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Ask the GURU

Mike Whitlock brings his 40 years of experience to the shooters classroom. Go ahead, ask the Guru.

QUES #1—-“WOULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT THE WORD “CALIBER” MEANS? I AM VERY NEW TO THE SHOOTING SPORTS & HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT WORD MEANS—THANKS!

THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION TO BEGIN YOUR SHOOTING CAREER. “CALIBER” IS THE MEASUREMENT OF THE DIAMETER (.000″ / MM) OF THE BULLET, WHICH A PARTICULAR RIFLE / HANDGUN FIRES. IN THE USA, WE USE “THOUSANDTHS OF AN INCH (.000”) AND THE OTHER NATIONS ON PLANET EARTH, EXPRESS THAT MEASUREMENT IN “MILLIMETERS (MM)”. PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLES:

RIFLE CALIBERS: .243″ / 6 MM, .264″ / 6.5 MM, .284″ / 7 MM &
PISTOL CALIBERS: .355″ / 9 MM, .400″ / 10 MM
REVOLVER CALIBERS: .357″ (.38 SPECIAL / .357 MAG), .429″ / .430″ (.44 SPECIAL / .44 MAG), .451″ (.45 ACP), .452″ (.45 COLT)

BY MISTAKE, MANY SHOOTERS WILL SAY: “WHAT CALIBER IS YOUR RIFLE?”, WHEN THEY REALLY SHOULD HAVE ASKED: “WHAT CARTRIDGE DOES YOUR RIFLE FIRE?” Or “WHAT CARTRIDGE IS YOUR RIFLE CHAMBERED FOR?”

SO REMEMBER THIS FACT: CALIBER IS THE DIAMETER OF THE BULLET FIRED & NOT WHAT THE FIREARM IS DESIGNED TO FIRE.

THERE IS NO SHAME BEING IGNORANT, BUT IT IS SHAMEFUL TO REMAIN THAT WAY!”

QUESTION #2—“I WANT TO START RELOADING MY OWN CENTER-FIRE CARTRIDGES & ONE OF MY LONG-TIME FRIENDS SAID I NEEDED TO “PURCHASE SOME RELOADING COMPONENTS”. WHAT THE DICKENS IS HE REFERRING TO?

COMPONENTS ARE THE INDIVIDUAL PARTS OF THE CARTRIDGE BEFORE THEY ARE ASSEMBLED. THESE INCLUDE THE CARTRIDGE CASE, PRIMER, POWDER, & BULLET. WHEN CORRECTLY ASSEMBLED BY A COMPETENT RELOADER, THE RESULT IS A “LOADED CARTRIDGE”, AMMUNITION, OR AMMO. SHOTGUNS FIRE “SHOT-SHELLS / SHOTGUN AMMO”, BUT RIFLES, PISTOL, REVOLVERS, & SINGLE-SHOTS FIRE “METALLIC CARTRIDGES”

THE “UNEDUCATED / IGNORANT” PERSON WALKS INTO A RETAIL STORE & SAYS: “I NEED TO BUY SOME BULLETS FOR MY RIFLE”, WHEN WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN STATED WAS: “I NEED TO PURCHASE SOME CARTRIDGES / AMMUNITION FOR MY RIFLE”. IN SOME STORES I HAVE OVERHEARD CUSTOMERS ASK THAT QUESTION & THE SALESMAN’S RESPONSE WAS: “SIR, BULLETS ARE LOCATED IN THE RELOADING DEPARTMENT. GO TELL THE PERSON BEHIND THE COUNTER WHAT BRAND OF PROJECTILE YOU WISH TO PURCHASE”.

THE “BULLET” IS WHAT FLY’S OUT OF THE END OF THE BARREL & STRIKES THE INTENDED TARGET. PLEASE DO NOT REFER TO LOADED CARTRIDGES AS “BULLETS”, OR YOU WILL NOT BE LOOKED UPON AS A REAL “SHOOTER!”!

QUESTION #3—“I WISH TO REPLACE THE LOUSY, NON-ADJUSTABLE FACTORY TRIGGER, WITH ONE THAT IS FULLY ADJUSTABLE FOR SEAR ENGAGEMENT, PULL WEIGHT, & OVER-TRAVEL. WHAT BRAND WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?

THAT IS A REALLY EASY QUESTION TO ANSWER: “TIMNEY TRIGGERS”. FOUNDED IN 1946 BY MR. ALLAN TIMNEY. THEY MANUFACTURE ALL THEIR PRODUCTS IN ARIZONA & OFFER THE WIDEST RANGE OF TRIGGERS FOR RIFLES OF VARIOUS DESCRIPTION. THEY ARE EASY TO INSTALL, ADJUST, LUBRICATE, & UTILIZE FOR THE LIFE OF THE FIREARM. GOOGLE “TIMNEY TRIGGERS”, LOCATE YOUR RIFLE, & PICK THE TRIGGER YOU NEED. IF IN DOUBT, SPEAK TO SOMEONE IN THEIR TECH-DEPT OR ASK ME FOR ASSISTANCE!

QUESTION #4—“PLEASE EXPLAIN THE TERMINOLOGY OF THE WORDS OVER-TRAVEL, SEAR ENGAGEMENT, & PULL WEIGHT? I HAVE HEARD THOSE TERMS FOR SEVERAL YEARS & I AM STILL CONFUSED.

THOSE WORDS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE TRIGGER MECHANISM. SO HERE GOES………”PULL WEIGHT / PRESS WEIGHT” IS THE NUMBER OF OUNCES / POUNDS OF PRESSURE, NEEDED TO RELEASE THE TRIGGER & HAMMER FROM THE FULLY COCKED POSITION. IN OTHER WORDS, HOW HARD YOUR FINGER HAS TO PRESS THE TRIGGER, TO MAKE IT GO “BANG!”!

“OVER-TRAVEL” IS THE MEASUREMENT OF HOW MUCH THE TRIGGER CONTINUES TO MOVE TO THE REAR AFTER THE SEAR & HAMMER HAVE DISENGAGED & YOU HEAR “BANG.” “SEAR ENGAGEMENT / CREEP” IS THE MEASUREMENT OF HOW FAR THE TRIGGER CAN BE MOVED REARWARD, BEFORE THE LOUD “BANG” IS HEARD.

IF A TRIGGER IS DESCRIBED AS BEING “FULLY ADJUSTABLE / 3-WAY ADJUSTABLE” THOSE ARE THE BEST TRIGGERS FOR YOUR FIREARM. A SAFE & PROPERLY ADJUSTED RIFLE TRIGGER SHOULD BE SET @ 2-3 LBS. FOR THE PRESS WEIGHT. THE OVER-TRAVEL (OT) SHOULD BE ADJUSTED SO THAT WHEN THE TRIGGER GOES “CLICK”, THERE IS NO FURTHER MOVEMENT OF THE TRIGGER TOWARD THE REAR.

THE SEAR ENGAGEMENT SHOULD BE ADJUSTED SO THAT WHEN THE TRIGGER IS PRESSED, YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL ANY SORT OF ROUGHNESS, GRITTY, OR UNEVEN SENSATIONS IN YOUR TRIGGER FINGER. IF YOU DO, THOSE PART ENGAGEMENT SURFACES NEED TO BE POLISHED, LUBED, REASSEMBLED, & ADJUSTED ONCE MORE. THERE SHOULD BE NO PERCEPTIBLE MOVEMENT OF THE TRIGGER, AS THE TRIGGER IS BEING PRESSED. ALL YOU SHOULD FEEL UNDER YOUR FINGER IS “BANG!”

A CRAPPY FEELING TRIGGER ON YOUR RIFLE, PISTOL, OR REVOLVER, WILL COST YOU NOTHING BUT HEARTACHE, MISSED SHOTS, WOUNDED / MISSED GAME ANIMALS, & REALLY LOUSY SHOT-GROUPS ON PAPER TARGETS. TAKE YOUR FIREARM TO A TRUSTED GUNSMITH FOR TRIGGER WORK, IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE DOING IT YOURSELF!

“GURU”

Mike Whitlock brings 40 years of firearms experience to the Guru’s Classroom.