Friday, February 01, 2008



Hillary suggests snatching wages
Clinton says income could be garnisheed if workers refuse to buy health insurance

Posted: February 3, 2008
3:29 p.m. Eastern


© 2008



As the number of states authorizing the licensed carry of pistols for personal protection by law-abiding citizens continues to grow, Ruger has responded to consumer demand and broken into this personal defense market with the new LCP™. This ultra-light, compact carry pistol packs legendary reliability into the smallest pistol frame ever created by Ruger.

The Ruger LCP is a 6+1 capacity .380 Auto pistol with superior ergonomic design and handsome styling. It incorporates state-of-the-art polymers, aircraft quality aluminum alloys, and high-grade precision steel components engineered for strength and maximum weight savings.

The 9.4 ounce LCP pistol features a 2.75 inch barrel and an overall length of 5.16 inches. With a height of only 3.6 inches and a width of just .82 inches, the small, lightweight LCP pistol is a dependable back-up or carry pistol. The high-performance, glass-filled nylon frame is topped by a through-hardened steel slide with a blued finish. The Ruger LCP pistol is a natural choice for personal defense carry, in a purse, briefcase, or inside hiking gear.


Feeding the .38 Snub

By Stephen Camp

With their abbreviated barrels, usually about 2" in length, the little revolver's effectiveness is less than its counterparts having 3" tubes and certainly those with 4" or longer barrels. This is just one of life's compromises when going for a small revolver that is extremely easy to conceal…and therein lies the rub.

Between serious students of "stopping power," a debate rages right now concerning the "best" ammunition for carry, solid or expanding. In the past, there were few rounds that would actually expand out of the snub so proponents suggested hot loaded SWC's as the "best" load. Today, the main argument against using expanding ammunition results from most failing to expand when fired through four layers of denim. Some involved in this research have stated that the denim barrier is a "worst case scenario test" of how the ammo performs when passing through barriers. What seems to be forgotten is that the ammunition may work fine with one, two, or three layers of denim or when passing through a T-shirt or sports jacket. Some have stated that the "best" load for the snub is the lightly loaded target 148-grain wadcutter since the others don't work when fired through denim and the wadcutter has light recoil. Others may opt for this recommendation, but I disagree with it.

This S&W Model 638 is shown with handloaded hard cast SWC ammo. This is probably not the "best" choice for defensive ammunition. Of ammunition that can be readily found, my choice would be Remington 158-grain LSWCHP +P.

I'd estimate the velocity of the factory target .38 wadcutter to be between 650 and 700 ft/sec from the average snub-nose thirty-eight. Most are of soft, swaged lead, which means that "sharp" edges really aren't and they can round off as they pass through tissue. Hard cast bullets can have sharper edges, but these are not loaded by major factories as new, commercial ammunition and most believe that the civil aftermath can be negatively impacted by the use of handloaded ammunition. There was a jacketed wadcutter offered by Speer, but it's my understanding that it's no longer produced. On top of that, who can say that the sharper edged wadcutters would have any significant increased terminal effect?

The following shootings are not enough to be statistically meaningful in any study, but I am familiar with them and they do give me pause to reflect on this matter.

Several years ago, a young adult male athlete was shot outside a local bar during an argument. He was hit in the heart with a factory loaded .38 wadcutter fired from a snub .38 Special. I don't recall the make of the gun nor the brand ammunition, but the young man proceeded to cuss out the guy who shot him as he sat himself down on the curb. He was lucid several minutes later, but died.

An off-duty state officer lived a few blocks from me. While home, he became aware of screaming and yelling outside and when he looked into it, he found himself in the middle of a violent domestic dispute. He tried to calm things down, but was attacked by the male participant, who advanced on him with a knife. Refusing to stop, the officer shot him in the chest with his .357 magnum. On the second hit, the man dropped and died. The .357 magnum ammo was Remington 158-grain SWC and was fired from a 4" S&W Model 28. The second shot struck the man's heart.

A woman who'd been diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic decided she needed to kill her husband…for reasons only she knows. While he was asleep, she shot him five times with an S&W Model 13 4" revolver.

She did this while he was sleeping and the first four rounds stitched him from the pubic area upward into the center chest. After the forth shot, he sat up! She shot him through the eye (don't remember which) and he was down for the count! The ammunition was the same brand full-house .357 SWC used by the state officer.

Though not involved nor seeing anything "official" on the following, over the years I had occasion to speak with two police officers who had shot felons with snubs. Both were using lead semiwadcutter hollow points. I believe that one had his revolver loaded with Remington while the other used Winchester. Both shot their attackers at close range, center chest, and neither required a second shot. I can only assume that these felons were not wrapped in four layers of denim…and that's my point; why limit yourself to something that will not expand in any scenario when you can load it with ammunition that can expand in at least some? In those where it doesn't, you're at least as well off as if you'd loaded with non-expanding ammunition in the first place.

Would any of the immediate terminal effects in the "failure" incidents have been changed? Probably, but maybe not; I'd still roll the dice with expanding ammo if given a choice.

The main advantage I see for the target wadcutters in the snub is reduced recoil. Most of the expanding ammunition and certainly that loaded to +P levels will have more recoil. The now discontinued Federal 125-grain Nyclad hollow point was a nice compromise round. Recoil was not "bad," and it expanded well in gelatin … until required to penetrate the 4 layers of denim first. Some expressed concern that due to its weight and rapid expansion in bare gelatin, penetration would be lacking, but for frontal shots, I suspect it would be fine. Probably the most recommended expanding ammo for the snub today from folks opting for expansion is the LSWCHP +P as loaded by Winchester, Remington, or Federal. Its 158-grain weight is sufficient for decent penetration and it's made of pure, dead soft, lead. Based on 10-shot averages about 10' from the muzzle, it chronographs at 800 ft/sec from my S&W Model 642 and just a little faster from a Model 042. Recoil is there, but is not "bad"…at least for a few shots. It would be more difficult to control than the factory 148-grain wadcutters. I think this is probably the best load for those willing to practice with their snubs. It should penetrate plenty deep even if passing through an arm first while in route to the torso and has more weight and velocity than the target wadcutter. Under most scenarios, it is capable of expansion, but even if it doesn't, it still impacts the target with more energy and momentum than the lighter wadcutter loads and I'm not convinced that the larger meplat on the wadcutter significantly adds to its effectiveness in the velocity range to which this ammo is loaded. (A hard cast or jacketed wadcutter at 900 or 1,000 ft/sec might be quite something different, but then over penetration becomes a concern.)

The snub is a compromise; we accept less power and usually but 5 shots before having to reload in exchange for a handgun that's likely to be with us when unexpectedly needed or as a back up to more potent handguns. True for any defensive sidearm, placement remains the primary determinant in "stopping power," and this is especially true for the snub. Though I've cited a couple of cases in which a heart shot failed and multiple torso hits with solid 36 caliber ammo were required to get a "stop," you still stand the best chance of surviving a deadly encounter if you can hit where you need to…possibly more than once or twice!

Despite the call for snubs being loaded with target wadcutters, mine will be loaded with expanding ammunition, but more importantly, mine will be used in regular practice. IF I can hit where I should, I think I'm likely to do better with either wadcutter or expanding ammunition.



Frequently Asked Questions

Home Browning Hi Power Other Handguns Products

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What to Look for if Buying a Used Hi Power

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Look, Listen, but Make Up Your Own Mind!

The Effective Defense Gun

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Self-Defense: Caliber or Capacity?

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Frequently Asked Questions on Defense Handguns and Stopping Power

TIPS FOR THE RICH - EXPECT "WAR" Review by James Pressley

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Barton Biggs has some offbeat advice for the rich: Insure yourself against war and disaster by buying a remote farm or ranch and stocking it with ``seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc.''

The ``etc.'' must mean guns.

``A few rounds over the approaching brigands' heads would probably be a compelling persuader that there are easier farms to pillage,'' he writes in his new book, ``Wealth, War and Wisdom.''

Biggs is no paranoid survivalist. He was chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley before leaving in 2003 to form hedge fund Traxis Partners. He doesn't lock and load until the last page of this smart look at how World War II warped share prices, gutted wealth and remains a warning to investors. His message: Listen to markets, learn from history and prepare for the worst.

``Wealth, War and Wisdom'' fills a void. Library shelves are packed with volumes on World War II. The history of stock markets also has been ably recorded, notably in Robert Sobel's ``The Big Board.'' Yet how many books track the intersection of the two?

The ``wisdom'' in the alliterative title refers to the spooky way markets can foreshadow the future. Biggs became fascinated with this phenomenon after discovering by chance that equity markets sensed major turning points in the war.

The British stock market bottomed out in late June 1940 and started rising again before the truly grim days of the Battle of Britain in July to October, when the Germans were splintering London with bombs and preparing to invade the U.K.

`Epic Bottom'

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plumbed ``an epic bottom'' in late April and early May of 1942, then began climbing well before the U.S. victory in the Battle of Midway in June turned the tide against the Japanese.

Berlin shares ``peaked at the high-water mark of the German attack on Russia just before the advance German patrols actually saw the spires of Moscow in early December of 1941.''

``Those were the three great momentum changes of World War II -- although at the time, no one except the stock markets recognized them as such.''

Biggs isn't suggesting that Mr. Market is infallible: He can get ``panicky and crazy in the heat of the moment,'' he says. Over the long haul, though, markets display what James Surowiecki calls ``the wisdom of crowds.''

Like giant voting machines, they aggregate the judgments of individuals acting independently into a collective assessment. Biggs stress-tests this theory against events that shook nations from the Depression through the Korean War, which he calls ``the last battle of World War II.''

Refresher Course

Biggs has read widely and thought deeply. He has a pleasing conversational style, an eye for memorable anecdotes and a weakness for Winston Churchill's quips. His book works as a brisk refresher course.

What really packs a wallop, though, is his combination of military history, market action, maps and charts. It's one thing to say that the London market scraped bottom before the Battle of Britain. It's another to show it.

In May and June 1940, some 338,000 British and French troops had been evacuated from Dunkirk by a flotilla of fishing boats, tugs, barges, yachts and river steamers. The French and Belgian armies had collapsed; the Dutch had surrendered. Britain stood alone, as bombs shattered London and the Nazis prepared to invade. Yet stocks rallied.

Mankind endures ``an episode of great wealth destruction'' at least once every century, Biggs reminds us. So the wealthy should prepare to ride out a disaster, be it a tsunami, a market meltdown or Islamic terrorists with a dirty bomb.

The rich get complacent, assuming they will have time ``to extricate themselves and their wealth'' when trouble comes, Biggs says. The rich are mistaken, as the Holocaust proves.

``Events move much faster than anyone expects,'' he says, ``and the barbarians are on top of you before you can escape.''