Archive for the 'Guns' Category

Two To Three Seconds Of Dead Time When You Pick Up Your Gun

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 11 hours ago

The Media Line:

Seasoned gun advocates often concede that the most difficult part of any debate over gun safety comes when the conversation turns to the frequency with which children are killed or maimed by loaded weapons belonging to a parent or guardian. Once discovered, it’s an even bet that the gun will quickly morph from an instrument of protection to the lethal toy that kills about one kid per week while leaving countless other lives in shambles.

A gun safe offers a reasonable degree of protection – if the safe is nearby when the weapon is needed, or the gun owner actually returns it to the safe.

A handgun outfitted with a biometric grip is an effective safety device – unless the gun owner’s hands are wet or greasy at that critical moment of life or death.

A new mechanism developed in Israel by a pair of army Special Forces veterans is proving to be an undeniable alternative to chain locks, safes, biometrics and even careful handling. The ZORE X core rapid dial gun lock – named from the Hebrew word for ‘flintstone’, the stone used to fire muskets of yore –has a cartridge shaped lock that fits into the gun’s chamber like a round of ammunition. When the need arises to activate the pistol, the mechanical locking mechanism that had been chambered is unlocked by a battery-operated element that unlocks the gun, ejecting the lock assembly while replacing it with a round of ammunition, all in one action. The manufacturers insist the entire procedure for disabling the locking mechanism to firing the weapon is about 2 to 3 seconds.

Ohad Levi, a 31-year old lawyer and gun owner who was introduced to the ZORE X by his wife who heard about it and thought it sounded like a reasonable way to protect children …

How many of you are willing to give up that 2 to 3 seconds?

Hey, I wonder if they’ve taken my challenge on “smart guns” yet?  I’m sure somebody would want to see me “pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.”

But here’s the deal I made with you smart gun folks.  If you lose you have to buy me the gun of my choice.  To date, no one has taken me up the challenge.  What gives?

Comment Of The Week

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 13 hours ago

moe mensale on the Keymod vesus M-LOK debate:

“I think that debate is also stupid. That’s why my 10″ and 20″ Colt AR15s are fitted with full Picatinny rails! When did AR15s become overly heavy? I think maybe some people need to put down their double frappe mocha italiano grande caffes and pick up a kettle bell.”

Pistol Ammunition Ballistics Part 2

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 11 hours ago

In Oversimplifying Ammunition Ballistics I had an argument with Tam, who is an NRA writer, and she doesn’t like the idea of “flying dimes.”  Ridiculous, said I.  And you can read the rest for yourself.

Today I passed through The Firearm Blog, and normally I like what I see there to some degree, including the comments, but this one just caused me to laugh.

They have a picture of a man (obtained via Facebook) who had a bullet lodged in his head, still visible.  Must have been a squib load, must have been a reload, he must have been wearing a helmet, and on and on the comments go.

Pitiful .45 ACP, said a few.  Shooter should have used something else like the much more effective 9mm.  One commenter said that the .45 ACP penetrates farther than the 9mm, and so there must have been shielding in between the muzzle and his head (like a helmet).  The response to this commenter was that he lost all respect because he said that the .45 ACP penetrates farther than the 9mm.

Good grief.  So much chaos in one place is mind boggling.  I don’t know how many readers actually dropped by the ballistics tests run by Lucky Gunner that I linked in my original post, but probably not many.  I usually have readers for under two minutes, so blogging is something that must be done where readers can digest quickly.

But after I read those comments, I did a little bit of calculating on those test results for 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.  Here is what I got for their self defense loads.  I discarded the 2 (two) lowest penetration depths for all three rounds, as they appeared to be outlier data points.

9mm: Average penetration depth = 17.762 inches, standard deviation = 2.777, maximum penetration = 26.5 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation (FSD) of 0.156 or 15.6%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 124 gr.

.40 S&W: Average penetration depth = 19.034 inches, standard deviation = 5.637, maximum penetration = 32 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation of 0.296, or 29.6%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 180 gr.

.45 ACP: Average penetration depth = 18.867 inches, standard deviation = 5.009, maximum penetration = 31.2 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation of 0.265, or 26.5%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 200 gr.

Various bullet masses were used for the tests.  This doesn’t give room for either (a) Tam to claim that lighter weight bullets are “flying dimes,” or (b) the commenter at TFB to claim that .45 ACP penetrates farther than 9mm (at least, not much farther).  It also certainly doesn’t give room to tell that commenter that he has lost all respect of the firearms community.  Such exaggeration is juvenile.

Here is the problem.  An astute Monte Carlo analyst would tell you that these problems haven’t converged.  Most analysts like to see on the order of 5% – 10% FSD before developing any confidence in the system.  There may also be some issues with these rounds, in that there was inconsistent or incomplete expansion of every “maximum penetration” round for each of the three calibers.

More data is needed, and I didn’t run a VOV (variance of the variance) on these samples since the sample size is so small.  The problem needs to converge before developing confidence in the system.  The trouble is that this takes ammunition, ballistics gelatin, denim, test apparatus, and human resources.  None of this is cheap.

There is also the issue of differing masses of bullets, but since the sample size is small for caliber, it’s even smaller for bullet mass within a caliber.  But suffice it to say that lighter mass bullets aren’t flying dimes, and you can examine the data for yourself.

It’s also clear that each round performs well and penetrates far enough to do massive damage (except perhaps for the outlier data points).  Ammunition brand is also a consideration.

The point of all of this is that if you want to make hyperbolic and exaggerated statements concerning much of anything, be my guest.  I prefer to be a thinking man.  And if Lucky Gunner wants assistance in analyzing the performance of any other tests, I’m available.  But I do recommend proper convergence of the data sets.  That requires more shooting.

Understanding Head Space On An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 11 hours ago

Tom McHale writing at Ammoland gives us a good rundown of what head space means and how to check it.  I won’t copy and past his prose because that would be bad form.  Visit Ammoland and read Tom’s piece.  But I will lift one of the videos and embed it here.

Bolt Carrier Group Stress Test

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

This is an interesting video.  It wasn’t made to test the gun so much, but rather the BCG.  He makes that very clear.

It sort of makes you wonder about those Soldiers complaining about firing 400 rounds through their Colt guns at Wanat and Kamdesh only to see their guns seize up.

First of all, remember that the Army hasn’t trained their men in fire control and marksmanship like the Marines.  I’m not saying that – an experienced trainer who has time in Afghanistan is saying that.

Second, I maintain that the problems at Wanat had to do with being deployed at the bottom of a valley in between mountains, giving up the high ground, no logistics, no support, a poorly connected and poorly manned observation post, and a total time of more than a year from start to finish to build and man the COP (giving the Haqqani network time to deploy fighters at will).  Again, see multiple entries on The Battle of Wanat.  If you haven’t studied it, it’s a sad but necessary tale.

There is a rich history of blaming the gun for the failures when the real blame had to do with leadership, so it’s entirely misplaced blame to point to the gun.  But it does cause you to wonder if those Colt guns had a better BCG would they have seized up after 400 rounds (400 rounds in 30 or so minutes at Wanat).

There are a lot of very good coated BCGs like this Titanium Nitride component.  This is the guts of the gun.  It makes sense to outfit yours with a good one.


The Heckler & Koch M27 Is The New Marine Corps Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

You can read about it here.

My son (former SAW gunner) thinks this is a very bad idea.  First of all, it’s a closed bolt system.  The SAW was an open bolt system, which allowed the gun to cool.

Second, he had to train the other SAW gunners in his company over a protracted period of time to ensure that they understood rate of fire, proper fire control, etc., gun temperature regulation, and so forth, and got proficient at it on the range.  The concept of squad rushes relies on a SAW gunner laying down suppressing fire for the other three Marines in the fire team to rush forward, and then the three Marines carrying carbines to lay down fire for the SAW gunner to rush forward.

This is fixed doctrine, fully embedded into the training materials, range time, and small unit fire and maneuver tactics.  Nothing will be the same, and the Marines will have to revamp that doctrine and the follow-on training.  There won’t be any SAW gunners to rely on to provide suppressing fire, regardless of what this rifle can do.

That, at any rate, is his take.  Perhaps it will work out for them.  Say, why isn’t that Marine using a Pmag?

Oversimplifying Ammunition Ballistics

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Via Say Uncle, this comes to us from Tam.

Super Vel Ammo: I have to vent.

What kills me is how they’re hyping 90gr +P .38 Spl & 9mm and 185gr +P .45ACP bullets as if the last thirty years of accumulated terminal ballistics knowledge hadn’t even happened.

Flying dimes with no sectional density moving at Warp Factor Six are how we got Miami and then wound up spending twenty years wandering in the .40 caliber wilderness, and the shit is being pimped by people who should goddam well know better because, I dunno, Cameron Hopkins is a nice guy or something and the boxes make older gunwriters feel nostalgic.

Oh dear.  The lady doth annoy me sometimes.  So let’s discuss this a bit.  She’s referring to sectional density, which is technically calculated as the ratio of mass over the cross sectional area, or SD = M/A.  The gun community simplifies that by ignoring the value of Pi in the computation of area, and converting mass in grains to pounds with the conversion of 7000 grains per pound.  Like this.

SD = M / (7000 X r^2)

The resultant value is dimensionless and totally meaningless unless in the context of comparison to the sectional densities of other bullets.  So for instance, the 230 grain .45 ACP bullet has a sectional density of 0.162, while the 185 grain bullet has a SD of 0.130.

But in reality, the lighter bullets aren’t travelling at “Warp Factor Six,” and a 185 grain .45 ACP isn’t a “flying dime” compared to any handgun round on earth.  And as for that matter, the 45 grain 22 magnum round has a SD of 0.128, which is reasonably close to that of the 185 grain .45 ACP.  Does that mean we should all dump whatever we currently shoot and adopt the .22 WMR?

No it doesn’t, because SD isn’t the only thing on earth to consider.  If it was, then Lucky Gunner would show that the penetration and expansion of 185 grain rounds sucked, while the 230 grain rounds succeeded.  Oops.  Guess she got that one wrong.

There are multiple things to consider, like (a) velocity, (b) consistent expansion, (c) penetration depth, (d) wound track, etc.  I’ve pointed out before that while I shoot the .45 ACP and I like it, I also like much higher velocity rounds.  Let’s rehearse what we saw with the FN 5.7 shot at Fort Hood.

The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. Subjective comparisons with the .22 magnum or categorization as a sub-par .223 round create confusion about the effectiveness of the FN 5.7.

Enough time has passed after the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, has been arrested, tried and sentenced. The media has moved on. Now we can begin to analyze the impact of the FN 5.7 and address the question of lethality.

Using SS192 and SS197SR ammunition (common commercial 5.7×28 ammo), several 20-30 round magazines and an FN 5.7 (shooter also had a .357 revolver but did not use it), Hassan killed 13 and wounded 32 people.

Many armchair ballistics expert criticized this result as proof that the FN 5.7 platform is not lethal enough because of the proportion of the fatalities to the wounded. Others have proposed that had Hassan use another type of pistol, 9mm or .45, there would have been more fatalities.

If you look at this Wikipedia link and look at the list of casualties, one can come to a very eye-opening conclusion.
Fort Hood shooting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 11 people were shot center-of-mass (COM), one was shot in the stomach and one was shot in the head. All 13 died. All 11 victims who were shot COM did not survive.
2. 3 of the 13 people who died, tried to charge Hassan, but he stopped them with COM shots.
3. The 32 people who were wounded were hit in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders. None of the wounded survivors were shot COM.

The following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The FN 5.7 is a very lethal round CQB because all 11 victims who were shot COM died. No survivors for those hit COM.
2. The FN 5.7 is a real stopper, because 3 tried to charge Hassan at close range and were stopped by COM shots.
3. One of the fatalities was shot in the stomach, and died. The fragmentation of the SS197R round can create a hail of metal shards that can cause serious internal organ damage and bleeding in the stomach.
4. None of the 32 people who were hit in the extremities, hips and shoulders were able to muster a counter-attack because the FN 5.7 must have shattered or broken bones. The high rate of wounded vicitms to fatalities was the direct result of the shooting ability of Hassan (or lack thereof), and not because the 5.7×28 round is not lethal.
5. Sgt. Kimberly Munley (base civilian police), one of the first responders, was immediately disabled with 5.7×28 bullet shrapnels to her wrist and a second 5.7×28 bullet broke her femur. The light 5.7×28 commercial ammo showed that it can shatter large bones due to its velocity
6. According to medical personnel, there was so much blood in the room that it was difficult to get to the victims because the floor became very slippery. One can conclude that the commercial 5.7×28 rounds can fragment or tumble, causing immense blood loss.
7. It took five bullets (which I assume was a 9 mm) from Sgt Mark Todd to stop Hasan. And he survived his wounds (no available info on where he was hit, except that one of the bullets paralyzed Hasan).

In conclusion:
1. The FN 5.7 is definitely a very lethal round. 100% fatality for COM shots.
2. The FN 5.7 is a man-stopper. Three military men tried to charge Hasan, and all three were stopped.
2. The FN 5.7 is a very incapacitating round, if extremities are hit, because it is powerful enough to break the femur (which is the largest bone in the body)
3. The fragmentation or tumbling effect of commercial ammo can cause a lot of blood loss.

The FN 5.7 is a very effective weapon. It is as effective as, or arguably more effective, than any military or civilian pistols in the market.

It is unfortunate that the jihadist Hassan used this weapon against U.S. soldiers.

I have an FN 5.7.  You don’t want to be shot with that round, especially not the ammunition travelling 2200 FPS (the red box ammunition versus the blue tip sporting rounds).  Velocity isn’t everything.  If it was, I’d carry a 6″ barrel .357 magnum with me everywhere.  There is the issue of weight, shape, form, and so on the list goes.

But oversimplifying this to some idiotic rant about turning back the hands of time on 30 years of research is silly and does nothing to serve the gun community.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with the .40 S&W, even though she likens it to wandering in the wilderness for 20 years, any more than there is anything wrong with the 10 mm (which is similar).  The notion of high velocity round to which she refers can be studied here.  The comments are laughable.  There is this one.

In the ’60’s I was a cop in a moderate size PD in Texas, an officer shot a suspect in the chest three times with .357 Super Vel 110 grain bullets. Even though the bullets were traveling 10,000 miles an hour none of the three penetrated past the ribcage and they expanded well and destroyed his ribcage he almost knocked the officer down running passed him. The next day Super Vel was removed from my revolver.

If you believe that someone shot someone else with three .357 magnum rounds, or even one of them, and it failed to penetrate past the rib cage (in other words, it only penetrated the clothes and skin), then you’re dumber that a box of rocks.  That cop missed.  Or the person was lying about what happened.  He was fabulating.

Be careful what you read on the interwebz.

Kimber To Open Manufacturing Facility In Troy, Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

A few days while touring around inside Google Analytics I saw a visit from Kimber on an article I wrote where I tried to encourage Kimber to move out of New York to greener pastures, or in other words, right-to-work states.  It would match the move South by many other firearms manufacturers and likely garner more support within the gun community.  After all, one wonders how many guns are being sold in the Northeast compared to Southeast.

Now I understand why this article captured someone’s interest.  Troy, Alabama won a new Kimber facility.

A major gun manufacturer will open a new production facility in Troy, adding 366 jobs to the local economy over the next five years.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday that Kimber Manufacturing Inc. would locate in Troy and invest $38 million in the local economy to build a state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facility. Ivey said the new factory would bring high-paying design and manufacturing jobs to Troy.

The new facility is expected to open in 2019.

Kimber officials said growing demand for the company’s products led to the decision to open a new plant in Troy.

“Troy offers us expansion with a passionate workforce, extraordinarily low utility costs, a pro-business environment, experienced local training support, and long-term incentives from the state and local government alike,” Greg Grogan, Kimber’s chief operating officer, said. “This expansion in conjunction with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class products provides for exciting times here at Kimber.”

The company has roots in Yonkers and has grown rapidly in the past two decades. The Troy facility will be Kimber’s sixth U.S. plant.

This is great news, but here’s a warning.  Leave your progressive politics up North.  We down South don’t like high taxes or intrusive, nanny state government.

Ruger To Lay Off Part Of Engineering Work Force

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

Via reader David, Ruger is laying off employees.

Newport — Sturm, Ruger & Co. is in the process of laying off about 50 workers, or about 2.7 percent, of the company’s workforce, a top executive for the gunmaker said on Friday.

Ruger Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reid Sr. said the layoffs are happening companywide, and he isn’t sure how many of the roughly 1,300 workers at the Newport location would be affected.

“It was for the needs of the business and tied to employee performance,” Reid said of the layoffs. “At Ruger, we routinely adjust our workforce.”

Reid, who is based in Ruger headquarters in Southport, Conn., said the company focused most of the layoffs on “indirect labor positions” such as marketing, sales and engineering, and not on employees directly involved in production.

Ruger employs between 1,800 and 1,900 people around the country.

He declined to comment on the timeline for the layoffs.

Ruger has three manufacturing locations: in Newport; Prescott, Ariz.; and Mayodan, N.C.

It also has a precision metals branch in Earth City, Mo., according to Ruger’s website.

Reid shied away from commenting on whether a third-quarter sales decrease impacted the layoffs, but noted that the company has “been in a fluctuating market, which I don’t think is lost on anybody.”

Well this isn’t a good report.  The gun market is soft right now for obvious reasons and so the work force is a little bloated compared to the purchase frenzy prior to the election.  But if anyone thinks that the softer market will continue they’re badly mistaken.

Let’s say it another way.  If you believe that the election of a pro-gun president is anything but a brief respite, you’re dense.  We need to remember that half of the country voted for gun controllers, and the other half is comprised of a lot of people who don’t care about our rights.

Florida will become a reliable blue state because of immigration from Puerto Rico, and Texas will be in play within a decade due to immigration South of the border.  Alabama just elected a democrat Senator, and Soros and Bloomberg are still dumping money into their candidates.  Except for a few outliers such as Texas open carry, gun rights hasn’t had a victory in a very long time (and no, Heller wasn’t a victory, and Texas open carry is still permitted carry).

This is going to turn around for firearms manufacturers within the next year or two, perhaps right after the 2018 elections, perhaps not, but certainly the year before the next presidential election.  Firearms manufacturers must do what they need to survive until then, but layoffs in marketing, sales, HR and support is one thing.  Layoffs in engineering is quite another.

Layoffs in engineering means that development slows down and competition gets harder to match.  It means that plant problems don’t get addressed as expeditiously as they otherwise might, and it means that just a single unaddressed problem like the Walker Fire Control that almost ruined Remington may end up ruining the next company that doesn’t have the resources to study problems and design remediation.

I think this is all around a very bad idea, and layoffs need to happen elsewhere, or otherwise all employees should take no raise (or even pay cuts) in order to ensure the health of the company.

Colt Python: The Best Revolver Ever Made?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

The National Interest:

More than a hundred years after Colt’s successful line of cavalry pistols the company released a new revolver: the Colt Python. One of seven mid-20th century Colt handguns named after snakes, the Python was introduced in 1955. The Python was a beefy, all steel and wood revolver chambered in .357 Magnum. The revolver had a six-shot cylinder and originally came with either a bright nickel or royal blue finish.

The Python was exactly what people imagined a revolver to be. The Python had a slightly oversized, stout .41 caliber frame with beautiful, beveled edges. The trigger well was large and capable of accommodating gloved fingers. The revolver was most commonly sold with a six-inch barrel, although two, three, four, and eight-inch barrels were also available.

The barrel was the Python’s most defining and beautiful feature. A full length ventilated rib ran the length of the barrel, all the way to the muzzle, leading to the front iron sights. This was complemented by a full length underlug with a knurled ejector rod tastefully nestled inside. The result was a barrel that at first glance looked outsized, as though it was a larger caliber than it really was.

Pythons were made the old fashioned way, by hand, when as one gun writer put it, “technology was relatively expensive and labor was comparatively cheap.” Parts were fitted by hand by skilled machinists who could take the time to tweak and polish the fifty-seven parts that made up a Colt Python until it ran like a watch. The Python may have been the last mass-produced handgun built with a nod to Old World craftsmanship.

I don’t know.  The Smith & Wesson Performance Center makes a pretty fine revolver, and I’ve really liked my Ruger GP100.  It’s trigger is as good as any wheel gun made by Smith.

With that said, I’ve never shot a Colt Python.  It’s too rich for my wallet, the lowest starting at just under $3000, and going up to more than $6000 for pristine condition.  I will probably never in my life shoot such a gun.

Here’s an interesting and humorous story for readers.  I have a very dear friend, who had a very dear wife, and we were visiting with them talking and showing guns and grilling steaks one evening.  It was when I did the cheap plastic gun scene and before I threw them all away (traded them in) for nice 1911s and wheel guns.

My dear friend trots out a beautiful Colt Python, SS 6″ barrel, in a beautiful Walnut case, and it had never been shot (except for the obligatory shot by the gunsmith).  It was in pristine condition.  My mouth fell open and I put my cheap plastic gun away.

The humorous part is the story behind it.  One day his wife wanted to kill a snake in their back yard, and he arrived home to find his wife sporting a gun, ready to shoot.  The gun she chose was that Colt Python, and it was a black snake.  My friend managed to stop her by shouting her down.  Don’t ever touch that gun, and don’t shoot black snakes.

And thus he saved several thousand dollars by preventing a single shot.  And that Colt Python is still in pristine condition.  And I’ll still never have one.

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