Boomershoot steel target testing

Phil repaired the Boomershoot target steel someone (not a Boomershooter, it’s a long story) damaged with steel core bullets. This last weekend I tested the “target dog” he built for me. It was also the first time I had shot at the steel myself from further than about 75 yards.

Except for a single shot with a .40 S&W from about 20 yards all the shots were from 375 yards.

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The target is 3/4” AR500 so they are not your standard pistol targets. They were intended to stand up to .300 Win Mag from 375 yards and beyond. The white splotches on the target above were almost all from 55 grain .223 FMJ bullets at 375 yards. They barely took the paint off and as near as I could tell did not rock the target backward. The spring, as Phil noted, is way too stiff for that. And I suspect that with a .223 and that massive of a target it’s physically impossible to select a spring such that a bullet strike would knock it backward such that a mild breeze wouldn’t also do that. The .40 S&W didn’t move the target either.

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Notice the white stuff at the base of the target? That is lead spray from the bullet strikes on the target.

I was trying to zero my .300 Win Mag, without a spotter, from 375 yards and only got two hits as I probed different hold overs and unders. And the bullet splash on the steel was so small I couldn’t see it even with the 14 power scope at that distance. Here you see the impact from a 190 grain Sierra Match King bullet hitting the steel at about 2475 fps:

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There is just the tiniest of craters there.

A hit on the edge of the steel is another matter:

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The two .300 Win Mag hits weren’t particularly good to judge the knockdown potential of the configuration but as near as I could tell there was, again, no movement.

I’m extremely pleased with the crater repair Phil did. The targets look awesome! But we need to crunch some numbers to see if it is possible to choose a spring or maybe redesign the target dog such that it will be self resetting for a .30 caliber bullet at Boomershoot distances.

Test everything

The picture below is from a computer backup I was doing over the network.

TransferRate

This was with the existing file on the target drive being overwritten. For new files the transfer rate is nearly constant and a little above the peak shown here.

I suspect the algorithm used by either the driver or the controller for the hard disk for update an existing file results in a large number of seeks of the head. The file copy program (Robocopy in this case) could work around the problem by deleting existing files before doing the copy. But the designers of the program may not have been aware of the problem with this particular hard drive.

In my situation I don’t care a lot because it can just run as a background task and it doesn’t much matter if it takes 10 minutes or 300 minutes (yes, the transfer rate is over 30x slower). But for some people it might.

As always, thoroughly testing your products, processes, and assumptions is important and either this one wasn’t fully tested or management marked the bug as “Won’t Fix” and shipped it anyway.

Having presided over numerous Boomerite failures I know how easy it is to say, “This change shouldn’t matter” or “This has to make it better, no need to test it.” There is a reason many companies have a test team that is independent of the development team and may even have a reporting chain independent of engineering.

This, almost, paranoia about testing can be generalized to a lot of things in your life. Have you ever changed a tire on your current vehicle? I bought a used vehicles a few years ago and discovered a day or so after I bought it that it didn’t have a jack in it.

You have a gun to defend your home and loved ones? Have you ever pied the corners of your home with that shotgun? Have you looked at possible choke points for stopping a home invasion? How about looked at what happens to misses or shoot-throughs from likely shooting positions? How do those speed reloads you practice for USPA matches work out for you when you are at the top of the stairs in your birthday suit?

Progressives want the government to have more power to implement “social justice”. Ask the tens of millions of people that went into the Gulags of the USSR how that worked out for them. Oh, that’s right, most of them that weren’t shot after their forced confessions were worked and starved to death. We don’t need to run that test again. 100+ million people have already been killed during the testing done by various progressives regimes in the 20th century.

Anti-gun people want to register guns. Ask Canada how that worked out for them.

Does your bug-out kit included canned goods but you forgot to include a can opener?

You’ll discover many such things when you test.

1000 yard shot with 9mm

Update: From the comments I discovered Miculek used a 400 yard zero for his revolver, not the 200 yard zero I hypothesized. I have updated the post accordingly.


The other day Say Uncle posted this video of Jerry Miculek shooting at a balloon from 1000 yards away with a 9mm revolver:

First off, as Rivrdog noted, he didn’t hit the balloon. He hit the steel and the splatter from the bullet fragments popped the balloon.

Second, I decided to run the numbers on those shots. Using Modern Ballistics, the bullet Miculek said he used, with a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps (Hornady factory ammo with a four inch barrel is 975 fps but I added some extra velocity because Miculek probably has a longer barrel and a custom load), with a standard deviation of 10 fps, a bullet delivering a five shot group size of 1 MOA under ideal conditions, a wind estimation error of 0.2 MPH, sea level, at 59F, and a 400 yard zero. We end up with the following results.

The bullet took 5.11 seconds to travel the 1000 yards. It reached a height of 110 feet at 583 yards from the shooter. It arrived at a velocity of 377 fps.

This first graph shows the height in inches from the point of aim. At the target the bullet is hitting over 2900 inches low. That is over 240 feet below the point of aim!

Drop10To1000

In this graph the rate of descent at the 1000 yard mark is shown. That is nearly 11 inches of additional drop for each yard of travel.

Drop990To1010

Here we have the odds of getting a hit if the shooter knew the exact ballistics and compensates perfectly for every shot. The random variation of the muzzle velocity, wind variation (Gaussian distribution with a standard deviation of 0.2 MPH), and inherent variations in the bullet contribute enough error that only about a third of the bullets would hit a target 30 inches wide and 50 inches tall.

TargetView

The image below is what the shooter would see with a red-dot sight shooting a tracer bullet with the same drag. I added some wind to make the perspective a little better. At 1.6 yards the bullet crosses the near zero and you can see the red-dot of the sight just before the track of the tracer starts. The tracer ignites at 2 yards. Everything is to scale so change the size of the image such that the base of the 9mm bullet looks the same in the image as a 9mm bullet would at 1.6 yards and you can see what the 30 x 50 inch target would look like at 1000 yards.

TracerView

Jerry is at the peak of human shooting ability but he had some serious luck on that shot.

Replacement for tracers

Via Mitchel M. on the gun email list at work:

The interesting part starts at 1:46.

This may mean that the new “tracers” could be safely used when the fire risk from normal tracers is too great. I’m a skeptical they can match the brightness of the pyrotechnic based tracers. But they probably would work for many applications.

And of course there are application where incendiary rounds will be needed when tracers might have worked.

Washington D.C. is now Constitutional Carry!

Via Alan Gura who says, “Justice never sleeps…. not even on a Saturday afternoon, when this opinion was just handed down.”:

In light of Heller, McDonald, and their progeny, there is no longer any basis on which this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny. Therefore, the Court finds that the District of Columbia’s complete ban on the carrying of handguns in public is unconstitutional. Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and enjoins Defendants from enforcing the home limitations of D.C. Code § 7-2502.02(a)(4) and enforcing D.C. Code § 22-4504(a) unless and until such time as the District of Columbia adopts a licensing mechanism consistent with constitutional standards enabling people to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.4 Furthermore, this injunction prohibits the District from completely banning the carrying of handguns in public for self-defense by otherwise qualified non-residents based solely on the fact that they are not residents of the District.

20 years ago when I started becoming very involved in the gun owner rights movement I could not have imagined I would be talking about the day when Washington D.C. became “Constitutional Carry” (well, even “Vermont Carry” which what we called it then).

The anti gun people will be crying themselves to sleep tonight. But I’ll be cleaning and lubricating my guns with Liberal Tears:

LiberalTears

The good, the bad, the ugly

The last few times I used my AR it would occasionally “double”. I thought maybe it was just dirty and cleaned it. It didn’t do it for a while then it did it again. I cleaned it then when I had the private party last month it did it when it only had a few rounds after being cleaned. I set the gun aside and used a different one.

About three weeks ago I removed the trigger group and was going to replace the springs. That surely was the problem, right?

I was dismayed at the state of the important surfaces.

This is a known good hammer and trigger:

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And cropped down to just the interesting parts:

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This is the bad hammer and trigger:

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Again, cropped to just the interesting parts:

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Do you see the difference? That’s some ugly wear on those critical surfaces. I believe that was the source of the problem.

It would have been really ugly if the ATF took a dislike to me. A gun malfunctioning like that can result in a prison sentence. It’s not right. The law should be fixed. The ATF should abolished or at least have it’s “claws trimmed”. But that is the way it is.

I’m pretty sure the known good trigger group parts fixed the problem. I have probably 300 rounds through it without issue now.

I can explain it to you, but I cannot make you understand

I designed the UltiMAK optic mount for the Kalashnikov to align itself with the barrel (fancy that). There is a radius on the underside, which engages the barrel (something like. V-block, but we’ll call it an “interrupted radius”) so as the clamp screws are tightened, it simply WILL align with the barrel unless something interferes with that process. The “something” that can interfere is the gas block or the rear sight block, or more specifically, a radical misalignment of the gas block with the rear sight block.

The mount has several features that allow it to accommodate a slight to moderate misalignment of those two parts, and so there is a fraction of one percent of AKs (usually Romanian) that cannot properly accept the UltiMAK mount, but I digress.

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I’m the reasonable man

I took a firearms class today to get the new Idaho Enhanced Concealed Weapons License. Mike (from the link) taught the legal portion of the class. During the class he said the criteria for many lethal force self-defense situations is what a “reasonable man” would have done in the same circumstances. He used me as an example of such a person, “We need an EE as our reasonable man, right?” He also suggested I send him a picture of myself to add to his slide. So, within five minutes I had taken a selfie and emailed it to Mike.

This evening I received an email from Mike without text. It just contained a PDF of the slide:

ReasonableMan

Therefore, just so you know, I’m the quintessential Reasonable Man.

1911 ‘smithing

A little while back I asked some 1911 barrel questions. I had mistakenly ordered the wrong sort of Storm Lake Barrel, (needed the non-ramped) and wondered about the best path forward. After reading the comments (thanks, everyone, very educational!) and a bit of Bing-fu I contacted John at JPL Precision. I talked to him for a little while, then returned my wrong barrel to MidwayUSA (great customer service) and dropped off my fairly stock Colt 1991A1 to fit a new barrel.

My requirements were minute-of-bad-guy accuracy and magazine-of-OH-SHIT! reliability. Yeah, I’m a “tools guy” sort of shooter. He ordered the proper KKM Precision threaded barrel for me, fitted it properly so it’s nice and tight (noticeably tighter lockup than previously, and he pointed out the wear patterns on the factory barrel that were not good, but typical of Colts) with a Wilson Combat hardened link, test-fired it, and got it back to me in about a month, for less than the cost of the back-ordered-until-October Storm Lake barrel by itself. I haven’t had a chance to test-fire it rigorously with my normal ammo, magazines, and all that, but so far things are looking good. Guess I’ll have to go to the range soon, so I can post an update.

Side note: Anyone have a good link/source of images that show normal and atypical or dangerous wear patters, showing how a well-used gun should and shouldn’t show where things are rubbing, demonstrating proper and improper fitting/timing for a barrel? Not really necessary, for anything, just curious.

Olympic Arms, Inc. 1911 Production Suspended

I received following via email today. I have never even held a Olympic Arms 1911 in my hands but it still made me a little bit sad:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Olympic Arms, Inc. 1911 Production Suspended

Raw materials, supply chain issues and Staffing cause a decision to delay production and archive current orders.

OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON, USA. 10 JULY, 2014 -

Olympic Arms has a rich history of 1911 production. Since having acquired both the M.S. Safari Company, and the Randall Corporation in the late 1980′s and combining them into Safari Arms, Inc. our 1911′s took the market by storm and set new standards for quality, reliability and accuracy in a reasonably priced 1911. Safari Arms also grew internationally, becoming one of Europe’s most desired 1911′s. Owning our own casting house and tooling allowed us to keep a close eye on quality control from molten steel to finished product. Manufacturing our own famous broach-cut National Match grade barrels from bar stock in-house, gave us the ability to provide unprecedented accuracy for hundreds, even thousands less than other brands.

Since that time, the 1911 industry has exploded, and the market has changed significantly. More recently, our company was forced to close our casting facility in Costa Mesa, CA, and our machines and tooling had to be relocated to a new facility that is still unable to produce our parts to the standards we require. That project is still on-going, but does not hold a great deal of promise. Lastly, our Master 1911 Pistolsmith of over 20 years, Mr. Richard Neimer passed away very unexpectedly this past November. The collective results of these events have caused such an interruption in production of raw materials, parts and assemblies that have up to this point, been insurmountable.

Therefore, due to this combined set of circumstances, both in-house and within our manufacturing chain, circumstances we have had little or no control over, Olympic Arms is announcing today, and with great regret, the cancellation of all current orders for 1911 pistols, as well as 1911 frames and slides.

With the reputation and history behind the Safari Arms/Olympic Arms 1911 products, we have decided that we must continue to provide the same quality product, an excellent and affordable shooting experience for our customers, or we will not re-enter the 1911 market.

All unfulfilled 1911 orders will then be kept in an archived folder pending the conclusion our management’s decision on how to best continue, or whether to continue at all, the production of our 1911 products. Should Olympic Arms move forward with the production of 1911′s within the next 12 months, we will honor all of the archived orders at their originally ordered price. Should the decision be made that we cannot continue the 1911 product line and maintain the standards our customers have become accustomed to, all dealers with archived orders will be notified of this decision, at which point all archived orders will then be permanently canceled.
We deeply regret that these unexpected circumstanced have caused confusion, continued delay and extreme inconvenience on the part of our dealers and their customers. We will continue to move forward evaluating the continuation of our 1911 product line, and will alert you of any decision made with urgency.

Sincerely,
tom-sig
Tom Spithaler
Sales Dir.
Olympic Arms, Inc.

Remington 700 trigger settlement

As you probably already heard (via Say Uncle) Remington has reached a settlement regarding millions of their Remington 700 rifles sold since the 1960s. If that involves a recall or even a visit to your local gunsmith it could be a long time before you get your rifle(s) fixed and back in your hands.

I would like to suggest you do what I did (now that my trigger was shipped a few minutes ago) and that is order a Timney Remington 700 replacement trigger.

I have their triggers on two other types of rifles. They are amazing. There is zero perceptible take up or creep. It’s like breaking glass. Seriously. It’s what you think happened. A small glass rod must have just broken.

I have the instructions from Timney on how to replace the trigger in a Remington. It looks to be easy and straightforward. I’m going to replace the trigger on my rifle before I fire another shot. Get yours on order before the backlog gets too long.

Clarification: I should have also said that I have no firm opinion on whether the Remington trigger is in fact defective. But if you do not have your gun “repaired” (whether you think it needed it or not) and have an accident involving the trigger it might increase your liability. Why risk it? Yes, the Remington trigger has a crisp break and had a great reputation for decades. But you can get a better trigger and install it for less than $150.

New shooter report

I took an almost new shooter to the range on Wednesday evening. John had gone with Ry once and shot a pistol but he wanted to learn about shooting an AR so off to the range we went with an AR and some ammo.

He did well. As we went through the dry fire exercises he said he was seeing double. There were two rear sights. One was above the other and he couldn’t seem to figure out why. I tried to duplicate it by moving my head around and changing the gun position some but was unable to.

I finally just told him to choose one and see what happened. He punched a bunch of holes in the paper in the expected places so I didn’t think about it much more.

After about 20 rounds or so there was noticeably more wobble in the muzzle of the gun. He rested a bit then finished off the last 10 rounds in the 30 round magazine.

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As I explained to John because of the distance of the sight above the bore at close ranges the rifle is going to shoot quite a bit low. He shouldn’t worry about it now. Just aim at the bulls-eye and be happy if most of the bullets into nearly the same place.

They did. Notice the new shooter smile?
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I put a target at 40 feet and put about 20 rounds downrange fairly rapidly to see where the bullets were going for me:
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It was still shooting a little bit to the left but just a little higher than where John was hitting. I probably should tweak the windage a bit and verify where it is hitting at 100 and 200 yards but I think it is looking good for my uses.

After looking at the pictures I took a little closer I think I see why he was seeing double:
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I looks like he was looking through the edge of his glasses. I wear a contact lens in that eye and that explains why I was not able to duplicate his issue. I’ll have to work on that with him.

Quote of the day—Ben

Why don’t you do this every day?

Ben
June 21, 2014
NewShooterSmile
[This was after shooting a dozen or so boomers at a surprise private Boomershoot party. It was for his birthday.

Ben and three others drove from the Seattle area to the Boomershoot site. There they helped Barb and I make about 60 reactive targets and clean up Mecca. We then went to the tree-line and while Barb mounted the targets on stakes I gave them some safety and shooting instructions.

They were all essentially new shooters. I positioned them about 30 yards away and with an AR equipped with a low powered scope shot from a bench. The seven inch targets were easy pickings. There were almost zero misses.

Only one of them had ever fired an AR style rifle. Occasionally I had to remind them of one of the safety rules but they did well. And of course that new shooter smile was made all the bigger with his first shot detonating a boomer..

—Joe]

Update: More pictures.

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Cleaning up Mecca while Barb shrink-wraps the rest of the targets.

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Cleaning up the mixing equipment.

All guns are always loaded

That’s gun safety rule one. Cooper said that it’s not a guide to behavior but rather a statement of condition. (For those unfamiliar, “condition” in this sense refers to the status of the gun, whether it’s loaded, or cocked, whether the safety catch is on, etc.)

That’s the problem with weapon “safety” isn’t it? If you keep a gun for self defense, and you treat all guns as though they’re always loaded, and it turns put that the one you need to defend your life is unloaded, you’re not at all safe. A gun is supposed to be dangerous! but only to your chosen target.

As a matter of personal taste I prefer the NRA rule “Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use”. The guns I keep for defense are “in use” all the time and so they are loaded, whether on my hip or leaning in the corner.

I showed a couple how to load a percussion revolver the other day, by “loading” it with powder and bullets, but since we never applied caps to the cones, it still isn’t “loaded” because I won’t fire without caps. I’ll twirl it if I want to, and you can’t stop me, but I generally won’t twirl a loaded gun even it is single action with the hammer down and nothing you do to the trigger alone can ever make it fire.

We’ve come to a point where we’re making too big a deal out of “safety” and admit it– That’s because of lawyers and politicians (two of the more dangerous kinds of people on Earth if we take them too seriously).

Ultimately, “safety”, to the extent that it exists at all, is between your ears. You’re certainly going to die no matter what though, so cheer up! When people, perfectly well-intended, tell me to “stay safe” as an alternative to “goodbye” or “see you later” it sort of disappoints me. “Have fun” or even “be cool” would be better advice. None of the really fun and memorable, or productive, things I’ve done in life were particularly safe, but they always came off better in a state of coolness.

Here’s another important “safety” rule;
“All lawyers and all politicians are always loaded”

I do like that one. As Cooper said; “It is not a guide of behavior, but rather a statement of condition”, and furthermore it would explain a lot.

Double action!

No, it’s not a porn video, though some moms may demand it.

Recently I read Col. Cooper on the subject of double action. His thesis is that DA means the gun has two action modes; Single action, wherein you thumb-cock the piece, and trigger cocking, wherein the trigger does the cocking and the releasing. Two modes of fire (thumb cocking and trigger cocking) hence the term double action. Therefore he said that the term “double action only” is nonsensical.
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Quote of the day—Lyle

For me it’s become a moment of detached concentration. Load, safety off, aim, fire, boom, aim, fire, boom, aim, fire, time of flight is perceptible even at near Mach three at close range, aim, fire, hit too low and the target jumped into the air (sight over bore offset– gotta aim a tad high), aim, fire, boom, and so on. Maybe I’m hogging the targets.  Is that rude, like taking most of the oysters at the buffet? The explosions register the hits. Maybe that torn target still has some Boomerite in the bottom. Shoot lower. That’s it. I sense the excitement in others, and the rushing of shots around me, resulting in misses, stirring up the dirt like the surface of a soup pot in a rapid boil…

I think that’s how it’s supposed to be. Quietness. The concussions provide a gentle massage while dining on fine, close targets, but mainly they’re confirmations of hits. The reports of all the shooting, blending into a steady roar, provide the background music, and the peppery smell of burning nitro the potpourri. Ambience. Candle light from the muzzle of the 30 Carbine pistol to my left…

A fine establishment. I highly recommend it. Five stars.

Lyle
June 7, 2014
Comment to Boomershoot 2014 High Intensity
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]