Friday, May 8, 2015

Firearms Friday: Range Time

I have read and watched countless reviews online on a variety of firearms. Sometimes there have been ones that have piqued my interest while others just seem like the same thing just with a different name. Either way, the internet, especially YouTube, has been a great resource to find new and interesting firearms or simply to find out a little bit more about one that I may already been familiar.

While all reviews generally go over the various features and the aesthetics of the firearm and some even give you an overview of the history of the development or of the company, there are too many that are missing the most important part of the evaluation… performance. Lately I have come across a variety of reviews from multiple sources and in various forms (i.e. print, blogs, and videos) where the reviewer was offering praise to a firearm that they had yet to take to the range. This still seems to be a rare occurrence but what is not are those reviews that offer a final decision based on a nominal amount of rounds down range.

And, honestly, my threshold is very low in comparison to many people at approximately 300 rounds. Usually, by the time you reach this figure all of the “breaking in” factors have been mitigated and the reviewer can have a reasonably good feel for the firearm. This is particularly true with firearms that have unique features, grip angles, operations, enhancements, etc.

This is the primary reason why I have yet to write any reviews myself… I don’t have the time to do performance evaluations. A review without that key component is essentially useless. This also applied to modifications made to a firearm that are supposed to improve performance. Without a good round count there is no way that someone can offer a solid opinion on a firearm/modification and either recommend or not recommend the purchase thereof.

It all comes down to range time. Whether reviewing or practicing, you need to put enough rounds down range so that you are comfortable and familiar with the firearm that you are using. Keep in mind that the 300 round figure above is only for the review side of things… one trip to the range to get a decent impression for review purposes. For those of you who are going to rely on your firearm, 300 is nowhere near the number of rounds you need to become proficient.

Thousands upon thousands of rounds are essential to know your personal firearm and training is another key component to obtaining proficiency. You have to remember that you are not just doing a review or determining a first impression, you might need that firearm to save your life and protect your family. Reviewers have a responsibility to provide fully informed reviews while firearms owners in general have a responsibility to be proficient with their personal firearm.