A couple of weeks back I proposed a simple consulting idea: help folks who didn’t know anything about guns find a firearm that meets their basic needs. While most of the people reading my blog are either shooters themselves or at least know someone who is, there are many people who don’t have the luxury of a “gunnie friend” for advice on purchasing a firearm.
Generally, these folks aren’t going to have the time or inclination to join a gun forum at these preliminary stages of the gun ownership cycle, and let’s be honest: many forums are filled with folks who provide opinions with little basis in fact or experience (like the “12-gauge 00-buck is the best solution for home defense, period” school of thought). Likewise, these folks won’t be able to tell actual knowledgeable gun store experts from the owner’s idiot cousin who thinks a Taurus Judge loaded with BBs is the Best. Handgun. Ever.
After a couple of trial engagements, I’ve decided to offer two-levels of service, starting in January, 2013.
Level 1 $100
Clients will fill out a detailed questionnaire gleaned from years of research in both shooting and human factors study to determine a “rough fit.” A brief phone consultation of 15-30 minutes will follow-up on the questionnaire, provide a an opportunity to ask questions, and seek clarification. After the questionnaire and phone consultation, I’ll provide a recommendation of several firearms that should fit the circumstance for the given shooter, who can print it down and head to the range/gun store for trial and purchase. A guide for commonly used accessories (magazines, ammunition for practice and “serious” usage if applicable, holsters, security, etc) will also be included.
Level 2 $50
Clients will fill out a detailed questionnaire gleaned from years of research in both shooting and human factors study to determine a “rough fit.” I’ll provide a more generalized recommendation based on answers to the questionnaire, who can print it down and head to the range/gun store for trial and purchase, but it may not be as accurate as a phone call allows and won’t afford an opportunity for a conversation. A guide for commonly used accessories (magazines, ammunition for practice and “serious” usage if applicable, holsters, security, etc) will also be included.
I was toying with the idea of a very generic “Level Three,” but think that my eBook So You Want to Own a Gun covers that well enough, and I wouldn’t feel right charging $25 to clients for something they could buy for $0.99 online.
So far, the criticism I’ve read of the idea are from folks who aren’t the target demographic, which, as I’ve said, are the folks who don’t have a “gunnie friend” they know and trust to ask for advice.
It should be interesting to see how this all shakes out.