Lunes, Marso 18, 2019

Black Latex: Are These the Ultimate Slingshot Bands?

The Black Latex from Slingshot Place. Test frame was the Axiom Ocularis from Simpleshot.
For quite some time now, Theraband Gold remains the standard elastic for slingshot shooters and enthusiasts. I’ve personally been using TG since 2015 and I have been quite happy with the its performance but as slingshot technology evolves, so too do its components.

Recently, Team Riverbanks (TRB-Philippines) through one of its founders, Jorge Manlapaz introduced to the team a new type of elastic from Jan Nowak of SLINGSHOT PLACE, Czechoslovakia. Several samples were sent for review including a black, yellow and combination orange/white bands.
For the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on the black elastic which seems to be the most ideal for slingshooters of all skill levels.
Doc Tim Santos is one of TRB's long-draw shooters. He found that
even with short-cut black latex, he could still use his personal style
like he does with Theraband Gold.

To simplify this review, we will do away with the technical terms and concentrate on the feel and performance of the bands. The Black elastic is similar in characteristic with black and amber medical latex bands. It can take up to five times elongation and is very light.

Sampler bands sets which were sent to Manila Sentinel for
Test and Evaluation. More on the Yellow and Orange bands
in future articles.
The Yellow bands are similar to Theraband Gold. It is quite stout and heavier than the Black while the Orange/White bands are the heaviest among the three samples sent by SLINGSHOT PLACE.

The Black latex bands from SLINGSHOT PLACE are very light in weight and are very stretchy in comparison with TG. Combined with a synthetic pouch, the bandset does flap around on a windy day as an indication of its lightness. But don’t be deceived by weight alone, the black bands do perform well in terms of speed and accuracy.

Using the Simpleshot Axiom Ocularis as test frame—so I could switch between bandsets quickly—and 9.5mm steel bearings at a standard distance of 10-meters, the Black Slingshot Place bands allowed for a fast and flat trajectory of the projectiles.  

Members of the Team Riverbanks noticed an improvement in accuracy and at the same time, since the bands were easy on the draw, it allowed shooters to practice even after the regular 3-hour sessions were over.
Atoy Cruz of TRB found that Black Latex did not require a "break-in"
or warm up as with Theraband Gold.

One very important thing to note about the Slingshot Place Black Latex is that unlike TG which requires a long break-in period for a fresh bandset, the Black Latex bands were good to go as soon as they were tied on a frame and shot consistency was very high for the entire practice session.

Those who are used to TG will notice a certain unevenness in its stretch characteristics. With the Slingshot Place Black Latex, a shooter can immediately feel a smooth and easy pull and a really clean release.

Longevity of a bandset is always a concern for slingshot shooters and since bands are unfortunately consumable or disposable, shooters always want their value for money.

Personally, due to my “short draw-style”, I can only shoot a little over 200-rounds with TG. Those with a longer draw will expect a longer life but not more than 500-800 shots. This is because the shorter the draw length, the more the elastic is pushed beyond its 400-500 percent elongation, resulting in shorter band life.

Raymond Arco says he can achieve flat trajectories with TTF or
OTT frames..
Over the 2-day endurance testing of the Slingshot Place Black Latex, members of Team Riverbanks have clocked in over 1,000 rounds of 9.5mm steel bearings before the first breakage was recorded. This by far, is the most number of shots recorded for a single bandset in the team’s history.

While Team Riverbanks only had a chance to torture test the Slingshot Place Black Elastic, each member agrees that these new bands may be the way to go in as far as training and even competition purposes.

In my own experience, I haven’t enjoyed slingshot shooting as much as I did when I put the Slingshot Place Black Latex on my favourite Axiom Ocularis frame—which admittedly is the hardest to shoot among my modest collection.
Willie has shot over 1,000 rounds (and counting) without any
visible damage to the Black Latex.

The Slingshot Place Black Latex allowed me almost 70-percent improvement in accuracy, hitting the 4cm target at a regulation distance of 10-meters almost shot after shot. This was not the case when I was still using TG.

Is the Slingshot Place Black Latex the newest, hottest bands on the market? Personally, I highly recommend it.

Because of his shot consistency, Rygel Macaspac now banded his
custom frame with Slingshot Place Black Latex.
Manila Sentinel would like to thank Jan Nowak of SLINGSHOT PLACE, Jorge Manlapaz, Raymond Arco, Tim Santos, Atoy Cruz, Willie, Rygel and members of Team Riverbanks (Marikina) for their contributions to this article.

For availability of Slingshot Place products, please contact Jorge Manlapaz of Team Riverbanks on Facebook.

Sabado, Enero 19, 2019

No Bad Students, Only Bad Teachers

Classes are a must for anyone who carries a gun for defensive
purposes but choose your instructors wisely!
Although I was not a participant, I recently had a chance to witness a ‘tactical’ class involving the use of handguns. My only take away from the session was that neither my partner and I and any of her classmates got accidentally shot with all the amateurs wielding very powerful tools!

As a teacher, I cannot blame my students for their lack of knowledge or incompetence especially with a live firearm. I would never have accepted—AT ALL—any participant who did not pass a gun safety course, PERIOD!

What’s even more terrifying is the fact that this rowdy bunch of “Lito Lapids” and “FPJs” were actually awarded certificates—which means that these have “earned” the right to bear handguns which they obviously lacked competence in handling.

They may be legally-armed but they definitely are SAFETY LIABILITIES!

As the adage goes, “There are no bad students, only bad teachers.” A teacher is supposed to know while the student only mirrors what the teacher shows them. in the interest of safety, the teaching staff should’ve had the common sense to cancel the class seeing that almost all the students did not exactly know which end of the gun the bullet came out of!

Yes, the students were ordered to render push-ups for safety infractions but then again, this was a futile exercise since very few of the participants were even aware of the safety protocols that were common to every gun range in the country regardless whether it be an outdoor or indoor facility!
What made things really scary was the fact that students were made to shoot their weapons in awkward positions including supine and a Hollywood-style rollover.

When I heard about the course, I was already skeptical when I heard that the instructor carried a full-sized, “Government Model” 1911. Again, that isn’t so bad but when I learned of the instructor’s profession, it made me seriously doubt his competence not just with a firearm but as a professional.

The 1911 will always be my favorite "range gun" and match
pistol but I will never carry it for "self-defense".
Why? Because anyone who’s been behind the gun a good number of years—both competitively and tactically will know that the 1911 is a “direct action” weapon. Simply put, it is a handgun that you “make ready” just before solving a problem. That means, the “problem” has been previously identified and all that needs to be done is to engage.

By the very nature of the 1911 system with the single-action trigger and the external safety—which is RIGHT HAND ONLY unless customized—the pistol is best suited for competition where the shooter “makes ready” before negotiating a course of fire and executing the mandatory “show clear” and “hammer down” at the end of every run. This is very similar to an operator who “locks and load” just before going into the hot zone and rendering the weapon clear as soon as he gets back to base.

Coming from a “tactical” firearms course myself, it was very unnerving to walk into a world that was far from what I was used to in the competition circuit. The course I attended required us to “stay hot” and reload after every exercise so we were on our toes the whole time. There was no room for amateurs that day!

In a tactical scenario where the threat cannot be identified or does not immediately present itself, a weapon system must be ready to go anytime—24/7! This is where the 1911 is at a huge disadvantage.
Just for academics, consider the merits of the 1911: first, it is chambered for what traditional shooters consider the ultimate cartridge—45ACP which I personally think is the best for that system since it was designed for it anyway. I really don’t like the idea of a 1911 in 9mm or 40SW.

But then again, the fat 45s have little to give when it comes to “fire continuity” especially since even the hi-caps can only take 14 rounds which makes for a really bulky handgun for concealed carry which is more likely how you will “tactcally” carry your heater.

The single-action trigger of the 1911 may be the most accurate and the sweetest breaking of all handguns but it must be in the cocked and locked position for it to fire! This necessitates the use of an external, often one-sided and lefty-prejudicial thumb safety in conjunction with a grip safety which some competition shooters prefer to deactivate in their “raceguns”. In a defensive scenario or even in competition, a heavy trigger is almost negligible when you’re going against time. I’ve competed with a tuned Smith and Wesson 686 revolver with an 8-pound trigger and I hardly noticed the pull but managed to get “two-alpha” hits on most of the boards.

Defensively or tactically, I would rather carry a 7 or 8 shot revolver that’s good to go any time!
In contrast, my handgun mentor was packing a CZ75 which to me is perhaps the best ever double-action, defensive handgun one could ever want. The CZ is carried with a loaded chamber with the hammer down which means that no springs or levers are strained giving the gun and its parts a longer life span and the distinct advantage of being “hot” without the need to lock the action externally since a “defensive” handgun must be in Condition One at any given time.

Furthermore, the “unload and show clear” command is to my mind, a bad habit which might calcify into real life especially for “tactical applications”. I can imagine this sorry batch of students dropping their mags on the ground and “slingshot-cocking” their slides even while in the hot zone! Why were the students casually dropping magazines on the muddy ground to begin with? Obviously, this was something they were taught--or not discouraged from doing--which is just as bad!

It’s a given that not everyone can be like everyone but somehow, safety can be taught. IT IS THE INSTRUCTOR’S JOB TO DO THAT! Push ups don’t work! Wait till some fucker gets shot. That’ll learn ‘em!

Martes, Oktubre 16, 2018

The Ugly Truth: the Value of One

Yes, it's cool to have a rotation of toys but having just one go-to
kit is really about all one needs.

In the prepping community, the phrase, “Two is one and one is none,” is a recurring theme. I have to admit that I do own more than one make/model of a particular implement but if you’ve been reading and absorbing most of the articles on this blog, you will see that I advocate simplicity.
To begin with, I live by the operative word in EDC—Every Day!

While it’s nice to roll with a primary/backup system, living with just one go-to anything is considered a skill to master.

During a casual conversation with a fellow enthusiast during a slingshot tournament, the Value of One became the emphasis for good shooting which prompted me to reflect on my own personal carry style aside from my traditional and instinctive shooting skills.

In the slingshot world, ‘living’ with a single frame fitted with the same bands, same pouch and shooting the same ammo is the key towards consistency and eventual mastery of the weapon.
This principle is exactly what I apply to my EDC practice. I carry the same basic setup every single day.

Take the knife, for example: I’ve owned several over the years and have acquired a handful as gifts from my partner.

Next to my first ever EDC folder—the Tekna Axis-lock—I have carried and used a Buck “Flick-it” for a good 17 years before I replaced it with a Spyderco Delica 4. The Delica was something I’ve always wanted but could never afford and when I finally acquired it, the thirst to collect had all been but quenched.

This is not to say that one should not acquire an armory of blades. My point is simply sticking to one implement in the course of one’s EDC practice.
This "weathered" G19 indicates extensive live-fire time in both
flat range and real life.

Having been a practitioner for the last three decades, I have somehow narrowed down my criteria for “the One” to a really short list. What suits me may not suit everyone but personally, I have found my go-to blade and I am looking forward to decades of service with this piece unless I have to fly off to somewhere with no more than carry-on luggage or to a country where toys are generally banned.

While it’s good to have options for rotation, one should never underestimate the value of having just one heater—knowing that firearm well enough to be able to manipulate it in pitch darkness and with only one good hand might just increase your survivability in an imminent threat situation.

Yes, it’s cool to have all the 1911s, Glocks, M&Ps and then some but in a high-stress, high-speed game of life and death, taking that millisecond to figure out which one of your many toys is in the holster or trying to recall the point of aim of a particular system may just cost your life.

This is no different from slingshot shooting where different frames will feel and shoot differently. Having to transition from one frame to another really just messes up your aim and point of impact. You can never be any good at slingshot shooting if you keep on changing frames (though it’s really cool to have and shoot several styles).

Having just one of anything will force you to care for the thing more. You will learn to handle your blade, firearm or slingshot frame more carefully and perform the necessary maintenance with ease because of your mastery of the particular implement. You will build intimacy and reach a high level of proficiency with your Chosen One.

The blade that made me say, "That's it!"--the Spyderco
Delica 4.
An often overlooked doctrine in the prepping practice is accounting. The more stuff you have, the more difficult it will be to keep track of. I realized this early on as a professional photographer where you have to spend hours on end just making a checklist of all the gear you have and stowing them in cases to get ready for travel.

More often than not, gear selection is also dictated by mode of transport and if you have a vehicle that can only store so much, that can be a problem.

One consideration I always bear in mind is that I might be the only one who’ll hump my own kit if and when I need to bug out or for some reason leave the safety and security of the home base. Cars will most likely be useless in the metro especially in an earthquake scenario or flooding so the most one can rely on are his own two legs. How much gear can one human being really carry?

In reality, large 72-hour packs are great if you’re in a vehicle but when on foot, I doubt that one can cover great distances. For another, once a decision to bug out is set, you may Just as well say goodbye to your stash of guns, ammo, gear and food supplies. Marauders will certainly thank you for it!

Having a roomful of toys is a cool idea but the ugly truth is that you only have two arms and legs. If you find yourself in a situation where being overrun is imminent, there will never be enough ammo!

Biyernes, Oktubre 5, 2018

Pinoy Prepper Bazaar 2018

It was a stormy day in 2015 when a small bunch of like-minded individuals gathered in an unfinished building in Quezon City for what would be the “1st Pinoy Prepper Bazaar” or PPB.

Three years later, the PPB has grown exponentially, bringing the consciousness of preparedness not only to veteran practitioners and operators but also to the general public as well.

The PPB is a one-of-a-kind bazaar which caters mainly to “preppers”, “survivalists” and everyday carry or “EDC” enthusiasts and those whose passions include outdoor activities and traditional weapons like archery, slingshot and knives.
The PPB is where you'll get those 'wonderful' toys!

Organized by husband and wife team, Miko and Patrick Tetangco, the PPB has since grown from a common “tiangge” of brand new and pre-loved outdoor/survival equipment to a full-blown event with this year’s PPB including other activities which include seminars, product demos and skills training.

Practitioners and newbie enthusiasts will find quite a handful of gadgets, fellow preppers/survivalists and learn things that no other event has to offer.

Learn essential skills related to survival/safety/self-defense.
This year’s PPB is supported by Waters PH, Reaper Customs, Forged, Maharlika Knives, Patch Guy, Sunwealth Land, Pathfinder Gear, Tier 3, Survival Outdoor Shop (SOS), EDC & Paracord Creations, Joey Zaballero, Doods Fuentebella, MRE Phils, Gamer Goods, MacG, Light On Flashlight, WISAR Phils, Paracord Valenzuela, Pandoy Pulido, Parashop Manila, Crystal Clear, Classic Blade Exchange, Knife Lab, Techbooth, DES, Smoke and Sweets, Epic Hot Sauce, La Cocina de Alicia, MA+D Manila,

Some of the seminars that PPB will offer include: Hardening the Home, Worksharp workshop, Survival Signalling, Ready 101, MMDA K9 demo, Kali, and the Blade Cutting Competition.

Manila Sentinel will also be there to cover the event and meet and greet fans.

The PPB happens on October 13, Saturday and gates open at 0900H. Entrance fee is at P50 for adults and P25 for children under 7 years old. 

Lunes, Setyembre 24, 2018

What Makes a Glock Tick?

NOTE; Manila Sentinel thanks the owner  of the Glock 19 used for this article.--a genuine, battle-tested operator, whose identity will not be disclosed--and was kind enough to loan the pistol for T & E.

The specimen for this article: A bone-stock, well-used Gen 3 G19.
When it first came out in the mid 1980s, the Glock series of pistols was considered the “Ugly Duckling” of the firearms world. Even before I had a chance to handle this venerable defensive pistol, I knew thirty years back that the Glock would one day be one of the world’s go-to EDC and combat sidearms.

My first encounter with a Glock 17 was during the first gun show held at the old, Philtrade at the CCP Complex in Pasay. (After the venue was razed by a fire, the place was since converted to what is now known as “Star City”.) I was one of the few who was standing in front of the booth where the sales representative was whacking a Glock frame on the concrete floor just to show how sturdy the “plastic” frame was. Back then, there were very few Glock fans whereas I became an instant believer in the polymer-framed pistol.

It would not be until the summer of 1993 when I would get my hands on the compact, model 19 in 9x19mm. At the time, the Beretta 92F was considered the standard 9mm defensive pistol but paled against the Glock on so many counts.
Firepower is one of the G19's strongest points. Even for its
compact size, the flush mag holds a whopping, 15-rounds!

First of all, the 92F which held only 15-rounds in the mag and one in the pipe, was way larger than the G17 which upped the round count to 17 + 1. Second, the Glock by design had a really low bore axis which allowed the shooter to put shots where his index finger pointed. Third, the Glock has a really slim profile due to its lack of external controls other than a slide stop and magazine release button so it conceals really well.

Almost thirty years since that afternoon, I’ve longed to wrap my hands around one and when the more compact, Glock 19 came along, I knew I just had to have it!

Personally, the 19 is as “full-size” a gun will be. I have small hands but the girth of the grip on the ’19 is about all the real estate I need for a good grip. I am reminded of my other favourite pistol, the 1911 “Officer’s Model” which to me is another perfect fit for me.

When first had a chance to shoot the G17, I thought the grip was simply too long although it was necessary for the 17-round mag capacity although anyone who’s ever carried will tell you that the grip is hardest to conceal which is why some 1911 aficionados prefer the “Combat Commander-Officer’s Model” (CCO), hybrid pistol which simply is mating the “Comander” slide to an Officer’s Model frame.
Just like the 1911 Compact (OM), the G19 takes most 9mm magazines
for its older sibling, the G17.
The wisdom behind this is that it would be easier to conceal the barrel or slide down the pants while keeping the grip at a length that would be manageable under an over-garment or tucked tighter against the body when carried in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster.

Assuming that one had the proper training in modern pistol grip technique, the G19’s recoil is quite tame compared to other compacts. If one were to compare the 17, 19 and the 26, you can feel that as the barrel length shortens, the muzzle part of the 19 and 26 seem to be heavier than the full-sized 17 which I take to mean as a compensation for the gun’s recoil potential.

Any firearm larger than the 22LR will kick and that’s the reality but a front-heavy pistol moderately mitigates recoil as long as the shooter is trained for it.

Another thing that the Glocks have offered from the get-go is an extremely low bore axis which translates to very accurate point-shooting compared to a Beretta M92, a SIG P226 or even a Smith and Wesson M&P. In my opinion, only a CZ75 series would rival the Glock in terms of bore axis height and accuracy.
Firepower, how about 17+2 and a 32-rounder?

Another major consideration is the “safe-action” trigger itself. The pistol does not need any external safety levers which make the gun bulkier. The best advantage of the safe-action trigger compared to the select-fire and other systems is consistency from the first pull to the last.

In all honesty, I still consider the CZ P07 Gen 2 as the best carry pistol but when I think of the practicality and logistical considerations, the Glock in any of its iterations in 9x19 is hands-down the most universal in that parts and accessories are as easy to acquire just like the 1911.

Consider that the Glock has since been the standard issue to police and military personnel and the proliferation of custom shops that offer services for tuning Glocks and providing the necessary allied equipment for these guns.

For another, the 9x19 Glocks all take the same G17 magazines up to the 32-rounders!
As far as weight is concerned, the G19 is just about the same as a fully-loaded, all-steel, 1911 compact but with the advantage of at least 7-extra rounds.

Simplicity rounds up the many virtues of this venerable pistol.
There are lots of polymer-framed guns out there but none are as
simple as the Glock seeries.
No firearm is without its caveats. I will admit that the Glock is hard to nitpick except for the stock plastic sights—which are still quite usable but tend to wear out after hundreds of presentations from a stiff holster.

In the early 1990s, gun writers noted that 2nd gen Glock magazines failed to hold the slide open but this was after a few thousand rounds.

The polymer guide rod is another part that critics claim melts after so many thousands of rounds fired.

Another major issue with some shooters is the Glock’s polygonal barrel which is quite partial to jacketed ammunition. I really don’t consider this a downside to the Glock. Anyone who’s ever shot competitively knows better than to feed any pistol—Glock or no—exclusively with lead round-nosed ammo. The amount of fouling and wear from lead would simply be too much for the pistol to bear.
In real life, I doubt if anyone would fire several hundred rounds through any handgun on a single range session. Even in shooting matches, the shooter and the gun gets a break after about 50-rounds depending on the course of fire.

A Kydex rig completes an "almost perfect" weapon system.
The most I’ve shot from a handgun on a single day was over 300-rounds with a compact 1911 in 45ACP. The hard kick from a small pistol generated by full-powered 230gr FMJ was torture on my hands and I really couldn’t go over 25-rounds per session without a considerable amount of discomfort.

That being said, would I carry a bone-stock Glock? My honest answer would be—except for good carry sights
—hell, yeah!

Biyernes, Setyembre 7, 2018

Customizing a Beater

The blade before the Reaper Customs makeover.

I’ve long been looking for a small, EDC fixie blade for utilitarian purposes. A few weeks ago, my girlfriend came over and gave me a bunch of goodies which included a micarta push dagger, a tiny AA-cell torch and this un-branded knife.

I honestly don’t know who made the blade or steel type but judging from the coping-style blade profile and size, I knew the blade was going to be perfect for EDC.

But the blade originally came in a black, seemingly baked on paint finish and a really iffy scabbard. Instantly, I knew this thing had to undergo a makeover.

I called up Reister “Duke” Barit of Reaper Customs and told him in a general sense what I needed to do and much to my surprise, the results exceeded my expectations.

For the blade itself, I requested an acid wash finish. The rugged look I thought would be perfect for the chores this knife will likely be doing. Because of its coping-style blade, I seriously doubt this would be the tool I’d use for peeling fruit or slicing bread.

I also skipped the idea of putting scales to maintain the blade’s slim profile and maximize its concealability. I did tie in a lanyard to enhance the grip.

The scabbard came as a pleasant surprise. All I really specified was the color but I had no idea how I wanted the final profile to look. I am particularly picky about aesthetics especially with my EDC stuff. I am certainly quite pleased with how the Kydex was blended to the blade style.

The fixie now completes what I call my “nothing fancy” ensemble which consists of the blade, torch and Victorinox “Walker”. All these almost completely disappear in my pockets. I’ve been carrying this setup for a couple of weeks now and I think I’ve found my perfect kit!

Huwebes, Agosto 2, 2018

Custom vs. Stock

There is always that nagging question whether to tweak or not to tweak a certain this or that. Personally, I still adhere to the, “If it ain’t broke…” rule. But since we (think) live in a free world, many will definitely choose to put all the bells and whistles on a car, a bike, a knife, slingshot or a gun.

This topic will always be debatable but since I don’t really care what other people think about the subject matter, let me ramble on the merits of leaving a good idea alone.

My father loves cars and everything about it. To my mind, he is one of the best drivers I’ve ever known and I can only wish I inherited his refined driving skills. Me and Papa would spend weekends cleaning the cars we had back in the day. He taught me how to properly apply wax, how to buff a car’s polish using kerosene and sunlight. He taught me how to get grease out of almost anything. He taught me how to change a flat and many other stuff car owners might find useful though I never owned a car myself.

Over the years, we would have several cars but what I noticed was that my father never once messed around with any of them. He never replaced a part nor did he install something the car didn’t need. Papa always said that since these machines went through a lot of engineering to make it a ‘factory standard’, there really was no point in thinking he was better.

That none of the cars ever broke down at the time we had them and under Papa’s care was testament of the wisdom. I would grow up practicing the same principle with few exceptions.

When Papa made me a slingshot out of heavy gauge steel wire, I felt the need to ‘customize’ it by wrapping gum rubber over the frame just to make it fit my hand better. When I was old enough to purchase a hunting knife during my Boy Scout years, I thought it would benefit from a few finger grooves cut into the handle.

My philosophy about customization is that if it does not impede with the mechanical or electronic workings of the device then it probably will be fine. And yet, I own very few things that were actually tricked out. Except for paracord wrapping here and there, I mostly leave my stuff alone.
As I go deeper into the survivalist mindset, the more I appreciate the wisdom in my father’s, ‘ain’t broke’ philosophy. The pudding in which I proved this theory was in the realm of shooting—a world where customization is the norm rather than the exception.

As a survivalist, I am a subscriber of the ‘Battlefield Pickup’ doctrine which can be applicable not only to guns but for other stuff as well.

Somehow I consider not owning a gun myself as an advantage when it comes to gun handling skills since I have had the opportunity of experiencing a wide variety of firearms over the last few years thanks to the generosity of other shooters who let me try out their ‘toys’.

I learned to adapt to the instrument and not the other way around. Every toy that was handed to me looked different, felt different and shot different. It was up to me to work around the unfamiliarity and handle the toys like they were my own. In a way, my mind is programmed to accept new things every time.

Those who own customized guns will certainly have a lot of difficulty grasping this thought. The longer you live with a customized something, the less likely you will be able to handle anything else. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it definitely is a disadvantage especially in a worst case scenario like if you’re gun runs dry and you had to pick up another one just to stay in the fight. Chances are, it will take some time to familiarize oneself with the new instrument. Maybe it might take a few seconds but sometimes, the few seconds are all you really have.

I’m not saying customizing anything is a bad thing. Think of it this way—are you a person who’ll wear a jacket when it’s cold or will you simply turn off the air-conditioning and keep the same clothes on you?