Brand Name Gear

One of the most common things I see is people stressing over equipment. The stream of questions and comparisons is never ending. People want to buy skill and ability. Being a solid shooter takes real time and effort. Unfortunately our “want it fast, want it now, want it cheap, want it easy” society struggles to accept that. Often going in search of gizmos.

You need dependable, reliable and reasonably accurate from a firearm. Most things exist on a spectrum. I find I like to stay in the middle of the spectrum for the most use ability. Say you get on the real cheap end, then you usually get junk. You go to the extreme, expensive end and often you find that you have paid for diminishing returns and may have a tool you are not equipped to use to its potential. Happy medium is cliche but cliche’s often exist because there is an element of truth.

As you build skill and choose a path you will learn what you need along the way. Sometimes what we need is to take a step back and work on us with equipment we can afford to do that with.

If you ever doubted that it’s the injun not the bow, let me give you a few examples from events I attended last precision rifle season that stand out to me.

My buddy Tim shows up to one of the documented hardest PRS matches in the nation with shots to a grand and in a field of over a hundred solid national level shooters. Over 2 days he comes in 3rd with a 223. There were nearly a hundred very expensive rifles in a long list of custom race car cartridges in very capable hands. He beat all but 2 with a 223.

“Ringer” shows up to the biggest PRS match in the world to date with a stock plain jane savage and factory ammo for his FIRST MAJOR match and shoots so well he gets bumped to Pro division on the spot. I took to calling him “Ringer” because he was a very quiet, unassuming guy that was open about not having match experience. What he didn’t mention was all the experience he had in the service of Uncle Sam and how well he had excelled there or how much training he had quietly done in preparation for this match with a solid mentor.

My buddy Ryan shoots a dozen major matches across the country with the best in the nation and as a general rule beats 60% of the field with an old fashioned 308 launching 175s against every custom 6.5 creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6mm dasher, 6×47 Lapua, 7mmwhizbang…. you name it.
But he works hard, focused on old reliable and has stuck with it. There are others in his class that do the same. It’s true the overall top spots will usually go to an excellent shooter that also has the new hotness but the point stands.

If you are a pistol shooter you’ll see it too. Give someone like, Vogel, Enos, Miculek a stock but reliable gun and give someone of average ability the best race gun available… skill will beat equipment by such a vast amount it isn’t funny.

So get good equipment. Don’t throw money after trash & don’t chase the extremes. Remember you often give up some reliability for that exquisitely tuned race car as well as paying extra every step of the way. If it’s safe, it works, and as long as it fits the intended purpose, use it until you have outpaced your equipment. Then you’ll be upgrading with a better understanding of what you need for your path.

Remember, hit the range, put in the work, good things will come.

Signed; NS

Dunning Krueger-

Dunning Krueger-
Cognitive bias. A psychological phenomenon in which people with low skill level believe themselves to posses more skill than they do and highly skilled people often underestimate themselves or more accurately overestimate those you would compare them to.

To break it down you have to have a certain level of knowledge to even know how much skill you lack. 

There is a sort of inverse relationship, an arc from how much knowledge or skill one has and how much you think you have.

Competition can be good about showing you where you are performing relative to others in some measurable way. Lots of folks are intimidated by competition because it can be hard on the ego when they don’t perform as well as they thought they should have.

One thing we used to preach in SWAT was “leave the ego at the door.” You usually heard this just prior to a debrief. That’s where we would review the day’s activity and critique it. Now this is a real challenge for highly motivated Type-A people that often fill that role but ability to accept critical review & adjust is necessary for a professional. See ego interferes with growth when it shuts out constructive criticism.

Something I saw iin competition shooting a lot was the really elite shooters were often humble & helpful (especially towards shy beginners). Almost as if they welcome the challenge of fresh competition & aren’t bothered by someone else performing well.

The point I’m driving at here is that everyone’s path has to start somewhere. Once you start walking the path the world begins to open up and get bigger and more fulfilling as you move along it.

Signed; NS

Taken with a grain of salt : introduction with “Nobody Special”

The proprietor of this fine internet resource asked me if I would be interested in authoring a blog and then pretty much granted me free reign with little direction.

You need some kind of resume to be an author on a gun page right? Yeah, I don’t have much of one but I’ll introduce myself and you can decide how much salt you’re gonna need.

Born and raised a Texas country boy. The whole bit. ranching, rode horses nearly everyday since before I could walk and hunted as soon as I could hold Red Ryder. Dad did some professional cowboying, guiding, hunting and outfitting but never got famous. Guess you could say I was blessed with a solid instructor though from the beginning when it came to guns. Most of the men in my family were Reserve Sheriff’s deputies when I was little. No joke they were on the Sheriff’s Posse. I remember getting to tag along on range days and mock manhunts on horseback.

I got to shoot a lot as a kid. I could hunt most everything with a bag limit without leaving the ranch. (I’ll save hunting stories for later.)

Had a long spell where I worked weekends on a sporting clays range in my teens as well as shot local leagues in trap & skeet. 

Spent a couple years as a machinist (though not directly firearms related) I find that still comes in handy.

Then I became a cop. Just in a midsize department on the edge of a major metroplex. My jurisdiction had an interesting dynamic and was far from boring. So I’m sneaking up on a decade and a half behind the badge and that’s come with some experiences. Primarily I’ve filled roles in Patrol as an Officer and a Supervisor as well as SWAT on both entry team and as a Sniper.
That led me to back to firearms competition. In a search for personal growth I’ve shot some IDPA, USPSA even a little 3 gun (just outlaw and local stuff) then I stumbled into precision rifle and began to dabble in that at a more national level.
You won’t see me in the spot light, as the saying goes “a jack of many trades but a master of none.”
If I have anything to offer it is just my brand of contemplative logic, a cowboy philosopher that might spur some thought.

Signed; NS