> TEOTWAWKI Blog

2/26/15

On gear consolidation, Part Deux

Original post generated some good discussion, and I wanted to throw out a few clarifying points.

First, you of course have to use good judgement on your part. Selling something at a loss to only go a repurchase for substantially more is unfavorable math.

There's a bit of informal assessment to do when thinking about throwing something onto the trade blanket:
  • How useful is this to me? Can I re-purpose it?
  • How much can I get for this on resale?
  • What am I going to use those funds for?
  • Would I need to replace/repurchase this in the future? Will I be able to?
  • Will the item be worth more or less in the future if I hold onto it?
That kind of assessment should help guide good versus bad decisions. Useless, easy to replace, high value stuff that you're using to fund important project would be the sweet spot.

If you aren't really constrained for either funds or space, then selling off excess gear makes less sense. You don't need the $$$ to fund projects and you can store the excess away for a rainy day. Most of us aren't in that boat.

Personally, I go through a cycle of testing gear, selling off what doesn't work and then usually plowing those funds back into the same projects. Allows for progress while controlling (to an extent) the out of pocket costs.

That's why I refer to it as gear consolidation - selling an old stock and an unused hand guard to buy a new stock, selling an unused knife for a new / needed flashlight...clearing out the unused excess and turning it into something more needed/desired.

Of course, very often the keep vs. sell assessment often works out as a "naa, I'd better hang onto this", too.

2/22/15

On gear consolidating...

There aren't a lot of things that you can buy, use for a couple years, and then sell at a small loss, or in some select cases, make a tidy profit. But one of the great things about quality gun and knife gear is that it tends to hold its value pretty well.

Case in point: Project AR-(20)15 is largely being funded by clearing out unused stuff. Projects that ended up going no where, ideas that have been abandoned or gear that I wanted to upgrade anyways. Stuff that was of little/no use and was just sitting there, collecting dust, and that sold off pretty quickly, painlessly and in some cases at a healthy profit over what I paid for it a few years ago. Made enough money to fund the purchase of a very nice BCM upper with minimal out-of-pocket cash.

Should have done that a while ago!

Yes, you can keep stuff around "just in case", put it in caches, and so on, but there's a bit of a false economy to that. It might not cost you anything out of pocket to keep, say, an unused hunting rifle around, but it is an unused resource that can be turned into cash. Sell or trade it in, and a new purchase becomes a lot less painful on the budget.

Sure, in some cases it makes sense to keep extra gear around, but that's not always that case.

So - if you have been eyeballing a new project, go clean out the part bins/drawers/closets and see what shakes out.

2/18/15

Magpul MBUS Pros: Nope.


Picked these up for Project AR-(20)15, but they won't be hanging around here long term.

I know these are really popular, and they come in at a good price point. Nicely made and packaged, slim and fit nicely on the top rail. The front sight doesn't require a tool to adjust, which is awesome.

But the design has some deal-breaker flaws for me:
  • Slick / difficult to open. Especially with a pair of gloves on. If I'm going to need my BUISs, things aren't going well, and there's a pretty good chance I'm probably going to be wearing some kind of light glove, too. The low profile and smooth sides means the sights aren't easy to grab onto and flip open. It was taking me several tries to flip the things open, in the warm, dry, zero stress comfort of my living room. Cold, wet, stressful environment...even more trouble.
  • Don't lock open. The big deal to me is that they could get bumped, partially fold in and you not realize it, and then think the sight picture is still a good one. Then you're wondering why your shots aren't going where you intend them to go...that's bad. Less likely to happen, but completely plausible, especially with the front sight.
  • Rear sight's aperture. I prefer the 'big' aperture...the MBUS Pro's uses a 'nested' small aperture, that you have to flip out of the way using a finger nail to get to the big aperture. And then the small aperture piece is exposed and looks like it's just waiting to get snapped off...not a big fan of this.
So, nicely made, but design shortcomings were a deal breaker for me. Lots of people love 'em, but I am not one. Luckily purchase 'em from Amazon so the return process is simple.

2/17/15

Ed: Disposable Kit


Via mi amigo Ed @ Ed's Manifesto:

"Friend of the page sent in this picture. He arrived in an unfamiliar place and went with the on site procurement method. Basically he built his cheap throwaway kit from just one trip to the Local Walmart. This method allows you to bypass a lot of problems as far as transportation of gear from one country to another for example." -  Ed

Commentary: Sometimes circumstances separate you from your tools. Air travel is a big 'un, especially if you're packing light and limiting yourself to carry ons. A little cash and improvisational ability can get you re-equipped in no time.
Or plan ahead and cache it.

I'm seeing maybe $40 worth of stuff here, but well rounded set for daily carry.

2/16/15

Meister on Caches

The $1K Cache post inspired some good discussion on the topic, here and elsewhere. Frequent commenter / T-Blog buddy Meister has been pumping out some thought-provoking posts on caches over at his place.

Meister's put some heavy investment into diversifying his preparations into well thought out and well placed caches. Recommended reading:
Some specific comments:
  • Meister-level caches are probably impractical / out of budget for most folks, but a cache doesn't need to have $3-$5k worth of stuff in it to be worthwhile
  • Be smart, responsible and aware of local laws if you include firearms in a cache
  • Meister's paid special attention to where he stores his caches...very secure, out of the way and private locations
  • They're not buried in the ground. That's so 1990s, people!

The Walking Dead 5:10



The depress-fest continues on the Walking Dead...