Archive for the 'Ammunition' Category

.22 Magnum vs 9mm Ballistic Test – Winchester Silvertip

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 8 hours ago

First of all, I don’t think 18″ of penetration for .22 magnum is as “one-off” as he’s saying.  I think it’s fairly typical.

Second, nothing that I saw dissuades me from believing that .22 magnum is a viable and legitimate personal defense round.

Third, I’d carry (and have carried) both 9mm and .22 magnum for PD before, and will do so again.

Finally, I’d like to see the same test in Gold Dot ammunition.

What’s Up With Primer Production?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

As I suspected, mostly, with military and LE getting the lion’s share of the ammunition and primers.  As for supply chain problems with Covid, I don’t buy that excuse any more.  That dog won’t hunt.  The ships are moving, they’re just moving into ports at Savannah and Charleston (rather than California), with the inland port being in Greenville, S.C., and the transport corridor being I-85 and connected roads (such as I-40).  The trucks are still moving too.  So I don’t buy the logistics excuse.

One commenter to the video makes this remark.

I work for one of the largest manufacturers of ammunition and primers and as far as I know we haven’t had big issues with getting supplies but have had challenges with getting them at a reasonable cost, our primer department has always been and still is the busiest department and runs full speed 24/7 I can buy directly from the plant at our company store and have trouble getting primers because they are still running behind for the very reasons mentioned in the video, and there is a labor problem, the primer department is the most dangerous department due to the highly explosive nature, its quite common for a charging table to blow, these people are under a constant stress not only for fear of explosion but the bosses are very hard on them because they are responsible for the explosions when they do occur, so this leads to high turnover rates in the department.

I have no evidence that this commenter actually works for an ammunition manufacturer, but let’s assume he does for the sake of argument.

Let’s tackle the first alleged problem.  If they’re having trouble with the charging tables, that’s a safety issue and they need safety engineers to come in and set things right, or OSHA will eventually shut them down and there will be no business to tend to.  No worker should be exposed to hazardous work conditions in industry today since there is a sufficient body of engineering practices and principles that can make things better.  It’s more expensive, but in the end, it will save your industry.

As for the second problem, worker morale and turnover, that’s a management problem.  Let me be more blunt.  I’ve worked in industry for 43 years.  Low morale is ALWAYS management’s fault.  If management cannot retain employees, the industry doesn’t deserve to exist.  These problems are fixable.

What do bullet impacts sound like? Tons of different materials shot!

1 week, 2 days ago

This video could have been really good if the presenter were a little more serious slowing down to teach his audience. But it’s still interesting and informative.

The SOCOM M4 Block II Barrel and Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

Before you dive into the video (and it’s a very good and informative video), I have some remarks.  Ignore them if you want to dive straight into the video.

First, QC is a subset of QA, QA being a function of not only QC testing, but engineering, management oversight, problem reporting and resolution, and so on.

Second, the word accuracy is the most misused word when concerning firearms.  Most of the time a rifle can be made accurate by adjusting the iron sights or optics.  What most people refer to when they say a rifle is accurate or not accurate is precision.  A small group on the target at the point of aim is both accurate and precise.  A large group at the point of aim is accurate but not precise.  A small group not at the point of aim is precise but not accurate, but can be made to be accurate by adjustments.  A large group not at the point of aim is both inaccurate and imprecise.  Accuracy can be adjusted into a rifle.  Precision cannot.  Precision is a function of the rifle and ammunition.  Precision has to do with repeatability and statistically similar outcomes with increasing sample size.

And that last point is important.  The Daniel Defense rifle did well compared to the Block II rifle, but they both suffered from imprecision.  They are not 1 MOA rifles.  Or are they?

With the right ammunition they both can be, as can be a lot of rifles that don’t shoot 1 MOA or better.  Mass produced military ammunition isn’t high QC grade ammunition.  To get good AR-15 ammunition requires buying those $1.50 – $2.00 rounds of .223 made by Hornady and other manufacturers who spend time and money on QC.

Both QA and QC costs money.  It costs as much as the component does in most cases.  If you want your rifle to be a 1 MOA or better gun, shoot high-QC ammunition.  That means the powder has been metered, the bullets are not out-of-round, the center of gravity (CoG) is located at the centroid or thereabouts, etc.  If you want to practice rapid fire, or fire under movement, purchase bulk military grade ammunition.  If you want to shoot with precision (smaller groups), buy high quality ammunition.  It will cost money.

Yes, barrel harmonics has something to do with all of this, as does machining tolerances, but the main point here is that good ammunition changes everything.  He proves that right up front in the video.

The Effect of Cold Temperatures on Muzzle Velocity and Point of Impact

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

I had never really thought about this.  It makes perfect sense, although if you hunt in the South, the temperatures just don’t get as cold as they do where he is shooting.

Nonetheless, it makes sense to sight your right in with ambient temperature about the same as when you expect to be hunting.  Carrying ammunition close to your body as he suggests would also be an option.

On another note, I like that shooting range with the CCTV monitor there so he could turn around to view his target.  I’d like to shoot there.

Very nice and informative video.

The Top 13 Best AR Calibers That Aren’t 5.56 NATO

1 month, 1 week ago has a lot of great articles. We’ve been following them on social media. You may find the Resistance Library interesting. On to the AR Calibers article:

5.56 Is Great, But

Let’s be honest about one thing, the 5.56 NATO/223 Remington is a battle-proven cartridge that has valiantly served the US military for decades. The 5.56’s effectiveness is well documented, and it is one of, if not the, most popular centerfire rifle cartridges in North America.

Yes, the 5.56 NATO is awesome. It has low recoil, a flat trajectory, is inexpensive, and has more varieties of ammo than you can shake a boomstick at.

But sometimes you want to shoot something different out of your AR, and that’s ok. One of the greatest aspects of the AR-15 rifle is its versatility, as many caliber conversions can be accomplished with a simple upper receiver swap. However, with so many different rifle calibers available, some shooters might be confused as to which cartridge is best for their AR-15 or AR-10.

In this article, we are going to break down the top 13 best AR calibers that aren’t 5.56 NATO so you can understand which one will best suit your shooting needs.

If you can’t wait, the best AR caliber is .22 Long Rifle, however if you want to see the full AR caliber list then keep scrolling.”

The article breaks down; the best overall, home defense, long-range, varmint, hunting, and more. It’s well worth a look.

A .30-30 Is All You Need (If You Know How to Hunt)

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Field & Stream.

There is a 150-grain hunting bullet that at 100 yards will penetrate at least 23 inches and expand as much or more than either with similar bullets. Not only that, but it will do so while producing just 13 foot-pounds of recoil energy when fired from a 7-pound rifle. That’s 6 and 11 foot-pounds less than the .308 and .30/06, respectively. So, what is miracle cartridge? It’s the .30/30 Winchester.

How could the ancient .30/30 possibly outperform two 30-caliber cartridges that are considered by many to be the best big-game cartridges of all time? The answer is simpler than you might think. With conventional bullets, the higher velocities of the .308 and .30/06 cause more bullet erosion, which reduces weight, and in turn, penetration.

You might argue that the higher impact velocities of the latter tend to create more tissue damage. That’s true, and if sufficient penetration is reached by all three of these, the ones fired from the .308 and .30/06 might in fact put an animal down faster. But not any deader, and none of that is quantifiable. What really counts is penetration …

In his 1970s book, The Hunting Rifle, Jack O’Connor talked about an old hand he’d encountered who’d hunted Wyoming, Montana, and the Yukon, and typically took 17 or 18 elk with a single box (20 rounds) of .30/30 ammo. He told O’Connor that a moose, lung shot with a .30/30, would run about 75 to 100 yards and die. Well before that, African professional hunter Wally Johnson took a .30/30 Winchester to Africa and used it to kill lions. The effectiveness of the .30/30 Winchester on big game should never be questioned; it has more than a century of proof sanctioning it.

Given the untold numbers of deer taken with Winchester Model 94s and Marlin 336s over the last century, it should come as a bit of a shock that some of today’s younger hunters will ask: Is the .30/30 good for deer hunting? Um, yes. For decades and decades, it was consider the deer cartridge.

Right on.  Preach it!

The normally reliable Ron Spomer did a recent video favorably comparing the 300 Blackout to the 30-30.  It’s so wrong in my opinion that I’m not even linking it.

The 300 BO has a 125 grain bullet travelling at 2215 FPS.  The box of 30-30 I’m looking at now shows a 150 grain bullet travelling at 2390 FPS.  25 grains and 175 FPS is enough difference to make a difference.  Remember, the energy computation squares the velocity.

Bolt Action Rifles in 6mm ARC

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

Slav Guns has this fun video of unboxing of his new Savage 110 Switchback, which apparently was only built in a limited run and only available through Sportsman’s Warehouse.  He obviously intends to remove the action and put it inside a chassis.

One commenter remarks, “I’m waiting for the Ruger Predator.”  I didn’t know they were intending to build a 6mm ARC bolt action gun, but he might have meant the Savage 110 Carbon Predator, which is available in 6mm ARC.  He said that the Savage 110 Tactical was being built in a 16″ or 18″ barrel, defeating the point of the 6mm ARC.  The Savage 100 Carbon Predator is also being built with a 18″ barrel.

Right now not even the Savage web site shows this in 6mm ARC, while Shooting Illustrated says it is.

Field & Stream has an article up on low recoil deer cartridges.  Their list is as follows.

  • .223 Remington
  • .224 Valkyrie
  • .243 Winchester
  • .257 Roberts
  • .25-06 Remington
  • .260 Remington
  • 6.5×55 Swedish
  • 6.5 Creedmoor
  • 6.8 Remington SPC
  • 7mm-08 Remington
  • .30-30 Winchester
  • 350 Legend

It’s beyond me how you could write an article on the best low recoil deer cartridges and not mention 6mm ARC, using a bullet twice the weight of the 5.56/.223, essentially the same velocity, with only slightly more recoil.

Perhaps it’s the lack of viable bolt action rifles in this round, but you can still use an AR for the hunt.  Grendel Hunter has as many or more 6mm ARC uppers as they do 6.5 Grendel.

I remain disappointed at the slow adoption of this cartridge.


30-30 Ammo Selection: 150 Grain vs 170 Grain

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

This is a timely and informative video.  I had suspected that the increased bullet weight caused enough decrease in muzzle velocity to cause a wash between the two bullets in terms of energy, but until this video I hadn’t researched it or convinced myself.

Rifled Choke Tubes

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

American Hunter.

Finding a rifled choke tube isn’t particularly difficult for most common thread patterns, such as the Remington RemChoke, Benelli Crio Plus, Beretta/Benelli (Mobil), Beretta Optima HP, Browning Invector and Invector Plus, and Winchester Win Choke. At this time, Browning appears to be the only gunmaker that sells them direct to consumer (as accessories); there’s no need to fret, as aftermarket companies, and particularly Carlson’s Choke Tubes, cover those mentioned above and then some. Options in 12 gauge typically outnumber those in 20.

As with choke tubes offering varying degrees of constriction, rifled models are, at times, available in flush-fitting and extended configurations, though the latter are now conventional. I haven’t found one length to outperform the other, but the extra length of an extended model definitely aids the installation and removal process. Given that many slugs—including those featuring a sabot—can be used with fully rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, it’s unsurprising that the twist rate of both are similar, if not identical. For instance, a 1:35-inch twist rate is commonly employed in 12 gauge.

While there is ammunition that plays nicely with both fully rifled barrels and rifled choke tubes, some is outright incompatible with the latter. When the manufacture states, “Use in fully rifled barrels only,” or something similar, heed their warning. Avoid that load. Unfortunately, such cautions are common to the highest-performing—and flattest shooting—slugs, but that’s simply the tradeoff associated with going the rifled-choke-tube route.

Provided there’s no warning, or the ammunition box reads, “Suitable for use in smoothbore and rifled shotguns with any choke,” or an analogous message, that slug is safe for use through your rifled choke tube. Most will be of the traditional, full-diameter, Foster-type design or Brenneke’s improved version, though there are sabot slugs that can be utilized in rifled choke tubes, too. Examples of the latter are Winchester’s Super-X BRI Sabot Slug, a favorite of mine, and Brenneke’s new Topas, which pairs a blue, 12-gauge wad with a Brenneke-style, lead-alloy, 16-gauge slug. That’s only the beginning, too.

I found this to be a very helpful article.  A day or two ago I watched Ron Spomer discuss rifled slugs, and I was a bit confused until I figured out we’re talking about two different things between the article above and Ron – rifled slugs that don’t spin versus rifled chokes that do spin a slug.

Anyway, I’m not a slug shooter so this was a learning experience for me.

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