Saturday, April 12, 2008



Wal-Mart to film gun sales in bid to fight crime

Reuters US Online Report Top News

Apr 14, 2008 14:58 EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, unveiled plans on Monday to film its gun sales in the United States and create a computerized log of purchases in a bid to stop guns falling into the wrong hands.


Exclusive: Another Syrian armored division masses on Israeli-Lebanese borders


April 14, 2008, 12:19 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Damascus has deployed the 10th armed corps at the Massaneh crossing of Mount Hermon. It links up with the northwestern positions the 14th division took up last month on the Syrian-Israeli border which cuts through the Hermon range.

Syrian troops are now strung along a continuous crescent-shaped line from the central Lebanese mountains through Mt Dov on the western slopes of Mt. Hermon and up to southeastern Lebanon. This deployment, commanding Syria’s Israeli and Lebanese borders, is under the command of the president’s brother, Maher Assad.

The 10th armored corps was moved forward straight after Syria’s snap civil defense exercise which crashed after three hours last Thursday, April 10. The exercise was ordered without notice by president Bashar Assad on the last day of Israel’s five-day homeland defense drill.

DEBKAfile’s military sources are criticizing Israel officials for attributing Syria’s latest military movements to domestic troubles inside the Syrian leadership. They say this is throwing sand in the public’s eyes and at one with the government’s practice of playing down all the heightened military threats to Israel – whether from Syria, the Lebanese Hizballah or the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.

The IDF’s Northern Command officers report that the Syrian army’s buildup opposite Israel has accelerated in April and warn that its units are arrayed for a quick transition to attack mode.

The link-up between Syria’s 10th and 14th divisions on the border running through Mt Hermon should have been a wake-up call for the government in Jerusalem, they say, and elicited counter-moves to show Damascus that Israel is ready to meet every contingency.

Sunday, April 13, prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met briefly to rough out the position Abbas will put before President George W. Bush whom he meets at the White House in ten days. Olmert made the gesture of licensing the entry to Israel of 5,000 Palestinian construction workers. This gesture was challenged by security services as a carrying the risk of terrorist infiltration and by economic leaders who say the Palestinians will take Israeli jobs.

Foreign minister Tzipi Livni is in Qatar, where she is to address the 8th annual Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. Qatari rulers plan to persuade her that Israel should back their initiatives to patch up quarrels in the Arab world between Egypt and Syria and the Palestinian Fatah and Hamas. Neither is in Israel’s interest, because conciliation would confer legitimacy on Arab and Islamist radicalism and spur its expansion.

Livni, who knew she would come under pressure during her Doha visit, insisted on going through with it andtreating it as a breakthrough in Israeli relations with the Gulf emirates.


East Texas Bird Dawgs


We have determined that some Ruger SR9 pistols manufactured between October 2007 and April 2008 can, under certain conditions, fire if dropped with their manual safeties in the "off" or "fire" position. The pistols will not fire if the manual safety is in the "on" or "safe" position.

We will retrofit all Ruger SR9 pistols starting with serial number prefix “330” (330-xxxxx) with these new parts at no charge to our customers.

In order to ensure correct fitting, these new parts must be installed at our Ruger factory in Prescott, Arizona. We will remove the old parts and install the new group promptly, at no charge, and will return the pistol to you. The old parts will not be returned.

Step 1 - Contact us and provide your name, address, telephone number and SR9 serial number.

Provide your information by any of the following:
Website: SR9 Recall On-line Form
Fax: (928) 541-8873
Phone: SR9 Recall Hotline
(available Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EDT)

Step 2 - When we are ready to retrofit your SR9, we will send you a shipping label and shipping box with instructions so you can return your pistol to us FREE of charge.

Step 3 - We will install the new trigger group in your SR9 and return it to you FREE of charge. When we do, we also will send you a FREE extra magazine as a "thank you" for your patience and cooperation. We will make every effort to return your pistol within one week, so we will not ask you to send it to us until we are ready to receive it. We expect to begin sending shipping labels and boxes in mid-May.

Do not load or fire your pistol until it has been factory retrofitted with these new parts! If you must fire your pistol, be sure to keep the manual safety in the "on" or "safe" position except when you are actually firing.

Thank you,
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.


Washington Opens Diplomatic Door to Tehran

DEBKAfile Special Report

April 13, 2008, 9:45 PM (GMT+02:00)

Former Ambassador Thomas Picker swings back on the diplomatic trail

Former Ambassador Thomas Picker swings back on the diplomatic trail

Certain prominent Americans have undertaken secret colloquy with Tehran and may be preparing to go public and make it official, with the administration’s blessing.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources name them as Thomas R. Pickering, former ambassador to Moscow, the UN and Israel, William Luers, former envoy to Venezuela and the Czech Republic, and Jim Walsh, a New York Republican Congressman.

They have been quietly encouraged by Rice, defense secretary Robert Gates and influential quarters in the US military and intelligence elite, who are anxious to avert a US-Iranian military clash in the eight months remaining to the Bush presidency and cut the ground from under a possible US or Israel attack on Iran.

They hope direct dialogue with Tehran will act as the groundwork for an understanding between the next US president and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is seen also as stealing some of the thunder from the Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s offer to talk to the Iranians, and arm Republican candidate John McCain with a non-binding option on Iran for his campaign.

The American undercover conversations with Iranian officials have been going on for some time in Geneva, Switzerland, to explore common ground on Iran’s nuclear program.

Last month, the three emissaries produced a working paper called “A Solution for the US-Iran Nuclear Standoff.”

It proposed bringing Iran’s uranium enrichment program under a multinational consortium including Iran and other governments, such as France and Germany, who would participate in managing and operating the program within Tehran. This would solve the US-Iranian nuclear standoff, ensure that Iran stops short of producing weapons-grade fuel and lift the threat of international sanctions.

President Ahmadinejad was quoted as endorsing the multilateral solution. Although his perception is likely to be different from an American or European version, the paper’s authors believe those differences could be resolved in negotiations.

A serious setback to relations came from Tehran’s intervention in the Iraqi government’s crackdown this month on militias in the southern Basra province and rocket attacks in Baghdad. (DEBKA-Net-Weekly 343 of April 4 published details). Iran’s position as the greatest threat to Iraq was highlighted by Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker in their testimony to Congress last week - to the point that al Qaeda scarcely rated a mention.

President George W. Bush commented on April 11 that if Iran continues to help militias in Iraq “then we’ll deal with them.” But he also reaffirmed his disinclination for war and preference for diplomatic solutions. “You can’t solve these problems unilaterally. You’re going to need a multilateral forum,” he said.

This testimony and the president’s remarks did not set to rest the Washington cliffhanger over whether the president will opt for military action against Iran after all, before he leaves the White House, or stick to quiet diplomacy and relegate the Iran nuclear headache to his successor.

Bush’s immediate reaction confirmed the latter view: Without prior notice, he sent Petraeus and Crocker to Riyadh. Last week, there was talk of a limited US military action against the Iranian command centers directing, training and army Iraq’s militias. Now, the commander-in-chief was instructing the top Americans in Iraq to persuade the Saudis to blaze the way for Arab rulers to throw their support behind the Maliki government in Baghdad. The object of this exercise was to offset rather than challenge Iranian influence in Baghdad.

A diplomatic, multilateral course appeared to have been set in motion for dealing with Iranian troublemaking in Iraq - if not its nuclear defiance.

But the opposite signal came a day later in an interview the US president gave Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard. The conclusion Kristol drew was that the hearing (given by Petraeus and Crocker) was “less an argument for getting out of Iraq than going into Iran.”

Asked whether he thought there was a chance of Bush ordering a military strike against Iran before the end of his tenure, Kristol replied: “We didn’t really talk about that, in all honesty, directly. I don’t think it’s out of the question.”

Clearly, President Bush is leaving everyone guessing up to the last second about which way he will jump.

Diplomacy is meanwhile in motion – whether relevant or not to the president’s ultimate plans.

The former US president Jimmy Carter’s plan to travel to Damascus and meet Syrian president and Hamas politburo leader Khalad Meshaal drew automatic reproof from the US State Department and Secretary Condoleezza Rice. He began his trip in Israel Sunday, April 13, before heading for Syria.

However, the 84-year old Carter’s Damascus venture could fit in with the White House’s broader “multilateral” strategy with regard to Iran. His own party, the Democrats, frown on it. Barack Obama, who is ready to talk to Iran, said sternly Saturday, April 12: “I would not meet with Hamas unless it recognized Israel, renounced terror and abided by previous agreements. I don’t think conversation with them is useful.”

He thus lined up with the Bush administration and the official line of the Middle East Quartet line on the Palestinian terrorist group.

Carter, however, appears to be going with the Bush flow: Is he beating a path to Iran’s allies and proxies, Syria, Hamas, and even Hizballah, to generate an amicable environment for administration diplomats to forge an understanding between Washington and Tehran? Or striking out on his own.

Published: May 9, 1999

Stepping up the Clinton Administration's campaign against gun violence, Hillary Rodham Clinton used an emotional White House ceremony today to call on Americans to press Congress to ''buck the gun lobby'' and pass several gun control measures.

Get Started Reloading Handgun Cartridges

By Chuck Hawks

As the title indicates, this article is about how to get started reloading metallic centerfire handgun cartridges. I'm going to assume that you already want to reload, and have some idea of the advantages of so doing. (If not, see my article "Introduction to Reloading" on the General Firearms Information Page.)

If you have just reached the point where you have decided to begin reloading handgun cartridges, it probably seems a complicated and mysterious process. However, with only a little practice you will discover that reloading is actually simple and easy to do. Care and attention to detail are required, but the process has only a few steps and is basically repetitive.

A reloading press is the basic machine used to reload centerfire metallic (rifle or pistol) ammunition. What the press essentially does is to hold the dies that reform, prime, and eventually reload the case and provide the mechanical leverage that allows the operator to accomplish these tasks.

Many of us older shooters started reloading with a Lyman Tong Tool (a hand held reloading press resembling a large nutcracker) or a Lee Loader (a set of reloading dies into which you literally pound the cases with a mallet). You don't see these makeshift devices very often anymore, although Lee Precision still markets both the Lee Loader and a tong-style tool called the Hand Press. I strongly advise ignoring these devices in general and the Lee Loader in particular.

Most reloaders use what are called single stage presses. These are not automated, you have to push or pull a handle to accomplish each task in the reloading process. Good single stage presses have a long lever with a lot of mechanical advantage for a handle, and are quite easy to operate. Cheap ones sometimes require a lot of force to resize cases.

A separate powder measure, which dumps a preset amount of powder into each case, is a practical necessity, and a hand priming tool is a great convenience. Centerfire metallic cases are reloaded in batches and a single operation is performed on all of the cases to be reloaded before moving on to the next step. If you are reloading 50 cases, for example, the first operation is performed on all 50 before moving on to the second operation. Performing the same operation on all cases before moving to the next operation saves time and effort.

The first step in reloading a batch of pistol cases is to clean and inspect them. Look closely at the case mouths, as this is the area most likely to be damaged or show incipient splits. Also look for a light ring around the head of the case, which indicates potential case head separation. Discard any cases that are not perfect.

To actually reload straight walled handgun cartridges the following steps must be performed (not always in exactly the same order): resizing, decapping (removing the spent primer) and belling the mouth of the case to accept a new bullet, priming, powder charging, and bullet seating and crimping. With the exception of the priming and powder charging operations, these operations are carried out using a set of three reloading dies, which screw into the top of a single stage press.

To hold the case, a shell holder slides into top of the ram (the part of the press that elevates the case into the reloading dies when you pull the handle). The shell holder must match the case to be reloaded. Different cases require different shell holders.

A single stage press does not have a powder hopper, so powder charging is almost always done by means of a separate powder measure, and priming is best done by a hand operated tool, although it can be accomplished on most single stage presses. (It's just easier and faster to use a separate priming tool.) There is also no bullet hopper, bullets are removed from their box one at a time by hand and fed into the cases, then seated using the press and the bullet seating die.

For reloading rifle cartridges, a few accessories are indispensable. Among these are one or more reloading manuals (At a minimum I like to have the manual for every brand of bullets to be used.). Another is an accurate powder scale, necessary to set up and check the powder charges being dispensed. A lube pad and lubricant are necessary so the cases will slip into the steel resizing die (unless a carbide resizing die is used--a great convenience), as is one or more loading blocks to hold the cases.

While not, strictly speaking, absolutely required for reloading, a solid and dedicated reloading bench is a practical necessity. Presses can be clamped to breadboards or kitchen tables, but these temporary set-ups are rarely completely satisfactory.

The experienced reloader usually acquires numerous other accessories that make the job easier, faster, or more precise. Among these are case trimmers, deburring tools, case neck brushes, case gauges, primer flippers, primer pocket brushes, powder tricklers, powder funnels, bullet pullers, dial calipers, and other gadgets. None of them are absolutely necessary to begin reloading, but most are useful. My advice is to buy a "starter set" that includes a press and the basic necessities required to begin reloading, and then acquire additional accessories as you need them.

The RCBS Partner Press Reloading Kit (discount priced at about $130 as I write this) and Reloader Special-5 Starter Kit (discount priced at about $200) include a case loading block, case lube kit, primer tray, powder funnel, powder scale, deburring tool, and the latest edition of the Speer Reloading Manual. The former also includes a light duty RCBS Partner Press and a basic RC-130 powder scale (maximum capacity 130 grains), and the latter includes a more powerful Special-5 press and 5-0-2 scale (maximum capacity 500 grains). For either you will want to add at least a powder measure (about $65), and probably a hand priming tool ($30). Also required will be a set of reloading dies and a shell holder for each caliber you intend to reload.

The deluxe RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit adds a Uniflow powder measure, automatic primer feed, and hex key set. This kit comes with a heavy duty, case iron Rock Chucker press and a better 5-0-5 powder scale (maximum capacity 505 grains) and includes basically everything you actually need to at least get started reloading except a set of reloading dies and a shell holder. The RCBS Supreme Kit is discount priced at about $280 as I write this. Since it includes an outstanding press and a powder measure as well as a primer feed, it is actually the best deal of the three RCBS starter sets.

Everything comes with instructions for set-up and use. If you read them carefully and follow them exactly you will have no problem learning how to reload handgun cartridges. There are also detailed instructions, including tips to make the process faster and easier, in most reloading manuals.

Today it is rare to find a serious shooter who does not reload. Many shooters enjoy reloading as a hobby in itself; to others it is merely a necessary chore that they must finish before the next shoot. Regardless of the motivation, the cost of factory loaded cartridges is at a level where few handgunners can afford to do much shooting without reloading.

******** *********** ********** ********** ********* *********** ********* **********

This previous article regarding reloading was written by some one else, I have my own set opinions and if you have any questions you can email me through my website. At this point in time I think all of you should buy the very basic components necessary to reload before its too late. We are talking about an initial investment of pure basic equipment of $200.00 plus or minus which will include one set of dies.

redg06.gif (89341 bytes) The T-7 is the most advanced turret press in the world. With 7 die stations, you can set up reloading for several die stages or multiple cartridges. Switch from die to die without re-adjusting by just pivoting the turret. The massive cast iron base and turret are hardened and precision ground for absolute rigidity and alignment. The T-7 accepts all standard 7/8x14 thread reloading dies and shellholders. The large diameter ram is powered by compound leverage to form even the toughest brass reliably. Spent primers drop through the ram and out a tube. A Smart Primer arm is included or you can upgrade to the optional Slide Bar primer system (pictured on the press at right) for faster, and higher volume primer seating. The beauty of the turret is that dies for each stage of reloading are already set-up as though you had a separate press for each. You can load one round from start to finish by pivoting the dies into place. Or, you can load 100 rounds efficiently by batching operations. No time is lost in changing the press over to the next operation... just pivot the turret. If you've been reloading on a cheap press that moves and flexes, you will be astounded by the T-7. Its massive compound leverage and cast iron rigidity make case forming a breeze.



G.W. Bush Buys Land In Northern Paraguay

As George W. Bush surveys his empire and sees it crumbling around him, with two lost wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and with the
U.S. public fed up with his domestic policies, apparently Dubya has decided that the best way to save his worthless hide is to run
and hide in Paraguay.
On October 13, 2006, the Prensa Latina paper reported that George W. Bush had purchased 98, 842 acres on the Acuifero Guarani
in northern Paraguay, between Bolivia and Brazil. This news was also reported in Asuncion, Paraguay on Oct. 12, and by Upsidedownworld
on Oct. 11. The Fortunate Son is not the first Bush to do so -- earlier George H.W. Bush purchased 173, 000 acres in Paso de Patria, the
Chaco area of Paraguay. Jenna Bush has spent time in Paraguay as a representative of UNICEF.
One of the 25 top censored stories, "U.S. Military In Paraguay" revealed that the U.S. military had purchased land in Paraguay, and had
sent 500 U.S. troops to Paraguay in 2005, along with ammunition, weapons, helicopters, and planes. The U.S. military base was set up in the
region of Mariscal Estigarribia, not long after the government of Paraguay gave U.S. politicians, U.S. troops, and U.S. civilians complete
immunity from national and international criminal prosecution.


Dejavoo from Benchmade

Designed by Bob Lum


Benchmade® Dejavoo Black Blade Combo Edge (BE-740SBK)

Drop Point
Walker Lock
Blade Length
Closed Length
4.1 oz.
Blade Steel
58-60 Rc.

The design is from Oregon knifemaker Bob Lum, but the name is all Benchmade - Bob calls it an All Rounder. The name Dèjávoo does seem to better fit the elegance and uniqueness of this knife. The elegance comes from the simplicity of line combined with exquisite execution. The 4" blade of S30V at 58-60 Rc. is ground to the top, the way I like a blade to be ground. Without question, it makes a far better slicing blade; all other things being equal. The G10 handle scales are fully contoured for a comfortable hand fit and that feeling that you don't want to lay it down. You'll need to get it in your hands to see what I mean. The knife is built with phosphor bronze washers for smooth blade action, titanium locking-liners to reduce the weight and a removable black pocket clip for tip down carry. Measures 5-3/16" closed and weighs 4.1 oz. Made in the U. S. A.

Suggested retail is Black Blade $172.00 and Bright Blade $160.00.

Benchmade® Dejavoo Black Blade Combo Edge

(A) BE-740SBK: $139.95

Benchmade® Dejavoo™ Bright Blade Plain Edge

(B) BE-740: $129.95


Spyderco Poliwog


Spyderco Poliwog (SPC98P)

Ball Bearing
Blade Length
Closed Length
4.1 oz.
Blade Steel
60-62 Rc.

Spyderco tells us that the Poliwog CLIPIT's open-end Ball Bearing Lock is one of the strongest of all of their locking mechanisms. This is from a company who is known for their attention to the strength and functionality of their knives. Pulling back on the ball unlocks the blade from either side. With the locking mechanism exposed, it is easy to clean and it certainly is easy to open and close. The 3-3/8" stainless handle is just enough to accommodate the 2-5/16" blade of VG-10 at 60-62 Rc. The tip-up reversible wire-tension pocket-clip makes the knife completely ambidextrous. This handy little knife weighs 4.1 oz. Made in Japan. Suggested retail price is $152.95.

Spyderco Poliwog

SPC98P: $109.95

Military Personnel Account for 20% of U.S. Suicides (Update2)

By Tom Randall and Rob Waters

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Current and former military personnel accounted for about 20 percent of U.S. suicides in 2005, according to a government study.

About 1,821 current or former soldiers committed suicide in 16 states in 2005, the most recent year of available data, according to the report published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost half were diagnosed with depression and a third left suicide notes.

A rise in suicides among soldiers serving in the military has alarmed Pentagon planners and members of Congress as the war in Iraq enters its sixth year. An Army report produced last year found the rate of suicides among soldiers deployed in Iraq from 2003 to 2006 was almost 40 percent higher than the military's average suicide rate. An update of the Army's Mental Health Advisory Team report released in March found suicide rates for soldiers in 2007 remained ``above normal Army rates.''

``The frequency and the length of deployments are stretching people to the limit and they can't tolerate it,'' Charles Figley, a psychologist who directs the Traumatology Institute at Florida State University, said in a telephone interview today. ``They're taking risks, taking alcohol and taking their own lives because they want to extinguish their pain.''

While 38 percent of the soldiers who took their own lives had a diagnosed mental health condition, only 27 percent were receiving mental health care, according to the CDC report.

30,000 Suicides

Each year 30,000 Americans commit suicide, according to the CDC. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 25 to 34, after accidental injury, according to today's report, the first from an electronic tracking system meant to help researchers better understand and prevent violent death. The U.S. plans to expand the system to all states, the CDC said.

Suicide accounted for about 56.1 percent of the 15,495 reported violent deaths in the 16 states. Fewer military suicide victims were receiving mental health care than non-military victims, the report said. Violent deaths in the report were caused by intentional use of force or unintended use of a gun.

About three-quarters of all suicides recorded by the CDC took place in a house or apartment. Most victims killed themselves with a gun, followed by poisoning and strangulation, according to the study. About 62 percent had alcohol in their blood.

Men were 3.4 times more likely than women to die violently. American Indians and blacks had the highest rates among ethnicities, the CDC said.

A separate study last year found that combat veterans were twice as likely to take their own lives as people who hadn't been in battle. That study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, looked at 320,000 men who had served in the military from 1917 to 1994.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tom Randall in New York at; Rob Waters in San Francisco at


The Queen of England with her personal guard.
Note her right hand man. .

What's the problem, officer?

Friday, April 11, 2008


Products for Sale

Home Browning Hi Power Other Handguns FAQs

Paid in Full - A Novel of Revenge

The Shooter's Guide to the 1911 Pattern Pistol

9mm Ammunition Tests: The Shooter's Guide to Ammunition for the Browning Hi Power

Defensive Handguns

The Shooter's Guide to the Browning Hi Power

Hi Power Disassembly Guide

We are happy to announce that The Shooter's Guide to the Browning Hi Power, Defensive Handguns, and 9mm Ammunition Tests: The Shooter's Guide to Ammunition for the Hi Power are all available in not only the original 8 1/2" x 11" size, but in paperback form as well. The paperback versions are trade manual size, approximately 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and are "perfect bound", i.e., like paperback books. They cost less than the full-size versions. Due to many requests, I'm going to try to keep both versions in print and available.

So which do you want? If you wish to get the same information, text and pictures (smaller, no color) as the bigger book at a lower price, the paperback is for you. If you want the two color pages in addition to larger pictures and a book that will lay flat, the larger version is probably the way to go.

All of the books, large and small, have been reformatted. The same material is there, but in an easier to read, more attractive layout. Both versions of the books come with heat-laminated full color covers. They have been completely revamped, and in my opinion, look much better. Quality has not been sacrificed.

How to Order

If you have a PayPal account, just click on one of their links on this page to make payment. Use my email address as "recipient." Be sure to include the address where you want your order sent (in the "notes" section). For those who don't want to use PayPal, email me at to place orders. I will give you the mailing address for payment. Cash, check, money order, or cashier's checks are fine, but personal checks may be held a few days. On the order, please print or write legibly and be sure to include the address where you want your order mailed. If you'll also include your Email address, I will notify you when your items are to be mailed. Thanks.

Shipping and Handling Charges on Multiple Book Orders

Below are the charges for all orders in the US. Email me for S&H charges on orders outside the US.

Full Size 8 1/2" x 11": S&H on the first book is $5. Subsequent full size books have a $3 S&H charge when ordered at the same time.

Paperback 5 1/2" x 8 1/2": S&H on the first book is $3 and $2 on subsequent paperbacks ordered at the same time.

If you order a full size book and a paperback, S&H is $2 on the paperback and $5 on the larger book.

Should you have any questions concerning S&H charges, don't hesitate to Email me. I'll figure it for you and let you know the correct amount. As always, should you overpay (as has happened), I will refund the overpayment with your order.

Home Browning Hi Power Other Handguns Products FAQs


In 2002, Z-Medica Corporation's launch of QuikClot® brand hemostatic agent changed the world of hemostasis forever and brought the promise of saving the lives of untold accident and battlefield victims around the world who would otherwise bleed to death before reaching a surgical setting.

QuikClot® is the invention of former NASA engineer, scientist and Z-Medica co-founder Francis X. Hursey who thought outside the box while working with the mineral material at the core of QuikClot® while experimenting with it for a totally different purpose. His amazing product rapidly stops moderate to severe arterial and venous bleeding and is easily applied by even non-medical personnel. It is also in the forefront of hemostatic nano-technology.

QuikClot® brand hemostatic agent can come in many varieties:

QuikClot 1st Response™ is the latest Z-Medica product for first responders, environmental health & safety teams and industrial nurses. It is the same proven technology developed for the military, packaged for convenient use by first responders, to help save lives right at the scene of accidents, crimes, fires and other emergencies. Click here to learn more...

QuikClot ACS+™ is offered in a delivery system similar to the original QuikClot ACS™ and allows the same ease of application and removal. As a result of intensive research and development, the formulation of QuikClot ACS+™ has been re-engineered to stay cooler on contact. It has a greatly reduced exothermic reaction, with maximum temperatures in vivo typically at 105 degrees F. Click here to learn more...

QuikClot ACS™ – a new formulation and delivery system for the original QuikClot® hemostat.

QuikClot ACS™ (Advanced Clotting Sponge) consists of beads contained in a porous surgical fabric that allows the activated beads to come into direct contact with blood in a wound and quickly stop the bleeding.
  • Effective packing into high-pressure bleeding wounds.
  • Can be applied rapidly, saving precious seconds and further limiting blood loss.
  • Goes where it’s placed. Will not blow around in windy environments.
  • Works where it’s placed – directly on the bleeding tissue.
  • Can be applied to wound from any angle.
  • Fast, clean removal in post trauma.
  • Two 50 gram sponges, packed in a heavy-grade foil.
Click here to learn more...

QuikClot® hemostat is a sterile, traumatic wound treatment that rapidly arrests high-volume blood loss and achieves hemostasis in large wounds, arresting the hemorrhage before the casualty goes into shock. QuikClot® hemostat affects coagulation in moderate-to-severe wounds, including high-volume venous and arterial bleeding. Click here to learn more...

  • The original QuikClot® hemostat comes in a granular format.
  • 3.5 once/100 gram package.
  • Vacuum-packed in a sterile, compact and waterproof NPE 5 inch by 7 inch packet.
  • Pour directly in wound and remove at the hospital.
For ordering information click here or contact us at 203.294.0000


The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

This is an essay I wrote about EMP. The sources may not be cited as well as they should, but some documentation was lost when converting to html.


Nuclear weapons can have devastating effects. Usually, one thinks only of the blast, thermal, and radiation effects as they relate to the human body. However, considering only these factors ignores some of the other devastating effects. One such effect is that of the nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The effects of the nuclear electromagnetic pulse must be considered and calculated when preparing for a nuclear war.

This essay will try to describe what the electromagnetic pulse is. It will then explore the types of bursts that produce different pulses, and the possible effects of the pulses will be examined. Next, the ways to guard against EMP will be examined. Finally, the policy issues concerning the vulnerability of the United States will be explored. To achieve these goals, three basic sources will be used to describe the technical aspects of the pulse. Once this has been completed, several journal and magazine sources will be used to consider the vulnerability and policy issues. This format will create a technically based essay. From this science base, several observations of vulnerability will be made to evaluate the United States?policy and strategy.

EMP Physics

Early on in the development of nuclear weapons, the presence of the electromagnetic pulse was known. Before the July 16, 1945 Trinity test, Enrico Fermi had tried to calculate the possible electromagnetic fields that would be produced. Unfortunately, the actual effects of the EMP were still not truly known. It wasn’t until the mid-1960s that the true nature of the EMP was better understood. However, even then, many of the possible effects, like other nuclear weapon effects, were not well-known due to the lack of data.1 The basic theory of EMP is now well understood.

In a nuclear detonation, gamma rays are produced. These gamma rays interact with the surrounding air molecules by the Compton effect to produce electrons. In this effect,

"...the gamma ray (primary) photon collides with an electron and some of the energy of the photon is transferred to the electron. Another (secondary) photon, with less energy, then moves off in a new direction at an angle to the direction of motion of the primary photon. Consequently, Compton interaction results in a change of direction (or scattering) of the gamma-ray photon and degradation in its energy. The electron which, after colliding with the primary photon, recoils in such a manner as to conserve energy and momentum is called a Compton (recoil) electron"(2)

These Compton-recoil electrons travel outward at a faster rate than the remaining heavier, positively charged ions. This separation of charges produces a strong electric field. The lower-energy electrons produced by collisions with the Compton electrons are attracted to the positive ions. These ions produce a conduction current. This current is directly related to the strength of the Compton effect. Also, this conduction current flows in a direction opposite to the electrical field produced by the Compton effect. Because of this, the conduction current limits the electrical field and stops it from increasing.(3-5)

Varieties of EMP Explosions

There are three main types of explosions to consider when examining the effects of the electromagnetic pulse. These are near-surface busts, medium-altitude bursts, and high-altitude bursts. Near-surface bursts are those at altitudes up to 1.2 miles, medium-altitude bursts range from 1.2 miles to 19 miles, and high-altitude bursts are those above 19 miles. These altitudes are only rough guidelines, but a better understanding of where each occurs will be gained after examining each type of burst briefly.(6)

The greatest effect on surface bursts is caused by the ground. Unlike in the air, the gamma rays cannot escape the blast in all directions. For this reason, near-surface bursts are also in this category. Although they may not be on the ground, they have similar effects. The ground absorbs many of the gamma rays. This produces an asymmetric field. The resulting field is very similar to that of a hemisphere that is radiating upward. The electrons also are able to return to the burst point through the ground. This makes the area near the center of the burst contain a high concentration of highly ionized particles. This net movement of electrons creates current loops that generate a magnetic field running around the burst point. This is the basic model of a near-surface burst.(7)

When the nuclear explosion occurs in the medium-altitude range, the effects of the ground are much. A medium-altitude range would be away from the ground but below the upper atmosphere. As the height of the burst increases, the asymmetry of the field produced decreases. However, the asymmetry increases, after a point, with altitude due to changes in the atmospheric density.

Since the ground is absent, the magnetic field produced in near-surface bursts will be absent. The electric fields will be similar to those of near-surface bursts.(9)

High-altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMP) produced by high-altitude bursts occur in an area of the atmosphere where the density of the air is low. Because of this, the gamma rays can travel very far before they are absorbed. These rays travel downward into the increasingly dense atmosphere. Here, they interact with the air to form ions as previously described. This region, called the deposition or source region, is roughly circular. It is thick in the middle and thinner toward the edges. It extends horizontally very far creating source regions that are over 1000 miles in diameter.(10) The size of it depends on the height of the burst and the yield of the weapon. The EMP in this source region gets deflected downward towards the earth due to the earth’s magnetic field. Although the fields produced from a high-altitude burst are not as great as those for a near-surface burst, they affect a much larger area.(11) Because of this huge potential, high-altitude bursts could be the most dangerous type of EMP.

EMP Effects

The electrical field produced by the EMP only lasts a very short time before it quickly tails off. The electric field has a rise time of about 1 nanosecond.(12) Even with such a short pulse, the effects can be tremendous. For a high altitude burst, the effects can also be far reaching. By many calculations, one properly placed nuclear bomb detonated above the center of the United States could produce huge electrical fields on the surface of the earth. "The EMP from a single hydrogen bomb exploded 300 kilometers over the heart of the United States could set up electrical field 50 kV/m strong over nearly all of North America"(13). Since EMP is electromagnetic radiation traveling at the speed of light, all of the area could possibly be effected almost simultaneously.

With such a possible threat, it is important to consider what may be affected. "Because of the intense electromagnetic fields (about 10 kV/m) and wide area of coverage, the HEMP can induce large voltages and currents in power lines, communication cables, radio towers, and other long conductors serving a facility"(14). Some other notable collectors of EMP include railroad tracks, large antennas, pipes, cables, wires in buildings, and metal fencing. Although materials underground are partially shielded by the ground, they are still collectors, and these collectors deliver the EMP energy to some larger facility. This produces surges that can destroy the connected device, such as, power generators or long distance telephone systems. An EMP could destroy many services needed to survive a war.

"Society has entered the information age and is more dependent on electronic systems that work with components that are very susceptible to excessive electric currents and voltages."(15) Many systems needed are controlled by a semiconductor in some way. Failure of semi-conductive chips could destroy industrial processes, railway networks, power and phone systems, and access to water supplies. Semiconductor devices fail when they encounter an EMP because of the local heating that occurs. When a semi-conductive device absorbs the EMP energy, it displaces the resulting heat that is produced relatively slowly when compared to the time scale of the EMP. Because the heat is not dissipated quickly, the semiconductor can quickly heat up to temperatures near the melting point of the material. Soon the device will short and fail. This type of failure is call thermal second-breakdown failure.(16)

It is also important to realize how vulnerable the military is to EMP. "Military systems often use the most sophisticated and therefore most vulnerable, electronics available, and many of the systems that must operate during a nuclear war cannot tolerate the temporary disturbances that EMP may induce."(17) Furthermore, many military duties require information to be communicated over long distances. This type of communication requires external antennas, which are extremely susceptible to EMP. Also, some military duties require information-gathering techniques. Many of these techniques use electronic devices connected directly to antennas or radar. Although the devices may be inside shielded buildings, the antennas bring the EMP inside to the electronics. Therefore, the effectiveness of shielding must be examined.

EMP Hardening

There are two things to consider when considering hardening targets against EMP. The first question to answer is whether the hardened system will become useless if shielded. The second question to be answered is whether the target is economically worthwhile to harden. The answers to these two questions are used to determine what devices should be shielded

To explain the first consideration, Makoff and Tsipis give the following simple example. If there was a communication plane with many antennas used to collect and transfer data, it would not be useful if its antennas were removed. However, to harden the plane, the antennas would need to be removed because they provide a direct path to the interior of the plane.(18) It is important to understand how the hardening will affect the performance of the hardened item.

The second consideration is very easy to understand. Some systems, although important, may not seem worthwhile enough to harden due to the high costs of shielding. "It may cost from 30% to 50% of the cost of a ground based communication center…just to refit it to withstand EMP," and, "as high as 10% of the cost for each plane."(19)

There are two basic ways to harden items against EMP effects.20 The first method is metallic shielding. The alternative is tailored hardening. Both methods will be briefly described.

Metallic shielding is used to, "Exclude energy propagated through fields in space."(21) Shields are made of a continuous piece of some metal such as steel or copper. A metal enclosure generally does not fully shield the interior because of the small holes that are likely to exist. Therefore, this type of shielding often contains additional elements to create the barrier. Commonly, only a fraction of a millimeter (22) of a metal is needed to supply adequate protection. This shield must completely surround the item to be shielded. A tight box must be formed to create the shield. The cost of such shielding (in1986 dollars) is $1000 per square meter for a welded-steel shield after installation.(23)

The alternative method, tailored hardening, is a more cost-effective way of hardening. In this method, only the most vulnerable elements and circuits are redesigned to be more rugged. The more rugged elements will be able to withstand much higher currents. However, a committee of the National Academy of Sciences is skeptical of this method due to unpredictable failures in testing.(24) Also, the use of this method is not recommended by the National Research Council. They doubted whether the approximations made to evaluate susceptibilities of the components were accurate. They did concede that tailored hardening may be useful to make existing systems less vulnerable.(25)

United States Policy

There are four issues to examine in the United States policy toward EMP. The effects of EMP must be considered when the United States decides when to launch its missiles to avoid possible EMP damage, how effective their nuclear warheads will be, where to use extra EMP hardening techniques after considering costs, and if development of an EMP device is in its best interest. These issues are very crucial to maintaining the United States deterrence against attack.

The first issue arises from the possible effects of the EMP. When deciding whether to launch missiles in a nuclear war, the United States must be aware of the EMP. A high-altitude burst or local-surface burst used on the United States could negate many of the United States advantages. Although many crucial systems are hardened, "Predicting the effects of EMP on givens systems…are riddled with uncertainty."(26) The first nuclear burst used on the United States might disable some or many key systems. The United States is using simulators to better estimate EMP effects, but even with good EMP hardening technology, many systems, particularly the older ones, may not get hardened. This is because, "The high cost of EMP hardening implies that only the most important systems will be made to withstand the pulse."(27) If some of these less important systems include some missile systems or other offensive systems, it may be worthwhile to use them before they are potentially destroyed.

Once the missiles have been launched, they may still be vulnerable to EMP effects. "Intercontinental missiles and their fire control centers depend heavily on sensitive electronic systems for guidance, radar, and communications as well as to control the functioning of their nuclear warheads."(28) The vulnerability of radar and communication has already been discussed, and because of this, the vulnerability of intercontinental missiles can be seen. Also, EMP from neighboring "friendly" warheads may destroy the warhead, as well. So, once the missile is fired, it is by no means safe from EMP.

Cost also has to be considered. With EMP hardening so expensive, the United States must decide what are reasonable losses due to EMP. These considerations have to include not just military losses. Many of the new military systems are having hardening technology built into them, but much of the civilian world is left unguarded. The single hydrogen bomb alluded to earlier could cause an EMP that would destroy, "In an instant tens of billions of dollars worth of communications equipment and other electronics. Almost all electric power will be knocked out."(29) With the United States?electronic and social base of today, this would be catastrophic. This amount of losses would probably be unacceptable. However, the United States must decide if it is worthwhile to shield all of its vulnerable systems. This scope of hardening would be incredibly expensive. However, after the war, society would need these systems to rebuild itself. With such a potential for destruction, it does not seem wise for the United States to continue development of EMP weapons.

Right now, "The electromagnetic pulse generator is emerging as one of the strongest find effective weapons to defeat an enemy without causing loss of life."(30) The motive may be right, but the idea may be bad. It is nice to be searching for a weapon that reduces casualties, but such a weapon could be very destructive if used against the United States. Although the weapon is designed to be used by the United States, the possibility of it being used against the United States may not be as unlikely as it seems. With the extensive technology base of the United States, it seems extremely vulnerable to such a weapon.


The threat of EMP effects is real. The first nuclear bomb detonated over the United States could cause widespread destruction. It should be noted that in EMP tests not all electronics and systems at risk were initially destroyed. Some items did not fail in the first test or even the second. However, eventually they all failed. This poses a problem. The actual effects of EMP are not clear. It is clear that the potential for damage is there. Following this conclusion, the need for EMP hardening is clear.

If the United States is still preparing for war, it must shield itself from the effects of EMP. Theoretically, damage due to EMP could be extensive. Much of this damage may be avoidable if the United States takes measures to harden all its communication systems, power systems, and such. Also, the United States must further explore EMP effects to better prepare for them. This includes informing the United States public about the effects of EMP simulators. If current public opinion continues(31) and all the EMP simulators close, further EMP testing cannot be done. The public must understand that the EMP simulators are not harmful, and that the destruction of the American infrastructure would be devastating. This must be avoided at all costs, but without testing, America is vulnerable to this destruction. This is why the United States must be prepared for the effects of the EMP.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


A Comparison of 9x18mm Makarov, .380 ACP, and .38 Special (2" barrel)

By Stephen Camp

A common topic centers on which is best: 9mm Mak, .380 ACP, or the .38 Snub. Though ballistically in the same general ballpark, each round brings with it certain advantages as well as negatives. Let's take a look at what we might expect from these or similar loads.

9x18mm: Rare in the US until the mass importation of the Makarov pistol, the round is now common among shooters. Its ballistic payload is similar to a top end, maximum effort .380 ACP. One load approaches that of the 9x19mm, but only when the latter is being fired from a short (3") barrel. LVE Brown Bear 115-gr. JHP usually hits between about 1020 ft/sec and 1050 ft/sec depending upon the particular Makarov it's being fired from. Federal 115-gr. JHP from a short 9mm is usually less than 100 ft/sec faster as that load is not optimized for shorter barrels. There are many other loads in which the 9mm uniformly walks away from the Mak's capabilities.

In normal trim, it's generally accepted that the 9x18mm throws a 95-gr. 0.363" diameter bullet about 1050 ft/sec.

Foreign-made 9x18mm ammunition is very inexpensive and allows for considerable shooting. It is much less costly than the ballistically similar .380 ACP and slightly more powerful.

.380 ACP: Dimensionally, this is a scaled down .45 ACP from those round's creator, John M. Browning. Like the Makarov, it is most often fired from blow back semiautomatics though a few pistols so chambered have used the locked breech common to higher-pressure rounds like the 9x19mm.

Typical performance from the "traditional size" .380 ACP like the Walther PPK is a 95-gr. bullet at 950 ft/sec. Add approximately 100 ft/sec for +P 90-gr. bullets from the same size pistols.

Note: The really compact .380's currently available were not used in this report. Velocities generally suffer significantly when fired from barrels less than about 3.25". If you use one of the small .380 ACP pistols, you may need to go to +P rounds to insure that the velocity is enough to actually obtain expansion. Having seen JHP ammo expand very nicely from the Makarov/Bersa/Walther sized .380's and act like ball when fired from some of the really compact .380 pistols, I personally prefer the standard size pistols in this caliber. Others may truly need to go with the smaller, but might want to be sure that their ammunition is capable of expansion. There's no guarantee of it with any of them, but I think we're right on the edge with some loads in the smaller pistols.

Some very nice pistols are offered today in .380 ACP (9x17mm, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz). Ammunition is more costly, but the selection of high performance JHP ammo is more readily available. Such can be had from American makers like Remington, Winchester, Federal, Corbon, and Hornady. Speer offers their excellent Gold Dot in this caliber as well.

All of this will be more expensive than the foreign JHP is available in 9x18mm Makarov. Like I said, there's "good" and "bad" with each of these calibers.

.38 Special (2" barrel): Still popular, the velocity for most bullets fired will be in the same range as either the Makarov round or the .380 ACP. The difference is that the .38 Special will toss slugs of slightly greater weight at these speeds. Expansion is similar to the other two, but penetration is almost always a bit deeper.

There are many JHP loads in various bullet weights readily available in this caliber. None are as inexpensive as the 9x18mm's. With its heavier bullet capability, the .38 snub's recoil goes up significantly for most folks when compared to the .380 or 9mm Makarov.

Actual Velocities: The velocity figures that follow are all based on 10-shot strings of fire. The listed handgun is what the ammo was fired from.

Both the .380 (left) and 9mm Makarov use 95-gr. FMJ in most FMJ loads. There are exceptions, but this seems to be normal for them in their traditional non-expanding loads.

The CZ83 and Makarov were used for velocity information as both have almost the same length barrels.

.380 ACP (CZ-83 w/3.8" bbl): Average Velocity (ft/sec)

Standard Deviation and

Extreme Spreads are listed in ft/sec.

Glaser 70-gr. Safety Slug(Silver) 1299 (ES: 116/SD: 44)

Magtech Guardian Gold +P

85-gr. JHP 1075 (ES: 33/SD: 10)

Federal 90-gr. JHP 1017 (ES: 48, SD: 17)

Federal 90 gr Hydrashok 1036 (ES: 80, SD: 23)

Hornady 90-gr. XTP 933 (ES: 42, SD: 14)

Corbon 90-gr. JHP +P 1083 (ES: 45, SD: 17)

Magtech 95-gr. FMJ 964 (ES: 29, SD: 10)

Remington UMC 95-gr. FMJ 970 (ES: 32, SD: 9)

Remington 102-gr. Golden Saber 928 (ES: 70, SD: 22)

9x18mm Makarov (Makarov w/3.83" bbl):

Barnaul Tiger 95-gr. JHP 1062 (ES: 41, SD: 14)

Barnaul 95-gr. JHP 1051 (ES: 26, SD: 8)

LVE Brown Bear 115-gr. JHP 1018 (ES: 32, SD: 10)

Hornady 95-gr. XTP 979 (ES: 82, SD: 24)

Corbon 95-gr. JHP +P 1121 (ES: 24, SD: 8)

The highest velocity shown for either caliber is from Corbon with their 90-gr. in .380 at 1083 ft/sec compared to their now discontinued 95-gr. Makarov JHP at 1121 ft/sec. 95-gr. .380 loads from Magtech and Remington UMC hit around 970 ft/sec while the Makarov speeds with the same weight bullet hits between 1000 and 1100 ft/sec with the exception of the Hornady XTP. It is clearly in .380 ACP velocity range, but 46 ft/sec faster than the same company's .380 ACP. We can see that the Makarov has a slight edge on the .380 ACP, but it is not a 9x19mm as some folks have claimed.

To prove that, here are some velocity figures from a Glock 26 9mm. It has a 3.46" barrel.

9x19mm from Glock 26:

Corbon 124-gr. XTP 1229(ES: 40 ft/sec)

Glaser 80-gr. Silver Pre-frag 1514 (Not available)

Federal 124-gr. Nyclad HP 1063 (Not available)

Triton 115-gr. Hi Vel JHP +P 1280 (Not available)

Triton 125-gr. Hi Vel JHP +P 1245 (Not available)

Fiocchi 115-gr. FMJ 1180 (ES: 57/SD: 21)

PMP 115-gr. FMJ 1046 (ES: 38/SD: 15)

Winchester USA 115-gr. FMJ 1097 (ES: 87/SD: 40)

Federal 115-gr. JHP 1111 (ES: 34/SD: 13)

Hornady 124-gr. "CQ" Tap (XPT) 1100 (ES: 38/SD: 16)

Winchester RA9TA 127-gr. +P+

JHP 1246 (ES: 33/SD: 13)

Corbon 125-gr. +P JHP (Sierra) 1188 (ES: 43/SD: 17)

Aguila 65-gr. "IQ" HP 1517 (ES: 64/SD: 23)

It is pretty evident that neither the .380 nor the Makarov can compete with the high-pressure 9x19mm. As very compact 9mm pistols now exists, some question the rationale for the Mak and .380 as well as the .38 Special snub. Whether the "wisest" move or not, many folks simply prefer either the caliber or the firearm as sales in both the .380 and .38 remain high and Makarov fans are legion.

.38 Special (S&W Model 642 w/1 7/8" barrel):

Remington 158-gr. +P LSWCHP 800 (ES: 27, SD: 12)

Federal 125-gr. Nyclad HP (Std. Pressure) 836 (ES: 30, SD: 12)

Corbon 115-gr. +P+ JHP 1188 (ES:39,SD: 13)

PMC 125-gr. +P "Starfire" JHP 859 (ES:29, SD: 13)

Though not having the highest velocity with most loads, the short .38 snub throws heavier bullets speeds similar to the .380 and Makarov rounds. With the now-discontinued Corbon +P+ round, the snub actually attained speeds better than some standard pressure 9mm loads from service size pistols.

It is evident that based strictly on ballistic capabilities none of the cartridges mentioned are as potent as 9mm, .40, or .45 ACP and that they normally operate in the range of 800 to 1100 ft/sec with some exceptions.

Penetration & Expansion:

I cannot afford the tariff to use 10% ballistic gelatin nor do I have the capabilities of keeping it at a constant temperature so that tests are repeatable and uniform. While it is the "gold standard" for bullet testing, I use water and wet pack tests. I define "wet pack" as super-saturated newsprint that has soaked 24-hrs and been allowed to drain for 30 minutes before shooting. It does limit penetration compared to gelatin. How much depends upon the velocity range of the bullet. For 9mm bullets in the 1100 to 1300 ft/sec range, multiplying wet pack penetration by 1.52 to 1.54 seems to give about the same penetration depths in gelatin. In the .380/9mm Makarov, multiplying the penetration in wet pack by about 2.3 seems to give ballpark gelatin penetration figures for similar velocities, but lower velocities as out of shorter guns will not be the same. The reason is that some of the bullets have a lower threshold velocity for expanding and if it's not met, they penetrate more. I have not yet had the chance to see how much expansion retards penetration with the really short autos. Expansion is very similar in both media. JHP's fired into water frequently fragment a bit more than in wet pack and shed their jackets much more readily as the water gets between the jacket and the bullet easier.

Penetration depths listed for each load is based on a three-shot average. The "estimated penetration" figures are what I think they'll do in tissue assuming no major bones are hit. Both depths are given in inches.

9mm Makarov Ammunition: Wet Pack Penetration: Estimated Penetration:

Brown Bear 115-gr. JHP 3.8 8.7

Hornady 95-gr. XTP 4.1 9.4

Tiger 95-gr. JHP 3.5 8.0

Corbon 95-gr. JHP +P 3.9 9.0

I do not have .380 penetration figures at this time in wet pack in numbers large enough to "trust," but I suspect strongly that they will be extremely similar to those for the Makarov round as both are so similar ballistically.

In bare 10% gelatin, most .380 JHP's penetrate from about 8 to 10".

Here are three 9x18mm Mak Hornady XTP bullets. The one at the top right was fired into water while the other two were recovered from wet pack. The expanded bullets averaged 0.55 x 0.54 x 0.32" tall and weighed an average of 93 grains, losing 2 grains when expanding.

9x18mm Brown Bear 115-gr. JHP's averaged the greatest expanded well and recovered bullets averaged 113-gr. in weight. Dimensions: 0.61 x 0.60 x 0.36" tall.

It seems reasonable to assume that we can count on roughly this depth of penetration with expanding bullets in either caliber. In .38 Special, when fired from a snub, expanding bullets penetrate from a low of about 9" to roughly 12", depending upon maker and bullet weight. If they don't expand, penetration is significantly greater…as is the case with the .380 and 9x18mm. Some folks prefer to use FMJ in these smaller auto calibers or solid SWC in the .38 snub to achieve what they considered adequate penetration. I'm happy with penetration of 10 to 12 inches with the snub or the other calibers under discussion.

Barnaul Tiger 95-gr. 9x18mm exhibited some fragmentation and penetrated an average of 3.5" in wet pack. Recovered dimensions averaged 0.64 x 0.65 x 0.31" tall. The average recovered bullet weight was 94 grains when the bullet did not fragment.

To me, the .380 and 9mm Mak are lacking in penetration for other than frontal, unobstructed shots with the .38 Special 158-gr. LSWCHP +P being but adequate. For me, that's enough of a reason to go with the revolver over the .380/9mm Mak genre of pistols. I will keep testing and checking and re-evaluating as nothing remains static. I'd like to see Corbon bring out their PowRball in both .380 and 9x18mm Makarov if it can be done with the velocity these rounds can provide. I'd like to see the round increase penetration a bit to say 10 or 12".

Corbon 95-gr. 9x18mm always exhibited expansion and fragmentation. In fact, its recovered bullet diameters were smaller as much of the bullet broke off while passing through the test medium be it water or wet pack. Average recovered weight was 69 grains. Average expanded diameter: 0.49 x 0.53 x 0.34" tall.

Should we find an expanding bullet for either the .380 or the 9x18 that reliably expands and hits in that penetration range, I'd most likely go to it from the .38 snub.

Corbon no longer produces the .38 Special 115-gr. +P+ load shown here. It used a Sierra 115-gr. 9mm JHP and hit velocities of nearly 1200 ft/sec from this Model 642. I do think that this load would cause excessive wear to the revolver and might split the forcing cone. I shoot it but rarely.

This remains my current load of choice in the .38 snub. It's Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P. You can see that it meets or exceeds the expanded 9mm Makarov diameters and it penetrates a bit more. Better loads will inevitably be on the way and one might be Speer's 130-gr. Gold Dot +P in this caliber. I've not yet had the opportunity to test it.

In most private citizen lethal force scenarios, the fight is close range and face to face. In such situations where shots can be made to the upper torso without obstructions, any of the calibers under discussion are probably fine. If a little more penetration is required, the .38 Special with the 158-grain expanding bullet wins.


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Food riots fear after rice price hits a high

Shortages of the staple crop of half the world's people could bring unrest across Asia and Africa, reports foreign affairs editor Peter Beaumont

This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday April 06 2008 on p33 of the World news section. It was last updated at 12:54 on April 09 2008.

A global rice shortage that has seen prices of one of the world's most important staple foods increase by 50 per cent in the past two weeks alone is triggering an international crisis, with countries banning export and threatening serious punishment for hoarders.

With rice stocks at their lowest for 30 years, prices of the grain rose more than 10 per cent on Friday to record highs and are expected to soar further in the coming months. Already China, India, Egypt, Vietnam and Cambodia have imposed tariffs or export bans, as it has become clear that world production of rice this year will decline in real terms by 3.5 per cent. The impact will be felt most keenly by the world's poorest populations, who have become increasingly dependent on the crop as the prices of other grains have become too costly.

Rice is the staple food for more than half the world's population. This is the second year running in which production - which increased in real terms last year - has failed to keep pace with population growth. The harvest has also been hit by drought, particularly in China and Australia, forcing producers to hoard their crops to satisfy local markets.

The increase in rice prices - which some believe could increase by a further 40 per cent in coming months - has matched sharp inflation in other key food products. But with rice relied on by some three billion people, the impact of a prolonged rice crisis for the world's poor - a large part of whose available income is spent on food - threatens to be devastating.

The consequences are visible across the globe. In Bangladesh, government-run outlets that sell subsidised rice have been besieged by queues comprised largely of the country's middle classes, who will queue for hours to purchase five kilograms of rice sold at 30 per cent cheaper than on the open market.

In Thailand yesterday - where the price for lower-quality rice alone has risen by between $70 and $100 per tonne in the past week alone - Deputy Prime Minister Mingkwan Sangsuwan convened a meeting of key officials and traders yesterday to discuss imposing minimum export prices to control export volumes and measures to punish hoarders. The meeting follows moves by some larger supermarkets in Thailand to limit purchases of rice by customers.

In the Philippines, where the National Bureau of Investigation has been called in to raid traders suspected of hoarding rice to push up the prices, activists have warned of the risk of food riots.

Fear is so deep that the country's agricultural secretary, Arthur Yap, this month asked fast-food restaurants including McDonald's and KFC - which generally supply a cup of rice with their meals in Asian branches - to halve the amount of rice supplied, so that none would be wasted. In addition, traders who try to stockpile rice have been warned that they face a charge of 'economic sabotage', which in the Philippines carries a life sentence.

The shortage has afflicted India, too: on Monday, the government banned the export of non-basmati rice and also raised the price of basmati rice that can be exported.

And although China has said it is secure in its supplies of rice, the fact that the government has offered to pay farmers more to produce more rice and wheat suggests otherwise.

The sharp rise in rice prices has been driven by many factors, not least by a race between African and South-east Asian countries to secure sufficient stocks to head off the risk of food riots and social unrest.

Fears over the potential impact of the rice crisis has been heightened by estimates by both the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation - which has predicted the 3.5 per cent shortfall - and comments from the World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, on the organisation's website, estimating that '33 countries around the world face potential social unrest because of the acute hike in food and energy prices'.

According to the World Bank's figures, the real price of rice rose to a 19-year high last month, while the real price of wheat has hit a 28-year high.

Analysts have cited many factors for the rises, including rising fuel and fertiliser expenses, as well as climate change. But while drought is one factor, another is the switch from food to biofuel production in large areas of the world, in particular to fulfil the US energy demands. A continuing change in the global diet is also putting a further squeeze on rice. In China, for example, 100 million rural migrants to the country's big cities have switched from a staple of wheat to rice as they have become wealthier.

Rapid recent price increases are also likely to have a dangerous secondary effect of stoking further inflation in emerging countries, which are already suffering from record oil prices and surging agricultural commodity prices.

The depth of the crisis for the poorest was underlined in stark terms by the World Bank's managing director at a meeting of finance ministers from the Asian block. Juan José Daboub said governments needed to take steps to protect the poor and also ensure that long-term solutions were found to relieve shortages. 'In virtually every East Asian country, high food prices are raising headline inflation and contributing to a significant decline in the real income of the poor, most of whom spend a big chunk of their income on food,' he said last week.

· This article was amended on Wednesday April 9 2008. In the article above we originally said that eight billion people depended on rice; somewhat unlikely, since there are 'only' six billion people in the world. There are in fact three billion people who rely on rice. This has been corrected.