Let Your Run Be Run And Your Gun Be Gun.

This looks like fun. Exhausting, to be sure, but fun nevertheless.

Dropzone Gunner (DZG) is a once-in-a-lifetime event meant to combine extreme physical conditions along with the ability to operate a variety of weapons. Run, hurdle, jump, shoot. This is a “battlefield pickup” scenario event. All weapons will be staged and ready for you. Yes, we realize you may have a favorite rifle that is worth $10k with $23k worth of extras on it that you would prefer to use. This is not that type of event. You use whatever is in front of you. The art of surprise along with the ability to troubleshoot and manage whatever you come across is vital in this event.

A few things of interest here…

  1. The guns are all staged guns, and they’re all Kel-Tecs. Now we can have the discussion about Kel-Tec quality at another time, but this is a big deal. All guns from one manufacturer? When has that happened before?
  2. I really like the format. Way to appeal The Spartan Race crowd, people!
  3. The prize table is supposedly very, very good, with guns galore and (wait for it) cash as well. FN and SIG may have shut down their teams, but lawd almighty, this looks like a heck of a match.

 

The First Step Is The One That Counts.

I noticed something interesting during my too-brief time behind the gun counter: Elderly people would shy away from even mid-sized guns like the Glock 19 and LC9, and immediately assume that smaller guns like the SIG P238 and Ruger LCP would be easier for them to handle. The feeling in their minds was that smaller guns = smaller recoil, which is, of course, not the case.

Not by a long shot.

The other thing I noticed was their reaction to failing to perform the (apparently) simple task of cycling the slide.

Think about it: What’s the first thing that any (competent) gun store clerk does when pulling a gun out of the case? They drop the mag (if there is one) and cycle the action to prove that the gun is unloaded (Rule 1!) and then hand it to the customer. We do it so often, it’s like breathing to us, and we make it look like it’s a super-easy task to perform.

But what if, for reasons of age and/or upper body strength, it’s not a super-easy task to perform? All of a sudden, a basic task that signals the start of using a gun is an impossible thing to perform, which creates doubts in the person’s mind… if I can’t do THAT, what else can I not do?

Yes, this seems silly to those of us who shoot a lot and can cycle a slide in our sleep, but I assure you, it’s really, and it sold a LOT of P238’s, a small gun that is (relatively) easy to shoot and very easy to cycle.

iPhone Guns, iPad Guns.

Thinking more about yesterday’s post, I upgrade my phone almost every two years like clockwork, because I rely on it to run my life. From photos to movie-watching to games to writing, it’s pretty much my go-to device when I’m not at work. Why? Well, to borrow from Stephen Miller, in today’s world, if you can’t do it on your phone, it doesn’t matter.

But my iPad? My iPad is for media consumption and games, not work. It’s, oh, five years old, at least, and beat to crap.

How many consumers have an iPad of guns, and how many have iPhones? How many people have something that they use only on occasion and never carry with them them, versus something that’s an essential part of their lives?

How do we convince people that their iPad needs to become an iPhone?

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.

Ruger LCPII 2000 Round Challenge: Rounds 837 – 937

Ruger LCP2 2000 Round Challenge

No photos of the target today, because my phone decided to lock up in the 95° Florida heat. It’s a shame because I concentrated on shooting for groups this time out, and the LCP][ responded with 2″ five-shot groups from 7 yards. Not bad for a little gun with essentially no sights and a very short sight radius.

I finished up the session with 30 or so rounds shot from retention, right up against the target then shooting while backing up as fast as I can, kinda like what Craig Douglas is doing here.

Kinda.

Because I tend to shoot on indoor ranges or at matches, where shooting from retention is rarely mandated, I actually have very little experience with it. Yes, that’s a training scar, and yes, I’m trying to do something about it.

Other than that, the little LCP][ just soldiered on. I was struck again just how easy it is to shoot strong hand only: There really is little for the support hand to do on the gun, and because it’s lightweight with a decent trigger, it really doesn’t need a support hand to get a quick round off and onto the target. I did have one Failure To Feed on round 36 out of 100 while shooting PMC Bronze.

Rounds Fired : 100
70 Rounds PMC Bronze
30 Rounds Winchester FMJ White Box

2000 Round Challenge Results
Total Rounds Fired: 937.
One possible failure to eject on round 116, two failures to eject on rounds 400 and 489, one failure to feed round 873.

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.

Conflict Of Interests

First off, kudos to Glock for turning the fifth time they’ve had to update Perfection™ into a major gun event.

It’s a good idea, and a great way to get the fanboys excited for something outrageously innovative, like sights that are actually useful or getting rid of those STUPID finger grooves.

But.

It’s also the same night as the Macgregor-Mayweather fight.

Think that a large part of Glock’s target market is going to more interested in the fight than being the first to shoot a new gun?

Me too.

Update: We have photos of the new gun! It’s, umm, well, a Glock! Without finger grooves! And with a high-tech innovative feature called “an ambidextrous slide release”.

Something that other guns have had for decades prior to this, but now, they’ve perfected it!

Perfect 5th.

Odds And Sods.

I spent a bunch of my ill-botten gooty from the Amazon links on the site and bought a few things to make my life easier. Thanks for your support, everyone, now on to some quick first takes:

SOG Folding Entrenching Tool 

I’ve been needing to get shovels for the back of our family’s cars, so when these came on sale, I snatched up two of them for just just over fifteen bucks.

Not bad.

It’s a basic aluminum entrenching tool, with a twist-lock handle and saw-blade edge and pick on one side and shovel on the other. Nothing fancy, but it’s a tool that infantrymen have been using for decades now, so it should work for us civilians, too.

Gosky Universal Cell Phone Mount

I bought this because I thought it looked cool, and hey, you never know, it may come in handy someday. Because it’s a “universal” mount, however, it’s a little awkward to use with my spotting scope, and it doesn’t work too well with my rifle scopes either because the eye relief is too long.

Image quality from the mount is below par, probably because the optics needed to make a clear image on the back of the eye are different than the optics needed to produce an image on a camera sensor. Still, for just $19, it’s a lot of fun to play around with.

Esbit Folding Stove

I love these little stoves. No, they are not going to cook up a five-course meal for fourteen, but they’ll heat up water for coffee or a freeze-dried instant meal. I’ll have a more in-depth look at this stove when I test it out with this gadget, but for now, I likey.

The Short, Happy Life Of Tactical Timmy*.

Maybe one of the things that makes the SpecOps lifestyle so attractive to we in Gun Culture 2.0 is because they tell really, really good stories, and that’s important to us.

We need heroes. We need to aspire to be something that’s more than we are right now, and let’s face it, there are very few really extraordinary armed civilians out there. Most of them are schlubs like me, and that’s totally cool. I’m not all that extraordinary, and quite honestly, neither or most of my friends.

But Green Berets, MARSOC, Navy SEALS? Them’s extraordinary people who tell extraordinary stories.

Gun Culture 1.0 had extraordinary hunters who went to far-off strange places and turned out some great hunting stories from their exploits.

Is it any wonder, then, that we in Gun Culture 2.0 idolize the men of today who go off to far-off strange places and do extraordinary things in order to keep us safe at home?


* Bonus points if you got the literary reference in the title…