Beware of the one-dimensional shooter!

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Today’s report is an observation and also a complaint. I was just browsing Texas Gun Trader, an online website where Texas gun owners swap and sell firearms (no FFL required). There was a listing for an AR-15 owner who wanted to trade, so I thought to myself, “I bet he wants a Glock for his AR! No, probably lots of them.”

Sure enough, he was asking for multiple Glocks. How did I know that?

Because this fellow is what I call a one-dimensional shooter. He only likes what he likes and the rest of it is junk, as far as he is concerned. In my travels, I meet lots of people like this, and I wonder what makes them tick.

Stay with me on this because I am trying to make what I believe is an important point. I think Mr. One-Dimension is missing out on a lot. I don’t say that because he doesn’t think like I do — I say it because I have also met several of these folks who have changed their tunes after learning there are other wonderful guns out there they didn’t know about.

First example
Here is an example that Edith and I both saw. It was both startling and dramatic, and it happened over the course of just weeks, rather than the years that it usually takes.

This Mr. One-Dimension was a local airgunner who found out that I wrote a newsletter about airguns. He had, “A quick question” for me. He had just gotten into airguns and could I please recommend a nice air rifle for him to start with? We talked for a while, and I learned that his budget was low. He didn’t want to spend over $200 and $150 would be better.

At the time, the RWS 34 was selling for about $159, as I recall (this was in the 1990s). I knew it was a good basic starter air rifle, so that was my recommendation. The fellow thanked me and bought one.

Two weeks later I got a second phone call from this guy. He was irate! Why had I not told him about the incredible Beeman Crow Magnum? He had discovered one at the local gun store (Atlantic Guns in Silver Spring, Maryland, used to be a 5-Star Beeman dealer and stocked many of their best airguns).

This guy had just purchased a Crow Magnum for $1,200, plus a scope since it didn’t come with open sights. It was so much better than the RWS 34. Why hadn’t I told him about it to begin with?

Why, I was hoping to save it for myself! I was hoping that if they didn’t sell that rifle to him, maybe if I waited long enough they would discount it down to $500 and I could buy it.

ARE YOU KIDDING?

Edith saw this happen, too, and she was just as stunned as I was. While I was talking to him I decided to try something. I had just purchased a Whiscombe JW-75 4-barrel set from John Whiscombe for $1,895, so I told this guy about that. It’s just as powerful as the Crow Magnum, plus you get all 4 calibers. Know what he said to me? “That’s too much money for an airgun. I’m happy with what I got.” Well — as long as he’s happy that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

Another example
A couple weeks ago, my shooting pal, Otho, and I were at the local rifle range and another Mr. One-Dimension drives up. This guy used to shoot only military rifles and bought only military surplus ammo for them. In fact, he bragged to me one time how many thousands of 8mm Mauser rounds he’d stashed at his house.

So, what does he put on the bench this fine day? A Savage bolt-action in .338 Winchester Magnum. And what is he shooting in it? Why, reloads he has made himself! He has done a complete 180 and reversed his outlook on guns. Reloading now makes sense to him because he’s doing it. It didn’t make any sense before, but that was because he wasn’t doing it. Are you getting this?

I get a front-row seat for this carnival of absurdity because of my continuing interest in airguns. At one airgun show, Mr. One-Dimension will tell me that only 10-meter target rifles are worth his time, and at the next show he is asking me to help him find a nice Talon SS. At the show after that, could I please help him get a TX200? A year from now, he’ll probably ask me why I never told him what wonderful rifles the FWB 124s are and why don’t I please test one of them in this blog. You veteran readers are all groaning because you know that the longest blog series I ever did was on the FWB 124. In fact, after writing 15 Parts on the 124, I was politely advised (off the record) to get some new interests and leave that one alone.

These guys remind me of my then-9-year-old son who I took to see the Harlem Globetrotters play. As we were leaving, some of the players were standing near the exit, saying goodbye to the crowd. I had a 9-year-old on one arm and a 5-year-old on the other, struggling not to lose either one of their hands in the press of the crowd. At one point my 9-year-old looks up to me and asks where the Globetrotters went after the game. He wanted to see one. It was funny because at the time he said that his head was next to and at the same level of the knee of their 7-foot center. The player and I looked at each other and smiled without saying a word. “Look up,” I said to my son. He did, but he couldn’t see past my face. There in the clouds was the player he wanted to see, but he was so focused on the normal level of adults in the crowd that he couldn’t see him.

So I told him to look straight ahead. He did but all he could see was a knee with a long white athletic sock pulled up to it. “That is a Globetrotter.” I told him, then the crowd surged and swept us past the man. He never did see the Harlem Globetrotter he was so close to.

Everyone has interests
Don’t get me wrong. Each of us has interests that define who we are. I like single-shot rifles and don’t really care for full-autos. You may be just the opposite. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t headspace and time a .50 BMG or you can’t hold a fine bead with a Sharps and ring the gong at 200 yards. Remember in the movie Quigley Down Under, Matthew Quigley was a good shot with a handgun. Don’t you make the same mistake Alan Rickman did and assume that because he didn’t like handguns he wasn’t any good with them.

Where this comes in handy
Finding a one-dimensional shooter is like finding a diamond mine that’s owned by someone with gold fever. They will kick the diamonds out of their way, searching for the gold! I can’t begin to remember the wonderful deals I’ve made with people who had no interest in some of the guns they owned.

I have talked enough today. How about some of you sharing your one-dimensional stories?

80 thoughts on “Beware of the one-dimensional shooter!



      • B.B., you may have your blind spots and you may have been biased against the AR-15’s….I have tried to find where you said your way was the only way (or that there is only one way) and I can’t find it. It is one thing to have biases; it is another to be one dimensional in those biases and still another thing to ridicule or otherwise disparage others who may have different blind spots and biases. Also, being open to new evidence, new information is the opposite of the one dimensional obsession…er, delusion. ~Ken



      • Well… If a spring is defined as a piece of elastic material which seeks to return to its starting shape after having been compressed or stretched…. (“piece” to account for the hairpin shape found in some applications, the helical shape most think of, and the spirals found in watches and clocks; “material” to allow for the odd plastic spring).

        Under that definition, I wouldn’t consider a gas strut to be a “spring”. True, the gas acts as the elastic material — but it needs too much supporting stuff (seals, internal pistons and shafts) to be a “spring”.



        • Wulfraed, you are absolutely correct, that “if a spring is defined as …” then a gas strut does not meet the definition of a spring. With all due respect (and I do mean this with respect), it is all in the definition. The TheoBen guys have a patent for a Gas Spring (bearing in mind the esteem the patent office is held in by many….
          Also, in the U.S. how do we decide what is and is not a “drug”? Simple, the Food and Drug Administration declares something to be a drug and, “poof”, it’s a drug.
          The law of the land declares a “silencer” to be a firearm…in some places an airgun becomes a firearm by legislative decree.
          But my own belief that a gas strut can be called a gas spring is base on the analogous behavior, not on the strictest definition possible. The gas ram in one springer behaves analogously like the coiled spring in another.
          Now is am splitting hairs and beating dead horses. It is perfectly alright if we disagree about what constitutes a spring. I hope we can also agree that it isn’t a big deal. What is a big deal is that I respect and value you as a person.

          I just Googled kenholmz and was surprised to see what came up first. I don’t think I, personally, could have said it better. I’ll have to ponder that a while. ~Ken

          BTW…I like the forums and blogs that use “Anonymous Coward” for posts that lack identification of some kind of the poster.


          • Never really thought of that, how a gas spring is not really a spring at all. Never really gave it any thought but things like that remind us to stop and think instead of win the race.


            • Look at it from this side:

              In a /spring/ gun you have a a piston, and ambient air pressure on both sides of it before AND after cocking. The potential energy is in the spring.

              In a “Nitro-piston” design, your have TWO pistons. One piston has ambient pressure on both sides (this is the same piston from the spring gun). The other piston is the one inside the tube of the gas strut. Cocking the gun pressurizes the air on one side of that piston (ignoring that these start with some pressure). When firing, you have compressed air (nitrogen) under high pressure, pushing another piston at lower pressure.

              Hmmm… In a way, a “nitro-piston” is closer to the steam catapult of an aircraft carrier (though the real match would be a PCP where the compressed air is used to drive a piston in a cylinder to propel the pellet, then the air is bled out from behind the piston when cocking)


  1. Are you following me around on the web? I was telling on car blog 2 days ago that I had very eclectic taste and that I would like to have “one of each”.
    The great thing with airguns is that they’re (kinda) affordable and while you can’t really own one of each and every airgun made you can get at least one of each style. A replica 1911, a side lever, a break barrel, a CO2 pistol and rifle, magnums, pcp’s, repeaters, single shot, super accurate, plinkers there’s something for everyone and there’s everything (and more) for someone like me who would like to try everything.

    As for one dimensionnal shooters, I love them because they’ll often sell everything out of their dimension for cheap since they think it’s crap. You know you’ll probably be getting a good deal when the seller says “I realized I’m really not into that” yay for me! 😉

    J-F


  2. Thanks to ADHD I can’t be one-dimensional. I can’t focus on anything for very long. That’s why I have an Edge, an Izzy and a Talon SS. I can pretty much cover my shooting whims with those. I am thinking of adding a 99 and an R7 in a couple of years though for when my grandson is a little older. I figure he will be a good excuse to have a bb gun and a sproinger.


  3. B.B.,

    The most typical one-dimensional gun owners that I know are those who insist that a gun must practically blow their shoulder off to be worthy of being a “mans gun”. I know “men” who believe that anything below a .306 is a waste of time. Tell them that my .270 Win can shoot tight clover-leaf groups where each shot is touching at 100 yards, and they still shake their heads in disapproval.

    I’ve been looked at as if I have a 3rd eye because I recommend dry-firing. I’ve been told that the entire concept is just stupid. I’m so use to macho nonsense that I’m more motivated to rave about how wonderful air-guns are. But I’m not just trying to be controversial, I really do believe that air-guns can provide an experience as good as any power-burner, IF your main interest is shot execution.

    Victor



    • Reminds me of a friend of mine. He used to like his powder burners and mocked me for my airgun habbits. Then he tried my airguns. He sold his powder burners and started buying airguns. His first ones he bought from my private collection. He complained that the springers he begged me to sell him had too much recoil so he sold those and begged me for my custom .22 cal Benjamin discovery. Then he complained it was too small a caliber so he went to .30 caliber airguns from the Phillipines. Then that was too small so he had to have .45 caliber. But that was still not making him happy so he had to have .50 caliber. I just got done with my AK47 build and AMD65 build (not my first ones but my nicest ones). We have come full circle. Now he has no interest in powder burners but he’ll try my ak-47 sell his .50 cal air rifle and bag me for an AK47 which he’ll never get from me since my guns don’t have serial numbers so cannot be legally sold.


      • John,

        Your friend needs to learn how to make tape-ball cannons that shoot tennis balls. My brother and I use to make those 35 years ago out of tin beer cans, solder, and tape. You leave the rear-most can completely intact, but drill a hole at the end, and fill it with lighter fluid. They shot balls with a nice flat trajectory.

        Victor


  4. Hi BB,

    Does the Airforce Talon SS have the same air fill nipple as the Benjamin Marauder? I have a Hill pump with the quick disconnect adapter for the Marauder and was wondering if it would work on the Airforce Talon SS as well.

    Thank you,

    Doug


    • Doug…

      Depends on which version of tank you get.
      The new spin locks have the same as the Benji I think (Foster), but the older ones take a different dedicated type that the tank screws into.

      twotalon


    • Doug…

      If you get one with the older kind of tank, you could also get the adapters necessary so you can snap the pump to the adapter , then screw the tank to the adapter.

      twotalon



    • I went the other direction…

      AirForce Condor and pump were first.

      Then added a Marauder — and picked up an AirForce “nipple” and Marauder coupling, and screwed them together (also fits the Silhouette pistol that way).

      I’ll have to go the other direction if Crosman ever gets that articulated pump to market.




  5. I think that everyone’s mind will go to a certain direction from time to time, in which one’s interest will be more focused on a single matter, a particular gun type for instance. I sure have done that myself a few times.
    When I am trying something, a new airgun, for example, you will see me shooting it for weeks, maybe months, before I turn my eyes to something else, and that includes a few guns in my own gun cabinet. Does that make me a one-dimensional shooter? I don’t think so… it makes me just a guy with little time to spare, and too many wonderful guns to shoot, so I just can’t bring them all together with me in every shooting session.
    And, by the way, I have also traded guns that I regretted later… a large loop lever action Rossi .357 and an Anshutz .22 come to mind… Not because I was in search of gold in a diamond’s mine, but just to make room for other guns in my limited gun cabinet (and wallet).


  6. BB, I think my blindside has been money. If a gun is out of my price range I usually ignore it no matter how good a deal it is. I did break the tendency at least once a couple years ago at Malvern when I bought my USFT Hunter from Arnold Smith. If my brother, Bryan, hadn’t been there to keep pushing me to think out of the box I wouldn’t have bought it. But, I am glad I had the push I needed to consider what seemed like the impossible. I remember you posting about the same thing and telling about several somersaults you went through to buy one of your firearms, and that you encouraged us that it is possible to do more than we think we can. This is still a hard lesson for me.

    Tell Mac hi for me and tell him that he will be missed at Malvern.

    David Enoch


    • David,

      Money was always my problem, too. But once I got beyond it (thanks to some late-in-life prosperity), I found that I could have things. I think it was the Ballard the really boosted me. Plus Edith sees my gun collecting as therapy, which is probably is, so she backs my play well beyond what most wives would.

      B.B.


  7. B.B. –

    Good post this morning. I’ve been accused of having this malady in the past, but think that the diagnosis may have been a little quick. It would be more accurate to say that I have multi-dimensional awareness and interest, but one-dimensional preference. I just know what I like. That being said, my tastes have changed a bit as time has passed, and are still changing. Just yesterday, I sold a collectible firearm that I hadn’t touched in years in order to get money for a new airgun that I would use frequently. It’s not the first time that I have made such a trade, and so far… no regrets.

    I particularly enjoyed the quip about the globetrotter and your son. It’s similar to a story that my mother tells about me. As a small child, I actually had an opportunity to meet Harry Truman, shortly after he was elected as president. According to the story, I whipped my head away from the president and shouted, “No! He’s not Ike!” Truman was not nearly as amused as my parents.

    Hope Mac is feeling better. You’re a rare friend to travel so far to help.

    – Jim in KS


  8. “Springers RULE! All I need is my springer and a tin of pellets and I can shoot wings off of flies at 100 yards. Never tried a pcp since I don’t want to be tied to a pump or tank and a chronograph.”

    “When I first got into airguns I bought a Gitmo GT3 at wally world. That break barrel shot pellets fast and hard. Supposedly 1,100fps the box said. What an inaccurate piece of junk. Sold it and bought my pcp. This thing can group any pellet under a dime at 100 yards. I’ll never buy another spring airgun since I want to hit what I aim at.”

    This springer vs. pcp debate happens every week on airgun forums and often becomes a very heated debate between these one dimensional airgunners. Comical.

    kevin


    • Kevin…

      The “comedy shop” websites can be quite entertaining. All it takes is an adequate supply of trolls and idiots to keep things hopping. Not good places to ask for information though. Not really good places to offer help either.

      twotalon



      • So what is a PCP? After all, if using a hand pump you can’t get “more” multiple than the 150 pump strokes it takes to move a Condor from 2000PSI to 3000PSI… Granted, you then get a few shots without needing pumping…


        • Wulfaed,

          But pumpers provide the best of all worlds. They are completely self-contained, only requiring someone to get their exercise. They allow for variable power. And yet, they have the smooth firing characteristics of a PCP. Why would anyone need anything else. I think PA should stop selling all other types of airguns, because pumpers are the ONLY way to go.

          Victor


  9. I’m relatively new to all types of firearms and hunting. My one dimensional story has to do with the snobbiness of hunters. I purchased a Chocolate Lab (what a great dog!!!) for hunting and as a family pet. I was told never, ever hunt rabbits, etc. if I want to hunt pheasants with him. Other hunters told me how important it was that he deliver right to my hand and do everything just perfect. After a few weeks I told them all to get buggered. I hunt pheasants, rabbits, squirrels and waterfowl with this dog. He doesn’t do everything perfect and neither do I. I can tell you we have a damn good time. Hunting, I’ve learned, is as much about the little failures and learning process as it is about those amazing successes you get everyone once in awhile. Now all those guys “tsk tsk” me when they see me out in my blaze orange with my furry hunting buddy, but they can get stuffed. There is always a better way to do things, don’t get locked in. I recently went to PCP for the first time. And holy crap did my eyes finally open up (I used to only shoot springers).


  10. I only wish I had the problems of the one dimensional shooter.
    My problem is I WANT IT ALL.
    Airguns were bad enough, but the last year since I’ve gotten into powderburners I have no money left.
    They’re all so damn interesting!!!



      • Hey Matt, unfortunatley I haven’t shot it since before Christmas.
        It has been an unseasonable winter up here. Lots of snow and very cold. Two weeks ago, when the April showers should have started we had 55cm of snow in a week. And last night was a record breaker for cold at this time of year with an overnight temp of -17c (should be above 0 by now).
        The last time I was at the range there was knee deep snow so I spent my time on the pistol range.
        Just didn’t feel like breaking the snow to the 100m board.
        But it is supposed to start warming up tomorrow (still below seasonal) and Sunday I’m hoping to head to the range with the Savage .22WMR and make the slog to the 100m board.
        I’m just finishing Antony Beevors account of Stalingrad…gotta admit I wouldn’t have lasted long there.
        Also, on an historical note I watched Triumph of the Will for the first time last night. Gotta admit the photographer in me was mightily impressed. It really is to bad what the subject matter was. As far as early film-making is concerned I would rank it right up there with Citizen Kane. If the subject matter had have been Churchill or Roosevelt it would be required viewing by any film buff.
        Watching it, it was easy to see how the German people were so manipulated…Hitler was an amazing orator…hell, the film nearly had me ready to sign up.
        Just so glad Germanys arms production just wasn’t up to what the U.S. was able to produce.



      • That’s what I like about this blog/forum J-F…I feel like I have a huge extended family here, something I don’t get on any other blog I frequent.
        Anyway, what makes it really bad for me is that my favorite gunshop is 1.5 blocks from where I work.
        That combined with, after 20 years at my job (and the senority that comes with it) no one says anything if I step out for 1/2 an hour.
        To many times I think, ‘hey, I’ll just step out to the gunshop and see if they have anything new’ andI come back $15, $20 or $100 poorer.
        That and Amazon are going to be my downfall. I’m a voracious reader. But most of the stuff I like (mostly historical) isn’t something local bookshops carry so I always had the safety net of them saying they’d have to order a book in, giving me day or two to think it over and often deciding I didn’t need it that bad.
        With Amazon it’s just a click aways and 4 or 5 days later it’s on my doorstep.
        Thankfully Amazon (the Canadian version) doesn’t sell much gun related stuff….I’d be in debtors prison in no time 😉


  11. Mr. Pelletier,
    This is good advice for many things in life, not just air guns. The anecdote about your son and the Globetrotter reminded me of a old childhood saying…”He couldn’t see the forest for the trees”.
    Jim H.


    • Jim H.,

      When I read that story I thought of something that happened to me many years ago. I started a new project where I was suppose to interface an old, very large, legacy system to an entirely new software infrastructure. Trouble was that no one knew the whole legacy system, so everyone that I talked to could only give me the piece that they knew. The system was not documented, so all people knew was what was in their head. They would go into some super specific low-level detail and hope that it helped me somehow get the big picture. It didn’t.

      Finally, one guy realized that they weren’t helping, and he looked at me and said, “I know what the problem is! You can’t see the elephant!”. When you’re too close to the elephant, all you see is a patch of grey.

      Victor


  12. I saw a number of those folks at our local gun show last weekend. The place was packed. I sold a bunch of odds and ends. Things like old holsters, an old leather gun case, speed loaders, two HK P7 M8 mags, and even (50 rds.) ten boxes of .22 LR. I haven’t set up a table with sale items before but I did this year. I see why people go through the trouble. I sold a lot more that I thought I would.

    Mike


  13. BB,

    Just received my first PCP, a Benjamin Disco 22 (BTW, congrats! It is really a wonderful little rifle).
    I noticed however that after shooting it a lot in the weekend, I refilled it to 2000psi, and today it is showing 1500psi. I guess it will loose some pressure due to cooling, but is it normal to loose 500psi in just 2 or 3 days?


    • Fred,

      No it’s not normal to lose 500psi in 2-3 days. Sounds like you have a slow leak. Is the gun still under warranty?

      I don’t store my pcp’s with a full fill in them. I usually put them away with a half fill or so.

      kevin


    • Fred,

      As Kevin says, 500 psi is too much to lose in a month. I think you have a slow leak.

      Do this — put some silicone chamber oil in the fill nipple on the next fill. Then dry-fire the gun 25 times then refill it and let it stand. Often, that will dislodge a small piece of dirt. I used to do that at AirForce when a customer sent in a leaker, and it fixed them more than half the time. If the person trusted me, I would get them to do it before they sent in the gun and the success rate was similar.

      B.B.


      • The problem is that I live in Brazil and it already took months to get the gun from Pyramydair all the way to my hands, so I will try everything I can.
        So I already dropped oil in the nipple, dry fired it, filled it, and store it to Kevin’s recommendation at half-fill (1500psi). Let’s see what happens…I will report in couple of days… thanks guys.


    • To find leaks, Swagelok makes a leak detector called Snoop. It’s like a soap solution, but it is non corrosive, and dries without leaving any residue. We use it on high 3000 psi oxygen systems, where cleanliness is required, so it should be ok for PCP systems. You should be able to get it at places that sell pneumatic and hydraulic fittings.


  14. Beware of the one-dimensional shooter in us. I know I’m like this. What fun could it be, for instance, to be stuck for a week with only my old Daisy model 103 (and its forty-year-old Western Auto BB’s)? It’s just an old toy, isn’t it? Well, so much fun that I had to buy new BBs. Spent hours doing fifty-shot groups just exploring how to be accurate with it. Couldn’t convince the nephews of that, though. “Oh, no, that’s really not my speed.”


  15. I have been called a lot of things (Just Don’t Call Me Late for Dinner!) but never a one-dimensional shooter. I enjoy most of it. Lets see I have been involved with currenty or at one time with Air Rifles, Black Powder Guns, Cowboy Action, Three Gun, Trap, Skeet, Hunter’s Benchrest, .22 Rimfire, NRA Hi Power Rifle, and IPSC. It’s all fun.

    Mike


  16. Story of my growth in shooting. I had a long list of reasons why the Crosman 1077 is the only air rifle I would ever need. So, how does this one-dimensional shooter theory articulate with the man who owns only one gun that is supposed to be the ideal? 🙂

    So, B.B. and Edith are coffee connoisseurs too. I can’t believe that crappucino name is for real. Reports on the taste are uniformly excellent. But wash those beans as hard as you like, if you’re getting any gratification from that digestive process, there’s no telling what’s gotten in there. Still, it’s not the strangest thing that people eat. I’ve never understood the taste for intestines in the form of tripe or haggis. Dr. McDougall of the McDougall Diet has said that throughout history people have eaten just about anything they can fit into their mouths.

    Victor, that is appalling about the Defense Department practices. When I was hunting for library jobs, the word was that the pay for the Library of Congress was outstanding, but it still wasn’t worth the bureaucracy. Now, I can get an inkling of why the F-35 program is going the way it is. I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Each plane is costing something like $200 million and climbing and economy was supposed to be the main selling point! Our Defense Department is at it again, and this is further evidence about the disadvantages of the “system” concept of weapons that is touted for the AR platform and for airguns too. Sometimes it works. Sometimes you’re getting the worst of all worlds.

    But on a brighter note, how about that new laser that the Navy is deploying for some comparatively paltry price. Victor, I understand that the original Star Wars idea as planned by Reagan never came to fruition because of technical and financial problems, but it seems like a missile shield in some form has been developed. And just in time too with the antics of North Korea.

    Duskwight, I had never really thought of the attitudes towards guns in other countries. I would guess if America is relatively liberal towards gun ownership that the attitudes in other countries are pretty negative about gun ownership. Just as we have our stereotypes of other people, the Japanese, as one example, have this idea that Americans are all gangsters. There was some kind of reality show awhile ago where some Japanese took a member of a tour and made him a temporary dealer at Las Vegas. As he screwed up, the various players began abusing him and pulling out guns (“Hey, you’ve got a dealer who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing” flash the 1911) and the guy was completely petrified until they started laughing and told him it was a joke. Anyway, your Russian woman friend would seem to be a case in point. It would be the hallmark of a true master to get her to experience some really wonderful gun, no shortage of good designs in Russia, and make her putty in your hands. Just saying… 🙂

    On the subject of the economics of the gun and ammo shortage, how about this. I have a friend whose relation, retired from the Special Forces, is planning to open a gun store with some buddies. He’s having trouble finding stock! But he’s got this scheme to sell cartridges through 3D printing. How about that? I’ve heard of 3D printing for guns but not cartridges. Is this a clever business scheme? On the one hand you get around all the problems of making receivers and other parts that are durable enough to function; there is no part of a cartridge that is very complex. On the other hand, the real difficulties with producing cartridges, it seems to me, is in getting the raw materials in the first place and then creating the powder which is more a problem of chemical synthesis than of manufacture. The assembly of components is fairly trivial and something people do already. So, it seems to me that this scheme is not really engaging with the problems of the gun and ammo industry. We’ll see.

    Matt61


    • We do have a basic missile defensive capability in place. It should be enough to handle North Korea if they make that huge miscalculation.

      An asymmetric attack defense needs to be considered, IE a nuke in a old ship.

      Mike


    • Matt61,

      I’m very familiar with SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative), a.k.a. “Star Wars”, having worked for the company that spearheaded most of the cutting and bleeding edge research. Can’t go into specifics, but that was a great time to be an engineer, and especially where I worked. We saw a lot of many of the different facets of the problem. If you were good, it was like being a kid in a candy store. I’d be in the lab past midnight, at least a few nights a week . We were doing so much really cool stuff!

      I started my career during the heyday of SDI, when our company was winning billion, and significant percentages of a billion, dollar contracts. Lots of very interesting and challenging R&D, but also lots of perks. We had almost full day “meetings” at local parks with barrels full of beer and lots of food, or meetings at local restaurants by the beach or on the pier. Also, big companies are great for helping one keep up with technology. The company sent you to any training that was relevant to your job. In some instances, what you learned from some of the movers and shakers of industry was way ahead of what colleges and universities would eventually adopt as part of their curriculum.

      But you also learn that not all defense contractors are created equal. For me, the more interesting ones where the ones that did R&D. Except for certain types of missions, these more cutting edge companies don’t do a lot of manufacturing, or integration. Some companies do mostly manufacturing of large systems, but contract the more sophisticated stuff out to others, like control systems, avionics, or thrusters.

      It wasn’t until the tail end of SDI that most cabinet members from Reagan’s administration came out and said that such a system was not feasible. That’s partly why everything was so highly classified. It was also said that Reagan was the only person in his entire administration that just couldn’t get it. There was also a lot of controversy related to live tests of the technology that didn’t help, like filling a target drone with explosives for “effect”.

      One of the most interesting things that I learned about the 80’s and SDI, was the fact that the US was so strong in terms of having a wealth of technical PhD’s at that time, and that was attributed to JFK’s goal to put man on the Moon. Because of that one goal, a lot of tax payers dollars went into education, which was a very smart thing to do. I often wonder (lament) what the US could have done to strengthen it’s future (in a real way), had it spent the trillions of dollars wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan on education. We benefited for decades because of this sort of vision (e.g., the goal of reaching the Moon, or some other challenge). Instead, a lot of the world is pushing education to levels equal to our own, many benefiting directly from us. Sure, some got very rich, but that did very little for the country as a whole.

      Victor


      • When JFK declared in 1961 that America should land a man on the moon, it was not feasible. The technology was developed to make it feasible. Indeed, when it was done more than 8 years later, it was done by the skin of teeth. Our wristwatch calculators have more computing power than the Apollo onboard computers. More than 40 years later, the U.S. doesn’t even have a launch vehicle capable of going to the moon, much less of landing there despite our improved technology.

        Imagine if you will, that the investment and research had continued in SDI. Not only would the investment have benefited much of Academia, as it had in the space race, but the U.S. would be in a safer place today, because the defense shield would be a certainty, as the moon landing had. Unfortunately, SDI had become a political hot potato, and one few had the courage to carry.

        Political opponents of a president will criticize, question and disparage his cabinet. Until a certain cabinet member disagrees with the boss. Then they are quoted as authorities. This is hypocrisy, no matter the political affiliation.

        Reagan’s ‘naivete’ had an unforeseen consequence by most, in that the (former) USSR knew that they could not afford to compete in developing technology to defeat our developing technology. This resulted in an end to the United Soviet Socialist Rebublik. Or maybe Gorbachev gave up on his Republik and legacy because of his benevolence and foresight.


  17. BB,
    I see a lot of airgunners (only) that are one-dimensional in the respect that they do not like powderburners or consider them as alternatives in certain cases :). I myself do focus on springers, but that is because they fit a segment of my usages perfectly. If I need and can use more power, range, and hold-insensitive accuracy (or a SCOPE!), I’ll use a powderburner, as that is legal for me and cost-effective as compared to a PCP. In fact, I believe my view is the most enlightened and inclusive, as I really make no distinction between propellants, just appropriate use, cost, preference, etc. :).


  18. B.B., we’re talking airguns here but I have no doubt the syndrome occurs across all areas of interest. Perhaps we can be trained or educated out of it, but it seems to be part of the basic (faulty) wiring. Reading online reviews suggests a lot.

    By chance, today, I found something I had never asked you about (but that I know know you addressed in 2005). The general topic is Air Shotguns, but specifically there was one I knew I had seen in the ’70s, but could only remember vaguely. I knew it was from South Korea and used to hunt pheasants; it is the Yewha air shotgun.
    /blog/2005/12/air-shotguns-part-5-the-yewha/
    I have thought of it as a rudimentary PCP. Your write up clarified it for me.

    Huff and Puff all you want to, sir, and keep blowing the little piggies straw houses down. ~Ken



      • I wish I had seen one of your reviews on the gamo viper express. I thought it was innovative for an airgun. I saw a few video reviews of it when they were available and was impressed with them enough that i bought one. When I got the actual air shotgun I was a bit less than impressed with it. But likely knowing I collect what is unusual and innovative guns I likely would have got one anyway, but my expectations likely wouldn’t have been as high. Of course i was just discovering there were other airguns than daisy and crosman. When I saw the Airforce guns I thought they were strange and space gun looking and incredibly expensive. But when i got one….Well I won’t part with it now.


    • Yes these one dimension people also happen in a lot of other domains.
      Ever heard “mopar or no car”? How uni dimensional is that?
      I don’t think we should use the words “always” and “never”.

      J-F


  19. B.B.
    I told a working college that I did official air pistol championships. He wanted to know how much I spent on my air pistol. I told him my Steyr LP50 is a $ 2.250 gun. He replied that anyone paying $2.250 for a silly air pistol had to be considered insane – and he laughed out loud. Well, I laughed too. 😀

    He told me he was doing official billiard championships. He told me that his “2 piece take down” billiard cue cost him $ 1.200. Now it was my turn to laugh. I said: “Who on earth pays $1.200 for a piece of wooden stick?” He did not see the point!

    Well – maybe there are more dimensions of the “one-dimensional” competitor 🙂

    Eddie 😀


  20. I think in our own ways we all get to be a bit one dimensional. We like what we like and tend to want to stick with it. I have all manner of break barrels, co2 guns, pump guns and pcp guns. But my all time favorite gun is my Airforce Condor. I swear by that gun when there is a shot I absolutely need to make. When a friend of mine challenges me to a target shooting match that is the gun I grab. I trust it to do whatever job i need done like no other gun i own….except for maybe my Mossberg 100ATR or tricked out AK 47 for some varmint that just refuses to die good and proper.

    There’s no denying BB has a fine AR15. He’s deadly accurate with it, but my military M-16 / M-4 gave me enough headaches I just have a sour opinion of them yet I’m working on building one to add to the gun racks. I likely won’t ever fire it other than to make sure the thing works. I simply like my custom AK 47 and AMD65 to pay much mind to the other powder burners I have.


  21. Is it one dimensional to ignore airguns without sights? Ok, on a rifle, I can kinda sorta almost understand it since most likely it’ll get scoped, but a pistol? That’s just plain dumb! (I’m looking at you, Marauder)
    I don’t think I have ever run across a modern firearm that didn’t have some sort of sight, however rudimentary.


  22. Well, one thing that I’m one-dimensional about is shooting for accuracy. I’ve had some of my best experiences shooting when I was just plinking. No bull, no scoring rings, or measuring rings, just some object that was either hit, or not. Plinking can be so much fun that hours can go by without even noticing. And yet, I rarely plink. I need to stop and smell the roses, and live a little! 🙁

    Victor



  23. What keeps coming to my mind is that I like the challenge of making something work to the best or better than it was designed.I’m a machinist by trade.Also for a few years(early 80s).My problem is that I cant leave well enough alone.I have to keep trying something on that project.I have learned in the last few years to stop when the combination starts to come together.Because I know if I try one more thing it can mess something up that works good(or on the other side it can be that one magic change that works) I guess that is the nature of the beast.I have sold different things through out time because I got bored or tired of it or it worked the best I could make it(and maybe it gave somebody else a chance to make it better or do something I didn’t see) and also because I didn’t have money to buy the next project so it got sold. And for some reason I wish I hadn’t got rid of whatever that project was.And then I would wish I had it back and would try to reproduce the result and fail ??? I finally learned to keep the things that worked. When I do spend the money on something it has an amount of the characteristics that I know works already built in. And also I know I’m not one dimensional. I’m multi-dimensional 🙂


  24. I know of these types all too well, I was at a gun range and see a person shooting a HK .45 compact, I ask him if he would like to try my P226 .40, this guy says Yeah I’ve fired them but I will never buy anything but HK, after this he enjoyed firing some rounds out of my .40. It was entertaining for sure.


  25. Like J-F said about the other domains.Like the Mopar or no car.I had a bunch of different muscle cars through out the days(different Makes and Models).Bought them cheap because people were getting rid of them cause of the gas prices in the 70s and 80s(around a dollar or so a gallon).Man wish it was that much a gallon today.I was never Brand specific.But my buddies would claim Chevy was it.Or Ford or so on.All I know is they all could be made to run.That was the thing in the day.And as it goes the one dimensional people missed out on some interesting rides.And now as far as guns go.My brother shoots pistols and I shoot rifles.He can shoot the heck out of pistols and pretty good with rifles too.And I cant shoot pistols worth a darn.Just cause I cant shoot the pistols as good as I can rifles doesn’t mean I don’t like them or that I would never own or shoot one.I like the challenge.All I know is that for me not being one dimensional has opened up alot of opportunities to enjoy my life.You only got one.


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