I'm not talking about shooting one gun here, another gun there, and yet another after that. I've been there, done that, and my safe shows it.
I'm talking about accepting firearms as they are today, and finding which options work reasonably well for my wants and needs. Then getting out on the range, practicing, plinking, training, competing, winning, losing, whatever. Developing skill sets of shooting, and ignoring what is or isn't occurring with platform development.
I don't have time to fret over whether or not the gun industry has stagnated. My time is spent on trying to shoot faster, shoot more accurately, transition between targets faster, find targets faster, and transition between weapons faster. I don't have time to be bored, and I doubt I ever will.
The point about training is an interesting one. At the end of the day, a lot of innovation has to do with making something complicated easy to use. Driving has become easier thanks to an incredible amount of development -- everything from the automatic transmission to assistive technology that brakes for you. Computing operations that used to require hours of coding now happen with a few touches on my phone.
Sure, there will always be purists who like to do things the old fashioned way. But in every field they are a minority. And we quietly smirk at them when their MGBs break down while we are driving Miatas.
Innovation in handgun shooting has not substantially made shooting easier. I have a 99 year old 1911 that I can shoot about as well as anything I buy at the store today. Heck, if you changed the sights and added some grip tape, it would probably shoot better than your typical Sig or HK.
And that's the problem. Training is great but it is inherently a result of bad design. Your iPhone is intuitive to use. Unix is not. Both can be made to do similar things but one can be operated by a 7 year old, the other needs a computer science background.
I actually applaud the rifle market here because a modern AR truly is easier to use than one from the 1980s. The sight is a red dot, controls are often better marked, modern stocks and grips are more ergonomic, slings have become much better, the list goes on. With a little bit of training, it doesn't take much to be as effective with a modern AR as an experienced shooter was 30 years ago. That's innovation.
But is a Glock or Sig from 1988 easier to use than what I can buy today?
An operator is someone who picks up the phone when I dial 0.
First, I consider shooting accurately with speed to be a complicated activity. Sure, pressing a trigger is pretty easy. But pressing the trigger correctly, and all the fundamentals of marksmanship that surround the trigger press, so the bullet impacts the target -- isn't so easy.
Sights advancements help. With rifles, the optics today are way better than what I grew up with. And the advancements in scopes continue at an amazing pace.
Pistols have RMR and fiber sights which help in speed of target acquisition, as compared to the traditional iron sights. A couple of months ago a few of us played accuracy and speed games on steel with our pistols after a precision rifle match. In speed drills at close distances, using my Gen 3 Glock 17, I lagged behind the guys with RMR and fiber sights. However, in precision drills at distance (40+ yards), the trusty G-17 and its 3-dot night sights ruled the roost. Old sight system, not the newest of guns, some training here and there -- it works.
I don't really care if firearms stagnate for extended periods. My Glock 17, Sig 226, and Brown 1911 all hit targets when my head isn't up my backside. My bolt action rifles are effectively a tweaked Mauser action, which has been around for a really long time. Other than optics and rails, my ARs could be decades old.
What I'm saying is why be bored just because manufacturers haven't come out with new whiz-bang toys? This isn't the computer industry where a faster chip or video card is just around the corner. We're slinging lead at paper and steel.
The process of perfecting our own personal skills of said lead slinging is way more engaging than whatever the gun industry does or does not produce. I just don't have the time to be bored -- I'm shooting.
It's not just the handgun industry that has stopped innovating. It's just about every industry. I mean, it's 2017. We are supposed to be piloting flying cars and colonizing distant planets. Instead, we have cars that are based on 120+ year old technology (yes, that includes electric cars). We have to rely on the Russians and their 1960's era rockets to send astronauts into orbit because NASA, with its $20 billion annual budget, can no longer build a shuttle that won’t blow up. Innovation these days is building a slightly thinner smartphone with a marginally larger screen or creating a new social networking app. We live in an age of declining creativity.
But we have a new chat app for our smartphones every few years!
And I'm glad people are shooting a lot. I spent a decade getting quite good with a P228 and a 1911. Spent a lot of money on ammo, took a few classes, etc. But it only goes so far and it's a perishable skill.
And "when my head isn't up my ---" says it all. That's the limit of lots of training on a poor design -- it requires a whole lot of attention from the operator of said equipment. And when there is a good chance that equipment will be used at 2:00 am when I hear a strange noise, the last thing going through my head will be "sight alignment, squeeze the trigger, follow through".
That's the difference of innovation. It allows the operator of the equipment to focus on the decision and not the action. The action is intuitive. I'll believe the shooting industry is mature when shooting a handgun is as intuitive as pointing my finger at something.
An operator is someone who picks up the phone when I dial 0.
I dislike 98 percent of all guns made now.
Other than the more plain Wilson 1911's and the plain old NON-railed SIG P220 or P228....
I don't care for ANY plastic, striker-fired pistols.
I've always liked the Hi-Power, and thought about a Nighthawk.....but HATE the beaver-tail....
And on and on it goes....
That's why I only own a lot of 1911's & SIGs now.
|Smarter than the |
It's all been downhill since the metallic cartridge.
I actually agree, but possibly for different reasons.
First off, the Glock is hardly perfection. There are many reasons it's just another pistol. In fact, I frequently refer to it as a 'collaboration of compromises'. Yeah, it goes bang every time, very reliable in that way. It's the AK-47 of pistols, But it's butt ugly, hardly has match grade accuracy, has had a reputation for kB!'s that just keeps dogging it, has a horrible 'not for humans' grip angle, brittle front sights and seems to be the Tiki-God sitting on top of the alter worshipped by so many of the Tactifool mall ninja operator wannabees. And the 1911? I've already probably provoked enough folks with my opinion on 'The Block' so just leave it at this...106 years is a long time and better things have come along.
But all that's beside the point; the boredom I feel seems to emanate from the atomic like explosion and expansion in the gun world, this massive tsunami that's lifted the firearms industry to never-see-before, stratospheric levels. I remember in 1990 we laughed at S&W for their 'Gun of the Month Club' type scheme of releasing a new 3rd Gen pistol every time a new American Handgunner or Guns and Ammo hit the newstands. By comparison now, those days seem quaint.
I believe all this started in the Clintonista Administration, when the CHL Revolution happened after 1994...only a tool like Slick Willie could wake up America, give Conservatives control of the House and flood the country with 2nd A. friendly politicos. And that train's never slowed down, really.
Ol' W. was certainly gun friendly, but 9/11 pushed the gun wave even higher and the trickle down from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the US market kicked it into 3rd gear. Then came the Big Eared Kenyan Street Thug and we all thought he might send trucks through the neighborhoods to pick up our guns, a la Australia. After Sandy Hook, it went into warp drive.
All that means that this flood hasn't really eased since 1994. That's nearly a quarter of a century of new AR's, new poly strikers, new accessories, new ammo, new this, new that...each and every single stinking day. If you're on the web and follow the gun world on YT or FB, you see ads or reviews for something "New!" *every* *single* *day*.
How long can an enthusiast keep plugged into all that? Even a kid that loves candy will get tired of it if you lock him in a candy store. Frankly, I think that's why the prices of older S&W revolvers and eclectic 80's firearms of dubious reliability or suspect quality are skyrocketing.(Calico M-900? Tec-9? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?) Why? Because they're different and at least have some style. They're funky cool.
Every time MAC does an old 80's gun review, the prices on GB go up for awhile on that particular piece. Why? Because those willing to spend a lot on guns (that magic zone all marketers love, the 18-35 male), want something cool and different. And most of what seems to be cool and different is retro stuff these days, because at least it was trying to be different.
Frankly, if someone offered me a brand new Daniel Defense V11 300 kitted out with every gee whiz feature, optic, bad ass Cerakote job, whatever, for free...I'd sell it and go by a Lew Horton S&W 657 in .41 Mag or an original WG Electroless Nickel P226. Screw 'tactical'. I'd just rather have one of those.
So yeah, I get being 'bored' with all the FDE, 'warrior' hyped AR and poly striker stuff. The market is flooded and awash with it. Hell, a really sweet, still nicely blued Smith 586 is still, by my lights anyway, prettier than most anything made in the last 10 years.
I've actually gotten into old Beretta .32's and Hi-Powers lately, just because they're damned beautiful and they NOT associated with long beards, tribal tattoos, 25 round magazines, khaki keffiyehs, 5.11 battle pants, picatinny rails festooned with lights and lasers. Nothing inherently wrong with any of that stuff, but man... I can't be the only one that's just tired and bored with it all.
It may be the Golden Age of war weapons, but it ain't the Golden Age of style, originality or aesthetics...
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|Stop Talking, Start Doing|
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I mean, who wouldn't want a semi-automatic .357 Magnum 1911?!?
Mind. Over. Matter.
Ah, 3rd gen S&W's. Just obtained a 4054. Wish S&W would make 3rd gens again...........
Nowadays "striker fired" polymer pistols are the standard for combat style shooting, so we look to them as a measure of innovation.
I don't think it is actually a technological change but a paradigm shift. Glock licensed shooters to carry a gun with a 5 pound trigger and no safety. Today we have the P320 that has dispensed with nearly every vestige of the Glock quasi-DA trigger and is essentially just a short reset SA gun. That makes all of these guns simple and easy to shoot, as well as durable for high volume shooters who are the taste makers in our market.
But it is just a paradigm shift, and the same philosophy could be embraced for other pistols. If competition shooters where shooting cocked, safety off Beretta Brigadiers and CZ-75s, the competition world would shift back toward the metal framed guns with hammers.
I don't know if that is going to happen or not (hammers are scary), but that idea that a cocked striker is an innovation changes how we shoot and compete.
I'm surprised that no one aside from Daewoo and HK have adopted hammer guns for short reset pre-cocked actions.
|The guy behind the guy|
I'm annoyed with the industry because I seem to be the only guy who cares about a slim slide.
I love carrying single stacks because they are so slim in the belt. I'm a fairly trim guy, fat double stacks inside the waist band are very uncomfortable.
Glock releases a new gen 5, but it's not any thinner? Sig releases the 320 and its fatter than eneryhing on the market.
The only thin double stacks were made before I was born (CZ 75 and the BHP).
The thin single stack 9 has been a huge market, yet no one is trying to make a thin double stack?
I had to order a $3k Wilson EDC X9 that doesn't even exist yet just to get something thin.
I'm bored with all these fat ass slides/guns.
I'm confused...wait, maybe I'm not.
Spot on. Because everyone is chasing the LE market for that one big city police department contract. Every compact gun released these days is an afterthought to a full size platform. And slide size is not a decision factor for any contract. Instead, you end up with fat, wide slides and grips because it *has* to have one additional more round than a competitor.
Why we don't have a thin, 10 round, 9mm with a three finger grip is a mystery to me as well.
An operator is someone who picks up the phone when I dial 0.
Completely agree. A modern P225 with a slim slide holding 13 rounds of 9mm in a double stack grip like the BHP would be so very nice.
Isn't a P225 slide on a double column frame exactly what a P228 is?
I keep thinking about buying a S&W 6904 for the same reason - S&W used pretty narrow slides and kept the grip width reasonable.
FN had some nice slim guns - the BDM and HP-DA - but they were 9mms in a .40 era.
But it does seem like high time for someone to put a Kahr slide on skinny metal mag high cap frame.
Well, I guess I was picturing a slimmer P225 slide on a slimmer P228 frame.
This has turned out to be a very interesting thread and this reply was particularly enjoyable to read. Thank you
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NRA Patron Life Member (Feb. 2017)
tumbles into the sea
if anything is to be learned by recent events, it's that sometimes it pays to sit back and wait until the bugs are worked out by others. handguns. magazines. invariably, there is a mod 1, mod 2, etc.
USA was supposed to be first in innovation and invention. I think that has died out. Possibly video games and handheld electronics have deadened imagination.
Was watching the AXS TV special on Carly Simon. What top artists write, compose, and sing their own chart topping songs ? Glen Campbell? BeeGees, Neil Diamond ? No autotune back then, must have talent.
Not a lot of imagination shown. Movies - just remakes.
Most cars look alike
I'd rather be "bored" with the way things are than have to deal with gun prohibition. Imagine how BORING that scenario would be…
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