New “Bolo” Connected Projectiles From Advanced Ballistic Concepts

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

On the more radical news front, I was able to see the new connected projectiles cartridge from Advanced Ballistic Concepts. Think of these as bullet bolos. You know, those primitive weapons where you connect three rocks or other heavy objects with string. As you spin and throw the bolo, the rocks on the end spread out to help ensure a hit on target. With real bolos, there is also the ensnarement factor as the whole mess wraps around whatever it hits.

Like a bolo, these projectiles leave the barrel as three distinct projectiles. BUT, they’re attached to each other with thin cord strong enough to hold the projectiles in a 24 inch pattern. With a rifled shotgun barrel, the whole bolo-contraption actually spins as it flies.

The intended use is interior home defense as effective range is dramatically reduced by wind resistance of the corded projectiles. The manufacturer claims this is a design feature to limit over-penetration risk in home defense scenarios.

One of the key selling points, as stated by the manufacturer, is the ability to hit your target with less than perfect shots. The other benefit claimed by Advanced Ballistic Concepts is multiple hits per shot. The center .45 caliber slug hits center to point of aim while one or more bolo “stones” hit elsewhere.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

The company indicates penetration in the 5 inch territory when fired into ballistic gel. What’s less clear is performance after passing through heavy clothing. We’ll need to test that out more thoroughly to see what really happens when this load hits things.

Whatever the outcome, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these. That would be messy for sure.

We’ll get it into our testing schedule and see what happens.

Buy Bullets! It’s National Ammo Day

I’m not quite sure who decides that November 19th is National Ammo Day, but hey, I don’t need much of an excuse to buy 100 rounds of ammo.

Buy 100 rounds of ammo - it's National Ammo Day!

Buy 100 rounds of ammo – it’s National Ammo Day!

Yeah, I know, you can’t find it. Well, it’s out there.

Try your local gun store. If they don’t have what you need, check out Brownells. Or Cabelas.

If you want to get really adventurous, check out Gun Bot. It’s a free ammo search service that scans all sorts of online retailers to see who’s got what. You can even filter the search results for in stock only.

So go buy 100 rounds of ammo. You’ll save the economy, so it’s your patriotic duty!

Does Hot Caliber Jewelry Make You Hawt? We Ask Founder Manos Phoundoulakis

Manos Phoundoulakis - Hot Caliber

Manos Phoundoulakis – Hot Caliber founder busting some clays at the Hot Caliber station at The Shooting Industry Masters

We’re talking with Manos Phoundoulakis, founder of Hot Caliber Jewelry and master inventor behind the flattened bullet jewelry concept. Well, actually, when you dig a little deeper into the story, most of the credit for the idea goes to his partner and bride Kelle. Isn’t that the way it always is?

While shooting with Team Hot Caliber at the 2012 Shooting Industry Masters event, we were able to pick Manos’ brain about being ‘hawt’ with Hot Caliber jewelry. As a side note, the Masters event served as the launch for the custom edition benefitting USA Shooting.

My Gun Culture: Right off the bat, I need to clarify an important question. Do you need to actually be ‘hawt’ to wear Hot Caliber flattened bullet jewelry? Or do you have to at least perceive yourself as ‘hawt’ to wear this stuff?

Manos Phoundoulakis: No, actually that’s what’s great about Hot Caliber. If you’re not hot, and you wear Hot Caliber, you will become hot. We guarantee it! Be careful of not wearing your Hot Caliber jewelry though, you can lose your newly found hotness.

Hot Caliber Derringer Pendant - USA Shooting Benefit Edition

Hot Caliber Derringer Pendant – USA Shooting Benefit Edition

MGC: I understand you put together a special benefit program for USA Shooting. Can you tell us about that?

Manos: Earlier this year at the NRA Annual Meeting, we decided to put together a benefit program around the Shooting Industry Masters event.  The FMG Publications (editors note: American Handgunner, Guns Magazine, and American Cop Magazine) folks came up with the idea to benefit USA Shooting and right off the bat it was clear to me this was a great idea. You see, I’m Greek. The Olympics started in Greece. They weren’t shooting back then, but they were throwing stuff, and that counts for something. We didn’t invent the gun, but we do take credit for shot put.

MGC: So without divulging too many trade secrets, how do you make Hot Caliber flattened bullet jewelry?

Manos: After more than 4,000 rounds of testing, we now know what it’s going to take to create a perfect flattened bullet. Normally, we shoot 100 rounds of a specific ammo type, depending on the type and size of piece we want to make, at a big heavy piece of steel. Over time, I’ve figured out what exact brand and load will produce perfect flattened bullets of a given size. Then I get to sift through the dirt and retrieve the flattened bullets. At this point, I pick the three best and run them by a small committee to help identify the best overall bullet impression.

MGC: So people have to be small to be on the committee?

Manos: No, but they do have to have really good eyesight. The committee is small in number, not in size! At this point, I take the flattened bullet and mold it in a rubber molding compound. From there we cast the initial model. If it’s our general Hot Caliber product, that model gets cast in silver or gold, then it gets put into the jewelry. We use a lost wax casting method. I won’t bore you with the details, but there are many important steps involved in creating a piece of silver or gold jewelry with this technique. I’ll go ahead and claim that the Greeks invented the lost wax technique also – even though that probably isn’t true. Sometimes we use an oxidation technique to help bring out the visual texture. For the Masters Edition, we have to take one more molding process to engrave one or both sides, depending on the piece.

MGC: Since you use actual bullets to come up with these designs, when did Mayor Bloomberg contact you about outlawing Hot Caliber Jewelry in New York City?

Manos: Well I don’t know him personally. And quite frankly, he’s not very attractive, but he would be much more attractive if he were to be wearing Hot Caliber jewelry. Then he might lighten up a bit.

Hot Caliber flattened bullet cufflinks

Hot Caliber offers a variety of flattened bullet jewelry for men and women – pendants, rings, cufflinks, keychains, and more.

MGC: Hot Caliber jewelry is already pretty elegant stuff, but do you have plans to enter the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” market? Maybe something Paris Hilton would wear?

Manos: Just between us, we’re thinking about a “Haute Calibre” line. But that’s secret.

MGC: If other organizations or companies want to create special Hot Caliber editions to sell or fundraise is there any way they could do that?

Manos: We do offer special editions and licensed manufacturing for sale on other websites/catalogs. I would personally love to make an edition for any of the US Armed forces, or a Soldiers Angels Edition…anything that could help support the people that risk their lives for our freedoms. I’d make a Nancy Pelosi edition, but she would probably use the money to take my guns away.

 

Be sure to check out the Hot Caliber collection at www.hotcaliber.com. Better yet, order a special edition piece to support USA Shooting!

Buyers Guide: Magtech First Defense .45ACP 165 grain Ammo

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

We recently did a full gun review of a Springfield Armory TRP 1911 Armory Kote. In the process, we tested a broad array of practice and self defense ammo.

MagTech First Defense 45ACP 165 grain

MagTech First Defense 45ACP 165 grain

Magtech First Defense bullets are constructed from 100% copper, thereby eliminating the potential downfalls of traditional jacketed ammunition – weight retention. With jacketed ammunition, there is always potential for the bullet’s jacket to separate from the interior lead core. Depending on the severity of the separation, bullet penetration, and therefore effectiveness, can suffer.

Magtech First Defense bullets have been designed to expand reliably by using a series of cuts in the projectile to aid and guide bullet expansion. As you can see by the attached photo, we had great success. These four Magtech First Defense bullets were fired through two layers of thick leather, followed by 4 layers of light canvas, into a wetpack backstop. As the photo shows, three of the four projectiles expanded well even after passing through very tough barriers.

The 165 grain weight allows for higher velocity than traditional 230 grain .45 ACP loads. While we measured velocity of 1,076 feet per second with our Shooting Chrony Beta Master, felt recoil was mild for a .45 ACP defense load.

 

Available Here Magtech First Defense .45ACP 165 grain Ammo

Half-Cocked: I Feel Spent

Half-Cocked: I feel so spent...

Half-Cocked: I feel so spent...

Danger! Men Cooking!

Danger Men Cooking - Reloading

Danger Men Cooking

Gun Word of the Day: Caliber

Gun Word Of The Day

Caliber [kal-uh-ber]

noun
1. The interior diameter of the bore of a gun barrel, usually measured in inches or millimeters.
A gun barrel with an interior diameter of .357 inches in diameter is technically .357 caliber. Caliber measures the diameter of the bullet and has nothing to do with length or weight of the actual bullet, although calibers have taken on broader meaning in casual conversation. If someone refers to a caliber of 9mm, then they are really talking about a 9mm Luger cartridge and all the assumptions that go with that.

2. A sinister plot by gun people to make things extra-confusing for new shooters.
For example, .38 caliber really means .357 inches in diameter and .380 caliber really means .355 inches in diameter. 9 millimeter also means .355 inches in diameter. To keep things plenty confusing, .40 caliber really does mean .40 inches in diameter. Same with .45 caliber - that means .45 inches. However, .44 caliber really means .430 inches. Of course, .32 ACP (caliber) really means .312 inches. .30 caliber rifle bullets are particularly easy. Some are .308 inches and others are .311 inches. Got it? See, isn’t this gun stuff easy?

Speer Bullets Launches New Smokin’ Hot-Cor Ammunition Line

Speer Hot-Cor Bullets

New Speer Smokin' Hot-Cor Bullets

Speer Bullets  recently expanded its already broad line of hunting bullets with the addition of the Speer Smokin’ Hot-Cor series. Intended to provide an extension to the successful Hot-Cor line, the Smokin’ series is targeted at hunters and sportsmen with a more ‘randy’ side. In addition to minimal jacketing that leaves much to the imagination, the new Smokin’ Hot-Cores feature beautifully proportioned measurements, regardless of caliber offering. And based on early evaluations, they perform in the field, but only for tips. “These bullets typically retain 152% of their original weight” noted Speer CEO Ben Cartwright. “And they’re not hard on they eyes either. For bullets, they sure are lookers.” When asked how the new bullets could retain more than their original weight after expansion Cartwright explained “It’s just like Smokin’ hot people. Our bullets tend to attract others as they go and before you know it, it’s a stalker entourage.”

Don Draper, Speer Vice President of Marketing

VP Marketing Don Draper

Don Draper, Speer’s Vice President of Marketing shared details of a new promotional strategy for Speer. In a newly minted marketing pact with ‘Girls Gone Wild’ Founder Joe Francis, the companies intend to create a video series entitled “Bullets Gone Wild!” which will feature the new Smokin’ Hot-Cor lineup. “We hope to show our new bullets in action – raw and uncensored – so people can see how they really behave, or maybe misbehave, in the field” said Draper. “When these bullets get out of the gun, they tend to lose all inhibition and who knows what will happen. We hope to capture that on film under our new agreement with Mr. Francis.” Draper also announced availability of the new Speer Smokin’ Hot-Cor calendar in time for the upcoming holiday season. “We wanted hunters to have a new look at our bullets throughout the year. Of course, the calendar will be rated PG-13, so we recommend discretion.”

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