Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pay It Forward

Do you know what this is?


Paying it Forward  Do you know what this is? Pict ring It’s probably not what you’re thinking. It’s part of a pre-staged improvised tourniquet that Shaun Baskerville developed.  More on that later. I’m sure it’s just coincidental that many police/military/tactical blogs are/have been talking about emergency first aid.  But following the Boston Marathon and the TSA agents shooting and any of the horrible school shootings, doesn’t it make sense to be prepared?   If you’re prepared to defend yourself you must realize that the potential for injury and loss of life exist to you and other innocent bystanders.  It only seems balanced that you should also be prepared to preserve and save life when possible.  It’s is the Ying-Yang of life.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say what you launch into the Universe will return to you, but I firmly believe each person owes society a karmic debt. On a more personal level, when I’m standing in front of the Pearly Gates and St. Peter is frowning at me, I want to be able to say “Pete, I was trained, prepared and willing to pitch in following a disaster.  How about cutting me a little slack?”  I think he will. After taking the 4-hour Essential Medical Care Course from Weyer Tactical, I’m going up my game.  To say I’m impressed with the content, ability and manner of the instructors would be an understatement. Link www.weyertactical.com This is the second course I’ve taken at Weyer Tactical and so far none of them involved shooting.  The course was taught by Shaun Baskerville, assisted by Joe Weyer and several other people. I could tell you the facilities are nice, clean and well taken care of.  They are. I could tell you the instruction was top notch.  It was. But what you need to know is I learned what nobody else wanted to teach me. I’m not a tyro with regard to first aid courses.  I started in the Cub Scouts.  The Boy Scouts added a little more, but the available level of information available to the public in the mid 60s was lean.  The late 70s saw me as a CPR instructor and the 80s saw me in a 40-hour First Aid Course so I could volunteer at first aid stations.  A year ago American Heart updated me on the use of a tourniquet and compression only CPR. But nobody wanted to show me how to pack a wound or seal a sucking chest wound.  Those were outside the purview of First Aid I was always told.  Besides, these drones always said medical aid is 3 minutes away in my area.   So why am I hot to trot about these two?  Because they are my nightmare scenarios.  I know pressure bandaging and pressure points.  I know how to splint and reduce a broken femur.  I dig epi-pens and I’m not a total sphincter around back boards, but pack, seal and all those years of no-no-no tourniquet, I was worried I was out of my depth.  Weyer Tactical took care of that.   Shaun showed us how to use a CAT tourniquet and a pressure bandage on ourselves as well as another.  Everyone had a chance to practice.   Pict demo At the end of the class, Weyer Tactical sets up three scenarios with horrible wounds and nightmare back stories.  Even knowing it’s fake blood and the victims are going to peel the wounds off, wash the blood away and have a beer later, your heart skips a beat and your palms get sweaty. Pict examine I did alright with the practical.  I’m better at doing then waiting.   Those images from the Boston bombing will haunt me.  I can’t imagine my karmic debt if I stood there and wasn’t able to help.  So many people were saved because the people on site had a CAT tourniquet and knew what to do.  Why can’t the CCW community be prepared just as police and military? So what do you need?  After this course I would say you need a tourniquet on you, in your purse or shoulder bag or briefcase, but on you.  Quick clot combat gauze, a basic pressure bandage and couple yards of tape.  Don’t forget eye protection in the form of prescription glass or stylish wrap around shades and gloves.   Surprisingly the go kit can be rather small.  Joe had several he assembled and vacuumed sealed available at cost.  Small compact and ready-to-go with you is the key.  Don’t buy a premade kit, build your own.  Remember, cleanliness is required, but sterility isn’t.  The MDs can pump you full of antibiotics later, you just need to be alive when you arrive in emergency. Oh!  The tourniquet. Well, you need a triangular bandage.   <Spacing stuff> Fold it like you should have learned in the Scouts. <Spacing stuff> Slip the ring over the folded fabric.  <Spacing stuff> Fold and store until needed <Spacing stuff> Tie a triple over hand knot with enough slack to slip a stick between knot1 and 2 and wind it until the bleeding stops.  It’s the basic tourniquet I learned in scouts.  But now it’s the go-to for arterial bleeding!  Shaun had a lot of other ideas for us on improvised first aid supplies.  You don’t need MasterCard.  Being prepared doesn’t need to cost a fortune.  But telling St. Peter you saved a life, that could be priceless!
Okay, it's round, black and you throw these away all the time.

It’s probably not what you’re thinking.

It’s part of a pre-staged improvised tourniquet that Shaun Baskerville developed.  More on that later.

I’m sure it’s just coincidental that many police/military/tactical blogs are/have been talking about emergency first aid.  But following the Boston Marathon and the TSA agents shooting and any of the horrible school shootings, doesn’t it make sense to be prepared? 

If you’re prepared to defend yourself you must realize that the potential for injury and loss of life exists to you and other innocent bystanders.  It only seems balanced that you should also be prepared to preserve and save life when possible.  It’s is the Ying-Yang of life.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say what you launch into the Universe will return to you, but I firmly believe each person owes society a karmic debt.

On a more personal level, when I’m standing in front of the Pearly Gates and St. Peter is frowning at me, I want to be able to say “Pete, I was trained, prepared and willing to pitch in following a disaster.  How about cutting me a little slack?”  I think he will.

After taking the 4-hour Essential Medical Care Course from Weyer Tactical, I’m going to up my game.  To say I’m impressed with the content, ability and manner of the instructors would be an understatement.

This is the second course I’ve taken at Weyer Tactical and so far none of them involved shooting.  The course was taught by Shaun Baskerville, assisted by Joe Weyer and several other people.

I could tell you the facilities are nice, clean and well taken care of.  They are.

I could tell you the instruction was top notch.  It was.

But what you need to know is I learned what nobody else wanted to teach me.

I’m not a tyro with regard to first aid courses.  I started in the Cub Scouts.  The Boy Scouts added a little more, but the available level of information available to the public in the mid 60s was lean.  The late 70s saw me as a CPR instructor and the 80s saw me in a 40-hour First Aid course so I could volunteer at first aid stations.  A year ago American Heart updated me on the use of a tourniquet and compression only CPR.

But nobody wanted to show me how to pack a wound or seal a sucking chest wound.  Those were outside the purview of First Aid.
It doesn't take much to practice packing.
So, I was always told.  Besides, these drones always said medical aid is 3 minutes away in my area.  I'll tell you what I told a drone: "Let's open your vein for 2 minutes and see how you like it."  I thought I was going to be punched in the nose.

So why am I hot to trot about these two?  Because they are my nightmare scenarios.  I know pressure bandaging and pressure points.  I know how to splint and reduce a broken femur.  I dig epi-pens and I’m not a total sphincter around back boards, but pack a wound, seal a sucking chest wound and all those years of no-no-no tourniquet, I was worried I was out of my depth.

Weyer Tactical took care of that. 

Shaun showed us how to use a CAT tourniquet and a pressure bandage on ourselves as well as another.  Everyone had a chance to practice. 
Tighten until the bleeding stops!
At the end of the class, Weyer Tactical sets up three scenarios with horrible wounds and nightmare back stories.  Even knowing it’s fake blood and the victims are going to peel the wounds off, wash the blood away and have a beer later, your heart skips a beat and your palms get sweaty.

No, I'm not going show you the scenarios.  This is adult education.  Take the course and find out for yourself.

I did alright with the practical.  I’m better at doing than waiting. 

Those images from the Boston bombing will haunt me.  I can’t imagine my karmic debt if I stood there and wasn’t able to help.  So many people were saved because the people on site had a CAT tourniquet and knew what to do.  Why can’t the CCW community be prepared just as police and military?

So what do you need?  After this course I would say you need a tourniquet on you, in your purse or shoulder bag or briefcase, but on you.  
It's been said "all you need is love."  Make that "all you need is love and a tourniquet!"

QuikClot combat gauze, a basic pressure bandage and couple yards of tape will do.  

4 yards of Quik-clot, vacuum packed











My practice pressure bandage   












Don’t forget eye protection in the form of prescription glass or stylish wrap around shades and gloves.

Surprisingly the go kit can be rather small.  Joe had several he assembled and vacuumed-sealed available at cost.  Small compact and ready-to-go with you is the key.  Don’t buy a pre-made kit, build your own.  Remember, cleanliness is required, but sterility isn’t.  The MDs can pump you full of antibiotics later, you just need to be alive when you arrive in emergency.

Oh!  The tourniquet.

The black ring is part of the twist off cap from beverages. 

Well, you need a triangular bandage. 
Just a triangle of cloth.  The long dimension is about 50 inches.

Fold it like you should have learned in the Scouts.

I folded it, but you could roll it.










All the way










Slip the ring over the folded fabric.

Fold and store until needed


Tourniquet start with simple over hand knot
See the black ring  out side of the knot on the right.  What's it for?

Tie a triple over hand knot with enough slack to slip a stick between the first knot and second and wind it until the bleeding stops. 

I'm using my de-jammer to wind the tourniquet tight but you could use a pocket knife, stick, or pen.
It’s the basic tourniquet I learned in Scouts.  But now it’s the go-to for arterial bleeding!

That's what the ring is for - to keep the tourniquet from unraveling.  I could use extra material from the knot for that purpose too!

Shaun had a lot of other ideas for us on improvised first aid supplies.  You don’t need MasterCard.  Being prepared doesn’t need to cost a fortune.  But telling St. Peter you saved a life, that could be priceless!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

So What Is it?





I’ll give you hint.  Bull's-eye shooters know better than to store this in oak boxes or this happens.


It’s a badly corroded lead .22 bullet.  I took the photo at 35X with a Scanning Electron Microscope to show the crinkly surface.  It’s lead carbonate.  It should be metallic lead.

.
This one is in great shape.  I can even see my reflection in the bullet.

So what happened to this happy-go-lucky little .22LR?

As Ricky use to say “You got some ‘splainin’ to do Lucy!” 
But I’ll let the Navy conservators do it for me:   

“The chemical process is: Acetic and some other acids, in the presence of carbon dioxide, (in the air) catalyze with lead to produce lead acetate and lead hydroxide. Lead acetate and lead hydroxide together react with carbon dioxide and form lead carbonate. Lead carbonate then releases acetic acid and the process becomes self-sustaining.

I used to hate those ads for genuine Civil War battlefield bullets.  The ad shows some featureless blob of white, shaped like a bullet.  It may have been a bullet and it may have come from a Civil War battlefield, but what you’re really buying is a mixture of lead carbonate/hydroxide shaped like a bullet.  I’d be surprised if there was any metallic lead present.

Now I just smile at the idea of collecting lumps of a crumbly mineral.

Let’s let the Navy conservators explain:
“It is important to recognize that the formed lead carbonate is not just a substance clinging to the surface of a casting, it is the surface of the casting transformed to powder. For practical purposes, a portion of the lead is gone and lead carbonate is left in its place. The lead carbonate releases acetic acid which can continue the process until the lead part is progressively consumed from the outside, inward.”

.22 Lr corroded bullet from Thunderbolt
The early stages of lead carbonate formation.  Too late to save, the bullet has changed dimensions.

The resulting salts have lower density than the lead, so the bullet diameter increases and in very short notice the cartridge jams at the chamber mouth.  So you can't even plink with them.

Modern .22s aren’t shipped in wood, so where does the initial exposure to acetic acid (AKA vinegar) come from? 

It’s not only vinegar but other acids as well.  Conservators have identified some of the possible sources in today’s packing:
  • white glue
  • contact cement
  • silicone adhesives (some)
  • low quality paper and cardboard
  • vermiculite
  • soil


So where did the initial exposure come from that started this downhill slide?  I suspect the cheap cardboard box, the sizing, or the adhesive emitted acid vapor.  Of course it could have also been a quality issue and the lead bullet missed some step in the manufacturing process.

Since the process is catalyzed by vapors, one bad bullet will, in time corrode all the ammo in that box.  Naturally you want to remove any rounds with any sign of white on the lead bullet.  The Navy hasn’t found a cure yet, so I doubt that wiping lead bullets with an oil rag will solve the problem.  A thin coat of wax might work, but don’t get it so thick the rounds will fail to feed.

One solution is to buy nothing but copper jacketed rounds.
Ammo prices are still high.  I’ve seen 50-round boxes of .22 shorts selling for $30 and the vendors sell out of them.  Where’s all the ammo going?  The government says “Not us!”, if you believe them.  I suspect people are hoarding in the event of civilization’s collapse. 

If you are burying ammo and guns in PVC tubes, surplus ammo cans, wooden boxes or old shower curtains you should be advised that all your lead ammo could become useless.

But that’s another topic for another day.

I was cleaning up and found a polished cross-section of an armor piercing .30 cal bullet from a .30-06 cartridge made in 1943. (The cartridge, not the polished cross section.) I had forgotten about this little gem.  I’m not sure why I was making it.  I guess I was thinking of homemade Christmas presents for some of my shooting buddies.  But I didn’t like the way it turned out.

polished cross section of 30-06
The mount uses a clear thermo epoxy and a layer of black thermo epoxy.  The white patch to the left of the bullet is called a cloud.  It's unfused clear media.

It’s damn big compared to SS109 in .223.

cross section of SS-109 in .223
SS109.  It only looks big due to the magic of photography.

I found it interesting the bullet seems very symmetrical around the long axis.  The SS109 has what looks like an area of asymmetry what would introduce wobble.  The .30-06 also has a little base cap of copper over the lead and that looks like shoulders supporting the steel core.

Tip of 30-06 cross section of armor piercing  bullet
Tip of .30-06.  Note the bright
steel core above the dull lead.



.30-06 armor piercing bullet base
The bullet has a small copper base locking the lead core in place.

 


It looks like in 1943 they had some concerns about keeping everything centered and symmetric.  But then again the M-1 Garand had a claimed effective range of 500 yards.  Any imbalance in the bullet could results in a miss.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breaking Ice

I tell new shooters two surefire ways of breaking the ice at a new range or club.  Most of us don’t see this as a problem.  At a match or training activity we simply admire the persons handgun or rifle and introduce ourselves. 

But for some, especially the very new shooter, that’s a difficult gambit.  They may not know what the other person is holding and they fear a cruel rebuff.  I have better solution.

We all get ego strokes when we’re asked to share our expertise.  (Aren't all blogs about ego?)  Try these two and you’ll be surprised at the interest you can generate.

Question One:  What’s the best gun for self-defense?
It will quite often be the gun they are carrying at the moment and are usually willing to show it to you.

Question Two:  What’s the best bullet for stopping power?

You can keep the conversation going if you throw a log on the fire once in awhile.  Try:
  • That’s pretty big/small to carry/conceal, isn’t it?
  • Wouldn't a faster and lighter/slower and heavier bullet be better?


Having asked these questions, just remember you’re under no obligation to outfit yourself with their recommendation.

Here are the real answers, but let me look around… left…overhead...uh-huh...check six…Okay.  I want to keep this a secret between you and me.

The real answer to One is a totally reliable gun and ammo that you have on you when you need it.  Question Two is a trick question.  It’s not the bullet, it shot placement that counts.

having the wrong gun is better than no gun
Well, I did say any caliber, but with the exceptions of a .25ACP and a Nerf gun, I believe what I said is valid.

I knew a retired judge who wanted his CCW.  In the course of training this 86-year old former Marine who now suffers from chronic arthritis and carpel tunnel, discovered he couldn’t shoot the recommendation of his peers - a Glock in .45ACP.  He also realized he couldn’t shoot a .38 Special revolver.  But finally he found he could shoot and hit the target with a Ruger MKII .22 LR.

Did I tell him that was the wrong choice?  What?  Are you nuts?  I told him to expect to have to shoot several times and to have a reload.


Say it with me:  “Better to have a little gun with you when you need it than the best gun in the world on your dresser at home.”  Say it again a little louder, 'cause I can’t hear you.