I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while, but I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject.
Today, I got offer a Surefire 720V in trade for something I was selling, and it got me thinking about the subject again.
The U.S. military spends ridiculous amounts of money to develop and fly the latest and greatest in fighter aircraft. Having the very best takes so very much time, effect, and most of all the money.
Same applies to any hobby or craft. There will always be something newer. Some time back, Surefire designed a new weapon light with all the cool features and that was the M720V.
This thing had all the coolest new features. Bright light, and dim light. IR light. Multiple switches and remote switch options. Metal construction, tempered lens. It was to be the pinnacle of weapon lights.
It also cost $800ish.
Oh man did I want one. But now way was I going to spend that much money to have the latest and greatest. I drooled over all the pictures of the cool guys running around with theses.
Good thing I didn’t get one, turns out they are huge, heavy, and better lights came out shortly afterwards at more reasonable prices. It seemed like a year after they came out I saw a bunch for sale used and nobody wanted them even at drastically reduced prices.
There is always something newer coming out. If you try and chase the very newest stuff you are going to pay the premium for it, be it cost, time, etc. And sometimes that newest tech ends up not being that great (Magpul Masada anyone?).
Look at the Leupold CQBSS, an excellent piece of gear. An early adopter would have had to pay around four thousand dollars for one. Now, we have plenty of excellent 1-8X options that are lighter, smaller, and cheaper.
Sometimes it is worth waiting to see if something really is an improvement. This can also help you avoid the extra cost of being an early adopter.
We don’t want to go to the other extreme either. We don’t want to be Luddites to progress. I’ve met individuals who still believe that optics are not reliable enough for a fighting weapon. There are people who think that only equipment the military uses can be trusted.
A basic M4 is a good gun, but we can do better.
For each of us, the sweet spot of what to get and use will vary. Some people are more adventurous and would like to try new stuff, or have more cash to spend on the latest. Others will be more conservative and wait till things are proven and cheaper. Just don’t blow all your money on the latest gimmick or be that old fogey that just keeping whining that cartridge guns are fad.