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 CNN.com
 

BOOK REVIEW: Glen Tate’s 299 Days “The Preperation”

Full Disclosure: The NUGUN Blog received a free reviewer’s copy of 299 Days “The Preperation” for review. That said, we strive to provide our readers honest reviews. 

Please note, that this is the first in a series. (I will address this later in the review.)

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299 Days

299 Days follows the life and thoughts of one Grant Matson, a lawyer and a libertarian. We’re given some personal background of his childhood, how it shaped and made Grant the man he becomes.  We are introduced to his family, a cadre of friends, and several life experiences from political activism to politics back to political activism.

The true crux of this story revolves around two elements: First, Grant, is one of those who realizes something is wrong with the direction in which America is headed. Second, he decides to start preparing. We follow Grant along as he discovers others who think like him, and we get to observe his interactions with both the like minded, and those who are not like minded (such as his wife).

299 Days, provides a very good insightful introduction to the world of prepping, and the first book at least, might be thought of as a story, written around a “how to get started” guide”.  It provides a good list of considerations to think about from food, how to accumulate food, to firearms, to privacy….but perhaps most of all, the greatest prep you can have “connections”. 

Grant goes through the first book, and while he may be prepping, the truly greatest asset that he is acquiring is relationships. And we see how those relationships become mutually beneficial. I think this is a key aspect of “prepping” that is sorely neglected.  I’ve met the lone wolf “I’m going to hunt deer” (what about when all the deer are gone)….”well I’ll hunt cattle” (and you don’t think those farmers will have several hands with guns to protect those cattle in exchange for a share of beef?). To me, such survivalism is pointless. Humans are a communal species, and it is what enables our success. Similar to the ant. One could argue which has most successfully conquered the world, humans or the ant – but either way, the winner was a community building species.

“How to get started and inspired to prep – both the how any why”, would be a good summary of 299 Days. With that in mind, I am reminded of a novel I read when I was younger, “Pulling Through”, it was a novel about surviving a nuclear holocaust. But interestingly enough, only 2/3 of the book was story, the rest was a manual on how to build an air filtration system using toilet paper or a homemade geiger counter.  And while 299 Days isn’t quite to that level (there is no manual/survival guide at the back of the book, but it might be a great idea for a companion book);  it has that similar feel, that you’re supposed to learn from it.

That said, in all honesty to my readers, I do have a few criticisms. Namely two… First, there are times that the writing is a bit simple, and I mean that as in you can tell the author is a newer writer.  This is no literary masterpiece and it won’t be walking away with any Hugo’s or laureate awards. I think Glen Tate knows and understands this, and I can accept that, especially in a genre that does not have much authorship catering to it. And this is how authors grow.

It is a big venture to write a novel, I know…I’ve made a few attempts here and there. And Glen Tate is giving some very useful information. And it’s worth a read. Just don’t expect a Heinlein or even an Eric Flint (1632). 

My second criticism is toward the author falling prey to a few stereotypes. There are times that the story comes off a bit too preachy against liberals, and non-preppers. And while, I may agree with much of that which is stated about typical thinking. It can lead to a loss of potential audience.

S.M Stirling’s  made a similar mistake in his novel “Island in the Sea of Time” in which the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is sent back in time with Nantucket. There he had all the Christians gather and try to burn everything down, because well they were now before Christ and therefore there was no salvation. My response to Stirling was “Huh, what? That’s not how us christians would think!” Seriously, I think most Christians would of been – hey, maybe this is how God planned to evangelized those who came before.

Why this matters? I desire to share the information that 299 Days is teaching. I want a book that I can use as an evangelization tool to my friends. And I do not think any of my very liberal/leftist friends could muster through a few parts of 299 Days due to some of the political elements. 

I have a lot of left/liberal libertarian friends who are into prepping. And who are into gardening. And who can run rings around me on what uses various herbals and weeds have.  I think the character Grant needs to meet just such a person, because our leftist hippie prepper friends are also important to our “prepping community”. That’s not to say I can’t share 299 Days with many friends, just that I think Glen missed an opportunity to reach an even greater audience.

The last criticism is not mine, nor is it one I hold, but one I’ve seen elsewhere and want to address it. 299 Days is a series. In fact it is more of a “serial” of novellas. When I first heard 299 Days mentioned/advertised on Jack Spirko’s The Survival Podcast, this was made abundantly clear. My understanding is that the series is complete, but will be released sequentially. They are not very large novels, and perhaps a 4-5 volume approach might have worked better. But as I understood this, I was not bothered by it.  Perhaps it would have been good to boldly label Book 1 of 10. Heck, sure would of been nice if Robert Jordan (RIP) had done that for his Wheel of Time series. I feel that as long as you are aware of this fact than it is a non-issue. You are all now aware. 😉

To Glen Tate, thank you for providing something for the prepper community. I think this is a good offering, can’t quite say great. And that’s just being honest.  But I do think these sort of books are needed.  Enjoyable. I look forward to seeing you grow as an author over the years.

***

Presently, 6 of the novels have been published and all are available via Amazon in both print and kindle versions.

If you’ve read 299 Days, and all the published to date sequels. And want more to read. Let me also recommend both Dean Ing’s Pulling Through and Eric Flints 1632.

Packing Pretty Concealed Catwalk

1st Annual Womens’ Victory’s Secret Concealed Carry Holster Fashion Show

http://packingpretty.com/2012/06/18/packing-pretty-hosting-a-cc-fashion-show/

***

A fashion show focused on concealed carry for women…

This has the potential to be really cool, really lame. That said, I am a big advocate that most manufacturers have fallen flat on their face when dealing with women’s concealed carry needs. Most have only dealt with it on a secondary level, and usually by incorporating minor modifications to existing products.

My hope is that an event like this will manage to spur manufacturers to address the fastest growing demographic of gun owners.

Not sure if I will be able to make it to this event. But it’d give me a reason to bring along my 70-200mm f/2.8

#nraam Thank You

Dear St. Louis,

Thank you for hosting us and providing us a place to enjoy ourselves.

To all my readers, you’re why I blog, thank you for all the likes, shares and followings. I hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage.

This concludes our coverage of the 2012 NRA Annual Meeting.

Sincerely,
The N.U.G.U.N. Blog

#nraam EOTech’s ACR

If I could have picked one firearm with the premise I couldn’t resell it. There was one unit that stood out to me. I even inquired “Do you accept children as trade?”

The rifle was an ACR at EOTech’s booth.

It was exactly the configuration I want to get. An EOTech holographic site with a magnifier that can be swung out of the way. Equipped with pop-up iron sights that are spring loaded. Even cooler was the fact that the iron sights could be used in conjunction with EOTech’s holographic sight. I found the effect of the hologram overlaid upon the front site post made my eye focus well.

Then there was the ACR. At first I thought I had picked up an AR but quickly realized it was not an AR. Then I thought it was a SCAR but realized it wasn’t a SCAR, it was something else. That’s when it was revealed to be the ACR.

What can I say, I think I’m in love. The stock is adjustable and folding. Ergonomics felt good. But one thing I really loved – the charging handle.

The ACR’s charging handle is placed toward the front left of the rifle. It can be operated by the left hand while the right hand remains on the trigger well.

This is something I’ve commented on in past conversation regarding the AR/M16/M4 platform. I feel that our soldier’s next rifle should be designed to not require the soldier to relocate their primary firing hand. (Also think it should allow magazine stacking and ejection so a soldier can continuously feed his or her rifle.)

The ACR is the closest I’ve seen to such improvements. Is it worth the extra $$$ over an AR. Probably not. But if cash wasn’t an option it’d be my rifle of choice. And if the difference was a $1,000 for an AR versus $2,000 for an ACR – I’d pay the extra for the ACR.

VIDEO

Published in: on April 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

MOVIE REVIEW: Act of Valor

Last night I went out with a friend and we watched “Act of Valor”.  So I thought I’d share a brief review. As for firearms, you get plenty…lots of explosions, etc, etc.  The sound of Gatling guns….one day I’ve got to shoot one of those.

What is interesting in this film is that it utilizes real “active duty” U.S. Navy Seals and other personnel.  (UPDATE: Per this article they also utilized scenes involving live fire instead of blanks.)  As such, we see aspects in this film that you seldom see in other films. One of my favorite scenes is when a sniper has an enemy standing on a dock sighted in. But the sniper doesn’t take the shot and you’re left wondering why –  until a minute or so later another SEAL slowly pops-up next to the dock. The sniper than takes the shot, while the other SEAL catches the fallen body to soften (and quiet) it’s impact into the water.

There were a number of interesting tactics used in this film. Including how to smuggle someone out of a room quickly and without much notice.

Where the movie lacked was on some dialog moments. You could tell the dialog at times came across choppy and less consistent than in a typical Hollywood film. But mind you, many involved are professional soldiers NOT professional actors. We do not get to see the names of these serviceman, understandable.

Act of Valor, is very reverent to servicemen. And the credits which honor our fallen soldiers and their families pretty much left me in tears.  (And left me royally pissed off that our politicians are such cowards that they will send young Americans to war, but are terror filled and afraid to declare it such. How does America tolerate such cowardly leaders – I do not know.)

The ending also included an inspiring poem, attributed to Tecumseh (and a few other Indian chiefs):

Live your life

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

NRAAM 2011 – Revisited / Chiappa Rhino

There are several posts I had intended to make upon my return from this year’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh that I just never got around to making.  

Chiappa Firearms – Maker of the Rhino

I finally had an opportunity to handle this firearm on the exhibit floor. It is definitely an interesting design both aesthetically and mechanically.

The exterior hammer is in fact NOT a hammer. Rather it is an activator for the hammer that allows you to cock the hammer manually. It can be disconnected and essentially turn the firearm into a double-action only mechanism. There is a small red button that functions as a cocked indicator. As can be seen in the video.

Now my first impression of the Chiappa Rhino was – “Wow, they’ve created the first triple-action firearm.”

The trigger pull on the units I tried felt like 30 lbs. It was pretty overwhelming. And not something I’d feel comfortable recommending to anyone without super strong fingers.  I saw a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere regarding this “triple-action” pull. Had I been left with that as my experience I would have been very disappointed.

Later I encountered another booth with Chiappa Rhino’s on display. When I handled these units the trigger was very comfortable and easy to use.  Literally worlds apart. One was nearly unusuable and the other comparable to the average revolver. When I asked the Chiappa reprepresentative she informed me that these were the 2nd revisions and had a number of improvements. And that the ones I had seen earlier at a dealer’s booth were an early release.

So if you’ve heard that the Rhino requires Rhinoceras strength to pull the trigger. This doesn’t seem to be the case for the newer production models

http://chiappafirearms.com/products/75

By far, this gentlemen (on left)  at Alexander arms was the most entertaining individual of the whole event. I swear this is Montgomery Scott’s great-great-great grandfather. First off, the Scottish accent was in full effect. Second, he was a technical/engineering geek. I spent about 15 minutes just listening to him explain to others a variety of technical jargon. Seriously, at the end I was half expecting him to beam up. So wish I had taken a video, in hindsight.

http://www.alexanderarms.com/

Let’s not forget that a lot of them bitter folks clinging to their guns love cars too!

Once again, a special thanks to the Gun Up guys for letting me crash on their couch.

http://www.gunup.com/

Lastly, be aware that the NRA gives away free wine if you know where to find it. The NRA wine club had some free samples going and they were fairly generous with the portions.

NRAAM Exhibits: Part I

There were numerous booths, exhibits, and tables. The exhibit hall was in fact split into two rooms, a large one and a larger one. Below you can see a panoramic of the upper (larger) exhibit hall.

Pre-event: I managed to enter the exhibit hall on Thursday and snap some photos of a number of booths in various stages of set-up.

Later Ruger’s booth would look something like this (360 Panoramic)


Shouldn’t there be a “Gun Dude” around here somewhere?

But if for whatever reason, you need a really unusually sized safe, Superior Safe seems to be in the custom size business.

A lot more posts and coverage coming. It’s just a LOT of work to upload, label, sort all these photos and thoughts.

Just to give you a teaser/preview of what the NRA Exhibit Halls held, take a gander at these two videos.

What can I say….can’t turn down an opportunity for free ammo

The Survival Podcast (TSP) is a great show and I’m glad to see bulkammo.com supporting them. And giving away 500 rounds of ammo to one lucky winner.

I think I’d go for the .45ACP, I already have a fair amount of .223, but I’m pretty short on .45 ammunition.

Thank you…

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 3:14 am  Leave a Comment  

My Liberty Rifle: Work in Progress

Last fall I attended a local Appleseed event. One of the things the Appleseed Project emphasizes is what they call the “Liberty Rifle”.

A liberty rifle is essentially an adapted 22 caliber long rifle focused on training with the use of iron sights.

I had been planning to buy a Ruger 10/22 for this event. But I wanted a particular model. I had eyed it at Walmart for several months. And wound up convincing my father-in-law to pick one up. About 3 weeks later I came up with the money to purchase one of my own. But apparently Walmart had changed distributors and no longer carried the model. I finally found the distrubor and a dealer who could get it.

Why did I want this specif model? Because it had a longer 22″ barrel.

My intention was to purchase a set of Tech-Sights for the 10/22.  These sights provide an aperture sight similar to many military sights. The rear Tech-Sight does not mount in the rear dovetail slot, rather it is screwed into the scope mount which is further back on the rifle. This provides an elongated sight radius for greater accuracy.

However, by the time the rifle arrived it was too late for me to order the Tech-Sights.  I bought some cheap TruGlo fiber optic sites which I found to be sub-par. They didn’t provide much adjustment options. (Now did they provide all the replacement and alternate tubes that I am used to with the Hi-Viz brand fiber-optics.

For my birthday back in March, my wife ordered me a pair of the TS200 Tech-Sights for my Ruger 10/22. I haven’t had the opportunity to try them out at the range. But I expect them to perform well; having used them on another rifle during the Appleseed event I attended.  What I am really excited about is that I replaced the front post with a Hi-Viz AR post. This now gives me the advantage of both the aperture and fiber-optic sights.

Rear Aperture Sight

Front Sight with HiViz Fiber-optic AR post
(Don’t you just love that glow!)