SHOT Show

SHOT Show

Atter taking a long, hard look at my schedule, frequent flyer miles and budget, it looks like I’ll be able to make it to SHOT show and train for four days at Front Sight next month.

Looking forward to both.

SHOT, from everything I’ve heard, is gun nut Disneyland, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s coming down the pipe this year. I won’t make the Media Range Day, but I might just be at a special 3 Gun Nation event that week… 

Aside from NRA classes, i’ve not had any formal firearms training, and while Front Sight ain’t Gunsite (what is?), I’m excited to go and learn something new. 

The Good, The Bad, And The TTAG

The Good, the Bad, and the TTAG

I’ve tried to stay neutral on the Truth About Guns v. Gunblog battle because I try to stay neutral on internet spats in general. 

Yes, TTAG stole content. Yes, some of the people there pick fights when they don’t have to. But let’s face it, who amongst us isn’t also guilty of similar actions? To quote Mark Knoeffler

When you point your finger ’cause your plans fell through
You got three more fingers pointin’ back at you

But. 

I left this comment over at TTAG as a response to an incendiary article about who should and should not have the right to defend themselves. 

“Short version of this article: “I’m ok, you’re seriously messed up”.

Slightly longer version of this article: “Look, I’ve had 20 people look at me cross-eyed, so I know I can handle a gun in an emergency. The rest of you can’t, and I know this because I am better at this than you are. Just ask me, I’ll tell you. And even though I give a great example of someone like you who handled things correctly, he’s the exception to the rest of you brain-dead schmucks. And he’s the exception because I say so. The rest of you guys can’t handle things as well as he did. So there.

Look, I understand that this site needs a certain amount of, ah, stimulating conversation, but some editorial oversight is necessary, lest TTAG become TMZ with guns.”

The problem is, that’s not how the article appears on the site: The critique (offered up in good faith) was edited out

Bad form.

Editing out critical comments is a no-no. That’s Blogging 101. Heck, that’s covered in Remedial Blogging 090. Blogs are only effective when they listen to and respond to user comments. Blogs that don’t do this are echo chambers, not centers of honest discussion.

One of three things will happen in the next few days…

  • I’ll get a profuse apology from the site owner, claiming that it’s not their policy to do such things and it happened without their knowledge and gosh darn it all we’re sorry. 
  • There’ll be a flame post show up that steals my banner graphic. 
  • This post will be ignored. 

I’m ok with any of that. I do this for me, for the love of shooting, not to pay people and stir up hornet’s nests.

Update: Already got an email saying it was to halt any “digression” in the comments.
Sorry, but blog posts are for blog owners, the comments belong to we the readers. 
For the record, blast away at me in the comments. I’ll only edit out harsh language, as I want to keep this PG-13. 

They rely on pageviews, links, and search results to drive traffic. As such, I’m not visiting there, not commenting there, they’re gone from my blogroll, this is the the last time I’ll talk about about them and the link in this post is the last link TTAG will get from me.

I encourage others to do the same. After all, the best way to neutralize an SEO whore is to ignore him altogether. 

 

Poor Showing

Poor showing

Hi, my name’s ExurbanKevin, and I don’t like going to gun shows.

No, really.

I bought my CZ75 at a gun show, and I went to another a few years back to drum up some side jobs, but other than that, I don’t particularly enjoy gun shows.

Why?

Guns are tools, and I can’t really see going to a show to look at tools. And no, I don’t like “Home and Garden” shows either. Also, I don’t like looking at things I won’t ever, ever, own. And although I’m as gergarious as the next ENFP, I don’t like the crush of crowds. And with the wide variety of online gun and gun accessory stores, there’s no real reason (for me) to go to a gun show. I’m not a collector and I’m not in the market for anything right now, so I don’t have an o’erwhleming need to go to gun show, both now and in the future.

Cheap Thrills

Cheap Thrills

If you’re like me (and I know I am), you bought an AR-15 three years ago, not for any particular reason, but it looked like it would be the last time we could, thanks to the Kwisatz Haderach’s imminent ascension to the throne.

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and no new Assualt Weapons Ban was introduced, leaving a lot of people owning lot of modern rifles.

I was one of those people. I bought my first AR-15 rifle with the idea I’d eventually use it for 3 Gun, and that’s just what I did.

Along the way, I found out three things:

1. 3 Gun is a LOT of fun to shoot.

2. .223 ain’t cheap, at least compared to 9mm that I had mostly shot before I bought my AR.

3. I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at 200 yards or more.

My problem was reconciling all three of those at once: I like shooting 3 Gun, but I just don’t have the cash right now to sink a ton of money into the ammo to correct my trigger jerk.

Enter the Brownells .22LR adapter for the AR-15.

At $200, it’s a real bargain, and super-easy to use and install. Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who saws something twice and it’s still too short…

Before

I installed the adapter in this gun, my ÜEBR / 3 Gun Rifle, and it couldn’t have been easier.

Just pop the rear retaining pin, pull back the charging handle and ease out the .223 bolt carrier out of your upper.

Bolt Carrier

And slide in the new bolt and adapter for .22 Long Rifle.

And in go the .22's

It’s that easy.

Now it's a .22!

One of things I found out is the adapter works super-great with standard AR’s, but I couldn’t get it to work with my side-rod plastic gun: There’s nowhere for the latch for the side operating rod to engage with the .22 adapter. Not a big deal, but something to be aware of.

How does it shoot? Not bad.

Distance: 50 Yards
Gun: 20″ barrel AR-15
Scope: Strikefire 1x Red Dot
Ammo: CCI 36gr HP
Mean Radius: 0.68″
Extreme Spread: 1.62″
Shot group analysis courtesy of Robb Allen.

Not too shabby, though I know I could to better with better optics and more practice.

Bottom line, if you’ve got an standard, direct-impingement AR, the Brownells .22LR adapter is a real value. There is no cheaper way to send rounds downrange and work on everything not related to recoil for just pennies a shot.

Disclaimer: Brownell’s provided the adapter used in this review.

The Game Is Changing

The game is changing

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is beginning to acknowledge “Gun Culture 2.0”. ‘Bout time.

“The question was a simple one “are shooters coming into today’s shooting sports different from past groups?”

After several conversations, it seems the image of today’s modern shooter bears about as much resemblance to yesterday’s shooter as the modern sporting rifle resembles bolt and lever action rifles. They fire bullets, but in different ways – and driven by different goals. 

Today’s new shooters are products of an entirely different baseline of experiences.

They have seen gang violence and terrorist acts.

Soldiers and “first responders” of today are revered, not reviled. Consequently, today’s shooters are more interested in personal defense than hunting, and favor the kind of weaponry they see used by soldiers and law enforcement.

Those preferences make them excellent candidates for competition shooting, especially practical shooting. After all, they see firearms as being necessary for the ultimate practical purpose- personal defense.

And the younger shooters of today area a product of the video game. 

To today’s generation, war isn’t something that happes “over there”: For the past ten years we’ve had to live with the reality that war can be (and has been) waged on our shores. As a result, guns (especially pistols, full auto weapons and Evil Black Rifles) aren’t scary tools of fascist military oppressor class, they’re what you use to frag your buddies in SOCOM IV, or they’re what your friend from high school used in the sandbox when he joined up after 9/11. 

Looks like the shooting sports industry is taking note. More power-ups to them.

Update: How to keep Gun Culture 1.0 around. As I’ve said before, going from Gun Culture 2.0 back to Gun Culture 1.0 can be a frustrating task. Glad to see the NSSF wants to keep both cultures alive.

Product Review : Strikefire Red Dot Scope

Product Review : Strikefire Red Dot Scope

1x power red-dot scopes have been the red-headed stepchild of the 3 gun world for a while now. They’re not as powerful as an ACOG, but they give a distinct advantage over iron sights. Many matches (including the Superstition Mountain Mystery 3 Gun) have resolved this quandry in favour of lumping them in with iron sights as “Tactical Limited”, which kinda sucks for iron sight shooters like myself. 

Rather than carry on with iron sights (and suck), I decided to take the plunge and start shooting with a red dot (and still suck), and Brownell’s was kind enough to supply a Strikefire Vortex Red/Green 1x scope to help me out. 

Strikefire Red Dot Scope

The scope came with an extra-high Picatinny mount that co-witnesses my flip-up sights (more on that later), cleaning cloth, battery, wrench for the mount and a 2x magnifier, a very nice addition that helped with the sighting-in process. 

The stuff

If that looks like a low Picatinny mount in the photo, that’s ’cause it is, but the people at Vortex swapped it out for the extra-high mount at no cost. Nice work, guys!

Installation was quick and easy, and sighting it in took less than a half-mag. Now it was time to test it in a match, so off it was to the monthly rifle/shotgun match at Rio Salado.

Stage 3

This is why I love this scope. Making that 30-yard shot with iron sights would be difficult (at best) with iron sights, but it was MUCH easier with the red-dot, and for once I wasn’t in last place on a rifle stage.

But then disaster struck. The next stage was the long-distance rifle stage, and for once it wasn’t horrid: Four 100 yard MGM’s, a 100 yard MGM Flag target and two 200 yard LaRue’s

“Ah-ha!”, I thought to myself, “This should be EASY! I know I can hit those with my new sight because I’ve done it on the main range while sighting in!” 

But somehow, my new sight was switched into “Night Vision” mode, making the dot invisible in daylight. At the time, I thought the battery had died, so I shot the stage with my iron sights, with predictable (and horrid) results. 

Dot sight on rifle

Bottom line, I like the scope. It needs a more secure mounting method (the nut on the Picatinny mount was loose when I got home) and the on/off switch could be better, but it’s a great starting point for people like me who want a red dot but don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars for something they may not like. 

FCC Disclaimer: Brownell’s gave me the scope. I said that already, so buzz off.

Off The Channel Grid

Off the channel grid

A little more on Thursday’s post about the economics of making Internet-only TV channels, from Robert X. Cringley, who knows a thing or two about TV and the internet

I am not saying that All My Children and One Life to Live are headed to YouTube as the basis of a Soap Channel, but I am saying that they’d be profitable both for their producers and for YouTube if they were headed there.

Each show has about 2.5 million daily viewers — each a potential buyer of an Internet-connected TV. That’s $2.5 billion worth of TVs and well worth a $4 million production subsidy.

If YouTube or any of its competitive services could reliably get 2.5 million viewers per original episode they’d see that as well worth the money, too.

This is long form video with commercial breaks going to a dedicated audience which can now be global (that last part could be huge). Remember 2.5 million viewers of a 44-minute soap opera is the equivalent of 36 million typical three-minute YouTube video views. As professional content with a 40 year heritage that’s an easy sell to advertisers — a no-brainer for P&G. 

Somebody (Cheaper Than Dirt!, Brownell’s, LuckyGunner, Sig Sauer, etc.) is going to realize the size of the market and the opportunities to be had for quality internet-only name-brand shooting shows and establish their marketshare ahead of all the others. Good for them, whoever they may be.