Saturday, April 13, 2024

Totin' trends...

It's been interesting noticing the trends at TacCon now that I've been there for seven years.

The first one I attended, at DARC in Arkansas back in 2017, was largely after the "Caliber Wars" were over. I'm sure there were a few .40s and .45s in attendance, but 9mm was the overwhelmingly most common chambering and it wasn't even close.

I obviously didn't get pictures of everybody shooting in every class, but I'd feel pretty comfortable stating that probably half everybody was shooting a Glock of one variant or another, with M&Ps being the second most common, and the remainder a mishmash of Sig Sauers, HKs, and Berettas, mostly. I only got pictures of one guy using a red dot; an RMR mounted on an 9mm M&P.

Next year TacCon was at DARC again. Glocks were still the most common gun, but probably only a plurality at this point. Sig P320s were already vying with M&Ps as the second most commonly seen pistol. There were a handful of people using red dot optics in 2018, and John Johnston made it into the man-on-man shootoff with one.

At 2019, down in Louisiana at NOLATAC, there were more red dots, and Rick Remington won the shootoff with an RMR atop a 9mm Wilson. Glock alternatives continued to grow in popularity.

After a one-year hiatus during the Plague Year of 2020, TacCon was held at Dallas Pistol Club in 2021.

That's when I first started seeing significant numbers of the smaller pistols, like Glock 48s and Sig P365s. Red dots were commonly spotted in every class and were no longer limited to hardcore dot proponents who'd had pistol slides custom milled for RMRs.

2022 was back at DPC again. Red dots and smaller pistols were everywhere, even in the shootoffs.

2023? More of the same.

For 2024, the biggest difference I noticed was that there was a greater number of people who were willing to talk openly about living "the snubby lifestyle" à la Darryl Bolke. I spent the weekend at the the range, catching rides back to the hotel in the evenings; I'd get dinner and socialize in the lobby a bit and then head to my room to process photos. There weren't many potential scenarios I could visualize there that I didn't feel reasonably comfortable solving with a 3" .38 Special revolver, especially since I was surrounded most of the time by switched-on, like-minded individuals. 

Gear-wise, dots had become downright prevalent. Walthers had become more common. I don't know how Walther's doing in terms of overall market share, but they've certainly penetrated the serious training hobbyist demographic. The majority of optics were now Holosuns. Enclosed emitter optics were trending. If you added 365s and 320s and the few die-hards still shooting the hammer-fired classics together, there may have been as many Sigs as Glocks, if not actually more.