About SD Carry

As a young boy in Texas, I grew up with guns. They were basic tools, much like my grandfather's mitre box or pipe wrench, there to perform specific tasks when called upon. I was taught gun safety by virtually every male adult in my family. I spent eight years in the US Navy operating and maintaing various guns from .30 caliber to 5" rifles.

After a few years as a moderator on a popular gun forum, I learned that there is much disinformation, prejudice and plain ignorance about guns posted constantly on the internet.

This blog is dedicated to sharing worthwhile information about the increasing acceptance and practice of legal concealed carry in our country. There is much mis-information and wild opinion about this topic among its practitioners and the public in general. The moral, social and legal responsibilities of concealed carry are immense and must be understood and practiced by all who legally carry a gun.

There is also a vast amount of practical and useful information about carrying and the weapons themselves and I hope to be able to share some of that here. Your comments are welcome, but will be moderated by me before appearing on this blog.

Stay safe.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reviews, Evaluations and Customer Satisfaction

Many of the items I review here are provided by their makers for that purpose. Not all. Some I have bought courtesy of my credit card. After doing this for a while I have formed a few opinions of the way in which companies approach review requests. First, I am obviously not representative of a large publishing concern with a huge readership. I do have a fairly steady readership and have had almost ten thousand visits since I started this blog. However, I do concentrate on a specific area - concealed carry - and attempt to be rational and as objective as a gun-toting Second Amendment supporter can be. As you will have noticed, I try hard to keep politics out of the discussion. I find that when politics and guns are mixed, any chance for rational discourse goes rapidly out the window.

Back when I was a moderator of the old Elsie Pea Forum (RIP), I saw and got involved in many discussions concerning the use and value of laser sights mounted to concealed carry handguns. Now, being of the old school and having had my training and qualifications with a handgun courtesy of the U.S. Marines and an old Model 1911 pistol, I'm not one to favor laser sights right off the bat. It became quickly evident that many of those who had these gizmos attached to their pistols really liked them. More so, many gun makers provide some of their handguns with laser sights installed at the factory. Even so, many members of the forum lined up against them and their reasons were many but the most often cited were: dependence on another piece of gear that might fail at the wrong time; turning it on; trying to find the red dot instead of sighting on the target. The laser supporters answered these in various ways but it became apparent to me that I could not be an effective part of the conversations since I have no experience with this technology applied to handguns. And, furthermore, I was unlikely to do so since they are expensive and if I did want to equip and carry them on my self defense guns, I was looking at a considerable cash outlay for the sights and the new holsters I would need. So, I passed.

However, having re-thought this, I decided that if I could get some real-world experience with various laser sights on at least one of my carry pistols, I could do a thorough evaluation from a "normal" (yeah, I know...) person who legally carries a handgun for self defense. I don't have a bias, one way or the other, nor do I support any firearms related companies or have any interest in supporting one company or maker over another. I am basically interested in reporting, from my personal perspective, what works for me as part of my concealed carry systems and training and what doesn't. In this spirit, I contacted three manufacturers of laser sights for handguns asking for an evaluation unit that I could test and report on here. I also stated that I would return the unit to them after the testing and evaluation was done. This seems like a reasonable request. I get to find out about their products, test them, report here and send them back. They are out postage and some free publicity on my blog. Of course, the publicity could be good or bad or both.

Although I have not received any product to test as yet, the two responses I have gotten are interesting.

The first company to respond was LaserLyte. They were quick to reply to my query but vague about whether or not they wanted to participate. The person who responded to me is "forwarding my request to the proper department for review". Wow. Departments. I guess they are trying to figure out which of their departments should handle this request. I'm not too thrilled by this or what it portends for me actually getting a unit to test. I am certain that I am not the first person to ask for a review unit - there have been a bunch of reviews done to date already - so why would they have to find the proper department to review my simple request. It is possible that this is a stalling tactic, or perhaps this is just procedure, how they handle unknown people out there in cyberspace who are asking them for something. I don't know. That happened on November 21. It is now November 29, eight days later so either they have a great many departments, a great many requests of this nature, or my email is sitting on the bottom of a virtual pile of emails somewhere in the proper department.

The second company to respond was LaserMax. My request went to them on November 21 and someone responded to me on November 26. It was short and sweet. Yes, they have evaluation units and will send one to me. That was good and it was customer friendly and pretty darn quick. I'll let you all know when it arrives.

The third company I contacted was Crimson Trace. I sent an email to them yesterday. I thought I had sent a contact form at the same time as I had contacted Laserlyte and LaserMax, but I don't think I did that, so I sent one (or another) yesterday. I also was in contact with a friend who is a holster maker who told me that when the Crimson Trace became available for the handguns for which he made holsters, he contacted them and requested an empty shell that he could use to make holsters for guns with their sight attached. He needed something to fill orders until the blue gun makers released moulds of guns with Crimson Trace lasers for holster makers. He sent them his web site URL and tax number and the necessary information to prove he runs an actual business. They said, sure, he could buy one from them at a discount, but were not willing to provide even the empty shell. This is not very good customer service in my view. Who knows? Crimson Trace may have adopted a more customer satisfaction friendly policy in the interim. When I get a reply from them, I will post the results here.

So, laser sights. There it is. I will test and evaluate whatever unit, or units, I can get from the makers and report my findings and personal opinions here. As this little project gets going, it is obvious that part of the reporting will include how the companies handle requests, queries and issues from their customers. For me, the attitudes and practices of companies making products plays an important part in whether I will spend my money on their goods, or look elsewhere for a similar product with good support and service.

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