RELOADERS CORNER: Two-Two-Three

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AKA: “.222 Remington Special.” Here’s where and how one of the most popular rounds in use today came from, and the influence it’s had. READ ON

high power service rifle
This right here drove the development of what we now have in .224-caliber bullets: High Power Rifle competition, and there’s none better at it than USAMU Sgt. Grant Singley, many-time National Service Rifle Champion.

Glen Zediker

Last time up I talked some about the PPC cartridge, and about the influence it’s had on those developed since. This time I want to talk about another influential cartridge that hasn’t exactly done quite as much for the direct evolution of currently popular rounds. Well, except for having the influence to spur on the development of cartridges that can beat it…

It seems that nobody likes .223 Remington… It also seems that everybody likes the AR15. Well, that’s clear if only going by the numbers of those guns out there, and the other angle is that there are a whopping lot of chambering options available nowadays that all set out to beat .223 Rem.

Next time we’ll look at a couple that beat it limp, but first, here’s where .223 Remington came from.

Understanding the development of .223 Rem. starts with understanding the development of the AR15 and, of course, along with that came a round to fit it.

All “this” (small-caliber mil-spec cartridge development) started a good while ago, and before the AR15 was a blueprint. Back in the early 1950s the Department of the Army SALVO project resulted from exploring a theory that a high-velocity sub-caliber (in mil-speak, anything under .30 is “sub-caliber”) round would be the quick ticket to the field hospital for enemy troops. A new bullet-maker, Sierra, produced the 68gr. .224s that were designed at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1953 by Bill Davis (later known for development of the “VLD,” which led all the current batch of high-ballistic-coefficient bullets to where they are now), and were drawn up pretty much as a scaled-down .308 147gr. I can’t find much documented about any conclusions or results. Another batch was made for Colt’s in 1964 for testing in an experimental heavy-barreled M16, but the Army showed no interest then in exploring the longer-range capabilities of that platform.

salvo
SALVO

The SALVO is a little piece of history, and forebearer, related to the “sub-caliber” uprising. This idea gained familiarity (we’ll leave “popularity” alone) shortly thereafter when General Wyman made a direct push to develop and employ what came to be the AR15. He insisted on equipping our troops with a lighter, smaller-caliber battle implement. But this isn’t about the rifle, it’s about the ammo.
Assuming that the SALVO got shelved, which is a right-minded assumption considering what came next, the “new” rifle needed a new round.

At the very start there was the .222 Remington. This was uniquely developed (no parent case) in 1950 as a cartridge for Benchrest competition. It was the first commercial rimless .224 cartridge made in the U.S. So, when Armalite, and others, started its Small-Caliber/High-Velocity (SCHV) experiments, this is what they started with. It was clear early on that this round wouldn’t meet the Continental Army Command (CONARC) velocity and penetration requirements so Armalite went straight to Remington. Remington in turn and in response created the .222 Remington Special, which had a longer case body and shorter case neck than its .222 Remington: more capacity. Springfield Armory concurrently developed the .224E2 Winchester, an even longer-bodied .222 Remington, which later became the .222 Remington Magnum. Springfield dropped out and in 1963 the Remington .222 Special got its designation as 5.56x45mm and was officially adopted for use in the new M16 rifle (that round was in use prior in early guns). The next year it got all SAAMI’ed up and emerged as .223 Remington in commercial loadings. I skipped details, but that’s the gist of it. That means .223 Remington has been with us a while now.

222/223
.223 Remington (right) literally grew from .222 Remington, which seemed to be the most closely suitable cartridge then available to chamber the “new” rifle in. The .222 grew to give more capacity and satisfy the military requirements for ballistic performance. .222 Rem. is awesome-accurate by the way.

.223 Rem. follows the lines of other popular U.S. Military rounds and shares some of the same attributes, including its 23-degree case shoulder. The one thing it hasn’t shared with something like .30-06, for good example, is accolades! That, of course, is because of its limited capacity and likewise resultant power limitation. It did, however, launch a whole different class of small-caliber projectiles to prominence. Maybe an intended pun.

As a result of High Power Rifle competition, a major part of which is Service Rifle Division, efforts were necessarily made to improve the downrange performance of .223 Rem. Long and complex story, but after both CMP and NRA changed Rules viewpoints in 1990 to one more liberal on “allowable modifications” to the AR15, two bullets then finally made it both viable and attractive to serious competitive shooters. That was all that it was waiting on (the dang things already shot small groups).

jlk 80
The impetus for “bigger” .224 bullets came from High Power Rifle competition. See, a “Service Rifle” absolutely has to shoot its native chambering to be allowable. When USAMU made the “switch” to the M16, they did not want to lose. That motivation is where bullets like the Sierra 80gr. MatchKing came from, shown here alongside the first of its kind, the JLK 80 VLD (on right). Note the moly coating, by the way: back in the daaaaay!

Sierra had, in my mind, resurrected the SALVO with its introduction of the 69gr. MatchKing in 1984, but that only gave two-thirds of a score; it hits the wall past 300 yards. In 1990, coinciding with those Rules changes to make the rifle more fairly competitive with the match-conditioned M14s, that same Bill Davis drew up a blueprint for a bullet for Jimmy Knox and Carlene Lemmons: the JLK 80 VLD. Sierra right thereafter introduced its 80gr. MatchKing.

When United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) Col. Johnson mandated that the Team would, not should, use the M16 in competition commencing 1994, we quickly saw full and complete exploitation of those bullets and the resulting rapid demise of the M14 as the leading Service Rifle.

I honestly think that, had it not been for the military motivation to win, we’d not have seen the developments we have in .224-caliber bullets.

sierra 90
Funny, to me at least, that the diminutive .223 Rem. led to development of the biggest .224-caliber bullets. More about getting this one here downrange next time.

Well, enough history. Next time I’ll get right to today and go over and go on about two newer cartridges that radically further the “sub-caliber uprising.”

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s newest book, America’s Gun: The Practical AR15. Check it out HERE

Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, are available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

REVIEW: Kel-Tec’s RFB Ultimate Big Bore Bugout Bullpup

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Wild, Weird, and Wonderful: read all about this very different evolution of tactical firearms design HERE

rfb

Will Dabbs MD
Photos by Sarah Dabbs

Did you ever notice that looking at a gun is like morphologically analyzing a family member? Little Timmy might have Dad’s ears, Mom’s nose, Uncle Edgar’s dour disposition, and Aunt Edna’s penchant for eating her boogers. He’s his own kid, but the raw material is drawn from a motley well. Likewise, most tactical weapons come from recognized families. Master Stoner or Comrade Kalashnikov beget the lion’s share of them. Those left over hearken from John Moses Browning or one of half a dozen lesser minds. The point is, most modern weapons simply evolved from something simpler. That is just not the case with the Kel-Tec RFB.

RFB
The RFB .308 Bullpup from Kel-Tec is the ultimate bugout rifle. The RFB packs .30-caliber firepower into a compact package that is optimized for maneuvering indoors and in and around vehicles.

Weird, But a Good Kind of Weird
RFB stands for Rifle, Forward-Ejecting Bullpup. Bullpup, for those of you who might be new to the game, means that the action of the gun is located behind the fire controls. The origins of the term purportedly spawn from a diagnosably strange WW2-era Japanese submachine gun called the Experimental Model 2. The legend goes that American Ordnance folk were examining the odd weapon and declared it to be as strange as a bullpup, and the name stuck. The RFB is a 7.62x51mm battle rifle that occupies less space than your typical unadorned AR. It also conquers the Achilles heel of most bullpup combat rifles. It figures out what to do with the empties.
Most bullpup weapons can only be fired off of one shoulder or the other. Swap to your weak hand to shoot around an uncooperative corner, and the gun will spit hot brass into your face. As by definition half of all the corners on the planet will not be amenable to management on your strong side, this becomes a real boon in a CQB environment.

RFB safety
The safety is easily accessible by either thumb and therefore fully ambidextrous.

The RFB employs an ingenious dual extractor system that ejects its rounds forward into a pressed steel ejection tube. A small dimple in the tube prevents empties from sliding backwards and jamming the action. Once about five rounds have been fired empty cases start to spill out the front of the gun. Tipping the rifle nose down empties the tube. An odd side effect of this system is that when you drain a magazine the last empty cartridge case remains secured to the bolt face by the aforementioned twin extractors. Dropping the bolt on an empty chamber releases that last fired case into the feed chute. In a sea of firearm designs that do things pretty much the same way, it is simply fascinating to see it done so differently.

RFB bolt lock
The manual bolt lock is ambidextrous and mounted behind the pistol grip. Pulling back slightly on the charging handle disengages the device. Everything about the RFB is innovative and cool.

This unconventional design is nicely sealed against the elements, but it does make it a bit of a chore to clear the rifle visually. Doing so involves locking the action open and then peering into the open magazine well from the bottom. This maneuver takes a little getting used to, but it’s a small price to pay for so much unfiltered awesome. The charging handle is readily reversible, and the safety is fully ambidextrous.

The bore and chamber are chrome plated, and the overall workmanship on my test piece is perfect. Recoil is fairly spunky as this is a small rifle firing battle rifle cartridges but yet remains thoroughly tolerable. The top rail is long enough for any reasonable optic, and there is an ingenious optional quad rail that screws directly onto the barrel for lights and lasers.

RFB
The Kel-Tec RFB is a remarkably powerful .308 Battle Rifle that occupies less space and weight than many of its .223 brethren.

The RFB uses any standard metric FAL magazines. Magazine changes are fast and intuitive once you take the measure of the gun. Bullpup triggers are usually mushier than their more conventional counterparts. The unavoidable necessity of a long mechanical linkage connecting the pistol grip with the action typically takes a toll. In the case of the RFB, the trigger is simply well executed. The trigger pull on the test rifle was a bit over six pounds and pleasantly crisp.

rfb

I was curiously enraptured with this rifle. The compact envelope makes the weapon eminently maneuverable, and the 7.62x51mm round means not having to say you’re sorry under any imaginable circumstance. The thing’s not cheap, but it is incredibly cool. My copy runs like a scalded ape and is as intriguing as a pretty girl in a pair of boxers (Admit it, it’s a compelling metaphor.) The Kel-Tec RFB is a breed unto itself.

Click HERE to see more.

SKILLS: Consistency Is King

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Finding yourself right smack in the middle of harm’s way can give pause even to the hardest of the hard. However, chance favors the prepared. READ MORE

steve tarani

SOURCE: Team Springfield, Steve Tarani

Ask any real-world tier-one operator about preparation, and he will tell you that one of the most effective tactics in your personal defense arsenal is consistency.

Hailing from the operational world, none other than the granddaddy of soft skills — situational awareness — should remain paramount in your preparedness repertoire. Utilized more than any other soft skill, or hard skill for that matter, situational awareness is a staple to the seasoned operator.

SOFTWARE VS HARDWARE
Compare the last time you employed your situational awareness (SA) versus your firearm in a real-world scenario. The number of times you employ SA far outweighs the number of times you go to guns in a day, a month, a year, or a lifetime. Only by continual practice can you build that consistency over time. As useful as it is, the more you use it, the more comfortable you will be using it, and the less effort it takes to employ.

When it comes to hardware, you may want to consider which every day carry (EDC) tools best fit your personal profile. Best case scenario, your operational environment allows you handgun carry. If this is the case, then you would need a comfortable, quality holster, at least one spare magazine and a magazine pouch. The position on your body that this lifesaving equipment is carried should remain consistent.

In other words, don’t carry your blaster on your hip one day and then appendix the next day or change the position of your spare magazine(s). If you carry inside the waistband (IWB) appendix with a spare mag, then those same carry locations should remain consistent every time you strap them on.

DON’T BE LEFT IN THE DARK
Another important piece of gear, with or without a firearm, is a flashlight. It gets dark every single day. You could be in a building in the middle of the day and the power goes out, or you may need to go through a closet, attic, or basement with low or no ambient light.

Working on a protective services assignment, I was attached to a detail in charge of protecting a high-profile VIP at an equally high-profile televised event. Our team was directed to a holding area with several other protective teams, including the protectees.

Three protection teams, with their respective VIPs were moved to behind the filming stage in waiting for their entrance que. On the televised side of the stage it was brightly lit, but behind the stage curtain it was pitch black. Of all three teams, not one protective agent had a flashlight on them except for me. Flicking on my EDC hand-held flashlight I said, “Please watch your step, Sir,” as I directed our protectee up the backstage steps. The other teams flocked to my light like moths to a flame. Lesson learned: carry a flashlight and carry it in the same place every time so you can quickly access it without looking. Again, consistency reigns.

CARRY CONSISTENTLY
Carry your gun in the same position — as well as your knife, magazines, pen, glasses, flashlight, cell phone, first aid kit, and/or any medications — all in the same location on your limited personal real estate.

Extend this consistency practice to your personal training when you go to the range. Your eye and ear protection, sunscreen, cleaning kit, and the like, should always be in the same place so even at night, in complete darkness, you can find what you’re looking for without wasting any time.

Carrying the same gear in the same location every time ensures that you can get to it in complete darkness, in thick smoke, during a sandstorm (don’t think just the Middle East — there are places the likes of TX, NM, and AZ, where dust devils can impair your vision in broad daylight). The same applies to sleet, snow, and other natural or man-made causes of visual impairment. Consistency remains the “A” answer.

DEMAND RELIABILITY
Once you build consistency into your operational profile, like anything else, you can come to rely on it. What this can guarantee is, when you move your hand to that pocket, or that area on your body under duress and expect to find certain kit, there it will be waiting for you, accessible, available, when you need it — on demand.

When you train presenting your firearm, you practice clearing your cover garment(s), defeating any holster-retention devices and developing your draw stroke so that one day should you need it, that consistency will pay dividends on time invested. The same applies to reaching for that spare magazine, or pocket knife, or flashlight, all very useful EDC items. You purchased them because you need them — helpful tools for when the time comes. If you need one of them, there it is, right where you put it, ensuring accessibility and rapid deployment. You know you can rely on them, where they are, and that you can get to them in a timely manner. You are guaranteed this reliability, because you run your gear knowing that consistency is king.

To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve’s websites:

HandToGun.com

SteveTarani.com

About the author: Steve Tarani is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s new Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.

Anti-Gun Democrat Congressman Invokes Nuclear Option Against Resistors of Firearm Confiscation

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Whoa… If he didn’t mean it he shouldn’t have said it. Read about Swalwell’s “Armageddon Confiscation” threat HERE

swalwell

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Well, it’s just before Thanksgiving, and nothing gets you into the holiday spirit like a U.S. Congressman who raises the specter of unleashing a nuclear attack against fellow Americans to demonstrate just how darned committed he is to mass firearm confiscation.

For those who were looking for yet another reason to purchase modern semiautomatic firearms and extra magazines for yourselves and your loved ones this holiday sales season, we give you the comments of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

Swalwell, you may recall, gained some headlines for himself earlier this year when he proposed banning various semiautomatic firearms, forcing current owners to surrender them to the government, and “go[ing] after” resisters.

Last week, he made it clear in a Twitter exchange that he meant what he said.

Responding to another Twitter user who commented that an attempt to repeal the Second Amendment and ban and seize guns would provoke a war, Swallwell stated: “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit.” He added, “I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”

When confronted with the obvious import of his words — that he was suggesting nuclear weapons could be used on American soil against resisters of firearm confiscation — Swalwell backpedaled and tried to reframe his comments.

“Don’t be so dramatic,” he tweeted. “No one is nuking anyone or threatening that. I’m telling you this is not the 18th Century. The argument that you would go to war with your government if an assault weapons ban was in place is ludicrous and inflames the gun debate. Which is what you want.”

Later, as backlash continued to mount, Swalwell changed his story again and claimed his reference to America’s nuclear arsenal was merely a “joke” and “sarcasm.”

So which Swalwell story are we supposed to believe?

If it’s the first one, there’s apparently no option that he would consider off the table for enforcing firearm confiscation. This includes destroying entire communities, killing untold numbers of innocent bystanders, rendering large areas of land uninhabitable, all to annihilate (and presumably make an example of) anyone who stood in the way of his plans.

If it’s the second one, he’s pointing out that the idea of resisting a federal firearm confiscation order is “ludicrous” because the 18th Century’s relative parity between the unorganized militia and the then-recognized government no longer exists, even if the nuclear option is off the table. Yet this also implies that he could foresee using sophisticated military technology other than nuclear weapons against resistors.

If we’re to believe the third story, we’re all just too stuffy and serious to recognize the obvious comedic intent the U.S. Congressman had when he referenced nuclear weapons in describing the futility of anyone resisting the government’s attempt to violate their fundamental constitutional rights. The historical basis of the Second Amendment, in other words, is but a joke to Eric Swalwell.

Whichever option you choose, it is incredible even by the low standards of modern political rhetoric that Swalwell would be the one accusing others of being “dramatic” and “inflam[ing] the gun debate. We just don’t see anything funny about politicians and reporters whose idea of a joke is threatening to bomb fellow Americans or slandering law-abiding Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.

And even if he didn’t mean what he actually said (always a possibility with anti-gun politicians), we can still give thanks that Eric Swalwell is not and almost certainly never will be trusted with the launch codes for America’s nuclear arsenal.

But it’s perhaps not surprising that he could be so cavalier about subjects many gun-owning Americans take very seriously. Despite the political left’s mantras of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion, many are proudly ignorant of and indifferent to the types of lives led by millions of ordinary Americans who happen not to inhabit America’s largest coastal cities.

Also weighing into Swalwell’s Twitter debacle this week was Nina Burleigh, Newsweek’s national politics correspondent and, according to her official Newsweek bio, “an award-winning journalist and the author of five books.”

With such impressive journalistic credentials covering U.S. politics, you would think that Ms. Burleigh would have at least caught on that AR-15s and similar guns are common and popular firearms in America, even if she didn’t know that they are in fact America’s most popular class of rifles.

But to think so would be overestimating Nina Burleigh.

As Swalwell attempted to reframe his initial tweet, Burleigh leapt to his defense with a tweet of her own aimed at the NRA’s Dana Loesch: “Almost every single person I’ve ever heard of with an AR-15 has been a mass murderer. Based on Twitter sample the rest of them are scarily paranoid. Get on the right side of history.”

And even if it’s possible that Burleigh herself doesn’t personally know a single one of the many, many millions of Americans who own and lawfully use AR-15s and other semiautomatic rifles, you might think she would have at least read about some of them, again considering she works in the media.

For example, she might have read about Stephen Willeford, who used his AR-15 to end a mass shooting in a Texas church and to prevent the perpetrator from escaping.

There’s also Sarah Merkle, who as a 15-year-old testified against the then-pending ban in Maryland on AR-15s and similar semiautomatic rifles. She explained that the AR-15 was the type of rifle she used as a member of the Maryland State Rifle Team and that her competitive accomplishments provided her with college scholarship opportunities she otherwise would not have had. She also explained that rifles of any type are used in only a very small percentage of firearm-related homicides in the U.S.

Also making the news as an AR-15 owner was U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who during the debate over the Democrats’ proposed “assault weapons” ban in 2013 noted that “I own an AR-15 and I have done nothing wrong by owning the gun.”

Of course, we cannot rule out the possibility that Burleigh was also joking and that we just aren’t sophisticated to understand her rapier-like wit.

Call us party poopers, but we just don’t see anything funny about politicians and reporters whose idea of a joke is threatening to bomb fellow Americans or slandering law-abiding Americans for exercising their constitutional rights.

mushroom cloud

 

California: CA DOJ Issues Consumer Alert Regarding Use of Non-REAL IDs for Firearm Purchases

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Is this really necessary, or is it nothing more than another deterrent to citizens wishing to purchase a firearm? READ ABOUT IT

california

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Earlier this year in March, we provided information regarding the use of Non-REAL-IDs for firearm purchases.

On Tuesday, November 20, Attorney General Becerra issued a consumer alert regarding the Use of “Federal Limits Apply” Driver Licenses and IDs to purchase firearms.

This consumer alert advises: Firearm Dealers may require additional documentation to prove lawful residency in the United State in the event that a “federal limits apply” identification card or drivers license is being utilized for the acquisition of a firearm. This is due to recent law revisions and the advice of the California Department of Justice to Firearms Dealers to consider requiring the additional documentation. Be sure to check with your firearms dealer ahead of time to avoid any unforeseen problems this holiday season. A firearms dealer may request one of the following documents to establish lawful residency:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
  • Certified copy of U.S. birth certificate
  • U.S. Certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a U.S. Citizen
  • Valid, unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. immigrant visa and approved Record of Arrival/Departure (I-94) form
  • Certified copy of birth certificate from a U.S. Territory
  • Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. Citizenship
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card

Please continue to check the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.

SKILLS: Carrying a Back-up Firearm

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Lessons learned in an infamous shootout say “yes” to carrying a back-up firearm. But why, which, and how? Here are thoughts from Jason Hanson. READ MORE

miami shootout

Jason Hanson

One of the most famous gunfights of the 20th century, occurred on April 11th, 1986 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. On this day, 14 FBI agents met in the morning at a local Home Depot to plan their search for a stolen vehicle that was believed to be driven by two suspects who had carried out multiple bank robberies.

Around 9:30 A.M., two agents spotted the suspect vehicle and began following it until more agents were able to join them. In total, eight FBI agents were on scene when the lead vehicle attempted to make a traffic stop, but instead, the suspect vehicle veered off the road hitting a tree.

Subsequently, the other agents surrounded the suspect vehicle in an attempt to arrest the two males behind the robberies.

The two suspects, identified as William Matix and Michael Platt, were armed with a shotgun, a Ruger Mini 14, as well as .357 revolvers. The FBI agents involved in the shootout were armed with shotguns, .357 revolvers, 9mm’s, and .38 Specials.

During the firefight, FBI agent Ed Mireles was severely wounded when his left arm was hit with a .223 round, rendering that arm useless. Mireles stayed in the fight and fired his 12-guage shotgun until it ran dry.

The two suspects were still moving and attempting to get away from Mireles after he emptied his shotgun so he drew his back-up weapon, a Smith & Wesson 686 revolver, and advanced on the suspects. Mirleles fired all six rounds from his revolver with five of the rounds striking the suspects, hitting each of them in the face, ending the five-minute gun battle.

Sadly, two FBI agents died in the firefight and all but one agent was wounded. Over 145 rounds were fired during the exchange and there’s no doubt that had it not been for the actions of agent Mireles more lives would have been lost.

The fact is, even though Mireles was injured he stayed in the gunfight and transitioned to his back-up weapon to ultimately end the threat. Now, most people probably expect law enforcement to carry back-up weapons, but have you ever considered carrying one as part of your EDC gear?

Here are some pros and cons for carrying a back-up firearm.

CONS
Uncomfortable.

If you are like me, you probably carry a gun, tactical pen, knife, flashlight, wallet, cell phone, and a keychain. My point is, your EDC gear can quickly add up so adding an extra firearm might be too much to comfortably carry for some folks.

I know a lot of people who like to carry their back up gun in an ankle holster. While this isn’t a bad idea, make sure you train and practice drawing from the ankle because if you do it wrong you could easily get hurt. Personally, when I carry a back-up gun (it depends on where I’m going) I carry it in my front pocket.

3 shots, 3 seconds, 3 yards.
Studies have shown that most gun fights involve an average of 3 shots being fired, lasting 3 seconds and occurring at a distance of about 3 yards. In other words, in a self-defense situation you hopefully won’t need multiple weapons to stop the threat.

Of course, as illustrated earlier, anything is possible. So, while you should be good to go by carrying a spare magazine only, you and I know that life is very unpredictable.

Practice.
When it comes to carrying a back-up gun, you need to spend as much time practicing with this gun as you do with your main weapon.

I know a lot of guys that carry a back-up on their ankle and they often train to draw the weapon while falling backwards on their butt, while engaging the threat. Be prepared to train with your back-up weapon and consider choosing a back-up that is similar to your regular carry so you are familiar with it.

back up gun

PROS
Options.
One of the biggest advantages to carrying a back-up weapon is that these days there are so many different back-up guns to choose from including the Ruger LCP and Sig Sauer P238. So, almost anyone can find a back-up gun that works for them.

Arm a family member.
Let’s say you are out to dinner with your spouse when you spot an active shooter. Well, if your spouse or other family member is trained in the use of firearms (and doesn’t often carry) you could simply give them your back-up gun to help you confront the shooter.

The bottom line is, it can never hurt to have extra firepower on you. This is especially true if you’re heading into place that it might come in handy such as dangerous areas of town or through a city that’s experiencing violent protests at the moment.

Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and New York Times bestselling author of Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life. To get a free copy of his book, click HERE.

Magnum Research Introduces New 429 DE Pistol Cartridge

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Magnum Research, Inc, maker of the renowned Desert Eagle pistol, announces the launch of its new 429 DE pistol cartridge. This is one hot 44! READ MORE

429 de

SOURCE: Magnum Research press release

The 429 DE was designed to enhance the Desert Eagle platform. This new cartridge has a 25% velocity increase and 45% energy increase over a 44 Mag (240gr, 6-in. barrel). It has a velocity of 1600 FPS with 240 grain bullets and 1750 FPS with 210 grain bullets.

The 429 DE incorporates a 30-degree case shoulder and a long enough neck to properly hold and crimp a 240 grain bullet without recoil induced set back. Based on the now famous 50 AE cartridge, the 429 DE is made with Starline brass, and loaded by HSM in Montana with Sierra bullets.

“This new cartridge was engineered and designed specifically for the Desert Eagle Pistol, keeping in mind that the DEP is known world-wide for its awesome firepower and performance. The 429 DE propels that history into the future,” says Jim Tertin, Design and R&D for Magnum Research.

429 DE rounds are available in boxes of 20 and distributed by Magnum Research, Inc. Available options include 240 grain soft point and 210 grain hollow point.

To accompany the 429 DE cartridge, Magnum Research will soon be releasing a lineup of 429 DE 6-inch barrels in a variety of finishes. The 429 DE barrels will be compatible with any MK19 USA or Israel Desert Eagle Pistol with a wide .830-in. rail on top of the barrel and use a 50AE magazine and bolt. More soon…

Note: The 429 DE is similar to, but NOT INTERCHANGABLE WITH, the obsolete 440 COR BON, but properly engineered with a sharp 30-degree shoulder, consistent headspace, and reliable function and velocity.

magnum research logo

For more information about Kahr Firearms Group products click HERE 

BIG NEWS: H.R. 7115: NATIONWIDE PROPOSED BAN IN THE WORKS

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Don’t sit and watch, people, and don’t assume that our interests are not our own responsibility! Read about this one coming around HERE

assault rifle ban

SOURCE: Various reports compiled by Glen Zediker, BLOG Editor

On November 2nd of last week I-1639 passed in Washington State. Next may be the passage of H.R. 7115 in the U.S. House, the “3D Firearms Prohibition Act.”

What that is, at its heart:

To prohibit the sale, acquisition, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes.

Notable is Section 3:

SEC. 3. Prohibition of advertising do-it-yourself assault weapons.

(a) It shall be unlawful to market or advertise, on any medium of electronic communications, including over the Internet, for the sale of any of the following:

(1) A firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank or unfinished handgun frame that…

(A) …at the point of sale does not meet the definition of a firearm in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code; and

(B) after purchase by a consumer, can be completed by the consumer to the point at which such casting or blank functions as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machinegun or the frame of a handgun.

(2) An assault weapon parts kit.

(3) A machinegun parts kit.

H.R. 7115 was sponsored by New Jersey Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., for “himself, Mr. Sires, Ms. Norton, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Soto, Mr. McGovern, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, and Mr. Rush.” It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on the Judiciary.

Keep in mind that the Dems took back the House this election.

And this isn’t just going to affect folks who build guns. In Washington State an huge number of guns are soon to be reclassed as “assault weapons” thanks to the wording of the 1639. H.R. So 7115 will concern any and all gun owners because if it passes it’s nationwide. No more AR builds, Polymer80 handgun builds, and adios to an amount of gun rights.

Call your representative. Support a firearms advocacy group. JOIN NRA!

The anti-gunners are winning, at least in “support” from more and more mainstream entities. Enough support and the win could be outright and absolute.

We — gun owners — are “big enough” to stop them. Just don’t sit back and think it’s all just handled for us by groups like NRA or Second Amendment Foundation. We have to work together, and we all have to participate.

The fight isn’t later, it’s here. NOW!

NRA Membership

SUPPORT NRA-ILA

A short aside: From my own recent experience, my The Competitive AR15: Builders Guide book was denied a listing on eBay.  (Take a look at it here at Midsouth and see if it’s screaming “international terrorism.”) After a total of 4 hours on the phone with them they told me it was a “military manual” and therefore prohibited by their policies (despite others having sold that book for years there) because it had “AR15” in the title and nice photo of a partially-constructed A2 on its cover. Consider that, if you would, next time you’re looking for an online sales source to give your money to. Spend it here!
— GZ

RELOADERS CORNER: Cartridge Evolution

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Here’s a short retrospect on what’s set the standards for most new cartridge designs, and why… KEEP READING

Glen Zediker

ppc

I’m not an engineer, but, like all of us, we rely on those folks to develop just about all the things we have and use. When we look at a new development, one that’s proven to work better than the “old” way, sometimes it’s easy enough to understand why. Cartridge development over the years is a good example.

What makes a good cartridge? Answers, of course, vary with the intended use, the performance needs. For the most part, power (which mostly is velocity), and “efficiency” (which is essentially getting the most from the least amount of propellant, likewise increasing barrel life), and accuracy (always) top the list. And, to me, “accuracy” is a combination of small group sizes and, even more, small group sizes all the time! Consistency.

Case capacity has the most to do with the first: more room for gunpowder means more power. Also, it’s pretty clear that pressures have been going up! There’s a big (big) difference in the pressure levels of some of the “new” cartridges compared to the older, longer-lived rounds. Sometimes it’s not because the older round can’t “take” the additional pressure, it’s because the guns might not. A round developed turn-of-the-century fits a rifle from the same era. Well, steel has improved, manufacturing has improved, and, some no doubt, is that the trend toward “shorter, fatter” cartridge cases also contributes.

So. About that…

In my mind, and certainly in my “world,” which is competitive shooting, one of the most influential cartridges has been, and still is, the PPC. That was developed in 1975 by Ferris Pendell and Dr. Lou Palmisano (hence “Pendell, Palmisano Cartridge”), and the idea was to design the “world’s most accurate cartridge.” They did. It has the record to prove it. However, that’s in Benchrest (capital “B” meaning formal competition). Bechrest is nearly always a 100-yard event. The idea behind the PPC wasn’t to set the range on fire with excessive velocity, although it’s well more rapid than others then popular in that game. The idea was to improve cartridge structure to improve shot-to-shot consistency, and another part of that plan was to extend the duration of load-to-load consistency by slowing down firing-induced changes to the case. It’s native caliber is 6mm (.243).

(By the way, the PPC is based on .220 Russian, which is still how many get their brass: fire form it from that. That round is associated with 7.62X39mm, which came earlier and was based on the WWII German 7.92x33mm Kurz, the Mittelpatrone.)

PPC and .223
PPC isn’t for everyone. It’s expensive and not nearly the fastest available today. However, it sho has had its influence on modern rounds. It’s expensive, by the way, because of the available brass: it’s from Lapua or Norma and has machined primer pockets, and other such points of perfection. Compared to .223 Rem. (right) which, in configuration, follows pretty well accepted architecture, similar to .30-06 and other originally-mil-based rounds, the PPC is shorter, larger-diameter, and longer-necked.

A few reasons, offered by its creators, why PPC shoots so well: One, it’s a short case, a scant 1.515 inches overall. That makes it more rigid and less susceptible to warp. It also means it fits into a short action, also more rigid (and with shorter bolt travel). The case neck is relatively long, which means the entire shank of the bullet is within the neck, never below it. That means no influence from varying cartridge wall thicknesses (the case neck walls can be made near-perfectly consistent), avoiding the case neck “donut” at the neck, shoulder juncture. Its body area diameter is 0.440-vicinity, which is (was) a good deal larger than the more common 0.378 commonly used in Benchrest. Case shoulder is 30-degrees.

About that: Well before the PPC there was P.O. Ackley. Well-known for his “Ackley Improved” rounds, which, pretty much, were standard rounds with a sharper shoulder angle. In sharpening (flattening) the shoulder angle (usually from 23-degrees to 30 or even 40), that also elevated the shoulder, and that increased case volume. More speed! Another benefit of the sharper shoulder was a notable reduction in the “flow” of the brass. That meant less change firing to firing. The sharper angle on the shoulder essentially “caps” the flow in that area.

ackley improved
Dang. These always look so radical, but it’s a proven formula: the Ackley Improved. My Dad used one of these in .270 decades ago (P.O hisseff built his rifle) for elk hunting. Shown is an AI 280 Rem. which nearly equals the power of 7mm Magnum.

Other attributes engineered into the PPC have and haven’t been incorporated into subsequent new cartridges. Notable is the smaller-than-standard flash hole. This requires a likewise smaller sizing die decapping pin. Also, PPC uses a small rifle primer, which is fitting based on its overall round size. Over years, there have been retro-engineered common rounds with small primer pockets and those have worked well. For a spell, over the time it was available, small-primer .308 Win. brass found great favor among competitive shooters. Remington made it. Interestingly (again from a perspective of one who isn’t an engineer) pressures were higher compared to standard loads based on routine large-primer brass. Velocities tended to be more consistent.

Another reason for PPC perfomance is one I don’t pretend to understand, and that is its “efficiency.” That’s all in the science of internal ballistics and I only can attest to its influence. I have been a PPC user (the 22 variant) for a good while. It’s what my main NRA High Power Match Rifle is chambered in (AR15 platform). From virtually the same amount of the same propellant, there’s a solid +100 fps gain over the .223 Rem. The structure of the PPC indeed “works.” From that, and from “those” (High Power shooters), rapidly evolved experimental takes on the essential PPC.

Moving on, rounds like 6BR and 6.5 Grendel are outgrowths of the PPC format (“upgrowths” actually: they’re bigger capacity). We’ve also seen the essential influence in the popular 6.5 Creedmoor and the 6XC, which currently dominate competitive across-the-course and long-range shooting (“standard” long range, not the 2-mile stuff, that would be .375 Cheytak…).

6.5 grendel
Cuzzin to PPC is 6.5 Grendel (left), which grew from earlier experiments by NRA High Power Rifle shooters in creating PPC “tall-boys.”

Looking at semi-auto developments, many of which have been coming at us fast and furious, it’s clear cartridge developers are exploiting these same ideas. There is a (short) limit on what will fit into an AR15 upper receiver, for instance, because, one, it’s a finite amount of space, of course, and, two, there’s a magazine box, and these are related. More power in this platform means a fat case.

Now. I am in no way suggesting anyone run out and tool up for PPC in the next rifle! It can be soundly beaten in the “real world” of our needs from a cartridge. There are similar rounds with more velocity, easier availability, lower cost, and on down the list of desirables. In the next couple of issues, I plan to talk more about some of the newest rounds, but wanted to offer just a little retrospect on where it all came from before getting into where it’s gone!

This article was adapted from content in Glen’s newest book: America’s Gun: The Practical AR15. Go check it out HERE

Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, are available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com

Check out AckleyImproved.com

REVIEW: Sig MCX Rattler

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Dr. Dabbs takes us to the range with SIG’s Sinister Stubby Snake. READ MORE

sig rattler

Will Dabbs MD

What do you get when you take some of the finest firearm engineers in the industry and ask them to design the smallest AR-based close-combat weapon imaginable? Stipulations include that the gun needs to be piston-driven for the ultimate in reliability and ruggedness, modular for maximized flexibility, and chambered in .300BLK so it will run a sound suppressor well. The culmination of that ballistic quest is the SIG MCX Rattler. This thing just drips cool.

sig rattler
The SIG MCX Rattler is as compact as Physics allows an AR-based firearm to be.

Pertinent Particulars
The SIG MCX is actually a broad family of weapons. Easily interchangeable barrels and forearms combined with SIG’s proprietary recoil system offer unprecedented versatility. The action contains the reciprocating bits within the confines of the receiver. This feature negates the need for a buffer tube and allows for a side-folding buttstock or collapsible pistol brace. The end result is positively Lilliputian.

The sliding Pistol Stabilizing Brace allows the MCX Rattler to transfer as a standard handgun without any NFA baggage. This PSB collapses into the receiver for storage or portage and extends when extra stability is needed. The PSB includes the obligatory rubber forearm interface and Velcro attachment.

sig rattler
The key to the Rattler’s success is a collapsible Pistol Stabilizing Brace. This PSB lets the gun transfer as a standard handgun.

The gas piston action is readily adjustable using either the tip of a cartridge or your fingers. This allows the action to be optimized for subsonic or supersonic ammo. The forearm has plenty of M-LOK slots. The magazine release is replicated on both sides of the gun, and there is plenty of rail space up top for optics.

sig rattler
The gas system on the MCX Rattler is readily adjustable with either a bullet tip or a standard set of fingers.

The pistol grip is a bit smaller than standard but still remains both functional and grippy. The entire gun weighs just a bit north of 5 pounds. The forearm and barrel assembly swap out readily. There have been rumors that a 5.56mm conversion is in the making, but to a certain degree this would defeat the purpose of the gun. What really makes the Rattler unique is its .300BLK chambering.
The .300BLK is essentially a .30-caliber bullet seated into a shorter 5.56mm casing. By adjusting powder charges and bullet weights the round may be configured for either subsonic or supersonic performance. When running subsonic ammo through a sound-suppressed MCX Rattler the rig is just stupid quiet.

sig rattler
Even with a superb SIG sound suppressor installed the MCX Rattler is not terribly bulky. The .300BLK chambering makes the suppressed gun surprisingly quiet.

sig rattler

SIG calls themselves the Complete Systems Provider, and this is not an overstatement. SIG makes optics, ammo, accessories, and apparel. Most anything you could conceivably want for your SIG rifle is available from the parent company. Their .30-caliber suppressor is sealed for durability and features welded construction along with the most evil-looking miniature steel spikes on the end. In a pinch the device would make a superb prod should your foe end up both unarmed and recalcitrant. SIG’s electronic sights will hold their own with the best in the business. These sights are nicely matched to the personality and comportment of the host weapons.

Trigger Time
The SIG MCX Rattler seems heavier than it is given its diminutive dimensions. However, the gun is legitimately tiny and runs like any other M4-style rifle. The Rattler will feed from any standard M4 magazine or drum.

At close combat ranges the Rattler is eminently controllable. The gun will collapse down into something that could conceivably fit into the center console of a pickup truck. However, the Rattler can also be ready to go in moments. Nothing runs faster.

sig rattler
The magazine release is replicated on the left side of the receiver.

With the suppressor in place the SIG Rattler runs quickly and well indoors. In confined spaces you may still need earplugs, but it will indeed help preserve both your hearing and your situational awareness should you have to use the gun for real. With the can removed the Rattler will tuck into a briefcase.

Ruminations
If the 5.56mm forend/barrel assembly ever hits the streets, the resulting package would be too short to accept SIG’s 5.56mm suppressor. Really stubby 5.56mm barrels release so much chaos they will wreak great mischief upon most 5.56mm sound suppressors. A 5.5-inch barrel on a 5.56mm weapon would look cool but would in essence create a very expensive .22 rifle. The Rattler really is optimized for the .300BLK.

sig rattler and skorpion
You really don’t appreciate how tiny this gun is until you juxtapose it against something small for comparison. The SIG MCX Rattler is not all that much larger than a Czech vz61 Skorpion.

The SIG Rattler is a special purpose tool, and it is not cheap. There are rumors floating about that certain Tier 1 Special Missions Units have already bought a few specifically for executive protection missions. Given the exquisite design and unimpeachable level of quality imbued throughout this seems a reasonable choice. Reliable, versatile, and just nifty as can be, the SIG Rattler packs unprecedented levels of awesome into the tiniest of packages.

sig rattler
With the PSB extended the Rattler is an unusually effective close quarters tool.

rattler accuracyrattler specs

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