Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Amazing Ballistic Gel Test!! **Hornady 223 & 30-06**"--The Wound Channel (8 1/2 min.)
The test is Hornady "Black Box" .223 FMJ versus Hornady's .30-06 Springfield 178 GR ELD-X Precision Hunter. Both expanded quite well. But that is what makes the 5.56/.223 so effective is that the FMJ bullets will expand, yaw or fragment and produce permanent damage channels that FMJ in other calibers won't.

Firearms/Self-Defense/Prepping:
  • I was at a gun show this last weekend and had the opportunity to handle a couple of the Robinson Arms XCR rifles. The problem with people trying to sell alternatives to the AR system, whether it is something pricey like the XCR, or even less expensive AK rifles, is this: ARs are super inexpensive lately. For instance, Center Fire Systems is advertising an entry level AR by Del-Ton for $399.99, including shipping
  • "Ready to Strike: The New .38 Special Colt Cobra – Full Review"--Guns America. The author provides some background on Colts generally, and the Cobra specifically, a short Q&A with a Colt representative, and both a video and written review of the new Cobra. The one thing that set the old Colts apart from S&W or Ruger revolvers was the smooth triggers--a result of the extensive hand-fitting required for Colt revolvers. So, the big question for me is what is the trigger like on this new model. Apparently pretty good. The author states that he "checked the pull on [his] Wheeler Digital Trigger Gauge, and the single-action breaks at just over 2 pounds, while the double-action is a consistent 7 pounds." He also indicated that he thought that the trigger was as good as the last Python he had shot. In any event, groups were pretty good--about 1.6 inches at 10 yards with the tested ammunition.
  • How quick can you get the knife open and in your hand?
  • Can you open the knife with one hand?
  • Can you reach the knife with either hand?
  • Can you deploy the knife if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?
  • Can the blade shape and edge profile snag in flesh or thick clothing?
  • Does the blade have a highly visible reflective finish on it?
  • Does it have a balance between concealment capabilities and accessibility?
  • If it’s a folder, is the locking mechanism on it solid?
  • How loud is it when you take the blade out of its sheath or unfold it?
  • Does it have markings or writing on it that identify it as only a weapon? (like tactical, skulls or a dragon with a ninja riding it)
  • Can you maintain it out in the field without any special tools?
  • Can you afford to lose it in case you need to dump it?
  • Do you have a training version of the rig or folder you plan to carry? (Very important)
  • Are you willing to invest in edged weapons training and not just carry a knife like some sort of amulet to ward off danger?
  • Are you prepared to maim or kill someone with it if the need arises?
       I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that these questions are all factors to consider, but not a make-or-break deal on any one or two or three of them. For instance, I doubt that you could find training versions of most fixed blades on the market, let alone any folders. It would be nice, but just not realistic. 
       "Can you maintain it out in the field without any special tools?" I believe the author is discussing sharpening the blade (I can't think of anything else) using a simple honing stone rather than a Lansky, Work Sharp, or similar sharpening systems. Since this is a self-defense tool--not a field knife--I'm going to rate this pretty low as a priority. It is sort of like asking if you can load your own ammunition rather than having to purchase it already loaded.  
       "Does the blade have a highly visible reflective finish on it?" I'm not sure why this even matters, but I suppose a highly reflective blade would be easier for a perp to see and, thus, potentially warn him off his attack. 
       "Can you deploy the knife if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?" Can you draw a pistol if someone grabs you from behind and pins both of your arms to your sides?  You are never going to have a weapon stashed where it needs to be for all possible situations.
       The author leaves out one of the most important features of a defensive knife, in my mind, which is: if you stab someone with it, is there a guard or deep finger groove to keep your hand from sliding over the edge of the blade and causing you to cut yourself?
  • "How to Choose Lights and Lasers for Your CCW"--Guns & Ammo. This is another article with different tips or insights on the product: in this case, lights and lasers. One thing I will add is that a laser sight needs to be as close to the bore axis of the weapon as possible. There are two ways to aim the laser: parallel to the bore axis, so that the beam will (in theory) be the same distance from where the bullet strikes over the useful range of the laser, or you can sight it in so that the laser dot will intersect with the path of the bullet at a particular range. If the former, and you are trying to make accurate shots, you will have to mentally adjust for the difference; but the closer to the bore axis, the less different there will be. If you "sight in" the laser, you don't have that problem--at the given distance it is sighted in--but the laser will be off at all other distances either because it has yet to reach the path of the bullet, or it has crossed the path of the bullet (essentially the path of the bullet and the path of the laser make a large X). Once the paths start diverging you could see difference between where the bullet will strike and the laser beam strikes magnified from mere inches to many inches or more at longer ranges.This is obviously aggravated the farther the laser is from the bore axis. For example (assuming a straight path for the bullet), if you sight the laser so it is spot on with the POI of the bullet at 10 feet, and the laser sits two inches below the bore axis, the laser beam will strike 2 inches high at 20 feet, 4 inches high at 30 feet (10 yards), and 10 inches high at 60 feet (20 yards). 
  • "Lightning Review: Forward Controls Design EMR-A Ambi Mag Catch/Release"--The Firearms Blog. This is a design that can be used with a standard lower and magazine release cut-out.

Other Stuff:
  • "Is The Muslim World Going r?"--Anonymous Conservative. He cites an article documenting the decline in birth rates and marriage rates among Muslims. This is particularly true in the Near- and Middle-East, as David P. Goldman documented in his book Why Civilizations Die. Goldman focused on the loss of religious faith as a key factor in declining birth rates (since, as he also points out, people of strong faith continue to have large numbers of children). r/K theory would explain the same phenomena from the other side of the coin using a biological basis. But what it boils down to is a society chasing after its immediate gratification rather than living as part of a chain of forebears stretching from the past, through the living, and into unborn descendants reaching into the future. Certainly, the cultures that have failed to live this way have been smitten with a curse, just as stated in Malachi 4:6.
  • "Kepler Team Releases Final Exoplanet Catalog"--Sky & Telescope. The interesting part of this is that small rocky planets seem to clump into two groups: those about Earth size or slightly larger, or between 2 and 3 times the size of the Earth. That suggests that there should be plenty of Earth sized worlds out there.

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