- Buying the gun is the cheap part. Feeding it is the expensive part.
- Accessory availability matters. I love my CZ’s, but there’s just not the range of add-ons for it as there is for a Glock or M&P.
- It’s okay to take a LOT of time before buying a gun.
- Spending $100 in ammo on a rental range saves you a lot more money in buyer’s remorse.
- Unless you’re a collector, never buy Generation 1 of any gun.
- When going to the range for the first time, go with someone who has been there before.
- Ask stupid questions. It avoids stupid mistakes.
- Gun store clerks know which guns make them money and which guns they like, but not necessarily the best gun for you.
- Buy enough gun to stop a threat, but also buy something you’ll enjoy shooting regularly. Defensive guns should not be set in a “In case of Emergency, Break Glass” case, but need to be practiced with on a regular basis.
- No one told me practical shooting was so much fun. I found out that for myself the first time I tried it.
I wrote a short piece on disaster prep gear suggestions over at Smart Suburban Survival.
I like Ron’s idea: What five things would you change about your favorite gun company. George Hill’s already talked about Sig, Ron’s talked about Smith and Wesson, and I’ve been tasked with talking about CZ.
I wonder why…
I’m just going to talk about their pistols, because a) that’s what George and Ron mostly talked about and b) I kinda like what CZ is doing with their shotguns and rifle lines right now.
Ok, so what five things would I change about CZ-UB/CZ-USA?
1. Get into the concealed carry market in the U.S. in a serious way
Czech citizens can get a permit to carry a firearm for personal defense MUCH easier than most of their European cousins, so you’d think that CZ would catch on to the idea that American civilians buy more guns than American policemen do.
And you’d be wrong. Their are two problems with carrying a CZ concealed: Width and weight. The width is because of their unique slide design and a wide CCW gun is an awkward CCW gun. The weight is because CZ likes big metal guns. I like big metal guns too, but they weigh more that plastic does, and even CZ’s polymer P07 weighs a third of a pound more than a Glock 19. A stack and a half polymer gun that holds about 9+1 rounds and is under an inch wide would fill this niche nicely.
2. Support the P07 with more aftermarket parts
I don’t have much of a problem with the P07′s 8+ pound double action trigger pull, but I’d LOVE to have factory parts to take that down a pound or more, along with more of the wiz-bang features that M+P and Glock owners have gotten used to. Speaking of which…
3. Realize there are other practical pistol sports besides IPSC and USPSA.
I shoot my P07 in IDPA, and it’s kinda like being the turd in the punchbowl in the world of CZ competition shooters. CZ was a sponsor of the IDPA Nationals and there are Dan Wesson 1911′s that are great for IDPA CDP and 3 Gun, but a little ESP love for IDPA would be muchly appreciated.
4. Work on reliability
This is your Achilles Heel. Whatever it takes, be it Six Sigma or whatever processes there are out there (Ron’s the procurement guy, I do marketing…), do it, even if it means another $25-$50 per gun. Realize that reliability in an IPSC match and passing a 2000 round challenge are two different things.
5. Get the word out.
Look, you’re not going to match the marketing budget of the big guys, so get smart about things. Leverage social media and new media like your company’s life depends on it. Make Hickok45 your new best friend. Give away a gun at Gunblogger Rendezvous. Give a CZ75 Compact SDM to Todd Green to test next year: He hates CZ’s, make him eat his words.*
Your goal should be to get people talking about your guns in the context of something other than USPSA/IPSC, but still sponsor at least one stage and/or Division at the World Shoot this year to stay true to your roots.
Realize your competition in the U.S. is Sig, not Glock. Go for the high end, the luxury brand image. Become the BMW to Sig’s Mercedes, because you’re not going to beat Ruger on innovation, Glock on ubiquity, Smith and Wesson on “Not Glock” or any of those three on price. If Taurus can re-shape their image by hiring a top-notch competitor as a spokesperson, re-brand your image as well. Why not hire Travis Haley or Larry Vickers to talk about how so many cops and anti-terrorism teams around the world trust their lives to CZ’s.
* Notice that I held back from saying “And give free guns to bloggers who talk about CZ all the time?” That’s because being more self-restrained was one of this year’s New Year’s Resolutions. But hey, free guns are ALWAYS welcome here!
I’ve been been writing for a while now about how the revolution in personal electronics will affect firearms development, and now we’re seeing products like Tracking Point and Colt’s SWORD system change how we think about small arms.
But those are systems that cost thousands of dollars and are of marginal use to civilians: What’s out there for people like us who don’t wear MOLLE straps to work each day?
The Inteliscope iPhone Scope is one of those options, and it uses features already on your smartphone such as an inclinometer, camera and far more computing power than my first computer to do (in theory) a lot of what Tracking Point and other systems do for thousands of dollars more.
The first thing I noticed about the Inteliscope system was how nicely-packaged it was. Apple owners are used to a first-class experience when opening up new stuff, and the Inteliscope does not dissapppoint. Setup on the top of my competition AR-15 was easy, and downloading the app from the iTunes was simple and free.
I took rifle to range to sight it in, and decided to set it up for shooting .22LR through my AR before I set it up to shoot .223, because I’m cheap, that’s why. The mount was easy to install on my gun and once my phone was locked onto the it, nothing moved, it was VERY sold. Setting up the scope for zeroing caused a brief moment of panic as I’d forgotten where that screen was on the included app. The app includes a screen where rifle and ammo data can be entered for the built-in ballistic computer, and setting up the Inteliscope was for the most part easy and logical. However, a a one-page instruction manual would help smooth the process for dunderheads like me. I also like the fact you can remove items from the display screen such as GPS info and the inclinometer, but I’d like an option to customize it further and remove the optional light switch and timer button as well. One thing on the screen that I really liked was the option to include local wind and weather data. Knowing at a glance where the prevailing wind was coming from and how strong it was could be a big hand in making longer-distance shots.
The sighting-in process began to highlight some of the limitations of this device. Because the Inteliscope uses the iPhone’s 5x digital zoom, the details of the target 25 yards away were very blurry and I couldn’t get a good sighting group no matter how hard I tried. The image to the right shows the problem: The app was willing, but alas, the display on my iPhone 4S was weak. I set up five targets to shoot with my .22 to test out how the Inteliscope handles target transitions, and the results were disappointing.
I spent much more time hunting for the plates with the Inteliscope than I do with my 1x red dot. The Inteliscope just didn’t resolve the low-contrast between the plates and the dirt berm well enough for me to shoot quickly and accurately (although it’s really cool to FINALLY have true “gun camera” footage from my AR…) The bright sunlight of a clear Arizona morning was also too much for the scope, and I couldn’t get a good view of the screen unless I shaded it with the brim of my cap. I also noticed that this gizmo uses a lot of battery power: My iphone went from 95% to 25% charged in just an hour of use.
Bottom Line - Inteliscope iPhone Review
I’ll admit that I really loved the idea of this product and I want it to succeed, and the people at Inteliscope deserve praise for raising the bar on what electronics can do in conjunction with firearms. What I’ve learned throughout this review is that this product shows a lot of potential and is a fun little toy to play around with, but it needs some improvements in order to deal with the limits of the iPhone’s digital zoom and poor screen performance in daylight before it can be used in competition or on a defensive firearm. Options for a sunscreen and an optical zoom adapter would go a long way to improve this gadget’s utility and make it a serious alternative to a conventional red dot or optical scope.
I’ve been a fan of Chuck Dixon’s work since he wrote Airboy for Eclipse Comics, and now he’s got a new book out that sounds very interesting.
Four men. Four Days. For the fight of their lives. It was just a walk in the desert to a place 100, 000 years in the past. They thought they knew what to expect but they were wrong. Now a team of scientists is trapped in a world they were not prepared for and can never return from. Their only hope lies in quartet of former US Army Rangers willing to travel to prehistoric Nevada and face unknown horrors and impossible odds bring them home from Bad Times.
Larry Coreia set up this book bomb, and he’s got some cool stuff too. Why not get his book as well when you pick up Chuck’s new book?
Click image to watch.
It’s possible to spread the word in the mainstream media. Right now, with biathlon being in the news, if you’ve won a championship and are a sponsored shooter, you should be RUNNING to your local NBC affiliate. Those stations are always hungry for a local spin on a national story, and for once, it’s not “Spree shooter kills 47 gajillion people, local gun owner reacts.” Don’t wait for the USPSA or IDPA to set this up, do it yourself.
And run a camera of your own during the interview, just in case they decide to get creative with the interview and edit it to make you look like an idiot.
Marshall and Michael are looking for guest bloggers at Downrange.tv.
Michael and I have discussed if we should open up for guest blogging on our main section which also means mirrored content on OutdoorChannel.com. This also means a lot more attention to the content in terms of search engines, social media, etc..
And we have agreed to do this. In fact, we consider it way over due.
We invite all of you to send us your reviews, op-eds or whatever you want to call it. Our main publishing deadline is every Friday for our upcoming week’s features.
As internet marketing expert Seth Godin once said, “The good news is, we’re all visible on the internet. The bad news is, we’re all three inches tall.” If you’re a gunblogger who’s tired of being three inches tall and you want, or you to get a bit more traffic to your site, this is a pretty good deal.
Let’s roll down the list, shall we?
- The Glock 42 comes out in the heretical caliber of .380 ACP instead of the 9mm like everyone who’s ever left a comment on a gunblog wants. Nevermind that the gun is an excellent option for first-time gun owners, it should have been in 9mm because, um, BECAUSE!
- A casual comment about how frustrating it is to shop for guns by price gets some traction on the gun Internet. Why? Well, because it IS frustrating to shop for guns by price, that’s why.
- An article on letting women choose their carry guns from a wide carry guns rather than just slapping a pink-handled .38 on the counter and telling women that’s gun for them turns into the most-popular article in the history of Shooting Illustrated.com.
- The future of gun rights isn’t just pounding Illegal Mayors Against Guns into submission, it’s also winning over the middle, i.e. the casual gun owner who likes guns but is no expert on owning them and/or the Second Amendment. By doing so, we will make MAIG, CSGV and the Brady completely irrelevant.
Making a connection here? Maybe it’s time to start thinking that being a gun owner means you’re not an expert on proper dust-cover length for a 1911 or you’re tactical enough to suit up for Khandahar at this very instant. Maybe being a gun owner just means you own a gun and like shooting it. There’s a lot of expert knowledge out there (and a lot people who think they’re experts), but for a lot of new gun owners, a gun is just one way of showing they’re a responsible adult who likes shooting and gun ownership.
Don’t assume everyone who comes into your store or visits your site is ( or wants to be) Todd Jarrett, Jim Shockey, Chris Costa or Kim Rhode, and you’ll build loyal customers who will come back to you when/if they DO get to that level.