Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

HSM .44 Magnum Gel Test

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

From TFB.  Those who live in big bear country can weigh in, but it looks to me like .44 Magnum is enough to get the toughest job done.

Open Carry In Publix Grocery Store In Gastonia North Carolina

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

So I was shopping in Publix grocery store this weekend, and ask a manager about their policy on open carry.  I thought I had seen folks engaging in open carry there, but I told the manager that I knew businesses can have their own policies, which I support, and I didn’t want this to be awkward for them if I come back openly carrying.

He informed me that he has a number of customers who open carry, and Publix follows the laws of the state.  There is no problem with it at that store.  I appreciate their stand on the issue, and I will certainly reward them by continuing to shop there.

In case we’ve never discussed this before (and I think we have), I open carry because I hate concealed carry and told the manager so.  But there is a larger and more important reason.  I open carry “For the peace, good and dignity of the country and the welfare of its people.”  I owe that expression to Jeremy Bryant.

More On Caliber Wars

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

The Daily Caller:

You’d think the “caliber wars” would wind down, the firearms community would just accept that people like different things and be okay with it. It’s the adult thing to do and frankly makes more sense than pointlessly arguing over things that don’t matter.

For some reason, the .45 ACP and the .30-06 just can’t be left well enough alone. Every few weeks, there’s a new article in a gun magazine, on a website or something decrying one or the other. The 9mm is better, one might say, or the .308 or 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t recoil as badly and is more accurate at 1,000 yards says another.

Folks, neither the .45 ACP nor the .30-06 are going anywhere and it is just time we all dropped it.


If there’s anything approaching truth regarding the efficacy of a bullet on a living target, be it a human assailant or a critter that you’re looking to eat/put on the wall, it’s that there are established “will always work” rounds. However, which one you use doesn’t matter all that much; accuracy and bullet design matter more than the rest of the ballistic data sheet.

Sure, 9x19mm produces less recoil. Follow-up is faster and it’s easier for more people to shoot. It’s also cheaper and subcompact pistols chambered in that round tend to work a bit better than those in .45. If it’s a 9mm, .40, or .45 ACP pistol you put in an appendix carry holster or other concealed carry holster, it really doesn’t matter; what matters is if you carry good rounds and can hit your mark.

Much the same is true of the trusty old .30-06. It’s a long-action round, ruling out compact, short-form rifles which some people can’t live without. While recoil is subjective, the .30-06 is a bit stouter than the trendy cartridges of today like .300 Blackout, 6.5 Creedmoor and .308/7.62 NATO.

And you know what?

It doesn’t matter at all.

The fact is that .45 ACP is a very effective self-defense round. With good hollowpoints and good placement, it will put down a bad guy just as well as a well-placed 9mm round will. Some people find they aren’t as accurate with a 9mm or a .40, so who cares? It works for them.

Well, some people may say that about the .45 ACP, but some others (me) might say that they don’t like the snappy muzzle with 9mm and the slow recovery time to a good sight picture compared to the “push” of the .45 ACP.

Shoot whatever you shoot well.  But I do have one nit.  I’ll rewrite the sentence for you: “With good hollowpoints and good placement, it will put down a bad guy just as well as better than a well-placed 9mm round will.”

There.  Fixed it for you.

McRee’s Threatens To Sue Users Of Other Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 5 days ago

No, I’m not kidding.

If you purchase a rifle with an embedded cant indicator level from a source other than McRee’s Precision … it is not authorized by McRee’s and your may be liable for infringing McRee’s patents.

Oh dear.  Will gun manufacturers never learn?  The quickest way to make the entire gun community hate you is to threaten them.  It’s even faster than supporting the gun controllers in your state to get special treatment, viz. RRA and Springfield.  They didn’t threaten the infringers, but the people who purchased the products themselves.  Good Lord.

Does anyone at firearms manufacturing companies know how to think one step ahead?  Perhaps they should play chess for a while to learn the science of cause and effect.

“Mouse Gun” Gelatin Testing Results

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Active Response Training:

You’ll notice that I didn’t provide any expansion data.  That’s because NONE of the .380 or .38 special rounds expanded at all!  All of the bullets except for the two 9mm rounds could have been reloaded and fired.  They had no expansion whatsoever.

They made that statement after testing .38 Spl, .380 ACP and 9mm in gelatin covered with several layers of denim.  But here’s the problem to me.  This data doesn’t comport with what Lucky Gunner found at all.  It’s not even close.

If you take a look at Lucky Gunner’s testing protocol and test results, which were performed under tight control and strict boundary conditions, it’s clear that there is indeed expansion of most PD rounds regardless of barrel length.  Mind you, some do better than others, and it’s also clear that the higher velocity imparted with longer barrels helps.  But I just don’t see anything in the testing done by Active Response Training that even comes close to what Lucky Gunner found.

But regarding Lucky Gunner’s test results, I will offer up a few comments.  First of all, the venerable .45 ACP, which I shoot, does well just about regardless of barrel length or ammunition type.  Second, there are some good performers and some weak performers for every caliber.  But on the average, the high performers seem to be Speer Gold Dot, Winchester PD rounds and Federal PD rounds (such as Hydra Shok).

Finally, I don’t really think anyone who ever gets shot with a .38 Spl round is prepared to call the gun that shoots it a “mouse gun,” even if it has a 2″ barrel.

The .30-06 Sucks?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

American Hunter:

Comparing Hornady’s Precision Hunter ammunition, the .30-06 will deliver about 9 percent better performance than the 308. The trade off—there’s always a trade off—is this performance increase comes with a 16 percent increase in recoil. In other words, with what is arguably the best big game hunting ammo you can buy, the .30-06 gives you about half what you pay—suffer—for.

Some might point out the .30-06 will handle heavier bullets. True, but given our modern projectiles, 200 or 220 grain .30 caliber bullets offer no advantage. Back in Whelen’s and your grandpa’s day, this was not the case. At .30-06 velocities the weakly constructed 180-grain or lighter bullets of that time, shed lots of weight during penetration. 200 or 220-grain bullets didn’t because they impacted at slower velocities, thus penetrating deeper.

With bullets like the Partition, Triple Shock, AccuBond and ELD-X, those weighing less than 200 grains offer a better ballistic balance. This is why 200 grain or heavier .30-06 ammunition is almost as rare as flying frogs. Modern projectiles have even improved the performance of smaller cartridges. They can now hang with the ’06 and not whack you near as hard.

Consider the 6.5 Creedmoor. Comparing similar bullet weights, the Creedmoor will shoot flatter and just as hard as the ought-six. But, the .30-06 will kick 34 percent harder. Though some will argue you gotta get used to recoil if you’re going to hunt big game, it’s an established fact, the harder a rifle kicks, the more difficult it is to shoot with consistent precision.

Well, some of this is true, and the 6.5 Creedmoor is a very interesting cartridge, especially because it is a necked-down .308 and therefore a short action cartridge and capable of semiautomatic operation.  But I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about here.

He’s focused on recoil and the ability to shoot it well.  But according to this logic, there is no reason for the .300 Win Mag to exist in North America.  And he’s being savaged in the comments.

What do readers think?

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Diamondback Firearms Fields A New AR In 6.5 Creedmoor

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago has the scoop.  I haven’t seen any reviews of the gun yet.  I’d like to see some serious, critical work to vet this gun and others made by Diamondback.

But the great thing is that their rifles – including this 6.5 Creedmoor AR – are less than $1300.  That’s right.  An AR 6.5 Creedmoor < $1300.  Competition is a wonderful thing.  Diamondback is selling their rifles for under $1300, and that includes their rifles that handle larger cartridges than the 5.56mm (e.g., 6.5 Creedmoor and .308, which are both still short-action rounds).

If you are a firearms manufacturer who fabricates ARs, you seriously need to recalibrate.  You need to ask yourselves if you really want to be in the business of manufacturing ARs if your MSRP is significantly more than $1300.  This is the sweet spot.  Because if a prospective buyer can buy yours for more, or a Diamondback for less, he must ask himself whether it’s wise to throw away his money like that in order to have yours.  The calculus is simple, and you absolutely must begin to match the cost of the least expensive manufacturer, or if you don’t, you’ll have to find a niche market because of some features or quality you have that others don’t.  Where do you think the real financial margin is in this calculus?

Diamondback Firearms can be found here.

U.S. Optics Moves To Montana

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Into the redoubt, they are.

A manufacturing company that has been building custom rifle scopes and optics for 26 years in Southern California is relocating to Kalispell.

U.S. Optics, a leader in the firearm optics industry, announced the relocation to the Flathead Valley on its website, saying there may be a brief pause in production while it brings the new facility online, but assured customers “we will far exceed our previous production capabilities.”

The company is on track to move into its new quarters south of Kalispell in September.

The Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Montana West Economic Development helped facilitate the relocation.

Ken Fichtler, chief business development officer for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said U.S. Optics reached out to his office in April about the possibility of relocating to Montana. The company also was considering Texas as a possible relocation site, Fichtler said, as it considered potential sites with “a closer cultural fit.

“We went up against the state of Texas in terms of incentives, culture and location,” he said, adding that U.S. Optics was impressed with the “center of excellence for this type of manufacturing” that exists in the Flathead Valley. “We were able to put together an incentive package that appealed to them.

A Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund grant and property tax abatement were among the incentives offered.

Another drawing card to Montana, Fichtler said, is the Montana Photonics Industry Alliance, a Bozeman-based network of Montana optics and photonics companies, entrepreneurs, laboratories and universities. Montana State University’s Optical Technology Center also was a factor in U.S. Optics’ decision, he added.

Down Range Solutions Group recently acquired U.S. Optics, and will continue doing business as U.S. Optics, according to a press advisory issued in June by mergers and acquisitions division of Helena-based Ascendant Advisory Group.

According to U.S. Optics’ website, the genesis of the company’s commercial off-the-shelf product line is “rooted in custom scopes built to satisfy the needs of military and law-enforcement personnel, competitive shooters and hunters …

The only mystery here is why they would have stayed in California so long.  Like Remington (Alabama) and so many other manufacturers, they need to be in a culture where they can thrive.

Stag Arms still operates in Connecticut, Kimber still operates in New York, Rock River Arms still operates in Illinois, Springfield Armory still operates in Illinois, and Mossberg still operates in Connecticut.

Why?  Do they want to go out of business and have to lay off all of their employees?

How To Survive A Bear Attack In America

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


Make plenty of noise while you’re in the wilderness. Bears don’t like surprises, and will generally shuffle off in another direction if they hear you coming. Traveling in a group helps to make more noise. And most importantly, pay attention to the environment. If you see or hear signs that a bear is close, stay calm, backtrack, and get away from the area. If you’re camping, hiking, or otherwise visiting “bear country,” do yourself a monumental favor by packing bear spray.

In the entire article I see no mention of a rifle, shotgun or large bore revolver.  Therefore, the author must be trying to get somebody killed by a bear.  What else could you conclude?

I don’t even go into the woods in the Southeast without a gun, much less would I go around brown bears without one, or more.

We Can’t Just Pull Our Gun And Shoot Someone

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago


In a classroom on the campus of the Border Patrol Academy here at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Andrew Andrade, an instructor, is guiding a group of future Border Patrol agents through an intensive Spanish language-training course.

Across campus, Ryan Choi instructs another group of Border Patrol trainees in self-defense tactics. “It’s not like the movies,” he said as the trainees paired off. “They aren’t going to stand up and fight, they’re going to charge you.”

In another part of the campus, a Border Patrol instructor enters a building set up to look like a barn where he finds two men counting money with what appears to be packages of drugs. One of the men yells at him in English, while the other man yells in Spanish. Both men move around, gesturing wildly with their hands. Dan M. Harris, chief of the academy, stands nearby urging the instructor to size up the situation. This simulated encounter is used to teach new trainees to consider all options before using deadly force.

“We have to slow it down and think,” Mr. Harris said. “We can’t just pull our gun and shoot someone to get out of bad situation. We have to use our brain.”

Hmm … so let me think about this.  Cops all over America policing U.S. citizens pull their guns out all of the time, and oftentimes let go a barrage of rounds, sometimes hitting their target, sometimes not, sometimes killing innocent people, all because of “officer safety.”  They must get home safely at the end of their shift, no matter what, even if innocent people perish at their hands.  They do this with utter impunity, with no accountability by the courts, the people, or their blue-costumed buddies.  Every little Podunk town now has a SWAT team with tacticool officers who want more than anything to go raid somebody’s house.

And yet the border patrol must think before unholstering their weapons in the middle of an invasion across our borders.  What’s wrong with this picture?  I think I’ve seen it before in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yes, I know I have.

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