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]

The World’s Top Ten Special Operations Units

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Gazette Review has a very interesting article on what someone believes to be the world’s top ten special operations units (the article is titled special forces, but they got that part wrong).

I think that inclusion of Quds Force is insulting and laughable, and they are more of a gang or group of thugs.  Not surprisingly, SEALs top the list and the world’s best, with SAS coming in at number two and Delta Force at third place.  This is a little surprising, and I’ve always thought of Delta as being the world’s best, and I’ve also always been under the impression that Delta is entirely a tier 1 group whereas SEALs is made up of tier 1 plus others who aren’t relied upon as much as, say, SEAL Team Six.  I also may be somewhat jaded in my evaluation given the horrible arrogance, inappropriate tactics, lack of control and lack of proper planning that attended Operation Red Wings.

Then there is this paragraph.

First officially denied to have ever existed, and then the subject of countless books, movies and video games, Delta Force is now among the most recognized special forces units in the world. Despite having few officially recognized missions available for mention, Delta’s training regimen alone is enough to warrant their high placement on this list. First, nearly 70% of the recruits for Delta are experienced Rangers of the famed 75th regiment, whose training is equivalent to many of the premier special forces units in the world. Then once selected, recruits are put through a 6 month training and testing period which includes schooling from the FBI, FAA, CIA, and Secret Service. Much like their Israeli counter parts who were previously mentioned in this list, both on and off duty, Delta members lack any insignia and often do not even wear standard issue military uniforms; Likewise military style hair and facial grooming is not required. With their high level of training and low profile, operators from this unit have been seen in Afghanistan hunting Taliban members, helping Peshmerga forces in Syria fight off ISIS forces and assisting in evacuation, and even in 2016, aiding in the tracking and capture of the Mexican Cartel lord, El Chapo.

True enough, Delta has been known to send its members into countries almost in spying assignments to scout out enemies, evaluate tactics, plan operations and conduct a whole host of activities (sometimes in concert with the CIA and sometimes even with females in order to aid concealment and role playing).

But I find it odd that they are trained by the Secret Service unless it applies to protection of dignitaries (what can the secret service teach them except to party, shirk their duties and bed down with whores?).  I would think the list would have focused more on training in CQB, covert insertion and extraction, combat diver training, weapons training, communications and medical training, and dark operations.

But what do I know?

Massachusetts House Speaker Claims Courts Will Settle Issue Of Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Boston Herald:

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he expects the dispute over Attorney General Maura Healey’s crackdown on so-called copycat assault weapons to ultimately be decided in court.

DeLeo on Saturday ruled out any House action on the gun issue as lawmakers held their final formal sessions of the year.

The Democratic speaker also said Rep. John Fernandes, a Milford Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Healey asking her to clarify under what authority she acted when she recently sent an enforcement letter to gun dealers.

Gun rights advocates have challenged Healey’s crackdown. The Democrat says the sale of “copy” or “duplicate” weapons are illegal under the state’s assault weapons ban.

DeLeo says he’s not sure if Healey overstepped her authority and expects the courts to decide.

The House could impeach her, or they could pass a law that fired her, or they could clarify that she cannot implement the law as she plans, or better yet, they could repeal all guns laws and prove themselves on the side of liberty.  They could even pass a resolution demanding that she be tarred and feathered.

But any of these things apparently take too much courage.  John Adams famously observed that the American constitution “was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  You can add to that leading the American system requires at least a modicum of courage.

That the speaker of the house would defer to the courts is disgraceful and cowardly.  It is things like this that will ultimately end the great American experiment.

How Often Do You Clean Your Guns?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

See:

Why you shouldn’t clean your rifle bore before a hunt

How often do you clean your guns?

I have difficulty believing that a dirty rifle barrel produces any significant gain in accuracy, and I would love to hear what some precision shooters have to say about this.  What is your experience?

 

Law Enforcement Complaining About Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

News from Texas:

As the 2017 legislative session approaches, some in law enforcement are asking lawmakers to revise the open carry law.

During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers approved the open carrying of handguns by licensed Texans. As the 2017 session approaches, some in law enforcement are asking those lawmakers to revise the current law.

After the ambush in Dallas, their police chief, David Brown, mentioned that open carry complicated things at the scene of the shooting. He says law enforcement had a difficult time figuring out who was exercising their right to openly carry, and who may be a criminal. The executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas says they won’t push for a repeal of the law, but will make suggestions for changes to help law enforcement.

Brazos County Chief Deputy Jim Stewart says he supports revisions to the open carry law.

“The open carry is focused more on pistols, and in my personal experience, I’ve seen one person since the law went into effect openly carrying a pistol. I think these folks with the long guns, with rifles slung over their shoulders, that is of concern of me,” said Stewart. “That’s not covered under open carry. They’ve been able to do that for years, but particularly as we experienced in Dallas where the shooter was shooting with a long gun, how are they to know who the shooter actually was when you have so many people going around with long guns?”

Here’s a hint for you.  The bad guys are the ones shooting at you.  As a matter of fact, your officers went to the sound of the shooting without regard for tactical advantage.  That’s partly why so many perished.  The fact that some guy was seen in a picture openly carrying a long gun was investigated by other people, not the ones who responded to the shooter.  Your officers were pinned down, and a picture of someone carrying a rifle was the last thing on their minds.

You’re lying about this.  And that annoys me.

Judge Barbara Bellis “Willing” To Seal Some Remington Arms Company Documents

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

News from Connecticut:

BRIDGEPORT – The maker of the type of gun used at Sandy Hook and several other mass shootings won a partial victory in a Bridgeport courtroom Thursday.

The hearing is part of a lawsuit that several Sandy Hook families brought against Remington Arms.

Remington Arms is fighting to keep certain company documents related to the marketing of the AR-15 rifle secret.

The judge in the case said Thursday that she is willing to seal at least some of the documents from the public to protect the company’s business interests.

Sandy Hook family members believe certain internal marketing strategies will prove AR-15 makers are negligently selling military-style weapons to civilians.

If they win, it could open gunmakers up to hundreds of wrongful-deaths all over the country.

You’re “willing,” are you?  Thy will be done, Barbara?  Here’s what else you should be willing to do.  Go to your supervising judge, turn in your robe, go before the media, and tell the world that because you are a loathsome political hack and a toad who cares nothing about the law, you are resigning your position and beg mercy from the people you abused in your station.

Can we count on your being “willing” to do that, Barbara?

Prior:

Sandy Hook Families Call Remington Repugnant In Court Documents

Judge Barbara Bellis Says Sandy Hook Families’ Lawsuit Against Remington Goes Forward

Update On Sandy Hook Families’ Lawsuit Of Remington

Discovery In The Sandy Hook Families Versus Remington Case

So After Six Months Of Legalized Open Carry In Texas, Is Blood Running In The Streets?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

KAGSTV.com:

In the first panicked hours following the ambush on Dallas police officers, the department released a photo of a man carrying a long gun as a person of interest.

But he was the wrong guy—and one who never broke any laws by carrying that gun.

“I also don’t fault Dallas police for immediately listing that person as a person of interest,” said Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers Union. “Just like anybody else that had guns on the scene, they would be considered persons of interest. That’s just called clues in police work.”

The worklist for police has gotten longer as more people will be sporting pistols and handguns through the state’s open carry law, which took effect this year. And at any scene, it may require more resources.

“It may take another officer to be there to watch that person to make sure that person is not part of the problem,” Hunt said.

But the Houston Police Officers Union is more concerned about the public.

“The number of people who were gonna be calling, because they’re not used to seeing that,” Hunt said.

So far, it hasn’t seemed too problematic.

Since January, the Houston Police Department says out of the tens of thousands of calls a month, only 62 were weapon related.

And out of those, only 19 were actual open-carry situations.

Considering the shootings we have seen around the country, it’s possible people are hypersensitive to weapons. So for now, police can only hope that dispatchers will determine how serious the threat is.

“If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

So I reckon the sky isn’t falling and the bodies aren’t stacking up in the morgue because of open carry.  So much for the hyper-dramatic hysteria by the gun controllers.

But on to something the article said about LEO interactions.  “If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

You … have … got … to … be … kidding … me?  Is the Houston police department really doing this?  Seriously?  Previously I had said this about the practice of LEOs unholstering weapons from innocent citizens.

If you’re a LEO and you actually touch another man’s gun in the process of a stop, or you have a partner touch his gun, much less unholster it, “secure” it or anything else you think you are doing to it, let me be as clear as I can be.  You … are … an … idiot.  If your procedures have you doing this, then your procedures were written by idiots.  You can tell them I said so and send them this article.

You have no business risking NDs or taking possession of property that isn’t yours, even temporarily, and especially since you don’t know of modifications that may have been made to the firearm that would make it unfamiliar to you.

Don’t do it.  Just say no.  I wouldn’t walk up and presume to take possession of another man’s gun at a range or while in his home.  You have no business doing that either.  It’s weird, creepy, and unsafe.

It makes no one safer, and it makes everyone less safe.  So in light of this, I have two questions for the Houston PD.

  1. What basis in law gives you the authority to touch another man’s weapon if he isn’t being charged with any crime?
  2. Given that there is a step change downward in safety if you touch another man’s weapon like this, why do your procedures have your officers doing such a stupid thing?

Submitted.

Matt Bracken On Orlando Gun Carry

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 2 months ago

Matt Bracken’s article at WRSA or Ammoland is well worth your time.  In order to understand what I’m saying about it, you need to go read it.

For non-permissive environments, Matt has given a good option.  If it appears at the outset a bit absurd, consider why we have to do things like this to begin with.  This is why I prefer legal open carry.  Concealed carry means almost by definition that your weapon will be a “smallish” to medium frame gun.  With open carry it can be larger.  Additionally, you don’t have to bother with things like sweating your weapon in the summer, or the lack of comfort associated with IWB or ankle carry.

I personally wouldn’t engage in the OWB/concealed carry suggestion he advocates with improvised holsters, but if that works for you and you prefer it, then by all means do it.  I like much better the use of sacks, satchels, bags, and small backpacks for carry of a larger sidearm along with ammunition.  I also see a tactical light in his kit.  I never go on a road trip without one, and sometimes won’t even go down to the grocery store without one.

Semi-Automatic Versus Bolt Action For Precision Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

The Precision Rifle Blog has a very interesting piece up on semi-automatics (in this case, AR style rifles) versus bolt action rifles for precision shooting.  It is noteworthy that, according to PRB, “there isn’t a single shooter among the top 100 competitors in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) using a semi-automatic rifle. Why not? Even though speed, maneuverability, and recoil management are huge parts to that game, the best shooters are all running bolt-action rifles. Some believe that is because AR’s can’t achieve the same precision as bolt guns, so the goal of this test was to quantify the precision difference between a couple of high-end gas guns and a custom bolt-action rifle.”

But they put all of this to the test by comparing bolties and ARs in a side-by-side competition.  It’s worth your time to go investigate his findings.  He uses the 6.5 Creedmoor for his test, and I’ll comment on this in a moment.  It’s also noteworthy that the group sizes look like this.

6_5-Creedmoor-AR-Groups-Size

Now let me speak for a moment on testing for MOA.  Barrel harmonics and its effect on bullet placement is a heuristic process.  It will follow the Central Limit Theorem.  If you shoot three or five shots and claim that your MOA is thus-and-so, you haven’t really given us useful information because you don’t have fractional standard deviation (relative error) and variance of the variance (VOV) information along with the test data for us to ascertain how good it is (and it won’t be good with such few shots).  Understand what I’m saying.  The more rounds you put down range, the more you will fill in the tails of the distribution and the wider your MOA will be (or at least, you will be able to give us your MOA with its associated standard deviation).  There is no such thing as MOA.  There is only MOA with its associated standard deviation.

This is a pet peeve of mine, but when anyone – shooters or manufacturer – tells you that a gun is 1 MOA “out of the box,” they aren’t really telling you anything about how many rounds they used to make this judgment.  But moving on from this, I’ll note that the high-end ARs are performing very well.

There is another point to be made.  I’ll turn to WeaponsMan for his observations.

Money spent on accuracy not used is money wasted. In economic terms, it’s an opportunity cost. 100%, to a first approximation, of shooters, would improve their lethality and therefore their safety in an armed encounter if they put those dollars into ammo, or, especially, training. Yet the guy who balks at taking a pistol class (unless maybe he can take it from a high-speed “operator” who wears designer Multicam down to his skivvies) will drop that money on a tuned 1911. Who are you going to shoot with that 1911? If you’re the late Paul Poole, you shot F-type silhouettes at 100 yards to get people’s attention; if you’re a ranked competitor, you might need that edge when X-rings decide who takes home the trophy. But who are you going to plug with a .45? A burglar in your bedroom? A carjacker in the pax seat of your Prius?

The waste of excessive accuracy is not the only problem with high-precision weaponry. Yes, precision costs money — any gunsmith, machinist, hell, any biologist sequencing a bacterial genome will tell you that. Costs rise asymptotically as you approach the goal of perfection.  And yes, all this is bad. Because money is fungible, at the defense ministry or service finance level, a dollar spent on excess accuracy is a dollar than can’t buy training ammo, tank fuel, medical supplies or new radios (or anything else).

But the things that make for optimum accuracy alone may not be suitable for a general purpose weapon. Have you ever wondered why all M1 Garands or M14s weren’t National Match rifles? It’s not just because Uncle Same Numba Ten Cheap Charlie. It’s because some of the NM “improvements” are only improvements for the express purpose of match competition. Tighter parts fit? Hand-lapped locking lugs? A “blueprinted” or tight chamber? A smaller rear-sight aperture? All of these things are wonderful when your target is a bullseye at 500 yards, but they’re no help when your target’s the 10,000 screaming Norks or Chinamen who are coming to take your position or die trying. Indeed, since history tells us that you’ll be facing that human wave in bitter cold, blowing sleet, enervating heat or jungle monsoons, accuracy for a service rifle is defined as practical accuracy that a real-world rifleman (who is not NRA Distinguished or the owner of a Presidents Hundred tab) can employ in real-world combat.

Engineers have a saying for this. “The best is the enemy of the good.” Excess performance over practical specs has uncertain benefits but very real costs.

Yea, engineers have another saying too.  Good, fast and cheap.  Choose any two.  I have chosen the middle of the road.  Rock River Arms has a nice competition grade rifle (5.56) with an 18″ stainless steel barrel, sleek barrel shroud and muzzle brake, and it’s not cheap, but it also isn’t top of the line expensive.  It’s advertised as 0.75 MOA, and it’s obviously designed for 3-gun competition (as well as some distance shooting competitions).  I have one on order as a complement to my RRA 16″ barrel carbine with rails.

Folks, 0.75 MOA challenges the best that most bolt action rifles can do.  This is true of 5.56 mm, and I see that the 6.5 Creedmoor bolt actions are similarly challenged by AR designs.  I’m not sure that the same can be said of 7.62/.308.  In fact if you read the forums on the AR-10, commenters are rather down on the lack of similar design features / lack of modularity, breaking parts, higher expense to get the accuracy, and other things.  It may be that accomplishing this kind of accuracy with .308 in semi-automatic invokes the observations about too much expense to get the accuracy.

And 0.75 MOA challenges what I can do with a rifle as well.  Other manufacturers have similar designs for 3-gun and target competition with ARs (they usually involve 18″ SS barrels and a muzzle brake).  It’s good to see manufacturers closing the gap between semi-automatics and bolt actions on the smaller calibers, but I’m not sure that I expect for this progress to hold for the larger calibers.

North Carolina Teen Uses Rifle To Scare Off Three Intruders

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

WNCN.com:

SNOW CAMP, N.C. (WMFY) — A teenage girl is credited for scaring off intruders at her parents’ home with a rifle.

It happened on Lambe Road in Snow Camp around 12 p.m. Thursday.

Kirk Puckett, a spokesperson for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, said two sisters, 12 and 13, were inside the home when they heard knocking on the front door.

Puckett said when they looked outside, they saw three unfamiliar men. He said the older sister grabbed her dad’s rifle.

The suspects then broke in through the back door. Puckett said the 13-year-old pointed the rifle at them, causing them to run away without taking anything.

[ … ]

“There’s a school of thought where folks will say, ‘I’m armed, and if someone comes in my house someone is going to get shot or die,’” Puckett said. “There’s the other school of thought to retreat. Where someone would retreat out of another exit. Go into another room and barricade themselves.”

Wait!  This is impossible.  It doesn’t fit the narrative.  According to the progressives, she should have shot herself because guns are more dangerous to the person wielding them than to the person at the end of the barrel.  And she should have just waited around to be raped or killed.  According to the progressives.

As for whether a person flees or fights, if you’re not in a confined space and have means of egress, evasion and escape, then it might pay to retreat (of course, while maintaining situational awareness), especially if you’re not in your own home.  But the notion that one should just go hide in a closet or try to jump out of a window is profoundly bad counsel.  Criminals can close the gap very quickly, and you just might hear that knock at the door to the closet, or jump into the arms of a rapist or murderer.

Get guns.  Learn how to use them.  This teenage girl managed to do just fine.  And I don’t want to hear another damn word about how people who haven’t been trained in all of that LEO super-ninja stress control can’t defend themselves.

“If you say shit like that, people will buy into it!”

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 3 months ago

Via Uncle.


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