The Gun Elitist Debate


There are some who will argue pure price point in both the excessively cheap and unnecessarily high extremes when it comes to guns and gear. Some are brand oriented and brand loyal – for whatever reason. My XXX Brand has never had a failure (because it gets a magazine shot through it once maybe twice a year).

Some people get angry when the term “duty” comes up in regards to a level of quality. The term professional gets turned away as well due to people not having a frame of reference as to what it really means.

Here is some insight to the duty quality, professional use, gun snob, elitist debate – life dependant is the qualifier. Home defense, personal defense, duty, and SHTF all have one similar concept – life dependant on the weapon to work as needed and as expected. Not only does the weapon need to function reliably, it needs to be able to achieve an acceptable (if not greater) level of accuracy. If you choose a subpar option for the above situations, be aware you are taking a risk. Many (yes, many – not all) of those who have carried a gun for a living understand this concept. Cutting corners on things you may rely on is never a good strategy. The excuse of “better than nothing” or “all you can afford” is countered with personal priority and saving money. Large amounts of money do not need to be spent. Currently the $1000 range is a good place to start on a quality weapon – give or take a couple hundred dollars. Instead of 5 poorly made AR’s, one good reliable one is preferred.

Asking a random gun forum full of hobbyists their opinion is the same as taking Amazon reviews seriously – both give N.C. Star Optics a 4.7 star out of 5 rating.

We recently discussed quality firearms with Mike Mihalski from Sons of Liberty Gun Works on our podcast. He explained quite plainly that he has done the math. He knows the cost of producing a quality weapon. He knows the costs involved that includes quality parts, quality assurance, quality control, and proper manufacturing practices. Those final numbers are much higher than the prices some not so reputable companies place on their weapons. What does that mean? Costs are cut somewhere. This is why we see a shorter mean time between failures on those lesser quality firearms. This is why we hear about certain brands having issues regularly. This is why the simple act of staking a castle nut and staking fasteners on a gas key are brought up in discussions so frequently.

Similarly, the do it yourself option really doesn’t fit under the duty quality area either. Unless you have actual training and someone who is also trained can check your work – there can be hazards with having improperly assembled weapons (they are not like legos). This does not even cover the quality of the parts themselves (which is another article by itself). A factory built weapon from a reputable manufacturer may cost a little more but we pay more to ensure it functions and it is reliable.

Do people DIY parachutes? Do they use YouTube as the guide?

Would you trust it?

If you want a range toy – sure go assemble it. If you need something your life may depend on – buying a manufactured reputable option is a much better course of action.

*Photography by Kel Whelan
**Weapon by Hodge Defense
***Weapon owned by Kel Whelan


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