12 May 2011

Online shopping

To piggy-back off my last post about purchasing firearms online, I thought I would vent my frustrations with the mark-ups seen at physical retailers.

While searching for some inexpensive 8GB+ flash drives to have on hand for some bootable Linux drives, some security tools, and other information, I noticed a significant price difference in online prices versus in-store prices.  Take for example an 8GB SanDisk Cruzer, not the best performing flash drive but it will do.  Average online price, with tax (if applicable) and shipping, the average price is $15. Cheapest in-store price locally? $29.99.  Average in-store price? $34.99!!

I guess my frustration really got worse when I noticed the difference in price between the online and in-store prices of the same retailer.  Best Buy, for example, has an 8GB HP Flash Drive online for $12.99 with free shipping.  In-store price? $26.99.  Now I understand that there is considerable overhead in running a "brick and mortar" store, but I can't imagine paying twice the price in-store, even if I needed it urgently.

I guess I should just be glad that I can get some things much cheaper online.

10 May 2011

Buying guns online

I have been shopping around for a small caliber pistol or revolver for my wife.  We are going to go to the indoor range and renting a few of handguns first so she can try them out and see what type of handgun she likes best. What I was fairly disappointed in is the fact that purchasing a gun online is often no cheaper than buying one in a local gun store or big box sporting outlet.

Take, for example, a Charter Arms Pink Lady in .38 special.  On a popular firearm auction site, the average price of a Pink Lady up for auction right now is $360.  Add in the shipping which appears to average approximately $25 and the FFL transfer fee, which we will assume is another $30, although most places are charging more these days, and we are up to $415 to order the gun online.

If I go to my local pawn shop, they don't have on in stock but they will special order one, brand new from the manufacturer (actually through Davidson's) for $395 including all taxes and fees.

The big-box-superstore in town has one for sale for $405 (before taxes).

And finally, my local family owned gun store has a new one for sale for $415 (before taxes).

That brings me to the question, is it worth spending hours searching the web for a deal? I have yet to research a gun I wanted that I couldn't find at least $30 cheaper locally.  I know the more expensive the gun, the more room online retailers have to play with pricing, but it really doesn't seem like it is worth the time I would have to spend searching the internet for deals that don't appear to exist.

How to Clean a Handgun

Although every experienced gun owner has their own opinion on how often to clean firearms, and what solvents and lubricants to use, this is a great basic guide to caring for your handguns.

How to Clean a Handgun
B. Gil Horman
American Rifleman

The Daley Chronicles

Last week this editorial in the Washington Times was published about Chicago's supposedly "reasonable" restrictions on the purchase of firearms. Aside for the immense amount of red tape necessary to get a firearm registered (and renew that registration ANNUALLY), the other striking item is the list of "unsafe" firearms which include mostly antiques and black powder.

One modern firearm that is immensely popular, the Walther P22, even made the list of unsafe firearms.

Of course the other thing the editorial points out is that Daley wants 5 full-time armed bodyguards to protect him around the clock. He doesn't need to own a firearm because the City of Chicago will be provided him with 5 trained bodyguards who carry. I guess if I had 5 armed bodyguards I wouldn't necessarily feel the need for daily carry either.

EDITORIAL: Gun-grabber misfire - Washington Times

I guess all I have to say is thankfully I live in a mostly pro-gun state.


08 May 2011

Mother's Day

Happy first Mother's Day to my beautiful wife, our daughter couldn't ask for a better mommy!

05 May 2011

The cloud

Cloud computing is all the rage these days, and I even attended a company conference on the audit and security of cloud computing back in March.  My good friend Joey has a great post on cloud computing, pointing out common misconceptions.  From his post, "Most importantly, Cloud Computing is not a product to be bought. It is a set of items, methods and best practices for deploying the multitude of products, tools and solutions."

My wife's first time

My wife and I decided to drop the little kiddo off at her grandparents and go on a much needed date on Saturday.  We headed out to the City range with the Henry It was my wife's first time ever firing a gun, so we spent time going over firearms safety and basics about the Henry.  I have to say, she did a great job and wants to go out to the range again soon! Here are a couple pictures from the range:
The wife with the Henry at 25 yards
Me with the Henry at 50 yards

All I can say is that I am looking forward to another excellent date in the near future!

A love of firearms

I have been shooting for several years now. I learned to shoot with my dad when I was pretty young. He taught me with a pellet gun at first, and then let me shoot is Winchester model 670 in .30-06. The Winchester left a huge bruise around my collar bone because I didn't have it shouldered properly.

Move forward about 15 years and I have been back in the shooting sports since 2005. I started with a purchase of a Springfield XD-45 Compact, the only pistol I own and one of my favorite pistols to shoot.  Then I decided I needed a rifle, and after having recently shot a friend's AR-15, decided to pick up a Bushmaster O.R.C that had just been introduced.  For my birthday last year, my amazing wife, pitched in with some family members and bought me a nice little Henry Lever Action in .22LR.

Now I have a beautiful baby girl in my life and hope that when she is old enough, I can teach her to shoot on the Henry. I even got my wife to go out to the range just last weekend, and she loved it!

Now if I can only solve those two pesky problems that keep me, and many other enthusiasts, from being at the range more often. Time, and money.