Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

First Impressions of 450 SMC

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

While I said that I carried 450 SMC (and a slightly modified 1911 with a stiffer recoil spring) into the bush, I had never shot it.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to take a very special little boy out to a field and teach him to shoot a .22LR Cricket.  I was a great time, and he exhibited the patience to do it right.  I was very proud of him.

But I used the chance to shoot a couple of rounds of 450 SMC through that 1911 to see how it performed.  While it has been said that the 450 SMC causes 78% more recoil than 45 ACP, I cannot bear that out from my experience.

Maybe it did, but I don’t find the recoil from the 45 ACP to be that stiff anyway.  I managed to shoot two shots of 450 SMC rapid fire and put them within a 3-4 inch two-shot group at 20 yards, first time, no practice shots.

I didn’t find the recoil to be problematic at all.  I would liken it to a combination of the push you get from the 45 ACP with the snappy muzzle flip of the 9mm.

Hopefully, much more to come on the 450 SMC.  I like it.

The .450 SMC

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

Shooting Illustrated.

In the late 1980s, gunwriter Dean Grennell took .451 Detonics Mag. brass and trimmed it to the same overall length as the .45 ACP cartridge case, thus creating the .45 Super. Grennell wrote an article for the February 1988 issue of Gun World Magazine, discussing his new version of the .45 ACP, which was capable of pushing a 185-grain bullet to 1,300 fps. In the August 1988 issue of Gun World Magazine, a second article about the .45 Super—written by Tom Ferguson—appeared. Ferguson was interested in Grennell’s concept cartridge, but he wanted to take things a step further. He took a handful of .451 Detonics Mag. brass and a 1911 pistol to Ace Hindman of Ace Custom 45s. Hindman came up with the idea of heavier springs in the 1911 to make it more suited to the higher-pressure cartridge.

In 1994, Fernando Coelho—owner of Triton Cartridge—reached out to Garey Hindman, Ace’s son, who was still converting 1911s and even some Smith & Wesson Model 4506 pistols to accommodate the.45 Super. The problem with the cartridge was a lack of suitable brass. Coelho had recently started Triton Cartridge and felt that with his background in load development, coupled with actual in-house pressure testing, he would be able to come up with reliable, factory-loaded, .45 Super ammunition. A deal was struck and Coelho reached out to Starline Brass to get the ball rolling. The folks at Starline worked with Coelho to establish correct internal case-wall dimensions, web-area thickness and overall hardness of the cartridge case.

But, just like the .300 BLK found fame because of its name, the.45 Super—as a commercial cartridge—was doomed because of what it was called. You see, when Ace Hindman passed away, his son trademarked “.45 Super.” When Triton made factory-loaded .45 Super ammo, Garey Hindman would get a royalty, which was something a bit unusual in the ammunition business. Because of this, no major firearm or ammunition manufacturer would offer .45 Super guns or ammunition. There was also the concern that a shooter might load and fire .45 Super ammo in a vintage .45 ACP revolver or an old 1911 and get an unpleasant surprise.

All this led to the birth of the .450 SMC. Coelho was fed up with the inherent issues of the .45 ACP/.45 Super cartridge case and the damage being done to the potential growth of the .45 Super. One of the case problems was primer flow; you could experiment with different brands of primers and powder, but most of the time primers would flow back around the tip of the firing pin. The solution: switch to a small-primer pocket and utilize a small-rifle primer. Coelho reached out to Starline again, asking the company to make .45 Super brass with a small-primer pocket. That solved the primer-flow problem and Triton Cartridge soon began offering factory-loaded .450 SMC ammunition. It was loaded to a maximum average pressure (MAP) of 32,000 psi, which is slightly higher than .45 Super pressures, but still less than the 37,500 psi pressure of the 10 mm. The new name—.450 SMC—solved the trade-mark problem, and Triton had two loads: a 165-grain bullet at 1,450 fps and a 230-grain bullet at 1,150 fps.

When Triton went out of business in 2003, it looked like the .450 SMC was doomed. But, another new ammunition company stepped up to offer one of the most potent and practical magnum-category, .45-caliber, defensive-handgun cartridges ever created. Mike McNett of DoubleTap Ammunition recognized the usefulness of the .450 SMC and his Cedar City, UT-based company now offers six .450 SMC loads.

Comparatively speaking, the hottest factory 185-grain .45 ACP load you can buy will generate only about 1,140 fps, and the fastest 230-grain offering only about 1,000 fps. Essentially, what you get with the .450 SMC are 10 mm velocities with a .45-caliber instead of a .40-caliber bullet.

Of course, since no one is manufacturing .450 SMC handguns, what you’re probably wondering is what you have to do to shoot .450 SMC in your .45 ACP. Well, a .450 SMC cartridge can be fired in any .45 ACP handgun. However—and this is a big however—it should only be fired in full-size .45 ACP handguns that have a +P rating. (A 20- to 22-pound recoil spring in your favorite 5-inch 1911, or a 21- to 23-pound spring in a Glock.)

This is a great article.  I was unaware of all of that history, and as I said, I have 450 SMC and carried it recently.

I’m not really sympathetic to getting “nasty surprises” because the burden to do what’s smart should rest squarely on the shoulders of the user.  In other words, don’t be an idiot.  However, I do understand issues of legal liability.  They haven’t completely gone away with the 450 SMC design.

Then there is this: “A 230-grain load fired from the .450 SMC cartridge out of a 5-inch 1911 will generate about 78 percent more recoil than a 230-grain load fired from a .45 ACP.”

With the .450 SMC (Short Magnum Cartridge) you get > 10mm velocity with a heavier bullet.  What you have to accept is the heavier recoil.

Ammunition Tags:

Out-Of-Round .45 ACP Casings

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 2 weeks ago

Recall I said I had some range time, including with the CMMG PSB .45 ACP?

I kept some of the brass and noticed something for the second time I shot this particular firearm.  Some of the brass has burn marks down one side, like this.

That brass is Federal .45 ACP.  Some of the brass is clean and well-rounded.

That brass is from Double Tap 450 SMC.

Other .45 ACP ammunition I shot didn’t have the burn mark.  I looked more closely at the Federal brass, and noticed what I think is ovality, even to the naked eye.

Given that some brands of .45 ACP can be shot in this gun (along with 450 SMC) with clean results (I also shot a good bit of Freedom Munitions .45 ACP with clean results), I’ve concluded some manufacturers are selling brass that is slightly out-of-round.

I think this is interesting, and I thought I would pass it on.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (34)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (17)
Ammunition (78)
Animals (37)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (180)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (72)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (27)
Australian Army (6)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (79)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (16)
Body Armor (18)
Books (3)
Border War (10)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (10)
CIA (27)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (143)
Department of Homeland Security (22)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (20)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (29)
Featured (180)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,004)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (43)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,046)
Guns (1,505)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (13)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (20)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (83)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (61)
Islamists (91)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (4)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (7)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (258)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (42)
Memorial Day (5)
Mexican Cartels (33)
Mexico (46)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (61)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (57)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (58)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (409)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (448)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (161)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (259)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (20)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (5)
Survival (26)
SWAT Raids (54)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (4)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (17)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (95)
Thanksgiving (8)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (18)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (56)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (220)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (19)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (60)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2019 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.