National Firearms Commerce And Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA) – A Detailed Look At America's Gun Trade

Recently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives published a major report entitled the National Firearms Commerce And Trafficking Assessment (NFCTA). This report looked at the state of the firearm industry in the United States. It contains information on many interesting trends in America’s gun trade and is worth a detailed study.

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Purdue and US Army Develop Explosive for Nontoxic Ammo

The U.S. Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command plays an important role in guiding the future of our warfighters’ lethality and survivability. Their mission statement is “To provide the research, engineering, and analytical expertise to deliver capabilities that enable the Army to deter and, when necessary, decisively defeat any adversary now and in the future.” To this end, they engage in scientific pursuits like advancements in weaponry, exploring quantum communication, improving electronic warfare effectiveness, and working on new ways to purify water in the field. At the heart of these endeavors lies the Army Research Laboratory. These military scientists have been responsible for many breakthroughs in areas such as grenade-launched drones and better 3D printing. Now they have teamed up with academic scientists at Purdue University to develop lead-free explosive material that could be used to produce nontoxic ammo, as announced in a July 16th press release from Purdue.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test, DISCUSSION 02: What's Next?

The Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test’s first batch of 6 rounds is through, but there’s more to come. In the last post, we reflected on the test methodology, and some possible solutions. In this post, we’ll talk about what you can expect in the future.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test, DISCUSSION 01: What Happened?

We’ve seen how the 6 different .223 Remington and 5.56mm loads have fared in the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test, but we still have more to talk about. Specifically, we need to discuss what I did wrong (or what I am not satisfied with), and what I plan to do next. This post will concern the former, and a second installment will cover the latter.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 012: RUAG SS109 (M855 Equivalent) 5.56mm NATO, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is RUAG Ammotec’s version of the NATO-standard SS109 round (equivalent to US M855). I believe the ammunition I tested may have been made in RUAG’s facility in Thun, Switzerland, although I have not confirmed that.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 011: RUAG SS109 (M855 Equivalent) 5.56mm NATO, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is RUAG Ammotec’s version of the NATO-standard SS109 round (equivalent to US M855). I believe the ammunition I tested may have been made in RUAG’s facility in Thun, Switzerland, although I have not confirmed that. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 010: Mk. 318 Mod. 0 62gr SOST (T556TNB1), 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Federal’s T556TNB1 load, which is the civilian market name for the Mk.318 SOST projectile developed by US SOCOM as a “barrier blind” round for the M4 Carbine and Mk. 18 CQB upper receiver. This ammunition uses a reverse drawn jacket to improve accuracy, and couples a fragmenting front end with a solid gilding metal base that improves penetration through tough barriers. I love this ammunition and use it religiously for home defense.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later).

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 009: Mk. 318 Mod. 0 62gr SOST (T556TNB1), 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Federal’s T556TNB1 load, which is the civilian market name for the Mk.318 SOST projectile developed by US SOCOM as a “barrier blind” round for the M4 Carbine and Mk. 18 CQB upper receiver. This ammunition uses a reverse drawn jacket to improve accuracy, and couples a fragmenting front end with a solid gilding metal base that improves penetration through tough barriers. I love this ammunition, and use it religiously for home defense. The test procedure was as follows:

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Breakthrough for Body Armor! Diamene is Soft, Flexible & Hardens when Hit

When it comes to body armor, lots of improvements and changes have occurred over the years, but nothing significant or truly game-changing. Well, with a recent research study performed by some physicists in New York that could all change.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 008: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1.

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 007: PMC M855 5.56x45mm 62gr LAP, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M855, called X-TAC M855 LAP. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. I formerly used M855 as a stockpiling round, although I have since switched to other rounds like Federal’s T556TNB1. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 006: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 16 and 20 Barrels

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later).

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 005: PMC XP193 5.56x45mm 55gr FMJ, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Korean manufacturer PMC’s clone of M193 Ball, called XP193. This ammunition features very uniform-looking external dimensions, attractively finished brass cases and projectile jackets, and a reasonable price. Interestingly, XP193 appears to use a lower drag 55gr bullet, possibly based on the Sierra 55gr, instead of the somewhat draggier Remington-style projectiles used by Federal, IMI, and others for their M193 clones. I like to use XP193 when I need full-power ammunition without spending too much. The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 004: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 20 Barrel

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Vympel’s budget 55gr FMJ load in .223 Remington, made in Amursk, Russia. This ammunition features a lacquered steel case, bimetal jacketed 55gr FMJ bullet and purple neck sealant. This is one of my favorite practice rounds due to its environmental toughness.  Continuing on from the last installment, we are now looking at the velocity test results for the 20″ barrel (more on the 16″ later). The test procedure was as follows:

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BIG Freakin' Cartridge Test 003: Vympel .223 Remington Golden Tiger 55gr FMJ, 14.5 Barrel, and Accuracy

Next up for  the Big Freakin’ Cartridge Test is Vympel’s budget 55gr FMJ load in .223 Remington, made in Amursk, Russia. This ammunition features a lacquered steel case, bimetal jacketed 55gr FMJ bullet and purple neck sealant. This is one of my favorite practice rounds due to its environmental toughness. The test procedure was as follows:

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