Three Point Oh

George Hill takes a look at who is buying guns today:

Shooter 3.0 is a bit different.  They are primarily people who are waking up to the realization that the Second Amendment applies to them.   They are primarily women, and primarily Women of Color.  Black, Asian, Indian, and Latino Women are the bulk of Shooter 3.0, with Black Women being the largest segment of this group.   Shooter 3.0 often comes to the table with no background in Firearms Knowledge from any source or media… But they know that they have the RIGHT to learn.

He’s right in that the people buying guns is a whole lot more diverse now than it was from even ten years ago. When I slung steel across the counter, I’d see as many women come in for guns as men, and that was tremendously cool. But I think what’s missing in his analysis is the why, and why Shooter 3.0 is buying guns is pretty much the same as Shooter 2.0 is buying guns: To feel safe.

Note: Not “Be safe”, “Feel safe”. There’s a difference. The trick for us, the leaders of all this sort of thing, is to make sure these new gun owners have the reasons and the ability to go from feeling safe because they have a gun to being safe because they know how to use it and have it with them when they need it.

Double The Action, Double The Fun!

Wait, that headline sounded like an advertisement for a Nevada bordello…

One of the things I learned in my Leatham class was what actually makes up a good practical shooting / combat trigger press. It’s not “riding the reset” or what have you, it’s having the sights on-target when the bullet exits the barrel. A good trigger press affects that because it is the last major (relatively speaking) motion that is made to the gun before the bullet exits. If, say, scratching the roof of the your mouth made more of a difference in accuracy than a trigger press, we’d be talking about our lingual dexterity rather than trigger weights and shapes.

But it’s not, so we don’t.

There are four parts to pulling the trigger and making the gun go BANG!: The press, the break, the overtravel and the reset. Of those four, only one (the press) affects accuracy, so that’s the one that matters. In general, a shorter, lighter trigger is better for accuracy than one that needs more ooomph to pull and takes longer to get there. However, a good shooter can shoot ANYTHING and get his or her hits.

Take a look at Rob shooting a 1911, and watch as his finger comes OFF the trigger at 0:16 or so. We’re told that’s not a good idea. We’re told to ride the reset. And yet somehow, Rob makes it work, and wins championships with what he’s doing.

Rob shoots a striker-fired gun quite well. He shoots revolvers well. He shoots 1911s well. He shoots everything well, because he is in charge of the trigger and doesn’t get bogged down in minutiae. If controlling a double action/single action gun is causing you to think you’re not accurate, you’re right, you won’t be. Unlike Chris, I don’t carry DA/SA guns because of safety reasons, I carry ’em ’cause I like ’em, and I’ve never seen the DA/SA trigger as that much of a problem.

And it isn’t.

 

Gun Culture 3.0 Is Just Around The Corner.

Let’s review:

Gun Culture 1.0 is/was built around buying guns for hunting and the target sports. It sprung up shortly after World War II, supported by written magazines like Guns&Ammo and Field&Stream. These publications mainly talked about guns in the context of outdoor pursuits such as turning Bambi and his many woodland friends into tasty meals and other such things. The act of shooting was, at best, the final link in the experience.

Gun Culture 2.0 is about buying a gun for concealed carry and practical shooting. It sprung up after the NRA asserted itself as a force to be reckoned with (rather than a sportsman’s organization) and the concurrent liberalization of concealed carry laws across the country. Focused on pistol bays and shooting ranges, it brought guns in from the farms and ranches and into the modern home. Shooting is the primary focus of the activities in this culture, with the gun (usually a concealed pistol) used to secure a person from harm rather than secure a source of food.

Gun Culture 3.0 will be an extension of Gun Culture 2.0, but it will be about how do you integrate the gun that you’ve already purchased into how you live. Pick up a copy of Field and Stream: How many of the articles in the magazine are about guns, and how many are about what you DO with a gun once you bought it? Now pick up a copy of Recoil or Shooting Illustrated or Guns. How many of the articles in those magazines are about the latest and greatest Blast-Inator 3000 firearm and how many are about how you can fit a gun into your lifestyle? How many of the ads in those magazines are about guns, versus all the other things that happen in your life?

Concealed carry is still huge, and hunting is still going strong. Gun media, however, is fixated on the idea that the reason to buy a gun is the gun itself, not the reasons why you want to own one beyond “It’s a gun”. Gun Culture 3.0 will talk about how guns and the security they provide, integrate into our larger life. Enthusiasts buy guns because they are guns, everyone else buys a gun to do something with it, and that’s what Gun Culture 3.0 will be about.

The gun owners of Gun Culture 3.0 are part of the mainstream of American culture, and it’s high time we start acting like it. We’re not on the fringes of American society, it’s the cultural elites in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles who are out-of touch with what makes America, America.It’s time to make gun ownership as common and accepted as motorcycle ownership and make a trip to the (gun) range as controversial as a trip to the (driving) range.

We live our lives. We own guns. We carry them. Deal with it.

UPDATE: When I got my concealed carry permit 10+ years ago, my instructor said that only one in three of us would actually carry our gun. Gun Culture 3.0 is what happens when that changes. Gun Culture 1.0 was/is fairly respectable and respected: You could (well, until recently) own a gun for hunting and not be considered a “Gun Nut”. No one blinks at a copy of Field&Stream or Outdoor Life in a doctor’s office waiting room. Gun Culture 3.0 will be when no one blinks at a copy of Front Sight or The Tactical Journal in a waiting room.

NRA Annual Meeting, Day Three

Or, God invented caffeine with this sort of day in mind.

Thankfully, the show opened up a bit later than usual today, and crowds were light, so I didn’t have to repeat yesterday’s grid-locked-induced cross-country trek. I had the distinct pleasure of finally meeting David Yamane, a sociologist chronicling “Gun Culture 2.0”, along with Andrew Branca, the guy who literally wrote the book on the law of self-defense.

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Speaking of gun notables, how about a picture of Michael Bane, Larry Vickers, Bill Wilson and Col. Robert Brown? That’s an awful lot of modern gun history there in that photo. The rest of the day was spent walking the show floor and meeting people. I didn’t make it to the John Lott seminar as I had planned because I ran into Melody Lauer and ended up talking about the needs of an armed parent in the context of their everyday life instead.

All in all, it was a tremendous show. It wasn’t as gun-centric as SHOT is, but it is definitely more people-focused and to me, that makes it a better show. I need to go through my cards and sort out the people I need to hit up for T&E samples and list out the bloggers/media people I met, but now I have a long, long drive ahead of me and a wife and family waiting for me when I get home. In between then, I’m looking forward to stopping in Atlanta and having a meal with my Zero-To-Hero cohort Alf Sauve.

Thaks, everyone Stay safe and have fun.

2016 NRA Annual Meeting, Day One

I was fortunate to arrive to the venue really early, because I had heard from others that there was.a THREE HOUR wait to drive into the entrance of the Kentucky Expo Center this morning.

Yikes.

I spent the morning walking the show floor with Tam from The View From The Porch. If you ever get a chance to do something similar, take it. Tam’s… zesty sense of humor and jaundiced view of humanity made for a delightful tour of what the gun industry has to offer these days.

Product-wise, there really wasn’t a whole lot new that came out for the show. Smith&Wesson introduced the Sheild in .45ACP (why they would want to do so is something to be discussed at a later date) and the new Nighthawk!/Korth revolver.

Speaking of revolvers, I spent the morning catching up on the new products introduced at SHOT earlier this year like the Kimber revolver and the Ruger ‘Murican pistol. The Kimber feels solid and seems to be the equal of a similar S&W Performace Center revolver, so Mission Accomplished, Kimber. The Ruger ‘Murican, though, was good but kinda… meh. Tam rightly pointed out that the purpose of this pistol is to get Ruger in the game for the Army’s Modular Handgun System contract, and I think she’s right.

Other than that, it seemed that the trends at the show were suppressors and pistol-caliber carbines. I saw at least three new manufacturers of each on the show floor, and that’s not counting new items from Sig Sauer and others.

I did go to the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum to hear Trump speak: The line to get through security was over an hour long (and in the rain), but the venue looked to be pretty much sold out. That’s loyalty, people, that’s loyalty.

More tomorrow and Monday.

If You Can Read This…

… I’m on my way up to Louisville for the 2016 Annual Meeting.

The agenda for the week kinda looks like…

  • An American Suppressor Association shoot on Thursday afternoon.
  • Firearms Law Reception Friday Afternoon
  • NRA-ILA Reception Friday evening
  • Michael Buys The Beer Saturday Night
  • Other events as they occur. Or not.

Obscured Sight Picture

This is why you train with someone who know’s what they’re doing:

I ran through a quick drill with my P07 at the Shoot N Scoot event back in April, and part of the course of fire for that drill was some 40 yard A/C zone steel plates. I had a more-difficult time than I expected hitting that plate, and Jeff Street suggested that the problem might be that my eyes were shifting to the target at the last second.

He’s right, and it took a 3rd-party, someone who can diagnose the problem, for me to understand what’s going on.

I have yet to find a sight setup for the P07 that I like. I bought one of the earlier “Duty” versions of the gun, so it came with sights that mimicked Glock sights (which is kinda like wanting to mimic the singing talent of Justin Beiber). I swapped those out for Meprolight tritiums, but because them suckers have a narrow rear notch and a rather huge front blade, I am still having issues isolating on the front sight during a course of fire.

This is where being a special snowflake and shooting a gun that’s not a Glock, S&W or Sig really hurts. If I shot a Glock, I’d drop a set of Sevignys on that gun in a heartbeat, I really like them. However, the P07 wasn’t really supporting by anyone, not even CZ, until the creation of the “Carry Optics” class in USPSA. Now I can find all manner of red dot accessories and suppressor sights for that gun, but there’s still only one or two options for fiber optic sights, and just the Mepros for night sights. I do love me my CZ’s, but that love comes at a cost.

No, They Are NOT Looking At You.

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… so I took out the tacticool tourniquet pack out for a spin a few days ago, concealing it under an un-tucked grey t-shirt. I went to Staples, the public library and I did the Wal-Mart walk.

Nothing happened. No one stared, no one pointed, no one asked me if that was an iPhone 6+ or was I just happy to see them. That tells me it’s ok to start adding that into my daily concealed carry.

Cool.