Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dispatches from the Future

I wrote this a few years back, but the commentaries on the Glock post made me think I ought to publish it here on the blog:
An Apparent Dispatch from the Future

NOTE: This shard of a partially burned press release, along with several other papers found in the accumulated litter of the post 2004 SHOT Show, was sent to me anonymously. While I make no claims for its veracity, I would like to note that the paper was slick, almost like some sort of plastic, and when I attempted to scan it, the text simply disappeared…

For Immediate Release: February [date missing]
Contact: Ke [remaining name missing]

GREATER LAS VEGAS, NV — With this year’s SHOT Show introduction of the much heralded HELA-1911 UltraFireball CQB-Tactical .45ACP single-stack pistol, [name apparently intentionally obscured] is poised to redefine the booming market in 1911s. In an effort to fully capitalize on this historic opportunity, [name obscured] will no longer manufacture or sell any other of the now-obsolete semiautos or those other handguns with “that cylinder thing.”
“We stayed with it longer than anyone else,” said company President Paris Hil [name smudged], noting that no other American firearms company had offered anything but 1911s since early 2007.
“The market has spoken,” she added, “and it doesn’t speak French, German, Austrian, Czech, Brazilian, Italian or Californian. It speaks good old fashioned American, and it wants good old fashion American meat and potatoes.”
Madame President acknowledged that she faced an uphill battle against the current powerhouses in the 1911 market, Glock and Taurus, with Sigarms, Beretta, a revitalized Colt (now owned by a consortium of Indian and Pakistani investors) and the Red/White/Blue Alliance of Kimber, Springfield Armory and Charles Daly close behind. The long-rumored Japanese entry into the market, Gunsmith Cats Signature American Slab-Side .45, is slated for a May 5 introduction in conjunction with that country’s Boys’ Festival.
“Seriously though, can you imagine an American male shelling out good money for a 1911 with a half-naked Japanese cartoon character girl on the grips?” Madame President said. “Wait, wait! Let me rephrase that…”

The second attached sheet read:

Background Information prepared by [name deleted]

The profound—and largely inexplicable—success of the century-old John Browning design rests on a foundation built of equal parts brilliance in engineering, ergonomics and simple blind luck. Not to mention a healthy dose of inertia.
By the turn of the century, it was clear that the United States handgun market was in the midst of a profound change. Despite several decades of bullet development that essentially rendered the major caliber cartridges—.45ACP, .40S&W, 9mm, .357 Magnum, .357SIG—equal in terms of “stopping power,” the marketplace continued to insist on .45ACP semiautos. Much of that demand can be traced to members of the firearms media, who maintained—and still maintain—a steady drumbeat for the 1911 in .45ACP and from the U.S. military forces, who seem to expect people to fall down when hit with a handgun bullet. It's worth noting that European and Japanese forces have no similar expectations.
Other than "cowboy" Single Action Army style revolvers—now imported by the hundreds of thousands into the United States from Italy, China, Somalia and Japan—there appears to be little or no market for any other type of handgun in the world.
Aside from the increasingly important issue of senility in the aging gunwriting corps lead by [name intentionally deleted], the obsession with the 1911 rests firmly with...

[remaining pages burned beyond recapture...]


Anonymous said...

er, ah, let me think a minute or so. Did I read this back then or write it? I forget.(memory shot from inhaling too much polymer dust.)

Besides, I think I have a new...well I know it s a gun..to shoot?

Walt who?

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