Barnes TSX test ( 70 gr) PART 2

Today I tested some more of the barnes triple shock X  bullets ( TSX ). I have wanted to see how the 70 grain bullet would do for a long time now so I put up a windshield  and a stack of soaking wet phone books. I wanted to test for penetration, expansion and for any point of aim point of impact changes after the round went through the auto glass.

I fired several rounds through the glass and into the books but was not able to recover many of the fired shots. Most of the rounds went through the glass and did in fact stay on track with not noticeable deflection. But, a lot of the bullets went through the glass and all of the books. One was found in the next to last book turned sideways. I am not sure it if tumbled through the book but I believe it did. The other I found in the last book setting just as it should have been.

One thing I found impressive was the damage done to the books as the bullets passed through.

As can be seen in the photo, the path of the bullets created wound channels bigger then the bullet diameter. Of course this is desired. One thing to note is the bullets did not deflect hardly at all even while traveling through glass, then the books.

Even though there was several feet between the glass and my target behind the glass, the round traveled as I had hoped. So it can be assumed that if you intended to hit something ( someone) behind auto glass, that you could hold on the target and reasonably expect to hit it. I did angle the glass to imitate glass in a car/truck. Even though, the round did not follow the curve of the glass to any amount I could detect with a dowel rod inserted into the holes.

Now the kind of bad news. If you know anything about the tests done on the TSX and the 70 grain version in particular, you have heard that the tips have been known to collapse inward and then act as a  ball round. Well, this happened to me as well. I figure this is why I was not able to recover many of them.  Although they did not open up the way intended they still preformed very well. I expected them to act  in this way and would have been surprised to see a perfect mushroomed TSX after going trough glass.  Remember that glass is not muscle,skin,blood and bone. So do not be afraid to use this bullet for self defense or hunting. Nothing in a body will act like auto glass. The fact that they did expand slightly is a good thing, but even better is they stayed on track, did not explode or frag into tiny pieces and not penetrate much. They did the opposite of that, and I would want them to work this way if I needed to shoot something inside a vehicle.

Here you can see how they did slightly expand. You can also see how they tucked in to render them a ball round slightly bigger then its original size. You may notice how much longer they are then 75 or 77 grain OTM. The rounds fired are setting they way they would be in a case.  The 70 grain TSX  absolutely requires a 1/7 twist. I am not sure if a 1/8 twist would work because I am too lazy to check right now.


Here are two more fired bullets to show how they behave with regularity when shot trough the glass.

All of the ammo was handloaded to 556 pressure to try to match the “brown tip” load the military has been supposedly issuing to special forces troops. I have no idea about muzzle velocities or pressure of the “Brown tip” So I played it by ear. I do know the bullet is the same used so that will just have to do.  This load and bullet combo is my current favorite for hunting and other use. I do not want anyone to get the wrong idea about this round/bullet from the pics above and not seeing a perfect mushroom. So I want to point out again that any round fired through glass will never act the same as it will when fired in tissue especially something meant for meat.  If you want to see how it does on game, the hog hunting forum on is the place to go. Members there take 250 to 300 pound wild hogs using this bullet regularly and with ease. So don’t mark this bullet of  the list of game  or self defense use based on barrier performance. But try to keep in mind this is what you want when shooting through a car window. The round acts exactly they way it is intended when hitting living tissue and is very, very impressive.

Ended – SWFA Facebook Sale

For all your Facebook users and SWFA/SuperSniper fans here is a chance to save a few bucks on Super Sniper scopes.

Update April 14th:      The 2000 likes code is now active.

Update April 17th:     The 2500 likes code is active.

Update April 21st:     3000 Likes code is active.

Update April 24th:  Not only has the 4000 Likes code been activated, SWFA has received over 500 likes in the past day.  I intend to get a 1-6x for evaluation should the 5000 code be activated.


As of the 26th, SWFA has 5000 likes.  I will be ordering a 1-6x to test out.

On the Krinkov

There is a growing popularity for the short barreled AR and AK.  One of the AK varients that has exploded in popularity is the AKS72U, also known as the Krinkov.  While Krinkov is an incorrect term, it has become the popular name for these AKs.  There are Russian and Bulgarian Krinkov kits and rifles available.  Similar but different are the Yugo M92s and Romanian Dracos which are compariably sized but different models.  You can get one in 7.62×39, 5.45×39, or 5.56 Nato.

I am not going to pull any punches, these guns suck.

The problem is neither that these rifles (or pistol versions) are AKs, nor the short barrel length but the lack practical usefulness of these rifles.  Now don’t get me wrong, if you want one as a fun gun, get it.  But please don’t consider buying something like this for home defense, zombie apocalypse, Terminator uprising, etc.

Why are these rifles not practical?  Several reasons including sight radius, size, weight.  Let me use the AKS74U (or my SLR106UR) as an example.

Sight Radius:  My AK has a sight radius shorter then some pistols.  Not just are the sights close, they are hard to use.  Now this can be negated by optic, but that is additional cost, and if you mount an optic on the side rail you can not fold the stock.

Size:  Often the appeal of the Krinkov type AK is how very small it is.  However for any sort of practical firing you will need to stock unfolded.  With the stock extended, the overall length of the rifle is about 29 inches.  That is almost identical to a M4 with the stock collapsed.  That M4 with its stock collapsed has nearly twice the sight radius and twice the barrel length.  Not to mention a good bit easier to shoot accurately.  The Krinkov small size is only helpful for storage, not for shooting.

Weight:  While the Krinkov is small, it is not light.  A stock rifle is about 6 pounds.  To compare it to the M4 again, is similar weight to a M4 with iron sights and plastic handguard.  Not to mention that this AK starts off weighing almost as much as a larger rifle, it is far harder to mount any sort of useful accessories like optics and lights to it.

Ergonomics:  The AK isn’t know for its ergonomics.  However the Krinkov gets worse.  Aside from the previously mentioned short sight radius, the handguards on these shortened AK get very hot, very fast.  Much faster then on a standard length AK.  Should you decided to run something like an Ultimak optics rail on a Krinkov, you may find your self burning your fingers should you not bring gloves.  The stockless pistol versions of these rifles are heavy enough to make shooting them like a pistol awkward.

The worst for last, lack of modularity.  Now normally this would be a non-issue.  However if you compare the SBR’d AK to its competition, the SBR AR15, the AR15 is by far the better choice.  Should you buy or build a Krinkov, what you have is what you are stuck with.  A SBR AR15 can easily be modified for different calibres, barrel lengths, optics, etc.  The short AK, even with its side rail and optional quad rail, lacks most of the flexibility a short AR has.

The main advantage of something like the Krinkov is that you can fold the stock (for storage, use in a vehicle, transportation, jumping, etc).  However as soon as you unfold that stock, you are just left with an inferior rifle.

Should you choose to run something like this as your primary weapon, here are a few suggestions.  I would recommend employing the weapon system much like how you would have employed a SMG.  If using a left side folding stocked AK, get a railed dust cover or handguard to mount your optic on so it wont interfere with folding the stock.  Have a good sling.  Consider having a smaller mag (like a 20 rounder) for when you are concealing or storing the rifle.  Make sure to pick ammo that will perform well with the reduced velocity from your rifle.  Wear good ear protection due to the increase in flash and blast from the short barrel.  Have fun.

Review: LaRue RISR on an AR15


I purchased a used Magpul CTR stock with LaRue RISR and POD installed.  It was interesting to try out the LaRue Reciprocating Inline Stock Riser (RISR) on an AR15.  The RISR is made to give a higher cheekweld on rifles like the LaRue .308 OBR and accommodate the charging handle on the AR series of rifles.

I tried the RISR on a Colt 6920 first.  I found the RISR to be high enough that I could not use the standard iron sights on the 6920.  When I tried another upper with a NightForce 2.5-10×24 in a LT135 high mount.  Even with the scope mounted higher then normal, I found the taller checkweld that the RISR gave made looking through the scope awkward.

Using the RISR gave a little more resistance then charging a normal AR15.  Having an extended charging handle lever would help when using the RISR.

The RISR may be an excellent choice for high mounted optics on the higher rail of a .308 AR.  However for me, the RISR just gets in my way on AR15s.  I have already removed the RISR from my rifle and will be sending it to Shawn so he can try it out.

Barnes TSX ( triple shock X ) 55 grains Test Part 1 in a series

This is the first in a series ( I hope ) of test i will be doing on some of the barnes TSX bullets in a variety of weights ( my wallet allowing) and through a variety of barrier. These first rounds were fired from a  16 inch barrel carbine   through a car front window and  into a IDPA target then into a stack of 5 large phone books.  Rain destroyed the target and almost my camera before I could get pictures. But here is a few pics of how well the  TSX bullets performed.

The target was 50 yards away and I faced the window head on. After passing through the glass the round stayed on course and went trough the exact spot I was aiming at into the IDPA target that was about two feet behind the inside of the glass. There was no key holes or any signs that the round did anything other then what it was meant to do. The bullets then went into the phone books and traveled  through 4 before stopping. The books were about three and and a half inches thick each.  I dug them out to find that they  had shed no weight that I could measure and had not shed any “pedals”.  I also did not find that any of the points had sheared off or collapsed in on itself causing the bullet to fail like has been claimed can happen.  The ammo was factory corbon brand.

The next test will be handloads since factory ammo is cost more then a hooker made of gold.

Next up I will try the 62 gr followed by 50s, 70s,and 53s.  Last year I should note, I killed a deer from 150 yards away with the same gun, using the 70 grain TSX. It dropped with one shot to the left side shoulder. The round went all the through  and I could find no bullet to examine. Exit wound was the size of a quarter. I have been a admirer of the TSX bullets for many years but last year was the first time I used any one meat.

Hopefully the future tests will give and idea of how they perform around vehicles. I hope to get an idea how useful the bullet would be for police officers in a situation that involves  shooting around cars like on a traffic stop gone bad. Of course police spend a lot of time around vehicles so it makes since to have a round to  go through most barriers of cars and still have what it takes. Hopefully I can dig up an old engine block to see try them on just to see what happens.

Fast review of the FN FNP 45

I week or so ago i got a chance to try out the FN 45.    There are a few things I like about the gun; it comes with two 14 round mags and a 15 round mag.

The FN of course comes with a rail on the frame for the ever popular light, which I think is a must have these days. Being a 1911 guy, I was glad to see that it had a thumb safety. I have to say that it was not in the best position for my hand to easily hit it to fire. The grip was fairly large for people used to a single stack pistol,, but it was not too large. The size of the grip did make it hard for me to reach the trigger. It was workable and easy to use in single action but trying to get to the trigger in double action was a real chore. The trigger was a decent CCW or combat trigger but I would not take it to any matches.

The good things are the safety and the mag release are ambi, which I a feature I always love.  The sights on the gun were easy to see and snag free but not sharp enough to hurt. They are pretty much a FN version of the super popular novak sights.  One thing about the magazines is the effort it takes to load them. It was one of the hardest mags I have ever had to load. The thumbs ached after trying to force in just two rounds. And it was just as hard to load the first round as it was the last. This was very irritating and slowed things down a lot. I am not kidding around or exaggerating at all. I can not stress enough how hard it was to load the mags.

Shooting the gun for general drills was easy but the gun is flippy in recoil. I would often loose my grip on the gun with my alternate killing hand. This is purely a training  issue, but it was something I had to work hard to overcome.

For accuracy testing I used my normal method of slow fire off a bench. I shot at 25 yards with WWB ball 230 grain ammo.

I feel the gun has better accuracy to offer then my results. I am a 1911 guy through and through so  I don’t always do my best with a DA pistol. But regardless the pistol was pretty good since I was using walmart fodder. the above target was shot off of the bench.

This group was shot off hand slowfire at 25 yards with some odd results. Thumbusting magazine shown in picture to weigh down the paper.

I liked the FN in the time I had with it.  If I was wanted a DA pistol that held 15 rounds of 45, this would be my choice.  I was able to hit a man chest sized steel gong with the gun at 100 yards off hand with the handgun easy. This is a test I do on any of my guns I carry CCW or for more serious potential use. I think if you have a pistol that can give you that performance, you can trust it to fill in for a rifle in the worst of situations.  The FN  past my 100 test with ease. I will have more time with the FN in coming weeks, so I will try to do a part 2 write up with more detail and testing with better ammo.

Review: DSA AR15 Ambi-Safety


DSArms offers an AR15 semi-auto Ambi-Safety for $28 dollars; part number ZM41367AMBISA-A.  Both parts of the Ambi safety appear to be cast.  The groove allowing rotation is cut all the way around the DSA ambi safety, allowing the safety/selector to move into what would be a Burst/Full Auto position on a select fire rifle.  However the rifle will not fire while the safety is placed on this position.

The DSA safety is one of the cheapest options for an ambidextrous safety for the AR15.  The both sides of this safety lever are full size, so it may bump into your trigger finger when you flip the safety.  This safety also sticks out a little more from the receiver then other safeties.  This is most likely to ensure compatibility with the wide variety of aftermarket pistol grips available for the AR15.  I really do not like how the safety will spin into the third position.  If I push too hard or too far when trying to take the rifle off safe, I can push the safety past the fire point and any point past that the rifle will not fire.

I do not recommend the DSArms ambi-safety because it will rotate past fire.  However if that is not an issue for you, the DSArms ambi-safety is one of the cheapest ambi-safeties around.

On the Side Sling swivel

Occasionally questions arise about the side sling swivel for the AR15/M16/M4.  This will answer a few common questions.

It is normal for the sling mount to move.  it will wear and make marks on the barrel.

Side sling swivels come from the factory mounted so the loop faces the rear of the rifle.  This is fine if your using CAR or M4 plastic hand guards.  However if you are using a Knights M4 RAS this loop will interfer with installing and removing rail panel covers.  The Army authorizes mounting the sling loop forwards to negate that issue.

If you are mounting a M203 underbarrel grenade launcher on a M4, the side sling swivel will need to be mounted so the loop is on the ejector port side of the rifle(same side as used for left handed shooters).

A Look at Quality CCW Shirts

Sure you can hide your widow maker  with normal clothes the same as you can with clothes meant to hide guns, but normally those non gun clothes lack a few other nice little refinements. Until recently anything  made to be worn with guns was usually something  meant to be be more of what I call uniform casual. The police polo shirt with hooks for radio wires  or other shirts meant to be more “tactical”, whatever that means these days.

I do not consider my self fashionable, but I do kinda of like my clothes to be presentable for dinner or a date. Most of the clothes I used in the past to hide my  sidearm looked pretty sloppy and had my girlfriend complaining about my looks. She is always dressed in current fashion and when we went out , I did not think it was asking to much for me to look like something she would not be ashamed to be seen with, at least clothing wise. So Last year she bought me a woolrich elite CCW shirt to wear. Not only did it hide my gun well, it looked great!. It was comfortable, it was light, it did not stain easy and it let me stay cool in the summer. After this, I became more interested in shirts that hide guns and all the other stuff that usually goes along with them.

Not too long ago, Woolrich came out with some more shirts in the line. They look even better then the older solid color shirts from a few years ago, but are nice enough to wear anywhere for most events you may find yourself dragged to willingly or out of duty.

The 1st of these is the Woolrich Elite series tactical shirt

As you can see in the picture the shirt looks good, wears good, and hides a full size 1911 and spare mag easily. Both right and left sides have the hidden split side with velcro closure. This lets you grab the shirt and rip it open to get to your handgun or reload easier. when not in use, they split side is hidden.

The bottom button of the shirt is also false. Instead it has a small magnet on each side that stays put until you need to  move it, then it comes away easily to let you move the shit to get to whatever you need. Also the back of the shirt has a vented back for better cooling, as I will show in a later pic of another shirt.  The shirt hides inside and outside the belt holster well adn with very little printing. Here is a side view of the shirt  doing its thing.

The next shirt is another Woolrich CCW shirt but not the Elite series. It is however just as nice. It has all the same features as the above shirt but has some extras.

The shirt has the same velcro split side as the elite series  on both left and right sides and the vented back. But, it also has a middle section of false buttons. The middle section is not velcro however. Instead of having velcro that would wear out or be too noisy in a bad situation, it has magnets behind the false buttons that allows you to slip your hand into the shirt to get to a gun in a shoulder holster. I thought this was a great solution for the shoulder holster. I rarely use a shoulder rig because of not having a easy way to get to it with normal shirts.

As can be seen, the shirt easily pulls away right where you need it to.

And here is a picture trying to show the left side vents. Both woolrich shirts have these vents on the right and left side along with a breast pocket that is closed with velcro.

These shirts come in a few different colors and patterns. They are light and very very comfortable. They fit me just as they are supposed to. A size M is a size M and the material they are made from is soft and is hard to get to wrinkle. To add to that I have to say they look really good, everyone that has seen them has commented on how nice they looked and had no idea of there purpose. Since the remarks came from some women I consider that pretty good proof that the shirt does its job of deception.

The next shirt is not a Woolrich  but the ever popular 5.11. I like some 5.11 stuff and have a couple of pair of their pants but this is the first shirt that I have tried from the company. Before I got the woolrich shirts I liked it a lot. I still like it, but now I see its not all it could be. But it is still a very nice shirt that does its job well. I think it would do better for a police officer or some one that needed to carry a lot more gear. or just a guy that likes to carry a lot more gear.

The shirt works great for hiding your handgun.

But I find the side velcro splits do not come up far enough to always clear the gun like they are meant to.

Pretty good, but not as much as I would like.

Like the woolrich, it allows you to get to a shoulder holster but with a different solution. It uses metal snap buttons under false conventional looking buttons.

Once inside the shirt, there are two huge inside pockets that are closed by velcro. They are big enough to hold anything you can think of. I was able to fit an entire Gov model 1911 in the left side. The same pocket is on left and right of the shirt.

That is a lot of room. I was able to get  30 round AR15 mags in the pockets as well as flashlights, wallets, spare pistol mags and a lot of other things useful and not useful.

Here is a picture of the hidden buttons along with the outer false buttons. The inside rear of the shirt shows the material meant to make the shirt cooler and to get some air inside. It does a poor job at this but I consider the shirt more for cooler use. The material is very soft and wrinkle free, but it is heavier then the woolrich. Though it might be hotter and heavier, it is not by much and it may make it last longer and be tougher, but I do not think it would be enough to call it an advantage over the woolrich.

All of the shirts will do exactly what they are intended to do. I have to say I have a love of the woolrich though. They have more styles and they area lot cooler in the summer. All of the shirt shown are pricey, but what product in our lifestyle is not pricey these days? Especially if you want quality, and I have always lived by the “you get what you pay for”  philosophy. All of the shirts will do a good job and I highly suggest giving them some serious thought.Sure I can hide a 1911 , two reloads and a Ar15 mag under a wife beater Tshirt, but why not look good and have something the wife/girlfriend/ boyfriend??  would be proud to be seen with you if you are wearing it.