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]

SHARE Act Could Drop Suppressor Deregulation And Target Bump Stocks

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Guns.com:

An omnibus sportsmen’s package of legislation in the House that has drawn fire for its plan to curb regulations on suppressors may be reworked.

According to E&E News, an outlet that covers energy and environmental issues, the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or SHARE Act, is still a priority for Republicans but could see some modifications from the version that passed the House Committee on Natural Resources last month.

Sponsor of the bill, U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said the most divisive of the 16 sections of the SHARE Act — removing suppressors from National Firearms Act control — may be dropped from the legislation while language addressing bump stocks may be added now that the bill is in a “sort of a cooling off period” after the Las Vegas shooting.

In the days immediately after the event that claimed the lives of 58 and sent hundreds to area hospitals, potential suppressor deregulation was a popular line in the sanddrawn by everyone from Democrats on Capitol Hill to frequent presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, even though the shooter did not use the devices.

In addition to the suppressor language, the bill in its current form would open the 11.7 million acres of land controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to concealed carry and protect travelers crossing state lines with firearms.

Other facets would cut the ATF’s authority to reclassify popular rifle ammunition as “armor piercing” and how regulators classify some shotguns, shells and rifles as “destructive devices” under the NFA. It also allows changes to the Pittman-Robertson Act to expand the allocation of already authorized funds for use in public shooting ranges while limiting restrictions on traditional ammunition and fishing tackle and scaling back protections for gray wolves. “There’s a lot of stuff in there for sportsmen,” Duncan said.

Good Lord.  They never miss a chance to ignore that “shall not be infringed” thing, do they?

No, representative, there isn’t a lot there.  Why is this so hard to understand.  NOT … ONE … MORE … GUN … LAW.  No.  We won’t accept further regulation of anything, and I won’t accept this for that, a trade for a trade.  Most of the rest of my community feels the same way.

Listen to me, Duncan, this is a chance for you to man up and dump your own bill if it becomes a catch-all for further regulation, spending add-ons, and earmarks.  We would respect you if you did that, knowing that you tried your best to give us what we wanted.  Instead, you may have to play hard ball with these demons, pit vipers and gargoyles.

If you want to see what my community has to say about this, see this Reddit/r/firearms discussion threadNo, we’re not happy, and we’re not in the mood to compromise.

Warning Signs To Watch For In Your Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Shooting Illustrated:

High-pressure symptoms are probably the most commonly encountered stop signs our rifles provide. Inspecting spent cases whenever you try new ammo, changing a handload recipe or shooting in drastically different atmospheric conditions can help you spot potential issues. Primers warn us in the form of “blowing” completely out of the brass, cratering (a slightly raised lip around the firing pin indention), flattening out or being pierced by the firing pin. Minor flattening or cratering is not uncommon, especially when firing heavy bullets. Either condition needs to be watched, but neither is cause for alarm so long as it is minor and limited to one ammo type.

But, when multiple factory loads are showing these signs consistently, it is time to have the rifle looked at by a qualified gunsmith or the firearm’s manufacturer. The same goes for blown primers, damage to the case head with semi-automatic rifles or brass flow into a bolt’s ejector-pin hole on any gun: A minor amount is not abnormal for heavy loads, but excessive or consistent damage is cause for concern.

Consistently pierced primers warrant more immediate action. Checking your brass will reveal piercing, but sometimes you get an earlier warning from a blast of gas in your face and the contents of an external magazine littering the ground under your rifle. This is your cue that it is time to stop and find the source of the problem. Piercing can force small discs of primer material into a bolt’s firing-pin hole, eventually causing other problems. A jammed up firing-pin bore can stop pin movement and possibly fix the firing pin in the forward position. That may lead to a “runaway” machine gun, firing every time the bolt slams forward on a fresh round or worse, firing out of battery. A full-auto surprise is bad enough, but a gun that fires out of battery can be catastrophic for the shooter and anyone nearby.

At any sign of primer piercing, stop using the suspect ammunition and ensure the firing pin and bolt are closely inspected for proper function or damage. Just a few pierced primers can erode a firing-pin tip, leading to greater primer-piercing frequency, leading to more firing-pin damage, and so on.

Other harbingers of pressure trouble include bent firing-pin-retaining pins, broken extractor pins, bent or broken extractors, a sudden increase in recoil/muzzle blast/gas without a change in ammo, case-head separation or spent cases that are split or ruptured. In each case, it makes more sense to stop what you are doing and look for the source of the problem(s) than it does to just keep banging away.

Read the rest at Shooting Illustrated.  I would have thought most of this is common sense, but perhaps not.  There are the harder to find issues as well.  I once went shooting where the Range Officer was a gunsmith, and he took interest in the brass my pistol was ejecting.  Close inspection of it, along with me, showed that it was heavily charred on one side, while the rest was clean.  It turned out that my barrel was out of round and had to be replaced.  To this day I thank that man for his attention to detail (if he happens to be reading this).

The point of this is that we all have to be mechanics if we’re going to be good shooters and sportsmen.

New York Truck Attack

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

So by now you’ve all heard that an little old white church lady ran over some folks in New York, shouting “Behold the lamb of God who was given by the Father for the sins of His people as a propitiation and vicarious atonement.”

Or not.

But remember boys and girls.  Diversity is our strength.

Flight Records Indicate A Covert Helicopter Rooftop EXFIL May Have Taken Place Just Minutes After Las Vegas Massacre

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Intellihub:

LAS VEGAS (INTELLIHUB) — Flight records and information obtained by Intellihub show that at least one assailant may have been extracted via helicopter for a 10:21 p.m. EXFIL from the southwest rooftop of the Delano Hotel just four minutes before Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department helicopter N911WY arrived in the vicinity for the first time since shots were fired at crowd goers attending the Route 91 Harvest Music festival around 10:05 p.m., as the timeline indicates.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the aircraft’s transponder was transmitting the call sign “SWA4119” which is registered to a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-7H4 passenger jet with the tail number “WN4119.”

According to the data, SWA4119 was originally scheduled to depart Tulsa (TUL) at 14:10 and arrive in Las Vegas (LAS) at 15:00 but was somehow delayed for over 7-hours giving “SWA4119” a new arrival time of 22:22 (10:22 p.m.) which doesn’t make sense because the craft was headed north and was too close to the airport to be aligned with any of the runaways.

You see, the aircraft that was displaying “SWA4119” between 10:21 and 10:22 p.m., which emerged on radar for the first time at 10:21, absolutely can not be a passenger jet because the actual flight data confirms that the aircraft slowed to a stop then changed its direction abruptly to a due north heading before proceeding to hover over the Delano in a very specific spot for approximately one-minute (i.e. the craft in question was, in fact, a helicopter because jets simply cannot hover or change speed and direction with such intensity.) This means that the operators of the craft were intentionally transmitting a fictitious call sign before going dark (invisible) from radar altogether.

To top it off, the Oct. 1 flight data for Southwest Airlines “WN4119” is showing inconsistencies.

The following screen-capture of the the aircraft’s flight history shows that “SWA4119” landed at 10:22 p.m. at (LAS) despite the fact that a transponder was pinging from the rooftop of the Delano at that exact same time.

Not to mention, the tail number listed for that exact flight is “N227WN” and not “WN4119” as the transponder was emitting in real-time suggesting that the plane on the tarmac that “landed” was “N227WN” which is a different aircraft entirely.

Thanks to reader B Bauch for this tip.  Go read the rest at Intellihub, and make sure to watch the video he has embedded of official radar the night of the Las Vegas shooting.

I’ve been saying all along that while I don’t have a particular pet theory for what happened, the FedGov account could not and did not happen.  The more we find out, the more my view makes sense.

You won’t find anything else out from the FBI or the Las Vegas police.  The police have been shut down by the FBI, and the FBI doesn’t want you to know what they know about it.

My Life As A Convicted Gun Offender Who Did Nothing Wrong

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Vice:

At 6 AM, the sky outside my apartment is still purple-black. It’s too early. I stagger out of bed and stand under a scalding jet of water in the shower, trying to remember where I’ve been, where I am, and where I need to be. Oklahoma. Austin. Houston. In less than eight hours I have to climb a stage and tell a roomful of strangers my story. As far as stories go, it’s pretty interesting, I guess. It’s got thrills, heartbreak, what technically counts as crime, and even a little bit of vindication. But telling it wears me out. Living through it was more than enough.

Three years ago this month, thanks mostly to poorly written laws and a vindictive judge, I turned 27 while incarcerated in Mid-State Correctional Facility in Fort Dix, New Jersey.

I got sentenced to seven years in prison for legally owning guns. I had purchased them in Colorado and brought them with me to New Jersey, home to some of the harshest gun laws in the country, where I moved to be closer to my young son. I complied with all of the regulations, but one day the police searched my car and charged me with unlawful possession of a weapon—even though my handguns were locked, unloaded, and in my trunk. The court said it was on me to prove that I wasn’t breaking any laws, which obviously was very difficult. When Reason magazine covered my case, it wrote, “Even the jurors who convicted him seem to have been looking for a reason to acquit him. But the judge gave them little choice.”

[ … ]

Since I’m practically the only person in the room who’s not a lawyer, I realize there’s nothing I can tell them about my case they don’t already know from a legal standpoint. The only real value I can add is to tell them what it feels like to get caught in a patchwork of draconian gun laws. I decide to focus on the consequences I’ve faced as a convicted felon who has broken no laws.

I start with how a family court judge decided I wasn’t a fit parent and couldn’t see my son because of all of the (nonviolent and victimless) charges against me. I go on to explain how my record included so many weapons offenses, all for that one incident …

Did I mention how the judge refused to let the jury to consider the laws in my case? Did I remember to tell them how the jury asked three times what the exemptions to the law were that would have let me walk? Did I mention how I am not allowed to vote, or own firearms, or that my passport was revoked?

Two things bear mentioning here.  First of all, always remember this case.  Never forget it as long as you live.  Do what I do.  I never go to New Jersey or even fly over or drive through New Jersey.  I will not even knowingly spend money that goes to a company in New Jersey.  I hope the state goes bankrupt.  The same thing goes for New York.

Second, this case was perfect for jury nullification.  No judge can put you in prison for deciding that the state didn’t meet their burden of proof.  Jury nullification is within your power as a juror.  Don’t ever let a judge tell you that you MUST decide something or other, or that you CANNOT consider something or other.  And you don’t have to tell them it had to do with jury nullification – you tell them, if it comes up, that the state didn’t meet the burden of proof, end of discussion.  Or better yet, keep your mouth shut.

If you are too stupid to know these things, please don’t ever allow yourself to be put on a jury.

MLB Anthem Protester Wants His Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

David Codrea:

With the understanding that due process requires a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, it’s also understandable that many Americans are unsympathetic to seeing him get into trouble in a crime of violence case involving a gun. That’s because, even though he was a rookie, he was the only Major League Baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem, and also happens to be a supporter of “progressive” politics, foremost of which are demands for more gun laws.

Yea, I don’t have one iota of sympathy.  So let’s be fair to him and forget the charges for a moment (since they must be proven).  He wants his guns, but he wants to take a knee during the anthem as well.

Hey, I’ve got a suggestion for you, smart guy.  Go play baseball in Cuba, take a knee during the anthem, and tell me how that works out.  In fact, try to get a gun in Cuba and tell me about that as well.

Field Stripping A 1911

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks 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.

Firearms,Guns Tags:

Don’t Conceal Guns From Cops

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Editorial at Toledo Blade:

Police officers in Ohio already face too many threats to their safety when they take to the streets to protect their communities. They should be able to know whether someone they are approaching is armed.

But the Ohio House approved a measure last week that would weaken the state’s concealed-carry laws. It would ease penalties on motorists who fail to promptly alert officers during traffic stops that they have a weapon in their car. The bill is now headed to the Ohio Senate.

What is proposed instead is that a person stopped by authorities could simply hand over his concealed-carry permit with his driver’s license.

The bill also would reduce the severity of the charge for failing to notify the officer from a first-degree misdemeanor to a minor misdemeanor.

The original version of the bill would have eliminated entirely the responsibility for concealed-carry permit holders to notify officers that they were armed, which is disrespectful to law enforcement, and simply reckless.

The bill’s proponents say that law-abiding concealed-carry permit holders should not have to alert anyone to the fact that they are armed. That is also disrespectful, and arrogant.

Advocates for the bill say it would only clean up ambiguous language by removing “promptly,” which can be arbitrarily interpreted. But why not define the term instead of removing a reasonable requirement?

Considering how quickly an interaction between law enforcement and any armed civilian can escalate, it seems more logical that the law-abiding permit-holders would want to immediately alert officers to the presence of a weapon.

Many gun owners who seek out concealed-carry permits do so because they believe carrying a weapon makes them safer. But no one is safer in a situation when police are surprised by a gun.

What the editorial should have said is “We advocate informing cops about weapons because we like to see goober cops shoot weapons carriers.  We like to see that because we have weapons carriers.”

It’s simply insulting to claim that criminals or someone bent on danger to someone else would inform cops of their weapon.  “Why yes, officer, I have a concealed firearm, and I intend to use it to ensure you don’t get home safely at the end of your shift.”

Anyone who informs a LEO about weapons cannot possibly be the real concern, and LEOs know that, and so does the editorial board of the Toledo Blade.  And since the criminal won’t inform a LEO about weapons, everyone really knows that informing LEOs is not relevant to anything at all.

This is really all about being, as the editorial put it, “disrespectful” to LEOs.  Because statists will be statists, and they will always have their armed enablers.

The Ohio Senate should pass this bill.  Why would anyone carrying a firearm want to voluntarily put himself or family in danger from some trigger happy buffoon?

Biking The Ridgeline Trail At Dupont

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

I was taking a break near the end of my day at the top of Ridgeline at Dupont last Friday.  It was a beautiful day, and the foliage was gorgeous.  The climb up was intense and an extreme challenge.  Ridgeline is the payoff.

This is a video of the way down the Ridgeline trail back to the parking lot.  Of course, it’s not me.  But watching it reminds me of every jump, every curve, every grunt, and every switchback.  This is the most intense mountain biking I’ve ever done, and one of the best downhill trails in America.

I Carry S&W 686

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

From the “I carry” series.  It’s a nice presentation, but I do have a few nits after you watch the video.

First of all, I don’t like Kydex holsters.  Like you, I have a box full of holsters, and none of them are Kydex.  I don’t even like Kydex knife sheaths.  I much prefer leather or Cordura.

I like the tactical light, and I really like the speed loader.  I have a different belt (Black Hawk Rigger’s Belt), but like the video I recommend a good belt as the foundation.  I’m not much on short fixed blade knives.  If I’m going to carry a fixed blade knife it’s going to he a large one.  Otherwise, I like a rugged folder, and it MUST have serrations.

Here’s an equally interesting video on ten things you didn’t know about the S&W 686.

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