circuit court judge, initially appointed to the bench by a Democrat governor, granted the wishes of a Democrat prosecutor on Friday in an “emergency hearing” to halt implementation of a gun bill opposed by Democrat lawmakers, the Associated Press reported . Judge Winston Kidd issued a temporary injunction after Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith requested that he block a new law from going into effect.

[ … ]

“For the purposes of this section, ‘concealed’ … shall not include … a loaded or unloaded pistol carried upon the person in a sheath, belt holster or shoulder holster that is wholly or partially visible, or carried upon the person in a scabbard or case for carrying the weapon that is wholly or partially visible,” the bill states, essentially clarifying that open carrying of firearms by non-prohibited persons in non-prohibited locations is lawful activity.

In an unabashed feat of judicial and linguistic contortion, Kidd ruled that specific language is “vague,” and justified his injunction on the grounds that allowing the bill to take effect would cause “irreparable harm.”

“We’re looking at a Wild West scenario,” Jody Owens, Managing Attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center charged … repeating the meme again.  The judge should now be seen as a lawbreaker himself, because there is nothing in the Mississippi constitution that allows a judge to override the legislature and Governor just because he doesn’t read as clearly as we do.

The judge should be impeached, and as for the claim that Mississippi would turn into the Wild, Wild West, I think that the fear is exactly the opposite.  I think that everyone knows that nothing untoward will occur, and thus Mississippi will become an example to the rest of the states (e.g., Texas, South Carolina, etc.) that have not been traditional open carry states but choose to change that.

As for the LEOs, it’s difficult to change, even when facing the inevitable.  Thus we have scenes like this.

Biloxi_Chief_John_Miller

Biloxi Police Chief John Miller holds up a sign he has made to help business owners who wish to keep people from entering their establishments while carrying guns.

But it isn’t within their charge to ensure that weapons aren’t carried in and through Mississippi, concealed or openly.  LEOs and politics don’t mix, and police chiefs can be replaced.

In the end, this stolid judge’s day in the sun will soon go away, guns will be openly carried in Mississippi, the Wild, Wild West will not obtain, and LEOs like Chief John Miller will be ridiculed for their fear mongering.

And everything will be made right.

Travis Haley On The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Whenever Travis Haley speaks, it’s worth listening.  You should get and watch Art of the Tactical Carbine.  You’ll be a better shooter for it.  But for the moment, Travis waxes philosophical with his view of the second amendment.  Watch all of it.

Good Gun Control – Knowing How Many Weapons You Have

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

NBC:

The U.S. Park Police, the law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding the National Mall and critical American landmarks, has lost track of a large supply of handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to a harshly critical report issued Thursday.

In the report, the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Interior faults staff at the agency for having no idea how many weapons they control and says the department has no clear policies or procedures for investigating missing weapons. The office says top managers, including the police chief, have shown a “lackadaisical attitude toward firearms management.”

While surveying Park Police field office armories, investigators found more than 1,400 extra and unassigned weapons that were intended to be destroyed. They also found 198 handguns that were transferred from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and stored in an operations facility firearms room without being recorded in an inventory system.

There are also instances of officers storing service weapons at their homes, according to the report.

“We found credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing,” deputy inspector general Mary Kendall wrote to Jonathan Jarvis, the director of the National Park Service, in a letter that accompanies the report.

I’ve said before that I could be blindfolded and allowed to start at my door, and I could walk to every one of my guns in the house, put my hands on each of them, and tell you whether a round is chambered before I ever get there.  If you cannot do that, then you shouldn’t have guns.  It’s sort of like knowing where your medications are, whether the stove is on, or whether your doors are locked.

The only gun control I support is knowing everything about your guns, including how many you have.  This is the most basic of all responsibilities, and if the federal government cannot do this then they should be treated like children and shouldn’t have any guns.  In fact, given their history and tendency towards totalitarianism, maybe they shouldn’t have guns anyway.

Jerry Miculek Shoots A Forty Round Magazine

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Be like Jerry!

Yet Another Wrong Home SWAT Raid

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

In an instance of police incompetence and unnecessarily endangered citizens, Pittsburgh is the scene of yet another wrong home SWAT raid.

A woman is demanding answers after she said SWAT teams mistakenly raided her Sheraden home Tuesday.

Jessica Earnest told Channel 11 News that SWAT teams burst into her Faronia Street home Tuesday afternoon looking for a wanted man, but they had the wrong house.

Some of the damage left behind was overturned beds, an air vent cover pulled from the wall and ransacked rooms.

Earnest said officers handcuffed her with her two young children close by.

“The way they all came in here and just threw smoke bombs and kicked in the door, we could have gotten hurt,” Earnest said.

Earnest said she moved into the home less than a week ago and she’s never heard of the man police were looking for.

She said officers apologized and handed her a search warrant before they left. Channel 11’s Alan Jennings reported the warrant had bad information.

Yes, people could have gotten hurt.  It’s happened before, to both innocent citizens and the police.  If a dog had been in the home, it would have been killed so that the police could be assured of “going home safely at the end of their shift.”  And it’s a good thing toddlers weren’t in their cribs either.

You have no right to invade my home, and there are easier ways to apprehend people.  You do good detective work, find the individual of interest when he is away from other people, and use pepper spray if he resists.

But of course, that wouldn’t be as sexy as dressing up in Soldier-boy uniforms and tactical gear and being operators operating tactically with tactical gear while they operate, would it?

Prior: SWAT Raid category

Slate, Communists And Other Ne’er Do Wells On Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Slate:

Handguns are the problem. Despite being outnumbered by long guns, “Handguns are used in more than 87 percent of violent crimes,” the report notes. In 2011, “handguns comprised 72.5 percent of the firearms used in murder and non-negligent manslaughter incidents.” Why do criminals prefer handguns? One reason, according to surveys of felons, is that they’re “easily concealable.”

Mass shootings aren’t the problem. “The number of public mass shootings of the type that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School accounted for a very small fraction of all firearm-related deaths,” says the report. “Since 1983 there have been 78 events in which 4 or more individuals were killed by a single perpetrator in 1 day in the United States, resulting in 547 victims and 476 injured persons.” Compare that with the 335,000 gun deaths between 2000 and 2010 alone.

The author, William Saletan, stops short of calling for confiscation, but does want the CDC empowered to collect and analyze more information about gun owners, as well as heavier court involvement in the process of owning guns.  But on the whole, the author does better than many articles concerning at least feigning neutrality.

Communist China does not.

During the dispute, Fan grabbed a tool and bludgeoned his colleague to death. Fan then returned to the factory’s staff dormitory where he had stashed a hunting gun, retrieved the weapon and fled to Shanghai’s Pudong area in an illegal taxi. Fan then killed the vehicle’s driver and used the vehicle to drive back to Baoshan, where the factory is located, killing a soldier in front of a military unit’s barracks and thus obtaining an additional gun. With both weapons, Fan made his way back to the factory and killed another three employees, including the factory’s supervisor, before being subdued by a police officer who was patrolling the area. Four other people were shot and sustained injuries.

Gun control laws in China are some of the strictest in the world, making it difficult for most civilians to legally own firearms.  According to the South China Morning Post, an emergency meeting was held on Sunday by the Ministry of Public Security, which said it was planning to launch a more comprehensive campaign on gun management across the country.

Gun control is what communists do.  They do it reflexively, and it isn’t so much a response to violent incidents as it is refusing to let a crisis go to waste.  It’s all about ensuring a government monopoly on violence.

It’s the same for the very strange Richard Nixon, who, according to reports, was very anti-gun.

“I don’t know why any individual should have a right to have a revolver in his house,” Nixon said in a taped conversation with aides. “The kids usually kill themselves with it and so forth.” He asked why “can’t we go after handguns, period?”

Nixon went on: “I know the rifle association will be against it, the gun makers will be against it.” But “people should not have handguns.” He laced his comments with obscenities, as was typical.

Of course, Nixon didn’t seek to disarm his security staff, just the common folk.  As we’ve discussed before, it’s what the progressives (like the folks at Daily Kos) really want.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

Back to the Slate article, the author advocates a continuation of the national conversation on guns.  So be it.  But I think this has been a valuable installment.  Slate admitted that mass killings, while a media event, aren’t the “real problem” with guns.  The “real problem” is ownership of handguns at all.

Or in other words, gun control – making laws that only upstanding citizens obey – is the solution of all good social planners to ameliorate the sinfulness of mankind.  It’s what the communists do.

And the horrible Richard Nixon, a statist by nature, advocated exactly the same thing.  Concerning the recent gun control efforts, Senators Manchin and Toomey have seen the “bottom fall out of their approval ratings.”  We ate them for lunch.  It’s always a good palate cleanser to see progressives confess to the truth that in spite of the posturing, it was really all about government control.

I think that the court jester is lying when he says that there are five Senators who want to change their vote on guns.  But if he can round them up, we’ll eat them for dinner.  As for the continued national conversation, bring it.  But I know your real intentions, and I’ll keep my guns.

Guns, Nature And Megalomania

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Dr. David Codrea:

On a personal note, I find it interesting that over six years after I posted the Wintemute warning, he’s still bringing it up as evidence of the troubles he’s seen. Knowing that has resulted in my living in this guy’s head rent-free for all these years is pretty unbelievable.

Between that and getting several emails from Nature‘s Correspondence Editor beginning “Dear Dr. Codrea,” the sting of having my letter go unpublished has been somewhat dulled.

Well, this one is amusing.  I’ve been misquoted before, plagiarized word for word without attribution, and misunderstood.  But this is rich.  I love a good throw-down over the interwebz, but this one is rather one-sided.

Here’s what I think.  Had I been blogging about guns at the time of David’s post I would have issued the same warning.  I didn’t previously know anything about Wintemute.  He (Wintemute) apparently wants to be important, or at least sees himself in heroic terms, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous oppression from David’s warnings.

But I know about Wintemute now.  As for Wintemute, I hope the fleas of a thousand camels infests his armpits.  As for David, keep making people megalomaniacal and delusional.  Watch your six, Wintemute.  We’re coming to take you away.

Read it all at Examiner.

Mississippi Open Carry Law

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

A problem, as LEOs see it:

On July 1, a new law giving Mississippi residents the right to openly carry firearms without the need of a gun permit will go into effect.

Next week, during a two-hour block of instruction and education on the Open Carry Law, area law enforcement officers will get guidance on how the new law will impact their jobs and how to deal with citizens walking around with firearms at their side.

[ … ]

Confusion over Mississippi’s concealed weapons carry laws prompted legislators to address the issue. The law was unclear about whether or not a person carrying a concealed weapon was in violation of the law if the weapon was accidentally exposed to view. House Bill 2 clarifies the issue, stating a gun can be partially exposed if it is in a proper holster, and can be carried openly without a permit.

Some have argued that Mississippi was already an open carry gun state and that the law is causing confusion.

“The legislators created this animal and now they don’t know what to do with it,” Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said. “The law has been on the books since 1890 but the people have pretty much ignored it for so many years. Now, the law has been out there in the news for a long time and I’m sure when July 1 rolls around we will see somebody walking around with a .45 strapped to their side.”

Kemp said he would like to attend the training session next week. “I’ve got some questions I’d like to ask myself,” Kemp says. “This law creates some potential problems for us as law enforcement officers and I’d like to get the AG’s office opinion on some of the things we might run into.”

[ … ]

“One of our main concerns with a citizen carrying a firearm, no matter under which law it is, that they are trained not only in the operation and functions of the firearm but when that person can deploy that firearm,” Calhoun said. “This is a huge responsibility for someone and they had better be clear on these and many other aspects of carrying a firearm otherwise it could lead to much more serious matters.”

Oh.  I see.  It’s a huge responsibility, kind of like the incident when:

“Every cop turned around and started unloading like super trigger happy as if their training was coming into full effect and they were being able to utilize it,” said Cleerdin. “Everybody was just blasting this car to pieces. It was absolutely terrifying.”

They were stunned with what was happening, as officers reportedly shot dozens of rounds – in the direction on-coming traffic.

“Cops are shooting from the front of the car, back into the rest of the on-coming traffic to the check point, into the rest of the innocent civilians down the road,” said Cleerdin.

Cleerdin says he believes the officers acted with no regard for public safety.

“It was way beyond reckless,” said Cleerdin. “I couldn’t believe it. These are professional people, professional officers, and they’re training, they’re highly trained and they’re not supposed to do stuff like that.”

Huge responsibility like when the cops did that?  So let’s make a few things clear to the LEO.  Mississippi is not a stop and identify state.  So no, you don’t have to ask an attorney since I just informed you.  You may not stop someone who isn’t violating the law, not even if you just want to know what he’s doing carrying a weapon.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has made that perfectly clear.  Got it?

On to the next topic.  No, this isn’t the end of the world, not even for LEOs – you know, the ones who can take on huge responsibility like carrying a weapon.  Men (and perhaps women) will open carry if they wish, and when ignorant citizens make calls about it, it will be your responsibility to educate them about the law, and demand to know what law is being violated before you dispatch a uniform and look stupid when he gets his ass dragged to court for stopping and identifying in a non-stop and identify state.

Finally, this won’t have any adverse affect on safety and security.  People who open carry won’t run around shooting others up.  After all.  Let’s review what’s happening.  This is the same thing as concealed carry, which is already legal, except that the weapon isn’t concealed.  Is that clear enough for you?  As a resident of North Carolina, which is a traditional open carry state, I assure you that your worst fears will not obtain.

There.  I feel like I have helped to the point that no further tutorial is needed from any expensive, pointy headed lawyers.  I’ve done my good deed for the day.

Army Cancels Carbine Competition

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

The Army has cancelled their competition to see which firearm will replace the Colt M4 series of rifles.  The Army has said that it was cancelled because all of the rifles failed the reliability standard of 3,592 mean rounds without malfunctioning.

After correction of the ammunition and other problems associated with the M-16 as it was initially deployed in Vietnam, this series of rifles has been effective and reliable.  To be sure, there are still detractors, the most recent problems concerning overheating of the barrel and failures associated with discharging a high number of rounds in a short time frame.

During the Battle of Wanat several M4’s had failures to feed (or failures to eject).  But the real problem with this battle wasn’t that several rifles experienced failures.  It was that the unit was placed in such a far-flung outpost without force protection or adequate troops to establish security and effect their mission.  No rifle can ameliorate bad strategy, and our war fought by the social planners and COIN experts was bad strategy.

Afghanistan has been called the war of the infantry half kilometer, as it involved longer distances than the urban warfare and CQB in Iraq.  Bob Owens mentions the cancellation of the carbine competition, and then launches into advocacy for a larger caliber, specifically the 6.5 Grendel.  This is old hat for Bob, as he has been advocating for a while now that the Army replace the 5.56 mm round, but continue to use the AR-15 platform.

But it should be remembered that with proper training, the AR-15 platform and 5.56 mm round are effective at long distances.  My son Daniel, a former Marine, routinely scored at the top of his Battalion, and they all had to qualify at 500 yards (using iron sights).  Travis Haley reminds us all how effective this gun and round can be.

Haley was shooting 5.56 mm ammunition from a Bushmaster (specifications can be found here, here and here – Haley was using a 20″ barrel, which is the major difference between the rifle he was using and the M4).  The comments to the video indicate that the targets may have been  closer than 800 meters (perhaps 600 meters), but this is far enough away to need high powered glass.

Even though the 5.56 yaws in flight (even with boat tail ammunition), it is a highly effective long distance round, while also being ideal for CQB (albeit designated marksmen and snipers may choose to carry different weapons and different calibers).  But Colt lost the contract to supply the M4, and sometimes manufacturers become complacent after so many years of sole sourcing.  In fact, my biggest problem with the competition isn’t that it’s over.  Rather, it’s that the best never participated.

And the winner of the U.S. Army competition to replace the M4 carbine is … the Army’s new and improved M4 carbine.

At least that’s the outcome gun makers attending Shot Show 2012 predict for the completion of the service’s improved carbine competition.

The Army is nearing the end of the first phase of the competition, now referred to as the IC. The service will soon announce which companies can advance to the second phase, when Army testers will start shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds through the prototype weapons.

Phase one has had nothing to do with evaluating test prototypes, but instead has focused on weeding out companies that may not have the production capacity to make thousands of weapons per month. This has become a bitter point of contention that has driven away some companies with credible names in the gun business.

“I’m not going to dump half a million to a million dollars for them never to review my rifle,” said Steve Mayer of Rock River Arms, standing amid his racks of M4-style carbines at Shot Show, the massive small-arms show here that draws gun makers from all over the world.

I have no dog in Bob’s fight over caliber, but my opinion is that the current platform and caliber are fine.  What’s needed is better training (even if not everyone can be Travis Haley), drills on shooting uphill (for those Marines and Soldiers who will deploy to terrain similar to what we saw in N2K), and lack of politics so that our men can get the best and most reliable rifles in their hands.  I have one.  It’s not so much to ask that Soldiers and Marines have them too.

If the Army chooses some other system than direct impingement, then so be it.  But it should be remembered that for everything you gain, you loose something.  I’ve held rifles that cycle ammunition from piston drive, and the front end is heavy.  It would affect CQB, and my son doesn’t even like the weight added from the quad rail on the front end of mine if it is used for CQB (my rifle is DI, not piston).

In the end, nothing can do everything, and the genius of Eugene Stoner is still with us today.

Biden: Five Senators Would Like To Change Their Gun Vote

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 2 months ago

Politico:

Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that “at least five senators” have called him looking for a way to change their votes to support expanded background checks.

Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Las Vegas, Biden said the 45 senators who voted to block the background checks deal brokered by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) have seen “the bottom fall out” of their approval ratings.

Biden said, as he did Tuesday during a gun violence event at the White House, that he has been fielding calls from senators interested in signing on to some kind of gun control measure. On Friday he offered slightly more specific detail about the number of senators and the difficult path ahead for gun control legislation.

“I’ve had at least five senators call me and say, ‘Can’t we do something about this?’” Biden said. “The calculus has changed, and so we’re in an effort to try to work out how we can provide another opportunity for those who voted no to change their vote. We all know that’s the hardest thing in politics, to change your vote. That’s why we’ve got to get a rationale, another reason why this could be done by changing the specifics of the legislation.”

Biden hasn’t conveyed which senators he’s spoken with or how the background checks bill might be altered.

Just like myth that 90% or more of all Americans wanted the Senate to enact more gun laws, this is the latest make-believe story.  The fairy tale du jour is that five Senators want to change their vote on gun control and see “the bottom fall out of their approval ratings.”

Here’s what I think.  The court jester is becoming increasingly delusional.  There aren’t five Senators who want to change their vote, and Biden never fielded any such phone call.


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