“Carry a Concealed Weapon,” Says Coolest Sheriff Ever

Here in Arizona, we have some pretty cool sheriffs – see Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever. We also have some stinkers, like Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. But in South Carolina, Sheriff Chuck Wright may have just become the coolest sheriff ever.

After a brutal attack by a repeat offender, Sheriff Wright urged women to walk in groups and get concealed weapons permits.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Carry a concealed weapon. That’ll fix it.”

“It’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk by. That would fix it.”

“I want you to get a concealed weapons permit.” (He said this several times)

“(Gun control is) how fast can you can get the barrel of your gun back on the target?”

“I want you to get a concealed weapons permit. Don’t get Mace. Get a firearm.”

And finally:

“I think I better stop before I get sanctioned.”

On second thought, everything he said is one of my favorite quotes ever. No, Sheriff Wright…don’t stop.







Some Army Dude Wins A Small, Local Shooting Match With 300 Blackout

Rob Curtis at GearScout reports on the winner of something called the “USPSA Multigun National Championship”. The shooter, Staff Sergeant Daniel Horner, used handloaded (if you can call loads made by the Army Marksmanship Unit “handloads”) 155gr 300 AAC Blackout ammo and a 20″ upper with a Swarovski scope.

Want to know why he used handloads? I’m just guessing, but it might have something to do with the fact that the promised major manufacturer 300 Blackout ammo for a reasonable price is nowhere to be found. Oh, you’re a handloader? Want factory 300BLK brass? Forget it.

Yeah, I’m looking at you, Remington/AAC/etc. It’s okay, I’m now beginning to understand that you (inexplicably) want this cartridge to die on the vine like 6.8 SPC. In the meantime, forming 300BLK brass from 5.56 cases is getting really old, and the half dozen or so 300BLK uppers I have aren’t being shot much. Oh, I forgot – Remington is putting all its 300BLK effort into loading “match” 125gr ammo for $1.50 a round. That’s really going to help this cartridge take off.

“You’re a Glock guy, right?”

Recently, I visited a local gun store. Not having purchased a firearm in over a year, I was in the store looking for nothing in particular. I handled quite a few different pistols, revolvers and rifles. None of them struck me as being worth buying, which is the main reason why it’s been so long since I bought a firearm. Certainly, they were all quite nice (I didn’t handle any Taurus products) and if I didn’t own any firearms, I would most likely have walked out of the store with several. To be sure, if I didn’t own a Glock, I would have walked out of the store with one.

As I examined a Schofield revolver, a friend – and employee of the store – commented to me that I was a “Glock guy.” I was immediately on the defensive. Me? A Glock guy? I don’t carry the flag for any brand! However, I gave the matter some thought.

I currently own one Glock, a third generation G19. It serves as a daily concealed carry handgun, it accompanies me on hikes of various lengths, and, with an Advantage Arms conversion, it is the handgun that I use most often to maintain a basic level of proficiency. There is nothing special about it – I have owned quite a few like it, and might trade it for something interesting as early as tomorrow.

Glocks are priced competitively, especially the “Blue Label” discounted Glocks for LE/Mil. I would purchase another Glock 19 within a fairly short period of time, as I have done in the past after selling or trading them away. I feel absolutely no connection to these pistols – they are thoughtfully designed and carefully constructed tools, and no more.

I have probably spent a statistically significant portion of my life shooting or maintaining a 1911-style pistol that I bought 5 years ago. I have a love/hate relationship with that 1911 and doubt that I will ever get rid of it – it is not replaceable in its current, and reliable, form without a significant expenditure. Third generation Glock 19s are as interchangeable as compact fluorescent light bulbs, and only a little deadlier.

These are my pants. There are many like them, but this pair is mine. The same goes for that Glock 19, although I only own one of those.

I have owned a wide selection of subcompact, compact, full size, and competition Glock models, in every cartridge selected by Glock except .380 Auto (not available in the US) and .45 GAP (because it’s stupid). More of them have malfunctioned than have not done so. I do not believe in Glock’s “Perfection” tagline – it makes me convulse with laughter. However, they are, in the right set of circumstances, exceptionally dependable tools.

I have purchased and used a wide selection of aftermarket parts and accessories for many of my past Glocks, but my current G19 is stock, with the exception of a slightly extended magazine release. I keep on hand a wide selection of (stock) spare parts for the Glock, which are readily available and affordable. The only handgun that rivals the Glock in spare parts availability is the 1911, although the dynamic in this regard is very different between the two.

Although it might seem like an odd reason to prefer one handgun over another, I like to maintain my own firearms, and this is impossible to do without access to a complete array of spare parts. I was almost entirely invested in the Smith & Wesson M&P platform before a company rep snidely informed me that Smith & Wesson did not sell spare parts to “regular people.” My stable of M&Ps was promptly sold.

On that note, I have owned and carried the vast majority of modern, quality service-type handguns, with the exception of HK products. For a variety of reasons, and even after initially positive results and feelings, these alternatives have all been sold or relegated to the safe. In the time since I first purchased a Glock, I have always returned to that brand after trying other pistols – and within that brand, I always end up returning to the G19.

Glock handguns are not perfect. Many Glock products do not interest me whatsoever. Glock is slower to adopt change than the Titanic, and their public relations are apparently managed by people who think “Circle the Wagons” was an actual tactic used outside of Oregon Trail. However, after much deliberation, the Glock 19 is the standard by which I measure other service handguns. I don’t think that makes me a “Glock guy” – it simply makes me a pragmatist. What do you think?

Buckshot Patterns at 7 Yards

This is from an upcoming video. I also shot at 15 and 30 yards – the latter with only selected loads, because the others had simply too large of a pattern and would have damaged the target stand. Not pictured is Winchester 3″ 00 Buck, which had an approximately 7″ pattern at 7 yards – far too large for my tastes.

Hornady Superformance/260 Rem/Barnes Match Burner Load Experimentation

I first heard about Hornady Superformance ammunition and powders over a year ago, when pulling targets at a rifle match. “Word in the pits” was that significantly higher velocities were possible without increased pressures. Naturally, I was interested, if only to have slightly better long-range performance – the main attraction was to try something new and supposedly better. However, I’ve been pretty busy, and wasn’t able to try them out until recently.

Even then, Hornady hasn’t made it easy. There is a decent selection of Superformance ammunition, but official load data for the Superformance rifle powder is very slim. It’ll supposedly work for .22-250, .243, and .300 WSM, but the other calibers they list might as well be .299 Macedonian Hoplite or .17-50 Weatherby BMG Accelerator – the powder as currently marketed doesn’t have a broad appeal. To be fair, Hornady says that the “magic” behind Superformance only works in a few calibers.

I thought I’d try Superformance powder in my .260 Rem-chambered Remington 700 VLS. It has a 26″ barrel, which tends to help me achieve higher velocity numbers when loading with Varget. However, since there was no load data for Superformance in the .260, or any other 6.5, I wanted to be careful.

As for projectiles, I normally use Hornady SSTs – 129gr, for this caliber. In this case, I bought the relatively new Barnes Match Burners, which are lead-core HPBT projectiles from the normally-lead-free Barnes bullet company. At around $27/100, they’re significantly cheaper than Sierra MatchKings ($36/100 or so) or Berger VLDs ($42/100).

These Match Burners are 140gr, which are pretty darn long when it comes to the 6.5/.264 diameter, and have a G1 BC of .586. This would roughly correspond to a G7 BC of around .300, but I don’t know for sure. I’m planning to do more shooting with them – especially since they’re cheaper and my reloading dollars go farther. Their general appearance is more confidence-inspiring than SMKs, even if the uneven meplat on practically every SMK doesn’t affect accuracy. However, for my initial tests, I wasn’t concerned with accuracy, precision, trajectory, or anything but the most basic question every handloader asks when trying a new load.

That question is, of course, “Will this load cause hot, sharp chunks of steel to enter my face at extremely high velocities?” Since there was no load data to work off of, I used Hodgdon’s data for 4831, because 4831 is close to Superformance in terms of burn rate, reduced it, and started from there. Since the load for a 140 was 44gr of 4831, I started with 42gr. I also loaded three each at 43, 44, and 45 grains of powder.

Although only three shots would limit my ability to determine how consistent the powder was with each load, it would give me a ballpark figure – and if I saw problem signs with the lighter loads, such as the hardened steel of my 700’s receiver causing facial disfigurement and/or death, I wouldn’t have to pull down 30 or 40 useless and dangerous handloads.

As it turned out, though, my rifle did not blow up. Nor did I see any of the classic high pressure signs, so I might try pushing it a bit farther. However, I’m not seeing amazing performance so far – the 42gr load averaged 2585fps, the 43gr 2612, the 44gr 2669, and the 45gr 2743. For what it’s worth, Hodgdon says 44gr of 4831 behind a 140gr Nosler Partition is good for 2715fps – no minimum load is listed.

My normal 129gr loads with Varget are in the 35gr range and I see mid to high 2600s with the 129gr SSTs – nothing to write home about, but it’s still a pretty flat-shooting and low-recoiling load. Speaking of that, while Hornady says recoil isn’t any greater with Superformance, basic physics says that a projectile of the same weight fired in the same rifle but traveling at a higher speed will have more recoil than that which is traveling at a lower speed. It might have been because I knew I was shooting progressively hotter loads, but I thought I noticed greater recoil with the 45gr load than, for example, the 42gr load.

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Please be smart when reloading, and don’t kill yourself or endanger your ability to attract a suitable mate – then again, if you’re really dumb and prone to doing things like blowing up your own rifle because you loaded 50 grains of pistol powder in a rifle, maybe you’d be doing the world a favor by not reproducing.

These Diamondhead Combat Sights are Impressive

I’m pretty impressed with the Diamondhead Combat Sights which are going to be standard on the Rainier Arms carbines. They’re not “me too” iron sights that basically say “We have no imagination, but we do have a CNC machine” (which is almost like how the white background photos I’ve been posting the last few days say, “I have no imagination, but I do have a DSLR”).

Of note is the “Premium” front sight, on the left in the photo, which allows elevation adjustments for 0-200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards with the twist of a knob, and also allows you to estimate range to the target. When I showed this front sight to a friend of mine who is a President’s Hundred shooter, he said, “Well, isn’t that neat. How about that.” I tend to agree.

Although I hate the phrase “my new AR build,” they might find their way on to a semi-new “build,” as none of my current rifles have provisions for rail-mounted front sights. A full review will follow.

How Well do Melonite and Nickel Boron (FailZero) Resist Corrosion, Part 2

As I posted yesterday, I recently disassembled the Spike’s Tactical 5.45×39 upper receiver assembly and checked it for corrosion. I had intended to post more photos last night, and apologize for not doing so when I said I would.

As noted, the weapon was very dirty. If you are not familiar with my use of this upper, it is important for you to understand that I have fired over 7500 rounds of corrosive ammunition through it, over a period of a year, without one proper cleaning.

The first thing I examined in detail was the barrel. There were no signs of corrosion on or in the barrel, or any other melonited part, for that matter. The gas tube and front sight base were also melonited, along with the handguard cap. Be advised – you can click on the photos for bigger pictures, and when I say bigger, I mean BIGGER. These photos were taken immediately after disassembly, and the barrel was not cleaned prior to taking them. I have run a BoreSnake through it since, and there are no signs of wear or corrosion there, but I’m still working on a decent enough photo of it.

Compare this with the Smith & Wesson 5.45 AR-15 that I put a similar amount of corrosive ammunition through over a similar period of time, also without cleaning. Its barrel was chrome lined, with a phosphate exterior finish. The bolt was originally phosphated, but I electroless nickel plated it after seeing some corrosion – closing the barn door after the horse had escaped, I know.

In comparison, the Spike’s Tactical 5.45×39 upper’s bolt had been plated with Nickel Boron by FailZero from the start. While it certainly looked better than the competition, there was minor pitting visible once I cleaned away all the carbon. Again, click on the photo for a much larger version.

So it would seem that Nickel Boron is far better than phosphate as a corrosive resistant finish, but is not corrosion proof. Although I would have to have had two otherwise identical parts, one nickel boron and one melonite, subjected to the same treatment for me to conclusively say that melonite offers superior corrosion resistance, the almost-new appearance of the melonite barrel – after over seven 1080 round tins of corrosive 5.45×39 surplus ammo – impresses me.

On the left is a Spike’s Tactical nickel boron plated bolt carrier group for 5.56, and on the right is the same in 5.45×39. Both have seen fairly extensive use, but the 5.45×39 version looks just a bit more disheveled.