The Year In Guns

The Year In Guns

It’s been a good year this year. I’ve managed to bring in a decent amount of side-job money, and that meant I had the wherewithal to buy myself some toys.

First up is the .300BLK pistol that I wrote up for Shooting Illustrated. I’ve tweaked it a bit with a Vickers sling and whatnot, and I like shooting it quite a lot.

Next is my suppressor for that gun, a SIG Sauer SRD762-QD. With wait times steadily falling on NFATracker.com, I expect to have it in-hand around March, if not a little sooner.

I hope.

I then put the Mossberg 930SPX that I had been using for 3 Gun out to pasture in favor of it’s gamer cousin, the 930 JM Pro. More competition is in the cards for me later this year, and so this gun will have a baptism by fire in the near future.

Smith and Wesson had a fire-sale on the first-edition 9mm Shields, and I picked up without a safety to replace the one I was carrying which had a safety. With the bladed trigger and other bits, there’s really no reason for an external safety on the Shield, and the darn thing is so small, it’s tough to flick off if accidentally switched on. Better not safety than sorry, I believe…

Lastly, I upgraded my 3 Gun AR with a new hand guard from Midwest Industries and an anodized aluminum stock from LeadStar Arms. That bloomin’ (literally) Bushnell red dot is leaving soon, probably swapped out for a Holosun dot.

As I said, a good year. Better than most.

See you in 2018!

Ruger Did It Again.

Ruger Did It Again.

First, it was ripping off my idea for a slogan, now they’re ripping off my ideas for guns.

Me, five years ago:

Bring Back The PC-9

A few reasons.

  • There are very few inexpensive but nice 9mm carbines. There’s the Beretta CX4, and then my choices are pricey (9mm upper), average (Kel-Tec Sub2k) or charitably low-end (Hi-Point).
  • Caracal’s coming out with one, so is Tavor and Saiga’s got a new one too. If there weren’t the demand for them, they wouldn’t make ’em. Speaking of which…
  • “Tactical Carbine/Shotgun” matches are popping up all over the place, allowing people shoot 3 Gun-style matches without having to deal with rifle-strength targets or have a 300+ yard range nearby.
  • A 9mm Carbine makes a dandy home-defense long gun, giving you the increased control and added thump of more muzzle velocity of a long gun without the over-penetration worries of a rifle-caliber carbine.
  • And it makes a dandy bug-out gun, too. Having to carry around one kind of ammo and carry one set of magazines makes a lot of sense when you’re dealing with limited space and weight. A 9mm carbine maxes out at about 100 yards, but that’s all you’ll be likely to need in anything other than a complete and total “SHTF” scenario.

Memo to Ruger: Take the PC-9, slap on the furniture from your tactical Mini-14, and you’re there.

Ruger, today:

Ruger 9mm Carbine

I need to send them an invoice for services rendered. This is getting ridiculous.

If this carbine comes in anywhere near Kel-Tec Sub2000 prices, they have a winner on their hands. And considering that 90% of the tooling for this gun probably already exists, it just might do exactly that.

UPDATE: The post is now live at Recoil. $549 MSRP, so expect to see street prices starting about $100 below that. Takes 10/22 trigger components.  Wowza. This is a) a shot across the bow of Kel-Tec and b) going to put some serious price pressure on the 9mm AR market.

Pay Attention, Action Target:

Pay Attention, Action Target:

And you too, Cabela’s.

Here’s your opportunity: There is going to be a metric buttload of prime inner-city retail space opening up in the near future, space that is CRYING OUT for a mixed-use entertainment / lifestyle redevelopment.

Mall anchor store infrastructure is just MADE for indoor ranges and retail. Take over the just the first floor if needed, but set up an indoor range with a few bays out to at least 50 yards, a VIP club / range, a great showroom, a classroom or two, a simulator / training room and a cafe.

Heck, why not combine those last two into one venue?

Mall owners are going to be desperate, and when they are, that’s your time to act.

 

Armed And Gregarious.

Armed And Gregarious.

One of the overlooked benefits of the dojo model of firearms instruction is the social aspect of going to a range on a regular basis and interacting with normal (or semi-normal) people who kinda look and talk like you do.

Think about it: We want guns to become normal, and yet the training opportunities we provide are a hassle that require us to set aside an entire weekend or more and maybe travel far, far away.

That sort of behavior is not normal for me or just about any other American adult.

But going to a karate class every week and chatting with the other parents as our kids get their kicks? That’s normal.

Getting used to concealed carry means getting used to the idea that people like yourself might be carrying concealed, and meeting those type of people on a regular basis makes concealed carry seem like a regular, everyday thing.

Because it is.

A Movement Towards The Better.

A Movement Towards The Better.

Chris Wagoner was a leader in the Florida Open Carry movement, and he bailed on them before I did, because they’re a bunch of dorks who have no idea how to get legislation passed in the halls of power.

Now he’s back in the game, leading a new gun rights group called The Florida Firearms Coalition, and they’re determined to advance the right to keep and bear arms on ALL fronts here in Florida, not just open carry.

I’m in, and if you’re in the Sunshine State and you’re reading this, you should be too.

All My Gobs Are Smacked.

All My Gobs Are Smacked.

… so it was very nice of Michael Bane to mention me again in his podcast this week, and it got me thinking about an email chain I was on last month that also included industry big wigs like Jim Wilson, Wiley Clapp, Richard Mann and Bart Skelton.

And it was more than a little humbling. I swear I must of been included in that conversation because of a mistyped autocomplete, but either way, it was *amazing* to be in a conversation with people like that.

All from something that started primarily so I wouldn’t bore my wife by talking about guns all the time.

The Applebees Of Gun Stores.

The Applebees of Gun Stores.

Thinking a little more about this post (which seems to have struck a nerve), what happens when you walk into a gun store… what do you see?

You see a lot of guns. Guns just sitting there.

If the store has a hunting theme, you may see some taxidermy scattered about, and if it’s a more tactically-oriented store, maybe a poster for Glock or something.

When it comes to defensive pistols, especially for first-time gun owners, there is no context inside gun stores for how that gun integrates with your life.

None. Zero. Zip. Gun stores sell guns, but they offer no clues as to how they are to be used.

No wonder, then, that people treat them as a household god, and rely on the feeling of safety that their talisman of self-protection offers them. They do this because they don’t know any better, and we are not helping them learn how to go beyond “feeling” safe to actually BEING safe.

A quick suggestion.

I know sweet bugger all about wines. I know that there are some that are “dry” and some that are sweet, and I’ve had the experience of eating a good meal that’s been paired with a good wine and yes, it does make the meal more enjoyable and tasty.

Restaurants know this, and they also know they make a LOT of money on alcohol sales, which is why you’ll find that some mid-to-upper scale restaurants will try to increase their revenue by printing suggested wine and beer pairings on the menu beside each entree.

So why not give holster and gear recommendations right alongside the defensive pistols displayed on your shelves? Doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t have to be exotic, just something like “These pistols work great with (Name of Major-Label Holster Maker) holsters and (Major Ammo Maker) Brand Ammo”.

The customer wants to feel secure. Make them a little more secure by knowing that not only did they buy the right gun, they bought the right gear as well.

Shots Fired.

Shots Fired.

Florida Carry cuts off its nose to spite its face – Again

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders.  License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts.  When firearms, that are being lawfully carried concealed, accidentally become exposed to the sight of another person, license holders are being arrested for violating the open carry ban.

In Florida, there are 1.8 million law-abiding license holders. Every time they leave their homes, carrying a firearm, they run the risk of that firearm becoming exposed to the sight of another person and then being thrown face down on the street, arrested at gun point and treated like a criminal – because the wind blew open a jacket or they reached for something on a top shelf or a shirt got snagged and uncovered their firearm.

Yeah, I’m gonna guess that the ILA ain’t gonna get a Christmas card from Florida Carry this year.

And probably next year as well.

I’d criticize all those “no compromise” groups out there for how they compromised their beliefs in order to gain a political victory, but first, they need to actually HAVE a political victory for me to do that.

Everybody Wasn’t Kung Fu Fighting.

Everybody Wasn’t Kung Fu Fighting.

I’m old enough to vaguely recall the explosion of interest in martial arts created by Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, and reruns of “Kung Fu” were a staple of my after-school TV viewing growing up.

And heck, how many strip-mall dojos popped up after The Power Rangers came along?

Why, then, we haven’t had a Bruce Lee / Chuck Norris show up yet to make practical pistol REALLY popular and move it into pop culture? The closest we have come to that is Keanu Reeves tearing it up on Taran’s range, and while that briefly popped up on the pop culture radar, it ended up going nowhere.

Part of the problem is that no one thinks they can land a spinning back heel kick without training, but pretty much everyone thinks they can shoot, and therefore, they don’t need firearms training.

To a certain extent, though, they’re right. People defend their lives with guns everyday without training. Guns were invented because learning to shoot a longbow is tough, as is learning how to fight with a sword. Pulling a trigger or stuffing a slow match into a powder hole? Not that tough. “God made man, but Col. Colt made him equal” is true, but unfortunately, we are all equally sucky with a gun unless we do something about it.

Watching a martial arts movie helps us understand that there is a level of hand-to-hand violence that we can aspire that goes far beyond what we see in a playground fistfight. What can we show the general public that makes them realize that their are levels of marksmanship that go far, far beyond poking holes in a target at three yards?