So the time has come for me to look at getting a new car. As I occasionally have to carry my sons around and my wife has an SUV, I’m thinking a small hot hatchback or coupe, because I’ve already had the career change that comes along with a mid-life crisis, and I have no desire to have an affair because I love my wife very much and she’s a better shot than I am.
So to replace the boring econobox I’m currently driving, I’m looking at…
- a Mustang with the V-6 Performance Package
- a Volkswagen GTI
- a Mazda Speed 3
- a Hyundai Genesis Coupe
- a Ford Focus ST
All of these cars are between $25k and $30k, all have decent back seats and compared to the performance cars that I lusted after in the 80’s, they haul @ss. How much so? Let’s see.
|1986 IROC Z vs 1986 Mustang GT||IROC||GT|
|Speed at end of 1/4 mi, mph||90.5||93.0|
|0-60 mph, secs||6.8||6.7|
|Stopping distances from: 60 mph||159 ft||168 ft|
|Lateral acceleration, g||0.85||0.80|
|Fuel Economy City/Highway||15/23||15/23|
|MSRP Adujusted for Inflation||$37,466||$25,861|
|2013 Camaro SS vs 2013 Mustang GT||SS||GT|
|Speed at end of 1/4 mi, mph||111.8||111.9|
|0-60 mph, secs||4.3||4.4|
|Stopping distances from: 60 mph||101 ft||110 ft|
|Lateral acceleration, g||1.03||0.96|
|Fuel Economy City/Highway||16/24 mpg||15/26 mpg|
So for roughly the same cost and same MPG, I can buy a car today that equals or betters the performance of a $71k (in 1986 dollars) Porsche 930 Turbo of the 80’s. The “budget” performance cars of today have about the same performance as the top of the line muscle cars from 30 years ago: The entry-level V-6 Mustang of today has about the same performance as the top of the line GT of ages past, and the top model ‘Stang of today is where Porsches were in ’86.
So at this point, you’re wondering what all of this has to do with guns and stuff.
My question is, given that the performance of today’s cars is far and above the performance of comparable cars from 30 years ago, do the firearms of today offer the same increase in performance at the same price point?
In my opinion, yes.
Glocks, CZ’s, XD’s and the rest of the “wonder nines” have done for defensive handguns what modern materials and manufacturing processes have done for cars. On the rifle front, while we still are using AR-15’s, what those AR’s are capable of doing has changed dramatically. An AR of today may function the same as an AR of 1986, but with lasers, red dots and rail mounted lights, it can do a whole lot more. As for shotguns, there wasn’t a whole lot of reliable semi-automatic shotguns out there 30 years ago: There was the Bennelli M1 and, um, I’ll think of another one soon. I promise. Today, every major manufacturer has an auto shotgun of some kind or another that can swallow all manner of shotshells and keep running.
So what do you think: Are we in a “golden age of guns” right now, and what does the future hold for gun design?