Monday, January 28, 2013

Being Open To New Possibilities

So many choices. No time to be picky......
I'll be the first one to admit I'm opinionated. "Mine's the best and that's why I chose it. I don't want a cheaper one and I don't want yours; this one's mine and I chose it for a reason."  That's pretty much been my philosophy in many areas of life. If it's music, I'm playing the Gibson Les Paul standard Cherry Sunburst with the Marshall JCM 800 double stack. If I'm at home, I watching the Samsung 1080p LED TV with surround sound.   When I'm on the road, I'm driving my Ford F150 just like all the previous men in my family; because Ford trucks are the best. I've done my homework and I've chosen the best for a reason.

But then I met this guy named Lew. And my thinking changed.

(More after the jump)

When I got started shooting competitively again, handguns and AR-15's were new to me. I knew everything there was to know about shotguns. "Brownings were king in my book. Benelli's were the new kid on the block with some new-fangled "intertia-driven piston" but everyone who had one swore by it. Remingtons and Winchesters were solid and had been around for years. Mossbergs were crap. You saw those things at Wal-Mart for 200 bucks."

But handguns were new for me. I'd never needed one as a kid. I deer hunted with a bolt action Ruger .243 and shot a Ruger 10/22 for fun. Then I got married and moved to a bigger city and decided it was time to get proficient with a handgun and start conceal carrying. So I started reading. And then I got lucky. My first handgun purchase was a Sig Sauer German P228. One of the originals. A diamond I found buried in a gun store somewhere. And then I practiced and became good with it. At that moment, Sigs were king in my book. Glocks were crap. Nevermind that tons of LE offices issued Glocks as service pistols. They were cheap plastic paperweights as far as I was concerned. Real men shot Sigs.

Then I shot a Glock. My shooting buddy J.M. had a Glock 19 and I shot it one day. The grip angle was very weird, but I adjusted to it after a magazine or two. And I did fairly well with the Glock.  So eventually, I got a Glock 23. And I carry it to this day.Weird.

I had the same sort of revelation with shotguns as well. It may be a long time before a company supplants Browning in my heart, but the Mossberg of my childhood is not the Mossberg of today. There may still be pump-action Mossbergs sitting on the shelves at Wal-Mart, but the semi-auto 930 models are competing day in and day out with Benelli and FNH in competition everywhere. Jerry Miculek endorses one for crying out loud. Jerry is probably the most famous shooter in the world currently, and he shoots a Mossberg. The same guy who once called all Mossbergs "crap" now relies on a 930 model for competition and home defense. Weird.

My learning curve has brought me to this conclusion: Always be open to new possibilities. Entertain other people's ideas and listen to what wisdom they can share. After having had hours of conversation with Lew from Strongside Tactical I have transformed my shooting gear and took my competition performance to a new level. Having been the person in the past to say "No way, I'd never do that!", I strive now to be more open to products and try things for myself before sending something directly to the mental trash bin.

So be open to new possibilities. Try that Smith &Wesson M&P Pro 9mm handgun. Or try that FNH shotgun that someone has been beating you with repeatedly in competition. Maybe there's a better optic out there for you than that heavy Aimpoint you've been lugging around on top of your AR-15.  One of the great things about the gun enthusiast market and community is that whenever something doesn't work out for you, there will always be someone else to take it off your hands. So in summary, I've changed. And for the better I believe. Try something new today!

Be safe and see you next time.

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