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Have you become “Gucci” with you pistol equipment. Login/Join 
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I used to joke with everyone that I looked like Jed Clampett when I showed up to a class. Worn pistol, worn holster with hardware missing, mismatched magazines (some stainless, some black, some 15 rounders, some 17 rounders) and worn BDU pants with an untucked T shirt. My safety glasses were always showing brass dings on the lens. It’s just sort of how I rolled.

I want to make clear that skill is still the most IMPORTANT thing. It was then, and it still is today.

But, today I find things to be different. My stuff is less worn, better quality. My tastes have changed to where buying the more “Gucci” support equipment is important to me, instead of making do with old stuff. By Gucci I mean brands like Crye, Taran Tactical, LBT, Double Alpha, etc. all of my Safariland ALS holsters have the Nubmod extenders. That type of stuff.

As I said, I still train hard and put in the work in dry fire, going to classes, and putting in practice. But, I really feel that better gear has enhanced my shooting ability without trying to look like a gear groupie.

Anyone else found themselves in the same spot?




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Posts: 35715 | Location: Logical | Registered: September 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Remember it's better to Look Marvelous than feel marvelous.



 
Posts: 18341 | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Decades ago when I regularly went to the dojo, the person with the worn out , frayed and grayed black belt was the one presumably with the most experience. I let that carryover into my duty gear until one day while investigating an accident, a member of the public commented on the condition of my holster! (my hardware has always been meticulously maintained).
So I got a new holster and worked with it until my draw was restored. Somewhere in the same time frame I bought myself a Milt Sparks for off duty. Nice gear was a revelation! Then I needed a new belt….. and it continues to this day. Last pair of range glasses I bought have pink stems. Less likely to disappear.
Good quality matching gear? Heck yeah!!
 
Posts: 30 | Location: NEPA | Registered: February 28, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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Certainly training is the most important tool in one's toolbox, but I like my gear to look smart. By "look smart" I mean in the military sense: Clean and in good repair. "Worn" doesn't concern me if it doesn't affect function. E.g.: My regularly-carried pistols all show a bit of wear in a couple places--particularly those that have been carried in Kydex. Doesn't faze me in the least.

I do tend to buy better quality stuff because my experience has been better quality stuff usually works better and usually holds up longer.

E.g.: I've two Baker-style pancake holsters: A Milt Sparks I-BAK for my Sig P239 SAS and a Galco Combat Master for my compact 1911's. (Seller threw that one into the deal when I bought my Colt Defender.) The Galco works satisfactorily, but the Milt Sparks holster works just a little bit >< better--particularly in re-holstering. I expect that I-BAK will hold its shape far longer than will the Combat Master.

Mags: I buy the best I can afford, and whatever mags I have on me at the time must all match in every respect.

Pistols: I'll paraphrase something my 1911 gunsmith said when I mentioned "boutique" 1911's costing $4,000, $5,000, and more: He just snorted in derision and said "A thousand-dollar 1911 that's made right, with maybe a little smithing, will shoot as well."

I do think higher-end gear can improve one's performance. Not necessarily because it necessarily works better, but because it can inspire confidence in one's gear.

I experienced this in golf gear. There was a particular putter in which I just plain fell in lust. But it was spendy. $450 MSRP. No way was I going to spend that for a putter. I bought a putter of a similar design, similar technology, for about 1/3 of that. It worked well for me. Then the (current) putter of my dreams became available for around $250. I bought it.

TBH: If you blindfolded me, put each putter in my hands, and had me swing them: I would not bet I could tell the difference. But I do putt marginally better with the higher-end putter. Is it because it's really a better putter, or just because I believe I should putt better with it?




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Posts: 22020 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I was just remarking in another post about what a Milt Sparks fanboi I’ve become.

While I’ve always been a fan, I frankly couldn’t afford their stuff until the past 15-20 years or so. And now that I use their stuff (along with Barranti and Rafter-L, also top-notch providers), I really, really appreciate it. And I enjoy using it to the point the it finally starts showing some “honest” wear, much the same way your favorite / most-used firearms will.

Somewhere along the line - maybe even on this very Forum - I saw the phrase, “Buy Once, Cry Once.” Not to necessarily mean that one has to always have the most expensive item and / or that the most expensive is always the best - but it is indeed nice to have good gear.

Edited to add: I can be very OCD about a lot of things. While I will mix stainless and black magazines at the range, for carry they must all match haha… Smile



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Posts: 6239 | Registered: September 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've always believed in buying quality equipment. Stuff that's durable and going to handle an ass kicking.

I'll buy Oakley glasses. But I'm going to squeeze every bit of function and use out of $100+ glasses. Danner boots- and I have a few pair, but they don't get tossed out until they fall off my feet. All my stuff is used and abused, don't get me wrong, I take care of my gear, keep it clean, functional... But you know it's used.

Some of the equipment out there is way overpriced, IMO. Crye, LBT, and there's a few others. I'm not spending $150 on a mag pouch that's a $50 piece of gear with some DevGru/CAG guys name on it.


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Posts: 6968 | Location: Attempting to keep the noise down around Midway Airport | Registered: February 14, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t think you would be on this site or do what you do without having an appreciation for firearms and shooting beyond the raw uses as a weapon. So I think it’s perfectly natural to want to take some joy in your gear.

The gear you use whether middling or high end has little bearing on how one uses it, like you said skills are the primary driver of performance by far (I mean yes a Lorcin is gonna likely hinder you from an equipment standpoint but you get the point).

Taking a little pride and fun in your gear probably goes a long way to making training with it more enjoyable and that’s not a bad thing as long as folks reading this don’t think gear replaces skill.


"Guns are tools. The only weapon ever created was man."
 
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I don't care who the manufacturer is and whether or not it's "tactical" as all I care about is function.

So no, I haven't gone Gucci
 
Posts: 7797 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think the explosion of the industry of good quality, good looking, functional, aftermarket parts has helped. Fifteen years ago if you had a $2000 pistol it was probably a Wilson and there was a chance it needed some tuning to run right. Now, everyone is buying a Staccato or building up a comped 320 or Glock. Everybody is putting a $300-$500 optic on their gun, buying magazine extensions (that actually work), aftermarket triggers, etc. There are dozens of quality holster makers and the precision and function of good kydex is eons ahead of where it was when everybody was waiting six months for a Raven Phantom.

Social media has driven a lot of it. Guys joke about stuff like the Magpul DVDs, but those were must-haves for a lot of people and were one of the first exposures a generation of shooters got to pragmatic, combat-focused shooting instruction. Now that stuff is everywhere. There are a lot of quality trainers out there and they are more accessible than ever. The traveling instructor paradigm has done things that places like Gunsite, Rogers Shooting School, and Thunder Ranch never could. No disrespect to those organizations because their material is absolutely foundational, but decentralizing classes is what has made it so anybody can get trained.

So is my stuff a little Gucci? Sure as hell is. I look at some of what I was doing ten years ago, fifteen years ago, etc. and I appreciate it for what it is, but you can't deny the advancement.
 
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Combat focus shooting?

Is Rob Pincus still trying to be relevant?

He's a guy who's never been in combat and has absolutely no idea about what happens in combat but he does feel qualified to teach how to do it, though.
 
Posts: 7797 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Haven't made it to a class in a while, esp. with the job change and the covid mess, but I promise to show up in my best oil-change clothes when I do Big Grin
 
Posts: 1036 | Location: Yorktown, VA | Registered: October 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Flash-LB:
Combat focus shooting?

Is Rob Pincus still trying to be relevant?

He's a guy who's never been in combat and has absolutely no idea about what happens in combat but he does feel qualified to teach how to do it, though.


Forgot Rob Pincus existed. Maybe I should have said defense-focused.
 
Posts: 4223 | Location: Iowa | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure if I just have expensive taste or gravitate towards perceived quality (expensive) but that mixed with "buy once, cry once" is a recipe for ending up with equipment some people may consider Gucci.

I just started shooting USPSA casually so I needed (wanted) a belt, holster, and mag pouches. I probably could have continued shooting my old gear or I could have spent half of what I spent on the belt/holster/pouches, but fuck it.

As I get older, I want less stuff, this includes shooting stuff. I don't want more guns, at least not at the frequency I used to. I'd rather buy more ammo, have quality gear, and have one or two really quality firearms...in each category Big Grin




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Posts: 9250 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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No and I can't remember the last time I bought anything that's pistol equipment. Holsters or otherwise.
It finally got cold enough here that I'm carrying my 19X OWB in a thumb snap holster that I've had for quite a while.
Still have my IWB holsters that I've had for years. It does show but I can't part with any of the holsters because they are finally at a point of being comfortable and worn.
I'll have to eventually I'm sure but I probably won't go anything that's near to Gucci.


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Posts: 2974 | Location: The armpit of Ohio | Registered: August 18, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've found myself gravitating towards the 'Buy once, cry once" school of buying gear. I find that good quality "gucci" lasts longer and functions smoother.

I've also found that while good gear can't make a poor shooter into a world class one, bad gear can hold someone back.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CD228,
 
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I want firearms which are durable, accurate, have high availability of parts and, above all, function reliably. I don't know jack squat about Gucci anything. Wear, I don't care about. I just want guns which will work flawlessly in a critical moment.


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I buy the best functional, reliable gear I can, across the board. If cared for and maintained it will last long enough to bay for itself. I also try not to impulse buy things I don’t need, no matter how cool. My evolution has been learning what I need that I don’t own - and what I don’t need.

My gear isn’t Gucci really, but it looks newer longer than many others’ stuff.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by CD228:
I've found myself gravitating towards the 'Buy once, cry once" school of buy gear. I find that good quality "gucci" lasts longer and functions smoother.

I've also found that while good gear can't make a poor shooter into a world class one, bad gear can hold someone back.


Those are pretty much my two guiding principles when buying stuff...

It's cheaper to buy right than to buy twice.

I don't want to use gear as a crutch but I want gear good enough to be sure that if something screws up it's my fault (not the gear).
 
Posts: 2401 | Location: MO | Registered: March 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I pretty much sport the homeless guy on the range look. Most of my equipment is old ( some of the stuff I carry and use routinely was made in the 1950’s) and it still works, and form time to time people with the Gucci package are impressed with the results of my shooting.
I get a special probably twisted satisfaction using old beater or economy level gear and shooting better in matches than those with all the high speed stuff
 
Posts: 2939 | Location: Finally free in AZ! | Registered: February 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only things I am really particular about are on my feet. I like Thorlo socks, super feet insoles and under armor boots. Law enforcement is all about comfortable footwear.

For everything else, simple Is good.


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