We have a tremendous amount of choices when it comes to what firearms and equipment we can use. To help with my decisions, I use a similar approach to guns, gear, and training as I do with approving companies to associate and advertise with the Primary & Secondary network. It starts with one simple question- “what are you doing differently, better, or uniquely compared to what I already have or what’s out there?” If there is added value established, I then move to how it fits to my needs, and how it fits my lifestyle. To be able to ask these questions it takes some serious understanding to make those comparisons to come to valid conclusions. If I am selecting something for fun, this still could be applied, but not as stringently.
When that $100 dollar instructor advertises courses – what sets them apart from other instructors? What makes them qualified to teach more than others? There are a lot of people out there regurgitating what they heard in some classes and there are some who create their own curriculum based on experience, study, and courses. A pedigree of attended x, y, z courses doesn’t mean they are going to be a good instructor, likewise X experience as a cop or in the military doesn’t either. I went through Utah Post Police firearms instructor school in 2004 and nothing there provided me with anything to develop my teaching abilities or guidance on further education.
To stay current it takes constant study. Armor made 10 years ago isn’t the same as armor today and it takes real study to know what the next upgrade should be. After understanding the products being presented through study, you can ask- which of these are doing something better than the rest and which fits my lifestyle? The lightest and most durable armor that stops everything might not fit your lifestyle due to cost.
Using this system has helped me make better decisions and it even saves me from wasting money. “Looks cool” isn’t one of the factors in my decision making BTW.