December 12th, 2017

Four Great Firearms Animations

Firearms 3D Animation Gun Videos Schematic

1. How an AR-15 Works

Ever wondered how the parts inside an AR-15 work together? Just exactly how does the reciprocating bolt carrier feed rounds from the magazine? How do the elements in the trigger group work and reset after each shot? How does the gas system bleed gas from the barrel and operate the bolt carrier? These and other questions are answered in this eye-opening video from 45Snipers. Using “cutaway” 3D computer animation, this 5-minute video shows all features of an AR15 inside and out. This fascinating firearms animation allows the viewer to look inside the upper and lower receivers, into the bolt carrier, chamber, barrel, and magazine. There’s a second AR-15 Video that shows all the internal and external parts of the AR-15 Rifle. CLICK HERE for AR Parts Animation.

2. How an AK-47 Works — With Parts Assembly

This animation shows how the AK-47 (officially Avtomat Kalasnikova model 1947) rifle functions. This very realistic video shows the component parts of the AK47 coming together. They you can see how the fire control system works to ignite the primer, sending the bullet down the barrel. Next you see how the gas piston pushes the bolt carrier rearward to chamber a new 7.62x39mm cartridge.

Tech Note: This high-quality 3D animation was created by Matt Rittman using Cinema 4D and After Effects software. Corona renderer was used in order to create realistic materials and reflections. Credit Forum member Captain Dave F. for finding this video.

3. How a Pistol Cartridge Fires

This cool 3D video from German ammo-maker GECO (part of the Swiss RUAG group of companies) unveils the inside of a pistol cartridge, showing jacket, lead core, case, powder and primer. Uusing advanced CGI rendering, the video shows an X-ray view of ammo being loaded in a handgun, feeding from a magazine. Then it really gets interesting. At 1:32 – 1:50 you’ll see the firing pin strike the primer cup, the primer’s hot jet streaming through the flash-hole, and the powder igniting. Finally you can see the bullet as it moves down the barrel and spins its way to a target. If you’ve ever wondered what happens inside a cartridge when you pull the trigger, this video shows all.

For Best Viewing, Click Gear Symbol and Select HD Playback Mode

4. How a Rifle Cartridge Fires

This CGI video shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires. The 3D computer animation reveals every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired. X-Ray-style animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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August 30th, 2012

Mirage Shields Tame Barrel Heat for More Accurate Shooting

Even if you don’t shoot competitively, you can benefit from having a mirage shield on your barrel. The shield helps prevent barrel heat from “cooking” the air in front of your scope, which can distort the view you see through the optic. Barrel heat creates a mirage effect that can blur the target image and actually shift your apparent aiming point up and down. Competitors know that a mirage shield helps them shoot smaller groups and better scores. Mirage shields can likewise benefit Varmint shooters on those hot summer groundhog and prairie dog expeditions.

Make a Mirage Shield from Discarded X-Ray Film
Forum member Fabian from Germany, whose Sako 6BR was featured as a Gun of the Week, has devised a clever and inexpensive mirage band option. Fabian is a radiologist by trade. He notes that many X-ray machines require a daily test film for calibration. These are normally just discarded in the trash, so you can get them for free.

mirage shield

Fabian explains: “I’m a radiologist, so I handle medical x-ray films every day. Modern X-ray machines use laser-based printers and they need to print a test-film every day. One x-ray film is about 43×35 cm (16.9″ x 13.7″). Made from polyester, the films are very stable and only 0.007″ inches thick. They are light-weight, semi-transparent, and very stable. Using normal scissors, you can easily cut four mirage shields from a single sheet of film. Then glue on some velcro to attach to your barrel. Try it, you will not be disappointed.”

mirage shield

More Do-It-Yourself Ideas
Other forum members have made mirage shields out of common, inexpensive materials such as old venetian blinds, thin plastic edging strips, and even cardboard reinforced with strapping tape. There’s no “magic material”. However many shooters have found that wider shields (extending well past the barrel sides) work better than narrow shields, particularly in hot weather.

Mirage Shields with Printed Designs
If you prefer to purchase a mirage shield, Shotmaster 10X offers a wide variety of shields starting at just $5.00 for a plain white 18″ shield. Patterned shields (including camo designs) are priced by length: $8.50 (18″), $9.50 (20″), $11.00 (24″). All Shotmaster shields come with two (2) velcro patches with self-stick adhesive.

Shotmaster 10X Mirage Shield

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
September 13th, 2011

Cartridge Brass Alloys Revealed by X-Ray Spectrometers

X-Ray cartridge Brass testingAre there significant metallurgical differences in the alloys used in various brands of cartridge brass? The answer is yes, and we have proof. Using a state-of-the-art X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer, some tech-savy Wisconsin shooters recently analyzed the alloys in seven different types of cartridge brass.

The test results revealed significant differences in the percentages of copper and zinc in the different brands. Copper content ranged from a low of 72% by mass (Winchester, S&B) to a high of 80% by mass (Remington). Zinc, which adds hardness to the alloy, ranged from a low of 20% by mass (Federal) to a high of 36% (‘brown box’ Lapua). Interestingly, the tests, as reported by Forum Member Fred Bohl, revealed that the alloy in the new ‘blue box’ 6mmBR Lapua brass is different than the alloy in Lapua’s older ‘brown box’ 6mmBR brass. Specifically, the ‘blue box’ 6mmBR brass has more copper and less tin (by mass). Here’s a summary of the X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry tests:

X-Ray cartridge Brass testing

This testing was done at major science laboratory, using high-grade X-Ray Spectrometry Analyzing equipment. Fred reports that: “The data was run by one of the club members with the permission of the test lab supervisor who is also a club member and shooter. The data in original output reports was far more detailed about trace elements at lower orders of magnitude primarily from surface contaminants (some were rerun after establishing a repeatable cleaning procedure)”. The testing process is discussed in this Shooters’ Forum thread.

We do NOT have the metallurgical expertise to infer that any particular alloy shown above is “better” than another. The alloy “blend” is merely one of many variables that can have an impact on the performance and quality of the finished product. Annealing times/methods differ and some cartridge brass is extruded while other cartridge brass is made with the traditional drawing process. Readers should not presume, on reading the above chart, that they can identify the “best shooting” brass simply based on the constituent metals in the various alloys.

X-Ray cartridge Brass testing

General Observations about Cartridge Brass Alloys
With the cartridge brass X-Ray Spectrometry results in hand, Fred Bohl hoped to find out what “real world” conclusions (if any) we could draw from the raw data. Fred sent the test results to some knowledgeable metallurgists, soliciting their comments. Fred explains: “When I first posted this information [in the Shooters’ Forum], I had hoped to elicit replies from expert metallurgists and to initiate a useful discussion. From [their replies] I distilled the following ‘consensus’ comments”:

1. The range of Copper/Zinc ratios suitable for use in cartridge making by typical processes is 85/15 to 65/35 (% by weight or mass).

2. The range of Copper/Zinc ratios suitable for use in cartridges intended for reloading is 80/20 to 70/30. Above 80% copper, the resulting case would tend to be too soft and difficult to attain the distribution of hardness desired (harder at the base and softer at the neck). Below 70% copper the resulting case would tend to be too hard, would work harden too quickly and require frequent annealing. [Editor: That said, the ‘brown box’ 6mmBR Lapua brass, with 62% copper/36% zinc content, enjoys an unrivaled reputation for both accuracy and its ability to perform well after a dozen or more reloading cycles. We know 30BR shooters who have shot the same old-style Lapua brass (6mmBR parent case) more than 50 times. So maybe the “expert” view needs re-thinking.]

3. As the percentage of zinc increases, the tensile strength, yield strength and hardness tend to increase. However, above 35% zinc, while tensile strength will continue to tend to increase, both yield strength and hardness will tend to begin to decrease.

4. The trace additives of iron and/or silicon are used to control the processing characteristics of the alloy. Trace additions of chromium will improve corrosion resistance and give a shinier surface (both largely cosmetic).

5. Selection of the alloy and additives is a trade off among: end use desired properties; processing time and yield; and cost of materials. For example, the classic 70/30 cartridge brass was considered an optimum combination of corrosion resistance and hardness for single use by the military with good process yield at acceptable material cost.

6. All of my responding experts were surprised by the brown box Lapua alloy except for the oldest. He remembered using an almost identical alloy late in WWII when copper was in very short supply for military small arms ammunition.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, News 5 Comments »