Friday, March 08, 2013

How the White House silenced gun control groups - Reid J. Epstein -

How the White House silenced gun control groups - Reid J. Epstein -

President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda is looking more doomed by the day, but gun control advocates still haven’t said a word to complain. That’s no accident.

The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.

The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.

In exchange: a voice in the discussions, a role in whatever final agreement is made and weekly meetings at the White House with Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed — provided they don’t discuss what happens there.
“The implication is very, very strong when they are calling these meetings and we are all sitting there,” said one regular attendee, who like the others, would only speak about them anonymously. “It’s not like they’re being bullies, it’s them bringing everybody together, not being one-off meetings with groups that might be interested in things other than the bottom line, not providing the forum for that kind of stuff.”

“You’re glad to be in the room,” another participant in the Reed meetings said. “Because this issue has been dead for a long time and now there’s a real opportunity there.”
POLITICO is a very left-wing, Liberal website. And they're telling us that anti-Second-Amendment representatives are being "allowed" to be 'part of the process' in the effort to  determine a rational approach to interpreting the Second Amendment .. as long as they don't disagree with the President.

Sounds like a bull in the room, without any horns.

But this isn't the kind of mums-the-word tacit support that the Southern Policy Law Center is reporting, according to a March 5, 2013 report from the Democratic Underground:

The number of anti-government, far-right extremist groups has soared to record levels since 2008 and they are becoming increasingly militant, according to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It says the number of groups in the “Patriot” movement stood at 1,360 in 2012, up from 149 in 2008 when Barack Obama was first elected president, an increase of 813%. The report said the rise was driven by opposition to Obama and the “spluttering rage” over federal attempts at gun control.

Those who were identified as “militia” groups or the paramilitary wing of the Patriot movement, numbered 321, up from 42 in 2008, the SPLC said in its report.

Concern over a “truly explosive growth” of groups on the radical right, along with a rise in domestic terrorist plots, has prompted the SPLC to write to US attorney general Eric Holder and Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano, warning of the potential for domestic terrorism and urging them create a new, inter-agency task force to assess whether it has adequate resources to deal with it.
Who ARE these lap-dog groups which are being reported by Politoco?

But he’s forced a major change on some of Washington’s noisiest advocates: the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Third Way, Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Americans for Responsible Solutions, the organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, Mark Kelly. In past fights, gun control groups sparred with each other and got used to dictating the agenda to allies in Congress.
Now they’re just happy to be included in the discussion, and still holding out hope that something might happen.
[emphasis added]
So, we're NOT talking about the NRA, or the CRKBA, or any other pro-gun rights groups.  We're hearing here that the president is including some of the most virulent anti-gun groups in the country sitting in on what we can only assume to be policy making decisions.  
Are there any pro-gun, pro-second amendment groups represented in these deliberations?  So far, no word.
The original quote specifically said the "gun control" groups, not "gun rights" groups, are included.  But they're forbidden to "make waves".  Does this mean that the President is laying down the law to these "gun control" groups?
Is the president getting tough on anti-gunners?
We don't know. I haven't yet been able to find any reference to the inclusion of gun-rights in these discussions.  Are they there?  If so, when will we hear about them?  If not .. why not?  The Internet is not the ultimate reference source .. at best, all we read there is what the Main Stream Media and the occasional blogger have to report.

We will continue to research this issue;  we can hope that non-governmental agencies which are "part of the process" will eventually include RKBA groups.  Although, it's difficult to tell what influence they might make of presidential decisions.    And I'm leary about only anti-gun groups being included, if they are not (as the article implies, but does not specifically state) permitted to have a voice.

If the anti-s are not given a voice, will the pro-gun guys get to have their say?  Personally, I would prefer a situation when both pro- and anti- gun groups have at least a voice.  I don't agree with the anti-gun folks, but I do think that their voice should be heard.

Let the arguments be decided on their merits.  And let both sides be heard.

Shooting gloves .. a good idea?

Shooting Wire:
SMYRNA, GA - GASTON J. GLOCK style LP, the purveyors of fine quality hunting and shooting sports apparel and accessories, is pleased to announce their new glove line, made from the finest reindeer leather, is now available for purchase. Made in Hungary, the glove line is currently composed of: Gloves, Unlined Hunting Gloves and Lined Hunting Gloves.

It's a funny coincidence, but aren't they all?

Over the years .. and especially since I have experienced some special 'sensitivity' (read: it sucks!) from the skin on my own hands,  I've contemplated wearing gloves to make it easier to shoot without damaging my hands.

As it happens, no matter what I do since 2008, by the end of a match I find that my skin has injuries like paper-cuts .. only, worse.  So I've been wearing plastic gloves .. even while I was working the 201? Area 1 match as the Chronograph Stage "shooter".

Last weekend, I had a student who was wearing gloves.  Not "rubber gloves:", for any obvious reason, but because .. well, I didn't know why.  They were just cloth gloves, with perhaps a little bit of leather reinforcement here and there.  Honestly, I didn't pay that much attention to the details.

He was having some problems hitting his mark; he usually hit low, and to the left, which suggested that he was 'pushing' the trigger.

I didn't mention .. anything! .. until the last stage, when I suggested that he might have better "trigger sensitivity" if he was shooting with bare-fingers, so he could feel the trigger.

He tried shooting without his gloves; he bombed.  So much for my good advice!  I said: "Okay, so maybe it isn't the gloves", and he agreed.  Unfortunately, we didn't have another stage to shoot, so we couldn't really evaluate the situation objectively.

I don't know if shooting with gloves improved his accuracy, or control  The point is, that HE thought it was providing some benefit to him.  I am not saying that I was WRONG to suggest that he shoot without gloves .. only that the situation was so unique (can you get more "unique" than to be "unique"  I don't think so!) that it was worth the effort to attempt an experiment.

Fortunately, he was willing to give it a try.
Unfortunately, it didn't work.

He shot WORSE without gloves, than with gloves.   It was what he was accustomed, I guess.  Who knew?

Ultimately, he was able to shoot safely wearing gloves, so after I had determined to my own satisfaction (it's a class, not a match),  that he met the minimal safety requirements and he was NOT compromising his own competitiveness, I backed off.

I don't know if "most" people can shoot safely while wearing gloves.  But this shooter could, and that was good enough for me.

I probably have a lot more to say on this subject .. I'm still not convinced that It's A Good Idea ... but if it works for him?

It's not my job to be critical. Only to teach my students to shoot safely. And he did.

'Nuff Said.

Geek KaBOOM! Part II

I heard from my gunsmith today about the STI EDGE (10mm) which blew a case last weekend. 

Actually, I had some information earlier this week, when I took it in to Rob's shop for an evaluation.  Apparently, the cause of the problem was that a case split from side to side ... no definitive cause of that event .. and the case bulge prevented the slide from cycling.  I still don't know the cause, whether from fatigue of the (x number of many times reloaded?) brass or an overcharge of powder.  I didn't see any problem with the brass when I inspected the loaded round, and I doubt the overcharge.

Here's what Rob had to say:
Got your pistol apart. It was a bit of a challenge to get the barrel and slide apart (due to brass flow), but was able to do it and I was successful in removing the entire case intact.

The grip is destroyed. It is cracked in at least two places, the worst being split all the way through at the rear of the magwell. It will need to be replaced.
Barrel: It appears the hood is bent up at the rear, causing it to drag significantly in the slide when removing the barrel for cleaning. When I reassemble the slide, barrel and frame, the slide operates freely. But there is less room near the front, so when removing the barrel from the slide, the bent hood becomes an issue. It is likely not safe to use and should be replaced.

Theory: I cleaned the barrel for inspection, and noticed when I drop a live round in the chamber, there is significant play side to side, but even more important to me is that the case drops too far into the chamber. I probably shouldn’t say anything until I know more, but I have a hunch there may be a headspace issue. If I am right, that could have (and likely would have) contributed to a case head blowout such as you experienced. I do not have headspace gauges for 10mm, an issue I intend to resolve. Once a “Go” and “No Go” gauge arrives, I will be able to determine if headspace is a contributing factor.

Further theory: Often a double charge causes massive, catastrophic failure. You didn’t experience this, which again leads me back to headspace as a question. I don’t know about bullets slipping back into the case and what the likely result of this condition is. I know bullet slip will significantly increase chamber pressures, but I haven’t seen enough guns in that “known” state to see what the end result was.

The important thing is that I have not found any noticeable damage to the slide or frame. I haven’t fully inspected all the small parts, but first glance tells me they are fine, even the extractor. The sear spring is bent, but it  looks like someone peened the side of the sear spring to tighten the fit to the frame, and in doing so, bent the sear leg a little. It is repairable, but the cost of a sear spring makes me think replacing it is a better choice.

If head space is an issue, what about warranty with STI? I don’t know how long you have had it, how many rounds, or if they void their warranty when handloads are used. Those are questions you’d need to find the answers to. I don’t think warranty is a likely option, but if headspace is the culprit, that is nothing you could have created yourself without a chamber reamer.

It will be several days for chamber gauges, but I’ll let you know what I find out then.
I replied to his email, saying (basically) that I wanted to fix the gun, but I need a parts-and-labor cost evaluation before I decide.  I would like to make the gun whole again, to restore it to the original condition.

Beyond that, I'm thinking about adding a C-more sight, because it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to use the gun competitively because .. damn!  I can't see the iron sights very well any more!

If the only added cost is parts and installation to add a dot-sight, I'm pretty happy with that.  I love the gun, and I know I'll feel more comfortable being able to see the sights and the target.  Moving to OPEN DIVISION with a LIMITED DIVISION gun isn't the wisest or most cost-effective solution, but it satisfies many of my personal criteria, so perhaps I can live with the expense if it resolves my current vision issues.

I've asked Rob to give me a price list for restoring the gun to the original condition, vs the same with the added expense of adding a C-more sight.  I still have The Beloved Kimber if I want to shoot in Limited (or Limited 10, or Singlestack) Division, but I think that the Edge is a superior pistol.

The question remains, whether the Edge is safe to shoot.  I still don't know why the ammunition was suddenly not "safe to shoot", but I have to say ... if my guns have to blow up I'm glad I have the 10mm STI Edge in my hands.  That may not make much sense to you, but I bought it because I thought it was a platform which would be "safe" even if the worst happened.

Well, "The Worst" happened, and I didn't get hurt.  I don't know why or how yet, but I do know that my confidence in The Edge is stronger than ever.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Eric Holder: Yes, Your Government Can Drone You to Death on U.S. Soil (UPDATED) - Hit & Run :

Eric Holder: Yes, Your Government Can Drone You to Death on U.S. Soil (UPDATED) - Hit & Run :
As members of this administration have previously indicated, the US government has not carried out drone strikes in the United States and has no intention of doing so. As a policy matter moreover, we reject the use of military force where well-established law enforcement authorities in this country provide the best means for incapacitating a terrorist threat. We have a long history of using the criminal justice system to incapacitate individuals located in our country who pose a threat to the United States and its interests abroad. Hundreds of individuals have been arrested and convicted of terrorism-related offenses in our federal courts. 

The question you have posed is therefore entirely hypothetical, unlikely to occur, and one we hope no president will ever have to confront. It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States. For example, the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack like the ones suffered on December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001.
(emphasis added)

Well, that's comforting.  If The President and Eric Holder should decide, for example, that it is in the National Interest to dive-bomb my home in the middle of a college town, I'm sure that I would die happy knowing that "My President" and Eric Holder would lose a night's sleep over it.

(The last sight registered in my cold, dead eyes?  I hope not!)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Criminology of Firearms

JURIST - Forum:The Criminology of Firearms (February 27, 2013)
In 2004, the National Academy of Sciences reviewed 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications and some empirical research of its own about guns. The Academy could not identify any gun restriction that had reduced violent crime, suicide or gun accidents. Why don't gun bans work? Because they rely on voluntary compliance by gun-using criminals. Prohibitionists never see this absurdity because they deceive themselves into thinking that, as Katherine Christoffel has said: "[M]ost shootings are not committed by felons or mentally ill people, but are acts of passion that are committed using a handgun that is owned for home protection." Christoffel, et al., are utterly wrong. The whole corpus of criminological research dating back to the 1890's shows murderers "almost uniformly have a long history of involvement in criminal behavior," and that "[v]irtually all" murderers and other gun criminals have prior felony records — generally long ones.

While only 15 percent of Americans have criminal records, roughly 90 percent of adult murderers have prior adult records — exclusive of their often extensive juvenile records — with crime careers of six or more adult years including four major felonies. Gerald D. Robin, writing for the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, notes that, unlike ordinary gun owners, "the average murderer turns out to be no less hardened a criminal than the average robber or burglar."
Throughout this essay I highlight dramatic recantations by criminologists who previously endorsed stringent gun control. For example, Professor David Mustard has stated ......

I STRONGLY recommend that you read the original scholarly article. Read the whole thing. Click on the links, and read all of THEM.

You might even want to save some of the referenced PDF files; I did, because they are saying much the same thing that I have been saying for years.

The last partial paragraph in the above quote highlights the special value:  there are quotes from scholars who have been aggressively anti-gun but who, after reading new studies about  gun-related homicide and gun violence -- realized that there had been NO studies on those subjects until well after the 1960's.  

I was made aware of this article from "The Lamplighter" a Libertarian newsletter to which I subscribe.  I am not a Libertarian, I'm not sure I'm even a complete Conservative, but when I read articles such as this one which support my (admittedly) strong
personal views and opinions, I tend to keep track of what they have to say in the future.

This article was found in Volume 15, Issue 10 of the Lamplighter, besides in the original version from "Jurist".

There's a blog article in an earlier (February 27, 2013) issue of the Lamplighter:  "Opinion Meet Fact: Gun Control Doesn't".  I recommend it, if only for the closing punchline of this very short article.

But I won't spoil the punchline; you'll have to read it for yourself.

Monday, March 04, 2013

The Gear You Need to Gut a Deer | Field & Stream

The Gear You Need to Gut a Deer | Field & Stream:

Store-bought field dressing kits often include a bunch of unnecessary items for a hunter who’s faced with gutting a deer and getting it home. This D.I.Y. kit fits into a gallon-size plastic zippered bag, which also serves as a handy place to put down a knife while you wrestle with a transcending colon. At the truck, stash 3 gallons of clean water for rinsing out the body cavity, and a hatchet if you want to open the pelvis. Latex Gloves: Lots of field dressing gloves go up to your armpit, to turn blood away from clothing and any open cuts. But wrist-high gloves are form-fitting for a better feel and grip and still prevent blood and nicked guts from infecting small cuts. Zip-Seal Bags: Have two gallon-size bags for the heart and the liver. Paper Towels: I like to keep 15 paper towels, folded up, to use as cavity and hand wipes. Bandages: Pack these for knife nicks.  .....
Oh, Deer!

Sorry.  They actually had me thinking, for the first few sentences of this article, that they knew what they were thinking of.  (Especially in that this was gear which they planned to carry while hunting).

Sorry .. it just gets worse.

What you need (as commenters emphatically "suggested") is A Sharp Knife.

Everything else is gravy --- and excess weight.

Point About The Knife:
I have noticed that people like those bowie knives, with the sharp points.  Not good for gutting, and sure not good for skinning in the field!  If you're going to skin in the field (highly recommended if you can do it .. it helps cool the meat down QUICKLY), then you want a skinning knife, which is defined as a knife which isn't going to dig into the meat while you're trying to slit the skin at the breastbone.

A drop-point knife is best ... preferably small, light, short and very sharp on the edge!  This is a drop-point knife: more handle than blade (and those of you who insist on correct knife-culture nomenclature ... STFU; I know what I'm talking about and I know the right words like 'hilt' and stuff, but I don't care.)  The long handle (See above) gives you control and leverage, and the point prevents anything other than a smooth cut when you're skinning, while the sharp edge on good steel provides a consistent, reliable and straight cut.

One of the things the F&S stream article suggests is "... a hatchet, if you want to open the pelvis".  I'm actually inclined to bring a hatchet with me while I'm hunting.  Yes, a split pelvis makes it easier to eviscerate the body cavity,  but it also makes it easier to remove the antlers from the skull, and then chop the cervical vertebrae.  When you're dragging a carcass uphill from a deep canyon, being able to easily remove lower legs and skull makes a HUGE difference.

The same with having some rope handy.  You can drag a carcass from the antlers, but it's awkward and that's one less hand available to grab the next pinion pine limb to help you up the shale slope.  And .. gee .. I've just chopped the antlers out of the skull!  (They fit neatly into the body cavity, along with the organ meat if you're the type who wants to save them to feed the relatives whom you don't like very much.  Personally .. yuck!)

Did you notice that the article didn't include a whetstone, or a sharpening steel?

Another thing that the article suggested was water to wash the carcass.  That's not only useful to get all the hare off the bare meat (if you can skin it in place, and don't intend to keep it) but it reduces the temperature of the meat immediately.  The quicker you can cool the meat, the more likely it will still be tasty when you get it to the storage unit or the butcher.

Some game animals .. .especially Prong-horn Antelope ... are intrinsically "gamey".  You must remove the lower legs (glands there!) and viscera quickly to keep them from being inedible when you get them home.

When I was hunting Antelope in Oregon and Wyoming, the terrain was flat or rolling-hills, not hard at all to get to the game with a vehicle.  We carried not three-gallon, but five-gallon cans of water, and sluiced the meat copiously after the carcass had been skinned, eviscerated, and "lopped" (head, lower limbs, hide).  And we also brought tarps, to keep the carcass clean.  You also need to pick off the bits of hair from the skinned carcass; otherwise, when you butcher you spend more time scraping off hairs .. or you just cut off the contaminated skin.

An Antelope which yields 80 pounds of meat is a rarity; you don't want to slice off otherwise-edible meat just because it has hair glued on.  It's quicker, easier and neater to keep the hair OFF the carcass, or remove it while the meat is still moist.

What do you REALLY need to "Gut A Deer"?
So, my personal list of "what you need to gut a deer" (or other thin-skinned game animal) includes:
  • Very sharp drop-point knife
  • maybe a hatchet
  • maybe a rope (depending on terrain)
  • lots of water (at the car)
  • a tarp or plastic sheet
Actually, a hatchet is not absolutely necessary; if you have  a sturdy knife, you can split the pelvis by hammering it with the heel of your hand and 'sawing' it with a knife which has a toothed back.

There are knives which are combination knife and saw; here is one example:
If you're deep in the bush, this might be worth the money at about $70.  Easier to buy, than to carry a hatchet!

City-Folk Stuff?
We could talk all night and half the morning about hunting equipment, but the point here is that many of the "items" suggested by the F&S article are just ... city-folk stuff.  You don't need it.

Like ..
  • Bandaids, in case you cut yourself while dressing a deer.  Really?  You think it's possible? Bummer!
  • Ibuprophen, because you get a headache as soon as you get out of the car.  (Maybe you should just, like, stay in your freaking car?)
  • Latex gloves .. "to turn blood away from your clothing"? Turn your sleeves back, take off your shirt, or man up!
  • Ziplock bags for heart and liver ... which fit neatly inside the body cavity, from whence they came
  • Paper Towels and handie wipes ... "Eyew, I've got blood on my pinkies?  Next year, I'll just stay home and not get all bloody!"
  • ZIP TIES .. to  "tie off the intestinal canal with one hand".  I have no idea what that means; I always just cut out the asshole right at the beginning, after I nut the carcass.  Is this a New Age Problem?  Did I "misunderestimate" the message?
  • Gut Hooks:  I STILL have no idea; and even more  what a "Butt Out 2" is.  I must be insufficiently squeamish to hunt in The New America.  How did your ancestors ever survive, hunting for meat without Zip Ties, Gut Hooks, and Butt Out 2's?   Did they, like, just reach in there and pull that stuff OUT?   Nawww .. that would be SO gross!
Okay, you lost me at "Latex Gloves".

My Goodness, I do so love The Internet.  It's amazing to learn how far I've become disenfranchised by The East Coast .. and now Field and Stream magazine is catering to namby-pamby boy-men hunters who can't abide the feeling of blood on their hands?

I think it's a really good thing that "Field and Stream" magazine wasn't publishing in 1776.  There would never have been an American Revolution.

"OMG ...  I shot a Brit and he's bleeding.  Blood!  Quick .. anybody got a Handi-Wipe!"



What's a "budget"? 

Hat Tip to The T-Man

Geek KaBOOM!

I experienced a KaBOOM event with my STI Edge (10mm) on Saturday at the ARPC range.

The Event:
The gun did literally go BOOM instead of Bang, and there was a lot of gunsmoke venting from the breach area.  The following round in the magazine did not chamber (although the bullet was pushed deeply  into the case and there was a gouge in the nose of the bullet), and in all the excitement I can't tell you now whether the slide had cycled enough to cock the hammer.  The slide lock had been pushed about 1/8" out of position, though, and the 'catch' was no longer under the slide skirt; the movement was presumably caused by the "pressure spike", so it's reasonable to presume that the slide had cycled at least far enough to allow the slide lock to move out of place (from under the slide) without damage..

And I'm certain there was a pressure spike, although I have no idea why that could have happened.  See below.

This occurred while I was demonstrating a teaching-stage at my INTRODUCTION TO USPSA class at ARPC.   Because I didn't have a volunteer "Demonstrator" at this particular class, I had resorted to my alternate practice of having members of the class act as Range Officer while I ran the demonstration stages.

The student RO didn't know what to do, so I just talked him through everything I was doing, and advised him to watch me closely to insure that I was always handling the 'malfunction' in a safe manner.  Essentially ... so that the gun was always pointed downrange; I didn't sweep myself while I was trying to clear the "Malf";   to insure that everybody else at the bay was keep safely uprange and out of the way;  and so that I had a witness to the events in case something went wrong.

The Gun:

At the time I couldn't drop the magazine,  and the slide was slightly out of battery.  I could NOT rack the slide, although it moved back in full-battery easily enough, when I pushed it..  There's now, and there was then, only about 1/8" play in the slide.  I did get the slide lock back in place, and I dropped the baseplate of the magazine to make sure the gun was definitely "unloaded" before I bagged it and left the bay.  Yes, I could thumb cock it, and dropped the hammer twice, so I was sure that there was no live round in the chamber;   later, I also dropped a squib rod down the barrel and it looks like it went all the way to the base plate, but the empty brass MAY be  still in the chamber;  I checked it again tonight, and I'm still not sure.   But I doubt it.

Lots of smoke, and lots of dirty gun-oil on my hands, but no injuries at all (just seemed like a lot more recoil than I'm accustomed to ... but that may be caused by my shock.)  Definitely, there was no "shrapnel" .. no "Thirty-Eight Super-Face".  I got one small drop of black oil on my nose, that's all.  I noticed that I kept asking everyone else if I had anything on my face ... I only expected more black oil specks, because I felt perfectly okay ... if a little shook up.

Later, I had no problems removing the magazine shell from the gun; I can't say why I was unable to do that on Saturday, but perhaps I banged the gun around enough while moving it around to loosen whatever condition had jammed it in place before.  I hadn't tried after I dumped the rounds, the spring and the follower from the magazine, so that might have been enough to relieve the tension on the magazine release.

Reloading Habits:
I have discarded the ammunition in the magazine; and am saving the rest of the ammunition from that batch; I don't intend to use it again, just to stay safe.   But I still have the damaged 'following round' from the magazine.

I really don't think it was a squib; I would have heard that.   At the time, I was shooting at a US Popper at 20+ yards, and each shot was a carefully aimed shot.  I wasn't feeling as if I was under pressure of time ... I was trying to get a good sight picture/sight alignment;  I was going to make up the first-shot miss.  And I don't think it was a double-charge, 'cause the loading press I'm using right now (an aging "Classic Lee Turret Press") doesn't have a powder measure I trust, so I'm using a "Bonanza" powder measure to include charging the rounds as a separate step of the process; I examine every round in the board after measuring powder in them, to insure that the powder level looks the same ... not underloaded, not overloaded... under a strong light as every other round; the case is about half-full  (4.5 grains of VV320 behind a 200-gr Montana Gold Truncated-round bullet -   I've been using that same load for the past 10,000 rounds plus!).

The Ammunition:
On the other hand,  I've sometimes been using moly-coated 200gr hardlead truncated lead bullets for the past 300+ rounds.  I haven't noticed any degradation in accuracy as a consequence, so it's hard to believe that I've got a barrel so leaded that it wouldn't pass a jacketed bullet.  I've written an email to "my gunsmith"  (Rob Shepherd of Shepherd Arms, to whom I intend to take the gun for examination and needed repairs) to keep an eye out for leaded lands, while he's looking at the barrel.

Frankly, I'm almost as interested in figuring out WHY, and HOW, as I am in getting the gun running again.

But the really scary thing is ... the next round out of the magazine was grossly distorted.

(1) The bullet was mashed in and discolored (by the vented gases?).

(2) The bullet was punched deeply into the case ... it looks like it was stopped by the powder in the case ... which it obviously compressed, because ..... 

(3) ... the pressure in that unfired case was so high that it forced the primer part-way out of the primer pocket! 

Remember, this round (the one on the right in these pictures) was still in the magazine after the Ka-BOOM.

Preliminary Conclusions:
I wish to emphasize, however, that although the ammunition blew up .. the gun held together!  Pending further evidence after a thorough examination of the gun, I would like to present these three preliminary conclusions:

(1)  The gun didn't vent shrapnel into the air, into the person of either the shooter (me) or the RO .. a student.  This is in direct contrast to the earlier experiences with "thirty-eight Shrapnel Face", "Glock Kaboom", and "Forty Short and Wicked" experiences.
(2) the reasons for this are that the gun and the case (10mm) are more robust than those which typified those comparative examples.  The gun was BUILT on the very sturdy frame designed and manufactured by STI.  The design of the gun included a fully supported barrel, and that "plastic hand-grip" had no problem containing the exhaust gasses.  Also, the 10mm cartridge case is MUCH more robust than the notoriously weak .40S&W; the case features much more support around the base web, which prevents the base of the cartridge case from either splitting or separating under extreme pressures .. the root cause (if you will forgive the pun) of much damage to shooters in other situations.
(3)  While I'm disappointed and distressed by the incident, I'm still a little smug.  When I bought the EDGE, I had previously talked to the President and CEO of STI (Dave Skinner) and told him that I was prepared to buy and EDGE when it was USPSA-Limited Division legal in the 10mm ... I would not buy it in its current .40S&W configuration.  Dave responded some months later to inform me that it was now legal in that 10mm configuration, and I was sufficiently confident in his word to buy the gun.  I think this experience proves that the 10mm, although the brass is nearly prohibitively expensive (at 17.3 Cents per round) is sufficiently SAFER than the .40S&W round to justify the pennys-per-round COST as opposed to the cost of paying physically for any errors I may have made in my reloading habits.