The phrase scope-lock is a military phrase that basically means “You’re getting all your info from one place and it’s screwing up how you think”.  Lately, I’ve noticed a version of that same tunnel vision or target fixation in myself.  I started actually noticing it with the post about the guys shooting the .500 Magnum.  Tam left a comment reminding me that people actually go to the range to shoot; and then she also had a post where she talked about the importance of having fun when you’re shooting.  It dawned on me that my focus on the shooting sports has grown more and more focuses over the last couple of years to the point that I tend to dismiss shooting activities that are not competition or defensively oriented as un-serious.

In lighter terms, while I understood on a mental level that people would buy guns for reasons other than home/self defense or competition, I couldn’t quite square it with my heart.  So if I’ve inadvertently insulted you with that attitude, I am profoundly sorry – I’ve been extremely scope-locked in to a narrow field of the shooting community, and have neglected the other fields.  There are people that buy guns for no other reason than to shoot them at the range occasionally and have fun with them – for these people there’s no need for the high round count, defensive/practical orientated stuff that I use as my guiding star.

The lesson here in this regard is don’t be like me.  If you love IDPA, USPSA, NRA High Power, don’t let you shooting galaxy contract until that’s all you acknowledge or focus on.  There are plenty of shooters that are not serious sport shooters, or serious defensive shooters, or serious hunters.  The casual shooters actually make up a massive majority of the shooters out there; and for those of us that are highly specialized and very focused on one narrow lane of the shooting sports, we ignore them at our detriment.

That being said, I do believe that the casual shooter has just as much a right to quality guns and gear as the 25,000 round per year IPSC shooter.  If you buy a night stand gun that you’re only going to shoot 1 a month for 100, maybe 200 rounds then whether or not your gun survived a 50,000 round shooting season probably isn’t a relevant concern.  What is a concern is that your gun goes bang when you need it to…and that gun that was well built enough to survive the 50,000 rounds is also more likely to go bang when you need it than a gun that’s only designed to last 6,000 rounds.

So for my casual shooters out there, thank you for your support!  You guys are the bulk of us gun owners, and I forget that at my own peril!  Just don’t buy crappy guns!


  1. Very well put. It happens to us in the sales side of the house as well, although the constant exposure to the other ‘crowds’ seves as a constant reminder to keep a balanced focus. Keep your head on a swivel!

  2. I think really everyone is guilty of doing this at one time or another ranging from cooking to cannons. Myself I try and keep a few different hobbies that tend not to overlap with any of the others I have so that I can avoid being locked into anything and give myself some balance.

    Now, this is not to say that dedication to a particular hobby is a bad thing mind you. Just that sometimes having some variety can keep things just as interesting without getting as you put it scope-lock. ^_^

  3. I am an avid “cowboy” shooter. I do own Ar’s, various semi-autos, and a host of other guns. I ENJOY MYSELF even though I NEVER post the fastest times. It’s OK to be competitive, but if that’s all you’re getting out of your competitions you’re missing the best part. Having fun doesn’t equal competition.

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