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.

Moving Beyond The Fear.

From Threepers on the right to the Antifa on the left, there are way, WAY too many people other there right now who are itchin’ for a fight, and if their words and deeds keep escalating, that fight will surely happen.

Maybe it’s because I was sitting on the political sidelines for the Assault Weapons Ban, or maybe it’s my innate Canadian niceness, but fear has never been good at motivating me to do something, especially when it comes to gun-related things.

To quote Clint Smith, I have a gun. Why should I be afraid?

Now, should you be fearful of those who are afraid of you being armed? Yes, and rightly so. Is that the prevailing spirit inside red state America? Nope.

Blue states may vary.

Yes, the radical left is misbehaving. Dangerously so.

However, misbehavior on the other side does not demand misbehavior on our side. If you carry a gun on a consistent basis, you soon learn that de-escalation and avoidance are much better ways to deal with the threat of violence than angry harsh rhetoric and more violence.

Take the actions of the Antifa from the macro-level down to the personal level: If the Antifa were a person and not a movement, how would we handle them? They say they want to stop us, with violence if necessary, and they’ve shown a propensity to use violence in the past. What does all the things we’ve learned about living our lives as armed citizens tell us we should do about them? When do we de-escalate? When do use awareness and avoidance? Should should we use force, and if so, how much, and when?

We need to be very careful about which hill we choose to die on, because once the dogs of war have been let off the leash, it is very, very hard to bring them back.

More thoughts on this at Ricochet.com.

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.

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.

Darkness Falls.

Something I said in the comments of this post got me a-pondering: Why do firearms trainers who have a SpecOps background place such a high emphasis on night training, and is that sort of thing really valuable to those of us who don’t wear a uniform and a gun.

Let’s think about things for a second. If you have to kick in doors for a living, it makes sense to kick in doors at night, when the element of surprise and the grogginess of sleep are on your side. Night ops are a great time for offensive operations, especially if you have night vision gear and the bad guys don’t.

But let’s back up for a second… why would I, a middle-aged marketing guru, have to go onto the offense at night? Yes, there is the 3 am crackhead burglar scenario and the dark Wal-Mart parking lot attack, but if we look at the concealed carry engagement stats from students of Tom Givens, you’ll see that NONE of them used a flashlight in their encounters.

Why? Why are night operations such a priority for the military, yet next to useless for we civilians?

For the armed citizenry, unless you’re up at 3am patrolling the streets like the SHEEPDOG! you think you are, defending your life at night, in inky blackness, is probably not that urgent, for three reasons:

  1. If you have time to get a flashlight out, you have time to get your gun out. If you need your gun, don’t get out your flashlight, and vice versa.
  2. Crooks associate high-output flashlights with security guards and cops, and they tend to shy away from said people. Therefore, if you’re using a modern, tactical flashlight, you are SCREAMING to the bad guys that you are predator, not prey. As armed citizens, our job isn’t to hunt others, our job is not to be eaten by the predator.
  3. If you can’t see well enough to recognize your target, either add light to the target (which might make it run away, as per option 1 above), or don’t shoot at it. Fortunately for we civvies, most of the places we inhabit do have at least some modicum of illumination, and that’s usually enough to get a good idea of what’s in front of our muzzle.

So is learning how to use a flashlight and weapon-mounted light useful for those of us who don’t wear a uniform and a gun? Sure. However, in reality, it’s about as useful as a learning how to run an AR-15 as a defensive weapon.

Take that as you will.

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.

The Most People-Friendly Gun Store You’ll Ever See. 

I made a trip out to the other coast earlier this month (sorry, Miguel, my schedule was pretty tight, or else I would have dropped you a note), and one of the priorities for me was a visit to Nexus Shooting Center. Visiting them has been on my radar for a while now, and I finally made time to check them out.

Outside, it looks, like, well, a stand-alone gun store. Not a lot different from a lot of other gun ranges, maybe a little more dramatic than most. Inside, however… inside.

Let’s just be honest: It’s the best gun shop I’ve ever seen.

Every gun store seems to look like every other gun store, because they all take their cues from each other. Nexus doesn’t follow what’s good for a gun shop, the look outside the firearms retail industry to create experience that’s more like the Apple Store than any other gun shop I’ve seen.

Let’s just concentrate on one small area, the way merchandise is displayed in the store. Aside from the signage, is there REALLY a difference between the gun counter at a Bass Pro and the gun counter at your friendly local gun store? Both of them have glass display cases showing off the pistols, and behind them, slat wall displays showing off the long guns.

Why? Did Moses come down from Mt. Horeb with “Thou Shalt Erect Slat Walls In Thy Gun Store”? Is that in some weird translation of the Pentateuch that I’ve never heard of? Who said a gun store has to look that way, and why has no one ever questioned if there’s a better way?

Enter Nexus. Rather than hang guns on the wall and lock them away in cases, Nexus displays almost everything using backlit panels that are actually LED televisions, making paper signage a thing of the past. Also, if you’ve ever worked in a gun store, you know that tracking which gun is on display is a constant struggle and a potential mind field for ATF compliance. With the backlit TV’s, the serial number of each gun is display right along side the price, keeping things nice and neat inside your bound book.

The (female) head honcho at Caswell’s range in Arizona once told me that to a woman, the experience of walking into a gun store is like walking into a strip club: It’s an overwhelmingly masculine environment that’s unwelcoming and vaguely threatening.

And in response to this obvious fact, gun store owners PROUDLY display the mounted trophies of their last hunt and calendars of half-naked women holding guns.

And then they wonder why women (one of the fastest-growing segments of the market) don’t seem to frequent their stores.

While the environment inside of Nexus is definitely “no-nonsense tactical”, it’s not threatening, because they temper the tactical with a bright, open layout and with a concierge station that welcomes people as they walk into the door.

And then there’s the range. There are twenty 25 yard lanes for their pistol and rifle customers, but the heart of the range are the twenty Nexus Lanes, an electronic targeting system that takes going to a gun range to a whole new level. The lanes are wider than the typical gun range phone booth: Two people can stand side by side with ease, leading to a more comfortable and relaxed shooting experience and also making instruction easier.

Rather than list all the cool things you can do with an electronic target system (like shoot targets that are 25 yards away within the confines of a 7 yard bay), I’d like to highlight two little touches in that photo which show the planning and effort that the owners of Nexus put into the customer experience.

That’s an Uplula universal magazine loader, and there’s one permanently attached to every lane inside Nexus. Now, why would a gun range spend an extra $30 per lane on a speedloader?

Think about it. If you fill your magazines with ammo faster, you shoot ammo faster. You shoot ammo faster, you either a) turn over your lane quicker (more profit), or you buy more ammo from the range master (ditto). I’d be willing to bet those speedloaders paid for themselves the very first day they installed them, and every day since then brings better and better ROI for Nexus.

Smart.

Secondly, this is a photo of the floor under each shooting lane. Rather than have a solid concrete floor under your feet, at Nexus, there’s a slat floor that allows spent casings to fall into a pit under your feet, where there’s collected up at the end of each day. No more skating on a sea of spent brass, and much less worries about safety incidents from customers losing their footing on a shell casing.

I could gone on and on about the other little touches inside the Nexus range and store, like their plans to reduce analysis paralysis (the bane of gun store owners everywhere) and the layout of their classrooms (home theater, not middle school), but the fact is, Nexus is what a gun store should look if your market is today’s city-dwelling gun owner. If you’re in S. Florida, (or are planning to be soon), you need to put a trip to Nexus on your to-do list.