Seven New Year’s Resolutions For the Gun Industry

Oh boy, we are a few weeks into 2022, and I was thinking about what would I like to see change in the gun industry? Since we are at the beginning of the year, I was thinking about what should be the gun industry’s and the gun culture’s New Year’s Resolutions? With Festivus long gone, I can’t just complain about problems in the gun industry without offering some sort of solution. Thus, we have my seven New Year’s Resolutions for the gun industry.

1. Let’s Settle on an Optic’s Footprint

We’ve accepted that red dots on handguns are pretty freaking great. There are what seems like a dozen or more different footprints for various optics. This leads to systems like the Glock MOS and the FN plate system to make it easy to mount whatever optic you own, and plate systems are never as good as direct mounts.

It seems like we only need three different footprints. First, we need one for traditional handgun red dots like the Trijicon RMR, the Leupold DPP, and the SIG ROMEO1PRO. This footprint fits most full-sized and compact firearms. Trijicon’s footprint is perfect here.

best pistol red dots - Trijicon RMR
The Trijicon RMR was one of the OGs for the mini red dot sight categories and has been extensively utilized in a defensive role.

Next, we need a footprint for enclosed optics—things like the ACRO, SIG ROMEO2, and Holosun 509T. The enclosed nature demands we do things differently, and I think the Acro footprint would work well.

Finally, the industry has seemed to agree on the footprint for mini optics on subcompact firearms. The Shield footprint works and works very well. Sorry Trijicon, but the RMRc just doesn’t do it.

Holosun 507K mini red dot review
The Shield footprint seems to be the footprint we all settled on for mini optics.

Having one footprint for each type of optic will make it much easier to get into the world of red dot-equipped handguns. It’s worked well for the subcompact firearm world, so there is no reason why it won’t work for the enclosed and standard-sized optics.

2. Let’s Add Suppressor Height Sights to Optics-Ready Guns

Speaking of optics-ready firearms, I’m ready to say a handgun isn’t optics-ready until it has suppressor height sights. Okay, that might be a little extreme, but there is a huge lack of optic-ready guns with backup sights. After handling the FN 509 LS Edge, I’m ready to embrace a little company bullying to get this done.

suppressor height sights on an optics-ready pistol
Co-witnessing sights make a gun truly optics ready.

Modern optics are pretty dang capable, and maybe backup iron sights aren’t needed. However, I like the idea of a just-in-case option in case batteries die. Handgun red dots have battery lives measured in the thousands of hours, but they still haven’t made it to that full-sized rifle red dot level of battery life.

So instead of buying a gun, buying an optic, and then buying and installing a new set of sights, I’d rather just buy the gun with the suppressor height sights installed. It’s a simple New Year’s resolution that will make life a little easier.

3. Recognize that Candela is More Important Than Lumens

Lumens, lumens, lumens, allow me to channel my inner Jan to bitch about how much (nearly) every light company in the world advertises their lights via lumens. Lumens are important, and they do provide a simple set of numbers that portrays the brightness of a light. However, they don’t tell the whole story. So as part of 2022’s New Year’s resolutions, I’m saying the conversation needs to include both lumens and candela.

Cloud Defensive REIN Micro bezel
Cloud Defensive made candela part of the discussion

Lumens might measure how bright a light is, but candela measures how much useable light you have. Lumens and candela aren’t two features that fight each other but work together. One company that’s got it together on the lumen vs. candela game is Cloud Defensive. I feel like they’ve single handily dished out a ton of information on candela and why it’s important.

A high candela count allows you to project all those lumens downrange more efficiently. Candela works with lumens to defeat photonic barriers, blind targets and ensure you get the most out of your light. The candela that powers the OWL and REIN series gives you more range than you’d ever imagine from a WML.

4. Stop Crapping on New Ideas

This one affects the gun culture a bit more than the gun industry. Social media gives this crazy feedback that gives people this weird habit of crapping on new ideas. Simply put, it’s easy to complain, and complaining makes you sound almost as if you have some expertise. The gun culture likes to crap on anything new, and it’s mostly done via social media.

30 Super Carry magazine showing mag capacity.
30 Super Carry magazine showing mag capacity.

The recent invention of the .30 Super Carry shows this in full effect. That’s not to say that some ideas aren’t crap. For example, Detroit Urban Survival Training has lots of new ideas, and they are complete crap. However, many people in the gun world will crap on a new idea without being able to explain why it’s a bad idea.

If you can’t explain why it’s a bad idea, then maybe you don’t know as much as you think. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution for the gun industry, but the gun culture.

5. Shorten the LOP on Tactical Shotguns

Okay, this New Year’s resolution is more personal, and it’s because I’m a shotgun nerd. I love shotguns, especially tactical shotguns. However, from Mossberg to Benelli, the shotgun industry has this idea that you have to have a 14 or 14.5-inch length of pull. That’s an absurd length of pull, and it’s overly long for modern shooting styles.

Blackwater Sentry 12 magazine fed 12-gauge shotgun stock, shorter length of pull.
The Sentry 12 got the length of pull right.

Guys have been trimming stocks for decades to shorten the stock for a reason. A long length of pull doesn’t grant you the most control over the gun. It makes it harder to control the weapon, exercise recoil mitigation techniques, and manipulate the weapon.

Magpul did it best via the SGA stock and its set of spacers. You can remove the spacers to shorten the length of pull. Yet, companies still sell guns with ridiculously long LOPs. It makes it tough to assume a modern, aggressive shooting stance and is confusing to see this far into the world of tactical shotguns.

6. Technology Isn’t Bad

Oh boy, in large parts of the gun community in the year 2022 we still have this weird distrust in technology. This is another New Year’s resolution for the firearms community more than the firearm industry. The gun industry seems perfectly willing to embrace technology, but holy crap does a large portion of the general gun buying public still distrust tech on guns.

The Lawgiver Mk2 only works for Judges and is fictional, but could be the future.
The Lawgiver Mk2 only works for Judges and is fictional, but could be the future.

Heck, large portions of the gun community still don’t trust red dots on handguns, regardless of how much evidence we have that they rule. Hell, as of this writing, the Vortex Fire Control optic just won a big Army contract, and lots of people seem to hate the idea of technology’s ability to make firearms better.

Sure technology fails, but iron sights break, frames crack, slides lock rearward permanently, and grip safeties fail, but we still trust firearms.

7. Ditch FOMI Clips

Finally, I’ll keep this one short. FOMI clips suck. Maybe they were fine decades ago, but in the year of our lord 2022, there is plenty of affordable clip and loop options for holsters that are better than FOMI clips.

Ditch the FOMI, embrace loops

FOMI clips are those massive, single clips popular on lots of budget holsters. The problem with FOMI clips are many, but two stick out. First, they break easily under tension, commonly at where the screws meet the holster. Second, they don’t keep the holster on your belt. The chance of your holster leaving your pants as you draw your weapon is much higher with a FOMI clip than any other holster. Making ditching the FOMI one of your New Year’s resolutions.

Your New Year’s Resolutions

So these are the New Year’s Resolutions I have for the gun industry and gun culture. What would you like to see change? I’m curious because firearms are always a personal, niche-filled adventure. Let us know what you’d like the gun industry to change in 2022.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

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