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Flamebait: The best piece of gear advice you’ve got

We all have one. Let’s hear yours. Mine:

Buy once cry once. My nephew even recites this one back to me now. But it’s true. Say you want to carry a 1911. Not my choice but it’s an adequate gun. You’re not doing yourself any favors by snagging up that Taurus that’s on sale. Sure, you’ll save a few bucks but eventually you’re going to wish you’d picked up that Springer or Sig. This applies especially to optics and holsters, in my opinion. People go and shell out a bunch of money on TheOneTrueGun and then throw it in a $19 holster or find some optic made for Airsoft and stick it on their AR. Then, they realize what they’ve done and buy quality, which they could have done in the first place.

Seriously, it’ll save you some headaches.

28 Responses to “Flamebait: The best piece of gear advice you’ve got”

  1. Fred Says:

    If new to shooting then rent, rent, rent until you find the one that fits you and your needs. Unless of course you just like buying guns because ya know, there good and fun.

  2. poobie Says:

    In that vein, I just got my dad an Aimpoint PRO for Christmas. He’s followed your advice when buying gear for other folks, but makes do with lesser stuff for himself, so I decided to get him something he’d never buy.

  3. Chas Says:

    “its an adequate gun”.
    So’s a 105mm howitzer, but I wouldn’t want to lug that around either.
    Buy 30 handguns. Keep some. Carry the best one. Worked for me, though I am thinking about getting a Glock 43.

  4. Lyle Says:

    The most important gear is that grey matter between your ears, and the sensory input it’s tuned to. You may be the most decked-out, Tactical Goliath, Scary Mutherfucker you ever saw in the mirror, but Sampson might could still use a sling and a rock to take you out.

  5. McThag Says:

    It should be mentioned that there’s lots of fine police trade in guns out there if the good gun is out of reach new.

    Falls back to doing the research on what’s a good gun.

  6. Phelps Says:

    If you can’t afford two, you can’t afford one. It’s better to go with something you can afford to replace when it breaks than one that eats up all your money, breaks anyway, and leaves you with nothing.

  7. JAG2955 Says:

    Funny, I was just at a charity shoot/hog hunt this weekend with a bunch of former special operators. I was SHOCKED at the number of cheap, nylon holsters with nice guns in them. It was like an Uncle Mike’s catalog threw up on them.

    Advice: Buy once, cry once. After that, having a .38 in your shorts pocket beats leaving a high-cap Glock with a reload at home.

  8. Steve Ramsey Says:

    1.Don’t buy a gun capable of more accuracy than you will ever be skilled enough to utilize. You are just wasting money on “Match Grade”. Standard and rack grade weapons are fine for most people. Buy more ammo.

    2.Good optics are great, but a $2000 4×24 sniper scope with the huge turrets and a retical you don’t understand, when you don’t shoot beyond 300 yards and don’t even have a place where you could possibly shoot a half mile or more, is also a waste of money. Buy an optic suited to your locality and needs. Spend the rest on ammo.

    3. Psst. Most inexpensive lubricants are just fine. Buy more ammo.

    4. Buying a new gun in a new (to you) caliber? You can’t afford it unless you can take home a case of ammo in that caliber at the same time.

    5, Buy ammo. The only reason to walk out of the store without at least one more box is THEY DON’T HAVE ANY. Why? You are going to need it. Don’t ask why, you already know why.

  9. AndyN Says:

    Buy a serious, purpose built belt to hang your holster on.

  10. AK Says:

    My Glock G17 goes in a Uncle Mikes IWB holster that has a retention strap.

    My Ruger SR1911 rides in a Galco leather holster. I decided since its a damn good looking 1911,I better get a quality holster.
    I almost bought the Galco shoulder holster..but im not in New York,on laundry day,chasing a Gruber and playing kids games..

  11. Dino A. Says:

    Don’t listen to the macho guys, the venerated .22 is the best caliber for all new shooters. Almost no recoil, easy to find and cheap ammo, reliable cycling in most automatics, and loud enough to stop most threats.

  12. Roger Says:

    The sting of price is quickly forgotten, while the agony of poor quality lives on forever.

  13. Joe Says:

    Buy used guns.

  14. JTC Says:

    +1 for Lyle up at 4)…you would not believe the otherwise logical and reasonable adults who go all OMG! over the latest greatest TG,SMF gear; LEO’s are about the worst of that lot, and quite a few of them can barely attain “adequate” when functioning that G22 on their hip.

    My mantra, gleaned from many years in the pawn, FFL, and fine jewelry biz (and is/was the tag-line on my erstwhile blog), is “Price. Cost. Value. Big difference.” It’s a good guide to almost everything in life.

  15. wizardpc Says:

    Just as buying a hammer doesn’t impart the knowledge of building a house, buying a gun doesn’t magically make you a room-clearing-tactical-ninja.

    Instead of buying a second pistol, buy a pistol class.

  16. Adam Says:

    I used to agree with Steve Ramsey re: scopes, but recently I shot a customized 700 in .308, with a $3800 Schmidt and Bender, and put 5 rounds of Federal Match 168 grain in a grouping that fit under a quarter at 200 yards. Now I’m “not bad,” sub MOA without breaking sweat out to 500, but I know I wouldn’t be able to duplicate that with my current rig, nor have I come close in the last 6 months or so. If I hadn’t had a “flier” all of the holes would have touched or been same hole.

    High quality optics are worth the price at any range.

  17. Wyowanderer Says:

    Cheap tools are a luxury few can afford.

  18. Mark Matis Says:

    When you need a gun, consider:
    http://diamondbackfirearms.com/categoryList.aspx?cat=1
    The Fleckingers are good people.

  19. HL Says:

    Just say “no” to 410 revolvers.

  20. mikee Says:

    All those extra magazines I keep loaded in the range bag? They make range trips less of a magazine loading practice and more a time for shooting enjoyment, and if one breaks or won’t load right, the others are there in the range bag.

  21. Cayton Says:

    Lyle Says: …but Sampson might could still use a sling and a rock to take you out.

    Sampson?

    Forget it, he’s rolling.

  22. MajMike Says:

    I’ve owned Galco and Dragon Leather holsters. Both are custom made for the pistol of choice and are high quality.

  23. Patrick Says:

    You shouldn’t care what LEOs, military, “special operators” are using. If the advertisement is selling you on the fact that some contract officer picked the SooperLEO 2000 for a bunch of government employees – instead of talking about features that would help you – then look again.

    I’m a veteran and I currently help LEOs (fed and state) shoot better. To a man and woman, almost all of them would rather be shooting something other than the configuration chosen for them by people they cannot name, who we all suspect cannot shoot.

  24. Steve Ramsey Says:

    Adam, the 700 Varmint .308 in my safe, with the $350 Burris shooting 7.62 Portuguese ball ammo does nearly that. It does the 3/4 in group at 200. I get it that accuracy does it for a lot of folks, but in practical terms, the added cost is better spent elsewhere.

  25. AuricTech Says:

    Before buying a firearm, develop a mission statement for its intended purpose. While “range toy,” “collectible safe queens” and “political statement” are valid mission statements, I suggest prioritizing mission statements such as “training,” “home defense,” “concealed carry,” “open carry” or “hunting [critters that fall within fill-in-the-blank game category],” as those mission statements are closer to needs than they are to wants.

    That said, I did indulge in a single-shot NEF Handi-Rifle chambered in .500 S&W Magnum. I bought it partly as a poke in the eye for the pearl-clutching crowd (a “.50 caliber rifle” for around $300), but mostly as a range toy (same reason). Of course, I have no doubt that most critters I’m likely to encounter here in SE Arizona will fall down pretty quickly with one hit.

  26. Tam Says:

    I’ve seen people spend a lot of money trying to save a buck.

    I frequently get told I’m wrong by people who’ve busted fewer caps in the last ten years than I did last week, but I generally don’t pay them much mind. 😉

  27. Richard Says:

    Good advice in the OP and the comments but I have never succeeded in getting anyone to take it.

  28. that guy Says:

    Dress around the gun.