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Almost every gun club or store has one. He may be nice or a jerk but regardless of the topic he knows everything. To hear him he can shoot the eye out of a knat at a mile or is the holder of many obscure titles. But I really do wonder why we never seem to. see him shoot.

If a conversation is going on he interrupts and is most in his element with new shooters- especially women. Even if his motives are pure it’s hard to believe he isn’t hitting on them.

It gets even worse if he has some sort of credentials like being a certified instructor because then it is reasonable to assume he knows what he’s talking about. And this is not a critique of anyone who carries a card it’s just that some are better than others. The tests aren’t too hard either and if you pay attention in class it is very likely that the instructor will use examples that are eerily famliar when you read the test.

Since so many things in shooting are based on subjective values it is hard for the newbie to separate fact from fiction. I learned long ago that it doesn’t pay to try to correct him but I simply can never hide my joy if a student does it. Very often in their innocence the student does a far better job of deflating bluster.

Over the years I’ve learned, sometimes painfully, to just keep my mouth shut and remember that not many people read gun magazines. Not that the fact would necessarily increase my credibility anyhow.

Sometimes the blowhards are positively clueless and won’t allow themselves to be saved. When I travel I always like to visit gun shops if time permits. Some years ago I was traveling out west and had a little free time and was directed to the, “best gun shop in town.” I had two friends with me, one an instructor at the S&W Academy and the other a well known gunsmith.

We walked into an empty store and began browsing the show cases which had lots of handguns. The clerk came up and after we told him we were just looking for now and with no encouragement from anyone reached in the case and pulled out a .22 pistol.

“Have you ever shot one of these,” he asked?
“Yes I have,” I replied.
“This is the most accurate .22 pistol,” he said.
“That was not my experience,” said I.

It was as if I hadn’t opened my mouth and he continued on and on about accuracy. Pretty soon we learned that his opinion was formed because somebody told him so. When I asked if he had shot one he changed the subject.

Then he told the instructor that ankle holsters were the only way to fly. And as proof the flopped his leg up on the counter to show us his from which he had obviously removed the thumb break. Finally he began to tell the gunsmith about a marvelous new process for rifling barrels that had been invented only in his mind.

But the guy was an absolute genius. After all, three total strangers walked into his gun shop each of whom had a degree of skill or experience at least a bit above average and he managed to find a topic each of us knew well and insult our intelligence.

Then I hustled us out the door so I could get back to the laptop and write it all down. Sometimes good column topics just fall from the sky.

How about some more examples? Remember to change names to protect the guilty.
 

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Et tu, Snake.

Observation: I quit subscribing to G&A when I realized that after about 5 years, they'd dust off an old column/article and run it again. Possibly figuring that they now had a new set of readers who wouldn't realize it. Is Charlie researching new material?
 

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Around here, if you hear a guy refered to as "Cliffie" thats a heads up that he's genius in his own world, like Cliffie Claven on the old Cheers TV show.

I ran in to one just recently when I proctored a carry class with a woman who had been a student and wanted moral support while she took the class. In the class was a guy who had just retired from the USAF as a colonel, who's last billet was in the para jumpers area.

Ying Yang instructor, who was not who we had signed up with, but was a last minute replacement provided by the range, insisted on trying to tell Mr Colonel how to shoot. Mr Colonel was shooting nickel sized groups with his SIG that had no finish left on it, yet YY instructor was trying to correct his grip.

Next day at the range, the YY was telling someone else that he was now "under the instruction" of said Colonel........
 

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Charlie Petty said:
Almost every gun club or store has one. He may be nice or a jerk but regardless of the topic he knows everything. To hear him he can shoot the eye out of a knat at a mile or is the holder of many obscure titles. But I really do wonder why we never seem to. see him shoot.

If a conversation is going on he interrupts and is most in his element with new shooters- especially women. Even if his motives are pure it's hard to believe he isn't hitting on them.

It gets even worse if he has some sort of credentials like being a certified instructor because then it is reasonable to assume he knows what he's talking about. And this is not a critique of anyone who carries a card it's just that some are better than others. The tests aren't too hard either and if you pay attention in class it is very likely that the instructor will use examples that are eerily famliar when you read the test.

Since so many things in shooting are based on subjective values it is hard for the newbie to separate fact from fiction. I learned long ago that it doesn't pay to try to correct him but I simply can never hide my joy if a student does it. Very often in their innocence the student does a far better job of deflating bluster.

Over the years I've learned, sometimes painfully, to just keep my mouth shut and remember that not many people read gun magazines. Not that the fact would necessarily increase my credibility anyhow.

Sometimes the blowhards are positively clueless and won't allow themselves to be saved. When I travel I always like to visit gun shops if time permits. Some years ago I was traveling out west and had a little free time and was directed to the, "best gun shop in town." I had two friends with me, one an instructor at the S&W Academy and the other a well known gunsmith.

We walked into an empty store and began browsing the show cases which had lots of handguns. The clerk came up and after we told him we were just looking for now and with no encouragement from anyone reached in the case and pulled out a .22 pistol.

"Have you ever shot one of these," he asked?
"Yes I have," I replied.
"This is the most accurate .22 pistol," he said.
"That was not my experience," said I.

It was as if I hadn't opened my mouth and he continued on and on about accuracy. Pretty soon we learned that his opinion was formed because somebody told him so. When I asked if he had shot one he changed the subject.

Then he told the instructor that ankle holsters were the only way to fly. And as proof the flopped his leg up on the counter to show us his from which he had obviously removed the thumb break. Finally he began to tell the gunsmith about a marvelous new process for rifling barrels that had been invented only in his mind.

But the guy was an absolute genius. After all, three total strangers walked into his gun shop each of whom had a degree of skill or experience at least a bit above average and he managed to find a topic each of us knew well and insult our intelligence.

Then I hustled us out the door so I could get back to the laptop and write it all down. Sometimes good column topics just fall from the sky.

How about some more examples? Remember to change names to protect the guilty.
Somewhere I think I still have a copy of that column and you'll be happy to know that maybe for the last ten years at an annual national conference, 800 to 1000 people (different each year in terms of the attendees and their exact number) are told to be wary of what they see (on their friends), read (in some, not all, of the magazines) and hear (from others) when it comes to selecting equipment. AND one of the categories that is detailed, deals with Gun Shop Employees.

Having once been a counterperson myself, I can only hope that I wasn't as bad as some are but these attendees are told up front that the gun business is probably the only retail industry where the end seller can be rude, intolerant of newcomers, and opinionated to the point of no return; often supporting those opinions by both misperceptions and misinformation. Generally, it can be seen that many of those in the room nod in agreement.

The point is made further by relaying the same story that you have detailed here; albeit from a slightly different direction. You are named and get credit for your book on High Standard Pistols as a then-recent production stainless .22 might have been involved in this incident. It is pointed out that the "gunsmith" (who goes unnamed) actually made (among other things) insanely specialized test barrels for both the government and several top-flight ammo and bullet makers. And they are told that the instructor (alluded to) was already somewhat known for specializing in the field of concealed carry long before it became trendy (and mainly because it was not only "not trendy" but a relatively glossed-over topic back then).

As it is told to the attendees, it was the "Perfect Storm" of stupidity. All of us make mistakes and a lot of people (myself included) think I'm not too bright but usually most of us try not to advertise our flaws so openly. This guy, who unfortunately is way too typical in this business, went three for three that day for he couldn't have picked topics more appropriate to the three men involved had someone given him a list to choose from.

Your story here brightened up my morning, as I believe its retelling seems to have brightened up the afternoons of the, by now, 8-10,000 people who have heard it at that program over the years. Thanks Charlie.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Possibly figuring that they now had a new set of readers who wouldn't realize it. Is Charlie researching new material?
Actually that is true and audiences do change. I've done the same topic over and over because of that but never just repeat a piece...

Our newest member, Mr. Marlowe, was one of the players in that story so I have a good excuse and am delighted to know he enjoyed it. Really it was pretty cool because we went back and sat in a conference room while I roughed out the story.

The fun part is that when it ran I got a call from an industry contact who called the guy by name and then gave me some even more outrageous stories about our expert.

I didn't dare print THOSE...
 

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Charlie Petty said:
The fun part is that when it ran I got a call from an industry contact who called the guy by name and then gave me some even more outrageous stories about our expert.

I didn't dare print THOSE...
You're among friends now. Dish! :twisted:
 

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Took some friends out shopping for a handgun for home protection. Job one was to get something that fit his wife’s hands well, and would be appropriate for defensive use. Next up was to make sure SHE liked the overall package because she was quite the perfectionist, and is serious about putting in the investment in time and money to learn how to use the thing.

Early on, we found the ideal pistol, a Kahr 9mm, one of the early one’s with the steel frame. This gun fit her perfectly, and with the addition of the steel frame, I knew recoil would be tolerable, and the propensity toward short stroking would be somewhat reduced. Trigger was good, and she loved the thing; decision made…only one problem.

The guy behind the counter wouldn’t sell it to her, because it was an “expert’s” gun, and she should start off with a lightweight .38 Special snub nosed revolver, preferably a S&W J frame. I tried to convince him that the LW J frame was perhaps the most difficult of all handguns to learn to shoot well and he just laughed in my face saying, “nothing’s easier than a revolver.”

I got in a huff, but had the sense (there’s a first for everything) to just leave, find another shop, who ordered them the exact same gun. They also bought 300 rounds of ammo, a cleaning kit, a pistol rug, a Galco holster, hearing protection and a stack of targets. The accessories sale (which is almost always 40% or more of profit) was more than half the price of the pistol.
 

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Next genius – I may have told this story before, but it’s one of my favorites.

Back in the days of living in CA, I used to have to go to…it pains me to say it…A Range!

Showed up with my Inland M1 Carbine and the range master told me I could only shoot it on the pistol range, because an M1 Carbine couldn’t hit anything beyond 25 yards anyhow. He knew so, because he used them when he was in the Air Force (something tells me he peeled a lot of potato(e)s during his term).

I bet the guy my range fee that I could turn in a sub-4 inch group at 100 yards, and he said, “You’re on.” A few minutes later, I came back with a measured 2.3” 5 shot group, and got my range fee back. The guy was shocked that a Carbine could do that.

Now comes the kicker (I love this part)…I did the same thing, with the same guy, once a year for the following 4 years. Seems not only was he a poor shot (trigger finger probably numb from years of peeling potato(e)s), he really has memory problems.
 

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Kevin Gibson said:
Showed up with my Inland M1 Carbine and the range master told me I could only shoot it on the pistol range, because an M1 Carbine couldn't hit anything beyond 25 yards anyhow. He knew so, because he used them when he was in the Air Force (something tells me he peeled a lot of potato(e)s during his term).

I bet the guy my range fee that I could turn in a sub-4 inch group at 100 yards, and he said, "You're on." A few minutes later, I came back with a measured 2.3" 5 shot group, and got my range fee back. The guy was shocked that a Carbine could do that.

Now comes the kicker (I love this part)…I did the same thing, with the same guy, once a year for the following 4 years. Seems not only was he a poor shot (trigger finger probably numb from years of peeling potato(e)s), he really has memory problems.
Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

I just might steal that story and tell it as my own! :twisted:
 

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Well, I could tell one of these stories—on myself, in a way...

I took Jean to the only gun shop anywhere near us, shopping for a carry pistol. She had already proved herself quite capable with one of my full-size .45 Government Models, so we thought she might try learning to use a smaller-size .45 semi-auto, for instance an Officers' Model or something similar.
The shop clerk was decidedly against anyone as small and lightweight as Jean trying to competently shoot a pocket-size .45, and he tried his darndest to steer us into buying a .38 Special, S&W, J-frame snubbie instead. Jean left it up to me to decide, since I was her in-house "expert," so I contained myself, politely said goodbye to the clerk, and steered her out the door.
To keep the story short, Jean continued to practice with the full-size .45 until a neighbor called me in to help her sell her deceased husband's gun collection, the spiff for having done which was a new-in-box, .38 Special, S&W, Airweight Bodyguard snubbie.
Wouldn't you know it: Jean decided upon, now is competent with, and regularly carries that S&W snubbie. The gun-shop clerk had been right, all along.
:oops:
 

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Kevin Gibson said:
Now comes the kicker (I love this part)…I did the same thing, with the same guy, once a year for the following 4 years. Seems not only was he a poor shot (trigger finger probably numb from years of peeling potato(e)s), he really has memory problems.
Should've used the same target...
 

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Tim Burke said:
[quote="Kevin Gibson":2u57j8ke]Now comes the kicker (I love this part)…I did the same thing, with the same guy, once a year for the following 4 years. Seems not only was he a poor shot (trigger finger probably numb from years of peeling potato(e)s), he really has memory problems.
Should've used the same target...[/quote:2u57j8ke]

Maybe he did... :)
 

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Want to really freak him out Kevin, Just photo-shop a 1 in front of the 5 and show him this one!
 

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SG Underwood Carbine, newish barrel(TE-2, ME-1) at 50 yards with Winchester factory 110FMJs Charlie, from a bench.

Oh, Witnessed. Here's the offending firearm.



If you want I'll bring it along to the get-together.
Dave
 
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