Is there a "Peter Principle" for Gun Buying?


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bushmaster1313
March 4, 2013, 11:22 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

The "Peter Principle" says that employees in an organization rise to the level of their first incompetence.

I think the same applies to collecting guns.
You buy guns you like until you buy one that really and truly should not have been bought, and then you lose a good bit of the desire for the next gun.

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jstein650
March 4, 2013, 11:40 PM
"Peter Principle"?... Maybe. I have seen it more as a learning curve. For me it was a 20ga O/U. At the time, and my then financial situation, the $740 I spent on it (had it shipped) was a princely sum indeed. (This was a while back) It was a DOG in every way. Finally unloaded it at a show for a loss, but... lesson learned. For one, just because it seems like a lot of money doesn't mean it's going to be worth it. Forced some reality into my approach for the next object of my desires when it came to guns.

9mmepiphany
March 4, 2013, 11:40 PM
I opened this thread with the expectation that it was about shooters reaching their personal level of incompetence with guns.

I've found that shooters continually reach a level of incompetence with a gun they buy and try to overcome that level by buying another more expensive one...more a reverse of the Peter Principle

We usually refer to it as addressing a software problem with a hardware solution

bushmaster1313
March 4, 2013, 11:43 PM
shooters reaching their personal level of incompetence with guns.

That is a scary thought

taliv
March 4, 2013, 11:51 PM
no, because the perception of others is what controls your promotion in a corporation. hopefully your gun buying isn't directly affected by others' perceptions.

9mmepiphany
March 5, 2013, 12:13 AM
hopefully your gun buying isn't directly affected by others' perceptions.
I do know someone like that. I think it is what lead to his buying a Gold Plated Desert Eagle...to go with his Prancing Horse, Masser and Hummer

9mmepiphany
March 5, 2013, 12:22 AM
That is a scary thought
Perhaps a better term would be limited Conscious Competence (Stage 3), with many never rising above Conscious Incompetence (Stage 2) {four stages of competence learning model}, before trying to improve by buying a new gun

MachIVshooter
March 5, 2013, 12:41 AM
We usually refer to it as addressing a software problem with a hardware solution

I can think of a few people who need a hardware solution to their software problems..........

Walkalong
March 5, 2013, 08:16 AM
If I buy a gun, and am then disappointed by it, it only makes me look for the next great thing. Hmm, this XYZ gun was OK, but I should have bought an ABC. Yea, that's it. Always think the next one is going to be great. Kind of like my hero, Wiley Coyote, who always thinks his next idea is the best, no matter how badly his last idea went awry.

There have been some real gems along the way. Only a few duds.

JohnBT
March 5, 2013, 09:16 AM
"{four stages of competence learning model}, before trying to improve by buying a new gun"

I'm sort of chuckling at the use of that model and the word gun in the same sentence. Did you know the company that developed the model was famous for teaching conflict resolution? Okay, I suppose guns do resolve conflicts, but that wasn't exactly what he was teaching.

bds
March 5, 2013, 09:44 AM
I've found that shooters continually reach a level of incompetence with a gun they buy and try to overcome that level by buying another more expensive one...more a reverse of the Peter Principle

We usually refer to it as addressing a software problem with a hardware solution
It's not the machine but the operator/user error. :D

So many times, I hear complaints from shooters with a nice new pistol saying, "I was told this was a nice gun but it won't shoot right!" I gently ask for their permission and shoot a single hole shot group. As I return the pistol back to them I say, "Sir/ma'am, you sure do have a nice pistol here". I help them with shooting basics and they beam with joy/happiness when they also produce accurate shot groups. :D

I like to cook/BBQ and have several knife sets. When my wife asked why I need so many knives, I showed her why I NEED different knives for different tasks. She now has her own set of knives that she won't let me use. I have Wüsthof knives I rarely use but my cooking skills are only good enough for KitchenAid/Wolfgang Puck knives and my mouth can't tell the difference. :D

I think most modern pistols are more accurate than we could ever be.

Bushpilot
March 5, 2013, 10:13 AM
I personally don't see the application of this theory as it applies to collecting guns. A less than stellar purchase just makes me look forward to that next good purchase even more. However, I frequently see people who buy guns (despite advice to the contrary) that are far beyond their own levels of competency. I've witnessed many examples of this but the one that stands out is the guy whose first rifle purchase (second gun purchase) was a .338 Lapua. It's easy to see in this case how people who make poor buying decisions could get frustrated with shooting and loose their desire to continue. But, at least for the time being in the U.S., people have the right to make bad decisions...

JohnBT
March 5, 2013, 11:44 AM
"I frequently see people who buy guns (despite advise to the contrary) that are far beyond their own levels of competency."

I grew up shooting rifles and I'm convinced that every pistol is beyond my level of competency. Let me tell you though, my lousy groups are tighter with the more accurate pistols.

First I bought CZ-75B Military. I liked it.
Then I bought a BHP MkIII. I liked it after I fixed the 9# trigger.
Then I bought a Sig X-5 TAC TB. I really liked it.
Then I bought a Sig P210 surplus army pistol. I really, really liked it.

What's the problem? It's like one of those brain test questions, What's the next number in this series: $349, $550, $1300, $2499?

The joke is that I still prefer shooting .45.

jmr40
March 5, 2013, 01:29 PM
I've never observed this principal in relation to gun buying. Quite often in the business world people are promoted as a way to get them out of a job they are performing poorly at.

Baba Louie
March 5, 2013, 06:31 PM
I think the same applies to collecting guns.
You buy guns you like until you buy one that really and truly should not have been bought, and then you lose a good bit of the desire for the next gun.Interesting concept bushmaster... Perhaps that is the way it worked for you and maybe some others. Not so much me.

For me it was my wallet talking. Initially I bought cheap because that's all I could afford. I learned from each, their strong and weak points and with each next purchase tried to eliminate the weak points and push the strong points, eliminating a few previous makers or designs from consideration for one reason or another.

I have learned to curb my "Impulse buying", which has been known in the past to leave me with one or two less than stellar purchases, maybe three. ;)

We live. We learn.

Before this latest frenzy began, when I had an impulse urge, I shifted and bought ammo instead. Wish that I had done more of that now (ah hindsight) as I'm down to a basic 10K of ammo on hand with only 2K of .22lr left (I don't count rimfire in my 10K count, only centerfire, as rimfire was always the "penny" type change in the pocket, available for cheap anywhere. :rolleyes:)

I'll never take that for granted anymore I'll tell ya. :eek:

KC&97TA
March 5, 2013, 07:05 PM
More so relates to ability... I have a shining example of it where I work; not one but two individuals promoted to a rank they can not begin to fill the duties of, sadly... it's known by the employer and as anything in the Military, you just wait till they receive orders to charm someone else's life.


I grew up shooting rifles and I'm convinced that every pistol is beyond my level of competency. Let me tell you though, my lousy groups are tighter with the more accurate pistols.

No slander to the above but it's sort true... Higher end anything is usually more accurate than lower end. The accuracy differences between a S&W Sigma vs a Glock or XD are remarkable. Following the same suit the difference between a Springfield 1911 vs a Wilson Combat are marginal.

I used to spend allot of time at the indoor range, saw allot of first time buyers jump in on cheaper guns only to be disappointed and then want to "trade in and upgrade" (lost their shirts on trade in). But it's interesting to see a guy go from a Sigma to a Glock yet never shoot farther than 15 yards, same applied to a fellow IDPA shooter who "praise the Lord of Kimber", only to buy a Les Baer and then "praise the Lord of Les Baer"... never saw the guy shoot past 25 yards, when he did he completely missed a man sized target... latter complained it was biased towards Glocks because of the higher magazine capacity, in turn went to a high end "race gun Glock"... was a complete mystery to me, as I was shooting a tuned up Beretta 92FS, were I was told every military story about what a pile of garbage the M9 is/was, "insert" what the military should have bought and move onto a higher end pistol, because a Beretta wasn't a competition weapon. I again saw this unfold in 3 gun we had a guy who couldn't shoot MOA BARN DOOR with a rifle, so he bought a much more expensive upper, which yielded no luck, turned to a Geissle trigger, replaced his Aimpoint with a, Leupold 1-4 and replaced that with a Trijicon RCO, eventually replaced the AR with a Sig 556 and last I heard he'd been talking about a SCAR... I did offer to buy Jim's "race Glock" when he began to speak sour of it, he was offended by my offer to trade him my Beretta 92 for it strait up after I finished 1st place in the local steel challenge night, that he placed double digits in (I know A## H@le move, kick'n a guy when he was down).

When it comes down to it there are "low end" firearms and a few "high end worn out" firearms that aren't as accurate, or don't fit a shooters needs or preference.

But as the quote above, bench rest most any firearms and you'll find they are more accurate than the "human" operating them. There is value in the higher end, but how much you're willing to pay for that accuracy vs the accuracy of something more "humble" is for the individual and their check book to decide. Just my humble opinion.

hso
March 5, 2013, 07:07 PM
I don't agree that you can apply any part of the Peter Principle to gun buying, but the idea that many people reach a point where they're disappointed by a purchase and that spoils their interest could occur.

I use "spoils" specifically because I see inexperienced and shallow buyers do this, but not dedicated collectors. People who refine and deepen their interest develop a greater appreciation for historical relevance or rarity or quality or artistry and often reduce the volume of purchases while increasing their appreciation.

barnbwt
March 5, 2013, 07:23 PM
Can there be a Peter Principle if we can't definitively determine if such "better guns" exist that would be commensurate with a skill increase?

Such questions as: "am I a good enough shot for a 1000$ gun" and "my experience entitles me to a Garand over a Mini 14" don't make much sense. I'd say people tend to (and should) buy a gun "better" than they are just so they can get the best performance they are capable of (not really the Peter principle, the opposite, in fact, because you raise your capability to the highest possible by removing the gun as a hinderance). Any farther beyond that--which any decent pistol is normally capable of achieving--and it's just preference and cache driving the decision. Nothing at all wrong with that :cool:

TCB

bushmaster1313
March 6, 2013, 12:34 AM
I don't agree that you can apply any part of the Peter Principle to gun buying,

Let's call it a corollary to the Peter Principle.

A first real bad purchase dampens your enthusiasm

9mmepiphany
March 6, 2013, 01:46 AM
Let's call it a corollary to the Peter Principle.

A first real bad purchase dampens your enthusiasm
I don't think you have mainstream understanding of the Peter Principle.

When people rise to their level of incompetence it doesn't dampen their enthusiasm, they redirect it...usually to hide or deny that incompetence.

The Principle, at least as I understand it, is about personal behavior...it can't be applied to the behavior of objects

Cranky CJ
March 6, 2013, 03:35 AM
Being promoted to your level of incompetence and buying decisions are not related. Sorry, don't see the connection.

returningfire
March 6, 2013, 10:24 AM
Maybe the Peter Pan syndrome applies, but not the Peter Principle to gun purchasing. Are you doing research for your thesis or something?

Teachu2
March 6, 2013, 12:39 PM
I think it's more like the Law of Diminishing Returns - spending twice as much doesn't yeild twice the pleasure, nor is the 157th gun as satisfying as the 1st.

Ignition Override
March 7, 2013, 03:20 AM
Yes: buying my first Mauser (Yugo) without realizing how inferior the iron sights are, and my lack of any skill with it.

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