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Why is "Different" So Hard?

After reviewing a couple hundred firearms for multiple websites, magazines, and of course YouTube some of them start to blur in memory. What stands out are those that were truly, "different". What does "different" mean?

As a gun guy, some might say, "gun nerd" I appreciate different designs. That goes well beyond brand, capacity, or silly companies that feel making something in another color is "different". Show me innovation, show me the effort to do something the consumer might not have been expecting, or even realized they needed. That's what inspired our Wonderfully Different mini series.

So far we've covered:

What do all of these firearms have in common? Not much aside from that they have little in common with most other guns. Understandably, the industry seems to prefer to produce the same basic designs that are time proven and in the same configuration that most other guns come in. The research and development is done (quite often by someone else and sometimes decades ago) and paid for. It's relatively easy and cheap to say, produce a striker-fired 9mm pistol based on the Browning action. The geometry, physics, and other science has all been calculated, tested, and proven several times over. Guns that are "Wonderfully Different" however require a bit more.

These guns are those that dared to break the mold and go outside what most consumers willingly consume. That's a scary thing for a company. R&D hours, testing, more testing, then tooling to produce something different takes guts! We appreciate that effort!

Take the Archon Type B or any 9mm Grand Power pistol for example. Completely different methods of locking and unlocking the action. Think about it, that's the riskiest part for a gun maker. The liability alone is enough to scare most makers away. Add to that the chance that a particular system operates best in a particular pressure window and the gun could easily unlock (action opening) too soo or not at all as soon as Joe Bob the shooter uses ammo other than what it was designed for. We saw this with early Grand Power Stribog A3 models which were designed for NATO-pressure 9mm loads. Fortunately for the shooter the only thing that happened to the Stribog A3s with improper ammunition were occasional failures to complete a cycle like what MrGunsngear experienced when he shot soft 115gr reloads through an action tuned for 124gr NATO. Fortunately that issue has been resolved as Grand Power had tunable parts already made for different load types.

Getting back on target, it takes a lot for a company to stray from the norm and we celebrate when they do. If no one was bold enough to challenge the status quo we'd still be using carrier pigeons to deliver messages. We just wish more consumers would recognize these efforts and not be afraid to learn something new. Just imagine if the Walther P5 had enjoyed more commercial success, we'd all (right-handed shooters) be able to quickly identify a malfunction thanks to the left-side eject and enjoy less muzzle flip thanks to a different action type.

In conclusion, if you're confident in your basic firearms knowledge, and a bit bored with the norm don't be afraid to try something wonderfully different!

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Bring back the Wheel Guns!!! I just bought an Uberti with a brass trigger guard and grip, with a color case hardened frame, and I'm feeling nostalgic to the days where you went on a tangent reviewing them all. Dig em' outta the safe cowboy 😁

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Yup, you just whacked that nail right on the head!


Kimball Scarr
Kimball Scarr
Jul 31, 2021

Graham, knowing your have a sweet spot for everything Walther, Grand Power, and I think the Archon what all these guns have in common is off-axis inertia defections of the recoil force. This takes a portion of the recoil force or momentum generated by launching the projectile and redirects it in a manner to reduce the total recoil impulse, and more importantly causes a force to directly oppose the muzzle rise of the pistol. This directly subtracts from the recoil force and momentum very early in the cycle just as the movement of the slide commences, redirecting it. Interestingly the Walther P5 moves the locking block making for the off axis inertial defection opposing muzzle rise and recoil force more forwar…

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