Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Gun Coatings And Treatments

BY Herschel Smith
11 hours, 29 minutes ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Reflective, plated finishes such as hard chrome, nickel and gold have been around longer than anyone presently reading this magazine. While no longer popular on long gun exteriors, surface treatments like chrome-plating work well on and in certain internal components. Most tactical-rifle shooters have experience with chrome-lined bores, which provide wear- and corrosion-resistance. We also find chrome in less-obvious places like piston-rod ends, the inside of an AR’s bolt carrier and in the open end of the carrier’s gas key. One complication to chrome-plating is that it adds to the dimensions of finished parts, so components must be undersize by whatever thickness the plating will add.

Attempts to chrome-line rifle bores date back to the first half of the 20th century. The process has long since become standard in military and police battle rifles and carbines around the world. Sources for true match-quality, chrome-lined barrels can be counted on one hand, with fingers left over. Most chromed bores are very durable, but they typically come up short in the accuracy department due to variations in thickness throughout the bore. Chrome-plated parts are slicker than bare steel, allowing for easier cleanup of pistons and bolt components. Unfortunately, the constant slamming of metal on metal can cause chrome to wear or flake off of hard-use parts like bolt-locking lugs, which can affect accuracy, reliability and even safety. Chrome plating seems to do its best work inside of components subjected to high friction—but not hard impacts—and when done well, is still a great solution to limit erosion and wear.

Nickel-boron (NiB) is an “electroless” gun coating, instead applied chemically. That makes for extremely uniform surface coatings on parts with tight tolerances, like a trigger’s sear-engagement surfaces. NiB reduces friction and speeds the cooling of high-heat components due to the increased surface area created by the coating’s texture. Internal rifle components appear to be the best-suited for NiB, and in my experience, this gun coating is much more durable than traditional plated finishes on contact surfaces like bolt-locking lugs. NiB provides excellent corrosion resistance, but over time it will give way to the ravages of high heat and pressure on hard-use components. NiB-coated components are relatively easy to clean up but may become discolored when subjected to high heat.

Names like Melonite, Ni-Corr, Black nitride or salt bath nitride are all variations of a surface treatment formally known as “Liquid Salt Bath Ferritic Nitrocarburizing Non-Cyanide Bath” (FNC) or simply nitriding. This process isn’t really a gun coating, since it doesn’t change a part’s finished dimensions, so it is well-suited for both precision internal components and bores. An added plus is, unlike chrome lining—which is mostly limited to chrome-moly steel blends—nitriding is optimal for stainless-steel bores, too. Its high resistance to wear and corrosion also make it useful as an external surface protectant. Nitrided surfaces are very hard and, since the FNC process transforms the surface rather than coating it, the metal itself must be removed to get through to unprotected steel below. I have been using nitrided barrels, bolts and trigger groups for years and have yet to wear one out. From a production standpoint, nitriding is inexpensive and so long as it is done correctly, the high temperatures that the process relies on for application will not harm steel rifle components.

Gun coatings such as Cerakote, DuraCoat and KG Gunkote are applied via compressed-air sprayers. They differ somewhat in composition and may be air- or heat-cured. Spray-on coatings are best-suited for rifle exteriors where the inevitable variations in thickness will not change tolerances nor impede function. They have a fair amount of wear resistance, but heavy use or careless handling can still cause them to wear through, scratch or chip off. When properly applied, spray-on gun coating provides good corrosion resistance and allow you to truly customize your rifle’s appearance due to endless color and pattern variations. Spray-ons have the added benefit of being equally well-suited for aluminum, polymer and wooden rifle components, too. These finishes are susceptible to harsh chemical strippers like acetone or ammonia-based solvents, so stick to safer cleaners like mineral spirits or conventional powder solvents when cleaning painted rifles.

I’ve always thought I needed to know a little more than I do about both the materials and the coatings for firearms.  Unfortunately, I only took one materials engineering course in school, and most of the time materials engineering is left to the folks who do it all the time.

But this article is a good start on coatings.  I welcome reader feedback if you find any other articles or papers on the subject, or just want to weigh in with your own expertise.

The Stoner 63 And Knight’s Assault Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
11 hours, 35 minutes ago

Forgotten Weapons covers a recent trip to Knight’s Armament.

They covered the Stoner 63 earlier, and he seems to verify what I’ve heard so many times – the controllability is exceptional.

I have always thought that the U.S. Military made a mistake in not buying into the full Stoner system of firearms.

Discussion On Custom AR-15 Barrels

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 11 hours ago

Shooting Sports USA:

Custom barrel manufacturers like Obermeyer, Krieger, Lilja, Hart, Douglas, Schneider and other companies which go by the maker’s last name, are your best assurance of good quality. That’s not to say that other maker’s barrels―let’s call them “semi-custom”―don’t shoot as well, but it is to suggest a lower element of risk involved in your satisfaction. I think it’s wise to request a stainless steel barrel since they will, on average, shoot a little better for a little longer.

It would be nice if a materials engineer and/or a highly experienced gunsmith would weigh in on this, but that’s not my understanding.  My understanding (which might be flawed) is that a SS barrel will be more accurate out of the box, but that whereas another barrel might last for 25,000 rounds, a SS barrel will last for 15,000 rounds before needing to be replaced.  Again, if my understanding is wrong on this, it would be good to know it.

The chambering option that probably gets the most thought about and worry over is throating. Throating, let’s say here for simplicity, controls the distance of a bullet; bearing surface to the origin of the lands of the rifling. Almost always, a rifle shoots best when a bullet at least starts near the lands, if not on them. If the bullet has to travel through space before engaging the rifling, that’s called “jump,” and that’s an issue of concern. Since there is such a difference in comparing length of short range and long range bullets for this rifle, some compromise has to be met. Essentially, getting less jump for the shorter 68- to 77-grain bullets fired from magazine-length rounds means that the longer 80-grain bullets used at 600 yards will be seated more deeply into the case (which will reduce powder capacity). Short or long? Either, or anything in-between for that matter. It doesn’t really seem to matter. Why even talk about it? Why not? Everyone else does. What they’re not really talking about, though, is who’s shooting what scores with various ideologies. That’s because AR-15s shoot just as well at 200 and 300 yards with all the different “magazine” bullets, regardless of where those bullets are sitting with respect to distance from the lands. What matters to 600-yard performance is that the shooter knows how to experiment and adjust the amount of jump the 80-grain bullets have, and that discussion is for another article.

Someone care to elaborate what’s he’s talking about here?

Ten Things I Learned Working In A Gun Store

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

I have two comments about this.

First, it isn’t really completely accurate to say that the Springfield Armory pistols (XD, XDm, etc.) are made in Croatia.  It would be more accurate to say that the parts were fabricated in Croatia and the gun was assembled in America.  But whatever.  And the HS2000 bears as much similarity to the modern XDs and XDms as Ford Ranger does to a F150.

Second, I would question his brief assessment that more Taurus pistols are being sold and virtually none are coming back for repairs (at least without knowing more).  It could be that the buyers of Taurus pistols simply aren’t shooters like someone who will drop $1200 on a 1911, thus they never come back for repairs because they were bought to sit in a nightstand drawer and never get taken to the range.

Then Don’t Drop Your Gun In The Water

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

I know, there are legitimate Maritime operations where someone would be concerned about this.  I have neither an FN nor a Glock, so I don’t have a dog in this fight either.  But there are so many responses one could give (at least one of which comes from the comments).

“Then don’t repeatedly submerge your pistol in water and try to shoot it immediately upon retrieval.”

“Submerged till the bubbles stop. Would be a good test for politicians.” – video comments

“If the striker channel is a weak point in the machine and fills with water fighting the spring, then shoot a hammer pistol like I do, and you won’t have to deal with that scratchy, grinding, crinkly feel of a striker gun trigger.  You’ll be happier.”

Machete Attack On The Appalachian Trail

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

From a reader, Fox News:

James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Mass., was arrested early Saturday on a federal complaint charging him with murder and assault with intent to murder in connection with the “senseless and brutal attack” on the two unidentified hikers, Abingdon U.S. Attorney Thomas Cullen said.

Jordan was known to hike the Appalachian Trail under the moniker “Sovereign,” WCYB-TV reported. He was arrested in April for threatening hikers on the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation, according to WJHL-TV.

The victims were hiking together when they were attacked, WSLS-TV reported. Deputies responded sometime after 3:30 a.m.

The deputies used GPS to find the man in Wythe County after he sent out an emergency notification on his cellphone, the station reported.

Two hikers helped the woman after she walked six miles injured and bleeding, according to the station.

He looks like a creep, and he isn’t sovereign over anything.  I would had been suspicious of him right off the bat.

When you’re in the bush, there are threats of the four legged kind and two legged kind.  Be prepared for both.  Carry guns and travel with a dog.  Make sure your gun isn’t inside a backpack or stowed away where you can’t get to it.

Video Of Home Invasion In Kentucky

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

News from Kentucky:

Startling video released by the Warren County, Kentucky sheriff’s office gives us a front seat to a real-life home invasion.

This is not a drill, and the bullets are real.

It happened in Bowling Green at the Country Living Estates Mobile Home Park. The video shows four intruders busting through the front door and charging into the living room.

The apparent leader of the crew has a gun. He turns a corner and suddenly he is confronted by another man with a gun, the homeowner Austin Orwig.

There are gunshots.  You can see the flashes.

The home invasion crew turns around and runs away.

Police tell us Orwig was shot in the hand  He was flown to a hospital in Louisville for treatment.

Streaming the video was laborious for me and I don’t want to embed it here and slow down my web site hosting service.  You can watch it if you want, or not.  Four of what I’m sure are the brightest, most well-behaved boys in the world who wouldn’t do something like that, probably according to their mothers, did something like that.

Four … home … invaders.

What was that about not needing an AR-15 or standard capacity magazines for home defense?  Gosh.  It just seems like the narrative is a damn lie.

Performance Center Thompson Long Range Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Guns Magazine:

My first impression upon decanting the rifle from the shipping carton was “it’s heavy.” It weighs 11.5 lbs. A suitable optic brings it to 14.5 to 15 lbs. The centerpiece — and the source of most of the weight — is the heavy barreled action mounted in an aluminum alloy chassis — free-floated, biologically inert and pretty much immune to the vagaries of nature.

[ … ]

Groups at 600 and 1,000 yards hovered around the 1 MOA mark for all three of us with three or four of each five rounds at — or below — 1/2 MOA in most cases. This is likely a more accurate predictor of the rifle’s baseline accuracy than the full five rounds and the likely interjection of human error.

Nevertheless, Stan’s subsequent load development with the same ELD bullet is closing in on 1/2 MOA across the board.

The weight isn’t trivial, but a review of the CMMG Endeavor in 6.5 Creedmoor has the author saying that “The 300 series is an absolute log at 11+ lbs.”  Accurized, heavy profile barrels are going to dominate long gun weight.

Given the weight of the rest of your kit, unless you have the strength of a pack mule and stamina of a sled dog, that gun is going to get heavy.  It would be enough to make anyone hesitate to carry it on a long hunt.

Then again, this is more like a tactical gun, useful for other things.  What’s really nice to see is the MSRP of $1,211.  Getting a highly dependable, accurate tactical bolt action gun has gotten to be a rich man’s game with costs running near $2,000 just to get in.  I’d like to see downward pressure on the market cost.  This is a good start.

Top Selling New And Used Semi-Automatic Rifles Of 2018

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Via Ken’s place, American Rifleman has the top selling new and used semi-automatic rifles of 2018.

How weird am I when I’m not interested in a single rifle on the list, not even an M1 Garand?  If I had my choice given everything else being equal, I’d take an AR-10 over an M1 any day.  Many manufacturers are making better pistol caliber carbines with AR functionality than the Kel-Tel Sub-2000, and I don’t like the Bullpup design for any gun with it’s chamber closer to the ear.

The Ruger 10/22 is the only gun that makes sense to me.  I suppose if you’re into budget or rack ARs, one is a lot like the other, and perhaps there’s a place for a rack AR if you’re looking for backup, replacement parts, and so on.  Otherwise, you get what you pay for.  Feel free to post your thoughts.

David Hogg: “You’re A Terrible Shot” If You Need An AR-15 To Defend Yourself

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

Washington Examiner:

David Hogg: “If you need an AR-15 to defend yourself you need more target practice because you’re a terrible shot.”

First of all, he’s a liar and doesn’t really believe this because he’s not advocating that the police be disarmed of long guns, and has never done so.  He just wants the state to have a monopoly on violence.  It’s always enlightening to run things like this through the grits mill in order to see the hypocrisy of their views.  If you advocate disarming people other than cops, then you’re just a communist.

Second, as for not needing an AR-15 to defend yourself, I think Mr. Stephen Bayezes would beg to differ when he used an AR-15 to defend against multiple assailants in a home invasion.  So would a number of other folks.

However, Hogg is right about one thing.  We all need more practice.  So let’s heed Hogg’s counsel and make sure not to neglect range day.  I think Jerry Miculek said in one video that he has shot somewhere around 7,000,000 rounds downrange in order to get as good as he is.  I know that my son shot well more than half a million rounds in his workup to deployment.

We’ve all got a little bit to go, I suspect.

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