The Software Problem

The Software Problem

As I’ve said before, guns right now remind me of personal computer industry of the early 80’s, for a number of reasons. One thing I haven’t talked about, though, is how software, or rather, the perception of what software was really needed, drove the PC market back then.

Thanks to Phoenix BIOS, everybody and his dog was coming out with an “IBM Compatible” PC, mainly because everyone thought they needed to run Lotus 1-2-3, and before that, VisiCalc. This focus on a specific app mean that the  PC was still thought of as a single-use device, much like it’s minicomputer ancestors.

That’s where we are with consumer guns right now. People are buying Glocks and NotGlocks because they want them for a single use. namely, to “Feel Safe,” and consumers don’t yet realize that it’s software that drives the mission. The home PC market really took off when computers became more than single-use devices, when Myst and other games meant you could relax with a PC at home just as easily as you could use it for schoolwork or work work. This is 90% of the gun industry right now… we are selling hardware focused on a single task, and we have no idea how to sell other programs.

What’s holding us back isn’t the hardware, what’s holding us back is finding a program which shows that a gun is more than just a single-use device.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s my #1 favorite holiday, because it’s all about being thankful for what we have been given, which is, if we’re honest, quite a lot. And I also have family in town, so I’m going dark until Monday.

If you’re looking to do some good on Black Friday, consider giving to either or, and save a life (or two) this holiday season.

See you in a bit.

“Get Weapons Of War Off Our Streets!”

“Get Weapons Of War Off Our Streets!”

M1903 Springfield Rifles

Let me state this right up front: I own a weapon of war. Two of them, actually. They are not the AR-15 “assault rifles” I own which are called “weapons of war” by people who are passionately ignorant, but rather, they both are M1903 Springfield rifles that I inherited from my father-in-law when he passed away. Both of them are military surplus, purchased when they were no longer useful to the military, and unlike my AR-15’s both them them have been handled by a soldier on active duty at some point. One of those bolt-action Springfield rifles is in bad shape, however, it was built in 1904 and I like the idea of passing on something of that age on to my sons after I’m gone. The other? The other has a different story.

Some background. My father-in-law worked for the Forest Service in the Tonto Basin, Arizona area from when he got home from the Pacific Theater until he retired thirty years later. His work there was split between the peaceful work of fixing and repairing hiking trails from horseback and the brutal, dangerous work of fighting forest fires leading “hot shot” crews all over the Mogollon Rim. He loved the Tonto Basin, because that’s where he was raised.

His family first settled that area of the state, but they never were rich. His family were the ones who worked the land for the people who got rich off the land, so as such, his guns were working guns, and these are two of them.

The M1903 in the foreground is decrepit and unusable. The stock is in tatters, the front sight is silver-soldered on and it’s in the 40xxx serial number range, which means the receiver was probably not heat-treated correctly and is unsafe to shoot.

The M1903A3 rifle in back is another story. I don’t know when it was sporterized, but whoever did it didn’t bed the action correctly, something I found out when I took it to my gunsmith to have the scope added to it. The gun (with the scope) will now do 1.5” groups at 100 yards, and it will probably be passed down to one of my sons when my time here is over.

I like that.

This rifle in particular means something special to me, because it was this rifle that was in my father-in-law’s hands when he stayed up all night long one evening in his home just outside of Payson, watching as the Dirty Dozen motorcycle gang rode up and down the road outside his house, threatening violence on him, his wife and my future wife.

I don’t have many guns that I attach my emotions to, but these are two of them.

Consistently Tactical

Consistently Tactical

There was a particular nugget of truth dropped about halfway through this interview with Chris Tilley over at the Triangle Tactical podcast. One thing that practical shooting drills into your brain more than anything else is consistent performance with your gun. Shooting a match also gives you a reason to shoot your gun on a regular basis, in much the same way that golf gives you an excuse to go out with your buddies and drink beer or fishing gives you an excuse to go out into the outdoors and drink beer.

Want to get better at shooting? GO SHOOT!

Worry about such things as “training scars” later, because a “training scar” implies you’re training, something that is most assuredly NOT happening if you’re on the couch binge-watching Netflix.

Flash Site Pictures

Flash Site Pictures

An interesting peek behind the curtain of the gun biz. I’m not 100% certain that Ruger’s new product strategy will succeed. Personally, I’d be worried that sales of the EC-9 and Security 9 are cannibalizing sales of the 9mm ‘Murican, but at the end of the day, it’s profit that’s king, and Ruger seems to be doing OK.

So awhile ago, I wrote that no one had tried to duplicate my “women choose their own carry guns” article. I was wrong, American Rifleman* expanded on the concept and took it to the next level. What did the women in their test choose as their favorite gun to shoot and carry? A gun that I’ve been recommending to the recoil-adverse for a long, long time now.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I no longer carry a SWAT-T or RATS Tourniquet. The other reason is, an SOFT-T-W tourniquet in either a Flatpack or a Blue Force Gear pouch is about the same size as those two, and they have the added advantage of actually working when you need it.

A reminder that if it’s not within arm’s reach at this very moment, it’s not that useful in an emergency situation (via Grant Cunningham).

Greg has a great rundown of what to look for in your first AR-15. The only things I might change with his suggestions is to add in the SIG M400 as good rifle to start with and b) go with a 16″ barrel on a general-purpose AR versus a 14.5″ barrel.

This article is changing my mind about the efficacy of .22LR as a defensive round. Are the better rounds? Hell yes! Is it a useless defensive round? Maybe not.

Claude is spot-on here: Shoot/no-shoot situations are a part of pretty much every single practical pistol match ever, the fact is, it’s pretty much non-existent in most civilian firearms training. More importantly, you don’t need to shoot a match or go all force-on-force to introduce an element of critical decision making into the process of carrying concealed.


* Or Riflewoman, whatever.

Because It’s Never Too Early For SHOT Show Rumors.

Because It’s Never Too Early For SHOT Show Rumors.

Given the fact that the R51 has, at best, under-performed for Remington, and at worst been a pulsating hive of suck and fail, and also the RP9 product launch was less successful than the Sprice Goose’s first flight, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Big Green come out with a small subcompact 9mm at SHOT. They need something  around the same size as a Shield or P365 that is not the R51, and guns that size are one of the few hot sellers out there right now.

Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

Get Out Of The Choir Loft.

This article on why progressives are setting themselves up to lose in 2020 could be written about gun owners as well.

… in politics, intensity is not strategy. You have to be able to convert. The Resistance didn’t convert. It didn’t convert when Chuck Schumer chose to make Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court the decisive political test of the year. It didn’t convert when it turned his initial confirmation hearing into a circus. It didn’t convert when media liberals repeatedly violated ordinary journalistic standards by reporting the uncorroborated accusations against Kavanaugh that followed Christine Blasey Ford’s.

Above all, it didn’t convert the unconverted.

Let me explain this as clearly and as easily as I can: No one cares about YOUR rights, they care about THEIR rights. The key to winning a political battle is to make YOUR issue THEIR issue, and quite frankly, gun owners suck at that sort of thing. If we want to spend less time fighting gun control and spend more time on the range, we need win the gun control battles before they happen. We need to make control so toxic, no politician in their right mind would come out in favor of it.

The first step to making gun control unpopular is to make gun ownership popular once again. Make the fight about the shared desire to stay safe, and the sheer outright FUN of shooting a gun, don’t make it about your right to carry an AR-15 while fishing. Gun rights are going to have to become an inclusive, populist movement if we are going to win.

Take someone to the range. Start an informal gun club in your neighborhood. Go plinking with a cow-orker. Get out of the choir loft, and onto the street.

The Left Hand Of Bang*.

The Left Hand Of Bang*.

My article on left-handed long-range shooting on a budget is now available. I had a blast writing the article, and learning how to shoot long-range has made me want to shoot it more, mostly because it’s FUN!

The .308 Savage mentioned in the article is at Gulf Coast Precision Rifles as I type this, getting bedded into an MDT chassis and threaded for my SIG Sauer silencer. The optics on the gun are getting upgraded to a new, truly cool Primary Arms optic that’s coming out before SHOT, and then I’m headed out to train more and shoot more.

A question was asked in a Facebook group I belong to about how to avoid burnout. I’ve been writing about guns (professionally and otherwise) for over a dozen years now, and yeah, it does get kinda boring to write “Top Ten Guns For Concealed Carry” over and over and over again. This is how I avoid burnout: I get reasonably competent at one part of the sport, then move on to another.


* I’m kinda happy with how I managed to mashup two book titles into one with that headline.

Hook, Line And Thinker.

Hook, Line and Thinker.

Speaking of the media narrative on guns, I have (note the past tense) been impressed with Lois Beckett’s reporting on the give and take when it comes to the right of self-defense in America. She took the time to approach gun owners with an open mind, and turned in some terrific, balanced reporting on the issue.

Past tense.

This tweet, though, shows that despite her willingness to approach and engage with NRA members, she still doesn’t get it.

What does the fact that NRA-supported candidates won in Florida have anything to do with the Parkland shooter? Was the murderer an NRA member? NO! So why involve the NRA with this? As I said in my response to her,

The NRA is NOT the “gun lobby.” The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) represents gunmakers on Capitol Hill, not the NRA. However, the NRA is feared and reviled by progressives because it registers people to vote, and those voters tend to vote Republican. If the issue was truly about “gun safety,” progressives would welcome and embrace the world’s largest firearms safety training organization and support efforts like Eddie Eddie and Project Childsafe.

Instead, the reverse is true: Bloomberg’s minions were outraged when the Department of Justice teamed up with the NSSF to promote firearms safety, and oppose the world’s largest gun training organization teaching firearms safety.

No, I don’t get that either.

It’s not about safety, it’s about making sure you know your place and making sure your vote doesn’t count.

Make sure it does.