This week on the show...
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Not only do we get an inside look at our new Flash Hider design for MuzzLok, but our co-founder, Bob Faxon joins us to talk how MuzzLok works, and what inspired its creation!
Cigars & Guns:
John Fahrner, Sales Support Associate, has found a lot of common-ground in his love of both firearms and cigars. Scroll down to see his article!
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Cigars & Guns
By: John Fahrner
When you talk about guns and cigars a few images come to mind.
First, you have the spaghetti westerns of the early to late ’60s and ’70s with John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Next, you have the action show of the ’80s with Magnum Pi and Hannibal loving when a plan comes together.
Then my personal favorite of Will Smith in Independence Day saying you don’t smoke until the fat lady sings. Now I know the last one is a bit of a stretch, but Will Smith kicking alien butt is cool in my book.
My first run-in with this came when I was working for a gun range in Columbus Ohio. We had a few members who would sit outside the shop finishing off their cigars. I would talk to them about which ones they enjoyed smoking and how they differed in plate taste, trying to learn something. Eventually, this ended up with me going to one of the local cigar lounges.
I walked into the lounge with a jacket on with the range logo on it. This was something I normally did with a small fear of being called out on it.
As we talked about in our first blog, gun people come in many different forms and many keep it under wraps do to fear of confrontation. I was sitting at a table smoking a nice 1895 Romeo n’ Juliet when I hear this voice from next to me. “Hey, do you work over at the range”. At the time this was a fear come true, with a hesitation in my voice I said yes. This led to one of the coolest experiences in my life. I immediately got invited over to a group of regulars.
For the next two hours, we talked about guns and different cigars. I made some great friends and customers that day. This event showed me that these two communities have a lot more in common than I thought.
Shortly after coming to Faxon I was on a road trip to Indianapolis for the NRA National Meeting. Now, when I say "shortly after coming to Faxon," I mean 3 days into starting at Faxon.
While there, we went to an event sponsored by Brownells. I had some previous knowledge that Brownells had teamed up with some cigar influencers. What I did not know is how many of them have real knowledge of cigars.
While at this event, I spent an hour or more talking to a few different Brownells employees about cigars and a few of which just came back from a local lounge. At most of the events we attend with Brownells, there is a group of guys sitting around talking shop and smoking cigars.
This experience of cigar smokers in the firearms industry has led to some great conversations and bonds being made. What many of us don’t know is that cigars in this country are almost as heavily regulated as firearms.
From information put out by Cigars Right of America, the cigar industry is held to a strong set of rules. A good example of this is when a company comes out with a new blend, it has to be put through strict FDA testing at the companies’ cost. This cost can be upwards of 6 figures and can delay the release of their product or even put them out of business. This can make innovation in this industry hard.
To take a comparison from Frank Melloni’s article, this is like if every time a new caliber (or loading for a caliber) was produced, it had to go through strict testing at the cost of the manufacturers to be approved by the government for use.
At the end of the day, cigar people and gun people have strikingly similar qualities. We are a community of people who love to get together and talk about our passion.
Just this last month I have joined three cigar clubs and have had great conversations with everyone involved. The one I am in contact with the most is the Ashhole Cigar Clubs Ohio chapter. This group of people comes from all walks of life. When I first joined, they were very inviting and interested that I worked in the firearms industry. This has led to great conversations and talks of events. We see many Gun and Cigar events being held across the country.
So take a moment and walk into your local cigar lounge and you may be surprised who you find and the conversations that issue. Join a club. If there is not one local to you, you can join many that are online or start one. All it takes just you and a group of friends and a good conversation. Next time you’re at the range (in a smoker-friendly area) light-up that cigar and see where the conversation leads.