The NRA releases a statement regarding recent red-flag laws.
As the Nation’s oldest civil rights organization, we recognize civic engagement as a virtue not a vice. Liberty is reliant upon the participation of free people, and this includes the vast number of citizens and communities who are lawfully exercising their rights under the First Amendment to defend their freedoms under the Second. It is the tyrannical nature of politicians that triggers sanctuary, not the other way around. The NRA has steadfastly defended freedom for nearly 150 years, and we have no intention of suppressing virtuous voices against governmental oppression—censoring is what our opponents do.
New Indiana law eliminates fees for gun ownership and relaxes carry restrictions. READ MORE
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauds Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb for signing into law a comprehensive gun rights bill that will make it easier for law-abiding Hoosiers to defend themselves. Gov. Holcomb signed the bill into law on the stage of the NRA-ILA’s Leadership Forum at the Indiana Convention Center — Lucas Oil Stadium.
Lawmakers amended HB 1284, introduced by Rep. Jim Lucas, to include important self-defense protection from HB 1643, introduced by Rep. Ben Smaltz.
The new law expands self-defense options in the following ways: eliminates state fees for a new five-year state License to Carry a Handgun (LTCH); allows law-abiding gun owners greater ability to carry for self-protection in churches; allows gun owners to register to vote when they apply for a LTCH.
“Under this new law, honest, hard-working gun owners will no longer be forced to pay $125 to exercise a fundamental right that ought to be free,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director. “This law ends this abuse and ensures that the most vulnerable gun owners are able to protect themselves without worrying about the cost of a license.”
Additionally, the new law provides greater protection to gun owners. Previously, an undue burden was on the defendant in exercising the right to self-defense. Under the new law, that burden is shifted. In addition, a person who acts in self-defense and is later forced to defend themselves a second time in court can be reimbursed for the legal fees associated with their defense.
“On behalf of our more than 5 million members, I want to thank Gov. Holcomb for standing up for the rights of honest, hard-working gun owners,” added Cox. “I also want to thank Reps. Jim Lucas and Ben Smaltz for their tireless efforts promoting legislation that improves the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families.”
Here’s how Standard Deviation calculations can figure in ammo decisions (or not…) READ MORE…
Seems like the last couple of articles on load testing and velocity data got some pretty good responses and attention, and so that means there’s more! Of course there is…
As said, Standard Deviation (SD) plotted out forms a bell curve. A bell curve indicates the “probability density” of the normal distribution, or range, for something like velocity consistencies. For our purposes that’s the likely speed of the next shot.
Chances are outstanding that running all the numbers gotten from a chronograph session will plot into what’s called a “normal curve.” Like any normal bell curve, it gets divided into three segments and values, and these divisions are the “standard deviations.” And remember it is “a” standard deviation.
(I’ve said many a time that I’m sho no mathematician, and I am aware that there’s more and different ways to apply and model a curve, and to manipulate standard deviation results for different applications, but I’m trying to keep it more simple and use this “normal curve” for examples, it’s also called “population standard deviation.”)
We’ve been working with the right-respectable SD example of 12.
Assuming that normal curve, the distribution of “some number” of shots is forecasted like so: some 68 percent will lie within 1 standard deviation of the mean, about 95 percent lie within 2, and over 99 percent lie within 3 standard deviations. Again, since our SD is 12, then about 68 percent (approx. 2 out of 3) of all “next shots” will be +/- 12 feet per second. Since, though, the curve is in threes, that means that a scant number of the shots pose a chance for +/- 24 and some much (much) smaller chance remains for some shots to go to +/- 36. SD estimates how likely it is for those “head-scratchers” to show up, and also what might be the most realistic extreme any shot can deviate.
Data is a record of numbers and I do know that there’s 100-percent chance that the highest and lowest velocities collected for an SD calculation did, in fact, happen. To me, that’s what matters. No matter what the collected shot results calculated into for an SD, those were the two that represent the highest and lowest prints on the target.
It’s mathematically not possible for an SD to be higher than the greatest single measured deviant, and an SD can sho be lower than any single “bad” shot. Given how it’s calculated, along with how many samples contributed to the calculation, it’s plain that the nearer the majority are to themselves the less impact a bad one or more has. The more input the better.
Many of us have heard or read the frequently-sung “…seen good accuracy with high SDs…” And we’ve probably also all decided that can’t be taken at literal value. Well, it can’t. Three things: what is “good accuracy” to this fellow, at which distance were the groups printed, and what’s he say is “high,” because without knowing these things there’s no accounting for the accuracy, believability, or interpretative definitiveness of what’s being said. So I say it’s 12. A 12 should not be responsible for a points loss, also considering the edge limits of usual group size. Getting into more and more numbers derived from more and more “what if’s” plotting out bullet trajectories and wind drift amounts, and, always assuming a consistent bullet ballistic coefficient demonstration (also not likely) running “12” through all these mathematical-hypothetical scenarios will show that 12 doesn’t lose many, if any, points.
One last that isn’t really a strong point, but is a point… If we’re shooting something like a .223 Rem. then a half-grain is about 40 feet per second. If that 12 SD shows its worst and pops one out +36 feet per second, to me that represents something akin to a pressure spike (logic dictates that more velocity had something to do with more pressure). I know my loads are running a tad amount edgy, and seeing a small velocity variation is likewise a tad amount more reassuring that a primer won’t go over the edge.
If you’re testing much beyond 200 yards, and especially beyond 300, pay no mind to the left and right, but keep a close watch on the up and down. In ideal conditions, groups are supposed to be round (I’m convinced they’re actually square, but there’s no need to go into that). If there’s any wind, don’t even try to correct for it (as long as impacts are on the target). I honestly don’t need a chronograph to confirm load consistency if I’m seeing small vertical dispersions. I’ll already have speed-checked the load I’m down on the mat with, and, again, I’m just wanting to see how level I get my perforations. If I come out with a 600-yard group that’s a foot wide but only three inches tall, I’m happy.
6 TIPS FOR LOWER SDs
Aside from finding the perfect and magical load combination, ha, there are a few things that do seem to help tighten shot-to-shot velocity deviations. They’ve all be talked all the way through and back again in this space in other articles, but, considered ultimately that this is the overall effect they have, here they are again:
One. Primer seating: fully seated onto a flat pocket bottom.
Two. Consistent propellant charge: weigh the charges if metering isn’t dead-on.
Once upon a time there was a .22 Rimfire Ammo War. Two cartridges vied for supremacy, and this one lost. Read more!
SOURCE: NRA Publications, American Rifleman, by Mark A. Keefe
It seemed like a good idea at the time. When the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. rolled out its graceful, 10-shot semi-automatic Model 1903 rifle, it wasn’t entirely clear that the .22 Long Rifle would become the most dominant rimfire cartridge of all time. Back in 1903, smokeless powder was still a relatively new thing in commercial firearms, and Winchester was concerned that blackpowder .22 Long Rifle cartridges would be used in the Thomas Crossley Johnson-designed Model 1903.
To keep blackpowder .22s from gumming up the works in the blowback-operated, tubular-magazine-fed Model 1903, Winchester decided to chamber the gun for a new rimfire cartridge, the .22 Winchester Automatic. It featured a proprietary case and an inside-lubricated 45-gr. bullet. When Winchester commissioned this piece of art to promote the then-brand-new Model 1903 and its brand-spanking-new cartridge, the company thought it had a winner on its hands.
But Winchester lost the battle — and the war — against the .22 Long Rifle. The company waved the white flag in 1933, and its Model 1903 became the Model 63 — chambered in .22 Long Rifle. No factory guns for the .22 Winchester Automatic cartridge have been produced since the 1930s. And Winchester now makes billions of .22 Long Rifle cartridges every year, but no .22 Winchester Automatic. That said, Aguila Ammunition has done special runs of .22 Winchester Automatic for the more than 125,000 Model 1903s made.
There are essential differences in loading for these action-types. It might not matter if you know all about the one, but it is critically important to know about the other. Find out which is which… Keep reading!
By Glen Zediker
Over the time I’ve been producing Reloaders Corner here at Midsouth, my focus has been exclusively on reloading for rifles, and, within that, primarily for semi-automatics. The reasons for that are based on two things, one is an assumption and the other is plain old fact. First, semi-autos are popular and represent the interest of a great number of new reloaders out there, and that’s my assumption. It doesn’t take long to come to the conclusion that high-capacity magazines and long days at the range combine to get expensive in a hurry! But the biggest reason I focus most of my material toward the needs of the semi-automatic rifle is because there are decidedly important differences in some decisions the handloader makes when tooling up for one. That’s the fact. Not knowing or respecting these differences can be disastrous.
I set out to be a sticker for clarity, but sometimes I overlook making more pointed references to these differences, when there are options associated with any one topic. I judge that based on the feedback I get from you all respecting tooling and component options. I want to start the New Year with this article, which I think contains some basic and important information to always (always) keep in mind. Hopefully it will also reduce questions, and I sure hope confusions. It also seemed to be, judging on feedback, the topic that created the most questions and comments.
Essential: When a round fires, the case expands, in all directions, as much as it can to fit the chamber. Since brass is elastic (can expand and contract) and plastic (can expand and retain that expansion) that last attribute, plasticity, results in a spent case that’s closer to rifle chamber dimensions than it was to its factory-new figures. Since many factory barrels have relatively generous chambers compared to most custom-done barrels, that’s either good or bad, depending on whether it’s a semi- or bolt-gun, and also depending (a lot) on what anyone buys into.
So, for reuse in a semi, that now overly-dimensioned case has to be brought back closer to nearer-to-new condition than it does for a bolt-gun. Has to be. Otherwise it might not chamber smoothly or fully.
It’s important to understand that any semi-auto (at least any I’ve yet had experience with) has the cartridge case in a different condition right at the start of the extraction cycle. In a semi, the case is still holding pressure when the bolt starts to unlock. Bolt-gun, it’s all long gone by the time the knob gets lifted. That’s why a freshly spent case from a semi will raise a blister and one from a bolt-gun is cool to the touch. This pressure creates what amounts to greater case expansion in a semi-auto. Depending on the particular rifle and other factors that will get addressed in other articles, this varies from a little to a lot. The spent case measurements from one fired in a semi may not accurately reflect chamber dimensions, as they will with a bolt-gun.
The reason there’s still some pressure within the case when the bolt starts to unlock is because that’s how a gas-operation system functions. If all the pressure was gone the action wouldn’t even open.
Which brings us to the second essential difference in bolt- and semi-: Most semi-automatics, especially what is probably the most common (AR15 family) is very sensitive to gas port pressure. Gas port pressure is an actual measurement, but that’s not important to know, not really. What matters is understanding the effect of too much port pressure, and that is too much gas getting into the operating system, and getting in too quickly. That creates what most call an “over-function.” The action tries to operate, and the extraction cycle starts too early. There’s a lot of gas still binding the inflated case against the chamber walls. Many ills: excessive case expansion, excessive bolt carrier velocity, extraction failures (extractor either slips off or yanks the case rim, which can come off in a chunk).
From a reloading perspective, regulating gas port pressure is all in propellant selection. The burning rate range that’s suitable for semi-autos varies with the cartridge, but for both .308 Win. and .223 Rem. I cut it off at the Hodgdon Varget, Alliant RE-15 range: those are fine, but don’t go slower! Bolt guns don’t care about any of that.
THE SHORT COURSE: Think “smaller” and “faster” when tooling up for sizing and choosing propellants for use (really, re-use) in a semi-auto. Smaller case sizing, faster-burning propellants.
This will all be hit on in upcoming articles in far greater detail but…
SEMI-AUTO: full-length case sizing, case shoulder set back at least 0.002 (from what a gage indicates as the fired case dimension), case neck “tension” at least 0.003 (difference between sized case neck outside dimension and loaded case neck outside dimension). Propellant selection: not too slow! Contrary to what logic might suggest, slower-burning propellants produce higher gas port pressures because they “peak” farther down the barrel.
BOLT-GUN: neck-only case sizing is (usually) okay (that means no case body sizing). Case shoulder set back: can be fine-tuned based on what’s necessary to easily close the bolt (ranges from none to “just a tad”). Propellant: doesn’t matter! As long, of course, as it’s suitable for use in that cartridge.
Check out some tools HERE at Midsouth
The information in this article is from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available HEREat Midsouth. Also check HEREfor more information about this and other publications from Zediker Publishing.
If you enjoyed Tamara’s last article, you’ll love this one! Get ready for a chuckle! (But one with an important message.) Read on…
It’s just after Thanksgiving as I type this, and as the turkey dinner’s tryptophan haze wears off, one of the things I’m thankful for is all the friends I’ve made working in and around the gun industry. The reason I’m thankful for them is they don’t ask all kinds of weird questions about the hows and whys of me carrying a gun.
When I get away from my circle of gunnie friends, though, oh how do I get those questions, and they really put my ability to bite down on snarky answers to the test. Reading an earlier column put me right into story-time mode, because let me tell you, I have fielded some of those same kinds of questions myself. Let me share some with y’all…
Weird Question #1: “Wow, do you carry your gun to the grocery store?
Snarky response I want to use: “Only on days I’m planning to be robbed in the produce aisle.”
Actually, you can substitute “mall” or “doctor’s office” or “church” or pretty much any other commonly visited location for “grocery store.” It never fails to amaze me that people think that I would only carry a gun to places where I “expect trouble.” If I expect trouble someplace, I generally solve that problem by not going there at all.
Part of carrying a gun, at least for me, is carrying it every day, and everywhere I legally can. It’s not like I drive my car with the seat belt off on Central Avenue because they don’t have many wrecks there, but plan to put it on when I turn on to 54th Street, because jeez have you seen those wreck statistics?
Weird Question #2: “So, you carry a gun because you think you’re a vigilante? Like Batman?”
Snarky response I want to use: “Yup. You want to see my vigilante badge? I got it in a box of Frosted Flakes.”
First off, let’s address the Batman angle: If Martha Wayne had a CCW permit and a gun, there wouldn’t be a Batman and Heath Ledger never would have won a posthumous Oscar.
Secondly, no, I don’t think carrying a gun makes me any kind of freelance junior cop. I carry a gun for the immediate protection of me and mine. I don’t carry it to go looking for trouble, but rather just in case trouble finds me despite my best attempts to avoid it.
Weird Question #3: “But…what do you do with it when you have to go to the bathroom?”
Snarky response I want to use: “Oh, I just hand it to someone trustworthy-looking standing by the sinks and ask them if they’ll hold on to it until I’m done.”
A friend recently quipped in an online discussion group that CCW training courses should be a seven-hour block of instruction on legalities and safety and a one-hour block on what to do with your gun in the bathroom. (Note: That thing on the back of the stall door is NOT a triggerguard hook!)
While some styles of carry, such as belly-bands or purse carry, avoid this problem, if you carry a gun in a belt holster, the question of what to do with it in the bathroom will arise. And the answer should be “Nothing.” If you are wearing a quality holster, the gun is not going to fall out even if the holster should inadvertently flop upside down, and the possibilities of the latter even happening are reduced by wearing a belt that is intended to support the weight of a holstered pistol in the first place.
Weird Question #4: “Is it…loaded?”
Snarky response I want to give: A long hard stare, followed with, “Well bless your heart.”
While I’ve no doubt an unloaded gun has been used to successfully bluff a bad guy before, that’s a thin thread on which to bet one’s life. Of course my CCW pistol is loaded, else it wouldn’t be very useful!
Further, the mere act of pointing a handgun at someone in my state, absent the reasonable fear of an immediate threat to life and limb, is a crime, so it’s not something done lightly. If the gun is coming out, it’s coming out under circumstances that justify its use, and that’s no time to have to say “Oh, hang on, let me load this thing.”
I could go on and on in this vein, but I see the bottom of the page getting closer. How about you? What weird questions do you get? Share them in the comments!
Choosing the right case trimmer has to do with the quest for precision, the need for speed, and the budget bottom line… Here’s how to make the fewest compromises.
Last time we talked about the needs and reasons for trimming bottleneck rifle cartridges. It’s a necessary step in the case preparation process, at least at some point or three before the brass hits the trash can bottom.
Case trimmers are available from most all industry tooling manufacturers. Most replicate a miniature lathe: the case is held in place at its back end, usually by a collet-type appliance, and suspended from its front end via a pilot, surrounded by a cutting head, that fits inside the case neck. They have a crank-handle.
This essential architectural arrangement carries potential contributors to imprecision. The case body is not supported, only the case head is held firmly in place. The pilot goes in the case neck and, so it can go into the case neck, has some gap. Inconsistencies in case neck wall thickness and the inevitable case body warpage, plus plain old flex, can result in what some, me included, might call wobble.
If the case isn’t being rotated along a flat axis, then the cutter isn’t going to engage the case mouth squarely.
I think a better arrangement is taking the case head out of the equation and focusing on supporting the case body. To this end, I’m not bashful about saying something good about something I use, especially not when post-recommendation feedback continues to thank me profusely. Put it this way: if you asked me face-to-face which bench-top case trimmer to get, I’d say “LE Wilson.” Just like that. Check it out at Midsouth Shooters Supply HERE.
I like this design because it uses a sleeve that holds the case and sits atop rails on the trimmer base. The case can’t move, and it doesn’t move. The cutter, which is the only thing that moves, engages the case mouth. All the alignment is in the parts of the trimmer itself; the case is taken completely out of the equation.
POWER Yeah boy. If you’re up for it, a truly specialty power case trimmer is the bomb.com. I really don’t think that adding power to a “lathe-type” trimmer is all that impressive or worthwhile. It helps ease the effort but it’s not necessarily speeding up the process.
There are two power trimmers that are more than impressive. One is a Gracey Match-Prep and the other is the Giraud. Both are expensive ($300+) but after processing a sack full of Lake City Match brass in a scant few minutes, the cost might get forgotten. Might. It really depends on the volume you do. I can tell you that, much to the contrary using a conventional tool, case trimming is the single fastest step in my case prep routine using a Gracey. I have not used a Giraud but have it on very good advice that it’s as good as all.
Both work pretty much like giant overly-powerful electric pencil sharpeners. Push the case in and the spinning cutting head zips it flat in a heartbeat. Case length is determined by cartridge case headspace, which is to say that the case stops within the trimmer holder on the case shoulder. Clearly: trim only full-length sized cases to get consistent lengths. If the case shoulders haven’t been set back or at least all set the same, lengths will vary.
Next time we’ll look at tools used to treat the trimmed case necks and finish this task in fine style.
The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen Zediker’s newest book Top-Grade Ammo. Available right’chere at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, as well as others.
The memorial service in remembrance of the tragic deaths of five Dallas police officers was remarkable, but for all the wrong reasons. The service took a turn from memorializing to politicizing when President Obama decided to take advantage of this national platform and turn his memorial speech into yet another push for his political agenda. He implied the deaths of the police officers occurred because “we flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than to get his hands on a computer, or even a book.”
The remark immediately earned Three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker, which called it an “exaggerated claim based in no real statistics, which does nothing but distract the public.” And distraction is exactly the effect Obama’s statement had on the public, which simply took away from the real reason everyone gathered: to commemorate the lives of true heroes whose lives were taken too soon.
Larry Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary & General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation said, “It is a shame that our nation’s leader would rather take advantage of his television air time to push his political agenda than pay respect to the fallen officers and share grieving with their families and the law enforcement community. But Obama is not a novice when it comes to employing this tactic of exploiting a tragedy for political purposes. And, I suppose it was to be expected since he told America after the Umpqua Community College tragedy last year that he intended to politicize these events.”
Keane said, “It’s a shame that these victims could not be simply commemorated and their families, along with the Dallas community, could not mourn their losses without the President stooping to inject his self-serving political bias. Will he repeat this tactic at the funerals of the slain Baton Rouge police officers and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s deputy? It will be equally off-point if he does, when even East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said “This is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s heart.”