Thursday 31 August 2017

2018 Gun Digest Released:

My copy seemed to have gotten lost on it's way South - taking around 3 weeks in the mail .. but it was definitely worth the wait.

I pre-ordered it from The Book Depository months ago - it wasn't particularly cheap to buy - but the content is very good with several stories that resonate in my brain-box .. (Thirty-twos, Ten Mils, "Half-inches", and many other interesting and well researched pieces.

If you are a reader and gun enthusiast - there's no better read that I know.

Marty K.

Wednesday 30 August 2017

FLAT SHOOTING GUNS ---------------------- BS :

Do you realize that tomorrow is the First Day Of *SPRING* here in New Zealand?

- So I've had a go at DEBUNKING the widely used & popular myths of "STOPPING POWER" (I'm getting fairly sick of that debate!😁) and "KNOCK-DOWN POWER".

They are 'concepts' that just don't exist in any measurable or provable degree. - Use of such phrases come with the same old sales stink as "power-burner helps you to loose weight" & "80% of users thought that our wrinkle cream made them look younger". - Do you buy that BS?

What's next then .. How about "FLAT SHOOTING" ? (Some of my mates are getting into long range rifle 😄)

I have read that the bullet from a 338 Lapua * arrives at it's target some 1,400 yards down range - from the height of a three story building. *- quoted as fired from a 26 inch barrel Savage Model 112.
- Is that "flat shooting"?

Them that understand these things state that every bullet that is fired horizontally will hit the ground at the same time as one that you drop simultaneously ... because they are both effected by the same weak force ..gravity.

"You have horizontal and vertical planes for velocity and acceleration. For both bullets, there is initially no vertical velocity and the only net force acting upon them is gravity. You would then expect them to act similarly in the vertical plane, which is why they both hit the ground at the same time. There is nothing in the forward motion of the shot bullet that counteracts the pull downward from gravity (such as lift)."

.. There really are extensive discussions about what is the "flattest shooting" hunting round. Writers get paid for this stuff! - all arguing about a concept that does not - in reality - exist. - Every bullet fired drops at the same rate relative to time.

Try seeing if you can soak-up what WIKIPEDIA has to say. Link:

It's actually all about **VELOCITY**

So at a given range - a bullet fired at twice the velocity of another will (generally) arrive in half the time - and therefor will have dropped half as much.

Yes - Bullets with a better drag coefficient decelerate (Loose Velocity) less rapidly.

Pistol Bullets Need Not Apply For Aerodynamics Awards.

.. But IF you do double the velocity for a range of say 200 meters - you should get half the drop - eg. shoot a 200 gn. 'flat-shooting' 10mm Glock 20 at 1,300 ft. per second rather than a 200 gn..45 acp at 650 ft. per sec. from a 1911.  - Is that "flat shooting" ?

Note: A 230 gn. FMJ .45" ACP slug might have an awful 'BC' of .162

- Some more interesting Q & As here - Link:


Sales teams and media "experts" will still imply that their guns or ammunition are "Flat Shooting"!

I don't need to say that we get the 'line of sight' thing eh;
Be Happy - Life is Good,

Marty K.

Sunday 27 August 2017

Hickok 45 Shooting Through Eclipses:

Hickok 45 and son John have released their take on "The Great American Eclipse Show". - It's a relaxed 'at home' episode recording the solar-lunar-eclipse as it interrupts their on range shooting and chatting:

- Worth watching while you have a coffee eh.. John makes one point about some movies ending-up unappealing because they attempt to appeal to everybody ... instead of setting out to be the best possible for a selected audience.

I would make a similar point about politics - where here in New Zealand, as in UK, for many years both the traditional 'Left-Wing' and 'Right-Wing' Parties have tried to moderate their basic conflicting principles ("principles" in politics?) by moving into the "Centre Ground" in order to follow marketing/ spin/ advertising/public-relations type advice - by trying to hide the facts and truth while smearing-over any bits that the discriminating would find objectionable.

Of course by going pastel colored with policy - they then also fail to please their traditional supporters as well as the opposing viewpoint holders.

We have a General Election in a months time - so co-incidentally  I have just been e-mailed by the Police that they are making progress with their preparations to address under-resourcing and to recruit & train an additional 220 officers for each of the next four years !

Marty K.

Generation 5 Glocks Arriving:

Thanks To 'RECOIL' For The Superb Images.
(What An Excellent Site)
The new Glocks are on the way to Distributors for the end of this month (August) .. showing some 20 differences:

Coloured magazine follower may be more useful than my first cynical Reaction!
New Gen.5 Rifling
My first thoughts are that the new barrel rifling may reduce leading & make it possible to shoot cast lead pills, - the orange magazine 'followers' might be useful as a bright indicator flag to show "empty" - if you haven't noticed.
- and mate "J" is well pleased that there are no finger grooves to mismatch his fingers.
The RECOIL website has a detailed piece on the new generation 5 guns: Link

20 Changes .. But Still  GLOCKS - Guns That Work.
- All the way from the first generation guns in 1982 - they have all performed well. This goes to show that thought and careful quality control will make millions! I don't know of any better modern  'WORKING GUN'. 
I well remember repeatedly slamming into my demonstrator G17 on the concrete floor with a heavy hammer back in the late 80s - and getting no takers to my offer to test any other auto or revolver the same way. 😈😈
Marty K.

After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Thursday 24 August 2017

Is Knock-Down Power Just as Elusive as "Stopping Power"?:

Hands-up all who saw that real-news video of all those good folks experiencing a spectacular & religious 'Eclipse Event'.. right across the USA - How did President Trump organize this Great American Achievement and thus guarantee his second term serving the people?

I guess that the concept of  'Knockdown Power' is related to 'Stopping Power' - in that, like a god - while it can't be proven to exist - there still are many folk who choose to believe that it does.

(The modern definition of concept is: an idea or invention to help sell or publicize a commodity.)

While totally accepting that cartridges vary from low-power to very High-Power .. "Knock-Down Power" claims have to be total bullshit.. what causes a target animal to drop under gravity is an adequately destructive round accurately placed in a critical organ.(Sometimes even an inadequate round does the job).

This is one of those arguments that are best avoided with large angry people who have bought into that concept - as while there is no question that the larger heavier target animals are probably best shot with a larger heavier & more powerful round .. many of the very biggest African elephants, for example, were efficiently killed by professional big game hunters using lesser calibers .. probably the most 'clinical' performer was Karamojo Bell who recorded 1,011 elephants slaughtered with his rifle in 7x57 mm caliber (.275" Rigby) with 173 grain military ammo. - firing one shot only on half of them.

But even such a proven record is strictly speaking irrelevant - as none of those pachyderms was actually knocked down by a bullet .. they fell down when they lost consciousness or lost muscular control. There is no way that a hand-held shouldered rifle can deliver sufficient energy on a six ton target to physically push it over without it causing similarly disastrous injury to the shooter.

Newton's third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Old time ballisticians used to measure delivered energy (momentum) by firing shots at a heavy steel pendulum and recording how much it swung ..
- But this comparative measure is sadly, once again almost irrelevant regarding any degree of "knock-down" because the bullet will not deliver all of it's momentum energy to a soft target in line of fire anyway (- particularly if it exits and continues down range). Those bullets that do transfer all of their high energy into the target and remain inside the body - deliver that "explosive" force in all directions .. not just as a linear 'push' force.

The idea of "Knock-Down Power" is formed from reported observation .. some of which may grow into legendary status over the years. People do mostly recall impressive successes - while dismissing non events and failure.

Precise shot placement is the single most critical factor in both hunting, self-defense and all target shooting .. however if taking hurried & poorly aimed shots - one might be hoping that a hotter round will save the day by inflicting a disabling wound ... thus perhaps the acerbic comment made of high capacity pistols "You must be expecting to miss a lot."

Marty K.

While I may think that I know what I might do - it is not necessarily correct. - I have totally (& abysmally) failed at South Canterbury feral Wallaby hunting while using a high capacity rifle .. but I have taken most everything attempted in outback Australia hunting trips (roos, feral pig & cat) - when using a borrowed single shot 30-30 Contender carbine !

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Mouse Guns Tested in Gelatin:

Greg Ellifritz recently posted about ballistic-gel testing "carry & back-up" mouse guns. Link:

I won't copy his findings but suggest that you follow the link and read the original report.
Mouse Gun Ballistic Testing At Recent Rangemaster Tactical Conference (USA)

However - Greg's closing comment is noteworthy:

"Maybe we shouldn’t be arguing so much about caliber and bullet performance when there really isn’t much difference between carry loads.  If you are carrying a .38 snub or a sub-caliber pistol. pick the load that is most reliable, accurate, and controllable in your particular carry gun.  The bullets probably won’t expand.  Rely on good shot placement instead of magical bullet construction to stop your attacker."

Marty K.

Here is video of a realy old 'commie' mouse-gun making 20 inches penetration in gelatin:

M. K.

Monday 21 August 2017

Left-Handed M1873 Colt?:

A recently found & bought 1987 Gun Digest has a two page story by the late Hal Swiggett "Sam Colt Was Left-Handed" - telling how Bill Grover of Texas Longhorn Arms built his 'right-handed' version of the old Colt Peacemaker or Single Action Army revolvers and set about convincing the shooting world that this gun was originally designed back-to-front by a cack-handed twit.

The story tells how they tried to research and justify their tale .. and their photographic evidence.

My first point would be that even if  Samuel Colt (1814-1862) was a "lefty" like me - he would likely have noticed that detail - and would have ensured that his commercial product was built to suite the majority 90% of his prospects ..

Secondly - The Colt Single Action Army is perhaps better known as the M 1873 - the first year of manufacture - and was designed some years after Samuel Colt entered his coffin (aged 47) (without his $15M  wealth.)

- Yes folks - the sad truth is that the famous Colt Peacemaker was designed and engineered by little known William Mason - with Charles Brinckerhoff Richards ten years after S. Colt died. - Mason, one of the most significant designers of the nineteenth century was Superintendent of the  armory at Colts having some 125 firearms patents in his name.

Perhaps Mason also might be supposed to be left-handed ... but more likely it was that the precise function of loading & unloading this firearm - load one, miss one, load four, cock then lower the hammer onto an empty chamber - was all best performed using the right hand - with the revolver held in the left hand..

Indelicate Note: 'Cack-handed' meaning 'left-handed' originates from those cultures that use their right hands for eating and their left hands for cleaning their rear after defecating .. "cack" meaning dung or excrement.
The End.
Marty K.
P.S. A digital download of this old Gun Digest is available for $9.99 only from below link:

Thursday 17 August 2017

The "All-Round" or 'Beginners' Handgun:

You can't buy a new Ruger 'Standard' .22" rim fire semi-auto for US$37.50 any more (as you might have back in 1962!) - but the latest iteration - the Mark IV - is still an excellent choice for both new and old shooters.
The Ruger Mk. IV will set you back anything between $500 - $700 nowadays in US depending on the model .. I'd guess comfortably double that in NZ dollars here. But it's a gun than you can learn how to shoot with, maybe use for hunting & pest control where permitted, self-defense, and for competitive target shooting & fun plinking.

A good solidly made 'Two-Two' of this type is a piece that might be passed-on down through generations of shooters. You won't wear-out the barrel of this type of shooter.. A great all-round gun with affordable ammunition. - We shoot "Economy IPSC" at our club using 'two-two' autos.

Going up towards the centre-fire pistols .. this is where personal choice and interests start to direct where you are going. If you get serious about "bulls-eye" ISSF target shooting - (International Shooting Sport Federation) there are specialist pistols that come with special grips - and everything else - including special prices.

 but if you are "into" practical pistol or self-defense you'll likely be needing a high capacity auto-pistol ..
- perhaps a standard Law Enforcement arm such as the Glock 17 or a "race gun" for the enthusiast gamer ..

- There's plenty of choice around - and specialists happy to take your money 😊😊 - but I'd like to suggest that the one gun that has a claim as the most versatile - second only to a 'Two-Two Auto" is a full sized revolver - perhaps in stainless steel:
A Ruger GP 100 357 Magnum.

There's not much that you can't do with a versatile centre-fire revolver. My choice is for stainless steel over blued - as scuff-marks & scratches easily polish-out on stainless. Some folks love S&W or Colts .. some, like me, get tumescent over Rugers 😍 - but any decent revolver is a pleasing work-of-art that is both good to admire, - handle, and shoot.

Shot loads, duplex loads, wad-cutters, lead-nosed hollow-points, can all safely work in the "clockwork" action revolver .. with a double-action or single-action choice.

  A revolver in your chosen length barrel 3",4", 5" or 6 inches - and probably in the most versatile caliber of .357 Magnum (or even 38 Special) will let you shoot light fun, target loads - or when the mood is on you .. blast-off big megaton deafening explosions to rattle your teeth - even if they are still in a glass in the bathroom. There is no likely-hood of ammo shortages in .357" - ever - as many millions of these guns have been sold since 1934 - the first magnum.

A close relation to the 357 Revolver is the-new-kid-on-the-block and I reckon that The 327 Federal Magnum is maybe even more versatile than the 357 .. as it will shoot 327 Magnum, 32 H&R Magnum, 32" S&W Long, 32" S&W, and even the .32 ACP. - But the 327 has only been around since 2007 / 2008.
Ruger have made 7 shot GP 100's, 6 Shot Sp 101's,

 EIGHT SHOT Single Actions - and the compact 6 shot LCR..

- All made possible by the 327 Federal Magnum. This cartridge has been around ten years and it's still regarded by many as 'new'.

Marty K.

P.S. Here's a link to video of a guy getting 20 inches penetration from an old Nagant revolver in 7.62 x 38R (a 'thirty-two').

Tuesday 15 August 2017

32 Or 44 Magnum? Frontal Area & Stopping Power - Pt.2:

Some more rambling thoughts on the possible effects of projectile impact areas:

Typical Handgun Calibers, Diameters and Surface Areas:

32 Caliber, 327 Fed. Magnum  (.312")      = 0.076 sq. inch.

9mm, 38 Special & 357 Magnum (.356")  = 0.1 sq. inch.

44 Magnum   (.429")                                = 0.14 sq. inch.

45 ACP          (.45")                                  = 0.16 sq. inch.

.50 S&W Magnum  (.500")                        = 0.20 sq. inch.

Always remembering that the bullet's area is but one factor in 'Stopping Power' - I'm noting that the two pills from a duplex loaded "Thirty-Two"  (such as a 327 Fed. Magnum) will more than equal the impact area of a 44 Magnum projectile.

- On the other hand .. the massive .50 S&W Magnum (that needs a very large revolver) standard loading -
                               (I thought X-Frames Are Five Chamber Revolvers)

 - has twice the impact area of a 9 mm or 38 Special. (unless the .38" is a 'duplex').

... while you should reckon that the small 9 mm can produce very similar power / energy levels to the larger cased 38 Special - due to it's higher pressure loading.

Ballistically Similar.

So, maybe, - if two projectiles of a duplex loaded 'thirty-two' round both achieved the FBI suggested minimum 12 inch penetration in 10% Ballistic Gelatin - a trouble-maker like me might think that this compact 'thirty-two' was possibly being as effective at "Stopping Power" as a standard 44 Magnum round - except without the bulky weight, muzzle blast, roar, and felt recoil of the big magnum.

Am I being mischieveous or controversial here?  😈

- No way am I saying that the 'thirty-two' is as *POWERFUL* as the .44" Magnum. It certainly won't knock down a heavy 100 yard steel RAM silhouette target like the magnum..

- But will it do the job on a 'CQC' soft target ?

Again - please pause to consider, that rounds from an 'evil' 7.62 x 39 AK round (or a British .303" SMLE) are exactly the same diameter (.312") and frontal area - as that from the wee "thirty-two" pistol rounds - and there would be no question regarding their 'Stopping Power' - the differences here are Mass and Velocity - relating to kinetic energy and retained velocity.
Marty K.

Saturday 12 August 2017

Frontal Area of Duplex or Multi-Bullet Handgun Loads:

I'm extending my library of old shooting books .. mostly Gun Digests with a scattering of other "digest" type collections. Old friend 'J' is helping by searching online auction sites regularly and bidding on any books that either of us is missing .. whoever eventually nails-down my lid will have a fair tonnage of musty smelling books to move-on from my living room.

- Naturally I read all these ancient writings before they stack onto the book shelves and gain a few ideas (before then forgetting them):

STOPPING POWER: It seems that this question has exercised minds 'for ever'. One early standard was the figure of fifty-eight foot-pounds, which was reckoned by early military ballisticians to be capable of delivering a disabling wound from a .49 inch standard shrapnel ball weighing some 167 grains delivered at 400 feet per second.

Multiple "Experts" have over the years applied themselves to pseudo-scientific formulas that might be applied as a means to confirm their own beliefs .. by combining weight, velocity, and bullet frontal area, sometimes mixed complete with various fallacious 'factors' to give a formula.

We all generally feel that bigger, heavier, & faster contribute to increased chances of an effective hit .. but the exact relationships are in question - Are they linear, exponential, logarithmic, square or - are they even proportional at all - as 'street records' seem to suggest that smaller calibers are recorded as often performing well beyond expectation - and their bigger relations.

Further - there are so many other unrecorded external factors & variations that affect the result of a shot as to make even the actual recorded outcomes confused and at best only indicative.

The next consideration is the obvious limit on the size and power of any practical and portable firearm. It is not possible to just keep-on physically increasing the mass, the caliber, or the velocity "ad infinitum" - but recently advances in technology are managing to increase the FRONTAL AREA by bullet expansion or "mushrooming" on impact.

- Yes I know - if the pill is bigger to start with you don't need as much expansion ! A .40-caliber bullet is 11 percent larger in diameter than a 9 mm projectile and a .45 caliber bullet is 11 percent larger than a .40-caliber one.

- There is another way to increase the frontal area of impact .. Multiple projectiles.

I have worked-up duplex loads in three different handgun cartridges and they have worked well in my sporting applications. 10 mm Auto, 357 Magnum, and 327 Federal Magnum. These Duplex loads immediately DOUBLE the frontal area of each shot fired - and at practical handgun ranges the individual projectiles separate to a controlled degree.

Links to my earlier stories:

- What reminded me of this topic was a story 'DOUBLE BULLETS' by V R Gaertner that I've just read in the 1978 Gun Digest. This author was making his double bullet loads by cutting bought bullets in half with a hacksaw or a band-saw before stacking the pairs for inserting into the case! He reports good results bisecting jacketed .357 and .44 bullets and experiencing reduced felt recoil.

In his eight page article Gaertner used a simple wooden jig to clamp four jacketed hollow point bullets securely before feeding them sideways through the band saw.. and he thought that he might be effectively increasing the stopping power for defensive application.

I wonder how much of his reduced felt recoil was down to the reduced weight of the duplex load over the original bullet's mass .. as the saw blade's cut would remove the weight of the 'swarf' shavings.

You can buy a Digital PDF version of this Digest for $9.99 from their site linked below:

Here are some representative frontal areas in square inches:

32 Caliber  (.312")                                     = 0.076 sq. inch.

9mm, 38 Special & 357 Magnum (.356") = 0.1 sq. inch.

44 Magnum   (.429")                                = 0.14 sq. inch.

45 ACP          (.45")                                  = 0.16 sq. inch.

.50 S&W Magnum  (.500")                      = 0.20 sq. inch.

Marty K.

After researching & writing 1,036 blogs I've got something NEW to try .. I've signed-up to Patreon. - In over five years I've not made one cent from this .. NOW you can send me a wee support $ - starting from $1. to get all this stuff from New Zealand - over a year that's nearly the price of one Shooting magazine. - Am I worth it?

Saturday 5 August 2017

Nagant Alternative Revolver For 327 Federal Magnum?:

- I've been at it again - finding things to waste money oninvest in..


CLUE: - Well it's a revolver that's been threaded (half inch x 20) for a silencer .. No front sight either.

Here's another photographic clue ..

- So it's roughly the same overall size as my Ruger SP 101 six shot 327 Federal Magnum and the barrel bore is exactly the same size (for bullets measuring .312") diameter. - But it's cylinder does have seven chambers.

Of course you are right .. it is an M1895 NAGANT revolver - somewhat modified .. and I plan to likely further modify it, as it is not in original condition anyway.. "I used to be indecisive - but now I'm not sure".

My idea (- maybe?) is to parallel bore just a touch (say approximately .343"? diameter) each chamber to a depth of say 1.2 inches and then electroplate (Nickel or chrome) the chambers down (or back 'up' - depending on which way you think) - to the correct clearance fit for the thirty-two caliber brass.. IF I go ahead with this chamber caliber conversion I do believe that there needs to be a 'forcing-cone' cut at the start of the barrel bore too.

The original chambering for the 7.62x38mmR is a little sloppy for the wide range of  'lesser' straight walled 'thirty-two' cartridges - but many shooters have fired these rounds in original Nagants without any recorded disasters.

This altered Nagant was made in Tula in 1934 having the date and an arrow within a star mark.

- So that's my plan .. it seems that 'hard chrome' plating can be applied up to .005" thick and that nickel plate may be even easier to have done?

I don't plan to fire any full power 327 magnum ammo through it. You can frequently read warnings to not use powerful ammo in Nagants due to their age - but I don't see any similar and equally valid warnings about older 1911 pistols in .45" ACP.

Ahhh - here's a thing. - Hands up all of you who have read that the 327 Federal Magnum was so named as to sound much like the 357 Magnum ?

Well I read that anyway .. and it's taken me a year or two for a light to flicker in my Anglo-Irish skull - Why didn't they call it the 337 Magnum - as 337 is actually the measurement of the 32" caliber's brass case: I don't see 327 anywhere .. but I guess it's too late now anyway.

"337" would have had a closer matching relationship to the round than 327 does.

Marty K.
Supposedly Joseph Stalin's Own Nagant Revolver.

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Charles Darwin's Guns In Australia:

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - well known for his theory on the 'Origin of Species' spent 90 pounds buying two pistols and a shotgun one month before sailing off into the blue on the ten gun brig 'The Beagle'the voyage began on 27 December 1831 - and it lasted almost five years.
Charles Robert Darwin.

Darwin's pistols were fairly low cost and may have been second hand - but they were anyway not 'London Made' - said to have been made by provincial gun maker Hanson of Doncaster.

This pair of side-hammer box-lock percussion single shot pistols, fitted with belt-hooks, were of 18-bore (.637") having six inch barrels - and were later given to Syms Covington, - Darwins manservant and assistant - at the conclusion of his service.

 Syms Covington settled on the south coast of  New South Wales some time after the end of the Beagle's Historic voyage - where he became the second Postmaster of Pambula, near Eden.
The above image is not correct as I have been unable to find an authenticated photograph - other than a poor quality shot in the "dead-tree" book 'Australian Antique Arms & History' - a collection of writings by John W Swinfield.

Quote from Charles Darwin:

"In the latter part of my school life I became passionately fond of shooting, and I do not believe that anyone could have shown more zeal for the most holy cause than I did for shooting birds. How well I remember killing my first snipe, and my excitement was so great that I had much difficulty in reloading my gun from the trembling of my hands. This taste long continued and I became a very good shot." 

Link to an article claiming that Darwin had an unhealthy obsession with killing animals:

 In August 1863 during a spirited exchange of ideas with Joseph D Hooker, the prominent botanist at Kew Gardens, Darwin wrote:
"About New Zealand, at last I am coming round & admit it must have been connected with some Terra firma; but I will die rather than admit Australia."
The Media Of That Era Were Very Rude to Darwin.

- I wonder which was he defending .. the independent history of  New Zealand - or of it's "Western Island" of Australia eh?

Marty K.