Archive for the 'Firearms' Category



Barrel Heat Hurts Accuracy And Velocity

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 9 hours ago

Bryan Hendricks.

I moved the target to 50 yards, removed the bolt from the receiver and eyeballed the target through the bore, which allowed me to dial in the crosshairs for a rough zero. Then I backed it up with a laser sighting device to get a little closer. The next three shots printed a .223-inch group, about 6 inches to the left of the bullseye and about 1 inch high.

I moved the target back to 100 yard yards and dialed in the scope to hit dead center and 3 inches high. Eight shots walked progressively up the paper, and I ended the session.

In that rifle, my chronograph clocks that load at a maximum of about 2,670 feet per second. However, I noticed wide variances in muzzle velocity, including a dramatic and progressive loss of velocity as the barrel warmed. Wide speed variances seemed to correspond with wide variances in shot placement.

In all of my reloading manuals, 44.5 grains of IMR-4831 is at or near maximum. I reduced the load to 43.5 grains and took it out Saturday for a short session.

The first shot from a cold barrel clocked at 2,646 fps. It hit the paper dead center and 3 inches high. That’s a dead deer shot out to 300 yards. I waited about five minutes before firing the second shot. The barrel was slightly warm, and the chrony clocked the shot at 2,619 fps. It printed the same height and slightly left. I waited another five minutes and fired the third shot. The barrel was warmer, but not hot. The chronograph clocked it at 2,599 fps. It struck near center and 2 inches high.

As the barrel warmed, velocity decreased by about 20 fps per shot.

“If I let the barrel cool back down to room temperature, I’ll bet the velocity will go back up,” I told myself. “If that happens, I bet I can put a fourth shot through the first hole.”

The barrel was cool to the touch until just past the middle, where it got noticeably warmer. That’s the pressure point, and the heat continued to the muzzle.

Finally, the barrel reached room temperature. I squeezed off a near perfect shot as far as form was concerned. The chronograph read 2,654. The bullet nearly touched the first hole. Discounting the slowpoke shot, the three shots above 2,600 fps measured .852 inch. The average muzzle velocity was 2,630.

Those four shots taught me a lot about the effect of barrel heat on accuracy and velocity. I had never considered the relationship before.

I hadn’t either.  Thanks for sharing this in such detail Bryan.  No doubt I’ll put this information to use.

Should You Drop The Slide Of A 1911 On An Empty Chamber?

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 8 hours ago

I confess I had never thought of the problem they’re discussing, and frankly I’m not sure I fully understand the problem they’re discussing.  I know there are gunsmiths who read this blog.  Enlighten us, please.

FWIW, the comments state that Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson say not to do this.  I don’t, but regardless, it would be nice to know why they recommend against it.

Firearms,Guns Tags: ,

How Thermal Optics Work

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 9 hours ago

Shooting Illustrated.

For the past 10 years, a bunch of straight-shooting roughnecks from Colorado, New Hampshire, Arizona and California have been targeting feral hogs each spring somewhere special in South Texas. As a defense industry exec focused on advanced warfighter aiming and illumination technology, I’ve coached these hunters along the technology curve. The hog, coyote, bobcat, raccoon and jackrabbit body counts have significantly increased each year as the group embraces advanced night-vision technology and works on marksmanship with MSRs and bolt guns.

[ … ]

Good news, prices are dropping fast. You do not need to spend $5,000 or $10,000 anymore. I am having good success with a sub $3,000 384×488 thermal scope with a 50 mm lens assembly. Good luck and straight shooting at night.

Great.  The picture associated with the article shows two guys with lights, NODs equipment, thermal imaging scopes, and PEQ-10s.  How much does all of that cost?

It would be nice if some company could come up with a reasonably priced set of alternatives to all of this for those of us who aren’t millionaires or funded by the taxpayer.

This Is Called Brandishing And Carrying To The Terror Of The Public

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 11 hours ago

Listen up, LEOs.  Also, listen up “journalists” everywhere.  I’ve seen ridiculous discussions everywhere about open carry and the alleged “difficulty” of ascertaining whether that is brandishing or “carrying to the terror of the public.”

Open carry is just open carry.  It isn’t brandishing.  It isn’t carrying to the “terror of the public.”  This example below is brandishing and carrying to the terror of the public.

Open carry is most often engaged by patriots or people who just want self protection and don’t want to stick a gun into their pants.

Below you’ll see an example of brandishing, and that crime is being committed by communists.  But it’s all okay, since they are, you know, communists, and most journalists are communists.  And most LEOs just don’t care about protection for anyone but themselves and the communists.

The sad part is that if I had been the driver, I would have simply found another way to my destination rather trying to go through the hoard of communists.  I have no fear of the communists, but I do care what the state does to me given that they have the power of the pols and courts behind them.

Isn’t that a sad commentary, and doesn’t that say a lot about the state of the state?

Trijicon Sues Holosun To Prevent Import And Sale Of Optics

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Bloomberg.

A Michigan weapons maker is seeking to halt imports of what it says are cheap Chinese knockoffs of its battery-powered pistol sights.

Trijicon Inc. filed a patent complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission on July 29, saying that Holosun Technologies Inc., of Los Angeles County, is working with a manufacturer in China to sell “red dot” sights that replicate features on which Trijicon has held a patent since 2013.

While the Trump administration has made intellectual property protection a key plank of its policy towards China, patent cases such as Trijicon’s are subject to detailed legal procedures. Ben Langlotz, a gun patent attorney with Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works LLC not working on the case, said there are multiple patents on red-dot sights, spanning a variety of characteristics.

Trijicon claims its sights have housing with increased durability and easier use. The technology is used in Trijicon’s Specialized Reflex Optic, which has a recommended retail price of $749. The most expensive Holosun sight referenced in the complaint goes for about $471, its website shows.

Trijicon, whose biggest source of revenue last year was from federal law enforcement agencies, said in its complaint said that its sights are used by hunters in competitions and for target shooting. The market for guns and related products has boomed amid rising social unrest in the U.S. this year.

Trijicon also filed a mirror suit in federal court in California, but that’s likely to be on hold until the ITC case is done. Agency investigations typically take 15-18 months, while a typical patent case in district court lasts two to five years.

I have mixed feelings about this.  First of all, if Holosun did in fact steal trade secrets or infringe on patents, they deserve to be shut down in the U.S.  Theft of intellectual property harms not only investors, but workers as well.  It has gone on for far too long and should be stopped.

I hope the facts are carefully presented and the judge circumspect.  Because on the other hand, I despise that Trijicon’s main customer is law enforcement and not the general public.

I also despise the fact that Trijicon is so expensive, and for that reason alone I’ll probably never have a Trijicon scope or sight (Here, to compete with the Trijicon RMR, I hope that Vortex can come up with a pistol red dot sight better than 3 MOA and do better on price point).  Competition is as sacred as intellectual property rights.  Theft should not be tolerated, but competition should be encouraged.  It would seem to me that the notion that a patent can hold property rights to dots, reticles and magnification is absurd.

So let’s say that Holosun had stolen holographic sight technology from EOTech, that would be a clear violation of law.  To the best of my knowledge, only EOTech so far can make claim to holographic sights.  Correct me if I’m wrong about this.

Here is the California docket and complaint, and here is the patent in question.

MAC: 5.56mm Penetration Test

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Good video.  This is why generally speaking, I don’t like the idea of shooting rifles inside homes or in neighborhoods.

A pistol or pistol caliber pistol carbine (PDW) seems preferred to me based on the risk of shooting high velocity rounds.  And in the pistol or carbine, use personal defense rounds (hollow point), with proven ballistic tests for expansion.  Lucky Gunner has good tests online.

And there is a corollary point.  +P rounds aren’t necessarily the best home defense rounds for this reason.  I shoot 45 ACP, and there are some very hot +P loads for that caliber, including 450 SMC (which is way too hot for something like home defense – I carry for that bear defense in the bush with a 22# recoil spring).

Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make some of the hottest loads, including in PD ammunition.  It isn’t at all apparent to me that these loads would be a better choice.  The homeowner must be the judge given circumstances.

This video and those like it make the pistol caliber carbine a worthy investment for home defense.

Brownells: Breaking In A New Barrel

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

PSA AKV9 with Fostech Echo Trigger

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

Tim answers a question I’ve always had about these Echo Trigger systems.  What happens if you fire one shot, and don’t want to fire the second shot on trigger release?  Good demonstration.

The Weaver Stance

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

American Rifleman.

He’s in the Weaver stance because it is the most natural and logical way to shoot a handgun when the one-hand stuff is not mandatory. Shooters just fall into this position when they are allowed to use the other arm and hand, rather than stick it in a left side pocket or in the waistband.

As far as requiring a one-hand grip, it’s a cultural matter. I have long believed that using a single hand is an outgrowth of Civil War tactics, where the repeating revolver was a decisive weapon but couldn’t be helped by a left hand. That hand was working the reins of a horse.

[ … ]

Jack Weaver, a Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, started drawing his S&W revolver, raising it to eye level and shooting with two hands. Almost immediately, he started beating the daylights out of just about everybody else. They all started using it, and the rest is history.

Because it was so successful and so identified with the first guy to use it in these first competitions, the technique was acclaimed as the “Weaver Stance.” It was the evolved doctrine when Cooper opened the first combat shooting school at Gunsite Ranch in the late ’70s. Hundreds of thousands of civilian, military and police handgunners have been trained in the technique.

I know some folks love it, but I don’t find anything at all natural about it.  I use the Isosceles Stance.  Still, the takeaway is to use whatever feels comfortable and natural to you.

I’m Under Investigation For Buying Diesel Parts!

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks ago

Good Lord!

A communist revolution is well underway, and the DHS is spending resources on this.


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