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Quantity over Quality
#1
This is a decision many of us make. As I spend more time around preppers, it becomes apparent that they may see it differently than I do. Even though I post mostly in the Defense section, I do read up on the others. A theme that I continue to notice is how many choose quantity over quality. When I buy a flashlight, knife, or firearm I look at quality for the money. I don't pay a fortune just to buy a name. There are many brands that charge way too much just because they have a mystique that people are enamored with. Just like any product, the rule of diminishing returns applies. Once you reach a certain level of quality, the extra money simply doesn't offer much advantage. On the inverse, you can get to a very good level of quality without spending a ton more than the bargain basement. There are many threads, on here and other sites, where someone has 20 or 30 or maybe 50 flashlights. They spend between  $5 and $40 on a huge number of lights. They point out the positive and negative features of them and how they are so good for only costing whatever. The same goes for knives. They will have dozens of knives that they get cheap. Many are knockoffs of major brands with cheaper steel and looser tolerances. Guns as well. I  can understand buying a lesser gun if that's all you can afford, but not buying 5 lesser guns when you could get 2 or 3 nice ones.

Some of my picks

Flashlights
Cheapo- $5 Autozone LED 
      They don't last long. Usually don't survive a hard drop. Not overly bright.
Preferred- Streamlight 
      Excellent durability. Good output and runtime. Solid customer service.
Overpriced- Surefire 
      Fantastic lights. I've owned many. They simply don't offer enough advantage over Streamlight to cost         twice as much.

Knives
Cheapo- Ganzo
       knockoff designs usually with some glaring difference. Mystery steel that may or may not be 440C. 
       Mediocre fit and finish.
Preferred- Spyderco(or other mid tech brand)
       Whether their bargain line around $40 or their classic line in the $100-150 range, you are getting a            consistent quality product that you can count on.  Their Tenacious may be one of the best overall                bargains in knives.
Overpriced- Hinderer to name just one
       Great knife that costs 2 or 3 times what it should. Nothing about it is special enough to warrant                    $400+. you can even get his dedesigns in very similar construction from Zero Tolerance for hundreds        less.

Handguns
Cheapo- HiPoint
        Big, unbalanced, terrible triggers, hit or miss reliability. $169
Preferred- Smith & Wesson 
         The SD series is $259 here currently. It's not perfect, but it's 10 times the gun the Hi-point is for $90            more. Even the M&Ps are down to $389 and those are fantastic guns. 
Overpriced- Sig P series or HK.
         Both very good guns. Reliable, accurate, and well made. They are equal to Glock, CZ, M&P in all                    those  areas, but they cost 50-100% more. 

If you can only afford one knife/flashlight/gun, save up a little longer to get the much better product for a little extra money.

These are just my thoughts and observations. I'm ot saying my way is best or that anyone else is wrong.

On my phone this is showing up with odd spacing. I apologize for that.
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#2
(10-30-2016, 04:36 PM)Ronin.45 Wrote: Flashlights
Cheapo- $5 Autozone LED 
      They don't last long. Usually don't survive a hard drop. Not overly bright.
Preferred- Streamlight 
      Excellent durability. Good output and runtime. Solid customer service.
Overpriced- Surefire 
      Fantastic lights. I've owned many. They simply don't offer enough advantage over Streamlight to cost         twice as much.



One of my favorite areas to talk about!  I'm a BIG fan of the Convoy S2+, BLF A6 and Astrolux S1 flashlights.  Although the BLF and Astrolux have a few more features they are in the mid $30 range whereas the Convoy is in the $15 range.  As long as you have a good battery you'll be hard pressed to find a better light that costs 2-3 times as much (or more).  
And batteries is an area that is really odd.  For example, many times it pays to get quantity over (supposed) quality when it comes to primary batteries (AA, AAA etc).  Some of the less expensive alkaline batteries are almost as good as the name brands at half the price.  However, not when it comes to lithium ion batteries!  Just ask Samsung!  With these you need to cough up the extra $ and go with straight up quality from a known seller.
And you need to get a good charger and not some el cheapo that can damage your batteries.  
As far as the Sipik lights go (SK68 or SK98), these days it is sort of a lottery on quality.  I have Sipik or SK68's that I've had for several years and they're still running strong.  I don't knock them around or anything but they've been through more than several more expensive lights that have stopped running for one reason or another.  If you can get a good more for $5 then you'll get quite a lot of use out of it.  Makes the kind of light to toss in the glove compartment or to use as a spare to a 'better' light.  
I like lights that give you options of battery type such as the Trustfire A8 or Ultrafire F13 that can use either a 26650, 18650 or 3xAAA batteries.  For a prepper that gives you a lot of options to power that light.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#3
About 17 years ago when my wife and I first started what is now called "prepping" we had many long night discussions on exactly what our end game target would be. We studied power grid down scenarios, economic collapse, short term disruptions (riots, droughts, etc.). We finally settled on prepping for a basic 18th century life. Candles instead of flashlights.....wood cook stove instead of propane or electric.......making our own soap.....collecting gardening tools and basic seed storage. A hand pump with back up parts for our well instead of a generator for our normal well pump. About the only modern thing we kept at the forefront was firearms. Basically, we're set up to survive the same way our great grand parents did. We won't rely on tech that can fail.

As far as firearms go, that's something I don't skimp on, nor the ammo or magazines for them. Whether it's AR's, AK's, shotguns or hand guns I have tried to buy (after much research and personal experience) the best we could afford. Most of my daily carries are Glocks, strictly in two calibers -9mm and .45. All spare mags are factory Glock mags. For each one I have spare barrels, spring kits, etc. Same with the AR's and AK's.
When we started out I decided to stock up for only one caliber for battle rifles which was 5.56. This means we can supply our AR's and Mini-14's and keep everything simple. Long range and hunting caliber is .308, mainly because it's a NATO round and you can get rounds cheap. All stocked up shotgun rounds are 12 gauge. Again, they're cheap.

I have tried to set us up so that every member of the family has a battle rifle, shotgun, scoped hunting rifle, and two hand guns. Also there are quite a few back ups set aside for neighbors or friends who happen to make it out our way. Doing this and keeping every weapon to only 3 calibers has made things more simple for us.
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#4
I can get behind caliber simplification and commonality of platforms.
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#5
(10-30-2016, 11:40 PM)Ronin.45 Wrote: I can get behind caliber simplification and commonality of platforms.

Yeah, I still have a shelf full of oddball stuff I've picked up over the years.  I was a self employed contractor for about 15 years and it seemed like at least once per month someone couldn't cover their bill and wanted to trade me an old gun for partial payment.  Old 38 shorts, 32 long, even a S&W 32-20 CTG made in 1906.  There aren't many calibers I don't have, but we've mainly focused on 9-45-5.56-308-7.62x39 and 12 gauge for the past few years.  Also gobs of .22 as well.
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#6
"Quantity has a quality all it's own" or so it is said. Sometimes good enough is good enough and I tend toward things that are good enough. Quantity allows one to have things whenever and where ever it is needed.

The Sipik lights, Mora knives, Ruger guns etc, etc are good enough for what I use them for. I tend to buy GI aluminum AR mags even though I can afford Magpul mags. I can buy more GI mags, more Sipik lights, more Mora knives and more Ruger guns for the same money I would spend on top tier stuff. (not that I don't have some good stuff).

I try to resist the new and flashy designer stuff in favor of proven and reliable designs even if that means buying used. Not that I won't buy new stuff. I bought a Glock back when they were considered cheap foreign plastic POS guns. I saw they were innovative and reliable and jumped before most people realized what they were. I also bought a couple HS2000s before Springfield Armory bought the import rights to them and renamed them the XD9. Those guns are 15 years old and still run like tops. Like the Glock they were considered cheap imported POS guns when they first came out. They were inexpensive at the time but not cheap.
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#7
(10-30-2016, 09:00 PM)Cougar90 Wrote: About 17 years ago when my wife and I first started what is now called "prepping" we had many long night discussions on exactly what our end game target would be.  We studied power grid down scenarios, economic collapse,  short term disruptions (riots, droughts, etc.).  We finally settled on prepping for a basic 18th century life.  Candles instead of flashlights.....wood cook stove instead of propane or electric.......making our own soap.....collecting gardening tools and basic seed storage.  A hand pump with back up parts for our well instead of a generator for our normal well pump.  About the only modern thing we kept at the forefront was firearms.  Basically, we're set up to survive the same way our great grand parents did.  We won't rely on tech that can fail.  

As far as firearms go, that's something I don't skimp on, nor the ammo or magazines for them.  Whether it's AR's, AK's, shotguns or hand guns I have tried to buy (after much research and personal experience) the best we could afford.  Most of my daily carries are Glocks, strictly in two calibers -9mm and .45. All spare mags are factory Glock mags. For each one I have spare barrels, spring kits, etc.  Same with the AR's and AK's.
When we started out I decided to stock up for only one caliber for battle rifles which was 5.56.  This means we can supply our AR's and Mini-14's and keep everything simple.  Long range and hunting caliber is .308, mainly because it's a NATO round and you can get rounds cheap.  All stocked up shotgun rounds are 12 gauge.  Again, they're cheap.

I have tried to set us up so that every member of the family has a battle rifle, shotgun, scoped hunting rifle, and two hand guns.  Also there are quite a few back ups set aside for neighbors or friends who happen to make it out our way.  Doing this and keeping every weapon to only 3 calibers has made things more simple for us.

(10-30-2016, 11:40 PM)Ronin.45 Wrote: I can get behind caliber simplification and commonality of platforms.



Both of these posts got me motivated to make some changes which I detailed in a couple of other threads.  It's not that I didn't like .40 S&W but felt I could simplify to 9mm since that is now the caliber of all of our handguns.  12g of course for all the obvious reasons.  .308 and .22 for hunting.  7.63x39 which as Ronin.45 mentioned in another thread is good for hunting/defense.  So those are now my main calibers.
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
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#8
I decided years ago that minimizing calibers was the best choice for me. Some think having guns in many calibers means you will always find ammo in a pinch. I think that by having few calibers, I can stock heavy and never worry about finding any. It's hard to stockpile a bunch of ammo in 20 calibers.
The same thinking goes for platform simplification. If my handguns are mostly 9mm Glocks, they can share magazines, holsters, ammo, etc.
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#9
(11-02-2016, 12:49 AM)Ronin.45 Wrote: I decided years ago that minimizing calibers was the best choice for me. Some think having guns in many calibers means you will always find ammo in a pinch. I think that by having few calibers, I can stock heavy and never worry about finding any. It's hard to stockpile a bunch of ammo in 20 calibers.
The same thinking goes for platform simplification. If my handguns are mostly 9mm Glocks, they can share magazines, holsters, ammo, etc.

I think we may be related.
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#10
In the big scheme of things, I try to live by these:

#1 Anything now is better than nothing later
#2 Knowing how to use what you have well is better than having something (or a lot of something) you don't know how to use at all.
#3 There is something to be said for both depth and breadth, whether it is a lot of water and a little soda, cider, etc, or a lot of 9mm and a little 40 and 45....
#4 There is always an "optimum" point. Pay less, and you lose quality. Pay more, and you just are paying more. The price/performer should always be your target, unless you have money to burn, or can't have anything. See #1 above.

The world is one of compromises because resources are ALWAYS limited!
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