Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back from Big Boomer World!

I'm back from the .50 Cal Championships at Whittington...always fun. We filmed it a few years ago for SHOOTING GALLERY. This time, I was filming for the upcoming .50 BMG series exclusively on DRTV.

I shot my first 1000-yard group...pause for effect...5 shots in less than 10 inches! Of course, I shot it with a .50 BMG rail gun...a 150-pound steel and aluminum "sled" with a barreled action bolted into it. As the gun first, the action slides back on silicon "rails." The shooter then pushes the sled back into battery. The rail gun was designed by lee Jamison as a test bed for bullets and loads. Some of what he's learned about big boomer bullets is already at work in Afghanistan helping members of the Taliban on the long road to paradise.

Speaking of which, I saw something really cool at the match....50 BMG polymer-cased ammo that was actually being shot in the match. The ammo, being developed by Mac LLC at the request of the Marine Corp, has about an inch of brass at the base, bonded to a polymer rest of the cartridge. The ones in use were 640-gr ball, and while it wasn't specifically developed as match ammo, it was turning in 20-inch groups at 1000 yards out of a Steyr HS. Joe Gibbons of Mac told me the push for the development of the polymer .50s was one for weight reduction...the plastic fantastic .50s weigh in at 25% or more less than a standard round of .50 ball. That means 25% more ammo for the helicopter machineguns, critical in mountainous Afghanistan where a helicopter's ability to lift weight is compromised by the high altitude. Gibbons said the ammo runs fine in the MGs, whihc are notorious for the violence of their actions. The Marines would like to have this stuff yesterday, if possible. Defense Review has written about some of the poly ammo development for the can read it here. And, no, they wouldn't give me one as a souvenir!

I also one of the new Bushmaster's BA50s, the production version of Skip Patel of Cobb Manufacturing's .50. Cobb, as you recall, was absorbed into the Cerberus Borg Community, with Skip emerging as the head of R&D for Bushmaster. The thing shot like a house afire and was delivering sub-MOA 1000-yard groups. The 10-round magazine-fed bolt gun is a beast, dwarfing my Barrett 99 single shot. The Patel-designed muzzle brake is could see a clear reduction in recoil when comparing the BA50 to some of the other guns on the line. Of course the concussion off the brake caused one of my arms to fall off.

I'm going to devote most of Wednesday's podcast to the .50 Championships, and, of couse, you'll be able to see the whole thing in video in a couple of months (maybe soon if I have an epiphany and can find a decent local editor...I might pop up the video of me shooting the rail gun tomorrow, depending on how crazy it gets.

On other subjects, the NRA has identified a whole new mental pathology — "anti-gun anxiety," or AGA — apparently bought on in media types by the Heller ruling: Fortunately, this epidemic appears to be almost entirely confined to politicians, newspaper editorial writers, and activists predisposed to the condition by years of bias against guns, gun owners and freedom. Normal people are immune from AGA, thus no vaccine is required, and the only known antidote is an open mind, a willingness to accept the facts, and a respect for the rights of one's fellow citizens.
In some instances, AGA is apparently complicated by other conditions, such as utter confusion. Getting the core elements of the Second Amendment backwards, the Salt Lake Tribune claimed, "No fair reading of the plain language of the amendment or its history could have reached the conclusion the court announced." But in other cases, symptoms are less severe. USA Today simply expressed the hope that the Heller decision will allow for gun show restrictions, regulations to drive gun dealers out of business, and an "assault weapon" ban.

Given the way that anti-gun groups behave normally, it's difficult to say whether their Heller-related comments are attributable to acute AGA or a more chronic variety. In any case, the Brady Campaign said Heller will "embolden criminal defendants, and ideological extremists," while the Violence Policy Center said that it "turns legal logic and common sense on its head.

There is some evidence that the epidemic may become a pandemic, too. A German Green Party member said, "All European cows are registered Europe-wide, so why not guns if it can save lives? Civil liberties can be sacrificed if we can prevent people from being killed." And on the French newspaper Le Figaro's web site, a writer declared that America "is the only society which will go directly from barbarism to decadence without ever passing through civilization."

AH, the French...BTW, I'm posting this off ScribeFire, a FireFox 3.0 browser plug-in that let's me post directly to the blog. It's convenient, but I'm not crazy about it...obviously, I can't figure out how to get by to regular type rather than a quote...he "strip formatting" command doesn't actually strip fact, it doesn't do anything I can tell.

I also can't add trashy colors to the text, which I know annoys the heck out of most of you but I enjoy it, and since I do this for me, viola!It also flatly refuses to let me upload pictures from my own demands some sort of authentication that I am at a loss to figure out. Can anybody tell me what I'm missing here, aside from a brain?


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, trashy colors and pics or convenience?? I'll take the trashy colors. Of course some trashy pics wouldn't be bad either!


Anonymous said...

Gotta get me one a dem .50,s. Keep trying to click for links on the trashy colors.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your stuff a while, Kinda good.
For a Composer try.
Eazy to use


Anonymous said...

I believe in the late 80's PMC(?) brought out some partialiy plastic cased .38's. The shooting public was skeptical. How about CCI loading up some .50 BMG Blazers with aluminum cases? It would save a lot of weight.

-Mojave Desert