firearms business is retarded
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Truth or sour grapes?

The firearm industry has taken a dramatic turn. It hasn’t exploded like some predicted after the presidential elections. It hasn’t come to a screeching halt like some legislators dreamed. It has become retarded in the last several years. Yes, I used the word “retarded” specifically for its dual meaning: it’s slid backwards and also become less able to think clearly or with purpose. I said it.

So where are all the SMEs (Subject Matter Experts)? Honestly, they are tired of this exact phenomenon I’m discussing.

The current trend of firearm “superstars” further propagates this retardation. By emulating and even giving false validity to people who don’t deserve it, we’ve given the firearm enthusiasts false idols to learn from.

– Scott Cee for Havok Journal, The Retardation of the Firearms Industry

76 COMMENTS

  1. Someone needs to wokescold them about using the word “retard” like that. It should be replaced with a softer word that will be replaced with yet softer words in about 6-9 months.

    • The gun industry has been drinking subversive N.R.A. Kool-Aid for far too long.
      Both try to tell us what we ” should think ” or what we ” should buy ”

      They will claim surprise when the U.S. Senate votes in lock step with House Dems. for more gun control …. like H.R. – 8 , etc.

      RINO’s Gonna Back-Stab …… It’s what they do , it’s ALL they do.

      • What you just posted is more incoherent babble than the original article. You’d better put another lock on your bunker door…

      • The gun industry is represented by its own lobbying group NSSF, and NSSF has its own attorneys filing its own lawsuits to protect its interests. Although the NRA receives funding from the industry, it is not as if the industry kowtows to the NRA’s lobbying and litigation strategies.

      • Your post is nonsense.

        The “firearms industry” is all over the map with companies having different views on 2A, specifically tactics to address challenges to 2A — as would be expected from any large industry.

        And no major advocacy group has LESS proportional industry funding than the NRA. ACLU is 88% industry funded, so to virtually all industry funded are NAACP, EFF, Greenpeace, Human rights campaign, LaRaza.

        RINO’s Gonna Back-Stab …… It’s what they do , it’s ALL they do.

        My guess is you are from a solid red 10 point lead GOP state. Without what you nonsensically call the RINOS we would not have had a GOP House or Senate during Obama, and massive amounts of gun control would have been passed. We also would not have either Gorsuch or Kavanaugh, nor the 170 much more conservative than average federal judges confirmed by the Senate the last two years.

        • The judges are a good thing, but Trump is more than willing to bargain away guns for his wall and trade advantage. “I like to take the guns first, go through due process second.”

          And I’ve had his fellators call me a “RINO” and insist, “No one cares about bumpstocks.” So apparently at this point, only RINOs are 2A activists.

          So it’s not the gun industry that’s retarded. It’s the Trumptards.

          And before any Trumptard shouts, “Hillary would have been worse!” I’ll point out a Republican would have been better.

          But they wanted “MAGA” and “Drain the swamp” and all other sorts of catchphrases that are as semantically relevant as “Hope and change.”

  2. What is he babbling about? If you are going quote someone please put it context. From reading it you can’t tell if he is a pro-gun technoweenie or a gun grabber. Since this is an obscure source how can someone tell if it’s worth a look. WTF is the “Havok Journal?”.

    • Followed the link. Context doesn’t make it any better. It’s just a pointless rant. He’s got his panties in a twist because in his lofty opinion, too many unqualified hobbyists are active in the gun world. We should all shut up and listen to the experts.

      ETA: The Havok Journal is, in its own words:

      “The Havok Journal seeks to serve as the Voice of the Veteran Community through a focus on current affairs and articles of interest to the public in general, and the veteran community in particular. We strive to offer timely, current, and informative content, with the occasional piece focused on entertainment. We are always expanding, and always striving to improve the readers experience.”

      So … a bunch of unqualified amateurs opining about things beyond their expertise? They should shut up and leave it to the experts….

        • Cause listening to an actual professional would be bad?

          What professional experience does he have in the firearms industry? ZERO.

      • Heh, and it’s an old repub: “This article first appeared in The Havok Journal on 24FEB15.” Timely opinion, coming at you from four years ago.

      • Aha. Someone else actually tried to read the whole diatribe. Did you make it all the way through to wherever it ends? I didn’t. I followed the link to try to read the rest of his rant, then read the entire first page without finding one fully coherent sentence. From what I could make out of his rambling rant, in his world only people who are being shot at on a daily basis know anything about guns and those people are all too busy to either write or teach — and, of course, if they were to take time out to write or teach they would no longer be an “armed professional” and therefore no longer qualified. Catch 22.

        I would hate to have to point out that the vast majority of “armed professionals” have either no choice at all about their firearms (military) or very limited choice (LEOs), so contrary to Scott’s yammering armed professionals are NOT “constantly looking for the most efficient systems for their needs, because their lives depend on it” — most of them using what their unit, or their department, or their company handed them, they may be bitching about something that isn’t to their liking but 99.999% of them aren’t looking for something better because they have no choice about what they use.

        • even if they were, what is ‘most efficient’ for a 200 lb SOF guy needing a rifle is not going to be ‘most effiecient’ for a 98 lb former cheerleader who needs a home defense gun or ccw piece.

    • A quick peek around the linked site suggests it’s a veteran honoring site. Makes the quote that much more unclear to me. Sounds like someone looking to vent for reasons not explained well.

    • This is the gist of the rant:
      “Most of the people you see promoting the industry today have no experience, no background, and no idea how to properly test, evaluate, or describe the proper application of a product. Keep that in mind as you research your next purchase. Experts are there. They’re just sitting quietly in the corner and not running around like a five year old in a toy store, drooling over each item they see in fancy packaging. Be smart and take some time to learn who’s helping you make decisions about YOUR needs.”

      In other words, he insults anyone who has not seen action of one kind or another, who is not a soldier or a security agent as “hobbyist” wannabees who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.

    • If you click through and read the article, it basically boils down to: the internet has ruined gun knowledge! Because we have no gate keepers that will only dole it out for cash and who have CREDENTIALS damn it! I have seen at least two stupid ar builds on Facebook so all free information on the internet is suspect because some magazine editor isn’t paying done tired stooge to tell you that a five shot 2in snubbie is the best ever. They knew there shit and learned it on the street. The paper work they saw! You’ve never seen such paperwork!

      Something like that.

      • Oh no! People are spending their time and money doing something they like in a way that makes them happy without my permission! (faints)

  3. I’m a trans-able person and I sexually identify as an aspergian victim of excess chromosomes. How dare this cis-het shitlord make light of my chosen disability. My hero (and leather daddy) James Yeager will not take this lightly.
    He will recon your house and workplace from the ditches. He will find your sewage outlet and clog it with extreme prejudice. If only you knew what murder to your wallet your smarmy little article brought to your world as you pay for rooter service every week.
    My side man and youtube star (known to some as the yankee marshal) will scream at you for using those outdated 1911s with pitiful capacity while preaching the virtues of J-frame revolvers.

  4. Havok Journal is a blog site run by Special Operations veterans. It is quite good.

    The OP here didn’t give a lot of context so I will summarize it better.

    The firearms industry is currently largely represented by people who are hobbyists, not actually firearms professionals. Scott Cee contends that the real professionals are out on deployment, deep in their shops developing new technologies, or at the range.

    He is lamenting the rise of youtube/instagram “experts” recommending weapons they know next to nothing about because they “look cool” or because a company gave them a discount to do do. He is lamenting the trend of so called experts leading tactical training who have zero experience in a gun fight.

    His overall point is that many of the firearms celebrities, gun bunnies, and youtube “instructors” are dumbing down the firearms intelligence of the masses.

    That is his general point. He’s not wrong

    • He’s wrong.

      The fact that the internet has allowed vast, enthusiastic participation by hobbyists has been a great boon to the industry. Sure, some people on the internet have wrong opinions. Back in the day when the only firearms news you got was on dead trees, the Fudds writing the articles weren’t necessarily any better vetted, there was just limited opportunity to call them on their BS.

      Now there’s an open exchange of ideas. People figure out pretty quickly who doesn’t know what they are talking about.

      His point about uncritical reviews is just plain wrong. In the old days, the gun mags and reviewers were in the pocket of the gun makers. It was independent reviewers, for example, who outed the Remington R51 as the not-ready-for-primetime disaster that it was. Now if a gun sucks, there’s definitely going to be someone out there willing to say so and explain why.

      Sometimes they’re wrong, sure, but it’s better to have those voices than not.

      • More voices, more sources of information, the better.

        When there were the “gate keepers of information” Only NBC, CBS, ABC and the hundreds of liberal newspapers, how was that a better thing than now? Gate keepers restrict information for their own agenda reasons and for financial reasons.

        It’s never a good thing to restrict or limit voices.

      • Cee’s point is not internet vs. print. He takes issue with both, and points out that real experts are on both. He specifically mentions SGM Kyle’s Lamb’s input on forums.
        His point is that the children are driving the school bus, and he’s not wrong.

        • The proliferation of ad-hoc useless and wrong information is eclipsed by the proliferation of good accurate worthwhile information. I am old enough to remember when gun shop experts, and any idiot who could get published in the dead tree publications were the only source of information generally available, and much of it was wrong. The internet has given rise to the availability of web based sources like TTAG , YouTube, and Amazon, all of it providing instant feedback to keep folks honest.

          Sorry JWT, but the availability of good information is better than ever.

        • Rusty, I agree with you that there is more availability than ever. For both good and bad. But that wasn’t the original author’s point, nor was it mine.
          The point is that the industry, that is manufacturers, editors, publications, and even readers, are promoting and putting up with absolute uninformed crap. That ignorance and inexperience masquerading as expertise is the norm. I don’t care how it was, this is how it is. And it’s not good.

        • You realize that by his standards, someone like Tamara Keel is an amateur, right? And Larry Correia as well? Sorry, even SF military experience is not the same as CCW experience or competition experience or teaching women how to handle firearms for self defense.

        • Draven, I don’t know who Tamara Keel is but Larry Correia is a professional writer and an amateur shooter.
          The point is that readers are looking to people with no experience and holding their opinions as valuable as people with lots of experience.
          I could write a hundred articles about winning a PRS match. People would read them. Then people would cite me as an expert because I’ve written a hundred articles on PRS matches. I have never won a PRS match and my readers would be not be better off for listening to me.

        • This is true these days for anything, from politics to sports to music criticism to science. Name your topic and exalted uninformed opinion abounds.

        • Kat Ainsworth: “I’m backing JWT on this one. He’s got it right.”

          So we won’t be hearing from Kat anymore, I guess.

      • I don’t think his issue is with more hobbyists and enhanced participation in shooting sports. It is that droves of people consider hobbyist youtube personalities and Instagram models to be “experts” in the field. If you were to look up #sundaygunday or #2A you would get a lot of people who are decidedly not experts. As JW Taylor mentions below, the children are driving the school bus.

        Sure, back in the day you had posers and fakes writing articles, but their reach was much more limited. Today, Dan Bilzerian is a real influence on young shooters.

        And that is scary.

        As far as the reviews go, you are right, the free flow of information is mostly good. And I do think that having non-affiliated writers and reviewers makes gun companies more honest. There is unfortunately a large sect of people who lack journalistic principles who are reviewing weapons and gear based on sponsorships and promotions, not quality and functionality.

        • So the OP of the article, “Scott Cee” is a moron who doesn’t know that “firearms industry” is not firearms or self defense training industry. the training industry is maybe 1% of the firearms industry?

          By the way “SOF” training is generally a negative for use in in the civilian world where self defense laws are very different from military ROE.

    • People use guns for an awful lot of things, and only a tiny, tiny fraction of those things happen on deployment by professional soldiers or in workshops by professional engineers or on the range by professional shooters.

      Accordingly, and rightly, those categories of person don’t get to have a monopoly on what gets said, written, or expressed about guns.

      Also, “looking cool” is a perfectly valid reason to recommend a gun. In my opinion, it’s pretty much the only reason to recommend some of the high end 5k pistols that get reviewed on this site from time to time…

    • That’s why I subscribed to Gun Tests magazine, they take no advertising so they can test and report the actual results. kind of a consumer reports type of a gun magazine.

  5. Here’s what I’m taking from this.
    He’s talking about everyone and their brother coming out as firearms experts. Look on YouTube, he’s kinda got a point.
    “Tactical” shooting schools everywhere. I went to one last weekend just for the Hell of it and it was being taught by a guy who’s 20 some years younger than me with no military experience. His way was the best way though.
    Just my 02¢

  6. Freely available information and open access has kicked the soapbox out from under the gatekeepers? Welcome to 1995, douchebag.

      • The author’s gripe sounds a whole lot like the airline transport pilots that bitch about the little airplanes that have the nerve to fly in *their* airspace (the controlled airspace around the airports the airliners use).

        Their rhetoric can be dripping with contempt for the SEL-VFR guys…

        • I am in agreement here. Sounds like article writer is mad at their downgrade due to the proliferation of these experts who aren’t really experts. I can understand that.

          However, that’s capitalism at its finest. The people want what the people want. If these ‘fakes’ are proliferating it’s for a reason. Maybe the ‘pros’ need to rehash how they advertise themselves to the public to get business, because at the end of the day this really sounds like crying to me due to loss of market share.

          Just because you have knowledge does not equal you having success in the public sphere. It’s never worked that way and it never will. Suck it up buttercup!

  7. I think that after reading the entire article, the premise of the writer’s argument has been validated by most of the comments given so far.

  8. On the one hand he has a point.

    OTOH, the people he complains about are exactly the people buying guns within the private market and therefore are the target audience. Their preference in who and how something is reviewed is different than the guy who’s going to carry it while roping out of a helicopter in a warzone.

    Someone who wants a semiautomatic .308 doesn’t necessarily care how it performs in arctic warfare and desert warfare and jungle combat if what they want is a plinker, target gun or hunting rifle.

    Not everything has to be the lightest weight at the highest speed with the lowest drag.

    • “Not everything has to be the lightest weight at the highest speed with the lowest drag.”

      Agreed. I could virtually mirror-image this guy’s critique but focused on internet firearms HSLD operators. Battlefield performance means very little to me. Almost every gun I own or buy is used, relatively old, and somewhat odd relative to today’s market. An expert in 21st century combat arms offers very little to someone who is interested making stocks out of walnut and developing a good method for rust blueing.

    • “What is a firearms “superstar”?”

      One example are the YouTube ‘Operators’ putting on a great show as to how operationally they operate…

  9. “Retarded” simply means delayed or slowed down. For example, you can retard the spark in an engine by adjusting the ignition timing. It was standard terminology in the medical field, used to describe a person with delayed intellectual or emotional development, until someone decided it was offensive. See also “cripple” and “midget.”

    Today we have people with developmental disabilities, people with impaired mobility, and people who are vertically challenged. The list of offensive words is maintained by the International Association of Social Justice Warriors and then adopted by educational institutions. Anyone using words on the official list will be labeled a bigot. Because that word isn’t on the list.

    Scott Cee appears to be suffering from cognitive impairment.

  10. Mr. Cee, the original author, is spot on in his critique. I see it every day.

    Please do note, as others have above, that this was written in 2015. 2015 was the absolute height of ridiculous douchebaggery. Surely we all remember the puffed-up bimbos who, judging by their photos, couldn’t figure out how to hold a gun, but extolled the virtues of whatever gun they were paid to mishandle.

    We also saw, and continue to see, people who have never been in a DGU, a shootout, or combat, tell us the appropriate techniques, tactics, procedures, and equipment for those activities. The issue is that there ARE people out there who have that experience and are willing to teach and who give their opinions. Some of those opinions, like SGM Lamb the OP mentions (all hail Tactical Jesus) are born from decades of experience all over the world, in both overt and low visibility operations. Because people don’t know any better, and because SGM Lamb isn’t working for “likes”, too many folks treat someone with zero actual experience as equal to SGM Lamb’s.

    Of course, there’s lots of folks with the valid point that you don’t need instruction from a Delta Force legend to draw and fire your gun in a DGU. But have they ever actually listened to MS Larry Vickers? Ever taken a class from him? You know what he stresses, over and over again? Getting your gun into the fight. Where most of the internet personalities who have no experience are going through transition and reload drills, MS Vickers is drilling you on getting ahold of your gun and presenting it to fire. Because in a DGU, that’s what’s actually important. It’s harder than it looks in the real world, when things have gone awry, after you’ve been shot, or when your opponent is grabbing onto you. I’d much rather learn the basic techniques from someone who has enough experience to take those real world factors into account.

    I see the same thing for the shooting sports. I’ve shot IDPA. I’ve shot metallic silhouette. I’ve done some PRS matches, some 3 Gun Matches and others. But I can’t write articles on how to win those. Why? Because I haven’t won many of them! So unless you want a beginners guide on how to be a beginner, I’m not going to be much value. There are others out there who are of value because they have enough experience to help you.

    But the worst, the absolute horror I experience as a writer year round, are the hunting writers and personalities. Folks, I hunt about 200 days out of the year. Deer season ended yesterday and my tally for this year was 43 white tail. I shot them with a combination of blind and spot and stalk techniques using many different types of weapons. I have no idea how many pigs, varmints and birds I killed last year. Just shitloads, and I’ve been doing this for over thirty years, like a few other writers here. If you ever think you aren’t getting the full story by the tactical writers, sweet baby Jesus you have no idea how bad it is with the hunting writers. I have been on a few writers jaunts. There are exceptions, but most of them are full of writers that hunt maybe 3 times a year, and they are all guided and sponsored hunts. Rarely do any of the writers present know how to actually clean and butcher the animals they have shot. But damn, they take pretty pictures. Missed shots, wounded animals, and misfires don’t make it into the story.

    And yet, at the same time, Craig Boddington is still out there writing, if anyone cares to listen to a guy that’s bagged about 200 Cape Buffalo. Interested in duck hunting? Check out an occasional writer for TTAG. His IG is wac4c CASES4CASES. There are folks who hunt professionally out there writing and sharing. And yet, for some reason, their opinions are taken with the same weight as beginners and people who really have no idea what they are talking about.

    This isn’t anything about web vs print. There are plenty of professional bullshitters who are sharing their opinions through dead trees and screens both. These problems exists on every website and in every print publication out there, because for some reason, the readers have stopped valuing experience.

    If you want all the gear and to look cool, then there are literally thousands and thousands of people worth watching that can show you how to do that. And I really do mean worth watching. There’s nothing wrong with that stuff. It’s fun. It’s neat. But at least recognize it for what it is, entertainment.

    If you want to learn how to hunt, shoot, or fight with a gun, pay more attention to people who have actually done those things a lot, and well. Those folks are out there.

    • JWTaylor,

      Deer season ended yesterday and my tally for this year was 43 white tail.

      What in the world do you do with 43 white-tailed deer? My family was fortunate to bag two big deer this year and we netted about 105 pounds of pure meat (no bone, no fat, no tallow, no connective tissue) which we are hitting hard and enjoying. That will probably last us the entire year — or at least several months until the next season!

      Anyhow, I have no idea how to eat 43 deer. What did you do with all the meat?

      • My large and voracious family eats it. I have a 600 square foot commercial walk-in freezer. I put over a thousand pounds of game it every year and I eat it all. We do not buy meat.
        If, for any reason, I cannot eat it all, I donate it to Hunters for the Hungry, who is always in need of game.

    • My god you sound self important. Do you really believe that anyone reads blog or magazine content with the goal of actual learning or self improvement. They don’t! It’s for entertainment. You don’t really believe this is for real do you? No one takes this shit seriously. It’s mental masturbation for old, sad white men.

  11. Yeah there’s lot’s of retard expression around. The AR idiot’s label you a “poor” if you have an Anderson lower(or worse). As mentioned(tongue in cheek?) Yankee Marshall labels everyone who doesn’t agree with him a shill or traitor. The NRA goes nuts every month as usual. If you don’t build yer AR you suck…MEH.

    • The one thing the author leaves unmentioned is in the scale of the issue. Its not just the gun industry, or even just the US, that’s getting more and more retarded by the day. Its the whole entire world. And to call it “retarded” is a misnomer(except in the “moving backwards” sense). Lots of the people I deal with are way beyond retarded.
      In fact, I’d go so far as to say calling them retarded is an insult to real retards. I have retarded acquaintances, and even they notice how stupid the world is getting. Real retards know and understand that they don’t know very much. They don’t really have opinions on anything. They just want to have some fun, and be left alone. Seems sensible enough to me.
      But the world today? It is absolutely filled with opinionated ‘experts’ that know nothing, and cannot wait to spill their ignorance on anybody that will listen. But they will swear (usually while jumping up and down like a child) that they are always correct, and it’s the entire rest of the world that is wrong. It’s pitiful.

  12. The firearms business was never into mass marketing. Now it is. Combat video games, cable TV with hunting and gun shows. It’s not just the American Sportsman, a Sunday TV show, from the1970s anymore. That was all there was back then.

    The firearms business is, BIG business, now. And it has many pretenders in it. I can tell when I’m sitting in front of a good teacher. Because I’ve been one. Most of the gun people I see on TV or the internet are terrible teachers. They may know a great deal about guns, but they can’t teach it to a student. The best ones I have personal knowledge of are retired police and retired military.

    There are non police, non military, civilians who know guns and can teach. But they are hard to find.

    • BTW
      The firearms business seems only interested in teaching you how to use an AR15. They have a problem teaching you how to use a pocket gun. They don’t want to teach you how to use a lever gun for self defense. No Hi Points.
      Only glock, Sig, need apply.

  13. I find that most of the ‘experts’ in the field today are paid shills who hawk products and don’t tell the people following, watching, reading that they have personal interest in the product being advertised or how they like to say ‘reviewed’. In other word they are pure unadulterated scumbags.

    Way, way, way to much of this bs going on.

    Word to the wise, if you get the feeling this is occurring with someone you pay attention to, do yourself a favor and google their name along with the suspected company or products name. Most of the time if there is a connection it will present itself.

    Hint: youtube and instagram contain the majority of these despicable snake oil salesman. Hope you all use this to your advantage and don’t get taken advantage of by this lower layer of society/humanity.

  14. Can someone tell me why Kat A. is rehashing old articles. Or why she is incapable of expounding in the very least on the article she is putting forth? Is this the latest case of cause celeb on site because cause celeb? Inquiring minds want to know.

  15. 90% of everything is crap. — Sturgeon’s law.

    Sturgeon said a lot of other things tbat weren’t nearly as right.

  16. Kudos for Mr. Cee! The whole item is in line with what I (and others) have been saying(here and elsewhere) for the past years/decade. It could almost have been written by Dyspeptic Gunsmith, except its not technical/detailed enough. DG would have worked more facts in.

  17. I don’t mind TTAG posting some older articles, as long as they are still relevant. I don’t scour the internet daily to find every article out there. Sometimes an old regurgitated article is ok.

  18. No, this is true. You can see it here on TTAG. You can see it on TFB. You can see it in people who really should not have been given the airspace of posting anything espouse their ignorance on a public platform. If I had the patience, I could pull a number of samples from either one of these sites– People claiming to be experts when it is obvious they are not, and then given headline space by people who apparently don’t know any more than they do.

    The only part Scott gets wrong is in thinking its a recent thing. Apparently, he’s only just now noticed it because its been happening for a long, long time. You don’t need to be an expert in anything to buy a domain name, aggregate some gun news and have an opinion to monetize. Don’t worry. The advertisers don’t know any better, either.

    • You don’t need to be an expert in anything to buy a domain name, aggregate some gun news and have an opinion to monetize. Don’t worry. The advertisers don’t know any better, either.

      When has that ever not been true? And if you go back far enough, just replace “domain name” with “magazine” or “gun store,” “shooting range” or “training academy.”

      • While you’re right, it’s just so much easier in the here and now. Ignorant joe can’t just womp up an entire paper magazine’s worth of broken opinion and the overhead that goes with it, but he can conjure internet opinion for the low, low price of almost nothing.

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