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Barrel Twist & Bullet Weight

Something that has always fascinated me about shooting the Modern Sporting Rifle (aka “AR15”) is the complex relationship between a barrel’s rate of twist and the effect it has on bullets of varying weights.


I went through my ammo cans and selected four different weights of ammo for today’s test.  Actually, I found that I had six weights but decided to skip the tracer and the super-lightweight varmint tip stuff.  The four rounds you see here are (left to right): 50 grain ballistic tip .223; 55 grain full metal jacket 5.56; 62 grain light armor piercing 5.56 (aka “LAP” or “Green Tip”); and 77 grain open tip match 5.56.  Manufacturers are American Eagle, IWI, Federal, and Black Hills respectively.  The prices on AR ammo generally tend to go up with bullet weight: from around 40 cents a round for the 50-55gr stuff up to about 95 cents a round for the 77gr stuff.


My rifles are very similar: both have 16″ barrels, cheap red-dot optics, and an average amount of junk bolted to them.  The one on top has a Palmetto State Armory Freedom upper with a 1:7 barrel twist.  That means that the bullet makes one complete revolution in 7 inches of travel as it goes down the barrel.  A fast twist like this supposedly favors heavier bullets.

The rifle on the bottom has a DPMS Panther upper with a 1:9 twist rate.  Slower twist rates can be more versatile and shoot a wider range of bullet weights more consistently.  I will confess that this was my first AR, it has had quite a few more rounds through it, and I am more comfortable shooting it.

The weather today was clear, in the mid-40s, with a 5-10 mph breeze coming from behind the shooting position.  I shot seated using a Caldwell bag resting on the railing of my deck.  Targets were orange adhesive dots on cardboard stapled to a 3’x3′ sheet of plywood that was screwed to a tree about 75 yards away and on a level with the shooting position.  I did not use the Harris bipod on the PSA or the iron sights on either rifle.  Three shots were taken in each bullet weight per target and then the cardboard was swapped out then the same 12 shots were taken with the other rifle.  Both rifles were fouled and warmed up for the test with six or seven shots of 55gr.  There were zero malfunctions or flyers today and I used a Barska spotting scope to check each three-shot string as I went.

The PSA upper AR (1:7 twist) went first:


My warmup shots went in the center with the first three high and left.  I compensated for the grossly out-of-zero red-dot and got on the sticker with my next three warmups.  Then I shot my way around the smaller targets.  I had loaded magazines with 12 rounds each in batches of three increasing the weight progressively.  Ignoring for a second how poorly I shot this gun today, you can see that the groups didn’t tighten up at all until shooting the heaviest weight bullet.  In fact, the 62gr group was the largest at 3″ – double the 1.5″ group of the 77gr.  The other two weights shot similarly mediocre 2.25″-2.50″ groups.  As luck would have it, my best group was that second warmup string of three in the center of the cardboard at 1.25″.


My DPMS shot noticeably better regardless of bullet weight.  That “Big Dipper” in the center was my 7-shot warmup string.  The optic on this rifle was obviously holding zero and it has a smaller dot, which hides less of the target as range increases.  Interestingly, the groups increased with bullet weight from 1.5″ and 1.5″ to 1.75″  finally opening up to an appalling 2″ with the 77gr Black Hills ammo.


Shooting lighter 50 grain ammo, 1:9 wins…barely.


Shooting 55 grain – which incidentally is the overwhelmingly most common weight shot by civilians and military out of AR-platform rifles around the world – the 1:9 is noticeably better.  Also, the group looks nearly identical to the 50gr group shot by the 1:9.


I have bought and shot a lot of 55 grain FMJ ammo but I’d feel a lot better in a defensive situation if my magazines were loaded with 62gr Green Tip.  One simple reason: the bullets tend not to self-destruct when they hit something hard or hit something at an extreme angle.  Sure, a 62gr bullet only weighs about 13% more than a 55gr one and it’s traveling a bit slower so it will drop more as range increases but it will deliver about 6% more energy on impact.  The really valuable thing about Green Tip ammo is that is has a steel penetrator core that will go through things that will make 55gr disintegrate – things like sheet metal, trees, windshields, and cinder block.  No, Green Tip is not .308 but it’s the closest you’re going to get with your AR15.  That said, I am delighted with the 62gr group my DPMS shot today.


Why would anybody spend nearly a dollar a round on 77gr AR ammo?  Well, if you had a 20″ heavy barrel match rifle or a bolt-action with a 24″ barrel, this stuff might be the next best thing to loading your own.  In a 16″ carbine-length barrel it’s clearly wasted.  Neither of my rifles was laser-accurate with 77gr but you will notice that this group was the tightest shot by the 1:7 twist barrel.

All of this proves…what?  That I can shoot pretty much whatever I want through my DPMS and it’ll work?  That there might be something seriously wrong with my other AR?  That spending more on ammo isn’t always a guarantee of accuracy?

I just realized I could’ve made this test much more fair by simply swapping the two uppers on one lower.  I didn’t because I’m lazy.  Also, my DPMS lower has a heavier trigger that has a bit of gritty creep, I would’ve bet against it being more accurate in this test.  But the fact that I have the option to put either upper on either lower and shoot until I magically turn into Sgt York is another reason why these black guns are so popular.


Fighting Fake News & Purple People Eaters


It seems that the corporate media elite powers-that-be have their panties in a wad over “fake news“.  This is richly ironic and deserves a pause for further consideration.

By this point in America’s history, we are all certainly aware that our “mainstream media” – a term used to signify those media mouthpieces which have earned the approval, acceptance, and even cooperation of the government, the business sector, and various Progressive social movements – is not working for We The People.  In fact, our own government has been caught time and again using the media to achieve its own policy objectives.  And now they are doing it again by labeling literally everything that comes from a source other than the approved (controlled) media “fake news”.

Why is this important and why am I blogging about it?


Hillary Clinton lost in an upset that nobody in the mainstream media saw coming.  You could call 11/8/16 the decisive day in the “Trump Revolution” (a revolution that will change everything and one in which I am proud to say I had a part).


Hillary has only appeared in public twice since November 8th.  Both times she was dressed in purple.


Purple is the chosen color of this counter-revolution.  The mastermind of this counter-revolution, George Soros, is a notorious anti-Russian.  To him, Russia is the source of all evil in the world.  Obama just ordered the CIA to investigate and report on Russian meddling in the election.  And he wants this report on his desk by January 19th.

Admittedly, that is a lot to digest so take a moment to let it sink in.

Am I saying that the results of the election will be invalidated and overturned by the current administration?  Perhaps, although I doubt this could be accomplished without the assistance of the Supreme Court (good thing that creep Scalia ain’t around any more, huh?)  A slightly greater panic overcomes me when I ponder next week’s Electoral College vote.  I wouldn’t put anything past these Purple People Eaters.


Let’s not lose sight of why “fake news” is even a thing: “Pizzagate“.  If you’ve been living under a rock for the last three months, here’s a primer:

The gmail account of Hillary’s Chief of Staff John Podesta was hacked and posted on wikileaks (don’t worry about who hacked it or why, that is not as important as what was in the emails).  The emails reveal numerous references to “pizza” including this particularly cryptic reference to a map on a handkerchief.  Some enterprising person dug a little deeper into the inner circle of Clinton-Podesta DC social life and hit on a guy who owns a pizza restaurant.  There is plenty of weird art by sex-crime victims on the walls and an unexplained room in the back where cell phone usage isn’t allowed.


One Podesta led to another and finally to a Yugoslavian “artist” whose performances include Crowleyesque magick rituals called “spirit cooking” (yes, that is Lady Gaga on the left above and that is a spoon that the “artist” is holding…what for?  for slurping up the blood of course!There are also rich Clinton friends with popular private islands and jets that whisk the powerful to hedonistic pleasure palaces.


Bottom line: if it wasn’t for “fake news”, we would have no idea how completely infested Washington DC is with pedophiles, perverts, and Satanists.  And have no doubt, our government is full of evil creatures who cannot keep their hands (and other parts) off of (or out of) innocent children.  Take a moment and read this list if you still think I’m kidding.

Where do we go from here?

First, abandon all mainstream media.  Get rid of cable, cancel your newsmagazine subscriptions, and stop reading newspapers.  You should have done most or all of this years ago.

Next, question anyone who tells you a story is not valid because it is “fake news”NPR sympathetically interviewed the man at the center of PizzaGate and didn’t ask him one single question about the truthfulness of the allegations.  This is typical of how the mainstream media is handling the scandal: with kid gloves and a lot of condescension.  Ask yourself “Who are they trying to protect?” and “Who benefits?”  Assume that they are operating from a playbook and that, as part of the media establishment, they are bought, paid for, and totally owned.  They do not speak for us they speak to us with orders on what to think and what to believe.  They exist to perpetuate lies, misinform, distract, and misdirect.  The more you watch the “real news”, the more confused you will get.  This is by design.  Eventually, as your cognitive dissonance spawns a painful headache, you will give up and move on to something else like Dancing With The Stars or sportsball.  This is also by design.  An ignorant and uninformed populace is easier to manipulate and exploit than one exploding with righteous outrage over their leaders’ secret devotion to Moloch.

Stay tuned because there is much more to this than we are being allowed to see right now…

#PizzaGate, Or, Spirit Cooking With Cannibals In The Synagogues Of Satan


First, an apology.  My earlier post today was not up to my usual standard.  I should confess why.  I did a deep dive into the mysteries of #PizzaGate this morning and it shook me to my core.  What I really should’ve done was write a blog post about that topic instead of another rant about how messed up this country is.


Well, actually #PizzaGate just further proves my point about how messed up this country is.  What has been uncovered is no less than a Satanic pedophile cult operating out of pizza joints in Washington DC with tentacles reaching into the highest levels of government.

Of course, both the (((controlled))) Washington Post and New York Times were quick to “debunk” the story as “fake news”.  What choice did they have?


If this is your first contact with #PizzaGate, I recommend you start here.  When you are done with that, watch this.  A nice summary of why this is an important story and quite possibly the most explosive thing to come out of the hacked and leaked Podesta emails is here.

Those of us who follow the darker side of power have seen this before.  The Franklin Scandal.  The related “sex ring” linked to the Reagan White House and George Bush Sr.  and, of course, disgraced pedophile and former Illinois Congressman Denny Hastert.

So you tell me: is #PizzaGate just “fake news” designed to further humiliate Queen Hillary and her Empire?  Or is it another ultra-creepy instance of history rhyming with itself?

Celebrating National Shame


Tomorrow is the 11th of September.  For a decade and a half now we’ve had to suffer through a collective fit of crocodile tears and hand-wringing every time this date rolls around on the calendar.  I’m sick of it.  I was sick of it after the first 9/11 “Remembrance Day” (later renamed “Patriot Day”).  I refuse to participate in this morbid and loathsome rehashing of one of my country’s most colossal failures.  But I am powerless in the face of this annual blast of “feels” and am just one man after all.  Good thing I have this blog otherwise I’d have to rant (inappropriately and publicly) to people who are just too “patriotic” get what I’m so pissed about.


Since this blog is primarily about spotting rhymes in history (and reacting to them correctly), allow me to be didactic for a moment.

9/11 was the biggest rhyme in the history of the United States. 

We were taken by “surprise” both times and the result was entanglement in wars in which the American people were stubbornly refusing to get involved.  I won’t waste your time with “truther” conspiracy theories about 9/11 (you know where to go get that stuff on your own).  But I will hammer home the essence of the rhyme here.  Neo-Cons and warmongers were actually hoping for a new Pearl Harbor in the years leading up to 9/11.  They felt the country had gone soft on the pursuit of the “enemies of democracy” overseas.  Some good ol’ Murkan ass-kicking was badly needed.  9/11 was the casus belli.  Just as Pearl Harbor was exactly what FDR needed to finally get the US into World War II.


Both 9/11 and the Pearl Harbor attack were tragedies that could have been thwarted, avoided, defended against, and prevented.  There was plenty of intelligence about the threat yet nothing was done.  Why?  Because war is the health of the state.


So pin that ribbon pin to your lapel.  Slap that “Never Forget” bumper sticker on your car.  Post your personal “9/11 memories” to social media.  And have a good wallow in this annual celebration of disaster.  Just keep in mind that you are all suckers who get played by your government every time the war bell is rung by our overlords.  And every time we get suckered all you have to do is ask “who benefits” to reveal the true perpetrators.


If World War II had actually made the world a better place, perhaps I’d feel different about the cheap trick of the Pearl Harbor “sneak” attack.  If we had actually hunted down and killed all Islamic terrorists in their caves, perhaps I’d feel different about the blatant sucker punch of 9/11.  But this country never does war right. We defeated the Axis (sort of) and, in the process, lost half of Europe to the Soviet Union.  We lost China, Korea and Vietnam (and Hungary, and Cuba, and Nicaragua, et al) to International Communism.  And we have lost the “Global War on Terror” to Koran-thumping barbarians.  That, to me is the real shame: that we allow ourselves to be lied into needless wars which we won’t even fight to a satisfying conclusion.


So don’t talk to me about “remembrance”.  It is you who have forgotten.  You’ve forgotten the real reasons why America fights her wars (and fights them poorly).  Or perhaps you are just too ignorant to have ever known in the first place.


The Real Enemy

The Real Enemy

Damn filthy gun nuts.

Won’t somebody think of the children?

Never Forget

Ruby Ridge

Ruby Ridge marked the birth of the modern militia movement and opened many eyes to abuse of federal power and the growing “shoot-first-talk-later” police state that we now all take for granted 21 years later. Remember the crimes, respect the dead, and be on the look out for the inevitable rhyme.

It’s coming.

Collapsitarian Gear Geek Part IV

Earlier today, I showed off my new generator. Even if you never have to use it, a generator is a vital piece of survival gear for a home owner. No one should be without.

One other thing no one should be without is real money. I’m talking gold and silver. If you’re not sure what to buy, just do like I did and start with non-numismatic coins that are mostly silver and will be convenient for use in a post-collapse economy. After the dollar loses that last little remaining scrap of its value, the only practical unit of exchange (short of barter) will be real money. I prefer pre-1965 dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. These values will be the closest to the actual cost of the things you’ll need to buy after a collapse.

For a rough estimate of what I’m talking about, imagine this: a 90% silver (pre-’65) dime will have the purchasing power of its silver content. For the sake of argument, let’s say that’s five dollars. Everything you now use a paper $5 Federal Reserve Note (“FRN”) to purchase – a satisfying lunch, a dozen farm-fresh organic chicken eggs, or a gallon of gas – you will need a silver dime to buy in the future. A 90% silver (pre-’65) quarter will have the purchasing power equivalent to a $10 FRN, and a 90% silver (pre-’65) half dollar will be roughly equal to a $20 FRN.

OK, so coins aren’t really gear. How about this then?

oil lamp
Oil lamps are just about the best collapsitarian light source available. You can use a wide range of fuels from citronella oil to lighter fuel. They throw a surprising amount of light, are stingy with oil, and are safer than candles. Oh, and they are very affordable as well. Get one for every room!

two leds and charger
For a walking around light, I can’t recommend the newest generation of LED flashlights highly enough. If you still use an ’80’s vintage Mag Light or worse, one of those plastic fantastic disposable candy colored jobs like they sell three for $5 in the checkout aisle at the hardware store, you are doing it wrong. What you see here is a Defiant 550 lumen LED flashlight on the left (<$20 at Home Depot) and an 860 lumen Nitecore EA4 on the right (<$60 on Either one is excellent enough to be the last flashlight you'll ever need. The best part is that both use "regular" batteries (the Defiant takes C cells, the Nitecore uses 4 AA's). Get a solar battery charger like the C Crane model pictured between the flashlights above and a couple of sets of rechargeable batteries and you’ll never need to fumble around in the dark ever again.

Enough gear yet? No?

Here’s a random assortment of tools you might overlook while equipping your prepper’s toolbox. A pry bar is absolutely essential – not just for demo – but for getting through a locked door or window. Bolt cutters will make quick work of padlocks and cable locks. And the siphon kit is a healthier way of getting gas out of a gas tank.

But wait, there’s more!

strap wrench
I picked this strap wrench up the other day not really having a specific need for it. But I can’t think of a better way to get a LOT of torque onto a frozen oil filter or some other large piece of hardware that refuses to come apart.

Finally there’s this:

The land line telephone. You already know how I feel about cellphones (unhealthy, unreliable, and totally useless in a real emergency) so you won’t be surprised when I recommend keeping at least one land line telephone in your home. Calling 911 should never be your first course of action but you probably will need to call them eventually. Why not do it on a proven piece of 20th century technology that never needs charging and radiates zero electromagnetic energy?

Last but not least, I am starting to see evidence that the current year-and-a-half long national ammunition shortage is coming to an end…or at least, easing somewhat. 22LR is still unobtanium and all the most popular calibers (9mm, .45ACP, 5.56, .308) remain as rare as pink unicorns, but if you are lucky enough to own an SKS or AK-47 type rifle, you will be glad to know that your caliber is suddenly very cheap and very plentiful. Stock up before it disappears again!

Here We Go Again Pt II

Allow me to rhyme with myself for a minute. I already told you what I think about the Zimmerman case. The jury is deliberating as I type this.
George Zimmerman Trial Continues In Florida
Did you watch the trial at all? Are you outraged at the unprofessional behavior of the judge? Do you agree that having Zimmerman take the stand would have been a dumb move for the defense?

Most of all, are you ready for the blowback?

I wholeheartedly believe in Zimmerman’s innocence. I also believe that this was nothing but a Stalinist show trial that was conducted with one purpose only: to warn whites that there is nothing they can do about the tsunami of black-on-white crime that has been terrorizing this nation for generations.
1967 Detroit Riot
If you live in a city or a majority African-American community, you might want to seriously consider taking a vacation. I don’t think it would be excessively paranoid for you to pack up and leave town today and stay gone until all this blows over.
Detroit in 1967 was a long time ago and most of us don’t remember it. Watch this short video instead of LA in 1992 and refresh your memory of what it looks like when all hell lets loose on our streets after a controversial trial ends with the “wrong verdict”.

Stay safe people.

Collapsitarian Gear Geek Part II

Welcome back to the Internet’s best independent Collapsitarian blog! Many of you might have wondered how I fared during the 54 most grueling hours of this past weekend’s Mid-Atlantic power outage (aka “Derechomaggedon”). Well, it was simultaneously the most boring and the most thrilling weekend of my life. Lest I bore you with the tedious details, let it suffice for me to say that us preppers did OK. The 100+ degree heat wave we had been under for a week added a twist but if you stay smart and move slowly, nothing about a post-storm power outage should phase you. Remember the three basic rules: water, light, and heat and you’ll be fine.

Since it’s time for another “Gear Geek” installment, let me add a few other fun toys to those three basic necessities.

Let’s get to the stuff, shall we?

Flashlights are undoubtedly the #1 most valuable tool in your prepper kit when the lights go out. Yeah, you need candles and oil lamps too. But you don’t always want to be carrying around a lit flame do you? I was a long-time Maglite fan all through the 80’s and 90’s. And then LED technology came along and changed the flashlight game forever. Brighter, more efficient, and more rugged; today’s compact LED flashlights throw over twice the amount of light of those old D-cell powered Maglites (it’s a “brighter” whiter light too) and still fit in your pocket. Best part? They’re cheaper too. I like Streamlight’s entire lineup but the Polytac might be their best deal. Where else can you get a three hour 130 lumen flashlight for under $40?

So how do you keep up on what’s happening during a power outage (or coronal mass ejection, civil unrest, iPhone5 release, or any other kind of large scale “inconvenience”)? You might have a phone for a while (we didn’t), you might even be able to get on the internet with a laptop (we couldn’t). Without “modern technology” most folks will be forced to revert back to old faithful: the radio. Batteries suck. Let’s just get that out there. Unless you’ve already stashed hideously expensive rechargeables and a solar charger, you’re stuck with what you bought. That might get you through a day or two of constant broadcasts. Why not just get a radio that makes its own juice? OK, so you have to do some of the work but come on! What else do you have to do? Like Gilligan peddling the Professor’s generator-bike on his island, you can stay busy cranking these radios for days. I have several. The one pictured has a built-in solar panel for when you need to take a break from the Gilligan act.

Of course, once the radio reports advisories to “boil drinking water” (right around the 36 hour mark), you’ll probably get out your Berkey and start filtering tap water just to be safe. Wait. You do have a Berkey, don’t you? Oh, so maybe you’re thinking you’ll just fire up the grill and boil some water that way. If heat to boil water is in our top three essentials, let’s get serious and make sure we have at least three ways to do it. Sure, the grill is fine but don’t you think that precious fuel (propane or charcoal) would be better spent grilling all the meat in your freezer that’s about to go bad? A solar oven is neat to have around (its 100% “free” and will never run out of fuel) and we love ours but let’s pretend it’s windy and rainy outside and you want to stay dry and comfy indoors. That’s when a single-burner cook stove might save your life. Yes, I understand that these can be dangerous indoors but, if you get one like mine, you’ll discover it was actually designed for indoor use. Crack a window if it makes you feel better – this thing will boil a pot of water faster than you can say “What’s that smell?” $30 for the stove and another $30 for a case of butane fuel cans will make life a WHOLE LOT more comfortable for you and your family in an emergency. Trust me.

Let’s change gears slightly and focus on a topic near and dear, not just to preppers, but to any ordinary average guy: blades. You can never have too many. Let’s stick with the prepper’s Rule of Three and identify three basic blades for your kit.

An “everyday carry” folding blade knife is a must-have for any grown man. I have a dozen or so but my Columbia River Knife & Tool “Kasper” is easily my favorite. Yes, it’s big for a “pocket knife” but better to have too much than not enough. I feel confident that I can do just about anything with this blade: skin an animal, build a shelter, slice lots of, well…stuff, and, yes, even defend myself. You’ll flip when you see how inexpensive this model is. There’s simply no excuse to go without, today or after the Collapse.

There are some chores only a fixed blade knife can accomplish. Rather than split hairs over which knife can do which task, let’s just allow ourselves the comfort of both, OK? I love Glock’s amazing handguns so it’s a no-brainer for me to own a Glock tactical knife. Cheap, sharp as hell, and likely to outlast every cockroach on the planet, the Glock 78 is perfect for this prepper.

Mine stays permanently attached to my duty belt.

What’s left? Katana? Broadsword*? Cutlass? Scimitar? Battle Axe?

Those are all great choices, but how about a good old limb-lopping machete? Here’s where going cheap is actually a smart move. The cheaper machetes tend to be the best ones. If you can find the ones like they make in the Philippines or the Amazon River basin out of leaf springs yanked off of old trucks, get a case of them. The rest of us might have to settle for something more mundane like the Gerber Gator. Relax, it’s almost as cheap as those third world weed whackers but has better ergonomics. Warning: machetes only work if they are sharp. Of course, they are only really deadly weapons when in that condition as well. So do this: get a bastard file and/or a blade sharpening stone. Get used to sharpening your machete before and after every time you use it. Nothing is more dangerous than a dull machete.

For the rest of your blades (including that kitchen drawer full of steak and Chef’s knives), get a diamond whetstone and learn how to use it. All the fanciest knives in the world are worthless if you can’t sharpen them correctly.

Finally, where would prepping be as a subculture without the ubiquitous and oh-so-handy ammo can? Chances are you already have a few of these lying around. Maybe they’re even serving their intended purpose as storage units for your thousands of rounds of battle rifle ammo. But these lowly sealed steel containers are so much more than just bullet boxes. You can use them to store sensitive electronics (yes, they are EMP-proof), heirloom seeds in a “seed bank” (100% airtight if the gasket is sound), or just “stuff”. I’ve seen these ammo cans used as tool boxes, spare parts kits, lunchboxes, fireworks “vaults”, you name it. As far as “passive” gear goes, it would be hard to find anything more purely utilitarian than the good old US military surplus ammo can. Buy yourself a few today and celebrate our country’s independence!

*(that was for you MJ)