Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Style over substance?

Jesse James Firearms had a sort of preview party showing off their offerings, because what the market is crying out for is more semicustom 1911s and another rollmark on AR lowers.

The guns are all I feared they would be.

A fruited-up 1911 with edges you can obviously shave with and a dust cover that ensures it probably won't fit many existing holsters... but, hey! It's only $3,500!

The AR. meanwhile, exudes a sort of "cargo cultish" vibe. I mean, I want to know why that gun is using a cantilevered optics mount set way back on the rail like that.

"Cantilever mount more expensive than regular mount. John Frum have cantilever mount on optic. John Frum kill many bad guy. We have cantilever mount on optic."

It just needs an AFG crowded way back against the mag well to complete the cargo cult look.

Both the optics mount on the AR and the FCS/dust-cover combo are classic examples of what I was expecting I was going to see from the moment I heard about Jesse James Firearms.

Remember, this comes from the custom chopper world where function "rides bitch" behind form.
"Let's make the air cleaner shaped like an iron cross!"


"Because it would look bitchen, that's why!" 
Why is that a cantilever scope mount for putting an IER optic out over the tube? Because it looks bitchen, that's why. Why is the high-traction grippy surface of the forward cocking serrations extended down onto the stationary part? Because it looks bitchen, that's why.

At least owners of Talo edition Taurus Judges with gold controls will have something to move up to if they hit it big with the lotto tickets they bought at the Gas'n'Gulp.

*This post has been lovingly hand-assembled from organic comments I left in a forum thread. Any blemishes are artifacts of me trying to stitch some disjointed paragraphs into a coherent whole, and should be considered part of its charm.


Weer'd Beard said...

I still don't get what that thing on the muzzle that looks like an overripe summer squash is...

Or WHY it is....

Joseph said...

*This post has been lovingly hand-assembled from organic comments I left in a forum thread. Any blemishes are artifacts of me trying to stitch some disjointed paragraphs into a coherent whole, and should be considered part of its charm.

I think the 1911 and AR15 from JJFU (no, FU Jessie!) were assembled the same way.

Also, what part of one's body would you shave with a $3,500 1911 from JJFU (again, FU Jessie!).

Capitalism ROCKS!

Anonymous said...

I'll stick to my gold plated Deagle thank you.


global village idiot said...

From the text of the site Tam linked to:

"The most striking feature was the suppressor mounted on two of the rifles. How can I put this… they looked like studded butt plugs."

The reason I never thought I'd live to see the day when a sentence like THAT would be written in a firearm review is because it had never occurred to me that anyone would ever, y'know, MAKE such a thing that looked like that.

Is it possible that Jesse James has decided to become the Andy Kaufman of firearm design?


Steve Skubinna said...

"Cargo cultish vibe" took me entirely by surprise, but yes, that's exactly what we have here. Totally awesome high speed low drag dudes use this shit, so if I do too then I'm totally awesome high speed low drag! w00t! No excuse me while I go cut the fingers off all mo gloves.

What we really need is a Call of Duty or Halo AR-15. That would totally RAWK!!!! And if such a thing does exist I won't be surprised.

waepnedmann said...

"John Frum kill many bad guy."

Progressivism is nothing but the worshipping of a Cargo Cult.

Obama is John Frum.

Phil said...

I love the horn sticking out the back of the grip on the 1911.
Just what I would want if I wanted something to snag on every article of loose clothing or to stick me right in the side when I bent over.
For that price there should be a frikkin' diamond on the end of it.

Matt said...

It is called having more money than sense. It is for people that see firearms as fashion statements, or ego pacifiers instead of working tools.

Scott_S said...

Those guns are ugly.

Did I mention they are friggin ugly?

I predict that demand will be somewhat higher than "meh". This makes me sad because guns this ugly should not exist.

Tam said...


What the hell are you talking about? What "horn"?

Phil said...

Top back side of the grip below the slide. To keep your thumb from getting slammed when the slide travels.

Derfel Cadarn said...

This the usual story with firearms today, bells whistles and whizbang gizmos. Give mev and honest gun S&W mod 10 38spl+p Ruger security in 357 mag and get out of the way. At a different site they were babbling over whether it was faster to reload your 19 round burglerhumper in 380 super hamster or to draw a second weapon. It never dawned on anyone that actually shooting better(aimed)could possibly be a more effective strategy. T%hen we see AR's with so many do-dads taped on that if any one of them fasils the rifle is not even effective as a club with all the bullsh!t protruding from it. Gert back to basics. Simple and durable shot well saves lives.

KevinC said...

They're overpriced.
They're pretty much style over substance.
He's going to sell a ton of them, and that's a-ok with me.

If Jesse James does for firearms ownership what he did for motorcycle ownership, namely, make it a societal-approved way of saying you don't approve of society, we win.

There are two V-Twin owners on my sleepy little suburban street. They're proud of their bikes, and it shows.

Owning a custom bike wasn't a thing for bank VP's and housewives until the Harley craze of the mid-late 90's.

If JJFU (or FUJJ as you will...) window stickers and t-shirts start showing up in the parking lot of my local Target as often as I see West Coast Chopper stickers, we win.

Laws cannot change culture.

KM said...

Oh, Phil means the beavertail grip safety!
Yeah, those are just a passing fad with no value whatsoever...

Tam said...


The part to which you are referring does have a purpose, but the purpose is not what you seem to think it is?

Derfel Cadarn,

Suppose you do take careful aim with your Speed Six and put the entire cylinder right into his brisket and he doesn't stop trying to kill you? What do you do then?

Tam said...


That is a very good point.

Phil said...

Yeah Tam, I am certainly no weapons expert.
I am just observing what I see as a potential snagging problem.
Feel free to smack me upside the back of the head occasionally.
I catch on eventually.

A Reader said...

What was he thinking naming his company "Jay Jay Eff You"? Is this an elaborate practical joke?

Matthew said...

I only glanced at the pics but the non-studded (non-showpiece) functional can didn't bother me.

The organic curves are kind of a nice break from all the usual harsh lines.

Scott J said...

"Suppose you do take careful aim with your Speed Six and put the entire cylinder right into his brisket and he doesn't stop trying to kill you? What do you do then?"

Growl "get off my lawn" of course.

I've been practicing that since I'm a 45 year old curmudgeon who can't quite cope with the fact that those bottom feeders might be a slightly better combat option than my beloved wheelguns. :)

Geodkyt said...

Phil -- if shaped properly, when the gun is carried cocked and locked, one of the advantages of a beavertail grip safety is it REDUCES susceptibility to snagging, over the traditional GI layout. Not the main reason for the change, mind you, but it is one. . .

Now, if one carries their 1911 uncocked, then the traditional grip safety would be less snaggy. I prefer not to make my gun less useable and less safe by carrying it in that fashion. . . :)

Tam said...

^^^What Geodkyt said there.

Steve Skubinna said...

Tam, next time you show off some of your knives I'd like to see the custom Gil Hibben ones inspired by Frazetta paintings...

I'm guessing maybe you don't have any of them, but I bet I can tell you who does - the target audience for these guns.

Phil said...

Thank you, you are all most gracious for putting up with my ignorance.

My apologies in advance Tam,


Tam said...

They're in that wall safe behind the velvet Elvis. :D

Stuart the Viking said...

Is it "Fat Elvis on the Crapper"... That one was always my favorite!


Don Gwinn said...

What happened to that FNH? Was it bad? Did it have to be punished? It looks like it hurt it more than it hurt him.

With apologies to Jonathon Coulton:
I made this half-pistol, half-douchebag monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don't like it
What's with all the screaming?
You like douchebags, you like pistols
Maybe you don't like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many bullshits
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pistol making a gift for you?

--"Skullcrusher Mountain" belongs to Jonathon Coulton, as it should. If it belonged to me, I'd do terrible things like this with it all the time.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

But it has a steel mainspring housing!

Goober said...

There will always, always be a market for brand-based bling.

I owned a pair of New Balance sneakers that looked exactly like this cool pair of Reebok sneakers that everyone just HAD to have back when I was a kid.

I was a dork for wearing what was an identical clone of the reeboks simply because it didn't say reebok.

The people buying these are not buying them for the function, but for the logo and the form that goes with the logo.

And more power to them. The more lawfully purchased guns, the better, in my opinion. When the tide is coming in, you can tell it to stop all you want, and its still gonna come. The more folks we get to buying guns, the more like the incoming tide we'll seem to any politician that wants to yell STOP!

Now, back to my scotch...

Sport Pilot said...

Someone with a bit of money and notoriety is always going to try for a bit more. Problem is over commercialized are generally crap. The best thing about all of this is, as always, the with, charm and gifted writing of Tam.

Rob said...

Is it just me or does that AR look like it was machined in the 1980s? So many blocky parts...

Able said...

"This post has been lovingly hand-assembled from organic comments I left in a forum thread. Any blemishes are artifacts of me trying to stitch some disjointed paragraphs into a coherent whole, and should be considered part of its charm. "

I just assumed it was because it looked bitchin'.

(running and hiding, yet again).

Borepatch said...

"Let's make a magazine that looks like an Iron Cross."

"WTF? Why?"

"Because it'd look bitchin'!"


Thomas Smith said...

I think the Aerosonic suppressor would look bitchin on my 13mm Gyrojet!

JC said...

I've seen perhaps 1.5 estipodes (stet)of JJ's show and he struck me as a singularly unpleasant individual, who made extremely ugly and impractical bikes.

That being said, demand for high end, ugly, impractical motorcycles - or guns - should result in a corresponding supply of affordable, practical firearms (or bikes) as the trend-chasers with more money than sense "upgrade" to the hot new designer label.

Win/win, to my mind.

Anonymous said...

They are ugly. Has anybody shot one?


Tam said...

In the immortal words of the great philosopher: "Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf***er."

global village idiot said...

Another way of saying what George Bernard Shaw said of a script he was told he'd like if he'd only finish reading it:

"You don't have to eat the whole egg to know it's rotten."


RevGreg said...

For $3,500 you could buy two STI 1911s with better specs (and better looking), a case of ammo, and ten good mags for each gun. Alternately, you could take Jim Garthwaite's 1911 build course and put together you own custom 1911 while being taught the tricks of the trade by a noted race gun builder with $500 left over to trick it out.

The pricing on the AR is likewise absurd...it's a $1,400 gun at best. The suppressor is highly amusing as is their comment that the shape "matches the sound wave" of a rifle round. I guess the fact that the sound wave changes depending on the ammunition used, temperature, barometric pressure, etc. didn't occur to them, nor does it seem that they understand that any gain they made (none) by "matching the sound wave" was more than lost by the decrease in overall volume for cooling and slowing the expanding gases which is the whole point.

global village idiot said...

It's not for shooting, it's for selling.


Steve Skubinna said...

You know, you want branding to make guns hip and cool, build an iGun.

Lergnom said...

"The more folks we get to buying guns, the more like the incoming tide we'll seem to any politician that wants to yell STOP! "

And the more we look like the incoming tide, the less we'll need to become The Oncoming Storm(cult ref).
Stay safe

The Scribbler said...

I am stunned. I did not think it was possible to uglify a 1911 that much. Numbnuts, there's a reason those edges were all rounded to begin with! That makes me sad.