Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cast Bullets, Mobil 1, the Polar Vortex, and the Ballester Molina 45 Caliber Pistol.

The range session achieved a variety of goals. First it enabled me to test some 45 ACP cast bullet loads, an excellent 200 gr semi wad cutter. Second, I was able to test fire and figure the sight correction for a Ballester Molina pistol. Third, I was able to test the above, and Mobile 1 synthetic grease with Mobil 1 synthetic oil as lubricants.

Everything passed with flying colors, the loads and the lubricants worked well in the cold weather. The pistol is a surplus Argentine Ballester Molina 45 ACP. The pistol has a replacement barrel and bushing.  The Ballester Molina is a copy of the U.S. M1911A1. The Ballester Molina has some notable differences, including a pivoting trigger, and integral mainspring housing. One of the more interesting stories on the Ballester Molina is the pistol was made from steel salvaged from the wreak of the German pocket battleship Graf Spee .
The Graf Spee was scuttled in the Platte River between Uruguay and Argentina.    The ship was reputably salvaged by British surrogates who gave the steel to Argentines for pistol production. In return, the British received Ballester Molina pistols, which were used by British intelligence in covert missions during the rest of World War II. This interesting, and admittedly speculative story was covered in the last edition of the American Rifleman.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

Polar Vortex Weapons Testing

The low temperatures of the “polar vortex” provide a unique opportunity to test weapons (rifles and handguns), ammunition, lubricants, and accoutrements.   Weapon design can and cold weather operations are key aspects of design for effective firearms.  Here are some points of interest for preppers, survivalists, and other operators in a cold weather environment.  With the aspect of operations in desert environments, some of these points are neglected by military and civilian operators.

1.      Weapon manipulation with gloves.  

2.      Lubrication type and amount.

3.      Ammunition and magazine performance.

4.      Protection from the elements.

5.      How cold weather clothing effects weapon handling.

The best time to test all of this is when the weather is cold, just like current conditions.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happy Birthday John Moses Browning

John Browning was a genius who's inventions saved and preserved our freedom.
Browning designed the world's greatest rifles, pistols, machineguns, and shotguns.  Most of his designs are still manufactured today, and are the standard by which others are judged.
Not generally known outside of the firearms world, Browning's genius rivaled Edison or Da Vinci.

Monday, January 20, 2014

More on Cast Bullets

In the continued testing of cast bullet loads for the 9mm Parabellum, one fact was discovered. Certain pistols, regardless of make or model, do not function well with light cast bullet loads.  One standard load, functioned in a Berreta Model 92, wartime Walther P.38 (BYF 44), and a wartime Browning Hi Power (Inglis). The load would not function in another wartime P.38 (AC 43). There is no discernible reason for this situation, all the pistols are in excellent mechanical condition and well broken in.  I can only assume recoil springs, while within specification, make a difference.  Therefore its imperative to test loads in each individual pistol. This is particularly important if a large supply of cast bullet ammunition is going to be manufactured. This procedure also holds true for surplus or remanufactured 9mm ammo. Over the years the specifications for 9mm ammo has varied by country and manufacturer, just enough to cause problems is some pistols.  The next round of testing will include striker pistols, namely a P08 Luger and an Astra Model 600.    

Happy Birthday General Jackson!

Generals Lee and Jackson confer on the battlefield

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy Birthay General Lee!

Happy 207th Birthday!

President Davis, General Lee, and General Jackson on the Stone Mountain Memorial.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Time to Reevaluate the Walther P.38 as a Combat Handgun

In the world of polymer frame wonders and having the latest and greatest style, many hand are unaware of one of the greatest handguns of all time, the Walther P.38.  The true P.38 was made from 1938 to 1946. This pistol featured all steel construction and brown or black Bakelite grips.  This is a double action / single action design with a 9 round magazine.  The pistol’s curved grip is one of the most comfortable ever made.

The P.38 is demonstrably very accurate, a tribute to the pistols design and workmanship.  The P.38, designed by Walther and produced by Walther, Mauser, and Spreewerke during the war, was an advanced weapon design 70 years ago. It remains a classic one today. Capable of performing as well now as it did then.  In jurisdictions where unconstitutional magazine limit gun laws still exist, the 9 round capacity of the pistol avoids this problem.

In summation, the P.38 is a viable weapon for self-defense, plus it will appreciate in value in the next years.     

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

9mm Parabellum Hand Load Cost

9mm hand load with a cast bullet
Here is the cost to produce 9mm cast bullet practice loads. Your costs may differ locally, so these are just a guide.  In spite of all the excitement about lead prices, scrap lead is still pretty economical.  The days of free lead wheel weights may be gone, but inexpensive lead is still here.  The cost of primers represents the largest price increase, about $35 dollars per 1000. Buying in bulk may be a way to lower the cost, especially if Wolf primers are considered. The brass is once fired range pick ups.    
15 yard shot group slow fire from a 1944 vintage Walther P.38

Powder                1.2 cents

Primers                3.5 cents

Home Cast          2 cents

Lube (ALOX)        1 cent

Total                     7.7 cents per round

100 rounds          $7.70

1000 rounds        $77.00 
15 yard shot group rapid fire from a 1944 vintage Walther P.38

Important points for cast bullet hand loads used in semi-automatic pistols.

·        Clean the brass and carefully inspect for before priming and loading.

·        Bell the case mouth enough to accept the cast bullet without shaving lead during the seating process.

·        Don’t overdo ALOX type lube, a thin coat is all that is necessary.  Too much lube can cause chambering problems and malfunctions due to build up in the chamber.

·        Follow reputable loading manuals for powder charge, and overall length for the loaded cartridge. This is critical for feeding and function

·        Use a taper crimp to prevent the bullet from being pushed deeper into the case during the travel from the magazine to the chamber.

These loads are great for practice or using in older pistols to prevent barrel wear.  Both the Beretta 92 and the war time P.38 functioned very well.  My guess is the pistols should be cleaned every few hundred rounds and the bores brushed every 100 to 150 rounds.   

Friday, January 10, 2014

Survival Carbine Myths

Before we discuss the survival carbine, let’s go over some of the myths associated with survival type defensive weapons. Each one could be a lengthy discussion, but I think you get the point is the brief synopsis.

Myth #1: The Government will confiscate military style weapons and not bother traditional looking weapons such as lever action and bolt action rifles.

Fact: In a crackdown, all weapons will be confiscated, think of Hurricane Katrina or U.S. Military operations in the Balkans and the Middle East. My guess is that a food for guns program will be instituted during a martial law or WROL scenario.

Myth #2: Long range weapons (effective range over 500 yards) are necessary to eliminate threats.

Fact: Close range threats are the most dangerous. Target identification beyond 200 meters is difficult for trained soldiers and is nearly impossible for civilians. It’s not a question of hitting targets, it’s a question of detecting and identifying a hostile target at long range.     

Myth #3: Without Rule of Law (WROL) scenarios will be a “free for all” where actions are not questions and without legal consequences later on.

Fact: Rule of Law (ROL) evaporated in the LA riots, Hurricane Katrina, the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, various places in Africa, etc. The reality is that ROL is reinstated and people will be held accountable for their actions. This could mean a reconstituted legal justice system, warlords or vigilante justice. While the zombie apocalypse is entertaining, it’s probably not the scenario we will face.       

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The odious remarks of Natasha Leggero.

Natasha Leggero, an unfunny, sorry excuse for a comedian desperate for fame, made a vile comment, covered as a “joke” about Pearl Harbor veterans. In an era where any critical remarks about Barak Hussein Obama is automatically labeled as racist, her comments should be examined. 

Leggero is clearly a creature of the left, a vile, vulgar, talentless pretender, who is clearly comfortable insulting a small number of aged and courageous American heroes.   Her career, is made possible by the sacrifices of veterans. It is amazing that anyone could even find her remarks remotely funny, or defend them.  
If Leggero has any brains, which is doubtful, she should examine the example of the great Bob Hope.