After All These Years, I Still Get Geeked Out

With two kids in college and an office fully staffed with people considerably younger than I am, I often feel old. It does not help that I have been knocking around this industry for half my life. But after all these years, I still get geeked out about some things.

My latest geek-fest was twofold and centered on the pistol I worked on with the guys from Lone Wolf Distributors. If you have not heard, I wanted to upgrade my Glock 19 to something special but not flashy. I went to the Lone Wolf Distributors website and picked out a bunch of parts for the little Glock and created what I thought was a pretty cool gun. The guys at Lone Wolf liked it too, and we worked together to create the Grey Man pistol. They were gracious enough to post on their website that I had some input in the creation of this semi-custom defensive pistol, and I have to admit that it felt pretty good. If you want to take a look, here is the link.

For all you cynics out there, rest assured I don’t get a dime from the sale of the Grey Man. I did not do it to make money or capitalize on this odd yet mediocre amount of “fame” I may have achieved. I wanted a better pistol. I made what I thought was a better pistol. People agreed with me, and I said, “Hey, neat!”

Next thing I knew, people were talking about the Grey Man pistol. Through the magic of social media, I got a note from one of my personal heroes. So, there I was working at my computer when that little chime that says I’ve gotten a message interrupted my train of thought. I’m sure I was on the cusp of writing something incredibly profound when the dialogue box popped up. There it was: the note that made my day. It was a simple note, and you likely will not get as excited about it as I did. It read, “Nice job on the Grey Man Pistol. The Handgun Combatives package I did with Templar Custom Arms has similar features … good to see that great minds think alike!! Stay safe.”

Can’t you just feel the excitement? Is it any wonder I pointed at the screen and giggled and then called my co-workers by saying, “Look what I got!”

The note was from Dave Spaulding, a firearms trainer I really look up to but have never met face-to-face. He was named the 2010 Law Enforcement Trainer of the Year. One of his quotes should be pasted on every shooter’s wall: “We must all be active participants in our own rescue.”

I have read his work, talked with others about his training methods, studied his drills and seen his videos. I love his “Thoughts … with Crown Royal” video blog. He should do more of that.

You might remember that in one of our past video releases, we (not I) used one of his drills without attribution. Dave was rightfully a bit upset, but all that changed when I stepped up, offered a public apology and said, “I’m the director of content for this company. The fault rests with me. I will put steps in place to ensure it never happens again.”

Dave liked that answer and worked to calm the angry internet hoards. Seems Dave and I do indeed think a lot alike.

But I still cannot get over the idea that Dave Spaulding likes what I did with the Grey Man fighting pistol. He is an outstanding and well-known trainer. He will deny it, but I dare say he may be approaching “legend” status. His no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is style and his desire to teach the combative elements of handgun use make him a guy I can really relate to.

Look him up on the interwebs. Check out and let me offer this very public thank you: “Dave, it makes me feel great that you like what I did with the Grey Man. Someday, I hope to bring it to one of your classes and learn to shoot it even better.”

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