Top 10: Cheap stuff that works way better than priced


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silverlance
September 11, 2007, 08:17 PM
In conjunction with the thread about crap that doesn't work, here's a thread about gun-related stuff that works way better than its' price would imply.

I request that poster do not post guns themselves since that often leads to the inevitable "my gun is a great deal" / "no it isn't I have it and it sucks chrome bumpers" bickering.

Here's a few:


1. Tasco Super Sniper Scope : I initially scoffed at the claims, but it really is that good. I would have thought that the price would be about $500, so at $280 NIB it's a real bargain. 10x scope, mil-spec.
2. Target Sports Inc (CDNN) Picatinny mounted light. $20 and really well made. I have surfire lights and I don't feel that I've lost out on much when I have one of these mounted onto my sig P229R. Real bright, all aluminum construction, lightweight and solid mounting.
3. Windex. At $3 a gallon, how can you go wrong? Good for cleaning out corrosive salts and any other application that requires a cheap quick drying cleaner.

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1 old 0311
September 11, 2007, 08:29 PM
A) Brake Clean. At $1.98 per can is EXACTLY like $6.98 Gunscrubber.
B) Mobil 1 oil. Best lube out there. Keeps a $500,000 Ferrari going, also does well with a $195.00 Hi-Point

1 old 0311
September 11, 2007, 08:30 PM
Brake clean, instead of Gun Scrubber
Mobil 1 oil

Mot45acp
September 11, 2007, 08:50 PM
Brinkman 123 flaslight from "S" mart(shop smart)
Its rubberized, bright as heck, tough as nails, and comparable to any surefire.
Best part is $20.00 and comes with batteries.

BTW great thread.

strat81
September 11, 2007, 08:55 PM
Used, cut-up drier sheets in the brass tumbler. Free, since they've already been used for their intended purpose and catch a lot of junk that would otherwise end up in the media.

+1 on the Brinkmann. I have one in the nightstand.

Black Majik
September 11, 2007, 08:59 PM
Grip tape. 5 bucks at the local skate shop to add traction to your handguns for a lifetime

Chris Rhines
September 11, 2007, 09:04 PM
Magpul followers for AR-15 magazines.

- Chris

Hoppy590
September 11, 2007, 09:06 PM
Wolff springs. you will thank me.

hso
September 11, 2007, 09:09 PM
Ballistol

Ed's Red (do it yourself all purpose clean/lube)

zinj
September 11, 2007, 09:10 PM
The sundry slip on recoil pads for hard-kicking rifles and shotguns with buttplates. For $12 (or $30 if you spring for a leather version) you can take the bruises out of shooting.

MaterDei
September 11, 2007, 09:16 PM
I agree with the Brinkman. I have two and got them on clearance at Target for $9.08. Great value for the money but, no, it's no Surefire.

Blazer Brass .45 ACP ammo from Walmart. I bought 1500 rounds last week. Still $9.47 at the local stores. I went to Cabelas yesterday and the exact same ammo (which is brass cased and not overly dirty) was selling for $17.99. Never thought 10 bucks for 50 rounds of plinking ammo would be considered cheap but such is the way of things.

Reloading equipment. With the price of ammo, reloading equipment pays for itself faster than ever!

Average Joe
September 11, 2007, 09:22 PM
The Universal Clip loader for the Ruger and Buckmark mags.

Legionnaire
September 11, 2007, 09:25 PM
Three-foot length of weed whacker line. Melt one end into a ball, sharpen the other with a knife. Thread a couple of patches onto it and pull them through the bore from breach to muzzle. Poor man's bore snake. I carry one and several patches with me when hunting. Simple way to get junk out of the barrel.

Print-them-yourself targets. Whether downloaded or of your own design (I have several). Who needs to buy paper targets?

Stevie-Ray
September 11, 2007, 09:37 PM
UTG products. I have a quad rail, tactical laser, BUIS, and flashlight, all better than expected for the price paid. The flashlight is one of the brightest I've seen.

HammerBite
September 11, 2007, 09:44 PM
I don't know that you'd call it cheap, but the UpLULA magazine loader replaces a bunch of others that don't work as well. Come to think of it, no other works as well.

granuale
September 11, 2007, 09:45 PM
1. The bent piece of orange plastic that works like a bore light for a buck at any gun show. It does a great job of gathering ambient light and illuminating the bore.

2. Otis pull through cleaning kit. I have no idea what I paid but I use the hell out of the thing with everything from .22 pistols to 12 gauges.

3. WD-40

4. Silicone cloth for a coupla bucks. I've had the same one for years and it does a brilliant job for fingerprints and such on a gun's finish.

5. Shooter's Choice solvent. Like Hoppe's tubocharged and on steroids. After I used this at a friend's - I came right home and ordered some and threw out the Hoppe's.

6. Disposable toothpick/flosser thingies from the drugstore. They are great at getting into all the nooks and crannies.

Wow, with this list you wouldn't think I have a bunch of dirty guns waiting to be cleaned right :)

Scott

jlday70
September 11, 2007, 09:46 PM
The Bushnell line of red dot sights...for the price I can't complain.

+1 for the Blazer Brass ammo I buy walmart out of .45acp whenever I see it there.

Stevie-Ray
September 11, 2007, 09:48 PM
Shooter's Choice solvent. Good stuff, but whoa, it stinks bad!

Pigspitter
September 11, 2007, 09:52 PM
NCStar tactical scopes, those things are less than $200 and have excellent optics and 10-40x magnification.

Exposure
September 11, 2007, 10:03 PM
1. Tasco 2.5-10x42 Varmint scope. Can be had for under $70.00 The one I have has been GREAT. Over 200 rounds through my K31 with no noticable change in zero. I have shot several 5/8" groups at 100 yards with this setup.

2. Stripper clips and stripper guides. For anyone who has never used strippers to load a hi capacity magazine, spend the few pennies for them and thank me later.

3. TANNERITE! It might seem pricey on its face. Pop one off and see if it still seems overpriced.

This is a really great thread idea by the way. Nice one Silverlance!

lee n. field
September 11, 2007, 10:04 PM
Lee Hand Press (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=410804&t=11082005)

trickyasafox
September 11, 2007, 10:05 PM
i got a bunch of key chain lights a while ago, 6 dollars a dozen. they are the handiest little things in the world.

ranger335v
September 11, 2007, 10:26 PM
The Lee Classic Cast presses and RGB dies.

trueblue1776
September 11, 2007, 10:35 PM
Nearly anything made by Lee Precision.

PTK
September 11, 2007, 11:46 PM
I very much agree with the comments about Lee! The dies, presses, and loaders are fantastic.

swingpress
September 12, 2007, 12:10 AM
Experience gained by shooting USPSA club matches.

Compared to what I hear some people pay for range time, club matches are a smoking deal!

JWarren
September 12, 2007, 12:31 AM
I agree on the Windex thing.



I saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and it changed my life. :)


-- John

chris in va
September 12, 2007, 12:44 AM
Cabela's 30rd magazine for my CZ 75. Works a lot better than the stock mags. $15.

I'll second that Brinkmann light. Pretty slick.

Hogue grip for my SP101. Very nice.

VARifleman
September 12, 2007, 12:53 AM
pachmayr wrap around 1911 grips. May not look better than checkering, but it seems to grip better.

Dienekes
September 12, 2007, 01:19 AM
Pistol grip cavity cap for AR rifles: look around for the old rubber M1 carbine magazine caps at gun shows, etc. Heat them up with a hair dryer and stretch them over the bottom of the pistol grip, small tab to the front. They will conform to the grip as they cool down, retain their shape, stay put,and are well nigh waterproof. Unlike the aftermarket units, all the interior space is usable and they even improve the grip a little.

+1 for the weedwhacker line pull-through. Does most of what you need an Otis or bore snake for for practically nothing.

Also--Brownell's has a pistol cleaning setup by Accu Pro that has rod sections and a loop tip all inside the handle. There is extra room in there for jags, brushes, and other odds and ends. Very compact, very well made, and again, everything you need in a small durable package.

Scope covers: cut a truck tire innertube section across the round section, about 2" or so in width; just like a big rubber band. Excellent protection for the scope and the price is right.

Chore Boy copper cleaning pads: for serious leading problems use a small section (perhaps 1" x 2") and wrap around a worn bore brush. You can feel it
cut the lead away, and you can reverse it inside the bore to really get stuff out. Works as well or better than the old Lewis Lead remover with less effort.

Not something you buy, but if you are a revolver shooter, spend some time "skip loading" the cylinder for "ball and dummy" work. Load two chambers, skip one, load the third round. Spin and close the cylinder and then do all six hammer falls. The live rounds will come up in an absolutely random fashion to give you the best possible self-check on how good your trigger control and follow-through are. In addition to being excellent training for both beginners and old shooters, it also gives you twice the practice for a given amount of ammo.

jagdpanzer347
September 12, 2007, 01:49 AM
Synthetic chassis grease from the auto parts store. For a few bucks, a tub last's a LONG time. Excellent for M1 Garands.

-jagd

jt1
September 12, 2007, 02:01 AM
Robert Mika holsters, inexpensive, kinda homely lookin, one of the best CCW holsters you can get.

Darth Muffin
September 12, 2007, 02:27 AM
Midway's Frankford Arsenal Vibra-prime. This cheapo little tool has saved me SO much time, frustration, and cramped hands from loading primer tubes.

asknight
September 12, 2007, 04:02 AM
Print-them-yourself targets. Whether downloaded or of your own design (I have several). Who needs to buy paper targets?

As long as you're using a laser printer and not an inkjet. Have you checked to see (http://www.cockeyed.com/inside/printer/printcart.html) just how many microliters of ink you're getting in the $35 ink cartridge?

Those targets you're printing are close to $0.35 each for a regular 8.5x11 in black and white only, or if you use any color at all you better up the cost to $0.70 - $0.95 each. It takes a lot of ink to make a big dark spot on paper to take aim at.

The commercial retail targets can be printed for about the same cost on an inkjet. If you want to really save money, go with a laser or print one on your inkjet and then go to kinkos for the $0.10 copy machine.

darrentxs
September 12, 2007, 04:14 AM
Bic ink pen plastic shaft - works good to push patches through 9mm, 40 S&W, & .45 ACP barrels. Be sure to pull the ink tube out.

skeeter1
September 12, 2007, 04:38 AM
My new Crosman 2250B CO2 .22 air rifle. I've gotten such a kick out of it for all of $77. Yes, I have some very expensive iron, but what else can I pick up and head just down to shoot at the range in my basement regardless of the weather or time of day? It will never replace any of my firearms, but it sure makes a spot welcome for itself in my safe right next to the $2K SKB! :D

1911 guy
September 12, 2007, 07:00 AM
Grip tape. Despite previous poster's non-experience, it works well and is cost effective. Compare to $150 for checkering and another $125 for refinishing.

Shooters Choice bore solvent. It is now what Hoppes used to be when I was a kid. Good stuff. I buy it by the quart.

Blazer Brass .45acp. WWB used to be cheaper, but not anymore. Blaser seems to work very well, have had no problems in several hundred rounds now.

Lee Classic press. Won't win a beauty pageant anytime soon, but works.

Lubriplate grease. Not "cheap", but a little goes a very long way.

AJAX 1911 grip panels. At $40 they are attractive and functional. Got two sets, might get more.

Wilderness brand belts. After getting the 5-stitch model, I'm done buying leather belts.

citizen510
September 12, 2007, 07:11 AM
Paper Plates--300 for a buck, make great targets.

Legionnaire
September 12, 2007, 07:53 AM
Ditto the paper plates. And WRT: Print-them-yourself targets. Whether downloaded or of your own design (I have several). Who needs to buy paper targets?

As long as you're using a laser printer and not an inkjet.Agreed.

cpttango30
September 12, 2007, 08:45 AM
2001 car wax. Mix a few capfulls in with your media and your brass will sparkle like it is new. I used to buy the MidwayUSA polish. But after trying the 2001 car wax I switched and now my brass is bright and shinny and happy as a pig in a mud hole.

I think you can get the 2001 car wax for $.99 at wally world.

rxraptor02
September 12, 2007, 10:08 AM
Q-tips and wood skewers.

A q-tip soaked in Hoppes #9. It fits the bore of a .22 barrel. I dont have a good cleaning rod and I am afraid to use the cheapie on my .22, So the wood skewers are used to push the q-tips down the barrel.

The skewer also has a sharp point to dig out built up grime.

hso
September 12, 2007, 11:21 AM
Folks, the OP asked that guns be kept for another thread to avoid flames that break out over guns. If you're post went missing it's because you posted a great bargain gun. That would make a good separate thread, but let's keep it to non-guns.

ilbob
September 12, 2007, 11:33 AM
kerosene. cheap and effective parts washing fluid.

gun socks from ctd. less then $5 each. get one for each of your long guns.

aguila 22 SV. cheap but reliable. very accurate as well.

romma
September 12, 2007, 11:35 AM
Great thread! Any useful cost saving tip is certainly welcome.

AirForceShooter
September 12, 2007, 11:36 AM
left over tooth brushes.

AFS

NukemJim
September 12, 2007, 11:39 AM
Maglula LULA Magazine Loader and Unloader

See at

http://www.midwayusa.com/rewriteaproduct/796384

Works great saves fingers and magazines :)

NukemJim

yesit'sloaded
September 12, 2007, 11:42 AM
Cosmolene, yes it's nasty, smells, and feels gross, But have you ever seen a product that will protect a gun for a few decades for less?

Avenger29
September 12, 2007, 11:48 AM
Three-foot length of weed whacker line. Melt one end into a ball, sharpen the other with a knife. Thread a couple of patches onto it and pull them through the bore from breach to muzzle. Poor man's bore snake. I carry one and several patches with me when hunting. Simple way to get junk out of the barrel.

I don't think that's a great idea...

I'd rather use an actual boresnake. Less chance of breaking.

Canuck-IL
September 12, 2007, 12:03 PM
I'd rather use an actual boresnake. Less chance of breaking.
Yeah but, you're not cleaning the boresnake between uses so all that filth it's so good at getting out is being dragged back through the barrel. I sprung for the commercial version of the weedwhacker kit with plugs for 4 pistol bores and 4 rifle bores - never broken yet, even with frequent double patching. Cheap and effective.
/Bryan

granuale
September 12, 2007, 12:56 PM
Hogue HANDALL grip sleeves for the Glock. Increases the comfort level considerably. +1 on the paper plates citizen.

Avenger29
September 12, 2007, 01:23 PM
Got a Ruger 10/22? Need a bolt buffer? Go to Wallyworld, go to the school and office supplies section, and pick up one of those long erasers that click out of a plastic pen-like body. Trim for length and shave some off of the eraser's diameter until it fits.

My 10/22 needed this because even with locktite, the screws would come loose after shooting. I added this bolt buffer after I found out what was happening, and it works.

Thumper
September 12, 2007, 01:40 PM
I've got a couple of the brinkmann lights, and they're great for the price, but they are nowhere near as durable as a Surefire. Even so, I recommend them for lay around lights.

Neo-Luddite
September 12, 2007, 02:03 PM
zip ties / cable ties--I wish I could kiss the ring of the person that invented those wonders.

Vern Humphrey
September 12, 2007, 02:21 PM
Lee has made a believer out of me. The Lee Collet Die is the ONLY die for .22 Hornet.

I like their moulds, too.

Flame Red
September 12, 2007, 02:53 PM
+1 on Red's Red - The inventor should win the Nobel Prize. Threw out all other cleaners

+1 on Mobil-1 0W-xx oil - Threw out all the other lubes I had.

Bore Snakes - forget about patches, brushes, rods and other pull thrus. Once and done with a few drops of Ed's Red. (ok, maybe twice)

You guys made me spend money for a UpLULA Maglula.

Stump Water
September 12, 2007, 03:08 PM
+1 for the bamboo skewers.

They'll push a small patch through places a cleaning rod won't go (even .17 cal.)

Bazooka Joe71
September 12, 2007, 03:13 PM
oops

Seancass
September 12, 2007, 03:22 PM
I'm gunna disagree with bazooka joe, i find opps' are typically far more expensive than any possible positive out come.

other than that, i havnt bought much good cheap stuff yet.

Ala Dan
September 12, 2007, 03:31 PM
Bushnell HOLO-sight, priced at $239.95; beats the heck out of the EO Tech
priced way over the Bushnell~! ;):D

hso
September 12, 2007, 04:09 PM
Chop sticks - free with takeout!

Good for getting cases out of AR rifles. Just drive them in with a mallet and pull them out with vise gripes and the separated case comes right out.

Mot45acp
September 12, 2007, 10:16 PM
OOH OOH toothbrushes reminded me. The $1.99 electric AA one from S Mart
I got 2 or 3 in my various cleaning kits.

Darkness
September 12, 2007, 10:25 PM
I haven't tried it yet, but this vid shows how to make a durable flashlight that outshines a Surefire for around $10. Looks easy enough.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/581888/10_police_flashlight_hack/

Gator
September 12, 2007, 10:34 PM
I'd rather use an actual boresnake. Less chance of breaking.

Another vote for the weed whacker line. When boresnakes break they can be a huge pain to get out. Weedwhacker line is tough stuff, and its only pulling a patch through, so if it would break (never heard of that happening) it would be easy to remove.

P.S. The next time I'm at Wally World I'm getting some 2001 car wax...thanks for the tip!

silverlance
September 12, 2007, 10:44 PM
hoppe's orange baffled earplugs. these are pretty cheap at $2-3 a pair and come in a case. they provide adequate protection for any gun up to 308 and fit well inside muffs too. i have used many different types of plugs including expensive molded ones and these are the best. easy to clean, cheap to replace, comes in a case.

3m surgical masks. these are pretty cheap if you buy them in boxes of 50 from medical supply stores. i wear these whenever i shoot at indoor ranges. your lungs will feel drastically different, and there will be no disturbing sickly sweet taste of lead in your throat...

nice tip on the 2001, great idea for bamboo skewers.. i use qtips but the things break too easily.

The Wiry Irishman
September 12, 2007, 11:04 PM
Gallon milk jug. Ever gone a while without shooting pistol, and after a couple hours of shooting (especially off-hand) the muscles in your arm burn like mad? When you're not shooting regularly, fill up a gallon jug with water and hold it at arm's length while you watch TV.

$7 pet toy laser pointer from PetSmart. If you've got a pistol without any moving parts near the muzzle (Buckmark, MarkII, S&W 41, etc) tape it on like a little laser sight, then start dry firing. The little dot on the target is a great for letting you know what you're doing wrong with your trigger pull. Just don't damage your finish.

zoom6zoom
September 13, 2007, 12:06 AM
Spring from a ball point pen refill. Was a perfect replacement for a missing buffer retainer plunger spring on my AR...

cracked butt
September 13, 2007, 01:40 AM
Lee Classic cast turret press
B-Square gunsmith screwdriver set

evan price
September 13, 2007, 03:54 AM
Ever need target holders for the rifle or pistol range outdoors? Those plastic ones at Wallyworld or the gun stores cost money and then you let your newbies shoot and presto they are full of holes and in the trash. Plus you still need corrugated cardboard or something behind the target.

Now, you can have as many as you want, for FREE!!!

Look beside the roadway around gas stations, freeway ramps, shopping malls, etc. and you will probably see some of those annoying "I'LL BUY YOUR HOUSE" or "WATERBED CLEARANCE" or "VOTE FOR GEORGE" signs. Since they are in the public right-of-way they are free for grabs. I have a buddy that owns a gas station/convenience store and they are always sprouting in his grassy median and he has to pull them out to mow.

Can you say, freebie target holders???

I take especial joy in using the ones from Democratic anti-gun election candidates...

Best of all- they work well- usually they have corrugated plastic for the sign (water resistant and used many many times before shot out)- and they are FREE.

Legionnaire
September 13, 2007, 08:00 AM
Any of the slip-on recoil pads. Great for sighting in hard-kicking hunting rifles and slug guns from a bench.

trueblue1776
September 13, 2007, 08:50 AM
evan-

Thanks! That is a fantastic idea, I feel like a retard because it never occurred to me.

welldoya
September 13, 2007, 10:41 AM
Simple Green all-purpose cleaner - $8 a gallon at Sam's Club. Not for cleaning guns but for just about everything else especially around a car or boat.
I put it in a spray bottle and re-fill as necessary.
I've never used a bore snake because I figured they would be a pain to clean. So, how do you clean them ?

ZeSpectre
September 13, 2007, 11:06 AM
Magloaders (http://www.magloader.com/) (God I LOVE these things!) See my older review here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=243836).

Free Printable Targets! (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=283554) And earlier somone posted...

As long as you're using a laser printer and not an inkjet. Have you checked to see just how many microliters of ink you're getting in the $35 ink cartridge?

Those targets you're printing are close to $0.35 each for a regular 8.5x11 in black and white only, or if you use any color at all you better up the cost to $0.70 - $0.95 each. It takes a lot of ink to make a big dark spot on paper to take aim at.

the trick is to print in draft mode, or use a targets like those created by Mr. Heller (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/tphaller/page3.html) (see the third row that has the "faded" targets to save on ink.)

Can't believe that nobody has mentioned Q-TIPS! :neener:

vzenmn
September 13, 2007, 06:04 PM
The plastic shaft from a Bic-Pen also works well to depress an M1 carbine sear spring when disassembling and reassembling. Just push it into the hole in the rear of the trigger housing were the sear spring lays.

woolfam
September 13, 2007, 06:13 PM
+2 for the bamboo skewers. I use the pointy end for scraping. The other end I mash a little to roughen it up and then wrap some cotton (from a box of cheap cotton balls) around the end to make a bigger Q-tip.

Brad Johnson
September 13, 2007, 07:31 PM
A tube of Flitz and a bunch of worn out t-shirts.

Brad

trueblue1776
September 13, 2007, 07:36 PM
The Keystone cube for $9.99

g.willikers
September 13, 2007, 07:41 PM
Make all the targets you want, even really big ones, using the poster making feature of your inkjet, really cheap.
Refill your inkjet cartridges yourself with a refill kit, consisting of many bottles of ink in all the colors, and a syringe for squirting the ink into the cartridges. They're about $20, come with easy to follow instructions, and provide years of refills.

plexreticle
September 13, 2007, 07:50 PM
Bamboo Skewers, pack of about 50 for less that $1.

100% copper scrub pads for about $1

Get them at any supermarket and are perfect for cleaning out the gunk.

Danus ex
September 13, 2007, 08:21 PM
The C&R license.

MrPeter
September 13, 2007, 08:56 PM
My CCW lisence :D


Crossbreed holsters, as long as you get the ones with the adjustable cant. Otherwise, you'll be carrying your gun vertically.

Starter52
September 13, 2007, 09:46 PM
+1 for Flitz. The best product I've ever found for nickel guns. I've tried a bunch of others. Nothing else works as well.

geojap
September 13, 2007, 09:47 PM
Saigas.

zoom6zoom
September 13, 2007, 09:50 PM
Can you say, freebie target holders???

I take especial joy in using the ones from Democratic anti-gun election candidates...

Especially if they've got pictures on them!

esmith
September 13, 2007, 09:52 PM
mosin nagants, the good ones.
.22

Meatco
September 13, 2007, 10:06 PM
0000 Steel Wool & Oil, perfect for removing rust spots.

Richard

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