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Helped a novice shooter at the "toy store" today (preventing Mall-Ninja-ism)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MacTech, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. MacTech

    MacTech Member

    I stopped off at KTP tonight to pick up a replacement 18.5" barrel for my 870 Exp. SuperMag, and while I was there, I was listening in to a customer trying to decide between battle rifles, either .308 or 5.56/.223, his main criteria (although he never got around to stating it flat out) was wanting a gun with longer range and accuracy than his .357 and capable of putting down "zombies" or uppity goobermint shock troops, he was obsessed with a gun that could handle a VFG, a laser, a light, an EO Tech scope or other fancy optic, and wanted it capable of punching through kevlar plate (he must be hunting down Gecko45 ;) )

    basically wanting a "really cool TSHTF type weapon", while fully admitting he hasn't shot all that much, he just wanted a Grown-Ups-Tinkertoy/Lego set

    he was asking at least three gun counter guys as well as anyone within earshot

    he approached me with questions, he was in last week for a GP100 .357 revolver, and asked me what I'd reccomend for a mid range battle rifle

    "How about a lever action .357, so you can share ammo with your revolver?"
    he got intrigued, the store didn't have any so the conversation went back around to the two MBR calibers, he wanted to know what *I* would choose between,gadgety rifle #1 or #2?

    "Personally, I'd get a decent, simple, reliable battle rifle with no extra toys on it, they really don't do much more than waste money and "look cool", adding no real functionality, and put the rest of the money into ammo, mags and training/practice, after all, you *can't* simply *buy* skills and ability, it takes actual practice on the range, about as far as I'd go would be a decent flashlight if the gun was going to be used as a home defense weapon, it's critical to verify and know what your target is before shooting, target acquisition is key"

    we then discussed things further, I discovered he already has a couple good handguns, a .22 rifle, and a couple shotguns, so the only hole in his lineup was a MBR, and I told him it really came down to what gun *fit* you the best, there's no such thing as a "best there is" gun, it's what you're comfortable with and what fits you correctly

    he went back to trying out guns and I went to pay for my barrel

    by the time I got ready to leave, he was still at the counter, narrowed his choices down to a S&W AR-based .308 and an Interarms HK knockoff, we discussed things a little more, and one of the counter guys pulled down an M1A for him to try on for size, as soon as he shouldered it, his eyes lit up, and started seriously considering it, at that point, I wished him luck, and said goodbye, leaving to go back home

    I think I did a good deed, preventing another "Gecko45" from being created
  2. rstull85

    rstull85 New Member

    I have a buddy like that, he just wants to look cool with his guns. I have seen him carry a 1911 with a 10 round mag and then two extra 10 round mags and then his FN 5.7 with a thirty round mag and two extra 30's. I never did figure out which one was his primary and which was his backup. He has been looking for a new carry gun and in the past 6 months he has asked me my opinion on carrying a Magnum research BFR in 45/70, a S&W 500 magnum an AR pistol, a suppressed pistol, a Glock 18 and an AK pistol. At least your guy just wants to shoot zombies, this guy actually wants his CCW to be able to blow somebody in half with one shot (his words). I home you made more progress with that guy than I can with my buddy.
  3. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 New Member

    Nothing nicer looking than a good wheelgun, a nice lever gun to go with it, and maybe even a Rossi Ranch Hand for fun.
  4. Nushif

    Nushif New Member


    I get the notion, don't get em wrong here. I don't like over-accessorizing anymore than most of us here, but I smell some pretty intense self righteousness here.

    I mean, I know a nice M1 is a good gun, as is a nice wheelgun. But it's just not for some people, ya know? Steering him more towards that because it somehow makes him more respectable as a shooter is just as biased as telling him he needs a third laser pointer on his Ruger Mark III because it'll help guide the bullet.

    There's a pretty wide spectrum here. No doubt and I do very much support you sending him to a class, and buying more ammo ... the same with the piece of advice about finding a gun that fits you. But steering him away from tactical rifles because you don't like them as much. Meh. You get my sentiment?
  5. MacTech

    MacTech Member

    The point I was trying to hammer home with this guy was that there is no such thing as a "best in the world" gun, only what works for *you*, if what works for you is a fully-loaded EBR with curb feelers and fuzzy dice and spinners and all sorts of toys hanging off it, great, just don't think those toys are automatically going to make you shoot better, the only thing that'll make you a better, more accurate shooter is trigger time, and that truth is universal whether the shooter is using a manual-action firearm, single shot, or the latest Über-rifle

    at no time did I say to him "that gun sucks, get this one instead" or "that accesory is stupid and a waste of money", in fact, i recommended he try as many different combinations as he could so he could find the right gun for him, just as long as he *practices* with it

    And we *were* looking at tacticals the whole while, he was looking at AR's HK's and the M1A he looked at was the M1A Tactical, with black poly furniture and quad rails, I said *nothing* about the fact that I preferred the wood stocked version, it's his decision to make, it's his choice, and he had asked quite a few people there, he got information overload ;)
  6. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

    How dare you try to straighten somebody out and get them to think about there decisions with less hoopla in the mix. :)
  7. grumpy66

    grumpy66 New Member

    I think I did a good deed, preventing another "Gecko45" from being created

    Gecko45 only needed a canned .22 and a debarked chihuahua.
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Active Member


    I think you did just fine with your advice; pretty much the same thing I would have said under those circumstances. Get something basic that works and is the best "fit" for you, use any extra money on ammo and range time, and save the accessorizing for later.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  9. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Active Member

    Gadgets look cool. A tight group IS cool.
  10. Dokkalfar

    Dokkalfar New Member

    how about trying this out: http://www.brickgun.com/
  11. clutch

    clutch Member

    You left him wanting a M1A. At least he is looking at something I'd really like to have. After 53 years of life, 70+ firearms, I finally bought an AR15 to fill the what i was issued slot.

    The M1A (M14 semi auto version) is what I *wish* I was issued. Todays trip to the gun show had me salivating over a few on display. The guy I keep running into, that I'm sure I know from some place and time, always has a table and today had a SA M1A on the table that he recently bought from a cash strapped person that knew him for 700 bucks. He said it made up for a lot of gun deals gone wrong. I'm sure most of us have had at least one of those.

    You clued him in, learning what is needed and what looks cool will take time but you gave him a head start. Ya done good.

  12. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 New Member

    Guns are absolutely something personal, it has always bothered me when people try to tell others they don't "need" certain accessories or certain types of guns. If they like the look of a certain gun and want to load it up with add ons I say let them go for it.

    In this case nothing wrong with giving him your opinion if he asked for it, but at the end of the day, I'd want the guy to get what he likes.
  13. Gouranga

    Gouranga New Member

    I think the OP did good.

    1. The guy asked for his opinion, which means he really did not know and wanted input.
    2. OP gave him sound advice after listening to HIS needs, addressing the need with his advice
    3. OP gave the dude a completely different way of looking at things. Which is good.

    I can honestly say after hanging out at THR for a bit #3 is the best of the 3. While I do not always agree with Y'all getting input from everyone has given me alternate ways of looking at things which is extremely valuable. The OP gave this guy a number of ways of looking at things (such as the level action to share ammo) which he never considered and probably in the end this guy will end up with a rock solid weapon and extra cash for training.

    Is the mall ninja thing bad? Not if that's what floats your boat. I know a dude who had a completely decked out AR, more in accessories on it than the weapon cost. He loves it, it is his little geek toy and he enjoys the crap out of it. It is a nice looking weapon. I don't think the OP was pushing anything on him. He was asked for help and provided it.
  14. matty-vb

    matty-vb New Member

    I've had to pony around an M4 for the past several months now.

    Accessories look really really cool but get really really heavy. A good light and a good optic and a good sling.

    Experience changed my view on tacticool stuff. I had to learn the hard way. ALWAYS listen to the old guy and at least consider what they are saying!
  15. royal barnes

    royal barnes New Member

    He asked your opinion and you gave it. Call me dated, call me old but I consider the M1A a fine battle rifle.:)
  16. Vyacheslav

    Vyacheslav member

    is there something wrong with someone who enjoys having a lot of accessories on their gun? if someone is happy with 2 optics 3 lasers and 5 lights on their 10/22 good for them, i didn't pay for it so i don't care
  17. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf New Member

    I agree, Vyacheslav. They can add a jeweled mudflap for the arse end and a pair of fuzzy dice to the front end for all I care. Way too much worry from some folks as to what other folks prefer imo. We're all shooters with individual likes and dislikes and should respect each others' opinions and feelings even if we don't concur with them.
    So, to answer your question: "Is there something wrong with someone who enjoys having a lot of accessories on their gun?" Absolutely not.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Active Member

    Ah KTP, wish they let those under 21 handle handguns. Understandable why, but still.
  19. MarkDido

    MarkDido Member


    18 posts and no one has asked "Who is Gecko45" yet!

  20. rstull85

    rstull85 New Member

    MarkDido, I actually was wondering who Gecko45 was. Care to enlighten? Also, what is a mall ninja? Are you guys referring to guys that are just into all of the tacticool stuff?

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