Why (and how to) break in an AR barrel?

Modern firearm barrels are a thing of beauty, especially with today’s world of CNC machines and ISO9000 practices making it easy to produce repeatable high-quality results even in small scale. Gone are the old days of suspect metallurgy and forming barrels with bar steel wrapped in a coil and forged into the barrel, which was common back before industrialization. Still, even small pistol and handgun barrels today have tiny rough edges and tool marks left in a barrel’s bore which need to be worked out before you can assess its accuracy potential– and the longer the barrel the more marks.

Therefore, we send some rounds downrange to smooth things out.

So how do you break in a new AR barrel? More in my column at Tac.44.com

USS John S. McCain collides with merchant vessel Alnic MC

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs:

CHANGI NAVAL BASE, Singapore (NNS) — UPDATE POSTED AUG. 21, 3:42 A.M. (EDT)

The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) has arrived at Changi Naval Base following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21.

The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding.

There are currently 10 Sailors missing and five injured. Four of the injured were medically evacuated by a Singapore Armed Forces helicopter to a hospital in Singapore for non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured Sailor does not require further medical attention.

A family assistance center has been established. Families can call 011-81-46-816-1728 (international) or 243-1728 (DSN on base).

Search and rescue efforts continue in coordination with local authorities. The Republic of Singapore Fearless-class patrol ships RSS Gallant (97), RSS Resilience (82), and Singaporean Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are in the area rendering assistance.

Additionally, MH-60S helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) are in the area providing search and rescue assistance.

Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 600-foot oil and chemical tanker with a gross tonnage of 30,000.

The incident will be investigated.

 

Indy: Found

The long lost USS Indianapolis (CA-35) has been located at extreme depth by Microsoft wonk Paul Allen operating from the 250-foot R/V Petrel with state-of-the-art subsea equipment capable of diving to 6,000 meters.

Note her bell

Lost 30 July 1945, she was found 5,500 meters below the surface, resting on the floor of the North Pacific Ocean.

This photo was taken 27 July 1945, the day before she sailed from Guam to her doom, as documented by the ship’s photographer of USS Pandemus (ARL 18), on the back of the photo. This is probably the last photo taken of her. Caption on back of photo: “USS Indianapolis (CA 35) taken: 1530 27, July 1945, Apra Harbor, Guam, from USS Pandemus RL 18 as it passed heading for sea. Picture taken by Gus Buono”. U.S. Navy photo from the Collection of David Buell.

“To be able to honor the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role in ending World War II is truly humbling,” said Allen. “As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances. While our search for the rest of the wreckage will continue, I hope everyone connected to this historic ship will feel some measure of closure at this discovery so long in coming.”

More here

56 years ago today, a revamped WWII task force, ready for Soviet U-boats

Photo # USN 1057640

Photo # USN 1057640

Although the Second World War was over for more than 15 years when this image was taken, the ships shown were still ready to fight it– or a Soviet Red Banner replacement for the Kriegsmarine.

The WWII-era fleet carrier, re-designated as a subbuster, USS Wasp (CVS 18) in formation with destroyers and aircraft of Anti-submarine Task Group Bravo, in the Mediterranean Sea, 19 August 1961.

All escorts are similarly WWII designed Gearing-class DDEs, likely recently FRAMM’d. Planes overhead include 10 S2F Trackers and two Douglas AD-5W Skyraiders. Two HSS-1 (Sikorsky H-34 /S-58) helicopters are flying just above the ships. While the Trackers and HSS-1s were very new and modern for the time, it should be pointed out that the Skyraider first flew in 1945.

Maschinenpistole 38 vs Maschinenpistole 40, in detail

Ian with Forgotten Weapons takes a look in-depth at the classic German 9mm sub guns of World War II, and what sets them apart.

The MP38 was an open-bolt, blowback burp gun with a folding tubular stock designed by Heinrich Vollmer who had something like a half-dozen different submachine guns in his resume beforehand. While it was a good gun, it was replaced after just two years of production by the follow-on and very similar MP40.

“Now the differences between these two guns are not mechanical at all, really,” says Ian, “They are industrial,” going on to elaborate on the manufacturing processes behind each, with the MP38 being extensively milled while the MP40 was stamped and simplified.

Further explanation and hands-on, side-by-side disassembly ensue.

Warthogs on the highway

Last week eight combat controllers of the USAF’s 352d Special Operations Wing surveyed a two-lane section of the Jägala-Käravete Highway in Estonia, deconflicted airspace, and exercised command and control on the ground and in the air to land a eight-aircraft stick of A-10Cs from the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Wing’s 104th Fighter Squadron.

Does it get any more 1970s Reforger than that?

New skins for an old warrior

When my grandfather joined the National Guard at 17, but before he headed off to war on active duty, he bought a “fighing knife” from a local hardware store as any strapping youth in olive drab needed just such the item.

It was a PAL RH-36.

The PAL Cutlery Company of Plattsburgh, NY. was established in 1935, specializing in kitchen implements. The company was a merger of the Utica Knife & Razor Company of Utica, NY and the Pal Blade Company of Chicago, IL. Pal used both the “Blade Company” and “Cutlery Company” monikers interchangeably during the next two decades until they went out of business in 1953. They purchased the cutlery division of Remington in 1939, along with all of their machinery, tooling and designs and soon began production in the old Remington owned factory in Holyoke, MA.

The design of the RH-36 came from that Remington acquisition, as the designations meant “Remington, Hunting, Pattern 3, 6” blade”. These were one of the most common US fighting knives of WWII, these were bought by all branches during the war, often with unit funds, and were also available as private purchase knives– such as my gramps.

Overall length is 11-inches with the razor-sharp blade just over 6, thus balancing well. Though some blades were parkerized, this one is bright though there is some patina. The old “PAL RH-36” markings are clear on the ricasso. The leather washer grip with red spacers is still tight, though dark. The pommel and guard are still surprisingly tight after more a half-century of use.

It has been sharpened and resharpened perhaps hundreds of times and was used by my grandfather overseas until he left the military in 1974, then sat in a box until I recently inherited it. The original sheath has long since broken, and subsequently discarded, leaving the blade naked.

Now, with the help of my friend Warren at Edged Creations who handcrafted the new sheath with three layers of leather, hand stitching and copper rivets, it should be good for another 70 years.

Thanks, Warren!

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