Noir: Episode 5 in Review

This week’s episode of the NRA’s web series, Noir, was titled “Respect the Heritage”. As the 5th entry in the new show, the episode set out to emphasize the historical significance of firearms in American culture. As has become a tradition here at Modern Rifleman, let us take a look at how the episode turned out.

In this week’s Gear Check, Colion pontificated on the gun’s status as the lifeblood of the United States. While this seems a bit heavy-handed, especially as part of his monologue, there can be no question among reasonable parties that firearms played an important role in building the America we know and love today. After his introduction, Colion and Amy briefly discussed the long history of firearms in this country. During this exchange, Colion raised an interesting point: Competitive shooting predates all modern professional sports. Indeed, even in the middle ages nobility often participated in archery competitions. Modern competitive shooting is simply a product of this heritage that has fortunately become accessible to all.

Like last episode, Darren LaSorte joined Colion and Amy at the range for a timed course of fire. This week’s segment featured fully automatic Heckler & Koch MP5s and required teams of two to move down a linear arrangement of steel, clay, and cardboard targets. Compared to last week’s shoot, this segment was considerably longer. Despite the increased length, the range outing was entertaining and the MP5s were incredible to watch. At the end of the outing, the group sat down to discuss competitive shooting and the stress of working against a timer. They also touched on the legality of NFA firearms such as the MP5. This was nice as it helped to distinguish between common semi-automatic firearms and artificially expensive fully-automatic machineguns.

After the range trip, Colion took viewers to the Havanna Social Club in Dallas’ American Airlines Arena. As he talked about the atmosphere of the lounge he drew parallels between hand-rolled cigars and hand-loaded ammunition. While the comparison is appropriate, the segment seemed a bit out of place. I have never been drawn to cigars, so it may have been my own bias that tarnished my outlook on the Havanna Social Club visit.

This week’s guest was long-time hunting enthusiast, Bob Holland. The guest segment for this episode revolved around the multitude of different ways that people are introduced to firearms. As a hunter, Holland has been shooting his entire life. In contrast, Colion was introduced to shooting by accompanying a friend at an indoor range. While not as exciting as previous guest appearances, the discussion was compelling and concise.

Colion’s review this week was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Rather than dump hyperbole all over the latest tactical offering from one of the show sponsors, Colion talked about the experience of shooting a classical musket. He bemoaned the loading process and poor accuracy, but also emphasized the significance and beauty of the firearm. The footage of him loading and firing the old long arm was entertaining, even if his analysis was as over-the-top as we have come to expect.

Episode 5 of Noir was not only the longest yet, but was also one of the better entries to date. The lengthy shooting segment with LaSorte was very cool and the historical theme to the rest of the episode was intriguing. Overall, I am happy to report that the show continues to grow and I look forward to episode 6.

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