Do you really get what you pay for?


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FMF Doc
May 11, 2012, 11:03 PM
I have always been a proponent of buying quality. But price does not always equal quality. I went out shooting with some friends this weekend, and had mentioned I was looking at maybe getting a 1911. After all, what red-blooded American doesn't own a good 1911?, right? They were all kind enough to bring the ones they had, and I was able to rent 2 others. I shot an RIA, Springer Milspec and Loaded, Colt Goldcup, a Kimber ClassicII, and a Knighthawk Customs GRP Recon! All were meticulously maintained and in perfect working order. I shot 230gr ball through them as the base line. With the exception of the Knighthawk, which made me shoot like something out of a video game, stupid accurate, I didn't notice much difference in performance. No FTFs and all shot 3-4" groups at 25 yds. Some seemed a little "smoother" in operation, but the point is, even though the Kimber "felt" better, it didn't shoot any differently. So the question is, if they are all accurate and shoot about the same, is there really any way to justify spending 3-9x as much money on what is ultimately a tool?

In case you were wondering how accurate “stupid accurate” is, I shot multiple 3-5 shout groups of 1” to 1 ragged hole at 25 yds with the Knighthawk. I can’t explain it, and I doubt I could repeat it, but something about that gun that day I couldn’t miss. If it didn’t cost $3200 I would buy it, but that is a little steep for a paramedic’s salary when I already have a CCW and some others.

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Valkman
May 11, 2012, 11:42 PM
I have 1911's that cost from $299 (Norinco) to $900 (bought 2 Kimbers at that price - one new and one used). All are utterly reliable but the Norinco is set up as a Bullseye gun and the rest are for range/SD use. The $900 used Kimber is a Compact CDP and it is my carry gun. Hopefully my next 1911 will be a Ruger - regardless of the price I think it'll perform as good as anything I've got.

mgmorden
May 11, 2012, 11:46 PM
"You get what you pay for" to me is an outdated viewpoint for the simple minded. Its never been really true, but it kinda sorta worked as a rule of thumb in the pre-internet days when doing research on items was much harder. People found it easier to judge items based on cost rather than determine their merit.

As a prime example of this mindset, I'm sure many know of Grey Goose vodka - premium stuff. Expensive. The guy who originally bought it decades ago got the company at a good deal as it was having financial troubles. After he bought it he had a brilliant idea: double the price. The stuff that was having trouble selling before started raking in cash by the fistful after he started charging twice as much because people equated the high price with higher quality.

Guns are much the same. There are some rock bottom price points that its hard to get below without cutting corners, but after you get past that there are a lot of brands that are good and vary wilding in quality. You'll never convince me that an H&K is actually worth twice as much as a Glock or 3 times as much as a Ruger. All of them are accurate and reliable but some have convinced people to spend more.

thunderranch.45
May 11, 2012, 11:50 PM
yes,i do believe you get what ya pay for to a certain point. its all in what your looking for and what feels good to ya. when you start talking about the guns you mentioned their all good choices. i like the kimbers i have never fed any of mine anything they did'nt like,they alway's seem accurate and reliable. if you liked that crazy video game accuracy of the nighthawk but the price tag shocked ya take a look at some of the Les Baer models. you'll get the accuracy,smoothness and reliability of a one at a time hand fit and tuned 1911 for less than a nighthawk and have every bit as good a pistol. Les stands at the top of the heap with some of the best when it comes to custom 1911's

Fishslayer
May 12, 2012, 12:43 AM
The higher end 1911s are wonderful to look at and I'm sure they are slick & smooth. But I honestly don't think I would actually be able to shoot one any better than my $500 RIA Tactical. Anybody with a nice Les Baer or DW that would like to let me test my theory... :evil:

mljdeckard
May 12, 2012, 01:21 AM
I THINK, that the law of diminishing returns kicks in somewhere around $1000 for 1911s. Meaning, yes, you can spend more, and yes, there is a difference in quality, but not nearly proportional to what you paid for it.

I shot a Nighthawk at a rental range. First of all it jammed, which made me snicker. But yes it was beautiful, fantastic. Better than my Kimber? Sure. To justify more than three times the price? No way.

It's like the Five Dollar Milkshake in Pulp Fiction. "That's the best milkshake I ever tasted. But it ain't worth five dollars."

TennJed
May 12, 2012, 02:03 AM
You generally get "more" if you pay more, but how much more is subjuctive. It may not seem like much more to you, but to someone who has a lot of extra income, the "little" bit of difference could be worth it to them. After all to a person like that, $2000 more dollars is not much, therefore that person would be happy with not getting much more because he is not paying much more.

I however do not fall into that category, so for $2000 I should get a lot more because that is a lot more $$$$

sikiguya
May 12, 2012, 09:12 AM
It is absolutely the case..except it is all relative. No one here buys retail so when doing direct comparison is unfair. Is a used 97% H&K worth $50 over a new Glock? Depends...but is it better than a Ruger P94 or a Sigma? Hell yes!

There is also the side of value retention. A used H&K, Glock, or Kimber will hold more value than a Sigma, Taurus, or Highpoint.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

beatledog7
May 12, 2012, 09:46 AM
Value is highly subjective, as is the "what" that a buyer of anything is paying for.

If a person is seeking to feel good about himself based on the high price he is able to pay for a 1911 or any other firearm, then when he lays out the dollars he's getting what he paid for.

Who among us is legitimately designated to decide what should constitute value for anyone else?

Double Naught Spy
May 12, 2012, 09:49 AM
You get what you paid for doesn't mean squat.

On the face of it, it just says that you get whatever items you pay for. However, it is used to equate price with quality, quantity, etc. The notion is that the more you pay, the better the item will be. If you bought a top of the line Pontiac J2000 in the fall of 1981 and paid full price, you still purchased garbage, but expensive garbage. There were plenty of less expensive cars out there that worked better.

When it comes to ammo, the cheaper aluminum case Blazer works just fine. Paying less for it than you would pay for Winchester white box or Federal red box does not result in having ammo that is less functional.

sikiguya
May 12, 2012, 10:15 AM
It does if you reload...which makes the point again...

browningguy
May 12, 2012, 11:00 AM
Yes, you do generally get what you pay for. Of course there are exceptions. And I'm not even sure what a 1981 Pontiac J2000 is so I'll not discuss that.

But you may be paying for something you don't want or need. The difference between a $3k Les Baer and a $500 Rock Island is immense. The machining is far smoother, the finish far better, it may even be a little more accurate (but maybe not) and almost certainly will be a little smoother in operation. Remember that even with a low cost gun you will sometimes get one that shoots lights out, all the tolerances accidently line up and you get a great shooter. Most people settle for compromises, you pick reliability for a carry gun, accuracy for a competition gun, if you want both you pay more money. And if you want to add in superb fit and finish you pay even more.

The real issue is how much are you willing to spend for a little bit higher quality fit and finish? Going from a bead blast to a 400 grit finish costs a little more, going to a 600 finish costs even more, etc. Once you reach a certain level of quality small increments cost geometrically more money and for each individual the amount they are willing to spend for smaller increases in quality will vary. If you definition of quality is it goes bang and the bullet goes in the direction of the target then you can buy just about anything from one of the major manufacturers and be happy.

One of the things you are buying with the high dollar guns is fewer compromises between function and finish. As an example take the EAA Witness Elite Match. To function as well in accuracy as this gun you need to spend double or more on most any other brand. It's an excellent basic design, good barrel and a great trigger right out of the box. The thing that makes it a $500 gun instead of a $1200 gun is the finish. It's only ok in that measurement, you find occasional machining marks or sometimes the hard chrome is a little discolored in a spot or two. Buit those things have no affect at all on the function. Sometimes you even find a gun that has no issues at all with the finish. Now if you want Tanfoglio to spend the time to gurantee that the fit and finish on every single pistol they make is up to Les Baer standards they can do that, but someone has to pay for it.

PabloJ
May 12, 2012, 11:27 AM
I have always been a proponent of buying quality. But price does not always equal quality. I went out shooting with some friends this weekend, and had mentioned I was looking at maybe getting a 1911. After all, what red-blooded American doesn't own a good 1911?, right? They were all kind enough to bring the ones they had, and I was able to rent 2 others. I shot an RIA, Springer Milspec and Loaded, Colt Goldcup, a Kimber ClassicII, and a Knighthawk Customs GRP Recon! All were meticulously maintained and in perfect working order. I shot 230gr ball through them as the base line. With the exception of the Knighthawk, which made me shoot like something out of a video game, stupid accurate, I didn't notice much difference in performance. No FTFs and all shot 3-4" groups at 25 yds. Some seemed a little "smoother" in operation, but the point is, even though the Kimber "felt" better, it didn't shoot any differently. So the question is, if they are all accurate and shoot about the same, is there really any way to justify spending 3-9x as much money on what is ultimately a tool?

In case you were wondering how accurate “stupid accurate” is, I shot multiple 3-5 shout groups of 1” to 1 ragged hole at 25 yds with the Knighthawk. I can’t explain it, and I doubt I could repeat it, but something about that gun that day I couldn’t miss. If it didn’t cost $3200 I would buy it, but that is a little steep for a paramedic’s salary when I already have a CCW and some others.
No. This is especially when it comes to the 1911 where one can easily "throw" a lot of money away.

ku4hx
May 12, 2012, 11:32 AM
The highest value is seldom the cheapest you can possibly get or the most expensive available. Generally the greatest "value" is somewhere in the middle.

Long ago I simply stopped buying bells and whistles I never used. But, like beauty, value is in the eye of the beholder ... if not the wallet.

PabloJ
May 12, 2012, 11:47 AM
The best value in 1911 goes by SR1911.

benzy2
May 12, 2012, 12:00 PM
There are certainly inexpensive guns that run well and expensive guns that choke up. In general though you see that more money buys a better pistol. It may be only fractionally better for the dollar and it may be better in a way that is meaningless to a given owner. Inexpensive firearms may be as reliable and accurate as expensive ones but other factors certainly play into the overall cost. Look at what matters to you and what doesn't. Find the one that fits those needs best at the best price point. Some people only care about bottom dollar and others want only the highest possible quality. Many fall somewhere between. I suggest you sit down and seriously consider what matters to you and your shooting and buy based on that rather than buy based on price (inexpensive or expensive) or what people with different requirements suggest online.

MICHAEL T
May 12, 2012, 12:14 PM
I have a American Classic Lowest price of my 1911's Its slide moves like on ball bearings great trigger and will run with my Colt for accuracy and relieabilty .
My at time bought $900 Dan WessonCBOB will blow them all away in accuracy . These were a great deal a few years ago. Today I thnk just another over priced 1911.
Their are many good relieable guns on the market at a affordable price. My Best 9mm is a Bersa 9UC . In 380 for the money my Bersa 380 Thunder destroys my Walthers PPK/S except in finish. .

jimmyraythomason
May 12, 2012, 12:49 PM
"You get what you pay for" to me is an outdated viewpoint for the simple minded. Its never been really true, but it kinda sorta worked as a rule of thumb in the pre-internet days when doing research on items was much harder. People found it easier to judge items based on cost rather than determine their merit.
I agree 100%! I have never believed this axiom as an absolute. I have cheap(ie;low purchase price) guns that have and continue to function perfectly. I also had(ie;dumped as quickly as possible) high cost guns that were nothing but a PITA. Judging a gun or anything else based on it's purchase cost is just plain foolhardy.

Mike J
May 12, 2012, 12:59 PM
Most of the guns I own would fall into the mid-grade category & I have been happy with all of them. They aren't the prettiest (my guns tend to get beat up anyway) but they do work well which is the highest priority in my opinion.

As an aside if I recall correctly a Pontiac J2000 was Pontiacs version of the Chevette. I may be wrong but I believe that is correct. I once combined a wrecked J2000 & a Chevette with a blown head to get a driveable Chevette. That was in the late 80's. I got a drivable car for around $300.

ETA: Oops, Apparently the J2000 was another version of the Sunbird or Cavalier. Now I can't remember what the car we used for parts actually was. Looked it up. it was a T1000. Dang how could I be so confused all this was only about 23 years ago.

coalman
May 12, 2012, 01:39 PM
I have a $430 ATI 1911 that is a better gun than a "N" serial number $700 SA Loaded I owned. Now, the ATI is approaching $500 OTD. Is the ATI a $500 gun to me? Probably not. Same with the WASR which I consider a $400 gun now going for $500+. And, the CZ75b which was $400 now running $500+. All prices common are in my area.

Generally, the cheaper the gun the more roll-of-the-dice to get one that will run and run tight groups POA. But, sometimes value is missed. In time this is corrected. So, good values often don't last once word gets out. So, usually yes (cheaper = cheaper), sometime no, but usually not no for long.

EddieNFL
May 12, 2012, 02:58 PM
Do you really get what you pay for?

If you do your homework. Also, IMO it's not possible to get your money's worth with certain purchases; automobiles and movie theater tickets come to mind.

The higher end 1911s are wonderful to look at and I'm sure they are slick & smooth. But I honestly don't think I would actually be able to shoot one any better than my $500 RIA Tactical.

I doubt I could drive a F12 Berlinetta any better than my Toyota, but I wouldn't mind having one in the garage.

Fremmer
May 12, 2012, 04:16 PM
I think in general you do get what you pay for, although it has a limit. There generally is a difference in fit, finish, and long term durability. There is a point of diminished return, however.

jmr40
May 12, 2012, 05:12 PM
The inexpensive guns work just as well when new, or if only used occasionally. There is a large market out there for inexpensive 1911's. The manufacturers know that the majority of the guns they sell will never see over 2,000-3,000 rounds. Most 1911 buyers just like the idea of owning a 1911, but are not willing to pay for quality. They just want to be able to say "I own a 1911". The more expensive guns are made to last a lifetime, or two.

The actual cost difference between a budget gun and a much better gun is only enough to buy a few boxes of ammo. Two years from now the price difference will be long forgotten. I'm not saying everyone needs a $3000 1911, but I wouldn't own another $500-$600 gun. I've had them in the past and while I liked them at first, they all eventually let me down. Many newer gun designs such as Glock and the new M&P are designed to be a quality gun that sells in the $500-$600 range. You cannot build a quality 1911 for that price. There are several that are good guns selling right at $1,000. I've been able to find quality used Colts, Kimbers and S&W 1911's used for only slightly more than what the $600 budget guns sell for.

Then there is long term value. The budget guns lose about 30-50% of their value as soon as you leave the store with them. Most only go down from there. A better gun will lose about 25% of its value and will hold at about 70-75% of the cost of a new gun for a lifetime. Which means that within a few years they genrally sell used for more than you paid. All guns are eventually sold, if not by you, buy your heirs.

Long term, the better guns are cheaper.

Double Naught Spy
May 12, 2012, 05:29 PM
Yes, you do generally get what you pay for. Of course there are exceptions. And I'm not even sure what a 1981 Pontiac J2000 is so I'll not discuss that.

Actually, it was a 1982, but offered for sale in 1981. You probably don't recall it because despite the cost, the car was a fiasco.

Instead of the car, thing of a nice Colt 1911 from the 1970s and 1980s. Do you get what you paid for? As Alex Hamilton of Ten-Ring Precision has noted over the years, his bread and butter was taking brand new Colt 1911s during that time and making them into reliable guns.

It would be nice if there was some established correlation between price paid and quality/reliability, but that just does not exist. What does seem to exist on gun boards are folks basically saying "You should have known better..." when you lament about a problem with a firearm that isn't sufficiently expensive in their eyes to be quality. So they say, "You get what you paid for."

You know, some of the best value guns going are some of the Ruger semi-autos and Glocks. You could pay double for the Glock (or Ruger) and it would not be twice as good.

Baba Louie
May 12, 2012, 06:07 PM
So the question is, if they are all accurate and shoot about the same, is there really any way to justify spending 3-9x as much money on what is ultimately a tool?Sure, I can rationalize most anything if I choose to. The old saw goes... "What is your life worth?" Mine is worth, right now at least, a S&W 442 and a few .38 spls. Tomorrow it might be worth my Norinco 1911. Others might warrant their life is well worth their Wilson CQB and who am I to argue their perceived worth or value?

I could counter that once Mr Wilson uses his immaculate weaponry to defend his life it is probably going to be locked up as evidence for a spell, as is. Does he have a spare CQB at home in his safe? (probably does, the rich bastige ;)) But why should I? I'm glad his money is well spent, as is my own (IMO).

Case in point. Years back when Uncle Sam was selling 1911s my Dad bought one from the DCM for, I dunno, less than $30 (circa 1963). Today, knowledgable 1911 fans will tell you that the metal in the older warhorses is too soft, that they're good for collecting ($1500+!?!?! :eek:) but only shoot them a little. Buy some new 1911 that is better made. Cheaper but better. In this case.

Obviously YMMV.

I once held a work of art Katana made by Scott Slobodian, priced at $3.5K (this was years ago at a Blade show, his Katanas start at $4k nowadays). He said he had about 250 hours into it. It was worth every penny he was asking... which I did not have (nor do I have a need for such cutting devices).

Hand fitting little bits and pieces of metal stuff can be expensive, eh? How much do these artistic guys who work steel for a living need to make an hour anyway? :uhoh:

They gotta pay their bills too.

EddieNFL
May 12, 2012, 06:17 PM
I once held a work of art Katana made by Scott Slobodian, priced at $3.5K (this was years ago at a Blade show, his Katanas start at $4k nowadays). He said he had about 250 hours into it. It was worth every penny he was asking... which I did not have (nor do I have a need for such cutting devices).

If he truly had 250 hours invested, I don't know how he can afford to eat.

tarosean
May 12, 2012, 07:19 PM
Sure, I can rationalize most anything if I choose to. The old saw goes... "What is your life worth?" Mine is worth, right now at least, a S&W 442 and a few .38 spls. Tomorrow it might be worth my Norinco 1911. Others might warrant their life is well worth their Wilson CQB and who am I to argue their perceived worth or value?

Mines worth about 10 bucks if im carrying a 45acp (approximately 1.25 x 8)
and 19 bucks if im carrying a 9mm (approximately 1.05 x 18). PDX1's bullet of choice.

Pistol whipping isnt why i carry so brand of gun doesnt matter to me :) However, I do believe you get what you pay for thou. Run a jennings against a glock and see which one fails first. Buy cheap Chinese tools and be prepaired to replace them.

JohnBiltz
May 13, 2012, 04:17 AM
In my opinion most of the high end stuff is over priced.

Shadow 7D
May 13, 2012, 04:49 AM
you have to know what you are paying for
A 5K custom race gun AIN'T a EDC, hell it might not even shoot as well as the a Metro Arms, but you paid for the steel, the machining that is within x thousandth, the HAND (and at 1500+ the gun had better be hand mated for me to pay that) mating of all the parts so they to exactly together, and the parts that got bungled in the process.

That said, I'm sure if you put a different roll stamp on a PI gun, wrote 'made in the Philippines' really small on the frame and put some sort of fancy name and patriotic slogan.

Talked about the "Old world craftsmanship of our gunsmiths, hand assembling each gun to the original PRECISE* military tolerances, building them just like John Moses Browning meant them to be"
And put a price tag of 2K on them, pay a few gunwriters to put out fluff pieces on how this is 'The Next GreatAMERICAN gun....'

You would have customers lining up out the door.
Hell, look at Mitchell's Mausers
Here is a guy who FAKES (Humps in collector Parlance) K98K's
Pawns off Yugo Mausers that aren't even built off a 98 action (its based on the FN 24) puts FAKE codes in crappy script....

and people pay MORE than what a real 98 costs.

Ash
May 13, 2012, 05:49 AM
Binoculars are a great example. Cheap ones are crap. Very expensive ones are superb. Mid-priced ones are the ones you get the real value for. The Cornell Department of Ornithology performed an exhaustive review of binoculars and this is what they discovered: They found cheap ones were just okay, some were usable, others not at all. They discovered binoculars priced from $200-$500 were outstanding. Most telling, though, was that the highest priced binoculars were really not any better than the mid-range ones. They were better, but not by a wide enough margin to make them worth the money. Bird watchers give any binoculars the greatest work-out, their opinions count.

Zeiss was better than a Nikon Monarch, but not twice as good (or three or four or five times better). So, the real "getting what you pay for" happened in the mid-range. Too cheap and you got junk. High end you got good stuff, but not so much better than midrange to justify the costs (beyond bragging rights).

In guns, can anyone tell me that a $2,500 scoped M14 clone is better than a Savage 110? Or, a $5,000 SVD is more accurate than a PSL (I own both the SVD and PSL, and I can tell you the SVD is better, but not that much better).

The midrange is where you get what you pay for. Snap On wrenches really are better than NAPA Professional, but not five times better (and I own both of those, as well).

Omaha-BeenGlockin
May 13, 2012, 07:47 AM
Enter the Ruger P95----for $300(give or take) it really doesn't get any better.

They are accurate(enough)--very reliable and will be chugging along long after many higher priced pistols will be in the scrap heap.

Ugly? Yes, but who cares--you only spent $300 and it works like all get out.

Heavy? Not really, at 27oz its 3/4 of a pound less weight than a 5in 1911.

Resale is nothing--but you only have $300 bucks into it brand new.

Being as I consider the pistol as generally weak and ineffective compared to a rifle or shotgun --there really isn't any good reason to wrap up a ton of money into pistols when it would be better spent on upgrading a rifle or shotgun purchase.

And yes, I'm thinking about getting another P95 today.

You definitely get your money's worth there.

45_auto
May 13, 2012, 08:32 AM
Enter the Ruger P95----for $300(give or take) it really doesn't get any better.

...

You definitely get your money's worth there.

Maybe for you, but not for me and a LOT of other gunowners out there.

EddieNFL
May 13, 2012, 08:38 AM
^ Yep. Some want better accuracy, some want aesthetics, some can't conceal a rifle and some don't think 42 ounces is all that heavy to carry (pick up my wife's purse).

mattmann
May 13, 2012, 08:55 AM
To keep this thread from getting high jacked I'm going to insert my. 02 now. I have a ruger sr1911 and kimber ultra carry. My brother has a ria and had a colt. I personally think my ruger is the nicest I have shot out of all of the above. It was $675 brand new right BEFORE they hit the shelves. Now is the kimber and colt bad? Absolutely not. Shoot better than mine? No. I have shot a nighthawk ad well and it was sooooo sweet but I can't justify that price on a pistol. But we all have opinions like butt holes. Some just stink more than others. :rolleyes:

Sent from my DROID RAZR

jimmyraythomason
May 13, 2012, 10:01 AM
Small claims court is full of people who thought they were getting what they paid for.

TimboKhan
May 13, 2012, 10:17 AM
Aside from the fact that I think it is ridiculous to imply that a gun, by merit of it's pricetag, is somehow more reliable than any of a number of other proven, reliable arms that happen to be cheaper, I think this question really boils down to training.

Fact is, an expensive gun isn't going to make one bit of difference if you don't train with it. The guy who shoots 1 box of ammo with his Nighthawk is going to be at a marked disadvantage to the lady that shoots 5000 rounds a year through her Glock. The skills are more important than the tool.

Now, with that said, custom guns do have some things that justify their cost, and when you consider the man hours that go into them, they are probably priced about right. I cannot afford a custom pistol, but I no longer look down my nose at those who do largely because now that I have experienced what that really means I do believe that there is a difference between a custom gun and a production gun. Doesn't mean that a high level of skill cannot be attained with a production gun, just means that everything feels a little better with a custom gun is all.

lathedog
May 13, 2012, 09:27 PM
Hand fitting and precision in the initial manufacture both drive costs, and may not result in a significantly better gun as compared to the increased cost. Doubling the cost will typically not double the inherent value.

In 1911 land, a cheap gun is usually not well supported by the factory. It may also be slightly out of spec, and require more work to fit upgrade/performance/replacement parts. Also, any money sunk into a cheap gun disappears from the universe as if down a black hole. Put an expensive match barrel in your RIA and see how much it sells for on gunbroker.

Gun owners are pretty cheap when it comes to spending their money, but most never push a gun beyond a small percentage of its capabilities. Most are happy with the cheaper gun because it never disappoints while being shot at the indoor range once a year with 50 rounds of hard ball ammo.

If you shoot in a competitive sport, or go on an expensive hunt, or travel for either, or go to a training class, then the cost of a cheap gun is swallowed up in your overall shooting costs. Spending another couple hundred bucks to get a slightly better gun, that does not fail you when you have to make the shot count, is a cheap price to avoid serious disappointment. Check prices on a two day (or 4 day!) class at gunsite, and then imagine it all going away because you brought an Ok-but-not-really-good gun and wasted your time, and the instructor's, trying to massage your OK gun back into action after some serious hangup. Or, imagine losing that trophy buck of a lifetime. Or losing that big regional competition due to an equipment failure.

The better gun will not always work, nor the OK gun always fail. But I believe in probability and statistics.

JohnBT
May 13, 2012, 10:14 PM
""You get what you pay for" to me is an outdated viewpoint for the simple minded. Its never been really true, but it kinda sorta worked as a rule of thumb in the pre-internet days when doing research on items was much harder. People found it easier to judge items based on cost rather than determine their merit."

Simple minded am I? Yeah, I must have been really stupid back in the '50s and '60s and '70s and '80s when it came to buying guns. I sure am glad the internet has made everybody above average or even really smart like you. ;)

I believe you don't usually get the best quality product by paying less, whether it's tires, steaks, boots, guns or whatever.

John

Bammac
May 14, 2012, 01:15 AM
Value is highly subjective, as is the "what" that a buyer of anything is paying for.

If a person is seeking to feel good about himself based on the high price he is able to pay for a 1911 or any other firearm, then when he lays out the dollars he's getting what he paid for.

Who among us is legitimately designated to decide what should constitute value for anyone else?
This sounds like the truth. A better reply than I could make.

MachIVshooter
May 14, 2012, 01:39 AM
I prefer the saying the other way:

"You don't always get what you pay for, but you never get what you don't pay for"

Lots of guns are over-priced or bordering on it. Colt & Kimber (of which I own both) are on that fine line. Rock Island guns are a great value, but the $400 GI models certainly aren't on par with the Colts and Kimbers.

Like anything, the return on your dollar gets proportionately smaller as the price climbs. A gun that cost ten times as much as another doesn't usually perform 10 times better. As a general observation, the more expensive versions do tend to perform better, though. Having said that, it is largely dependent on your needs/wants/budget. If you're not going to shoot competetively and are just after a decent range blaster on a workin' man's income, the cost/benefit ratio is much higher with something like the RIA than a Wilson, nighthawk, etc. OTOH, if you are going to compete, don't expect to place with that stock RIA up against guys shooting finely tuned custom guns. It just won't happen (unless the other competitors all show up massively hungover or something).

In my experience, there is a minimum dollar figure to get acceptable quality, reliability, durability and performance. For centerfire automatics bought new, I wouldn't consider anything under ~$250 to be worth buying.

EddieNFL
May 14, 2012, 08:10 AM
Like anything, the return on your dollar gets proportionately smaller as the price climbs.

That's a fair statement, but it applies to virtually anything. Want a 400 HP small block? Say it cost $25 per HP, I can guarantee the next 100 HP won't be so cheap.

Price to performance increases are not parallel.

JohnBT
May 14, 2012, 08:26 AM
"You don't always get what you pay for, but you never get what you don't pay for"

I like that. Well put.

MachIVshooter
May 14, 2012, 08:41 AM
Want a 400 HP small block? Say it cost $25 per HP

:what:

For $10k, that thing better last at least a half million miles! Lol.









(Just funnin'......I know it's nothing but a random example, and the point remains the same :))

mcdonl
May 14, 2012, 09:26 AM
In general, if you only get what you pay for you did not do that well. You should get much more than what you pay for.

What are you paying for? Are you paying to have a 1911, just so you can experience owning one, have a reliable gun and a new toy? Thats easy. You can find several 1911 pistols for under $500 and you will get much more than you paid for.

Are you looking for a piece of history, an early Colt 1911 A1... Ok, your going to pay more but you would get what you paid for.

Same thing if you are looking for a piece of finley crafted machinery that you want to use hard and often... again, you will pay more but you should still get more than you paid for.

Pilot
May 14, 2012, 09:33 AM
I believe the law of diminishing returns applies to firearms as well as many other things. At a certain point the extra dollars are buying you a number of things that some people value, and some don't. It could be history, fit, and finish, reputation, name brand, perceived exclusivity, etc.

If you shop wisely, you can get good value, but that is SUBJECTIVE upon what each individual values, and we're all different.

Baba Louie
May 14, 2012, 09:40 AM
I do know this to be true in my own few cases... (warning, old adage ahead)
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten"No matter if it was Ben Franklin or Aldo Gucci who said it, I think it true. Buy as much "quality" as your pocketbook can afford. My problem most often (in regards to buying high end weaponry) is "champagne taste, beer budget" and the fact that I need to replenish more ammo than guns at this point in life keeps me from spending foolishly (not to mention a perpetual lack of funds as of late. ;))

TimboKhan
May 14, 2012, 10:06 AM
Just as there is crappy champagne, there is also good beer. Price is not an indicator of quality, though it does suggest a higher standard that may or may not exist depending on your point of view and wallet.

dcarch
May 14, 2012, 10:28 AM
I feel like generally, you do get what you pay for. For example, I would be somewhat wary of any new handgun that was below $300... Just my opinion, though.

RickMD
May 14, 2012, 10:54 AM
If one wants a "truck gun" there's no sense in buying a $1000+ 1911. A good, functional, reliable one can be had for $400. Conversely, if a buyer is looking for aesthetics, quality sights, and tuned trigger, the $1000+ gun is well worth the extra cash. I own a number of each but believe as price increases, the law of diminishing returns come more into play. They all go bang when you squeeze the trigger.

Skylerbone
May 14, 2012, 02:08 PM
Ask yourself if you like what you get for the price.

The things you pay for are sometimes waiting quietly and patiently to save your hide when you need them most, even if that day of reckoning never comes. Air bags, ABS, a full-size spare tire, a concealed carry weapon, an alarm system, a survival shelter. You may never use any of the above but if lightening strikes, as the saying goes, "Luck favors the prepared man".

In regards to manufactured goods there are far too many variables to accurately determine what constitutes a products worth, especially to an individual. Do you care if slave labor was used? Is one steel better than another? Will the profits go back to Turkey/Brazil/China? Assuming snobbery or innumerable wealth doesn't make it so, likewise for assuming the purchaser is a savvy consumer who knew what he was buying. Assumption is never fact.

If you buy based on an assessment of wants and the product delivers sufficiently, then yes, you got what you paid for. If you paid for a horse and got a mule, then no.

el Godfather
May 14, 2012, 02:56 PM
Not always.

Nicky Santoro
May 14, 2012, 04:20 PM
Do you really get what you pay for?

Not always, but you never get what you don't pay for, IMO.

armoredman
May 14, 2012, 05:20 PM
I usually get more than I pay for, at least in my humble opinion.

BTW, I must be a total failure as an American - I haven't had a 1911 in 20 years, sorry. :) Maybe I'll see about getting a Dan Wesson someday - there you get what you pay for.

Wishoot
May 14, 2012, 05:33 PM
In most cases, I would say YES. When it comes to most things, I'm willing to pay for quality that will last for a long time. I buy brands like Filson, Allen Edmonds, LL Bean and Apple. After many years of buying cheap stuff that is unusable after a year, I adopted the "Buy Once, Cry Once" attitude and it's served me well.

That being said, there are some fantastic values in used firearms such as CZ82, Glock 22 and several others. They're cheap, but completely reliable. In several cases, I definitely got more than what I paid for.

jimmyraythomason
May 14, 2012, 05:54 PM
So...were we getting what we paid for when we paid $69 for a Norinco SKS with sling,bayonet,cleaning rod and kit and a bandoleer. Or are we getting what we paid for now that they are $300+ without ANY of the extras?

JohnBT
May 14, 2012, 06:49 PM
What else could you buy for $300 that would do the same job? I don't know the answer, but just because it was a killer deal at less than $100 doesn't necessarily make it a bad deal at $300.

John

Skylerbone
May 14, 2012, 07:22 PM
Assuming it is as advertised, regardless of price then yes. If there were an equal competitor selling same quality merchandise at half the price then, assuming the same claims and wants, yes again. Example: a GSG brand 1911 .22 that sells for ~$40 less than the one GSG manufactures for Sig. Same specs. and materials and accuracy, bargain pricing for one. "Good deal" isn't synonymous with getting what you paid for or mutually exclusive.

EddieNFL
May 14, 2012, 07:26 PM
:what:

For $10k, that thing better last at least a half million miles! Lol.

I know a few guys...

About 12 years ago I helped a friend rebuild the 327 in his '66 Impala he purchased new. We found one broken ring. 297,000 original miles.


If one wants a "truck gun" there's no sense in buying a $1000+ 1911. A good, functional, reliable one can be had for $400. Conversely, if a buyer is looking for aesthetics, quality sights, and tuned trigger, the $1000+ gun is well worth the extra cash. I own a number of each but believe as price increases, the law of diminishing returns come more into play.

I won't mention the price of my "truck" gun.

They all go bang when you squeeze the trigger.

The first time.

Skylerbone
May 14, 2012, 07:49 PM
Quote:
They all go bang when you squeeze the trigger.
Some do, others click.
[/QUOTE]

Fixed it for ya.:D

huntsman
May 14, 2012, 09:32 PM
crazy money for a 1911? yeah I'd do it but it wouldn't a carry gun and I wouldn't buy a cheap one(there are better platforms in that price range)

I believe you do get what you pay for and you can get more than you pay for buying used, having cash, being in the right place at the right time and understanding what you're buying. the real deals aren't the 1k gun for $500. it's the 5k gun for 3k

GLOOB
May 15, 2012, 12:50 AM
When u get to the point ur spending more than 1or 2K ur buying jewelry. Nothing wrong with that. People buy 100k watches. And thousand dollar fixed blade knives. Why wouldn't there be a market for uber expensive handguns?

JohnBT
May 15, 2012, 08:49 AM
What kind of decent jewelry can you get for a thousand bucks? Gold is still nearly $1600 per ounce. Toss in a gem or two and the price goes way up.

Mr. D
May 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
Of course you get what you pay for! Sometimes you get higher quality, sometimes you get extra features (which you may or may not need/use), sometimes you pay all that extra money for the pretty logo or paint scheme. :) Just make sure you know what it is you're paying for.

Onward Allusion
May 15, 2012, 10:23 AM
The old adage of "you get what you pay for" doesn't apply as much as it did 10 or 20 years ago - ESPECIALLY with 1911s. Technology narrowed the quality gap. Most guns in general out there can shoot a lot better than its owner. A modern day Simmons can out perform a Leupold from 20 years ago. Heck, even a modern day Kia is many times better than a Cadillac from 20 years ago from a functional/feature/durability perspective!

dogfacedsoldier
May 15, 2012, 02:40 PM
Just as there is crappy champagne, there is also good beer. Price is not an indicator of quality, though it does suggest a higher standard that may or may not exist depending on your point of view and wallet.
Home run!

The_Armed_Therapist
May 15, 2012, 02:59 PM
As a general rule, yes, because of market forces. However, it is also important to point out that these markets do not formulate instantly or over night. They are constantly evolving. For example, a few years ago, people were paying up to $750 for Kahr PM9s/40s/45s. Then, Kahr comes out with their CM line around $450. Now, the cost of the PMs are going under $600 as a regular rule. A friend of mine recently bought a PM45 for $550, new. Are the PMs lesser guns now than they were before? Relatively, yes, because there is growing competition in that market, including Kahr's own alternative products. It is of the same quality, but not worth as much.

Also, when we're talking about quality/reliability, we're really talking about the chances of getting a bad one. I've had only near perfect experiences with Taurus, for example, and have struggled with a Kimber, an M&P45, and Kahr, all more expensive and of "higher quality." You pay for your chances, really.

LOTS of stuff go into prices--and in general, over time--yes, you get what you pay for.

buckhorn_cortez
May 15, 2012, 04:00 PM
The difference between a $500 1911 and a $5000 1911 is that the $5K gun will be purpose built for a specific task - IF you know what to order. When the gun is purpose built for a specific task, the gun will handle better and that WILL make a difference in how you shoot the gun.

Then there are the guns that are specific to a certain manufacturer. No matter how many Rock Islands you buy - you'll never have a Les Baer Heavy Weight Monolith. If you want a LB HW Monolith - you have to pay for it - and, there are no substitutes.

The Monolith shoots like no other 1911 specifically because of the design and weight, once you shoot one, you can feel and shoot the difference. You DO, in this case, get what you pay for.

Now, an interesting comparison is a SIG RCS, Dan Wesson VBOB, and a Wilson Tactical Supergrade Professional. All three guns have 4.25-inch barrels. The VBOB and the Supergrade are exactly the same size - with the Supergrade weighing 4 oz more. The RCS is the lightweight of the group and slightly smaller as it is an Officer's size grip as opposed to a Commander grip.

The Supergrade will easily out handle the other three guns because of the design and balance of the gun. Would I carry the Supergrade? Not on your life - the last thing I'd want to do is throw it on the ground and then have it go into an evidence locker for some unknown time.

So, for CARRY PURPOSES - I have the RCS. Light weight, fully dehorned, and I'd throw it away with no second thoughts. It's purpose built (for me) for that task.

Which one do I enjoy shooting more? The Supergrade far and away. The handling is better, recoil management is better, sights are better - it's just a joy to shoot. Once you shoot it, you have an "Ah ha" moment - you just get why the gun costs as much as it does because of how it feels, handles, and shoots.

The VBOB? Well, it's a nice gun. Well fitted, nicely finished, reliable and handles slightly better than the RCS as it weighs more so recoil management is better. Why not carry a VBOB? In this case - it belongs to my wife...but, I still think I rather throw away the RCS...

The whole idea with a 1911 is that it is NOT one thing. A 1911 is many things depending on how it is designed and built. The idea is to spend the amount of money required to get the functionality YOU desire. If you want a basic 1911 to plink with now and again - buy a $500 gun. If you want to find out the outer parameters of what a 1911 CAN BE...well, then....that's where you end up paying for it.

Are expensive 1911's worth the money? That's a value judgement each person has to make for themselves. Once you shoot and carefully compare an expensive 1911 against an inexpensive 1911 you will see and feel a difference - whether you want to pay for the difference is something only you can decide.

EddieNFL
May 15, 2012, 07:32 PM
Most guns in general out there can shoot a lot better than its owner.

Doesn't make them worth less.

Getting what you pay for is no more or less true today than a century, decade or day ago. It all depends on who is doing the paying. A C class Mercedes may be worth the price tag to my neighbor, but I wouldn't park one in my garage. Now a Lexus ...

Okiegunner
May 15, 2012, 10:06 PM
Well...kinda

I have always been a value shopper as far as firearms are concerned. Have I always gotten the absolute cheapest deals? No I have not. Have I always shopped for decent and fair (or a little less) pricing on my guns? Absolutely.

I really enjoy and like shooting every firearm I own. Here is a short list of just a few, and the prices out the door ( including any ffl and shipping ) I paid:

Sig 2340: hardshell case, 2 mags, 2 grips, and 2 bore brushes, LEO trade in, really the pistol is flawless, $335

Tanfoglio Force Carry/Police: hardshell case, 2 mags, 2 bore brushes, $310

XD 4" Service: hardshell case, 1 mag, 50 rounds of ammo, (very slightly used maybe 200 rds. ran thru it), $390

Turkish made Beretta: (MKEK Girsan Yavuz 16) Don't laugh. For those of you who are not faniliar with this pistol...it is a knockout. Exact (100% parts interchangeable) replica of the Beretta 92f. This pistol is carried by the Turkish military, the Syrian army, the Colombian Air Force security service, and the Malaysian Special Forces, but I digress), 2 bore brushes, and a 20 round Mec-Gar magazine, $336

This is a short list of some of the pistols I currently own. IMO each one was very reasonbly priced. None of these pistols even came close to costing me $400. Yet each one is a very good handgun. As a matter of fact, I absolutely trust my life to every one of these pistols.

You get what you pay for...sort of. There are some very fine autoloaders available for not that much $$$.

My opinion,

Gunner

Ash
May 16, 2012, 06:45 AM
Compare a 110 Savage, @ $400, to a Tiger (commercial SVD) @$4,000.

What you get for $400 is accuracy, better than a Tiger.

What you get for $4,000 is oddity and rarity, more rare and odd than a Savage.

When comparing rifles for rifles' sake, you do not get what you pay for with the Tiger. At all. Indeed, you get less of a rifle than the Savage when accuracy is compared.

When comparing other, etherial concepts like rarity or uniqueness, the Tiger wins, but I still doubt you get what you pay for when you drop 4 grand.

larryh1108
May 16, 2012, 08:16 AM
IMO, the 1911 has so many options that the buyer has to decide what is important to him. I feel that for $1000 you can get a really nice 1911 with many features. I own a $2000 1911 and those are really nice pistols. Yes, you pay for hand fitting and (usually) a better finish. Maybe the extra 1/2" accuracy at 50 yards is worth $1000 to some. To me, a $2000 1911 is not twice as good as a $1000 1911. However, the extra cost provides extras important to some and not important to others.

Some people drive a Mercedes because it says Mercedes on the badge. Others drive it for it's history of being reliable and it's performance. The funny thing is I prefer the Honda/Toyota/Nissan type cars due to it's price versus quality benefits. If you drive a $65,000 Mercedes off the lot it loses the value of what a Honda/Toyota/Nissan costs to buy new. Worth it? I guess if you have it to lose.

buckhorn_cortez
May 16, 2012, 08:38 AM
If you drive a $65,000 Mercedes off the lot it loses the value of what a Honda/Toyota/Nissan costs to buy new. Worth it? I guess if you have it to lose.

Totally inaplicable to guns. Look at the price of a used Wilson, Ed Brown, etc. - if you keep the gun through one manufacturer's price increase you can generally sell it for what you've paid for it if you've kept it in good condition.

If you buy a Mercedes, the loss off the lot generally isn't a consideration - you don't buy a Mercedes if you're worried about losing money because it's been driven off the lot. If my usage was high mileage, long road trips - I'd far prefer the Mercedes to any Honda / Toyota / Nissan.

However, IF I had that consideration, I'd probably buy a Volvo Cross Country wagon as there is nothing quite like the Volvo seats, and the long wheelbase, all wheel drive, spacious interior, and ride qualities make it quite the road trip vehicle.

JohnBT
May 16, 2012, 09:05 AM
You know a Chinese company bought Volvo from Ford in 2010, right? ;)

Back to guns, did anybody else buy one of the former Swiss Army pistols that Top Gun Supply sold last fall?

http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj80/JohnBT3/DSCN0232.jpg?t=1318172135


I'd always wanted a P-210 to shoot and the price seemed about right for what turned out to be a nearly new gun. I got one of the later ones - 1970 or so - out of the batch of 30 he bought. All of them came with '80s commercial P210 wood on them for some reason. There was a story about something to do with an order for a museum that ended up in the U.S. somehow. We still haven't found out how they ended up here.

Considering I bought it sight unseen, I am very happy. He posted one pic of one gun and sold the whole batch.

And only $2499. :)

John

YankeeFlyr
May 22, 2012, 01:59 AM
You get what you pay for. To a point.

After that you're throwing money away on "perceived" value...

I have an uncle who has to have the 'best' of everything; he was raised poor and then foster-cared a lot. The Navy provided him with an education, career option and then retirement as an officer.

Now, in his early 60's, he sees "more expensive" as "better".

Ain't neccesarily so...that Kimber Kombat or whatever "had" to go hundreds of rounds and then to a gunsmith for break-in...whatever. Now he has an Ed Brown. We'll see how that goes. The Infinity car he bought lives under a cover in the driveway and has all the bells and whistles of a new Camry. At twice the price.

The Honda Goldwing is actually the best investment he ever made. But he bought it because it cost the most in its class!

What does it have to do with guns? Same damned thing; it's all in the value in the mind of the purchaser. My 'base model' M1A is every bit or more so the combat arm of a Loaded model...etc., etc.

My new SA Mil-Spec is a combat handgun. That's what they're for; any finess or tightness or whatever is just a perversion of the original intent.

Want art? Buy a Weatherby. Bring it to the battlefield.

JohnBT
May 22, 2012, 08:41 AM
Anyone who can't tell the difference between an Infinity and a Camry should definitely buy the Camry.

"My new SA Mil-Spec is a combat handgun."

I didn't know that model was currently in service or had ever been used in combat.

John

Paul7
May 22, 2012, 03:20 PM
Dan Wessons are better made today than a few years ago, hence the higher price. My Valor makes Colt look like a piece of junk.

Jim NE
May 22, 2012, 04:01 PM
As a prime example of this mindset, I'm sure many know of Grey Goose vodka - premium stuff. Expensive. The guy who originally bought it decades ago got the company at a good deal as it was having financial troubles. After he bought it he had a brilliant idea: double the price. The stuff that was having trouble selling before started raking in cash by the fistful after he started charging twice as much because people equated the high price with higher quality.


A few years ago I read about (or saw on TV...I can't remember) a blind taste test of vodkas, and knowledgeable people in the beverage business couldn't tell the difference between the expensive stuff and the inexpensive stuff. The difference between vodkas isn't the same as the difference between wines or different brands of whiskey.

So I guess buying quality really depends on what you're buying. People who are into fine dining usually want some salt on their food, but who goes out looking for the "best table salt available"? Most salt is more or less alike, despite the recent marketing of sea salt as kind of the gourmet's choice. It's more the proper amount than the quality that matters. The best quality vegetables is another matter, though. That's where quality counts.

One thing a side by side test can't measure is longevity. Many guns may be accurate and reliable when new, but after 1500 rounds? These old scratched up Smith revolvers I've been buying have probably had thousands of rounds through them, yet they still shoot great. So quality might not be something that just makes a good first impression.

I still may buy less expensive guns, however, if they're something I won't necessarily be shooting alot (SD shotguns, for example.)

EddieNFL
May 22, 2012, 07:08 PM
Anyone who can't tell the difference between an Infinity and a Camry should definitely buy the Camry.
Uh, the only response that comes to mind is...Amen.

atomd
May 22, 2012, 08:13 PM
There's definitely a point of diminishing return. There's also many cases where someone will not see any return on their investment (except maybe resale value). Someone who shoots a box of ammo once a month won't get appreciate the durability of a gun that will last twice as long. Someone who is shooting soda cans in the back yard at 25 yards with a .22 won't appreciate the accuracy of a top end benchrest rifle.

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