Speed Costs Money……


Speed costs money, how fast do ya wanna go

 With the election upon us, it seems as if everyone now wants to buy, buy, buy firearms and gear “just in case.”  Which is cool, but not the way I would go. A firearm is a tool. That’s all. Much like a wrench or a ratchet. As such, quality is more important than quantity. There is not a pro team in any racing series that uses the 101-piece toolset from your local box store. There is a reason for that. 


 I am a self-declared tool snob and have been for over 25 years. During my relatively short foray into auto mechanics I used tools exclusively from a dude with a big white truck who came to the shop. No, I didn’t have money for pro tools. I didn’t even have the skills to “need” pro tools let alone the pay to go with them. That did not stop me. I didn’t have as many tools as the professional mechanics I was working with and my box never got above hobby grade before I left for other things.

When it came time for war, I applied the same philosophy to my gear. I tested and evaluated my gear and looked to replace the things that had failed me one way or another. I looked to what the pros were using and bought as much of that kit as I could muster. I had my own TA11 ACOG because the eye relief on the TA31 is garbage. I had quality nylon and boots that I couldn’t afford. In fact, I would venture to say that most of the combat pay went to paying off bills I assumed before the deployment. It was part of the deal and it was agreed that if the gear brought me home in one piece it was worth it. It was also agreed that a few hundred bucks wouldn’t even be thought of if I didn’t.

As I got into shooting I applied the same lesson. Buy the best you can afford, and if you are close wait to get exactly what you need to fill the gap. It is a tool so what’s its job? The best 3/8ths inch ratchet in the world with a gold inlayed signature of a famous person does no good if you need a boxed end wrench.

As I got better and researched I found what exactly needed to be quality and what didn’t matter much. Over the deployments I saw tons of stuff fail and much more prove itself under extreme conditions. If you follow me at all (Authors note: Why aren’t you?) I only talk about the things that I have found to meet my needs. I rarely talk bad about things that have failed me or are not meeting expectations. My spec is different than other peoples and yours should be different than mine. That is the way of things.


Everyone wants to have that big tool box with every shiny thing imaginable. It is a sign of status and professionalism. Having the right tool for the right job at the right time is the core for legend making. Personally, I try to have a tool for every job but that tool is quality. I won’t buy a couple of cheap things just to have extras. My hunting gun is a Noveske Infidel in 6.8 with a Leupold Mk6 and I haven’t hunted in years. My go to rifle is quality stuff and that is the extent of my AR collection. My one shotgun is Benelli and my pistols are Glock. You see that I have enough quantity to cove my needs based on the job.

I love a huge collection as much as the next guy but what impresses me is skills to use them all. I would rather see a much fired, dinged up rifle or pistol than a safe queen.


I personally put more effort into skills than stuff. I would rather spend $900 on ammo and a class than see it go to another gun. For real world application, I would rather see that money go to a medical class, a tracking class, or hands/blade class. If things go “just in case” those skills will have much more value than the nine AR stripped lowers you bought instead. If you have attended all those classes and are solid, go to a tactics class. Best part about that is no one can outlaw, ban, or come to get those skills. They are yours forever.


They used to say software over hardware and that is more true than ever. With good software, you look for quality gear that meets the job. So instead of buying that low-end item just in case, get quality training to apply your quality gear

Ash Hess


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