Is “New” really better?
I met my first plastic AR this week! ok, polymer, whatever! …No, It wasn’t Solo cup plastic, but it was so very plastic! It wasn’t one of those wikiguns, to my amazement, it was actually a Bushmaster. My first reaction was to ask if it was real. Fortunately the person holding it was not the owner. He explained to me that his friend had bought this thing, against his recommendation, claiming that after extensive research, it appeared to be a quality product. We both rolled our eyes.
As I walked away I thought to my self, who the heck am I to judge that gun? That guy did his research and came to the conclusion that based on his cost/benefit analysis, plastic upper and lower receivers, were the way to gonna go. He didn’t expect to be the laughing stock of the range, he may have even expected to be hailed as a trailblazer! How different am I?
I’ve spent the past few months, reading message boards and trolling web gun stores and picking out every part of my AR. Yes, I’m selecting based on 30% quality, 30% appearance, 30% features and 10% price, but my research method is very similar. I’ve found some seemingly great, yet relatively unknown items and am betting on them being as too-good-to-be-true as they sound. Partly, I’m being forced to do this because there is a limited amount of good-looking (at least to my eye) AR parts available at the moment, but I must accept responsibility for choosing untested innovations over tried-and-true.
The one place from which I seem to be getting the least amount of input is word-of-mouth. Yes, I’ve talked, extensively, with fellow gun nerds about my build, but most of their suggestions seem to focus on a completely different set of needs. For example, when it came to gas block selection, most recommended the standard A-frame which includes a front sight. My response, what if I want to change out the front sight or am writing a review of a set of sights? The runner up was a super low profile block, hidden under the hand guard. My question became: that leaves 5″ of sight radius length wasted, shouldn’t I try and put my front sight as far out as possible? Interestingly, the input seemed to drop off after that.
So as I sit in judgement and snicker at the dude with the plastic gun, I quickly realize, I may be next. When I walk into the range with tactical turq (as I have come to calling her until she is officially named) will those in the know shake their heads because my choices seem uneducated and misinformed? Will my AR look good AND withstand long term use? Will I regret some of my selections? Will I be embarrassed?
I realize some gun folks may not recognize all of the parts going into my build. I’m ok with that. Maybe a little-known product will be given a chance and be proven worthy. Then again, I may end up with a very expensive door stop…or worse. My goal has always been, to bring a feminine side to the gun-world, while allowing women to still be taken seriously at the range. I hope I don’t screw this up!
What about you? Do you prefer to stick with good ol’reliable, or allow the latest and greatest to turn your head?