Kinda Want.

I’m interested.

The EXO ONE (X01) is a patent-pending multi-caliber exoskeleton for the Sig Sauer® P320 Fire Control Unit (FCU) and adjacent firearm components including barrel, slide assembly, and magazine release. This transformation happens in moments without tools and is fully reversible.

FCU != Florida Central University

I’m a sucker for Personal Defense Weapons, and this looks like an interesting application of the modularity that makes the P320 so cool into the PDW market space.

Colt got left behind the minute the M4 lower made it out into the open market, and maybe this will serve as a wakeup call to SIG that when it comes to the P320, they are in the fire control unit business, not necessarily the pistol business.

Still Don’t Go To Shows

I wrote this almost six years ago, and it’s still true today.

I am just not into gun shows. Don’t know if I ever will be. I’m not really into guns as objects, I’m into guns as tools, and ever since I got my eight guns, I’ve been buying stuff either as backup to what I already own or to compete in specific competitions.

But buying guns because they’re guns? Nah, not really.

This is not really a surprise. I never collected cameras when I was a shooter, and I never bought the latest, greatest gear either. My medium format was a 25 year old ‘Blad, and my 35mm’s were FM2’s and a FG’s, not an F4.

If it works, use it.

Marko posted this on Facebook awhile back, and it reminds me just how long it’s been since I read “The Book Of Five Rings“.

“You should not have any special fondness for a particular weapon, or anything else, for that matter. Too much is the same as not enough. Without imitating anyone else, you should have as much weaponry as suits you.”

― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

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.

Can’t Stop The Signal, Mal.

Good thing my home and (still) native land has such ridiculously strong gun laws, or else people would be able to carry around submachine guns, or something.

Machine Shop MACs

Two fully automatic submachine guns believed to be manufactured at a machinist shop just west of Edmonton were just several prohibited firearms seized following an eight-month investigation by the province’s integrated police law enforcement unit.

The two MAC-11 guns, capable of firing an entire magazine of 30 rounds in seconds with a single pull of the trigger, were also outfitted with suppressors and oversized magazines, police said in a Wednesday news release.

And to make matters worse, they were probably built by and used by Oilers fans. That there is a hanging offense, in my book.

As Tam is found of saying, you can find 90% Sten Guns in the plumbing aisle at your local hardware store, and it looks like somebody did just that.

Well This Is Nothing But Good News.

The ATF has updated their NFA processes to use a technology first pioneered in the early 60’s!

What will they think of next?

Buy a silencer, any silencer from anywhere (or any NFA item):

When it comes time for your local dealer to transfer your NFA item(s) to you or your legal entity, they head over to one of the three websites setup to generate barcode enabled NFA forms: available now at Silencer Shop and coming soon to Dead Air Armament, GEMTECH and silencer wholesalers. There are no costs or fees for either the consumer or the dealer.

The bad news is, this process got put into place RIGHT before I bought my can, so I’m going to have to tough it out and wait (and wait) for it to be processed by Special Agent Bartleby until I can get ahold of it.

But I am planning on buying more cans in the future, and they’ll be processed using this new format. This will work until the Hearing Protection Act passes and we don’t need to do this silly song and dance anymore.

Three Books Every Firearms Trainer SHOULD read…

Bad email… but most won’t.

Why? Because they’re too busy trying to be a good gunslinger, not a good businessman.

A quick story.

The email at the right here is a perfect example of why I still try to help out the gun industry with marketing. This is an email from Bass Pro Shops, one of the biggest names in firearms retail, and it sucks. Someone in their marketing department decided that making everything look pretty was more important than getting the message across, so they designed what I assume is a pretty-looking .jpg image that had all their content on it, dropped that image into a basic .html message, and voila, out it goes, and the money comes POURING in.

Except, of course, that images in an email are turned of by default in most email clients these days. This means people will have to REALLY want to read your message and turn images on for you before they have a clue what you’re trying to say. Also (and even worse), emails that are nothing but an image get clobbered by spam filters, which means chances are that email never got to their inbox in the first place, and if it did, because it was nothing but an image, it’s going to hurt the deliverability of your emails for months to come.

So what three books should a firearms trainer read to help avoid a rookie mistake like this?

Seth Godin: Permission Marketing

Modern-day marketing begins with this book. Written when email marketing was in its’ infancy, it’s the book that secured Seth’s position as the internet’s leading marketing guru.

The Non-Designer’s Web Book

No, we can’t erase bad design from the web altogether, but we can make it less frequent. This book is easy to read and helps even the most left-brained of nerds get in touch with their inner Paul Rand.

The Yahoo! Style Guide

Avoid the ongoing AP vs. Chicago style gang war, and instead, concentrate on writing for your audience. Learn what an upside-down pyramid is, and why it’s so important to reading comprehension. This is a great book on how to keep your blog posts short, and keep your audiences coming back.

A few evenings spent with these books will help you gain more students than a month spent on learning how to do a faster tactical reload.

Nothing Is Over Until WE Decide It Is!!!!

It’s interesting that the reaction to this post assumed that I was talking about giving up the fight for gun rights.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The fight MUST go on, but the tactics must change to fit the times.

We are winning. 42% of Americans say they own guns, and over half of the people who don’t own guns say they could see themselves owning a gun in the future.

That’s two-thirds of America who either own guns or want to own guns.

That’s winning.

Fear is not a motivator for the majority. Fear is what the minority uses to close ranks and hold ground.

We’re not losing ground anymore. We are the majority now. Let’s act like it.

Everything But The Bang.

One of the biggest differences (if not THE biggest difference) between a Harley rider and every other obnoxious person on two wheels motorcycle rider has little, if anything, to do with the motorcycles themselves. What makes a Harley rider a Harley rider is the mythos that you’re an individualist.

You, and millions and millions of people just like you.

There is a culture that’s built around Harley Davidson owners that has little, if anything, to do with the motorcycles themselves, and it’s a culture that offers events tailored to different levels of engagement into the culture. From “Learn To Ride” events to poker runs to Sturgis, you can find some way to meet your fellow enthusiast and have fun together with your motorcycles.

Is there a culture built around concealed carry? Of course there is.

Are there entry points and events that can handle new gun owners as well as experienced gun owners?

Maybe.

Kathy Jackson turned me on to a new group called Action Shooting International, and I really, really like what they’re doing:

Here at Action Shooting International, LLC, we’re focused on giving you a chance to practice in a way that’s fun, and builds social connections with other gun owners. ASI shoots are competitions, but we’re more concerned about having fun and learning something along the way than fighting for every point. Each shooting problem you’ll face (called a “stage”) focuses on a particular experience or skill — such as reloading, shooting around an obstacle, or shooting while moving.

And the good news is, the rules are lightweight, holsters are optional, .380ACP is the minimum caliber and round counts look to be very low. If you shoot at a range that doesn’t have a competition, this might be right for you to get involved with.

Fuel To The Fire.

Yeah, I guess I should have known that anything I wrote that was mildly critical of the NRA would be picked up by one of Bloomberg’s minions.

I don’t mind that as much, though, as they then quote The Truth About Guns right after they talk about me.

Ewwwwwww.

The NRA’s recent missteps remind me, in a way, of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He started off well, taking over a department that was in chaos after it bungled a high-profile mass murder case, and he quickly whipped everyone into shape, instituting popular programs like Tent City, pink underwear and green weenies.

Then a few years into his term, things got nasty. The Sheriff’s Office started to throw it’s weight around and make political threats that were backed up by the power of the badge, and all that good will vanished overnight.

I still believe that Sheriff Joe is a good man who truly wants to put the brakes on crime in Maricopa County.

But at what cost?

Twenty Four Months Have Gone By

Since this happened, and what a wild ride it’s been. I’m still (sorta) working in the industry, still trying to get the iPTS off the ground (may have some news on that before SHOT…), still writing (and writing A LOT), making even more good friends who are involved in spreading the good news about guns, and my life here in Florida is quite good.

You ask pretty much anyone in Arizona what they want to do each summer, and their answer will be “Go to the coast, go to a beach, go to a theme park.”

Well, this summer, I’ve had four trips to theme parks and three trips to the beach.

Not bad.

Looking back on 2015, that crazy, crazy year of panic, uncertainty and change, there were some things that happened that weren’t my fault (like finding out the owner of the company is an immature bipolar millionaire, which is a great combination for a supervillian, but not so great in a boss…) and some things that were my fault, the biggest of which was, I broke one of my one rules: I was desperate, DESPERATE to work in the gun industry.

Walden” is one of my guideposts in life, and there’s a terrific passage early on in the book about how a man should act.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation … but it is a character of wisdom not to do desperate things.”

I broke my rules, and my family and I paid the price. Now, that’s not to say that the payment is ongoing. The reverse is true, I’m happy with how things ended up, and Florida is now my home, and I’m quite happy here.

But just because the plane landed smoothly doesn’t mean there wasn’t turbulence along the way.