Category Archives: Firearm Industry News

Coverage of events for Fear and Loading by Guy J. Sagi and breaking news of interest to firearm owners.

Solar Eclipse Facts For Shooters

The first total eclipse in 26 years to darken the United States mainland hits the beach today in Oregon. At about 2:50 p.m. it will swim off shore in South Carolina, making a cross country trek that hasn’t been seen in nearly 100 years. Countless stories have appeared about the event, but there have been no warnings about what shooters can expect if they’re at the range when the two minutes or so of darkness falls. Here are some things to keep in mind.

5. Pregnant women on the firing line will magically disappear—driven indoors by the ancient belief that direct exposure to an eclipse can be dangerous to an unborn child. Pregnant men are OK under a roofed firing line.

4. If you’re in the 2 1/2-minute, total-eclipse path, now’s the time to convince your friends you really ring steel at 1,000 yards—with your .22 LR.

3. The cumulative gravity when both celestial bodies are aligned—like Charlize Theron standing directly behind Kate Upton—is irresistible. So, tides raise and bullets travel further, although the added distance is statistically less significant than the odds of the average gun writer dating either starlet.  

2. There’s no epidemic of zombies coming, despite the fact the black plague was allegedly “predicted” by the fabled 3 hour and 29 minute eclipse of 1345.   

1. Indoor ranges won’t be affected. 

SIG Sauer Upgrade and Ruger Recall

SIG Sauer P320

In a few rare cases SIG Sauer P320s have fired when dropped in a specific manner, despite the fact the handgun meets all U.S. standards for safety֫—including those prescribed by the Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute—and passed rigorous testing by military and law enforcement personnel. Safety is a high priority with SIG, however, so it worked with various agencies to find a solution and is offering enhancements that address the remote chance of an unintentional discharge, while improving function and reliability.

“SIG SAUER is committed to our approach on innovation, optimization, and performance, ensuring we produce the finest possible products,” said Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER. “Durability, reliability and safety, as well as end-user confidence in the SIG SAUER brand are the priorities for our team.”

The upgrade is voluntary and the M17 variant of the pistol, selected by the government as the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System, is not affected. Visit the voluntary upgrade webpage for full details.  

Ruger Precision Rifle

A safety bulletin has been issued for certain Ruger Precision Rifles. Interference between the aluminum bolt shroud and the cocking piece in a few of the guns can result in light primer strikes or—in extreme cases—the rifle won’t fire when the trigger is pulled. In the latter case, the rifle could unintentionally discharge as the bolt handle is lifted.

Precision Rifles that have fired more than 100 rounds without a problem are unlikely to be affected, partly because as parts wear the issue often resolves itself. Despite the fact only a small percentage of the firearms are affected and the interference is rare, Ruger is firmly committed to safety and offering free replacement bolt shrouds to eliminate the possibility. If you have a Ruger Precision Rifle (regardless of caliber) that has an aluminum bolt shroud and its serial number falls within the ranges of, 1800-26274 to 1800-78345 or 1801-00506 to 1801-30461, visit Ruger.com/RPRSafety and use the lookup tool to determine if your firearm qualifies for the replacement part.  

Ballistics, Breast Impants and Non-Newtonian Fluid Body Armor?

Non-Newtonian fluid body armor probably wasn’t on Dr. Christopher Pannucci’s mind as he treated the woman for a gunshot wound. It would be just another case in the E.R., except for one peculiar fact. The bullet’s trajectory altered after it hit her breast implant, missing the heart and saving her life. The case piqued his curiosity. “The entrance and exit wounds were not in a straight line, so we thought the implant must have caused the bullet to slow down and alter its trajectory,” he told NewScientist.com.

He assembled a team of experts and tested the theory. The results aren’t shocking to firearm owners, although his expense report may raise eyebrows. After passing through large saline implants, handgun bullets traveled roughly 20 percent less through ballistics gelatin blocks behind. Muzzle velocities were a little more than 930 fps and distance to target was almost 8 feet.

Pannucci noted bullets collected after passing through the supple-to-the-touch barrier exhibited a larger diameter and flatter profile. He theorizes the corresponding increase in drag coefficient slows velocity until lifesaving turns become possible. He explained, “But it would depend on the bullet velocity and the size and type of the implant.”

Non-Newtonian Fluid Body Armor Research

The news probably won’t get much of a rise out of researchers who’ve been working on a liquid outer layer to protect law enforcement and military personnel. In 2010, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory released a video on advancements after a decade of experiments with a non-Newtonian shear thickening fluid—light and flexible enough to be used in the parts of fatigues not traditionally protected by body armor.

The same year, BAE announced a Kevlar/liquid mix that researchers affectionately labeled bulletproof custard. “Its [the liquid] molecules lock together more tightly when struck,” the Popular Science article explains.

By 2015, Poland’s Military Institute of Military Technology had allegedly solved the nagging liquid body armor-weight riddle without compromising its performance—which greatly exceeds that of Kevlar. Viscosity in non-Newtonian fluids varies with force applied, potentially spreading energy across the entire media and those that thicken can instantly harden to armor-plate strength.

I have sudden urge watch Terminator again.