A friend recently expressed concern in the lack of business acumen within the firearms industry. I can’t say that I disagree simply because there’s a lot of guys in the industry just like me.
Now you’re asking what exactly I mean about that…as your adrenaline levels rise. I get it but hear me out. The firearms industry is full of gun guys (of one level or another). Very few, if any, have real business experience much less business degrees. No, for the most part they just love range time and think it will get them by in the business world. Does this mean that they shouldn’t be business owners? Far from it.
I’ve worked for my share of shops, both big box and mom and pop. There’s a reason the big box guys not only stay in business but add new stores every year. It’s because they’re run by a network of intelligent business majors. How do they get by? They hire gun guys for $8-$10 per hour to sell guns. Why? Because that’s all they’re worth according to the bottom line.
But let’s leave those guys out of the conversation. They already have it worked out. Let’s concentrate on the little guys.
One thing a small shop can have going for it is a good accountant. Such was the case at my favorite small shop. They kept afloat because the accountant didn’t let them do too many stupid things. When he left….the shop died an agonizing death.
One rarity is true leadership. The big box guys take what they get because they don’t want to pay a good manager so they get by with mediocre leaders. When it comes to the mom and pop gun stores poor leadership is like a cancer eating away at what could be a really great shop. You get plenty of “here’s your check but don’t cash it until Monday,” or “here’s half your check. I’ll have the rest by Tuesday.” Good employees won’t put up with that very long. They have families to take care of and family comes first. You mess with a man’s ability to pay the bills or put food on his table and you’ll lose a great sales or service employee.
The firearms industry needs a leadership revolution. Will you be a businessman that leads the fight?
The Howa 1500 shoots well. It’s basically a Japanese Remington 700. Strong action. Good guns.
If you haven’t heard of Privateer Leather…shame on you. They make a fantastic holster. There really isn’t enough I can say about the quality. The stitching is even and tough. The leather is top quality and a great thickness. The mouth of the holster stays open for re-holstering. Is there really anything else we look for in a holster?
Crusader has reopened it’s local shop in Texas. We will be doing general gunsmithing along with our firearm manufacturing. So if you’re in the San Antonio/surrounding areas we’d be proud to work on your firearms. Not in the area but want a Slipstream treatment or one of our upgrade packages? Send it in. We will treat your project with the respect it deserves.
Colt…Gold Cup? 22LR? And it looks like a bastardized Walther. JMB would roll in his grave.
There’s been a lot of media splash on Donald Trump. I have my own idea about what he’s doing. I haven’t heard anyone say it but if you’ve already heard something similar, please let me know the source.
If you remember right this isn’t his first time running in the primary. He always makes a scene and is immediately dismissed. This time is a little different because WE are different. After two terms of the worst US president in national history we as a people are different. We don’t believe the hype that is being thrown at us anymore. We’re sick of the constant flow of bull excrement and someone like Donald Trump getting up there and just laying it out…no apologies…just the facts as he sees them…people are flocking to it and actually listening.
Naturally the media is having none of it. In a society where you are not allowed to say or do something that MAY or MAY NOT offend someone, someone not apologizing is against the rules…and that is exactly why people like him.
Let’s face it though…is the presidency Trumps end game here? No way in Hell. Trump is a Billionaire. He could own Obama several times over. Who is he going to trust to run his business in his four year absence? If you guessed NO ONE, I think you would be correct.
Let’s look at this in a different light. Let’s forget that he has announced that he is running for president. If they end up handing him the job I think he would take it but I really don’t think that is the end result he’s looking for. Take a step back…every time Trump makes a splash ALL the other candidates have to play catch up. They are suddenly forced to take a stand on something. Lets face it, in politics no one answers a question with a straight answer. What Trump is doing is forcing them to give a real answer. He says something outlandish on the border (and also factual) the media chews him a new hole while RNC candidates scramble to be the first one to either denounce him as a nut job (and outing them as just another pansy politician) or to have the balls to say, “his facts are correct even if he was blunt about it”.
In my mind THAT is Trump’s game. He can afford to make a big media splash…it’s what he does (i.e. you’re fired). He knows how to throw the main stream media in a frenzy and I think he can see the end results before the candidates announce it.
On an unrelated note…who better to kick start the economy again that a man that made millions…lost everything…and built it back into the billions.
Real quick…if you think your pistol is having issues…and the RSO suggests going to the pro shop and buying “suppressor specific” ammo when you’re not shooting suppressed…DON’T LISTEN. Suppressor specific means it is subsonic and will not cycle the action of your pistol unless you have a suppressor on the gun….yes this actually happened…no the customer wasn’t happy that he had just bought, and shot some of, a box of ammo that will never work in his pistol.
That is all.
It wasn’t that long ago that we thought we were doing well with a couple of “gun guy” friends. There really wasn’t much going on but the normal political battle with the NRA to bother with. Now we see a huge increase in nothing good. Obama is flying to a fundraiser hours after 4 marines and a local P.D. officer are killed by some asshole with a prayer rug. All we see are apologies for everyone but the guy that works all week, pays his taxes, loves his family, goes to church on Sunday, and the range on Saturday.
If you don’t have a network of like minded friends…it’s almost too late to find them. I know because I’m in that boat myself. After a move to a new state and just working and spending time with the wife and kids I look at the world falling apart around us and wonder….who do I have that has my back. My pre-move network is scattered between three or four different states by now. Take a good hard look. Find that network. Stick to them like glue. The time may come, shortly, that we all need to rely on those networks.
So I’ve been listening to business books on audible at work. It helps how I run the company website and helps me revive Crusader as well. I’ve been listening to one this week about putting WHY you do things before all else. It really got me thinking about why I started and ran Crusader all this time. It hasn’t been easy. In fact it has been much more difficult than I thought it would be. I’ve had to learn marketing on the fly. I’ve had to deal with the ATF, city, and state governments. I’ve been the go to guy on custom builds and even had to layoff those working with me. I’ve strengthened friendships and distanced others without realizing it. But it still comes back to WHY? Why go through all that when I probably would have made more by punching a time clock somewhere else? Why do it?
Watch any documentary about ancient weapon making. Somewhere in the show they will talk about the materials used. Some used, as a carbon source, the ground up bones of their ancestors, their enemies, or even ferocious animals to add a spirit of strength to the blade. It’s a magic born by belief alone. Using the bones of King Leonidas won’t actually add the prowess of the king of the Spartans to your blade. It won’t make you a better fighter. It will do nothing but add carbon to steel. But there is a certain magic about creating a weapon. About taking the correct materials and making something elegant and deadly. The feeling of creation is a strong motivation. It’s giving birth to the soul of the weapon. It’s bringing the heart of a warrior and blessing him with the tools of his trade. To hold one in your hands is to hold the Grim Reaper captivated in the palm of your hand. It’s knowing the right way to do it. It’s knowing potential of this creation and the carnage it could inflict if it is made correctly.
That’s why I build weapons. I have to admit that it’s a selfish pursuit for that feeling of creation. However, that’s why the rifles, pistols, and shotguns I create work the way they do. That is why I put up with government scrutiny and mountains of paperwork. It’s for the weapon, for the act of creation, for the finished product that you the customer reap all the benefits of. You get a firearm built not by a hundred hands doing the same dreary job day in and day out. You get a craftsman building one weapon with his own careful hands. Everything has to be right or the weapon will have no soul. I can proudly say that every rifle I build has its own soul…its own reason for existence.
It’s not about WHAT I do….It’s about WHY I do it.
Okay….let’s talk Cerakote. More specifically lets talk about who you take it to locally. First note that I will not tell you who did the work in the picture, other than it was not me. This is a gun brought in to have a crappy job fixed. Here’s why.
Note that there is at least three different shades going on there. If the “professional” you have chosen to take your expensive piece of hardware to can’t mix up enough of a special order color it’s time to walk away. This particular customer said the previous shop that got the job said the racing green he requested would be no problem. That being said, if the guy you take it to says something to the effect of, “I can probably get something from Hobby Lobby” ,walk away with extreme prejudges. Hobby Lobby has NOTHING that should ever touch a gun, unless it’s a stencil or stencil material.
Next, draw your attention to the pins. Now coating the ends of a load bearing or pivot bearing pin in one thing. Coating the entire pin, and mess with the tolerances of said pin, is a mistake. If something needs it for rust prevention okay but it’s a light spray. We’re talking microns thick.
Okay, do you see the inside of that slide….do you see that crap? Tape off the inside of the slide and don’t coat it…it messes with the tolerances of the friction points of the slide. DON’T do that. The shop you take it to should have an ounce of common sense. You mess with tolerances and you are asking for a gun to go nuclear in someone’s face. You don’t want that…it would ruin your day…and your face. Which happens.
So, long story do some research. Don’t just check the local forum that does nothing but praise the guy next door. I’m not saying that a guy working from his garage is a bad thing…all gunsmiths have been there at one point in his career or another. Just check into his qualifications. If he has none…don’t use him.