I remember shopping for my wife’s engagement ring. I went to a high end jewelry store and I found a diamond that was priced, well, below what I thought it was going to. As the salesperson pulled out the ring and described the 4 Cs; Carat, Cut, Clarity, and Color I rudely interrupted, because time was of the essence, and asked how much it was. She stared at me with a look of annoyance and then told me the price. Suddenly I said that is ‘cheap’! The salesperson huffed and the retired teacher scolded me as if I were still in her 5th grade class. She said, “no sir, this is inexpensive… it is far from cheap!” It was this day I learned a valuable lesson in the difference between cheap and inexpensive. Both are descriptors of price and one speaks to lower quality; this is cheap. If something is inexpensive it is just at a lower price than you would imagine.
Firearms are exactly the same. The craze, and one of my favorite divisions, today is Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC). I am fortunate to be a Brand Ambassador to one of the premier builders of rifles, JP Enterprises. The MSRP of stock JP GMR-15 is $1699 (https://www.jprifles.com/1.2.13_GMR-15.php) . With a few options and optic you will be hovering at the $2k mark. I have had numerous discussions with people about the price and certainly $2k may not fit into everyone’s disposable income. Commonly, I hear that is a lot of money and they are just going to buy an entry level $1k variant. This is certainly a cheap option for some to start out with. Most of the time you will need to drop in a new trigger ($150-$250), a functioning muzzle brake ($100-$175), and when the recoil of the gun makes you second guess your decision, you will end up with a new Bolt Carrier Group (BCG) and Buffer system ($160-$385 for both). Oh yeah, you need an optic as well. So, when you start to add up all of the parts to get your budget PCC to the level of a JP, you are rapidly approaching the price as well! I have two JP GMRs and I have never had a single feeding issue in either of gun in tens of thousands of rounds. I guess there is a reason why at the last World Speed Shooting Championship (WSSC) 3 of the 4 top PCC finishers were shooting JPs!
Whether you are shooting Rimfire Rifle or 1911’s, there is no substitute for quality and what runs. If you end up taking your shooting career to the next level you will spend hundreds or even thousands traveling, match fees, flights, etc. Buying quality equipment will save you both time and frustration out on the range. If you have five strings of fire and you have a jam on one string you have removed any buffer for your shooting performance. Not sure about you, but I have bad strings from stage to stage and I USE every one to the best of my ability! Great companies such as TANDEMKROSS, SJC Guns, Carolina Arms Group, Tactical Solutions, Striplin Custom Gun Works, Brimstone Gunsmithing, etc they stand behind their product and service. Spend more time shooting instead of becoming an expert gunsmith!
So, where does this leave you? If you are new to shooting, try to shoot or borrow someone else’s equipment to see what you like. Get started with a Ruger 22/45 Lite or a Browning Buckmark. Make a couple of enhancements for ‘do-it yourselfers’ and shoot! When you know this is not just a passing fancy, make the investment in the right tools, be safe, and have fun!
See you out on the range soon!