Now They Do Make a .46

October 9th, 2011

Plenty of obnoxious clichés get thrown around in the gun culture, but the most annoying is, "I carry a .45 because they don't make a .46!" I'm mildly surprised when the simpletons chanting that one manage not to drool on themselves in public.

In fact, I am so weary of it that I'm going to rectify the situation. I'm going to make a .46 caliber handgun cartridge.

Now, you might say that's a bad idea. Let me tell you something. When George Washington wanted to cross the Potomac and drive the British out of New Jersey, I'm pretty sure some folks told him that was a bad idea. But he proved them wrong, didn't he? He sent them packing all the way back to California. Smelly hippies. Without him, we'd be spelling words like "color" and "flavor" with a "u." I'm telling you, that man was a great American.

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. I plan on calling the cartridge the .46 Ginormous Action Tactical. A serious load demands a serious name, and that means using the word "tactical" to the point that it loses all meaning. It also prevents confusion, since ".46 GAT" couldn't possibly be confused with any current commercial loading.

An Embarrassment of Cartridges

November 4th, 2009

I've been clearing this up for a lot of people this week.  If you're new to shooting, it's easy to look at the huge variety of ammunition out there and get incredibly confused.  There is nothing wrong with asking, and it's far preferable to blowing up a gun or getting hurt.

Here are a few of the misconceptions I most frequently have to address:

.38 S&W is not the same as .38 Special
.38 Super is not the same as .38 Special
.357SIG is not the same as .357 Magnum
.32 S&W is not the same as .32 ACP (also known as .32 Auto)
7.65 Browning is the same thing as .32 Auto
6.35mm is the same thing as .25 ACP
.45 Colt is not the same as .45 ACP
.45 GAP is not the same as .45 ACP
7.62×39 is not the same as 7.62x54R
7.62×51 is pretty much the same thing as .308
7mm Mauser is not the same as 7mm Remington Magnum is not the same as 7mm Ultra Mag is not the same as 7mm-08 is not the same as 7.5mm Swiss
9mm Largo is not the same as 9mm Luger
9mm Kurtz is not the same as 9mm Luger
9mm Luger is the same as 9mm Parabellum
.38 Short Colt is…wait, where did you find .38 Short Colt?!?

Sunday Handloads

July 13th, 2009

158gr lead wadcutters over 7.5gr of Hodgdon HS-6.  These are an outgrowth of a self-defense load developed by a friend, which consisted of a 125gr XTP bullet over 8gr of the same powder.

Marksmanship and Self Defense

June 29th, 2009

S&W Model 18

Sunday morning, I put some Ahrends on the Model 18 and took her shooting. Even with the bargain-basement stuff, she does me proud:

3/4 inches!

According to Wikipedia, a penny is 0.75" in diameter. 3/4 of an inch. Double action.

Man, did it feel good shooting that!

Rimfires and Self Defense

June 8th, 2009

The .22 Long Rifle cartridge has a long and rich heritage, and it is superb for target shooting and small-game hunting. As a self-defense loading, it has several major shortcomings. There are very few realistic situations where it can be considered viable.

To its credit, the .22 LR produces only slight recoil, facilitaing easier follow-up shots. The size of the cartridge allows it to be chambered in smaller pistols. Ammunition is cheap and widely available, and in countries that ban civilian use of service calibers, it may be the only alternative available.

Balancing out its meager virtues, one must consider the fact that rimfire ignition can be unreliable. Quite simply, you're going to have duds. This is patently unacceptable for a platform that should be expected to perform under unpredictable and dire circumstances. A gun that fails in the face of violence is the most dangerous thing you could possibly hold in your hand.

Most loadings tend to generate a great deal of fouling, and smaller designs must be kept absolutely clean to ensure regular function.

Ballistic performance is disappointing to say the least. From a pistol, you're sending a small bullet weighing ~30-40gr at subsonic velocities. Even the well-regarded CCI Stinger load fails to achieve 12" of penetration in gelating, long considered to be the minimum acceptable standard (pdf).

If you must carry a small gun, there are plenty of small handguns in production in proven calibers such as .38 Special or 9mm.

Fun with Handloads

April 6th, 2009

185gr Golden Sabers loaded on ~6.5 grains of HP38. Nice and warm, and just scratching at supersonic. The best part is, I didn't have to do the work. A customer of mine took up reloading, and I'm just the (quite) willing guinea pig.

Given the current economic downturn and the trend of hoarding ammunition to the point of scarcity, many folks are turning to reloading. More power to them!

Reloading isn't just about saving money. It allows you to tailor loads to your specific gun and situation, and once you've got the process down, you can achieve accuracy easily surpassing many factory loadings.

Case in point: I've got a marvelous .38 Special defensive load that runs a 125gr XTP over 8 grains of HS6. It reaches 1220ft/s out of a 4" barreled revolver, and falls just subsonic in a snubnose, all while running at less that 20,000 CUP. That's a bit warmish for factory loads, but still well within the tolerances of a good gun.

Ballistic fingerprinting rears its head in Georgia

January 13th, 2009

Senator Ramsey has sponsored SB 12, a bill that calls for all ammunition sold in the state to "contain a unique code." This is identical to failed initiatives in New York, Maryland, and most recently, California.

This isn't a crime-solving tool, it's an attempt to strangle the shooting culture by raising the price and choking the supply of ammunition to civilians.

The Left claims that their intentions are to create a database whereby spent casings (if any) found at a crime scene can be tracked back to the owner of the firearm. I can tell you that's a loopy idea right off the bat.