Gunner’s Journal

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Archive for November, 2008

The M1 Carbine

Posted by Gunner on November 29, 2008

Inland (General Motors) M1 Carbine Made in 1944

Most shooters are very familiar with the M1 carbine from old war movies and the lucky ones from owning this great old rifle. It’s very lite, handy to carry and a joy to shoot with very little recoil. If you reload and have a press that only loads handgun rounds you can load this straight walled cartridge.
The history of this rifle is very interesting as well. Many folks credit a man named David(Carbine)Williams with it’s design but in fact Mr. Williams designed the gas system with Winchester designing the rifle itself. Many of us older guys remember the movie about Carbine Williams staring Jimmy Stewart as Williams and his designing the rifle while in prison. The movie came out in 1952 and is sometimes seen on stations like Turner classics. Even though a little creative license was taken with the movie it is interesting and worth watching if you ever catch it on TV.
The rifle itself was designed to replace the 1911 45acp for non-combat troops serving behind the lines but eventually found it’s way into the front lines where many officers used it as well as Marines during the island hopping campaigns in the Pacific. The design was done in 1938 but wasn’t issued until 1940. The original ball round was a 110 grain bullet at a bit over 1800 fps. Muzzle energy was twice that of the 45acp. Seeing service in WWII and the Korean war and even the Vietnam war the little carbine serviced on. Renamed the M2 after WWII when it was converted to select fire the 30 round magazine was also adopted replacing the 15 round mag of WWII. Later designations were the M3 which was the same rifle but had a special fitting for night vision device mounting. These were rather ungainly devices that had a large infra red light with the weight approaching that of the rifle itself. If you ever remember the old Man from Uncle TV series the bad guys always had these devices on the M3 Carbines. There were also some other models that had a folding stock which was widely used by Airborne troops in WWII when the troops jumped into France during the invasion of the continent.

Folding Stock M1 Carbine

The folding stock model is a very short carbine that is perfect for a troop jumping with a large load. Ammo is also much lighter than the Garand in 30-06. That and you can carry a lot more ammo. Many troops loved the fact you had more rounds to use without reloading but it’s obvious shortcoming is the lack of punch of this round. Any distance past 150 rounds and your bullet speed is about like a 38 +P revolver at the muzzle.

M2 Select Fire with 30 Round Magazine

One problem with the addition of the 30 round mag is feeding problems with the early mags. This problem was remedied with a new magazine lip design and follower. There are still old 30 rounders out there that have the old design which cause problems for shooters today.
My M1 is an Inland made manufactured for General Motors. It was made in 1944 and is in very good condition. It uses the standard peep sight standard on most WWII rifles.Somewhat rare in that it has a bayonet lug which many did not have. Generally I only use the 20 round mag because of the previously mentioned reliability issues. I’ve never had a problem of any type with reliability. No jams failures to eject no problems whatsoever. Even with reloaded rounds with a heavier bullet it has proved flawless even though it was designed strictly for 110 grain ball. Plenty of military ball is still available. It can be fairly expensive to buy Lake City ammo.If you reload the cost is about the same as reloading a 38 revolver.

The rifle is surprisingly accurate at distances of up to 200 yards in spite of the relatively low powered round. It is certainly an enjoyable rifle to shoot! Groups of about 4 inches at 150 yards are not uncommon with Lake City 110 ball. Loading your own rounds you can squeeze a bit more accuracy from it shooting groups of 3 inches at 150 yards from a sandbag rest.
A good clean example like this one will run about $500. Not bad for a nice military rifle. Mags are fairly inexpensive as well unless you buy the 30 round military mags which can run up to $40. 15 round mags are $10 to $15 if you search around a bit. At times you can get a pretty good deal on ammo at Midway USA when they have a sale on ammo.
If you get a chance to pickup one of these fine old rifles you won’t regret it.One other consideration is they don’t have that stigma of being an evil black rifle. They are just a blast to shoot!

Posted in M1 Carbine, Military and Police Rifles | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Rafter-L-Gunleather on American Handgunner

Posted by Gunner on November 18, 2008

Anyone who has read the blog knows how much I love the leather products that Erik Little of Rafter-L-Gunleather creates. Well I’ve had to bite my tongue or rather try not to type anything for a couple of weeks until I got the ok but now the word can go out.
Eriks great holsters, belts and mag pouches have been featured in the most recent issue of American Handgunner magazine. I want to share the review with you from the column “Handgun Leather” by Sammy Reese. I couldn’t be happier to see Erik get the attention he deserves from this prestigious magazine.
With many of the old holster makers no longer with us Erik has certainly filled the void!

By Sammy Reese
Not too long ago, I was asked what was going to happen when all the master leather craftsmen are no longer around. Luckily there are still guys out there who like to work with their hands and are taking the time to learn from the great ones, or just go it on their own. Enter Erik Little of Rafter L Gun Leather. Erik is a retired cop and former Jar Head, hence we hit it off the first time we talked.
Erik started working with leather on his family’s cattle ranch (Rafter L brand) mostly out of necessity to keep gear up and running. Later, while a working cop, he often used his skills with leather to fix his wife’s client’s saddles. When his SWAT buddies found out about his skill with leather, they asked him to make some holsters. Erik confessed he was so busy with work and family he didn’t have much time to make holsters, belts and accessories.
In 2005 when Erik hung up his duty belt, he decided to give holster making a go and hasn’t looked back since. After a lengthy discussion, mostly about cop and Marine Corps stuff, we agreed on his number one in tan for my 1911 accompanied by his belt and single magazine pouch. The number one doesn’t usually come with a sweat guard but I talked Erik into putting one on for me.
About a week later I found a package from Buffalo,Wyoming waiting for me on my desk — I still love mail call, especially when it contains leather gear. I have to say, the tan gear is really an eye catcher. I know it’s not as sexy looking as some exotic snake trimmed with shark, but for me simple really looks better.
I made the mistake of sliding my Thunder Ranch Special into the holster. Let’s just say I got a work out trying to get it out. After a little break in, I found the holster very secure and smooth to draw from. After wearing the holster, mag pouch and belt daily for a few weeks, the gear and I molded to each other. My buddy who stopped by asking about holsters tried to leave with my Rafter L set up — I was quicker on the draw and he left without my rig.
The old guard has set the bar very high but don’t fret, the new guys are taking up the slack and are making some great gear. Who knows — the best may be yet to come.

All rights reserved.
American Handgunner is a registered Trademark of Publishers Development Corporation.
American Handgunner Link

Posted in Leather Gear | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama’s First 90 Days

Posted by Gunner on November 11, 2008

“My first priority will be to reinstate the assault weapons ban as soon as I take office. Within 90 days, we will go back after kitchen table dealers, and work to end the gun show and internet sales loopholes. In the first year, I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law, 1 gun a month purchase limits, and bans on all semi-automatic guns.”

–Barack Obama, VPC Fund Raiser, 2007

If the above quote doesn’t scare you nothing will. Please don’t hide your head in the sand and wait to see what happens. Be pro-active and if your not a member of the NRA join NOW! Time is short to mobilize our combined voices to stop this attack on the constitution and our second amendment right!
Just think what will happen. Your local gunshop will close from the banning of all semi auto guns of any type as well as the one gun a month restriction plus increased cost of ammo from Obama’s initiative to place a federal tax on ammo that will put ammo prices out of reach of the average shooter. Most gun makers that don’t have large government contracts will be out of business. Names like S&W,Colt and Ruger as well as many other smaller companies will be a footnote in history.
I’m not being an alarmist this can happen if we don’t band together and petition out congressmen and support organizations that protect our second amendment. Normally I try to leave politics out of this blog but this is serious and it’s time to get off the fence and say what I think. I hope you will join your fellow sportsman in stopping this attack on our God given rights set down by the framers of the constitution.


Posted in 1911 45's | 2 Comments »

Smith & Wesson 642

Posted by Gunner on November 9, 2008

Smith & Wesson Model 642
By Syd
“The Snubnose Files”

It was the best selling firearm offered by Smith & Wesson in 2006. Tradition holds that the original design emerged from the creative mind of Col. Rex Applegate. Among the small revolvers, it has been called a personal favorite by Walt Rausch, Massad Ayoob, Jim Wilson, Stephen Camp, Ken Hackathorn and many others. Jim Supica, author of The Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, said that it was possibly the finest pocket revolver ever made. It is the Smith & Wesson Model 642 Airweight Centennial.

There are three basic form factors for the J-frame Smith & Wesson snubnoses. First, there is the standard exposed hammer Chiefs Special such as the Model 36. Second, there is the Bodyguard which has a shrouded hammer, but it can still be thumb cocked and fired single action. Third, there is the Centennial which is often called hammerless a misnomer because it actually has a hammer which is completely enclosed in the frame. Since the hammer is completely enclosed in the frame, the Centennial is double action only.

The Model 642 is the stainless Airweight version of the Centennial. In the early 1950s, Centennial models were originally introduced as the Model 40, a blued steel hammerless .38 Special, and the Model 42, a blued aluminum alloy framed version of the Model 40. The Models 40 and 42 had grip safeties. (For more on the history and development of the Centennial series, click here.) The modern Airweights are produced in both blued and stainless steel finishes, but the stainless version is far more popular. They have aluminum alloy frames with stainless steel cylinders and barrels. Unloaded, the Airweight revolvers weigh about 15 ounces. The Airweights are still chambered in .38 Special rather than .357 Magnum, and they are rated for +p ammunition. The original model 42 was not rated for +p and +p is not recommended for them, although I have heard of a number of people using +p in the Model 42 without negative effects. The Airweight Models 442 (blued) and 642 (stainless) were brought to market in 1990, discontinued in 1993 and reintroduced in 1996 as the 642-1. As noted earlier, the Model 642 has been enormously successful.

So, what do people like about the 642?

Its light, compact, easy to carry, snag-free and enjoys an excellent power to weight ratio. Its easy to operate and renowned for reliability. That about sums it up, but I want to expand on these ideas.

Carry-ability The characteristic that first endeared me to the Airweight snubnose is a factor I had to make up a word for, carry-ability. Carry-ability is a matrix of weight, shape, size and power that when stirred together gives me a rating of ease and versatility of carry balanced against the level of security and confidence the gun gives me. The Airweights really hit the sweet spot for me on carry-ability. A Kel-Tec P32 is great on weight, size and shape, but suffers with an underpowered cartridge. The M1911 is a tremendous shooter with a powerful cartridge, and its even fairly flat for surprisingly good concealment, but it is large and heavy. Glocks are lighter, but they are thick and angular and I find them fairly difficult to conceal, especially in warm weather clothing. The Kel-Tec and the 1911 both rate highly in some parts of the matrix, but fall down badly in others. The small size and light weight of the 642 means that you can carry it for many hours in all kinds of clothing, and in a wide variety of carry modes belt holster, ankle holster, belly band, pocket, purse, etc.. It has tremendous versatility for carry while still loading a fairly powerful cartridge. The 642 rates very highly in carry-ability.

Snag-free Double Action Only Smith & Wesson builds a whole gaggle of Centennial variants, but they are distinguished primarily by their metals; the shape and action are the same. Taurus and Charter Arms also build their own versions of the Centennial closely patterned off of the original. These all share the enclosed hammer double action only design. There is little or no reason to have single action capability on a self-defense revolver, so why have a hammer sticking out to snag on things? The smooth hammerless contour of the gun makes it ideal for pocket or purse, and it can even be fired from inside a pocket without the problem of getting snagged in the fabric.

Easy Operation The manual of arms on a snubnose revolver, and especially the 642, is extremely easy to master. If you can pull the trigger, you can make it work. There are three controls: the trigger, the cylinder latch and the ejector rod. You can learn to use it in about a minute (maybe not well, but the manual of arms is not hard). There are more than a few folks who don’t like or cant work an auto pistol. The mechanical simplicity of the revolver can be a tactical advantage under certain circumstances. See Why Carry a Revolver? Folks with physical impairments often find that the revolver will work for them where an auto will not. See Age and the Snubnose

Value The Model 642 and its brethren, the Models 637 and 638, remain among the best values in personal defense firearms available today. Retail prices of the 642 remain under $400 in many places. With the entry point for new autos hovering around $600, the Airweights are looking better all the time. I also believe that the Airweights are a far better value than the scandium/titanium versions of these guns. The scandium Centennial, the 340, retails for twice the money of the 642. Now, I think the scandium guns are way cool, but their prices leave me breathless. For this additional money, you shave off about 3 ounces of weight from an already super light gun, and this also means you get a gun with an even more unpleasant recoil than the Airweight. The scandium models are also chambered not for .38 Special but for .357 Magnum. To me, firing .357 Magnum in a 12 ounce revolver is a physical absurdity. In a 26 oz. all-steel Model 60-15, .357 Magnum is tolerable; in a 12 oz. scandium Model 340, it is self-abuse. Bang-for-the-buck, the 642 is a terrific value.

An Effective Yet Manageable Cartridge I wish I had a nickel for every kilobyte and gallon of ink that has been spilled arguing about the effectiveness of the .38 Special cartridge. The .38 Special was introduced in 1899. The reason the case is so long is that it was originally a black powder cartridge and the black powder needed that much space. The first .38 Special cartridge was composed of a 158 grain lead bullet in front of 21 grains of black powder. Despite the arguments about stopping power and such, the .38 Special has continued to do the job for 108 years. I find it hard to believe that people would have continued to use it for that long if it didn’t work. Certainly, the .45, the .357, the 10mm, and the .40 S&W are more powerful cartridges, but interestingly, the .38 Special remains at or near the top of the lethality statistics, often rating higher than these more powerful cartridges. Part of that has to do with the fact that the .38 has been around for ages and more people use it than most other cartridges, although the 9mm is closing fast, but the other part of the cartridges effectiveness has to do with the fact that it is manageable in terms of recoil, but still powerful enough to stop an aggressor. There are a lot of folks who don’t want to use or cant manage .45s and .357s, and these powerful cartridges are painful to shoot and unmanageable in compact pocket guns. Again, the .38 Special in the Airweight revolver hits the sweet spot in terms of power and carry-ability. Stoked with modern .38 Special +p hollowpoints, these little revolvers are highly effective and potent tools of self defense. I continue to search for a gun shop commando to take a couple of .38 Special +p rounds to the chest and then tell me it doesn’t work. So far, I haven’t found any volunteers. Too many highly experienced gun fighters who have seen the balloons go up have relied upon .38 Special snubbies for backup and deep concealment for me to believe anything but that they work, and they work very consistently.

Ergonomics Autoloader fans are fond of pointing out the fact that revolvers are wide at their cylinders, and this is true, although the difference in width between autos and revolvers is often exaggerated by those wanting to make the case for the auto. A Springfield XD is 1 1/16 wide. The 642 is 1 3/16 wide at the cylinder. That’s a 1/8 difference. A 1911 is narrower at 7/8. Everywhere else on the 642, it is considerable thinner and smaller than most autos. I cant put the XD in my pocket; the 642 will disappear into my pocket because of its natural, rounded shapes. The rounded, organic shapes of the 642 (and its cousins) make it very comfortable to carry and very easy to conceal because it blends into the natural curves of the body better than an angular autoloader with lots of sharp corners.

Safe and Reliable Safe is a strange word to use about a handgun. After all, they are by definition dangerous. If it weren’t dangerous, I wouldn’t carry it, goes the famous quip from a Texas Ranger. In this context, what I mean by safe is that the gun has inherent characteristics that help to prevent accidental discharges. The 642, like all Smith & Wesson revolvers, has a fairly heavy double action trigger. Accidental activation of the trigger is very rare with double action revolvers. We don’t tend to hear those, The gun just went off [not] stories about revolvers. (The gun never just goes off by itself, but irresponsible people continue to try to claim this piece of science fiction.) On the 642 there is no manual safety or de-cocking lever, nothing to forget to put on or off in an emergency or otherwise. The revolver tends to reinforce safe gun handling since there are no mechanisms providing a false sense of security. I believe also that the double action only (DAO) operation of the 642 contributes to its overall safety and avoids certain legal liabilities. See Double Action Only (DAO) versus Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA) for more on this issue.

Highly controversial to this day is the integral lock which has been included on S&W revolvers since Saf-T-Hammer bought S&W. The lock is activated with a key through a socket just above the cylinder latch. The locks have been criticized for a variety of reasons including the addition of needless complexity, caving into the demands of some states for locks on guns, and the possibility of unintentional engagement of the lock during firing. This last concern has been documented in a few of the early scandium/titanium models, but to the best of my knowledge it has not been documented on the Airweights. It has been reported to me that the problem has been resolved on the scandium/titanium guns, and we are not hearing new reports of unintentional engagement of the locks. I have tested three revolvers with the lock and it has never malfunctioned in my testing.

I had small children at home once upon a time, and when they were still little doodles whose judgment I couldn’t completely trust, I used trigger locks on my pistols long before they were fashionable in some circles or mandated. I carried the key on my key ring so it would always be close by. The integral lock on the Model 642 could be useful in a number of situations, such as times when you might have to take the gun off and leave it in a locker or athletic bag.

While I can see the possible uses for the integral lock, I wish S&W would give us the choice to buy revolvers with or without the lock. I resent being forced to buy a Clinton-era “answer in search of a question.”

Whats Not to Like?

Capacity The 642, like all J-frame snubs, only carries five rounds, and that’s not a lot. It is generally more than enough for most self-defense situations, but Murphy is alive and well, and it pays the prudent martial artist to carry a reload or two, or consider carrying a second gun for that one-in-a-million situation in which five rounds is inadequate.

Shoot-ability These little guns are not the easiest firearms in the world to shoot well, and their light weight and small grips make the perceived recoil sharp. This makes them less than comfortable to shoot for extended range sessions. A pair of shooting gloves might be a good idea for someone who is just getting to know their new Airweight. You will often hear it said that snubbies are not accurate, but that just isn’t true. Quality snubnoses are surprisingly accurate, and they will hit their targets, even at distance, when we learn to use them. The short sight radius, heavy trigger and small grip tend to work against highly accurate fire. These guns do require practice to compensate for the aiming issues. Don’t buy a snubnose and throw it in a drawer and expect it to work for you when the chips are down. Practice and practice a lot with it. Practice reloading quickly. With practice and familiarity, you will be surprised at how well the snubnose will perform for you.

Double Action Only (DAO) operation I include this feature in both the positives and the negatives because some folks just don’t like DAO. They want the option to thumb cock and fire single action. See Double Action Only (DAO) versus Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA) for more on this issue.


Two thumbs up! Its a great little revolver. The 642 is a time-proven design, endorsed by experts in the field, and an excellent value in a concealable handgun. Jim Wilson calls it the always gun because its one you can always have on you.


Model: 642
Caliber: .38 Special +p rated
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Barrel Length: 1 7/8″
Front Sight: Integral Front
Rear Sight: Fixed
Grip: Rubber Grips
Frame: Small – Centennial Style
Finish: Matte
Overall Length: 6 3/8″
Material: Alloy/Stainless Steel
Weight Empty: 15 oz.

Additional Reading

Why Carry A Revolver

Making The J-Frame 38 Work

The 38 Snub Old Fashioned Or Old Faithful
Self Defense Loads For The 38 Snub
Is A 38 Snub Enough
Snubby Ballistics
The Theory Of The Snubnose

Posted in Contributed Gun Reviews, S&W Revolvers | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Mil-Tac Grips For All Sig Sauer Pistols

Posted by Gunner on November 7, 2008

Mil-Tac G-10 Grips

I received an email today from Craig Sword who owns Mil-Tac knives and tools and produces some of the finest G-10 grips made. In 2009 he will have grips in all the common colors and grip surfaces to fit all Sig gun models including the P6/P225! Great news for those of us who would love to have some of his grips on our newly acquired P6’s.

Mil-Tac Website

Click on the link below the above logo to visit his website.
Mil-Tac Grips Review

Mil-Tac grips are very durable and really look great on any pistol. I’m sure the two tone gray grips will dress up the Sig P6 and give a very solid comfortable grip. It might not be a bad idea to pre-order now for the grips to fit your Sig!

Another place to obtain grips for the Sig P6/P225 is a company called Grips 4 U. If you like wood these are very reasonably priced at $79.00 Walnut Grips

News Update! Mil-Tac is now selling G-10 grips for the Sig P226 and will soon have them for the P220 and P229! Good news indeed for those of us who love Craigs grips:-) Yes this picture is large but I wanted everyone to get a good look at the details of the grip.

G10 Sig Grips

Posted in Sig Grips | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Rafter-L Gun Leather— Sig P6 Holsters

Posted by Gunner on November 6, 2008

Front View #1 Holster

Rear View #1 Holster

Rafter-L Gun Leather

Rafter-L Holster Review
Please read the earlier review of Erik’s products by clicking the link above.

As many of you know I’m very particular about my holsters. With that in mind I know for a fact that I have the best holster, mag pouches and gun belts made. All have been crafted by Erik Little who owns Rafter-L Gun Leather.
I spoke with Erik a short while ago about all the German Sig P6 pistols that have been imported into the USA and the need for a high quality holster for them. Yes, you can find a holster for the P6 but they are usually made for another gun like the Sig 226 which is of course longer and a bit wider than the P6 by 1/4 inch. That makes for a pretty sloppy fit and doesn’t hold the pistol securely.
Now for the news! Erik is now making holsters specifically to fit the Sig P6 and Sig P225. This is great news since from conversations with friends and post on many of the forums there are a lot of fellow shooters who have the P6 and love the gun but are having a very hard time finding a holster to fit them. The search is over:-) Erik is making the holster in the number 1 pattern which is very similar to the Askins Avenger which is one of if not the best holster design ever. Erik has improved on the original design. I own his products and wouldn’t use any other holster for any of my pistols.
Also available is the single or double mag pouch and his excellent gun belts.

Single Mag Pouch

Gun Belt Available in Tapered or straight Configuration

Contact Erik at 307•684•5808 or visit his website at you won’t be disappointed!

Posted in Holsters | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Gear Up To Protect the Second Amendment

Posted by Gunner on November 5, 2008

If you care about the sanctity of our constitution and specifically the second amendment gear up for a legislative fight and make sure you join the NRA! This article was written by Sandy Froman. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the former president of the National Rifle Association of America.

Obama Promises Supreme Court That Will
Destroy Second Amendment

By Sandy Froman*

Senator Barack Obama says he will respect gun owners, but campaign talk is cheap. What gun owners must know before they vote is that Obama promises to appoint a U.S. Supreme Court that will eradicate the Second Amendment from the Constitution.

On June 26, in the case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held in a split 5-4 decision that the Second Amendment secures a right to keep and bear arms for private citizens, and struck down the D.C. law that banned all handguns and readily-usable firearms, even in your own home. That decision turned on a single vote. The four liberal justices on the Supreme Court voted against the Second Amendment and to uphold the gun ban. They wrote that the Second Amendment confers no right whatsoever on private citizens, that Americans have no personal right to own guns of any sort, and the government can confiscate or ban them at will.

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms survived by the slimmest of margins. If a single justice had voted the other way, the Second Amendment would have been erased from the Constitution forever. Obama’s record shows his assurances to gun owners are cheap campaign talk. He has an unbroken record of voting for every anti-gun measure to come before him. He’s voted to outlaw ammunition and to allow trial lawyers to sue gun makers and dealers for the misuse of firearms by criminals. He has voted against the self-defense rights of victims of crime. He even wrote as early as 1996 that he supported a law to ban all handguns.

But even if he had no anti-gun record, he has said who he would appoint to the Supreme Court and the justices he would appoint will take away our Second Amendment rights. He has singled out one justice on the Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as his model for Supreme Court appointments. Justice Ginsburg was one of the four who voted that private citizens have no Second Amendment rights at all, and voted to uphold D.C.’s handgun ban.

The next president will probably have at least three Supreme Court appointments in his first term alone. Not since Ronald Reagan has any president had that many vacancies in a single term. If Barack Obama becomes president, appointing three more Ginsburgs to the Supreme Court could doom the Second Amendment.

He has repeated his Supreme Court preference multiple times. In debates and in speeches, Obama has said time and time again that he will appoint liberal justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court and to our lower federal courts as well. Just this week, a radio interview from 2001 surfaced, in which Obama said that he believes the Supreme Court should go further and start redistributing income to achieve what he calls “economic justice.” A judge who is willing to take your money and give it to someone else won’t hesitate to take your guns.

Every supporter of the Second Amendment has a duty to protect our right to keep and bear arms. Our gun rights are a precious part of our American heritage and one of the reasons we continue as a free nation. Our Founding Fathers considered that right so sacred that they wrote it in the Bill of Rights next to our freedoms of speech and religion. Every gun owner owes it to the next generation to protect our right to keep and bear arms. This right isn’t ours to lose, it belongs to our children and grandchildren.

Barack Obama promises a Supreme Court made up of justices who have demonstrated in writing their intention to eliminate the Second Amendment from the Constitution. America’s gun owners must stop him at the polls on November 4. History shows that once a nation’s citizens lose the right to keep and bear arms, they never get it back.

Posted in Second Amendment | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Cor-Bon DPX

Posted by Gunner on November 3, 2008

   I’ve always liked innovative  people and the companies they run. Cor-Bon certainly is one of those companies. I’ve used a lot of Cor-Bon ammo over the years and now there is even more reason to with the companies DPX ammo. One thing is sure they make a type of ammo for just about anyone and fits every nitch there is whether it’s hunting or self defense.
   A couple of weeks ago I bought one of the German police Sig P6 pistols. While they were running the paperwork through I started looking at the ammo that was available in 9mm. My eyes caught the DPX box so I started reading the velocity of this 115 grn round. At 1295 fps it’s a screamer as are most Cor-Bon loads. What piqued my interest when I opened the box was the huge cavity hollowpoint. I’ve never seen a hollowpoint that large or deep. Combine that speed with the solid copper Barnes bullet and the large cavity and you have potential for a very effective defense or duty round.
   I did read an article on this round where they took two layers of shirt material one being a heavy wool and the other a standard cotton type. This was layered under a heavy piece of jacket leather with ballistic gelatin backing. The goal has been to achieve 12 inches of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin. In this test they penetration was right at 12 inches with 100% weight retention and full expansion.
  My test was with water. I placed four 2 liter bottles of water back to back with a backing of old leather behind the first two bottles and behind the last two bottles just in case it penetrated that far. Gelatin is more realistic but water is a valid medium to use and yields similar results as far as expansion. With some calibers the round expands into four petals with the 9mm there are six.
  I setup with a Hi Power and the Sig P6. I proned out and fired first with the P6 which has a 3.9 inch barrel while the Hi Power has a slightly longer barrel. The results were pretty equal in spite of the barrel length. The bullet expanded very well and stopped after penetrating two of the bottles, the leather and stopped in the third bottle after making a small dent in the back of the third. I set everything up again and fired the Hi Power. This round went through two of the bottles, the leather and the third bottle then dropped to the ground after the third bottle. Certainly very similar results. I repeated this four times with the same results which indicates to me quality consistent loading. In other test I’ve had more deviations in velocity and penetration. All rounds fully expanded and retained 100% bullet weight. Expansion was .60! Being a one piece bullet it also has greater potential for penetrating glass, car bodies etc for those in law enforcement. The petals all folded out just a bit more than 90 degrees to the bullet body. The edges of the petals are sharp and are far enough apart to not clog when passing through most any material. Kinda like a little buzz saw:-) In fact I cut my finger a little handling one. There are also small serrations inside the bullet cavity to ensure expansion. I have a feeling that in a more robust material the petals would most likely open further curling back towards the body of the bullet.
   On to particulars. The DPX stands for “Deep Penetrating X” referring to the Barnes homogeneous copper bullet. The original round had four petals as I mentioned earlier looking like an”X” hence the name. I guess you could call this 9mm a hex bullet 🙂 Overall length of this 9mm is 1.12″ which is somewhat longer than most but due to the bullet shape it feeds like a charm in everything I fired it in. Standard deviation was 16 from the Sig which is pretty darn good in my view. This Cor-Bon is more accurate then I am capable of shooting and is more than accurate enough for any defensive situation. Recoil is not bad considering the velocity.

The cost of Cor-Bon ammo has always been a bit higher than other popular brands but then how much is your life worth! To sum things up it’s my belief this is the best round to come around in a long time. Time and study of actual shootings with this Cor-Bon offering will prove it to be effective enough that police departments will adopt it. Velocity, reliable expansion and penetration are the criteria by which ammo is judged. The DPX passes the test and then some. I believe in it enough after doing these test that it’s now my carry round of choice.

An Opinion on DPX ammo by John Farnham

Pistol Bullet Performance:

The last time we did a bullet performance test was during a course in PA early last year. At that time, friend and colleague, Mike Shovelfrom Cor- Bon brought out huge blocks of ballistic gelatin, and we shot them with a variety of commercially-available, high-performance pistol ammunition. We required each bullet to first penetrate four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. At that time, we discovered that denim retarded and frustrated the expansion of a number of conventional, hollow-point bullets. In bare gelatin, most expanded just fine, but the denim barrier presented a problem for all but a few.
Last weekend, again in PA, Mike joined us once more for an Advanced Defensive Pistol Course, The gelatin tests continued:Many commented last time that they wondered what effect a heavy,leather jacket would have on pistol-bullet performance and penetration.So, this time we required each bullet to penetrate a leather jacket AND four layers of denim before entering the gelatin. Each student subjected his own, carry ammunition to the test. Here is what we found:The combination of leather and denim frustrated most conventional,hollow-points. Most traversed the gelatin with badly-compromised expansion . Some did not expand at all. Even Cor-Bon’s vaunted PowerBall (45ACP, out of my Detonics) did not do well in this test. I was surprised, as few rounds will out-expand PowerBall, but the layers of clothing, combined with the Detonics’ short barrel, conspired to thwart performance.The one round that expanded consistently and completely, despite the leather and denim barrier, in all calibers, was Cor-Bon’s DPX! DPX, in 40S &W, 45ACP, 357SIG, 38Super, and 45AutoRim, were all unimpressed by the leather and denim. Even 380Auto DPX, out of my little Kel-Tec,was immune. It expanded symmetrically and completely, penetrating nine inches of gelatin, after penetrating the clothing.I am more persuaded than ever that DPX provides superior performance in the widest spectrum of circumstances, consistently outperforming any other bullet of which I am aware.



Update on a .454 caliber DPX

This is some additional info on the DPX given to me by Justin Cherington who shoots the DPX with the same opinion I have on this fine round from Cor-Bon.
“Average FPS was 1,580.2. Average expansion came out to .756″ and of course I have always seen 100% weight retention. In blocks of packed wet newspaper the average penetration was 16 inches with full expansion/damage starting at 3″. From what I have seen they penetrate about the same as the heavier 300 grain Hornady XTP if velocity is the same however they only averaged 87% bullet weight retention and expanded to .749 so the barnes has them beat! ”

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