Researching vs. Impulse Buys


Kind of Blued
October 28, 2008, 10:08 PM
I'm generally someone who researches things a lot before I make significant purchases. The few times that I haven't, I've developed a degree of regret about the purchase.

Anyway, I'm curious. What do you guys do more often?

I'm currently trying to decide between a Glock 19 and a CZ 75 P-01 for a double-stack 9mm carry gun and developed a system to see which one made more sense. It was very thorough, probably enough to diagnose me with some sort of disorder. It's on a 160-point scale and WOULDN'T YOU KNOW both guns scored a 128... :eek:

Anyway, stories are welcome about when you researched a purchase and still regretted it, or extremely successful impulse buys.

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October 28, 2008, 10:27 PM
I do a little of each. For instance, when I went looking for my first 9mm, I researched about a dozen different guns, before deciding on the CZ-75. The next gun show I go to, I find a new CZ-75BD, with two mags, for $399. I leave happy. I did the same thing with my SKS, because I wanted a nice, cheap, semi-auto. I go to a local gun store, find one for $199, and once again leave happy.

There have, however, been times when I've bought on impulse. For instance, last Friday I go to a gun show, and find a Turkish Mauser for $100, including tax. I thought, for a Mauser, that's a good price. I check it over, and except for where the put a wood patch in the bottom stock of the gun near the butt pad, it's in very good condition. I look at the rifling, and it's all still good. I was going to think it over, but only made it to the end of the row before I was back. I haven't shot it yet, but I'm very satisfied with the purchase.

For me, an impulse buy would have to be pretty cheap, like that Mauser. If I saw a Kimber .45 sitting on a table, no matter how much that devil on the shoulder was talking to me, I'd pass on it as an impulse buy. Now, if I went to a show or store looking for one, after I'd done my research and decided that I could afford it, that's when I'd put some money down on a piece.

October 29, 2008, 12:31 AM
Ever since I found THR, I haven't really had an excuse not to research. This place is my go-to guide for all things that go "Bang!".

That said, I've been tempted a few times, and I've bought a few guns without doing as much research as I probably should have. I've been lucky, though... I don't regret any of my gun purchases.

Once, I found a new Kahr MK9 (with night sights) marked at $600. I very nearly bought it on the spot, but impulsiveness isn't my thing: Murphy tends to take a dim view of my impulses. Instead, I went home and did some research. Satisfied that it was a good gun and a good price, I went back and bought the Kahr, feeling much more comfortable about things. With the exception of the front sight inexplicably breaking, I've never had a problem with it.

Duke Junior
October 29, 2008, 01:10 AM
I do a lot of research on Internet sites,Gun Tests Mag which I trust ,and asking questions of gun savvy friends and relations.I have rarely bought a gun on pure impulse.Lots of electronics though!
I've rarely been disappointed with a gun purchase.

October 29, 2008, 01:25 AM
Didn't research my first gun, but did for my second. Now I research, read reviews, watch youtube videos talking about reliability, and shooting until I can't get the thought of owning that gun out of my mind. I have seriously stayed up all night wishing I had enough $$ to buy what I wanted next. It also helps to rent pistols at the range, and get a feel for them. I liked shooting the glock 17, and the walther p99 last time, and really want them both now.

I don't think that being on THR for hours everyday has helped my addiction.:D Of course, when I break free from the computer, I can always flip through these:

October 29, 2008, 01:54 AM
I voted other. I been in the game for quite a few years or should I say decades :D. There is really nothing new out there that interests me so I generally know about what I'm looking at to purchase since it's on the used market and probably been on it for quite a while. I may do some research to see if there is something specific to look for in that model but most of the time I have already run across that info.

October 29, 2008, 02:19 AM
I do both. When it comes to gun shops, I go back and forth checking price/quality/history/thehighroad. However, more and more recently I have bought off of impulse. In WA there is a 5day waiting period, but after I bought my first pistol, the owner told me when I pick up my gun I could pick up another pistol without 5 more days of waiting, so I felt that I had to. Then, not too much longer, I went to a gun show and was able to buy and leave with a pistol on the same day even without a CPL, so once again, I felt that I had to... I'm gonna stop buying on impusle, its killing my finances. I won't stop buying guns, but I will be more patient and do more research before I make my future purchases.

October 29, 2008, 08:22 AM
I find researching, reading, looking and talking to be half the fun of buying a new gun. Plus once you take the plunge there should be little to no buyers remorse!

October 29, 2008, 08:30 AM
I guess I don't really fall into any of those categories. Probably closer to the research end, though, since I've spent so much time on here, hanging out in shops, glossing through books, etc., that I generally know beforehand.

In the past, there have been a couple of times I held off on a purchase until I checked on the availability of ammo or loading components.

October 29, 2008, 09:06 AM
Lots of research and lots of wait so that you know it when you see!

Flame Red
October 29, 2008, 09:56 AM
All I can say is that just about every gun I impulse buy I have turned around and sold.

October 29, 2008, 10:17 AM
I used to think I knew a great deal about guns and valuation, then I worked in a shop for a few years.

Now while I know I know little, I do know what guns go for what in what dollar ranges - a prewar commercial S&W, for instance, I'll buy in almost any shootable condition if it's priced like a M&P surplus junker. Likewise, I have a good idea at least in the local market what doesn't sell, and what guns I can wait for the shop/seller to go down on price on.

I'll impulse buy now with greater certainty - I know I can get my money back and make a buck, almost guaranteed.

October 29, 2008, 11:23 AM
Some of everything. :)

October 29, 2008, 11:28 AM
Both. I'll research planned purchases but my best "deals" come from happening upon something I'm familiar with and buying on impulse.

October 29, 2008, 11:29 AM
I usually research most guns that I buy. I might want to impulse buy a gun but I will go home and research it first.

The only gun that I have recently bought on impulse is a Desert Eagle in 50AE. That is a keeper though.

October 29, 2008, 11:32 AM
I find the research probably the most fun part about buying a gun.

October 29, 2008, 11:37 AM
I research all purchases. I've never been unsatisfied and have never had buyers remorse. To me, research is fun!

October 29, 2008, 11:40 AM
I don't buy much of anything without researching. Guns, electronics, anything.

Well, except books. I usually go with a quick jacket read while at the book store. :)

October 29, 2008, 11:42 AM
most of my gun money is spent on things that take 6mo to 1yr to deliver. i do zero impulse buys

October 29, 2008, 12:05 PM
I'm a research nut. Everything from Glock 27 or RIA Officer .45 ACP. S&W .460 Magnum, etc. etc. Problem is it keeps me from buying sometimes, that and while I usually only buy a gun when I have a windfall from the casinos or stockmarket I can't always bring myself to spend the money, I'm a manic obsessive saver of money and budgeting.

But at the same time when i have made a purchase like my Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum 4", i've been able to enjoy it with a greater piece of mind. I researched everything from reloading potential to, velocities of bullets, and so on.

I can't bring myself to do a impulse buy with everything I've learned researching other never-followed-through prospective purchases.

Kurt S.
October 29, 2008, 12:52 PM
I swear, this is not a joke or just me stirrin' the pot.

I'll start out by having an interest in a certain firearm, and do the research. When I get to the shop or show I'll see something interesting, and the voices in my head will start saying "buy it, buy it", and that's all she wrote.

October 29, 2008, 01:23 PM
I buy on impulse and haven't been dissatisfied so far. Most of the time I buy used and much depends on what and when something comes available on the local market.

October 29, 2008, 01:44 PM
Research, research and research!

October 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
I seem to be more satisfied with impulse buys. Like my new .38 super or my Olympic 9mm AR. The last gun I really researched was a Steyr M40A1 and I don't like it at all.

October 29, 2008, 02:12 PM
I do both. I research what I might be interested in and then jump when I find what I like at the right price.

An SVT-40 was not high on my list but when I found a very nice one at last week's gun show for $700 I didn't hesitate.

My Saiga 12 was pretty much a pure impulse as I'm not much of a shotgunner, but seeing how much these have been going up in price and their supply can be cut off on Obama's word post Jan 4, I went for it. Clearly would have been better buy a year or more ago but so far I'm happy with it. $80 in conversion parts and a couple of afternoons, I've now got a nice little Siaga AK family. The Saiga 12 is more difficult to convert because the hammer needs a fair amount of rework and mine had no square cut-out for the pistol grip nut (both my 7.62x39 & .223 did) but on the upside no need for a bullet guide.


October 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
If it seems ridiculously cheap for what it is, I'll impulse buy. Got my High Standard Sentinel for $50 OTD a few years back, that way.

Otherwise, it gets researched. Return policy is generally nonexistant on firearms and I'm not loaded enough to blow $400+ on something that ends up shooting minute-of-barn or producing frequent clicks instead of bangs.

October 29, 2008, 02:55 PM
In the past, I've tended to buy on impulse. After selling a number of guns that just weren't for me, I've realized that research is the way to go, EXCEPT in the case of "Wow that's a neat looking old gun!" where the deal may go away quickly. Snagged a Beaumont-Vitali, Martini-Henry, and Swiss Vetterli that way... :D

October 29, 2008, 07:01 PM
I research things, seeing that I have more time than money. Unfortunately though (in some cases), I may tend to go overboard and do too much research. I often find (for me, at least), that it's possible to be armed with so much information re: caliber, twist rates, bbl lengths and contours, bullet weights/construction, and brand and model variations, etc., that I might just as well have made my decision by coin-flip and thus saved myself an enormous amount of time and sometimes post-purchase 2nd guessing.
Like I wrote in another post recently, I have often studied reloading manuals seeking the perfect 6mm caliber. Then I find that the 257 Weatherby looks pretty good in comparison. Before I know it, I'b debating the merits of the .338 superJesus and 378 magnums. Then I realize how ridiculous I'm being... I don't wanna shoot one of these; it's only a whitetail !! And I start allll over again. Heck, I've gone as high as the 460WM before, wondering, "can I download it to 45/70 pressures (I've been assured that I cannot do so safely).

October 29, 2008, 07:17 PM
I have to research my purchases. I want to make sure that if I spend money on it, I'll want to keep it. I don't want the trouble of buying something then not being happy with it and have to sell it. Once I buy it, that's the end of the road for the gun; it's HOME is with me.:evil:

October 29, 2008, 09:27 PM
I do both, three of my last five purchases have been impulse and I am very glad I did so. Got a Swiss K-31 with a fantastic stock, a Swede 96/38 , 1900 with two digit serial number, and a good Savage 99 in 300 Savage with Weaver K-4 with dot reticule.

Kind of Blued
October 29, 2008, 09:41 PM
Good replies fellas.

Here's something else I've noticed about myself:

I do hours and hours of research and might make a list of 2-3 guns I'm interested in buying. So far so good...

I then take one step into a gun shop and all of that research is left at the door. I'm like a 6-year-old with A.D.D. in a candy store.

"Oooh, that one looks neat."

It's so bad that, next time, I might have to step outside, have a smoke, straighten out, and go back in. :)

October 29, 2008, 09:58 PM
I'm largely an impulse buyer, and sometimes it doesn't work out. Then again, most of the time it does, if it doesn't, I just sell the piece.

Angus Lincoln
October 29, 2008, 10:39 PM
Most of the time, I have something particular in mind when I walk into a gun shop. The first thing I do is check out the used counter for handguns and the used rack for rifles. After years of visiting places like the High Road, I have enough basic knowledge to spot a potentially collectible firearm or at least a good value when it's in front of me. So if there isn't anything of interest in the way of something secondhand, I will likely pursue what was on my mind when I walked through the door. I always have 4 or 5 guns high enough on my wish list so that finding something that that I want is rarely an issue. If I am unsure of a purchase, and I think it won't be available for long, I will put it on layaway until I can think about it a bit longer. If I decide it's not for me, I roll over the deposit onto something I do want. The store owner sells a gun and I get something I wanted; everyone is happy.

October 29, 2008, 10:56 PM
Well both really. When I was looking for a precision rifle for 100 yard shooting I spent a long time researching, looking at used guns for sale, new guns for sale, took about 3 months before I finally bought a 12FV.

But I was walking around a gun show one day and saw a scruffy Sako A III Mannlicher stocked rifle in '06 for $400 and snatched it up. Now another '06 is really the last thing I need, but a little stock refinishing and it turned in to a really nice rifle.

October 29, 2008, 11:29 PM
Every time I've bought on impulse, I've paid too much. The last impulse buy was on of those HK P7 police trade-ins. Having wanted a P7 for years and being prevented from buying one due to the high prices they always commanded, I thought the almost $900 price tag was a pretty good deal. Then I got home with it, looked on the web, and found out that I'd, once again, paid too much on impulse. I've never bought a crappy gun that way, just paid crappy prices.

October 30, 2008, 02:26 AM
i should have voted other

research then buy on impulse.

case in point. recently i was trying to decide if i should buy a norinco or sistema .45. did research on both walked into a shop and got an sw1911

October 30, 2008, 07:45 AM
Impulse? Is that a new kind of gun? Gotta do a search. :D

October 30, 2008, 07:46 AM
Impulse? Is that a new kind of gun? Gotta do a search. :D

October 30, 2008, 07:52 AM
guns cost to much money to take a chance on getting something you are disapointed in. i dont generally spend weeks or months researching prospects before i buy, but i definitly have a very good idea of what i want before i go in to purchase. but no matter what i think i want, the bottom line is finding a gun that fits me, and has the features i want, in the price range i want to pay. sometimes, i have to pay a little more to get the gun i feel is the best one suited for me. sometimes, i get lucky, and find a bargain.. i dont think i have ever bought a gun that i was dissatisfied with. i have grown tired of a few, and sold them. or they no longer fit my needs, and sold those too. and i have sold some just because of money issues. that sucks! but overall, i am pretty happy with what i have. i want one more rifle (at least at this point) but money is tight right now, so it will have to wait. besisdes, i haven't really found what i am looking for anyway. this one will be a months and months research project.

October 30, 2008, 08:07 AM
Doing the research for a purchase makes it more fun. Learning about what you are looking to buy ensures you will be satisfied. Of course there is the impuls buy of an item I have been looking for, for a long time. When you come across that great deal you have to get it when you can.

October 30, 2008, 04:02 PM
When I want a gun as a tool, I'll research. I am fortunate to be old enough and have enough disposable income that I have all the tools that I feel are necessary.

Then there is my hobby: Collecting antique pocket pistols. Cheap as they can be, there isn't enough money to satisfy that want. Strange and curious make them all the more attractive, and they are relatively uncommon, so I jump when I get the chance.

October 30, 2008, 04:12 PM
I buy then research ! J/K. I usually do alot of research before buying, but if I am at a gun show and see something tha'ts too good to pass up, I usually buy. But again...I wont buy something I know nothing about.

October 30, 2008, 04:13 PM
Both, on the same gun. The Imbel kit was an impulse buy, I saw the kit for $125 and figured I might as well buy one while they were cheap.

Researched the receiver, though, wound up having my local dealer order an Imbel for me ($179 from FAC, those were the days).

October 30, 2008, 05:07 PM
Tough choice. I do some of each.
I certainly do research on guns all of the time. When I go into a shop however, I may end up getting something different from what I was initially looking for. It may be that they don't have what I wanted, or just have a smoking deal on something else. I rarely regret a purchase, though.

October 30, 2008, 06:22 PM
I do some of both. Researched 1911's to death, generally satisfied with my RIA. On the other side I bought a Savage 29 at a gun show this year just cause I really liked it. I'd never seen one before. It looked good, fit good, the seller was a local gunsmith. I don't care that I paid too much for it. It works flawlessly is accurate and it's old, I like that too. I let 2 rifles pass me by this year because I didn't know enough about them. Mistake.

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