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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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John1911’s Scott Mayer Named Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year

We’re pleased to announce that one of John1911’s regular contributors, Scott Mayer, is the 2016 Carl Zeiss Outdoor Writer of the Year. Mayer started his career 24 years ago on the NRA Technical staff where he became American Rifleman’s first Shooting Editor. There he developed not only his writing skill and firearms knowledge, but also helped with scripting and appearing …

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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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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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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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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 …

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Can Cannon Update

Earlier this year John1911 previewed a new product seen at SHOT Show called the Can Cannon– a launching device set up for launching full un-opened 12-oz. soda cans. At the time, it was sold as an assembled AR upper receiver and works with any AR-15 mil standard bolt and most piston bolts. The BATFE approved design was not considered a …

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Ruger’s Incredible Single Six Convertible Revolver

Ruger’s Single Six Convertible revolver comes with two interchangeable cylinders so you can shoot either .22 Long Rifle or .22 WMR cartridges in it. It’s also my single most favorite plinking revolver–specifically the “Super” variant because it has adjustable sights. The original Single Six Convertible was made from 1962 to 1972 and is found with 4 5/8, 5 1/2, 6 …

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Howa Mini Grendel

I’ve spent the past few days in beautiful Casper, Wyoming shooting prairie dogs. I have nothing against prairie dogs–I actually find them kind of cute and once had a couple as pets with my practice wife. But the fact is that man uses land where prairie dogs live and prairie dogs are very destructive. I personally feel better about going …

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Cleaning and Whitening Skulls

Not everyone has a colony of dermestid beetles to clean a skull, and many who do quickly realize that they still have to feed them whether they have skulls that need cleaning or not! What to do, then, if you have a skull you want cleaned? You could boil it, but that weakens the bone and stinks up your kitchen. …