30 May Village Praxis: Slings and Magazine Gijutsu by Bill Buppert
“Ocean thousand mountain thousand.”
Publisher’s Note: I have been busier than usual and neglected posting new essays to the blog so this is a half-way measure to address some practical tactical topics.
If you aren’t using the communist-lite regime of the Orange Julius to supplement your skills, weapons stores and collapsitarian accoutrement (h/t to Skip), you are blowing an opportunity. I am hoping you have also paid attention to the Michael Collins wear options to blend in with the populace in the coming Endarkenment. Five thousand dollars of UCP and Kryptek kit will get you got in the future unpleasantness in America. Wakarimasu?
In other news, I will be presenting a paper entitled Sisyphus Rules: The Antifragility of Insurgency in June in the PRK on the Left Coast at a yearly symposium I attend.
Stay tuned, boppers. -BB
If you have neglected the sling in your training and equipping of your riflery, you are neglect what may the most important part of rifle accuracy once you have mastered the six steps to firing the shot.
SIGHT ALIGNMENT — Line up the front and rear sights
SIGHT PICTURE — Keeping the sights lined up, bring them onto the target
RESPIRATORY PAUSE – Deep breath, exhale partially, hold breath as front sight touches bottom of target
A. FOCUS YOUR EYE — Focus your eye on the front sight
B. FOCUS YOUR MIND -– Keep front sight on target
TRIGGER SQUEEZE –- Squeeze straight back while front sight stays on target
FOLLOW THROUGH — Sighting eye open, take mental picture of where sights were when rifle discharged, and follow through with trigger
The Gods designed you right out of the womb with a bipod which happens to be your support hand and when you properly employ a sling in concert with natural point of aim, you are unstoppable until the indirect fire starts to rain on your position.
I highly recommend you spend a few hours every month configuring your ideal prone positions and every other month do it on an uncomfortable surface like gravel or pine cones so there are no surprises if you ever have to conduct some philosophical terraforming employing physics against those who wish you harm.
A tip I learned from the Village Armorer, Skip, is to secure the sling to the rear of the weapon on the side opposite your support hand shoulder, you will discover that when you employ the sling on the support side, you will not be strangled and more effective in delivering disciplined rounds during the conduct of social work.
I can’t emphasize enough how important the sling is to effective long gun employment.
Magazine Spring Myths
My oldest son is a mechanical engineer in UT, he, like my other sons is a natural born abolitionist and rifleman of the highest order. I asked for his scientific analysis of storing your ammo in P-Mags.
“The short answer. Assuming a respectable manufacturer (Japanese/Korean/German – American engineers are mostly garbage, and Ruger is American…) I am highly skeptical that keeping magazines loaded will lead to premature failure. That doesn’t mean premature failure can’t happen, I’m just skeptical that keeping them loaded is a cause. Shitty materials, shitty engineering, and corrosion are my guess to the leading causes of failure. I could be wrong, but I have yet to be presented with a legitimate argument. I would recommend disassembling your magazines from time to time and cleaning them.
The long answer. Better sit down for this. There are many variables at play, and I’ve never seen legitimate data, which is what really matters. Perhaps no one wants to conduct a multi-year long experiment. In these arguments, people always assume the design engineers are infallible, but that’s simply not the case. I’ve witnessed plenty of half-ass engineering in companies respected from the outside. Also, engineering is a game of first order effects, where second order effects are often ignored. Sometimes second order effects are negligible, and sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes engineers also forget that “laws” they learned in school are also approximations.
As long as the spring is designed such that stress at full compression is well below the yield stress, Hooke’s Law says it will perform elastically and should always return to the same spot when unloaded. This is the first order effect. Probably even the shoddiest of engineers get this right.
I’ll come back to Hooke’s Law, but first I want to address the effect everyone brings up in this debate. Creep is an effect where materials under elastic deformation slowly dissipate strain energy and relax under load. This effect happens at higher temperatures – usually noticeable above 35% of melting temperature. At room temperature, for spring steels, this effect should result in less than 0.1% relaxation a year. Anyone who says creep is a factor is dead wrong.
Design calculations are often performed assuming nominal geometry and perfectly homogeneous material. And design engineers LOVE (especially American engineers) to ignore manufacturing variances. Good engineering (read: Japanese) performs analysis at the extremes of variance – e.g., the thinnest or thickest spring. I’ve never designed a spring myself, but I can imagine that if a spring was designed to be at 80% of yield stress at full compression at nominal thickness, any springs on the thinner side are closer to 90 or 100% of yield stress at full compression. And yield stress is a fuzzy line. Close to this line there could be mostly elastic deformation but small amounts of plastic deformation, causing failure over time.
Materials are never perfectly homogeneous. Spring steels are alloys with other elements mixed in, and the distribution of these alloyed elements is not perfect. Good materials are ones where good manufacturing ensures good homogeneity and materials are regularly tested for performance. Good engineers will use performance data from the metal manufacturer and not data out of a text book. Different manufacturers are probably using different materials for the springs, and while strength matters, you can account for that in the design by thickening the spring, and so the quality of the material is probably the more important factor
Finally, there is also the issue of corrosion. Even “stainless” steels corrode given enough time. There are also different types of corrosion depending on what the metal is exposed to. I know there is lots of “crappy” ammunition with corrosive powder in it, and probably some of that makes its way into a magazine. I’m not super educated in the chemistry of ammunition powders and primers, but my guess is that even the best ammunition has some amount of corrosive elements in it that over time could have an effect on your magazine spring. The best engineers are probably accounting for this. Cleaning your magazine from time to time probably helps this.
So, in summary. The best engineers (Japanese/German) are probably accounting for all this, and so magazine spring failures should be the least of your worries. Shitty engineers (American) probably aren’t, and their springs are probably failing from fatigue and corrosion and maybe failure from being loaded for a long time because full compression was close to yield stress because they didn’t account for manufacturing variances and/or shitty materials. But definitely in neither case are failures occurring from creep.”