I won't shoot, I promise. Guns scare me.
Anyway, I'd have to defer to Jim or someone else smarter than I to answer your questions.
In terms of offering an update as to the functionality, you can check out the ride report here from this weekend:
Bottom line is that I think they worked fine, but didn't make too much difference. So I am convinced that I need other things more than these. I guess they make it more comfy overall, and a touch easier for stand up riding, for long distances, but in the mostly technical stuff from this weekend, they didn't make much difference.
From a strength perspective, though, they held up very well as I binned it 3 times and not one slip or problem.