Cheap is good enough

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by CrazedJava, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    Not accusing the members here or anything, but I have been exposed to a certain snobbishness in the past towards people who choose a gun for price reasons. Personally, I think you can find a good compromise between cost and quality without buying junk, but here is an article from Massad Ayoob that I found interesting -

    Cheap guns are good enough

    I completely subscribe to the school of thought that the best gun of all time is the one in your hand.

    This is something I keep in mind on those occasions when someone asks me about gun purchasing advice. I don't tell them to go out and buy Hi-Points, but you don't need an HK either.

    Hell, if all you can afford is a Hi-Point, it's a fair sight better than nothing at all. Not knocking Hi-points, but I'm not a fan of straight blowback for full combat calibers.
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I like your post.
    I have said many times before, buy the best quality you can afford.

    What you can afford is probably different than what others can afford.
     

  3. aandabooks

    aandabooks Active Member

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    I've got cheap guns and I've got expensive guns. I love them all for what they are. In certain firearms I'm willing to spend more than for other types. To me, for what a shotgun does I just can't see spending a boatload. Pretty much the same thing goes for .22s. My Savage BV or S&W are mid-priced and I can't see spending moe for a higher priced name. I definately see where you get what you pay for when it comes to handguns. I'm willing to pay more to get better handguns for some reason.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    for the most part i like what you wrote, but i do prefer the term, inexpensive over the word cheap. cheap means, well, cheap. inexpensive means quality at a decent price.
     
  5. mountainskytop

    mountainskytop New Member

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    I resent the use of the derogatory adjective "cheap"! There are PLENTY of HIGH QUALITY firearms out there at BRAND NEW and REASONABLE PRICES without springing for a bundle of dough like many recommend! Those are pretentious gun snobs that are apparently "rolling in dough" and unlike the majority of us average Joes on a modest budget!
     
  6. PittTactical556

    PittTactical556 New Member

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    If your on a budget for an AR, I recommend Spikes Tactical, PSA and BCM, nothing more noting less ;) and for pistols, my favorite are the Glocks and M&P!!!!!
     
  7. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Crazed, I think the biggest element of the snobs is that, well, they are snobs. However, there's the undeniable element within the shooting sports community of, also well, delusional liars. Alot of them. Folks who buy cheap stuff and then act as though it was the best thing ever made. How? By telling you, picking fights, and ganging up. Kinda like Mexican drug cartel members in Brownsville. They're not giving up their turf.

    Their guns are perfect for everyone. For everything. Everywhere. Under all circumstances. Innovative. The best made. Best finished. Best materials. Historic. Controllable but the most powerful thing on earth for its size. Accurate. And everyone who doesn't drink the Kool-Aid is an ignorant hater. Case in point: those who buy and become moronic appologetic defenders of everything/anything...

    Russian. Example: explain to a Makarov devotee the gun is an obviously cheapened copy of the Walther PP. So was its cartridge design stolen by the Russian Army from Germany at the end of WWII -- we know from which plant and the DATE for God's sake! No? When did the Mosin Nagant become the best thing since sliced bread? When they started selling for $99. Sorry, the "cheapskate" owners, for lack of a better word, are deserving of serious shooters' legitimate scorn and ridicule, IMO, not to be confused with snobbery.

    Note also that the person with little money for guns and ammo has less experience with them and recreational shooting on average. That doesn't make them bad people; lying and attacking others does. In fact, who's really more the snob? The experienced guy who can afford a wider variety and more guns, including higher quality arms, as well as ammo and the free time to enjoy them in different ways in varied environments and circumstances, etc., or the "cheapskate" who exagerates (OK, lies) about the inexpensive, maybe the single, arm he owns because he has an emotional and significant-to-him financial investment in it along with a bad case of Napolean Complex? I put it to you it is the latter.

    PS: Pitt -- obviously you never priced a BCM.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  8. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    I think the common view of "cheap" is fairly universal but unfairly applied. Yes, there is a big difference between inexpensive and cheap, but even so the truly cheap guns have their place. I would never trust my life to a Phoenix Arms but I know someone who does. They could afford better but don't want to pay more for a gun. You know, at least they have something.

    I would love an HK 45 and I can also afford one, but I went with something I consider mid-range. Simply because I couldn't justify the price tag and had other firearms I was going to purchase. I passed on cheaper options though because I wanted to be sure about the quality of the gun I was purchasing.

    I do get a little irked, maybe unfairly, when someone says a gun is "Only $500". For most people that represents a lot of money. That may not be a lot relatively speaking in terms of firearms but as a general purchase it is pricey. More than most consumer electronics these days.

    I definitely try to frame cost in any recommendation. I tell people to expect to pay $500 but that good guns can be had for less if they're willing to go for what I call "non-Hollywood" brands.

    True enough. I think some people want to defend their choice because they don't want to admit maybe they chose poorly, couldn't afford better, or can't come to grips that maybe their gun isn't perfect.

    Frankly, I think that is foolish and builds a false sense of security. Getting to know a guns strengths AND weaknesses is fundamental to me. I am very picky about my firearm purchases and love all my guns, but not a one of them are perfect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  9. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    have to agree with most of your post Hock. but nothing wrong with an inexpensive firearm as long as you know it's limitations. some are actually even fun to shoot as well. there are some that are inexpensive that are well made but very decently priced. some that come to mind are Mossberg, Savage, Marlin, RIA, American Classic, ect., ect.,,,,,

    the relative term is a person's budget. what's inexpensive to one person, may be high dollar to another. when a person sets out to buy a particular firearm for a particular need or intended use, their budget is usually the defining factor.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    like i said before, a person's budget defines what they will be able to afford. the lesser the budget, sometimes the lesser the choices within that budget.

    for example, if a person can only afford to spend say, $300 for a SD firearm for home protection, the choices are limited. but they can find a quality firearm that fits within that budget. there is also the option of looking a used quality firearm as well. sometimes you have to get out and look to see what's available, such as pawn shops and used firearms at the gun stores.

    i do buy inexpensive firearms, but would never buy a cheap firearm!
     
  11. PittTactical556

    PittTactical556 New Member

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    I have, some of their "Standard" models are not that expensive, I've seen some go for around $800, not to mention if you built one ;) just an idea lol. Like any other Manufacture they will have standard models then they will have more expensive models with free float handguards, NiB BCG, and or CHF barrels lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  12. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    Not all inexpensive guns are cheap in quality. Few quality guns are inexpensive. Track record means a lot more to me than the price.

    Some inexpensive brands have a track record of being hit or miss on quality and I don't feel comfortable buying to recommending them, or will put conditions upon a recommendation.

    In ARs companies such as Blackthorne/Vulcan/Hesse have earned a reputation that desreves avoiding. Do they have some customers that got working products? Sure. But a simple google search will provide enough unsatisfied customers to earn them a "recommend avoiding" opinion from many AR owners.

    When it comes to surplus guns, again track record can tell you a lot. Is a Mosin Nagant the be all, end all of rifles? Nope. Are they built solid? Sure. But the Mosin comes down to the condition of the individual rifle. My recommendation to most folks is to only buy one that they can check out in person. Buyers also should do research and know that by buying one they are not likely to get gnat's butt sniper accuracy, on par with most modern sporting bolt action rifles. That is largely because of age, condition and quality of available ammo. Someone who wants a beater rifle to take in ugly weather for short distance hunting or to buy for fun and history, should be perfectly satisfied with a Mosin in good condition.

    Handguns like Pheonix, Jennings, Bryco etc. have a track record for being cheap in price and unpredictable in quality. While Bersa and RIA have earned reputations for being inexpensive but or reasonable quality and reliablility and may be a better recommendation. I would usually recommend that people save a bit longer to get into the price range for the Bersa or RIA than spend money now on a potmetal gun that will probably need to be replaced much sooner.

    I also tend to recommend police trade-ins for peole on a budget. These are usually at least from qulaity manufacturers who will be around for decades and have other existing parts and service departments that can give a gun owner some support. Smith and Wesson, Glock, Sig, and Beretta a handguns can often be found with lots of holster wear and with few rounds fired in good condition for a significant discount over their brand new versions, and still be perfectly servicable.

    I think a lot of it can come down to patience. People don't need to spend a ton of money, but few lack the patience to research, shop, and save up for a gun of higher quality.
     
  13. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i agree with this 100%. well said Doc.

    another point is, do your research before buying. too many times there has been a person post on this forum, and probably many more as well, "i just bout this firearm, ___________, what do you think about it?" or "is it a good firearm?" hmmmmmm........ i think the time to research and check for opinions is before, not after the purchase.:rolleyes:

    check for reviews and what actual owners are saying, not the gun rags. check and see what they are actually selling for. if said firearm is generally selling for say, $400 and someone is asking $500, then it had better have a bunch of extras with it! if not, then keep shopping around.
     
  14. rainmakerat92

    rainmakerat92 New Member

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    Two of my favorite weapons cost me less than $150 each. I paid $125 for a Winchester 12-gauge pump years ago. It has gone *BANG* every time I've pulled the trigger and has never missed a beat. Just got a Mosin-Nagant that cost me $129. I'm very glad I'm the one behind the trigger of that rifle. I definitely wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of it, regardless of how inexpensive it was.
     
  15. kfox75

    kfox75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I own several "mid range" firearms, and most of them have run perfectly for me. I also have a couple of the "cheap" guns, but none of them are junk. point is, I bought what I could afford at the time, or got the less expensive ones in trade for work done for others. Some examples:

    Mossberg 185d. My primary slug gun, amde in the 1940s and has dropped several deer in the 30 years it has been inthe family. Dad paid $45 for it in 1983.
    Ruger GP100. Sure, I could have afforded the 686 instead, But I couldn't justify the additional cost for the same quality.
    Charter Arms AR7. Got it as payment for a barn teardown and cleanup. Last owner had jamming problems, fixed with a good cleaning, magazine adjustment, and adding a slight groove to the bottom of the chamber to lessen the angle that the bullets are fed into it. Zero problems in 5 years since, and al it cost me was time.
    Jennings J22. See above fixes for AR7. I only keep it because it was mom's, and it was passed to me when she passed on.
    Ruger Mini 14 GB20. Yep, I could have gotten an AR for about $800 more. Thing is, I shot both, researched both, waited 15 years to finally buy one after witnessing a tourture test that a friend of mine conducted between his pre-ban Colt and his pre-ban mini (here in NY, the Clinton AWB is still basicly in full effect). The AR was more accurate, the mini functioned full of mud, sand, andan imersion and drain cylce. The Ar only functioned after the water test, The mud and sand rendered it a single shot until it was cleaned. In all fairness, Colt makes a very good AR, and I had seen some function flawlessly after the same treatment. I mainly bought the Ruger due to it being less expensive, to me more reliable, and I prefer a more traditional looking rifle.

    I feel that it is up to the individual what they buy, and that is based on what they can afford. I applaud those who can afford a $3,500 pistol, a $4,000 rifle, and a $5,800 shotgun. That's cool if you can afford it, I can not. All I ever ask is that they don't judge me for owning an $80 shotgun. Yes, you get what you pay for, but sometimes you can get what you need for less.
     
  16. CrazedJava

    CrazedJava New Member

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    My old Ruger P89 was a great gun but a poorly made decision. I wanted a 9mm full-size handgun. The P89 was the cheapest thing in the LGS at the time and even then I had to put it on layaway because I was a poor college student.

    Fortunately for me, the P89 turned out to be a great gun but I really didn't know anything about it. I was a law enforcement major in college looking to improve my poor handgun skills before I graduated.

    I don't hesitate to recommend Rugers to new shooters because I know they are rock solid. I really don't know much about the SR series aside from the SR22, so I don't usually comment. I just wish I had done my homework. I was so clueless that I could have just as easily went home with a dud and that is exactly what happened when I went back to by a S&W 22A. Also purchased because it was cheap. Should have help out for a Ruger Mk.II or Buckmark, I just didn't know any better.
     
  17. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    I haven't noticed much snobbery in the firearms recommendations on this forum. I've been here more than a month and read many, many "what 9mm pistol should i buy" threads. Some people have expressed their lack of faith in some brands or models, but i haven't seen much i would consider snobbery. There was a shotgun thread that was going that way, but i am very slanted toward the Mossberg end of the shotgun spectrum primarily due to my basic uses for shotguns.
     
  18. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    I don't see gun snobs on the Forum. I do see gun owners who answer question based on their own experiences. Most of us who have been shooting for years and buying guns have learned many lessons we share. I think Axx55 laid it out very well. It is better to buy a quality handgun that is on the used market than a low quality new firearm. It seems many new to shooting sports buy inexpensive firearms and want their choices approved by the Forum members. My advice is, if this is your first rodeo don't cry when you get throwed.:(
     
  19. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Look, I know thee are some inexpensive guns out there that work pretty well, I've owned several of them. But I will also say when looking for a defense weapon that you may call upon to save your bacon then getting out the cheapest should not be the biggest concern. Because there are some really crappy cheap guns out there.
    I will say though that you don't have to spend a grand on a quality weapon and even when you do sometimes you can get a expensive piece of crap. There are also higher priced guns out there that are priced because of their name drives the price to a point.

    The name of the game is to get the best you can while justifying the cost. I can not justify the cost of a Nighthawk, it's just too expensive. Damn good pistols though. It's the same reason I don't own a high priced vehicle, I just am a little too ill tempered to my old trucks to justify paying for top shelf money. Hell, I don't even own a vehicle made in this century!:eek: But I own a couple that I truly believe to be well built and have served me well. With guns I lean around the middle of the pack but they are well built and I trust them 100% of the time. I have to or they serve no use to me. I might cut a range toy a little slack but anything I am going to carry around I have to know it will do what I bought it for no matter what.

    So while you may never find a Nighthawk in my collection you will not find a Lorcin/Jennings/Bryco, or even a Highpoint either. Because I've never seen one that I thought was good enough to trust my and my families life to. If that makes me a snob then so be it. Though I can't see anyone that has carried a Taurus (what?!?!?!:eek: I do love their PT1911's) being much of a snob. I have one of those dreaded Double Star ARs too. I hear they are not all that great. I love mine though!

    When looking for a defense weapon one should strive to get the best they can for what they have or can justify to spend. It's not me or anyone else that has to rely on that firearm, it will be you and it will be your loved ones that have lives that hang in the balance. If you're fine with it then other opinions really don't mean squat. So go get the cheapest Saturday night special or some uber cool Hollywood or (insert groovy video game name here) gun and be happy. No matter what there's going to be some internet expert that will say you made a bad choice. It really only matters to the one that will be using it. Whatever it is I just pray it works when you need it to. :) That's what matters.
     
  20. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Man, doing all the research makes it more entertaining for me if I'm looking at something that I'm not all that sure of. If noting else it's good to get out and look around and see what kinds of prices there are out there. Good guns can be found on a budget. I got several..heh:)