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Anything firearms related / Quebec Firearms Registry
« Last post by allmanav on September 16, 2017, 06:42:03 am »
EDMONTON – While awaiting the court’s decision on whether the Quebec’s government legislation purporting a provincial firearms registry is constitutionally valid, the province has gone ahead and released their draft regulations for if the courts rule in their favour.

The Quebec Firearms Registration Act passed in 2016 but it is currently held up in court as Canada’s National Firearms Association is challenging it on constitutional grounds.

“These draft regulations are very concerning,” says Sheldon Clare, president of the NFA.  “These are even more onerous then the ones that were within the wasteful and ineffective federal long-gun registry that it aims to replace.  If our court challenge is successful all of this should go away, but if it isn’t make no mistake: the Quebec government is coming after hunters, farmers, and sport-shooters.”

In addition to the requirements that were part of the failed federal long-gun registry, Quebec gun owners will be required to provide additional information, such as the usual storage location of firearms.

“The only justification for that requirement is to facilitate an eventual seizure of firearms by law enforcement officers.  This is more evidence that the Quebec government views all gun owners as ‘would-be criminals,’” adds Clare.

Another concerning aspect of the regulations is that individuals and businesses who wish to transfer non-restrictive firearms will now be required to verify that the proposed transferee remains eligible to hold their firearms licence – meaning they will not be able to rely on their firearms acquisition licenses but have to contact the Canada Firearms Program or the Chief Firearms Officer to make such a transaction.

“The Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) is in no way capable of handling such a task, they are not set up to do that – this will not work.  Businesses will suffer because of this, not to mention private sales and gun shows that operate outside of business hours when the CFP is open.  It will become even more complicated and time consuming, if not impossible, to buy or sell firearms under these regulations.”

Though Quebec Public Safety Minister previously assured firearm owners that there would be no engraving required, the Quebec government is now insisting that an additional ‘unique firearms number’ be marked upon every firearm.

The only way to do that is through stamping, engraving or laser etching.

“Not only is the Quebec government targeting firearms owners, they are also breaking their word to us.  Not only will this be costly for gun owners, but it will also be a logistical nightmare with over 1.2 million firearms existing currently that will have to be marked over a very short period of time,” added Clare.  “Needless to say, gunsmiths are not currently equipped to perform such a large number of marking operations over a short time.”

All of this may be for naught if the NFA is successful in their court challenge against the Quebec government.  The parties were in court in the beginning of this month and the ruling is expected within two months time.

Canada’s National Firearms Association is this country’s largest and most effective advocacy organization representing the interests of firearms owners and users.
Anything firearms related / The price of shooting
« Last post by allmanav on September 15, 2017, 10:57:42 am »
NIH Study: Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, David M. Nondahl and colleagues conducted a 1999 study on recreational firearm use and hearing loss. As one of the most focused research projects on this topic, 3,753 participants in Beaver Dam, WI, aged 48 to 92 years, responded to interviews and participated in hearing exams to assess the relation between recreational firearm use and hearing loss in a population of older adults.
dB levels of common sounds
Sound is measured in frequencies and decibels. Frequency indicates the pitch of a sound; decibels (dB) measure the loudness. Ten dB is barely audible; normal conversation occurs between 40 to 60 dB; a jet engine roars at 130 dB from 100 feet away. Sounds that are 120 dB or more can damage hearing and cause pain.

After adjusting for age and other factors, high frequency (4, 6 and 8 kHz) hearing thresholds tended to worsen as years of shooting exposure increased. This was true for both target shooters and hunters. The risk of having a marked high-frequency hearing loss increased 7 percent for every five years the men had hunted. Thirty-eight percent of the target shooters and 95 percent of the hunters reported never wearing hearing protection while shooting in the past year.

Dr. Thelen Interview: The website published a 2006 interview with Dr. Michael Thelen (Doctor of Audiology) titled: Gunshots—Hearing’s not-so-silent enemy.

[Extract] “To understand hearing loss, we first must understand the dynamics of hearing. Noises result in airborne sound waves that create pressure as they enter the ear,” Thelen explained. “The eardrum and ossicles (tiny bones called the hammer, anvil and stirrup) turn this pressure into mechanical energy, which in turn creates hydraulic energy in the fluid of the cochlea, a snail-shaped organ in the inner ear. Rows of hair cells are then stimulated and the vibrating hairs create sensorineural signals that transfer sounds to the brain via the auditory nerve. Continued exposure to loud noises damages the rows of microscopic hair cells. Once we lose hair cells, hearing is lost.

“As we gradually lose our hearing, we don’t notice it because we still hear the sound of a human voice, for example. Vowels are generally spoken as low-frequency sounds (for example, the ‘aw’ sound in thaw) and can be spoken louder, but the consonant sounds (like the ‘th’ in thaw) are high frequency sounds that can’t be spoken louder. Thus a person with a high frequency hearing loss can’t tell the difference between thaw, raw and law. This is why many people who begin to lose their hearing believe other people are simply mumbling,” Thelen said.

“Preventing hearing loss is easy and convenient for target shooters. Those who shoot trap, for example, wear earmuffs or earplugs while shooting. But hunting calls for specialized devices that allow normal sounds to be heard while clipping or otherwise dampening the high-decibel sounds of gunfire. The Walker’s Game Ear muffs, for example, can be adjusted electronically to allow normal sounds to enter and can even be set to amplify the sounds of approaching game. When a loud noise such as a gunshot enters the speakers outside the muffs, it is temporarily silenced with the electronic clip.”

“In-the-ear plugs that mold to the outer contours of the ear generally do not seal as well as rollup-style plugs that fit tightly in the ear canal, or as well as muff-style protection. Ear plugs with a mechanical valve or filter that are supposed to allow normal sounds to pass while filtering loud noises generally are ineffective.”
Finnish suppressor study
These are the results measured by Dr. Rauno Pääkkönen during the Finnish Suppressor Project with an FN FAL .308 rifle both as unsuppressed (red line) and equipped with a T8L1 Scout Reflex suppressor (black line).

Finnish Study: A 1992 study in Finland tested the use of firearm suppressors to assess the adverse effects of shooting ranges on nearby settled areas and to investigate possible solutions for hearing injuries among army officers, sport shooters and hunters. The chart above depicts the reduction of noise from a .308 cal. rifle with and without the use of a suppressor. The complete study can be found at
Anything firearms related / Cleaning your revolver.
« Last post by allmanav on August 26, 2017, 08:06:53 am »
When it comes to cleaning firearms, gun owners tend to fall into one of two categories: the “I’ve never cleaned it and never intend to” group and those who clean whether the gun needs it or not. How often firearms should be cleaned depends on frequency of use and what they’re used for, but that’s a discussion for another time. The purpose here is to go over a few of the common revolver designs on the market and how to field strip them for maintenance.

Disassembling your revolver to this extent is not necessary on a regular basis but is meant for repairs, parts upgrades and annual in-depth cleaning. Armed with this knowledge—pun intended—you’ll be able to clean and maintain your revolvers.


    Manual and/or revolver assembly and maintenance guide (just in case)
    Gun mat or towel
    Non-marring hammer (check out Brownells 1-inch Nylon/Brass Hammer)
    Magnetic-tipped gunsmith screwdriver set (try Brownells Magna-Tip Screwdriver Set)
    Allen key/hex wrench set, if applicable (try this Bondhus Gorilla Wrench Set)
    Rebound slide tool (S&W Rebound Slide Spring Tool)
    Tweezers (try the Tweezer/Magnifier pack from Brownells)
    Pin punch (try the Starrett Pin Punch Set)
    Safety glasses (check out SSP Eyewear)

    Gun CLP or lubricant
    Kit with cleaning rod, jags or loops, patches and brushes
    Rag or paper towels
    Q-Tips (handy for small areas)

I'll illustrate the disassembly and cleaning procedures with a Smith & Wesson Model 686, which is built on the company's L-frame.

Step One:

As always, make sure your revolver is unloaded. Follow the four golden rules of gun safety when checking: keeping your finger off the trigger, aim the gun in a safe direction and open the cylinder. Empty the cylinder, if need be. Also take the time to ensure the barrel isn’t obstructed in any way.

Step Two:

Remove grip panels or sleeve. This step is one reason why it’s important to use gunsmith-specific screwdrivers. When the screwdriver bits do not precisely fit the screw, they can easily slip and damage the gun. On the other end of the spectrum, if they’re too large, the overhang could scrape at the edges, causing damage. Oversize bits also will not fit if the screw is recessed.

If a grip panels sticks after screws are completely loosened, use the tip of your finger or a soft, non-marring tool to gently nudge the panel loose. Prying at the edges of the panel with metal implements might scratch or gouge the panel itself or the frame beneath.

Step Three:

Remove side plate screws. Depending on its age and model, your revolver may have three, four or five screws, the fifth of which is located at the front of the trigger guard. Between 1905 and 1955, many revolvers were manufactured with five screws. The uppermost side plate screw—the “bug screw"—was discontinued around 1956 and after approximately 1961, the screw in front of the trigger guard was also eliminated. Today, most Smith & Wesson revolvers are made with three screws, although there are some being produced with the “classic” five-screw design.

As you remove the screws, lay them on your mat in specific order to ensure they are replaced in the correct location. Some screws are different sizes and only fit in certain holes but with time even screws that are supposedly the same size might fit more precisely in the space they’ve occupied for so long. Hold the gun securely while working with the screwdriver to avoid slipping and scratching the revolver’s side plate.

When the side plate screws are removed, it’s time to remove the side plate itself. Holding the grip in one hand, use your non-marring hammer to tap the trigger guard and grip frame until the side plate loosens (use the nylon end of the hammer). Once it is loose, lift the side plate free and set it aside.

In the process of removing the screws and side plate, it is possible to remove the cylinder. Open the cylinder and slide it forward to remove it. Certain newer revolvers—typically DA models such as the pictured Smith & Wesson 686—have a hammer block. The hammer block is used as an internal safety mechanism and can fall out once the side plate is removed. Lift the hammer block free from the gun and set it aside with the other parts. Do not disassemble the cylinder. There is rarely a need to do so. You may clean the cylinder and related parts without separating them from one another.

Step Four:

Remove strain screw from grip. After removing this screw, which is found at the bottom of the grip, the main spring will also come free. Set strain screw and main spring aside. In some models and variants, the main spring assembly will include an actual spring and require different removal methods. For those cases, please refer to Ruger Super Redhawk summary below.

Step Five:

Remove the hand. This can be accomplished by levering the upper end out of the frame and working the lower end up and out of the trigger. In some models, the hand is removed as a part of the trigger assembly rather than separately. In such cases, the hand should stay within the trigger assembly, in part because its pins are holding a spring in place within the assembly. Pulling the hand free could result in the spring coming free and launching itself across the room.

Step Six:

Remove the hammer. Do this by using your support hand to pull the cylinder release back. Continue holding the cylinder release back and pull the trigger. This allows you to lift the hammer free from the revolver’s frame, a process that may require carefully wiggling the hammer up over the hammer stud holding it in place. On models like the pictured Smith & Wesson 686, the main spring stirrup will be hooked onto the hammer but not attached. In those cases, be sure you pay attention to the direction in which the mainspring stirrup is mounted to the hammer, since it can easily fall off during removal. Having done so, slowly release the trigger.

Step Seven:

Remove rebound slide and internal spring. The rebound slide is a small rectangular bar containing a spring located behind the trigger and below and behind the hand. This part must be removed with caution, not only because of its internal spring but because it works in tandem with the trigger lever. Do not force the rebound slide straight up or you might damage the lever. Work slowly.

If you picture the hand and rebound slide as a backwards upper-case “L,” the rebound slide would be the base. Cover the open end of the rebound slide with the finger of one hand to contain the spring within during removal and use the flat of a standard screwdriver to carefully lift and remove it. When setting it aside, leave the spring inside for safekeeping.

Be cautious when removing or replacing springs. I once had a moment of mad ninja skills and snatched a spring from midair as it attempted to escape but since those instances are rarer than we all wish, take the time to ensure your springs stay where you want them.

Step Eight:

Remove the trigger. Be aware there is a small spring in this area that is quite difficult to replace if it is removed or flies free. Be attentive and deliberate as you work.

Step Nine:

If your revolver is a 4 or 5-screw model your next step will be to remove the fourth screw which is located on the face of the trigger guard. The cylinder stop and spring are part of this step, so proceed with caution. The spring is small and under significant pressure.

If applicable, remove the fourth screw. Then, using either the edge of a screwdriver or a punch, slowly push the edge of the cylinder stop down through the opening in the frame so it can be removed. It is helpful to use tweezers to assist in the removal of the cylinder stop, but do not use pliers because it is too easy to accidentally squeeze and damage the small part. Keep the finger of one hand over the spring to stop it from coming loose and flying off, never to be seen again. Set aside cylinder stop and spring.

Reassembly Tips:

Cylinder stop: Use a prick punch or other slender tool to press the spring into the frame to allow you to install the cylinder stop.

Rebound slide: The task of replacing the rebound slide and spring becomes much less daunting with a rebound slide tool, which is slotted to allow for compression of the spring around the rebound slide stud. A standard screwdriver can also be used.

Side plate: To replace the side plate, simply press it into place with your hands. It won’t be completely flush with the frame yet but when you put the screws in, it should finish the process.

Cell phone: Remember, taking pictures as you go is an excellent way to ensure you do not forget where something goes or what direction it should be facing. (It also lets you know what happened if you finish the job with mysteriously left-over parts.)

Summary of field-stripping the Ruger Super Redhawk, a large-frame magnum revolver:

1) The main spring assembly is removed by cocking the hammer and placing an appropriately-sized disassembly pin or nail into the hole at the base of the hammer strut. Controlling hammer with thumb, slowly pull trigger and remove main spring assembly. Do not remove the pin or nail from the strut.

2) Pull trigger and hold in rearward position to remove hammer pivot from base of hammer and then lift hammer from frame before carefully releasing trigger.

3) Use the rounded end of the strut from the main spring assembly to press the trigger guard lock plunger. Plunger is located within the gun’s frame at the top of the grip, behind the trigger guard. Once plunger is depressed fully, lever trigger guard assembly from frame. (If the strut is too difficult to maneuver you can use a screwdriver, punch, or other object to depress the plunger.)

5) Press cylinder release to swing cylinder assembly open and remove entirely from frame.

If you count every revolver model and variant on the market, your numbers will reach not into the dozens but into the hundreds. If you have one of the countless Smith & Wesson L, J, K, or N-frame revolvers, this guide will be a complete resource for you. If you have another model entirely, no worries. Think of this guide as a starting point, and go from here. Manuals and properly executed revolver books are your friend. Go forth and field strip, and learn to maintain and fire your revolvers from the inside out.
Anything firearms related / Firearms/lead poisoning
« Last post by allmanav on May 11, 2017, 07:39:22 am »
Firearms safety is key for people who use weapons at work or for recreational shooting. But one risk has been little acknowledged: Lead dust exposure.

In a standard bullet, a solid lead core wrapped in a copper jacket sits atop a stack of gunpowder and lead primer. When the gun fires, the primer ignites, the gunpowder lights, and some of the lead on the bullet boils. When the casing snaps out of the ejection port, lead particles trail behind it. As the bullet hurtles down the barrel of the gun, a shower of lead particles follows.

If a gun range isn't ventilated well, lead dust collects on shooters' clothing and hands and lingers in the air, where it can be inhaled. The more people shoot, the greater the risk of being exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. It becomes an occupational hazard for weapons instructors, police and defense personnel.

It can also put family members at risk. A 1-year-old boy in Connecticut was found to have high blood lead levels at a routine doctor's visit. There were no lead paint or pipes in the child's home. The exposure was traced to his father's job as a maintenance worker at an indoor shooting range; the father cared for his son after work in lead-contaminated clothing, according to a 2015 report from the state public health department.

In order to reduce risk, the Department of Defense has lowered its blood lead standard to 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, three times more restrictive than its previous standard, which relied on Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. These OSHA guidelines apply to workers inside the United States, including employees of private firing ranges, but not to customers of those ranges.

The DoD's new blood lead policy, in effect as of April, comes after a National Academy of Sciences report published in 2012 showing that defense personnel face significant health risks from lead from firing ranges, defense department spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel James Brindle told NPR. "DoD's subject matter experts in toxicology and occupational medicine used the Committee's report to propose the lower allowable blood lead level." The study also showed that people should expect negative health consequences at the blood lead standard set by OSHA.

The OSHA standards for blood lead and exposure to lead have long been criticized as inadequate and dangerously outdated. "The current [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] standard hasn't been updated since the 1970s," says Dr. Elena Page, an occupational and environmental hazards physician at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. "It's widely acknowledged that the OSHA standard is not protective. They're clearly aware of that, and there's been a lot of pressure to change it." OSHA did not provide comments or interviews requested for this story.

About 1 million law enforcement officers train on indoor ranges, according to the CDC, and there are 16,000 to 18,000 private indoor ranges in the U.S.

Currently, the OSHA standards for lead exposure decree that employees must stop working if they have a blood lead level of 60 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, and workers can return to the job if their blood lead level drops below 40 for two consecutive tests. But adverse effects on cardiovascular health, brain function and kidney function have been connected to blood lead levels as low as 5. "There's no amount of lead in your blood that's safe," Page says.

The issue of lead exposure and firearms is divisive, even the question of whether higher lead levels are unsafe. "Well, that's their opinion," says Larry Keane, the vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "We believe there are efforts by others that want to diminish people's participation in shooting sports or exercise their second amendment rights. They put out or advocate positions that are unsupported by the evidence."

The need for a stricter lead standard is obvious, says Adam Finkel, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a former OSHA official. "OSHA is really letting people down," he says. "We're learning more about the neurologic effects of lead, and for whatever reason this substance has the capability of causing a whole spectrum of health effects at the OSHA standard that people don't appreciate."

Many effects from lead can be subtle or nonspecific, says Mark Laidlaw, an environmental health scientist at RMIT University in Australia. "Memory and concentration problems, headache, abdominal pain, mood disorders – they can be attributed to a number of things unrelated to lead," he says. "You can have one of these health effects, but the shooters might not realize these are associated with their shooting. They just don't know they're being lead poisoned."

At levels slightly higher than 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, people may begin suffering spontaneous abortions or kidney dysfunction, according to the CDC. As the volume of lead in the body increases, the effects become more severe. "At levels of 10 or less, there's definitely evidence of increased incidence of tremor. Some are more cognitive effects," says Catherine Beauchum, an industrial hygienist at NIOSH and author of a 2014 report that found that most people with elevated blood levels were exposed from working at recreational firing range. "With acute lead poisoning, you can get wrist drop, nerve problems, abdominal pain. If it gets high enough, you can get a coma and death."

Firing ranges can be particularly hazardous environments. Defense department ranges, private recreational firing ranges and law enforcement facilities have been found to be contaminated with high levels of lead, according to investigations by The Oregonian and Seattle Times in 2016 and 2014. Often, neglected or failing ventilation equipment was to blame.

A review of lead exposure at shooting ranges that Laidlaw published last month found that nearly all participants in the 36 studies had blood lead levels above the 5 microgram ceiling recommended by the CDC; some had levels higher than 40. "You got to understand, the more bullets you shoot, the higher your blood lead level. The more visits you take to the range, then the higher your blood lead level."

And when OSHA has inspected firing ranges in the last few decades, the agency has commonly found lead contamination violations. "It's about 30 years of sampling. They haven't done very many, but just a quick look shows about 350 air samples," Finkel says.

About half of samples exceed the 50 microgram per cubic meter air level standard for workplaces, Finkel says, and some gun ranges had contamination levels]up to 24,100 micrograms per cubic meter of air. "So, it's terribly, terribly common, and [OSHA] finds overexposures even to their 40-year-old inadequate standard."

The defense department's new blood lead limit of 20 does not go far enough, Laidlaw says. He thinks a better standard would be a maximum of 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. "It is a step in the right direction, however the best way to deal with the problem is to eliminate lead from bullets and primers," he says. "I worry about the health of the young men and women in the military who are exposed to lead regularly while using firearms."

The Defense department has a long-term goal of reducing employees' blood lead levels to below 10, Brindle says. "The DoD policy requires mandatory removal of the worker from workplace exposures when their blood lead level exceeds 20, and effectively will achieve the long-term average blood lead level to stay below 10," he writes to NPR in an email.

But some within the industry say it's not necessary to abandon lead ammunition. "[Lead] is only a problem if [gun ranges] are not designed maintained properly," says Bill Provencher, the co-founder of Carey's Small Arms Range Ventilation in Tinley Park, Ill. "Even if OSHA standards are somewhat risky, a properly ventilated range has hardly detectible lead levels at 0.6 [micrograms per cubic meter of air.]"

The most important thing aside from range ventilation, Provencher says, is to make sure that people are using safe practices like carefully washing their hands and clothes after shooting. "I would say [awareness] is going from not very good to good," he says. "The people I've met with really high lead levels, most of them did seriously silly things like working in the environment while drinking coffee. Ranges can be an unsafe place, but they can be perfectly safe places. There are people out there who are just hard headed and do silly things."
Anything firearms related / Coated Bullets
« Last post by allmanav on March 17, 2017, 02:20:58 pm »
WARNING: All technical data in this publication, especially for handloading, reflect the limited experience of individuals using specific tools, products, equipment and components under specific conditions and circumstances not necessarily reported in the article and over which the National Rifle Association (NRA) has no control. The data has not otherwise been tested or verified by the NRA. The NRA, its agents, officers and employees accept no responsibility for the results obtained by persons using such data and disclaim all liability for any consequential injuries or damages.

There has been a revolution with lead bullets. No, they don’t now have Go-Onto-Target guidance systems to help you score a perfect hit every time (but that would be nice), it’s what they’re lubed with. The traditional lube is a dry, waxy compound that fills the lube groove(s) of cast bullets or is applied to the outside of the entire bullet, cast or swaged. The wax prevents the lead from sticking to the bore.

Figure 1. Traditional lead bullets are cast (left) or swaged (right). Both are lubed with a waxy lube.

Another method is to coat the bullets with a non-waxy lubricating compound such as nylon, molybdenum disulfide (moly), polymer and other compound. Moly coated pistol bullets have been around for a while, so it’s not new. Moly is also applied to jacketed rifle bullets, though the formulation and procedure for applying them are different.

Polymer is the hot, new coating for lead bullets. Well, that should read relatively new. Polymer is relatively new to the U.S. market, having been around a couple of years, but it has been used in other countries for some 20 years. But it’s catching on here in the U.S. and is quickly becoming the lubricant of choice by many lead bullet manufacturers.

There are several types of polymer coatings, but the most common is Hi-Tek coating made by J&M Specialty Products P/L in Australia. This coating has been used Down Under for some 20 years, but has only been used in the U.S. for a couple of years. But if you search the web for bullet-makers that use polymer coatings, the Hi-Tek brand is the most commonly listed. Hi-Tek coating compounds are also available to individuals who cast their own bullets and want to apply it themselves.

Some companies use their own proprietary polymer or non-polymer coating and are rather tight-lipped about its formulation, except to say that it is not the Hi-Tek brand, or to say whether it is a teflon, moly or polymer coating.

Coated bullets have also been used in factory ammunition. Federal loaded a nylon coated lead bullet, named Nyclad, for many years, but they have been discontinued (as per email communication with Federal).  Most recently, Federal has marketed a new polymer coated bullet that goes by the name Syntech.

Figure 2. Prior (Nyclad) and current (Syntech) coated bullets in Federal ammunition.

From the user’s point of view, there is not a huge difference in the appearance of most coated bullets. They cover the bullet completely, with some exceptions that don’t cover the base. They might be offered in a range of colors from some manufacturers, from white to black and everything in between. I must say that the variety of colors is pretty cool, and adds some fun to an otherwise fairly dull subject.

Figure 3. Coatings come in a variety of colors.

The use of coatings instead of waxy lubes means that the bullet no longer needs a lube groove. Many manufacturers have changed or added molds to their lineup that offer bullet designs with no lube groove.

Figure 4. Some coated cast bullet makers include a design with no lube groove in their lineup (right) in addition to the traditional design with a lube groove (left).

There might be some differences in the maximum velocities that these coatings should be limited to. Generally, the coatings are good for velocities in the 1200-1500 fps range, similar to copper plated bullets, which covers the speeds of most handgun cartridges. Some polymer coatings can reportedly be driven to 2000 fps or better, such as claimed by Eggleston Munitions, which makes them a possible choice for some rifle loads.

Many, but not all, of the coated bullets can be used in Glock’s polygonal barrels, according to the manufacturers. Check the bullet manufacturer's website for details.

Generally, one can use lead bullet data for load development. My experience has been that they produce about the same velocity as cast bullets with the same powder charge, but may be a little slower.


Coated bullets offer several advantages for handloaders. Coatings that cover the entire bullet, including the base, reduce or eliminate the exposure to lead during handloading and airborne lead particles when shooting. It also means you no longer have to scrape out built-up wax lube from your seating and crimping dies.

Figure 5. Waxy lubes can build-up in dies. Coated bullets eliminate this problem.

Smoke is reduced or eliminated. Most of the smoke from shooting traditionally lubed lead bullets comes from the waxy lube. The smoke can be so bad you might think you’re shooting black powder. Sometimes the target disappears in the smoke after a few rapidly fired rounds. Coated bullets reduce or eliminate this smoke. They might not be as smokeless as copper jacketed or plated bullets, but they’re darn close.

Some coated bullets smell a little funny when fired. People have likened the smell to burning plastic. I don’t find it objectionable, and sometimes don’t smell anything at all. It might depend on which brand of coating you’re shooting, and which way the wind blows.

Considerations when handloading

The coating is thin and some precautions must be taken during loading to prevent the coating from scraping off. First, be sure the case mouth is sufficiently flared. Poorly flared cases can result in the coating being damaged when the bullet is seated. Second, use a minimal crimp. Like plated bullets, too much crimp can damage the coating. You want the coating to remain intact so it can properly encapsulate the bullet to prevent bare lead from coming in direct contact with the bore to prevent leading.

Donny Miculek from Hi-Performance Bullet Coatings made the following comments with respect to Hi-Tek coated bullets. Miculek used to own Bayou Bullets and sold the company not long ago, and is now concentrating on selling the coatings.

    Hi-Tek bullets must be sized properly to the bore of the firearm they are being used in, just like every other lead bullet out there.
    Care must be taken not to remove (scrape) the coating off the bullet as it is being seated.
    If the bore of a firearm is rough due to poor maintenance or poor machining, Hi-Tek will not work as intended.
    Care must also be taken not to undersize the bullet while crimping. This destroys bullet fit and decreases accuracy and increases fouling.
    Sometimes a gun doesn't like a particular bullet/load, and it takes time to find a combo that works, be it cast, coated or jacketed.
    Finally, it is up to the maker of the bullet to apply coatings correctly for best results.

How do they shoot?

The burning question is how well coated bullets will shoot compared to the traditionally lubed bullets that we are used to.  I tested this by using the same bullet design made by the same manufacturer who offers the bullet in two forms, traditionally lubed with wax, or coated with a polymer coating (in this case Hi-Tek). I tested this in two calibers, 9mm Luger and .45 Automatic. For the 9mm, I loaded 125-grain SWC cast bullets made by Missouri Bullet Company with 4.0 grains of Vihtavuori N340 loaded to 1.065-inch overall length. They were fired from a 1911-type pistol with a 5-inch Kart barrel. For the .45 Automatic I loaded 200-grain SWC bullets from SNS Casting with 4.2 grains of Bullseye loaded to 1.240-inch overall length.  The guns were 1911-type pistols with 5-inch Kart barrels. Testing was done at 25 yards with the guns mounted in a Ransom Rest. Velocity was recorded with a Shooting Chrony chronograph at about 10 feet.

Figure 6. Traditional wax lubed and identical coated bullets used for accuracy comparison.

The velocity, an average of 15 shots, of the two types of bullets was nearly the same though the coated bullets were a little slower. The 9mm wax-lubed bullets averaged 1080 fps and the Hi-Tek coated bullets averaged 1071 fps. The .45 Automatic wax-lubed bullets average 799 fps and the Hi-Tek coated bullets averaged 777 fps.

The figures show 15 rounds fired into a single group for each bullet. The wax-lubed and polymer coated groups are nearly the same size, but the coated bullet groups are smaller. I’ve repeated the 9mm comparison with another barrel (Rock Island Armory) and another powder (Power Pistol), and found the same result: the polymer coated bullets shoot a slightly smaller group. The bottom line is that the coated bullets shoot at least as well as the wax-lubed variety.

Figure 7. The polymer coated bullets produced slightly smaller 15-shot groups than the wax lubed bullets.

I’ve checked the bore for leading after firing coated bullets and have been amazed with how clean it was. Really. In some cases it looked like a brand new barrel off the production line. In one instance I had fired around 200 rounds through a .38 Super at 1200-plus fps. The barrel was so clean that if not for a few flakes of gunpowder reside, it looked like it had never been fired.

I’m a fan of coated bullets. No more waxy lube on my hands or reloading dies, less smoke, no leading, non-abrasive and excellent accuracy. And the colors are awesome. What’s not to love? If you haven’t tried them, give them a shot. They might just be your next favorite bullet.

The links below are a partial list of companies that offer coated bullets. Check their websites for details and any precautions about their use, including the appropriate gunpowder.
Anything firearms related / Plinking
« Last post by allmanav on February 25, 2017, 10:02:44 am »
Plinking is difficult to define, and that is how I like it. To place boundaries on recreation, or what may even advance to an art form, is an exercise in frustration.

I disagree with **** instructors who claim that all shooting that isn’t structured is simply ‘making brass.’ I am a **** instructor as well, and I completely enjoy shooting for its own sake and would hate to give up plinking.
Asian woman holding a Kel-Tec PMR 30 handgun.

This young lady is ready for a bit of fun firing the PMR 30. (Courtesy Oleg Volk.).

Anything that encourages the learning of proper trigger press and sight alignment is good. Another great advantage of plinking is that you may just find that the wife and kids will come along to plink much more readily than if they are sighting the rifle in for hunting season or engaging in personal defense practice. They may just get the bug and make an affair of it.

Plinking includes firing at the inoffensive tin can, modern, purpose-designed plastic targets, dirt clods, or even rocks at suitable range. The clay bird is a good choice. Firing at targets at known ranges is fine for sighting in but when the range isn’t known, marksmanship comes into play, and we learn how to handle our firearm. This used to be called Kentucky Windage. Kentucky Windage has brought home a lot of game not to mention the effect on Redcoats.

Plinking is far from the province of the novice. Sure, it is a good beginning to get used to the firearm, but those that have mastered the firearm also engaged in plinking. “How will the Glock perform at 100 yards?” or “Can I hit that rock in the desert with my .308?” may not be exact practice, but it sure is fun.

As long as safety is followed strictly, you need no rules for plinking. Plinking is for fun. You can make a little contest out of it if you wish, but don’t get too serious. Just make brass.
Boy shooting a Ruger Single Six pistol

Unfortunately, today many kids have been raised by video games. Not long ago, I flew over the Rockies and experienced a brilliant sunset, as a young man to my right remained buried in his cell phone screen. There is more to life than texting and more to life than shooting, but when shooting you must have your attention on the task at hand.

Getting involved may mean reactive targets. Paper targets work sometimes, particularly the Zombie breed, but steel reaction targets and the Newbold plastic targets work even better. Have an indoctrination for safety, and be certain that they realize that the firearm may malfunction, short cycle, or jam. This happens with .22s—especially if they are not gripped properly.
Get on with business!

There are many good targets. A tin can filled with water makes quite a commotion when hit. You can even stack the cans and aim for the bottom can, double tap, and perforate each neatly! This really impresses beginners, but do not wear it out. Balloons are great fun too. You do not have to center punch them to get a great reaction. As marksmanship progresses, it is good to concentrate on trigger control, sight alignment, and sight picture— quickly getting the sights on the target.
Multiple loaded magazines on a wood table

We are setting up for the Zombieland drill. Woody Harrelson would approve. When a drill is of no training value, it is plinking!

The .22 caliber rifle is the natural first choice for plinking. Recoil is light, economy is foremost, and the rifles are very accurate to 100 yards. Everyone enjoys firing the .22 rifle. The pistol is much more difficult to master, but a quality .22 caliber handgun leads shooters into the proper marksmanship pattern for centerfire firearms.

I have enjoyed using the .22 caliber handgun with a red dot sight as just one example. I have learned the best setting for the red dot (I do well with the highest brightness setting). In short, plinking leads to proficiency with all firearms and with iron sights, red dots, or scopes. But don’t make it a practice exercise all of the time. Fun is fun. I know plenty of good shots that have never engaged in any sort of practice other than plinking, and they take game on a regular basis after simply sighting the rifle in. No, they are not prepared for a combat course, but they are prepared to defend their home.

A rather pleasant exercise has been called Mini Sniping. This is using a precision (or at least very accurate) rifle at ranges far short of its potential, but using reduced targets. Driving a tack at 15 yards is quite possible with a good quality scope and rimfire rifle. Likewise, using reduced-size targets at range of 50 yards or less is good practice with .223 and .308 rifles. Plinking is a lot of fun, and while stretching the definition, it is plinking to me.
Ruger .22 LR rifle on a zombie reactive target

A .22 rifle and a good mix of targets makes for an afternoon of fun.

Another type of plinking is perhaps my favorite. I like using centerfire handguns for plinking. Most of them are fun shooters that I would not carry for personal defense, and most are not useful for hunting. I just like to see what they are capable of. One example is the Beretta Jetfire .25 ACP self loader. This little jewel is well made, reliable, and surprisingly accurate. I have managed to hit balloons with it at 25 yards. A drawback in plinking with this handgun and the .22 is that as the range increases, bullet strikes are more difficult to spot in the dirt or on the berm.

A class of plinkers that are surprisingly accurate are the military grade .32 ACP pistols such as the Colt 1903 and the CZ 50. A firearm that is a plinker’s dream, and which I enjoy very much, is the Tokarev 7.62 x 25mm pistol. The Tokarev doesn’t kick much and the 1400 fps cartridge shoots very flat. I use the Red Army Standard loads and enjoy these accurate loads. The Tokarev has never failed to feed, fire, and eject—it is pretty useful in 100 yard plinking.

While it has some utility for personal defense with the Wolf JHP loads, I have other choices. Just the same, I’d rather have this 9-shot 7.62 x 25mm pistol than any .32 H and R Magnum or compact .380 ACP for personal defense. And, if your pistol is accurate enough, this is a good coyote gun.

But it all begins with plinking. One of the best plinkers of all is the 9mm pistol. Accurate, reliable, economical and a great fun gun, the 9mm high capacity pistol makes plinking enjoyable and even therapeutic.
Flattened lead bullet on a steel target

Bullets flatten on steel targets, but be aware of backsplash as well.

Among the best big bore plinkers are the .357 Magnum revolvers. I use a good quality hard cast bullet from Magnus Cast Bullets in the .38 Special cartridge case. A 148-grain full wadcutter at about 800 fps is right, although I have loaded the 196-grain RNL at 900 fps for long range plinking. At 50 to 100 yards and plinking at dirt clods and such on the berm, the Python, Model 19, and Ruger GP100 are excellent plinkers.

This builds familiarity with the firearm, and quite often I fire double action. Scoring a hit at 100 yards with the .357 in the double-action mode brings exhilaration and instant feedback. Not that it is the norm, plinking involves a lot of misses, and that’s just fine.

Another favorite for plinking is the single-action revolver in either .357 Magnum or .45 Colt. Cowboy action loads from Winchester do a great job for most chores. After a bit of familiarization, you really can throw the gunfighter gun about and get a fast hit using just the front sight. For some reason, I almost never plink with my favorite carry and service pistols, the 1911 .45. I suppose I get enough time in practicing tactical shooting with these!

Sometimes a shooting session is filled with surprises. As an example, I drafted my wife as a rater in a test program. She took to the .30 caliber carbine and promptly ate up a box of Hornady’s 110-grain FMJ loading. More satisfying than the .22—and with little kick—she discovered what generations rediscovered about the .30 carbine. This is a great plinker that is fun, accurate enough, and builds familiarity with what is still a great home-defense carbine. Plinking is full of surprises and an all American pursuit. Get started now!
Anything firearms related / Goodbye Brass
« Last post by allmanav on February 17, 2017, 01:34:42 pm »
Let’s skip the appetizer and get right to the meat and potatoes of a manufacturer’s claims for a new cartridge case technology to replace the 150-year reign of brass. Here’s what Shell Shock Technologies (SST) says about their two-piece, nickel-aluminum-stainless steel 9mm Luger NAS3 cases:

    Stronger, cheaper and half the weight of brass.
    Greater corrosion resistance.
    More internal volume.
    More consistent ignition.
    +P velocities without +P pressures.
    Cases won’t stretch, no trimming required.
    Withstands 40 or more reloadings.
    Picks up with a magnet.
    Can be anodized different colors for instant ID.

The NAS3 requires unique flaring and sizing dies (left to right) that use a synthetic rod “spring” to push cases, rather than pull them, from the dies.
Taking the last two claims first, OK, it would be pretty handy to effortlessly pick up our brass with a magnet after shooting a match stage. Coloring our cases means we can instantly separate our brass from that of other competitors. Plus there’s that unquantifiable “cool factor” of nonchalantly bringing something interesting, useful and attention-getting to a match. Many pistol competitors are also handloaders, so the other claims—did I mention “40 reloadings” and “no trimming?”—are of eyebrow raising interest to us.

Convenience and coolness aside, SST NAS3 may be the most significant advance in cartridge case technology since brass replaced the paper cartridge around 1870. Yes, steel, aluminum and polymer are options for cartridge cases, but all are “throwaway” technologies. Aluminum is too soft to safely reload; the Berdan primers are there to discourage reloading. Polymer cases get the same Berdan treatment for the same safety reason. Steel cases are also universally Berdan primed and comparatively difficult to work through dies, even if you are set up for reloading with Berdan primers.

Which of SST’s claims for their new 9mm cases can we check for ourselves? And which are really important to the handloader? Let’s take ‘em by the numbers.


Manufacturer tested at more than 65,000 psi—that’s almost 7.62 NATO proof load pressure—the NAS3 cases are incredibly strong. SAAMI standard for 9mm is 35,000 psi; 9mm +P is 38,500 psi. While we’re talking about this, let’s point out that though the NAS3 case is plenty strong, handguns are not built to take rifle cartridge pressures. The NAS3 case strength is no license for handloading foolishness.

NAS3 case heads can be color anodized.
The NAS3 case is a nickel-stainless steel alloy cylinder crimped to a nickel plated aluminum case head. Stainless steel does indeed have a higher tensile strength than brass and so the case material doesn’t “flow” forward on firing and eventually need trimming, like a brass case, and it can withstand much higher chamber pressures than brass. For the handloader, however, we must redefine “stronger.” The crimped joint between the NAS3 two-piece case head and body is a weak point for handloading. Though I just called the case body a “cylinder,” perhaps “funnel” would be a more descriptive word. The base of the stainless steel cylinder has a hollow tube extension that forms the primer’s flash hole channel; the end protruding into the case head is flared and crimped to bond the two pieces together.

Upon firing any cartridge, the chamber walls and the breech face support the case; gas forces expand in all directions but of course are directed by design to drive the bullet forward. There is no force of consequence that pulls the cartridge case forward on firing, so the NAS3 case/head crimp has no firing stresses applied that would tend to pull that joint apart.

However, standard dies utilize the shellholder to pull the case out of the resizing and expanding dies; the NAS3 case requires use of special SST sizing and flaring dies that don’t stress the crimp with that pulling action. The dies accomplish this by pushing the case from the dies with a compressible synthetic rod that acts like a spring.

During testing I found that pulling bullets will also overstress that head-to-case-body crimp because inertia and press-mounted bullet pullers apply force in that forward direction, essentially pulling the head and case body in opposite directions. Pulling bullets leaves a visible gap between the case body and head, indicating the crimp is loosened and necessitating discarding cases to avoid possible case head separation upon firing or extraction.

I brought this matter up with SST spokesman Andrew Vallance. “In the near future Shell Shock will be releasing a simple attachment accessory to eliminate this issue and enable the use of NAS3 cases with inertia pullers,” he said.

Life is full of trade-offs, so while we’re on the die subject I’ll mention another caveat to accompany the special dies: even though the SST resizing die has a carbide insert, the NAS3 stainless steel 9mm cases still require lubrication (though brass cases do not).


MSRP for SST NAS3 cases is $60 for the first 500, 12¢ each, with price reductions for larger quantities. An online check shows new 9mm brass cases run from 14¢ to 17¢. Price advantage: NAS3.


Yep. An average of 10 NAS3 cases weighed in at 29.7-grains each, compared to a mixed batch of 10 brass cases at 58.8-grains—almost exactly half the weight of brass.

Resist corrosion

The stainless steel portion of the SST case is corrosion-resistant.
My informal method comparing corrosion resistance to that of brass was to leave a couple cases in a saltwater solution for two weeks, expose them to the outside air for another two weeks, then compare them to similarly treated brass. The NAS3 nickel-stainless steel case body survived just fine, but its nickel plated aluminum case head corroded as much or more so than brass. A claim refutation, it appears, but let’s have a reality check: the test result satisfies curiosity but means nothing in the real world unless you store your cases in a saltwater solution.

More volume

SST claims two percent more case volume over brass due to the squared bottoms at the case head versus brass having rounded inside corners. The common method of measuring volume is to weigh an empty case, then fill it with water and weigh it again. Scales only promise a +/- .1-grain accuracy, so checking 9mm case volume would be inconclusive unless you measured about 100 NAS3 cases and then 100 brass cases from each of several manufacturers (after trimming all to the same length)—say, 400 cases total—and compared the results. Feel free, I’ve got a life to attend to. I’ll concede this one to the manufacturer.

Consistent ignition

An extension from the steel case body crimps into the nickel alloy case head to also form the primer flash hole.
This derives from beveling the flash hole from inside the case, a well-recognized accurizing trick used in precision shooting like NRA Long-Range and High Power competition. SST also enlarges the flash hole, not for shot-to-shot consistency, but helpful for reliable ignition when reloading with lead-free primers for indoor shooting. The enlarged flash hole is possibly desirable from a manufacturing standpoint, an aid perhaps in crimping the body-to-case-head joint.

We can infer consistent ignition from chronograph extreme spread/standard deviation (though other factors are also at work), but independent testing by munitions specialist H.P. White Laboratory has already done this work for us, finding fantastically low standard deviations of 0.093 fps and extreme spreads of only 3 fps with 124-grain FMJ bullets and 4.2-grain of Titegroup.

+P velocity without +P pressure

Without access to a pressure measuring facility, we can’t verify this with absolute confidence. However, we might make an inference that would also infer some veracity for the two percent volume claim above. We can load NAS3 and brass cases identically and fire them; Boyles Law says that the NAS3’s greater volume will result in lower pressure compared to brass cases, which should result in lower velocity, and velocity we can measure with a chronograph.

No trimming, 40 reloads

Pulling bullets overstresses the crimp, making cases unreloadable.
The last two claims regarding case stretching and 40 reloads are simple to check; though tedious and time consuming, they’re worth the effort. For the sake of alacrity in presenting you the SST case here and now, allow me some time (and pleasant weather) to attend the range with calipers and loading press to see whether we can get those 40 reloadings from a single case. Stay tuned for a report with reloading and chronograph results in the not-too-distant future. For now, let’s summarize the pros and cons of SST’s cases for the handloader.


    No case stretching—hence no trimming is necessary.
    Flash hole beveling—an aid to uniform powder ignition and hence accuracy—is factory applied.
    Flash hole is enlarged for “lead-free” primers. While not widely available to handloaders yet (only Fiocchi Zero Pollution small pistol primers come to mind), we can expect more in the future.
    Lower initial cost than brass, plus reloading each case five or 10 times more than brass cases is a significant saving.
    Color coding bases for instant load ID.
    Handloaders can get +P velocities without +P pressures. L-Tech Enterprises loads its 124-grain Full-Stop bullet in the SST case at nearly 1,200 fps and reports pressure below 38,500 psi.
    Half the weight lightens our range bags, and we can sweep up fired cases with a magnet. Plus there’s the simple “cool factor” of unique-looking ammo, especially with color anodized case heads.


    Resizing cases requires lubrication. Adding this step back into the handloading process negates one of the joys of clean, rapid reloading on the progressive press with carbide dies.
    Pulling bullets necessitates throwing away the weakened cases.
    Proprietary dies are required. Though any bullet seating die will work, the unique sizing and flaring dies are available only from SST, MSRP $99.99 for the pair.
    New technology. As with anything new, there will be some wrinkles to iron out, sure to be discovered by a base of handloaders and shooters actually employing the technology over time.

So, let’s load up and find whatever wrinkles might need ironing …

The 9mm Luger is SST’s debut case—and more calibers, including bottleneck rifle cases, are in the works. You can learn more about SST at
Anything firearms related / Precision Pistol Shooting
« Last post by allmanav on February 03, 2017, 09:21:36 am »
Some of what you’re about to read may sound contradictory to other lessons that have been taught in the past. By no way am I suggesting they are incorrect. I am merely giving my approach to learning precision pistol—and what I do as a shooter.

Trigger control
Admittedly hard to describe with a picture, Zin’s grip places the gun where it naturally fits in hand.

Trigger finger placement really counts when the shot breaks. Now don’t get me wrong, stance, grip and aiming are important but keep in mind that you can have a perfect grip and hold perfect sight alignment all day long. It only counts when the gun goes bang and only one action causes the gun to do that—pulling the trigger. You can hold the gun upside down, squeeze the trigger with your pinky, and align the sights to the target in a mirror and shoot tens as long as you don’t jerk the trigger. However, please *do not* try that at home!

Aside from that, this is what I was taught and this is what I do. Please keep in mind it is only one way, and not the only way—but I have had pretty good results with it. Also, this is for a trigger that has at least a little roll—which is my preference.

First, let’s look at trigger finger placement. And remember this is an article on precision pistol shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol, it would be different. International shooters, please don’t unleash the hounds on me!

Now, where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Why you ask? We have always been taught to place the pad on the trigger. If you have a trigger that weighs in-between two and four lbs., that is enough weight to move the fleshy part of the pad of your finger. Try it! Get something that weighs at least two lbs. and has a tip or point on it the size of a pen, or just use a trigger. Put your hand on a table or desk, palm up and slowly lower the weight onto the pad of the finger. It moves a lot. Now lower the weight onto the first crease of the finger, right on the joint. Sure it moves, but a whole lot less than the fatty, fleshy part of the finger pad.

After having conducted this little experiment, think about pulling the trigger with the pad of the finger. The first part of movement you feel is flesh and fat moving out of the way. This is not part of the movement involved in trigger control.

For example, have you ever been shooting well and in slow fire you start to get “chicken finger?” The trigger starts moving and then it stops and feels like it weighs 30 lbs., or did it move at all? Maybe what you felt was the flesh moving out of the way because you were shooting well and didn’t want to screw up the match, so you are really in tune with what you are feeling in the trigger.

Now think if the trigger were placed at the crease or first joint of the trigger finger. When the trigger moves, what you are feeling is really the trigger moving.

Let’s go even deeper—take a pen or a pencil and start tapping the fleshy part of the web between your trigger finger and the thumb. Keeping the same intensity, move the tapping up to the large knuckle on your trigger finger. Feel the difference? The flesh acts as a shock absorber to the tapping where the tendon in the joint is more of a conductor. I know what you’re thinking—why do I want to feel that?

Because it is that important to be able to feel every little movement of your trigger so you know that you are squeezing the trigger and not jerking the trigger.
Trigger control is merely a reaction to what the eye sees.

Types of trigger squeeze—when I was in Boot Camp they taught us about trigger control before we went to the rifle range. I now look back and realize they were, well not wrong, but mistaken (just in case I run into my old Drill Instructors and by some strange twist of fate they read this article). The U.S. Marine Corps taught two different types of trigger control, Interrupted and Uninterrupted. And, I still believe that there are two types, Uninterrupted and Wrong.

If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire, the shot needs to be aborted and the shot started over. If trigger control is interrupted in a sustained fire stage, then we revert to our “key word” that triggers us to kick start our shot process.

Sight alignment and trigger control—often when the fundamentals are explained, these two are explained as two different acts. In actuality, it’s hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. To truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze. Trigger control is merely a reaction to what the eye sees.

Sight alignment and trigger control have a symbiotic relationship.

What? One can hold perfect sight alignment/sight picture for a long time. Now, apply pressure to the trigger and what happens? Something moves, right? If this happens in a slow fire shot, what typically happens is we stop squeezing until everything settles down again and we start the trigger. It moves. We stop the trigger. It settles. We start the trigger. It moves and so on and so forth. From this we can see how the finger already acts to what the eye sees. We do not have to train the eye to accomplish this, since it already does it. We need to make it work for us and get the finger to react at a more opportune time, before we have obtained perfect sight alignment/sight picture. Yes, I just said to start squeezing the trigger before you have obtained a perfect sight alignment/sight picture.

Your sight alignment should be pretty close to perfect, since we have mastered a perfect grip and the sights are aligned, not just to each other but also to the other eye as soon as the gun is raised. If not, we will master that soon. Before the sights or dot have settled into the center of the target, we should start our trigger squeeze, taking advantage of the pressure that is being applied to the trigger to help stabilize the sight. Continue to squeeze the trigger uninterrupted, using that pressure to help move toward and stay center and allow the shot to break.

Therefore as it stands, I am not a big believer in the surprise break. I know when my gun is going to shoot and what it feels like right up until it shoots. I really know my trigger and I have done lots of dry firing without looking at the sights—just to know what it feels like.

This method has been called steering the sights with the trigger, but I’m not a fan of the connotation that carries—it is more of a sight alignment/sight picture through trigger control concept.

Grip issues
You can have a perfect grip and hold perfect sight alignment all day long—but if you jerk the trigger it is all for naught.

I am not saying that the grip I describe here is the only one to use. It is merely an option—it all depends on your hand size and structure. It works for me, and it has worked for many shooters that I have taught it to. And just to be clear, it is not unsafe for those who have questioned it, because the gun will move less with this grip. Hence, if you do use a grip that aligns the sights and gun up your arm to your shoulder, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage.

A proper grip is a grip that will naturally align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter, without having to tilt your head or move your wrists around in order to do that. Also, most importantly, a proper grip is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position that allowed the sights to be aligned without having to search for the sights after each and every shot.

Too many times I have seen, and I am sure most of you have done it yourself. Someone shoots and you can see the front of the gun waving around as they try to get sight alignment back. This is not a problem with recoil management, grip strength or position. This is a grip issue.

As a result, if you line the gun up your arm and to your shoulder in order to align the sights one of two things must happen. Your head leaves a natural position in order to see the sights since they are lined up with your shoulder or you have to turn your wrists until the sights are aligned to your eye, but then the gun is no longer aligned up your arm. This was called “grip alignment.”

Yes, back in the day they taught “grip alignment.” Well, grip alignment as they described it is BS, just like Natural Point of Aim with a pistol is BS. But that’s a completely different conversation. Two-handed shooters don’t even shoot with the gun aligned up their strong arm to their shoulder. Unless you have some deformity, and your head is growing out of your shooting side shoulder, why would you want the gun aligned up your arm to your shoulder?

Now keep in mind, this is for a 1911 slab-style grip or a .22LR with slabs. Unfortunately, if you are using orthopedic grips—you can’t do this with them.

Using Zins grip
Zins says proper grip depends on your hand size and structure.

My grip is simple, it’s not hard to get into and once you get it, it will feel better, recoil will be better managed and the sights will always come back to alignment. If you rotate the meaty portion of your hand below the little finger behind the back-strap of the gun, every time you shoot, it will want to move off of it. It is just a squishy, fatty portion of your hand that cannot control the gun or offer any resistance to recoil whatsoever. The fatty portion of the hand there cannot be moved, it is just fat. Try to move it. The movement caused by making a fist does not count, because the rest of the hand causes that movement. The place the gun tends to move to is the valley formed between that meaty portion below the little finger and the meaty part of the thumb. So I ask—why not start with the gun in the place it wants to be?

Unfortunately, even with a picture this is hard to describe. When done in person, I usually have to work individually with shooters to show them how to do it.

The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting position as you may need to tweak it around a bit until it feels good, is with a holster.

Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body; not in front or behind, but on the side of your hip. Put your hands in the surrender position, like the action shooters form. Keep your eyes and head straight and allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun; don’t move it around—just let it come down and grab the gun. The fatty part of the little finger should all be on the right panel of the grip. Now, keeping the gun in your hand with the grip, assume your one handed shooting position. The sights should be pretty close to being aligned. If they are not then you need to tweak the grip a bit.
For images go to my site.
Items for sale / 9MM projectiles
« Last post by allmanav on January 27, 2017, 04:29:28 pm »
9 MM projectiles. 125 grain, FMJ RN

$110. per thousand
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