AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 5 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]

Virginia State Police Raid Wrong Address

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

WTVR.com:

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) –Ruth Hunter, a 75-year-old woman, said she was tied up while State Police invaded her Henrico apartment.

She said officers told her during the raid what they were looking for, and court documents also show the information. She said she had nothing to do with the investigation.

Virginia State Police said a drug investigation is what prompted a Henrico County magistrate to issue a warrant for an apartment in the 5600 block of Crenshaw road.

The woman claims that officers ultimately arrested a man who lives two doors down from her.

“I thought someone was breaking in to rob or kill me,” Hunter said.

Seconds after her front door flies open Hunter said she heard a voice yell “Police!”

“…Took my hands with a tie-thing and said ‘You’re under arrest’ and started asking questions,” she recalled. “The more I told them I didn’t know these people, the more he continued.”

Hunter said that police left her apartment and went two doors down, while she was left handcuffed with a zip tie.

The fiancé of the man arrested says she was there at the time, and asked CBS 6 to hide her identity

“Just so happened they came to the apartment and they got it mixed up,’ she said.

State Police cite an ongoing drug investigation as why they can’t comment any further.

Ms. Hunter doesn’t say, but I suspect the LEOs pointed rifles at her head.  They can’t comment any further because they screwed up, and we wouldn’t want the public to get wind of things like this, would we now?  They may start to question why we have to do raids like this in the first place.

At 75 years old, it’s seriously in doubt that she posed any threat to anyone, much less the police, and the fact that she was zip tied is obscene.  Hey, but at least the LEOs got to go home safely at the end of their shift, and that’s what’s really important, right?

Gun Control In The Wild West

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

The Washington Post:

BOB SCHIEFFER: “Does it bother you or does it worry you that we may be going backwards, that we’re going back to the day of the OK Corral and the old West where everybody carried a gun? Is that where we’re headed here?”

FORMER SENATOR RICK SANTORUM (R-Pa.): “You know, everybody romanticizes the OK Corral and all of the things that happened. But gun crimes were not very prevalent back then. Why? Because people carry guns.”

– exchange on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” April 27, 2014

The Hollywood version of the Wild West is at the core of this exchange on Face the Nation, so perhaps it’s time for a history lesson. One-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum asserted that gun crimes were low back then because people had the right to carry guns. But he actually has the story backward.

The 1881 gunfight in Tombstone, Ariz., was actually sparked by an effort to enforce the town’s Ordinance No. 9:  “It is hereby declared unlawful to carry in the hand or upon the person or otherwise any deadly weapon within the limits of said city of Tombstone, without first obtaining a permit in writing.”

That’s right, City Marshal Virgil Earp and his brother Wyatt were attempting to enforce a gun-control law that cowboys were evading — a law that was rather common in the West, according to historians.

Notice that the writer didn’t link scholarly reference for the notion that this was “a law that was rather common in the West.”  That’s because he can’t, and that’s because it wasn’t.

Notice how the writer’s prose drips with indignation at what he thinks he knows.  This is amusing, but you aren’t left as educated about the facts as he claims after reading his prose.

The real story is much more complicated, involving the intrigue of a woman, corrupt deals between alleged bad guys and alleged good guys, threats, innuendo, goading, and the desire for power as an elected official wrapped up into a surreptitious plan that ultimately led to the shootout.

Yes, gun control was a part of the issue, but take note that Americans won’t give up their guns, especially in the face of abusive law enforcement.  This is one good takeaway for us all, as well as the fact that snide commentaries from the main stream media aren’t as educated as they think they are.

AR Rifles Gain Popularity Among Modern Hunters

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

D.S. Pledger:

Traditionalists still might scratch their heads when they see a deer hunter toting an AR-style rifle, but it’s a sight that is becoming more prevalent each fall. I’ll admit to being a little put off by those black rifles initially. In fact, I believe I wrote a column a number of years ago questioning why in the world anyone would use a military-style rifle for any kind of hunting. Times have changed, though. Today they’re becoming mainstream—and for a lot of sound reasons.

Here’s are the facts.  All weapons are “military-style” weapons.  Scoped, bolt action rifles are still used by designated marksmen and military snipers today.  Revolvers were used up through World War II by officers.  1911 pistols are in use today, and in fact the U.S. Marine Corps recently issued a brand new contract for 1911s.  Shotguns were used for room clearing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on and on the list goes.

It’s stupid to object to the civilian ownership of “military-style” weapons, and it always has been stupid.  Every weapon can and has been used by the military for different functions.  Eugene Stoner – God bless him, genius and great man that he was (you guys know what I think about him) – gave us a wonderful shooting platform.  It’s his platform that has evolved and given us so much in the way of a good, reliable, well-functioning, and precise machine.  As an engineer, I admire precision machinery.

But I’m nothing if not agreeable.  I appreciate the honesty and sincerity expressed by Pledger.  This is different than a gun writer who authors articles and reviews for decades observing the subtle changes, sees the encroachment on our rights, and then pens an article that could have been written by the Brady Campaign.  I think y’all know who I’m talking about.  Pledger is moving in the right direction.

The Gun Supremacists’ Folly

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

E. J. Dionne:

You might not have thought that the inability of people to pack while praying was a big problem. Georgia’s political leaders think otherwise, so the new law allows people to carry guns in their houses of worship. True, congregations can set their own rules, but some pastors wonder about the confusion this provision will create, and those who would keep their sanctuaries gun-free may worry about being branded as liberal elitists. Maybe the Georgia legislature will help them by requiring a rewrite of the Scriptures. “Blessed are the peacemakers” can become “Blessed are the gun owners.”

[ … ]

Nowhere else in the world do the laws on firearms become the playthings of politicians and lobbyists intent on manufacturing cultural conflict. Nowhere else do elected officials turn the matter of taking a gun to church into a searing ideological question. But then, guns are not a religion in most countries.

First of all, this has been blown completely out of proportion.  My home state of North Carolina allows carry of weapons in churches.  Georgia did as well before this law, but there was some confusion leading to court cases concerning churches connected in proximity (or adjoining) day school facilities.

This law clarifies that issue and ensures that no more ridiculous cases come up where people are prohibited from carrying weapons in church just because their church has a school.  As I said before:

… the pastor has wrongly portrayed the recent 11th Circuit decision on guns in Georgia churches.  The case had to do with guns being potentially prohibited in churches that were adjoined by schools (carry in schools is prohibited), and “given that the facial challenge to the law would succeed only if it’s valid in all its applications, the Eleventh Circuit responds by pointing to a valid application – when the management prohibits carrying.  What effect the law may constitutionally have when the management allows carrying isn’t resolved by the Eleventh Circuit opinion” (I am indebted to Professor Eugene Volokh for this assessment – via e-mail).

The Georgia law is a good thing.  Second, Dionne conflates the issue of approved and legal carry with illegal carry.  “Those who would keep their sanctuaries gun-free,” including, no doubt, Dionne himself, live in Neverland and perhaps honestly believe that making laws affects the behavior of criminals, thus ensuring no guns in churches as long as there is a law on the books.

Or perhaps he doesn’t believe that laws are observed by criminals, in which case Dionne only wants to ensure that families are utterly unprotected in the face of criminals bent on their harm.  In the first case he is a moron.  In the second case he is a liar and evil man.

Finally, as Dionne knows, there is no need to manufacture cultural conflict.  The divide that demarcates the people of this nation has never been so great in its history.  Guns are a symptom rather than a cause of the divide.

Remington And Ruger Rifle Recalls

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

Remington Model 700:

Remington Arms issued a safety warning and recall notice for two different rifles Friday after potential trigger issues can lead to an unintentional discharge.

The rifles include the Remington Model 700 and the Remington Model Seven rifles with X-Mark Pro triggers, manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014.

According to the company, senior engineers determined that some rifles with the XMP triggers could, under certain circumstances, unintentionally discharge.

The investigation determined that some of the triggers might have excess bonding agent used in the assembly process, which could cause the unintentional discharge.

I’m not intending to place the Ruger recall in the same category, but their SR-556-VT rifle is also having trigger issues.

The company is recalling all SR-556-VT rifles due to a problem with the trigger system.  Ruger says on its website that the disconnector can wear down early.  And that can cause delayed gunfire, or even double firing.  That’s when the gun fires as expected, when the trigger is pulled—but then again when it’s released.

Ruger says it hasn’t received any reports of delayed or double-firing from customers.

On its website, the company traces the problem to a vendor not properly heat treating the disconnector.  Ruger says rifle owners should contact the company for information on how to get their guns retrofitted.

It’s good that Ruger is getting out ahead of this (or appears to be).  Denying it is the wrong thing to do, morally and from a business perspective as well.

Remington 700 models have always had trigger issues, and it isn’t at all apparent that this recall is the same one that has caused Remington such problems in the past.

David Petzal was absolutely indignant over CNBC’s expose of Remington (I’m not sure indignation at CNBC is the right posture), while Dave Hardy simply posted the link (but the comments, especially this one, provide a lot more detail).  Sure, following proper muzzle discipline may have prevented some of these problems, but the point is that a machine that needs to function correctly simply needs to function correctly, no excuses.  Making excuses is for losers.

The most comprehensive and damning indictment of Remington and its trigger problems to date is still this article from Billings Gazette.  See especially this evidence in the margins of the article, and this evidence, and this evidence, and the rest of the evidence.

The original article discusses “Senior Engineers” with Remington.  I’m particularly partial to this work title, and I am a registered professional engineer.  Are these folks registered as PEs with the state?  If not, why?  We are rightly concerned about roads, bridges and buildings, power plants and their proper design.  Why not guns, and why shouldn’t these engineers be registered?

If they are, has the issue of Remington and the apparent internal evidence ever come to light with the state board of registration?  Why would senior engineers ignore evidence of improper function of machines they designed and manufacture?  Did these engineers consider it malfeasance to ignore such evidence, and if they didn’t see it or didn’t know the evidence existed, why not?

We have many more questions than we have answers.  It has been this way for a very long time with Remington.

UPDATE: Readers should always read between the lines in my articles, but due to an e-mail exchange I should emphasize my wording above: “… it isn’t at all apparent that this recall is the same one that has caused Remington such problems in the past.”  What isn’t apparent is more prominent than what is apparent.  The explanation of “excess bonding agent” screams out for further explanation.  And I’m not sure that the explanation wouldn’t implicate other issues unrelated to “excess bonding agent.”

UPDATE #2: Thanks to Uncle for the link.  Also, Military Times has a related article.

Police Chief: Not Wanting To Talk To Police Officers Is Odd

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

TechDirt:

This insight into how police think the public should interact with them is certainly enlightening. (via this tweet and Amy Alkon’s Advice Goddess blog)

The backstory is this: a woman was walking down the street when a motorcycle cop approached her, asked her if she lived in the area and if she would talk to him. She says his approach made her feel uncomfortable, so she refused and continued on her way.

“I thought that maybe he was flirting,” she said. “I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn’t really sure but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn’t anyone around.”

She says she was worried he might not even a real cop, so she refused to stop and began jogging away from him.

“He just crept along beside me on his motorcycle and he started saying, ‘Hey ma’am! I want to talk to you. Hey stop, ma’am! I want to talk to you.’ Then my anxiety rose even higher,” she said.

This was followed shortly thereafter by the cop dismounting, chasing her down, tackling her and placing her under arrest. The police chief claims this arrest was for “walking on the wrong side of the road,” (as well as “evading arrest” and “resisting arrest”) despite the fact that the woman wasn’t ultimately charged with anything.

Even if the preceding events could possibly be dismissed as hearsay, or something tainted by false impressions and emotions, there’s the police chief’s responses to questions about this interaction.

Whitehouse Police Chief Craig Shelton says this:

Shelton says by law you’re not required to stop and talk to an officer if there’s not a lawful reason for them to be stopping you.

But then he says this:

“Normally if a police officer pulls up, in my opinion, it’s awful odd for somebody just to take off and not want to speak to the police officer,” Shelton said.

Let’s rehearse this one more time for the uninitiated among us, even if the police chief is lying and knows it.

Do … not … ever … talk … to … the … police.  Ever.  Got it?  Good.

North Carolina Deputies Raid Wrong Home

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

Times-News Burlington:

The Burlington police officer who obtained a search warrant for the wrong house in a drug investigation was present when the warrant was executed, but wasn’t able to stop deputies before they entered the house, police officials said Tuesday.

Burlington Police Chief Jeffrey Smythe called into Talkline, a local morning radio show on AM station WBAG, on Tuesday to discuss the incident, which occurred April 4 at a Mebane house outside of the police department’s jurisdiction, thus requiring the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office to execute the warrant.

Though the Times-News previously tried to get information from police on where Officer R.D. Hebden, who obtained the warrant, was while deputies entered the wrong house, Smythe explained on the radio show that the officer was present but was in the last of four cars to pull up to the site.

Smythe said sheriff’s deputies had already entered the house, located at 3264 Maplewood Ave., before Hebden could inform the ACSO lieutenant overseeing the operation that he had put the wrong address on the warrant, but that the officer immediately did so.

On the show, Smythe admitted the Burlington Police Department accepts the blame for the error, and mentioned that he had already apologized multiple times to the two residents of the house.

“It was due to a mistake on our officer’s part,” said Assistant Chief Chris Verdeck. “We’ve repeatedly apologized for our mistake and are investigating it thoroughly, internally, to try to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

The Sheriff’s Office has maintained that its deputies acted properly, and followed normal procedure for entering a residence at the address listed on a search warrant — which included a team of nine deputies from the vice and special operations units who went inside the house with guns drawn, ordering the residents on the ground and handcuffing them, said Randy Jones, public information officer.

Jones said one of the deputies carried a shotgun, one carried an AR-15 assault rifle and the others carried handguns. He said deputies knocked on the back door and announced their presence multiple times, to no response, before ramming through the door.

Once inside, the residents were ordered to get down and were both handcuffed while deputies conducted a walkthrough to ensure no one else was inside. He said once the scene was secured, Lt. Brandon Wilkerson, of the sheriff’s office, began to question whether they were at the correct location and went out to confer with Hebden.

The mistake of address on the search warrant was a result of Hebden selecting the wrong parcel while using an Alamance County geographic information system, said Lt. Brian Long, of the Burlington Police Department.

“Entered the wrong home …,” “apologized …,” “no response …,” and so on the clinically worded prose goes.  But there is nothing clinical about this.  Nine law enforcement officers crushed in a door and pointed weapons at innocent victims, thus endangering their lives, all over a mistaken address.

As a sidebar comment, if one of my readers does something like this, you would get charged with assault, reckless endangerment and brandishing a weapon.  And properly so.  But my readers wouldn’t do this.  They would ensure proper muzzle discipline at all times when in possession of a weapon.

The solution isn’t more apologies or radio talk shows.  The solution is to find another way to obtain evidence in criminal investigations that doesn’t involve ramming doors in or pointing weapons at people.  Note to LEOs: I couldn’t care less if you lose some of your evidence.  Use your heads and find another way.

Harry Reid: “Something Will Happen” To Cliven Bundy

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

Communist Harry Reid:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says “something is going to happen” to get Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to stop letting his cattle graze on federal land.

“It’s obvious that you can’t just walk away from this. And we can speculate all we want to speculate to what’s going to happen next,” Reid told KSNV-TV. “But I don’t think it’s going to be tomorrow that something is going to happen, but something will happen. We are a nation of laws, not of men and women.”

Reid called militias staying at Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch “domestic violent terrorist-wannabes.

What Reid didn’t tell you is that he is gaming the system to line his own pockets and those of his son, Rory Reid, who is also a communist.  They want their crony who now heads the BLM to forcibly evict Bundy so they can use the land to spend stimulus money on Chinese communist “green” projects.  Reid didn’t exactly say that, did he?

No, because he is liar.  He comes across as a sniveling, pitiful, effete little worm.  In reality, he is an evil, rotten, despicable, loathsome, horrible, terrible, thieving, conniving, scheming, scurrilous, vulgar, opprobrious, offensive, dreadful monster and criminal who has hardened his soul so that he is no longer moved by differences between right and wrong.

There is only him.  Such is the final state of the wicked man.  And I do not believe that he is a product of the state, but rather, that the state we now live in is a function and product of men like him.

Trying To Find Your Dope In Combat

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

It was recently the anniversary of the fighting in al Najaf, and Travis Haley does an after action report on his engagement (the only one I think I’ve seen from him on this epic fire fight).  Take note of what he says: “Trying to find your dope in combat” is the last thing you want to do.  Practice, know your weapon, know yourself, and practice some more.

The Admixture Of Military And Law Enforcement

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 11 months ago

My son Daniel did a combat tour of Fallujah in 2007, but his other deployment with the Marine Corps was a MEU to the Gulf of Aden and Persian Gulf (which both he and I think is a horrible way to throw away money if we’re never going to use the Marine Corps for anything on these MEUs except for humanitarian missions – but that’s another topic).

As the pre-deployment workup for this MEU, the Battalion underwent extensive training in evidence collection protocol and procedures.  At the time I dismissed this as an aberration and thought no more of it.  Then the Washington Post recently had this article, and it made me think again.

When U.S. Special Operations forces raided several houses in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in March 2006, two Army Rangers were killed when gunfire erupted on the ground floor of one home. A third member of the team was knocked unconscious and shredded by ball bearings when a teenage insurgent detonated a suicide vest.

In a review of the nighttime strike for a relative of one of the dead Rangers, military officials sketched out the sequence of events using small dots to chart the soldiers’ movements. Who, the relative asked, was this man — the one represented by a blue dot and nearly killed by the suicide bomber?

After some hesi­ta­tion, the military briefers answered with three letters: FBI.

The FBI’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency to a counterterrorism organization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been well documented. Less widely known has been the bureau’s role in secret operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other locations around the world.

With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States. The bureau’s agents, in turn, could preserve evidence and maintain a chain of custody should any suspect be transferred to the United States for trial.

[ … ]

… FBI agents were regularly involved in shootings — sometimes fighting side by side with the military to hold off insurgent assaults.

“It wasn’t weekly but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see one a month,” he said. “It’s amazing that never happened, that we never lost anybody.”

Others considered it a natural evolution for the FBI — and one consistent with its mission.

[ … ]

In 2005, all of the HRT members in Iraq began to work under JSOC. At one point, up to 12 agents were operating in the country, nearly a tenth of the unit’s shooters.

It’s been routine to watch every little Podunk Hollow across America acquire MRAPs, and we’ve all seen the horrible result of the militarizaton of police in America with SWAT raids.  With former military snipers going to work for federal law enforcement agencies and former military in general finding work with law enforcement across America (which both Daniel and I think is a horrible idea), there may as well never have been a law such as the Posse Comitatus Act.  We have virtual military enforcing law and warring against citizens of America as we speak.

But this level of admixture is a new feature (to those of us who weren’t part of JSOC).  The professional military has welcomed both law enforcement officers and law enforcement protocol and procedures into its ranks.

The implications of this are perhaps enormous.  Quiet Man at WRSA points out that there are formal Army field manuals and doctrine and training documents for site exploitation, and remarks that “virtually everything they do will be ‘”joint” in the agency sense.”  Yes, and in the intra-agency sense as well.  The military is looking more like law enforcement, and law enforcement is looking more like the military.  For those who have been watching, this is likely not accidental, and is an evolution that is at one and the same time both immoral and lawless.  This admixture of law enforcement and military is probably irreversible and this fact will prove to be determinative as a catalyst in coming events.


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