November 3rd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Setting Year for Gun Sales

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks

By all indications, Americans are buying more guns than ever before. Some pundits have joked that President Obama is the “greatest gun salesman in history”. Looking at NICS (FBI instant check) records, Dean Weingarten of the Gun Watch Blog concludes that 2016 will see new records set, likely surpassing 2015 as the year with the highest number of gun sales ever. CLICK Link to Gun Watch.

Weingarten writes:

The private firearm stock in the United States will have increased by nearly 100 million firearms, or 30%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency.

Many indicators show a soaring and diverse level of gun ownership. Carry permits are burgeoning, approaching 15 million and more. Gun ownership among women and minorities is at an all-time high.

This October continued the record-breaking pace to establish 2016 as the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder. In October 2016 there were 2,333,539 National Instant Checks done. In 2015, the NICS done in October were 1,976,759.

In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2016, through October, they were 22,206,233. That is less than 1 million below the total for 2015, with the two biggest months in 2016 yet to happen. Last year there were 17,584,346 by the end of October.

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks
A record number of NICS Checks may take place in 2016. Photo: Benton Co. Gunworks.

The numbers are 26.3% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up with 29.2 million background checks for the year.

Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17 to 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to over 400 million private firearms in the United States.

Who would have thought that President Obama would be the record-setting, all time champion, gun salesman? The total NICS checks will reach over 250 million by years end. That will be over 150 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years (there are 0.6 sales per check on average). Over 37% of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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November 3rd, 2016

Don’t Try to Trickle These Sticks… Powder for Big Naval Guns

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

Story by Boyd Allen
While many top competitive shooters trickle their stick powder charges to a kernel or two, that would be impractical when loading charges for giant naval guns. You may be surprised, but the shells fired by the U.S. Navy’s massive 14″ and 16″ naval guns were also propelled by stick-type extruded powders. You couldn’t trickle these ‘kernels’ though — a single stick or ‘grain’ can be over 2″ long. Take a look…

In connection with a Benchrest Central discussion that drifted to the subject of powders used in large naval guns, I heard from Joe McNeil, whose father was involved in manufacturing those very propellants as a DuPont employee. Joe writes:

“My Dad worked for the DuPont company for over 40 years. Every time the nation went to war he was assigned to the gun powder plants which DuPont ran for the government for $1.00 per year! His last assignment was at the Indiana Ordnance Plant in Jefferson, Indiana from 1952 through 1958. He had a display case made of all of the different powders made at the plant and left it to me. That’s why I have a grain of 16″ gun powder. He took me out to the Jefferson proving grounds once when they tested the powder in a 16″ gun. We watched from a half-mile away but it left a lasting impression when they fired that gun. They actually had a set of rings they fired through to test the performance of the powder and shell. This was a truly fond memory of my Dad and his work.”

Here are some pictures of the gun powder “grains” made during the Korean War at the Indiana Ordnance Works where Joe McNeil’s father worked.

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

DuPont artillery naval powder cannon gun kernel propellant stick

Above is the display case with the different powders manufactured at the DuPont plant. They include: 37 MM/AA, 75MM Pack Howitzer, 50 Cal. 5010, 20 MM 4831, 30 Cal. 4895, 76 MM, 3″, 5″, 90 MM, 4.7″, 240MM, 8″, 280 MM, 175 MM, 155 MM Howitzer, 155 MM Gun M.P., 8″ Gun M.P., 12″, 14, 16″. There are different-sized ‘grains’ for specific rounds.

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November 3rd, 2016

Recoil Comparison .223 Rem vs. 6BR vs. .308 Win

6mmBR NormaMany visitors to the site ask us, “I’ve got a .223 and .308. What will a 6mmBR Norma (6BR) give me that I’m not getting already?” Well first you will probably average consistently smaller groups than your current .223 or .308 rifle (assuming the 6BR has a quality barrel and trigger). A good .308 Winchester can be superbly accurate, no question about that, but the lesser recoil of the 6BR works in the shooter’s favor over a long string of fire. Even with a Rem 700 or Savage action factory action, a 6BR with a benchrest stock, premium barrel, and a high-quality chambering job should deliver 5-shot groups in the high twos to mid-threes, provided you do your job. We have one 6BR rifle that shoots Lapua factory-loaded 6BR ammunition in the low twos and high ones. That’s exceptional, we admit, but it still shows how the 6BR is an inherently accurate cartridge, even with factory loads.

Compared to a .223, the 6BR offers a much better selection of high-BC projectiles, and will deliver considerably more power on the target. Compared to the .308 shooting 168gr MatchKings, a 6BR shooting 105-107gr bullets offers better ballistics all the way out to 1000 yards. Plus, for most people, the 6BR is just easier to shoot than a .308. Recoil is less than half of the .308 cartridge. Both the .308 and 6BR chamberings offer good barrel life, but the 6BR uses 15-18 grains less powder, saving you money. On the other hand the .308 is the designated cartridge for F-TR and Palma shooting, so it may be a more versatile chambering for Long-Range competition. So which would we choose between the 6BR and the .308? Actually we think you should have both. The 6BR is my favorite cartridge out to 500 yards, and I like the .308 Win for F-TR. And… if you want to shoot at the World Fullbore Championships this week at Camp Perry there’s only one choice — a .308 Win.

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