Guns ‘R’ Us.

Guns ‘R’ Us.

As you probably know, Toys R Us went out of business earlier this year, and because they had a penchant for free-standing stores, that means there is a LOT of empty real estate in prime retail locations sitting around empty.

So why not turn old Toys ‘R’ Us locations into gun ranges?

Consider this:

  • Free-standing Toys R Us store are built on a pattern that tended to repeat itself, so you wouldn’t have to customize your renovations much from store to store.
  • They’re solidly built: Everyone I’ve seen has been made of either tip-up concrete walls or concrete block.
  • They’re usually in great locations next to shopping malls and major thoroughfares (although rezoning could be a hassle).
  • They can be had for a song. Retail is dying, and so the list of people clamoring for those locations has to be quite short.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a BIG gap in the gun market right now: We have nationwide chains of sporting good stores that sell guns, but the biggest chain of gun ranges (where you can actually USE those guns) is Shoot Straight here in Florida, which has a whopping eight locations (and to be honest, each and every one of them is VERY low-rent).

Someone (Glock? SIG? Action Target?) is going to do for gun ranges what AMF did for bowling alleys, and instill a standard level of service from one range to another so that the consumer understands the value proposition of what they’re getting before they walk in to shoot.

There’s probably a shuttered Toys R Us within an hour of where you are right now. Someone is going to SOMETHING with them, why not open a gun range inside of them?

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

I’ve been busy.

My review of the Primary Arms 1x Roof Prism optic is up at Shooting Illustrated. Short version: It’s my new favorite optic.

You really don’t know how much difference upgrading the trigger in your AR makes until you upgrade to a really, really good one.

And a blast from the past, a gun that I wasn’t expecting to like, but did.

Now on to the stuff I didn’t write: Claude Werner looks at the history of the Dot Torture Drill

We plan for an “average” gunfight, but is there really such a thing?

Looking forward to seeing what this turns up. I have friends on the mission field right now who are serving in countries that would kill them if they were found out to be Christians. We in America have lived many, many years without the threat of sectarian-based violence, and I hope we have a good many more as well.

This is a nifty little gadget that doesn’t scream “HEY, THERE IS IMPORTANT, EXPENSIVE STUFF IN HERE!!!” yet still keeps your stuff secure. If you travel often (especially if you store a laptop or a firearm in your room), it’d be something worth picking up.

Speaking of nifty little gadgets, Sabre Red has FINALLY built a decently-sized can of spicy treats with a good belt clip (although it’s still a bit big). Dear pepper spray manufacturers: All I want is a can that attaches either to my belt or inside my pocket that’s about the same size as a Glock 19 mag, with a flip-top safety and a reversible belt clip. Why is that so hard to make?

Me, four years ago:Now that Glock has a mini .380 out, I’m seeing a lot more chatter about how with the right bullets (I’m a fan of Hornady XTP’s myself), .380 ACP is a viable self-defense round.”
Bart Skelton, this month:There’s a certain term that I’ve personally shunned that refers to small firearms and a certain species of rodent. I don’t care for the phrase.”
Me neither.

Certifiable.

Certifiable.

There was an interesting little tidbit on last week’s “The Remnant” podcast, where Jonah Goldberg interviewed Charlie Cooke. Charlie is the editor of NationalReview.com and is a former subject of Her Majesty who now lives in the U.S. and is also a gun nut.

Why does that seem SO familiar?

In the midst of a discussion about the impact that 3-D printed guns would have on gun manufacturers, Jonah mentioned the impact that Indian casinos have had on Vegas: None at all. What happens is that people who start gambling in a low-rent dive eventually want to take their game (and the experience of playing) to the Nth level, and so that means a trip to Vegas.

Which got me thinking: Why don’t gun companies do more to improve the shooting experience at a gun range? They have a vested interest in getting people out to the range and shooting guns more, so why is the NSSF the only one who certifies ranges as being a cut about average?

Look, I like, nay, LOVE the NSSF, but let’s face it, the average gun owner knows nothing about them other than they’re the ones who toss in an Operation Childsafe pamphlet into the box of their new gun.

What would happen if, say, Glock certified ranges? Or Sig? Would people who own Glocks want to shoot on a range that they knew had the stamp of approval from their favorite brand of gun?

Something to think about.

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1001 – 1150

Colt Competition .45 ACP 1911 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 1001 – 1150

I shot another match at Louland with the Colt, and well, pretty much nothing happened except the pistol went BANG and 230 grains of copper and lead went out the barrel.

Boring, I know, right?

The gun did fail go into battery a couple of times, but I am blaming that on me. Thanks to the short slide height of my CZs, I have a bad habit of resting my thumbs on the slide of a pistol as I shoot, and I’m pretty sure that was the cause of my problems. Just to make sure, though, I shot the 40-odd rounds I had leftover the match yesterday, paying particular attention to keeping my thumbs off the slide, and nothing happened except loud noises and holes in the target.

Colt Competition 2000 Round Challenge

Rounds Fired:
150 Rounds Federal Premium American Eagle .45ACP FMJ

Total Rounds Fired To Date:
1150

Results:
No issues.

Thanks again to Lucky Gunner for providing the ammo for this test.

The Enthusiast’s Gun

The Enthusiast’s Gun

“When man becomes preeminent, he is expected to have certain entoosiasms…”

My article on going back to Single Stack is up at Shooting Sports USA, and it really only scratches the surface on my feelings for the 1911.

Is it the most efficient self-defensive gun on the market today? No. Is it an ineffective self-defense firearm? Oh heck no. Is the 1911 a gun that I’d recommend as a starter gun? Also no.

But.

There is just something about the certainty of the click of the safety going off and the crispness of the trigger break and the firm but smooth recoil of the .45ACP in a heavy metal chassis that tells you “Yep, you shot a gun.” The 1911 almost demands that you wax poetic about it, that you understand how it shaped American gun culture and what it has meant to the gun owners that have came before you.

It’s an enthusiast’s gun, but then again, I’m an enthusiastic kinda guy, so it’s a gun that works well for me.

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

Would You Like An AR With Your AR?

An interesting article on how augmented reality (AR) and “digital immersion” is changing the world of theme parks.

Which tripped a few switches in my skull.

  1. Movies based on video games pretty much suck, because there is really no way to replicate the non-linear environment of a video game.
  2. Entertainment companies are sitting on a metric buttload of intellectual property related to video games, and all they can do with it is make more video games.
  3. The closer an experience is to the real thing, the more fun it is. This is why driving fast on the Nurburgring is more fun than driving fast on Main Street.

So why not take augmented reality, mix in a few pistols, and build a gun-based theme park based on, say, Resident Evil? You’d use augmented reality built into your eye protection to turn that paper target into a zombie, and then scores and times would be tracked and compared. It would be, in essence, an escape room where you’d need to fight your way out.

As anyone at Battlefield Vegas or Lock and Load Miami will tell you, gun tourism is a real thing. Why not combine gun tourism with theme park tourism and take it to the next level?

Witness Me, 3D Printed And Chrome

Witness Me, 3D Printed and Chrome

Thinking more about this, how long will it be until a major player, a la Ruger, et al, or someone releases plans for their new pistol as a downloaded 3D printer file rather than an actual pistol?
I’m thinking something along the lines of Brownells 80% Glock lowers or a unique pistol design that’s based on an existing modular trigger group. The great thing about the AR is, once you have the lower, the world is your oyster. That’s not happened yet with pistols, but it will.

It doesn’t have to be a major player, either. Because of the wacky patent laws around Soviet-era gadgetry, the CZ75 design is just SITTING there for everyone to use. Someone coud easily create a new pistol that took an existing barrel for a CZ or CZ clone and built their design around the CZ, then releasing that design as a digital download.

Building on the CZ75 design is how we got the EAA Witness. If it worked once, why not do it again?

Upgrades

Upgrades

I have a few new products in for review for Shooting Illustrated, and so far they are three-for-three in the winning department.

The new Primary Arms 1x PRISM scope with ACSS reticle is simply terrific for people like me who have astigmatism. I had been running an admittedly cheap Bushnell red dot on that gun, but the clarity of the prism optic make for a much, much better shooting experience than either a conventional red dot or holographic optic.

I’m also reviewing the Timney Targa AR-15 trigger. Yes, it’s a 2 stage trigger, but it’s a really, really good one. I’d feel completing comfortable running this at a three gun match (and I’m doing that this week, as a matter of fact).

I’ve also got in a Sharpshot EZ dry fire trainer, and I really, really like it. It’s a bit more than other dryfire training devices, but unlike everything else, you don’t need to hike back and forth to your phone between strings. Plus it has a lot of great features like a shot timer and drills and can be used with a bunch of standard targets, putting it at the head of the class of dryfire training aids.

And speaking of upgrades, a little birdie told me that the new owners of the training complex formerly known as Altair have some big plans for that site, backed up with a decent amount of capital to make those plans happen.

Good. It’s a nice facility and it deserves to be used to its fullest potential.