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KISS: When does Sim...

KISS: When does Simple become Stupid?  



One of the most common criticisms of so-called Keep It Simple, Stupid-type rifles (usually applies to retro or irons-only setups) is the trade up of capabilities for simplicity.  I've seen this most commonly applied to lack of optics.  As I work on my own take of @Matt's Minuteman Rifle concept, I present the question to the tribe: when does simple become stupid?

Internet reputations may be one thing, but cold hard data is another.


I've got my ideas on this...but I wanna wait to see what others think 🙂


to Matt what does the gense have to say?

4 Answers

As soon as you trade known-good parts or systems that bring increased useful capabilites for something simpler, you're being stupid.

Simple isn't good.  Complex isn't bad.  Knives are very simple, wooden clubs more still.  I would say searching out that 'bump in the night' with a wooden club is stupid, even though it's as simple as can be.

I'd also say that checking your house with NODs would be hilariously fun, but probably more complex than it needs to be.

If you trade an LPVO for an Aimpoint because you're not going to need 6x in your house, plus the near-infinite eyebox, that's making simplicity work for you.  It you trade an Aimpoint for irons because the irons never need fresh batteries, you should rethink your decisions.

In summary, when you drop a reliable system or feature that you can use like second nature because of it's supposed 'complexity', then simple has become stupid.

"Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement"


get this man a medal. I tried to vomit my thoughts in a comment, but this is over and beyond what I was trying to communicate.


I’d say sunshine shooter nailed it. I tried to have a nice summary but then I read this and it was everything i wanted, but said better.

I'm glad you guys liked it! I thought I was just rambling on & on, lol.


@25 yards you have a spacious bedroom, congratulations. Point your F block sight center mass and cut loose at what's breaking down the door.  If, IF, you can control your breathing AND not slap the trigger iron sights give you 1&1/4 inch group cheap ammo, big peep.  Small peep more precision.  Thoughts going through your head :  is my dot on? When did I change the batteries?  Where is the G##### switch?  What the he'll is that? ( while looking  through night vision, thermal imaging @ 26 magnification.  The good news is your attacker is also blinded by your 1000 lumen light).


The word "simple" is very subjective and gets overcomplicated in conversation. To me, KISS means to not overcomplicate, given the parameters of the task at hand. Far too often I see people trying to go as minimalist and/or primitive as possible, which isn't/shouldn't be the goal.


Since this is a highly opinion-centric question, where do you find that line between practical simplicity and degrading minimalism? For example, for a minimum combat capable system in your AOR, be it home or homestead.

I would say a carbine with irons and weapon mounted light. There are options to aid in that scenario such as a red dot, hand stop or vertical grip or free float rail, but with home distances those aren't absolutely necessary. When I set up a new rifle I put on everything I think that I might need, then as I use it I take note of what doesn't work, what I never use, what doesn't balance. I almost always end up with very little of what I put on in the first place because I'm just a recreational shooter and avid hunter, and I'm okay with that. I think it just comes down to what you do with it.


If you’re talking just in house distance (for me that’s like maybe 12 yds down my long hallway) why not a pistol with light? I don’t know about you but at those distances I probably need one hand to hold/move kids, open doors, call the cops, etc. at HD distance a full size pistol with a good light would be a lot easier to maneuver. I know pistols are harder to master, but what do most of us carry daily? Pistol. What do most of us practice with the most? Pistols probably.

Just my thoughts.


A single shot .22 with a pull to cock bolt with a mongle hoard at the door.  This is a task subjective question.


True. Can I give the question more parameters? Let's say "Home defense, 25-yards max target engagement distance, 1:10,000 odds that you'll shoot to 100+".


By all means, give whatever parameters or intended use you think is necessary. For the purpose of the original question, I suppose I should've added something to the effect of "where does simplicity create a system too 'stupid' for your needs and your AOR."

Thank you for coming by The Everyday Marksman. This site and its community are a labor of love. I hope you stick around for a while, and maybe even join us.


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