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Armchair Quarterbacking: FNH Part 3, the Rifles

The 3rd and Final segment of Armchair Quarterbacking on FNH.  Part 1, I went through the pistols.  Part 2 was Shotguns, and now we’re on the Rifles.  I will not AQ on the Less Lethal, Machine Guns, and other things FNH produces, because they are not the normal fodder for the American Gun Owner.
So, let’s start out by opening your 2015 FNH Catalog to page 30…

The SPR rifles.

Out of the 3 variants of the SPR, only one has a threaded barrel with a thread protector.   Each variant of SPR should have a TB as standard fare.  More rifles need to be Suppressor Friendly as Suppressors are becoming more common and ever more popular.  Or just for the easy addition of any number of muzzle devices.  Use a common threading profile and you’ll be golden.  This might add a few bucks to each gun, but it’s worth it.
All SPR rifles are simply .308 Bolt Action rifles… but none of them are simple rifles.  You have a variety of 3 different SPR’s, but pretty much they all look the same.  The A5M does have a Fluted TB Barrel and a detachable box magazine, but honestly, its still not distinctive.
Where’s a version with a  wood stock?  A nice simple laminated wood stock would go a long way.    And would it be a bad thing to offer some Iron Sights on that wood stocked version?   As a Dealer, rifles with Iron Sights are still popular.  The Ruger Gunsight Scout is an example.  The new Canadian C-19 is another.  Some people still like that.  I’m one of those people.
Now let’s talk caliber.  .308 is a solid option but a lot of guys, especially out west, are looking at 6.5 Creedmore rifles for precision long range shooting.   Which means they are not looking at FNH rifles.

The FNAR.  

images (2)
Yeah, I know it’s FN’s version of the Browning BAR, so I get the naming convention you are using… but behind the Gun Counter, we’ve got customers that look at that and pronounce it like a “Funaarrhh”.  Sounds like a dinner special in a Fantasy Cafe.  Roast Fnar Sandwiches on special!  This is just not good.  A name is important.

The FNAR is an outstanding rifle… and 4 years ago or so, I got to spend some time behind the trigger on one.  Running from 100 to 1000 yards with the FNAR was a lot of fun.  But now you only offer the Competition version.  In your new Pro Shop, I saw several… and the FNAR is just as good as I remember them to be.  But it has a wart on it’s nose.  Why does it need a rail section out on the muzzle?   It doesn’t.  Anything you hang on it would just alter the barrel harmonics… so don’t.  Don’t put anything on the muzzle.  I understand you want to make it different from a Browning BAR, I get that.  So how about a pair of Sling Swivel Studs like you put on the SPR rifles?  And how about we throw a TB on there as well, for good measure.  I think those two features would be more well received than a rail section, and still keep the FNAR distinct from a BAR.

Was there any thought to a FNAR Magnum?  Say, a .300 Win Mag version that sported maybe a nice muzzle brake?    Or a .300 WSM version?  Magnums are becoming popular with the longer range crowds.    Speaking of Magnums… an SPR Magnum would go a long way.  (No, I’m not talking about the Ballista here… not yet.  I’m talking about a more traditional rifle type, not a chassis type rifle.  Savage has built a nice rep for long range shooting with their magnum tactical styled rifles.   Where is FNH on this?  Nowhere?  Why not?  Seriously.    FNH is losing ground here.  You have a nice little section of .308’s but everyone building rifles are building .308’s and many of them are using the same stocks or similar.  You really need to set these guns apart instead of being a Me Too Maker here.

The Ballista.  

Okay, now I’m talking about the Ballista.  Actually, no, I’m not. Because I’ve never handled one in person, never shot one, so I’m not going to remark on it.  But it looks freaking awesome and over the top.  I love that.  I want one.  I’ll take mine in .300 Win Mag.  Thanks.

FN15 series.
Okay, you have a lot of great AR rifles here and the DMR edition gives me AR-Lust.  Which is something I’ve not felt in a very long time.    I don’t have much to say on these, other than you guys are missing a few popular configurations.
You have no SBR’s and no PDW versions.  There’s no FN Honey Badgers.  Or just an SBR Upper that people could order from you after getting their SBR Paperwork approved.  I know it’s not a huge market, but it’s there and the guys buying SBR’s might want an option with Cold Hammer Forged Quality.   And maybe I missed it, but no .300 Blackout?
I’d also like to a version of an FN15 that has the free floating hand guards going out to the barrel threads.



They are perfect and beautiful.  I’ve nothing to suggest on them… Okay, well… just one thing though… Where’s an OD Green version?  Black and Tan is great for Cities and Deserts… But what about the woods around South Carolina?  Awful green around here.  And around other potential conflict zones.  OD Green will one day be the new Desert Tan.   Think about it.


I’d already have one… if it was in a different caliber.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone at the Gun Counter say “If this was a 9mm, I’d buy two.”  Yeah, 9mm would be cool, but it might cause problems with that magazine pattern and short cartridges.  Maybe a longer one would work as advertised… like say… 10mm.  If there was a “PS10” in 10mm… I kid you not I’d buy 2 for me and 1 for each of my 6 Sons.
The only other thing I’d like to see in the PS90’s… No… That’s it.  I want a 10mm version.  Thanks.
Okay, no.  That’s not it.  Because there is something about the PS90 that irritates me.  The really weird grip angles.  Yeah, I see what you guys were trying to do, but to be honest – and if you were honest with yourselves, you’d agree with me – the round grips just make the gun awkward and uncomfortable and unnatural to use.  Give us a version that has a regular Pistol Grip on it.  Magpul-PTS-Personal-Defense-Rifle-PDR-PDW-News-Update-Pyramyd-Airsoft-Blog-Tom-Harris-Media-Tominator

Like that.  But without the bridge between grip and magwell.
BTW – Speaking of that.  Buy that and Build That.  Please SOMEONE DO THAT!  Someone that’s not Remington.

Back to the PS90… Stretch out the Chasis a bit and put an AFG or VFG on it like a normal PDW.  Now, don’t think that this would take away from the unique nature of the gun… Because you would still have that.  But for all those guys that have been turned off by the cramped ergos – you would pick up a lot of sales with a more traditional layout on that chassis.


Maybe something more like that…  but not quite so far out.  Delete the bagel forgrip and push a VFG out a few more inches and that would be awesome, especially if that was in 10mm.   You could do this and still keep parts compatibility.  Same trigger.  Just different grips and a bit more space between them.   With a civilian 16″ requirement, there’s plenty of room to work with here.


The FNH SLP / SLP Tacticalfnh_3088929010

The FN SLP is one of the very best Self Loading shotguns on the market.  It plays second fiddle only the Benelli M4, only because the Marines selected the M4.  For those of us who have to buy our own guns – 2,000 dollars on a Shotgun is just not wise.  The SLP can be hand from 1,000 to 1,200 at retail which makes it far more realistic.  But are you really giving anything up from not having an M4?   No, not really.  You have a rugged and reliable action.  You have awesome sights which are similar to the M4’s.  And you even have a greater capacity.  So when it comes to a serious use shotgun – the SLP is every bit as awesome.
The Benelli M4 has something the SLP Tactical doesn’t have… I’ll get to that in a moment.  Working the gun counter at the best gun store in the region, I sold a lot of shotguns…. A lot of those shotguns came through my Tactical Shotgun Courses.  So I saw those guns get used.  Used hard like a fresh faced redhead girl just off the bus in LA looking to become the next hollywood star.   In selling these guns, a lot of them were to Law Enforcement.   And their choices came down to the M4 or the SLP Tactical.  One or the other.   They most often picked the M4.   Why?   Because that one thing the SLP doesn’t have. A good pistol griped stock.   FNH’s Pistol Grip Stock is a little lacking.  The stock its self is great.  I like the modules that allow changes in the stock’s length of pull and comb… but it’s the pistol grip its self.
The pistol grip on the M4 is spectacular.  It’s thick and meaty… cushioning…  It’s the best on the market, now or ever.  It’s the best the Industry has ever created for shotguns.  Take a good hard look at the M4’s pistol grip – and do that.  Just do that.   Don’t argue about it.  Don’t point fingers… just do it.  The SLP Tactical’s grip doesn’t compare.  It just doesn’t.  And when you go Side by Side with the Benelli M4 – you’ll see what I mean.
One more thing.  Give me the option of a factory Cerakote.  I’m big on color options because colors sell.  But only coat the metal.  None of the furniture.   FDE, OD, and give me a Burnt Bronze option – because I want that and it would be the tits.    Nothing else.  No special markings or titles or logos… simple.  Understated.  But bronzed out.

The SLP MK I / MK I Tactical

Now the MK1 is really intended for an optic… but they mostly never get any optics mounted on them.  Which leaves you with a set of iron sighs and an empty rail that looks a bit daft.  If this rail could be removed – that would be great.  But my beef with the MK1 is in one small detail.  That rear sight.  This small, cheap blade that looks like you took if off a Ruger 10/22.   This rear sight needs to be adjustable. This gun is perfect for launching slugs.  Different slugs have different points of impact and the gun needs to be zeroed POA-POI for max effectiveness – something FNH is all about.  To do that, I need an adjustable rear sight.   Sure, I could just put on a Red Dot and zero that – but why?  When the gun could have a good rear sight from the factory?  Come on.  This gun is world class, but that rear sight is a wort.    I can’t be the only guy that’s ever said this.   This shouldn’t be a new idea to you.  Someone at FNH has to have said that to you guys before.   You guys should have listened.   I actually had the chance to buy one of these real cheap.  I passed.  Why?  The Rear Sight.  Where was this at?  Last Tuesday at your new brand new Pro-Shop in Columbia.  I wanted to like it – but the rear sight just killed it for me.

So for the MKI – Adjustable Rear Sight.  That’s all I’m asking.

The SLP Competition.
Good to Go.



I really have no comment about Over-Unders.  O-U’s are for a richer man’s sport than what I play in… But from the guns I’ve tried they all shoot very well and do exactly what they are supposed to.  And they cool cool.  Now – I know you guys have some close relations with Browning.   Browning had an Over Under that I almost bought.  Came very close I liked it that much…

FN doesn’t have this type of O-U.  A light weight synthetic.  Maybe you don’t need it in your line up.  But – just saying – I did sell a lot of Bownings and that Sporting Composite, we couldn’t keep on the shelf.     Think about it.

The FN P-12
Understand something.  Pump Shotguns are my THING.  I have a passion for them.  I really want to like the P-12.  But something is holding me back.  I think that something is the same issue I have with the SLP MK1.  That Rear Right.  And that Cantilever Rail. So two things.  See… I like pump shotguns for their simplicity and purity of purpose… and their violence of action.   And the P-12 is almost there.  I don’t need my pump action shotgun to have a Railed Comb-Over.  But I do like the OPTION of being able to easily add a rail if I want to.  Ditch the Comb over and drill and tap the receiver for rail attachment, and give me a short rail section in the box.   Give me that adjustable rear sight.    And one more thing. Push that Magazine Feed Tube out to the length of the muzzle for just 1 more round of capacity – but just flat out better looking results.  Because the P-12 is looking like a murdered out Ithaca, with a comb-over.
You guys fix that – and I’d do something I can’t even believe I’m saying… You fix that  P-12 like I said… and I’ll trade you one of my favorite and most beloved Remington 870’s for it.  Yeah.  I would.

Armchair Quarterbacking: FNH Part 1.

This is a long time coming.  I’ve wanted to Armchair Quarterback FNH for a good long time – but have always put it off because I knew this was going to be a massive AQB Session.   Because I’ve got a lot of notes to go through here.  Buckle Up.

The only question here is how do we go about this one?  Let’s make it easy for you guys to follow along.  Go grab a 2015 FNH Catalog from your stack/file of manufacturer’s catalogs… or stop by your local dealer to get one.   Let’s just go through this page by page.

3-0252060Page 13… Notice that it takes you 13 pages in their product catalog to get to their catalog.   The prior 12 pages establish that, yes, FNH is awesome.  They’ve take the Banner of the Builders of Badass away from Colt and away from HK.  Impressive feat.  You should change your logo now.  Gloss Black background with gold lettering.  Where was I?  Ah – Page 13.  We see a great photo of an FNS-9C.    That’s an outstanding pistol.   Recently there came the addition of the .40 caliber version – which is outstanding.   But where is the FNS-45C?  That’s a hole right in the middle of the lineup.  There are a lot of shooters that still like .45 Auto.  I myself would rather a .45 than a 9mm.
Another hole in this line up of Compacts – is a compact FNX.  A hammer fired version.  I know Strikers are all the Rage, and coming out with a Striker compact first was a good move, yes.  However I’m waiting on the X version.  I want a hammer.  Not only that, I want that compact hammer-fired pistol in .45.  I’m a traditionalist… I have gray in my beard… I’ve earned my opinion.
Now let’s talk about the FNS-C pistols specifically.  Making them a straight up chopped version of the full sized guns is good – but you kind of missed the point on this.  Compacts like these are meant for covert carry.  Concealed carry.  Under Cover, close to the body, under the shirt and inside the waistband carry.   The problem is that the FNS-C’s have some bloody sharp edges on it where there shouldn’t be.
Give the “Little C” pistols a melt job.  Just have a guy hit them with a belt sander a little bit before sending the slide to get finished.  Hit some of that grip frame as well.  In fact, if you could… Take that grip frame and just sand that frame rail right off the bottom.   No rails.


The idea here is to keep the FNS-9C as small as possible and as comfortable as possible for concealed carry.  Don’t think that would work?  Look at the SIG M-11, it has no rails and SIG is selling the hell out of them.  Oh, would you look at that – it also has a hammer. Just sayin.

Pages 15-17.  The FNS and FNX series as shown.  Solid guns.  I really like them.  But turn real quick to page 18.  What do you see?  The FNX-45 Tactical.
Are you following me here?   Yeah… I’m going to say it.  Where are the FNX-9 Tacticals?  And the FNX-40 Tacticals?  With the extended threaded barrels, suppressor sights, and slides cut for Micro-Red Dots?   S&W has this with the CORE pistols – hugely popular.  In fact, when I was with a certain tactical holster company – that was one of the #1 questions about the M&P holsters – would they fit the CORE.  Glock has the MOS series of pistols out now – all pre-cut for RMR sights.  What – does FNH think only guys wanting that are shooting .45 Autos?
While we are talking Tactical editions… Where is an FNS Tactical?  Because the CORE and the MOS pistols just happen to be strikers.  FNH, you need to bring balance to these forces.

Let’s talk colors.  Page 18 and page 19, I’m seeing Tan frames.  Where are the Tan frames on the other pistols?  I mean, obviously, you guys have the capability to do tan frames… but you’ve chosen not to.   Let me tell ya something.  Glock pistols in the alternate Tan color – always sell out before the regular black pistols do.   And a Tan gun in the Compact lines actually make a lot more sense as they will be less noticeable than a black gun.  That and folks just like different color options.  I’m not saying pull out a rainbow… But FDE and ODG would not go amiss here.

Speaking of a miss here… The long slide guns… Some factory installed adjustable sights with a high-vis front sight post would be ideal.

Know what would also be idea?  An FNX Tactical in 10mm.  Yes, I’m suggesting that.  Interest in 10mm is on the upswing and more options in 10mm would really help.  Working with dealers who sell FNH – I have heard many many times “If this was in 10mm…”
Come on – just a special edition run of them at least.  That would be legendary.

309920dfb0Page 19.  The Five-Seven.  You know what else I’ve heard a lot of wishes about?  A Compact version of the Five-Seven for concealed carry.  Guys that are into it wish they could pack these concealed.
Shorter mags down to 20 rounds – chop the barrel a 3/4 an inch, melt job, and no rails.   The 57C. Seriously… that would be awesome.  Also, it needs the Tactical Treatment as well.  Extended threaded, RMR cut.  Do it.  People ask for it.FNH FN57C

FNH FN57C. Compact package with a 15 round magazine. Threaded Barrel Available.

I’m not even all that much of a Five-Seven Fan – but that’s hot.  I’d buy that.  A 15 round Compact?  Hell yeah I would.  That’s awesome.

One last thing on the FN Handguns:
Do so with modern sights, contoured controls, and without the magazine disconnect safety.  Thank you.

To Be Continued.

Armchair Quarterbacking: McDonald’s

The Big Mac Promise
The Big Mac Promise

McDonald’s is in a financial crisis and is bleeding money.  And another report has the CEO saying that they are needing to evolve.  I agree.  McDonalds has been one my least favorite Drive Through’s for about 30 years now.  In fact, the only time I stop in a Mickey D’s is when I’m road tripping… Not to eat though.  Well, maybe sometimes.  But mainly just for the clean restrooms.  They may have the cleanest Men’s Rooms going coast to coast.

But let’s talk about that brand.  Yeah.  It needs to change.  First off, Ronald McDonald is a Clown.  Everyone hates clowns.  Clowns need to go away forever.  Seriously.  Every time I see a clown, I think “Rule #2”.  When McDonalds started out – there was no Clowns.  McDonald’s started in the 50’s, but the clown didn’t show up until 1963.  There was no need for that other than an attempt to market to children… and really kids don’t need a clown to inspire them to chow down on fatty salty and sugary foods.    Kid’s don’t drive the car that pulls into parking lot and kids don’t have the Plastic to pay for an order.  Market to the folks that do.  The Child-Adults with cell phones that could do a space launch and an attention span of a Gold Fish and the life ambition of apathetic Person Of Walmart.  Or the guy with kids that doesn’t have time to cook.  Let’s look at that second guy.  Dude’s busy, has some kids in the car and want to get them some food because they are hungry and cranky and hey, he could use something to eat as well.

The Big Mac Reality
The Big Mac Reality

The Menu’s Flagship Burger – The Big Mac.  It’s pathetic.  It’s not big.  The meat patties are tiny and tasteless and if you are lucky you have a decent amount of shredded lettuce to at least keep the buns apart.  I generally like burgers that have something between the buns.  You have something called the Big Mac, it needs to be substantial.  The Quarter Pounder has a good patty… How about you use 2 Quarter Pounder patties in the Big Mac?  Forget everything else and think about that for a moment.  Look at what everyone else is doing… Big Thick Juicy Burgers.  McDonald’s, your burgers have not been thick or juicy for some time.   Forget your Specialty burgers that come and go – I’m talking about your core menu items.  The staples that have been around for as long as I can remember… Your patties suck.  They are too thin, and too small.  Seriously, I’ve had thicker patties from White Castle.    And when they get served they are generally cold and dry.    Get some meat in there.  The whole Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” series of commercials, they were talking about you, McDonald’s.  And you didn’t do anything about it.

Five Guys... Enough Said.
Five Guys… Enough Said.

The problem with McDonald’s is that you lost your Soul.  That clown stole it.  Go back to the source.  What you started out being.  Be that again.   You’re trying to be all things to all people and it’s just not working.  Outfits like In & Out Burger and Five Guys are smoking you.  Why?  Because they are giving their customers what they want… Something they want to eat.  They’ve embraced the fact that they are a fast food burger chain.   They decided they want to offer the best burgers that they can.   You guys?  Your gourmet specialty burgers are generally pretty dang sad… because they are made by the same non-engaged Min-Wager Clowns that don’t care about or even know about what a good burger is.

In & Out Burger.
In & Out Burger.

This is for the CEO of McDonald’s personally… Jump into a car with a friend that is truthful and honest with you.  And you guys go on a Road Trip.  Go to In & Out.  Go to Five Guys.  Go to the other top burger joints in the country and really look at and taste the food.  And then ask yourself why you can’t do that.  And all those reasons you come up with as to why you can’t make a damn good burger like that…. FIX THAT.  All those reasons should become your action points.   This isn’t Rocket Surgery… This is Burgers.

Your chicken sandwiches are not that bad… Not that great, but not bad.  I’m no judge of chicken though.  You’re fish sandwiches suck though.  Same reasons your burgers do now.  But that’s something else… You need to get back in touch with the burger.  Do that, everything else can fall into place.

Does this patch look familiar, McDonald's?
Does this patch look familiar, McDonald’s?

We’ve got a saying around here.  “No Clown Shoes”.   Get rid of the clowns… Relearn what a good burger is.  Get your soul back.   And while you are at it – get rid of the garish bright red and yellow.  Tone those colors down.   That will let people know you can be taken seriously.

Your fries are great.  Don’t touch them.


Armchair Quarterbacking: FORD

This is going to be brief.

1.   Thunderbird.   Bring it BACK.

The Thunderbird started out in 1955 as a hot little 2 Seat sports car, as an answer to the Chevy Corvette which came out a couple years earlier in 1953.  Unlike the Corvette, the Thunderbird grew large.  It transformed into a huge Lincoln Towncar thing, then morphed into this:


I had one of those, and it was awesome.  I had the Super Coupe version, rolling on Turbo Coupe wheels… yes, you had both options for forced induction… neither really gave a lot of power but both were great for long range interstate flights.

And then Ford did this to the Thunderbird:

This was the 11th Generation of the Thunderbird.   Ford tried to do some Retro Styling to it and missed.  They took what could have been awesome and gave it all the bravado and machismo of this:


How they managed to make a 2 seat, drop top Thunderbird as fun as a Buick Reatta, I have no idea.  But they did.  The 2002 Thunderbird was a huge flop and an automotive laughing stock.  So much so that Ford discontinued the Gen 11 Chickenbird in 2005.  This was even before I actually saw one in person.  And when I did see it, I laughed at it.  A lot.  It cried.

I only know 1 guy that liked his 2005 Thunderbird.  He bought one and loved it.  He said it was “Vogue”.  This isn’t him, but he looks like him:


Not that there is anything wrong with that, but even he said the car was “too gay”.  He sold it a couple years later and bought a VW Beetle, because it was tougher.  He actually said that… and his Beetle has a build in flower vase.  He has since bought another Beetle.  This one has a turbo.  He’s learning.

So the car was a huge failwagon… Where did Ford go wrong?  With the Mustang, they took the retro theme and made it work.  By making it look modern with retro touches.  With the Thunderbird they took a car from 1955 and retro-Imaged it to the 1950’s vision of what the year 2000 was like.  When what they should have done was take a 1955 year car and make it look like current era modern and not past era future-vision.

Look, Ford doesn’t have a car that competes with the Corvette from Chevy or the Viper from Dodge.  Does it need it?  Yes.  Ford needs it.  Because Ford’s only performance machine is myriad different flavors or Mustang.  And the Mustang isn’t in the same league as the Vette and Viper.    Ford had the GT 40 Replica, the “Ford GT” for a very brief production run, and then killed it.  There are no more Ford GT’s so don’t even bring that up.  They are all in private collections owned by people who may drive it once or twice a year on their own property for a grand total of 6 miles annually.  That’s not a car.  That’s a trophy.  So shut it about the GT.  Ford needs something that has history name wise.  A recognized title.

What I’d do would be to put Ford’s design team in a bunch of Sports Cars, from across the board.  Miatta’s, BMW Z3’s, MG’s, Saturn Skys, Pontiac Solstice (same thing I know), an AC Cobra or two, the new Vette and the Viper… Then the Original, the 1955 Thunderbird.  Let the guys spend a whole day at the track.  No instruments.  No measurements.  Just drive the cars.   All day.  Enjoy the day.  And then tell them… We want a new Thunderbird, and put all that enjoyment into it.

2.  Bronco.


A Ford company in Brazil is making this.  They are calling it a Troller 4.  Ford needs to be calling this the Bronco and building it in the USA.  Make it a soft top, drop top, removable hard top like the Jeep Wrangler or Land Rover Defender.  The FJ is leaving the market, leaving really the JK Wrangler as the only real offroader option anymore.  Which is stupid.  So here’s what I’d do… Take another team of Ford Guys, and put them in a bunch of Rubicons.  Take them to Moab.  Spend a WEEK camping and living in the Jeeps, taking trails, having a good time.  And then the last day, put this Troller in front of them and tell them to make it a Rubicon.  Then build that.


#3.  The Ranger.

Ford needs to do a small pickup.  The market needs more options.  Even VW is working on one.  Ford needs to dominate this.   Just as small as the last ones.  Okay, maybe just a little bigger.  Not just a slight smaller truck like the Chevy Colorado, which looks like a chopped Equinox… Make it like the last Ranger.  But Modernized.  4, 6, and 8 cylinder options.  Same engine options as the 2015 Mustang.   2×4 and 4×4 options.  2 door, king cab, and 4 door options.  Keep it simple, keep it cheap, give it a good touch screen, make the little truck cool… and open it up so it can have massive aftermarket customizing options.   Make a Work Package, a Street Package, and an Off Road package… Mini Raptor.  Style them like the Raptor.  That same style grill and markings.

Armchair Quarterbacking: BERETTA.

I’ve not always been a fan of Beretta.  I’ll admit that.  When I was first told to turn in my 1911 to be issued an M9, I was not a happy camper, and that caused a burning hatred of the 92 series pistol that lasted for a good many years.  Two decades later and I find myself to be a rabid 92 series fanatic.  It took a long time to come around… but the gun garnered my favor the hard way.  It earned it.  Working at the gun counter for almost a 9 years, I had sold a great many Beretta products.  And I do not remember a single one that ever came back with an issue.  Say what you will about Beretta, I know they have their share of detractors out there… But I love Beretta.  But I also know they are far from perfect.  Let’s hit the high notes:

The 92FS:
I hate to admit it, but this gun is a dinosaur.  I love mine, and I think these are the best looking automatics ever built… But the design is dated and need revision.  Oh, wait… You did revise it.  And you called it the 92A1:
You added a rail.. which is a good… but better yet you gave it a dovetailed front sight post which was desperately needed, and you improved the internals… All of this is good, fine and well… Making this gun the best 92 you can buy.  But then you changed the trigger guard to differentiate it from the M9A1.  What I don’t understand though is why do you have these two very different pistols?  Because a holster for an M9A1 wont work with a 92A1, not even close.  I do not see the roles that these two different pistols fill.   This pistol just leaves me scratching my head.  So here’s what you need to do.   Kill the 92A1.
Wait, what?  I just said it improved everything an was the best 92 you can buy!   Yes, I did.  But it still needs to die.   Namely because it doesn’t stand out in the 92 series line.  Same with the 96A1.   I would build the 96A1 within the same frame as the M9A1, same trigger guard.  Giving the 96A1 the Civilian frame with the rounded trigger guards makes no sense.  It’s a tactical gun and needs to be better compatible with the lights.  I think this will fill that 96 nitch much better.    Now, back to the 92A1… Yes, kill it.   And fill the hole in the line up with with a reintroduction of the 90-TWO, renaming it simply as the 2092:
This gun looks amazing, feels amazing, and shoots as good as it looks.  The reshaped safety levers are an improvement.  This gun moves the Beretta family forward.    It only failed because someone gave it a stupid name and your Marketing effort was completely lacking.
This was the stupidest name ever in the firearms industry.  It was a failure from the start.  But the pistol was awesome.  It needs  second chance.  So rename the bloody thing and bring it back.  Also, make a 2092 INOX.  And just for fun, maybe INOX slides on the blackened frames and barrels… and vice versa… because two tone guns are sexy.  There should also be a COMPACT version of the 2092 as well.

Here’s another gun that needs to make a comeback:

The Billennium.  But instead of it being blinged out… Just make it Black and Inox.  Here’s why.  It answers the #1 Complaint that people hate on the 92 for – the Slide Mounted Safety.  The Billennium’s Frame Mounted Safety – Especially if you matched that up with the old Vertec Frame – would be a WINNER.
You guys actually had it… and like the 90-Two… you failed to market it correctly.  In fact, I didn’t even know this thing existed.  All steel though – so it was a heavy pig.  Nice idea, bad execution.  Make THAT but with an alloy frame and your current rear sight… Beretta… I’m telling ya… WIN.    How come this hasn’t been done already?

The NEOS.  I like the pistol.  But it’s skinny grip and extreme angle is ridiculous.  Have you looked at a Ruger MKIII or Browning Buckmark?  Well look again.   Because I don’t have hands like an adolescent E.T.
This is why I’ve never bought one.  I can’t even hold on to the thing.   However I’ve sold it to people with smaller paws than mine, and they have loved it.   Never have I sold one to a guy with bigger hands though.   Look at Ruger… They have the option of a .45 like grip frame.  Do that, but with maybe your Storm.  A Storm like grip frame.  Seriously Beretta, as much as you guys may like this thing as it is – at American Gun Counters, it turns off far more people than it impresses.

The Storm Series:
I love the Storm Pistols.  Two things though… the Sub Compact with the tilting barrel…  Get rid of it.  It does nothing the Compact can’t do and it’s using a different action so it’s not really a sub compact version.  The SD as shown.  Where are the 9mm and .40 cal versions and where is the Compact version?  Remember when the Navy bought a lot of HK pistols recently?  They bought the compact version of the HK45, and not the full sized.  Huge handguns are good… but sometimes those Operators who operate operationally need something a bit smaller so they can conceal them.   And US Citizens like do something called EDC with guns with many of these features.   That Midsized handgun is the sweet spot, and you need to maximize that.

This Thing:
I could write a 2,000 word report on everything wrong with this thing alone… But I don’t have time.  So I’m going to quickly outline what it needs to fix it.  It needs a major work-over.  The pyramid iron sights… Kill it.  Run a full rail across the top end to end.  Let customers use AR style irons of their choice.  No one likes these sights that doesn’t work for Beretta and have to say they do.   Extend the the body out till only an inch from the muzzle.  Thread the barrel.  Give it a thread cap.  Threads should be a common type.  Supply a flashhider/muzzle brake with it.  I like the lack of rails on the side and bottom, but put mounting hardware in there so rails can be added where needed.  The bottom of the pistol grip makes fast reloads a challenge.  Shape it like a normal pistol grip.  The Bolt Release needs to be a Safety.  On both sides, make it ambi.  Push the bolt handle out front and give it an HK style bolt catch and release.  That stock.  Get rid of it.  Put on a SCAR style Folding/Adjustable stock.  Done.  Now just rename it.  Your other rifles are the ARX series… call this one the ARX9 or ARX40 or ARX45 per caliber and you have a WINNER.   You’ll sell more than you ever had before.

I’m only going to touch on 1 shotgun.
I want a pistol grip version and I want the feed tube to run out to the end of the barrel.   Make these options.  I also want mounting points at the front end so I can attach a short rail section to add a tactical light.  That’s it.  Simple.

Armchair Quarterbacking: MARLIN

Before I go on – let me but this out there.  Marlin lever action rifles are my favorite Lever Action Rifles.  More over, they are my favorite rifles that are not auto-loading.  Of all the Manual Loading Rifles, Marlins are my first choice.  I can’t help but to love the Marlins.  But Marlin has some issues going on and they need some serious help.  Many people have lost faith in the Brand.  And it’s understandable.  So here’s my plan…

If Remington were to hire me to be the Brand Manager for Marlin, I’d have a list of changes to make.

First off, everyone that is charge of Quality Control that’s been there since 2007… Those guys are fired or demoted to push broom control.  All the current executives since 2007 would all be fired as well.  What they have done to the Marlin Brand is unforgivable.


They brought out the X7 series of rifles.  Cheap Bolt Action rifles, which on the surface is just fine.  But this isn’t keeping in with the Marlin Brand; the Marlin Image. Marlin should be a recognizable brand like Jeep is.  But the X7 is like Jeep building a cheap little Sports Car.  Sure it’s rather interesting, but it’s not keeping with the Brand.  That makes it wrong.  I know a couple guys that quite like their X7 rifles.  Bully for them.   But I’d most likely kill the line.  Marlin is owned by Remington and Remington already has cheap bolt actions, so there is no need come compete within the company family.  Of course, Marlin’s not had to have a Recall on these that I am aware of or remember, so I don’t know for sure… I’d have to look at the numbers.   What do know though, is that I hate the X7.  The stock feels cheap and flimsy and I just hate it.  I’d perhaps ask Hogue to make a strong OEM stock for it, or look at a Laminate Wood option.  This will of course raise the cost – but it would be a huge improvement.  So I’d either have other stocks or I’d kill the line.  Simple as that on the X7.  Done.

The XLR series of rifles… Marlin’s longer range lever guns.  You can get them in .308MX, .338MX, or .30-30.  There is a note on the web page that says it’s also coming (in 2007) in .35 Remington.  But I’ve yet to see that.  I’d also like to see a .45-70 and .444 Marlin versions as well. These need the 24/7 rail, like what comes on the 1895 SBL.  This rail should be on the XLR’s since everyone who buys them puts a scope on them.  The longer 24/7 scope rail would allow more and better scope options for the rifle.  It only makes sense to include it.

That brings us to the 1895 SBL.  This is one of my favorite guns.  The only problem is that it’s Stainless.  Or I should say, that it’s ONLY in Stainless.  There should be the option for one in Blue.  Don’t you think?

Since Marlin doesn’t make one, I made one. This was the 1895GBL.  But the GBL doesn’t come with that 24/7 Rail like the SBL has.  This is an oversight that.   I’m not all about railing up all the guns – but this rail for the 1895’s just makes too much sense.  You can then use what ever scope up want and mount it where you like.    These SBL and GBL rifles should also be available in .444 Marlin and .35 Remington.  Again, it only makes sense to offer these guns in more calibers.  Not everyone wants .45-70.
Marlin used to offer a 16″ version… And I shot one.

This was my GBL with the 24/7 Rail. It was fantastic.

I called it a “Guide Gun”, which is wrong… It had another name but I forget.  But it was factory direct like that.  That option needs to come back.

I would like to see an even bigger version of the Guide Gun.  In .50 Caliber.  The best .50 round that could work is the .500 S&W Magnum.   This would require some resizing of the action – Something you are not wanting to do, but it needs to be done.  Slightly larger and a lot stronger.   Every option in the 1895 line  should be available here.  Including SBL’s and GBL’s.    The guns would chamber both the .500 S&W Magnum and the .460 Magnum.    Right now people who want one bad enough are shelling out over 2400 bucks  to have one custom made – This is money Marlin could be making.  If some company no one ever heard of is doing this – Marlin could be doing it too.  Excuses are too late.  This is why I had all the prior execs fired.  Don’t tell me it can’t be done.  Do it.  Just Fricken Make It Happen, you lazy, slackwits.  People will buy it.  Because for 9 years people were constantly asking for it.   So what if it would costs 1400 bucks per rifle – People would buy it.

This brings us to the 336 family.   Again, the 24/7 Rail and Big Loop combo should be offered.   There should also be a 16″ Barreled version.  Before, there was a 16, in the 336Y model, which I can’t find anymore.    The 20″ barrel is fine, but some people like them to be shorter.  Basically I want the same options in the 1895 line as in the 336 line.   .30-30, .308MX, .338MX, and .35 Remington should all have homes in all versions of the 336.

The Cowboy series has 2 guns.  One in .30-30, and one in .45-70.  Where are the other calibers?  And why  is the .30-30 so short?  Where’s the long barreled option?  It needs to 26″.  The .45-70 option is a bit disappointing.  Where is the classic tang mounted aperture sight?  The Cowboy Gun needs a stepped up version for the Cowboy Action competitions.  Those guys take their shooting seriously and to attract them in greater numbers, let’s do a 30″ barreled version, with Brass buttplate and end caps.  A “Quigley” variant, if you will.

The 39A is a Classic.  But it’s long and heavy and from spending 9 years behind a gun counter, selling these to young fathers for their young boys and girls… It’s a bit too heavy.  Shortening the barrel down to 16 inches and offering it with a lighter weight synthetic stock as an option would really help that.  So a light and short youth version is required.  The 39Y.  And since some guys like me like Carbines, a 39C, with a 16″ barrel.   Now, let’s also offer a Stainless Steel version of the A and C guns, and call them simply the AS and CS.

The 39 series also needs to have a Magnum version.  Call it the 49 series, with all the options as in the 39.   .22 Magnum and .17HMR.  Don’t tell me it can’t be done.  Henry, Winchester, and Browning made them.  Henry still does.  And let’s do a special edition 49 Cowboy.  Because that would just be amazing.


The 1894 line.  First off…  There needs to be the SBL version that was in the 2011 Catalog but never really made.  It’s time to make it.  Also, like as I said with the 336 line, the 1894 Line needs to have all calibers available in all versions.  Where is the .45 Colt option?  Over there in the Cowboy version.  That’s it?  What jackoff said that it can only be in the Cowboy?  He better have his desk cleared off.  .38/.357, .44 Mag/Special, .45 Colt/Casull.

I want this, in blued steel and walnut.

(Forgive my sloppy PhotoChop)  Legacy, Rossi and Henry are doing Mare’s Legs.  Where is Marlin’s?  12 to 13 inches.  Also, as a factory option, offer the Mare’s Leg with a full sized rifle stock for the guys that want to turn them into a Short Barreled Rifle.  Hell, we’d just throw the stock in the box with it.  We’d have to come up with a different name… Bounty Hunter and Mare’s Leg are both taken.  Maybe call it the “Outlaw”, or “Rustler”.  And of course, make it available in all caliber options.  Top it with that 24/7 Rail and a Red Dot, I’d call mine the Borderland Pistol, or the Jacob Pistol.  Stainless and Grey or Blued and Laminate Brown Wood.

The internals on all the Levers I’ve seen have been HIDEOUS.  I’ve had to disassemble every Marlin I’ve ever owned and hand finished and polished the internals as best as I could.  Every time.   Why?  This should be done on every gun before it leaves the factory.  Reason?  Because the Marlin name is on every rifle that leaves the factory.   I’ve had gouges and burrs on Internal Operating parts.  On the levers.  Ive had bolt’s so rough I thought they were threaded.   The inside areas of these 1895’s, 336’s, and 39’s have all been drastically unfinished.  It’s as if you were digging the metal out like you were carving a canoe out of a log.  It’s tragic.  It’s a failure.  It needs to be addressed.    For the love of all that is holy – Can’t you jackwagon’s just deburr the inside of the loading ports?  I’ve cut myself on them more than once.

And where is a Centerfire Takedown Lever Action?  Taylors and Wild West Guns can make them – Where’s Marlin’s Take Down?  The 39A takes down… Come on now, let’s get with the program.

What do you say Remington?  Pay me 200 grand a year and give me a bull horn and a Chainsaw… I’ll have people lining up to buy Marlins.

Armchair Quarterbacking: DETONICS.

Combat Master

Before I roll forward with Armchair Quarterbacking Detonics, I want the readers here to know my long history with the Combat Master, and my affections for it.   I wrote two articles about the Combat Master for Concealed Carry Magazine.  Both articles were rather glowing of the guns overall.   You can read them both here.  The second article has photos here.

“This is like Scarlett Johanson winning an Ultimate Fighter Championship.”

I considered Jerry Ahern a friend.  We had many great conversations about Detonics and about the Combat Master.  When Jerry passed away, I was greatly saddened.   But what saddened me the most was the new iteration of Detonics and the all new version of the Combat Master.

One of the things we had talked about was the use of a regular dovetailed front sight with Tritium and moving the rear sight back to the normal 1911 position and using a regular Commander style hammer and a Beavertail.    Make it more like a regular 1911 that people are familiar with instead of having the Combat Master occupy the Uncanny Valley.  We had even discussed me buying one in this configuration from Detonics USA, and Jerry had said “Don’t worry about it, George.  We’ll send you a prototype.”  This was being discussed while I was writing the second Combat Master review.   But before I could return the review pistol to Detonics, the company had closed its doors and Jerry was removed from his office.  And what we had discussed went with him.

Some time after that all happened, Detonics had reopened.   And they did come out with a new version of the Combat Master…. and this happened:


They did indeed use a regular sized front sight post… and they moved the rear sight back to where they normally go.  And then they did that.  I don’t even know what that is.  No one else did either as this version of the Combat Master was killed off almost as fast as it had come out.     Here is where it failed again.  It’s still not like a 1911… It’s still almost familiar but wrong – dead nuts in the center of the Uncanny Valley zip code.   Right where people look at it from a distance and say “hey, look at that” and then they get close enough to really see it and they are repelled.  Instinct dictates the initial attraction and the subsequent revulsion.  Because it’s not what they are familiar with it.  A hexagon barrel with the front sight mounted to it is just fine… On a Webley.  But on a 1911 pistol of any sort?

Detonics needs to bring back the Combat Master because that’s WHAT DETONICS IS.  But they need to forget that strange polygonal barrel and make it more like a traditional 1911.

The scalloping of the ejection port on the older Combat Masters is both elegant and beautiful.  That’s a nice touch that should come back.  The Rear Sight should be in the normal 1911 position.  But not a Novak ramp style.  Something more like an ICE Claw rear sight.  And give it a small Beavertail.  For better accuracy, reliability, and ballistic punch, lengthen the barrel a bit.
The other problem with the Combat Master is the Magazine.  They are shorter than the standard Officer’s model, which means you are Single Sourced for them.  Lengthen the frame just a touch so that you can use regular Officer’s Magazines.   The result is you will have a gun that fits people’s hands better and they can get a bunch of spare mags without having to sell a car to do it.
I’d even take this a step further and use a GI Guid rod and Bushing.  Take a look at the Nighthawk T3.  You know what, Detonics?  There is a waiting list for those things.  And those guns cost double your discontinued Combat Master.   Do you see the difference here?  You probably don’t.  The difference is your gun was not just different – it was strange.  While the T3 was a compact 1911 DONE WELL.  That’s the difference.  And that’s why people were waiting to pay double dollars for something that the Combat Master was competing with.

The 1911 should always feel like it’s familiar.  You should never have to break out a Manual or look up a How To video on YouTube.  The 1911 should be a 1911.  Like Apple Pie and Baseball, it should be Classic and it should be reminding their owners of heroic days past… and it should be inspiring in its accuracy and reliability for future adventures.   It it doesn’t do that, you’ve failed.   I can’t explain this any better.  If it’s not clear to you, well… Good luck.

The MTX pistol looks interesting.  But you said a 3.5″ and a 5″ version will be available in 2013.  Nothing looks worse than saying you are coming out with something and then you don’t.  Unless it’s a double stacked 1911 with a 3.5″ barrel.  Just don’t do that.  It sounds good at first but is never a good thing once it’s in the hand.  Just drop that, and concentrate on getting that 5″ version done… and maybe even do a 6″.  Do a 10mm version in 6″ because that would be awesome and something that is just not available outside of STI.  A 6″ 10mm MTX would have me drooling.

Bring back the Range Master and the Street Master.  Make the Range Master a 5″ traditional 1911 with adjustable sights and the Street Master a 4.25″ with fixed sights.  Make them like the originals, but better.  Give them Match barrels and triggers and make them as accurate and as reliable as any other high end 1911, but do it at a competitive price.  Look at Dan Wesson’s 1911’s.   They are absolutely excellent.  Do some extra touches that need to be done… Polish the rails and the locking lugs.  Polish the trigger parts so the trigger feel is absolute perfection.    And forget the gimmicks.  The only options should be polished blue or stainless.  The grips should be stunning woods with torques head screws so it looks clean.  Double Diamonds.  Traditional.  Traditional done to Perfection. Make the guns live up to their names.  It should make the person feel like he really and truly is holding something special and wonderful in their hands when they pick one up.  Nothing about it should make one raise an eyebrow.

Caliber options for all guns should be 9mm, 10mm and .45 Auto.

If at this point, you can’t do a good traditional 1911, Detonics should be allowed to die with dignity.  But for some people, the name still holds currency and we want it to succeed.  You just need a man with some vision to take charge and make the name great again.  You need another Jerry Ahern.

I’m available for contract negotiations at any time.  😉