Archive for the 'Guns' Category

Do Ballistic Blankets Work?

BY Herschel Smith
21 hours, 51 minutes ago

Looks like they do.

I like the Langdon 1301 tactical shotgun, and had never seen one before.  Is this a competitor for the Benelli M4 and Mossberg 930?

Lead Poisoning From Shooting

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 23 hours ago

When my former Marine was in the work-up towards his Iraq deployment, and even after that, he was shooting 1000 rounds a day for more than a year.  The author mentions 200-300 rounds per day.  I have neither the time nor money for that since I don’t make a penny off of this blog.  But if you’re able to put that many rounds down range, lead poisoning is a really big deal.

Review Of The Winchester 350 Legend

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 22 hours ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Winchester began development of the 350 Legend in 2017. The primary motivation was the need for a straight-wall cartridge that would meet the legal requirements in several states previously only allowing shotguns and muzzleloaders for deer hunting. Though I would not call it a revolution, this straight-wall resurgence has increased the popularity of cartridges—like the .450 Bushmaster—that were waning in popularity. The 350 Legend fills this “specialized” need, but the question of whether it has any practical or tactical application beyond whacking deer somewhere in the Midwest remains.

[ … ]

… from inception, the 350 Legend was intended to work with the AR-15 platform. The 350 Legend case is only about a tenth of an inch longer than the .357 Maximum and just .12-inch longer than the .357 Mag. The real difference is the 350 Legend’s rimless design and operating pressure. The .357 Mag. is only loaded to 30,000 psi and the .357 Maximum to 40,000 psi. And, of course, neither of these revolver cartridges are compatible with Stoner’s semi-automatic (AR-15) design that has essentially become “America’s Rifle.”

[ … ]

Current count shows more than a half-dozen available factory 350 Legend loads. Winchester offers a 145-grain FMJ load rated at 2,350 fps, a 150-grain poly-tipped bullet at 2,325 fps and a conventional lead-tipped 180-grain Power Point at 2,100 fps. Hornady is offering a 170-grain Interlock at 2,200 fps, and Federal is on board with two 180-grain soft points at 2,100 fps and a 160-grain Fusion load. For the hunter, all of these—with the possible exception of the 145-grain FMJ—are more than sufficient for any whitetail deer or feral hog.

[ … ]

Some cartridges chambered in the AR-15 will shoot fast and flat, while others will hit harder. Picking one over the other means you must plant your feet on one side or the other of the fence or try to walk a balance right down the middle. The .223 Rem. will shoot the fastest and flattest—at 300 yards the bullet will drop half as much as the 350 Legend. The 350 Legend on the other hand will hit harder—almost 50 percent harder at the muzzle than the .223 Rem. At distance, cartridges like the 25-45 Sharps and .300 HAM’R offer more middle-of-the-road performance between the .223 Rem. and the 350 Legend.

So, what you have with the new 350 Legend is the hardest-hitting factory cartridge that will work in a standard AR-15 with the standard .373-inch bolt face. (Of course, the .450 Bushmaster will hit even harder, but requires a different bolt.) This means any AR-15 originally chambered for the .223 Rem. can be converted to 350 Legend. What you sacrifice is the ability to carry that power anywhere past what most shooters now consider short range. Due to the low ballistic coefficients of the bullets used in a 350 Legend—compared with the bullets used in other cartridges designed for the AR-15 platform—velocity falls off fast. From the general-purpose standpoint, the 350 Legend is at its best inside of 250 yards, which, of course, is more than fine for defensive purposes.

[ … ]

The niche the 350 Legend fills is that of a one-gun solution for self-defense and big-game hunting inside of 300 yards in a compact carbine—bolt-action or semi-automatic. The 350 Legend should be of particular interest to self-defense-minded deer hunters in the several states that require the use of straight-wall cartridges. Essentially the antithesis of the .223 Rem.—a tactical cartridge sometimes pressed into duty as a big-game round—the 350 Legend is a hunting cartridge that can excel in a tactical environment.

I think that’s what would be it’s attraction for me.  A legitimate multipurpose tool is always better than a tool that does one thing.  The thing you lose is the ability to reach out to 400-500 yards.  On the east coast, that’s not an issue.  This is a hunting and self defense gun for the bush, with ammunition that is significantly cheaper than the .458 SOCOM or .450 bushmaster, and not nearly the recoil.

And I’d like to have one, but don’t.

The Gun Ban Cancer Spreads To Kentucky

BY Herschel Smith
4 days ago

Practicing Trigger Reset

BY Herschel Smith
4 days ago

The M3 “Grease Gun”

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 23 hours ago

Shooting Illustrated.

Often recognized as being a success story of small-arms design and development, the .45 ACP M3 submachine gun was born of the exigent circumstances of industrial mass production during the Second World War. It had the enormous virtue of low manufacturing costs that made it cheaper to produce than all other American submachine guns.

At peak production, M3s were a bargain at $20.94 each—less than half the cost of the mass-production version of the Thompson submachine gun (which was itself cheaper than the pre-war model). Although low cost was a major factor in the M3’s success, so too was the speed of its development and adoption.

The project went from a concept on paper, to the T20 prototype, to adoption and production within just seven months—a record that no other firearm in U.S. military history has ever rivaled. When it went into production in May 1943 at GM’s Guide Lamp Division plant in Anderson, IN, the M3 was a reliable open-bolt submachine gun weighing slightly more than 8 pounds with a fully loaded, 30-round, detachable-box magazine.

Its design made extensive use of sheet-metal stampings to include the two halves of the receiver assembly, the trigger, the rear sight, and a crank handle on the right side of the gun used to retract the bolt before firing. Not only did the M3’s sheet-metal construction make it lighter and cheaper, it also gave the gun an appearance resembling one of the most-ubiquitous tools of the auto-repair shop: the mechanic’s grease gun.

On Tuesday, June 6, 1944, U.S. troops used the M3 Grease Gun in action for the first time. During the weeks that followed, it fought a vigorous campaign stretching from Normandy through to the liberation of Paris and the push to the Siegfried Line. Soldiers carried it up hills and down valleys through the adversity of dust, rain and, eventually, even snow. M3s fought the Battle of the Bulge, crossed the Rhine River by boat, parachute and glider, and they eventually even blew the locks off of the front gate of OFLAG XIII-B.

Concentration camps were liberated by men carrying them, and islands in the Pacific were captured by men fighting with them. Although Gen. Patton described the John Garand’s M1 as “the greatest battle implement ever devised,” perhaps the same can be said about George Hyde’s M3. When you consider how quickly this paragon o of rugged dependability went from drawings on paper to the gates of the prisoner of war camp at Hammelburg, it certainly seems like Patton’s endorsement fits the M3 just as nicely as it does the M1.

I wish someone would sell me an M3 for $21.  America was a better place then, yes?

This reminds me of something Tim Lynch told me one time.  Tim blogged when he was a contractor in Afghanistan, and he said when he went into villages carrying the M3, no one messed with him, including the Taliban.  One villager told him, “We’re all scared of that thing.”  Tim replied, “Yes, I understand.  I would be too.”

Ruger Takes S&W To Court Over 10-22

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Uh oh.  There is war between the manufacturers.

One of the most popular rifles made and sold in the United States — the .22-caliber Ruger 10-22 — is the subject of a high-stakes court battle, with the Connecticut-based manufacturer accusing a rival gunmaker of unlawfully cutting into the market with a lookalike.

The issue is detailed in court filings that Sturm, Ruger & Co. initiated in July when it sued the Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson and its sister company, Thompson/Center Arms.

Last week, lawyers for both sides spent three days in U.S. District Court arguing over a preliminary injunction that would block sales of the Thompson T/CR22, possibly during a heavy buying season.

Like the Ruger 10-22, the Thompson/Center rifle has a 10-shot magazine that allows semi-automatic fire with separate trigger pulls.

A key part of rifle hardware — the receiver, which is the housing for internal components such as the hammer, bolt firing pin and trigger — is the same length and width as its product, Ruger claims.

The T/CR22 has similar locations for safeties, bolt locks and trigger releases. Thompson/Center made its rifle adaptable to the hundreds of after-market 10-22 parts that owners use to customize their rifles.

“They added a couple of functions that I’ll give them credit for, but to me it’s still a 10-22, just their version of it,” testified Mark Gurney, the director of product management for Ruger, last week in U.S. District Court.

The company Ruger is suing, the Arizona-based American Outdoor Brands Corporation, owns both Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms.

“Ultimately, this case is about competition — namely, Ruger’s effort to stamp out lawful competition to grant itself a monopoly over the functional design of a .22 caliber long rifle,” Manchester lawyer Christopher Cole wrote in court documents.

The Concord law firm Orr and Reno represents Ruger. Manchester-based Sheehan, Phinney, along with the Philadelphia firm Ballard Spahr, represents the defendants.

During the hearing, both sides had multiple lawyers on hand. A deputy U.S. marshal had to inspect each rifle before it was handled by lawyers, witnesses or Judge Joseph Laplante.

At one point, Laplante was the image of a G-man, sitting in his chair with each hand grasping a rifle at its forestock, the rifles’ butts braced on his lap.

“My confusion level now is through the roof,” Laplante said while holding the two rifles as lawyers argued about the marketing-type aspects of the rifles, referred to by lawyers as trade dress.

I don’t have a dog in this fight.

I guess ultimately it depends upon exactly how the patent paperwork reads and exactly what they took credit for.  I know a patent and copyright attorney.  It gets really complicated, very quickly.

Firearms Sales

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

NSSF on Firearms sales.

  • The estimated total number of firearms in civilian possession from 1986-2018 is 422.9 million, according to data reported in the ATF’s Firearms Commerce Report in the United States 2019 report and including the preliminary 2018 Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Exportation Report (AFMER) figures.
  • 17,740,000 Modern Sporting Rifles are in private ownership today.
  • More than half (54%) of all rifles produced in 2017 were modern sporting rifles.
  • In 2017, 7,901,218 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those, 4,411,923 were pistols and revolvers, 2,821,945 were rifles and 667,350 were shotguns.
  • An interim 2018 estimate showed a total 7,660,772 total firearms were produced and imported. Of those 4,277,971 were pistols and revolvers, 2,846,757 were rifles and 535,994 were shotguns. Those are interim reports and will be updated as complete information becomes available.
  • Firearms-ammunition manufacturing accounted for nearly 12,000 employees producing over $4.1 billion in goods shipped in 2017. An estimated 8.1 billion rounds, of all calibers and gauges, were produced in 2018 for the U.S. market.

So how’s that plan to confiscate 18 million MSRs going, controllers?  You think you’ll get them all?

Here is a useful graph from Ammoland.

There has been a general trend upwards for a very long time.  Excel or TableCurve-2D could easily fit a smoothed curve with that data with a decent correlation coefficient.  Do you see that increase right at the end of 2019?  It’s seasonal, no doubt, like the rest of the repeatable perturbations.

But I don’t expect to see it go back down very far or fast in 2020.  I think 2020 is the year you want to be in the firearms manufacturing and sales business.

Over 200,000 NICS Requests In One Day

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago


According to the FBI, over 200,000 background check requests associated with the purchase of a firearm were submitted to the agency on Black Friday, marking the second highest gun sales day ever. The previous record was set on the day after Thanksgiving in 2016. In both 2017 and 2016, enough guns were potentially purchased on Black Friday to arm every active duty United States Marine.

That makes me happy, everything except the NICS part.

But that’s nothing compared to what we witnessed at the time of Obama, when Larry Hyatt at Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte sold 1000 AR-15s in a single day, enough to arm a Marine Corps Battalion.  That’s from one single store.

How To Adjust Your Scope For Long Range Shots

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

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