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Cartridges Before There Were Cartridges

One of the early attempts at self-contained cartridges for repeating firearms was the Volcanic cartridge. The Volcanic cartridge is a conical lead bullet much like a Minié ball, but with a deeper hollow base. In that base was the powder charge, held in by a disk covered with a thin cork wad and a metal cup. The cork and the …

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Gas Rings Seal Test

There are three gas rings as part of your AR bolt and they function a lot like the piston rings in your car’s engine. If the rings do not create a good seal, your rifle may not function properly, so it’s important to make sure they provide a good seal. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check this. Remove the …

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Suppressor Alignment

Through its S.I.D. kiosks, Silencer Shop has made buying a suppressor as easy as ordering a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. Once you have your suppressor, one thing you want to make sure of when you mount it is that it’s properly aligned.  If not, you can have a bullet/baffle strike. Fortunately, checking alignment is simple. Remove the bolt …

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Minigun Shoot

Sometimes Scott Mayer just sends me random stuff that he’s doing. From the looks of it, he seems to be hanging around some Mini-Guns. His note says that this particular weapon is only firing at half-speed of 3000 rounds per minute. —Marky, Editor   Scott Mayer www.John1911.com “Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

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Bore Cleaning

Would you believe me if I told you that there’s a good chance you’ve been cleaning your rifle’s bore wrong? “Wrong” might be too harsh a word considering there are so many ways people successfully clean rifle bores. While I won’t argue with anyone’s technique or preferred products, I’d wager that most shooters jump right in and start attacking the …

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Don’t Be “Suppressed!”

I just got word from friends over at Silencerco that the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) was reintroduced to the House of Representatives this past Monday. The HPA seeks to remove suppressors from the NFA and instead have their purchase and transfer treated the same as a long gun, meaning no more $200 tax or extensive waiting period. Instead, customers would …

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Building A “Ghost Gun”

A so-called 80-percent receiver is an AR-15 lower receiver that is 80-percent finished. Depending on the material and the manufacturer, you can finish them yourself using tools ranging from a mill to a Dremel tool. In addition to the satisfaction of “doing it yourself,” an 80 percent lower can be shipped straight to your door with no FFL involved because …

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Art and War

This really does look like some kind of modern art or maybe something your neighbor welded together in his backyard to make a little moonshine, but it’s actually a U.S.-made Mark IV, Model 1 naval mine dated April 17, 1917. It’s about three feet in diameter and held 300 pounds of TNT. I always thought they were set off by …

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Grenades!

Grenades fascinate me because it’s the technological advancement of going from throwing a rock and hitting your enemy, to hitting your enemy with a rock that explodes—and you don’t even have to hit them for it to be effective. They’re also pretty savage, and I don’t take the harm they have done to servicemen and women lightly. Recently I had …

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The SRM Arms Model 1216

I came across a pretty radical new shotgun while at the wholesaler show last week. The SRM Arms Model 1216 is an American-made, semi-automatic, 12-gauge shotgun that holds 16 rounds in a manually indexing, four-chamber tubular magazine. With manual indexing, you can instantly select birdshot, buckshot, slugs, bean bags, rock salt, flares, Dragon’s Breath—any kind of shotshell you have loaded—with …

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Pointed Bullets and Tubular Magazines

“Don’t use pointed bullets in tubular magazines!” We’ve all heard that warning. The reason is because the cartridges are in-line, and the point of one bullet rests against the primer of the next. The jostle and rearward force of recoil can cause the point to act as a firing pin and set off the cartridge in front of it. Even …

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Goofy Stocks of the Past

Recently while browsing a Rock Island Auction online catalog I was reminded how far we’ve come with gun ergonomics, and how much ergonomics change to meet the need. When you look at some of the old jezails and arquebuses, you have to ask yourself how the heck they shot them. I mean “scope-eye” is one thing, but early Japanese shooters …

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Rigarmi .25 Auto

I blame my late friend Pete Dickey for my addiction to cheap auto pistols and break-open revolvers. If these are so-called “Saturday Night Specials,” then every night was Saturday night at Pete’s. He had them made into bookends, lamps and all sorts of novelty gifts. His enthusiasm for, and he fun he had with them, was contagious. As much a …

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Gas Clown

With all of the insane clown stupidness going on lately, I thought it topical to share this image. It’s not some pervert or idiotic frat boy trying to get has ass beat or even shot off, but a World War I gas mask, specifically a British PH anti-gas tube. It was obviously worn over the head and face and the …

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Barrett 98B LW

When most shooters think of Barrett, the first thing that comes to mind is their .50-caliber rifle and that makes sense considering all the attention it has gotten in military use. This year, Barrett parlayed what they learned from making battle-proven rifles into the company’s first hunting-specific rifle, the 98B LW. Barrett president Chris Barrett tells me the reason they …