Friday, August 30, 2013


There is the old Sh'ite vs Sunni arguments in the gun world. 1911 vs Glock, 5.56 vs 7.62, 9 vs .45... I'm gonna scratch open one of those.

I have some gunsmithing in my future. When you add my customizations to the base price of the gun, it's a pretty penny. Then I might hear the "Why would you spend $X-bajillion on THAT when you could have bought one of these for only $500 and it works great right out of the box."

ell, I'd love to spend that little. But why would you spend 50 cents on a firearm that doesn't meet your requirements? And I'm talking about serious requirements. It's not like buying a car and wishing the gear shift was cue ball white in color, but wishing the gear shift wasn't mounted on the front bumper. I require my shifters to all be inside the cabin and withing reach of the drive. Important requirements like that. ~ But the "why would you spend 50 cents on a gun that doesn't meet your requirements" evokes memories of the old HK line of "yes, our guns are expensive, but they are the best, and how much is your life worth?" they (or their fans? I dunno, I wasn't around back then...) used to use. While it has a ring of truth, it does sound kinda snobbish.

I apologize if I've sounded snobbish. I don't like that either.

Dunno why I am over particular. It's not like I am trying to gear my way out of a technique problem. It's not like I am asking a gun smith to put jewelled bearings in the sear, or certify that a 5 inch barrel of a pistol can achieve .25 inch MOA at 100 yards, or add micrometer adjust peep sights to the thing, and a half ounce trigger break. The basic function is utilitarian. It's the fitting to my hand, and what particular sized pistol will ride in my holster, and how well it will resist rusting from sweat, and will that slide release fail first because it's cast... that sort of thing.

It would have been really convenient if there was a perfect-for-me $500 out of the box pistol. Heaven knows I looked. A plain Jane .357 revolver almost does it...


Geodkyt said...

Well, there's a reason that a lot of gamers were buying Norinco 1911s when they were being imported.

After all, they figured, if you're going to replace all the internals 9including barrel), and cut up the slide and frame anyway, why pay Colt markup?

Yeah, if there's no way to get the mods you feel are important out of the box from anyone cheaper than a true custom "frame up" smith, might as well start with a cheap gun that has a solid frame.

joethefatman said...

I'm weird in that I think that if you bought it, do what ever the h3ll you need to do to it to make it "yours". I'd rather have a pistol evolve to meet my needs one piece at a time over going broke all at once for that perfect out of the box gun.

Geodkyt said...

Joe -- There are three different basic reasons for starting with a cheaper gun and customizing it, and only one of those reasons is silly; the other two are both logical and laudible.

1. What I think is silly is when people buy a cheap gun, and end up spending more money on it to get inferior performance, and trying to justify it by claiming they are saving money.

Like trying to make a (now about $169) Moisin-Nagant into a good rifle by buying a Pro-Mag produced stock, dropping in an aftermarket trigger, etc., and ending up with a gun that is STILL less accurate, heavier, longer, and no more powerful than they could have had by buying an off-the-shelf Ruger American.

I did the calculations on that example. Even if you started with a FREE Nagant, it's still more expensive than going to WalMart or Gander Mountain and buying the Ruger. So, design goal of cost savings = FAIL. Design goal of equivalent performance = FAIL.

Bragging about what a great "deal" you got by spending $100 - $200 more for a rifle that is about a quarter as accurate (at best)? Dude, it's your property, but I reserve the right to point and laugh. Silly.

2. OTOH, if you just want to pimp out a Nagant (sticking with the example above) because "I wanna!", I wholeheartedly support that. It's like souping up a Trabant to see just how far you can push the envelope -- COOL! (Any idiot can make a sports car go fast. You make a Trabant sporty? Skills, dude, you haz them.) Not silly.

3. And if you ARE actually getting something in terms of performance (to include ergonomics or appearance) cheaper OR better than you could buy it -- I not only support it, but I'm probably interested in knowing how you did it, so I can duplicate. Not silly.

Old NFO said...

Your logic makes sense. Sure, you can spend $3000 on one, but if you don't want a Cadillac, you can get a Ford a lot cheaper, and add things... :-)