We Have a Winner!

Science trumps tips for new buyers and the history of a famous firearm

Congratulations to Jim H., the winner of Lucky Gunner’s Shooter & Scribe competition! Jim’s submission, “The Physics of Pistol Shooting” won by a large margin, earning nearly one-third of the total vote. Through his hard work and support of the shooting community, Jim wins a $1,000 gift card good for ammo and accessories at LuckyGunner.com!

The battle for second place was hotly contested right down to the wire. Congratulations to David M., author of “Considerations When Purchasing a Firearm“. David’s submission battled much of the week for second place with “The Gun that Changed the World” written by Ed R.

Thank you to all the Lucky Gunner’s who submitted articles as part of the competition as well as everyone who voted. We hope you enjoyed reading perspectives from other shooters and possibly even learned something.

As for our top three, we will be contacting you in the next week regarding your prizes. Once again, thank you and congratulations to everyone!

Voters cast the majority of the majority of the ballots on Saturday, March 30.
Voters cast the majority of the ballots on Saturday, March 30.



Finalists Announcement

Posted Friday, March 29, 2013

For the past month, LuckyGunner.com has asked you for entries into our first ever Shooter and Scribe writing competition. Roughly 30 days and 300 submissions later, our team has selected the following finalists that are vying for a total prize pool worth more than $1,500.

We’ve seen well written manifestos in support of certain firearms, condemnations of particular calibers, and even in-depth scientific analysis of what goes on inside the chamber of a gun. Just as we expected, shooters showed a wealth of knowledge across a myriad of topics. We hope the Lucky Gunner community enjoyed reading the submissions.

Now, it’s up to you – our Lucky Gunners – to decide what entry is worthy of the $1,000 grand prize. First place will get a $1,000 Lucky Gunner gift certificate, 2nd place earns a $500 gift card, and the 3rd place winner will receive an awesome Blackhawk! accessory gift  package.

Remember, we tried not to make the rules very rigid and we don’t necessarily endorse or agree with any of the submissions. Submissions were asked to be about firearms or ammo and not be political in nature. So, when voting we want to know what submission you found the most interesting or gave you a bit of information you didn’t know before that will help you on the range or in your home.

Please keep in mind, our goal was to provide the platform for our community to write, share, and voice their opinions – and then be judged by their peers, you! We aren’t vouching for each submission and don’t necessarily endorse the opinion voiced by each author. However, we’d love to hear if you agree or disagree so please sound off in the comments below and vote accordingly!

In total, there are eleven finalists identified by our team:

So, here are brief excerpts from our finalists, within each excerpt you’ll see a link that takes you to the entire submission. To vote, please use the anonymous ballot at the bottom of this page.

Everything You Need to Know About the M1a

Submitted by: Cameron L.

A M1a rifle resting on a bipod.
The author says you can expect a 12-18 month wait if you’re looking to purchase a M1a rifle right now.

Our first finalist won approval from the judges and also drew an enormous amount of chatter on Facebook and Lucky Gunner’s Google+ page. Cameron L. offered a look inside the often complex, costly, and sometimes intimidating world of M1a rifles. Through his guide, shooters gain an understanding of what a M1a rifle is best suited for and what to look for if considering a purchase.

 If you want a super sub-MOA semi-auto tack driver in .308 it will be a lot cheaper and easier to get there with an AR-10 than an M1a. Getting a high quality receiver, barrel and GI parts kit can easily set you back $2,500 before it is even assembled.  Finding an experienced M14/M1a armorer to put it together for you and then match conditioning it isn’t cheap.  Not to mention the months of waiting for them to finish other projects that are ahead of yours.

The Gun that Changed the World

Submitted by: Ed R.

Many American veterans were first introduced to the AK-47 while fighting in the Vietnam War.
Many American veterans were first introduced to the AK-47 while fighting in the Vietnam War.

There are some who would argue no firearm in history has accounted for as much political change as the AK-47. In his submission, author Ed R. makes that claim and supports his case with a thorough history of the Makhail Kalashnikov invented weapon. While this submission makes no outrageous claims of the AK-47’s accuracy or sole position as a history changing gun, the article gives a great feel for both the firearm and its inventor.

Kalashnikov, a hero of the former Soviet Union and the current Russian Republic, told an interviewer at a ceremony marking the rifle’s 60th anniversary that he didn’t lose any sleep over all the havoc wrought by his invention. “I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence.

The Physics of Pistol Shooting: Why Your Gun Works

Submitted by Jim H.

A graph detailing when recoil force hits after pulling the trigger of a gun.
A brief description of recoil force versus time after you pull the trigger.

Jim offers a detailed analysis of the physics going in inside your pistol chamber as you pull the trigger and fire each round. In-depth and scientific in nature, his analysis offers insight many shooters don’t often consider. Further, the submission serves as evidence most of us probably should have paid more attention in our high school physics classes!

You don’t have to know how guns work to shoot one, but improving your knowledge will help you make purchase decisions, read technical material, decide on modifications and talk about guns… We often do not know what we think we know, so I encourage you to read the section on Classical Mechanics.

A Warning for Broomhandle Mauser Owners

Submitted by: Farrell H.

Farrell Hope 1
A look at the two springs involved with the broomhandle mauser.

Farrell H. gives readers a look at the Broomhandle Mauser along with a word of caution about installing stiffer springs to handle 7.62 Tokarev ammunition. Due in part to the way the firearm handles recoil, the author suggests if a shooter wanted to provide higher spring resistence against recoil, they should work toward tweaking the main (hammer) spring of the firearm. To make his case, Farrell H. translates an original German operator’s manual and calls years of experience into play.

The 1896 design of this gun is very unusual, and was never changed throughout it’s 40 years of manufacture. The design was never incorporated in any other type of automatic pistol. So the operating function and parameters are utterly different to all other guns. That fact is often improperly understood, as people just assume it works in the same manner as all other auto-loading pistols.

The Future of 7.62 NATO Rifles

Submitted by: Marc C.

It seems the 7.62 round is getting a second life of sorts as a common platform.
It seems the 7.62 round is getting a second life of sorts as a common platform.

As the world watches the United Kingdom and New Zealand adopt the LMT (Lewis Machine and Tool) and we see images from Iraq and Afghanistan littered with M14 upgraded rifles and M110 rifles, author Marc c. poses the question, does this mean we’ll see more 7.62 chambered rifles in the future?

Marc’s article concludes that while we’re certainly seeing a resurrection of sorts for the 7.62 round, it seems very likely the 5.56 caliber isn’t going anywhere for a while. Using a anecdotal evidence and logic from observations seen globally, Marc shares his well-informed prediction.

[5.56] does most everything the modern soldier requires from their service weapon. This major theme seen in small arms adoptions or lack of adoptions, if it does not significantly improve over the existing weapon or caliber then there is no reason to switch.  So what we are seeing here with 7.62 platforms is a small demand overblown by the speed of the internet and news media.

Gun Lovers Nightmare: Choose Only One Firearm

Submitted by: Don B.

The Winchester 1897/M97 enteered military service during World War 1 with American troops.
The Winchester 1897/M97 entered military service during World War 1 with American troops.

For some, it’s like the dreadful scenario of having to choose between your children — if you were forced to only own one firearm, what would it be? In this submission, the author states his case for the 12 gauge pump shotgun. Don B. offered readers an entertaining piece, full of funny moments, a bit of Chinese language, and a brief history lesson of the firearm through its inception and early military service.

There is a 12 gauge pump for every occasion. They can be bought used for less than a “Benjamin” if you keep your eyes peeled looking for a deal, or purchased brand new and customized for as much as you would like to spend.  You can buy a base model and slowly modify it over time to your own personal preferences.


The Mas 36

Submitted by: Kurt M.

The Mas 36 shoots 7.5 ammunition, a caliber similar to .308. (Image Courtesy: www.yesterdaysweapons.com)

Ridiculed for its French heritage, the Mas 36 may be the butt of shooters’ jokes in some circles but in this article, the author stands up in defense of the rifle. The unique firearm features a forward angled bolt and the complete lack of an external safety. While it won’t win any beauty pageants, author Kurt M. says the Mas is worth owning and deserves more repsect, no matter what you think of the French military.

The Mas 36 deserves a better reputation than it has. Even if you are of the dropped once crowd, know that it wasn’t dropped because the rifle was bad. If you can get used to the unique action the Mas is a lot of fun. Oh, and I can still get ammo for it, I never had a shortage. Try shooting one, I think you’ll end with a better impression than before you did.

Considerations When Purchasing a Firearm

Submitted by: David M.

Gun Show
Folks lined up to buy a firearm at a gun show. (Photo Courtesy: M. Glasgow/Flickr)

Let’s face it, if you’re new to firearms making that first purchase can be an intimidating process. Pistol or revolver? Handgun or long gun? New or used? In David M.’s submission, he sets up a list of considerations prospective gun buyers can run through as they make their purchasing decision. A wealth of personal experience and answers to common questions shared on forums throughout the gun community, the author offers a good source that will hopefully encourage more shooters to become involved in the hobby.

Unless under no possible circumstance you don’t think you might need to trust your life with the firearm you are buying, reliability should be your number one concern… You can get a good idea by doing your research, but the only way to know whether your gun is reliable and with what ammo is to shoot it, a lot!

1911 vs. Hi-Power

Submitted by: Kurt M.

The LSI Citadel 1911. (Image Courtesy: AverageJoesHandgunReviews.blogspot.com)
The LSI Citadel 1911. (Image Courtesy: AverageJoesHandgunReviews.blogspot.com)

Most gun owners are well aware of the legendary status and role John Browning played as a gun designer and innovator. When it comes to semi-automatic pistols, perhaps Browning’s two most famous handguns are the 1911 and the Hi-power. In his submission, author Kurt M. tackles the question of why each gun has been around for ages and is still beloved by a huge number of American shooters.

So, which one is better? First you need to handle both and see which one feels best in the hand, that’s the most important thing. Then ask yourself what gives you more confidence, a bigger bullet, or more bullets. That will give you the answer, but you really can’t go wrong with either one. To shoot either gun, is to love it.

Right Gun, Wrong Ammo?

Submitted by: Patrick W.

.223 typically will fire in a 5.56 chambered firearm without a problem but you could have problems if you shoot 5.56 ammo in a .223 chambered AR-15.
.223 typically will fire in a 5.56 chambered firearm without a problem but you could have problems if you shoot 5.56 ammo in a .223 chambered AR-15.

From the often discussed .223 vs. 5.56 debate to possibly lesser debated comparisons like .308 vs. 7.62×51, this article gives a look at the common ammunition misconceptions. In his article, Patrick W. describes the common problems that can come with shooting ammo that’s less than ideal in your firearm. Also, a word of caution about folks selling ammo and what can be an overly generous description of what guns that particular ammunition will work best with.

Consider this pearl of wisdom. Just because someone has an item for sale doesn’t make that someone an expert, it makes them a salesman. Case in point, I was at a gun show, looking for an AR upper. I spotted four at one table so I moved in for a look. The guy behind the table was telling another potential buyer that a 5.56 and a .223 were the same cartridge. By sheer coincidence, all four of his uppers were chambered in .223!

Unicorns Don’t Exist: Collecting Firearms

Submitted By: Jeremiah K.

A gun collecting unicorn. The chrome Luger taken off a "high ranking German officer."
A real life “unicorn”. A chrome Luger allegedly taken off a “high ranking German officer”.

The wild world of rare firearms collecting is fascinating but also full of fraud. In his submission, Jeremiah K. outlines some of the more common stories behind collecting firearms and why the fantastic collector’s piece you may be looking at is nothing more than a mirage. The author stresses knowing your history and if you see something that appears too good to be true, it probably is.

Gun collectors are romantics. We get drawn in by the history and lore of the pieces we are pursuing. A mismatched 1911 could have been assembled out of surplus parts in the 1950’s or one of Merrill’s Marauders, deep in the jungles of Burma, could have cannibalized five broken .45’s to make one working pistol with which to fight the Japanese… When forced to decide between likely fact and possible legend, we “print the legend.”

So what do you think? Which entry is most deserving of the $1,000 grand prize? Let us know what entry or entries you think are deserving on the ballot below. We’ll announce the grand prize winner as well as the 2nd and 3rd prize winners April 5 on the Lucky Gunner Facebook and Google+ pages.

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  • Steven Guglielmo

    only you could come up with this don, i too love my 12 gauge semi auto shotgun, later for the pump, im too old for all that physical activity.

  • Bo Davis

    ‘Right Gun, Wrong Ammo?’ Is a well informed and easy to read article, that doesn’t give you a ‘Brain Cramp’. Nicely done.

  • Morris Arifjan

    Ah, the HU-man Patrick has once again passed on ‘Knowledge Of The Enlightened’. He once told me (while giving me a belly rub) “Morris, knowledge is Knowing a Tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put that fruit in a fruit salad.” It’s the little things…

  • Larry Jura

    Good job writing has a lot of truth in it

    • Patrick Wyett

      Thank you, Larry.

  • Shannon Hunter

    Very informative Dave!