Working From Home: Is it Worth it?

We’ve all fantasized about trading in our demanding office hours, gossiping coworkers, and overbearing bosses for a work from home gig. But, how do we get past the anxieties that come with the transition?

Nip those fears in the bud and get ready to pursue the career of your dreams with some of the information below.

Why is Working from Home So Great?

work at home

Working from home has several benefits besides the ability to make a living in your pajamas. You’ll find that trading in your traditional work can yield great benefits such as:

  • You’ll save money from commuting to work. You can reinvest the $50 you throw in your tank each week into something that you love. You can even use it to buy an equipment for your new home office.
  • Working from home can cut out your lunch expenses as well as a few inches off of your waistline. You’re more likely to prepare and eat healthy lunches if you aren’t heading to the food trucks parked across the street from your office.
  • You can say goodbye to the guilt that comes with having to reschedule outings with friends or missing your kid’s recital because you set your own hours. You’re able to start work whenever you like and put it away just in time to catch a yoga class and a chance to focus on you.

Sounds Perfect, Right?

Not so fast.

There are a lot of great things about working from home, but if you’re seriously considering making the switch, then you need to prepare for its drawbacks.

Check them out:


Were you the first to quit a new instrument, dance class or sport after just a couple of days? Do you still allow your gym to take $20 out of your bank account each month despite the fact that you haven’t stepped inside of a gym since the last year?

Discipline is a key factor to successfully working from home.

Work/Life Balance

While working from home can definitely benefit those that seek control over how much work dominates their life, managing a solid work/life balance can be tough for true workaholics.

If you don’t have a dedicated and closed off workspace, you’ll be constantly reminded of how there’s always work to be done. This could easily lead to burnout if you fail to set boundaries between work and your personal life.

See Also: Keep Calm and Don’t Stress: Recognizing and Preventing Job Burnout

Financial Instability

Unless you’re working for a larger company, most self-employed individuals or freelancers that work from home have to acknowledge that their funds will fluctuate. There could be times when you go an entire month without receiving a check and you’ll have to find a way to keep yourself afloat financially in the meantime.

What’s Right For Me?

work from home

It’ll take a lot of self-reflection to figure out if working from home might be ideal for you. Check to see if any of the situations below affect you.

You might flourish with working from home if:

  • You’re self-motivated and you don’t need a boss to stand over your shoulder to ensure that work is done.
  • You have six months’ worth of living expenses in your bank account, just in case you come upon hard times.
  • You don’t mind doing self-employment taxes or advertising.
  • You’re not dependent on a healthcare plan provided by your traditional employer.

You might fail at working from home if:

  • You’re not self-motivated. If you need a kick in the rear to help you get started on a project, you might be better off with a more traditional setup.
  • It would put you or your family in financial trouble.
  • You’re not very good at managing stress. It would only make you more stressed to have the extra responsibility on your plate.
  • You prefer structure set by an outside source.
  • You enjoy being able to wheel your chair over to the next cubicle to chat with your coworkers.

Tips for Making the Change

If you’re determined to work from home, you’re going to need help to manage the transition. Here are a few tips to keep you from giving up on your dream to work from home:

  • Make an effort to get out of the house and see your friends or loved ones 2-3 times a week. When you first start working from home, it can be tempting to just throw yourself into your work 24/7, so that you can make your dream come true. Unfortunately, working all the time can and will lead to burnout.
  • Stick to a morning schedule. You’ll be far more successful if you can create your own structure that you can amend at any time.
  • Take inventory of your pantry and fill it up with non-perishable goods in case you run into some financial trouble. Having five or six boxes of stovetop macaroni and cheese can be a lifesaver if you’re running low on cash.
  • Most importantly, perform extensive research on what you’d like to do! If you want to be a freelance writer, you’ll need to read up on all of the different niches and decide what best fits your skill level and financial needs. There’s also plenty of successful individuals that do freelance graphic design, data entry work, virtual assisting or call center work for a company that doesn’t mind if you work from home.

See Also: How to increase productivity while doing ‘Work from Home’?

Get Started!

If you think that you’re cut out for the challenges that come with working from home, start thinking of when and how you’ll begin your transition. If you plan well, you’ll be able to enjoy the rewards of working from home in no time!

The post Working From Home: Is it Worth it? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

via Dumb Little Man – Tips for Life
Working From Home: Is it Worth it?

It’s now tougher (and more expensive) to find big ideas

Big ideas are getting harder and harder to find, and innovations have become increasingly massive and costly endeavors, according to new research.

As a result, tremendous continual increases in research and development will be needed to sustain even today’s low rate of economic growth.

This means modern-day inventors—even those in the league of Steve Jobs—will have a tough time measuring up to the productivity of the Thomas Edisons of the past.

“The only way we’ve been able to roughly maintain growth is to throw more and more scientists at it.”

Nicholas Bloom, senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and coauthor of a paper released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, contends that so many game-changing inventions have appeared since World War II that it’s become increasingly difficult to come up with the next big idea.

“The thought now of somebody inventing something as revolutionary as the locomotive on their own is inconceivable,” Bloom says.

“It’s certainly true if you go back one or two hundred years, like when Edison invented the light bulb,” he says. “It’s a massive piece of technology and one guy basically invented it. But while we think of Steve Jobs and the iPhone, it was a team of dozens of people who created the iPhone.”

To better understand the nation’s sluggish economic growth, Bloom and his three coauthors—SIEPR senior fellow Chad Jones, Stanford doctoral candidate Michael Webb, and MIT professor John Van Reenen—examined research productivity at an aggregate national level as well as within three swaths of industry: technology, medical research, and agriculture. For another measure, they also analyzed research efforts at publicly traded firms.

Their paper follows a common economic concept that economic growth comes from people creating ideas. In other words, when you have more researchers producing more ideas, you get more economic growth.

But Bloom and his team find a not-so-rosy imbalance. While research efforts are rising substantially, research productivity—or the ideas being produced per researcher—is declining sharply.

“The economy has to double its research efforts every 13 years just to maintain the same overall rate of economic growth.”

So the reason the US economy has even grown at all is because steep increases in research and development have more than offset the decline in research productivity, the study finds.

Specifically, the number of Americans engaged in R&D has jumped by more than twentyfold since 1930 while their collective productivity has dropped by a factor of 41.

“It’s getting harder and harder to make new ideas, and the economy is more or less compensating for that,” Bloom says. “The only way we’ve been able to roughly maintain growth is to throw more and more scientists at it.”

The paper spelled it out bluntly in numbers: “The economy has to double its research efforts every 13 years just to maintain the same overall rate of economic growth.”

Less optimism

Bloom initiated this research a year ago, inspired to dig deeper after speaking on a panel at the SIEPR economic summit that discussed “Is the Productivity Slowdown for Real?” He admits the paper—and its somewhat pessimistic analysis—has dampened his previous, more optimistic stance.

“I’ve changed my mind,” Bloom says. “Pretty much all mainstream economists have become rather depressed about productivity growth.”

At the 2016 SIEPR Summit, Bloom was more positive about the nation’s productivity, saying its declining rate was only a temporary effect of the financial crisis of 2008. He even caricatured ways of looking at US productivity levels and contended the up-and-down swings between 1950 and 2010 did not necessarily signal a long-running trend of slow productivity growth.

A year ago, Bloom recalls, “I thought we were recovering from a huge global recession and we’re about to turn around.”

Now, his perspective takes into account new insights that research productivity—one of the underlying components of economic growth—has been clearly dropping for decades.

“This paper says productivity growth is slowing down because ideas are getting harder to find,” Bloom says.

These innovative countries outperform their peers

While the study builds on the earlier work of Jones and others on R&D, the new paper also weaves a tight connection between empirical data on what’s happening in the real world and growth models.

The robust finding of declining idea productivity has implications for future economic research, the paper concludes. The standard assumption in growth models has historically been a constant rate of productivity, and “we believe the empirical work we’ve presented speaks clearly against this assumption,” it states.

Moore’s Law

Everywhere they looked, the researchers say they found clear evidence of how exponential investments in R&D have masked the decline in productivity. The tech industry’s signature guidepost, Moore’s Law, which marked its 52nd year in April, is a prime example.

Introduced in 1965 by Gordon Moore, the co-founder of computer chip giant Intel, the theorem postulates that the density of transistors on an integrated circuit would double roughly every two years, doubling computing power.

Moore’s Law has certainly played out—the computing power on a chip today is remarkable compared to even a decade ago—but the study found that the research effort behind the chip innovations rose by a factor of 78 since 1971.

To spur innovation, teach A.I. to find analogies

Put another way, the number of researchers required today to maintain that innovative pace is more than 75 times larger than the number that was required in the early 1970s.

“The constant exponential growth implied by Moore’s Law has been achieved only by a staggering increase in the amount of resources devoted to pushing the frontier forward,” the paper states.

Other industries also exhibited falloffs in idea productivity.

For instance, to measure productivity in agriculture, the study’s coauthors used crop yields of corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton and compared them against research expenditures directed at improving yields, including cross-breeding, bioengineering, crop protection, and maintenance.

The average yields across all four crops roughly doubled between 1960 and 2015. But to achieve those gains, the amount of research expended during that period rose “tremendously”—anywhere from a threefold to a more-than-25-fold increase, depending on the crop and specific research measure.

On average, research productivity in agriculture fell by about 4 to 6 percent per year, the study finds.

A similar pattern of greater input but less output followed in medical research. The study’s authors analyzed R&D spending on new, federally approved drugs against life expectancy rates as a gauge of productivity. They also examined decreases in mortality rates of cancer patients against medical research publications and clinical trials.

The empirical findings on breast and heart cancer suggest that at least in some areas, “it may get easier to find new ideas at first before getting harder,” the paper states.

Turning its focus to publicly traded companies, the study found a fraction of firms where research productivity—as measured by growth in sales, market capitalization, employment, and revenue-per-worker productivity—grew decade-over-decade since 1980. But overall, more than 85 percent of the firms showed steady, rapid declines in productivity while their spending in R&D rose.

The analysis found research productivity for firms fell, on average, about 10 percent per year. It would take 15 times more researchers today than it did 30 years ago to produce the same rate of economic growth.

Source: May Wong for Stanford University

The post It’s now tougher (and more expensive) to find big ideas appeared first on Futurity.

It’s now tougher (and more expensive) to find big ideas

How to Prepare to Work From Home

Photo by Alexas_Fotos

The day before you work from home, remember to transfer any important files, as Fast Company points out in their guide to working from home. If you’re using a different computer, sync everything over with Dropbox, email, or a USB drive. Even if you’re using the same computer, or if you mostly rely on cloud services, remember to also prepare for any two-factor logins, and anything that won’t work on your corporate VPN. And bring any physical documents home.

FC also recommends prepping your workspace the night before: Clear away distracting “home stuff” and replicate your work environment as much as possible. It’s hard enough to get into your usual workday headspace when you’re sitting at home. You don’t want to waste the morning on making adjustments.


Set up as many of your usual office comforts as possible—you’d be surprised how distracting it can be to not have your favorite coffee mug or headphones. And clear away your home clutter. The idea is to replicate your usual workspace for a day.

If you’re using your personal computer for the day, turn that into “work mode” too: Close your usual home tabs like your personal email, turn off any notifications you wouldn’t have on your work computer, and maybe even create a different Chrome account.

For more prep, check out Lifehacker’s massive archive of work-from-home advice, from convincing your boss to let you do it, to changing clothes at the end of your day.


The Ultimate Work-From-Home Checklist For People Who Are Always In The Office | Fast Company

via Lifehacker
How to Prepare to Work From Home

Stack Overflow Launches Salary Calculator For Developers

An anonymous reader writes: Stack Overflow today launched Salary Calculator, a tool that lets developers check out typical salaries across the industry. The calculated results are based on five factors: location, education, years of professional coding experience, developer type, and technologies used professionally. Stack Overflow is releasing the tool because it believes developers should be empowered with more information around job searches, careers, and salary. The company noticed ads on Stack Overflow Jobs that include salary information get 75 percent more clicks than ads without salary information. Even in cases when the salary range is below average, the ads still get 60 percent more clicks.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Stack Overflow Launches Salary Calculator For Developers

Agent AI aims to turbocharge its AI tools by offering free CRM

Agent AI is looking to automate more of the customer service process. To do that, it’s built its own customer relationship management product, as well as AI tools that sit on top — and now it’s making the CRM part available for free.

While giant software businesses have been built around CRM, CEO Fred Hsu said the market has changed, with the software becoming less differentiated and more commoditized.

He’s not saying that Agent AI’s CRM software — which allows businesses to save customer data, manage different communication channels and visualize customer interactions — isn’t good. But in his view, his company’s advantage will be on the AI side (it’s in the name, after all). And those AI products work best when they have lots of data to work with.

“By making our commodity software available for free, it’s a no cost, no risk way to make it really easy to onboard that customer data,” Hsu said.

Specifically, Agent AI’s Co-Pilot and Auto-Pilot services both draw on data about past interactions, a company knowledge base and more.

Agent AI

Co-Pilot suggests responses to customer questions and allows team members to accept those responses with just one click, while Auto-Pilot moves closer to full automation, sending responses to routine questions without any human intervention. Agent AI says Auto-Pilot can answer 50 to 80 percent of routine customer service inquiries.

Hsu also noted that Agent AI isn’t charging a standard software-as-a-service subscription fee. Instead, customers pay $1 per automated conversation, which he argued makes AI accessible to a wider range of businesses.

“Part of the problem and maybe some of the opportunity is that it’s been very binary — you have AI or you don’t,” he said. “It’s cost and timing prohibitive. … I haven’t seen realistic, usable models for these [businesses] who just want rapid fire, accurate, high quality converstaions.”

Also worth noting: While Agent AI is using free CRM as a way to bring businesses and their data on-board, Hsu said its AI technology also integrates with other CRM services through APIs.

Featured Image: Aniwhite/Shutterstock

via TechCrunch
Agent AI aims to turbocharge its AI tools by offering free CRM

Percona Live Europe Featured Talks: Automatic Database Management System Tuning Through Large-Scale Machine Learning with Dana Van Aken

Percona Live Europe 2017

Percona Live EuropeWelcome to another post in our series of interview blogs for the upcoming Percona Live Europe 2017 in Dublin. This series highlights a number of talks that will be at the conference and gives a short preview of what attendees can expect to learn from the presenter.

This blog post is with Dana Van Aken, a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her talk is titled Automatic Database Management System Tuning Through Large-Scale Machine Learning. DBMSs are difficult to manage because they have hundreds of configuration “knobs” that control factors such as the amount of memory to use for caches and how often to write data to storage. Organizations often hire experts to help with tuning activities, but experts are prohibitively expensive for many. In this talk, Dana will present OtterTune, a new tool that can automatically find good settings for a DBMS’s configuration knobs. In our conversation, we discussed how machine learning helps DBAs manage DBMSs:

Percona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?

Dana: I got involved with research as an undergrad and ended up working on a systems project with a few Ph.D. students. It turned out to be a fantastic experience and is what convinced me to go for my Ph.D. I visited potential universities and chatted with many faculty members. I met with my current advisor at Carnegie Mellon University, Andy Pavlo, for a half hour and left his office excited about databases and the research problems he was interested in. Three years later, I’m even more excited about databases and the progress we’ve made in developing smarter auto-tuning techniques.

Percona: You’re presenting a session called “Automatic Database Management System Tuning Through Large-Scale Machine Learning”. How does automation make DBAs life easier in a DBMS production environment?

Dana: The role of the DBA is becoming more challenging due to the advent of new technologies and increasing scalability requirements of data-intensive applications. Many DBAs are constantly having to adjust their responsibilities to manage more database servers or support new platforms to meet an organization’s needs as they change over time. Automation is critical for reducing the DBA’s workload to a manageable size so that they can focus on higher-value tasks. Many organizations now automate at least some of the repetitive tasks that were once DBA responsibilities: several have adopted public/private cloud-based services whereas others have built their own automated solutions internally.

The problem is that the tasks that have now become the biggest time sinks for DBAs are much harder to automate. For example, DBMSs have dozens of configuration options. Tuning them is an essential but tedious task for DBAs, because it’s a trial and error approach even for experts. What makes this task even more time-consuming is that the best configuration for one DBMS may not be the best for another. It depends on the application’s workload and the server’s hardware. Given this, successfully automating DBMS tuning is a big win for DBAs since it would streamline common configuration tasks and give DBAs more time to deal with other issues. This is why we’re working hard to develop smarter tuning techniques that are mature and practical enough to be used in a production environment.

Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?

Dana: I’ll be presenting OtterTune, a new tool that we’re developing at Carnegie Mellon University that can automatically find good settings for a DBMS’s configuration knobs. I’ll first discuss the practical aspects and limitations of the tool. Then I’ll move on to our machine learning (ML) pipeline. All of the ML algorithms that we use are popular techniques that have both practical and theoretical work backing their effectiveness. I’ll discuss each algorithm in our pipeline using concrete examples from MySQL to give better intuition about what we are doing. I will also go over the outputs from each stage (e.g., the configuration parameters that the algorithm find to be the most impactful on performance). I will then talk about lessons I learned along the way, and finally wrap up with some exciting performance results that show how OtterTune’s configurations compared to those created by top-notch DBAs!

My talk will be accessible to a general audience. You do not need a machine learning background to understand our research.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live Europe 2017?

Dana: This is my first Percona Live conference, and I’m excited about attending. I’m looking forward to talking with other developers and DBAs about the projects they’re working on and the challenges they’re facing and getting feedback on OtterTune and our ideas.

Want to find out more about Dana and machine learning for DBMS management? Register for Percona Live Europe 2017, and see his talk Automatic Database Management System Tuning Through Large-Scale Machine Learning. Register now to get the best price! Use discount code SeeMeSpeakPLE17 to get 10% off your registration.

Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2017 in Dublin is the premier European open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, time series database, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe will be September 25-27, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.

via MySQL Performance Blog
Percona Live Europe Featured Talks: Automatic Database Management System Tuning Through Large-Scale Machine Learning with Dana Van Aken

Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases, 2-Piece Nickel Alloy ~ Video & Review

Professional reloader, Bob Shell, reviews the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases and puts their claims of reduced cost and increased durability to the test.
Editors Note: Caution, Reloading is dangerous, read our “Reloading Disclaimer“. The reloading data published by this website is intended discussion purposes only. As with all data collection, mistakes are possible. You have been warned.**

Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases, a new 2-Piece Nickel Alloy 9mm Cases.
Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases, a new 2-Piece Nickel Alloy 9mm Cases.
Bob Shell
Bob Shell

U.S.A.-( We are in an age where all types of novel ammo and reloading components are coming to the market. That is good news for us shooters as much of this is improvements over previous offerings.

One new company is Shell Shock Technologies which is making some innovative 9 mm ammo cases. These cases are definitely a new idea that is based on manufacturing methods not previously used to my knowledge.

Shell Shock Technologies came up with a novel idea, a 2-piece case that is made from a nickel alloy. The exact process is proprietary therefore the exact production methods used are not revealed.

Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases

I received some cases for evaluation and shooting along with the dies necessary to load those. There is a sizing and decapping die and a belling die. The bullet seating is done with a normal die which isn’t included. For detailed info, you can go here: .

Since the technology is new they have a video on how to use their dies and cases. There are some differences from the typical methods, so it would behoove you to check out the video prior to using these cases. You can see the video here ( ) and get other info pertinent to this product. The Shell Shock Technologies sizing and belling dies can be used for standard brass ammo cases, which is a plus because these new cases are superior to brass but will never replace them.

The Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases are a two-piece and are lighter than traditional brass. The bottom is an aluminum alloy while a nickel alloy part is the top, which makes the case magnetic. That makes them easier to pick up at a range. I weighed a number of them and they all weighed 35 grains with no variation. That would be a contributing factor in producing consistent ammo. Some brass cases I weighed came in at 63 to 64 grains so the advantage of lightweight cases would be evident if you had to carry a large amount of ammo. I measured several for length and they all came in at .7505 with no variation. That would be another feature that would contribute to accuracy and consistency.

If Shell Shock Technologies wanted to do some serious weight reduction by using a 50-grain bullet which is available or they could design their own. Such ammo would reduce both weight and recoil.

During my testing of the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases I also received 200 rounds of factory loaded 9 mm with a copper 124 gr HP. They are produced by L-Tech Enterprises using Shell Shock Technologies cases. They sent some info showing penetration and weight retention results. They are consistent and if you are not a reloader this ammo is an option if you are not interested in reloading the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases.

L-Tech Enterprises using the Shell Shock cases
L-Tech Enterprises using the Shell Shock Technologies cases

Loading the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases

The first load I used is standard load using 5 grains of Winchester 231 Smokeless Powder and a 115-grain FMJ. The load is very mild and the cases were covered with soot which is normal with light loads. The reason is low-pressure loads do not seal the chamber which allows some powder to come back into the action. While messy it is seldom an issue in regards to performance. The soot cleans off easily for those who like good looking cases. Most nickel cases have that advantage though brass needs extra cleaning if that is important.

The load is very mild and the cases were covered with soot which is normal with light loads.
The load is very mild and the cases were covered with soot which is normal with light loads.

I have switched to standard sizing dies and have not had any issues. Some of the NAS3 Shell Cases have now been fired 3 or 4 times and they are holding up. I have 1 case that split in the normal way that was fired 3 times and it is my only failure. You do have to lube the cases to avoid excess labor in sizing. So, the issue of durability seems to be resolved.

The question is: why would you purchase the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases as opposed to more conventional pieces?

Most 9 mm ammo cases last several firings and are easy to get. Performance wise there isn’t any real difference. My reason to purchase would be their light weight. If you wanted to carry a large amount of ammo the light weight case would be desirable. Now if you put this case with a light weight bullet then it would be a really desirable product. Liberty makes a 50 grain non-lead HP and that paired up with Shells Sock case should make some top rate ammo. Carrying a small amount of this ammo wouldn’t make a difference but carrying or transporting a large amount would show a sizable weight advantage. I have a 60-grain bullet to work with and at high velocity should make a nice self-defense load.

I sized some fired cases with normal 9mm sizing dies and don’t see any problems and effort is the same as the special dies. Belling is normal and priming feels a little odd. I tried some once fired cases using both sets of dies and the effort appears identical though lubing or case wax makes them easier to size. I noticed that a couple had increased the size of the groove. Not sure if that is a function of the dies or a case.

If you closely look at the groove it shows that the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases is a two-piece case.
If you closely look at the groove it shows that the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases is a two-piece case. ( Click Here for Full Size Image )

If you closely look at the NAS3 Shell Case groove it shows that the case is a two-piece case. I am also unsure of how the case is assembled either by a screw on or pressed together. The inside is slightly shallower than a conventional case but not by much, at an average of .05”.

A look at the inside of the Shell Shock Technologies custom die shows that it appears to be the same as a conventional die and like a good die has a tungsten core. With the photos, it appears that the construction is very different than a conventional piece of brass. Most of them felt like a two-stage deal though not very difficult to prime. It will be interesting to see how they go through a Dillon or RCBS progressive press.

I am going to load cases with the same load but using both sets of dies. I have some 60 gr HP and had to size the new cases to make them fit tight enough. The 115-gr cast did not need to have the new cases sized.

Another gun came into the mix a Sig with a 4” barrel. A Norinco was also used giving us different guns for testing and that gives us more info on what to expect with the cases and loads.

Different guns, including the Beretta, were used to give us more info on what to expect with the cases and loads.
Different guns, including the Beretta, were used in testing the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases , to give us more info on what to expect with the cases and loads.

Some of the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases have now been fired 7 times, there is no indication of any problems, and I am using RCBS dies only as I don’t see a need for the Shell Shock Technologies special ones. That would make these cases more desirable if it isn’t necessary to use special dies. I still recommend you get the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Case dies to see which method works best for you. I just received some new powders from Chris Hodgdon resembling some older powders such as Red Dot. With one load, I used standard and Shell Shock Technologies’ cases to observe any differences. One load won’t tell the whole story but further testing will reveal the differences. In the end there was some differences between regular cases and Shell ShockTechnologies cases but not much.

In the end there was some differences between regular cases and Shell ShockTechnologies cases but not much.

Some of the cases have now been fired 7 times, there is no indication of any problems, and I am using RCBS dies only as I don’t see a need for the special ones.
Some of the cases have now been fired 7 times, there is no indication of any problems, and I am using RCBS dies only as I don’t see a need for the special Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 dies.

Since I received some more gun powders from Hodgdon will try a couple with these cases and starting with the Red. The cases are holding up after 5 to 6 firings using the standard RCBS dies. The new Red powder needs some work, which has nothing to do with the cases. Many loads were tried along with three handguns to get a good overview of the Shell Shock case and some new powder and bullets were tried. Some of the lighter bullets were made by me as they are not generally available such as the 60-grain. The Acme Bullet Company has a cast 9mm bullet with a red coating which tends to make them slick and aids in feeding. In addition did include loads that didn’t do particularly well and for the sake of info they are included. Furthermore, they might shoot better in another handgun.

The Acme Bullet Company bullet is a cast item with a red coating which tends to make them slick and aids in feeding.
The Acme Bullet Company bullet is a cast item with a red coating which tends to make them slick and aids in feeding.

Shell Shock Technologies 9mm Cases Performance

Load Bullet Velocity Comment
8 grs 231 60 gr HP new ogive 1580.81 Better
8 grs WW 572 60 gr HP new ogive 1458.79 Very Consistent
7 grs Tite Group 60 gr HP 1629.3 Ok
7 grs WW-572 115 gr FMJ Sig 1153.46 Nice Load
7.5 grs WW-572 115 gr FMJ Sig 1270.25 Consistent Max
7.5 grs 231 115 gr Cast Coated 1139.82 Very Consistent*
6.5 grs WW 572 115 gr FMJ 1063.18 Consistent
6.5 grs WW 572 115 gr FMJ Norinco 1115.8 Consistent
6.5 grs WW 572 115 gr Cast Coated 1099.14 Super Consistent
6.5 grs WW-572 130 gr FMJ 1073.8 Nice Load
6.5 grs HS-6 135 gr HP Custom Die 945.8 Mild Ok*
6.5 grs HS-6 135 gr HP RCBS Die 912.1 Fed Ok*
6 grs 231 115 gr FMJ 1107.5 Consistent
6 grs Red 115 gr FMJ Norinco 1283.83 High ES
6 grs Red 115 gr FMJ 1300.2 Berretta High ES
6 grs Unique 135 gr HP RCBS Die 1062.5 Nice Load
6 grs HS-6 147 gry Berry 924 Fed Better
6 grs WW-572 147 gr Berry 1080.89 Berreta Nice
5.5 grs Red 130 gr Acme 1084.64 Norinco Fair
5.5 grs Red 130 gr Acme 1090.5 Beretta High ES
5.2 grs Blue Dot 158 gr Cast Coated 762.18 Consistent
5 grs Red (Shell Shock) 115 gr FMJ 861.75 Beretta Too Light
5 grs Red (regular) 115 gr FMJ 827.46 Beretta Too Light
5 grs Red (Shell Shock) 115 gr FMJ 859.2 Norinco Light
5 grs Red (Regular) 115 gr FMJ 839.9 Norinco Light
4 grs Tite Group 115 gr FMJ (Dillon) 1094.7 Consistent Feeds
L-Tech 124 gr HP 1085.55 Consistent
L-Tech 124 gr HP 1044.5 Consistent*

I am using some CMA bullets but the ogives are too blunt and won’t feed so I have reformed them with a 9-mm bullet die that I bought years ago. They look better and the diameter has increased which has allowed them to be seated tighter and more consistent. Since the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases weighs much less than conventional brass cases do a 60-grain bullet should really help. No point in having a light case and a standard weight bullet. There is a noticeable difference in weight which may allow someone to carry more ammo.

The 60 grain has some potential so I am going to work with it in regards to shape and loads. Since it is so light, velocity has to be high in order to cycle the gun. Such a load should be nice in a lightweight gun as it will cut down on recoil. When I changed the ogive, the diameter increased to .356-.357 which is probably the reason that they are more consistent than the unformed bullets which have a .355 diameter.

I am using some CMA bullets but the ogives are too blunt and won’t feed so I have reformed them with a 9-mm bullet die
I am using some CMA bullets but the ogives are too blunt and won’t feed so I have reformed them with a 9-mm bullet die

There are several companies that are using the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases and I would like to see Liberty Ammunition pick them up with their 50-grain bullets.

Just for info, I weighed some 9-mm ammo with these results. They were rounded off and you can see that if a large quantity of ammo was carried the Shell Shock cases would cut down on the weight enough to make a difference. The CMA 60 gr did better but still jammed on occasion in the Norinco. Of course, that would render it unsuitable for defense work but I will try and work with the ogive but due to the short length that may be difficult.

The 147 grain did well with the heavier load of HS-6 with no stovepipes. Like any situation and gun, it is recommended that you thoroughly check out the ammo that is intended to be carry fodder. I took the 135 gr CMA and changed the ogive to a more rounded shape to ensure that it will feed in everything. In addition, they were .354 in diameter and the reshaping increased it to .358. Since there is a possibility that they may cause some problems reduced it to .356. Some .357 diameter bullets were swaged down to 356 a FMJ and a cast coated both round nose. The purpose is for sub sonic loads.

Liberty ammo makes some high-performance ammo using lighter than standard bullets. The 9 mm bullets weigh 50 grains so I measured a loaded round. The Shell Shock case weighs 35 grains so a loaded round with a Liberty bullet would weigh 85 grains.

I was curious as to case capacity of Shell Shock casings against other commercial cases. I used WW-572 filled to the top in each case and the results surprised me. I thought that the Shellshock case would have more capacity based on their weight. Here are the results though not scientific:

Shell Shock Cases Grain Capacity

Shell Shock 13.1 grains
Federal 13.2 grains
PMC 13.1 grains
GFI 13.3 grains
Win 13.2 grains

As you can see they are very similar. The next step is to use the same load in both types of cases.

Shell Shock 9mm Cases

Liberty Factory 9mm Case 50 gr bullet 120
Shell Shock 9mm Case 60 gr Bullet 95
Factory 9mm Case 115 gr FMJ 186
Shell Shock 9mm 115 gr FMJ 150
Shell Shock 9mm 147 gr Barrry 182

One thing that I haven’t noticed is any mention of the cases being reloaded on a progressive machine. That would be a plus if that is the case. Therefore, I had a friend run some through his Dillion RL550B press. Other than the requirement that they be lubed the process went off without a hitch. With a normal bullet, everything went fine. We fired some of the rounds made on the Dillon and they fed flawlessly so there should be no issues but they have to be lubed regardless of which dies or machine is used to load them. That new powder WW 572 seems to work well in the 9’S just need to adjust the loads.

Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases : Here to Stay

Based on my observations the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases are here to stay. They are durable and can compete with conventional brass cases in regards to price and reloading life. For my purposes, they are perfect. I load small batches of test ammo for trying out various powders and bullets. I don’t use progressive loaders so anyone who does can figure out the best way to make large quantities of ammo. In a few years, they will have a good share of the market though they won’t entirely replace the brass cases for several reasons.

Based on my observations these cases are here to stay.
Based on my observations these cases are here to stay.

They have a few upsides such as durability and price. Since they are partly nickel alloy a magnet will pick them up. I have fired hundreds of rounds and had one case that split. I can live with that. The only downside is the requirement that they have to be lubed. A quick spray on may speed up the process especially with a progressive machine. I have talked to the company rep and he says that other calibers are in the works such as the 45 ACP and 223 among others. Hopefully, they will be available soon so I can see how they shoot.

I would recommend that you give the Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Case product a try and you will be a customer.

About Bob Shell:

A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit:

This post Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases, 2-Piece Nickel Alloy ~ Video & Review appeared first on Shooting Sports News .

via Shooting Sports News
Shell Shock Technologies NAS3 Shell Cases, 2-Piece Nickel Alloy ~ Video & Review

Watch: Firing the Fith Ops Shotgun Perimeter Alarms

Watch: Firing the Fith Ops Shotgun Perimeter Alarms


These things are kinda cool… if you love guns and trinkets and gadgets and such. And who doesn’t?

They’re perimeter alarms… er, make that “things that go bang.” Okay, they’re both. Made by Fith Ops, they’re available to fire a shotgun primer or a specialty 12 gauge blank shotgun shell. The idea is to make noise to 1) scare off any intruder(s) and 2) let you know that your perimeter has been breached.


You arm these things by loading and cocking them, then attach a trip line using some sort of cordage. When movement of the trip line pulls the pin, the alarm will go bang.


Hardly a new concept, but interesting anyhow. And although I’m not a fan of Taofledermaus on YouTube, this video gives you a good look at these versions — including a package showing a tent protected by these alarms from a bear — and bigfoot!


Naturally, they do dumb stuff like loading shells with black powder and red powder, magnesium, and glitter… in most cases, it’s the black powder that makes the big fireballs.



Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started… [Learn More]

via All Outdoor
Watch: Firing the Fith Ops Shotgun Perimeter Alarms

Air Force to Poll Researchers ‘On the Cutting Edge of Science’ in Review

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced a 12-month review that aims to prioritize how the service conducts research for the future.

“Today, I am announcing a 12-month effort to conduct a broad review and revision of our science and technology strategy,” Wilson told audiences during a speech at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference.

“It will define our highest research priorities, to be sure, but it will also help us strengthen new relationships between our Air Force and the science community, our universities, and our industry partners,” she said.

Related content:

Wilson didn’t detail any specific programs or research areas. The Air Force Research Laboratory, for example, studies everything from lasers to stealth technology in hopes of developing potential future defense applications.

The secretary said her goal is to simultaneously strengthen partnerships between American universities and the service on basic and applied research, especially given the U.S. finds itself “at a time when federal research funding may be uncertain.”

Making her AFA debut as service secretary — the first military secretary to be confirmed in the Trump administration — Wilson said the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will lead the review alongside the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the National Academies of Science and Engineering.

“We will listen broadly and engage those who are on the cutting edge of science so we can focus on research efforts on the pathways that are vital to our future as a service,” she said.

It is time for the Air Force “to be the sponsor of choice for research scientists,” Wilson said, referencing next-generation engineering as the Pentagon begins to look at next best platforms, aircraft and weapons systems for a potential high-end fight.

The push for more research development comes as the Air Force wants to boost funding for next-generation technologies, such as a potential sixth-generation fighter.

The service’s fiscal 2018 budget request released in May included $25.4 billion for research, development, test and evaluation programs — an increase of $5 billion, or 26 percent, from the current year, according to budget documents.

Innovation has always been rooted in the Air Force’s vision, Wilson said.

She said she and an aide had made a relevant discovery this week, as she was moving items around in her office at the Pentagon.

Her military aide discovered in an old desk a memo written by Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold, the first and only leader to hold the position General of the Air Force. The memo, dated Dec. 6, 1945, was addressed to Arnold’s successor and first Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Carl A. Spaatz.

Wilson reminded the audience that Arnold was also an innovator.

“A large part of [his] memo had to do with research and science and innovation,” she said.

Citing Arnold’s stark reminder that the Air Force must get more out of science and research programs in order to stay ahead, Wilson said, “From time to time, it is important to refresh our science and technology strategy, to step back from the programs and problems of today, and project 10 or 20 years into the future.”

via Defensetech
Air Force to Poll Researchers ‘On the Cutting Edge of Science’ in Review

Excalibur Found? Schoolgirl Finds Sword in Dozmary Pool.

Swords are cool. Who doesn’t like swords? They are big knifey things that slash and stab and whatnot! But more people like swords than own them… especially when it comes to kids. But this little girl reportedly bucked the trend by finding a magnificent sword in Dozmary Pool — the very body of water into which King Arthur’s Excalibur was thrown, according to legend.

Seven-year-old Matilda Jones, from Norton, Doncaster, England, spotted the sword as it lay flat on the bottom of the lake, as she waded waist-deep in the pool. Her father didn’t believe her until he saw it for himself.

‘I told her not to be silly and it was probably a bit of fencing, but when I looked down I realised it was a sword. It was just there laying flat on the bottom of the lake.’

Matilda’s father had told her and her younger sister about the King Arthur legend during their drive to the lake.


Dozmary Pool has numerous Arthurian connections:

It is… the home of the Lady of the Lake and is where a young Arthur rowed out to claim the mighty Excalibur.

Folklore has it that Dozmary Pool is where Excalibur was thrown by Sir Bedivere after the Battle of Camlann and Arthur’s death.

According to local tradition after three attempts to relinquish the sword, Sir Bedivere finally managed to comply with King Arthur’s wish and threw it into the lake, an arm rose from the surface, caught the sword and vanished back into the water.

Theoretically, someone may have flung this sword into the lake in order to reenact Sir Bedivere’s legendary toss.


This is no small sword — it’s as long as its discoverer is tall!

‘The sword is 4ft long – exactly Matilda’s height,’ added Paul. ‘I don’t think it’s particularly old about 20 or 30 years old. It’s probably an old film prop.’

At the end of their six-day holiday the family brought the sword home and Matilda and Lois are enjoying telling all her family and friends about her discovery.

I have found a lot of cool stuff, but never a sword. Unless a machete counts…?

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Excalibur Found? Schoolgirl Finds Sword in Dozmary Pool.