Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Cheapskate

As a BBOD employee and a University student, let me tell you, I am most assuredly not flush with excess cash funds to buy expensive firearms. None the less, I recognize quality and the importance of picking a quality firearm, if you intend to use it for self defense.

As I've said to in the past at the BBOD we deal mostly in sporting grade guns, but also in personal defense weapons. When it comes to personal defense shotguns, I generally grab the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500 off the shelf, explain the differences and benefits of one over the other and sell the customer the safety of their choice (it almost always come down to the position of the safety on the shotgun and previous experience by the customer). I generally, do NOT really recommend the cheaper 18.5" barreled shotgun variants out there, the Mossberg Mavericks and the H&R Pardner (870 clones), because these guns have a hit and miss reliability record. As I have stated before and will state again, IN A DEFENSIVE GUN RELIABILITY AND ACCURACY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. Anything that I have a 10% of higher repair rate and customer concern with is junked from the list of "reliable defensive guns" and downgraded to "range plinker/sporting gun status." With all that said, let me tell you about a customer that I despise more than anything, the cheapskate.

Case in point, a cheapskate came into the BBOD today, who represents the WORST of the worst. The gentleman was looking for firearms for personal and home defense. After showing him the differences between the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 500, he decided that neither was worth their asking price and instead opted for the cheaper Maverick 88 shotgun. I informed him of the spotty quality control and hit and miss reliability and his response was, "Well, it will almost never get shot, so who cares? It's just for my wife to scare off anyone in the house. Besides, it's cheaper." Cheaper...that's what it is, cheaper. The cheapskate strikes again, buying a sub-par quality firearm to defend his family, because who cares and it's cheaper.

Well, I CARE, I don't want to read about your family and know that it was your tightness that caused them to be killed by some attackers, because the cheap shit gun you bought failed to go boom and instead went click. AND finally sir, I KNOW you can afford to buy a more expensive gun, because you're wearing a ()*@*(^&^*$@ $10,000 ROLEX!!!!!!!!!! Your watch is worth 10k, but your family's well being is only worth a HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE BUCKS?! You sir cheapskate need to have your head re-examined and your cranium removed from your rectal cavity.

I really hope that your wife or sons talk you into a more expensive and reliable gun to defend them with. Until then...I just don't know how to deal with you....


Saturday, February 6, 2010

I got a need a need for speed...loaders!!

Over the last year or so, I have noted some developments in the speed reloading section of revolver usage. So, while I have not owned all of these products and I do not have indepth reviews, I would like to share the knowledge of these products for those that might want and or need them.

Speed Loaders: <---These guys are brand new making CNC machined aluminum speed loaders for a little bit of everything, including the biggies S&W X-Frames in .500 S&W and Taurus Judges. They are also making what appear to be nicely done L and J frame loaders. <--Expensive, but the only game in town for 8-shot speed loaders for your Smith 327/627 series guns in .38/.357. <--Still the industry standard and available for nearly all applications. <--The stand-by for revolver competition use and for those who don't care for twisty knobs.

Speed Strips: <---The new guys! "Speed Strip" style strips for everything under the sun, 10-shot .22, 5/6/7/8 shot .38/.357, 5 shot .45LC/.410, even strips for 12-gauge shot shells. Check out there various pocket holsters with spare ammo carriers and their strip pouches too. <--The Bianchi created industry standard, the 6-shot 580 series for .38/.357.

I hope that some of this information can be useful to some of us around here, especially those of us who are still toting around round guns, instead of flat ones. Yes, I do carry mostly round guns in the .38/.357 variety, thats why I call myself, "RevolverRob"...just sayin'.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Meditations on Ammunition Capacity...

One of those posts, a comment on capacity. In this month's Blue Press author Serena Wood wrote an article titled, "Make mine a High Capacity Nine". I read it with some interest and thought it worth commenting on, ammunition capacity that is. There are many schools of thought, most seem to feel that if you can't "solve it in x" number of rounds, then it can't be solved. My thought is that this is always a defeatist attitude, because there is ALWAYS a possibility that you could be attacked by that "x" number of attackers or more. And my question is, why give up? You can solve the problem, you just have to work harder at it. None the less, the statisticians will drag the numbers out, the largest percentage of handgun carriers who have to draw their pistol in defense, will most likely not use it. Those that do, will likely fire less than 5 rounds. A smaller percentage will fire over five rounds. An even smaller percentage will fire more than 5 rounds and be attacked by more than two attackers. If the percentages are so small, why even carry a gun that holds more than 1 or 2 or 3 rounds?

In fact, there was a time, where mode of the day was to carry a single shot pistol, but soon after the introduction of the pistol, came the idea of a brace of pistols, and then a suite of pistols. So, in the day of duels and exploration, the common mode of carry was to carry at least three guns. In fact when I was at the Texas Ranger Museum, I noted that when the Rangers were founded, a Ranger had to provide a rifle, a brace of pistols, and his own ammunition. So, we know from the beginning of carrying a firearm for personal defense and offense, the preference has been to multiple shots.

And, let's be honest the first true innovation in handgun history from Sam Colt was that the gun could fire 5 rounds reliably, before being used as a club, not just one or two. Once the 5 and later 6 shot pistols were created, then came the habit of carrying two of them for a total of 12 rounds before needing to reload. Then came the real innovations in handgun history. Schofield created the easier to break open and reload Smith and Wesson No. 3 Schofield (Calvary) model. Then Webley & Scott made their MK. series of revolvers, which shortly after their adoption, an enterprising man created the Prideaux Device, to facilitate even faster reloading. In 1893 Hugo Borchardt invented the first successful semi-automatic handgun, and a more important idea, the detachable box magazine. All of these innovations where in the name of MORE ammunition and FASTER reloads.

What's the point I'm getting at? Ammunition capacity is an important factor in purchasing a firearm. But unlike Ms. Wood, who made it one of her main criteria in choosing a firearm, I feel that capacity is secondary to fit, reliability, and the ability to shoot the gun well. That's an important distinction, a handgun needs to FIT in order for you to shoot it well. The short nature of the handgun means that it requires more work to shoot well over a rifle or shotgun; it means that gun fit is more critical than anything else. This means, that I recommend that one pick a firearm that fits, over one that holds more rounds.

The continued evolution of magazine capacity is something to consider when purchasing a gun, but the reality is we haven't found a better way to reload guns in over a hundred years. We are still using versions of the detachable box magazine and the Prideaux device, in our big square box magazines and our HKS or Safariland speed loaders. These devices work quite well and with practice sub-second reloads are possible. With the ability to carry spare ammunition (especially handgun magazines, and especially single stack ones, because they are thin and imminently concealable), one can be less concerned with capacity and more focused on fit.

So, to sound like a broken record I will say again, when it comes to a capacity/caliber/handgun size argument the answer is simple. Pick the gun that FITS, the one that fits your hand, your body, and your purpose.