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Latest update 30.01.2001

G.O.W. Kickback:

Questions and Answers, Part 10

Answered by: P. T. Kekkonen

qatcaim.jpg (12041 bytes)444 Marlin for T/C pistol

Hello; I have just stumbled on your website and it is the best I have seen in a long time. We have now similar problems with hoplophobes.

How does Finnish laws treat Thompson Contenders? I have an original TC 12" barrel, 44 Rem Mag, that was rechambered for 444 Marlin. Being scared, I have only loaded up to 1700 fps with 265 gr. Hornady FP (3031). TC does not even want to talk to me, but JD Jones reckons, I can shoot factory ammo from this thing. Any ideas?

Kind regards, Eugene from South Africa

answer.GIF (573 bytes) In Finland is T/C Contender "a handgun for target practise only". Usually acquired for Metallic Silhouette shooting. Not (yet) allowed for hunting, but use of it is legal for shooting of a "Coup de gráce", i.e. put-down shot to any and all species of wounded game animals. Even the biggest species like moose or bear. Use of handgun is also allowed for shooting of trapped animals or those pursued into den or lair. Trapped animals are usually small-game species like minks or foxes. Most usual "trapper's gun" is a revolver or selfloader pistol caliber .22 Long Rifle. Usual "Coup de gráce" handgun for big game is a 9 mm Luger caliber selfloader pistol (many times an original Parabellum P-08 or Mauser C-96/16), although our Game Act allows use of even the .25 ACP waistcoat-pocket handgun for this very purpose. There is not any minimum muzzle energy or a bullet weight & construction demand for this very use on our Game Act.
qatckick.jpg (14130 bytes)
Some T/C Contender pistols with longest available 14" barrels, caliber .30-30 WCF, rechambered to shoot .308 Winchester cartridges and equipped with a non-detachable buttstock were made in Finland in early 1980s for moose hunting, until arrival of amendment of Firearms Act, giving to us the minimum barrel lengths and overall lengths of shoulder arms. In 1998 the demand of minimum barrel length was shortened somewhat, to 400 millimeters, and gunsmiths were learned to extend the barrel lengths by mounting of muzzle brake/ recoil compensator or, since 1993, by mounting of an integral suppressor to extend the barrel up to the legal dimensions. Use of a suppressor has been legal, even on the hunting firearms, since 1st August 1993.

GOW archive photo: This T/C Contender chambered for 45-70 Government did not like full power+ loaded heavy bullet ammo. This lucky snapshot shows the pistol breaking off it's front grip by recoil. One-of-a-lifetime photographer's occasion.

J.D. JONES is definitely a TOP authority on T/C Contender! If he says "yes" it means: YES! All the listed handloads of .444 Marlin generates less than 40 000 CUPs chamber pressure, while some .308 Winchester factory-loads may generate 55 000+ CUPs. According to the S.A.A.M.I. standards were maximum allowed average chamber pressures (20 years ago) 55 200 CUPs for .308 Winchester factory-loads and mere 47 200 CUPs for factory-loaded .444 Marlin cartridges.

I have shot at least a hundred rounds of .308 Winchester factory-loaded cartridges from a T/C C carbine, buttstocked from a .30-30 WCF caliber (rechambered) T/C Contender pistol. I have still a hairy head on my shoulder, two intact blue eyes (slowly blindig by the Diabetes Mellitus, however) on my face, and all five full-length fingers on my both hands.

1601 MMI; PT

Fyell-deer loads for an "Elephant Gun"

Pete Kekkonen, I found your great web site today. I'm hunting a deer (small European deer) in close proximities to houses on a special hut, organized by the community. I have been using a reduced load in my .340 WM at about 700 m/s with a 225 gr Hornady SP propelled by 52,5 grains of N 135. This loads performs well and is reasonably accurate (1,5 MOA). However, it is still too loud! I'm in the situation where I can try even more reduced loads like 15 - 18 grains of N310 (+ dacron) behind a cast bullet weighing 235 grain. Or I can get a supressed Ruger bolt action in .44 Magnum rifle at a reasonable deal.

My questions are: Am I in the ballpark with the N 310 load in the .340 and is it safe? Should I forget the .340 for reduced loads due to the huge capacity and just get the .44 Mag.? I expect the .44 Mag to be more effective at low velocities. I can get cast bullets for the .44 Mag. weighing from 180 grain to 400 grain. For a subsonic hunting load - what will be the best bullet weight to go, and with what powder charge?

Yours sincerely, Vegard from Norway

answer.GIF (573 bytes) "All those f**king Weatherby calibers are risky calibers for reloaders", according to many ballisticians, while: "Behaviour of a 20 x 138 mm Solothurn Long cartridge is easily predictable". However, use of a cast bullet may be the way to useful low-noise load for hunting of Norwegian fyell-deer/ fell deer, along with ALL known special tricks, like dacron-filling & use of the most efficient available Magnum primers, Federal N:o 215, and drilling of the priming-flash hole to diameter 3½ millimeters. Your estimated charge 15 to 18 grains of VihtaVuori N310 powder seems to be O.K. behind 235-grainer CAST bullet. Try first 18 grains charge and reduce it (if needed) down to 15 grains. Always shoot at least five rounds of cartridges to the target with each load lot and adopt the charge which generated least dispersion (= smallest group = best accuracy).

I presume that you don't need to acquire a .44 Magnum rifle, because the smallest applicable loads of .340 Weatherby Magnum are not noisy, if you use those lead alloy bullets ONLY!! 15 grains of N310 is not yet the definitely minimum charge. So you may get a subsonic bullet velocity and accordingly reduced noise of shooting. I cannot recall, whether use of the suppressor is banned or allowed in Norway, like it is allowed in Sweden and Finland. With a suppressor mounted and cartridges loaded to give subsonic velocity level, the very most noisy "shooting signature" is a smack of a bullet, striking on the side of a fyell-deer.

A little bit of Zoology

These animals exists also in North-East Finland: Petra or peura (Rangifer Tarandus variatio Fennica). Once upon a time they were slain to almost exhaustion with crossbows and muzzle-loader rifles, shooting spherical lead bullets, calibers from 7 mm to 10 mm. Last specimen of original Finnish wood-petra population was shot in 1921. But there was a strong population of wood deers also in Russia. During recent decades those deers were immigrated to Finland. Nowadays we have so dense population of Finnish deers that limited hunting of them is possible. Domestic raindeer is actually a tamed Norwegian fyell-deer (Rangifer Tarandus), bred to grow bigger than wild deers. In Finland are found also cross-breeds of raindeers and Finnish deers.

In South-West Finland lives a very dense population of whitetail deers, brought in 1930s from Minnesota, USA, reproduced from 32 imported animals. Whitetails and Rangifer deers are unable to become cross-bred, as far as I know. Name "Petra" was a trademark of Finnish selfloader hunting rifle, made by Valmet Oy and later by Sako Oy; nowadays discontinued. (In USA the trademark was vulgar "Valmet Hunter"). I was a "godfather" of this very rifle model, proposing the archaic/ original name of Finnish deer for it. In modern Finnish is the common name for all kinds of deer, including the foreign whitetail, simply a "peura". Reindeer is, however, a "poro" in Finnish.

1701 MMI; PT

Selector/safety of KP/-31

I need the scheme of firing selector of Suomi Submachine Gun KP/-31. Can you send it to me?

Carlos from Spain.

answer.GIF (573 bytes) Si, we can! Selector/safety is a sliding L-shaped piece of steel ahead of a trigger. Positions of it are:

slauk1.gif (4495 bytes)

SAFE = rearmost position. A slide inside the trigger mechanism prevents movement of the trigger and sear. It is impossible to cock the breech-block or discharge the gun, when safety is applied. (Fig. a)

SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIRE = mid-position. The selector slide allows movement of sear and trigger, but it disconnects trigger from the sear soon after the breech-bolt starts it's movement forwards. The sear can move upwards to catch returning bolt. When the trigger is released, it is again connected to the sear for next shot. (Fig. b)
slauk3.gif (4563 bytes)

FULL-AUTOMATIC FIRE = frontmost position. Selector slide cannot reach the disconnector, which pull the sear downwards. Shooting continues until the trigger is released or magazine of the gun is empty. (Fig. e and f)

0201 MMI; PT

Reduced loads for a buffalo gun

Just a note from a Texas shooter that appreciates the information on light loads or reduced loads. I have been playing around with some light loads for my little .458 Win Magnum. Since the huntable elephant population in Texas is 0 at this time, I thought it appropriate to create some lighter 45-70 type loads for wild hog, Russian boar, and deer. Using 300 gr JHP or 405 gr lead bullets and 2400 powder I now have loads appropriate for medium game. I was not happy however. I wanted one gun that I could use on everything. I now have a couple of loads that use either a .458 round ball or an old style collar button bullet, in conjunction with "Bullseye" powder. I now am in the process of testing and the preliminary results are encouraging.

These loads are chronographing around 275 to 300 m/s, and should be ideal for rabbit and other small game.?Imagine, one gun that takes everything from squirrel and rabbit to elephant and cape buffalo. It makes you want to kneel down and say, Thank You Jesus, and God Bless Texas! Anyway I am going to fine tune these loads and will send you the specifications for the light loads. You have a great site with fantastic information, after I saw you had some good things to say about one of my heros (Larry Thorne) I knew for sure you were not some Commie Bastard hiding out in Finland.

Best wishes for the New Year,

Kevin, Dallas, Texas

answer.GIF (573 bytes) Comments of Chief Editor: Your experiences about versatility of .458 Win. Magnum are welcome to our website. One of my friends in Finnish Lappland loaded also his .458 WiMa cartridges with wide variety of reduced charges, starting his experimental work almost 20 years ago. Powder used was VihtaVuori N320, with burning rate somewhat slower than that of "Bullseye". So my friend reduced volume of the case with?pieces of soft Mipolam (PVC plastic) hose, squeezed into lubricated and somewhat heated cases. Diameter of these "case liners" was 12 millimeters (outer dia.) and 9 mm (inner dia). Length of liners was about 50 millimeters. Usual bullets were Sierra Jacketed Softpoints or Hollowpoints, with weight 300 grains.

For big-game hunting these bullets are miserable projectiles if their striking velocity is too high, but at "soopoo" (subsonic) velocity the 300-grainer Sierra JSP or JHP is OK even for hunting of moose or Finnish bear (Ursus Arctos). Correct placement of hit is, of course, essential and the distance of shooting should be short. My friend had a team of dogs harnessed to the sleigh. It is illegal to shoot game animals from?motor vehicles like "Ski-Doo", but hunting from a dog-sleigh is allowed in Finlad. Shooting distance was usually less than ten yards.

"Imperial" dimensions of liners are: Outer diameter .47, inside diameter .35 and length 2 inches, approximately. When you load lined cartridges, you may/should reduce the powder charge according to the reduced case volume. PVC (hose) liner shall last as long as the case itself, and it allows depriming with usual equipment. We don't know, how long-lasting may be the India Rubber hose (of red natural rubber). Big bullet does not make the rifle unfit for hunting of small-game animals like hares, rabbits or squirrels. Your .458 WiMa is OK for purpose.

My 12.17 x 44R Swedish Remington rifle may be also a good squirrel rifle, when loaded with .500" diameter spherical cast lead-alloy bullet, but I have not a legal right to shoot this ancient wall-hanger, made by Carl Gustav Stads Gevarsfaktori, Eskilstuna, Sweden, in 1875. I have not cartridges or even the cases for my "Svensky Remington", although the new high-quality cases for it are available from Australia. In Sweden was 12.17 mm rifle a popular instrument for hunting (or poaching) of all kinds of game animals, big or small, usually with the spherical lead bullets and blackpowder handloads about a century ago, but presumably still later. Factory-loaded cartridges have been unavailable since 1st World War; I presume.

Remington rifle was also a good appliance for fishing of the pikes, spawning on the flooded area at riverside meadows. Swedish television (Svenska Radio) produced in 1970s a document "Remington-Olle" about an old poacher & fisher, who shot the pikes with his old Remington, using black powder and spherical cast bullets. This kind of fishing was, of course, illegal in Sweden, but the story was produced by an exceptional allowance - to show "fishing methods of by-gone days" - and the versatility of ancient Remington rifle. I presume that .458 WiMa rifle may be also a fine fishing appliance, but use of it may be illegal for this purpose in Texas too.

0501 MMI; PT

Send my for question load sub-sonic:

Lapua case .308 Winchester. Lapua B-416 sub-sonic is possible change D-46 185 gr? Primer CCI BR-2 Large Rifle or Magnum primer? Charge 10.6 grains of N310 or N320? O.A.L. 2.620

Best Regards: Roberto from Italy

answer.GIF (573 bytes) 185 grs Lapua D-46 is preferable. B-416 is unstable when shot from a bore with more than 240 mm twist of rifling. This bullet was actually designed for 7.62 x 39 mm and 7.62 x 53R cartridges.

CCI BR-2 primer is sufficient if the primer pocket's flash hole ("vent") of case is enlargened to 3.5 mm diameter. Charge 10.6 grains is correct with both of these VihtaVuori powders, owing same chemical composition, but different size and shape of kernels: N310 is a "stick powder" with very thin solid kernels, while N320 has more large tubular kernels.

Sensitivity of ignition is similar: Powders are very flammable, because of their rough kernel surfaces. Burning rate of N320 is slightly slower than rate of N310, but this difference is too small to cause nasty surprises unless the charge is considerably below a safe minimum. 10.6 grains of powder, either N310 or N320 is not definitely a minimum load, but a starting load for search of a good subsonic charge. You may lessen it, or add slightly more powder if needed. Lower limit is ca. 9.5 grains and maximum charge ca. 12 grains. Lubrication of bullets is always beneficial way to keep the bore condition/ bullet velocities uniform.

2812 MM; PT

Long Tom

Grandpa Bert is wondering where the term "Long Tom" comes from? We are aware of an old 12 gauge shotgun that the owner refers to as a Long Tom shotgun.


answer.GIF (573 bytes) This pet name of Pennsylvanian-Kentuckian long-barreled rifle or shotgun is presumably born during flintlock era. Some gunsmith owing first name or family name Thomas had built a bore drill and rifling bench for making of extra-long squirrel rifle barrels? (In 1700s and early 1800s should gunsmiths usually made their own "machinery" first). "Long Tom" barrels could be as long as 60 inches. In the mid-1970s offered Dixie Gun Works, Inc. on their catalog No. 124A drilled and reamed octagonal barrel blanks, presumably made in Spain, size across the flats 13/16 inch. Caliber was .43 and length full five feet. This smoothbore "Dixie Five Foot Long Tom Rifle Barrel" blank was available at $ 19.95 without thread for a breech plug.

Rifles with 1.52 meter long barrels were not very handy in the woodsland. They were also difficult to load and clean the bore. Long Tom rifles never became popular, because their accuracy and range were not enhanced. In Finland this name is unknown, but we have an exclusive kind of handmade sheathed knife "TOMMI puukko" still in production by knifesmith family Kemppainen or Keranen in Kainuu region, Finland. Name "Tommi" derives from a British foreman Thomas Woodward who moved from Sheffield, England in 1862 to Finnish Fiskars manufacture to learn hardening technology of then-new Bessemer and puddled carbon steels. In 1875 he became a manager of Hackmann's Nurmi factory.

Woodward died in 1878. He was taught technology of hardening and tempering by oil-quenching to many workers of Fiskars and Hackmann factories. One of them, Kalle Keranen, returned to Kainuu region, starting puukkosmithing. "Official name" of this very puukko desing is "puukko of Kainuu", but "Tommi-puukko" is well-known pet name of these knives with very keen and hard high-carbon steel edge. Tommy Woodward didn't design this traditional knife, but he taught to knifesmiths of Kainuu a successful hardening & tempering method for knife edges.

Designer of Long Tom rifles and shotguns is unfortunately unknown to me, but there was probably some person behind a name.

1612 MM; PT

Berthier and Chatellerault

I have two rifles that my father brought home from France after WW II and I am trying to find some general information on them. I read one of your responses about the Berthier Rifle on your question and answer page and thought that you might be able to help me out. I have a carbine that is a Berthier Model 1892, Artillery Musketoon (Mousquetons d' Artillerie). Manufactured by Manufacure d' Armes Saint Etienne sometimes between 1892 and 1916. I was told that a Mle. 92 is somewhat rare and not a common find. The other rifle is a long rifle that is also chambered for the 8 x 50R Lebel cartridge. It has the serial number 85026 stamped all over it. It has the words Chatellerault MLE 1907 15 and came with a MLE 15 Epee Bayonet. I am told by an expert "This is most likely a Berthier Model also as Chatellerault did not make Model 1907 Rifles." If this is true why is Chatellerault inscribed on the barrel?

Thank you for any information that you might have. I am trying to document as much information as possible on my collection of guns to leave for future generations.

Greg from Iowa.

answer.GIF (573 bytes) There was not any "Manufacture d'Armes Berthier" in France. Berthier was just a designer of clip-fed rifles and carbines. State-owned manufactures/arsenals assembled them. During the First World War (the BIG ONE) was not uncommon that some manufacture assembled some models of firearms but the parts (including barrels) were made by another arsenal, owing more production capacity of these parts. Example given: Chatellerault might have extra capacity for drilling & rifling of the barrels, while St. Etienne had insufficient capacity to produce them. So St. Etienne bought barrels from Chatellerault. Because barrel is an essential part of a rifle, it was necessary that name of it's manufacturer is inscribed on it. In France was even the name (code) of cartridge case manufacture and sometimes source of brass material headstamped on the cases, which were primed, loaded and bulleted elsewhere.

This subcontractor method was also usual in Imperial Russia during 1st World War: Finnish Tikkakosken Rauta- ja Puuteollisuus Oy made breech-bolts and cast brass or bronze feeder frames for Russian Maxim machine guns. In independent Finland made a sporting rifle shop of gunsmith Joonas Matarainen (later Mikro Oy) barrels for Suomi KP/-31 submachine guns. There were at least two barrels issued for each KP/-31 and usually at least one barrel for shooting with blank cartridges. Tikkakoski Oy had not enough production capacity to drill and ream all the barrels & cut the rifling grooves and lap the bores just like bores of high-quality target rifles were lapped in Finland.

Subcontractor Mikro Oy's KP/-31 barrels was urgently needed especially during the Third Finnish Independence War 1941 - 44, when the submachine guns were mass-produced also for export.

1212 MM; PT

Please: Don't cease!

Hello! I stumbled on your site while searching for the subject of reduction of muzzle velocity, and find it a most excellent resource. I hope you are able to continue and gain patrons. I would be willing to put up the $US 20 if only for the information already gained against the prospect of picking bits of a chamber out of my face with tweezers because of S.E.E.

I have not searched your site exhaustively with an eye for current developments, concentrating more on the wealth of loading information, and I am wondering if you have any better idea now what your prospects are regarding the future of your site.

I do have some specific questions, and will continue to do research of course, and not presume on your hospitality without having "done my part" for your site. I find it unfortunate that people have developed the attitude that the freedom of this wonderful medium of information dissemination implies freedom from cost. It seems there is much excellent knowledge available from your country, and it would be shameful for it to be lost to the rest of us because of that attitude.Killing the goose that laid the golden egg, indeed! Many thanks if it is within your ability to respond!

Th. A M

answer.GIF (573 bytes) and comment: Welcome to The Club! Privileged visitors of GOW/ Universal are always privileged to enjoy our service! Your fingers and eyes are presumably a lot more valuable than a printed picture of the late U.S. President Andrew Jackson. I've not met any printed Handloading Manual containing data for SWOS loads, "Cat's Sneezes" or other information we have offered. And especially in Finland it is an opinion that "this data for the terrorists and poachers shall never become published on the printed manuals". GOW shall therefore possess still a monopoly as a distributor of scientifically researched data on the subsonic handloads of rifle cartridges.

1212 MM; PT

Bergmann MP article in English too?!

I was happy to find the Gunwriters Suomi site. It covers more information than I have found anywhere on the model 31 or 44. I cannot seem to translate the site for the MP-18 though, and was hoping there was a site in English, or would be soon. Do you have anymore sites that are that informative, in English, for any other weapons?

Thank You. M.E.

answer.GIF (573 bytes) Sorry; I have no time to translate articles as large as the Bergmann MP story into English. There are no more than 24 hours in a day & night. Our Finnish visitors are up-keeping our site. They are therefore always privileged to get information.

1712 MM; PT

Hydrodynamic .22 rimfire bullets

Hi PT, In an earlier post you mentioned making "exploding" .22 rimfire bullets by filling the hollowpoint with common vaseline. Does the hollow need to be enlarged for this to work? In the states we have achieved similar results by filing the tip of the bullet flat. Thanks very much.


answer.GIF (573 bytes)   Enlargement of hollowpoint is unnecessary but deepening of it is beneficial, if not essential. In 1980s had just Lapua .22 LR HP bullets deep enough point cavity, with diameter no more than 1/10" or one Russian "linya", but with average depth seven millimeters, up to .28 inch. Ancient Record injection syringe with 2 cc capacity was an ideal instrument for vaseline/ "mineral jelly" filling to narrow point cavities of these bullets of my pet Lapua "Sound Moderator HP" cartridges. It was possible to warm-up the glass & metal syringe with a candle flame so that the vaseline ran easily through a shortened 20 Gauge intramuscular vaccination needle (diameter 0.9 mm/.0355 inch, with a nominal inside dia. 0.584 mm/ .023 inch).

Needle was shortened to the length ca. .28 inch and the syringe was filled with molten liquid vaseline. It took 2 to 3 minutes time to fill point cavities of fifty .22 LR Lapua S.M.H.P. bullets with this miniscule "grease gun". Today it takes a lot more time, because Nammo-Lapua Oy H.P. bullet point cavities are considerably less deep than .27+ inch. I don't know: why? Old SMHP .22 LR cartridge was at least as accurate as the famous Eley Tenex in most rifles I've tested, including Remington Nylon 66, in my possession since late 1970s until mid-80s.

Remington didn't accomplish automatic feeding cycle, when loaded with Lapua .22 LR SMHPs, but a manual feed took less time than loading of my single-shot TOZ Model 8 rifle (with an integral suppressor or a real silencer) and it was usually loaded with 14 + 1 cartridges. Once upon a time I shot three crows at a tree-top from a MEASURED distance 175 yards (160 meters). There were three eye & ear witnesses of occurrence at the place. I had a self-designed self-made suppressor mounted on the muzzle of Remington rifle.

Witnesses standing ca. 100 yards aside were unable to hear any shooting signature from my firing post, but a loud "smack" when a vaseline filled hydrodynamic bullet hit a crow, sitting on the high spruce top. Another crow came soon on the same tree-top. It was a regular post of "sentry crows" close to a fur-bearing animal farm. The farmer was called us to "make thinner" the crow population, robbing the fodder issued to minks and foxes breeded on that farm. Once again a suppressed "Tlick!" from my Remington and a dull "Smack!" from a tree-top. Another unfortunate sentry crow rolled down from the spruce-top. Third one came to the sentry post a couple of minutes later. Again: "Tlick!" and: "Smack!" Third crow was able to glide away. We didn't find it from a forest surrounding the farm.

The kills, two crows, were photographed (when I was cut away about a yard of bowel, hanging from the stomach of a crow, hit by my second shot), and the "self-censored" photo was published on the Finnish "ERÄ" magazine. One of the eye/ear witnesses of my personal "long-range shooting record" was a professional photographer Matti Mäkijärvi, who was my partner until the end of my career as a technical/ ballistician contributor of the "Erä" magazine. Matti recalls still that he was unable to hear nothing but those three "smacks" of hydrodynamic .22 LR SMHP bullets from the spruce-top.

Today it is needed to drill the bullet cavity with a drill bit with a diameter .10 inch or 2.5 millimeter to depth .27 to .28 inch. Fill the cavities with hot liquid vaseline, because modern disposable plastic injection syrinces of poly-propylene or polymer 66 (Nylon) are unable to endure heat of a candle flame. Syringes with 2 CC or 3 CC are preferable for vaseline filling of bullet cavities. 5 CC syringe is too large for this very purpose. If 13 or 14 Gauge needles are available, they are preferable, because of their large inner diameter .063 or .070 inch. A "Luer" hub of needle is fit for disposable syringes. ("Record" hubs are presumably obsolete).

Cut the needle to length somewhat less than .30 inch. I'm using disposable B.D. insulin syringes with their thin ½ inch long 29 Gauge needles, but I use metallic mercury as a bullet cavity filler if needed. Mercury-filled bullet of a .32 ACP Browning/ FN Model 1900 pistol had a remarkable role in Finnish history: A Russian Governor General and a Dictator over Finland, Nikolay Ivanovich Bobrikov, was wounded by the very most lethal projectile of .32 ACP in 16th June 1904. This bullet hit his belt buckle, but the mercury filling of it, along with the fragments of lead & mercury amalgam, and shrapnels of bullet point cover, an "amalgam powder" (mixture of silver, gold, copper and tin, bought from some dentist) were able to produce more than 140 tiny perforations to the small intestine of a Dictator Over Finland. Neither explosive shell nor "DumDum" bullet of .32 ACP is able to cause such injury.

arcbobri.jpg (9832 bytes)In 1904 the peritonitis was a definitely lethal sickness. Old dictator deceased in 17th June, about 3:00 a.m. His last words were: "Pochemoo? Pochemoo?!" ("Why? Why?!" in Russian ). I hope that millions or a billion hoplophobes on the world shall ask this same question, everywhere on the Globe, before their slow and very VERY painful death!

Governor General Nikolay Bobrikov brought the gun control to Finland already in 1903.

Metallic mercury may be hard to acquire in "People's Republic of California", but the copper paste, available from gas stations or garages is some "between/betwixt" material according to some Finnish gunwriters (privileged to get their articles published in the printed periodicals). I don't know their method, how to inject the copper paste into a deepened bullet's point cavity. "Meplatting" of bullet tip, i.e. filing it flat is O.K. for the short-range jobs, but it shall deteriorate Ballistic Coefficient of the bullet, making it's trajectory more crooked.

Old tricks are also splitting of bullet tip with a knife or slashing a cross-shaped incision on the tip of bullet's point. These incisions, one or two, should not necessarily be very deep, but just scratches; depth one millimeter or so. They'll enhance expansion of bullet's point. More recent innovation is "Loeffelspitzung" of bullet tip. (German: "Loeffel" = spoon or small dipper; "Spitz" = point or tip). It may be done by carving or simply by pressing a shallow "dimple" on the side of bullet tip. Loeffelspitzed bullets are usually as accurate as intact projectiles in flight, but they shall tumble after the hit, being asymmetric.

Trajectory of spoonpointed bullet is somewhat more crooked than trajectory of intact projectile. If the spoonpointing is uniform (width and depth of each pit or dimple are similar on each bullet) trajectory of every bullet is also similar. Sight may be re-adjusted for shooting with spoonpointed bullets. These projectiles shall loose their flight stability and tumble over in flight, but the range is usually about a thousand yards. (Depends on twist of rifling and width/depth of a dimple). Air resistance shall slow down the rotational rate of spoonpointed bullet until it is too slow for gyro-stabilization. Shortened hazardous range is beneficial from viewpoint of shooting safety.

raloffel.jpg (9630 bytes)
Point of solid brass 4.7 mm spoonpoint bullet. Considerably less asymmetricity shall be efficient if the bullet is a long pointed boat-tail projectile, just marginally gyro-stabilized in it's flight, but stable within all practical ranges of actual shooting.

Loeffelspitzung was designed for military purposes; almost adopted in West-Germany for 4.7 mm solid brass bullets of their Heckler & Koch assault rifle. In 1970s vetoed International Committee of Red Cross, because Loeffelspitz bullets inflicted "at least as horrible wounds as explosive or Dum-Dum projectiles". Germans ceased development of 4.7 mm assault rifle and spoonpointed bullets. Russians designed about in the same time their 5.45 x 40 mm cartridge and bullet with terminal effect similar to German Loeffelspitz bullet, but they managed to hide "intrinsic asymmetricity" into the intact steel jacket.

Pointed FMJ rifle bullets are improved in Finland by filing the tip very sharp from one side, just like a tip of ancient quill or an usual hypodermic needle. Asymmetricity is usually less than one millimeter, but terminal effect of a long (marginally gyro-stabilized) bullet is "impressive". Some moose hunters and many poachers know this trick in our country. Filing of bullet tip is done so carefully that the lead core shall not become exposed. It is also possible to "emboss" a dimple on the ogive of bullet's point, about four or five millimeters rearwards from the tip, with some thin ball-pointed tool or to drill a tiny hole through jacket on the bullet's ogive.

Usual diameter of a drill bit is 2.0 millimeters and depth of the hole is to central longitudial axis of the bullet. Use of full-metal jacketed bullet for moose hunting is illegal in Finland, but drilled projectile is allowed for purpose, because lead core is visible on it's point. Poachers use "quill filed" bullets or those with a dimple embossed on the ogive. Most poachers are, however, using common factory-made cartridges or handloading components, but: "Kaikkea on kokeiltava, paitsi kansantanhuja ja pikkusiskoa" says a Finnish proverb. (= One should try everything, with exceptions: Country-dance and little sister).

1112 MM; PT

 Suppressors & subsonic loads for .308 Winchester

In your publication you state that a rifle with a 1 in 12" twist rate should not to be used to fire ammunition with bullet weights greater than 150 grains due to stability problems - this being especially true when using such ammunition with suppressors, where an unstable bullet might strike the baffles damaging the suppressor and/or injuring the shooter.

Unfortunately the only commercially available subsonic ammunition in this caliber (made by Lapua or SM Thun) is available with 200 grains bullets here in Switzerland. Some quick mental calculation, assuming a 220 000 RpM revolutions for the bullet, and a distance of 140 mm from muzzle to the end-cap seems to indicate that a bullet would have completed about one revolution. So: While a 200 grains bullet is probably not stable in this twist rate at extended range, it is likely to suffer from serious stability problems inside the suppressor?

It is hard to understand that a single revolution outside the rifle's bore is enough to stabilize or de-stabilize a bullet. The suppressor I'm looking has a 9 mm passage through the baffle stack and a 10 mm end-cap passage, if that helps in your calculations. On your relatad note you state that full-power ammunition should not be fired through suppressors. But why?

I note that it is common practice to do so in the .223 Remington caliber - in fact: A reputable manufacturer of suppressors in Switzerland sells suppressors for use with assault rifles firing full-power ammunition. I realize you won't suppress the supersonic crack this way, but you should still be able to suppress the muzzle blast without damaging the suppressor - or not?

Yours sincerely; Rory  (Switzerland).

meterhit.jpg (15881 bytes)answer.GIF (573 bytes) We almost lost a Chrony chronograph during sonic barrier tests in 1992, when we shot 200-grainer Lapua bullets from a .308 Winchester rifle with 1 in 12" rifling twist. Fortunately enough, there was a 150 x 150 x 150 mm acrylic plastic cube as a shield in front of electronics of the chronograph, and the bullet hit on the shield sideways. Some bullets couldn't hit the chart, size 1 x 1 meter at 50 meters distance. They were TOTALLY (not probably) unstable.

Bullet was actually designed for 7.62 x 39 mm assault rifle with a 240 mm rifling twist. In .308 Winchester rifles with 1 in 10" twist these bullets were just marginally stable; accurate in summer but unstable in frosty winter days, when the factory-loaded .308 Win. cartridges were usually no more "subsonics" but just "trans-sonics" with audible sonic crack.

"Blagodaryu Gospodinam!" (= "thank God!" in Russian) Lapua Oy has ceased production of these bullets and "subsonic" .308 Win. cartridges loaded with them. Frankly speaking: Production of factory-loaded subsonic cartridges for rifles with variable rifling twists like those for .308 Win. rifles, is a sheer madness, unless the nominal (test-barrel) muzzle velocity is ca. 290 meters per second and the maximum bullet length is no more than 3 times diameter = 23.5 millimeters for .308 bullets.

German Finower Industrie GmbH, in Finow/ Mark was able to load very successful subsonic 7.9 x 57 mm JS "Nahpatronen" cartridges for suppressed Mauser Model 98 k rifles with long (35.4 mm) and heavy (12.75 grams) boat-tail bullets since 1942 until 1945. But those rifles had steep and uniform 240 mm rifling twist. "Nahpatronen" were issued for German snipers only. They had selected Mauser rifles with uniform bore and chamber dimensions in general.

Your mental calculation was incorrect: Despite of bullet's velocity it is rotating one revolution when moving 304.8 millimeters (12 inches or one foot) in the bore and after leaving the muzzle. At 140 mm distance from the muzzle is bullet made ca. 0.46 (less than half) revolution. If inherent instability of a bullet is caused by excessive bullet length (= too "slow" rifling rate, compared with bullet length), precession or "yaw" of bullet starts not until it has advanced several meters away from the muzzle or suppressor's end cap. Too low rotational rate is simply unable to overcome air resistance's tendency to turn the bullet point upwards (or sometimes point-end downwards).

At a distance of 140 mm from muzzle, there is not yet air resistance ahead of bullet's point, but a stream of powder gasses behind the bullet's base rushing past the bullet. In the suppressor this is known as "gas blow-by". Another gas stream, known as "precursor wave" has already blown the air (or powder gasses of previous shot) away from suppressor. Bullet meet not yet air resistance and the yaw starts not yet. BUT if the bullet's base is asymmetric, the powder gas stream is able to start yaw of bullet soon after it's emergence from muzzle. Very small asymmetry shall cause a large precession if the bullet's point is long and cylindrical "shank" of it is short. Center of "Spitzer" bullet's gravity is close to the base.

Designer of Spitzer bullet, German Arthur Gleinich, was terrified when he saw "spark photograps" of his bullets flying at distance ca. 50 centimeters from a rifle muzzle. Longitudinal axis of some bullets was turn as much as 45 degrees of angle away from the line of trajectory. But the center of bullet's gravity advanced along with the trajectory and rotational stability was able to stop the precession after a short flight. At 10 meters distance the bullet holes on target were no more oval or like keyholes and accuracy of bullets was acceptable. If the air resistance only starts yaw of a bullet, it's stability degrades slowly. If the bullet's base is faulty, the muzzle blast starts precession very soon: The bullet may damage your suppressor despite of it's shortness (140 mm) and sufficiently large bullet passages of baffles and end-cap. It is, however, very frustrating experience to shoot excessively long and so unstable bullets.

One reason why I always recommend use of quick-burning powders for handloading of rifle cartridges is inherently reduced volume of "muzzle blast", i.e. powder gasses, and rather low pressure of the muzzle blast. (Less powder means: Less gasses). As a perfectionist, with almost 20 years of experience with purposely and "scientifically" designed subsonic handloads, I love "the golden silence" of subsonic cartridges, shot with or without a suppressor.

mg34shot.jpg (12356 bytes)Finnish-made commercially available suppressors are designed to stand blasts of full-power rifle cartridges since early SuoMet suppressor in 1980. Current BR-Tuote Reflex Suppressors are made even for the long-range sniper rifles with caliber 12.7 x 99 mm Browning MG shooting full-power ammo. Many times I've shot Russian Maxim and Degtaryev DP-27 machine guns with Reflex Suppressor mounted, as well as German MG-34, using full-power factory loaded cartridges, of course. Some careless (or EXCESSIVELY careful) handloaders are, however, wrecked Reflex Suppressors by use of too slow-burning powders in their pet loads:

According to Broemel QuickLOAD ballistic computer program 90 % of powder may burn in the rifle barrel but 10 % burns inside the suppressor. Muzzle pressure may be much more than 700 atmospheres; i.e. as high as the CHAMBER pressure of modern shotgun. Suppressor variation designed for 7.62 x 39 mm is also too small for .308 Winchester rifle, unless subsonic or other "economy loads" are used ONLY! For shooting with full-power loads the suppressor must be full-sized model with eight baffles.

Because loading data of these handloads is found from the loading manuals or handbooks it is "Official Data", and it is impossible to prevent handloaders from assembly of those horrible ear-splitting "boomers". In Finland is therefore designed another class of suppressors by a firm Ase-Utra, < >, Joensuu, Finland, especially for shooting with full-power handloads or factory-loads; including .30 caliber Magnum rifles. This AU suppressor is all-steel construction like Reflex Suppressors (also made by Ase-Utra). Baffles are machined from steel bar-stock. Design of them is rather complicated. Patent is applied, but not yet granted. Design is a real innovative novelty!

I know that most Finnish suppressor users are shooting full-power rifle cartridges (factory-loads or handloads). Suppressor is usually acquired for prevention of excessive shooting noise and loss of hearing, but also for dampening of recoil. Finnish suppressors are able to eliminate the muzzle blast of usual rifles (example given .308 Winchester) so that the supersonic crack is a dominant "shooting signature". It is not deafening, but it is irritant! Most handloaders of subsonic cartridges have not a suppressor at all. They cannot acquire it. Or they do not NEED it.

When the supersonic crack or flight noise is absent, the muzzle blast is also so low that it is neither deafening nor irritant. Loading data for these "SWOS" loads (= Silent WithOut Suppressor) is developed by us for riflemen in those countries where suppressors are illegal to possess or they are very expensive devices, because of their limited production and costly taxes or licence charges.

A friendly suggestion: Learn and start handloading! There shall presumably become no successful .308 Winchester factory-loaded subsonic cartridges to be available "over the counter" anywhere. Factory-loads shall become sold "For Official Use Only!" But even the teen-ager lads are able to handload them, especially in Finland.

0212 MM; PT

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