Great video on handgun shooting stances
I especially like the Highly Modified Gangsta Grip. As he says, the hurling of insults is the most important aspect.
iphone ballistic app
I was just told of such a thing -- no idea where it is to be found, as I'm new to the iphone...
Interesting video on the FG-42 LMG
Right here. The late Curtis Earl, NFA dealer and expert, told me he thought the design was ripped off from the Johnson Light Machinegun. Externally, they're quite similar, they have similar features (down to the first model FG-42 and the Johnson could have their magazines reloaded from five round clips pushed in the other side of the gun), both are short recoil operated, and both fire from an open bolt in full auto and a closed bolt in semiauto. That's truly a rare combination of features -- it'd be quite a coincidence that two groups working independently designed guns with all of them!
Hat tip to reader David McCleary.l..
1875 marksmanship manual
"How To Become an Expert Shot." The author counsels that as your bore becomes fouled, velocities will drop and shots come in lower. No idea if that effect was significant enough to require compensating for it.
1875 marksmanship manual
"How To Become an Expert Shot." The author counsels that as your bore becomes fouled, velocities will drop and shots come in lower. No idea if that effect was significant enough to require compensating for it.
Firearms collection auctions
April 30, online and live, hosted by Heritage Auctions, and with proceeds of several auctions going to NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund or NRA Foundation. Details of the event are here. Some collectibles, some shooters, some quite interesting (like the scoped Schmidt-Rubin, or the many trapdoor Springfields).
I remember reading about this when I was young. Though at the time when it was popular, they had cardboard shells, and so the shooter had to be careful to *almost* cut thru them.
I've read of this practice in days of yore. Video here. I'd have backed up farther, tho. I count the anvil as aloft for seven seconds which, using Newton's Law, means it rose over 200 feet.
Shooting in the Olympics
Interesting. In Olympic shooting events, women and men competed together until 1976, when an American woman won the silver and nearly the gold in small bore rifle, whereupon the IOC decided to split the events into men's and women's shooting.
Kalashnikov has produced a new variant of the venerable AK. It's said to be accurate (some American versions of the AK, I've read, can shoot to an MOA -- all a matter of quality control in barrel-making), and as reliable as the original. From the video, it doesn't appear to have much muzzle rise in full auto.
Fun at Knob Creek
Pro-gun attorney Dan Peterson has a weekend of fun at Knob Creek.
The times they are a'changing....
An interesting chart, from NSSF, of firearm sales (or at least NICS checks, which not quite the same thing -- CCW permit holders can skip them, and the number of those permits is rising, but the figures at least indicate minimal numbers for gun purchases). The 54% rise over a decade is impressive. I can remember when, in the 1970s, production numbers were more like 3-4 million, not 11 million. Equally interesting is that the first years of the Obama Administration do not show a surge. It's a long term trend, not something driven by political fears.
Equally interesting, it may be a global phenomenon. In Australia, New South Wales to be specific, gun control advocates are upset because gun permits are up about 25%, and uo about 80% over five years ago. It's also interesting that they have formed a "Shooters Party" in Parliament.
Gun give-away contests
Aaron Spuler blogs his extensive list of pending gun give-away contests.
More Guns, Less Crime
Here's the story, on Fox News. I wish they'd gotten better background video, tho.
Guns a big item on "Black Friday"
The FBI reports 129,166 background checks that day, an all-time record, and 32% above that day last year. The tide has turned.
No question, "assault rifles" are now "firearms in common use"
At least, new to me, though I had read of its development in a book on stopping power. It's Federal's Guard Dog apparently only in .45 ACP just now.
It looks like an FMJ, but the jacket of the nose has four slits inside it, running up to the nose. The core is lead at the rear, with a wad of polymer in the nose. On impact, it deforms and the jacket splits along the slits. It gives quick expansion, near 100% retained weight, and no problems with a hollow point plugging up when going thru a barrier or through heavy clothing.
UPDATE: here's a review. He mentions one other advantage -- if you are so unfortunate as to live in a state that bans hollowpoint ammo, you can still own this.
Opposition to AW bans at all-time high
I'm convinced there is some manner of cultural shift here, as the US returns to its long term norm of being a nation of gunnies. It's something that need not have a single cause, or multiple causes. It simply is. And, as CBS notes, homicides fell by half (which means the rate fell by more than half) over the same time.
The circle is completed...
For many years, American gunmakers have been producing semiauto AKs -- now, Russia is producing AR-15s!.
If you want a gun-related tattoo...
Don't choose this one. I really like the 1911, but there does seem room for an unfortunate misunderstanding here.
Here's the online tour.
I was recently at a luncheon where NRA president David Keene mentioned that NRA had made Kalashnikov an honorary life member. Not for his firearms designs, but for a speech he gave at a birthday celebration (attended by V. Putin, no less), where he said his greatest hope for Russia was for a government that did not fear an armed populace.
Center for Biol. Diversity lead ammo case -- ruling
I mentioned the ruling a while back, and here it is, in pdf.
Testing black powder guns with modern equipment
Fascinating. They set out with radar that can track bullets, to see if Billy Dixon's famous 1874 shot (he reportedly shot an Indian off his horse at over 1,500 yards, using a .50-90). Yep, the Sharps could do it. It may launch its heavy bullets at 1200-1300 fps, but they can reach out over 3,600 yards and are deadly even at that range. Fired at 45 degrees, the projectile travels that distance while rising 4,000 feet above the ground and staying in the air for thirty seconds.
A 3.8" group -- at 1,000 yards
The new SEAL sniper rifle
Article here. Interesting reading, if you overlook the author's many technical errors. The responses to those in comments are pretty funny.
Here's a webpage devoted to arrests of professional football players, averaging over one a week. DUI, assault and battery, drugs, thefts.
I wish someone would do a similar page for National Match competitors. It'd be something like:
August 5: John Smith receives a warning for speeding.
July 8: May Jones receives a parking citation.
John M. Browning
An interesting history of the greatest gun designer who ever lived.
Firearms industry continues to boom
At least, Ruger certainly does!
Marines switching out SAWs
Story here. I like a lot of its features (as described), but wonder that it couldn't be redesigned to take polymer magazines and a quick change barrel, and perhaps fitted with larger magazine of different capacities so the gunner could alternate 30 round mags and perhaps a 100 round mag as the situation demanded.
Seal Team Six rifles
Article here. The gun used to send Osama to a warmer clime was an H&K HK416, a short-stroke gas piston action that fits a standard M4 lower.
Military testing new 5.56 projectile
Story here. The new projectile replaces the lead core with copper. (Heckuva situation when soldiers training for kill or be killed are expected to be environmentally conscious in the process).
I'm a bit skeptical, in that the article doesn't give any ballistics data. With a longer bullet, but needing to keep the same overall cartridge length, there will be less room for powder. A smaller charge and a faster burn would suggest that muzzle energy will fall.
One shot, two kills
A British sniper in Afghanistan apparently thought "one shot, one kill" wasn't good enough.
WWI sniper relives his experience
Age 84, he still has it. Three shots into 5" at a thousand yards.
WWII sniper relives his experience
Age 84, he still has it. Three shots into 5" at a thousand yards.
[typo in title corrected ... I doubt there are many WWI snipers left]
Target practice for the zombies' return
Here are great targets.
A fast gun
Now, this is one VERY fast pistolero.
Colt comes up with new plastic cartridge cases
Very interesting. [ pdf, 1 meg]. One version uses a plastic case with a spiral surface; it is said to reduce ammo weight by about 40% and offer easier extraction.
WWII historical source
At a site called Lone Sentry. It's online records of the US Military Intelligence Service (reports largely derived from the British) as to enemy weapons. Effectiveness off the 88mm as an antitank gun, Japanese bombing tactics, Axis aircraft performance, etc, etc.
Hat tip to Michael Baker...
Looks like fun...
Heck of a gun meet!
It's the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show!
Next one scheduled in June, here's the webpage.
National Matches underway!
A good report on them at SI.com.
Building a Williams Gun
The story is here. The Williams Gun was a Confederate creation. It was a rapid firing, carriage mounted, rifled gun of 1.5" bore. Its projectiles were gigantic Minie type ones, cast in lead, and explosive ones were made with a cavity for black powder and a nipple for percussion cap on the nose. (Safety was not a big concern in Civil War artillery). Its main purpose was long-range sniping at artillery limbers and caissons -- the explosive rounds would have done a good job of detonating those.
I found a record of one scoring a hit, in the surgical volume of the Official Records of the War of Rebellion. A sketch depicted a projectile that hit an officer's horse at the Seven Day's Battle -- it was a Minie type, 1.5" diameter, with a big cavity in the nose. The authors speculated that it might have come from a gigantic sniping rifle of unknown type. My guess is that the gun was being used for sniping at people, and so the crew omitted the explosive charge.
History Channel's "Top Shot"
It premieres this Sunday evening: here's its webpage.
New record sniper shot
A British sniper in Afghanistan has scored two one-shot kills at 1.54 miles, on a pair of Taliban machinegunners. (The reference in the article to an 8.59 mm bullet is actually a reference to the .338 Lapua Magnum version of the British L115A1 rifle.
Hat tip to reader Bill Taggart....
Those were the days!
From The American Rifleman, April 1928:
"'U.S. Rifle, cal. 30, model 1898 (Krag) ......$1.50.' So reads the all too brief description of one of the finest, truest, and most companionable rifles ever produced, in the rifleman's treasure-house, the D.C.M. price list.....
For an arm intended largely for competitive target work, the usual choice will probably be a National Match Springfield or a D.C.M. Sporter, costing $40.00 and $46.00, respectively."
Good news: the Taliban are lousy shots.
Bad news: the M4 has major reliability problems in dust. (The spokesman tries to spin it as 98% reliable -- meaning it only jammed one round out of fifty). [Mixed news: a year and a half after the test, the Army has announced it will consider replacements or improvements -- in late summer, maybe.
Online early books on shooting and ballistics
AccurateShooter.com has the links to them on GoogleBooks. I remember reading a hardcopy of The Bullet's Flight from Powder to Target as a grade schooler. A great early (1909) book by a fellow who had to invent much of his own equipment (he had a device to measure velocity that consisted of two circular pieces of wood, maybe a yard apart and with a common axle, rotating at high RPM. When the bullet passed thru them, he could measure the amount of rotation between the two holes and calculate the velocity). Also an 1879 book on marksmanship by Col. Wingate, who cofounded the NRA.
Thoughts on guns NOT to buy
Some thoughts on the subject.
Here. It's incredibly slow motion video of bullets and shotgun pellets striking paper, metal, and gelatin.
Nifty device for shooting ranges
Right here. Just roll it along the ground and it picks up spent brass. Apparently the inventor originally came up with one to pick nuts up off the ground, and then thought that it might work with spent brass, too.
Early ballistics book on Google Books
It's F. W. Mann's The Bullet's Flight from Powder to Target (1909). It's an enormous series of ballistics experiments, performed over 30 years, at a key period (smokeless powder and spitzer bullets coming in). He dabbled in vented barrels, firing elongated bullets from smooth bores, tried to find the most accurate form for a bullet, etc., etc..
Birdshot as self defense load
Video of the experiment.
Test of buck in a rifled shotgun
It really gives meaning to the term scattergun.
Shotgun slugs vs. rifle projectiles
Some interesting ballistics. The calculation is that if each is discharged parallel to the ground, with the projectile ricocheting upon first impact, the shotgun slug will actually travel farther than the rifle bullet.
I do have some doubts... as the study notes, on a ricochet the projectile is generally flying end over end, and thus has high wind resistance. Their calculations indicate that the rifle bullet would go 1400 feet before ground impact, and then 3,400 feet on its ricochet, total distance 4,800 feet, The idea of a ricochet going upwards of a thousand yards seems much to my eye.
Work on designing a super penetrating bullet
Win for shooting ranges under RCRA
Metacon Gun Club in Connecticut was sued by homeowners in the area (who probably bought houses next to a shooting range and then became upset that a shooting was next to their houses) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). RCRA applies to "discarded" material that is classified as hazardous waste. Plaintiffs' theory was that this applied to lead bullets and shot on the ground and in the backstops.
The Second Circuit affirmed the district court, which agreed with the EPA that the discharge of projectiles is part of their normal use, and firing them does not "discard" them within meaning of the law. It also affirmed a finding that the plaintiffs had failed to make out a case under the Clean Water Act.
Hat tip to reader William Taggart....
Count the errors....
PopSci.com tries to explain whether conventional firearms work in outer space.
Egad. Let's see, primers give off sparks, most but not all of the gunpowder's oxygen comes from its own composition, which uses saltpeter, recoil would be worse because there's no air resistance to slow the bullet...
ballistic Ipod app
Military gets new sniper equipment, techniques
Story here. I find it interesting that all the equipment is civilian invention and manufacture. That may not seem unusual today, but it wasn't but a few wars ago that everyone carried government-designed rifles made in government arsenals (come to think of it, the one civilian made component was the scope sights, issued in small quantities), and firing government-made ammo.
Hat tip to George Mason 1776...
UPDATE: during wars, it was common to farm out gun manufacture to private companies, because the gov't arsenals couldn't keep up, and private industry came in to make arsenal-designed guns. I think the pivotal thing is that private industry has come out with a bunch of devices useful to shooters, which also happen to be useful to military snipers, whereas the military itself ignored that area. Better variable power scopes, rangefinders, backpacks, hydration rigs, etc.
I hope the military is looking into what we saw on the tour of Blackhawk Product Group's HQ. Camo uniforms with two tourniquets built into each sleeve and pants leg.
UPDATE: Blackhawk doesn't sell to civilians? I think you've got the wrong Blackhawk. I'm looking at their catalog right now. Their webpage lets you order online. And I've been to their brick-and-mortar store, open to anyone who walks in.
Thoughts on different sports
The Armed School Teacher's comment on the previous post brings to mind the nature of different sports.
Soccer: Soccer hooligans terrorize European games, tearing down goal posts, assaulting opposing fans, and rioting.
Shooting's equivalent: Two spectators get dirty looks for muttering "Semper Fi" a little too loudly after a Marine takes his shot.
Football: Stars get busted for drugs, assault and battery, etc., etc.. Joke is that a certain team cannot huddle because it would violate their terms of probation, viz., not consorting with convicted felons.
Shooting's equivalent: a Camp Perry winner almost gets a speeding ticket, but since he has no points on his record, the officer gives him a warning. (And if he did have points, he would have admitted it. You just can't lie to an officer).
Tennis: Top ranked player throws a screaming fit when the ref calls his shot out of bounds.
Shooting's equivalent: shooter is eliminated from finals at the Wimbledon, says "I knew I pulled that shot."
Most sports: player is stopped by police after driving down the wrong side of the road, is found drunk as a skunk with a snoot full of cocaine, pleads guilty and is admitted to rehab for the third time.
Shooting's equivalent: a shooter gives up coffee out of concern it might make his hands tremble.
Todd Jarrett webpage
I didn't know Todd Jarrett, our instructor at Blackwater, had his own webpage, but here it is. He was a superb instructor. Tho from my standpoint, I was like a high school student taking serious college courses; I really needed more experience and training to (1) be able to benefit more and (2) to save him the trouble of remedial ed. I'm a decent bullseye shot and plinker, but had little experience in drawing or shooting on the move. If you had decent skills in that, I'm sure he'd do a lot to move you from decent toward expert. As it was, I learned what I have to improve, and can now work on that, and maybe someday return.
[Update: I only topped him on one trip thru the shoothouse, and he way beat me on time but he shot a good guy. The good guy was a jackass anyway, no big deal.]
Video from Blackwater Gun Blogger Weekend
Here, via Michael Bane's Downrange TV. If you want to see how fast Todd Jarrett can fire on the move, check out the "shooting on the move clip." If you'd like to see the fun in the shoothouse, try "lasers in the shoothouse." Not to say you get a little zoned out during that exercise, but this was the first I knew the videographer was behind me (and he's toting a big professional camera). The jokes about being startled were based on the fact that inside the last door, the "bad guy" target was right in your face, which is why I shot without taking a stance.
Science deals with deer hunting camo
Article at the NY Times Blog. Which probably explains most of the comments.
Gun blog gun got here!
The TAC-5 is a 1911 with a LIGHT double-action trigger (feels to be about 5-7 lb), ramped barrel (reported to feed lead semiwadcutters), full-length guide rod, enamel brown finish (no worries about fingerprints causing rust), loaded chamber indicator, and a greatly beefed up extractor (the extractor being the 1911's only weak point). It's a double action that will appeal to 1911 fans like me. As in "I don't care that it's double action, give me a manual safety!"
A bit heavier than a stock 1911, but I don't mind that, and it tends to steady the aim. And very reliable, the only misfeeds came when I shot it dry (500 rounds plus without oil, and cured by 6-8 drops of oil. At that, I shot it out of new in box, so it may not have had much oil to begin with. I've previous blogged footage of Jarrett shooting 1,000 rounds in ten minutes, to where the trigger was too hot to touch, with the gun still feeding). If, as reported, it feeds even lead semi-wadcutters, it ought to feed about anything. I have some jacketed wadcutters, and will test it with those.
The gun blog edition has special markings, adjustable sights red-dot sights, and laser sight grips from Crimson Trace. The grip sights, BTW, are adjustable and, once the on switch is activated, come on only when the trip safety is depressed, so saving batteries. Todd Jarrett showed how the laser sight can be used to diagnose grip and aiming problems. And how, if you want to keep the bad guy from knowing you are coming, you can raise your trigger finger to block the beam, then drop into the trigger guard when taking aim. The beam appears to be about 2" wide at 50 yards. Jarrett mentioned shooting at night with it on a Para gun out to 100 yards and ringing 6" plates with regularity. That's beyond my skill but apparently within that of the gun and laser.
Para includes muzzle wrench, spare plastic for the red-dot sight and the tools to replace the plastic, as well as a CD-ROM on use. Plus a target shot by one of their people before the gun was packed.
It is SO sweet!!! By far the nicest handgun I've ever had. I'd say I can't wait to shoot it, but at Blackwater I already put about 1,000 rounds thru it. So I'll just say I can't wait until I shoot it next.
I've never shot a double-action semi before, but this convinced me. One of the Glock shooters said they were going to sell their Glock. They reported one problem, that if the trigger was pulled before releasing the safety the gun wouldn't fire until recycled. I tested it and it happens but it's not a matter of putting a little pressure on, you have to pull the trigger back a good distance before releasing the safety. As a 1911 shooter who would never drop the safety while pulling the trigger, let alone while pulling it back about half its travel, I tend to see that as a safety feature rather than a problem. That's why the manual safety is there!
Couple it with the Blackhawk utility belt and holster, and I've found a new carry gun. (Understand, out here carry gun doesn't mean everyday carry, but for when you're out in the desert. I don't go 50 yards from the car without canteen and firearm in the desert.
The Palm Pistol
An interesting invention -- a modern palm pistol. Invented by activist Matt Carmel. It can be fired by a person who lacks the dexterity to work a slide, has nothing to snag on clothing, and is probably more accurate in untrained hands than a traditional firearm. I'd see it not as something a pistolero would carry, but as something for a person who needs protection but doesn't have the opportunity to learn standard shooting skills.
NRA prez to compete in National Championships
Story here. John Sigler, NRA president, will shoot in that nationals, prone at 600-1,000 yards. He'll use a 6.5x.284 rifle.
Todd Jarrett shoots 1000 rounds in 10 minutes
YouTube here. By the end the gun is so hot that the trigger is burning his finger. That the gun keeps going is a tribute to the 1911 design, and to Para USA's execution of it.
Hat tip to reader David McCleary....
The Todd Jarrett grip
Captain of a Crew of One has an excellent visual depiction of the hold that Todd Jarrett teaches at Blackwater. It's not Weaver, more Isoceles, and involves a more extensive weak hand grip over the strong hand. Considering that he's the world's practical pistol champion, there is much to be said for it.
He taught it effectively, by forming our hands into the grip and then marking X on them, so that each hand had half the X. Then he'd show how you were unconsciously going back to Weaver, or letting the grip slip when firing a string.
Civil War incident
The NRA was founded, as a friend pithily put it, "to teach Yankees how to shoot Southerners" -- the critical event being when the Union officer who would found it discovered that not one of his men could hit a barrel-head at moderate distance. (He also discovered that there was no American military manual on shooting, in terms of hitting a mark. The manuals described stance, but not aiming, etc.)
This memoir by an Iowa infantryman illustrates the problem faced. Understand, the Confederate is so close to them they can understand his shout, and a company (about 60 men in practice, probably more here since it was a new regiment) get in two rounds:
"We expected them to take to their heels, but no, not only did they not fly, but one of them flung himself on a white horse, rode directly at us, and when within shooting distance, hopped off his mount and promptly fired. I happened to be in the front rank, and I noticed the bullet as it glanced off the branch of a tree, and rolled harmlessly at my feet. We answered in kind, but it made no further impression than to have the bold rider fling forth, "You may shoot, you — Yankees, but you can’t hit me anyhow." Then spoke up Silas N. Lee (Editor's note) of Nevada, threateningly, "Look out! Look out!", and we fired another volley, but the gay daredevil was off like the wind."
He also details one forgotten risk... they're ordered to empty their muskets by firing them, it was raining and he'd forgotten to remove the tompion that plugged the barrel, and when he fired it split the barrel.
Fun with a Thompson
Webpage here. Dunno what the effect on muzzle blast might be, tho.
UPDATE: after some search, I found the patent (search by city and "recoil" rather than company name). Didn't have time to really look it and the drawings over, but the description suggested it worked by redirecting muzzle blast rearwards. That's the principle of most muzzle brakes. The problem is the tradeoff between reducing recoil and increasing the shooter's muzzle blast as heard. A very quick read even suggested it relied upon spring loaded trapdoors, which have been tried for a century and do not work, given the incredible pressures we are talking about. Again, that was on a very quick read of a technical document.
A serious research project
S&W integral trigger lock failures
They're being discussed at the Smith & Wesson Forum. Quite a few reported -- trigger lock engaging under recoil, if dropped, etc..
Link via Xavier's Thoughts, reporting his own gun lockup.
Hat tip to reader John M. Maraldo, who adds: "puts me in mind of the differing attitudes gunnies and gunphobes have as to safety. Ask a gunny what safety is and they'll relate the rules of safe handling and safe shooting. Ask them what safe design is and they'll tell you it is a design that makes the gun shoot when the trigger is pulled, but not when the trigger is not pulled. Ask gunphobes what safe design is and they'll tell you it is a design which makes the gun unlikely or difficult."
Civil War collector killed by140 year old shell
When I lived back there, I'd see lots of civil war cannon projectiles for sale. Collectors would roam the old battlefields (only tiny portions of which were parks) with metal detectors. I read about one who had invented a remote controlled drill press, with water cooling of the bit and a closed circuit TV, so that he could drill into and deactivate them while staying a safe distance away. And gad, this was a 75-pounder.
UPDATE More on the issue, this time from the experts, including a picture and CAD images of the naval fuses. Some news stories suggest that he was grinding rust off the outside of the shell, but I can't see anyone trying that without deactivating it first; he must have known how spark-sensitive black powder is. Just from the size of it he would have known it was a naval shell (for land use, 6-12 pounders were standard, and a 32 pounder was heavy siege artillery), and I'd assume knew about naval fuses.
Hat tip to reader Bill Bailey....
Sen. Coburn on the M4
Senator Coburn raises questions about the M4 rifle.
I've no experience with one. I know that its predecessor, the M-16, had serious jamming problems in Vietnam, and I've read reports of jamming in Iraq, but no idea whether those were common or rare. While I do an AR-15 type firearm, and like it, I've always been a bit suspicious of direct gas impingement, esp. in a setting where you might have to fire off hundreds of rounds without cleaning. Might any readers have experience, or know of those with it, in this area?
UPDATE: I'd agree the cartridge is a big problem -- and least likely to be fixed soon. Changing over is a major operation (and requires coordination with NATO). Consider that in 102 years, we've only switched twice -- from .30-06 to .308, a modest change after nearly half a century, and then to 5.56mm (with lots of .308 weapons still in use).
I was involved in the Waco civil trials, and one exhibit was a revolver carried by an agent as backup. It took a hit square on the sideplate while he wore it, from an AR-15, with the old 55 grain projectile. It blew a star-shaped crater in the sideplate, a little over a half inch in diameter and maybe an eighth of an inch deep. The revolver was probably still usable. The hit knocked him down, he got up and was moving again without injury. You wouldn't see that with a .308. Of course they've switched to a heavier round with a steel penetrator tip, but that just gives a tradeoff. More penetration, but less stopping power. You can use your limited energy and momentum one way or the other.
ANOTHER UPDATE: the problem with Vietnam M-16s was the lack of a chromed chamber, and also a switch in propellant. The rifle was originally tested with tubular powder. Then they went to ball powder. As I recall the issue, the ball powder had more retardent, and thus more fouling. Jams became so frequent that they added the bolt assist to force a jamming round into the chamber (as one user remarked, how come Kalashnikov never had to add this sort of thing to the AK?)/
DARPA testing new scope
Interesting scope design that would use lasers to assess wind conditions downrange. I rather doubt they'll allow it in competitive shooting!
Video special on Front Sight Academy
A four-part video report on training at the Front Sight Academy is available via VBS TV.
Fun at Knob Creek
Link corrected -- thanks...
Winchester 70 is back!
Press release here.
New Army sniping rifle
It's a variant of the SR-25 semiauto. 7.62 NATO, and quite accurate (.65 MOA average, I assume firing standard match ammo). Capable of carrying a suppressor, which has proven useful in the past.
Rising ammo prices
Dallas Morning News has the story. Time to oil up the reloading presses!
Shotguns for the disabled
An interesting idea: the fellow in charge of NRA's disabled shooting program has created a shotgun for persons who have the use of only one arm.
Camp Perry results online
Interesting page on early 20th century handguns
Over at The Unblinking Eye. It covers Walthers, the 1908 Bayard, the Browning 1910 and its imitators, not to mention grips, holstermaking, etc.
A Double barrelled bolt action rifle?
Video here. I guess it's for hunters of dangerous game who (1) like the reliability of a double, but (2) wish it had the 3+ firepower of a bolt. Or else it's just German gun designers who like things REALLY complicated.
Hat tip to David McCleary...
VERY interesting book on combat
By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, covering both police and military combat. Available here.
I've read it twice, and it is excellent. Most people don't understand that fear and combat have been the subject of much serious study. The earlier work was probably du Pict, who was killed in the Franco-Prussian War, and who based his studies on interviews of Napoleon I's veterans. Then there was Lord Moran's "On Fear," based on his observations as a battlefield doctor in WWI. S. L. A. Marshall's study of WWII and Korean firefights (where he found interestingly that only 15% of men fired if they saw the enemy, and which led to revisions in training away from bullseye targets, to get soldiers conditioned to fire at enemy rather than round bulls). Then there are quite a few more recent studies.
This work essentially integrates all that data, and adds quite a few original insights, and then lays out practical principles of training. I can't do it justice in a blog post, but will try in extended remarks below.
Swiss shooting competition
150,000 competitors. That's serious!
The Gun Nut has put online a segment from Julian Hatcher's Notebook on guns (an invaluable source), dealing with what happens when a bullet is fired straight up.
Sounds like a heck of a squad auto weapon
A webpage for the Ultimax SAW. I'm happy to see American inventors trying their best, although politics too often matters more than good weapons design. It's amazing to reflect how many American military firearms are the result of individual inventors, or small firms... the government tends to struggle on with overly complex, overly expensive space-age tinkering, while individuals work on things that ... well, work. The last purely government design that I can think of is the M-1/M-14, and even that was the work of a brilliant individual, John Garand. And of course the Soviet AK-47 breakthru was the work of one bright tank officer who figured he could make a better gun than any in use.
Hat tip to reader Spiker for this link.
"The fight then spilled into the streets, and at one point shots were fired, police said. CBS 2 has exclusive video of hundreds of fans fighting in the stands and of NYPD officers racing through the streets in response to continued violence. Cops reportedly made 21 arrests, though that number could still grow as the details of the melee are finally sorted out. "
I once asked a buddy ... what would be the concept of sports hooliganism at the National Matches?" He replied "Two spectators were given dirty looks after they muttered 'Semper Fi" too loudly.'"
Happiness is a warm gun...
Especially in the bands of a 10 year old. This is Nathaniel, my youngest, burning off bursts from my full-auto Thompson.
By the time we put 250 rounds thru it, it was more than warm -- the barrel was quite hot!
Guns with 200 mile range
The Navy is creating guns fired by electronic pulse, which might give a 5" gun a range of 200 miles. At long range they'd take advantage of the effect discovered by WWI Germans when they built the Paris Gun -- when you put rounds thru the stratosphere, wind resistance falls off rapidly! The idea is to combine modern targetting technology with this, and get the equivalent of a missile, at the price of a shell.
This is just going too far...
I can see shooting the AKs, but paying $500 to obliterate a cow with an RPG is just going too far....
Article on infantry and marksmanship
There's an interesting article in Infantry magazine on the subject. The thrust of it is that the Army has neglected marksmanship, due to (1) emphasis on high-tech weapons and (2) the tendency of past wars ('Nam) to be fought in jungles at close range. Whereas WWII soldiers were trained to engage out to 600 yards, whereas today emphasis is on 200 yards and less. Also the Army (unlike the Marines) have a shortage of first-rate marksmanship instructors.
And now we're fighting in the desert and mountains, where people can see and shoot from longer range.
[Update: link corrected. Thanks...]
Expanded interactive guide to shooting ranges
MapMuse has it. Click on the map, or enter your zipcode to find private and public ranges.
Now, THIS is just going too far!
The Smallest Minority has images of a Glock tricked out with bayonet, muzzle brake, bipod, flashlight, and scope.
Glad I'm a traditionalist. If John M. Browning didn't design it, I'm not taking it to a gunfight.
Associated Press writer on basketball stars with guns
An AP writer, dealing with professional basketball types who have guns, lets his feelings/bias flow.
""It's a pretty, I think, widely accepted statistic that if you carry a gun, your chances of being shot by one increase dramatically," Stern said earlier this week during his preseason conference call," runs one quote.
I would note in response that many studies have shown more than 94.5% of statistics are made up on the spot.
I have to admit that, while respecting the *right* in each case, I have a different visceral reaction to "NBA players carry guns on trips" and "NRA members carry guns on trips." I tend to associate the latter with firearms being carried by people who know how to use them, wouldn't use them outside of sport unless someone was advancing on them with a knife or attacking another decent citizen, and whose idea of getting wild is having a few drinks and telling war stories, rather than getting a snoot full of cocaine and figuring they're a deity and can break the law.
I guess we could solve the reporter's problems by making NBA players "prohibited persons" under the Gun Control Act (subject to provisions for restoring their rights after they retire). But maybe the sport and the reporter ought to look at a source of the problem, as his article notes:
"The NBA made it through the post-Jordan era in part by marketing itself to the hip-hop generation. It was edgy cool -- Allen Iverson with his checkered past and rebellious present, and high schoolers who thumbed their noses at tradition to become instant millionaires.
But then things started getting a little seamy. Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. The Americans looked more like spoiled brats than a Dream Team at the Athens Olympics. The Brawl at The Palace in the Detroit made fans wonder if they should fear for their safety at a game.
Edgy had gotten out of control, and the NBA has been working overtime to clean up its image."
Guess what? If you start marketing your sport (which is what was done, for the bucks), maybe the players will believe the marketing?
I love the closing quote: "After all, this is the NBA, not the NRA." Coming right after a description of a case where a team was out partying until 3 AM on the training night, and one faces a felony rap for firing five shots in the ceiling of a bar, I'm glad for that.
[Inside joke, refering "soccer hooligans" who riot -- "Camp Perry officials condemned "National Match hooligans" who muttered "Semper Fi" after a Marine competitor finished shooting. The officials stated that the muttering distracted other competitors and blasted it as "displaying a lack of the personal discipline we expect."
Minor error when boresighting
This slide show serves as a reminder... when boresighting, remember to remove the boresighter before firing.
(I'm amazed the barrel split that far back, from an obstruction in the last few inches).
High speed photography
Here's some high speed video of projectiles (they look to be handgun bullets) going through anything the videomaker could find.
Here's a page with theory and images.
here they amuse themselves photographing .22s as they slice cards edgewise.
And here's some more stills.
New Action sport
I predict this will quickly replace skeet. (Streaming video file).
Interesting new product
Basically, a 10-22 hellfire that works (and is a lot more expensive).
Ithaca shotgun co. reviving
Memories of handloading
Just came across the first reloading manual I ever used, back when I was 16-17 and loading with a Lyman tong tool (don't think they make them anymore, but I still have mine). It's P O Ackley's Pocket Manual for Shooters and Reloaders, 1964 edition.
Quite a look back, to the days when the .22-250 and .25-06 were wildcats, and the .223 so new that he doesn't have a table for it, just a note that Remington's chief designer say 22 graints of 4198 is close to max with 50-53 gr. bullets.
Tons of older wildcats that you'll probably not see today, most developed in the 1920s and 1930s when small bore centerfires had few factory cartridges. .22 K Hornet, .218 Bee, Mashburn Bee, .219 Zipper and Zipper Improved.
For you young'uns, the Improved cartridges stem from the 19th century practice of designing cartridges with lots of body taper, long shoulders, and long necks. You improved them by designing a chamber with little body taper, a steeper shoulder and shorter neck. When you fired a factory cartridge it expanded to fill the chamber (with some losses when the brass couldn't take it). Since the newformed cartridge had more internal capacity, you could then handload it to greater power. It worked a lot better with rimmed cartridges, since the rim held them in place. With rimless it could get dicey, since there was only modest contact between shoulder of the factory cartridge and shoulder of the chamber.
Thoughts on IEDs
Off-topic, but always hoping somebody in DARPA or suchlike would pick up an idea I've had.
From what I hear, most IEDs are detonated by cell phones or walkie-talkies. Thus if you had a detector for these, you would have a passable IED detector.
Radio receivers actually radiate a bit. Processing the signal requires moving it up and down in frequency (some functions are best handled at high frequency, some at low). You have crystals generating a radio signal and mix it with the incoming signal. This means that the receiver also transmits. I seem to remember that shortwaves gave off 455 h or maybe khz. This is, btw, why they make you turn off cells at takeoff. A cellphone should thus give off a characteristic frequency, as would a walkie-talkie (dunno if they'd be the same). I also believe a cell gives off some signal so that the stations can keep track of just where you are in case there's an incoming call. That signal would be fairly powerful. There are also very broad spectrum receivers that search for ANY radio emissions nearby at any frequency. They're used to search for bugs and are cheap (since they have no tuning section).
Simplest proposal: detector on a pole, like a long metal detector. Use it to probe suspicious packages. If the guy detonates it, at least you're 10-20 ft away rather than opening it.
More elaborate: a directional Yagi antenna can focus reception and improve range by a factor of ten to twenty. At high frequencies like this, it'd be quite small. You might be able to spot a cell phone from a good distance, and know its direction (just sweep back and forth, listening for the strongest signal). Might even have enough range to spot the phone of the guy waiting to set it off. A continuous sweep could spot anything in the road ahead. Might be able to get ranges of hundreds of yards, if cell phones emit signals to tell the system where you are. Cost of antenna is under a hundred bucks, mfrg cost probably five bucks.
Or mount the detector on a toy remote controlled car, and run it up to the package.It'd be close enough to spot radiation from a walkie-talkie in that event.
UPDATE in light of comment: you could probably reduce false positives. The local detector on a pole or remote control toy car could be set to only alert if a cell is within five or ten feet. Sensitivity of one connected to an antenna could be set to alert only if a cell is in the direction the antenna points and within, say, fifty yards. If the antenna is pointed at a person when it alerts, it probably is a false positive. If it's pointed at empty road or a trash bag by the side of it... bingo. The rig could be built for a lot cheaper than a cell phone jammer. (I note the Warlock systems jammers look like they cost $15,000 each. This could be made for around a hundred. And wouldn't just jam the system while a convoy is near it, but would alert you to its location).
Further nasty thought: for the cell to tell its tower where it is, the signal it sends must identify itself. If you could intercept that signal, with help from the wireless phone co. you could determine its number. Post someone to watch it. When someone comes to retrieve it for relocation, dial the number.
FURTHER update: I found a British company that sells a cellphone detector for about $200. Says its good to 40 ft., and you could extend that greatly with the right directional antenna. Here's another, said to have a range up to 30 meters. With regard walkie-talkies ... I think they have a limited number of frequencies. Rig a transmitter that will sweep across these, link to a directional antenna, and you might be able to detonate the bombs ahead of you. At least until they start putting in countermeasures, requiring that the detonating signal convey some information, etc.
While I'm at it, a tip from Vietnam days. Chain link fence does great against RPGs, but they ought to invent something to defeat them. All it takes is a small dent in the nose cone. RPGs detonate when a piezoelectric crystal in the nose is crushed on impact and sends out an electrical signal. The signal passes via the outer casing to the detonator, then back via the inner shell. Dent the outer shell a bit and it shorts out. Stop it without anything hitting the nose and it doesn't function. I've wondered if an armored vehicle couldn't be protected by narrow metal slats pointing outward, maybe a couple of inches apart. If the RPG hits a slat square, it'll still detonate, but if it hits between them it might short. I've tried to figure out how to send a radio/magnetic pulse that would detonate one (now wouldn't that be fun--set off any RPG round in the launcher) but don't have the expertise to figure a way around the fact that it's basically two coaxial conductors, which is pretty resistant to a pulse.
Now, these are serious ballistics!
The 120mm gun on the M-1 shoots a depleted uranium fin-stablized round. Nice pics here. Weight of projectile is about 10 kg (22 lb) and muzzle velocity upwards of 5,400 fps. I read somewhere that, due to its incredible ballistic form, it's still going upwards of 5,000 fps at a mile range.
Here are some tales of its use ... one shot going thru two Iraqi tanks and destroying both, a shot right thru the cover (a sand dune) to nail a tank on the other side (its exhaust was seen by the heat imager).
Women on Target
The Birmingham News has an article on the NRA's Women on Target program. It notes that surveys show over 4 million American women go in for target shooting, and 2 million hunt, and 23,000 have participated in the NRA program.
Colt v. Bushmaster lawsuit
A Federal Magistrate has issued a recommended decision (it has to be reviewed by the District Judge) in a lawsuit between Colt and Bushmaster (pdf file).
A quick read of the 70 page opinion indicates Colt is suing over trademark and related doctrines, regarding Bushmaster's use of terms such as "M4", "AR-15," etc. The magistrate recommends ruling in favor of Bushmaster on most of the suit, on grounds that the terms have become common usage (and M4 is a term assigned by the government). Colt also asserts a sort of "look and feel" argument regarding design of the M-16 and AR-15. The magistrate rejects that for a number of reasons (the look and feel must not be related to function, but to appearance, etc.). The Magistrate does allow one claim to go forward, related to false advertising (Bushmaster's statements that it hold government contracts and makes to mil-spec).
There's also an interesting legal history of past disputes over the M-16 and M4, how the M4 contract came to be, etc. (Although the discussion may be the official and somewhat sanitized one: I've heard it said that Colt was outbid on the M-16 contract, and for political reasons was then awarded one, sole source (no competitive bidding) for the M4, which is essentially an M-16.
[Thanks to Mark Gruver for the tip]
For those who think you can't control a Thompson in full-auto, here's a 16 round burst. (I counted 16 cases in the air, might have missed a few). And my subgun is one of those early WWII variants that is out of milspec -- it fires at 900 rpm instead of the expected 600, but the military had to waive compliance because it needed the guns. Note that the cumulative recoil pushes me back a foot or two, but the muzzle stays level.