Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Bill Ruger, Jr., Dead

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 15 hours ago

Via Knuckledraggin’, this news:

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. (NYSE: RGR) mourns the loss of William B. Ruger, Jr., former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Ruger. Mr. Ruger, who was the second CEO of the Company and the son of the Company’s founder, passed away this past weekend.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Bill, who was integral to the foundation and early success of this company,” said Chris Killoy, President and CEO of Ruger. “Bill’s 42 years of loyal service to the Company has had a lasting impact that is still felt today. We will sincerely miss him and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

I have no idea what that means for the company.  Probably not much if he wasn’t at the helm of the ship.

Modern Savage Rifle Test

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 15 hours ago

From American Rifleman.

They were using a 16.125″ barrel.  Isn’t it interesting that slowing the round down just a bit and making it a wee bit heavier reduced the spread by more than one inch?  Also, remember that published 5.56mm muzzle velocities in the range of 3100+ FPS are for a 22″ barrel, not a 14.5″, 16″, 18″ or even 20″ barrel.

I expect advocates of heavier 5.56mm rounds to make hay over this.

The barrel had a 1:8 twist (which is about optimum for a wide range of weights).  I would have expected a little better accuracy with the lighter rounds than 2.3″.  And yet, this is still good.  I’m also willing to bet that if they had used a better ammunition (like Hornady) for the lighter rounds, they would have gotten better accuracy.

The Worst Shooting Tips Ever

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 17 hours ago

Funny.  I’d never even considered adjusting my point of aim for flinching.

How To Clean Your Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Lubricating is where many shooters make mistakes. The old adage, “more is better,” does not apply. Yep, Grandpa used a half-can of 3-in-1 Oil on his rusted fence pliers or his shotgun, and your father probably believed in the liberal application of WD-40 on any moving metal part. With firearms, however, too much is not good. In fact, according to Moore, you should “lightly lubricate.” The technical terminology he frequently uses is, “one drop.” He also warns to not lubricate the firing-pin channel, chamber, bore or magazines, because lubricants often allow debris to stick, and you don’t want stuck debris in these areas.

Some of his advice on cleaning frequency disagrees with what we studied earlier from Shooting Illustrated.

I’m neither concurring nor disagreeing with the bulk of the article – just sharing.  I did find it interesting that this bears on a comment thread we recently had here on whether it’s possible to over-lube a gun.

I have to disagree with one aspect of this advice.  I always oil my chambers, and always will.  If it gets dirty because of that, I’ll clean it again.

AR Accuracy Testing At 10,000 Rounds

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

In a filthy firearm.

As a young Marine captain, I was the new officer on a rifle team and remember asking the grizzled old salts who had shot in many an inter-service championship or Camp Perry what the proper cleaning interval was for those incredible Quantico-built National Match M16s. The answers varied from daily on one end to at the end of the season on the other. There didn’t seem to be any real testing to support any given answer, and I accepted that you punched the bore whenever it seemed right.

I recently thought back on that experience as I finished up an endurance test on a Bravo Company Manufacturing (BCM) upper receiver. Over the course of a little more than three years, I had logged the lubrication intervals using FireClean to see how far the AR would run as it got dirtier and dirtier. At the end of the test, I was in possession of a barrel through which I had logged 10,000 rounds and had never cleaned in any manner. In shooting the last thousand rounds or so, I had noticed that the rifle seemed to be still shooting quite well and thought it would be interesting to do a formal accuracy workup. I borrowed a Bushnell Elite 4.5-18×44 LRTS riflescope to give the barrel every chance to succeed, and grabbed some quality ammo.

All firing was done from the prone position with the rifle supported by a Harris bipod in the front and some bags under the toe of the stock. The rifle had a Geissele Super V trigger, which is an excellent duty and snap-shooting unit, but not normally associated with group shooting. The BCM wore a free-floated KeyMod aluminum KMR-A rail and the barrel was a basic government profile 16” with a mid-length gas system and a 1:7” twist.

I fired a couple of sighters to get the LRTS on paper and then the very first five-round group of Hornady Steel Match clustered five .224-cal. holes into a tight .84” group that could be covered by a nickel. That was pretty close to prophetic, as the average of all five groups with the Steel Match ran .89 from the filthy barrel, with the series tallying .84, .85, .86, .72, and one lonely group over one minute of angle at 1.17.

That performance wasn’t an outlier. After 10,000 rounds, the BCM barrel grouped Federal Varmint hollow points into just barely over 3/4 m.o.a. on the low end and averaged just over an inch due to one “large” 1.5” group that pulled the average over one MOA.

Black Hills 69-gr. Sierra Match Kings clustered together consistently, poking holes in a tight knot while maintaining polite separation for each hole at just under a minute on average with .79, .82, .90, .92, and 1.25” groups.

[ … ]

I was somewhere between pleasantly surprised and mildly shocked for the barrel to do this after 10,000 rounds and never had as much as a boresnake, brush, or patch run through it.

I’m not surprised.  Eugene Stoner engineered a fine system.  Of course, I wouldn’t recommend doing that – this was a stress test of sorts.  Increased fouling and friction will only increase wear and metal fatigue.  But it’s nice to know that the delivered wisdom may not be so wise after all.

It’s funny how old myths die hard.  My son never had any complaints with the weapon system so I never came into it with predisposed prejudice.

Can A New Smart Gun Crack The Firearms Market?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago


Sometime in the next year, Philadelphia-based startup LodeStar Firearms says it will release the first commercially viable smart gun, a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun with a user-recognition lock designed to allow only authenticated users to fire it.

This sort of technology hasn’t caught on in the U.S., so it’s something of a gamble for LodeStar, which is raising $3 million in seed funding to finalize a prototype. The company is banking on being able to disrupt the firearms industry by capitalizing on an uncertain demand for gun safety features. If such advances prove popular, LodeStar says, it could lead to an industrywide evolution that would ultimately save thousands of lives each year.

LodeStar is still ironing out the specifications of its pistol; regardless of how it turns out, it won’t be the first or only smart gun on the U.S. market. Firearms manufacturers have been tinkering with personalized locking technology for decades, hoping to sell consumers on handguns that are resistant to misuse by children, thieves or assailants.

But smart guns have largely failed to break through, in part because of opposition from people who claim the technology will lead to bans on traditional firearms, with only more expensive and less reliable options allowed. Pro-gun groups have even boycotted companies that have pursued gun safety initiatives.

In 2014, German manufacturer Armatix released the iP1, a semiautomatic, .22-caliber handgun that initially retailed for about $1,800 ― as much as five times the going rate for some comparable traditional handguns. Included in that price is a watch required to activate the weapon, using radio-frequency identification (RFID).

LodeStar told HuffPost that it may use similar technology and that it’s also exploring an unspecified alternative. The company ruled out fingerprint technology, which Armatix reportedly utilizes in a new prototype. LodeStar CEO Gareth Glaser previously raised the possibility of a firearm that could be unlocked by a microchip implanted in a user’s hand.

Oh please, please, please, please let it be.  Please Lord let a company invest huge sums of money into a gun that costs too much, is too complicated, has too many failure modes, and [oh please Lord let it be] requires surgery to operate.

And remember what I said about hard hats and ketchup.

AR-15 Wear And Failure Points To Check

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

From Shooting Illustrated.

So if, like me, you believe in Genesis Chapter 2, you believe in the second law of thermodynamics.  If you don’t but still believe in the second law of thermodynamics, your belief if spurious and baseless but still useful.

Either way, entropy increases.  That means parts rust, corrode, fatigue, wear, fracture and fail.  Always inspect your guns.

Thinking About Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 1 day ago

So at the invitation of Fred and BRVTVS, I thought I would lay out a few disconnected thoughts on rifles and then open it up for a free-for-all where readers weigh in.

To begin with, I had been thinking about another semi-automatic rifle that is different in caliber from the 5.56mm/.223.  I’ve been trying to focus my ammunition purchases a little more towards the heavier end for 5.56mm, i.e., a 62 grain bullet.  Hornady makes a hot load for that weight.  Expensive, but good.

But taking a hard look at the muzzle velocity for even heavier rounds (like 77 gr.) I just don’t like the drop in performance.  It’s just a matter of choice, but for me, a heavier round requires a different cartridge.

Here there are a number of choices short of the .308 cartridge we’ve discussed before, like 6.5 Grendel, etc.  I don’t like the 6.5 Creedmoor for a semi-automatic rifle.  The recoil is too similar to the .308, and to me that negates the very purpose of the small caliber, high velocity, low recoil round that allows rapid sight picture reacquisition.

I’ve settled on the .224 Valkyrie for this next purchase, and more specifically looking hard at the Savage.  The fact that there is no loss in muzzle velocity compared to the 5.56mm 55- or 62-gr round is appealing, even shooting a 90 gr round.  I wanted to stop short of bullet masses much higher, like in the 120 gr range.  I want to be able to shoot a 90 gr. round at high muzzle velocity and low recoil.  This basically means the .224 Valkyrie.

This leaves me with the option of a bolt action for larger rounds, which I think is appropriate.  I do like my Tikka .270, Walnut Stock, as it is beautiful, well-crafted, and extremely accurate.  I’ve put two rounds through the same hole in paper before at 100 yards, and if I wasn’t shooting everything within one inch or less it was a bad day at the range.

But I’m thinking about gifting this rifle to someone.  I might replace it with another Tikka .270, as big game hunting requires .270, 7mm Magnum or 300 Win Mag in my opinion.  There are some other more exotic cartridges, and I’m not including those here.  The .270 is a 30-06 casing, and has plenty of power to take down anything in North America.

Upon thinking about bolt action rifles, I like the .270 and the 6.5 Creedmoor, both of which have a higher muzzle velocity and BC than the .308.  As for types, the following are my brief thoughts.

Wood Stocks (Pros): Walnut stocks are beautiful.  They make for a fine piece of furniture you would be proud to turn over to your children’s children.

Cons: They get dinged with use.  If they get wet, a free floated barrel becomes a poorly bedded barrel that changes everything if the swelling is severe enough.

Synthetic stocks (Pros): It doesn’t matter if it gets dirty or wet.  It can be Cerakoted, and some of the finishes are very nice and appealing.

Cons: Not fine furniture.

Caliber (Pros): The 6.5 Creedmoor and the .270 are literally ubiquitous at the moment, everywhere I turn, in every store I enter.  This is good.  For my budget, I don’t like to spend a wad of money to mail order ammunition.  Besides, from the weight considerations and mail expenses, I rarely save that much money anyway.  I mostly use mail order for ammunition I cannot find locally.  For everything else, I find that if I happen to have $50 left at the end of the month, I know just how to spend it.

Cons: I simply cannot find 6.5 Grendel anywhere around here.  If I cannot find it, that means I will have less, and it also means that few other shooters will have it.  For reasons my readers understand, it matters what other people are shooting.

I can also find .224 Valkyrie almost everywhere around here.  It has become a very popular round, and I expect it’s popularity to increase.

Savage is making some nice rifles, but so is Ruger.  The folks at Hyatt Gun Shop (near me and the best in the two-state area) are good in that they aren’t snobs.  If a person cannot afford a more expensive gun, they know what the good less expensive guns are and will steer the buyer in that direction.  They don’t like Remington 700 series.  They like Tikka, Savage, Ruger, Weatherby, and a number of other brands.

Finally, I like what I see in the chassis guns, but they are almost all prohibitively expensive for my tastes.  If I can get a good Savage or Ruger for 1/3 the price of a custom chassis gun, why not?  I’m not a competition shooter.

I want to enjoy the experience, whether sighting a rifle in, shooting it rapid fire, drills, range play time, or more serious applications.  I don’t want to beat or be better than someone else.  That has no interest for me.

Please weigh in with comments.  Frankly I hadn’t thought much about magazine type and long-action versus short action design in the Ruger American guns, which was brought up in the comments.  I learn a lot from the comments, especially from people who can say, “Been there, done that.”

Top New Deer Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

At North American Whitetail.  The most visually appealing to me is the revised Ruger American.

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Stock Owners Continue Attempts To Take Down Gun Manufacturers From The Inside

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago


Funds run by BlackRock Inc and Vanguard Group backed all directors at gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co Inc despite the company’s rare rejection of talks with the world’s top asset managers, disclosures to regulators on Thursday showed.

The votes by the gunmaker’s largest investors stood in contrast to support BlackRock and Vanguard gave to a measure calling on Sturm Ruger to report on the safety of its products, which passed over the board’s objections at the company’s annual meeting on May 9.

Neither BlackRock nor Vanguard would discuss in detail their votes at the meeting …

Sturm Ruger declined to comment on the filings by the funds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. BlackRock holds about 18 percent of shares outstanding, followed by Vanguard, with about 10 percent.

Both fund firms rarely vote against directors, and say critical votes may come only after companies fail to respond to shareholder concerns …

Investors and activists with a range of views about gun control said the asset managers’ split tickets seemed to reflect an approach designed to appeal to young investors concerned with social issues, without alienating clients who own guns or pushing Sturm Ruger’s board too quickly.

[ … ]

BlackRock spokeswoman Tara McDonnell said via email it takes a case-by-case approach to its engagement and voting “because doing so encourages change over time and promotes responsible business practices that align with the financial interests of our clients.”

Next up, Beth Baumann at Townhall.

A group of 11 Catholic groups came together to purchase stock in Smith & Wesson. The group purchased 200 shares, the minimum number required to for shareholders to demand reports from the company. Now, they want the gun manufacturer to provide a report that details what the company is doing to promote “gun safety measures” and “produce safer gun and gun products.”

According to an SEC filing, which is submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), here’s what the group wants to see from Smith & Wesson:

Shareholders request the Board of Directors issue a report by February 8, 2019, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products, including the following (emphasis mine):

Shareholders request the Board of Directors issue a report by February 8, 2019, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products, including the following:

• Evidence of monitoring of violent events associated with products produced by the company.
• Efforts underway to research and produce safer guns and gun products.
• Assessment of the corporate reputational and financial risks related to gun violence in the U.S.

The resolution asks American Outdoor Brands Company (AOBC) to report on activities underway to mitigate the risks that its products may be misused in criminal acts of gun violence. Contrary to what the company suggests, AOBC has both the responsibility and capacity to play a more active role in how its products are used; the requested assessment and reporting are the first steps towards acceptance of this responsibility.  As a result of several high profile mass shootings in the past year, most recently the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, gun violence is increasingly being seen as a public health crisis with extraordinary human and financial costs.

Importantly, events of gun violence have led to mounting public backlash against gun makers and retailers including calls for boycotts, divestment and demands for gun safety regulation at both the federal and state levels. This environment presents serious business risks which demand a meaningful response from AOBC. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights make clear the corporate responsibility to seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts.

AOBC has a responsibility to mitigate potential impacts through improved monitoring of its distribution and retail sales channels and enhanced reporting on research and development efforts to improve the safety features of its consumer products. The resolution does not request that AOBC produce smart guns or other specific products; nor does it call for the company to endorse a gun control regulatory or policy agenda. The resolution does, however, ask for reporting because existing disclosures of current risk mitigation measures are seen as insufficient for investors to assess their effectiveness.

BlackRock and Vanguard haven’t given up.  They’re playing the long game with Ruger.  Smith & Wesson has now been introduced to social justice warrioring 2.0  Version 1.0 saw them agree to Bill Clinton’s gun control and almost go out of business.

This updated version is smarter than that.  It’s an attack from the inside.  I’ve said before that any firearms manufacturer who goes public with its stock is vulnerable to this kind of pressure, unless the board of directors and employees own a majority of the stock and the corporation rules and bylaws are constructed to suppress this kind of pressure.

Ruger isn’t in the clear, no matter what the CEO says.  Smith & Wesson are at the very beginning of this new grand experiment in gun control.  The board of directors and financial folks had better get busy buying stock and amending the bylaws.

Of course, there are smaller firearms manufacturers who can build and sell firearms, but it would be a shame to see Ruger and Smith & Wesson go out of business.

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