I went to another one of Step By Step Gun Training’s Shoot N Scoot’s events last weekend to do two things: Shoot a bunch of qualifiers to gauge my progress and get them on record, and put more rounds through the Colt 1911. We’ll talk about that first thing at a later date, so let’s move on to the Colt.
One of the nice things about the Shoot N Scoots is that each weekend, the first two bays are set up identically to what was used the previous Thursday in the pistol matches they run there, so I get to compare my performance from one day to next. The matches are Louland are alway lightweight, run and gun affairs that are good skill builders and not too challenging and primarily use steel targets. Here’s the setup for Stage 2.
And here’s one of my runs with the Colt.
My time on that run was a skooch under 18 seconds, with three reloads. My time on that stage last Thursday using a Beretta APX and a 21 round mag (so no reloads)? 21.28 seconds. Yes, I missed a shot with the 1911 that the RO let slide in this run, but on my first run, I shot it 18.9 secs. So there.
So why the over two second difference between a softer-shooting 9mm with no reloads and the thump of .45ACP and three reloads?
- Familiarity. I’m at over 500 rounds with that 1911, and I’m starting to learn how to run it. I’ve just under 200 rounds with the Beretta. I know where things are set up on the Colt, but the Beretta is the first full-sized striker gun I’ve shot over a long period of time.
- Sights. The Colt’s fiber optic sights, while large, are nothing compared to the Beretta’s sights. There is literally no gap between the front sight and rear sight on the Beretta, making precise aiming a bit of a challenge. In addition to that, the Beretta uses three dot sights, a setup that just does not work well for me… Gimme fiber optics or Trijicon HD’s any day over three dots.
Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge
Thanks to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.
Jim Wilson had a nice little post about the importance of stories in the gun world. The problem is, it’s hard to tell good stories about Gun Culture 2.0. The stories that come out of Gun Culture 2.0 tend to revolve around preventative incidents, such as the times where a life was saved because of a defensive gun use.
Those are good stories and they definitely need to be told, but the defensive/competition world has no equivalent (yet) to the good ol’ hunting story, where it’s you and your friends and family going out into nature and something Hemingway-esque* ensues, and the story winds up being told thru a sepia filter and read aloud in Sam Elliot’s voice.
Those are good stories of happy times, and they reinforce what I’ve been saying for awhile now, that the very best day possible in Gun Culture 1.0 is a day spent outdoors that culminates in harvesting one of God’s creatures.
The very best day possible in Gun Culture 2.0? Nothing happens. You live your life as you normally would, because Gun Culture 2.0 is mostly about avoiding injury and death and there is just not a lot of good stories to be told about going to WalMart and nothing happening. Yes, there is still the competition element to the new gun culture that has a slightly different “best day,” but we’ll pick that up at a later date.
* Just not in a “Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” sort of way.
A couple of interesting videos came across my Facebook feed last week. The first is from Saddle River Range, a very nice “guntry” club in Texas, showing off their new live-fire, virtual training system.
The second is Max Michel shooting the new Auto Target system by Action Target.
We are moving away from the “go to your booth, hang up your target, send it out, shoot it, bring it back” experience of the traditional indoor range into something that’s a little more stimulating, and that’s a very good thing indeed.
Let’s connect the dots, shall we?
- Acusport, one of the largest wholesalers of firearms and shooting accessories in the nation, files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Now this in and of itself is a big frickin’ deal, because Acusport is HUGE. We have heard over and over again that there’s no “Trump slump” in gun sales, and while that’s probably true, this bankruptcy is an indication that while sales may be good, profit margins probably aren’t (and margins already sucked on gun sales before all this happened).
- They’re selling their gun distribution to Ellett Brothers (which is good, because Ellett Brothers runs a tight ship) and they’re selling their gun store Point Of Sale (POS*) system to GearFire, aka The National Firearms Dealer Network.
- Gearfire is the backend that drives pretty much every Mom and Pop gun shop’s “online store”. Ever notice that most stores’ shopping carts look and act the same? That’s because they all use Gearfire to stock and sell stuff online for them. Gearfire sets up the store and manages the inventory and buying and then the shop takes a smaller cut of the profit in return for not having to deal with the hassle of setting up an e-commerce site**.
- By buying Acusport’s POS business (stop giggling), Gearfire can now integrate the online shopping experience with the brick and mortar shopping experience.
This has the potential to make the life of your average gun shop owner a LOT easier, because special orders are the bane of a gun store owner’s existence. When someone comes in looking for, say, a Ruger Charger .22 pistol with a green laminate stock, the amount of time it takes to chase down that gun, get a price, confirm the price with the customer and then place the order eats up all the profit you’d make on the sale.
Now, by buying Acusport’s sales system, it’d be child’s play for GearFire to roll out a tablet-based kiosk for gun shops that directly interfaces with the cash register inside the store. Order your gear online using the kiosk in the store, and blammo, you can pay for it at the register without hassling a sales manager for hours on end.
GearFire is pretty smart. Let’s see what they do with their new acquisition.
* Yes, I know, it’s also an acronym for something else. Grow up.
** Gearfire got started literally across the parking lot from Scottsdale Gun Club, who for years ran SGCUSA.com as a successful online store. Now, however, SGCUSA is a re-branded GearFire store. That says quite a lot about the marketshare that GearFire has managed to acquire.
Interesting stuff I found on the web, some of it written by me, some not.
Comparing the Ruger LCR to S&W J-Frames. Me, I kinda like the LCR, but that’s why they make Pepsi AND Coke.
Well duh. Way, WAY past time for this, IMO. And no, more rallies are not “going on offense.” Taking someone to the range is going on offense. Signing up voters is going on offense. Asking for Top Shot Part Deux is going on offense. Screaming at an empty statehouse? Not so much…
Speaking of events and culture, It’s been almost 27 years since the first Lollapalooza concert in Chandler, Arizona*. I went with a bunch of my friends who were also into alternative rock, and it was life-changing.
This is before Nirvana made it big: Nirvana’s “Nevermind” wouldn’t be released in September of that year, and “grunge” was something you scraped off a dirty dishpan. Big hair metal bands ruled the rock world, and the music I listened to, The Smiths, The Pixies and New Order was sequestered to a late-night two-hour show on MTV. Alternative music was still, well, alternative, and just wasn’t being played on FM radio where everyone could hear it.
It was, however, being played on a small low-power AM station, KUKQ. KUKQ was everything to me and my friends, because prior to this, I was the weirdo for listening to cutting-edge rock rather than banging my head to Ratt or listening to old Led Zep or Pink Floyd cuts. With today’s a la carte media, where even the most obscure track is out there on YouTube somewhere, It’s hard for people of this day and age to understand what it was like to have a rallying point for people of like interests to come together and share a common experience.
Lollapalooza was all that, and it was all that on steroids. Me and literally thousands of other people who shared a common passion were all in one place, enjoying our music and all that went along with it. Lollapalooza wasn’t just a concert: There were tattoo and piercing parlors (neither of which were mainstream at the time) and side stages and a host of other events that were meant to compliment the music and reinforce the culture of alternative music.
Which brings me to guns. Pick up everything I just said, and drop on top of Gun Culture 2.0. The closest thing we have to the Lollapalooza experience is the NRA Annual Meeting, but if you listen to something other than country music, you’re kinda (T)SOL when it comes to culture at that event, and it’s the same with the USCCA’s Concealed Carry meeting as well.
It’s not just about guns, it’s about music and sport and life and… everything. Jerome Griffin mentioned to me recently that DropZone Gunner, an event that mashes up 3 Gun with obstacle racing, was designed with Lollapalooza in mind, and I think he’s on to something there. Gun ownership is being pushed to the side of American culture, and anything we can do to push it back to the middle is a very good thing indeed.
* 27 years is also the same amount of time from Lollapalooza to Beatlemania. Egad, I’m old.
An interesting data point… there is a lot of “He said, she said” going on right now over the NRA/Yeti kerfuffle that popped up this week. Yeti would like us to believe that this decision not to support the NRA is a recent thing on the NRA’s part.
Yeti was an exhibitor at the 2017 NRA Annual Meeting, and they are NOT an exhibitor this year. That decision to pull out the Annual Meeting was made months before this dustup happened.
Take that as you will.
Speaking of the culture war against guns (and I have been speaking about that a lot recently), these are just some of the gun-centric shows have come and gone from basic cable since I starting writing this blog.
Now, there are very good (legal) reasons why at least two of those shows are off the air, and two more relied on the sparkling personality of R. Lee Ermey for their success, but right now, there are exactly ZERO gun-related shows on basic cable. Yes, there are the great shows about guns and how they’re used on places like the Outdoor Channel, Sportsmans Channel and The Pursuit Channel, but those shows are not growing the culture because the audience for those programs is an audience that is already interested in the outdoor life.
We need more outreach programs that show up on channels which don’t rely on hunting programs for the majority of their content. Something like a gunsmith version of “Forged In Fire” is an obvious idea, but that’s just an opening bid. We need more. Let’s get back to the 2010 numbers, and soon.
Stuff I found on the web that interesting to me. Some of it may be interesting to you as well.
“Anytime you see a startle reflex, it’s typically because the signal going into your brain exceeded the capacity to absorb it.”
John Hearne was on Ballistic Radio, and it’s worth your time to listen to him.
Speaking of tourniquets, I’ve started carrying an SOF-T-W tourniquet in a Blue Force Gear Ten Speed high ride rifle magazine pouch on my support side hip, and boy howdy, does it work well. It’s as easy for me to carry as a tourniquet now as it is a spare magazine.
What to look for in a good gun belt. I was really surprised how much information is out there about holsters, but how little there is about gun belts.
Conservatives (and gun owners too) made a big mistake when they abandoned the web in favor of social media. I agree, but then again, I have a dog in this fight, namely, I run a gun blog…
Colion Noir talks with Joe Rogan about what gun ownership is really about (two hours long, but it’s worth it).
It’s a rough life being a gun writer. Really, really rough.