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The Retardation of the Firearms Industry

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    The Retardation of the Firearms Industry

    The Retardation of the Firearms Industry

    Since around 2008, the firearm industry has taken a dramatic turn. It hasn’t exploded like some predicted after the presidential elections. It hasn’t come to a screeching halt like some legislators dreamed. It has become retarded in the last several years. Yes, I used the word “retarded” specifically for its dual meaning: it’s slid backwards and also become less able to think clearly or with purpose. I said it. Most industry promoters are idiots, and they are passing on useless garbage to the masses. Here’s why…
    We all like to think of ourselves as being educated, some having nice paper diplomas up on the walls showing we can survive a few years of college. Add in the widespread availability of the internet on every electronic device possible and we can’t go wrong: right?

    There are countless magazines online about firearms and new items, reviews by countless people, and forums for every subject imaginable, not to mention the guys (and gals) at the gun counter. With all this information readily available at our fingertips, we can research every future purchase and discuss them on forums and chats with other enthusiasts.



    Looking pretty “tacticool” there, bro. So how is the industry losing information then? Because the people writing the articles and talking on forums or behind the counter are usually full of shit and have NO CLUE what they are talking about. While they may, and often are, smart people, they are not experts in their hobby. Yes, hobby. Someone cannot be called a professional in something if they do it just for fun or for rent money, can they? Does owning 10 guns (usually based on the recommendations of others) make someone an expert?

    Most firearm professionals are busy working, either in the field, the shop, or on their next project. Firearm professionals are on deployment, constantly looking for the most efficient systems for their needs, because their lives depend on it; or are on the range deck diagnosing and fixing the bad habits of self-proclaimed YouTube experts as they do every week; or are in a busy workshop after a 12-hour day figuring out how to solve a weapon issue or how to cut weight on a future product. Firearm experts are not the college kid at the gun counter, regardless of how well he knows the price of Brand X rifle or if a barrel is 1:8 or 1:9 on Brand Y.
    Do you honestly think that the 300 pound “Instructor” with ketchup & mustard stains on his shirt knows anything about shooting under stress or how to enter a room when he himself can’t fit through a normal doorway without turning sideways? While the home inspector may be a great guy, just because he put 30 rounds through a magazine off a bench to “T&E”, it doesn’t mean it has been tested. The industry has turned to hobbyists for information about products and this has led to the retardation of the industry as a whole.

    So where are all the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)? Honestly, they are tired of this exact phenomenon I’m discussing. It used to be that gun articles were written by the “Been There, Done That” guys. Magazines featured men like Clint Smith, Jim Cirillo, and others who’ve successfully survived several gunfights and had firsthand knowledge to impart with others. These are guys who’ve spent countless hours at a range, pushing past blisters and bone chilling weather because they have to, not on weekend trips to the mountains with a cooler of beer.

    Current legends such as Kyle Lamb, Mike Pannone, and Kyle Defoor have spent some time writing, publishing videos (for free), and putting their knowledge out through forums only to be chastised each time by some teenage Airsoft want-a-be with nothing better to do. They’ve been unjustly insulted and criticized by so many people who don’t know shit. They’re tired of trying to help and have just stopped. Some, like Larry Vickers and Pat Rogers still maintain a presence on some forums that have a strict vetting and no BS policy, or contribute to some decent magazines. However, you have to wade through 95 pages of advertisements and articles by the hobbyists to get to the five pages of good information.



    No one does a better job of mocking the “Tacticool” firearms community than Mat Best and the Art.15 crew. The current trend of firearm “superstars” further propagates this retardation. By emulating and even giving false validity to people who don’t deserve it, we’ve given the firearm enthusiasts false idols to learn from. The industry, with some exceptions, has turned into a group of garage AR builders, web developers, and other part-time hobbyists jerking each other off through social media, thinking that likes on Facebook, Instagram, or other media sites, somehow relate to product quality.

    Those who are actually trying to do informative research on a firearm-related product are misled into thinking that a product or service is worthwhile, because all the hobbyists who are made popular are celebrating it. The use of celebrities to market a product is not new. At least Wheaties puts real athletes on their boxes. I see countless pictures of people saying “that rifle is sick,” or “that’s the best set up ever!” to gear that is often redundant and/or has no practical use.

    I’ve seen rifle with three of the same sling attachment points at the same place and short-barreled AK pistols with high power scopes being hailed as the next thing in weapons only because it has X-brand parts on it or it was “run hard” on a flat range for a few mags and put on YouTube.

    What happened to testing things before making a decision about its use? Where are the bad reviews? Negative reviews are almost nonexistent now. If you do happen to disbelieve the hype or call them out on any BS, then suddenly you are the asshole. I’ve seen this infection spread to the training industry as well, however, that is topic for another day.

    The firearms industry is a small world. While there are many new designers, builders, manufacturers every day, most of them are just weekend hobbyists. Not very many have actually made a career behind a trigger. There definitely are exceptions. People who started in their basement or people who are popular that have made it a life’s quest and succeeded at it. However, this is not the norm.

    Most of the people you see promoting the industry today have no experience, no background, and no idea how to properly test, evaluate, or describe the proper application of a product. Keep that in mind as you research your next purchase. Experts are there. They’re just sitting quietly in the corner and not running around like a five year old in a toy store, drooling over each item they see in fancy packaging. Be smart and take some time to learn who’s helping you make decisions about YOUR needs.
    Last edited by cu455; 05-19-2016, 11:08 AM.
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