Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

Friday, March 29, 2013

Basic Guns Part 4: .22lr Rifle

To catch folks up who haven't seen this series the concept is as follows. It is the Basic Guns series and we are talking about affordable but still reliable guns that will fill a lot of roles. Remember this is not "the coolest most expensive guns that fill a specific roll well". I am trying to help people make good choices that are quality but heavily consider price and in the current environment that eliminates a lot of options. Instead of making people feel bad they cannot afford an AR and a Glock with 4x basic loads of mags I want to help by proposing some viable, affordable options. So don't be a sharp shooting dick saying how a gun 3x the price is better, we already know that, just go with the spirit of the series.

So far we have a .38 revolver and a Remington 870/ Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. Now we are going to get a .22 rifle. I put a .22 before a centerfire rifle for 3 primary reasons; first the rifles are cheap, second ammo is cheap, even at today's temporary inflated prices .22 is 10-12x cheaper than standard center fire rifle ammo. This means it is easier to stock a lot of it and shoot a lot. Third since most people who need this series are not really gun people it is a great way to learn to shoot rifles so you will be more ready for a center-fire rifle down the road.

The price point we are looking at for a .22lr rifle is pretty low. $175- 200 can get you a solidly serviceable .22 rifle today in Southern Arizona. Since many of our used guns are smuggled into Mexico and sold on the black market  prices are a little higher here you can probably get one a bit cheaper elsewhere. I suspect the $150-175 is probably reasonable in a lot of areas with slightly lower used gun prices.

Primarily the gun I want to talk about is the Marlin model 60. It is semi automatic and tube fed. Most of them work great and run forever. I have personally seen a couple have problems though I suspect they would probably work just fine after a good cleaning. They are cheap, and since they have a tube fed mag do not require detachable mags which is good as they are stupidly expensive these days, so you really just need the gun, a sling and some ammo.

[I do not currently own one of these but the next time there is cash in the gun fund and one pops up at a good price it will come home with me.]

If you are lucky or patient Ruger 10/22's can be found for just a bit more money which they are totally worth. For other options there are a lot of .22's made. I cannot recommend against the Remington 597 strongly enough; wasted money on one that never worked right then eventually gave it away to my buddy's little brother. Savage bolt action .22's are nice (at least I've heard so) and affordable though I do not have personal experience with them. The AR-7 take down .22lr is a nice idea but the gun patent/ production has been sold more than a cheap hooker so more lemons are probably in circulation than gems. There are many other .22's out there. So many old bolt action Marlin/ Remington/ Winchester's out there it would be impossible to talk each one. At the end of the day if it is made by a major manufacturer, you can get spare parts for it and the price is right then go for it.

If you want to spend a bit more and get a better gun purchase a Ruger 10/22. They are awesome, modular and magazine fed. Just great guns. 

My setup would be:
Marlin model 60 .22lr
2,500 rounds of .22lr ammo


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Basic Budget Guns Part 2: Handguns

To continue the ongoing series (Part 1, Part 1.5, Part 1.75) today we will talk about handguns. To catch you up I recommend buying common model firearms from reputable and common manufacturers chambered in a common caliber. Also remember to consider the cost of fully equipping them when comparing and pricing guns.

The goal here is to get a basic gun that fits a tight budget but is still a good solid weapon to bet your life on. The distinction between this and the cheapest guns out there is significant.

While I do not have a clear price range in mind a loose goal of $350 (of course markets vary so these guns might be 4 and a quarter in LA or 300ish in Alabama) to $400 seems like a good mark. This is of course for the gun itself, though if you buy used a holster (and maybe extra mag) might get tossed into the deal.

For a one handgun solution I tend to favor compact pistols. A .38/.357mag *3 inch* J(small) or 3-4" K(medium) sized revolver is a really good option. I would recommend Smith and Wesson or Ruger or if those are not available a fairly new Taurus. Unless you know what you are doing (which is not the target audience of this series) an older Charter Arms, Rossi, Taurus, etc might very well be a lemon and only useful as a paperweight. Newer Smiths run out of this price range in a hurry but an older revolver like a Model 10 or 64 can be had in this price range. Rugers do pop up here also. Both will probably run a bit closer to $400 but they do not need mags.

The reason revolvers will come in the cheapest is because you do not need mags. Figuring $25-35 for most mags (not today, we'll get to that in a minute) and that IMO you want a bare minimum of 6 mags cost adds up fast.

For semi auto's the Kel Tech PF9 and Ruger LC 9 both seem like pretty decent contenders and are in our price range. They are towards the smaller end of guns I would be comfortable with for an everything handgun but they are readily available and take single stack mags which are still out there at sane prices. The really little .380's and 2" J frames are difficult guns to shoot well and not especially fun to shoot which means you are less likely to put in the time to learn to use them. This combination makes them less than ideal beginner guns.

Interestingly Iraq Vet8888/ Barry of Moss Gun and Pawn did a video on handguns under $350.

Won't disagree with anything they said but there are inherent compromises in basic budge guns. Compromises that are acceptable for one person might not be acceptable for another. If you are a bit less concerned about commonality of ammunition and parts the Bersa .380 is worth looking into. If you plan to buy all the ammo and parts you will every need with the gun then the Makarov is a fine option.

Note that I really haven't talked about  any double stack auto's. Glock pistols and in particular the Glock 19 (which would otherwise be my choice here) are relatively hard to find these days. You can get them but (excluding oddballs like .45GAP) they are running a bit more expensive than before firearmagedon. In my neck of the woods it will be very hard to touch a non oddball used Glock for under $550 with $600 probably being average. Most significantly the price of full capacity double stack mags that hold more than 10 rounds (especially Glock 9's)  is up considerably, though they are slowly trending down. Glock mags are running $43-45 in my neck of the woods and it's a sellers market. This is significantly up from the $25-28 pre panic prices. For a guy like me who wants to have 9-10 mags that is a big price difference. Between the higher price of the gun and mags I think the Glock 9mm is currently priced out of a "common man" budget. The same can be said for the other pistols that would normally be in this range. Smith and Wesson Sigma's and the old Ruger P series still offer good value if you can find mags at a sane price.

My basic budget handgun setup would be:
-handgun (duh)
-6 magazines for an auto/ some speedloaders for a revolver
-500 rounds of ammunition. In a perfect world you might have 500 rounds of JHP ammo and then some FMJ for plinking but if the budget is tight consider getting 100 rounds of JHP and the rest FMJ. If the budget is uuber tight just rock boring old ball ammo.
-decent holster that can be used for concealment
-belt stuff enough to comfortably hold said gun in holster

Personally I would be looking for a decent used revolver either a Smith and Wesson Model 10/64 .38 or a Ruger Security 6 .357 really whichever came up first.

Hope that helps somebody. Next chapter we will talk shotguns which will be short and easy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Random Thoughts: Money, Life and Stuff

This weekend I got to catch up with some long time friends. One guy I grew up with just happened to be in town for the weekend to go to a wedding and we were able to catch up. That was great.

In particular it was great to see one friend with whom I have a lot in common. At the surface we are very different but a lot of core beliefs and attitudes are the same. Stuff like meeting a girl, getting to know her, getting hitched and then having a kid and how we deal with finances and such.

We talked a lot about all manner of things. He has done real well for himself. It was a reminder to me that I need to put some energy into developing additional streams of income or at least the skills and stuff to do so if needed. Also I need to get better at mechanical stuff. We talked about a few things and I was pleased he was on the right track and gave him some ideas to think about.

I was disappointed to hear that a couple we know was going through bankruptcy. I do believe that bankruptcy is a necessary legal mechanism. Things can happen that make it so people cannot meet their debts. Somebody could do all the right things and get hurt or disabled or whatever. This is not one of those cases. They seem to have just bought a bunch of toys on credit and generally lived a lifestyle they could not afford. My friend also mentioned that the guy thought his wife did not need to work as a contributing factor. He sort of implied this was an antiquated or impractical way of living.

I sort of dissented at this point. I said it is perfectly possible and relatively simple. Figure out what Dad (or really mom if you want to go that way) makes, chop out some to save and then live on it. Simple, though not necessarily easy. He makes enough money that it could work but they would have a pretty modest life. No big fancy trucks or boats or expensive hobbies. Apparently they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

Anyway I have a hard time with this. I suppose they had good intentions to honor the debts they took on. However at some point before deciding to file for bankruptcy I wonder if they knew the jig was up. Maybe they decided to have some fun going down. I don't know. The idea that they are deciding it is too unpleasant to honor their debts and it is easier to default is difficult for me. It isn't that Chevy or Visa or Cabellas or whatever are going to be unduly hurt or are worth anything in particular. More that I have, maybe theoretically to my own detriment, a sense of honor about these things. [ Wifey once said there are two things to know about me. I don't do things I don't want to do  and I do what I say I will do.] Doesn't matter if the other party is worthy, like a friend or relative, or not. If I say I will do something then I do it, or at least give it my best. 

Went for a little run today. It is amazing how a half dozen long (150m ish) sprints totally change the character of a 2 mile run. Between that and the 3 miler I did late last week puts me at 20.5. Getting to 50 might be rough this month. However in the big picture considering I have never done any sort of exercise program on leave getting halfway would be something solid.

Today we had a family dinner. That was pretty good. A couple relatives drove a long way to make it which was totally surprising and great. One of them who is pretty like minded and I got to talking about life and our economy. The benefits of diversification came up. Having some silver and an extra gun or three you could sell or swap without shorting yourself is a good thing.

I saw the new show Revolution which was interesting. Will watch next week. Between it and Sons of Anarchy my TV lineup is getting going again. Big fun.

Sorry for a rather random post. I had planned on something else but the evening kind of got away from me. Anyway I hope all is well for everybody.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Can't Afford to Prepare

This one comes up often enough that my periodic post on it is about due. I do think it is true that today, this week and maybe month some folks can not afford to put real money into food and whatnot. My first thought is that right now you can do something. Yes I do mean this week. Pick up a box of bullets for whatever gun is in the house. Get a big bag of rice or pancake mix. If you are an adult and cannot pull together ten or twenty bucks to something to prepare this week then you have serious i§ues and I recommend professional help. Beyond this week and month you can start looking at your finances and make some choices. Maybe you need to cancel the super sports package and even cable all together or eat out less. Maybe a big ticket item like a jetski has to go. Now somebody is going to say "TOR I have 12 kids and make 20k a year, so I genuinely can't afford it." I always wonder why folks choose to get into these situations." These folks are not going to get far on the budget cutting side of the equation. That is fine anyway as they do not have a spending problem but instead have an income problem. They need to figure out how to bring in more cash. This means working more or working smarter. These app4oàches take longer than working the spending side but do pay of in the end. So basically you can either spend less or earn more. Thoughts?
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