Archive for the 'Guns' Category



Ballistics Made Easy

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 1 hour ago

Optic Choices: First or Second Focal Plane?

BY Herschel Smith
5 days ago

American Rifleman.

On an FFP the reticle expands or contracts in conjunction with the magnification, allowing the gradations of the reticle design, whether milliradian (mil), minute of angle (m.o.a.) or bullet drop compensating (BDC) to remain proportional. With the high range of magnification possible on today’s optics, it is a true luxury to crank the power to whatever is ideal for the level of support, the field of view desired and the precision of shot placement, then simply hold on the correct reticle gradation for the range and begin to press the trigger.

[ … ]

Most AR shooting, in whichever role—whether sporting, competition or duty/defense—is done within the “sweet spot” of the .223 Rem. trajectory where the shooter can simply hold on the intended target and get the hit. With the common 50-yd./200-yd. zero the bullet’s path is within the margin of error out to about 250 yds. This lets a shooter enjoy a consistent reticle image that remains the same, regardless of the magnification, and is still bold and visible at the low end.

However, if the shooter has to hold over for the occasional long shot with the magnification topped off at the maximum, the reticle holds are “true.” Six power is a good compromise for visibility at distance but is still low enough that many shooters can use maximum power from an unsteady support without getting motion sick from the image and, thus, prone to snatching the shot off.

I think this is a pretty good article, explaining what you’re giving up with each choice.  For FFP scopes and high powered rifles, the reticle adjusts according to magnification.  This lets the shooter more accurately judge holdovers with extreme distance and magnification.

But that reticle looks mighty small on low power.  For SFP scopes, there is no need to go to high magnification to make accurate judgments of holdovers because the reticle is always the same size.  But for extreme long range shooting (as long as you can get with an AR), that reticle won’t adjust with magnification.

Again, I think this is an informative article.

Shooting Hand Cannons

BY Herschel Smith
5 days ago

Each one of these guns is high $$$.  I guess you have to be a YouTuber to be able to afford them.

Rifle Recoil

BY Herschel Smith
6 days ago

Guns.com.

Saying you dislike heavy recoil is kind of like saying you can’t drive a manual transmission. Everyone likes to say they aren’t bothered by recoil. Everyone lies. I know shooters who boast of their recoil tolerance but when I see them at the range they have 50 lbs. of lead stacked behind the rifle.

Fool me all you want, but don’t fool yourself. If you really want to find out, have a friend at the range load the rifle for you, leaving the chamber empty on occasion so you never know if the rifle is going to fire or not. When the firing pin clicks on an empty chamber after a string of live rounds, you’ll know. If you really can handle it the sight picture will remain steady. If not … I’ve seen people with both eyes closed, face pulled away from the stock and contorted in a grimace. If shooting offhand sometimes they’ll actually stumble forward a step or two.

I always look for the gun which can supply the minimum recoil and still get the job done I am asking it to.  There is no virtue in unneeded recoil.

Making the M1917 Bolt-Action Rifle

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

I could have done with some narration and without the music, but it’s still an interesting video.

What’s the Difference Between Red-Dot Sight Footprints?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Footprint A will fit the Trijicon RMR Type 2, Holosun 507CX2, and Trijicon SRO reflex sights. Footprint or slide cut B fits the Shield RMSc, the SIG Sauer Romeo 0, and the Holosun 507KX2.

Footprint C works for the Leupold Delta Pro, SIG Sauer Romeo 1, and the Crimson Trace CTS-1250. Slide cut D will fit the Burris Fast Fire and the 2 Vortex Venom. And finally, like with the new Trijicon RMRcc and Vortex Viper, some reflex sights have their own unique footprint.

That’s a quick summary.  Of course, if you want the details, this is the authority.

Paul Harrell: Shooting In Stressful Situations

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

Why Do You Hold Your Gun Like That?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 4 days ago

Chris does a good job of explaining why it works for him.  If it works for the person, that’s all that matters.

Shotgun Testing

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 4 days ago

The boys at Survival Dispatch test their shotguns, and some slugs.

BLUF: Slugs will penetrate five layers of 3/4″ plywood.  I guess that’s why they’re so impressive against large predators.  Buck shot can be more accurate than you think at 50 yards with the right choke.  Buck shot doesn’t penetrate like slugs, and don’t have the same risk of over-penetration.

And I’ve said before the same thing he did.  Given one choice of a survival gun, I’d choose a shotgun.  Anything from squirrel to bear, with the right choice of ammunition.

Do Shotgun Slugs Deserve Another Chance?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Field & Stream.

At my gun club’s range the other day, one of the other members let me shoot a couple of his straight-wall deer rifles. He told me that before he found the right bullets, he had lost a couple of well-hit deer. I was sympathetic, because losing a deer hurts, but part of me thought That never happened with slugs. Maybe the shotgun slug deserves another chance before it lumbers off to extinction.

Extinction definitely seems to be where deer slugs are headed. My local store, located in the middle of good Iowa deer country, used to sell as many scoped 20-gauge Remington 1100 packages as they could put together before deer season. Now, it’s hard to find a slug gun in the rack there, but there are plenty of .45-70 lever actions, ARs in .350 Legend and .450 Bushmaster, and a few bolt-action rifles, too.

I get it. Rifles are cool in a way that slug guns aren’t. Shotguns are bulky and heavy, and they can kick hard with slugs. They aren’t as accurate as rifles are, either. On the plus side, at real-world whitetail hunting ranges, slugs make big holes in deer. Often they make one hole going in and another on the way out. The blood trails are short and easy to follow.

Back when I started deer hunting in the early 80s, everyone ganged up and drove woodlots. Deer drives often result in shots at walking and running deer. I saw deer shot in some creative places, and learned that while it’s possible to hit a deer with a slug without killing it, it’s not an easy thing to do. I could never manage to do it.

[ … ]

As deer hunting became a bigger deal, and a bigger business, gun and ammo makers spent a lot of time making slugs shoot more accurately. Rifled barrels and slugs encased in plastic sabots came along in the late 80s and early 90s, and after twenty years or so of constant R&D and improvement, slug guns could shoot 1-2 inch groups at 100 yards. Even I could shoot a group I could cover with my hand at 200 yards with the right gun and ammo (Ithaca Deerslayer III, Winchester XP3), although for shooting at deer under any but ideal conditions, 150 yards is a better maximum range for sabots and rifled shotguns.

While it’s true that sabot slugs aren’t as big around as full-bore slugs, they’re still big. Most 12 gauge slugs are loaded with .50 caliber bullets. Even 20 gauges have .45 caliber bullets, and in my experience with them, they expand impressively.

Well, I think shotguns are pretty cool too.  With the thin barrel I don’t find shotguns heavy unless it’s a very long barrel (like duck, goose or upland bird gun), and in that case, hunt with a tactical shotgun.  I watched a guy use a Benelli M4 and put slugs on a fist size target at 100 yards.  Of course, his shoulder was bruised at the end of the day.


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