1 Apr 00
Sellier & Bellot 223 ammunition:
At an Urban Rifle Course today in Texas, a student brought a case of S&B 223 ammunition for his AR-15. The case was sealed when he arrived. It was new, factory ammunition. Right away, he had problems loading and unloading his rifle. It took a while for us to figure out the problem: The 223 Remington ammunition was mixed in with 222 Remington ammunition! The 222 Remington case in similar to, but significantly shorter than, the 223 Remington case.
We rarely see something like this. Of the one thousand rounds in the case, over half were the wrong caliber, and the two were mixed together, even within the same twenty-round box!
We have seen a lot of S&B ammunition in courses, particularly shotgun ammunition. S&B ammunition is imported from the Czech Republic. It has never been my favorite label, but it is cheaper than most other brands. This incident has lowered their stock with us significantly!
Thick, military brass, loose chambers, heavy barrels, and mild rifling all will decrease the likelihood of cook-offs. Unhappily, most factory, ball rifle ammo does not feature thick, military cases, and many defensive, military rifles have been “targetized,” which almost always means a tight, “match” chamber. Severe rifling, such a one-in-seven-inch twist, also contributes to a rapid heat buildup in barrel and chamber.
Cook-offs are a real possibility in any rifle used in high-volume fire. If you have to subsequently hold someone at rifle-point, this is a good reason to review your “low-ready” position. Also, when slinging muzzle down, take time to adjust the sling correctly, so that the muzzle does not cover your lower extremities.
3 Apr 00
From a friend in the federal system:
“It looks as if all the US Armed Services are moving towards non-lead projectiles for small arms. The current talk is about tungsten bullets. This will cause the new ammunition to fall within the “armor penetrating” definition. The current SS-109 round, even with it’s imbedded, carbide dart, does not.”
6 Apr 00
This from a trainer with a Midwest PD. He is talking about his review of video tapes made of his officers during roll-playing, confrontational exercises on the pistol range:
“One thing that fairly jumps out is that most of our officers ‘creep up,’ on dangerous suspects, often leaving cover and closing the distance to the suspect, in the open, in the process. This is particularly prevalent when the suspect refuses to comply with, or appears not to understand, officers’ verbal commands.
When our officers subsequently review the videos with us, they are invariably aghast at their impetuous behavior and indicate that they had no awareness that they were sequentially closing in on the suspect. The exception to the rule are our guys with previous military training. They steadfastly refuse to break cover!”
Lesson: The temptation, strong at times, to be drawn closer to a source of danger must be recognized and resisted. Getting closer offers few benefits and many perils. Stay back. Stay covered. Stay ready.
7 Apr 00
Maryland gun bill. This from friend who lives out there:
“The new, Maryland gun bill mandates ‘internal gun locks’ on all new guns by 2003. The term ‘internal gun lock’ is not defined, and nobody seems to know what that means. I guess all those pesky details can be settled after the vote.
Whatever it means, the Governor, like all good elitists, has no intention of enjoying the same handicap he is imposing on everyone else. You guessed it! Police officers, including those on the Governor’s bodyguard staff, are exempt from the new law! The Governor’s personal safety is just too important to be trusted to people who have guns which might not work.”
7 Apr 00
From Newaygo County, MI
“State Police were investigating a man-with-a-gun call. This suspect had returned to a bar in a rural location out of which he had earlier been thrown. When the suspect walked back into the bar, he was armed with a shotgun and began threatening staff and customers.
Two troopers arrived and took cover behind their vehicles in the bar’s parking lot. The suspect came out of the bar (shotgun still in hand), saw the troopers, entered his car and fled, ignoring verbal commands to stop. No shots were fired in the parking lot. After driving a short distance, the suspect exited his vehicle and started running, still armed with the shotgun. He ran into a wooded area where police vehicles were unable to follow.
The Troopers exited their vehicles and gave chase on foot. The suspect stopped, turned around, and fired at the troopers. It was subsequently learned that his shotgun was loaded with #6 birdshot. Neither of the troopers were hit as the suspect’s shots were high and at some distance. Troopers returned fire with 9mm handguns
Several such engagements took place as the chase continued. The suspect fired a total of three rounds of #6 birdshot at the troopers. The troopers fired a total of twenty-one 9mm rounds at the suspect. Ranges were between eight and twenty meters. In most cases the suspect was moving as the troopers were shooting at him. Sixteen of the trooper’s twenty-one rounds struck the suspect’s body.
The suspect died at the scene. Neither trooper was injured.”
Lesson: It cannot be said too often: The surest and fastest way to end a potentially lethal encounter is with deadly accurate shooting. Good show on the part of these two troopers!
10 Apr 00
I’ve had observed good performance from most of the Kimber pistols students have brought to courses. However, I just received this from a friend on the East Coast who works in a large gun store:
“This Saturday a customer showed me his new 45ACP Kimber compact, lightweight. After digesting a mere 300 rounds (factory hardball), the pistol had a cracked slide. Upon inspection I observed a very obvious three-inch crack through the top of the slide running lengthwise through the locking recesses.
In addition, the feed ramp on the aluminum frame was so soft that it was badly misshapen through repeated feeding of rounds.
We are not happy with aluminum-framed Kimbers!”
I don’t own a Kimber, but I’m wondering what experience others are having with this brand. I’ve been recommending them, but I no longer will if the above experience is common.
11 Apr 00
From several friends in the training business who have had considerable experience with Kimber pistols:
“Out of a dozen I have seen students use, fully half have had repeated problems and needed to go back to the factory. Five of those pistols went back more than once.
The factory has been hard to deal with too. They refuse to acknowledge problems. The happiest campers are those who got guns the first year they were on the market. Those folks love their guns and have had zero problems. Problems started after the initial glowing reports on the guns in the press. The factory got huge orders and cranked up production.”
“With aluminum-frame 1911’s , I think you need either the one-piece feedramp/barrel or a steel feedramp insert in the frame. High performance ammo typically chews up soft, aluminum feed ramps.”
11 Apr 00
As long as the discussion is quality control, I just received this from a friend in a large PD:
“One of our deputies is an armorer at Ft ________. He has 500 Berettas (Army M9, the Beretta 92F) in his armory. As of December of last year, 135 were deadlined with cracked locking blocks and/or broken firing pins. These pistols have an average of 3,000 rounds through them!”
12 Apr 00
More info in the Beretta M9 from a friend on active duty:
“In the _______ Battalion, where they literally put tens of thousands of rounds through their Beretta M9s, they found that the locking blocks broke fairly often (don’t have a round count but usually after only a few thousand rounds) but more importantly, they found that the older, Italian-made slides were breaking after 2,000 rounds, and older US-made slides were breaking after 3,000 to 4,000 rounds.
After the new ‘modified’ slides were installed, the Italian-made ones broke around 11,000 rnds, and the US-made ones broke at around 13,000 rnds. However, the modified slide did prevent the rear of slide from coming off the frame during discharge and subsequently rocketing rearward giving the unfortunate shooter ‘Beretta face.’
Because of several ‘Beretta face’ incidents, Seal Team Six abandoned the Beretta and selected the SIG 226.”
13 Apr 00
This from a friend in with a Sheriff’s Department on the West Coast:
“The suspect was a VERY large male who had been drinking. He threatened uniformed officers with a knife and was promptly shot by one of our officers who was using a Remington 870 loaded with WW one-ounce rifled slugs. Our officer fired once, and the suspect was hit in the stomach (through and through). The suspect was temporarily stopped in place, but then ‘shook it off’ and reinitiated his attack on the officers. A second officer then fired his Glock-21 loaded with WW 230gr SXT +P ammunition. The single bullet struck the suspect in the upper arm. The suspect later stated that the shotgun slug ‘hurt,’ but that the pistol bullet felt as if he had been ‘smacked in the arm with a hammer.’ After being hit with the pistol round, he precipitously stopped his attack and meekly surrendered. He had had enough!
The suspect lived, but, his arm was so badly damaged that surgeons were compelled to amputate it below the wound site. Internal injuries from the shotgun slug were also extensive.”
Lesson: No matter what you’re shooting, when your life is in direct jeopardy you need to fire as fast as accuracy will permit and continue to fire as long as the threat persists. If this suspect had been hit a dozen times or so, we would all be arguing over which round killed him, not talking about what he was able to do after he was hit with a single round, even a twelve-gauge slug!
The notion that one should fire once or twice, then stop firing and “access” the attacker’s condition, even though the attack has not been stopped, is fatally flawed. The time spent “accessing” would be better spent shooting. When your life is threatened, you hold nothing back!
18 Apr 00
I just learned that United Airlines puts a row of seven “Fs” under your name on your luggage tag to indicate you have declared a firearm in your checked baggage. Other airlines probably have a similar system using different codes. Heavy bags and baggage containing live animals are similarly singled out with special codes.
Several federal agencies have recently complained to United about a rash of thefts of guns being transported in suitcases, now that baggage handlers know what the “F code” means.
Lesson: Declare guns at your peril!
18 Apr 00
More Beretta Info:
“I managed an indoor shooting range in _________. We signed up with Beretta for their Range Program, where they supplied us with rental guns. We obtained five Model 92s to rent primarily to our military customers. After less than 2,000 rounds each, locking blocks began to break.
At first, the Beretta representative replaced the broken locking blocks at no cost. Then, the price went to $60.00 a pop. As the guns saw continued use, slides and frames began cracking. After four months of moderate use, all five guns were out of commission.”
18 Apr 00
With regard to commercial air travel, this is from a friend on the East Coast:
“If you want serious entertainment at the expense of bureaucracy, buy an airline ticket at the airport counter with cash. Announce that you are checking multiple firearms, and then decline to show any kind of identification.
I do this regularly. It violates Farnam’s rules about keeping a low profile, but, if I comply with all rules created by people with small souls, mine may start shrinking to fit. I believe it is a civic duty to compel bureaucrats to follow their own rules.
When buying airline tickets, I pay cash (drug alert), declare several firearms in my checked luggage (hysteria), and refuse to show ID (cardinal terrorist alert) for no other reason than it is my right to do so.
In practical terms, it sometimes takes four levels of weak-minded gate agents, supervisors, and managers before they sheepishly admit that flying via commercial air carrier without showing a government-approved identification is perfectly legal. Neither the airlines nor the FAA can require any species of identification from you. It usually takes an extra five to ten minutes to get the issue sorted out, but it’s never taken more than twelve.
Note that you need no permit of any kind to travel with any number of firearms as long as they are packed correctly.
Puppet-like, airline employees will swear most solemnly that they all know for a fact that you are required by FAA rules to show them an ID. They are dead wrong. The only thing FAA rules require is that they hold your luggage off of the plane until you actually board it. THIS IS A GOOD THING. When airlines pay special attention to your luggage, you can be sure it won’t be pilfered or stolen.”
Lesson: Taking a stand always involves personal risk, but if no one ever took a stand, none of us would be here.
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced. The arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero in Rome, 55 BC
19 Apr 00
I just received this from a friend in the federal system:
“I just got off the phone with __________ from the FAA. FAA just made contact with United, and the airline confirmed that they do indeed place a row of “Fs” on the baggage tag of any bag that contains a checked firearm. They indicated they do this for the following reasons:
>To comply with the Brady Bill, and
>That the ramp personnel have expressed a ‘safety concern’ if they do not know that the bag contains a firearm.
As for the Brady Bill, ATF has advised me that it is a violation of the bill to place any such identifier on a bag. ‘Just the opposite’ says United! I think we all know about the ramp/baggage handlers’ real concerns, and why they like the bags marked!
FAA has sent a message back to the airlines to get a clarification on who
advised them of the so-called Brady Bill requirement to identify the bags.
Once they get back to me, I will contact United for an explanation.
All I know so far.”
Lesson: Gun owners in America are like Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. We ARE the new Jews! We are mercilessly harassed and persecuted because of what we believe, and our tormentors never let the law get in their way!
22 Apr 00
A friend, whose house was flooded recently, reported that a quantity of rifle and pistol ammunition which was being stored in his basement at the time was consequently submerged for three days under several feet of water.
There was Russian-made rifle ammunition in 7.62X39 which was packed in twenty-round packets, individually wrapped in waxed paper. Some of it however, had been unwrapped and was stored in bulk. There was also a quantity of Remington, Winchester, and Cor-Bon pistol ammunition (38Spl and 45ACP) in factory, cardboard boxes.
The waxed-paper packets of Russian rifle ammunition were never penetrated by water at all. After salvage and upon being unwrapped, the ammunition inside was completely dry. However, the unwrapped ammunition was okay anyway. It all fired normally.
The Winchester, Remington, and Cor-Bon pistol ammunition was recovered in soaked, cardboard boxes which fell apart when opened. The ammunition had been in direct contact with water for three days.
All Winchester and Cor-Bon ammunition fired normally! It was unaffected by the soaking. The Remington ammunition did not fair as well. Only twenty percent of it fired. The rest were duds.
26 Apr 00
Just received from a friend in South Africa:
“As you probably have heard, the situation here is becoming unbearable. In Zimbabwe, Mugabe’s ‘veterans’ (read that, ‘thugs’) are hiding behind the ‘land’ issue, but what is really happening has happened in China, Korea, Vietnam and in all the other Marxist takeovers. It’s the way Marxists always ‘govern,’ through intimidation and terrorism.
The Government in this country is, of course, supporting Mugabe, and this foreshadows what is surely going to happen here too. In fact, the murder of white farmers takes place down here with monotonous regularity (several every day), and the news is routinely greeted with the collective yawns of government officials and police.
In the local job market, the official byword is, ‘blacks only need apply.’ By government decree, virtually all jobs are now ‘reserved’ for blacks. For me and my company to even be considered for municipal construction contracts, I was told flat out that I must have a black partner. Laws are now being enforced which compels all private businesses to submit regular reports to the government on their plans to ‘uplift’ the black employees. Read that: only blacks are to be hired and only blacks are to be promoted … if you want to stay in business.
Violent crime is so epidemic, it’s not even news anymore. Everyone here knows that the eradication of white farmers and white-owned businesses is planned and systematic. Highjackings, rapes, murders, and a host of new guns laws designed to eliminate the private ownership of all firearms are just the tools being used by the Marxists to consolidate their hold on political power.
We are all very frightened.”
26 Apr 00
This from a friend in an overseas security unit:
“We experimented with lasers on two pistols, a USP in 40S&W and a Walther P99 also in 40S&W. With both pistols, shooters took way too much time looking for the dot. When they found it, they took even more time trying to get it centered on the target. After all this, they were so confident that the shot would land where the dot was that they just jerked the trigger, landing the shot low and left. All in all, it took much longer than without the laser! When the range got smokey, we could see the path of the laser beam. When we used 135gr Cor Bon, the laser became erratic in its brilliance even though the battery was fully charged. Seems the recoil impulse of the Cor Bons caused the contacts on the laser to loosen. Similar to the problem of Sure Fire bulbs breaking when used on shotguns. We won’t be using lasers!”
Lesson: Don’t be bedazzled by every high-tech gadget that comes along. Count of your own courage and your own abilities, not techno-“solutions” to all the ills to which flesh is heir. Lasers are for losers!
26 Apr 00
From another overseas friend:
“Some local government security units were issued HK 53s, which is an MP5-sized weapon, but chambered for 5.56mm. Initially, they were envied for being given such hardware. But, when these people actually shot the guns, they quickly changed their minds! Even with plugs and muffs on, the blast was so bad it was disorienting, worse even than that on the seven-inch-barreled M16s that some units use. Flash was solved by Vortex flash hiders, but, considering these rifles are deployed to security teams who routinely have to shoot from cars, it was not a pleasant development. Many have gone back to CAR 15s, M4s, MP5s, UZIs and the like. Sometimes newer isn’t exactly better.”