Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Do you really get what you pay for?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by FMF Doc, May 11, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. FMF Doc

    FMF Doc Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    582
    Location:
    NC
    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.
     
  2. Valkman

    Valkman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,585
    Location:
    North Las Vegas, NV
    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.
     
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,565
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    "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.
     
  4. thunderranch.45

    thunderranch.45 Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    ohio
    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
     
  5. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,942
    Location:
    People's Republik
    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:
     
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    12,665
    Location:
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    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."
     
  7. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    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 $$$$
     
  8. sikiguya

    sikiguya Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    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
     
  9. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,093
    Location:
    Tidewater
    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?
     
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,565
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    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.
     
  11. sikiguya

    sikiguya Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    It does if you reload...which makes the point again...
     
  12. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,527
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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.
     
  13. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,002
    No. This is especially when it comes to the 1911 where one can easily "throw" a lot of money away.
     
  14. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    2,794
    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.
     
  15. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,002
    The best value in 1911 goes by SR1911.
     
  16. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,386
    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.
     
  17. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,011
    Location:
    outback Kentucky
    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. .
     
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    Alabama
    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.
     
  19. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Georgia
    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.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  20. coalman

    coalman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    Messages:
    670
    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.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  21. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,329
    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.

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

    Fremmer Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,284
    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.
     
  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,901
    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.
     
  24. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,565
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    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.
     
  25. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,831
    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.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page