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With all the goings on in today’s politics, I am constantly reminded of the tenuous nature of shooting as a hobby. Looming regulations combined with increasing demand for copper and brass drive many folks to hoard ammunition simply when it is available, let alone when it is cheap. Only recently has 9mm production caught up to demand. Not long ago, .223 Remington went for as much as $2000/case on Gunbroker during the height of the scare in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Building up a stash of spare ammo was really the only effective way to insulate yourself from the ever fluctuating supply and demand of practice or hunting ammunition. Until now. Enter: SendMeAmmo.com.
I purchased my first pistol chambered in 357SIG in late 1995 or early 1996. It was a SIG Sauer P229. I had purchased it after reading about the cartridge/gun combination in Velocity magazine. I bought the gun and loved shooting it. After a while, it became really expensive to feed, and it was traded for something else to which I don’t remember what. Over the years, I have purchased guns chambered in 357SIG, kept them a while, and traded them off or sold them. I have always been enamored with the cartridge, but the not the cost. Continue reading
Here of late, I have been involved with some interesting conversations on active shooter problem solving. I will acknowledge up front that this thought process is somewhat flawed, and borderlines on the academic. I will also acknowledge that I don’t have all the active shooter answers. The answer I think we all can agree upon is the fact that good guys with guns is the answer to the active shooter/mass homicide problem. Continue reading
People are often prone to advocate that we should do everything in training exactly as we would do it “for real.” And in the vast majority of instances, I believe their argument has merit. However, we need to adjust our behavior sometimes based on safety concerns, range limitations, and other less than real factors, such as training ammunition. Frangible ammunition has been discussed here in the past but I am here to give you another example of how we need to be attentive at the range. The photo above shows a comparison photo of the front portion of a frangible round that was recovered from a shooter’s AR style rifle. Yes, the rifle type is important here. Continue reading
Last week, I was out at the SIG Academy teaching a class when one of my friends who is one of their engineers showed up with all kinds of cool stuff.
One of these items was a suppressed SIG MCX in 300 Blackout. I didn’t have a lot of time due to teaching, but I ran enough ammo through it to say without a doubt…….wow. Continue reading
Hornady Practice 55gr Ammunition in .223, shot alongside Black Hills Mk262 for comparison. Test platform is a LaRue Tactical Stealth upper receiver atop an LMT lower receiver with Geissele SSA trigger group.
Demand for ammunition is as high as it has ever been, and in response, the big three have been cranking out cartridges as fast as they can. Many folks have reported a noticeable decline in quality control, noting function issues, or degradation in accuracy. Winchester “white box” and Federal XM bulk packs have been a staple of mine for training for a long time, and while quality has been generally pretty good overall, this seems to have been variable over the years. A while back, my good friend, Gunsite Instructor Giles Stock turned me onto a loading that Hornady had put together specifically for law enforcement agencies looking for high quality training ammunition at a reasonable cost. Continue reading
110gr and 208gr .300 Blackout loads with 5.56 M855 Green Tip in foreground.
When it comes to tacticool ninja stuff, the .300 Blackout cartridge is one spoken of in hushed tones. Even if we ignore its fabled use by Fox Force 5 and other velcro clad, tobacco chewing, bearded warriors, its conceptual benefits as an urban CQB cartridge are quite clear. The problem is, once we get away from the mystique, is adoption of the .300 Blackout a smart move for agencies and teams? Continue reading
We were on the range the other day doing some T&E work, and my partner was shooting his HK 416 from prone from 50 yards. I decided to be a smarty, and stepped up on the line beside him, and shot his target with my M&P .40. I was trying to hit where he was attempting to shoot a group at in an attempt to mess with him. Continue reading
It should not be a surprise to anyone that it is difficult to get consistent supplies of ammunition these days. Unfortunately, that means that the quality of what is being fed into our guns might be a bit (lot) lower than it has been for a while.
It has been several years since I’ve worked on a pistol that suffered a ka-boom. Last month, a personally owned Gen 3 Glock 22 came across my bench at work after one of those events. The owner had been firing frangible rounds from a commercial reloader. I ended up having to replace the internals in the slide. Continue reading
Let’s see what we have (embedded hot links for the curious):
· Smith & Wesson stainless “no-lock” L frame revolver, Model 686-4 (Distinguished Combat Magnum Plus, 7-shot round butt) in the 2.5 inch variation, circa 1996, one of the last with a hammer mounted firing pin
· Ammunition by Buffalo Bore, “Tactical Short Barrel Lower Recoil Low Flash” 158 gr. .357 Magnum JHP (other loadings available), brass by Starline, velocity > 1,000 fps
· Craig Spegel checkered extended boot grips
· · Lobo Gun Leather “Enhanced Pancake” holster, nice design, appearance, and fit, maker delivers reasonable price and turnaround time
Quality made in the U.S.A. products, making a highly concealable, versatile, capable, and reliable carry package. A carry package not commonly seen, but quite a serious contender and still formidable in 2013.
[Also pictured, not made in the U.S.A.: Quickstrip™ reload strip (8-shot, loaded to 6) by Tuff Products (maker/vendor of nifty, well thought-out specialty items)]
Not long ago, Colt introduced a new line of ammunition they call their “Hunting and Defense Match”, which is manufactured for them by the renowned ammunition company, Black Hills. Loaded to 5.56 NATO specifications, the 77 grain variant is essentially the Mk 262 Mod 1 Black Hills offering in a Colt box. It’s currently distributed by Midway USA and was in stock until recently. Let’s hope more comes in soon.
During some recent cleaning of the shop, I blundered into a few boxes of these archaic 9mm frangible rounds from the 90′s. Longbow was one of very few manufacturers offering frangible ammunition back in the 90′s, and this ammo looks quite primitive by modern standards. I shot the other boxes I found, and the totally square bullet profile actually fed 100% in my M&P. The primers did not all light off, typical for lead free primers and actually not bad for 20 year old ammo. In unearthing these ghosts of ammo past, it brought up a few important thoughts that readers should consider if using frangible ammunition. Continue reading
When you look around today in police holsters, we see a lot of plastic. Polymer pistols are the new norm. They offer a lot. Durability, weight reduction, increased mag capacities in some cases. This always has not been the case. The metal pistol ruled the scene for a while, before Gaston set the world afire. Continue reading
Finally getting ready to do some accuracy testing on the S&W M&P 10.
Not long ago, I purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P10 .308 rifle and my initial impressions of the gun were extremely positive. It features quite a few nice features, and the aggressive price point makes it an attractive addition to the market. Most importantly, the gun actually works well. I’ve been meaning to get to the range and do some accuracy testing, but other commitments got in the way (and I really hate zeroing optics.) Hornady was generous enough to send out a few boxes of their excellent 308 for the test, so look forward to an accuracy report here.
Cleaning handguns after heavy training can be tedious. Cleaning a weapon mounted light can be even worse. The above pistol had nearly 3,000 rounds through it in a foolish stunt to see if we could make it break. The gun got so hot at times that I had to rack the slide on my holster during reloads because I could not touch it with Oakley gloves on. I do not advocate abusing a modern service weapon in the way we did above at any time. But, sometimes during product development it is necessary. Continue reading