Friday, July 18, 2008

Blogging By Proxy

The Mad Ogre ( absolutely hit it out of the park with his write up on the Ruger LCP. That's Ruger's "answer" to the Kel Tec P3At .380 pocket gun.

Mr. Ogre is upset that the Ruger is a copy of the Kel Tec and that gun writers in general are ignoring the Kel Tec and heaping praises on the Ruger as if it were the original.

I think he has some good points.

Back in the early 1990s did we see gun writers rave about S&W's Sigma pistols and forget that Glock had been around building "the same thing" for years? (I really don't know because I'm not really a plastic gun person and was even less of one then). Everybody at gun shows was talking about it. Some folks even said that you could put the slide from one brand on the frame from the other brand. They said the gun wouldn't work but the slide would fit and cycle by hand. At gun shows we even used to call them "Smocks." Nobody ever asked "why do you call them that?"

Perhaps its a time-honored tradition that goes back to the Springfield 1903 and the 98 Mauser. I don't know but it does seem that Ruger has come up with a whole lot of ideas that were just brilliant over the years and its disappointing to see them taking someone else's ball and running with it. Aren't they making enough money with their other arms? Why not try to make an affordable 9mm Parabellum-chambered pocket gun that's about the same size?

What's really disappointing is the reviews. All the magazines talk about the Ruger as if its a brand new idea. They don't tell you that its the first pistol of its kind (locked breech polymer framed DAO pocket pistol in .380 etc) but they sure don't tell you that it isn't. I have seen exactly one article on the Ruger that even mentions that there is a similar pistol out there by Kel Tec. That article didn't spend a whole lot of ink on it. I don't know that the writer would have even mentioned it if he hadn't run into someone at the range that had a Kel Tec P3AT in his pocket. All I have read is how the big buzz at the Shot Show was the LCP. Sometimes its "...and when we get a sample we'll actually shoot it" and other times they have one and they shoot it. Whoopee. I've been doing that for years. Mine just says Kel Tec on it.

The whole thing reminds me a lot of the debut of the Remington 300 Ultra Mag some years back. Somehow every article found a way to mention that the big Remington cartridge was faster than the 300 Weatherby. Every article I read found a way to work the words "faster than the 300 Weatherby" into the text. It was right at a year after I first read about the 300 RUM that I ran across a gun magazine that actually published an article by someone who hadn't completely forgotten something called the 30-378 Weatherby that had been around for several years and was (and still is) faster than the Ultra. I believe that the 30-378 was also Weatherby's most popular chambering at the time so it wasn't like it was some obscure wildcat. But why mention that either. You'd almost think they were being told what to say.

I know that the ads pay the magazine's bills and the bigger the client the more leverage they have. Its hard to blame the magazines or the guys that make their livings writing the stuff that we like to read. They have to compromises to stay in business just like the rest of us. I'm not mad. I'm not dumping my Rugers. The whole thing is just disappointing. Its like they are afraid that someone will find out that there are other arms companies out there. They even put ".40 Auto" on their pistols when the cartridge is called the .40 Smith & Wesson. What are they afraid of?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Mad Ogre DIDN'T hit it out of the park. What he did was confuse a lot of opinion with fact. Case in point:

1. Ogre says, " Just because other companies often make similar guns to someone else's, such as the 1911 or the CZ 75... this isn't same thing. This is Theft of Intellectual Property here."

Actually, it's EXACTLY the same thing. I don't see anyone complaining about the numerous 1911 and CZ75 identical copies. But Ruger copies a gun, and oh my...theft! Moreover, this is NOT theft of intellectual property, because the Kel-tec design is NOT patented! (Poor Ogre doesn't appear to know that the term "intellectual propery" actually has a real, legal meaning.) Therefore, as a matter of indisputable fact, this was not "theft" (another word that has an actual legal meaning.)

2. Ogre says, "The only reason Kel-Tec hasn't sued the shit out of Ruger is that Ruger has more lawyers and more money to buy more lawyers. It's the same gun."

Ah, not really Ogre. Money has nothing to do with it. The reason Kel-tec hasn't sued, is because they have no legal basis to do so. You can't sue somebody because they used a design that you negligently "forgot" to patent. (I say "forgot", because its questionable that Kel-tec's design could even be patented in the first place.)

3. Ogre writes, "This is killing Kel-Tec...".

Oh really? Last I heard, Kel-tecs are still in high demand, and getting many of their firearms means waiting in line. What Ogre doesn't understand is that the concealed carry market is way too robust to have one more entrant (Ruger) "kill" Kel-tec. Moreover, upon what evidence does Ogre base this statement? Oh, that's right. It's just baseless opinion.

Look, Ogre doesn't have to like that Ruger copied the Kel-tec design. Nor does he have to like how the gun magazines have treated the matter. But as the saying goes, "You're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts".

Poor Ogre seems to confuse his opinions with fact, and in the end, that makes his analysis (rant, really) questionable at best.