Range Report

Went plinking today.

I have been working on 3D printing 40mm projectiles. I wanted to test a 3D printed pusher, and someone asked me to try zinc stearate as an alternative to colored chalk dust. I took a video, I’ll have that posted up some other time. I’ll talk about the results then.

My 100% infil pusher fired just fine, but did not break on impact. Might have been the angle of impact, or the projectile might just be light enough that it is less likely to break. Here is the recovered projectile next to a standard pusher.

This printed projectile had a narrower diameter to fit in a printed case, so I used a little blue painters tape to make it a snug fit in the standard cases. That is what is all torn up at the base.

It shows some damage from being fired, but not much.

I had my KAC/Larue bastard SR25 out. While I really like the Nightforce ACTAR 1-8X, that 1 MOAish center dot makes it harder for shooting groups. After tweaking the zero a bit, I finally decided I was going to use the top edge of the reticle for my 100 yard zero.

The center dot is .35 mils, which makes it about 1.2 inches in diameter at 100 yards. I initially was trying to shoot at 3/4 inch dots, and trying to center on a dot I was completely covering was somewhat hard for me.

Using the top edge of the dot will let me see what I am shooting at when I shoot at 100 yards, and should make the tip of the post my 200 yard point of aim.

I fired a few rounds from the B&T APC9k, then headed out. Didn’t stay too long, as it was kinda cold out.

The 82nd Airborne Tests New Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) Goggles

An article from Military.com reminded about a new viewing system for individual soldiers that has been in development and testing since about 2018 or so. The new system is referred to as ‘Integrated Visual Augmentation System’ (IVAS).

Photo: DVIDS

The foundation of IVAS is a Microsoft commercial product called HoloLense which is referred to as ‘mixed reality smartglasses’. The Microsoft HoloLense program is also known under the name ‘Project Baraboo’. The Microsoft product has evolved to more of a goggle set which is the foundation for IVAS. IVAS provides the soldier two advantages…improved situational awareness through heads-up display (HUD) functionality and target reticle projection/integration into the HUD.

Photo: DVIDS- Soldier dons the Capability Set 3 (CS 3) militarized form
factor prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during
a Soldier Touchpoint 3 (STP 3) live fire test event at Fort Pickett, Va in
October 2020
Photo: US Army

The heads-up display improves situational awareness by showing things such as map data. The weapon reticle data is transmitted from a sight unit mounted on the soldiers M4A1 carbine via Bluetooth to the IVAS HUD.

Photo: DVIDS- Soldier dons the Capability Set 3 (CS 3) militarized form
factor prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during
a Soldier Touchpoint 3 (STP 3) live fire test event at Fort Pickett, Va in
October 2020

The website ‘Breaking Defense’ did an article back in April of 2020 discussing how Ft. Bragg was using some of the thermal capabilities of the goggles for COVID-19 mitigation. Base personnel were checking soldiers temperatures by just looking at them. You can read the Breaking Defense article here:


The IVAS program is consisting of four Soldier Touch Points (STP’s) so far. STP one (squad level testing) and STP two (platoon level) are completed. Touch Point 3 began on October 17th with roughly a company of soldiers with network integrated IVAS sharing data amongst users. STP 4 is supposed to occur in the spring of 2021 with fielding taking place the same year.

The Military.com article has interesting comments from soldiers involved in testing and can be read at this link:


With UAV’s fully integrated into air warfare, it was only a matter of time until technological improvements for the ground-pounder began to appear. In addition to IVAS, there are testing programs underway for robot ‘donkeys’ to carry gear and supplies for soldiers on the battlefield. I’m glad I retired in May of 2020. The battlefield is becoming increasingly lethal for personnel on all sides…technological improvement for the warfighter isn’t one-sided anymore.

Alabama man injured after gun explodes in freak accident at range

Megan Harman says her dad, Chris, was with family at the Firing Pin in Opelika when the gun he was shooting exploded in his face in a freak accident.

“He’s on his way to Birmingham now for them to try and save his left eye,” said Harman.

The accident happened just after Harman’s mom shot her Taurus 380. She had loaded the clip and fired six rounds when the last one jammed. She removed the clip and got the bullet out. Harman says her dad shot the gun next. The family recalls Chris loaded the clip and had fired three times when the gun exploded, and Chris went down.

Chris is on his way from the hospital via ambulance for surgery at a Birmingham eye clinic. He has blow out fractures in his left orbit, and the family is praying doctors can save his eye. The family is scared but very thankful Chris was wearing safety glasses when the explosion or the injuries could have been much more severe.

Airport Deploys ‘Virus-Killing Robots’ During Holidays As Mall Santas Turn To Plexiglass Barriers And ‘Sanitation Elves’

Airlines, meanwhile, are jumping through all sorts of hoops to keep regulators and worried passengers happy – mandating that passengers wear masks throughout their flights, while airports employ measures of their own such as thermal imaging to scan for fevers (which has ‘accuracy issues‘ per experts). Airports are also employing touchless kiosks and attempting to enforce social distancing recommendations.

San Antonio International Airport in Texas has gone one step further – deploying a virus-fighting robot that shoots powerful bursts of UV light onto surfaces, according to the Washington Post.

It’s called LightStrike, and other airports are considering whether to invest in the $125,000 device that has been shown to be effective against the coronavirus. Some airports are watching to see whether travel improves over the coming weeks, according to officials at Xenex, the company behind the device.

Xenex says that its robot business has increased 600 percent amid the pandemic. Most of the increase is related to the health-care industry, but the robot also has entered new markets such as hotels, professional sports facilities and police stations. –Washington Post

“When you bring something like SARS-CoV-2 into focus, institutions like hotels, airlines, professional sports teams, they’re looking for what’s best-in-class to kill it,” according to Xenex CEO, Morris Miller.

The 43″ tall UV-producing robots with a seven-foot effective radius were initially developed for hospitals as a method of eliminating viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and was recently picked up by a local school district in Texas, according to the report.

It’s been known for decades that UV radiation can destroy viruses by chemically altering their genetic material. However, different pathogens are susceptible to UV light at varying wavelengths. Many traditional UV devices use low-intensity mercury bulbs, which means they may take longer to kill organic material such as viruses. By contrast, LightStrike robots have a powerful xenon UV-C light source capable of damaging the DNA and RNA of viruses in a matter of minutes. –Washington Post

In a test conducted by the Texas Biomedical Research Instituted in San Antonio, the LightStrike robot destroyed COVID-19 in two minutes, and has shown to be effective at killing certain superbugs such as C. diff. 

Meanwhile, mall santas have also been forced to adapt to Christmas with COVID – with some now appearing for photos from inside ‘acrylic snow globes’ and other barriers.

Old Saint Nick will pose for photos from inside an acrylic snow globe in Richmond. He’ll be barricaded behind a eight-foot picture frame in Lakewood, Colo. And in Gruene, Tex., Cowboy Kringle, who wears red leather chaps and a cowboy hat, will keep socially distant by asking visitors to sit on a saddle positioned six feet away.

This year’s holiday photos will have a decidedly pandemic feel: No more sitting on Kriss Kringle’s lap or whispering in his ear. Instead, venues are increasingly requiring reservations, masks and temperature checks. Santa is hosting drive-through events, attaching face shields to his hat and trading in his white cloth gloves for disposable ones to protect himself — and others — as coronavirus cases skyrocket to new highs around the country. –Washington Post

“Everything is different this year, but people are finding a way to keep that traditional Santa experience,” said Mitchell Allen, owner of the Hire Santa staffing firm – where ‘virtual bookings have grown tenfold,’ yet only constitute a fraction of the company’s total revenue according to the report.

“It’s unexpected, to be honest.”

At Bass Pro Shops, which also owns Cabela’s, Saint Nick is stuck behind an acrylic shield, while elves serve as “Santa’s sanitization squad,” as some 95,000 families stopped by for photos during Santa’s first week at 176 stores.

Santa’s helper works to keep things disinfected at the Springfield Bass Pro Shops store. (Annaliese Nurnberg/The Washington Post)

With struggling retailers being sent into bankruptcy thanks to a sharp dropoff in foot traffic during the pandemic, mall santas have been a longstanding reason for families to set foot in malls. And with Santa-booking companies reporting a 40% dropoff in appointments, and many Santas dropping out of the workforce over health concerns.

Santas are also nervous. Many are in their 70s and 80s and have health conditions such as diabetes that put them at particularly high risk of coronavirus complications. Brenneman, who owns the booking firm Santa Claus and Co. in Phoenix, said about half of the 30 white-bearded men he employs are sitting the season out, and a few are doing only outdoor events. -WaPo

In trying to adjust to the ‘new normal,’ mall owners “have spent months — and tens of thousands of dollars — trying to reimagine Santa’s Wonderland for the coronavirus era. The goal, they say, is to spread holiday cheer (but not the virus),” according to the report.

“Santa can’t give out hugs or candy canes this year, but people still want to see him,” said 70-year-old Mark Brenneman, who has been playing Santa for nearly 50 years. “They want hope. They want normal.


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