Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ruger GP100; Just the Facts



Ruger GP100, double action revolver, 357 Magnum, 4.2" barrel, 40 ounces.

I never fail to find one person in every crowd that questions the merits of 19th century technology in today's modern age of plastic frames and semi automatic handguns, but revolvers continue to soldier on and provide good service to shooters, this GP100 being no exception. 

The GP100 is more an evolution of the Security Six than a revolutionary change. Ruger' primary aims with this model were to control cost through heavy use of Cast parts, and to beef up the strength sufficiently that the GP100 could thrive on a steady supply of full power 357 magnum, something that often shortened the service life of other similarly sized 357 magnums from other manufacturers. The use of "triple locks" also guarantees firm lockup of the cylinder, and a nice thick top strap and generous cylinder dimensions promise the ability to swallow some very stout pills. 

This extra beef comes with a weight penalty. My GP100 weighs in right near 40 ounces, quite a porky gun if we're being honest, but that mass can also be a positive attribute where recoil mitigation is concerned. Experienced shooters and novices realize fairly early that heavier guns result in less perceived recoil. A 40 ounce gun filled up with stout 357 magnum beats my hands up less than my wife's lightweight 38 special. Add to that Ruger's "tang grip" which provides more rubber between the steel and your palm, and this gun will kiss your hand rather than punching it. 

All that strength and comfort I've alluded to points to the most polarizing reason to choose a revolver over a semi-automatic; the cartridge itself. 357 magnum presents a sizeable muzzle energy advantage over 9mm and most other semi automatic defensive rounds. A 125 grain bullet at 1400+ fps compares pretty favorably over a 124 grain bullet at 1000 fps. Semi automatics that can tolerate this round are larger, heavier, and often less reliable. A GP100 with a cylinder full of 357 magnum provides excellent protection against nearly any two legged or four legged predator in North America. 

So, if you're looking for a defensive gun, you've found a willing partner. If you want a range toy, a GP100 will put a smile on your face with noise and fireballs. If you want bear repellent, we've got you covered. If you want a reliable, affordable, no muss no fuss revolver that will deliver the goods without complaint, a Ruger GP100 should be in your collection. - Phil Rabalais

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Debacle (Fuckery) that is the Paris Climate Accord

Note:  Yes, this is immensely late and not Andrew's fault.  Better late than never.  Leave us a comment and let us know what you think?

It has been 134 days, 5 hours and some change at the time of me writing this that Trump has become president. To some he has done great things and to others he is the worst thing since Bush or was it Obama. I cannot keep my Hitlers straight.  The latest thing that has panties twisted is President Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Accord.  At first glace the idea of countries coming together to fight climate change is a great idea. However, the more you dig into the deal the more things do not add up.
To start off this agreement has been signed by 194 parties.  Each pledging to reduce green house gases and provide financing starting in the year 2020. The first problem I have with the agreement is it contains unrealistic goals. These countries have promised to work on the emissions and try to lower them. However, there is nothing holding them to it. I have found nothing stating if they do not meet the demands of the agreement that they will be punished in some way.  Most of these countries I feel have signed on just to look good and have no intentions of helping out.
Obama has committed the United States to transfer $100 billion a year to developing countries to help them fight green house gases and work on green energy technology. This screams redistribution of wealth. Sadly, time has shown that this money will not make it to the people or into the economy of the nation it is suppose to go to. All this does is make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Sure, the US has pledged the money but who really gets stick with the bill? The everyday tax payer of course. I don't know about anybody else but I for one would rather keep my tax money in country and see it go towards something researching or developing green energy here.
My other problem with this agreement is the overall cost. It is estimated that this will cost $1 – $2 trillion a year.  That's at least $100 trillion by the year 2100, and the kick to the pants is according to the UN's own climate prediction model this will only reduce the temperature by maybe .3 degrees Fahrenheit. That's three tenths of a degree. I feel the reward is no where near worth the cost.
There are multiple problems the world faces with curbing green house gases.  One problem is with 3rd world countries.  Most do not have any environmental laws and that is why some companies build there.  Less environmental laws mean less hoops to jump through. Companies can dump their trash anywhere without fear.  If the world really wants to start somewhere force these companies to only work in countries with strict environmental laws.
My final problem is there have been scientists including James Hansen (NASA scientist who is considered to be the father of climate change awareness) come out against the Paris Accord. In an interview Hansen says, “[The Paris agreement] is a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”
My biggest argument I have with climate change is that it has been happening for over a million years.  What I do understand is that humans burning fossil fuels have accelerated green house gases in the atmosphere which has accelerated global warming of today. I agree that we need to work on green technology but I don't agree that we need to be in an agreement with the UN or other countries to do it.  Here in the United States we can and have been promoting and developing green technology.  The only thing this agreement does it cost a lot of extra money and give the UN a say on something else that we do.  I also agree that something should be done about green house gases because it is a problem. One that is not going away.

Andrew Bobo

Saturday, June 3, 2017

9mm: The wimpy caliber, or my little buddy?



I'm not going to start a caliber war, I'm not important enough and that ship set sail centuries ago I'm sure.  What I want to do is make the case for 9mm Parabellum as a defensive caliber, and point out it's virtues.  I'll leave the court of public opinion to agree or disagree, and I hope you'll look me up at my Facebook page or leave a comment so we can discuss it.

9mm Parabellum/Luger/9x19, a funny little German round with a very slightly tapered case that shoots little bitty bullets compared to it's bigger brothers.  Let's start with that lightweight (relatively) projectile.  Typical payload weight varies from 90 grains to 147 grains, with a predictable effect on velocity (lighter = faster usually.)  That payload pales in comparison to the darling of WW2 America, the 45 ACP which flings 185-230 grain bullets, and much of the criticism of the round has been in part due to the (admittedly) small bullets found in this cartridge.  However, where large and heavy won the day half a century or so ago, modern ballistics and bullet design have increased the ability of 9mm to disrupt tissue and transfer energy tremendously.  Is it enough to completely bridge the gap between 9mm and larger calibers?  I'm not a ballistician, but one would be hard pressed to argue it isn't a capable round.

Velocity often comes up in this conversation, and yes I just stated that TYPICALLY lighter bullets travel faster, so of course the 9mm would enjoy a sizeable velocity advantage over 45acp.  It does, but not nearly as much as you would expect due to limited case volume.  The narrow dimensions and short length of the 9mm don't leave much room for powder, especially with the larger and heavier bullets utilized.  40 S&W isn't much slower and delivers heavier payloads, 45acp can deliver double the payload, 357 Sig shoots dramatically faster, and don't even bring 357 Magnum and 44 Magnum into this argument.  So yes, 9mm gives up a lot to other calibers, BUT it also gives up size, and being small is a virtue here.  That small size gives my new home defense gun, a CZ P-09 19+1 capacity with the standard magazines (though I must admit, I only load to 18 due to the pressure on that last round) more than double the magazine capacity of my single stack 1911.  Small bullets are lighter, and more of them fit into confined areas, and I've never known anyone to use a firearm in anger wish for less ammo.

Lastly is the dirty little secret a lot of people, especially really enthusiastic shooters, don't want to admit; recoil sucks.  Everyone has their own personal limit for what's fun and what's comfortable, personally I will shoot my father dry on 44 magnum no matter how much he brings to the range (he has a long barrel Ruger Super Redhawk that is an absolute artillery piece) but I know others that flinch at even 38 special.  Many if not all of the calibers I have previously rattled off all generate more recoil (all things equal, firearm weight and design does affect felt recoil) than 9mm.  9mm is simply put a very lightly recoiling, easy to control, unintimidating round for both new and veteran shooters.  The low cost of ammo means more practice per dollar, something important to consider and often overlooked.  9mm, due to it's acceptance by law enforcement around the country, comes in a simply staggering range of brands, features, specs, prices, and performance.  9mm is ubiquitous, not because it is amazing at any one thing, but by being good enough across the board.

So, 9mm is my go to home defense and personal defense round.  It's plenty capable of convincing a violent criminal to reconsider his previous course of action, as easy on the hands as it is on the wallet, and just about any handgun worth buying can be had chambered in it.  It's the Goldilocks of the caliber world, not too big, not too fast, just right.  While it will never had the "second kind of cool" appeal of some other rounds, the raw weight or 45 ACP, the blistering speed and power of the larger magnum rounds, it succeeds by being just perfectly adequate at everything it is asked to do. - Phil Rabalais


Matter of Facts on YouTube hits 100 subscribers!!!

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