Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Gunday: Firearms and Fashion

Recently on Der Lederhosen, I was introduced to a new friend (hi Rinnie!) who knew nothing abut shooting, but wanted to learn how . It turns out this new friend is actually shorter than I am -- I know! I was shocked as well! --and at 5'2.5", she had difficulty getting her hands around most pistol grips at her first trip to the range.

She felt bad about this, and then I busted out a peculiar bit of Palette wisdom that I've been saying for years. I thought I'd said it on this blog, but a search doesn't turn it up. So let me lay it on you now:

Erin's Firearm-Wardrobe Analogy (EFWA)
  1. Picking out a gun is like picking out clothing at the store:  You need to try it on before you take it home with you. 
  2. Much like good clothing, the fit of a firearm can be tailored to an individual. The more you pay, the better the fit. Go cheap, and one size will have to fit all. 
  3. Long guns are like coats: Really, you're more worried about the style (caliber/ magazine capacity/ semi or bolt) than you are about whether or not it fits. Yes, shorter people need shorter guns with shorter lengths of pull, but that's the same as finding the right size coat to fit your shoulders. Once you find the right size of the style you like, generally all of those coats will fit you all the time. 
  4. Pistols, however, are like shoes: Intensely personal choices that need to be worn, and what suits your friend with identical measurements might not suit you at all. Walk around with it and see if it's comfortable; it might be the right length but too wide, or slightly too small for comfort, or maybe that one protrusion rubs uncomfortably. Test as many as you can, and be as picky as you want, because ill-fitting shoes and an ill-fitting gun are both terrible things to have to wear. 
  5. To further the analogy: ammunition type/ weight/ pressure compares to heel height, sandals vs. pumps, etc. Sure, you can experiment with different rifle rounds, but the mass of the stock will eliminate the felt difference between most. But change the grain weight or the pressure of a handgun cartridge and you're likely gonna feel it -- just like you'll feel the difference between a two-inch heel and a three-inch. 
  6. Finally, purses = holsters. You're going to acquire a ton of them to go with your various outfits. Some are old favorites you'll return to over and over; some will go with only a few ensembles; and some will be worn once, then tossed into the closet to gather dust. Accept this, embrace it, learn to live it. 
While there will never be any agreement on what constitutes a firearm version of a Little Black Dress, one thing is certain: While individual fashion sense varies, fit and function are fundamental. 

Don't suffer for the sake of firearm beauty!

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