Answering reader mail

Reader mail is a great way to generate content when I don’t really have anything good to write about. Today I’m going to answer three questions I’ve gotten that aren’t really long enough to do posts of their own, but put together will hopefully give you guys some stuff to talk about in the comments. I’m also going to really interact with the comments on this post, so any follow-up questions I’ll be happy to answer.

1. How come you’re not writing as much about shooting and training as you used to/why are you shooting less?
I’ve gotten that question from quite a few readers, so I figured now is as good a time as any to answer. When I started the blog in 2006, it was so I could talk about something I was passionate about, namely guns. It then started to serve as a vehicle to fund my shooting habit, which peaked from 2010-2012 when I was a fully sponsored shooter dropping over 20,000 rounds of ammo each year. Those years also saw me make tremendous strides in my shooting skill.

What also happened during that time is that the business of Gun Nuts Media and GunUp grew tremendously, and became my for real full time job. I am less of a writer and shooter today than I am a full time advertising salesman, and that’s not really a bad thing. What it does mean is there’s less time to get to the range, and in general less free time overall than I used to have. Because my free time is limited and going to the range is just another part of work, I’d rather spend my free time here:


In the gym. To go back to the 2010-2012 period, it was easy to see the gains in my shooting skill. I went from C-class to A-class pretty quickly, because I was spending 4 hours a week at the range shooting free ammo, taking classes from great trainers, etc. It was awesome. Once I hit A-class, I hit a plateau, and while it’s still quite possible to make skill gains, the effort that I have to put in to get there has increased. I still like shooting, but it’s part of my job now. On the flip side, working out is still fun, because I’m basically a C-class fitness bro. I can see regular increases in the weight I’m pushing and see shrinking times on my runs, and that tangible progress is fun to chase.

2. What’s your favorite gun that you’ve shot/tested this year?
Well isn’t that a loaded question, now. I’ll stick to handguns, because I spent the most amount of time on them. If I had to pick one gun that I really, really loved, it wouldn’t be a new one, it would be the Beretta PX4 Storm Inox I shot at Bianchi Cup. After changing the mainspring to a D-spring from a Cougar, the gun’s trigger is just sick, it pulls at like 6 pounds in DA and 3ish in SA.

px4 storm photo of the day

The gun that I think has the most potential to be a market success is the HK VP9. It’s a great striker fired pistol, and it does everything you need in a gun with none of the silly fru-fru that you’re seeing on other guns. It just works, it’s accurate, it’s easy to shoot well, and the price point is right where it needs to be for HK to sell every single one of them.

My biggest handgun regret? That I didn’t get more trigger time on the Sig P320. That also looks like a great gun with a ton of a potential.

3. You mentioned something about taking most of 2015 off from shooting matches. Why?
I can’t tell you yet. I have some plans for 2015 that are going to be pretty awesome, and generate a ton of great content for the blog. But for right now, they’re still under wraps.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!


    1. Hello, Caleb. Modern Service Weapons alerted me to GNM. You’re one of the few “go to” sites I visit each day. Keep up the great work!

  1. Both you and Shelly have posted specifically about sub compact/single stack 9s and referenced them in other posts. But never any love and attention for the XDS. Why is that?

    I picked one up a couple years ago and I’ve loved it. Great sights and controls, decent trigger and works every time. I was initially interested in the walther pps or Sig 938 but didn’t want to pay for a brand name. I probably would have enjoyed a shield but at the time they were harder to find than Sam Beckett’s own time. Plus Glock is still being dumb.

    Enough of my defensive rant. I love the blog, I’ve learned a lot from you and I’m excited for whatever is coming in 2015. Keep up the great work.

    1. A big part of it is that we don’t have a really strong relationship with Springfield’s PR apparatus. Despite my joke post last week, I actually don’t hate XD pistols, I think they’re a pretty reasonable choice for folk. I’ve shot a lot of XD pistols in the past four years and actually liked all of the samples I’ve had. I really like the XDs in .45 if you live in a capacity limited state and can manage the recoil.

  2. Do you mind fans dropping by the retail store to say hello? I have a cross country trip coming up at the end of March / early April.

  3. Caleb,

    1. Are you able to hit the VP9 mag release with your thumb? I switched away from PPQ with the paddle release in favor of the button release. Using my middle finger, only thing I could reliably use I found I had a crappy grip on the gun during reloads. Index doesn’t seem likely handling it in the shops, and thumb seems to require too much shifting the gun for my hands. I kinda feel like if HK made a button release I would be all over it in an instant, but that’s unlikely to happen. Thoughts?

    2. Beretta Storm? Hmm, that’s a surprise with that long/large slide lever and frame mounted safety. Grip and contour seem nice. But do you value a trigger as light as 3# in a carry gun? Seems too light for me, considering I feel like the PPQ is a too light under stress, while running light, indoors.

    3. SIG P320. Kind of the direction I’m currently leaning. Too bad you don’t have more time on it, as I do value your opinion. SIG appears to be the only competitor that really embodies the modular handgun system, so of course Army would never pick it 😉 But from what I hear they are pulling some police depts away from Glock. Do you expect to get time on one soon?

    1. JNZ, thanks for the questions.

      1. I always used my index finger for the VP9’s release. It was just nice and fast.
      2. I really like the Storm. The Inox gun I used in competition with the light trigger, my carry one has a slightly heavier trigger pull. Probably 4 in SA and 8 in DA.
      3. Unfortunately, probably not in the near future. I’m going to try and get one into Shelley Rae’s hands for GunUp the Magazine tho’.

  4. I keep wanting to drop some coin on a PX4. Have you found that the rotary barrel to cause reliability problems? I keep hearing some people whose opinions I respect mention that the gun’s predecessor, the Cougar (in spite of being good for shooting eco-turrurists) having some problems with seizing up due to the rotary system but I’m guessing you’ve put more than just a few thousand rounds through yours and if it had reliability problems you’d have shed yourself of it.

    1. John,
      I’ve had good luck with PX4s in the past. The rotary barrel is a slightly different design than the cougar.

  5. If I liked DA/SA I think the Storm would be my top choice, but I prefer the same trigger pull all the time and have a G19 and a M&P. I have the basics for guns, I just need more time and closer locations for solid training.

  6. Dear Caleb:
    I`m a newcomer to theb blog. I happen to be an Argentine which looking through the web met the blog and like it.
    My preferences are rifles, but I have a spot for a 4″ in 45 Norinco and a faithfull HP 35. Nevertheless I read your comments which I find juicy. Keep the good work though I see you are suffering from that malice born from changing a pleasure into official workç
    Rgds and Merry Xmas

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