About Featured Expert: Chris Mijic has over two decades of experience in the firearms community, with his service in the Croatian Army, and later on, as the founder and developer of The Firearms Guide. The Firearms Guide has become an incredible resource to the online firearms community, and today we are proud to feature Chris on our podcast as he shares his wisdom on selecting and buying firearms.
If you own a firearm, any expert would suggest continued practice in order to ensure your firearm is a useful tool in a given situation. This free 30 minute pistol accuracy course should cover all the basics and make your rounds right on target more often.
The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.
Marcus Roth: Hey there folks, welcome again to the Science of Skill Podcast, this is Marcus Roth taking over for Coach Dan. I’m on the horn tonight with Chris Mijic from The Firearms Guide, a comprehensive resource for buying firearms, where they’ve spent over 10 years getting experience in the field of firearms publication review and now he’s here on the podcast today to share his insights with our listeners. Chris, Tell me how you got into creating this Firearms Guide and what is it all about?
Chris Mijic: I’m not originally from the US. I from Croatia and over there, I was in the publishing and marketing industry. Then, when I came here, legally of course, some relatives took me out to the Arizona desert to shoot some guns and then I fell in love with them, even though I served the Croatian Army before. Being able to own them as a civilian here in the states and to shoot them and enjoy shooting sports, that was something completely new for me, so I said, “Okay. With my publishing and marketing knowledge. I have to assemble some huge firearms encyclopedia or a reference guide and that was the beginning of the Firearms Guide.
MR: You’re really like the Kelley Blue Book of firearms?
CM: True. It presents over sixty-five-thousand antique and modern, civilian and fully automatic military firearms, from over nine-hundred-and-twenty manufacturers worldwide, something like sixty-five different countries, so you can really research before you go out and start buying firearms. Not only US made guns but German, Russian, Finnish, you name it.
MR: The online schematics part is the thing I found most interesting. I could assume, if any of our listeners are firearms enthusiasts themselves, they would really enjoy being able to see those blueprints and if they need to fix something or reassemble a gun of some nature, that would be a perfect place to look?
CM: It’s very simple. You simply login to firearmsguide.com. You find the manufacturer that you want, for example, like you said, and then you find the model of the gun that you’re looking for and you will get high-resolution zoomable and printable schematics, and you can print out as many copies you need to work on your gun.
MR: All that said, in your experience, and you have a lot of experience rating all of the different brands around the world in your guide, what brands would you recommend our listeners who are buying firearms for concealed carry purposes? What brands would you recommend (or not) and why?
CM: Basically, what I’m trying to find out here and to answer your question, when you’re picking for concealed carry, I would always go with something that has a polymer frame, so that it’s light. I would pick something that it’s not too big of course. For concealed carry, you want a relatively smaller gun, so I would go with maximum of three to four inch barrel length and I would pick something in a relatively smaller caliber, something like 9mm. When I do such a search, a lot of these guns pop out and I would choose some very reliable either a US or European brand. Why I’m saying that? Lately, on the US market, you can find tons of these Turkish guns for sale. Two years down the road, they’ll probably be bankrupt, or sold, or bought by someone. Stick with an established brankd like Smith & Wesson, Glock, or Heckler and Koch, something that’s been in the business for the last hundred years and that’s going to probably be in the business for the next hundred years.
MR: Yeah. You mentioned Turkish guns, specifically. Was there a reason you singled out Turkey?
CM: Turkey is a very capitalistic and entrepreneurial country, but the problem with them, is that firearms companies in Turkey are popping up like mushrooms and three years down the road, you cannot find those brands, not even online anymore. They are popping up and they are bankrupting left and right. The product that they made are very cheap because of the low-cost labor that Turkey can provide, so when they’re exporting stuff in the United States, everything looks great. Functionally, the guns are not so hot. The quality control, all of that stuff is sub-par. Why would you buy, let me say, Turkish .45 caliber or a 9mm pistol, for four hundred bucks, when you can buy Springfield XD or a Glock for four-fifty? Are those fifty bucks really that important to you, that you’re going to put your life of your family and your own life on the line?
MR: Transitioning here, what about accessories to go along with the concealed carry? What gear-specific brands would you recommend the concealed carrier after they are done buying firearms?
Chris: When it comes down to the holsters, pick whatever feels comfortable to you. Different people want to have a different type of holster and that’s absolutely individual, I would never go there. Pick something that you feel great with, but when it comes down to the accessories, I would personally always go with the LaserMax. It is a small laser that is installed inside of the frame of your pistol, so it doesn’t not change the outside dimensions of your gun, not even one millimeter. But inside, is a little tiny laser and when you draw your gun in any kind of situation your gun is always smooth from outside. You can draw it very quickly and very easily and when you need that laser, it’s going to be right there.
MR: Any add-ons you’d highly recommend our listeners to check out? After you are done buying firearms, you often want to trick them out.
CM: Absolutely. There is a Magpul stock for a shotgun that has the flashlight installed in it. If you have to take out the shotgun very quickly during the night, but you don’t have time or you’re under tons of stress because you’re hearing that somebody is breaking out, breaking in in your garage, or doing something stupid in your backyard, maybe you won’t have time to find a separate flashlight. Also, maybe you need both hands to be on your shotgun and you don’t have a third hand to hold the flashlight, so basically, having the flashlight installed as a part of your stock or for your shotgun, I think that’s a phenomenal feature.
MR: Let’s say one of our listeners was interested in modifying their firearm in some way. Is that something you’d recommend or something they should all-together avoid? I know some home modifications are dangerous.
CM: Yes. Once we defend what type of a gun you modified and for which purposes. For example, if you are in long-range sniping shooting, you go from one tournament to another, you compete with other guys and then of course, that you’re going to go to the best Gunsmith to modify your triggers or because you want that Olympic-quality on your trigger for competition shooting, then of course, that you’re going to buy the best, most expensive barrel out there, to put it on your gun, so that your gun become even more precise. When it comes down to the modifying guns for home-defense, like you said, cutting off the barrel short or something like that, check which gun you have in your hands. If you have some old Remington shotgun that it’s market value is, I don’t now, let me say that you don’t know the market value, but you go to firearmsguide.com, you find that gun and you see the market value of 80% used gun for that specific model, is three-hundred bucks, then okay, three-hundred bucks, you can cut off your barrel, who cares. If you have some model that you don’t know anything about and you go to firearmsguide.com and you find out that the value of that gun is three-thousand bucks, Okay, then don’t cut the barrel short, because you’re literally destroying that gun and you’re destroying the value of that gun.
MR: Yeah. Very understandable. To wrap it up here, as a publisher of a very large gun guide and an owner of a large Youtube channel, you must hear a lot of interesting stories from folks at the range or maybe literally in a self-defense setting. Care to share one?
CM: I’ve recently been working much more than I was out there shooting, but just recently back home in Los Angeles, I was buying some amo, and the guy right next to me was buying firearms (a shotgun) and I asked him, “Which shotgun are you buying?” And we end up in the conversation and I asked him, “Why are you buying a shotgun?” Stuff like, “You’re going to go duck hunting here in Los Angeles?”
MR: Yeah. Not too many ducks.
CM: He told me – “One day I was driving back from my work and I was actually driving into my garage and I found out two burglars going through the stuff in my garage, while I was pulling in in my garage,” and he said, “You know, I have a wife. I have two little daughters. Sometimes my wife picks them up after the work, from Kindergarten, and from the school, sometimes I pick them up, but getting into your own house after work, when you are tired of everything, and finding out two burglars going through your stuff, it’s pretty scary.” He said, “I cannot tolerate that. It’s too scary. I have wife and two daughters.”
Image credit: Dan Vidal/regularguyguns.com