Monthly Archives: September 2015

Backwards Bullets

by Woodsbum

For years our family has used hollow based wad cutters pressed in backwards as a defensive pistol round. Many people try to “poo-poo” this as ineffective and a novelty load that has no place in today’s world of firearms. I ran across this video that really shows the effectiveness of inverting a bullet as a defensive load. The creator of the video does not call it a “defensive load,” but that is how I perceive this being used.

Interestingly enough, in this video you will see the creator use a normal .308 bullet and not some hollow base, cast bullet for demonstration. I would think that the hollow based, cast type bullets would definitely end up damaging the target much more.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Now that I am set up as well as I am for reloading again I will do a few posts on my own loads and creations in the future. Keep checking back.

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Bullet Yaw

by Woodsbum

I got into a discussion the other day about bullet yaw and how people tend to forget this very important effect on accuracy. For some reason a lot of Rifle Range Commandos think that their 100 yard shot and accuracy will automatically translate into the ability to shoot at distance and that any long range inconsistencies MUST be because the “shooter can’t shoot.” There is just so much emphasis spent on tactics and CQB training that any engagement 200 yards or more is lost. This truly is a sad thing because 200 yards is really not that far to shoot.

One factor that seems to be completely overlooked is bullet yaw. Imagine a perfectly thrown football. The axis of the spin bisects the end point perfectly in the middle and the ball travels in a direct line. Now imagine if you taped several quarters on it to cause the balance to be off a bit. The ball’s flight would resemble a wounded duck as well as the the actual path that the ball traveled being modified. Think about the old “spit ball” in baseball. Additional weight would be added to one side of the ball before being thrown to create an unpredictable flight path.

To put this into a “firearms” type perspective, I give you the following example. Everyone that has been around guns knows about the tumbling effect of the .303 British. The way that the bullet almost tumbles in flight, enters the target sideways, and even seems to almost have a curved flight at times is and extreme example. This article here explains bullet yaw quite well and even has some really good graphics. The following picture helps to illustrate the way that a bullet may travel if is not spinning perfectly.

Because the yaw has not had time to truly affect the flight path at shorter ranges, an incorrectly weighted bullet may not seem to have problems until the distance stretches out past 150 yards. The farther the bullet travels, the more factors associated with the bullet’s trajectory will become apparent. This explains why most long range shooters spend the extra money on premium bullets and reload their own cartridges. It takes out a lot of the variables that mass production ammunition battle during the manufacturing process.

Here is a good video that shows how yaw affects a bullet’s flight.

In conclusion, I really want people to realize that the yaw can really modify the bullet’s path over distance. Take some time and study ALL aspects of how a firearm functions, ammunition works and how bullet paths are established. You should not just focus on one portion of this hobby. Just because someone shoots .25″ groups at 25 yards from the prone position with their $5000 sniper rifle doesn’t mean that they can use that exact same setup to push out past 1000 yards. There are just too many factors in play to make those sorts of assumptions. What it all comes down to is quite simple. Practice and test out your equipment BEFORE you need it and ensure that it will perform properly at whatever range you want to claim yourself to be effective at.

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Pittman Robertson Act

by Woodsbum

With the amount of hate posts I see on FB concerning hunting due to the dentist harvesting a lion, I find it completely asinine. Due to a lack of education among the general population, people somehow think that all conservation programs are funded by some “Money Fairy” or by income taxes. It truly is a shame that these “do-gooders” don’t think or research a subject before they start protesting.

To help educate people a little bit about the source of funding with regard to conservation and wildlife programs, I have put together this post on one huge contributor.

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (Pittman-Robertson Act) took an already existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition, gave control over to the Secretary of the Interior, and had it redistributed to the states based upon various factors which include number of hunters. This money must only be used by the State’s fish and game department. Any use of the money must be approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Such projects such as research, surveys, wildlife management, habitat, land acquisition for hunting and leasing of land are all acceptable uses of these funds. To break it down simply, it must be used for conservation and wildlife management programs.

A years progressed additional taxes upon handguns and archery equipment were also included in the Act with half of that money going to education and training programs.

Since adoption of this Act over 2 billion dollars in funds were collected in the first 50 years. States are required to match the Act’s funding at a 25% State/75% P-R fund ratio. The states matched over 500 million in the first 50 years of the Act. These funds were mainly through hunting license sales.

Although hunters, firearms users, and archery enthusiasts pay for almost all the conservation programs in America recent estimates show that over 70% of the people using the benefits of these programs are not hunters nor do they contribute via taxes or licenses. Some areas these figures are as high as 95%.

Here is a short video about this Act and the benefits we have seen from this program.

As you can see from the video and any research you might have done on your own, this act is almost single handedly responsible for the conservation and preservation of wildlife resources that we have today. If it was not for this Act we would not be able to enjoy the animals we see in nature nor would be be able to responsibly harvest these animals for personal consumption.

For those that do not hunt, buy guns/ammunition or purchase archery equipment: The next time you see someone that makes a firearm/archery/hunting license purchase treat them with the respect that they deserve. You may even want to quit being a freeloader and make some of those type purchases yourself if you enjoy seeing the natural beauty of America and love all the wildlife that it holds.

For those of you who do contribute through your purchases: Keep it up and since these freeloading “do-gooders” would never thank you I will….  Even though my wife thinks my purchasing single handedly funds our Fish and Wildlife Regional Office I know the $1k’s I spend annually are only a drop in the bucket……

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by Woodsbum

On September 11, 2001 I was on Active Duty in the Navy. It was actually a nice, comfortable day with only a slight overcast where I was stationed. Only myself and a single Reservist were in our office and we were listening to the radio while I trained him on doing medical record verifications. We were listening to the local “shock jock” on the radio when they stopped the song they were playing to announce that an airplane had flown into one of the Twin Towers. About an hour later our entire command was gathered around a TV set in a commons area where our Commanding Officer passed what information there was about the situation and we started getting reports that some of our comrades in arms had been attacked at the Pentagon. It wasn’t until days later that we found out that some of our own had been killed………

As it is with most tragedies, people tend to remember exactly when and where they were when they first heard the news. If you ask someone who was alive when Kennedy was shot, most will be able to tell you explicit details. My mother, for instance, used to tell me the color and style dress she was wearing when she heard about Kennedy.

Although we, as humans and citizens of these United States, will forever remember our personal stories related to incidents such as 9/11 or Kennedy it is uncommon for us to remember to show the respect to the victims that things like this should require. I am ashamed that I can’t remember the names of the two people I knew that were murdered in the Pentagon attack, but I do remember their faces and the last time I saw them.

Living on the West Coast, not very many people personally knew someone who died that fateful day. This might also be part of the reason why this anniversary is not as much of a deal for many that were so removed from the tragedy. That is truly a shame. If you ask someone from New York or even who was living on the East Coast, they will have very detailed stories and more than likely knew someone who lost their life that day. Some may even have been right in the mix of the chaos.

All I know is this: Our country and world has not been the same since these attacks. I seriously doubt it will ever be even close to the same, at least in my lifetime. The fact that many schools refuse to cover 9/11 in class, many people ignore the date to just go on blissfully blind to the horror that day, and it has become almost another “trivia” question like Pearl Harbor as opposed to a day of remembrance is more than a shame. It is a slap in the face to those that perished in addition to those that survived.

I humbly and simply ask that everyone take a moment and just ask whatever higher power they believe in to watch over the victims both alive and dead. I know that I do not just because it is right, but because it touched us all in one way or another…….

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by Woodsbum

Due to a surprise opportunity to snag up a Turley parang this last weekend, I decided to do a quick post on parangs before mine showed up in the mail. Once my Turley shows up I will do a quick post on it as well.

There seems to be a lot of talk on various forums and websites about chopping style knives, machetes, parangs, cleavers versus axes. These discussions always seem to get a bit heated and end up with coming to the simple conclusion that there is no one best knife, only the best knife for that person.

Even though these type scenarios end in a stalemate of sorts, comparisons and evaluations of design are always interesting topics

Parangs seems to be collective term for short swords, big knives and machetes that come from Southeast Asia. There are many designs that fall into this category to include bent bladed machetes, straight blades, oddly curved ones, etc. Here are a few pictures of blades that are considered parangs.

Condor Parang

Condor Parang

Turley Parang

Turley Parang

Ray Mears Parang

Ray Mears Parang

There really is a huge variance in the shapes and handles. The one I just picked up has about an 8.5″ long handle and 7.25″ blade. The blade is 1/16″ 15n20 steel and has a fairly simple convex grind.

No matter what the shape of the blade and handle, parangs are designed to have a very specific area of the blade for various tasks. The front is usually designed for skinning, middle for chopping, and part toward the handle is for carving. Sometimes the back edge is sharpened as well for shaving/processing wood for fire.

Parang handles also have a larger end around the pommel so that your hand doesn’t slip during use. The materials also tend to be those that are a bit more textured to alleviate slippage.

The nice thing about these designs is that there is no hard and fast rule. You can design something that fits the 3 distinct cutting areas, has a longer handle, and the blade is from 6″ to over 24″ long and call it a parang.

Once I get my Turley parang in the mail, I will do a review of it and let you know how it works in comparison to a machete. Although I am not a parang fan, I am not a parang hater either. It will be interesting to see how it functions during hard use.

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