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]

Field Stripping A 1911

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Using a barrel bushing wrench or comparable tool, depress the recoil spring plug. The plug is located directly below the barrel bushing. After depressing the plug, rotate the barrel bushing to one side. Take care with this step because the recoil spring plug holds the recoil spring back tightly. If you are not careful, the spring will eject the plug into whatever dark, impenetrable corner exists in the room you are working in. When the spring is loose, the recoil spring plug can be removed from the end of the spring and set aside. The spring itself will still be held in place within the slide.

Turn the gun right-side down. Hook your thumb against the front of the trigger guard – without touching the trigger – and wrap the fingers of the same hand over the slide. (Hooking your thumb inside the front of the trigger guard rather than around the grip safety allows you better access to the slide for the remainder of this step.)

Push the slide back and align the rearward, raised portion of the takedown lever with the disassembly notch in the slide (the first notch is the slide stop notch and the second, smaller one is the disassembly notch). Holding the slide in this position, use the fingers of your other hand to begin pushing the takedown lever pin free from the receiver. If you need a visual aid, simply continue to hold the slide back and rotate the gun so you’re looking at its right-hand side. You will see the circular, raised pin located centrally above the trigger guard.

Once the takedown lever pin has been pushed partially free of the receiver, you should be able to remove it entirely from the left-hand side of the receiver. Set the takedown lever aside and slowly release the slide.

Re-assembly tip: When replacing the takedown lever, be sure the barrel link is upright and lined up with the corresponding hole in the slide. Otherwise, the pin will not fit.

The barrel bushing is the most hazardous part for me.  If you’re not careful, you’ll put your eye out or put a hole in your ceiling.

This is a keeper along with the firearm manuals themselves for my 1911s.  It’s a good companion article to Revolver Disassembly and Cleaning.

Wilson Combat 1911 Magazines

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 3 days ago

Shooting Illustrated:

Wilson Combat improved the design of its high-capacity 1911 magazines, bringing new technology and innovation into the company’s extended design that enhances the capabilities of any standard 1911 pistol.

The magazine redesign includes a new high-strength magazine spring that’s made entirely from stainless steel, which enhances the corrosion resistance and performance of the magazine, extending its service life and enhancing the reliability of the already-dependable design. The heavy-duty magazine spring also brings with it the added benefit of ensuring positive engagement of the slide stop, as well as retaining spring tension under load for extended periods of time, allowing owners to keep their pistol magazines loaded without fear of weakening the magazine spring.

The Wilson Combat 10-round 1911 magazines also include an ETM-style nylon follower that self-lubricates for enhanced operation, as well as a totally new wraparound base pad that is made from polymer and allows for a secure, extended grip as well as quick and easy reloading. The base pad also includes dimpled areas that allow for easy marking, ensuring that shooters can keep track of their magazines with simple numbered markings. The baseplate is also easily removed for maintenance and is designed to withstand repeated impacts often sustained by dropped magazines.

I agree with one of the commenters on this piece.  This is an advertisement for Wilson Combat.  I’d much prefer that they do some testing and report the results to us.  On the other hand, I’ve heard very good things about Wilson Combat 1911 magazines, and their work to bring us a higher capacity magazine is smart.

I would also like to know how this stacks up against Chip McCormick magazines, especially with their newer feed rail technology.

Any comments from folks who have used both (or either) is appreciated.  I’d like to benefit from your insights before I spend my money.  Or … Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick could just send me some to review over the web site.

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Is The 1911 An Effective Defense Platform?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

It sounds juvenile even to be asking the question.

The question has been asked: Is the 1911 an effective defensive platform?

Well, yes it is. The pistol may not be the PERFECT defensive pistol, but it is a workable platform for those who choose to carry it; workable if you train properly.

Two of the biggest knocks against the 1911 are the light, single-action trigger and the frame-mounted thumb safety. Some people say the light trigger is the cause of negligent discharges with this type of pistol. Others claim the safety is a problem in a gunfight because, under stress, one will forget to disengage said safety and therefore get killed.

Seriously?  Someone has actually raised the objection to the 1911 that it isn’t designed with double action?  I find the infatuation with cheap plastic guns almost amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

Look, if you want to be sure that you have a ready weapon, chamber a round and put the safety on.  Or don’t.  My holsters guard the trigger anyway.

It’s easy to practice sweeping the safety down as soon as you unholster the weapon.  And John Basilone says hello.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

1911 Lubrication Done Right

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 3 weeks ago

I find this video to be very helpful regarding 1911 lubrication.

Hickok45 on P38 Versus 1911

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 7 months ago

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Army Delays Handgun Solicitation

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 9 months ago

Army Times:

The Army on Wednesday formally pushed back release of a final solicitation to produce its new handgun.

Originally projected for a Jan. 2 release, the Army decided to delay the Request for Proposals beyond January “to allow for improvements to the RFP as a result of feedback received from Industry,” according to a notice posted on the government solicitation website FedBizOpps.

No date for future action was proposed, other than to say it would not occur in January. Despite the delay, the notice also reiterated commitment to the pending competition to produce the Modular Handgun System, which will include ammo and a holster as well as a pistol.

“The Army remains committed to the MHS program and ensuring that it is executed using full and open competition,” the notice said.

Uh oh.  What political machinations underlie this delay?  Is Smith & Wesson not the frontrunner as they thought?  To all firearms manufacturers – the military is a fickle mistress.  She will break your heart.

As for polymer frame pistols, I won’t buy any more.  I like the balance and slender (single stack) profile of the 1911 too much (here we all pause in respect to John Moses Browning).  Furthermore, when I think about my plastic pistols I think about machines, utilitarian pieces of equipment that rattle too much and have that crappy, cheap feel but usually perform their intended function.

When I think about 1911s I think about works of art.  Even more than 1911s, revolvers (finely made) are works of art, pieces of craftsmanship, something I would be proud to turn over to my children as a heritage.  I’ve searched in vain, but I cannot find a picture of anyone actually carrying a wheel gun in either the Iraq or Afghanistan theaters.  Kudos to anyone who can find such a treasure.  Please send it our way.

And if you carried a revolver in any theater of war, you are a man among men.  I want to know you.


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