Thursday, July 12, 2012

Better Than Nothing

I'm, obviously, a big fan of inexpensive things like the Chinese radios. I'm willing to take a risk when it comes to quality and performance if the price is low enough. But there are limits... if you are chasing the absolute lowest price, you may end up with something that isn't even worth the small amount you paid. (And don't get me started about the transaction costs of scouring the whole internet to save $0.05 on a $50.00 purchase.)

Not Better Than Nothing
Hans (PD0AC) has a post up about Waccom where he wonders if they aren't buying up the early versions of various radios - early versions that have problems that were fixed in subsequent releases. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that some of these companies are actually related - that they've created tiers/brands for the various levels of quality. If a radio is good, sell it under the primary brand. If you have a bad batch, sell them under a secondary brand, so you don't dilute the stronger reputation of the primary.

These Waccoms seem to be the exception to the "better than nothing" rule in that, for essentially the same money, you could have a much better product. That's why I call this a "not better than nothing" option - you have wasted a scare resource in a race to the bottom.

Better Than Nothing
When it comes to self-defense, I'm less inclined to find the cheapest gun available, but there are some interesting options out there. (Everyday of the week and twice on Sunday, I would pick an inexpensive gun over no gun - even if it was one of these.)

Today, I saw this article about Cheaper Than Dirt's best selling gun - the Interstate Arms Hawk Model 982. The 982 is a clone of the popular Remington 870 and is less than $200. The article says it is so successful because "it does a great job of doing exactly what the manufacturer intended it to do, which is to be a rugged home defense gun." Then came this article about a polymer AR lower for only $50. There must be something in the water, because Tam also had this post about cheap fakes of the already inexpensive Magpul sights.

Not everyone can afford a Bio Force Gun 9000, so these less expensive options have their place. I would tend to think of them as "trunk guns" unless I couldn't afford something else. In that case, they would be my pride and joy. Much like I think of the Baofengs as cheap insurance. It may not be the best performer, but the low price allows me to keep one at the office, one in each car, etc. Since I don't have a complete armory at my house, maybe a 982 and a polymer lower is in my future.

Cheaper Than Dirt article via Gun Nuts Media

No comments:

Post a Comment