Maybe it’s a good thing that Tracking Point went out of business

Because the same WiFi connection they use on their rifles to foist off video onto an iPad can be used to seriously mess with the aiming system of their wiz-bang rifle.

The married hacker couple have developed a set of techniques that could allow an attacker to compromise the rifle via its Wi-Fi connection and exploit vulnerabilities in its software. Their tricks can change variables in the scope’s calculations that make the rifle inexplicably miss its target, permanently disable the scope’s computer, or even prevent the gun from firing. In a demonstration for WIRED (shown in the video above), the researchers were able to dial in their changes to the scope’s targeting system so precisely that they could cause a bullet to hit a bullseye of the hacker’s choosing rather than the one chosen by the shooter.

That’s… not good, and further proof that anything that can be used to push data out can be used as a way to force data in. Security and safety should extend to your gadgets and gear, not just your firearms.

Spitballin’ here…

… but what would the modern-day equivalent of the NRA’s original raison d’être look like?

A refresher:

Dismayed by the lack of marksmanship shown by their troops, Union veterans Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association in 1871. The primary goal of the association would be to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis,” according to a magazine editorial written by Church.

After being granted a charter by the state of New York on November 17, 1871, the NRA was founded. Civil War Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was also the former governor of Rhode Island and a U.S. Senator, became the fledgling NRA’s first president.

The thing is, we’re not lining up troops into squares and fixing bayonets to repel cavalry charges anymore: Today’s battle lines go across countries and continents and can even show up on the homefront.

So what would an NRA program to help stem the tide of ISIS look like, and would that even be a good idea?

Mind the (age) gap

I shot an IDPA match up at Hansen last week (match video to follow) and noticed once again how OLD my fellow competitors were. I’m no spring chicken, and yet I was smack dab in the middle of the age demographic for the match.

This is NOT a sign of a vibrant, growing sport, which is why I’m such a HUGE fan of the Scholastic Pistol Program and other efforts out there to replenish the ranks of shooters in practical pistol. There are millions and millions of young people out there running around with (virtual) guns in their hands every day: It’d be nice to get just a few of them off of the couch and out to the range.

One year ago today

Remington announced a trade-in program for owners of the “troubled” R51 pistol.

Anyone who purchased an R51 may return it and receive a new R51 pistol, along with two additional magazines and a custom Pelican case, by calling Remington at (800) 243-9700. You will be asked to provide your name, address, telephone number, and the serial number of your pistol.

There’s been pretty jack and/or squat from Remington about the R51 since that update.I like the R51 because it’s one of the very few semi-auto’s out there that isn’t a blowback action or delayed-action gun, and a little competition improves the gene pool, but you can’t get in the game unless you’re actually in the game. I understand that Remington has gone through some drastic changes since then, but c’mon, throw us a frickin’ bone here.

 

Are we living in a golden age of firearms training?

In a word, yes, yes we are.

Firearms instruction and training really has evolved. The days are long past when someone handed you a gun and told you to go out back and teach yourself to shoot. Today we have a gun to fit each person, each purpose, and each budget. We are entering the golden age of firearms instruction that is equally wide and deep.

Instructors today know their material in depth. They take continuing education courses and most instructors have sampled a number of different training schools before they instruct. This pays real dividends for the student. First, today’s instructors have standards of professional practice to safely run a range. Second, today’s instructors have a well stocked bag of tricks. This is invaluable when the first training method doesn’t connect with the student. What works for you might not work for me. Instructors need several approaches to teach the same skill.

Lots and lots of great insights in that article, so please read the whole thing. And I especially love this little bit at the end.

Take a new shooter to the range.. and take a class with them.

Yep. And also, take them to a match as well. H/T Phil Wong of Gator Farm Tactical.

71.5 Million People Are The Market

Now, what are we going to do to reach them?

In 2013, it was estimated that approximately 71,500,000 people worldwide watched competitive gaming. The increasing availability of online streaming media platforms, particularly Twitch.tv, has become central to the growth and promotion of eSports competitions. Demographically, Major League Gaming has reported viewership that is approximately 85% male and 15% female, with 60% of viewers between the ages of 18 and 34.

That is seventy one and a half MILLION people who play video games and sit and watch other people play video games, . What if 10% of them shot? What if 1% of them shot practical pistol? Are we even capable of thinking what 70,000+ new, excited, MOTIVATED new shooters would do to USPSA/IDPA/3 Gun?

What’s your experience?

We’re in a post-scarity world when it comes to firearms: The panic-buying of the last seven years is over, so now people are looking to DO something with all those guns.

This is why I now work at a gun range versus working in a gun store. Duh.

In Gun Culture 1.0, doing something with a gun meant going out into the outdoors in pursuit of the best day of your life: You hiked through the beauty of the outdoors, spotted one of God’s magnificent creatures, and blasted it to smithereens.

Mission accomplished. Food is on the table, a trophy is on the wall, and a good time was had by all.

However, things are not the same for Gun Culture 2.0, because our best-case scenario is… nothing happens. Our training and situational awareness worked, and we didn’t go to dumb places to do dumb things with dumb people. If hunting is preparing for the best day of your life, Gun Culture 2.0 is about preparing for the WORST day of your life.

Practical shooting is somewhat similar, because as Steve Anderson says, the sport is speed-biased and negatively charged. The best, the absolute best we can do on a stage is NOT screw up our stage plan with a brain fart or a gun malfunction. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t scream “The human drama of athletic competition” to me.

This is even more of a problem for tv shows and magazines about Gun Culture 2.0, because there’s not a lot of excitement to be had talking about stuff that didn’t happen: After all, when a baseball game gets rained out, they show reruns of “Good Times”, not shots of a rainy ballpark.

So what DOES happen in Gun Culture 2.0 that is worth celebrating and enjoying and sharing? Good times on the range? Learning something new in a class? Something I’m missing?

Well now THIS was unexpected.

I’ve always assumed that Sig had the inside track on the new handgun contract for the military, because what the military says it wants looks and sounds a lot like a P320, with an added safety.

But now there’s a couple of new entrants from companies not exactly known for being the sort of company that leaps to mind when I think “defense contractor”

First is Kriss, who are entering the fray with a variant of the CZ75 Sphinx.

Tim Seargeant, Kriss’s Marketing Manager confirmed that the Swiss-based group will be submitting a variant of the Sphinx SDP. The SDP line of pistols includes subcompact, compact, and standard-frame double-action/single-action (DA/SA) pistols with an ambidextrous decocker, based on the CZ-75.

A CZ75 clone as the army’s service pistol? Be still, my fainting heart!

And say “Hello” to Mr. Curveball from out of left field.

STI Detonics Army

Looking roughly like a 1911, the STX uses a drop-in striker box system that can be easily swapped out with other trigger packs, is caliber agnostic, uses a truly modular frame and grip that enables either a long or a short grip to be installed, has felt recoil up to 40% less than comparable designs, and is perhaps the only contender that exceeds the MHS spec for fitting various hand sizes.

STI makes accurate guns. Detonics makes innovative guns that push the boundaries in interesting ways. Neither of them is really known for making rock-solid, reliable guns that just work day in, day out, but dang, that is an interesting gun.

Either way, it looks like my dream of a Universal Pistol Platform is getting a little bit closer…