Go With The Flow.

Go With The Flow.

A couple of interesting paragraphs from an article I linked to last week.

A first-person shooter combines (three dimensionality, violence and escapism) in a distinct way: a virtual environment that maximizes a player’s potential to attain a state that the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “flow”—a condition of absolute presence and happiness.

“Flow,” writes Csikszentmihalyi, “is the kind of feeling after which one nostalgically says: ‘that was fun,’ or ‘that was enjoyable.’ ” Put another way, it’s when the rest of the world simply falls away. According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is mostly likely to occur during play, whether it’s a gambling bout, a chess match, or a hike in the mountains. Attaining it requires a good match between someone’s skills and the challenges that she faces, an environment where personal identity becomes subsumed in the game and the player attains a strong feeling of control. Flow eventually becomes self-reinforcing: the feeling itself inspires you to keep returning to the activity that caused it. (emphasis mine)

It isn’t just the first-person experience that helps to create flow; it’s also the shooting. “This deviation from our regular life, the visceral situations we don’t normally have,” Nacke says, “make first-person shooters particularly compelling.” It’s not that we necessarily want to be violent in real life; rather, it’s that we have pent-up emotions and impulses that need to be vented. “If you look at it in terms of our evolution, most of us have office jobs. We’re in front of the computer all day. We don’t have to go out and fight a tiger or a bear to find our dinner. But it’s still hardwired in humans. Our brain craves this kind of interaction, our brain wants to be stimulated. We miss this adrenaline-generating decision-making.”

I’ve experienced “flow” on pretty much every practical shooting stage I’ve ever shot, and I’ve also experienced when I *nailed* a kata in front of my sensei.

Do the shooting sports, as they stand now, encourage that feeling, especially in new gun owners? Does firearms training create a sense of enjoyment, empowerment and adrenaline rush that makes people want to return to the range for more training?

Why not?

Maybe the answer lies in that bit that I highlighted, where it talks about when the player (or trainee) faces a situation where the challenges they face and their ability to master them are closely matched, and then a sense of mastery occurs.

How often do the challenges at a match or in a training class match up what a new gun owner actually can do? What, if anything, are we doing to increase that feeling of control?

Another Onramp Is Built.

Another Onramp Is Built.

There’s now an officially sanctioned, .22LR version of a precision rifle match.

The NRL 22 will provide a local monthly course of fire based off the NRL 22 Standard Target Package and Standard Barricade List. The NRL 22 Standard Target Package will be available for local match directors to purchase on the NRL 22’s web page for an affordable price. The list of standard barricades will be very simple, affordable, and mostly common items. Monthly courses of fire, target package, and a standard barricades list are all intended to be turn key solutions to simple, fun, and affordable Precision Rifle matches.

I like this idea. I like it a lot. First off, anyone who’s gone squirrel hunting will tell you that there is a real-world value to precisely shooting things with a .22 rifle from weird and awkward positions.

Secondly, the pistol caliber carbine division has exploded in USPSA because they offer the excitement and challenge of a 3 gun match, without the need to set up steel targets at 300 yards.

And if it’s hard to find a range that can handle 300 yard shots, imagine how hard it is to find a range where you can shoot out to 1000 yards.

Thirdly, a properly setup .22 rifle can give you 90% of the thrills of precision rifle shooting, but at far shorter ranges, and (more importantly) for far less money than a tricked-out custom rifle with thousands and thousands of dollars of optics on top of it.

Fourthly, precision rifle matches, by their very nature, required specialized gear, and any sport that requires specialized gear to win is going to need specialized gear as part of their on-ramp*.

And yes, at this very moment, I am shopping around on the Internet for a CZ 452 left-hand model that can mimic what my Savage 16 does.

Why do you ask?


* This is why the .22 practical sports are actually a pretty good on-ramp for people who already own a .22 pistol. What the .22 pistol sports are not, however, is a good on-ramp for new gun owners, who balk at the idea of having to buy yet another gun just to go play on a range.

Shoot Center Is Now Open In Cape Coral

Shoot Center Is Now Open In Cape Coral

So awhile ago, I wrote,

If I were Going To Open A Gun Store Today

After my time spent marketing two large gun stores, here’s what I do.

  • Make sure it had a gun range. Doesn’t have to be big, 12 lanes, 20 yards maximum. Maximum caliber, 308. Have good air conditioning in it, so people enjoy their time there. Encourage selfies and social media.

  • Emphasize training. Have a competition league on Monday nights.

  • Get a GREAT working relationship with either A Girl And Her Gun or The Well Armed Woman.

Shoot Center in Cape Coral is pretty much what I described.

It’s open, modern and inviting inside, not some cheap strip mall joint with stuffed animal heads on the wall and second-hand office furniture scattered about. It looks like a modern, clean retail store inside (something that is less common in the gun industry than you’d believe).

Retail gun store in fort myers

They’re set up pretty well: The training classroom is big enough to handle two dozen people in a class, a BIG deal when you’re trying to bring in big-name trainers in from out of town, and the store itself has the sort of things that a suburban gun owner might be interested in.

Shoot Center Range

The range itself is the best indoor range in SouthWest Florida (even nicer than my old shop). That range wasn’t really designed well: If you didn’t shell out the $$$ for a luxury membership, all you could do was shoot pistols in a 12 yard range (and dark and cramped 12 yard range at that).

At Shoot Center, the lanes go out to 25 yards, and they’re rated up to .308 caliber. I’m not a fan of shooting rifles indoors, but I’m not a fan of limiting consumer choice, either. One thing I really like about the range at Shoot Center is that the have a hand-washing station set up just outside the range entrance for shooters to clean off the gunpowder and lead residue after a shooting session.

Smart.

If you’re tired of baking outdoors in the Florida heat and you want someplace to go shoot that’s as nice (or nicer) than the other stores you walk into, go check out Shoot Center. They’re showing the rest of SWFL how it’s done.

Roots Radicals.

Roots Radicals.

Listen to Michael Bane talk about what drove the birth of Gun Culture 2.0.

Learning the rules of gun safety… competition… drawing from a holster… moving with a gun… concealed carry…

We’ve won. Gun Culture 2.0 is now the dominant force inside the gun industry. Personal safety is now the main reason why people buy guns. Now that we’ve won the war, what are we doing to win the peace? What is the gun industry doing to keep the victory going?

What organization is out there doing the things to get people involved in their sport? That podcast is from 2011. In 2011, the iPhone 4 came out. Snapchat didn’t exist, and neither did Facebook Live.

In the past six years, what sport has encouraged growth by changing what they offer new gun owners*? What is the on-ramp to IDPA**? Where is the organization that is will do step up and help people gain enough confidence with their new gun that they a) carry it and b) compete with it?

‘Cause brother, I am looking for it, and it is nowhere to be found.

And yes, the title is yet another musical reference.


* NOT new shooters. There is a difference. Shooters insinuates that they shoot their gun on a regular basis. This is different from a new gun owner who buys a talisman of ballistic self-protection and keeps it unloaded under their bed.

** I will throat-punch the first person who says “Steel Challenge!” or some other sport where you stand still and shoot targets with a custom .22 is the answer to this question. Those sports are how we get people who have a safe full of guns out to the range, not how we get someone who’s just bought a Glock 19 as their first gun.

If You Like Your Shooting App, You Can’t Keep Your Shooting App.

If You Like Your Shooting App, You Can’t Keep Your Shooting App.

Apple will be rolling out another update to the operating system of their iPhones and iPads, and one of the features of iOS 11 will affect some popular apps for the shooting sports:

Apple has removed support for older 32-bit applications in the new iOS 11, which was to be expected after the 10.3 update added the ability to detect apps that are still running 32-bit processes on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Two of the apps that are a must-have for me, (the Surefire Shot Timer and the Max Michel Shot Coach) will be affected by this, and I’m sure there are other apps out there as well. If you open up an app and get a warning that it might run slow on your device, be warned, it might not run at all in the future.

Silencer Shop Is Golden.

Silencer Shop Is Golden.

SIG Sauer SRD762QD

There are many others like it, but this one will eventually be mine.

I decided from the get-go that my .300 Blackout pistol would be built with an eye towards suppressing it, and now that I’ve made a smooth transition to a new job, I pulled the trigger and bought a SIG Sauer SRD762QD from Silencer Shop.

Why the SIG? Well, a bunch of reasons…

  • SIG hired Kevin Brittingham to start up their suppressor line. That’s a big, big deal for me, because Kevin essentially created the modern suppressor market when he founded AAC.
  • Features-wise, it’s pretty much  what I want. Two-thirds of the time, that can will be on my .300BLK pistol, and the other third of the time, I’ll plop it on to my .308 bolt gun and go shoot with it. I have a two-hour drive to the nearest range that’s over 200 yards long, so the long range game is a lower priority than it was when I had a long-distance range close by.
  • Price. The whole kit and kaboodle, with trust, stamp, barrel-turning on the bolt gun and an extra adapter/muzzle device came in at around $1100 bucks. Not bad. Could I have gotten more features with something more expensive like, say the titanium version of this can, or a Surefire can? Yep. Will this one work for now and in the future? Probably.

One thing that’s not in doubt is how easy it is to buy a can through the Silencer Shop. Their online cart worked just like every online store out there (something that’s not all that common in the gun biz…) and thanks to their in-store kiosks, the post-purchase steps of fingerprinting, filling out the Form 4 and setting up the trust took just over a half an hour.

Unless you absolutely HAVE to have one of the silencers they don’t stock (and they stock quite a few..), buy your silencer from the Silencer shop. You won’t regret it.


Silencer Shop didn’t pay me a dime for this endorsement. All they did was provide a great price on a can and spectacular customer service after I did so, and I want to let other people know about what they did.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 585 – 735

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 585 – 735

I had another opportunity to put some of Lucky Gunner’s ammo (all PMC Bronze FMJ’s) through the LCP last week, and nothing much happened except I made a lot of noise and put a bunch of holes into a piece of paper, which is just what you want from a defensive handgun.

Testing the LCPII

Like the last time, these were shot as fast as I could get an reasonable sight picture and as fast as I could pull the trigger, and like the last time, they were all shot from contact distance on out to 10 yards. I got a little sloppy in some of the failure to stop drills, (and there’s one shot from 10 yards that I *might* be able to claim was an attempt at a pelvic shot, but I won’t, because I flat-out jerked the trigger on that one), but other than that, yeah, it’ll do what I want it to.

This is not gun for doing headshots on Leprechaun Liberation Army terrorists at 50 yards… this is meant for social encounters from handshake distance out to across-a-parking-lot space distances, and for those applications, it works really, really well.

Now, do I want to carry something bigger with me all the time, something that holds more ammo and has more a thump? Yes. Can I carry something like that with me all the time? No, I can’t. My life is set up so that four days out of the week, I have to carry in a pocket holster.

It’s nice to know, though, that what’s in the holster will be up to the task.

Rounds Fired : 100
100 Rounds PMC Bronze

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 735.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject, rounds 400 and 489.

Julie Golob On The State Of The Shooting Sports.

Julie Golob On The State Of The Shooting Sports.

Julie is a much, much better shooter than I am, and she’s been a professional shooter for quite awhile now.

She also owns more chickens than I do, but that is not relevant to the discussion today.

What is relevant is the talk she gave at the NSSF Industry Summit on what’s going on (and isn’t going on) with the shooting sports. Why aren’t the people who have CCW’s getting out to the range? Where are the disconnects?

The video below is worth your while, as it lays out the problem pretty clearly. I just hope the industry response to this won’t be “I know, let’s create ANOTHER shooting sport that only works in a pistol bay, where you’re standing still, shooting a .22! That’ll get people to bring their carry guns out to the range!”.

Simply put, new gun owners don’t compete (or train) because new gun owners don’t see it as a valuable use of their time and resources, and they choose to spend those items doing something else that they see as more valuable.

Period, full stop.

Want to get more people on the firing line or out to your match? Show them the immediate value of what you’re doing. Make the commitment of time, money and ego as low-key as possible. And for crying out loud, if they want to learn how to shoot the gun they bought for self-defense, don’t stick a .22 in their hand!

A Gun For All Seasons.

A Gun For All Seasons.

Me, three years ago:

Modularity means more than just backstraps, it means being able to build my gun, my way. I REALLY like what SIG is doing with the 320, but I’d take it one step further and just sell the serialized trigger group by itself, with no pieces parts in it all, much like an AR-15 lower is sold today.

GhostGuns.com, this month.

GhostGuns.com is in the process of developing an 80% FCG that will allow buyers to build their own P320 compatible clones by drilling/milling a few pin holes and trigger sections. The entire process should be achievable with someone with average skills and tools.

So with one of these “80%” trigger packs and a bunch of parts from Apex, Gray Guns, SIG Sauer, etc, you’ll not only have a pistol, you’ll have a pistol that’s built to your specifications and is almost infinitely expandable.

Cool.