Every now and then a thought pops into your head that truly deserves some time devoted to it. This time it was me wondering if the tactitards and neckbeards really do make the industry go round. I have heard it said by multiple people that make a living in the shooting sports industry as well as seen evidence of it myself.
You can call them by the name I have given them or the far more politicly correct “underinformed buyer” if that is more to your liking. This is the group of people that are buying the guns and gun parts that are junk or the ones that are seeking the label attached to the item rather than the actual function that the item performs. We all know one of the two types of buyers, there are those that think they are paying for a name and are glad to do it and those that refuse to pay for a name. Nevermind paying for quality. It is all about the savings or the Instagram cred with this lot.
So you might be wondering, what sent me down this path of thought? The following video.
I stumbled on it while looking for more information about the Lusa pistol, and am I glad I did.
Slick Wilson is a perfect example of what I am talking about. The tactical gear and seemingly all of his gun accessories were probably purchased through a mail order catalog or at the local big box sporting goods emporium.
Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with guys like Slick Wilson that are OK with mediocre quality and looking cool at the range. After all, we all had to start somewhere. Some of us just never progress (like Slick Wilson).
So what does this have to do with tactitards and neckbeards making the industry go round?
The fact is that that cheap Chinese tactical vest, Chinese scope, and fingerless gloves all carry a rather high-profit margin. That allows your favorite internet retailer to offer the quality parts and accessories at a price that your local gun store and smaller internet/mail order outfits will never be able to compete with. This drives competition like nothing else and previous to this there were many gun stores (and there still are) that focus on the almighty profit margin and less on giving the customer the best deal they can while keeping the lights on and growing the business.
So thank you, Slick Wilson, for keeping prices on the quality gear that performs the way I want it too low enough for me to afford. Every one of us who sees someone like Slick Wilson at the range and looks down our nose at them is wrong and should instead take it as a possible opportunity to show them the benefits of quality parts and devote more time working on fundamentals instead of looking for the next thing to bolt to their AR.
That said, I think that the tactical tard is going to be on the decline with the shift in the gun sales market. Hopefully, us ‘enlightened’ folk don’t feel the effects of the undereducated buyer’s money going to Michelob Ultra and cartons of Basic cigarettes instead of the finest tactical gear China can produce.