All New

What really bugs me about the Gun Industry is how they change one or two small details and act as if it’s something completely new.

Take a look at SIG Sauer.  They have the TACOPS 1911, which is a great gun.  They Cerakote it tan, change the grips, and all the sudden it’s a “Scorpion” and thus a completely different gun.  Some rifle makers will change the stock, and now it’s a completely different model.  For the most part, the gun is only cosmetically different.  Yet the gun companies wave flags of originality and claim innovation.  Look, if you are using off the shelf parts that have been on the market for over a year, you should not be allowed to use the word “Innovation” or anything in a thesaurus that is similar.   Worse yet, the Gun Writers out there who have to review these things.  Never mind that its the same damn gun with different cosmetics… these guys have to write another 2,000 words with photos on how this is something new and fresh.  And they publish those articles and people buy those magazines and it’s all just rehashed shit from 20 years ago.  I’m not naming names but I swear to the All Holy that I read the same rifle article 20 years as I just read in a new magazine 20 minutes ago, with the only difference being the freaking handguards.  Its the same thing.


I was going to say Clark Kent and Superman, but I hate Superman… he’s a Douche.  But look at Bruce Wayne.  League of Shadows Ninja, and then changes costume to become Batman.  Really only cosmetically different.   Bruce Wayne could still kick your ass without the Dark Knight costume.  He doesn’t need the costume to perform.  And just because he is in the costume, doesn’t mean he’s suddenly a better fighter.  He’s no tougher, no stronger, or any smarter while in the bat-suit.
Who else does this a lot?  Kimber.  Freaking hell, they only make like 3 different 1911’s but given them different skin treatments and all the sudden you have guns from 699 all the way to 1400 without any special Custom Shop work… just cosmetics.
Poor Gun Review Writer.   This is one of the reasons I stopped writing gun reviews.  I got really jaded and sick of rewording the same review for the same gun that’s just had a small detail difference.
Kimber Custom II.  Kimber Target II.  Same flippin gun, just a different rear sight.  But according to Kimber, it’s a whole new model.
Now, I’m not busting Kimber’s nuts on this, or SIG’s… because so many other gun makers do it too… they all do it.  Accept for Taurus, who has so much CQ issues, everything they make is totally different.

Imagine if you will, if the Auto Industry worked in the same fashion?  This car is the same as that one, but this one has XM built in, so it’s a totally different car!  We call this one the Stallion, and this one the Tornado Hunter!  See, it has a pin stripe too.  (Well, they kind of do… looking at the Subaru and Toyota sports car, but that’s another subject)

No, people would not tolerate this in the auto industry.  Yet it’s SOP in the Gun Industry.  I like what the Car guys do those… They have Trim Levels.  Same car, with a series of steps in upgraded add on features that go from basic to fully loaded.
The Gun Industry should look at that model for awhile and think about it really hard.  Because right now it’s just ridiculous.

Now, I understand that a gun company needs to make new stuff to sell more stuff.  But I think these guys are going about it all wrong.  Let’s look at to examples.
Glock.  They make the same damn gun in 3 sizes in common calibers and that’s it.  That’s what they do… because they’re Glock.  The do what they do and they do it very well.  You don’t hear about quality control issues with Glock. You don’t hear about anything other than “It’s a Glock”. And they sell and sell and sell to the point that Glock’s Marketing effort is about like the Maytag Repairman’s schedule.  Because you know what you are getting with a Glock… Your getting a Glock.  Now look at SIG.  The P250 the P2022, the 229, 228 M11 226 MK25 and they are all different and you really don’t know what you are getting anymore with SIG or anything from SIG wearing that badge… I’m saying this because I love SIG and really I’m feeling like they have let me down.  Lost their way.  Looking more at Cosmetic Themes than keeping a tight ship… because I’ve seen some SIG’s with some serious issues that should not have been there.
Some guys have said they wished Glock was more colorful or fabulous like SIG is.  When really I’d like to see SIG act more like Glock.  The worst thing Glock stamps their name on is those disposable pens they give away.  SIG’s?  That could take all day talking about.  You don’t know what you are getting with SIG anymore and that’s a shame.


16 thoughts on “All New”

  1. This same practice is a tech industry SOP. Microsoft and Apple will fix bugs in their current OS then change some cosmetic feature on the GUI, then they release it as a new OS. So instead of looking at the guns as “models” look at them as version x.xx. It will make you feel as good as you do about Macbooks. Once you get past the marketing you’ll realize the onliy way to upgrade your Macbook is to buy a new “model”. They solder the ram in the sockets so the infrastructure is set. Innovation and marketing are not the same thing but gun manufactures realize that the knowledge of the basic firearms purchaser isn’t incredibly technical. That is the essence of the Mac user. They are less tech savvy therefore the marketing works because the user has lower technical expectations. Marketing a new model gun to someone that is willing to pay more for cosmetics and will be happy with the performance of the overpriced gun is no different than the way Apple markets. The bottom line is does the gun perform to the satisfaction of the shooter? If yes then the gun makers are justified in their version control. If the shooter is dissatisfied with the performance of the gun then the gun makers are not justified.

  2. “Now with tint control!” Owner throws old computer in trash…..I think main part of this (your complaint) is that the gun companies are just marketing because there is nothing left really to change in a guns basic technology since the 1890’s barring new materials like a plastic gun frame which changes nothing in form or function. They have hit the techno wall, its action – revolver/auto – with cartridges, that IT. You can only change that so many ways and still have it function at all. It’s still the same gun as great granddad used against the Germans just changed cosmetically to sell to a new crowd. What was it, a steel gun has a 300 year shelf life? Until there is a paradigm shift in technology to say wireless energy weapons (40 mega watt please) we will be getting the same thing in a new box for the foreseeable future, don’t see how you change that Og.

    1. See, that’s the problem… They are not working on real innovation. Just repackaging.
      I find this disappointing.

    1. Not sure if it’s a zero sum game. I own an 04 Jeep as well as a BMW diesel 3 series. They both get me from A to B. I enjoy each for different reasons and purposes. I don’t feel less of a man in the beemer, nor when shooting my Sig. You can afford both, so do it.

  3. ‘See, that’s the problem… They are not working on real innovation. Just repackaging.
    I find this disappointing.”

    But Og, if the basic technology is as advanced as it can get in terms of product (materials/gun- power/bullets) and the only thing that would-change that is a paradigm shift in new technology, making materials/gun-powder/bullets obsolete, what the H^%& do you expect them to do? Until that paradigm shift shows up they have to stay in business by selling to a new generation by selling “Tint control” or be out of business. “They” can jigger ballistics/materials/sub engineering of projectiles all over the place from .22’s up to .500 S&W but the basic physics of gunpowder weapons are ALL the same. As to selling old products with new paint? That’s basic capitalism/economics 1 O 1…it’s not something “they” are doing its “them” dealing with the facts after crashing headfirst into the tech., wall and trying to stick around in spite of that fact. Not even getting into the industry trying to stay ahead of a hostile government that hates their basic product and wants it banned!

  4. I recently picked up a SIG Scorpion in 9mm and I love it. That being said, this is my first spendy pistol, and I bought it ‘cuz it was 10% off. I don’t know what it used to be, but I like mine how it is. 🙂

    That being said, there is an insane desire in all industry to “innovate.” Sometimes that is very good. Other times? Not so much.

    1. I can’t think of anywhere that innovation would not be so much good. Especially in the Firearms Industry.
      The SIG is a nice gun, absolutely. And Cerakote is a great coating for guns. I’m not saying that it isn’t. I’m just saying it’s a repackaged 226 or whatever it is you just got.

  5. Maybe there’s not a lot of room left for really new products? Barring a truly new technology (plasma rifle in the 40 watt range), we already have a huge assortment of really great guns. Reliable, accurate, ergonomic, available from .22 to .500 and everything in between. How many models of 1911 or Tupperware do we have to choose from? I pity the poor marketing guys who have to try to come up with something innovative. Maybe more more chrome or bigger tail fins?

  6. I’ve been reading gun mags since the mid-1970s and in the gun industry since 1979. BUT unlike you, me and some of your readers for which shooting is a passion; shooting is a hobby for most people and the life cycle of a hobby is roughly three years. Year one – get interested, learn, buy things. Year two – do it hot and heavy, buy more advanced things. Year three – some activity but tapering off until…”look, shiny new thing!”. That’s why you’ve seen the same gun test or “.308 vs .30-06, Which do you need for North American game?” so often. The magazines are talking to a mostly-new crowd every three years – and so are the manufacturers. What’s old hat to us, really is new and shiny to a lot of people. That said, I don’t consider a color change, or new sights “new”. It’s been that way at SHOT for a lot of years. I think PhilaBOR is on to something.

    1. And you are right… Things do roll in cycles like that. I’m just a jaded and disgruntled old ogre.

    2. Constantly focusing on “the life cycle of a hobby” is discouraging to the advanced hobbist and effectively disowns the shooting sports enthusiast. Continually focusing on the beginner has created a downward knowledge spiral among shooters. The shooting press essentially says to the advancing shooting sports enthusiast – this industry does not care about creating a core of dedicated, knowledgable, advanced enthusiasts or the market they represent.

  7. I really loved Sig in the 1990s, but little by little it started getting weird.

    Rainbow colors, gaudy finishes (equinox), melt jobs, tac-ti-cool versions, rumors of QC problems and then 1911s in their stable. Shelving the, “but they make a great 1911 argument”, a 1911 from the innovators that brought us the P210 and the P220?!

    I have to wonder if they’ve got a Colt SA in a bedazzled-purple-mac-daddy finish (with a rail of course) in their pipeline. I’m not downing anyone’s preference, but I see more value to be had elsewhere. Nostalgia causes me to warmly remember the W. German Sigs. My go to is a G23.

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