Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bang for your buck

I'm a pretty frugal guy. I buy my meat from the "manager's specials" section. If I see a good sale on something that I use a lot of I stock up. I know which stores tend to sell certain things for less. I buy the generic brands most of the time (unless there is a ridiculously good sale on the name brand that ends up making it cheaper than the generic). I always check the clearance section when I go to a store. I shop at thrift stores and visit garage sales. If someone's throwing away something that I can use I won't hesitate to snatch it up. Watching how much you're spending is easy and everyone should do it. There is such a thing as going "too cheap", though.

When I make purchases I try to find the best deal possible for the stuff that I need without tripping over dollars to pick up pennies. I don't buy my power tools at Harbor Freight anymore. I tried that and they always end up breaking or they just don't work as well as higher quality brands. When I go grocery shopping I don't stop at 5 different stores because this store has a sale on this item and that store has a sale on that item. The $4 or $5 that I end up saving at the end of the day isn't worth the gas or the extra time spent. If I break my snow shovel while shoveling the driveway after the first snowfall of the season I'm not going to wait until they go on sale again to buy another snow shovel.

The same type of logic needs to go towards your preps. In a lot of ways it's even more important when it comes to prepping. It's easy to get caught in the trap of spending the least possible amount of money for a little peace of mind. That three pack of old military gas masks that you picked up for $10 online might make you feel better but if you ever actually need them for anything they're probably not going to protect you. Why bother spending the money in the first place? That gen 1 night vision scope that you picked up for $50 is great for star gazing but if you bought it so that you could see badguys at night if things ever get ugly then you're probably going to be really disappointed (if you're lucky that's all you'll be) when you realize that you can't see anything farther than 10 feet away in complete darkness when you really need it. That mosin nagent that you found for $70 with 500 rounds of ammo might make a really cool fireball when you shoot it but when a couple of guys with AKs are shooting back at you you'll realize really fast how much it sucks trying to reload the damn things and work that crappy bolt under stress.

The price tag shouldn't be the only factor that you consider when you're buying something. You have to make sure that it will do the job that it's intended for when it comes time to do it. Going the absolute cheapest route possible will sometimes cost you more. If you're just buying that rifle for a fun range toy or a cheap hunting rifle then an old milsurp bolt action should suit your needs. If you're buying a rifle because you honestly believe that you may have to use it to defend yourself someday then the bare minimum should be a dependable semi automatic that's extremely fast and easy to reload. Buy once cry once. Eventually it does get to the point where the added benefits and features aren't worth the extra cost but you also have to think about that grey area between the cheapest price and the best value.

Thanks for the shout out a couple of days ago Bison. I'll try to update more often but I definitely fall into the fan boy category. I don't ever intend to profit from this. I just get sick of watching my sometimes lengthy, in depth posts disappear when the threads that I post in die.


DAL357 said...

Even if I had the best semi- or full-auto around, if a couple of people are shooting at me with ANYTHING, I'm going to do my best to melt into the ground and get the hell out of the area. The heck with trying to engage anyone who is shooting at me.

On the other hand, I can see your point if you are talking about laying down some suppressive fire while you, or your family, skidaddle. A self-loading rifle might come in handy in that case.

The Urban Survivalist said...

Then why buy a gun for self defense in the first place? When you buy a gun with the thought that you may have to use it in a defensive situation then you have to consider how well it would work in that situation. When you're considering buying a new car and one of the things you need is cargo capacity then a geo metro is probably a bad choice even though it's one of the cheapest cars on the market between the initial cost and the cost of gas.

There are just a few things that I look at in a designated defensive firearm. It must be reasonably accurate. It must be extremely reliable and rugged. It must be fast and easy to reload. Ammunition has to be cheap and available. It has to fire a sufficient defensive caliber. If it doesn't fall into all of these categories then I won't be packing it if I think that a firefight is a possibility. A bolt action just doesn't have a high enough rate of fire.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with dal357 here, and have combat experience (Panama, Desert Storm) to back it up. The last thing you want to do is try going toe-to-toe with multiple armed attackers in a firefight unless you have absolutely no other option available. Once they've cut you off to the point that escape or even maneuver is impossible, you've had it. Sun Tzu covered the why 2500 years ago.
"Dying ain't much of a living, boy." - Josey Wales

Self-defense weapons should be purchased with the mindset that "this might help me survive when no other options are available".

No ammunition is cheap anymore. Heck, even nonreloadable combloc milsurp ammo has tripled in price in the last 3-4 years.
And if you still haven't hit your target with the first magazine or two worth, chances are you won't live long enough to ever hit him.