Catching Up

26-Nov-12 – 15:13 by ToddG

Having spent the better part of the past two weeks in internet limbo on vacation, I’m just now getting caught back up. Rather than toss together some random words for a post, I thought I’d point out some things from my favorite blogs over the past couple weeks:

The New Taurus at Gun Nuts. I’ve worked with Mark Kresser (current CEO of Taurus) at both Beretta and SIG. He’s a good guy. I’d really like to see him succeed at making Taurus a decent gun company. But in my years of experience in this industry, huge improvements to quality control just don’t happen. Corporate culture is hard to change and teaching people to reject products that used to be considered adequate is particularly difficult. The gun buying public is also incredibly hard to win back once you’ve lost them, and Taurus lost most of the serious gun buying/shooting public years ago. (addendum: while I appreciate that Taurus now has Jessie Duff shooting for them, until she’s winning matches with a PT-92, Taurus 24/7, or a Taurus revolver I remain unmoved… the number of sponsored shooters using custom 1911s with a sponsor’s logo etched into the slide has become ridiculous)

JulieG writes about A True Trophy Moment Buck. I don’t hunt — we’ve always managed to choose homes within a couple miles of a grocery store — but I can absolutely appreciate the mentality Julie talks about in her post. It reminded me in a sense of the “Personal Best vs. On Demand” discussion here recently.

There were some interesting safety issues and discussions. The biggest was probably the highly publicized Sonny Puzikas incident (link to Tam at VFTP) in Texas. There’s been plenty of dog piling and in fairness, it’s probably justified. Mistakes with guns are huge mistakes and this was an excellent example. There are some very specific standard safety procedures that need to be followed any time people are running live fire through a shoot house and clearly they were not followed here. The result was an innocent person getting shot.

Also in the safety category was the “Babineaux Method” for holstering a Glock as reported at both VFTP and Gun Nuts. Does this even need further comment? It’s unbelievable to me that Cheaper Than Dirt actually published it (and subsequently took it down once, you know, all the smart people told them to learn about guns).

Mom With A Gun talks about excuses, specifically the excuses people use when they skip practice. Now, I certainly believe that a core principle of adult learning is that people learn better when they’re happy than when they’re miserable. But that doesn’t mean every aspect of every moment of every practice session needs to be flowery meadows and rainbow skies, rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles… Also from Mom WAG, math fundamentals for gun carriers: Frequency, Stakes, & Cost.

Coming later this week: stuff I actually wrote myself.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

 

 

  1. 5 Responses to “Catching Up”

  2. “the number of sponsored shooters using custom 1911s with a sponsor’s logo etched into the slide has become ridiculous”

    For real! IMO paid endorsements mean absolutely nothing.

    By Tim on Nov 26, 2012

  3. ToddG,
    Nice to know about Taurus. I’m an engineer on the far side of my career. You’re right that QA is a matter of corporate culture. Real improvements won’t happen until managers and executives start being graded on quality performance. Once their bonuses, promotions, and terminations depend on quality metrics you’ll see management adopt the new culture – but not before.

    Taurus has a lot of promise. I hope Mark Kresser succeeds.

    By Davey on Nov 26, 2012

  4. I’m an ignorant civilian (just being honest), and while I like to kid myself and think my abundance of common sense would have prevented an incident similar to that which happened with Sonny, I have no experience and don’t know.

    While I do know it’s exceptionally bad form to… supply non-positive information about another instructor, I’m curious what procedures you would insist on, were you the director of a range similar to that one in Texas. What warning signs should a dumb civilian look for when attending one of these types of courses?

    By Chance on Nov 26, 2012

  5. “Now, I certainly believe that a core principle of adult learning is that people learn better when they’re happy than when they’re miserable. But that doesn’t mean every aspect of every moment of every practice session needs to be flowery meadows and rainbow skies, rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles”

    Getting myself to the range on a more frequent basis, and getting other people to the range, is a problem I’ve been struggling with for years.

    While the range experience itself doesn’t have to be utopian, when the shooting ranges are so far away that it is expensive in both time and gas money and vehicle mileage just to get there and back, there’s a problem. I spend more time just driving to and from the range than I do shooting. This was an annoyance before the gas-price (and ammo price) spike in 2005, but is a major problem since then.

    Two stories illustrate my frustration:

    (1) Back in January 2010, a friend invited me to compete in a bowling pin match at his gun club. It was the first time I had done so, and the competition itself was a great and enjoyable experience. The problem was that I had less than 10 minutes of actual trigger time, while I spent 4 hours milling around not shooting (in the middle of nowhere with no facilities), plus a 1 1/2 hour drive each way. It was not a good use of my time.

    (2) A friend of mine decided to go shooting on Labor Day 2011. In the 10 years I had been a member, the range was usually empty on holidays. I drove an hour to his house, and from there we drove an additional hour to my gun club. Once we got there, the range was full, and we were unable to shoot. It was a complete waste of the morning.

    I’ve talked to other gun owners who have become discouraged with what they call “gun range culture”; especially the type of ranges with one firing line, where everybody as to shoot and cease-fire at the same time, so you have to reset or tape your targets in lockstep with everybody else. (Fortunately, my gun club isn’t like that, but I know exactly what they mean). Add in the abrasive personalities of some range officers, and I’ve started to suspect that the gun culture is working to actively discourage new shooters.

    As somebody who enjoys shooting (but isn’t good at it), I was willing to put up with this, but have become increasingly frustrated and discouraged over the years just by the act of going to the range, and the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll be able to actually shoot once I get there.

    No other activity I participate in presents me with this time-value/uncertainty problem.

    There’s probably a reason why most people I see at the range on a regular basis are men who are either retired, or at least old enough that their kids are out of the house.

    By Frustrated Gun Owner on Nov 27, 2012

  6. Chance:

    ANY instructor who is not utterly OCD about safety on the line and ensuring there is nobody downrange BEFORE touching iron is unsafe. This is even more apparant when a shoot house or “jungle trail” scenarios is involved — at least on a “sqaure range” (traditional firing line with no obstructions) you can take it in pretty much at a glance; but in a shoot house or trail walk situation, you must, _must_, MUST! ensure the whole downrange area is clear of ALL PEOPLE before you start. (This does not mean that someone who runs a “hot” range – all guns are loaded at all times, versus a “cold” range – guns are only loaded when on the line and ready to shoot, is unsafe, per se. Tam’s rule # 5 of “QUIT TOUCHING IT!” applies in both cases, as most shooting accidents tend to be caused by “unloaded” guns.)

    Also, any instructor who utters the phrase, “Big Boy Rules” sincerely and with a straight face? RUN, do not walk, back to the parking lot and leave. “Big Boy Rules” is code for, “2KEWL to implement basic range safety.”

    By Geodkyt on Nov 29, 2012

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