Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category

Wasserman Schultz Presses Her Ammunition Control Bill

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 3 hours ago

Messages from the viper pit.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives continues its push to pass their entire legislative agenda ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

It’s fair to say that Democrats are trying to pass as much legislation they know congressional Republicans will vote against, and President Trump won’t sign.

The political play is a safe bet considering that Democrats could very well lose their control of the House, and as Trump looks like he will win re-election.

[ … ]

The “Jamie’s Law,” which calls for universal background check for individuals looking to purchase ammunition, was named in honor of Jamie Guttenberg who was on of 17 students and teachers killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

First of all, I doubt the democrats will lose control of the House.  Second, I’m not so sure of what a republican Senate will do, and third, I’m not so sure as the author about what Trump will do.

But one safe bet is that sooner or later the democrats will be back in control of the House and the White House, and at that point the dam will break and let loose a flood of gun control bills.  Ammunition control will be among the larger set of gun control bills.

Because after all, a gun is no good without ammunition.  The democrats have said they’re going after ammunition, and we should all believe them.  In this case they’re actually not lying for a change.


Understanding The Spending Habits Of Ammunition Buyers

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks ago

Duncan Johnson at Ammoland.

While only a third of active ammunition consumers report spending less than they did three years ago, the difference is in the size of their purchases. On average, those who report spending less have reduced their annual purchases (in dollars) by 38%, while those who report buying more are buying only 23% more. When combined, the net effect of the two groups translates into a roughly 2% decline in overall retail ammunition sales. The differences between manufacturers’ reported declines and the numbers reported here can be attributed to this survey’s orientation towards more avid spenders and retailers’ inventories which affect the volume of orders received by manufacturers.

Over the past five years, stockpilers, or those who set aside 20% or more of their ammunition purchases for future use, account for 44% of all ammunition purchasers. Reasons given for storing ammunition include:

  1. Uncertainty about future supplies, 69%

  2. Uncertainty about the political climate, 64%

  3. To save money, 57%

  4. Uncertainty about future economic conditions and income, 54%

  5. To save time, 39%

  6. Other, 8%

I don’t believe this is very complicated.  I expect sales to pick up in about a year or little less as the election draws near.  Then it will go berserk right after the election or slow back down for another four years – depending upon the results of the election – at which point it will go gangbusters again, never to slow down until made illegal.

This is just a temporary lull.

Bullet Pressure Wave Effects On Incapacitation Time

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Reader =BCE56= links Ballistic Pressure Wave Contributions To Rapid Incapacitation In The Strasbourg Goat Tests.

Chamberlin observed damage remote from the wound channel he ascribed to the hydraulic reaction of body fluids [CHA66]. Tikka et al. showed that ballistic pressure waves originating in the thigh reach the abdomen. Wounding and delayed recovery of peripheral nerves have been reported [LDL45, PGM46]. Pressure waves cause compound action potentials in peripheral nerves [WES82], and ballistic pressure waves have been shown capable of breaking bones [MYR88].

This shows that, all other factors being equal, bullets that produce pressure waves of greater magnitude incapacitate more rapidly than bullets that produce smaller pressure waves. The Strasbourg test data convincingly supports the pressure wave hypothesis and allows (perhaps for the first time) the fast response time to be modeled as a function of peak pressure wave magnitude.

[ … ]

The trend in bullet design over the last decade has drifted toward bullets with little fragmentation and a higher percentage of retained mass. Bullets that both fragment and meet minimum penetration requirements create larger pressure wave magnitudes and offer improved incapacitation potential.

There is much more at the link.  I find it especially interesting that the authors use a 4*pi()*r^2 model for pressure wave solid angle (as with sound, light and radiation, unattenuated [or scattered] and unreflected).  The pressure wave isn’t forward peaked.

I often claim I have the best readers on the internet.  I really mean it.  This is a good example of that.

And this analysis goes to the heart of the design of the 5.56mm round, which is to induce a pressure wave due to high velocity (KE = 1/2 * m * v^2) and then fragment into shrapnel with multiple wound tracks.

Thanks to reader =BCE56= for that great read.

Bizarre Cartridge Complaint

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Remus notes something he calls astonishing.

I’ve seen a lot of pistol shootings, much more than US police would ever see, and much more than experienced by most medics deploying solely with US personnel. And yet, I have zero, not one single experience, where a single gunshot wound from a 9X19 NATO round killed someone prior to them being able to return fire or flee. This includes people shot in the chest, back, back of the head (one hit behind the left ear) the neck and the face. None…

Unfortunately, the same goes for the 5.56 NATO round. I have yet to witness a single shot quick kill with this round… On the flip side, having a patient who was shot by a 7.62X51 NATO or larger round was a rarity. Dead people aren’t patients, they are a supply issue.

That isn’t so much astonishing as it is just bizarre to me.  First of all, I dislike it when someone begins their post with bona fides.  The data is the data, the analysis is the analysis, regardless of your bona fides.

But then the claim makes no sense.  My youngest son had absolutely no complaints about his weaponry when he deployed to Iraq, not did he when he came home.  He was quite pleased with the lethality of the 5.56mm round in CQB and urban combat (MOUT).  He used both his SAW and an M4, and actually both during room clearing operations.

Then there is the issue of what we know about the lethality of the round even at distance.  Everyone recalls the video that made Travis Haley famous, and it’s worth watching again just to demonstrate that in the hands of a competent individual, the round can be lethal out to 600 yards or beyond.

Then there is this picture of an insurgent who was shot with a 5.56m round in Afghanistan at 200 meters.

You think he was able to mount a counterattack?

One final video demonstrates what the 5.56mm round is capable of in the hands of a qualified marksman.

Bullet Tractability And Barrel Twist Rate

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Wirecutter has this video up on barrel twist rate.  Go to his place to see it.

I don’t think the author of the video understands the basic concept and what’s going on here.  This is a screen shot of the video I linked on barrel twist rate.

Bullet tractability is the degree to which the nose of the bullet follows the trajectory.  In the screen shot above, it doesn’t.  This can indeed happen if the bullet is overstabilized, something we concluded in our assessment of this.

In the video (screen shot above) it is explained that this doesn’t usually happen at closer distances, but rather towards the end of the flight path.  In the case of the 5.56mm flight path, we’re looking at around 500 yards effective distance.

The author of the video Wirecutter gave us is shooting at 100 yards.  Basically, I’m saying he has proven nothing at all.  He’s a decent shot, but he hasn’t tested what he thinks he has tested.

And by the way, the twist rate, if you’ll remember, of 1:7 was meant to stabilize the tracer round.  But most twist rates for common ammunition should be fine.  The testing conducted by the Army on both older and newer 5.56mm ammunition involved 1:8 accurized barrels.

Prior: AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rates

Why Ballistics Gel Works And Caliber Arguments Are Dumb

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Via BRVTVS, this is an interesting video.

I have to say that I do have one problem with it.  Mr. Johann Boden speaks as if the only important factor in the high velocity from rifle ammunition (and here he’s speaking of the 5.56mm AR, which is an important distinction in the conversation) is the hydrostatic shock from velocities greater than 2200 FPS.

That simply isn’t so.  We’ve learned over the years that the tendency to tumble and yaw (even in flight, but especially in tissue) and break apart into multiple pieces is one of the defining characteristics of the lethality of the ammunition, in no small part yielding its massive success on the battlefield.

As we’ve discussed before, see Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 Performance in Close Quarters Battle.

JHP Or FMJ: What For Self Defense?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

This is an interesting commentary on whether to use JHP or FMJ for personal defense.  It’s situation-dependent, but this memorable quote sticks out.

With these factors in mind, hollow points, with their limited capacity for penetration and greater chance of performing in a way that will stop the attacker with fewer shots, start to sound attractive. When one remembers “there’s a lawyer attached to every round you fire,” and the greater possibility of FMJ rounds traveling through the target and beyond, HP sounds like the more responsible choice.

He also mentions the Lucky Gunner gel testing, which I think is still the go-to spot for data.  Then there is this article from Shooting Illustrated.

I call those who live in this world “Jell-O junkies.” They’re folks who believe that ordnance gelatin holds all the answers. Hell, the FBI has all but said so. At one time I was a card-carrying member of this fraternity, and I, like many who still are, was of the opinion that reliable predictions about incapacitation could be made by looking through those urine-colored blocks of squishiness.

[ … ]

Gelatin testing and the results from it are only tools to be used. If you consider either anything more than an indication of terminal performance or lethality potential, you might be a Jell-O junkie—Don’t be a Jell-O junkie.

Whatever.  Thanks for an uninteresting waste of my time.  I learned nothing from your article except that you want to be smarter than everyone else.  The most informative data comes from one of the comments.

Cartridge; Percentage of stops; Ratio of stops
.32 ACP—65%—–11 out of 17
.380 ACP—–70%—–83 out of 119
9mm—–83%—–224 out of 271
9mm +P—–88%—–170 out of 193
.357 SIG —–94%—–45 out of 48
.40 S&W—–94%—–292 out of 311
.45 ACP—–96%—–142 out of 148
10mm—–too new to include but said to approach 100%

By Evan Marshall

I haven’t read it and cannot vouch for the information.  I do know this.  I carried FMJ when I was in bear country, and I usually carry JHP when I’m around the threats of the two-legged kind.  If I don’t happen to have .45 JHP in my guns at the time and have FMJ (let’s say I’ve been to the range recently), I don’t sweat it.

John Basilone said it was okay.  I trust him more than I do Shooting Illustrated.

300 Blackout Q&A

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Glomming off of Wirecutter’s hard work (WiscoDave sent this our way), here is a very good video of 300 BO Q&A by someone who sounds like an experienced practitioner.  I don’t shoot 300 BO, but if I wanted to start, I’d begin with his video.

Popular Progressive Talking Point: Background Checks For Ammunition Purchases

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

From a reader, news from Virginia.

On March 9, a surveillance camera captured four people walking into a gun store and buying bullets.

Though one of the men in the group was ineligible to buy a gun — and had been previously convicted of making a false statement on a firearm consent form — he made the purchase without a hitch.

Police took the video footage from the gun store in the course of investigating a homicide, according to search warrants filed in Danville Circuit Court.

Days after seeing the video, police found the man riding in a Buick with a Glock 45 tucked under his seat — a round in the chamber — and a magazine on him. Court records show police arrested and charged him with possessing a gun as a non-violent felon, carrying a concealed weapon and felonious possession of ammunition.

Though federal and state laws prohibited him from possessing ammo, there were no background checks required to buy it, as there are when purchasing a gun at a store.

In fact there is no background-check infrastructure in the state to stop a felon from purchasing ammo, Virginia State Police public relations manager Corinne Geller said.

The state police handles background checks for firearms purchases, referring applications to the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center in Richmond. The center combs through four state databases and one national database maintained by the FBI to check a buyer’s criminal history, mental health history, protective orders and other disqualifying factors when they go to buy a gun.

But a felon buying ammunition, she noted, does not raise any flags.

Lori Haas, Virginia state director for Washington, D.C.-based The Coalition and Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, said that background checks are valuable tools to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. Exempting ammo from background checks, she said, does not make horse-sense; why buy ammunition if not to use in a gun.

But of course.  Instead of reversing the unconstitutional gun sales background checks, since they don’t stop crime, just expand it to ammunition as well.  When a process fails, double-down on it, the progressive way.

They are eventually going to implement a new AWB, and they will eventually come after ammunition too.  Without ammunition, a gun is a paperweight.  Get it now while you can.  Otherwise, red flag laws may sweep you into their net.

By the way, I fear that the good folks of Virginia are going to fall victim to the progressives in Northern Virginia, just as North Carolina has to Mecklenburg and Wake Counties.

300 Blackout Versus 7.62×39

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Nothing particularly appeals to me about either cartridge, but if you’re into one or the other, or both, it would seem that the sweet spot is 110-gr BO, with the best accuracy coupled with about the highest muzzle velocity.

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