Saturday, May 18, 2024

Smith & Wesson Model 640 Range Report.

I'm pleased to note that the gunsmithing I did on my S&W Model 640 I did this morning worked out. I took it to the range tonigh and put 50 rounds of my handloads through it. The loads were a 148 grain button nose, bevel base wadcutter from Matt's Bullets, 3.3 grains of Alliant Bullseye Powder, and CCI primers in Winchester wadcutter brass. The gun functioned perfectly.

Something to mention is that of the major American primer brands, CCIs have the hardest cups. So, if the gun runs well with them it should work fine with Federal (the softest), Remington, or Winchester primers.




Note that the reason I needed to work on it earlier today was because I'd installed an Apex Duty/Carry kit in it, which has a reduced power hammer spring and extended firing pin. (The kit also includes a reduced power rebound spring but I managed to launch that into the ether so my gun has the OEM rebound spring.) Even without the lighter rebound slide spring it's much easier to shoot well than as it came from the factory.

This is 50 shots at 7 yards. All of my shots were on the target.



This gun will definitely be carried.

Replacing the Hand Spring in a S&W Revolver

If you need to replace a hand spring in a Smith & Wesson revolver this video shows how:




In the video he used a dental tool to push the spring forward so that it's in the correct position relative to the hand. I found that a spring bar tool as used for changing watch bands worked perfectly. I used one that was included in this inexpensive kit.




Sunday, May 12, 2024

Lee TL358-158SWC Bullet Mold

Over the past month I've done a couple bullet casting sessions, mostly making 158 grain (nominally) lead semiwadcutters in a 2-cavity Lee TL358-158SWC mold. I also cast a couple hundred .490 round balls for my .50 caliber muzzleloading rifles.

Bullets cast from this Lee mold have a nice reputation for accuracy in .38 Special and mild .357 Magnum loads. I also like that the design incorporates a wide meplat that will perform well if I shoot anything besides paper or steel with it.

This image swiped borrowed from the Lee Precision website shows was they look like:


Aside from that wide meplat, the tumble lube design makes for easy casting and prep. I cast them from soft alloy since I'll be keeping them under 950 FPS. I used pure lead with some old, unneeded cast bullets added to the mix to add some tin for better mold fill-out and stretch the melt a little. I can still scratch the bullets with a thumbnail, however.

To lube, I put a batch in a small container and then dribble some Lee Liquid Alox on, then mix them all up until the lube is evenly distributed over all the bullets. LLA comes out of the bottle brown but you only need a very light coating, such that the bullets are still mostly silver colored.

You can also thin the LLA with some mineral spirits to stretch it out and speed drying.

White Label Lube's Liquid Xlox is a substitute for LLA and may be more cost effective than LLA, but I haven't tried it.

The wet bullets are then set on a sheet of wax paper to dry. They're good to go in about 12 hours.




Tumble lube designs are also good for powder coating if that's your thing.

Lee sells several other tumble lube designs, and I've read on forums devoted to cast bullet shooting that others get good results tumble lubing conventional designs as well.

I don't size the bullets before loading. Instead, I make sure that my case mouths are adequately flared. I seat them, then in a separate operation I run the loaded rounds through a Lee Factory Carbide Crimp Die, which also sizes the case down to factory dimensions. Thus, if the bullets are a bit oversized and caused a bulged case, it gets sized back down to the correct dimensions.

Yesterday I put 50 of the Lee bullets through a 3" Model 64, loaded on top of 4.1 grains of HP-38 in mixed brass, with CCI small pistol primers. In a 4" barrel and depending on barrel/cylinder gap, this load should run around 850 FPS +/-. It's probably closer to 800 from a 3" tube.

There was very minimal leading, if any. The lube leaves a bit of soot on the gun and is smokey. Many peopple don't like either but to me it's a part of shooting a revolver. The soot wipes right off with a rag anyway.

My late father's favorite .38 Special handload was a 158 grain LSWC, usually Remington swaged bullets, on top of 4.3 grains of HP-38 in mixed brass and usually with Winchester small pistol primers. It's very accurate but when I got the S&W Model 15 that he shot a lot of these through I had to remove quite a bit of leading. The front edges of the cylinder were actually covered in lead deposits. He shot a lot and got lazy with cleaning in his later years, what can I say?

The next batch of these I load will probably be a bit slower, with either 3.9 grains of HP-38, 3.5 grains of Bullseye, or some other charge. The paper or steel targets I shoot won't know the difference and recoil will be a little less, which is good for my hands.

I've recently acquired a pound each of Accurate No.2, Hodgdon Titegroup, and Winchester 244, none of which I've previously used. The No.2 and Titegroup should good for light target loads while the 244 is closer to Unique and may be good for heavier loads suitable for woods carry.

IMHO, bullet casting is not only fun but it's a good prep. Yes, it's time consuming but it helps insulate you from component shortages that happen every election cycle or artificially generated panic. Cast bullets are old fashioned but remain effective projectiles.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

FN PS90

One of the guns I've had an interest in for several years is the FN PS90. This is the semiauto-only civilian version of the P90 submachine gun/personal defense weapon that FN created for NATO use back in 1989 - 90. 

Last summer I picked up a PSA Rock 5.7 so I already had some experience with the 5.7x28 cartridge. 

A couple weeks ago I turned the proceeds of consigning three guns into a PS90. I added a Primary Arms SLx Advanced Push Button Micro Red Dot Sight - Gen II red dot sight, along with a sling from Urban ERT. The PS90 came with a single 50 round magazine so I bought three more from Grabagun.com, who had the lowest price on them.

One final accessory that I highly recommend is a spent cartridge collector AKA brass catcher. FN offers one but the price is ridiculous. Instead, I got one from jemachinetech.us that works well. It is large enough to hold 50 spent cases.


My initial impressions are as follows:

  • The gun is totally ambidextrous. The charging handles and magazine catch are symmetrical and easily operated with either hand. There is no last round bolt hold-open. Spent cartridges eject out the bottom of the gun.
  • It's very small but heavier than you think it would be. Since it's a straight blowback design the bolt is heavy.
  • Even though it's fitted with a 16" barrel to prevent it from classed a short barreled rifle under the National Firearms Act, it's very compact. If you filed a Form 1 and SBRed it, it would be about the same length as a computer keyboard.
  • The length of pull is a bit short. Since I'm short this isn't a problem for me but if you're tall it might be. I think there are extended butt pads available.
  • Takedown for field stripping is stupid simple. The mechanism appears to be quite simple.
  • The magazine design is genius.
  • The trigger pull sucks. It's heavy and spongy. OK in a combat gun and the risk of an inadvertent discharge is low but it would be nicer to shoot if it was several pounds lighter.
  • I like the horizontal rocker safety.
  • The charging handles don't provide a lot of purchase. I may install an extended handle at least on the right side.

Today I put 190 rounds through the PS90:

  • 100 x FN SS197SR 40 grain Hornady VMAX (made by Fiocchi USA)
  • 40 x Fiocchi Range Dymanics 40 grain FMJ
  • 50 x AAC 40 grain FMJ

The AAC ammunition felt very consistent. In contrast, the ammo made Fiocchi had a few rounds which felt like they were loaded a bit light.

The SS197SR and FRD ammo gave me a few malfunctions where the bolt didn't seem to reciprocate far enough back to recock the hammer and strip a new round into the chamber. However, they may have been related to my #2 magazine so I'll keep an eye on that one.

The PS90 performed perfectly with the AAC ammo.



Recoil was a little more than I expected though not by any means unpleasant. This is due to the heavy mass of the reciprocating parts.

The Primary Arms red dot sight is a good fit for the PS90 (or any other close-in gun, for that matter). The 2MOA dot is large enough to see easily but small enough to be precise. Even with my astigmatism the dot was defined enough to use, albeit not perfectly sharp.

I got it zeroed easily so that point of aim = point of impact at 50 yards. Due to the high sight line over the bore, I plan to shoot the gun at both closer and longer distances to see how POI is affected. E.g., I'm expecting it to shoot low at close range.

After zeroing the rifle I spent some time banging gongs at 50 yards. Two of these are about 8" wide while one is about 12" wide x 18" high, and there's also a 12" - 16" plate. Finally, there's an old bowling pin hanging in the bunker setup to catch splatter from the steel plates.

From the bench it grouped into about 1.5" to 2" at 50 yards.

It's very easy with the PS90 to hit the small plates doing drills from low ready, either single shots or double taps.

Especially from the PS90's longer barrel, the 5.7x28's ballistics should make it suitable for close range self defense. It's an easy gun to quickly get hits on face-sized targets out to 50 yards at least. Recoil is very mild and the noise and blast are much less than 5.56 NATO. It's not a replacement for an AR15 or AK. It's not an infantry rifle. It's a PDW.

I could see where a PS90 would be useful on a farm or ranch as a tractor gun to take care of varmints up to the size of coyote or even a bit bigger. It's super compact and carries a lot of rounds on board.

Yom HaShoah 2024

Yom HaShoah / Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah, known in English as Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day begins tonight at sundown and runs until Monday evening.

For my entire life I've heard the rallying cry, "Never Again!" But it's happening again.

It is now over six months since the pogrom of October 7, 2023. This was the greatest loss of Jewish lives since the Holocaust. Many of the men, women, and children taken as hostages by Hamas and their allies in Gaza still languish in captivity, among them several American citizens.

Indeed, the Hamas founding charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of Jews. You can read an English translation of the 1988 charter here

In other words, Hamas is not too far different from Nazism regarding Jews.

Since October 7th, I have seen more antisemitism in the United States than I did in my previous 55 years COMBINED. The level of open hatred on display in "progressive" media and on university campuses should shock the conscience of every upstanding American.

Much of this hate that we're now seeing domestically is the direct result of allowing mass quantities of people from traditionally antisemitic cultures into the county, and allowing donations to American universities from places like Qatar (which is one of the biggest supporters of Hamas).

What can we as Jewish Americans do?

  • Jewish business owners should blacklist from any kind of financial support any university that allows the pro-Palestinian protests to continue. Peaceful protest is our right as Americans but these immediately went far beyond peaceful to harassing and intimidating Jewish students and faculty.
  • The "protestors" on American college campuses are providing material aid to terrorist organizations and should be treated as such.
  • Identify organizations and companies that provide support to the Palestinian protesters, and boycott them. Make them infamous for their support of Nazi ideology.
  • Demand that foreign countries be barred from donating to American universities.
  • Demand the explusion and deportation of any foreign students who participated in these protests.
  • Demand that immigration from places like Gaza is shut down.
But all of these will take time and in the interim Jewish Americans are seeing increased levels of harassment. Most of us are of Ashkenazic ancestry and in one way or another are infected with the Shtetl Mentality. For our survival that needs to be discarded.

As I have said many times, Jewish Americans need to embrace their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. As Americans we have the nearly unique ability to arm ourselves for self- and the common defense.

For "Never Again!" to mean anything it must be backed up with more than words. It needs to be backed up with the ability to immediately and decisively respond to violence with force. Without that, the slogan may as well be, "Never Forget."

Nobody will protect us, but us. And this is something we as individuals must take to heart. Even in Israel the government not only failed miserably to protect its citizens, it actively prevented them from defending themselves because most Jews in Israel are disarmed.

I have decades of experience with firearms so back in November 2023, I published the first version of an ebook, "Guns for Jews." It's a primer especially intended for American Jews who are looking into buying a gun for self preservation. In it I include some justifications for doing so under Jewish law, some general recommendations, and some specific recommendations.

Last week I uploaded v3.0 of "Guns for Jews" as a PDF that you can download here: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WgjlXp2sDGPYTpjNdskWqYQVwF380SlG/view?usp=sharing

Note that in the document I am not trying to sell anything. This is a brain dump to benefit my fellow Jewish Americans. I also encourage sharing the link or the file in the hopes of spreading knowledge.





Thursday, May 02, 2024

Some Truths About The Israeli / Palestinian Conflict

This was originally posted by Hillel Fuld (@HilzFuld) on X / Twitter on May 1, 2024. It sums up the reality of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict rather well. I am reposting it in full in case it gets yanked.

---

Ok, no one else will say it, so I will! 


Some truths that are 100% objective, and despite that, are completely politically incorrect to say:


- An Arab Palestine never existed. It just didn’t, and nothing you’re going to chant will change that. No such place ever existed. Don’t believe me? Tell me what year it was established and what the national anthem was. Exactly. Never existed. 


Also? Spoiler: It never will.


- The West Bank is Judea and Samaria, where Jews originated. Repeat after me… Jooooodeeeaaa. Does it sound like something? Perhaps the word “Jew”? That’s because Jews are from Judea. The West Bank is a made-up term meant to delegitimize Israel. 


- The Palestinian people, yes, the people, not only their leadership, support terror and want to annihilate the Jews and remove the Jewish state. How do I know? Well for starters, read the charter of the Palestinian Authority (the PA.) Also? Who do you think elected Hamas? That’s right. The Palestinians. As a people. Are there innocent people in Gaza? Sure. Were there innocent Germans in Nazi Germany? Sure. The people have chosen terror and are now paying for that decision.  


- Hamas cares less about the Palestinians than Israel does. Fact. Israel has gone way above and beyond to minimize civilian deaths in Gaza and has sent in thousands of tons of aid. Hamas has blocked that aid and tried to maximize civilian deaths, not only in Israel, but also in Gaza. Why would they do that? So that fools on X can say Israel is committing genocide when the reality is that Israel is doing no such thing. Hamas, on the other hand…


- There are many, many kind-hearted Muslims in the world. But depending on which poll you believe, anywhere between 10%-20% of them are fundamentalist. That’s tens of millions of people dedicated to the destruction of western civilization. The rest of them are silent, which makes them irrelevant.  So why is that? Well, here are some direct quotes from the Quran. 


"Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 3:28


"Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:85


"Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable." Koran 5:33


"Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam. Koran 8:12


"Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Koran." Koran 8:60


"Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:65


"When opportunity arises kill the infidels wherever you find them."  Koran 9:30


"The Jews and Christians are perverts, fight them." Koran 9:123


Of course there are many more but you get the point. Islam has a problem with you and me. And they don’t even hide it. 


- There will never be a two-state solution. Want to know why? Because there is not one Palestinian leader who can even utter the words “Israel has a right to exist.” They won’t accept a state alongside Israel. So no two-state solution is even remotely relevant. 


- Based on historical events and the premise that history repeats itself, the fall of America has begun. When morality goes out the window, antisemitism spikes, and that’s the beginning of the end of the empire. It’s happened countless times and it seems to be happening now. 


- These campus warriors don’t care about Palestinians. Most of them never met a single Palestinian or even visited Israel. Most of them don’t know what river and what sea. These are not pro-Palestine marches. They are anti-Jewish marches. The Palestinians are only an excuse. And they are 100% being funded and if you think otherwise, well, you’re a fool. 


- Any person who says the words “Globalize the intifada” is openly inciting to terror and should be imprisoned immediately as they are a danger to society. 


- Not only do these campus morons not care about the Palestinians, no one does. That’s right. No one really cares about the Palestinians. How do I know? Well, tell me, how many political leaders have called on Egypt to open their borders? How many Muslim countries offered to take in Palestinians? No one cares. In every generation, Jew haters find an excuse to showcase their antisemitism. This generation, it’s the Palestinians. 


- Israel stole zero land. The UN gave Israel a state and the Arabs a state. Israel accepted. The Arabs rejected and attacked. And lost. And attacked again. And lost again. And again and again and again. Israel stole nothing. All it did was defend itself from psychotic neighbors. And it continues to do so today. 


- What Israel has done in Gaza is the farthest thing from genocide that we’ve seen in any modern war. The ratio between terrorist and civilian is the lowest we’ve ever seen. Hamas’ numbers are a total fabrication and anyone who quotes them is being played. 


- All the countries that are attacking Israel militarily and diplomatically are funded by Iran. Qatar is right there alongside Iran. 


- Blaming Netanyahu for October 7th, and I don’t care if you’re Jewish, Israeli, or not, is ludicrous. Quite frankly, the Bibi obsession is a sickness. And no, I didn’t vote for him but I’ve yet to hear anyone recommend someone who can replace him and run this country.  


- Anyone who does not stand with Israel now is actively supporting pedophiles and rapists. This isn’t just another war and not taking sides is taking sides. This is East vs West and there will be only one winner. Choose wisely. 


- Liberal progressive politics and Palestinian values have ZERO overlap. 


- Anyone who says Israel is an apartheid state is either an ignoramus, an antisemite, or most likely, both. 


- There is no such thing as settler violence or Jewish terrorists. Are there lone wolves who behave in a way that is condemned by Israeli society in its entirety? Sure. But “Settler violence” is no more a thing that “Secular rapists” or “Religious murderers.” They exist but they are statistically insignificant and repeating this lie is both dangerous and dishonest. 


- Obama was/is an antisemite and sure, he did some nice things for Israel, but many of his actions illustrate that he had a deep hatred for the only Jewish state and its leadership. Biden is not far behind. 


- Trump is a lunatic. But he also did good things for America and for Israel. I wouldn’t hire him to babysit my kids though. 


- There are individuals in Israeli politics, past and present, who are so obsessed with bringing down Netanyahu, that they’ve betrayed their own people and country. I won’t share more now but you will 100% be hearing more about this in the future. Hint: Pay attention to the name Ehud. 


- I don’t know to what extent and this has nothing to do with the previous point, but Hamas could not do what it did without inside help of some kind. 


- Hamas murdered, raped, beheaded, and burned families alive. I really try so hard not to see or share atrocities, but Israeli women were found with nails in their genitalia. You don’t stand with Israel? You stand with that. There is no option C. 


- Israel left Gaza in 2005 and handed it to the Palestinians to create a state. That was naive, dumb, and dangerous. Israel should never have done that. If they didn’t, October 7th would never have happened. Is it ideal to rule over Gaza? No. But it’s better than October 7th. 


- There will never be peace between Israel and the  people who call themselves Palestinians. At least not in our lifetime. Why? Because they don’t want peace. Their entire existence from day one is to remove Israel. How do I know? Because Israel offered them a state in 1947, 67, 91, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2019, and 2020. They rejected them all.


- While Israel and the Jewish people have contributed endlessly to the betterment of the world across all areas of life, the Palestinians invented nothing besides suicide bombers. They’ve enhanced our world in no way whatsoever. 


- And finally, the greatest truth of all, Israel will definitively win this war and as long as Hamas puts the Palestinians in danger, more Palestinians will die, some of them innocents. That’s unfortunate but does not detract in any way from the legitimacy of this war. If you didn’t have a problem with the allies dropping bombs on Germany and killing millions, then you shouldn’t have anything to say about this war. If you do, it’s not because you love the Palestinians. It’s because you hate Jews. 


I’ll stop here. 


If I offended you with any of the above truths, well, you know what they say? Sometimes the truth hurts. 


The faster we internalize all of this, the sooner we can address the conflict effectively. We need to stop the PC game. It’s a dangerous game that directly breeds terror and causes loss of life on both sides.


We need to call a spade a spade. 


If you consider the Palestinians a people worthy of a state, then they are a people that elected Hamas and need to be held accountable. If they are not to be held accountable, then they are not worthy of a state. Are they a people or a random group of people throwing a 75 year tantrum? 


You simply can’t have it both ways. 


One thing is certain, Am Yisrael Chai, the Jewish people live, now and forever!  




Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Major Updates to "Guns for Jews"

Today I posted a major revision with many updates to my ebook, "Guns For Jews." It's now hosted as a PDF on my Google Drive. Direct link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WgjlXp2sDGPYTpjNdskWqYQVwF380SlG/view?usp=sharing

It's my hope that this will be shared with as many of my fellow Members of the Tribe as possible.


Sunday, April 07, 2024

.32-20 Quick Strips

The Tuff Products Quick Strips that I ordered the other day to use with my .32-20 Hand Ejector arrived today. They'll be perfect for packing reloads.




They can hold 8 cartridges each but I'll be loading only 6, which will give me a little more to hang onto while using. They also fit .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, .327 Federal Magnum, and 9x19. So, in the highly unlikely event you're packing a S&W Model 547 which is a 9mm K-Frame that doesn't use moon clips, these have you covered.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Revolver Day at the Range

Today I took a vacation day and brought the .32-20 S&W M-1905 M&P to the range along with a couple other wheelguns.

L - R, the .32-20, a nickeled post-War M&P "pre Model 10", and a Taurus 856. The postwar M&P and the Taurus are .38 Specials.




The .32-20 has one of the heaviest trigger pulls I've ever felt on a K-Frame, but it's smooth in both SA and DA. Shooting DA from 10 yards I was able to keep my shots in the -0 zone of an IDPA target. Considering the heavy trigger and poor sights I'm happy with that. I shot it with two loads, a 96 grain RNFP on top of 3.5 grains of Bullseye, and a 115 grain RNFP on top of 3.2 grains of Bullseye. The 115s shot a little higher, as expected.

When shooting rapid DA the gun squirms a little bit in my hands due to the pre-Magna service grips, even with the grip adapter in place. I will probably install a set of Magnas just to make it nicer to shoot but of course I'll hang onto the original grips, which are serial numbered to the gun.

I was shooting indoors today under florescent lights. This always makes poor sights harder to see compared with shooting in natural daylight and today was no exception. The rear sight on the M-1905 is a small V-notch while the front blade is fairly narrow. The postwar M&P has sights that are easier to see.

Overall, the .32-20 is a very nice shooter and I'm glad I bought it.

Because I've thought it would make a nice woods gun I'd like a couple speed loaders for it, if for no other reason than as a convenient way to carry a couple reloads. I tried K-Frame .38 speed loaders but they don't hold onto the narrower .32s. So, after some googling, I found that the Tuff Products Quick Strips sold for use with .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .327 Federal, as well as 9mm should work with .32-20s. I ordered tow of the 2 packs of the orange versions. Being orange they should be easier to find if dropped and will help me tell them apart from my .38/.357 Quick Strips at a glance.

The postwar M&P is of course a very nice shooter. Unfortunately it's has a grooved trigger that likes to chew up my finger so after a cylinder or two I wrapped my finger with masking tape. In contrast, the .32-20 has a smooth trigger which is better for DA shooting.

The Taurus 856 is a surprisingly good shooter with a nice DA pull. It's a little larger than a J-Frame and holds 6 beans in the wheel, like a Colt Detective Special (whereas .38 J-Frames hold 5). I have small hands and find the grips comfortable. It'll make a good carry gun loaded with .38 Special wadcutters.