And here is what I came up with. It's ok if I don't know what I'm talking about, its for my own false edification.
I know about handplanes, antique and otherwise. You know, the metal things that smooth wood boards by taking off a paper thin shaving at a time.
There are modern imports from India, like Anant. Cheaply made, the bottom are flattened by riding a belt sander, and you need a flat bottom to better flatten a board by shaving curls of wood off of it. A belt sander is not the best way but it is the fastest and cheapest. These plane types need major tuning to even function minimally, and then it might not function at all.
Fulton was cheap knockoff from 70 years ago, and they made Montgomery Wards or Sears brands. Minimal machining done to get by for hobbiest grade tools. Decent enough, though. Works fine. Especially for an occasional flattener of boards. Cheaper in price than the higher ups but not as cheap as the modern imports. Only available used, naturally.
Stanley Bailey, is the standard. Again, old ones. New ones are just Anants. A prewar one is better than you deserve to own, quality wise. The handle is Brazilian rosewood and feels like it is sculpted to fit your hand. The bottom of the casting is machined flat after being allowed to season for weeks after casting, the molten iron cooled to be sure there are no stresses left. It was a professional tool made for professionals, and cost as much then, relatively, as pro-quality tools cost today. You can buy an electric drill today for $35. Or one for $185. There is a difference, and if you use that $35 one 8 hours a day you will soon see it.
Stanley Bedrock the Cadillac of planes. It is essentially the same as the Bailey but with more refinements, more machining, more bearing surfaces to seat the blade to to make it steadier and perform better. You have to be very good at planing boards flat to notice much difference between the Bailey and the Bedrock.
If the Bedrock is a Cadillac, British Infills from a company like Norris, are the Rolls Royce's. Truly finely made tools that are works of art. Art designed to be used in the most extreme circumstances on the gnarliest wood grain on the hardest of woods, and performing wonderfully. Super-expensive, even when still made for the trades, and a joy to use. It’s probably a better tool than I deserve to own. And I have a couple.
None of these planes are any good if you don’t know how to use them and you don’t do the initial tuning and, when needed, sharpen the blade. It's not hard, but you have to do it. The more you do it the better you are.
Guns appear to be the same way. You can get the import knock-off guns like a Philippine 1911 and it may do the job like an Anant jackplane because you are lucky (if it does work adequately, congratulations, but you are missing out on some refinements even an amateur will notice.) Similarly, you can get the cheap service gun (like the composites?), and it will work fine like a Fulton. You can get a classic MilSpec from Colt and Springfield like you can get a classic Stanley Bailey, or go for a Loaded 1911 version of same and pay a bit more ala the better Bedrock. Or you damn all costs and get a super-custom gun, just like a Norris Infill. It might take a lot of practice for a new shooter to notice the difference between the 'Fulton' and the 'Norris,' but if you are really good you will accept no substitute to the Norris for special occasions. Same is true for the rifles, I suspect.
Did any of you follow that?