New Ammunition Design: This time I’m excited!!!

Several times I’ve pointed to an historical example of ammunition, and questioned whether we were perhaps missing out on an effective munition type. In the 18th and 19th century of naval warfare, cannons would be loaded with a number of different type of shot. 
Primarily there was the cannonball. Big round heavy ball. Sometimes heated “hot shot” so that it could cause fires. This is essentially the typical bullet.  Then there was “grape” shot. Smaller ballers packed in.  The result did miniscule damage to a ship but was devastating to its crew.  This type of munition was often used prior to boarding an enemy vessel. Essentially, this is the same concept as a modern day shotgun shell.
The last common munition was used to slow down the vessel. Chain shot…picture a chain strung between two balls. The resultant effect was particularly damaging to sails, masts and yardarms. By damaging those areas of a ship, you slowed it down, providing an opportunity to overtake and board her.
Many times I’ve pondered and raised the question, would a modern chain shot design be effective. Especially for unusual handguns like the Taurus judge. Which will donut shotgun pellets.
Advanced Ballistic Concepts
has innovated a new round that is essentially based on the chain shot concept. It has a primary core, and three satellites that are tethered (chained) by fiber.
Why is this advantagous? It has a wider area of impact (14″ for handguns, 24″ for shotgun). While maintain a larger more effective impact than pellets provide. 
I may have to pick up a box and take them to the range. I’d be curious to know what effect the tethering has when only one unit impacts on a target of ballistic gelatin or water (rather than paper).
Article on

Reloading in the News

Yahoo covers the hobby (or is it necessity these days of continued ammunition shortages) of reloaders. Article details the booming trend, classes, and even shortages of reloading materials.

Nice to see guns going mainstream in the news.

Published in: on July 18, 2013 at 11:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Defense Distributed finally nails it…

John McClane’s mythical plastic gun has finally arrived. Defense Distributed has test a 99% plastic firearm. The firing pin being the exception; and for that they utilized a nail from a hardware store.

Please note, before you get up in arms, today’s X-ray machines and scanners will detect a plastic gun. That is because such scanners detect hardness, and plastic is still fairly hard/dense.  While a detector which only detects metal may not succeed in detection of such a firearm.

One does have to love how the media describes the founder of Defense Distribute: “Wilson, a law student at the University of Texas and a radical libertarian and anarchist”.

Mr. Wilson chose to name this first generation Wiki Weapon the “Liberator”, a tip of the hat to a cheap WWII one-shot firearm that was made by the Allies and dropped in enemy territory to aid insurgents.

Right now, the design is limited to low powered cartridges. The attempt utilizing a .380 (often referred to a 9mm short) succeeded. But the higher charge of a 5.7×28 exploded; destroying the firarm. That said, I believe this is not the end, but merely the beginning.

Apparently, Mr. Wilson was distraught by the fact they had a failure to fire due to pin alignment.  I am sure that he and Defense Distributed will seek to improve upon the design.

The success has led some legislators like the our beloved Chuck Schumer and New York’s Steve Israel to exclaim silly statements like “Security checkpoints, background checks, and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser”.

The point Defense Distributed is making is that such devices will in the future be as common astoday’s color printers. In the future, you won’t buy a bowl or plastic fork for your kids from Walmart. You’ll simply print one at home.  And yes, in the future, obtaining a gun will be as easy as printing a large color document is today.The point is, only a legislator would be dumb enough to believe that passing a law will prevent criminals from doing this in the future.The only thing this law will do, is stop law abiding citizens from doing so.

Interesting to note that after much pressure to stop them, and being booted from two workshops, crowd sourcing sites, they have utilized Bitcoin for fundraising.  (Perhaps Sebastian might consider donating his bitcoin harvester’s crop to Defense Distribued.)

Congratulations to Defense Distributed for silencing naysayers who said it just couldn’t be done. Well, one barrel withstood 11 rounds. And I bet with further designs and reinforcements that the barrel could last longer. I think a honeycombed matrix of buttresses similar to those used to build the giant cathredals might enhance the strength of a plastic barrel. Similar to how an egg’s design distributes the pressure.I also must add, that I was thinking one would still need to bend some wire to make springs. But it’s clear from the photo showing the parts build out, that is not the case. Mr. Wilson has engineered his own springs made from polymer. Excellent…

Shame that these peaceful anti-gunners keep expressing themselves by making death threats toward Mr. Wilson. Perhaps that is why they are so anti-gun. Because they know the evil that lurks in their own hearts.


What 5 million guns sold look like?

Rumor has it that in the last 2-3 months that approx 5 million firearms will have been sold. Freedom Armory tends to be one of the more well stocked firearms dealers in the area. And I do not think I’ve seen the shelves ever this bare.

More from NBC


Published in: on January 18, 2013 at 2:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

New Bullet Resistent Material

A clear looking material based on the photo in the article. Is this a potential windshield/helmet faceplate material?

Interesting stuff, not only did it stop the bullet. But sealed it. Potentially, provided a bullet resistance while possibly maintaining chemical/biological resistance as well. There is no failure, no cracking, the material sort of liquifies and re-solidifies. (Kind of like the inverse of a non-newtonian fluid such as corn starch).–abc-news-tech.html

Published in: on November 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

A proposed solution to friendly fire… had an article on a company trying to resolve the age old issue of friendly fire.  Since before firearms, this has been an issue on the battlefield.  In fact it has been the demise of many soldiers, even generals such as Stonewall Jackson, or more recent headlines regarding the death of  Pat Tullman.

This proposed solution utilizes a laser, and a reflective unit.

I am skeptical as to whether such technology would be successful. And quickly wonder what would prevent an enemy from merely collecting fallen soldier’s helmets and stripping the reflector off. But I am glad this is being researched.

I think the only effective solution would have to incorporate some sort of code capable technology. So that the code would be updated periodically to prevent the use of recovered technology by the enemy. 

Still, I wager that nothing is quite capable of overcoming the “fog of war” and all the casualties it brings.

Published in: on August 13, 2012 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

Unsafe Safes

Safes are one of the most commonly purchased accessories for firearms. Be they full size rack safes or small hanging units.

When gun owners purchase a safe, they do so usually for one of two reasons.

1) To protect their firearm from theft.

2) To protect young family members from gaining unsupervised access.

But how would you feel as a gun owner if you found out that your gun safe could easily be opened by a 3 year old or a thief?

Uncomfortable yet?

This article details an investigation into a number of safes which were easily opened by small children. Often with such simple endeavors as just trying to lift one end of the safe and dropping it. Imagine if that was all that kept your toddler from wielding your loaded handgun?

As a father, that thought makes me very very uncomfortable.

Story here with video

The story above features a video which is disturbing in it’s simplicity at times. Sadly, this investigation was inspired in part from the tragic death of a 3 year old son of a law enforcement officer. Who was trusting the Stack-on safe to keep his family safe.

What is more disturbing, when the investigators approached Stack-on for comment, they were very dismissive. This is something I experienced when dealing with a potential design issue for a DeSantis Nemesis holster. In which the retort was “We’ve sold thousands of those holsters and haven’t ha a problem.” But when it comes to guns, one problem is enough to feed our enemy’s cause for years. And maybe you have more than one problem. You’re just not listening because you’re arrogant twits. And are missing all the warning signs for a potential tragedy.

A few things I would recommend when it comes to small safes based on the above article:

1. Do the drop test. The lifting one side up and dropping as demonstrated in the video. This is something you could do with a store display model. If it fails, show the store manager. Manufacturers will change when they start receiving merchandise back.

2. A lot of these techniques are eliminated if the safe is securely mounted. Consider bolting the safe to a structural element.

3. Consider a larger higher end safe when feasible.


I do want to ad that I differentiate between various locksmithing techniques used in the authors videos (such as determining combination of combination locks via slips of plastic) vs inherent failures of security as simple as raising and dropping a safe and moving the solenoid mechanism.

The former requires some level of training and is expected to be beyond the means of a toddler. Where as the latter requires zero training or insight and is easily achieved via basic toddler play activities.

Published in: on July 28, 2012 at 6:41 am  Comments (4)  

Future Arrives Sooner… 3D Printed Firearm

Extreme Tech is covering what it’s calling as the “World’s First 3D Printed Gun”, an AR style pistol firing .22 LR.


Some caveats, the firearm is using a standardized upper and a real barrel.  So it’s really more so the actual use of a home manufactured lower. Which for an AR is in fact the “registered component” of the firearm. The schematics are available for download. This is just even more evidence on the fire that my post just the other day exclaiming magazine capacity bans and the like is ineffective.


For those who look at 3D printing and duplication as a future Utopia. I highly recommend reading “The Lord of Uffts” (Duplicators) by Murray Leinstar, found in the collection of short stories titled A Logic Named Joe, also a fun read for IT folk as it models computers and the internet quite well considering it was written in the 1940’s

BTW, Baen books has A Logic Named Joe as a free download along with many others including 1632. (A fun read if you’ve ever pondered the effect a shotgun would have in warfare in the 1600’s.)

Published in: on July 26, 2012 at 1:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Extended Magazines & Reliability

“A law enforcement source, who spoke Sunday with CNN on condition of anonymity, said the rifle jammed because of a problem with the 100-shot magazine feeding it.”

Yes, it may be tacticool to have a 100 or 200 round drum magazine. But it’s interesting to note that the mechanism (thankfully) failed the assailant.  This from what I have seen is not an uncommon occurrence. Many of these overly extended magazines push the envelope on reliability a bit too far for my consideration.

I am no expert, but if I were to rely on a magazine for my life’s well being, I would probably stick to a 20 or 30 round magazine of high quality. This also may explain the reports of people running past the assailant to escape.

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

The Eyes of Truth

Some say the eyes are the window into the soul.  One fear of many shooters is that they can also be the perfect window for a ricochet or other flying debris to enter through. This is why it is nearly a universal axiom of shooting instructors that ALL shooters should wear some sort of eye protection. In fact, most ranges mandate this as a requirement of shooting on their premises.

Personally, I do not have the budget to afford $100+ eye protection.  Sure, I know there are those who extoll the fact that it’s your eyes and safety. And a $100 isn’t a lot to keep you safe. Perhaps no, but when you need to buy a car and 6 years later you’re still delaying the purchase of that flat panel HDTV, a $100-$200 on an insurance is often more than the average casual shooter is willing to expend.

I myself have mostly relied upon the $5-$15 models available at your big box stores, or upon my prescription glasses. Of which, only polycarbonate is recommended. Glass and ordinary plastic is prone to shattering; glass usually in a horrific manner.

If you want the low down of how various eye protection responds to a variety of impacts, check out the recent post over at LuckyGunner.


LuckyGunner blog test numerous eye protection units of varying quality, price, and construction in a “Box of Truth” style experiment.  The results are interesting to say the least.

The results may cause you to change your eye protection or eye protection habits. I know I tend to just rely upon my prescription glasses. I may need to consider alternatives, and whether I really should be doubling-up with a yellow over-lay goggle.

In fact, I’d love for Luckygunner to test a pair of cheap prescription glasses (available from with the addition of cheap basic yellow overlay glasses. I am curious to know how the doubling impacts the wearer’s safety.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,