Scout Rifles

Versatility

Versatility

Everybody likes new things. And the advertising practices of the past 50 years have deepened and solidified our hunger for new things beyond the limits of common sense.

How else to explain the mad dash to ditch a perfectly good smartphone when a new model (that is functionally 97% identical to the old model, and light-years better than the phones of 5 years ago) is released?  IT managers were not hallucinating when they observed an increase in broken phones when a new iPhone was released. You can’t have bread & circuses without the bread.

Guns are not immune to this trend. When something bigger/smaller/faster/shinier comes out, we all salivate a little. Senator Phil Gramm once described the size of his arsenal as “more than I need, but not as many as I want”.  A smart consumer should mitigate his/her urge to acquire new hardware with the knowledge of: budget priorities, how easy it will be to get ammo/parts/accessories, reliability of warranty coverage, and whether or not the gun is chambered for a caliber that he/she already supports.  No one is saying that those are rules to adhere to at all times.  But you need to weigh all the factors against your personal situation before deciding. Bullets without a gun to shoot them are as useless as a gun with no bullets.

Jeff Cooper: A Bigger Jerk than I Thought…

Poseur

Poseur

My non-membership in the cult of Jeff Cooper is well-documented.

While I credit Cooper for his early contributions to training, his lack of real-world experience made me hesitant to take his endless advice at face value.

Also, aside from training, I knew Jeff Cooper was a blowhard, an attention whore, and had a poor track record of picking equipment (Bren Ten, CZ75, etc.).  His tortured sentence structure made deciphering his ramblings a tedious chore.  And he loved to take credit for things for which he was a mere spectator, rather than a pioneer.

After reading the new issue of Guns & Ammo, we can apparently add “Shit-Talker” and “Sore Loser” to his resume:

Use Enough Glass – Selecting a Spotting Scope

Peeping Hipster

Peeping Hipster

If you are going to do any long-range hunting, or if you want to improve your marksmanship beyond 50 yards, you need a spotting scope. You can’t learn & grow your skills if you can’t see what your current performance is. Not knowing where your last bullet hit will hold back your development as a shooter. And running downrange to examine your target repeatedly is going to tire you out and piss off your fellow marksmen.

A binocular is fine out to 50 yards, but beyond that distance the lack of magnification is a problem.

And, no, the scope on your rifle is not “good enough”, even if it is a fancy German brand. It doesn’t have enough magnification, and you don’t want to get into the habit of aiming your gun at everything that you want a closer look at.

If you want to improve your skills with a long gun, and get your guns sighted in correctly, you need a spotting scope. In optics, you generally get the quality that you pay for. Below, I will address some of the considerations that you need to think about before choosing a spotting scope.

Cheap Guns

Skinflint

Skinflint

Kahr Arms has been pursuing a 2-tiered product strategy for a few years now. When they entered the market, they sold high-quality pistols at pricepoints higher than Glock.  They now sell a high-end version of a gun, as well as a low-end version.  The potential benefit is access to a category of customers that normally wouldn’t be considering your product.  The risk in such strategies is that you might negatively impact the sales of the high-end gun more than you gain from the sales of the low-end gun; and that you might dilute your brand’s perception.  The vendor must be careful in designing their product tiers to clearly differentiate the tiers for the customer.

 

The Great .22 Rimfire Ammo Shortage of 2014

Wish I had some!

Wish I had some!

Well, most of the ammo shortages that we have experienced over the last few years are not a problem at the moment.

We visited Hoffman’s in Newington, CT over the weekend and they had virtually every handgun & longarm ammo conceivable.  Pallets, literally pallets, of .223, .380, 9mm, .40S&W and .45acp; both range ammo and defensive ammo, in multiple bullet weights for each caliber.  Every hunting caliber was available.  Even ammo for Tokarev and Nagant handguns was available.

Ammo Bingo

What caliber of gun to buy...

What caliber of gun to buy…

I have read a lot of articles about the ammo shortage.  Some on the internet, some in glossy gun magazines.  Lots of people claim to be able to explain the situation, but no one seems to be able to point to any proof that they are right.

2 weekends back I went to a major dealer in CT to see what ammo they had.

Pallets, literally, of .40S&W, .45acp, .223 and .380.  Enough hunting ammo to keep people’s rifles sighted in.  A little .38.  A single countertop display of match .22 for $12.99/50 rounds.  And no 9mm at all.

I personally bought a Ruger SR22 many months ago to address the lack of 9mm, but now there is no .22 to be had!  My .40 and .45 guns are getting more frequent workouts because I can replace any ammo I use in them.

If all you have are 9mm and .22 caliber guns, you’re pretty much out of luck.  At what point do you step up and buy a new gun in a caliber that you can feed?