The Unkillable Cow

Glock comes out with the Gen 5.
S&W comes out with M&P 2.0.
Springfield now has Grip Zone™.

You could toss all of these into a giant bingo drum, give it a whirl, and when you picked one out, you’d have a terrific gun that will be reliable and shoot great for decades to come. They all are debugged technology and have no major surprises, because the pace of innovation in guns is (currently) the pace of mechanical innovation, not electronic innovation. Moore’s Law does NOT apply to the gun world: The effectiveness of our guns is not doubling every two years. The last big leaps in pistols were the wide-spread adoption of polymer striker-fired guns and bonded hollow-core ammunition. Actual innovation is pretty much at a standstill right now, because the product development of guns is achingly slow compared to the product development of chips or software.

Pistols are (at least for Glock and Springfield) a cash cow: They’re how they keep the lights on and the doors open. Gun companies do small changes between models because that’s all they CAN do. A pistol is as complicated as rock compared to, say, an iPhone, and they’re ain’t a lot of upgrades you can do a rock*. I just got a new iPhone**, just like I do pretty much every two years, as the features on the new phones like more memory and better cameras really appeal to me.

My camera? I still shoot with a D70 I bought in 2005. Yes, I could upgrade to a D750, but why? The D70 kicks out great shots and still works great. I don’t make my living tripping the shutter anymore, and it’s all I need for the photos I’m taking right now. Yes, I could probably also use a small point and shoot or a mirrorless DSLR for some of the pictures I take, but since the camera and apps in my iPhone are up to the task, why bother?

Think that the slowdown in the gun industry right now is due, in part, to consumers having bought enough gun to do the things they need a gun to do (or believe that they need it to do) and don’t see a need to upgrade or get another gun?

Me too.


* “Grip Zone” jokes in 3…2…1…
** Yes, I know the iPhone 8 is coming out. I had to get one now because my current phone went Tango-Uniform, and quite honestly, the (leaked) features of the iPhone 8 don’t appeal that much to me.