OSD 138: OSD goes IRL

Notes on the first-ever OSD range day.

There are two things you can count on seeing in an OSD newsletter: the value of investing in culture instead of politics, and an exhortation to take newbies to the range. (The third thing you can count on is the word “decentralization”. If you see all three in the same week’s newsletter, that’s a yahtzee.)

It’s about time we went IRL with that. So last weekend, just outside Austin, TX, we hosted the first-ever OSD range day. We brought together a group of influential people from the tech and investing worlds to show them a gold-standard weekend on the range. Here was the pitch we sent:

First a quick intro to Open Source Defense: we spread gun rights and make new gun owners, with a friendly, positive message and no politics. Our mission is to build the TCP/IP layer of the gun rights stack — lay the foundation that people can build culture, content, and companies on.

(If you'd like more background, check out our Substack, Instagram, Twitter, or main site.)

Now, about the course. We've been immersed for many years in the tech world and in the gun world, and for a long time, those have been very separate. But more and more, people in our professional circles are telling us (sometimes quite shyly) that they're curious about going to the range.

We're hosting this course to bring together people who are doing cool stuff in their fields and to show them a top-tier experience in this field. The goals are:

  1. Have a safe time.

  2. Have a fun and memorable time, with the gold standard in shooting courses.

  3. Meet great people.

  4. No politics, no persuasion. The course isn't a sales pitch for gun culture. It's a weekend adventure, a time to explore something new and exhilarating. Same as if you went skydiving or hiked to a mountain village in another country.

Can't wait to see you there.

To teach the course, we brought in Bob Keller of Gamut Resolutions. Bob spent 20 years in special ops, with the last 12 of those in Delta Force. His teaching focuses on excellence in the basics. That's informed by an enormous amount of real-world experience, where he found that what really made the difference wasn't the flashy run-and-gun stuff. Instead, the key was applying the basics really really really well. That makes his classes extremely effective, and also engaging for shooters from first-timers to experts. (More on Bob here, and here’s a writeup of a class a couple of us took with Bob in 2020.)

So the crew was the OSD folks, a bunch of ambitious and influential tech folks and investors, and Colion Noir who made it out for the second day of the course. Everyone spent the weekend having a gun adventure and leveling up their skills. The progress, especially for the people with the least experience, was unbelievable. We had people who showed up without knowing how to hold an AR and who left being able to put 28 out of 30 shots into a three-inch dot under time pressure. And most importantly, everyone had a fun, memorable experience they can carry forward with them.

(Side note: check out this Instagram reel that Colion Noir posted of the table of guns that folks could choose from.)

We’ll leave you with some of our favorite pictures from the weekend, but before that, a quick call to action: this course was a hit, and we’re going to do more of them. We’d like to do some for OSD fans, and also some industry-specific ones for gun-curious folks in industries where we should do outreach. Let us know where and with whom (including yourself!) you’d like to see the next course happen.

This week’s links

OSD on the NFT auction of RECOIL magazine’s Chris Cheng cover

A deep dive from our own BJ Campbell. More on this next week, when the auction goes live.

Fundraiser for Dugan Ashley

Dugan created Carnik Con (archived here), a YouTube channel that helped make the mold for modern internet gun humor. He has multiple sclerosis and it has progressed significantly, and this fundraiser is aimed at helping take care of his family in the time he has left and beyond.

“Nothing quite says, ‘I’m a ninja and I’m here to party’ like an FN P90.”

JStark, creator of the FGC-9, dies of a heart attack after being arrested in Germany

JStark was the subject of Popular Front’s documentary Plastic Defence, which we discussed back in ”OSD 93: Just one word — plastics”.

The powerful thing about 3D-printed guns is the same thing that’s powerful about the computer network that transmits them (i.e. the Internet): it becomes impossible for centralized decision-makers to keep ideas out of a culture’s information bubble. They’re going to get in, one way or another. And what happens after that will be dictated by how people respond to learning more about the idea. As we’ve dived into before, that tends to go well for gun rights.

Armax: The Journal of Contemporary Arms

Deep info and top-notch production values. If you like Ian McCollum’s Headstamp Publishing books, you’ll like this.

Armax is the peak international publication promoting the scholarship of contemporary arms.

By subscribing to Armax you directly support academically rigorous research examining contemporary arms, promote the field of arms and munitions scholarship, and provide opportunities for early-career researchers.

The cheek pistol: let’s get weird

We see a Lucky Gunner video, we post it.

OSD office hours

If you’re a new gun owner, thinking about becoming one, or know someone who is, come to OSD office hours. It’s a free 30-minute video call with an OSD team member to ask any and all your questions.

Book an office hours time


Top-quality shirts, hats, and patches with if-you-know-you-know ✨vibes✨. Look sharp and rep OSD at the same time.

Get the merch


Like what we’re doing? You can support us at the link below.