I’m not a gun snob. I own my share of cheap guns. Heck, I even wrote a post extolling the virtues of cheap guns. But if you think your cheap gun (or whatever) is just as good as more expensive (dare I say better?) guns, you’re probably wrong. What really got me thinking about this was the Wuhan virus crap. Before, I always figured if my gun broke I could get it fixed under warranty or fix it myself. But what if the company went out of business? What if I can’t get parts? Then I started finding forum posts about bad ammo, poor metallurgy, and cheap parts breaking. So it is an issue to address…
As good as what?
Even though it should be obvious that higher quality guns are better than <ahem> cheaper guns, I see tons of people claiming their HiPoint is just as good as a Glock, or their PSA AR-15 is just as good as a BCM. Some even go so far as to say their cheap gun is BETTER than the more expensive one. So lets look at that… I do have some cheap guns, so I’m not just talking out my butt…
Is a HiPoint as good as a Glock?
People like to bash Glocks for some reason. It seems like HiPoint owners especially like to talk smack about Glocks. So let’s look at that. I own a HiPoint JHP 45 and a Glock 30. Comparing the two… well, they both have polymer frames, they’re both black, and they both shoot 45 ACP. Beyond that, they really aren’t comparable. The HiPoint weighs 35 oz. empty. The Glock weighs 24 oz. empty and 34 oz. fully loaded. That’s correct, the Glock weighs less fully loaded than the HiPoint weighs empty. The G30 is also narrower and shorter than the JHP 45, making it a lot easier to CCW.
The G30 holds 11 rounds, vs 10 for the JHP 45. The sights are easier to see on the Glock, and easy to change if you don’t like the factory sights. The front sight on the JHP is molded into the slide, so you couldn’t change it even if you wanted to. The trigger on the Glock is also better, and again if you don’t like the factory trigger it’s easy to change. The HiPoint has a heavier, grittier trigger pull and there is no aftermarket alternative – you’re stuck with what came from the factory.
There are many other issues as well, enough that I could do a whole post on just the difference between the Glock and the HiPoint. In fact I think I will. But is the HiPoint “just as good as” the Glock? I would have to say… no.
Is a PSA AR-15 as good as a (S&W, Ruger, Windham Weaponry) BCM, etc?
The AR-15 is a little more complicated. PSA themselves offers the AR in several grades, and their “Premium” line is actually pretty good. For this discussion I’m talking about their base and “Freedom” lines. For cheap guns they’re OK, but not as good as more expensive guns. What makes one AR-15 better than another AR-15? Well, lots of things…
What materials are used to make the parts? How were they made (machined from billet, forged, cast, MIM)? How were the parts finished? For hardened parts, were they surface hardened or through hardened? How accurate are the parts’ dimensions? What about hole sizes and location? What testing does the manufacturer use on the individual parts and the gun as a whole? How is their reputation for customer service?
What drives me crazy is people claiming expensive guns are the result of some conspiracy by certain manufactures to “jack up prices.” Here’s a reality check. Better materials cost more money. Better finishes cost more money. Highly accurate parts production costs more than less accurate parts production. THAT is what you’re paying for with a more expensive gun – not “just a fancy roll mark.” At least it usually works that way if you buy from a reputable manufacturer with a good reputation. The idea that a cheaper gun is just as good as a gun made with better materials, to tighter tolerances, and with a better finish???
So what about cheap guns?
I like cheap guns. If my life depends on a gun though, a cheap gun isn’t going to be my first choice. I want quality and especially reliability. That usually means a more expensive gun. Is your cheap gun as good as my expensive gun? Heck, are my cheap guns “as good as”? Most likely not. Until next time…