The hidden cost...

The hidden cost...

This is a discussion on The hidden cost... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A while back we had a discussion about how many magazines or speedloaders was "enough" and reached a general consensus of about 6 for the ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    The hidden cost...

    A while back we had a discussion about how many magazines or speedloaders was "enough" and reached a general consensus of about 6 for the most part.

    I'm pleased to say I am guiding a first time gun owner through his first purchase and although his budget is adequate, he still has financial constraints.

    One thing I had to point out to him was that some guns have a hidden cost in the form of what you have to pay for the magazines. The gun itself you only buy once after all.

    A great example was my great debate on whether I should go with the XD or a CPO Sig 226. The guns were both going to cost me about $460 after it was all said and done. What helped clinch it for me was that I can get new factory XD magazines for $20 each give or take a little, but the Sig magazines cost $40 give or take. This wasn't the only factor in my decision obviously but it contributed.

    A more extreme example is the Bersa Thunder 380. The gun is $200. The magazines are $30 and you only get one with the gun if you bought it new.

    I think revolvers win here. A speedloader is about $7-$10 depending on where you buy it. Speed strips don't cost a lot either.

    It reminds me of the companies that sell you a $90 printer and then $200 worth of ink.

    Now what it may really mean is that you have to wait longer to get more magazines, but to me it means less money for ammunition and range fees.

    What say you? How much of a factor is this? Obviously the more magazines you buy the more it matters.


  2. #2
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    Euc - excellent point you bring up. I guess for most here this is well known but for sure, with folks starting off - it is an important consideration.

    We can include too holster choices as an extra when carry is involved.

    I was fairly fortunate with my ex LE SIG mags - got those for under $30 each plus - gun was so darned expensive in first place - proportionately the mag were not too severe with cost.

    Bersa - yep indeed - I got caught on that one - tho did manage to get some halfways decent MecGars at not too silly a price.
    It reminds me of the companies that sell you a $90 printer and then $200 worth of ink.
    Shucks - do not start me on that one LOL!!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    That's true... if I were to buy an $800 pistol, a $40 magazine would be perfectly within the realm of reason.

    I suppose it's only a real problem when you have a $500 pistol with a $40 magazine. I don't think the magazine should cost any more than 5% of what the gun did as a general rule. I understand there must be some bare minimum cost just to put a magazine together that you couldn't dip below, but where that is, I don't know.

    I think the problem is doubly compounded with something like a 1911A1. They're so darn finicky to begin with, and if yours has any custom work on anything internal you might have all sorts of problems trying to find magazines that will work. At least with a service pistol it's unambiguous which magazines will work because it's fairly obvious.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    I will humbley admit that for some of my weapons I have managed to put 40-70% of the initial cost of the weapon into "support" gear for that weapon. ie. xtra mags,holsters,sights,parts,stocks,grips,etc.,etc. Howz 'bout ya'll? Don't ponder this if it will ruin your day and/or you wife might get a chance to read this.---------

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    RSSZ when I budget for something new, if it's going to be seriously used, I figure out how much I'm really willing to pay and spend only half of it on the gun itself.

    For example when I wanted a new primary carry pistol, I wasn't willing to compromise and I bit the big one and said $1000, that's my budget. Expensive, heck yes, but worth it as I don't have to buy all this stuff again and I use it every day.

    After magazines, holsters, belts, etc. I've spent $950 on it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    A while back we had a discussion about how many magazines or speedloaders was "enough" and reached a general consensus of about 6 for the most part.

    One thing I had to point out to him was that some guns have a hidden cost in the form of what you have to pay for the magazines. The gun itself you only buy once after all.

    A great example was my great debate on whether I should go with the XD or a CPO Sig 226. The guns were both going to cost me about $460 after it was all said and done. What helped clinch it for me was that I can get new factory XD magazines for $20 each give or take a little, but the Sig magazines cost $40 give or take. This wasn't the only factor in my decision obviously but it contributed.

    I think revolvers win here. A speedloader is about $7-$10 depending on where you buy it. Speed strips don't cost a lot either.
    I guess you all realize by now I rarely have opinions about guns n' stuff, so I thought I'd share mine on this.

    I too am in the process of helping a young couple pick a gun. I took them shooting and he liked the XD and she liked the SP-101. They too have financial restraints but I decided I could part with my HS-2000 ( the pre-XD) and make them a good deal.

    Here's what I wanted to address - the magazine cost. Typically autos come with two or three mags. That represents ammo capacity of at least 9 rounds in the gun and 16 rounds in two spares (based on ammo deprived .45s), so there's no hidden cost there - wait! Did you say we decided somewhere that we needed about 6 magazines! What in the world for? Surely we didn't conclude we need to carry 6 mags around with us for personal defense!

    Anyway, OTOH, revolvers do not come with any speed loaders so as far as hidden costs go, to carry the same amount of ammo in speed loaders that you would carry in 3 magazines --- and see, I didn't get to express an opinion about that 6 mag thing in that original concensus. Did you all do that on Pacific time or somethin'?

    Anyway, as far as costs go, compared to three 8 round magazines, one would have to buy 4 speedloaders for a six shot revolver and five speedloaders for a five shot. That would be a hidden cost of about $34 to $40 dollars. So I don't see how that's an advantage for revolvers.

    I can't believe you all left me out of the consensus thing! Don't I get to have an opinion about anything?

  7. #7
    Member Array ka0azs's Avatar
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    One of the deciding factors in buying an Argentine FN Hi-Power over a Glock or 1911 when I was in Hawaii and did not want to ship my Belgian Browning to the Island and register it there, etc, was that I already had holsters, mags, mag pouches etc. (and reloading dies, etc for 9mm, did not have any for .45 at the time) for it.
    Randy
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well, #1 the point of the speedloader is to have a reload. The fact that it's less capacity does not diminish the fact that it's a $20-$40 magazine versus a $10 speedloader. Both accomplish the task of reloading the firearm quickly.

    #2. The speedloader is of less importance to the gun it goes with because the revolver functions perfectly fine without it. It stands to reason it'd be cheaper.

    If we want to fire our semiautomatic's full capacity (minus the one that might reside in the chamber when we first start) 5 times it's going to cost us what 5 magazines cost vs. what 4 speedloaders cost. That's what I meant by "revolvers win" here because unless you're going for some marathon shooting session, it costs less to have the same reload capability.

    Note that the capability to reload is not the same as capacity.

    Most semiautomatic pistols I'm aware of come with two magazines, and more and more manufacturers are going to just one it seems.

    As a matter of fact, in some cases it's like you don't even get a "real" magazine because the ones it comes with are the 10 rounders and you live in a state where you don't have that restriction. That's only an issue if you get guns from a chain type store though as far as I'm aware. I know from talking to an Academy salesman, their stores don't get for instance the P89 with the 15 round capacity magazines. They only carry the 10 rounders because they can sell in more states that way; solves a logistics problem. So if you wanted to use the full capability of the firearm you just purchased, you now have to immediately go buy magazines as if you hadn't gotten any at all. You were better off going to Dave's Gun Barn and paying another $40.

    Tangle I think the consensus of 6 was the idea you should have 3 regular full capacity "good" magazines and then at least 3 serviceable ones so you could take courses and stuff as a lot of instructors want you to bring 6 magazines or 6 speedloaders. The idea was 1 magazine in the gun, 1 reload, and 1 just in case either of those malfunctioned, and the rest for training.

  9. #9
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    For mag' carry Ron - for many of us, two may well cut it. But this shoot later on, the IDPA, I'll use pretty much all I have to save reloading them when pressure is on. So I'll have three basic 10's, two 15's and two 20's - usually tho only loading a 10 max per mag.

    Other point some folks like is ''rotation'' - even if we assume mag springs will be good under compression for ages - does seem handy to give some a rest now and again and switch to spares. Oh and as Euc mentioned, training etc - good to have a few.

    While I am reasonably quick with speedloaders - Safariland Comp series work best for me - I do know that Murphy has a greater liking for these than mag's in semi's! . Comp II's IIRC come out at around $10 - but I got a bunch of good Argentinian mag's for my BHP a ways back for little more than that each.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  10. #10
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    I don't get it, why does a guy starting out need 6 mags? I didn't have 6 mags for any gun I owned until a few years ago.

    Then a strange thing happened. I bought a used Sig 226 with four hi caps for $400. Later I bought four more mags so now I have 8.

    I bought a Beretta 92G Vertec from Langdon Tactical Technologies and it came with 3 hi caps. Then I bought a Beretta Storm and it came with two 10 rounders with a coupon from Beretta to get two free 15 rounders and that made essentially five free mags and then I couldn't resist buying two 17 round Mecgars and two twenty round mags for the two guns.

    Then a really crazy thing happened. I bought a Sig 229R DAK and it came with two hi caps, but I had to send it back to Sig because the rails wouldn't fit tac lights. Sig paid for return freight, replaced the gun and because I got lost in the shuffle for 8 weeks , they sent me five hicaps . The tact lights wouldn't fit that gun either so Sig paid return freight on that one , replaced it and sent five hi caps back with it . I now have a total of 12 free mags for my 229R DAK.

    Hmmm, I withdraw the question.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to address this:

    Chris,
    I tried the HKS speedloaders and thought they were nightmares. I couldn't find in Safariland Comp loaders anywhere in Chattanooga or Knoxville and wound up ordering a four Comp II and two Comp IIIs and I liked them a whole lot better.

    I took off to Gunsite and discovered the Comp IIs worked better for me than those "high speed" Comp IIIs.

    But, calling a revolver reload fast is a contradition of terms.

    P.S.
    Surely you guys knew I was funnin' ya about the 6 mag thing, right?

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Well I thought your thinking was we were saying carry 6 magazines on your person... Yeah that's a bit much...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    What helped clinch it for me was that I can get new factory XD magazines for $20 each give or take a little, but the Sig magazines cost $40 give or take. This wasn't the only factor in my decision obviously but it contributed.
    FYI, the evil outfit in Texas (CDNN) has Mecgar mags for the 226 etc. in the $19-21 range. Mecgar makes the mags for Sig.

    Mag price certainly does have an impact on the overall cost of the gun, but there's a difference between a couple bucks a mag, and say the price for full-capacity magazines for my USP 45.

    Those hurt so bad that I only have the couple it came with and a pile of ten rounders ('full' is 12) for range use.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  13. #13
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    I get the gun that works best for me and suffer the costs of expensive mags. Better to have a gun I can shoot the best and suffer the costs of expensive mags. I consider my families and my life worth the extra cost.

  14. #14
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    I consider my families and my life worth the extra cost.
    Exactly, never use a cheap parachute.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    I agree with the previous couple of posts in that I buy a pistol (or any gun for that matter) because of the gun itself, it's features and finally cost for value given, rather than the cost of a specific part such as the magazine. There are many $1,000 + guns I'd never own, even if they were given to me while I own a few "inexpensive" (but not cheap) guns like the Bersa Thunder 380. While I agree that $40 for a new $200 gun is steep, I've bought factory mags for my T380 for half that price. Also, how many mags to keep on hand is really subjective and a matter of personal choice. I personally think that 6 is normally too many for me. I usually keep from 3-4 mags for all my auto's. That's more than enough for my purposes since it allows me one in the well, a spare in the belt and a few extra's to practice with.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

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