Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Review Of The CMMG PSB .45 ACP

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 7 hours ago

This will be the first of several reviews of the CMMG PSB .45 ACP.  My intention for this first one wasn’t to test accuracy at distance, as I will get to that later.

My intention was (1) to put a lot of rounds through the gun with different manufacturers, (2) to test it in rapid fire, and (3) to sight in my EOTech with the gun.

I headed out to the range with the Glock .45 ACP magazine that came with the gun, plus another (26 round mag) from the Gun Mag Warehouse (this one was SGM Tactical).  Both magazines worked fine, but the Glock magazine loaded easier and the spring on the SGM Tactical was very stiff.  I spent most of my time with the Glock magazine.

It took a long time and a lot of rounds to get the EOTech centered, more turns of the screws than I had anticipated.  I finally got it shooting at about one inch low at 7 yards, or a little higher than height-over-bore.

I put close to 300 rounds through the gun.  I was also shooting a Dan Wesson 1911, but only two magazines worth of rounds.  The CMMG performed flawlessly.  It ate everything I put in it.

Remington, Federal, Magtech, American Eagle and Winchester.  The Remington was hollow point.  The Winchester seemed dirtier than the others, and the Magtech and Federal seemed to perform the best.

But every round hit where I aimed when I finally got the red dot centered where I wanted it (I had to move it to the right and up).  It works very nicely in rapid fire, and it’s easy to recover sight picture.

The things I like about this gun are as follows.

(1) It worked flawlessly over nearly 300 rounds, many of which were discharged virtually as soon as I could grab a sight picture (less than a second).

(2) It has AR style operation, with which I’m intimately familiar.

(3) I find that I really like the thumb-over-bore (or C-clamp) grip.  It helps to stabilize any AR style weapon.  I had worried that this barrel was so short that the muzzle brake would cause concussive stress to my left hand upon discharge.  No worries after the first shot.  The barrel was cool, the hand guard was cool, and I didn’t feel a thing even without gloves.  My left hand was near the end of the hand guard.

(4) This gun and its caliber were very controllable.  I’ve shot AR pistols before in 5.56mm that I considered to be out of control (or better said, very difficult to control).  This one is not.

(5) It has a flared mag-well where the magazine is easy to insert, but not the AR-15 size magwell.  It is one suited for the Glock magazine for which it is designed.

The things I don’t like about this gun are as follows.

(1) Nothing …

I consider this gun to be a very good weapon to fill the gap between pistols and rifles, as I don’t really relish the idea of shooting a rifle inside the home for self defense.  I really, really like this gun.

Now, if I could just remember to put my tools in the range bag before I go so I don’t have to borrow tools from other guys.  It’s embarrassing.  Or I could just get some tools and leave them in the range bag.

I’ll do other reviews on this gun as time permits.

War In The National Rifle Association

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 8 hours ago

David Codrea links this Ammoland piece by Jeff Knox.  Boy is this some disturbing reading.  I cannot possibly rehearse all of the dirty laundry there, but there is this titillating little fact that may catch your interest.

Heston won that election by four votes, and immediately left the meeting to jet back to LA and appear on a radio talk show, during which he repeatedly stated that it was inappropriate or civilians to own AK47 type rifles. He eventually learned his script better, and the following year stepped up to become President of the NRA.

Embarrassingly, I didn’t know that.  Well then, Charlton Heston was a traitor, clear and simple.  I need no other evidence.  Jeff also discusses Adam Kraut, whom he supports for the board, and after reading his response to Marrion Hammer, I do too.

As for me, you could easily guess my own position.  Marrion Hammer can go traffic in her lies and misdirection somewhere else.  I’m not impressed in the least.

There is a deep, dark problem within the NRA.  Their history is a divided one, and their traitorous actions (e.g., the Hughes amendment) have harmed the firearms community, and I might also point out something I have before.  By outlawing the manufacture of machineguns after 1968, which the NRA didn’t fight, and also by the existence of the National Firearms Act, the engineering and design of open bolt firearms essentially ceased within the United States.  This has weakened the U.S. military and possibly lead to deaths of service members on the field of battle.

I cannot cipher the NRA willingness to hop in bed with traitors unless they are in fact traitorous themselves.  Let’s assume for a moment that the NRA actually chose to wield their power on Capital Hill.  Let’s assume for a moment that the this forthcoming bump stock ban wasn’t the NRA’s idea.  Let’s assume for a moment that they informed every Congressman and Senator that they expected a vote on this, and that the vote would be tallied and scored, with NRA money behind their efforts to primary enemies of the second amendment.

In other words, let’s assume that the NRA was doing its job.  Wayne Lapierre could be literally one of the most powerful men in Washington.  The red carpet would be rolled out for him everywhere he goes.  Who wouldn’t want that?  But instead of this, we see that the board is so discombobulated that it cannot accomplish anything of value or worth, and Wayne and Chris continue their deconstruction of the second amendment unabated.  Note this comment on Adam’s piece by Rob Pincus.

The Board of Directors is far too large and almost completely powerless, but voting out the Status Quo Old and voting in the new is what it needs.

Creating a large board and hamstringing their efforts with rules is the surest way to render them powerless.  What happens if the NRA sells us out over bump stock bans and other future gun control laws (I also suspect Marrion Hammer is the reason we don’t have open carry in Florida)?  Well, the gist of various comments from TTAG sums it up nicely for me.  If the NRA doesn’t do an about-face, and that, very soon and very quickly, and without any more of our money, they need to be destroyed.

They need to be finished as an organization.  They can turn their board over to the Fudds for gun control, or some other such nonsense group, and go broke for all I care.  But if they don’t do a U-turn, they will have no more of my money or attention.  This war needs to get ugly, and fast.  I realize that many of my readers have already come to the same conclusion long ago.

Two To Three Seconds Of Dead Time When You Pick Up Your Gun

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 8 hours ago

The Media Line:

Seasoned gun advocates often concede that the most difficult part of any debate over gun safety comes when the conversation turns to the frequency with which children are killed or maimed by loaded weapons belonging to a parent or guardian. Once discovered, it’s an even bet that the gun will quickly morph from an instrument of protection to the lethal toy that kills about one kid per week while leaving countless other lives in shambles.

A gun safe offers a reasonable degree of protection – if the safe is nearby when the weapon is needed, or the gun owner actually returns it to the safe.

A handgun outfitted with a biometric grip is an effective safety device – unless the gun owner’s hands are wet or greasy at that critical moment of life or death.

A new mechanism developed in Israel by a pair of army Special Forces veterans is proving to be an undeniable alternative to chain locks, safes, biometrics and even careful handling. The ZORE X core rapid dial gun lock – named from the Hebrew word for ‘flintstone’, the stone used to fire muskets of yore –has a cartridge shaped lock that fits into the gun’s chamber like a round of ammunition. When the need arises to activate the pistol, the mechanical locking mechanism that had been chambered is unlocked by a battery-operated element that unlocks the gun, ejecting the lock assembly while replacing it with a round of ammunition, all in one action. The manufacturers insist the entire procedure for disabling the locking mechanism to firing the weapon is about 2 to 3 seconds.

Ohad Levi, a 31-year old lawyer and gun owner who was introduced to the ZORE X by his wife who heard about it and thought it sounded like a reasonable way to protect children …

How many of you are willing to give up that 2 to 3 seconds?

Hey, I wonder if they’ve taken my challenge on “smart guns” yet?  I’m sure somebody would want to see me “pour ketchup on my hard hat, eat it, and post video for everyone to see.”

But here’s the deal I made with you smart gun folks.  If you lose you have to buy me the gun of my choice.  To date, no one has taken me up the challenge.  What gives?

Comment Of The Week

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 9 hours ago

moe mensale on the Keymod vesus M-LOK debate:

“I think that debate is also stupid. That’s why my 10″ and 20″ Colt AR15s are fitted with full Picatinny rails! When did AR15s become overly heavy? I think maybe some people need to put down their double frappe mocha italiano grande caffes and pick up a kettle bell.”

Pistol Ammunition Ballistics Part 2

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 7 hours ago

In Oversimplifying Ammunition Ballistics I had an argument with Tam, who is an NRA writer, and she doesn’t like the idea of “flying dimes.”  Ridiculous, said I.  And you can read the rest for yourself.

Today I passed through The Firearm Blog, and normally I like what I see there to some degree, including the comments, but this one just caused me to laugh.

They have a picture of a man (obtained via Facebook) who had a bullet lodged in his head, still visible.  Must have been a squib load, must have been a reload, he must have been wearing a helmet, and on and on the comments go.

Pitiful .45 ACP, said a few.  Shooter should have used something else like the much more effective 9mm.  One commenter said that the .45 ACP penetrates farther than the 9mm, and so there must have been shielding in between the muzzle and his head (like a helmet).  The response to this commenter was that he lost all respect because he said that the .45 ACP penetrates farther than the 9mm.

Good grief.  So much chaos in one place is mind boggling.  I don’t know how many readers actually dropped by the ballistics tests run by Lucky Gunner that I linked in my original post, but probably not many.  I usually have readers for under two minutes, so blogging is something that must be done where readers can digest quickly.

But after I read those comments, I did a little bit of calculating on those test results for 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.  Here is what I got for their self defense loads.  I discarded the 2 (two) lowest penetration depths for all three rounds, as they appeared to be outlier data points.

9mm: Average penetration depth = 17.762 inches, standard deviation = 2.777, maximum penetration = 26.5 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation (FSD) of 0.156 or 15.6%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 124 gr.

.40 S&W: Average penetration depth = 19.034 inches, standard deviation = 5.637, maximum penetration = 32 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation of 0.296, or 29.6%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 180 gr.

.45 ACP: Average penetration depth = 18.867 inches, standard deviation = 5.009, maximum penetration = 31.2 inches.  This gives a fractional standard deviation of 0.265, or 26.5%.  Mass of bullet achieving maximum penetration = 200 gr.

Various bullet masses were used for the tests.  This doesn’t give room for either (a) Tam to claim that lighter weight bullets are “flying dimes,” or (b) the commenter at TFB to claim that .45 ACP penetrates farther than 9mm (at least, not much farther).  It also certainly doesn’t give room to tell that commenter that he has lost all respect of the firearms community.  Such exaggeration is juvenile.

Here is the problem.  An astute Monte Carlo analyst would tell you that these problems haven’t converged.  Most analysts like to see on the order of 5% – 10% FSD before developing any confidence in the system.  There may also be some issues with these rounds, in that there was inconsistent or incomplete expansion of every “maximum penetration” round for each of the three calibers.

More data is needed, and I didn’t run a VOV (variance of the variance) on these samples since the sample size is so small.  The problem needs to converge before developing confidence in the system.  The trouble is that this takes ammunition, ballistics gelatin, denim, test apparatus, and human resources.  None of this is cheap.

There is also the issue of differing masses of bullets, but since the sample size is small for caliber, it’s even smaller for bullet mass within a caliber.  But suffice it to say that lighter mass bullets aren’t flying dimes, and you can examine the data for yourself.

It’s also clear that each round performs well and penetrates far enough to do massive damage (except perhaps for the outlier data points).  Ammunition brand is also a consideration.

The point of all of this is that if you want to make hyperbolic and exaggerated statements concerning much of anything, be my guest.  I prefer to be a thinking man.  And if Lucky Gunner wants assistance in analyzing the performance of any other tests, I’m available.  But I do recommend proper convergence of the data sets.  That requires more shooting.

Understanding Head Space On An AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Tom McHale writing at Ammoland gives us a good rundown of what head space means and how to check it.  I won’t copy and past his prose because that would be bad form.  Visit Ammoland and read Tom’s piece.  But I will lift one of the videos and embed it here.

Bolt Carrier Group Stress Test

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

This is an interesting video.  It wasn’t made to test the gun so much, but rather the BCG.  He makes that very clear.

It sort of makes you wonder about those Soldiers complaining about firing 400 rounds through their Colt guns at Wanat and Kamdesh only to see their guns seize up.

First of all, remember that the Army hasn’t trained their men in fire control and marksmanship like the Marines.  I’m not saying that – an experienced trainer who has time in Afghanistan is saying that.

Second, I maintain that the problems at Wanat had to do with being deployed at the bottom of a valley in between mountains, giving up the high ground, no logistics, no support, a poorly connected and poorly manned observation post, and a total time of more than a year from start to finish to build and man the COP (giving the Haqqani network time to deploy fighters at will).  Again, see multiple entries on The Battle of Wanat.  If you haven’t studied it, it’s a sad but necessary tale.

There is a rich history of blaming the gun for the failures when the real blame had to do with leadership, so it’s entirely misplaced blame to point to the gun.  But it does cause you to wonder if those Colt guns had a better BCG would they have seized up after 400 rounds (400 rounds in 30 or so minutes at Wanat).

There are a lot of very good coated BCGs like this Titanium Nitride component.  This is the guts of the gun.  It makes sense to outfit yours with a good one.


The Heckler & Koch M27 Is The New Marine Corps Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

You can read about it here.

My son (former SAW gunner) thinks this is a very bad idea.  First of all, it’s a closed bolt system.  The SAW was an open bolt system, which allowed the gun to cool.

Second, he had to train the other SAW gunners in his company over a protracted period of time to ensure that they understood rate of fire, proper fire control, etc., gun temperature regulation, and so forth, and got proficient at it on the range.  The concept of squad rushes relies on a SAW gunner laying down suppressing fire for the other three Marines in the fire team to rush forward, and then the three Marines carrying carbines to lay down fire for the SAW gunner to rush forward.

This is fixed doctrine, fully embedded into the training materials, range time, and small unit fire and maneuver tactics.  Nothing will be the same, and the Marines will have to revamp that doctrine and the follow-on training.  There won’t be any SAW gunners to rely on to provide suppressing fire, regardless of what this rifle can do.

That, at any rate, is his take.  Perhaps it will work out for them.  Say, why isn’t that Marine using a Pmag?

Oversimplifying Ammunition Ballistics

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

Via Say Uncle, this comes to us from Tam.

Super Vel Ammo: I have to vent.

What kills me is how they’re hyping 90gr +P .38 Spl & 9mm and 185gr +P .45ACP bullets as if the last thirty years of accumulated terminal ballistics knowledge hadn’t even happened.

Flying dimes with no sectional density moving at Warp Factor Six are how we got Miami and then wound up spending twenty years wandering in the .40 caliber wilderness, and the shit is being pimped by people who should goddam well know better because, I dunno, Cameron Hopkins is a nice guy or something and the boxes make older gunwriters feel nostalgic.

Oh dear.  The lady doth annoy me sometimes.  So let’s discuss this a bit.  She’s referring to sectional density, which is technically calculated as the ratio of mass over the cross sectional area, or SD = M/A.  The gun community simplifies that by ignoring the value of Pi in the computation of area, and converting mass in grains to pounds with the conversion of 7000 grains per pound.  Like this.

SD = M / (7000 X r^2)

The resultant value is dimensionless and totally meaningless unless in the context of comparison to the sectional densities of other bullets.  So for instance, the 230 grain .45 ACP bullet has a sectional density of 0.162, while the 185 grain bullet has a SD of 0.130.

But in reality, the lighter bullets aren’t travelling at “Warp Factor Six,” and a 185 grain .45 ACP isn’t a “flying dime” compared to any handgun round on earth.  And as for that matter, the 45 grain 22 magnum round has a SD of 0.128, which is reasonably close to that of the 185 grain .45 ACP.  Does that mean we should all dump whatever we currently shoot and adopt the .22 WMR?

No it doesn’t, because SD isn’t the only thing on earth to consider.  If it was, then Lucky Gunner would show that the penetration and expansion of 185 grain rounds sucked, while the 230 grain rounds succeeded.  Oops.  Guess she got that one wrong.

There are multiple things to consider, like (a) velocity, (b) consistent expansion, (c) penetration depth, (d) wound track, etc.  I’ve pointed out before that while I shoot the .45 ACP and I like it, I also like much higher velocity rounds.  Let’s rehearse what we saw with the FN 5.7 shot at Fort Hood.

The FN 5.7 pistol is constantly maligned or underestimated in many gun forums and articles, often by people who have never experienced shooting the pistol. Subjective comparisons with the .22 magnum or categorization as a sub-par .223 round create confusion about the effectiveness of the FN 5.7.

Enough time has passed after the terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. The shooter, Nidal Malik Hassan, has been arrested, tried and sentenced. The media has moved on. Now we can begin to analyze the impact of the FN 5.7 and address the question of lethality.

Using SS192 and SS197SR ammunition (common commercial 5.7×28 ammo), several 20-30 round magazines and an FN 5.7 (shooter also had a .357 revolver but did not use it), Hassan killed 13 and wounded 32 people.

Many armchair ballistics expert criticized this result as proof that the FN 5.7 platform is not lethal enough because of the proportion of the fatalities to the wounded. Others have proposed that had Hassan use another type of pistol, 9mm or .45, there would have been more fatalities.

If you look at this Wikipedia link and look at the list of casualties, one can come to a very eye-opening conclusion.
Fort Hood shooting – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1. 11 people were shot center-of-mass (COM), one was shot in the stomach and one was shot in the head. All 13 died. All 11 victims who were shot COM did not survive.
2. 3 of the 13 people who died, tried to charge Hassan, but he stopped them with COM shots.
3. The 32 people who were wounded were hit in the arms, legs, hips and shoulders. None of the wounded survivors were shot COM.

The following conclusions can be drawn:
1. The FN 5.7 is a very lethal round CQB because all 11 victims who were shot COM died. No survivors for those hit COM.
2. The FN 5.7 is a real stopper, because 3 tried to charge Hassan at close range and were stopped by COM shots.
3. One of the fatalities was shot in the stomach, and died. The fragmentation of the SS197R round can create a hail of metal shards that can cause serious internal organ damage and bleeding in the stomach.
4. None of the 32 people who were hit in the extremities, hips and shoulders were able to muster a counter-attack because the FN 5.7 must have shattered or broken bones. The high rate of wounded vicitms to fatalities was the direct result of the shooting ability of Hassan (or lack thereof), and not because the 5.7×28 round is not lethal.
5. Sgt. Kimberly Munley (base civilian police), one of the first responders, was immediately disabled with 5.7×28 bullet shrapnels to her wrist and a second 5.7×28 bullet broke her femur. The light 5.7×28 commercial ammo showed that it can shatter large bones due to its velocity
6. According to medical personnel, there was so much blood in the room that it was difficult to get to the victims because the floor became very slippery. One can conclude that the commercial 5.7×28 rounds can fragment or tumble, causing immense blood loss.
7. It took five bullets (which I assume was a 9 mm) from Sgt Mark Todd to stop Hasan. And he survived his wounds (no available info on where he was hit, except that one of the bullets paralyzed Hasan).

In conclusion:
1. The FN 5.7 is definitely a very lethal round. 100% fatality for COM shots.
2. The FN 5.7 is a man-stopper. Three military men tried to charge Hasan, and all three were stopped.
2. The FN 5.7 is a very incapacitating round, if extremities are hit, because it is powerful enough to break the femur (which is the largest bone in the body)
3. The fragmentation or tumbling effect of commercial ammo can cause a lot of blood loss.

The FN 5.7 is a very effective weapon. It is as effective as, or arguably more effective, than any military or civilian pistols in the market.

It is unfortunate that the jihadist Hassan used this weapon against U.S. soldiers.

I have an FN 5.7.  You don’t want to be shot with that round, especially not the ammunition travelling 2200 FPS (the red box ammunition versus the blue tip sporting rounds).  Velocity isn’t everything.  If it was, I’d carry a 6″ barrel .357 magnum with me everywhere.  There is the issue of weight, shape, form, and so on the list goes.

But oversimplifying this to some idiotic rant about turning back the hands of time on 30 years of research is silly and does nothing to serve the gun community.

By the way, there is nothing wrong with the .40 S&W, even though she likens it to wandering in the wilderness for 20 years, any more than there is anything wrong with the 10 mm (which is similar).  The notion of high velocity round to which she refers can be studied here.  The comments are laughable.  There is this one.

In the ’60’s I was a cop in a moderate size PD in Texas, an officer shot a suspect in the chest three times with .357 Super Vel 110 grain bullets. Even though the bullets were traveling 10,000 miles an hour none of the three penetrated past the ribcage and they expanded well and destroyed his ribcage he almost knocked the officer down running passed him. The next day Super Vel was removed from my revolver.

If you believe that someone shot someone else with three .357 magnum rounds, or even one of them, and it failed to penetrate past the rib cage (in other words, it only penetrated the clothes and skin), then you’re dumber that a box of rocks.  That cop missed.  Or the person was lying about what happened.  He was fabulating.

Be careful what you read on the interwebz.

Kimber To Open Manufacturing Facility In Troy, Alabama

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

A few days while touring around inside Google Analytics I saw a visit from Kimber on an article I wrote where I tried to encourage Kimber to move out of New York to greener pastures, or in other words, right-to-work states.  It would match the move South by many other firearms manufacturers and likely garner more support within the gun community.  After all, one wonders how many guns are being sold in the Northeast compared to Southeast.

Now I understand why this article captured someone’s interest.  Troy, Alabama won a new Kimber facility.

A major gun manufacturer will open a new production facility in Troy, adding 366 jobs to the local economy over the next five years.

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday that Kimber Manufacturing Inc. would locate in Troy and invest $38 million in the local economy to build a state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facility. Ivey said the new factory would bring high-paying design and manufacturing jobs to Troy.

The new facility is expected to open in 2019.

Kimber officials said growing demand for the company’s products led to the decision to open a new plant in Troy.

“Troy offers us expansion with a passionate workforce, extraordinarily low utility costs, a pro-business environment, experienced local training support, and long-term incentives from the state and local government alike,” Greg Grogan, Kimber’s chief operating officer, said. “This expansion in conjunction with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in-class products provides for exciting times here at Kimber.”

The company has roots in Yonkers and has grown rapidly in the past two decades. The Troy facility will be Kimber’s sixth U.S. plant.

This is great news, but here’s a warning.  Leave your progressive politics up North.  We down South don’t like high taxes or intrusive, nanny state government.

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