Spontaneous or Scientific?


April 28, 2011, 06:57 AM
How do you buy your guns? Do you do it spontaneously or scienttificaly?

Most of my gun purchases have been "spur of the moment" decisions. Anytime I walk into a gun shop, gun show, or any place that sells guns, buying a gun is always on the back of my mind. However, I do not plan to buy any particular type of gun.

The last gun I bought was a Ruger Single Six in 32 H&H Magnum. I did not plan on buying it when I saw it in a gun shop. But I am happy with the purchase. I do try not to duplicate any gun I have. I have a 12 gauge shotgun, so it is highly unlikely that I will purchase another. But you never know.

So, how much planning do you do before buying a gun? Do you do any at all?

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April 28, 2011, 07:06 AM
i think on it for months......i dont have a ton of $$$...so i like to get the best value for my dollar

April 28, 2011, 07:13 AM
I have a (rather long) list in my head, sorted by priority vs. cost. Occasionally I happen into something I didn't consider before, but most of the time I know what I'm after and just waiting for the right deal.

April 28, 2011, 07:31 AM
I suspect "spontaneous" means "emotional" in this context. It's an interesting question.

Some would argue that "rational" decisions are better than emotional ones...but sometimes emotion cuts right through rationalizations to get to the heart of the matter.

My guess is those guns that I chose scientifically are the ones I get out of the safe least often.

Lex Luthier
April 28, 2011, 07:37 AM
Firearms have become much like musical instruments or tools to me. I know there will always be a "need" for these things, therefore a budget is always being created, an allowance, if you will, to support a decision of acquisition when the moment appears.

Of course, I would like one of everything, but Sigs and Kimbers are always finding me, just like Telecasters and certain other stringed instruments. If you plan ahead, the timing is always right.

April 28, 2011, 08:05 AM
My guess is those guns that I chose scientifically are the ones I get out of the safe least often.

The few guns that I did plan and research before buying do also get used less then the ones I bought on emotions alone.

April 28, 2011, 08:36 AM
I search the internet for review, videos, and any other info I can find. I bought a walther p22 once without looking into it and got burned. I was never happy with the p22 and sold it for a s& w 442 that i had been researching.

April 28, 2011, 09:12 AM
I walk in the gunstore. One of the salesmen will see me, push a hidden button that sends a signal to the rest of the crew that says "sucker on deck." He will then tell me, "We've got just what you're looking for." I didn't know what I was looking for, but THEY do...And they're right.

They will then start to pull out pinned Smith & Wesson revolvers, and put a bucket under my chin to catch the drool.

I'm sometimes able to withstand this treatment for 20-30 seconds before I say "I'll take it."

If I'm being a hard sell that day, they have cut a deal with my wife to give her a kick-back if she says "Oh, go ahead and get it, you don't have one with that serial number do you?"

It's a pretty scientific process actually.

April 28, 2011, 09:13 AM
I have a (rather long) list in my head, sorted by priority vs. cost.
This. Sometimes I find something on my list. Sometimes it's close enough. Sometimes a purchase is completely planned and premeditated. Other times, I just find something I like. When I'm just going into gun shops to look, I'm looking for what I never knew I always wanted. ;)

April 28, 2011, 09:16 AM
Oddly enough I have a wish list, but it seems that a lot of the guns I buy are fairly spontaneous anyway. There are many guns that have been on the list for a lot longer than the last few guns I bought.

April 28, 2011, 09:20 AM
I have a (rather long) list in my head, sorted by priority vs. cost. Occasionally I happen into something I didn't consider before, but most of the time I know what I'm after and just waiting for the right deal.


April 28, 2011, 09:31 AM
They are definitely an emotional purchases. I buy them because there is a desire to own them for various reasons. If we only bought guns we truly needed we would have very small collections. One or two for protection and few more for hunting if applicable. Personally, I have been interested by guns ever since childhood. I find the mechanics fascinating (much like a watch collector does an automatic movement) and like the performance features (similar to a car collector.) I have sort of a "mental list" of guns that I have always wanted to own for different reasons. I buy them as finances permit and the order is very random.

April 28, 2011, 09:55 AM
Spontaneously scientific....

Since phones are smarter and I can carry the internets in my pocket, I can research prices while making spontaneous decisions. :)

My usual approach is to research prices, reviews, opinions, mull it over and beat it to death in my head for weeks until I decide I have better things to save my my money for.

April 28, 2011, 09:58 AM
There are a few that I have researched and then purchased. Most of them I have been there at the opportune time and had $$$ for it. Most often because I am known around here by other gunnies as the one that will give a reasonably fair price when someone is hard up and needs some fast $$.

April 28, 2011, 10:11 AM
Months of obsessing and internet research.

April 28, 2011, 10:19 AM
Scientific applications of research and opinion, more research to see exactly where it fits in to my needs, then of course I shop and shop hard to get the best price.
The required handeling and comparsion of other guns side by side is of course next.
Then a complete and thorough start to finish reevaluation of my research.
Then with great emotion I buy the gun I am looking for, from the seller whom I trust.
Often this causes me to lose a great deal, but I am not often disappointed.

April 28, 2011, 10:52 AM
I definitely use months of research with my purchases. I am pretty much just starting my collection and so I have plenty of niches left to fill yet, but nowhere near the cash to fill them all any time soon.

I have to say that I do develop an emotional attachment to the ones that I have hunted for and researched for months. The whole time I'm researching my next purchase, I'm saving the money needed to buy it.

April 28, 2011, 03:24 PM
when I buy a gun, it's a little bit of both.

I don't buy guns that don't appeal to me on some emotional level, but I also don't buy guns (anymore at least...lol) that ONLY appeal to me on an emotional level (just ask about the ps90). Basically it must fulfill both criteria, it's gotta apeal to me, and meet a percieved need.

So, most of my few gun purchases now days, are simply to upgrade what I already have. For instance, my next buy will be a pre64 winchester model 12, what I consider an upgrade to my mossy500.

April 28, 2011, 04:02 PM
The only things I purchase spontaneously are food and clothes.

I have an awful lot of clothes.

April 28, 2011, 04:14 PM
I keep a general list in my head of things I'm interested in along with general pricing. However, most of what I have purchased in the last few years have been spur of the moment purchases which I find a lot of fun. Some were considered in the back of my mind, but the actual purchase was a very spur of the moment decision.

April 28, 2011, 06:02 PM
Most of mine are the result of careful thought and research.

I'll see one in a store, then spend hours chasing facts on the 'Net. Or I'll read about one here, then spend hours chasing facts on the 'Net. And then I'll go to a couple of stores. Or three. Or four. Compare prices. Fondle a few.

But sometimes it all comes to naught.

I went in to pick up a CZ 75 P01 after saving up the money for months. Beside it was a Taurus PT911. They are similar in many respects, same caliber, size, weight, manual of arms, but . . .

When I did a series of "blind draws" (hold pistol down at your side, eyes closed, raise pistol to firing position with two-handed grip, open eyes), I found that, to my consternation, the PT911 pointed more naturally for me. I actually liked the CZ better, it's a prettier pistol and (IMHO) better made. But when I lined up the sights, the PT911 aligned more naturally.

All my research down the drain. I bought the Taurus. Worked out okay. It's very well behaved.


April 28, 2011, 07:20 PM
I generally am scientific. When I bought my G26 it was a logical decision based on the fact I knew Glocks and needed a carry, the same when I bought the second one. My AR in 6.5 Grendel I thought about for months. The Glock G30 I bought a few weeks ago on the other hand was pure emotional response after renting one. There are a few others I really want but can't think of a practical reason to buy so I haven't.

April 28, 2011, 08:49 PM
Financial situation drives everything. If I were quite rich I would decide that i wanted a gun, no specific gun in mind. I would go to a shop that has high end guns, great wood, etc. and pick one out spontaneously.

April 28, 2011, 08:54 PM
You will find my answer here. (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=578108)

April 28, 2011, 08:55 PM
I am a compulsive researcher and obsessive fact-hound and voracious consumer of the written word, so I make just about all my decisions, even spontaneous ones, scientifically.

Sometimes my acquisitiveness starts buzzing, and I am compelled to get something for 'scientific' reasons :D

April 28, 2011, 09:11 PM
I'm a tightwad, so everything I buy goes through at least a few weeks of pros and cons thinking and comparison to similar products.

April 28, 2011, 09:14 PM
I have used both approaches and have had mixed results from both.

I generally know exactly what I am looking for, but, have learned to NOT get so fixated that I miss out on a good deal right in front of me.

True tale, I went to a gunshow looking for something specific, and ONLY that particular item. A revolver caught my eye and I stopped long enough to give it a quick once over, noticed the price was outstanding and yet, since it was NOT what I was after I continued on, only to realize just exactly how good the price really was three tables later.....it was gone by the time I got back to the guys table, and probably less than ten minutes had passed.

Another story ( with a happier ending ), I went searching for a four inch .44 Mag revolver, cash in my pocket. I was in four or five different shops and had seen nothing I was interested in, the last stop, I found a 4 inch gun, a Taurus, not what I was wanting, I also noticed a semi-auto rifle on the rack at the end of the counter, hmmm I says, whats that, the guy tells me its a FAL, I say hmmm, what caliber, he says .308, I say hmmmm, then I leave to do a bit of research ( which means hit a couple other shops and compare prices ) , an hour later it was all mine.

Its a Century thumbhole, inch kit on a metric Imbel receiver and has NEVER given me a single problem in the nearly 10 years I have owned it, its one gun I just love to shoot.

True, I still dont have my 4 inch .44, but, hey a .308 hits WAAAAAY harder than a .44 anyway :neener:

April 28, 2011, 09:24 PM
The things Justin mentioned are a huge factor. Once I started shooting regularly after I gave up my hot rod hobby, I realized that. Take a glock, xd or m&p for example. You're looking at a $450 to $575 handgun. Most people can save up for a year or so and pick one up. Now you have it and you're itching to start shooting regularly or start competing but it is your first glock and you need accessories since it is a new platform and a new caliber.

$50-$100 for a carry holster
Maybe $50-$100 more for an additional holster for competition, or just to buy another holster because the first one didn't work out for you.
Single mag holder for carry and 1 or 2 double mag holders for competition or practice...another $50-$100
3-6 extra mags...yep, another $50-$100
$50 - $125 for sights since nothing seem to come with the sights you prefer
Most importantly...you'll need at least 500 round of ammo to get you through your new platform learning curve. There's another $100 or so. If you reload, you'll still have $100 or so in it because you have to buy new dies and such.

So as I learned the hard way, you invest the same amount of money you spent on the gun in gear pretty quickly. That's why I have different models of the same platform in my safe. It saves me some change if I can reuse at least some of my gear.

April 29, 2011, 01:13 AM
On further reflection I think that I fall into the 'spontaneous' category because despite all the research I do, I only buy guns that I 'fall in love with,' never as the result of any sort of quantitative analysis.

And I have to fall in love with the way the gun looks, and its cultural circumstances.

I'd never in a million years buy an M&P or a glock or a similar gun, but I'll probably end up buying one of each Sig Sauer model, and maybe an HK USP some day.

April 29, 2011, 06:24 AM
And I have to fall in love with the way the gun looks,

The way a gun looks is important to me too. I know everyone has a different opnion on what constitutes a good-looking firearm, I definately have my own.

I refuse to buy any gun that I find distasteful. It could be the best functioning firearm to come along since the Brown Bess, but it will not take up space in my home.

Fast Frank
April 29, 2011, 07:26 AM
The only way I could answer the question is "Both".

Sure, I have been walking along in a gunshow before and bought a gun that I saw laying there.

My Dan Wesson .357 was an example of that. I wasn't shopping handguns at all that day, and had never really considered owning a Dan Wesson before I picked that one up.

After I noticed it and had it in my hand, and it had passed all the quality inspection points, I was absolutely smitten by it.

I had never fired a Dan before, but had heard that they were very strong and accurate. Words like "Indestructible" and "Tack Driver" were racing around in my head and I bought it.

It was a good decision, and that pistol served me well for a number of years.

I used that pistol as a platform for my first reloading experiments and it survived my fumbling beginner mistakes admirably. It also lived up to it's reputation for accuracy.

It absolutely Loved an Elmer Kieth load using Hercules 2400 and a 125 grain JHP. The fireball from that load was as much fun as blowing random objects up with it.

Everything about that story was spontaneous from start to finish.

My Savage .17 HMR was was different.

I started by deciding the little rimfire round was interesting. I read about it, and studied it pretty hard.

A ballistics calculator said that it could shoot anywhere from 25 yards to 125 yards and never rise or fall more than one inch from zero.

The idea of being able to shoot golfball sized targets from 25 to 125 with zero holdover really appealed to me. Just put the crosshais on it and hit it.

And the stories of tight little sub-MOA groups was something I wanted, too.

Then, Savage come out with the accutrigger. Next, they released the stainles bull barrel in a laminated thumbhole stock.

I ran around looking for one of those for several months before I actually saw one.

I like to think that this was a "Scientific" purchase. I started with the bullet, then picked a brand, then picked a model, then searched for it until I found one. The whole process took over a year.

I've been very satisfied with that one, too.

I don't think it's fair to say I buy one way or the other. My gun collection is both practical and passionate, and so are my purchases.

And who knows what I'll do next! :D

April 29, 2011, 08:19 AM
My first gun, a .223 Savage 12FV, was found when I was searching for a shotgun. I saw it, liked the look, saw the thick freefloating barrel, and I took her home.

I wanted an Archangel kit for my 10/22, and months later, I found one. I just happened to have some cash in the bank, so I took that home.

I was at one of my favorite gun stores to "talk story" with the guy there, and I decided on a whim that my girlfriend would like a 10/22, so I bought another.

My girlfriend liked the Archangel stock, so one day I went to the same LGS to ask when they'll have more in. They had no idea, but brought out a blue Raptor stock they had. Unfortunately, this was the day after payday, and when they showed me a matching blue Tactical Solutions barrel and a blue extended mag release, I bought them all, and left with an about $400 lighter wallet.

Just yesterday, I cashed out a bunch of savings bonds that made a year the day before. I went to the same LGS looking for a revolver. I heard a few Taurus stories, and didn't want to buy one, but all the other revolvers were out of my price range. There were no Glocks and a BHP was just a little to expensive. I asked about any 9mm or .22LR pistols in my price range, but I wasn't satisfied with any. Just as I was about to give up, I saw a RRA lower with a 2-stage trigger. I think the employee was a bit surprised when I looked it over quickly, tried the trigger a couple times, then announced it's mine.

I'd say I'm a spontaneous buyer.

April 29, 2011, 09:55 AM
scientific here most of the time. I research and make a list of possibles, then hold and shoot them to reduce that list. compare pros, cons, and prices. then i get the cash and start shopping. that is how i ended up with my XD.

on the other hand, i picked up a marlin 7000 the other day completely on a whim, just because i liked the look of it.

i guess i would say, if it's expensive enough to need justification, scientific. if it's cheap enough to ask forgiveness, emotional! :)

April 29, 2011, 11:15 AM
So, how much planning do you do before buying a gun? Do you do any at all?

I always have a few in mind at any given time. So, if I happen to find one my "chosen few" at a good price, I'll make a quick decision to buy. You never know when a good deal will show up, so I keep a mental account of models and prices.

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