Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category



The Fast Twist 22 Creedmoor

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 9 hours ago

Continuing with the conversation we were having a few days ago on new cartridges that answer questions nobody has asked, this new cartridge may be the next in line to fail.

Nosler was the first company to launch a new super .22 with the release of the 22 Nosler. It boasted “close to .22-250 velocities” in a short case that could fit into a standard AR magazine. This cartridge was soon followed by Federal’s release of the .224 Valkyrie, which took on a bit of a different appeal. You see, the 22 Nosler was designed as a super-fast varmint caliber with 1-in-8-inch twist or 1-in-10-inch twist barrels offered to stabilize bullets closer to those of the .22-250. This provides a distinct advantage over the 5.56 with similar weight bullets. The Valkyrie addressed more of the long-range interest with its attempt to push 70-90 grain bullets past 2,800 fps.

These velocities are respectable, especially considering that neither has an overall length of more than the standard .223 Remington. There will be many who point out that the .220 Swift was the original king of small-bore magnums, but it really needed a fast twist barrel and long action to make it shine. We have finally seen the shooting sports embrace long, heavy-for-caliber bullets. It has been long awaited, but as I am writing this, Hornady Manufacturing is pushing to get yet another super-cartridge through the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute process, just as the sport has been chasing smaller, lighter calibers to perform further down range.

The 22 Creedmoor is the newest of the overbore magnums to hit the market. With the capacity of the now famous 6.5 Creedmoor, the 22 Creedmoor is just a necked down variation on the same cartridge. So, what can it do that the others can’t? To be honest, it is not that much different than, say, the .22-243 or the .22-250 AI, but what all but a few custom builds have lacked, the 22 Creedmoor has embraced. It was never designed to shoot lightweight bullets at 4,000 fps. Though it will do that easily, the 22 Creedmoor was built with long, heavy .224 bullets in mind. The 22 Creedmoor will come standard with a 1-in-7-inch fast-twist barrel, and combined with the increased volume inside its case, you can push those long pills over at 3,450 feet per second! This is a distinct step up in performance.

Oh, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just the ticket if you want the rifling blown out of your barrel.  I don’t see this as stiff competition for the 224 Valkyrie, but who knows?

Are Great Deer Rifles Fading Into History?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Opinion by Rick Windham:

I have picked up several classic rifles at gun shows. They are rifles I read about as I grew up dreaming of big game hunts. They are chambered in calibers that may not be totally forgotten, but they are off the radar of most younger hunters. For example, I was in an antelope camp a couple of years ago and there was a younger hunter (early 30s) in the group. Most of the other rifles in camp were calibers like .243, .308, 7mm Mag, but I had a .264 Winchester Magnum. The guy looked over my rifle and made all the appropriate comments on its looks and feel, but as he handed it back to me he said. “A .264 Win Mag, huh? Never heard of that caliber.”

It caused me to think about the other proven cartridges that may be fading into history. There is nothing wrong with them, it is just that they are not the cartridges hunters read about in today’s gun magazines.

I first thought about the .270 Winchester. Jack O’Conner, one of the most famous gun writers for Outdoor Life Magazine, constantly wrote about the .270 and the hunts he had with it. He made the .270 famous. Ask someone you know who owns/shoots a .270 why they chose this cartridge. I bet a lot of them with mention Jack O’Conner — but he died 41 years ago. A couple of generations of shooters have grown up without O’Conner and his writings and the .270 is fading away.

There are other calibers that are fading into history. Calibers like the Savage .250-3000, the .257 Roberts, 7×57 Mauser, 8×57 Mauser, .35 Whelen and to some extent the .30-06 Springfield. Most of these calibers are just overshadowed by marketing and the hype surrounding newer calibers like the .224 Valkyrie, 6.5 PRC, .338 Federal or the .350 Legend — to name a few.

The .25-06 is another fine cartridge that fits into this discussion and the category of almost forgotten deer rifles. I look for rifles like this for two reasons: I don’t want them to become the has-beens of hunting traditions and because they are not highly sought after, you can find some really good deals.

Read the whole thing.  I have several thoughts in response.

First of all, I really love the .270 Winchester, and I don’t really think it’ll ever go out of style for bolt action rifles.  It’s fast, powerful, and flat-shooting.  It’s also got a fairly stiff kick given that it’s a necked-down 30-06 cartridge.  But given that it isn’t a plinking gun, that’s not really a problem.  It’s readily available just about everywhere.

But it’s a long-action cartridge, so it won’t readily fit into a semi-automatic rifle without re-engineering.  I think part of his objection may be that many of the firearms in use for hunting now are semi-automatic guns and thus use more short-action cartridges.  If he simply prefers long action cartridges, then good.  But if his objection is merely that guys shouldn’t be using semi-automatics for hunting, I disagree and he needs to bring his views in line with current thinking.

Besides, I don’t really think that bolt action rifles are going out of style.  Long range precision shooting is growing as a sport, and a whole host of very nice guns (and new cartridges to go along) have been engineered for that purpose.

But I grok where he’s going with the proliferation of cartridges.  The 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t good enough – we need a 6.5 PRC too.  And the 300 Win Mag isn’t good enough – we need 300 PRC too.  Maybe we do, for very specific applications, but I’ll likely never push my cartridges to that extreme.

Sin Tax On Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

In Connecticut:

A Connecticut state representative is proposing a 50-percent tax increase on ammunition, breaking new ground in the gun control debate.

Freshman Democratic Rep. Jillian Gilchrest from Hartford introduced House Bill (HB) 5700, which would enshrine the tax into state law, in late January. A companion bill has been introduced in the state Senate by Democrat Will Haskell, who recently became the youngest Senator in state history at the age of 22.

[ … ]

“Currently ammunition is taxed at the same rate as other products,” Gilchrest says. “We want to increase it by 50 percent because we see it as a prevention measure.”

Gilchrest also said that her tax wouldn’t apply to law enforcement or members of the military, but claims it’s necessary for civilians. Gilchrest compares her ammunition tax to conventional “sin taxes” like those implemented on cigarettes and tobacco.

“We see this as a public health measure,” Gilchrest. “When we [increased taxes on cigarettes], we’ve seen a reduction in use. We want to continue Connecticut’s legacy of being the leader in preventing and addressing gun violence and we see this as another step forward in that direction.”

Like unto it, an ammunition registry bill has been introduced in Illinois:

House Bill 1467, sponsored by Representative Lamont Robinson (D-5), would require anyone who sells any amount of ammunition to maintain records including the personal information and Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID) of the buyer, and the type, quantity, and manufacturer of the ammunition.  These records would have to be maintained for inspection by law enforcement and would also have to be forwarded to state police within seven days of each transaction.  In addition, state police would be directed to establish and maintain a searchable database of these records.

Just like with firearms, know how much there is, who has them, and where to go to confiscate them.  That’s what a registry is good for.

As for the concept of the “sin tax,” she is too young and stupid to believe something like that, and her naivety is on display because she stipulates that it doesn’t apply to cops.

So cops have a right to whatever they need for self defense, but little people don’t.  You know that, don’t you Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, that cops only have the rights that we do, i.e., to self defense?  We all have the same rights and needs, but not according to Gilchrest.  Same needs, different laws.  Because.  Cops.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

.350 Legend

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 4 days ago

While perusing this piece on new rifles from the SHOT show (most of which I find far too pricey), I ran across an ammunition type I hadn’t seen before, the .350 Legend.  That’s because it’s brand new.

The 2019 SHOT Show saw the release of the latest cartridge from Winchester—the .350 Legend. The new cartridge is a .223 case blown out to have straight walls, making it a perfectly viable choice for those states which require the use of a straight-walled rifle cartridge for deer hunting. The bullet diameter is listed as .357″, and the rimless design will require the cartridge to headspace off the case mouth.

Winchester is currently offering five different loads for the new cartridge: a 150-grain Deer Season XP at 2350 fps, a 180-grain Power-Point at 2100 fps, a 160-grain Power Max Bonded at 2225 fps, a very affordable 145-grain FMJ in the USA ammo line at 2350 fps, and a Super Suppressed 265-grain load at 1060 fps.

I had the opportunity to shoot the .350 Legend at SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range in a Winchester bolt-action rifle, and it was plenty accurate and pleasant on the shoulder. They had the Deer Season XP load and the USA Full Metal Jacket loads on hand; point of impact between the two was so close at 100 yards that a hunter could easily use the much more affordable FMJ ammunition for off-season practice as well as plinking, and switch to the Deer Season XP for hunting. In Winchester’s comparison to the veteran .30-30 Winchester, the .350 Legend shows to have an energy advantage of 120 ft.-lbs., yet delivers less recoil than the old deer classic.

It would appear that the idea is a straight-walled cartridge that isn’t quite the punch in the shoulder that the .450 Bushmaster is, but still with a lot of power.  I confess that I had thought before about the possibility of a carbine chambered for .357 Magnum.  This is a step up.  For the 150-grain bullet they get 2350 FPS, whereas by comparison, for the 300 Blackout at 125-grains, it’s pushing 2215 FPS.  It’s got the 300 BO beat.  They must have partnered with CMMG, because there’s already a gun for it.

CMMG makes nice-looking, well-functioning guns.

Paul Harrell On 22tcm vs. 5.7×28 vs. 7.62×25

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

I think this is an informative video.  However, I know the FN 5.7 is an extremely reliable firearm.  I’d like to see this expanded to evaluate the Rock Island pistol shooting the 22tcm.  A review of the ammunition isn’t quite good enough to form an opinion.

Reddit Discussion Thread About Barrel Twist Rate

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Reddit/Firearms:

My 7 twist LWRC keyholes 55gr stuff. So I’d say that’s pretty bad for accuracy. Try a box out of your gun, yourself.

Yes, it’s possible to overstabilize bullets.  As I’ve said before, the 1:7 twist rate was designed for a heavier round in order to stabilize the tracer rounds at 63.7 grains.  It’s not optimal for 55-grain rounds.

If people would read the pages of TCJ, they would know things like this.

New Jersey Magazine Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Via WiscoDave, this unfortunate view:

A new magazine capacity restriction goes into effect today in New Jersey. The internet is on fire with cries of people, including many gun owners not in New Jersey, criticizing the law as unjust, unconstitutional, meaningless, unfair and worse. What is missing is much real practical advice for New Jersey Gun Owners. What should they do now? What should they do with magazines that have a capacity of over 10 rounds?

Unfortunately, while the law may eventually be found unjust and overturned, today it is the law. Second Amendment Organization is a staunch advocate of Gun Rights, but those rights are defined by our laws. We believe it is imperative that Responsible Gun Owners follow the law. In this case, that means the New Jersey Gun Owners should comply with the law… and fight it! Part of fighting it involved educating people about why these types of laws have little or no effect in regard to saving lives and why people might want or need large capacity magazines in the first place. 2AO is staunchly against magazine capacity restrictions, as stated in this set of Position Statements. Recommending that New Jersey residents comply with the law is not “compromise,” it is accepting the current reality.

Okay Rob, but what happens when it proves impossible to overturn that restriction?  Then what?  What do you answer to God when you’re incapable of properly defending your family because the criminals bust through your front door carrying standard capacity magazines while you have none?  It’s happened, you know.

This is the only amusing thing from this whole abomination.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said New Jersey’s newly implemented high capacity magazine ban endangers the lives of officers by also limiting their magazine size when they are off duty.

This week, Breitbart News reported that December 11, 2018, was the effective date for a New Jersey “high capacity” magazine ban that makes it a fourth-degree felony to possess a magazine holding more than ten rounds, even if that magazine was legally acquired.

Kerik is now tweeting a letter from the Bergen County prosecutor that says the ban also applies to off-duty officers …

Of course, he doesn’t answer how the ban can “endanger” the lives of cops while it has no affect on the more ordinary among us.  Nor does anyone say how they are going to enforce this ban.

Then there is also this.

We at 2AO would respect the intention and actions of anyone actually performing true civil disobedience. A group or individual heading to a gun range in New Jersey this afternoon with standard magazines of a capacity greater than 10 rounds and publicly, proudly and overtly using them as a public act of protest, for example. Obviously, those persons would be risking arrest but they would also obviously be following in the footsteps of other great Civil Rights Protesters. Sneakily keeping magazines with a capacity greater than 10 rounds in your home and hoping you never get caught is not Civil Disobedience, it’s just being a criminal.

I think Rob is tilting at windmills and [Sneakily] forcing a distinction without a difference.

David Codrea has thoughts as well.

This Is Why The U.S. Military Uses 5.56mm Ammunition Instead Of 7.62mm Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

We Are The Mighty:

In the wake of World War II, the United States of America commanded over 30,000 overseas bases, marshaled over half of the world’s manufacturing capacity, and owned two thirds of the world’s gold stock. In 1949, the Greatest Generation proposed a strategic solution: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

N.A.T.O. was created in response to failing relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, especially in the case of the reconstruction of Germany. The countries of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal banded together with the United States as its chief architect.

[ … ]

Under the persuasive guidance of the United States, N.A.T.O. slowly standardized armaments best suited for American designs than those resembling the Soviet 7.62mm. Who else could argue the case to finance, produce, and export on a scale to rival the Russians? By the 1980s, the 5.56x45mm was adopted as the standard.

From the sands of the Middle East to the deep jungles of South America, the 5.56mm played an integral role in shaping modern warfare. Decades of proxy wars and economic down turn brought the Soviet Union to its knees. Mikhail Gorbachev, President and leader of the Soviet Union, resigned and declared his office extinct on Dec. 25, 1991.

America had triumphed.

The 5.56mm never got the chance to sing in the halls of the Kremlin, but it was the round that destroyed an empire.

His point is that the 5.56mm can be mass-produced for relatively cheap, and thus mass quantities can be made available.

True enough, what’s so for the U.S. military is so for anyone else.  You can buy more, shoot more, carry more, and store more 5.56mm than you can 7.62mm.

I don’t go a day without seeing another article on how the U.S. military is going to a caseless 6.8mm round and thus the 5.56mm round is dead.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

And rarely is the issue of body armor and the penetration capabilities of the bullet determinative for the outcome of conflicts.

Buy what you want, shoot what you want, and don’t limit yourself to any one cartridge for a all purposes.  And remember: heads and hips.

Five Top Hunting Cartridges For The 21st Century

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

American Hunter:

Federal’s brainchild was released at the 2018 SHOT Show, and made some serious waves among both long-range shooters and hunters who love the .22 centerfires. Designed to give supersonic flight out past 1,300 yards—the .22 Nosler will drive the high B.C. 90-grain Sierra MatchKing to 2700 fps—the .224 Valkyrie gives true long-range performance with very little recoil. I spent some time with it on the range, and could watch my own vapor trails to nearly 900 yards. But it’s not just a target gun; the 90-grain Federal Fusion load gives deer hunters who like the .22s a perfectly viable deer cartridge, nipping at the heels of the 6mm’s performance. The 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip load—at 3300 fps—will most certainly create the ‘red most’ varmint hunters love. A fast twist rate and high B.C. bullets are all the rage these days, and the .224 Valkyrie epitomizes that formula.

This is an odd-sounding paragraph.  It’s difficult to tell whether he thinks he is discussing the 24 Valkyrie or the .22 Nosler, or both.  That one sentence needs some serious editing work.

Anyway, the 224 Valkyrie gets more attention, as does the 6.5 Creedmoor, and he also discusses the .28 Nosler.

Announced at the 2015 SHOT Show, the .28 Nosler was the second in a series of proprietary cartridges from Nosler based on the .404 Jeffery, and designed to fit in a long-action receiver. A true magnum—even without the moniker—the .28 Nosler will better the velocities of the 7mm Remington Ultra Magnum by almost 100 fps, driving the heavy 175-grain bullets to 3140 fps. The .28 Nosler gives a shooter a blend of horsepower and tolerable recoil, which can handle nearly all North American game, and makes a good choice for longer shots at African plains game. It shoots flat, and the Nosler 175-grain AccuBond Long Range bullet is a perfect mate to the big case. If I owned a 7mm magnum—I’ve fallen under the spell of the .300 Winchester Magnum for decades—it’d be a .28 Nosler; the design maximizes the long-action receiver for the 7mm bore diameter.

Once again, I find that this entire paragraph needs serious editing work.  It’s surprising they let this one go through.  Regardless, the .28 Nosler seems like a beast of a round.

Still, I suspect it will be a very long time before any cartridge replaces the venerable 270 Win for white tail deer hunting.  It remains the most used cartridge in America for that purpose.

Corporate Ammunition Controls

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Gryphon:

Look to see this Spread to common Military (Militia) Calibers next, to try and prevent sales of Cases or Cans of several Hundred to a Thousand Rounds, while maintaining Corporate ‘Profit’ by large price increases on Boxes of 20 Rounds.

Long past Time for everyone to have 10K+ Rounds for Each Gun they Own, as well as Distributed Storage of both.

Yea, it would be perfectly in line with the controllers’ plan as they stated, yes?  But I fear that if this plan fully obtains, 10K rounds won’t be nearly enough.


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