Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category

.44 Special VS .45 ACP Buffalo Bore Barnes TAC-XP

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Hmm … I have three comments.

First, I’m very impressed with the expansion of the Buffalo Bore PD ammunition.

Second, I’m not sure I’d claim that Buffalo Bore didn’t use +P brass on this round until they confirm that.

Third, as for the so-called “Glock Smile” (a term which I’ve never heard before), I’ve shot Buffalo Bore ammunition as well as Double Tap ammunition in 1911s and never seen this before, including with 450 SMC (Short Magnum Cartridges, super hot .45 ACP cartridges from Double Tap with a rifle primer versus a pistol primer), rated at 1120 FPS for a 230 gr. bullet.  I’ve Never seen it before.  Maybe it’s called “Glock Smile” because of the way it seats in the chamber?

I don’t know.  I don’t do Glocks.

Is 1:9 Twist Enough To Stabilize 77 Grain Matchking Bullets?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

In previous posts we’ve discussed barrel twist and stabilization of heavier 5.56mm rounds.  I’d say that 1:9 twist is just fine for 77 grain bullets based on his results.  Then again, Rock River Arms makes good machines.

Paul Harrell: Hornady .223 TAP Ammo

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

Review: Federal .357 Magnum HammerDown Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

Shooting Illustrated.

As the velocities of metallic cartridges increased and as rifle cartridges become significantly more powerful than handgun cartridges, things begin to change. If a shooter wanted a rifle, they generally wanted a rifle cartridge that would drastically extend the reach and hit harder than a handgun. Still, some revolver cartridges continued to be popular in rifles. With modern munitions, however, a popular revolver cartridge like the .357 Mag.—delivering about 1,200 to 1,400 fps out of a 4-inch revolver—will push the same bullet as much as 400 fps or faster out of a 16- or 18-inch-barrel rifle.

This created a problem for bullets. Modern projectile technology would allow ballistic engineers to create a bullet for .357 Mag. that could perform quite well at handgun or rifle velocities. What was challenging was to create something that would deliver expansion, maintain its weight and deliver decent penetration when fired from a short-barreled handgun as well as a rifle. You see, velocity is the driving force behind terminal performance, and bullets are typically designed to work within a certain velocity range. Extending that performance range so acceptable terminal performance can be had at impact velocities as low as 1,000 fps and as high as 1,800 fps has, at least until now, been similar to the search for Bigfoot.

I found myself trying to solve this conundrum of ammunition selection when I began working with a Ruger 77/357 bolt-action rifle I wanted to set up as a general-purpose rifle and as my companion to a concealed-carry and a general-purpose revolver.

[ … ]

Out of a snubnose revolver, the HammerDown load penetrated 15.5 inches and deformed with a frontal diameter 1.5X caliber. Out of the 4-inch revolver, the bullet penetrated 20 inches and across the front it measured 1.6X the unfired bullet diameter. And, out of the 18-inch barrel of the rifle, the 170-grain bonded bullet pushed to 22 inches and had a recovered frontal diameter that measuring 1.3X its original diameter. Unlike Critical Duty, which only showed a 400 fps (38 percent) velocity increase between the 2- and 18-inch barrels, the HammerDown load jumped from 1,102 fps out of the snubby to 1,773 fps out of the rifle, a 61-percent increase in velocity.

The point of all this is that if you’re a fan of the .357 Mag., and if you would like a single load suitable for hunting, predator defense and personal protection—a general-purpose or Bigfoot-capable load—you now have a fantastic option.

Left unmentioned are two things.  The first may be just an editorial preference, and that is that the ammunition design also incorporates certain features like chamfering at key parts of the cartridge to reduce misfeeds.

The second is the important one.  This is a designer, boutique ammunition, and the difficulty at the moment is finding ammunition at all.

Finally, just try to located a Ruger 77/357 or for that matter a Ruger 77/44 today.  They’ve been discontinued.

Oh, so then look for a Henry X Model in 357 magnum or 44 magnum.  Nope.  Cannot be found either.

Squib Round: What It Is & What To Do If You Have One

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Ron Spomer: Rise And Fall Of The 308 Winchester

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Brownells: Hollow Point vs Soft Point vs Ballistic Tip Bullets

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

They didn’t get to it until the end, but use of a hollow point bullet also helps stability in flight.  Explaining that fully would probably require an experienced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) engineer and some serious parallel processing computational time.

Ammunition Shelf Life

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Once the ammunition is purchased, where and how it is stored will determine how long it will be viable for its intended use.

Heat and moisture are the two most prevalent enemies of ammunition, followed by chemical contamination.

Temperatures consistently in excess of 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit tend to affect the propellant in a negative manner. These temperatures can be reached in car trunks, metal buildings or other uninsulated enclosures subjected to direct sunlight—especially in the southern tiers of the United States.

Anytime ammunition is subjected to continuous exposure to moisture, corrosion is likely to occur, which degrades the performance or disables the usability of the cartridges all together.

Chemical contamination is sometimes the silent killer of ammunition. Although much of today’s quality ammunition is protected by sealant-treated primers and bullets during manufacture, exposure to penetrating oils or cleaning solvents will degrade the sealants over time, thereby neutralizing the priming compound, the propellant or both, rendering the cartridge useless.

Ammoniated solvents used for removing copper from a bore are detrimental to brass cartridge cases, even with minimal exposure. Since brass is 70 percent copper (with the remaining 30 percent being zinc), ammoniated solvents can create a dangerous condition causing the brass to crack without having been fired. This could cause a hazardous pressure release during firing due to the weakened condition of the brass case.

Ammunition storage can be as simple as storing it in a safe area similar in environment to the office within which you work or the home in which you live. Keeping the temperature and humidity levels similar to what is comfortable for you and the family is an easy way to stay well within the range suitable for ammunition storage.

Many individuals who purchase and store quantities of ammunition are served well by storing it in sealed, military-surplus ammunition containers. Kept in a climate controlled, secure location, away from unauthorized personnel, these containers will preserve the ammunition indefinitely.

The reason there is no expiration date on a box of currently manufactured ammunition is because, when stored properly, it is projected to have an unlimited life span.

As an aside, I personally have fired ammunition loaded more than 100 years ago with excellent results. Advancements in primers, powder, cases, projectiles as well as in storage containers and accessories have improved the reliability of ammunition to a point that, properly treated, there is no reason for concern for your ammunition’s longevity.

Use of a sealed container (like a safe) along with desiccant would also help.

.44 Magnum For Self Defense

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

I have a problem with his conclusions because of the large difference in sample sizes between persons shot with the .357 magnum and .44 magnum.

What Is Driving The Shortages Of Ammunition?

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago


That’s correct. You are not seeing things or dreaming. Check out the photo once again. The price tag on that 38 Special +P+ ammunition is $110 a box of 50 rounds. Outrageous. This is just one example of current pricing of ammo at a recent arms show due to the ammo crisis.

At a recent gun show, I recently saw packages of 100 rounds of 22 LR ammo selling for $40 — and that was a good buy.

Ammo at inflated prices? That 22 rimfire ammo mentioned above only 9 months ago was selling for $15 a box. The ironic part is that any available ammo was flying off the tables once buyers got over the sticker shock and pried their wallets out of their pockets. Some buyers came by the tables two or three times before they bought. It took a while for the high-priced reality to settle in.

What’s the deal? To be honest, no one really seems to know. Dealer after dealer told me their suppliers and distributors were simply “out” of ammunition — and they were not accepting any back orders. Many felt like some suppliers were withholding stock to keep the prices high so they could cash in while the getting was good. We’ve seen that before as well.

There were no indications of when ammo supplies might be fulfilled in the future. Smaller dealers said they believed that ammo supplies were being allocated to their biggest dealers and the little guys were just left with nothing. It’s getting to be a dire situation if you are really in need of even just a few boxes of ammo. It’s getting to be the same with guns. One dealer told me he would be out of business in six months if firearms supplies did not open up.

Even common everyday hunting loads for the 30-06 Sprg, 270 Winchester, 30-30 Winchester, or the 243 Winchester were non-existent at this gun show. Deer hunting season is still open here and hunters were frantically searching for even one last box to close out the season. There was almost none to be had, and what was available was triple the price it would have cost twelve months ago.

The ammo crisis is hard to understand, given manufacturers’ reports that ammo production is at top capacity. There have been local news reports of the Winchester rimfire factory in Oxford, MS running full blast. If so, where in the heck is all the ammo going? Even the big box stores are out of ammo, too, including Walmart and Bass Pro Shops here locally.

I know that in my neck of the woods it may be something, I don’t know what, alluded to in the article, but it’s something else too.

I dropped into my local Academy Sports a few days ago and talked to one of the guys behind the counter.

Buyers know when the trucks come, and when they do, there is no telling what they will bring, what caliber, or how much.  But it’s usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and he told me folks start lining up at around 0230 hours on all three of those days.

He said, “If you’re not here in line by 0600, you won’t get any ammo.”

It’s being hoarded for sure, but then, I live in a firearm friendly county.

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