SHOT 2016Steven Lieberman
Well… last week was a blast… a more suppressed one though, more on that aspect in a second.
On Friday I returned home from a week in Vegas at the SHOT show. SHOT is our firearms industry version of the Detroit Auto Show. Each year we get together at the Sands Convention Center in Vegas and see what new toys the industry is brining to market for this year.
It has been interesting over the last couple of years to see the the evolution of the rifle specifically at SHOT.
A couple of years ago everything was decidedly black and militant.
Then they went sleek with the AR-15’s… “tacticool” was replaced with light and practical.
To capture the women’s market last year things went girly.
Thankfully, that marketing effort was short lived. Manufactures have clearly quickly realized that you cannot simply make a gun pink and offer it as a women’s gun. Actually, the women that participate in the shooting sports have matured right along with the industry. They now demand the same stylistic firearm as their male colleagues… albeit many of them prefer a shorter platform that allows the rifle to fit them better.
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This year everything was back to “tacticool”… except many of the new models either were designed to accept, or were already integrated with….suppressors.
The irony is that for this we can thank President Obama.
In most states…. not California, but we will get to this in a bit… It is perfectly legal to own a suppressor and many do, though they have to go through some machinations to do it.
Notice I didn’t say “silencer”. There honestly is no such thing as a “silencer”… all muffling devices create some degree of noise, the issue is them amount of noise they produce. Hollywood has created the myth that a machine gun can have enough reduced decibel levels that an entire army battalion can be taken out in one room, while guests listen to Mozart in the next.
Yeah… not exactly.
What is interesting, and I’m sure not intended… is that with Obama’s executive actions the freedom to own a suppressor (in States where they are in effect legal) actually increased.
This is of course a step forward for freedom, but it is also a step forward in health and safety.
You see a suppressor is just what it sounds like, a device to suppress sounds, ideally to the point that the damage to a persons ears are minimized, if not totally eliminated.
The argument against suppressors? Well… unfortunately the anti’s are still stuck on the Hollywood theme that these things allow for covert assassinations.
Often times we hunt with dogs. The nice thing about a suppressed rifle blast is that the shooter is exposed to less ear stress, but so are her dogs. Also, surrounding game is potentially less traumatized by the sound of the rifle rapport.
So I guess we can surmise that since the anti’s don’t want us to have access to suppressors, they are also anti- dog?
Why not? We might as well follow the logic to it’s conclusion.
With the new rules regarding suppressors, manufacturers were out in force.
Now, candidly having really limited experience firing suppressed rifles, and even less firing suppressed pistols (I shot both in Texas, and frankly didn’t like the pistol all that much), it is hard for me to rate one vs. the other.
For those of us in California we are going to have to wait a bit. We will need to push our elected betters… or perhaps shame them… into allowing us the privilege of less exposure to sound damage to our ears.
In California this may be a battle that takes years.