If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. This is a phrase I heard during an executive education program on marketing metrics at Wharton. It’s a great way to boil down the obvious, which is the problem cannot be fixed if it isn’t identified.
This is true not just for marketing but for most aspects of business and product development.
In the world of shooting sports and firearms, accuracy is one of the key metrics and yet it is often poorly measured.
That’s where the Ransom Rest comes in. No matter how good a shot you may be, you’re still human and you’re not going to outperform the Ransom Rest.
The Ransom Rest isn’t the ‘gold standard’ of accuracy testing. It’s the gold. It’s the standard. The ability to eliminate the human element in testing a pistol, and ammo, is what the Ransom Rest does. Photo by P. Erhardt
During a media event hosted by SDS Imports at Gunsite Academy, Mike Canfield, President of Ransom International Corporation, set up a demonstration of the proper way to use the Ransom Rest to test the accuracy of your firearm and the ammo you’re using.
Now, a Ransom Rest might not be at the top of your Christmas list, and not just because it isn’t an inexpensive piece of gear. The Ransom Rest is a very specific tool that an individual shooter may not ever need to own, let alone use it enough to justify owning one.
But, if you are a high level competitive shooter, competing in a discipline where accuracy is the coin of the realm, then you might already own one. If not, you definitely should.
You know who else owns one? Well, any firearms manufacturer that actually designs and manufacturers their firearms. The kind of accuracy testing you can achieve with a Ransom Rest has a huge impact on the development of a firearm…assuming accuracy is part of your critical design parameters.
This round of testing the new MAC JSOC 1911 in .45ACP showed that with this particular ammo the result was a five-shot grouping under three-quarters of an inch at 15 yards. Photo by P. Erhardt
Another place you’ll find a Ransom Rest is in the testing and selection of U.S. Army’s sidearm. It was a Ransom Rest used to test accuracy when the Beretta 92 was selected and again when the Sig Sauer P320 was selected.
Several companies wanted those contracts, particularly the most recent one, but not every company wanted to face the Ransom Rest. Those afraid to face the Ransom Rest usually don’t do so well.
Spending time with Mike Canfield was time well spent when it comes to understanding the value and benefit of using a Ransom Rest. He even shared, without naming names, a few stories of companies that got poor results, but after speaking with Mike found out the hard truths of user error. Photo by P. Erhardt
I sat across from Mike during SDS Imports’ group dinner aw week ago on Monday night and talked to him about who their customer is, and is not. One category we both agreed on as an ideal customer is the gunsmith working out of a commercial range.
While the upfront cost on a Ransom Rest might give one pause, it was clear to both me and Mike that any gunsmith worth their salt could pay for that investment in a year or less, depending on how creatively they use and market a Ransom test.
Offer a general 'best ammo for your gun' testing service and that pay off period could be a lot shorter. Range owners might want to keep that in mind, even if they don’t have a gunsmith on staff.
The Ransom Rest is a cool, yet nerdy, tool. It can provide you with lots of data on ammo performance and firearm accuracy, so if that’s your jam then by all means think about investing in one. A side hustle of testing friends’ guns might make for a solid investment, if you have the time and the patience.
I don’t have that kind of patience, but I do know firsthand that the Ransom Rest is the final word on accuracy, and that word is unimpeachable.
-– Paul Erhardt, Managing Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network