Saturday, February 23, 2008

"What's Your Life Worth?"

"What's your life worth?" --People often ask that when the price of a gun is discussed.

Y'know what? Mine's worth about $200, what I paid for a Star BKM in like-new shape. Plus 20 times that in training and range time. And another 20x in ammunition. So far.

The gun is just a tool -- and you do need good tools -- but the true weapon is you. A decent tool in skilled hands beats the finest tool in untrained, clumsy hands.

What's your life worth? Train much with that UtraBlaster 4500?


Tango Juliet said...

Dammit! Would you quit making so much sense!

Anonymous said...

She can't. Roberta is an Ultrageekette, and as such can only speak the honest truth!!! (It's in the Code).

Seriously, I am looking at carry pistols and really don't want to pay $1200 for a top of the line semi-auto. I'll likely go with a Ruger. A lot more reasonably priced and, supposedly, very reliable. I feel the same way about a carry pistol that I do about a car: I don't care how pretty it looks. If it doesn't work when I need it, it's a piece of junk.

Roberta X said...

A good point, Joseph, and I wouldn't recommend my preferred carry guns to anyone not prepared to put in extra time and sweat to keep them running; stone reliability on merely basic maintenance is something you can buy -- Tam's "Once And Future Gun" post some years back is a good example from the 1911 side.

...And it still doesn't help if all the owner hasn't put any miles on it, hasn't learned and though about how and when and why and has trained.

I like fireams as aesthetic objects but if that was all I was after, my collection of semi-automatic and "straight" telegraph keys would do just as well and (generally) at a far lower price.

LBJ said...

I own more guns than shoes. Explains why I wasn't asked to the Cotillian last year.


Sevesteen said...

What's my life worth? If that's the main criteria, there are a lot of places where I should spend money to reduce risk that will be more cost-effective than more and better firearms--Cars with airbags and ABS, a security system for my house, a job that will reduce my commute time.

Anonymous said...


The training is just as important, as is knowledge. Had someone I know ask me to lend him a handgun "because a couple of kids were looking in my car". I live in an apartment complex, where a handgun is perhaps not the best option. Not to mention the person in question watches too much TV and has never even touched a handgun, let alone shot one. Needless to say, I told him no.

(Hello to Scully!! I miss your blog and great writing. It is good to see you around. Hmmm, I would ask to to the Cotillian, you can wear sneakers as far as I am concerned!)

Alan said...


The best carry gun is one you will carry every day. The price doesn't matter that much, but keep it under $500 because you'll need to spend at least 3 to four times the cost of the gun per year in ammo to train.

Carteach said...

I'll say.... my carry pistol is the ugliest one I own.
Yet, it has it's own beauty you would understand Roberta... it works every time. It's accurate. It's as simple to operate as it can possibly get with a semi auto.

Did I mention it works every time?

You speak truth......
and I'm reminded I need some range time. I'm behind my monthly allotment (g)

Tango Juliet said...

Argghh... too much common sense ... must reach cave of ludicrous alloys and high dollar incantations ... blackness... roaring in ears... can't go much futher... uggh... ack

Farm.Dad said...

needed said IMHO . My carry guns are somewhat spendy simply because i like fine firearms , and i worked years to get to carry the things i like . My daughter carrys one of the cheap spanish guns to defend herself by choice , and i sure wouldnt feel under gunned with her 9mm. She tried all the high ticket guns , wanted the star so that is what she has. She says it has never jammed , all i know is that she has put 1500 + rounds thro it , and i have witnessed 500 of them or so and it has not jammed at all in front of me . She keeps it clean and ready, i just wish she would carry it more on her person , but i understand why she does not with her lifestyle today .

Carry wnat works for you and dont listen to the gun snobs . If its reliable and you can hit with it then no ones opinion matters. Not mine , not the instructor of your " ccw class " not your buddys . carry what works for you , god knows i could carry cheaper than i do and feel as well about my firearm, but hey as a guy thing i wear a timex and put that $$ into niche carry guns .

Tango Juliet said...

Gasp... situation worsens... oversized stealth mag catch with clever serrations to reduce radar signature to that of a pinhead is overheating... growing weaker... Fortress of UberTacticality still within reach... ViagroPhosphaticCialiside coated muzzle brake overcompensator drooping... Magnesiumcarbide oversized magwell (CCW musthave!) disintegrating... darkness closing in... ack!.... this is the end

The Duck said...

Take a good look at that Star!, If it were in production today it would be $500-$600! That gun is not cast, it is not plastic, it's milled steel.
Two most common problems with Star pistols are: People don't change out recoil springs like they should (any semi for that matter)& end up cracking the frame, (Brownells I think still carries them) 2nd some models had brittle firing pins, & dry firing was not a good idea.
We always recommend people buy the best they can afford, but for those on a budget we recommend they also look at used & police trade ins.
Lady D's Sig was less than $400, & looked like a new gun.
My Browning HP that I've been carrying was like $325, 2 yrs ago.
No you don't have to spend a ton of money, but you need good quality, & Spain made some very firearms, I also have 2 Astra A70's that have outshot higher dollar guns.

Anonymous said...

Someone should make a new BKM type pistol out of Scandium.

Would probably MSRP for $800, but would weigh about 20oz empty and have a trigger at least as good as a BHP, and be a lot more durable than the Star frame, renowned for cracking.