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Thread: new member assumptions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    SE FL
    Feedback Score
    5 (100%) new member assumptions

    Of late I have noticed an influx of newer members, and of these many are also new AR buyers, or potential new AR buyers, asking questions about add-ons, best rifle to buy, etc. Oftentimes these questions are met with replies that the poster has a hard time understanding. “I just asked about the best free-float rail, why are these guys telling me to go take a class first?” Let me try to explain.

    While welcomes all comers, what it was born of and it’s bread and butter is the defense-minded civilian shooter, law enforcement user, and military (or private military) user. This means, in a nutshell, function before form. It means that we are generally all on a similar page in that we view firearms and gear as tools to reach an end goal. Tools that can have a pride of ownership, look cool, be cool, impress the ladies, etc. but tools first and foremost. This is not ownership for ownership’s sake. This is not filling the safe full of rifles and pistols rarely fired. This is needs-based purchasing, accessorizing, and fine tuning.

    We are all victims of our frame of reference, and human nature is to assume that everyone sees the world the same way you do, and given the above frame of reference the established membership here tends to see things through the lens of that sort of needs-based decision making. Posting things like “I don’t like the way that looks” may, therefore, result in some derision. We try to keep it good-natured, but you’re going to get a ration of shit about it all the same. “Which free-float rail should I buy?” will most often be met with a “what do you want to do with it and how much do you want to spend?” response. This has become a sort of unnoficial mantra and is indicative of that kind of needs-based decision making.

    You can’t based your decisions on need without a frame of reference. How do you know you “need” a different pistol grip if you don’t have rounds downrange on the A2? I personally can’t stand the A2 grip, but that’s based on several thousand rounds downrange with one to discover that issue. There are others that love the grip, have no issue with it, and wonder why anyone would change. But you can’t make that decision without getting out there and shooting the gun. If your goal is strictly aesthetic then you need to be up front with that from the beginning and let people know that. Don’t try to mask aesthetic decision making as needs-based. You’re only going to head down a path that doesn’t end well. I wrote the post Go Shoot the Gun to address that topic in more detail.

    So, generally speaking, there are certain assumptions that your established member is going to make when we see someone asking questions about guns or gear.
    We assume that:
    • you plan on shooting the gun.
    • looks don’t matter to you.
    • your use is other than firing from the bench at the local public range.
    • your use will entail some kind of dynamic application (competition, defense, training, etc.)
    • you are buying based on a perceived need.
    • your need is not “buy it to have it”.
    • you actually want advice, not confirmation or validation of a choice already made.

    Given those assumptions, you may not always like the response you get. But hopefully reading and understanding those assumptions will help put them in a context that helps you get a feel for what we’re about, and why you got the response you did. The established membership here wants to help. Many of us have years of experience and costly lessons learned, and we are trying to save you and others the same mistakes we made. But we base that on a perceived need, and an assumption that you are making purchases and decisions for the same reason we are. It’s not about the ride, it’s about the destination.
    Last edited by rob_s; 10-15-10 at 10:40.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NW Florida
    Feedback Score
    43 (98%)
    Excellent post, Rob.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    7488 ft.
    Feedback Score
    18 (100%)
    Great post. Just a couple of random remarks here.

    1. If a fellow does not want to hear the answer to his question, he should not ask.

    2. It tends to be better to ask the experts here for input BEFORE purchasing your gun, rather than arguing with them that an economy plinker is equal to a Colt, etc. AFTER purchasing your gun.

    3. Don't be embarrassed or angry if it turns out that your favorite brand is crap. A lot of us (me at the head of the line) have owned Olympic Arms, DPMS, Rock River, Bushmaster, etc. and have learned the lesson of cheap-ass guns the hard way and at great financial cost. Getting input from some very knowledgeable people here will save you the wasted time, frustration and wasted money that others among us have gone through.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Feedback Score

    Thumbs up

    Very well said Rob_S.

    There is a lot of "Tacit Knowledge" on this forum from actual shooting practitioners to be learned. A lot of folks on M4C spending thousands of dollars a year in ammo, training and kit (weapons, accessories and gear) to develop and enhance our individual skill set, then share that experience with us. Just when you think you have a good grasp on some subject, someone else chimes in with more insight, then we are all better for that information. If new members would take a reality check and adopt a more humble attitude towards leaning, there wouldn't be so much butt hurt induced responses to a new member's question. This forum strives to achieve a balance between quality, practicality and efficiency.
    Last edited by RogerinTPA; 10-15-10 at 12:44.
    For God and the soldier we adore, In time of danger, not before! The danger passed, and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted." - Rudyard Kipling

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Alexandria, VA
    Feedback Score
    4 (100%)
    This should be re-posted in Handguns weekly.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Feedback Score
    46 (100%)
    Well put, and very polite as well. Thanks for writing this, I think it fits a need.

    May I be so bold as to suggest that a Mod sticky this thread in the "New to Firearms/Shooting" forum?

    Rob, I know you have more than you can say grace over these days. But have you thought about putting together a short paragraph or two, that would introduce new users to the Chart?

    Perhaps that could be stickied, and locked. So instead of turning into a 600+ post debate like the main Chart thread, just an introduction into what it is, and how folks should view it.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this thread.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Feedback Score
    41 (98%)
    Can you add using the search button before asking a question?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Feedback Score
    3 (100%)
    Wait...I thought the important thing was posting tacticool pictures on the internet to impress others. You mean you guys actually SHOOT your guns?!? Sounds kinda dangerous.

    Btw, this month I will be debuting my new SIG/Rolex GMT 559 Assault Carbine with LaRue titanium QD stealth mount, Raetheon Gen 5 Thermal / NV optics, SureFire billion candlepower tac light with a Knights Pterodactyl suppressor on a NASA QD mount and a 9 position single point swift sling,
    It's hard to be a ACLU hating, philosophically Libertarian, socially liberal, fiscally conservative, scientifically grounded, agnostic, porn admiring gun owner who believes in self determination.

    Chuck, we miss ya man.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Fayetteville, NC
    Feedback Score
    15 (100%)
    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    May I be so bold as to suggest that a Mod sticky this thread in the "New to Firearms/Shooting" forum?
    Aye, sir ... you may indeed.

    ETA: Didn't mean to lock this one up so quickly, and will reopen it for commentary. Just want to make sure that the relevance of the opening post remains at the forefront, as every member here can probably gain something from reviewing it; especially those who may be migrating from other sites with a vastly different culture.

    Last edited by Army Chief; 10-15-10 at 18:11.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Feedback Score
    28 (100%)
    It is also a good idea to actually shoot a gun before posting a "review" of it.

    Actually taking the time to get the gun hot and see what's going on is what a real review requires for people beyond the "blasting dirt clods" phase. About 500 rounds brings you into the acceptable range. If you are going to post groups, no less than 5 rounds are acceptable, but preferably use 10 shot groups when making statements about precision.

    Posting a "review" with nothing more than a list of items and some pics of the gun on the livingroom floor and 1/2 of your feet does little other than verify that you have an item that visually replicates an AR. There aren't many that care that you have "brand X" handguards on your gun, they are much more interested in learning how that handguard performs while shooting, and what your shooting consists of.
    Jack Leuba
    Director of Sales
    Knight's Armament Company

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