Good learning tools

sound suppressed guns with lasers

Teaching people to shoot is so much easier with the right tools. Lasers help spot trigger control issues, sound suppressors remove muzzle flash and reduce noise to help combat flinching.

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16 Responses to Good learning tools

  1. Lou says:

    Sadly, this is not an option in Illinois.

  2. ex-shooter says:

    “Teaching people to shoot is so much easier with the right tools. ”

    It’s also easier if there is some place to actually take them shooting.

    Sadly, that is becoming harder and harder every year.

    I think our short-sightedness in this regard is going to do more to hurt the future of gun ownership — or at least participation in shooting — than anything Feinstein and Schumer will ever do.

    • daniel says:

      “our” shortsightedness? You mean the Civil Rights community at large? Just the Second Amendment sector? Or everyone who owns guns?
      “Our” only fault is 50 years + of playing checkers against people who were playing chess.
      That is over.

      • ex-shooter says:

        “‘Our’ only fault is 50 years + of playing checkers against people who were playing chess. That is over.”

        What does that even mean?

    • ex-shooter says:

      In the blog post just before this one, our host wrote “Range time for newbies should be safe, fun and comfortable.”

      Not only do I wish there were more ranges available so I could take newbies — or did wish, as I’m giving up on that cause and getting rid of my gun collection — but the ranges that are “available” around here are anything but fun and comfortable for newbies. Even for me, being “into” guns and shooting, going to the range is more often than not an unpleasant experience (for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here).

      I truly envy Oleg for whatever access he has to both space to shoot and quality instructors. There is nowhere around here I could even take pictures of people with guns like he does, much less actually have them shoot said guns.

      Unless you have a lot of land, or have a close friend who does, shooting is currently not an activity for most Americans.

      About 10 years ago, John Ross (author of Unintended Consequences) predicted that “indoor ranges will proliferate to satisfy the demand of urban-dwelling citizens (particularly women) who need to maintain their defensive skills.” That hasn’t happened. The nearest public range is over an hour from where I live, has only 4 lanes, and I hear that the usual waiting time is an hour or two. I wouldn’t know, as I haven’t been there in 15 years.

      If gun ownership is growing as we’ve been told, and there are all these new shooters out there, then you think that the market would respond by creating more shooting ranges, especially catering to newbies, as Ross predicted. That’s not happening. Why not?

      And more importantly, why aren’t we — the gun right’s community, second amendment, gun culture, or whatever you want to call us — doing something about that? If all these new shooters that supposedly exist don’t have have a place to go shooting that is “safe, fun and comfortable,” they are going to lose interest very quickly. And that does not bode well for the long term future of large scale private gun ownership in the United States. We are, to forgive the figurative pun, shooting ourselves in the foot.

      • Oleg Volk says:

        Several semi-solutions exist. One of them is laser “cartridges” (, also Airsoft. Airguns are a close substitute. A person could stay somewhat competent with those plus dry fire and get live fire every few months.

        • ex-shooter says:


          While I agree that those are all valuable training aids, I think it kind of misses the point.

          I don’t see a lot of photos on your blog with pretty girls having a good time using laser “cartridges,” or doing dry-fire drills. They’re out there shooting actual guns, and there’s a good reason for that.

          Such aids don’t instill the knowledge of how to manipulate and operate a firearm. The manual-of-arms for dry-firing, or using laser “cartridges,” is not the same as actual use. (except for double-action revolvers). I think this is something that many of us who are “into” guns take for granted (the “Clear Only If Known” principle).

      • ChrisJ says:

        This is one of the places the anti’s have gotten us good. Zoning, liability laws, noise ordinances, etc… make new shooting ranges as common as new nuclear power plants.

        • ex-shooter says:

          I think blaming the antis for the lack of “safe, fun and comfortable” places to shoot may be satisfying, but I think it’s misdirected.

          Oh, I’m not denying that they want to eliminate places to shoot. I just don’t see any evidence that the situation is part of some plan of theirs.

          Demographics, larger land-use issues, and the lack of foresight by the gun culture is a bigger culprit.

          Somehow the market manages to satisfy the demand for drugs that are outright illegal, including alcohol during the Prohibition Era. Yet I’m supposed to believe that it’s too hard to open a shooting range?

          Why the gun culture is not encouraging entrepreneurs to open up shooting ranges , in spite of the regulatory and zoning obstacles, used to be a mystery to me.

          Nowadays, I have my suspicions, and it is something I can’t blame the gun grabbers for. The fault is mostly with us.

          • Slim934 says:

            “Why the gun culture is not encouraging entrepreneurs to open up shooting ranges , in spite of the regulatory and zoning obstacles, used to be a mystery to me. ”

            That makes no sense. Regardless of how much a certain “culture” encourages entrepreneurs or not is irrelevant when the given economic fundamentals make it impossible for the enterprise to be run successfully. If the business climate (read laws) make it essentially wasteful to even try then it seems absurd to me blame to culture.

            It’s like breaking a man’s leg and then blaming him for not being able to run.

            There is a fair point to be made though to say that the gun groups have spent a disproportionate amount of resources in this area instead of trying to get zoning laws and the liability climate changed to actually make running indoor ranges a profitable enterprise.

  3. Bill Cyrus says:

    Suppressors really are the future of shooting and it’s a good thing that good people are realizing it. As for the states that are still prohibiting them, that’s something we need to work on fixing in the next couple of years.

  4. ChrisJ says:

    I don’t mean to place the blame entirely on the anti’s but they play a big role, nor do I mean to suggest this is some sort of organized attack they’re doing. No, it’s piece-meal, disorganized, but insanely easy to do because of NIMBY.

    In my area I’ve seen several ranges threatened as urban areas expand nearer to existing ranges. It became especially troubling for a few ranges in a neighboring state where state law prohibited any form of noise reducing structure or device. There a handful of new neighbors decided they didn’t want a range in their neighborhood. Fortunately the state law just changed to allow baffles and other noise reducing structures on the range, though I doubt this is the end of the range’s troubles with these people.

    I think illegal drugs are a bad analogy when discussing shooting ranges. On one hand you have something small, easily hidden, and easily moved from place to place. And on the other hand you have a large and unmovable parcel of land with substantial infrastructure investments in back stops at a minimum, and the sky’s the limits with other amenities. If you wanted to compare drugs with SMGs or suppressors, sure, though even with that there’s still a few orders magnitude difference in size. But there’s simply no relevant comparison when comparing drugs to a shooting range.

    Regarding the cost of opening a range, it’s quite substantial. Opposition to a new range, zoning fights, and liability w\ insurance adds up quickly. There’s a group in my area who have been trying to open a range for several years now. Proposed fees have ballooned to the point that there’s simply no way the common man can participate, and they haven’t gotten to the point of building or in any way acquiring a physical range yet! In short, financial warfare is just as damaging to our rights as any directly acting laws might be.

    As for our own culpability, yes, hindsight is 20/20, but how do we fix it now that we’re in the here and now? For example how do we do a better job of getting/using Pittman-Roberson Act funds to build new ranges?

  5. ex-shooter says:

    I agree with just about everything you said except that “the anti’s…play a big role.” They didn’t have to.

    Land-use issues, zoning boards, and private developers are our enemies here, not the HCI/VPC boogeymen. Having recently gotten involved in these issues (for reasons not related to gun rights at all), all I can say is that I’m not sure that shooting activities have a future with urban and suburban populations. Governments and private interests are going to promote whatever generates immediate sales/property tax revenue and profits (respectively). And conservatives are not going to criticize private corporations maximizing their profits by building dense housing that encroaches upon and eventually forces the closure of existing gun ranges (which has happened around here way too many times. Now we’re stuck with all those houses nobody wants).

    If there is this large and growing demand to participate in shooting that we keep hearing about, the market would find a way to meet it. Even if it’s ranges built for .22 only. Instead, as you point out, the price-point has gotten to where “there’s simply no way the common man can participate”. Markets don’t cater to the majority needs as indicated by price (“the greatest good for the greatest number” myth), they cater to those most able to pay.

    I’m not going to claim to have the answers here. Hell, I’m not even sure I have the right questions. It’s a lot more complex than the issues surround the right to keep and bear arms (I was very active in the gun rights movement in the late 1990s), and the root-causes aren’t as simplistic as anti-gunners. What I am certain of is that gun rights organizations, and the gun community at large, has done a very poor job of addressing this issue that represents a long-term threat to the viability of an active gun culture.

    • ex-shooter says:

      PS — The “captcha” letters for the above post were “SKS” 🙂

    • ChrisJ says:

      The HCI/VPC are not the only form the antis take, just like the NRA/NSSF are not the only source of shooters. President Busy-Body-Susie-Q of the brand new development’s HOA, despite never paying dues or purporting to belong to any anti group, is just as anti as Helmke and the Brady campaign.

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