Caleb, in his recent appearance on Ben Stoeger’s podcast, went on a profanity-laced rant against Production Optics that is both awesome and correct. I’m not going to embed the video because, seriously, profanity, but if you want to experience the awesome, click here to go right the start of the rant.
By way of context, Production Optics is an idea that’s been circling in both USPSA and IDPA for a while and the most concrete proposal got its name from a version of USPSA Production that allowed you to add a red dot sight to your gun, but nothing else. Still 10 round magazines, still only basic modifications like stippling the grip but nowhere else, no ported barrels, and all the stuff Caleb mentions. For that reason, everyone likes the idea of Production Optics so you can tactically operate with your Chris Costa SAI RMR Glock 19, but in reality anyone looking closely realized it wouldn’t be awesome.
And in the middle of his rant, Caleb hit on the solution to this problem. It’s something we kinda indirectly toyed with on the podcast, but he’s nailed it right on the head. Bring back Modified Division.
What’s Modified Division? This, ladies and gentlmen, is Modified Division:
What the heck is that? Why is that Open gun stubby and hacked up? Modified was a hider division in IPSC (the international version of USPSA) that no one shot that was just like Open (i.e. do whatever you want, comps, scopes, weights, magwells) except it had to fit in the box. So guys figured out if you angled the cuts and made weird cutoffs, you could get a little more barrel and grip length and room for the sight.
But an RMR on a Glock 19 would fit just as well too.
I also have an odd fascination with Modified division. Everyone likes some kind of wildly impractical but unspeakably cool guns. For some guys it’s single action revolvers, for some guys it’s lever action shotguns, and for me, it’s IPSC Modified guns. For all the reasons Caleb lists, I think they are a triumph of creativity and engineering, even if they are kind stubby and stupid.
So yes, bring back Modified Division. Let the tactical timmies shoot their slide ride guns in it. And once I start cashing all the giant gunblogger checks I’ve started getting in the mail, pile all the money in a briefcase and give it to Matt Cheely to build me a Modified gun, wait months for delivery, debug it just like an Open gun, and finally take it to matches, I’ll have a place to shoot it too.