I'm sorry, but we've dumped enough blood into that sand, and I don't see any flowers blooming. And am I the only person who thinks it's time to box up Senator John McCain and have him UPS'ed to Uzbekistan, the Moon, or anywhere as far from the United States as possible? I was backed into a corner to support him for President, but he's like some aging rogue elephant crashing into trees, farms, cars, everything.
And speaking of training, this from my pal Steven Hunter on yesterday's post:
Let me add one element that I think has been crucially undercovered in all the dogmatic gunmag guru stuff, and that is: hands! You cannot and will not shoot well if your gun does not fit your hands well. And hands vary spectacularly. Mine, for example, are relatively small and thin. I cannot shoot a S&W with those Coke bottle target grips to save my life; I can't even shoot ANY .40 because the recoil is too sharp and I have no excess flesh aboard the mitts to stop it from stinging.
In fact, I would think that a well-received piece for any gun rag would be to assemble a number of shooters with varying hand profies: fat, short fingered; thin, long-fingered; thin, short-fingered, etc.--and find optimal choices for each one. But then, that would be useful and so they'd have no interest. I seem to be shooting a Steyr M1A a lot these days, because the first time I picked it up it felt like a velvet glove. On the other, er, you know what, I will never ever in a million years even consider a Desert Eagle.
Just thought I'd rant.--Hunter
Rants are always good, and of course he's right. Sort of dovetails with the recent memes on 1911 grip safeties, which I, like every other human with girly-man hands, think suck. Before the various shooting organizations mandated operable grip safeties, you probably couldn't find one in the U.S. that hadn't been pinned...mine included.
I was also thinking that hand in hand with training goes firearms "evaluations." You'll note that when I talk about guns I usually do so in terms of "my impressions," as opposed to "definitive reviews." The reason I do that is the one thing that I am categorically certain of — and that I am categorically qualified to give — are my impressions and observations. Both are subjective...you know who I am; you know my background; you know my prejudices; you know the time limitations/rounds hot...here's what struck me about this particular gun; here's how this specific gun shot under these specific conditions with this specific ammunition.
I question whether there's any such thing as an "objective" review. You can...and everyone has...criteria for testing, but none of us has the resources of, say, the U.S. military to conduct comprehensive trials with multiple examples of the guns and numerous different tests over a long period of time. There's also the questions of "observer bias" and a sort of "paradigm paralysis," which for an individual (or heck, the U.S. military for that matter) are tough get beyond. For example, we can say that using a specified set of ammunition our T&E gun shot groups of the following sizes...that is an observation, not an evaluation. I could, and occasionally do, go on and on.
The Cliff Notes' summary is that more is better....the more you shoot, the more examples of a specific model or type of gun you shoot, the larger and more in-depth your base of knowledge, the more interesting (I hesitate on using the word "useful") your observations and opinions become. From a consumer standpoint, the way to get around "observer bias" is to read a lot of different evaluations from a lot of different people. Ditto on the pesky issue of paradigms...the people labeled as "fanboys" are classic examples of being stuck in a paradigm, or a very specific worldview. Also beware of extrapolating from a small set, especially a set of "1:"
"I just got my first Mini-Plastic Megablaster CCW from the Acme Gun Company...I got 4 failures to feed in 50 rounds, and that shows me the Mini-Plastic Megablaster CCW is a steaming pile of horse crap and the Acme Gun Company should be boycotted, it's executives kidnapped and tortured, the factory razed to the ground and the earth salted, and every time I see a single mention of Acme on the Internet I will go screaming bonkers crazy and launch post after post into the ether damning Acme to Eternal Damnation!"
C'mon...admit it! You've read that before!