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Kimber Custom

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My dad taught me to always buy the quality you need. If you're going to use a tool every day to make your living then buy the best. If you need it once in a while then buy accordingly.

I see Eotech, Surefire, Leupold and others frequently going for more than the price of the gun you're putting it on.

Do you really get what you pay for; or are some of those companies taking advantage of a niche market that always 'wants the best'?
 
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As far as optics for long range shooting; traditionally to have a great setup, your glass should cost at least half the price of the rifle, if not more than the gun cost, since it will make a big difference.

As far as red dots, it depends on what you're using it for. But in reality, you do get what you're paying for.
 
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yes, with exceptions. eotech is one of them. they go for the same price as aimpoints, yet are inferior in every way- battery life (literally exponentially lower), auto-shutoff, durability, reliability, etc.

but yea, you generaly get what you pay for when we're talking about mid-range quality gear. leupold seems to be a bit over-priced compared to what you get from other, better manufacturers- but you will never pay less for more. so in that regard, they're still a good value if you're on a budget.

you can definitely over-pay for stuff, though... there are some manufacturers that have reputations that have sent their prices into the realm of ridiculous. there are more than a couple knife manufacturers that definitely fit this, as well as pistol manfers- primarily 1911 manfers. the guys that buy this stuff aren't buying "value," they're buying prestige.

my 2 cents
 

ZigZagZeke

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I am one who will pay for the best when I need it. I've carried the same Buck #110 for the last 30 years.

I've found lately that there are a number of companies who seem to be riding on their reputations while slashing quality and cutting corners. I have had two recent experiences with Browning that have given me pause. I purchased a pair of Browning boots a couple deer seasons ago. I probably put 100 miles a season on my hunting boots. Those browning boots lasted about 25 miles before the soles separated on both of them. I returned them and got Wolverines.

Then last Christmas I bought a Browning pocket knife for one of my sons. He used it for two weeks before the handle separated and the blade fell off. I returned it and got him a Buck #110.
 
There is a difference in paying for the name, and paying for quality. Unfortunately it's not always easy to tell what you're paying for. I will easily pay for quality and I know what "name" will provide me with that. Usually. :D
 

spectra

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As far as optics for long range shooting; traditionally to have a great setup, your glass should cost at least half the price of the rifle, if not more than the gun cost, since it will make a big difference.


I would agree here as when it comes to a good long range scope it is going to cost at least the same price as the gun. Look at most great scopes and they are 800 plus a scope.

I have a Rem 700 Tactical that I only paid 400 for my scope cost me 300 and it was on the cheap side. But I was trying to keep everything under 1K and have a good rifle for long range fun.

I think it all depends also what you are trying to do. Yes there are scopes that run 1K and are worth it . Also there are ones that are not. Good luck in the search!
 

Spitpatch

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Firms who have established a rock-hard reputation for integrity in their products will guarantee them likewise. Admittedly, a gun or scope that fails in the field (or on duty) will not be repaired then and there by the guarantee, but you can well guage that likelihood by how the guarantee reads. A firm that guarantees their product with no questions, no receipt, no original owner requirement is without exception a good product. They could not financially survive otherwise.

Leupold riflescopes have such a guarantee. Buck knives have such a guarantee. Dillon progressive presses have such a guarantee. I could go on. We are very fortunate in that our chosen interests are populated by such firms. It is increasingly rare in any industry, almost non-existant in even extremely high-quality products manufactured outside the USA.

These exceptional firms with their exceptional products and exceptional guarantees know full well the value of word-of-mouth endorsements. I have never had a day go by in the company of persons of like interests in the firearm trade where their personal experiences with such firms have not been at least briefly mentioned.

It is of note that the majority of these experiences revolve around the firm belief that the customer reporting often says up front that they HAD NO RIGHT to expect repair or replacement, based on the circumstances of the failure. (They ran over the scope, they closed the hood on a '75 Maverick while utilizing their Buck #110 as a tool to hold open the choke--my own story--or they simply dropped a ball-bearing out of their Dillon, and it rolled to parts unknown). These firms never challenge. They do everything they can to keep that word-of-mouth reputation going. They know it is cheaper and infinitely more effective than any magazine ad.

And you do pay for this. This is why a 30-year-old Leupold 3x-9x is never worth less than $125. (It may have sold new for $85). Any buyer knows (and Leupold knows) that if it doesn't work as expected, Leupold will make it right. A Dillon press, even having cranked out thousands of rounds for its original owner can always be sold for 60-75% of what it sold new for. RCBS will literally fall all over themselves to make right on a failure. A Buck knife bought new comes with a written prayer. Even if you are not a man of faith, this is their testament that you can have faith in a Buck knife.

Having said all this, there are firms with lesser guarantees that you certainly can trust for a good product. Weaver scopes and mounts, designed and sold for the man on a budget can give lifetimes of service with minimal care. You can't run over a Remington and expect a new rifle, but if the darn thing starts failing to feed, you will find at any date after its sale that Remington will do anything possible to retain their reputation, usually at minimal cost. Ruger will match this response.

Buy the best you can afford. A good strategy for optics is to "put a rifle on your scope". The thinking here is that most new guns shoot pretty darn good. The competition in the market dictates they must. But if you are drawing down on the trophy of a lifetime and your optic fails, the best gun in the world is useless.

Buck knives made their reputation not only on durability, but on their choice of the absolutely perfect chemical blend in their steel. Easily sharpenable, and holds an edge. Knives claiming "better" steel are difficult to sharpen. You can sharpen a Buck 110 on a well-chosen rock if need be.

And you can close it under the hood of a '75 Maverick with a sticking choke and get a new knife. (They'll send you back the exploded old one if you want it---I did--I'd carried it for 25 years.)

All the above is from personal experience, save Dillon. That is strictly word of mouth. I believe it.
 

ZigZagZeke

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Buck knives made their reputation not only on durability, but on their choice of the absolutely perfect chemical blend in their steel. Easily sharpenable, and holds an edge. Knives claiming "better" steel are difficult to sharpen. You can sharpen a Buck 110 on a well-chosen rock if need be.

And you can close it under the hood of a '75 Maverick with a sticking choke and get a new knife. (They'll send you back the exploded old one if you want it---I did--I'd carried it for 25 years.)

My son was on a Boy Scout trip with his new Buck #110 and was using it to split firewood. He was starting each splinter of kindling by tapping the back of the blade with a heavy piece of wood. The locking spring snapped in two on one of those taps, making the knife useless for the rest of the trip.

I sent it in to Buck, explaining what had happened, and asked them to repair it and bill me. They repaired it on warranty and sent it back with a letter of apology and a discount certificate for my next Buck purchase. I used the certificate to buy the #119 I'd always wanted, but had never gotten around to buying.
 
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I get the feeling that some of these companies are trying to take advantage of the market. You get some prestige pricing and you also get a lot of the gamers wanting to buy what the .mil uses because they put it into call of duty. Thus some of these companies are able to charge what they do. I also kind of think things are priced high so that the MFG's can show PD's and the mil some numbers and tell them if you buy "x" amount we will kick 12.35% off. Then show them how much of a killer deal they are getting so that they can get the contract or whatever. Really though, this is a small minority of the companies out there that service the firearms/outdoor/mil contract market. One thing that sticks out in my mind is the ACR from bushwhacker and the SCAR from FN. Seriously over priced over hyped guns. Yeah, they are probable decent and capable firearms, but for the going rate on them I would say they the MFG's went a little nuts with their pricing. But people are willing to pay for them so the market follows right along, for now. Do you get $2k± in value out of those guns? I kind of doubt it, but then again that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like to pay more for the cool factor and to be the first/only kid on the block with the latest whatever. I am guilty of that, and I think a lot of folks are (doesn't have to be firearms, could be cars, or other hobbies).
 
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On my hunting rifles, I have Leupold VXIII scopes mounted. The scopes are worth as much as the rifles they are mounted to, dollar wise. The light gathering ability they give at dawn and dusk when the quarry is on the move is priceless. The fact that I can rely on them to be clear, fog free, and retain their zero is also priceless. I owe it to my prey to make that one shot count.

On the rest of my plinking rifles, I can't justify the best. I have no need for an ACOG or an EOTECH to shoot cans or gongs. I'm an optics guy, not an iron sight guy, so all of my 'other' rifles have some sort 'lesser' scope on them, and I'm fine with that.
 
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Aimpoints are expensive, but I like having a red dot that still works after having been kicked over multiple times. I like having an optic that I know can handle the abuse of being dropped, kicked, slammed into metal doors in humvees, Bradleys, Strykers, etc, walls, fences and the ground. Not to mention the abuse that Aimpoint reps put them through. Slamming them on the ground, throwing them across the range, taking them off and bouncing them off wood blocks multiple times between strings of fire, all without failure. Of course some will break, but they will also be fixed in a timely manner.
 
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I get the feeling that some of these companies are trying to take advantage of the market. You get some prestige pricing and you also get a lot of the gamers wanting to buy what the .mil uses because they put it into call of duty. Thus some of these companies are able to charge what they do. I also kind of think things are priced high so that the MFG's can show PD's and the mil some numbers and tell them if you buy "x" amount we will kick 12.35% off. Then show them how much of a killer deal they are getting so that they can get the contract or whatever. Really though, this is a small minority of the companies out there that service the firearms/outdoor/mil contract market. One thing that sticks out in my mind is the ACR from bushwhacker and the SCAR from FN. Seriously over priced over hyped guns. Yeah, they are probable decent and capable firearms, but for the going rate on them I would say they the MFG's went a little nuts with their pricing. But people are willing to pay for them so the market follows right along, for now. Do you get $2k± in value out of those guns? I kind of doubt it, but then again that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like to pay more for the cool factor and to be the first/only kid on the block with the latest whatever. I am guilty of that, and I think a lot of folks are (doesn't have to be firearms, could be cars, or other hobbies).

+1. I finally got to fondle the ACR and a SCAR, and while they're awesome little guns (literally a lot smaller than I thought they'd be) there was no way i was paying the $2700 price tag to take one home. I'm sure I'd love it at the range, but I don't believe it's worth the extra $1700 over an AR or $1200 over an FAL. Then there's FN's game of using ridiculously expensive proprietary mags on certain models, but that's another story.
 
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Law of diminishing returns. It costs a lot to grind out that last few % in the glass. With day optics I think you start hitting the law of diminishing returns around the $1200 mark. Leupolds and Trijicons are one thing, Nightforce is another.

and then there's Schmidt & Bender...

Now, if you're planning on hunting (or whatever) in low light or nighttime conditions spending the extra cash for a S&B may be worth it.

+1. I finally got to fondle the ACR and a SCAR, and while they're awesome little guns (literally a lot smaller than I thought they'd be) there was no way i was paying the $2700 price tag to take one home. I'm sure I'd love it at the range, but I don't believe it's worth the extra $1700 over an AR or $1200 over an FAL. Then there's FN's game of using ridiculously expensive proprietary mags on certain models, but that's another story.
Well that's just cuz they are the new cool thing. Give it another 10-15 years and they will be the same price as ARs and some OTHER new gun that looks like a fish (XM8) or a spaceman boot (SCAR) will cost that much. I actually thought the ACR felt like cheap plastic crap personally... fit and finish was very poor. Felt like a $500 kel-tec rifle or something, very disappointing. SCAR is at least a pretty nice gun.
 
One thing that sticks out in my mind is the ACR from bushwhacker

Careful there Dude. Even though I know what you meant when you said it, I'll have to give you a little grief for your choice of words. Bushwacker is a local company that makes fender flares and other products for the 4x4 and off road markets. They are of the highest quality and are worth their price! :D

Also, I have first hand experience with the service for both Leupold and Ruger. Both times it was a product I bought second hand. The Leupold scope was over 40 years old and was handled with no questions asked except for the basic question, "What's wrong?". The Ruger issue was nearly identical. I own many items from both companies and have used the warranty one time for each company.
Both companies have earned my trust and loyalty.:s0155:
 
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ACR is expensive cuz of Magpul. You do pay for a name usually, but do your shopping and find a name that backs it up. There are alot of Big gun names, that that's all they are anymore.
 

ZA_Survivalist

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A TON of you fellow gun enthusiasts get caught up in the "brand name" game.
I see people shell out 3 tims as much to get a "brand name".. and it still suffers from every issue as any other "lesser" brand would.
Its laughable.

I'm not saying that garbage is just as good, but if they all did their homework they'd finally see the light. There are plenty of low-end to mid-level well priced firearms that are JUST as decent as "brand name" ones.. that I usually see people baby, though they'll swear up and down that "Oh I take her out all the time, I never clean it or I've put 60,000,000 rounds through it and it hasn't failed yet.. I just had a "Break in Period" (<< thats the one I hate the most) Poeple who purchase "brand name" items will make every excuse in the book to defend their overpriced item or firearm. HA. :s0114:
There are MANY brands that are considered a lesser product, which I guess is good for me, it keeps the price down.
 
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And people that throw their money at junk give me the same laugh. EX: Buddy who'll spend $$$ each month buying cheap junk parts and ends up spending alot more in the long run then had he just bought XYZ quality part up front. You get Name mark -up with anything, where the research matters is finding out which companies give you the QUALITY you pay for, without bending you over to stamp their name on your back-end

A TON of you fellow gun enthusiasts get caught up in the "brand name" game.
I see people shell out 3 tims as much to get a "brand name".. and it still suffers from every issue as any other "lesser" brand would.
Its laughable.

I'm not saying that garbage is just as good, but if they all did their homework they'd finally see the light. There are plenty of low-end to mid-level well priced firearms that are JUST as decent as "brand name" ones.. that I usually see people baby, though they'll swear up and down that "Oh I take her out all the time, I never clean it or I've put 60,000,000 rounds through it and it hasn't failed yet.. I just had a "Break in Period" (<< thats the one I hate the most) Poeple who purchase "brand name" items will make every excuse in the book to defend their overpriced item or firearm. HA. :s0114:
There are MANY brands that are considered a lesser product, which I guess is good for me, it keeps the price down.
 
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quality optics have always cost as much or more than the weapon they go on. it's just the way it is.

I remember when new colt sp1's were 400
the austrians spent less than 100 bucks for the first glocks
the usa spent less than 50 for 1911's

all depends on your perspective

be a cheap guy, or man up and pay the toll and have something.

or join the "as good as" crowd of idiots.
 
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