AR-15 Ammunition And Barrel Twist Rate

Herschel Smith · 19 Feb 2017 · 7 Comments

There are a lot of articles and discussion forum threads on barrel twist rate for AR-15s.  So why am I writing one?  Well, some of the information on the web is very wrong.  Additionally, this closes out comment threads we've had here touching on this topic, EMail exchanges I've had with readers, and personal conversations I've had with shooters and friends about this subject.  It's natural to put this down in case anyone else can benefit from the information.  Or you may not benefit at…… [read more]

Dry Fire Fun With John Lovell

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 9 hours ago

U.S. Special Forces Wants Russian Machine Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

National Interest:

Why would U.S. special forces want to manufacture Russian machine guns?

Just watch any video of a conflict such as Iraq and Syria, and the answer becomes clear. Many of the combatants are using Russian or Soviet weapons, or local copies thereof, from rifles to rocket launchers to heavy machine guns mounted on pickups. Which means that when U.S. special forces provide some of these groups with weapons, they have to scrounge through the global arms market to buy Russian hardware as well as spare parts.

So U.S. Special Forces Command, which oversees America’s various commando units, has an idea: instead of buying Russian weapons, why not build their own? That’s why USSOCOM is asking U.S. companies to come up with a plan to manufacture Russian and other foreign weapons.

The goal is to “develop an innovative domestic capability to produce fully functioning facsimiles of foreign-made weapons that are equal to or better than what is currently being produced internationally,” according to the USSOCOM Small Business Innovation Research proposal.

More specifically, USSOCOM wants American companies to explore whether it is feasible to “reverse engineer or reengineer and domestically produce the following foreign-like weapons: 7.62×54R belt fed light machine gun that resembles a PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany), and a 12.7×108mm heavy machine gun that resembles a Russian-designed NSV (Nikitin, Sokolov, Volkov).”

Applicants for the research project must produce “five fully functional prototypes, to include firing of live ammunition, of a foreign-like weapon that resembles the form, fit, and function of a Russian-designed NSV 12.7×108mm heavy machine gun.”

However, USSOCOM won’t make the process easy by providing assistance such as technical drawings. Interested companies will have to make their own drawings of foreign weapons, acquire the appropriate parts and raw materials, and create a manufacturing capability.

Companies will also have to “address the manufacture of spare parts to support fielded weapons.” In addition, they must be prepared to start up and shut down production as needed, as well as provide varying quantities of weapons.

USSOCOM also emphasizes that foreign weapons must be strictly made in America. Manufacturers “will employ only domestic labor, acquire domestically produced material and parts, and ensure weapon manufacture and assembly in domestic facilities.”

Though USSOCOM is starting with a pair of Russian machine guns, the research proposal speaks of foreign-made weapons in general. “Developing a domestic production capability for foreign-like weapons addresses these issues while being cost effective as well as strengthens the nation’s military-industrial complex, ensures a reliable and secure supply chain, and reduces acquisition lead times.”

Of course, one unstated solution to this problem is for the problem not to exist at all, which would mean minding our own damn business and not arming everyone on earth with weapons.  America has become Imperialists, meddlers, bilkers of armaments, precious metals, money, children and oil.  Basically, anything worth something on the open market interests Washington, most of all the deep state (including Senators, the FBI and the CIA).

The second thing that should be pointed out is that the world would prefer American weapons if we made them better.  The Stoner system of arms (in particular today that means mostly the AR-15) is ubiquitous, but for machine guns, both light and heavy, or basically anything that needs to operate open bolt rather than closed bolt for heat dissipation, the rest of the world leads the way, including with the M249 SAW (not so for the M2, which as best as I know, is still the best heavy machine gun in the world).

Without the NFA and gun control act, civilians would be able to manufacture and innovate in order to field the very best armaments on the planet.  We have the best engineers, the best machinists, the best gunsmiths and the best mechanics on the planet, so there isn’t any reason we can’t field the best armaments on the planet.

But machines are vetted on the open civilian market, not within the closed circles of the military industrial apparatus.  We will always lag behind, as we should, because the rulers want to rule, and they fear the American public.

Too bad.  Suck it up, American military.  You get machines built by the lowest cost bidder, and innovation isn’t in the game plan.  The government is out of money, and civilians have been excluded from the process.  We are doing our own thing.

Feds Go On Gun Confiscation Spree

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

USA Today:

Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them.

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It’s the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to FBI records – an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) vets millions of gun purchase transactions every year. But the thousands of gun seizure requests highlight persistent problems in a system where analysts must complete background checks within three days of the proposed purchase. If the background check is not complete within the 72-hour time limit, federal law allows the sale to go forward. ATF agents are asked to take back the guns if the FBI later finds these sales should have been denied.

In addition to the public safety risks, the ATF agents tasked with retrievingthe banned weapons from unauthorized gun owners across the country are exposed to potentially dangerous confrontations.

“These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,” said David Chipman, a former ATF official who helped oversee the firearm retrieval program. “You don’t want ATF to stand for ‘after the fact.'”

No, I don’t.  I’d rather the ATF didn’t exist at all since they are an unconstitutional entity based on unconstitutional laws and regulations.

There.  Fixed it.


Are Revolvers Passé?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago


A recent article in a second-class gun magazine reviewed several handguns that were introduced at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The author called revolvers “antiquated technology on par with the manual typewriter,” but went on to state that despite this, American gun consumers simply cannot get enough of them. He was certainly correct on that account.

If anything, revolvers are just as popular today as ever, if not moreso given the introductions of new, exciting models from major gun manufacturers. If these wheel guns did not sell, why would gun makers continue to produce them? In fact, they cannot keep up with demand for new revolvers.

Now, to be fair, that author is just another millennial type who was not raised on wheel guns. These guys grew up on cable TV, tofu, sushi, MTV, X-Boxes, and sports drinks. They go all goo-goo for pistols. The more switches and buttons to push, the better. Just the sound of a racking slide makes them break out in goose bumps.

Trying to describe the practical aspects of a revolver, the fun and beauty of the timing of a hammer cocking to align with a loaded cylinder chamber is like trying to talk about a 1955 Ford Thunderbird or a Chevy SS with a 396 under the hood. That guy probably drives an electric car.

I recently spoke to a gun store employee who said the same thing.  There has been a rediscovery of revolvers within the past year to two.  I hope I’ve been in some small way responsible for that in my own little circle of readers.  I commented to him that there is no reason that the revolver should ever become obsolete.

He shrugged and said, “And they’re a ton of fun to shoot!”  Well, yes, more fun than pistols, but I agree with the author.  It’s more than that.  It’s the beauty of the machine, the precision of the action, the gorgeous build of the gun, the feel of the “purchase,” and the sweet, light trigger in single action.

And don’t discount the reliability factor either.  Finally, the small gap between the cylinder and forcing cone means that rounds that cannot be handled in most pistols (excepting the VERY large and heavy Desert Eagle) can be handled in revolvers, up to and including 500 S&W.  You cannot achieve 1400 FPS with a 9mm pistol because of chamber pressure, but you can with a .357 magnum wheel gun.

I did the plastic (polymer) gun scene, and sold them all for 1911s and revolvers.  Revolvers are only passé to immature, pea brain millennials who have no appreciation for the finer things.

Retired Military Commanders Urge Congress To Enact More Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Sixteen of the nation’s top retired military commanders are urging Congress to pass gun control legislation, arguing that there are many steps that can be taken to curb gun deaths that do not violate the Second Amendment.

In a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders, the retired commanders, including Army Gens. Wesley Clark and Michael Hayden, Navy Admiral Eric Olson, Air Force Lt. Gen. Norman Seip and Marine Brig. Gen. Stephen Cheney, argue that Congress is “no longer speaking or voting for the majority of Americans, including gun owners” when it comes to the issue of firearms.

“There is no acceptable excuse for our elected leaders to avoid addressing this as a national crisis,” they write.

The group is part of the veterans coalition of a gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly. They laid out their arguments in a letter they plan to send to Congressional leaders.

[ … ]

The letter comes as a House panel this week voted to advance a measure that would expand the ability to carry concealed firearms across state lines. Under the bill, known as concealed carry reciprocity, a person with a concealed-carry permit and a photo identification would be able to have a concealed weapon in any state that allows them. The gun owner would still have to follow state and local laws regarding where and what type of weapons can be carried. The National Rifle Association has called the bill its “highest legislative priority in Congress.”

The legislation is scheduled for a House vote next week. Its sponsor, Richard Hudson, R-N.C., said in a statement that the bill is extremely popular and “momentum, common sense, and the facts are on our side.”

Giffords said the bill weakens public safety, and Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal said he agrees.

“In the aftermath of two of the country’s worst mass shootings, it’s an affront to both our safety as a nation and the common sense of its citizens that Congress would consider actually weakening our gun laws,” McChrystal said. “Untrained and potentially dangerous people have no business carrying guns in our communities, but the concealed carry bill in the House would allow exactly that.”

Well isn’t this special?  A list of traitors self identifies – again.  We knew this about some of these men, such as Petraeus and McChrysytal.  We also knew that Petraeus is an adulterer and McChrystal is a murderer (of the men at Ganjgal).  I’m not certain whether we also knew that about the other signatories to this abomination, but if not, then welcome to the party.  You’re on our very own list now.

At least with people who haven’t sworn to uphold and defend the constitution (some people grow up hating liberty and never once utter words of commitment to anyone or anything but themselves), urging gun control wouldn’t be out of character, even though still contrary to duty and righteousness.

But these are men who have taken the oaths they have, and then behave contrary to everything to which they have agreed.  Oh well, Petraeus did that with his wife too, and McChrystal did that to the men at Ganjgal.  Men who can’t be trusted … can’t be trusted, ever.  They prove it in all of their ways, in all of their words, and in all of their actions.

The military is rife with such men just as is law enforcement.  You cannot use exterior accoutrements as an indication of quality of character.

H.R. 38 And H.R. 4477

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Statement from GOA:

Springfield, VA – Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA) Erich Pratt made the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee’s actions on concealed carry reciprocity and background check legislation:
“Over 1.5 million law-abiding Americans who make up Gun Owners of America commend the House Judiciary Committee for reporting H.R. 38, the concealed carry reciprocity bill.

“GOA applauds the committee passage of H.R. 38 and encourages the House leadership to take up the bill right away. This legislation will allow decent Americans to carry in any state in the country with confidence that they would not become entrapped by the fascist gun laws of anti-gun states.

“GOA also sends special kudos to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who shot down an attempt by Democrats to delete the Constitutional Carry protections in the bill.  Gun Owners of America opposed the amendment that sought to only limit concealed carry reciprocity to permit holders and was happy to see that provision go down to an inglorious defeat.

“Finally, Gun Owners of America condemns the committee’s approval of the ‘Traffic Ticket Gun Ban’ (H.R. 4477).  This deceptive legislation would add hundreds of thousands of additional names into the NICS system, thus blocking thousands of lawful gun owners from purchasing guns for offenses as slight as unpaid traffic tickets. Not only that, it would lay the groundwork for an anti-gun administration to troll every government health and welfare program for the purpose of imposing gun bans on recipients with PTSD, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s — the latter would jeopardize the inheritance of many valuable gun collections.  The Obama administration already tried to do this with Social Security disability.  In the future, there may not be a pro-gun Congress to disapprove similar moves or a pro-gun president to sign it.”

But then there is this from reddit/firearms.

From The Military Arms’ Channel page:

I have spoken to GOA again today and here is an email as of about 15 minutes ago.


To clarify several things.

First, recent gun politics has been a very fluid situation, with a lot of different statements from different people on the Hill.

On the combination of reciprocity and fix NICS – currently, we do expect the House Rules Committee to combine the bills Tuesday.

On the YouTube video you sent. I believe this YouTuber mistook the markup transcript (this document) for what was actually passed by the Judiciary Committee. That document, which is over 300 pages in length, is the a transcript of the hearing, not what was passed by the Judiciary Committee. The two amendments that were added, (here and here) are not certainly 300 pages in length, nor are they killer amendments. The standalone reciprocity bill is still a clean bill.

Again, this is a very fluid situation, why don’t we talk tomorrow for a game plan?

Thanks for your activism!”

In the end, what came out of the committee is a pretty clean HR 38. They added two amendments which aren’t “poison pills” in the view of the GOA.

Now for the bad news.

GOA does now expect the House Rules Committee to combine the bills on Tuesday. It’s not done yet, but at this time it does look like Massie’s concerns are valid as the GOA are now saying they expect the HRC to try and merge them into one bill.

If this does happen, sadly, we will have to defeat the legislation. It will be another Hughes Amendment at that point. Since Bill Clinton was on the only U.S. President to have “line item veto” power for a short time before it was ruled unconstitutional in 1998, Trump won’t be able to fix a broken bill… just like Reagan couldn’t. And just like with Reagan, the NRA will likely tell Trump to sign the bill into law if it makes it to his desk as they’re strong advocates for the NICS system (they wrote the original law for Clinton).

If we pass a combined bill, we will have to accept the fact that NICS will get a whole lot worse and you can expect a whole bunch more delays and denials coming out of the NICS system.

If you ever talked to your doctor about being depressed, you’re not able to own a firearm. If you have been diagnosed with ADHD, you’re no longer eligible to buy a firearm. Have you sought help with your finances before? You’re no longer eligible to own a firearm. Are you over 65? You may no longer be eligible to own a firearm. Hell, if you have an unpaid traffic ticket, you’re no longer eligible to buy a firearm under HR 4477.


Blow up the phones on Monday. I’ll see if I can get a stream going with the GOA to talk about it Monday. We’ll have to do what we can to try and stop the House Rules Committee from merging them. The reality is, there’s little we can do given how fast and fluid this process has been. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Then there are the reddit commenters who call BS on the GOA take on things.

As for my own take, I have none at the moment.  I will offer up two remarks on this and in fact any other bill that comes to my attention.  First, I absolutely do not support any bill I haven’t read in its entirety.  I have not read this one.  Second, I do not support any bill, ever, under any circumstances, for any reason whatsoever, that includes more gun laws.  I do not believe in compromise.

If readers have spent more time studying this than I have, please feel free to weigh in via comments.

Pelosi Not Big On Due Process

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

David Codrea:

Pelosi also has no problem ignoring due process when it comes to enacting citizen disarmament edicts. Case in point, she’s a big supporter of so-called ”No Fly/No Buy” to deny guns to Americans who have not even been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one.

Then there is this remark, with which I agree.

And she’s absolutely inconsistent and hypocritical in defending Democrat Conyers, Al Franken and Bill Clinton while calling Republican Roy Moore “a child molester.”

And the comment of the day goes to American Patriot, who says, “If I talked like her after being pulled over by an officer I’d be in cuffs & hauled away for DUI without being tested [f]or drinking for that matter.”

Trying to reason with Pelosi is like trying to teach my dog calculus.

Grassy Creek Falls At DuPont

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

This is Grassy Creek Falls from the top.

Ridgeline was closed for maintenance, and since I didn’t look at the web site prior to striking out Friday morning, I had to find out by meeting a fellow biker on the trails.

I decided to get back down the mountain by riding Jim Branch trail.  I had anguished my way up that trail before, but never gone down it.

It was a rockin’ trail, very fast and rowdy.  But this isn’t surprising since there are no bad trails at DuPont.

No, Self Defense Is YOUR Job!

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Canton Rep:

“There’s a sort of implied pacifism by clergy and rabbis, but the Scriptures don’t support that,” he said. “The concept of the shepherd is that he’s someone who leads his flock, feeds his flock and protects his flock.”

Oyler cites Luke 22:36, when, at the end of his life, Jesus warned his disciples they would be in danger and appears to instruct them to purchase a sword for protection. It’s a contrast to Luke 9, Oyler said, when Jesus sent them out unarmed.

“We are targets,” Oyler said. “As the shepherd of the congregation, I believe I have a responsibility to have a tactical (plan) to protect my congregation … what we do ministry-wise is a little unique. We don’t ingratiate ourselves to everyone.”

Let’s not carry this too far.  While I concur that protecting your neighbors and loved ones is required, it is required of us all, not just pastors.

If you want properly to care for your “flock,” teach good doctrine.  That includes the notion that every man takes a vow when he starts a family to protect his family and give his life if necessary.  It isn’t the pastor’s job any more than your manager at work.  That’s why I’ve never been impressed at LEOs being “sworn,” as if this is something big, unique or special.  All men are sworn.

To be sure, your congregation should have a security and tactical plan, and you should create it and practice it with the other congregants.  But when it comes to a man standing over your family in the pew getting ready to take the life of your wife or children, don’t you dare look to someone else to do the protecting.

What Guns Are Mostly Used For In Harris County

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Houston Public Media:

State Attorney General Ken Paxton suggested on Fox News that good people with guns might stop the bad ones.

“If it’s a place where somebody has the ability to carry there is also the opportunity that the gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people,” Paxton said.

But how often does that happen, that a bystander saves the day with a gun?

That question was just one of many we wanted to look into. For some answers we talked with Ashraf Mozayani.

“Very very low number you are looking that somebody protects themselves with the gun,” she said.

How would Mozayani know?

For years, she saw the result of gun fire first-hand when she worked at the medical examiner’s office.

“I have been the lab director and chief toxicologist for Harris County Institute of Forensic Science or at that time we called the medical examiner’s office from 1996 to 2012,” she said.

If someone died in Harris County and required an autopsy, Mozayani was a part of a team analyzing the report.

“In any medical examiner office every morning you usually sit at the table and see every case that comes to the office,” she said.

Mozayani said she rarely saw a report of a fatality where someone used a gun in defense.

Here’s a quick note to Marissa Cummings of Houston Public Media.  Congratulations on winning the stupidest MSM article of the month award!  You should be very proud.

For proof that guns are rarely used in self defense, you turned to a ME who examines dead people.  Of course, you leave out the instances where a person has been shot and lives (which the ME wouldn’t see), and instances where no round has had to be discharged (which the ME wouldn’t see), and also instances where a gun was simply safely carried by someone if needed for self defense and it never had to be used (which law enforcement and the ME wouldn’t see), but could have been used for its intended purpose.

This last category is most important, because it exists for the amelioration of risk, which as we have all learned, is the product of probability and consequences.  Assault is a high risk evolution because the consequences are so high.  Carrying a weapon and being prepared to deploy and use it ameliorates that risk.

Merissa, sit back, get a stout cup of coffee, and think about these things for a while.  Try again later after intense study.

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