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The Snubby’s Dirty Little Secret

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The Snubby’s Dirty Little Secret
By Andrew Betts

 

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Most of us who have been shooting for a while know that jacketed hollow point ammunition is vastly preferred for a defensive handgun. Pistols and revolvers do not produce enough velocity for the stretch cavity to contribute to wounding the way it does in many rifles so the size of the wound is dependent on the size of the projectile. The wider the bullet gets, the larger the hole is. JHP ammunition is designed to begin expanding shortly after impact to create a wider wound channel. With a larger frontal area, the bullet also slows quickly and therefore presents less risk to people that might be beyond your attacker. Many of us also choose a small revolver for concealed carry because, although they are difficult to master, a small revolver is simple and light weight making it very convenient to slip in a pocket. Let’s face it; we aren’t likely to need a gun. If we do need a gun, we probably won’t have to fire it. If we do have to fire it, the bad guy probably won’t be farther away than we can smell him and we probably won’t have to shoot more than once or twice. That makes a short barrel .38 Special a very reasonable choice. It’s also perfectly reasonable to just pick a quality JHP from one of the four or five big names and be done with it. Or is it?

We live in a golden age when it comes to defensive ammunition design. There are quite a few very well designed, high performance bullet designs out there. Gone are the days when there was great merit to the respective sides in the ancient 9mm vs. .45 ACP debate. Loaded with modern JHP ammunition, both 9mm and .45 perform very well, as does .40 S&W and .357 Sig. HST, Gold Dot, SXT, Ranger, PDX1, XTP, and Golden Saber all deliver very good accuracy and terminal performance and the difference between the top and bottom performers among that crowd is negligible. So why not just choose any one of them and hit the road? Everybody knows Speer Gold Dot is a top performer so if you’re carrying a 2” .38 spl grab a box of the 135 gr +P short barrel load and put it out of your mind, right? Not quite. As it turns out, .38 spl is right on the edge of the performance envelope. Some of those loads will work okay, but not through denim, or they’ll expand just fine when fired through denim in warm weather but cold weather lowers the velocity just enough to prevent expansion. The ammunition makers aren’t exactly lying to us; it’s just that the test protocol can’t always be robust enough to cover every situation. Take that highly regarded 135 gr Gold Dot load, for example. ATK (the parent company for Speer and Federal) gives test results for all their defensive ammunition on their website: http://le.atk.com/wound_ballistics/ The results listed for that 135 gr load indicate that it fails to meet the 12” minimum when fired into bare gel or through the FBI heavy clothing standard and it barely begins to expand when fired through the IWBA heavy clothing standard. In my own informal testing of the load, I accidentally discovered that cold weather can prevent it from gaining enough velocity to expand. I later confirmed that in a separate test.

Keep in mind that the testing done by the manufacturer was likely done in a laboratory environment where the test gun and ammunition were at room temperature. Also bear in mind that a gun carried on the person would be warm, as would the ammunition inside. This ammunition would function just fine at the 95° or so that it’s likely to be at if carried close to the body. If it’s carried in a purse or jacket pocket or left in a glove box though, the ammunition might not perform the way it’s supposed to. Several YouTube posters (tnoutdoors9, ScubaOz, PocketGunsandGear, 4theloveofsnub) have tested Winchester PDX1 and they have produced very mixed results. My own testing indicated that PDX1 will not expand when fired from a 2” revolver through four layers of denim.

Is .38 spl PDX1 garbage? I’m not sure it’s quite that simple. I also don’t believe that anyone’s test is necessarily flawed. I think that this load is only just barely able to expand when fired from short revolvers through heavy clothing. Sometimes. Very small variations in the test environment might be enough to make the difference between the bullet expanding and not. Of course, if it’s that unpredictable in a controlled environment with a homogenous media like gel, the real world performance is doubtful, at least through heavy clothing. PDX1 seems to do just fine through light clothing or in bare gel, though. Maybe it’s a good summertime load but I certainly wouldn’t rely on it in cold weather.

It’s not all bad news, though. To begin with, it’s not like everyone walks around looking like Jay Leno. It is getting colder out there and people do wear more clothes in the fall and winter but even if the bad guy’s heavy clothing does prevent expansion, it’s not as though your bullet magically turns into a Nerf dart. It will still poke a hole in that bad guy and still put a real damper on his disposition. There is also some ammunition out there that works well, even in cold weather, and even through heavy clothing. It’s not some high tech wizardry involving “trocars” or geometric battlespace displacement paradigm. It’s just a good old fashioned lead hollow point. The load that I’ve tested that does work well is the Buffalo Bore 158 gr LSWCHP +P. Otherwise known as the “FBI load”. I sealed the ammunition and revolver in a bag and left it submerged in ice water before shooting through four layers of denim into calibrated 10% gelatin and it did a spectacular job.

Of course, there are certainly other loads out there that can work in adverse conditions, but my advice is to do your best to verify before relying on ammunition to save the life of a loved one. If you don’t have the time or inclination to prepare your own gelatin for testing, you can always tape an old pair of jeans to the front of a row of milk jugs full of water. This method isn’t perfect but it might be illuminating. You can also research the various YouTube, blog, and gun rag tests that are available online. One thing to keep in mind with these tests is that the only way to know that the test media is valid is for it to be calibrated with a .177 BB immediately prior to each test. Look for the BB in the block and expect to see the numbers from the calibration shot. If those are missing, take the test results with a grain of salt. It’s also worth noting that gun rags exist to sell advertising and sometimes a little bias shines through. As with most things in life, a little common sense and effort goes a long way.

Buying LE Trade-In / Used Glocks & What to Look For

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One of the most reliable firearms you can decide to buy is a police/LE trade-in or used Glock, if you know what to look for. When looking at one of these used Glocks there are important things you need to look for and replace, if you purchase one.  In this article, I will breakdown some of the key things to look for and avoid, as well as the critical parts that must be replaced after your purchase. A gun store will not let you strip the gun completely down to its small internal parts so you have to understand what to look for, to insure you are getting what you want. This will cover only Gen2 and some Gen3 Glocks, there is a reason for that, and you will see why as we go along.

Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19

Gen3 G22 & Gen2 G19

Advantages:

First let’s talk about the advantages of buying a police trade-in or used Glock. When you understand what to look for in a used Gen2 or Gen3 Glock, you know you are buying the most reliable and longest serving generations of the Glock design. You are avoiding the sometimes problematic issues with the newer Gen3 and Gen4 designs and you are hopefully spending a lot less on the firearm.  On average you can get the trade-in /used Gocks in the Low to Mid-300 dollar range. I recently helped a co-worker select an excellent condition LE trade-in G23. He spent $314.00 on the firearm, I put in $20.00 worth of parts and it was good to go.  Another huge advantage and one of the main reasons to buy the older Glocks, is no MIM parts. The Gen2 and select Gen3 Glocks have machine tool steel locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. You are getting a more robustly built Glock, with higher quality parts in those key areas, vs. the newer Glocks.

Serial Numbers:

You must pay close attention to serial numbers when looking at used Glocks. This will serve several purposes, unique to a Gen2 or Gen3 Glock.  The serial number will help you identify the approximate date of manufacturer and what to look for, depending on it being a Gen2 or Gen3 gun. Look to see if the Serial numbers on the Slide, Frame and Barrel match. If the serial numbers on any three of these only contain numbers, then they have been replace or are aftermarket if they are not OEM Glock.

CGN - Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM - Gen3 Late- 2002

CGN – Gen2 Mid-1997 / FCM – Gen3 Late- 2002

Gen2 Glocks

Gen2 guns have had several mandatory part changes and upgrades, depending on the approximate date of manufacturer. This will also help you understand how old the firearm is. All Gen2 guns will have the tool steel parts we have already talked about, unless someone changed them out.  In the 2002 Glock armorers guide, replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring is recommended. All Gen2 guns will need this part upgraded.  Some Gen2 guns that have a black trigger bar will need the Six-Part upgrade.  Serial Numbers starting from AA through SL (depending on model) may need this upgrade, if not already done. (see Six-Part Upgrade: below for more information) If you stay in the three letter serial number range starting at (AAA###) and up, you should be ok as far as the Six-Part upgrade is concerned.

Gen3 Glocks

With the Gen3 guns, you want to look at the serial number closely to make sure it was made before Early to Mid-2009. As long as you are under serial number range (MSZ###) or do not have the dip extractor you are probably ok as far as MIM parts.  Sometime in Early to Mid-2009, Glock started using the MIM locking blocks, extractors and firing pins. There may be some mixed MIM/non-MIM parts in the (M) serial number range, so be aware of that. The only required upgrade/replacement part in pre-2002 Gen3’s, is the replacement of the old slide lock spring to the upgraded slide lock spring, as mention above.  2002-2009 Gen3 guns will not require any part upgrades. important to note: if the serial number on the frame starts in the (EAK### through EVR###) range, the rear slide rails are prone to breakage. Glock recommends those frames be sent in for replacement.

Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / New Dip Extractor

Gen2 Extractor / Old Gen3 Extractor / New Dip (MIM) Extractor

Non-MIM locking Block (right), MIM Locking Block (left)

Non-MIM locking Block (right), MIM Locking Block (left)

Wear:

There are some key areas of wear that you can look for, on trade-in /used Glocks. This will help you identify if the firearm has been used excessively or minimally, depending on caliber. Your .40 cal and .357 sig Glock will show more wear in these areas than a 9mm or 45ACP will, due to them being harder on the firearm.  Add all of these indicators up to make a decision on how used you think the firearm is. It will really help if you ask the gun shop, if you can removed the slide (field Strip) the firearm, to inspect the gun. I do not buy any used firearms unless I am able to do this. Bellow are examples of normal wear on 9mm and .40 cal Glocks, nothing extremely heavy.

Barrel Wear Areas

Barrel chatter marks will be visible on the outside of the barrel. The top of the barrel chamber will also have wear marks where it makes contact with the top of the slide. The stronger / more pronounced the wear in these areas will indicate use.

Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear

Barrel Wear G22 / G19 & G22 barrels / Slide Barrel Wear

Slide Wear Areas

The outside slide condition will indicate carry use. The inside of the slide will show wear in two particular areas. The inside top of the slide will indicate wear, where the top of the barrel makes contact with the slide as it reciprocates and on the slide rails on each side of the barrel chamber.  Heavy peening wear on the slide rails slightly in front of the barrel chamber area indicates heavy use.

Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22

Slide Rail peening G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen2 G19 / Inside Slide Wear Gen3 G22

Frame Wear

You want to look at the frame carefully to inspect it for cracks or any major damage. While the frame is polymer (plastic), wear on the outside of the frame is not an indicator of firing use, only carry use. A lot of the LE trade-in guns are carried more than shot.

Frames-Right & Left Sides

Frames-Right & Left Sides

Replacement Part Recommendations:

After selecting the used Glock and purchasing it using the information above, I would recommend purchasing an OEM Glock Spring Kit and have it instaulled. This serves two purposes. (1) If you have a Gen2 or Gen3 with the old slide lock spring, it is in the kit. (2) The spring kit replaces all six of the springs in the firearm and will insure that all springs are fresh as true round count will be unknown. Replacing the main recoil spring is also a good idea when round count is unknown. Since the main recoil spring and slide lock spring are in the kit, this is the best purchase as it will only cost you around $20.00 dollars. Most Glock parts are very inexpensive, if you identify any weird after market parts you are not sure about, replace them.

Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring

Spring Kit / Old Slide Lock Spring / New Slide Lock Spring

Six-Part Upgrade:

It is important to note this upgrade is extremely rare to come across, as it was identified over 20 years ago. Some  Gen1 ‘s and early Gen2’s may require the Glock Six-Part upgrade as mention above. If you identify the Glock is one that needs this upgrade, I would suggest passing on that particular Glock as replacing the firing pin and extractor with new MIM parts would defeat one of the main reasons of getting the older/used Glock. If you are looking at a trade-in /used gun, you can easily pull the slide back and look at the trigger bar. If it is solid black and not just dirty from use, it will need the upgrade. This consists of replacing the (trigger bar, firing pin, firing pin safety & spring, extractor and spring-load bearing).

(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed

(Top / Right-Side of Frame) Silver Trigger Bar, no upgrade needed

Conclusion / Final Thoughts:

Most police/LE trade-in Glocks have been maintained by a department armorer and will probably have the upgraded parts already in them, from years ago. Used Glocks that where in private hands, will more than likely be the ones that need minor part replacement here and there. I have purchased several LE trade-in /used Glocks. Two of my main personal defensive firearms are a late Gen2 G19 and an early Gen3 G22. These have been my go to Glocks and I prefer the quality of the older Glocks compared to the new offerings. Glock does not care if you are the original owner. They have a lifetime guarantee and if you ever have a problem, simply call them and they will take care of it on their dime. Information on Glock serial numbers can be found here: (glocktalk.com Serial Number) as long as it stays up. If you remember to look for the key things talked about here, you will be walking away with a excellent Glock, that will be very dependable and reliable for years to come.

Duncan

Front Range Survival Fire Starting Rod Review

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A few weeks ago we got contacted via our facebook page by Front Range Survival about their products.  http://www.frontrangesurvival.com/

A few days later I got an item from them to test out and review.  As you can see in the picture of above it is is a fire starting fire rod. The handle/lanyard if 14 feet of military grade parachute chord in hunter orange for ease of locating it once you drop it in the grass. Or, if you need to make a shelter, signal help or first aid use in case of things turning really bad.

I and a friend spent the last few weeks working with this thing and it is the best one of these we have ever used. We have looked at fire starting rods and kits over the years and had a lot of frustration and failure with kits that are supposed to be the best.  Not with this one. It sparks immediately and the sparks are large and hot.  The first time we went to use it I crumpled up some dry leaves and some very lightly damp grass. It took three swipes of the knife on this thing and we had a very good flame going that we turned into a fire in no time. It was a cool damp day with a little wind, but the sparks from this thing got the job done.  It is really impressive.

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I use the tool with the USGI knife I also threaded with a lanyard. The flat screw driver “blade” made it fast and easy and the two can be wrapped up together.

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the Front Range tool is seen here with the utter failure that is the Bear Grylls fire starting tool kit.  I have seen Mr. Grylls use this kit on TV many times and make it look easy. But I will tell you right now, we spent many hours in the best conditions trying to get something going with it to no avail.  It just does not compare, The sparks are tiny and pathetic. It looks good and is a great idea in theory but it just does not hold up to the FRS piece.

On the website, the company describes their thinking and the tools as  follows.

“We set out to make the best survival gear on earth. Everything we carry has been field tested by us.Its our gear… and now it can be yours.

Our flagship products are Fire Starters.”

They had a real winner with this tool.  I am by no means and expert survivalist, but I know quality when I had it in my hands. And when some one as clumsy as we are, can work something so fast you know it is good.   As my friend says. this is the kind of quality tool that makes a person get excited and want to practice their field and bush craft more often. I agree with that statement absolutely.  Everyone who tried the fire starter was instantly impressed and wanted one,  Not many people I personally know has tried one of these that works as well.

After talking about the tool for a while we determined a nice little kit to put together with it for signaling and making fire while on a hike or for whatever reason.

We gathered some things together and found a spare MOLLE GP pouch it would all fit in and leave room for more as we deemed might be needed  and of course we can remove or add to as the situation may dictate. The idea being to have one on you, in a pack or left in your vehicle.   The pouch as seen above comes with the knife with lanyard. The FRS fire started and some cotton and dryer lint ( which with the FRS tool makes fire as fast as a lighter) A signal mirror and a Military pilots cloth signal panel.  Some medical gear and of course a lighter or two will be added as well as some other odds and ends. But this is a good starts so far in our minds.

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The Front Range Survival fire rod is heavy duty and the pictures don’t seem to show just how big it is. It is not huge or unhandy but you get enough to do the job. It will last a long time.

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I wrapped it up in a sealed bag with some material to help with the fire and cinched it with a rubber band. This will let it easily fit in a single AR15 mag pouch and still have some room left over.  You can store one about anywhere.

A lot of people are always looking for more effective survival and outdoors tools. This is certainly a winner in my opinion, If you do anything or go anywhere you may find you need a fire, this thing is worth having. I would not go on an over night hunt without one of these now.  If you want one, the link to the amazon page is below. You can also read the reviews from buyers there as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Firesteel-Emergency-Survival-Paracord-Necklace/dp/B00KY7901E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=8-3&keywords=firesteel+orange

 

 

BREAKTHROUGH ( Military Grade!!) Gun Cleaner 1st impressions

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This will basically be a “part 1″ of a more longer lasting test period. Cleaning solvent is one of those things it takes a long time and a lot of different things to really evaluate to my satisfaction.  I wanted to talk about  it and my first thoughts on it as sort of a kick off. As the weeks go buy I will post updates on the stuff and my opinion of it.

 

 

I got this cleaner a few weeks ago from a gentleman looking for writers and bloggers to send free samples to for testing. It was being pretty heavily talked about on said page, and obviously was meant to be the new better mouse trap for cleaning.  I gave me address and a few days later got the sample.  I had read plenty of stuff about how safe it was for mother earth and you can even drink it and not get sick, but I did not see anything about what it may or may not work best at, or what it was intended to be.  I fired off an email and asked what exactly was it supposed to be used for .   the response was ..”it will remove all fouling & residue (Brass, Carbon, Copper, Dirt, Grease, Lead, etc.), it’s also PH Neutral which means it’s safe on your firearm’s wood and / or polymers.The ad on Amazon had this to says.”Removes ALL Fouling, PH Neutral, Non-Corrosive, Safe on all Plastics and Polymers, Does not Freeze, Non-Flammable, Non-Water Based, Virtually Odorless, Low Toxicity, Low Vapor Pressure, Non-Carcinogenic, No Components or Characteristics of Hazardous Waste as per EPA, Not Regulated by the OSHA Z-list.

I have some pretty high standard for gun cleaning products and if you read my earlier posts on how to clean precision and match barrels, you know I am hard to please. I have never seen a cleaner that did more than one or two things and did it well.  Actually I never seen a 2in 1 or 3 in 1 cleaner good at any of the 2 or 3 things it is supposed to do.  But I do keep an open mind because I have faith in technology and I have seen better and better solvents come along over the past twenty years.

So, after looking around on the details of the cleaner and what I could find so far, because it is so new, I went and got my carbine. This gun never gets cleaned, just  oiled. the gun is FDE anodized inside and out and the upper was coated black on the inside from carbon. The bolt and carrier had also only been oiled.  I got them out and got my cleaning tools ready not knowing how much elbow grease it would take to work with this stuff.  when you brush your teeth you use the tooth paste and a brush. and no matter how good gun solvents are, they almost always need a little extra help.

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I sprayed the cleaner inside the upper and let it set for a few minutes,. Upon the stuff hitting the inside I notice immediately black sludge start to run out. Very few things have done this that was not under a high pressure or  brake parts cleaner.  After 5 minutes of so I wiped it out with a rag. and above is what it looked like.  No brass brushes. Not pip cleaner or any of that. I did use a tooth brush but only to help flick some goop out of the crevices, not because I had to really work at it.   Very nice so far, but, I have found that FDE anodized ARs seem to clean up easier for some reason, It may be in my mind. but it does seem so. So, I went to the BCG.

I sprayed it with the odorless stuff and again, the black water ran off.

 

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I let it set, then just used a red shop rag to wipe it off. No brush.

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It did not get all of it out of the inside, but it went a long way toward getting it all.

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Cleaned up the bolt as well. But here is the first sign of weakness. It will not remove the hardened carbon on the boats tail and better than the mediocre stuff like Hoppes. Even with the addition of a brush it did not really do much better.  In fact Slip2000 carbon cleaner works faster when trying to remove the hardened stuff.

It is really good at removing the loose sludge that does not need as much work. But it is held up on the hard stuff. I have not cleaned a bore yet to see if it remove copper and lead as claimed, but I wanted to see how it did on carbon first.

A few things to think about first.  Good weapon lube will keep carbon and grit and sand etc,. sort of suspended in the lube. It will not let it stick so to speak. The lube will keep the gun wet and lubricated while keeping the grit and fouling from causing problems.  Obviously this helps a great deal with cleaning, Since it is a lot easier to wipe away lube with fouling in it than it is to scrape it off the metal. Dirty lube might look and seem bad., but it is still doing an important job. A good lube will suspend the fouling and particles and let you wipe it off and re lube so you can get buy a long time until you do a real serious cleaning. That is one of the reasons I rarely clean a fighting gun like I would a match bolt gun. A good lube lets you do that.  I use Slip2000EWL and it excels at this. It does not burn off fast, it stays in place and it is not harmful to your body. It is really super stuff and it is the ONLY lube I use if I have a choice.  So in the case with this cleaner. I think the Slip2000 made the job a lot easier.  That is not a rag on the Breathrough at all.  It needs to be thought of as a system.  If the Slip suspends the crud and the Breakthrough just sprays on and the fouling runs off with no work, I call that pretty good.

But, that is probably not what the makers want to hear or have in mind.  For sure the idea is Breakthrough military grade cleaner is suppose to be super easy to use regardless of the oil used on the weapon.  Alas, that is not how the world works. So I will be be trying it out with cleaning guns with different lubricants and no lube to see if it makes a difference good or bad.   So far, when used to clean guns oiled with Slip2000 it shows some real promise. I would not stop using the SLIP line of cleaners and replace them with this stuff yet, but we will see.

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Above is another picture of the carrier simply sprayed and wiped off.  As you can tell, the cleaner leaves no film behind. It is not CLP and does not leave behind any protective film.

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I will continue testing it out to see if it is snake oil or worth its price. I can not recommend it yet.  I am not sold on it as of yet but I am curious. The military grade claims is not something I pay any attention to and I advise you to ignore it as well since it really does not matter much in my opinion. I use a lot of cleaners that do not boat military grade properties and nothing else out there beats them.  I am sure that is hype made to cash in on the same people who buy stuff because maybe a NAVY SEAL uses it.   A few more weeks and I will give my final verdict.

If you want to try it out, or read marketing claims yourself, it is now up on amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Military-Firearm-Cleaning-Solvent/dp/B00J6AS30Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411698069&sr=8-1&keywords=breakthrough+cleanerrade

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City Lights

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Female Conceal Carry for Fall/Winter

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Cassie Larsen submitted this article.

The “Female Conceal Carry for Summer” article has been very popular. I know there is a lot of interest and a need, for more conceal carry information for women. I have found there is not a lot of information out there and I have had to do a lot of trial and error for this article.  In this article you will see several Appendix Inside Waist Band (AIWB) holsters and Outside Waist Band (OWB) holsters. These holsters and companies are as follows;  a Dark Star Gear holster, a custom AIWB kydex holster, a Raven Concealment Vanguard2 holster and Kinetic Concepts Tactical (KCT) holsters. Also, an I.C.E. Belly Band and Volund Gearworks Atlas Belt will be used. I will be showing you outfits that conceal a Glock 42, Sig P238, Glock 19, and a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield.

Sweaters with detail and skirts:

I’ve noticed when wearing a skirt and conceal carrying I have two options I can wear a looser waist skirt with the I.C.E. Belly Band and carry IWB or I can wear a skirt with loops, belt and carry OWB. It does become a bit tricky with high waist skirts. I have yet to find a comfortable carry option for those.

The great thing about this black sweater that you can’t see well in the pictures is that it has a fake wrap look with buttons on the front and side. With that extra detail on the front it hides any bulges from the firearm really well. I like to wear darker sweaters I find they hide the print of the firearm better. I also look for shirts or sweaters with added details; buttons, wrap, bunching, gathers, patterns.

I.C.E. Belly Band/holster with Glock 42

I.C.E. Belly Band/holster with Glock 42

Long Sweaters with leggings:

I love wearing a Belly Band with my leggings. It is very comfortable and with the I.C.E. Belly Band I have multiple options of what firearm I can carry. With this outfit a basic long sweater, leggings and tall boots I can wear my Sig P238, Glock 42, Glock 19 or Glock 26. With the Glock 19 or Glock 26 I use the  I.C.E Glock open bottom holster, attach it to the Velcro on the Belly Band and carry at the 4 o’clock position. I.C.E store carries several holster to accommodate firearms you may carry.

I have many different long sweater legging combos and I love being able to just throw on a comfy outfit and still be protected. Most long sweaters have a fly away in the front. I like having the break away in the front so I can access my firearm quicker if needs be. I wear an under shirt, then my belly band with firearm, then an over shirt or tank top, then my sweater. It really adds no more bulk since my under shirt is basically a top slip. The main use of the undershirt is so I don’t have the firearm resting on my skin for long periods of time.

I.C.E. Belly Band,  G26 or Glock 19

I.C.E. Belly Band, G26 or Glock 19

Work out clothing:

When I go for a walk with my kids or jog by myself, I like to bring along some protection. With the Belly Band and my Sig p238 or Glock 42 I can do that and I don’t have to wear a big bulky shirt or extra layers. If it’s cold I do add my workout hoodie, which only adds to the concealment. I usually wear yoga pants or shorts which I feel keeps my firearm more secure since the waist is tight.

I.C.E. Belly Band with Sig P238 and Glock 42

I.C.E. Belly Band with Sig P238 and Glock 42

Break away sweaters:

I use the same idea as the leggings with this breakaway front sweater, but use my kydex holsters. I prefer to appendix carry. It is the most comfortable for me. I can easily access my firearm with my kids, or holding shopping bags. I don’t have to worry about bending over to pick up my kids at the park or store and having my weapon print. I wear Silver jeans or Vigoss jeans and capris. I buy my regular size and have no problem carrying IWB. My carry belt is Volund Gearworks Atlas belt (Volund Gearworks Atlas Belt for Women). I’ve been wearing it almost daily for over a year and I still love it.

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster and Glock 19 with Raven Vanguard 2

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster and Glock 19 with Raven Vanguard 2

Flowy shirts:

I really like wearing flowy light tops. This is a peasant type top, the fabric is light and not fitted at the bottom. Which conceals firearms really well for me. I have no problem with printing or the shirt getting stuck on the gun with appendix carry. The pattern on this shirt also helps with the concealment.

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Banded bottom:

Banded bottom tops also work well for me to conceal carry with. They have more give to the middle of the shirt but with a fitted bottom. Some banded bottom shirts can be trickier if the band is at the same height as the holster. I like the tight bottom on banded shirts because I know the shirt isn’t going to move and expose my firearm.  This particular top also has a low back so appendix carry or side carry work well. When it’s colder out I can still wear this tank top with a black jacket or cardigan which just adds to the concealment.

Sig P238 with Dark Star Gear OWB Kydex holster, Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Sig P238 with Dark Star Gear OWB Kydex holster, Glock 42 with AIWB kydex holster

Combination Shirts:

This is a great home-run shirt for me. It has pattern, detail and a banded bottom. The upper back detail is great to draw eyes up and away from my waist wear my firearm is. The diagonal stripe helps camouflage printing and the banded bottom helps the shirt stay in place. I really like to find combo tops I think they work great for most of my firearms. With this shirt I can carry any of my firearms with any holster at either the small of my back or at appendix. With small of the back carry I do have to be careful with bending over or picking something up because the firearm will print. Which is another reason why I love appendix carry.

M&P Shield & Glock 42 in Kinetic Concepts Tactical holsters

M&P Shield & Glock 42 in Kinetic Concepts Tactical holsters

Light weight Jackets:

A great thing about colder weather is you can throw on a jacket to any of your outfits which adds warmth and another layer of concealability. I’m wearing a simple long sleeve shirt which is not skin tight. With summer capris that work great with knee high boots, no need to fold and tuck the bottom of your jeans. I can wear this shirt alone and conceal the Shield fine or add the extra layer of a jacket. Since I’m appendix carrying I will still be able to quickly draw my firearm if needed. If you are carrying in the small of the back with a jacket on I recommend practicing drawing your firearm so you don’t get hung up on the extra material. This jacket snaps closed so if I did get cold and wanted to snap up I could still quickly undo my jacket if needed.  Of course, cardigans and heavy jackets will work just the same.

M&P Shield with Kinetic Concepts Tactical appendix holster

M&P Shield with Kinetic Concepts Tactical appendix holster

Conclusions:

There is no reason to lose your style just to carry a firearm. I suggest carrying on the body whenever possible. I recommend when shopping for new clothing to wear your firearm, that way you will know if it will conceal well and not print. Remember, darker colored clothing will conceal better than lighter colors. If you don’t have a good carry belt or holster, I recommend getting one. Having a quality holster and carry belt will help you conceal your firearm. If you have a good foundation in place you will be able to conceal with comfort, ease and style. A good foundation consists of a good holster, belt, firearm and clothing. Without all (4) of these key elements, you will have a harder time concealing your firearm.

Don't forget, You can still be Sexy & Carry a Firearm

Don’t forget, You can still be Sexy & Carry a Firearm

I’ve showed you many different firearms, holsters and carrying positions as examples for you to find what works best for you. I don’t carry multiple firearms. Some days I do need to change my holster, belt or firearm to accommodate my outfit. Occasionally, I must change carrying positions between appendix, strong side traditional and 4 o’clock, based on the outfit I’m wearing.  Appendix carry is where I consistently carry and consistency in your carry position is what you want. Like I said above, the appendix position works best for my daily life and my body type. The key is to find what works best for you most of the time and what you are the most comfortable carrying.

Cassie

Colt Combat Elite Review

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The name “Combat Elite” is nothing new to most Colt fans or anyone who is old enough to remember. Initially it was an upgraded government model tweaked for carry with fighting more in mind.  Over the years it developed into a two tone gun with adjustable sights much like the Gold Cup of the day.  It was always a sought after 1911 and the two tone look was really well liked at the time.  In days past, the blued slide and stainless or chromed frame was almost a trademark of high quality, custom or semi custom 1911s.  But sadly for one reason or another the combat elite left us for a time.

Colt brought the model back a few years ago and it is like its ancestor in that it is a fine looking gun but with added features designed to make it a out of the box carry gun.

The new issue has the excellent Novak sights with a slightly larger front sight than the XSE line. The gun has the beaver tail grip safety that is most likely a S&A and a single right side extended wilson safety from what I can tell.

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Like the excellent XSE line, it has some extra work done to it to refine it beyond just a GI issue 1911. One of the features I appreciate greatly is the scallop cut on the grip behind the trigger guard that allows for a higher grip and better recoil control.  This is also standard on the XSE pistols from Colt ( the Combat Elite is also in the XSE line). This is not something as commonly done on other factor 1911s as you may think.

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The magazine well has the typical bevel you get from Colt. Functional and enough to help with speed reloads but nothing crazy. I have always found this to be enough for me. In my younger days I always wanted the extended bevel well seen on a lot of custom and competition guns, but over the years I have grown to not like it much for my uses. The extended mag wells. require a magazine with a bump pad on the bottom, and while I use these magazines, it is not at all fast or easy to load the gun with a standard GI mag. I like to be able to quickly reload my gun with whatever magazine I may find myself having to work with.  I may need a reload from a friend, or who know, and with the extended mag well, it may be a problem. I prefer to keep this simple and be able to use any magazine handed to me.

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Though my 100 buck camera does not show it well. The polishing job on the feeding surfaces is great.  It is not as near perfect as a custom job, but it is mighty fine and smooth  regardless. The ejection port, same as the other XSEs is worked to allow for unimpeded ejection.  the slide serrations are also on the front and rear of the pistol for which ever option of working the slide that you may prefer.

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It also comes with one of the things I can do without. A extended guide rod.  A lot of people will debate about it all day long but it is not needed. I have personally never seen the 1 piece rod from Wilson Combat cause any problems with function, but it does render certain methods for one handed manipulation undo-able.  That alone make me get rid of it and go to the standard JMB GI Issue system.

In the picture above you can also see the grip panels that are unique to this model. They are very nice and give a custom look. The half and half smooth and checkered feels a lot better than I thought it would. the grips are also thicker than the standard double diamond style. this really fills the hand more. I like a slim grip myself, but these are right in the Goldilocks zone for feel. And, of course is the standard three hole trigger.  The frame is forged stainless steel with a forged carbon steel slide. The barrel is also forged stainless as well as a stainless steel forged slide stop. Colt uses no MIM parts like other big name 1911 makers. One other point about the barrel is that it is the companies National Match barrel. this is the same barrel used on the Gold Cups, the Rail gun and the MARSOC M45A1. these barrels are very accurate to be factory. This is one of the big things different from the regular XSE line.  The Combat Elite can be thought of as an XSE pistol brought up to Gold Cup accuracy but meant for fighting more than competition.

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Using match ammo off of a bench with sand bags I fired 5 round groups  to see how accurate the gun is.  Firing at 10, 15 and 20 yards, I got the results that I have come to expect from Colt 1911s made over the years.  The National Match barrel on the Combat Elite shot as well as every other NM barrel I have seen on Colts.  One of the best points in my opinion that will surprise no long time reader, is that the gun maintains this level of accuracy without being a “hard/tight fit”. It still has the loose specs that allow reliable function when exposed to utter filth, but maintain this accuracy.   I have as of today fired 1,800 rounds with no cleaning. That is not much of a test. but its a pretty good amount to make a guess at how it will continue to work.

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I did notice the point of impact of the rounds at the different ranges and was very happy with this.  Other groups shot showed the gun to shoot perfectly point of aim at 15 yards with 230 grain ammo.  The other groups appear higher because of a different aiming point due to the black circle in the center and the sunlight on target making it hard for me to center the front sight.  The 15 yard group was shot using center hold before lighting changes made me change it up.

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Like all other models, the Combat comes with two mags. This one came with two stainless 8 round Colt magazines. As plain as the are or seem to be.  I have never in in close to 30 years, seen one fail or had one give me problems. They may not be as sexy as some other brand mags, but you can count on them to always work.

This gun, in my opinion is ready to go as a carry pistol. And it looks very good while doing its job.  For some one who is a new buyer or 1911 user who does not really know what they like or want, this is an almost perfect place to start.  It can do what you need immediately. As a long time user of the 1911 I personally would choose a few minor changes, but I have been using the 1911 long enough to know exactly what I want for myself.  I would opt for an ambi safety for one thing. I feel it is essential to be able to work the safety with either hand in case my strong hand is disabled. I am not a fan of no safety , or the trigger safety of a glock( otherwise known as no safety). I would also remove the extended guide rod to allow for one hand manipulations. other than that, I  think it is an great CCW or fighting gun ready to go.

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The Colt Combat Elite is a classic and its name is well known. It was highly respected and  the retro, original still is.  The new model continues that tradition but is even better with its new improvements.  the original is seen above the new model in the picture. As good as it is. the new model has got it beat with its refinements.

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The original. the new Combat Elite and the Colt XSE  are all excellent carry and hard use 1911s made right.

Crusader Weaponry Broadsword .308 Rifle

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Several months ago I had the opportunity to meet Joe Chetwood, owner of Crusader Weaponry (crusaderweaponry.com). He had moved into my neighborhood and as we both have a passion for firearms, we naturally ended up meeting each other. I met with Joe at his home on several occasions to talk about the Broadsword and Crusader Weaponry products. One thing led to another and I was soon in possession of the Crusader Weaponry Broadsword .308/7.62 Carbine.  From the second you hear Crusader Weaponry’s name, see the Crusader Shield marking etched on the side of the Broadsword, you feel like the paladin of old. The Broadsword channels an era when knights wielded the broadsword, to strike powerful blows to the enemies of righteousness and honor. As I spent time with the Broadsword, I found it to be the modern day, hard hitting, dispenser of .308 justice it was built to be.

Crusader Weaponry Broadsword

Crusader Weaponry Broadsword

Sighting In the Broadsword

Sighting In the Broadsword

Specs / Accessories:

The Broadsword is an AR10 type direct impingent carbine chambered in .308/7.62mm. The Broadsword I was given came equipped with:

  • Apex free-float rail system
  • Diamondhead Back-UP iron sights (front & Rear)
  • BattleComp compensator
  • Battle Arms Development ambidextrous safety selector
  • Bravo Company 7.62 Gunfighter Charging Handle
  • Magpul MAID grip
  • Magpul Utility Battle Rifle (UBR) stock
  • Two Magpul PMAG 20 round 7.62/308 magazines
  • Hard Rifle Case

The upper and lower receivers are a 7075-T6 billet aluminum match set from SI Defense. The upper picatinny rail has engraved “T” mark numbers. I found there was absolutely no play between the upper and lower. The barrel is an 18 inch, 416R match grade stainless steel barrel, with 1/11 twist polygonal rifling.

Apex free-float rail system

Apex free-float rail system

BattleComp Compensator

BattleComp Compensator

Battle Arms Development ambi safety selector

Battle Arms Development ambi safety selector

BCG / Gas Key Staking

BCG / Gas Key Staking

Diamondhead Iron Sights

Diamondhead Iron Sights

The upper & lower receivers of the Broadsword are finished in Cerakote Sniper Gray, as well as the barrel. The bolt carrier group and the inside of the upper receiver are treated with Crusader Weaponry’s proprietary Slipstream dry film weapons lube. The dry film lubricant is applied at 150-200 psi, permanently imbedding the dry lubricate to those surfaces it is applied to. The trigger group, charging handle, buffer, and buffer spring can also be treated with Slipstream by choosing different packages offered by Crusader Weaponry.

7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers

7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers

7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers

7075-T6 Billet Match Set Receivers

After spending time with the Broadsword I would change out a few features, like the stock, grip and the rail system, but those are just because of my personal preference. Since Crusader Weaponry is building these custom rifles per individual order, you can get whatever grip, stock or accessories you would prefer. While visiting Crusader Weaponry’s shop, I noticed several Broadsword builds in progress and these rifles had individual requests for different accessories on each rifle.

Field Striping:

The Broadsword brakes down just like an AR-15. If you are running a 5.56mm AR-15, the Broadsword will be very familiar. It just has bigger internal parts. Cleaning and maintenance of the bolt carrier group, charging handle, upper receiver, chamber and barrel are extremely familiar, if not identical to your 5.56mm AR15.  The only thing you will need to add to your cleaning kit is a 308 chamber brush and bore brush. Once field stripped and cleaned, I applied some of Crusader Weaponry’s proprietary Slipstream STYX lubricant to the Broadswords.

Field Stripped

Field Stripped

Bolt Carrier Group / Charging Handle

Bolt Carrier Group / Charging Handle

Performance/Reliability:

I used a couple of Aimpoint Micro’s and an Aimpoint PRO on the Broadsword. The Broadsword is a lot more accurate than I am and I have seen it fired for accuracy with a magnified optic. A few weeks ago I was able to fire another Broadsword with a 1X4 adjustable scope and found this to be a nice combination.  I am not going into formal, measured, MOA accuracy on the Broadsword. I ran the Broadsword like a battle rifle from CQB out to 100 yards. I ran it like a beefed up patrol rifle and as I said before, the Broadsword is a lot more accurate than I am capable of making it. While sighting in the Broadsword, on different optics, I was fully satisfied with 100 yard groups. With some of the OTM match ammo I was right on top of the previous rounds I fired. Once I got it sighted in, I was off to the races running the Broadsword hard.

The trigger felt very close to a standard mil-spec trigger. It had a slightly crisper break than a mil-spec trigger, but there was nothing special about it. It did not affect long range shots but felt very familiar  when running it like a patrol rifle. Once again, the trigger group is an area that can easily be upgraded if you want.

The Broadsword is an absolute blast to shoot. For a larger heavier carbine in 308, it has rather natural pointability, very similar to a 5.56mm AR15. I have spent over three months with the Broadsword firing various brands and loads of ammunition through it. I fire close to 1000 rounds of 308 through the Broadsword. I know this particular rifle has been review by several notable industry members and recently was in Special Weapons for Military & Law Enforcement Magazine. This particular Broadsword was very dirty and well used when I got it. The Broadsword never failed during my time with it. It literally chewed its way through everything I put into it. With every thump of 308 fired and with every magazine exchange, the Broadsword just kept going. I even switched back and forth from cheap steel case Monarch to Federal Premium without a stoppage. I found the Broadsword really liked Federal Sierra Match King in 168 grn and 175 grn. I got the best results accuracy wise with this ammo. I found the action to be very smooth. The bolt carrier slid back and forth smoothly even when gritty, dry and hot from prolonged use. After the Slipstream STYX had started to burn off, the Broadsword still ran very smoothly.

Target Results

Target Results

Now, the Broadsword is a beast, although it looks slick and sexy it has some weight to it. Nothing a few pushups and exercising won’t fix. It’s nothing you can’t handle but after spending a full day with it, you will know that you have been carrying it around. Although it has weight to it, it is balanced very well. I was able to rack the Gunfighter charging handle with my support hand and change magazines with ease, while holding the Broadsword up with my fire control hand.  The weight does dampen down the recoil making the Broadsword smooth and very enjoyable to shoot. Some weight could be shaved off by changing out some of the features on the Broadsword but you will be sacrificing the weight for more recoil.

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint PRO

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint PRO

I found the Broadsword’s recoil was straight back into the pocket of my shoulder. The BattleComp compensator did a nice job of taming the muzzle blast and rise. Now, if you are in a spotter role next to the Broadsword, the BattleComp does nothing for you and you will get your bell rung. After long days of shooting, I found my shoulder was not beat up or feeling the repercussions of all the 308 sent down range. While dumping follow up shoots into my targets, the reacquisition of the sights and Red Dot optics was, smooth and easy to track. With the Broadsword’s features and you doing your part, hard hitting rapid follow up shots, are very easy to keep on target.

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint T1

Broadsword w/ Aimpoint T1

Crusader Weaponry Longbow

Crusader Weaponry Longbow

Conclusion:

The Broadsword does feel like the modern equivalent of the medieval knights broadsword, right down to its cold grey steel look. Finding a 308 battle rifle that runs reliably can be a challenge. Crusader Weaponry is up to this challenge and the Broadsword runs flawlessly. The Broadsword can fill several roles from a heavy patrol rifle, a designated marksman rifle, a hog hunter or anything else you can think to use it for. Crusader Weaponry has several different AR15 and AR10 rifle models available. I had a chance to test fire a Crusader Longbow precision 308, with a very nice Leupold scope mounted on it. Although I only fired a couple of rounds out of the Longbow it looks very promising. I know of only a handful of AR10 type rifles that run reliably. I would put the Crusader Weaponry Broadsword on that list.

Duncan

FBI 9MM Justification, FBI Training Division

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Below is a very interesting read from the FBI Training Division, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA. from a few months ago. This was a PDF file that was sent to me by a coworker. I want to emphasis this is not mine and I did not create it/the content. I simply copied the text and placed it in this format, here on Loose Rounds, so it was easier to see.  It is an executive summary of justification for law enforcement agencies on 9mm for duty carry. If you have followed us here, you know I have been talking about numerous agencies switching back to 9mm over the last few years, as well as the FBI testing for their switch. Great strides in bullet technology have been made in the past decade and 9mm is on the top of its game. With a select few rounds in 9mm, that have been tested for duty carry, 9mm is fast becoming one of the best options for duty carry. ( the authors opinion on 9mm being the best defensive round is his and does not reflect the opinion of all looserounds writers or owners-ED) This goes into some detailed history of testing, common caliber myths and justification for 9mm use over other calibers. The picture below has absolutely nothing to do with the content below. It is  a very old picture that most are familiar with. I put it in to give others a frame of reference, on the type of rounds being discussed below.  Enjoy!

Duncan.

“May 6, 2014

FBI Training Division: FBI Academy, Quantico, VA

Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners

  • Caliber debates have existed in law enforcement for decades
  • Most of what is “common knowledge” with ammunition and its effects on the human target are rooted in myth and folklore
  • Projectiles are what ultimately wound our adversaries and the projectile needs to be the basis for the discussion on what “caliber” is best
  • In all the major law enforcement calibers there exist projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing LEO’s in a shooting incident and there are projectiles which have a high ting incident likelihood of succeeding for LEO’s in a shooting incident
  • Handgun stopping power is simply a myth
  • The single most important factor in effectively wounding a human target is to have penetration to a scientifically valid depth (FBI uses 12” – 18”)
  • LEO’s miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident
  • Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)
  • 9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI
  • 9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)
  • The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)
  • There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto
  • Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers

Justification for Law Enforcement Partners

Rarely in law enforcement does a topic stir a more passionate debate than the choice of handgun caliber made by a law enforcement organization. Many voice their opinions by repeating the old adage “bigger is better” while others have “heard of this one time” where a smaller caliber failed and a larger caliber “would have performed much better.” Some even subscribe to the belief that a caliber exists which will provide a “one shot stop.” It has been stated, “Decisions on ammunition selection are particularly difficult because many of the pertinent issues related to handguns and ammunition are firmly rooted in myth and folklore.” This still holds as true today as it did when originally stated 20 years ago.

Caliber, when considered alone, brings about a unique set of factors to consider such as magazine capacity for a given weapon size, ammunition availability, felt recoil, weight and cost. What is rarely discussed, but most relevant to the caliber debate is what projectile is being considered for use and its terminal performance potential.

One should never debate on a gun make or caliber alone. The projectile is what wounds and ultimately this is where the debate/discussion should focus. In each of the three most common law enforcement handgun calibers (9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 AUTO) there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing law enforcement officers and in each of these three calibers there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of succeeding for law enforcement officers during a shooting incident. The choice of a service projectile must undergo intense scrutiny and scientific evaluation in order to select the best available option.

Understanding Handgun Caliber Terminal Ballistic Realities

Many so‐called “studies” have been performed and many analyses of statistical data have been undertaken regarding this issue. Studies simply involving shooting deaths are irrelevant since the goal of law enforcement is to stop a threat during a deadly force encounter as quickly as possible. Whether or not death occurs is of no consequence as long as the threat of death or serious injury to law enforcement personnel and innocent third parties is eliminated.

The concept of immediate incapacitation is the only goal of any law enforcement shooting and is the underlying rationale for decisions regarding weapons, ammunition, calibers and training.1

Studies of “stopping power” are irrelevant because no one has ever been able to define how much power, force, or kinetic energy, in and of itself, is required to effectively stop a violent and determined adversary quickly, and even the largest of handgun calibers are not capable of delivering such force. Handgun stopping power is simply a myth. Studies of so‐called “one shot stops” being used as a tool to define the effectiveness of one handgun cartridge, as opposed to another, are irrelevant due to the inability to account for psychological influences and due to the lack of reporting specific shot placement. In short, extensive studies have been done over the years to “prove” a certain cartridge is better than another by using grossly flawed methodology and or bias as a precursor to manipulating statistics. In order to have a meaningful understanding of handgun terminal ballistics, one must only deal with facts that are not in dispute within the medical community, i.e. medical realities, and those which are also generally accepted within law enforcement, i.e. tactical realities.

Medical Realities

Shots to the Central Nervous System (CNS) at the level of the cervical spine (neck) or above, are the only means to reliably cause immediate incapacitation. In this case, any of the calibers commonly used in law enforcement, regardless of expansion, would suffice for obvious reasons. Other than shots to the CNS, the most reliable means for affecting rapid incapacitation is by placing shots to large vital organs thus causing rapid blood loss. Simply stated, shot placement is the most critical component to achieving either method of incapacitation.

Wounding factors between rifle and handgun projectiles differ greatly due to the dramatic differences in velocity, which will be discussed in more detail herein. The wounding factors, in order of importance, are as follows:

A. Penetration:

A projectile must penetrate deeply enough into the body to reach the large vital organs, namely heart, lungs, aorta, vena cava and to a lesser extent liver and spleen, in order to cause rapid blood loss. It has long been established by expert medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that this equates to a range of penetration of 12‐18 inches, depending on the size of the individual and the angle of the bullet path (e.g., through arm, shoulder, etc.). With modern properly designed, expanding handgun bullets, this objective is realized, albeit more consistently with some law enforcement projectiles than others. 1 Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness: Firearms Training Unit, Ballistic Research Facility, 1989.

B. Permanent Cavity:

The extent to which a projectile expands determines the diameter of the permanent cavity which, simply put, is that tissue which is in direct contact with the projectile and is therefore destroyed. Coupled with the distance of the path of the projectile (penetration), the total permanent cavity is realized. Due to the elastic nature of most human tissue and the low velocity of handgun projectiles relative to rifle projectiles, it has long been established by medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that the damage along a wound path visible at autopsy or during surgery cannot be distinguished between the common handgun calibers used in law enforcement. That is to say an operating room surgeon or Medical Examiner cannot distinguish the difference between wounds caused by .35 to .45 caliber projectiles.

C. Temporary Cavity:

The temporary cavity is caused by tissue being stretched away from the permanent cavity. If the temporary cavity is produced rapidly enough in elastic tissues, the tensile strength of the tissue can be exceeded resulting in tearing of the tissue. This effect is seen with very high velocity projectiles such as in rifle calibers, but is not seen with handgun calibers. For the temporary cavity of most handgun projectiles to have an effect on wounding, the velocity of the projectile needs to exceed roughly 2,000 fps. At the lower velocities of handgun rounds, the temporary cavity is not produced with sufficient velocity to have any wounding effect; therefore any difference in temporary cavity noted between handgun calibers is irrelevant. “In order to cause significant injuries to a structure, a pistol bullet must strike that structure directly.”2 DiMaio, V.J.M.: Gunshot Wounds, Elsevier Science Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1987, page 42.

D. Fragmentation:

Fragmentation can be defined as “projectile pieces or secondary fragments of bone which are impelled outward from the permanent cavity and may sever muscle tissues, blood vessels, etc., apart from the permanent cavity”3. Fragmentation does not reliably occur in soft tissue handgun wounds due to the low velocities of handgun bullets. When fragmentation does occur, fragments are usually found within one centimeter (.39”) of the permanent cavity.4 Due to the fact that most modern premium law enforcement ammunition now commonly uses bonded projectiles (copper jacket bonded to lead core), the likelihood of fragmentation is very low. For these reasons, wounding effects secondary to any handgun caliber bullet fragmentation are considered inconsequential. 3 Fackler, M.L., Malinowski, J.A.: “The Wound Profile: A Visual Method for Quantifying Gunshot Wound Components”, Journal of Trauma 25: 522‐529, 1958. 4 Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness: Firearms Training Unit, Ballistic Research Facility, 1989.

Psychology

Any discussion of stopping armed adversaries with a handgun has to include the psychological state of the adversary. Psychological factors are probably the most important relative to achieving rapid incapacitation from a gunshot wound to the torso.5 First and foremost, the psychological effects of being shot can never be counted on to stop an individual from continuing conscious voluntary action. Those who do stop commonly do so because they decide to, not because they have to. The effects of pain are often delayed due to survival patterns secondary to “fight or flight” reactions within the body, drug/alcohol influences and in the case of extreme anger or aggression, pain can simply be ignored. Those subjects who decide to stop immediately after being shot in the torso do so commonly because they know they have been shot and are afraid of injury or death, regardless of caliber, velocity, or bullet design. It should also be noted that psychological factors can be a leading cause of incapacitation failures and as such, proper shot placement, adequate penetration, and multiple shots on target cannot be over emphasized. 5 Ibid.

Tactical Realities

Shot placement is paramount and law enforcement officers on average strike an adversary with only 20 – 30 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident. Given the reality that shot placement is paramount (and difficult to achieve given the myriad of variables present in a deadly force encounter) in obtaining effective incapacitation, the caliber used must maximize the likelihood of hitting vital organs. Typical law enforcement shootings result in only one or two solid torso hits on the adversary. This requires that any projectile which strikes the torso has as high a probability as possible of penetrating deeply enough to disrupt a vital organ.

The Ballistic Research Facility has conducted a test which compares similar sized Glock pistols in both .40 S&W and 9mm calibers, to determine if more accurate and faster hits are achievable with one versus the other. To date, the majority of the study participants have shot more quickly and more accurately with 9mm caliber Glock pistols. The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success while improving the speed and accuracy of the most skilled shooters.

CONCLUSION

While some law enforcement agencies have transitioned to larger calibers from the 9mm Luger in recent years, they do so at the expense of reduced magazine capacity, more felt recoil, and given adequate projectile selection, no discernible increase in terminal performance.

Other law enforcement organizations seem to be making the move back to 9mm Luger taking advantage of the new technologies which are being applied to 9mm Luger projectiles. These organizations are providing their armed personnel the best chance of surviving a deadly force encounter since they can expect faster and more accurate shot strings, higher magazine capacities (similar sized weapons) and all of the terminal performance which can be expected from any law enforcement caliber projectile.

Given the above realities and the fact that numerous ammunition manufacturers now make 9mm Luger service ammunition with outstanding premium line law enforcement projectiles, the move to 9mm Luger can now be viewed as a decided advantage for our armed law enforcement personnel.”

If you want to know more about FBI test protocols for duty ammo, the premium line law enforcement projectiles the FBI is talking about and what rounds to select for self defence, here is a related article: looserounds.com duty/defense-carry-ammunition-selection

Info on the Canadian AR15s.

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On the AR15.com forums there is some discussion about the Canadian version of the M16 family of weapons.  A poster by the name of RebelRouser posted this info in a thread about the C7 rifle.

 

Hi Steve
I apologize for not answering sooner. I‘m afraid I have been avoiding the alligators chewing on my ankles to take care of the ones feeding higher up.
To answer your questions as presented:
The effective range published does not have much to do with the barrel but is an infantry doctrine distance to do with the whole system including the man, sights, weapon ammunition and expected employment. So when you see effective range, it is almost always a subjective assessment of the system capability derived by the user instructor (CTC) and rifle requirements office (DLR), usually before the weapon is even bought. In the case of the C7 it included iron sights and was extended (I think) when the C79 sight and the C7A1 came along. The reference to the rifles origins (M16A1E1) is in reference to the sight option first chosen by the CF. The heavy front profile, 1 turn in 7inch barrel is definitely M16A2. As is the cartridge deflector, handguards and many other changes.

Now lets talk barrels:
The C7 barrel is not the same as any M16 barrel except for the exterior profile which is M16A2. The Material is to a formula developed here in Diemaco (under Gov‘t contract) so that the entire bore and chamber configuration can be integrally formed in one operation on a rotary hammer forge. This process produces a barrel that is much stronger than the US M16A2 barrel. The bore dimensions were developed to fire C77 ammunition, (Chamber, bullet lead, diameters) the bore has dimensional reduction as the bullet moves forward (squeeze) to increase life and accuracy. The bore is plated with harder chrome than the M16. This allows greater wear life (2 to 3 times M16) and lets us machine C9 barrels from the same barrel blank. The SFW was recently tested and purchased by the UK special forces and won in competition against the Swiss SIG series rifles and the H&K G36 rifle. This barrel is now in use by the Special Forces in five countries and the US Navy Seals have expressed interest in putting them in the M4 Carbines that they have.
We have just completed a C8 Carbine upgrade program for Canada which is a new barrel with an improved chamber and stronger extractor spring assembly and a weaker ejector spring. These are the same internal configuration as our very successful SFW barrel.

Differences:
The C7 rifle and C8 Carbine is made under license with a Tech Data Package provided by Colt to the Canadian Gov‘t. Diemaco reviewed the design and made about 150 changes to the drawing package before Canadian production.  These are to numerous to mention her but include things like materials and processes as well as a different barrel configuration and manufacturing processes.

The improved handguard we designed here after CWO John Ginn kept beating the Colt version off the weapon on the parade square. You probably can‘t tell from the outside but if the you take the handguard off, you will notice two types. The improved version has two large ribs under the heat shield and three interlocking ribs on either edge as well as different material. These were introduced late in the program so they had to be interchangable and be a good match with the old handguard.

Another change you may notice is the small diameter front sight post that we developed when soldiers complained that the US large square one actually obscured the target at ranges of 300 and greater.

I hope this helps you with the discussion and thank you for your interest in the C7.

Ian Anderson
ILS Supervisor
Product Engineering Dept.
Diemaco a division of Heroux- Devtek

Please note: Any opinions expressed or implied in this email are personal are not necessarily those of Heroux Devtek or Diemaco

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