Group size

On Sunday Barb and went to the range and used the “Training Bay”. Barb practiced drawing from the holster. I set up my chronograph and tested 17 different .40 S&W loads with four different powders and two different bullet types (both 180 grain). I ended up firing 170 rounds of .40 S&W and 20 rounds of .22 into the same target. All the .40 S&W was from about 28 yards. It made for, what I thought was, an interesting target:


I wasn’t doing my best with each shot but I was reasonably careful. My primary goal was to not shoot the chronograph screens and having a constant point of aim helped.

But after pulling the target I wondered, “What would be the equivalent five shot group size made from the same sample of ammo?”

“Group size” has always bugged me. A better measure would be standard deviation. But that’s not what the shooting world uses. I understand why. Standard deviation is much more difficult to compute in our situation. Group size is extremely easy and as long as you are honest with yourself (don’t find excuses to throw away a bad group and always use the same number of shots when comparing) it can give you a fairly decent indication of the accuracy of your system (gun, ammo, and shooter).

One of the problems with group size is that you can’t easily compare a three shot group to a five shot, seven, or ten shot group. I spent a lot of time manipulating equations and running simulations and built a solution into Modern Ballistics. If you edit a cartridge and have it calculate the “5-shot Group Size” via “Calculate via group” you can input a set of one or more groups at various ranges and various shots per group and it will compute the equivalent 5-shot group size in minutes of angle.

Sooo… I put in the group size 13” from the target above for a 170 shot group and it immediately complained. I had programmed in error checking which said, basically, that if you are shooting a group with more than 100 shots you don’t know what you are doing. Heavy sigh.

So I went with a 100 shot group with 13 inches and came up with a 20.84 MOA five shot group. Okay. Not too bad considering the variations in the ammo (the mean velocity on any given loading varied from 907 fps to 1033 fps), iron sights, with a pistol, and not originally intending to shoot for a good group. And it would have been better had my program allowed for 170 shot groups. Converting back to inches and rounding down a bit to compensate for the 170 versus 100 shot group it comes out to 5.75 inches.

I’m okay with that.

Boomershoot in the news

I suspect the Clearwater Tribune needed some filler so they wrote a short article based upon an ad I was running in their paper.

Barb and I were amused by this line:

There are over 1,000 of these targets, rigged with 1,500 pounds of explosives.

The targets are not “rigged with explosives”. The packaged explosives are the targets.

Joe’s [Done] Answering Qs on Reddit AMA

[Update: Joe’s done at Reddit. Thanks to all who participated in the interview.]

Joe’s over yonder on Reddit, still answering questions. Join in the conversation here.

For those new to Reddit (hint, hint Lyle), you’ll want to create a Reddit account, then go to this link and ask away.

Quote of the day—John Hoschen

After 20 years of active duty military experience and nearly 30 years involved with professional civilian handgun training I have observed that:

1) Handguns are at best of tertiary interest to the Army.

2) The criteria used to select a handgun for the military includes several factors of very limited value to the civilian self-defense practitioner and fails to address several other factors which are critical to that user.

3) Only a VERY small minority of all military members EVER fire a handgun.

4) The training provided to the majority of military members who do fire a handgun is extremely rudimentary. (InSights General Defensive Handgun course is far more in depth and the material in our Intermediate Defensive Handgun course is not found in the military training system other than a few special operations schools.)

Based on the above observations it is my opinion that:

What handgun the Army has chosen for standard issue should have exactly zero impact on what handgun a civilian should consider for self defense use.

John Hoschen
March 3, 2017
Via the InSights Training Center email list regarding the Sig P320
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]

Reminder: Joe/Boomershoot & Maj/Black Guns Matter on Reddit AMA

Join the live conversation tomorrow, Tues. March 7, 11am EST: Joe Huffman of Boomershoot & Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter on Reddit AMA.

Joe Huffman, Founder of Boomershoot:
I’m white + from Idaho. I make reactive targets for people to shoot at, and detonate, thus causing fiery, fun explosions.

Maj Toure, Founder of Black Guns Matter:
I’m black + from Philly. I teach urban communities gun rights and responsibilities, to prevent inner cities from self-imploding.

We’re two peas in a pod, here to talk guns, gun safety, exploding targets, keeping cool, and peace.

We’re not here to nitpick about gun facts — that’s already been done.

We’re here to have fun. We’re individually atypical, so let’s dig deep into what makes us tick: why we do what we do, and how we do it! Ready. Aim. Fire. Kaboom!


How times change

I was doing some reorganizing and throwing away of old things on my library shelves and ran across a “men’s magazine”, Cheri (caution explicit photos), from October 1983. I don’t know why I still had it. I never subscribed to it. It was a favorite of a friend of my ex-wife and I. But we lost contact with him in about 1979 or 1980.

I was about to toss it in the recycling when I noticed something on the cover:


A sex and gun club in Hawaii? That’s odd. For one, I wasn’t into guns then. And two, were guns that less frowned upon that a magazine of that genre would, let along a club, risk combining the two subjects? And three, I never could, and still don’t, see a connection between sex and guns. They just don’t mix for me.

I scanned in the first two pages of the article (probably NSFW) and put them here and here.

In the second page of the article you will find they say that all calibers greater than .22 LR are banned in the state. Even though they still suffer under extremely repressive gun laws it seems as if Hawaii’s gun owners made progress in some areas over the last 33+ years.

I wondered if the magazine was still in existence and found the link to their website. I discovered their current content is all hard core. I remember our friend saying he liked the magazine because it was not as explicit as many other magazines and it featured women who looked more real than those in the better known magazines. Looking at my sample it appears to be a notch less explicit than Playboy magazine was at the time.

Times change in many ways.

This Tues. March 7, 11am EST: Joe Huffman & Maj Toure on Reddit AMA – Ask Me Anything

Stop by Reddit this Tuesday, March 7, at 11am EST, to participate in Reddit AMA interview of Joe Huffman, Boomershoot Founder & Maj Toure, Black Guns Matter Founder.

Joe is white + from Idaho. Joe makes reactive targets for people to shoot at, and detonate, thus causing fiery, fun explosions.

Maj is black + from Philly. Maj teaches urban communities gun rights and responsibilities, to prevent inner cities from self-imploding.

They’re two peas in a pod, and will be on Reddit AMA to talk guns, gun safety, exploding targets, keeping cook, and peace. Please, ask them anything!
More Joe/Boomershoot info:
At Twitter
On Gab

More Black Guns Matter info:
GoFundMe Page
On Facebook
At Twitter


Rounds in the last month

I was busy doing a lot of things for Boomershoot this month (I have to tell the story of what Barb calls “the box” someday) and haven’t done any reloading since February 5th, still, I did load 975 rounds of .40 S&W. They were all Blue Bullets with minimum powder charges for shooting steel.

This brings my lifetime reloaded ammunition totals to:

223.log: 2,424 rounds.
3006.log: 543 rounds.
300WIN.log: 1692 rounds.
40SW.log: 63,420 rounds.
9MM.log: 21,641 rounds.
Total: 89,720 rounds.

Boomershoot is going to take some time this month and especially next month. But I think I’ll be able to load a few rounds each month. I’m hoping to make it to a lifetime total of over 100,000 rounds by the end of the year.

Gun Song: Powderfinger by Neil Young

Powderfinger by Neil Young was released in 1979 on the Rust Never Sleeps album. According to Infogalactic, it was ranked as one of Neil’s best songs by Rolling Stone. The lyrics are the posthumous narration of a young man who attempts to protect his family against an approaching gunboat. After initial indecision, he eventually takes action, and is ultimately killed.

Neil Young, of course, is a long-time Canadian singer-songwriter and musician with an extensive rock /folk / country catalog of songs performed and written.

Boomershoot 2017 update

People are making plans and we are getting more entries for Boomershoot 2017. See one online discussion here.

There is also going to be sales push soon. Among other things I’m going to start distributing flyers at the local ranges and place an ad in the Orofino Idaho paper to get the attention of the locals.

Currently there are still many great positions available. But we are currently 63% full and the available positions will be dwindling. If you are thinking of attending but haven’t got around to signing up you should stop procrastinating and go do it.

Flash sale on Insights Training

Essentially all my self-defense training has been from Insights. I highly recommend them. And now is your opportunity to get a significant discount on top notch training:

48 hours of savings on all classes!

It’s a Flash Sale! From 8am Monday the 6th through 8am Wednesday the 8th, use code “FEB2017” to get 15% off all classes.

I put my most of my family through and taken them myself (sometimes multiple times) Pepper Spray Seminar, Unarmed Self Defense, and Defensive Folding Knife. I’ve also taken Handgun Retention & Disarming, General Defensive Handgun, Intensive Handgun Skills, Low Light Handgun Skills, Low Light Handgun Skills, General Defensive Rifle, and Tactical First Aid.

Reloading report

As I reported on the first of this month I enhanced my program which parses and reports on my reloading logs. Not too long after making those changes I made still more changes. In now outputs a section with the yearly and monthly totals for every caliber combined. Here is that section of the report including the 3300 rounds of .40 S&W (minor power factor Blue Bullets for steel matches) I reloaded this month:

Year Total Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996: 11274 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10944 141 189
1997: 7585 300 0 40 1210 719 106 0 100 1088 804 1060 2158
1998: 11574 570 258 718 1657 1812 1710 542 20 0 1240 900 2147
1999: 4912 20 964 181 877 718 657 60 0 0 179 653 603
2000: 3690 845 120 142 0 57 1095 400 396 43 521 60 11
2001: 2724 25 300 497 532 15 20 1198 73 0 0 0 64
2002: 898 0 0 0 0 0 0 198 0 200 300 0 200
2003: 649 0 300 302 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
2004: 1345 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 300 600 445 0
2005: 1059 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 659 400 0 0
2006: 1000 0 0 0 0 400 0 0 0 0 200 400 0
2007: 1136 0 0 0 0 0 0 118 518 300 200 0 0
2008: 2398 0 300 0 0 0 0 900 399 0 200 0 599
2009: 1702 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 102 300 900 400
2010: 1400 0 0 0 0 100 200 700 0 200 0 200 0
2011: 2300 300 0 400 100 0 500 500 200 0 0 0 300
2012: 399 0 200 0 199 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013: 600 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 100 500
2014: 530 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 530
2015: 10005 1699 2696 3064 0 0 0 547 200 400 100 200 1099
2016: 18265 2197 700 1462 837 1899 1999 1000 1500 1216 1957 1500 1998
2017: 3300 3300 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Grand Totals 88745 9256 5838 6806 5430 5720 6287 6163 3406 4508 17945 6588 10798

Gun Song – Battle of New Orleans

“Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton is a classic “Americana” song. Quoting Infogalactic: “The Battle of New Orleans” is a song written by Jimmy Driftwood. The song describes the 1815 Battle of New Orleans from the perspective of an American soldier; the song tells the tale of the battle with a light tone and provides a rather comical version of what actually happened at the battle. It has been recorded by many artists, but the singer most often associated with this song is Johnny Horton. His version scored number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 (see 1959 in music). Billboardranked it as the No. 1 song for 1959.[1]

Olympic Arms Announces Closing

I received an email today which announced the closing of Olympic Arms.

After more than 40 years of business, it is with great sorrow that we announce that February 28th, 2017 will be the last day of operation for Olympic Arms, Inc.

The Schuetz family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to all their friends, associates, and partners that have been a part of the Olympic Arms experience. Most of all we would like to thank our loyal customers and patrons who have been with us all this time.

My Microsoft Gun Club Object Embedding Tool was made by Olympic Arms over 20 years ago.

I wonder what happened. Maybe AR-15’s becoming essentially a commodity and the resultant competition.

Commemorative 45

Trump will, later today, become our 45th President. He’s a gun owner, and generally pro-gun as near as I can tell. I wonder how many variations of “Trump Commemorative 45” will be produced and offered if he starts living up to even a modest fraction of his hype / hope / potential? An ironically logo’ed 45 pistol suppressor after the Hear Protection Act is passed? All manner of revolvers and semi-autos, obviously. I’ve already seen a 1911 slide. What would you like to see, and be willing to pay a little extra for just to make it a little less PC, and a part of history? A .45-70 Govt? A .45 Colt? A 45 Trump Magnum? A 1911 long slide with “Trumpenator” on it? A slick-finished 45 ACP with “Teflon Don” on it?

The joy of another inauguration with Hillary Clinton watching someone else taking the oath.

Don’t blame the front sight

I started noticing this in the 1990s, shortly after getting back into shooting, and it came as a flood after I got into the gun accessory business.

We’d get it over and over and over. People would call in, wanting a sight, or an optic sight dot reticle, that wouldn’t “cover the target”.

My first response soon became, and remains, “If you don’t want your sight covering the target, then stop covering the target with your sight.”

It’s as simple as that. I believe the problem is that it is SO simple, beginners can’t believe it, and expert shooters won’t allow themselves to believe it because important things take time to learn and are complicated.

Some of the most experienced shooters, for whom I otherwise have a great deal of respect, seem unable to grasp the simple concept; YOU choose your sight picture. It isn’t necessarily built-in by the manufacturer. Stop assuming.

Also, give me a front sight, or a reticle, shaped like my shoe, or a Ford F-350 with duals, or Bridget Bardot, and I’ll be able to shoot just as well with it after a little bit of practice, AND since I choose to not cover the target with it, the target won’t be covered.

People have gotten, and no doubt will continue to get, all kinds of pissed off at me for saying this, pleading their case that no, since the post, or reticle, is such and such an angular size, and the target smaller, then the target is covered. Wrong! Don’t make me draw you pictures.

Stop covering the target, and adjust your sights accordingly. Chances are you don’t need new sights, or a smaller dot reticle.

And don’t bother arguing; I very much doubt you can tell me anything I haven’t already heard hundreds of times. I spend a good part of every day talking to shooters from all disciplines ad of all levels of experience.