Custom Barrel Misconceptions: Accuracy Vs Velocity

Posted on September 28, 2022 at 8:00 AM by The Biker Lawyers

Ask the Ambassador of Ammo: Rapidfire Firearm FAQ with an Expert

I get emails… but the following was a little different than usual. It was from a viewer of our Ambassador of Ammo videos who lives in Minnesota. He introduced himself as Anthony, but as you will probably discern from his email, this may be a pseudonym. We’ve had several back-and-forth communications… some of which I will summarize here.

 “Hi Russ, My name is Anthony and I’ve been watching your gun videos and I find them interesting and somewhat informative.  I have recently detached from the grid as much as possible and only use the internet while at the public library. I moved from a “Big City” a couple of years ago and have found it best for our family to keep a low profile and become as self-sufficient as possible.” 

As I introduce in the video, he too is a beginner like myself in the world of weapons and he had some questions and topics on which he would like more information. Wade (Owner of Midwest Shooting in Hiawatha, Iowa) is a vet, a gun enthusiast since childhood, and well versed in everything gun related from the political landscape to everyday care and feeding… from sportsman to targets, to self-protection.

So in this week’s blog, we sit in the ROCK 108 studios and ask Wade to answer “Anthony’s” questions.

If the demand is right, we’ll be doing these Q&A videos from time to time, so if you would like any sort of expert advice (except legal advice) send an email to me russ@rock108.com.

Hope today’s video is informative!

Transcription of the video has been provided below for your convenience.

Russ, The Ambassador of Ammo (AoA)

Alright, so here we are in the Rock 108 Studios, and I’ve brought Wade from Midwest shooting in because I’m starting to get questions in the comment section that people want answers to. So I figured every once in a while, we’d do a Q&A with Wade who owns Midwest shooting in Hiawatha. And also, if you have questions, you want to be addressed on anything gun-related, send questions to Russ@rock108.com.

A beginners guide to firearms- and good business

AoA

So, this is from somebody who watched the entire series of videos that we’ve put out so far, Wade. He says:

“The cool thing about your series is that you are just asking questions and letting your host answer them. All questions are good because you admit you’re a beginner. I love that. I’m a beginner also and have so many questions that sometimes gun guys feel are too basic or get annoyed when I ask them…”

Wade

You know, that’s upsetting to hear in a way, because that’s one of the things that gun stores have a bad reputation for because they’ve earned it over decades. The guy behind the counter won’t talk to you unless you know more than that guy. [It’s like you] have to prove your knowledge to prove your worth.

AoA

So you get this to the snooty salesman.

Wade

I don’t even know that they’re snooty, it’s just that they’re rude, and I really don’t like that. And so we really try to make the business so that we welcome new people.

Wade

First and foremost- you know, right wrong, otherwise- whatever you guys think, I’m in this for business. This is how I earn my living, right? And you earn more of a living if you have more customers-

AoA

-Than fewer customers!

Wade

-rather than fewer customers…

AoA

-and happy customers versus Angry customers

Wade

Teach people, something you help them out and that’s ultimately what gets repeat business.

Supply and Demand Problems with Ammunition

AoA

Right. Well, his first question that he has trouble getting answered is about ammunition, he said:

 

“Why is it that some Ammo is easier to get than other ammo? If I have a gun that I can’t get ammo for, what good is the gun? My example is that I have a varmint gun that was once pretty well known for its accuracy, a Remington 222, but it’s been like pulling teeth to get ammunition for it. Should I get rid of that gun? Should I learn to load my own ammo, what’s up?”

Wade

So, the 222- those are cartridges designed in the 1950s for varmint hunting and Ventura Shooters, and it was popular for a few years. Literally, a few years. It’s pretty common, among Farm people. And so farmers, and ranchers, and everything would have, bolt-action, 222.

AoA

Oh, it’s a bolt-action?

Wade

Most likely, I don’t know what kind of gun he has. Most likely it’s a bolt-action. The 222 was replaced by the 223 and the 223 is used by the military. I think the 223 came out in the late 50s- I don’t know the exact year, but the to 22 Magnum, Remington Magnum, was in the running for that- the M16 cartridge basically, but it lost out to the 223. And once you have something that’s so similar and the military is making the cartridge, it’s not… it’s going to lose out, right?

Wade

You know, plain and simple, it’s going to lose out because they have an entire Armory designed to make 223 ammunition and 222 is an offshoot.

AoA

So the consumer model is second ran.

Wade

Yeah, it’s not common. Now, I personally, I personally own a 222. I inherited it from my father who was a farmer and hunted fox and coyote with it. It’s a fun gun to shoot. But the ammunition is hard to come by because there’s not a lot of people who own the Firearms now you know especially people who- a lot of those Firearms, a 222, are in the hands of 70-plus-year-olds and they’re not our shooting like somebody who is younger.

To reload or not to reload, that is the question

AoA

So his question is, should he get rid of the gun or should he load his own ammo?

Wade

I wouldn’t get necessarily rid of the gun unless you just don’t like it or you need the money for something. That’s different. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. You can buy ammunition for it. But these times with all the supply chain issues and the stuff we’ve had through the pandemic, it’s not being made.

Wade

The manufacturers simply aren’t making it because they can make 223 and sell every round. You can make they’re not going to make an auto one-off. And so all these older cartridges and these one-off cartridges are flat-out not being made right now.

AoA

And that’s right now because of the supply chain. Okay.

Wade

And if you go to load your own, the problem right now is you’re not gonna be able to get primers if you haven’t, been loading for years and years, and have a, have your own stockpile of primers, that’s going to be hard.


How to get started reloading your own ammunition (considerations for rarer guns)

AoA

Well, that’s his next question we can get into detail about. He said:

“you will note that there are many things sold by dealers for those gun enthusiasts who reload their own shells…”

AoA

I saw this weekend when I was in there, you have a whole back wall dedicated to loading your own ammunition.

“…What are the products? How’s it done? Are there special considerations in purchasing? Is there training offered? How do I get involved in loading my own ammunition?”

Wade

Well, there there’s limited training in the, in the formal sense.

Wade

Once a year, we’ll have a- hydrogen powder will sponsor- a Reloading event with us once a year. And it’s just an overview for people really to more as an advertisement to get them interested in shooting and explain the process.

Wade

YouTube has some excellent resources on…

AoA

That’s where I was going on when I’m stumped on anything. I go to YouTube first…

Wade

…The challenge with all the YouTube stuff is there’re some people who really know their stuff… And there’re some jackasses. If you’re new. You don’t necessarily know which one is which.


Safety first

AoA

Are there safety concerns with loading, your own ammo?

Wade

Yes. You don’t want to blow yourself up.

AoA

That’s a good point.

Wade

You don’t burn your house down. So don’t blow yourself up. I like all my digits.

AoA

I like having all my fingers, yeah.

Wade

What you get with smokeless powder when you’re reloading is you get pressure within the round and that’s what makes it work, right? The gas is burned fast inside of a tie chamber. That’s what propels the bullet up the barrel.

Wade

If you’re reloading, you just have to be careful. You have to pay attention. It’s not terribly hard and your person who’s asking the questions, 222 is an excellent one to reload simply because ammunition is hard to find and the variety that you may want to hunt with our to shoot with. is often not available even in the best of times.

AoA

So can you reload your old cartridges? Like you go shooting, you’re picking up cartridges off the ground, bring them back to the house and reload those?

Wade

Yeah, that’s exactly what you do you do, punch the primers out, put a new primer in, put the powder in, put the hold on. You have to size it…

AoA

So you don’t have to buy new casings every time.

Wade

No, that’s one of the most expensive, other than the bullet, that’s the most expensive part.

AoA

And you have to pour your on lead for the bullets or can you buy them performed?

Wade

With a rifle, you’re going to buy pre-formed. And so for, so for the 222 they take the same bullets as a 223 does.

And so they’re reloading components for the 222- so, for like the bullets themselves- are readily available everywhere. The powder is the same that’s used in 223 as well, so it’s readily available everywhere. Primers are tough right now, but they will come back.

Wade

So to reload for a 222 is an excellent cartridge to reload for just because- you are correct. It is hard to find.

Customizations- AR-15 components

AoA

Next question!

“When you did the AR segment, Jaden told you that one advantage of the AR is that the parts are modular. Meeting, you could swap out Parts, pretty easily to get what works and is comfortable for you, but it also means you can build your own firearm. You could do a whole segment of things…”

AoA

Okay’s offering advice here,

“you could do a whole segment on things to think about when trying to construct your own AR.”

AoA

What are the things to think about when constructing?

Wade

Well, the AR-15, you are correct, people build their own and there’s entire forums dedicated to every single piece, part of the AR-15, and…

AoA

Of which there’s thousands, right?

Wade

No, no, no, there’s not very many parts. I don’t know exactly how many, but there’s not that many. It’s not a very complicated rifle.

AoA

Okay,

Wade

That’s the whole point of it, okay? Anything that’s military is designed to be very, very easy to use modular, you know, interchangeable parts. So it can be maintained in the field, but these are the D10 springs, and D10s people argue about which company is better. It’s probably made the same and just packaged in a different box.

Wade

But there’s so much to consider. And so many opinions out there. My personal opinion- and you guys can believe, take this for what it is- The thing I focus on most is the barrel because that’s where you going to get your accuracy. And that’s, we’re going to get a lot of your cost. And so depending on the kind of accuracy that you need, there are a lot of different choices for that. Spend the money on the barrel.

Custom barrel misconceptions: Accuracy Vs Velocity

AoA

Okay, so what are your choices in barrels? What, give me some examples.

Wade

A lot of it is the length of the barrel.

AoA

The longer the barrel, the more accurate.

Wade

No, no, no, not at all the longer, the barrel, the more velocity. And the velocity, sometimes people confuse velocity with accuracy because the higher the velocity, the lower, it will drop at distance. And so if you can get it going, another 80 to 100 feet per second it won’t drop much

AoA

It’s gonna stay up longer.

Wade

Yeah,

AoA

It’s like a little blue pill for ammunition,

Wade

That’s right, but it’s not going to necessarily make it more accurate. With the barrels, there’s three different lengths, and gas systems in the barrel- there’s carbene, mid-length, and rifle length. And people can debate about that, people can debate whether they want an M4 style Barrel or not.

Wade

It’s different milling and cuts on it and there’s all different kinds of barrel shapes, barrel sizes, barrel weights, barrel thicknesses, and different kinds of Steel. You know some are Chrome, some are Chromoly. Some are…

AoA

Jesus!

Purpose-driven customization

Wade

There’s just so much that you can debate about but also we have to figure out what your goal is of building your own. . You know, if it’s something for accuracy… or just… I would say most people who build ARs just do it because they want something to build.

Wade

They take some pride in making their own thing.

AoA

Is that a show we can do some time on video like building an AR from scratch?

Wade

Oh yeah, we could do…

AoA

Several.

Wade

Yeah, several.

AoA

That’s kind of cool

Wade

But building your own- you have to if you have a goal of something you want that’s unique or something you want to accurize, or to just make your own, you have lots of options- a Bajillion options. It’s just amazing- the amount of stuff that’s out there.

AoA

That’s it. That’s, that’s the show for this week. Those were excellent questions. Anybody that has questions will do shows like this, as often as we can, you can send them to Ross@Rock108.com Thanks for listening [reading]. Wade, Thanks for coming in.

Wade

Thanks. Russ.

About Russ: The biker community’s Ambassador of Ammo

Known as a professional Radio Gypsy, Russ is the voice of “crazy stories and bad behavior” on Rock 108 every weekday from 10 AM – 2 PM (CST). After a shooting expedition with friends, Russ found a new passion for firearms and is now searching to find the perfect fit to match his needs. Join him as he tests and reviews various guns and targets, learns gun safety, and occasionally blows stuff up every week right here!

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