Are You a Victim of Marketing, "Keeping Up With The Joneses"?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by s5traut, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. s5traut

    s5traut Active Member

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    This thread may get controlversial, people will probably get offended and mass flaming will ensue. That being said, I do want an honest discussion despite my admitted bias.

    I have a sensible approach to my purchases (usually) and try to spend my money effectively--I buy quality optics and firearms that are accurate, reliable and have a ready supply of spare/aftermarket parts. I don't skimp, but neither do I pay extra for name-brand stuff unless their perfomance justifies the expense; more often not, that isn't the case.

    That being said, I am surprised at how many people fall for gimmicky aftermarket stuff that costs 3+ times as much, yet yields only a fractional benefit. So much of this "tactical" junk I see makes me laugh. I understand building a 'cool' gun is part of the appeal, but alot of these customized guns look like they just walked off the set of "Sniper IV" and onto some suburban gun range or p-dog field. It's surprising how much money people will spend to make their gun look "tactical".

    I just ordered a new Savage Weather warrior in .243 a week ago, primarily for hunting dear/varmint/wolves and probably some range shooting for fun. I was perusing the forum and before I knew it, I was considering upgrades before I even shot the gun.

    After more research and rational thinking, I realized this:
    1) I have a gun that will shoot 1/2 MOA out of the box, replacement/aftermarket parts are readily available and Savage has outstanding customer service. Ammunition for .243 is accurate, flat shooting, easy to reload with a good supply of brass and factory loads as well.

    2) The trigger is crisp, breaks clean and I have little to worry about in the way of accidental discharges.

    3) The barrel is very accurate, and any "upgrade" would be of marginal benefit (unless I wanted a longer or heavier barrel)

    4) Many people/gunmakers already use the Savage action on custom guns, the floating bolt head seems to be quite innovative and effective, and magazines are easy to come by and they feed reliably

    5) The Accustock seems to be the only thing I'd even consider upgrading, simply because I think fiberglass is more durable. However, I would expect any increase in accuracy to be minimal over to a glass-bedded Accustock

    And Savage is not the only case, there are alot of other people with the same results with Tikka ( I can vouch for them), Rem, Weatherby, Browning etc without spending over ~$1K. I simply don't understand why people feel the need to buy a perfectly good gun, and then go dump an extra couple grand to squeze out a 1/8-1/4 MOA they are probably not capable of capitalizing on anyway.

    I think my first "range-queen" build will be a 260 Rem based off a Savage action and trigger with a more substantial fiberglass stock, likely McMillan. I would be curious to see how that would match up to some of these $5000k+ guns.

    Am I missing something here? IMO, if it wasn't for marketing and "keeping up with the Jones", 95% of shooters here would have 95% of their current shooting success for 1/2 the cost. Although I do believe everyone is perfectly free to spend their money however they like, I think that we all would save a little money without having the latest and greatest (or trendiest)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  2. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    I address this on my OCW webpage... in the "tools of the trade" section... in the "totally unnecessary" category I have posted the following...

    COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY:

    A brief preface: Remember that we're discussing the 1/2 MOA rifle here. Keep in mind that a good batch of Federal Gold Medal Match ammo will maintain 1/2 MOA groups from a well put together rifle. This factory ammo does this without the benefit of deburred flash holes, squared primer pockets, meticulously seated bullets, et al.
    **
    Expensive sizing and seating dies. *With the commonly available dies, provided you're using them correctly, you will be able to assemble ammo which is more accurate than your 1/2 MOA rifle likely is. Fancy and expensive seating dies will rarely improve your groups--provided you're using a good load recipe to begin with. The other tolerances in the entire chain of variables will probably eclipse any presumed benefit from a precision loading die. The standard RCBS dies and the Lee dies (especially the Lee Collet neck sizing dies) are more than adequate for the 1/2 MOA rifle.
    *
    Case neck turning devices. *When brass cases are made, they are rarely perfect. The case neck may be a bit thicker on one side than the other. This condition will often cause the bullet to seat crooked in the case, and a crooked bullet (excess runout, remember?) can cause the shot to go outside the group. The thing is, though, that for the 1/2 MOA rifle you're not likely to benefit one iota from doing this. These tools can cost as much as sixty dollars for some models, perhaps more for others. However, it has been noted (even by the advocates of neck turning) that unless there is more than .002" (two thousandths of an inch) of disparity in the neck wall thickness, the case needn't be corrected. And what about the cases which do have more than this amount of neck thickness variation? Toss 'em in the trash, or use them for fouler shots. The quality control has to deteriorate to near rock bottom before a case will be this bad. It will likely have other QC issues in addition to the poor case neck symmetry. As an aside, you would measure the case neck thickness with specialty gauges, such as the RCBS Casemaster, NECO, or other such tools made for the purpose. But don't be anal. You can get a well made rifle shooting 1/2 MOA groups by simply buying a decent batch of Winchester brass and properly developing the load. If you'd rather spend the extra money for Lapua brass, I won't argue with you there ;) ...
    *
    Chamber length gauging tools.* These devices are designed to allow you to find the magic "distance to the lands" of a particular bullet in your particular rifle. This practice is one of the most bizarre of them all. Remember the aforementioned Federal Gold Medal Match ammo? It doesn't enjoy the presumed benefit of being seated "X thousandths off the lands." So how does it shoot so doggone well? The truth is that the distance of the bullet to the lands doesn't really matter a whole lot--provided all cartridges are loaded to the same length. It's true that you don't want to seat the bullet too close to the lands with a maximum pressure load, as pressure does increase as we move toward the lands. You also don't want to seat the bullet too deep either. This uses up powder space and it will mean that the bullet will have to "jump" through mid air for a finite amount of time before engaging the rifling. If the bullet is seated crooked (excess runout) it will collide with the lands off center. The longer the jump, the faster the bullet will be moving when it collides off center. The damage to the bullet's integrity is directly proportional to the velocity at which it hits the riflings off center. This is one possibility why many folks note improved accuracy by seating closer to the lands, as doing so tends to negate (to a degree) the ill effects of runout. All this said, the exact amount of distance to the lands is largely immaterial. Often the rifle's magazine length will dictate a maximum length far away from the lands. Find an accurate overall length of the cartridge and stay in that general zone. If a .005" change of cartridge length spoils your accuracy, move ten thousandths in the other direction (if possible) and test the accuracy of that COL. If it's acceptable, you'll likely be closer to the actual optimum length for the cartridge. How far am I from the lands? Who cares! :)

    The above observations are, of course, my opinions. I do base these opinions on my own experiences as well as the acute observation and study of the experiences of others. If there is one certain thing about the craft of handloading, it's that everyone has his own method and madness. Again, I offer the above in the hopes that some folks heretofore not involved in the making of their own ammuntion will seriously consider giving it a try. With an understanding that making accurate ammunition doesn't necessarily have to involve several hundred dollars worth of equipment (to include the seemingly obligatory battery of tangential accessories) I think more folks will be inclined to get involved in handloading thier own ammunition. And that's a good thing! :)
    *
    Dan Newberry
     

  3. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

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    I concur.... from my 11th grade economics class up to this day, I will not buy the koolaid of economic "supply and demand" which really just jacks the artificial price of a product, not will I ever buy into "whatever the market will bare" be anything more than customer extortion. :rolleyes:

    Unfortuantely, so many bought into these philosophies and would rather take a bullet than be honest and really see these market ploys as nothing but make "the few" very rich. Chivalry is dead? Hell, integrity is dead!

    ...sadly, there is "nothing that can be done" and this system is going down.

    just my .000001 cent...... gun)
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    The above quote 'smacks' of jealousy and socialism and , I think, will be totally disregarded by the members of this forum. Besides, were' not supposted to discuss politics and religion, here! That said, I'll respond to the OP later. Right now,,, I've got to get to work!!!
     
  5. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    Jealosy and socialism?

    I guess common sense couldn't have anything to do with it (?) :eek:
     
  6. s5traut

    s5traut Active Member

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    That he took that in totally different direction than I had intended the thread. After he made it an issue of liberalism/socialism, I was hoping the thread would just die
     
  7. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

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    I wrote a different reply but decided to retract. I did not take it anywhere other than your intension of open forum. Let me see. the title Are You a Victim of Marketing.. implies exactly what you got for replies..

    Then you state "This thread may get controlversial, people will probably get offended and mass flaming will ensue."

    Then to top it off.. a sponser practically calls me a jealous communist and the original poster states I took it in a totally different dirrection and agrees with the sponser???


    No offense taken here. :D My sincere apologies. My fault. My bad. my complete request for forgiveness for misinterpretting, misunderstanding and mistating a controversial reply.

    So my reply should be.....and no I am not a victim of marketing because I don't drink all the un-scientific, disproven, and false manufacturer kool-aid that many do because they believe they read and glean proven reliable claims from people that validate their claims with consistent repeatable results ..... but only to find out shortly after drinking the kool-aid, that most of these validated results are a one time out at the range lucky 3 shot group, never again to be repeated.
     
  8. s5traut

    s5traut Active Member

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    My point IS to reflect on the fact that we fall for marketing gimics appealing to our desire to "keep up with the Jones", or BE the Jones; but in reality much of it is uneccessary expense that provides little practical value. I have personally been working on sorting out which of my desired modifications are neccessary or practical and which are marketing gimmicks.

    My point is NOT to label capitalism as "extortion", nor blame "the rich" because people choose to buy dumb crap. People are free to market as they wish and people are free as they wish. What you are advocating sounds like "Blame the 1%" BS. My point is NOT to blame anyone else, or lack of regulation for my inability control my envious desires.

    That being said, I figured this would ellicit some controversial responses and you are welcome to share yours. I tend to agree with you on that last paragraph above. However, I didn't intend nor anticipate this thread going in a political direction; hence why I said I was fine with this thread dying--because I prefer not disrespect the forums terms.
     
  9. TOM H

    TOM H Well-Known Member

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    I think some forget the rules of this site here they are so please read


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