“Adapting To Survive”: Firearms-Part 1, The .308 Winchester to .32ACP Cartridge Adapter

“Adapting To Survive”: Firearms-Part 1, The .308 Winchester to .32ACP Cartridge Adapter

As you’ll see in the post, one of the reasons I’ve picked my 11″Para FAL as my “Survival Rifle” is how well it does with the .32ACP adapter used for small game.

I have been fascinated by cartridge adapters since I read an article about the .22LR to .223Rem adapter when I was a kid. The idea that you could have a full powered firearm, and be able to use a less powerful round for taking small game or practice with, just made sense for this aspiring Survivalist.

Fast forward about seven years and I had acquired two Harry Owens .32ACP-.308Win. adapters for my HK91 and used them….A LOT! The main problem with those adapters was that at 25 yards, your hold over was about 6-7 inches. I had a Springfield Armory 6x scope with a BDC reticle, and had to hold at the 700 meter hash mark. The HK91 had a 17.7 inch barrel, and I never checked the velocity of the .32ACP out of that rifle, but I did take plenty of squirrel and grouse with that combo.

Using a scope with a Bullet Drop Compensating (BDC) reticle can be helpful with accurately aiming your weapon while shooting adapter loaded rounds.

Although I’ve had .32ACP adapters from various venders over the years (I gave the Harry Owen’s adapters with the HK to the guy I traded it to), last year, I decided I wanted to try them out of the 11″ FAL I acquired a few years ago. HOLY COW! Not only did those adapters shoot “Point of Aim/Point of Impact” for the /308Win zero, but when I put them on the chrony, they clocked in at 1115fps.

.32ACP in Feet Per Second out of the 11″ DSA FAL (Left), 16″ SAI Socom (Center) and the 2.68″ Keltec P32 (Right).

I had been told normal pistol velocities for a .32ACP (3-4″ barrel) were around 900fps, so this was a big step up in velocity, and at that point, I realized I might be on to something. First I checked the velocity of the .32ACP load (S&B 73gr ball) out of a pistol (Keltec P32) and it measure 695fps. Next, I checked it out of my 16″ Socom and it measured 988fps and shot 6 inches low at 25 meters. Finally, I put together a ballistics chart comparing that 73gr. 1115fps projectile to a common .22LR round out of a rifle. Below are my findings.

Out to 150 yards, the .32ACP load out of the 11″ FAL is dead even with a .22LR out of a rifle.

While the .32ACP shoots accurately out of 16″ and 18″ barrels, it shoots best out of shorter barrels like that of the 11″ FAL. Below shows the 3 shot group of the 16″ Socom. 2 shots were in 3/4″ and the third made the group 1.5″. This was at 25 meters, and it’s still small enough for small game.

The aim point at 25 meters was the top green dot. Group was shot with older adapters bought from Sarco.

With the 11″ FAL, group size with the Sarco adapters was around 1 1/2″. I found a company in Anchorage, Alaska that’s been making adapters for a long time. I contacted Ace Dube at MCA Sports Ace Bullet Company (his Face Book link) and ordered two of his .32ACP-.308Win adapters.

I spoke with him about the adapters I already had, and he had advised that they were what was left of his competition’s stock that was sold off after his death. He said a lot of them had not been spec checked before they were sold and were sold “as is”. I know after using his adapters, they are easier to get the brass out after firing than the ones from Sarco and Sportsman’s Guide are. They also are more accurate, as the pic below shows a three shot into a 1/2″ group.

Here’s the bottom line for me when it comes to something like cartridge adapters. First, they give you the ability to accurately shoot small game with the same weapon you are already carrying. Second, in the case of the .32ACP adapter, it is not only a centerfire, reloadable case, but it can be reloaded with a cast lead bullet you can make yourself. Third is compactness. In the case of these adapters along with my FAL, I can carry two adapters and a few .32ACP rounds in the pistol grip storage compartment.

I plan on doing more in the “Adapting To Survive” series where I will discuss several types of adapters I’ve used over the years.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.

 

 

XD-S, A FIST FULL OF HARDBALL

XD-S, A FIST FULL OF HARDBALL

Here’s a post I originally wrote for Springfield Armory’s “Armory Life” blog.

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with small pistols. Whether it was a .45 caliber cap and ball “Philadelphia Derringer,” a two-shot cartridge firing over/under Remington .41 caliber rimfire, or a semi auto AMT Backup in .45ACP. I’ve always thought compact guns, whether pistol or rifle, were practical firearms to own. As long as you stay within the practical and realistic expectations placed on the chosen firearm, you are good to go.

I’ve owned an AMT Backup .45 for about 20 years. I owned a Star Firestar in 9mm for years before that, and I still have a Keltec PF-9, 9mm. These days my Springfield Armory XD-S 45 (the original) is my go to. I have found my XD-S 45 to be accurate, very compact, and easy to control.

Springfield Armory Inc. recently sent me a “Mod.2” XD-S 45 to try out and I must say, all the improvements that were made were favorable. Let’s discuss some of those improvements.

The Grip

The first and most visibly noticeable modification / improvement is the grip texturing. Although I have no problem with the texture of the original XD-S I already own, I like the smoother and more refined Mod.2 grip texture better than the original. Along with the grip texture, is the extended beavertail above the web of the firing hand which, incidentally, places your grip higher in relation to the bore’s axis, and thus improves control of the pistol.

The Sights

The XD-S Mod.2 is now available with a “Pro-Glo” tritium front sight from Ameriglo. Although I like the fiber optic on my original XD-S, a tritium front sight is a great option to have on a factory pistol. Couple this with the “One-handed, Rackable” steel rear sight (a squared off shelf meant to catch on a belt or other hard edged surface), it is a great improvement over the original.

Shooting Impressions

I will say that, for me, the Mod.2 shot and performed no better than my original XD-S (which does really well). At 10 meters the photo shows my typical grouping when I’m “takin’ my time in a hurry” with both my original and the newer Mod.2 XD-S 45. The difference in the lower bore position is slightly noticeable, but regardless, I do like the slightly extended beavertail grip. Also, the bright yellow outline of the tritium front sight stands out in all but the brightest shooting light.

Comparing either original or Mod.2 XD-S 45’s to my old AMT Backup 45 is pointless. The AMT was the “Compact .45ACP” of its day, but performance wise it is left in the dust by either the original or Mod.2 Springfield Armory XD-S 45.

Accessories

Hard worn original XD-S with shoulder holster

I have always been a fan of shoulder holsters and I’ve been using them for over 30 years. When it came time to get a holster for my XD-S 45, I went with the Galco Classic Lite system which I have used for a number of other compact pistols. I believe it’s one of the best shoulder rigs around for concealment of a subcompact pistol.

XD-S Mod.2 top left, XD-S original top right, AMT Backup bottom for reference

Another accessory that is a “no brainer” for an automatic pistol is extra magazines. Although the XD-S 45 comes with a five and a six round mag, I not only purchased extra five and six rounders, I purchased some SA seven rounders as well. They come with a sleeve for both the original and the Mod.2 pistol grip and both the six and seven rounders will fit in the offside mag pouch of the Galco shoulder rig.

The Ammo

The “food” you feed your defensive firearm is critical to its performance and lethality. Although one of the reasons I like the .45ACP is that it’s already almost a half -inch in diameter, it doesn’t hurt to give yourself every edge. The performance of the Federal Hydra-shok  has been proven to be phenomenal for self -defense in a wide range of calibers (210 gr .45ACP here), so there’s not much to say other than it is one of the more accurate loads out of both the XD-S 45 original and Mod.2.

The 205 grain “Syntech Defense” and the 230 grain “Syntech” ball ammo from Federal both performed well and give some shooters more options when using their pistol on the range. Just like the original XD-S and Mod.2, I would carry the 205gr. Syntech and the 210gr. Hydra-shok for defense without reservation.

Conclusions

Springfield Armory continues to improve their lineup. Whether it’s improving what they already have in production, or adding new types and models of firearms, they continue a manufacturing standard by which the industry is compared to.

JCD

“Parata Vivere” – Live Prepared

A MULTI-PURPOSE FIELD TOOL: FENCING PLIERS

A MULTI-PURPOSE FIELD TOOL: FENCING PLIERS

Here’s a post I wrote originally for Springfield Armory’s “Armory Life” blog.

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Growing up on a farm taught me many things. Chief among them was how some tools could be improvised for other duties, and that some tools held the title “Jack of all Trades.” One tool I remembered using often, especially at the ranch I worked at my junior and senior summers of high school, was a pair of fencing pliers. Between putting up high tensile fencing on the farm, and those two summers of putting up five board fences on the horse pastures, I came to love and hate, but appreciate fencing pliers.

Fencing pliers have more capability than the typical set of pliers. They can be used as a medium sized hammer, they have a robust claw on the back end for pulling fence staples or whatever else might need pried upon, and they can cut through whatever can fit between their cutting jaws. They are a heavy set of pliers for doing work on whatever might need held while being repaired. Finally, they have multi-sized crimp jaws if you are actually doing fencing or electrical work.

One day, I was trying to figure out how to carry a set of fencing pliers on the outside of my rucksack, when it dawned on me that they were similar in size to a Vietnam era, military clothespin type bipod. Sure enough, when I placed the pliers inside the case, it fit perfectly, except for about an inch and a half of space at the bottom of the case. The case I have is made of canvas, has a zippered pouch on the front, and a thin tubular sleeve on the side. I use the front pouch to hold a small “ditty” (Crown Royal) bag, which I carry various 2.5″ and 1.75″ nails, along with some wood screws.

What are some of the tasks I’ve used my fencing pliers for in the field? Fixing equipment or making shelters in a campsite. I’ve used it on a trapline for securing or running snare wire and to make improvised staples (along with my multi-tool) out of nails for that task. They will easily cut through the 2.5″ nail shown in the pic. What you use your fencing pliers for is only limited to your imagination.

When it comes to weight, the pliers, bipod case, and a couple dozen nails weighs in at 2.15 pounds. The case is durable; mil spec canvas with an “Alice” clip attachment point on the back. The pliers are solid, durable, and multi-purpose. When it comes to tools a survivalist wants to have in their gear, those attributes are at the top of the list. As to where to get both items, I bought my fencing pliers at Central Tractor, and the bipod case is available on Ebay.

JCD

“Parata Vivere” – Live Prepared.