Freedom Munitions Brass Refund

FM AmmoFreedom Munitions has good prices on ammunition. They run flat rate shipping specials and on major holidays they often offer free shipping.  I don’t reload at this time so I’m always shopping for bargains.

They offer a brass refund program that works like this: place an order, mail them brass, and they will credit up to the total cost of the order at the current rate they are paying for brass. Full details are here.

I placed an order for ammunition in February and had been collecting brass with every range trip so decided to give it a try. I saved $28.60 on my order.

  • I mailed a USPS medium sized flat rate box of brass for $13.45. Based on the weight, the Post Office person said the cost to mail in a regular box would have been just over $80, so a Flat Rate box is the only way to make this cost effective.
  • I received a refund for $42.05
  • The net credit was $28.60.
  • The brass was mailed 2/25/16.
  • I received the credit on 3/9/16

I might have been able to fit a bit more brass in the medium box, but it was essentially full. It was very heavy. I’m not sure I could lift a large flat rate box if it was full of brass. It’s a hassle to pack the brass and haul it to the Post Office but for just over $25 I’d do it again.

 

Unscientific Ballistics Testing

I picked up defensive rounds from 9 Forward at the Cup last week. I rode up to Oxford with a practice partner Saturday morning (June 27th) and one of my goals was to try the defensive rounds in the two guns I rely on for defense.

Using the "Library" for Ballistics Testing

Using the “Library” for Ballistics Testing

The “Library” was still in place, although a bit soggy, and I used one of the books to test penetration and expansion of the defensive rounds. Note the book on the top right shelf. It was wedged in tight and just the right height. It was also seriously thick, partly due to the rain soaked pages.

I put 3 round in on the right side of the front cover. My practice partner suggested I also put in 3 rounds from my regular ammunition. I shot a row of 3 on the left side of the front cover.

aThe Book Deconstructed

~ double Click to see detailed captions ~

I took the book off the shelf and started turning pages to see the impact patterns and find the lead and casings.

  • The defensive rounds penetrated 1110 pages. They torn much larger, irregular holes.
  • The practice round penetrated 1600 pages. The holes remained round and uniform.

If you are local and want a first hand look at the book, let me know and I’ll bring it to a match. I’ll hold onto it for a few weeks, then it will go into the recycling bin. 

Here’s exactly what I was using:

Practice rounds vs. Defensive rounds

Practice rounds vs. Defensive rounds

I really liked the lighter recoil of the defensive rounds but unfortunately they stove piped in both guns several times. That’s why you try ammunition in the gun you plan to use it with: to verify they work well together. I’ll go back and buy regular defensive rounds to test as the “Lite” version failed in my guns. Bummer but better to know now.

H&K USP Compact with stove piped defensive round

H&K USP Compact with stove piped defensive round

This was still a very interesting experiment for me. I know what the outcome is supposed to be but touching the book, turning the pages and digging out the lead and casings felt like an adventure! Here’s what I found:

Lead & Casings from the book! From left to right: Defensive round, defensive lead & casings, practice rounds (lead still in casing).

Another view of the lead and casings

Another view of the lead and casings, Practice rounds at the top, defensive rounds (one unused ) at the bottom.

 

Finally, the obligatory water bottle video (because I couldn’t resist):

Shooting from a Vehicle & Testing Ammo

Vehicles on Stage 5. Photo taken last week. Targets this week are in a different configuration and we shot from the driver’s seat of the center vehicle.

Sunday June 7th I shot another IDPA match up in Oxford. We had the opportunity to shoot from a vehicle and through the open windows of a car on the left and an SUV on the right. You just don’t get this kind of experience at a typical shooting range.

Stage Scenario: 6 targets, 2 shots each, shot in tactical priority (near to far). Start with the gun on the passenger seat. For IDPA purposes, the two targets shot through the windows of the adjacent vehicles (one on each side) were considered equal distance. The next two targets in front of the vehicle (one seen from the driver’s window, one seen from the passenger window) were considered equal distance. With the last two targets there was clearly one that was much farther away and had to be shot last.

Shooting the stage required quite a bit of movement back and forth, from driver side window to passenger side window. You have to think about moving up and over the steering wheel and taking your finger off the trigger with each transition. I found myself extending my arms through the windows for the first 2 targets but hanging an arm over the door for the 3rd and 5th targets.

The stage also required a reload and I ran into issues. I popped out a bit of profanity during the process of correcting the issue. All captured on video. Sigh. So what happened? I was testing out some reloads (147 gr) with a lower power factor (ie: lower recoil) and they were just too low power. With 50% of my reloads, the slide would lock back but the brass would not be ejected, so the reload resulted in a jam each time. This was the first one. The bad news: I let fly with my frustration. The good news: I never gave up. And I know I shouldn’t shoot these rounds in this gun.

I shoot slow. When I watch the video, it appears painfully slow to me. The final target was quite some distance so I put a third shot in it. Final accuracy count for the stage: down 2. If you are not familiar with match scoring that means I hit the zero zone on all but two shots. For each of those I hit outside the zero zone in the 1 point penalty area. I was accurate, but I was very slow and placed dead last for the match.

So once again, this isn’t about what a great shooter I am, but what a great learning experience shooting matches can provide.

Here’s the video, profanity included:

Disassembly of a Round / Burning Gun Powder

I had a round (brass, primer, powder & bullet) with 3 firing pin strikes and no “bang”, so I took it to Kapp and he showed me how a bullet puller works. I’ve embedded a video I found on tube that explains how this works:

Here’s my round set into the bullet puller, then taken out of the bullet puller:

My round in the bullet puller. Note the multiple firing pin strikes.

My round in the bullet puller. Note the multiple firing pin strikes.

The gun powder looked like glitter

The brass, bullet and powder that came out of the bullet puller. The gun powder looked like glitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, the fun part, we lit up the gunpowder just because I wanted to see how it burns in a non-contained space: