New product releases most often seem to be met with grumbling these days as opposed to optimism or applause. Not that this is unique to the gun community in the slightest, but it is certainly noticeable to us certified internet gun experts. So why do why do this, and should we?
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– [Voiceover] The gun community.
While I certainly can’t speak for everybody, we certainly can be a bit strange at times.
Yours truly most definitely included.
We constantly complain about the lack of options available to us, but when a manufacturer does dare to design, tool up, and bring something new to market, then we go to great lengths to find reason to complain about it.
I think as a whole, we’re a bit slow to embrace anything new, and really this is pretty apparent in a lot of places.
When a new manufacturer shows off something it’s shot that looks great, the cheer-to-jeer ratio almost always leans to the latter.
We pick things and new products apart before we even see one in person, and comments like “a solution in search of a problem” are far too common.
People have done this throughout history with firearms.
A lot, actually.
People thought double-action revolvers were a gimmick.
And they did the same with semi-automatic pistols, calling them needlessly complex and thinking of them as just a fad.
Many countries did not think self-loading rifles were needed and the old bull guns were just fine, hell, the nations of the west even thought the assault-rifle concept was silly because who needs an intermediate cartridge when you already had rifles and sub-guns in the field? Ingenuity isn’t always mercurial, that is to say, you don’t need to be confronted with a problem to evade one.
A truly great example of this is the M16, a gun we tend to forget is a design from the 1950s.
People relentlessly complained about its bizarre appearance at the time, its use of polymer aluminum, and really, the most amazing thing about that gun is that we actually adopted it.
Really, look at the rifles that came before it.
The M14 looks like your grandpa’s hunting rifle.
And the difference in appearance between the M16 and it are colossal.
Hell, I’m trying to think of a rifle today we could switch to that would be as radical a shift as the M14 to the M16.
But I can’t, besides, maybe the G11.
And that’s a maybe.
But that was an example of when new won, and it was good.
It was a step towards reducing the number of guns we needed to have out there.
Guns like the M14, Thompson, grease gun, BAR, M1 carbine, and so on were now replaced by this one gun.
This weird, plastic-ridden rifle that so many people hated at the time.
Oh, if only the internet existed back then so I could dig up “solution in search of a problem” posts.
So our hesitance to try anything new is odd.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that it isn’t unique to marksmanship, as you see it a lot with car guys, for example.
Remember that there was a time when electronic fuel injection was seen as an unnecessary complexity, alongside power steering.
But the issue I see here is that, for whatever reason, we’re so dismissive of any new design or product.
And as someone whose job it is to test and evaluate a lot of this stuff, it can be a tough hurdle to overcome.
It doesn’t matter if the gun has merit, is affordable and reliable, and just great all around, people are hesitant to sometimes even acknowledge that.
As a great example, look at Barrett Firearms.
Surely people told him that “We don’t need a semi-automatic.50 BMG, that’s pointless.” Now the company does 80 million dollars in revenue per year.
People might have thought Reed Knight was silly for taking that inane rail attachment system, putting it on all sides of a four-end, but now he employs 200 people.
But for a smaller, more relatable example, I have a friend who engraves a lot of firearms with trust or corporate info for NFA registration.
He said that 95% of the stuff he used to do would be ARs.
All day long, a big stack of AR loaders would just stare at him.
I was talking to him the other day, and he said, and this was hard to believe, that about 45% of what he’s doing now are pistol-caliber carbines like the Scorpion EVO or Sig MPX.
If sales were reflective of initial reactions, there wouldn’t be as many out there.
But both of these guns are flying off the shelves.
Honestly, that surprised me a lot, too, because I thought the pistol-caliber carbine market had a pretty narrow appeal.
So damn if I wasn’t wrong on that one.
Really, I have to catch myself.
I will sometimes see a new product release and think how silly it is, often until I try one.
I don’t know why this is.
What underlying instinct leads us to dismiss new products? I honestly don’t know.
So the takeaway here should be that innovation shouldn’t be immediately dismissed.
The inherent problem, however, is that innovation, by nature, doesn’t always address a clear and present issue, so it can take a visionary or forward-thinking person to recognize the value of something.
So don’t fear what’s new.
Within reason, give new products or ideas a chance before you dismiss them in a cynical rant.
Or, hell, wait for a review.
We live in a time when your only source for firearm info isn’t a rag that suspiciously never has anything negative to say about anything, ever.
But you could check out reviews from consumers all around the web.
Thanks for watching, and a special thank you to Ventura Munitions for helping us out with our ammunition needs, and a special thank you to you for watching.