Shooters On A Budget

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JoeMal, Jul 5, 2011.

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  1. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I'm retired and that will really put a crimp in your budget. So I went back to work. That job not only keeps me out of the gun store every other day, it gives me extra money to spend when I do go.
     
  2. pioneer461

    pioneer461 Member

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    I'm pretty happy with what I have right now, with nothing hot on my "want" list. When I see something I want, if I can't afford it, I go without, but I feel that my collection is at a point where there is nothing else I really want. I have 4 or 5 carry guns, a few revolvers, a couple of shotguns, "black" rifles and .22 caliber plinkers. I also have a couple of antiques and one Russian surplus M-44. I have two long-gun safes that are full, and one pistol safe that is over-flowing.

    These days I'm concentrating on keeping my ammo supply topped off and spoiling my grandkids. :cool:
     
  3. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    I have a moderate "want" list. So I save a little here and a little there and wait for something on my list to cross my path when I have enough cash on hand. Sometimes it's a few years between guns, sometimes it's a couple of guns in one year.

    The only impulse buy I've made in the last few years has been a MN 91/30 for $110. It's cheap and fun to shoot, well worth the money spent in my opinion.

    As of now, my deer/elk rifles are taken care of, HD and CCW are taken care of, and I have some rimfires for plinking and low cost practice.

    Anything else is just icing on the cake. :)
     
  4. Steve CT

    Steve CT Member

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    I have bought foolishly in the past, buying guns I didn't really fulfill a need, just impluse buys that I later got rid of. I have a very short list of guns I will buy on the spot if I encounter a great deal, a couple others that I will absolutely acquire at some point in time, and a couple of guns that are pretty "tradeable" or sellable in order to get the ones on my short list.
     
  5. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Depends on what my wants are, and how I prioritize them. Deals I run across play a role.

    I'm unsure what my next purchase will be, but I'm saving up for it. If I want something bad enough, I will consider selling stuff. For instance, I have an uncut M1 oprod that I don't have a rifle for - and I have no plans of trying to find one. I'll hold on to it, but I may also sell it if it is what will put me over on budget. I've sold guns I don't love to help fund another one.
     
  6. goon

    goon Member

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    I look at what bases I have covered, what I don't have covered, and what's in the most urgent need of getting covered. Then I come up with a plan to take care of the "hole" in my collection and I stick to it. I don't buy what's not part of the plan no matter how cool it is, because I don't "need" it. I buy only what I need and I try to get it right the first time when I buy.
    Case in point - I passed up a great price on a lightly used, pre-safety S&W J-Frame .38 today. I took a look at it, checked it for function and timing, and thought about it hard. I liked it. I wanted it. It would be a great carry gun. But it wouldn't be a better carry gun than what I have. What I have works fine. When I get another CCW gun, it's going to be a small gun, smaller than a J-frame, and something I can carry when I can't carry anything else. That's the only other CCW gun I'd need right now, so that's the only CCW gun I'd buy. Even at that, I don't need it yet.
    I put the J-frame back in the case and walked away. I also have soft spot for old-timey sixguns. I want an open-top Colt repro and a 1875 Remington clone... but practical, they are not. Some day I will own one of each... but today I can do without.
    Teach yourself to think this way and it will help a lot.

    I also save money on accessories and ammo when I can...
    I figure out what I need, set money aside, and watch for a deal. I recently bought some speedloaders from Midway for about 30% less than they usually go for. I needed a few more and bought them when they were on sale - when it was smart to buy them. Lately I've also been hitting up the local shop to buy Speer 148 grain .38 caliber wadcutters when it's remotely possible. They're cheap and shoot great, so I buy as many as I can while I can afford them and they're available. It's not like I can have too many of them because they are going to get used eventually.

    Another thing - I have an idea of the value of the guns I feel I need and I don't overpay. Someone will sell me what I need at the price I can pay if I look long enough. I shop used when I can and have a grasp of what I'm doing, but it's a risk. Still, there's a risk anymore even with a new gun. Shopping used isn't that much more risky and my preferred shops have good customer service and don't give me BS about making a defective used gun right. And make your face seen at the local shop. You don't have to buy everything there. I get a lot online because it's cheaper, but I also do get stuff locally. They know me on a first name basis, they recognize me when I come in and we talk guns, and at one of them I sometimes get a discount for my loyalty. It makes a difference to me and they appreciate my business... because they also know that I can get stuff cheaper online, they know that I know this, and I come in and buy from them anyhow.

    Buy in bulk. Buy a thousand rounds of ammo or a thousand primers at a time if you can. Winchester Small Pistol primers are $3.99 per 100 locally but they are $31.99 per thousand. It's a no-brainer, and I'm going to use primers when I reload anyhow, so why not get them for the best price?

    Watch for deals. I saw a Russian Makarov once for $125. I didn't need it and told the manager of the LGS it would be worth twice that after looking it over. He's a personal friend and he knew that. He didn't change the price. It was still there the next day so I bought it. I knew that at the price I had paid, I simply couldn't lose. It served its purpose, then helped me finance another gun.

    And FWIW, it's taken me awhile to figure out how to be smart about this stuff. I'm actually still getting smart about it. But as you say, what I want would require a lot more money than what I can spend. With that in mind, I can't afford to waste one penny.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    Most of us have a "budget"whether we like it or not. What I buy next depends mostly on my overall plan for the accumulation and if I find such a firearm available. I maintain the envelope system and put money aside for whatever I feel like blowing it on whether it be a planned purchase, an emergency car repair, or something I just saw today and thought I would buy it. I really enjoy the spur of the moment purchase. But I have been trying to keep away from those more and more since there really isn't much anymore I "need" in terms of firearms. For example, I simply don't go to gun shows as often any more, because I know that I often will buy something I find there. So, I simply don't put myself in the position to make that decision or purchase. The other side to this is I often carry around $500-$1000 in cash most of the time. It allows me to have the money immediately available if I choose to make a purchase I run onto.
     
  8. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Ammo is usually bought before the rifle, especially if it is a milsurp rifle.
    After the rifle, accumulating more ammo, about two years' worth, If one is certain that one will keep the gun that long.

    If the guns are insured with an excellent company, maybe the safe can wait, especially if homes in your area are known to have new security systems.
     
  9. Geckgo

    Geckgo Member

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    I've been fortunate in the last four years to have a decent disposable income. Right now my priorities are set on paying off my sportscar and preparing for less income, but I love to shoot. I got my 10/22 because I can shoot it on the cheap and not feel guilty about it, allowing me to do something I love more often. Last impulse buy was a pellet gun so I can practice in the house if I can't make it to the range.

    When I bought my 30-06 (my first real gun that I bought myself) was because I wanted a hunting rifle in case someone from work would let me tag along. About 2 years later I bought my .45 for self defense, and in the last year bought the pellet gun, the 10/22, a little P22a junk gun because I wanted one, and inherited a 20ga, a 380, and a Daisy 22 bolt action when my old man passed away. There are still a couple guns on my list, but to me the black rifle would be for fun more than anything, and I decided that I have that with my 10/22, I don't NEED the shotgun I want as the 20ga break action will suffice for shotgun needs.

    For the moment, I have my shooting needs covered, including lots of ammo. My last purchase (I get to open the box when I get off this boat next week) was a reloading kit so I can shoot more and kill time when I'm bored or frustrated. For now the needs are met, so I'll just save up some extra and maybe get another gun next year if I have the funds.
     
  10. Maple_City_Woodsman

    Maple_City_Woodsman Member

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    I used to buy things hap-haphazardly and willy-nilly. If I had gun money, I would go to the gun shop and buy whatever tickled my fancy.

    These days I have to be a bit more careful of where my money goes. So, I sat down and made a list. I thought about all the sub-types of shooting that I like to do at present, as well as what ones I would like to try some day.

    From there, I picked out what my ideal gun would be for each kind of shooting, and wrote it all down. I have it saved online where I can access or modify it from anywhere.

    I save my pennies and put them specifically toward one of the guns on that list until I buy it. Then I move on to the next one. Unless I think I have a pressing reason to get one over another, I just go down the list.
     
  11. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess the biggest needs for me right now would be a new pistol so I can retire my dad's 1969 Colt 1911 that he left to me. After that would be a nice hunting rifle. But right now being unemployed and having to put all my extra time and money into keeping the truck on the road my firearm wants are on the way back burner.

    And all that comes after taking care of the family.
     
  12. oldbear

    oldbear Member

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    Having all the firearms any sane person needs any additional purchases I make are pure luxuries, which I can afford from time to time. So when I decide it's time to go on the hunt for a new (to me) revolver I decide what will best fill out my small assortment and start the search from there. I then research current prices and decide if I'm willing to invest the amount of money it would take to make a purchase. I then set a top figure for what I'm willing to spend and the search starts. During this time I will not make any firearm purchase until I have the number one gun on my current want list.

    Currently my number one want is a high end Shooter grade S&W 3 1/2" M-27, so if you have one for sale or know of one please let me know.
     
  13. QuietEarp

    QuietEarp Member

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    I go out and shoot. Why would i go shopping?
    Seriously, i think we can get too hung up on gear and stuff. Go out, bring a firearm and some ammunition, think about what you are doing and shoot.
    Buying stuff can be addictive. Think about each purchase.
     
  14. gym

    gym member

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    I found the real danger of owning guns is that you always want another one. I see myself at some point living in a cardboard box, wit several more cardboard boxes full of guns and ammo. That's the only danger guns present in my opinion. It's funny also that I always think I need something else. I can come up with scenarios to convince myself that I really do have to get one of those. My wif usually smacks me back to reality.
    Being retired and having medical bills does interfere with the way I was used to spending. Which was just to buy whatever I wanted. It sucks not being able to do that anymore. I have found that just shopping for guns can help remove some of the urges, and after a fw days it's like "i guess" going through withdrawal symptoms. The hunt is part of the fun. Like when you buy a new car, all the test driving and reading, once you get the car it's a relief in a sense. And it's really funny how everyone washes that new car every other day for the first few weeks, then it just becomes another possesion.
    It's also a good idea to stay with a couple of calibers, instead of 5 or 6, "which I did when I was younger", this way yo don't have to buy all the supporting hardware for each one. Even carbines that fire whatever your main caliber is, like say 45. It's a lot less expensiven than gearing up for a new caliber with ammo mags etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  15. gaweidert

    gaweidert Member

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    Well, back in the god old days, I purchased a few Turk Mausers for about $69 apiece. Then I got a bunch o Turk ammo in bandoleers of 70 of 70 rounds for $3.00 each. So today I can still shoot my Mausers for less than the cost of shooting a 22.

    The Russian milsurp rifles are the way to go now. They really grow on you and some of mine are very accurate. You can get 880 rouds of the ammunition for them for about $129 on line. Pretty cheap setup for a rifle that is the equivalent of our 30-06 round.
     
  16. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    Here's what worked for me, back in the day. This takes a lot of discipline, and isn't for everyone.

    At the time I lived in a small town and knew the loan officer at the bank and I knew he was a shooter. I had a steady job and I'd already paid off a couple of motorcycle loans, so I talked to him and he gave me a small loan to buy a gun. After I'd payed off a few my credit rating got better and I could borrow more.

    After I left that town, I tried a small finance company. My credit rating was good and they had no problem with loaning for a gun (this was a LONG time ago!).

    Even after 'corporate' started frowning on it, I could still get a loan just because I had paid off so many small loans over the years. One or two small loans a year over 15 years or so didn't hurt me any when it was time for a new car, either.

    I don't know if you could make it happen today, especially in a large city.
     
  17. goon

    goon Member

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    Another thing - a Curio and Relic license is a good investment. You can get old guns, often made to very high standards of quality, often quite cheaply. Ammo is occasionally also very cheap for centerfire ammo. If something required me to liquidate my collection right now and start over with a really shameful budget, I'd definitely spend the money on a C&R FFL and avail myself of a Finnish Mosin Nagant and bunch of ammo, and probably also a CZ-82.

    And buy a .22 if you don't already have one. You just can't shoot anything cheaper.

    And invest in some quality (but maybe used) reloading equipment. I learned to reload about ten years ago and it was a very smart move. I can shoot .38 Special reloads for half the cost of factory ammo, and with some calibers such as .45 Colt, you save even more than that. I doubt you'll ever get it to the .22LR price range, but it has allowed me to shoot a whole lot more for the same amount of money. But it hasn't actually saved me any money...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  18. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I figure I've got pretty much everything I need, so my most recent purchase was a new gun safe to put them in. Got one big enough that there are still a couple of unfilled slots, though, in case I find I need something else. :)
     
  19. philpost

    philpost Member

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    Amen to that! ;)

    I think the first (few) year(s) can be the hardest, as you are exposed to so many new models, calibers, and accessories. Advertising drills the message home that IF ONLY you had the newest model gun/ammo/whatever, you would be the next great dangerous game hunter/Delta Force operator/007, etc. The world of guitars is exactly the same, and it's a crock in both cases. Just like Eric Clapton could pick up a guitar in a pawn shop and sound better than 99% of guitarists, a real master could pick up something out of the rack in Wal-Mart and outshoot most of us.
    I firmly believe in buy once, cry once: if you purchase a quality firearm the first time, you won't need to (or even feel as tempted to) replace it by the next "great" thing that comes down the pike.
     
  20. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    ^ +100
     
  21. gym

    gym member

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    You should always buy something if it's a super good deal and you know you can sell it down the road and use that money to fund another purchase.I am not talking straw sales, buy something that you will use but maybe not for the rest of your life. This way when something comes up that you want you know you can get a couple hundred more than you had and use it in the meantime. I have traded my way up over the years adding value as time went on. Not with all your guns but if you see a hot deal someone else is going to but it anyway.
     
  22. withdrawn34

    withdrawn34 Member.

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    I recently had a choice between a 9mm and .40 handgun. I decided to go the 9mm route. Ammo is cheaper than 40, and my other handgun which is a 45. I still prefer the 45, but I have no issues trusting my 9mm 147gr HST rounds to do its job if the unfortunate ever happens and I need it.
     
  23. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    At first, I focused on having all my bases covered. The last gun I bought though was kind of an impulse buy, and I regret it. It was a Remington 11-87 SP and I never use it. It's on the block now and the money will go towards archery gear, because that's where it's needed at the moment.
     
  24. Old krow

    Old krow Member

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    That's my philosophy as well. If I am happy shooting what I have, I am less apt to keep looking for "the next" purchase. This correlates to what JerryM said in post #22. I try to stay away from impulse buys altogether, for firearms and everything else.

    I fall into the group of shooters. It takes up a larger portion of my budget than purchases do. I have a rule for myself, and that is, whatever I already have must have everything it needs to work for its intended function before I make a new purchase. This includes holsters, mags, sights, scopes, reloading, recipes etc.

    Training and competitions are a set amount that is dictated by the amount of time that I have to devote to them.

    I still have a wishlist and still make purchases. I try to keep some money on hand for "good deals." The rest goes toward whatever is next on the list. I prioritize that list by what I want to do with it. I'd like to spend a little more time shooting the long distance stuff, and I do hunt, so long arms usually take the priority.

    Anything CCW will bump anything else. I really don't need anymore and I don't count SD/HD ammo in with the rest of the budget, so it hasn't been an issue for a while.
     
  25. O C

    O C Member

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    One of the best things to get is a C&R license. With it, you can buy eligible handguns and have them sent to your home. Not to mention mil surp, and as a added bonus you get discounts from many places like Midway, and Brownells. Work your way up from there. It only costs about $30.00 for 3 years. You can't use the license to engage in a business, but you can sell and/or trade to enhance your collection. Example...Buy CZ82 for $169.00..Sell for $250.00...buy Police trade in Glock for $225.00...then....get my drift?
     
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