Are gun owners just plain cheap?


Nathaniel Firethorn
January 24, 2003, 04:59 PM
First, lemme say something about targets.

There have been a lot of times where I've gone into the range and seen a target shot into such a ragged hole that only Clark Kent could see where the bullet went. Hey, where I shoot, a target costs about a dime -- far less than the ammo, even if you're shooting cheap .22 and putting a reasonable number of bullets into each target before changing them.

Now ammo.

I have a friend. He's got a Gold Cup. A Gold Cup ain't a cheap gun the last I looked. He's a former Olympic level shooter, so he should know something about gun maintenance.

He puts Wolf :what: through it. Steel-cased, smelly, smutty, Sovok-schmutz Wolf. So far, it hasn't jammed up solid on him...

And I see this again and again. People do really dumb stuff, and advise others to do the same, just to skin two cents off the cost of something while shooting multiple thousands of bucks worth of fancy hardware.

So, in sum: Are we all just cheap?

- pdmoderator

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Neal Bloom
January 24, 2003, 05:05 PM
I wouldn't say cheap, more like resourceful.

January 24, 2003, 05:06 PM
Some gunowners,like me, are quite cheap. I photocopy my targets (even highpower reduced course targets- copy the centers onto regular paper and shoot at those). I scrounge lead for casting, and pick up brass from the range. I reload anything i can't buy in bulk for cheaper. Some of it is false economy, but like most recycling, it feels good. Some gunowners are just poor.
How's your friend shoot with that Wolf? If it's really that crappy, and he's really that good, I bet he'd dump it in an instant.

January 24, 2003, 05:09 PM
Financially efficient.

4v50 Gary
January 24, 2003, 05:09 PM
I spend lavishly on books. I've spent a fortune on gun tools. I've stockpile ammo when it's cheap.

When it comes to targets out in the field, I eagerly go through trash cans for aluminum cans (don't like shooting glass bottles or anything glass objects including CRTs). Yep, I'm cheap.

January 24, 2003, 05:10 PM
Of course we're cheap. Have you seen the price of firearms lately? You could almost buy a golf club for that money... :D

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 24, 2003, 05:11 PM
How's your friend shoot with that Wolf?Better than me with S&B, for whatever that's worth. (BTW, he hasn't trained at that level for about 20 years.) If it's really that crappy, and he's really that good, I bet he'd dump it in an instant.Nope. He inflicted it on me and I wedged a brand new HK with it. :cuss: :banghead: :fire:

- pdmoderator

January 24, 2003, 05:28 PM
You place your Glock on the hood of your car to clean it when going through the free car wash at the gas station

You only shoot the corners and edges of your target first to try and conserve it

You use cooking oil to lube your guns

You spray-paint your gun silver to give it that "hard chrome" look


January 24, 2003, 05:37 PM
My guns only get the best ammo, ( I reload 99% of all my ammo )I even 223 when you can buy almost as cheap.

But yes we are cheap even with 1000's of empty case's I still pick up more and when we shoot sporting clays we fight over once fired AA's.


January 24, 2003, 05:37 PM
The cheapest ammo I shoot through any of my handguns is Winchester white box or S&B. I used to shoot Blazer and had very few problems and, while I have nothing against it, only shoot reloadable ammo now that I have a friend that reloads. And I hope to be set up for reloading in the next couple months. I've never bought or shot any Wolf at all.

For targets, I shoot purchased targets for most handgun shooting and I print out targets that has five benchrest targets per 8.5"x11" page. Depending on what I'm doing, I tend to put about one magazine or two through a target then replace it for the handgun stuff. For rifles, it's typically five shots per target for practice or three if I'm going for good groups.

I don't consider myself cheap. Frugal maybe, but not cheap. I have seen some guys in gun shops bicker over the most petty differences of cost. Not take a used rifle because of a $10 difference - things like that. I'm not like that at all.

January 24, 2003, 05:40 PM
...isn't going to cost me any money is it?:confused:

Nathaniel Firethorn
January 24, 2003, 06:26 PM
...your range box says "200 lb Test."

...your CCW loads are primer powered. wrap your grips with bicycle inner tubes and write "Hogue" on them with a magic marker. zero at ten feet to avoid wasting ammo.

...your copy of American Rifleman does sextuple duty: (1) literature; (2) fish wrapper; (3) target; (4) gerbil cage liner; (5) outhouse stationery; (6) garden mulch. sweep up unburned powder to reload. put a padlock on the fridge so that you wouldn't have to buy a safe.

- pdmoderator

January 24, 2003, 06:28 PM
I respectfully disagree that we are cheap. I prefer the term Economically Challenged.

Over the years I have picked up brass from the range every time I shot. I cant remember the last time I bought practice ammo. I reload all pistol calibers except for 22s, 25s, and 32s. I cast for every caliber I load and I make my own practice targets by drawing a 6" circle on one half of a file folder. The entire target is almost exactly the size of the 8 ring on a standard sillouette target, so any hit in the 6" circle is a definite COM shot.

Over the years, I figure I've saved enough by being frugal to pay for several new guns. Go ahead and laugh, I'm still smiling.


January 24, 2003, 06:35 PM
Well I didn't think I was cheap, but you guys are giving me some good ideas that will more than likely make the guy at my range more mad at me. :evil:

January 24, 2003, 07:14 PM
cheap ammo is
more accurate than
expensive ammo

January 24, 2003, 07:29 PM
I answered ''yes'' but actually ''cheap'' not the word. I am tho frugal and economical.

I like the thick card targets .. much better and less ragged hole. I use orange stickers for center application and have white abd black self adhesive patches ... with these i will patch a target many times ..... works for me.

I mean ... over $4 for a pack of Outers target sheets ........ I can make em last 5 times longer!! I Don't print out targets too much either ... sucks the ink right outa my printer (mutter, mutter, ......)

January 24, 2003, 07:47 PM
Well, you can call us cheap if you want to, but some of us just don't make much money. If you think it's cheap to photocopy your targets, I take all the copy machine mess ups from work and print mine on the back, and I refill my printer cartridges.:D

January 24, 2003, 08:01 PM
BEing that guns are at least a several hundred dollar purchase, every penny saved is a firearm bought! :scrutiny:

Oh, by the way, if you turn a target over and shoot the back, you get twice as much use out of it :what:

January 24, 2003, 08:05 PM
Trap shooters are the worst. Nobody else is so cheap that they'll drive 50 miles in the other direction to save $0.20 a bag on shot.

January 24, 2003, 08:22 PM
I wouldn't say cheap, more like resourceful
That's the word I was looking for!
Targets? I used to paint circles on paper plates. Then they installed a copy machine about ten feet from my desk. I recycle paper; copy only on the back side of the stuff from the trash bin. Yeah, yeah, I know; unauthorized use of company equipment. No one told me I couldn't! :evil:

January 24, 2003, 08:23 PM
Am I cheap if I use milsurp 'pasters' to cover up the holes so I can keep using the same target? :scrutiny:

Learned it from a lifer Nat'l Guardsman.

January 24, 2003, 08:27 PM
I once saw a guy shooting W/O a target. Just holding up hist pistol, seemed like good form and would just shoot at blank back stop! I was hoping he was just function testing a new gun :scrutiny: :what:

January 24, 2003, 08:36 PM
Sometimes, I wish our government is as frugal I can be.:cuss:

January 24, 2003, 08:41 PM
I think many shooters are indeed cheap. But there are also many who are willing to spend some bucks and many who use their resources efficiently.

January 24, 2003, 08:50 PM
Cheap? Who, me? ;)

January 24, 2003, 10:05 PM
Me not cheap?? Me just thrifty !! :D

Art Eatman
January 24, 2003, 10:33 PM
Skunkabilly's so cheap that when he painted his tactical SUV, he whupped a gang-banger for the guy's can of black spray paint to cover the word "Mattel".

:D, Art

January 24, 2003, 11:19 PM
I was a cheapo because I started shooting my freshman year of college. I finally got a job on campus (fall semester, junior year) and devoted that cash exclusively to gun purchases. I havent converted to being an HK-lover, but I now gravitate towards the better guns (Bushmaster AR15s instead of cast-recievered no-names, Springfield 1911s instead of the real cheapos, etc). I still print my own targets and save used stripper clips, so I havent totally abandoned my cheapness.


January 24, 2003, 11:48 PM
Now I truly feel like I'vefound a place to" fit in".For years I've saved the self adhesive ID product stickers we get at work . They are about 2" square. Stuck onto a piece of cardboard the make a fine aim point out to fifty feet (more if the light is good). I also made a good stamp out of foam back vinal flooring when I was given 1500 sheets of paper. Something printed on one side went out of date but I could still shoot lots of holes through it! One of my favorite targets are empty 12 ga. shells laying around at the range...just throw 'em against the base of the dirt berm and bounce 'em around with a .22.:D The list goes on and on!

January 24, 2003, 11:51 PM
It seems I can't read a wtb ad without the preface "where can I get the cheapest...".Heck,one guy wanted to know "where can I get the cheapest shotshell wads.MAN,how cheap does he think they can be?? sheesh.
I just love the guys that buy on the 'net and figure freight and handleing is not really a part of the cost of the item.Wake up fella!
ok,off of the soapbox now.:D

January 25, 2003, 12:04 AM
I think most of us just want the maximum bang for our buck, and want what works. Federal "Power Flite" Walmart special will kill a soda pop can just as dead as Eley Tenex.

ex. I buy white broadcloth by the yard at the fabric shot and cut up my own patches for cleaning. I save about **90 percent** that way. BUT: I don't buy it for that reason. I buy bulk cloth and cut it myself so that each patch is a perfect fit in the particular bore that I'm cleaning.

When practicing short range drills from the leather, I use a lot of Wolf and Barnaul. It's accuracy is adequate for that type of practice. And I've never had any type of problem with it.

Why buy and load match grade bullets for 7 yard rapid fire?

Cheap? No, just frugal.

January 25, 2003, 01:03 AM
I buy a half dozen targets at the range. I have plenty in my range box but like to support the range. I then shoot the target and after a dozen rds replace it. After second target is shot I put two together and normally can hide all holes except in black which does not matter. A small piece of black tape (I have the 2" wide paper type tape) and a new target.
I also shoot a target with .22 or 380 and then shoot it with 9mm or .40 as you can tell which holes are which.
Have even used different ammo in same gun. SWC and fmj leave distinctive marks.
I reload but with Wal Mart white box not as much. I bought a thousand Blazer to use at ranges that do not allow you to pick up brass or when outside in winter. Often I come home with more brass then I shoot. I am noramlly the last to leave and folks will come down with a box of factory new ammo and shoot 50rds in half a hour and leave. Once fired brass for me.
Heck I bought 1000 primed 9mm brass from Dillion when I got my SDB. I bet 800rds are still in box. I need to shoot more :)

January 25, 2003, 10:39 AM
Skunkabilly's so cheap that when he painted his tactical SUV, he whupped a gang-banger for the guy's can of black spray paint to cover the word "Mattel".

No I just got a bunch of those bullet hole stickers....

January 25, 2003, 11:16 AM
hmmmm. cheap eh???:scrutiny: I reload my own ammo from brass i buy and sort from the range ,not also including what my freinds give me , I save the 36"X24" cardboard sheets from when they unload drum trailers at work (good for about 100 sheets of corragated cardboard) , I get the old plastic 55 gallon drums from the tank wash that they cannot get the dye out of, their clean but not clear , and make my plates from the left over steel from when they repair trailers .and my paper targets are printed on my printer with the cheapest paper I can buy and I don't change out targets till the hole is too big . (except when I want to see where a firearm is sighted in at ) . I wouldn't say I'm cheap just frugal :neener:

Oleg Volk
January 25, 2003, 12:55 PM
You use cooking oil to lube your guns

You spray-paint your gun silver to give it that "hard chrome" look

Cooking oil: from what I hear, sunflower oil doesn't freeze in cold weather the way most gun oils do. WW2 soldiers supposedely appreciated that fact.

I've seen a genuine Chinese type 53 (Mosin M44 carbine clone) at a pawnshop -- it was spray-painted metallic gold I don't think it improved the looks of the rifle much.

Cheap: office products (red stickers) instead of Birchwood-Casey stickers. I prefer 3D targets for most shooting anyway. However, I've stopped trying to save 5% by ordering from unknown sources or using poor quality ammo to save a buck. Too many problems that way. I try to figure in the cost ofmy time and patience...

January 25, 2003, 04:52 PM
I buy those black targets with the green stuff. And then I get plate steel and cinder blocks from a few palls that grab it when they can from construction sites & the ship yard.

My latest plate is 18" x 20" x 2.25" thick.


Another nice target are those reactive targets from cabellas that reset when you hit the top. Great for the 22's

January 25, 2003, 05:32 PM
Some are so frugal, when they go to the restroom pennies, nickles, dimes and quartes come out. But, I give them a break, it's obvious they are going thru change! :D


January 25, 2003, 08:40 PM
I'm not cheap. But I do buy ammo at walmart so I can shoot more. When I shoot targets I shoot until the heart and face are nothing but an open hole. And when the .22 comes out everything down range becomes a target. When I'm shooting 1500 to 2000 rounds a day I need to find alternative types of targets.

Kahr carrier
January 27, 2003, 07:50 AM

Kahr carrier
January 27, 2003, 07:51 AM
Just Frugal.:)

January 27, 2003, 11:27 AM
Well I didn't think I was cheap, but you guys are giving me some good ideas...

:D :D :D :D :D

Joe Demko
January 27, 2003, 01:51 PM
One of my favorite targets is the absolute cheapest paper plates I can find. Typically you get a couple hundred of them for a buck and change. Put a black paster in the middle for an aiming point (or use the multicolored file ID stickers that are several-hundred-for-a buck) and you are set. I can't remember the last time I bought regular targets.

January 27, 2003, 02:19 PM
Heh - a new barrel sets me back around $400ish.

Add in $170 for the bullets that'll go down it, and maybe another $120 for powder and primers. I'll usually make 100 cases ($40 plus about 3-4 hours of labor) per barrel, so I try to save cash.

January 27, 2003, 03:29 PM
As much money spent on perishables should go towards ammunition.

The ramen still hasn't gotten old but it's only been a few months!

I had my first glass of Coke in a month Saturday! Sweet!

January 27, 2003, 03:38 PM
Frugal, cheap, economical; I don't care what you call me, just call me when it's my turn to shoot!

I tend to go to the range when no one else is there. When I post my photocopied (my paper-Gov't ink, hey, they say it's ok) targets I go down the line and pull those targets the range supplies the daily shooters when they pay their $6.00 as there are always a bunch with very few holes in them. I use them at the 25 & 50 yd line for my handguns. I love those people. They're the same ones who leave all that shiney brass laying around.

January 27, 2003, 03:42 PM
How's this for cheap?

When doing grocery shopping, when they ask paper or plastic, make sure you say 'paper'

Take a Sharpie and draw a mean smilie :mad: on the target.

Got lotsa laughs at the range but at least I didn't pay $.75 for a piece of newsprint!

January 27, 2003, 04:00 PM
Kinda bipolar... Just coughed up $1K for a USO ST-10, plus Badger Ordnance rings and base to put on the VS I had tuned by IBA about a year ago (excellent job but totally unnecessary, esp for $400 :banghead: ).

OTOH, I use 3X5" cards as aiming points when I shoot 9mm (like once a year)...print out my own rifle targets most of the time...the cheek piece on my rifle is made out of foam padding and 100mph tape...finally saw the light about buying in bulk; the 8lbs of Varget I got from Natchez ($120 w/ S&H and HAZMAT fees, which is equal to 4lbs from the local gunshop) should load up around 1200+ .308 rounds, which means that I need another box or so of the 500 175gr SMK from Sinclair Intl. ($106 incl S&H, which is about equal to 4 100ct boxes from gunshop) for a grand sum total of around $350 for 1000 precision loaded uber match grade rounds. And if I can milk the reloads from my brass, I won't have to buy any for a few months.

If it works, I don't mind paying for quality (and crying once)...but if I can get as good if not better results for less, well then I'll just keep my wallet as fat as the rest of me :neener:


January 27, 2003, 05:30 PM
At the range I have picked up the half broken clay birds to make plinking targets for long range 22 work. I also do the paper plate trick. Guess how I voted.

This makes me want to start a thread: Tips and tricks to save money so I can buy more cheap ammo!
It's a vicious circle.;)

January 27, 2003, 11:55 PM
I use to take all the recycled paper home from the office, and hand-draw the targets. :D Cheap and eco-friendly!!

One of the guys I shot next to, used paper plates. He said it costs (in bulk) about 1 cent a plate...

January 28, 2003, 01:08 AM
I still have a stack of 3x5 index cards laying around for shooting at.

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