Recording projectiles flying to the target is a very simple process, and it produces some neat results that you can take home with you on film after your done at the range.
A up to date camera is a must. I used to film with a standard definition camera, and when you zoomed in the mirage made everything turn to pot. With the HD camera, mirage still occurs, but you can still see whats going on down range better than with an old camera.
The camera I used is a Panasonic HC-V270 with 90x optical / digital zoom. This is a budget camera that runs a 1080p picture in 60 FPS. Nothing special and by no means a pricey piece of equipment.
Place the camera next to your position and zoom in on the target. Ensure that you are recording more of the space above the target than below since our bullet will arch to the target.
For even better results, shoot with the sun behind you and you might capture an image of the bullet itself as it fly’s downrange. In this case, I was fortunate to capture a 75 gr Hornady fly to a 600 yard gong.
I hope you can record some very cool shots. Anyone have a 45/70?
Happy Bullet Trails!
By Cat Lindsay
I like big guns and I cannot lie…
This could be the song of my ladies!
At the last Ladies Introduction to Shooting class, while I only had one student, it was one of my best classes ever!
C, a 5’/100lb. 30-something spa owner, came to my class because her business has had 5 break-ins or attempted break-ins over the past 2 years. She no longer feels safe. While she does buzz her clients in and out, she fears someone barging in past one her customers. She was ready to learn the basics of handguns.
Though she had shot a gun once, in her youth, she came to me on Saturday as a clean slate. I actually prefer newbies, because there are no bad habits to break.
When we first started out, we used the replica training guns, as usual. But, she soon wanted to touch & feel the real thing. For demo purposes, I always use my .45 Ruger SR1911, my 9mm S & W M & P Shield, my Taurus 608 .357 magnum, and one of MAGS rental guns, usually a large-frame 9mm Glock. This gives my students a wide variety of guns to feel.
With small hands, the double-stack Glock was too big. She liked the feel of the Shield, but liked the weight of the Ruger & Taurus, because they “feel like real guns”.
After the classroom time (safety, how the guns & ammo work, loading magazines, clearing malfunctions, grip, stance, sights), we headed to the range.
The first gun she fired was the Taurus, shooting .38’s. She liked the weight and being able to control such power. The Shield fit her hand better, but she didn’t like the recoil. She really liked the Ruger, the weight and all the safeties. She fired Will’s (MAGS employee) Gen 4 Glock 19, but had malfunctions. I showed her the difference between locking out and REALLY locking out, and she had better results. The last gun she fired was a Ruger SR .22 (I know we should have started with this gun, but it was a rental and we had to wait). She did not care for the optics.
So at the conclusion of the class, I asked her what her favorite gun was and she said the Taurus revolver and the Ruger 1911 because they felt like real guns. I told her that bigger, heavier guns were great for home/business defense.
BTW, she will be taking the CCW class in later this month!
By Andrew Betts
Federal’s Fusion line may very well be the best kept secret in defensive rifle ammunition. It is a bonded soft point (okay, technically it is plated but the result is essentially the same) that bears a strong similarity to the Gold Dot line from Speer. That might seem odd at first glance, but both companies are owned by ATK. The Fusion line appears to be aimed at the hunting market based on the design of the packaging and promotional materials and indeed, it looks as though it would make an excellent load for deer and similar sized animals. It is gaining popularity as a home defense and emergency preparedness load though, and for good reason.
The .223 Rem version of Fusion comes in two flavors: original and MSR. The MSR version features annealed cases, sealed primers, and a slightly higher muzzle velocity out of most rifles but but both use the same bullet. Because this ammunition might be used in a wide variety of situations, we wanted to see how it could perform at the edges of its design limits. To do that, we tested the projectiles with two different hand loads designed for higher than factory velocity and very low velocity and we fired them from 16” and 11.5” barrels.
The results were nothing short of phenomenal. The higher velocity bullet impacted at well over 3,000 fps and produced excellent expansion, fragmentation, and ideal penetration. As expected, the lower velocity projectile retained more weight and penetrated more deeply. What was really remarkable was that this load, which approximates the impact velocity of the full power load at 475 yards, was still able to produce substantial expansion and it did so almost immediately on impact, with a neck length of about half an inch. This performance is truly incredible for such a low velocity.
There is already a wide array of quality defensive choices for ammunition in .223 Rem and 5.56x45mm but until fairly recently, there were not many well designed defense loads for the 7.62x39mm. Recently, that has begun to change and it was a pleasant surprise to see Federal offer a Fusion load in 7.62x39mm. This is a very capable cartridge for hunting and defense, with a lot to offer and it really shines with the benefit of modern technology.
Just as with the .223 load, the 7.62x39mm began to expand almost instantly on impact. It penetrated to 15” which is absolutely ideal for defensive use. It also produced huge expansion and a devastating wound channel. It is rarely wise to proclaim one particularly load to be “best” but if terminal performance is the priority, there exists no better ammunition in 7.62x39mm for defense.There may be better choices for other applications, but for defense against human beings, this is the best load available. That it is also more affordable than other premium ammo is a bonus.
Soft points in general and bonded soft points in particular tend to be very good at barrier performance. To be clear, just about any bullet can pass through a windshield, car door, wooden board, or piece of gypsum. Some bullets may not be able to expand and/or fragment as designed if they strike tissue after passing through the obstacle, though. The ability to perform nearly as well after passing through a barrier is referred to as “barrier blind”. It is an important feature to many shooters since bad guys have this funny quirk where they don’t like being shot and tend to get behind stuff. Auto glass is one of the toughest materials on a bullet because glass is much harder than wood or metal so we fired both the .223 Rem and the 7.62x39mm Fusion through a windshield to test its barrier performance.
Penetration was reduced a bit, which is to be expected, but the bullets still expanded as designed. It is not really a quantifiable measure, but the high speed video really gives an impressive illustration of just how incredible both these rifle rounds are. Both performed as well as anyone could reasonably ask in some very difficult circumstances. Whether close or long range, whether with a carbine or SBR, and even if one has to shoot through intermediate obstacles, the Federal Fusion will get the job done. What is more impressive is that it is not marketed as go fast, door kicking ninja ammo. It is just quality ammunition at a decent price.
Pictured above is the broken forward assist from my Colt 6933.
I’ve see a few forward assists break. Every time it has come as a surprise to the shooter. Usually what happens is a shot is fired, and the action ends up locked closed, and no one is able to open it using normal clearing techniques. In my case the action locked open after ejecting a shell.
It can be hard to diagnose a jam caused by a broken extractor simply because you can’t see that is what is preventing the bolt carrier from moving.
The best procedure we have found to free up a stuck bolt carrier from a broken forward assist is to:
1. Remove magazine, keep muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
2. Hold rifle with the ejection port down, barrel parallel to the ground.
3. Shake rifle while attempting to move bolt carrier.
Then usually it wont take much to get the action moving again. Immediately clear the chamber and remove the bolt carrier group from the action and remove any loose parts(like the forward assist pawl shown above).
Over the years, I have come to believe that the forward assist should be reserved for emergencies. In practice or on the range if a round does not chamber discard the round or inspect the firearm. I have met many(most former Army) that hit the forward assist after every reload. If your rifle isn’t chambering the round under its own power, there is something wrong with either the rifle or the ammo. Forward assists very rarely fail, but there is no point in slapping it around unless it is an emergency.